US 3827606 A
A liquid dispensing pump has its pump plunger guided for axial operative movement through a container closure cap and through a rotary control member mounted on the cosure cap for angular control movement about a fixed axis coincident with the longitudinal axis of the plunger. A locking finger projecting upwardly from the closure cap has a radially deflectible free end portion which is normally displaced from the path of reciprocation of a downwardly directed locking shoulder carried by the plunger, but is resiliently deflectible into such path for axial locking abutment with such shoulder to immobilize the plunger. Cam means carried by the control member is operative in a first position of the member to deflect the free end of the finger into locking relation with the said plunger and is operative in a second rotary position of the control member to permit retraction of the free end of the finger to a normal unstressed position displaced from the path of reciprocation of the locking shoulder.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Knickerbocker Aug. 6, 1974 1 PUMP IMMOBILIZING MEANS  Inventor: Michael Gene Knickerbocker, Long Beach, Calif.
 Assignee: Diamond International Corporation,
New York, NY.
 Filed: June 27, 1973  Appl. No.: 374,102
 US. Cl 222/384, 222/153, 222/402, 222/402.11  Int. Cl B67d 5/40  Field of Search 222/402, 402.11, 153, 384, 222/309; 417/550, 552
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,439,852 12/1922 Tunnel 222/384 1,770,672 7/1930 Segal 222/384 3,590,691 7/1971 Magers 222/384 3,779,425 12/1973 Edwald 222/153 Primary ExaminerRobert B. Reeves Assistant Examiner-41. Grant Skaggs Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Watson, Cole, Grindle & Watson [5 7] ABSTRACT A liquid dispensing pump has its pump plunger guided for axial operative movement through a container closure cap and through a rotary control member mounted on the cosure cap for angular control movement about a fixed axis coincident with the longitudinal axis of the plunger. A locking finger projecting upwardly from the closure cap has a radially deflectible free end portion which is normally displaced from the path of reciprocation of a downwardly directed locking shoulder carried by the plunger, but is resiliently deflectible into such path for axial locking abutment with such shoulder to immobilize the plunger. Cam means carried by the control member is operative in a first position of the member to deflect the free end of the finger into locking relation with the said plunger and is operative in a second rotary position of the control member to permit retraction of the free end of the finger to a normal unstressed position displaced from the path of reciprocation of the locking shoulder.
8 Claims, 7 Drawing Figures PUMP IMMOBILIZING MEANS This invention relates to improvement in liquid dispensing pumps, such as are commonly used for dispensing various flowable products, and more particularly to a plunger immobilizing means for selectively immobilizing the movable plunger of the pump to prevent inadvertent discharge or leakage of the product during shipment and during periods of non-use of the pump.
Although particularly applicable to pump type dispensers, the invention is also applicable to the movable actuators or plungers of conventional reciprocable dispensing valves such as are commonly used on pressurized containers.
More specifically, the plunger immobilizing means of the present invention constitutes an improvement over the means disclosed and claimed in my prior copending application Ser. No. 357,542, filed May 7, 1973.
In my prior application, the dispensing pump is of the class in which the pump plunger is disposed for reciprocation through an opening in the closure cap of a container for the product to be dispensed by the pump. The means for selectively immobilizing the plunger is disclosed in that application as comprising a locking ring connected to the cap for rotary movement about the plunger axis. The said ring carries one or more free ended locking tongues projecting generally transversely to the plunger axis and normally spaced outwardly from the plunger and from the path of reciprocation of a stop shoulder carried by the plunger. Cam means carried by the closure cap cooperate with the locking tongue or tongues when the locking ring is rotated to deflect the free ends of the tongues radially inward to locking position in the path of movement of the stop shoulder.
The present invention relates to a relatively simplified and more positively acting locking or immobilizing means having a specifically different and more positive mode of operation than in the said prior application.
In accordance with the present invention, the locking element constitutes one or more locking fingers which in this case are connected to and project axially upwardly from the closure cap. Each such finger has a free upper end which, though normally displaced from the path of reciprocation of a locking shoulder on the plunger, is resiliently deflectible into the path of such shoulder, responsive to rotary movement of a control ring which encircles the plunger and the locking fingers and which carries cam means for coaction with the finger or fingers so as selectively either to deflect them radially into the path of reciprocation of the locking shoulder or to permit their resilient retraction from such path in a second rotary position of the ring.
