US 2894654 A
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July 14, 1959 H, LHRER 2,894,654
CLOSING DEVICE OF ELASTIC MATERIAL FOR BOTTLES TUBESAND SIMILAR CONTAINERS Flled Sep'l*I 17 1958 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 /NVENTR July 14, 1959 H. LHRER Y 2,894,654
CLOSING DEVICE oF ELASTIC MATERI FOR BOTTLES, TUBES AND SIMILAR CON NERS 4 Filed Sept. 17, 1958 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 F/G /0 /M/E/vrm7 /f Hardy Lehrer m 5 e n |l 3y 4 E 4( y@ 1 5 l, awww 6 l l J ATT/S.
United States `Patent CLOSING DEVICE F ELASTIC MATERIAL FOR BO'I'I'LES, TUBES AND SIMILAR CONTAINERS Hardy Lhrer, Wiesbaden, Germany Application September 17, 1958, Serial No. 761,585 Claims priority, application Germany September 1957 9 Claims. (Cl. 21S-41) This invention relates to a lclosing device of elastic material for bottles, tubes and similar containers.
Closing devices of elastic material for bottles and similar containers are known in which a tear-off strip is connected with a stopper part so that the undamaged tear-otf strip represents a guarantee that the original contents are in the bottle.
'Ihese closing devices are, however, open to the objection that, after the tear-0E strip has been severed from the stopper part and the latter removed from the bottle, the stopper part may get lost so that it is not possible to close the bottle again.
Also, closing devices' for beer and mineral water bottles are `known in which a stopper` is permanently connected with the bottle by a wire strap so that the stopper cannot get lost. A stuck-on paper strip is provided to ensure against unauthorized opening of the bottle and adulteration of its original contents. These closing devices are, however, open to the objection that they are expensive and ditiicult to clean. Besides, experience has shown that if these closing devices are used for bottles containing a gaecharged beverage, a sudden rise in pressure of the contents, particularly of partlyv empty bottles, will cause the bottles to explode because the closing device fails to open automatically in response to an excessively high over-pressure.
It has also been suggested, in the case of closing devices made from elastic material, to form the stopper part with peripheral sealingribs. Thesc'constructions, however, are not suitable for bottle necks of varying internal widths and do not provide an absolutely tight closure over an extended period of time when there is an increasevin the internal pressure of the'bottle contents.
It is therefore the principal object of the invention to overcome the deciencies inherent in the known devices and to provide a closing device which is extremely etfective and can be produced at low cost.
According to the invention, a closing device of elastic material for bottles, tubes and similar containers having a mouth, comprises a retaining ring adapted to be tted on the mouth of the container, a closing cap having a top, an outer annular part depending from said top and adapted to the external shape of the container mouth, said outer annular part having a lower annular edge adapted to be brought into sealing engagement with the retaining ring, an inner hollow stopper part depending from the top of said closing cap and adapted, in the closing position, to project into the container mouth in sealing engagement therewith, said stopper part being open at the bottom, a resilient linkA integrally connecting said retaining ring with said closing cap, and a tear-off strip separably connected with said retainingring and arranged, in undamaged state, to tightly embrace the outer annular part of said closing cap.
After the tear-Gif strip has been severed from the retaining n'ng, the closing cap can be removed from the mouth of the container while it remains connected to the container through the connecting link and retaining ice ring. Thus, the cap cannot get lost and is always available for closing the container again. As long as the tear-ofi strip is not removed, the` closing device ensures that the container has its original contents.
In one embodiment according to the invention, the stopper part of the closing cap has a thin peripheral wall portion depending from the top of the closing cap and merging into a wall portion of increased thickness which terminates in an acute-angled peripheral edge. The stopper part engages the inner side of the container mouth only with its thickened wall portion, which readily adapts itself to a variety of container mouths of diierent internal widths.
' The tear-ot strip in its undamaged state presses against the outer annular partof the closing cap so that an inwardly projecting circumferential bead on said annular part is in tight sealing engagement with the outer side of the container mouth. The thicker and stronger the tear-off strip is made, the greater will be the eiciency of the closing device in sealing containers with high internal pressures.
