WO2006013419A1 - Elastic element for fluid dispensing devices and relevant dispensing device - Google Patents

Elastic element for fluid dispensing devices and relevant dispensing device

Info

Publication number
WO2006013419A1
WO2006013419A1 PCT/IB2005/002093 IB2005002093W WO2006013419A1 WO 2006013419 A1 WO2006013419 A1 WO 2006013419A1 IB 2005002093 W IB2005002093 W IB 2005002093W WO 2006013419 A1 WO2006013419 A1 WO 2006013419A1
Authority
WO
Grant status
Application
Patent type
Prior art keywords
element
elastic
device
figure
according
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/IB2005/002093
Other languages
French (fr)
Inventor
Stefano Santagiuliana
Original Assignee
Taplast S.P.A.
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date

Links

Classifications

    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B05SPRAYING OR ATOMISING IN GENERAL; APPLYING LIQUIDS OR OTHER FLUENT MATERIALS TO SURFACES, IN GENERAL
    • B05BSPRAYING APPARATUS; ATOMISING APPARATUS; NOZZLES
    • B05B11/00Single-unit, i.e. unitary, hand-held apparatus comprising a container and a discharge nozzle attached thereto, in which flow of liquid or other fluent material is produced by the muscular energy of the operator at the moment of use or by an equivalent manipulator independent from the apparatus
    • B05B11/30Single-unit, i.e. unitary, hand-held apparatus comprising a container and a discharge nozzle attached thereto, in which flow of liquid or other fluent material is produced by the muscular energy of the operator at the moment of use or by an equivalent manipulator independent from the apparatus the flow being effected by a pump
    • B05B11/3001Piston pumps
    • B05B11/3005Piston pumps with means for adjusting or modifying pump stroke
    • B05B11/3008Piston pumps with means for adjusting or modifying pump stroke by adjusting or modifying the pump end-of-dispensing-stroke position
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B05SPRAYING OR ATOMISING IN GENERAL; APPLYING LIQUIDS OR OTHER FLUENT MATERIALS TO SURFACES, IN GENERAL
    • B05BSPRAYING APPARATUS; ATOMISING APPARATUS; NOZZLES
    • B05B11/00Single-unit, i.e. unitary, hand-held apparatus comprising a container and a discharge nozzle attached thereto, in which flow of liquid or other fluent material is produced by the muscular energy of the operator at the moment of use or by an equivalent manipulator independent from the apparatus
    • B05B11/30Single-unit, i.e. unitary, hand-held apparatus comprising a container and a discharge nozzle attached thereto, in which flow of liquid or other fluent material is produced by the muscular energy of the operator at the moment of use or by an equivalent manipulator independent from the apparatus the flow being effected by a pump
    • B05B11/3001Piston pumps
    • B05B11/3023Piston pumps having an outlet valve opened by deformation or displacement of the piston relative to its actuating stem
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B05SPRAYING OR ATOMISING IN GENERAL; APPLYING LIQUIDS OR OTHER FLUENT MATERIALS TO SURFACES, IN GENERAL
    • B05BSPRAYING APPARATUS; ATOMISING APPARATUS; NOZZLES
    • B05B11/00Single-unit, i.e. unitary, hand-held apparatus comprising a container and a discharge nozzle attached thereto, in which flow of liquid or other fluent material is produced by the muscular energy of the operator at the moment of use or by an equivalent manipulator independent from the apparatus
    • B05B11/30Single-unit, i.e. unitary, hand-held apparatus comprising a container and a discharge nozzle attached thereto, in which flow of liquid or other fluent material is produced by the muscular energy of the operator at the moment of use or by an equivalent manipulator independent from the apparatus the flow being effected by a pump
    • B05B11/3042Components or details
    • B05B11/3073Springs
    • B05B11/3074Springs located outside pump chambers
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B05SPRAYING OR ATOMISING IN GENERAL; APPLYING LIQUIDS OR OTHER FLUENT MATERIALS TO SURFACES, IN GENERAL
    • B05BSPRAYING APPARATUS; ATOMISING APPARATUS; NOZZLES
    • B05B11/00Single-unit, i.e. unitary, hand-held apparatus comprising a container and a discharge nozzle attached thereto, in which flow of liquid or other fluent material is produced by the muscular energy of the operator at the moment of use or by an equivalent manipulator independent from the apparatus
    • B05B11/30Single-unit, i.e. unitary, hand-held apparatus comprising a container and a discharge nozzle attached thereto, in which flow of liquid or other fluent material is produced by the muscular energy of the operator at the moment of use or by an equivalent manipulator independent from the apparatus the flow being effected by a pump
    • B05B11/3042Components or details
    • B05B11/3073Springs
    • B05B11/3077Springs characterized by a particular shape or material
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B05SPRAYING OR ATOMISING IN GENERAL; APPLYING LIQUIDS OR OTHER FLUENT MATERIALS TO SURFACES, IN GENERAL
    • B05BSPRAYING APPARATUS; ATOMISING APPARATUS; NOZZLES
    • B05B11/00Single-unit, i.e. unitary, hand-held apparatus comprising a container and a discharge nozzle attached thereto, in which flow of liquid or other fluent material is produced by the muscular energy of the operator at the moment of use or by an equivalent manipulator independent from the apparatus
    • B05B11/30Single-unit, i.e. unitary, hand-held apparatus comprising a container and a discharge nozzle attached thereto, in which flow of liquid or other fluent material is produced by the muscular energy of the operator at the moment of use or by an equivalent manipulator independent from the apparatus the flow being effected by a pump
    • B05B11/3042Components or details
    • B05B11/3059Means for locking a pump or its actuation means in a fixed position

Abstract

The invention is an elastic element (1, 100, 101, 102, 104, 105) for carrying out devices for dispensing fluids or mixtures, advantageously, but not necessarily detergents, perfumes or foods, comprising a body (2) defining a longitudinal axis (3) in which it is possible to identify one or more parts (40, 41, 43, 45, 46) substantially in the shape of a dome or vault. The invention also concerns a dispensing device.

Description

ELASTIC ELEMENT FOR FLUID DISPENSING DEVICES AND RELEVANT DISPENSING DEVICE

The invention concerns an elastic element for fluid dispensing devices in general and a relevant dispensing device to be applied to a container containing said fluid and particularly suited to dispense food substances, perfumes or detergents in general.

As already known, dispensing devices that are applied to the container of the product in question are widely used to dispense liquid or creamy products, like food substances, soaps, creams, detergents or perfumes, even in the form of spray or foam.

Said devices are substantially constituted by a cap provided with means for connection to the neck of the container and with means for drawing the liquid contained in the container. Said means comprise a hollow body defining a liquid suction/compression chamber, also called storage chamber, with which a piston comprising a plunger and a rod is slidingly coupled, said rod being integral with an actuator element or button, also called nozzle or spout, that can be operated by the user. The device also comprises elastic means, constituted by an elastic element carried out with a cylindrical helical compression spring that ensures the automatic return of the plunger to the rest position once the fluid has been dispensed.

Said spring is made of steel and positioned coaxial to the rod, between the actuator element and the cap, in such a way as to avoid any contact with the fluid to be dispensed. The main drawback of this solution is represented by the fact that the use of said elastic element makes it difficult to recycle the dispensing device, the other parts of which are generally made of plastic material. This operation, in fact, requires previous separation of the metal parts from the plastic parts, thus leading to a considerable increase in the cost of the entire recycling process, to the extent that sometimes it is not convenient from an economic point of view.

To solve this drawback, at least partially, according to the known art an elastic element has been proposed, which is constituted by a cylindrical elastic bellows, provided with helical ribs. A first drawback of these elastic elements is constituted by the fact that the element, with the same level of performance required, that is, the same elastic force generated, must be shaped in such a way as to avoid bringing the material of which it is made beyond a given "yielding" threshold, above which the material loses its elastic characteristics.

This determines, when the same elastic range is required, specific limits to the dimensions of the elastic element itself as regards its length when at rest. This length, in fact, cannot be lower than a specific value that it necessary to accumulate enough elastic energy needed to guarantee the correct operation of the device, that is, to overcome the friction between the plunger and the walls of the chamber, as well as to draw the liquid from the chamber itself. These limits very often make it impossible to use these elastic elements in the above mentioned dispensing devices, due to their considerable size compared to the acceptable size of dispensing devices.

Another drawback of these elastic elements is constituted by the fact that in their position of maximum compression they have a considerable size, which poses futher limits to the geometrical shape of both the actuator element and the cap. This in order to avoid squashing the elastic element and damaging it by causing it to yield.

A further inconvenience is constituted by the fact that the compression springs of the known type, and in particular steel helical springs, present a typical range/force curve with linear trend, further increasing the minimum length of the elastic element. In fact, to ensure that the piston returns to the rest position and remains in that position once the fluid has been dispensed, when at rest the elastic element must be in a condition of partial compression, in such a way as to generate a minimum force, called preload force. This further increases the size of the elastic element and also considerably affects its cost.

A further drawback is represented by the fact that the above mentioned typical range/force curves of the elastic element, being linear, require the user to exert an increasing force when operating the device, which is perceived by the user as an unpleasant and undesired effort. The aim of the present invention is to overcome all the limitations and drawbacks described.

