US 2854003 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Sept. 30," 1958 N. c. KIRSCH BOTTLE CLOSURE Filed July 15. 1955 /ITTORNEY United States Patent BOTTLE CLOSURE Nathan C. Kirsch, East Orange, N. J., assignor to Schering igorporation, Bloomfield, N. J., a corporation of New ersey Application July 13, 1953, Serial No. 367,422
3 Claims. (Cl. 128-233) The present invention relates to closures, and more particularly to liquid-proof and vapor-proof closures for bottles, such as small bottles containing liquid and/or volatile pharmaceutical preparations.
It is the general object of the invention to provide a bottle closure which will insure a completely liquid and vapor-tight seal for bottles and especially for small multi dosage bottles containing liquid and/or volatile pharmaceutical preparations.
More specifically, it is an object of the invention to provide a closure or sealing means for bottles wherein scaling is effected with the aid of a resilient member both within the neck of the bottle and also along the outer or top edge of the bottle, i. e., along a cylindrical as well as along an annular surface which are at right angles to each other, whereby the loss of liquid by spilling or through capillary action, or the escape of vapor, is entirely prevented, while at the same time security is pro vided against the entry of foreign matterand especially of microorganisms, into the bottle.
It is a still further object of the invention to provide a closure for bottles which includes a tapered resilient plug adapted to enter the neck of the bottle, and having likewise an annular flange or gasket associated with the plug and adapted to engage against the upper edge of the neck of the bottle, and to provide means for making the flange effective to seal the bottle even if the plug has not been tightly seated within the neck of the bottle.
It is also an object of the invention to provide bottles having a screw thread upon the upper end or neck thereof, with a two-part closure structure, of which one comprises a resilient plug through which passes a hollow stem connected at its upper end to a resilient bulb or syringe, the plug having a laterally extending flange integral therewith and adapted to be engaged by a screw cap which operates to press the flange against the upper edge of the bottle and insure closure of the bottle even if the sealing by the plug is not entirely complete.
It is important in the case of many pharmaceuticals contained in a multi-dosage bottle that the latter be completely sealed between withdrawals of successive dosages from the bottle, not only to prevent loss of the contents, but more particularly to insure against the entry of microorganisms of various kinds. In the case of volatile medicinals, whether of solid or liquid nature, it is important also to insure against loss of material, especially in singledosage containers in order to make certain that the original dose of the medicinal charged into the bottle remains undiminished by leakage of vapor. or liquid.
It is obviously desirable also that bottles containing liquids be provided with a sealing means of such character that leakage is prevented even when the sealing means is hastily and even carelessly applied.
It is known to provide a bottle containing a liquid pharmaceutical preparation with a plug which is perforat ed to receive the hollow glass stern of a syringe or eye-dropper. The seal effected by such resilient plug is, however, not always entirely satisfactory by reason c lC of the fact that either the inside surface of the bottle neck is not perfectly cylindrical, or because the resilient plug itself is not perfectly conical, with the result that minute spaces occur between the plug and the inside surface of the neck of the bottle through which the liquid can escape through-capillary or other action.
It is known also to provide such a resilient plug with a horizontal flange which is intended to 'bear against the top edge of the bottle. This flange has, however,
proved to be quite ineffective in practice, because the fit between the plug and the neck of the bottle is necessarily made extremely tight to insure a proper seal, and a great deal of resistance must be overcome before the horizontal flange can be made to bear against the top edge of the bottle; moreover, because of the resiliency of the plug and its flange, it usually happens that even when the flange has been forced into contact with the edge of the bottle, the flange will separate from such edge once the finger pressure is released.
It is also known to employ screw caps for sealing bottles, but such caps at most provide a seal only along the top edge of the bottle. Such screw caps usually-contain liners whose sealing face is continually rubbed against the upper edge of the bottle as the screw cap is tightened. Such friction grooves and frequently tears the surface of the liner and creates minute spaces through which vapor and liquid can escape. Also, since the upper edge of the bottle is not always in a single plane, it frequently happens that the physician will assume the cap to be in completely sealing condition, when in fact,
1 the liner has not yet been forced against a low region of such upper edge of the bottle, with the result that leakage is likely to occur.
According to the present invention, a practically completely leak-proof closure means is provided by combining a screw cap closure with a resilient plug which is adapted to enter theneck of the bottle in sealing relation, and is formed with a horizontal flange adapted to bear against the upper edge of the bottle, the plug being provided with an upper extension whereby it may be gripped by the fingers, such extension being usually in the form of a syringe bulb secured to a glass stern passing through the plug. The screw cap may be made of metal or of plastic material, and is provided with a central aperture for receiving the finger grip or bulb and is applied after the plug has been pressed into the neck of the bottle.
By combining a known screw cap with a known resilient plug or similar stopper having a horizontal sealing flange, I have provided a sealing structure having a number of important and unexpected advantages over the known sealing devices utilizing one or another, but less than all of the features of my improved construction.
In the first place, the screw cap in my improved combination insures sealing engagement between the horizontal flange and theupper edge of the bottle where the plug through haste or carelessness, has not been pushed sufliciently into the neck of the bottle to establish sealing contact between the flange and the bottle.
A perfect seal along the resilient horizontal flange is insured even after repeated opening and re-sealing of the bottle, because upon rotation of the screw cap in the plug has been properly forced into sealing relation, the
3 application of the cap will be sufficient to provide an effective seal.
It will be evident also that if the upper edge of the bottle should be irregular in shape, the horizontal flange will nevertheless effectively seal the bottle, owing to the vertical pressure exerted thereon by the cap, so that all irregularities that may exist in the upper edge of the bottle will be taken care of by the resilience of the flange. Also, if there should be any tendency of liquid to flow upwardly between the plug and neck of the bottle because of capillary action, such flow will be effectively stopped by the seal formed by the flange.
The invention will be further described in connection with the accompanying drawing which shows by way of example two satisfactory embodiments of the invention. In said drawing,
Fig. 1 shows a bottle having my improved sealing means positioned thereon;
Fig. 2 is an exploded view showing the several parts in perspective;
Fig. 3 is a central longitudinal section, on an enlarged scale, along the plane 3-3 of Fig. 1; while Fig. 4 is an enlarged central section thorugh a modified form of the invention.
Referring to the drawing, numeral 10 indicates a bottle made of glass or other suitable material having a neck 11 provided with an external thread 12. The bottle is adapted to be sealed by a closure device shown generally at 13.
In accordance with the present invention, the closure device consists essentially of two parts, 14 and 15. The part 14 includes a plug element 16 adapted to enter the neck of the bottle, as shown in Fig. 3, a horizontal flange 17 adapted to bear against the uppermost edge of the bottle, and a finger piece or grip 18 which'is preferably of hollow, syringe bulb-like form whose hollow interior is penetrated by a glass tube 18 which projects almost to the bottom of the bottle when the closure device 13 is in sealing position within and on the bottle. The parts 16, 17 and 18 are made of resilient material such as natural or synthetic rubber and are preferably molded in a single integral piece. The part 16 acts as a sealing plug and may be slightly tapered to facilitate its entry into the neck of the bottle.
The part 15, in the form of the invention illustrated in Figs. 1 to 3, is a metal cap which is centrally perforated as shown at 19 to enable the cap to be passed over the bulb 18. After the bottle has been filled, and sealed with the closure member 16, 17, 18, and after the metal cap has been positioned upon the neck of the bottle, it is grooved in known manner to provide the same with a thread corresponding to the thread about the neck of the bottle, as will be clear from Fig. 3. The cap may be provided, as is known, with a depending annular portion which is crimped under a circular shoulder 20 on the neck of the bottle below the thread 12, as indicated at 21. This depending annular portion of the cap is structurally separate from the cap itself, except for a number of narrow integral bridge elements 22 which are broken when the cap is for the first time unscrewed from the bottle, the loose ring 21 then indicating that the bottle has been opened. As is known, the detached condition of the ring 21 serves as a warning to purchasers that the contents of the bottle may have been tampered with.
As will be evident from Fig. 3, which shows the condition of the parts when the filled bottle leaves the manufacturer of the pharmaceutical preparation contained in the bottle, the sealing of the bottle is effected along a more or less cylindrical surface between the plug 16 and the neck of the bottle. An additional seal in a plane at right angles to such cylindrical surface is provided by the flange 17 which bears against the upper edge of the bottle. Sealing contact between the flange 17 and the upper edge of the bottle is insured by metal cap 15 Whose upper portion 23 exerts downward pressure on the flange. This pressure causes distortion of the portion 23 into a frusto-conical shape, the portion 23 having originally been in a more or less flat plane.
After the physician has broken the seal at the bridge element 22 and removed a portion of the contents of the bottle, he may or may not, on re-stoppering the bottle, drive the plug 16 home, i. e., into the position shown in Fig. 3. If the plug 16 has not been inserted for its full length into the neck of the bottle, there will be a gap between the flange 17 and the upper edge of the bottle. However, upon applying the screw cap 15 and rotating it until it is tight about the neck of the bottle, the portion 23 of the cap will force at least the outer marginal edge of the flange 17 against the neck of the bottle and thereby provide a tight seal between the flange and the bottle.
To reduce the friction between the cap and the flange, the cap may be provided with a liner 24 of varnished paper or the like.
It will be seen from the foregoing that I have provided a closure device which effects sealing along surfaces at right angles to each other, so that spilling of the contents, and loss of material by capillary action, are effectively prevented. By the cooperation of the screw cap 15 with the closure member 16, 17, 18, the seal is made effective along the flange 17, even if the sealing at the plug 16 should be imperfect. During the operation of the screw cap 15, no relative movement occurs between the underside of the flange 17 and the top edge of the bottle, so that no injury to the relatively soft surface of the flange can occur with possible impairment of its sealing function.
The pressure of the upper portion 23 of the screw cap 15 against the flange 17 will also operate to a degree to distort the resilient material at the juncture of the plug '16 and flange 17, so as to improve the seal between the upper portion of the plug 16 and the inside surface of the neck of the bottle.
In the form of the invention illustrated in Fig. 4, the screw cap is shown at 25 and is in the form of a premolded structure of plastic material. Its operation is essentially similar to that of the metallic cap 15, except that the upper portion 26 will be relatively rigid and will not tend as readily to assume of frusto-conical shape when the cap is rotated into its final position. The upper portion 26 of the cap will, however, operate to pinch the flange 17 tightly between itself and the upper edge of the bottle, and such pinching will act also to deform the resilient material at the juncture between the plug and flange, so as to improve the seal between the plug and the neck of the bottle. After the bottle has been filled and sealed by the pharmaceutical manufacturer, the seal may be provided with a plastic coating 27 which extends down to and about a circular bead 28 on the neck of the bottle and becomes broken when the bottle is opened for the first time by the physician.
The sealing device above described thus provides for re-closure of the bottle in a manner conforming with the requirements of a hermetic closure after each withdrawal of a part of the contents of the bottle. Because of the multiple sealing areas, air-tight scaling is insured at all times, so that the bottle can be placed in any position without danger of spilling or leaking. The forms of the invention above described also provide a sterile dropper, which is of a special advantage in connection with ophthalmic and similar solutions in which sterility is essential.
While I have referred hereinabove to the sealing of bottles containing pharmaceutical materials, it is evident that my improved seal can be utilized with bottles intended to contain any kind of material which must be kept tightly sealed against the atmosphere.
.1. A bottle closure comprising a sealing plug adapted to be inserted into the neck of a bottle having an external thread, an integral flange extending laterally of the plug for engagement with the upper edge of the bottle, said plug having a central bore, a compressible bulb extending upwardly from the plug and integral therewith, the interior of the bulb being in communication with said bore, a tube fitted into said bore and of such lengthas to extend approximately to the bottom of the bottle when the plug is in sealing position in the neck of. the bottle, and a screw cap fitted to the thread on the neck of the bottle and provided with a central opening in its top portion for receiving the bulb and acting when screwed on to the neck to press the flange into sealing contact with said upper edge of the bottle.
2. A bottle closure comprising a sealing plug adapted to be inserted into the neck of a bottle having an external thread, an integral flange extending laterally of the plug for engagement with the upper edge of the bottle, said plug having a central bore, a compressible bulb extending upwardly from the plug and integral therewith, the interior of the bulb being in communication with said bore, a tube fitted into said bore and of such length as to extend approximately to the bottom of the bottle when the plug is in sealing position in the neck of the bottle,
and a screw cap fitted to the thread on the neck of the bottle and provided with a central opening in its top portion for receiving the bulb and acting when screwed on to the neck to press the flange into sealing contact with said upper edge of the bottle, said cap being c0mposed of relatively rigid material and its top portion lying in a plane at right angles to the internally threaded side thereof, whereby 0n rotation of the cap on the bottle neck, the rigid top portion of the cap exerts compressive force on the laterally extending flange over substantially the width of the top of the bottle neck.
3. A bottle closure as defined in claim 2, wherein the external diameter of the bulb is substantially equal to the external diameter of the plug.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,731,816 Garhart Oct. 15, 1929 20- 1,916,977 Gutmann -a July 4, 1933 2,635,603 Smith Apr. 21, 1953 FOREIGN PATENTS 681,669 Great Britain Oct. 29, 1952