Preferred embodiments of the invention are illustrated by way of example in thev accompanying drawings in which:
Fig. 1 is a vertical cross-sectional View showing a closing device according to the invention in the closed position on a bottle mouth;
Fig. 2 is a top plan view of the device shown in Fig. l;
Fig. 3 is a vertical cross-sectional view showing the closing device of Fig. l in the open position; n
Fig. 4 is a top plan view of the device shown in Fig'. 3;
Fig. 5 is a View similar to Fig. l but showing a modi-v ed form of the closing device;
Fig. 6 is an elevational view of the closing device of Fig. 5, illustrating the arrangement of a tear-oil strip with gripping tab; f
Fig. 7 is a fragmentary horizontal cross-sectional view, on a larger scale, of the gripping tab and adjacent parts of the tear-otf strip of Fig. 6;
Fig. 8 is a vertical cross-sectional view showing closing device of Fig. l inthe open position;
gig. 9 is a top plan View of the device shown in FigLS, an
Fig. 10 is a View similar to Fig. 8 but showing another modified form of the closing device adapted for use 0n a bottle mouth having an external thread.
Similar parts are designated by the same reference numerals throughout the several figures of the drawings. Referring now to the drawings, but first more particularly to Figs. 1 to 4, a closing device according vto the invention includes a retaining ring 3 adapted to be sllpped over the top of a bottle neck 1 and positioned below a circumferential head 2 surrounding the mouth of the bottle. The retaining ring 3 is integrally connected -with a closing cap 6 through a narrow resilient strip or link 4 which has an intermediate portion 5 in the shape of a U with diverging sides. The cap 6 has an outer annular part 8 arranged to t on the bead 2 at the bottle mouth and having a lower annular edge 9 which bears against the retaining ring 3 when the device 1s 1n closed position. Adjacent the edge 9 of the annu-` lar part 8 there is an inwardly projecting circumferential bead 10 adapted to engage under the bead 2 of the bottle mouth. A lug 7 projecting from the periphery of the cap 6 is provided to facilitate opening of the cap.
The cap 6 has also an inner hollow stopper partv 11 which is open at the bottom and Vprojects into the bottle neck 1 when the cap is closed. The stopper part 11 has its periphery 14 provided with a pair of outwardly projectng circumferential sealing ribs 12 and has a beveled lower edge 13 to facilitate insertion of the stopper in the bottle mouth. In the embodiment illustrated in Figs.'
L1.) L4 the periphery 14 of the stopper is adapted to the internal diameter of the bottle neck 1.
The retaining ring 3 is separably connected with a tear-olf strip 15 bearing with its inner side against the periphery of the annular part 8 of the cap 6. As can best be seen in Figs. 6 and 7, the tear-off strip 15 has a gripping tab 16 which is formed at its inner side with a thickened portion 17 having transverse gripping grooves 18, and this portion 17 diminishes in thickness in the tear-off direction, The gripping tab 16 is defined by lines of weakness 19 which are embossed in the elastic material of the strip, preferably on the inner side thereof, in such a manner that only a very thin connection remains. When the closing device is tted on the bottle, the stress occurring during this operation will cause the lines of weakness 19 to tear automatically so that the gripping tab 16 assumes a protruding position in which it can be readily seized.
By this means it is ensured that the tab 16 will not stick out until the closing device is ttcd on the bottle and thus `will not interfere with the proper functioning of a bottle closing machine for fitting the closing devices on filled bottles.
The tear-off strip 15 is connected with a ring 2i) through the intermediary of an internal circumferential groove which is arranged to receive an external peripheral rib 21 on the part 8 of the cap 6.
A circumferential groove 22 of wedge-shaped crosssection extends between the retaining ring 3 and the tearoff strip 15 to facilitate the removal of the latter. This groove 22 extends in the region of the connecting link 4 over a circumferential portion of 30 and in crosssection defines an angle a above the horizontal of at least 30, while it extends over the remaining 330 with a cross-section defining an angle below the horizontal of at least 30.
In a modified embodiment shown in Figs. and 8, the retaining ring 3 is connected with the tear-olf strip through a narrow annular portion .Z3/which is offset inwardly with respect to the periphery of the tear-off strip.
As best shown in Fig. 8, the stopper part 11 has a thin peripheral wall portion 24 merging into a peripheral wall portion 25 of increased thickness.
Underneath the lug 7 a protruding edge 26 is provided on the outer side of the annular part 8 of the cap 6; in the closed position this protruding edge engages in a corresponding notch 27 in the inner side of the tear-olf strip 15.
For bottles, tubes and other containers which have an external thread on their neck or mouth, the annular part 8 of the cap 6 is provided with a corresponding internal thread, as shown in Fig. 10.
Before the closing device illustrated in the open position in Figs. 3 and 8 is fitted on a bottle, it is folded together so that the rib 2.1 or edge 26 on the cap 6 engages in the groove or notch 27 of the tear-off strip 15. The folded device is then ready to be pressed over the bead 2 at the bottle mouth into the position shown in Figs. 1 and 5. This fitting operation may be performed by hand or, preferably with the aid of a bottle closing machine.
The thin connection between the gripping tab 16 and the adjacent portions of the tear-off strip 15 is sufiicient to keep the tab 16 within the contines of the tear off strip. In this position the intermediate portion of the connecting link 4 resiliently presses against the outer side of the tear-off strip 15, as at 28 in Fig. 1. This ensures that the closing device will remain in the folded position and the tab 16 will not project from the tearoff strip until the closing device is fitted on the bottle.
In order to open the closing device the tab 16, which projects as described from the closing device after the thin connection has torn along the lines of weakness 19 during the fitting operation, is gripped and the tear-off strip 15 torn off the closing device. The closing cap 6 can then be pressed upwards with the aid of the lug '7, and the bottle opened. The cap 6 then returns to the position illustrated in Figs. 3 and 8, in which it does not interfere with the pouring-out of the contents from the bottle.
To close the bottle again, the cap 6 is brought back to the closing position illustrated in Figs. l and 5. The introduction of the stopper part 11 into the bottle mouth is greatly facilitated by the beveled edge 13 and the downwardly tapering thickened wall portion 25.
As the tear-off strip 15 in its undamaged state urges the bead 10 of the cap 6 against the bottle neck, this strip contributes to reliable sealing of the bottle during transport and storage, so that no gas or liquid can escape from a bottle under high internal pressure. The thicker and stronger the tear-off strip is, the higher may be the internal pressure in the bottle that can be reliably sealed by the closing device.
Moreover, the construction of the closing device ensures that, after removal of the tear-off strip, no excessively high pressure can develop, for example, in a half empty bottle, because the cap 6 with its stopper part 11 opens automatically at a predetermined maximum pressure. Since experience has shown that an excessively high over-pressure, which may be due to warming-up or shaking of the bottle, is more likely to occur in a partly empty bottle than in a full bottle, the automatic opening of the closing device at a predetermined pressure will reliably prevent such partly empty bottles from exploding.
To avoid premature opening of the closing device until it is fitted on the bottle, and to eliminate faulty operation of the bottle closing machine resulting from such premature opening, in the embodiment shown in Figs. 5, 8 and 9 the link 4 is so constructed that the surface of the intermediate portions bears with considerable pressure against the outer side 28 of the tear-off strip 15. Figs. 5 and 6 show how the link 4 is over-stretched so that it urges the cap 6 into its closing position.
Upon removal of the tear-olf strip 1S, the link 4 is free to expand toward the bottle neck 1 so that the cap 6 is no longer urged into its closing position. The link 4 then acts as a retraction spring so that the cap 6, upon being opened with the aid of the lug 7, snaps back into the wide-open position illustrated in Figs. 3 and 8.
The sealing ribs 12. on the stopper part 11, as shown in Figs. l and 3, should be made so thin that they enable the stopper part 11 to be inserted in the mouth of the bottle neck, even by hand, without diiculty. However, this construction of the stopper part will not allow for largely varying internal widths of bottle mouths, in particular when it is desired to ensure an absolutely gas-tight seal in the presence of relatively high internal pressure. Therefore, in the modied construction illustrated in Figs. 5 and 8, the arrangement is such that only the thickened peripheral wall portion 25 of the stopper part 11 engages the inner side of the bottle neck. The thin wall portion 24 makes it easy for the thickened portion 25 to adapt itself to the internal width of the bottle mouth s0 that the stopper can be used for bottle mouths of widely varying internal widths, ensuring an absolutely tight seal over a practically unlimited time even when the internal pressure is high. The result of making the wall portion 24 of reduced thickness is that the sealing pressure of the thickened wall portion 25 cannot act on the strong top of the cap 6, so that a shallow recess or depression as heretofore provided in the cap top is not needed.
l. A closing device of elastic material for bottles, tubes and similar containers having a mouth, comprising a retaining ring adapted to be fitted on the mouth of the container, a closing cap having a top, an outer annular part depending from said top and adapted to the external shape of the container mouth, said outer annular part having a lower annular edge adapted to be brought into sealing engagement with the retaining ring, an inner hollow stopper part depending from the top of said closing cap and adapted, in the closing position, to project into the container mouth in sealing engagement therewith, said stopper part being open at the bottom, a resilient link integrally connecting said retaining ring with said closing cap, and a tear-off strip separably connected with said retaining ring and arranged, in undamaged state, to tightly embrace the outer annular part of said closing cap.
2. A closing device as set forth in claim 1, wherein, for use with containers having their mouth provided with an external thread, the outer annular part of the closing cap is provided with a corresponding internal thread.
3. A closing device as set forth in claim 1, wherein the resilient link is arranged to bear against the outer side of the tear-off strip when the device is in the closing position.
4. A closing device as set forth in claim l, wherein the tear-off strip has at one of its ends a gripping tab which is formed at its inner side with a thickened portion having transverse gripping grooves and diminishing in thickness in the tear-ofi direction, `said gripping tab being defined from adjacent parts of the tear-off strip by lines of weakening embossed in the material of the -strip in such manner so as to leave a very thin connection which tends to tear automatically when the closing device is being fitted on the container, whereby the gripping tab assurnes a protruding position.
5. A closing device as set forth in claim l, wherein the tear-off strip is connected with a ring through the intermediary of an internal circumferential groove adapted to receive an external peripheral rib on the outer annular part of the closing cap.
6. A closing device as set forth in claim 1, wherein the tear-off strip is separably connected to the retaining ring by a circumferential groove of wedge-shaped crosssection, which groove extends in the region of the connecting link over a circumferential portion of 30 and in cross-section deines an upwardly directed angle of at least 30, while it extends over the remaining circumferential portion of 330 with a cross-section dening a downwardly directed angle of at least 30.
7. A closing device as set forth in claim 1, wherein the tear-off strip is connected with the retaining ring through a narrow annular portion which is inwardly olfset With respect to the periphery of the tear-olf strip, and the closing cap has a lug projecting outwardly from the top thereof and an outwardly protruding edge is provided on the annular part of the cap underneath said lug to engage, in the closing position, in a corresponding notch in the inner side of the tear-olf strip, the stopper part of the closing cap having a thin peripheral wall portion depending from the top of the closing cap and merging into a peripheral Wall portion of increased thickness which terminates in an acute-angled peripheral edge.
8. A closing device as set forth in claim 1, wherein the connecting link has an intermediate portion in the shape of a U with diverging sides, the arrangement being such that said intermediate portion, as long as the tear-olf strip has not been removed, presses against said tear-olf strip and urges the cap into its closing position whereas, when said intermediate portion is disengaged from the tear-off strip upon removal of the latter, the connecting link urges the closing cap into its open position.
9. A closing device as set forth in claim l, wherein the tear-off strip is adapted in strength and thickness to the amount of internal pressure prevailing inside the container.
References Cited in the le of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS