One of the consumer’s great frustrations after having bought a product with a pump spray or an aerosol, is, that in effect they are designed only to work in an upright position. Existing pump spray containers have a dip tube with only one hole, which have to ‘swim’ in the liquid to guarantee proper spraying and that only is the case when sufficient liquid is left in the container and the container is held upright while spraying. Existing spray technologies tend to create waste because product is left behind and inaccessible in the container due to loss of pressure. These conditions greatly frustrate the consumer who wants to use the product at any angle he sees fit and up to the last drop.
Imagine 12 billion spray containers and aerosols currently in use worldwide in household, DIY and personal care products. Imagine 12 billion potential frustrations. The answer of course is a trigger spray system designed to work when held at any angle and leave behind no waste. Manufacturers have been trying to solve this problem for years to no avail.
A new concept is said to overcome these frustrations. British inventor Michael Pritchard developed ‘Anyway’ as an alternative to conventional aerosols and trigger sprays, that can be used upside down and without leaving any residue at the bottom of the container. ‘Anyway’ is designed to work at any angle and extract ‘every last drop’. The key component is a single hydrophilic membrane tube with millions of holes that attracts liquid rather than rejects it and excludes gases. The tube is closed at one end and enters the manifold of a trigger sprayer at the other. The liquid follows the path of least resistance and so up and out of the top of the tube, regardless of how the consumer is holding the container, letting the laws of physics work in the pump’s favour.
For as long as any part of the tube is in contact with the liquid, and whichever way the container is inverted, a constant spray will be maintained until the very last drop. Not only is it more practical, but it also saves significantly on waste, and for aerosols the use of compressed air means no harmful gases are released.
According to the inventor, with ‘Anyway’, a product manufacturer can choose the porosity and add characteristics to the tube depending on the nature and viscosity of the contents. The system can handle lotions, gels and foams. It is suitable for most household cleaning products and liquids and a vast majority of beauty products.
In theory the ‘Anyway’ tube will work even with viscous liquids such as sun creams and oils as long as the properties of the liquid and flow rates are understood. It is also a viable alternative – and considerably less expensive – than the ‘bag on valve’ technology manufacturers currently use.
More costly? Michael Pritchard disagrees, pointing out that his invention will reduce costs, particularly with aerosol cans.