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Publication numberUS3650473 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMar 21, 1972
Filing dateMar 13, 1970
Priority dateMar 13, 1970
Also published asCA941801A, CA941801A1, DE2112195A1
Publication numberUS 3650473 A, US 3650473A, US-A-3650473, US3650473 A, US3650473A
InventorsCarl E Malone
Original AssigneeAfa Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Liquid dispensing apparatus
US 3650473 A
Abstract
A combined closure and liquid pumping device for a container having a cap adapted to screw onto a threaded spout of the container. The closure also includes a pump mechanism having a liquid ejection nozzle orifice connected by a liquid conduit to an inlet within the container. The pump has inlet and outlet check valves in the conduit and a pump chamber connected to the conduit between the valves. The outlet valve is spaced from the orifice and is lightly biased to closed position thus to define an air chamber between the outlet valve and the orifice. An openable seal blocks communication between the orifice and the exterior of the closure for disabling liquid pumping operation of the pump and also serves as a static seal to prevent leakage from the container via the liquid conduit.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

[4 1 Mar. 21, 1972 United States Patent Malone 4 M5 2 52 22 2" 2 m mm n L r. Pm .1

dc dn C LH 56 66 99 1.1. l/ 1.1 1.1 87 1 7 02 200 2 2 33 [54] LIQUID DISPENSING APPARATUS [72] Inventor: Carl E. Malone, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

The AFA Corporation of Florid Lakes, Fla.

a, Miami Primary Examiner-M. Henson Wood, Jr.

Assistant Examiner-Michael Y. Mar

[73] Assignee:

M an 13, 1970 Attorney-Barnes, Kisselle, Raisch &. Choate [22] Filed:

ABSTRACT [21] Appl. No.:

A combined closure and l iquid pumping device for a container .239/333, 220/385, 222/383,

having a cap adapted to screw onto a threaded spout of the 222/541 container. The closure also includes a pump mechanism hav- -B05b 11/00 ing a liquid ejection noz duit to an inlet within outlet check valves in Int. zle orifice connected a c011- [58] Field of Search..................239/309, 331, 333, 337, 330; the containelg Th pump h i l t a d 222/541, 383; 220/385 the conduit and a pump chamber connected to the conduit between the valves. The outlet valve is spaced from the orifice and is lightly biased to closed position thus to define an air chamber betw can the outlet valve and the UNITED STATES PATENTS orifice. An openable seal blocks communication between the orifice and the exterior of the closure for disabling liquid nd also serves as a static seal to prevent leakage from the container via the liquid conduit.

pumping operation of the pump a 15 Claims, 12 Drawing Figures 3 .l ua m 3 1 4 44 5 55 mummy 2 "22 2 "22 3,061,202 Tyler 3,241,731 3/1966 Bright et a1.

3,149,763 9/1964 EXtOn 3,162,329 12/1964 Gregory 3,298,573 1/1967 Smalley..............................

PATENTEBMARZI I972 3 650 473 SHEET 1 BF 3 cur OFF wn'u KN\FE U l I FIG5 INVENTOR CARL E. MALONE ATTORNEYS PATENTEUMARZI m2 3,650,473

SHEET 2 BF 3 INVENTOR Z CARL E. MALONE EMQWW M ATTORNEYS PATENTEDMARZ] I972 SHEET 3 BF 3 FIGQ FIG. 12

INVENTOR CARL E. MALONE ATTORNEYS LIQUID DISPENSING APPARATUS This invention relates to a liquid dispensing apparatus and more particularly to means for sealing and disabling a liquid dispensing pump of the type which mounts on a container to thereby provide a shippable closure for the container.

There are several types of inexpensive liquid dispensers presently on the market which incorporate a manually operable reciprocating pump mechanism as part of a screw-on closure for a container so that the dispenser may be removed from the container for refilling the container. Such dispensers may have a trigger member, plunger or other protruding element which is intended to be moved manually to operate a pump piston in the dispenser, usually against the force of a return spring, so that liquid may be pumped from the container and dispensed through the liquid ejection nozzle or outlet of the device. One such spray dispensing device is disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 3,061,202.

Although such dispensers normally employ inlet and outlet check valves associated with the pump mechanism which may be lightly spring biased or gravity biased to a seated position, such valves are not intended as static seals to prevent gravity flow of liquid through the dispenser unit in the event that the container should be inverted. Hence such dispensers normally are not capable of serving as a shippable closure; i.e., capable of sealing the container against leakage of its contents during shipment and/or storage of the dispenser prior to purchase by the ultimate consumer. Hence a separate screw-on cap or other closure must be secured to the container if it is to be shipped full of liquid, and the dispenser included in the package as a separate device disconnected from the container.

Moreover, the existence of an external manually operable element invites tampering with the dispenser so that, either inadvertently or maliciously, the same may be actuated so as to partially or fully pump liquid before the unit has been sold to the customer. This has necessitated mechanical locking means for the operating element or other additional protective packaging enclosures in order to render such dispensers tamperproof.

Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide a liquid dispensing device of the type having a self-contained pumping mechanism which is removably mountable on the spout of a container and which incorporates an inexpensive leakproof and tamperproof seal which is factory installed to both disable the pump mechanism with respect to its ability to pump a liquid and to prevent leakage of liquid from the container so that the liquid dispensing device can serve as a shippable closure for a liquid filled container.

Another object is to provide a combination shippable closure and liquid dispenser of the above character wherein the seal is clearly visible from the exterior of the unit and which, if the same has been broken or opened, such condition is readily ascertainable by visual inspection when viewing the unit from above, as when it is packed in a shipping carton with the dispenser mounted on the upper end of an upright container.

A further object is to provide a closure-dispenser of the above character wherein the seal is readily opened by the ultimate consumer and merely opening the seal enables operation of the liquid pumping mechanism of the dispenser and wherein the dispenser is readily resealable and thereby disabled for storage.

Still another object is to provide a closure-dispenser of the above character wherein the seal may be made of plastic material by mass production injection molding techniques at a minimum of cost.

Other objects'as well as features and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following detailed description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings wherein:

FIG. 1 is a side elevational view of a trigger operated liquid dispensing device converted to a shippable closure by incorporation of one embodiment of a seal in accordance with the present invention, the unit being shown in FIG. 1 with a portion of the seal cut open to enable liquid to be sprayed or jetted from the container on which the dispenser is mounted.

FIG. 2 is a front elevational view ofthe device of FIG. 1 with the container shown in fragmentary elevation and in broken lines.

FIG. 3 is a vertical sectional view taken on the line 33 of FIG. 2 but on an enlarged scale, and with the seal shown in closed condition prior to the nose thereof being cutaway.

FIG. 4 is a fragmentary vertical sectional view of the nozzle and seal area of FIG. 3 shown on a scale enlarged thereover and illustrating the manner in which the seal is opened.

FIG. 5 is a front elevational view of the structure shown in FIG. 4 prior to opening ofthe seal.

FIG. 6 is a front elevational view of a modified form of a seal in accordance with the present invention with the seal shown in closed condition.

FIG. 7 is a vertical sectional view of the modified seal of FIG. 6 also showing the seal in closed condition.

FIG. 8 is a vertical sectional view similar to that of FIG. 7 showing the seal thereof in open condition.

FIG. 9 is a front elevational view ofa third embodiment of a seal in accordance with the present invention with the seal shown in closed condition.

FIG. 10 is a vertical sectional view of the seal of FIG. 9 shown in closed condition.

FIG. 11 is a vertical sectional view similar to that of FIG. 10 showing the seal thereof in opened condition.

FIG. 12-is a fragmentary sectional view taken on the line l2l2 ofFlG. 11.

Referring in detail to the accompanying drawings, FIGS. 1, 2 and 3 illustrate by way of example a shippable closuredispenser of the invention applied to a trigger operated liquid dispensing device of the type shown in U.S. Pat. No. 3,061,202, the disclosure of said patent being incorporated herein by reference. This well known and commercially successful manually operable liquid spraying or jetting device may be equipped with any one of the three embodiments of a seal disclosed hereinafter to thereby convert the dispenser to a leakproof and tamperproof shippable closure in accordance with the present invention.

Briefly, the dispenser or trigger sprayer 10 has a bottle cap 16 adapted to screw onto the threaded spout of a liquid container 102 (FIGS. 1 and 2) to thereby mount the dispenser for operation while attached to the container. Preferably, cap 16 has the usual annular sealing washer or gasket 104 which provides a liquidtight seal with the upper end of surface spout 100. Dispenser 10 has a dip tube 22 adapted to extend downwardly into container 102 so that its open lower end is positioned near the bottom of the container.

Assume first that dispenser 10 is not equipped with a seal structure 122, 200 or 300 of the present invention as described hereinafter, or that such seals are present but are in their open condition as described hereinafter, that the passages 34, 35 and pump chamber 32 are empty of liquid and filled only with air, and that container 102 is filled with liquid to a level above the lower end of tube 22. Under such conditions, if trigger 11 is manually squeezed to rapidly force the two-piece piston 12 inwardly of pump chamber 32, the air compressed by the piston will cause inlet check valve 17 to seat and outlet check valve 29 to open to thereby expel a quantity of pressurized air to atmosphere via nozzle orifice 25. If trigger 11 is then released, spring 14 will bias piston 12 back to the outward position thereof shown in FIG. 3, thereby creating a subatmospheric pressure in chamber 32. This air pumping action is repeated for several strokes of the trigger until the resulting evacuationof air from chamber 32 and passages 35 and 34 causes liquid to be drawn up into chamber 32 to thereby prime the pump with liquid. Further actuation of the trigger to reciprocate piston 12 will then cause liquid to be pumped from container 102 and dispensed in spray or jet form from orifice 25.

Although sprayer 10 is thus self-priming, it is to be understood that piston 12, due to the need of keeping manufacturing costs as low as possible, merely has a liquidtight sliding seal engagement with the cylinder bore of chamber 32 and is not fully airtight. Rather the piston only has sufficient sealing ability with respect to air to pick up a small head of liquid for the aforementioned self-priming purpose. This inability of piston 12 to pump air above a very low pressure and the resulting leakage of air to the open outer end of the piston bore when the air pressure in chamber 32 is raised slightly above atmospheric pressure seemingly is a deficiency which is utilized to advantage in conjunction with the disabling seal of the present invention as described in more detail hereinafter.

Sprayer 10 as disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 3,06l,202, i.e., without the seal 122, 200 or 300 of the present invention, cannot be used as a closure for container 102 for shipping purposes unless the container is empty of liquid. This is because inlet check valve 17 is lightly biased by spring 19 to open position, and outlet check valve 29 is also only lightly biased by spring 30 to closed position. Hence if container 102 is inverted when full ofliquid, any liquid contained in dip tube 22 will run down hill past valve 17, through passage 34, chamber 32 and passage 35 to valve 29. The stray liquid can then leak around valve 29 into the nozzle passages and then run out of unit 10 through orifice 25. This same condition also exists in a modification of sprayer 10 wherein a metal check ball is substituted for valve 17 and the force of gravity acting on the ball when sprayer 10 is upright is relied upon to lightly bias the ball to closed position.

Consequently, the prior trigger sprayer 10 when sold with a packaged liquid has had to be packaged separately from the container and the container sealed by a separate closure, such as a conventional screw cap. This, of course, entails additional cost both for the extra closure cap and the additional packaging procedure involved, as well as the cost involved in the extra bulk required to accommodate the detached or separate sprayer 10 in the shipping carton. However, in accordance with a principal feature of the present invention, the liquid dispensing unit 10 is inexpensively converted to a shippable closure by merely adding one simple element thereto; namely, a seal 122, 200 or 300 which closes or covers the nozzle orifice 25, preferably from the exterior side of the orifice, to thereby close liquid and air communication between the orifice and outside atmosphere.

FIGS. lillustrate one embodiment ofa disabling seal 122 in accordance with the present invention particularly adapted for use with a so-called nonadjustable orifice sprayer of the type presently manufactured by The AFA Corporation of Florida of Miami Lakes, Florida, and sold under the trademark AFA." As best seen in FIG. 4, sprayer 10 has a nonadjustable nozzle which includes the externally threaded spout 31, a nose bushing 26 press fit in spout 31 and a misting element 28 mounted for limited axial movement in bushing 26. The forward end of element 28 is biased into abutment with an end wall 108 of bushing 26 by spring 30 which also lightly biases valve 29 to closed position. The nozzle spray orifice 25 is formed in an axially thickened conical portion 110 of wall 108. Element 26 has longitudinal exterior ribs (not shown) to 7 provide a clearance space 45 for feeding liquid from the nozzle chamber 112 to the forward end of the bore 114 of bushing 26, from which the liquid is conducted to a whirling chamber 116 by tangentially directed slots 118 in the marginal rib at the forward end of element 28 in a manner similar to that disclosed in the aforementioned U.S. Pat. No. 3,06l,202.

Since bushing 26 is press fitted in spout 31, it is held immovable and therefore is set to produce only one spray pattern, and hence this nozzle cannot provide the adjustment disclosed in the aforementioned patent wherein if cap 23 is screwed outwardly on spout 31 the liquid ejection pattern is gradually converted from a spray to a solid stream. In this existing nonadjustable nozzle version of sprayer l0, cap 23 merely serves as a retainer for bushing 26, the inner face of the internal end flange 120 of cap 23 normally abutting the exterior end face of bushing 26. However, these same existing parts of the commercial nonadjustable sprayer described above may be used in cooperation with a disabling seal 122 as best seen in FIGS. 3 and 4 to thereby convert the same to a sprayable closure.

Seal 122 comprises a hat-shaped member, preferably injection molded from plastic material such as polypropylene or polyethylene, having a dome-shaped nose portion 124 and a brim portion 126 in the form of a flat annular radially extending external flange, seal 122 preferably being made to scale from FIG. 4. Brim 126 is clamped against the outer face of bushing 26 by flange 120 of cap 23, the cap being screwed down sufficiently tight to provide air and liquid sealing engagement between the interengaged surfaces of brim 126 and bushing 26 as well as between brim 126 and flange 120. The outside diameter of brim 126 is slightly smaller than the internal bore of cap 23, and the outside diameter of nose portion 124 at its junction with brim 126 is such that the nose portion has a light press fit through the cylindrical opening 128 nor mally provided in cap 23. Hence seal 122 may be readily preassembled to cap 23 prior to screwing cap 23 onto spout 31 merely by dropping seal 122 nose first into the hollow interior of the cap and pushing the nose of the seal through opening 128 until brim 126 abuts flange 120. The seal and cap subassembly thus is retained as a unit for easy handling during manufacture of sprayer l0 and can be readily assembled to the sprayer by screwing cap 23 on spout 31. This is done with the sprayer dry, i.e., after the sprayer has been tested by pumping liquid through the same and then at least partially drained of liquid so that passages 35 and 34 as well as pump chamber 32 of sprayer 10 are emptied of liquid and become air filled, which is preferably the final test procedure followed during manufacture of the sprayer. Thus, it will be understood that when cap 23 with seal 122 therein is assembled to sprayer 10, the nozzle chamber 112 and passages 45 between valve 29 and the internal surface of nose 124 are also filled with air.

With sprayer 10 thus equipped with seal 122 as described above, a dispenser-closure unit 10-122 is provided which may be screwed onto container 102 with the container partially or completely full ofliquid, and this package can then be shipped without fear of the liquid contents of the container leaking out of the unit even though the same may be inverted and/or the sprayer tampered with; i.e., trigger ll squeezed to reciprocate piston 12.

In the case of inversion of the container, liquid cannot leak from spout externally of sprayer 10 due to the usual sealing gasket 104 held clamped against the upper end of spout 100 by cap 16 being screwed securely on the spout. Likewise, any liquid which enters the pumping passages 34, 35 and chamber 32 of the sprayer will not leak past piston 12, nor past valve 29 because of the trapped air behind it. However, should such liquid enter chamber 112, it cannot escape from the nozzle structure because of the positive static liquid and air seal provided by seal 122.

In the event that someone should attempt to operate the sealed sprayer by squeezing trigger 11, or should trigger 11 be otherwise actuated while the sprayer is sealed by seal 122, no liquid leakage will occur nor will any liquid pumping action result regardless of the number of times trigger 11 is repetitively squeezed and released because of the disabling action of seal 122, When piston 12 is forced inwardly of chamber 32 on what would normally be an air pumping stroke to achieve the self-priming action described previously, no air can escape via orifice 25 to outside atmosphere. Thus, squeezing trigger 11 will merely pressurize the air trapped between valve 17 and seal 122, and the compressible character of the air in the pump chamber and passages will permit full stroke actuation of the trigger. When the trigger is released, the reexpansion of the trapped air will augment spring 14 in producing outward return movement of the piston to its FIG. 3 position.

If the trigger 11 is repetitively squeezed and released, a slight air pressure buildup will occur in chamber 112, but the small mass of air thus removed from chamber 22 and the communicating passages 35 and 34 will be insufficient even when piston 12 moves to its outermost position shown in FIG. 3 to lower the pressure in this space to a value which is sufficient to cause liquid to be lifted via tube 22 from container 102 up to the pump chamber. In fact, well before this priming condition could be reached, the back pressure exerted on piston 12 will exceed the air sealing capability of the piston with its cylinder bore and therefore a two-way air leak will develop; first outwardly past piston 12 so that air will leak from chamber 32 past outside of the piston to the exterior of the piston bore when the same is being forced into the bore, and then a reverse leakage of air from outside atmosphere past piston 12 into bore 32 on the out or suction stroke of the piston. Thus, it will be seen that seal 122 is effective to disable the self-priming and liquid pumping capability of the pump mechanism of sprayer 10, thereby rendering it tamperproof and obviating the need for any mechanical lockout structure for trigger 11.

Dispenser and the liquid-filled container 102 may be sold as a sealed unit to a customer or ultimate user since it is a very simple matter to unseal the unit and put it to use as a liquid dispenser. This is done by severing the nose portion 124 from the remaining portion of seal 122, as shown by the solid and broken line illustrations thereofin FIG. 4. The nose or tip 124 may be readily cut with a knife along a cut line 132 almost flush with the outer end face of cap 23. The customer may be instructed in how to perform this simple unsealing step by attaching a self-adhering peel-off label 130 (FIG. 1) bearing the legend Cut off with knife associated with a dotted out line 132 on a picture of the sealed nozzle on the label. The cut-off tip 124 is discarded and the dispenser unit now is ready for use. After the pump has self-primed by actuating trigger 11 through several strokes as described previously, liquid will be pumped from container 102 and ejected via orifice in a spray pattern 134 as illustrated in FIG. 4. By cutting off tip 124 flush with or close to the end face of cap 23, the severed edge 135 of the portion of seal 122 remaining in cap 23 has a large enough inside diameter so as not to obstruct the spray pattern. Hence the severed portion of the seal inside the cap can be left in place without in anyway adversely affecting operation of dispenser 10.

