(19)
(11)EP 2 296 820 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
11.12.2019 Bulletin 2019/50

(21)Application number: 09767769.4

(22)Date of filing:  18.06.2009
(51)International Patent Classification (IPC): 
B05B 1/04(2006.01)
B05B 11/04(2006.01)
B65D 47/08(2006.01)
B05B 11/00(2006.01)
B65D 47/06(2006.01)
B65D 47/24(2006.01)
(86)International application number:
PCT/US2009/047857
(87)International publication number:
WO 2009/155460 (23.12.2009 Gazette  2009/52)

(54)

DISPENSING CLOSURE FOR A FAN SPRAY NOZZLE

ABGABEVERSCHLUSS FÜR EINE FÄCHERSPRÜHDÜSE

FERMETURE DE DISTRIBUTION D'UNE BUSE À FAISCEAU


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO SE SI SK TR

(30)Priority: 18.06.2008 US 73616

(43)Date of publication of application:
23.03.2011 Bulletin 2011/12

(60)Divisional application:
12182680.4 / 2535291

(73)Proprietor: Silgan Dispensing Systems Slatersville LLC
North Smithfield, RI 02876 (US)

(72)Inventors:
  • ROMANOV, Sergey
    Cranston, RI 02921 (US)
  • SKILLIN, Clifford
    Blackstone, MA 01540 (US)
  • BRANNON, Patrick
    Warwick, RI 02888 (US)

(74)Representative: Coulson, Elizabeth Eve 
Coulson & Rule 13 Whitehall Road
Rugby, Warwickshire CV21 3AE
Rugby, Warwickshire CV21 3AE (GB)


(56)References cited: : 
EP-A1- 0 405 472
EP-A1- 0 911 616
EP-A2- 0 439 109
US-A- 2 759 643
US-A- 4 022 352
US-A- 4 718 607
EP-A1- 0 532 958
EP-A2- 0 230 862
WO-A1-2004/043820
US-A- 3 877 598
US-A- 4 377 247
US-A- 5 927 566
  
      
    Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).


    Description

    BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION



    [0001] The invention relates to container closures, and more particularly to squeeze-type container dispensing closures. This invention relates to a dispensing closure for dispensing liquid. More specifically, it relates to a dispensing closure defining an orifice in the closure to produce a fan-type discharge or spray in a low-pressure environment.

    [0002] The prior art discloses numerous patents related to high pressure environments for producing various sprays. U.S. Patent No, 2,755,137 discloses a liquid spray jet and has for its object the provision of a jet. The spray jet includes a jet member having a parallel sided slot. U.S. Patent No. 4,175,704 discloses a non-aerosol type spray dispenser. The end of a tubular member mounts a spray nozzle built into a parabolic section which extends outwardly from the end of the actuator. U.S. Patent Number 4,718,607 generally shows a spray orifice adapted for discharging a mixture of atomized liquid entrained within a gas stream for coating a surface with the liquid. U.S. Patent Number 4,760,956 shows a spray gun that includes a mixing apparatus and an atomizer including a liquid nozzle.

    [0003] Also, the prior art discloses the use of additional non-squeeze- type dispensing closures to produce various sprays in a high pressure environment. U.S. Patent Number 4,971,256 shows a sprinkler having a nozzle head abutting the end wall and defining a vertical slot extending radially therethrough. U.S. Patent Number 5,642,860 shows a slotted spray nozzle. U.S. Patent Number 5,890,655 discloses a fan spray nozzle having elastomeric dome-shaped tips with a flow conduit outwardly extending from the upper deck. The '655 patent discloses the spray nozzle being made of an elastomeric material having a flexural modulus from about 1,000 psi to about 25,000 psi.

    [0004] In EP 0911616 to Soplar SA, a bottle is disclosed which has a dispensing spout extending at an angle to the vertical with a dispensing opening in the form of a slit. The dispensing spout is coupled to a tube formed integral with the body of the bottle, extending to the base of the latter, for feeding the cleaning fluid to the spout.

    [0005] Based upon the prior art cited above, there remains a need for a dispensing closure having a dispensing orifice which allows for liquid discharges in the form of a fan-type spray in a low pressure environment produced by a squeeze-type container.

    BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION



    [0006] The invention preserves the advantages of prior dispensing closures for squeeze-type containers. In addition, it provides new advantages not found in currently available dispensing closures for squeeze-type containers and overcomes many disadvantages of such currently available dispensing closures for squeeze-type containers.

    [0007] A first aspect of the invention provides a dispensing closure comprising a closure body including an upper deck; a skirt depending from the upper deck configured and arranged to attach to a product container; a closure lid and a means for hingedly connecting said closure lid to said closure body; a flow conduit extending from said upper deck to provide a flow path from an interior of said closure to an exterior of said closure, said flow conduit including an entrance orifice and an exit orifice, said flow conduit and said closure body being integrally formed, said flow conduit having an inner wall extending between said entrance orifice and said exit orifice, said flow conduit including a means for producing a fan-type spray in a low pressure environment, which means comprises a tip portion having a non-planar surface having an interior volume to collect liquid before liquid exits through said exit orifice at less than 5 psi, said non-planar surface being a raised surface of said flow conduit, and said tip portion defining a shape of said exit orifice, selected from a group consisting of: rectangular, bowtie, half bowtie, oval, keyhole, dumbbell, curved rectangular, "J", "T", inverted "T", inverted "J", and other non-circular shapes; a first body portion of said flow conduit extending from said upper deck to said tip portion, and said tip portion having a height less than the first body portion of the flow conduit; and the dispensing closure, further comprising: a means for sealing the exit orifice of said flow conduit to prevent liquid from exiting therethrough; wherein a first means for sealing the exit orifice includes a sealing wedge positioned on an interior surface of the lid for sealing engagement through the exit orifice of said flow conduit; and/or wherein a second means for sealing the exit orifice includes a sealing member portion of said flow conduit, said sealing member portion positioned at upper portion of said flow conduit for engaging an interior of said closure lid when lid is in a closed position, said interior of said closure lid including a seal bead to engage said sealing member portion to prevent the flow of liquid out of the exit orifice; and/or wherein a third means for sealing the exit orifice includes the closure lid having a mating surface corresponding to an exterior surface of said tip portion to prevent the flow of liquid through said exit orifice of the flow conduit when the lid is in a closed position.

