US 3259265 A
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July 5, 1966 E. P. STUART 3,259,265
RESEAL FOR TAB OPENING CANS Filed Feb. 27, 1964 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 INVENTOR ww ww ATTORNEYS July 5, 1966 E. P. STUART 3,259,265
RESEAL FOR TAB OPENING CANS Filed Feb. 27, 1964 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 34 ii 525/ Z6 um 30 Z 9 Eg 1'7 J BY aha 19 (5W ATTORNEYS United States Patent 3,259,265 REEEAL FOR TAB OPENING CANS Edward P. Stuart, Atlanta, Ga, assignor to Crown Cork & Seal Company, Inc., Philadelphia, Pa., a corporation of New York Filed Feb. 27, 1964, Ser. No. 347,745 7 Claims. ((11. 220-24) This invention relates to seals, and particularly to reseals for apertures or the like made in an end of a container such as the top of a can, and to a method of inserting such reseal.
In recent times, the tab opening type aluminum or other metal cans has become popular because of its ease of opening. As is well known, one need only pull on the tab to tear open the pre-indented area of the can top to obtain access to the contents of the can. While such cans have been employed in the beverage industry, particularly for beer, they have also been used for other commodities, which are more of the reusable type as opposed to those which are used and the containers then thrown away. As examples of the type of materials which might be only partially used initially and then used again at a later date, one may consider floor wax or flour. Limitation to such materials is not there intended, however, since any type of commodity may be used with the containers in question.
In between uses of the commodity, it is desirable to reseal the container, as by placing some sort of seal in the torn-out opening made for pouring purposes by pulling the tab off the can top. As is Well known, these pour openings are generally of keyhole shape in that they have an elongated or channel area with a larger aperture at one end near the edge of the container end. Generally, also, the opposite end of the elongated area has another aperture which is usually circular in form and slightly larger in diameter than the width of the channel which results from ripping out the rivet that held the pull tab to the can top.
It is the primary object of the present invention to provide a reseal for such a container pouring opening, along with a method of inserting that reseal.
It is another object of this invention to provide such a reseal which will remain in place at the portion thereof which seals the inner end of the channel, or the rivet aperture at the inner end of the channel, but has a snap fit as to the channel and pour aperture at the outer end of the channel.
A still further object of this invention, in combination with the preceding objects, is the provision of such a reseal which has on its underside an undercut button which will not snap into the inner circular rivet aperture, but needs to be pulled along the channel from its outer end to that inner circle, and which may then have its snap-fit connection oriented to the channel and pour aperture of the container opening for sealing thereof.
Other objects and advantages of this invention will become apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art upon reading the appended claims and the following detailed description of the drawings, in which:
FIGURE 1 is a plan view of a can top with a pull tab opener attached;
FIGURE 2 is a plan view of a can top with the reseal of this invention in place;
FIGURE 3 is a plan view of the underside of the reseal;
FIGURE 4 is a side elevational view of the reseal;
FIGURE 5 is a perspective view of the underside of the reseal.
3,259,265 Patented July 5, 1956 FIGURE 6 is a elevational view of the reseal in place in a partial can end shown in cross-section;
FIGURES 7, 8 and 9 are cross-sectional views taken from FIGURE 6 respectively along the lines 77, 88, 9-9; and
FIGURES l013 illustrate successive steps in inserting the reseal of this invention.
In the plan view of the can end 10 in FIGURE 1, there is illustrated a type of metal pull tab 12 which has a center'rivet 14 connected to the keyhole shaped element 16 which has its outline 18 indented for easy tear purposes. As is well known, to remove element 16, tab 12 is pulled in the proper direction to eiiect the tearing of the element out and away from the remaining part of the can end. This leaves the can with a keyhole shaped pour opening 19 which has an elongated aperture or channel 20 at the outer end of which is a triangular shaped aperture 22, with the inner rivet aperture 24 being slightly larger in diameter than the width of the channel aperture 20. As is well known, the channel and rivet apertures 20 and 24 allow entry of air for easier pouring (especially of liquids) from aperture 22.
For rescaling opening 19, a reseal is employed. One embodiment of this reseal, designated 26, is shown in various ones of the figures, and reference is particularly made to FIGURE 2 for its plan view, FIGURE 3 for its underside plan view, FIGURE 4 for its side elevational view, and FIGURE 5 for a perspective view of its underside. It is desired to place the seal 26 in the key-shaped opening 19 in the top of the can so that it will rest therein in the manner illustrated in FIGURES 6, 7, 8 and 9.
As may be noted in FIGURES 3 and 4, for example, the reseal 26 has a flat upper or cover portion 25, which is flexible. This cover is larger in area than opening 19 in order to cover it completely, and is also generally keyhole shaped. The smaller end of reseal 26 has a buttonlike member 28 on its underside, which is undercut or supported by a smaller diameter stud as shown at 30. On its remaining underside portion, the reseal has a downward protrusion 32 which is a continuous gripping means that conveniently makes a snap-fit with the trianguler pour aperture 22 and channel aperture 24. Either the channel gripping portion or legs 32a, or perhaps the horseshoe portion 32b, may be omitted when desired but both are preferred especially for products that require shaking before use, in order to prevent leaking. Preferably, legs 32a extend inwardly as close as physically possible to button 28 and yet allow insertion of the reseal in the manner described below. Legs 32a may be connected by a rib (not shown) at their inner end if more strength is needed to maintain the snap fit connection.
The maximum diameter of button 28 is substantially greater than the diameter of the air or rivet aperture 24, as may be noted in FIGURES 2, 7 and 8 while the width of the undercut or stud 30 is substantially the same as or slightly narrower than the width of channel 20. This gives the ready advantage of allowing the reseal 26 to be inserted in the pour opening of the can in the manner illustrated in FIGURES 10, 11, 12 and 13. That is, the button-like member 28 is first disposed in the larger triangular shaped aperture 22 with fingers 33 or the like hold and drawing inwardly on the larger, opposite end 34 of the reseal cover. The undercut portion or stud 30 of the button 28 is engaged with the edges of channel 20 so that the button is slipped underneath. and the cover 25 is on top of the channel edges. The seal is then pulled forwardly to the inner aperture 24! with the undercut portion being further undercut by the channel edges if desired, i.e., if the stud 30 is not initially made smaller than the width of the channel. If further undercutting is to be accomplished the first time the seal is inserted, of course the stud must be of sufficiently soft material such as a plastic.
When the button is pulled into the inner aperture 24, it may be pivoted about that aperture, for example counter-clockwise, as illustrated in FIGURES 11 and 12, for approximately 180 and until the seal, particularly the gripping or snap-in means 32, superposes the larger pour aperture 22 and channel 24. Then, the cover 25 may be pressed and the seal snapped into the pour opening completely.
This provides for a reseal which is convenient to put in place, and which is also convenient for later access to the commodity within the can. For example, since the snap-in means 32 releasably secures the seal, all that needs to be done to later pour from the can is to raise the outer end 34 of the seal and pour while it is held raised, or to rotate it in either direction so that the pour opening 22 is readily available. Then, after completing further removal of the can contents, the seal may be again snappped into place, with the gripping power of the seal again accomplishing its function of holding the seal tightly against the can top.
As exemplary, the seal 26 may be made of plastic, though any other material desired may be used. In commercial use, the seal could be enclosed with the container or could be attached with spot adhesive, for example, to the top of a can and applied to the pull tab opening after the pull tab has been removed.
It is apparent from the foregoing that this invention has provided for all the objects and advantages herein mentioned. Other objects and advantages, and even modifications of the invention, will become apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art upon reading this disclosure. However, it is to be understood that this disclosure is exemplary and not limitative, the scope of the invention being defined by the appended claims.
What is claimed is:
1. A seal for a container pour opening generally shaped like a keyhole and having an elongated aperture ending at one end with a pour aperture considerably wider than said elongated aperture and ending at the other end with a width less than that of said pour aperture but not less than that of said elongated aperture, comprising:
a flexible cover member of extent and area larger than said keyhole opening,
an undercut button-like member spacedly secured closely to the underside of said cover member and having a width substantially greater than at least a portion of said elongated aperture and its said other end whereby the button-like member may be inserted into said pour aperture and slipped under the edges of said elongated aperture and pulled therealong by said cover member into place under the said other end of said elongated aperture, and
means for rel-easably securing said cover member to at least one if not both of said pour and elongated apertures while said button-like member is in place as aforesaid.
2. A seal as in claim 1 wherein said securing means includes friction means on the said underside of said cover member for a friction connection with the edges of said pour aperture.
3. A seal as in claim 1 for use with the aforesaid keyhole opening when the said elongated aperture ends at said other end with an air aperture wider than said elongated aperture but less wide than said pour aperture, said button-like member being wider than said air aperture but less wide than said pour aperture.
4. A releasable reusable reseal for a container pour opening shaped like a keyhole with a relatively large pour aperture at one end of a channel aperture the other end of which has a relatively small aperture larger in width than said channel aperture, said reseal comprising:
a flexible cover member of shape like and area larger than said keyhole opening,
a button-like member of width substantially greater than the width of said small aperture,
a stud securing said button-like member to the underside of said cover member and having a width less said channel aperture width and a height just greater than the thickness of said container whereby when said button-like member is disposed in said large aperture said cover member may be pulled in the direction toward said small aperture with the said stud in said channel aperture to place said buttonlike member under said small aperture, and
friction fit means on the said underside of said cover member for etfecting a friction connection with at lease said larg-e aperture after the button-like member is in place as aforesaid and the cover member is rotated approximately until the said snap-in means superposes said large aperture.
5. A method of rescaling a keyhole shaped pour opening in a container with a seal having an undercut button and friction fit means both on the underside of a cover member, including the steps of:
drawing on said cover member to pull the undercut portion of said button through said opening to the narrow end thereof for securing the button thereat, and
pressing said friction fit means end of said opening.
6. A method of rescaling a keyhole shaped pour opening in a container with a seal including a cover member having on its underside an undercut button-like member and spaced therefrom friction fit means, comprising the steps of:
drawing on said cover member with said friction means forward to pull the undercut portion of said button member through said opening to the narrow end thereof for securing the said button member thereat,
pivoting said cover member on said button member until said friction means superposes said opening, and
pressing said friction means thereinto.
7. A reseal as in claim 4- wherein said friction means extends inward and effects a friction connection with said channel aperture too.
into at least the larger References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,158,279 11/1964 Callegari 22024 3,187,964 6/1965 Foster 220-60 FOREIGN PATENTS 1,238,880 7/1960 France.
THERON E. CONDON, Primary Examiner. LOUIS G. MANCENE, Examiner. G. T. HALL, Assistant Examiner.