Variable Volume Container

A device and method of use for storing and/or dispensing any solid, liquid, and/or gas is disclosed. In one embodiment, the device for storing and/or dispensing any solid, liquid, and/or gas is comprised of a base member, one or more intermediate member(s), and a top member. In another embodiment, the device is also comprised of a flow value member that may be included in the base member, intermediate member(s), and/or top member. In another embodiment, the device is also comprised of a one or more sealing member(s) between the base member and the intermediate member, each intermediate member, and the intermediate member and the top member. In yet another embodiment, the base member and/or top member is comprised of one or more mixing member(s) that can be used to mix the contents of the container. Lastly, in another embodiment, the device may consist of a liner member inside the container.

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Description

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims the benefit under Title 35 United States Code §119(e) of U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 61/899,820; Filed: Nov. 4, 2013, the full disclosure of which is incorporated herein by reference.

STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT

Not applicable

THE NAMES OF THE PARTIES TO A JOINT RESEARCH AGREEMENT

Not applicable

INCORPORATING-BY-REFERENCE OF MATERIAL SUBMITTED ON A COMPACT DISC

Not applicable

SEQUENCE LISTING

Not applicable

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention generally relates to a device and method of use directed to a variable volume container. More specifically, the present invention relates to a device and method of use for storing and dispensing a variable volume of a substrate to include but not be limited to a solid, liquid, and/or gas.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Without limiting the scope of the disclosed device and method, the background is described in connection with a novel device and approach directed to a variable volume container that can be used to store and dispense any substrate to include but not be limited to any solid, liquid, and/or gas.

In the architectural coatings industry, materials have been supplied either by store/warehouse pick up by the customer or by delivery to the job sites.

Currently, coatings are supplied primarily in one gallon and five gallon pails. This results in workers regularly having to stop work to get more coating and then return to work. The constant need to refill the existing state of the art devices lends itself to lost productivity and increased costs. In addition, purchasing multiple one and/or five gallon pails for a particular job results in problems with color and/or batch consistency and can result in having a non-uniform color and/or texture on the finished job. Finally, the current need to purchase multiple pails of coatings results in increased costs to the manufacture due to the need to have multiple pails to deliver the required volume needed for a particular job.

While all of the aforementioned approaches may fulfill their unique purposes, none of them fulfill the need for a practical and effective means for providing a multi-use, reusable container that can be adjusted to provide the exact volume of a solid, liquid, and/or gas needed for a particular job.

The present invention therefore proposes a novel device and method of use for providing a variable volume container to store and/or dispense any type of solid, liquid, and/or gas.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention, therefore, provides a device and method of use directed to providing a variable volume container to store and/or dispense any type of solid, liquid, and/or gas.

In one embodiment, the device for providing a variable volume container to store and/or dispense any type of solid, liquid, and/or gas is comprised of a base member, one or more intermediate member(s), and a top member. In another embodiment, the device may have a sealing member between the base member and the intermediate member, each intermediate member, and the intermediate member and the top member. In another embodiment, the device may have a mixing member in the base member. In another embodiment, the device may have a mixing member in the top member. In another embodiment, the device may have a window member and/or indicator member that shows the amount of material that is in the container. In another embodiment, the device may have one or more flow measuring device member(s) to measure the amount of product inside the container and the amount of product flowing into and out of the container. In another embodiment, the device may have a sample-taking member to allow samples to be taken of the contents of the container. The sample-taking member may be part of the container or connected directly to the container by any other element. In another embodiment, the device is assembled or telescopic with the base member, intermediate member(s), and top member being of various shapes and sizes. In another embodiment, the device is also comprised of a flow valve member. The flow valve member may be part of either the base member, any intermediate member, or the top member. In another embodiment, the device may consist of a bladder member inside the container that will separate the contents inside the bladder member from the interior walls of the device. In another embodiment, the device may have a sealing member between the bladder member, the top-most intermediate member, and the top member. In another embodiment, the device may be manufactured out of any material including but not limited to plastic, wood, metal, and/or paper. In another embodiment, the base member, intermediate member(s), and top member may assemble by any method including but not being limited to interlocking, threaded connection, pin, lock, and/or pressure fitting. In another embodiment, the device may be insulated or temperature controlled including but not limited to a radiant or insulating material; an air pocket construction between the walls of the base member, intermediate member(s), and top member; and/or a temperature control member that may be electric or gas powered. In another embodiment, the device may have an illumination member. In another embodiment, the device may be mounted on a mounting member. In yet another embodiment, the mounting member may be stationary or mobile. In another embodiment, the mounting member may be any dimension or weight and may be a single piece or assembled from multiple pieces. In another embodiment, the mounting member may have a built in power source member. In another embodiment, the mounting member may have an illumination member. In another embodiment, the mounting member may be designed move with a pallet jack or forklift. In another embodiment, the mounting member may have a mobile member such as wheels or any other means that allows the mounting member to be mobile. In another embodiment, the mounting member may have a hydraulic member to raise or lower any of the mounted members. In another embodiment, the mounting member may have one or more dispensing member(s) including but not limited to a pump and/or two way pump so that the variable volume container can be filled or emptied with any solid, liquid, and/or gas. In another embodiment, the mounting member may be used to mount any container including but not limited to non-telescopic drums, boxes, totes, and/or pails. In another embodiment, the mounting member may have one or more dispensing member(s) and/or application member(s) for solids, liquids, and/or gases. In another embodiment, the mounting member may have a mounting adaptor member that can fit assembled containers of any size or shape. In another embodiment, the mounting member may have an airless coatings dispenser member including but not limited to an electric and/or gas powered airless coatings dispenser member. In another embodiment, the mounting member may have a leveling member. In another embodiment, the mounting member may have a shock absorption member. Lastly, in another embodiment the mounting member may have a mixing member that can be used on the container from the bottom, top, and/or any side of the container.

