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Publication numberUS3805995 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 23, 1974
Filing dateOct 6, 1972
Priority dateDec 2, 1971
Also published asCA958992A1, DE2257869A1, DE2257869B2
Publication numberUS 3805995 A, US 3805995A, US-A-3805995, US3805995 A, US3805995A
InventorsKarmitz P, Lebel C
Original AssigneeKarmitz P, Lebel C
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Containers for aerosols, gases and the like
US 3805995 A
Abstract
An apparatus is provided for holding fluid material distinguished by being balanced in such a way that when placed on a horizontal surface its position will change depending upon whether the fluid contents exceed or fall below a pre-selected minimum.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent Lebel et al.

1451 Apr. 23, 1974 [5 CONTAINERS FOR AEROSOLS, GASES 1,269,051 6/1918 Cheney 248/364 AND THE LIKE 2,784,577 3/1957 Beaham 248/364 3,054,535 9/1962 Clarey 215/1 R 1 Inventors: Constantm Erwln Lebel, 107 1,659,383 2/192s Thiene et 51.. 215/1 R Avenue de Saint-Quen, Paris, 2,793,788 5/1957 Lysne 220/69 France 75017; Pierre Ilie Isidore 2,707,930 5/1955 Miles 220/69 Karmitz, 95 Avenue Henri Martin, 3,533,229 10/1970 Liljequist 73/57 L'X Paris France 75016 3,540,408 11/1970 Messick 116/112 [22] Filed: Oct 6 1972 FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 673,087 6/1952 Great Britain 220/70 [21] Appl. No.: 295,524

Primary Examiner-William 1. Price 30 Foreign Application Priority Data Assistant ExaminerAllan w Dec. 2. 1971 France 71.43271 f g firm-Bud" Blenko Z1esenhe1m [52] US. Cl. 220/70, 116/114 R 1511 1m. 01. 865d 7/42, GOld 13/00 1 1 ABSTRACT {58] Field of Search 220/70, 69; 215/1 R; An apparatus is provided for holding fluid material 116/118. 114 R, 114.5, 114; 248/364, 346, 133 distinguished by being balanced in such a way that when placed on a horizontal surface its position will [56] References Cited change depending upon whether the fluid contents ex- UNITED STATES PATENTS seed or fall below a pre-selected minimum.

3,100,054 8/1963 Rubens 215/1 R 12 Claims, 12 Drawing Figures rjJ,. .J l K 1 j 4 A f f l l j l f z j I 8 3 r IATENTEBAPR 23 I974 SHEET 2 [1F 2 CONTAINERS FOR AEROSOLS, GASES AND THE LIKE This invention relates to containers for aerosols, gases and the like and particularly to a container for automatically indicating the approach of exhaustion of the contents of the container.

Containers have in the past been provided for indicating the approximate contents. However, these devices have depended upon some extraneous attachment for creating the indication of contents. Typical of these past devices are those of U.S. Pat. No. 2,575,1 l and French Pat. Nos. 969,692 and 747,707.

There is an ever increasing use of containers such as bottles for gases, aerosols and other products (shaving foams, polishes, hair spray, scouring solutions, etc.). These containers, however, do not provide any facility for checking the quantity of the product which they still contain when some of it has been used. This often leads to the nuisance that the user will find the container empty when the product is most needed.

The aim of the present invention is to remedy this state of things by providing the user with some simple, sturdy, reliable and inexpensive means to be warned in time that there is only a small quantity of the product left in his container and time has come to refill his bottle or to have a new one.

For this purpose, according to the invention, the balance of the container is arranged in such a manner that, if put on a fairly horizontal stand, its standing position will be different according to whether it does contain more than a given minimum quantity of the product or not. The container is preferably provided with a bearing surface on which it can rest upright in stable equilibrium only so far as its content remains above a preselected minimum. This minimum can be adjusted for, particularly by means of a counterpoise.