The invention further comprises a novel disposition and arrangement of stop means on the control ring and cap, respectively for accurately, selectively, positioning the control ring, either in its operative immobilizing position or in an inoperative position to permit retraction or release of the locking fingers.
To promote an understanding of the invention, reference will now be made to the preferred embodiment thereof, illustrated in the accompanying drawing, and specific language will be used to describe the same. It will, nevertheless, be appreciated that no limitation of the scope of the invention is thereby intended, such further modifications and alterations being contemplated as would normally occurred to one skilled in the art to which the invention relates.
IN THE ACCOMPANYING DRAWING FIG. 1 is an axial cross section, on the line ll of FIG. 3, through a dispensing pump incorporating the improved plunger immobilizing means of the invention, the same being in its locking or immobilizing position.
FIG. 2 is a view generally similar to FIG. 1, but with the plunger immobilizing means in its released position and with the plunger substantially, fully depressed to the lower end of its pump stroke.
FIG. 3 is a section on the line 33 of FIG. 1.
FIG. 4 is a section on the line 4-4 of FIG. 2.
FIG. 5 is a section on the line 5-5 of FIG. 1.
FIG. 6 is a section on the line 6-6 of FIG. 2; and
FIG. 7 is an enlarged detailed section taken substanwall 12 adapted to extend over and close the upper end of the opening through the container neck and is formed with a central opening defined by depending guide sleeve 13 through which is reciprocably disposed the hollow plunger tube of a generally conventional reciprocating pump plunger P. The plunger terminates at its lower end in a piston 16 adapted for cooperation with a pump cylinder (not shown) in the usual manner, the plunger opening downwardly axially through the piston to communicate with the pump chamber within the cylinder, whereby on each downstroke of the plunger the contents of the pump chamber are caused to flow upwardly through the piston 16 and the'hollow plunger tube 15 for discharge through the generally conventional discharge head or actuator 17.
The discharge head, in accordance with usual practice, has an upwardly presented surface 18 adapted to receive intermittent finger pressure for depressing the plunger. In accordance with usual practice, the plunger is alternately depressed and released to be resiliently raised after each depression by suitable spring means not shown. Such means constitutes conventional structure in pumps of the type herein disclosed. In accordance with usual practice, the discharge head is connected to the upper end of the hollow plunger tube 15 by a depending cylindrical sleeve 19, defining a socket for reception of the upper end of the hollow plunger tube 15, and the sleeve is preferably snap fitted at 20 in fluid type manner on the upper end of the plunger tube. The tube, in turn, communicates through the blind upper end of the socket 19 with a discharge orifice 21, open to the atmosphere, the orifice in the present instance being exemplified as a spray type orifice through which the liquid product is discharged in the form of a fine mist or spray.
The reference numeral 22 designates an external skirt, constituting a unitary portion of the discharge head 17 and depending therefrom in such manner as to conceal the upper end of the hollow plunger tube and the socket 19.
The structure as thus far described is of a purely conventional nature, as will be readily understood by persons skilled in the art. The lower edge 25 of the socket 19 is relied upon as an annular stop shoulder encircling the plunger and located at a predetermined position or level, such that in the fully raised or projected position of the plunger, as illustrated in FIG. 1, it is adapted for coaction with the locking means of the invention more fully hereinafter described.
The closure cap includes a plurality of locking fingers 26, preferably molded as unitary portions of the cap and projecting upwardly from the cap. These fingers being arranged in annular formation around the opening 13. The respective fingers have free upper ends which in their normal or unstressed conditions are displaced radially outwardly from the path of reciprocation of the downwardly presented locking shoulder 25 of the plunger, so that the plunger may be freely depressed to the position illustrated in FIG. 2 without interference.
