US 3357592 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Dec. 12, 1967 H. F. KUSSEROW 3,357,592
CLOSURE Filed Aug. 23, 1965 1N VENTOR.
HOWARD F KUSSEROW ATTORNEYS United States Patent Ofliice 3,357,592 Patented Dec. 12, 1967 3,357,592 CLOSURE Howard F. Kusserow, Denver, Colo., assignor to Denver Plastics, Inc., Golden, Col0., a corporation of Colorado Filed Aug. 23, 1965, Ser. No. 481,733 9 Claims. (Cl. 220-27) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE The subject invention relates to a flexible closure for an opening and comprises a circular portion, a pull tab formed integral with the circular portion and extending generally radially thereof, a pair of indented shear lines positioned in the circular portion and forming a continuation of the tab sides, a depending flange portion formed integral with one side of the circular portion and adapted for torsional flexure with respect thereto, and a depending rib portion formed integral with said one side of the circular portion and being positioned on the peripheral side of said flange portion. A part of the flange portion, upon insertion thereof within an opening, snugly embraces a portion of a peripheral surface disposed within an opening to hold the rib portion firmly in contamination preventing, sealing engagement with a surface surrounding the opening. The flange portion is formed either generally divergently or generally convergently in a direction toward the circular portion. The flange portion preferably forms an included angle with the circular portion of approximately 88. The pull tab has a pair of integrally formed, parallel transverse bars positioned on the outer edge thereof to facilitate a firm grasping of the tab.
This invention relates generally to closures and more particularly to an improved, flexible contamination preventing closure for openings, such as those formed in beer and beverage kegs, which can be easily andquickly removed.
In the brewing of beer and related businesses, various seals or caps have been developed to form a cover for the tap holes or valve openings formed in the kegs or containers in which the beverage is stored. However, these have not been generally satisfactory in that some of the prior art covers cannot be made to fit properly and the beverage within the keg runs the risk of becoming contaminated. Further, the prior art closures did not provide and could not be used with adequate assurance that completely sanitary conditions could be maintained even though sterilization procedures were observed and employed.
Accordingly, it is an object of this invention to provide a tap valve opening closure which has a substantially permanent nature once installed and which is easily and quickly removed by hand.
Another object of this invention is to provide a suitable beverage keg valve closure or cover having a tear away portion thus rendering the closure capable of being easily removed by hand while at the same time insuring against reuse thereof and any possible contamination as a consequence.
Another object of this invention is to provide a cover which will shield and protect beverage keg valve openings from undesirable dirt, dust and other unsanitary accumulations.
Another object of this invention is to provide a nonreusable beverage keg valve cover thus insuring completely sanitary conditions surrounding the employment thereof.
Another object of this invention is to provide a closure having a tear away tab portion and a gripping means in combination with an integrally formed sealing means.
Another object of this invention is to provide a closure utilizing torsionally flexible means for effecting a firm mounting of the closure with respect to an opening.
Other objects, features and advantages will be apparent from the following detailed description.
The foregoing and related objects are achieved generally by providing a circular closure having a pull tab depending therefrom. Parallel indentations extending inwardly into the circular cover area serve as shear lines. A torsionally flexible flange involving two short and narrow semicircular structures extends vertically downwardly from the bottom surface of the cover. These structures are separated by two gaps, one of which is adjacent the tab and the other being directly opposed on the opposite periphery of the cover. The semicircular flange structures are adaptedupon torsional flexure thereof to engage snugly a peripheral surface disposed within the valve opening. The pull tab and the parallel indentations extending into the under surface of the cover enable the same to be easily torn away by merely grasping the tab with the fingers and pulling upwardly thereof. It is to be noted that although the closure or cover of this invention is preferably manufactured from a flexible non-toxic material, it is not limited thereto and other suitable non-toxic substances may be employed if desired.
