US 2850193 A
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P 2, 1958 s. WIECKMANN ETAL 2,850,193
SINGLE-PIECE BOTTLE CLOSURE Filed Sept. 22, 1953 YIilflll ill 4 F,
INVENTOKS. GERD W KMANN AND HERMAN/V HUF/YAGEL BY.
- section and are ice Patented Sept. 2, 1958 SIN GLE-PIECE BOTTLE CLOSURE Gerd Wieckmann, Windsheim, and Hermann Hufnagel, Neustadt/Aisch, Germany Application September 22, 1953, Serial No. 381,604 Claims priority, application Germany October 2, 1952 15 Claims. (Cl. 215-41) The present invention relates to new improvements in bottle closures, and it is the principal object of this invention to devise a novel closure consisting of a single integral element of elastic material.
Whereas most bottle closures are made of a solid cross provided with means for increasing the elastic features thereof, it is the object of the present invention to devise a stopper of substantially hollow cross section of elastic, and preferably very soft, material, so that the elastic properties resemble those of a solid stopper of natural cork.
Another object of the invention is to provide a stopper which will not only securely close a bottle opening of standard size but, when compressed to fit into one of smaller size, will lie evenly and smoothly on the inner wall of such bottle opening like a stopper of natural cork, without developing any folds on such inner wall.
The principal feature of the invention for carrying out these objectives is the provision of a stopper of elastic material with a plurality of relatively thin cylindrical walls which are arranged concentrically and in spaced relation to each other, and connected by solid webs.
Another important feature of the invention consists in thus arranging the solid webs that those connecting two adjacent cylindrical walls are angularly displaced relative to the webs connecting the next two adjacent walls, thus forming a very elastic stopper of considerable strength and solidity.
For closing bottles containing sparkling beverages which require aging, it is known, for example, by the United States Patent No. 2,418,630, to use stoppers containing elements of glass, ceramic or similar refractory material for collecting the sediment forming in the beverages. These sediment collectors consist of a plurality of concentrical, hollow cylindrical walls which are connected by a large number of webs. However, these webs do not merely extend from one wall to the next, and those between two walls are not angularly displaced relative to those connecting the next two walls, but they extend radially and in a straight line through the entire element and to the center thereof. Toward their outer periphery these elements have additional intermediate radial webs so as to provide the largest possible number of cavities or bores within which the sediment is supposed to settle when the bottle is stored for some time in an inverted position.
However, due to their rigidity, such sediment collectors alone can never form an adequate seal for the respective bottles, and such seal or closure must be provided by additional means, such as surrounding layers of cork, screw caps with gaskets therein, or the like. Even if a stopper of such design were to be made entirely of elastic material, although it might possibly fulfill the requirements of a sediment collector, it would still not be sufficiently elastic to fulfill the objects of the present invention of hermetically sealing a bottle, the contents of which are under pressure, especially ifthe shape and diameter of the mouth of the respective bottle might. vary within certain limits.
If a stopper of elastic material according to the invention is pressed into the mouth of a bottle, the inner dia-i meter of which is smaller than the uncompressed outer diameter of the stopper, the compressing forces are transmitted and distributed to the inner cylindrical walls by the webs which are angularly displaced relative to each other. Such angular displacement of the webs pro vides the thin hollow cylindrical walls with a certain cushioning effect and also braces them sufficiently so as to press tightly, evenly, and without folds against the inner surface of the bottle mouth.
Still another object of the invention is to devise a bottle closure which is especially adapted to withstand the pressure of highly carbonated beverages, mineral Water,
. or the like, and which for increased'security combines a stopper of the novel type as described above with a bottle cap so as to form a single integral closure which grips the mouth of the bottle both from the inside as well as from the outside. v
For attaining this object, the solid upper surface of the stopper on which the various cylindrical walls and the webs are secured overlaps the mouth of the bottle'and extends downwardly thereof so as to form a cap which On its inside, i the cap preferably carries an annular reinforcementor fits tightly over the mouth of the bottle.
head which is adapted to grip a corresponding outer bead On the bottle mouth and securely hold the cap on the bottle. I
Such gripping effect of the beadlike reinforcement on the inner Wall of-the cap may be further increased by extending the cap beyond such beadapproximately to the same level as the lower edge of the stopper, and by providing it below such inner bead with an outer annular reinforcement to strengthen-the wall of the cap. Depending upon the height of the cap and stopper, which,- in turn, depends to some extent upon the pressure of the bottle contents Which the new closure is to withstand, such outer reinforcement may only form an outer bead below the level of said inner bead and above the lower edge of the cap, In the latter event, the lower edge of the cap is preferably made of slightly larger diameter than the corresponding portion of the bottle to facilitate the insertion of the bottle mouth into the cap and its removal therefrom.
The gripping effect of the inner and outer reinforce ments on the bottle cap may be still further increased according to the invention by providing another beadlike reinforcement on the outer cylindrical Wall of the stopper,
at a level below the inner head of the cap. Depending upon the height of the stopper, similarly as described relative to the cap and the position of the outer reinforcement thereon, the reinforcement on the outer stopper wall may be positioned above the lower edge of the stopper or it may extend to such edge. In the latter event, the diameter of the lower edge is preferably made slightly smaller than the size of the bottle opening so as to facilitate the insertion of the stopper therein; The particular shape of i the reinforcement on the outer wall of the stopper depends upon the shape of the corresponding wall portion inside the bottle opening. A similar type of reinforcement stopper Without cap, as above described.
Whereas the stopper as above defined is arranged con-- centrically within the cap, another preferred embodiment of the invention consists in mounting the stopper eccentrically therein.
concentrical unit will still close the bottle securely, but
It has now .been found that by mounting or it may extend to such lower edge.
may also be used on a simple- If the pressure of the bottle contents amounts only to, for example, 4 or 5 atmospheres, the
the stopper eccentrically relative to the cap, the new closure will also securely seal a bottle the contents of which are under such a high pressure.
Ifsuch an eccentric stopper-cap unit is placed on a bottle with highly charged contents, some particular point of the closure will'be subjected to an increased tension. However, since the forces developed by the inside pressure act upon the closure in a vertical direction against the bottom of the cap, the tension which is stronger on one side than on the other holds the closure tightly within the mouth of the bottle. Only if an external pressure, that is an intentional one, is exerted from one side upon the closure, it will be possible to remove it from the mouth of the bottle, and such removal will be easiest when a force is applied upon the wall of the cap at a point where there is the least inner tension between the cap and the stopper.
According to another modification of the invention, in place of the annular reinforcement on the lower part of the cap as above described, the latter may terminate in a disklike ring which may also be eccentrically disposed relative to the cap and connected therewith by reinforcing webs. In such a case, the eccentric positions of the disklike ring and the stopper relative to the cap are preferably disposed in opposite directions of each other.
Still further objects, features, and advantages of the present invention will be apparent from the following description thereof and the accompanying drawings, in which Fig. 1 shows a cross section through an integral unit of a bottle cap and a cylindrical stopper according to the invention;
Fig. 2 shows a cap and stopper unit according to Fig. l, partly in a top view and partly in a cross section taken along line A-B of Fig. 1;
Fig. 3 is a cross section through a cylindrical stopper according to the invention, in which the cylindrical hollows intermediate the coaxial stopper walls are open toward the bottom;
Fig. 4 shows a stopper similar to that illustrated in Fig. 3, but closed at the bottom;
' Fig. 5 is a cross section through another integral cap and stopper unit according to the invention, in which the cylindrical stopper is eccentrically disposed relative to the cap and the latter is provided with a reinforcing ring which, in turn, is eccentrically disposed relative to the cap; while Fig. 6 shows the cap and stopper unit according to Fig. 5, partly in a top view and partly in a cross section taken along line C-D of Fig. 5.
As shown in Figs. 1 and 2 of the drawings, the bottle stopper according to the invention consists of several hollow cylinders 1 which are arranged concentrically within each other and form an integral unit with the cap 2. The walls of the individual cylinders 1 are so connected by the webs 3 that the webs connecting the outer cylinder with the next inwardly adjacent cylinder are angularly displaced relative to the webs between the latter and the next inwardly adjacent cylinder. Thus, regardless of the size of the stopper and the number of cylinders provided, the compressing force exerted from the outside upon one cylinder is transmitted by one web to the next cylinder wall behind which it is at leastpartly taken up by a hollow chamber or air cushion which is thereby deformed and which, in turn, transmits by its enclosing webs the residual compressing force to the next inward cylinder. As shown in Fig. 1, the outer cylinder wall of the stopper is provided near its lower end 'with an annular bead or thickened portion 4 which, when inserted into a bottle, will press tightly against the inside thereof.
The cap 2 is provided on its outside with an annular bead 5 which snaps over and behind a corresponding head on the bottle mouth. For reinforcing it, the cap 2 disposed relative to carries on its ouside fins 6 which terminate into a thickened rim portion below the bead 5, the lower end of which rim portion has a diameter slightly larger than the corresponding portion of the bottle.
If for certain purposes, for example, for closing medicine bottles the contents of which are not under pressure, only stoppers without caps are required, the hollow cylinders 1 andwebs 3 may only be secured to a top or cover so. as to form an integral unit. This may be done either as shown in Fig. 3 by extending the cover 7 solidly across the individual cylinders so as to close them at the top and leaving them open toward the bottom, or, as shown in Fig. 4, by closing them at the bottom by a wall 8 and leaving them open at the top, which thus merely forms a rim portion 7'.
In the modification of the invention as shown in Figs. 5 and 6, the annular bead 5 of the cap 2 is eccentrically the body of the cap as well as to the stopper, so that the space between the annular head 5 of the cap and the wall of the outer cylinder 1 of the stopper on the left side of Figs. 5 and 6 is smaller than the distance between the corresponding parts on the right side thereof. In consequence of such eccentric design, the closure is able to withstand a greater pressure of the bottle contents than by the use of a concentric design, as shown in Figs. 1 and 2, inasmuch as a greater pressure is required to raise that portion of the closure at which the annular bead 5 is closest to the stopper than is required to raise that portion of the cap at which the annular bead 5 is furthest away from the stopper. It is obvious that the closer the bead 5 is to the outermost hollow cylinder 1, the greater the force exerted on the mouth of the bottle by the closure. If a closure according to the concentric design, as shown in Figs. 1 and 2, is capable of withstanding an internal bottle pressure of the order of 5 atmospheres, a closure but designed according to the eccentric design, as shown in Figs. 5 and 6, is capable of withstanding an internal bottle pressure of the order of 10 atmospheres inasmuch as approximately that much pressure is required to overcome the force exerted by the closure at that portion thereof where the bead 5 is closest to the outermost hollow cylinder 1.
If desired, the stopper may also be positioned eccentrically relative to the body of the cap 2.
In order to balance such eccentricity of the annular bead 5 and increase the holding action of the wider portion between bead 5 and the outer wall of the stopper on the right side of Figs. 5 and 6, the cap 2 may, in place of the outer reinforcing portion shown in Fig. 1, be provided with a reinforcing ring 10 which is eccentrically disposed relative to the cap 2 and additionally secured thereto by reinforcing webs 11. As in the embodiment illustrated in Figs. 1 and 2, the lowermost end of the downwardly extending portion of the cap 2 has a diameter slightly larger than the corresponding portion of the bottle. While a reinforcement of the outer wall of the cap 2 of the type as shown in Figs. 5 and 6 is preferred, since the larger portion of the ring 10 on the right side also provides a suitable handle for removing the cap, it may also be of any other suitable design. For example, a reinforcement of the type shown in Fig. l, but of eccentric shape, may be used. On the other hand, a reinforcing ring of the type as shown in Fig. 5, but of concentric shape relative to the cap 2, may be used in the embodiment of the invention shown in Fig. l in place of the thickened rim portion below the bead 5.
Also, as shown in Fig. 5, the individual hollow cylinders of any stoppers made according to the invention may be of different length, reducing toward the middle of the stopper. This facilitates the insertion of the stopper into a bottle since the lower edge of the outer cylinder 1 thus allows easier compression thereof.
For sealing a bottle even against the entry of bacteria, the invention further provides circular laminations or gaskets 9 at the inner bottom of the cap, which, when the bottle is tightly closed, press against the usually unground upper surface of the bottle mouth and seal ofif dents and projections thereon, even if they are only of microscopic size.
Finally, for increasing the friction of the closure on the bottle, it is preferable in any of the embodiments of the invention to roughen the outer surface of the outer hollow cylinder of the stopper as well as the inner surface of the cap 2.
While the foregoing description sets forth in detail what we regard as the preferred embodiments of our invention, it, is to be understood that numerous changes may be made without departing from the scope of the invention as defined in the appended claims.
Having thus described our invention, what we claim as new is:
1. A single-piece closure for bottles and the like comprising a stopper adapted to fit tightly into the mouth of a bottle and including a plurality of spaced coaxial cylinders, and webs connecting the individual cylinders, said cylinders and webs consisting of elastic material, all of the webs between two adjacent cylinders being radially offset relative to all of the webs between other cylinders.
2. A single-piece closure for bottles and the like comprising an elastic cap adapted to fit tightly over the mouth of a bottle, and an elastic stopper adapted to fit tightly into the mouth of such bottle, said stopper including a plurality of spaced coaxial cylinders, and webs connecting the individual cylinders, all of the webs between two adjacent cylinders being radially ofiset relative to all of the Webs between other cylinders.
3. A single-piece closure as defined in claim 2, wherein said cap has an annular beadlike reinforced portion therein adapted to fit tightly over a corresponding head on the mouth of a bottle, said cap and said stopper, extending downwardly to substantially the same level.
4. A single-piece closure as defined in claim 1, wherein the outer cylinder of the stopper has a beadlike rein forced portion on its outside wall which is adapted to press against the inside of the mouth of a bottle.
5. A single-piece closure as defined in claim 3, wherein the outer cylinder of, said stopper has a beadlike reinforced portion on its outside adapted to cooperate with the beadlike portion on the inside of the cap to press against the inside of the mouth of a bottle and retain the closure tightly fitting thereon.
6. A single-piece closure as defined in claim 2, further including a plurality of annular gaskets at the bottom of the cap and extending downwardly therefrom.
7. A single-piece closure as defined in claim 2, wherein the stopper is eccentrically disposed relative to the cap.
8. A single-piece closure as defined in claim, 3, wherein the annular reinforced portion on the inside of the cap is eccentrically disposed relative to said stopper and said cap.
9. A single-piece closure as defined in claim 3, wherein the outer wall of the cap includes a portion which extends downwardly beyond said inner beadlike reinforced portion, and wherein the lower end of such portion has a diameter slightly larger than the corresponding portion of the bottle.
10. A single-piece closure as defined in claim 9, wherein the downwardly extending portion of the cap has a reinforced section below said inner beadlike portion.
11. A single-piece closure as defined in claim 3, 1
has a flange portion on its outer wall below the level of said inner beadlike portion and extending normally to the axis of the stopper.
12. A single-piece closure as defined in claim 3, wherein the cap has a flange portion on its outer wall at the lower end thereof and extendingnormally to the axis of the stopper, and wherein both the stopper and said flange portion are eccentrically disposed'relative to the body of the cap.
13. A single-piece closure as defined in claim 12, further comprising weblike reinforcing portions connecting said flange portion with the outer wall of said cap.
14. A single-piece closure as defined in claim 1, wherein the individual coaxial cylinders are of difierent length so as to facilitate the insertion of the stopper into the mouth of a bottle.
15. A single-piece closure for bottles and the like comprising, in combination a stopper adapted to fit tightly into the mouth of a bottle, said stopper including a plurality of spaced coaxial cylinders, and webs connecting the individual cylinders, said cylinders and webs being formed from resiliently elastic material and none of the Webs form a continuous line from the innermost of said coaxial cylinders to the outer periphery of the stopper.
wherein the cap References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS Re. 18,669 Duffy et al. Nov. 29, 1932 697,036 Stern Apr. 8, 1902 722,657 Aikin et al Mar. 17, 1903 837,408 Johnstone Dec. 4, 1906 1,905,301 Nash Apr. 25, 1933 2,418,630 Febbraro Apr. 8, 1947 2,644,978 Becker July 14, 1953 FOREIGN PATENTS 331,887 Great Britain July 11, 1930 432,079 Italy Mar. 12, 1948 1,106,988 France July 27, 1955