US 3306482 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Feb. 28, 1967 A. A. TUURI 3,306,482
SAFETY CLOSURE FOR CONTAINERS Filed Dec. 2, 1965 Z7 24 27 18 v 1Q 4 T "-'\\\\v\ T 5 5 N 17 5 SW30 356 INVENTOR.
ARMAS 1 1 TUUR/ e 2,306,482 United States Patent ()fliice 3,306,482 SAFETY CLOSURE FOR CONTAINERS Armas A. Tuuri, 6040 David Berger, Mount Morris, Mich. 48458 Filed Dec. 2, 1965, Ser. No. 511,103 11 Claims. (Cl. 2159) This invention relates to a safety closure for a container and more particularly to a closure that is particularly adapted for use in conjunction with a container for medicinal or other products which could be injurious to persons who inadvertently or unknowingly ingest them.
Medicinal and other potentially dangerous products conventionally are packaged in bottle-like containers having screw threaded caps which may be removed to gain access to the contents of the container. It frequently occurs that children obtain access to the contents and thereby suffer serious injury or death. Moreover, it is fairly common to read reports of adults who open one container thinking it is another, ingest the contents, and suffer serious illness or death. Various proposals have been advanced heretofore to minimize the inadvertent opening of a container-for such products. For example, copending application, Serial No. 386,978, filed August 3, 1964, now Patent No. 3,245,563, discloses a safety cap construction having relatively rotatable and axially adjustable .parts and in which the parts must be oriented relatively to one another in a predetermined manner before the closure may be removed from the container on which it is mounted. Although such a closure is satisfactory for its intended purpose upon the exercise of a minimum amount of care, it is possible that the parts could remain in such relative positions that, even without design, the closure can be removed from its container.
An object of this invention is to provide a safety closure for a container and wherein the closure has a plurality of relatively movable parts which must be oriented in predetermined relative positions in order to remove the closure from the container, and wherein means is provided for automatically disorienting the parts so as to preclude inadvertent removal of the closure from the container.
Another object of the invention is to provide a closure of the character described and in which the possibility of conditioning the closure for removal from its container inadvertently is highly remote.
A further object of the invention is to provide a safety closure of the kind referred to which readily lends itself to mass production techniques, is economical to manufacture and simple to assemble.
Other objects and advantages of the invention will be pointed out specifically or will become apparent from the following description when it is considered in conjunction with the appended claims and the accompanying drawing, in which:
FIGURE 1 is a fragmentary, sectional view of a closure constructed in accordance with the invention and applied to a container, the closure being illustrated in such condition that it cannot be removed from the container;
FIGURE 2 is a fragmentary, elevational view of the closure with the parts in the position they occupy preparatory to effecting removal of the closure;
FIGURE 3 is a view similar to FIGURE 1, but rotated through 90 degrees and illustrating the parts in condition to eifect removal of the closure from the container;
FIGURE 4 is a transverse sectional view taken on the line 44 of FIGURE 1;
FIGURE 5 is a transverse sectional view taken on the line 5-5 of FIGURE 1 with parts broken away;
FIGURE 6 is a perspective view of certain parts of the closure; and
FIGURE 7 is a perspective view of another part of the closure.
Apparatus constructed in accordance with the invention is adapted for use in conjunction with a metal, glass or so-called plastic bottle or other container 1 having a hollow body 2 terminating at one end in an upstanding, tubular neck 3 that is externally threaded as at 4. The neck is open at its free end so as to permit the contents of the container to be dispensed, but the neck is adapted to be closed by a safety closure designated generally by the reference character 5.
The closure 5 comprises a cup-shaped inner member 6 having a cylindrical wall 7 that is internally threaded as at 8 to correspond to the threads of the neck 3. The member 6 is closed at one end by a wall 9.
Rotatably enclosing the inner member 6 is an intermediate sleeve member 10 having an annular wall 11 provided at one end with an inturned flange 12 which nests with the free end of the wall 7 of the cap member 6. At its other end, the wall 11 of the sleeve includes an outwardly turned flange 13 and, in addition, an inwardly directed flange 14 that is rotatably accommodated in an annular groove 15 formed in the inner cap 6. The arrangement is such that the members 6 and 10 are relatively rotatable, but are incapable of relative axial movement.
The closure 5 also includes an outer, cup-shaped member 16 having an annular wall 17 which is joined at one end to an end wall 18. At its free end, the wall 17 is provided with an inwardly directed flange 19 which is provided with two diametrically opposed recesses or gaps 20and 21 terminating at their ends in radially extending cam edges 22 and 23, respectively. The outer cap member 16 is rotatable relatively to the inner and intermediate members and also is axially movable relatively to the sleeve 10. Inadvertent separation of the outer member 16 from the assembly is precluded by the flanges 13 and 19 on the members 11 and 16, respectively.
The closure construction includes engageable and disengageable clutch means 24 for selectively enabling and disabling removal of the closure from the container. As is best illustrated in FIGURES 1 and 6, the outer surface of the wall 9 of the inner cap member 6 is provided with a plurality of regularly spaced grooves or slots 25, forming part of the clutch means. The upper edge of the sleeve 10 is provided with a corresponding number of correspondingly spaced grooves 26 which may be aligned with the grooves 25 in a single position of relative rotary adjustment of the members 6 and 10. As is best shown in FIGURES l and 4, the inner surface of the wall 18 of the outer cap 16 is provided with a plurality of clutch ribs or projections 27 which extend toward the grooves 25 and 26 and correspond in number and spacing to the number and spacing of the grooves. The arrangement is such that, in'one relative rotary position of the members 6, 10 and 16, the clutch projections 27 may seat in the grooves 25 and 26 so as to preclude relative rotation of the parts of the closure member, thereby enabling rotation of the closure member relatively to the container 1 so as to permit the closure to be assembled with and removed from the container neck 3.
In the operation of the apparatus thus far described, and assuming that the parts 6, and 16 are in the relative positions shown in FIGURES 1, 2 and 5, that is, with the clutch parts 25, 26 and 27 disengaged, the sleeve member 10 and the outer cap member 16 must be rotated relatively to each other and to the inner cap 6 to such positions that the grooves 25 and 26 are aligned with each other and with the ribs 27. To facilitate alignment of the clutch members, the inner cap 6 may be provided with suitable indicia 28 on its outer surface, and the wall 11 of the sleeve 10 may be provided with an opening 29 through which the indicia 28 may be viewed when the members 6 and 10 are so positioned that the grooves 25 and 26 are aligned. To facilitate relative rotation of the members 6 and 10, the length of the skirt 17 of the outer cap 16 and the extent of axial movement of the cap 16 are such as to permit a persons fingers to grasp the member 10 and rotate it. The outer wall 17 of the cap 16 also is provided with indicia 30 and 31 one of which corresponds to the indicia 28 and which, when aligned with the latter, indicates that the projections 27 are in alignment with the grooves 25 and 26. In these positions of the parts, the outer cap 16 may be slid axially downwardly from the position shown in FIGURES l and 2 so as to seat the ribs 27 in the grooves 25 and 26, whereupon the three cap members may rotate in unison and enable removal of the closure from the container.
As long as the parts of the closure 5 are maintained in such positions that the clutch parts are interengaged, the closure may be applied to and removed from the container at will. It is preferred, however, that when the closure is applied to the container, the parts of the closure may be in such positions that the clutch parts are disengaged, thereby necessitating deliberate reengagement of the clutch parts prior to enabling the closure for removal from the container.
Apparatus constructed in accordance with the invention includes means for effecting rotation of the inner member 10 relatively to the inner and outer cap members in response to axial movement of the outer member 16 so as to misalign the clutch parts and preclude their reengagement except upon deliberate realignment of the clutch parts in the manner previously described. This means comprises two or more wedge-shaped cam members 32 fixed to the wall 11 of the sleeve member 10 adjacent the flange 13 and having downwardly converging sides or edges 33 which are adapted to be engaged by the cam edges 23 of the recesses 21 in the flange 19 of the outer cap 16. The placement of the cam members 32 and the flange recesses 21 are such that, when the clutch parts of the three members of the closure 5 are engaged, an edge 23 of each recess 21 will be in position to engage a cam edge 33 as the outer cap member 16 is moved axially in one direction from the position shown in FIGURE 3 to the position shown in FIGURE 1. Engagement of the edge 23 with the associated cam 32 does not occur, however, until the projections 27 have been withdrawn from the grooves 25 and 26. Upon engagement of the edges 23 with the cam surfaces 33, continued axial movement of the member 16 toward the position shown in FIGURE 1 will cause the intermediate sleeve 10 to be rotated relatively to the members 6 and 16, thereby automatically misaligning the grooves 26 with the grooves 25 and the projections 27, as is shown in FIGURE 5. Accordingly, even though the outer cap 16 is free to be moved down wardly, as viewed in FIGURE 1, the misalignment of the grooves 25 and 26 will preclude seating of the ribs 27 in either of the grooves 25 or 26, thereby precluding conjoint rotation of the several parts of the closure. Instead, the outer cap 16 may be freely rotated, as may the intermediate sleeve 11, without the rotation of either member being imparted to the inner cap 6.
