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Publication numberUS3256441 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 14, 1966
Filing dateNov 26, 1962
Priority dateNov 26, 1962
Publication numberUS 3256441 A, US 3256441A, US-A-3256441, US3256441 A, US3256441A
InventorsGrasty William P
Original AssigneeAbbott Lab
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Container system for radioactive material
US 3256441 A
Abstract  available in
Images(5)
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

SEARCH Rm 5 Sheets-Sheet 1 June 14, 1966 w. P. GRAsTY 3,256,441

CONTAINER SYSTEM FOR RADIOACTIVE MATERIAL Filed Nov. 26, 1962 5 Sheets-Sheet 2 'syl/[111111111111111 l ||||||||IFqu mmw June 14, 1966 w. P. GRAsTY 3,256,441

CONTAINER SYSTEM FOR RADIoAcTIvE MATERIAL Filed Nov. 26, 1962 5 Sheets-Sheet 3 June 14, 1966 w. P. GRAsTY CONTAINER SYSTEM FOR RADIOACTIVE MATERIAL Filed Nov. 2e, 1962 5 Sheets-Sheet 4 /Z-/G 2Q June 14, 1966 w. P. GRAsTY 3,256,441

CONTAINER SYSTEM FOR RADIOACTIVE MATERIAL Filed Nov. 26, 1962 5 Sheets-Sheet 5 X59@ f 19 w w United States Patent O 3,256,441 CONTAINER SYSTEM FOR RADIACTIVE MATERIAL William P. Grasty, Zion, Ill., assigner to Abbotaboratories, North Chicago, Ill., a corporation of Illinois Filed Nov. 26, 1962, Ser. No. 239,932 9 Claims. (Cl. Z50-108) This application is a cOntinuation-in-part of Serial No. 115,854, filed May 26, 1961, now abandoned, which is a continuation-in-part of Serial No. 42,164, filed July 1l, 1960, now abandoned.

This invention relates to a container system and in particular to a container system which is particularly adapted for the storage, shipment and removal of a radioactive material.

It is one of the purposes of the invention to provide a construction which is simple and relatively economical to manufacture and yet -has salient features which enable a radioactive material -to be safely stored, shipped and removed.

It is a feature of the invention to provide an outer container and an inner container with the inner container being releasably locked in the outer container.

It is a feature of the invention to provide an outer container composed of a radioactive shielding material which contains a sufficient amount of thermoplastic resin material so that the radioactive shielding material is inherently somewhat resilient. Prior art containers cornposed of radioactive shielding material have been constructed for example of lead, a lead-antimony alloy or the like which possess negligible resilience. The inherent resilience of the material employed in the subject invention enables the inner container, which is adapted to contain a radioactive material, to be releasably locked in the outer container.

It is another feature of the invention to provide an outer container and an inner container with both the outer container and the inner container having locking portions which mate. Either the outer container or the inner container or both are at least locally sufficiently resilient `to enable the inner container to be releasably locked relative to the outer container. Releasable locking enables the user to remove the inner container from the outer container for purposes for example of visual inspection of the radioactive material.

It is another feature of the invention to provide an outer container and an inner container with the inner container being suspended above a oor of the outer container. In the event of a defective inner container, for example one having a pinhole or crack, the radioactive material which leaks therefrom will drip out of contact with the inner container. Should the inner container be removed from the outer container, the outer surface of the inner container will not be drenched with the radioactive material. It is preferable to provide an absorbent material preferably at a stratum between the floor of the outer container and the inner container such that any and all radioactive material which leaks from the inner container will be absorbed.

It is another feature of the invention to provide an inner container which has at least one locking portion and at least one shoulder portion above the locking portion whereby the inner container can be suspended and releasably locked in an outer container.

It is another feature of the invention to provide a container having a `side wall and a floor which is disposed obliquely with respect to the side wall so that the last traces of a mobile liquid gravitate to the lowest confines of the floor when the container is disposed in an approximately upright position with indicating means visible from above the container for indicating the lowest conice Ines to which the last traces of the mobile liquid gravitate.

It is another feature of the invention to provide a container composed of a radioactive shielding material containing a sufficient amount of thermoplastic resin material to render the radioactive shielding material readily sealable. An overseal including a thermoplastic resin material can readily be sealed to the container or sealed to the container and a closure so as to provide an effective hermetic overseal. It is readily apparent that the `shielding material of which the outer container is composed not only serves the purpose of shielding against radioactivity but also enables an effective, simple and inexpensive overseal to be made. Prior art containers composed of conventional radioactive shielding materials have lacked the feature of ready scalability. Alternatively, a hermetic seal can be formed between the closure and the container itself and a spot seal with a spot seal employed to locally join the closure and container to render .the closure tamper-proof.

By another alternative construction, the closure can be joined by a continuous rupturable seal to the container so that not only is the container hermetically `sealed against leakage but it is rendered tamper-proof.

It is another feature of the invention to provide a closure and container composed of radioactive shelding material which have a suiiicient amount of thermoplastic resin material to render the shielding material readily sealable; the upper terminal end of the container lies substantially in the same plane as the upper surface of the closure. A substantially planer overseal is simply sealed to the upper terminal end of the container or to the upper terminal end of the container and the closure. This simple construction enables an effective overseal to be accomplished with simple and conventional `sealing dies. It is preferred that the holding strength of the overseal to the terminal end of the container be weaker than the holding strength of the overseal to the upper surface of the closure so that the overseal and the closure can be removed as a lunit `from the container.

In the diagrammatic, illustrative drawings:

FIGURE l is a `side elevational view, mainly in crosssection and partly broken away, showing one embodiment of the container system of the invention;

FIGURE 2 is a side elevational view, partly broken away, showing an inner container which is adapted to contain a radioactive material;

FIGURE 3 is a view taken along line 3-3 of FIG- URE 2;

FIGURE 4 is a View taken along line 4-4 of FIG- URE 2;

FIGURE 5 is a top plan view showing the outer container and liner;

FIGURE 6 is a fragmentary cross-sectional elevational View, showing the manner in which the overseal appears after it has been sealed to the outer container and closure;

FIGURE 7 is a top plan view of the container system, partly broken away, showing in particular an overseal;

FIGURE 8 is a fragmentary elevational view, pantly -in cross-section, .showing the closure and overseal in position on the outer container, prior to the attempted removal of the overseal by the user;

yFIGURE 9 is a fragmentary elevational view, partly in cross-section, showing the preferred manner in which a user would start to peel back the overseal;

'FIGURE l0 is a fragmentary elevational view, partly in cross-section, showing an advanced stage of the removal of the overseal with the consequent slight lifting of the closure from its seating position against the outer container;

FIGURE l1 is a fragmentary elevational vie-w, partly in cross-section, showing Ia highly advanced stage of the removal of the overseal with the consequent substantial lifting of the closure from its seating position against the louter container;

FIGURE 112 is a cross-sectional view of the closure and overseal after they have been removed as a unit from the outer container;

FIGURE 13 is a fragmentary cross-sectional view of an alternative embodiment of the container system of the invention;

FIGURE 14 is an elevational view, mainly in crossseotion and partly broken away, showing another embodiment of the container system of the invention;

FIGURE 15 is an elevational view showing a fragmentary portion of yan `outer container of the embodiment of FIGUR'E 14 of the illustrative drawings;

FIGIURE 16 is a side elevational view, partly broken away, of the inner container shown in FIGURE 14 of the illustrative drawings;

FIGURE 17 is a View taken along line 17-17 of FIGURE 16;

FIGURE 18 is a view taken along line 18-18 of FIGURE 16;

FIGURE 19 is a top plan View of the outer container, .the inner container and a liner;

FIGURE 20 is a side elevational view, mainly in crosssection and partly broken away, showing another embodiment of the container system of the. invention;

FIGURE 2l is in an elevational view showing a fragmentary portion of an outer container of the embodiment of FIGURE 20 of the illustrative dra-wings;

FIGURE 22 is an elevational view of the inner container and the closure;

FIGURE 213 is a View taken along line 23-23 of FIGURE 22;

FIGURE 24 is a view taken along line 24-24 of FIGURE 22;

FIGURE 25 is a ftop plan view of the outer container and a liner;

FIGURE 26 is a side elevational View, mainly in crosssection and partly :broken away, showing another ernbodiment of the container system of the invention;

FIGURE 27 is a side elevational view of an inner container shown in FIGURE 26;

FIGURE 28 is a top plan view of the inner container;

FIGURE 29 is a top plan view of an outer container; and

FIGURE 30 is an elevational fragmentary View, showing in detail the manner in which the inner container is releasably locked relative to the outer container.

