US 2777490 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
o. MUNK 2,777,490 CLOSURE DEVICE FOR FLEXIBLE-WALLED HOLLOW ARTICLES Jan. 15, 1957 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Oct. 26, L955 INVENTOR OTTO MU/VK w/a. MW
ATTORNEY Jan. 15, 1957 4 Q MUNK 2,777,490
CLQSURE DEVICEFOR FLEXIBLE-WALLED HOLLOW ARTICLES Filed Oct. 26, 1955 2 Sheeis-Sheet 2 II IIIIIIII INVENTQ R Orro MZ/A/K MVJA ATTORNEY United States PatentO CLOSURE DEVICE FOR FLEXIBLE-WALLE HULLOW ARTICLES Otto Munk, Paekanack Lake, N. J., assignor to Halkey- Roberts Corporation, Paramus, N. J., a corporation of New Jersey This invention relates to a closure device for incorporation in the wall of a flexible-walled article, and more particularly relates to a closure device having a body made of flexible plastic material sealed to the thin flexible wall of a hollow article containing fluid under pressure.
The advantages of closure devices wherein both the outer and inner par-ts thereof are made of flexible plastic material, particularly for sealing openings in flexible thin-walled hollow articles, have been pointed out in Mackal patent application Ser. No. 462,562, filed October 15, 1954. Closures such as the valve of the type there shown and described are particularly of advantage because of their simplicity of manufacture and manipulation, because they do not tend to rust, and because they are yielding and thus do not tend to puncture the wall of a hollow article nor to scratch or injure furniture or other articles with which they may come into contact.
It has been found, however, that in uses wherein the fluid pressure in the hollow article is appreciable, the body of the article of the closure device must be made of a section thicker than otherwise required merely to serve as a support for the movable closure member and to withstand the internal pressure within the hollow article, because of the subjection of the body of the closure device to distorting tensions exerted thereon by the flex-v ible sidewall of the hollow article. Such tensions tend to enlarge the body of the closure device at the opening therethrough, usually unevenly, and thus tend to cause the closure device to leak I The closure device of the present invention, which is of the type having an outer closure device body with a passage therethrough, and a movable closure element insertable into the passage to close it, incorporates means interposed between the main portion of the side wall of the hollow article and the body of the closure device which decreases or minimizes the distortion of the body which would otherwise be caused by the tensions exerted thereon by the side wall of the hollow article when the latter is under pressure. Further, such construction tends to even out the enlarging effect upon the opening or passage through the closure body by such tensions exerted thereon, so that the movable closure membercan make .an eifective seal with the body of the closure device.
In the preferred embodiment of the closure device shown there is provided, in effect, a deep pleated annular diaphragm zone surrounding the closure device body and interposed between it and the side wall of the hollow article which is adapted to contain fluidunder pressure. The construction is such that the walls of the pleat may separate somewhat under radially outwardly directed tensions exerted thereon by the side wall of the article. The thus formed annular diaphragm zone tends to even out distortion of the body of theclosure device, so that the movable closure element may seal the passage effectively. Preferably the location of the attachment of the diaphragm zone to the body of the closure device is markedly spaced from the zone of primary sealing between the body of the closure device and the movable closure element, whereby distortion of the body of the closure device at the primary sealing zone thereof is minimized. Preferably, also, the diaphragm zone is formed integral with the body of the closure device, as by molding or cutting a deep, narrow annular slot into the body of the closure device, to separate the radially projecting flange thereon, by which the body of the closure device is attached to the side wall of the hollow article, from attachment to the body adjacent the zone of primary sealing. The annular slot in the body of the sealing device lies generally coaxial of and is of appreciably greater diameter thanthe passage in the body, the slot extending from the inner end of the body to a depth Well inward of the primary sealing zone. In a preferred embodiment of the device, the outer sleeve or skirt portion thus formed by the annular slot in the body surrounds the inner (as regards the hollow article) portion of the body at the primary sealing zonethereof, the side wall of the hollow article being attached to such outer sleeve or skirt at a location markedly spaced from the inner, free end of the slot. Preferably, connection between the wall of the hollow article and the skirt is effected by a generally radially directed flange which extends outwardly from the skirt at least relatively adjacent its inner free end.
In a first preferred embodiment of the closure device of the invention disclosed herein, the closure device is'provided with a captive movable closure element which is normally completely removed from engagement with the body of the closure device when the closure device is open, as for filling the article or for discharging the contents from the hollow article. In the second illustrated preferred embodiment of the device the closure device is a valve wherein the movable valve element is normally not removed from the valve body, but is moved from an inner, closed position to an outer, open, position.
