|Publication number||US3834596 A|
|Publication date||Sep 10, 1974|
|Filing date||Jul 11, 1973|
|Priority date||Jul 11, 1973|
|Publication number||US 3834596 A, US 3834596A, US-A-3834596, US3834596 A, US3834596A|
|Inventors||Brady T, Gonnella C, Lawrence R, Metzler G|
|Original Assignee||Mennen Co|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (3), Referenced by (46), Classifications (5)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
United States Patent [191 [451 Sept. 10,1974
Brady et al.
[ BOTTLE-CLOSURE STRUCTURE  Inventors: Thomas J. Brady, Madison; Richard L. Lawrence, Short Hills; Carmen J. Gonnella, Succasunna; Gottfried Metzler, III, Brookside, all of NJ.
 Assignee: The Mennen Company, Morris Township, NJ.
 Filed: July 11, 1973  Appl. No.: 378,230
 U.S. C1. 222/520  Int. Cl. B67d 3/00  Field of Search 222/520, 521, 515
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,168,969 2/1965 Krieps 222/520 3,261,515 7/1966 Luedtke 222/520 3,542,258 11/1970 Marchant 222/520 Primary Examiner-Even C. Blunk Assistant ExaminerJames M. Slattery  ABSTRACT A closure structure for a bottle from which there extends a neck carrying external threading. A conduit member is supported within the neck in coaxial and fluid-tight relation thereto, and communicates with the interior of the bottle. A cover element is assembled in coaxial relation to the neck, having internal threading engaged with the external neck threading thereby to cause rotations of the cover element to be accompanied by axial movements thereof toward and away from the bottle; the cover element may be generally of inverted-cup shape, and in its transverse portion may be provided with aperturing displaced from its axis. Means, comprised partially in the cover element and partially in the conduit member, form a valve closed and opened by the abovemeritioned movements of the cover element; when closed the valve blocks, but when open it permits, fluid flow from within the conduit member to said aperturing. And appropriate means are interposed, and block fluid flow, between the outward side of the valve and the. engaged threadings.
9 Claims, 7 Drawing Figures 7IIIJII BOTTLE-CLOSURE STRUCTURE This invention relates to a closure structure for a bottle from which when in use fluid is to be discharged through the closure means, typically in intermittent spray form, and which when not in use may readily be manipulated to close the discharge path. Fluid" is used in a broad sense to include not only solutions but also fine-particle slurries, powders, and other flowable materials.
It is an object to provide a simple and improved such structure. It is an object to provide such a closure structure wherein a valve when open permits fluid discharge through the structure and when closed not only blocks such discharge but also supplements the action of other seal-forming means included in the structure. It is an object to provide such a closure structure wherein the movement of a cover element relative to the bottle controls the valve, and wherein the valve will be closed at any position of the cover element within a finite range. It is an object to provide such a closure structure which efficiently accomodates a discharge distributed around or otherwise displaced from its axis.
Allied and other objects will more fully appear from the following description and the appended claims.
According to the invention there are combined, with a bottle from which there extends a neck carrying external threading, a generally cylindrical conduit member and a cover element. The conduit member may be of less diameter than the neck and supported within the neck in coaxial and fluid-tight relation thereto, and may communicate with the interior of the bottle. The cover element may be generally of inverted-cup shape, may be provided in its transverse portion with aperturing displaced from its axis, may be assembled in coaxial relation to the neck, and may have internal threading engaged with the external neck threading thereby to cause rotations of the cover element to be accompanied' by axial movements thereof toward and away from the bottle. There are provided means, comprised partially in the cover element and partially in the conduit member, forming a valve closed and opened by such movements of the cover element and which when closed blocks but when open permits fluid flow from within the conduit member outward through the valve to the aperturing. And there are provided means forming a seal interposed, and blocking fluid flow, between the outward side of the valve and the engaged threadmgs.
We prefer that the conduit member and means supporting it within the neck be formed as an insert element separable from the neck and bottle, and have so illustrated and will so describe it hereinafter. It will, however, be understood that if desired, and if suitable fabricating means be employed, that member and its supporting means could be integral with the neck.
In the detailed description hereinafter set forth reference is had to be accompanying drawing, in which:
FIG. 1 is an elevational view of the very top portion of a bottle, including the neck extending therefrom, adapted for use in an embodiment of the invention;
FIG. 2 is a vertical cross-sectional view through the axis of an insert element for similar use;
FIG. 3 is a vertical cross-sectional view through the axis of a cover element for similar use;
FIG. 4 is a horizontal cross-sectional view taken along the line 4-4 of FIG. 3;
FIG. 5 is a top view of the insert element of FIG. 2;
FIG. 6 is a vertical cross-sectional view through the axis of an embodiment of the invention showing the bottle neck, insert element and cover element in assembled relationship, with the valve hereinafter described in closed condition; and
FIG. 7 is a view similar to FIG. 6 but showing the valve in open condition.
Reference being had to FIG. 1, there will be seen the very top portion of a bottle 1; this is preferably of deformable material, such as plastic, so that squeezing of the bottle will result in the development of pressure therewithin and, under conditions wherein the contained fluid reaches the aperturing in the cover element, will further result in the ejection of fluid through that aperturing. From the top of the bottle there extends upwardly the neck 5; preferably this will be provided at its mouth with an inwardly extending bead 6 for the better retention of the insert element hereinafter described. Externally the neck may be provided with raised multiple threading 8', typically this may consist of a quadruple thread, of which each of the four individual threads will extend for very slightly over one full turn. A little below the top end of the threading there may be provided, at each-of four points equally spaced circumferentially around the neck, a slight inter-thread protrusion 7 whose purpose will be later apparent.
An insert element such as referred to above, designated generally as 20, is seen cross-sectionally in FIG. 2 and in plan in FIG. 5. It comprises the generally cylindrical conduit member 21, which when assembled to the bottle neck is coaxial therewith, and fluidimpervious supporting means for that member then extending from the lower or bottleward end of that member into sealing engagement with the neck. Such supporting means may comprise a cylindrical portion 15 fitting within the neck, having an annular groove 16 which fits over and sealingly engages the annular bead 6, having just above that groove an outwardly extending flange 17 which will lie against the top end surface of the neck, and having a washer-like portion 18 extending from the bottleward end of the conduit member 21 to the bottleward end of the cylindrical portion 15. Between the washer-like portion 18 and the cylindrical portion 15 there may be provided several spaced triangular reinforcing struts l9. At its bottleward end the cylindrical member 15 may be provided with the bevelled surface 14.
The generally cylindrical conduit member 21, which when the insert element 20 is assembled to the neck 5 may extend upwardly to a level appreciably above that of the top of the neck, may at its mouth be folded rather sharply inwardly and downwardly to form. a reentrant portion 22 typically of about half the length of the conduit member. Interiorly, proceeding downwardly or bottlewardly from the top end surface of the conduit member, its reentrant portion 22 may first be provided with a short annular bevelled surface 24, at the bottleward end of which an inwardly extending annular bead 23 is formed in 22. Exteriorly, proceeding downwardly or bottlewardly from its top end surface, the conduit member 21 may first be provided with two successive diminishingly bevelled surfaces 27 and.26; just below the bevelled surface 26 an outwardly extending annular bead 25 is formed in 21.
Although the material of the bottle 1 is preferably such that the bottle is sufficiently deformable for squeezing in its larger (unillustrated) lower portion, it will nevertheless ordinarily result in a neck 5 which is relatively rigid. On the other hand the still smaller insert element is desirably very substantially more flexible than the bottle neck (to accomodate being forced into place in the neck, and for good sealing not only thereto but also to other parts yet to be described); preferably it will be moded of plastic chosen to result in such flexibility.(lf desired for purposes of stress relief in molding, the reentrant portion 22 may at its bottom or bottleward end have a small inward protrusion 22a which in the use of the bottle has no function but is harmless.)
The cover element, which is designated generally as 40, is seen cross-sectionally in FIG. 4. It may be generally of inverted-cup shape, though for esthetic reasons its transverse portion 41 may if desired be upwardly convex rather than flat; in that transverse portion the cover element may be provided with aperturing 42 displaced from the elements axis, and hereinafter referred to. When assembled to the bottle neck 5 the cover element will be coaxial therewith. The cover element may be held to the bottle neck by internal raised threading 38 provided on the cover element just inside its mouth and engaging the neck threading 8; the threading 38 will of course be quadruple and matched in pitch with the threading 8, but each of its four individual threads need extend for a short circumferential distance only, such as just over 90. The result of the cover elements assembly by the threading is of course to cause rotations of the cover element to be accompanied by axial movements thereof toward and away from the bottle.
Early in the act of screwing the cover element onto the bottle neck the four individual threads of the threading 38 will respectively encounter the four interthread protrusions 7 on the neck, and for a small further rotary distance extra rotary force will be required to cause those threads to override those protrusions; after but only after such overriding the screwing-on may be easily completed. Thereafter, during any rotation of the cover element in the opposite direction (to cause its movement away from the bottle), the threads of threading 38 will similarly (though from the opposite direction) encounter the protrusions 7; and the similar requirement for extra force, if such rotation were to be continued, will signal that the normal limit of such rotation has been reached. In this manner the normal movement of the assembled cover element away from the bottle is appropriately limited, for example, to that which occurs in very approximately one-half turn of that element.
Reference to FIG. 6 (showing the cover element in its most bottleward position) and FIG. 7 (showing that element in the position to which its normal movement away from the bottle is typically limited) will now be especially helpful.
The cover element may be interiorly provided with an annular member 47 coaxial with the cover element, extending for a short bottleward distance from the elements transverse portion 41, and of radial dimensions essentially matching those of the insert elements flange 17. The screwing-on, bottleward movement, of the as sembled cover element may be limited by the impingement of the bottleward end of annular member 47 against the top of flange 17, which may be accompanied by a clamping of 17 between 47 and the end of the bottle neck 5; thus (see FIG. 6) there is avoided any occasion for the cover elements side wall 39 to fully reach the neck-surrounding portion of the bottle, or for the inside surface of the cover elements transverse portion 41 to fully reach the top of the insert element 20. Furthermore such clamping of flange 17 will reinforce the seal which inherently exists (at 6 and 17) between the insert element 20 and the top of bottle neck 5.
The invention contemplates the provision of means, which may be comprised partially in the cover element and partially in the conduit member, forming a valve closed and opened by the movements of the cover element toward and away from the bottle; when closed the valve blocks, but when open it permits, fluid flow from within the conduit member outward through the valve to the aperturing 42.
In the cover element the valve-forming means may comprise a cylindrical member 43 coaxial with the cover element, extending bottlewardly from that elements transverse portion 41 and at its end having the exterior bevelled surface 44. In the conduit menber the valve-forming means may be the portion disposed inwardly of its mouth more specifically, the reentrant portion 22 and, still more specifically, the inwardly extending bead 23 formed therein. The cylindrical member 43 may be of such diameter that, when the cover element is sufficiently near the bottle, the member 43 will penetrate within that portion of the conduit member (e.g., 23) in fluid-tight relation thereto. The length of the cylindrical member 43 is such that it will so penetrate not only when the cover element is at its most bottleward position, but also when it is at any other position within a finite range of which that position is the limiting one yet will be withdrawn from the conduit member when the cover element is further from the bottle (though within the limit of its normal movement discussed at the end of the fourth preceding paragrph). The two conditions discussed in the preceding sentence of course respectively constitute closed and open conditions of the valve, which is designated generally as 33.
The aperturing 42, mentioned above as being provided in the transverse portion 41 of the cover element and as being displaced from that elements axis, may more specifically be located a little further from the axis than is the cylindrical member 43 a position in which it is obviously accessible to fluid flow, from within the conduit member 21, outward through the valve 33 when the valve is open. The aperturing has been shown as typically constituted by four holes, of size appropriate to the characteristics of the desired fluid discharge, equally spaced circumferentially.
In the structure as so far described the outward side of the valve 33 is in communication not only with the aperturing 42, but also with the engaged threadings 8-38, with the result that outward fluid flow through the open valve is capable of reaching not only that aperturing but also those engaged threadings. Since it is not contemplated that those engaged threadings will be by any means fluid-tight, their accessibility to such flow would be quite disadvantageous, and in various uses of the invention would be intolerable. The invention accordingly contemplates the provision of means, which may be comprised partially in the cover element and partially in the conduit member, forming a seal interposed and blocking fluid flow between the outward side of the valve 33 and the engaged threadings 8-38.
In the cover element the seal-forming means may comprise a tubular member 45 coaxial with the cover element, extending bottlewardly from that elements transverse portion 41 and at its end having the interior bevelled surface 46. In the conduit member the sealforming means may be the portion disposed outwardly of its mouth, more specifically, the cylindrical outside surface therefore and, still more specifically, the outwardly extending head 25 formed therefrom. The tubular member may be of such diameter and length that the conduit-member portion just mentioned (e.g., 25) will penetrate within the tubular member 45 in fluidtight relation thereto when the cover element is at any axial position not further from the bottle than the above-discussed limit of its normal movement. The seal formed as just described is designated generally as 35.
The aperturing 42 is of course less far from the axis of the cover element than is the tubular member 45; it thus extends outwardly through that elements transverse portion41 from between the cylindrical and tubular members 43 and 45. Note is made that the radial distance between the members 43 and 45 is relatively small, that the axial distance between the end of conduit member 21 and the cover elements transverse portion 41 at the time the valve 33 is just closing is relatively short, and that the space then bounded by 43, 41, 45 and 21 is thus relatively restricted; accordingly even if the valve be subjected to closure while the bottle is inverted the amount of fluid caught in this space, and thus withheld from returning to the bottle (and left free to exude through the aperturing 42), will be relatively little. If on the other hand the valve 33 be subjected to closure while the bottle is essentially upright, the prior open condition of the valve will already have resulted in the drainage of almost all fluid from that space back into the bottle; thus the amount then withheld will be altogether negligible. Note is also made that the seal 35 altogether precludes the fluid within the bottle from at any time reaching the space bounded (as seen in FIG. 6) by 45, 41, 47, and 18, so that fluid entrapment withinthat space presents no problem.
There was mentioned above the absence of any contemplation that the engaged threads 8-38 would be fluid-tight and, indeed, they may themselves leave the cover element free to rocknoticeably about them, and to displace the upper portion appreciably out of coaxiality with the bottle neck 5. To limit the magnitude of any such displacement before the cover element is sufficiently screwed on to start the engagement of 43 and 23 or even of 45 and 25, the inner surface of the cover elements side wall 39 may be provided, somewhat nearer the bottle than the bottleward end of the tubular member 45, with several (for example, four, two of which are seen in FIG. 3) circumferentially spaced protrusions 37; deviation of the cover element from coaxiality with the neck will be limited by the impingement of one or more of these protrusions against the neck surface. If desired, and as illustrated, each protrusion 37 is in the form of a short length of thread- With an insert element such as described above, the material of the cover element 40 need not be as flexible as that of the insert element, and the coverelement material may typically have a flexibility of the general order of that of the bottle 1. On the other hand if the conduit member 21 were of small flexibility (as it might be if integral with the neck and bottle), then the cover-element material might advantageously be substantially more flexible; in such a case the bead 23 included in the valve 33 might advantageously be formed on the cylindrical member 43, and the bead 25 included in the seal 35 formed on the tubular member 45, rather than on the conduit member 21.
It is to be understood that in FIGS. 6 and 7 the deformations indicated as undergone by the valveand sealforming parts are by way of typical illustration only, and are not necessarily rigorously accurate.
The manner of use of the bottle and closure structure thus described has been made rather obvious in the foregoing description of that structure. The bottle will be filled with fluid to be dispensed (conveniently, before the insert element 20 is forced into place), and the cover element will be screwed onto the neck to its most bottleward position. When the bottle is to be used the cover element will be unscrewed to the limit of its normal range thereby to open the valve 33, the apertures will be directed usually at least diagonally downwardly at the area to be sprayed, and the bottle will be squeezed to create the spray-providing exit pressure. (Alternatively the bottle may be shaken, in salt-cellar fashion, to create the exit pressure by the momentum of the fluid within the bottle.) At the conclusion of use the cover element will be screwed back, either to its most bottleward position or to a position within the finite range throughout which the valve 33 is closed; the bottle is then prepared to stand or, if desired, to be transported, awaiting its next use.
While we have shown and described our invention in terms of a particular embodiment thereof, we intend thereby no unnecessary limitations. Modifications in many respects will be suggested by our disclosure to those skilled in the art, and such modifications will not necessarily constitute departures from the spirit of the invention or from its scope, which we undertake to define in the following claims.
1. The combination, with a bottle from which there extends a neck carrying external threading, of (A) a generally cylindrical conduit member of less diameter than and supported within said neck in coaxial and fluid-tight relation thereto and communicating with the interior of the bottle, (B) a cover element, generally of inverted-cup shape and provided in its transverse portion with aperturing displaced from its axis, assembled in coaxial relation to said neck and having an internally threaded side wall engaged with the external neck threading thereby to cause rotations of the cover element to be accompanied by axial movementsthereof toward and away from the bottle, (C) means, comprised partially in said cover element and partially in said conduit member, forming a valve closed and opened by such movements of the cover element and which when closed blocks but when open permits fluid flow from within said conduit member outward through said valve to said aperturing, (D) means forming a' seal interposed, and blocking fluid flow, between the outward side of said valve and said engaged threading; (E) said cover element coaxially including (1) a tubular member extending from its transverse portion toward the bottle and being throughout its length in spaced relationship to said sidewall, said tubular member penetrating said conduit member and cooperating with a first portion of said conduit member, throughout the axial range of movement of said cap from said opened to closed valve positions, thereby comprising said seal, (2) a cylindrical member, of less diameter than said tubular member, extending from its transverse portion toward the bottle and cooperating with a second portion of said conduit member to comprise said valve, a generally annular space being thereby defined between said tubular and cylindrical members; and wherein (F) said aperturing comprises a plurality of openings extending outwardly through said cap and communicating when said valve is open, with said generally annular space.
2. The subject matter claimed in claim 1 wherein said conduit member is comprised in an insert element separable from said bottle, said insert element further including fluid-impervious supporting means for said conduit member extending from the bottleward portion thereof into sealing engagement with said neck.
3. The subject matter claimed in claim 1 wherein said valve is in closed condition when the cover element is within a range of positions near to, and in open condition when the cover element is further from, the bottle.
4. The subject matter claimed in claim 1 wherein said cylindrical member penetrates within said conduit member in fluid-tight relation thereto, thereby to close the valve when the cover element is within a range of positions near to, and being withdrawn from said conduit member thereby to open the valve when the cover is further from, the bottle.
5. The subject matter claimed in claim 4 wherein one of said cylindrical and conduit members is provided with a bead extending toward and sealingly engaging the other of said members when the cover element is within said range.
6. The subject matter claimed in claim 5 wherein the member provided with said bead is said conduit memher.
7. The subject matter claimed in claim 4 wherein said conduit member is provided at its mouth with a reentrant cylindrical portion, and wherein it is said reentrant cylindrical portion within which said cylindrical member penetrates when the cover element is within said range and from which it is withdrawn when it is further from the bottle.
8. The subject matter claimed in claim 1 wherein one of said tubular and conduit members is provided with a bead extending toward and sealingly engaging the other of said members.
9. The subject matter claimed in claim 8 wherein the member provided with said bead is said conduit mem-
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