|Publication number||USRE40319 E1|
|Application number||US 11/197,729|
|Publication date||May 20, 2008|
|Filing date||Aug 5, 2005|
|Priority date||Mar 20, 2001|
|Publication number||11197729, 197729, US RE40319 E1, US RE40319E1, US-E1-RE40319, USRE40319 E1, USRE40319E1|
|Inventors||Heiner Ophardt, Ali Mirbach|
|Original Assignee||Hygiene-Technik Inc.|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (9), Referenced by (19), Classifications (3), Legal Events (2)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
This application is a continuation-in-part of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/965,821, filed Oct. 1, 2001 and issued as U.S. Pat. No. 6,409,050 on Jun. 25, 2002.
This invention relates to liquid dispensers and, more particularly, liquid dispensers to dispensing liquid as a foam.
Liquid dispensers for dispensing soaps and other similar fluids in liquid form are known. For various reasons in some applications, it is preferable to dispense soaps and other similar fluids in the form of a foam. Generally, in the form of a foam, less soap liquid is required to be used as contrasted with the soap in the liquid form. As well, soap as foam is less likely to run off a user's hands or other surfaces to be cleaned.
Known liquid dispensers for dispensing foams include the dispenser taught by U.S. Pat. No. 5,445,288 to Banks, issued Jul. 29, 1995. A disadvantage which the present inventor has appreciated with dispensers such as those taught by Banks is that when used with a non-collapsible or rigid sealed container of soap liquid, a vacuum comes to be developed in the container which renders the dispenser inoperative.
Known liquid dispensers for dispensing liquids without foaming of the liquids are also known. The present inventor has also appreciated that many such dispensers also suffer the disadvantage that they are not suitable for use with non-collapsible or rigid sealed containers since the pumps develop a vacuum in the container. Non-collapsible or rigid sealed containers have the disadvantage of requiring various one-way valve mechanisms to permit air to enter the containers under vacuum to equalize the pressure in the containers with atmospheric pressure. Such one-way valves typically suffer the disadvantage that they maintain at least some vacuum pressure differential in the container and with many viscous soaps, the presence of even a slight vacuum can negatively affect dispensing.
The present inventor has also appreciated that known soap dispensers suffer the disadvantage that they do not permit for positive replacement of air for liquid dispensed from a liquid reservoir and/or do not permit a positive pressure to develop in a container.
To at least partially overcome these disadvantages of previously known devices, the present invention provides a pump for dispensing fluid which provides for a positive replacement of liquid dispensed from a container, preferably with atmospheric air. The present invention also provides a pump for dispensing liquid in the form of a foam preferably without creating a vacuum in a non-collapsible or rigid sealed container.
An object of the present invention is to provide an improved pump for dispensing a liquid.
Another object is to provide an improved pump for dispensing a liquid in the form of a foam.
Another object is to provide a pump for dispensing liquid from a non-collapsible or rigid sealed container without creating a vacuum in the container.
Another object is to provide a pump which provides for positive replacement of liquid dispensed from a container by atmospheric air.
Accordingly, in one aspect, the present invention provides a pump for dispensing liquid from a reservoir comprising:
Preferably, the pump includes a porous member in the passageway between the inlet and the outlet for generating turbulence in fluid passing therethrough to generate foam when air and liquid pass therethrough simultaneously.
In preferred embodiments, the pump assembly provides for direct replacement of volumes of liquid from a reservoir with equal volumes of air preferably at substantially atmospheric pressure, the same pressure or with pressure equalization to be at least equal to atmospheric pressure. A slide arrangement preferably positively displaces liquid from the reservoir and air into the reservoir. The pump draws air from the atmosphere into a chamber from which the air either is available for passage to replace liquid from the reservoir or is pressurized to assist dispensing liquid, preferably, admixing with the liquid to provide foaming. Gravity separation of air and liquid to be dispensed is used to replace liquid with air in the reservoir and to selectively place air and liquid into communication with passageways for ejection.
Further aspects and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following description taken together with the accompanying drawings in which:
Reference is made first to
Piston 14 is axially slidably received in the body 12. The piston 14 has an elongate stem 38 upon which four disks are provided at axially spaced locations. An inner sealing disk 40 is provided at an innermost end spaced axially from an intermediate sealing disk 42 which, in turn, is spaced axially from an outer sealing disk 44. The inner sealing disk 40 and intermediate sealing disk 42 are adapted to be axially slidable within the inner chamber 18. Each of the inner sealing disk 40 and intermediate sealing disk 42 extend radially outwardly from the stem 38 so as to be adapted to sealably engage the side wall 28 of the inner chamber 18.
