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Claims for Patent: 6,991,394

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Claims for Patent: 6,991,394

Title:Liquid applicator with a mechanism for fracturing multiple ampoules
Abstract:Liquid applicators having a flexible elongated hollow body are provided. More specifically, provided are hand-held liquid applications having a flexible elongated hollow body within which at least two liquid-filled, glass ampoules are received, and a mechanism for fracturing the ampoules to release the liquid for dispensing.
Inventor(s): Tufts; Scott A. (El Paso, TX), Guzman; Manual (El Paso, TX), Flores; Jesus (El Paso, TX)
Assignee: Medi-Flex, Inc. (Overland Park, KS)
Application Number:10/748,896
Patent Claims: 1. A liquid applicator for applying a desired liquid to a surface, the applicator comprising: at least two elongated ampoules formed of a frangible material and containing liquid to be applied; an elongated hollow body, said body defining an internal chamber adapted to receive said ampoules; a lever projecting from said body, said lever flexing said body inwardly to fracture said ampoules substantially simultaneously when the lever is squeezed toward the body; and a porous element secured to said body and closing off an open end thereof, such that liquid flows through said element when said ampoules are fractured.

2. The liquid applicator of claim 1, wherein the lever is comprised of a hinge portion, crush portion and handling portion.

3. The liquid applicator of claim 2, wherein the body has a central longitudinal axis.

4. The liquid applicator of claim 3, wherein the lever extends at an angle of between 20 degrees and 40 degrees with respect to the central longitudinal axis of the body.

5. The liquid applicator of claim 2, wherein the crush portion of the lever flexes the body inwardly to fracture said ampoules.

6. The liquid applicator of claim 2, further comprising a thin wall portion of the body where the body flexed inwardly to fracture said ampoules.

7. The liquid applicator of claim 2, wherein the lever is curved.

8. The liquid applicator of claim 7, wherein the lever further comprises a support rib.

9. The liquid applicator of claim 8, wherein the hinge portion of the lever is thinner than the rest of the lever.

10. The liquid applicator of claim 9, wherein the handling portion of the lever presents a gripping area that is larger than the area of the crush portion of the lever.

11. The liquid applicator of claim 10, wherein the handling portion has a textured outer surface to facilitate handling.

12. The liquid applicator of claim 1, wherein the body has axially opposed open and closed ends.

13. The liquid applicator of claim 12, wherein the closed end is closed with a cap.

14. The liquid applicator of claim 13, further comprising: a vent for allowing air to flow from the internal chamber of the body to the outside of the body.

15. The liquid applicator of claim 14, wherein the vent comprises an internal cut out portion of the body and an external cut out portion of the body.

16. The liquid applicator of claim 1, further comprising a porous plug positioned between the porous element and the two or more ampoules to control the rate of flow of the liquid.

17. The liquid applicator of claim 16, further comprising a restraint element positioned between the ampoules and the porous plug.

18. A liquid applicator for applying liquid to a surface, the applicator comprising: at least two elongated ampoules formed of a frangible material and containing the liquid to be applied; an elongated hollow body, said body defining an internal chamber adapted to receive said ampoules; a mechanism attached to said body, the mechanism having the capability of flexing said body inwardly to fracture said ampoules at substantially the same time; and a porous element secured to said body and closing off an open end thereof, such that liquid flows through said element when said ampoules are fractured.

19. The liquid applicator of claim 18, further comprising a porous plug positioned between the porous element and the two or more ampoules to control the rate of flow of the liquid.

20. The liquid applicator of claim 18, further comprising a restraint element.

21. A method of making a liquid applicator, the applicator shaped for receiving at least two frangible ampoules containing a liquid to be applied, the method comprising: providing a hollow elongated body having axially opposed open and closed ends and being adapted to receive the ampoules; coupling to the body a lever, said lever projecting from said body, said lever having the capability to flex said body inwardly to fracture said ampoules substantially simultaneously when the lever is squeezed toward the body; and securing to said body a porous element, said element positioned to close of said open end of said body, such that liquid flows into said body and through said element when the ampoules are fractured.
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