In particular, it is a first aim of the invention to carry out an elastic element for fluid dispensing devices of the type described above that is completely made of a single material and has elasticity characteristics such as to guarantee the correct operation of the devices themselves. It is a further aim of the invention to carry out an elastic element capable of collapsing, thus reducing its size without losing its elastic characteristics and posing limitations to the shape of the other components of the device. It is another aim of the invention to carry out an elastic element that can be stressed innumerable times without losing its characteristics.

It is another aim of the invention to carry out an elastic element that, with the same level of performance in terms of elastic force generated/range, is shorter. It is a further aim of the invention to carry out a device for dispensing fluids that, compared to devices of the known type and with the same quantity of fluid dispensed, is smaller in size.

It is a further aim of the invention to carry out an elastic element and a dispensing device that maintains its response characteristics over time, in terms of both elastic force generated and speed of return from the dispensing position to the rest position. It is another aim of the invention to carry out an elastic element and a relevant dispensing device that are more ergonomic, and in particular that during operation require the user to make a reduced effort compared to the effort required by comparable known devices, and do not give rise to the unpleasant sensation described above. It is a further aim of the invention to carry out an elastic element that can be used to make any device for dispensing fluids or mixtures, even of the type called foamer and/or sprayer.

It is another aim of the invention to propose a device for dispensing liquids that are advantageously, but not exclusively, detergents or food liquids. It is a further aim of the invention to carry out a dispensing device that can be locked/released by the user.

It is another aim of the invention to carry out a device that also allows the user to select in advance a specific quantity of fluid to be dispensed. It is a further aim of the invention to carry out an elastic element and a device that can be completely recycled, with no need to previously disassemble them or to carry out other operations.

It is another, yet not the least aim of the invention to carry out an elastic element and a relevant device that are economic and easy to use, as well as easy to construct and to assemble and suitable for mass production. The aims described above have been achieved through the implementation of an elastic element for carrying out devices for dispensing fluids according to the contents of the main claim.

The aims described above are achieved also through the implementation of a device for dispensing fluids according to claim 17, as well as of a device for dispensing fluids in the form of foam according to claim 30.

Advantageously, the elastic element proposed presents a typical range/force curve that is particularly suitable for making dispensing devices. Still to advantage, the elastic element proposed can be easily obtained by moulding, with reduced moulding cycle times, also owing to the reduced weight of the element itself.

The aims and advantages described above will be highlighted in greater detail in the description of some preferred embodiments of the invention, given indicatively as examples without limitation, with reference to the enclosed drawings, wherein: - Figure 1 is an axonometric view of an elastic element carried out according to the invention;

- Figure 2 is a side view of the element shown in Figure 1 ;

- Figure 3 is a plan view of the element shown in Figure 1 ;

- Figure 4 shows a longitudinal cross section of the element shown in Figure 1, carried out along a plane A-A visible in Figure 3;

- Figure 5 shows a longitudinal cross section of the element shown in Figure 1, carried out along a plane B-B visible in Figure 3;

- Figure 6 shows an axonometric view of another elastic element carried out according to the invention; - Figure 7 is a plan view of the element shown in Figure 6;

- Figure 8 shows a longitudinal cross section of the element shown in Figure 6, carried out along a plane A-A visible in Figure 7;

- Figure 9 shows an axonometric view of a further elastic element carried out according to the invention; - Figure 10 is a plan view of the element shown in Figure 9;

- Figure 11 shows a longitudinal cross section of the element shown in Figure 9, carried out along a plane A-A visible in Figure 10;

- Figure 12 is an axonometric view of another elastic element carried out according to the invention; - Figure 13 is a plan view of the element shown in Figure 12; - Figure 14 shows a longitudinal cross section of the element shown in Figure 12, carried out along a plane A-A visible in Figure 13;

- Figure 15 is an axonometric view of a further elastic element carried out according to the invention; - Figure 16 is a plan view of the element shown in Figure 15;

- Figure 17 shows a longitudinal cross section of the element shown in Figure 15, carried out along a plane A-A visible in Figure 16;

- Figure 18 is a plan view of another elastic element carried out according to the invention; - Figure 19 shows a longitudinal cross section of the element shown in

Figure 18, carried out along a plane A-A;

- Figure 20 is a view of a longitudinal cross section of a device for dispensing fluids according to the invention;

- Figure 21 is an exploded view of the device shown in Figure 20; - each of Figures 22 and 23 shows a longitudinal cross section of the device shown in Figure 20, in the same number of operating positions;

- Figure 24 shows a plan view of a construction variant of an element of the device of Figure 20, in a first operating position;

- Figure 25 shows a plan view of the element shown in Figure 24, in a second operating position;

- Figure 26 shows a plan view of a further construction variant of an element of the device of Figure 20, in a first operating position;

- Figure 27 shows a plan view of the element shown in Figure 26, in a second operating position; - Figure 28 shows a pian view of the element shown in Figure 26, in a third operating position;

- each of the Figures from 29 to 31 is a view of a longitudinal cross section of the same number of variants of the device shown in Figure 20;

- Figure 32 shows a diagram of the trend of the typical range/force curve of the elastic element of Figure 1, showing the deformation in mm on the x- axis and the force or load in Kgf on the y-axis;

- Figure 33 shows a diagram of the trend of the typical range/force curve of a metal spring of the known type, showing the deformation in mm on the x-axis and the force or load in Kgf on the y-axis. elastic element for fluid dispensing devices, carried out according to the present invention, is shown in the figures from 1 to 5, where it is indicated as a whole by 1.