    [0008] The flow conduit, closure body, and tip portion may be integrally formed.

    [0009] Optionally, said non-planar surface has a relatively uniform thickness of material, and further comprises a peripheral wall extending upwardly from said upper deck and surrounding the first body portion of said flow conduit.

    [0010] Optionally, said flow conduit defines a gradually decreasing diameter as it extends from an interior of the dispensing closure, through said upper deck, and to said tip portion.

    [0011] Optionally, the dispensing closure further comprises an insert member positioned within said exit orifice of said product container, said insert member including an insert base for seating within said exit orifice of said product container, said insert member including a sealing tube portion extending upwardly from said insert base to occupy an interior volume of said flow conduit.

    [0012] Optionally, a first means for sealing the exit orifice includes said sealing tube portion including a mating surface corresponding to an interior surface of said tip portion to prevent flow of liquid through said exit orifice when said closure body is rotated into a closed position to contact said sealing tube portion; and/or wherein a second means for sealing the exit orifice includes a sealing member portion of said sealing tube portion, said sealing member portion positioned at an upper portion of said insert member for engaging an interior of said flow conduit when said closure is rotated into a closed position to contact said sealing tube portion, said interior of said flow conduit including a seal bead to engage said sealing member portion to prevent the flow of liquid out of the exit orifice.

    [0013] Optionally, the dispensing closure further comprises a means for releasably latching said lid to said body.

    [0014] Optionally, the product container is a squeeze-type product container. The dimensions of the flow conduit, tip portion, and exit orifice may be adjusted to accommodate varying viscosity of the liquid and desired dimension of the fan-type discharge.

    [0015] Optionally, the tip portion defines a width, depth, and radius of said exit orifice. The method comprises adjusting the dimensions of said width, depth and radius to accommodate varying viscosity of the liquid and desired dimension of the fan-type discharge.

    [0016] Optionally, the means for releasably latching said lid to said body is a child-resistant latching mechanism.

    [0017] Optionally, the dispensing closure is a one-piece or two-piece dispensing closure.

    BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS



    [0018] The novel features which are characteristic of the present invention are set forth in the appended claims. However, the invention's preferred embodiments, together with further objects and attendant advantages, will be best understood by reference to the following detailed description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings in which:

    Fig. 1 is a perspective view of a one-piece dispensing closure with a closure lid in a closed position;

    Fig. 2 is a perspective view of the dispensing closure of Fig. 1 in an open position;

    Fig. 3 is a cross-sectional view of a dispensing closure with a closure lid in an open position showing in dotted lines the outline of a neck of a product container;

    Fig. 4 is an elevated cross-sectional view of the dispensing closure of Fig. 3 with closure lid in a closed position;

    Fig. 5 is a perspective view of a dispensing closure with a closure lid having an interior circular wall for closing the exit orifice;

    Fig. 6 is a top view of a dispensing closure with a closure lid having a sealing wedge in an open position;

    Fig. 7 is an elevated cross-sectional view of a dispensing closure with a closure lid having a sealing wedge in a closed position;

    Fig. 8 is a cross-sectional view of the dispensing closure of Fig. 6 having a closure lid having a sealing wedge in a closed position;

    Fig. 9 is a perspective view of a two-piece dispensing closure with an insert member;

    Fig. 10 is a cross-sectional view of the dispensing closure of Fig. 9 in a closed position;

    Fig. 11 is an elevated cross-sectional view of the dispensing closure of Fig. 9 in a closed position;

    Fig. 12 is a cross-sectional view of the dispensing closure of Fig. 9 in an open position;

    Fig. 13 is an elevated cross-sectional view of the dispensing closure of Fig. 9 in an open position;

    Fig. 14 is a top view of the dispensing closure of Fig. 9 including an exit orifice having a bowtie shape;

    Fig. 15 is a top view of the dispensing closure of Fig. 9 including an exit orifice having a curved rectangular shape;

    Fig. 16 is a top view of the dispensing closure of Fig. 9 including an exit orifice having a dumbbell shape;

    Fig. 17 is a top view of the dispensing closure of Fig. 9 including an exit orifice having a half bowtie shape;

    Fig. 18 is a top view of the dispensing closure of Fig. 9 including an exit orifice having a fan keyhole shape;

    Fig. 19 is a top view of the dispensing closure of Fig. 9 including an exit orifice having an oval shape;

    Fig. 20 is a cross-sectional view of a dispensing closure illustrating a tip portion with width (A), depth (C), and radius of exit orifice (B); and

    Fig. 21 is a side view of the dispensing closure of Fig. 5 attached to a squeeze-type product container with a partial perspective view of the dispensing closure of Fig. 5 in a cut-away.


    DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS



    [0019] In accordance with the present invention, a dispensing closure for squeeze-type containers is disclosed. This invention relates to a dispensing closure for dispensing liquid. More specifically, it relates to a dispensing closure defining an exit orifice in the closure to produce a fan-type discharge or spray in a low-pressure environment.

    [0020] As shown generally in Figures 1-21, the present invention is generally directed to a novel dispensing closure for squeeze-type containers. Most importantly, as shown in Figs. 1-3, the dispensing closure 10 has an exit orifice 16 defined in a tip portion 18 of the flow conduit 20. The tip portion 18 includes a raised non-planar surface which allows for a collection of liquid before discharging liquid in a fan-type spray through the exit orifice 16 in a low pressure environment. As shown in Fig. 2, it should be noted that a raised spherical surface may be one type of non-planar surface used in the present invention but it is not limited to a raised spherical surface. Also, it should be further noted that the exit orifice 16 may have a shape other than rectangular depending upon the viscosity of the liquid and desired dimension of the fan-type spray.

    [0021] A low pressure environment may be produced by a squeeze- type product container 900 (Fig. 21) upon a force being applied to the product container 900 by a user. In one embodiment, the fan-type spray is provided at less than 5 psi. Alternatively, the fan-type spray may be produced between 0.5 psi and 3 psi which is typically the result of an average squeeze produced by a person of average strength.

    [0022] Referring to Fig. 2, the dispensing closure 10 for a squeeze-type container produces a fan-type spray in a low pressure environment. Generally, each of the embodiments includes a closure body 12 having an upper deck 24 and a skirt 22 depending from the upper deck 24 where the skirt 22 is configured and arranged to attach to a product container 900, such as squeeze-type product container 900 or inverted- type container (not shown). Referring to Fig. 3, the skirt 22 includes internal threads 22A for threaded mounting on an open end or neck of a product container (illustrated in dotted lines). However, it is to be understood that other skirt mounting arrangements are also contemplated within the scope of the claims, and the invention should not be limited to the inwardly threaded skirt as the singular means for mounting. Furthermore, the skirt 22 may be a singular or double walled skirt.

    [0023] A flow conduit 20 extends from an interior of the closure body 12 and through the upper deck 24 to provide a flow path from an interior of the closure 10 to an exterior of the closure 10. The flow conduit 20 has an entrance orifice 20A within the interior of the closure body 12 and an exit orifice 16 outside the exterior of the closure body 12. In one embodiment, the flow conduit 20 is raised in an elongated manner outside the exterior surface of the body closure 12. The flow conduit 20 has an inner wall 21 extending between the entrance orifice 20A and the exit orifice 16. The inner wall 21 is gradually inclined to funnel liquid from an interior of the closure body 12 to the tip portion 18. Note, a peripheral wall 26 extends upwardly from the upper deck 24 to surround a first body portion 22 of the flow conduit 20 to capture excess liquids.

    [0024] The flow conduit 20 includes the tip portion 18 for facilitating the production of a fan-type spray through the exit orifice 16. The tip portion 18 includes the raised non-planar surface having an interior volume to collect liquid before the liquid exits through the exit orifice 16 under low pressure. The collection of liquid within an interior volume of the raised non-planar surface provides a continuous and even flow of liquid as it exits through the exit orifice 16.

    [0025] The tip portion 18 defines a shape of the exit orifice 16 which facilitates the production of the fan-type spray. Referring back to Fig.2, the dispensing orifice 16 is defined along a diameter of a non- planar surface of the flow conduit 20 and the orifice 16 has a substantially rectangular shape. The rectangular exit orifice 16 has a uniform width to provide a uniform thickness and width of the fan- type spray when it exits through the exit orifice 16. Also, it should be noted that to produce a continuous fan-type spray, the exit orifice 16 may also define a uniform width, especially for the rectangular shape, and the tip portion 18 may have a relatively uniform thickness of material.

    [0026] It should be noted that the rectangular exit orifice 16 and tip portion 18 having the non-planar surface, disclosed in Figs. 1-3, are an example and that it is contemplated that other dimensions of the width and depth of the tip portion 18 and a radius of the exit orifice 16 may be adjusted to accommodate varying viscosity of the liquid, desired dimensions of the fan-type spray, and intended purpose of the liquid.

    [0027] The dispensing closure 10 can provide a fan-type discharge using multiple configurations of the dispensing orifice 16. Other shapes of the exit orifice 16 that may be used are, for example, a bowtie shape (Fig. 14), curved rectangular shape (Fig. 15), dumbbell shape (Fig. 16), half bowtie shape (Fig. 17), keyhole shape (Fig. 18), oval shape (Fig. 19), "J" shape, "T" shape, inverted "T" shape, inverted "J" shape, and other non-circular shapes.

    [0028] The bowtie shape (Fig. 14) of the dispensing or exit orifice 16 provides a lighter stream of liquid from the middle of the dispensing orifice 16 and heavier stream of liquid at its ends. This may be particularly desirable for purposes of discharging a toilet blow cleaner inside an interior of a bowl where more liquid may be desirable in an upper lip area and towards the centre of the bowl. In another embodiment, the dispensing orifice may be designed in the shape of a "T", "J", inverted "J", and inverted "T". These different configurations provide a lighter stream of liquid from the middle of the dispensing orifice with a heavier stream at a single end.

    [0029] In another embodiment, the dispensing orifice 16 may also have a non-uniform width along the tip portion 18 of the flow conduit 20. For example, the "fan" orifice 16 may have an increased or decreased width of the dispensing orifice 16 depending upon the viscosity of the product and desired angular flow of the liquid.

    [0030] Also, the dispensing orifice 16 may extend less than the entire radius or diameter of the non-planar surface area of the tip portion 18. The dispensing orifice 16 may be set off its normal orientation, by degrees, in order to provide a better or optimal angle for streaming liquid into a toilet bowl or other desirable environment. It should also be noted that the fan-type spray from the present invention may be adjusted by using different shapes, sizes, and/or configurations in accordance with those dispensing characteristics desired.

    [0031] In one embodiment, the flow conduit 20, the closure body 12, and the tip portion 18 are integrally formed to facilitate the fan- type spray in a low pressure environment. The flow conduit 20 includes a first body portion 22 of the flow conduit 20 extending from the upper deck 24 to the tip portion 18 in a gradually decreasing diameter. The tip portion 18 has a height less than the first body portion 22 of the flow conduit 20 to funnel liquid from an interior of the closure body 12 to the tip portion 18.

    [0032] Now referring generally to Figs. 1-3, in a one-piece dispensing closure 10 including a closure lid 14, the dispensing closure 10 includes multiple sealing mechanisms to prevent liquid from exiting through the exit orifice 16. In one embodiment, the dispensing closure 10 includes a closure lid 14, a hinge mechanism 28 for connecting the lid 14 to the body 12, and a latching mechanism 30 for securing the lid 14 to the body 12.

    [0033] Referring to Figs. 6-8, in a first sealing mechanism for a dispensing closure 40 having a closure lid 44, a sealing wedge 42 is positioned on an interior surface of the lid 44 for sealing engagement through the exit orifice 48 of the flow conduit 50 when the lid 44 is in a closed position to prevent the exit of liquid through the exit orifice 48.

    [0034] Referring to Figs. 3-4, in a second sealing mechanism for a dispensing closure 10B having a closure lid 14, a sealing member portion 52 of the flow conduit 20 is positioned at an upper portion of the flow conduit 20 for engaging an interior of the closure lid 14 when the lid 14 is in a closed position. The interior of the closure lid 14 includes a seal bead 23 to frictionally engage the sealing member portion 52 to prevent the flow of liquid out of the exit orifice 16. Alternatively, the sealing member portion 52 includes a seal bead to frictionally engage the interior of the closure lid 14.

    [0035] In a third sealing mechanism for a dispensing closure 10B having a closure lid 14, the closure lid 14 includes a mating surface corresponding to an exterior non-planar surface of the tip portion 18. When the lid 14 is in a closed position, the mating surface seals against the tip portion 18 to prevent the flow of liquid through the exit orifice 16 of the flow conduit 20.

    [0036] In a fourth sealing mechanism for a dispensing closure 60 having a closure lid 62, the closure lid 62 includes an inner circular wall 66 depending from a central region. Preferably, the inner circular wall 66 has a diameter to allow for a friction fit with the sealing member portion 68 of the flow conduit 70. When the closure lid 62 is in a closed position, the inner circular wall 66 snaps over the exit orifice 72 to prevent the exit of liquid therethrough.

    [0037] Now referring generally to Figs. 9-13, in a two-piece dispensing closure 80 having an insert member 84 and a closure body 82, the dispensing closure 80 includes multiple sealing mechanisms to prevent liquid from exiting through the exit orifice 86. The dispensing closure 80 includes an insert member 84 positioned within the open end of the product container 900. The insert member 84 includes an insert base 88 for seating within the open end of the product container 900. The insert member 88 also includes a sealing tube portion 90 extending upwardly from said insert base 88 to occupy an interior volume of the flow conduit 92.

    [0038] Referring to Fig. 9-10, in a first sealing mechanism for a dispensing closure 80 having an insert member 84, the sealing tube portion 90 includes a mating surface corresponding to an interior surface of the tip portion 94. When the closure body 82 is rotated into a closed position to contact the sealing tube portion 90 with the interior surface of the tip portion 94, the liquid is prevented from discharging through the exit orifice 86.

    [0039] Referring to Fig. 11, in a second sealing mechanism for a dispensing closure 80 having an insert member 84, a sealing member portion 96 of the sealing tube portion 90 is positioned at an upper area of the insert member 84. The sealing member portion 96 engages an interior of the flow conduit 92 when the closure body 82 is rotated into in a closed position to contact the sealing tube portion 90. The interior of the flow conduit 92 includes a seal bead 98 to frictionally engage the sealing member portion 96 to prevent the flow of liquid out of the exit orifice 86. Alternatively, the sealing member portion 96 includes the seal bead to frictionally engage the interior of the flow conduit 92. Referring to Figs. 12-13, when the dispensing closure is rotated into an open position, the closure body 82 disengages from contact with the insert member 88 to allow the flow of liquid through the exit orifice 86.

    [0040] Referring to Figs. 14- 19, the dispensing closure 80 can provide a fan-type discharge using multiple configurations of the dispensing orifice 86. Other shapes of the exit orifice 86 that may be used are, for example, a bowtie shape (Fig. 14), curved rectangular shape (Fig. 15), dumbbell shape (Fig. 16), half bowtie shape (Fig. 17), keyhole shape (Fig. 18), oval shape (Fig. 19), "J" shape, "T" shape, inverted "T" shape, inverted "J" shape, and other non-circular shapes

    [0041] As shown generally in Figs. 1-8, the dispensing closure 10A, 10B, 40, 60 may have a lid which is attached to the dispensing closure by a hinge mechanism, such as a living hinge. Also, referring to Fig. 3, the dispensing closure 10B may include a latching flange 100 near the hinge mechanism. When the lid 14 is pivoted about the hinge, the latching flange 100 extending from the closure lid 14 may engage a portion of the closure body 12 to facilitate an open position of the lid 14.

    [0042] As shown generally in Figs. 1-8, the dispensing closure 10A, 10B, 40, 60 may also include various latching mechanisms for releasably securing the closure lid to the closure body. Referring to Figs. 2 and 6, a dispensing closure is illustrated that includes a child-resistant latching mechanism. This latching mechanism features a double-walled skirt having diametrically opposing sides which are depressed, at a lower portion, before opening the closure lid hingedly connected to the closure. In operation, the dispensing closure disengages the lid from the closure body by pushing inwardly on the outer side wall of the skirt to move hook members on the closure body away from hook members on the closure lid and away from a central axis of the dispensing closure. Also, a single latching mechanism may also be used as shown in Fig. 5. It should be noted that Figs. 1-8 show an example of one type of hinge mechanism and latching mechanism and that other types of lid configurations may be used in the present invention.

    [0043] Now referring to Fig. 21, in operation, the dispensing closure 60 provides a fan-type spray or stream of liquid that fans out in a low pressure environment when the product container is squeezed. Note, any of the embodiments of the dispensing closure may be attached to the product container and this is merely an example. The low pressure environment may be less than 5psi. In one embodiment, the dispensing closure is attached to a squeeze-type product container. When the squeeze-type product container has a force applied by a user, the liquid within the container moves through the flow conduit, collects within the tip portion to decelerate the velocity of the liquid, and discharges through the fan-type shaped exit orifice in a fan-type spray at less than 5 psi. In operation, the dispensing closure provides a stream of liquid that fans out when the product container is squeezed. Note, the purpose of the fan-type discharge is to provide a person who is cleaning, for example, a toilet bowl a wide stream of liquid to cover the desired portions of the bowl.

    [0044] The flow path and velocity of the liquid through the dispensing closure during operation provides a fan-type spray in a low-pressure environment. Upon applying pressure to product container full of liquid, the liquid moves from an interior of the product container and into an interior of the dispensing closure attached to the product container. The liquid then accelerates into the flow conduit. The flow conduit has a gradually decreasing diameter which funnels the liquid into the tip portion where it temporarily collects or pools in the interior volume of the raised non-planar surface. The purpose of the raised non-planar surface is to maintain a continuous flow of the liquid discharge while it exits through the shaped exit orifice in a fan-type discharge.

    [0045] Referring to Figs. 1-8, the dispensing closure with the closure lid, or one-piece molded closure, operates in the following manner. To open the dispensing closure, the user depresses the sides of the closure body to release the closure lid whereby the closure lid is moved into an open position. Next, the user squeezes the product container to provide a discharge of liquid through the exit orifice of the flow conduit in a fan-type spray. To close the dispensing closure, the user snappingly engages the lid over the closure body.

    [0046] Referring to Figs. 9-13, the dispensing closure with the insert member, or two-piece molded closure, operates in the following manner. To open the dispensing closure, a user rotates or turns the closure body relative to the stationary insert member to remove the sealing tube away from sealing engagement with the exit orifice. Next, the user squeezes the product container to discharge liquid through the exit orifice in a fan-type spray. To close the dispensing closure, the user rotates or turns the closure body relative to the stationary insert member to return the sealing tube in sealing engagement with the exit orifice.

    [0047] It is to be noted that the dimensions and shape of the dispensing closure, flow conduit, tip portion, and exit orifice are adjustable depending upon the viscosity of the product stored within an interior of the product container. Referring to Fig. 20, an example of a tip portion is illustrated which defines a width (A), depth (C), and radius (B) of said exit orifice which are adjustable according to the viscosity of the liquid and desired dimension of the fan-type discharge. For example, for a low viscosity liquid, it may be desirable for a flow conduit with smaller dimension to achieve a lower flow volume. Conversely, it may be desirable for a flow conduit with large dimensions for a highly viscous product to achieve a higher flow volume.

    [0048] In view of the foregoing, a dispensing closure is provided related to container closures, and more particularly to squeeze-type container dispensing closures. This invention relates to a dispensing closure for dispensing liquid with varying degrees of viscosity. More specifically, it relates to a dispensing closure defining an orifice in the closure to produce a fan-type discharge or spray in a low-pressure environment.

    [0049] It would be appreciated by those skilled in the art that various changes and modifications can be made to the illustrated embodiments without departing from the scope of the appended claims.


    Claims

    1. A dispensing closure (10; 10B; 40; 60), comprising a closure body (12) including:

    an upper deck (24);

    a skirt (22) depending from the upper deck, said skirt being configured and arranged to attach to a product container;

    a closure lid (14, 44, 62);

    a flow conduit (20; 50; 70; 92) extending from said upper deck to provide a flow path from an interior of said closure to an exterior of said closure, said flow conduit including an entrance orifice (20A) and an exit orifice (16; 72; 86), said flow conduit and said closure body being integrally formed, said flow conduit having an inner wall (21) extending between said entrance orifice and said exit orifice, said flow conduit including a means for producing a fan-type spray in a low-pressure environment, which means comprises a tip portion (18; 94) having a non-planar surface having an interior volume to collect liquid before liquid exits through said exit orifice at less than 5psi, said non-planar surface being a raised surface of said flow conduit, and said tip portion defining a shape of said exit orifice, selected from a group consisting of: rectangular, bowtie, half bowtie, oval, keyhole, dumbbell, curved rectangular, "J", "T", inverted "T", inverted "J", and other non-circular shapes; a first body portion (22) of said flow conduit extending from said upper deck to said tip portion, and said tip portion having a height less than the first body portion of the flow conduit; and

    the dispensing closure, further comprising:

    a means for sealing the exit orifice of said flow conduit to prevent liquid from exiting therethrough;

    wherein a first means for sealing the exit orifice includes a sealing wedge (42) positioned on an interior surface of the lid (44) for sealing engagement through the exit orifice (48) of said flow conduit (50); and/or

    wherein a second means for sealing the exit orifice includes a sealing member portion (52) of said flow conduit, said sealing member portion positioned at an upper portion of said flow conduit (20) for engaging an interior of said closure lid when lid is in a closed position, said interior of said closure lid including a seal bead (23) to engage said sealing member portion to prevent the flow of liquid out of the exit orifice; and/or

    wherein a third means for sealing the exit orifice includes the closure lid having a mating surface corresponding to an exterior surface of said tip portion to prevent the flow of liquid through said exit orifice of said flow conduit when the lid is in a closed position;

    characterised in that a means (28) is provided for hingedly connecting said closure lid (14, 44, 62) to said closure body (12).


     
    2. The dispensing closure of Claim 1, wherein said flow conduit, said closure body, and said tip portion are integrally formed.
     
    3. The dispensing closure of Claim 1, wherein said non-planar surface has a relatively uniform thickness of material, and further comprises a peripheral wall (26) extending upwardly from said upper deck and surrounding the first body portion (22) of said flow conduit.
     
    4. The dispensing closure of Claim 2 or 3, wherein said flow conduit defines a gradually decreasing diameter as it extends from an interior of the dispensing closure, through said upper deck, and to said tip portion.
     
    5. The dispensing closure of Claim 1, further comprising an insert member (84) positioned within said exit orifice (86) of said product container, said insert member including an insert base (88) for seating within said exit orifice of said product container, said insert member including a sealing tube portion (90) extending upwardly from said insert base to occupy an interior volume of said flow conduit.
     
    6. The dispensing closure of Claim 5, wherein a first means for sealing the exit orifice (86) includes said sealing tube portion (90) including a mating surface corresponding to an interior surface of said tip portion to prevent flow of liquid though said exit orifice when said closure body (82) is rotated into a closed position to contact said sealing tube portion; and/or
    wherein a second means for sealing the exit orifice includes a sealing member portion (96) of said sealing tube portion, said sealing member portion positioned at an upper portion of said insert member for engaging an interior of said flow conduit when said closure is rotated into a closed position to contact said sealing tube portion, said interior of said flow conduit including a seal bead (98) to engage said sealing member portion to prevent the flow of liquid out of the exit orifice.
     
    7. The dispensing closure of Claim 1, further comprising a means (30) for releasably latching said lid to said body.
     
    8. The dispensing closure of Claim 1, wherein the product container (900) is a squeeze-type product container; and/or wherein the dimensions of the flow conduit, tip portion, and exit orifice may be adjusted to accommodate varying viscosity of the liquid and desired dimension of the fan-type discharge.
     
    9. A method of forming a dispensing closure according to Claim 1 wherein the tip portion defines a width (A), depth (C), and radius (B) of said exit orifice and wherein the method comprises adjusting the dimensions of said width, depth and radius to accommodate varying viscosity of the liquid and desired dimension of the fan-type discharge.
     
    10. The dispensing closure of Claim 7, wherein the means for releasably latching said lid to said body is a child-resistant latching mechanism.
     
    11. The dispensing closure of Claim 1 wherein the dispensing closure is a one-piece dispensing closure.
     
    12. The dispensing closure of Claim 5 or 6, wherein the dispensing closure is a two-piece dispensing closure.
     


    Ansprüche

    1. Dosierverschluss (10; 10B; 40; 60) mit einem Verschlusskörper (12), umfassend:

    ein Oberdeck (24);

    eine Schürze (22), die sich von dem Oberdeck erstreckt, wobei die Schürze hergerichtet und angeordnet ist, um an einem Produktbehälter befestigt zu werden;

    einen Verschlussdeckel (14, 44, 62);

    eine Durchflussleitung (20; 50; 70; 92), die sich von dem Oberdeck erstreckt, um einen Durchflusspfad von einem Inneren des Verschlusses zu einem Äußeren des Verschlusses bereitzustellen, wobei die Durchflussleitung eine Eingangsöffnung (20A) und eine Ausgangsöffnung (16; 72; 86) aufweist, wobei die Durchflussleitung und der Verschlusskörper integral ausgebildet sind, wobei die Durchflussleitung eine Innenwand (21) aufweist, die sich zwischen der Eingangsöffnung und der Ausgangsöffnung erstreckt, wobei die Durchflussleitung eine Einrichtung zum Erzeugen eines fächerartigen Sprühstrahls in einer Niederdruckumgebung aufweist und die Einrichtung einen Spitzenabschnitt (18; 94) mit einer nicht-planaren Oberfläche aufweist, die ein Innenvolumen zum Sammeln von Flüssigkeit umfasst, und zwar bevor Flüssigkeit durch die Austrittsöffnung bei weniger als 5 psi austritt, wobei die nicht-planare Oberfläche eine erhabene Oberfläche der Durchflussleitung ist und der Spitzenabschnitt eine Form der Austrittsöffnung definiert, die ausgewählt ist aus einer Gruppe bestehend aus: rechteckig, fliegenartig, halbfliegenartig, oval, schlüssellochartig, kurzhantelartig, gekrümmt, rechteckig, "J-förmig", "T-förmig", invertiert "T-förmig", invertiert "J-förmig" und anderen nicht-kreisförmigen Formen; ferner einen ersten Körperabschnitt (22) der Durchflussleitung, der sich von dem Oberdeck zu dem Spitzenabschnitt erstreckt, wobei der Spitzenabschnitt eine Höhe aufweist, die kleiner ist als der erste Körperabschnitt der Durchflussleitung; und

    wobei der Dosierverschluss ferner umfasst:

    eine Einrichtung zum Abdichten der Austrittsöffnung der Durchflussleitung, um zu verhindern, dass Flüssigkeit durch diese austritt;

    wobei eine erste Einrichtung zum Abdichten der Austrittsöffnung einen Dichtkeil (42) aufweist, der auf einer Innenfläche des Deckels (44) als Dichtungseingriff durch die Austrittsöffnung (48) der Durchflussleitung (50) angeordnet ist; und/oder

    wobei eine zweite Einrichtung zum Abdichten der Austrittsöffnung einen Dichtungselementabschnitt (52) der Durchflussleitung umfasst, wobei der Dichtungselementabschnitt an einem oberen Abschnitt der Durchflussleitung (20) angeordnet ist, um ein Inneres des Verschlussdeckels in Eingriff zu nehmen, wenn der Deckel in einer geschlossenen Position ist, wobei das Innere des Verschlussdeckels einen Dichtungswulst (23) aufweist, um den Dichtungselementabschnitt in Eingriff zu nehmen, um Flüssigkeitsfluss aus der Austrittsöffnung zu verhindern; und/oder

    wobei eine dritte Einrichtung zum Abdichten der Austrittsöffnung einen besonders ausgebildeten Verschlussdeckel hat, derart, dass dieser eine Gegenfläche aufweist, die der Außenfläche des Spitzenabschnitts entspricht, um so Flüssigkeitsfluss durch die Austrittsöffnung der Durchflussleitung zu verhindern, wenn der Deckel in einer geschlossenen Position ist;

    dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass eine Einrichtung (28) zum schwenkbaren Verbinden des Verschlussdeckels (14, 44, 62) mit dem Verschlusskörper (12) bereitgestellt ist.


     
    2. Dosierverschluss nach Anspruch 1, wobei die Durchflussleitung, der Verschlusskörper und der Spitzenabschnitt integral ausgebildet sind.
     
    3. Dosierverschluss nach Anspruch 1, wobei die nicht-planare Oberfläche eine relativ gleichmäßige Materialdicke aufweist und ferner eine Umfangswand (26) umfasst, die sich von dem Oberdeck nach oben erstreckt und den ersten Körperabschnitt (22) der Durchflussleitung umgibt.
     
    4. Dosierverschluss nach Anspruch 2 oder 3, wobei die Durchflussleitung einen graduell sich verringernden Durchmesser definiert und der sich von einem Inneren des Dosierverschlusses durch das Oberdeck und hin zu dem Spitzenabschnitt erstreckt.
     
    5. Dosierverschluss nach Anspruch 1, der ferner ein Einsatzelement (84) umfasst, das innerhalb der Austrittsöffnung (86) des Produktbehälters angeordnet ist, wobei das Einsatzelement einen Einsatzsockel (88) zum Einsetzen in die Austrittsöffnung des Produktbehälters aufweist, und wobei das Einsatzelement einen Dichtungsrohrabschnitt (90) aufweist, der sich von dem Einsatzsockel nach oben erstreckt, um ein Innenvolumen der Durchflussleitung zu besetzen.
     
    6. Dosierverschluss nach Anspruch 5, wobei eine erste Einrichtung zum Abdichten der Austrittsöffnung (86) den Dichtungsrohrabschnitt (90) aufweist, der eine Gegenfläche aufweist, die einer Innenfläche des Spitzenabschnitts entspricht, um Flüssigkeitsfluss durch die Austrittsöffnung zu verhindern, wenn der Verschlusskörper (82) in eine geschlossene Position gedreht wird, um den Dichtungsrohrabschnitt zu kontaktieren; und/oder
    wobei eine zweite Einrichtung zum Abdichten der Austrittsöffnung einen Dichtungselementabschnitt (96) des Dichtungsrohrabschnitts umfasst, wobei der Dichtungselementabschnitt an einem oberen Abschnitt des Einsatzsockels angeordnet ist, um ein Inneres der Durchflussleitung in Eingriff zu nehmen, wenn der Verschluss in eine geschlossene Position gedreht wird, um den Dichtungsrohrabschnitt zu kontaktieren, wobei das Innere der Durchflussleitung eine Dichtungswulst (98) aufweist, um den Dichtungselementabschnitt in Eingriff zu nehmen, um Flüssigkeitsfluss aus der Austrittsöffnung zu verhindern.
     
    7. Dosierverschluss nach Anspruch 1, der ferner eine Einrichtung (30) zum lösbaren Verriegeln des Deckels mit dem Körper umfasst.
     
    8. Dosierverschluss nach Anspruch 1, wobei der Produktbehälter (900) ein Produktbehälter der Quetschart ist; und/oder wobei die Abmessung der Durchflussleitung, des Spitzenabschnitts und der Austrittsöffnung so eingestellt werden können, um einer variierenden Viskosität der Flüssigkeit und einer gewünschten Dimension des fächerartigen Auslasses Rechnung zu tragen.
     
    9. Verfahren zum Bilden eines Dosierverschlusses nach Anspruch 1, wobei der Spitzenabschnitt eine Breite (A), Tiefe (C) und einen Radius (B) der Austrittsöffnung definiert und wobei das Verfahren das Einstellen der Abmessung der Breite, Tiefe und des Radius umfasst, um einer variierenden Viskosität der Flüssigkeit und einer gewünschten Dimension des fächerartigen Auslasses Rechnung zu tragen.
     
    10. Dosierverschluss nach Anspruch 7, wobei die Einrichtung zum lösbaren Verriegeln des Deckels an dem Körper ein kindersicherer Verriegelungsmechanismus ist.
     
    11. Dosierverschluss nach Anspruch 1, wobei der Dosierverschluss ein einteiliger Dosierverschluss ist.
     
    12. Dosierverschluss nach Anspruch 5 oder 6, wobei der Dosierverschluss ein zweiteiliger Dosierverschluss ist.
     


    Revendications

    1. Fermeture de distribution (10; 10B; 40; 60), comprenant un corps de fermeture (12) incluant
    un plateau supérieur (24) ;
    une jupe (22) pendant depuis le plateau supérieur, ladite jupe étant configurée et agencée pour fixation sur un contenant de produit ;
    un couvercle de fermeture (14, 44, 62) ;
    un conduit d'écoulement (20; 50; 70; 92) s'étendant depuis ledit plateau supérieur pour fournir un chemin d'écoulement depuis un intérieur de ladite fermeture vers un extérieur de ladite fermeture, ledit conduit d'écoulement incluant un orifice d'entrée (20A) et une orifice de sortie (16; 72; 86), ledit conduit d'écoulement et ledit corps de fermeture étant formés d'un seul bloc, ledit conduit d'écoulement ayant une paroi intérieure (21) s'étendant entre ledit orifice d'entrée et ledit orifice de sortie, ledit conduit d'écoulement incluant des moyens pour produire une pulvérisation du type en éventail dans un environnement basse pression ; lesquels moyens comprennent une partie d'extrémité (18; 94) ayant une surface non plane ayant un volume intérieur pour collecter du liquide avant que le liquide sorte à travers ledit orifice de sortie à moins de 5psi, ladite surface non plane étant une surface surélevée dudit conduit d'écoulement, et ladite partie d'extrémité définissant une forme dudit orifice de sortie, sélectionnée parmi un groupe consistant en : rectangulaire, nœud papillon, demi nœud papillon, ovale, trou de clé, haltère, rectangulaire courbée, "J", "T", "T" inversé, "J" inversé, et autres formes non circulaires ; une première partie de corps (22) dudit conduit d'écoulement s'étendant depuis ledit plateau supérieur vers ladite partie d'extrémité, et ladite partie d'extrémité ayant une hauteur inférieure à la première partie de corps du conduit d'écoulement ; et
    la fermeture de distribution, comprenant en outre :

    des moyens pour étanchéifier l'orifice de sortie dudit conduit d'écoulement pour empêcher du liquide de sortir à travers ;

    dans laquelle des premiers moyens d'étanchéisation pour étanchéifier l'orifice de sortie incluent un coin d'étanchéité (42) positionné sur une surface intérieure du couvercle (44) pour s'engager de manière étanche à travers l'orifice de sortie (48) dudit conduit d'écoulement (50) ; et/ou

    dans laquelle des seconds moyens pour étanchéifier l'orifice de sortie incluent une partie d'élément d'étanchéité (52) dudit conduit d'écoulement, ladite partie d'élément d'étanchéité positionnée en une partie supérieure dudit conduit d'écoulement (20) pour engagement avec un intérieur dudit couvercle de fermeture quand le couvercle est dans une position fermée, ledit intérieur dudit couvercle de fermeture incluant un cordon d'étanchéité (23) pour engagement avec ladite partie d'élément d'étanchéité pour empêcher l'écoulement de liquide hors de l'orifice de sortie ; et/ou

    dans laquelle des troisièmes moyens pour étanchéifier l'orifice de sortie incluent le couvercle de fermeture ayant une surface d'accouplement correspondant à une surface extérieure de ladite partie d'extrémité pour empêcher l'écoulement de liquide à travers ledit orifice de sortie dudit conduit d'écoulement quand le couvercle est dans une position fermée ;

    caractérisée en ce que des moyens (28) sont fournis pour relier de manière articulée ledit couvercle de fermeture (14, 44, 62) audit corps de fermeture (12).


     
    2. Fermeture de distribution selon la revendication 1, dans laquelle ledit conduit d'écoulement, ledit corps de fermeture, et ladite partie d'extrémité sont formés d'un seul bloc.
     
    3. Fermeture de distribution selon la revendication 1, dans laquelle ladite surface non plane a une épaisseur de matériau relativement uniforme, et comprend en outre une paroi périphérique (26) s'étendant vers le haut depuis ledit plateau supérieur et entourant la première partie de corps (22) dudit conduit d'écoulement.
     
    4. Fermeture de distribution selon la revendication 2 ou 3, dans laquelle ledit conduit d'écoulement définit un diamètre diminuant progressivement quand il s'étend depuis un intérieur de la fermeture de distribution, à travers ledit plateau supérieur, et ladite partie d'extrémité.
     
    5. Fermeture de distribution selon la revendication 1, comprenant en outre un élément d'insert (84) positionné dans ledit orifice de sortie (86) dudit contenant de produit, ledit élément d'insert incluant une base d'insert (88) pour s'asseoir dans ledit orifice de sortie dudit contenant de produit, ledit élément d'insert incluant une partie de tube d'étanchéisation (90) s'étendant vers le haut depuis ladite base d'insert pour occuper un volume intérieur dudit conduit d'écoulement.
     
    6. Fermeture de distribution selon la revendication 5, dans laquelle des premiers moyens pour étanchéifier l'orifice de sortie (86) incluent ladite partie de tube d'étanchéisation (90) incluant une surface d'accouplement correspondant à un surface intérieure de ladite partie d'extrémité pour empêcher un écoulement de liquide à travers ledit orifice de sortie quand ledit corps de fermeture (82) est tourné dans une position fermée pour entrer en contact avec ladite partie de tube d'étanchéisation ; et/ou
    dans laquelle des seconds moyens pour étanchéifier l'orifice de sortie incluent une partie d'élément d'étanchéisation (96) de ladite partie de tube d'étanchéisation, ladite partie d'élément d'étanchéisation positionnée en une partie supérieure dudit élément d'insert pour engagement avec un intérieur dudit conduit d'écoulement quand ladite fermeture est tournée dans une position fermée pour entrer en contact avec ladite partie de tube d'étanchéisation, ledit intérieur dudit conduit d'écoulement incluant un cordon d'étanchéité (98) pour engagement avec ladite partie d'élément d'étanchéisation pour empêcher l'écoulement de liquide hors de l'orifice de sortie.
     
    7. Fermeture de distribution selon la revendication 1, comprenant en outre des moyens (30) pour verrouiller de manière amovible ledit couvercle sur ledit corps.
     
    8. Fermeture de distribution selon la revendication 1, dans laquelle le contenant de produit (900) est un contenant de produit du type à enfoncement ; et/ou dans laquelle les dimensions du conduit d'écoulement, de la partie d'extrémité, et de l'orifice de sortie peuvent être ajustées pour s'adapter à diverses viscosité du liquide et à une dimension souhaitée de la distribution du type en éventail.
     
    9. Procédé de formation d'une fermeture de distribution selon la revendication 1, dans lequel la partie d'extrémité définit une largeur (A), une profondeur (C) et un rayon (B) dudit orifice de sortie et dans lequel le procédé comprend d'ajuster les dimension desdites largeur, profondeur et rayon pour s'adapter à diverses viscosité du liquide et à une dimension souhaitée de la distribution du type en éventail.
     
    10. Fermeture de distribution selon la revendication 7, dans laquelle les moyens pour verrouiller de manière amovible ledit couvercle sur ledit corps sont un mécanisme de verrouillage de sécurité enfants.
     
    11. Fermeture de distribution selon la revendication 1, dans laquelle la fermeture de distribution est une fermeture de distribution d'une seule pièce.
     
    12. Fermeture de distribution selon la revendication 5 ou 6, dans laquelle la fermeture de distribution est une fermeture de distribution en deux pièces.
     




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    Cited references

    REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



    This list of references cited by the applicant is for the reader's convenience only. It does not form part of the European patent document. Even though great care has been taken in compiling the references, errors or omissions cannot be excluded and the EPO disclaims all liability in this regard.

    Patent documents cited in the description