US 2487400 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
E. s. TUPPE R OPEN MOUTH CONTAINER AND Nov. 8, 1949 2,487,400 NONSNAP TYPE OF CLOSURE THEREFOR 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed June 2, 1947 EARL 6. TUPPER IN VEN TOR.
14 TTOR/YE) .applicable to the Patented Nov. 8, 1949 OPEN MOUTH CONTAINER AND NONSNAP TYPE OF CLOSURE FHEBEFOB Earl s. Tapper, Upton, Mm. Application June 2, 1941, Serial No. 151,190
2 Claims. (Ol- 150-4.!)
This invention relates generally to closures, but more specifically to a type of finger-operable seal for containers.
Heretofore sealing closures for containers have been fabricated from materials having the required characteristics of strength, elasticity and flexibility, including closures made of compressed flber, paper, cellulose stock, plastic materials,'and condensation products either by themselves, or in various combinations, the said closures being of the snap-onand oi! type.
The invention herein provides a sealing closure for containers in the form of a hollow flng'erengageable stopper having elasticity and flexibility with a siow'rate of recovery to provide a nonsnappins and n iseless type of cover which is lipof acontainer by, hand conformation and removable therefrom by a peeling-oil type of procedure.
- The invention is further directed to a closure structure for sealing containers which is made from a material, hich is inert to, does not absorb and is not readily wettable by water, which does not soften at. operating temperatures below the boiling point of waterand which at ordinary temperature is odorless and resistant to chemicals and solvents. In addition, as features of the invention, 'the'closure presents a surface waxy to the touch and frictional to improve scalability when applied tocontainers of varying dimensions and a sterile medium for and consequently resistant to mildews, micro-orsanis'ms and insects.
A further feature of the invention resides in the provision of a sealing closure of the above characteristics which may be molded by compression or injection and which is economical to manufacture, durable and emcient in operation.
Other incidental features of'the invention will hereinafter appear in the progress of the disclosure and as pointed out in the appended claims. 4 Accompanying this specification are drawings showing several forms oi the invention wherein: Figure 1 is a view 'in perspective showing a contairier and closure therefor with the latter being in the process of removal by a peeling-like operation by the fingers.
Figure 2 is a sectional view of 'a closure member wherein the central horizontal wall thereof is flat.
Figure 3 is a sectional view oi a'second type of closure member wherein the central hori- 2 zontal wall thereof is convex to serve as a cover for a vacuum-packed container.
Figure 4 is a sectional view of a third type of closure member having a central horizontal concave wall toserve as a closure member for a container packed with contents having an internal pressure.
Figure 5 is a sectional view of a container and closure member secured thereto wherein the closure member may be provided with a central wall of the horizontal, convex or concave type depending upon requirements and wherein the lip of the container is provided with plane walls.
Figures 6., 7 and-8 show container closures similar to those shown in Figure 5 showing in exaggerated form the conformation of the engaging groove to the curved formations on the lip of the container.
Figure 9 is a sectional view of a stripper type of mold containing a seal having an engaging groove with an undercut.
Figure 10 is a sectional-view of a stripper type of mold containing a seal having an engaging groove with a modified type of undercut.
Figure 11 is a sectional view of a seal for a hollow type of stopper for a container.
In the drawing numeral I 0 represents a conventional container shown with conical side walls terminating in a peripheral rim ll. Similar containers ar'e indicated by numerals l2, I4 and Ii respectively wherein the side walls of the containers at the rim portions are provided respectively with a double annular bead IS, an outer annular bead l5 and an inner annular bead II.
Containers Ill, [2, l4 and It may be of any shape and of any flexible or distortable and stifl material such as plastic or glass. In the use of a flexible or distortable container the closure hereinafter to be described is aflorded a live resistance to efiect a seal whereas in the use of a still material for the container a seal is eflected between the engaging walls of the closure imposing opposite pressures. against the walls of the container to eiiect a seal.
A closure generally designated by numeral II has a central horizontal wall I! and an upwardly directed and inverted U-shaped annular groove extending from the periphery thereof. Thus the outer side wall 2| defining the groove terminates below the inner side wall 2. and continues in a flaring portion 22 while a top wall or connecting wall it joins the side walls. The closure generally designated by numeral N has a convexly shaped central wall 25 to accommodate vacuum-packed materials within a container. while the closure generally designated by numeral 26 has a concavely shaped central wall 21 to accommodate packed materials within a container which exert an internal pressure.
For the application of any one of the closures I8, 24 and 26 to a container, the closure at the inverted groove is placed over the mouth or top edge of the container rim and the top groove defining wall 23 is pressed down by the thumb successively at adjacent points or slidably along the top groove defining wall axis to effect a spreading of the side groove walls 20 and 2| and a compression or expansion of central wall l9 so that sealing engagement between the rim such as II at the inner and outer rim walls and the top rim edge is effected with the corresponding irmer surfaces of the side and top groove defining walls. Such operation for application or the closure for scalability of the container allows an interfitting groove width which is either slightly less than the thickness of the rim walls or an outside lateral dimension or diameter of the rim of the container which is slightly larger than the lateral dimension or diameter of the inside wall of groove outer defining wall 2|. It is to be noted that in applying the closure such as l8 prior to complete closing, the central horizontal wall I9 is locally depressed as by the forefinger as can be seen in Figure 1 so that air is or may be forced out of the container thereby creating a partial vacuum therein upon complete closing and causing an automatic downward pull on the closure for insured sealability. Wall [9 being locally distortable is normally maintained taut by rim or groove inner wall 20.
Where the thickness of the lip walls'and the internal size of the mouth adjacent the upper edge of the container are varied as by peripheral beads I3, l5 and I1 respectively, the side walls and 2| of the closure may locally yield to conform to the bead shapes if the closure material is made thin enough, otherwise, the beads will afford a tangential sealing contact area with the inner surfaces of the'straight side groove walls 20 and 2|.
For the removal of one of the closures from a container and as shown in Figure l, the flaring portion 22 is grasped between the thumb and a finger and easily and expeditiously peeled ofi from the lip walls of the container in a silent and non-snapping manner. The closure has a triple action during initial removal. First the flaring portion 22 yields radially about the connecting or top groove defining wall 23 for local separation of the outer groove defining wall 2| by upward thrust of the thumb. Then all the groove walls locally yield upwardly thereby becoming locall free of container rim H, such movement taking place by a local flexing of horizontal wall l9 between the operators downwardly urged finger and the lower edge of groove defining wall 20 opposite the thumb. Thereafter the whole closure is removed as by a peeling-0H operation.
For ,vacuum-packed containers the closure shown in Figure 3 with a central convex wall 25 is preferred since the pressure of the sealing inner wall 20 against the inner wall of the lip container increases with increase of the vacuum. For containers packed with pressure yielding materials such as carbonated waters, the closure shown in Figure 4 with a central concave wall 21 is preferred since the pressure of the sealing inner wall 20 against the inner wall of the rim of the container increases with increase of internal pressure.
Where the container is made of flexible and resilient material or of the same elastic and flexible material having slow recovery as the closure, then a live resistance is offered to the seal between the closure groove and the container rim.
Figures 9 and 10 show a closure having grooves with undercuts and molds used in the production thereof.
Thus in Figure 9, numeral 28 indicates the female part of a mold, 29 and 29a the male or core part and 30 the stripper plate. The closure formed in the mold is provided with a central wall 3| and an upwardly extending undercut peripheral groove having inner and outer parallel and inclined walls 32 and 33 joined by a top wall 32a, the outer wall 33 having a flared rim 34. The groove as shown affords a squeeze between the walls thereof and is especially suitable for conioally shaped containers and is applicable to such a type or container regardless of the presence of an outer beaded lip..
It is to be noted that the outer face 33a of groove wall 33 is vertically disposed thereby rendering a thickening thereof at the lower portion to permit compression thereof in the removal of the closure from male part 29a by the stripper plate 30 after the female mold portion 28 has been removed.
In connection with the closure and mold shown in Figure 10, compression of the outer groove wall is required in both the removal of the female mold portion 35 and in the removal of the closure itself by the stripper plate 30. Thus, an inclined groove is formed by parallel and inclined inner and outer walls 36 and 31 joined by a top wall 36a, the outer wall 31 being substantially thicker than innerwall 36 and terminating in a flared rim 38. The closure has a central wall 39. For the removal of the female mold part 35, wall 31 of the closure is compressed to about half its thickness at the upper end.
Thereafter, for stripping the' closure from the male part 290. of the mold by stripping plate 30, the wall 31 of the closure is compressed to about half its thickness at the lower end.
Figure 11 shows a closure heretofore described for a hollow stopper type of cap. As shown in conjunction with a heat and cold retaining receptacle 40 provided with a mouth having corrugations 4| for seal-tight engagement with the side walls of a hollow stopper 42, the top skirt portion of stopper 42 engageable with the top or receptacle 40 is formed with a top head 43, an intermediate outer shoulder 44 and a lower outer shoulder 45. The stopper 42 may have a partition therein such as 48 for storage of materials such as sugar or other commodity. The closure for stopper 42 has a central wall 41, a peripheral and upwardly directed groove defined by inner and outer walls 48 and 49 joined by a top wall 50, outer wall 49 terminating in a flared rim 5|.-
The peripheral groove and rim 5| of the closure of Figure 11 is adapted to engage the walls of bead 43 and shoulder 44 for seal tight connection.
The closures above described may be formed by compression or injection. The qualities of the closure structure are enhanced by the characteristics of the closure material. These characteristics comprise a rubber-like thermoplastic composition which does not absorb and is not readily wetted by water; is odorless and resistant to acids, alkalis, solvents and other chemicals at ordinary temperatures; boiling point of water;
is resistant to mildews, micro-organisms and insects; has flexibility and will not'soften far below elasticity with a slow recovery and is frictional and waxy to the touch. Such a closure material comprises the polymers of ethylene known under the trade names of "Polythene" and Polyethylene. Sealing is effected between the upper part of the inside of outer defining wall 2i and the inside of connecting wall 23 relative-to the mouth or rim Ii when the outside diameter or lateral dimension of inner groove defining wall 20 is less than the inside diameter or lateral dimension of rim ll, all owing to resiliency of walls l9, 2|, 23.
The closure, and the container if made of glass or of a material of similar characteristics as the closure material may be used in the packaging of alcoholic liquids, carbonated beverages, fruits, preserves, milk and derivative products, cheese, candies, other foods and beverages vacuum packed or otherwise and also for drugs, proprietary preparations etc.
I wish it understood that minor changes and variations in the material, shape, integration and position of parts of the closure and the cooperating container may all b resorted to without departing from the spirit of the invention and the scope of the appended claims.
1. An open mouth container and non-snap type of closure therefor, said closure being formed of resilient and locally distortable polyethylene or like plastic substance and comprising a central wall, an upwardly extending integral and peripheral rim having spaced inner and outer walls in cross-section and a connecting wall to define a groove adapted to receive the peripheral tainer, said outer wall having an offset portion adjacent the lower edge and having slightly smaller inner lateral or mouth of the container and constructed and arranged to be outwardly flexed when the rim portion of the closure is forced over the mouth of the container whereby a seal is effected at the inner sides of the outer and connecting walls, said inner wall maintaining the central wall normally taut, the central wall being locally distortable on downward finger pressure to facilitate simultaneous local upward distension of the rim and spreading of the outer wall thereof upon finger engagement with and upward thrust of the oflset portion of the said outer wall when either completing final sealing engagement of the closure to impose a partial vacuum in the container or initially disengaging the seal of the closure from the container.
edge or mouth of the'con dimensions than the edge having similar properties j 2. An open mouth container and closure therefor, said container being formed of any flexible plastic substance, said closure being formed of resilient and locally distortable polyethylene or like plastic substance having similar properties and comprising a central wall, and an upwardly extending integral and peripheral rim having an inner ridge, an outer wall and a connecting wall to define a groove adapted to receive the pe ripheral edge or mouth of the container, said outer wall having an outwardly flared portion adjacent the lower edge and adapted to be spaced from the outer wall of the container, said outer wall at the upper part having slightly smaller inner lateral dimensions than the edge or mouth of the container and constructed and arranged to be outwardly flexed when the rim portion of the closure is forced over the mouth of the container whereby a seal is effected at the inner sides of the upper part of the outer wall and of the connecting wall, said ridge maintaining the central wall normally taut, the central wall being locally distortable on downward finger or other pressure to facilitate simultaneous local upward distension of the rim and spreading of the outer wall thereof upon finger engagement with and upward thrust of the flared portion oi the said outer wall when initially disengaging the seal of the closure from the container.
' EARL B. TUPPER.
REFERENCES CITED UNITED STATES PATENTS Number Name Date 1,093,735 Shapiro Apr. 21, 1914 1,243,033 Beatty Oct. 16, 1917 1,755,316 De Alcocer Apr. 22, 1930 1,902,892 Pottenger et al. Mar. 28, 1933 2,040,798 schoonmaker May 12, 1938 2,099,056 Ferngren Nov. 16, 1937 2,232,475 Renfrew et al. Feb. 18, 1941 2,266,270 Roth Dec. 16. 1941 2,302,799 Peterson Nov. 24, 1942 2,388,169 McAlevy et al. Oct. 30, 1945 2,393,578 Waite Jan. 22, 1948 OTHER REFERENCES Plastics Catalog," published by Plastics Catalogue Corp., 1945, Photograph. page 175.
The Properties and Uses oi Polythenes, Part 1. March 1945, British plastics.