According to the invention, the elastic element 1 comprises a body 2 that defines a longitudinal axis 3 in which it is possible to identify two substantially dome or vault-shaped parts 40 and 41.

In the represented example, furthermore, the longitudinal axis 3 defines an axis of symmetry for the element 1 itself.

The substantially dome-shaped parts 40 and 41 defined by the body 2 are generated as follows: the first one, part 40, by the rotation around the longitudinal axis 3 of a section or arc of circumference 5, shown in the cross- section view of Figure 4, and the second one, part 41, by the rotation around the same axis of a section 6 of a substantially parabola-shaped geometrical figure. The two vaults or domes have, in this application, circular cross sections with different diameter. In particular, the first part 40 has the base with shorter diameter compared to the second part 41.

In the case in question, furthermore, each one of the parts 40 and 41 has a plurality of longitudinal openings or slots 7, substantially rectangular in shape and equally spaced from one another. Other embodiments are differentiated from the previous one due to the fact that the openings 7 are triangular in shape. It is clear that in other embodiments said openings may have any shape.

The two parts 40 and 41, adjacent to each other, are connected by a substantially cylindrical ring-shaped band, indicated by 8, which defines a stiffened area in the elastic element 1. Furthermore, according to the invention the thickness of the body 2 varies along the longitudinal axis 3. More precisely, according to the invention the body 2 has more or less thick ring-shaped areas that define a corresponding number of transverse areas where yield is controlled. As will be better explained below, this solution makes it possible to control the yield and the elastic deformation to which the element is subjected when it is compressed along the longitudinal axis 3 and therefore also its size. In the case in question the body 2 is obtained by moulding a plastic material and is also provided with a longitudinal through hole 10, coaxial to the axis of symmetry 3, that, as will be better explained further on, allows it to be applied more successfully in the sector of fluid dispensing devices, towards which it is preferably geared.

The element 1 is also provided at both its ends with rings 9a and 9b that facilitate interfacing with other equipment.

The elastic element proposed has a typical range/force elastic deformation curve, shown in Figure 32, which is advantageous and in particular is steep in its first section and then flattens and maintains a substantially constant value.

This advantageously allows high values of elastic force to be obtained with minimum compression of the element in the first part of the curve and then high preload values with limited compression of the elastic element itself. Still to advantage, this also makes it possible to reduce the length of the body 2 and therefore to reduce its weight as well as the quantity of raw material necessary to make it, and the relevant production costs.

According to the second part of the curve, the user is required to exert an almost constant force to operate the dispensing device, said force being lower than that required by the devices of known type, so that the user has a pleasant sensation due to the ease of use of the device.

Still to advantage, it should be observed that said response curve may be properly changed and adapted according to the needs by modifying the thickness of the cross sections of the body 2 and/or the diameters of the domes or vaults, as well as their number.

A further embodiment of the invention, indicated as a whole by 100 in Figures 6,

7 and 8, is differentiated from the previous ones by the fact that the element 100 comprises only one dome or vault-shaped part 43.

Another embodiment of the invention, indicated as whole by 101 in Figures from 9 to 11, is differentiated from the previous one by the fact that the element 101 is not provided with the above mentioned longitudinal openings.

Another embodiment of the invention, indicated as a whole by 102 in the Figures from 12 to 14, is differentiated from the previous ones by the fact that the upper portion of the element 102 ends with a substantially truncated cone-shaped part or neck 44 that is provided with/reached by the longitudinal openings, too.

Figures from 15 to 17 show another embodiment of the invention, indicated as a whole by number 104.

Other embodiments of the invention, not represented herein for the sake of brevity, are differentiated from the other ones by the fact that the dome shape is substantially generated by the rotation of a section of ellipse, parabola or polycentric curve around the longitudinal axis 3.

It is important to note that in the embodiments of the invention described above the cross section of the elastic element, according to a plane orthogonal to the longitudinal axis, is substantially circular. In other embodiments of the invention the horizontal cross section of the elastic element is substantially elliptic.