The outer sealing disk 44 is adapted to be axially slidable within the outer cylindrical chamber 20. The outer sealing disk 44 extends radially outwardly from the stem 38 to sealably engage the side wall 36 of the outer chamber 20.
The piston 14 essentially forms, as defined between the inner sealing disk 40 and the intermediate sealing disk 42, an annular inner compartment 64 which opens radially outwardly as an annular opening between the disks 42 and 44. Similarly, the piston 14 effectively forms between the intermediate sealing disk 42 and the outer sealing disk 44 an annular outer compartment 66 which opens radially outwardly as an annular opening between the disks 42 and 44.
An outermost portion of the stem 38 is hollow with a central passageway 46 extending from an outlet 48 at the outermost end 50 of the stem 38 centrally through the stem 38 to a closed inner end 52. Radially extending inlets 53 and 54 extend radially through the stem into the passageway 46, with the inlets 53 and 54 being provided on the stem in between the outer sealing disk 44 and the intermediate sealing disk 42. A foam inducing screen 56 is provided in the passageway 46 intermediate between the inlets 53 and 54 and the outlet 48. The screen 56 may be fabricated of plastic, wire or cloth material. It may comprise a porous ceramic measure. The screen 56 provides small apertures through which an air and liquid mixture may be passed to aid foam production as by production of turbulent flow through small pores or apertures of the screen thereof in a known manner.
The piston 14 also carries an engagement flange or disk 62 on the stem outward from the outer sealing disk 44. Engagement disk 62 is provided for engagement by an activating device in order to move the piston 14 in and out of the body 12.
Reference is now made to
Support plate 84 carries at a forward portion thereof an actuating lever 88 journalled for pivoting about a horizontal axis at 90. An upper end of the lever 88 carries a hook 94 to engage engagement disk 62 and couple lever 88 to piston 14, such that movement of the lower handle end 96 of lever 88 from the dashed line position to the solid line position, in the direction indicated by arrow 98 slides piston 14 inwardly in a retraction pumping stroke as indicated by arrow 100. On release of the lower handle end 96, spring 102 biases the upper portion of lever 88 downwardly so that the lever draws piston 14 outwardly to a fully withdrawn position as seen in dashed lines in FIG. 1. Lever 88 and its inner hook 94 are adapted to permit manual coupling and uncoupling of the hook 94 as is necessary to remove and replace reservoir 60 and pump assembly 10.
In use of the dispenser 70, once exhausted, the empty reservoir 60 together with the attached pump 10 are removed and a new reservoir 60 and attached pump 10 may be inserted into the housing. Preferably, the removed reservoir 60 with its attached pump 10 are both made entirely out of recyclable plastic material which can easily be recycled without the need for disassembly prior to cutting and shredding.
Reference is now made to
In the fully extended position as seen in
As seen in FIG. 4 and in every position which the piston 14 can assume in each of
In the fully extended position shown in
In moving from the fully extended position of
In moving from the position of
Air which is within the inner compartment 64 in the intermediate position shown in
On the piston reaching the intermediate position shown in
As seen in
An extension cycle is now discussed referring to the movement of the piston from the position of
In the position of
From the intermediate position shown in
It is to be appreciated that the relative volume of the inner compartment 64 and outer compartment 66 may be chosen so as to have a desired proportion of liquid and air in the combined inner compartment 64 and outer compartment 66 in the fully extended position and, preferably, with volume of liquid such that a level of liquid in the compartment 66 below the inlet 53 but above the inlet 54.
The fact that in the first embodiment air is drawn upwardly through the outlet 48 can be of assistance in reducing dripping of foam and liquid and, as well, can be of assistance in ensuring a mixture of liquid and foam in the passageway 46 above the screen 56 in a subsequent retraction stroke when liquid and air are to be dispensed.
The relative amounts of air and liquid in the compartments 64 and 66 in the fully extended position as well as the manner and nature of the inlets 53 and 54 can be significant as, for example, to determine the extent to which air may be compressed in the outer chamber 20 which can have an effect on the velocity of air flowing through the screen 56 and, hence, the extent to which foaming may be accomplished.
