US 2958439 A
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1960 D. E. YOCHEM 2,958,439
CONTAINER AND CLOSURE Filed April 29, 1959 INVENTO. DONALD E. YOCH BY MAHONEY, MILLER& RAMBO, ATTYS.
Unite Sttes CONTAINER AND CLOSURE Donald E. Yochem, 2859 Northwest Blvd, Columbus, Ohio Filed Apr. 29, 1959, Ser. No. 809,822
2 Claims. (Cl. 220-385) My invention relates to a container and closure. It has to do, more specifically, with a container of tubular form having an open end or mouth with which a closure member is associated for movement into and out of sealing position relative thereto.
The tube and closure unit of my invention is particularly useful as a container for specimens of various types, such as a safe container for transporting blood, bacteria, and other substances for laboratory analysis and tests, or for other purposes.
At the present time, it is the practice to use for similar purposes the conventional glass tube usually with a cork as the closure. Some tubes are provided with screw threads for receiving a screw cap closure. Obviously, the insertion and removal of a cork is not sanitary because it must be gripped by the fingers, the corks are often dropped because of the diificulty of insertion or removal and, therefore, become contaminated, the corks break adding to the difiiculty of removal, the corks are quite often lost or misplaced, and the corks are quite expensive especially since it is necessary to discard so many after one or more uses. The screw cap has some advantages over the cork but is usually more expensive, and must be handled more in its application and removal and because it is necessary to screw it on and off. With both conventional types of specimen tubes and closures, it is necessary to use two hands in applying or removing the closures relative to the tubes.
The use of my specimen tube and closure unit overcomes all of the above objectionable features of con ventional tubes and results in many additional advantages.
The unit of my invention comprises a tube or container which has a closure attached to the open mouth end thereof for movement into and out of sealing position relative thereto. The closure or cap is carried by a flexible hinge strip for movement between open and seal ing positions relative to the tube mouth. The closure and mouth are so formed with cooperating sealing surfaces that when the closure is moved on the mouth and pressed inwardly, it Will snap into final sealed position thereon.
When blood or other substances are inserted into the usual glass tube or similar container, as when blood is ejected from a hypodermic syringe into the tube, it is necessary to remove the cork or cap completely from the tube and place it aside in order to have free use of both hands to handle the specimen. This is an inconvenient procedure and also the cork or other closure is likely to become contaminated when it is removed from the tube and, consequently, thereby contaminate the specimen or sample to be tested. Such contamination should be avoidedwhen testing specimens such as blood, serum and water.
My specimen tube eliminates possible contamination from removing the closure from the tube and is convenient to use, in addition to having other advantages, because the closure is attached to the tube by the reice silient hinge strip and the closure can be opened and closed very simply with one hand without separating the closure from the tube. Thus, the other hand is free to insert the specimen or sample into the tube and thereby also prevent possible contamination which might be caused by removing the separate conventional closure from the conventional tube.
The closure on my specimen tube can be operated merely by holding the tube in one hand and with the thumb or finger of the same hand pushing upward on a tab of the closure to release it from the tube. Thus, when the closure is released the resilient hinge pulls the closure away from the tube opening so the specimen can be inserted. Finger or thumb pressure on the closure causes it to properly align with the tube opening or mouth so that it will easily and quickly snap down in place and hold in position to close the tube opening.
The preferred form of the specimen tube and closure in accordance with my invention is illustrated in the accompanying drawings.
In these drawings:
Figure 1 is a side elevational view of my specimen tube and cooperating closure mounted on the upper end thereof and indicating by broken lines how the closure is applied to the tube.
Figure 2 is a plan view of Figure 1.
Figure 3 is a transverse sectional view taken along line 3-3 of Figure 4.
Figure 4 is a vertical sectional view taken along line 44 of Figure 3 showing the closure in sealing position on the tube.
Figure 5 is a view similar to Figure 4 though enlarged but showing the initial movement of the closure toward sealing position on the tube.
Figure 6 is a view similar to Figure 5 but showing the closure moved closer to sealing position on the tube.
With reference to the drawings, in Figure l I have illustrated a complete container and closure unit according to my invention. The container is shown in the form of a tube 1 which has a closed or lower end 2 and an upper or open end 3. The open end or mouth 3 is adapted to be sealed and unsealed by means of a closure 4.
The tube 1 is preferably molded from a suitable transparent plastic or similar material. The closure 4 is molded from plastic or similar material which should be relatively softer than the material used in the tube or container 1 and should possess resilient qualities. It has been found that more efficient sealing, in addition to other advantages, can be obtained when such materials are used. Polyethylene has been found suitable for the closure or cap 4 and polystyrene for the container or tube 1 although equivalent plastic materials can be used.
The wall of the tube 1 is tapered from its closed end 2 to its upper end 3 so that the external diameter of the tube is greater at the top or open end than at the bottom or closed end. However, adjacent the mouth or open end of the container 1 it is enlarged to provide an annular stop shoulder 5 which is spaced inwardly from the outer or upper edge of the container or tube which is designated by the numeral 6. It will be noted that the edge 6 is a sharp edge or knife edge Which is important in the sealing of the container by the closure 4 as will later appear. To form this sharp edge 6, the converging surfaces 7 and 8 are provided at the open end of the container which extend completely around the container or tube and join at an acute angle. The surface 8 acts as an annular outwardly and downwardly extending cam surface. This surface 8 extends outwardly beyond the outer surface 9 of the enlarged end of the container and joins at an obtuse angle with an annular sealing surface 10 forming the sharp lip or projection 11 which is located beyond the outer surface 9 of the tube. This surface 150. angles inwardly. and downwardly to itsv junction with the. outer surface 90f thev enlarged portion, of the tube. .The annular-surface 8. joins with the annular surface 9 at an. obtuse angle and. extends completely around the container or tube 1.
Thus, the open end or mouth of the container is provided with an outwardly directed cam surface 3 which extends to the. lip 11-,beyond the adjacent surface ofthe side wall 9 of the container and an inwardly directed sealing. surface, 10 which extends inwardly to the ad.- jacent surface 9 of the side wall of the container or tube. Furthermore, the extreme upper edge of the CD3 tainer or tube has a sharp sealing edge or knife edge e.
The closure unit 4' comprises a disk-like closure or cap body 15 and a ring 16 for securing the cap body 15 to the tube or container 1. The members 15 and 16 are preferably molded flat in the same plane as an integral unit as indicated by the broken lines at the lower end of Figure 1. They are joined together by means of a flat resilient hinge strip 17 which extends between the peripheral edges of the two members and is disposed in alignment with the diameters thereof. The ring 16 has an internal diameter less than the external diameter of the tapering length of the tube 1, being of substantially the same internal diameter as the external diameter of the largest end of the tube adjacent the stop shoulder 5, as shown in Figures 4 to 6.
The disk-like body 15 of the cap or closure 4 is provided with a resilient peripheral flange 20 extending from the plane thereof substantially at right angles thereto. Diametrically opposite the strip and projecting from the flange 20 of the closure 4, is a releasing tab 21. This annular flange 20 is provided on its inner surface with an annular sealing surface 10a extending inwardly at an angle to the inner surface of the flange 20. This surface 10a is complemental to the container sealing surface 10. The flange 20 is also provided with a camming surface 8a which extends annularly around the flange at its outer corner which will cooperate with the camming surface 8 on the container as will later appear. The annular surfaces 8a and 10a join at an obtuse angle to provide a junction line 1111 which projects inwardly of the inner surface of the flange 20.
The level. of the shoulder 5 is so selected relative to the top edge 6 and the distance therebetween is so related to the length of the closure hinge strip 17 that when the closure is applied, as shown in Figure 4, its center of curvature is along a vertical line flushv with the outer surface of the ring 16 and the outer surface of the flange 20. The distance from the edge 6 to the shoulder 5 should be substantially twice the maximum distance or horizontal distance from the tube surface 9 to the inner surface of the strip 17.
In applying the closure 4 to the tube 1, assuming the tube 1 is vertical, the closure ring 16 is slipped upwardly over the smaller end of the tube, as shown in Figure 1 by the broken lines. At this time, the cap portion 15 will have its flange 20 directed upwardly. The ring 16 can be moved upwardly along the container until it contacts the shoulder 5 at which time it will be stopped. This stop shoulder arrangement will serve to locate the closure body 15 at the proper level so that it can be subsequently swung upwardly and then over the mouth or upper end of the tube 1. As stated above, the position of the shoulder and the length of the strip 17 are related to cause the strip to assume the proper radius of curvature in bending for proper swinging movement of the cap body 15 for proper alignment with the container mouth 3. As the closure body 15 is swung over the upper end of the tube 1, it will first contact the tube in the manner shown in Figure 5, will continue to move downwardly if sufficient pressure is applied to the top surface of the body 15, as indicated in Figure 6, and will finally move into the closed sealing position shown in Figure 4. As the body 15 moves over the mouth of the tube, as shown in Figure 5, the cam surface 8a will engage the cam surface 8 and further pressure will cause the surface 8a to slide radially outwardly along the surface 8 and axially inwardly. This sliding camming action will continue until the resilient flange 26 is expanded outwardly sufliciently so that the inwardly projecting lip 11a on the closure flange Z-tl passes beyond the. outwardly projecting lip 11 on the tube and the sealing surface 19a snaps beneath the sealing surface 10 onthecontainer. At thistime, the sharp edge 6 will bear against and embed slightly in the inner surface of the disk-like body 15 of the closure. This is due to the fact that the vertical distance from the sharp lip 11a to the inner surface of the body 15 of the cap is slightly less than the vertical distance from the edge 6 of the container to the lower extremity of the sealing surface 10. Thus, there will be sealing contact between the flat surfaces 10 and 10a and sealing contact between the sharp edge 6 and the inner or lower surface of the disk-like body 15. A fluid-tight or hermetic seal will thus result.
Whenever it is desired to release the closure body' 15 from its sealed position shown in Figure 4, the tube 1 can be held in one hand and with the thumb or finger an upward pressure may be applied to the outwardly projecting tab 21. If suflicient pressure is applied to flex the peripheral flange 20 outwardly so that the surface 10a cams or slides outwardly on the surface 10, the cap lip 11a will eventually move beyond the container lip 11 and the closure body can then be swung into an open position away from the open end. of the container by the resiliency of the strip 17. It will be apparent that as soon as the body 15 of the closure. is released from the container it will tend to swing upwardly away from lip 6 to expose the mouth 3. This will be due to the memory or resiliency of the strip 17.
It will be apparent that with this container and closure unit, the unit can be held with one hand and the closure can be moved between sealing and unsealing positions by engaging it with the thumb or finger of that hand.v
A specimen or other material may be inserted or removed from the tube with the other hand which will'be free insofar as operation of the. closure is concerned. The closure will always be attached to the container and, therefore, it is not necessary to remove it and support it on a suitable surface. Therefore a sterile condition of the container and closure can be better maintained. Furthermore, there is no possibility of the closure being displaced since it will normally be in position on the container for use. the closure can be removed from the container by slipping it ofi the lower end thereof. In replacing it, orin the initial positioning of it on the container, it will be definitely located for proper movement relative to the mouth of the container.
According to the provisions of the patent statutes, the principles of this invention have been explained and have been illustrated and described in what is now considered to represent the best embodiment. However, it isto be understood that, within the scope of the appended claims, the invention may be practiced otherwise than as specifically illustrated and described.
Having thus described my invention, what I claimis:
1. A cooperating container and closure unit comprising a tubular container of annular cross-section which tapers from a closed smaller diameter lower end toward an open larger diameter upper end, a continuous an nular stop shoulder on the exterior surface of the'con-- tainer adjacent said upper open end but spaced axially downwardly therebelowand projecting radially outwardly from the outer surface of the container, a closure for sealing said upper open end and comprising" a di'scJike However, if necessary,
the apparatus above described and in which the radial movements of the chuck are allowed by mounting said chuck on a pivoted arm, instead of pivotally mounting the chuck spindle 16 as in Figs. 1 and 2. According to this modification the chuck 7 is carried at the end of a stub spindle 30, the axis 3 1 of which is parallel with and spaced from the axis 32 of a pivot shaft 33. The shaft 33 is journalled for angular movement about its axis 32 and is carried by the sleeve member 14 for movement therewith. The pivot shaft 33 has a lateral arm 34 in which the stub spindle 30 is journalled for angular movement about its axis 31. Vertical movement of the sleeve 14 together with the chuck7 is effected in the manner above described by a rotatable roller 13 running in aguide track 15. However, the sleeve 14 is shown as turned 180 from the position of Fig. 1, with the can position correspondingly changed. With this modified construction, radial movement of the chuck relative to the seam-forming members 9 and 11 is not only permitted when the can body side seam passes, but additional radial movements are positively effected as described below.
In the modified construction now being described the chuck is also arranged to be moved angularly about the axis 32 to a position at which it can receive a can end for application to a can positioned on the platform 3 with which the chuck co-operates. To this end an actuating arm 35 is secured to the upper end of the pivot shaft 33 and carries a cam follower 3-6 for cooperation with a cam, shown diagrammatically at 37 in Fig. 8.
The chuck is a magnetic chuck of the kind known in the art and the can ends are arranged to be fed to the seaming head CH one at a time in succession by a rotatable turret, shown diagrammatically at CET, Fig. 10. The line CET indicates the path followed by the centres of can ends fed by the turret and it will be seen from Fig. that the portion 38 of the path SET coincides with a portion of the path CP through which the chuck is moved. The lower part of the chuck path CP is determined by the cam 37 co-operating with the followers 36 thereby, through actuating arm 35, moving the chuck 7 about the axis 32 so that the chuck is moved to a position at which, due to its magnetic properties, it will remove a can end from the turret. The can end so removed by the chuck is carried by the chuck and is positioned thereby over a can when the latter is delivered to the platform 3 with which the chuck cooperates so that, on downward movement of the chuck under control of its roller 13 and the track 15, the can end is applied by the chuck to the can for seaming thereto in the manner described above.
It will be understood that the arrangements herein described and by which the vertical and radial movements of the chuck are obtained are capable of modification.
It will also be understood that the platform support 2 may be driven by suitable means other than the tie bars 6.
A machine for the seaming of ends to open topped cans after filling may alternatively comprise an apparatus as hereinbefore described for performing the first partial seaming operation when all the advantages of the anti-spill features would be obtained and thereafter transferring by the transfer device TD into a conventional multi spindle apparatus of a known kind which would complete the double seaming of an end to each can.
1. For use in seaming a dished can end to a can body, apparatus comprising a shaft having a vertical axis, a support rotatable about the axis of said shaft, a platform carried by the support and freely rotatable about an axis parallel with that of the shaft, a chuck supporting structure constrained to rotate with said support about the shaft axis, a chuck carried by the chuck supporting structure for free rotation about an axis 00- incident with that of the platform and for movement lengthwise of its axis towards and away from the platform to fit within a dished can end applied to a can body on the platform, thereby to hold the can end in position relative to the body during a seaming operation and to act as an abutment against which the seam is formed, a stationary arcuate seam forming member having a seam forming groove, a rotatable arcuate seam forming member rotatable about an axis eccentric to the axis of said shaft and having a seam forming groove facing the groove of the stationary forming member to co-operate therewith in folding interengaging can end and can body portions to form the seam by which the one is secured to the other, said forming members being disposed eccentrically one .to the other to form a convergent path through which a can body and can end engaged between said platform and chuck are moved from the divergent to the convergent ends thereof while being rotated about the axis of the can body with the peripheral portion of the can end in simultaneous en gagement with said circular and arcuate forming members, thereby causing these members to coact in forming a seam and a concentric path at the delivery end of said convergent path, said concentric path having a length equal to at least one half of the circumference of the seam being formed to assure a uniform seam entirely around the can.
2. Apparatus according to claim 1, wherein each said chuck is supported for movement in a direction radial to said seam forming members thereby to accommodate variations in the path of the chuck caused by the side seam of a can body with which the chuck is co-operating.
3. Apparatus according to claim 1, wherein said chuck supporting structure includes a pivoted supporting arm allowing radial movement of said chuck, said chuck being mounted on said pivoted supporting arm.
4. In a machine for seaming a peripherally curled can end onto a flanged can body, an inner circular forming member, and an outer arcuate stationarily mounted forming member partly surrounding and radially spaced from said inner circular forming member, the axes of said circular and arcuate forming members being vertically disposed and so spaced as to establish a can end path which gradually decreases in radial width from its receiving end to its delivery end, the radial distance between said circular and arcuate forming members at the receiving end of said path being sufficient to admit the can end between said members after initial application of said can end to the can body, the radial distance between said circular and arcuate forming members at the delivery end of said path conforming to the diameter to which the can end is to be reduced by the seaming operation, said circular and arcuate forming members being therefore cooperable to seam the can end onto the can body as said can end is rolled simultaneously against said circular and arcuate forming members from said receiving end to said delivery end of the aforesaid path and a concentric path at the delivery end of said convergent path, said concentric path having a length equal to at least one half of the circumference of the seam being formed to assure a uniform seam entirely around the can.
5. In a machine for seaming a can end onto a can body, an inner circular rotatably mounted forming member, the axis of which is disposed vertically, an outer fixedly mounted arcuate forming member partly surrounding and spaced from said inner circular forming member, the axis of said outer arcuate forming member being parallel with and so spaced from the aforesaid axis of said inner circular forming members as to cause said inner and outer forming members to coact in forming a convergent arcuate can end path which gradually decreases in radial width from its receiving end toward its discharge end, a, concentric path at the delivery end of saidconvergent path, said concentric path having a length equal to at, least one half of the circumference of the seam being formed to assure a uniform seam entirely around the can, rotatably mounted clamping means for clamping a can end on a can body with the peripheral portion of the can end in a plane to enter said convergent arcuate path, said clamping means being mounted to orbit around the aforesaid axesto allow corresponding orbiting of the can body and the clamped-on can end, said inner and outer forming members being so spaced and shaped as to allow simultaneous rolling of the orbiting can end thereon to bend portions of the can end andv body into interhooked relation with each other, and driving means operative to cause the aforesaid orbiting of the can body and the clamped-on can end.
6. Apparatus according to claim 3, wherein an actu; ating arm is secured to said supporting arm for co -op.- eration with a cam to effect angular movement of the supporting arm about the pivotal axis of 'said' supporting arm to. move the chuck to a position at which it can receive a can. end from a supply thereof for application by the chuck to a can on the platform with which. the chuck coroperates.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,306,648 Warrze et ail June 10, 1919 1,436,761 Gray Nov. 28, 1922 1,601,910 Fleischer. et a1. Oct. 5, 1926 2,458,529 Renard Jan. 11, 1949