The disclosed embodiment is representative of a presently preferred form of the invention, but is intended to be illustrative rather than definitive thereof. The inven tion is defined in the claims.
I claim: 7 A
1. A safety closure for containers comprising first and second relatively rotatable and axially movable members; engageable and disengageable clutch means on said me'm bers operable respectively to disable and enable relative rotation of said members; and means on said members engageable in response to relative axial movement thereof in one direction to effect relative rotationof said members to such positions as to require further relative rotation of said members to engage said clutch means. I
2. The construction set forth in claim 1 wherein said clutch means comprises at least one groove in one of said members and at least one projection on the other of said members.
3. The construction set forth in claim 1 wherein the last mentioned means comprises a first cam member mounted on one of said members and a second cam mem-- ber mounted on the other of said members in the path of axial movement in said one direction of said one of said members.
4. The construction set forth in claim 1 wherein said clutch means comprises a plurality of non-uniformly spaced grooves in one of said members and a correspond ing plurality of correspondingly spaced projections on the other of said members. v p I 5. The construction set forth in claim 4 wherein Said grooves are in said first member and said projections are on said second member. p p
6. A safety closure for containers comprising an inner cap member; an intermediate member rotatably enclos-- ing said inner member; an outer cap member rotatably' enclosing said intermediate member and axially slideable relatively thereto and to said inner member; engageable and disengageable clutch means on said members oper= able respectively to disable and enable relative rotation of said members; and means on said intermediate and outer members operable in response to relative axial movement thereof in one direction to effect relative rota: tion of said intermediate and outer members to preclude engagement of at least the clutch means on said ifiter' mediate and outer members. p
7. The construction set forth in claim 6 wherein said clutch means comprises at least one groove in each of two radially adjacent members and at least one p'rojec= tion on the other of said members, said projection being of such size as to be accommodated in the groove of each of said adjacent members.
8. The construction set forth in claim 6 wherein said clutch means comprises a plurality of non-uniformly spaced grooves in said inner member; a corresponding plurality of correspondingly spaced grooves in said inter mediate member; and a corresponding plurality of cor respondingly spaced projections on said outer member adapted to be accommodated in the grooves of both of said inner and intermediate members.
9. The construction set forth in claim 6 wherein the last mentioned means comprises a first cam member mounted on one of said members and a second cam member mounted on the other of said members in the path of axial movement in said one direction of said one of said members.
10. The construction set forth in claim 9 wherein said first cam member comprises a body on said intermediate member having side edges diverging in said one direc tion and wherein said second cam member comprises an edge of an interrupted flange on said outer member.
11. A safety closure for containers comprising a cylindrical inner cap member having a closure wall at one end and being open at its other end; an annular sleeve member open at both of its ends and rotatably enclosing said cap member; means on at least one of said members for preventing relative axial movement thereof; an outer cylindrical member rotatably enclosing an axially slideable on said sleeve member, said outer member having a closure wall at one end and an annular, inturned flange at its other end, said flange having at least one gap therein; clutch means on each of said members engageable with each other in a single position of relative rotative adjustment of said members to disable relative rotation of said members; and cam means mounted on said sleeve member for engagement by an edge of the gap in said flange in response to movement of said outer member axially in one direction relative to said sleeve member, said cam means and said flange being operable in response to fur- References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 4/1966 Tuuri 215-9 7/1966 Roberts et a1. 215-9 JOSEPH R. LECLAIR, Primary Examiner.
D. F. NORTON, Assistant Examiner.