US 2789719 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
April 23, 1957 J. M. WHEATON CONTAINER CLOSURE FITMENT Filed Feb. 25, 1955 INVENTOR me fw/afm BY #d/3?! ATTORNE GNTER CLOSURE FKTMENT Jack M. Wheaton, Toledo, Ohio, assignor to Owens- Illinois Glass Company, a corporation of @hin Application February 23, 1955, Serial No. 489,955
7 Claims. (Cl. 21S-56) The present inventionrelates to a closure for sealing containers, and more particularly to an improved type of combined venting and pour-out fitment for sealed glass` jars, bottles or like containers. This invention contemplates the use with a container sealed by a suitable closure of a iilament interposed between the container mouth and saidfclosure to perform the functions of sealing the container, venting the sealed container as excessive pressure develops therein, and providing a pouring lip for the opened' container.
In the packaging of certain materials for distribution in sealed containers such as bottles or jars where the closure hermetically confines the said materials, the containersare occasionally subjected to excessive internal pressure bycontents which are sealed under` pressure or whichtendto liberate al gas orvapor under storage conditions: Due to chemical or physical changes in the.A
stored materials, internal pressure within the sealed container-cansubstantially increase to ultimately cause break age of the container` or of the sealing closure. Unless` some facility is provided to safely and automatically vent or relieve accumulations of excessive internal pressurethe container can rupturewithout warning causingpersonalA injury or property damage.
The-ideal closure for-a container shouldbe leakproof under normal pressure conditions to preserve the contents of saidcontainer and yet able to relieve excessive internal pressure no matter how often the pressure in the container. If the'vent which is provided'should only operate upon the first undue influence ofincreased;v
erties'thatthey tend to adhere to the surfaces of the con-.
tainer-Whichare wet by the contents whenpoured therefrom, a distinct disadvantage is the dripping of the .contents from the external surfaces of the container mouth when the flow is stopped. This condition results because theforces of adhesion of the contents to the surfaces of the container are considerably greaterthan the cohesive forces of the contents. The dripping of the material of the same composition as the material of the container and are a part thereof. This type of mouth does not attempt to retard or prevent the dripping characteristics of. viscous `or` adhering products. p The. principal object of the present invention is to provide foi-fuse with a closure of a container a fitment` that tightly sealsl the mouth against leakage under normali pressure conditions,` functions as a vent to rapidly andeffectively release excessive internal pressure as itoccurs within a sealed container and provides a pouring lip of such design and composition that it will permit dripless` pouring of liquid materials stored within the container.
Another object of this invention is to provide a simple, inexpensive fitment for use with a closure of a container which will eliminate the aforementioned difficulties without appreciably increasing the cost of the package.
Another object of this invention is to provide an inexpensive tment for use with a closure of a container which will tightly seal the package and vent the same periodically as excessive internal pressure occurs within.
Another object of this invention is to provide an improved vent for a container to relieve the said pressure within the container without impairing the efficiency or effectiveness of the seal.
Another object of this invention is to provide an improvedpressure-vented closure for a cointainer characterized by the property of being able to reseal the container after theA internal pressure has been relieved to the normal or near-normal pressure desired, thus avoiding exposure of the contents to external contamination.
Another object of this invention is to provide ra combination venting andpour-out tment for a container having ganimproved pouring lip particularly useful in the extraction from the opened container of contents which tend toadhere tothe surfaces of the container.
Another object of this .invention is to provide aremovablefitment for-an opened container having a pouring` lip for dripless4 pouring of container contents.
Another objectsof thisinvention vis to providea iitment having'the combined properties ofbeing able to sealthe top and side sealing-surfaces between the said iitrnent and: neck to furnish a dripless pouring lip, for -an openedcon-- ings, onl which by-way ofA preferredY example only, is
illustrated one embodiment of this invention.
Referring-to the accompanying drawings: Fig;.1 is `a vertical-sectionalview of "theupper portion of a container illustrating a tment'embodying this invention:`
Fig..2is:a sectional plan viewof the fitment takenon.
Fig.x3 is.v afragmentary bottom view of the litment only" disassembled from the container.
Fig-:dis an enlarged view of rtheleft-hand portionof" Fig-.- 1 `illustrating.the fitrnentin its sealing position.
Fig.` 5 is tanenlarged viewftaken on line S--Sofl Fig:Y
2 illustrating the itment in its venting position.
Theillustrated embodiment of my invention comprises` a tmenttattached tothe mouth of a container or bottle. Referringto the drawings andmore particularly tothe vertical sectional view'iof Fig; l, only the upper portion or neck of'abottle designated by reference numeral10 is@4 The illustrated? as pertinent to thesubject invention. bottle is contemplated as being constructed of glassv or other similar material with a finish ofv any conventional4 design on the externalsurfaces of the bottleneck 10;` Thus, the neck 10 off they bottle may be formed with4 a screw thread 10a around its annular periphery on. its external surface. At the termination` ofthe threadgltlp at its upper end the external diameter of the yneck ltlf is reduced to'form an axial extension 10b of said neck 10;'1
The bottle lneck extension 1Gb is formed with a coil;4 tinuous circumferential rib or bead 16e on itsv external.v surface. Thesnrfaceu of the raised bead 10c is a' smooth.. paraboliccurvein-its cross section. The` bead.10't` ha's'f a maximum external diameter which is smaller than Patented Apr. 23,v 1957` the root diameter of the thread a. The mouth of the bottle neck 10 is defined by a horizontal annular lip surface 10d which comprises the sealing surface of the bottle. The screw thread 10a is provided for the purpose of attaching a suitable closure to the bottle.
The closure consists of a cup-shaped cap 11 which envelops the mouth and neck portions 10 of the bottle. The cap 11 is formed with a screw thread 11a on its inner vertical surface which conforms to the thread 10a of the bottle neck 10. The top of the cap 11 has a flat inner surface 11b parallel to the horizontal plane of the bottle lip surface 10d and overlying the periphery of the said lip when the bottle and cap are joined. The cap 11 may be constructed of metal or plastic or other relatively rigid material which is compatible with the materials of the tment and bottle. When the mating threads 10a and 11a of the bottle neck 10 and the cap 11, respectively, are engaged by rotating the said members in opposite directions, the cap 11 is securely attached to the bottle neck 10. The mating of the threads 10a and 10b of the cap and neck does not produce a hermetic seal at the junction of said threads but only provides the necessary compressive force between the inner top surface 11b of a cap 11 and the bottle lip 10d to produce a seal of the bottle mouth by the use of the subject tment. v
The tment 12 comprises an annular ring which is interposed between the top of the bottle neck 10 and the enveloping cap 11 of the bottle. The tment 12 is disposed between the top lip surface 10d of the bottle mouth and the inner top surface 11b of the cap 11 and uniformly covers the top sealing lip 10d of the bottle neck extension 10b.
The ring-shaped tment 12 has a continuous at top surface 12a with one or several shallow recesses 12j formed therein. The horizontal top tment surface 12a extends inwardly beyond the inner limits of the bottle lip 10d and outwardly radially further than the diameter of the bead 10c on the bottle neck extension 10b. The tment 12 has a at lower annular surface 12b parallel tto the horizontal top surface 12a comprising its inner section, the said lower annular surface 12b extending from the innermost edge of the tment 12 to the samey diameter as the bottle lip 10d and contacts said lip. This thinnest inner section of the tment 12 provides the annular sealing surfaces between the bottle lip 10d and the at inner cap surface'llb.
The lower side of tment 12 is further provided with a depending annular ange bounded by the vertical surface 12m, which flange defines a contoured surface 12e designed to snugly mate with the contour of the radial bead 10c of the bottle neck extension 10b. The trnent 12 is formed of resilient material, as hereafter described, and may thus be secured to the bottle neck extension 10b by merely snapping it on over the raised bead 10c or, if desired, by the use of an adhesive or cement. If the tment 12 is made slightly undersize on the contoured surface 12a` it can be held in place in tension by the contour of the bead 10c when attached thereto. The ring-shaped 'rtment 12 is further provided with a ange 12d projecting radially and continuously around the external periphery of the said litment, its top surface ush with the top tment surface 12a. The lower surface 12e of the ange 12d is parallel to the top surface 12a and both surfaces are joined by a vertical cylindrical surface 12p, but may be angled to meet top surface 12a at a point.
The recesses 12f terminate short of the inner and outer annular edges'of the top surface 12a so that an effective seal will be produced when said surface 12a contacts the inner cap surface 11b. Preferably, three such recesses 12f are provided and are equally spaced as shown in Fig. 2. The recesses 12f are the same depth for a given tment 12 but may vary in depth and/or width inthe construction of other tments depending upon the internal pressure level at which the venting action is desired. The recesses may be circular, or elliptical, being shown as the latter on the drawings.
Venting grooves or passages 12g are provided in the ftment 12 directly below and in line with each of the recesses 12f formed in the top itment surface 12a but are not connected therewith. The vent passages are disposed in the contoured surface 12o of the fitment 12, which surface ts the beaded contour 10c of the bottle neck extension 10b. The lower passages are located precisely in line with the upper recesses, one passage below each recess. The upper recess and the lower passage in combination in their respective lineal positions form a complete venting section in the tment 12. In Fig. l a lower venting passage 12g is shown in the inner contoured fitment surface 12e between the said tment and the bead 10c of the glass container. Each passage is a rectangular slot as shown in Fig. 3 in the contoured inner surface 12C of the iitment 12 which provides an opening through the said fitment between the outer edge of sealing lip 10d of the glass bottle and the said tment. As best shown in Fig. l the passage 12g extends from the outer rim of the flat annular sealing surface 12b of the ftment 12 which contacts the bottle lip 10d when assembled thereto through the contoured inner surface 12c of the tment 12 to an exposed lower tment surface 12n.
The improved tment 12 is preferably constructed of a flexible plastic material such as polyethylene or other composition having the particular property of being dicult to wet with most liquid materials and suiciently strong and durable to securely seal the bottle mouth.
A liner 13 comprising a flat thin disk of coated paper or cardboard may be disposed between the tment 12 and the cap 11 to protect the inner top cap surface 11b from corrosive action of the contents. The disk liner 13 is of the same diameter as the top tment surface 12a and attached to the inner flat surface 11b of the cap 11. The liner 13 also insures a better seal between the tment and cap when the two are joined.
When the tment 12 is assembled between the bottle lip 10d and the cap 11 it is compressed by the compressive action of the cap 11 when the said cap is drawn tight against the said tment by the mating threads. The compression applied to the inner top surface 11b of the cap 11 with its liner 13 against the top litment surface 12a creates an annular seal between the cap 11 and the tment 12. The compression of the cap 11 against the tment 12 is transmitted to the contacting surfaces of the lower annular fitment surface 12b and the bottle lip 10d providing an annular seal at the junction of these surfaces, thus producing a tight seal of the bottle mouth.
As best shown on Fig. 4, with the said tment in its normal position sealing the bottle, the upper recess 12j is disposed in its normal position as formed in the top tment surface 12a. The lower passage 12g, which lies immediately below and in line with the upper recess 12j, is open to the atmosphere at the lower tment surface 12n into the space under the cap 11 but only as far through the contoured tment surface 12c as the outer rim of the bottle lip 10d. The contents within the bottle are sealed by the mating of the eXible tment 12 to the inner cap liner 13 and the bottle lip 10d with the said tment conforming toV any irregularities in both the cap liner and bottle lip.
As illustrated in Fig. 5, when the internal pressure increases above a desired limiting value, the portion of the tment 12 beneath the recess 12j is locally deected upward by the force of the excessive internal pressure. The tment area comprising the lower and center portion of the recess 12j is deected upwardly slightly into the void space of the hollow recess 123c toward the liner 13 of the internal cap surface 11b. The deflection in response to a predetermined internal pressure level effects a slight separation between the lower tment sealing surface 12b and the bottle lip 10d, permitting the confined arsefvrst uidfto pass -zbetweenthe-innentrnentsurface `12band andathe iitment lZvunder the recess- 12]'-I orone: ofthe- 5 other similarrecesses, whichever-intheweakest pointr of 'the-seal, is thefrst toyield-tothe internal force exerted.H by` theexcessive fluid pressure` The portion of the fltment:flf'neneathl each offtheaupper-Hrecesses-12fis the-,-
onlytoperativetpart-of eachpressure-operated vent.
Whena vent` section.performs-itslventing operationh the- .lower internal fitment surface llZbiiis separated fromtheftbottlerlip'ltld, and held .openonlyfras long as thein-i4 ternaltforceexerted .upon .the seal i by the confined fluid is suicient to `overcome thel sealingandnresilient forcesy acting on suchideliectedrportion oflthe-.tment 12. The tments 12: 'being constructed of l ai` flexible material ire-., turns tto its formeril sealed .position 1in. contact f with the bottlelipltld, as .shown in YFig. 4, whenthepressure within.` theubottle has been:relievedandthusreseals the bottlea 20 at:or-near1the. desired pressure level `within the bottle. Thertrnentfassumes the normal sealed positionimmediately `Withoutpermitting any contaminaticmA of the contents by the surrounding external;atmosphere.` The vent ist able to reopen to relieve subsequent increases in internal pressure as often-,rA as rthey Occur,Y becauseof the elastic nature of the material comprisingthe itment. The per- `rnanent exibility ofthe fitment and lits simple construction. assure uniform. and. dependable Venting when `the bottle iskrstored xfor. long. periods..A 30
The exterior contour of the container neck 10 providing a side sealing surface of materially smaller diameter than the threaded portion which holds the cap, provides the required space within the closure cap to accommodate the pour-out lip or flange 12d, such space 35 p being between the vertical skirt or flange of the cap and the outer surface of the bottle neck. The tment 12 remains in a fixed position attached to the mouth of the bottle when the bottle is opened. The fitment liange 12d is not deformed on long standing of the sealed bottle and is in a position of constant readiness for use when the cap 1l is removed from the bottle and provides an annular pour-out lip for the opened bottle when the 1 said bottle is held in any pouring position.
The construction of the tment 12 provides a pouring 45 lip of substantially larger diameter than the finish or exterior surface of the bottle. The pouring lip will carry the liquid which is being dispensed from the bottle some distance outward from the glass wall, thus preventing liability of dripping onto the exterior wall surface of the bottle.
The contents of the bottle when poured therefrom do not adhere to or wet the surfaces of the polyethylene fitment 12 because of its composition. When the ow is stopped the stream of contents is broken cleanly with a sharp division of the poured material by the right angle corners of the thin pouring lip of fument ange 12d. The small amount of residue on the top tment surface 12a is drawn back into the bottle by the cohesive forces of the contents when the ow is stopped. With most contents being unable to appreciably wet the iitment, the
adhesive forces between the contents and the fitment are greatly reduced to prevent an escape of the contents onto the external surfaces of the bottle.
i, The itment embodying this invention may obviously 6 be employed with closures of various types other than the threaded cap illustrated which apply sealing pressure to the annular area of the bottle mouth. The tment may be used with a container having a neck nish contoured to receive a mating lug or crown-type cap.
It will, of course, be understood that various details of Construction may be modified through a wide range without departingffrom the principles of this invention, and
it is, therefo'renot the purpose to limit the patent granted 75 hereont otherwise-V thannecessitated*by-L the scope-off the appendedl claims;
l: Ai-pour-out"andssealing--fitment-fon a container subjecttointernal pressure`- comprising an annular ringotA flexible-materialhaving-alowerannular sealing. surface adapted-te snugly-conformto thetopandadjacent side portionsof thecontainer-mouth, whereby compressionof said- `ring-against saidotJtainer mouthV by an envelopingv closure produces-agseal between-said itment and said` container mouth,- said fitment having-at least one recess formed--inits-top surface topermit A local deflection A of a portion-of -said lower sealing surface-opposite said recess in response -to a predeterminedinternal.pressure in said;
container,- and-aventingL passage formed-in said lower surface-and Aextendingyfroin the-outer edge of said locally adaptedlto snugly conform-to the top-and adjacent-,sideportions. of thecontainer-mouth,l whereby `compressionm of saidring against saidcontainerumouthby an enveloping,1closure-produces a seal between-said tment and-said container mouth, saidfitrnentfhaving-a radially projecting flange llushwith-its Atop sur-face providinga pour-out lip, said i iitmentfalso *having-fat-l least one A recess .formed fin its top i surface. toperrnitlocale deliection of a portion l of l saidlower sealing-surface opposite said Arecess in responseto. ai predeterminedl internals pressure in said container,4
andfaa ventingspassagerformed ini saidzlower `surfacegandextending; frornr thenouters edged of: said f locally.` detlected portion to an exposed .surface yois said tment` 3. A pour-out and sealing itment for a container subject to internal pressure comprising an annular ring of tlexible material having a lower annular sealing surface adapted to snugly conform to the top and adjacent side portions of the container mouth, whereby compression of said ring against said container mouth by an enveloping closure produces a seal between said tment and said container mouth, said tment having at least one recess formed in its top surface in overlying position above the annular sealing surface of said container mouth, to permit local detlection of a portion of said lower sealing surface opposite said recess in response to a predetermined internal pressure in said container, said recess being of a greater radial length than the width of the annular sealing surface of the said container mouth beneath lower surface and extending from the outer edge of said locally deflected portion to an exposed surface of said iitment.
4. The combination of acontainer, closure cap and iitment comprising a unit subject to internal pressure, said container having a sealing lip at its mouth and a finish on its external neck portion adjacent to the mouth to permit the attachment of both the said cap and tment, the said cap formed of relatively rigid material being generally cup-shaped to envelop the container mouth and having a means for attachment to the container, said ftment comprising a ring of tlexible material interposed between the said container lip and said cap having upper and lower annular sealing surfaces to contact said cap and container lip respectively to produce a seal therewith when compressed between said cap and lip, said fitment having an annular depending ange extending around its lower portion with an inner contoured surface formed therein for attachment to the container, said tment having at least one recess formed in its top surface in overlying position above the annular sealing surface of said container mouth to permit local deection of a portion of said lower sealing surface opposite said recess in response to a predetermined internal pressure in said container, and a venting passage formed in said lower sealing sur face: extending from the outer edge of said locally deected portion to an exposed surface of said iitment.
5. The combination defined in claim 4, said tment having a radial flange `ush with its top surface projecting outwardly beyond the adjacent portion of the container mouth to provide a pour-out lip for the opened container.
6. The combination of a container, closure cap and tment comprising a unit subject to internal pressure, said container having a sealing lip at its mouth and a finish -on its external neck portion adjacent to the mouth to permit the attachment of both the said cap and tment, the said cap formed of relatively rigid material being generally cup-shaped to envelop -the container mouth and having a means for attachment to the con-l tainer, said tment comprising a ring of flexible material interposed between the said container lip and said cap having upper and lower annular sealing surfaces to contact said cap and container lip respectively to produce a seal therewith when compressed between said cap and lip, said iitment having an annular `depending iiange extending around its lower portion with an inner contoured surface formed therein for attachment to the container, said iitment hav-ing at least one recess formed in its top surface in overlying position above the annular sealing surface of said container mouth to permit local deection of a portion of said lower sealing surface opposite said recess in response to a predetermined internal pressure in .said container, said recess being of a greater radial length than the width yof the annular sealing surface of the said container mouth beneath the said recess, and a venting passage formed in said lower surface and extending from the outer edge of said locally deflected portion to an exposed surface of said tment.
7. A pour-out and sealing litment for a container comprising a ring of flexible material having an annular lower sealing surface adapted to make a seal with annular top and side sealing surfaces of an open-mouth container, said iitment having `an annular top sealing ysurface for sealing contact'with -a closure cap for the said container and an annular lower depending ange extending from the lower itment surface providing top andkadjacent side sealing surfaces for sealing contact with topand side sealing surfaces of the container, said fitment extending inwardly further than the innermost edge of the container mouth and outwardly substantially further than the said adjacent exterior portions of the container mouthk having a circumferential flange flush withthe top iitment surface providing a pouring lip on itsv peripherybeyond the said adjacent portions of the container mouth, the said top tment surface having at least one recess formed therein providing a comparatively thin membrane flexible upwardly when subjected to'pressure developed within the sealed container for venting said container, the said lower depending flange of-said itment having at least one passage formed therein vin its inner sealing surface to register with said recess to permit the escape of vented uid.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS