US 20060060582 A1
Easy-open lids applicable to lids (1), provided with a cut line (3) parallel and close to its contour, on which line a punch-tear away ring tab (4) attached to the lid (1) by means of a rivet (9) and provided with a punch vertex (6) acting on the cut line (3) acts, entail arranging a cut line (3) in correspondence with the theoretical actuation point (10) on the line for the punch vertex (6) of the ring tab (4), an arcuate segment (8) with a curvature center (9) coinciding with the imaginary axis of the rivet (4), such that after an accidental rotation of the ring tab (4) during the manufacturing process thereof or during handling of the container in which it is integrated, its punch vertex (6) is kept in place facing the cut line (3), ensuring optimal tearing conditions for the lid in spite of the incorrect position of the ring tab (4).
1. An easy-open lid, specifically applicable in lids (1) which, with a circular, elliptical or rectangular configuration with rounded vertices, incorporate a cut line (3), parallel and close to their perimeter for opening the lid with the collaboration of a punch-tear away ring tab (4) attached to the body (1) of the lid by means of a rivet (5) and provided with a punching vertex (6) acting on said cut line (3), characterized in that said cut line (3) is provided with a breakage segment (8) with a curved path, having a curvature center (9) coinciding with the rivet (5) for attaching the ring tab (4) to the body (1) of the lid, such that said punch vertex (6) is kept in place on the breakage segment (8) after an accidental rotation of said ring tab (4) throughout the process of handling the lid (1) itself and the container which it is associated to.
2. An easy-open lid according to
3. An easy-open lid according to
4. An easy-open lid according to
5. An easy-open lid according to
6. An easy-open lid according to
7. An easy-open lid according to previous claims, characterized in that the arcuate breakage segment (10) of the cut line (3), with a curvature center (9) on the rivet (5), is joined the rest of the cut line (3) by means of double, arcuate and counteropposing inflections (11-11′) for facilitating the tearing along said line.
The present invention, an easy-open lid, applies to the field of metal containers, specifically of those containers used for food commercialization, such as tins, cans, etc., and specifically focuses on the opening means of the lid thereof, commonly called “easy-open”.
The invention is specifically related to the classic groove or cut which are provided on lids of this type of containers, for facilitating the opening thereof by means of a punch-tear away ring tab.
In the preferred scope of practical application of the invention, sealed food packaging, metal containers are conventionally used, the lid of which is provided with a perimetral groove or cut line, as well as a ring tab provided with a punch vertex overlapping said cut line, such that in normal conditions, the ring tab is parallel and adjacent to the lid, whereas during the opening maneuver, it swings thereon such that initially, and through its punch vertex, it causes the start of the tearing of the lid, and then it causes the complete tearing away thereof by pulling on said ring tab.
This solution, perfectly valid from the theoretical point of view, presents drawbacks in practice derived from an incorrect positioning of the ring tab. In this aspect, it happens quite frequently that, during the ring tab manufacturing process, or in the subsequent sealing, filling, sterilization, handling processes, etc., of the container, said ring tab undergoes a slight rotation, causing a modification of the theoretical position provided for its punch vertex with regard to the cut of the lid, since the ring tab rotates about the point where it is attached to the lid, noticeably eccentric with regard to the latter, whereas the cut line defines a path parallel and close to the contour of said lid, therefore more or less spacing occurs between the punch vertex of the ring tab and the cut of the lid, causing a significant increase of the force necessary to begin the opening operation, i.e. for causing the punching or breaking of the cut line, after which the lid is subsequently torn away.
This increase of force contributes to significantly increasing the number of lids in which the ring tab cannot overcome the cut and does not open the lid, even occasionally causing the ring tab to break since the hole which connects the ring tab to the lid by means of a rivet, becomes deformed, with the subsequent release of the ring tab and inability to use the container opening mechanism.
Spanish utility model number ES0152778U discloses a conventional lid, without a punch vortex, for cans that have a curled cut line to facilitate the aperture of the can. The ring tab included in said lid does not include means nor solutions that would permit the opening of the lid in case the ring tab has a slight rotation.
U.S. Pat. No. 3,762,596-B discloses a can lid having means on it which prevent the rotation of the ring tab, said means consisting of respective outward projections on both sides of the ring tab. It also has a cut line the path of which in the ring tab operation area is different from that of the rest of said cut line. Specifically, the cut line in that initial breakage area is elliptical in order to space the cut line from the edge of the can and to facilitate the manufacturing process of the can. The devices used for preventing the rotation of the ring tab do not ensure that, daring the handling of the can in the different manufacturing processes thereof, it will not slightly rotate, although it does reduce said rotation. Due to the elliptical configuration of the cut line in its initial breakage area, a minimum rotation of the ring tab will prevent the punch vertex thereof from acting on said initial breakage area, therefore originating the aforementioned drawbacks in opening the can.
The improvements proposed by the invention satisfactorily solve the drawback explained above, ensuring a proper operation of the punch ring tab, even when said ring tab is significantly rotated with regard to its theoretical correct position.
Therefore more specifically, the invention entails changing the path of the cut line, specifically in the segment thereof facing the punch ring tab, such that by said cut line maintaining a general path parallel, and close to the contour of the lid, in said area facing the ring tab it undergoes two symmetrical inflections with regard to the theoretical punch point, which frame an intermediate segment in which the path of the cut is arcuate, specifically with a curvature center arranged in correspondence with the rivet of the ring tab, such that after a rotation of the ring tab, its punch vertex remains in place on said cut.
The amplitude of said arcuate segment with a curvature in the rivet of the ring tab will vary according to different constructive criteria, this amplitude necessarily being greater than 1°, although it is convenient for said arcuate segment to not exceed 80°.
Said arcuate segment will be join the rest of the cut through also rounded inflections which “smooth” the path of said cut and which, accordingly, favor tearing away the lid.
Evidently the improvements, of the invention are applicable both to circular and elliptical or rectangular lids, which are the three conventional configurations in this type of metal containers.
In any case and according to the described structure, it is achieved that, even due to a significant rotation of the ring tab, which can reach 10° to the right or left, said ring tab keeps its punch vertex on the cut line, causing the proper punching thereof with a minimum force.
To complement the description that is being made and for the purpose of aiding to better understand the features of the invention according to a preferred practical embodiment thereof, a set of drawings is attached to said description as an integral part thereof which, with an illustrative and non-limiting character, show the following:
In view of the figures, and more specifically of
Therefore, from this basic and conventional structure, according already to the invention, the cut line (3), in its area where it faces the ring tab (4), undergoes a variation in its path, defining a breakage segment (8) in a circumference arc shape, having a curvature center (9) arranged in correspondence with the center of the rivet (5), as can particularly be seen in
As previously mentioned, this results in that, after an accidental rotation of the ring tab (4) at any time throughout the container handling process, its punch vertex (6) is kept perfectly in place facing the cut line (3), specifically along this breakage segment (8), thereby ensuring that the tearing conditions are optimal.
As was also mentioned above, the amplitude of said breakage segment (8) with a curvature center (9) coinciding with the axis of the rivet (5), can range between 1° and 80°, the amplitude of said arc preferably being 20°, 10° on each side of the theoretical point (10) provided for operating the punch vertex (6) of the ring tab (4) when the latter is correctly located in the context of the lid (1), and said breakage segment (8) will join the rest of the cut line (3) by means of double, offsetting and arcuate inflections (11-11′), which facilitate tearing away the lid (1), preventing the existence of sharp bendings in said cut line (3) which could negatively affect tearing away the lid.