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Publication numberUS3281024 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 25, 1966
Filing dateMay 20, 1964
Priority dateMay 20, 1964
Also published asDE1432136A1, DE1432136B2, DE1432136C3
Publication numberUS 3281024 A, US 3281024A, US-A-3281024, US3281024 A, US3281024A
InventorsHenchert John, Alfred W Kehe
Original AssigneeContinental Can Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Easy opening container end and closure member therefor
US 3281024 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Oct. 25, 1966 J. HENCHERT ETAL 3,

EASY OPENING CONTAINER END AND CLOSURE MEMBER THEREFOR Filed May 20, 1964 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 T m m R E A ME m V H E 1\ W CK A N 9 M HD E ma M a J m P Oct- 25, 1966 J. HENCHERT ETAL. 3,281,024

EASY OPENING CONTAINER END AND CLOSURE MEMBER THEREFOR 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed May 20, 1964 INVENTORS 56 1 16.13 JOHN HENCHERT cSrALPRED w. KEHE ATTOR NE Y5 United States Patent 3,281,024 EASY OPENING CONTAINER END AND CLOSURE MEMBER THEREFOR John Henchert, Oak Park, and Alfred W. Kehe, Berkeley, 11]., assignors to Continental Can Company, New York, N.Y., a corporation of New York Filed May 20, 1964, Ser. No. 368,823 17 (Ilaims. (Cl. 222-484) This invention relates in general to new and useful improvements in easy opening containers, and more particularly to a closure structure for closing openings in an easy opening container.

Conventional easy opening beverage cans usually have a metal can end provided with a tear out panel, and when the tear out panel is removed to dispense the contents an objectionable sharp metal edge is formed on the panel and about the opening that remains in the can end.

Frequently, it is diflicult to open the cans because the metal of the can end must be torn or broken in order to remove the panel. Other difiiculties are encountered with various types of metal pull tabs that are used, and in attaching them to the removable panels.

In view of the foregoing, it is the primary object of this invention to provide a container wherein the necessary opening or openings therein are pre-formed and the closure member is formed of a suitable plastic material so as to prevent the accidental cutting of a person during either the opening of the container or the dispensing of the contents thereof.

Another object of this invention is to provide a novel container which has a dispensing opening and wherein when the container is opened for dispensing the contents thereof through the opening, protective guard strips are placed on opposite sides of the dispensing opening to prevent the accidental engagement of the raw edge of the metal surrounding the dispensing opening.

Another object of this invention is to provide a novel closure member for at least one plug depending therefrom the purpose of temporarily sealing a dispensing opening, the closure member further having removable wings which are adapted to be torn therefrom in the opening of a container so that the wings will remain secured to the container on opposite sides of a dispensing opening therein to function as guards.

A further object of this invention is to provide a novel easy opening container closure which includes an end panel having spaced dispensing and vent openings therein and a plastic closure member having plugs disposed within the dispensing and vent openings and sealing the same, the closure member additionally having wing portions which are adhesively bonded to the end panel on opposite sides of the dispensing opening whereby during the opening of a container which the container closure is a part of, the plug portions of the closure member will be pulled from the respective ones of the dispensing and vent openings and the wing portions will remain secured to the end panel and functions as guards against the accidental contacting of the raw metal of the end panel which defines the dispensing opening.

Still another object of this invention is to provide a closure member in accordance with the foregoing wherein the wing portions of the closure member are connected to the remainder thereof along weakening lines to facilitate the tearing of the remainder of the closure member to form wing portions.

Yet another object of this invention is to provide a novel container closure of the easy opening type which is provided with suitable dispensing means in the form of openings in the container closure and a plastic closure member overlying the same, the plastic closure member "ice being directly bonded to the container closure to form a seal therewith of sufiicient strength to hold the plastic closure member in place even when the container closure is utilized as part of a container having a pressurized liquid therein.

Another object of this invention is to provide a novel can end of the easy opening type wherein the end panel thereof has a dispensing opening and a vent opening, and the openings are temporarily closed by means of a flexible closure member which is suit-ably sealed to the upper surface of the end panel, the vent opening being of a sufiicient size for the reception of a straw, and the plastic closure member being hingeable to a position wherein the vent opening is uncovered and a straw may be inserted thereinto.

A still further object of this invention is to provide a novel easy opening container closure which includes an end panel having suitable dispensing and vent openings formed therein, and a closure member having plugs disposed within the openings and sealing the same, the plugs being folded beneath the under surface of the end panel around the openings and sealed thereto so as to protect the raw edges of the metal of the end panel around the openings against attack from a product within the associated container, and the folded portions of the plugs being retained on the underside of the end panel with the plugs being ruptured duirng the opening of the container.

With the above and other objects in view that will hereinafter appear, the nature of the invention will be more clearly understood by reference to the following detailed description, the appended claims and the several views illustrated in the accompanying drawings:

In the drawings:

FIGURE 1 is a fragmentary top perspective view of a can incorporating a can end formed in accordance with this invention.

FIGURE 2 is a top perspective view like FIGURE 1 showing the can in a partially opened position.

FIGURE 3 is a fragmentary top perspective view of the can of FIGURE 2 in a fully opened position.

FIGURE 4 is an enlarged fragmentary vertical sectional view taken along the line 44 of FIGURE 1 and shows the specific cross section of the can end and the closure member carried thereby.

FIGURE 5 is an enlarged horizontal sectional view taken along the line 55 of FIGURE 4 and shows more specifically the details of the closure member.

FIGURE 6 is an enlarged fragmentary transverse vertical sectional view taken along the line 66 of FIGURE 4 and shows additionally the relationship of the closure member to the can end.

FIGURE 7 is a perspective view of an inverted modified form of closure member.

FIGURE 8 is -a top plan view of a can incorporating the closure member of FIGURE 7.

FIGURE 9 is a fragmentary top perspective view of a can utilizing a closure member similar to that of FIG- URE l but wherein the grip portion thereof has been modified, the closure member being shown in a partially opened position clearing the vent opening in the end panel and there being a straw in the vent opening for dispensing the contents of the can.

FIGURE 10 is a fragmentary top perspective view of a. can incorporating still another form of plastic closure member.

FIGURE 11 is an enlarged fragmentary vertical sectional view taken along the line 11-11 of FIGURE 10 and shows the specific details of the modified plastic closure member and the relationship thereof to the can end.

FIGURE 12 is an enlarged fragmentary vertical sectional view similar to FIGURE 11 and shows the plastic closure member removed from the can end and being shown in phantom lines for repositioning on the can end as a reclosure member.

FIGURE 13 is an enlarged fragmentary vertical sectional view similar to FIGURE 11 showing a modified form of plastic closure member to end panel arrangement wherein the plastic closure member is directly heat bonded to the end panel.

Referring now to the drawings in detail, reference is first made to FIGURE 1 wherein there is illustrated a can which is generally referred to by the numeral 10. The can includes a conventional can body 11 to which there is secured by means of a conventional double seam 12 a can end which is generally referred to by the numeral 13. The can end 13, except for its easy opening features, is of a conventional construction and includes an end panel 14.

The end panel 14 is provided with a central vent opening 15 and a dispensing opening 16 which is disposed in the outer portion of the end panel 14 adjacent the double seam 12. Although the openings 15 and 16 have been illustrated as being circular in outline, it is to be understood that the cross sections of the openings may be varied to that best suited for dispensing purposes.

At this time it is pointed out that since the openings 15 and 16 are pre-formed, they may be formed by means of a downwardly moving punch so that any burr that may remain as a result of the hole punching operation will be disposed inwardly of the can 10 and not exposed for contact by one engaging the exterior surface of the end panel 14. In this manner, a major undesirable feature of each of the raw edges defining the openings is eliminated.

The can end 13 is provided with a closure member which is generally refer-red to by the numeral 17. The closure member 17 is of a one-piece construction and is preferably formed of a flexible resilient plastic material,

such as a polyolefin. The closure member 17 is configurated to define an elongated strap 18 which is provided at one end thereof with a grip portion 19. At the opposite end of the strap 18, there is an integral depending plug 20 of a relatively large diameter. A small plug 21 depends from a central portion of the strap 18 in generally centered relation With respect to the axis thereof. It is to be understood that the plugs 20 and 21 are of a size to snugly fit in and close the dispensing opening 16 and the vent opening 15, respectively. It is also to be noted from FIGURE 4 that the plug portions 20 and 21 have tapered lower portions to facilitate the entry thereof into the openings 16 and 15, respectively.

Particular reference is now made to FIGURE 5 wherein it will be seen that the strap portion 18 of the closure member 17 is of a greater width adjacent the plug portion 20. In addition, this wider part of the strap portion 18 has a pair of transverse extensions in the form of longitudinally extending wings 22 which are integrally connected with the wide part of the strap portion 18 along a pair of longitudinal weakening lines 23 which are in the form of grooves formed in the upper portion of the closure member 17.

Starting from a point intermediate the grip port-ion 19 and the plug 21 and continuing to the extreme right end of the closure member 17, as viewed in FIGURE 5, the underside of the closure member 17 may be coated with an adhesive 24. An alternative that may be preferable is to spot coat the can end or the can end stock. The adhesive 24 may be of 'any desired type including pressure sensitive and heat sensitive adhesives. When the plug portions 20 and 21 are pressed into their respective ones of the openings 16 and 15, the adhesives 24 comes into contact with the upper surface of the end panel 14 and bonds thereto. Thus, while the plug portions 20 and 21 4 are tightly forced into their respective openings, the adhesive 24 serves to aid in the securement of the closure member 17 to the end panel 14 and provides for the seals around the openings 15 and 16.

It is to be noted that the end panel 14 is provided with a recessed area 25 which generally underlies the grip portion 19 of the closure member 17. The recessing of the end panel in alignment with the grip portion 19 facilitates the lifting of the grip portion 19 and the proper gripping thereof to effect the removal of a major porion of the closure member 17 and the opening of the vent opening 15 and the dispensing opening 16.

When it is desired to open the can 10, the grip portion 19 is firmly engaged and an upwardly directed force is applied to the closure member 17 through the grip portion 19. As the grip portion 19 is moved away from the can end 13, the plug portion 21 is first pulled from its associated vent opening 15, at which time venting of the can 10 occurs. A further pull on the grip portion 19 will result in the withdrawing of the plug portion 20 from the dispensing opening 16. However, due to the provision of the weakening lines 23 and the weakened connections between the wings 22 and the strap portion 18, as well as the flaring of the strap portion 18 immediately in advance of the wings 22, as the strap portion 18 is being torn from the end panel 14, the closure member 17 will be torn along the weakening lines 23. As the removal of the closure member 17 continues, the strap portion 18 is torn completely from the wings 22 with the wings 22 remaining in place on the end panel 14, as is shown in FIGURE 3. The wings 22, which are automatically positioned by the plug portions 20 and 21, are disposed on opposite sides of the dispensing opening 16 and are parallel to the line between the centers of the openings 15 and 16. The positions of the wings 22 permit the elfective guarding of the metal defining the dispensing opening 16 against the accidental engagement thereof by ones mouth during the drinking of the contents of the can 10. While the wings 22 remain attached to the end panel 14 during the opening of the can 10, it will be readily apparent that prior to the tearing of the closure member 17 along the weakening lines 23, the wings 22 function in aiding to retain the plug portion 20 within the dispensing opening 16.

Reference is now made to FIGURES 7 and 8 wherein there is illustrated a modified form of closure member which is generally referred to by the numeral 30. The closure member 30 is very similar to the closure member 17, but differs therefrom in certain material aspects. The closure member 30 includes an elongated strap portion 31 which is provided at one end thereof with a transverse rib 32 which is integrally connected to the underside thereof to provide a grip portion 33. At the other end of the strap portion 31 there is a downwardly projecting tubular plug 34 which corresponds to the plug 20 and which has a tapered lower portion 35. Intermediate the ends of the strap portion 31 there is a downwardly projecting plug 36. The plug 36 corresponds to the plug 21 and has a tapered lower portion.

The closure member 30 also has a pair of wings 37 which correspond to the wings 22 and which are connected to the strap portion 31 along a pair of weakening lines 38 in the form of scores in the underside of the closure member 30. However, the closure member 30' further differs from the closure member 17 in that'at the starting end of each weakening line 38, there is a notch 39 to facilitate the starting of the tearing of the closure member 30 along the weakening lines 38.

It is to be understood that the closure member 30 is securable to the upper surface of the end panel 14 by means of an adhesive coating 40 on the closure member 30 and in the same manner as described above with respect to the closure member 17. Here again, a preferable alternative may be to spot coat the can end or can end stock. The closure member 30 assembled with a can is illustrated in FIGURE 8. The can illustrated in FIGURE 8 is opened in the same manner as that described above with respect to the can shown in FIGURES 1, 2 and 3.

Reference is now made to FIGURES 10 through 12 of the drawings wherein there is illustrated another can 10 having associated therewith a modified form of closure member which is generally referred to by the numeral 45., The closure member 45 is carried by the can end 13 in lieu of the closure member 17.

The plastic closure member 45 includes an elongated strap-like body portion 46 which flares outwardly on opposite sides thereof at 47 to define a relative wide end 48 as compared to a relatively narrow end 49. The enlarged end 48 is increased in width by the addition of integrally connected wings 50 extending along opposite sides thereof. The wings 50 are set oif from the enlarged end 48 by means of longitudinally extending grooves or weakening lines 51 formed in the upper surface of the closure member 45. The narrow end 49 is in the form of a grip portion and is provided on 'both the upper and lower surfaces thereof with transversely extending grooves 52 to facilitate the gripping thereof,

Referring now to FIGURE 11 in particular, it will be seen that the closure member 45 also includes depending tubular portions 53 and 54 which pass down through the openings and 16, respectively, formed in the end panel 14. When the closure member 45 is assembled on the can end 13, it is adhesively bonded to the upper surface of the end panel 14 by means of a layer of adhesive 55. At this time the tubular portions 53 and 54 extend below the under surface of the end panel 14. The tubular portion 53 is folded upwardly beneath the end panel 14 around the opening 15 to define a flange 56 and this flange 56 is adhesively bonded to the underside of the end panel 14 surrounding the opening 15 by means of adhesive 57. In a similar manner the projecting part of the tubular portion 54 is folded upwardly and outwardly to define a flange 58. The flange 58 is secured by means of adhesive 59 to the underside of the end panel 14 surrounding the dispensing opening 16. It will be readily apparent from FIGURE 11 that the flanges 56 and 58 and the associated adhesive 57 and 59 seal the raw metal edges of the end panel 14 defining the vent opening 15 and the dispensing opening 16 against contact with the contents of .the can 10.

When it is desired to open a can closed by the closure member 45, the grip portion 52 is gripped between ones fingers with the gripping thereof being facilitated by the recessed portion 25 on the end panel 14. An upwardly directed force on the smaller end portion 49 will result in a progressive .tearing of the closure member 45 from the upper surface of the end panel 14 until the tubular portion 53 is reached. At this time a further upwardly directed force on the small end portion 49 will result in the rupture of the tubular portion 53 from the associated flange 56 with the tubular portion 53 being pulled through the vent opening 15 and the flange 56 remaining secured to the underside of the end panel 14 surrounding the vent opening 15.

A continued pull on the closure member 45 will result in a tearing of the closure member 45 along the grooves or weakening lines 51 so that the strap-like body portion 46 is torn from the wings 50.

At the time the strap-like body portion 46 is being torn from the wings 50, which remain secured to the upper surface of the end panel 14 on opposite sides of the dispensing opening 16, a progressive upwardly directed pressure is exerted on the tubular portion 54 with the result that it is torn from the associated flange 58 and is drawn through the dispensing opening 16 leaving the flange 58 adhesively secured to the underside of the end panel 14 surrounding the dispensing opening 16.

