US 3338467 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
K. J. ALBERT Aug. 29, 1967 LIP OPENABLE CLOSURE GAP FOR LIQUID CONTAINERS Filed March 7, 1966 INVENTOR.
KENNETH J. ALBERT United States Patent 3,338,467 LIP OPENABLE CLOSURE CAP FOR LIQUID CONTAINERS Kenneth J.'Albert, Phoenix, Ariz., assignor to Portal Designs Corporation, a corporation of California Filed Mar. 7, 1966, Ser. No. 532,178 3 Claims. (Cl. 220-90.4)
This invention relates to a lip openable closure cap for liquid containers.
Heretofore various prior art lip openable closure caps for liquid containers have employed spring loaded cap valves having valve seats disposed closely adjacent to the periphery or drinking edge of such closure caps, whereby liquid emitted from an annular valve seat closely adjacent to the drinkers mouth tends to flow in a broad stream and leak at the corners of the drinkers mouth,
causing spillage of liquid during the drinking thereof.
Conventional prior art lip operable closure caps for liquid containers are, accordingly, substantially inoperable since they generally prevent drinkers from avoiding spillage of the liquid during the operation of drinking it from a container. The drinking peripheral lips of such closure caps are generally broad at the open portions thereof, such that the lips and the corners of a persons mouth are unable properly to seal around the drinking edges of such caps due to the close proximity of the openabtle cap valve seat structure thereof.
Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide a lip operable closure cap for liquid containers which employs a novel combination of mechanism, wherein a lip operable valve is provided with a valve seat disposed a considerable distance from a conventional shaped drinking container rim, such that flow of liquid to the rim, when the valve is open, forms a stream which is within the confines of the drinkers mouth and does not tend to flow beyond the corners of the drinkers mouth.
Another object of'the invention is to provide a lip operable closure cap for liquid containers having a lip operable valve cap disposed .on substantially a common plane withan annular drinking lip structure and having a valve 'seat structure axially spaced a considerable distance from the drinking lip and wherein a liquid flow annulus is disposed between the drinking lip and the valve cap structure to provide a proper flow channel for liquid passing from the valve seat to the drinking lip, such that even though the valve seat may be opened a substantial portion of its periphery, flow from the seat to the drinking lip will narrow down to the drinking confines of the drinkers lips which engage the drinking lip of the cap.
Another object of the invention is to provide a novel lip operable closure cap for liquid containers, wherein a drinking lip body surrounds an annular cap and valve seat structure and wherein a peripheral skirt of the lip operable valve cap is provided with a plurality of notches, such that the periphery of thenotch portion may slide axially in the body structure of the cap to permit the valve to be opened relative to its seat and to at all times, maintain concentric alignment of the valve with the seat; and wherein the lip operable cap structure on a downstream side of the valve seat is provided with a peripherally notched portion to permit outlet flow from the valve seat and to maintain concentricity of the lip operable closure structure relative to the valve seat.
Another object of the invention is to provide a lip operable closure cap for liquid containers which is particularly adapted for use in connection with a great variety of drinking receptacles, including insulated cups, as Well as containers of the non-spillable type.
Other objects and advantages of the invention may be apparent from the following specification, appended claims and accompanying drawings, in which:
3,338,467 Patented Aug. 29, 1967 "ice FIG. 1 is an axial sectional view of a lip operable closure cap for liquid containers, in accordance with the present invention, and shown connected to a substantially conventional drinking container;
FIG. 2 is a plan sectional view taken from the line 2-2 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a plan sectional view taken from the line 33 of FIG. 1; and
FIG. 4 is a plan sectional view taken from the line 4-4 of FIG. 1.
As shown in FIG. 1 of the drawings, a lip operable closure cap 10 of the invention is disposed to enclose a normally upper open end 12 of a conventional liquid containing drinking receptacle 14. This receptacle or container 14 is provided with an enclosed bottom 16 and fitted in the norinally upper open end of the container 14 is an annular skirt 18 of an annular body20 of the closure cap 10. A peripheral rib 22 of the skirt 18 bears frictionally and sealingly against an inner wall 24 of the container 14 The body 20 of the closure cap 10 is provided with an upper open annular drinking edge 26 which isa peripheral edge of similar dimension and form as that of a conventional drinking glass or other drinking receptacles.
This annular edge 26 surrounds a lip operable valve cap 28 having a lip engaging surfaceportion 30 disposed substantially on the same axial plane as the drinking edge or lip 26.
The lip operable cap 30 is provided with a substantially hollow cylindrical portion 32 having an enlarged valve seat ledge 34 carrying an annular valve gasket 36 which engages an inwardly directed valve seat 38 of the cap body 20.
A peripheral skirt 40 of the cap 28 is provided with an annular row of notches 42 to permit the passage of liquid around the skirt 40 and upwardly past the valve seat 38 and gasket 36, when the cap 28 is depressed, as will be hereinafter described in detail.
Surrounding the cap 28 is a notched peripheral portion 44 adapted to provide a concentric guide for the cap 28 internally of the seat structure 38, whereby concentricity and eflicient seating of the cap 28 in the body 20 may be attained so that the valve gasket 36 seats concentrically and properly in relation to the seat 38.
A coil spring 46 is supported on a spider 48 tending to urge the cap 28 in the direction of an arrow A to maintain the gasket 36 in firm closed relationship with the seat 38 normally to provide a closure to retain liquid in the container 14, either for the purpose of thermally insulating the liquid relative to ambient atmosphere or to prevent spillage of the liquid from the container in case it is tipped over.
The spring 46 is seated on the spider 48 which is provided with a plurality of legs 50 directed radially outward from a central hub 52.
Outer end portions 54 of the spider 48 bear upon an inwardly directed ledge 56 of the skirt portion 18 of the body 20. The ends 54 are resiliently deflectable in order to be disengaged from the ledge 56 to disassemble the lip openable closure cap of the invention for cleaning, as desired.
As shown in FIG. 1 of the drawings, there is a considerable distance between the drinking lip 26 and the valve seat 38 and substantial space between an inner wall 58 of the body 20 and an outer wall 60 of the lip openable cap 28. Thus, when a person is drinking from the closurecap of the invention, the lips may be placed about the drinking edge 26 in the conventional manner and a persons upper lip may bear at 30 on the openable cap 28 applying suflicient pressure to compress the spring 46 and to move the gasket 36 away from the annular seat 38 and to allow liquid to pass through the notches 46 and 44 '9 J and into the annular space between the walls 58 and 60. The substantial distance between the edge 26 and the seat 38 permits a stream to flow from the seat 38, said stream may tend to be rather wide at the seat 38, since when the cap 30 is tilted about the seat 38 a substantial portion of the periphery is opened and liquid may tend to flow around a substantial part of the periphery of the seat 38, thus, the liquid passes through the notches 44 and proceeds toward the edge 26. Due to the substantial distance from the seat 38 to the edge 26, the broad stream flowing from the seat 38 narrows down into a substantially narrow stream which is within the confines of a persons mouth and does not tend to overflow the corners of a persons mouth.
Accordingly, it will be appreciated by those skilled in the art that the distance from the seat 38 to the drinking edge 26 may be one-half to three-quarters of an inch or at least a multiple of a dimension which equals the peripheral thickness of a drinking edge 26. This peripheral thickness may be defined by the wall thickness of the edge 26 which may be comparable to the wall thickness of the drinking edge of any substantially conventional drinking receptacle.
It will be obvious to thos skilled in the art that the container 1 4 or drinking receptacle 14 may be of an insulated type and that the body 20 and cap 28 may also be of an insulated structure suitable for keeping hot drinks hot and cold drinks cold. Further, the lip openable closure cap of the present invention may be used in connection with milk drinking vessels for children so that when the vessels are turned over, they do not permit spillage of the milk or other liquids from the containers.
It will also be obvious to those skilled in the art that the spacing of the edge 26 from the lip operable portion 30 of the cap 28 is sufficient to be campatible with the normal open position of a persons mouth drinking at the peripheral edge 26.
The notched portions 40 and 44, as hereinbefore described, maintain concentricity of the valve structure operated by the cap 28 and the body 20 with its valve seat 38.
It will be understood that the spacing of the drinking edge 26 and the seat 38 is critical to provide a sufiicient distance for liquid passing around a substantial peripheral portion of the seat 38 to form'into a stream sufficiently narrow to fall within the confines of a persons mouth between the corners thereof without over running the corners of such persons mouth.
It will be obvious to those skilled in the art that various modifications of the present invention may be resorted to in a manner limited only by a just interpretation of the following claims.
1. In a lip openable closure cap for liquid containers, the combination of: a hollow cylindrical cap body having one end portion adapted to fit an annular open end of a liquid container; said cap body having an opposite open end provided with an annular drinking edge adapted to be engaged by the lips of a person, said drinking edge having a wall thickness approximating that of a conventional drinking receptacle; a lip openable cap mounted concentrically and internally of said cap body, said cap body having an inwardly directed annular valve seat; said lip openable cap having an outwardly directed annular valve portion engageable with said seat; a resilient means mounted in said body and urging said lip openable cap and said valve portion in a direction toward said seat and said drinking edge; said cap having a lip engaging portion adjacent to said drinking edge, whereby a drinkers upper lip may resiliently depress said lip openable cap against said resilient means to open said valve portion relative to said seat; said valve seat and said valve portion being spaced from said drinking edge a considerable distance, said distance equalling at least a multiple of the said wall thickness, said lip openable cap having an external diameter substantially smaller than the interior of said hollow cylindrical body between said valve portion and said drinking edge, thereby providing a substantial annulus for flow of liquid from said valve seat to said drinking edge.
2. The invention, as defined in claim 1, wherein: said lip openable cap is provided with external guide skirt means, said skirt means having peripheral notches to permit flow of liquid around said skirt guide means; said skirt guide means being disposed near said valve seat for maintaining said valve portion concentric with said valve seat.
3. The invention, as defined in claim 1, wherein: an annular gasket is disposed between said seat and said valve portion.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,015,411 1/1962 Smith 220.4 3,208,629 10/1965 Beeson 220-1904 THERON E. CONDON, Primary Examiner. I. B. MARBERT, Assistant Examiner.