The preferred embodiment illustrated in
Having the condition arise that neither the inner sealing disk 40 nor the intermediate sealing disk 42 seal the inner chamber 18 for at least a small portion of the stroke can be advantageous to permit equalization of the pressures in the reservoir and in the outer compartment 66 as may be useful, for example, to assist in ensuring that a vacuum does not arise in the interior of the reservoir and/or to reduce the likelihood of preventing an unduly large positive pressure from being developed within the reservoir.
The pump could alternatively be structured so as to provide with each stroke a small amount of air under pressure into the interior of the reservoir, which positive pressure, provided it is not dangerous to the integrity of the container, can assist in urging liquid to exit the reservoir into the inner chamber 18 when the inner sealing disc 40 is not sealing entry into the inner chamber 18.
The length of the stroke of the piston as, for example, from the intermediate position to the fully extended position can be varied so as to control the amount of air which is drawn into the outer chamber 20. The length of the stroke by which the piston 14 is moved from the intermediate position to the fully retracted position can be varied to control the extent to which liquid and air may be expelled in any stroke.
Reference is now made to
The outer chamber 20 is formed radially inwardly of the outer tubular portion 108 having a side wall 36 thereabout and open at its outlet opening 34. As shown, the side wall 36 tapers outwardly at chamfers 35 proximate the outlet opening 34 to facilitate entry of the piston 14.
An inner chamber 18 is formed radially inwardly of the inner tubular portion 112. The inner tubular portion 112 defines an outlet opening 26 of the inner chamber 18 and a side wall 28 thereof. The inner chamber 18 has its side wall 28 taper outwardly as a chamfer 25 proximate the outlet opening 26 to facilitate entry of the piston into the inner chamber 18. The side wall 28 has a portion 27 of constant diameter between chamfer 25 and an axially inwardly spaced chamfer 29. The side wall 28 of the inner chamber 18 has a portion 31 of increased diameter relative to the constant diameter portion 27 spaced axially inwardly from the constant diameter portion 27 by chamfer 29. The increased diameter portion 31 permits fluid flow inwardly and outwardly in the inner chamber 18 past the inner disk 40 of the piston 14 when the piston 14 is in the fully withdrawn position as seen in
The inner tubular portion 112, outer tubular portion 108, inner chamber 18 and outer chamber 20 are each coaxial about axis 22.
The inner tubular portion 112 extends axially inwardly from flange portion 110 as a series of circumferentially spaced arms 114, only one of which is shown cross-sectioned on the left-hand side of
As best seen in
The outer casing 120 is of enlarged diameter at its axially inner end where the outer disk 44 is provided. The outer disk 44 is shown as including a locating flange 128 to locatably engage the cylindrical side wall 36 of the outer chamber 20 and a resilient flexible circular sealing disk 130 which sealably engages the side wall 36 and prevents flow of fluids axially outwardly therepast.
The outer casing 120 is shown with the outer disk 44 carried as a radially outwardly extending flange on a cylindrical large tube portion 132 which extends axially outwardly to a radially inwardly extending shoulder 134 supporting a small tube portion 136 extending axially outwardly from the shoulder 134 to the outlet 48. Outer screen 57 is located on the shoulder 134. Outer screen 57 is held on the shoulder 134 by the annular spacer ring 126 spaced outward of an inner screen 56. The inner core 122 sandwiches the outer screen 57 onto the ring 126. The inner core 122 also carries the plug 124 coaxially extending inwardly into the inner core 122 inwardly of the outer screen 57.
The inner core 122 carries the inner disk 40 and the intermediate disk 42. Each of the inner disk 40 and intermediate disk 42 comprise circular resilient flexible disks each of which extends radially outwardly and away from the outlet 48. Each of the inner flexible 40 and intermediate flexible disk 42, when engaged with the constant diameter portion 27 of the inner chamber 18, prevent fluid flow axially outwardly therepast through the inner chamber 18, however, are adapted to have their resilient outer edges deflect radially inwardly to permit fluid flow, under pressure differentials above a predetermined pressure, axially inwardly past the disks.
As seen in
The inner core 122 has a hollow bore 140 closed at an axial inner end at 142 and open at an axial outer end. The plug 124 is coaxially received within the bore 140 at the axial outer end. The plug 124 has an elongate body 143 which extends inwardly into the bore 140. The plug 124 has a radially extending base 144 at its outer end with a plurality of circumferentially spaced opening 146 therethrough. The body 143 of the plug 124 carries an integral central sealing disk 148 which extends radially outwardly from the body 143 to engage the side wall of the bore 140. The central sealing disk 148 has a deformable edge portion which engages the side wall of the bore 140 to prevent fluid flow axially inwardly therepast in the bore, however, permits fluid flow outwardly therepast under pressures above a predetermined pressure necessary to deflect the central sealing disk 148 out from engagement with the side wall of the bore.
The inner core 122 includes a cylindrical lower portion 123 which has a plurality of flutes at circumferentially spaced locations thereabout which effectively form with the outer casing 120 peripheral passageways 152 which extend axially. Passageways 152 are open to the outer compartment 66 between disks 42 and 44 at openings 150 at the inner ends of the passageways. At the outer ends, the passageways 152 join radial inlets 54 in the lower portion 123 which provide communication into the central bore 140.
Radially extending inlet 53 extends into the bore 140 from the outer compartment 66 between the intermediate disk 42 and the outer disk 44.
The piston 14 provides a common flow path which is provided for flow of fluids in the bore 140 immediately inwardly above the base 144 of the plug 124, through the openings 146 in the base 144 of the plug 124, through the inner screen 57, through a hollow central opening 127 in the spacer ring 126, through the outer screen 56 and, hence, through the smaller tube portion 136 to the outlet 48. However, the piston 14 provides two different pathways for flow of fluid from the outer compartment 66 to the openings 146 in the base 144 of the plug 124.
A first pathway permits flow via openings 152, peripheral passageways 150 and inlets 54 into the bore 140. The first pathway permits fluid flow both inwardly and outwardly and is particularly adapted to receive any liquid which under gravity flows down to the lower and axially outermost portion of the outer compartment 66 where the openings 150 to the peripheral passageways 150 are provided.
A second pathway provides flow via the inlet 53 into the bore 140 and past the central sealing disk 148 to the openings 146 in the base 144 of the plug 124. It is to be appreciated that this second pathway is only open to fluid flow outwardly from the outer compartment 66 since the central sealing disk 148 prevents fluid flow inwardly therepast. Preferably, as shown, the inlets 53 are disposed at an axial inner location in the outer compartment 66 so as to be more likely to have the inlet 53 receive air which will rise to the upper and axial inner end of the upper compartment 64 underneath the intermediate disk 42 and be found above a level of liquid in the lower outer compartment 66.
Operation of the second embodiment of
In a fully extended position as seen in
In the fully extended position as seen in
In the fully retracted position as shown in
In a retraction stroke, on moving from the position of
The resistance of liquid flowing from the peripheral passageways 152, inlet 54, openings 146 in the plug 124 and through the screens 56 and 57 requires a pressure on the liquid sufficiently to force the liquid therethrough. The central sealing disk 148 is preferably selected so that air pressurized to a pressure at least equal to that required to overcome the resistance to liquid flow will be required for air flow past the central sealing disk 148. Providing the air to be pressurized to pass by the central sealing disk 148 is of assistance in providing for turbulent air flow through the screens 56 and 57 which, when liquid has also been passed through the screens, provides for preferred foaming as liquid and air are passed effectively simultaneously through the screens.
In an extension stroke on moving from the position of
As shown in
In a withdrawal stroke, to the extent that a vacuum may come to be developed in the inner compartment 64 and/or in the reservoir 60, this vacuum can be relieved by reason of fluid flow inwardly past each of the inner disk 40 and intermediate disk 42. It is to be appreciated, however, that the development of a continuous vacuum within the reservoir 60 in preferred operation of the pump assembly 10 should be avoided, however, a temporary vacuum can assist in drawing air upwardly from the inner compartment 64.
Reference is made to
Center plug 156 of
The tubular member 158 is disposed coaxially in bore 140 so as to provide an annular passageway 166 annularly about the tubular member 158.
The embodiment of
This pathway can be selected to have a relative length and relative cross-section which resists flow of fluid inwardly and outwardly therethrough and, particularly, can assist in preventing liquid from dripping out the outlet 48 as when the pump assembly is left inactive as, for example, in positions similar to that of
The relative vertical height of the inner opening 162 to the tubular member 158 relative the outer compartment 66 can determine the level of liquid which will be maintained in the outer compartment 66 if the liquid is free to drip under gravity out of the outlet 48.
The relative volume of fluid which would be required to fill the compartment 66, passageway 152, inlets 54 and passageway 166 to a height of the inner opening 162 may advantageously be selected towards assisting in gauging the volume of fluid to be held in the outer compartment 66. The embodiment of
Reference is made to
To assist, or provide at least some foaming, an inlet similar to inlet 53 in
Reference is made to
The body 12 in
The piston 14 in
The air pump disk 180 includes a locating flange 184 to locatably engage the cylindrical side wall 174 and a resilient flexible circular sealing disc 186 which sealably engages the side wall 174 and prevents flow of fluids axially outwardly therepast. An air chamber 186 is defined between the air chamber-forming member 172 and the air pump disk 180 which will increase and decrease in volume as the piston 14 is moved axially in the body 12 between the extended and retracted positions. The air chamber 186 is in communication with the bore 140 via the neck tube 182.
In reciprocal sliding of the piston 14 from the retracted position shown in
It is to be appreciated that the nature of the liquid to be dispensed including its viscosity and flow characteristics will be important in order for a person skilled in the art to make suitable selection of the relative sizes and dimensions and resistance to flow provided by the various passageways, inlets, outlets and screens and/or past the various disks including the central sealing disk 148. As well, the quantity of liquid desired to be dispensed in each stroke will have a bearing on the relative proportion and sizing of the components including particularly the inner compartment 64, outer compartment 66 and the axial length of a stroke of the piston.
In the preferred embodiments, the engagement disk 62 is provided on the piston 14 for engagement to move the piston inwardly and outwardly. It is to be appreciated that various other mechanisms can be provided for engagement and movement of the piston relative the body 12.
The preferred embodiments show dispensers for passing liquid and air through screens 56 and 57 to dispense the liquid as a foam. The screens 56 and 57 can be eliminated in which case the dispensers illustrated could serve to dispense liquid without foaming yet to deliver quantities of air to the reservoir and, in the context of a reservoir which is a sealed rigid container, prevent the build up of a vacuum in the container.
The preferred embodiments of the invention show passages for dispensing of the air and/or liquid as being provided internally within a piston. Such an arrangement is believed preferred from the point of view of ease of construction of the pump assembly 10. However, it is to be appreciated that passageways for dispensing the liquid and/or foam may be provided, at least partially, as part of the body 12 or removably mounted to the body 12.
In accordance with the preferred embodiment illustrated, the relative buoyancy of air within the liquid and, hence, the separation of air and liquid due to gravity are utilized as, for example, to permit air in the compartment 64 to flow upwardly into the reservoir 60 and liquid in the reservoir 60 to flow downwardly into the inner compartment 64 as, for example, when the inner compartment 64 is open to the reservoir. It is to be appreciated, therefore, that the pump assembly in accordance with the presence invention should typically be disposed with what has been referred to as the inner end of the pump assembly at a height above the height of the outer outlet end.
While this invention has been described with reference to preferred embodiments, the invention is not so limited. Many modifications and variations will now occur to persons skilled in the art. For a definition of the invention, reference is made to the appended claims.
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|US9565977||Jan 27, 2015||Feb 14, 2017||Gojo Industries, Inc.||Dispensers and refill units having collapsible outlet tubes|
|US20060261092 *||May 18, 2006||Nov 23, 2006||Heiner Ophardt||Severable piston pump|
|US20080197209 *||Nov 13, 2007||Aug 21, 2008||Nordson Corporation||Apparatus and method for dispensing a mixture of a gas and a fluid material|
|US20090145296 *||Dec 3, 2008||Jun 11, 2009||Heiner Ophardt||Angled slot foam dispenser|
|US20090308894 *||Jun 11, 2009||Dec 17, 2009||Heiner Ophardt||Withdrawal discharging piston pump|
|US20100140879 *||Dec 5, 2008||Jun 10, 2010||Heiner Ophardt||Piston with guide rings|
|US20100232997 *||Feb 16, 2010||Sep 16, 2010||Heiner Ophardt||Doubled seal disk for piston pump|
|US20110132933 *||Nov 24, 2010||Jun 9, 2011||Heiner Ophardt||Piston with frangible piston stop|
|Nov 16, 2010||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 8
|Dec 9, 2014||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 12