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Lotion application device

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20140153996 patent thumbnailZoom

Lotion application device


A lotion applicator includes a body including a holding tank adapted to store a quantity of lotion; a roller applicator at one end of the body; a pump mechanism adapted to pump lotion from the holding tank to the roller applicator; a manifold adjacent to the roller applicator adapted to coat the roller applicator with the lotion pumped from the holding tank; and a cover moveable between a first position in which it seals the roller applicator, thereby also sealing the holding tank, and a second position in which it uncovers the roller applicator for use.

USPTO Applicaton #: #20140153996 - Class: 401219 (USPTO) -
Coating Implements With Material Supply > Including Ball, Roller Or Endless-belt Tool >With Flow-regulator

Inventors: Brian Ammerman

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The Patent Description & Claims data below is from USPTO Patent Application 20140153996, Lotion application device.

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BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present subject matter relates generally to a lotion application device. Particularly, the present subject matter relates to a pump-driven device including a roller applicator that extends a user\'s reach to efficiently apply lotion to the user\'s or another person\'s body.

People use various types of lotions and materials of similar consistency for numerous purposes. From moisturizing lotions, to sunscreens, to self-tanners, to sanitizing gels, to medications, etc. there is a very large range of materials with lotion-like consistencies that people may apply in various circumstances.

There are numerous situations in which the application of lotion would optimally be assisted by an application device. Such a device could potentially keep a user\'s hands clean, assist in applying lotion to hard to reach places, and help ensure a consistent application. However, previously existing lotion applicators fell short of these goals.

Accordingly, there is a need for a lotion applicator that is adapted to efficiently and effectively apply lotion, as described and claimed herein.

BRIEF

SUMMARY

OF THE INVENTION

The present disclosure provides a lotion applicator adapted to efficiently and effectively apply lotion, as well as function as a storage device for the lotion. In particular, the lotion applicator provided herein is adapted to dispense lotion onto the body easily and evenly, with a controlled rate of flow with a mess free, clean hands process.

The lotion applicator provided herein includes a pump mechanism for delivering lotion to a roller applicator. A body provides an elongated structure that enables the user to extend his or her reach to make the application process easier. The body may include, for example, a handle, a trigger, a locking mechanism, and a cover.

The handle may include ergonomically shaped soft rubber grips to provide a no-slip grip that is soft to the touch.

The trigger is the mechanism through which a user distributes the lotion from the pump mechanism to the roller applicator. Using the trigger, the user controls the rate of the flow of the lotion to the roller applicator. In one embodiment, the trigger controls the operation of a spring-loaded, ratcheting pump mechanism that delivers the lotion to the roller applicator.

In one example of a pump mechanism that may be adapted to feed lotion to a roller applicator, the pump mechanism includes a holding tank, a ratcheting piston, and a spring-loaded locking mechanism. The holding tank may be, for example, a cylindrical holding tank adapted to hold approximately 2.5 oz. of lotion, or roughly the amount of lotion required to complete at least two full body applications. The holding tank may be filled from the top and sealed along the bottom by a piston disk and gasket.

When a user depresses the trigger, the piston disk advances forward into the holding tank to pressurize the lotion stored therein. The trigger turns a gear to advance a toothed arm that drives the piston disk. The spring-loaded locking mechanism includes a pawl to prevent backlash movement of the toothed arm. Accordingly, the trigger advances the piston disk in one direction only. However, a user can release the pawl from the toothed arm by pulling the spring-loaded locking mechanism away from the handle. When the spring-loaded locking mechanism is released, the piston disk may travel backwards within the holding tank, to enable a refill or otherwise reduce the pressure in the holding tank.

At the top of the holding tank a supply tube directs the flow of the lotion to a uniquely designed manifold that distributes the lotion onto the roller applicator. The supply tube is positioned into fluid-tight communication with the holding tank through a holding tank cap. The holding tank cap includes a central bore and screws onto the threaded top of the holding tank. A head unit of the lotion applicator unscrews from the handle to provide access to the holding tank cap, which itself may be removed for filling the holding tank.