A further embodiment of the invention, indicated as a whole by 105 in Figures 18 and 19, is differentiated from the previous ones by the fact that the horizontal cross section of the two dome or vault-shaped parts 45 and 46 is polygonal. In particular, in the case in question, the shape of the element 105 is constituted by 6 lunes 20, 21 arranged on an hexagonal plan and converging towards the longitudinal axis 3 to form the first vault 45 and the second vault 46, respectively. A device for dispensing a detergent, provided with an elastic element of the type described applied to the neck 9 of a container C containing a liquid F, is represented in Figures 20 and 21, where it is indicated as a whole by 500.

It is clear that the elastic element proposed can be applied also to any other device for dispensing perfumes, food products or any other fluid in general that must be drawn from a container and conveyed towards the outside, even in the form of foam or spray. In particular, the device 500, which also is the subject of the present invention, comprises suction means, indicated as a whole by 501, suited to be moved from at least one first rest position, indicated in detail in Figure 20, and at least one second position, indicated in detail in Figure 23, to collect the fluid F from the container C and convey it towards the outside E. Elastic means 502, constituted in the case in question by the elastic element 1 represented in Figure 1, are suited to bring the suction means 501 back to the first rest position and to keep them in this position once said elastic means 501 have been moved from the first to the second position. The device also comprises a cap or metal ring 503 that supports the above mentioned parts and is provided with fastening means constituted by a thread suited to be coupled with a corresponding thread made on the neck N. In the example shown, the suction means 501 comprise a hollow body 505 that defines a suction/compression chamber 506 for the fluid F, with which a piston 507 that can be moved from the first rest position to the second operating position is slidingly coupled. The piston 507 comprises a plunger 508 that sealingly cooperates with the walls of the suction/compression chamber 506, and a rod 509 that is integral with an actuator element 510, used by the user to operate the device. According to the embodiment of the invention, the plunger 508 is slidingly coupled with a support element 511 connected to the rod 509.

The support element 511 is provided with first connection means 512 suited to be coupled with second connection means 513 belonging to the rod 509. The first and second connection means 512 and 513 respectively comprise two annular seats, into which corresponding annular projections are fitted. The support element 511 and the rod 509 are also provided with a dispensing duct 514 for the fluid F that is in communication with the suction/compression chamber 506 and with the outside E.

First and second valve means 515 and 516, located upstream and downstream a suction duct 517, communicating with the chamber 506, and the dispensing duct 514, respectively, regulate the flow of the liquid F from the container C to the suction/compression chamber 506 and the flow from the chamber 506 itself to the dispensing duct 514.

In the example of embodiment represented, the first valve means 515 comprise a ball 515a in a non-metallic material, while the second valve means 516 are constituted by sealing edges 516a belonging to the plunger 508 and suited to be engaged with corresponding grooves obtained on a guide metal ring 520 and on the support element 511.

In Figures from 29 to 31 the same number of embodiments of fluid dispensing devices is represented, said devices being provided with elastic means constituted by one of the elastic elements previously described.

Among these embodiments the one shown in Figure 31 is worth noting, wherein the elastic element 100 has been positioned inside the suction/compression chamber.

According to a further embodiment of the invention the device also comprises means for locking/releasing the device itself, shown in detail in Figures 24 and 25 and suited to prevent or allow its operation.

Said locking/releasing means comprise a first opposing element, integral with the piston and in particular with the rod 509, suited to selectively interfere with a second opposing element or to slide on a vertical groove 521c made on the guide metal ring 520. Said means can be activated by selectively turning the actuator element 510 around the longitudinal axis 522 of the device 500, from a first predefined locking position, shown in Figure 24, to a second predefined operating position, shown in Figure 25. In particular, the first opposing element is preferably constituted by an element 521a protruding from the rod 509 and suited to selectively interfere with a horizontal plane 521b belonging to the metal ring 520.

A further construction variant is differentiated from the previous ones due to the fact that the device can be configured in such a way as to dispense different and precise quantities of fluid F each time it is operated, by selectively turning the actuator element.

In this case the device also comprises means suitable for regulating the quantity of fluid to be dispensed each time the device is operated, shown in detail in the Figures from 26 to 28. Said regulating means comprise, in the case in question, several vertical grooves 52 Id and 52 Ie, having different length, made on the metal ring 520, on which said first opposing element 521a slides.

Each groove 52 Id, 52 Ie ends with a corresponding horizontal plane that delimits the plunger stroke and therefore the quantity of liquid dispensed. In this case the user, before operating the device, must first turn the actuator element 510 to the position corresponding to the quantity of liquid to be dispensed and properly indicated on the cap.

Another construction variant of the unit subject of the invention, not represented, is differentiated from the previous one due to the fact that also the second valve means 516 are constituted by a spherical element made of a plastic material.

