US 2643015 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
June 23, 1953 J vy. SOFFER TAMPERPROOF conmm CLOSURE Filed Dec. 8, 1949 INVENTOR. JACK W. S FFER ATTORNEY Patented June 23,1953
Jack W. suffer, st. Louis, M05, assignor to ltl'ev'eb opment Research, Inc'., St..Luis, Mo., acomeration of Missouri Application December 8, 1949, seriaiNc'. 31,804
7 Claims. 1
This invention relates to container caps or closures intended to seal against tampering, and especially tothat type of closure which must be broken to permit discharge of the containers contents. 7
An object of this invention is to provide a molded one-piece container closure adapted to assure dealers and purchasers that the contents thereof are intact and unadulterated. H
Another object is to provide a closure which cannot be removed except after breaking out a portion thereof.
Another object is to provide a closure equipped with a break-out lock portion, which closure is" nevertheless usable, as a container cover or measure, after such break-out portion has been removed.
Another object is to provide a closure with a locking tooth, and convenient means for breaking said tooth from said closure.
Other objects are to provide a closure with an ambient skirt having inward-extending locking teeth, and, by elastic deformation of such skirt, to engage said teeth beneath a lip on the container mouth, from which it cannot be removed except by breaking out a noticeably large pornon of such skirt.
Another object is to provide a closure having a skirt and inward-projecting locking teeth molded in a single unit, and to space such skirt outward from the mouth of the container to which such closure is attached by means of ribs, in order to permit the elastic deformation of such skirt while the ribs maintain contact with an annular flange around the mouth of such container.
In the accompanying drawing:
Fig. -1 is a perspective view showing the general external appearance of a preferred embodiment of my invention.
Fig- 2 is a perspective view seen partly from below.
Fig. 3 is a sectional view takenalong line 3-3 of Fig. 1, showing such invention applied to the mouth of a container shown in side elevation.
Fig.- 4 is a detail view along" line 44 or Fig. 3.
Fig. 5 is a detail sectional view along line 5-5 of Fig. 3.
Fig. 6 is a diagrammatic sectional view, similar to Fig- 3, of another embodiment of my invention as applied to the mouth of a bottle shown in side elevation.
In the preferred embodiment shown in the drawings, cap [0 comprises top portion ll, ribbed frusto-conical upper sides. It, annular shoulder I3 and depending tubular skirt I4; I make this closure from a vinyl plastic material, by injection molding; and find that it possesses adequate strength even though molded as a thin shell. The lower edge of skirt I4" is intended to fit closely adjacent the upper wall of a container 2| to which applied and hereafter referred to more fully; Between lower edge It and shoulder l3, skirt M has a plurality of internal vertical ribs I6 Protrudin'g inward from lower edge I 5 are fixed tooth H and break out tooth l8, whose lower faces [9 are somewhat cammed inward and upward, and whose" upper faces are adapted to engage and grasp the container rim or lip 22- by its under side 23.
Extending outward and upward from skirt i4 is tab or lug 24 whose thickened lower portion 25 is an outward continuation of break-out tooth l8, and whose upper end 26 is flared outward for accommodating the user's finger. The vertical mid-portion 21 of tab 24 is separate from but closely adjacent the vertical outer face 28 of stop or abutment 2-9'. Circumscribing the intersection of lower tab portion 25 and break-out tooth l8 with ski-rt I4 is a line of frangibility or weakness 30 molded into said skirt.
Closure I0 is applied tocontainer 21 by downward pressure on top II or shoulder 13. Ribs I6 are so spaced as to permit sliding engagementof the container lip 22- between them. The thin skirt I4 is, by these ribs l6, spaced radially outward from such container lip, which spacing leaves it free between said ribs to flex out of round under the camzn-ing' forces created when lower faces I9 of teeth H and 18 are pressed downward against container lip 22. When the upper toothfaces 20 pass beneath the container lip 22, the original tubularshape of the skirt [4 isr'estored and the teeth I! and I-Blatchthe closure to" the container.
With regard to removal of such closure, it will be apparent that the fixed tooth i1 cannot be deflected outward except to the extent permitted by the flexing Of skirt M, of which it is a rigid part. However, break out tooth i8 is somewhat more flexibly incorporated into skirt it because the line or frangibility 30 is by virtue of the reduced wall thickness there, a line of flexibility as well. It is important that this line 30 be readily frangible, so that it shall in every case break under a lesser force than would chip teeth I! and Hi. This being so, one of the problein's in the development of my invention was to prevent the rotational deflection of break-out tooth 18 which might permit its withdrawalfrom under lip 23 and the removal of the closure thereby.
To prevent this result, I utilize a stop or abutment 29, which is so closely adjacent tab 24 as to stop its inward movement and prevent substantial rotational deflection of tooth I8 outward and upward, whether from force applied to tooth I8 or from inward pressure on tab 24. Thus, the weakness inherent in line of frangibility 30 does not permit the withdrawal of the lockin tooth; the flexibility necessary for snapping on the closure and preventing its removal thus lies largely in skirt portion I4. It may be varied in any case by modifying the factors which affect such flexibility, including the thickness of the skirt I4 and the spacing of ribs I6. Also, a gap permitting limited tooth rotation may be permitted between abutment face 28 and tab portion 21.
Said stop or abutment 29 also serves as an indication to the user to break the closure by pressure downward and outward. Shoulder I3 provides a convenient area on which to inscribe directions for breaking the closure, and the outward flaring upper end 26 of tab 24 may be utilized for the same purpose.
Tests of closures made conformable with this invention have been highly satisfactory. With the line of frangibility 30 made sufficiently thin to permit easy, clean break-out of tooth I8 by the pressure of a finger on the upper tab end 28, the teeth I1 and I8 did not deflect to permit removal of such closures. When subjected to increasing pulling and side forces, the closures would fail, either in the line of frangibility 39 or by fracture of the skirt I4 itself.
It is apparent that many other uses, embodimerits and modifications of my invention are possible. One shown in Fig. 6, indicating its application to bottles for fluids, including liquors, wines and medicines, comprises a closure ID having a top portion I I, tubular or frusto-conical upper sides I2, sloping annular shoulder I3 and depending tubular skirt I4. A plurality of fixed teeth I? and a break-01f tooth I8 protrude from the lower inner edge of skirt I4, and a tab or lug 24 extends outward from breakoff tooth I8 upward closely adjacent skirt I4 and flares outward at its upper end 26. In
this embodiment, however, skirt portion I4 is of such great depth as to serve the function of the abutment 29 shown in the first embodiment. The plurality of fixed teeth [1 and the locking tooth I8 grasp the under side 23 of the annular lip 22 of bottle 2|. The shoulder I3 is shown as abutting directly upon the upper edge of annular lip 22 of such bottle 2|; this, together with the plurality of teeth I'I, serves to hold the closure ID in alignment with bottle 2|, with skirt IA spaced outward from such bottle lip 22. Thus, flexure of skirt I4 permits the engagement of teeth I1 and I8 under said lip. Line of frangibility 38 circumscribes the intersection of tab 24 and break-out tooth I8 with skirt I4. Though without a shoulder such as 29 or ribs such as IE5, this embodiment functions in much the same manner as first described embodiment; that is, the skirt flexibility permits deflection of teeth I? and I8 during capping; they latch under a container rim; a line of frangibility allows the removal of a break-out tooth, and by the abutment of the lug against the closure, flexure of the break-out tooth which would result from the thinned line of frangibility is restrained.
Inasmuch as the line of frangibility permits clean break-out along a pre-determined line, such a closure is well suited for re-use as a removable cap, and as a measure or jigger for fluids.
My invention is thus not confined to the precise details hereinabove set forth; and it is apparent that minor changes in construction, arrangement and combination of its several features may be made and substituted for those shown herein, without departing from the nature and salient principles of this invention. For example, other materials having structural properties which satisfy the needs above described might be utilized, with dimensions suitable ior their use. The number, arrangement and proportions of teeth or other grasping or latching members may likewise be varied suitably for containers equipped with flanges, rims, grooves, notches, protuberances or other means to which a break-out lock may be applied.
Having thus described the present invention, what I claim and desire to secure by Letters Patent, is:
1. A closure for a container having a lip extending outward from its mouth, comprising a cap formed of thin brittle material having a depending skirt portion ambient such lip, a plurality of vertical ribs extending inward from said skirt and adapted to align said cap in spaced relation to said annular lip, a plurality of teeth extending inward from said skirt beneath such lip, the lower surfaces of said teeth being cammed to provide outward elastic deflection in capping, a tab extending outward from one of said teeth and upward beyond said skirt, a line of frangibility in said skirt circumscribing said tooth and tab and a stop molded integral with and extending above said skirt and adjacent said tab adapted to limit inward movement of said tab.