Referring now to the embodiment of FIGURES 1 through 12 of the illustrative drawings, there is shown a container system generally indicated at 40. The container system includes an outer container generally indicated at 41 and an inner container generally indicated at 42. The outer container 41 is composed of a composition of lead oxide and polyethylene, with about nine pants by weight of lead oxide and about one pant by weight of a thermoplastic resin material, specifically polyethylene. Although this particular composition is preferred, other ratios of these or equivalent constituents which will render the radioactive shielding material read-ily scala-ble and resilient are employable to accomplish all the purposes ofthe invention. Of course, it is to be understood that some of the features of the invention 'are able ,to be accomplished with the radioactive shielding material having the property of ready scalability with or without the property of resilience and other of the features of the invention are able t-o be accomplished with the radioactive shielding material having the property of resilience with or Nvithout the property of ready sealabi-lity. The outer containe-r 41 is shown to be circular in cross-section, however, other suitable shapes are employable. 'I'he outer container 41 has a continuous upper terminal end 43. An internal shoulder 44 which is spaced downwardly of the upper terminal end of the container 41 provides a seat against which a closure 45 is normally seated. The closure 45 is composed of the same material as that of the outer container 41. A continuous annular bead 46 of the closure 45 delines an upper surface 47 which lies in swbstantially the same plane as .the upper terminal end 43 of the .container 411. The bead 46 is shown to deiine a valley 48; if desired, the upper surface of the closure 45 can be constructed to lie entirely in the plane of the upper terminal end 43 of the container 41, however, the removal of an overseal generally indicated at 49 is facilitated by the construction shown. The overseal 49 is shown to be composed of a lm of thermoplastic material 50, for example polyethylene which is preferably bonded to a metallic backing 5-1 composed for example of aluminum. A planer sealing die (not shown) of simple and conventional construction can be brought against the overse-al 49 yto seal the overseal 49 to the container 41 and the closure 45. When the seal has been completed, a seal exists between the overseal 49 and the outer container 41 and between the overseal 49 and the closure 45. A slight recess 52 is formed by a tapering upper inner edge 53 of the container 41 and a tapering upper outer edge 54 of the closure 45 to permit the plastic material 50 to ow by extrusion as the thermoplastic material 50 is being sealed to the upper terminal end 43 of the container 41 and the upper surface 47 of the closure 45 as best seen in FIG- URE 6 of the illustrative drawings. As best shown in FIGURE 1 of the illustrative drawings, the bead 46 is shown .to be somewhat wider than the upper terminal end 43 of the container 41. Since the area of the seal be- .tween the overseal 49 and the container 41 is less than fthe area of the seal between the overseal 49 and the closure 45, the hold-ing force of the overseal 49 to the container 41 is less than the holding force of the overseal 49 to the closure 45. This enable the overseal 49 and -t-he closure 45 to be removed as a unit from the container 41. The overseal 49 is provided with a ta-b 55 which may be readily grasped by the user when i\t is desired to rem'ove the overseal 49 and the closure 45 from the container 4-1 by a method later to be described.

The outer container 41 is shown to have an open-ended side wall 56 joined to a floor 57, with the floor 57 having an upper surface 5S. Extending upwardly from the loor 57 and formed integrally therewith, there are shown to be a plurality of spaced-apart upstandin'g lingers 59, 60, 61, `62, 63 and 64 which because of the material of which they are composed and their relative length are inherently resilient. The upstanding .ngers 59, 60, 61, 62, 63 and 64 are spaced from the side Wall 56 land are spaced substantially equidistantly from a central axis A-A. Since the upstanding lingers 59, 60, 61, 62, 63 and 64 are integral with the oor 57, the outer container 41 is of onepiece construction. The upstanding ngers 59, 60, 61, 62, 63 and 64 are shown to have upwardly facing shoulders 59a, 60a, 61a, 62a, 63a and 64a which dene seats and locking portions in the form of inwardly .facing recesses 59b, 60b, 61h, 62h, 63h and 64b, respectively.

