Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.

Patents

  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS3273754 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 20, 1966
Filing dateDec 28, 1964
Priority dateDec 28, 1964
Publication numberUS 3273754 A, US 3273754A, US-A-3273754, US3273754 A, US3273754A
InventorsLindley Donald C
Original AssigneeLeonard H King
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
One-piece closure for collapsible containers
US 3273754 A
Abstract  available in
Images(1)
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Se t. 20, 1966 D. c. LINDLEY 3,273,754

ONEPIECE CLOSURE FOR COLLAPSIBLE CONTAINERS Filed D80. 28, 1964 LOOSEN TO CLOSE TIGHTEN TO OPEN AND DISPENSE FIG. I

.. 7." i m5 Z4 4 95 6 I "5' l l M 5 W Hill I M ,2, F INVENTOR.

DONALD C. L/NTDLEY imam! .4 TTORNE Y.

United States Patent 3,273,754 ONE-PIECE CLOSURE FOR COLLAPSIBLE CONTAINERS Donald C. Lindley, Greenlawn, N.Y., assignor to Leonard H. King, Valley Stream, N.Y. Filed Dec. 28, 1964, Ser. No. 421,185 11 Claims. (Cl. 222-92) This invention relates generally to a closure member for a collapsible tube and more particularly to an improved one-piece closure member.

It has been found desirable to provide improved closure means for a collapsible tube containing toothpaste or like material. The most common form of presently available tube closure generally comprises only a rigid cap which is threadably secured to the neck of the tube. These caps are well known as are their propensity to be come misplaced or lost.

Other one-piece closure members for collapsible tubes are also found in the prior art. One in particular teaches the use of a specially shaped neck on a collapsible tube cooperating with an apertured screw cap. The neck is provided with a slotted extension which projects through the aperture in the cap. The extension portion of the neck is relatively long and the slot extends the length thereof. Squeezing the body of the tube opens the slot and by means of a ca-mming action between the cap aperture and the neck extension, the slot is closed when the threaded cap moves axially.

The aforementioned example of the prior art suffers drawbacks in at least two respects. The contents of the tube are subject to exposure to and contamination by the atmosphere because the cap is apertured and the slot extends completely through the neck extension. Thus, should the threaded cap work loose or not be tightened sufficiently between the time the tube is filled and the time it is first used, or in fact any time thereafter, the contents of the tube could easily be rendered unusable since the exterior end of the slot is not covered.

Another deficieucy of the prior art device hereinabove described is best appreciated by an examination of the slot in the neck extension. It will be seen that the slot is relatively long and is therefore subject to clogging. When the collapsible tube is used to package toothpaste, it will be readily apparent that this could be a serious drawback as the particular material has -a tendency to harden upon prolonged exposure to the atmosphere.

A close inspection of the prior art will reveal that the lack of inherent resiliency of the metal forming the tube neck will also tend to hinder the opening and closing of the slot. It is readily apparent that the malleable metal used in a toothpaste tube is apt to result in undesirable deformation of the ejection slot. After several uses it is likely that the opposed jaws of the tube neck will no longer abut each other closely so that the tube contents may become lost or contaminated.

The present invention is particularly directed towards a low cost, one-piece closure member having an integral, normally closed discharge orifice therein. The inherent resiliency of the closure member automatically opens the orifice when the tube is being used. In one embodiment of the invention the closure member is held rotatably captive on a collapsible tube. In general, however, the closure member of the present invention is characterized by a thin rupturable top surface that is substantially flat when not in use. The present construction provides adequate sealing of the tube between the time of rfilling and its [first use. The relatively thin and substantially that top surface permits easy rupture thereof and also reduces the likelihood of orifice clogging.

3,273,754 Patented Sept. 20, 1966 The customer receives the tube and closure member of the present invention in the sealed condition. First usage thereof will rupture the top surface of the plastic, resilient closure member. Thereafter the closure member orifice is opened by threadably tightening the closure member onto external threads provided at the end of the collapsible tube. The closure member orifice is closed merely by reversing the axial movement of the closure member or, in other words, loosening the closure memher on the tube threads.

Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide an improved, one-piece collapsible tube closure member having a resilient surface in which an aperture may be formed when the tube is used.

Another object is to provide a rupturable molded plastic closure member that seals the interior of a collapsible metal tube prior to the first usage thereof.

An additional object is to provide a closure member of the type described hereinabove wherein the rupturable portion is relatively thin and substantially flat.

A further object is to provide a captured closure member of the type described hereinabove.

These and other features, objects and advantages of the invention will, in part, be pointed out with particularity and will, in part, become obvious from the following more detailed description of the invention, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawing which forms an integral part thereof.

In the various figures of the drawing like reference characters designate like parts.

In the drawing:

FIG. 1 is a partial, cross sectional elevational view of the prior art arrangement referred to hereinabove;

FIG. 2 is a pictorial view of the present invention as used in conjunction with a collapsible tube;

FIG. 3 is an enlarged, cross sectional view of the improved closure member and the upper end of the collapsible tube taken along line 3--3 of FIG. 2, the view being taken with the closure member in the sealing position;

FIG. 4 is a wiew similar to FIG. 3 showing the closure member in the open or discharging position;

FIG. 5 is a plan view of the improved closure member; FIG. 6 is an enlarged view similar to FIG. 3 illustrating an alternative embodiment of the present invention; and

FIG. 7 is an enlarged view similar to FIG. 3 illustrating still another alternative embodiment of the present invention.

Referring now to FIG. 1 of the drawing, the prior art discloses a soft metal tube A for toothpaste or the like, the tube being provided with external threads B adapted to mate with the internally threaded cap C. A bifurcated extension D of the tube threads is provide-d with a spherical outer surface E whereby axially moving the cap causes an internal spherical surface F of .the cap C to bear against the tube extension D. This action is intended to bring together the bifurcated end portions of the tube neck to close off and prevent loss of the tubes contents. Neither the tube nor the closure member illustrated in FIG. 1 is inherently resilient. As a matter of fact, the primary characteristic of the .tube material is malleability and the closure member is rigid in order to provide the necessary camming action.

FIG. 2 illustrates the present invention pictorially. Closure member 10 is threadably secured to .the open top end of the tube 12. As will be explained more fully hereinafter, one embodiment of the present invention provides that the closure member be removable from the tube while another embodiment provides that the closure member is rotatably captured by the tube end.

FIG. 3, FIG. 4 and FIG. 5 illustrate the construction and operation of the improved closure member. Internal threads 14 of closure member are adapted to mate with external threads 16 of tube 12. The upper portion of closure member 10 has a flat outer surface 18 which is of relatively thin cross section in the center portion thereof. Central portion 18 is also provided with an inwardly depending circular skirt 20 having a plurality of radial slits 22 extending almost to the center of the closure member.

Skirt 20 is arranged to abut the orifice portion 24 formed at the outermost end of the neck of tube 12. Thus when closure member 10 is moved axially downward or tightened by the threading action, skirt 20 bears against diameter 24 and the central portion of the closure member is biased outwardly. The first time the user does this the thin wall section 17 'of central portion 18 will rupture and slits 22 will open. When using polypropylene, it is satisfactory to cut the slits within 0.001 and 0.002 inch of the outer, top surface of the closure member. Thereafter every time the closure member is tightened on the tube neck, central portion 18 between slits 22 will bulge outwardly by the interaction of skirt 20 and diameter 24 land the slits 22 will open permitting the tube contents to be dispensed. In effect then, each area between adjacent slits is hinged to the remainder of the top. Closing of the container requires only that the closure member be unloosened. By thus removing the force from skirt 20, the inherent resiliency of the plastic material, which may be polypropylene, will permit the central portion 18 to relax and assume a fiat condition. Slits 22 will thereby close down and prevent further discharge of the tube contents.

In the embodiment hereinafter described, an annular wall 26 may be provided on the closure. Besides making the closure member more attractive, the annular wall is also utilitarian. By providing an enlarged flat surface on top, the tube may be displayed by the merchandiser and stored by the user by standing it on end.

In FIG. 6, an alternative embodiment of the present invention is shown. In this embodiment, the closure member is held rotatably captive on the neck of the collapsible tube. For simplicity of description, primed numbers will be used to denote common elements between the two disclosed embodiments.

