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Publication numberUS20020148847 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 09/835,747
Publication dateOct 17, 2002
Filing dateApr 16, 2001
Priority dateApr 16, 2001
Also published asCA2379438A1
Publication number09835747, 835747, US 2002/0148847 A1, US 2002/148847 A1, US 20020148847 A1, US 20020148847A1, US 2002148847 A1, US 2002148847A1, US-A1-20020148847, US-A1-2002148847, US2002/0148847A1, US2002/148847A1, US20020148847 A1, US20020148847A1, US2002148847 A1, US2002148847A1
InventorsFrano Luburic
Original AssigneeRopak Corporation
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Container lid for wet or dry applications
US 20020148847 A1
Abstract
Apparatus includes a lid and a container/lid combination and associated methods, in which the lid may be used selectively for either dry or liquid-sealed applications. For liquid-sealed applications, a gasket or similar sealing element is provided in a gasket channel. A shoulder or detent prevents the container from entering the gasket channel, but permits the desired liquid-sealing when the gasket or similar sealing element is present in the channel. The sealing element may be foamed-in-place within the channel.
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Claims(16)
What is claimed is
1. A lid for a container, said lid including a channel member at its periphery for engaging with a corresponding portion of the container, said channel member having a cross-section that includes a dry-sealing contact surface, said cross-section further including a wet-sealing contact area for selectively receiving a wet-sealing contact member, said dry-sealing contact surface configured to abut a confronting surface on the container when no wet-sealing contact member is present in said wet-sealing contact area, and said wet-sealing contact area configured to provide liquid sealing between said lid and the container when a wet-sealing contact member is present in said wet-sealing contact area.
2. The lid of claim 1, further including a wet-sealing contact member in said wet-sealing contact area.
3. The lid of claim 2, in which said wet-sealing contact member includes a flexible gasket.
4. The lid of claim 2, in which said wet-sealing contact member includes sealing material foamed-in-place in said wet-sealing contact area.
5. The lid of claim 1 or claim 2 or claim 3 or claim 4, in which said dry-sealing contact surface includes a shoulder formed in said channel, and said wet-sealing contact area includes a deeper portion of said channel that is not normally in direct contact with the container, said deeper portion of said channel configured to receive the wet-sealing contact member.
6. The lid of claim 5, in which said shoulder is configured to prevent insertion of the container into said wet-sealing contact area.
7. A container and lid combination, said container having an upper edge having a first portion and a second portion, said lid having a peripheral structure for matingly engaging said upper edge of said container, said peripheral structure including a contacting surface configured to contact said first portion of said upper edge during non-liquid-sealing between said container and said lid, said peripheral structure further including a selective sealing section, said selective sealing section configured to selectively receive a liquid-sealing element and position that element in contact with said second portion of said upper edge during liquid-sealing between said container and said lid.
8. The container and lid combination of claim 7, in which said first and second portions of said upper edge of said container constitute relatively flat adjacent surfaces.
9. The container and lid combination of claim 7 or claim 8, in which said peripheral structure includes a downwardly disposed outer flange member, and said contacting surface to contact said first portion of said upper edge includes a detent on said flange configured to prevent said second portion of said upper edge from contacting said selective sealing section except if a liquid-sealing element is present in said selective sealing section.
10. A lid having a generally inverted U-shaped cross section at its periphery, said cross section having a first portion for receiving a corresponding portion of a container in a dry-seal relationship, said cross-section having a further recessed portion for selectively receiving a liquid-sealing member for providing liquid-sealing between said lid and the container.
11. The lid of claim 10, said cross-section further including a shoulder portion defining said first portion from said recessed portion.
12. A method of sealing a plurality of containers, including the steps of:
providing a plurality of containers having uniform structures for engagement with corresponding lids;
providing a plurality of lids corresponding to said containers, each lid having the same generally inverted U-shaped cross section at its periphery, said cross section having a first portion for engaging said engagement structure of any one of said containers in a dry-seal relationship, said cross-section having a further recessed portion for selectively receiving a liquid-sealing member for providing liquid-sealing between said lid and its associated container; and
selectively inserting a liquid sealing member into said recessed portion of those lids for which liquid-sealing is desired.
13. A container lid, said lid including: a central lid portion integrally molded with a peripheral step channel, said step channel configured to positively engage an associated container and to provide a gasket compression gap for selective assembly of a compressible gasket element therein.
14. The container lid of claim 13, further including a compressible gasket element assembled in said gasket compression gap.
15. A multi-purpose container lid including a sealing rim portion and a gasket channel adjacent said sealing rim portion, further including a stop formed to permit insertion of a container into sealing contact with said sealing rim portion and to prevent insertion of that container into said gasket channel.
16. An integrally molded plastic lid having a central body with a peripheral inner rim, a peripheral outer rim spaced therefrom, and a gasket channel between said inner rim and said outer rim, and a detent also formed between said inner rim and said outer rim to prevent a container from being inserted into said gasket channel.
Description
CONTAINER LID FOR WET OR DRY APPLICATIONS

[0001] This invention relates to containers and lids and associated methods in general, and specifically to apparatus and methods for providing a selectively dry or liquid seal between a container and an associated lid.

[0002] 1. Background of the Invention

[0003] In a broad sense, container lids are typically designed to seal containers containing either liquids or “dry” materials. Liquids typically are sealed by providing a gasket or similar sealing element that is not typically required for dry sealing.

[0004] The same lid typically is not able to provide both a liquid seal and a “dry” seal. Instead, separate molds, inventory, distribution, and other overhead typically exist for dry sealing lids and for liquid-sealing lids, although the same container may be usable with either.

[0005] 2. Objects and Advantages of the Invention

[0006] Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide a container lid that is usable in either wet or dry applications.

[0007] Another object of the present invention is to provide a lid of the aforementioned character, in which the lid includes a channel member at its periphery for engaging with a corresponding portion of a container, the channel member having a cross-section that includes a dry-sealing contact surface and a wet-sealing contact area for selectively receiving a wet-sealing contact member. The dry-sealing contact surface can be configured to abut a confronting surface on the container when no wet-sealing contact member is present in the wet-sealing contact area, and the wet-sealing contact area can be configured to provide liquid sealing between the lid and the container when a wet-sealing contact member is present in the wet-sealing contact area. The wet-sealing contact member can include a flexible gasket, sealing material foamed-in-place in the wet-sealing contact area, or other suitable sealing means.

[0008] An additional object of the present invention is to provide a lid of the aforementioned character, in which the dry-sealing contact surface includes a shoulder formed in the channel, and the wet-sealing contact area includes a deeper portion of the channel that is not normally in direct contact with the container, the deeper portion of the channel configured to receive the wet-sealing contact member. The shoulder may be configured to prevent insertion of the container into the wet-sealing contact area.

[0009] Yet another object of the present invention is to provide a container and lid combination, the container having an upper edge and the lid having a peripheral structure for matingly engaging that upper edge. The container's upper edge includes a first portion and a second portion, and the lid's peripheral structure includes a contacting surface configured to contact the first portion of the upper edge during non-liquid-sealing between the container and the lid. The peripheral structure further includes a selective sealing section configured to selectively receive a liquid-sealing element and to position that element in contact with the second portion of the upper edge during liquid-sealing between the container and the lid. The first and second portions of the upper edge of the container may be relatively flat adjacent surfaces. The lid's peripheral structure may include a downwardly disposed outer flange member, and the contacting surface to contact the first portion of the upper edge may include a detent on the flange configured to prevent the second portion of the upper edge from contacting the selective sealing section except if a liquid-sealing element is present in the selective sealing section.

[0010] A further object of the present invention is to provide a lid having a generally inverted U-shaped cross section at its periphery, the cross section having a first portion for receiving a corresponding portion of a container in a dry-seal relationship, the cross-section having a further recessed portion for selectively receiving a liquid-sealing member for providing liquid-sealing between the lid and the container. The cross-section can further include a shoulder portion defining the first portion from the recessed portion.

[0011] A still further object of the present invention is to provide a method of sealing a plurality of containers, including the steps of: providing a plurality of containers having uniform structures for engagement with corresponding lids; providing a plurality of lids corresponding to the containers, each lid having the same generally inverted U-shaped cross section at its periphery, the cross section having a first portion for engaging the engagement structure of any one of the containers in a dry-seal relationship, the cross-section having a further recessed portion for selectively receiving a liquid-sealing member for providing liquid-sealing between the lid and its associated container; and selectively inserting a liquid sealing member into the recessed portion of those lids for which liquid-sealing is desired.

[0012] Another object of the invention is the provision of a container lid including: a central lid portion integrally molded with a peripheral step channel, the step channel configured to positively engage an associated container and to provide a gasket compression gap for selective assembly of a compressible gasket element therein. A compressible gasket element may be assembled in the gasket compression gap to provide liquid sealing between the lid and an associated container.

[0013] Yet another object of the invention is the provision of a multi-purpose container lid including a sealing rim portion and a gasket channel adjacent the sealing rim portion, further including a stop formed to permit insertion of a container into sealing contact with the sealing rim portion and to prevent insertion of that container into the gasket channel.

[0014] A still further object of the invention is to provide an integrally molded plastic lid having a central body with a peripheral inner rim, a peripheral outer rim spaced therefrom, and a gasket channel between the inner rim and the outer rim, and a detent also formed between the inner rim and the outer rim to prevent a container from being inserted into the gasket channel.

[0015] Other objects and advantages of the invention will be apparent from the following specification and the accompanying drawings, which are for the purpose of illustration only.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0016]FIG. 1 is a cross-sectional view similar to FIG. 4, illustrating a prior art conventional liquid-seal lid (without the gasket needed for liquid sealing).

[0017]FIG. 2 is similar to FIG. 1, but is a cross-sectional view illustrating a prior art conventional non-liquid-seal lid (without any room for a gasket needed for liquid sealing).

[0018]FIG. 3 is a top view of a preferred embodiment of the invention.

[0019]FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view taken along line 4-4 of FIG. 3, illustrating the lid assembled onto the container without any gasket or other liquid-sealing element.

[0020]FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view similar to FIG. 4, illustrating the inclusion of a gasket or other sealing element prior to assembly of the lid onto the container.

[0021]FIG. 6 is similar to FIG. 5, but illustrates the inclusion of a gasket or other sealing element after assembly of the lid onto the container.

[0022]FIG. 7 is similar to FIG. 5, but illustrates a hollow gasket or other sealing element prior to assembly of the lid onto the container.

[0023]FIG. 8 is similar to FIG. 7, but illustrates a hollow gasket or other sealing element following assembly of the lid onto the container.

DESCRIPTION OF PRFERRED EMBODIMENT

[0024] As shown in FIGS. 3-8, a preferred embodiment of the invention includes a lid 10 that can be assembled on a mating container 50. The preferred embodiment of the lid 10 and container 50 are fabricated by injection molding or some similar process, preferably to provide a suitably strong, lightweight container assembly. Persons of ordinary skill in the art will understand that any suitable process and materials can be used, so long as it provides the sealing described herein.

[0025] The lid 10 preferably includes a central portion 12 that can be recessed toward the container 50 from a top surface 14. Persons of ordinary skill in the art will understand that the many alternative embodiments of the invention include those with a non-recessed central portion flush with surface 14.

[0026] At the periphery of the lid 10, the preferred embodiment includes structure for engaging a mating portion of the container 50. Persons of ordinary skill in the art will understand that the mating portion of container 50 is illustrated as a conventional upper edge 52 of sidewall 54. Persons of ordinary skill in the art also will understand that the invention can be adapted for use with a wide variety of containers having edge engagement structures other than that shown in the accompanying drawings.

[0027] As further explained herein, the invention's lid structure for engaging a mating portion of container 50 can take a wide range of shapes, so long as it provides the desired selective sealing described herein (either liquid or dry seal, depending on whether a gasket element is utilized).

[0028] By way of contrast, prior art lids such as shown in FIG. 1 are configured to hold a gasket (not shown) in a peripheral channel gap between an inside surface 104 of the lid and an upper surface 106 of the container. Such gaskets typically provide a liquid seal between the container and lid, enabling the transport, storage, and other handling of liquids within such assembled containers and lid.

[0029] Other prior art such as shown in FIG. 2 does not include any peripheral gap between inside lid surface 108 and upper container surface 110. Instead, surfaces 108 and 110 abut each other, helping to form a “dry” seal so that the container/lid assembly may be used to transport and store “dry” materials.

[0030] In the preferred embodiment of FIGS. 3-8, however, the lid 10 preferably includes a channel member 20 at its periphery. In cross section, the preferred channel 20 can be seen to be a generally inverted U-shape that fits over a container's upper edge 52. Channel 20 preferably includes a sealing contact surface such as shoulder 16 that abuts a first portion 56 of the upper edge 52. Persons of ordinary skill in the art will understand that, when assembled as illustrated in FIG. 4, the contact between shoulder 16 and first portion 56 helps provide a “dry” seal between the container 50 and the lid 10.

[0031] Also in the preferred embodiment, a selective contact area 18 is provided near a second portion 58 of the container's upper edge 52. As further illustrated in connection with FIGS. 5-8, a sealing element 60 can be positioned in that selective contact area 18 to provide liquid-sealing between the lid 10 and the container 50. In such embodiments, when the lid 10 is assembled onto the container 50 (such as by pressing the lid toward the container in the direction shown by arrow A in FIG. 5), the sealing element 60 is compressed into a sealing relationship with the container 50.

