US 2977145 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
A. s. RlFKlN 2,977,145
SEAL CONSTRUCTION HAVING PLURAL FEMALE ELEMENTS March 28, 1961 Filed Sept. 19, 1958 N INVENTOR.
ARNOLD 5. RIFKIN %%4/// M TTORNEY Rm 9. Q. mm
mm mm C- mh -er e Patented Mar. 28, 1951 SEAL CONSTRUCTIQN HAVING PLURAL FEMALE ELEMENTS Arnold S. Rifkin, A. Rifkin & C0., 39 E. Northampton St, Wilkes-Barre, Pa. v
Filed Sept. 19, 1958, Ser. No. 762,088
Claims. (Cl. 292-321) This invention relates generally to seals and is particularly concerned with sealing devices having for their purpose the indication and thereby prevention or deterrence of certain unauthorized activities.
While the present invention has been primarily developed for use in the sealing of money bags, and like banking devices, and will be illustrated and described with particularereference thereto, it is appreciated and contemplated as being within the scope of the instant invention to employ the same in a wide variety of diverse applications, such as the sealing of utility meters and various parcels to prevent tampering, and the sealing of food and drug containers to insure sterility, etc.
Accordingly, it is one object of the present invention to provide a seal construction of the type described which is quick and easy to use, both in the sealing and unsealing operations, requiring no special tools, which is capable of fabrication from non-critical materials, such as plastic or the like, and which is extremely light in weight, so as to add only negligibly to the weight of a sealed container.
It is another object of the present invention to provide a seal construction having the advantageous characteristics mentioned in the preceding paragraph which is extremely simple in its structure, rugged and durable in use, entirely reliable even under severe operating conditions, and which is well adapted for economic manufacture and sale by existing methods of mass'production.
It is stillanother object of'the present invention to provide a sealing device of the type described which is admirably well suited for economical mass production, as
by injection moulding employing relatively simple dies,
for production at very reasonable cost.
The instant invention also contemplates the provision of novel means which obviously indicate with certainty the fact of tampering, and prevent restoration of the seal subsequent to tampering.
his still a further object of the present invention to' provide a seal construction of the type described which more effectively grips the article being sealed, and which provides for removal of the seal without damage to the previously sealed article. 7
Other objects of the present invention will become apparent upon reading the following specification and referring to the accompanying drawings, which form a mate- 7 rial part of this disclosure.
Figure 3 is a sectional view. taken substantially along the line 3-3 of Figure 2, somewhat enlarged for clarity of understanding;
Figure 4 is a plan view showing a seal of the present invention prior to use, with parts broken away to conserve drawing space;
Figure 5 is a longitudinal sectional view taken substantially along the line 55 of Figure 4; and
Figure 6 is a sectional view taken along the line 6-6 of Figure 5.
Referring now more particularly to the drawings, there is shown in Figures 1 and 2 a money bag, generally designated 29, which may be in the form of a conventional open top bag of flexible fabric sheet material. generally designated 21, is illustrated as circumposed about a constricted portion or neck 22 of the bag, the neck portion 22 being located above'the lower bag portion 23 which is expanded by its contents, and located below the upper bag portion 24 which is expanded by being of double thickness or hemmed. By reason of the relative bulk of the hemmed upper bag portion 24, the latter bag portion isincapable of being passed through the constricting seal 21 t The seal 21 is best seen in Figures 4 and '5, and is preferably integrally formed of resilient yieldable material, such as nylon or polyethylene plastic. More specifically, the seal 21 includes an elongate flexible element.
or strip 27 which is generally of a symmetrical trapezoidal configuration in cross section, as seen in Figure 6. An integral extension or strip 28 extends longitudinally from one end of the strip 27, and is also of a trapezoidal cross sectional configuration substantially identical to that of the strip 27. Formed integrally with and extending from the other end of the strip 27 is a plural female element receivengenerally designated 29.
Formed on one side of the elongate element or strip 27, the laterally smaller side and uppermost side as seen.
in Figures 4 and 5, are a plurality of upstanding ratchet teeth 30. That is, the external ratchet teeth 30 are arranged in a series or row extending longitudinally of the strip 27, with the individual teeth 30 each extending laterally across the strip. The term ratchet teeth is used to simplify terminology, and has general reference to one-way teeth of the type found in ratchet mechanisms, wherein each tooth usually includes a shorter, generally normally disposed side, and a longer, generally longitudinally disposed side. The teeth 30 each have a shorter side or surface 31 upstanding generally normal from the upper side or surface of the strip 27, and a longer side or surface 32 extending generally longitudinally, but necessarily oblique to the longitudinal extent of the elongate element 27. The shorter and longer tooth sides 31 and 32 of each tooth extend laterally across the elongate element 27 and terminate in side surfaces or end edges 33 respectively defining flush extensions of the side edges of strip 27. As best seen in Figures 4 and 5, each adjacent pair of teeth 30 is spaced or separated by a generally rectangular surface region or land 34 defined by the upper surface or side of the strip 27, while the distal or outer surface 35 of each tooth is generally rectangular and substantially parallel to the plane of the lands 34, While being generally coplanar with the outer surface 35 of the remaining teeth. Thus, the teeth 30 are slightly spaced apart from each other while located in a row disposed longitudinally on the strip 27 with each tooth extending laterally across the strip; and, the individual teeth 30 taper outwardly away fro-m the strip in a plane longitudinally of the latter between their shorter and-longer sides 31 and 32, terminating in the generally flat outer end surfaces 35. Further, as seen inv Figure 6, the teeth 30 are of a generally trapezoidal configuration transversely of the elongate element 27, defining a de- A seal,
creasing continuation of the trapezoidal transverse cross sectional configuration of the elongate element 27.
The row of externalratchet teeth 30 are located on the elongate element 27 adjacent to its end extension 28, and spaced from the end of the elongate element which is fixedly attached to the receiver construction 29. Between the row of teeth 30, and the receiver means 29, the strip 27 is integrally formed on its narrower face or side with a plurality of outstanding, generally conical, pointed spurs or barbs 38, which are advantageously spaced from each other and project upward or outward beyond the outer tooth surfaces 35. Also, it should be noted that the spurs or conical impaling elements 38 are arranged in a row longitudinally of the elongate element 27 with one endmost spur located adjacent to but slightly spaced from the receiver construction 29, as by the region 39 of the strip 27.
The receiver construction 29 includes a pair of relatively stiff receiver elements 42 and 43, respectively provided with central through openings or passageways 44 and 45. That is, the receiver elements 42 and 43 are somewhat stilf relative to the elongate element 27 by reason of the relatively thicker cross sectional areas of the receiver elements as compared to the elongate strip. Viewed otherwise, the receiver elements 42 and 43 may be considered as a pair of generally right angular hexahedrons arranged in side by side relation spaced longitudinally of the elongate element 27, with one receiver element 42 fixedly secured to or formed integral with the adjacent region 39 of the elongate element. As seen in Figure 5, the receiver elements 42 and 43 have their lower surfaces or sides 46 and 47 substantially coplanar with each other and with the lower or wider face of the strip 27, while the upper surfaces or sides 48 and 49 of the respective receiver elements are substantially coplanar with each other and spaced appreciably above the upper or narrower face of the elongate element. A relatively thin, and therefore relatively flexible connector strip t} extends between and has its opposite ends integrally connected to the adjacent sides of the receiver elements 42 and 43, being substantially flush with the lower surfaces 46 and 47. The connector strip is relatively thin and flexible to allow free swinging movement of the receiver elements 42 and 43 relative to each other between the side by side spaced relation of Figures 4 and 5, and the aligned, facing relation of Figure 2.
The through openings or passageways 44 and 45 in the receiver elements 42 and 43 respectively each extend vertically opening through the lower and upper sides of the respective receiver element. In particular, the central opening or passageway in the receiver element 42 opens through the lower and upper surfaces 46 and 48, while the central opening or passageway 45 of the receiver 43 opens through the lower and upper surfaces 47 and 49. As best seen in Figure 4, the passageways 44 and 45 are each of a generally symmetrical, trapezoidal internal configuration having the parallel internal sides extending generally laterally or cross-wise with respect to the longitudinal dimension of the elongate element 27. Internally of each passageway or opening 44 and 45, formed on the narrower parallel internal wall or side thereof is an internal ratchet tooth, as at 52 and 53, respectively. As best seen in Figure 5, it will be observed that the shorter side 54 of the ratchet tooth 52 faces generally downward and is undercut, as at 55 contiguous to the base or narrower parallel side of the trapezoidal passageway. The longer side of the internal ratchet tooth 52, designated 56, extends obliquely downward generally toward the shorter tooth side 54, and terminates short of the latter to define a blunt tooth crest or end surface 57. As best seen in Figure 4, the tooth is of a laterally divergent, generally trapezoidal configuration similar to but smaller than that of the passagcway 44, so that the end surface 57 is of a lateral extent greater than that of the base or root of the tooth, extending parallel to and spaced from the larger parallel internal side of the passageway, while the opposite side surfaces 58 of the tooth extend divergently from the base of the tooth and are each located in inwardly spaced relation with respect to their adjacent diagonal passageway walls.
The internal ratchet tooth 53 of the receiver 43 has its shorter side or surface 61 facing generally upward, opposite to that of the shorter side of tooth 52, and
the shorter tooth side 61 is undercut at its root or base,
as at'62. The longer side or surface 63 of tooth 53 extends obliquely upward toward the shorter tooth side 61, terminating short of the latter to define a generally vertical, fiat, rectangular tooth crest or end surface 64. As best seen in Figure 4, the tooth 53 projects into the passageway 45 from the narrower internal parallel passageway wall. Further, the tooth 53 extends laterally in the passageway 45 having a trapezoidal configuration similar to but smaller than the internal configuration of the passageway, so that the end surface 64 extends a greater lateral distance than the base of the tooth, while the side edges 65 of the tooth extend in substantial parallelism with and are spaced inward from the adjacent diagonal sides of the passageway. It will also be noted that the passageways 44 and 45, and their respective teeth 52 and 53 are arranged in an inverted relation, as seen in Figure 4, with the larger parallel sides thereof adjacent to each other and the smaller parallel sides remote from each other, for a purpose appearing presently. In additiou, the receiver element 43 is formed exteriorly with a pointed spur or barb 63, which may project obliquely outward and downward from a laterally medial and distal region of the undersurface 47.
The extension 28 of the elongate element 27, remote from the receiver construction 29, may be of a cross sectional configuration similar or identical to that of the elongate element, and preferably has its distal or outer end portion of a laterally tapering configuration, as by the chamfered or beveled corners or end edges 71. Adjacent to but spaced longitudinally inward from the tapering distal end region 70 of the extension 28 there may be provided a pair of laterally inwardly extending notches or cutouts 72 extending inward from opposite side edges of the extension in lateral alignment with each other. The notches 72 maybe of generally rectangular configuration, and combine to define therebetween a reduced extension portion 73. Adjacent to the elongate element or strip 27, the extension 28 is provided with a through aperture or slot 75, which may be of generally rectangular configuration extending longitudinally of the extension and located laterally medially thereof. .The aperture or slot 75 is of a size sufficient to receive the distal end portion 7t upon insertion of the latter through the aperture, for purposes appearing presently.
In use, the flexible element or strip 27 of the seal 21 is bent about the neck portion 22 of bag 20, with the teeth 30 facing inward toward the bag. The open receiver elements 42 and 43 are swung into alignment with each other, with their trapezoidal passageways 44 and 45 in substantial registry, as by flexing of the connector element St). This condition is best seen in Figure 2. It will there be noted that the distal receiver element 43 has been swung inward to locate its spur :68 on the same side of the seal as the spurs 38, all of which project inward toward the bag neck 22, for biting engagement therewith. The end extension 28 is passed through the aligned elements 42 and 43 of the receiver 29, initially through the inner receiver element 43, and through and beyond the outer receiver element 42. The extension 23 is pulled entirely through and out of the receiver 29 to wrap the strip 27 tightly about the bag neck 22 with the teeth 30 and impaling elements 38 in finn gripping engagement with the material of the bag. The toothed region of elongate element 27 is thus received in the passageways 44, 45 of the receiver 29, the external teeth 30 being caused to ride over and snap into interlocking engagement with the internal teeth 52 and 53, as seen in Figure 2. During this n'ding over of the externaland internal teeth, the latter may flex slightly in one direction, being weakened by their respective undercuts 55 and 62, to facilitate movement of the external teeth. However, upon attempted withdrawal of the elongate member 27 from the receiver 29, the internal teeth 52 and 53 have their end surfaces 57 and 64 engageable with the root surfaces 34, of theteeth 30 to wedge the internal teeth against flexure sufiicient to permit such withdrawal.
The tightening force may be conveniently exerted by means of a finger loop, see Figure 2, formed of the extension 28. That is, the distal end region 70 is doubled back and passed through the slot 75, the extension being sufliciently resiliently yieldable to effect such action, whereupon the reduced portion 73 is snugly and positively secured in the slot 75 to define the finger loop. It may be desired to employ a gripping tool rather than the fingerloop formation, requiring an operator merely to manually grip the extension 28 with a suitable tool and exert the necessary pulling force. An advantageous characteristic in the use of the gripping tool resides in the provision of indicia on the gripping surfaces adapted to emboss or imprint desired information on the extension simultaneously with the gripping and pulling operation.
When it is desired to remove the seal of Figures 1 and 2 from the bag, with the proper authority, a severing tool may be conveniently inserted between thespur 68 and adjacent impaling element 38, a suitable opening being defined therebetween. 'Thus, the spacing and proportions of the spur 68 and adjacent impaling element 38 enable the strip portion 39 to be easily severed without damage to the bag, so that the latter may be reused.
Should it be attempted to withdraw the receiver construction 29 from its received strip 27, and considerable force employed to accomplish this result, the internal teeth 52 and 53 will be severed in their root regions, to remove all strip-holding force and provide obvious and positive evidence of tampering.
From the foregoing, it is seen that the present invention provides a seal construction which fully accomplishes its intended objects, and is well adapted to meet practical conditions of manufacture and use.
Although the-present invention has been described in some detail by way of illustration and example for purposes of clarity of understanding, it is understood that certain changes and modifications may be made within the spirit of the invention and scope of the appended claims.
What is claimed is:
1. A seal construction integrally fabricated of resilient yieldable material and comprising a pair of receiver elements each having a central through opening and connected together for swinging movement into and out of an aligned relation with their openings in substantial registry, a single internal ratchet tooth in the opening of each receiver element arranged in alignment with and facing the same direction as the internal ratchet tooth of the other receiver element when said receiver elements are in said aligned relation, a flexible elongate element having one end fixed to one of said receiver elements and its other end freely movable relative to said receiver elements, and a row of external ratchet teeth on said elongate element and configured for interlocking engagement with said internal teeth, said receiver elements and internal and external teeth and elongate element being proportioned so that the free end of said elongate element is snugly insertable through the registering openings of said aligned receiver elements with said external and internal teeth riding over each other and snapping into interlocking non-withdrawable interengagement.
2. A seal construction according to claim 1, said internal ratchet teeth each having one side undercut to afford flexibility to said internal ratchet teeth for easier insertion of said elongate element and to weaken said ratchet teeth for controlled location of severance thereof upon tampering. a
3. A' seal'construction according to claim 1, said external ratchet teeth being located on 'said elongate element spaced from said receiver elements, and a plurality of impaling elements on said elongate element between said external teeth and receiver elements for biting engagement with an article being sealed.
. v4. A sea] construction according to claim 3, said impaling elements being adjacent to and spaced from said receiver elements along said elongate element on the same side thereof, whereby the region of said elongate element between said receiver elements and impaling elements is adapted to be spaced from an article being sealed to facilitate the deliberate severance of said elongate element region without damage to said article.
5. A seal construction according to claim 4, in combination with an additional impaling element projecting externally from one of said'receiver elements for biting engagement with said article being sealed, said additional impaling element combining with the adjacent one of said plurality of impaling elements to space said region of said elongate element from said article to facilitate the deliberate severance of said elongate element region without damage to said article.
6. A seal construction according to claim 1, in combination with a longitudinal extension on the free end of said elongate element to facilitate the initial insertion through said aligned receiver elements, and interengageable formations at spaced locations on said extension to form a pull loop for drawing said elongate element through said receiver elements.
7. A seal construction according to claim 6, said formations being defined by a reduced extension portion adjacent to and spaced from the distal end of said extension and an apertured portion spaced from said reduced portion remote from said distal end, said distal end being insertable through said apertured portion for engagement therein of said reduced portion.
8. A seal construction integrally fabricated of resilient yieldable material and comprising a flexible elongate strip, a row of external ratchet teeth arranged along and on one side of said strip, a first receiver element at one end of said elongate strip and formed with a through passageway opening on opposite sides of said strip, a second receiver element in side-by-side spaced relation with said first receiver element and connected to the latter for swinging movement into and out of facing relation with said first receiver element on said one side of said strip, said second receiver element being formed with a through passageway registering with the passageway of said first receiver element when said receiver elements are in said facing relation, and an internal ratchet tooth in each of said receiverelement passageways, said receiver elements and internal and external teeth and strip being proportioned so that the other end of said strip is snugly insertable through the registering passageways of said receiver elements with said external and internal teeth riding over each other and snapping into interlocking nonwithdrawable interengagement.
9. A seal construction according to claim 8, said external ratchet teeth being located on said strip spaced from said receiver elements, teeth, and strip are proportioned so that the other end of said strip is swingable onto said one side of said strip for initial entry through the passageway of said second receiver element and subsequent insertion through the passageway of said first receiver element along a path generally transverse of said receiver elements and the adjacent region of said strip, said strip thus defining a loop and said second receiver element being at least partially interiorly of said loop for engage-. ment with an article being sealed to positively maintain the facing relation of said second receiver element with said first receiver element and prevent relative movement between said receiver elements andstrip.
References Citedin the file of this patent UNITED 'STATES PATENTS Porter Feb. 3, 1903 2,262,840 Gibson et a1 Nov. 18, 1941 2,759,390 Edwards Aug. 21, 1956 FOREIGN PATENTS 628,836 Great Britain Sept. 6, 1949