United States Patent Steiman Sept. 23, 1975 DISPENSING PUMP CONSTRUCTION WITH FOLDABLE DISCHARGE NOZZLE  Inventor: Wolf Steiman, Fairfield, Conn.
 Assignee: VCA Corporation, Baton Rouge,
 Filed: Apr. 13, 1971  Appl. No.: 133,508
 US. Cl. 222/383  Int. Cl. B67D 5/42  Field of Search 222/384, 536
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,846,124 8/1958 Stewart et al 222/384 X 3,116,856 l/l964 Prussin et al. 222/536 X 3,191,814 6/1965 Corsette et al. 222/384 3,221,950 12/1965 ODonnell 222/536 X 3,608,788 9/1971 Tanaka 222/384 Primary ExaminerStanley H. Tollberg Attorney, Agent, or FirmH. Gibner Lehmann; K.
[ 57] ABSTRACT A dispensing pump construction to be used with small handheld containers for cosmetic and like products. In conjunction with the usual cylinder and piston, the latter having a hollow, actuatable rod or plunger through which the liquid product is pumped, there is provided a unique assemblage of depress button and foldable discharge nozzle carried thereby. For the raised plunger position, a space exists between the top button surface and a cap which surrounds the plunger rod and which is used to secure the cylinder to the conventional screw cap for the container mouth. The discharge nozzle is foldable from a horizontal, discharge position downward to a vertical, storage position wherein it occupies said space and also simultaneously prevents inadvertent actuation of the plunger rod and piston. When thus vertically folded in the storage position it occupies very little space, whereby there is had a compact assemblage. Also, the tip of the nozzle is sealed off, so as to prevent loss of viscous liquids from the nozzle bore after the pump has been put into use, by the act of folding downward the discharge nozzle.
5 Claims, 3 Drawing Figures .US Patent Sept. 23,1975
DISPENSING PUMP CONSTRUCTION WITH FOLDABLE DISCHARGE NOZZLE BACKGROUND This invention relates to pump-type hand-held dispensers, and more particularly to the pump-actuator constructions of such dispensers. I-Ieretofore various devices have been proposed and produced for locking the pump plungers of dispensers in lowered positions against the action of the plunger return spring, for the purpose of preventing inadvertent actuation of the plunger and discharge of the container-contents. One such device involves cooperable screw threads on the plunger and on a neck piece or cap member, requiring turning of the plunger to effect the locking-or unlocking. Cooperable with such arrangement was a sealing device to prevent leakage of the container contents when the plunger was held in the depressed position. The plunger included a rigid, laterally-extending nozzle member which, after use of the dispenser, remains filled with portions of the dispensed product. This arrangement had a distinct disadvantage in that the product hardened in the nozzle during periods of non-use, resulting in inconvenience and waste, and sometimes in inoperativeness of the pump. Also, the screw thread type lock undesirably added to the cost of the dispenser. I
Other types of pump constructions were intended to seal the container. contents when the piston and plunger remained in a raised position. This eliminated the necessity for screw threads or a bayonet lock, but there remained the disadvantage of possible drying of the product in the nozzle during periods of non-use.
SUMMARY The above drawbacks and disadvantages of prior dispenser pump constructions are obviated by the present invention, which has for one object the provision of an improved dispenser pump construction comprising novel pivoted or swingable discharge nozzle means so arranged that it can hold the piston and plunger rod in raised, product-sealing position, and simultaneously close the opening or. orifice ofthe nozzle to minimize any tendency for viscous liquid product to dry and become hard in the nozzle. In conjunction with the foregoing, another object of the invention is to provide an storage position, the outermost end engages the top of the collar and is closed thereby. As a consequence, viscous product remaining in the nozzle is sealed to a great extent, retarding evaporation and dry-out.
Other features and advantages of the invention reside in the simplicity and few number of parts, and in the economy of manufacture and assembly, together with ease of operation and reliability.