In one practical execution, the bottom of the container is provided with an exterior cavity in which a counterweight is lodged. The latter can be fastened in the said cavity by friction (jamming) or any other means, e.g. gluing.

A preferred shape for the cavity is one following basically the shape of a segment of a circle with rounded angles, providing the space where to lodge counterweights of matching shape, the weight of which can be adjusted by varying their thickness or by contriving holes or notches of adequate size in them.

In the foregoing specification we have set out certain objects, purposes and advantages of this invention. Other objects, purposes and advantages of this invention will be apparent from a consideration of the following description and the following drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is a schematic section of a substantially filled container according to the invention;

FIG. 2 is a schematic section as in FIG. 1 in which the container is shown nearly empty;

FIG. 3 is a second embodiment of the container according to the invention;

FIG. 4 is a third embodiment of the container according to the invention;

FIG. 5 is a fourth embodiment of the container according to the invention;

FIG. 6 shows, in partial section the use of a base plate in conformity with the invention together with a container of the usual type;

FIG. 7 is a partial schematic view of a container with adjustable tipping points;

FIG. 8 is the perspective view of the bottom of still another alternative implementing of a container in conformity with the present invention devoid of counterweights;

FIG. 9 is a view analogous to FIG. 8, but showing a counterweight in position;

FIG. 10 is also a schematic view, in larger scale, also in perspective, showing various implementations of counterweights;

FIG. 11 is a plane view of a bottom, conforming to the invention, for a container with appended bottom; and

FIG. 12 is a section along XIIXII of FIG. 11.

In the embodiment illustrated by FIGS. 1 and 2, the lower part of a container 1 has the shape of a wide open dihedron, e.g. abt. ISO-.

The container is balanced in such a way that, as long as it contains a quantity of product greater than a given minimum value, it will rest in stable equilibrium on surface 2 of the dihedron upon some, generally horizontal, platform, such as a table, a shelf, the floor, etc... as shown on FIG. 1. The surface 2 takes the major part of the base of the container and can be at right angles to its main vertical axis, as is the bottom of any ordinary container.

The word surface must be taken here in its broadest sense, so to mean any configuration of base (surfaces, lines or points) making it possible to place the container on some stand.

As soon as the quantity of the product in the container reaches the chosen minimum value or drops below it, the container will tumble over round the edge 5 of the dihedron, if placed on the stand 3, and will come to rest in stable equilibrium upon the other face 6 of the dihedron, as shown on FIG. 2.

The balancing of the container can be effected by various means. One can e.g. offset some accessories or details, such as a distributing head 7, weldings or bendings in either direction. One also can provide a counterweight 8 thoughtfully positioned e.g. in the lower part of the container, or even combine these two methods. In this way, one transforms the base of the container into a pair of scales, the point (or the points) of support of which are offset as compared to the container, with a counterweight such as will cause the container to tip over as soon as the weight of the content resting upon the surface 2 becomes smaller than the total sum of the weight resting upon face 6 plus the weight of the counterweight.

The counterweight 8 can be fastened inside the container, below the container or outside of it. It can be re movable and can consist e.g. in one or several magnets.

The balance of the container can be established in such a way that the presence or absence of some accessory part, such as a cover or a cap will alter the minimum value of the content effecting the change in the position of the container.

Also, instead of providing a position of stable balance on surface 6, one can arrange that the container falls over when the quantity of the contained product drops below the minimum value.

Such is the case with the container shown, on FIG. 3, the face 16 of which has the shape of a portion of a cylinder with horizontal axis; when the quantity of the product becomes sufficiently low, the container will fall, rolling on face 16.

In the version of FIG. 4, the face of stable bearing surface 22 joins to two other bearing-faces, i.e. an intermediate face 26 forming a certain angle with it, e.g. l60l70 and another face 29, which can be plane or curved and forms a wider angle to face 22.

The balancing can be effected in such a way that it enables to choose between two minimum values of the contained quantity of the product in the container: one which will provide a position of stable balance upon the face 6 and the other, smaller than the first one, which effects either a resting on face 9, or the overturn.