2. In a sealing closure for a container top provided with an annular lip and a groove between such lip and the body of the container, an inverted cup-like sealing structure of substantially circular transverse section, a flexible annulus of a diameter larger than the body of said cuplike structure and characterized by an angularly spaced series of rib elements adapted to hold said annulus in spaced relation to the annular lip of the container, further characterized by an angularly spaced series of normally horizontal clamping fingers each adapted to engage the groove adjacent said lip of the container, a predetermined weakened zone, substantially throughout the depth of said annulus, a lever element in line with one of said fingersand attached to a region defined by said weakened zone, said lever element adapted for movement in a downward direction to break away said weakened zone and to enable removal of the sealing element from the container, and means for blocking said lever element against any substantial upward and inward movement.
3. A tamper-indicating replaceable cap for a container having a discharge portion with an outstanding lip portion, comprising a closure cap having a side wall portion of hollow cylindrical form with an inner diameter fitting freely endwise over the lip portion and being provided with an inwardly-extending retaining portion substantially in the plane of the lower margin of the side wall and engaging beneath such lip portion on application of said closure cap to such container, said closure cap being provided externally with an integral outstanding finger lug adjacent to the edge of the side wall portion in registration" with said inwardly extending retaining portion, said side wall portion having a frangible weakened zone adjacent the lug so as to provide a frangible wall portion about the finger lug adapted to be broken out upon application of force to said finger lug permitting thereby the removal with said lug of part of the wall and the said retaining portion.
4. A tamper-indicating replaceable cap for a container having a discharge portion with an out-;- standing lip portion, comprising a closure cap having a side wall portion of hollow cylindrical form with an inner diameter fitting freely ends wise over the lip portion and being provided with opposed inwardly-extending retaining portions substantially in the plane of the lower margin of; the side wall and engaging beneath such lip por-f tion on application of said closure cap to such container. said closure cap being provided externally with an integral outstanding finger lu adjacent to the edge of the side wall portion in registration with one of the retaining portions, said side wall portion having a frangible weakened zone adjacent the lug, so as to provide a frangible wall portion about the finger lug adapted to be broken out along with said retaining por-,'
tion on application of force to said finger lug thereby to release the engagement of said retaim" ing portion beneath such container lip and permit the removal with the lug of part of the wall and th said retaining portion.
5. A tamper-indicating replaceable cap for a container having a discharge portion with an annular lip, comprising an integral molded closure cap having a top portion, a side Wall, and a cavity within said side wall and extending upwardly therefrom into said top portion, the cavity being of substantially circular cross-section within the side wall, of sufiicient diameter to enclose such container lip, and of a depth at least equal to the height of such container lip, the said closure cap further having retaining portions extending into the cavity inward from the side wall portion at such level as to extend beneath the greatest diameter of such container lip and adapted to grasp such lip beneath its greatest diameter for resisting removal from the container, and a finger lug protruding outwardly from the side wall opposite and in registration with a retaining portion, the side wall being provided with a frangible weak zone adjacent its juncture with the lug and the said retaining portion, so as to provide a frangible wall portion adapted to be broken out along said juncture upon the application of force to the finger lug and to permit thereby the removal with the lug of part of the side wall and the said 0pposite retaining portion whereby the grasp of the cap onto the container lip is released.
6. A cap as described in claim 5, in which the said retaining portions have their lower surfaces substantially in the plane of the lower margin of the said side wall portion.
7. A cap as described in claim 5, the thickness of the said lug at its juncture with said side wall portion being greater than the thickness of the said side wall portion.
' JACK W. SOFFER.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS Number Name Date D. 161,969 Soifer Feb. 13, 1951 695,759 McNish Mar. 18, 1902 1,478,140 Orr Dec. 18, 1923 2,000,200 Teller c May 7, 1935 2,092,547 Allenbaugh Sept. 7, 1937 2,096,324 Guthrie Oct. 19, 1937 2,100,083 Martin Nov. 23, 1937 2,124,873 Conner July 26, 1938 2,157,646 Barker May 9, 1939 2,162,711 Hamberger June 20, 1939 2,169,686 Fabrice Aug. 15, 1939 2,171,015 Webb Aug. 29, 1939 2,228,542 Volkmann Jan. 14, 1941 2,326,480 Merolle Aug. 10, 1943 2,403,511 Enkur July 9, 1946 2,546,566 Schweizer Mar. 27, 1951 2,551,834 Ferguson May 8, 1951 FOREIGN PATENTS Number Country Date 270,600 Germany Feb. 19, 1914