In one example, the head unit unscrews counter-clockwise from the handle and can be removed to provide access to the holding tank cap. A user may remove the holding tank cap to fill the holding tank. While the lotion applicator is in an upright position and the holding tank cap has been removed, the user may release the spring-loaded locking mechanism and push the piston disk back towards the bottom of the lotion applicator. The user may then fill the holding tank with the lotion of choice, screw the holding tank cap back into place and then reassemble the head unit onto the handle.

A unique manifold is disclosed herein. The manifold is adapted to evenly dispense the lotion along the length of the roller applicator. As the lotion is pressure driven through the supply tube, it directed to a series of outlets. Each outlet is sized appropriately to maintain an even flow of the lotion across the width of the manifold. In a preferred embodiment, there is a plurality of outlets distributed even distances across the width of the manifold, which substantially spans the width of the roller applicator. The outlets most centrally located are the narrowest in diameter and those most peripherally located are the largest in diameter. The variation in outlet diameter varies the pressure at each outlet and provides a more consistent coating of lotion across the width of the roller assembly. In addition, a distribution channel is provided along the face of the manifold surrounding the outlets, which also assists in evenly distributing the flow of the lotion across the roller applicator. In a preferred embodiment, the distribution channel is a shallowly recessed rectangular channel that allows the lotion to spread out within the distribution channel to be more evenly spread across the roller applicator.

In a preferred embodiment, the roller applicator is a four-inch wide, dense foam with a felt outer layer that provides a soft, gentle application. It is understood, however, that the roller applicator may be provided in various shapes, sizes, and materials to accomplish the advantages described herein. Further, in a preferred embodiment, the roller applicator is removable for cleaning and/or replacement and, when held in place, the roller applicator is secured within the head unit directly against the manifold, which assists in keeping the dispensing of the lotion clog-free and even.

A removable cover protects the roller applicator. The cover may be, for example, a clear plastic protector that rotates away from the roller applicator to uncover the roller applicator for use and then rotates back into position to seal the head unit when it is not in use, for example, when it is to be stored or transported.

The head unit may be reversible to adapt the lotion applicator for either left or right hand use. The head unit may be reversed by removing it from the handle and reconnecting it after it has been rotated 180 degrees.

In one example, a lotion applicator includes: a holding tank adapted to store a quantity of viscous material; a body within which the holding tank is located, wherein the body includes a proximal end and a distal end, wherein the body further includes a handle located closer to the proximal end than the distal end; a trigger located on the body such that a user can activate the trigger while grasping the handle; a roller applicator located adjacent to the distal end of the body; a pump mechanism activated by the trigger to pump any viscous material stored in the holding tank from the tank; a manifold for receiving any viscous material pumped from the holding tank and distributing any viscous material pumped from the holding tank onto the roller applicator; and a cover movable between a first position in which it seals the roller applicator and a second position in which the roller applicator is exposed.

In some embodiments, the manifold includes a plurality of outlets that vary in diameter with respect to each other. For example, the manifold may include six evenly spaced outlets, including an inner pair of outlets, a middle pair of outlets, and an outer pair of outlets, wherein the inner pair of outlets is the smallest and the outer pair of outlets is the largest. The manifold may further include a distribution channel surrounding the outlets.

In some examples, squeezing the trigger towards the handle may activate the trigger. Also, in some example, the roller applicator is a foam roller, for example a cylindrical shaped roller applicator.

The pump mechanism may include a piston disk that pressurizes any viscous material stored in the holding tank when advanced into the holding tank by the trigger. The trigger may advance the piston disk using a ratcheting mechanism. The piston disk may be prevented from backing out of the holding tank by a spring-loaded locking mechanism.

