US 3410436 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
G. J. Foss ET AL 3,410,436
CLOSURE CAP WITH VENTING MEANS Nov. 12, 1968,
Filed Sept. 23, 1966 INVENTORS GEOQGE d. Foss I e------ BY O W/fL 0 Hero y A rv-o/ /vey United States Patent Office 3,410,436 Patented Nov. 12, 1968 3,410,436 CLOSURE CAP WITH VENTING MEANS George J. Foss and Daniel D. Acton, Lancaster, Ohio,
assignors to Anchor Hocking Glass Corporation, Lan- I caster, Ohio, a corporation of Delaware Filed Sept. 23, 1966, Ser. No. 588,230 Claims. (Cl. 215-40) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A closure cap provided with a vent means in its cover which may be opened by the finger pressure of a user to permita controlled release of the pressure within the container and which will automatically close and reseal the package upon release of the venting pressure. The vent comprises a scoreline, perforation or similar weakened portion in the resilient cover material of the cap and a gasket positioned on the underside of the cover beneath the weakened portion. The application of finger pressure to the weakened portion causes its edge to rupture the sealing gasket material thereby connecting the interior of the Package with the atmosphere and releasing the pressure therein. Upon release of the finger pressure the resilience of the cover material will return the edge of the weakened portion into substantial alignment with the surrounding cover material and the severed gasket material comes together to reseal the package.
The present invention relates to a closure cap and more particularly to an improved closure cap provided with a vent which permits a controlled reduction of the container pressure by the user and a subsequent automatic closing of the vent prior to the removal of the closure from a container.
When certain products are packed at or close to sealevel, it has been found that the opening of the packages in elevated areas results in an explosion of the packaged product as the closure cap is removed. This is particularly true of powdered products such as coffee, dehydrated beverages and the like. The unsuspecting housewife upon opening a jar of powdered coifee is often sprayed with the product by the release of pressure when the closure cap is removed. This effect results from a relative pressure ditlerential where the pressure inside the container and within the product is appreciably greater than the particular outside pressure as may occur at elevated points.
The present invention provides means for venting the cap to reduce the pressure in the container to the level of the ambient atmosphere before removing the cap from the container. Conversely, at times the cap may tend to be locked on by a vacuum within the container in which case the vent may be used to admit air into the container to help in the removal of the cap.
The present invention overcomes the problem resulting from this differential pressure effect by providing an improved venting means in the closure cap permitting the consumer to prevent this explosing or locking by effecting a controlled pressure equalization by operating the venting means on the cap before its removal. The venting means includes an automatic rescaling feature for pre venting spoilage of the packaged product in the event of a premature or accidental opening of the vent during shipment or storage and during the consumption of the product.
Accordingly, an object of the present invention is to provide an improved closure having a venting means for permitting the equalization of the pressure inside the package with that on the outside.
Another object of the present invention is to provide an improved closure having a venting means which automatically reseals itself after use to prevent spoilage of the contents of the package.
Another object of the present invention is to provide an improved closure having a venting means which may be operated and resealed by finger pressure on the closure cover.
Another object of the present invention is to provide an improved closure having a venting means which if accidentally opened will automatically reseal to prevent spoilage of the contents of the package.
Another object of the present invention is to provide an improved closure having a venting means which permits venting of the interior of the container and rescaling without disturbing the main seal until opening for use.
Another object of the present invention is the provision of venting means which may be incorporated in an otherwise substantially conventional cap without appreciably varying the existing design.
A further object of the present invention is the provision of venting means which may be incorporated in a conventional cap without requiring additional parts.
Other and further objects of the invention will be obvious upon an understanding of the illustrative embodiment about to be described, or will be indicated in the appended claims, and various advantages not referred to herein will ocur to one skilled in the art upon employment of the invention in practice.
A preferred embodiment of the invention has been chosen for purposes of illustration and description and is shown in the accompanying drawings, forming a part of the specification, wherein:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view showing a preferred embodiment of the improved closure cap;
FIG. 2 is a sectional view of the improved closure cap applied to a container;
FIG. 3 is an enlarged sectional view of a portion of the closure cap illustrating the venting means prior to the application of venting pressure;
FIG. 4 is an enlarged sectional view of a portion of the closure cap as in FIG. 3 illustrating the operation of the venting means;
FIG. 5 is an enlarged sectional view of a portion of the closure cap illustrating the vent in its rescaled condition after removal of the venting force;
FIG. 6 is a plan view of a preferred embodiment of the vent flexing portion; and
FIGS. 7 through 9 are plan views of additional embodiments of the flexing portions.
Referring more particularly to FIGS. 1 and 2 of the drawings, the closure cap 1 comprises a cover 2 and a skirt 3 depending therefrom. The skirt 2 is provided at its lower edge 4 with a plurality of locking lugs 5 adapted to cooperate with suitable threads 6 on a container 7 to form a sealed package 8 .as shown in FIG. 2. A recessed stacking panel 9 may be formed on the cover 2 which accommodates the bottom of another container placed thereon for display. It will be understood, of course, that while for convenience the present invention is shown in connection with a closure cap having locking lugs and a stacking panel it is within the scope of the present invention to use closure caps which have other container engaging means and which do not have the stacking panels.