It will be readily apparent that the torn away portion of the closure member 45, since it has remaining attached thereto the tubular portions 53 and 54, as is clearly illustrated in FIGURE 12 in phantom lines, may be utilized as a reclosure member in a manner which will be apparent not only with respect to the closure member 45, but also the closure members 17 and 30.

Reference is now made to FIGURE 13 wherein it will be seen that the closure member 45 may be secured in place without the use of a separate adhesive. Since the closure member 45.is formed of a suitable plastic which can be heat bonded to metal, such as the metal of the end panel 14, if desired, the surfaces of the closure member 45 contacting the end panel 14 may be sufliciently heated to bond thereto utilizing suitable conventional types of heaters, particularly those of the high-frequency electric heating type.

Although the closure member 45 has been specifically illustrated as being bondable directly to the end panel by a heat bonding operation without the use of any intermediate .adhesive, it is to be understood that the closure members 17 and 30 may be directly bonded to respective end panels in a like manner.

Referring now to FIGURE 9 in particular, it will be seen that there is illustrated a closure member which is generally referred to by the numeral 60 and which differs from the closure member 17 only in that the grip portion thereof, which is referred to by the numeral 61, is formed like the grip portion 52 as opposed to the grip portion 19. The closure member 60 is illustrated in a partially released position with respect to the can end 13 and the vent opening 15 when the can end is uncovered. The vent opening 15 is of a suflicient diameter to loosely receive a straw 62 whereby when the can 10 contains a soft drink or like beverage, the beverage may be removed from the can by means of a conventional straw. Furthermore, it is not necessary to completely drink the contents of the can at one time in that after the desired quantity of the contents of the can 10 has been removed, the can 10 may be resealed by merely forcing the closure plug 21 back down through the vent opening 15.

It will be readily apparent that the can end assemblies illustrated and described herein overcome many of the deficiencies of present-day easy opening can ends. Since the vent opening 15 and the dispensing opening 16 are formed by an automatic punch press, it will be readily apparent that the cutting of the end panel 14 and the forming of the openings 15 and 16 is much cleaner than that resulting from the tearing out of a tear strip portion, and therefore, there is less possibility of one becoming cut on the metal surrounding the openings 15 and 16. Furthermore, since the opening forming operation is from the top or upper surface of the end panel downwardly, it will be seen that any raw edge that does result, is downwardly directed as opposed to being upwardly directed. Furthermore, since the removable part of the closure member in each instance is formed entirely of a soft plastic, there is no danger of the closure member ever cutting any one, either in the opening of the can or when the closure member lays discarded. An additional advantage of the closure member is that the wings thereof remain permanently secured to the end panel of the associated can end to permanently function as guards.

Although several preferred embodiments of the invention have been specifically illustrated and described herein, it is to be understood that other minor modifications may be made in the easy opening containers of this disclosure within the spirit and scope of the invention, as de fined by the appended claims.

We claim:

1. An easy opening container end assembly comprising a container end including an end panel and peripheral attaching means, said end panel having a vent opening and a dispensing opening formed therein, and a removable closure member having releaseable plug portions normally sealing said openings, said closure member including an elongated strap having said plug portions depending therefrom, wings along opposite edges of said strap alongside said plug portion for said dispensing opening, and means fixedly securing said wings to said end panel alongside said dispensing opening whereby said wings will remain secured to said end panel after the removal of the remainder of said closure member to form guards against the accidental cutting of ones mouth on the raw edge of said end panel defining said dispensing opening.

2. The container end assembly of claim 1 wherein said closure member is weakened along the lines of connections between said strap and said wing to facilitate the tearing of said strap from said wings.

3. The container end assembly of claim 1 wherein said strap is bonded to said end panel surrounding said openings.

4. The container end assembly of claim 1 wherein said closure member is weakened along the lines of connections between said strap and said wing to facilitate the tearing of said strap from said wings, and there is a tearing starting notch at one end of each weakening line.

