Title:
DRINKING BOTTLE WITH MULTIPLE COMPARTMENTS AND REPLACEABLE AMPOULES
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A drinking bottle (100) having at east one liquid reservoir (120, 140), at least one replaceable substrate ampoule (200) and means for breaking a liquid proof seal (206) between the substrate ampoule (200) and the liquid reservoir. The substrate ampoule (200) comprises a drinking tube (210) with a distal drinking nipple (211), where the drinking tube (210) is disposed axially displaceable in relation to the ampoule (200) between an inner position where liquid cannot flow from the liquid reservoir (120, 140) to the interior of the drinking tube (210), and an outer position where liquid can flow from the liquid reservoir (120, 140) to the interior of the drinking tube (210). The drinking bottle (100) makes t possible to bring along several substrate ampoules (200) with various contents that can be mixed with liquid from the liquid reservoir (120, 140). The bottle can also provide doses of liquid. As the drinking tube (210) is part of the ampoule (200), problems with cleaning a drinking tube with a drinking valve are avoided. Applications include drinks for sports, administration and dosage of medication etc.



Inventors:
Knutsen, Stian Valentin (Nesbru, NO)
Application Number:
13/520071
Publication Date:
01/03/2013
Filing Date:
12/30/2010
Assignee:
KNUTSEN STIAN VALENTIN
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
215/6, 53/474
International Classes:
B65D25/08; B65B3/04; B65D1/04; B65D81/32
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
BUI, LUAN KIM
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
WENDEROTH, LIND & PONACK, L.L.P. (1030 15th Street, N.W., Suite 400 East Washington DC 20005-1503)
Claims:
1. A drinking bottle having at least one liquid reservoir, at least one replaceable substrate ampoule and means for breaking a liquid proof seal between the substrate ampoule and the liquid reservoir, wherein characterised in that the substrate ampoule comprises a drinking tube with a distal drinking nipple, where the drinking tube is disposed axially displaceable in relation to the ampoule between an inner position where liquid cannot flow from the liquid reservoir to the interior of the drinking tube, and an outer position where liquid can flow from the liquid reservoir to the interior of the drinking tube.

2. The drinking bottle according to claim 1, wherein drinking tube comprises at least one drinking valve adapted to close the drinking tube temporarily.

3. The drinking bottle according to claim 1, further comprising a top part releasable attached to a bottle body, where the top part contains room(s) for at least one substrate ampoule.

4. The drinking bottle according to claim 1, wherein the liquid reservoir comprises a mixing chamber disposed between a substrate ampoule and a reservoir chamber.

5. The drinking bottle according to claim 4, wherein the mixing chamber is disposed within the top part.

6. The drinking bottle according to claim 4, wherein the mixing chamber is disposed within the bottle body.

7. The drinking bottle according to claim 5, wherein a check valve is disposed between the reservoir chamber and the mixing chamber, whereby the mixing chamber can be used to provide doses of liquid.

8. The drinking bottle according to claim 1, wherein the liquid reservoir has a flexible wall adapted to reduce the volume of the liquid reservoir, and where the liquid reservoir has an outlet for liquid.

9. The drinking bottle according to claim 6, further comprising a bottom part which is fluid tight affixed to the body and rotatable between an open position where a channel forms a fluid connection between the reservoir chamber and the mixing chamber, and a closed position where the channel does not form a fluid connection between the reservoir chamber and the mixing chamber.

10. The drinking bottle according to claim 3, wherein the top part is rotatable relative to the bottle body about the main axis of the bottle body, whereby the substrate ampoule can be rotated to an opening to the liquid reservoir.

11. The drinking bottle according to claim 1, wherein the seal is a part of the bottom of the substrate ampoule adapted to be opened by a force applied through the drinking tube.

12. The drinking bottle according to claim 1, wherein the substrate ampoule comprises a flexible and liquid proof bellow affixed to an outer surface of the drinking tube and to the outer shell of the substrate ampoule.

13. The drinking bottle according to claim 1, wherein the substrate ampoule contains a filter and/or other water purification means.

14. A method for providing a liquid with desired quality in a drinking bottle for consumption, the method comprising: disposing at least one replaceable substrate ampoule in the drinking bottle, filling at least one liquid reservoir with a desired liquid, opening a seal between a substrate ampoule and the liquid reservoir, and pulling a drinking tube out of the ampoule.

15. The method according to claim 14, wherein the step of filling the mixing chamber comprises manually opening and closing a fluid channel between the reservoir chamber and the mixing chamber.

16. The drinking bottle according to claim 6, wherein a check valve is disposed between the reservoir chamber and the mixing chamber, whereby the mixing chamber can be used to provide doses of liquid.

Description:

BACKGROUND

1. Field of the invention

This invention concerns a drinking bottle with replaceable ampoules.

2. Prior and related art

It is sometimes desirable to mix a powder or liquid concentrate in a liquid. Examples include, but are not limited to, salts, glucose, proteins etc. in a sports drink, medicine in water, medicine in medicine, chocolate in milk, taste additives and/or alcohol in a drink, etc. WO 2008/102981 A2 and WO 2007/134392 A2 shows examples on how a predetermined amount substrate or concentrate can be contained and sealed in a bottle, i.e. in a ‘substrate ampoule’ without fluid connection to a volume of liquid in the bottle. The seal can be broken immediately before use by a relative motion between the bottle and the ‘ampoule’ or substrate chamber. When the seal is broken, the substrate is mixed into a known volume of liquid. The mixture thereby gets a known concentration and can be consumed.

For sports and other physical activity it is advantageous to add different substrates in different concentrations depending on activity. For example, there may be a need for different concentrations of sugar and salts during training than during a competition or restitution. In such cases, it is desirable to have several premeasured substrate doses that can be mixed into known volumes of liquid.

Additionally, for a number of sports activities it is in addition advantageous to be able to administer the amount of liquid. For example, it is advantageous to be able to drink a known amount of liquid with a known content at known intervals in marathon races, bicycle competitions, cross country skiing competitions and other endurance sports.

Further, during physical activities it is advantageous to use bottles with a drinking valve, hereinafter ‘drinking bottles’ for simplicity. Such bottles have a drinking nipple that can be pulled out axially along the main axis of the bottle using the teeth and one hand. When the drinking nipple is pulled out, two concentric tubes are displaced axially so that radially extending openings in the tubes become aligned and opens for a flow of liquid from the interior of the bottle to the drinking nipple. The bottle is closed by pushing the drinking nipple back to its initial position.

One problem with such known drinking bottles is that they have one chamber, and thus in principle can contain one liquid mixture at a time. This mixture can in principle be replaced with a premixed drink when required. In this case, the user must bring along a number of premixed mixtures if he or she desires different drinks adapted to the boy's needs e.g. before, during and after training, before, during and after a competition, etc. Alternatively, the user can bring along a number of bags of powder and mix the correct bag for each purpose in water before use. If the amount of powder or concentrate is not adapted to the volume of the drinking bottle, the powder or concentrate must also be weighed or dosed before use in order to obtain desired concentration of the different substances.

Hence, it is desirable to combine the said ampoules containing a predetermined substrate with a drinking bottle of the type with a pull-out drinking nipple.

U.S. Pat. No. 7,150,369 B1 describes a baby bottle with two chambers, wherein the first chamber is a conventional bottle with a reservoir of liquid and the second chamber contains breast-milk substitute or substrate. The substrate chamber is screwed onto the top of the bottle, and a conventional cap with a baby nipple is in turn screwed onto the substrate chamber. A valve between the reservoir of liquid and the substrate chamber controls the amount of liquid that is being let into the substrate chamber. This patent thus combine a substrate chamber and a reservoir of liquid, but it does not satisfy the need for several ampoules with different substrates or the need for administering doses of liquid.

Another problem with known drinking bottles of the type with a pull-out drinking nipple is cleaning of the drinking tube. The drinking valve comprises, as mentioned above, typically two concentric plastic tubes that are displaced relative to each other by an axial motion. This drinking valve is typically permanently disposed on a threaded cap which is unscrewed whenever the bottle is to be filled.

and the same drinking tube is thus used in essentially the entire lifetime of the bottle. The annular space between the tubes is difficult to access for cleaning, but can give good conditions for growth for algae, bacteria, fungi and other microorganisms, which have an abundant access to water, minerals, glucose and other nutrients from the drink(s) that are, or have been, in the bottle.

There are also known ampoules containing filters and/or other means to remove microorganisms and contamination from water. In some contexts it will be desirable to use such an ampoule in combination with a reservoir of liquid in order to avoid infections and/or poisoning. It should be understood that ‘substrate’ here and in the claims is meant to comprise filters and/or other means for water purification for such ampoules.

One problem intended to be solved by the present invention is thus to provide an improved drinking bottle where different prescriptions can be provided for different needs.

A second problem intended to be solved by the invention is a need for administering an amount of liquid to the user.

A third problem intended to be solved is to provide a drinking bottle with the advantages of the bottles from prior art, but having reduced requirements for cleaning drinking tubes.

A fourth problem intended to be solved it to offer the user a drink with desired quality, both regarding concentration of contents in the drink and with respect to absence of microorganisms and other contamination.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

These problems are solved according to the invention by providing a drinking bottle having at east one liquid reservoir, at least one replaceable substrate ampoule and means for breaking a liquid proof seal between the substrate ampoule and the liquid reservoir, distinguished in that the substrate ampoule comprises a drinking tube with a distal drinking nipple, where the drinking tube is disposed axially displaceable in relation to the ampoule between an inner position where liquid cannot flow from the liquid reservoir to the interior of the drinking tube, and an outer position where liquid can flow from the liquid reservoir to the interior of the drinking tube.

The invention also comprises a method for providing a liquid with desired quality in a drinking bottle for consumption, distinguished by disposing at least one replaceable substrate ampoule in the drinking bottle, filling at least one liquid reservoir with a desired liquid, opening a seal between a substrate ampoule and the liquid reservoir and pulling a drinking tube out of the ampoule.

The substrate ampoule can contain additives to be mixed in a liquid to a known concentration or a filter and/or other water purification means. The bottle can advantageously comprise a top part with room for several replaceable ampoules that can be opened towards a mixing chamber one after another. The bottle can also comprise several reservoir chambers for dosing amounts of liquid or for different liquids. As the drinking tube is part of a replaceable ampoule the problems of cleaning a permanent drinking tube are avoided.

Other features and advantages of the invention are disclosed by the accompanying claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The invention will be described in detail in the following with reference to the accompanying drawings, where similar reference numerals denote elements with same or similar function, and wherein:

FIG. 1 is a longitudinal section through a first embodiment of the drinking bottle;

FIG. 2 shows the drinking bottle in FIG. 1 viewed from above;

FIG. 3 illustrates a replaceable substrate ampoule according to the invention:

FIG. 4 is a longitudinal section through a second embodiment of the drinking bottle;

FIG. 5 shows the drinking bottle in FIG. 4 viewed from above;

FIG. 6 is a cross section through the bottle at line VI-VI on FIG. 4;

FIG. 7 shows a section through the lower part of the bottle in FIG. 4 with the bottom rotated 90°;

FIG. 8 is a cross section through the bottle at line VIII-VIII on FIG. 7;

FIG. 9 is a longitudinal section through a third embodiment of the drinking bottle;

FIGS. 10a and b are schematic views of a first check valve;

FIGS. 11a and b are schematic views of a second check valve;

FIGS. 12a-d shows a fourth embodiment of the drinking bottle;

FIGS. 13a-f illustrate a method for use of the drinking bottle in FIG. 4:

FIG. 14 is a section through a preferred embodiment of the ampoule;

FIGS. 15a-b shows the ampoule in FIG. 14 during filling of substrate;

FIGS. 16a-c illustrates an ampoule ready for deployment in a drinking bottle;

FIG. 17 shows the ampoule in FIGS. 14-16 with extended drinking tube.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

The figures are schematic views, and numerous details are omitted for the sake of clarity.

The bottle 100 can advantageously be manufactured from a form stable thermoplastic which is easily moulded and welded, and which does not easily break or deform during use, e.g. polypropylene (PP). Alternatively, other materials can be used when it is more suitable for the intended use, e.g. metal, glass and/or other materials. Other suitable materials comprise aluminium and aluminium alloys which are relatively simple to extrude.

Similarly, a form stable thermoplastic is preferred for the main body of the replaceable ampoule. PP combined with thermoplastic elastomers (TPE) are preferred as disclosed in greater detail below. Such plastic ampoules can be recycled after use as other plastic waste. Alternatively, an ampoule with medication can be made of glass, whereas a variety of the ampoule for sports use can be made from cardboard. A third variety can be made of metal and contain a filter for water purification. Other choices of material and other contents in the ampoules can be imagined, but are not described in detail herein.

Here, a bottle and ampoule of PP and TPE are described sufficiently to enable one skilled in the art to exercise the invention. However, other materials can be employed as disclosed above. It is left to the skilled person to choose materials, and to assemble the bottle and ampoule in a suitable manner depending on choice of material.

FIG. 1 shows a first embodiment of a drinking bottle, generally indicated by 100. The drinking bottle has a body 101 with one or more reservoir chambers 120. 120a and a top part 150 with a mixing chamber 140. The chambers 120 and 140 are collectively denoted ‘liquid reservoirs’ in the following and in the claims. The mixing chamber 140 is in FIG. 1 disposed within the top part 150 so that the reservoir chambers 120, 120a in the main part of the bottle can be filled to the top before the top part 150 with mixing chamber 140 is screwed onto the bottle. Thus, when the top part 150 is screwed onto the bottle, the mixing chamber contains air. The mixing chamber 140 has a volume corresponding to the contents of a replaceable substrate ampoule 200 with an integrated drinking tube 210. A seal at the opening 205 prevents contact between the content of the ampoule and the content of liquid reservoirs 120, 140 until the seal is broken.

In a preferred embodiment the seal is broken by moving a part of the ampoule, e.g. the drinking tube, relative to the liquid reservoir as disclosed in greater detail below. Once the seal is broken, the substrate can flow from the ampoule 200 to the mixing chamber 140. In the embodiment on FIG. 1, the air from the mixing chamber 140 can replace the substrate from the ampoule 200, and it is hence presupposed that the opening between the ampoule 200 and the mixing chamber 140 allows air to flow into the ampoule when the seal is broken.

Liquid from the reservoir chamber 120 can be let into the mixing chamber 140 through an opening that, if desirable, can be provided with a check valve (not shown) Such a valve can allow liquid to flow from the reservoir chamber 120 to the mixing chamber 140, and prevent liquid from flowing back. Thereby, mixing chamber 140 can be used to measure an amount of liquid and to mix a liquid with desired concentration of the substrate from the ampoule 200. The mixed liquid can then be conducted from the mixing chamber 140 through a drinking valve to the interior of drinking tube 210 and be consumed.

It is to be understood that the content from substrate ampoule 200 alternatively can be let into another liquid reservoir, e.g. reservoir chamber 120 or 120a in FIG. 1, and that one still obtains a known amount of liquid with a known concentration. This is described in greater detail in connection with FIGS. 4-8 below. The ampoule 200 is also described in greater detail below.

FIG. 2 shows the drinking bottle in FIG. 1 seen from above. Line I-I in FIG. 2 indicates where the longitudinal section in FIG. 1 is done. The top part 150 of the bottle has room for several replaceable ampoules 200, which advantageously can be shaped as pie slices such as indicated by crossing dotted lines through the centre of the circle illustrating the bottle viewed from above. The replaceable substrate ampoules are preferably sealed or covered on their topmost sides before use. This is illustrated by rendering the ampoules not in use by dotted lines. The ampoule at the right hand side, which is shown by solid lines in FIG. 2, corresponds to the ampoule 200 in FIG. 1 where the drinking tube 210 is pulled out. This ampoule has a flexible bellow 220 attached to the drinking tube 210 which prevents liquid from passing on the outside of the drinking tube 210, and which prevents contamination from entering the bottle. The top part 150 is rotatable disposed on the body 101 of the bottle, so that the ampoules 200 can be rotated into position over an opening in the mixing chamber 140 in sequence.

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a substrate ampoule 200 having a firm shell 201, pulled out drinking tube 210 and an elastic bellow 220. An opening towards the liquid reservoir is disposed in the bottom of the ampoule, and is not shown in the figure. The hole 207 is used to fill substrate during production. The drinking nipple 211 on the distal end of the drinking tube 210 can, if desirable, be made of or lined with a softer elastomer that feels more comfortable in contact with the teeth than relatively harder PP. If price is at a premium, it will be less expensive to manufacture the drinking nipple from the same material as the drinking tube, e.g. PP.

FIG. 4 shows an embodiment of the bottle 100 wherein the mixing chamber 140 is disposed within the body 101 of the bottle, and wherein more details are shown. A bottom part 110 is rotatable disposed in the bottom of the bottle. The bottom part 110 has a channel 130 with a chamber valve 135. The channel 130 extends between the reservoir chamber 120 and the mixing chamber 140. When the channel 130 and chamber valve 135 are open, as shown in FIG. 4, water can flow from the reservoir chamber 120 to the mixing chamber 140. Water leaving the reservoir chamber 120 is in this case replaced with air entering the reservoir chamber 120 through a first air inlet valve 125. The valve 125 must be capable of letting in air from the surroundings, and should prevent liquid from the reservoir chamber 120 from flowing out through the valve 125. The air inlet valve 125 in the reservoir chamber 120 can be a check valve of any type known in the art, e.g. an elastic sheet or membrane partly attached to the inside of an opening in the body 101 similar to the valve 147 illustrated in the FIGS. 11a and b below.

The mixing chamber 140 is in a similar manner provided with a second air inlet valve 145 capable of letting in air while the user drinks liquid from the mixing chamber 140 through a drinking tube 210, and an air outlet valve 147 capable of letting out air when liquid is transferred from the reservoir chamber 120. The valves 145 and 147 can also be of any suitable type capable of letting out air when the user drinks mixed liquid from the mixing chamber 140 and lets out air when liquid is transferred from the liquid reservoir 120 to the mixing chamber 140, and which prevents liquid from leaving unintentionally. See e.g. the description of valve 125 above and the FIGS. 11a and 11b. The air outlet valve 147 can additionally be connected to a water trap or other known device preventing liquid from leaving, but which allows air or gas to pass through. If an elastic sheet contacts the liquid in chambers 120 and/or 140, the sheet must of course be made of a material that does not add taste or smell, and which does not contaminate the contents in other ways.

The mixing chamber 140 is further provided with a receiving unit 108 for an ampoule 200. In the preferred embodiment, the sealing between the ampoule 200 and the mixing chamber 140 is an integrated part of the ampoule 200. The receiving device can in this embodiment be a hole. Alternatively, the receiving device must be capable of preventing the concentrate in the ampoule 200 from flowing out, or is unintentionally mixed in the liquid from the reservoir chamber 120.

A drink or liquid containing certain substances with predetermined concentrations hence can be provided by mixing a suitable concentrate from the ampoule 200 with pure water or another known solvent from the reservoir chamber 120 in the mixing chamber 140. The blend or mixture can then be drunk from the mixing chamber 140 through the drinking tube 210. In order to prevent liquid from unintentionally flowing out through the drinking tube 210, e.g. when the concentrate from the ampoule 200 is mixed with liquid from the reservoir chamber 120 or when the bottle is agitated during use, the drinking tube is provided with a drinking valve. The drinking valve comprises two concentric tubes, of which at least one has radially extending openings as described above. The drinking tube 210 is disposed on an ampoule 200 as described below.

FIG. 5 is a view of the embodiment in FIG. 4 seen from above, where ampoules 200, 200a and 200b are intermediately stored in the top part 150, and corresponds to FIG. 2. The ampoules can have the same or different contents, e.g. for use before, under and after training. The top part can also have storage rooms for more or fewer ampoules 200, and one or more storage rooms can be empty. The top part 150 can, if desirous, be provided with a lid 151, e.g. as shown in FIGS. 12 and 13, and the top part 150 in FIG. 5 is not necessarily rotatable as described in connection with FIG. 2.

A receiving device 108 which can selectively be fluidly connected with the interior of an ampoule 200 is preferably disposed near the bottom of at least one such room for ampoule(s) 200. The meaning of ‘selective fluid connection’ as used herein, is that the ampoule can be placed over the receiving device 108 and remain intact for a period. The fluid connection is only established when the user wants to, and can be established by e.g. pressing or screwing the ampoule into position such that a tip or tube penetrates a membrane. Alternative embodiments can comprise a card board or aluminium foil which is torn away from an opening or the like, and will be known to one skilled in the art. It should be possible to close the fluid connection between the mixing chamber and the interior of the ampoule when ampoule 200 is changed. The receiving device 108 may for this purpose be provided with a check valve, e.g. similar to the one shown in FIGS. 10a and b. In such an embodiment a tip will typically push in the ball 133 when the ampoule 200 is in position and a spring 137 push the ball against a valve seat 131 so that the ball 133 seals when the ampoule 200 is removed from he holder or receiving device 108 and the said tip hence is retracted.

In some embodiments, a seal between the ampoule 200 and the mixing chamber 140 can be broken when the drinking tube 210 is pulled out. If the drinking tube is provided with a drinking valve comprising an axially displaceable sleeve as described above, the drinking tube should be pushed back while the bottle is shaken or agitated in order to prevent fluid from the mixing chamber 140 to flow unintentionally out through the drinking tube 210. In other words, the mixing chamber can selectively be fluidly connected to a drinking tube 210 via a drinking valve 202, such that the drinking valve 202 prevents liquid, concentrate or powder from leaving y\the mixing chamber unintentionally when the bottle is agitated in order to mix concentrate and liquid from the reservoir chamber 120, or when the bottle 100 is agitated while the user is in physical activity and brings along the bottle.

The top part 150 can be rotatable attached to the body 101 so that the two parts can be rotated relative to each other about the main axis of the body or bottle. The user can then rotate a new ampoule 200 in position over a receiving device 108 without having to open a top lid 151 or taking substrate ampoule(s) 200, 200a out of their respective storage rooms and/or the receiving device 108 such as described in connection with FIG. 5 above. Such an embodiment can facilitate replacement of an ampoule 200 to a new ampoule 200a. In an embodiment with rotatable top part 150, as shown in FIG. 2, it will be advantageous to design the said storage rooms in the top pert 150 such that the bottom of the said storage rooms is comprised by a lid over the reservoir chamber 120 and the mixing chamber 140. The ampoule can thereby be rotated over the receiving device 108 over the mixing chamber 140 in turn, and be rotated away from the receiving device 108 when the contents of the ampoule is emptied into the mixing chamber 140.

FIG. 6 shows a cross section of the bottle along the line VI-VI in FIG. 4. In FIGS. 4 and 6 the channel 130 forms a fluid connection between an opening 121 in the bottom of the reservoir chamber 120 and an opening 141 in the bottom of the mixing chamber 140. The openings 121 and 141 are fro the sake of clarity shown as circular holes having the same diameter as the channel 130, but both the holes 121, 141 and the channel 130 can of course be shaped differently. In the channel 130 on FIGS. 4, 6 and 9, a check valve 135 is disposed to ensure liquid flow from the reservoir chamber 120 to the mixing chamber 140, but not in the opposite direction. The FIGS. 13a-f shows an embodiment without a check valve in the channel 130. In this embodiment, the channel 130 must be opened and closed manually before and after the mixing chamber 140 is filled with liquid from the reservoir chamber 120.

It should be understood that the channel 130 alternatively could be a part of the body 101 and that a rotatable bottom part 110 can have plates or other means capable of closing the fluid connection through the channel 130. In both cases, a rotatable bottom part 110 is used to close the channel manually.

In the embodiment shown in FIGS. 4 and 6, the valve 135 is a loose ball within a cylindrical channel chamber coaxial with the channel 130. The channel chamber in FIG. 4 has a greater diameter than the channel 130. The channel 130 thus forms two circular openings in the end walls of the chamber. The first opening, leading to the reservoir chamber 120, is open and can form a valve seat for the ball. When the bottle 100 is shaken, the ball will thereby be able to seal against this first opening, and prevent flow of liquid from the mixing chamber 140 past the ball into the channel 130 towards the reservoir chamber 120. The other opening, in the opposite end of the channel chamber, leads into the channel in the direction towards the mixing chamber 140. This second opening is covered with a grid or the like, preventing the ball from closing the opening and yet allowing fluid to flow past. When the bottle is agitated or inclined, liquid can thus flow from the reservoir chamber 120 to the mixing chamber 140, but not in the opposite direction. However, when the bottle is at rest, liquid can flow in both direction through the channel 130 between the reservoir chamber 120 and the mixing chamber 140. In order to prevent already mixed liquid from flowing from the mixing chamber 140 to the reservoir chamber 120, the channel 130 must be manually closable in this embodiment. An alternative check valve with a spring biased ball is described in greater detail in connection with the FIGS. 9 and 10 below.

FIG. 7 is a section along the line VII-VII on FIG. 8, and FIG. 8 is a cross section along the line VIII-VIII on FIG. 7. FIGS. 7 and 8 illustrate that the bottom part 110 in one embodiment can be rotated so that the channel 130 no longer connects the opening 121 in the reservoir chamber 120 with the opening 141 in the mixing chamber 140. A rotatable bottom part 110 as shown in the FIGS. 7 and 8 thereby closes the channel 130, and can be regarded as a second chamber valve closing the fluid flow through the channel 130 between the two chambers 120 and 140. If a first chamber valve, e.g. the check valve 135 described above, does not seal adequately, a second chamber valve can hence be provided for permanently or manually closing the channel 130 between the chambers 120 and 140. Embodiments with several liquid reservoirs, e.g. a reservoir chamber 120 and a mixing chamber 140, thus advantageously have at least one chamber valve in order to ensure that already mixed drinking liquid from the mixing chamber 140 is mixed with water from the reservoir chamber 120. This at least one chamber valve can be a check valve 135 and/or a manual valve such as the rotatable bottom part 110 opening and closing the fluid connection between the reservoir chamber 120 and the mixing chamber 140.

FIG. 9 shows the lower part of an alternative embodiment of the drinking bottle 100, in which a check valve 135 with a biased ball closes the channel 130. A schematic view of the check valve 135 is shown in FIGS. 10a and b. In FIG. 9, the check valve 135 prevents liquid from flowing from the mixing chamber 130 to the reservoir chamber 120, such that the can be a difference in the liquid levels, indicated by Δh, even when the bottle is at rest. In this embodiment it is thus not necessary to provide a rotatable bottom part 110 or second chamber valve in order to prevent liquid from flowing back from the mixing chamber. The embodiment shown in FIG. 9 can be manufactured with a flexible chamber 120. This flexibility can be provided by manufacturing a thinner chamber wall in the embodiment made of PP. When the chamber wall is pressed in, e.g. as indicated by the broken line 122, the pressure within chamber 120 is increased. If the resulting force F due to a positive difference of pressure between the chambers 120 and 140 (see FIGS. 10a and b) is greater than the spring force Fs in the check valve 135, liquid will flow from the reservoir chamber 120 through the channel 130 to the mixing chamber 140. The air that is thereby displaced from the mixing chamber 140, is let out through an air outlet valve 147, for example of the type shown in FIGS. 11a and b, which in turn can be connected to a convoluted passage, a water trap or other known device which prevents liquid from leaving the chamber 140 together with the displaced air.

FIG. 10a is a detailed schematic view of the channel valve 135 in FIG. 6. The main parts are a ball 133 biased by a spring 137 against a seat 131 in the direction from the mixing chamber 140 towards the reservoir chamber 120. The seat 131 is in this embodiment formed by the outlet of channel 130 in an end wall of a concentric channel chamber of the type described above in connection with FIG. 4. The force from the spring 137 on the ball 133 follows from Hooke's law:


Fs=−kx (1)

where:

  • the negative sign means that the force works from right to left in the FIGS. 7a and 7b,
  • k is the spring constant, and
  • x is compression of the spring, which if desired can be regulated by moving a locking ring 139 to the right or left on the figure.

In the springless variety of chamber valve 135 shown in FIGS. 4 and 6, the spring 137 would be absent from FIG. 10a, and reference number 139 in FIG. 10a would indicate a grid preventing the opening towards the mixing chamber from functioning similar to the valve seat 131, and thus preventing liquid from flowing towards the mixing chamber 140.

In FIG. 9, a pressure difference is shown between the chambers 120 and 140:


Δp=ρg Δh (2)

where the pressure difference Δp>0 when the pressure in the reservoir chamber 120 is greater than the pressure in the mixing chamber 140,

  • ρ is the density of water (1000 kg/m3),
  • g is the acceleration of gravity (9,81 m/s2), and
  • Δh is the positive difference of levels shown in FIG. 6.

Such a pressure difference can be maintained when the force from the spring on the ball is greater than the force resulting from the pressure difference working on the working area of the valve seat.

The valve 135 in FIG. 9 is depicted in greater detail in FIG. 10a. If the valve seat 131 in FIG. 10a has a circular opening with radius r, the pressure difference Δp works on an area A=πr2. This gives a net force F from the left towards the right on the ball 133 as shown in FIG. 10b:


F=Δp·πr2 (3)

Hence, in order to achieve a liquid flow from the reservoir chamber 120 to the mixing chamber 140, must F >−Fs, i.e.


ρgΔh·πr2>−Fs (4)

From the discussion above, it follows:

  • a) If the channel 130 is not provided with a chamber valve 135, the contents of mixing chamber 140 is able to flow into the reservoir chamber 120 and produce unintentional mixing of substrate/concentrate and water.
  • b) If the chamber valve 135 is provided with a spring 137 having a spring force t Fs>0, the spring force can be overcome by inclining the bottle unless the spring force is too large. This is an embodiment requiring the channel 130 between the chambers 120 and 140 to be closed by other means when the bottle is in use. See e.g. FIGS. 4-8, where the channel can be closed by rotating the bottom part 110 so that the end points of the channels do not align with one or both openings 121 and 141 in the chambers 120 and 140 respectively.
  • c) An increased pressure difference Δp can be provided by reducing the volume of a flexible reservoir chamber 120, e.g. as indicated by the broken line 122 in FIG. 9. From the equations 1 and 3 above, it is possible to adapt k, x and r such that liquid can be pumped from the reservoir chamber 120 to the mixing chamber 140. It is of course also possible to provide a rotatable bottom part 110 of the type described above as an extra safety measure even in this embodiment. In a preferred embodiment of the pumping variety, the radius r of the working area as large as possible, such that the pressure increase Δp needed to overcome the spring force Fs becomes as small as possible. (See equation 3). At the same time, the bottom part should not be too thick. This limits the area of the channel 130. In the embodiment on FIGS. 9 and 10, the working area is defined by the channel 130. This is assumed to be a reasonable compromise between a desire for a large working area for the pressure from the reservoir chamber 120 and a compact design which implies a correspondingly smaller working area.

I should be understood that valves and a flexible bottle wall also can be used in the embodiment shown in FIGS. 1-3, e.g. by affixing a flexible membrane over the opening between the reservoir chamber 120 and mixing chamber 140 in FIG. 1. The opening between the two liquid reservoirs thus corresponds to the channel 130 in FIG. 4. Moreover, is should be understood that a rotatable bottom part 110 with a channel 130 can be adapted to several reservoir chambers 120, 120a.

EXAMPLE

Assume that the drinking bottle 100 initially has a reservoir chamber 120 with 8 dl water and a mixing chamber with 2 dl air. The wall of the reservoir chamber 120 is pressed inwards, and the volume is reduced by 1 dl. This causes 1 dl water to pass through channel 130 and valve 135 to the mixing chamber 140, and some air flows out through valve 147. The pressure of the air above the water in mixing chamber 1 depends on the “spring force” from the valve 147. In other words, a certain overpressure Δp over the pressure of the atmosphere is required to open the valve 147 and release air to the ambient atmosphere.

Thereafter, the user releases the wall of reservoir chamber 120 and let it return to the starting position. In this phase, air flows into the reservoir chamber 120 through the air intake valve 125. It is desirable that the chamber valve returns completely to the initial position, and the “spring tensioning” in the air intake valve 125 therefore should be correspondingly small.

Next time the user presses in the chamber wall, some work is used to increase the pressure of the air in reservoir chamber 120, whereas the remaining work is used to overcome the spring forces from the valves 135 and 147. As described above, the force F on the ball 133 increases with the working area. The working area is in the embodiment shown equal to the area of a cross section of the channe 1130. Other embodiments with larger or smaller working areas can be imagined.

In the foregoing example, spring force, working area for pressure and the properties of the bottle wall can be adapted to each other such that the user experiences a firm response to his pressing without using too much force.

The pumping variety is also suitable in applications where the amount of liquid should be measured as dosages, e.g. when administering medicaments. When measuring a dosage of a therapeutic mixture, e.g. cough mixture, the mixing chamber can have a volume of e.g. 2 or 5 ml, and be filled with, e.g., one push on a flexible bottle wall or a piston. The bottle wall or cylinder volume can be adapted such that the user gets a firm feedback when the mixing chamber 140 is filled, and can further be adapted such that the wall or piston cannot be depressed more than accurately filling the mixing chamber 140. Thereby it can be avoided that liquid is unintentionally pressed out through the air outlet valve 147.

FIGS. 11a and 11b shows a valve 147 comprising a flexible sheet or membrane 146 over an opening 102 in the body 101. The sheet 146 is partly affixed to the body 101, and closes the opening 102 when an elastic force (spring force) F2>p1·A, where A is the area of opening 102. Alternatively: The valve 147 is closed when the pressure difference


Δρ<F2/A (5)

where positive pressure difference is in the direction from the body 101 towards the sheet 146, In FIG. 11b a positive pressure difference Δp=p2 is shown, which is sufficiently large to overcome the spring force F2 from the elastic sheet 146. The sheet 146 will then be lifted from the base 101, such that air can pass through the opening 102. The air flow is illustrated by arrow 148 in FIG. 11b.

In a valve 147 that is to release air, the sheet must be disposed on the outside of the body 101. A similar device with a sheet 146 on the inside of openings 102 can be used in the air inlet valves 125 and 145 in the chambers 120 and 140. In both cases a sufficiently large overpressure in the direction from a base in the direction towards the sheet 146 cause the valve to open, whereas the valve will be closed when the pressure difference is less than a limit value F2/A, which depends solely on parameters of the valve.

The valves 125, 145 and 147 can also be modelled as the valve 135 in FIGS. 10a and 10b, and the equations 1-4 can be used to select suitable materials and designs. It is emphasized that material coming into contact with the drink should not produce poisonous, harmful or hazardous materials.

The FIGS. 12a-d show an alternative embodiment of the drinking bottle 100 with concentric chambers 120 and 140, wherein the mixing chamber 140 has less diameter than the reservoir chamber 120. A top part 150 can be screwed off for simple filling of the reservoir chamber 120. The top part 150 has a hinged lid 151. The top part 150 can if desirable be provided with a drinking tube that is not part of the ampoule 200.

FIGS. 13a-f illustrate a method for use of the drinking bottle 100 in FIG. 4. FIG. 13a shows a drinking bottle 100 as in the embodiment on FIGS. 4 and 6, where the top part 150 is removed. The reservoir container 120 is filled with water, and the top part 150 is screwed on. FIG. 13b shows that one or more ampoules 200 can be disposed in suitable rooms in the top part 150. A hinged lid 151 can be closed over the ampoules 200 in order to retain them. FIG. 13 c sows an ampoule 200 positioned above a receiving device 108. The ampoule 200 is still unbroken. The bottom part 110 is rotated to the position shown in FIG. 13d, where a channel 130 connects an opening 121 in the reservoir chamber 120 with an opening 141 in the mixing chamber 140. The bottle 100 can now be inclined, such that water flows from the reservoir chamber 120 to the mixing chamber 140. When the mixing chamber 140 is filled, the channel 130 is closed as shown in FIG. 13e. In FIG. 13f the drinking tube 210 is pulled out of the ampoule 200. This mechanical movement also causes concentrate from the ampoule 200 to be released into the mixing chamber 140, which contains a known amount of water or another liquid. When the bottle is agitated, concentrate will be mixed with the liquid in the mixing chamber 140, thereby providing a liquid mixture with predetermined concentrations of known substances. As indicated in FIG. 13f, there is still sufficient liquid in the reservoir chamber 120 to repeat the procedure with another ampoule 200a.

FIG. 14 is a section through the ampoule 200 in FIG. 3. The ampoule 200 comprises a relatively stiff shell 201 with a bottom part 201a and a top part 201b joined by welding to provide a fluid tight joint 201c. The lower part 201a and upper part 201b of the container can be injection moulded and of a form stable plastic, for example poly propylene (PP). The drinking tube 210 is axially slidably disposed in a guide 260, which is connected to the bottom part of the shell. It should be understood that the drinking tube 210 alternatively could be disposed slidably and sealingly in or around a valve sleeve with radial openings so that liquid can flow through the radial openings when the drinking tube is in an outer position, and so that liquid cannot flow through the radial openings when the drinking tube is in an inner I position. Such a conventional sliding sleeve valve is well known to one skilled in the art, and can be used instead of or in addition to the drinking valve discussed below.

The drinking tube 210 and the upper part 201b of the shell of the ampoule are connected by an elastic membrane or bellow 220 moulded from a suitable thermoplastic elastomer (TPE). The moulding process for the integrated lid 201b, 220 is called two-component (2C) moulding.

The lower part 201a of the ampoule has a section 206 at the bottom 203 with reduced thickness so that one by applying a certain pressure on the drinking tube 210 is able to press a hole in 205 in the bottom, and thereby open the container such that the contents can be emptied into a mixing chamber 140 or some of the liquid reservoir in 120 in the bottle 100 (FIGS. 1 and 4). It should be understood that the seal 206 alternatively can be broken, i.e. the hole 205 be opened, by pulling the drinking tube away from the bottom part 201a without pushing it first, and/or in that the seal 206 is a lid that can be removed from a hole 205 by moving the drinking tube 210. The seal 206 with reduced thickness can be a foil that is welded or glued over the opening 205, and any means known in the art transferring force through the drinking tube 210 to break a seal 206, i.e. open the hole 205, can be used with the invention.

I the figures, a separate filling hole 207 is shown in the bottom for injection of substrate as part of the manufacturing process. This hole is then sealed with a diffusion tight foil, e.g. a foil of plastic or aluminium which is welded or glued over the opening. It should be understood that the holes 205 and 207 can be the same hole, i.e. that the ampoule is filled through the opening 205, which then is sealed with a foil.

FIGS. 15a and b show a mounted and welded ampoule ready for injection of substrate or concentrate through the hole 207 at the left in the figures. FIG. 15a shows the bottom part of the ampoule in FIG. 14. In FIG. 15b, the ampoule is positioned with its bottom part up, and can be filled with a substrate through the opening 207.

FIGS. 16a-c illustrate an ampoule ready for sale. The ampoule is in this case provided with a protective foil 230 over the top, and a protective foil 231 over the bottom. The protecting foils 230, 231 can be made of plastic or aluminium that is welded or glued over the ampoule, and that can be easily removed before use.

In use, the protective foils 230, 231 are torn off the ampoule 200 before it is deployed in an adapted space, where the ampoule has a defined space with support on its outer faces and bottom face, e.g. in the top part 150 of a drinking bottle as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2.

The central part of the bottom of the ampoule then abuts a concentric seal 108 sealing between the bottom 203 of the ampoule and the circular bottom face which is torn out of the ampoule when the drinking tube is pressed downwards. When the bottom is penetrated, a continued pressure will ensure an opening that is large enough to allow the contents of the ampoule to flow down into the liquid reservoir in the bottle.

Once the ampoule is emptied, the drinking tube can be pulled out to an upper position, where the TPE-membrane is reversed and has obtained a new “stable” position.

FIG. 17 show the ampoule from FIGS. 14 and 15b with the drinking tube in its outer position. On FIG. 17, the drinking tube 210 is locked to the seal/lid 206 by means of a snap lock. This ensures that the seal 206, which is torn from the ampoule during opening or puncture, does not fall into the bottle. The guide 260 has openings 261 in the sidewall to ensure that as little substrate as possible remains in the ampoule when it is emptied into the bottle, and that the ampoule is well drained when the bottle is being drunk from.

Stoppers, e.g. radial lugs abutting a radially extending shoulder, limits the axial movement of the drinking tube 210 in the valve sleeve. Thereby, the drinking tube 210 can be pulled out to a maximum distance from the bottom part 203 of the shell, but not further. The view shows how the nipple stops in its outer position.

Longitudinal guiding slots or guides (as shown in the tubular guide 260) rotation locks the drinking tube 210 relative to the valve sleeve, and ridges/grooves in the circumferential direction of the drinking tube and valve sleeve ensure that the user gets a tactile feedback when the drinking tube is in an outer position (open drinking valve), and when the drinking tube is in an inner position (closed valve).

The drinking nipple 211 can be closed (sealed) by application of a light push inwards (downwards in FIG. 17). The valve seals, but is not pushed entirely past the locking groove, This provides for an easier opening/closing when the bottle does not require a full sealing. In order to lock the nipple better, for example during transport, the nipple can be pressed harder in on the drinking tube such that the snap lock is activated as shown on the view to the left, i.e. in that a snap lock ridge inside the nipple is pressed past a locking ridge on the drinking tube 210. When desired or when the bottle is empty, the drinking tube can be pressed back to its lower position so that it occupies less space and can be disposed of as common plastic waste. Guiding ribs in the bottom part of the container prevents drinking tube 210 and/or valve sleeve 260. These ribs also ensure that the drinking tube 210 hits the centre and enters the centre hole in the container. The guiding ribs are drained by means of axial openings so that the ampoule can be completely emptied.

The receiving device shown in FIGS. 1-9 can be a seal as described in connection with the ampoule shown in FIGS. 14-17. It is of course also possible to provide a male part on the ampoule 200 and a female part on the bottle 200. The receiving device 108 can alternatively comprise a tip, a tube or a cannula suitable for penetrating or tearing a membrane that can comprise the seal 206.

As described above in connection with the reservoir chamber 120 and the mixing chamber 140, it may in some cases be necessary to let air into the ampoule 200 when the contents is emptied into the mixing chamber 140. This air can advantageously be provided through the receiving device 108, so that the ampoule 200 can be manufactured as simple and inexpensive as possible, i.e. without an air inlet valve in each ampoule. However, in an alternative embodiment where the concentrate is powder or where a membrane or foil is removed completely or partly between the ampoule and mixing chamber, it is not necessary to provide a separate air inlet to the ampoule 200.