US 3237800 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
March 1, 1966 EDWARDS 3,237,800
CLOSURE FOR COIN FEEDING Filed Sept. 5, 1965 M II 11 II II --IIIIIIW I mm 7195 'lJiIlii] I lllll lo I M kl Ir: IIIHHHUI INVENTOR Bry ant Eowo'ros Atty United States Patent 3,237,809 CLUSURE FOR COKN FEEDENG Bryant Edwards, Clarendon Hiils, ilL, assiguor to Rilinois Tool Works inc, Chicago, 1th, a corporation of Deta- Ware Fiied Sept. 5, 1963, Scr. No. 305,857 6 Claims. (Cl. 229-64)) This invention relates to improvements in a closure or overcap for containers and more particularly relates to a closure permitting attachment to, and removal from a container of the character commonly used to contain hot or cold, liquid or solid food products.
Various closures have heretofore been constructed to cover, seal and permit removal from a complementary container. The incorporation of such features in a closure is desirable and has been provided by the particular structural shape or configuration of the closure. However, additional requirements for the closure are imposed where automatic feeding or dispensing of the closures is contemplated. An automatic dispensing apparatus may be used in dispensing machines to discharge the coffee can overcaps or closures. Likewise, the overcaps or closures may be dispensed by equipment used to cap food containers or the like. In such a case, it is necessary that the closures be adapted not only for covering, sealing and removal from the containers, but that they also be provided with a closure stacking means to permit the feeding of the closures in an automatic dispensing apparatus. For storage of the containers, it may also be desirable to provide the overcap or closure with container stacking means to permit the stacking of one container upon another. To this end, the closure of the present invention has been constructed and designed to meet the foregoing requirements by a novel, yet simple, structural arrangement.
It is an object of the present invention to provide a container closure which is designed to incorporate several advantageous features in a compact array for a multitude of purposes.
Another object of the present invention is to provide a container closure having means for retaining the closure on a container and a means for covering and sealing the container.
A further object of the present invention is to provide a container closure which, in addition to the above mentioned features, is provided with a stacking means to permit coin-feeding of the closures or overcaps and prevent undesirable nesting.
Still a further object of the present invention is to provide a container closure wherein a peripheral groove is provided to receive the rim on the bottom of a container to facilitate stacking of one container upon the other.
Another object of the present invention is to provide a container closure wherein a portion of the stacking means is associated with a means to facilitate the entry of fingers, a tool, etc. and permit removal of the overcap or closure from the container.
A further object is to provide a container closure which can be easily and economically made by any one of a number of known molding or manufacturing techniques.
The foregoing and other objects and advantages will be more apparent from the following detailed description when considered in connection with the accompanying drawings, wherein:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the novel closure of the present invention as associated with a cofifee can container;
FIG. 2 is a top plan view of the closure shown in FIG.
FIG. 3 is an enlarged fragmentary cross sectional view of the closure shown in FIGS. 1 and 2;
FIG. 4 is a fragmentary side elevational view, partly in section, showing the bottom rim of a container as associated with the novel closure of the present invention;
FIG. 5 is a fragmentary side elevational view of a dispensing apparatus which may be used in discharging the novel closures of the present invention;
FIG. 6 is a fragmentary cross sectional view of two juxtaposed closures stacked one upon the other.
Referring now to the drawings in more detail wherein like numerals have been employed to designate similar parts throughout the various figures, it will be seen in FIGS. 15, inclusive, that the closure embodying features of the present invention is designated generally by the numeral 10. The closure is preferably made of a plastic material, such as polyethylene, polystyrene, or the like. The closure may be employed for use with a plastic or metal container and is illustrated in the drawings as being used with a metal coffee can container 40. The closure it) is best shown by the enlarged fragmentary cross sectional view of FIG, 3 wherein there is provided a plurality of integrally connected peripherally continuous spaced wall portions 12, 16, and 26. The outermost wall portion 12 is substantially parallel with the axis of the closure and is provided at one end with a retaining means in the form of a bead 14 to releasably secure the closure to an associated container. Extending from the other end of the wall portion 12 is a curvilinear portion defining a peripherally continuous groove 18 for the reception of the bottom rim of a coffee container or the like as will become apparent hereinafter. The curvilinear portion is the connecting means between the outermost wall portion 12 and the middle wall portion 16, the latter being axially inclined from the closure axis. Near one end of the middle wall portion 16 is a peripherally continuous bead means 29 which aids to facilitate the stacking of juxtaposed closures. The groove 18 and bead means 20 are thus integrally connected to and interjacent the outermost and middle wall portions. The other end of the middle wall portion 16 is connected at 22 to a bottom wall portion 28 for integrally joining the innermost wall portion 26.
It is to be noted that the middle, bottom and innermost wall portions define a sealing plug for reception within the coffee can container to seal the contents therein whereas the inner surfaces of these wall portions define a peripherally continuous recess 24.
The innermost wall portion 26 is provided at one end with a top means 30 which spans the distance of the innermost Wall portion. Lying in the same plane as top means 30 and extending substantially normal to innermost wall portion 26 is an overhanging flange or shelf portion 32 which partially closes the recess 24. This flange 32 prevents the nesting of adjacent closures stacked upon one another, and works in conjunction with the peripherally continuous bead means 20 which may provide a visual aid in positioning the closures. It will be apparent that the bottom wall 28 and corner 22 of one closure will rest, respectively, on the flange or portion 32 and adjacent the peripherally continuous bead means 20 of another closure to facilitate the stacking of the closures in an upright plane as shown in FIG. 6. The flange 32 is shown in the drawings as being of approximately double thickness to rigidity and strengthen the flange for its intended use as a closure stacking and/or removal means. By using a double thickness, the flange will contact the innermost wall portion 26 over a greater area than a flange having a thickness similar to the closure wall portions to provide the rigidifying and strengthening characteristics. This double thickness portion 32 is preferably formed in accordance with the method disclosed in the aforementioned United States Patent No. 3,105,607. It will be understood that the double thickness flange as well as the top wall 30, bottom wall 28, and wall portions 16, 26 form the main body portion of the closure member which is surrounded by a rim portion including wall portion 12 and retaining means 14 for securing the closure on the container in the embodiment disclosed.
When used solely as a closure for containers, it will be evident that the retaining means 14 of the closure outermost wall portion will engage the rolled rim of the con tainer with the container wall being disposed between the outermost wall portion 12 and middle wall portion 16. The sealing plug defined by the undersurface of the wall portions 16, 28 and 26 will fit within the container to seal the contents. In removing the closure from the container, fingers or a tool may be inserted within the annular recess 24 to engage the undersurface of the flange 32 and remove the closure. It will be observed that the axially inclined surface 16 facilitates the entry of a closure removing means of any suitable type.
The closure may, however, also be used as a stacking means for containers positioned one on top of the other. In using the closure for this purpose, the container having a bottom rim 42 may be positioned within the peripherally continuous groove 18 to retain the containers in a substantially upright plane as shown in FIG. 4. Thus, the closure is provided with a container stacking means in addition to the above mentioned features.
In FIG. 5, it is shown that the particular structural shape of the closures may be useful with an automatic dispensing aparatus for discharging the containers. As will become apparent from an inspection of that figure, the dispensing apparatus is provided with a frame 44 and a dispensing arm 46, the latter engaging a portion of the closure side to discharge the closures from the apparatus. Any suitable automatic or manual actuating means may be used to operate the dispensing arm. The gravity feed of the closures in such an apparatus is aided by the particular construction of the closures which will prevent undesirable nesting and permit stacking of closures as shown in FIG. 6. Other types of dispensing apparatus may be used, and it is to be understood, that the dispensing apparatus shown in FIG. 5 is used for illustrative purposes only. An an example of other dispensing apparatus, a movable pick up head provided with a vacuum source may be used to remove the closures from a stack. Or, a fluid pressure source may be directed against the side of the closure to provide for the closure removal. In any case, the closures, prior to removal, will be stacked one upon the other by the novel structural arrangement of the present invention without any interlocking or nesting of the same.
From the foregoing, it will be apparent that the novel closure of the present invention provides a container and closure stacking means in addition to the closure covering, sealing, and removal means in a novel compact configuration wherein several of the integral parts provide dual functions.
While the preferred embodiment of the present invention has been shown and described herein, it is obvious that many structural details may be changed without departing from the spirit and scope of the appended claims.
What is claimed as the invention is:
1. A one-piece thermoplastic closure member for a complementary container including a main body portion and a surrounding rim portion, said rim portion being configured to receive a projecting lip portion of a complementary container, said body portion having adjacent the rim portion thereof a pair of radially offset, generally axially extending wall portions, said wall portions being peripherally continuous and joined to one another at a lower end thereof by a planar bottom portion to define a recess bounded by said radially offset wall portions and said bottom portion, and a planar top portion overlying the radially innermost wall portion at an upper end thereof, at least one of said wall portions at an upper end thereof including a peripherally continuous shelf portion partially overhanging said recess by an amount sufiicient to enable grasping thereof by a user and cause the bottom portion of a similarly configured closure member to rest in stacked relationship thereupon above said recess when the axis of said closure members are coextensive with each other, said shelf portion and the upper end of the opposing wall portion being smaller than said bottom portion throughout its entire peripheral extent whereby to permit sliding removal of similarly configured closures from each other wholly within the confines of planes containing each respective closure member,
2. The closure member as set forth in claim 1 wherein the shelf portion is joined to the radially innermost wall portion.
3. The closure member as set forth in claim 1 wherein the rim portion includes closure retaining means for releasably securing the closure member to the projecting lip portion of a complementary container.
4. The closure member as set forth in claim 1 wherein the rim portion includes container stacking means for stacking a complementary container on said closure memher.
5. The closure member as set forth in claim 1 wherein the wall portion opposing said shelf portion diverges slightly outwardly as it proceeds upwardly from the bottom portion to facilitate entry of a closure removing means.
6. The closure member as set forth in claim 1 wherein the shelf portion is approximately twice the thickness of said wall portions to provide strengthening and rigidifying characteristics.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,109,484 3/1938 Hothersall 22097 2,97 8, 142 4/ 1961 Novick.
3,080,993 3/1963 Livingstone 22060 3,179,283 4/1965 Amberg 22060 FOREIGN PATENTS 1,231,761 4/1960 France.
THERON E. CONDON, Primary Examiner.
G. T. HALL, Assistant Examiner.