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Publication numberUS20050211657 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/091,549
Publication dateSep 29, 2005
Filing dateMar 29, 2005
Priority dateMar 26, 2004
Publication number091549, 11091549, US 2005/0211657 A1, US 2005/211657 A1, US 20050211657 A1, US 20050211657A1, US 2005211657 A1, US 2005211657A1, US-A1-20050211657, US-A1-2005211657, US2005/0211657A1, US2005/211657A1, US20050211657 A1, US20050211657A1, US2005211657 A1, US2005211657A1
InventorsGuillaume Mallet, Michel Luzzato, Hanno Kaess, Daniel Roy
Original AssigneeGuillaume Mallet, Michel Luzzato, Hanno Kaess, Daniel Roy
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Device for closing a container neck, container equipped with such a device and process for manufacturing such a device
US 20050211657 A1
Abstract
This closure device comprises a removable closure for closing the neck of the container and a sealing piece adapted to be applied in tight abutment on the pouring edge of the neck by the closure. The sealing piece defines, on its side intended to be turned towards the pouring edge, a first surface for tight abutment on the pouring edge and, on the opposite side, a second surface for pressing abutment of the closure, the respective contact properties of these first and second bearing surfaces being adapted to provoke, upon application of an effort of pressure on the sealing piece by the closure, a rotational connection of the sealing piece and of the neck at the level of the first bearing surface and a sliding contact between the sealing piece and the closure at the level of the second bearing surface. The invention is more particularly applicable to the closure of containers made of glass or a similar fragile material.
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Claims(19)
1. Device for closing the neck of a container, particularly made of glass, comprising a removable closure for closing the neck and a sealing piece adapted to be applied in tight abutment on the pouring edge of the neck by the closure, wherein the sealing piece defines, on its side intended to be turned towards the pouring edge of the neck, a first surface for tight abutment on the pouring edge and, on the opposite side, a second surface for pressing abutment of the closure, the respective contact properties of these first and second bearing surfaces being adapted to provoke, upon application of an effort of pressure on the sealing piece by the closure, a rotational connection of the sealing piece and of the neck at the level of the first bearing surface and a sliding contact between the sealing piece and the closure at the level of the second bearing surface.
2. The device of claim 1, wherein the closure comprises a cap and a globally tubular piece open at at least one of its axial ends, adapted to be connected both around the neck of the container in removable manner and inside the cap in fixed manner and provided, on its inner face with means for axially supporting the sealing piece.
3. The device of claim 2, wherein the outer face of the tubular piece bears first means for blocking in axial translation and first means for blocking in rotation, respectively associated with corresponding second means for blocking in translation and with corresponding second means for blocking in rotation, in particular complementary, borne by the inner face of the cap.
4. The device of claim 2, wherein the means for axial support define at least one surface for axially retaining the sealing piece, spaced from one of the ends of the tubular piece by a distance strictly less than the axial thickness of the sealing piece when the tubular piece is outside the cap.
5. The device of claim 1, wherein the sealing piece comprises at least on the side facing towards the pouring edge of the neck when the device closes the container, a first tight layer and, on the opposite side, a second layer which is elastically deformable.
6. The device of claim 5, wherein the closure device is provided with means indicating the first use of the device, adapted to cooperate with a corresponding part of the neck when the container is first unstopped and in that the amplitude of elastic deformation of the second layer of the sealing piece and/or the amplitude of elastic deformation of the elastically deformable element of the closure are greater than the clearance between these indicating means and this part of the neck.
7. The device of claim 1, wherein the closure comprises an elastically deformable element, fast with another part of the closure and adapted to abut against the sealing piece.
8. The device of claim 7, wherein the closure device is provided with means indicating the first use of the device, adapted to cooperate with a corresponding part of the neck when the container is first unstopped and in that the amplitude of elastic deformation of the second layer of the sealing piece and/or the amplitude of elastic deformation of the elastically deformable element of the closure are greater than the clearance between these indicating means and this part of the neck.
9. Container, particularly made of glass, comprising a neck and equipped with a device for closing this neck comprising a removable closure for closing the neck and a sealing piece adapted to be applied in tight abutment on the pouring edge of the neck,
wherein the coefficient of friction between the sealing piece and the pouring edge of the neck is strictly higher than the coefficient of friction between the sealing piece and the closure.
10. The container of claim 9, wherein the closure comprises a cap and a globally tubular piece open at at least one of its axial ends, adapted to be connected both around the neck of the container in removable manner and inside the cap in fixed manner and provided, on its inner face with means for axially supporting the sealing piece.
11. The container of claim 10, wherein the outer face of the tubular piece bears first means for blocking in axial translation and first means for blocking in rotation, respectively associated with corresponding second means for blocking in translation and with corresponding second means for blocking in rotation, in particular complementary, borne by the inner face of the cap.
12. The container of claim 10, wherein the means for axial support define at least one surface for axially retaining the sealing piece, spaced from one of the ends of the tubular piece by a distance strictly less than the axial thickness of the sealing piece when the tubular piece is outside the cap.
13. The container of claim 9, wherein the sealing piece comprises at least on the side facing towards the pouring edge of the neck when the device closes the container, a first tight layer and, on the opposite side, a second layer which is elastically deformable.
14. The container of claim 13, wherein the closure device is provided with means indicating the first use of the device, adapted to cooperate with a corresponding part of the neck when the container is first unstopped and in that the amplitude of elastic deformation of the second layer of the sealing piece and/or the amplitude of elastic deformation of the elastically deformable element of the closure are greater than the clearance between these indicating means and this part of the neck.
15. The container of claim 9, wherein the closure comprises an elastically deformable element, fast with another part of the closure and adapted to abut against the sealing piece.
16. The container of claim 15, wherein the closure device is provided with means indicating the first use of the device, adapted to cooperate with a corresponding part of the neck when the container is first unstopped and in that the amplitude of elastic deformation of the second layer of the sealing piece and/or the amplitude of elastic deformation of the elastically deformable element of the closure are greater than the clearance between these indicating means and this part of the neck.
17. Process for manufacturing a device for closing the neck of a container, particularly made of glass, in which a sealing piece is available, adapted to be applied in tight abutment on the pouring edge of the neck,
wherein there are further available a cap and a globally tubular piece open at at least one of its axial ends and provided, on its inner face, with means for axially supporting the sealing piece, and
wherein the process comprises the following steps of:
a) placing the sealing piece inside the tubular piece, in axial abutment on the support means, and
b) introducing and immobilizing the tubular piece inside the cap so as to obtain a removable closure for closing the neck, adapted to apply the sealing piece against the pouring edge of the neck.
18. The process of claim 17, wherein the tubular piece used is a sleeve open at its two axial ends,
step a) for positioning the sealing piece is effected before step b) of introduction and immobilization of this sleeve, and,
during step a), the sealing piece is placed in axial abutment on the support means, being introduced in the sleeve from its axial end which will be closest to the bottom wall of the cap at the end of step b).
19. The process of claim 17, wherein, during step b) of introduction and immobilization of the tubular piece, a tongue projecting from the inner face of the cap and adapted to be in mesh with a corresponding axial stop of the neck when the container is first unstopped, is folded towards the bottom wall of the cap.
Description
FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a device for closing the neck of a container and to a container equipped with such a device, as well as to a process for manufacturing such a device. The invention relates in particular to glass containers which contain for example an alcoholic beverage or a medicinal solution.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

