Title:
Toothpaste Tube and Dispenser
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
There is a toothpaste tube with flexible wall that deforms under atmospheric pressure. One end of the tube is closed and the other end has a head attached with an opening for dispensing. Inside the tube at the head there is a resilient dispensing member extending along a small fraction of the tube length. The dispensing member has a cavity to accommodate the paste. In the first embodiment, the dispensing member has two prongs extending from the head on the two flatter sides of the tube. The dispensing member can be squeezed together with the tube by hand or between fingers to reduce the size of its cavity and dispense the paste through the opening. Upon release of hand or finger pressure, the dispensing member returns to the original shape and brings its adjacent part of the tube into original shape. The expansion of the dispensing member and the tube adjacent to it creates a vacuum that pulls the paste from the farther parts of the tube and fills the cavity and the tube at the opening end. The tube deforms uniformly under atmospheric pressure and will be ready for next dispensing.

In the second embodiment, the dispensing member is a thin wall tube.

In the third embodiment, the tube wall near the head is made thicker or more resilient than the rest of the tube and functions as the dispensing member.




Inventors:
Razzaghi, Mahmoud (Chula Vista, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/944615
Publication Date:
07/30/2009
Filing Date:
11/24/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65D35/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
BOMBERG, KENNETH
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
MAHMOUD RAZZAGHI (CHULA VISTA, CA, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A paste tube and dispenser comprised of: a flexible tube containing paste having a head with an opening at one end for dispensing the paste and closed at the other end, the tube deforms under atmospheric pressure, a resilient dispensing member near the opening, the dispensing member has a cavity to accommodate a portion of the tube or paste, the dispensing member can be squeezed together with the tube by hand or between fingers to reduce the size of its cavity and dispense the paste through the opening, upon release of hand or finger pressure, the dispensing member returns to the original shape and brings its adjacent part of the tube into the original shape, the expansion of the dispensing member and the tube adjacent to the dispensing member creates a vacuum that pulls the paste from the farther parts of the tube and fills the cavity or tube at the opening end, the atmospheric pressure deforms the tube uniformly to compensate for the reduction in volume of paste inside the tube, the tube will be automatically ready for the next squeezing and dispensing the paste.

2. The paste tube and dispenser of claim 1 wherein the dispensing member is inside the paste tube.

3. The paste tube and dispenser of claim 1 wherein the dispensing member is attached to the outside surface of the paste tube.

4. The paste tube and dispenser of claim 1 wherein the dispensing member is an extension of the head.

5. The paste tube and dispenser of claim 1 wherein the dispensing member is attached to the head.

6. The paste tube and dispenser of claim 1 wherein the head is also the dispensing member.

7. The paste tube and dispenser of claim 1 wherein the dispensing member is a tube.

8. The paste tube and dispenser of claim 1 wherein the tube wall near the head is thicker or is more resilient than the rest of the tube and functions as the dispensing member.

9. The paste tube and dispenser of claim 1 wherein the dispensing member has two flaps at opposite sides of the paste tube wall.

10. The paste tube and dispenser of claim 1 wherein the dispensing member has a U shape with a hole in the middle for paste flow.

11. The paste tube and dispenser of claim 10 wherein the middle part of the dispensing member is attached to the tube head and the two sides of the dispensing member face opposite sides of the tube wall.

12. The paste tube and dispenser of claim 1 wherein the opening has restricted area to control dispensing and prevent excessive suction of paste from the head opening.

13. The paste tube and dispenser of claim 1 wherein the opening is additionally provided with a one way valve which opens outwardly from the tube.

14. A toothpaste tube and dispenser comprising: A tube containing toothpaste, having a flat closed end and open end, a head attached to the open end to reduce tube opening to a smaller size and allow attachment of a closing cap, a resilient dispensing member at or near the head, the dispensing member has a cavity to accommodate a portion of the tube or paste, the dispensing member can be squeezed together with the tube by hand or between fingers to reduce the size of its cavity and dispense the paste through the opening, upon release of hand or finger pressure, the dispensing member returns to the original shape and brings its adjacent part of the tube into the original shape, the expansion of the dispensing member and the tube adjacent to the dispensing member creates a vacuum that pulls the paste from the farther parts of the tube and fills the cavity or tube at the opening end, the atmospheric pressure deforms the tube uniformly to compensate for the reduction in volume of paste inside the tube, the tube will be automatically ready for the next squeeze and dispensing the paste.

15. The toothpaste tube and dispenser of claim 14 wherein the dispensing member is integrated with the paste tube.

16. The toothpaste tube and dispenser of claim 14 wherein the dispensing member is an extension or attachment of the head.

17. The toothpaste tube and dispenser of claim 14 wherein the dispensing member has two opposing walls adjacent to the tube wall.

18. The toothpaste tube and dispenser of claim 14 wherein the dispensing member has a tubular wall.

19. The paste tube and dispenser of claim 14 wherein the tube wall near the head is thicker or is more resilient than the rest of the tube and functions as the dispensing member.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates to dispensing pastes such as toothpaste, lotion and food paste out of tubes.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Toothpaste tubes function both as a container and dispenser. The paste is dispensed by squeezing the tube with hand or fingers. Some tubes are resilient and return back to the original shape after release of pressure. Therefore, air enters the tube and replaces the volume of dispensed paste. In this type of tube, dispensing becomes more difficult as the tube becomes further empty. Also, the tube should be kept in vertical upside down position to have paste at the tube opening and air at the closed end of the tube. For this reason, tubes are made more of a deformable material so they stay in deformed shape after release of pressure. However, as the tube is squeezed at different positions, the paste spreads at different places in the tube. The tube gets an unsightly skewed and non-uniformly deformed shape. Usually, the user must work on the tube and push the paste from bottom toward the opening.