The inner container 42 has a longitudinally extending Iside wall 65 which joins a floor 66 having an upper surface 66a. The floor 66 extends obliquely with respect to t-he longitudinally extending side wall 65 so that the last traces of a mobile lliquid L, in this instance specifically a mobile radioactive liquid, within the container 42 will be confined to the lowest confines 67 of the floor 66 at the lowest end of the side wall 65. The inner container 42 is shown to be provided with a threaded neck 68 which is shown to receive a threaded cap 69. The neck 68 is connected to the side wall 65 by what is shown to be an annular web 70. The web 70 contains an integrally formed indica-tor 71 which is disposed immediately above the lowest contines 67. It is readily apparent that when the closure 45 is removed, the user, peering at the inner container 42 from above, will be able to tell visually where he should dispose the end of the withdrawing instrument such as a hypodermic syringe (not shown) in order to withdraw the last traces of the mobile liquid L. The side wall 65 has, at a generally lower portion thereof, what is shown to be a continuous downwardly facing external shoulder 72. Joining the shoulder 72 and the floor 66 are a plurality of joined sections 74, 75, 76, 77, 78 and 79. The sections '74, 75, 76, 77, 78 and 79 each have locking portions which are specifically shown to take the form of outwardly extending projections 74a, 75a, 76a, 77a, 78a and 79a, respectively. The shoulder 72 of the inner container 42 -is shown to be seated against the shoulders 59a, 60a, 61a, 62a, 63a and 64a and the projections 74a, 75a, 76a, 77a, 78a and 79a are receivable, for example, in mating locking portions 59b, 6017, 61h, 62b, 63h and 64b of the fingers 60, 61, 62, 63 and 64, respectively. In the embodiment of FIGURES l through 12 of Ithe illustrative drawings, the inner container 42 is shown to be composed of a rigid material, more particularly transparent glass. T-he upstanding fingers 59, 60, 61, 62, 63 and 64 are sufficiently flexible and resilient to enable the projections 74a, 75a, 76a, 77a, 78a and 79a to be resiliently releasably locked into the recesses 59b, 60h, 61h, 62b, 63b and 64b by a snapping action. The upstanding fingers 59, 60, 61, 62, 63 and 64 at the place of the recesses 59b, 60b, 61h, 62b, 63h and 64b move in a transverse outward direction to enable the releasable llocking to be accomplished. It is obvious that the inner container 42 is able to be releasably locked in the container 41 in any one of six positions due to the positionment of the six upstanding fingers 59, 60, 61, 62, 63 and 64. The upstanding fingers 59, 60, 61, 62, 63 and 64 have sufficient length to suspend the inner container 42 at least slightly above the upper surface 5S of the floor 57. This is extremely desirable because, should the inner container be defective and leak as the result for example of a pinhole or crack, radioactive material will drip downwardly toward the floor 57 and consequently the container will not be drenched in the radioactive material. Absorbent material 80, specifically shown to include an absorben-t liner 80a, is shown -to extend between the side wall 56 and the upstanding fingers 59, 60, 61, 62, 63 and 64 and extends down into abutment wit-h the upper surface 58 of the floor 57. It is preferred to terminate the liner 80a at or slightly below the lower end o-f the closure cap 69 so that a gripper device (not shown) disclosed in Patent No. 2,985,045 can be employed to readily remove the closure cap 69. The absorbent material 80 also includes an absorbent disk 80b which is shown to be resting on the upper surface 58 of the floor 57 and is held against movement by frictional engagement with the fingers 59, 60, 61, 62, 63 and 64. Since a lower surface 73 of the container 42 is suspended above the upper surface 58 of the floor 57, radioactive liquid which leaks from the container 42 will drip downwardly and be absorbed by the absorbent disk 80b and any excess will pass between the spaced fingers 59, 60, 61, 62, 63 and 64 to be absorbed by the absorbent liner 80a.

The manner of removing the overseal 49 is best illustrated by referring to the diagrammatic drawings of FIG- URES 8 through 12. FIGURE 8 shows a fragmentary portion of the outer container with the overseal 49 in the position it is received by lthe user. The user rst grasps the tab 55, as shown, with the thumb and index finger of one hand.

Referring now to FIGURE 9 of the illustrative drawings, the overseal 49 is shown to be partly removed and the closure 45 is shown to be in the same position as in FIGURE 8 of the drawings. YIn FIGURE 10 of the drawings, the overseal 4-9 is shown to be removed to a somewhat greater extent than shown in FIGURE 9 and the closure 48 is being pulled upwardly to a slight extent. A relatively `sharp hinge h, formed when the overseal 49 is in the position shown in FIGURE 10, causes great stress to be developed, especially at the seal between the upper terminal end 43 of the container 41 and the overseal 49. As the user continues pulling on the overseal 49, the closure 45, to which the overseal 49 is still partially attached, is swung into the poistion shown in FIGURE 11 of the drawings. As the user continues to pull on the tab 55, the hingin-g action causes unbearable stress between the seal at the upper terminal end 43 and the overseal 49. Finally, the user has removed the closure 45 and the overseal 49 as a unit as best shown in FIGURE 12 of the drawings. Although the user is able to completely remove the overseal 49 from the closure 45 and the container 41 by holding down the closure 45 or by pulling on the overseal 49 in a direction substantially parallel to t-he plane defined by the upper terminal end 43 of the container 41, this is not the preferred method.

Turning now to the embodiment of FIGURE 13 of the illustrative drawings, there is shown a fragmentary portion of the container system generally indicated at 40A. The container system 40A has an outer container generally indicated at 84 having a side wall 85 and a floor 86 having an upper surface 86a and an inner container generally indicated at 87 having a side wall 88 and a floor S9 having an upper surface 89a. A plurality of spa-cedapart upstanding fingers 90, spaced inwardly from the side wall 85, have locking portions specifically in the form of inwardly extending projections 91 which engage mating locking portions in the inner container 87 specifically in the form of recesses 92. The side wall 8S of the inner container 87 has a downwardly facing shoulder 93 which abuts an upwardly facing shoulder 94 on upstanding fingers 90. The fingers are sufficiently ilexible and resilient and sufficiently long to enable the inner container 87 to be resiliently locked into releasable locking engagement by means of the projections 91 on the fingers 90 and the recesses 92 in the inner container 87. Absorbent material 95, suitable for absorbing the radioactive liquid L, is shown to take the form of an absorbent liner 95a which is frictionally held in place by the side wall 85 and an absorbent disk 95h which rests against the upper surface 86a of the fioor 85 and which is frictionally held against movement by the fingers 90. The container syste-m 40A is exactly the same in construction as that shown in the embodiment of FIGURES l through 12 of the illustrative drawings with the exception that the projections 91 are on the fingers 90' and the recesses 92 are in the inner container 87.

