US 2173843 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
J. M. HOTHERSALL 2,173,843
CONTAINER RECLOSDBE Filed Nov. 2, 1937 Patented Sept. 26, 1939 UNITED STATES PATENT-OFFICE John M. Hothersall, Brooklyn, N. Y., assignor American Can Company, New York,.N. Y., a
corporation of New Jersey Application November 2, 1937, Serial No. 172,450
The present invention relates to a container or can reclosure element'and has particular reference to an insert plug reclosure" for temporarily sealing a dispensing opening produced in a can by a cutting away of a portion-of the can wall and a turning inwardly of the cut away portion thus leaving at least one smooth edge.
In recent years can opening devices have been developed for producing an irregular shaped disl0 pensing opening in cans, especially those containing liquid, by cutting away'a portion of the can wall and turning this cut away portion inwardly so that the opening will function for pouring or dispensing ofthe liquid from the can when the latter is held in a pouring position. Such a can opening device is disclosed in United States Patent Number 1,996,551, issued April 2, 1935, to De Witt F. Sampson and John M. Hothersall, on Container opener.
The opening produced by such a device being bounded by raw edges and one rolled back smooth edge is difficult to satisfactorily reclose. However, it is desirable to temporarily and efiectively close the opening when only a portion of the can contents is dispensed at one time for otherwise the remaining portion is left exposed to the effects of atmospheric conditions with deleterious results. The instant invention contemplates the provision of a simple, positive reclosure element for such an opened can.
An object therefore of the invention is the provision of a can reclosure element which is constructed of elastic material and which is adapted to fit within and hermetically seal a dis-" pensing opening produced in a can by cutting away a portion of the can wall and by turning the cut away portion inwardly, the reclosure element being adapted to engage snugly against the raw and the smooth container edges alike.
Another object is the provision of such a reclosure element which is provided with means for drawing the engaging portions of the element away from the can edges adjacent the opening so that the element may be readily withdrawn from sealing position in the opening.
Numerous other objects and advantages of the invention will be apparent as it is better understood from the following description, which, taken in connection with the accompanying drawing, discloses a preferred embodiment thereof.
Reierring to the drawing: Figure 1 is a perspective view of the upper portion of a can having an opening which is sealed with a reclosure element embodying the instant invention; 1
. Fig. 2 is an enlarged perspective view of a portion .of the can shown in Fig. 1, the reclosure element being illustrated in removed position relative to the' opening in the can into which it is adapted to fit; and
Fig. 3 is an enlarged sectional view taken through the can and the applied reclosure element substantially along the line 3-3 in Fig. 1.
In order to disclose a preferred embodiment of the invention and its manner of use, the drawing illustrates a sheet metal can H having an irregular shaped dispensing opening l2. It is this type of opening that it is desirable to temporarily and hermetically seal and according, to the invention this is best done by an insertable plug reclosure element broadly designated by the numeral I3. The opening I2 is shown as being made in a top end ll of the can. Such an opening may be produced by any suitable instrumentality such .as the opener of the type exemplifiedby the Sampson-Hothersall patent hereinbefore mentioned.
v Although the can opening 12 may have any desired shape, in the present instance it is triangular, having raw diverging and exposed edges I5 produced by the cutting away of a portion l6 of the can top. The cut-away portion I6 is preferably bent inward during the cutting operation and this bending action leaves a smooth edge I! along the base of the triangular opening. l
The reclosure element I3 is preferably made of elastic material such as rubber or the like and is shaped to fit within the triangular opening made in the can. The element is formed in a cup shape having a. substantially flat bottom wall section 2| which merges intosubstantially vertical and straight sidewall sections 22, 23. Side wall sections 22 are comparatively thin and hermetically engage against the raw edges of the can endmember adjacent the opening when the 40 element is in can resealing position within the opening. The 'side wall section 23 is much thicker than the wall sections 22 and grips firmly on the smooth, rolled back edge I! of the inwardly bent cut away portionlli of the can end member when the element is in the opening l2.