5. The container end assembly of claim 1 wherein said vent opening is at the center of said end panel and said dispensing opening is disposed adjacent said peripheral attaching means.

6. The container end assembly of claim 1 wherein said strap has a grip portion and said end panel is recessed generally in alignment with said grip portion.

7. A closure member for a container end comprising an elongated strap having first and second plugs depending therefrom for closing vent and dispensing openings in a container, one of said plugs being disposed adjacent one end of said strap, and removable guard forming wings secured to said strap in lateral projecting relation along opposite sides of said one plug 8. A closure member for a container end comprising an elongated strap having first and second plug-s depending therefrom for closing vent and dispensing openings in a container, one of said plugs being disposed adjacent one end of said strap, and removable guard forming wings secured to said strap along opposite sides of said one plug, said closure member being weakened along the lines of connections between said strap and said wings to facilitate the tearing of said strap from said wings 9. A closure member for a container end comprising an elongated strap having first and second plugs depending therefrom for closing vent and dispensing openings in a container, one of said plugs being disposed adjacent one end of said strap, and removable guard forming wings secured to said strap along opposite sides of said one plug, said closure member being weakened along the lines of connections between said strap and said wings to facilitate the tearing of said strap from said wings, and there is a tearing starting notch at one end of each weakening line.

10. A container end comprising an end panel and peripheral attaching means, said end panel having a dispensing opening therein defined by a raw edge, and flat plastic guard strips bonded to said end panel in parallel relation immediately adjacent to and on opposite sides of said dispensing opening for protecting a users mouth from said raw edge.

-11. A container end comprising an end panel and peripheral attaching means, said end panel having a dispensing opening and a vent opening therein defined by raw edges, and flat plastic guard strips bonded to said end panel in parallel relation immediately adjacent to and on opposite sides of said dispensing opening for protecting a users mouth from said dispensing opening raw edge, said guard strips being disposed parallel to a line extending betweencenters of said dispensing opening and said vent opening.

12. The container end of claim 10 wherein said end panel is formed of metal and said vent opening is formed in a direction away from said guard strips.

13. The container end assembly of claim 1 wherein said plug portions are tubular and terminate in flanges surrounding said vent opening and said dispensing opening at the underside of said end panel.

14. The container end assembly of claim 1 wherein said plug portions are tubular and terminate in flanges surrounding said vent opening and said dispensing opening at the underside of said end panel, and said flanges are tearable from said plug portions in the removal of said closure member.

15. The container end assembly of claim 1 wherein said plug portions are tubular and terminate in flanges surrounding said vent opening and said dispensing opening at the underside of said end panel, said flanges are bonded to said end panel around said vent opening and said dispensing opening to seal raw edges of said end panel defining said openings, and said flanges are tearable from said plug portions in the removal of said closure member.

16. The container end assembly of claim 1 wherein said end panel is formed of metal and said closure member is formed of a plastic that is heat bondable to metal, and said closure member has a plastic-to-metal bond with said end panel.

17. The container end assembly of claim 1 wherein said end panel is formed of metal and at least the under surface of said closure member is formed of a plastic that is heat bondable to metal, and said closure member has a plastic-to-metal bond with said end panel.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,034,007 3/1936 Smith 220-53 2,048,859 7/1936 Grove 22254l X 2,309,385 1/1943 Fleming 22090.6 2,870,935 1/1959 Houghtelling 22053 2,898,015 8/1959 Borah 222541 X 3,182,851 5/1965 Taylor 22053 FOREIGN PATENTS 634,941 9/1936 Germany. 361,097 5/ 1962 Switzerland.

M. HENSON WOOD, JR., Primary Examiner.

LOUIS J. DEMBO, Examiner.

A. N. KNOWLES, Assistant Examiner.

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Referenced by
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Classifications
U.S. Classification222/484, D09/438, 222/541.9, 220/712, 220/906, 222/563, 220/260, 220/359.2
International ClassificationB65D17/50
Cooperative ClassificationB65D17/506, Y10S220/906, B65D17/16
European ClassificationB65D17/50B, B65D17/16