US 20070158296 A1
The invention relates to a closure cap (1) comprising a cap (2) and a cap base (3) in addition to an inlet (9) which is arranged in the base of the cap (3). Said inlet is closed by a membrane seal (4) which can easily be penetrated. Said closure cap also comprises a covering disk (7) which is arranged on the external side of the base of the cap (3) which covers the inlet (9) and the membrane seal (4). The aim of the invention is to produce a closure cap (7) which, according to a manipulation test, enables a container provided therewith to refilled in a precise manner, and whose membrane can be penetrated and which is easier, faster and more simple for the user to recognize. According to the invention, the covering disk (7) is transparent in at least one area covering the membrane seal (4).
1. Closure cap (1) comprising a cap covering (2) and a cap base (3) as well as an access opening (9) in the cap base (3) which is sealed by an easily penetrable membrane seal (4), and comprising a covering disc (7) arranged on the outer side of the cap base and covering the access opening (9) with the membrane seal (4), characterised in that the covering disc (7) comprises a central transparent region covering the membrane seal (4) and a non-transparent region, and/or a region provided with an imprint or a printable region, at least partially surrounding the transparent region.
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The present invention relates to a closure cap comprising a cap covering cap barrel and a cap base as well as an access opening in the cap base which is sealed by an easily penetrable membrane seal, and comprising a covering disc arranged on the cap base and covering the access opening with the membrane seal.
Corresponding closure caps are known, for example, in relatively large containers for drinking water, as are found increasingly more frequently in public spaces and in offices or businesses, and which have an approximate volume of 15 to 20 litres (or more precisely, 5 gallons). In use these containers are conventionally positioned or suspended with their opening at the bottom, an extraction valve being placed on the closure cap. The valve conventionally comprises a mandrel which when placed on the closure cap either removes a plug from an access opening or penetrates a membrane seal which seals the access opening and thus makes the connection to the interior of the container. Otherwise the valve is rigidly connected to the closure cap in a sealed manner and the mandrel penetrating the membrane seal or displacing a plug is conventionally hollow and makes the connection to the interior of the container. By actuating the valve drinking water, for example, can then flow from the container and flow through the valve into a drinking cup.
It goes without saying that corresponding closures comprising a membrane seal, which has to be relatively easy to penetrate, are generally unsuitable for containers in which a relatively high pressure can occur. Closure caps and valves of this type are conventionally used for substantially unpressurised containers, such as said drinking water containers, for example.
As during penetration of the membrane the mandrel is also partially conveyed on the surface of the membrane and any dust or dirt, which has potentially accumulated on the outer side of the caps, in particular on the membrane seal, may thus arrive in the interior of the mandrel and thus also in a corresponding removal container, an additional covering disc can in the meantime often be seen in corresponding closure caps. A covering disc of this type is glued to the cap base and in the process covers the membrane seal generally arranged centrally in the removal opening of the cap base in order to thus protect against impurities.
This covering disc can be a thin disc made of plastics material or paper or a thin film which is generally glued to the outer side of the cap base.
However, a drawback of covering discs of this type lies in the fact that the membrane seal sealing the access opening is no longer directly visible. During practical use the covering disc or covering film is sometimes even left on the cover and penetrated, together with the membrane seal, by the mandrel of a corresponding valve if the valve is placed on the cap of the container.
However, even if the covering disc or covering film is removed before placement of the valve and penetration of the membrane with the aid of the valve mandrel, removal of the covering disc and penetration of the membrane often take place in very quick succession, wherein the user generally pays only little or no attention to the condition of the membrane seal.
The situation can occur where corresponding containers, in which the membrane seal of the closure cap has already been penetrated are, with fraudulent intent, refilled with different water, for example plain tap water or if possible water that is unsuitable for drinking, in order to re-sell such a refilled container, the previously removed covering disc being provided over the membrane seal again so that it is not immediately apparent that the seal has already been penetrated or opened. It goes without saying that corresponding attempts at tampering can be made not only in the case of the sale of drinking water or drinking water containers, rather this applies to all applications in which a corresponding membrane seal is used in a cap base which is to be penetrated by a mandrel of an extraction valve or the like.
The present invention is therefore in no way limited to the use of drinking water containers.
In view of the above-mentioned prior art, the object of the present invention is to provide a closure cap in which an attempt at tampering, specifically refilling of the container comprising a closure cap, of which the membrane has already been penetrated, can be detected fundamentally more easily, quickly and simply by the user.
In this case the membrane itself is anyway equipped in such a way that during its penetration several weaker connecting regions between individual membrane portions tear so that even after withdrawal of a corresponding mandrel the membrane has an appearance that discernibly differs from an intact membrane seal.
This object is achieved in that the covering disc is transparent at least in a region covering the membrane seal.
If the covering disc or film over the membrane seal is transparent, the user can see the membrane seal even if the covering disc has not or not yet been removed from the cap base. The membrane seal is thus visible at all times and it can easily be discerned whether it has been penetrated once already. In particular if the covering disc is not soiled, or is briefly cleaned before use, the covering disc, together with the membrane located therebelow, can be penetrated by the mandrel of an extraction valve without the user having to dispense with a visual check of the membrane seal. In this case it is merely a matter of that portion of the covering disc that is located directly over the membrane or membrane seal being transparent and allowing the membrane seal to be discerned. More extensive regions of the covering disc can easily be non-transparent or they can, for example, be imprinted with advertisements or printed with the like. The covering disc is expediently glued to the surface of the cap base. The shape of the covering disc is largely arbitrary in this case, i.e. it can be circular, polygonal or in the form of advertising emblems or the like as long as the area is sufficient to cover the membrane seal and a central region or a region covering the membrane seal is transparent in the covering disc.
The transparent region is expediently centrally provided in the covering disc and is surrounded by other regions which do not have to be transparent, and which, in particular, are printed or coloured in some other way.
It is advantageous if a non-transparent region or not necessarily transparent region annularly surrounds the central transparent region so that the entire area of the covering disc, surrounding the central transparent region, can be glued to the cap base.
In the preferred embodiment of the invention an adhesive is used which, after the detachment of the covering disc from the cap base, loses its adhesion, i.e. which can only be used once.
The covering disc preferably comprises another tab that is not glued, or is only partially glued, to the cap base and which facilitates grasping and removal of the covering disc from the cap base. As already mentioned, the covering disc can, for example, be provided in the form of a thin film but if necessary it can also be produced from a slightly thicker and stronger plastics material. In one embodiment of the invention a further seal or a plug, in addition to the membrane seal, can be provided on the inner side thereof. When using a plug, for example in a cylindrical shoulder forming the access opening on the inner side of the cap base, the closure cap according to the invention can also be used for containers in which a liquid is slightly pressurised, such as drinking water mixed with a small amount of carbon dioxide, as the plug then protects the membrane seal from the internal pressure of the container.
Further advantages, features and application possibilities of the present invention can be found in the following description of a preferred embodiment and the accompanying figures, in which:
A covering seal 7 which is shown exaggeratedly thick can also be seen on the upper side of the cap base 3 and covers the access opening 9 and, in particular also the membrane seal 4 sealing the access opening 9 from the outside. The covering disc 7 is glued to the cap base 3 in the region surrounding the access opening 9, an adhesive expediently being used which, after detachment of the covering disc 7 from the cap base 3, is no longer adhesive so that, as far as possible, a covering disc 7 once detached can no longer be glued to the cap base 3 unless additional adhesive is used. However even in such a case tampering with the closure cap or the corresponding container would be visible if, for example, the covering disc is removed, the membrane seal 4 penetrated and the container wholly or partially emptied, subsequently refilled with inferior contents and the covering disc then re-glued. As in its central region covering the membrane seal 4 the covering disc 7 is made of a transparent material, potential damage to the membrane seal 4 is also visible even in the case of a re-glued covering disc.