US 3655096 A
A container for diluting and dispensing materials in liquid form that consists of a primary vessel, e.g., a bottle, adapted to contain a diluent such as water and a replaceable cartridge mounted removably in the mouth of the bottle. The cartridge is provided with a laterally projecting circular flange which lies in contact with the edge of the bottle mouth. The cartridge contains a relatively small amount of a chemical concentrate that is to be diluted. A dispensing mechanism composed of a pump with a bottle cap at its lower end is used to withdraw the contents of the container. A dip tube that extends downwards from the cap is introduced into the bottle by thrusting its free end through the cartridge thereby perforating the same and in this way allowing the chemical material in the cartridge to drain into the primary container. The cap is then screwed onto the neck of the bottle. When empty, the cartridges are thrown away and replaced.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Easter [151 v 3,655,096  Apr.1l, 1972  lnventor:
Ross A. Easter, Minneapolis, Minn.
The Pillsbury Company, Minneapolis, Minn.
 Filed: Oct. 22, 1969  Appl.No.: 868,443
Primary Examiner-Robert B. Reeves Assistant Examiner-Francis J. Bartuska Attorney-Ronald E. Lund, James V. Harmon and M. Paul Hendrickson  ABSTRACT A container for diluting and dispensing materials in liquid form that consists of a primary vessel, e.g., a bottle, adapted to contain a diluent such as water and a replaceable cartridge mounted removably in the mouth of the bottle. The cartridge is provided with a laterally projecting circular flange which lies in contact with the edge of the bottle mouth. The cartridge contains a relatively small amount of a chemical concentrate that is to be diluted. A dispensing mechanism composed of a pump with a bottle cap at its lower end is used to withdraw the contents of the container. A dip tube that extends downwards from the cap is introduced into the bottle by thrusting its free end through the cartridge thereby perforating the same and in this way allowing the chemical material in the cartridge to drain into the primary container. The cap is then screwed onto the neck of the bottle. When empty, the cartridges are thrown away and replaced.
3 Claims, 3 Drawing Figures PATENTEDAFR 1 1 I972 INVENTOR. R055 4. 54$ 72-:
CONTAINER FOR DILUTING AND DISPENSING MATERIAL Multicompartmented containers have been previously proposed in which a first compartment was provided for a material to be diluted with a liquid stored in a second compartment. In one container of this kind a bellows is provided with a pointed piercing lug for rupturing the wall of one of the compartments. This allows the material stored in the compartment to fall into the solution located beneath it. In another container of this kind, material is expelled by a pressurized gas. Just before being used, a vertically disposed tube which is held in a pressurized compartment above the diluent is forced downwardly through the lower wall of an upper compartment thereby causing the liquids stored in separate compartments to be mixed prior to use. The first of these containers is not capable of distributing the material as a spray. Thus, there is no way to dispense the material in spray form over a wide area as needed, for example, in applying detergent to walls, mirrors, windows, etc. These problems are remedied in the second design mentioned above but at a substantially increased cost. Moreover, gas-pressurized containers can be used only once.
The present invention is particularly concerned with the dispensing of liquid detergents. In the case of products of this kind, it is particularly important to be able to dilute a concentrated solution to a precisely determined degree without the product getting on the hands. In the past, dilution usually involved mixing and pouring. These operations are both timeconsuming and provide a chance for the concentrate to come in contact with the hands.
In view of these and other shortcomings in the prior art, it is one object of the present invention to provide an improved and reusable dilution and dispensing container in which a concentrate can be first diluted and then dispensed in spray form.
Another object of the invention is the provision of an improved dispensing container 'of the type described including a replaceable cartridge that can be quickly withdrawn when empty and which is capable of restoring concentrated solutions over an extended period of time without leakage.
A further object of the invention is the provision of an improved dispensing container of the type described including a dilution container or dispensing pump mechanism connected to the top of the dilution container, a concentrate cartridge between the dispensing pump and the dilution container and a provision for reliably preventing leakage between the pump and the concentrate cartridge.
A further object of the invention is the provision of an improved package of the kind described with a piercing instrument and a provision for centering the dispensing tube as it is thrust through the cartridge.
A further object of the invention is the provision of a dilution bottle including a removable concentrate cartridge and a screw-on cap adapted to fit over the cartridge with a provision for a gasket to form a seal between the cap and the bottle as well as to center the cartridge in the neck of the bottle.
These and other more detailed and specific objects will be apparent in view of the following specification and drawings wherein:
FIG. 1 is a side elevational view of the package before the dispensing mechanism is placed in the operating position.
FIG. 2 is a partial vertical sectional view showing the dispensing mechanism with the dispensing tube in the operating position, and
FIG. 3 is a partial enlarged cross sectional view of the upper portion of the container.
Briefly, the present invention provides a dispensing package having a removable concentrate cartridge mounted within relatively large dilution container in which is stored a diluent such as water. A dispensing pump mounted upon the dilution container includes a dip tube which when introduced through the cartridge pierces the cartridge and allows the contents thereof to drain into the dilution container. The pump is then operated to dispense the diluted material in spray form.
In the accomplishment of the above objectives, the invention then comprises the features hereinafter fully described and particularly pointed out in the claims, the following description setting forth in detail certain illustrative embodiments of the invention, these being indicative, however, of but a few of the various ways in which the principles of the invention may be employed.
While the invention is suited for a variety of uses, it is particularly useful in storing cleaning compounds and detergents and for dispensing them at the point of use. In this application, it is especially suited for concentrated liquid detergents. Detergents of this kind can be shipped in cartridges in fluid form and occupy very little space but at the same time mix readily with a diluent and leave no undissolved residue as do some dry products. Moreover, by placing the concentrate in a pouch which forms only a part of a larger container, one is always certain to obtain exactly the proper dilution and no measuring on the part of the user is necessary.
In the figures is shown a container 10 embodying the invention. The container 10 is composed of a primary container such as a plastic bottle 12 having a neck with a top opening 14 to which is secured a cap or closure 16 preferably by screw threads 18. Within the primary container 12 is a disposable capsule 20 adapted to contain a liquid or powdered concentrate 22 which during use, as will be explained below, is diluted with a liquid 24 stored in the bottle 12. Secured to the cap is a dispensing means such as pump 26 having a duct or dip tube 28 that extends vertically to the bottom of the bottle 12. The dip tube 28 functions during operation, as will be described below, to pierce the cartridge 20 for the purpose of enabling the concentrate 22 to mix with the diluent 24.
The primary container, bottle 12, is relatively large compared with the cartridge 20. It can be formed from any convenient material such as glass or metal but is preferably formed from lightweight blow-molded plastic such as a low density polyethylene. The container 12 is imperforate except for the threaded top opening 14. The opening 14 and adjacent neck may be thought of as a connecting means to receive the concentrate package.
The cartridge 20 will now be described. Cartridge 20 is a self-supporting unitary article that is separate from the container 10 until just before use consisting of two parts, a domeshaped, downwardly projecting imperforate lower wall 30 that consists of a relatively brittle but frangible material such as plastic sheet material of which polystyrene sheet is an example. The lower wall 30 is inclined obliquely along lines that extend from the edge of the container opening 14 toward the center of the container. This helps to direct the dip tube 28 toward the center of the cartridge as it is being inserted in the event the tube is not inserted at quite the proper angle.
At the top of the bottom wall 30 is provided a circular circumferentially extending laterally directed flange 32 of just the proper size to rest against the upper surface 34 of the top opening 14.
Sealed in any suitable manner as by means of adhesive or by heat scaling is a piece of flat circular sheet material such as plastic sheeting 36 that forms the upper portion of the removable cartridge 20. In the center of sheet 36 is painted a circular target 37. During manufacture, the concentrate 22 is introduced into the lower part 30 of the cartridge. The upper part 36 of the cartridge is then applied and hermetically sealed to the flange 32 along its edge. The cartridge 20 is then complete. In a typical application, the cartridges are stored and shipped separately. The primary container, its cap and the dispensing mechanism 26 are used repeatedly over an extended period of time. Each time more concentrate is needed, the empty cartridge 20 is thrown away and a full one is put in its place. At the same time, the bottle 12 is filled with the appropriate amount of diluent.
The dispensing pump 26 can be of any well-known mechanical hand-operated type including the usual casing 40, plunger 42 which communicates with the cylinder (not shown) through suitable duct work (not shown) with a dispensing nozzle 44 having an outlet opening 46 through which a spray 48 is expelled when the plunger 42 is depressed by moving the lower end of a lever 50 toward the right in the figures. The cylinder in which plunger 42 is mounted communicates through a duct with the dip tube 28. The lower end of tube 28 is preferably cut at an oblique angle to provide a sharp point 54 which acts to perforate the cartridge 20 as will be described below. The lower end of the dip tube is also provided with longitudinally extending radially projecting cutting flanges 56 that allow the concentrate 22 to drain readily into the container 12.
The operation of the container will now be described. It will be assumed that the primary container 12 has been filled to the appropriate level with the diluent liquid 24 (normally water). A fresh cartridge 20 containing the proper amount of concentrate 22 is then placed in the mouth of the opening 14 with the flange 22 resting on the upper surface 34 of the opening at the top of the bottle 12. In this position, the domeshaped wall 30 extends downwardly into the container 12. The operator then grasps the pump and places the tip 54 of the dip tube 28 in the center of the upper part 36 of the cartridge 20. To simplify centering the tip, a target or other appropriate marking can be imprinted on the upper surface of sheet 36. The pump and the dip tube are then thrust downwardly with sufficient force to pierce both the sheet 36 and the bottom 30 of the cartridge 20. This will produce a torn opening 60 in the sheet 36 and will tear away a piece 62 of the bottom sheet 20.
As soon as this is done, the concentrate 22 will drain into and mix with the diluent 24. The spraying pump can now be operated by depressing plunger 42.
It was found that the cartridges 20 could be shipped economically and were easily removed and inserted from the top of the bottle 12 when replacement was required. The target in the center of the top wall 36 of the cartridge assisted in centering the dip tube for piercing and the downwardly and centrally inclined walls of the bottom portion 30 of the cartridge were found effective in guiding the tip tube toward the center of the cartridge in the event the operator inadvertently misaligned the dip tube as it was being inserted. The flange 34 was effective in sealing the area between the cap 16 and the upper 34 of the container 12 against leakage. Because the bottle l2 and dispensing mechanism 26 could be used repeatedly, the cost of the container over its useful life was a minor factor.
1. A dilution and dispensing container comprising a container body having a connecting means comprising an opening for receiving a concentrate cartridge, a removable and replaceable concentrate cartridge, said cartridge having a frangible top and a frangible bottom said container body having a diluent compartment, a dip tube adapted to pierce the top and bottom of the concentrate cartridge and allow the contents thereof to mix with the diluent, a cap means for closing the opening and for retaining removable cartridge in place within the connection means in the container body, the dip tube extending through the openings thus pierced in the cartridge into the diluent compartment, and a pump means communicating through the dip tube for withdrawing the diluted concentrate from the compartment.
2. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein the cartridge is provided with a laterally extending normally horizontally disposed flange having an appropriate diameter to extend over and abutt against the upper surface of the diluent companment and the means for retaining the cartridge in place includes a flat inner surface located in abutting relationship with the upper surface of the flange for pressing the flange in sealing relationship with the upper surface of the diluent compartment to seal the same.
3. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein the cartridge comprises a pouch having a relatively brittle and frangible dome-shaped section and a piece of substantially flat sheet material sealed across the open end of the dome to provide a hermetically sealed capsule for the concentrate, said flange being defined by the sealed section between the substantially flat sheet and the dome-shaped sheet.