US 3031111 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
April 24, 1962 M. B. STULL I 3,031,111
DISPENSING TYPE CAP OR CLOSURE Filed April 17, 1959 INVENTOR.
fllag/an 5. 5fa// WMQ LM AGENT 3,031,111 DISPENSING TYPE CAP R CLOSURE Morton B. Stnll, Clifton, NJ. (221-223 Banta Ave., Garfield, NJ.) Filed Apr. 17, 1959, Ser. No. 807,108 Claims. (Cl. 222541) This invention relates to caps or closures for small containers and the like, and more particularly to articles of this type which are adapted to have a dispensing or pouring function and also a rescaling or reclosing function.
The invention concerns improvements in the cap or closure devices described and claimed in my copending applications Serial No. 654,204, filed April 22, 1957, and entitled Dispensing Cap, Closure and Hang-Up Structure, and Serial No. 727,843 filed April 11, 1958, and entitled Dispensing Closure and Container.
The devices illustrated and described in these copending patent applications comprise small closure or cap structures of the type which are commonly molded of plastic material or substance of a flexible nature, as for example polyethylene and similar formulations, certain of these caps being initially of the unsealed type wherein a removable stopper member is applied to the cap body and kept thereon for those periods during which the container is in storage, or being shipped or displayed prior to its actual purchase and use by the ultimate consumer of the goods.
Other closures described in these copending applications are of the type wherein the cap body is initially completely sealed and has attached to it a closure member, the latter however not being put into use during the storage, shipping or display of the container since the container contents are kept sealed by the inherent sealed construction of the cap body. 'Instead, with these particular sealed-type closure structures the ultimate consumer after purchase of the article will effect an opening of the cap body, as by severing a portion thereof from the remainder with a sharp instrument or the like, and after using the contents of the container will reseal or reclose the latter by applying the stopper portion or member which has been supplied with the sealed cap body.
In all of these prior cap constructions the stopper member or portion is held captive on the cap body, by either a frangible web or strip which is intended to be severed to permit use of the stopper portion or else by a longer, bendable web or strip which will permit the stopper portion or member to be swung up and applied to the cap body without requiring severance of the connecting web.
Often it is of advantage to have the cap construction of the type wherein the stopper portion or member is at all times held captive and attached to the cap body portion, this arrangement involving a relatively long web or connecting strip to enable the stopper portion to be properly positioned on the cap body without requiring the severance thereof which characterizes the other cap structures (wherein the stopper portion becomes a distinct and separate unit from the cap body portion by virtue of the said severance).
I have found that a cap construction of this type wherein the stopper portion is held captive, while having the advantage that the stopper portion is not easily lost or misplaced, it at a disadvantage where the cap structure is to be used with automatic conveying, hoppering and capping equipment, due to the presence of the long connecting web or strip which attaches the stopper portion to the cap body portion. In hoppering operations, for example, such long connecting web may cause the cap structures to become entangled with each other, and may greatly impair the .easy handling and moving of the structures, and also the fired States atent ice presenting of the same to the station where the caps are applied to the containers. Moreover, the capping equipment itself often does not readily lend itself to the use of cap structures wherein long connecting webs are employed between the stopper and cap body portions.
The above disadvantage of closure structures of the type having stopper portions which are permanently held captive is overcome by the present invention, and one object of the invention is to provide a novel and improved cap construction of this type, wherein the entire molded piece or assemblage prior to unsealing of the body portion and application of the stopper thereto is relatively small and especially compact, as distinguished from structures having long or tenuous connecting webs securing together the stopper and cap body portions in widely spaced relation.
Another object of the invention is to provide an improved captive-type cap construction as above set forth, wherein the enlarged portions are not disposed at remote opposite ends of a long string-like connection web, which arrangement might cause entanglements or interfere with the easy handling and flow of the cap structure. Instead, the said enlargements which are constituted of the stopper and cap body portions are securely arranged and held in closely-spaced relation to each other at all times prior to being actually put into use by the ultimate consumer, thereby greatly facilitating the hoppering and capping operations.
