US 3692417 A
A container for fluent material to be applied by an elongated brush with radial bristles has a relatively long entrance passage with re-entrant portions to control the quantity of material on the brush by contracting the brush for wiping action as the brush is withdrawn from the container.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Elite States ate Aston 51 Sept. 19, 1972 APPLTCATOR ASSEMBLY FOR  References Cited FLUENT MATERIAL I B D Z 2 UNITED STATES PATENTS I 1 Drive gs g 1,337,819 4/1920 Braun ..1S/206 Calif; 91.745 3,214,782 11/1965 Masters et al. ..401/122  Filed: May 12, 1969 Primary ExaminerLawrence Charles  Appl No; 823,864 AttorneyPaul A. Werlem  ABSTRACT  US. Cl ..401/122 A container for fluent material to be applied by an [5 CL el ng ted br h radial bristles has a relatively  Fleld of Search .....40l/121, 122, long entrance passage re..entrant portions to controi the quantity of material on the brush by contracting the brush for wiping action as the brush is withdrawn from the container.
6 Claims, 7 Drawing Figures APPLICATOR ASSEMBLY FOR FLUENT MATERIALS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION dinally into the container with means unitary with the brush to releasably close the container as well as to serve as a handle for manipulating the brush.
The problem to which the invention is directed is to meter the quantity of fluent material that is transferred to the brush, i.e., to control both the quantity and the distribution of the fluent material that remains on the brush when the brush is withdrawn from the container. The object is, on the one hand, to insure that the brush is sufficiently supplied with the fluent material, and on the other hand, to prevent impregnation of the brush to such an excessive degree as to cause the material to be applied by the brush in blobs.
One expedient heretofore employed to remove excess fluent material from such a brush as it is withdrawn from the container is a ring or annular flexible lip of elastomeric material at the entrance of the container dimensioned to constrict and wipe the brush. One disadvantage of the constricting lip is that the wiping action is too drastic and leaves too little material on the brush. Another disadvantage is that as the flexed bristles clear the constricting lip they snap outwardly to their normal positions and thus throw the adherent away from the brush. Also, for proper application an appropriate quantity of the fluent material should cling to the outer ends of the bristles but the snap action defeats this purpose. In addition, a contricting lip does not provide close control because any member that is of yielding construction necessarily yields in proportion to the quantity of excess material that opposes it and thus fails to function as metering means.
The problem of adequately supplying the brush with the fluent material changes as the supply body of fluent material in the container diminishes. When the supply body is initially large and the major portion of the length of the brush is immersed in the supply body, the fluent material saturates the full length of the brush and it is necessary to reduce the quantity of adhering material drastically. As the supply quantity in the container diminishes with use, however, and a less proportion of the length of the brush is immersed in the supply body, a lesser quantity needs to be removed from the withdrawing brush.
It is true that when the supply body is diminished the usual handling of the container involves turning the container to various positions with consequent transfer of material to portions of the length of the brush that are not immersed when the container is upright, but such incidental turning of the container cannot be depended upon to replenish the desired portion of the length of the brush. Consequently, when the supply body of fluent cosmetic diminishes, only a minor end portion of the brush may be adequately supplied with the fluent material by immersion. A problem, then, is to make some provision for extension of the fluent material along the length of the brush when only an end portion of the brush is immersed in the diminished supply body.
The present invention meets the problem of controlling the quantity of adherentfluent material to prevent excessive impregnation of the brush and also meets the problem of redistributing the fluent material along the length of the brush when a diminished supply body in the container prevents submersion of more than a minor end portion of the brush.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION In the applicator assembly wherein an elongated applicator brush with radial bristles is insertable into a container to pick up a quantity of fluent material from a supply body in the container in preparation for application of the fluent material to the person of the user, the degree to which the withdrawn brush is impregnated with the fluent material is controlled by providing the container with an entrance passage of suitable configuration and suitable dimensions. The entrance passage is dimensioned to contract the withdrawing brush radially and is preferably of a length of several times its cross dimension to provide an extensive surface for cooperation with the brush.
The radial compression of the withdrawing brush by the entrance passage meters the amount of fluent material that remains on the withdrawn brush and it is to be noted that the entrance passage is made of relatively rigid material to make accurate metering possible. When the brush is withdrawn from the entrance passage, residual fluent material remains on the extensive inner surfaces of the passage and when the brush is subsequently reinserted, the brush picks up the previously deposited residual material to result in redistribution of the material lengthwise of the brush, even when only a minor end portion of the brush is initially im mersed in the supply body.
Preferably, the entrance passage increases in cross sectional area from its inner end to its outer end to result in maximum radial compression of the brush by the inner end of the passage. As the brush is withdrawn through the passage the radial compression of the brush by the passage progressively diminishes and therefore the tendency of the brush to sweep the residual fluent material out of the passage progressively diminishes. On the other hand, when the brush is again inserted through the passage the progressive radial compression of the brush causes progressively increasingly effective sweeping action by the brush. Thus, the reinsertion of the brush transfers a substantial portion of the residual material to the brush for increased distribution of the fluent material longitudinally of the brush and at the same time tends to return to the interior of the container any portion of the residual material that is not directly transferred to the brush. It is in this manner that the entrance passage minimizes waste of the fluent material and at the same time serves as means for promoting distribution of the fluent material along the length of the brush when only a minor end portion of the brush is immersed in the supply body.