A further construction variant of a device produced according to the invention, not represented herein for the sake of brevity, is differentiated from the previous ones due to the fact that it is suited to dispense the liquid F contained in the container C in the form of foam. In this case, the dispensing device comprises two suction means that can be operated coordinately by the user through the actuator element 510. In the case in question the first suction means are suited to draw the liquid F from the container C and convey it towards a mixing chamber, while the second suction means are suited to convey, at the same time, pressurized air towards the same mixing chamber, after which there are means suited to facilitate the formation of foam. More precisely, said means are positioned before the outlet of the device and comprise a porous or reticulated partition 204 suited to facilitate the formation of foam.

It is also worth noting that in some embodiments the second suction means may comprise a collapsible chamber, defined for example by an elastic bellows, that, in the case in question, is capable of cooperating with the elastic element described herein.

The operation of the elastic element and of the device subject of the invention is described with reference to a dispensing system that uses the first example of embodiment described, represented in Figure 20, since a comparison with the other devices described does not show any substantial differences.

From an operative point of view, the user acts on the actuator element 510, exerting a pressure P that axially moves the piston 507.

In this way the user exerts pressure on the elastic element 1 and compresses the product contained in the suction/compression chamber 506.

The increase in pressure makes the plunger 508 slide on the support element 511, thus ensuring the flow of the liquid F contained in the suction/compression chamber 506 first towards the dispensing duct 514 and then towards the outside

E, following the course indicated by 525, shown in Figure 22. The plunger 508 continues its stroke until reaching the bottom of the chamber

506.

This position corresponds to the position of maximum compression of the elastic element 1 and can be seen in detail in Figure 23.

As can be observed, the special shape of the element 1 itself and the presence of the stiffened areas allow the element 1 to collapse, so that the two parts 40 and 41 are positioned concentrically one inside the other, thus reducing its size to the minimum, without interfering with the cap 503 and/or with the actuator 510, thus preventing any undesired squashing of the same.

The stress due to deformation is thus distributed along the whole useful length of the profile of the elastic element 1, in a substantially homogeneous way, avoiding concentrations in points where the elastic limit of the material may be exceeded thus leading to permanent deformation and to the reduction of its performance over time.

Once the bottom of the suction/compression chamber 506 has been reached, the user releases the actuator 510, thus allowing the element 1 to release the stored energy and move the piston 507 back to the initial rest position shown in Figure 1. The elastic return of the plunger 508 generates a vacuum inside the suction/compression chamber 506 and said vacuum causes the operation of the first valve means 515 downstream the suction duct 517 and makes the liquid F flow into the chamber 506 itself, by sucking it from the container C, thus preparing the device 500 for the successive use.

The Figures 32 and 33 show the characteristic range/force curves of the element of Figure 1 and of a traditional metal spring, respectively. The comparison between these curves shows that, with the same preload force required - in the case in question 0.5 Kgf - and with the same stroke L of the piston, the elastic element proposed is shorter when at rest. More precisely, in the case in question, the element proposed is approximately 14 mm long, while the length of the metal spring is 17.5 mm. The same comparison also shows that to obtain the same preload force of approximately 0.5 Kgf it is sufficient to compress the element 1 by approximately 2.5 mm, while 5 mm are needed for the metal spring. The comparison between the two curves also shows that the user, to make the piston cover the last section of its stroke, must generate, in the case of a metal spring, a greater force than that required by the element 1. Advantageously and preferably, all the parts of the device proposed can be made also of a plastic or synthetic material. This makes it possible to obtain a device that can be completely recycled, with no need to previously separate the parts made of metallic materials or in any way of incompatible materials. It should also be observed that the very simple shape of the elastic element proposed makes it easy to produce, also by means of equipment that is simple to manufacture and to service.

It should also be observed that the proposed solution advantageously makes it possible to produce devices for dispensing fluids that can be assembled automatically. The above description clearly shows that the solution proposed allows the drawbacks described to be eliminated and the set goals to be achieved. Even though the invention has been described with reference to the enclosed drawings, upon implementation certain modifications may be made, which are all included in the inventive concept expressed in the following claims and are therefore protected by the present patent.

Claims

1) Elastic element (1, 100, 101, 102, 104, 105) for carrying out devices for dispensing fluids or mixtures, advantageously, but not necessarily comprising detergents, perfumes or foods, characterized in that said elastic element (1, 100, 101, 102, 104, 105) comprises a body (2) defining a longitudinal axis (3) in which it is possible to identify one or more parts (40, 41, 43, 45, 46) substantially in the shape of a dome or vault.
2) Element (1, 100, 101, 102, 104, 105) according to claim 1), characterized in that said shape substantially resembling that of a dome and/or vault is generated by the rotation around said longitudinal axis (3) substantially of a section (5, 6) of a circumference, ellipse, parabola or polycentric curve.
3) Element (1, 100, 101, 102, 104, 105) according to claim 2), characterized in that said dome or vault has a substantially circular, polygonal or elliptic cross section. 4) Element (105) according to claim 1), 2) or 3), characterized in that said shape substantially resembling a vault is constituted by lunes (20, 21) arranged on a substantially polygonal plan and converging towards said longitudinal axis (3).
5) Element (1, 100, 101, 102, 104, 105) according to any of the preceding claims, characterized in that said longitudinal axis (3) defines an axis of symmetry for said body (2).
6) Element (1, 100, 102, 104, 105) according to any of the preceding claims, characterized in that at least one of said one or more parts (40, 41, 45, 46) is provided with one or more openings (7). 7) Element (1, 100, 102, 104, 105) according to claim 6), characterized in that said one or more openings (7) are longitudinal and/or substantially equally spaced from one another and/or convergent.
8) Element (I5 100, 102, 104, 105) according to claim 6) or 7), characterized in that said one or more openings (7) are substantially triangular in shape.
9) Element (1, 100, 101, 102, 104, 105) according to any of the preceding claims, characterized in that areas with controlled yield and/or stiffened areas can be identified in said elastic element (1, 100, 101, 102, 104, 105).
10) Element (1, 102, 104, 105) according to claim 9), characterized in that said areas with controlled yield and/or stiffened areas comprise ring-shaped stiffening bands (8) between two parts (40, 41) adjacent to each other.
11) Element according to claim 10), characterized in that said ring- shaped bands (8) are substantially cylindrical or truncated cone-shaped.
12) Element (1, 100, 101, 102, 104, 105) according to claim 9), characterized in that said element (1, 100, 101, 102, 104, 105) is provided with transverse sections with variable thickness at least along said longitudinal axis (3), which define said areas with controlled yield and/or stiffened areas.
13) Element (1, 100, 101, 102, 104, 105) according to any of the preceding claims, characterized in that when said elastic element (1, 100, 101, 102, 104, 105) is compressed longitudinally said one or more parts (40, 41, 43, 45, 46) yield elastically and concentrically in relation to one another with respect to said longitudinal axis (3).
14) Element (1, 100, 101, 102, 104, 105) according to any of the preceding claims, characterized in that said element (1, 100, 101, 102, 104, 105) is produced through a moulding process.
15) Element (1, 100, 101, 102, 104, 105) according to any of the preceding claims, characterized in that said element is made of a plastic material.
16) Element (1, 100, 101, 102, 104, 105) according to any of the preceding claims, characterized in that said element (1, 100, 101, 102, 104,
105) is also provided with a longitudinal through hole (10) passing substantially coaxially to said longitudinal axis (3).
17) Device (500) for dispensing a fluid (F) suited to be applied to a container (C) containing said fluid (F), comprising: - suction means (501) suited to be moved between at least one first rest position and at least one second operating position to draw said fluid (F) from said container (C) and convey it towards the outside (E);
- elastic means (502) suited to bring said suction means (501) back to said at least one first rest position and to maintain them in this position once said suction means (501) have been moved from said at least one first position to said at least one second position, characterized in that said elastic means (502) comprise at least one elastic element (1, 100, 101, 102, 104, 105) carried out according to any of the preceding claims. 18) Device (500) according to claim 15), characterized in that said suction means (501) comprise at least one hollow body (505) defining at least one suction/compression chamber (506) of said fluid (F), with which at least one piston (507) is slidingly coupled, said piston being movable from said at least one first rest position to said at least one second operating position.
19) Device (500) according to claim 18), characterized in that said at least one piston (507) comprises a plunger (508) sealingly cooperating with the walls of said at least one suction/compression chamber (506) and one rod (509) integral with an actuator element (510). 20) Device (500) according to claim 19), characterized in that said rod
(509) is provided with at least one dispensing duct (514) of said fluid (F) communicating with said at least one suction/compression chamber (506) and with the outside (E).
21) Device (500) according to any of the claims from 17) to 20), characterized in that said device (500) also comprises first and second valve means (515, 516) suited to regulate the flow of said fluid (F) into said suction/compression chamber (506) and the flow from said chamber (506) itself to at least one dispensing duct (514).
22) Device (500) according to claim 21), characterized in that said first valve means (515) and said second valve means (516) are positioned downstream and upstream a suction duct (517) and said dispensing duct (514), respectively.
21) Device (500) according to claim 21) or 22), characterized in that said first valve means (515) comprise a ball (515a).
24) Device (500) according to claim 21), 22) or 23), characterized in that said second valve means (516) comprise sealing edges (516a) integral with said piston (507) and suited to engage with corresponding grooves.
25) Device (500) according to claim 21), 22) or 23), characterized in that said second valve means (516) comprise a spherical element made of a non- metallic material. 26) Device (500) according to any of the claims from 19) to 25), characterized in that said device (500) also comprises means to lock/release said device (500), which can be activated by selectively rotating said at least one actuator element (510).
27) Device (500) according to claim 26), characterized in that said locking/releasing means comprise a first opposing element (521a) integral with said piston (507) and suited to selectively interfere with a second opposing element (521b) or to slide on a groove (521c).
28) Device (1) according to any of the claims from 17) to 27), characterized in that said device (500) also comprises means for regulating the quantity of fluid (F) to be dispensed each time the device is operated.
29) Device (500) according to claims 18) and 28), characterized in that said regulating means comprise one or more grooves (52 Id, 52Ie), having different length, on which an opposing element (521a) integral with said piston (507) slides in order to selectively define different quantities of fluid (F) to be dispensed each time the device is operated.
30) Device (500) according to any of the preceding claims, characterized in that said device (500) also comprises second suction means suited to convey pressurized air into a mixing chamber, said second means being operated in a coordinated way with said suction means (501) of said fluid (F) suited to convey said fluid (F) into said mixing chamber, after which there are means suited to contribute to the formation of foam.
31) Device according to claim 30), characterized in that said second suction means comprise a collapsible chamber.
32) Device according to claim 31), characterized in that said collapsible chamber is defined by an elastic bellows.
33) Device (500) according to any of the claims from 17) to 32), characterized in that all the parts making up said device (500) are made of a plastic material.
34) Device (500) according to any of the claims from 17) to 33), characterized in that said at least one elastic element (1, 100, 101, 102, 104,
105) is positioned coaxial to said piston (507).
35) Device according to any of the claims from 18) to 33), characterized in that said at least one elastic element (1, 100, 101, 102, 104, 105) is positioned in said at least one suction/compression chamber (506). 36) System for dispensing a fluid or a mixture, comprising a container (C ) for said fluid or mixture (F) and a device (500) for dispensing said fluid or mixture (F), characterized in that said device (500) is carried out according to any of the claims from 17) to 35).
37) Elastic element (1, 100, 101, 102, 104, 105) for carrying out fluid dispensing devices, device (500) for dispensing fluids or mixtures and relevant system substantially as described, also with reference to the enclosed drawings.
PCT/IB2005/002093 2004-07-26 2005-07-20 Elastic element for fluid dispensing devices and relevant dispensing device WO2006013419A1 (en)