[0032] Persons of ordinary skill in the art will understand that the sealing contact surface such as shoulder 16 also can be conveniently described as a dry-sealing contact surface. Persons of ordinary skill in the art will understand, however, that the “shoulder” function of shoulder 16 can be provided by any suitable detent or other structure, regardless of whether the shoulder also performs a dry sealing function. For example, if the shoulder element 16 were only provided by periodic ribs (not shown) spaced about the periphery of the lid 10 and the dry seal function were instead only provided by a generally vertical contact surface such as surface 19, those functions would be accomplished by separate structures with the lid 10 and could still accomplish the desired objectives of the invention (assuming that a suitable seal element could be selectively used in such an embodiment).

[0033] Similarly, persons of ordinary skill in the art will understand that the lid's selective contact area 18 can be described as a wet-sealing contact area for selectively receiving a wet-sealing contact member 60 (such as sealing elements 62 or 64, FIGS. 5-8).

[0034] Further in that regard, persons of ordinary skill in the art will understand that the sealing element 60 can be provided in any suitable material and shape, including a solid gasket or compressible bead 62 (FIGS. 5 and 6) or a hollow compressible or flexible gasket 64 (FIGS. 7 and 8). Persons of ordinary skill in the art will understand that the compressible bead 62 can itself be provided in many ways, including by inserting a separately formed gasket into the lid's selective contact area 18 or by forming the gasket in place (via foam molding or the like).

[0035] Moreover, persons of ordinary skill in the art will understand that the dry-sealing contact surface can be configured to abut a confronting surface on the container at all times (even when gasket means 60 is present in the container/lid assembly), or only when no wet-sealing contact member 60 is present. Typically, however, when the liquid-sealing gasket 60 is present, it will always provide liquid-sealing contact (rather than providing optional contact as just described for the dry sealing surface), and will additionally provide “dry” sealing (inherent in the extra level of sealing afforded by liquid sealing).

[0036] Preferably, the wet-sealing or liquid-sealing contact area can be described as including a deeper portion of the peripheral lid channel, and that deeper portion is not normally in direct contact with the container. Instead, the deeper portion is preferably configured to receive the wet-sealing contact member such as gaskets 62 or 64. The preferred shoulder 16 is configured to prevent insertion of the container into the wet-sealing contact area 18.

[0037] Similarly, the first and second portions 56 and 58 of the upper edge 52 of the container 50 preferably constitute relatively flat adjacent surfaces. Persons of ordinary skill in the art will understand, however, that in some of the many alternative embodiments (not shown), those surfaces can be oriented at an angle or vertically, and can even be angled with respect to each other (such as if the cross section of FIG. 4 showed an inverted “V” shape formed from top surfaces 56 and 58).

[0038] Persons of ordinary skill in the art also will understand that the preferred peripheral structure on lid 10 includes a downwardly disposed outer flange member 32, and that a tearstrip 30 may be conveniently provided therein. The shoulder 16 on lid 10 may be alternatively described as a detent 16 on the flange 32. In any case, the detent/shoulder 16 preferably is configured to prevent the second portion 58 of the upper container edge from contacting the selective sealing section 18 except indirectly, and then only if a liquid-sealing element 60 (FIGS. 5-8) is present in the selective sealing section.

[0039] Among the many alternative embodiments of the invention (not shown), the second portion (for providing a liquid seal) may extend partially into the selective sealing section 18. For embodiments in which the liquid seal is provided by a compressible member 60, however, any such extension into space 18 preferably will leave some space for compression of the gasket 60, to ensure the desired liquid seal.

[0040] Persons of ordinary skill in the art will understand that the foregoing components of the invention can alternatively be described as a further recessed portion 18 for selectively receiving a liquid-sealing member 60. As indicated above, the sealing member 60 preferably provides liquid-sealing between the lid 10 and the container 50.

[0041] In addition, persons of ordinary skill in the art will understand that the apparatus of the invention is useful in many methods. For example, to seal a plurality of containers that may selectively have dry or liquid contents, a preferred method includes the steps of providing a plurality of containers having uniform structures for engagement with corresponding lids, and providing a plurality of lids corresponding to the containers, each lid having the same generally inverted U-shaped cross section at its periphery. As explained above, the U-shaped cross section preferably has a first portion for engaging the engagement structure of any one of the containers in a dry-seal relationship, and further includes a recessed portion for selectively receiving a liquid-sealing member 60 for providing liquid-sealing between the lid and its associated container. Further steps include selectively inserting a liquid sealing member 60 into the recessed portion of those lids for which liquid-sealing is desired.

[0042] In other words, a number of the lids can be fabricated and either placed into inventory or into immediate use. Depending on the application (liquid or dry), a sealing element 60 can be assembled into the lid prior to assembly onto the container. Thus, the same “stock” lid can serve to seal either liquid and dry materials in the container.

[0043] Thus, and among other things, the invention reduces the number of molds required to fabricate lids for wet and dry applications (at least for injection-molded embodiments), and it reduces or simplifies inventory by allowing the “same” lid to be used in either a liquid or a dry application.

[0044] A preferred embodiment can also be described as including central lid portion 12 integrally molded with a peripheral step channel 20. Step channel 20 is configured to positively engage an associated container 50 (such as via interfering beads 33 and 55, FIG. 4), and to provide a gasket compression gap 18 for selective assembly of a compressible gasket element 60 therein. By inserting such a compressible gasket element 60 into the gasket compression gap, a liquid seal can be provided between the lid and container.

[0045] Yet another description of a preferred embodiment is that it provides a multi-purpose container lid including a sealing rim portion 19 and 16, and a gasket channel 18 adjacent the sealing rim portion. A stop 16 preferably permits insertion of a container 50 into sealing contact with the sealing rim portion 19, 16, and prevents insertion of that container 50 into the gasket channel 18.

[0046] The preferred embodiment includes a peripheral inner rim 24, a peripheral outer rim 32 spaced therefrom, and a gasket channel 18 formed between the inner rim 24 and the outer rim 32. A detent 16 is also preferably formed between the inner rim and the outer rim to prevent a container from being inserted into the gasket channel, for applications in which a compressible seal element 60 is used.

[0047] FIGS. 3-8 illustrate a preferred square, recessed, stackable lid embodiment of the invention. Persons of ordinary skill in the art will understand, however, that the invention can be practiced in a wide variety of shapes and sizes of containers and corresponding lids, including without limitation round, square, rectangular, hinged lids, non-hinged lids, those having tearstrips such as tearstrip 30, etc.

[0048] Although the preferred embodiment of the invention has been described with some specificity, the description and drawings set forth herein are not intended to be delimiting, and persons of ordinary skill in the art will understand that various modifications may be made to the embodiments discussed herein without departing from the scope of the invention, and all such changes and modifications are intended to be encompassed within the appended claims.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US8210391 *Oct 14, 2005Jul 3, 2012Ropak CorporationPerformance oriented pail
US8251245 *Mar 15, 2011Aug 28, 2012Helen Of Troy LimitedContainer with sealing lid
US8459486Apr 19, 2010Jun 11, 2013Ropak CorporationContainer and lid
US8657150 *Sep 23, 2005Feb 25, 2014Ardagh Mp Group Netherlands B.V.Closure seal for a container for storing dangerous liquid material
US8925755Apr 5, 2011Jan 6, 2015Ipl, Inc.Tamper evident system and method
US20120234833 *Sep 20, 2012Ropak CorporationPerformance oriented pail
US20140209556 *May 25, 2011Jul 31, 2014Antonio Carlos Teixeira AlvaresClosure Arrangement for Cans
EP1688360A1 *Nov 11, 2005Aug 9, 2006Rieke CorporationContainer lid and gasket combination
WO2012159175A1 *May 25, 2011Nov 29, 2012Brasilata S.A. Embalagens MetálicasClosure arrangement for cans
WO2013154508A1 *Jul 3, 2012Oct 17, 2013Barbaros CeylanA container with a lid
Classifications
U.S. Classification220/795, 220/792, 220/782
International ClassificationB65D43/02
Cooperative ClassificationB65D2543/00194, B65D2543/00629, B65D2543/0074, B65D2543/00972, B65D2101/0038, B65D2543/00685, B65D2543/00796, B65D2543/00555, B65D43/0256, B65D2543/00518, B65D2543/00537, B65D2543/00296
European ClassificationB65D43/02T3E
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Apr 16, 2001ASAssignment
Owner name: ROPAK CORPORATION, CALIFORNIA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:LUBURIC, FRANO;REEL/FRAME:011727/0619
Effective date: 20010416
Mar 5, 2004ASAssignment
Owner name: DEUTSCHE BANK AG LONDON, ENGLAND
Free format text: SECURITY AGREEMENT;ASSIGNOR:ROPAK CORPORATION;REEL/FRAME:014394/0916
Effective date: 20031022