US 2893456 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
R. T. WA LLAC E CLOSURE ASSEMBLY July 7, 1959 Filed April 18, 1957 m m R 6 H y M 1 u ww A m 4 N T i I a .17. T E I v A 5 WNW/.7 M Q M 5/ I a F M I Y 3 0 B 2|. 1 Ellen] w @JVI/IZV/fllfiA/l/l Au 6 5 9 if 4 J J mm WIN m mmy F JHHHHI- 5L 1111 mw r 1 m h n. z u 1 2 x l I 5 J a u x a n m 1: 1 m II... H.|w..l| |P xvii. IHHrUHHK United States Patent CLOSURE ASSEMBLY Robert '1. Wallace, Toledo, Ohio, asslgnor to Owens-Illinois Glass Company, a corporation of Ohio Application April 18, 1957, Serial No. 653,566
8 Claims. (Cl. 150-5) The present invention relates generally to closures for containers. More specifically, this invention relates to a closure assembly comprising two components, and designed in particular for application to containers having a flexible rim.
Heretofore, closures, especially those formed of the plastic materials of commerce, have been formed to constitute a single piece. 'In such a single-piece closure, the choice of materials therefor is severely limited inasmuch as the material must be selected according to both the expected handling requirements of the closure and also the contents of the container. To overcome this deficiency, the single-piece closures are usually formed to have a substantial wall thickness. This, of course, requires a greater amount of the particular material and is reflected in increased cost. It is further found that the closures described frequently damage the flexible rim of the container, impairing sealing efliciency and also inducing detrimental leakage.
Accordingly, it is an object of this invention to provide a closure assembly which overcomes the problems and difficulties enumerated above.
It is a specific object of this invention to provide a two-component closure assembly which permits selective choice of materials for the individual components to meet a variety of packaging requirements.
It is another object of this invention to provide a closure assembly which may be manufactured utilizing a minimum of the material of formation.
It is still another object of this invention to provide a closure assembly which permits the ready incorporation of a printed message in the form of instructions, advertising, and the like.
It is yet another object of this invention to provide a closure assembly which permits the inspection of the contents of the container.
It is a principal object of this invention to provide a closure assembly which is particularly adapted for snapon application to a container, having a dispensing opening defined by a flexible rim, without deforming or otherwise damaging the rim.
It is likewise an object of the present invention to provide a container and closure construction which incorporates all of the foregoing features.
These and other objects of this invention will become apparent from the following detailed description, taken in conjunction with the annexed sheet of drawings, on which is presented for purposes of illustration only, several specific embodiments of this invention.
In the drawings:
Fig. 1 is a side elevational view of a container bearing a closure assembly according to this invention.
Fig. 2 is a sectional view taken on the line 2-2' of Fig. 1.
Fig. 3 is a view taken on the line 3-3 of Fig. 2.
Fig. 4 is a plan view illustrating another embodiment of the closure assembly of this invention.
2,893,456 Patented July 7, 1959 Fig. 5 is a sectional view taken on the line 5-5 of Fig. 4.
Fig. 6 is a sectional view of a closure assembly illustrating a specific embodiment of this invention.
Fig. 7 is a sectional view of a closure assembly illustrating another embodiment of this invention.
Fig. 8 is a side elevational view illustrating a modified structure for a closure cap.
Fig. 9 is a fragmentary sectional view similar to Fig. 7, but showing another embodiment of the invention.
In its simplest embodiment, this invention is drawn to a particular closure assembly which comprises a resilient cap member adapted to be safely and conveniently applied to a flexible container rim and containing an aperture which will be at least partially coincident with the dispensing opening of the container when it is applied thereto, and a flexible film-like membrane adhered to the periphery of the cap member so as to span the aperture.
Referring now more specifically to the drawings:
There is shown in Figs. 1 and 2, a container 11 of flexible material, having a circular bottom 12 and a cylindrical, upstanding side wall 13. The side wall 13 defines at its upper terminus an annular rim 14 outlining a dispensing opening 15 for the container. The rim defines an upwardly facing surface or edge 16 and has an outwardly flaring projection or bead 17. The closure assembly 18 of this invention, which is shown applied to the container 11, comprises an annular principal cap member 19 and a flexible film-like membrane 20. As shown in Fig. 2, the annular cap member 19 encircles a central aperture 21 which is in substantial registry with the dispensing opening 15 of the container. The cap member 19 comprises an inverted U-shaped configuration in section consisting of an upper annular wall 22, an inner depending flange 23, and an outer depending flange 24. The flange 24 includes an internally projecting annular rib 25. The film-like membrane 20 spans the aperture 21 and extends around the contour of the rim 14 to ex tend downwardly beyond the head 17. The film-like membrane is adhered, as described hereinafter, to the inner surface of the cap member. When the closure assembly of this invention is applied to the container rim 14, the inner flange 23 will project into the container opening as the outer flange 24 fits down and around in snap-on engagement with the bead 17. The rib 25 defines a peripheral distance less than that defined by the outer extremity of the bead 17 and insures that the cap will remain on the rim in positive engagement. As the inner flange 23 enters the dispensing opening defined by the rim, it will cause the flexible film-like membrane 20 to be in tension, thus insuring a tautness of the membrane as it spans the aperture 21.
In the embodiment as illustrated in Fig. 4, the closure assembly comprises a principal cap member 41, which in the plan view assumes the configuration of a square. The cap member 41 likewise contains a central aperture 42 for substantially overlying the dispensing opening or mouth of the container to which applied. The cap member comprises in section (Fig. 5) an upper wall 43, and depending therefrom an inner flange 44 and an outer flange 45. The flange 45 includes an internally projecting rib 46. As thus described, the cap member is adapted to be applied to a container in which the rim defining a dispensing opening is square instead of circular. The in ner depending flange 44 of the cap member assumes particular significance wherein the closure cap is square or rectangular. Thus, it has been found that this flange 44 provides support to the rim of the container at a position intermediate its corners, which position is usually a zone of particular weakness induced by the contact of the rib 46 in passing over the bead application.
of the rim during In Fig. 6, there is shown in an enlarged view, a closure cap 51 of this invention applied to a container and having a flexible, film-like membrane 53 peripherally adhered to the outer surface of the upper. wall, portion 54r to thereby span a central aperture 55 in the cap member.
InFig. 7, there is shown in particular detail the arrangement of the flexible, film-like membrane with respect to the closure cap and the rim of the container. In this arrangement, the membrane is positioned so as to be enclosed andcompressed between the, inner surfaces of the cap member and the rim of the container. With this arrangement, there is less likelihod of the membrane being ripped from the cap member and, furthermore, tautness of the membrane in spanning the central aperture ofthe closure cap member is more readily assured, as discussed more fully hereinafter. The principal cap member 61, as shown in this view, includes an upper wall 62 having an under surface 63 for abutting contact with the upwardly facing surface or edge 64 of the rim of the container. The upper wall 62 surrounds acentral aperture 65, substantially coincident with the dispensing opening defined by the. rim of the container. A flange 66. depends from the wall 62 at the outer periphery of the aperture 65 and has, aninner surface 67 for. abutting contact with the innet-side wall of the rim of the container. A skirt 68 also depends from the wall 62 at the outer margin thereof. Theskirt 68 bears an inwardly projecting rib 69 providing cooperative engagement with the bead-like projection borne by the rim of the container. When the principal cap member, is. applied to the rim of the container, the inner surfacefltl of; the skirt 68 will be in abutting relationship with the. bead-like projection. Preferably, a film-like membranelll' shall be adhered to the surface67, the surface 63, the surface 70, or the downwardly facing surface 71 ofthe skirt 68. It can be seen that a. greater area of mechanical contact between the adjacent surfaces and, consequently, improved sealing efiiciency will be provided when the film-like membrane is of a size permitting it to be adhered to thesurface 63 as compared to the surface 67; In similar fashion, adherence to the surfaces 70 and '71 will provide even greater sealing efficiency in the order listen. Where the film-like membrane is selected of size permitting a principal bond or zone of adhesion to be effected on the surface 70 or 71, it is preferred that the contiguous portions be at least partially adhered to the entire inner contour surface of the cap member. This will avoid looseness and flapping of the membrane and facilitate ready. and proper application of the closure assembly to the container rim.
The closure assembly of this inventionmay be suitably utilized in conjunction with any container which incorporates a bead-like projection adjacent its rim. The overailobjects and advantages of the closure assembly of this invention are, however, most thoroughly realized in connection with a resilient or flexible container, or a rigid container having a resilient or flexible rim. The cap member component of the assembly of this invention may be molded or fabricated of any of the conventional plastic materials, such as the polyethylenes, ureas, phenolics, melamines, styrenes, polystyrenes, acrylics, polyesters, vinyls, cellulose esters, derivatives and combinations of the foregoing, and the. like. Various elastomeric compositions can likewise be used.
