US 3047177 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
July 31, 1962 E. J. PonRAs ETAL 3,047,177
CLOSURE SYSTEM Filed Nov. 7, 1957 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 e@ ab l July 31, 1962 E. J. PolTRAs ETAL. 3,047,177
cLosuRE SYSTEM Filed Nov. 7, 1957 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 A3,047,177 Patentedniluly 31, 1962 3,047,177 CLOSURE SYSTEM Edward J. Poitras and Carl W. Walter, Holliston, Mass.,
assignors, by mesne assignments, to Baxter Laboratories, Inc., Morton Grove, Ill.,`a corporation of Delaare Filed Nov. 7, 1957, Ser. No. 694,985 Claims. (Ci. 21S-56) This invention relates generally to fluid handling and more particularly to container and closure means for sterilizing, storing and dispensing medical, surgical and the like iiuids for laboratory, hospital and similar use. The invention provides a simple, convenient and eco. nomical system having only two reusable parts and combining a container yand an integral closure. The container and one-piece closure are self-venting in sterilization and self-sealing in storage. The system affordsv an easy check on the continuing steriiity of the container iiuid. The parts cooperate also to define a sterile pouring zone on and whereby to permit safe fractional dispensing from the container.
The invention will be better understood from a consideration of the following specification taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawing in which:
FIG, 1 is a bottom plan of the closure of the invention;
FIG. 2 is a section along the line 2-2 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 shows the initially assembled closure and container of the invention, with the yclosure and container mouth in like section; p
FIG. 4 is a similar View of the closure and container mouth and showing the shifting of the closure to vent the container in sterilization;
FIG. 5 is a similar View ofthe closure and container and showing the shifting of the closure to seal the container following sterilization; and
FIG. 6 is a like vertical section of another embodiment of the closure and container of the invention, shown las initially assembled.
The container of the invention comprises a flask '10 having a flat base 11 and a bellied fluid storing portion 12 which may be of varying proportion, as for storing selected fluid Volumes. The flask is grooved adjacent the base 11 to receive a strap l13 to which is pivoted a bail 14 by which the -iiask may be hung inverted, as for administering iiuid to a patient. The bail 14 will be understood to be self-storing, that is, to have a portion engaging the container so as to prevent its falling and to require its forcing or snapping down over the base 11. Thus the container 10 can with one hand be carried between and deposited on supports or surfaces with the bail conveniently held in the non-interferent storage position of FIG. 1.
Above the iiuid storing portion the flask narrows to a generally straight neck 15 terminating at an open mouth 16 which is iiattened at its end there to deiine a transverse, lateral rim 17, and which is also beveled inwardly as at the chamfer 17a. The mouth end is also thickened outwardly to provide a rounded pouring lip 18 merging with attened rim 17. The neck v15 mounts also a rounded projecting sealing bead 19, the latter spaced below and also of somewhat larger proportion and diameter than lip 18.
The closure of the invention comprises a rubber or other elastic cover or stopper 20 of integral or one-piece construction. Stopper 20 is formed to a general cup shape and more particularly with a lateral or end wall 21 and integrally dependent therefrom a generally vertical side wall 22. `End wall 21 mounts centrally a plug or waist 23 which projects downwardly into and which is smaller than the mouth of iiask 10. Further, the stopper 2 waist 23 and flask mouth 16 are seen to have opposite taper, whereby in the initially assembled position of FIG. 3 they define an upwardly converging circumferential passage, which passage is widened by the upward and closed by the downward shifting of theI stopper parts asy hereinafter mentioned.
Surrounding the waist 23 is a step or shoulder 24 projecting at its outer periphery to about midway of flask rim 17. The shoulder 24 is also undercut, or inclined inwardly-upwardly so that its engagement with the rim is iirst at, and under pressure widens inwardly of, its said outer periphery.