For a better understanding of the present invention reference is had to the following description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings wherein:
FIGURE 1 is an elevational view, partially cut away, showing the use of a closure as contemplated by this invention;
FIGURE 2 is a cross-sectional view showing a preferred embodiment of a closure or cover of this invention positioned within an opening;
FIGURE 3 is a bottom plan view of a cover c0n structed in accordance with this invention showing the torsionally flexible flanges, indented tear lines, pull tab and circular portion;
FIGURE 4 is a plan view of a cover constructed in accordance with this invention showing the circular portion and tab attched thereto;
FIGURE 5 is a vertical sectional View taken along line 5-5 of FIGURE 4;
FIGURE 6 is a view similar to FIGURE 3 showing another embodiment of a closure constructed in accordance with this invention;
FIGURE 7 is a sectional view of a portion of another embodiment of a closure construction in accordance with this invention and mounted within an opening formed in a container;
FIGURE 8 is a sectional view showing a closure constructed in accordance with this invention mounted across the opening formed in a barrel or keg; and
FIGURE 9 is a sectional view similar to that shown in FIGURE 8 showing a closure constructed in accordance with this invention mounted across a different type of opening formed in a barrel or keg.
Referring now to the drawings and in particular to FIG- URE 1, a beer or beverage barrel or keg 12 is shown having a pair of removable closures or covers 10 mounted thereon. The lower cover 10 is mounted within an opening in which subsequently will be mounted a tap or drain valve (not shown). The upper cover 10 is mounted within an opening which may be used to admit air within the barrel or keg during the removal of the contents thereof.
Referring now to the drawings and in particular FIG- URES 3, 4, and 5 the removable closure or cover 10 comprises a central circular portion 16 and a pull tab 14 extending radially outwardly from the periphery thereof. Two parallel engraved lines or recesses 2-2 and 24 extend inwardly into the central portion 16 on a line with the edges of the tab 14. The tab 14 contains two parallel transverse bars 18 and 20 near the outer end thereof. Their purpose is to permit a better graps of the tab whenever removal of the cover 10 from the container is desired. Thus, as stated previously, it is apparent that by grasping the tab 14 and pulling same upwardly the cover will tear along the engraved lines thereby effecting a suitable removal thereof from the container.
Extending vertically downwardly from the central circular cover portion 16 a short distance from the periphery thereof is the narrow, torsionally flexible, circular flange 26. It comprises two narrow semicircular elements 28 and 30. Each element has smooth outer and inner sides but the bottom edge thereof has a thickened bulge extending radially inwardly to enhance the strength of the elements thereby insuring that a snug fit is obtained whenever the elements 28 and are mounted across or inserted into an opening. Additionally, the outer peripheral surface portions 28A and 30A of elements 28 and 30 are formed slightly convergent in a downwardly direction as viewed in FIGURE 5, by an amount varying between one and three degrees from the vertical although a convergence from the vertical of approximately two degrees is preferred. The purpose for this convergence will be later explained. The elements 28 and 30 are separated by two gaps therebetween. One gap is positioned between the parallel engraved shear linesadjacent the pull tab 14 and the other gap is located diametrically opposed thereto lying between the said shear lines on the opposite side of the central circular portion 16.
A rib 32 integral with the bottom surface of the circular center portion 16 is located peripheral to or radially outwardly of the circular flange member 26. It runs in a substantially continuous circle concentrically around the lower edge of the circular center portion 16 and, as stated, peripheral to the flange 26. The rib 32 contains two small gaps both adjacent the sides of the pull tab 14, one for each of the parallel engraved shear lines. The purpose of the gaps in the flange 26 and in the rib 32 is to enable the shear lines 22 and 24 to continue into the center portion 16 in a continuous and uninterrupted manner insuring that the cover 10 can be easily removed via the tearing action previously described. Thus, the portions 28A and 30A of the flange elements 28 and 30, when mounted across or inserted into the opening or across the bung bushing opening, will snugly cling thereto while the rib 32 at the same time contacts the container outer wall thereby cooperating with the flange elements to provide a completely satisfactory cover for the aforesaid valve or tap opening protecting the same against any undesirable dirt and other unsanitary accumulations. It will be apparent that the rib 32 as constructed functions somewhat in the same manner as an O-ring or seal. Since the present cover is removed by lifting the tab and tearing along the shear lines in the above described manner, it cannot be reused; thus, the appropriate and necessary precautions for sanitation are achieved through the use of a closure or cover constructed as described.