In the present embodiment, the closure cap is molded of a generally conventional plastic and the fingers 26 are molded as a unitary portion thereof, the fingers and the nature of the plastic material respectively, being so proportioned and selected respectively as to result in the fingers being relatively stiff, while nevertheless having sufficient resilient flexibility as to permit their inward deflection to a first or locking position as illustrated in FIG. 1, in which their free upper ends are at a common level beneath and in the path of downward movement or reciprocation of the locking shoulder 25 of the plunger, for endwise or axial abutment with such shoulder to immobilize the plunger against downward movement from its fully raised position as shown in FIG. 1.
For selectively urging the fingers 26 to their said locking positions or releasing them therefrom, there is provided a control ring, designated R in its entirety, which concentrically encircles the plunger tube 15, as well as the annularly arranged fingers 26. This control ring R is suitably connected to the cap for rotary movement about the longitudinal axis of the plunger between its first or locking position as shown in FIGS. 1 and 3 and its second or released position as illustrated in FIGS. 2 and 4.
To this end, the closure cap is provided with an upwardly directed annular skirt 27, having an inwardly directed snap rib 28, the upper end of the skirt being annular and adapted to serve as a bearing for the lower end of the control ring, the latter being formed with the snap rib 29 which may be forced past the snap rib 28 to engage therebeneath and maintain the parts assembled. If desired, the control ring may also be formed with an outwardly projecting abutment, having a lower face 30 engaging the upper edge of the upper cap skirt 27 An upwardly directed and preferably externally ribbed or roughened annular wall 31 on the control ring provides a means for manually engaging and imparting rotary motion to the control ring to rotate it between its first and second or in other words its locking and released positions, as desired. For deflecting the free ends of the locking fingers 26 from their first or released positions of FIG. 2 to their locking positions of FIG. 1 for endwise abutment with the locking shoulder 25, the control ring is provided with a cam sleeve 32 encircling the fingers 26 of the plunger 15, concentrically to the rotational axis of the control ring and provided with a plurality of internal cams 33 which in the present instance are uniformly, angularly spaced, being in the form of radially inward projections, having bevelled or radially inclined end surfaces 34 for cooperation with the preferably inclined upper end portions of the respective fingers to thus cam the fingers inwardly beneath the locking shoulder 25 of the raised plunger as in FIGS. 1 and 3, when the respective cams are brought into angular registry with the respective fingers 26.
In the embodiment herein illustrated, the circumferential extent of each of the fingers 26 is somewhat less than the uniform circumferential spaces or recesses between adjoining cams 33. Upon rotation of the control ring, sufficiently to move the cams 33 from the locking positions of FIGS. 1 and 3 to the released positions of FIGS. 2 and 4, the fingers are in angular registry with the respective recesses, and the inherent resiliency of the respective fingers automatically returns them radially outwardly to their normal or unstressed positions within the respective recesses. As thus positioned, the fingers are completely out of the path of downward movement of the locking shoulder 25.
In order to facilitate accurate, selective positioning of the control ring in either its locking or releasing position, suitable coacting stop means or positioning stops 35 and 36, as best shown in FIGS. 5 and 6 are provided on the control ring and on the closure cap respectively. In the illustrated embodiment, the stops 35 assume the form of arcuate rib segments formed integrally with and depending from the control ring within an annular groove 37, defined by the top wall of the closure cap.
At suitable locations within the groove 37, the said groove is spanned by radial ribs constituting the stop or stop means 36. The relative locations in these stop means 35 and 36 being such that the stop ribs 36 in the locked positions of the invention abut against the counterclockwise directed ends of the arcuate rib segments 35 as in FIG. 5, whereas when the parts are accurately located in their released position as in FIGS. 2 and 4, the opposite ends of the arcuate stop ribs 35 abut against the respective stops or radial ribs 36.
MODE OF OPERATION The mode of operation of the invention which is believed to be obvious from the foregoing is as follows:
It is contemplated that normally a dispensing pump incorporating the invention will be sold as applied to a container of a particular product to be dispensed. At the time of purchase by the consumer, the pump plunger will be locked or immobilized in its fully raised position as in FIG. 1 with the free upper ends of the locking fingers 26 disposed beneath the locking shoulder 25 of the plunger for axial abutment therewith to prevent downward movement of the plunger. In this position, it is contemplated that various seals, constituting no part of the present invention, will be operative to prevent leakage or seepage of the liquid product, all to the end that the product will be effectively sealed within the container during shipping and storage.