A still further object of the invention is to provide a novel and improved dispensing cap construction in accordance with the foregoing, which further readily lends itself to quick and easy operation on the part of the ultimate consumer in enabling the body portion to be unsealed or opened and thereafter enabling the stopper portion to be applied to the cap body portion for rescaling or reclosing thereof.
A feature of the invention resides in the provision of a novel cap construction as above characterized, which is extremely simple, and which may be readily economically molded in simple mold equipment.
Another feature of the invention resides in the provision of an improved integral closure or cap construction having the above advantages, and wherein tolerance or fit problems as between structures made in different molds, is not present by virtue of all of the various cooperable parts of any one closure structure being fabricated or molded in one and the same operation, thereby maintaining parallel shrinkage characteristics throughout the unit, which assures a cooperable working relationship between the body portion and the stopper for proper utility.
The above objects and advantages are attained, in accordance with the present invention, in a surprisingly simple and yet effective manner by the provision of a novel cap construction characterized by stopper and cap body portions permanently connected through the medium of a long andttenuous flexible web or strip, and further characterized by the said strip being normally formed and retained in a bent, crooked or folded condition, as though the medium of one or several additional connecting webs which are especially constructed so as to be frangible and easily and quickly broken or severed, the said additional web or webs maintaining the stopper and cap body portions in closely spaced relation and further maintaining the long permanent connecting web in the said bent or folded position. By virtue of such construction there is not obtained an assembly where two relatively large members or components are connected to opposite remote ends of a long and tenuous connecting web intended to hold the members captive, with such connecting web being able to extend for its full length in a straight or substantially straight line so as to cause the construction to be cumbersome or unwieldy and to occupy a relatively large space with protuberant portions of the type likely to become entangled with each other. Instead, by the provision of the additional, frangible connecting Web or webs the entire cap construction is made much more compact, and may occupy a much smaller space, and further may be made to avoid entanglements and to permit easy and quick automatic conveyance or handling, as during hoppering and capping operations carried out by automatic equipment.
Other features and advantages will hereinafter appear.
In the accompanying drawings several embodiments of the invention are illustrated, disclosing single and also multiple additional frangible connecting webs provided for the purpose of maintaining the long permanent connecting web in a bent or folded condition, and for holding the stopper and cap body portions in closely spaced relation to each other.
FIGURE 1 is a top plan view of an improved closure or cap construction as provided by the invention, shown as it is used on a container prior to being unsealed and recapped by the ultimate consumer.
FIG. 2 is a side elevational view of the cap construction shown in FIG. 1.
FIG. 3 is a bottom plan view of the cap construction of FIGS. 1 and 2.
FIG. 4 is a top plan view of the cap construction after the cap body portion has been unsealed and opened, and after severance of the additional, frangible connecting web and application of the captive stopper portion to the cap body portion for reclosing the same.
FIG. 5 is an axial sectional view, taken on the line 5-5 of FIG. 4.
FIG. 6 is a top plan view of a cap construction illustrating a modification of the invention.
FIG. 7 is a view partly in side elevation and partly in vertical section, of an improved cap construction having a captive stopper portion as provided by the invention and illustrating a modification thereof, the said cap construction having internal screw threads for engagement with the threads of a container, and having a cap body portion so organized as to be suitable for use in capping machines.
FIG. 8 is a top plan view of the cap construction shown in FIG. 7.
Referring first to FIGS. 1-3, the improved cap construction as illustrated therein comprises a cap body portion designated generally by the numeral l0, a stopper or closure portion indicated by the numeral 11, and an elongate, crooked, folded or bent connecting web or strip 12 which permanently joins the cap body portion to the stopper or closure portion 11.
The cap body portion 10 may be of any suitable shape, configuration and style, that shown being generally in the form of a flat disk having relatively thin walls and being of the type generally referred to as a snap-in cap.
Referring to FIG. 5, the cap body portion may comprise a fiat, disk-like member 15 having a central, upstanding hollow boss 17 provided as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 with a top, transverse closure Wall 1 8, the said boss 17 constituting a dispensing orifice or pouring spout. The transverse wall 18 may be connected to the side walls of the boss 17 by a wall section of reduced thickness, as effected by an external annular groove 20, FIG. 2. The groove facilitates the severance of the wall 18 from the rest of the boss -17, since it enables a sharp knife or other cuttting instrument to readily cut through the thin wall section, thereby to break the seal and open the body portion for dispensing of the contents of the container (which is not shown).
The peripheral portion of the member 15 may be formed to provide an annular recess 22 in the underside of the cap body portion for the reception of the rim of the container whereby the cap body portion may be snapped onto said rim, as is well understood in the closure art. In place of the specific construction of the peripheral portion shown, providing the annular recess 22, other formations may be provided, without departing from the spirit of the invention, to effect either a snap-over type of attachment, or a screw-thread type of attachment, etc.
The rim of the cap body portion 19 may be provided with an outwardly, radially extending flange 24 having a plurality of protuberant portions 25 as shown, to provire ornamentation or facilitate the handling of the cap construction.
The stopper or closure portion 11 of the cap construction is shown as being in the form of a shallow cup, having cylindrical side walls 28 and a transverse wall 29, the latter having a peripheral bead 30 arranged to closely frictionally fit within the upstanding boss 17 of the cap body portion after severance and removal of the transverce wall 18 thereof, all as shown in FIG. 5.
The stopper or closure portion .11 may have a fingerengageable tab 32 to enable a user to readily grasp the stopper portion when it is desired to remove it from the cap body portion, as will be readily understood.
While in the embodiment of the invention shown in FIGS. 1-5 the dispensing or orifice-providing boss '17 is of the type known as a cut-off closure, and the stopper portion 11 is of the plug type arranged to be received in the boss 17, the invention is not limited to these specific structure or types, and other types of sealing and dispensing means may be employed, as for example those known as punch-out, break-off, etc. The stopper portion 11 may be correspondingly constituted as a snap-over type, a friction-fit type, a snap-in type as well as the plug-in type shown herein, all Without departing from the spirit of the invention.
In accordance with the present invention, the connecting web or strip 12 which permanently secures together the stopper portion 11 and the cap body portion 10 is initially formed with a bent, crooked or folded shape as shown in FIGS. 1 and 3, thereby to locate the stopper and cap body portions 11 and 10 respectively in closely spaced relation, and an additional frangible web or several additional frangible connecting webs is or are provided to maintain the said bent or folded shape of the permanent connecting web 12 and also to maintain the closely-spaced relationship of the stopper and cap body portions whereby the entire assemblage is relatively small in size and extremely compact, and capable of being readily handled by automatic conveying, hoppering and stoppering equipment without likelihood of entanglement of the cap structures or without presenting difiiculties in their handling and use which would prevent the utilization of the said automatic equipment.
Referring to FIGS. 1-5 a single additional, frangible connecting web 35 is shown, the said web joining the stopper portion 11 to a point on the outwardly extending peripheral flange 24 of the cap body portion. The frangible web 35 is seen as being actually connected to one of the protuberant portions 25 of the said flange whereby the stopper portion 11 is disposed between an adjacent pair of such protuberant portions. Preferably, as shown, the frangible web 35 is much smaller in cross section than the permanent connecting web 12. Further, it may be formed so as to be devoid of radii or fillets at the points where it joins the stopper portion 11 and the protuberance 25 of the cap body portion, thereby to prevent any undesired strengthening eifect.
