|Title of Invention||
A FOAM OR MIST DISPENSER
|Abstract||Foam or mist dispenser comprised of (i) a container; (ii) a cap; (iii) a pressurizing means to increase the inner pressure in said container and (iv) a dip tube having two ends, the first upper end cooperating with an opening to which a liquid inside said container is expelled there from in view of the increased inner pressure in the container, the second opposite end facing the bottom of said container, said dispenser being hand-held, wherein the liquid is a mixture of atleast water and powder detergent, said dip tube being provided with a three-dimensional turbulence elements atleast at one end thereof; wherein a rotatable shaft comprises of one or more following of the blades : concentric blades, shovel-type blades, and eccentric blades.|
|Full Text||FORM -2
THE PATENTS ACT, 1970 (39 of 1970)
(See Section 10)
A FOAM OR MIST DISPENSER
HINDUSTAN LEVER LIMITED, a company incorporated under the Indian Companies Act, 1913 and having its registered office at Hindustan Lever House, 165/166, Backbay Reclamation, Mumbai -400 020, Maharashtra, India
The following specification particularly describes the nature of the invention and the manner in which it is to be performed.
A FOAM OR MIST DISPENSER
The present utility model is directed to a foam or mist dispenser. It is particularly directed to an improvement of a portable dispenser that dispenses, under pressure, foam or mist from a mixture comprised of air, water and detergent, for example powder detergent, with the aid.of a three-dimensional (3-D) turbulence element.
The term "portable" as used herein refers to a hand-held dispenser, preferentially a dispenser that can be held with only one of hand, such as well-known existing commercial deodorant or shaving-foam dispensers. Larger portable dispensers, which cannot be held with only one hand, for example having the size of a fire extinguisher, are efficient but represent a less preferential embodiment of the present utility model.
Foam or mist dispensers based on compressing means actuated by the user are known to the skilled in the art. As a common characteristic, they comprise a container and a cap, said cap being connected to the end of a flow pipe (known as dip tube), of which the opposite end is located near the bottom of the container.
Some of such devices can be simple, for example the one called squeeze bottle', usually used for dispensing a deodorant mist (or spray). It is a flexible plastic container filled with liquid, and the dispensing takes place when the user's hand compresses the flexible walls of the container, deforming them and increasing the pressure in the
head space, compelling the liquid to go upward through the
dip tube, and be ejected from the container - as a function of the configuration of the cap orifice and/or the use of a two-dimensional structures like a foam or mist-forming mesh, the liquid can be expelled as a foam or spray. An exemplary embodiment of this dispenser is shown in U.S. patent 2,642,313, published in 1953.
Portable dispensers provided with containers whose walls are
made of rigid material are known. Such dispensers are
commonly provided with manual pumping devices actuated by
the user, frequently on the top of the container, for
example trigger-like. Such pumps are more complex devices
than those described in the previous item, sometimes
comprising both an air and a liquid pump. Dispensers
provided with pumps of this kind are disclosed, for example,
in U.S. Patents Nos. 6,053,364, 5,271,530, 5,443,569, etc.
Liquid or foam dispensers containing gas under pressure are also known but the preferred application of the utility model is particularly aimed at the two previously mentioned cases.
The object of the present utility model is particularly a portable container for dispensing mist or foam from mixtures of air, water and powder detergent, for example, powder detergent, to be used in pre-wash treatment of clothes (pre-wash treatment is a procedure whereby certain parts of the clothes to be washed are previously wetted with a detergent or the like).
Known dispensers are sold with a solution inside the container, not adapted to be used with mixtures prepared in situ. In other words, those dispensers cannot be used to dispense mixtures made from different components as required or as available whenever the pre-wash treatment is needed. Because different viscosities and surface tensions are obtained every time, two-dimensional foam/mist forming elements like meshes or nets do not seem to be quite efficient.
The present utility model seeks to solve this problem through the use of 3-D turbulence elements installed at one
end of the dip tube that convey the liquid from the bottom of a container towards the container cap when the inner pressure in said container increases. In other words, it is a portable mist or foam dispenser comprised of a container, a cap, a means to increase the inner pressure in the said container, and a dip tube having two ends, the first end cooperating with an opening through which the liquid is expelled from the container and the second opposite end being close to the bottom of said container, characterized in that said dip tube is provided with a three dimensional turbulence element at least at one end thereof. More adequately, the upper end of the dip tube is provided with such a 3-D turbulence element.
It should be also noted that the turbulence element of the present utility model might be considered bifunctional, acting alternatively, as a turbulence generator and valve.
Within an alternative embodiment of this utility model, the dip tube can be provided with one or more upper ends and/or one or more lower ends, meaning that said pipe can be branched or split thus providing additional ends, so that at least one upper end and one lower end are provided with at least one turbulence element.
Particularly, but not excluding any other embodiment, the utility model for the present dispenser uses, for producing the foam or mist, a mixture of water and powder detergent (where detergent means soap, synthetic detergent, mixtures of both of them, and the like), which inserted into the container and agitated until a substantially homogeneous mixture -is obtained. The mixture may comprise other components, such as enzymes, biocides, fragrances, and the like. Particularly, an adequate ratio between water and powder detergent ranges from about between 50:1 and about 1:1 by weight. Preferentially, the mixture occupies less than 95% of the total room inside the container of the dispenser of the utility model.
The cooperation between the dip tube and an upper opening is carried out in such a way that the liquid that runs through the dip tube can reach the exterior of the container, either directly or indirectly. In other words, the end of the dip tube can end directly at the orifice or output port of the container (either on the cap, or on a side-wall or the container), or end at any element, for example, a waiting or mixing chamber, that by its turn allows the liquid to access the exterior of the container.
As used here, a turbulence element is any and all three-dimensional structure capable of provoking turbulence of the
liquid inside- or in the neighbourhood of the entrance or output ends of the dip tube. As examples of such structures, without the exclusion of any other, 3-D turbulence elements can be sets of lashes or bristles inside the dip tube, or next to the ends thereof, as well as pumice stone, parallel or random sets of fins, structural natural or artificial polymeric foam, parallel or randomly arranged apertured or non-apertured flat disks of same or different diameters, a distribution of filaments either loose or as a woven or nonwoven web, shaped particles like spheres, cylinders, other mixed and irregular shapes, etc.
Combinations of two or more turbulence elements are also suitable.
The presence of a turbulence element at the liquid output end is particularly suitable to the formation of foam, which can be turned into mist depending on the geometry of the output orifice and the pressure used, as is known by those skilled in the art. In a particular embodiment of this utility model the 3-D turbulence element, located in a mixing chamber lat the upper end of the dip tube, is a rotatabie shaft (either idle of mechanically driven) with propeller blades, where air and the liquid solution are mixed to obtain foam. In the annex fig. 1 several examples of blades cooperating with such a rotating shaft A can be
seerxr B denotes- concentric propeller blades, C denotes for shovel-type blades, D denotes eccentric blades. The arrows in fig. 1 show that the shaft can turn either clockwise or counter clockwise.
The presence of 3-D turbulence elements at the ends of the dip tube brings about a number of advantages:
- they provide a more homogeneous
air/water/detergent mixture before it is dispensed;
- they contribute to the formation of a more homogeneous mist or foam;
- they provide a more consistent foam.
A means to increase the inner pressure in the container of the dispenser of the utility model can be any of those known in the art, more particularly comprising (a) partially flexible walls so that the user's hand can compress same or (b) a pumping device actuated by the user's hands or finger(s), mainly for containers having rigid walls. The mechanisms of hand-actuated pumps, including combined air and liquid pumps, are known to one skilled in the art, and do not impose any limitation to the scope of the present utility model
The container of the dispenser of this utility model can have any shape suitable to the portability and handling,
without-excluding; any shape, for example, the cylindrical shape is used. Its dimensions suit the above-mentioned portability.
The cap of the dispenser of the utility model can be any, aimed at the function of sealing the container in a non-definitive way, allowing same to be removed so that water and powder detergent can be inserted into the interior of the container. When the container used is flexible, a cap having an orifice and a coupling for the end of the dip tube are particularly suitable. When the container used is rigid, the cap can house a pumping device to be actuated by the user's fingers, for instance also comprising a coupling for the end of the dip tube and/or a mixing chamber.
The materials used in the construction of the dispenser protected hereby and the components thereof are those suitable to its purpose, and are known to one skilled in the art, not imposing any restraint to the working of the utility model.
Two particular embodiments of the utility model are given below, without creating limitations to its scope other than the ones mentioned in the accompanying claims.
The-portable dispenser of this example is particularly-suitable for producing foam to be used in the pre-wash treatment of clothes, when the produced foam, obtained from a mixture of water and powder detergent, is sprayed upon the dirtier portions of the clothes to be cleaned, for examples fists, collars and armpits. The detergent foam is left for some time in contact with the desired portions of the clothes before insertion in the washing machine, where it is submitted to a normal washing cycle.
Figures 2, 3 and 4 represent an example of hand-held dispenser with a mobile 3-D turbulence element associated with the upper end of the dip tube, housed in a turbulence chamber, whereas figures 5, 6 and 7 represent an example of a fixed 3-D turbulence element associated with the upper end of the dip tube of a hand-held dispenser. In both cases the use of turbulence elements in the lower end of the dip tube is optional.
Figs. 2, 3 and 4 refer to a dispenser 1, having a foam outlet 10, a turbulence chamber 20, a 3-D turbulence element 30, air input ports 40, and a dip tube 50, the lower end of it is a liquid input port. The container and its walls are not shiwn
Fig. 2 shows the dispenser at rest.
Fig. 3 shows the dispenser when both the liquid and the air within the container are pressurized (pressurizing means not shown). One can see that air and liquid penetrate in the turbulence chamber 20 (respectively through input entrances 40 and 50), go through the 3-D turbulence element 3 0 where they get mixed forming foam, which is then expelled through foam outlet 10. The turbulence element is lifted by the combined flow of air and liquid, not allowing liquid alone or air alone to escape through outlet 10.
Fig. 4 shows the recovery position, when air is replenished in the container after the foam is dispensed. The turbulence element 3 0 goes to the rest position within the turbulence chamber 20, so that air will enter the container through ports 10 and 40 (not through the 3-D turbulence elements 30) .
Figures 5, 6 and 7 show a hand-held dispenser 2, comprising a foam outlet 15, a 3-D turbulence element 25, air inlet ports 35 and a dip tube 45. Pressurizing means and the walls of the dispenser are not shown.
Fig. 5 shows the dispenser at rest.
Fig. 6 shows air being forced through ports 35, and liquid being forced up the dip tube 45, so that air and liquid are forced to be mixed inside the 3-D turbulence element 25, with the formation of foam that is dispensed through foam outlet 15.
Fig. 7 shows the recovery situation, when air is replenished in the container after the foam is dispensed. Air comes through foam outlet 15, through the 3-D turbulence element 25 and into the container through ports 35.
It should be also noted that in the case of vertical inversion, the air and liquid inlets present the respective functions also inverted.
It will be promptly perceived by one skilled in the art, with the aid of the text and the figures presented herein, that there are many possible alternatives permitted by this utility model without departing from the scope of protection provided by the following claims.
1. Foam or mist dispenser comprised of
(i) a container;
(ii) a cap;
(iii) a pressurizing means to increase the inner pressure in said container and
(iv) a dip tube having two ends, the first upper end cooperating with an opening to which a liquid inside said container is expelled there from in view of the increased inner pressure in the container, the second opposite end facing the bottom of said container, said dispenser being hand-held, wherein the liquid is a mixture of atleast water and powder detergent, said dip tube being provided with a three-dimensional turbulence elements atleast at one end thereof;
wherein a rotatable shaft comprises of one or more following of the blades : concentric blades, shovel-type blades, and eccentric blades.
2. The dispenser according to claim 1, wherein said three-dimensional turbulence element is contained within a turbulence chamber at the upper end of said dip tube.
3. The dispenser according to claim 1, wherein said mixture of water and powder detergent comprises other components, in particular fragrances, enzymes and / or biocides.
4. The dispenser according to claim 1, wherein said pressurizing means is constituted by partially or fully flexible walls of said container.
5. The dispenser according to claim 1, wherein said pressurizing means is constituted by a pumping device actuated by the user of said dispenser, able to pump air and / or liquid.
6. The dispenser according to claim 1, wherein said container is cylindrical.
7. The dispenser according to claim 1, wherein said container is of a non-cylindrical form.
8. The dispenser according to claim 1, wherein said liquid occupies less than 95% of the full space inside said container.
9. The dispenser according to claim 1, wherein the ratio between water and powder detergent is comprised between about 50:1 and 1:1 by weight.
10. The dispenser according to claim 1, wherein the said turbulence element is one or more of the following elements : sets of lashes or bristles inside the dip tube, or next to the ends thereof, pumice stone, parallel or random sets of fins, structural natural or artificial polymeric foam, parallel or randomly arranged apertured or non-apertured flat disks of same or different diameters, a distribution of filaments, either loose or as a woven or nonwoven web, shaped particles like spheres, cylinders, or any other shape, a rotatable shaft either idle of mechanically driven with propeller blades.
11. The dispenser according to claim 1, wherein said three-dimensional turbulence element is a mobile one within a turbulence chamber at the upper end of said dip tube.
12. The dispenser according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the turbulence element functions as a valve.
|Indian Patent Application Number||270/MUMNP/2004|
|PG Journal Number||42/2008|
|Date of Filing||11-May-2004|
|Name of Patentee||HINDUSTAN UNILEVER LIMITED|
|Applicant Address||HINDUSTAN LEVER HOUSE, 165-166 BACKBAY RECLAMATION, MUMBAI 400 020|
|PCT International Classification Number||B05B 7/00|
|PCT International Application Number||PCT/EP02/11714|
|PCT International Filing date||2002-10-18|