In another example, a lotion applicator includes: a body including a holding tank adapted to store a quantity of lotion; a roller applicator at one end of the body; a pump mechanism adapted to pump lotion from the holding tank to the roller applicator; a manifold adjacent to the roller applicator adapted to coat the roller applicator with the lotion pumped from the holding tank; and a cover moveable between a first position in which it seals the roller applicator, thereby also sealing the holding tank, and a second position in which it uncovers the roller applicator for use.

In some embodiments, the body includes a trigger that activates the pump mechanism. For example, squeezing trigger may activate the pump mechanism.

There are numerous manifolds that may be employed in the lotion applicator. In one version, the manifold is approximately the same width of the roller applicator. Further, the manifold includes a series of outlets across its width. The series of outlets may be evenly spaced across the width of the manifold with the outlets further from center of the manifold being larger in diameter than the outlets closer to the center of the manifold. This configuration assists in delivering a consistent amount of lotion across the width of the roller applicator. The manifold may further include a distribution channel surrounding the outlets, which further assists in delivering a consistent amount of lotion across the width of the roller.

In some embodiments, the pump mechanism includes a spring-loaded locking mechanism through which a user may reset the association between the pump mechanism and the holding tank. For example, releasing the spring-loaded locking mechanism may enable a user to refill the holding tank with lotion and return the pump mechanism to a starting configuration.

An advantage of the lotion applicator provided herein is that it applies and stores lotion.

Another advantage of the lotion applicator provided herein is that it holds enough lotion for several whole body applications.

A further advantage of the lotion applicator provided herein is that it extends the user\'s reach to address difficult to reach spots.

Yet another advantage of the lotion applicator provided herein is that it adjusts for right handed or left handed use.

Another advantage of the lotion applicator provided herein is that it is pump driven to control the flow of the lotion.

Still another advantage of the lotion applicator provided herein is that the roller delivers the lotion to the skin with no waste and no mess.

Another advantage of the lotion applicator provided herein is that it provides wide coverage helps avoid streaks in application.

A further advantage of the lotion applicator provided herein is that the replaceable roller is easy to clean and replace.

Another advantage of the lotion applicator provided herein is that the roller seals between uses for mess free storage and travel and to prevent the roller from drying out and the lotion from going bad.

Additional objects, advantages and novel features of the examples will be set forth in part in the description which follows, and in part will become apparent to those skilled in the art upon examination of the following description and the accompanying drawings or may be learned by production or operation of the examples. The objects and advantages of the concepts may be realized and attained by means of the methodologies, instrumentalities and combinations particularly pointed out in the appended claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The drawing figures depict one or more implementations in accord with the present concepts, by way of example only, not by way of limitations. In the figures, like reference numerals refer to the same or similar elements.

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a lotion applicator.

FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional side view of the lotion applicator shown in FIG. 1.

FIGS. 3a and 3b illustrate the lotion applicator shown in FIG. 1 with the head unit in place in FIG. 3a and the head unit removed in FIG. 3b.

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of a manifold used in the lotion applicator shown in FIG. 1.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

OF THE INVENTION

FIG. 1 illustrates an example of a lotion applicator 100. As shown in FIG. 1 the lotion applicator 100 includes a pump mechanism 102 that feeds lotion 104 to a roller applicator 106. In the example shown in FIG. 1, the body 108 of the applicator provides an elongated structure that enables the user to extend his or her reach to make the application process easier. As further shown, the lotion applicator 100 includes a handle 110, a trigger 112, a locking mechanism 114, and a cover 116.

While the examples provided herein focus on the application of a lotion 104 such as a sunscreen, it is understood that the term lotion 104, as used herein, includes any lotion, oil, gel, or other substance with a consistency similar to a lotion.

Returning to FIG. 1, the embodiment of the handle 110 shown includes ergonomically shaped grips 118 that may, for example, be made of a soft rubber that provides a no-slip grip and is soft to the touch. However, it is contemplated that there are numerous variations of the handle 110 and grips 118 that may be used to accomplish the advantages of the lotion applicator 100 provided herein.

