US 3782600 A
A co-dispenser applicator is common to both a tube of epoxy cement and a tube of hardener. The two materials are discharged through two separate spaced spouts in the co-dispenser applicator. The cap which seals the two outlet spouts of the co-dispenser applicator has attached thereto a spatula. The spatula is useful for mixing and applying the epoxy cement and the hardener which has previously been dispensed. By means of the present device, many of the advantages inherent in one package adhesives can now be imparted to two package adhesives.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [191 Columbus IO-DISPENSER APPLICATOR AND SPATULA CAP  Inventor: Peter Spiros Columbus, Whitestone,
 Assignee: Borden, Inc., Columbus, Ohio  Filed: June 13, 1972 ] Appl. No.: 262,346
 US. Cl. 222/94, 222/485  Int. Cl B65d 35/22  Field of Search 222/94, 105, 106, 222/107, 129, 191, 192, 562, 142.3, 145,
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,105,615 10/1963 Koga 222/94 2,997,210 8/1961 MacKirdy 222/105 X Jan. 1,1974
Moran 222/562 X Fulton 222/517 X Primary Examiner-R0bert B. Reeves Assistant Examiner.lohn P. Shannon AttorneyGeorge P. Maskas et al.
57 ABSTRACT A co'dispenser applicator is common to both a tube of epoxy cement and a tube of hardener. The two materials are discharged through two separate spaced spouts in the co-dispenser applicator. The cap which seals the two outlet spouts of the co-dispenser applicator has attached thereto a spatula. The spatula is useful for mixing and applying the epoxy cement and the hardener which has previously been dispensed. By means of the present device, many of the advantages inherent in one package adhesives can now be imparted to two package adhesives.
9 Claims, 9 Drawing Figures 1 CO-DISPENSER APPLICATOR AND SPATULA CAP BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTlON The present invention is directed to a co-dispenser applicator and spatula cap for dispensing, mixing and applying proportional amounts of a material such as epoxy cement from two or more collapsible tubes simultaneously.
Many devices are known in the prior art which are useful for co-dispensing proportional amounts of material from collapsible tubes. The first element in common among the prior art devices is some means for holding two or more tubes together. U.S. Pat. Nos. 2,166,307 of Libby (1939) and U.S. Pat. No. 3,105,615 of Koga (1963) show joining two or more tubes by a sleeve which fits over and joins the top ends of two or more tubes.
While the use of sleeves to hold two or more tubes together would appear to be effective, there are certain disadvantages. The first disadvantage is that it would appear to be difficult to place the sleeves over the tubes. The machinery required to do this on a mass production basis would probably be quite'complex, especially if it involves shrink fitting plastic sleeves on tubes; and more particularly, if more than two tubes were involved per bundle to be joined. A second disadvantage is that the sleeve which is placed over the top ends of the tubes might interfere with the complete evacuation of the tubes, even when one tube, not containing a sleeve around its upper end, is almost empty, it is very difficult to empty the tube. When two or more tubes are joined and in addition, have a sleeve surrounding their upper parts, it would appear that the difficulty of emptying the tubes would be even greater.
Other patents, such as U.S. Pat. No. 885,741 of Emerson (I908) and U. S. Pat. No. 3,029,983 of Wagenhals (1962) disclose joining two collapsible tubes by the necks and providing collapsing means whereby the two tubes are emptied at the same rate. Again, while there are advantages to joining the tubes at their necks, as is shown in the two described patents, there are also disadvantages. The first disadvantage is that of mass producing tubes so joined as shown in U. S. Pat. No. 885,741 of Emerson. In that patent, the necks of the tubes are both inserted through a common yoke and there is a common wind up key for simultaneously collapsing both tubes. It appears that the caps must be placed on the tubes after the yolk joins the two necks in spaced relationship. In addition, the device requires: (1) two hands for application of the contents, (2) the unscrewing of the individual caps before use resulting in a possible source of contamination if the caps are placed on the wrong tubes after use, and (3) the device provides no means of mixing the contents. The device of U. S. Pat. No. 3,029,983 of Wagenhals is much more complex. It appears to be the type of device that would be sold separately at a considerable expense for the purpose of dispensing epoxy cement. The device has the same disadvantages as the Emerson device. In addition, the proportion of components delivered during winding are dependent on cross-sectional areas of the tubes used.
Prior art devices also included individual spatula caps for each of the epoxy and hardener tubes. While the individual spatula caps for each of the tubes were quite useful in mixing very small quantities of epoxy cement, they also had certain disadvantages. The first disadvantage was that the caps were so small that it was necessary in removing and reapplying the caps that the fingers come in close proximity to the spatula tips which had been used in stirring of the epoxy cement. The epoxy and the hardener conventionally used generally has a consistency of molasses, and there was always the tendency of the epoxy to leak out after the cap was removed onto the end of the tubes. This resulted in either the fingers being too close to the spatula end or too close to the end of the tube, with the result that the user often wound up with one or both components of the epoxy cement on his fingers-The epoxy cement is very difficult to remove and in certain circumstances, can constitute a health hazard.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention is directed to a co-dispenser applicator and spatula cap which is easy to make by conventional plastic molding techniques and is inexpensive. The device is shipped with the tubes containing epoxy and hardener. The epoxy tubes can easily be screwed into the codispenser applicator. There is no manufacturing problem involved :in attaching the codispenser applicator to the tubes as it is not applied during manufacture. The co-dispenser is designed so that it can accomodate the standard size tubesand threads that are conventionally used in the manufacture of tubes used to package epoxy and hardener.
However, the thread sizes and/or diameters of the tube necks may be made different in order to lessen the possibility of contamination when applicator is loaded with new tubes. The recesses of the co-dispenser applicator of course will be formed to match the corresponding different thread sizes or tube neck diameters. Furthermore, as a visual aide in loading, each side of the applicator may be different in color with corresponding tube-colors to match. Also, if plastic is clear or translucent, color of separate components may be made different to correspond to colors of tubes. Also, the complete assembly, co-dispenser and attached tubes, can be stored as such for future use. in addition, the co-dispenser is highly versatile in respect to operation. It may be used with one hand-with a choice of applying both components simultaneously or individually. Also, both components may be applied simultaneously by using two hands.
The tubes are screwed into the co-dispenser applicator and are attached thereto only by the necks of the tubes, there is no problem of evacuation, any more than would be found in the evacuation of unattached tubes.
The co-dispenser applicator also allows for an easy means of changing the ratios of the components delivered. This is accomplished by simply changing to another applicator assembly with different orifice sizes on the extrusion side of the applicator. By this means, a more flexible epoxy cement can be provided. For example, in the case where a liquid aromatic epoxy is used in conjunction with a polyamide type hardener, increasing the proportion of polyamide will increase the flexibility of the cured cement film. Although it is the amine functional groups in the polyamides that render them curing agents for epoxies (via the active hydrogen atoms on these amine groups) the predominent groups present are amides; the resultant cured films are strong as well as flexible. The manner in which the proportions are established is as follows. A cylinder of one component of the epoxy mix is dispensed from one tube. The diameter of the cylinder is established by the orifice size of the side of the co-dispenser through which the cylinder was dispensed. The length of the cylinder is established by the operator. The second component is dispensed in the same manner and the relative amounts is determined by the relative lengths of the cylinders.
The device of this invention is also more readily adaptable to the incorporation of three or more tubes than are the devices of the prior art.
In addition, the spatula cap of the present device provides a simple method for sealing the epoxy dispenser and a useful device for mixing the hardener and the epoxy that is dispensed. The cap merely presses on and pulls off of the co-dispenser and is large enough so that the fingers which are used in this manipulation are not in close proximity to the epoxy cement.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. I is a view of the co-dispenser applicator separated from the spatula cap and also separated from the tubes of hardener and epoxy.
FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view showing the tubes of epoxy and hardener joined to the co-dispenser applicator. The spatula cap is attached to the co-dispenser applicator.
FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the co-dispenser applicator separated from the spatula cap showing the difference in configuration between the two spouts of the co-dispenser applicator.
FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the co-dispenser applicator joined to the spatula cap showing the mating configuration of the recesses in the spatula cap with the configuration of the spouts of the co-dispenser applicator.
FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view of the co-dispenser applicator showing the threaded recesses therein which receive the standard threads of the necks of standard tubes of epoxy and hardener.
FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional view of a modification of the basic co-dispenser applicator showing two threaded recesses of different thread sizes which mate with two corresponding differently threaded tube necks.
FIG. 7 is a cross-sectional view of a modification of the basic co-dispenser applicator showing a difference in the diameters of the two threaded recesses and corresponding differences in the diameter of the threaded tube necks which mate with the threaded recesses.
FIG. 8 is a cross-sectional view of a modification of the basic co-dispenserapplicator showing a difference in the diameters of the two recesses in the co-dispenser applicator and corresponding differences in the diameters of the tube necks. The figure also shows a ridge on each of the tube necks which mates with a corresponding groove in each of the corresponding recesses to hold the tubes in place.
FIG. 9 is a cross-sectional view of a modification of the basic co-dispenser applicator showing the same differences as are shown in FIG. 8. In addition FIG. 9 also shows a relatively large channel through one side of the co-dispenser and a relatively small channel through the other side of the co-dispenser.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Referring more specifically to the drawings, the numeral 10 generally designates the co-dispenser applicator. The applicator 10 includes one spout referred to by reference numeral 14 and one spout generally referred to by the reference numeral 16 and a bottom part generally referred to by the reference numeral E8. The numeral 20 generally designates the spatula cap which includes the cap portion 22 which mates with and covers spouts 14 and 16 and also includes spatula 24. Spatula 24 is a flat, wide extension from the cap which is used to stir and apply the epoxy and hardener which is dispensed from the co-dispenser applicator w. The tube of epoxy is generally designated by the numeral 26 and the tube of hardener is designated by the numeral 28.
As can be seen from FIG. 2, the threaded necks 29 of the epoxy tube 26 is threaded into the threaded recess 30 of the co-dispenser applicator 10. The threaded neck 32 of the hardener tube 28 is threaded into the threaded recess 34 of the co-dispenser applicator 10. The spatula cap 20 fits on the co-dispenser applicator 10 and covers and seals spout 14 with a mating recess 36 of the spatula cap 20 and covers and seals spout 16 with a mating recess 38 of the spatula cap 20.
As can be seen from FIG. 3, the lower end of spout 14 contains a ridge 40 around the circumference. Spout 16 contains a similar ridge 42. As can be seen from FIG. 4, these ridges mate with grooves 44 and 46 in the spatula cap. The ridges and grooves are not required but are preferred. They lock the cap in place and prevent its coming off during rough handling. In a variation of the above the spouts can contain grooves and the ridges can be positioned in the spatula cap.
As can be seen from FIG. 5, the co-dispenser applicator has threaded recesses 30 and 34 therein adapted to receive the threaded necks of tubes. The threaded necks 29 and 32 are shown in FIG. 1.
FIG. 6 shows a co-dispenser applicator 50 having a fine thread 52 in one recess which matches a fine thread 54 on the neck of tube 56. The second recess of the codispenser has a course thread 60 which matches a corresponding course thread 62 on tube 64. By matching the threads of each of the threaded recesses of the co-dispenser with the threads of each of the tubes, inadvertent mixing of the tubes and their contents is prevented. Should one tube be contaminated with the contents of the second tube, curing of the contents of the contaminated tube could occur.
As can be seen by FIG. 7 the co-dispenser applicator has a large diameter thread 72 in one recess which matches a large diameter thread 74 on the neck of tube 76. The second recess of theco-dispenser has a small diameter thread which matches a corresponding small diameter thread 82 on tube 8%.
By matching the diameters of the threads of each of the recesses of the co-dispenser with the diameters of the threads of each of the tubes, inadvertent mixing of the contents of thetubes is prevented. Mixing of the contents is to be especially avoided when a small amount of the contents of one tube will, when brought into contact with the contents of the other tube, cause the entire contents of the other tube to harden to a solid mass.
FIG. 8 depicts a variation in the means for attaching tube and tube 92 to co-dispenser applicator 94. This is accomplished by providing a ridge 96 around the circumference of neck 98 of tube 91) and a groove 100 in recess I02 of co-dispenser applicator 94. To attach tube 90 to codispenser 94, neck 98 is pushed into recess PM until ridge 9s enters groove 100. The plastic used to make co-dispenser M is resilient enough to allow the insertion of the ridge 96 and the locking in place when ridge as enters groove Mil. A corresponding ridge TM is on neck Mid of tube 92 and mates with corresponding groove lid of recess i112 of codispenser 9d.
lFlG. it sets forth a minor variation of the FIG. 8 de vice. The variation is that the diameter of orifice 114 is larger than orifice lilo of codispenser 9d. The reason for this is that the amount of each of the components in the two tubes h ll and 92 is determined by the length of the cylinders of components dispensed through each of the orifices llld and M6. When the cylinders are of equal length, as is the usual case, the larger diameter cylinder contains the greater volume. The diameter of the cylinder is determined by the diameter ofthe orifice. Thus, to obtain a 4 to one ratio of components the co-dispenser would be designed so that the orifice would have twice the radius of the othera. The diameter of a cylinder is a r where r is the radius. The volume is or r l where l is the length of the cylinder.
As can be seen from the above drawings, the codispenser applicator and spatula cap are designed for dispensing, mixing and applying proportional amounts of material from a plurality of collapsible tubes extending longitudinally from the co-dispenser. The invention was designed primarily for the purpose of dispensing epoxy and hardener, but it is also applicable in any situation where two materials must be shipped separately and mixed at the point of use. Examples of some other multicomp'onent curing systems that can be dispensed include those based on polyester, urethane, silicone, phenolic, urea and acrylic type resins. Furthermore, this dispenser can be used for any, multicomponent system whose phases have to be kept separate before use for any reason, whether a chemical reaction takes place between components or whether the change is strictly physical in nature on mixing, such as changing color or imparting additional flexibility with a plasticizer.
The co-dispenser applicator has a plurality of threaded recesses therein which are adapted to receive the threaded necks of collapsible tubes. Channels from the threaded recesses pass through the co-dispenser to substantially space the dispensing spouts on the codispenser. This spacing prevents an interphase being formed inside the co-dispenser of reactive components. The reaction of components during storage, it is anticipated in most cases, would be harmful. If there are more than two channels and one channel contains a non-reactive component, it, of course, would not be too harmful for one of the components to form an interphase with another non-reactive component.
In combination with the co-dispenser applicator is a cap for the co-dispenser. The cap includes separate clo sure means engaging each outlet spout of the codispenser to seal the outlet spouts when the dispenser is not in use. Attached to the cap is a spatula which is used to mix and to apply the co-dispensed materials. The spatula is part of the cap and extends beyond the separate closure means portion of the cap. The spatula is preferably a flexible material, and is preferably wide, flat and thin. in general practice, only two dispensing tubes will be attached to the co-dispenser and one of these tubes will contain hardener. The other tube will contain epoxy. it is preferred that the outlet spouts of the dispenser have different configurations which match with mating configurations in the spatula cap. This will prevent the cap from being placed on the dispenser in such a way that there is an inter-mixing of reactive components.
The material which is preferred for use in the manufacture of the codispenser application and the spatula cap is polyethylene. Polyethylene is tough, flexible and cured materials which adhere to its surface are easily removed. Also, it is easy to work with and reasonably inexpensive. Polypropylene, although more expensive, is also a very suitable material. in addition, although less suitable because of adhesion achieved with the cured epoxy film or other reasons,any other resin used for molding plastic parts may be used such as: acetal, acrylic acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS), alkyd, amino, epoxy, chlorinated polyether, fluoro-plastic, polyimide (lPl), polybenzimidazole PEI), polybenzothiazole (PBT), furane, ionomer, mlethylpentene, polyamide, phenolic, phenylene oxide, polyallomer, polycarbonate, polyester, polysulfone, polystyrene, polyvinyl chloride, polyurethane, silicone and styrenebutadiene. Other materials that could be used are wood, metal, plaster, glass, ceramic, paperboard, as well as natural and synthetic elastomers (if not listed above). In most instances, the features built into this device to prevent contamination will render the above plastics and other materials suitable.
The way the co-dispenser applicator and spatula cap are marketed and used is as follows:
The co-dispenser applicator and spatula cap are packaged with the tubes of epoxy and hardener. The package is shipped, distributed and sold to the ultimate consumer in this form. Before the consumer uses the packaged articles, he screws the tube of epoxy and the tube of hardener into the co-dispenser applicator. He then removes the spatula cap from the co-dispenser applicator. Thetubes are then squeezed in order to codispense an equal amount, usually of the epoxy and the hardener, into a suitable receptacle. The equal amount is determined by comparing the lengths of the cylinder of each of the components dispensed. The spatula cap is then placed back onto the co-dispenser applicator and used to stir the epoxy and hardener. After the epoxy and hardener have been uniformly mixed, the spatula is used to apply the mixture in place and to smooth it. After use, the spatula is wiped clean with a towel and the tubes with the co-dispenser applicator and spatula cap attached are stored until it is desired to use them again. As there has been no inter phase of epoxy and hardener in the co-dispenser applicator, or at the outlet ends of the spouts of the co-dispenser applicator there is no problem of either the epoxy orthe hardener curing during normal storage. When it is desired to use the unit again, the spatula cap can easily be removed, the epoxy and hardener can be freely dispensed, and the spatula cap be easily replaced on the co-dispenser applicator.
The foregoing is considered as illustrative only of the principles of the invention. Further, since numerous modifications and changes will readily occur to those skilled in the art, it is not desired to limit the invention to the exact construction and operation as shown and described. Many suitable modifications and equivalents may be used falling within the scope of the invention; for example, a third tube containing coloring material may alsobe added to the co-dispenser applicator. The
tubes may be made different sizes so that the smaller amount of one component, than the other component can be used in order to achieve various flexibilities of the final cured product. The same result can be achieved by using more or less of one of the components than the other. If proportional amounts of each component are always desired, a common key may be used to wind up and empty both tubes at an equal rate.
1. A co-disp enser applicator and spatula cap for dispen'sing, mixing and applying proportional amounts of material from a plurality of collapsible tubes extending longitudinally from the co-dispenser applicator comprising:
A. a co-dispenser applicator i. a plurality of threaded recesses in the codispenser adapted to receive the threaded necks of collapsible tubes, ii. channels from the recesses through the codispenser iii. substantially spaced dispensing spouts on the co-dispenser joined to the respective discharge ends of the channels, at least two of the channels being independent and not connected to each other, and B. a cap for the co-dispenser including i. separate closure means engaging each outlet spout of the co-dispenser and ii. a spatula, the spatula being part of the cap and extending beyond the separate closure means portion of the cap.
2. The device of claim lwherein the plurality of dispensing tubes is two.
3. The device of claim 1, wherein the co-dispenser applicator contains two dispensing spouts each having a different configuration, and the cap contains two separate closure means, each having a different configuration and mating with the two dispensing spouts of the co-dispenser.
4. The device of claim 1, wherein the dispensing spouts contain ridges and the closure means contains grooves which mate with the ridges when the closure means is placed on the applicator.
5. The device of claim 1, wherein at least two of the recesses adapted to receive the tube necks are different.
6. The device of claim 1, wherein the thread sizes of the recesses are different.
7. The device of claim 1, wherein the recesses adapted to receive the tube necks are different sizes.
8. The device of claim 1, wherein the co-dispenser applicator and the spatula cap are made from polyethylene.
9. The device of claim 1, wherein the material con tained in the tubes is epoxy cement.