When the consumer desires to place the pump into operation for dispensing the product or a portion thereof, he need only manually grasp the ribbed exterior surface of the control ring R and rotate it from the first or immobilizing position of FIGS. 1 and 3, in a clockwise direction to the second or released position, shown in FIGS. 2 and 4, respectively.
When it is again desired to immobilize the plunger at the end of the dispensing operation, the control ring R may be manually returned to the operative locking position of FIGS. 1 and 3 with the plunger in its raised condition as projected by the usual plunger spring, to be thereafter retained in that position by the locking fingers 26.
In the first or immobilizing position as shown in FIG.
5, the control ring R has been rotated in a counterclockwise direction to bring the arcuate ribs or stops 35 of that ring into circumferential endwise abutment with the radial stops 36 of the cap, which position is attained at the time the control earns 33 of the control ring are in angular registry with the locking fingers 26 respectively to deflect the latter radially inwardly beneath the locking shoulder 25.
When the locking ring is selectively rotated in a clockwise direction to its released or inoperative position as in FIGS. 2, 4 and 6, it will be seen from FIG. 6 that the opposite ends of the circumferential or arcuate ribs 35 are brought into endwise abutment with the respective radial webs or stops 36.
It will be readily apparent that the entire pump structure incorporating such locking means consists of a substantially minimum number of pieces and that it requires, in addition to the usual pump components, only a single additional component, namely, the control ring R incorporating as unitary portions thereof, the control cam or cams 33.
Further, it will be noted that in the arrangement illustrated, the telescopically associated skirts 22 and 31 of the discharge head and the control ring, respectively, serve to fully enclose and protect the locking fingers and their control cams, as well as to conceal these functional parts from view, so as to enhance the overall appearance of the device.
Having thus described my invention, I claim:
1. In a dispensing pump of the class in which a pump plunger is disposed for reciprocation through an opening in the closure cap of a container for a product to be dispensed by said pump, the combination with said pump of means for selectively immobilizing the plunger, comprising: a downwardly presented locking shoulder encircling said plunger and affixed thereto; a locking finger connected to and projecting upwardly from said closure cap, said finger having a free upper end, normally displaced from the path of reciprocation of said locking shoulder, but being resiliently deflectible into said path for axial locking abutment with said shoulder; a control ring encircling said finger and said plunger and connected to said cap for rotary movement around said plunger and said finger; and cam means carried by said control ring for engagement with said finger in a first rotary position of said ring to deflect the free end of said finger into the path of reciprocation of said locking shoulder, and to permit retraction of the free end of said finger from said path in a second rotary position of the ring. 1
2. The combination of claim 1, including a plurality of said locking fingers, arranged in annular formation around said plunger with their free upper ends at a common level, normally spaced radially from the plunger and out of the path of reciprocation of said locking shoulder, there being a similar plurality of cam means carried by the control ring for simultaneously radially deflecting said free ends of the fingers into said path.
3. The combination of claim 1, including cooperating stop means on said closure cap and said control ring, respectively, for arresting the rotary movement of said control ring at said first and second rotary positions respectively.
4. The combination of claim 2 in which said locking shoulder is an annular downwardly directed surface formed around said plunger.
5. The combination of claim 2 in which said plurality of cam means on the control ring are relatively, circumferentially spaced apart, sufficiently for reception therebetween of the respective locking fingers.
6. In combination: a container closure member; a control member mounted on said closure member for rotary movement about a fixed axis; a flowable product dispensing pump having a plunger disposed for axial reciprocation through axial openings in said members; said plunger having a downwardly directed stop shoulder thereon; a locking finger affixed to one said member with a free end thereof projecting generally parallel to the axis of reciprocation of said plunger and deflectible transversely to said axis into and from the path of reciprocation of said stop shoulder; and cam means carried by the other said member for radially deflecting said free end, responsive to relative rotary movement of the said members.
7. The combination of claim 6 wherein said free end of the locking finger is retracted from the path of said stop shoulder in the normal unstressed condition of respective said fingers.