The trigger 112 shown in FIG. 1 is the mechanism through which a user distributes the lotion from the pump mechanism 102 to the roller applicator 106. As described further herein, the user controls the rate of the flow of the lotion 104 to the roller applicator 106 using the trigger 112. In an exemplary embodiment, the trigger 112 controls the operation of a spring-loaded, ratcheting pump mechanism 102.

Turning now to FIG. 2, a cross-sectional side view of the lotion applicator 100 shown in FIG. 1 illustrates an example of a pump mechanism 102 that feeds lotion 104 to a roller applicator 106. As shown, the pump mechanism 102 includes a holding tank 120, a ratcheting piston 122, and a spring-loaded locking mechanism 114. While it is understood that variations of the pump mechanism 102 may be employed, the example provided in FIG. 2 is the presently preferred embodiment.

The holding tank 120 shown in FIG. 2 is a cylindrical holding tank 120 adapted to hold approximately 2.5 oz. of lotion 104, or roughly the amount of lotion 104 required to complete at least two full body applications of the lotion 104. The holding tank 120 fills from the top and is sealed along the bottom by a piston disk 124 and gasket 126. The gasket 126 shown in FIG. 2 is a rubber O-ring gasket 126 that seals the space between the piston disk 124 and the wall of the holding tank 120 as the ratcheting piston 122 travels within the holding tank 120.

As shown, when the trigger 112 is depressed, the piston disk 124 advances forward into the holding tank 120 to pressurize the lotion 104 stored therein. The trigger 112 turns a gear 128 to advance a toothed arm 130 that drives the piston disk 124. The spring-loaded locking mechanism 114 includes a pawl 132 to prevent backlash movement of the toothed arm 130. Accordingly, the trigger 112 advances the piston disk 124 in one direction only. However, a user can release the pawl 132 from the toothed arm 130 by pulling the spring-loaded locking mechanism 114 away from the handle 110. When the spring-loaded locking mechanism 114 is released, the piston disk 124 may travel backwards within the holding tank 120, to enable a refill or otherwise reduce the pressure in the holding tank 120.

At the top of the holding tank 120 a supply tube 134 directs the flow of the lotion 104 to a manifold 136 that distributes the lotion 104 onto the roller applicator 106. The supply tube 134 is positioned into fluid-tight communication with the holding tank 120 through a holding tank cap 138. The holding tank cap 138 shown in FIG. 2 includes a central bore 140 and screws onto the threaded top of the holding tank 120. A head unit 142 of the lotion applicator 100 unscrews from the handle 110 to reveal the holding tank cap 138, which may be removed for filling the holding tank 120.

For example, in the embodiment shown in FIGS. 3a and 3b, the head unit 142 unscrews counter-clockwise from the handle 110 and can be removed to provide access to the holding tank cap 138. A user may remove the holding tank cap 138 to fill the holding tank 120. For example, in the embodiment shown, a user may remove the head unit 142 by turning it counter-clockwise one half turn. The user may then remove the holding tank cap 138 by unscrewing it from the holding tank 120. Then, while the lotion applicator 100 is in an upright position, the user may release the spring-loaded locking mechanism 114 and push the piston disk 124 back towards the bottom of the lotion applicator 100. The user may then fill the holding tank 120 with the lotion 104 of choice, screw the holding tank cap 138 back into place and then reassemble the head unit 142 onto the handle 110.



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Previous Patent Application:
Cosmetic product applicator comprising an elongate portion coated with a lobe
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Coating implements with material supply
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stats Patent Info
Application #
US 20140153996 A1
Publish Date
06/05/2014
Document #
13691419
File Date
11/30/2012
USPTO Class
401219
Other USPTO Classes
International Class
45D40/26
Drawings
5



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