|Publication number||US3797705 A|
|Publication date||Mar 19, 1974|
|Filing date||May 2, 1973|
|Priority date||May 2, 1973|
|Also published as||CA992924A, CA992924A1, DE2361987A1|
|Publication number||US 3797705 A, US 3797705A, US-A-3797705, US3797705 A, US3797705A|
|Original Assignee||Diamond Int Corp|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (4), Referenced by (32), Classifications (8), Legal Events (3)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
Cooprider Mar. 19, 1974 LOCKING MEANS FOR SHIPPER TYPE LIQUID DISPENSERS Rex C. Cooprider, Hacienda Heights, Calif.
Diamond International Corporation, New York, NY.
Filed: May 2, 1973 Appl. No.: 356,370
US. Cl 222/153, 222/320, 222/384, ZZZ/402.11
Int. Cl B65d 47/34, 865d 83/14 Field of Search 222/153, 320, 321, 384, 222/402.l1; 239/333 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 6/l956 Ayres ZZZ/402.11 2/1965 Soffer et al. 222/402.ll 8/1969 ODonnell et al. 222/402.ll 6/l973 Gach 222/402.ll
Primary Examiner-Robert B. Reeves Assistant Examiner-Frederick R. Handren Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Watson, Cole, Grindle & Watson [5 7] ABSTRACT The actuator of the dispensing device which is movable through an opening in the closure cap of the container is provided with a generally stiff radially deflectible locking finger extending in the direction of the actuator movement with its free end adapted for radial deflection into and from an operative position in which the free end is in abutting engagement with the upper axial end of the annular abutment. In the released or inoperative position, the finger extends and is freely movable in a space provided between the actuator and the annular abutment which encircles it.
Cooperating cam means on the finger and the abut- 14 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures LOCKING MEANS FOR SHIPPER TYPE LIQUID DISPENSERS This invention relates to improvements in molded plastic liquid dispensers such as are commonly used for dispensing various liquid or flowable products from small hand held portable containers and has for an object the provision of improved and simplified locking means for immobilizing the actuator of the dispenser to prevent inadvertent discharge or leakage of the product either during shipping or when the container is wholly or partially inverted.
Although particularly applicable to reciprocable dispensing pumps, the invention is also applicable to the movable actuators of dispensing valves, such as are commonly used on pressurized or aerosol type containers,
More specifically the invention is intended for incorporation in dispenser actuators such as reciprocable pump plungers which are spring projected to their fully raised position to activate sealing means which are rendered operative in such position and in which dispensing of the liquid product results from downward displacement of the actuator whether it be a movable valve element or a pump plunger.
A typical dispensing pump of the type here involved and over which the present invention constitutes an improvement is that which is disclosed in the U. S. Pat. of Wire and Corsette No. 3,247,849 of Apr. 26, 1966, in which the pump plunger when in its raised position effects a seal to prevent discharge of the product and which is normally held in its raised position by locking means in the form of a separable overcap threaded onto the upper end of the pump plunger with its lower end thrusting against the container cap or closure through which the plunger is guided for operative movement. Such an overcap is required to be separately produced and applied to the other pump components and must be manually disassembled therefrom in order to render the pump operative for dispensing purposes.
However in accordance with the present invention, the locking means are incorporatedas integral portions respectively of the movable actuator and the container closure through which the actuator is movable, thus eliminating the need for separately formed and assembled locking components, with resulting economy of production.
Moreover in accordance with the present invention, the locking means may selectively be rendered either operative or inoperative merely by angular movement of the actuator in the proper direction.
Broadly speaking, in accordance with the present invention, the locking means comprises an annular abutment formed on and preferably integrally with the closure cap through which the dispensing pump plunger or other actuator is operatively movable, together with a locking finger, the upper end of which is fixed to the actuator. In the fully raised position of the actuator, the free lower end of the finger terminates at the level of the upper axial end of the annular abutment and the finger has sufficient flexibility to permit radial deflection of its free depending end either to overlie and abut against the upper axial end surface of the annular abutment for locking the actuator in raised position, or alternatively, may be positioned for free reception and movement between the plunger and the annular abutment to permit operative movement of the actuator for dispensing purposes. Cooperating cam means on the fingers and the abutment are operative in one direction of rotation of the actuator to urge the free end of the finger or fingers radially outwardly to locking position and are operative in the reverse direction of rotation of the actuator to urge the fingers radially inwardly toward inoperative or released position.
In addition to the features above enumerated, the invention in its preferred form incorporates certain other desirable features and advantages. Thus in its preferred version, the locking means includes an arrangement whereby rotation of the actuator to bring the finger or fingers thereof into locking position also transmits an axial thrust through the finger or fingers to urge the actuator upwardly somewhat beyond its normal spring projected position to enhance the effectiveness of its seal, and to frictionally maintain its rotational position.
Also in the preferred embodiment, the locking means is fully concealed and protected at all times whereby both to shield the same against entry of foreign matter or objects, and also to permit an enhanced aesthetic appearance of the dispenser.
Also in the preferred embodiment, the locking means strongly reenforces the movable actuator against tilting or bending as by external forces applied to its upper extremity in directions transverse to its intended operative movement.
In the accompanying drawing and description, there is disclosed in detail the preferred embodiment of the invention as applied specifically to a dispensing pump.
I To facilitate an understanding of the invention, various features of the pump as well as the locking means are described in considerable detail. However by such specific description it is by no means intendedto limit the invention in any way except as might be required by the appended claims, nor is it intended to restrict the invention to pumps, since the application thereof to dispensing valves for pressurized containers will be obvious to persons of average skill in the art.
In the accompanying drawing:
FIG. 1 represents a vertical cross sectional view of an axial plane of the preferred embodiment of a dispensing pump incorporating the invention, with the pump plunger or actuator locked in its raised and sealed position.
FIG. 2 also is a sectional view of the structure shown at FIG. 1, but in an axial plane at substantially right angles to FIG. 1, and with the locking means inactivated and the actuator or plunger depressed fully to its lowermost or innermost position at the end of its discharge stroke.
FIGS. 3 and 4 respectively are sectional views on lines 3-3 and 4-4 of FIGS. 1 and 2.
Referring now in detail to the accompanying drawing, I have therein illustrated the invention as applied to a generally known type of dispensing pump of the type such as is disclosed in the U. S. Pat. to Cooprider No. 3,361,078, in which the plunger is spring projected upwardly to a predetermined fully raised position in which seals are established to prevent discharge of liquid from the pump chamber either upwardly through the hollow plunger or externally thereof. As is illustrated fragmentally in FIG. 1, the actuator or plunger 10 comprises a hollow plunger tube 12 which is guided for movement through an opening in the closure cap 13 here defined by a depending collar or flange 14 integral with the cap. A pump piston carried at the lower end of the plunger is disposed for axial reciprocation in a pump cylinder 16 so that on each downward stroke, liquid from a pump chamber (not shown) within the cylinder is urged upwardly through the plunger tube and expelled through a spray head or other discharge head 18 affixed to the upper end of the plunger tube. As is usual it will be understood that the plunger is normally spring projected upwardly to its fully raised or projected position as shown in FIG. 1 and is adapted for reciprocation by intermittent downward pressure on the upper surface of the discharge head 18. It will be understood that the piston is hollow and communicates through the plunger tube 12 with the discharge head, so that liquid product from the dispenser is discharged into the atmosphere through a spray orifice 17 in the plunger discharge head. As in the Cooprider U.S. Pat. No. 3,361,078 and/or the Wise et al. U.S. Pat. No. 3,247,849, the upward movement of the plunger is limited by sealing engagement of the upwardly directed piston skirt 20 with the downwardly projecting lower edge of the plunger guide collar or sleeve 14 of the container cap 13. At the same time that the upwardly directed piston skirt and the plunger guide sleeve cooperate to establish such an external seal around the plunger, sealing means (not shown) within the plunger cooperate to establish an internal seal preventing upward passage of liquid through the plunger tube and upwardly through the spray head.
