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Publication numberUS20060006077 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/024,026
Publication dateJan 12, 2006
Filing dateDec 24, 2004
Priority dateDec 24, 2004
Publication number024026, 11024026, US 2006/0006077 A1, US 2006/006077 A1, US 20060006077 A1, US 20060006077A1, US 2006006077 A1, US 2006006077A1, US-A1-20060006077, US-A1-2006006077, US2006/0006077A1, US2006/006077A1, US20060006077 A1, US20060006077A1, US2006006077 A1, US2006006077A1
InventorsBruce Mosher, Brian Masterson, Brett Niggel, Ronald Walters, Robert Smith, Jeffrey Peters, Martin Binder
Original AssigneeErie County Plastics Corporation
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Dispensing closure with integral piercing unit
US 20060006077 A1
Abstract
A single use unit dosage dispensing closure includes a shell attached to a container with an integral piecing member, an axial movable cap attached to the shell and a sealing member coupled to the cap. The shell has an inner guide in communication with the container and the cap is moveable along the guide. The cap has a chamber adapted to dispense material into the container. The chamber is sealed with the sealing member extending across a lower open end thereof, wherein axial movement of the cap along the inner guide member will cause the sealing member to be pieced by the piercing member to open the chamber and dispense the contents of the chamber into the container. The axial movable cap is formed from a material with a higher oxygen and moisture barrier property than the material forming the shell.
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Claims(20)
1. A single use unit dosage dispensing closure comprising:
a shell adapted to be attached to a container, the shell having an outer skirt with a closure attaching mechanism on the outer skirt for attaching the shell to the container, the shell having an inner guide and a piercing element which includes a plurality of angled radial blades at a lower end of the inner guide;
an axial movable cap attached to the shell and moveable along the inner guide, the cap having a chamber therein adapted to hold material to be dispensed into the container; and
a sealing layer coupled to the cap, wherein the chamber is sealed with the sealing layer extending across a lower open end of the cap, wherein axial movement of the cap along the inner guide will cause the piercing element to pierce the sealing layer and dispense the contents of the chamber into the container.
2. The closure of claim 1 wherein the cap and the shell are made from different polymer materials.
3. The closure of claim 2 wherein the cap is formed from one of the group consisting of polyethylene terephthalate, nylon, polypropylene with low shrink filler, and polyethylene with low shrink filler.
4. The closure of claim 3 wherein the cap is formed from one of the group polypropylene with low shrink filler and polyethylene with low shrink filler, wherein the low shrink filler is one of the group consisting of talc and mica.
5. The closure of claim 3 wherein the shell is formed of a polyolefin material.
6. The closure of claim 1 wherein the closure attaching mechanism on the outer skirt for attaching the shell to the container are threads and the shell has a tamper evident band on a lower portion of the outer skirt.
7. The closure of claim 1 wherein the inner guide is an annular tube having at least one annular seal engaging and sealing against the cap.
8. The closure of claim 7 wherein the inner guide includes an upper stop limiting the upward movement of the cap.
9. The closure of claim 8 wherein the inner guide includes a finger access in an upper side of the inner guide.
10. The closure of claim 1 wherein the piercing element includes an array of piercing tips.
11. The closure of claim 1 wherein the cap is formed from one of the group consisting of polyethylene terephthalate, nylon, polypropylene with low shrink filler, and polyethylene with low shrink filler.
12. The closure of claim 1 wherein the cap has a top and a cylindrical side member forming the chamber, and further including a dust cover.
13. A single use unit dosage dispensing closure comprising:
a shell adapted to be attached to a container, the shell having an inner guide with an open end in communication with the container, the shell including a piercing element at a lower end of the inner guide, wherein the piercing element includes a plurality of angled radial blades at a lower end of the inner guide;
an axial movable cap attached to the shell and moveable along the inner guide, the cap engaging the inner guide and having a chamber therein adapted to hold a unit dosage of material to be dispensed into the container; and
a sealing member coupled to the cap, wherein the chamber is sealed with the sealing member extending across a lower open end of the chamber, wherein axial movement of the cap along the inner guide member will dispense the contents of the chamber into the container.
14. The closure of claim 13 wherein the shell has an outer skirt with a closure attaching mechanism on the outer skirt for attaching the shell to the container.
