Title:
DISPENSING DEVICE
United States Patent 3815787


Abstract:
A dispensing device for liquids or other flowable substances includes a receptacle adapted to hold a collapsible cartridge in which a charge of the substance is retained and an outer hand-controlled member adapted upon rotative movement to positively drive a carriage through the receptacle to compress the cartridge and force the substance through a unique nozzle assembly in a cap on the receptacle. The nozzle assembly includes a normally closed, spring-loaded pressure-sensitive dispensing slide disposed over a neck on the receptacle cap for axial sliding movement such that upon rotative movement of the hand-controlled member, the substance in the cartridge will exert pressure against the outer end of the dispensing slide to move the slide axially of the neck allowing the substance to flow from a discharge orifice in the dispensing slide.



Inventors:
SPIES H
Application Number:
05/321135
Publication Date:
06/11/1974
Filing Date:
01/05/1973
Assignee:
SPIES H,US
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
222/390, 222/492
International Classes:
A47J9/00; B65D83/00; (IPC1-7): B65D35/30
Field of Search:
222/92,95,387,390,325,326,327,491,492
View Patent Images:
US Patent References:
3085721Bottle closure and pourer1963-04-16Goldstein
2009761Dispensing device1935-07-30Calderara
1977869Collapsible container1934-10-23Ulm



Foreign References:
AT138102B1934-06-25
Primary Examiner:
Tollberg, Stanley H.
Assistant Examiner:
Martin, Larry H.
Claims:
What is claimed is

1. A dispensing device for selectively dispensing a semi-liquid product comprising in combination:

2. In the dispensing device of claim 1, further including guide means operatively interconnecting the hollow neck and the slide member to prevent relative rotation therebetween.

3. The dispensing device of claim 2 wherein the open end of said neck is beveled and wherein the closed end of the slide member is beveled to seat on the beveled end of the hollow neck whereby one side of the slide member is longer than the opposite side, and wherein said discharge orifice is disposed immediately adjacent the said closed end of the slide member on the longest side thereof so that when the product in the container is forced against the closed end of the slide member it will be urged by the bevelled closed end toward the discharge orifice.

Description:
The present invention generally concerns dispensing devices for flowable substances and more particularly concerns a dispenser for catsup, mustard and other products of similar consistency having a collapsible cartridge for retaining a charge of the substance and means for compressing the cartridge to force the substance retained therein through a pressure sensitive dispensing nozzle on the device.

Devices have been contrived for dispensing flowable substances such as grease, polish, glue, varnish, toothpaste, shaving creams and the like and some of these devices have taken the form of canisters or other receptacles having an outer rotative member adapted to advance a compression member through the receptacle to force the substance through a discharge opening in the device. An example of such a dispensing device is disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 2,009,761, issued to M. Calderara.

The dispensing device of the present invention is of the hand-operated type having a receptacle with an outer rotatable member adapted upon rotation to advance a carriage through the receptacle compressing and thereby controlling a replaceable cartridge in the receptacle to force the substance in the cartridge through a discharge orifice in the device. The dispensing device is unique in that it includes means for positively and selectively controlling the emission of the substance and seals the substance within the cartridge when it is not being emitted.

More particularly, the dispensing device of the present invention is a compact, simply constructed hand-operated device which includes a receptacle or main body adapted to receive a collapsible cartridge or container in which a charge of a liquid or other flowable substance is retained, and an outer hand-controlled member concentric with the receptacle and adapted to rotate thereabout to advance a carriage in a positively controlled manner through the receptacle compressing the collapsible cartridge to force emission of the substance through an opening in one end of the cartridge. The outer hand-controlled member has a spiral groove or threading in its inner surface which mates with and guides radially extending lugs on the carriage to maintain positive control of th pressure applied to the cartridge. The opening in the end of the cartridge is in fluid communication with a nozzle assembly mounted on the cap of the receptacle and has a dispensing slide mounted for axial movement along a narrow neck on the cap in allowing or preventing the emission of the semi-liquid product from the device. The dispensing slide is biased in an inward direction closing a discharge orifice on the slide whereby the flowable substance is normally sealed in the cartridge. Internal pressure applied against the outer end of the dispensing slide, as by the flowable substance when the carriage is moved against the cartridge, will cause the dispensing slide to move outwardly away from the cap to open the normally closed discharge orifice and allow the substance to flow under pressure from the device. Upon release of the pressure however, the discharge orifice is automatically closed and as will be appreciated from the detailed description hereinafter, the pressure necessary to open and close the discharge orifice is positively controlled by the outer rotatable member whereby when the outer member is not being rotated to apply pressure or when it is being counter-rotated, the dispensing slide will reliably remain in its normally closed position.

Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide a hand-operated dispenser for liquids or other flowable substances which can be closely controlled to dispense selected amounts of its contents.

It is another object of the present invention to provide a hand-operated dispenser adapted to apply predetermined pressure in forcing selected amounts of the contents through a normally closed and sealed discharge orifice and designed so that the discharge orifice is automatically closed when the pressure is released.

It is another object of the present invention to provide a dispensing device having a replaceable and collapsible cartridge for retention of a product to be dispensed, means for compressing the collapsible cartridge to force the product therein through an opening in the cartridge and a pressure sensitive nozzle arrangement which will only open to allow emission of the product when a preselected pressure is applied thereto by the product in the device.

It is another object of the present invention to provide a dispensing device having a receptacle with a collapsible product retaining cartridge therein and an outer rotatable hand-controlled member adapted to effect compression of the collapsible cartridge to force the product through a pressure sensitive dispensing nozzle on the receptacle.

It is still another object of the present invention to provide a dispensing device having means for compressing and collapsing a cartridge in which a semi-liquid product is retained such that the product will apply pressure to a dispensing slide on a nozzle assembly causing the slide to move and thereby selectively open a discharge orifice in the slide member allowing the product to be dispensed therefrom under pressure.

Other objects, advantages and capabilities of the present invention will become more apparent as the description proceeds taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the dispensing device of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a central vertical section taken through the dispensing device of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is an enlarged fragmentary sectional view of an upper portion of the device in FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is a section taken along lines 4--4 of FIG. 2;

FIG. 5 is a section taken along lines 5--5 of FIG. 2; and

FIG. 6 is an enlarged exploded perspective view of the dispensing device of FIG. 1.

Referring now more particularly to the drawings, a preferred embodiment of the dispensing device 10 of the present invention can be seen generally to include a receptacle or main body 12, a replaceable and collapsible cartridge or container 14 in which the substance to be dispensed is retained, an outer tubular advancement or control member 16 concentric with and rotatable about the receptacle 12 for advancing a carriage 18 through the receptacle to compress and thereby collapse the cartridge in forcing the substance out of the cartridge, and a pressure-sensitive nozzle assembly 20 through which the substance to be dispsnsed is emitted from the device.

The receptacle 12 is best seen in FIGS. 2 and 3 to include a thin-walled cylindrical inner body 22 with an integral relatively thick top section 24 which is externally threaded at 26 and includes a down-turned skirt or outer cylindrical body 28 which overlies, in spaced relation to, the upper portion of the inner body 22 defining an annular space 30 therebetween.

The tubular advancement or control member 16 is also cylindrical in configuration substantially corresponding in length to the inner body portion 22 of the receptacle 12 and is adapted to be rotatably disposed about the inner body 22 while extending into the annular space 30 between the inner body of the receptacle and the skirt 28. A bottom plate 32 has arcuate slots 34 which are sized to tightly receive protrusions 36 on the lower end of the inner body 22 in order to anchor the plate 32 to the inner body and retain the member 16 on the receptacle. The bottom plate 32 is slidably seated in an annular groove 38 at the lower end of the advancement member so that the advancement member is retained on the receptacle for rotative movement thereabout.