The permanent connecting web 12 is preferably appreciably wider than it is thick, as may be observed from an inspection of FIGS. 1, 2 and 3. In FIGS. 1 and 3 the width of the permanent connecting web 12 is seen to be appreciable as regards the thickness of the web as shown in FIG. 2 is made sufficiently long so that after the frangible web 35 has been broken, the stopper portion 11 of the cap construction may be applied to the dispensing or orifice boss 17 in the manner illustrated in FIGS. 4 and 5 without requiring severance of the said web. Thus, the stopper portion 11 will at all times be .5 held captive and remain attached to the cap body portion 10.
It will now be understood from the foregoing that the cap construction as seen in FIGS. 1, 2 and 3 may be readily utilized in automatic conveying, hoppering and capping equipment, and will remain in the condition shown until such time as a consumer or ultimate purchaser desires -to avail himself of the contents of the container. At such time, the user will sever and remove the transverse sealing wall 18, whereupon the contents of the container may be dispensed. Thereafter, the user will break the connecting web 35, which requires but a moderate pull on the stopper portion 11, whereupon the latter may be plugged into the dispensing boss 17 as illustrated in FIGS. 4 and 5.
A modification of the invention is illustrated in FIG. 6. This form of the invention is generally similar to that described above, except that in place of a single additional frangible web 35 as above described, a plurality of frangible webs 35a is provided, one web directly joining the stopper and cap body portions and the remainder of the webs joining the permanent connecting web 12a with the periphery of the cap body portion a. With this construction the user in grasping and pulling on the stopper portion 11a will first break the short connecting web 35a between the stopper and cap body portions and thereafter in sequence the remaining frangible webs 35a will be broken, thereby freeing the permanent connecting web 12a so that the stopper portion may be readily applied to the cap body portion for resealing and reclosing the latter. In accordance With the invention the additional frangible web or webs 35a may be provided betwen any points of the stopper and cap body portions to effect a relatively small and compact assemblage and prevent entanglement betwen the various parts of the cap construction during conveying, hoppering or capping operations, especially as carried out with automatic or machine equipment.
Another embodiment of the invention is illustrated in FIGS. 7 and 8. The cap construction shown in these figures is characterized by a relatively high or deep, cuplike body portion 40 having internal screw threads 42 arranged for engagement with cooperable screw threads on the neck of the container to secure the cap in place. The cap body portion 40 has external knurling 4-4 as shown, and is provided with a hollow boss 46 constituting a pouring orifice, the said boss having an annular detent bead 48 disposed on the outside of its lip.
The cap construction of FIGS. 7 and 8 also includes a captive stopper portion 50 which is permanently connected to the cap body portion 40 by an elongate, thin, crooked connecting web 52. Additional frangible connecting webs 53 and 54 are provided, for holding the stopper portion 50 closely juxtaposed to the cap body portion '40, and for maintaining the permanent connecting web 52 folded against the body portion 40 as clearly shown in FIG. 8.
With the construction of FIGS. 7 and 8 the exterior of the high or deep cap body portion 40 is not encumbered in any manner except at the lip or mouth 56 thereof where the webs S2, 53 and 54 are joined. Accordingly, this cap construction readily lends itself for use in existing capping machines, and the chucks of such machines may readily hold the cap body portion without requiring alternation. Thus, with the form of the invention shown in FIGS. 7 and 8 the cap construction not only includes a captive stopper or plug in an organization characterized by small size and compactness, but at the same time the cap is of the screw thread variety and may be readily handled by existing capping equipment. As with the other forms of the invention, the consumer, when placing the cap in use, merely severs or ruptures the frangible webs 53 and 54 when he desires to avail himself of the stopper or plug 50.
It will be readily understood from the foregoing that I have provided by the present invention a novel, improved cap or closure construction of the type which is normally 6 sealed and remains sealed until broken open by the ulti mate consumer, there being a captive stopper portion permanently secured to the cap body portion to eifect a rescaling or reclosing of the latter.
By the invention, the said improved construction is characterized by the permanent connecting Web for the stopper and cap body portions being initially formed in a bent, crooked or folded shape, and being held in this shape by one or serveral additional frangible webs which also hold the stopper portion closely juxtaposed to the cap body portion, thereby to effect a relatively small and very compact assemblage which enables the cap construction to be readily utilized with automatic equipment, involving conveying, hoppering and capping operations. Moreover, my improved cap construction is seen to be extremely simple and economical to fabricate, and does not require closely held tolerances which are normally involved when parts from one mold or set of molds are intended to cooperate or fit parts which come from another mold or set of molds. An advantageous manufacturing economy is effected by virtue of the fact that the cap is completely finished and ready for adaptation to the container immediately after being molded. This eliminates any additional secondary assembly operations and yet maintains the characteristics of a captive cap throughout the life of the package. A secure sealing of the container is had during its storage, shipment and display prior to actual purchase by the ultimate consumer, and the use of the cap by the said consumer is greatly facilitated by the construction shown as regards the initial opening of the cap and the subsequent reclosing or rescaling of the same, the entire unit always being connected and held captive against inadvertent dropping or loss during its use.
Variations and modifications may be made within the scope of the claims, and portions of the improvements may be used without others.
1. As a new article of manufacture, a compact, sealing and openable, dispensing-type cap construction for attachment to a container, said cap construction being constituted of a molded piece of resilient and yieldable plastic substance, said piece having a cap body portion and a stopper portion disposed along the side of, and closely spaced with respect to each other and further having a thin and flexible, long crooked connecting web extending alongside for an appreciable distance, and substantially parallel to, the periphery of the cap body portion, by which the body and stopper portions are permanently secured to each other and movably joined to enable the stopper portion, when the said web is the only connection between the said portions, to be swung through an arc and applied to the body portion for closing the same after the latter has been opened, said web being substantially greater in length than the distance separating the stopper and cap body portions; and frangible, easily torn holding means carried by said piece for separably joining the stopper and cap body portions in addition to the web and for normally temporarily holding the portions in said closely spaced side-by-side relationship with the web maintained crooked, thereby to effect of the said portions and web a compact and relatively small assemblage, said holding means when torn enabling the stopper portion to be applied to the said cap body portion and being inoperative for such application.
2. The invention as defined in claim 1, in which the said means comprises a short web connecting the two portions at their circumferences with said circumferences in virtual tangential contact.
3. The invention as defined in claim 1, in which the said means comprises a frangible web constituted as an integral part of the said piece.
4. The invention as defined in claim 1, in which the said means comprises a plurality of spaced frangible webs constituted as integral parts of the said piece.
5. The invention as defined in claim 4 in which some a of the said frangible webs are connected with the said long, crooked web to normally maintain the crooked shape of the latter.
6. The invention as defined in claim 5 in which one of the frangible webs is shorter than the other frangible webs and is connected directly to the stopper and cap body portions, the remainder of the frangible webs being connected between the cap body portion and the said crooked web.
7. The invention as defined in claim 3 in which the frangible web has a smaller cross section than the said crooked web.
8. The invention as defined in claim 3 in which the connection of the frangible web to the said piece is devoid of fillets which would tend to strengthen said web.
9. The invention as defined in claim 1, in which the said means is connected to the stopper and cap body portions at points spaced from the connections of the crooked web to said portions.
8 10. The invention as defined in claim 1, in which the cap body portion has internal screw threads and is higher than the stopper portion, extending appreciably above the latter to enable the body portion to be readily gripped by a chuck of a capping machine.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,761,598 Darlington Sept. 4, 1956 2,892,565 Faini June 30, 1959 2,894,654 Lohrer July 14, 1959 FOREIGN PATENTS 466,384 Italy Oct. 26, 1951 576,338 Great Britain Mar. 29, 1946 649,559 Great Britain Jan. 31, 1951 77,751 Netherlands Apr. 15, 1955 1,028,007 Germany Apr. 10, 1958