Referring now to the embodiment of FIGURES 14 through 19 of the illustrative drawings, there is shown a container system generally indicated at 40B. The container system 40B includes an outer container generally indicated at 99 having a longitudinally extending openended side wall 100 joined to a floor 101 having an upper surface 102. The outer container 99 is preferably composed of the same material as the outer container 41 of the embodiment of FIGURES 1 through l2 of the illustrative drawings. A plurality of spaced-apart upstanding fingers 103, 104, 105, 106, 107 and 108, spaced inwardly from the side wall 100, are shown to be provided with upwardly facing shoulders 10311, 104g, 105a, 106g, 107a and 108a and inwardly facing locking portions which specifically take the form of inwardly facing recesses 103b, 104i, 105b, 106b, 10'7b and 10812, respectively. An inner container generally indicated at 109 is shown to have a longitudinally extending side wall 110 joined to a fioor 111. The floor 111 is shown to be disposed obliquely with respect to the side wall 110 for the purposes described in the embodiment of FIGURES 1 through 12 of the illustrative drawings. The side wall 110 has a downwardly facing external shoulder 112 which is shown to abut the upwardly facing shoulders 103:1, 104a, 105a, 106a, 107a and 10811. The side wall 110 is shown to have a plurality of relatively thin, flexible resilient sections l10n, 110b, 110e and 110d which join the shoulder 112 and the fioor 111 of the inner container 109. A plurality of locking portions specifically in the form of transverse outwardly extending projections 113, 114, 115 and 116 which are disposed between the sections 11011, 11011, 110C and 1101i, respectively. Since all of the upstanding fingers 103, 104, 105, 106, 107 and 108 are preferably somewhat resilient as are the sections 11011, 110b, 110C and 11011', the projections 113, 114, 115 and 116 are releasably lockable by a snapping action into mating locking portions specifically defined by the recesses 103b, 104b, 105b and 1061 for example. It is readily apparent that the inner container 109 is releasably locked relative to the outer container 100 in the position shown in FIG- URE of the illustrative drawings. In this embodiment of the invention the inner container 109 is composed of a resilient material, for example, polypropylene. Although the projections 113, 114, 115 and 116 have some resilience, the vast majority of the exible resilient give resides in the sections 11011, 110b, 1101: and 1101!.

Although it is preferred to have the upstanding fingers 103, 104, 105, 106, 107 and 108 at least somewhat resilient, it is obvious that the sections 11011, 110i), 1101: and 1101i are of a character to be made sufficiently resilient so that the fingers 103, 104, 105, 106, 107 and 108 can be made rigid.

An absorbent material 117, which includes an absorbent liner 11711, is shown to be disposed between the side wall 100 and the upstanding fingers 103, 104, 105, 106, `102 and which is frictionally held against movement by the side wall 100. The absorbent material 117 also includes an absorbent disk 117b which rests on the fioor 102 and which is frictionally held against movement by the upstanding fingers 103, 104, 105, 106, 107 and 108.

The side wall 110 of the inner container 109 is joined to a threaded neck 118 by what is shown to be a continuous annular web 119. A closure cap 11811 is shown to be threadably received by the neck 118. An indicator 120 is shown to be disposed on the web 119 immediately above the lowest confines 121 of the upper surface 122 of the floor 111 at the side Wall 110.

An upper terminal end 123 of the side Wall 100 is shown to have a peripheral ridge 124 which enables a closure 125 to be properly centered with respect to the side wall 100. The closure 125 is shown to have an end wall 126 and a continuously extending side wall 127. The outer surface of the closure 125 is shown to be roughened by a plurality of flute-like projections 128. As shown in FIGURES 14 and 15 of the illustrative drawings, the closure 125 and the side wall 100 are hermetically sealed by a continuous seal 130 which extends continuously around the container 101 and the closure 125 across and beyond the upper terminal end 123 of the side wall 100 and a lower end 129 of the closure 125. The seal 130 is just deep enough so that the contents within the container 100 are hermetically sealed and yet weak enough so that the user may grip the closure 125 and with the aid of the projections 128 twist the closure 125 from the container 100, thereby rupturing the continuous seal 130. The seal 130 hermetically seals the closure 125 -to the container 100 and it renders the closure 125 tamperproof with respect to the container 100.

Referring now to the embodiment of FIGURES through of the illustrative drawings, there is shown a container system generally indicated at 40C. The container system 40C includes an outer container generally indicated at 140 which is composed of the same material as the outer container 41 of the embodiment of FIGURES 1 through 12 of the illustrative drawings. The outer container 140 has a longitudinally extending open-ended side wall 141 joined to a floor 142 having an upper surface 143. An upper marginal end 144 of the side wall 141 is shown to have external threads 145. A plurality of spaced-apart upstanding fingers 146, 147, 148, 149, 150 and 151, spaced inwardly from the side wall 141, extend upwardly from the floor 142. The upstanding fingers 146, 147, 148, 149, 150 and 151 have upwardly facing shoulders 14611, 14711, 14811, 14911 15011 and 15111. Each of the upstanding lingers 146, 147, 148, 149, 150 and 151 is shown to have three small reinforcements r at the place where the former are formed integrally with lioor 142. Since the reinforcements r are relatively short, the lingers 146, 147, 148, 149, 150 and 151 are sufficiently flexible for their purpose. The container system 40C also includes an inner container generally indicated at 152 which is adapted to contain a radioactive liquid L. In this emboiment of the invention, the inner container 152 is preferably composed of a plastic material for example polypropylene. The inner container 152 has a generally longitudinally extending side wall 153 which joins a oor 154 having an upper surface 155. The oor 154 is disposed obliquely with respect to the longitudinally extending side wall 53 so that the last traces of the mobile radioactive liquid L will gravitate to the lowest confines 156 on the surface 155 of the floor 154 at the lowest end of the side wall 153. A threaded neck 157 is shown to receive a threaded cap 158. A continuous web 159 joins the side wall 153 andthe neck 157. An indicator 160 is disposed on the side wall 153 in vertical alignment with the lowest confines 156. The side wall 153 has a downwardly facing continuous external shoulder 161 which is shown to be supported by the upwardly extending shoulders 14611, 14711, 14811, 14911, 15011 and 15111 of the upstanding fingers 146, 147, 148, 149, 150 and 151 as seen in FIGURE 20 of the illustrative drawings. Since the upstanding fingers 146, 147, 148, 149, 150 and 151 are resilient due to the material of which they are composed and their relative length and because of the snug lit of the side wall 153 between the ngers 146, 147, 148, 149, 150 and 151, the inner container is frictionally held in releasable locking engagement thereby. It is, therefore, apparent that once the inner container 152 has been urged into the position shown in FIGURE 20 of the illustrative drawings against the resilient action of the upstanding lingers 146, 147, 148, 149, 150 and 151, the inner container 152 is locked against accidental movement relative to the outer container until such time as the inner container 152 is chosen to be removed by the user. An absorbent material 161 is shown to take the form of an absorbent liner 16111 is disposed between the side wall 141 and the upstanding fingers 146, 147, 148, 149, 150 and 151. The liner 16111 is frictionally held in position against the side wall 141. The liner 16111 is shown to abut the upper surface 143 of the floor 142 and is shown to extend to about the lower end of the closure cap 158. The spaces between the upstanding fingers 146, 147, 148, 149, and 151 enable any liquid which might possibly drip from the container 152 to flow along the upper surface 143 of the floor 142 into contact with and to be absorbed by the absorbent liner 16111.

A closure generally indicated at 162 is shown to have an end wall 163 joined to a continuous side wall 164. The side wall 164 is shown to have internal threads 165. A continuously extending terminal end 166 of the longitudinally extending side Wall 141 is shown in FIGURE 20 of the illustrative drawings to be in abutment with a continuously extending resilient seal 167 which also abuts a junction 163 of the end wall 163 and the side wall 164. When the closure 162 is threaded onto the upper marginal end 144 of the side wall 141, the seal 167 is brought into compression, thereby hermetically sealing the inside from the outside of the container. In order to tamper-proof the closure 162 to the outer container 140, a spot seal generally indicated at 169 is employed. Due -to the ma- -terial of which the outer container 140 is composed, the spot seal is readily made and it should be borne in mind that the outer container 140 fully serves as a radioactive shield. By an alternative equivalent construction (not shown), a strip of plastic resin material such as polyethylene can be sealed to the side wall 141 of the outer container 140 and the side wall 164 of the closure 162. Unthreading of the closure 162 from the outer container 140 would serve to rupture that piece of plastic material. Roughening in the form of flutes 170 serves to aid the user in removing the closure 162 from the container 140.

Referring now to the embodiment of FIGURES 26 through 30 of the illustrative drawings, there is shown a container system generally indicated at 40D which includes an outer container generally indicated at 175 which is composed of the same material as the outer con- -tainer 41 of the embodiment of FIGURES l through 12 of the illustrative drawings. The outer container 175 has a longitudinally extending open-ended side wall 176, a lower marginal end 177 of which is shown to have a diameter reducing section 178. The diameter reducing section 178 defines an upwardly facing shoulder 179. The longitudinally extending side wall 176 is joined to a lioor 180 which has an upper surface 181. Extending upwardly from the floor 180 is an upstanding linger 182. The upstanding finger is shown to have a projection 183 at its upper end. The upstanding linger 182 is shown to have a small reinforcement 184 at the place where the linger 182 joins the oor 180. An absorbent material 185 in the form of an absorbent disk 185e is shown resting upon the upper surface 181 of the lioor 180 and to be held against movement by frictional engagement with the diameter reducing section 178.

A closure generally indicated at 186 is shown to be seated against an internal shoulder 187 at an upper end 188 of the side wall 176'. The closure 186 has a peripheral ridge 189 defining an upper surface 189e which lies substantially in the plane of an upper terminal end 190 of the side wall 176. An overseal 192 is shown to have a film 193 of plastic material such as for example polyethylene bonded to a backing 194 which is preferably composed of a metal for example aluminum. The overseal 192 has a tab 195. The overseal 192 is identical in construction and is removable by the same method as that taught in the embodiment of FIGURES l through 12 of the illustrative drawings.

The container system 40D als-o includes an inner container generally indicated at 196 which is shown to have a longitudinally extending side wall 197 joined to a floor 198. The floor 198 extends obliquely with respect to the longitudinally extending side wall 197 so that the last traces of a mobile radioactive material gravitate to the lowest con-fines 200 on an upper surface 199 of 4the oor 198 at the side wall 197. The inner container 196 has a threaded neck 201 which is shown to receive a closure cap 202. A continuous web 203 is shown to join the side wall 197 and the neck 201. An indicator 204 is disposed on the web 203 vertically above the lowest contines 200 of the container 196. The side wall 197 has at its outer surface a continuously extending rounded peripheral bead 205. The bead 205 is shown to be in supporting abutment against the upwardly facing shoulder 197 in FIG- URES 26 through 30 of the illustrative drawings. The upstanding linger 182 has a camming surface 183:1 at its upper end to enable the bead 205 to flex the linger 182 as the bead 205 is forced against the camming surface 183a. The projection 183 is shown to have ya camming surface 1831 which is resiliently urged against the upper portion of the rounded bead 205 in the position best shown in FIGURE 30 of the illustrative drawings, thereby constantly urging the bead 205 against the shoulder 179. Due to the material of which the upstanding linger 182 is composed and its relative length, the upstanding finger 182 is suiciently resilient to enable the inwardly facing projection 183 to be resiliently snapped over lthe bead 205, thereby releasably locking the inner container 196 inside the outer container 175. There is little clearance between an inwardly facing surface 206 of the diameter reducing section 178 and the lower end of the side wall 197.

The neck 68 is of substantially lesser in transverse extent than the side wall 65, the neck 118 is substantially lesser in transverse extent than the side wall 110, and the 10 neck 201 is substantially lesser in transverse extent than the side wall 197 so that the indicator 71 on the web 70, the indicator on the web 119, and the indicator 204 on the web 203, respectively, in each case are readily visible from above.

Although the outer container 41 and its closure 45, the outer container 84 and its closure, the outer container 99 and its closure 125, the outer container 140 and its closure 162, and the outer container and its closure 186 are each composed of a readily scalable, radioactive shielding material preferably a composition of about nine parts by weight of lead oxide and about one part by weight of a thermoplastic resin material, specifically polyethylene, it will be readily apparent -to one skilled in the art that the outer container, as well as the inner container, are able to be composed of other equivalent materials than those to which reference was made. For example, 4the container system of the invention has features which adapt it for the shipment and/or storage of other than radioactive materials, and hence the outer container need not, in such case, be composed of a radioactive shielding material. When the container system is employed for the handling and storage of radioactive material, the outer container and its closure are required to be composed of a radioactive shielding material.

The inner container has been variously described in some embodiments as preferably being composed of either a rigid inert material such as glass or an inert resilient plastic material such as polypropylene. One skilled in the art will realize that in accordance with the invention, resilience must reside in either the outer container, the inner container, or both. Accordingly not only the inner container but also the outer container is composable of a combination of materials which will lend the required resilience to enable the inner container to be releasably locked relative to the outer container. Since the inner container is most preferably composed of glass, the resilience is most preferably employed in connection with the outer container.

The absorbent liners 80a, 94a, 117a and 161e are preferably cut into predetermined lengths from a web of absorbent material. The liners 80a, 94a, 117a and 161e are then formed into a tubular configuration and slipped downwardly along the inside of the side walls 56, 85, 100 and 141, respectively. Since, in each case, the liner tends to return to its original flat shape due to a memory effect, the liner urges itself against the side wall and is thereby frictionally held against movement.

The above-described embodiments being exemplary only, it will be understood that modifications in form or detail can be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. Accordingly, 4the invention is not to be considered as limited save as is consonant with the scope of the following claims.

What `is claimed is:

1. A container system, comprising: an outer container and a closure therefor each composed of a radioactive shielding material, said outer container having a floor, at least one upstanding flexible resilient linger extending upwardly from said floor, said flexible resilient finger having a locking portion, and an inner container disposed in said outer container, said inner container having a mating locking portion engageable with said locking portion of said linger.

2. A container system, comprising: a one-piece outer container having at least one integral resilient linger, a closure for said outer container, said outer container and said closure being composed of radioactive shielding material, said linger having a locking portion, and an inner container disposed in said outer container, said finger being sufiiciently liexible and resilient to enable said inner container to be releasably locked relative to said outer container.

3. A container system, comprising: an outer container having a side wall and a floor, at least said side wall and said floor being composed of a radioactive shielding material, an inner container adapted to contain a radioactive material and disposed in said outer container, means for suspending said inner container above said floor, and means at least partly disposed at a stratum between said inner container and said floor for absorbing liquid radioactive material.

4. A container system, comprising: an outer container having a side wall and a floor, at least said side wall and said floor being composed of a radioactive shielding material, an inner container adapted to contain a radioactive material and disposed in said outer container, means for suspending said inner container `above said floor, and said suspending means including at least one upstanding finger joined to said floor, said upstanding finger disposed inwardly of said side wall, said floor having an upper surface, a space on each side of said upstanding linger at said upper surface of said floor, and an absorbent material disposed between said upstanding finger and said side wall, said absorbent material extending down to said upper surface of said floor.

5. A container system comprising: an outer container having a floor, said floor having an upper surface, an inner container in said Iouter container, and means for both suspending said inner container above said surface of said floor and for releasably locking said inner container relative to said outer container, said outer container being composed of a radioactive shielding material.

6. A container system, comprising: an outer container, -a plurality of spaced-apart upstanding lingers in said outer container, a seat on each of said upstanding fingers, and an inner container disposed in said outer container, said inner container having a floor, said inner container having a shoulder upwardly of its floor, said shoulder of said inner container being seatable against said seats of said upstanding fingers, said fingers holding said inner container against accidental movement relative to said outer container.

7. A container system, comprising: an outer container, a plurality of spaced-apart upstanding fingers in said outer container, a seat on said upstanding fingers, an inner container disposed in said outer container, said inner container having a floor, said inner container having a shoulder upwardly of its floor, said shoulders of said inner container being seatable against said seats of said upstanding fingers, and means for releasably locking said inner container relative to said outer container.

8. In combination, a container and a closure therefor each composed of a radioactive shielding material, said shielding material containing a sufficient amount of thermoplastic resin material to render said shielding material readily sealable, and an overseal including a thermoplastic material sealed to said closure and sealed to said container by a continuously extending seal.

9. In combination, a container and a closure therefor each composed of a radioactive shielding material, said shielding material containing a sufficient amount 0f thermoplastic resin material to render said shielding material readily sealable, said container having an upper terminal end, said closure having an upper surface which is substantally in the plane of said upper terminal end of said container, and an overseal including a thermoplastic material sealed to the upper surface of said closure and sealed to the terminal end of said container by a continuous seal, the holding force of said overseal to said upper terminal end of said container being less than the holding force of said overseal to said closure, whereby the seal between said thermoplastic material and said container is capable of being manually completely destroyed while the seal between said thermoplastic material at least partially remains to enable said overseal and said closure to be removed as a unit.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 190,649 5/1877 Walsh 220-15 X 562,896 6/1896 Hernandez 217-127 980,852 1/1911 Van Court 21S-100.5 2,447,429 8/ 1948 Procter 220-17 X 2,493,891 l/l950 McCarty 229--51 X 2,837,263 6/1958 Nasello 229-51 X 2,915,640 12/1959 Grubel et al. 250-108 3,079,037 2/1963 Schechter 21S-100.5 X

FOREIGN PATENTS 209,361 7/ 1957 Australia.

RALPH G. NILSON, Primary Examiner.

ARCHIE R. BORCHELT, Examiner.

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Classifications
U.S. Classification250/506.1, 220/23.89, 976/DIG.350, 206/446, 206/204
International ClassificationG21F5/00, G21F5/015
Cooperative ClassificationG21F5/015
European ClassificationG21F5/015