US 2754866 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
July 17, B COLTMAN, JR
FLEXIBLE CONTAINERS Filed Jan. 22, 1955 INVENTOR.
BY. fla M n,
This invention relates to containers and more particularly to flexible containers provide'd'with sealable cover means.
It is an important object of this invention toprovide an improved flexible container having a'cover member adapted to be retained on the open mouth of said container with heretofore unrealizable tenacity.
Flexible containers heretofore known have relied primarily on frictional forces to secure a cover means thereon and necessitated extreme care in manufacture and accurate control of dimensions to secure a close fit required for tight frictional engagement. Close dimensional con-' trol substantially increases the costof such articles and places limitations upon the materialswhich can be used and the size and shape of the containers and corresponding covers. This isparticularly true if a moldableplasticmaterial is used having a high shrinkage factor which might vary according to conditions employed to manufacture the material or to conditions employed to mold the same. With a container and cover of this type, any distortion caused either by squeezing upon handling or by the weight of material contained resulted in the cover either being forcibly displaced from the container and the contents spilled therefrom, or being loosened from the container so that upon subsequent handling'the contents would spill at a time theuser would be unaware of the loose condition of the cover. A container having a cover with a fit that can be disturbed through normal handling of the container is obviously not satisfactory because its user will never be fully cognizant of the fit of the cover and will always be liable to the inconvenience aridlosssustained from spilling and even to spoilage of the contents through contamination by being exposed or by having the vapor tight seal destroyed.
It is therefore an object of this invention to provide a container and cooperating cover having corresponding engaging portions adapted for positive engagement preventing accidental displacement of the cover either by distortion of the container body or cover or by the weight of the contents of the container when the container is tilted.
It is a further object of this invention to provide an improved container and cover of this type designed for snapon engagement between the container and the cover.
It is a still further object of this invention to provide an improved container having a wide mouth adapted for easy filling and substantially sealable by a cooperating cover which has an aperture therein and a pivotally mounted cap to seal said aperture. By such an arrangement filling of the container is'facilitated by removing the large cover from its sealed engagement with the container, While pouring is greatly facilitated by removal of the smaller cap from the aperture in said cover.
Further and additional objects of this invention will become obvious from a consideration of this specification, the accompanying drawings, and the appended claims.
In one form of this invention a container is provided having a base and a side portion extendingtherefrom. A
nited States Patent Patented. July 1 'Z, t 1 956 2 bead is-formed around'the open end of thiscontainer andis adapted to receive a cover having depending-spaced wallswith a recessformed at-or'neartheir juncturewith the cover toreceive the container bead.
A still further feature-isto provide the bead thus formedon the upper edge ofthe container with a flat surface and toform a shoulder or rib on: one of said spacedcoverwalls to engage againstsaid flat surface. Iris-found that suchan arrangement of parts-preventsforcible displacement of the cover from the container or the accidental loosening of the cover fit sufiicient to destroythevapor tight seal.
For a more complete understanding-of this invention; reference shouldnow be made to theaccompanyingdraw ings, wherein:
Figure l is an illustrationin-elevation of one embodimentv of this invention;
Fig. 2 illustrates the distortion of the" embodiment of Fig. l which results from the squeezing'of the container portion thereof;
Fig. 3 is a plan view of the embodiment of- Fig. 1 shown with' the cover" partiallyremoved;
Fig. 4 illustrates in section. a portion of thecontainer of Fig. l and the cooperating coverdisposed above said container;
Fig; 5 illustrates, in section taken along the line 5-5 of Fig. 3,the manner in: whichthe cover and container. are resiliently engaged;
Fig; 6 illustrates thedistortion and gripping effectofthe container andcover whensaid container is deformed as shown in Fig. 2; and
Fig. 7 is an'enlarged detailsectional view of the upper edge of the container body.
Referring now to the drawings, and more particularly toFig. 1', the flexible container 10isshownprovided with acover 12 sealingly engaging the upper edge of the con tainer 10'. Said cover hasa peripheral flange 14ex tending downwardly therefrom to overlapthe upper edgeof the container 10. A bifurcated hinge 16 is formed integrally with the cover 12. Thehinge 16 ha's a circular aperture 18' therein and a reduced slot 20' above said aperture whereby a cylindrical member 28 forced into said bifurcated hinge, will fit freely within the circular aperturelS and: be retained therein by the portion of the hinge 16- adjacent to the reduced slot 20: Cooperating: with the hinge 16 isa cap 22-having a fla'nge'24 adapted to engage a corresponding flange extending: upwardly from the cover 12. Alsomolded integrally with the cap 22 is a tab 26 for finger engagement to facilitate opening and closing the cap over the associated cover aperture. As shown more clearly in Fig. 3 the cylindrical member" 28"maybe a flexible U-shaped rod extending from the cap' 22' to engage in hinge 16. Thus the cap 22'isreadily' detachable from the cover 12 when desired and i's'easily attachable in manufacture. However, in normal use' of the container 10 it is found desirable tomerely' pivot the: cap 22- about the hinge 16, thus exposing the aperture in-' the cover 12 for easy removal of the containers. contents.
