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Title:
FROZEN MATERIALS APPLICATOR
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2001/051409
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
An applicator for frozen materials (1) is disclosed including a hollow barrel (10) having spaced apart open ends and an effective amount of frozen material portioned within the barrel. A plunger (5) is slidably positioned within the barrel (10) and includes an anchor that is fixedly secured to the effective amount of frozen material. The plunger (5) is arranged so as to be slid within the barrel between (i) a first position wherein the effective amount of frozen material is fully enclosed by the barrel and (ii) a second position wherein the effective amount of frozen material is at least partially exposed from one of the open ends.

Inventors:
PAUKOVITS EDWARD J JR (US)
HOFFNER JANET J
Application Number:
PCT/US2001/000590
Publication Date:
July 19, 2001
Filing Date:
January 08, 2001
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
PAUKOVITS EDWARD J JR (US)
International Classes:
A23G9/28; A61J7/00; A61B18/02; (IPC1-7): B67D5/42; B65D85/72
Foreign References:
US5111973A1992-05-12
US3432027A1969-03-11
US3459296A1969-08-05
US1964623A1934-06-26
US1718997A1929-07-02
US2101075A1937-12-07
US5431915A1995-07-11
US3920156A1975-11-18
US3752364A1973-08-14
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Apicelli, Samuel W. (Morris & Heckscher LLP 305 North Front Street P.O. Box 1003 Harrisburg, PA, US)
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Claims:
What Is Claimed Is :
1. An applicator for frozen materials comprising: a hollow barrel having spacedapart open ends and an effective amount of frozen material positioned within said barrel ; and a plunger slidably positioned within said barrel and including an anchor fixedly secured to said effective amount of frozen material.
2. An applicator according to claim 1 wherein said plunger includes an elongate shaft including a top end having a top surface and an annular groove formed in the outer surface of said plunger adjacent to said top end and spaced from said top surface.
3. An applicator according to claim 2 wherein said annular groove is sized and shaped so as to accept and releasably retain a sealing member.
4. An applicator according to claim 3 wherein said sealing member comprises an elastomeric Oring.
5. An applicator according to claim 3 wherein said sealing member comprises an elastomeric bulb.
6. An applicator according to claim 1 wherein said plunger includes an elongate shaft formed from a thermally insulating material so as to reduce heat conduction through said plunger into said frozen materials within said barrel.
7. An applicator according to claim 1 wherein said anchor comprises a shaft projecting outwardly from a top end of said plunger and a grappling cap that projects radially outwardly from a top end of said shaft and includes a bottom surface.
8. An applicator according to claim 7 wherein said bottom surface of said grappling cap is disposed in spaced relation to a top surface of said plunger such that a portion of said frozen materials is disposed between said top surface and said bottom surface of said grappling cap.
9. An applicator according to claim 7 wherein said shaft comprises a length that is no more than the length of said barrel.
10. An applicator according to claim 7 wherein said shaft comprises a consumable selected from the group consisting of confectionery materials, medications, and combinations thereof.
11. An applicator according to claim 7 wherein said anchor comprises a height above a top surface of said plunger that is less than the distance from said top surface to said open end of said barrel when said frozen materials have been consumed so as to prevent inadvertent consumption of said anchor.
12. An applicator according to claim 1 wherein said anchor comprises a shaft projecting outwardly from a top end of said plunger and includes at least one transverse bore such that a portion of said frozen materials is disposed within said at least one transverse bore so as to form a bridge that secures said portion of said frozen materials to said anchor.
13. An applicator according to claim 1 wherein said barrel comprises an elongate, hollow tube having a top end, an open bottom end, and an inner diameter that is slightly larger than the width of said plunger, and includes finger flanges positioned adjacent to said open bottom end.
14. An applicator according to claim 13 wherein said barrel includes a sealing cap integrally formed with said top end and including means for detaching said sealing cap from said barrel.
15. An applicator according to claim 14 wherein said means for detaching said sealing cap from said barrel comprise an annular score line.
16. An applicator according to claim 14 wherein said means for detaching said sealing cap from said barrel comprise an annularly formed set of semiperforations.
17. An applicator according to claim 14 including a reusable cap and wherein said barrel comprises an annular shoulder positioned on an outer surface adjacent to said top end such that said annular shoulder is sized and shaped for releasable engagement with a corresponding feature on said reusable cap.
18. An applicator according to claim 17 wherein said reusable cap includes a top and an annular flange projecting downwardly from a peripheral edge of said top and including an annular groove positioned on an inner surface of said annular flange so that when said sealing cap is detached from said barrel said reusable cap may be snapfit to said top end of said barrel so as to enclose and protect a remaining top portion of said frozen materials.
19. An applicator according to claim 1 having an insulator comprising an elongate hollow tube having an open top end, an open bottom end, and an inner diameter that is substantially similar in size and shape to an outer surface of said'barrel such that said insulator is disposed on the outer surface of said barrel.
20. An applicator according to claim 19 wherein said insulator comprises a polygonal outer crosssectional shape so as to avoid rolling when said frozen materials applicator is placed on a table top or like surface.
21. An applicator according to claim 19 wherein an elongate hollow tube is disposed in overlying relation to an outer surface of said insulator.
22. An applicator for frozen materials comprising: a hollow barrel having spaced apart open ends and an effective amount of frozen material portioned within said barrel ; and a plunger slidably positioned within said barrel and including an anchor fixedly secured to said effective amount of frozen material so that said plunger may be slid within said barrel between (i) a first position wherein said effective amount of frozen material is fully enclosed by said barrel, and (ii) a second position wherein said effective amount of frozen material is at least partially exposed from one of said open ends.
23. An applicator for frozen materials comprising: a hollow barrel having spacedapart open ends and an effective amount of frozen material positioned within said barrel ; and a plunger slidably positioned within said barrel and including an anchor fixedly secured to said effective amount of frozen material wherein said anchor comprises a shaft projecting outwardly from a top end of said plunger and a grappling cap including a bottom surface, said grappling cap projecting radially outwardly from a top end of said anchor shaft and wherein said bottom surface of said grappling cap is disposed in spaced relation to a top surface of said plunger such that a portion of said frozen materials is disposed between said top surface and said bottom surface of said grappling cap.
24. An applicator according to claim 23 wherein said barrel includes a sealing cap integrally formed with a top end and including means for detaching said sealing cap from said barrel.
Description:
Frozen Materials Applicator Field Of The Invention The present invention generally relates to packages for frozen materials, and more particularly to a package and applicator for holding and dispensing a frozen liquid.

Background Of The Invention It is well known to apply frozen materials, e. g., water or confectionery ice or frozen liquid medications, directly to the mouth or skin surfaces of a person or patient. For example, U. S. Patent No. 4,537,194, issued to Hanson et al., provides an applicator used to apply a frozen solid, such as ice, as part of the treatment of a wound or injury. Hanson's device consists of first and second containers where the first container has an open top of a predetermined size, tapered side walls and a bottom having a central opening.

The second container has a shape that conforms at least in part to that of the first container, with an open top and a closed bottom. Hanson's containers are fitted together by placing the bottom of the first container into the top of the second container. The device can then be filled with liquid and subsequently frozen until needed. In use, the second container is removed and the first container serves as a handle for applying the frozen solid. Hanson fails to provide for the reuse or temporary or long term storage of the frozen material.

This can be wasteful, particularly when Hanson's containers are used in connection with expensive medications.

Various packages and containers are also known in the art for

dispensing frozen confections, in which the packaging forms at least a portion of the handle or container that is used to dispense the frozen confection.

Examples of such devices may be found in U. S. Patents Nos. 4,001,440; 4,165,061; and 4,223,043. Again, such prior art devices fail to provide for intermittent use and storage of the frozen materials.

There is a need in the art for a frozen material applicator which allows for the intermittent use and storage of the frozen material.

Summary Of The Invention The present invention provides an applicator for frozen materials comprising a hollow barrel having spaced apart open ends and an effective amount of frozen material positioned within the barrel. A plunger is slidably positioned within the barrel and includes an anchor that is fixedly secured to at least a portion of the frozen material. In this way, the plunger may be slid within the barrel between (i) a first position wherein the effective amount of frozen material is fully enclosed by the barrel, and (ii) a second position wherein the effective amount of frozen material is at least partially exposed from one of the open ends.

Brief Description Of The Drawings These and other features and advantages of the present invention will be more fully disclosed in, or rendered obvious by, the following detailed description of the preferred embodiments of the invention, which are to be considered together with the accompanying drawings wherein like numbers

refer to like parts and further wherein: Fig. 1 is a perspective view of a fully charged frozen materials applicator formed in accordance with a preferred embodiment of the present invention; Fig. 2 is a cross-sectional view of the frozen materials applicator shown in Fig. 1, with the insulator and ice removed for clarity of illustration ; Fig. 3 is a cross-sectional view of a plunger similar to that shown in Fig.

