US 3269577 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Aug 30, 19% R. STUART 3,269,577
Filed March 17, 1964 2 h ets-Sh et 1 Inventor ROBT'T RT By 1 l 4!. M Attorney Aug. 39, 196 R. STUART 3,
Filed March 1'7, 1964 2 Sheets-Sheet z Inventor ROBERT STUART At rney United States Patent Filed Mar. 17, 1964, Ser. No. 352,619 8 Claims. (Cl. 215-46) This invention relates to an easily removable closure, and the features of the invention are particularly useful in connection with a closure of a type known as a crown cap.
It is the purpose of the invention to provide a closure which is economical to construct, which can be applied so as to embrace a bead on the neck of a container by conventional container closure applying equipment and which is easily manually removable from the bead. Some of the features which enable the purposes of the various embodiments of the invention to be accomplished are, in general: the provision of cuts in a flange which extends generally downwardly from a top portion, with each cut forming a tab and extending from below the lower surface of the top portion and terminating short of a continuous free edge of the flange so that the continuous upper portion of the flange from the lower surface of the top portion to the cuts forms an annulus, which annulus enables the closure to retain its strength even though such cuts are formed in the flange; the provision of a localized weakened zone formed in the top portion along a chord and joining the cuts to facilitate easy removal of the closure; and the provision of a cut, terminating short of the edge of the flange, forming a tab to which there extends a localized weakened zone, that weakened zone being formed completely in the tab in one embodiment and being formed partly in the flange and partly in the top portion in another embodiment.
In the illustrative drawings:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view showing a closure in accordance with one embodiment of the invention and showing a fragmentary portion of a container to which the closure has been applied;
FIG. 2 is an enlarged elevational fragmentary view showing in detail the position of a cut in the flange and localized weakened zones extending to the cut;
FIG. 3 is a sectional view taken along line 3-3 of FIG. 2;
FIG. 4 is a developed view showing the position of the cuts in the flange in relation to the localized weakened zones;
FIG. 5 is a top plan view of the closure;
FIG. 6 is a fragmentary view showing a portion of a container and a portion of a closure in accordance with another embodiment of the invention;
FIG. 7 is a developed view of the closure in accordance with the embodiment of the invention shown in FIG. 6;
FIG. 8 is a fragmentary view showing a portion of a container and a portion of a closure in accordance with another embodiment of the invention;
FIG. 9 is a developed view of the closure in accordance with the embodiment of the invention shown in FIG. 8;
FIG 10 is a developed view of a closure in accordance with another embodiment of the invention; and
FIG. 11 is a fragmentary developed view of a closure in accordance with still another embodiment of the invention.
Referring now to the embodiment of FIGS. 1 through 5 of the drawings, at 10 there is shown a closure of the crown cap type applied to a container generally indicated at 11. A bottle 11 is sealed by the closure. The bottle includes a neck 12 having an outer annular bead 13 at its open upper end 12. The closure 10 has a circular 3,269,577 Patented August 30, 1966 ice top portion or crown 14 having a downwardly extending annular skirt 15. The skirt 15 has the conventional outwardly projecting ribs 16 of which there are twenty one. The top portion of the closure has an upper surface 17 and a lower surface 18 which are slightly crowned. The ribs 16 begin, as indicated at 19, substantially below the lower surface 18 of the top portion 14 and extend downwardly to a continuous free edge 20 of the skirt 15. Indentations or valleys 21 are formed between each adjacent pair of ribs 16. At said indentations the skirt 15 has the conventional inwardly extending projections or nibs 23 which extend at least partly under the bead 13.
A conventional sealing liner 24 is shown to underlie the lower surface 18 of the top portion and in pressure sealing abutment with the upper surface 12 of the neck 12'of the bottle 11, as is conventional. When the closure 10 has been applied to the container 11, the liner 24 may be locally compressed to form a slight annular depression 25. The nibs 23 hold the closure 10 in position.