The invention has among its objects the provision of a closure device having a flexible plastic body for incorporation in the side wall of a flexible-walled article, Wherein the body of the closure device is substantially relieved of leak-causing distortion produced by tensional forces exerted thereon by the side wall of the hollow article,
and to the combination of such closure device and a hollow article in which it is incorporated.
A further object of the invention resides in the provision, with such closure device, of a pleated diaphragm zone which is interposed between the body of the closure device and the side wall of the hollow article in which it is incorporated.
Yet another object of the invention, in a'preferred embodiment thereof, resides in' the provision of a diaphragm zone close to the body of the closure device, the body of the device forming a part of the diaphragm zone, the peak of the pleat being attached to the body at a location substantially removed from the flange by which the body of the device is attached to the wall of the article and also substantially spaced from the zone of primary sealing between the body of the closure device and the movable closure element thereof.
A still further object of the invention lies in the provision of a novel closure device for a flexible-walled article, such closure device being an integral closure device having a movable closure element removable from the body of the closure device.
The above and further objects of the invention relating to economies of use and manufacture will more particularly appear in the following description of preferred embodiments thereof as shown in the accompanying drawings, in which:
Fig. 1 is a fragmentary view in perspective of a portion of the side wall of a wading pool in the vicinity of a poolfilling and pool-emptying closure device in the wall thereof, the closure device being shown in closed position with an end of a drain hose about to be attached thereto;
Fig. 2 is a fragmentary view in. horizontal section through theclosure device in the wading pool, the closure device being shown in open position, the body of the device having an end of a draining hose inserted thereint o, the hose being shown in plan. i
Fig. 3 isa view in plan of the closure device including the closure body and the movable closure element or plug integrally attached thereto, the device being shown in the as-molded condition.
Fig. 4 is a fragmentary horizontal section through the wall of the wading pool, the body of the closure device, and the closure element, the closure element being shown in open position.
Fig. 5 is a fragmentary horizontal section through the, wall of the wading pool filled with water, the closure element of the closure device beingshown in closedpo'si tron.
Fig. 6 is a fragmentary view in section through the wall of an inflated article and through the axis. of an inflation valve associated therewith, the valve body having a strain-minimizing flexible diaphragm in accordance with the present invention associated therewith.
As evident from the above, there are shown and described herein two embodiments of container closures. The first such container closure, shown in Figs. 1 5, in-. elusive, is a device useful, for example, in the filling and draining ofhollow articles such as wading pools. In Fig. 6- there is shown a valve useful for inflating and de flating a hollow article such as an air or gas filled ball or toy. Both the closure devices of- Figs. 1-5, inclusive, and" that of Fig. 6 include a tensional-strain minimizing device interposed between the closure device body and the wall of the hollow article whereby distortion of the body of the'closure device is minimized. In both embodiments of the invention shown the bodies of theclosure devices are made of flexible plastic material which would otherwise tend to be appreciably distorted by tensional forces exerted thereon by the wall of the hollow article.
The closure device of Figs. 1 5, inclusive, is shown incorporated in a shallow wading pool, generally designated'10; having a side wall 1 1 and abottom- 9. The closure device, which is generally designated 12; has an annular body 13 whichhas a central circular opening 15- therethrough. Body 13 has a flange 16 nrojectingradi ally. outwardly therefrom, the flange fitting within the side wall 11 at the opening 14 therethrough and being connectedtothe-side wallas by being heat' sealed thereto. The central opening in the closure body 13 may be-selectively. closedby the closure element generally designated 17; which is of a cupslike. shape having a generally cylindrical thin flexible side wall 19 and a disc-liltetransverse end wall 20: The closure member 12' is preferablymolded as an integral element, in the form shown. in. Fig; 3; wherein the closure body 13-andthe closure-element 1.7; are integrally. connected by a thin, flexible strap-lilie-rnem ber 21*. Member. 21: is of suflicient length. to allowxthe closureelement- 17 freely to be folded around. frorntho positionshown in Fig. 4 wherein the closure. device is open-,- into thattshown in Fig; 5 wherein the closure element 17- is fully,telescoped within the central; opening in the body 13 of the closure device. A manipulating tab. 22; projecting from the element17 opposite the strap likemember, 21,,facilitates manipulation of the closure: element'17 from inside the wall of the wading pool. An annular flange 32; extending around the inner end ofelement 1.7," limits the depth of insertion of element. 117: intoithe central opening in body 13 of the closure device.
Although it is to be understood that the-invention is not; restricted thereto. the bodies 13-and17 and thestraplike member zl in a preferred embodiment of theclosure device are molded from polyvinyl chloridg. which is. tel.-
atively soft and plastic but is sufliciently stiff to be selfsustaining. Other suitable elastic plastic materials may, of course, be used for making the parts of the closure device. The use of polyvinyl chloride is of advantage when the wall 11 of the wading pool is also made of polyvinyl chloride, since the flange 16 of the body of the closure device may then be readily heat sealed to such wall by the use of conventional high frequency electronic sealing apparatus.
When the closure device is in the position of Fig. 5, and the wading pool 10 is filled with water 26, the wall 11 of the wading pool tends to flex outwardly somewhat and thereby to exert substantial forces in tension radially outwardly on the body 13 of the closure device. Such tensional forces are not uniform around the periphery of the body 13, tending to be greater in horizontal direction than they are in the vertical direction. Consequently, if the side wall of the wading pool were attached directly to a solid portion or zone of the body 13 in the immediate vicinity of the primary, zone of sealing relied upon be tween the surfaces of the members 13' and 17, there would.
be a marked tendency for leakage to occur between such members, even with the parts of the wading pool at rest, because of the difficulties of forming the closure member 17 so as to be complementary to thedistorted inner surface of the sealing-zone in the body member 13'. Such tendency of the closure member to leak would, of course, be much greater if the wadingpool were in use, since the motion of the water and the shifting of weight on the bottom 9 thereof, as children moved about in the pool, would intensify the distortions of the pool wall 11 and ofthe body 13 of the closure device.
In accordance with the invention there is incorporated in the organization, between the opening in the wall of the hollow body such as the wall 11 of the wading pool and the body 13 of the closure device a flexible dia-' phragm which tends to isolate the zone of primarysealingof the body of the closure device from the wall of the hollow article, so thatthe closure element may make an effective seal with the body of the closure device and canmaintain such seal regardless of additional unpredictablevariable distortions of the wall of the hollow article immediately adjacent the body of 'the closure device. In addition, there is provided inthe closure device of Figs. 1'-5, inclusive, a closure element of such structure that it yields-to an appreciable extent so that it conforms to the shape of the zone of primary scaling in the body of the closure device and, further, such that the pressure of fluid within the hollow article upon the closure element tends to force it more firmly into sealingengagemerit with thebody of the closure device.
As shown most clearly in Figs. 4 and 5, the side wall of the closure-body 13 has an: annular slot 24 therein which extends from the outer end of the side wall deep.- ly thereinto, so as to leave a zone of connection 25,.at the inner edges of the inner and outer sleeve portions of suchside wall, which is of substantially the same thick" ness: as each of the sleeves. The inner and. outer walls 27 and1'28, respectively, of'body 13; formed by thetannu lac slot 24; and the radial flange 16 attached to thesidc wall'll of: the hollow article 10, form in effect, a deep; readily distortable, pleat in a diaphragm-like structure interposed between the side wall of the body 11 andzthe inner sleeve member 21"of the side wall of body13. When tensions. areexerted onthe flange 16 bythe side wall 11 of body 10; instead of directly distortingthe; in nor sleve-27=of body'13, suchtensions merely result in pulling thewalls 27 and 28 more or less widely apart, thereby spreading the slot 24 from the inner bliiid end thereof at what is, in effect, the, peak of'the plcat'inthe diaphragm,,withoutappreciably distorting the inner, seating zone providing, sleeve:27 at the body 13.
The closure. element 17. is ofsuch. outer, diamctci'thtit it snugly tits} within. the central annular opening. in, the body; 13. when boththe body and the closure. element are to av depth of the closure member, member is sub' jected to a substantial outward force which tends to straighten out the central portion of member 20, as shown in Fig. 5. This straightening of member 20 results in a toggle-like action, which tends to thrust the outer rim portion 31 of element 17 more strongly intocontact with the confronting annular zone of the Wall 27 of body 13. Such zone 31 of member 20, herein termed the zone of primary sealing, is positioned well outwardly of the zone 25, the peak of the pleat, at which the inner edges of the inner and outer sleeves of the side wall portion of the body 13 are joined. Accordingly,.as above explained, distortion of the outer sleeve 28 is almost entirely effectively isolated from the sealing zone 31.
The closure device 12 of Figs. 1-5, inclusive, has the further virtue that it allows the ready connection there to of a hose to empty the pool 10. In the embodiment shown, the central opening through the body 13 of the closure device is made 'of such diameter as snugly and sealingly to receive the threaded end 36 on the ferrule attached to the end of a discharge hose 34. To empty the wading pool, therefore, it is merely necessary to thrust the end of the hose in the direction shown in 1 Fig. 1 so that the threaded end of the ferrule extends withdrawing the hose and then applying the closure element manually to the body 13. Preferably, however, the closure element 13 will be applied to the body 13 to close the latter when the pool is empty, and the pool will be filled from above as by a hose.
As illustrated by Fig. 6, the tension isolating, diaphragm-like annular attaching means interposed between a closure or valve body and the side wall of a fluid containing article is useful in a variety of applications. In this figure there is shown a fragment of an inflated article, such as a ball or toy, having an inflation valve generally designated 39 inserted in an opening 40 in the side wall 42 of such inflated article. The valve is attached to the wall of the article by a radially directed flange 41 which is positioned inwardly of and sealed to the side wall of the article. In such construction, also, as with the closure and drain device above described, the side I wall of the inflated article exerts appeciable tension upon the body of the valve, and such tension is not usually uniform even when the parts of the inflated article and of the valve are at rest. The inequality of tensions and the consequent inequality of distortion of the valve body are aggravated when the inflated article is bounced or punched around. In former constructions, wherein the valve body was made of a flexible plastic material and was directly attached to the side wall of the inflated article there was a pronounced tendency of the valve to leak even when it was in fully closed position, particularly if the inflated article were roughly used.
The valve 39 shown in Fig. 6 may be generally of the type shown and described in the above-referred to application of Mackal, Ser. No. 462,562, filed October 15, 1954. Such valve has-a body generally designated 44, which may conveniently be made of a flexible selfsustaining plastic material, such as polyvinyl chloride. Body 44 has a main cylindrical passage 45 extending therethrough, an inner portion of the passage being in wardly tapering and frusto-conical in configuration as in dicated at 46, and the inner end of such passage being of circular cylindrical shape at 47. Valve body 44 has an inwardly directed shallow flange 49 at the outer end thereof, such flange retaining the movable valve element 50 within the valve body 44. The element 50 has a hollow stem 51, through the central elongated opening.
52 of which air to inflate the article and discharge it from the article passes. The valve element 50 has a frusto-conical portion 54 thereon which accurately interfits with the frusto-conical seat 46 in the valve body when the valve element is fully inserted therein. At the inner end of the valve element 50 there is provided a central plug-like closure member 56 which preferably is at least somewhat larger than the diameter of the opening 47 in the valve body. The zone of engagement between the plug-like portion 56 on the movable valve element and the small passage 47 in the valve body is that primarily relied upon for the effective closure of the valve. Intermediate the ends of the frusto-conical portion 54 on the movable valve element there is provided a transverse passage 57 thereto which allows communication between the central axial opening 52 in the movable valve element and the interior of the inflated article when the valve element is in its raised, open position as shown in Fig. 6. When the valve element is depressed, so that the plug-like element 56 fits snugly in the opening 47 of the valve body, communication between the interior of the inflated article and the passage 52 in the valve element is shut off.
Although the inner end of the body 44 of the valve is 'of heavy section, the appreciable tensile forces, especially when the inflated toy is bounced or punched, would distort the valve body sufliciently to tend to cause leakage between the plug-like member 56 and the passage 47 in the valve body, if the side walls of the inflated article were attached directly to the valve body in the vicinity of the passage 47 through the valve body. In accordance with the present invention, such distortion of the valve body by the side wall of the inflated article is obviated, even though the zone of attachment between the valve body and the wall of the inflated article lies physically adjacent the passage 47 in the valve body. In accordance with the invention, the heavy inner portion 59 of the valve body is provided with an annular generally cylindrical slot 60 which extends from the inner end of the valve body to an appreciable depth, the inner end of the slot lying substantially outwardly of the outer end of the passage 47 in the valve body. The slot 60 thus, in effect, divides the lower heavy section 59 of the valve body into two concentric sleeve portions, the outer sleeve or skirt portion 62 serving as the support for the radially outwardly directed flange41 to which the side wall 42 of the inflated article is attached.
In this construction, as with that of Figs. 1-5, inclusive, forces in tension directed on the valve body by the side wall 42 of the inflated article are substantially effectively isolated from the zone of primary sealing of the valve between the plug-like member 56 and the inner wall of the passage 47. The flange 41, the outer sleeve or skirt portion 62, and the inner sleeve-like portion of the valve body bearing the surface 47 form, in effect, a deeply pleated diaphragm which is interposed between the side wall of the inflated article and the zone of primary sealing of the valve. The peak of the pleat, at the blind end of annular slot 60, lies remote from the passage 47. When, therefore, the article 37 is inflated under appreciable pressure, any tensional forces exerted on the valve body by the side wall 42 of the article tend to distort such body. Such distortion, however, is concentrated in the outer skirt portion 62, the inner end of the annular slot 60 in the valve body tending to grow wider. Such distortion of the skirt, however, can not be directly transmitted to the primary sealing surfaces 7 of the valve, and when the. article is subjected to mementarily increased pressures, as by being punched or bounced, the increased distortion of the valve body is concentrated primarily in the outer skirt portion 62,1'eaving the portions 56 and 47 substantially undistorted so that they maintain a tight seal at all times;
Although for purposes of illustration I have shown preferred embodiments: of the closure device for flexible walled hollow articles of the invention, it will be understood that such embodiments are illustrative only, since the invention is capable of considerable variation as to details. The invention is, therefore, to be defined by the scope of the claims appended hereto.
I claim as new the following:
I. A closure-device adapted for incorporation in the wall of a flexible-walled hollow article adapted to retain fluid under pressure, comprising an annular body, the" body having a passage therethrough, a movable closure member adapted to fit within such opening to close it by being applied to the opening, the closure member comprising. a cupdike body of plastic material having a relatively thin flexible side wall and a thin flexible disclike end member distortable by normal pressures within the article, the end member when lying within the opening and not subjected to appreciable outwardly directed pressure being dished so as to present its convex side to the interior of the hollow article.
21 A closure device adapted for incorporation in the wall of a flexible-walled hollow article adapted to retain fluid under pressure, comprising an annular body, the body having a passage therethrough, a movable closure member adapted to fit within such opening to close it by being applied to the opening from within the article, the closure member comprising a cup-like body of plastic material having a relatively thin flexible side wall and a thin: flexible disc-like end member distortabl'e by normal' pressures within the article, the endmember when lying within the opening and not subjected to appreciable outwardly directed pressure being dished soas to present its convex side to the interior of the hollow article.
3. A closure device adapted for incorporation in the wall of a flexible-walled hollow article adapted to retain fluid under pressure, comprising an annular body molded of flexible plastic material, the body having a passage therethrough, a movable closure member molded Iof flexible plastic material and adapted to fit within such opening to close it by being applied to the opening from within the article, the annular body andthe closure member of the closure device being integrally connected by a flexible molded strap member, the closure member K comprising a cup-like body having a relatively thin flexible side wall and a thin flexible disc-like end member distortable by normal fluid pressureswithin the article, the end member when lying within the opening and otherwise relaxed being dished to as to present its convex. side to the interior of the hollow article.
4. A closure device adapted for incorporation in the sleeve with a central circular opening therethrough and an outer sleeve connected to the inner sleeve at the edges of the sleeves adapted to lie inwardly of the article, the outer edges of the sleeves being unconnected to each other, a movable closure member adapted to fit within the opening in the inner sleeve to close it by being applied to the opening from within the article, the closure member comprising a cup-like body of plastic material having a relatively thin flexible side wall and a thin flexible disc-like end member distortable by normal fluid pressu'res within the article, the end member when lying within the opening being spaced appreciably outwardly of the joined inner edge of the sleeves, the end member when lying within: the opening and otherwise relaxed being dished so as to present its convex side to the interior of the hollow article, and means adapted sealingly to connect the free end of the outer sleeve of the body to the wall of a hollow article.
5. The combination comprising a flexible-walled hollow article, a closure device incorporated in the wall of i said article, said closure device comprising a doublewalle'd annular body of flexible plastic material and having. an inner sleeve with a central circular opening their.- through and an outer sleeve connected to the inner sleeve at the edges of the sleeves lying inwardly of the article, the outer edges of the sleeves being unconnected to each other, a movable closure member adapted to fit within the opening in the inner sleeve to close it by being applied to the opening from within the article, the closure member comprising a. cup-like body of plastic material having a relatively thin flexible side wall and a thin flexible disclike end member distortable by normal fluid pressures within the article, the and member when lying within theopening: being spaced appreciably outwardly of the joined inner edge or the sleeves, the end member when lying: within the opening. and otherwise relaxed being dished so as to present its convex side to the interior of the hollow article, and a! generally radially directed an molar flange connected to the outer end of the outer sleeve and sealed to the wall: of the hollow body at a closure device receiVing opening in the latter.
ReferencesCited inthe file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,171,730 Lobl' Sept. 5, 1939 2,200,395 Lobl' May 14, 1940 2,485,996 Atklll 25, 1949 2,499,150 Lobl Feb. 28, 1950 FOREIGN PATENTS 615,656 Great Britain Jan. 10, 1949