2, but having an elastomeric bulb disposed at a top end; Fig. 4 is a perspective view of a plunger similar to that shown in Fig. 2, but having an alternative anchor; Fig. 5 is a cross-sectional view of a barrel and insulator similar to that shown in Fig. 1, but with the plunger removed for clarity of illustration; Fig. 6 is a broken-away, cross-sectional view of a barrel and insulator similar to that shown in Fig. 1, but showing a removable cap in position for installation onto the top end of the barrel ; Fig. 7 is a broken-away, cross-sectional view of a barrel and insulator similar to that shown in Fig. 6, but showing the removable cap installed on the top end of the barrel ; and Fig. 8 is a cross-sectional view of an alternative embodiment of the present invention including an outer shell.

Detailed Description Of The Preferred Embodiment The following description of the preferred embodiments of the invention are intended to be read in connection with the foregoing drawings and are to

be considered a portion of the entire written description of this invention. As used in the following description, terms such as,"horizonal","vertical","left", "right","up", and"down", as well as adjectival and adverbial derivatives thereof (e. g.,"horizontally","rightwardly","upwardly", etc.) simply refer to the orientation of the structure of the invention as it is illustrated in the particular drawing figure when that figure faces the reader. Similarly, the terms "inwardly"and"outwardly"generally refer to the orientation of a surface relative to its axis of elongation, or axis of rotation, as appropriate. Also, the terms"connected"and"interconnected,"when used in this disclosure to describe the relationship between two or more structures, mean that such structures are secured or attached to each other either directly or indirectly through intervening structures, and include pivotal connections. The term "operatively connected"means that the foregoing direct or indirect connection between the structures allows such structures to operate as intended by virtue of such connection.

Referring to Figs. 1 and 2, a preferred embodiment of frozen materials applicator 1 comprises a plunger 5, a barrel 10, and an insulator 15. More particularly, plunger 5 includes a elongate shaft 18 having a top end 20, top surface 22, a bottom end 24, and a bottom surface 26. Plunger 5 is often formed from one of the well known engineering polymers, e. g., polyhalo- olefins, polyamides, polyolefins, polystyrenes, polyvinyls, polyacrylates, polymethacrylates, polypropylene, polyesters, polystyrenes, polydienes, polyoxides, polyamides and polysulfides and their blends, co-polymers and substituted derivatives thereof. Plunger 5 may be cylindrically shaped,

although other cross-sectional shapes, e. g., rectilinear, cruciform, polygonal, etc., would be appropriate for use with the invention. Elongate shaft 18 may be formed, in whole or in part, from a thermally insulating material so as to reduce heat conduction through plunger 5 into the frozen materials residing within barrel 10. In one embodiment, plunger 5 has a length of about five to ten centimeters and an outer diameter of about one to two centimeters. An annular groove 30 may be formed in the outer surface of plunger 5, adjacent to top end 20 and spaced from top surface 22. Annular groove 30 is sized and shaped so as to accept and releasably retain a sealing member, such as an elastomeric O-ring 32 or bulb 33 (Figs. 2 and 3). Of course, it will be understood that plunger 5 may be assembled to barrel 10 without an elastomeric O-ring 32 or bulb 33, so long as a substantially liquid tight, slidable engagement is maintained between a circumferential portion of top end 20 and the inner surface of barrel 10.

A thumb rest 36 is formed at bottom end 24 of plunger 5, with bottom surface 26 arranged to provide support for pushing plunger 5 with a thumb or finger. An anchor 40 projects outwardly from top end 20 of plunger 5, and preferably comprises a shaft 42 projecting outwardly from top surface 22.

Anchor 40 is securely fastened to plunger 5, or formed as an integral portion of plunger 5. Shaft 42 may comprise any length that is substantially the same or smaller than the length of barrel 10, and be formed from either consumable or nonconsumable materials, e. g., any of the foregoing polymers, confectionery materials, i. e., hard candy, bubble gum, licorice, etc., medications, i. e., cough, sore throat, cold and flu medications, or combinations of the same. It should

be understood that the foregoing list is exemplary only, and in no way limits the term consumable to these types of consumable materials alone. When shaft 42 is formed from confectionery materials, medications, or combinations of the same, these materials should be in a formulation that provides sufficient tensile strength, when in a frozen state, to engage and pull the frozen materials located within barrel 10, as will hereinafter be disclosed in further detail.

Referring to Figs. 2,3,4, and 8, shaft 42 includes a grappling cap 44 that projects radially outwardly from the top of shaft 42 in spaced relation to top surface 22 of plunger 5. Grappling cap 44 may be arranged at varying angles relative to shaft 42, as long as sufficient surface area is present for engaging frozen materials disposed between top surface 22 and the bottom surface or surfaces 46 of grappling cap 44. In the alternative embodiment shown in Fig. 4, an anchor 43 comprises a substantially flat shaft 48 having at least one transverse bore 49. Frozen material or ice that are located within the bores 49 form a bridge that secures the frozen materials located within barrel 10 to anchor 43 and thereby to plunger 5.

Referring to Figs. 1-2 and 5-8, barrel 10 may be formed from paper, cardboard, or the like, or any of the aforementioned engineering polymers, and comprises an elongate, hollow tube 60 having a top end 62, an open bottom end 64, and an inner diameter that is slightly larger than the width of plunger 5 at top end 20. Barrel 10 may be cylindrically shaped, although other cross- sectional shapes, e. g., rectilinear, cruciform, polygonal, etc., would be appropriate for use with the invention as long as the cross-sectional shape of

the interior portion of barrel 10 substantially corresponds to the cross-sectional shape of plunger 5. Finger flanges 66 may be positioned adjacent to open bottom end 64 for use in conjunction with thumb rest 36.

In one embodiment, barrel 10 has a length of about five to ten centimeters and an inner diameter of about one to two centimeters. Of course, it will be understood that the inner diameter of barrel 10 will normally be slightly larger than the outer diameter of plunger 5, e. g., about a. 25 to one millimeter differential, with elastomeric O-ring 32 or a portion of bulb 33 being sized so as to be squeezed therebetween during assembly and use of frozen materials applicator 1 thereby forming a slidable seal.

Referring to Figs. 1,2,5, and 8, a sealing cap 70 is integrally formed with top end 62 of barrel 10, and includes means for detaching it from top end 62, e. g., an annular score line or an annularly formed set of semi-perforations 76, or the like. Barrel 10 also includes an annular shoulder 77 positioned on its outer surface, adjacent to top end 62 and annular score line or semi- perforations 76. Annular shoulder 77 is sized and shaped for releasable engagement with a corresponding feature on the interior of a reusable cap 79.

Referring to Figs. 6 and 7, reusable cap 79 includes a top 72 and an annular flange 73 projecting downwardly from a peripheral edge. Reusable cap 79 has a diameter that is slightly larger than the outer diameter of barrel 10. An annular groove 75 is positioned on the inner surface of annular flange 73, and corresponds in size and shape to annular shoulder 77 of barre ! 10. In this way, when sealing cap 70 is removed from barrel 10, reusable cap 79 may be snap-fit to barrel 10 so as to enclose and protect the remaining top portion

of the frozen material disposed within frozen material applicator 1.

Insulator 15 may be formed from any of the aforementioned engineering polymers that have been formed, processed, or otherwise adapted so as to express their inherent thermal insulating properties. In one preferred embodiment, insulator 15 is formed from foamed polystyrene.

Insulator 15 structurally comprises an elongate, hollow tube 80 having an open top end 82, an open bottom end 84, and an inner diameter that is substantially similar in size and shape to the outer diameter of barrel 10. Insulator 15 may comprise a cylindrically shaped interior cross-section, although other cross- sectional shapes, e. g., rectilinear, cruciform, or polygonal, etc., would be appropriate for use with the invention, as long as the interior cross-sectional shape of insulator 15 substantially corresponds to the outer cross-sectional shape of barrel 10. The outer cross-sectional shape of insulator 15 may be the same or different from its interior cross-sectional shape, and is preferably rectilinear or polygonal so as to avoid rolling when placed on a table top or like surface.

In one embodiment, an additional elongate hollow tube 90 is disposed in overlying relation to the outer surface of insulator 15 so as to provide a different surface texture or hardness to frozen material applicator 1 (Fig. 8). In this embodiment, a plurality of barbs 92 are arranged on the interior surface of tube 90 so that insulator 15 may be firmly fastened to tube 90. Of course, it will be understood that tube 90 may comprise the same or a different cross- sectional shape than the outer cross-sectional shape of insulator 15.

Frozen materials applicator 1 is assembled in the following manner.

Barrel 10, with sealing cap 70 in place so as to close off top end 62, is oriented so that open bottom end 64 is placed in coaxial confronting relation with the orifice of a dispenser (not shown) of liquid to be frozen within frozen materials applicator 1. Such liquids may include water, confectionery syrups, medications, or combinations of some or all of the foregoing, that are appropriate for oral consumption, or application directly to the skin. Once barrel 10 has been filled with an effective amount of freezable liquid, plunger 5 may be installed in open bottom end 64.