Still other features and advantages will hereinafter appear. In the drawings illustrating one embodiment of the invention:
FIG. 1 is a vertical axial sectional view of a dispensing pump actuator construction for small dispensers, as provided by the invention.
FIG. 2 is a transverse or horizontal section taken on the line 22 of FIG. 1.
FIG.'3 is a transverse or horizontal section taken on the line 3-3 of FIG. 1.
As shown, the dispenser can comprise a container or bottle 10 having an externally threaded neck portion 12 to which there is fitted a centrally apertured screw cap 14. The pump construction comprises a vertical cylinder 16 adapted to be disposed in the neck 12 and upper portion of the bottle 10, said cylinder having a lower extremity 18 of reduced diameter to receive a dip or siphon tube 20, all in the usual manner. Above the portion 18 there is provided a conical valve seat 22 in which rests aspherical ball check valve 24.
The upper extremity of the cylinder 16 has an annular outwardly extended mounting flange 26 provided with sharp depending rib portions 28, 30 for engagement with the rim or lip of the bottle neck 12 to effect a seal therewith. The mounting flange 26 is clamped against the bottle rim by the top wall 32 of the screw cap 14. The cylinder 16 has'a side wall vent opening 34 which is shown as being closed or sealed by a tubular piston 36 normally spring biased to the raised nondischarging position shown in FIG. 1 by means of a helical compression spring 38. The spring 38 is engaged with an interior wall 40 of the piston and also with an annular shoulder 42 of a second check valve member 7 comprising a valve stem 44 provided at its upper eximproved pump construction as above set forth, which is especially small, compact and unobstrusive, and which disposes the nozzle piece in a folded, out-of-theway location during shipment and storage, providing not only a neater appearance but also minimizing the likelihood of spout breakage or damage.
These objects are accomplished by an assemblage of plunger or piston rod and depress button carried thereby, together with a spout or nozzle member having at one end a ball-shaped enlargement which is received in a socket of the button to constitute therewith a pivot means. The depress button has a centralized lower bore to frictionally receive the upper end of the plunger rod and has an eccentrically disposed upper bore offset in a direction to locate the socket of the button closer to the axis of the assemblage. By such location the nozzle member when folded downward to the storage position is closely adjacent the plunger, to effeet a more compact arrangement. Surrounding the plunger is a collar, by which the cylinder is secured to the container neck. When the nozzle is folded down in tremity with a valve enlargement 46. The shoulder 42 of the valve 44 rests against an internal annular shoulder 48 provided in the lower portion of the cylinder 16, the arrangement being such that the check valve 36 is maintained against an internal valve seat 50 provided in the shank or rod portion 52 of the piston plunger which actuates the piston 36. Thus normally the compression coil spring 38 functions to maintain the piston 36in the raised position of FIG. 1 while at the same time maintaining the check valve 46 in engagement with the valve seat 50 to close off the vertical central passage 54 of the plunger or piston actuator 52.
Surrounding the plunger 52 is a collar member 56 provided with screw threads 58 for engagement with internal screw threads 60 of an upstanding annular portion or flange 62 provided on the upper end of the cylinder 16. The collar 56 closely fits the shank 52 of the plunger and constitutes a bearing and guide therefor. Also, the lower rim 64 of the collar 56 can engage an outer annular shoulder 66 of the piston 36 to limit the upward stroke of the letter and of the plunger 52.
In accordance with the present invention there is provided on the plunger 52 a novel locking-type actuator or depress button arrangement by which the plunger 52 and piston 36-are normally maintained in the raised non-pumping position during shipment and storage,
such position effecting a sealing of the contents of the container by virtue of the side vent opening 34 of the cylinder 16 being closed by the piston 36. The novel locking actuator means comprises a foldable or pivoted nozzle which can be swung from an extended operative position to a folded inoperative position wherein for the latter it is disposed out of the way and simultaneously closed off from the atmosphere to prevent drying out of any product which might remain in the nozzle bore.
As shown, the actuator includes a depress button 69 which comprises a shank or body portion 70 and a transverse top wall 72 constituting a finger engageable surface, said top wall being of relatively large diameter with respect to the body portion 17 and constituting in effect an outwardly extended annular flange. The body portion 70 of the button has a thin-walled depending skirt portion 74 which defines a centralized lower bore 76 in which the upper extremity of the plunger 52 is frictionally received and gripped. The body portion 70 further has an eccentrically located upper bore 78 communicating with the bore of the piston rod or plunger 52 and with the lower bore 76 of the button; the bore 78 forms with the bore 76 a stop shoulder 80 for engagement with the top edge of the plunger 52 to limit the plunger insertion into the button.
The depress button 69 further is provided with a rounded socket 82 which is disposed laterally of the upper bore 78, there being a communicating passage 84 in the button which connects the socket 82 with the upper bore 78.
In accordance with the invention there is provided a novel nozzle piece 86 having at one end a bulbous enlargement 88 which is received in and frictionally seized by the rounded socket 82. The nozzle piece 86 is swingable or foldable between a horizontal productdischarging position indicated by the dotted lines 90 in FIG. 1, and a downturned or vertical storage position shown in full lines in FIG. 1 wherein it shuts off the discharge from the button and also locks the plunger 52 and the piston 36 in their raised positions by virtue of the small end portion 92 of the nozzle member engaging the top surface 94 of the collar 56. Additionally, the top surface 94 of the collar 56 closes over the bore of the nozzle piece 86 when the latter is folded downward as illustrated in FIG. 1, thereby to shut off air from the product contained in the bore 96 of the nozzle piece and minimize the tendency for such product to dry out and become crusted or hard.
It will be noted that when the nozzle piece 86 is in the raised or horizontal product-discharging position illustrated by the broken outline 90 in FIG. 1, the bore 96 of the nozzle piece will be in communication with the passage 84 of the button 69. Since for such discharging position of the nozzle piece the plunger and piston can now be vertically reciprocated, a pumping motion imparted to the plunger and piston will cause product from the container 10 to be brought into the cylinder 16 and thereafter discharged therefrom, through the plunger bore 52, bore 78 of the button 69, and passages 84, 96 respectively of the button and nozzle piece.
The reciprocating movement of the plunger and the action of the pump is well understood in the art, and therefore needs no further explanation. After use, the orifice piece 86 can be folded downward again by the user to the full line position of FIG. 1 wherein it will and also effect a sealing of the product contained in the I orifice piece to prevent such product from prematurely drying out.
It will be noted that the orifice piece 86 when folded downward is in effect tucked under the flange or peripheral portion 98 of the top wall 72 of the depress button so as to occupy but little space. The nozzle piece 86 when so folded downward is disposed substantially wholly within theoretical upward extensions of the walls of the collar 56, as can be readily understood from FIG. 1. There is thus presented a neat outward appearance of the dispenser pump actuator device while at the same time there is had the advantage of safety from inadvertent actuation of the pump, and sealing off of any product which is contained in the bore 96 of the nozzle.
The depress button 69 can be molded of plastic substance having a certain degree of yieldability or resilience whereby the bulbous extremity 88 of the nozzle piece 86 can be forcibly pressed into the socket 82 while the walls of the socket yield slightly due to the resilience of the plastic substance. At one end of the horizontal passage 84 there is provided an annular shoulder or ledge 100 which yieldably engages the spherical surface of the enlargement 88 and provides a tight sealing fit therewith to prevent leakage of product into the socket 82 and instead to confine the product to the bore 96 of the nozzle piece 86 during the discharging operation of the pump unit.
It will now be seen from the foregoing that l have provided a novel and improved dispensing pump actuator cnstruction for small hand-held dispensers, wherein relatively few parts are involved, such parts being economically readily molded of plastic substance. The actuator construction has several important advantages. The foldable nozzle constitutes a lock when it is in the non-discharging downwardly swung position, thereby preventing inadvertent actuation of the plunger and piston and discharge of the container contents. Also, for such locking position of the nozzle piece air is kept from the product contained in the bore of the nozzle piece, tending to prevent drying out and caking of such product. When the nozzle piece is folded, it occupies relatively little space, and the entire assemblage is seen to be compact and neat in appearance. The nozzle piece 86 may be quickly and conveniently swung upward to the horizontal discharging position by the user, by merely grasping the piece at the side of the plunger 52 and swinging the piece upward to the dotted line position of FIG. 1. Due to the pivotal mounting of the nozzle piece, the likelihood of the latter being struck and broken or bent during shipment and storage, is greatly minimized.
Variations and modifications are possible without departing from the spirit of the invention.
1. A dispensing-pump actuator construction for hand-held dispensers comprising. in combination:
a. a pump cylinder having internal screw threads, and having means for vertically mounting the cylinder on a container neck,
b. a piston vertically reeiprocatable in the cylinder,
c. an upstanding hollow piston rod connected to the piston to actuate the same and to conduct liquid product upward from the cylinder as the piston is reciprocated,
d. a depress button carried on the upper extremity of the piston rod, said button having a thin-walled depending skirt portion and having therein a concentric, centralized lower bore in which the upper extremity of the piston rod is fritionally received, said button further having an eccentrically located upper bore communicating with said hollow piston rod and with said lower bore and forming with the latter a stop shoulder for engagement with the top edge of the piston rod to limit the rod insertion into the button,
e. said depress button having a rounded socket disposed laterally of said upper bore, and having a communicating passage connecting the socket and upper bore, and
f. a pivotal nozzle piece provided with a bulbous enlargement at one end, said enlargement being received in and frictionally seized by the said socket, the other end of the nozzle piece being open for the discharge of product therefrom,
g. the nozzle piece being swingable and foldable between a horizontal position for discharging product from the button and a downtumed folded vertical position for shutting off said discharge,
h. a collar constituted as an annulus having external screw threads engageable with the screw threads of the cylinder, said collar being rigid with the cylinder and surrounding the piston rod, the other end of the nozzle piece being engageable with said collar when the piece is folded downward to its vertical position, thereby to intercept and stop flow of liquid product from the nozzle piece when folded,
. said collar having an expansive top surface sealingly engaging and Closing off the open end of the nozzle piece when the latter is in the folded vertical position, whereby any remaining liquid product contained therein is closed off from the atmosphere to prevent drying out and hardening thereof,
j. said nozzle piece when folded downward being juxtaposed to and engageable with the thin-walled skift of the depress button and constituting therewith a compact assemblage disposed substantially wholly within theoretical upward extensions of the peripheral wall of said collar.
2. A pump construction as in claim 1, wherein:
a. the means for mounting the cylinder includes a circular screw cap,
b. said downwardly-folded nozzle piece being disposed completely within the theoretical vertical cylinder defined by the periphery of the circular screw cap.
3. A pump construction as in claim 1, wherein:
a. the depress button has a top surface engageable by a finger of the user,
b. said top surface having a periphery commensurate in size with the periphery of said collar whereby the nozzle piece when folded downward and against the skirt portion of the button, is contained in the space between the collar and button and defined by the peripheries thereof.
4. A pump construction as in claim 1, wherein:
a. the nozzle piece has an eccentrically disposed bore,
b. said bore being located in the lower portion of the piece when the latter is occupying its horizontal, product-discharging position.
5. A pump construction as in claim 1, wherein:
a. the cylinder has an air vent opening in its upper portion at a location to dispose it within the container when the cylinder is mounted on the container neck, b. said piston when in raised position in the cylinder closing over said vent opening, c. said nozzle piece when folded downward maintaining the piston raised in the cylinder.