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Claims for Patent: 6,536,975

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Claims for Patent: 6,536,975

Title: Liquid applicator with opposed wings
Abstract:A liquid applicator for applying a desired liquid to a surface includes an elongated closed ampule formed of a frangible material containing the desired liquid; a flexible elongated hollow body having axially opposed open and closed ends and presenting a central longitudinal axis, the body defining an internal chamber which is adapted to receive the ampule; and a porous element sealed to the body and closing off the open end thereof so that liquid flows through the element when the ampule is fractured. The body includes a pair of diametrically opposed wings projecting therefrom which form gripping members that are spaced from the body and supported for pivoting movement relative thereto. The body also may include structure for fracturing the ampule, the structure being interposed between the body and the gripping members. Upon squeezing the gripping members toward one another, the structure flexes the body inwardly to exert a fracturing force against the ampule. The body also includes a flange protruding from the body at the open end thereof upon which the porous element is supported.
Inventor(s): Tufts; Scott A. (Pittsburg, PA)
Assignee: Mediflex Hospital Products, Inc. (Overland Park, KS)
Application Number:09/710,157
Patent Claims: 1. A liquid applicator for applying a desired liquid to a surface, the applicator comprising: an elongated ampule formed of a frangible material and adapted to contain the liquid; an elongated hollow body presenting a longitudinal axis having axially opposed open and closed ends, said body defining an internal chamber adapted to permanently receive said ampule; a pair of elongated gripping members projecting from said body, wherein each said gripping member is substantially positioned in a plane, said plane defined by the longitudinal axis of said body, said gripping members flexing said body inwardly to fracture said ampule when said members are squeezed toward one another; and a porous element secured to said body and closing off said open end thereof, such that liquid flows through said element when said ampule is fractured.

2. The liquid applicator as recited in claim 1, wherein said body and said gripping members are integrally formed.

3. The liquid applicator as recited in claim 1, said body further including a flange protruding from said open end thereof, wherein said porous element is secured to said flange.

4. The liquid applicator as recited in claim 3, wherein said porous element is laminated with a laminate material, said laminate material being secured directly to said flange of said body for resisting puncture by fragments of said ampule upon fracture thereof.

5. The liquid applicator as recited in claim 4, wherein said laminate material is a woven or non-woven fabric.

6. The liquid applicator as recited in claim 5, wherein said laminate material is a woven or non-woven polyester fabric.

7. The liquid applicator as recited in claim 4, wherein the laminate material and said flange of said body are melted together to secure said porous element to said body.

8. The liquid applicator as recited in claim 1, further comprising a structure for fracturing said ampule, said structure interposed between said body and said gripping members, wherein said structure flexes said body inwardly to exert a fracturing force against said ampule when said gripping members are squeezed toward one another.

9. The liquid applicator as recited in claim 8, wherein said structure for fracturing said ampule is integrally formed with said body and said gripping members.

10. The liquid applicator as recited in claim 8, wherein said structure for fracturing said ampule includes first and second diametrically opposed tappets, said tappets positioned between said body and respective ones of said gripping members.

11. The liquid applicator as recited in claim 1, wherein said ampule is formed of glass.

12. The liquid applicator as recited in claim 1, wherein the hollow body further includes an inner circumference having a plurality of inwardly projecting ridges thereon for maintaining said ampule in position relative to said open end of said body.

13. The liquid applicator as recited in claim 1, wherein each said gripping member includes an attachment portion and a handling portion, and wherein said handling portion is spatially removed from said body.

14. The liquid applicator as recited in claim 13, wherein each said handling portion is substantially parallel to said central longitudinal axis of said body.

15. The liquid application as recited in claim 14, wherein each said handling portion is positioned in a plane, said plane defined by the central longitudiual axis of said body.

16. The liquid applicator as recited in claim 15, said handling portion including a textured surface for facilitating handling of the applicator.

17. A liquid applicator adapted to receive a fracturable ampule containing a liquid to be applied, the applicator comprising: an elongated hollow body shaped for permanently receiving the ampule, said body presenting a longitudinal axis having axially opposed open and closed ends; a pair of elongated gripping members projecting from said body, wherein each said gripping member is substantially positioned in a plane, said plane defined by the longitudinal axis of said body, said gripping members flexing said body inwardly to fracture said ampule when said members are squeezed toward one another; and a porous element secured to said body and closing off said open end thereof, such that liquid flows into said body and through said element when the ampule is fractured.

18. The liquid applicator as recited in claim 17, said body further including a flange protruding from said open end of said body, wherein said porous element is secured thereto.

19. The liquid applicator as recited in claim 18, wherein said porous element is laminated with a laminate material, said laminate material being secured directly to said flange of said body for resisting puncture by fragments of the ampule upon fracture.

20. The liquid applicator as recited in claim 19, wherein said laminate material and said flange of said body are melted together to secure said porous element to said body.

21. The liquid applicator as recited in claim 17, further comprising a structure for fracturing said ampule, said structure interposed between said body and said gripping members, wherein said structure flexes said body inwardly to exert a fracturing force e against said ampule when said gripping members are squeezed toward one another.

22. The liquid applicator as recited in claim 21, wherein said structure for fracturing said ampule includes first and second diametrically opposed tappets, said tappets positioned between said body and respective ones of said gripping members.

23. The liquid applicator as recited in claim 17, wherein said hollow body further includes an inner circumference having a plurality of inwardly projecting ridges thereon for maintaining the ampule in position relative to said open end of said body.

24. The liquid applicator as recited in claim 17, wherein each said gripping member includes an attachment portion and a handling portion, and wherein said handling portion is spatially removed from said body.

25. The liquid applicator as recited in claim 24, wherein each said handling portion is substantially parallel to said central longitudinal axis of said body.

26. The liquid applicator as recited in claim 25, wherein each said handling portion is positioned in a plane, said plane defined by said central longitudinal axis of said body.

27. The liquid applicator as recited in claim 26, said handling portion including a textured surface for facilitating handling of the applicator.

28. A method of making a liquid applicator, the applicator shaped for receiving a frangible ampule containing a liquid to be applied, the method comprising the steps of: providing a flexible hollow elongated body presenting a longitudinal axis having axially opposed open and closed ends and being adapted to permanently receive the ampule; coupling to said body a pair of elongated, wing-like gripping members, said gripping members projecting from said body, wherein each said gripping member is substantially positioned in a plane, said plane defined by the longitudinal axis of said body, wherein said gripping members flex said body inwardly to exert a fracturing force against the ampule when said members are squeezed toward one another; and to said body a porous element, said element positioned to close off said open end of said body, such that liquid flows into said body and through said element when the ampule is fractured.

29. The method of making a liquid applicator as recited in claim 28, further comprising the step of interposing a structure for fracturing the ampule between said body and said gripping members such that said structure flexes said body inwardly to exert a fracturing force against the ampule when said gripping members are squeezed toward one another.
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