Outwardly of said shoulder 24 the top wall 21 is recessed Iby an endless or' circumferential groove 25 arranged and proportioned to overlie and at its side walls to seat on about the outer half of rim 17, and to reduce the top Wall thickness thereat to define a flexible annulus or diaphragm 26. The softness of stopper 20 and thickness of diaphragm 26 are such as to permit vertical shifting of waist 23 and shoulder 24 between container mouth clearing and closing portions subject to the differential pressures developing in sterilization.-
The stopper side wall 22 is formed inside with a concave or recessed portion 27 curving from groove 25 around lip 18, and sealingly gripping the same. Continuous with said recessed portion 27 is an infacing shoulder or rib 28 similarly contracting about and sealing the flask at the underside of and immediately below lip 18. Again, the shape and proportion of the recess 27 and rib 28 are to conform to and contract about the con-` tainer lip 18 and neck 15 so that the stopper gri-ps and seals the iiaskthereat.
In accordance with the invention, then, the strength of the stopper grip is such as to prevent forcing or blowing of the stopper from the flask subject to the positive pressure developing there in sterilization.Y Also, the normal spacing of rib 28 from step 24 is less than the intervening cross section or diameter of lip 18, whereby when the-stopper is applied to the flask the step 24 is pressure seated on the rim 17.k The squeeze or grip of the stopper around and across the lip 18 is also of a strength to prevent the unseating of and any leakage past step 24 when the container 10 is inverted and the stopper is subjected to the pressure or head of the container fluid. n
The stopper 20 of the invention comprises further a manipulating flange 29 formed at the relatively stiff outer periphery of end wall 21 and lby undercutting Aside wall 22 opposite recess 27. Flange 29 is engaged or gripped for forcing the stopper from the ask as hereinafter mentioned. v I
The inner and outer faces of the stopper side wall 221 converge downwardly from rib 28 and the aforementioned undercut to =a thin, peripheral band 30 extending over sealing bead 19. Like the side wall recess 27 and rib 28 the band 30 is proportioned to be expanded rin thev installing of the stopper, so as normally to grip and seal the bead 19.
Intermediate the bead 19 and rib 28 the stopper side wall flares outwardly of the flask neck, leaving there a closed space or sealed zone 31. The stopper engagement with the flask is thus defined -as a separate or double valving or seal-ing of theV lip 18 and bead 19.
The stopper side wall 22 is finteriorly recessed also by 'a series of vertical or longitudinal grooves 32 extending through rib 28 and dividing also recess 27, and -so establishing communication between groove 25 and zone 31.
In use, the flask 10 is iirst charged or filled with the desired quantity of the fluid `or solution. Next the stopper 20 is pressed or forced down `on the container mouth 16 as shown, FIG. 3, and with shoulder 24 seated on rim 17, rib 28 snapped over lip 18, and band 60 expanded 3 over bead 19. The assembly is then sterilized in accepted manner, as by subjection to steam in yan autoclave.
The steam sterilization generates inthe flask a vapor pressure which combines with the partial gas or air pressure there -to produce a total flask pressure greater than the steam pressure in the autoclave. The excess flask pressure `forces an upward shifting of the stopper waist 23 suticient to lift the shoulder 24 from its seating on rim 17. This opens the container through grooves 25, 32 to the zone 31, from which the excess pressure is relieved by its forcing of the band 30 from sealing bead 19. The band 30 distends in this valving at bead 19 suiciently to provide with the grooves 32 multiple paths of escape for the eX- cess pressure. The yieldability ofthe stopper at the band 30 Iand diaphragm 26 and the size of vent passages 25, 32 are calculated to afford a venting suicient to prevent stopper blow oit under `any conditions oi use.
The flask 10 is removed from the autoclave after the sterilization time required for the solution. Upon the resultant dissipation of the excess flask pressure the shoulder 24 and band 30 automatically seat on rim -17 and bead 19, FIG. 3, thereby re-establishing a double seal of the ask. It will be understood that this flask resealing occurs before the ask or sterilizer pressures are balanced, and that the venting is only of the pressure greater than that excess flask pressure which the stopper, by its gripping and sealing Iaround the lip 18 and at the bead 19, will contain.
The further cooling of the flask is accompanied by a vapor condensation which produces a vacuum. 'I'.he negative flask pressure pulls waist 23 further down into mouth 16, as shown, FIG. 5, and lowers step 24 into full sealing contact with the rim 17 and so as -to bend downwardly over chamfer 17a, FIG. 5. This depressing of the stopper top provides a useful visual indication of the presence of vacuum in the tiask. Thus it lmay conveniently and at a glance be determined that the solution continues sterile.
To remove the stopper 20 as for dispensing, the flask 10 is held in one hand while the other hand is placed with the fingers over the top wall 21 and the thumb under the shoulder 29. The stopper 20 is then forced or rocked free of the container 10 by rotating the wrist and thumb upwardly, and with the thumb applying thrusting pressure -to the shoulder 29. It will be observed that zone 31 is not required to be touched in this procedure, and may with ordinary care lbe preserved sterile also in replacing the stopper on the ask. Thus if initially only a part of the solution is used the remainder may be stored and used later without resterilizing yand without contamination.
FIG. 6 shows ya modified form of the stopper such as adapted for use with a container 10a not having a second sealing bead like the bead 19 of FIGS. l-5. The stopper 20a, of FIG. 6, which is in all other respects substantially similar to the stopper 20 of FIGS. 1-5, has at the lower extremity of its side wall 22a an inturned lip or flange 33 of a proportion to contract about the container neck a. It will be understood that this stopper lip engagement with the container neck aiords the similar double seal and sterile zone as already earlier described for the apparatus of FIGS. 1-5.
-Our invention is not limited 'to the particular embodiments thereof illustrated and described herein, and ave set forth its scope in our following claims.
1. A closure system comprising a container having an open mouth terminating at a transverse rim, a pouring lip, and spaced `from said lip a sealing bead, and a one-piece elastic stopper having an end wall overlying said mouth and a side wall telescoped over said lip and bead, an end wall groove closed by said rim, a side Wall rib gripping and sealing around said lip, a side wall band engaged and sealing over said bead, and a side wall recess extending from said band through said rib to said end wall groove, said end wall groove land side -wall `band lifting from said rim i and bead subject to the pressure developed and to vent the container-during sterilization.
2. A closure system comprising a container having an open mouth defined by a transverse rim and a protuberant lip, an integral elastic cap formed to a general cup shape and with a lateral end wall engaged over said rim and integrally dependent therefrom a generally vertical side wall telescoped over said lip, an annular shoulder on said end wall and projecting at 4its outer periphery to overlie said rim, said end wall formed also with an endless groove around said shoulder and at its side walls seating on said rim, said groove reducing the top wall thickness to detine thereat an annulus of a flexibility to permit vertical shifting of said end wall and shoulder between container mouth clearing and closing positions subject to the differential pressures developed in sterilization, a side wall portion extending from said groove around said protuberant lip and sealingly enclosing the same, a side wall rib below said lip enclosing portion and gripping and sealing said container with a strength to prevent its forcing from the container subject to the positive pressure developed there in sterilization, the normal spacing of said rib from said shoulder being less than the intervening wall of the lip such that the shoulder is pressure `seated on said rim, a side wall band below said rib gripping and sealing said container with a strength to yield under said positive sterilizing pressure, and said rib formed with `at least one recess extending between said band and said endless groove and opened -to said container by the unseating of said shoulder, whereby said positive sterilizing pressure is communicated to said band and by its said yielding vented to the atmosphere.
3. A closure system comprising a container having a neck terminating at an open mouth defined by a transverse rim and a protuberant lip, an integral elastic cap formed to a general cup shape Vand with a lateral end wall engaging over said rim and integrally dependent therefrom a generally vertical side wall telescoped over said lip and neck, a side wall portion curving around and sealingly enclosing the lip, a side wall rib contracting about and sealing said container neck at the underside of said lip, a side wall band yieldably engaging and sealing the container neck in a region spaced below said lip, a side wall portion between said rib and band and diverging from said container neck so as to leave there a closed space defining a sealed zone, said rib and curving portion formed with a recess communicating between said sealed zone and said end wall, said end wall and side band engagement with said container yielding under and to relieve the positive pressure developed in sterilization and said band restoring itself to said container upon the dissipating of the pressure in excess of that which said band engagement will contain, and said end wall pressure seated on said rim by the vacuum resultant on cooling of said container and `to reestablish a double seal of said mouth.
