|Publication number||US3749274 A|
|Publication date||Jul 31, 1973|
|Filing date||Aug 16, 1971|
|Priority date||Aug 16, 1971|
|Publication number||US 3749274 A, US 3749274A, US-A-3749274, US3749274 A, US3749274A|
|Inventors||S Mele, E Hoyt|
|Original Assignee||Blessings Inc|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (6), Referenced by (46), Classifications (16)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
UiliiQd Sites atent 1 [111 3,749,274
Mele et al. July 31, 1973 RECEPTACLE WITH SPRING HINGE I CLOSURE Primary Examiner-George E. Lowrance Assistant Examiner-Alan Eskines  Inventors: Sidney C. Male, Mountainside; Earl I Hoyt, westwood both of NJ. Attorney-Nichol M. Sandoe, Charles W. Neill, etlal.
 Assignee: Blessings, lnc., Bound Brook, NJ.
Filed: Aug. 16, 57 ABSTRACT  Appl. No.: 171,968
This receptacle for diapers, garbage or other contents has an inlet opening with a closure that is urged toward  34 3 closed position by hinge means consisting of a resilient 51 I t C l I 8 1 6 element that is flexed to an arc of substantial extent. E g 31 R 8 One end of the resilient element is connected to the closure and the other end to the receptacle beyond the flexed portion. By molding the hinge means in substantial alignment with the closure, and then connecting it 220/35, 1 T, 87; BIZ/31.1
 References cites with a wall of the receptacle at a substantial angle to UNITED STATES PATENTS the plane of the opening, the hinge means provides a 3,095,995 7/1963 Foster 220/31 S plastic leaf spring that urges the closure into closed po- 220/31 3 sition. The closure moves downward to open, and the leaf spring holds the closure against a lip of the opening a erman 2,800,244 7/1957 Witt 220/35 to seal the receptacle agamst the escape of odors FOREIGN PATENTS 0R APPLICATIONS 14 Claims 5 Drawing Figures 333,896 8/1930 2 Great Britain 220/87 PAIENIH JUUHQIS 3 749,274
1 RECEPTACLE WITH SPRING HINGE CLOSURE SUMMARY AND BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention includes a receptacle with an opening through its upper portion and in the illustrated construction the receptacle hasa cover and the opening is through the cover and more particularly through a portion of the cover that has a substantial downward inclination toward the free edge of a closure which is connected to the receptacle by hinge means at an opposite edge. The hinge means comprises a plastic leaf spring which is originally connected with the closure so as to be in substantial alignment with the closure. When the other end of the leaf spring is connected to the receptacle in a direction extending at an angle to the plane of the opening, the plastic is flexed in such a direction as to cause it to urge the closure into closed position.
In the preferred construction, the hinge means is molded as a one-piece construction with the closure; and the closure is somewhat larger than the opening so that it extends beyond the peripheral edges of the opening and contacts with the peripheral edges to form an odor-proof seal around the edges of the closure.
The closure moves downward as it moves into open position and the leaf spring exerts an upward pressure for holding the closure against the underside of the peripheral edges of the opening. The construction has a spring strength which is correlated with the weight of the closure and the weight of a wet diaper, when used as a diaper receptacle, so that placing a wet diaper on top of the closure causes the closure to open far enough for the diaper to slide off into the receptacle so that the closure can again move upward into closed position. As compared with other diaper receptacles which have lids which open upward, this invention has the important advantage that it is a one hand operation receptacle and can be used when a woman has only one hand free because she carrying a baby with the other arm.
The invention has the further advantage that it obtains pressure of the closure against the edges of the opening to obtain a seal without substantial weight and it eliminates metal parts which often corrode because of fumes from within the receptacle The closure provides an odor-tight self-closing door.
Another feature relates to a construction within the receptacle which provides a compartment for a deodorant and in the illustrated construction there is an extension of the plastic spring which extends under the deodorant compartment to provide a movable wall which permits the insertion of additional deodorant into the compartment when necessary.
Other objects, features and advantages of the invention will appear or be pointed out as the description proceeds. I
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWING In the drawing, forming a part hereof, in which like reference characters indicate corresponding parts in all the views:
FIG. 1 is a sectional view through a'receptacle having a closure and hinge means made inaccordance with this invention;
FIG. 2 is a fragmentary bottom plan view, partly broken away and in section, of the left hand portion of the receptacle shown in FIG. I;
FIG. 3 is a sectional view of the closure hinge means and an extension of the hinge means of FIG. I, but showing the way in which all of theseparts are originally molded in one piece with the leaf spring in line with the closure before being attached to the receptacle and before being flexed;
FIG. 4. is a top plan view of tee clsure,leaf spring and extension shown in FIG. 3; and
FIG. 5 is an enlarged detail sectional view showing the fastening means illustrated in FIG. 2.
DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENT FIG. 1 shows a receptacle which includes a container 12 having a lid 14 which fits over the upper edge of the container 12. A shoulder 16 limits the extent to which the lid 14 can move downward on the container 12. In the construction illustrated the lid 14 which comprises the upper portion of the receptacle, is made of plastic; and it has a side wall 18 that extends upwardly from the shoulder 16 and that converges as it extends upward.
At the upper end of the side wall 18, there is a top wall 20. This top wall 20 preferably has a substantial downward slope toward the right, as shown in FIG. I. There is an opening 22 in the top wall 20 and this opening lies in a plane sloping at a substantial incline similar to part of the top wall 20.
The peripheral edge portion 24 around the opening 22 extends upwardly and then downwardly to form a lip 26 which is the edge of the opening 22.
An inside wall 30 extends downward from the top wall 20 near the left hand side of the receptacle in FIG. 1. There are two partition walls 32, best shown in FIG. 2, extending from the wall 30 to the side 18 of the receptacle; and the walls 30 and 32, together with the portion of the side wall 18 which extends between the walls 30, form a compartment for holding deodorant. This deodorant is preferably in the form of cakes which evaporate slowly.
The walls 32 have slots 34 providing ventilation through the walls 32 so that deodorant vapor from the chamber can circulate into other parts of the receptacle.
The opening 22 is closed by a closure 38 comprising an element having a greater horizontal projected area than that of the opening 22 and having its peripheral edge portions extending beyong the lip 26 around the entire peripheral extent of the lip 26. In the illustrated construction, the closure 38 is made of plastic and has a recess 40 in its top surface and into which the lip 26 extends around its entire periphery to provide a more effective seal for the receptacle.
The lip 26 or the closure 38, and preferably both, at made of plastic material which is soft enough to provide an effective odor seal for the receptacle when the closure 38 is pressed upward against the lip 26in a manner which will be described.
The recess 40 shown in the drawing is of substantially semi-circular cross section, but it will be understood that other cross sections can be used for the recess. The closure 38 and the recess 40 are held in shape and increased somewhat in stiffness by a ridge 42 which is preferably of one-piece construction with the closure 38 and which extends downward from the other side of the recess 40 around the entire periphery of the closure 38. This ridge is preferably continuous around its entire extent and thus provides a closed ridge imparting a uniform recnforcement to the closure 38.
When the closure 38 is originally molded, it is made with a hinge means 46 extending from the left hand side of the closure 38 and in substantial alignment with the closure 38. In the construction illustrated, this alignment of the hinge means 46 is a parallelism with the main surface of the closure 38, but it can be at the same level if the construction of the peripheral edge portion 24 and lip 26 does not require any offset of the hinge means from the closure when assembled with the receptacle as shown in FIG. 1.
The hinge means 46 is a plastic panel, preferably of the same material and same thickness as the closure 38 and it comprises a plastic leaf spring.
To obtain this spring action, the hinge means 46 is made of resilient plastic material; and polypropylene or polyethylene can be used as the plastic if compounded to provide the necessary resilience, the extent of which will be explained hereinafter.
Fastening means 48 are provided for connecting the hinge means 46 to the wall 30 (FIG. 1) and these fastening means 48 include pairs of projections 50 which extend outwardly from the hlnge means 46 and through openings 52 in the wall 30. The projections 50 have hooks 54 which snap behind the edge portions of the openings 52 to lock the hinge means 42 to the wall 30 in the manner shown in FIG. 5. The projections 50 are sufficiently resilient to bend toward one another as necessary to permit the books 54 to pass through the openings 52 and this resilience causes the projections to spring apart as soon as the hooks have passed through the openings 52 so that the hooks engage behind the edges of the opening.
In the construction illustrated there are four pairs of projections 50 across the width of the hinge means 46, as shown in FIG. 4. These fastening means not only hold the hinge means 46 against the confronting face of the wall 30, but they also prevent any lateral movement of the hinge means 46 with respect to the wall 30.
The fastening means 48 are located some distance above the lower end of the wall 30 so that a substantial part of the hinge means 46 below the projections of the hinge means is clamped against the confronting face of the wall 30.
Above the fastening means 48, the hinge means 46 are flexed around an arc of somewhat more than 90. If the closure 38 did not have the downward inclination toward the right, but was substantially horizontal, then the flexure of the hinge means 46 would be approximately 90. It will be evident from FIG. 1 that the hinge means 46, between the fastening means 48 and the conncction of the hinge means 46 to the closure 38 provides a plastic leaf spring that holds the closure 38 closed against the bottom of the opening 22.
For most convenient operation of this invention, the thickness of the plastic leaf spring provided by the hinge means 46 and the degree of resilience of the material of this plastic leaf spring should be chosen so that when the receptacle is to be used for diapers, a wet diaper dropped on the closure 38 will deflect the hinge means sufficiently to open the closure downward and swing the closure about the flexed leaf spring to a downwardly extending inclination that will cause the diaper to slide off the closure and drop into the lower part of the receptacle. With such operation, the receptacle of this invention can be used without touching it.
Even if the spring means 46 is too stiff to permit the closure 38 to open wide enough for a diaper to slide through as a result of the weight of a diaper on the top sufface of the closure 38, the fact that the closure 38 closes upward makes the invention operable with one hand. For example, if a woman is carrying a baby on one arm, she can press a diaper against the top surface of the closure 38 and force the closure to open wide enough to admit the diaper, and this is a one-hand operation. With diaper receptacles of the prior art, where a lid had to be raised in order to provide an opening through which the diaper could be inserted, it was difficult to insert the diaper with one hand because the lid could not be conveniently opened with the same hand that was holding the diaper and very often it was impossible to use the diaper receptacle while holding a baby with the other arm.
Although the invention as described herein is used as a diaper receptacle, it will be understood that the same advantages are obtained when using it for garbage disposal or for soiled clothes which may be dry, one hand operation is almost always more convenient than requiring both hands and much simpler than those receptacles provided with pedals so that use for receptacles requires one hand and one foot.
When the closure 38 and the hinge means 46 are molded, as shown in FIG. 3, there is preferably an extension connected to the hinge means 46. The extension 60 is molded to extend substantially at right angles to the hinge means 46 when the part is originally molded to the shape shown in FIGS. 3 and 4. Like the hinge means 46, the extension 60 is preferably of the same material as the closure 38 and is molded as one piece therewith. The extension 60 forms a bottom wall for the deodorant chamberenclosed by the walls 30, 32 and 18; and the extension 60 preferably has slots 64 therein providing ventilation through the bottom wall of the deodorant compartment, these slots being best shown in FIG. 2.
In the construction illustrated, the plastic material is made somewaht thinner along a line 66 to provide a resilient portion ofthe plastic at the junction of the hinge means 46 and extension 60. Because of the greater flexibility along the line 66, the extension 60 can be hinged downward along the line 66 to open sufficient clearance between the extension 60 and the bottom edges of the walls 32 to permit insertion of replacement cakes of deodorant material into the deodorant holding chamber. The plastic is stiff enough at the hinge line 66 to cause the extension 60 to spring back into the posi tion shown in FIG. 1 when deflecting pressure is re leased and is stiff enough to support the weight of the blocks or cakes of deodorant which are enclosed in the deodorant chamber.
With the parts assembled as-shown in FIG., 1, the closure 38 swings downward about the flexed plastic leaf spring 46 but not around any fixed axis as in the case of a usual hinge. Although the actual axis about which the closure 38 is moving at any particular instant during its opening and closing movement is not fixed and varies with the changes in the bending of the hinge means 46, this instantaneous axis of orbital movement of the closure 38 is always parallel to the bottom edge of the hinge means 46.
The preferred embodiment of the invention has been illustrated and described, but changes and modifications can be made and some features can be used in dif fcrent combinations without departing from the invention as defined in the claims.
What is claimed is:
l. The combination with a receptacle having an inlet opening through an upper part thereof, a closure for said opening, and resilient plastic hinge means connected at one end with the closure and at the other end with a part of the receptacle, the hinge means being a resilient element flexed to an arc of substantial extent between its connections with the closure and the part of the receptacle to stress the hinge means in a direction to urge the closure toward closed position with respect to said opening, the receptacle having a wall extending at a substantial angle to the plane of the opening, the hinge means extending parallel to said plane of the opening at the end which is connected with the closure and the other end of the hinge means extending parallel to said wall and being connected to said wall, the hinge means being bent in an are between its ends as a result of the angularity of the wall to the plane of the opening that is closed by said closure.
