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Publication numberUS2855006 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 7, 1958
Filing dateDec 16, 1955
Priority dateDec 16, 1955
Publication numberUS 2855006 A, US 2855006A, US-A-2855006, US2855006 A, US2855006A
InventorsWilliam Geisler
Original AssigneeNat Phoenix Ind Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Beverage containers and method of filling the same
US 2855006 A
Images(1)
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Oct. 7, 1958 w. GEISLER 2,855,005

BEVERAGE CONTAINERS AND METHOD OF FILLING THE. SAME Filed Dec. 16, 1955 STEAM BEVERAGE GAS BEVERAGE 7 FIG. I

FIG. '2

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\22 ATTORNEYS United States Patent BEVERAGE CONTAINERS AND METHOD OF FILLING THE SAME William Geisler, Tenafly, N. J., assignor, by mesne assignments, to National Phoenix Industries, Inc., Maywood, N. 1., a corporation of Delaware Application December 16, 1955, Serial No. 553,473

Claims. (Cl. 141-7) Beverages such as soft drinks and beer are packaged and sold in bottles and cans having removable crown caps and also in conventional cans which are opened by puncturing the metal at one end for the egress of the contained liquid and the ingress of air. The sterilizing, filling and closing of such containers necessarily involves several steps which must be carried out successively with the interior of the can and the contents exposed to recontamination. With the container and method of this application these several steps required for filling and closing the conventional containers which have to be performed by the manufacturer of the beverage are eliminated and instead the completed closed container is manufactured by the bottleor can-maker and is sterilized and filled at one operation at the plant of the beverage maker with no exposure of the contents or the interior of the container to possible contamination during the operation.

Our improved container may be either a can or a bottle of conventional form execept that the bottle cap or the end of the can, as the case may be, is provided with a rubber disk or plug vulcanized over and closing a hole in the metal of the cap or can end, and of a character to be self-sealing when punctured by a hollow needle.

In carrying out our method, a double hollow needle is projected through the exposed portion of the rubber disk or plug in the can top or bottle cap and steam at a sterilizing temperature and pressure is fed into the can or bottle for 'a sufiicient time to sterilize its interior, the steam passing out through one of the hollow needles which is connected to a discharge passage in the head by which the needles are carried, through a check valve to prevent ingress of air. After the can or bottle is sterilized, the steam is cut off and the beverage discharged into the can or bottle through the needle. After the can or bottle is filled the needle is withdrawn, the hole in the rubber cap sealing itself so that there is no possibility of contamination of the contents of the bottle.

In the accompanying drawings I have illustrated diagrammatically apparatus for carrying out the successive steps in the filling operation but it will be understood that in practice the steps are performed by automatic machinery equipped with a large number of filling heads such as now common practice, so that the bottles or cans can be filled as rapidly as they can be fed into and away from the machine, regardless of the rate of flow of the beverage into the containers.

Referring to the drawings:

Fig. 1 shows in cross-section a can of the character used according to my inmproved method with the filling needle inserted in the can and the needle connected to the steam supply for sterilizing;

Fig. 2 is a similar view showing the can in process of being filled with the beverage;

Fig. 3 is a sectional view showing a bottle with a cap such as above described;

Fig. 4 is a similar view of a cam having a valved closure through which the can may be filled; and

2 Fig. 5 is a diagrammtic view showing the preferred method of making the can shown in Figs. 1 and 2.

Referring to the drawings, 1 indicates a can having the rubber cap 2 vulcanized at one end of the can over an opening 3, as shown. The can to be filled is supported on a platform 4 which is elevated to push the rubber plug 3 against the double hollow needle 5 carried by the head 6 to project the double needle through the rubber plug in the can top, as shown in Fig. 1. Steam is then admitted (through the 3-way valve 7) to the longer branch of the double needle at the necessary pressure and temperature to sterilize the inside of the can, the steam passing out through the shorter branch of the needle connected to the discharge pipe or passage 9 which is closed by a check valve 10 to prevent the ingress of air. The discharge pipe 9 may be connected to a vacuum pump, through a pipe 11 to withdraw the steam from the can and thereby reduce the quantity of condensate left in the can. After the can is sterilized the 3-way valve 7 is turned to permit the liquid to flow into the can through the longer needle without withdrawing the needle from the can. If the liquid is an aerated beverage such as beer, ginger ale or the like, the filling operation is now complete and the platform will be lowered to eifect a withdrawal of the needle, the rubber plug being of a shape to be self-sealing under the internal pressure of the aerated beverage.

If the liquid is not an aerated beverage, for example, milk or fruit juice, the 3-way valve 7 is turned to allow sterile gas such as nitrogen under pressure to flow into the can to fill the can and provide sufficient internal pressure to insure a tight sealing of the rubber plug. The check valve 10 may be spring-loaded to provide the desired back pressure against the discharge of the gas.

The same sequence of operations is performed when filling a bottle fitted with the cap having an exposed selfsealing rubber portion. Such bottle is shown in section in Fig. 3. A preferred method of making bottle caps of the character described is shown and described in my co-pending application Serial No. 436,822, filed June 15, 1954.

As shown in Fig. 3, 13 is the rubber disk which is molded to the face of the metal sheet from which the cap 14 is formed. The cap 14 has a central hole overlying the self-sealing mid-portion 12 through which the needle 5 is forced for the sterilizing and filling operations. The improved method of packaging may also be employed with pressure discharge containers equipped with discharge valves such as shown in the co-pending application Serial No. 527,982, filed August 12, 1955, by James G. Groendyk and myself and also in Fig. 4 of this application. As here shown the can neck is formed with an inwardly extending, downwardly inclined flange surrounding the neck opening into which the rubber plug 15 is forced when the cap is applied to the can. The plug 15 has a valveforming flange 16 at its inner end and the plug 15 is forced into the neck far enough for this flange to seal against the edge of the flange on the neck of the can. The metal cap 17 is cut away to expose the mid-portion of the upper surface of the plug and its lower edge is spun beneath the rim of the can neck. As described in the above-mentioned application the cap is provided with a closed spout the tip of which is cut ofi when the contents of the can is to be dispensed.

As will be noted from Fig. 4, the double filling needle 5 has been pushed through the exposed rubber portion of the valved bottle cap so that the successive steps of sterilizing, filling and pressurizing can be carried out in the manner described above. When the double needle is withdrawn the cap is self-sealed and the container may be used as a dispensing container over a long period of time without the contents being subject to spoiling or contamination. The can tops may be manufactured by the same method as the bottle caps disclosed in our abovementioned application. As shown in Fig. 5, a sheet of metal 20 is punched at spaced intervals to provide holes 21 at the center of the can tops Which are to be cut from the sheet by gang punches in the usual manner. This sheet is laid on the bottom member 22 of the mold in the same manner as the sheet from which bottle caps are made, and the rubber molding compound forced by the press 23 into the molds to form the plugs closing the holes in the sheet. In forming the closing plugs in the can tops the mold members are formed with cavities registering with the punched holes in the sheet metal to provide disks of rubber vulcanized to both sides of the metal to prevent possible leakage which might otherwise be caused by the pressure of inserting the needle or the pull of withdrawing the needle during the filling operation. Except for this step of forming and attaching the rubber plugs to the sheet metal from which the can tops are cut, the manufacture of the cans is carried out in the conventional manner on conventional machines, except that both ends of the can are applied at the same time to the body portion.

The term self-sealing plastic as used in the appended claims means a compound such as rubber, wherein a puncture produced by a needle-like instrument closes when the instrument is withdrawn.

I claim:

1. The method of packaging fluids which comprises providing a closed receptacle having a portion of its wall composed of a self-sealing plastic, projecting a hollow needle through said plastic portion, sterilizing the interior of said receptacle by a fluid delivered through said needle, withdrawing said sterilizing fluid through said needle while excluding the ingress of air charging the receptacle with the fluid to be packaged through said needle and withdrawing said needle.

2. The method of claim 1 wherein the sterilizing fluid is steam.

3. The method of claim 1 wherein an innocuous gas under pressure is added to the receptacle before withdrawing the needle.

4. The method of claim 1 wherein a sub-atmospheric pressure is provided in said receptacle before said needle is withdrawn.

5. The method of claim 1 wherein the needle used is a double needle having one branch discharging to the atmosphere through a loaded valve.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,832,321 Owens Nov. 17, 1931 1,842,969 Heyman Jan. 26, 1932 2,131,181 Kantor Sept. 27, 1938 2,338,108 Gartland Jan. 4, 1944 2,377,796 McKinnis June 5, 1945 2,516,647 Rogers et a1 July 25, 1950 2,541,272 Murphy Feb. 13, 1951 2,652,169 Brusienski Sept. 15, 1953 2,670,871 Spiess et al. Mar. 2, 1954 2,693,418 Smith Nov. 2, 1954

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1832321 *Jan 23, 1929Nov 17, 1931Owens Robert StuartMethod of making bottle closures
US1842969 *Nov 9, 1929Jan 26, 1932Wilbert A HeymanPackaging liquids
US2131181 *Apr 16, 1936Sep 27, 1938Liquid Carbonic CorpMethod and means for packaging foods
US2338108 *May 3, 1939Jan 4, 1944Crown Cork & Seal CoMethod of packaging beverages
US2377796 *Feb 26, 1943Jun 5, 1945Mckinnis Ronald BApparatus for introducing liquids into containers
US2516647 *May 13, 1946Jul 25, 1950Continental Can CoMethod of making closure elements
US2541272 *Apr 24, 1947Feb 13, 1951Murphy John TNeedle for filling or exhausting ampoules
US2652169 *Feb 24, 1948Sep 15, 1953Brusienski Paul EHand pressure released container opening
US2670871 *Apr 5, 1950Mar 2, 1954Nat Dairy Res Lab IncClosure for containers
US2693418 *Jul 11, 1951Nov 2, 1954Edward W SmithMeans and method of filling cans with pressurized substances
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3254469 *Mar 1, 1963Jun 7, 1966Akerlund & Rausing AbMethod of producing a sealed package filled with a liquid or flowing commodity
US3263394 *Dec 26, 1962Aug 2, 1966Sanford Res CompanyApparatus for and methods of making a marking device
US3791424 *May 26, 1971Feb 12, 1974Lif O Gen IncApparatus for sterilizing gas containers and filling same with a sterile gas
US3907164 *Feb 7, 1974Sep 23, 1975Linde AgContainer for storing and transporting small gas volumes
US4450667 *Aug 27, 1981May 29, 1984John FitzpatrickMethod and apparatus for rejuvenating rubber balls and the like
US4456041 *May 11, 1981Jun 26, 1984Italtractor I.T.M. S.P.A.Apparatus for filling and sealing a lubricant reservoir
US4524563 *Dec 10, 1981Jun 25, 1985Tito Manzini & Figli S.P.A.Process and plant for aseptic filling of pre-sterilized, non-rigid containers
US4753276 *May 19, 1987Jun 28, 1988Central Glass Company, LimitedMethod and apparatus for injecting liquid into display device cell
US4927487 *Nov 30, 1988May 22, 1990Loctite CorporationApparatus for producing an atmosphere other than ambient
US5001878 *Apr 21, 1988Mar 26, 1991Sanfilippo John EApparatus for providing containers with a controlled environment
US5069020 *Jul 13, 1990Dec 3, 1991Sanfilippo John EApparatus for providing containers with a controlled environment
US5228269 *Jun 22, 1992Jul 20, 1993Sanfilippo John EApparatus and method for removing oxygen from food containers
US5641004 *Apr 19, 1995Jun 24, 1997Py; DanielProcess for filling a sealed receptacle under aseptic conditions
US5732751 *Dec 4, 1995Mar 31, 1998Hewlett-Packard CompanyFilling ink supply containers
US5860461 *Nov 29, 1996Jan 19, 1999Kettner GmbhContainer, a container sealing cap, a process and a machine for cold-aseptic filling with beverages
US6568435 *Jan 5, 2001May 27, 2003Marc J. JaegerVentilation of a closed space or closed containers with only one venthole and filled with solids
EP0679574A1 *Apr 11, 1995Nov 2, 1995Daniel PyMethod and apparatus for filling a closed container in aseptical conditions
Classifications
U.S. Classification141/7, 141/48, 53/407, 141/11, 141/329
International ClassificationB65B31/04, B65B31/08
Cooperative ClassificationB65B31/08
European ClassificationB65B31/08