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Publication numberUS3204799 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 7, 1965
Filing dateFeb 12, 1964
Priority dateFeb 12, 1964
Publication numberUS 3204799 A, US 3204799A, US-A-3204799, US3204799 A, US3204799A
InventorsBoysen Robert L, Hunter Paul H
Original AssigneeUnion Carbide Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Container and closure therefor
US 3204799 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

p 7, 1955 P. H. HUNTER ETAL 3,

CONTAINER AND CLOSURE THEREFOR Filed Feb. 12, 1964 INVENTORS PAUL H. HUNTER R BERT L. OYSEN Br 7'70R/VEV United States Patent 3,204,799 CUNTAINER AND CLOSURE THEREFOR Paul H. Hunter, New Brunswick, and Robert L. Boysen,

Princeton, 'NJ., assignors to Union Carbide Corporation, a corporation of New York Filed Feb. 12, 1964, Ser. No. 344,411 9 Claims. (Cl. 215-31) This invention relates to an open-mouth container and :a permanent snap-on closure therefor. More specifically, this invention relates to a sift-proof container particularly suited for packaging and dispensing pulverulent and granular material.

Containers fabricated from hollow wound cardboard cylinders and metal end members crimped in place to form .a container have been widely use-d, because of their low cost, for packaging and dispensing pulverulent and granular materials such as scouring and cleansing powders, food products and the like. It has been found, however, that the cardboard cylinder of such containers is highly susceptible to moisture attack and the metal end members susceptible to rust and/or corrosion. As a result, the container itself becomes undesirably damaged and the contents can and do become undesirably damaged and contaminated leading to costly waste and loss of consumer appeal. Where a particular end use requires resistance to moisture and chemical attack, experience has shown that cardboard-metal type containers fail to meet these requirements.

Another problem encountered in the use of cardboardmetal type containers resides in container design and coloring. Designing by contouring, embossing, fluting, corrugating, grooving and the like are generally not feasible with this type of container. Instead, container design is restricted to minor variations in the cross-sectional shape. Coloring and printed matter can only be app ied by means of a separate wrap-around label. These drawbacks are particularly bothersome to manufacturers attempting to gain a competitive edge by marketing a functional and aesthetic design most likely to draw the attention of the consumer.

Many avenues have been explored in an attempt to overcome the shortcomings of cardboard-metal type containers. One particularly attractive type of container that has gained recent recognition is the plastic container such as the one shown in US. Design Patent 196,817, issued November 5, 1963, to Marchant et al. Plastic containers overcome all of the drawbacks mentioned above 'with respect to the cardboard-metal type container in that they possess excellent moisture barrier characteristics, are inert to chemical attack normally encountered by cardboard-metal type containers, offer an infinite number of design variations, and can be colored and printed on without using a separate label.

A need that has been felt with respect to plastic containers of the type described herein has been for a simple, effective, leak and sift proof, permanent closure that can be fabricated at low cost and applied to the container without adding extra steps during the filling and assembly of a container. =Prior closures have not been wholly satisfactory for reasons such as complexity of design rendering fabrication of the container and closure costly, poor sealing ability leading to leaking and/ or sifting, and costly and time consuming extra steps during filling and assembly of the container in order to obtain good sealing ability.

. It is, therefore, the principal object of the present invention to provide a container having a leak and sift proof, permanent, snap-on closure which can be fabricated at low cost and which has excellent sealing ability requiring no extra steps during filling and assembly of a container.

The present invention will be more fully understood ice from the description which follows taken in conjunction with the following drawings wherein:

FIGURE 1 is a sectional view, partially broken away, of the neck portion of a container of the present invention;

FIGURE 2 is a sectional view, partially broken away, of a closure for a container of the present invention;

FIGURE 3 is a sectional view partially broken away, of the closure of FIGURE 2 in place over the neck portion of FIGURE 1;

FIGURES 4, 5, and 6 are sectional views, partially broken away, of modifications of the neck portion of FIGURE 1;

FIGURES 7 and 8 are sectional views, partially broken away, of modifications of the closure of FIGURE 2.

Broadly stated, the container of the present invention comprises .a container body having an open-mouth neck poition and a flexible, snap-on, permanent closure therefor. The neck portion includes a series of outer peripheral surfaces which are mutually opposite to sand coextensive with a series of inner peripheral surfaces of the closure. The particular coextensive character of the peripheral surfaces of the neck portion and closure, as is more fully described below, account for the permanent, snapon, leak and sift proof nature of the container and closure of the present invention.

Turning now to the drawings, and particularly to FIG- URES :1, 2, and 3, there is depicted a preferred embodiment of the container and closure of the present invention. FIGURE 1 shows a container body 10 surmounted by a neck portion which is shown to include as outer peripheral surfaces, in ascending integral sequence, peripheral shoulder 11 extending inward from container body 10, first peripheral surface 12 extending inward and upward from shoulder 11, peripheral groove 13, second peripheral surface 14 extending inward and upward from groove 13, third peripheral surface 15 extending upward from second peripheral surface 14, and flexible flange 16 extending inward and upward from third peripheral surface 15 defining the mouth of container body 10. Flange 16 is shown to include peripheral sealing surface 17 and peripheral edge 18.

The closure of FIGURE 2 is shown to include cover portion 20 and as inner peripheral surfaces, in descending integral sequence, first peripheral surface 21 extending downward from cover portion 20, second peripheral surface 22 extending downward and outward from first peripheral surface 21, peripheral rib 23, third peripheral surface 24 extending downward and outward from rib 23, and terminal peripheral edge 25.

In FIGURE 3 the mutually opposite coextensive character of the peripheral surfaces of the neck portion of FIGURE 1 and the closure of FIGURE 2 is depicted. As shown in FIGURE 3, cover portion 20 is adapted to fit over the mouth of container body 10 and flange 16; closure peripheral surface 21 is adapted to partially coextensively fit over neck peripheral surface 15; closure peripheral surface 22 is adapted to coextensively fit over neck peripheral surface 14; closure rib 23 is adapted to snap into and coextensively seat in groove 13 in such a manner that cover portion 20 engages sealing surface 17 of flange 16 creating a seal; closure peripheral surface 24 is adapted to coextensively fit over neck peripheral surface 12; and closure edge 25 is adapted to abut, preferably coextensively, neck shoulder 11. For purposes of the present invention, it is preferred that closure edge 25 have a thickness equal to that of shoulder 11 in order that the jointed appearance between a closure and container body be minimized.

In operation, the flexible closure of FIGURE 2 is forced by pressure applied to cover 20 down over the neck portion of FIGURE 1 as is clearly shown in FIG- URE 3. Due to the flexible nature of the closure of the present invention, closure rib 23 cams out and over neck peripheral surface 14 as the closure is forced down and snaps into groove 13 thereby securing the closure in place. According to a preferred embodiment of the present in vention, closure rib 23 is adapted to engage or grip neck peripheral surface 15 when a closure is placed or dropped over a container neck portion before being snapped into place. This capability of a closure of the present invention prevents misalignment or dislodgement of a closure prior to its being snapped into place during manual or machine assembly, and is particularly useful in a high speed filling and assembling line.

As shown in FIGURE 3 and as described previously, when closure rib 23 snaps into neck groove 13, cover portion engages sealing surface 17 of flange 16 creating a seal. For purposes of the present invention, it is sufficient if overall surface to surface contact between cover portion 20 and sealing surface 17 is obtained. However, to insure adequate sealing against leaking and/ or sifting, it is preferred that flange 16 be depressed downward by cover portion 20 when a closure is snapped into place. The container and closure of the present invention can be designed so that the distance flange 16 is depressed may vary from a slight distance, as for example 0.1 mil, all the way down to a position where flange 16 is at a right angle to neck peripheral surface 15, in which case closure peripheral surface 21 and neck peripheral surface 15 will be completely coextensive.

The seal described above between cover portion 20 and sealing surface 17 of flange 16 may be termed a primary seal for purposes of discussion. A secondary seal is also created between the mutually opposite coextensive peripheral surfaces of the neck portion and closure described previously. It is to be noted that for purposes of the present invention it is sufficient if primary or secondary sealing as described herein is obtained. It is preferred, however, that primary sealing and secondary sealing as described below be obtained. Preferably, secondary sealing is complete among all the peripheral surfaces as is clearly shown in FIGURE 3. However, it is suflicient if secondary sealing is obtained between at least one pair of mutually opposite coextensive peripheral surfaces of the neck portion and closure. For example, betweenv neck peripheral surface 15 and closure peripheral surface 21, between neck peripheral surface 14 and closure peripheral surface 22, between groove 13 and rib 23, between neck peripheral surface 12 and closure peripheral surface 24, or between closure edge 25 and shoulder 11. It is pre ferred that secondary sealing be obtained between pe ripheral surfaces 15 and 21 and more preferred that secondary sealing be obtained between peripheral surfaces 15 and 21 and one other pair of peripheral surfaces listed above.

In light of the foregoing discussion with respect to primary and secondary sealing, it can be seen that it is not essential that the container and closure of the present invention fit exactly as is shown in FIGURE 3. Stated in different terms, it is suflicient if primary sealing or secondary sealing between mutually opposite coextensive peripheral surfaces as described above is obtained.

The closure of the present invention has been described above as a permanent, snap-on closure. It is to be noted that it is within the scope of the present invention to provide auxiliary means to insure tight fitting and adequate sealing. Among such means are heat sealing by any known means, spin welding, adhesives and cements (including pre-treating and/ or priming of the neck portion and closure peripheral surfaces prior to the application thereof), and the like. On particularly desirable method found has been to coat the flexible flange of a neck portion, for example the flange 16 and sealing surface 17 shown in FIGURE 1, with a heat-sensitive, non-tacky adhesive. After filling and application of a closure, the adhesive is activated with conducted or radiant heat thereby bonding the cover portion of a closure and neck flange together.

A preferred method for obtaining a tight fit for a closure has been to fabricate a closure having an'inside diameter slightly smaller, for example from about 0.2% to about 3% smaller, than the outside diameter of the neck portion of a container body. The inside diameter can be less than the outside diameter of the neck portion at all or only selected points of the inner peripheral surfaces of a closure. The inside diameter can also be smaller yet such that the closure is too small to be snapped into place cold, that is at room temperature, about 23 C. In this instance, the closure is expanded by heating to a temperature below the strain release temperature of the particular thermoplastic from which a closure has been fabricated, snapped into place on the neck portion of a container body, and allowed to cool. In this manner the closure shrinks while on the neck portion resulting in a good tight fit. Closures of the present invention fabricated from high density polyethylene have been found to perform well in this manner because of its high coeflicient of thermal expansion.

It is to be understood that the container and closure depicted in FIGURES 1 thru 3 constitute a preferred embodiment of the present invention. Many variations are possible within the spirit and scope of the present invention. For example, with reference to FIGURES 1 and 2, it has been found that a container comprised of container body 10 having an open-mouth neck portion which includes peripheral groove 13, peripheral surface 14, and flange 16, and a closure which includes cover portion 20, peripheral surface 22 and peripheral rib 23 will function in the manner described previously and will possess the capabilities set forth in the principal object of the present invention. 1

Containers and closures of the present invention may vary widely in size and shape. For example the neck portion and closure of FIGURES 1 and 2 may be round, oval, square or rectangular with rounded corners, polygonal, and the like in cross-section, while a container body may be of any shape desired. Also, the various angles shown for the peripheral surfaces of the present invention in FIGURE 3 may vary widely. For example, flexible flange 16 may be disposed as shown in FIGURE 1 or it may be set at a right angle to the vertical axis of a container. It is also within the scope of the present invention to have flange 16 extending downward forming an acute angle with neck peripheral surface 15. In this instance, of course, primary sealing as described herein between flange 16 and cover portion 20 is not obtained, but instead, flange 16 performs the equally important function of adding stiflness to the neck portion. It is preferred that flange 16 be set at about 2 to 45 up from the horizontal. Similarly, the angle of neck peripheral surfaces 12, 14 and 15, and the corresponding closure peripheral surfaces 21, 22 and 24, may be varied. It is preferred that third peripheral surface 15 and its corresponding closure peripheral surface 21 be generally parallel to the vertical axis of a container. Also it is preferred that second peripheral surface 15 and its corresponding closure peripheral surface 22 be at an angle of about 30 from the vertical axis of a container.