When it is desired to guarantee a suitable seal of a container by such a closure device, particularly when the container contains a liquid, or more generally a product particularly sensitive to oxidation and/or when the container is made of glass or the like, it is known to use a sealing disc which rests in simple abutment on the pouring edge of the neck around which a removable closure is connected. This closure, for example screwed around the neck, thus presses the sealing disc against the pouring edge of the neck. Insofar as the closure must allow the container to be successively unstopped and re-stopped, the sealing disc is generally provided to be retained inside the closure, in the vicinity of its bottom wall. An example of such a closure device is given in U.S. Pat. No. 4,519,518.

When the neck of the container is made of glass or a similar fragile material, the surface state of the pouring edge of the neck often presents roughness, such as micro-cracks or micro-fissures. Such rough areas, and even such splinters, are all the more numerous or marked when the container is a recycled bottle, i.e. a bottle having already served and which has been subjected to a cleaning before being re-used. When the closure presses the sealing disc in abutment against the pouring edge of the neck, the rough areas risk tearing or cutting the material of the disc, thus deteriorating the seal of the container.

It is an object of the present invention to propose a closure device and a container provided with such a device, for which the risks of damage of the sealing disc are reduced with a view to improving tightness of the container, even when the surface state of the pouring edge is deteriorated, in particular for containers made of glass or a similar fragile material.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

To that end, the invention relates to a device for closing the neck of a container, particularly made of glass, comprising a removable closure for closing the neck and a sealing piece adapted to be applied in tight abutment on the pouring edge of the neck by the closure, characterized in that the sealing piece defines, on its side intended to be turned towards the pouring edge of the neck, a first surface for tight abutment on the pouring edge and, on the opposite side, a second surface for pressing abutment of the closure, the respective contact properties of these first and second bearing surfaces being adapted to provoke, upon application of an effort of pressure on the sealing piece by the closure, a rotational connection of the sealing piece and of the neck at the level of the first bearing surface and a sliding contact between the sealing piece and the closure at the level of the second bearing surface.

The invention also relates to a container, particularly made of glass, comprising a neck and equipped with a device for closing this neck comprising a removable closure for closing the neck and a sealing piece adapted to be applied in tight abutment on the pouring edge of the neck, characterized in that the coefficient of friction between the sealing piece and the pouring edge of the neck is strictly higher than the coefficient of friction between the sealing piece and the closure.

In the device and the container according to the invention, the sealing piece, for example a disc, is, at the level of its face in tight contact with the pouring edge, connected in rotation with the neck when the closure presses the disc against the pouring edge of the neck, the closure being mobile in sliding abutment on the opposite face of the disc. The presence of roughness or of splinters on the surface of the pouring edge does not, therefore, risk damaging the sealing disc to a great extent.

According to an advantageous characteristic of the closure device or of the container provided with this device, the closure comprises a cap and a globally tubular piece open at at least one of its axial ends, adapted to be connected both around the neck of the container in removable manner and inside the cap in fixed manner and provided, on its inner face, with means for axially supporting the sealing piece.

According to this characteristic, the closure device therefore comprises at least three elements to be assembled, namely the cap, the sealing piece, for example a sealing disc, and the tubular piece forming an axial support for the sealing piece, this tubular piece and the closure forming at least in part, in the assembled state, the closure pressing the sealing piece against the pouring edge of the neck. Insofar as the means supporting the sealing piece are borne by the tubular piece and not directly by the cap, the latter is more easily moulded and especially demoulded, no extended undercut surface being necessary. The outer face of the cap is in that case not deteriorated by shrink marks, thus guaranteeing its exterior aesthetics, for example by covering it with a trim or a decorative coating.

According to other characteristics of this device or this container, taken separately or in any technically possible combinations:

    • the outer face of the tubular piece bears first means for blocking in axial translation and first means for blocking in rotation, respectively associated with corresponding second means for blocking in translation and second means for blocking in rotation, borne by the inner face of the closure.
    • the first means for blocking in translation and/or the first means for blocking in rotation are adapted to cooperate by complementarity of shapes with the second means for blocking in translation and the second means for blocking in rotation, respectively.
    • the first means for blocking in translation present, in longitudinal section, a crest/trough profile and/or the first means for blocking in rotation present, in transverse section, a crest/trough profile.
    • the means for axial support define at least one surface for axially retaining the sealing piece, spaced from one of the ends of the tubular piece by a distance strictly less than the axial thickness of the sealing piece when the tubular piece is outside the closure.
    • the sealing piece comprises at least on the side facing towards the pouring edge of the neck when the device closes the container, a first tight layer and, on the opposite side, a second layer which is elastically and reversibly deformable.
    • the closure comprises an elastically deformable element, fast with a part of the closure and adapted to abut against the sealing piece.
    • the closure device is provided with means indicating the first use of the device, adapted to cooperate with a corresponding part of the neck when the container is first unstopped and the amplitude of elastic deformation of the second layer of the sealing piece and/or the amplitude of elastic deformation of the elastically deformable element of the closure are greater than the clearance between these indicating means and this part of the neck.

The invention also relates to a process for manufacturing a device for closing the neck of a container, particularly made of glass, in which a sealing piece is available, adapted to be applied in tight abutment on the pouring edge of the neck, characterized in that there are further available a cap and a globally tubular piece open at at least one of its axial ends and provided, on its inner face, with means for axially supporting the sealing piece, and in that the process comprises the following steps of:

    • a) placing the sealing piece inside the tubular piece, in axial abutment on the support means, and
    • b) introducing and immobilizing the tubular piece inside the cap so as to obtain a removable closure for closing the neck, adapted to apply the sealing piece against the pouring edge of the neck.

The process according to the invention thus allows a rapid and easy assembly of the closure device constituted by the cap, the sealing piece and the added tubular piece, this device consequently being just as easy to manipulate in order to be removably connected, for example screwed, around the neck of the container. As the different operations of the process are carried out solely in substantially axial movements, this process may in practice be automatized, without it being detrimental to the quality of its production.

According to an advantageous characteristic of this process, the tubular piece used is a sleeve open at its two axial ends, step a) for positioning the sealing piece is effected before step b) of introduction and immobilization of this sleeve, and, during step a), the sealing piece is placed in axial abutment on the support means, being introduced in the sleeve from its axial end which will be closest to the bottom wall of the cap at the end of step b). As the sleeve supports the sealing piece before this sleeve is added in the cap, the assembly does not necessitate deformation or distortion of the sealing piece since the latter is, at first, simply placed on the support means formed on the inner face of the sleeve, then this sleeve is introduced inside the closure, being subsequently immobilized therein.

According to another advantageous characteristic of this process, during introduction of the tubular piece inside the cap, a tongue projecting from the inner face of the cap and adapted to be in mesh with a corresponding axial stop of the neck when the container is first unstopped, is folded towards the bottom wall of the cap.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The invention will be more readily understood on reading the following description given solely by way of example and made with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is an exploded view in perspective of a closure device according to the invention.

FIG. 2 is a longitudinal section of the device of FIG. 1, assembled around the neck of a container.

FIG. 3 is a view on a larger scale of the circled detail III in FIG. 2.

FIG. 4 is a partial view in section taken along plane IV-IV indicated in FIG. 2.

FIGS. 5 to 7 are views respectively similar to FIGS. 1 to 3, illustrating a variant of the device according to the invention; and

FIG. 8 is a view similar to FIG. 2, partly representing another variant of the device according to the invention.

DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Referring now to the drawings, FIGS. 1 and 2 show a closure device 1 adapted to be removably connected on a neck 2 of a container 3, for example a bottle made of glass or the like. The neck 2 presents a globally cylindrical shape, of axis X-X.

In the following description, the terms “upper” and “up” will be considered as corresponding to a direction globally parallel to axis X-X and moving away from the neck 2, i.e. a direction towards the upper part of FIGS. 1 and 2, while the terms “lower” and “down” will correspond to an opposite direction.

At its free end, the neck 2 defines a pouring edge 4 at the level of which the liquid contained in the container is intended to be poured. The outer face of the neck 2 is successively provided, from top to bottom, with a helical thread 5 and a ring 6, both projecting radially towards the outside and integral with the neck. At the level of the transition between the lower end of this ring and the rest of the neck 2, there is formed a transverse shoulder 7 slightly inclined with respect to a plane perpendicular to axis X-X.

The closure device 1 essentially comprises three distinct pieces, namely a cap 10, a sealing disc 20 and a sleeve 30, intended to be assembled coaxially then mounted on the neck 2. In the assembled state, the cap 10 and the sleeve 30 form a one-piece closure 40, as explained hereinbelow.

The cap 10 presents a tubular shape, of axis X-X when the device 1 is connected on the neck 2 as in FIG. 2. The cap is open at its lower end and is closed at its upper end by a bottom wall 11 on the periphery of which a tubular skirt 12 of axis X-X extends axially downwards. The outer face of this skirt 12 presents, in its upper part, a grooved surface 121 intended to facilitate the grasp of the cap 10 in a user's hand.

In its running part, the skirt 12 is provided, on its inner face, with a possibly discontinuous projecting tongue 122 which extends both in the direction of the axis X-X and the bottom 11. The free end of this tongue 122 is located just below the shoulder 7 of the neck 2 when the device 1 is in its connected configuration of FIG. 2.

When the device is entrained upwardly for the first time, the tongue 122 comes into mesh with the shoulder 7, in that case preventing the axial disengagement of the lower part of the skirt 12 while the upper part of this skirt is withdrawn. To that end, a line of weakness 123, shown in dotted lines in FIGS. 1 and 2, is provided in the running part of the skirt 12, a little above the tongue 122. This line of weakness 123 is for example constituted by bridges of cleavable material or by a plurality of circumferential notches or cut-outs made in the skirt 12.

The cap 10 is made of a semi-rigid plastics material, such as polypropylene or polyethylene, polypropylene being preferred, particularly for aesthetic reasons. The cap is obtained by moulding, the piece being demoulded without difficulty insofar as the inner face 124 of the skirt 12 does not present any extensive radial undercut surface. It will be noted that, in the demoulded state of the cap 10, the tongue 122 extends in a position different from that shown in FIGS. 2 and 3, its free end in that case being directed downwardly and not upwardly in order to facilitate unmoulding of the cap. This tongue must therefore be plastically folded upwardly when the device 1 is assembled, as will be explained hereinbelow.

The sleeve 30 is constituted by a globally tubular body 31 of axis X-X and open at its two axial ends. The sleeve is adapted to be introduced inside the cap 10, being immobilized therein both axially and in rotation about axis X-X, and thus form the closure 40.

More precisely, as shown in greater detail in FIG. 3, the upper part of the outer face 32 of the sleeve presents, in longitudinal section, a crest/trough profile 321 substantially complementary of a corresponding crest/trough profile 125 of the inner face 124 of the skirt 12 of the cap 10. The outer face 32 of the sleeve is, to that end, provided with an axial series of annular rings 322 projecting radially to the outside, adapted to cooperate by complementarity of shape with similar rings of the inner face 124 of the skirt 12 in order to participate in the blocking of the sleeve 30 in axial translation with respect to the cap 10.

The lower part of the outer face 32 of the sleeve 30 presents, in transverse section, as shown in FIG. 4, a crest/trough profile 323 complementary of a corresponding crest/trough profile 126 of the inner face 124 of the skirt 12. The outer face 32 of the sleeve 30 is to that end provided with a plurality of striae 324 projecting radially outwardly and extending parallel to axis X-X, distributed over the periphery of the sleeve. These striae 324 are adapted to come into mesh with complementary longitudinal grooves of the inner face 124 of the cap and thus to ensure blocking of the cap 30 in rotation with respect to the closure 10.

Moreover, the upper end of the body 31 of the sleeve 30 forms an edge 33 substantially complementary of the inner face of the zone 13 of junction between the bottom wall 11 and the skirt 12 of the cap. The upper end edge 33 thus forms for the sleeve 30 an upward axial stop with respect to the cap 10.

Similarly, the lower end of the body 31 of the sleeve 30 forms a substantially planar edge 34 adapted to abut axially on a swell 127 projecting radially inwardly of the inner face 124 of the skirt 12. The lower end edge 34 thus forms for the sleeve 30 a downward axial stop with respect to the cap 10.

Furthermore, the sleeve 30 defines an inner face 35 provided, in its upper part, with a shoulder 351 and, in its lower part, with a thread 352, both projecting radially inwardly.

The thread 352 is substantially complementary of the outer thread 5 of the neck 2, with the result that the sleeve 30 is adapted to be screwed and unscrewed on the neck 2.

The shoulder 351 defines a substantially planar upper face 353 adapted to form a downward axial support for the sealing disc 20. The axial distance x separating this face 353 from the upper end edge 33 is strictly less than the axial thickness of the disc 20 at rest, i.e. when the sleeve 30 is not connected inside the cap 10.

The sleeve 30 is made of a moulded plastics material, such as polyethylene. Insofar as the sleeve is intended to be totally introduced and therefore hidden inside the cap 10, its outer surface state is of little importance, with the result that the formation of shrink marks or other superficial defects is acceptable during manufacture thereof.

The sealing disc 20 defines a lower surface 21 intended to be in simple abutment and in tight contact against the pouring edge 4 of the neck 2 and an upper surface 22 intended to be pressed downwardly by the bottom wall 11 of the cap 10. The lower face of this bottom wall is provided with an annular swell 111 projecting axially downwardly and located plumb with the pouring edge when the device 1 is connected around the neck.

Independently of the presence of the sleeve 30, the lower surface 21 of the disc 20 presents a coefficient of friction, with respect to the glass constituting the neck 2, which is strictly higher than the coefficient of friction between the upper surface 22 of the disc and the swell 111. Consequently, even when an intense effort of pressure P is applied on the disc by the bottom 111 of the cap 10, the disc is connected to the neck 2 in rotation while the cap 10 is in sliding contact on the surface 22 of the disc. These respective coefficients of friction of the surfaces 21 and 22 result for example from the matter constituting the sealing disc or are the consequence of appropriate surface treatments or coatings. Examples of matter and of coatings are given hereinbelow.

The lower face 21 optionally defines an annular hollow impression 211, visible in FIG. 1, substantially complementary of the pouring edge 4 of the neck 2.

According to an advantageous characteristic of the invention and independent of the presence of the sleeve 30, the sealing disc 20 is made of at least two axially superposed cylindrical layers 23 and 24. These layers 23 and 24 are fast with each other either by simple friction or by an appropriate adhesive material.

The lower layer 23 is constituted by a tight material which is rigid or semi-rigid with a view to stabilizing the structure and avoiding a rupture of seal. The upper layer 24 is constituted by a flexible material, in practice more supple than the material constituting the lower layer 23.

The layer 23 may be provided to be plastically deformable while the layer 24 is elastically and reversibly deformable so that, at rest, i.e. when the closure device 1 is not connected on the neck 2, the upper face 22 of this layer extends for example substantially along a plane transverse with respect to axis X-X, while, when the device 1 is in its configuration of closure of FIGS. 2 and 3, the inner swell 111 of the cap 10 downwardly deforms the upper face 22, the layer 24 transmitting the effort of pressure P to the lower layer 23.

The supple layer 24 advantageously presents a long-lasting resistance in elasticity, so that it globally resumes its original shape even after having remained in a deformed configuration for several years.

By way of example of matter constituting the lower layer 23, both sufficiently rigid and with high coefficient of friction with respect to the pouring edge 4, mention may be made of polyethylene foams, possibly coated on the pouring edge side either with a fine film of a supple and soft material such as an ionomer, or with a fine multi-layer coating incorporating a layer of metal or polyvinylidene chloride (PVDC) to ensure a better tightness to gases. Similarly, as matter constituting the upper layer 24, both sufficient supple and with sliding contact with respect to the cap 10, mention may be made of silicone, rubber or thermoplastic elastomers such as styrene-ethylenes/butylene-styrenes (SEBS).

The assembly of the closure device 1 and its positioning around the neck 2 will now be described.

Initially, the cap 10 is available in its demoulded state mentioned hereinabove, i.e. in particular with its tongue 122 directed downwardly, together with the cap 30 and the sealing disc 20.

In a first step, the sealing disc 20 is brought above the sleeve 30, in coaxial manner, and this disc is deposited axially on the upper face 353 of the shoulder 351. No deformation of the disc is necessary, the inner diameter of the upper part of the sleeve being slightly greater than the outer diameter of the disc.

In a second step, the sleeve 30 thus provided with the disc 20 is introduced inside the cap 10, by introducing it axially and by force from its open lower end. The tool allowing the sleeve to be positioned inside the cap then advantageously ensures folding of the tongue 122 upwardly, so that it takes the configuration of FIGS. 2 and 3.

The sleeve 30 is axially introduced in the cap 10 until its upper end edge 33 comes into abutment against the bottom wall 11. The sleeve is then wedged axially inside the cap by the cooperation both of the end edge 33 with the zone 13, of the lower end edge 34 with the swell 127 of the skirt 12 and of the crest/trough profile 321 of the sleeve with the complementary profile 125 of the skirt 12 of the cap. The sleeve is also wedged in rotation with respect to the cap by the cooperation of the crest/trough profiles 323 of the sleeve and 126 of the closure.

The closure 40 thus formed by the cap 10 and the sleeve 20 fast with each other and internally equipped with the sealing disc 20 is then connected by screwing around the neck 2 until, on the one hand, the tongue 122 passes below the shoulder 7 of the neck and, on the other hand, the sealing disc 20 is axially pressed between the pouring edge 4 and the annular swell 111 of the bottom wall 11. The device 1 is then in its configuration of FIGS. 2 to 4.

At the end of tightening of the closure 40 around the neck 2, the force of pressure P applied on the disc 20 provokes the rotational connection of this disc with the pouring edge 4, while the bottom wall 11 slides on the upper surface 22 of the disc. Consequently, if the surface state of the pouring edge 4 is deteriorated, particularly by the presence of micro-fissures or micro-cracks of the glass of the pouring edge 4 formed for example when the container is cleaned, such surface roughness will not provoke tearings of the tight layer 23.

When the closure device 1 is first used, a user unscrews the device by applying a corresponding torque on the closure 40, particularly by gripping this closure at the level of the grooved outer surface 121 of the skirt 12. As the sleeve 30 is immobilized inside the cap 10, the whole of the device is unscrewed upwardly, causing the tongues 122 to mesh against the shoulder 7 of the neck 2. By rupture of the line of weakness 123, the whole upper part of the device 1 continues to be unscrewed upwardly, while the lower part of the cap 10 remains in place around the neck.

As a function of the manufacturing tolerance of the tongue 122 as well as of the surface state of the shoulder 7, which may be deteriorated by splinters of the glass constituting the neck 2, it may be that a non-negligible axial clearance exists between the free end of the tongue and the shoulder. In other words, the device 1 is in that case unscrewable over an angular stroke of several degrees without the line of weakness 123 being broken for all that. During this initial phase of unscrewing of the closure 40, the tightness of the container is nonetheless ensured by the sealing disc 20. More precisely, the elastic upper layer 24 then compensates the upward elevation of the closure, by being elastically deformed so as to maintain tight abutment of the layer 23 on the pouring edge 4. The user of the closure device 1 is thus assured of the perfect hermetic conservation of the contents of the container 3, particularly when the latter contains a product which is particularly sensitive to air and/or was filled under aseptic conditions. This advantageous arrangement of the sealing disc 20 also consequently limits the risks of sabotage of the contents of the container 3, i.e., more generally, the untimely introduction inside this container of substances that must not be found therein and which might have penetrated when the closure 40 is moved away from the pouring edge without the line of weakness 123 being broken for all that.

The device 1 may subsequently be rescrewed on the neck 2 of the container 3, the disc 20 being returned into position of seal against the pouring edge 4, as during the initial positioning of the device on the neck.

FIGS. 5 to 7 show a variant 1′ of the closure device 1 of the preceding Figures. For convenience, identical elements between the devices 1 and 1′ bear the same references while the specific elements of the device 1′ bear references followed by a prime.

The variant 1′ differs from the device 1 essentially by the shape of the piece connected inside the cap 10 which, unlike the sleeve 30 of the preceding Figures, is in the form of a cover 30′ constituted by a globally tubular body 31′ of axis X-X and axially open at only one of its two ends.

Like the sleeve 30, the cover 30′ is adapted to be introduced inside the cap 10, being immobilized therein both axially and in rotation about axis X-X, and thus form a closure 40′. To that end, the cover 30′ is provided with arrangements similar to the sleeve 30, i.e. with an outer face 32′ which, in transverse section, presents a crest/trough profile 323′ similar to that shown in FIG. 4 for the sleeve 30, with an upper end part 33′ which forms an upward axial stop with respect to the cap 10, and with a lower end edge 34′ which forms a downward axial stop with respect to the cap.

Unlike the sleeve 30, the upper end part 33′ of the cover 30′ is constituted by a bottom wall in the form of a disc of matter, centred on axis X-X, which closes the upper end of the tubular body 31′. This bottom wall 33′ is not connected to the body 31′ over the whole of its periphery, but in a plurality of zones 36′ distributed uniformly over this periphery. One of these connecting zones is shown in section in FIG. 6 and not in FIG. 7.

The inner face 35′ of the cover 30′ is provided, in its lower part, with a thread 352′ similar to the thread 352 of the sleeve 30. In its upper part, the inner face 35′ is provided with a plurality of projections 351′ projecting radially inwardly, distributed, over the periphery of the body 31′, between two connection zones 36′. Each projection 351′ defines a substantially planar upper face 353′ adapted to form a downward axial support for the sealing disc 20. The totality of these faces 353′ thus constitutes an axial support for the disc 20, substantially similar to the face 353 of the shoulder 351 of the sleeve 30.

Assembling of the closure device 1′ and its positioning around the neck 2 will now be described.

Initially, the cap 10 is available in its demoulded state defined hereinabove, together with the cover 30′ and the sealing disc 20.

The disc 20 is brought inside the cover 30′ so as to place this disc axially between the faces 353′ of the projections 351′ and the bottom wall 33′. Unlike the device 1, in order to allow this positioning, a slight deformation of the disc is necessary and the axial distance separating the faces 353′ from the bottom wall 33′ must be strictly greater than the thickness of the disc 20 at rest.

Before or after having positioned the disc 20 inside the cover 30′, this cover is placed inside the cap 10, by introducing it axially and by force from its open lower end, in manner similar to the introduction of the sleeve 30 in this cap.

The closure 40′ is thus formed, which is then connected by screwing around the neck 2 until, on the one hand, the tongue 122 passes over the shoulder 7 of the neck and, on the other hand, the sealing disc 20 is axially pressed between the pouring edge 4 and the bottom wall 33′ of the cover 30′. The device 1′ is then in its configuration of FIGS. 6 and 7.

At the end of tightening of the closure 40′ around the neck 2, the force of pressure P applied on the disc 20 provokes the rotational connection of this disc with the pouring edge 4 while the bottom wall 33′ slides over the upper surface 22 of the disc. In the same way as for the device 1, if the surface state of the pouring edge 4 is deteriorated, the tight layer 23 of the disc 20 is therefore not damaged. It will be noted that, unlike the device 1, the tightening of the closure 40′ does not lead to pressing the disc 20 directly by the bottom wall 11 of the cap 10, but by the bottom wall 33′ of the cover 30′, this bottom wall itself being pressed downwardly by the bottom wall 11 of the cap. The lower surface 21 of the disc 20 should therefore present a coefficient of friction, with respect to the glass constituting the neck 2, which is strictly higher than the coefficient of friction between the upper face 22 of this disc and the wall 33′ of the cover 30′, in order that the face 22 be in sliding contact while the face 21 connects the disc 20 to the neck 2 in rotation during application of the effort of pressure P.