15. The closure of claim 13 wherein the cap is formed from one of the group consisting of polyethylene terephthalate, nylon, polypropylene with low shrink filler, and polyethylene with low shrink filler.
16. The closure of claim 13 wherein the cap is formed from one of the group polypropylene with low shrink filler and polyethylene with low shrink filler, wherein the low shrink filler is one of the group consisting of talc and mica.
17. The closure of claim 13 wherein the shell is formed of a polyolefin material and the cap is formed from one of the group consisting of polyethylene terephthalate, nylon, polypropylene with low shrink filler, and polyethylene with low shrink filler.
18. The closure of claim 13 wherein the radial blades converge to form a piercing tip extending toward the upper end of the inner guide.
19. The closure of claim 13 wherein the inner guide is an annular tube having at least one annular seal engaging and sealing against the cap with an upper stop limiting the upward movement of the cap and a finger access in an upper side of the inner guide.
20. The closure of claim 13 wherein the shell includes an outer skirt having a closure attaching mechanism on the outer skirt for attaching the shell to the container in the form of threads and wherein the shell has a tamper evident band on a lower portion of the outer skirt, and further including a dust cover removably attached to the shell.
Description
    BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • [0001]
    1. Field of the Invention
  • [0002]
    The present invention relates to cap dispensing closures for a container, more particularly to a dispensing closure with an integral piercing unit for piercing a chamber in the cap to dispense the contents there-of into the container.
  • [0003]
    2. Prior Art
  • [0004]
    The broad concept of a container closure including a compartment for storing material separate from the container for selectively mixing with the container is very old and well known.
  • [0005]
    U.S. Pat. No. 3,521,745 discloses a container with two compartments and a piercing member used to rupture the wall between the compartments to allow the material stored in one compartment to mix with the material in the other.
  • [0006]
    U.S. Pat. No. 3,603,469 discloses a container closure having a cap that forms an interior chamber or reservoir for storing a substance. A reciprocating piercing member is used to rupture the reservoir to allow the material stored in the reservoir to mix with the material in the container.
  • [0007]
    U.S. Pat. No. 3,715,189 discloses a container with a completely open top (i.e. no neck finish) with a top cover that includes an interior chamber or reservoir for storing a substance. A plunger is used to rupture the reservoir to allow the material stored in the reservoir to mix with the material in the container.
  • [0008]
    U.S. Pat. No. 3,968,872 discloses a container closure having a cap that forms an interior chamber or reservoir for storing a substance. A piercing member is used to rupture the reservoir to allow the material stored in the reservoir to mix with the material in the container.
  • [0009]
    U.S. Pat. No. 4,195,731 discloses a container closure having a cap that forms an interior chamber or reservoir for storing a substance. A piercing piston is used to rupture the reservoir to allow the material stored in the reservoir to mix with the material in the container.
  • [0010]
    U.S. Pat. No. 4,221,291 discloses a container closure having a cap that forms an interior chamber or reservoir for storing a substance. A plunger or rod is connected to the bottom wall of the reservoir and is used to rupture the reservoir to allow the material stored in the reservoir to mix with the material in the container.
  • [0011]
    U.S. Pat. No. 4,615,437 discloses a threaded container closure or cap that forms an interior chamber or reservoir for storing a substance. A bottom wall of the reservoir is held in position by the bottle neck finish and further threading of the upper portion of the cap onto the bottle is used to rupture the reservoir to allow the material stored in the reservoir to mix with the material in the container.
  • [0012]
    U.S. Pat. No. 4,858,760 discloses a container closure having a cap that forms an interior chamber or reservoir for storing a substance. A bottom wall of the reservoir is ruptured by a piecing plunger to allow the material stored in the reservoir to mix with the material in the container.
  • [0013]
    U.S. Pat. No. 4,903,865 discloses a threaded container closure or cap that forms an interior chamber or reservoir for storing a substance. A bottom wall of the reservoir is held in position by the bottle neck finish and movement of a reciprocating plunger on the cap into the bottle is used to rupture the reservoir to allow the material stored in the reservoir to mix with the material in the container.
  • [0014]
    U.S. Pat. No. 5,029,718 discloses a container closure or cap that forms an interior chamber or reservoir for storing a substance. A bottom wall of the reservoir is held in position by the bottle neck finish and movement of a reciprocating plunger on the cap into the bottle is used to rupture the reservoir to allow the material stored in the reservoir to mix with the material in the container.
  • [0015]
    U.S. Pat. No. 5,038,951 discloses a container closure or cap that forms an interior chamber or reservoir for storing a substance. A bottom wall of the reservoir is held in position by the bottle neck finish and movement of a reciprocating plunger on the cap into the bottle is used to rupture the reservoir to allow the material stored in the reservoir to mix with the material in the container.
  • [0016]
    U.S. Pat. No. 5,772,017 discloses a threaded container closure or cap that forms an interior chamber or reservoir for storing a substance. A bottom wall of the reservoir is ruptured through movement of a threaded reciprocating piecing member on the cap to allow the material stored in the reservoir to mix with the material in the container.
  • [0017]
    U.S. Pat. No. 5,950,819 discloses a threaded container closure or cap that forms an interior chamber or reservoir for storing a substance. The reservoir is held in position by the bottle neck finish and movement of a top of the cap into the bottle is used to rupture the side walls of the reservoir to allow the material stored in the reservoir to mix with the material in the container.
  • [0018]
    U.S. Pat. No. 6,165,523 discloses a threaded container closure or cap that forms an interior chamber or reservoir for storing a substance. The reservoir is collapsible and has a piecing member for piercing the bottom wall thereof during compression to rupture the reservoir to allow the material stored in the reservoir to mix with the material in the container.
  • [0019]
    U.S. Pat. No. 6,224,922 discloses a container closure or cap that forms multiple colorants reservoirs for selectively dispensing into the container to selectively color the beverage in the container.
  • [0020]
    U.S. Pat. No. 6,305,576 discloses a threaded container closure or cap that forms an “aseptic” interior chamber or reservoir for storing a substance. A bottom wall of the reservoir is pieced by a movement of a reciprocating piercing member to allow the material stored in the reservoir to mix with the material in the container.
  • [0021]
    U.S. Pat. No. 6,372,270 discloses a container closure or cap that forms an interior chamber or reservoir for storing a substance. A bottom wall of the reservoir is ruptured by movement of a reciprocating plunger on the cap into the bottle to allow the material stored in the reservoir to mix with the material in the container.
  • [0022]
    As noted above wide variety of cap dispensing, or cap ejecting, closures are known in the art. The prior art devices have certain drawbacks. In the designs that piece a separation membrane (e.g. a foil layer), there is no sufficient piercing structure that moves the pieced membrane out of the way to insure complete disbursement of the material in the cap. This can be of significant concern for medicaments and other measured quantities having precise dosages. Further, many of these prior art designs are impractical from a standpoint of filling the chamber or reservoir in the closure.
  • [0023]
    It is an object of the present invention to overcome the drawbacks of the prior art and provide an economical unit dosage dispensing closure with integral effective foil or seal piercing member and which is easily filled having a long shelf life.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • [0024]
    The above objects are achieved with a single use unit dosage dispensing closure according to the present invention. The closure according to the invention includes a shell adapted to be attached to a container and having an integral piercing member, an axial movable cap attached to the shell and a sealing member coupled to the cap. The shell has an inner guide with an open end in communication with the container and the cap is moveable along the inner guide. The cap is axially movable along the inner guide. The cap has a chamber adapted to hold a unit dosage of material to be dispensed into the container. The chamber is sealed with the sealing member, e.g. foil, extending across a lower open end of the cap, wherein axial movement of the cap along the inner guide will pierce the sealing member on the piercing element to dispense the contents of the chamber into the container.
  • [0025]
    The axial movable cap may formed from a material with a higher oxygen and moisture barrier property than the material forming the shell. The cap may be formed from polyethylene terephthalate, nylon, polypropylene with low shrink filler, or polyethylene with low shrink filler. The low shrink filler may be talc or mica, and the shell may be formed of a polyolefin material.
  • [0026]
    The shell may have an outer skirt with a closure attaching mechanism, such as a thread, on the outer skirt for attaching the shell to the container. A tamper evident band can be placed on a lower end of the outer skirt. A tamper evident band may be placed around the cap to prevent premature dispensing of the contents of the chamber.