A sealing gasket 10 is provided on the underside of the cover 2 which engages the upper rim 11 of the container 7 to effect an hermetic sealing of the package 8. The preferred gasket is a so-called flowed-in type gasket formed of a suitable gasket material, such as plastisol or the like, which is flowed into the closure 1 and is then heated or curved in place so that it adheres to the cover 2 and the skirt 3. It will be understood that other types of gaskets may be used which may be adhered to the cover 2 and which may be perforated for venting as will be more a parent from the following description.
A venting means 12 is formed in the cover 2 by weakening its surface through a deep score, or a cut. This weakened or cut portion is illustrated (in FIGS. 1 and 6) as a slit 13 which is arcuate in shape and which extends for about 140. However, it may take the form of a greater or lesser are or an elongated line or other configuration which will permit its edge to be depressed below the plane of the cover 2 upon the application of pressure thereto. It will be noted that the slit 13 is formed near the edge of the cap 1 and above the sealing gasket 10. This arrangement of the gasket 10 and the slit 13 will prevent any leakage through the slit 13 when the container 7 is originally sealed and will provide for the operation of the venting and rescaling feature as will be more fully described hereinafter.
A flexing panel may be formed in the cover 2 which can be flexed independently of the cover 2 by the application of a comparatively light pressure thereon as by pressing with the finger. This panel in the preferred embodiment is shown in the form of a raised button 14 on the cover 2 and placed near the edge of the cover 2 with its outer edge located at the slit 13.
Although the flexing panel 14 has been described as a circular button and the weakened line as a slit other forms may be used. For example, other embodiments are illustrated in FIGS. 7, 8 and 9 which respectively show triangular panels 15 and 16 and the oval panel 17 with respective peripheral weakened lines being a slit 18, a deep score 19, and perforations 20. All of these panels provide a ready indication of the location of the venting means on the cover and increase the flexing action of that portion of the cover.
In operation, as illustrated in FIG. 4, the consumer prior to removing the cap 1 from the container 7 presses down on the flexing panel 14. The weakened edge of the button 14 formed by the cut 13 will be depressed below the level of the cover 2. This sharp edge 21 will act as a knife in cleanly servering the gasket 10 beneath it and thereby creating a limited venting aperture 22 in the sealing gasket. A controlled equalization of the pressure inside the container with that of the ambient atmosphere is thus achieved. The cap 1 may then be removed without a sudden pressure release. When the finger pressure is removed the flexing action of the button 14 will close the aperture 22 in gasket 10 and the gasket tends to reseal its severed portion as shown in FIG. 5 thus avoiding spoilage of the product during storage.
It will then be seen that the present invention provides an improved closure cap with a venting means which permits the container pressure to be released by the package user and which automatically reseals the container when the venting pressure is removed. This venting means may be readily provided on closure caps or otherwise conventional design without the addition of parts and without requiring complex additional manufacturing steps.
As various changes may be made in the form, construction and arrangement of the parts herein without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention and without sacrificing any of its advantages, it is to be understood that all matter herein is to be interpreted as illustrative and not in a limiting sense.
Having thus described our invention, we claim:
1. A closure cap comprising a cover portion and a depending skirt, venting means in said cover portion, means adhered to the underside of said cover portion for sealing the closure to a container, .and said sealing means being positioned to be punctured by the opening of said venting means and for acting to close the venting means to reseal the container upon the closing of said venting means.
2. A closure cap as claimed in claim 1 in which said venting means comprises a weakened part in said cover portion.
3. A closure cap as claimed in claim 1 in which said venting means comprises a perforation in said cover portion.
4. A closure cap as claimed in claim 1 in which said venting means comprises a flexing panel with a slit extending along part of its edge.
5. A closure cap as claimed in claim 1 in which said sealing means is in the form of a gasket of the flowed-in type.
6. A closure cap as claimed in claim 1 in which said sealing means is in the form of .a plastisol gasket.
7. In a closure cap having a cover and a depending skirt and including venting means the improvement which com-prises a portion of said cover capable of being depressed below the level of the surrounding portion, sealing means on the underside of said cover beneath said depressible portion and capable of being punctured by the depression of said portion, said depressible portion being of a resilient material which will yield to finger pressure and flex to return substantially to its original position upon release of said pressure.
8. A closure cap as claimed in claim 7 wherein said depressible portion comprises an area in said cover thinner than the surrounding portion.
9. A closure cap as claimed in claim 7 wherein said depressible portion comprises an area in said cover on a different level from the surrounding portion.
10. A closure cap as claimed in claim 7 wherein said sealing means is a flowed-in type gasket.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 723,017 3/1903 Parker 2l556 X 1,026,282 5/1912 Schmitt. 2,514,124 7/1950 Eisen 215--56 2,974,815 3/1961 Driscoll 215-42 X 3,334,775 8/1967 Klein et al. 22048 DONALD F. NORTON, Primary Examiner.