Title:
DISPENSING DEVICE AND DISPENSER COMPRISING SAME
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A fluid dispenser device for associating with a fluid reservoir (1) so as to constitute a fluid dispenser, the device comprising: a dispenser member (2), such as a pump or a valve, comprising a body (21) and an axial actuator rod (23), the body forming a holding collar (22); and a crimping ring (5) for fastening the dispenser member (2) on the reservoir; the fluid dispenser device being characterized in that it further comprises a bushing (41) that is fastened on the ring (5), the bushing extending axially beyond the ring, around the actuator rod (23).



Inventors:
Michaux, Sebastien (Elbeuf, FR)
Application Number:
12/160117
Publication Date:
04/23/2009
Filing Date:
02/20/2007
Assignee:
VALOIS SAS (LE NEUBOURG, FR)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65B1/04
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
REIS, RYAN ALEXANDER
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
SUGHRUE MION, PLLC (WASHINGTON, DC, US)
Claims:
1. A fluid dispenser device for associating with a fluid reservoir (1) so as to constitute a fluid dispenser, the device comprising: a dispenser member (2), such as a pump or a valve, comprising a body (21) and an axial actuator rod (23), the body forming a holding collar (22); and a crimping ring (5) for fastening the dispenser member (2) on the reservoir; the fluid dispenser device being characterized in that it further comprises a bushing (41) that is fastened on the ring (5), the bushing extending axially beyond the ring, around the actuator rod (23).

2. A fluid dispenser device according to claim 1, in which the ring (5) comprises a first section (51) that is crimped around the collar (22), and a second section (52) for crimping on the reservoir, the bushing (41) is fastened on the first section (51) of the ring (5).

3. A fluid dispenser device according to claim 2, in which the first section (51) surrounds the collar (22), thereby forming an annular groove (510) below the collar, the bushing (41) including fastener means (42, 44) that are suitable for coming into engagement in the groove.

4. A fluid dispenser device according to claim 3, in which the fastener means include projecting fastener profiles (44) for being received in the annular groove (510).

5. A fluid dispenser device according to claim 4, in which the bushing (41) includes axial slots (43) that define tabs (42) that are relatively flexible, the fastener profiles (44) being formed by the flexible tabs (42).

6. A fluid dispenser device according to claim 1, further comprising a locking annulus (45) that is suitable for locking the bushing (41) on the ring (5).

7. A fluid dispenser device according to claim 6, in which, in the locking position, the annulus (45) is engaged around the bushing (41), where the bushing is engaged with the ring (5).

8. A fluid dispenser device according to claim 6, in which the annulus (45) is initially made integrally with the bushing (41), being connected to the bushing via a bridge (46) of breakable material, the bridge being situated axially on the bushing at a level other than where the bushing becomes engaged with the ring, the annulus (45) being displaced axially into the locking position after the bridge (46) has been ruptured.

9. A fluid dispenser device according to claim 1, further comprising a covering hoop (6) mounted on the bushing (41) in such a manner as to mask the bushing (41) and the ring (5).

10. A fluid dispenser device comprising a fluid reservoir and a dispenser device according to claim 1.

Description:

The present invention relates to a fluid dispenser device for associating with a fluid reservoir so as to constitute a fluid dispenser. The present invention also relates to such a fluid dispenser including a dispenser device of the invention. The dispenser device comprises a dispenser member, such as a pump or a valve, that defines a body and an axial actuator rod. The body forms a holding collar for holding the dispenser member on the reservoir. The dispenser device also comprises a crimping ring comprising a first section that is crimped around the collar of the dispenser member, and a second section for crimping on or around the reservoir, in general around a neck formed by the reservoir. Such dispensers implementing dispenser devices of this type are frequently used in the fields of perfumery, cosmetics, or even pharmacy.

