US 3379327 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
April 1968 L. .1. LINK ETAL CLOSURE AND CONTAINER COMBINATION Filed Dec. 27, 1965 FIG.2
INVENTORS LEO J Ll/VK CARL H BOETCKER 0M.
United States Patent 3,379,327 CLOSURE AND CONTAINER COMBINATION Leo J. Link, Erie, and Carl H. Boetcker, Lake City, Pa., assignors to American Sterilizer Company, Erie, Pa., a corporation of Pennsylvania Filed Dec. 27, 1965, Ser. No. 516,284 3 Claims. (Cl. 215-40) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A venting sterilization closure having a caplike shape, an annular sealing plug extending into the mouth of the container, a wedge-shaped projection engaging the lip of the container, a shoulder supported by a flange extending from the lower end wall of the closure and a notch in said shoulder to allow venting during sterilization.
This invention relates generally to fluid handling and, more particularly, to container and closure means for sterilizing, storing, and dispensing medical, surgical, and the like fluids for laboratory, hospital and similar use.
The invention provides a simple, convenient and economical system having only one reusable part on the container. The closure is intended for a single use only. The container and one piece closure are self-venting during sterilization and self-sealing at the end of the sterilization cycle. The system affords an easy check on the continuous sterility of the container fluid since the closure will be indented so long as a negative pressure is maintained in the container. The closure and container constitute an improvement over Patent No. 3,047,177.
It is, accordingly, an object of the present invention to provide an improved closure.
Another object of the invention is to provide an improved closure in combination with a flask or container.
Yet another object of the invention is to provide a closure having an improved sealing and venting structure thereon.
With the above and other objects in view, the present invention consists of the combination and arrangement of parts hereinafter more fully described, illustrated in the accompanying drawing and more particularly pointed out in the appended claims, it being understood that changes may be made in the form, size, proportions, and minor details of construction without departing from the spirit or sacrificing any of the advantages of the invention.
In the drawing:
FIG. 1 is a top of a closure according to the invention; and
FIG. 2 is a cross sectional view taken on line 2--2 of FIG. 1 and showing a portion of the flask.
Now with more particular reference to the drawing, the container of the invention comprises a flask 30 shown in phantom lines which may be, for example, any of the well known glass flasks such as used in laboratories, hospitals, and the like. The flask has a neck which terminates at its upper end in a bead 31 with a flattened rim portion 37 on its uppermost part in the bead 31.
The closure of the invention comprises a rubber or other elastic cover or stopper indicated generally at and made of an integral, one piece construction. The closure 10 is formed to a general cup shape and, more particularly, with a lateral or end wall 11 having integrally dependent therefrom a generally vertical side wall 12. The end wall has a central plug or waist 13 integrally attached to it and extending downwardly generally concentric with the inside of the side wall 12. The plug 13 projects downwardly into the mouth of the flask 30. Thus, when a presice sure within the flask less than atmospheric exists, the pressure on the outside of the end wall 11 will cause it to move inwardly indicating a negative pressure. This will deflect the plug 13 outward, thereby forming sealing engagement between its outside periphery and the inside of the mouth of the flask.
The side wall 12 has an inwardly extending flange 33, which terminates in an upwardly facing shoulder 14 which underlies the bead 31 of the flask. A notch 22 is formed at one side in the flange 33 and extends nearly to its lower edge. This allows vapor to vent from inside the flask when the pressure therein exceeds a certain value.
An annular head 24 that is wedge shaped in cross section extends completely around the plug 13 generally concentric to the plug. It extends downwardly from the inside of the end wall 11 between the plug 13 and the side wall 12 and engages the flattened rim 37 of the flask, thereby sealing the flask against leakage. A flat surface 16 is disposed outside the bead 24 and a flat surface 15 between the bead and plug 13. When the pressure inside the flask is lower than atmospheric, this bead 24 being wedge shaped, forms an excellent seal with the rim 37. The bead 24 is spaced outwardly a distance indicated at 23 from the plug 13. The lower part of the plug 13 is hollowed out at 18 so that it defines an annular member when the central part 17 of it is more flexible than the annular part. Thus, when the central part is drawn inward by the pressure outside the flask, the peripheral part of the plug 13 engages the inside of the flask neck securely sealing it.
A handle 19 is integrally attached to one side of the side wall 12 and it has a depression 20 in it which can receive the end of an operators finger to thereby facilitate removal of the cap.
The cap disclosed may be made of pure gum rubber. It is capable of venting steam in a sterilization process which is generally carried out at a temperature in the range of 250 F. The steam can vent during the slow exhaust cycle and until the completion of the sterilization cycle and the chamber temperature reaches 211 F.
The closure hermetically seals at the end of the exhaust cycle and when the steam cools to room temperature the top surface of the cap at that time dishes inward which indicates a negative pressure inside the flask. On normal storage, the flasks will remain sealed until the closure has been removed physically or, at least for an extended period of time. The tab or handle permits easy removal from the flask without contaminating the flask which would occur if a person inserted his fingernail under the rim of the cap.
The foregoing specification sets forth the invention in its preferred practical forms but the structure shown is capable of modification within a range of equivalents without departing from the invention which is to be understood is broadly novel as is commensurate with the appended claims.
The embodiments of the inventionin which an exclusive property or privilege is claimed are defined as follows:
1. A one piece elastic cap having an end wall, a side wall depending from said end wall at the circumference of said end wall and adapted to be telescoped over a lip and bead of a container; an annular plug depending fromsaid end wall adapted to extend into the open mouth of said container and defining a flat thin portion of said end wall; an annular wedge-shaped projection depending from said end wall adapted to engage said lip of said container; said side wall terminating in a continuous annular flange having a shoulder formed on said flange adapted to engage said bead; said shoulder having a single notch extending to said side wall permitting escape of pressure during sterilization; said end wall becoming depressed as pressure inside said container approaches less than atmospheric;
said depression of said end Wall causing said annular plug to move against said mouth of said container in sealing engagement with said mouth; said movement of said end Wall causing said annular wedge-shaped projection to move against said lip of said container in sealing engagement with said lip; said depression of said end wall indicating continuance of sterilized condition.
2. The cap of claim 1 wherein a tab handle is attached to said side wall and extends outwardly therefrom.
3. The cap of claim 1 in combination with a container, said container having an open mouth terminating in a transverse rim, said annular projection engaging said rim.
4 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 5/1926 Simmons 21541 7/1962 Poitras et a1 215-56 8/1964 Hayes 215-41 X 4/1966 Exton 21541 FOREIGN PATENTS 3/1963 Australia.
DONALD F. NORTON, Primaiy Examiner.
JOSEPH R. LECLAIR, Examiner.