US 3394829 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
July 30, 1968 H. M. PETERSON 3,394,829 7 SAFETY CAP Filed April 10, 1967 Ill [III r FIG 6 m'vEN'roR. HARRIS M. PETERSON AT roe/vans United States Patent 3,394,829 SAFETY CAP Harris M. Peterson, Blooming Prairie, Minn. 55917 Filed Apr. 10, 1967, Ser. No. 629,812 2 Claims. (Cl. 215-9) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A safety cap of the type including two overlying members fixedly engaged for limited axial movement between a first and second position and free relative rotation in said first position. A plurality of L-shaped tongue members extending downwardly from the inner surface of the outer member, and a plurality of mating grooves formed in the upper surface of the inner member so that movement of the outer member into the second position and rotation thereof in a loosening direction locks the plurality of tongues in the plurality of grooves and prevents axial movement of the members into the first position. The plurality of tongues and grooves are further constructed so that they remain locked together during the tightening of the cap on the container until the inner member of the cap is sufficiently tight, at which time the tongues disengage from the grooves and the outer member is allowed to move to the first position.
Background of the invention Field of the invention-Many medicines and pills are extremely dangerous if taken in overdoses, and there is a tendency for children to open the various containers containing medicines and pills and taste them. To prevent children from opening the containers, various child-proof caps are manufactured, which when placed on the container are very difiicult to remove, and generally, require a combination of motions, such as pushing and unthreadmg.
Description of the prior art-In the prior art, many caps have been disclosed of the type having an inner member adapted to threadedly engage the neck portion of a container, and a second member fixedly attached over the inner member to prevent external access thereto. The second member is generally spring biased away from the first member and to provide free relative rotation therebetween. Upon pushing the outer member toward the inner member, the two caps engage in some manner so as to produce rotation of the inner member with the outer member and allow unthreading thereof. Each of these prior art devices is extremely awkward to operate, and in some instances, when the mating portions of the inner and outer members become worn, it becomes impossible to unthread the cap.
Summary of the invention The present invention pertains to a new and improved safety cap for containers having a neck portion externally threaded, and more particularly to a safety cap having projections thereon which lock an outer member to an inner member for easy and positive unthreading after the proper combination of movements has been performed.
The present invention includes an inner member adapted to be threadedly engaged over a neck portion of a container, an outer member engaged in overlying relationship over said inner member for limited axial movement between a first and second position and relative rotational movement in said first position, and a spring positioned between said inner and outer members for biasing said outer member into the first position. Said inner and outer members having tongue and mating groove means associated therewith for locking said outer member in said second position upon movement thereof into said second position and rotation in an unthreading direction. Said tongue and mating groove means further being constructed so that they remain locked during threading movements until the inner cap is sufiiciently tight on the neck portion of the container after which the tongue and mating groove means disengage and the outer member is allowed to move to the first position.
It is an object of the present invention to provide a new and improved safety cap for containers.
It is a further object of the present invention to provide a safety cap which is easier to operate and retains a positive and unthreading action with a minimum of detrimental wear. These and other objects of this invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art upon consideration of the accompanying specification, claims, and drawings.
Brief description of the drawings Referring to the drawings, wherein like characters indi cate like parts throughout the figures:
FIGURE 1 is a view in side elevation of a container having the present novel safety cap mounted thereon;
FIGURE 2 is an enlarged sectional view as seen from the line 2-2 in FIGURE 1;
FIGURE 3 is a view similar to FIGURE 2 illustrating the moving parts in another position;
FIGURE 4 is an enlarged bottom view of the outer member of the cap illustrated in FIGURE 1 removed from the inner member;
FIGURE 5 is an enlarged top view of the spring removed from the inner and outer members;
FIGURE 6 is an enlarged top view of the inner member of the cap illustrated in FIGURE 1;
FIGURE 7 is a sectional view as seen from the lines 7-7 in FIGURE 4;
FIGURE 8 is a view in side elevation of the inner member illustrated in FIGURE 6;
FIGURE 9 is a sectional view as seen from the line 9-9 in FIGURE 2; and
FIGURE 10 is a sectional view as seen from the line 10-10 in FIGURE 3.
