|Publication number||US2985354 A|
|Publication date||May 23, 1961|
|Filing date||Aug 24, 1959|
|Priority date||Aug 24, 1959|
|Publication number||US 2985354 A, US 2985354A, US-A-2985354, US2985354 A, US2985354A|
|Inventors||Aldington Elmer T|
|Original Assignee||American Can Co|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (6), Referenced by (36), Classifications (20)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
May 23, 1961 E. T. ALDINGTON SELF-CONFORMING COVER FOR CONTAINERS 3 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Aug. 24, 1959 I m WI 1% z ilmzzzu 'lllllllllllHHl INVENTOR. Elma;- 7. A/aing fan @164 ATTYS.
May 23, 1961 E. T. ALDlNGTON SELF-CONFORMING COVER FOR CONTAINERS 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Aug. 24, 1959 INVENTOR. Elmer 7: Ala'i 4 /7 V ATTYG.
n5 fan May 23, 1961 E. T. ALDINGTON SELF-CONFORMING COVER FOR CONTAINERS 5 Sheets-Sheet 5 Filed Aug. 24, 1959 INVENTOR. Elmer Z A/dingfon ATTYS.
nit f 2,985,354 SELF-CONFORMING COVER FOR CONTAINERS Elmer T. Aldington, Avon, Conn., assignor to American Can Company, New York, N.Y., a corporation of New Jersey Filed Aug. 24, 1959, Ser. No. 835,653
8 Claims. (Cl. 2'29-43) commodities, although the invention may have other uses and purposes as will be apparent to one skilled in the art.
This application is a continuation-in-part of my application entitled, Self-Conforming Cover for Containers, filed December 19, 1955, Serial No. 554,096, now abandoned.
Containers made of thin plastic, or paper containers of the heavy duty or semi-heavy duty type made of relatively heavy paper are usually provided with substantially a frusto-conical shape, with the container wall inclined outwardly toward the mouth of the container, and the container is provided with an outwardly extending or turned rim bead around the mouth thereof. Where the container is made of paper, it may be wax covered,
wax impregnated, plastic lined, or otherwise treated to render the container liquidproof.
Obviously, temporary containers of such type, and especially where they are used but once, insofar as the retail dealer is concerned, must be manufactured extremely economically. In the past, considerable difficulty has been experienced in providing suitable covers for such containers, which covers were readily and easily attachable and removable, replaceable by the user in the event all of the commodity was not removed during the first use, so that the remainder might be stored in the refrigerator, and particular dilficulty was experienced in providing properly fitting covers. Such difficulties were caused mainly by manufacturing variances in the containers themselves, particularly when they were made of paper, since economical production does not permit the precise and accurate sizing of a container or parts thereof to a very fine degree. Such manufacturing variances rendered the covers ill fitting, adding'to the difficulty of application and removal of the covers, and in many cases there was little assurance of an adequate seal between the cover and container The manufacture of covers and containers with companion dies so that the cover would be tailor made for a particular-container is prohibitively expensive.
Container covers for carry-out containers are applied to the container after it is filled by the retail dealer, and the covers must be easily applied by hand without the aid of mechanism. Formerly known covers were not readily adaptable for adequately sealing .a container slightly overfilled, or containing an unexpected air content. lt is also desirable to stack the covers one upon the other in nested relationship so that the covers are not only readily available but occupy small storage space, and difficulty was experienced with previously known covers in that regard.
Patent the bead and on the inside of the container in the plane of the bead. This frequently resulted in difliculty of removal of the cover and danger of spilling some of the contents when the cover was finally forced loose.
With the foregoing in mind, it is an important object of the instant invention to provide a cover for' containers which is made of thin, flexible material .and which is so constructed as to readily conform itself to the container so as to automatically compensate for manufacturing variances in container dimensions and yet provide an adequate seal with the container.
Another object ofthe invention resides in the provi sion of a cover highly desirable for use with paper containers, which cover is made of thin, flexible material yieldable to the container upon reasonable forceful application thereto, andwhich is so constructed as to automatically compensate not only for manufacturing inaccuracies in container dimensions, but which automatically compensates for an unexpected air content in the container, or an unexpected overfilling of the container, and yet produces a more than adequate seal with the container. 7
Another feature of the invention resides in the provision of a container cover made of thin, flexible and vision of a thin, flexible conformable container cover so constructed that while it sealingly engages the container, it is extremely easy to remove and replace, without danger of spilling the contents of the container.
Still another object of this invention is the provision of a container cover thatnot only is self-conforming to the container when applied, but which may be madeof transparent material so that the contents of the container are plainly visible to the prospective customer.