Fig. 2 illustrates container 10 beingsqueezedby hand 30. As shown in Fig. 2, the distortion of the" container 10 tends to cause a distortion in the shapeof cover12 which would, in the devices heretofore known; causethe upper edge of the container 10 to break away from en gagement with the cover 12 at the point- 32; However, inthe container'of this invention, this distortion wilfrestil't in a very positive and definite engagement of the cover upon the container body. As shown inFigs. 4 and 7, the container body'lfl at its upper edge has a small portion of the wall formed outwardly at a small acute angle as shown at 38. This wall portion 31? may then be again formed straight as shown at 38" and thereafter terminate in a bead 40 at its upper edge. The bead 40 is formed somewhat circular cross-sectionally along the upper surface, and, in a more specific embodiment of the invention, this bead may have a fiat surface 42 at its lower edge connecting said bead with the outer surface of the portion 38'.
The cover 12 is provided with flange 14, as described above, and, as shown in Fig. 4, this cover has a recess 44 substantially at or near the juncture of cover 12 and annular flange 14. This recess is adapted to receive bead 40. A shoulder, rib or like portion 46 is provided on or adjacent flange 14 to engage the flat surface 42 of bead 40. The cooperation of the flat surface 42 with rib 46 provides a positive engagement not subject to inadvertent displacement.
A second wall 48 is formed integrally with cover 12 and extends downwardly therefrom substantially parallel to flange 14. Inner wall 48 will provide an additional restrictive force preventing the inadvertent removal of cover 12 from container wall 10. Again, while inner wall 48 may be formed of a flexible material such as polyethylene, its shape and depth and the fact that it is integrally formed with the cover 12 will provide a relatively rigid body not subject to local distortion. Inner flange 48 should preferably be of a depth to back up container wall 10 and prevent bead 40 from being forced out of recess 44. A function of rib 46 is to abut against the underside of bead 40 so as to keep this bead 40 tightly in this recess 44. Inner flange 48 extending downwardly the proper distance along the inside of container wall 10 will keep the latter from such distortion as will permit bead 40 to slip out of recess 44. Distortion of the container wall 10 or cover 12 creating forces tending to dislodge bead 40 from recess 44 causes rib 46, it is believed, to press bead 40 against the cover body designated 47 and flange 48 cooperates in this action to keep this cover body portion 47 from being distorted in any degree allowing bead 40 to release itself from recess 44.
The cover 12 is shown in Fig. in position on the upper edge of the container and illustrates the manner in which the flat surface 42 formed along the lower edge of the bead 40 positively engages the rib 46 which is formed at the juncture of the flange 14 and the annular recess 44. It will further be noted in Fig. 5 that flange 14 tapers somewhat from its maximum dimension adjacent to rib 46, thus providing an increasing gap 52 between the outer container surface and the inner surface of the flange 14. This gap is provided so that any distortion which occurs in the shape of the container will not cause positive engagement of the outer container surface with the inner surface of the flange. Such engagement would produce a cantilever effect against the lower edge 50 of the flange 14 and thus produce a force tending to cause the disengagement of the flat surface 42 from the rib 46.
The cross-sectional view of Fig. 6 illustrates the effects of distortion of the container 10. Therein it will be noted that the sides of the container 10 diverge and approach the inner surface of the flange 14 but do not engage said inner surface as a result of the wedge shape above described. Also, as shown in Fig. 6, the bead 40 remains firmly engaged within the annular recess 44, and the flat surface 42 of said bead 40 forms a sharp engaging surface with the rib 46 extending from flange 14.
The small aperture 54 utilized in discharging the contents of container 10 is clearly shown in the sectional views of Figs. 4, 5 and 6. Therein it can be seen that a vertical flange 56 extends upwardly from the periphery of the aperture 54 providing a surface engageable by the flange 24 formed on the cap 22. The circular ridges 58 formed on the cap surface provide a decorative cap and also provide reinforcement for the cap surface. Also shown in Figs. 4, 5 and 6 is the manner in which the rod 28 passes through the circular aperture 18 in the hinge member 16.
While the embodiment herein described utilizes a container having a circular cross section, and this is considered to be the preferred form of this invention, it should be clearly understood that the novel and improved means employed for sealing the flexible cover 12 on the open mouth of container 10 would be applicable also to containers having various cross-sectional shapes. An oval, rectangular, or square container could be utilized and would provide an edge on which a bead similar to bead 40 could be formed. This bead could be engaged by a corresponding recess, such as recess 44 in the figures, and would result in a liquid tight seal having characteristics of rigidity and firmness far superior to those heretofore known in the art. Various other modifications of this invention will be manifest to one skilled in the art, such as the use of various materials other than polyethylene as herein suggested, and by varying the size and shape of the various engaging elements, and even where the body may be of a semi-rigid structure like molded polystyrene or other plastics and materials.
Without further elaboration, the foregoing will so fully explain the character of my invention that others may, by applying current knowledge, readily adapt the same for use under varying conditions of service, while retaining certain features which may properly be said to constitute the essential items of novelty involved, which items are intended to be defined and secured to me by the following claims.
l. A container and a snap type of cover therefor, said container and said cover being formed of resilient and locally distortable polyethylene or like plastitc substance having similar properties, said cover sealing the container mouth even when the resilient wall of the body of said container is distorted by being flexed, an outwardly overhanging bead formed about and at the rim of said resilient wall body, said cover including a sheetiike resilient top portion and downwardly extending spaced walls projecting therefrom, said spaced walls embracing said overhanging bead and said rim of said flexible wall body, the juncture of said spaced walls with said cover having a recess formed therein to receive said overhanging bead on said rim, and a rib on the outer of said spaced walls locking against the underside of the overhanging part of said bead, said spaced walls being locally distortable so as to be outwardly flexed at both of their outer extremities away from said resilient wall of said body whereby to increase the gripping pressure of both said spaced walls about said bead to prevent displacement of said cover when said resilient wall of said body is gripped and flexibly distorted.
2. A container and a snap type of cover therefor, said container and said cover being formed of resilient and locally distortable polyethylene or like plastic substance having similar properties, said cover sealing the container mouth even when the resilient wall of the body of said container is distorted by being flexed, a bead formed about and substantially at the rim of said resilient wall body, and downwardly extending spaced walls proecting from the periphery of said cover, said spaced walls embracing said bead and said rim of said flexible wall body, the juncture of said spaced walls with said cover having a recess formed therein to receive said bead on said rim, said spaced walls being locally distortable so as to be outwardly flexed at the extremities away from said resilient wall of said body whereby to increase the gripping pressure of both said spaced walls about said bead to prevent displacement of said cover when said resilient wall of said body is gripped and flexibly distorted.
3. A container and a snap type of cover therefor, said container and said cover being formed of resilient and locally distortable polyethylene or like plastic substance having similar properties, said cover sealing the container mouth even when the resilient wall of the body of said container is distorted by being flexed, a bead formed about the rim of said resilient wall body, said cover including a sheetlike resilient top portion and a downwardly extending peripheral wall, there being a recess formed substantially at the juncture of said sheetlike top portion and said downwardly extending peripheral wall to receive said bead, a second wall extending downwardly from said sheetlike top portion adapted to engage against the inner surface of said container body adjacent to said rim of said body to hold said bead in said recess, and a rib on said downwardly extending peripheral wall to engage against the underside of said bead, said downwardly extending peripheral wall and said second wall being 10- cally distortable to be outwardly flexed at both of their outer extremities away from said resilient wall of said body whereby to increase the gripping pressure of both said walls about said bead to prevent displacement of said cover when said resilient wall of said body is gripped and flexibly distorted.
4, A container and a snap type of cover therefor, said container and said cover being formed of resilient and localy distortable polyethylene or like plastic substance having similar properties, said cover sealing the container mouth even when the resilient wall of the body of said container is distorted by being flexed, an outwardly overhanging bead formed about and at the rim of said resilient wall body, downwardly extending spaced walls projecting from said cover, said spaced walls embracing said overhanging bead and said rim of said flexible wall body, there being a recess in said cover to receive said bead, the outer overhanging portion of said head having a relatively fiat undersurface, the outer wall of said spaced walls having a portion engaging against said relatively flat portion on said bead, said downwardly extending spaced walls being locally distortable to be outwardly flexed at both of their extremities away from said resilient wall body-whereby to increase the gripping pressure of said spaced walls about said bead to prevent displace ment of said cover when said resilient wall body is gripped and flexibly distorted.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,902,892 Pottenger et al Mar. 28, 1933 2,038,858 Sacks Apr. 28, 1936 2,186,888 Tullar et al. Jan. 9, 1940 2,266,270 Roth Dec. 16, 1941 2,487,400 Tupper Nov. 8, 1949 2,626,647 Barton Jan. 27, 1953