US 2893611 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
y 7, 1959 E. G. AKERS 2,893,611
comsmsn sPou'r AND CLOSURE; STRUCTURE Filed Deb.. 24, 1955 juvsuraes.
E/OWHQD G. AzEeS,
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Arran e} I United States Patent COMBINED SPOUT AND CLOSURE STRUCTURE Edward G. Akers, Bell, Califl, assignor, by mesne assignments, to Staulfer Chemical Company, a corporationof Delaware Application December 24, 1956, Serial No. 630,398
'11 Claims. (Cl. 222-536) .This invention relates to new and improved closures. More specifically, this invention relates to combined spout and closure structures which are adapted to be used with bottles, tubes, etc. as will be more fully explained hereinafter. V
. Combined spout and closure structures are commonly used for dispensing virtually any known liquid or semiliquid composition from bottles, collapsible tubes, etc. Such constructions have conventionally been manufactured out of several different parts which are assembled prior to use. Because of the fact several parts are employed with these prior structures, a number of distinct problems are normally encountered with them. Probably the most common of these problems relates to the difiiculty in forming a satisfactory seal against leakage at the point where a rotatable part in these prior structures abuts against a part held in a fixed position. Another "distinct problemlwi th these prior structures results from the fact that it is extremely difiicult because of the size limitations to form these prior combined spout and closure structures with sufiiciently large passages so that they can be used. with viscous materials'such as certain types of liquid synthetic detergents, toothpaste or the like.
These problems may be considered secondary to various cost problems. With the combined spout and closure structure found in the prior art which corresponds to the structures of the present invention at least two separate members have to be independently manufactured fand then assembled together. are involved obviously increases the cost of these prior The fact that several parts structures over a bare minimum value. It is thought that this reason is primarily responsible for the sale of the prior combined spout and closure'structure being limited 'at the present time. Market research has evidenced that there is an extremely large demand for combined pouring spout and closure structures selling at an extremely low .cost. v
It is a broad object of the present invention to provide combined pouring spout and closure structures which can This is quite important since with the new least two-parts. -A further object of the invention is to provide'structures of the class indicated which can be used as caps for various types of containers or which can be used as an integral part of a collapsible tube. A still further object of the invention is to teach the construction of one-piece combined pouring spout and closures which are capable of being used with virtually any common type of semi-liquid or liquid preparation.
It may be stated in essentially summary form that these and other objects of the invention are achieved through the formation ofone-piece structures of the type discussed, each of these structures including: an elongated pouring spout having a base and a passage leading from the base through this spout; a membrane attached to the base of the spout around said passage, this mem- 2,893,611 Patented July 7, 1959 brane being capable of bending from a first configuration to a second configuration; and a peripheral portion attached to the outer edge of the membrane, this peripheral portion being adapted to be used to hold the complete structure of this invention in an operable position. Although in this summary the various parts of a structure of this invention are indicated as being separate from one another, it is to be understood that these parts are preferably formed integrally with one another out of a single piece of material. It is at least theoretically possible to form the members set forth in this summary separately from one another in such a manner that they are adapted to be connected so as to provide a colorable imitation of a preferred structure of this invention.
It should be pointed out that the aforegoing structures of the invention differ from many prior structures utilizing a flexible tube as both a pouring spout and a closure in that the bending action utilized is designed to 'take place in what may be a comparatively small membrane, this membrane being attached to a spout which in many respects may be considered to resemble a tube. As will be more fully apparent the closing action employed with the structures of this invention is designed so as to take place upon deformation of the membrance employed by moving the spout utilized so that it extends along the surface of this membrane. Obviously this is a different type of action than is achieved by bending a flexible tube so as to cause it to close. A specially designed membrane, as indicated in the preceding summary, is very desirable inasmuch as it permits the desired bending action utilized with the invention to take place within a comparatively small, limited area, such as the area normally found at the opening at the mouth of a bottle.