The film-like membrane may be formedfrom a variety of. materials. which are flexible, yet tough. The membrane is preferably formed from plastic materials chosen fromthose listed above which can be extruded or drawn intheformof a sheet or film. the easily extrudable materials are polyvinyl chloride, vinylidene chloride, polyethylene, cellulose esters, acrylics, polyesters, etc. Where the membrane is formed by ex truding or drawing, it is conveniently formed to the desired .size by die-cutting. It is within the purview of this invention to utilize as the film-like membrane 20-(Fig. 9), laminates of two or more suitable film or foil materials Illustrative. examples of i in which the inner layer 20b would be chosen from a con: sideration of the contents of the container, and the outer layer 20a would be chosen from a consideration of the handling which the container might receive. In order to permit the contents of the container to be viewed, the film-like membrane is chosen from among those materials which are transparent, such as the, acrylics, the polyesters, the cellulose estersand ethers, and the like, including the material sold under the trademark cellophane. It is. preferablefornarticular uses, that the film-like menu.- brane be formcd:from,a.material which. is receptive to printing. In, this. fashion, an advertising message or printed instructions can be readily incorporated into a closure assembly for-obvious purposes. The thin flexible metal foils, such as aluminum foil, are useful for particular applications.
The film-like membrane may be adhered to the principal cap member in a variety of ways. Thus, where both the principal cap member and the film-like membrane are formed from synthetic materials of the thermoplastic type, e.g., polyvinyl halide, polyethylene, the acrylics, cellulose esters, and the like, they may be conveniently adhered to each other by an adhesive or, preferably, by heat-sealing. The inherent character of these thermoplastic materials will permit localized fusing under the influence of a heated die or the like, providing an. effective seal between the principal cap member and the film-like membrane. This, together with the physical contact. resulting upon application of the closure assembly, will effect isolation of the contents of the container from theatmosphere. Where the principal cap member and the film-like membrane are formed from synthetic materials of the thermosetting type, or where one is formed from the thermosetting variety material and the other is formed from the thermoplastic variety material, an auxiliary compatible adhesive may be employed to accomplish adherence or bonding. As indicated hereinbefore, the flexible film-likemembrane is most desirably adhered to the principal cap member on a surface thereof which will ultimately be in contact with the surface of the rim portion ofthe container.
It can be. readily seen that this invention provides a closure assembly which will allow eflicient sealing of the container and, at the same time, utilizes a minimum amount of the material utilized in forming the principal cap member. In view of the relatively high cost of conventional synthetic materials likely to be used in forming solid one-piece closure caps, the assembly constituting this invention effects a substantial saving in cost. It may be further appreciated that the closure assembly of this invention permits the utilization of combinations of different materials in forming the principal cap member and the flexible film-like membrane to accommodate thereby a variety of container contents and a variety of service conditions. This wide latitude additionally demonstrates the extreme utility of the closure assembly of this invention.
As indicated hereinbefore, a principal feature of the closure assembly of this invention is the inner flange provided thereby, which accomplishes a variety of functions. Thus, the inner flange. supports the upstanding rim wall portion of the container, preventing any collapsing inwardly when the closure is applied. Without the inner flange, the passage of the rib over the beadlike projection would normally eflect a caving or bulkling of the flexible rim of: the container. Frequently. this buckling permanently damages the rim causing detrimentalleakage or impaired sealing of the container. Furthermore, the inner flange, in combination with the preferred location of the adherence of the film-like membrane to the cap member, induces a tautness in the film-like membrane in spanning the central aperture. In addition, the inner flange serves to locate the film-like membrane in a recessed position with respect to the top of the container and the principal cap member, thus reducing the chances of damage thereto.
It is obviously within the purview of this invention to form the principal cap member so as to have a plurality of spaced-apart, tongue-like or lug-like dependents 81 (Fig. 8) extending from the outer margin of the top wall instead of the continuous outer flange or skirt as described hereinbefore. Such a structure would provide even greater savings in the material utilized in making the cap member. The tongue-like dependents would, of course, include an inwardly projecting rib 82, similar to that described hereinbefore, for cooperative engagement with the bead-like projection on the outer surface of the rim of the container. It can be appreciated that the tongue-like dependents, by reason of their physical shape, would have an inherent physical elasticity, permitting the choice of a normally less resilient material to be used in forming the cap member without increasing the difficulty in applying the cap to the container rim.
The closure assembly of this invention may also be formed from a cap member in which the depending outer flange or skirt contains the inwardly facing rib at only selected portions of the periphery thereof.
Other obvious modifications may be resorted to without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention, it being desired to be limited only to the extent expressed in the appended claims.
1. A closure assembly for a container having a dispensing opening defined by a peripheral rim formed from a resilient material and having a bead-like projection flaring outwardly adjacent said rim, said assembly comprising a resilient cap member adapted to enclose said rim and said projection, and having a central aperture at least partially coincident with said opening when said closure assembly is applied, said cap member including a top wall surrounding said aperture for abutting contact with the upwardly facing edge of said rim, a flange depending from said wall for abutting contact with the inner surface of said rim, a skirt depending from the outer margin of said wall and means on said skirt for cooperative snap-on engagement with said bead-like projection, and a flexible, film-like membrane peripherally adhered to said cap member to thereby span and close said central aperture.
2. A closure assembly for a container having a dispensing opening defined by a peripheral rim formed from a resilient material and having a bead-like projection flaring outwardly adjacent said rim, said assembly comprising a non-metallic cap member adapted to enclose said rim and said projection, and having a central aperture at least partially coincident with said opening when said closure assembly is applied, said cap member including a top wall surrounding said aperture for abutting contact with the upwardly facing edge of said rim, a flange depending from said wall at the periphery of said central aperture for abutting contact with the inner surface of said rim substantially opposite said flaring projection, a skirt depending from the outer marginal edge of said wall and a rib integral with said skirt, said rib extending inwardly from said skirt to define a peripheral distance less than that defined by said projection, said assembly further comprising a flexible, film-like membrane peripherally adhered to said cap member to thereby span and close said central aperture.
3. A closure assembly as claimed in claim 7, wherein the membrane is adhered to a rim-contacting surface of said cap member.
4. A closure assembly as claimed in claim 1, wherein the membrane is peripherally adhered to the inner surface of the skirt.
5. A closure assembly as claimed in claim 1, wherein the membrane is adhered to the downwardly facing edge of said skirt.
6. In combination, a container having a dispensing opening defined by a flexible rim and a bead-like projection adjacent said rim, a cap member formed of resilient material, and a cover element secured to said cap member and being formed of flexible, film-like material, said element spanning said opening and enveloping said rim, said cap member including a top wall overlying said rim and containing a central aperture substantially overlying said opening, spaced wall means depending from the marginal portion of said cap member adapted to engage said rim and projection and locate the spanning portion of said cover element in recessed relationship to said rim.
7. A closure assembly for a container having a dispensing opening defined by a peripheral rim having a bead-like projection flaring outwardly adjacent said rim, said assembly comprising a resilient cap member having a central aperture at least partially coincident with said opening when said closure assembly is applied, said cap member including a top wall surrounding said aperture for abutting contact with the upwardly facing edge of said rim, radially spaced annular walls depending from said wall for enveloping said rim and said bead-like projection, and a flexible, film-like membrane peripherally secured to said cap member to thereby span and close said central aperture.
8. A closure assembly for a container having a dispensing opening defined by a peripheral rim having a bead like projection flaring outwardly adjacent said rim, said assembly comprising a resilient cap member having a central aperture at least partially coincident with said opening when said closure assembly is applied, said cap member including a top wall surrounding said aperture for abutting contact with the upwardly facing edge of said rim, spaced wall means depending from said wall for enveloping said rim and said bead-like projection, and a plurality of flexible, film-like membrane elements peripherally secured to said cap member to thereby span and close said central aperture, the innermost of said elements being selected as to provide a barrier against the contents, and the outermost being selected to provide a barrier against conditions without the container.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENIS 170,815 Cash Dec. 7, 1875 901,695 Davis Oct. 20, 1908 1,480,782 Primeau Jan. 15, 1924 2,721,686 Reifsnyder et al. Oct. 25, 1955 2,726,517 Pruett Dec. 13, 1955 2,752,972 Tupper July 3, 1956 2,754,866 Coltman July 17, 1956