  • [0027]
    The piercing element may include a plurality of angled radial blades at a lower end of the inner guide, wherein the radial blades converge to form a piercing tip extending toward the upper end of the inner guide. Further, the invention may include folding elements to move the sealing member out of the way to further assist in dispensing. In another, preferred embodiment of the present invention, the blades may each have a piercing point adjacent a central post, thereby forming an array of central piercing points. The central post may form a gating point for the closure.
  • [0028]
    The inner guide may be an annular tube having annular seals engaging and sealing against the cap, wherein the inner guide includes an upper stop limiting the upward movement of the cap and a finger access in an upper side of the inner guide. The cap may have a top and a cylindrical side member forming the chamber.
  • [0029]
    These and other advantages of the present invention will be clarified in the brief description of the preferred embodiment in connection with the attached figures in which like reference numerals represent like elements throughout.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • [0030]
    FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a shell of a closure according to the present invention;
  • [0031]
    FIG. 2 is a side elevation view of the shell of FIG. 1;
  • [0032]
    FIG. 3 is a front elevation view of the shell of FIG. 1;
  • [0033]
    FIG. 4 is a top plan view of the shell of FIG. 1;
  • [0034]
    FIG. 5 is a bottom plan view of the shell of FIG. 1;
  • [0035]
    FIG. 6 is a front section view of the shell of FIG. 1 taken along section line A-A in FIG. 4;
  • [0036]
    FIG. 7 is a side section view of the shell of FIG. 1 taken along section line B-B of FIG. 3;
  • [0037]
    FIG. 8 is a side elevation view of a cap of a closure according to the present invention;
  • [0038]
    FIG. 9 is a top plan view of the cap of FIG. 8;
  • [0039]
    FIG. 10 is a section of the cap of FIG. 8 taken along section line A-A of FIG. 9;
  • [0040]
    FIG. 11 is a side elevation view of a dust cover a closure according to the present invention;
  • [0041]
    FIG. 12 is a top plan view of the cover of FIG. 11;
  • [0042]
    FIG. 13 is a bottom plan view of the cover of FIG. 11;
  • [0043]
    FIG. 14 is a section of the cover of FIG. 11 taken along section line A-A of FIG. 13;
  • [0044]
    FIG. 15 is an enlarged view of the section view of FIG. 14;
  • [0045]
    FIG. 16 is a sectional of the closure according to the present invention, with a cap thereof in a closed sealed position;
  • [0046]
    FIG. 17 is a sectional of the closure according to the present invention, with a cap thereof in the open, dispensing position;
  • [0047]
    FIG. 18 is a schematic view, partially in section of a shell with a modified three point integral piercing element according to the present invention;
  • [0048]
    FIG. 19 is a schematic view, partially in section of the modified shell of FIG. 18; and
  • [0049]
    FIG. 20 is a schematic view plan view of the modified shell of FIG. 18.
  • DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFFERRED EMBODIMENTS
  • [0050]
    A single use unit dosage dispensing closure 10 according to the present invention is shown in the figures. The closure 10 is adapted to be attached to a container (not shown) with a threaded neck finish (e.g. a bottle).
  • [0051]
    The closure includes a shell 12, shown alone in FIGS. 1-7, which is adapted to be attached to the container. The shell has an outer skirt 14 with a closure attaching mechanism in the form of threads 16 on the outer skirt 14 for attaching the shell 12 to the container. The lower portion 18 of the skirt 14 may be formed as a tamper evident band, as is known in the art. The inner surface of the skirt may include a sealing ring 20 for sealing against the neck finish of the container.
  • [0052]
    The shell 12 has a tubular inner guide 22 with an open lower end in communication with the interior of the container. The inner guide 22 includes at least one sealing ring 24, a lower stop 26 at a lower end thereof and an upper stop 28 at an upper end thereof. The inner guide 22 further includes a finger access 30 adjacent an upper end thereof and a second stop 31 above the seal ring 24. The shell 12 may further include an alignment nub on the exterior of the guide 22 for alignment of the guide during manufacturing.