In summary, the present invention discloses an improved device and method of use directed to a variable volume container. More specifically, the present invention relates to a device and method of use for a variable volume container that can be used to store and/or dispense any solid, liquid and/or gas.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS

For a more complete understanding of the features and advantages of the present invention, reference is now made to the detailed description of the invention along with the accompanying figures in which:

FIG. 1 is a front perspective exploded view of the variable volume container device in accordance with embodiments of the disclosure;

FIG. 2 is a front perspective view of the intermediate member of the variable volume container device in accordance with embodiments of the disclosure;

FIG. 3 is a detailed perspective of one possible assembling method of the variable volume container device in accordance with embodiments of the disclosure;

FIG. 4 is a bottom perspective of the base member of the variable volume container device in accordance with embodiments of the disclosure;

FIG. 5 is a front perspective of illustrating an alternative embodiment for assembling the variable volume container device in accordance with embodiments of the disclosure;

FIG. 6 is a front perspective of the variable volume container device mounted on the mounting member in accordance with embodiments of the disclosure;

FIG. 7 is a front perspective view of the variable volume container device mounted on the mounting member illustrating an alternative embodiment for the mixing member and the mounting member in accordance with embodiments of the disclosure;

FIG. 8 is an exploded front perspective view of the variable volume container device mounted on the mounting member illustrating the bladder member in accordance with embodiments of the disclosure;

FIG. 9 is a front perspective view of the variable volume container device mounted on the mounting member illustrating an alternative embodiment for filling the variable volume container device with a solid liquid and/or gas in accordance with embodiments of the disclosure.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Disclosed herein is an improved device and method of use for a variable volume container that can be used to store and/or dispense any solid, liquid, and/or gas. The numerous innovative teachings of the present invention will be described with particular reference to several embodiments (by way of example, and not of limitation).

Reference is first made to FIG. 1, a front perspective exploded view of the variable volume container device to store and/or dispense any solid, liquid, and/or gas in accordance with embodiments of the disclosure. In one embodiment, the device for providing a variable volume container to store and/or dispense any solid, liquid, and/or gas is comprised of a base member 10, one or more intermediate member(s) 20, and a top member 30. The base member 10 may have a concave or flat interior 11. The base member 10, intermediate member(s) 20, and top member 30 may be constructed to have any height 22, width 23, diameter, and/or wall thickness to allow for the assembly of variable volume container devices with different shapes and/or volumes; height 22 and width 23 are described in upcoming FIG. 2. The base member 10, intermediate member(s) 20, and top member 30 may have any shape including but not limited to rings, squares, triangles, or any other shape that allows the base member 10, intermediate member(s) 20, and top member 30 to assemble or stack together to create a telescopic container. In one embodiment, the base member 10, intermediate member(s) 20, and top member 30 may assemble/disassemble and/or are releasably attachable by threaded connection in which a male threaded member 60 connects to a female threaded member 50. The base member 10, intermediate members(s) 20, and top member 30 may also assemble by any manner including but not limited to interlock, pin, lock, pressure fitting, and/or latch. The base member 10, intermediate member(s) 20, and top member 30 may be made of any material including but not limited to plastic, wood, metal, and/or paper. The device for providing a variable volume container to store and/or dispense any solid, liquid, and/or gas may be reusable or disposable. The device for providing a variable volume container to store and/or dispense any solid, liquid, and/or gas may also have sealing member(s) 40 to create an airtight and/or watertight seal by fitting or being positioned between the base member 10 and the intermediate member 20, each intermediate member 20, and the top-most intermediate member 20 and the top member 30. The sealing member(s) 40 can be separate from the base member 10, intermediate member(s) 20, and top member 30 or may be part of the base member 10, intermediate member(s) 20, and/or top member 30. The sealing member may be constructed of any material including but not limited to plastic, rubber, foam rubber, silicone, or any material that is cable of producing an airtight and/or watertight seal. The variable volume container device to store and/or dispense any solid, liquid, and/or gas may be comprised of an insulation member and/or temperature control member. The insulation member and/or temperature control member may be a radiant or insulating material including but not limited to fiberglass insulation, foam insulation, or any other insulating material that will insulate the contents of the variable volume container. The insulation member and/or temperature control member may be an air pocket construction between each wall of the base member 10, each intermediate member(s) 20, and the top member 30. The insulation member and/or temperature control member may be an electric and/or gasoline powered temperature control device including but not limited to a heater, air conditioner, a heated and/or cooled rod, or any other device that can heat and/or cool the contents of the variable volume container. The variable volume container device to store and/or dispense any solid, liquid, and/or gas may be comprised of a window member and/or indicator member that visually shows the amount of material that is in the variable volume container. The window member and/or indicator member may include but not be limited to a transparent section in the side of the variable volume container, an electronic indicator on the side of the variable volume container, or any other means to show the amount of contents in the variable volume container. The variable volume container device to store and/or dispense any solid, liquid, and/or gas may be comprised of one or more flow measuring device member(s) to determine the amount of contents flowing into and out of the variable volume container. The flow measuring device member(s) may be any device that measures the amount of a substance and may be part of the variable volume container or may be separate. The variable volume container device to store and/or dispense any solid, liquid, and/or gas may be comprised of a sample-taking member. The sample-taking member may be part of the variable volume container or may be separate and may be connected directly to the variable volume container or may be connected by another device/member. The sample-taking device may be any device that can be used to take a sample of the contents of the variable volume container. The variable volume container device to store and/or dispense any solid, liquid, and/or gas may be comprised of one or more illumination member(s) to provide illumination to the contents of the variable volume container and/or the area surrounding the variable volume container. The illumination member may be part of the variable volume container or may be separate from the variable volume container and may be any type of illumination device including but not limited to a light bulb, fiber optic lighting, or any other device that produces light and/or illumination. The variable volume container device to store and/or dispense any solid, liquid, and/or gas may be comprised of a flow valve member 90 to allow any solid, liquid, and/or gas to enter or leave the interior of the variable volume container. The flow valve member 90 may be part of the base member 10, any intermediate member(s) 20, or the top member 30. The variable volume container device to store and/or dispense any solid, liquid, and/or gas may also be comprised of a mixing member 70 to continuously and/or intermittently mix the contents of the variable volume container. The mixing member may be of any construction that allows for the contents of the variable volume container to be mixed and may be part of the base member 10, any intermediate member(s) 20, or the top member 30. The mixing member 70 may have a mixing member power source member 80 that will provide a force to the mixing member 70 resulting in the mixing of the contents of the variable volume container. The mixing member power source member 80 may be any power source including but not limited to an electric motor, gasoline motor, hand crank, or any other power source that results in applying a force to the mixing member 70 so that the contents of the variable volume container are mixed.

Reference is now made to FIG. 2, a front perspective view of the intermediate member of the variable volume container device in accordance with embodiments of the disclosure. In this illustration, the intermediate member 20 is shown with a male threaded member 60 and a female threaded member 50. In this embodiment, the male threaded member 60 and the female threaded member 50 provide the means of attachment between the base member 10 and the intermediate member 20, each intermediate member 20, and the top-most intermediate member 20 and the top member 30. The base member 10, each intermediate member 20, and the top member 30 may have any height 22 and width 23 to allow for containers of different sizes and shapes to be constructed. As can be readily seen, the container can easily be modified to adjust the amount of solid, liquid, and/or gas that can be held. This variation or variable amount to be held is done by the number of intermediate members 20 utilized. One intermediate member 20 can be attached/utilized for a set amount to be held by the container. If more is to be held in the container, two or three intermediate members 20 may be attached in the configuration and so on until the desired volume is achieved.

