US 3710989 A
A one piece plastic dispensing and closure device, including a base cap for mounting over the mouth of a resilient walled container, and a sealing overcap hinged to the base cap. The base cap has an angular spray opening and houses a delivery tube. The overcap has a portion adapted to seal the periphery of the spray opening and a tab extension to facilitate its movement to an open or closed position. Both the tab and flexible hinge lie within the perimeter of the base cap when the overcap is in the closed position so as to prevent interference with capping equipment. The base cap also has a flexible seal ring to prevent leakage despite variations in the container and/or cap dimensions. A stop member is provided on the interior of the base cap and a cooperating protrusion on the exterior of the container to assist in orienting the direction of the spray with respect to the container.
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Armour 1 3,710,989 Jan. 16, 1973 i541 SPRAY DISPENSING CAP AND HINGED CLOSURE 751 lnventorz Donald F. Armour, Bloomfield,
 Assignee: Monsanto Company, St. Louis, Mo. 2 21 Filed: Nov. 6, 1969 [211 App]. No.: 874,595
Primary ExaminerSamuel F. Coleman Assistant Examiner-Norman L. Stack, Jr. Attorney.lames C. Logomasini, Michael .1. Murphy and Neal E. Willis  ABSTRACT A one piece plastic dispensing and closure device, including a base cap for mounting over the mouth of a resilient walled container, and a sealing overcap hinged to the base cap. The base cap has an angular spray opening and houses a delivery tube. The overcap has a portion adapted to seal the periphery of the spray opening and a tab extension to facilitate its movement to an open or closed position. Both the tab and flexible hinge lie within the perimeter of the base cap when the overcap is in the closed position so as to prevent interference with capping equipment. The base cap also has a flexible seal ring to prevent leakage despite variations in the container and/or cap dimensions. A stop member is provided on the interior of the base cap and a cooperating protrusion on the exterior of the container to assist in orienting the direction of the spray with respect to the container.
2 Claims, 2 Drawing Figures e 4 1. I I I SPRAY DISPENSING CAP AND HINGE!) CLOSURE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention This invention relates to a one piece spray cap and hinged closure for use on a resilient walled container.
2. Description of the Prior Art It is known to the art that caps for closing the mouths of bottles or other containers can be attached to the container or another cap portion by means of a hinge which. prevents loss of the closure cap during dispensing. Furthermore, it is known to make closure caps, hinges, and container fitments of this design as one integral unit of plastic material. The prior art teaches the use of a resilient hinge which will spring the closure cap outwardly upon release from frictional engagement with the container fitment. It is also apparent that such devices have been used in which the closure cap has a tab on the side facing away from the hinging link to make it easier to obtain a grip and; remove the closure cap.
However, the hinges and tabs currently in use for this purpose frequently project outside the perimeter of the container fitment and thereby interfere with the capping equipment and cause cap misalignment and inefficiency during the capping operation. In a dispensing cap of the spray variety, the closure cap may interfere with the spray if the hinge does not have sufficient resiliency. Another problem associated with spray caps is the difficulty of obtaining a tight seal with the container when squeeze pressure is applied to the resilient sidewalls and there is a tolerance variation in the dimensions of the container or spray cap. A major shortcoming of atomizers having vertical spray openings is their inability to spray effectively at various acute angles because the air channel will fill with liquid when the container is tilted. For example a container approximately two-thirds filled with liquid cannot be tilted more than approximately 45 because the air channel and mixing chamber will fill with liquid and thus prevent a mixed spray of liquid and air. Still another problem relates to the orientation of the hinge and spray opening with respect to the container label. The prevalent method of manual orientation is both slow and expensive.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION Now there has been developed a new combination hinged spray cap, hereto unknown to the prior art, which resolves the problems described above.
Accordingly, the main object of the present invention is to'provide an improved spray dispenser for a container.
Another object of the present invention is to provide a hinged spray dispensing closure which does not interfere with capping equipment.