Reference is made initially to FIG. 1 in order to explain in detail the structure of a prior-art dispenser device. The dispenser is shown in its mounted state on a reservoir 1. In entirely conventional manner, the reservoir 1 includes a reservoir body (not shown) for receiving the fluid. The reservoir body is terminated by a shoulder 11 that is extended by a narrow neck 12. The neck 12 defines a top annular rim 14 with a bottom shoulder 13 that serves to fasten the dispenser on the neck of the reservoir.

The prior-art fluid dispenser comprises five component elements, namely: a dispenser member 2 that can be a pump or a valve; a dispenser head 3 that is in the form of a pusher; a fastener turret 4A; a crimping ring 5A; and a covering hoop 6. The dispenser member 2 can be of a type that is entirely conventional, comprising a body 21 that forms, at its top end, a holding collar 22 that projects radially outwards. In addition, the dispenser member comprises an axial actuator rod 23 that projects out from the body 21 and that is axially movable down and up. The internal structure of the dispenser member is not critical to the present invention and can take any appropriate form, whether corresponding to a pump or to a valve.

The actuator rod 23 is covered by a dispenser head 3 that is in the form of a pusher. The head 3 comprises an inner core 32A that is inserted inside a casing 33. The core 32A can be made of plastics material, whereas the casing 33 can be made of metal. The core 32A forms the connection between the top end of the rod 23A and a nozzle 31 that can advantageously enable dispensing to be provided in the form of a spray. By pressing on the head 3, the actuator rod 23 is displaced inside the body 21, thereby dispensing the fluid, optionally in metered quantities. After each depression of the head 3, return means (not shown) integrated in the body 21 return the head into its initial rest position.

The turret 4A co-operates with the crimping ring 5A to hold the dispenser member and its actuator head on the neck of the reservoir. The turret 4A includes a substantially cylindrical bushing 40A that defines, at its top end, a reception housing 41A for receiving the collar 22 of the body 21, advantageously by snap-fastening. At its bottom end, the bushing 40A forms a bearing heel 42A that comes to press a neck gasket 7 against the top rim 14 of the neck 12. In order to push the heel 42A against the gasket 7, the crimping ring 5A is used that comes into engagement against the heel 42A, and that also extends around the neck 11 in such a manner as to be suitable for being crimped under the bottom shoulder 13.

With regard to the covering hoop 6, it comprises a top first section 61 in fastening engagement around the bushing 40A of the turret 4A, an outer shoulder 62 that is extended downwards by a bottom section 63 that extends around the crimping ring 5A, but without coming into contact therewith. The covering hoop 6 is fastened entirely via the top portion 61 in fastening engagement around the turret. The final assembly position of the hoop 6 is achieved when the bottom end of the hoop comes to bear against the shoulder 11 of the reservoir.

Thus, in the prior-art dispenser device, fastening the dispenser member on the neck of the reservoir requires the use of two parts, namely the turret 4A and the crimping ring 5A.

The object of the present invention is to modify the way in which the dispenser member is fastened on the neck of the reservoir, while conserving the external shape of the dispenser device that is provided entirely by the covering hoop 6 and the actuator head 3. Another object is to be able to use a more standardized dispenser member that uses a more standardized fastening, while conserving the external appearance of the prior-art pump.

Apart from these very particular problems associated with a specific prior art design, the present invention also makes it possible to solve other problems. The other problems do not relate in any way to conserving the external shape formed by the covering hoop, but are problems of a very different nature, e.g. associated with preventing the pusher from turning, guiding the pusher, improving the fastening of the dispenser member, etc.

In order to deal with all of these problems and those listed below, the present invention proposes a fluid dispenser device for associating with a fluid reservoir so as to constitute a fluid dispenser, the device comprising: a dispenser member, such as a pump or a valve, comprising a body and an axial actuator rod, the body forming a holding collar; and a crimping ring for fastening the dispenser member on the reservoir; the fluid dispenser device being characterized in that it further comprises a bushing that is fastened on or around the ring, the bushing extending axially beyond the ring, around the actuator rod. The ring advantageously comprises a first section that is crimped around the collar, and a second section for crimping on the reservoir, the bushing is fastened on the first section of the ring. The present invention differs from the above-mentioned prior art in that the crimping ring alone fastens the dispenser member on the reservoir, and in that the bushing is fastened on the ring, and not vice versa as in the prior art. The bushing can thus serve as a support to a covering hoop, such as the prior-art covering hoop 6, but the bushing can also fulfill other functions, e.g. guiding the actuator head, preventing it from turning, or blocking it in the rest position or in the actuated position. The bushing can also reinforce the fastening of the crimping ring, or improve the sealing of the dispenser by further compressing the neck gasket. It can thus be seen that the bushing can fulfill a wide variety of functions that are not merely limited to supporting a covering hoop.

In a practical embodiment, the first section surrounds the collar, thereby forming an annular groove below the collar, the bushing including fastener means that are suitable for coming into engagement in the groove. The fastener means advantageously include projecting fastener profiles for being received in the annular groove. The bushing advantageously includes axial slots that define tabs that are relatively flexible, the fastener profiles being formed by the flexible tabs. More generally, the bushing presents a characteristic of deformability that enables it to be received in the annular groove formed by the crimping ring. Forming tabs separated by slots is only one non-limiting embodiment, and it is also possible to make the bushing without slots separated by tabs, e.g. by choosing a plastics material that is particularly flexible. On the contrary, it is possible to make the bushing in such a manner as to flare outwards so that it can be put into place on the ring without difficulty and without exerting pressure.

According to another particularly advantageous characteristic of the invention, the dispenser device further comprises a locking annulus that is suitable for locking the bushing on the ring. In the locking position, the annulus is advantageously engaged around the bushing, where the bushing is engaged with the ring. Advantageously, the annulus is initially made integrally with the bushing, being connected to the bushing via a bridge of breakable material, the bridge being situated axially on the bushing at a level other than where the bushing becomes engaged with the ring, the annulus being displaced axially into the locking position after the bridge has been ruptured. In a variant, the locking annulus may be a part that is completely separate from the bushing and that presents a wide variety of shapes. For example, the annulus may be formed directly by a covering hoop that comes into engagement around the bushing where said bushing is fastened in the annular groove of the crimping ring.

The invention also provides a fluid dispenser device comprising a fluid reservoir and a dispenser device as described above.

The invention is described more fully below with reference to the accompanying drawings which show an embodiment of the invention by way of non-limiting example.

In the figures:

FIG. 1 is a vertical section view through a prior-art dispenser device;

FIG. 2 is a front view of the FIG. 1 dispenser;

FIG. 3 is a view similar to FIG. 1 for a dispenser device constituting an embodiment of the present invention; and

FIGS. 4a, 4b, and 4c are views showing various assembly steps for assembling a bushing constituting an embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 1, showing a prior-art dispenser device, is described in detail above. Its external appearance is as shown in FIG. 2. The dispenser member includes both an actuator head 3 with a dispenser orifice 31, and a covering hoop 6 covering the interior of the pump between the head 3 and the receptacle 1.

FIG. 3 shows a dispenser device of the invention. From the outside, the device can be as shown in FIG. 2, such that the dispenser device of the invention presents the same external appearance as that of the prior art. However, internally, the structure of the dispenser device has been modified compared to that of the prior art shown in FIG. 1.

In FIG. 1, the alphanumerical references end with the letter A. The other references are purely numerical references. In the dispenser device of the invention, the equivalent parts or elements are designated with the same numerical reference, but without the letter A. With regard to the purely numerical references, they designate parts or elements that can be similar or strictly identical in both embodiments. Specifically, the dispenser device of the invention comprises a dispenser member 2 defining a body 21 and an actuator rod 23. The body 21 forms a holding collar 22 that projects radially outwards, and that is situated at the top end of the body 21. The actuator rod 23 is covered by an actuator head 3 that can be in the form of a pusher defining a dispenser orifice 31 that might possibly be in the form of a nozzle. The head 3 comprises an inner body 32 and an outer casing 33. The inner body 32 differs a little compared to the inner body 32A in FIG. 1 in that the connection sleeve fastened on the free end of the actuator rod 23 is longer in the present invention. With regard to the casing 33, it can be identical to the casing in FIG. 1.

Naturally, for the purpose of simplicity, the same reservoir 1 is used in both embodiments, which reservoir presents a neck defining a top rim 14 with a bottom shoulder 13.

The dispenser device of the invention also comprises a covering hoop 6 that is identical to the covering hoop in FIG. 1, thereby making it possible to have an external appearance that is identical, as shown in FIG. 2.

In contrast, significant differences can be observed in the way the dispenser member is fastened on the receptacle, and in the way the covering hoop 6 is fastened. In the prior art, the fastenings use a crimping ring 5A associated with a turret 4A, whereas in the present invention, a crimping ring 5 and a bushing 4 are used, but having different configurations and functions. The crimping ring 5 presents a first section 51 that is crimped around the collar 22, and a second section 52 that is crimped around the neck of the reservoir, becoming engaged under the shoulder 13. In the present invention, it is the crimping ring 5 that compresses the gasket 7 directly against the top rim 14 of the neck. In the prior art in FIG. 1, the crimping ring 5A pushes the heal 42A of the bushing 4A against the neck gasket 7. Where the first section 51 is connected to the second section 52, the crimping ring forms an annular groove 510 that is situated just below the collar 22. The groove 510 is formed as a result of the first section 51 surrounding the collar 22 that projects outwards. The crimping ring 5 is of a design that is entirely conventional, and that is very widely used for fastening pumps or valves onto receptacle necks in the fields of perfumery, cosmetics, or even pharmacy.

In the invention, the dispenser device further comprises a bushing 41 in fastening engagement on or around the crimping ring 5, such that the bushing extends axially upwards beyond the ring so as to extend around the actuator rod 23. The bushing 41 can come into engagement with the bottom section 52 of the ring, but preferably with the top section 51, by advantageously becoming fastened in the annular groove 510. By way of example, the bushing 41 can include one or more fastener profiles 44 for being received in the annular groove 510, e.g. by snap-fastening. Naturally, in order to reach this position inside the groove, it is necessary for the fastener profiles 44 to pass initially over the first section 51 that naturally presents an outside diameter that is greater than the outside diameter of the annular groove 510. Consequently, it is necessary for the bushing to be capable of elastic deformation, enabling it to expand so as to pass over the first section 51, and then to contract once again so as to be received in the groove 510. This characteristic of deformability can be achieved in any way. For example, it is possible to use a bushing 41 that is completely cylindrical, but that is made of a material that is sufficiently flexible and elastic to achieve said snap-fastening. However, an advantageous technique for achieving this characteristic of deformability is to form vertical slots 43 from the bottom end of the bushing, in such a manner as to define tabs 42 that extend over a fraction of the circumference. With reference to FIGS. 4a to 4c, and more particularly to FIG. 4a, it can be seen that the bushing 41 is formed with four slots 43, thus defining four tabs 42, each of which extends substantially over one fourth of a circle. The tabs are formed at the bottom portion of the bushing 41. Each tab is provided on its inside wall with a projecting bead 44 that acts as a fastener profile. It can easily be understood that it is possible to fit the bushing 41 onto the ring 5 at its groove 510 by pushing the bushing 41 over the first section 51 until the tabs 42 flex a little, radially outwards, so as to pass beyond the section 51. Having passed over this section, the tabs 42 can relax once again so that the projecting beads 44 come to be received in the groove 510. The bushing 41 thus extends around the first section 51, projecting upwards in such a manner that it also surrounds a fraction of the actuator rod 23.

An effective and stable fastening can be obtained with the single bushing 41, whether it is slotted or not. However, in the invention, a blocking annulus 45 is further provided for becoming engaged around the bushing 41 where its fastener profiles 44 are engaged in the groove 510. This is shown in FIG. 3 and in FIG. 4c. The blocking annulus 45 is put into place on the bushing 41 only after the bushing 41 has been mounted on the ring 5. The annulus 45 is advantageously made integrally with the bushing 41 in such a manner as to form a single part 4. The annulus 45 is connected to the bushing 41 by one or more bridges 46 of breakable material. In the initial unmolding position, as shown in FIG. 4a, the annulus 45 is connected to the bushing 41 by the bridge(s) 46 at one or more locations situated axially above the tabs 42. This still single part 4 is thus fitted onto the ring 5, as shown in FIG. 4a. Thrust can be exerted on the bushing, for example, but it is preferably exerted on the annulus 45. The strength of the bridge(s) 46 should be such that the thrust exerted on the annulus 45 makes it possible to engage the bushing 41 around the ring 5 by snap-fastening the fastener profiles 44 in the groove 510 without breaking the bridges 46. This is shown in FIG. 4b. The annulus 45 is therefore still secured to the bushing 41. However, by pressing with increasing force on the annulus 45, the bridge(s) 46 yield(s) and the annulus 45 is able to slide around the bushing 41 so as to reach its blocking or locking position, as shown in FIG. 4c. The annulus 45 is thus positioned at the tabs 42, and more precisely at the fastener profiles 44 engaged in the annular groove 510. The annulus 45 can come to rest on the second section 52, as visible in FIG. 4c. This is the final assembly position for the bushing 41 and for its associated locking annulus 45 on the crimping ring 5.

In this embodiment, the present invention implements a bushing 41 associated with an annulus 45. However, the annulus 45 is entirely optional, such that the bushing 41 can be fastened in permanent manner on the crimping ring 5 without any other intervention. As described above, the annulus 45, if any, is made integrally with the bushing 41. This is also a characteristic that is optional, such that it is possible to use an annulus that is completely separate from the bushing. For example, it is possible to use a component element of the dispenser device to fulfill the locking function. By way of example, it is possible to use the covering hoop 6. It suffices that said covering hoop extends around the bushing where the bushing comes into engagement with the ring. In this event, there is no need for a specific locking annulus, such as the annulus 45.

In the present invention as described above, the bushing 41 has a support function for fastening the covering hoop 6. The top portion 61 of the covering hoop is engaged in clamping engagement around the bushing 41. The hoop 6 can be fastened entirely by the bushing 41. In a variant, the hoop 6 can also come into engagement around the ring 5. With reference to FIG. 3, it can easily be understood that it is possible to eliminate the annulus 45 and to modify the hoop 6 by extending the top portion 61 downwards a little so that it extends around the bushing 41 where it is engaged in the groove 510. In this event, the hoop 6 fulfils a function of locking the bushing 41 on the ring 5.

In addition to the function of supporting the hoop 6, the bushing 41 can fulfill other functions. For example, the bushing 41 can come into engagement with the actuator head 3 so as to provide various functions, e.g. preventing the head 3 from turning, axially guiding the head, or locking the head in the rest position or in the depressed position. The bushing 41 can also fulfill an appearance function: It is possible to imagine the bushing 41 having some other shape that surrounds the entire ring 5 in the same way as the hoop 6. In this event, it is possible to eliminate the locking annulus 45, or, on the contrary, it is possible to use an attractive locking annulus that is in the form of a small collar, e.g. of color that is different from the color of the bushing. The bushing could also act as a support for a wide variety of elements, such as a handle or an electronic device, for example.

The invention resides in the fact that an element, specifically a bushing, is fastened onto a crimping ring, the element being suitable for fulfilling a wide variety of functions.