Reference is next made to FIG. 3, a detailed perspective of one possible assembling method of the variable volume container device in accordance with embodiments of the disclosure. In this illustration, the male treaded member 60 is shown connecting with the female threaded member 50 to create an airtight and/or watertight seal between the base member 10 and the intermediate member 20, each intermediate member 20, and the top-most intermediate member 20 and the top member 30.

Reference is next made to FIG. 4, a bottom perspective of the base member of the variable volume container device in accordance with embodiments of the disclosure. In this illustration, the base member 10 is shown with the flow valve member 90 on the bottom of the base member 10.

Reference is next made to FIG. 5, a front perspective of illustrating an alternative embodiment for assembling the variable volume container device in accordance with embodiments of the disclosure. In this illustration, the base member 10 and the intermediate member 20, each intermediate member 20, and the top-most intermediate member 20 and the top member 30 may attach by using one or more latching member(s) 100. The latching member(s) 100 may be made out of any material including but not limited to metal, plastic, rubber, or any other material that allows two separate pieces to be latched together. The latching member(s) 100 may be part of the base member, intermediate member(s) 20, and top member 30 or may be separate. The latching member(s) 100 may have one or more hooking portion(s) 111 that attach to one or more attachment portion(s) 110 resulting in providing a connection between the base member 10 and the intermediate member 20, each intermediate member 20, and the top-most intermediate member 20 and the top member 30. The attachment portion(s) 110 may be any structure to which the hooking portion(s) 111 may attach to such as but not limited to an eyelet, a hole, or an extruding lip.

Reference is next made to FIG. 6, a front perspective of the variable volume container device mounted on the mounting member in accordance with embodiments of the disclosure. In this illustration, the variable volume container device for storing and/or dispensing any solid, liquid, and/or gas is show mounted on a mounting member 130. The variable volume container device may mount on the mounting member 130 by any means including but not limited to latches, pins, ropes, or any other means that allows the variable volume container to attach to the mounting member 130. The mounting member 130 may have adaptors that can fit variable volume container devices of different sizes and diameters. The mounting member 130 may be used with non-telescopic containers including but not limited to one gallon pails, five gallon pails, drums, boxes, totes, or any other container that can hold a solid, liquid, and/or gas. The mounting member 130 may be a single piece or assembled from multiple pieces, and the mounting member 130 may be any dimension and/or weight. The mounting member 130 may be of any size and shape and may be constructed from any material including but not limited to wood, metal, or plastic. The mounting member may have a hydraulic member to raise or lower the mounting member 130 or any other elements/members mounted to the mounting member 130. The mounting member 130 may have one or move leveling member(s) and/or shock absorption member(s) to be used for mounting member and/or variable volume container stability. The leveling member(s) may be any device that can level the mounting member 130 and/or the variable volume container including but not limited to levels, springs, shocks, or any other device that can level the mounting member 130 and/or variable volume container on uneven surfaces. The shock absorption member(s) may be any device that can provide shock absorption to the mounting member 130 and/or variable volume container including but not limited to springs, shocks, bushings, or any other device and/or material that can provide shock absorption to the mounting member 130 and/or the variable volume container. The mounting member 130 may have a mixing member 70 to continuously and/or intermittently mix the contents of the variable volume container. The mixing member 70 may be of any construction that allows for the contents of the variable volume container to be mixed and the mixing member 70 may be used on the variable volume container from the bottom top or any side. The mounting member 130 may have a mixing member power source member 80 that will provide a force to the mixing member 70 resulting in the mixing of the contents of the variable volume container. The mixing member power source member 80 may be any power source including but not limited to an electric motor, gasoline motor, hand crank, or any other power source that results in applying a force to the mixing member 70 so that the contents of the variable volume container are mixed. The mounting member 130 may have one or more illumination member(s) to provide illumination to the contents of the variable volume container and/or the area surrounding the variable volume container. The illumination member may be part of the mounting member 130 or may be separate from the mounting member 130 and may be any type of illumination device including but not limited to a light bulb, fiber optic lighting, or any other device that produces light and/or illumination. The mounting member 130 may be mobile or stationary and may have one or more mobile member(s) 180. The mobile member(s) 180 may be wheels, sleds, tracks, or any other device that allows for the mounting member 130 to be mobile. The mounting member 130 may have one or more dispensing member(s) 160. The dispensing member(s) 160 may be a pump and/or two way pump so that the variable volume container device can be filled or emptied with any solid, liquid, and/or gas. The dispensing member(s) 160 may also be an electric or gasoline powered paint sprayer, electric or gasoline powered airless coatings dispenser, or any other application device that can be used to apply the contents of the variable volume container device on any surface including but not limited to walls, ceilings, floors, or any other surface. The dispensing member(s) 160 may be connected to one or more application member(s) 170 that can be used to apply the contents of the variable volume container device on any surface including but not limited to walls, ceilings, floors, or any other surface. The variable volume container device may have a flow valve member 90 on the top member 30 to allow for the contents of the variable volume container device to be removed from the top of the variable volume container device. The variable volume container device may have one or more transport member(s) 91 to allow the contents of the variable volume container to flow out of the container. The transport member(s) 91 may be constructed of any material including but not limited to metal, rubber, plastic, or any other material that allows a solid, liquid, and/or gas to be transported from one place to another and may include but not be limited to hoses, tubes, or any other device that allows a solid, liquid, and/or gas to be transported from one place to another. The transport member(s) 91 may be connected to the dispensing member(s) 160 to allow the contents of the variable volume container device to flow from the variable volume container device into the dispensing member(s) 160 or to allow the contents of the variable volume container device to flow from the dispensing member(s) 160 into the variable volume container device. The mounting element may have one or more power source member(s) 140, 150. The power source member(s) 140, 150 may be any power source including but not limited to electrical, mechanical, or gasoline power sources and may include but not be limited to batteries, engines, or any other power source that can supply power to another device. The power source member(s) 140,150 may be used to provide power to the mobile member(s) 180, the dispensing member(s) 160, the application member(s) 170, or any other device, whether or not mounted on the mounting member 130.

