US 2785824 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
March 19, 1957 J. R. REEVES 2,785,824
CONTAINER CLOSURE Filed Sept. 28, 1953 [ml/II will Fig. 4 fig. 5
JOHN F/PEEVES BY w ATTORNEY INVENTOR.
United States Patent C) CONTAINER CLOSURE John F. Reeves, Green Village, N. J.
Application September 28, 1953, Serial No. 382,706
1 Claim. (Cl. 220-45 This invention relates to scaling and securing closures on containers. More particularly,- the invention comprises improvements in the attachment of sealing and shockcushioning covers on containers subject to rough handling, dropping, submersion and weathering.
Containers having open tops and bottoms and frequently made of rugged plastic materials, with cushioning top and bottom covers are used for packing instruments, fragile merchandise and other commodities. These containers may be dropped from aircraft, either with or without parachutes, and must be constructed so that contained material will not be damaged by dropping or by weather or water exposure. .Also, thecontainers must be adapted for easy stacking.
This invention provides an improved cushioning and sealing attachment for container covers. While prior attachments have been effective for sealing, they have not been fully eifectivefor cushioning and protecting container contents, and have allowed dislocation of covers relative to containers which prevents effective and neat stacking.
Briefly, my invention consists of an inflatable rubberlike resilient gasket between a container and its cover. Inflation of the gasket secures the cover to the container, and gasket material is arranged between the container and cover to provide precise location of the members relative to each other, to seal them, and to absorb shocks.
Details of the invention may be appreciated by reading thejfollowing detailed description and by viewing the drawings, wherein similar reference characters designate similar parts, and wherein:
Fig. 1 is a perspective elevation of a container of the type with which the invention is used,
Figs. 2, 3 and 4 are fragmentary sections through parts of the container and cover showing alternative embodiments of the invention, and w Fig. 5 is a fragmentary section through part of a container and cover showing a previous type of cover-tobody attachment.
Referring to Fig. 1, 6 represents a container body which is open at both ends, the ends being closed by similar covers 7, each having skirts 8 overlapping the ends of the container 6. The covers are resiliently attached to the container. When such a container is dropped, it strikes on some part of either cover. Since the container is shock-insulated from the cover, the container is cushioned, preventing container fracture. Container contents are further protected from damage by additional packing within the container. The cover is also sealed on the container, so that the contents of the container are protected from water and weather. The container and its covers may be of any desired size and shape.
Fig. 5 shows an attachment for a cover 7' on a container 6' according to previous practice. Herein, the container 6 is provided with a thickened rim 10 having an external groove 11.
The cover 7 overlies the container edge, and is sometimes gasketed to the cover by a rubber gasket 12. The
cover skirt 8 is thickened and has an internal groove 13. A deflated tube 14 is seated in one of the grooves 11 or 13 and the cover is placed over'the container end. Then the tube is inflated, as through a valve 15, whereby the cover is sealed on the container and is resiliently securedthereto. Clearance between the skirt 8 and the container rim 10 is supposedto allow for lateral cushioning,
This is not effective; if the a movement of the two parts. cover is displaced laterally, the tube 14 contracts on one side of the container and expands 'onthe other, andv there is no effective centering force. If the tube is overparts. Also, if the container is dropped on its corner or side, the tube does not absorb shock effectively.
In my invention, I provide for positive, and elastic, centering and retention of the cover on the container. In
Figs. 2, 3 and 4, I show alternative means for this purpose. The container 6 is formed with an external, integral marginal flange 16, and if desired, an internal flange 17. 'These flanges stiffen the container rim and provide a top bearing surface for part of a cushioning gasket, and the flange 16 enables the cover to be secured to the container. The cover skirt 8 is straight as shown, without a groove as in Fig. 5, which enables easier cover fabrication.
In Fig. 2, a gasket 18 is disposed along and bonded to the inside of the skirt 8, the gasket preferably being an extrusion or molding of solid, moderately soft rubber, or closed-cell sponge rubber. The gasket includes a limb 19 within the cover, and resting on the container rim, and
a limb 20 along the inside of the skirt 8. The upper part of the limb 20 engages the flange'lfi and thus holds the cover centered on the container, providing a yielding cushion if impacts or other forces tend to displace the '1 cover laterally. The lower part of the limb 20 is formed with a passage 21 extending all around the skirt. By
applying air, .or other fluid, under pressure to the passage 1 21 as through a valve 22, the gasket limb 20 is expanded so that its inner surface engages the lower part of -the;'
flange 16 as at 23, and the side of the container 6, finnly to seal and secure the cover on the container.
In Fig. 2, the gasket limb is shown inflated. When deflated it assumes the appearance of Fig. 4 whereupon The lower Positive holding of the cover is accomplished by inflating the gasket. a
In the embodiment of Fig. 3, the gasket 18 provided with holes or passages 25 to increase the resiliency of the gasket. Also, the gasket limb 20 includes an integrally formed passage, within which an air tube 26 of butyl rubber or the like is inserted through a slit 27 prior to bonding the gasket 18 to the cover 7. Butyl rubber does not have the resiliency of some other rubbers, but has outstanding ability to hold fluid under pressure without leakage. The gasket is preferably made from very resilient material. The Fig. 4 arrangement is somewhat like Fig. 3, except that an air tube 28 lies between the skirt 8 and the gasket limb 20 and is bonded to the skirt 8. The tube 28 is inflatable to force the gasket limb 20 into engagement with the flange 16 and the container 6.
In all of the three embodiments of Figs. 2, 3 and 4, the inflatable tube seals and secures the assembly, but is arranged so that it is not depended upon for positive location of the cover on the container, or for assuming shock loads imposed between the cover and the container. As previously pointed out, the inflatable tube cannot properly be depended upon for this function.
A further important problem that has existed in previous attempts to develop a pneumatic closure for con- Patented Mar. 19, 1957 in place.
does not exist, the gasket accommodating itself without wrinkling to round containers, and containers of a square contour, when a reasonable radius has been allowed at the corners.
by merely cutting, it to the appropriate length, and then joining it together and fas-tening it in place in the cover.
In using pneumatic gaskets of a round, or modified round, cross-sectional'shape, grooves must be provided in both the container cover and container body. Providing such grooves is an item of expense whether the container parts are to be molded or are to be fabricated. In my pneumatic gasket, no groove is required in the cover, and only a lip is required onthe container body, which is much less costly, whether the containers are to be molded or fabricated. This is possible because the heavy sections of the extrusion adjacent to the air chamber prevent the-seal from ballooning or blowing out and thus eliminate the-necessity of grooves to constrain it.
In using a pneumatic gasket of a round, or modified It is thus possible to'use the same gasket extrusion for containers of different sizes and contours,
beyond the sides of the container body. Although a slight protrusion is in many instances considered desirable'since it minimizes the possibility of the container receiving shock directly on the'container body, undue emphasis of the protrusion is objectionable, since the container is thereby made more bulky, and consumes more space in relation to its capacity. In my pneumatic gasket K it will be noted that the sides of the covers may be kept tion with the container and with the flange thereof, and
quite close in to the container body.
Though several embodiments of the invention are shown, it is to beunderstood that. the. invention may be appliedin various forms andin varioustenvironments. Changes may be made in the arrangements shown without departing from the spirit ofthe invention. Reference should be had to the appended claim for definition ofthe limits of the invention. What is claimed is:
An assembly comprising. an open-end container having an external flange at its end, a skirted cover adapted to be placed: over the container end, the skirt of the cover embracing said end and depending below the external flange thereof, said cover and 'skirthaving clearance relathe skirt being substantially straight-sided and lying substantially parallel to the wall of the body of said con-, tainer, a normally flat, when deflated, inflatable tube bonded to and around the inner wall of said skirt, and
' embracing the container body at a portion thereof spaced round cross-section, operating in grooves, it is necessary,
first to expand thetube until it'engages the opposing grooves, and then to apply additional pressure to effect the seal and hold the cover on. Pressure required for a typical container is of the order of 30 pounds per square inch. It is known'that the aging ability of'rubber and I rubber-like materials is shortened when they are kept in a substantially stretched condition and therefore the use life of such gaskets is impaired to the exent they must be stretched. In my pneumatic gasket very little stretching is required of the gasket. Thisis so because, as it expands,
it immediately begins to wrap around the lip on the container body, eflecting the seal, and locking the cover My gasket seals and secures at a pressure of the order of 5 poundscper square inch. Low pressure sealing has an advantage if the containers are to be trans: ported 'by high altitude aircraft. Moreover, being flat in shape, it is not'unduly stretchedwh'en, under further pressure, itcompletely fills out against the containerbody A pneumatic gasket of round, or modified round, crosssection, since it requires opposing grooves in which to operate, necessarily implies a container design inwhich the sides of the cover extend a considerable distance fromthe container end flange, said tube whendefl'ated, with said cover, being disposable over the containerendi without interference with the container end flange, resilient cushioning gasket means secured within said cover and its skirt and overlying saidtube,adapted to lie'between. the cover andsaid container end and between the cover skirt and the outer edge of the container flange. and
means to inflate said tube, when saidcover is assembled on said container, to engage the adjacent portionfo'ff said cushioning means with the outer wa'll o'f said container beneath said flange.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS Great Britain Nov. 25, 19.37
Pringle" Mar. 25, 1819