It is also to be understood that the inner peripheral surfaces of the neck portion of FIGURE 1 may be of any contour desired, and not necessarily the cont-our shown in FIGURE 1. The same holds true for the outer peripheral surfaces of the closure of FIGURE 2. For example, a flexible closure having inner peripheral surfaces as defined above may be provided with various outer shapes such as spherical, hemispherical, orbical, conical, cubical, multiangular forms and the like.

In FIGURES 4 thru 8, the same reference numerals have been used to designate like parts shown in FIG- URES 1 thru 3.

FIGURE 4 shows a modification of the peripheral groove of the neck portion shown in FIGURE 1. The modification is shown to comprise a peripheral groove 40 5. terminating in a generally horizontal section 41. This modification is used with a closure having a rib shape adapted to coextensively seat in groove 40. A similarly modified groove 50 is shown in FIGURE having a general-1y horizontal section 51. The FIGURE 5 modification illustrates the combination of groove with shoulder 11 without peripheral surface 12 therebetween.

FIGURE 6 shows a modification of the neck portion of FIGURE 1 in the combination of peripheral groove 61 and peripheral shoulder extending inward and downward from container body 10. In this modification, the terminal edge of a closure abuts shoulder 60, while the rib has a shape adapted to coextensively seat in groove 61.

FIGURE 7 shows a modification of the closure of FIGURE 2. This modification embodies a telescoping central portion 71 of cover portion 20. When such a closure is snapped into place, inner peripheral surface 70 is adapted to engage terminal edge 18 of flange 16 shown in FIGURE 1 to provide for auxiliary sealing. FIG- URE 8 shows a similar modification embodied by inner continuous rib 8t) spaced from the edge of cover portion 20 which is adapted to engage terminal edge 18 of flange 16 when such a closure is snapped into place, again to provide for auxiliary sealing. The closure modifications shown in FIGURES 7 and 8 also provide reinforcement in those instances where a closure is used with a flexible container body. This structural capability of these closures prevents separation under pressure of the flexible container body and closure which would other- Wise tend to destroy sealing between the closure and container.

The closure of the present invention may be provided with one or a plurality of dispensing perforations in the cover portion. In practice, a section of pressure sensitive adhesive tape would be applied to the cover portion to cover the perforations and prevent leaking of the container contents. Also, the terminal edge of a closure may be contoured along various lines, for example scalloped, Wavy and the like, to enhance aesthetic appearance.

A container body of the present invention having an open mouth neck portion, for example as shown in FIG URE 1, may be rigid, semi-rigid, or flexible depending on the particular end use, and may be fabricated from well known materials such as glass, metal, thermosetting resins, thermoplastic resins and the like. Thermoplastic resins are preferred because of their ability to melt fabricate and because they possess good moisture barrier characteristics, and good resistance to chemical attack. Illustrative of such thermoplastic resins are polyolefins such as polyethylene and polypropylene, interpolymers and mixtures thereof, polyarnides, polystyrene, high impact modified polystyrene, polyvinyl halides, interpolymers thereof, polyhydroxyethers, polycarbonates, polyoxymethylenes, copolymers, terpolymers such as a terpolymer of acrylonitrile, butadiene, and styrene, and the like. The preferred thermoplastic resin for the container body of the present invention is high-density polyethylene having a density of about 0.94 to about 0.97.

A closure of the present invention for example as shown in FIGURE 2, possesses suflicient flexibility to enable it to function in the manner described previously For this reason, it is preferred that the closure of the present invention be fabricated from a flexible thermoplastic resin such as those listed above for the container body. The preferred thermoplastic resins for the closure are high-density polyethylene and high impact modified polystyrene.

Thermoplastic resins from which the container body and closure of the present invention may be fabricated can contain various additives as is Well known in the art, as for example dyes, pigments such as titanium dioxide, stabilizers, lubricants, antioxidants, fillers such as carbon black, talc, and clay and the like, cross-linking agents, and modifiers such as rubber and the like.

The container body and closure of the present invention can be fabricated by any of several well known techniques. For example, a container body can be belowmolded alone or together with the closure in which case the closure is cut from the container body and trimmed in a subsequent operation. Illustrative of other methods suitable for fabricating a container body and closure include melt compression molding, thermoforming, injection molding, cold forming, and the like. For economic reasons, it is preferred that the container body be fabricated by blow-molding or thermoforming and the closure by thermoforming.

While the container of the present invention has been discussed as being suited for packaging and dispensing pulverulent material, it will be evident from the instant disclosure that it is equally suited as a container for both liquids and solids of all varieties. Because of the permanent nature of the closure of the present invention, it will also be evident that it can be used to form the bottom of a container having a bottom portion shaped the same as the neck portion described herein.

We claim:

1. A container comprising a container body having an open-mouth neck portion and a flexible, snap-on, permanent closure therefor; said neck portion having a series of outer peripheral surfaces which are mutually opposite to and coextensive with a series of inner peripheral surfaces of said closure; the neck portion of said container body including as outer peripheral surfaces, in ascending integral sequence, a peripheral groove, a peripheral surface extending upward and inward from said groove, and a flexible flange extending inward from said peripheral surface defining the mouth of said container body; said permanent closure including a cover portion adapted to fit over the mouth of said container body and coextensively engage said flange creating a primary seal, and as inner peripheral surfaces, in descending integral sequence, a peripheral surface extending downward and outward from said cover portion adapted to coextensively fit over the peripheral surface of said neck portion creating a first secondary seal, and a peripheral rib adapted to snap into and coextensively seat in the peripheral groove of said neck portion creating a second secondary seal.

2. A container comprising a container body having an open-mouth neck portion and a flexible, snap-on, permanent closure therefor; said neck portion having a series of outer peripheral surfaces which are mutually opposite to and coextensive with a series of inner peripheral surfaces of said closure; the neck portion of said container body including as outer peripheral surface, in ascending integral sequence, a peripheral groove, a first peripheral surface extending upward and inward from said groove, a second peripheral surface extending upward from said first peripheral surface, and a flexible flange having a peripheral sealing surface extending inward and upward from said second peripheral surface defining the mouth of said container body; said permanent clousre including a cover portion adapted to fit over the mouth of said container body and said flange, and as inner peripheral surface, in descending integral sequence, a first peripheral surface extending downward from said cover portion adapted to coextensively fit over the second peripheral surface of said neck portion creating a secondary seal, a second peripheral surface extending downward and outward from said first peripheral surface adapted to coextensively fit over the first peripheral surface of said neck portion, and a peripheral rib adapted to snap into and coextensively seat in the peripheral groove of said neck portion in such a manner that said cover portion coextensively engages the sealing surface of said flexible flange creating a primary seal.

3. The container as defined in claim 2 wherein the peripheral rib of said closure is adapted to engage the second peripheral surface of said neck portion to prevent a closure from being dislodged prior to its being snapped in place during assembly,

4. The container as defined in claim 2 wherein said closure has an inside diameter smaller than the outside diameter of the neck portion of said container body.

5. A container comprising acontainer body having an open-mouth neck portion and a flexible, snap-on, permanent closure therefor; the neck portion of said container body including as outer peripheral surfaces, in ascending sequence, a peripheral shoulder extending inward from said container body, a first peripheral surface extending inward and upward from said shoulder, a peripheral groove, a second peripheral surface extending upward and inward from said groove, a third peripheral surface extending upward from said second peripheral surface, and a flexible flange having a peripheral sealing surface extending inward and upward from said third peripheral surface defining the mouth of said container body; said closure including a cover portion adapted to fit over the mouth of said container body .and said flange, and as inner peripheral surfaces, in descending sequence, a first peripheral surface extending downward from said cover portion adapted to coextensively fit over the third peripheral surface of said neck portion, a second peripheral surface extending downward and outward from said first peripheral surface adapted to coextensively fit over the second peripheral surface of said neck portion, a peripheral rib adapted to snap into and coextensively seat in the peripheral groove of said neck portion in such a manner that said cover portion engages and depresses said flexible flange creating a seal, said peripheral rib adapted to engage the third peripheral surface of said neck portion to prevent a closure from beind dislodged prior to its being snapped in place during assembly, a third peripheral surface extending downward and outward from said peripheral rib adapted to coextensively fit over the first peripheral surface of said neck portion, and a terminal peripheral edge adapted to abut the peripheral shoulder of said neck portion.

6. The container as defined in claim 5 wherein the terminal edge of said closure has a thickness equal to the width of the peripheral shoulder of said neck portion.

7. The container as defined in claim 5 wherein the flexible flange of said neck portion has a peripheral edge and the cover portion of said closure has a telescoping central portion adapted to engage the peripheral edge of said flange.

8. The container as defined in claim 5 wherein the flexible flange of said neck portion has a peripheral edge and the cover of said closure has an inner rib spaced from the edge of said cover portion adapted to engage the peripheral edge of said flange.

9. The container as defined in claim 5 wherein said closure has an inside diameter smaller than the outside diameter of the neck portion of said container body.

References Cited by the Applicant UNITED STATES PATENTS 699,964 3/01 Walsh. 1,197,924 9/ 16 Ellinger. 2,122,904 7/3 8 Ambrosius. 3,112,838 12/63 Studer. 3,113,693 12/63 Stull.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 4 2,886,198 5/59 Herter 215-41 3,015,404 1/62 Wuyckens 215-31 3,086,671 4/63 Zaleski 21531 3,118,562 1/ 64 Whitney 15 0-5 FRANKLIN T. GARRETT, Primary Examiner.

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3403804 *Dec 12, 1966Oct 1, 1968L M P Lavorazione Materie PlasBlown bottle of flexible plastics
US3612324 *Sep 25, 1969Oct 12, 1971Malick Dell MSafety cap and container neck construction
US3767076 *Aug 12, 1971Oct 23, 1973Owens Illinois IncPlastic container
US4068663 *Jan 15, 1976Jan 17, 1978Aid Pak, Inc.Container
US4301937 *Dec 3, 1979Nov 24, 1981Maxcap, Inc.Blow molded plastic bottle and plastic cap
US4387818 *Nov 7, 1980Jun 14, 1983Itnoc Dairy Cap Co. Inc.Snap-on tamper-proof closure
US4496066 *Jul 27, 1983Jan 29, 1985Three Sisters Ranch Enterprises PtrsNeck finish for plastic containers
US4564113 *Sep 6, 1984Jan 14, 1986Continental White Cap, Inc.Injection molded plastic closure
US5036991 *Sep 28, 1990Aug 6, 1991Cap Snap Co.Plastic
US6105801 *Aug 4, 1999Aug 22, 2000Rexam Medical Packaging, Inc.Container having collapsible neck finish
US6213301 *Jul 10, 1998Apr 10, 2001General Mills, Inc.Plastic container for food products
US6547093Feb 28, 2000Apr 15, 2003General Mills, Inc.Plastic container for food products
US8714402Jan 21, 2010May 6, 2014General Mills, Inc.Thermoformed container assembly for food products
Classifications
U.S. Classification215/45, 215/321
International ClassificationB65D1/02, B65D41/18, B65D41/02
Cooperative ClassificationB65D1/0246, B65D41/18
European ClassificationB65D41/18, B65D1/02D1B