Title:
Refill bottle for appliance dispensing heated cosmetic fluids
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A bottle is provided capable of fluid communication with a device for heating a cosmetic flowable product. The bottle includes a cavity for storage of the product, and has on an open end a neck mounted by a fitment. The fitment includes a slitted membrane which extends over a mouth of the neck. Walls of the cavity define curved front and rear panels.



Inventors:
Domoy, Brett Christopher (Brookfield, CT, US)
Elstow, Corinne Elizabeth (Marlborough, GB)
Hurley, Michael George (Hartsdale, CT, US)
Lamb, John David (Bottlesford, GB)
Maskell, William John (Marlborough, GB)
Walton, Thomas Robert (Marlborough, GB)
Whiting, Alan David (Penrith, GB)
Application Number:
12/148457
Publication Date:
04/16/2009
Filing Date:
04/18/2008
Assignee:
Conopco, Inc. d/b/a Unilever
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
222/494
International Classes:
B65D37/00; B65D35/38
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20100047638Method and Device for Safe Storage and Use of Volatile Ammonia Storage MaterialsFebruary, 2010Johannessen
20070084887Bottle-type containerApril, 2007Schelbach
20090101676Pump Dispenser With Indented Actuator SkirtApril, 2009O'connell et al.
20090120958MULTIFLAVOR BEVERAGE DISPENSING NOZZLE AND DISPENSER USING SAMEMay, 2009Landers et al.
20090308898BEER BALLDecember, 2009Polano et al.
20090308896Venting System for Battery Operated SprayerDecember, 2009Stark
20060060617Caps for use in securing palletised etc. loadsMarch, 2006Facey et al.
20070125805FRAGRANCE PRODUCT, DISPENSER, AND DISPENSER ASSEMBLYJune, 2007Thomson et al.
20080035672Selector, Particularly But Not Exclusively, for Beverage Vending MachinesFebruary, 2008Mestek
20080132438Cleansing composition incorporating a biocide, heating agent and thermochromic substanceJune, 2008Hoffman et al.
20100025429Three Seal Sachet With A Dispensing DeviceFebruary, 2010Ager et al.



Primary Examiner:
LONG, DONNELL ALAN
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
UNILEVER PATENT GROUP (ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, NJ, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A bottle capable of fluid communication with a device for heating a cosmetic flowable product comprising: a cavity for storage of the product, the cavity having a first and second end, the first end being closed, the second end having a neck with an open mouth, a fitment being mounted on the neck bearing a slitted membrane, the membrane extending over the open mouth, the cavity being formed with curved front and rear panels.

2. The bottle according to claim 1 wherein the bottle has a front and rear panel asymmetrically separated by a seam traversing a majority of a length of the bottle.

3. The bottle according to claim 1 further comprising a shoulder surrounding the neck.

4. The bottle according to claim 3 wherein a major axis defines a plane symmetrically bisecting the neck and shoulder and a minor axis defines a further plane asymmetrically bisecting the neck and shoulder.

5. The bottle according to claim 1 wherein a seam separates the front and rear panels, the seam longitudinally extending curvedly from the closed end toward a shoulder adjacent the neck.

6. The bottle according to claim 1 wherein areas of the rear panel have greater flexibility than the front panel.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The invention concerns a refill bottle for an appliance that dispenses heated cosmetic fluids, especially non-foaming skin cream or lotion.

2. The Related Art

Cold lotion applied to the skin often is not a pleasant experience. Warmed lotions provide a contrasting experience. Heat soothes. Aching muscles respond well to warmth. While cold constricts, warmth tends to open pores. The lotions can thereby penetrate deeper with positive results. The sensual experience may also be heightened at elevated temperatures.

Appliances to deliver heated shaving creams are well documented in the literature. Illustrative is U.S. Pat. No. 6,056,160 (Carlucci et al.) reporting a heating mechanism applied over the nozzle of a pressurized shaving cream can. Foaming liquid is forced through the interstices of a heat exchange coil to achieve rapid temperature increase. A drawback of this system is the need for pressurized gas. Without pressurization there is no expelling force to drive shaving cream through the coiled heater.

Another approach is found in U.S. Pat. No. 6,216,911 B1 (Kreitemier et al.). Instead of a disposable pressurized shaving cream can, this disclosure utilizes an integrally formed main fluid reservoir as a storage source for lotion or other dispensable fluids. Transport of the fluid to a secondary heating chamber requires a pump assembly with attendant gears and motors. This system suffers from several disadvantages. Pumps and their attendant gears/motors are subject to break down. Further, clean out of the fluid reservoir is required when changing to a different dispensed product. There may be considerable wastage when a changeover occurs with the main fluid reservoir and secondary heating chamber still storing a significant charge of the initial fluid.

These problems with known systems have been resolved by an appliance that heats cosmetic fluids in a less expensive manner through an uncomplicated fluid transport mechanism, particularly a system without an electrified pump mechanism (a motor and/or gears). Further, the appliance utilizes a main reservoir which can be readily replaceable and avoids any fluid wastage problem. Differently formulated cosmetic fluids can easily replace one another as feed in this appliance. With the advantages noted for the new appliance, the present invention focuses upon the reservoir component and its use as a refill bottle.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

A bottle is provided with the capability of fluid communication with a device for heating a cosmetic flowable product, the bottle including:

    • a cavity for storage of the product, the cavity having a first and second end, the first end being closed, the second end having a neck with an open mouth, a fitment being mounted on the neck bearing a slitted membrane, the membrane extending over the open mouth, the cavity being formed with curved front and rear panels.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING

Further advantages and features of the present invention will become more readily apparent from consideration of the drawing in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the appliance with bottle, and cross-sectional view of a heating system;

FIG. 2 is a front elevational view of the bottle;

FIG. 3 is a side elevational view of the bottle;

FIG. 4 is a top plan view of the bottle;

FIG. 5 is a top plan view of fitment with membrane for insertion into an open mouth of a neck of the bottle; and

FIG. 6 is a partial cross-sectional view of a lower area of the bottle.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Now it has been found that a flexible walled easily replaceable plastic bottle can be utilized in a device for heating flowable cosmetic products. The bottle is placed above an outlet for exiting cosmetic product and functions to resolve problems of the prior art. First the bottle serves as the main reservoir for delivering cosmetic product to a heated section of the appliance. Secondly, the bottle can serve as a refill or alternative product replacement unit for the original bottle. There is no need for messy clean out. Product wastage is minimized. Alternative cosmetic product formulas can quickly replace the original.

Of particular distinction over earlier motorized pump appliances is the use of a squeeze bottle according to the present invention. This allows ready evacuation of product retained anywhere in the flow path of the appliance. Manual pressure on the bottle wall forces air down the length of the delivery system. By contrast, a pump cannot achieve full evacuation.

FIG. 1 illustrates the plastic bottle 2 of this invention situated in operative mode above a base 4 of an appliance 6 for heating/dispensing cosmetic products.

FIG. 2 and 3 illustrate views of the plastic bottle 2 but without closures. These bottles can be formed from polyolefin (polypropylene or polyethylene) or polyester (polyethyleneterephthalate) resins through an injection or extrusion blow moulding process. Particularly preferred is polyethylene terephthalate because this resin provides a rapid panel return (suck back) and prevents lingering panel collapse.

The bottle has a closed end 8 and an opposite end featuring a neck 10 with an open mouth 12. Cavity 11 within the plastic bottle stores the cosmetic flowable product (e.g. lotion, cream, shampoo, shower gel, shaving cream, etc).

Featured on the bottle is a front major panel 14 and a rear major panel 16, each separated by lateral seams 18 asymmetrically separating front and rear major panels.

The seams traverse the bottle from the closed end to a shoulder 20 near the neck 10 in a non-linear curved manner. In a preferred embodiment, areas on the front panel 14 are shaped to have a more rigid wall than areas on the rear panel 16. This allows for squeezability to force cosmetic flowable product downward into the receiving tube within a base of the appliance. Differences in squeezability between front and rear panels can be achieved in at least two ways. The first is through differences in thickness in the extruded walls of the plastic bottle. Secondly, flexibility differences can simply be obtained through a differential radial shape.

FIG. 4 is a top plan view of the bottle looking downward to the closed end 8. This view shows the symmetric configuration along a major axis A and an asymmetric configuration along minor axis B, these axis being taken along a length of the bottle.

The asymmetrical configuration and transitional radius of the rear panel 16 intuitively directs a user's hand to naturally select the rear panel for palm embracement. This improves ease of dispensing because squeeze pressure is now directed against the transitional radius area 24. This area functions as a hinge allowing the rear panel to partially collapse. Through the asymmetric arrangement and transitional panel radii, a strong squeeze response and fast panel return is achieved between doses. Coupling into proper orientation of the bottle neck into a docking area 26 at a top of the device base is facilitated through the asymmetric character of neck 10 and shoulder 20.

A fitment 30 is secured over the neck and features an elastic membrane 32. Suitable materials of construction for the membrane are elastomers, particularly a silicone elastomer. A plurality of slits 34 are cut near a center area of the membrane to facilitate a forced coupling into the docking area. FIG. 5 best illustrates the multi-slitted flexible membrane.

Fitment 30 further includes a circumferentially outward projecting ridge 36 featuring three equidistant semi-circular elongated apertures 38. These apertures and related detents lockingly connect with the neck of the bottle.

Plastic bottle 2 is easily joined to the base 4 by placement of fitment 30 directly docking area 26. A projection tube from within the base and the membrane 32 are aligned. Downward pressure assisted by a twisting motion forces the projection tube to part slits of the membrane and penetrate into the bottle cavity.

A user activates dispensing by wrapping one hand around the bottle and applying squeeze pressure thereto. Squeezing restricts the bottle internal volume forcing the cosmetic product to flow downward into the coiled tube. In a fully charged system, the squeeze pressure forces a proportionate amount of cosmetic product to be dispensed from the outlet (at the end of the coiled tube). Any vacuum created in the plastic bottle by the dispensing operation is countered by atmospheric air entering a pressure equalization valve.

FIG. 6 illustrates in cross-sectional and partial view a lower area of the plastic bottle. The neck of the bottle is covered by a service cap 40. This cap permits shipment and avoidance of dust from entering through the membrane and neck. Just prior to use, the service cap is removed rendering the plastic bottle ready for placement atop the base of the device.