4. A closure system comprising a container having a neck terminating at an open mouth defined by a transverse rim and a protuberant lip, an integral elastic cap `formed to a general cup shape and with a lateral end wall held to said rim and integrally dependent therefrom a generally vertical side wall telescoped over said lip and neck, an end wall waist projecting into said mouth, said waist shaped and proportioned normally to be loosely received in said mouth and to open and close the same upon the lifting and depressing of said end wall, said end wall formed in the region overlying said rim as a diaphragm connecting said end wall to said side wall and having a flexibility such that said end wall rand waist may be lifted from said rim and depressed into said mouth subject to differential pressures thereat, said cap side wall formed with a recessed portion curving around the lip, an infacing side wall rib continuous with said curved portion and contracted about said container at the under side of said lip and around said neck, said rib having a thickness and proportion to grip and seal around said container with a strength to prevent the forcing of said cap from said container subject to the positive pressure developed in the sterilizing of the container, a side wall band expanded over the container neck below said rib and gripping and sealing said neck with a strength yielding tto said sterilizing pressure, said band reestablishing its said sealing about said neck upon the dissipating from said container of positive pressure in excess of that which the strength of its said gripping will contain, whereby upon its subsequent cooling a negative pressure will be developed in said container sufficient to depress said end wall to seat said Waist in said mouth and aiord a visual indication of the continuing sterility of said container, and said side Wall formed with one or more passages in and enclosed by said recessed portion and rib and communicating between said band and end wall, whereby upon said lifting of said end wall from said rim said positive sterilizing pressure is communicated to said band.
5. A closure system comprising a container having a neck terminating in an open mouth defined by a 'transverse rim and a protuberant lip, an integral elastic cap formed to a general cup shape and with a lateral end wall held to said rim and integrally dependent therefrom a generally vertical side wall telescoped over said lip and neck, an end wall waist loosely received in said mouth, said waist and mouth having opposite taper whereby in the initially assembled position they define an upwardly converging circumferential passage, which passage is `widened by the upward and closed by the downward shifting of said end wall and waist relative to said container, said end wall formed in the region around said waist and overlying said rim as an annulus of a flexibility permitting the forcing of said end wall from said rim subject to the positive container pressure developed in sterilization and permitting the depression of said Waist in said mouth subject to negative container pressure resultant on cooling, said side Wall formed with an upper part curving around and sealing said lip, a side wall rib contracted about and gripping and sealing around the under side of said lip and lthe adjacent region of said neck with a strength to prevent the forcing of said cap from said container by said positive sterilization pressure, below said band a side wall portion Haring from said neck, below said flaring portion a side wall band expanded around said neck and gripping it with a strength to relieve said positive sterilization pressure, said band affording With said end Wall a double seal of said container and deiining said lip and the neck region enclosed by said flaring portion as `a sterile pouring zone, and a passage wholly within said side wall and communicating between said band and said end wall whereby the excess sterilizing pressure which lifts said end Wall from said rim is communicated to said band and vented to the atmosphere, and whereby upon the restoring of said double seal by the resealing of said band and subject to the negative pressure resultant upon subsequent cooling of said container said end wall and waist are depressed to close said mouth and afford a visual indication of the continuing sterilizing of said container,
References Cited in the tile of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,694,851 Glass Dec. 11, 1928 2,486,364 Simmons Oct. 25, 1949 2,735,565 Wheaton et al. Feb. 21, 1956 2,772,013 Stover Nov. 27, 1956 2,834,496 Boston et al May 13, 1958