In the version of FIG. 5, a container of the type shown on FIGS. 1 and 2 is fitted at the upper end of face 6 with a small hinged paddle 14 possibly of some garish color. As long as the container remains sufficiently filled, the paddle stands vertical, but once the container tends to rest on face 6, it will be pushed aside to the right and becomes conspicuous to the user.

The invention can be applied to any sorts of containers, especially to non transparent ones, where it is difficult or impossible to assess the amount of the content, e.g. of bottles for compressed or liquefied gases, of aerosol bottles, of cans, drums, etc.

It can be applied to already existing containers to which one only has to adapt, either permanently e.g. by welding, gluing, crimping, flanging, etc. or temporarily e.g. by encasing, attaching by magnetic devices, etc. a conveniently shaped base-plate, such as baseplate 35 of FIG. 6, having plan supporting faces 32 and 36 and being fitted with a ballast 38 which could consist in a magnet. Here the container 1 is simply encased into the base-plate.

On FIG. 7 the position of the tipping edge of the container is adjustable. For this purpose the container bears laterally teeth 45 and 46, the teeth 45, the ones nearer to the center of the basis being longer than the teeth 46. Once the container has been sufficiently emptied to be tipped around the teeth 45, one can break off these teeth, so to make the container rest upon the teeth 46.

In this case the container will tip over once the quantity of the product-content has dropped below a second minimum value, lower than the value which effected resting on the teeth 45.

The counterweight 48 can be outside the container.

One or several counterweights 47 can be provided e.g.

in form of magnets, enabling to adjust the minimum value by this further possibility.

Instead of the teeth 45 and 46 one could provide bearing points implemented in form of travellers, enabling to adjust the tipping edge of the container.

In the example of execution shown on FIGS. 8 and 9, the container 1 comprises a bottom having two bases or bearing faces, one normal 52, consisting in an arc ABC placed in a plane perpendicular to the axis of the container and extending over more than l80, and the other 56, consisting in an arc ADC placed in a sloping plane e.g. of compared to the plane of the base 52. The bottom of the container is hollow and convex toward the inside, which enables to satisfy the provisions for safety.

In order to allow for the fitting of a counterweight 58 to the container, the portion of the bottom corresponding to the base 56 comprises a cavity 60 in shape of a segment of a circle with rounded angles. This cavity is fairly concentric to the bottom of the container. The lateral face 61 of the said cavity is sensibly perpendicular to its bottom which permits the counterweight 58 to be jammed in by simple elastic wedging (FIG. 9) provided that the dimensions of the counterweight have been conveniently determined. One could, of course, wedge the counterweight by means of one or several blocks, or fasten it by any other means, such as e.g. gluing, welding, etc.

The counterweight shows a lateral surface the shape of which matches the one of the face 61 of the cavity. It can, on the other hand, be of dimensions and of a configuration varying according to the bulk which one has determined.

As shown by FIG. 10, in order to alleviate the counterweight, one can, at the opposite of the portion 62 of its lateral surface encasing into the face 61 of the cavity, cut a more or less pronounced notch 63, which then will confer to it a shape of a bean or a shape of letter C.

On the FIGS. 11 and 12, the bottom 73 of the container is meant to be appended by crimping to the body (not shown) of the said container. This bottom comprises the two above mentioned bases of support 72 and 76 as well as cavity in which one lodges the counterweight 78. This latter is hollowed by a large central notch 73 which confers to it a shape of C.

Our invention transforms, by modifications that have been made to its base, an opaque and closed container in a precision scale which shows very accurately if the weight contained in the container at a certain time is larger or smaller than a counterweight whose heaviness has been predetermined in advance. 7

It is obvious that alterations can be made in the methods of execution described above, especially by substitution of equivalent technical means without transgressing the frame of the present invention by doing so. Thus, while we have described several presently preferred embodiments of this invention in the foregoing specification, it will be understood that this invention may be otherwise embodied within the scope of the following claims.

We claim:

I. An apparatus for holding fluid materials comprising a container means having a bottom defined by a first portion in the form of one flat horizontal plane and by a second portion diverging from said plane generally along a line offset from the vertical axis of the container including a counterweight positioned thereon, said line forming a balancing pivot line around which the container pivots by gravity when the level of fluid material in the container drops below a preselected minimum amount whereby the container rests on said flat horizontal plane when the fluid therein exceeds said preselected minimum amount and rotates by gravity about said pivot line offset from the vertical axis of the container when the fluid therein falls below said preselected minimum amount.

2. An apparatus as claimed in claim 1 wherein said second portion is a second plane angularly disposed to the first plane.

3. An apparatus as claimed in claim 1 wherein the second portion is a portion of a cylinder having a horizontal axis in shape whereby the container pivots onto its side when the fluid contents fall below said preselected minimum.

4. An apparatus as claimed in claim 1 wherein the container carries means for adjusting said preselected minimum amount.

5. An apparatus according to claim 4 wherein said means comprising at least one counterweight movable on said container.

6. An apparatus according to claim 5 wherein said bottom includes an external cavity wherein the counterweight can be lodged.

7. An apparatus according to claim 6 wherein said cavity is contrived, at least for its major portion, outside the said first portion.

8. An apparatus according to claim 6 wherein the cavity and the counterweight have the shape of seg- 11. An apparatus according to claim 6 wherein the counterweight can be fastened in the cavity by wedging.

12. An apparatus according to claim 1 wherein the said bottom comprises a removable base-plate.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1269051 *Mar 31, 1917Jun 11, 1918George H CheneyPan-counterweight.
US1659383 *Dec 18, 1926Feb 14, 1928Firm Jenaer Glaswerk Schott &Flask for laboratory purposes
US2707930 *Nov 22, 1952May 10, 1955 Dispensing container
US2784577 *Sep 23, 1955Mar 12, 1957Gordon T BeahamWeighted coaster
US2793788 *Nov 4, 1954May 28, 1957Lysne Kenneth MPortable mortar container
US3054535 *Jul 1, 1957Sep 18, 1962Bristol Myers CoLotion bottles and packages
US3100054 *Feb 7, 1961Aug 6, 1963Rubens George JTiltable bowl
US3533229 *May 26, 1969Oct 13, 1970Liljequist Jon LTilting timers
US3540408 *Sep 27, 1968Nov 17, 1970Messick Willard CIndicator alarm device
GB673087A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3903641 *Aug 31, 1973Sep 9, 1975Hoffman Louis SMoisture responsive tilting planter
US4257558 *May 23, 1979Mar 24, 1981Mason Jr Stanley IContent indicating dispenser utilizing displacement of the center of gravity of the contents and the dispenser to provide an indication of the quantity of contents remaining in the dispenser
US5071277 *Jul 11, 1990Dec 10, 1991W. Braun CompanyBottle-like probe-like applicator
US5169023 *Sep 4, 1991Dec 8, 1992Dart Industries Inc.Tilting mixing bowl
US5180107 *Nov 8, 1991Jan 19, 1993International Flavors & Fragrances Inc.Dispensing unit of volatilizable substance capable of visible determination of its extent of use
US5971217 *Dec 22, 1997Oct 26, 1999E. & J. Gallo WineryLiquid storing and dispensing system
US6390319 *Nov 30, 1999May 21, 2002Sun YuBeverage magnetizing container
US6827233 *Jan 23, 2004Dec 7, 2004Phillip F. ScallateBucket
Classifications
U.S. Classification220/603, 116/227, 220/631
International ClassificationB65D83/14, F17C13/02, G01F23/20, B65D25/00, F17C13/00, B05B9/04, G01F23/00
Cooperative ClassificationB65D25/00, F17C13/021, G01F23/205, B65D83/38, B65D2203/045
European ClassificationB65D83/38, B65D25/00, G01F23/20A, F17C13/02H