Description of the preferred embodiment In the figures, the numeral 10 generally designates a container having a neck portion 11 externally threaded to receive a cap thereon. The container 10 is generally of the bottle type and may be constructed from glass, plastic, or the like. A safety cap generally designated 12 and embodying the present invention is illustrated in FIG- URES 1 through 3 threadedly engaged on the neck portion 11 of the container 10.
The safety cap 12 includes a first or inner member 15, a second or outer member 16, and a spring 17. The inner member 15 is internally threaded to engage the threads on the neck portion 11 of the container 10 and seal the container 10. The outer member 16 is constructed to overlie the inner member 15 and substantially prevent external a-ccess thereto. The spring 17 is constructed to fit between the upper surface of the inner member and the lower inner surface of the outer member 16.
The outer member 16 has a circumferential groove 20 formed in the inner surface thereof adjacent the lower edge, and the inner member 15 has a projection 21 adjacent its lower edge extending radially outwardly and adapted to fit within the groove 20. The projection 21 is formed with the lower edge extending radially outwardly, and the upper edge angling downwardly to converge with the lower edge. The projection 21 is formed in this fashion so that the outer member 16 can be assembled over the inner member 15 easily, but it is very difiicult or impossible to disassemble the members 15 and 16. The groove 20 is axially elongated to allow limited relative axial movement between the inner member 15 and the outer member 16 from a first position in which the projection 21 is butting against the lower wall of the groove 20, as illustrated in FIGURE 2, to a second position in which the upper surface of the inner member 15 is butting against the lower inner surface of the outer member 16, as illustrated in FIGURE 3. The projection 21 and the groove 20 are formed so that the outer member 16 is freely rotatable relative to the inner member 15 when it is in the first position.
The spring 17 is constructed from a disc-shaped piece of springy material, such as metal or the like, and has a plurality of legs 25 each of which is formed by cutting radially inwardly a short distance and arcuately parallel with the outer edge of the disc approximately 60 degrees. The portion of material is then bent away from the plane of the disc to form a leg 25, which is a spring element. Thus, the legs 25 are integrally attached to the disc at one end thereof with the other end extending outwardly from the plane of the disc and forming a compression spring element. When the spring 17 is positioned on top of the inner member 15 and below the outer member 16, it biases the outer member 16 into the first position so that it is freely rotatable relative to the inner member 15.
The outer member 16 has integrally attached to the inner surface thereof a plurality of L-shaped tongues 30. Each of the L-shaped tongues has an arm 31 connected at the free end to the inner surface of the outer member 16, and an arm 32 extending perpendicular to the arm 31 and in the direction of rotation required for threadedly disengaging the inner member 15 from the neck portion 11 of the container 10. The arm 32 of each of the tongues 30 is somewhat enlarged adjacent the free end thereof for purposes which will be explained presently.
The inner surface 15 has a plurality of mating grooves 35 formed in the upper surface thereof and adapted to have each one tongue 30 engaged therein. The grooves 35 have a generally L-shaped cross section, as viewed radially, with a vertical arm 36 and a horizontal arm 37. The vertical arm 36 of each of the grooves 35 has a width, measured along the circumference of the inner member 15, approximately equal to the width of the tongue 30, measured lengthwise along the arm 32 thereof. Thus, the tongue 30 moves freely within the groove 35 in a vertical direction. The horizontal arm 37 is directed in a perpendicular direction from the vertical arm 36 in the direction the inner member 15 must be rotated to be disengaged from the neck portion 11 of the container 10. Each horizontal arm 37 of the grooves 35 is somewhat enlarged adjacent the end thereof so that the enlarged portion of the arm 32 of each tongue 30 fits therein.
In the operation of the safety cap 12, the spring 17 maintains the outer member 16 biased upwardly in the first position so that it is freely rotatable relative to the inner member 15. When a person desires access to the material contained in the container 10, he simply depresses the outer member 16 and rotates the entire cap in a counter clockwise direction, as viewed from the top in FIGURE 1. When the outer member 16 is depressed, the tongues 30 move vertically down the vertical arms 36 of the grooves 35 and upon rotation in a counter clockwise direction, the arms 32 of the tongues 30 engage in the horizontal arms 37 of grooves 35 to maintain the outer member 16 in the second position. Thus, the entire safety cap 12 can be easily removed from the neck portion 11 of the container 10. After removal of the cap 12, the outer member 16 remains locked in the second position relative to the inner member 15. To engage the cap 12 on the neck portion 11 of the container 10, the person simply rethreads it onto the neck portion 11. Because of the enlarged portions of the arm 32 of each tongue 30 and the horizontal arms 37 of the grooves 35, the tongues 30 remain locked in the grooves 35 until the cap 12 is sufliciently tight on the neck portion 11 of the container 10. When the torque required to perform any further tightening of the cap 12 is sufiicient, the arms 32 of the tongues 30 are automatically disengaged from the horizontal arms 37 of the grooves 35 and the entire tongue 30 is rotated into the vertical arm 36 of the grooves 35. At this time, when the person removes the force depressing the outer member 16 against the inner member 15, the outer member 16 will return to the first position under the bias of the spring 17.
Thus, a novel safety cap has been disclosed which is completely safe from children, and at the same time is easy for adults to use. In addition, the cap disclosed has the advantages of positively locking so that threading and unthreading of the cap on a container can be performed even after a long period of usage.
While I have shown and described a specific embodiment of this invention, further modifications and improvements will occur to those skilled in the art. I desire it to be understood, therefore, that this invention is not limited to the particular form shown, and I intend in the appended claims to cover all modifications which do not depart from the spirit and scope of this invention.
1. A safety cap for containers having a neck portion externally threaded comprising:
(a) a first member internally threaded and adapted to be threadedly engaged over the neck portion of a container to seal said container;
(b) a second member positioned in overlying relationship to said first member so as to substantially preclude external access;
(c) means associated with said first and second members cooperating to allow relative rotation therebetween and limited relative axial movement between a first and a second position;
(d) spring means positioned between said first and second members and biasing said first and second members into said first position; and
(e) tongue and mating groove means associated with said first and second members including a plurality of generally L-shaped tongues projecting downwardly from the inner surface of the second member and each being attached at the end of one arm of the tongue with the end of the other arm of each of said tongue extending in the direction of rotation required to disengage said cap from the neck portion of said container and the mating grooves having a mating generally L-shaped cross section with the arms thereof positioned to receive said tongues therein in a locking position upon movement of said second member into said second position and loosening rotation thereof'and adapted to mate when said first and second members are moved axially into said second position, said tongue and mating groove means being constructed to lock and maintain said first and second members in said second position upon rotation of said second member in a diretcion to disengage said first member from the neck portion of said container, and said tongue and mating groove means further constructed to unlock and allow movement of said second member into said first position upon sufficiently tight engagement of said first member on the neck portion of said container during rotation of said first and second members in a direction to engage said first member on the neck portion of said container.
2. A safety cap for containers as set forth in claim 1 wherein the arm extending in the direction of rotation of each of said tongues is somewhat enlarged adjacent the end thereof and the mating groove is enlarged somewhat to receive said enlarged end, said enlargement being constructed to prevent unlocking of each said tongue and mating groove until said first member is sufiiciently tightly engaged over the neck portion of said container.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,867,342 1/1959 Baars et a1. 215-9 2,964,207 12/1960 Towns 215-9 3,063,588 11/1962 McKim 215-9 3,260,393 7/1966 Roberts et al. 215-9 WILLIAM T. DIXSON, JR., Primary Examiner.