The carriage 18 comprises a solid disc-like member having four radially extending square-cornered lugs 40 spaced thereabout at 90° intervals. The diameter of the carriage is slightly less than the inner diameter of the inner body 22 of the receptacle 12 so that it can slide axially therethrough. The lugs 40 radiate outwardly a distance sufficient to extend through axially extending guide slots 42 in the inner body 22 of the receptacle and into an advancing spiral groove 44 in the inner surface of the tubular advancement member 16. The spiral groove 44 is of rectangular transverse cross-section to slidably mate with the square-cornered lugs 40 whereby the lugs are positively guided by the groove. The lugs are also sized to be slidable in the guide slots 42 in the inner body, as well as in the spiral groove 44, whereby the guide slots prevent relative rotation between the carriage 18 and the receptacle 12 but will allow the carriage to advance axially through the receptacle as the advancement member 16 is rotated about the inner body 22 causing the lugs to advance along the groove.

The cartridge 14 preferably is of a collapsible construction and, to this end, is made up of a flexible body portion 46 of a ductile material, such as plastic or metal foil with a smooth low friction outer surface. As shown, the cartridge is generally cylindrical with a disc-like bottom 48 and a top 50 with a central opening 52 therein through which the substance retained in the cartridge can pass. The top 50 is cupped and opens downwardly to define a lower concave surface 54 having a diameter slightly greater than the inner diameter of the receptacle 12 so that it can rest on the upper edge of the receptacle. The top edge of the body portion 46 of the cartridge 14 is bonded or affixed in any suitable manner to the outer surface of a concentric annular flange 56 depending from the lower concave surface 54 at a location spaced slightly inwardly from the outer peripheral edge of the top. The bottom edge of the body portion 46 is bonded or affixed in any suitable manner to an annular flange 58 on the bottom 48 circumscribing a raised central portion 60 having a convex top surface 62 corresponding to the concave lower surface 54 of the top 50. The cartridge 14 is supported by the receptacle so that, when the carriage 18 is disposed adjacent the bottom 32 of the receptacle, the collapsible cartridge will depend from the top section 24 of the receptacle and thereby fill the receptacle with the body portion 46 of the cartridge lying adjacent to the inner wall of the inner body 22. The central opening 52 in the top 50 passes through a raised externally threaded neck 62 providing a passage through which the dispensable substance in the cartridge is free to pass.

A cap 64 for the dispenser 10, best seen in FIGS. 3 and 6, comprises a downwardly opening cupped body with a hollow upwardly extending and centrally located neck 66. The cap 64 has internal threads around the inner surface of a downward flange 68 around its outer perimeter adapted to mate with the external threads 26 on the top section 24 of the receptacle whereby the cap can be securely but releasably attached to the receptacle. Of course, as can be seen in FIGS. 2 and 3, when a cartridge is disposed in the receptacle, and the cap is tightened onto the receptacle, the cartridge will be pressed against the top edge of the receptacle thereby securely positioning and retaining the cartridge in place. The neck 66 is circumferentially stepped down in an upward direction defining a base portion 70, an intermediate portion 72 and a relatively long and thin outer portion 74, each coaxial with the other. The base portion 70 of the hollow neck is internally threaded to mate with the external threads on the neck 62 of the collapsible cartridge 14 whereby the cartridge can be releasably secured to the cap. The intermediate portion 72 of the neck 66 has external threads 76, for a reason to be explained hereinafter, and the outer portion 74 of the neck 66 comprises an elongated tubular extension away from the intermediate portion 72 having a smooth outer surface with an axially extending key or spline 78 along one side protruding away therefrom. The outermost end of the outer portion 74 of the neck is open and bevelled for a purpose to be explained hereinafter.

It can, therefore, be seen that the collapsible cartridge 14 is quickly and easily attached to the cap 64 of the dispenser device in sealed relation therewith and the cap, in turn, is quickly and releasably attached to the receptacle 12 with the opening 52 out of the cartridge aligned with the opening through the neck 66 of the cap. In this manner, the collapsible cartridge is desirably retained within the receptacle whereby upon rotative movement of the advancement member 16 about the inner body portion 22 of the receptacle causing the carriage 18 to advance axially through the receptacle, the carriage will apply a compressive force against the bottom of the cartridge causing the substance within the cartridge to be forced through the central opening 52 in the top of the cartridge and through the neck 66 of the cap as the flexible body portion 46 of the cartridge collapses within the receptacle.

To prevent the substance within the collapsible cartridge 14 from escaping except when a predetermined pressure is exerted on the cartridge by the carriage 18, the nozzle assembly 20 is mounted on the neck 66 of the cap 64 to selectively open and close the outer end of the neck and thereby control the emission of the product from the dispenser. The nozzle assembly is best seen in FIGS. 3 and 6 to comprise a cylindrical dispensing slide 80 having an outer concentric flange 82 adjacent to its lower open end, a coil spring 84 disposed concentrically around the dispensing slide, and a retention collar 86 adapted to slidably secure the slide member to the neck of the cap. The dispensing slide fits snugly around the outer portion 74 of the neck 66 and the uppermost end 88 of the dispensing slide is closed and bevelled to correspond with the bevel on the end of the neck 66 so that one side of the slide is longer than its opposite side. An axially extending keyway or slot 90 is provided along the long side of the dispensing slide 80 and opens through the bottom end of the dispensing slide to slidably mate with the key 78 on the neck 66. A discharge orifice 92 is provided in the longer side of the dispensing slide, adjacent to the uppermost end thereof, through which the substance in the collapsible cartridge can easily flow under conditions to be explained hereinafter. The retention collar 86 is also cylindrical and has an inner diameter slightly larger than the outer diameter of the flange 82 on the bottom of the dispensing slide and has an internally threaded bottom portion adapted to be threadedly received on the externally threaded intermediate portion 72 of the neck of the cap. The top of the retention collar 86 is conically shaped with a central opening therethrough slightly larger than the external diameter of the dispensing slide. The conical top presents an upper abutment surface for the compression spring 84, which seats at its opposite end on the flange 82 of the dispensing slide, to bias the dispensing slide downwardly whereby the discharge orifice 92 at the outer end of the slide is blocked by the side wall of the outer portion 74 of the neck. It will be appreciated that the snug fit of the slide member on the neck 66 will effectively seat the discharge opening when it is blocked by the side wall of the outer portion 74. However, when a selected pressure is exerted against the beveled outer end 88 of the dispensing slide sufficient to overcome the spring bias, the dispensing slide will slide outwardly along the neck of the cap until it reaches a point at which the discharge orifice 92 is no longer covered by the outer portion 74 of the neck. At this point the substance within the dispenser is allowed to flow through the discharge orifice, as long as pressure is maintained on the substance by the carriage 18 moving against the bottom 48 of the cartridge, and the product is urged toward the discharge orifice by the beveled outer end 88 of the slide. Whenever the pressure against the bottom of the cartridge is released either by counter-rotative movement of the advancement member 16 or by stopping the rotative movement of the advancement member, the coil spring is of sufficient strength to force the dispensing slide downwardly to close the orifice and prevent the flow of material therethrough.

It will, therefore, be appreciated that a dispensing device has been described which is simple in construction, reliable in operation and utilizes a replaceable or refill cartridge for retention of a flowable substance such as catsup, mustard or other product of similar consistency. The pressure sensitive dispensing nozzle assembly used with the device effectively seals the cartridge when the discharge orifice is closed but reliably opens the discharge orifice when a predetermined pressure is applied by the rotatable outer member. The cartridge may be marketed apart from the remainder of the dispenser device so that after the contents of the cartridge are removed, the cartridge can be replaced with a full cartridge simply by removing the top of the dispenser and replacing the emptied cartridge with a full cartridge.

Although the present invention has been described with a certain degree of particularity, it is understood that the present disclosure has been made by way of example and that changes in details of structure may be made without departing from the spirit thereof.