  • [0053]
    A piercing element 32 is formed integral with the inner guide 22. The piercing element 32 is formed a plurality of angled radial blades 34 at a lower end of the inner guide 22, wherein the radial blades 34 converge to form a piercing tip extending toward the upper end of the inner guide 22. The triangular center piercing tip gives a center point for gating of the shell 12. Adjacent the blades 34 are folding elements 36 that are adapted to engage and fold back a sealing element to facilitate discharge of the unit dosage as will be described.
  • [0054]
    An important aspect of the present invention is that all of the major seals, undercuts and other “jump” features (i.e. elements that effectively deform slightly in the de-molding process) are formed in or integral with the shell 12. The shell is made of a polymer that accommodates such features, such as polyolefin. Materials that accommodate these jump features do not have significant moisture or gas barrier properties (i.e. high moisture and gas permeability).
  • [0055]
    An axial movable cap 40, shown separately in FIGS. 8-10, is attached to the shell 12 and moveable along the inner guide 22. The cap 40 defines an inner chamber 42 therein adapted to hold a unit dosage of material to be dispensed into the container. The cap 40 is of a simple configuration having a top 44 and a cylindrical side member 46 forming the chamber 42. The simple construction (no jump features) of the cap 40 allows a relatively rigid material to be used to form the cap 40, whereby the cap 40 and the shell 12 are made from different polymer materials. In other words, the axial movable cap 40 is formed from a material with a higher oxygen and water barrier property than the material forming the shell 12. The cap 40 may, preferably, be formed a rigid material such as polyethylene terephthalate (PET), nylon, polypropylene (PP) with low shrink filler, and polyethylene (PE) with low shrink filler. Low shrink fillers include talc and mica.
  • [0056]
    A sealing layer, or even film, 50 is coupled to the cap 40 at least prior to dispensing with the cap 40, wherein the chamber 42 is sealed with the sealing layer 50 extending across a lower open end of the cap 40 at the open end of the cylindrical side member 46. Axial movement of the cap 40 along the inner guide 22 will cause the piercing element formed by blades 34 to pierce the sealing layer 50 and dispense the contents of the chamber 42 into the container. Following the piercing of the layer 50, the folding elements 36 engage the distinct pieces of the sealing layer and move them out of the way to further assist in the dispensing. The layer 50 may be a metallic foil or a plastic film. The sealing ring 24 of the guide 22 engages and seals against the cylindrical side member 46. The upper stop 28 and the second stop 31 engage against the top 44 to limit the respective axial motion of the cap 40. The lower stop 26 engages against the lower end of the cylindrical side member 46.
  • [0057]
    The closure additionally includes a dust cover 60 shown in FIGS. 11-14 to prevent premature actuation of the cap 40. The dust cover has a top 62 with an extending cylindrical skirt 64. A coupling bead 66 will engage the shell 20. The cover 60 is removed prior to actuation of the dispensing closure and can further include tamper evident band for security. The shell 12 would include associated engaging beads for such tamper evident bands, as generally known in the art. The addition of the dust cover 60 may further assist in the stacking of vertical containers.
  • [0058]
    FIGS. 18-20 illustrate a modified piercing element 32′ according to a preferred embodiment of the present invention. The piercing element 32′ is also formed integral with the inner guide 22, similar to element 32. The piercing element 32′ is formed a plurality of angled radial blades 34′ at a lower end of the inner guide 22, wherein the radial blades 34′ converge to a center gate 35 with each blade 34′ having an individual piercing tip 37 extending toward the upper end of the inner guide 22. The center gate 35 gives a center point for gating of the shell 12 (i.e. an injection point for molding). Adjacent the blades 34 are folding elements 36 that are adapted to engage and fold back a sealing element to facilitate discharge of the unit dosage as described above. The piercing tips 37 form an array of foil piercing elements adjacent the gate 35. The array of piecing tips 37 on the radial blades 34′ together with the folding members 36 serve to better piece the sealing member 50 and to completely move the sealing member 50 out of the way for complete dispersal of the contents of the cap 40.
  • [0059]
    It will be apparent that various modifications can be made to the present invention without departing from the spirit and scope thereof. The scope of the present invention is intended to be defined by the appended claims and equivalents thereof.
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Classifications
U.S. Classification206/219
International ClassificationB65D25/08
Cooperative ClassificationB65D51/2835
European ClassificationB65D51/28B1B1
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DateCodeEventDescription
Apr 5, 2005ASAssignment
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