Since a suitable such internal sealing arrangement is fully disclosed in the Cooprider U. S. Pat. No. 3,361,078 together with suitable valving and other details of an operative pump structure, it has been deemed unnecessary to specifically illustrate these conventional features in the present application.
As will be seen in FIGS. 1 and 2, the container closure or closure cap 13 is provided with an internally threaded skirt 13 which merely exemplifies any of various suitable conventional means for securing it over the neck ofa container of the particular flowable product which is to be dispensed. In this instance, as in the Cooprider U.S. Pat. No. 3,361,078, the pump cylinder 16 is secured within the cap by means ofa radial flange 21 at its upper end which is clamped between the top of the cap and the end of the bottleneck to which the container cap is applied. In the form illustrated the cap 13 is of a molded plastic construction. Projecting upwardly from the top wall of the cap concentrically to the plunger tube and its axis of reciprocation, is an annular wall or abutment 22 constituting one of the major components of the locking means of the invention. In the instant embodiment, the abutment is shown as hollow simply for purposes of economizing on the material employed.
It will be noted that the annular abutment 22 is spaced radially outwardly from and concentrically to the encircled plunger tube to define between the plunger tube 12 and the encircling abutment 22 an upwardly opening inner well 23 for reception and movement of the locking fingers 25 of the pump plunger or actuator during the released or inactivated condition of the locking means as more fully hereinafter described. The upper axially presented end of the annular wall 22 is formed with upwardly open channel or groove, defined by a bottom 26 and by inner and outer rims or guide rings 27 and 29. The groove bottom 26 constitutes an annular locking surface disposed in a radial plane of the plunger and plunger tube for abutment by the locking fingers 25 in the radially outwardly projected operative locking position of the fingers 25 as shown in FIG. 1 and as hereinafter described. lt will be seen from FIG. 2 that when the locking means are released or inactivated to permit reciprocation of the plunger, the locking fingers 25 are deflected inwardly and confined within the well 23 or in other words, within the inner periphery of the annular abutment 22 so as to be freely vertically reciprocable therein throughout the range of operative reciprocation of the plunger. However in the activated condition of the locking means to maintain the plunger in its fully raised sealed position, the locking fingers are received and radially confined or guided in the groove with their depending free ends in abutting axial engagement with the bottom wall 26 of the groove. It will be apparent moreover that the locking fingers 25 are rotatable along or through the groove incident to rotation of the plunger and the discharge head of which they constitute integral portions. Rotation of the plunger and discharge head is freely permitted by rotary disposition of the plunger piston 15 within its associated cylinder 16 and of the plunger tube 12 within its guide collar or bearing 14.
It is an important feature of the invention that there is provided a first means responsive to angular movement of the plunger or actuator 10 in a first direction around its axis for urging the fingers 25 radially outwardly from the inner well 23 to endwise locking engagement with the locking ring or surface 26 of the annular abutment 22 and, in addition, there is provided a second means responsive to angular movement of the actuator in a second or reverse direction for urging the free ends of the fingers 25 radially inwardly into the well 23 to inactivated or unlocked positions.
For permitting radially outward deflection of the free ends of the fingers 25 from the well 23, there are provided one or more notches or gaps 28 through the inner groove wall or raised ring 27 of the abutment into axial engagement and locking relation with the locking surface defined by the bottom 26 of the groove. Preferably each such notch 28 has a radially inwardly and downwardly inclined lead-in ramp 31 for facilitating entry of the finger ends thereinto.
At corresponding circumferential ends of the respective notches 28, the groove wall or ring 27 is provided with spirally, inwardly inclined outer cam surfaces 32 which cooperate with relatively opposing cam surfaces 33 at the free lower ends of the respective fingers to cam the said fingers outwardly through the notches 28 and into the groove responsive in the present instance to angular movement of the fingers and plunger in a counterclockwise direction as seen in FIG. 3.
When they are radially confined within the well 23, the fingers 25 at their free lower ends will be resiliently radially outwardly biased for initial entry into the notches 28 sufficiently to interengage their cam surfaces 33 with the cooperating cam surfaces 32 of the inner guide ring 27. For a circumferential distance substantially co-extensive with each notch 28, the floor or bottom portion of the groove 26 is of somewhat increased depth so as to lie slightly below the remaining predominant portion of the groove bottom whereby to facilitate initial passage of the fingers 25 through the notches into operative locking position. These depressed portions of the groove bottom or floor then merge with the relatively higher portions thereof by way of inclined ramps 34 which during subsequent angular movement of the plunger head and fingers functions to cam the plunger axially upwardly, thereby inserting increased pressure on its axially abutting inner and outer seals, to enhance their scaling function. The increased axial thrust of the fingers against the groove bottom 26 also increases the frictional drag for main taining the actuator in its locked angular position.
For urging the depending free ends of the fingers 25 radially inwardly back through the notch or notches 28 to released or unlocked position within the well 23, the outer groove wall or ring 29 is provided opposite each of the notches 28 with a radially inward protuberance 36 which coacts with inclined radially outwardly presented return cam surfaces 37 on the free ends of the fingers to urge said fingers into the notch sufficiently that said return cam surfaces 37 thereon may interengage with the radially inwardly directed cam surface 38 on the end of each notch wall opposite the expansion surface 32. These cooperating return cam surfaces, as will be seen from FIGS. 3 and 4 are arranged for cooperation in response to clockwise angular movement of the plunger and locking fingers, to urge the locking fingers 25 radially inwardly through the notch or notches 28 into the well 23 to released or unlocked positions permitting free reciprocation of the plunger 10. I
it will be apparent that there need be but a single locking finger 25 and a single notch 28 for cooperation therewith, considering the invention from a broad standpoint. However, in the preferred embodiment there are three such locking fingers 25 which preferably comprise integrally molded portions of the discharge head spaced uniformly apart at a 120, thus to contact the angular locking surface or bottom of the groove at angularly spaced uniform intervals to strongly resist any tilting or canting of the plunger resulting from external blows or forces which might otherwise damage it. Moreover the radial confining of the finger ends within the locking groove between the inner and outer guide rings 27 and 29 enables them to reenforce the plunger against damage or deflection by forces tending to displace the plunger head 18 radially to its axis of reciprocation. The discharge head and fingers are molded as a unit from any suitable plastic or other material having sufficient resiliency to permit the desired radial deflection of the fingers 25.
Where but a single notch 28 is employed, the same will cooperate successively with each of the plurality of locking fingers 25, either to activate or release them. But it has been found desirable to provide at least two such notches, the two illustrated notches being spaced angularly at a 180, to reduce the amount of angular movement that is required to activate or deactivate the locking mechanism. Thus in the preferred form shown, it will be apparent that all three of the locking fingers will be activated or deactivated by a maximum angular movement of the plunger and fingers through an angle only slightly greater than 180.
To conceal and protect the locking means, it is desirable to provide the cap with an upwardly directed annular shroud 39 for telescopic reception of a depending skirt 40 of the plunger.
, of the invention applied thereto, the filled container normally being shipped with the pump plunger in fully raised and locked sealing position as illustrated in HO. 1. In such position it is amply able to resist substantial forces tending to depress the plunger to accidentally expel the liquid contents of the container. Moreover it is capable of resisting substantial lateral forces which might otherwise damage it. At the same time when employed with a pump of the type such as disclosed in the aformentioned Cooprider US. Pat. No. 3,361,078 which is fully sealed when in the raised position, it exerts upward force to maintain the seals fully Opera tively engaged at all times.
ln order to place the dispensing pump in readiness for use to dispense part of the container contents, it is necessary only to rotate the discharge head through approximately in a clockwise direction as seen in FIG. 3. Responsive to such rotation, as each finger 25 moves abreast of a notch 28 in the inner guide ring 27 of the abutment 22, its outwardly presented cam surface 37 engages the cam surface or protuberance 36 of the outer wall 29 which thus causes initial entry of the finger into the notch. Continued rotation will cause its outwardly presented cam surface 37 to engage the inwardly presented retracting cam surface 38 of the inner guide ring at the edge of the notch and thus to be moved into and confined within the inner well 23. When sufficient rotation has occurred to thus move all of the fingers radially into the inner well to their released or inactivated positions, the pump plunger may be freely reciprocated by intermittent finger pressure on its upper end to expel as much of the contents of the container as may be desired.