Because of the nature of the invention it is not considered necessary or advisable to set forth in this description a further discussion of the objects and advantages of the invention itself. Various further objects and advantages of the invention will be more fully apparent from a detailed consideration of the remainder of this disclosure, including the appended claims and the accompanying drawing in which:
Fig. l is a side cross-sectional view taken at line 1-1 of Fig. 2 of a combined spout and closure structure of the invention utilized as an integral part of a collapsible modified structure of this invention utilized as a bottle Fig. 5 is a similar side cross-sectional view of the modified structure shown in Fig. 4 in a closed position;
Fig. 6 is a cross-sectional view taken at line 6-6 of Fig. 5;
Fig. 7 is a side cross-sectional view similar to Fig. 4 of a second modified structure of this invention;
Fig. 8 is a view taken at line 88 of Fig. 7 illustrating the configuration of certain parts when this modified structure is in a closed configuration;
Fig. 9 is a side elevational view, partially in section, similar to Fig. 4 of a third modified structure of the invention;
Fig. 10 is a view taken at line Ill-10 of Fig. 9 illustrating the closing of the modified form of the invention shown in Fig. 9;
Fig. 11 is a side cross-sectional view similar to Fig. 4 of a fourth modified structure of the invention;
Fig. 12 is a cross-sectional view similar to Fig. 11 showing the action involved in closing this fourth modified structure of the invention; and
Fig. 13 is a cross-sectional view taken at line 13-13 of Fig. 11.
In all figures of the drawing like numerals are used to designate like parts Wherever convenient for purposes of illustration and explanation. It is to be expressly understood that this invention is not limited to various combined spout and closure structures having the exact configuration illustrated inasmuch as a large number of differently appearing structures can be readily designed by those skilled in the art to which this invention pertains, which differently appearing structures utilize the essential type of action described in this specification.
In Fig. 1 there is seen a combined spout and closure structure 16 of the invention formed so as to be a part of a conventional collapsible tube 12. As indicated in the drawing, this structure is located so as to in effect serve as a top of the tube 12. The actual structure 1!) consists of a membrane 14 secured at its periphery to the tube 12; this membrane is provided with a center opening 16 which is in communication with a passage 18 leading completely through a spout 20, the base 22 of which is attached to the membrane 14 immediately around the opening 16. As can be clearly seen in Figs. 1 2 of the drawing, the membrane 14 is formed so as to have a corrugation extending away from the tube 12 around the spout 20 so as to be spaced from the spout by means of small groove 26. This groove 26 is intersected by a sloping radial groove 28 leading across the membrane 14. It can be clearly seen in Fig. 1 of the drawing both the corrugation 24 and the groove 26 lead towards a 'low point in the structure 10 where the corrugation 24 is interrupted where the groove 28 intersects the groove 26 so as to, in effect, form an extension on the groove 26.
This type of structure is considered to be very important with the instant invention. With it the spout 20 may be rotated as indicated by the arrow in phantom inlFig. 1 tothe position indicated in Fig. 3 of the drawing and indicated in phantom of Fig. l of the drawing). As this occurs the groove 26 is distorted as indicated in Fig. 3 of the drawing and the corrugation 24 is also distorted to some extent. When the spout 20 is rotated in the manner indicated, the end 30 of this spout comes into engagement with a small tab 32 which is attached to the edge of the membrane 14- so as to project generally in the same direction as the spout 20. As pressure is applied to the spout 20 forcing it against this tab 32 the tab 32 is forced back until such time as a small projection 34 formed von the tab 32 snaps within the passage 18. At this point the .tab 32 springs 'back to its initial position and a seal is formed between the tab 32 and the projection 34- and the passage 18 in the spout 20. Depending upon the precise dimensions employed in the structure illustrated this seal can either be the result of the projection 34 blocking the passage '18 or the result of the end 30 of the spout 2t) fitting against the tab 32 orboth.
The entire structure 10 is, with this form of the invention, preferably manufactured as an integral part of the tube 12 by established techniques. At the presenttime it is preferred to form all of the different combined spoutand closure structures of this invention by .established injection molding or other relatedtechniques from various flexible plastics such as polyethylene or various related resins which are sometimes referred to generally as -polyolefins. The composite structures indicated in this specification can also be formed out of other various related flexible plastics such as flexible nylons, a number 00f compositions formed using diisocyanates, and
various vinyl type resins. The precise resin usedin formmg any structure of this invention will, of course, vary depending uponthe exact use. of the structure beingrnanuimitat inc C t in ,resins are :more advantageously 4 used with certain materials than others. It is important to emphasize that the structure 10 and the tube 12 may be completely formed by a simple injection molding operation so that the bottom (not shown) of the tube 12 is open. Any of the other structures herein indicated may be similarly formed. It is theoretically possible to form the structures described in this specification of other materials besides the plastics of the type indicated in this discussion. However; it is believed that for commercial reasons the structures of this invention will always be formed substantially as herein indicated.
Particular note is made of the fact that the thickness of the wall sections of the membrane 14 may be varied considerably depending upon bending characteristics desired. Also the thickness of this membrane may be increased in areas of stress or strain in order to prevent breakage. It is normally preferred to manufacture the spout 20 so that this spout 20 has a comparatively thick wall section in order that it may rotate as indicated without bending since such bending would interfere with the creation of a seal of the type indicated in this discussion. In all cases with the structure 10 it is preferred that the outer periphery of the membrane 14 be held in a substantially rigid manner by a substantially inflexible peripheral portion. In the case of the structure shown n i 2 n th s per h a partisan is c s u e byt s upp s do ths be For shipping purposes it may be desired to modify the structure 10 so as to form during manufacture upon the end 30 of the spout 20 of passage 18 a small cap 36 which forms a permanent seal on the spout 20 until such time as it is cut from the spout along a groove 38 by a knife or the like. The use of sncha cap completely prevents any danger of leakage during shipment. The means specified in the preceding discussion for sealing the spout 20 are considered :to be adequate fornormal house? hold use and for shipping where due care is exercised to preventdamage to the structure 10.
n Fig? 4 6 th ta isg'thsrc i ho a o i ed combined spoutand closnre'structure 40.of the invention. This structure is formed in the manner of a cap so as to be provided with a lower dependent flange .42 having a head or snap ring 44 located on the interior thereof in a known manner so that this closure 40 maybe snapped into position around another flange 46 at the top'of a conventional container 48. The structure40 differs from the structure 10 in several regards. One of these is that the tab 32 used in thestructure 1-0 is omitted in this form of the invention and instead is replaced ;by two upstanding pr j ct o s 50 f rmed en al a e h flange v42 in such a manner that'the-spout 20 employed Withfthismodification of the invention may be wedged between these two projections 50 so as to permanently hold the spout in a closed position as indicated in Fig. 5.
When the spout 2,0is so ro tated a .flat tab 52 formed adjac nt to the remov .26 sea t -sr s d a ly s y fromthis zp f iection 50 ;is brought into engagement with no he b 5 oc te a th b s of he s a to extend towards the tab 5 2. These two tabs fit together in the manner illustrated so as to form a seal in this modificdst u ur of the i cn iqn wh th spout is r tat in th iman s ntima ed- 'T ersma s of th s ru u sidsnti a w h th tructu 1,
In i 7 o th dra n t te -is il us rated ano e n.o fi .dv spo an c o u st u ur 61 0 th i n i that this structurefi may]; mounteduponthe threaded pre er b y manufactur so a :to i sl tiroissti n 70 w c xtend r m the p hs y Q a m mb an para e to the pou 2.0"an t01h sw r 2 Th projec i n are. .wi h his-to tuo th inventiq r rids with teunias bent-cremains whiti h-f s use ano he in such a manner that the ends' 72 securely lock the spout 20" against movement so as to hold this spout against a small built up knob 74 located within part of the groove 28". Preferably the wall section 76 of the spout 20" which is adapted to fit against this knob 74 when the spout 20" is rotated in the manner shown in phantom in Fig. 7 to the position indicated in Fig. 8 is formed so as to be comparatively thin in order that this wall section may be deformed by the knob 74 so as to form a seal within the spout 20". The remainder of the structure 60 is identical with the structure 10.
A further modified combined spout and closure structure of the invention 80 is indicated in Fig. 9 of the drawing. This specific structure is identical to the structure 10 except as indicated. Instead of being formed as part of a tube the structure 80 is formed in the shape of a cap having a flange 42' equipped with an angular bead 44' as indicated in Fig. 4 of the drawing so as to be capable of being used with a container 48'. With the structure 80 a projection or tab 82 is used instead of a tab 32. As can be seen from an examination of Figs. 9 and 10 this tab 82 is provided with a sloping surface 84 from which there projects a small projection 86. With this modified form of the invention the spout 20" is provided with a sloping end 88 so that the spout 20" may be located so as to be held by the tab 82 by rotating this spout to one side of the tab 82 and may then by slipping the spout under this tab 82 with the end 88 fitting against the surface 84 so as to form a seal. If desired, the projection 86 can also be used for forming a seal in the manner previously described. If the latter case is used, it is possible to dispense with the seal between the surface 84 and the end 88 although this is not considered preferable In Fig. 11 of the drawing there is shown a fourth modified combined spout and closure structure 90 of the invention which is identical in operative features to the structure 10 illustrated except for the fact that in this case the spout 20 is replaced by another spout 92 having a flattened oval-like shape as indicated in Fig. 13. Within the opposed elongated sides of a passage 94 extending through this spout 92 there are formed opposed lips 96 which are forced together when the spout 92 is rotated to a closed position by engagement with a bump or projection 98 within the passage 28' as indicated in Fig. 12 of the drawing. Those skilled in the art to which this invention pertains will realize that with the structure 90 a multi-seal eifect is obtained by the lips 96 pressing together and by the previously described action at the end of the spout 92. Thus, a very effective safeguard against leakage is provided in this structure 90. It is considered obvious from Fig. 11 of the drawing that the structure 90 is also formed in manner of the structure 40 as to include a flange 46" and an angular bead 44" so that this structure may be used upon a container 48".
All of the various combined spout and closure structures illustrated in the figures are designed to be formed in the same manner and out of the same material, as the structure 10 previously described. Any of the various structures 40, 60, 80 or 90 can be formed as an integral part of a collapsible tube by merely extending the various flanges attached to these structures so that they serve as a wall of a tube. Similarly the structure 10 can be modified by modifying the upper portion of the tube 12 in the manner indicated with any of the modifications of this invention so as to be capable of being used as a common cap of either a snap-on or a threaded variety. Similarly a cap such as the cap 36 can be employed with any of the various modified forms of the invention; and any of the various sealing structures shown can be employed in conjunction with one another in the manner illustrated in Fig. 11 wherever the operation of structures do not interfere with one another.
It is presently considered that the membrane 14 described in connection with any of the above structures should preferably be formed having a comparatively flexible wall section which, if desired, may be built up slightly at points of maximum flexure so as to prevent cracking. The shape of the membrane 14 shown is considered important with the instant invention; satisfactory preliminary results have been obtained with the shape illustrated. It is considered possible, however, to form the membrane 14 so as to have other configurations which are related to the specific configurations shown and still obtain the benefits of this invention. It is also possible to change the configuration of other parts of the structure illustrated while still retaining the method of operation of these parts.
Because of the fact that considerable modification may be made in the structures shown without departing from the essential nature of this invention, the invention itself is to be considered as being limited only by the appended claims as these claims may be interpreted in the light of patent doctrine of equivalents. Wherever the term means is used in these claims, this term is to be taken as covering corresponding structure illustrated and described or the equivalent of it.
1. A combined pouring spout and closure structure formed out of a single piece of material, said structure including: a relatively rigid pouring spout having a passage extending therethrough from one end of said spout to the other end of said spout; a membrane attached to said spout so as to extend around said spout, said membrane being capable of being deformed from its normal configuration by movement of said pouring spout; an edge portion attached to said membrane so as to hold the periphery of said membrane during movement of said pouring spout; means for holding said pouring spout when said pouring spout has been moved so as to deform said membrane, said means for holding said pouring spout being located on said edge portion; and means for closing said passage in said pouring spout when said pouring spout is held by said means for holding.
2. A structure as defined in claim 1 wherein said means for holding and said means for closing are identical.
3. A structure as defined in claim 1 wherein said membrane is provided with a groove adjacent said spout and a raised corrugation surrounding said groove.
4. A structure as defined in claim 3 wherein said means for closing comprise tabs formed on said membrane, said tabs being formed so as to fit against one another when said pouring spout is moved so as to deform said membrane and when said pouring spout is held by said means for holding.
5. A structure as defined in claim 1 wherein said means for closing comprises lips formed in said passage on said spout, said lips fitting together when said spout is held by said means for holding so as to seal said passage.
6. A structure as defined in claim 1 wherein said means for holding comprises: a tab, and wherein said spout may be rotated so as to cause temporary deformation of said tab fitting by forcing the end of said spout against said tab whereby the end of said spout may be held by said tab after temporary deformation of said tab.
7. A structure as defined in claim 6 including a projection formed on said tab, said projection being adapted to fit within said passage.
8. A structure as defined in claim 1 wherein said means for holding comprises a tab having a sloping surface and wherein said spout is provided with a sloping end whereby said spout may be rotated to one side of said tab and thence under said tab so that said sloping end abuts said sloping surface in order to hold said spout.
9. A structure as defined in claim 8 including a projection formed on said surfa e, Said projection being adapted 7 to fit said passage when said spout is held by said tab.
10. A structure as defined in .claim 1 wherein said Imeans for Qclosirig includes a knob formed on said membrane said knob serving to deform part of said spo'nt when said spout is'heid by said means for holding. lll-A sqp mre as defined in claim' 8 wherein said means for holding eom iiise' projeefcion positioned so as References Cited in the fileiof this patent UNITED STAT S PA ENT