A second embodiment 200 of the dispensing seal of the invention is shown in FIGS. 6, 7 and 8 wherein the spray head structure is generally the same as that described in conjunction with FIGS. 15 inclusive. However, nozzle spout or nose 202 is not threaded but rather has a smooth cylindrical exterior surface with a circumferential external locking groove 204 therein spaced slightly outwardly from the main body 206 of the spray head. Bushing 26 protrudes from the forward end of nose 202 and is press fitted therein as in the previous embodiment to provide a nonadjustable spray nozzle. Instead of a screwon cap 23, a snap-on cap 208 is provided as an integral part of seal 200. Cap 208 has a skirt 210 with an internal circumferential locking rib 212 which, due to the flexibility of skirt 210, can be cammed past nose 202 when cap 208 is pushed open end first onto nose 202. Cap 208 is locked in place when rib 212 reaches groove 204, the resiliency of skirt 210 causing rib 212 to snap into groove 204. Preferably the right-hand side of rib 212 (as viewed in FIGS. 7 and 8) is inclined relative to the axis of cap 208 to a greater extent than the left-hand side of rib 212 to facilitate insertion of the cap into thenozzle but to make withdrawal more difficult, this arrangement thus providing a permanent retention of cap 208 on nose 202. When cap 208 thus is firmly seated on the nose the tight engagement between rib 212 and nose 202, the abutment of shoulder 214 of the cap with a mating shoulder 216 of the nose, and the abutment of the inner surface of the end flange 218 of the cap with the end surface of bushing 26 provide an airtight and liquidtight seal therebetween.

The other principal part of seal 200 comprises a cover 220 best seen in FIG. 8 which illustrates the open condition of seal 200. Cover 220 is pivotally connected to cap 208 by a thin flexible strip 222 preferably formed integrally with cap 208 and cover 220 to serve as a so-called living hinge, seal 200 preferably being injection molded in one piece from suitable plastic material such as polypropylene or polyethylene having the capability of unlimited repetitive flexure in portion 222. Cover 220 has a skirt 224 adapted to nest with a squeeze fit over the cylindrical snout 226 of cap 208 when cover 220 is swung upwardly from its dependent open position shown in FIG. 8 to its seal closing position shown in FIG. 7. Cover 220 also has an annular raised rib 228 (FIG. 8) projecting from the inner surface of the crown 230 of the cover. The outer periphery 232 of rib 228 has a sliding press fit into the aperture 234 of snout 226 and yieldably deforms to accommodate an internal holding rib 236 extending around aperture 234. An orifice sealing nub 238 (FIG. 8) is provided at the center of crown 230 which projects axially from the inner surface thereof and is adapted to register with the outer end of orifice 25 to securely plug the same when cover 220 is swung up to the closed position thereofshown in FIG. 7.

Preferably cover 220 has a fastening strip 240 joined to the open end of skirt 224 diametrically opposite hinge 222 which is adapted to be flexed from the position shown in FIG. 8 to the bent down position thereof shown in FIG. 7 wherein the free end of strip 240 is secured to cap 208 by any suitable means such as heat staking. This prevents seal 200 from being opened unless and until strip 240 is severed, as shown in FIG. 8, preferably by cutting the same through a narrowed portion formed by molding a notch 242 in strip 240, whereupon cap 220 can be pulled outwardly and then released to fall to the hanging position thereof shown in FIG. 8.

The above-described modified seal 200 thus is effective in the closed position thereof to serve as a disabling seal for the dispenser to convert the same to a shippable closure in the manner of seal 122 described previously. Seal 200 has the additional advantages of being permanently locked into position and being resealable by the ultimate user so that the dispenser may be safely stored between periods of use. Seal 200 may be economically manufactured in one piece by injection molding techniques and is assembled easily to the sprayer during manufacture. Sealing cover 220 snaps securely into closed position and is retained reliably by the internal holding rib 236, thereby achieving a positive and permanent air and liquidtight seal. The heat staked tip 240 locks the sealing cover 220 into permanent tamperproof position so that the consumer must cut the top along the molded notch in order to unsnap the cover and use the dispenser. The living hinge 222 permits the cover to hang downward out of the way but where it will not be lost when it is desired to reseal the dispenser.

Referring to FIGS. 9-12 inclusive, a third embodiment 300 of a disabling seal of the invention is illustrated which is somewhat similar to seal 200 but adapted for converting into a shippable closure a trigger sprayer having a commercially available adjustable nozzle construction similar to that shown in the aforementioned U.S. Pat. No. 3,06l,202. Seal 300 thus has a cap 302 with a skirt 304 slidably received on nose 202 of the spray head, but cap 302 is axially movable along nose 202' to allow for spray pattern adjustment. The sprayer in this version has an O-ring 27 and an open ended bushing 26 through which the misting element 28 projects so as to abut the inner face of a separate nozzle insert 306 which is press fitted into the aperture 307 in the end flange 308 of snout 310 of cap 302. Insert 306 has the spray orifice 25 extending therethrough instead of the spray orifice being formed in the end of bushing 26'. Hence when cap 302 is moved axially to the right to its innermost position as viewed in FIGS. 10 and 11 wherein a shoulder 312 of cap 302 abuts a shoulder 216 of nose 202', element 28 firmly abuts the inner face of insert 306 to produce a fine, wide angle spray pattern. When cap 302 is moved axially to the left, insert 306 moves with it and thus away from element 28 to thereby adjust the nozzle to produce a jet stream pattern.

To accomplish the aforementioned adjusting movement of cap 302, the same has a pair of diametrically opposite nubs 314 (FIGS. 11 and 12) projecting internally from the inner wall of skirt 304 to serve as cam followers in a pair of diametrically opposite cam grooves 316 in nose 202'. The center portion of each groove 316 is angled relative to the axis of nose 202' to impart the desired axial travel to cap 302 as the same is rotated on nose 202, and the opposite ends 318 and 318' of groove 316 extend in a plane perpendicular to the axis to provide locking positions to hold the nozzle in either the innermost or outermost (spray or jetting) positions respectively. Preferably cap 302 as well as cover 322 are injection molded as one piece from a resilient flexible material, such as polypropylene or polyethylene, so that cap 302 can be pressed open end first onto nose 202' and the follower nubs 314 will snap into groove 316 once they register therewith.

Seal 330, like seal 200, has a living hinge portion 320 integrally connecting a sealing cover 322 to cap 302. Cover 322 has a skirt portion 324 which fits over snout 310 with a close sliding fit and has a tab 326 adapted to be heat staked to the skirt of cap 302. Tab 326 has a notch 328 to facilitate severing the strip by the customer when he first opens the seal. Cover 322 also has a sealing nub 330 projecting inwardly from a raised platform 332 formed centrally of the crown 334 of cover 322. Nub 330 is dimensioned so as to be squashed flat against the outer face of insert 306, as shown in FIG. 10, to seal orifice 25 securely when cover 322 is pushed home to its closed position on cap 302. Seal 300 thus offers the advantages of seal 200 and in addition permits locking of the nozzle in either extreme selected spray orjetting position.

It is to be understood that the principles of the present invention may be applied to other conventional types of container-mounted liquid dispensing pumps, such as the wellknown type sold under the trademark WINDEX" wherein a finger-actuated piston projects upright through the bottle cap of the unit and has a hollow stem closed near its upper end by an outlet check ball. In such a unit the plunger-nozzle member is pushed downwardly by finger pressure against the force of an upwardly acting biasing spring disposed in the stationary cylinder portion of the closure. The inlet check ball is located at the lower end of the cylinder above the dip tube of the unit. Accordingly, by applying an externally located sealing member in accordance with the present invention to plug the spray orifice of the upright plunger, an air chamber is formed between the spray orifice and the outlet check valve which prevents the self-priming action of the pump. Hence such a liquid dispenser is effectively disabled even if the piston should be actuated, and the dispensing mechanism is converted to a reliable shippable closure which will not leak liquid from the container during shipment or storage.

l claim:

1. ln a device for dispensing liquids from a container wherein said device comprises a manually operable pump mechanism secured to the container and including a pump chamber, an inlet conduit connecting said pump chamber with a liquid reservoir in the container, an inlet check valve in said inlet conduit between said pump chamber and said reservoir, a nozzle having a dispensing orifice, an outlet conduit connecting said pump chamber with said orifice and an outlet check valve in said outlet conduit between said pump chamber and said orifice, the improvement wherein said device has disabling seal means operably connected to said nozzle thereof and blocking air and liquid communication of said pump chamber via said outlet check valve and said nozzle orifice with the exterior of said device in a closed condition of said seal means, said seal means being sufficiently airtight to withstand air pumping pressures developable by actuation of said pump mechanism and being sufficiently liquidtight to withstand static liquid pressures developed by inversion of said device with said container full ofliquid in said closed condition of said seal means, at least a portion of said seal means being openable to expose said pump chamber via said outlet check valve and said nozzle orifice to the exterior of the device to enable liquid to be pumped by actuation of said pump mechanism and dispensed via said outlet check valve and said nozzle orifice.

2. The device as set forth in claim 1 wherein said nozzle comprises a threaded spout and wherein said seal means includes a cap threadably secured to said nozzle for movement axially thereof and having an opening therein registering with said orifice and a seal member held by said cap in the closed sealing condition thereof by threading said cap axially inwardly on said spout to clamp said seal member in liquid and airtight engagement with a sealing surface associated with said nozzle.

3. The device as set forth in claim 2 wherein said seal member has a hollow nose portion extending exteriorly of said nozzle, said nose portion being made at least in part of severable material in a zone accessible from the exterior of said device whereby said nose portion may be at least partially severed from the remainder ofsaid seal member to thereby expose said nozzle orifice to the exterior atmosphere and thus enable liquid ejecting operation of said pump mechanism.

4. The device as set forth in claim 3 wherein said seal member comprises a hat-shaped member having a brim clamped between said nozzle and cap in liquid and airtight sealed relation therewith, said nose portion of said seal member comprising the dome of said hat-shaped member and protruding through said cap opening coaxially with said nozzle orifice.

5. In a device for dispensing liquids from a container wherein said device comprises a manually operable pump mechanism secured to the container and including a pump chamber, an inlet conduit connecting said pump chamber with a liquid reservoir in the container, an inlet check valve in said inlet conduit between said pump chamber and said reservoir, a nozzle having a dispensing orifice, an outlet conduit connecting said pump chamber with said orifice and an outlet check valve in said outlet conduit between said pump chamber and said orifice, the improvement wherein said device has a disabling seal attached to the nozzle thereof and blocking air and liquid communication of said nozzle orifice with the exterior of said device, said seal being sufficiently airtight to withstand air pumping pressures developable by actuation of said pump mechanism and being sufficiently liquid tight to withstand static liquid pressures developed by inversion of said device with said container full of liquid, at least a portion of said seal being openable to expose said nozzle orifice to the exterior of the device to enable liquid to be pumped by actuation of said pump mechanism and dispensed via said nozzle orifice, and a cap secured to said nozzle and having an opening therein registering with said orifice, said seal being held between said orifice and said cap in the closed, orifice sealing condition thereof, said seal having a hollow nose portion extending exteriorly of said nozzle, said nose portion being made at least in part of severable material in a zone accessible from the exterior of said device whereby said nose portion may be at least partially severed from the remainder of said seal to thereby expose said nozzle orifice to the exterior atmosphere and thus enable liquid ejecting operation of said pump mechanism, said seal comprising a hat-shaped member having a brim clamped between said nozzle and cap in liquid and airtight sealed relation therewith, said nose portion of said seal comprising the dome of said hat-shaped member and protruding through said cap opening coaxially with said nozzle orifice, said cap being threadably secured to said nozzle for movement axially of said orifice, said seal comprising a one-piece member made of severable material in a portion of said dome flush with an outer exposed surface of said cap, said dome portion having an inside diameter flush with said outer surface of said cap larger then the liquid spray pattern ejectable via said orifice in response to actuation of said pump mechanism whereby said spray pattern is unobstructed by the portion of said cap remaining after removing the exterior end of said dome by severing said nose portion along a cut line adjacent said outer surface of said cap.

6. In a device for dispensing liquids from a container wherein said device comprises a manually operable pump mechanism secured to the container and including a pump chamber, an inlet conduit connecting said pump chamber with a liquid reservoir in the container, an inlet check valve in said inlet conduit between said pump chamber and said reservoir, a nozzle having a dispensing orifice, an outlet conduit connecting said pump chamber with said orifice and an outlet check valve in said outlet conduit between said pump chamber and said orifice, the improvement wherein said device has a disabling seal attached to the nozzle thereof and blocking air and liquid communication of said nozzle orifice with the exterior of said device, said seal being sufficiently airtight to withstand air pumping pressures developable by actuation of said pump mechanism and being sufficiently liquidtight to withstand static liquid pressures developed by inversion of said device with said container full of liquid, at least a portion of said seal being openable to expose said nozzle orifice to the exterior of the device to enable liquid to be pumped by actuation of said pump mechanism and dispensed via said nozzle orifice, and a cap secured to said nozzle and having an opening therein registering with said orifice, said seal being held between said orifice and said cap in the closed, orifice sealing condition thereof, said cap and said seal being integrally joined by a flexible hinge portion, said seal being pivotable on said hinge from a closed position wherein said seal engages said cap to an open position wherein said seal is free of the spray pattern zone of said orifice.

7. The device as set forth in claim 6 wherein said seal has a gripping portion having a retaining fit engagement with said cap and an orifice blocking portion in sealing engagement with the outer end ofsaid nozzle orifice.

8. The device as set forth in claim 7 wherein said cap has an annular flange extending around said opening in said cap and said seal has an annular flange concentric with said cap flange, said flanges having a rib and a mating groove providing said retaining fit engagement when said flanges are axially overlapped.

9. The device as set forth in claim 8 wherein said cap flange comprises a radially inwardly directed flange, said seal flange extending axially inwardly therefrom into nested engagement with said cap flange and encircling said orifice blocking portion of said seal.

10. The device as set forth in claim 6 wherein said seal has a tab affixed to said cap opposite said hinge portion in the closed position of said seal, said tab being severable to permit said seal to be pivoted from said closed to said open position.

11. The device as set forth in claim 6 wherein said cap has an insert mounted therein for movement therewith and defining said orifice, said nozzle having a spinner element abuttable with said insert, and wherein said cap is rotatably mounted on said head, said cap and nozzle having interengaging slot and pin means for causing axial movement of said cap on said nozzle in response to rotation of said cap relative to said nozzle to thereby adjust the position of said insert relative to said spinner element to adjust the liquid ejection pattern of said device.

12, A combined closure and liquid pumping device for a container comprising a container cap for the container adapted to have a screw-on sealing connection with a threaded spout of the container, a pump mechanism mounted on said screw-on container cap and having a liquid ejection nozzle with an orifice therein and a. liquid conduit extending from an inlet within the container to said nozzle orifice, said pump further having inlet and outlet check valves in said conduit and a pump chambercommunicating with said conduit between said valves, said pump chamber comprising a cylinder open at its outer end to exterior atmosphere and closed at its inner end except for communication with said conduit between said valves, said pump having a movable piston reciprocable in said cylinder and defining therewith said pump chamber, said piston having a liquidtight sliding sealing engagement with said cylinder but having an air leakage engagement with said cylinder operable to seal air only up to a slight air pressure differential between said open end of said cylinder and said pump chamber, said outlet valve being spaced from said orifice and being biased to closed position by movement of said piston on its suction stroke, and seal means operable in a closed condition to block communication between said chamber and the exterior of said closure via said outlet valve for disabling liquid pumping operation of said pump and serving as a static seal to prevent leakage of liquid rom the container via said liquid conduit, said seal means being openable to expose said pump chamber via said outlet check valve and said nozzle orifice to the exterior of the device to enable liquid to be pumped by actuation of said pump mechanism and dispensed via said outlet check valve and said nozzle orifice.

13. The device as set forth in claim 12 wherein said nozzle has a nozzle cap secured thereto and said seal means comprises a one-piece member having a dome protruding through an opening in said nozzle cap coaxially with said nozzle orifice, said member being made of severable material in a portion of said dome flush with an outer exposed surface of said nozzle cap, said dome portion having an inside diameter flush with said outer surface ofsaid nozzle cap larger than the liquid spray pattern ejectable via said orifice in response to actuation of said pump mechanism whereby said spray pattern is unobstructed by the portion of said nozzle cap remaining after removing the exterior end of said dome by severing said nose portion along a cut line adjacent said outer surface of said nozzle cap.

14. The device as set forth in claim 12 wherein said nozzle and said seal means are integrally joined by a flexible hinge portion, said seal means being pivotable on said hinge from a closed position wherein said seal means engages said nozzle to an open position wherein said seal means is free of the spray pattern zone of said orifice.

15. The device as set forth in claim 12 wherein said liquid conduit includes a dip tube extending coaxially from said cap and adapted to project vertically downwardly therefrom into the container to a point near the bottom of the container when said closure is installed on the container, said dip tube having an inlet at the lower end thereof.

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Classifications
U.S. Classification239/333, 220/304, 222/383.1, 222/541.2
International ClassificationB05B11/00
Cooperative ClassificationB05B11/0032, B05B11/3011, B05B11/305
European ClassificationB05B11/30C5B, B05B11/00B3F
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Feb 8, 1989ASAssignment
Owner name: AFA CONSOLIDATED CORPORATION
Free format text: MERGER;ASSIGNORS:DSW ACQUIRING CORP.(MERGED INTO);AFA CORPORATION, THE (CHANGED TO);REEL/FRAME:005005/0096;SIGNING DATES FROM 19810428 TO 19810501
Feb 8, 1989AS03Merger
Owner name: AFA CONSOLIDATED CORPORATION
Owner name: AFA CORPORATION, THE (CHANGED TO)
Effective date: 19810501
Owner name: DSW ACQUIRING CORP.(MERGED INTO)
Effective date: 19810428
May 16, 1988AS01Change of name
Owner name: AFA CORPORATION OF FLORIDA, THE
Owner name: AFA CORPORATION, THE
Effective date: 19730621
May 16, 1988ASAssignment
Owner name: AFA CORPORATION, THE
Free format text: CHANGE OF NAME;ASSIGNOR:AFA CORPORATION OF FLORIDA, THE;REEL/FRAME:004888/0688
Effective date: 19730621
Apr 18, 1988ASAssignment
Owner name: WAYNESBORO TEXTILES, INC.
Free format text: MERGER;ASSIGNOR:AFA CONSOLIDATED CORPORATION; ARCHIVES FOR ADVANCED FOR ADVANCED MEDIA, INC., WAYN-TEX INC., AND MHA, INC., (MERGED INTO);REEL/FRAME:004863/0715
Effective date: 19821202
Owner name: WAYNESBORO TEXTILES, INC.,NORTH CAROLINA
Feb 8, 1988ASAssignment
Owner name: FIRST NATIONAL BANK OF BOSTON, THE, 100 FEDERAL ST
Free format text: SECURITY INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:AFA PRODUCTS, INC.;REEL/FRAME:004845/0316
Effective date: 19880203
Owner name: FIRST NATIONAL BANK OF BOSTON, THE,MASSACHUSETTS
Mar 18, 1985ASAssignment
Owner name: WALTER E. HELLER AND COMPANY, INC., 101 PARK AVENU
Free format text: SECURITY INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:WAYNESBORO TEXTILES, INC., A CORP. OF VA.;REEL/FRAME:004377/0941
Effective date: 19850227