US 3037672 A
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P. P. GACH 3,037,672
DISPENSING CONTAINER WITH TAMPERPROOF REPLACEABLE CAP June 5, 1962 Filed Sept. 7, 1960 .INVENTOR. PETER P. GAC H firTa/e Ne rs United States Patent 3,037,672 DISPENSING CONTAINER WITH TAMPER- PROOF REPLACEABLE CAP Peter P. Gach, Evansville, Ind., assignor to Sunbeam Plastics Corporation, Evansville, Ind., a corporation of Indiana Filed Sept. 7, 1960, Ser. No. 54,416 1 Claim. (Cl. 222-182) This invention relates to a dispensing can structure having a tamperproof but replaceable and reusable cap.
A dispensing can, or container, of the type referred to is sometimes called an AerosoP can and the entire structure consists of a cylindrical can having a body of circular cross-section with a generally dome shaped upper end in which there is formed a central circular recess for the reception of a valve structure. The valve structure usually comprises an annular flange which is crimped around the edge of the top circular opening in the can and in the center of which flange there is located a valve stem and actuator. Most cans of this type are provided with a dust cover or other protection for the valve mechanism in order to prevent inadvertent actuation of the valve or the collection of dust or foreign objects on or in the valve.
One serious problem which has been encountered by merchants selling materials in this type of container arises from the customers curiosity as to the contents of the can and the fact that the caps may readily be removed and replaced. This permits customers to test the can by spraying some of the contents therefrom, and also, where the customer is dishonest, permits the customer to take a cap off of a can bearing a lower selling price and substituting it for the cap on a can having a higher selling price. These testing activities, and the dishonest exchange of caps marked with diiferent selling prices are most readily performed in large self-service stores, such as supermarkets.
It is the object of the present invention to provide a tamperproof cap for a pressurized dispensing container which is so designed as to prevent initial removal except by a positive breaking of the cap and which, after initial removal, is so designed and adapted as to be replaceable and readily removable in subsequent occasions so as to serve in the same manner as a conventional protective cap for the valve mechanism.
It is a further object of the instant invention to provide a tamper-proof cap for a dispensing container which utilizes portions of the can structure itself in cooperation with both removal and permanent parts of the cap to provide an initially tamperproof cap which can be subsequently repeatedly used as a dust or protective cap.
These and other and more specific objects and advantages of the invention will be better understood from the specification which follows and from the drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 is a fragmentary view in elevation, with parts broken away, of a first embodiment of the invention in its initial tamperproof arrangement;
FIG. 2 is a view of the embodiment of the invention shown in FIG. 1 after the initial opening of the cap and as subsequently repeatedly used;
FIG. 3 is a view similar to FIG. 1 showing a second embodiment of the invention;
FIG. 4 is a view similarto FIG. 2, but of the second embodiment of the invention illustrated in FIG. 3;
FIG. 5 is a view similar to FIGS. 1 and 3, showing a third embodiment of the invention, and
FIG. 6 is a view similar to FIGS. 2 and 4, but of the embodiment of the invention illustrated in FIG. 5.
Throughout the drawings and specification, the body of the can itself which contains the material to be dispensed and with which the valve and its associated parts are as- 3,037,672 Patented June 5, 1962 sembled to form a can structure, will be illustrated as having a top seam by which the domed upper portion of the can is connected to the main cylindrical body of the can. \It is to be understood, however, that with respect to the embodiments of the invention illustrated in FIGS. 1-4, the use of a can having an upper end seam is not necessary to the combination because these two modifications of the invention adapt themselves equally well to use on cans having formed upper shoulders without seams connecting the domed tops to the cylindrical can bodies.
In FIGS. 1 and 2, a generally cylindrical can is fragmentarily indicated by the reference number It). The can body 10 is permanently connected to a domed top 11 by an annular shoulder seam generally indicated at 12. A valve mechanism, generally indicated at 13, includes a valve actuator 14 and a flange having a rolled rim 15 which is crimped over and around a rim formed around a center opening in the domed top 11.
The construction of the valve 13 and the domed top 11 is best illustrated by reference to FIG. 3 where a rolled rim 15a of a valve mechanism 13a is shown as crimped around a rim 16 on the center opening of a domed top 11a.
In FIG. 3, it can also be seen how the valve mechanism 13a has a generally flat flange 1'7 at the periphery of which the rolled rim 15a is formed and crimped around the rim 16.
In the embodiment of the invention illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2, an annular, horizontally extending lip 18 is rolled in the shoulder of the domed top 11 and extends generally horizontally and radially outwardly from the part of the can structure. It is to be noted that the lip 18 is located at a level below the level of the valve mechanism 13 so as to provide for engagement with a cap, generally indicated at 19. The cap 19 has an inverted cup shape body 20 of such size and configuration as to enclose and cover the valve mechanism 13 and, in this embodiment, to generally continue the shape of the can body 10, forming a top enclosure for the can. The cap 19 has a removable annular skirt, generally indicated at 21, at its lower edge, the skirt being connected to the cap body 26 by a break away margin 22. The margin 22 is a very thin annular strip and, in most instances, would be integrally molded with the cap 19 from a resinous material. It will be observed in FIG. 1 that the break away margin 22 extends circularly around the entire cap, being located at the lowermost edge of the main cap body 20 which is formed of a material thicker than the margin 22. The margin 22 is shown as continous but it may also be formed by a row of perforations or a number of thin sections extending across a narrow slit, or similarly constitute a weakened peripheral junction between the cap body 20 and the skirt 21.
The skirt 21 has a plurality of inwardly protruding catches 23 which are integrally molded with the skirt 21 and which have a hook configuration so as to protrude beneath the lip 18. There may be two, three or more catches 23 molded at the lowermost edge of the skirt 21 to firmly engage with and beneath the lip 18 for retaining the cap 19 in place on the can structure or the catch 23 may extend circumferentially and be uninterrupted all around the skirt 21. The skirt 21 is illustrated as having a Pull tab 24 by which the break away margin 22 is fractured at the time of initial removal of the cap 19. The skirt 21 is illustrated as also having a break away portion 25 extending across the skirt, the break away portion 25 being shown as having approximately the same thickness as the break away portion 22; in other words, being a few thousandths of an inch thick or otherwise weakened and extending vertically across the skirt 21 adjacent one of the catches 23 at the right side of FIGURE 1. The break away portion 25 provides for the rupture of the skirt 21 from top to bottom subsequent to or at the time of the tearing away of the pull tab 24 which ruptures the break away margin 22 to permit the separation of the skirt 21 from the body 20 of the cap 19.
At the time of initial filling of the can and initially placing the cap 19 on the can 10 to form the complete can structure, the operator presses the cap 19 downwardly and over the lip 18. To facilitate this initial placement of the cap 19, each of the catches 23 has a beveled inner edge 26 so that downward movement of the edges 26 of the catches 23 flexes the lower margin of the hip 21 outwardly in order to permit the cap 19 to be forced down into the position illustrated in FIG. 1.
After the initial removal of the cap 19 by breaking away the margin 22 and the break away portion 25 by a sharp pull on the pull tab 24, the entire skirt 21 is removed from the cap body 20. When it is desired to again cover the valve mechanism 13, the cap body 20 is pushed downwardly and an inwardly protruding rib 27, formed at the lower edge of the cap body 20 and adjacent the break away margin 22, snaps over the lip 18. The rib 27 is illustrated as being rounded so as to permit both its easy movement over the lip 18 when placing the cap in the position of FIG. 2 and also its relatively easy removal from the position illustrated in FIG. 2 to permit subsequent actuation of the valve mechanism 13.
The retention of the cap 19 in place initially as shown in FIG. 1 may be said to be a positive retention since the catches 23 are so shaped as to prevent removal of the cap 19 without breaking the margin 22 or portion 25. The engagement of the rib 27 with the lip 18 is more nearly a frictional engagement providing for repeated re moval and replacement. The tamperproof feature of the cap thus results from a cooperation between the lip 18 formed in this modification on the domed top 11 and the catches 23 formed on the skirt of the cap 19. The removable retention of the cap 19 on the can after initial opening is provided by the cooperation between the same lip 18 and the rib 27 on the cup shaped body 20 of the cap 19.
In the embodiment of the invention illustrated in FIGS. 3 and 4, both initial engagement and subsequent engagement of portions of the cap 19a also take place with the same lip on the can structure, in this embodiment a lip 18a formed by the outer lower edge of the rolled rim a. of the valve mechanism 130:. As in the earlier embodiment of the invention, this modification of FIGS. 3 and 4 includes a cap 19a having a skirt 21a which is joined to a body a of the cap 19a by a break away margin 22a. The skirt 21a has a plurality of catches 234 at its lower edge, the catches 23a being so designed as to engage beneath the lip 18a as illustrated in FIG. 3. The skirt 21a also has a Pull tab 24a and a vertically or transversely extending break away portion 25a. As in the case of the catches 23 of FIG. 1, the catches 23a of FIG. 3 are beveled at their lower edges so as to spring outwardly when the cap 19a is initially forced down over the rolled rim 15a and have sharp, fiat upper surfaces to engage beneath and with the lip 18:: on the rim 15a.