At their upper edges, the vertical side we'll sections 22, 23 are provided with a continuous flange 25 which extends outwardly over the top surface I of the can end member when the reclosure element is inserted-in the can opening l2. This fiangeis reenforced by an integral bead 2.6 which stifiens the flange and which holds it tight against the can end surface, this completing the u member adjacent the opening.
The cup shape form of the reclosure element 13 allows for easy placing into fully inserted or resealing position with the lower face of its flange 25 tightly engaged with the can end top wall. In order to effect such positioning it is merely necessary to press down the bottom wall 2| at one point with the finger. By changing the position of the finger and moving 'it so that it presses against the different sides of the straight walls from the inside the exact'fitting of the sides against the raw edges l and against the smooth edge I1 is quickly obtained, the flexing of the element assisting in this. x
Provision is made for easy removal of the reclosure element from re-sealing position withinv the dispensing opening I2.. For this purpose a short stem or handle 28 is formed on the bottom wall section 2| and extends upwardly through the cup shaped section of the element where it projects above the top of the element.
When removing the inserted reclosure element from its opening l2 it is merely necessary to pull outwardly on the stem or handle 28. This action draws up the flexible bottom wall section 2| and thereby draws the vertical or side wall sections 22, 23 inwardly away from the edges of the can end member adjacent the opening. In other words this is a reversal of the inserting action. The reclosure element thereupon may be entirely removed from the opening without danger of tearing of the element on the raw edges of the metal. The stem also acts as a convenient handle and helps in replacing or inserting the element within the opening. I
It is thought that the invention and many of its attendant advantages will be understood from the foregoing description, and it will beapparent that various changes may be: made in the form, construction and arrangement of the parts without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention or sacrificing all of its material advantages, the form hereinbefore described being merely a preferred embodiment thereof.
1. A closure element for sealing. dispensing openings in containers, comprising a cup shaped member of resilient material. having a substantially fiat bottom wall and substantially vertical side walls conforming to the shape ofsaid opening, said side walls being spaced radially outwardly from the center of said element a distance slightly greater than the corresponding edges of the dispensing opening to permit said side walls to closely nest against and resiliently engage the edges of said opening when the closure element is in place, said bottom wall having an jacent raw edges of upstanding substantially centrally disposed handle member, whereby outward pull on said handle member bows outwardly said bottom wall to draw inwardly said side walls to provide a clearance between the same and said opening to permit said closure element to be removed therefrom.
' 2. A closure element for hermetically sealing irregularly shaped dispensing openings in sheet metal containers, comprising a cup shaped member of resilient material having a normally flat bottom wall and substantially vertical side walls conforming to the configuration of said opening, said side walls being spaced radially outwardly from the center of said element a distance slightly greater than the corresponding edges of the dispensing opening, to permit said side walls to outward pull on said handle member bows outwardly said bottom wall to draw inwardly said side walls to provide a clearance between the same and said opening to permit said closure element to be removed therefrom.
3. A closure element for hermetically sealing a sheet metal container having a non-circular dispensing opening in a wall thereof; said opening having a smooth edge and contiguous raw edges, said closure element comprising a cup shaped member of resilient material having a substantially flat bottom wall and substantially vertical side walls conforming to the shape of said-opening, said side walls being spaced radially outwardly from the center of said element a distance slightly greater than the corresponding edges of the dispensing opening to permit said side walls to closely nest against and resiliently engagethe edges of said opening when the closure element is in place, one of said side walls being of increased thickness and adapted to seat against the smooth edge of the dispensing opening and the remaining side walls being comparatively thin and adapted to seat against the raw edges of said opening, said bottom wall having an integral upstanding centrally disposed handle member, whereby outward pull on said handle member bows outwardly said bottom wall to draw inwardly said-side walls to provide a clearance between the same and said opening to permit said closure element to be removed therefrom without damage to the thin side walls of the same by the adthe opening.
JOHN M. HOTI-IERSALL.