Transverse flange 30 is integrally formed at the open, neck end of tube 12 and closure member 10' is provided with an undercut 32 intermediate threads 14' and outer surface 18. To effectively capture the closure member, flange 30 need only be slightly larger than the outside dimension of threads 16 and undercut 32 may be substantially the same size as or slightly larger than flange 30. The closure member is distorted slightly so that threads 14' may be passed over flange 30. The resiliency of the polypropylene closure member will permit the slight de-fonmation required and will also permit the subsequent return to its proper shape. The closure member may then be axially advanced or retracted for a distance equal to the width of the undercut less the thickness of the flange. As in the previous embodiment an annular wall 26 may also be included.

Still another embodiment of the present invention is illustrated in FIG. 7. Closure member 40 is provided with a concave central portion 42 having at least one slit 44 partially cut through the reduced thickness center 46. A bead or similarly raised projection 48 is formed integrally with the dispensing orifice 50 of collapsible metal tube 52. External threads 54 formed on the outside of the tube 52 proximate the dispensing orifice thereof are adapted to mate with internal threads 56 of the closure member. The operation is the same as in the previous embodiments it being understood that means may also be provided to make the closure member captive if so desired- The closure members described hereinabove and in the drawing have a common feature of low cost. Both embodiments may be molded from a resilient plastic such as polypropylene. Both embodiments are therefore provided with hinged members or petals which define ta discharge orifice. The contents of the collapsible tube remain sealed between the time of packaging and the first use of the tube since the slits defining the discharge orifice are not cut completely through the top of the closure member. The first use of the tube ruptures the thin walled top section of the closure member. Thereafter the inherent resiliency of the material in combination with the axial threading of the closure member and the interaction of internal surfaces on the closure member and the tube neck, serve to open and close the discharge orifice. Means have also been illustrated to captivate the closure member.

There has been disclosed heretofore the best embodiments of the invention presently contemplated and it is to be understood that various changes and modifications may be made by those skilled in the art without departing from the spirit of the invention.

What is claimed is:

1. A resilient one-piece closure member for a collapsible tube having a dispensing orifice and external threads thereabout, said closure member comprising a cap member having internal threads adapted to mate with the external tube threads, said cap member comprising a top surface and an inwardly facing concave central portion provided with at least one slot extending partially through said top surface, an annular area surrounding said concave central portion, said annular area being adapted to be upwardly displaced by the peripheral portion of the tube dispensing orifice when said closure member is rotated and axially displaced with respect to the collapsible tube.

2. The closure member in accordance with claim 1, wherein said central portion is relatively thin and said slot is rupturable by tightening said closure member on the tube.

3. The closure member in accordance with claim 1 including means to hold said cap member rotatably captive on the external threads of the tube-neck.

4. An improved dispensing tube comprising:

(a) a hollow collapsible body member having a dispensing orifice and external threads thereabout;

(b) a resilient one-piece cup-shaped closure member having internal threads adapted to mate with the external threads of said body member, said closure member being defined by an annular wall and a transverse base wall;

(c) a concave central portion formed in said base wall, said central portion having an annular area integral with and depending inwardly from said base wall, said concave portion having at least one slit partially therethrough; and

(d) a reduced, rupturable thickness in said base wall, said reduced thickness being centrally located within said concave portion.

5. The dispensing tube in accordance with claim 4 including means to hold said closure member rotatably captive on the external threads of said body member.

6. The dispensing tube of claim 5 wherein said means to captivate said closure member comprises a transverse flange disposed about the dispensing orifice of said body member and an annular undercut portion in said closure member, said undercut portion being axially disposed between the internal threads of said closure member and the inside surface of said base wall, said flange being adapted to be moved within the axial limits of said undercut.

7. An improved dispensing tube comprising:

(a) a hollow collapsible body member having a dispensing orifice and external threads thereabout;

(b) a resilient one-piece cup-shaped closure member having internal threads adapted to mate with the ex- 5 ternal threads of said body member, said closure member being defined by an annular wall and a transverse base wall;

(c) a concave central portion formed in said base wall, said central portion having an annular area integral with and depending inwardly from said base wall, said concave portion having at least one slit cut partially therethrough;

(d) a reduced, rupturable thickness in said base wall, said reduced thickness being centrally located within said concave portion; and

(e) deforming means interposed between said central portion and the dispensing orifice of said hollow body member, said deforming means being adapted to outwardly push said reduced thickness in said base wall when said closure member is axially threaded on said body member.

8. The dispensing tube in accordance with claim 7 including means to hold said closure member rotatably captive on the external threads of said body member.

9. The dispensing tube of claim 7 wherein said means to captivate said closure member comprises a transverse flange disposed about the dispensing orifice of said body member and an annular undercut portion in said closure member, said undercut portion being axially disposed between the internal threads of said closure member and the inside surface of said base wall, said flange being adapted to be moved within the axial limits of said undercut.

It). The dispensing tube in accordance with claim 7 wherein said deforming means is comprised of a raised boss integral with and surrounding said concave central portion of said closure member.

11. The dispensing tube in accordance with claim 7 wherein said deforming means is comprised of an annular protuberance integral with and surrounding the dispensing orifice of said body member.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,370,665 3/1921 Moore 222-92 2,135,237 11/1938 Lewis et al 222507 X 2,309,895 2/1943 Gritfith 222-490 X 2,671,577 3/1954 Remington et a1 222-92 2,901,152 8/1959 Wahnsiedler 222507 X 3,223,298 12/ 1965 Robertson et a1 222-541 RAPHAEL M. LUPO, Primary Examiner.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1370665 *Feb 14, 1920Mar 8, 1921Moore HarlanMoisture-cup
US2135237 *May 7, 1938Nov 1, 1938Lewis Helen PClosure for containers
US2309895 *Jul 3, 1939Feb 2, 1943Griffith Rose MClosure for collapsible tubes
US2671577 *Mar 9, 1951Mar 9, 1954Peerless Tube CompanyCollapsible tube with easily rupturable neck diaphragm
US2901152 *Aug 26, 1957Aug 25, 1959Wahnsiedler James HClosure for a dispenser
US3223298 *Apr 6, 1962Dec 14, 1965Purex Corp LtdBottle cap
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3405850 *Jun 1, 1967Oct 15, 1968Vincent J. Esposito Jr.Screw actuated toggle valve dispensing cap
US3533538 *Nov 28, 1967Oct 13, 1970Lion Fat Oil Co LtdUndetachable cap assembly
US4749108 *Oct 15, 1987Jun 7, 1988The Procter & Gamble CompanyBimodal storage and dispensing package including self-sealing dispensing valve to provide automatic shut-off and leak-resistant inverted storage
US5071017 *Feb 15, 1991Dec 10, 1991Stuli IeneClosure cap construction with slitted flexible diaphragm
US6290108Apr 14, 2000Sep 18, 2001Seaquist Closures Foreign, Inc.Dispensing system with an internal releasable shipping seal and an extended tip containing a pressure openable valve
US6334555Mar 16, 2001Jan 1, 2002Seaquist Closures Foreign, Inc.Fitment and resealable dispensing closure assembly for high-pressure sealing and bi-modal dispensing
US6446844Dec 18, 2001Sep 10, 2002Seaquist Closures Foreign, Inc.Closure with internal flow control for a pressure openable valve in an extendable/retractable nozzle
US6669063 *Oct 26, 1999Dec 30, 2003PechineyMethod for irreversibly fixing a cap on a container head enabling a limited rotation of said cap on said head
US6769577 *Jul 31, 2000Aug 3, 2004Weener Plastik Gmbh & Co. KgSelf-closing valve
US7699193Mar 25, 2004Apr 20, 2010Weener Plastik Gmbh & Co., KgSelf-closing valve
US20040178230 *Mar 25, 2004Sep 16, 2004Weener Plastik Gmbh & Co. KgSelf-closing valve
EP0554181A1 *Jan 28, 1993Aug 4, 1993L'orealDispensing device comprising an automatic closure for a container containing a viscous liquid
Classifications
U.S. Classification222/92, 222/490, 222/507, 222/562, 222/541.6
International ClassificationB65D47/20, B65D47/04
Cooperative ClassificationB65D47/2031
European ClassificationB65D47/20E2