FIGURE 2 shows the closure or cover 10 inserted within an opening 34 formed in a body 35. The inner periphery of opening 34 is threaded as shown to receive a threaded plug 36 as shown. Plug 36 has a recess 38 suitably formed to receive the male portion of a key or the like thereby enabling the application of a torque to plug 36. The upper portion of plug 36 has a peripheral surface 46 of reduced diameter as shown. Upon mounting the closure or cover 10 within said opening 34, the elements 28 and 30 of flange 26 are torsionally flexed away from each other thereby resulting in the thickened bulge portions 28A and 30A thereof being forced in snug engagement with peripheral surface 40 of plug 36. Thus, the thickened bulge portions 28A and 30A of elements 28 and 30, in this torsionally flexed position, functions somewhat in the same manner as a garter thereby firmly securing the closure or cover 10 with respect to the plug 36 and the outer surface 42 of barrel 12. Since the closure or cover 10 is suitably positioned within the opening 34, the rib 32 is disposed in sealing contact with the outer surface 42 of body 35. Thus, the slightly convergently formed elements 28 and 30 cooperate with the rib 32 to effect a good seal between opening 34 and the surrounding environment thereby greatly minimizing or eliminating entirely the chance of opening 34 from becoming contaminated. The torsionally flexible elements 28 and 30 of flange 26 depend from the lower surface of cover 10 forming an included angle with said lower surface between 87 to 89 degrees and preferably approximately 88 degrees.
FIGURE 6 is another embodiment of a closure or cover constructed in accordance with this invention and is similar to that shown in FIGURE 3 with the exception that the elements 28 and 30 of the flange 26 as shown in FIGURE 3 are co-joined as depicted in FIGURE 6. As shown in FIGURE 6, the cover functions substantially in the same manner as described above with respect to the cover shown in FIGURE 3.
FIGURE 7 is a view somewhat similar to that shown in FIGURE 2 and showing another embodiment of a closure 44 constructed in accordance with this invention. Closure 44 differs from closure 10 of FIGURE 2 in that the thickened bulge portion 46A of element 46 of torsionally flexible flange 50 extends radially outwardly from said element 46 rather than radially inwardly, and the element 46 is adapted to apply a gripping force to surface portion formed in said opening 52 when torsionally flexed in the direction opposite to that which elements 28 and 30 of closure 10 are flexed.
FIGURE 8 is a partial view, in cross section, of a barrel 54, an opening 56 formed therein and a closure 10 mounted across said opening. The opening 56 has an annular flange 58 extending upwardly from surface 60 of barrel S4. A threaded plug 62 is mounted within the upper portion of said opening 56. Plug 62 has tool receiving recesses 64 for the purpose of applying torque to said plug 62. A pair of members 66 are securely mounted within the opening 56 beneath plug 62 to provide a recess or key way 68 therebetwecn as shown. The upper surface of flange 58 and cover 10 preferably do not extend above the upper portion 70 of barrel 54.
FIGURE 9 shows, in cross section, a partial view of a barrel 72 having an opening 74 formed therein across which is mounted a cover 10. The opening 74 is surrounded by an annular recess 76 formed in surface 78 of the barrel 72. The upper portion of the opening 74 is surrounded by a flange 80. The upper portion of said flange 80 is, as shown, substantially flush with surface 78 of the barrel 72.
An examination of FIGURES 8 and 9 reveals that a cover 10 would be entirely adequate for the applications shown even though the rib 32 were entirely omitted. However, for the applications shown in FIGURES 2 and 7, the use of rib 32 is quite important.