Three cuts generally indicated at 26, 27 and 28, shown to be equally space-d, are formed through the flange 15. The cuts 26, 27 and 28 are shown to be substantially below the lower surface 18 of the top portion 14 and to terminate short of the edge 20. Each cut 26, 27 and 28 has an inverted generally U-shaped construction, having a bight 29 joining a relatively short leg 30 and a relatively long leg 31. Each bight 29 is above the beginnings 19 of the ribs 16 and below the top of the skirt 15. The cuts 26, 27 and 28 form tabs 26, 27 and 28, respectively. The long leg 31 of each tab 26, 27' and 28' terminates in closer proximity to the edge 20 of the skirt than does the short leg 30, so that when any tab is pulled, a portion 32 of the flange 15 between the lower end of the leg 31 and the edge 20 will be ruptured, thus rupturing the edge 20, whereas a portion 33 of the flange 15 between the lower end of the leg 30 and the edge 20 will not be ruptured. The legs 30 and 31 are preferably formed in the ridges of adjacent ribs 16.
An annulus 34 is formed by the continuous upper portion of the skirt 15 between the lower surface 18 of the crown and the cuts 26, 27 and 28 to enable the closure 10 to be strong structurally even though there are cuts such as indicated at 26, 27 and 28 in the flange 15.
Localized weakened zones 35, 36 and 37 constituting lines of fold are formed in the top portion 14 as by score lines. However, the weakened zones can be formed by interrupted cuts (not shown), if desired, or by creasing or otherwise conditioning the metal to flex along those lines. The weakened zones 34, 35 and 36 extend along geometric chords in the circular top portion 14. At the juncture of the chords 35 and 37 a common weakened zone portion 38 in the form of a score line extends to the center of the bight 29 of the cut 26. Score lines 39 and 40 are identical to the score line 38. The common weakened zone portions or score lines 38, 39 and 40 are shown to extend radially in developed view, FIG. 4. The weakened zones or score lines 35, 36 and 37 form a generally equilateral triangle. The weakened zone 35 and the cuts 26 and 27 are considered to form a sector S; the weakened zone 36 and the cuts 27 and 28 are considered to form a sector S; and the weakened zone 37 and the cuts 28 and 26 are considered to form a sector S".
If four equally spaced tabs were provided in the flange 15 and if four weakened zones would extend along chords of the circular top portion 14 so as to connect adjacent tabs, the weakened zones would form .a square.
T 0 remove the closure 10 from the container 11, a2y two of the tabs 26', 27 and 28' .can be pulled to thus rupture .the continuous edge 20 at ,two places. Each pair of adjacent cuts 26 and 27, and 27 and 28, and 28 and 26 are spaced sufficiently around the flange 15 to enable any one of the sectors S, S and S to be bent about the weakened zones 35, 36 and 37, respectively. Application of a lifting force to the edge of the sector S for example, will rupture the common weakened zone portions 38 and 39 and permit the sector S to be bent about the weakened zone out of embrace with the bead 13, thus enabling the closure 10 to be completely manually removed. The disposition of the weakened zones 35, 36 and 37 along chords enables any of the sectors S, S and S" to be easily swung out of embrace with. the bead 13, assuming the corresponding pair of tabs has been pulled to rupture the continuous edge 20.
In the embodiment of FIGS. 6 and 7, there is shown a closure generally indicated at having a crown or top portion 46 and an annular flange 47 extending downwardly from the top portion 46 and being in embrace with the bead 13 of the neck of the container 11. The flange 47 has spaced ribs 51 identical with the ribs 16 and an inverted generally U-shaped cut 52 arranged in the flange 47, similar to the cut 26 shown in the embodiment of FIGS. 1 through 5. The cut 52 forms a generally upwardly extending tab 52. The cut 52 has a bight 53 joining a short leg 54 and a long leg 55 terminating in close proximity to the continuous free edge 56 of the skirt of the cap. A localized weakened zone or score line 57 in the flange 47 extending from the bottom of the short leg 54 for a substantial distance, preferably of the order of 180 degrees around the skirt 47. The score line is of a depth approximately half of the thickness of the metal of the skirt, and it is located immediately above nibs (23 of FIG. 3) on the skirt that engage under the bead 13 of the bottle. The legs 54 and 55 of the cut 52 are preferably formed in two adjacent n'bs. Indentations or valleys 59 are defined by adjacent ribs 51.
When the tab 52' has been pulled to sever the bridge 58, it is then possible to peel the lower part of the skirt of the cap from the rest of the cap by pulling on the tab in a manner such as to tear the skirt along the score line 57. During this peeling action the nibs 23 in the portion of the skirt that is being peeled away are successively brought out of engagement with the bead 13 of the bottle. When the peeling action has been carried on to the full extent of the length of the score line 57, the remaining portion of the skirt, wherein the nibs are still in engagement with the underside of the head 13, is of an arcuate extent not exceeding 180 degrees, and it is therefore now possible to remove the cap from the bottle by sliding it off of the top of the bottle as by a continuation of the pull on the part of the skirt that has been pulled away from the bottle. The cap is thus removed from the bottle as a single unit and as a result of a single continuous operation by the person opening the bottle.
In the embodiment of FIGS. 8 and 9, there is shown a closure generally indicated at 65 having a crown or top portion 66 and an annular skirt or flange 67 extending downwardly from the top portion 66 and being in embrace with the bead 13 on a neck 12 of a container 70. The skirt 67 has spaced ribs 71 and an inverted generally U-shaped cut 72 arranged in the skirt 67, identical respectively to the ribs 16 and the cut 26 shown in the embodiment of FIGS. 1 through 5. The cut 72 forms a generally upwardly extending tab 72'. The cut 72 has a bight 73 joining a short leg 74 and a long leg 75 terminating relatively close to a continuous free edge 76. A localized weakened zone 77 in the flange 67 is shown to be a score line extending from the short leg 74 along the skirt 67 on one side of the closure 65 for a relatively short arcuate distance and upwardly along the line 77' across the upper portion of the skirt 67 and across the top portion 66 and may, optionally, also extend downwardly part way along the skirt 67 at the other side of the closure 65.
A localized weakened zone 78 in the form of a score line, extends upwardly in the flange 67 at one side of the closure 65, and parallels the score line 77 across the top portion 66, and may, optionally, extend downwardly part way along the flange 67 at the other side of the closure 65.
In order to remove the closure 65, the tab 72' is pulled to rupture the continuous edge 76 and the tab is further pulled to rupture the skirt 67 and the top portion along the weakened zones 77 and 78. The weakened zones 77 and 78 divide the closure into sectors 8,, and S so as to permit removal of the closure 65 from the container when these sectors are spread apart.
The cap of FIGS. 8 and 9 is removed from the bottle by an initial action which is the same as the removal of the cap of FIGS. 6 and 7. When the bottom of the skirt of the cap of FIGS. 8 and 9 has been peeled circumferentially a short distance, a further pull on the peeled portion of the skirt causes the line of tear to follow the scores lines 77-78 across the crown of the cap. It is then possible to swing or bend one portion of the cap, in this instance the portion S away from the bottle. During that swinging action, that portion hinges at the skirt along a line of hinge extending heightwise of the skirt from the portion 76 thereof to the place where the score lines 77 -78 terminate. The swung away portion includes 180 degrees (or slightly more or slightly less) of the skirt. The remaining portion of the skirt may then be removed by pushing the cap radially of the bottle to bring the nibs 23 thereof out of engagement with the bottle bead 13.
While FIG. 9 shows the arcuate portion which is between the tear 72 and the score lines 77-78 as extending across approximately 35 degrees, this arcuate decrease may be made larger or smaller, if desired. If it is made smaller, it is apparent that the score lines 77'-78 will approach the center of the cap. This may be objectionable in some instances. The score lines 77-78 may, if desired, extend arcu-ately across the crown of the cap, which overcomes this objection. This is illustrated in FIG. 10 which uses, generally, the same reference characters with a subscript a for the same parts. The closure 65a corresponds to the closure 65 of FIGS. 8 and 9, this closure having a crown portion 66a and an annular skirt 67a and a U-shaped cut 72a, all identical with the corresponding structure of FIG. 9. In this case an arcuate score line 80 that corresponds to the arcuate score line 77 of FIG. 9, is of a comparatively short arcuate length, that score line continuing on a diagonal 81 to the crown of the cap and then continuing on an arcuate score line 82 that follows along the periphery of the crown or may even be at the uppermost portion of the skirt of the cap, to a point 83 where it may tenninate or may optionally continue downwardly along the skirt as indicated at 84. If the score line 80 is of very small or zero extent (omitted entirely), the diagonal score line extends from the line 82 to the bottom of the adjacent shorter end of the line of cut 72a that defines the pull tab 72'. When a bottle capped by this cap is being opened, the circumferential pull on the tab 58a causes the skirt 67a to peel by tearing first along the score portion 80, then along the score portion 81, then along the score portion 82 to 84. This produces two sectors S and S',,. While all or the bulk of the area of the crown of the cap is included in the sector S' only approximately half, or less than half, of the skirt portion is included with that sector, and it is thus possible to remove the cap from the bottle in a very simple manner. When the pull, above described, has resulted in tearing of the cap along the score line to the end thereof, a further or continued pull results in pulling of the remaining part of the cap off of the bottle. The cap is thus removed as one piece by one continuous pull,
FIG. 11 shows a fragmentary portion of the tab of FIGS. 7 or 9 or 10, but illustrating a modified tab construction. Here a tab 90, which corresponds to the tab 52' of FIG. 6 or 72' of FIG. 8 or (or even the tab 26 of FIG. 1) differs from these tabs in that on one side of the tab, which is the side that corresponds to the longer line of cut, the tab has a short side wing 91. This facilitates pulling of the tab in such a way as to exert more force thereon along the longer edge, which corresponds to the edges 55 or 75 of FIGS. 6 and 8, than along the shorter edge, that corresponds to the edges 54 or 74 of FIGS. 6 and 8. This facilitates tearing of the bridge 58 (or the bridge 58 of FIG. 8).
The closures of each of the embodiments herein shown are preferably made of metal, tinplate, or aluminum, and are in general, of the construction shown and described in my patent application, Serial No. 345,019. The differences between the caps herein shown and the caps of my above referred to application, or the application of Frank W. Considine, Serial No. 328,869, now bandoned, which is assigned to the assignee of the present application, lies essentially in the construction and arrangement of the score lines herein shown, and the locations or shapes of the pull tabs. All other parts of the cap may be of constructions described in the two above applications, the disclosure and illustrations of which are incorporated herein by reference.
Only the center lines of the skirt ribs in the developed views of FIGS. 4, 7, 9 and 10 have been drawn, for the sake of clarity.
It may be seen from FIGURES 4 and 5 that the cap above described has twenty one ribs 16 and that there are six ribs in each of the sectors S, S and S" when the three tabs are removed. It is within the present invention to eliminate one of the tabs 26', 27 or 28. Assume that the tab 28' is omitted (omitting also the score lines 36 and 37). When the sector S is flexed upwardly, as previously explained, the cap can be removed from the bottle, but wtih greater difliculty. This difliculty can be substantially reduced by making the remaining tabs 26- 27' each of double the circumferential width illustrated but still spaced apart a distance of six ribs. This change will leave the sector S exactly as it is so that upon removal of the tabs 26-27' the sector S can be removed exactly as before. The skirt now extends around the neck of the bottle to the extent of eleven ribs 16 out of an initial twenty one ribs or slightly more than 180. The cap with its skirt thus severed can readily be pushed off of the bottle either by sliding the cap across the upper end 12' of the bottle or by forcing the cap upwardly, as by an upward pull on the upwardly bent sector S.
In each of the embodiments above described, the weakened zones are score lines extending to a depth of about half the thickness of the metal of the cap and are formed on the outer surface of the cap. They may, instead, be formed on the inner surface of the cap, in the same positions as herein illustrated, in which event the score lines would be illustrated in the various figures by dotted lines. This does not change the described mode of operation of the caps. It leaves the exposed crown portions of the cap free of score lines which might be objection-able insofar as concerns design lithography or printed matter placed or to be placed on the crown. Likewise, the score lines on the inner surface of the skirt, instead of on the outer surface, can not possibly interfere with the capping operation.
In compliance with the requirements of the patent statutes, I have herein shown and described preferred embodiments of the invention. It is, however, to be understood that the invention is not limited to the precise construction herein, shown, the same being merely illustrative of the principles of the invention. What is considered new and sought to be secured by Letters Patent is:
1. A closure comprising: a generally circular top portion, an annular flange extending generally downwardly from said top portion and having a continuous free edge, at least two cuts in said flange, each of said cuts being continuous to form a tab, each tab terminating at one end below the lower surface of said top portion and at its opposite end short of said edge, means defining a weakened line of flexing extending generally along a chord of said top portion between adjacent tabs and terminating at its opposite ends substantially in the region of juncture of said top and flange, and means defining imperforate weakening lines extending from each of the ends of the line of flexing and downwardly along the flange to the tabs and forming angles with said line of flexing, the tabs being operable to rupture the parts of the flange extending therefrom to said edge so that subsequent application of force to said edge between the ruptured parts of the flange and in a direction toward said top portion will fracture said weakening lines and facilitate bending a sector of the cap relative to the remainder of the cap about said line of flexing.
2. A closure, comprising: a generally circular top portion, an annular flange extending generally downwardly from said top portion and having a continuous free edge, said flange being adapted to embrace a head on the neck of a container, three equally spaced inverted generally U-shaped cuts in said flange terminating short of said edge, each of said cuts defining a tab that terminates short of said top portion, means forming lines of flexing defining an equilateral triangle lying on said top portion, the corners of the triangle being, respectively, opposite the centers of said cuts, and weakened zones extending from each corner of the triangle to the adjacent cut.
3. A closure, comprising: a body having a top portion, an annular flange extending generally downwardly from said top portion and having a continuous edge, said flange being adapted to embrace a head on the neck of a container, an inverted generally U-shaped cut in said flange having a short leg and a long leg, with said long leg terminating relatively close to said edge, said cut forming a generally upwardly extending tab, and means for enabling said closure to be removed from the bead when said tab has been pulled to rupture the flange between the end of the long leg and said edge, said means including a portion of said flange bounded in part by a weakened zone formed in said flange and extending circumferentially thereof from said short leg of said U-shaped cut.
4. A closure, comprising: a top portion, an annular flange extending generally downwardly from said top portion and having a continuous free edge, said flange having a multiplicity of generally downwardly extending ribs and an indentation between each pair of adjacent ribs, said indentations being adapted to fit at least partly under a head on the neck of a container, a cut extending through at least one rib of said flange, said cut extending from below the lower surface of said top portion and terminating short of said edge, said cut forming a generally upwardly extending tab, a continuous upper portion of said flange extending from the lower surface of said top portion to said out forming an annulus, and a localized weakened zone in said flange above said ribs and said indentations extending for a substantial circumferential distance around said flange from said cut so that the closure is entirely removable from the head when said tab has been pulled to rupture said flange between the tab and said free edge and to rupture said flange along said weakened zone.
5. A crown cap comprising: a crown portion, an annular skirt extending generally downwardly from said crown portion and having a continuous free edge, said skirt being adapted to embrace a bead on the neck of a container, a cut extending through said skirt and terminating short of said edge and forming a generally upwardly extending tab, and an arcuate localized weakened zone in the skirt extending from aid tab partly around said skirt.
6. A crown cap comp-rising: a crown portion, an annular skirt extending generally downwardly from said crown portion and having a continuous free edge, said skirt being adapted to embrace a bead on the neck of a container, a cut extending through said skirt and terminating short of said edge and forming a generally upwardly extending tab, an arcuate localized weakened zone extending from said tab partly around said skirt and across said crown portion, and an additional zone of weakness extending across the crown adjacent to the part of the first mentioned zone of weakness that extends across the crown portion and cooperating therewith for tearing the cap from the container neck.
7. A crown cap comprising: a crown portion, an annular skirt extending generally downwardly from said crown and having a continuous free edge, said skirt being adapted to embrace a bead on the neck of a container, a cut extending through said skirt and terminating short of said edge and forming a generally upwardly extending tab, and an arcuate localized weakened zone extending from said tab partly around said skirt and arcuately along the perimeter of the crown portion.
8. A crown cap comprising a body having a crown and a peripheral skirt surrounding and projecting away from the crown and adapted for gripping engagement with a container neck to retain the cap thereon, a tear tab on the body, said tab being defined by a line of cut with and end portion of the line defining a side of-the tab and terminating at a point spaced from but adjacent to the free end of the skirt and extending from there toward the crown, means for enabling the cap to be removed from said neck when the tab has been pulled to rupture the part of the skirt between said point and said free, end, said means being integral with the tab and including an arcuate strip in the body that extends from the tab remote from said side and in a direction circumferentially of the body, said strip being bounded by said free end and an arcuate line of weakness in the body.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,605,708 11/1926 Clark 215-46 2,069,410 2/1937 Hochstadter 215-46 3,118,556 1/1964 Amato et al. 21546 THERON E. CONDON, Primary Examiner.
GEORGE O. RALSTON, FRANKLIN T. GARRET, Examiners.
J. B. MARBERT, Assistant Examiner.