Alley Flexible Gate Membrane Containers

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The present invention is a specialized container using a novel flexible gate system incorporated into the throat (or ingress/egress passageway) of a container for restricting (or controlling) fluid flow (or access) when the container is inverted. Enviromentally Safe Packaging Technology.

Unlike other oil containers, the present invention would not require the use of a funnel and will provide an economical, simple and safe means to invert the container to pour out its contents without spilling its contents. The present invention also provides restricting means that are built into the container during its molding and/or manufacturing process minimizing manufacturing expenses.

The present invention becomes a closed loop living hinge thus, no extra components or specialized tooling are necessary. A flexible gate restrictor could be designed to always be in either an open or closed position thus requiring an additional and/or constant force to open or close the flexible gate restrictor (container). The flexible gate may be designed to have numerous geometries and may be designed to open and close by numerous means such as a push-pull tab or by bending the container's neck to activate the membrane.

Most importantly, the flexible gate membrane would not add cost to the container, it could be manufactured using the exiting extrusion blow molding technology and would utilize the existing infrastructure to produce. Its one piece design makes it an economically viable option to produce for the purpose of large volume consumer packaging. The other major benefits are that it is an environmentally conscience container that will help eliminate spillage of potentially hazardous materials such as motor oils and other chemicals/lubricants. The adaptation of a flexible gate membrane also eliminates the need to contaminate a funnel in the case of motor oil.

The FlexGate could be adapted to a wide variety of containers, such as containers for anti-freeze, coolants, lubricants, multi-quart oil containers, additives, chemicals, marine additives, food and beverages, etc. Wherever there may be a need previously, to use a funnel (or to help control) to aid in pouring, the Flexgate has a purpose thus, controlling the precise pouring of a container's content without the use for a funnel. There are substantial commercial benefits both; economical and environmental to incorporate the flexible gate membrane for use with automotive and marine (lubricant oils). The flexible gate membrane in accordance with the present invention eliminates spillage and prevent the need to contaminate a funnel, providing the uses of these hazards materials both; better safety and convenience.

It is important to understand that there are numerous shapes, designs and/or features that could be adapted or incorporated to a container to provide a flexible gate membrane. The purpose of the particular embodiments described is to incorporate a simple, economical, single piece representation of the described technology, but not to limit the possibilities of alternative geometries that would control the typically rigid material of a container and provide a flexible gate without destroying the container's structural integrity. THANK YOU


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  • Name:
    Kenneth Alley
  • Type of entry:
  • Software used for this entry:
    Solidworks and Autodesk Inventor
  • Patent status: