US 2869745 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Jan. 20, 1959 M. L. LOCKHART 2,869,745
PLUNGER CLOSURE-S OF CONTAINERS Filed 'Feb. 5, '1954 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Jan. 20, 1959 M. L. LOCKHART PLUNGER CLOSURES OF CONTAINERS Filed Feb. 5. 1954 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 United States Patent 2,869,745 PLUNGER CLOSURES OF CONTAINERS Marshall L. Loclrhart, Rutherford, N. J., assignor to The Compule Corporation, Rutherford, N. J., a corporation of New Jersey Application February 5, 1954, Serial No. 408,460
2 Claims. (Cl. 215-6) The present invention relates to plunger closures of containers for medicaments and the like, and, more particularly, to such closures suited for use in plural-com partment admixing vials for segregated storage of ingredients of solutions and liquid mixtures of the types described and claimed in my Patent No. 2,610,628 of September 16, 1952, and my copending patent applica tion Serial No. 325,169, filed December 10, 1952, now Patent No. 2,695,614.
A general object of the present invention is to provide such plunger closures of simple and inexpensive construction, economically producible on a mass production basis, which permit rapid loading and secure sealing of containers with minimum care and skill, and assure limited travel of the plungers to a predetermined extentto avoid any tendency for undue displacement thereof.
A more specific object of the invention is to provide such plunger closures in the form of piston plugs for a closing slidable fit in the ends of tubular structures or mouths of vials, and which are provided on the outer portions or ends thereof with enlargements or enlarged head means effectively to limit inward thrust thereof.
A further object of the present invention is to provide such a headed piston plug which, by virtue of the provision of an enlargement or enlarged head on the outer portion or end thereof, cannot unintentionally be thrust forward in the elongated constricted neck of a vial to an extent permitting displacement therefrom into the enlarged body of the vial with loss of secure closure and sealing of the latter.
Another object of the present invention is to provide embodiments of such a plunger closure piston plug characterized by supplemental means limiting outward withdrawal of the headed piston plug further to assure maintenance of effective closure of the tube or vial.
A still further object of the invention is to provide structural embodiments of the device which, while being readily constructed and fitted to containers, allow efflcientuse and operation thereof.
Other objects of the invention will in part be obvious and will in part appear hereinafter.
The invention accordingly comprises the features of construction, combinations of elements, and arrangement of parts, which will be exemplified in the constructions hereinafter set forth, and the scope of the invention will be indicated in the claims.
For a fuller understanding of the nature and objects of the invention, reference should be had to the following detailed description taken in connection with the accom panying drawings, in which:
Fig. l is an elevational view of an embodiment of the plunger closure means of the present invention and a loaded vial closed thereby, showing the piston plug in firing position;
Fig. 2 is an axial section of the structure shown in Fig. 1, with the plunger closure means thereof being shown in elevation;
Fig. 3 is an axial section similar to Fig. :2 but with the plunger closure means thereof also sectioned axially, illustrating firing operation of the loaded vial;
Fig. 4 is an elevational view similar to Fig. 1 of another embodiment of the present invention;
Fig. 5 is an enlarged sectional view, with parts broken away, taken substantially on line 5-5 of Fig. 4;
Fig. 6 is an exploded perspective view to enlarged scale of the plunger closure means of the Figs. 4 and 5 embodiment comprising a capping ring or collar and piston plug;
Fig. 7 is a detail view of the plunger closure means shown in Fig. 6 with the ring or collar axially sectioned and shown mounted or anchored on the neck of a vial of the type illustrated in Figs. 1 to 4 inclusive and with a portion of the latter also shown in axial section;
Fig. 8 is .a detail view similar to Fig. 7 of the structure shown therein but with the piston plug also axially sectioned and illustrating final mounting manipulation of the capping ring or collar and the firing thrust of the piston plug;
Fig. 9 is a top plan view with parts broken away of a modified form of vial neck and capping ring or collar structure; 1
Fig. 10 is an elevational view similar to Fig. 1 of a further embodiment of the present invention;
Fig. 11 is an axial section similar to Fig. 2 of the embodiment shown in Fig. 10;
Fig. 12 is a top plan view of the modified form of capping ring or collar and piston plug mounted therein which may be employed in the Figs. 10 and 11 embodiment;
Fig. 13 is .a top plan view of the piston plug shown in Fig. 12;
Fig. 14 is a perspective view of the capping ring or collar and piston plug shown in Figs. 12 and 13 and illustrating the assembly of the piston plug in the collar;
Fig. 15 is a perspective view of another form of capping ring or collar of the present invention;
Fig, 16 is a plan view of the capping ring or collar shown in Fig. 15 and a perspective view of a piston plug, such as that illustrated in Figs. 4 to 8 inclusive, depicting assembly of the latter in the former;
Fig. 17 is a top plan view of the capping ring or collar and piston plug of Fig. 16 after coassembly thereof and following manipulation of parts of the capping ring to assure securement thereto of the piston plug; and
Fig. 18 is a top plan view of the capping ring or collar of Fig. 15 illustrating another manner of manipulation of parts thereof to serve as a finished element of the apparatus of the present invention.
Referring to the drawings, in which like numerals identify similar parts throughout, it will be seen from Figs. 1 to 3 inclusive that an embodiment of the present invention may comprise an elongated vial 20 constricted at 21 between its top end 22 and bottom end 23, preferably in the mid-section thereof, to provide a circular internal seat 24. The vial 20 has its bottom end 23 preferably closed off by an integral transverse wall 25 which forms with the constricted mid-section 21 a far or bottom chamber 26 into which any suitable materials 27, such as a mass of soluble solids or solute, are loaded. The other, or top, end 22 of vial 20 preferably is provided with an elongated, substantially cylindrical neck 28 which defines with the constricted mid-section 21 a second storage chamber 29 in which a body 30 of liquid vehicle or solvent may be stored with segregation of the chambers26 and 29 by a suitable elastic gate plug 31 when seated as shown in the seat 24. Thus, the vial 20 is in the form of a tubular container which, for the purposes of the present invention, need not be of the con-z stricted waist type illustrated to be suitably employable for certain services. The tubular neck 28 constitutes an end section of the tubular container 20 to provide a tubular mouth defined at the top end 22 by an end edge which may be the marginal edge of the container and/ or any overlying structure, such as a capping ring or collar, as will be clear from the description here following of other embodiments of the present invention. In the device illustrated in Figs. 1 to 3 inclusive, the tubular neck 28 has a bore 32 of substantially uniform diameter from the end edge at 22 to its inner end 33 where, if desired, it may be constricted to tend to avoid displacement of plunger or piston plug means in the neck into the chamber 29. Preferably, the neck 28 of the vial 2b is provided at its top end 22 with an outside annular bead 34 which may serve a capping ring or collar anchoring purpose, as hereinafter explained in connection with other illustrated embodiments. The outer beaded end 22 of the neck 28 constitutes lip means either as an end edge or circular beaded lip per se or that end edge with an overlying capping ring or collar.
In accordance with the present invention, the embodiment of Figs. 1 to 3 inclusive includes plunger closure means for the top end 22 of the via] 20, which may be in the form of a piston plug 35. The piston plug 35 preferably comprises a unitary mass of elastic or rubber like material including a piston body 36, which may be substantially cylindrical and of a diameter slightly larger than the neck bore 32 so as slidably to fit snugly in the latter for sealing otf the top end 22 of the vial 2.0. The piston plug 35 also preferably has formed integral with the piston body 36, an outwardly-extending thrust post 37 which may be of a diameter substantially equal to that of the piston body portion 36 but preferably is of reduced section, as is illustrated. The thrust post 37 carries an enlargement 38 preferably in the form of a laterally-extending head, as shown in Figs. 1 to 3 inclusive, and the combined length of the piston body 36 and post 37 inward of the head 38 is such relative to the length of the neck bore 32 as to assure sealing retention of the piston body in the neck 28 when thrust is applied to the head 38 in the direction of the arrow 39, shown in Fig. 3, to bring the inner side of the head to juxtaposition or abutment of the beaded lip 3 of the vial neck 28. Although the constriction 33 at the bottom of the neck 28 tends to avoid displacement of the piston plug into the vial or its enlarged upper chamber 29 with inward thrust, the provision of the enlarged head 38 on the thrust post assures that such inward travel will be stopped positively by the stop means provided by the beaded lip 34 before the piston body 36 has traveled inwardly a distance suflicient to free it from the inner end of the neck bore 32, especially if constriction 33 be omitted as may be desired in some container structures.
in operation of the loaded apparatus illustrated in Figs. 1 and 2, one may fire the loaded device by applying thrust to the head 38 of the piston plug 35, such as with his thumb as he grasps the loaded vial in one hand. As a result, the piston plug 35 is thrust down into the neck bore 32 from the position illustrated in Fig. 2 to the position illustrated in Fig. 3. This reduces the capacity of the liquid chamber 29 to apply hydraulic pressure to the upper end of the gate plug 31 of a degree sufiicient to unseat the latter and push it forward out of the waist seat 24 into the bottom or far chamber 26, as illustrated in Fig. 3. This action brings about intercommunicationbetween the chambers 29 and 26 to permit the body of liquid to spill down or flow into the solids chamber 26, there to mix with or dissolve the latter for formation of an admixture or solution with, if desired, suitable shaking agitation of the vial or fired device. Limitation of inward travel of the piston plug by abutment of the plunger head 38 with the beaded lip 34 or the vial neck 28 assures "retention of the piston solute is intended for medicinal administration, such as hypodermic injection.
Another embodiment of the present invention may comprise, as is illustrated in Figs. 4 to 8 inclusive, a plunger structure or piston plug and a capping ring or collar 40 together serving as plunger closure means for the vial 20 or other tubular container. As there illustrated, the piston plug 135, preferably in the form of a unitary mass of elastic or rubber-like material, has a substantially cylindrical piston body 136, a coaxially-arranged thrust post 137 of reduced crosssection and a head 13% which is preferably of lateral circular shape, as shown, and about the same diameter as the piston body 136. Since the tubular container or vial 20 may be intended for the admixture of solvent and solute of a medicinal preparation for parenteral or hyporlermic administration or injection, it is desirable that the sealing closure by the plunger means he maintained after forward thrust in the vial neck to effect unseating of the segregating gate plug 31. Accordingly, it is desirable to provide the piston plug 135 with means to permit suction withdrawal of the admixture or solution from the vial by means of a suction cannula or hollow hypodermic needle. Such means may be provided in the form of an axial recess 41 extending from the inner or lower end of the piston body 136 up through the thrust post 137 into the enlarged head 138 to provide in the latter a central, relatively thin closing membrane 42 which may be pierced readily by a cannula or needle for direct access to the housed admixture or solution.
As is illustrated in Figs. 5 to 8 incl., the capping ring or collar 49 may be in the form of a cupped structure having a cylindrical side wall or skirt 43 terminating in a bottom edge 44 and a transverse top 45 in which a hole 46 is axially formed. As is indicated in Fig. 5, the diameter of the hole 46 is preferably slightly larger than the outer diameter of the thrust post 137 so that the latter is readily slidable therethrough, but the hole diameter should be appreciably smaller than the diameter of the piston plug head 138 so that the marginal edge of the hole or portions thereof will underlie the head or annular rim formed thereby, as indicated in Fig. 8, to limit inward thrust of the piston plug. The zone of the capping ring top 45 constituting the marginal edge of the hole 46 therethrough is preferably radially slit at a plurality of points thereabout so as to provide a plurality of tabs 37-47 which may be bent outwardly, as illustrated in Figs. 6 and 7, to increase the size of the hole so as readily to receive therethrough the piston plug head 138, as is illustrated by the arrow 48 in Fig. 6, and as will be more clearly understood from the showing in Fig. 7.
As proposed in Figs. 6, 7 and 8, the capping ring 40 may be assembled to the piston plug 135 by inserting the head 138 of the latter through the enlarged hole 46 and then the piston body 136 may be mounted in the vial neck bore 32 to close the container 20 with the cylindrical side wall or skirt 43 of the capping ring telescoped down over the beaded lip 34. Thereafter, the tabs 4747 may be bent back to a substantially common lateral plane, as illustrated in Figs. 5 and 8, so
that their inner ends form inwardly-projecting means I underlying the rim of the piston head 138 to provide stop means for limiting inward motion of the piston .plug. Also, the bottom edge 44 of the capping ring 40 will be turned or spun inwardly beneath the bead 34 from the dotted line position shown in Fig. 7 to the full line position indicated therein and in Figs. 4 and 8, so as to anchor or securely mount the capping ring upon the beaded lip of the vial neck 28. However, it is to be understood that, if desired, after the piston plug 135 is mounted to the capping ring 46) by insertion of the head 138 of the former through the enlarged hole 46, as proposed in Fig. 6, the outwardly-turned tabs 47-47 may then be bent back to the common lateral plane, as in Fig. 8, before the capping ring and piston plug assembly constituting the plunger closure is applied to the tubular container or the vial neck 28. a
In operation of the assembled device of Figs. 4 and 7, thrust is applied to the piston plug head 138 to slide the piston plug 135 into the neck bore from the dot-dash position illustrated in Fig. 8, in the direction of the arrow 139, to the full line position shown therein. The capping ring 40 serves as stop means by virtue of the fact that the tabs 47-47 underlie or are disposed in the path of the enlarged head 138, or the lateral rim en largement on the thrust post 137 provided by this head, to limit inward motion of the piston plug 135 in the neck bore 32. Thus, the capping ring serves as a part of the lip means at the mouth of the vial neck 28 and is abutted by the piston plug head 138 for limitation of such inward thrust and the piston plug head is thereby juxtaposed to the beaded lip of the vial neck, which constitutes the other portion of such lip means. Also, since the piston body 136 of the piston plug 135 is of a diameter greater than the capping ring hole 46, the tabs 47-47, when disposed in the common lateral plane as, indicated in Fig. 8, also serve as stop means to limit outward sliding motion of the piston plug to prevent it from being freed accidentally from the neck bore.
As illustrated in Fig. 9, it is not essential that the means provided for anchorage of the capping ring or collar 40 to the neck of the tubular container be uninterruptedly annular or circular. As there proposed, such bead structure may be interrupted to provide a plurality of lateral, outwardly-extending projections 134-134 over which an interrupted skirt, in the form of a plurality of depending tabs 143-143, may be crimped for secure anchorage of the capping ring 140 to the vial neck 128. Whether the capping ring is in the form proposed in Figs. 4 to 8 incl. or Fig. 9, it preferably is formed of readily bendable metallic material, such as, for example, aluminum, so as to facilitate the spun or crimped anchorage thereof and the manipulation of the tabs 47-47.
As proposed in Figs. 10 to 14 incl., the capping ring or collar may be in the form illustrated at 240, comprising a cylindrical skirt 43 having a bottom edge 44 spun or turned under the bottle neck bead 34 and with its transverse top 145 provided with a substantially circular hole 146 of a diameter appreciably less than the outer diameter of piston body 136 but greater than the diameter of thrust post 137. The piston plug 235 of Figs. 10 to 14 incl. embodiment includes piston body 136, the integral, coaxially-arranged thrust post 137 and an enlarged head 238, and is also preferably formed as a unitary body from suitable elastic or rubber-like material. The enlarged head 238 is, as is best seen in Figs. 12 and 13, preferably shaped in a lateral plane as an oblong, oval or elliptical enlargement to form diametrically-opposed, laterally-extending projections or wings 49, 49 arranged along the major axis thereof. The dimension of the elliptical head 238 along this major axis is appreciably greater than the diameter of the capping ring hole 146, as will be seen from Fig. 12, so that the projections or wings 49, 49 overlie the top 145 of the capping ring whereby thelatter effectively serves as stop means to limit inward thrust of the piston plug 235. However, the lesser dimension of the elliptical head 238 along the minor axis between the points 50, 50 is appreciably less than the diameter of the capping ring hole 146 so that the head 238 may be edge inserted through the capping ring hole. As illustrated in Fig. 14, the piston plug 235 may be mounted to or coassembled with the capping ring 240 by tilting the plug so that one of its projections or wings 49 may be inserted up through the hole 146 and then moved laterally so as finally to work through the hole the remaining projection or Wing 49, which action of assembly is facilitated by virtue of the flexibility and elasticity of the head. Thereafter, the assembled closure means illustrated in Fig..l4 may be mounted to a tubular container, such as the vial 20, as illustrated in Figs. 10 and 11, by telescoping the, capping ring skirt 43 down over the bead 34 and spinning under the edge 44. The interengaging insertion of elastic head 238 into the capping ring hole 146 and through the ring 240 to coaxial relation of the capping ring, and the piston plug of the Figs. 10 to 14 incl. embodiment is thus as simple a procedure as that necessary to the interengaging coassembly of the piston plug 135 and capping ring 40 of the Figs. 4 to 8 incl. embodiment and, possibly simpler, since it eliminates the necessityof slitting an inner marginal zone of the capping ring and then bending out and back the so-formed tabs 47-47.