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ITVI20040183 2004-07-26

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Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
WO2011060601A1 (en) * 2009-11-19 2011-05-26 黄建壮 Improved structure of pure plastic hand trigger sprayer
WO2012104701A1 (en) * 2011-01-31 2012-08-09 Taplast S.P.A. Device for dispensing fluids or mixtures
WO2013170614A1 (en) * 2012-05-16 2013-11-21 Ding Yaowu Press-type liquid pump
WO2013170615A1 (en) * 2012-05-16 2013-11-21 Ding Yaowu Press-type liquid pump

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JP2000015148A (en) * 1998-06-29 2000-01-18 Yoshino Kogyosho Co Ltd Liquid ejection pump
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EP1266696A1 (en) * 2001-06-13 2002-12-18 Taplast S.p.A. Bellows pump for delivery gas-liquid mixtures
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FR2735452A1 (en) * 1995-06-14 1996-12-20 Michel Chopin Automatic measuring dispenser for liquids or pastes
JP2000015148A (en) * 1998-06-29 2000-01-18 Yoshino Kogyosho Co Ltd Liquid ejection pump
US6637626B1 (en) * 1999-04-23 2003-10-28 Owens-Illinois Closure Inc. Pump dispenser having one-piece plastic spring and gasket
US20030116588A1 (en) * 2000-04-13 2003-06-26 Stefano Santagiuliana Multidose delivery pump
US20020105126A1 (en) * 2001-02-08 2002-08-08 Monson Robert James Dual hemisphere elastomer mount
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* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
WO2011060601A1 (en) * 2009-11-19 2011-05-26 黄建壮 Improved structure of pure plastic hand trigger sprayer
WO2012104701A1 (en) * 2011-01-31 2012-08-09 Taplast S.P.A. Device for dispensing fluids or mixtures
WO2013170614A1 (en) * 2012-05-16 2013-11-21 Ding Yaowu Press-type liquid pump
WO2013170615A1 (en) * 2012-05-16 2013-11-21 Ding Yaowu Press-type liquid pump
JP2015521138A (en) * 2012-05-16 2015-07-27 ヤオ ウー ディン, Press-type liquid pump
US9539597B2 (en) 2012-05-16 2017-01-10 Yaowu Ding Press-type liquid pump

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