2. The combination described in claim 1 characterized by the stressed part of the hinge means being of one-piece construction with the closure, and being in substantial alignment with the closure when unstressed.
3. The combination described in claim 1 characterized by the closure and the hinge means being in line with one another before applying them to the receptacle, and fastening means connecting the hinge means to the wall and holding the hinge means against lateral displacement on the wall.
4. The combination described in claim 3 characterized by the wall and hinge means having confronting faces where they are connected, the fastening means being latches extending from one of said confronting faces and extending into openings in the other of said confronting faces and latching behind edges of said openings.
5. The combination described in claim 1 characterized by the receptacle having a wall to which one end of the hinge means is connected, the hinge means being a plastic molding with resilient hooks projecting from a side of the hinge means that confronts the wall, and the wall having openings therein in position to receive the hooks and having edges behind which the hooks engage to secure the hinge means to the wall when the cover and receptacle are in assembled position.
6. The combination described in claim 1 characterized by the closure and hinge means being constructed of plastic material and at least the hinge means being made of resilient plastic and constituting a plastic leaf spring urging the closure into closed position.
7. The combination described in claim 6 characterized by the closure being located below the opening which it closes, and the plastic leaf spring urging the closure upward toward closed position, the flexed portion of the plastic spring being beyond the horizontal limits of the opening so that as the closure moves into open position it swings downward about the bent region of the leaf spring though not about any fixed axis.
8. The combination described in claim 7 characterized by the leaf spring having sufficient flexure for movement of the closure into an open position sloping downward at a steep angle away from the side of the closure that is connected to the hinge means, when a wet diaper is dropped on the closure, and into an open position in which the diaper slides off the closure into the portion of the receptacle below the closure.
9. The combination described in claim 1 characterized by the receptacle including a container cover, with the opening in the cover and of less horizontal projected area than the cover, and a chamber on the inside of the cover for holding a deodorant, the chamber having a wall, and the hinge means being secured to said wall as the connection of the hinge means to the receptacle, and the hinge means having an extension that projects across and closes one side of the chamber.
10. The combination described in claim 9 characterized by the chamber having openings in a side wall thereof for ventilation and circulation of deodorant vapor from the chamber, the extension of the hinge means being resilient and movable into position to provide clearance for the insertion of replacement deodorant into the chamber.
11. The combination described in claim 9 characterized by the extension of the hinge means being of onepiece construction with the rest of the hinge means and having a thinner portion where it joins the part of the hinge means that is connected to the receptacle, said thinner portion providing a resilient region at which the extension can be flexed to swing into a partially open position for insertion of replacement deodorant into the chamber.
12. The combination with a receptacle having an inlet opening through an upper part thereof, a closure for said opening, located on the underside of the opening, the opening in the receptacle having a downwardly facing edge portion around the periphery thereof, and the closure being of larger area than the opening and having an edge portion extending on all sides beyond the opening and having a surface that contacts with the edge portion of the opening around said periphery when the closure is in closed position, and resilient plastic hinge means connected at one end with the closure and at the other end with a part of the receptacle located at a substantial distance back from said inlet opening, the hinge means being a resilient element flexed to an arc of substantial extent between its connections with the closure and the part of the receptacle to stress the hinge means, when the closure is in both open and closed positions, in a direction to urge the closure toward closed position with respect to said opening.
13. The combination described in claim 12 characterized by at least one of the contacting edges of the closure and opening being a lip and being plastic and soft enough to provide a seal to prevent odors in the receptacle from circulating into the ambient atmosphere above the opening.
14. The combination described in claim'l3 characterized by the opening being in a top surface of the receptacle that slopes downward at a substantial incline from the side of the closure that is connected with the hinge means, both the edge portion around the opening and the edge portion of the closure being made of plastic and one of said edge portions being the lip and the other recessed to receive said lip to provide a more effective seal.
i 4 1K 4' i
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|U.S. Classification||220/825, 312/31.1, 220/87.1, 220/254.5, D34/11, 220/522, 220/908, 220/838|
|International Classification||B65F1/16, A47G29/06|
|Cooperative Classification||B65F2240/132, A47G29/06, B65F1/1607, Y10S220/908|
|European Classification||B65F1/16B, A47G29/06|