Preferably, the brush itself tapers towards its outer end for advantageous cooperation with the correspondingly tapered entrance passage. Preferably, the entrance passage is further formed with generally longitudinal inner ribs which may taper in radial dimension toward the outer end of the passage to provide the desired progressive increase in the cross sectional area of the passage.
The features and advantages of the invention may be understood from the following detailed description and the accompanying drawings.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS In the drawings, which are to be regarded as merely illustrative:
FIG. I is a side elevation of the assembly with the brush inside the container and with the container closed by the handle of the brush;
FIG. 2 is a longitudinal section of the assembly shown in FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is an enlarged cross section along the line 3 3 of FIG. 2',
FIG. 4 is an enlarged fragmentary section similar to FIG. 2 showing the brush withdrawn to an extent to make initial contact with the entrance passage of the container;
FIG. 5 is a transverse section along the line 5-5 of FIG. 4;
FIG. 6 is a fragmentary section similar to FIG. 4 showing the brush slightly advanced into the entrance passage from the position shown in FIG. ,4; and
FIG. 7 is a fragmentary sectional view similar to FIG. 4 showing the brush well into the entrance passage as the brush is withdrawn from the container.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT OF THE INVENTION FIG. I shows a container 10 provided with a removable closure 12 that screw threadeclly engages the container as shown in FIG. 2. The closure serves as a handle for a brush that is generally designated 14. The brush I4 is of a well known construction that has an axial core 15 formed by doubling a wire on itself and twisting the doubled wire to clamp a helical array of radial bristles.
In accord with the teaching of the invention, the container 10 is provided with a bushing 16 that is fixedly mounted on the container and forms an axial entrance passage 18. In the construction shown, the bushing 16 is provided with a radial flange 20 that abuts the rim of the container. The outer end of the bushing is provided with a counterbore 21 which is formed at its inner end with an internal circumferentially extending groove 22 for receiving a sealing ring 24 of foamed plastic material in abutting sealing relation with a groove shoulder 25 at the inner end of the counterbore.
In the construction shown, a shank or stem 26 for the brush 14 backs against the inner end wall of the closure 12 and has an enlargement 28 that is united with the surrounding closure and abuts the outer end of the bushing 16 when the container is closed. The shank 26 of the brush is further provided with a smaller enlargement 30 that telescopes into the counterbore 21 and compresses the sealing ring 24 when the container is closed, as may be seen in FIG. 2. The base end of the core 15 of the brush 14 is fixedly seated in an axial bore 32 at the outer end of the shank 26 and the brush 14 is preferably but not necessarily of tapered configuration, as shown, with its maximum diameter at its base end.
The orifice or entrance passage 18 is of a length that is several times its cross dimension or diameter to provide an axially extensive surface for wiping action between the brush l4 and the passage walls. As may be seen in FIGS. 2 and 4, the entrance passage 18 preferably increases in cross sectional area from a minimum at its inner end to a maximum at its outer end.
In cross section, the entrance passage 18 is characterized by circumferentially spaced re-entrant portions which, in this embodiment of the invention, are in the form of inner longitudinal ribs 34. The ribs taper in radial dimension towards the outer end of the passage and thus account for the progressive increase in cross sectional area of the passage. As heretofore stated, the inner end of the entrance passage is substantially smaller in cross sectional area than the brush l4 and preferably, as shown, even the outer end of the passage is smaller in cross section than the brush.
As shown in cross section in FIG. 3, this particular embodiment of the invention has eight equally circumferentially spaced ribs 34 which form eight alternate radial bays 35. Thus, the inner edges of the ribs 34 define what may be termed an inner diameter or circumference and the outer ends of the radial bays define what may be termed an outer diameter or circumference. The inner diameter of the entrance passage may be, for example, approximately 30-40 percent of the diameter of the inner end of the brush l4 and the outer diameter may be approximately -85 percent of the diameter of the inner end of the brush. In this particular embodiment of the invention, the diameter of the counterbore 21 is shown as being approximately equal to the maximum diameter of the brush 14. The entrances to the eight bays 35 may be dimensioned to account for approximately 40 percent of the inner circumference, which means that approximately 60 percent of the bristles of each helical turn of the brush is contracted or radially compressed by the ribs 34 with the remaining approximately 60 percent of the bristles permitted to expand into the radial bays 35.
The manner in which the entrance passage 18 cooperates with the brush 14 may be understood by reference to FIGS. 4-7. As the brush is being withdrawn from the container the first helical turn of the brush makes initial contact with the inner end of the entrance passage as shown in FIG. 4, and FIG. 6 shows how when the first helical turn of the brush then initially advances into the entrance passage, the eight ribs 34 of the passage flex eight corresponding tufts 36 of the first helical turn drastically inwardly while the eight bays 35 flex eight alternate tufts 38 less drastically inwardly. Consequently, the restricted inner diameter of the entrance passage at its inner end removes substantial quantities of the adherent fluent material from eight equally spaced sectors 36 of the brush, substantially lesser quantities of the adherent fluent material being removed from the alternate eight sectors 38 in the eight radial bays 35.
As the brush l4 progresses bodily through the intake passage 18 as shown in FIG. 7, the eight inner tufts 36 of each helical turn of the brush are permitted to expand to the same diameter as the eight outer tufts 38 with consequent opportunity for fluent material to migrate to a substantial degree from the eight undersupplied inner tufts to the eight oversupplied outer tufts. Each successive helical turn of the brush thus reaches the outer end of the intake passage with a predetermined metered amount of the fluent material distributed substantially uniformly around the circumference of the helical turn.
It is important to note that in employing the brush to apply the fluent material to the person of the user, the application is made primarily from the outer ends of the bristles and therefore the problem is not only to meter transfer of the adherent material to the brush, but also to insure that the outer ends of the bristles are adequately supplied with the metered material. The outer eight tufts 38 of each helical turn of the brush are only lightly flexed as they traverse the length of the entrance passage and the remaining more severely flexed inner tufts 36 gradually expand and these facts favor retention of the adherent material on the outer ends of the bristles. Since each helical turn is only moderately compressed as it leaves the outer end of the passage, there is only moderate expansion by snap action of the helical turn to its original dimension. If the helical turns were drastically compressed at the outer end of the entrance passage, the released bristles would flip outwardly so violently as to throw away much of the fluent material that desirably adheres to the outer ends of the bristles.
As the brush is withdrawn through the entrance passage in the manner shown in FIG. 7, a liberal coating of the fluent material is deposited on the inner surfaces of the entrance passage and there is a tendency for this residual fluent material to be swept towards the outer end of the passage. The tendency for the fluent material to be swept along the inner surfaces of the ribs 34, however, progressively decreases because of progressive increase of the inside diameter of the passage so that, considering the passage as a whole, the outward sweeping action progressively diminishes towards the outer end of the passage.
When the brush 14 is subsequently inserted into the container the bristles of the brush are flexed by the entrance passage oppositely to the manner shown in FIG. 7, and now the tendency of the helical turns of the brush to sweep the residual fluent material back into the container progressively increases as the cross sectional area of the entrance passage progressively decreases towards its inner end. It is apparent that if the supply body of fluent material in the container is drastically diminished only an end portion of the brush will be immersed in the supply body when the container is upright, but the sweeping of residual fluent material back and forth along the length of the entrance passage with repeated insertion of the brush results in distribw tion of the fluent material from the oversaturated immersed end portion of the brush to the portions of the brush that have not been immersed. Thus, the intake passage serves to distribute the fluent material lengthwise of the brush.
My description in specific detail of the selected embodiment of the invention will suggest various changes, substitutions, and other departures from my disclosure.
1. In an applicator assembly wherein an elongated applicator brush with radial bristles is insertable into a container to pick up a quantity of fluent material from a supply body therein in preparation for application of the c tainer, said on ice having re-entrant portions extending the length thereof and defining an inner restricted zone at the inner end thereof and defining bays extending radially outwardly from the inner zone,
said inner restricted zone of the orifice progressively increasing in its cross sectional dimension from a minimum at the inner end of the orifice to a maximum at the outer end thereof and being dimensioned relative to the brush to contract circumferentially spaced radial portions of the brush relatively severely to wipe substantial quantities of the fluent material therefrom,
the bays of the orifice being dimensioned for greater freedom of other circumferentially spaced radial portions of the brush to leave substantial quantities of the fluent material thereon to cause the brush as a whole to be impregnated with the fluent material to a degree for smooth application of the fluent material by the brush without release of the fluent material in blobs from the brush.
2. A combination as set forth in claim 1 in which the overall cross dimension of the orifice formed by said bays is substantially constant along the length of the orifice.
3. A combination as set forth in claim 2 in which the brush tapers towards its outer end to a reduced cross sectional area but which is greater than the overall cross dimension of the orifice formed by said bays, whereby to lessen the tendency of the outer end portion of the brush to pick up the residual material in the passage when the brush is reinserted and to increase the tendency of more remote portions of the brush to pick up the residual material when the brush is reinserted.
4. A combination as set forth in claim 3 in which said brush is of progressively larger cross section from its outer end towards its inner end.
5. A combination as set forth in claim 1 in which the radial bays define an outer diameter of the orifice that is on the order of %-85% of the cross dimension of the brush.
6. A combination as set forth in claim 5 in which the inner restricted zone of the orifice is on the order of 30 percent of the diameter of the brush.
UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE J CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION Patent No. 3, 9 7 Dated September 97 Inventor(s) Bruno D AS'BOD It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:
Column 6, last line, "30- peroent should read --3O- IO percent--.
Signed and sealed this 6th day of February 1973.
EDWARD M.ELETCHER,JR. ROBERT GOTTSCHALK Attesting Officer Commissioner of Patents ORM PO-105O (10-69) USCOMM-DC BO376-P69 u,s GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE: I969 0-365-334