More particularly, plunger 5 is positioned in confronting coaxial relation with open bottom end 64, with either O-ring 32 secured within a portion of annular groove 30, or bulb 33 positioned on top end 20. In this position, anchor 40 or 43 projects outwardly from top surface 22 toward open bottom end 64 of barrel 10. Once in this position, plunger 5 is moved toward open bottom end 64 of barrel 10 until O-ring 32 or bulb 33 sealingly engages the inner surface of barrel 10. In this position, plunger 5 is slidably disposed within barrel 10, with anchor 40 or 43 fully engulfed by the liquid within barrel 10.

Frozen materials applicator 1 is then subjected to reduced temperatures, i. e. temperatures at or below the freezing point for the liquid disposed within barrel 10. Once the liquid in barrel 10 has been frozen, at least a portion of the frozen liquid will be securely positioned between top surface 22 of plunger 5 and bottom surface or surfaces 46 of grappling cap 44.

In this way, the frozen material within barrel 10 will be fixedly secured to plunger 5 by the structural engagement of grappling cap 44 with the portion of the frozen material that is securely positioned between top surface 22 and

bottom surface or surfaces 46 of grappling cap 44. When using the embodiment of the invention comprising anchor 43, at least a portion of the frozen liquid will be positioned within and through transverse bores 49 so as to form one or more ice bridges that secure anchor 43 to the frozen liquid within barrel 10.

Barrel 10 may then have insulator 15 positioned around it to aid in maintaining the frozen material at or below its freezing temperature. More particularly, barrel 10 is oriented such that cap 70 is disposed in coaxial confronting relation with the open bottom end 84 of hollow tube 80. Once in this position, barrel 10 is moved toward open bottom end 84 of hollow tube 80 until insulator 15 surrounds substantially all of the outer surface of barrel 10.

In this position, sealing cap 70 is exposed above open top end 82 of insulator 15, with annular score line or semi-perforations 76 and annular shoulder 77 exposed above bottom end 84 of hollow tube 80. Although insulator 15 is preferably placed onto barrel 10 after the freezing process (so as to not interfere with the rate of cooling of the liquid in barrel 10) it will be understood that insulator 15 may be placed onto barrel 10 prior to the freezing process.

Frozen materials applicator 1 is used in the following manner. Cap 70 is first removed from barrel 10. More particularly, cap 70 is cut or torn along score line or semi-perforations 76 so as to expose a portion of the frozen material disposed within barrel 10. Thumb rest 36 of plunger 5 is then pressed toward barrel 10, while at the same time, barrel 10 is held stationery, e. g., secured in the hand of the user. As thumb rest 36 is pressed toward barrel 10, plunger 5 slidably moves into barrel 10. At the same time, top surface 22 of

plunger 5, or bulb 33, engages and pushes on the frozen material within barrel 10 causing it to slide relative to barrel 10, and thereby urging the frozen material upwardly and out of top end 64 by an amount proportional to the sliding movement of plunger 5 through barrel 10. The frozen material that is exposed at the top end of barrel 10 can then be applied to the desired portion of the user's body, e. g., by rubbing the exposed frozen material on the lips, skin, infected tissue, etc. Once an effective amount of the frozen material has been applied in the foregoing manner, or the user is temporarily ceasing their use of frozen materials applicator 1, the frozen material may be withdrawn within barrel 10.

More particularly, thumb rest 36 may be gripped, or otherwise securely held, and plunger 5 pulled outwardly, away from barrel 10 while barrel 10 is held securely. As this occurs, bottom surface or surfaces 46 of grappling cap 44, or the ice bridges formed through anchor 43, engage the surrounding frozen material and thereby pull the frozen material in the direction of movement of plunger 5 so that the remaining frozen material slides relative to barrel 10. At the same time, the top surface of the frozen material is withdrawn within top end 62 of barrel 10. Reusable cap 79 may then be installed over top end 62 so as to enclose the top surface of the frozen material and prevent contamination or more rapid melting (Figs. 6 and 7). The foregoing processes can be repeated numerous times until all of the frozen material has been consumed. In one embodiment, anchor 40 comprises a total height above top surface 22 of plunger 5 such that it does not protrude from the open end of barrel 10 when all of the frozen materials have been

consumed so as to prevent inadvertent chewing or swallowing of a nonconsumable anchor. It will be understood that once the frozen material is consumed frozen materials applicator 1 may either be discarded or refilled for further use.

It is to be understood that the present invention is by no means limited only to the particular constructions herein disclosed and shown in the drawings, but also comprises any modifications or equivalents within the scope of the claims.