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Publication numberUS3920157 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 18, 1975
Filing dateOct 21, 1974
Priority dateOct 21, 1974
Publication numberUS 3920157 A, US 3920157A, US-A-3920157, US3920157 A, US3920157A
InventorsYeung Yim-Hei Joseph
Original AssigneeJoylite Manufacturing Co Ltd
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Tube squeezing device
US 3920157 A
Abstract
An integrally molded plastic housing cooperates with a plastic turn key for squeezing a tube such as a toothpaste tube to extrude the contents thereof. The housing includes a cylindrical portion, opposed upper walls of which curve smoothly away from each other to define an aperture. Front and rear ends of the housing define bearing openings for receiving the shaft of the turn key, the aperture opening out the front so that the end of a toothpaste tube can be fitted within a slot in the turn key shaft and the turn key and tube moved as a unit into the housing. Rotation of the turn key in the front and rear bearing openings will then wind the toothpaste tube on the shaft, the smoothly curved walls defining the aperture squeezing the tube to extrude its contents. The structure is designed to be self-standing so that the tube can remain in the housing, the contents thereof being extruded whenever so desired.
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United States Patent [191 Yeung [45] Nov. 18, 1975 TUBE SQUEEZING DEVICE [75] Inventor: Yim-Hei Joseph Yeung, Fountain Valley, Calif.

[73] Assignee: Joylite Manufacturing Co., Ltd.,

Hong Kong 221 Filed: on. 21, 1974 21 Appl. No.: 516,259

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3/1927 Baker 222/100 5/1963 Hickey 6/1973 Hausmann Primary ExaminerAllen N. Knowles Assistant Examiner-Norman L. Stack, Jr. Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Ralph B. Pastoriza [57] ABSTRACT An integrally molded plastic housing cooperates with a plastic turn key for squeezing a tube such as a toothpaste tube to extrude the contents thereof. The housing includes a cylindrical portion, opposed upper walls of which curve smoothly away from each other to define an aperture. Front and rear ends of the housing define bearing openings for receiving the shaft of the turn key, the aperture opening out the front so that the end of a toothpaste tube can be fitted within a slot in the turn key shaft and the turn key and tube moved as a unit into the housing. Rotation of the turn key in the front and rear bearing openings will then wind the toothpaste tube on the shaft, the smoothly curved walls defining the aperture squeezing the tube to extrude its contents. The structure is designed to be selfstanding so that the tube can remain in the housing, the contents thereof being extruded whenever so desired.

3 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures US. Patent Nov. 18, 1975 TUBE SQUEEZING DEVICE This invention relates to a tube squeezing device in the form of a housing and turn key assembly for facilitating the extruding of the contents of a tube such as a toothpaste tube.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The concept of providing a mechanical turn key type device for extruding the contents of tubes such as toothpaste tubes has been well known for many years. One of the earlier patents issued on such devices is US. Pat. No. 648,981 issued May 8, 1900 to F. A. Nelson and entitled COLLAPSIBLE TUBE ATTACHMENT. The device disclosed in this patent is in the form of a rectangular sheet of metal having opposite ends curved upwardly towards each other and then flared outwardly to define a cylindrical portion with an elongated opening at its upper end. Small metal tabs extend from mid points of the rectangular piece and can be turned upwardly and provided with suitable openings to define bearing surfaces for a turn key coaxially fitted within the interior cylindrical portion. The turn key has a slotted shaft and in utilizing the device, the end of a tube such as a toothpaste tube is urged down through the upper opening of the cylindrical portion so that its end is received in the slot of the turn key. Rotation of the turn key will then cause extrusion of the contents of the tube.

The device disclosed in the foregoing patent is selfstanding by providing a flat area on the lower end of the cylindrical portion.

While the device as described as well as others known in the art function to extrude the contents of a tube, there is room for substantial improvement in proper shaping and structural configuration to effect improved operation and more economical manufacture.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE PRESENT INVENTION With the foregoing in mind, the present invention contemplates an improved tube squeezing device similar in certain respects to the device mentioned in the referenced US. patent but incorporating unique improvements which not only render it easier to use and control but enable extremely economical manufacture.

Briefly, in accord with the invention, an integrally molded plastic housing is provided having a cylindrical portion and front and rear end walls closing the ends of the cylindrical portion except for front and rear bearing openings. The lower edges of the wall are straight and define a stand for the housing to support the cylindrical portion in an horizontal position. The upper wall of the cylindrical portion is provided with an elongated aperture parallel to the axis of the cylindrical portion, the aperture terminating at the rear end wall and in distinction to prior art devices, opening out the front end wall.

Cooperating with the foregoing housing is an integrally molded plastic turn key having a rigid hollow shaft of substantially greater diameter than has characterized prior art turn keys. On the other hand, the di-- arneter of the shaft is less than the inside diameter of the cylindrical portion of the housing and preferably is between one fourth and three-fourths this inside diameter.

The turn key shaft itself is provided with an elongated slot for receiving the lower end of a tube such as a toothpaste tube. Because the aperture in the housing opens out the front end wall of the housing, it is possible to insert the end of the tube in the shaft slot prior to assembling the turn key within the housing making it very simple to effect the insertion of the tube in the shaft slot. After insertion, the tube and turn key shaft are inserted as a unit within the housing, the front opening of the aperture permitting the tube to slide longitudinally along the aperture.

Because of the relatively large diameter of the turn key as distinguished from prior art turn keys, there is defined an annular space within the housing having smoothly curved cylindrical walls for accommodating the toothpaste tube as it is wound up.

A further feature of the present invention involves the flaring of the end of the turn key shaft so that it snaps into the end wall opening of the housing and is thus retained within the housing by the resilient nature of the integrally molded plastic.

Finally, since each of the two component parts constitutes a simple plastic molding, manufacture of the device can be carried out extremely economically.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS tion of the components of FIG. 1 in assembled relationship;

FIG. 3 is a view similar to FIG. 2 but illustrating the 7 relative positions of the components after some of the contents of the tube have been extruded; and,

FIG. 4 is a top plan view of the turn key component of the device by itself.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring first to FIG. 1, there is shown an integrally molded plastic housing in the form of a hollow cylindrical portion 10 integrally terminating in flat front and rear end walls 11 and 12 extending radially outwardly. The lower edges of the end walls as indicated at 13 and 14 are straight and parallel to each other lying in the same horizontal plane to thereby serve as a stand and support the cylindrical portion with its axis in an horizontal position.

As shown, upper side walls of the cylindrical portion curve smoothly away from each other as indicated at 15 and 16 to define an elongated receiving aperture 17 running parallel to the axis of the cylindrical portion. This aperture terminates at 18 in the rear end wall and opens out the front end wall as at 19.

Shown to the right of the housing in FIG. 1, is a molded plastic turn key in the form of a rigid hollow shaft 20 of smaller diameter than the cylindrical portion of the housing. The front end of shaft 20 terminates in a flat circular disc means 21 lying in a plane normal to the axis of the shaft. This disc means includes an annular step in its periphery as indicated at 22. The front of the disc means, as shown, includes an integrally formed turning handle 23 extending diametrically across its face.

The shaft 20 of the turn key includes an elongated slot 24 terminating at the disc means 21 at its front end and opening out the rear end as at 25. This rear end of the shaft 20 is also slightly flared outwardly in a radial direction as indicated at 26 and as will become clearer as the description proceeds.

Referring once again to the housing of FIG. 1, it will be noted that the rear end wall of the housing defines an opening 27 coaxial with the axis AA of the cylindrical portion 10. The front wall 11 in turn includes a front opening 28 which in the preferred embodiment, has a diameter corresponding to the inside diameter of the cylindrical portion and the diameter of the annular step 22 of the disc means 21 on the turn key.

With the foregoing arrangement, and as indicated by the dashed lines, the lower end 29 of a tube 30 can be readily received in the slot 24 of the turn key shaft 20. Thereafter, the turn key and tube as a unit can be slid into the housing the open end of the aperture 17 in the front wall 11 permitting this assembly. When assembled, the end 25 of the shaft will be bearingly supported by the end wall opening 27 and the front end of the shaft will be bearingly supported by the annular step 22 fitted within the front opening 28. Because of the flared portion 26, the end of the shaft 20 will snap into the opening 27 to retain the key in the housing.

The foregoing assembled relationship is clearly illus trated in FIG. 2. Thus,the journalling of the ends of the shaft 20 by the rear and front openings 27 and 28 respectively is evident. Moreover, the small flared por tion 26 of the end of the shaft is seen to extend circumterentially against the outer periphery of the end opening 27 to thus hold the turn key shaft in the housing.

It will also be noted that because of the diameter of the shaft 20 which is substantially larger than the normal diameter of a turn key shaft, smoothly curved opposed cylindrical walls define an annular space within the housing for accommodating the end of the tube 30 when the turn key is rotated. Rotation of the turn key is indicated by the arrow 31 in FIG. 2.

FIG. 3 illustrates the same components shown in FIG. .2 but after a portion of the tube has been wound up on the turn key shaft 20. This action causes a squeezing of the side walls of the tube 30 by the smoothly curved wall portions and 16 described in FIG. 1 to thereby extrude the contents as indicated at 32 of the tube 30 in a controlled manner.

Because of the design of the housing front and rear end walls with the straight bottom edges 13 and 14 as described in FIG. I, the assembly will remain in a stable, standing position throughout its use with any particular tube,

FIG. 4 shows in greater detail the turn key wherein the flaring of the end of the shaft at 26 is clearly evident. Thus, this radially flared portion is indicated as having a diameter D which is slightly greater than the :nomtal outer diameter D of the main portion of the shaft 20.

In order to assure locking of the turn key within the housing by the described snapping action of the flared portion 26 in the rear end opening, it is important that the length of the turn key as measured between the rear wall of the annular step 22 and the flared portion 26, designated L in FIG. 4 be precisely equal to the distance between the outer surfaces of the front and rear end walls 11 and 12. It will be understood that the actual length to the extreme end of the flared portion 26' is slightly greater than the foregoing distance so that the flared end can engage about the outer peripheral edge of the opening 27 as described in FIG. 2.