It is well known to those skilled in the art that knockout devices must be used to eject from a mold an item formed from plastic material. Such knock-out devices or knock-out bars must be properly tensioned in order to avoid marring or indenting the surface of the mold plastic item. It has been found, however, that a knock-out bar which has been purposely over tenisoned may be used during the manufacture of a closure or a cover constructed in accordance with this invention while forming at the same time the shear lines 22 and 24. Thus, in one operation it has been found possible to manufacture an improved closure or cover while at the same time eliminating a manufacturing problem formerly encountered through the use of improperly tensioned knock-out bars. Consequently, a closure or cover may be constructed incorporating this improved feature but without adding in any way to the expense or cost of manufacture. Moreover, it is important to note that although the engraved or shear lines 22 and 24 produced on the lower surface of the center circular portion 16 by the over tensioned knock-out bars have produced a weakened area for tearing or removal purposes, such lines do not weaken the strength of the complete cover '10 or in any way diminish the required strength and performance thereof.
From the foregoing, it will be readily apparent that the invention described herein provides an improved and unique closure which is not only inexpensive to manufacture but also greatly decreases the contamination prob lems theretofore encountered through the use of prior art closures or covers and that the possibility against contamination occurring is further enhanced as a result of the closure being rendered non-usable by the tearing thereof following the first use thereof.
Although the invention has been described with a certain degree of particularity, it is understood that this invention is not limited to the exact embodiments of the device shown and described, which is merely by way of illustration and not apparent to those skilled in the art, and it is therefore intended that the appended claims cover all such changes and modifications. Further, it will be readily appreciated that suitable markings such as identification indicia may be imprinted on the outer surface of a closure constructed in accordance with this invention.
What is claimed is:
1. A flexible closure for an opening comprising a circular portion, a pull tab formed integral with said circular portion and extending generally radially thereof, a pair of indented shear lines positioned in the circular portion and forming a continuation of the tab sides, said shear lines being adapted to be easily torn upon application of a pulling force to the pull tab thereby resulting in the removal of the closure from an opening, a depending flange portion formed integral with one side of said circular portion and adapted for torsional flexure with respect thereto, a depending rib portion formed in- -tegral with said one side of said circular portion and being positioned on the peripheral side of said flange portion, a part of said flange portion, upon insertion thereof within an opening, snugly embracing a portion of a peripheral surface disposed Within an opening to hold said rib portion firmly in contamination preventing, sealing engagement with a surface surrounding an opening.
2. A flexible closure as described in claim 1 in which said flange portion is formed generally divergently in a direction toward said circular portion.
3. A flexible closure as described in claim 1 in which said flange portion is formed generally convergently in a direction toward said circular portion.
4. A flexible closure as described in claim 1 in which said flange portion forms an included angle with said circular portion of approximately 88 degrees.
5. A flexible closure as described in claim 4 in which said pull tab has two integral parallel transverse bars positioned on the outer end thereof thereby facilitating a firm grasping of said tab.
6. A flexible closure for an opening comprising a circular portion; a pull tab formed integral with said circular portion and extending generally radially thereof; a pair of parallel indented shear lines positioned in the circular portion and forming a continuation of the pull tab sides, a circular flange portion formed integral with said circular portion and adapted for torsional flexure with respect thereto, said flange portion being positioned slightly inwardly from the periphery of said circular portion and having two gaps formed therein, one of said gaps being disposed between the parallel shear lines adjacent the pull tab and the other gap being formed between the shear lines on the opposite side of said circular portion, said flange portion depending from one side of said circular portion, and a rib formed integral with said circular portion in a concentric manner on the peripheral side of said flange portion and depending from said one side of said circular portion, said rib having small gaps adjacent the pull tab where the shear lines form a continuation of the tab sides thereby permitting said shear lines to continue into the central circular portion in an uninterrupted manner, said flange portion, upon insertion within an opening, snugly embracing a portion of a peripheral surface disposed within an opening to hold said rib portion in contamination preventing, sealing engagement with a surface surrounding the opening.
7. A flexible closure as described in claim 6 in which said flange portion is formed divergently in a direction toward said circular portion and has a part thereof formed adjacent the outer extending portion thereof and extending generally radially inwardly thereof.
8. A flexible closure as described in claim 7 in which said flange portion forms an included angle of approximately 88 degrees with said circular portion.
9. A flexible closure as described in claim 8 in which said pull tab has two integral parallel transverse bars positioned at the outer end thereof to facilitate a firm grasping of said pull tab.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 4/1958 Epps 2l7-114 7/1964 Krieps et a1. 2-15-46