Upon completion of the use when the finger pressure on the plunger is released and it is spring projected to its fully raised sealing position of FIG. 1, it may be readily locked in such position merely be clockwise rotation of the dispensing head and fingers through an angle only slightly greater than 180.
Since in the unlocked or released position, the several locking fingers will have been resiliently inwardly deflected and confined by the inner wall of the abutment, as each finger 25 is brought opposite a notch 28, its resilient outward bias will initially project it radially outwardly'into the notch sufficiently for its inner cam face 33 or surface to engage the outwardly presented coacting cam surface 32 at the edge of the notch to be thereby urged outwardly fully into the groove and in axially abutting relation with the locking surface 26 at the bottom of the groove. Note that the sloping bottom 31 of each notch merging with the relatively depressed bottom portion of the groove co-extensive with that notch will facilitate full radially outward passage of the finger through the notch, following which its engagement with the inclined ramp portion 34 of the notch during continued rotation will raise it to the relatively higher groove bottom 26 in a secure locking position.
Having thus described my invention, 1 claim:
1. A container supported liquid dispensing device of the class in which an actuator rotatable about a vertical axis is disposed for axial movement through an opening in the container closure and spring biased upwardly through said opening to a predetermined raised position to be operated by downward finger pressure on its external upper end; said closure including an annular abutment encircling said actuator and spaced radially therefrom, the upper end of said annular abutment defining an annular locking surface concentric to said axis in a radial plane thereof, said actuator com prising a radially defiectible locking finger extending substantially parallel thereto and fixed adjacent its upper end to said actuator, the said finger including a depending free end normally terminating at substantially the level of said locking surface when the actuator is in its predetermined raised position; said finger normally being received for free rotary and axial movement in the space between said annular abutment and the actuator; a first means responsive to angular movement of said actuator in a first direction around its axis for urging the free end of the finger radially outwardly from said space for endwise abutment with said upper end of the wall; and a second means responsive to angular movement of said actuator in a second direction around its axis for urging the free end of said finger radially inwardly to said space.
2. A container supported dispensing device as defined in claim 1 in which said first means comprises cam means respectively on said finger and said annular abutment.
3. A container supported dispensing device as defined in claim 2 in which said second means comprises cooperating cam surfaces on said finger and said abutment respectively.
4. container supported dispensing device as defined in claim 1 in which said upper end of the annular abutment includes concentric raised rings radially inwardly and outwardly respectively of said locking surface and therewith defining an upwardly directed groove for reception of the free end of said finger, said inner ring being formed with a notch therethrough above said locking surface, said finger in its released position being deflected resiliently radially inwardly by said abutment for resilient outward movement into said notch when moved angularly into registry therewith; said finger having a generally radially inwardly presented cam surface and said inner ring being formed with a generally radially outwardly presented inclined cam surface at one edge of the notch, said cam surfaces being positioned and conformed for coaction to urge said finger radially outwardly through the notch responsive to angular movement of the actuator in said first direction.
5. A container supported dispensing device as defined in claim 4 in which said inner ring is provided with a generally radially inwardly directed cam surface and said finger is provided with a generally radially outwardly directed cam surface for cooperation therewith in the said second direction of angular movement of the actuator.
6. A container supported dispensing device as defined in claim 5 including a radially inward protuberance on the outer said guide ring opposite said notch for initially urging the depending free end of said finger into the notch incident to rotation of the finger and actuator in said second angular direction.
7. A container supported dispensing device as defined in claim 4 wherein the portion of the said locking surface angularly co-extensive with said notch is depressed relative to the remainder of said locking surface to facilitate radial movement of the finger through said ntoch, and is joined to the remainder of said notch, surface by an inclined ramp for thrusting camming engagement with the said finger to exert an axial upward thrust on the actuator.
8. A container supported dispensing device as defined in claim 2, including a plurality of said fingers in angularly spaced relation around said axis for sequential cooperaton with said first means and said second means.
9. A container supported dispensing device as defined in claim 8 including a plurality of said locking fingers in angularly spaced concentric relation around the said axis of the actuator, and a plurality of said notches also in angularly spaced relation in said inner guide ring of the annular locking abutment.
10. In a container supported dispensing pump of the I class in which the pump plunger is disposed for reciprocation through an opening in a container closure and normally spring biased upwardly through said opening to a predetermined fully raised position, the improvements which comprise an annular abutment concentrically surrounding said plunger and spaced radially therefrom, said plunger comprising an axially directed locking finger affixed to the plunger, said locking finger being resiliently radially deflectible and having a free end depending in the direction of the plunger movement, said annular abutment having an upwardly directed annular locking surface in a plane transverse to the plunger movement and at a level for abutting engagement by the free end of said finger in the fully raised position of the plunger; said abutment normally radially confining the free end of the finger whereby same is biased radially outwardly against the abutment; an inner guide ring on said abutment projecting above and concentrically to said locking surface, said ring having a gap therethrough to permit radial outward movement of said finger; means on said guide ring and said finger respectively for cooperation responsive to movement of the plunger and finger in a first angular direction for urging said finger radially outwardly through said gap for endwise abutment with the said locking surface; and further means on said finger and said abutment respectively for urging said finger radially inwardly through said gap responsive to angular movement of said plunger and finger in a second angular direction.
11. The combination defined in claim 10 wherein said first mentioned means and said further means both comprise cam means.
12. The combination of claim 11 including an outer guide ring spaced radially outwardly from and concentric to said inner guide ring on the opposite sides of said locking surface from the inner guide ring to confine the free end of the finger between said guide rings during relative rotary movement of the finger and plunger.
13. The combination of claim 12 including a radially inward protuberance on the inner face of said outer guide ring, substantially opposite said notch for deflecting the free end of the finger into said notch as the finger moves over said protuberance, said finger and said inner guide ring being provided with cooperating cam surfaces operative responsive to rotary movement of the plunger in said second direction for urging the finger radially inwardly completely through said gap and into the space between said plunger and the abutment.
14. The combination of claim 13 wherein the plunger includes a plurality of said fingers in circumferentially spaced relation for successive movement through said gap for operative engagement at a plurality of locations around the circumference of said locking surface, whereby to resist tilting of the plunger.
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|U.S. Classification||222/153.13, 222/384, 222/402.11, 222/320|
|International Classification||B65D47/34, B05B11/00|
|Apr 9, 1992||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: CALMAR INC., A CORPORATION OF DELAWARE, CALIFORNIA
Free format text: RELEASE BY SECURED PARTY OF A SECURITY AGREEMENT RECORDED AT REEL 5020 FRAME 0974 AND DATED 12-08-88;ASSIGNOR:CITICORP NORTH AMERICA, INC.;REEL/FRAME:006082/0535
Effective date: 19911212
|Dec 19, 1988||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: CITICORP NORTH AMERICA, INC., AS AGENT, CALIFORNIA
Free format text: SECURITY INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:CALMAR INC.;REEL/FRAME:005020/0974
Effective date: 19881208
|Dec 6, 1983||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: CALMAR, INC., 333 SOUTHL TURNBULL CANYON ROAD, CIT
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:DIAMOND INTERNATIONAL CORPORATION;REEL/FRAME:004199/0053
Effective date: 19831118
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:DIAMOND INTERNATIONAL CORPORATION;REEL/FRAME:004199/0053