Reference is next made to FIG. 7, a front perspective view of the variable volume container device mounted on the mounting member illustrating an alternative embodiment for the mixing member and the mounting member in accordance with embodiments of the disclosure. In this illustration, the mixing member 70 and the mixing member power member 80 are shown in the top member 30. The mixing member may be any type of mixing device of any height or width that allows the contents of the variable volume container to be mixed. The mixing member power member 80 may be any power source including but not limited to a battery, electric motor, gasoline motor, hand crank, or any other device that allows a force to be applied to the mixing member 70. In addition, this illustration shows an additional mobile member 190 in the mounting member 130 that allows the mounting member 130 to be moved by an external device including but not limited to a pallet jack, forklift, or any other external device that can be used to move an object.

Reference is next made to FIG. 8, an exploded front perspective view of the variable volume container device mounted on the mounting member illustrating an alternative embodiment with a bladder member in accordance with embodiments of the disclosure. In this illustration, the variable volume container device may contain a bladder member 200 that fits inside the intermediate members 20 of the variable volume container device. The bladder member 200 may be constructed from any material including but not limited to plastic, rubber, latex, paper, or any other material that will separate the contents of the bladder member 200 from the interior walls of the variable volume container device. The bladder member 200 may be reusable or disposable. The bladder member 200 may have a bladder member sealing/connection member 210 or a portion of the bladder member 200 itself that allows the bladder member to connect/seal and/or be releasably attachable with the intermediate member(s) 20 or the top member 30 of the variable volume container device. The bladder member 200 and/or bladder member sealing/connection member 210 may attach to the variable volume container device by hooks, Velcro, an extruding lip in the top-most intermediate member 20, or by any other means that allows for attachment between the bladder member 200 and/or bladder member sealing/connection member 210 and the interior or exterior of the variable volume container device so that the contents of the bladder member are separated from the interior of the variable volume container device. That is the bladder member 200 holds the contents. The bladder member may have a bladder member flow valve 220 to allow the contents of the bladder member 200 to enter and/or exit the bladder member 200. The bladder member flow valve 220 may be located anywhere on the bladder member and may be designed to attach to the flow valve 90. Attachment of the bladder member flow valve 220 to the flow valve 90 may be by any means including but not limited to a threaded connection, pressure fitting, or any other means that allows the contents of the bladder member 200 to flow from the interior of the bladder member 200 through the bladder member flow valve 220 and into the flow valve 90.

Reference is lastly made to FIG. 9, a front perspective view of the variable volume container device mounted on the mounting member illustrating an alternative embodiment for filling the variable volume container device with a solid liquid and/or gas in accordance with embodiments of the disclosure. In this illustration, a supply member 320 may provide a solid, liquid, and/or gas to fill the variable volume container device. The supply member 320 may be a truck, building, trailer, or any other means that allows for the storage and/or transport of a solid, liquid, and/or gas. The supply member 320 may have a tank member 250 to store any solid, liquid, and/or gas. There may be a pump member 270 to move the contents of the tank member 250 into or out of a prepping member 290. There may be one or more transport member(s) 260, 280, 300 between the pump member 270 and the tank member 250, between the pump member 270 and the prepping member 290, and between the prepping member 290 and the variable volume container device. The pump member 270, prepping member 290, and transport member 260 may be part of the supply member 320 or may be separate from the supply member 320. The transport member(s) 260, 280, 300 may be constructed of any material including but not limited to metal, rubber, plastic, or any other material that allows a solid, liquid, and/or gas to be transported from one place to another and may include but not be limited to hoses, tubes, or any other device that allows a solid, liquid, and/or gas to be transported from one place to another. The prepping member 290 may be used to add color/texture to base paint, mix additional solids, liquids, and/or gasses, or perform any other function necessary to prepare the solid, liquid, and/or gas that is used in the variable volume container device. The prepping member 290 may be a container, a paint mixer, or any other container/device used to prepare a solid, liquid, and/or gas. The prepping member may have a mixing member 330 and a mixing member power member 340. The mixing member 330 may be any type of mixing device of any height or width that allows the contents of the prepping member 290 to be continuously and/or intermittently mixed. The mixing member power member 340 may be any power source including but not limited to a battery, electric motor, gasoline motor, hand crank, or any other device that allows a force to be applied to the mixing member 330. The variable volume container may have a connection member 310 to allow the transport member(s) 260, 280, 300 to connect to the variable volume container device so that contents can be added and/or removed from the variable volume container device. The connection member 310 may be in the top member 30, any intermediate member 20, or the base member 10. The connection member 310 may be constructed of any material including but not limited to metal, plastic, rubber, or any other material that allows a connection to be made between the variable volume container device and the transport member(s) 260, 280, 300. The transport member(s) 260, 280, 300 may attach to the connection member 310 by threaded connection, pressure fitting, or any other attachment means that allows for an airtight and/or watertight connection to be formed between the transport member(s) 260, 280, 300 and the connection member 310.

In brief, as described herein provides for an effective and efficient variable volume container that can be used to store and/or dispense any solid, liquid, and/or gas.

The disclosed device and method of use is generally described, with examples incorporated as particular embodiments of the invention and to demonstrate the practice and advantages thereof. It is understood that the examples are given by way of illustration and are not intended to limit the specification or the claims in any manner.

To facilitate the understanding of this invention, a number of terms may be defined below. Terms defined herein have meanings as commonly understood by a person of ordinary skill in the areas relevant to the present invention.

Terms such as “a”, “an”, and “the” are not intended to refer to only a singular entity, but include the general class of which a specific example may be used for illustration. The terminology herein is used to describe specific embodiments of the invention, but their usage does not delimit the disclosed device or method, except as may be outlined in the claims.

Alternative applications for this invention include using the device and method of use for a variable volume container that can be used to store and/or dispense any solid, liquid, and/or gas in various environments and conditions. Consequently, any embodiments comprising a one piece or multi piece device having the structures as herein disclosed with similar function shall fall into the coverage of claims of the present invention and shall lack the novelty and inventive step criteria.

It will be understood that particular embodiments described herein are shown by way of illustration and not as limitations of the invention. The principal features of this invention can be employed in various embodiments without departing from the scope of the invention. Those skilled in the art will recognize, or be able to ascertain using no more than routine experimentation, numerous equivalents to the specific device and method of use described herein. Such equivalents are considered to be within the scope of this invention and are covered by the claims.

All publications and patent applications mentioned in the specification are indicative of the level of those skilled in the art to which this invention pertains. All publications and patent application are herein incorporated by reference to the same extent as if each individual publication or patent application was specifically and individually indicated to be incorporated by reference.

In the claims, all transitional phrases such as “comprising,” “including,” “carrying,” “having,” “containing,” “involving,” and the like are to be understood to be open-ended, i.e., to mean including but not limited to. Only the transitional phrases “consisting of” and “consisting essentially of,” respectively, shall be closed or semi-closed transitional phrases.

The device and/or methods disclosed and claimed herein can be made and executed without undue experimentation in light of the present disclosure. While the device and methods of this invention have been described in terms of preferred embodiments, it will be apparent to those skilled in the art that variations may be applied to the device and/or methods and in the steps or in the sequence of steps of the method described herein without departing from the concept, spirit, and scope of the invention.

More specifically, it will be apparent that certain components, which are both shape and material related, may be substituted for the components described herein while the same or similar results would be achieved. All such similar substitutes and modifications apparent to those skilled in the art are deemed to be within the spirit, scope, and concept of the invention as defined by the appended claims.

Claims

1. A variable volume device for storing and/or dispensing a variable volume of any solid, liquid, and/or gas comprising:

a base member;
and one or more intermediate members;
wherein said base member is releasably attachable to a said intermediate member and each intermediate member is releasably attachable to additional said intermediate members allowing the stacking of additional said intermediate members.

2. The variable volume device of claim 1, further comprising one or more sealing members positioned between said base member and intermediate member as well as between intermediate members.

3. The variable volume device of claim 1, wherein said base member is further comprised of a mixing member.

4. The variable volume device of claim 3, wherein said mixing member is further comprised of a power source member.

5. The variable volume device of claim 1, wherein said base member is further comprised of a flow valve member.

6. The variable volume device of claim 1, wherein said base member is further comprised of a mixing member and a flow valve member.

7. The variable volume device of claim 1, further comprising a bladder member positioned within said intermediate members.

8. The variable volume device of claim 7, wherein said bladder member is further comprised of a portion that allows said bladder member to be releasably attachable to said intermediate members.

9. The variable volume device of claim 1, further comprising a mounting member positioned underneath said bottom member.

10. The variable volume device of claim 9, wherein said mounting member is further comprised of one or more transport members.

11. The variable volume device of claim 1, further comprising a top member that is releasably attachable to said intermediate members and is positioned at the end of said intermediate member's stack.

12. The variable volume device of claim 11, further comprising one or more sealing members positioned between said base member and said intermediate member, between said intermediate members, and between said intermediate member and said top member.

13. The variable volume device of claim 11, wherein said top member is further comprised of a mixing member.

14. The variable volume device of claim 13, wherein said mixing member is further comprised of a power source member.

15. The variable volume device of claim 11, further comprising a bladder member positioned within said intermediate members.

16. The variable volume device of claim 15, wherein said bladder member is further comprised of a portion that allows said bladder member to be releasably attachable to said intermediate members.

17. The variable volume device of claim 11, further comprising a mounting member positioned underneath said bottom member.

18. The variable volume device of claim 17, wherein said mounting member is further comprised of one or more transport members.

19. A variable volume device for storing and/or dispensing a variable volume of any solid, liquid, and/or gas comprising:

a base member;
one or more intermediate members;
a top member;
and a bladder member;
wherein said base member is releasably attachable to a said intermediate member and each intermediate member is releasably attachable to additional said intermediate members allowing the stacking of additional said intermediate members;
and wherein said top member is releasably attachable to said intermediate members and is positioned at the end of said intermediate member's stack;
and wherein said bladder member is positioned within said intermediate members.

20. A variable volume device for storing and/or dispensing a variable volume of any solid, liquid, and/or gas comprising:

one or more intermediate members;
and a bladder member;
wherein each intermediate member is releasably attachable to said intermediate members allowing the stacking of said intermediate members;
and wherein said bladder member is positioned within said intermediate members and is comprised of a portion that allows said bladder member to be releasably attachable to said intermediate members.

Patent History

Publication number: 20150122835
Type: Application
Filed: Nov 4, 2014
Publication Date: May 7, 2015
Inventors: Oscar Gonzalez (Monterrey), Francisco Iriarte (Torreon)
Application Number: 14/532,995

Classifications

Current U.S. Class: With Casing Or Support (222/105); Stacked Or Aligned Similar Sections (220/4.26); Drip, Leakage Or Waste Catching Or Disposal (222/108)
International Classification: B65D 77/06 (20060101); B65D 6/16 (20060101); B65D 8/00 (20060101);