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Publication numberUS3358865 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 19, 1967
Filing dateSep 22, 1965
Priority dateSep 22, 1965
Publication numberUS 3358865 A, US 3358865A, US-A-3358865, US3358865 A, US3358865A
InventorsAndersen Eli Frank
Original AssigneeWest Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Container closure
US 3358865 A
Abstract  available in
Images(2)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Dec. 19, 1967 E. F. ANDERSEN CONTAINER CLOSURE 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Sept. 22, 1965 INVENTORZ ELI FRANK ANDERSEN ATTYS.

1967 I E. F. ANDERSEN 3,358,865

CONTAINER CLOSURE Filed Sept. 22, 1965 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 mvewroai ELI FRANK ANDERSEN ATTYS Patented Dec. 19, 1967 Vania Filed Sept. 22, 1965, Ser. No. 489,184 4 Claims. (Cl. 21538) ABSCT OF THE DISCLOSURE A truly tamperproof container closure for closing the opening in a container and particularly adapted to hold a stopper in place in a pharmaceutical bottle or the like comprising a cup-like cap with an annular top portion and a skirt depending from the outer peripheral edge of the annular portion and a button projecting from the top connected to the annular portion by means of a plurality of fracturable bridge members and a cover member of disc-like form with a central opening. The button projects through the opening in the cover and has a flange holding the cover member in place. The cover member is actuatable relative to the cap thereby to break the fracturable bridge means and expose the stopper covering the opening in the container thereby to permit the contents of the container to be withdrawn.

This invention relates to improvements in tamperproof container closures and to a new improved simplified method for making the same.

Container closures of the type to which the present invention relates are particularly adapted for use on pharmaceutical containers or bottles. At present, closures for certain types of pharmaceutical bottles have a piercible closure member in the form of a disc or stopper made of rubber or like material and a metalic cap to hold the stopper in place. The metallic caps generally include an inner central removable disc portion detachably secured to an outer annular top portion of the cap by fracturable bridge means. In this type of closure, the user removes the central disc portion by inserting a fingernail beneath the disc to pry it upwardly thereby fracturing the bridge connections and exposing the stopper for piercing by a hypodermic syringe to withdraw the contents of the container. This type of closure in addition to being comparatively expensive to make, presents several disadvantages in use. For example, removal of the disc in the normal use requires both hands of the user, one to support the bottle and one to grip the disc adjacent the bridge connections. The proximity of the hand to the bridges presents the possibility of injury on the rough sharp edges of the fractured bridges created on removal of the disc. Additionally, in some instances during assembly of the caps on the bottles, the connecting bridges have been broken in tumbling about due to the instability of the disc and the tendency to tilt or be tilted out of the plane at the top whereby the edge of one cap is caught or twisted under an upturned edge of another resulting in premature breaking of the disc.

In another prior type of container closure, a cover member which overlies the top and disc of the cap is provided which has a depending central portion engaging under the edge of an opening in the disc member. Even though this type of container closure is efiective for the purpose intended, it has been found that special equipment is required to assemble the cover to the cap and that the overall method of assembling the elements of the container closure is somewhat excensive.

With the foregoing in mind, an object of the present invention is to provide a so-called tamperproof cap and cover for pharmaceutical containers or bottles which is extremely simplified in construction and which leads itself to a one-hand removal operation, and wherein there are no sharp or jagged edges which present a risk of injury to the user.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a new and improved simplified method of making a tamperproof closure in a highly economical manner.

One form of container closure in accordance with the present invention comprises an outer cap having an annular top portion with a central opening, a disc member disposed between the top portion of the cap and the stopper and a button secured by fracturable bridge means to the disc and projecting through the opening in the cap. This assembly is extremely economical to make. Moreover, in order to withdraw the contents of the container by means of a syringe, the user merely supports the bottle in one hand and tilts the button with the thumb of the hand whereby the button is severed from the disc at the fracturable bridge connections to expose the stopper through the opening in the top portion of the cap. By this construction, the top portion of the cap overlies the fractured bridges thereby minimizing the possibility of injury to the user. In accordance with another embodiment of the invention, the button is connected to the top portion of the cap by fracturable bridge means and a cover member with a central opening is supported by the button in overlying relation to the top of the cap. With this arrangement, the button is removable to expose the stopper simply by engaging the cover and prying it upwardly relative to the cap.

