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Title:
LIQUID DISPENSING SYSTEM
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2013/153356
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The invention is directed to a liquid dispensing system (10) comprising a container (11) having an aperture. A feed plug (12) is configured to fit into the aperture, said feed plug (12) defining a fluid passage therethrough and having means (29) to prevent its removal from the container (11) after insertion into the aperture. A dispensing cap is configured to be removably attached to the container (11). The dispensing cap comprises a main body and a dispensing nozzle (49), the dispensing nozzle (49) being fluidly connectable to the fluid passage of the feed plug. The main body of the dispensing cap is rotatable relative to the dispensing nozzle (49).

Inventors:
CORRIGAN JAMES GASKELL (GB)
Application Number:
GB2013/050554
Publication Date:
October 17, 2013
Filing Date:
March 06, 2013
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
BIOQUELL UK LTD (GB)
International Classes:
B67D7/02; B64D39/04
Domestic Patent References:
WO2001079109A12001-10-25
WO2008008392A22008-01-17
Foreign References:
GB2468342A2010-09-08
EP2165942A12010-03-24
EP0131928A21985-01-23
US2969161A1961-01-24
US4549668A1985-10-29
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BOULT WADE TENNANT (70 Grays Inn Road, London WC1X 8BT, GB)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS :

1. A liquid dispensing system comprising:

a container having an aperture;

a feed plug configured to fit into the aperture, said feed plug defining a fluid passage therethrough and having means to prevent its removal from the container after insertion into the aperture; and

a dispensing cap configured to be removably attached to the container; wherein

the dispensing cap comprises a main body and a

dispensing nozzle, the dispensing nozzle being fluidly connectable to the fluid passage of the feed plug; and

the main body of the dispensing cap is rotatable relative to the dispensing nozzle.

2. A dispensing system according to claim 1, wherein the feed plug comprises a base and a side wall extending

perpendicularly from the base.

3. A dispensing system according to claim 1 or claim 2, in which the feed plug comprises means to attach a dip tube thereto such that, in use, liquid is drawn from the

container through the dip tube and through the fluid passage for dispensing.

4. A dispensing system according to any of the preceding claims, further comprising at least one venting aperture located in the base.

5. A dispensing system according to any one of claims 2 to 4, wherein an exterior of the side wall comprises sealing means providing a seal between the feed plug and the

aperture .

6. A dispensing system according to any one of the

preceding claims, in which the removal prevention means comprises catches configured to provide a snap-fit

connection between the feed plug and the container.

7. A dispensing system according to any one of the

preceding claims, wherein the dispensing cap comprises a non-return valve.

8. A dispensing system according to claim 7, wherein the feed plug further comprises a valve actuator which opens the non-return valve of the dispensing cap when it is attached to the container.

9. A dispensing cap according to any one of the preceding claims, in which the dispensing cap further comprises a coupling member to fluidly connect the dispensing nozzle and the fluid passage of the feed plug.

10. A dispensing cap according to claim 9 or claim 12, wherein the dispensing cap further comprises a low friction washer between the coupling member and the dispensing cap. 11. A dispensing system according to any one of the

preceding claims, wherein the dispensing cap further

comprises gripping means around an exterior surface thereof.

12. A dispensing system according to any one of the

preceding claims, further comprising a storage cap.

13. A dispensing system according to claim 12, wherein the storage cap comprises gas permeable venting means.

14. A dispensing system according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the storage cap further comprises gripping means around an exterior surface thereof.

15. A dispensing system substantially as hereinbefore described, with reference to and as shown in the

accompanying drawings .

16. A feed plug substantially as hereinbefore described, with reference to and as shown in Figures 2, 3, 4, 5, and 7

17. A dispensing cap substantially as hereinbefore

described, with reference to and as shown in Figures 5 to 7

Description:
LIQUID DISPENSING SYSTEM

This invention is directed to a liquid dispensing system, and in particular to a dispensing system suitable for dispensing hydrogen peroxide.

Hydrogen peroxide (H 2 O 2 ) is commonly used both

commercially and domestically as a decontaminant and

cleaning agent. For example, bio-decontamination within a room or chamber can be achieved by depositing an even layer of 'micro-condensation' (a microscopic film) of hydrogen peroxide vapour over all surfaces, which deactivates microorganisms. An even spread of hydrogen peroxide vapour in a room or enclosure can be achieved using a combination of a vapour generator and high velocity gas distribution nozzles and fans. Hydrogen peroxide vapour decomposes to oxygen and water vapour, hence the bio-decontamination process is essentially residue-free. This means that no further wiping down of surfaces is required on completion of

decontamination .

However, as hydrogen peroxide also decomposes into oxygen and water during storage, the hydrogen peroxide solution must be stored in a suitably vented container. If the container is not vented, the build-up of oxygen gas within the container may lead to its rupture and potentially hazardous leakage of the solution. Aqueous solutions of hydrogen peroxide are harmful to human skin, particularly at commercial concentrations e.g. 35%. Hence hydrogen peroxide storage and dispensing systems must minimise the risk of skin exposure to the hydrogen peroxide.

WO-A-2008/008392 discloses a coupling assembly for removing contents of a container from an opening in the container. The coupling assembly includes a valve assembly and a vent path.

However, both of the known prior art containers are intended to be used continuously until their contents have been exhausted and to only then be disconnected from their dispensing apparatus.

According to the invention, there is provided a liquid dispensing system comprising: a container having an

aperture; a feed plug configured to fit into the aperture, said feed plug defining a fluid passage therethrough and having means to prevent its removal from the container after insertion into the aperture; and a dispensing cap configured to be removably attached to the container; wherein the dispensing cap comprises main body and a dispensing nozzle, the dispensing nozzle being fluidly connectable to the fluid passage of the feed plug; and the main body of the

dispensing cap is rotatable relative to the dispensing nozzle .

Preferred embodiments of the invention will now be described, by way of example only, with reference to the accompanying drawings in which:

Figure 1 is a perspective view of a dispensing system according to the present invention;

Figure 2 is an exploded perspective view of the

dispensing system of Figure 1;

Figure 3 is an exploded perspective view of a feed plug of the dispensing system of Figures 1 and 2; Figure 4 is a cross-sectional view of an upper section of the dispensing system of Figures 1 and 2 showing the feed plug of Figure 3 inserted into the mouth of a storage container which is closed by a storage cap;

Figure 5 is an exploded perspective view of the

dispensing system of Figures 1 and 2 showing the storage cap replaced by a dispensing cap; Figure 6 is an exploded perspective view of the

dispensing cap of Figure 5; and

Figure 7 is a cross-sectional view of an upper section of the dispensing system of Figures 1, 2, and 5 showing the dispensing cap of Figures 5 and 6 covering the feed plug and the mouth of the storage container.

Figures 1, 2, 4, and 7 illustrate a liquid dispensing system 10 according to the present invention, which is suitable for dispensing liquids such as a hydrogen peroxide solution. The dispensing system 10 comprises three main components, namely a storage container 11, such as a bottle, a feed plug 12, and a dispensing cap 14. The system 10 may further comprise a storage cap 13.

The container 11 may be of any volume and shape, and has an aperture surrounded by an externally threaded collar, hereinafter referred to as neck 15. The thread may be of any suitable size, e.g. DIN51 or DIN61. Preferably the thread is DIN61. The container may be scaled to fit other thread sizes. Typically hydrogen peroxide containers are made of plastic materials, e.g. HDPE (high-density polyethylene) . The container 11 may be provided with a handle 15 for lifting and transportation. The feed plug 12, which must be inserted into the neck 15 prior to dispensing the contents, is shown in detail in Figure 3. The feed plug 12 comprises a cup-shaped element 20 having a base 21 and a generally circular side wall 22 exactly perpendicularly from the base 21. The cup-shaped element 20 is dimensioned to fit tightly inside the neck 15 without any leakage between the neck 15 and the side wall 22. An aperture 23 is provided generally centrally in the base 21 which provides a fluid passage. A cylindrical flange

24 projects upwardly from the base 21 inside the side wall 22 (in the orientation shown in Figure 3), coaxial with the aperture 23. A sleeve 25, which functions as a valve

actuator (see below,) is fitted over the flange 24.

Alternatively, the sleeve 25 may be integrally formed with the cylindrical flange 24 and the feed plug 12. The sleeve

25 may include a seal (not shown) . A tubular projection 26 projects downwardly from the base 21, coaxial with the aperture 23, which provides means for attaching a dip tube 27. In use, the dip tube 27 thus projects generally

downwardly into the container 11. The dip tube 27 may be made of any suitable material, e.g. polypropylene or Tygon®.

The cup-shaped element 20 has a lip 28, which projects transversely outwards from the edge of the side wall 22 distal to the base 21. The lip 28 aids the location of the feed plug 12 within the neck 15, as it sits on the upper surface of the neck 15 when the feed plug 12 has been fully inserted therein. Two or more resiliently biased catches 29 project downwardly from the base 21, to provide a snap-fit connection between the feed plug 12 and the neck 15 and to prevent removal of the feed plug 12 after it has been fitted. Thus once the feed plug 12 has been fitted the dip tube 27 is permanently closed inside the container 11. This stops problems which could arise where the dip tube is removable in that people handling the containers cannot be exposed to drips, leaks, and fumes. Sealing means 30 are provided on the external surface of the side wall 22 in order to provide a seal between the feed plug 12 and the neck 15. Preferably, the sealing means 30 comprise one or more annular ridges. One or more

apertures 31 are provided in the base 21 to enable both venting of oxygen through the feed plug 12 and drainage of excess hydrogen peroxide from the feed plug 12 back into the container 11. The feed plug 12 may be made of any suitable material, e.g. polypropylene. The storage cap 13 is used when the container 11 is to be stored and is dimensioned to fit sealingly on the neck 15. Preferably, the storage cap 13 is a standard 'off-the- shelf' DIN61 internally threaded storage cap, such as is described in US-B-4549668. The storage cap 13 provides a venting airflow path 35 (see Figure 4) through a gas

permeable, but liquid impermeable, membrane (not shown), such as a woven PTFE membrane. Gripping means 36, such as a plurality of longitudinal ridges, may be provided on the outer surface of the storage cap 13 to assist the user in removing the storage cap 13 from the container 11. The storage cap 13 may be provided with tamper evident features, such as barbs (not shown), which are ruptured on removing the storage cap 13 from the container 11 for the first time. The storage cap 13 must be vented and may be made of any suitable material compatible with hydrogen peroxide, e.g. HDPE .

The dispensing cap 14 (see Figure 6) is fitted to the container 11 when the contents are to be dispensed. The dispensing cap 14 comprises a generally planar face 40 which overlies the open mouth of the neck 15, and a circular side wall 41 which projects from the planar face 40. Gripping means 42, for example in the form of longitudinal ridges, may be provided around the exterior of the side wall 41 to assist the user in removing the dispensing cap 14 from the container 11. An aperture 43 is provided generally in the centre of the planar face 40. The planar face 40 and side wall 41 make up the main body of the dispensing cap 14 and may be made of any suitable material, e.g. a combination of HDPE and polyethylene.

The dispensing cap 14 further comprises a tubular coupling member 44 which has a first end 45, which is configured to pass through the planar face aperture 43 and a second end 46 which is configured to releasably push-fit over the sleeve 25 of the feed plug 12. The coupling member 44 may be made of any suitable material, e.g. polypropylene. The first end 45 of the coupling member 44 may be externally threaded (not shown) . A shoulder 47 may project transversely from the side wall of the coupling member 44, for locating the first end 45 of the coupling member 44 against the inner surface of the planar face 40, with a washer 48 positioned therebetween. The washer 48 may be made of any suitable material, e.g. PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene) .

The coupling member 44 comprises a dual-direction nonreturn valve, to prevent drips when the dispensing cap 13 is disconnected from the feed plug 12 and neck 15. The non- return valve advantageously enables the disconnection of the dispensing cap 14 from the container 11 prior to exhaustion of the container's contents. The non-return valve is opened when the second end 46 of the coupling member 44 is fitted over the sleeve 25 of the feed plug 12. Preferably, the coupling member 44 is an NS212 series coupling manufactured by Colder Products Company.

An internally threaded dispensing nozzle 49 attaches to the first end 45 of the coupling member 44, which protrudes through the aperture 43 in the planar face 40. The

dispensing nozzle 49 may be made of polypropylene. The dispensing nozzle 49 may be connected to a hydrogen peroxide vapour unit via tubing (not shown), e.g. polypropylene or Tygon® tubing. The assembly comprising the coupling member 44, the dispensing nozzle 49, and the main body of the dispensing cap 13 are rotatable relative to each other. This enables the dispensing cap 13 to be screwed on and off container 11 without the dispending nozzle 49 (which may be attached to a machine via dip tube) having to also rotate. This is aided by the PTFE washer 48, which has a low

friction surface.

When the contents of a new container 11 are to be used, the storage cap 13 is removed from the container 11. The feed plug 12 is inserted into the neck 15 to achieve a snap- fit connection. Once inserted, the feed plug 12 cannot be removed, which provides a safety device to prevent the container 11 from being refilled, or used without the proper dispensing cap 13.

The dispensing cap 14 is screwed onto the neck 15, which causes the non-return valve in the coupling member 44 to open and allows the liquid contained in the container 11 to be drawn up through the dip tube 27 (e.g. under the effects of a pressure differential), through the coupling member 44, and out through the dispensing nozzle 49. For subsequent storage, the dispensing cap 14 may be unscrewed and replaced by the storage cap 13. Although the non-return valve in the coupling member 44 should prevent drips when disconnecting the dispensing cap 14, any drips which do fall onto the feed plug will drain back into the container 11 through the apertures 31. It is possible that some of the liquid will make its way into the feed plug 12 if the container 11 is inverted during storage; when the container is re-orientated upright such liquid will again drain back into the container 11 through the apertures.

The dispensing cap 14 may be permanently attached to machine which utilises the dispensed liquid, such as a hydrogen peroxide vapour generator. For disposal, the dispensing cap 14 is removed and the storage cap 13, feed plug 12, and container 11 can be safely disposed.




 
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