|Publication number||US2990980 A|
|Publication date||Jul 4, 1961|
|Filing date||Aug 11, 1958|
|Priority date||Aug 11, 1958|
|Publication number||US 2990980 A, US 2990980A, US-A-2990980, US2990980 A, US2990980A|
|Original Assignee||Container Corp|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (4), Referenced by (30), Classifications (10)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
y 1961 E. GRONEMEYER 2,990,980
DISPENSING CONTAINER CLOSURE Filed Aug. 11, 1958 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 INVENTOR. ERICH GRONEMEYER ATTORNEY July 4, 1961 EJGRONEMEYER 2,990,980
- DISPENSING CONTAINER CLOSURE Filed Aug. 11, 1958 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR.
ERICH GRONEMEYER BY 2| W UM ATTORNEY United States Patent 2,990,980 DISPENSING CONTAINER CLOSURE Erich Gronemeyer, "Pompton Plains, NJ., assignor to Container (lorporation of America, Chicago, 11]., a corporation of Delaware Filed Aug. 11, 1958, Ser. No. 754,352 Claims. (Cl. 222-536) This invention relates to a dispensing closure for a container, and to a container incorporating such closure. Thedispensing closure of the invention is particularly of advantage when employed with a container of the squeeze bottle type, although it is obviously not limited to such use.
Many products such as detergents, shampoos, deodorants, and the like are now sold in large volume in resilient, flexible-walled containers, made, for example, of polyethylene, from which the product may be dispensed by squeezing the container, while the closure therefor is Such packaging is advantageous for several open. reasons: the containers are non-breakable, and may readily be made in a great variety of shapes and colors; use of the container to dispense the desired amount of product is easy, particularly when the container is provided with a captive selectively operated closure.
Since squeeze containers are ordinarily filled a considerable distance from their points of sale and use, and are shipped and stored in volume, it is necessary that the closure, as applied after the filling of the container, be capable of withstanding relatively high internal pressures to prevent leakage of the contents of the containers during their shipment and storage and before their sale. It is also necessary, of course, when the contents of the container are subject to evaporation, that the closure ordinarily employed on the container in the home shall prevent the leakage of any of the container contents.
The requirement that the closure shall prevent the escape of liquid and gas from the container leads to serious difiiculties in containers of the squeeze bottle type. Many of such containers readily partially collapse under external forces, so much so that when atmospheric pressure appreciably exceeds the pressure within the container, the sides of the container tend to bend or buckle inwardly. As a result, perfectly good, unused squeeze containers may, under certain conditions of atmospheric pressure, assume a dented, damaged appearance. When this occurs While the containers are still on the shelf of the store, the containers are very likely to be unsaleable. Excesses in the internal pressures of squeeze containers, on the other hand, such as are caused by normal atmospheric pressure variations, merely tend to bulge the containers slightly, if at all, and do not deleteriously atfect their appearance.
The closure of the present invention overcomes the above outlined difliculties-attendant upon the use of conventional closures. The closure of the invention is of such construction that when closed against the escape of the contents of the container it admits air into the container, as required, substantially to equalize the pressures existing inside and outside the container. As a consequence, when such closure is employed on a squeeze container, changes in atmospheric pressure do not tend to bend or buckle the sides of the container inwardly.
The invention has among its objects the provision of a novel container closure.
A further object of the invention is the provision of a container closure which, when in closed position, admits air into the interior of the container when the pressure of the atmosphere appreciably exceeds the pressure within the container.
Yet another object of the invention resides in the provision of a novel container closure of the captive, dispensing type which admits air into the interior of the 2,990,989 Patented July 4, 1961 container, under the conditions specified immediately above, when the closure is in closed position.
V A still further object is the provision of a selectively closed container having a means incorporated therein for admitting air thereinto, under the specified conditions, when the container is closed against the escape of its contents.
The above and further objects and novel features of the invention will more fully appear from the following description when the same is read in connection with the accompanying drawings. It is to be expressly understood, however, that the drawings are for the purpose of illustration only and are not intended as a definition of the limits of the invention.