As illustrated in Figs. 15, 16 and 17, capping rings constituting modified forms of the capping ring illustrated in Figs. 5 to 8 inclusive may be employed for a similar purpose with the formation of fewer tabs by slitting only diametrically opposite portions of the inner marginal zone of the capping ring. For example, capping ring 340 may be provided with dependent cylindrical skirt 43 terminating in bottom edge 44 for spinning under a lip head with its transverse top 245 provided with a circular hole 246. The inner marginal zone ofthe apertured cap top 245, constituting a marginaledge of the hole 246, may be radially slit at only three points on each of the twoopposed sides to form two pairs of opposed tabs147-147. When the tabs 147-147 are turned outwardly, as proposed in Figs. 15 and 16, the hole 246 is enlarged to provide an oblong aperture, as is best seen in Fig. 16, readily to receive therethrough head 138 of piston plug 135. Of course, the remaining diametrically-opposed portions 51, 51 are spaced apart a distance intermediate the diameter of the thrust post 137 on the one hand and the diameters of the head 138 and piston body 136 on the other hand, so that the inwardly-projecting portions 5 1, 51 are disposed in paths of portions of the piston plug head and piston body to limit relative inward and outward move- .ment of the piston plug. After the piston plug head 138 is inserted through the oblong aperture in the capping ring top 245, as illustrated in Fig. 16, the tabs 147-147 may then be bent back down or returned to the common'transverse plane, as proposed in Fig. 17, so that inner edge portions of the tabs 147-147, as well as the inner edge portions of the inwardly-extending projections 51, 51, underlie the rim of the head 138 to facilitate the stoppage of the relative sliding motion.
As proposed in Fig. 18, if desired, the outwardly-bent tabs 147-147 may, instead of being returned to their original positions, be bent back further upon and lapped down upon the top surface 245 of the capping ring or collar 340 so as to retain the enlarged hole 346 into which diametrically opposed projections 51, 51 may exte'nd inwardly to serve alone as the stop means. Thereis little or no likelihood that the piston plug head 138 will be disengaged from the Fig. 18 capping ring 340 after the capping ring has been anchored to the beaded lip of the tubular container 20 with the piston body 136 slidably received in the mouth section or :neck bore 32 since, by virtue of their relative mounting in those manners to the tubular container, they are maintained in coaxial relation with the stop projections 51, 51 extending into the paths of portions of the piston plug head 138 and the piston body.
It will thus be seen that the objects set forth above, among those made apparent from the preceding description, are efiiciently attained and, since certain changes may be made in the above constructions without departing from the scope of the invention, it is intended that all matter contained in the above description or shown in the accompanying drawings shall be interpreted as illnstrative and not in a limiting sense.
It is also to be understood that the following claims are intended to cover all of the generic and specific features of the invention herein described, and all statements of the scope of the invention which, as a matter of language, might be said to fall therebetween.
Having described my invention, what I. claim as new and desire to secure by Letters Patent is:
1. Plunger closure means for a container having an elongated beaded neck comprising, in combination; a capping ring adapted to be anchored on the end of the beaded neck and having a central hole; and a unitary piston plug of elastic material having a substantially cylindrical piston body slidably to fit snugly in the neck, an elongated thrust 'posticoaxially extending from said body and a transverse head on the outer end of said post; said ring being of bendable metallic material with its hole being substantially circular and said post being substantially circuiar'in cross-section of a diameter somewhat less than the diameter of the hole for ready sliding therethrough, said head and piston bodies being laterally substantially circular and of diameters appreciably larger than the hole, the marginal edge of the hole being sub stantially radially slit to provide bendable tabs initially turned out-to enlarge the hole for ready insertion of the head therethrough, said out-turned tabs being readily returned to a substantially common plane after head insertion for reformation of the circular hole of lesser diameter than the diameters of said piston body and head to form stop means for axial inward and outward sliding of said plug relative to said ring.
2. Plunger closure means for a container having an elongated beaded neck comprising, in combination; a capping ring adapted to be anchored on the end of the beaded neck and having a central hole; and a unitary piston plug of elastic material having a substantially cylindrical piston. body sliclably to fit snugly in the neck, an elongated thrust post coaxially extending from said body and a transverse head on the outer end of said 'post', said post being substantially circular in cross section, said piston body and said head being laterally substantially circular and of diameters greater than that of said post, and the hole being defined on diametrically opposite sides by bent out tabs formed by radial slitting of the marginal edge of. an initially smaller hole of a width greater than the diameter of said post, the intervening portions of the marginal edge of the initial hole being unbent to provide opposed inwardly extending projections spaced transversely a distance intermediate the post diameter and the diameters of said piston body and head to serve as stop means for abutment by said piston body and head in axial inward and outward sliding of said plug relative to said ring.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,007,679 Ellis et al. NOV. 7, 1911 1,529,659 Marcy Mar. 17, 1925 2,192,087 Kost Feb. 27, 1940 2,610,628 Lockhart Sept. 16, 1952 2,670,871 Spiess et al. Mar. 2, 1954