The cap 19:: is initially removed by using the pull tab 24a to break away the skirt 21a, rupturing the break away margin 22a and the break away portion 25a, so that the skirt 21 may be completely removed from the cap 19a. After this initial opening, the cap 19a may be removably replaced on the container as illustrated in FIG. 4, with a rib 27a engaged beneath the lip 18a.
Both the embodiment of the invention illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2 and that of FIGS. 3 and 4 utilize the cooperation of the same annular lip (18 or 18a) with the catches (23 or 23a) to initially retain the cap to prevent tampering and with the rib 27 or 27a, as the case might be, for subsequent frictional retention of the cap 19a during reuse. In distinction to the embodiment of the invention illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2, that of FIGS. 3 and 4 utilizes a lip 18a formed by one of the assembly seams by which parts of the dispensing can structure are assembled to each other as a retention lip. In common with the earlier embodiment of the invention, the embodiment of FIGS. 3 and 4 may also readily be utilized on dispensing cans having a rolled or formed upper portion rather than a connection seam 12a (FIGS. 3 and 4). The dispensing can structure as embodied in the modification of the invention illustrated in FIGS. 3 and 4 constitutes an adaptation of conventional commercially available dispensing cans with caps designed in cooperation therewith according to the principles of the invention.
A third embodiment of the invention is illustrated in FIGS. 5 and 6 wherein the cooperation to prevent tampering prior to initial opening of the structure exists between catches 23b and the main assembly seam 121) by which the domed top 11b is connected to the circular body 10b of the can. In contra distinction to the embodiments of the invention illustrated in FIGS. 1-4, the embodiment of FIGS. 5 and 6 utilizes a second cooperation for the removable retention of a cap 19b on the can 10b. In this embodiment of the invention, the cap 19b has a body 26b at the lower edge of which there is integrally formed a skirt 21b, with a break away margin 22b extending circumferentially around the edge of the body 20b to which the skirt 21b is attached. The skirt 21b has a Pull tab 24b and a thin break away portion 25b extending across the skirt 21b. The catch 23b at the lower edge of the skirt 21b engages with a lip 18b formed by the turned under edge of the main assembly seam 12b. As in the case of the catches 23 of FIG. 1 and 23a of FIG. 3, the catches 23b of FIG. 5 are beveled at their lower sides to provide for outward flexing of the skirt 21b when the cap 1% is initially placed on the container 16b.
After breaking away the skirt 21b around the break away margin 22b and along the break away portion 2511, the cap 19b may be removably replaced on the can 10b by inserting it into an annular valley, generally indicated at 28, between the inner wall of the assembly seam 12b and the lower shoulder of the domed top 11b. In order to provide for more positive retention of the cap body 20b, an inwardly protruding rib 27b may be formed at the lower margin of the cap body 2% and a return groove 29 may be formed at the lower shoulder of the domed top 11b for cooperation with the rib 27b.
In this third embodiment of the invention, the catches 23b engage the lip 18b formed by one of the assembly seams and the rib 27b engages another part of the can structure, namely, the shoulder formed by the groove 29 on the domed top 11b. Of course, this modification of the invention is possible only in combination with cans of the type having the main assembly seam 12b and not with that type of cans which has a formed shoulder and in which the domed top 11b is an integral piece with the body of the can 10b.
A dispensing can structure including a body circular in cross-section, and a dispensing valve mounted centrally at the top end of said can body, an annular, horizontally extending lip protruding radially outwardly from a part of said can structure at a level below said dispensing valve and an initially tamper-proof and replaceable cap for said can, said cap having an inverted cup shape body adapted to enclose said valve, a removable annular skirt at the lower edge of said body, inwardly protruding catches integral with said skirt and engageable beneath and with said lip for initially retaining said cap on said can, a break away margin joining said skirt to the main body of said cap, a manually graspable element integral with said margin and an inwardly protruding, annular rib on the lower edge of said body adjacent said break away strip, said rib being frictionally engageable with said lip -for removably retaining said cap on said can body subsequent to the breaking away of said skirt at said break away margin, said catches extending inwardly relative to said lip a distance greater than the inward extent of said rib rela tive to said lip whereby said rib has less positive engagement with said lip than said catches.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS