US 3790081 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent n91 Thornton et al.
[ Feb. 5, 1974 4] VAPOR DISPENSING DEVICE  Inventors: James C. Thornton; Donald E. Whyte, both of Racine, Wis.
 US. Cl. 239/55, 239/59  Int. Cl A611 9/04  Field of Search 239/34, 53-59; 181/46, 56
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,950,502 3/1934 Madan .L 239/53 x 2,038,071 4/1936 Wilhelm 239/59 X 2,111,025 3/1938 Galler 239/57 X 2,578,827 12/1951 Munnecke 239/55 2,609,230 9/1952 Raleigh 239/59 X 2,738,224 3/1956 Turner et a1 239/57 2,738,225 3/1956 239/55 2,801,879 8/1957 239/34 3,104,816 9/1963 Jaffe 239/58 X FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 464,850 4/1937 Great Britain 239/56 Primary Examiner-Robert S. Ward, Jr.
57 ABSTRACT A device for dispensing a vaporizing composition to the surrounding atmosphere characterized by a hollow tubular body with end members sealing the open ends and apertures through the end members, a porous core member impregnated with a vaporizing composition, having a multiplicity of passages defined through the core member communicating between the end members and having end surfaces displaced from the end members, and a mounting means to maintain the device in a position such that there is free access of the atmosphere through the apertures of both ends. The device provides a continuous dispensing of a vaporizing composition and can provide a greatly increased dosage to the atmosphere as required from time to time. One specific feature of a preferred embodiment of our invention is a pumping means to further aid in rapid dispensing of vapors. A primary application is the deodorizing of a room.
27 Claims, 7 Drawing Figures PATENTEDFEB 5:914
. 1 VAPOR DISPENSING DEVICE This invention relates generally to devices for dispensing vaporized compositions to the surrounding atmosphere. The invention has special application in the field of devices for imparting the refreshening effect of a vaporized deodorant into the atmosphere. The invention also has application in dispensing insecticides, insect repellents, medicinal vapors such as decongestants, and other vaporizing compositions.
The need for effectively combating airborne malodors in homes and in closed public buildings, by odor masking or destruction is well-established. Various kinds of dispensing devices for vapors have been employed. The most common of such devices is the aerosol air freshener which propels minute droplets into the air. Another common type of dispensing device consists of gelled products which slowly evaporate to emit a deodorant into the atmosphere. Other products such as deodorant blocks and liquid wicks are alsoused for slowly emitting deodorant vapors into the atmosphere.
All of these devices have major drawbacks as an approach to the entire problem of combating airborne malodors. The aerosol device dispenses deodorant mists or vapors in relatively large quantities over a short period oftime to counteract intense and immediate malodors as are common in kitchens and bathrooms. They require either manual or timed actuating devices-to accomplish spraying in the room or space where the malodor exists. The major drawback of such' devices is that while they can easily counteract intense and immediate malodors, they are not suited for lingering ambient odors which often may normally exist in a closed space.
Gel or stick type products are generally suitable for this latter type of odor, namely the continuing lingering malodor. Gel products normally require no attention but automatically dispense a deodorant by evaporation of the gel which contains the deodorant. This dispensing is at a low rate but is often sufficient to counteract common ambient odors. However, the intense and immediate malodor will not be sufficiently masked or destroyed by this type of product. Deodorant block products and liquid wick products present the same disadvantages as the gel products. That is, they are fairly efficient in combating ambient malodors but do not have the ability to combat immediate and intense malodors.
With our invention, we have provided a device which has the capability to successfully counteract both lingering, ambient malodors and immediate and intense malodors. Our invention provides both constant emission of a vapor and instant increased emission. The device of our invention is characterized by a hollow tubular body having end members with apertures therethrough, a core member impregnated with a vaporizing composition such as a deodorant, the core member providing a multiplicity of passages communicating between the end members and having end surfaces displaced from the end members, and a mounting means to allow free access of the atmosphere to the apertures of both end members. The passageways in the impregnated core member are situated such that they are somewhat isolated from the atmosphere yet exposed to convection currents directed therethrough. This sort of isolation is required to make a device which will be sufficiently long-lasting to be of practical value.
Normally, most vaporizing compositions, such as perfumes, would rapidly-evaporate from-an impregnated core if exposed to the atmosphere, particularly to convection currents in the atmosphere. However, in the device of our invention, such exhaustion of vaporizing composition is greatly forestalled by the degree of isolation provided. Our invention is based in part on the discovery that a vaporizing composition, such as a deodorant, which is contained within a porous core member having passageways somewhat isolated from the atmosphere, will evaporate slowly enough that it will last for a practical length of time although providing a continuous emission to the atmosphere. Although we do not wish to be bound by theoretical considerations, we believe that the isolated constricted space adjacent to the impregnated core material becomes sufficiently saturated with the vapor being emitted that vaporization is retarded.
A specific feature of one preferred embodiment of our invention is a pump means which is used to aid in providing the aforementioned temporaryincreased dispensing of vapor. One embodiment of the pump means involves designingthe core member to be freely moveable within the tubular body to assist in displacement of vapor from inside the body. Another embodiment contemplates the use of telescoping tubular members to form a tubular body.
It is an object of our invention to provide a device for dispensing a vaporized composition to the surrounding atmosphere which overcomes the aforementioned problems.
It is another object of our invention to provide a device for dispensing a vaporized composition to the surrounding atmosphere-on either a continuous low emission basis, or on an immediate emergency basis.
It is a further object of our invention to provide a device for dispensing vaporizing compositions to the surrounding atmosphere which may be used in a variety of applications including dispensing insecticides, insect repellents or medicinal vapors such as decongestants.
It is yet another object of our invention to provide a device for dispensing vapor to the surrounding atmosphere which has a core member impregnated with the vaporizing composition with passageways somewhat isolated from the atmosphere to retard the dispensing of the vapor from the composition while allowing complete access of the core member to the atmosphere.
It is still a further object of our invention toprovide a device for dispensing a vaporizing composition to the surrounding atmosphere having a core member with endsurfaces displaced from end members of a container to provide the aforementioned isolation while at the same time providing full accessibility of the atmosphere to the composition within the core member.
These and other important objects will become apparent from the following descriptions and-from the drawings showing preferred embodiments wherein:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a preferred dispensing device of our invention. 1 I
FIG. 2 is a vertical sectional view of the device of FIG. 1 along the axis thereof.
FIG. 3 is a top view of the device of FIG. 1.
FIG. 4 is a top view as in FIG. 3 but further including a sealing member over the apertures.
FIG. 5 is an enlarged partial perspective view of one feature of another embodiment of our invention.
FIG. 6 is a vertical sectional view as in FIG. 2 but of a different embodiment of our invention.
FIG. 7 is another vertical sectional view of still another embodiment of our. invention. 7
Referring specifically to FIG. 1, a device for dispensing a vaporized composition is shown having a tubular body 22. Body 22 is generally cylindrical in configuration and has a substantially uniform cross-section along its axis. Two end members 24 seal the ends of tubular body 22. In FIG. 1, only the upper end member is shown. The sectional view of FIG. 2 shows both the upper and lower end members 24. End member 24 de fines apertures 26 which are located generally in the central portion thereof, but could be elsewhere in end member 24.
Tubular body 22 and end members 24 form what is essentially a hollow container similar to a food can. A
core member 28 is located within tubular body 22. Core member 28 is a tight roll of corrugated cardboard located to have a common axis with tubular body 22. The corrugated cardboard has ridges or grooves extending generally parallel to the axis of core member 28 which form passageways 30 communicating between the two end members 24. Core member 28 has end surfaces 32 which consist of bunched ends of passageways 30. Passageways 30 are somewhat isolated from the atmosphere outside tubular body member 22. End surfaces 32 are displaced from end members 24 such that all of the passageways 30 have exposure to the atmosphere, but from fairly isolated locations. This displacement is achieved by a unique slant cutof a roll of corrugated cardboard. Displacement may be achieved in a variety of other ways, such as by the use of space maintainers in the form of pins or rings. Preferably apertures 26 will allow only limited convection through passageways 30 when device 20 is at rest.
A pedestal 34 provides a mounting means for body member 22 which maintainsfree access of the atmosphere through apertures 26 in both end members 24. Pedestal 34 has a flange 36 thereabout on which tubular body member 22 or the bottom end member may rest. Pedestal 34 has legs 38 to provide clearance of end member 24 from the surface on which the pedestal 34 rests.
FIGS. 3 and 4 illustrate end member 24 in open and closed positions respectively. The closing, as shown in FIG. 4, may. be accomplished by means of an impermeable piece of tape 40 being secured over apertures 26. Keeping tape on both ends during storage will prevent evaporation of the composition from core member 28.
Core member 28 is impregnated with a vaporizing composition. Passageways 30 increase the surface area exposed to air to aid in total and steady evaporation of the composition with which core member 28 is impregnated. Various compositions may be used depending on the purpose for which the dispensing device is intended. For example, deodorant compositions could be used to provide an air freshener device. Vaporizing decongestant compositions could be used to provide a comfortable and/or therapeutic atmosphere for a diseased patient, for example, a patient having a cold. Vaporizing insect repellents or insecticides could be used as well. Specific examples of some preferred compositions for various purposes will be set forth hereinafter.
If, for example, an air freshener composition is being used, the dispensing apparatus, with its end members having open apertures, will dispense a deodorant vapor to the atmosphere at a continuous slow rate. This sort of deodorant vapor emission will be beneficial to counteract and mask ambient odors. If there is an intense malodor, the device may be picked up and waived back and forth to increase the air currents through passageways 30. Increasing the air currents will greatly increase the rate of vapor emission because vapor already trapped within tubular body 22 will be released to the atmosphere and also because the rate of evaporation will increase since the gas in the spaces within passageways 30 will have a lower vapor content. It will be appreciated that the rate of evaporation is decreased as the gas in contact with parts of core member 28 approaches the point of saturation with the vapor from the composition with which core member 28 is impregnated.
FIG. 5 shows a different embodiment of our invention which includes a regulated flow feature. One or more of end members 24 are flat circular members with no apertures in the flat portion but with a multiplicity of elongated apertures 42 in the skirt portion 44 which extends from the periphery of the flat portion. By relative axial movement between body member 22 and end member 24, apertures 42 may be open to a greater or lesser extent. Bottom edge 46 of tubular body member 22 blocks off apertures 42 by means of a snug sliding fit between body 22 and end member 24. End member 24 as shown in FIG. 5 maybe-used in combination with an end member as shown in FIGS. 14.
No pedestal is necessary for the embodiment of FIG. 5 since apertures 42 in end member 24 would not be blocked off by setting the flat surface on, for example, a flat table. Thus in this embodiment end member 24 also provides a mounting means for body member 22 which maintains free access of the atmosphere through apertures 42. One or both of the end members can be in the form shown in FIG. 5.
FIGS. 6 and 7 show preferred embodiments of our invention which include moveable means associated with tubular body 22 to pump vaporized composition from within the tubular body. Referring specifically to FIG. 6, it will be noted that core member 28 is loosely fitting within body 22. Further, core member 28 is dimensioned with'respect to the tubular body such that there may be a void space all round body 22 and core member 28. That is, there is clearance between the sides 48 of core member 28 and the inside surface 50 of body 22. Further, there is substantial clearance between end surfaces 32 of core member 28 and end members 24. Displacement rings 52 are situated within body 22 between ends 32 of core member 28 and the adjacent end members 24. However, rings 52 are of an axial dimension small enough to preserve substantial axial freedom for core member 28. These displacement rings serve to maintain free access of the atmosphere to all of the passageways through core member 28 while leaving them in some isolation from the atmosphere.
By picking up and shaking the device shown in FIG. 6, the emission of vapors will be increased in two ways. First, the emission will be increased by an increase in the air flow through core member 28. Also, the relative movement of core member 28 and end members 24 will aid in pumping vapor-containing gas from the free spaces 54 at either end ofcore member 28. The pumping action is causedby the relative movement of'end surfaces 32 with end members 24. End surfaces 32, al-
though having passageways,-'function to some degree as the front surfaces of pistons to spaces 54. 1.
FIG. 7 shows another'preferred embodiment of our invention having a means to pump vaporized composition from within tubular body 22. In FIG. 7, tubular body 22 has an inner telescoping member 56 and an outer telescoping member 58. Inner telescoping member 56 may be essentially like the device shown in FIG. 2, with pedestal 34 removed. Outer telescoping member 58 is in substantially air-tight slidable contact with inner telescoping member 56. Inner telescoping member 56 has an extreme end 60 and a medial end 62. Outer telescoping member 58 has an extreme end 64 and a medial end 66. Together the telescoping members form tubular body 22. Extreme ends 60 and 64 are sealed by end members 24 which have apertures 26 as previously described. A third end member 68 defining apertures 69 is sealed to medial end 62 of inner telescoping member 56.
displace gas from free By grasping inner telescoping member 56 in one hand and outer telescoping member 58 in another hand, an operator'may impart relative axial movement of'members 56 and 58 and provide a type of pumping action which helps displace vapor within tubular body 22 to the atmosphere. We have found that an effective pumping action is available despite the presence of'apertures 26 in end member 24 of outer telescoping mem-' ber 58.
Sealing members 40 may be placed across apertures 69 in end member 68 and apertures 26 in end member 24 which is sealed to extreme end 60. This will prevent evaporation of the vaporizing composition when the device is on a store shelf or when it is not being used.
Sealing member 40 could be placed across all three of the end members shown in the device of FIG. 7, insuring containment of vapors.
The devices of FIGS. 6 and 7, although having special features facilitating rapidemission, are just as suitable for continuous slow emission as is the device shown in FIGS. 1, 2, and 5.
Various materials may be used in constructing the device of our invention. For example, tubular body 22 may be made of tin, steel, aluminum, cardboard, plastie, and a wide'variety of other materials. Preferably, such materials are fairly impermeable to the vapors which are to be dispensed. Likewise, the end members may be made of various metals, cardboard, plastic, etc.
A highly preferred material forcore member 28 is corrugated cardboard, with which we include what is often referred to as corrugated paper. Such corrugated mate rial could be singleor double-fluted or of some other type. However, any material which is fairly porous so that it may be impregnated with a vaporizing composition and yet provides passageways therethrough is satisfactory. The passageways are not required to be generally parallel and axially aligned as is the case with a convoluted corrugated cardboard which is concentric with body 22, but may be curved, or may be quite random or irregular.
End members 24 and body 22 may be made such that Other methods can be a' s'iwell. In some cases, one of end members 24 may be formed integrally with body It should be pointed out that it is not required that core member 22 be of any particular configuration. It is only essential that it is hollow and provides a passage from one end to the other. For ease in manufacture, a uniform" cross section and a straight configuration are highly preferred; a circular cylinderispreferred in particular. However, prismatic configurations are also fairly easy to manufacture. It will be apparent to persons skilled in the art who are familiar with our invention that a very broad choice is possible as to materials and shapes.
The end surfaces of the core member may be displaced in a variety of ways. One method not previously mentioned contemplatesforming a roll of corrugated cardboard and 'then pushing the center of one end thereof to make a convex or conical end surface on one end and a similar concave ,end surface on the opposite end. I m I v The number of vaporizing compositions which can be used for various applications is almost limitless. In the field of air fresheners, it is preferred to use a perfume dissolved in an lsopar solvent. This solution is then either sprayed into a core member or the core member may be dipped into the liquid solution. It is also possible to use a pure perfume. In the field of medicinal uses, camphor may be dissolved in a solvent such as an lsopar. Menthol eucalyptus may be used in the same manner ascamphor. Thymol may also be usedin the same way or may be used in combination with camphor or menthol eucalyptus or both in a suitable solvent.
For insecticides, preferred compositions are dimethyl dichlorovinyl phosphate and its related compositions. Another is Lindane. Insect repellents which may be dispensed with the device of our invention are exemplified by 2-ethyl hexanediol, N,N-diethyl toluamide, and citronella.
It will be appreciated by those skilled in the art that vaporizing compositions-may be formulated to evaporate at different rates. It is also possible to usea composition which would emit, for example, one fragrance early in the life of the product and another later in the life of the product. It is to be further appreciated that the device of our invention will have applications other than those set forth herein. I
While in the foregoing specification this invention has been described in relation to certain preferred embodiments thereof, and many details have been set forth for purpose of illustration, it will be apparent to those skilled in the art that the invention is susceptible to additional embodiments and that certain of the de-' a normal seaming process can be used for connection.
tails described herein can be'varied considerably without departing from the basic principles of the invention.
1. A device for dispensing a vaporizing composition to the surrounding atmosphere, comprising: a hollow, tubular body having two ends; two end members sealing said ends, each of said end members defining at least one aperture therethrough; a core member within said body impregnated with said vaporizing composition, said core member defining a multiplicity of passages communicating between said end members and having end surfaces displaced from said end members; and mounting means for said body member maintaind'rical Configuration.
3. The deviceof claim 2 whereinsaid core member comprises convoluted corrugated cardboard concen tric with said body.
4. The device of claim 3 wherein at least one of said end members has a substantially flat portion normal to the axis of said body, said portion defining said apertures.
5. The device of claim 4 wherein said core member has at least one end slant cut with respect to said axis and said 'flat portion.
6. The device of claim 3 wherein said displacement is achieved by spacing means between said end members and said core members.
7. The device of claim 2 wherein said mounting means comprises a pedestal connected to one of said end members.
8. The device of claim 2 wherein at least one of said end members is slidably sealed to said body and has apertures positioned to be adjustably'closed by relative axial movement of said end member and said body.
9. The device of claim 1 further includingmeans to seal said apertures.
10. The device of claim 1 further including movable means associated with said tubular body to pump vaporized composition from within said body. V
11. The device of claim wherein said pump means scoping member is longer than said outer telescoping member.
16. The device of claim 13 wherein said apertures in said end member attached to said outer telescoping member are located in a position such that they can be adjustably closed by relative axial movement of said telescoping members.
17. The device of claim 13 wherein said core member comprises'convoluted corrugated cardboard concencomprises said core member being of dimensions with respect to said tubular body such that void space is defined completely therearound when said core member is in a central position in said body, thereby allowing free movement of said core member within said body.
12. The device of claim 10 wherein said body is of substantially uniform cross-section along an axis.
13. The device of claim 12 wherein said tubular body comprises inner and outer telescoping members in substantially air-tight slidable contact, each of said telescoping members having an extreme and a medial end, said end members sealingsaid extreme ends.
14. The device of claim 13 wherein said inner telescoping member has a third end member sealing its media] end, said third end member defining apertures therethrough. r g
15. The device of claim 14 wherein said inner teletric with said body.
18. The device of claim 17 wherein at least one of said end members attached to saidinner telescoping member has a substantially flat portion normal to the axis of said body, said portion defining said apertures therein. v
19. The device of claim 18 wherein saidcore member has at least one end slant cut with'respect to said axis and said flat portion.
20. The device of claim 17 wherein said displacement is achieved by spacing means between said end members and said core members.
21. The device of claim 13 wherein said mounting means comprises a pedestal attached to one of said extreme ends. I 1 l 22. The device'of claim 13 furthenincluding'means to seal said apertures.
23 A device for dispensing a vaporizing composition to the surrounding atmosphere, comprisingza closed. hollow body having two opposite end portions each defining at least one aperture therethrough; a core member within said body impregnated with said vaporizing composition, said core member defining a multiplicity of passages communicating between said opposite end portions and having end surfaces displaced from said opposite end portions; and mounting means for said hollow body to maintain free access of the atmosphere through the apertures of both of said end portions.
v 24. The device of claim 23 wherein said core member comprises convoluted corrugated cardboard.
26. The device of claim23 further including means v to seal said apertures.
27. The device of claim 24 wherein the core member has at least one end slant cut with respect to said end portions of said closed hollow body. l l k 4 l I