The first use of the device 1′, as well as its subsequent uses, are similar to those described for the device 1.

FIG. 8 partially shows a variant 1″ of the closure device 1 of FIGS. 1 to 4. For convenience, the elements identical between the devices 1 and 1″ bear the same references while the specific elements of device 1″ bear references followed by a second.

The variant 1″ essentially differs from the device 1 by, on the one hand, its sealing disc 20″ which is a single layer and, on the other hand, the presence of another sealing disc 14″ permanently fast with the bottom wall 11, for example by gluing. The cap 10″ of the device 1″ thus comprises both the body of plastics material including the bottom wall 11 and the skirt 12, i.e. globally the cap 10 of the device 1, and the disc 14″, the cap 10″ forming an assembly in one piece.

The closure formed by this cap 10″ and the sleeve 30 is referenced 40″.

For the variant 1″, when the closure 40″ is tightened around the neck 2, the disc 14″, fixed with respect to the bottom wall 11, presses the disc 20″ against the pouring edge 4 of the neck 2, as indicated by arrows P. In manner similar to the device 1, the pressure applied on the disc 20″ provokes its rotational connection with the pouring edge 4 at the level of its lower surface 21″ while the disc 14″ slides over the upper surface 22″ of the disc 20″. The discs 14″ and 20″ are thus free to rotate with respect to each other.

By way of example, the disc 14″ of the cap 10″ is made of an elastic material, such as silicone, while the sealing disc 20″ is made of a polyethylene foam covered, on the pouring edge 4 side, with a coating with high coefficient of friction with respect to the glass of the pouring edge, while it is covered, on the opposite side, with a coating with low coefficient of friction with respect to the disc 14″.

It will be noted that this variant 1″ combines the same advantages as the device 1, namely that:

    • like the lower layer 23 of the disc 20, the matter constituting (the disc 20″ is not damaged at the level of its surface 21″ by the pouring edge 4 if the latter presents a deteriorated surface state, and
    • like the upper layer 24 of the disc 20, the elastic disc 14″ compensates the beginning of elevation of the closure 40″ when it is unscrewed so as to maintain the tight abutment of the disc 20″ on the pouring edge.

The assembling, the first use and the subsequent uses of the device 1″ are similar to those described for the device 1.

A variant (not shown) consists in combining the variants 1′ and 1″ by connecting a supple disc similar to disc 14″ on the bottom wall 33′ of the cover 30′ and by using the sealing disc 20″.

Various arrangements and variants to the closure device described hereinabove may, of course, be envisaged. By way of example, the sealing disc 20 may be replaced by a sealing washer whose inner diameter is substantially equal to or smaller than the inner diameter of the pouring edge 4. Similarly, in complement or in place of the means for connection by complementarity of shapes envisaged hereinabove, the tubular piece 30 or 30′ permanently connected inside the cap 10 may be welded to this cap, particularly by application or ultra-sounds, or be glued.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US8267259 *Apr 14, 2010Sep 18, 2012Wunderwall, LLCCup for holding bottles in a bottle rack
US8453857 *Feb 21, 2008Jun 4, 2013Guala Closures S.P.A.Tamper evident closure for containers provided with a threaded neck
US20100018942 *Feb 21, 2008Jan 28, 2010Guala Closures S.P.A.Tamper evident closure for containers provided with a threaded neck
US20100258521 *Jul 23, 2008Oct 14, 2010Antonio BertolasoClosing cap for a container, method for closing a container and method for manufacturing a closing cap for a container
US20100258698 *Apr 14, 2010Oct 14, 2010Wunderwall, LLCCup for holding bottles in a bottle rack
US20110036839 *Aug 13, 2010Feb 17, 2011Gardner William AScrew-capsule for wine bottles
EP2467309A2 *Aug 13, 2010Jun 27, 2012William A. GardnerScrew-capsule for wine bottles
Classifications
U.S. Classification215/252, 215/277, 215/349, 215/253
International ClassificationB65D41/34, B65D41/04, B65D41/00
Cooperative ClassificationB65D41/045, B65D41/3428
European ClassificationB65D41/04D2, B65D41/34C1