It is also an object of the instant invention to provide a container cover that may readily be molded in one piece from a suitable thermoplastic film, such as an oriented polystyrene film or equivalently moldable thermoplastic material.
Also a feature of the invention is the provision of a, container cover made of thin, flexible material that is. self conforming to the mouth end of the container,, which cover is reinforced by an integral configuratiom which permits greater pressure to be applied to the cover when the cover is pressed on the container, without sacrifice of the inherent flexibility and resiliency of the cover.
Still another object of the instant invention resides in the provision of a container cover made of thin, flexible material and comprising a diaphragm for insertion in the mouth of the container and a surrounding wall structure defining a downwardly open groove to receive the container rim bead therein, the outer marginal portion of the diaphragm being reinforced by an integral corrugated configuration to enable the cover to withstand more pressure than otherwise would be the case accompanying drawings, in which Figure 1 is a side elevationalview of a paper container mouth of the container. the container is provided with anoutwardly turned of the heavy duty type provided with a cover embodying principles of the instant invention;
'Figure 2 is a greatly enlarged fragmentary vertical sectional view illustrating the cover justv prior to application to the container;
Figure 3 is a. view similar in character to. Fig. 2, but
illustrating the cover applied to the containerv in operative other prior to application to the container;
Figure 8 is a fragmentary plan view of a container cover of the character of that seen in Fig. 4, but embodying integral reinforcing configurations;
Figure 9 is a fragmentary side elevational view of the cover of Fig. 8;
Figure 10. is a fragmentary vertical sectional view illustrating how filled containers may be stacked one upon the other;
Figure 11 is a fragmentary plan view of the character of Fig. 8 but illustrating a slightly different reinforcing configuration; and v Figure 12 is a fragmentary. vertical sectional view through the structure of Fig. 11.
As shown on the drawings:
The cover embodied in the instant invention may be made of different materials. For example, the cover might be made of a relatively heavy paper stock, die formed into the proper shape, the paper being wax covered, wax impregnated, or otherwise rendered liquidproof. It is desirable that the cover effect a seal with the mouth region of the container at a plurality of points, and while a cover made of paper or the like will effect such plural sealing, it will not come back after removal to its exact original position, so that the engagement upon reapplication of the cover will not be as tight as upon the first application of the cover.
Another and preferred material for the making of the cover is a thermosetting plastic film such as an oriented polystyrene film. Such a film may be readily molded into desired shape by the air blast process, and
when. molded will have an inherent tendency to always retain its original shape, so that when a cover made of such material is applied to the container, it will at once assume its original shape upon removal, and may again be applied to the container with a sealing engagement equal to that of the first application. Regardless of the material used, the cover will have substantially the same configuration, and therefore, by Way of example, I have illustrated the instant invention in the form of a cover made from a transparent plastic film or membrane. Such a cover is thin, flexible, resilient, and readily conforms itself to the shape of the container mouth. Therefore, it is not necessary to precisely size the. cover for any particular container, but the cover will automatically compensate by its own distortion for manufacturing inaccuracies in container dimensions. Obviously, the cover may be decorated on its external surface in any suitable or desirable manner.
in the illustrated instance, the cover is shown associated with a container, made of paper, and of theflat bottom heavy duty type.
This container embodies a generally frusto-conical wall 1 tapering outwardly toward the As seen best in Figs. 2 and 3,
. 4 head 2 at the month end, and adjacent the mouth of the container, but below the rim bead, an inwardly open annular groove or head 3 is provided in the wall of the container to provide a cover seat.
Now, as seen best in Figs. 2, 3 and 4,- the cover itself is preferably a single piece structure and embodies a diaphragm 4 which is substantially horizontal, and around-that diaphragm is an upstanding wall generally indicated by numeral 5. At the junction between the wall 5 and the diaphragm 4 there is an inwardly open annular curvate bead '6, and it will be noted that the wall 5 slopes inwardly and upwardly from the bead 6, away from the adjacent portion ofthe container wall, as indicated at 7. This inwardly sloping portion of the wall 5 terminates at an outwardly extending annular portion 8 which defines a shoulder for stacking purposes, as will later be apparent herein. From the shoulder 8, the wall 5 slopes upwardly and outwardly in keeping with the slope of the container wall as indicated at 9. A cross connecting portion or top wall 10 joins the wall 5 witha depending wall or skirt 11 spaced from the wall 5, and which skirt is preferably cylindrical. The skirt 1 1 and wall 5 together with the connection 10 conjointly define an inverted U-shaped formationdefining a downwardly open annular groove for the reception of the rim secured thereto, it will be noted that the junction between the diaphragm and wall 5, namely the curvate annular portion 6, is of slightly greater diameter than the inside of the container just above the seating groove 3, so that a little pressure is required to properly seat the cover on the containerand cause the bead 6 to snap into the groove 3. At the same time, it Will'be noted that when the cover is pressed into place the outwardly sloping wall portion 9 thereof intimately seats against the inside of the container wall adjacent the mouth thereof. This, in addition to the seating of the groove portion 6 in the container'groove 3 causes a slight distortion of the cover above the groove as indicated at 13. Consequently, there is a'very effective seal between the groove portion 6 of the cover and the container groove 3, and the seal is particularly elfective in the annular region where the cover is deviated at- 13. Another annular sealing region occurs between the wall portion 9 of the cover andthe container wall as indicated at 14, caused by the resiliency of the cover. Still a further annular region which is in effect a seal occurs between the top wall portion 10 of the cover and the container rim bead 2 as indicated at 15. Thus, there is adequate and effective sealing engagement between the cover and'container, and even though such sealing engagement might not be quite complete in one region, ample protection is afforded by the fact that there are two other regions of such engagement. The
cover'may be pressed onto the container in an easy manlargest diameter of the rim head as shown at 16 in Fig. 3.
With the space 16 present, removal of the cover is greatly expedited, since it provides gripping room for the thumbs orv fingers of the user, permits ready flexing of the cover, and theeasy application of upward pressure on the cover so that it can be forced off the container in a facile manner without danger of spilling the contents of the container.
The annular groove 12 in the diaphragm 4 of the cover,
permits this diaphragm to flex or belly when applied to the container, and this additional flexing also aids the cover to automatically compensate for-any manufacturing inaccuracies in the container dimensions. Also, this groove performs the added function of allowing a bulging or bellying of the center portion of the diaphragm 4 in the event of an accidental overfill of the container, or in the event there is anunexpected air content in the container at the time of application of the cover. Heretofore, inaccuracies in container dimensions, accidental overfill, or unexpected air content provided a hazard to the' proper seating of a cover ona container, and frequently resulted in an improper application of the cover which ultimately resulted in leakage by virtue of natural pressure of the air or contents of the container, but particularly resulted in leakage due to rough handling of the filled container during transportation, stacking, and storage. The instant cover, however, is firmly afiixed to the container with a resilient pressure insuring annular sealing regions at a plurality of different locations.
, This groove 12 in the diaphragm portion of the cover also performs another valuable function. It preferably is of a size to receive the bottom edge of another container, so that a filled container may rest upon the top of another filled container with the bottom of the upper container seated in the groove 12 in the cover of the lower container, as seen in Fig. 10. Thus, if desired, filled containers may be stacked one upon the other to a considerable height with adequate stability.
As stated above, it is a simple expedient to pry up th edge portion of the cover at adjacent but spaced points with the thumbs or fingers of the user, in order to facilely remove the cover. If the contents are not then removed entirely from the container, the cover may be readily snapped back on the container and will have the same sealing effectiveness as it originally had. In this manner, the cover may be used repeatedly until all of the contents of the container have been removed.
In Figs. 5 and 6 I have shown the cover of slightly different configuration. The cover has the same general shape as above described, but in this instance the diaphragm 4 has a groove configuration 17 in the form of Ta lazy S. This provides immediately adjacent grooves tainer, regardless of overfilling to a reasonable extent and regardless of air content. The application of the cover of Figs. 5 and 6 results in the same annular sealing regions as above mentioned, and indicated at 13, 14 and 15, but also in another annular deflection 18 at the bottom of the container groove 3 that enhances the seal in the region of the groove 3. In other respects, the cover operates the same as the one previously described, and may be removed and replaced in like fashion.
In Fig. 7 I have illustrated how the covers may be stacked one upon the other prior to application to the container. It will be noted that the arcuate junction 6 between the diaphragm and the wall portion-7 of an upper cover, seats directly upon the annular shoulder 8 of the next lower cover. This elevates the groove forming U-formation of the cover above the similar construction of the next lower cover, and although the skirt 11 extends below the annular shoulder 8, as is clearly apparent from the showing in Figs. 2, 3, 5 and 6, the skirt 11 does not contactthe corresponding portion of the cover next below, but is spaced thereabove, the only contact between the covers being at the annular shoulder 8. Thus while the covers are firmly stacked in position, against accidental dislodgment, they are easily and readily removable one from the other, and jamming of the covers in the stack is effectively prevented by virtue of the fact that the skirt of an upper cover cannot 'become'wedged over the skirt er a lower cover. It will also be noted that when a-stack of covers is formed, all of the skirt portions 11 are in alignment with each other, although each is separated from the cover skirts on both sides thereof so that the stack is neat, orderly, and occupies a minimum space. 1
In Figs. 8 and 9 I have illustrated a cover which is substantially the same as that above described in connection with Figs. 1 to 4 inclusive, except for one distinguishing and significant difference. The cover of Figs. 8 and 9 embodies an annular series of corrugations 19 in the diaphragm outside the annular groove 12. These corrugations preferably extend to the inner portion of the wall structure generally indicated by numeral 5. As seen in Fig. 9, the corrugations are upstanding so that the bottom of the groove 12 is substantially the lowest point of the cover. The corrugations 19 disrupt the above described groove or head 6 in the cover, but the portions of that groove or bead remaining are of increased strength, and effect a firm engagement within the cover seating groove 3 of the container.
The provision of the series of corrugations 9 materially strengthens the outer annular portion of the diaphragm as well as the junction between the diaphragm and the wall structure generally indicated by numeral 5. This additional strength permits the application of additional pressure to the lid at the time it is pressed on to the container, without any sacrifice of the flexibility of the lid; that is, the spaced walls defining the downwardly opening groove for reception of the rim bead on the container function exactly as above described and adapt themselves to any falsity of contour of the rim bead and effect the adequate seal at the various locations above specified, and the diaphragm is free to flex in the event of unexpected air content in the container or unexpected overfilling to a slight extent. At the same time, by virtue of the corrugations, the container cover will have a firmer grip in the seating groove 3 of the container. The added strengthof the reinforcing corrugations also permits the 'filled and capped container to be handled more carelessly than usual without fear of dislodging the cover, and further permits stacking of filled containers one upon the other to a somewhat higher extent.
It will also be noted that the added shaping of the annular series of corrugations requires no additional excover of the lower container, thereby providing suitable stability for stacking purposes. It will, of course, be understood that the previously described embodiments of the instant invention are stacked in similar manner, the groove formation in the lid or cover receiving the bottom of the superposed container or engaging inside the bottom of the superposed container, in the event the groove in the cover is inverted from the showing in Figs. 1 to 4 inclusive. p
In Figs. 11 and 12 I have illustrated a container cover reinforced in the manner of the cover of Figs. 8 and 9, In this instance, the wall structure generally indicated by numeral 5, and including the outer wall 11 which defines the downwardly opening groove for receiving the rim bead of the container is the same as above described. However, the
4 bottom of the inner wall merges with an annular portion .bead partially of its Width.
seriesof relatively widely spaced corrugations 2.0.. These corrugations, provide the reinforcement above described, butinside the corrugations there is a vertical shoulder 21 which is provided in lieu of; the above described annular. groove 12, This vertical shoulder is also used for stacking purposes, and will engage outside the bottom of a superposed container. It should also be noted in connection with the structure of Figs. 11 and 12, that the corrugations 2%, as best seen in Fig. 12, do
not fully interrupt the bead 6"whic h engages in the the lid of Figs. 11 and 12 functions the same and possesses the advantages of the'lid of Figs. 8 and 9.
From the foregoing, it is apparent that I have provided a lightweight, economical, durable cover for a paper container or the like, which cover is so constructed as to provide annular sealing engagement wit-h the container,
at a plurality of locations yet is easily removable and replaceable, and which cover automatically conformsto the container so as to automatically compensate for manufacturing inaccuracies in container size, overfilling,
unexpected air content, and similar hazards with effective sealing always resulting.
It will be understood that modifications and variations may be efiected without departing from the scope of the novel concepts of the present invention. a
I claim as my invention:
1 A closure for the mouth end of a paper container having an outwardly sloping wall toward the month end terminating in an outwardly turned rim head, said closure comprising a cover of flexible material including a diaphragm portion, an annular wall around said diaphragm which slants inwardly, then extends outwardly laterally to form an annular shoulder of a width exceeding the thickness of the material and then slants outwardly above said shoulder, an annular top portion extending outwardly from said wall, and an annular skirt depending from said top portion to define with saidwall a downwardly opening groove to receive the container rib bead.
2. A closure for the mouth end of a paper container having an outwardly sloping wall toward the month end terminating in an outwardly turned rim bead, said closure comprising a cover of flexible material for snap-on engagement over the container rim bead and including a diaphragm portion, an annular wall around said diaphragm which slants inwardly, then extends outwardly laterally to form an annular shoulder and then'slants outwardly above said shoulder, an annular top portion extending outwardly from said wall, and an annular skirt depending from said top portion to define with said wall a downwardly opening groove to receive the container rim bead, the junction between said diaphragm and. said wall being in the form of an inwardly open curvate head to snap into a groove in the container wall below the container mouth. 7 V
3. A closure for the mouth end of a paper container having an outwardly sloping wall toward the mouth end terminating in an outwardly turned rim bead, said closure comprising a cover of flexible material for snap-on engagement over the container rim bead and including a diaphragm portion, an annular wall around said diaphragm wh ch sla ts inwardly, then .extends outwardly laterally to form an annular shoulder and then slants outwardly above said shoulder, an annular top portion extending outwardly from said wall, an annular skirt depending from said top portion to define with said wall a downwardly opening groove to receive thecontainer tapering outwardly toward the mouth end thereof and terminating in an outwardly turned rim head, said container having a cover'seating annular groove in the wall thereof below said rim bead, and a thin flexiblecover yieldable tothe contours of the container when applied, said cover including a diaphragm, an upstanding wall surrounding said diaphragm and connected therewith by an inwardly opening annular head of slightly greater diameter than the inner wall face of the container above said seating groove and forced into said seating groove, and an outer cylindrical wall spaced from the first said Wall and connected therewithat the top to define therewith a downwardly opening groove in which the con tainer bead is received, the first said cover wall sloping inwardly away from the container wall above saidseating groove, then extending laterally to define an annular shoulder from which the wall slopes outwardly in keeping with thev container wall to insure several annular regions of sealing contact with the container adjacent the month end. a
5. A cover for a container with an outwardly turned rim head around the mouth thereof, comprising a lid made of thin flexible material of less rigidity than the container, said lid including a diaphragm surrounded by a pair of spaced walls connected at-the top to define an annular downwardly opening groove to receive the container rim bead, and an annular vertically and radially corrugated margin in said diaphragm at the inner of said pair of spaced walls and providing radial projections extending to a larger diameter than the contiguous portion of said inner wall so as to be engageable in a retaining groovein the wall of the container.
6. A cover for a container with an outwardly turned rim bead around the mouth thereof, comprising a'lid made of thin flexible material of less rigidity than the container, said lid including a diaphragm surrounded for inaccuracies in the container dimensions, the surrounding annular portion of said diaphragm from the inner of said spaced walls to said groove being corrugated vertically with the corrugations extending substantially radially. V
7. A cover for use on a container having a wall tapering outwardly toward the mouth end and terminating in an outwardly turned rim bead with a cover seating groove in the wall below said rim bead, comprising a lid made of. thin flexible material, said lidincluding a diaphragm surrounded by inner and outer walls connected at the top to define a'downwardly opening groove to receive the container rim head, an annular resiliently yieldable bead projecting radially outwardly to a slightly greater diameter than'the inner wall face. of the container at the junction between said inner wall and said diaphragm, and said head being partially interrupted and stiffened by an annular series of vertical corrugations in said diaphragm.
8. A cover for a container having an outwardly sloping wall toward the mouth end terminating in an outwardly turned rim bead and a cover seating annular groove in the wall below said rim head, said cover comprising a lid of thin flexible material of less rigidity 'thanthe container including a diaphragm portion, an annular wall around said diaphragm and joined thereto by an inwardly open curvate bead to snap into the groove in the container wall, said annular wall slanting inwardly above said bead, then extending laterally outwardly to form an annular shoulder and then slanting outwardly above said shoulder to intimately contact the container wall, an annular top portion extending outwardly from the cover wall, and an annular skirt depending from said top portion to define with said wall an annular groove of greater width than the container rim bead to receive the same with said skirt spaced outwardly from the rim bead.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS Amberg Sept. 25, 1951 Henchert Sept. 22, 1953 Goodwin Nov. 2, 1954 Rodrnan Dec. 27, 1955 Roberson Feb. 14, 1956 Aldingt-on Dec. 16, 1958
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|U.S. Classification||229/404, 229/906.1, 220/789, 206/508|
|International Classification||B65D43/02, B65D21/02|
|Cooperative Classification||B65D2543/00685, B65D2543/0062, B65D2543/00296, B65D2543/00027, B65D2543/00555, B65D43/021, B65D2543/00796, B65D2543/00509, B65D21/0222, B65D2543/00537, B65D2543/00731, B65D2543/00092|
|European Classification||B65D43/02S3D, B65D21/02E7C|