.In the drawings, wherein like reference characters refer to like parts throughout the several views,
FIG. 1 is a view in side elevation of a first illustrative embodiment of closure mounted on a fragmentarily shown squeeze container, the closure being shown in closed position;
FIG. 2 is a view in plan of the container and closure of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a view in longitudinal axial section through the closure of FIGS. 1 and 2, the section being taken along line 33 of FIG. 2;
FIG. 4 is a view similar to FIG. 3, but with the closure in open position;
FIG. 5 is a view in vertical transverse section through the closure in closed position, the section being taken along line 5-5 of FIG. 3;
FIG. 6 is a view in bottom plan of the closure, the closure being in the closed position of FIGS. 1, 2, 3, and 5; and
FIG. 7 is a view in vertical axial section, similar to FIG. 3, of a second illustrative embodiment of closure made in accordance with the invention.
Turning now to the drawings, FIGS. 1 to 6, inclusive, illustrate a first embodiment of closure made in accordance with the invention; FIG. 7 shows a second embodiment of such closure.
The closure of FIGS. 1 to 6, inclusive, is generally designated by the reference character 10. Such closure is shown in FIG. 1 attached to a fragmentarily shown squeeze container 11. Such container has a rigid metal top 12, to which the closure is attached, and flexible plastic side walls of which a portion is shown at 14.:
The closure 10 shown is of the captive, selectively open and closed type, the closure when in the closed position, shown in FIGS. 1, 2, 3, 5, and 6, effectively preventing the escape of the contents of the container. When the closure is open, as shown in FIG. 4, thecontents of the container may be dispensed through nozzle 35 of the closure.
The body of the closure is generally designated by the reference character 15. Such body is preferably molded of a resilient plastic material, of which polyethylene is an example. Body 15 has a lower, circular hollow portion 16 having a vertical passage 18 therein, portion 16 being bounded by a horizontal, annular, outwardly projecting flange 17. Portion 16 is designed to be introduced into a hole 19 in top 12 of the container, a shallow, annular, outwardly projecting rib 20 on portion 16 being adapted to lie outwardly of and beneath the edge of hole 19. The lower edge of portion 16 has a plurality of spaced notches 21 therein, to allow portion 16 to yield Above portion 16 the body 15 of the closure has a flat horizontal platform or partition 22 the upper surface of which-lies at the same level as the upper surface of flange 17. Rising vertically from platform 22, at equal distances from the center thereof, are two parallel flat side walls 24 of a closure element-retaining structure. The walls 24 may be braced, if desired, by oppositely disposed fins 25 integral with platform 22 and the side walls. The closure element-retaining structure is completed by parallel walls 26 and 27 connected to the respective confronting ends of side walls 24.
End wall 29 has an inwardly concave part circular cylindrical seat portion 29 in its inner wall, the end'wall 27 having a similar seat portion 30 facing in the opposite direction. Seat portions 29 and 30 serve sealingly to retain a generally disc-shaped closure element 31 therebetween, by engaging the circular cylindrical surface 32 of such element, element 31 being rotatable in such seat portions between the closure closed position of FIG. 3, in which the vertical passage 18 in body 15 and passage 34 in element 31 are shut ofi from communication with each other, and the closure open position of FIG. 4, in which passages 18 and 34 are in communication with each other.
Closure element 31 is preferably made of a plastic material, such as polyethylene. Element 31, which has flat opposite side surfaces, is of such width as sealingly to engage the inner surfaces of side walls 24. Body 15 and element 31 are molded separately, and are then assembled by snapping element 31 into the seat in body 15. A diametrically extending dispensing passage 34 passes through element 31, the outer end of the passage extending through an outwardly projecting spout 35 on the closure element. The closure element 31 is stopped in its closed position (FIG. 3) by engagement between a shoulder 36 thereon at the right of nozzle 35 (FIGS. 3 and 4) and the upper edge 37 of end wall 26 of body 15 of the closure. The closure element is stopped in its open position (FIG. 4) by engagement between a shoulder 39 on top of the element, and spaced somewhat to the left of nozzle 35, and the upper edge 40 of end wall 27 of body 15.