An additional object of the present invention is to prevent leakage despite tolerance variations in the dimensions of a container and a spray dispensing cap.
Another object of the present invention is to provide a spray dispenser capable of efficient operation with the spray opening oriented at various angles.
A still further object of the present invention is to provide means for automatically orienting the hinge and spray opening of a dispensing cap with respect to a container upon which is mounted.
Other objects and advantages of the present invention will in part be obvious and will in part appear hereafter.
These and other objects are attained by providing a one piece dispensing and closure means for fastening across a mouth of a resilient walled container comprising a base cap having a side wall and a top wall connected to the side wall, the top wall having a spray opening oriented at an acute angle with respect to the horizontal; an atomizing mechanism housed within the base cap in communication with the spray opening, an overcap to cover the spray opening, the overcap having a portion surrounding the spray opening in sealing engagement around the periphery of the spray opening, means for fastening the base cap to the container, means for releasably securing the overcap to the base cap, and a flexible hinge interconnecting the base cap and the overcap.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS In describing the overall invention, reference will be made to the accompanying drawings in which:
FIG. 1 is a side view section of one form of a dispensing spray cap and hinged closure cap for a container; and I FIG. 2 is a side view section of the closure cap fastened to the spray cap.
DESCRIPTION OF THE ILLUSTRATED EMBODIMENTS With reference to the drawings, there is shown in FIG. 1 a device comprising an integral dispensing cap 10, an overcap 12, a hinge 14, a tab 60, and a container 70.
The dispensing cap 10 has a generally cylindrical, peripheral skirt l6 and a generally circular top wall l8. Also provided is a container fastening portion such as an inwardly protruding bead 20 on skirt l6 and a mechanism to releasably secure-the overcap 12 to the dispensing cap 10, such as an outwardly protruding bead 22 on a ring 24 projecting upwardly from top wall 18.
A stop member 15 projects inwardly from skirt 16. The stop member 15 is adapted to orient the dispensing cap 10 by cooperating with a protrusion 75 on the outer surface of the container neck 74 upon which the dispensing cap 10 is mounted. The outer edge of protrusion 75 lies within the perimeter of protruding bead 20 when dispensing cap 10 is mounted on container so as not to interfere with the capping operation. Similarly, stop member 15 lies above rim 72 on container 70 so as not to interfere with the capping operation.
A spray opening 30, directed at an acute angle of between 0 and 75 above the horizontal, is located in a flat angular face 27 of a fixed generally dome-shaped portion 26. The spray opening 30 is in communication with a mixing chamber 28 within dome 26. An atomizing mechanism located beneath dome 26 includes a delivery tube 50 inserted into a slot 33 in a cylindrical housing 31. The delivery tube 50 extends vertically from mixing chamber 28 down to a position near the base of the container 70. A tube guard 49 is connected to the inner surface of dome 26 and projects into mixing chamber 28 above slot 33 so as to prevent delivery tube 50 from rising above a predetermined height in mixing chamber 28. A vertical air channel 34 is located within housing 31 parallel to slot 33 and leads into mixing chamber 28.
The spray opening is located in angular face 27 on the side of the dome 26 above delivery tube 50 and the air channel 34 lies beneath the opposite side of the dome. Although the air channel 34 can be located with respect to the spray opening 30 on one side of the delivery tube 50, best results are attained when the air channel 34 is located directly behind delivery tube 50 opposite to the spray opening 30. This location results in more positive control over the spray direction. Also,
since the air flow has less resistance when the channel 34 is so located, a faster heavier spray is produced with less squeeze pressure on the container.
The upper end 35 of air channel 34 is located at a predetermined distance above the top 51 of delivery tube 50. By controlling this distance, the .velocity and the wetness of the spray can be precisely regulated. For example, a decrease in this distance will result in an increase in the air velocity across the top of the delivery tube 50 and more liquid will be drawn up the delivery tube 50 into the mixing chamber 28. This dimension will vary between approximately 0.015 to 0.045 inches.
Also provided as an integral part of dispensing cap 10 is a flexible, circular seal ring 36,- projecting downwardly from the underside of a peripheral portion of top wall 18 and flaring inwardly toward the center of cap 10. A portion 39 of the outer surface 37 of the seal ring 36 is adapted to sealingly engage the upper edge 71 of the inner surface of the neck 74 surrounding the container mouth.
Overcap 12, as shown in the closed position of FIG. 2, has a bowed top'38 and a generally cylindrical closure 40 adapted to cover the dome-shaped portion 26. Closure 40 has an internal angular sealing portion 41 adapted to sealingly engage the angular face 27 surrounding the spray opening 30. The overcap 12 is connected to the skirt 16 of dispensing cap 10 by a flexible hinge 14. A circular rim 42. extends downwardly from bowed top 38 and contains an inwardly protruding fastening bead 44 on the inner surface 46. The diameter of rim. 42 isslightly larger than the diameter of ring 24 to enable rim 42 to fasten around the outside of ring 24 by means'of the interlocking beads 22 and 44.
A manipulating tab 60 is provided to facilitate movement of the overcap l2 and extends horizontally from the periphery of bowed top 38 at a position directly opposite to the portion 48 of the hinge 14 connected to the overcap 12. The outer edge 62 of tab 60 lies within the outer perimeter of dispensing cap 10 when overcap 12 is in the closed position of FIG. 2.
When overcap 12 is in the full open position illustrated in FIG. 1 'and lies in a parallel plane to the dispensing cap 10, hinge 14 has an upwardly curving middle portion 47. The hinge 14 is connected to skirt 16 of dispensing cap 10 by a substantially vertical end portion 46 and is connected to a peripheral portion of bowed top 38 by a substantially horizontal end portion 48. The length and curvature of hinge 14 is such that it lies entirely within the outer perimeter of dispensing cap 10 when overcap 12 is in the closed positionof FIG. 2.
The dispensing cap 10, overcap 12, and hinge 14 are injection molded as one integral unit. To assemble the device by means of automated equipment, the overcap 12 is releasably fastened to the dispensing cap 10 by forcing down on bowed top 38 or tab 60, thereby interlocking the bead 44 on the resilient rim 42 of the overcap 12 with the bead 22 on resilient ring 24 of the dispensing cap 10. The delivery tube 50 is then inserted into slot 33 of housing 31 until the delivery tube 50.
makes contact with tube guard 49. The container is partially filled with liquid such that a certain amount of air remains in the container. The entire assembly is fastened across the mouth of a container by forcing down on the overcap 12 to interlock protruding bead 20 of the dispensing cap 10 with a cooperating rim 72 on the outer surface of thecontainer neck 74. The outer surface 37 of the flexible seal ring 36 will press against the upper edge 71 of the inner surface of the container neck 74. Because of the inward flare of the seal ring 36, line contact between a portion 39 of the outer surface 37 of the seal ring 36 and the upper edge 71 of the inner surface of the container neck 74 is assured despite possible tolerance variations in the dimensions of the dispensing cap 10 or container 70. To properly orient the spray opening 30 and hinge 14 with respect to a label on container 70, the dispensing cap-overcap assembly is rotated until the stop member 15 on the inner surface of skirt 16 of the dispensing cap 10 contacts the cooperating protrusion 75 on the outer surface of the container neck- 74.
The device is utilized by applying upward pressure on tab 60 to remove overcap 12 from its closed position by unfastening interlocking beads 44 and 22. The hinge 14, because of its resilient nature and curvature 47, will pull the overcap 12 out of the path of the spray opening 30 when the overcap has been unlocked from bead 22. Squeeze pressure is then applied to the resulient sidewall 76 of the container 70 to force liquid up the delivery tube 50 and air up the air channel 34. The air passes across the topv 51 of delivery tube 50 and because of the decreased pressure draws liquid into the mixing chamber 28 where the air and liquid mix prior to passing out spray opening 30.
The angular spray opening is oriented at an angle of between 0 and 75 above the horizontal, depending on the directional spray range desired. In the conventional atomizer having a vertical spray opening, spraying at angles other than vertically is limited by the fact that liquid will fill themixing chamber 28 and air channel 34 when the container is tilted 45. The angular spray resolves this problem by permitting mixing of air and liquid in the mixing chamber 28 while the spray is being ejected at any angle from 45 below the horizontal above the horizontal.
In general, the preferred materials which find particular use in this invention are flexible plastics such as polyethylene, polypropylene, and polyurethane. The resilient characteristics of polyethylene, polypropylene, and polyurethane are especially suitable for use in the integral dispensing cap, hinge, and overcap as well as in the squeeze container. Low density polyethylene is a preferable material for the delivery tube 50. 1
The present invention finds utility in spray devices which must be secure against leakage. The unique construction of the angular spray opening 30 and atomizing mechanism enable one to operate the spray effectively at various angles. The flexible seal ring 36 ensures a tight seal regardless of tolerance variations in the dimensions of the dispensing cap and container. The unique hinge design as well as the compact manipulating tab result in a more streamlined, efficient capping operation since neither the hinge nor tab interfere with the capping equipment. The curvature of the resilient hinge prevents overcap interference with the spray during dispensing. The stop member makes possible the automatic orientation of the spray opening and hinge with respect to the container label.
Although the invention has been described with a certain degree of particularity, it is understood that the present disclosure has been made only by way of example, and that many variations and modifications of the details of construction and combination and arrangement of parts herein described will be obvious to those skilled in the art and may be carried out without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as hereinafter claimed.
What is claimed is:
1. An angular spray emission and closure means comprising:
a. a resilient walled container having a discharge opening;
b. a base cap having a side wall and an end wall connected to said side wall, said end wall having a fixed, projecting hollow dome portion with a spray opening formed through an angular face of said dome portion, said opening forming an acute angle with respect to the horizontal when said base cap is disposed in a horizontal position and mounted on said container, said fixed dome portion serving to deflect said spray toward said opening;
c. an atomizing mechanism housed within said base cap in communication with said spray opening;
(1. an overcap having a portion adapted to cover said spray opening in sealing engagement across the angular face of said dome shaped portion;
e. means for fastening said base cap across th discharge opening of said container;
f. means for releasably securing said overcap to said base cap; and
g. a flexible hinge interconnecting said base cap and said overcap, the length of said hinge being such that it lies completely within the outer perimeter of the side wall of the base cap when said overcap is fastened to the base cap.
2. An integral plastic dispensing and closure means adapted for mounting over an upwardly facing mouth of a resilient walled container comprising:
a. a base cap having a generally cylindrical side wall and a generally circular top wall connected to said side wall;
b. a substantially dome-shaped portion projecting up from said top wall, said dome-shaped portion having an axial bore in communication with a spray opening, said spray opening passing through an angular face of said dome-shaped portion and forming an acute angle with respect to the horizontal when said base cap is mounted on a container;
c. an atomizing mechanism housed within said base cap incommunication with said axial bore, said atomizing mechanism including a delivery tube having a first end portion in communication with said axial bore and a second end portion in communication with the interior of said container and an air channel having a bottom end below the base cap and a top end above said delivery tube;
d. an overlap having a portion adapted to cover said spray opening in sealing engagement across the angular face of said dome shaped portion;
e. a flexible hinge interconnecting said base cap and said overcap, said hinge connected at one end to the base cap by a substantially vertical portion and has an upwardly curving middle'portion when said overcap is overlying said base cap, said hinge being of a length such that it lies within the outer perimeter of said base cap side wall when said overcap is fastened onto said base cap; a
f. means for releasably securing said overcap to said base cap; and
g. means for fastening said base cap to said container.