The foregoing and other objects of the present invention and the various details of the construction and arrangement thereof are hereinafter more fully set forth and described with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a fragmentary side elevational view of a container closure in accordance with the present invention secured in position on a bottle;

FIG. 2 is an enlarged plan view of the closure With a portion of the cover member broken away to more clearly illustrate the construction;

FIG. 3 is an enlarged sectional view taken on lines 33 of FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is a sectional view similar to FIG. 3 showing the removal of the central disc portion;

FIG. 5 is a schematic view illustrating apparatus for carrying out a method of making a tamperproof container closure in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 6 is an enlarged sectional view taken on lines 6-6 of FIG. 5;

FIG. 7 is a side elevational view of a cap as formed by the cap forming machine; and

FIG. 8 is an enlarged fragmentary view taken along lines 8-8 of FIG. 5.

Referring now to the drawings, and particularly to the embodiment of the invention shown in FIGS. 1-4, reference numeral 10 designates generally a container assembly comprising a bottle of conventional form, a portion of which is shown in FIG. 1, and a stopper 12 adapted to fit in the opening in the neck of the bottle. The stopper 12, which may be made of rubber or like material, has a plug portion 14 adapted to fit within the neck 16 of the bottle, a peripheral flange 18 which seats against the lip 20 of the bottle and a central wall portion 22 of thinner cross section so that it may be pierced by the needle of a hypodermic syringe to gain access to the contents of the bottle. While a particular configuration of stopper has been illustrated, the present invention is not concerned with the particular form employed and other types may be used in lieu of the one illustrated.

A cap 24 of generally cup-like form and preferably made of a sheet material such as aluminum serves to hold the stopper in place to seal the contents of the bottle. The cap 24 has an annular top portion 26 defining a central opening of circular shape 28 and an outer peripheral skirt or side wall 30 depending from the outer periphery of the annular top portion 26. The side wall 30 of the cap which prior to assembly to the bottle is straight is adapted to be crimped or spun inwardly at its lower terminal edge to provide a circumferentially extending, inwardly projecting rim portion 32 adapted to engage under a shoulder 34 on the bottle below the lip thereof, thereby to permanently secure the cap to the bottle.

In the present instance, the cap further includes a central projection in the form of a raised button 40 having a generally cylindrical body portion 42 and a circumferentially extending annular disc portion 44 projecting radially from the lower terminal edge of the cylindrical body portion which in turn is connected to the inner edge of the annular top portion 26 in the present instance by means of three equispaced bridge connections 48. A cover member 50 having a central opening 52 engages over the body portion of the button and is held thereto as illustrated in FIG. 4 between the flattened head 54 of the button and the disc portion 44. This cover member 50 is preferably made of a plastic material and is disc-like in form having an inner face 50a conforming to the configuration of the top portion of the cap and an outer depending circumferentially extending edge or lip 56 which engages over the side wall of the cap and snugly embraces the cap in the manner shown in FIG. 3 so that the cap is snugly nested in the under surface of the cover. In this manner the cover member 50 serves as a seal to preclude infiltration of dirt and foreign matter in the area between the cap and stopper or between the stopper and lip of the bottle. Further the cover member overlies the bridge connections or members 48 thereby eliminating the tendency of the removable disc to be tilted or raised during production and transportation prior to assembly to the bottle.

Now with the closure assembled to the bottle as illustnated in FIG. 4, when the user desires to withdraw the contents of the bottle, the bottle is merely supported in the palm of the hand with the tip of the thumb engaging the peripheral downturned lip 56 of the cover member 50. Now, by exerting an upward force on the cover, it is displaced upwardly, the portion thereof diametrically opposed from the area engaged by the thumb of the user serving as the fulcrum of a lever and supporting the cover as the bridges 48 are fractured. It is noted that the raising of the cover as illustrated in FIG. 4 severs the button at the bridge connections to expose the central portion of the stopper. As illustrated in FIG. 4 the fingers of the user are remote from any edges of the annular top portion of the cap. Further, the fingers of the user are remote from the exposed central portion of the stopper thereby minimizing the danger of contaminating the sterile stopper of the bottle.

There is illustrated in FIGS. -8, inclusive, a continuous system for making the container closure described above. In this system caps 71 of the form illustrated in FIG. 7 are made in a cap forming machine generally designated by the numeral 70.

This cap forming machine 70 may simply comprise a conventional die stamping apparatus which forms the cap from sheet material such as aluminum. The caps 71 as best illustrated in FIG. 7 comprise a generally cylindrical circumferentially extending skirt 72, an annular top 74 and an elongated button 76 having a radially extending annular projection 78 which is connected to the annular top 74 by a series of fracturable bridges. These caps are automatically fed from the cap forming machine and are positioned on a series of cap support members 80 which as illustrated are connected in end to end relation and are actuated in an endless path by means of a suitable chain type conveyor 82. Each cap support member as illustrated in FIG. 10 includes a body portion 84 conforming generally to the shape of the top and skirt of the top and a spring biased pin 86 which engages interiorly of the button 76. As the caps 70 are advanced by the conveyor from the cap forming machine, they pass under a cover element feed mechanism generally designated by the numeral 90. This feed mechanism includes a pair of feed and take up rolls 92 and 94 for supplying a strip of plastic material through cooperating die and anvil elements 96 and 98 which stamp outdisc-like elements 100 from the strip 101. The disc-like cover elements 100 are delivered by means of a chute 102 to a hopper 104. The bottom of the hopper has two discharge openings 106 spaced on either side of the bottom thereof and a reciprocating slide element 110 which is actuated back and forth in timed relation with the conveyor whereby disc-like cover elements 100 are positioned on top of the caps on the conveyor. Downstream of the cover element feed station, there is provided a reciprocating press which engages the button on the cap and compresses it to secure the cover element in place on the cap. Thereafter, a heated die element 121 engages the assembled cover and cap elements to from the cover element to the final desired shape as illustrated in the extreme lefthand position of FIG. 5. Thereafter, the completed closure elements are ready for application to a container such as a bottle in the manner described above.

While a particular embodiment of the present invention has been illustrated and described herein and while a particular method of making a container closure in accordance with the present invention has been illustrated, it is, of course, to be understood that changes and modifications may be made therein within the scope of the following claims.

I claim:

1. In a tamperproof container closure for pharmaceutical bottles or the like adapted to hold a stopper in place in the neck of the bottle, a cap of cup-like form having an annular top portion and a skirt depending from the outer peripheral edge of the annular portion, said annular portion terminating in a inner edge defining a opening in the cap, and a button projecting upwardly from the top of the cap and connected at one end to the annular top portion by fracturable bridge means, a cover member of disc-like form having a central opening overlying the annular portion and circumscribing the button, the end of the button opposite said one end having a flange holding the cover member in place, said bridge means being fracturable upon actuation of the cover member to expose the stopper to permit the contents of the container to be withdrawn.

2. In combination with a bottle and a stopper adapted to fit within the neck of the bottle, a tamperproof closure comprising a cap adapted to hold the stopper in place, said cap being of cup-like form and comrising an annular top portion and a skirt depending from the outer peripheral edge of the annular portion, said annular portion terminating in an inner edge defining an opening in the cap, and a button projecting upwardly from the top of the cap and connected at one end to the annular top portion by fracturable bridge means, a cover member of disc-like form having a central opening overlying the annular portion and circumscribing the button, the end of the button opposite said one end having a flange holding the cover member in place, said bridge means being fracturable upon actuation of the cover member to expose the stopper to permit the contents of the container to be withdrawn.

3. In a tamperproof container closure for pharmaceutical bottles or the like adapted to hold a stopper in place in the neck of the bottle, a cap of cup-like form having an annular top portion and a skirt depending from the outer peripheral edge of the annular portion, said annular portion terminating in an inner edge defining an opening in the cap, and a button projecting upwardly from the top of the cap and connected at one end to the annular top portion by a plurality of circumferentially spaced fracturable bridge members, a cover member of disc-like form having a central opening overlying the annular portion and circumscribing the button, the end of the button opposite said one end having a flange holding the cover member in place, said bridge members being fracturable upon actuation of the cover member to expose the stopper to permit the contents of the container to be withdrawn.

4. In combination with a bottle and a stopper adapted to fit Within the neck of the bottle, a tamperproof closure comprising a cap adapted to hold the stopper in place, said cap being of cup-like form and comprising an annular top portion and a skirt depending from the outer peripheral edge of the annular portion, said annular portion terminating in an inner edge defining an opening in the cap, and a button projecting upwardly from the top of the cap and connected at one end to the annular top portion by a plurality of circumferentially spaced fracturable bridge members, a cover member of disc-like form having a central opening overlying the annular portion and circumscribing the button, the end of the button opposite said one end having a flange holding the cover member in place, said bridge member being fracturable upon actuation of the cover member to expose the stopper to permit the contents of the container to be withdrawn.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 651,460 6/ 1900 Higgens 215-42 2,135,386 11/1938 Crabbe 215-38 2,395,149 2/1946 Shaw 215-38 2,891,689 6/1959 Gould 215-38 2,964,206 12/ 1960 Everett 215-9 3,071,274 1/1963 Ravn 215-37 FOREIGN PATENTS 63 8,518 4/1962 Italy.

DONALD F. NORTON, Primary Examiner. JOSEPH R. LECLAIR, Examiner.

Patent Citations
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4227617 *Aug 30, 1979Oct 14, 1980Aluminum Company Of AmericaContainer closure
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Classifications
U.S. Classification215/249, 215/DIG.300, D09/445
International ClassificationB65D51/00
Cooperative ClassificationB65D51/002, Y10S215/03
European ClassificationB65D51/00B