In the illustrative embodiment, a thin, resilient diaphragm or fin member 41, integral with body 15 of the closure, cooperates with the portion of the lower surface of closure element 31 surrounding the inner end of passage 34, when the element is in closed position, both to seal the passage against the escape of the contents of the container, and to allow the entry of air into thecontainer when the atmospheric pressure appreciably exceeds the pressure within the container. Diaphragm 41 is shown with its thickness somewhat exaggerated for clarity of illustration.
The upper curved surface of diaphragm 41 forms an extension of seat 30 in end wall 27 of body 15. The diaphragm has a thickness, for example, on the order of .005", and preferably has its free edge 42 tapered to a feather edge. The diaphragm is integrally attached at its root to body 15, and is integrally connected at its ends 44 to the side walls 24 of the closure element retaining structure. Thus the diaphragm is accurately supported for sealing engagement over its entire upper surface with surface 32 of the closure element when the closure is in a normal unstressed condition. The diaphragm has such circumferential width, and the parts are so dimensioned and arranged, that when closure element 31 is in the closed position of FIG. 3 the diaphragm 41 covers the inner end of passage 34, and extends substantial distances laterally and inwardly past such end of the passage (FIG. 6). The inner edge 42 of the diaphragm lies markedly short of the axis of the closure, so that when element 31 is turned into the position of FIG. 4 the inner end of passage 34 completely clears the diaphragm.
When the pressure within the container exceeds the pressure of the atmosphere, with the closure in closed position, the pressure within the container presses diaphragm 41 with increased force against the portion of surface 32 of the element surrounding passage 34. Thus ,4 an increased pressure within the container serves to seal the closure more tightly.
In such closed position of the closure the diaphragm 41 and the surface 32 of element 31 function automatically to admit air into the container when the pressure of the atmosphere appreciably exceeds the pressure within the container. The diaphragm is thin and resiliently flexible. Even a slight excess of atmospheric over container pressure causes the pontion of the diaphragm which covers passage 34 to be biased downwardly, because of the unbalance of forces acting upon it. This causes the diaphragm to be relieved, at least locally, sufficiently from sealing contact with surface 32 to allow the pressure within the container to equal atmospheric pressure. Even a slow equalization of pressure is satisfactory, since changes in atmospheric pressure are usually relatively slow. Thus to equalize pressures, as described, the diaphragm need be relieved only very slightly in any zone thereof establishing communication between passage 34 and the interior of the container.
In FIG. 7 there is shown a second preferred embodiment of container closure made in accordance with the invention. Such closure is designated 10'. Parts of closure 10' which are the same as those of the previously described closure 10 are designated by the same reference characters. Parts in closure 10' which are in the main similar to, but differ somewhat from, those in closure 10 are designated by the same reference characters with an added prime.
Closure 10 is shown in FIG. 7 in a first closed position. Such closure differs from closure 10 in that the former has two closed positions rather than one, and that it includes means which supplements the frictional engagement of the parts selectively to hold the closure element stably in a desired position.
To provide closure 10' with two closed positions of the closure element, one on either side of the central open position, the closure element has shoulder 39' thereon positioned the same distance from nozzle 35 as the other shoulder 36. Thus the closure element may also be swung counterclockwise in its seat into a second closed position in which shoulder 39' engages upper edge 40 of end wall 27'. A second diaphragm 45, similar in function and in structure in all respects except orientation to diaphragm 41, is integrally connected to end wall 26'. Diaphragm 45 underlies the inner end of passage 34 and functions therewith to close the container against the escape of its contents, and to admit air to the container, when the closure element is in its second closed position.
To retain the closure element 31' stably in a desired position, cooperating projections and depressions may be provided on confronting surfaces of the closure element and the element-retaining structure of the body 15. In the embodiment shown, the closure element is stably held in its open position by shallow rounded projections 46 and 49 which mate with depressions 47 and 50, respectively, when the closure element is in closed position. The projection which lies within its respective seat surface when the closure element is turned to a closed position aids in frictionally retaining the element in such position. If desired, the seat portion or portions may also-be provided with shallow depressions receiving the projections when the closure element is in closed position.
Although only a limited number of embodiments of the invention have been illustrated in the accompanying drawings and described in the foregoing specification, it is to be expressly understood that various changes, such as in the relative dimensions of the parts, materials used, and the like, as well as the suggested manner of use of the apparatus of the invention, may be made therein without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as will now be apparent to those skilled in the art.
What is claimed is:
1. A dispensing closure for a container, comprising a closure body having a first dispensing passage therethrough, said passage having a seat therein, a closure element movably and sealingly mounted in said seat, the closure element having a second dispensing passage therethrough, the closure element being movable in the seat from a closed position in which the passages in the closure body and in the closure element are out of communication to an open position in which said passages are in communication, and an air-admitting check valve in the closure formed by selectively confronting portions of the closure body and the movable closure element, said check valve selectively opening and closing the passage through the closure element to the admission of air, said check valve being inoperative when the closure element is in open position to permit the dispensing of the contents of the container, said check valve being operative when the closure element is in closed position to prevent the dispensing of the contents of the container.
2. A dispensing closure for a container, comprising a closure body having a first dispensing passage therethrough, said passage having a seat therein, a closure element movably and sealingly mounted in said seat, the closure element having a second dispensing passage therethrough, the closure element being movable in the seat from a closed position in which the passages in the closure body and in the closure element are out of communication to an open position in which said passages are in communication, and an air-admitting check valve in the closure formed by selectively confronting portions of the closure body and the movable closure element, said check valve being so constructed and arranged that when the closure element is in closed position the said portions of the closure body and closure element confront each other to render the check valve operative, and that when the closure element is in open position the said portions of the closure body and closure element are out of alignment with each other and the check-valve is closed and inoperative.
3. A dispensing closure as claimed in claim 2, wherein one of the cheek valve-forming portions is an annular seat-forming surface on the closure element surrounding the inner end of the passage through the closure element, and the other check-valve forming portionis a resiliently yieldable part connected to the closure body and selectively overlying the seat-forming surface on the closure element.
4. A dispensing closure as claimed in claim 3, wherein the resiliently yieldable part is a thin diaphragm member, the inner end of the passage in the closure element is covered by the diaphragm member when the closure element is in closed position, and the inner end of the passage in the closure element is uncovered by the diaphragm member when the closure element is in open position.
5. A dispensing closure as claimed in claim 4, wherein the closure body is made of resilient plastic material, and the diaphragm member is integral therewith.
6. A dispensing closure as claimed in claim 5, wherein the seat is in the form of part of a surface of revolution, the closure element has a portion mating with the seat, and the closure element may be rotated in the seat between open and closed positions.
7. A dispensing closure as claimed in claim 5, wherein the seat is in the form of a part of a circular cylinder, the closure element has a circular cylindrical portion mating with the seat, and the closure element may be rotated about the axis of the seat between open and closed positions.
8. A dispensing closure as claimed in claim 7, wherein the closure element is generally in the form of a flat disc, the closure body has vertical parallel side walls which receive the closure element therebetween, and the diaphragm member lies beneath the closure element at one side of the passage through the closure body and at least substantially spans the distance between said side walls of the closure body.
9. A dispensing closure as claimed in claim 8, wherein the diaphragm member spans the distance between and is connected to said side walls of the closure body.
10. A dispensing closure for a container, comprising a closure body having a first, dispensing passage therethrou-gh, said passage having a seat therein, a movable closure element separate from the closure body and having a second, dispensing passage therethrough, the closure element being rotatable in the seat from a closed position in which the passages in the body and element are out of communication to an open position in which said passages are in communication, and an air-admitting check valve in the closure formed by cooperating portions of the closure body and the movable closure element, said check valve being so constructed and arranged that in closurecl-osed position its prevents the escape of the contents of the container outwardly through the valve but allows the ingress of air when the atmospheric pressure appreciably exceeds the pressure internally of the container, at least one of said cooperating portions being a resiliently yieldable part connected to the respective one of said body and element.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,963,870 Scott June 19, 1934 2,746,651 Lewis May 22, 1956 2,828,895 Mart Apr. 1, 1958 2,851,201 Poitras et al. Sept. 9, 1958
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|U.S. Classification||222/536, 251/192, 222/554, 222/556, 239/284.1, 239/587.5|
|International Classification||B65D47/30, B65D47/04|