To overcome the problem, add on squeezing tools have been made which have not gained wide consumer acceptance.

Paste dispensers have been made using rigid containers and pumping mechanisms, but they are complicated and costly and consume excessive material.

OBJECTS OF THE INVENTION

Therefore, the object of the invention is to provide a simple and cost effective means for improving the dispensing of paste from toothpaste tubes that is integral to the toothpaste tube, is transparent to the user, and does not require additional work or extra attention by the user.

The object is achieved by using a tube material that deforms under atmospheric pressure and stays deformed, and adding a resilient member to the tube near the opening to function as a pump.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 shows the first preferred embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 2 shows the second preferred embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 3 shows the third preferred embodiment of the invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

There is a toothpaste tube with flexible wall that deforms under atmospheric pressure. One end of the tube is closed and the other end has a head attached with an opening for dispensing. Inside the tube at the head there is a resilient dispensing member extending along a small fraction of the tube length. The dispensing member has a cavity to accommodate the paste. In the first embodiment, the dispensing member has two prongs extending from the head on the two flatter sides of the tube. The dispensing member can be squeezed together with the tube by hand or between fingers to reduce the size of its cavity and dispense the paste through the opening. Upon release of hand or finger pressure, the dispensing member returns to the original shape and brings its adjacent part of the tube into original shape. The expansion of the dispensing member and the tube adjacent to it creates a vacuum that pulls the paste from the farther parts of the tube and fills the cavity and the tube at the opening end. The tube deforms uniformly under atmospheric pressure and will be ready for next dispensing.

In the second embodiment, the dispensing member is a thin wall tube.

In the third embodiment, the tube wall near the head is made thicker or more resilient than the rest of the tube and functions as the dispensing member.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

In the first preferred embodiment of the invention, there is a toothpaste tube 10 having body 11 and head 12. Body 11 is attached to head 12 at one end. The other end of body 11 has flat sealed bottom 15. Body 11 is flexible and deforms under atmospheric pressure. Head 12 has opening 13 for dispensing tooth paste and thread 14 for attachment of a cap. Head 12 has also two sets of resilient prongs 16 inside body 11 extending on opposite sides along body 11. Prongs 16 provide a cavity between them and have slots to allow easier bending and flexure. There may be a clearance between prongs 16 and body 11 for easy assembly.

Toothpaste tube 10 is filled with toothpaste. Prongs 16 provide a dispensing member with a cavity between them that accommodate part of the tooth paste. For dispensing the paste, the user squeezes body 11 near the head and in alignment with flat bottom 15. Body 11 and prongs 16 move inward and the volume of body 11 and cavity between prongs 16 reduce. The user naturally restricts the flow of paste toward the closed bottom 15 and pushes the paste toward opening 13 with the natural arrangement of the squeezing fingers. In other words, the fingers both restrict the flow of the paste toward the closed bottom 15 like a one way valve and push the paste toward opening 13. As a result, toothpaste is squeezed out of body 11 through opening 13.

Upon removal of the squeezing pressure, prongs 16 return to the original shape and bring their adjacent part of body 11 to the original shape. The expansion of the dispensing member and part of body 11 adjacent to it creates a vacuum that pulls the paste from the farther parts of body 11 and fills the cavity. The atmospheric pressure deforms body 11 uniformly to compensate for the reduction in volume of paste inside body 11. Toothpaste tube 10 will be automatically ready for the next squeezing and dispensing the paste.

The vacuum also pulls paste from opening 13, but since opening 13 is restricted the paste moves inwardly by a small amount. This is a favorable condition as the extra material at the opening is pulled in and the opening stays clear of paste. Therefore, the invention also solves the problem of messy toothpaste openings.

Instead of integrating prongs 16 with head 12, they may be provided by a U shape member with a hole in the middle for flow of toothpaste. The U shape member may be attached to head 12 or dropped into toothpaste tube 10 before filling with paste.

In the second preferred embodiment as shown in FIG. 2, tube 17 is the dispensing member. Tube 17 is resilient and may be attached to body 11 or head 12 or inserted in body 11 before filling with toothpaste. The operation and functionality of the system is similar to that of the first preferred embodiment.

In the third preferred embodiment as shown in FIG. 3, the dispensing member is part of the wall of body 11 as shown by numeral 18. This part of the body is made of a resilient material or of same body material but with higher thickness. The operation and functionality of the system is similar to that of the first preferred embodiment.

In all embodiments, head 12 may be made resiliently squeezable to function in unison with the dispensing member.

In all embodiments, the preferred length of the dispensing member is about half the diameter of body 11 or approximately 2 centimeters for large tubes and 1 centimeter for small tubes.

Head 12 may also be made resiliently squeezable to function as the dispensing member.

To facilitate squeezing or folding of head 12, it may be provided with grooves in alignment with flat bottom 15.