It will be appreciated from the foregoing description, that the tube squeezing device can be very easily used. Because of the fact that the turn key portion is readily separable from the housing and the fact that the aperture in the cylindrical portion of the housing itself opens out the front end wall, a tube end can be readily inserted in the turn key shaft slot prior to assembling the turn key in the housing. The manual operation of thus attaching the device to a tube is greatly facilitated. Thereafter, the tube and turn key assembly is simply slid into the housing as described and held in proper coaxial relationship by the front and rear openings cooperating with the annular step at the front of the turn key and the rear end of the shaft.

Each of the component parts can be manufactured extremely economically by a simple injection molding operation. The end product is thus not only inexpensive but can be made extremely attractive the opposite ends of the housing being substantially completely closed when the turn key is in position.

What is claimed is:

l. A tube squeezing device comprising, in combination:

a. a molded plastic housing in the form of a hollow cylindrical portion integrally terminating in flat front and rear end walls extending radially outwardly, the lower edges of the end walls being parallel and lying in the same horizontal plane to thereby serve as a stand and support the cylindrical portion with its axis in an horizontal position, upper side walls of the cylindrical portion curving smoothly away from each other to define an elongated receiving aperture running parallel to the axis of the cylindrical portion, said aperture terminatin g at the rear end wall and opening out through the front end wall; and,

b. a molded plastic turn key in the form of a rigid hollow shaft of diameter between one fourth and three-fourths the inside diameter of said cylindrical portion of said housing integrally terminating at its front end in a flat circular disc means lying in a plane normal to the axis of the shaft, said disc means including an annular step at its periphery, said shaft including a slot in its wall parallel to its axis and extending from said disc means to open out at the rear end of said shaft, said rear end of said shaft having a slight flare in a radially outwardly direction, the rear end wall of said housing defining an opening coaxial with the axis of said cylindrical portion and having a diameter corresponding to the diameter of the main portion of said shaft, the front wall of said housing having an opening coaxial with the axis of said cylindrical portion and of a diameter corresponding to the diameter of said annular step in said disc means, the length of said shaft as measured from the back wall of the annular step on the disc means to the flared end being at least equal to the length of said housing as measured between the exterior surface of the front and rear end walls whereby the end of a tube to be squeezed can be slid into the slot of said shaft and the shaft then passed into the opening in said front wall with the tube passing along said aperture until the flared end of said shaft snaps into the 2. A device according to claim 1, in which the front face of said disc means includes an integrally formed turning handle extending diametrically across said face.

3. A device according to claim 1, in which the diameter of said front opening and annular step corresponds substantially to the inside diameter of said cylindrical portion.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1620748 *Oct 19, 1926Mar 15, 1927Baker Bertram FDispensing-tube holder
US3088632 *Jul 26, 1961May 7, 1963Thomas Hickey EdwardCollapsible tube dispenser
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4570828 *Apr 6, 1984Feb 18, 1986Wood Kenneth GFinger manipulated dispenser of viscous liquids from a flexible tube
US4576314 *Nov 16, 1983Mar 18, 1986Elias Abe GDevice for squeezing and winding collapsible tubes
US5097987 *Sep 25, 1990Mar 24, 1992Liberatore Raymond AApparatus for dispensing collapsible tube contents and methods of use thereof
US5215223 *Feb 10, 1992Jun 1, 1993Sang Suk LeeSqueezing and dispensing device
US5263610 *Feb 3, 1992Nov 23, 1993Cemedine Co., Ltd.Tool for squeezing out high-viscosity liquid from tube container
US5685457 *Apr 26, 1996Nov 11, 1997Liberatore; Raymond A.Snapped together tube and dispensing apparatus and method of making same
US5884812 *Jul 14, 1997Mar 23, 1999Stawowski; Jan-PiotrTube squeezer
US5960994 *Feb 8, 1999Oct 5, 1999Liberatore; Raymond A.Roll up tube dispenser apparatus
US6247618Oct 22, 1999Jun 19, 2001Raymond A. LiberatoreRoll up tube dispenser with shell housing
US6568564 *Jan 17, 2002May 27, 2003Bismark G. WheatleySoft tube dispenser apparatus
US8752733 *Apr 27, 2011Jun 17, 2014Lars RosaenRolling apparatus
US20120277081 *Apr 27, 2011Nov 1, 2012Lars RosaenRolling apparatus
USRE35587 *Nov 20, 1995Aug 19, 1997Cemedine Co. Ltd.Tool for squeezing out high-viscosity liquid from tube container
WO1992005082A1 *Sep 24, 1991Apr 2, 1992Raymond A LiberatoreApparatus for dispensing collapsible tube contents and methods of use thereof
Classifications
U.S. Classification222/100
International ClassificationB65D35/34, B65D35/24
Cooperative ClassificationB65D35/34
European ClassificationB65D35/34