|Publication number||US3414167 A|
|Publication date||Dec 3, 1968|
|Filing date||Mar 9, 1967|
|Priority date||Mar 9, 1967|
|Publication number||US 3414167 A, US 3414167A, US-A-3414167, US3414167 A, US3414167A|
|Original Assignee||Osrow Products Company Inc|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (7), Referenced by (14), Classifications (5)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
Dec. 3, 1968 L. OSROW 3,414,167
RESSURE-LOADED CONTAINER TAMPERPROOF OVERCAP FOR A VALVED P Filed March 9, 1967 INVENTOR. LEONARD OSROW BY 44512, 20m a @4 4 ATTORNEYS United States Patent O 3,414,167 TAMPERPROOF OVERCAP FOR A VALVED PRESSURE-LOADED CONTAINER Leonard Osrow, Great Neck, N.Y., assignor t0 Osrow Products Company, Inc., Glen Cove, N.Y. Filed Mar. 9, 1967, Ser. No. 621,817 11 Claims. ('Cl. 222-182) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A tamperproof overcap for a conventional valved pressure-loaded container in which the top chime of the container is caught between a shoulder near the bottom of the overcap and an interrupted inwardly extending flange below the shoulder. The skirt of the overcap is formed with a circumferentially narrow elongated slot immediately above the chime so that when the tip of a screwdriver or like fiat-bladed instrument is inserted into the slot and twisted, it will lift the overcap off the chime. The overcap skirt is weakened below the slot so that it will rupture when the screwdriver lifts the overcap thus leaving an indication that the cap has been detached. Despite the rupture of a lower peripheral portion of the skirt the overcap can be replaced on the container, but with a telltale that it has been previously removed.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Field of the invention This invention relates to a tamperproof overcap for a conventional valved pressure-loaded container, the overcap being so constructed that it is impossible for an average person to disengage it from the cap by hand but so that it can be readily disengaged by the use of an instru- DESCRIPTION OF THE PRIOR ART Various arrangements heretofore have been proposed to render overcaps of the character described tamperproof. However, these involved comparatively complex structures requiring correspondingly complex molds. In addition, some of these prior art overcaps could be manually removed so that although a visible sign of tampering remained they did not prevent surreptitious sampling of the contents of the containers. Other prior art overcaps required the use of tools for their removal so that they effectively overcame unauthorized sampling or use but they were awkward and difficult to lift in the first instance. These latter overcaps, to wit, those requiring tools for removal, had two further drawbacks, one being that some of these overcaps could be removed without leaving a visual sign of their removal and could be reapplied without anyone being the wiser and the second being that others of the overcaps were so mutilated upon removal that it was not practical to reuse them if the purchaser desired to do so, without providing alternate means for attaching the removed overcaps to the container.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION It is an object of my invention to provide an improved overcap which avoids the foregoing difiiculties.
More specifically it is an object of my invention to provide a tamper-proof overcap of the character described which is attached to the top chime in such a fashion that simply by inserting the tip of a screwdriver or like instru- 'ice ment into a slot in the skirt of the overcap and fractionally twisting the screwdriver, the overcap is lifted from the container and the overcap thereafter may be used in an ordinary manner.
Another object of my invention is to provide an overcap of this character described in which the twisting of the screwdriver for disengagement of the overcap from the container chime mutilates a portion of the mouth of the overcap skirt. This serves two functions; the mutilation leaves a telltale sign that the overcap has been removed so that thereafter no one will purchase a container with such an overcap thinking that he has an original factory closed container. Secondly, the mutilation, i.e., breaking, of only a small segment of the mouth of the overcap skirt, while leaving the remainder of the mouth of the overcap skirt intact allows the overcap to be re-engaged to the container chime with a sufiicient tightness to hold the overcap in place whereby the overcap can be reused by the purchaser to cover the valve and top of the container after a portion of the contents has been dispensed.
Another object of my invention is to provide an overcap of the character described which is of simple and sturdy construction and which may be manufactured inexpensively by mass production methods, such, for instance, as injection molding.
It is another object of my invention to provide an overcap of the character described which has a pleasing appearance.
Another object of my invention is to provide an overcap of the character described which is rugged and reinforced at the points of stress that are not intended to rupture and which, without unduly weakening the cap, is lightened in the zones where rupture is desired whereby to predetermine the sites at which visual indication of overcap removal will be found.
Other objects of my invention in part will be obvious and in part will be pointed out hereinafter.
My invention accordingly consists in the features of construction, combinations of elements and arrangements of parts which will be set forth in the tamperproof overcaps hereinafter described and of which the scope of application will be indicated in the appended claims.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS In the accompanying drawings in which I have shown various possible embodiments of my invention,
FIG.- 1 is a perspective view of the novel tamperproof overcap tightly secured to the top of aconventional pressure-loaded valved container and, indicated in dot and dash lines, the tip of a screwdriver coupled to the overcap prior to twisting for disengagement of the overcap;
FIG. 2 is an enlarged fragmentary sectional view taken substantially along the line 22 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is an enlarged sectional view taken substantially along the line of 3-3 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 4 is an enlarged fragmentary auxiliary view directly facing the screwdriver-admitting slot, the screwdriver tip being in section and shown twisted far enough to lift the overcap and rupture a segment of the overcap rim;
FIG. 5 is a highly enlarged fragmentary circumferential sectional view of the segment of the overcap rim immediately below the slot;
FIG. 6 is an axial sectional view through a stack of two overcaps embodying my invention and such as are illustrated in FIG. 1; and
FIG. 7 is a view similar to FIG. 6 but showing a modified form of overcap.
SPECIFIC EMBODIMENTS OF THE INVENTION Referring now in detail to the drawings, and more particularly to FIGS. 1-5, the reference numeral 10 denotes a conventional pressure-loaded container consisting, as usual, of a sheet metal barrel 12 closed by a bottom wall 14 and top wall 16. The top wall is joined to the barrel by a chime 18. As is conventional, the chime forms a radially outwardly extending flange which overhangs the top of the barrel. The domed top wall 16 is provided at its upper end with a spring closed dispensing valve 20 which, When tilted or depressed, will permit the pressurized contents of the container to be expelled therethrough in the form of either a lather or an aerosol. The container carries within the barrel any desirable material to be dispensed, as, for example, medicament, paint, soap, insecticide, perfume, and hair spray. Also, as is conventional, the container is charged with a pressurized propellant which, when the valve is opened, forces the material out through the valve.
The overcap is formed from any strong, durable, flexible, resilient, plastic material which is soft enough to enable it to be coupled with the chime. A typical such material is polyethylene. The overcap includes the usual crown 22 which optionally is formed with a hanger bail 24. As is conventional, the crown is of circular configuration. Depending from the periphery of the crown is a skirt 26. To facilitate removal from a mold the skirt is downwardly and outwardly flaring. The bottom edge, i.e., mouth or rim, of the skirt is designed to be tightly affixed to the chime 18.
For this purpose the following construction is employed. Near its open mouth the skirt is formed with an outwardly extending annular ledge 28 which on the interior surface of the cap provides an annular shoulder 30, said shoulder being adapted to seat upon the upper surface of the chime .18. The shoulder is of the proper diameter to nicely accept the chime without permitting radial play. The skirt below the ledge continues downwardly in the form of a dependent flange 32 which aids in defining the outer boundary of the shoulder 30. This flange terminates past the chime 18 and in effect telescopically ensheathes the maximum circumference of the chime.
As thus far described, the shoulder 30 and flange 32 simply receive the chime snugly. However, as indicated previously, the overcap is tightly secured to the chime and for this purpose I additionally provide on the inner surface of the downwardly extending flange 32 below the chime an inwardly extending means, such, for instance, as an interrupted radially inwardly extending flange 34, i.e., a flange consisting of several spaced radially inwardly extending bosses. The flange 34 is spaced below the shoulder 30 a distance such that the flange 34 and the shoulder '30 snugly receive the chime 18 between them, whereby when the overcap is emplaced on the container 10 with the shoulder 30 above and engaged against the supper surface of the chime 18 and the interrupted flange 34 below and engaged against the lower surface of the chime 18, the overcap will be tightly locked in place, protecting the container, covering the dispensing valve and preventing unauthorized use of the contents of the container.
To aid in application of the overcap and subsequently, as will be appreciated, in removal thereof from the container, the upper and lower surfaces of the interrupted flange 34 are respectively sloped downwardly and upwardly from the side flange 32. The upward slope of the lower surface of the flange 34, by camming causes the flange 32 to spread when the overcap is pressed down on the chime. The overcap is sufliciently flexible to permit this spreading action which expands the diameter of its mouth to an extent sufficient to enable the flange 34 to pass the chime 18, after which the circumferential tension and resiliency of the flange 32 will cause said flange 32 to snap back into firm engagement with the chime, the shoulder 30 then being above and the flange 34 below said chime. I wish to mention at this point that it is not essential for the flange. 34 to be interrupted. Alternatively, said flange can be continuous, but of lesser height. However, the use of an interrupted flange permits me to employ a flange of greater height to as to obtain a more secure locking engagement, while at the same time enabling the flange 32 to flex between the spaced bosses constituting the flange 34, whereby to pass the chime 18 during coupling of the overcap to the container without engendering a stress in the flange 32 sufliciently great to damage the same.
The downwardly sloped surface on the top of the interrupted flange 34 serves a reverse camming function when the overcap is uncoupled from the container in a manner soon to be described.
The overcap when coupled to the container is secured so tightly that a person of ordinary strength cannot remove it from the container manually. Thereby, a container having such an overcap can, with reasonable safety, be left on the shelves of a store without fear that a customer may surreptitiously remove the cap for the purpose of sampling the contents of the container, and without fear that the Storekeeper himself may wrongfully use part of the contents of the container and thereafter replace the container in the store for sale with the implication that the container is full. However, it is necessary to permit the overcap to be removed so that when the purchaser takes the container home, he will be able to dispense material therefrom.
To this end I provide a suitable means to assist the purchaser in the removal of the overcap. The means is such that a tool must be employed in aid thereof. It has been proposed heretofore to rely on tools for this purpose, i.e., removal of an overcap, but customarily the application and manipulation of the tool was awkward or it was necessary to substantially destroy the overcap therewith so that it could not be reused for recovering the valve and top wall of the container. However, pursuant to my present invention, a novel construction is embodied which avoids the foregoing defects.
lMore specifically, I provide a slot 36 in the overcap which slot is of special proportions and is specially located to effect the improved result. In particular, the slot is elongated circumferentially. For example, the slot is of oblong shape with its long axis circumferentially disposed. The slot is so positioned that its long top edge is directly above the upper surface of the chime 18 when the overcap is coupled to the container. The long bottom edge of the slot may be approximately level with the top surface of the chime or may be somewhat below the same so that the upper surface of the chime is exposed through the slot. In general, the long axis of the slot runs in a curvilinear line parallel to the chime. The upper edge of the slot, is due to the aforementioned geometry, immediately above the ledge 28 and a slight additional distance, e.g. the thickness of the overcap, above the shoulder 30. The height of the slot is quite small, just being high enough to easily admit the thickness of the tip of an ordinary screwdriver blade. The length of the slot is suflicient to admit the breadth of the tip of a typical screwdriver blade.
It will be observed that the slot is in the immediate vicinity of, indeed, in proximity to, the chime 18, essentially overlying the same, so that when a screwdriver blade has its tip inserted into the slot, the blade automatically will have its flat un-dersurface flat against and contacting the adjacent portion of the chime and its flat uppersurface flat against and contacting the upper edge of the slot 36. It is not necessary, as it is with some tool-removable overoaps, to insert a tool into an opening in the overcap and grope, i.e., fish around with the end of the tool, in order to locate a concealed portion of the domed top wall or other part of the container in order to prepare the tool for manipulation in a fashion such as to raise the overcap.
Removing the overcap is simplicity itself. The tip of a screwdriver or like slender, flat-bladed tool is inserted in the slot 36 and the tool is then twisted. This will cause one corner of the tool to engage the long upper edge of the slot 36, as shown in FIG. 4, while the opposite corner of the tool engages the chime v18. Continued application of torque to the tool will raise the upper edge of this slot and, hence, the overcap, while the aforesaid lower corner of the tool continues to bear on the chime which serves as a stationary anvil or reaction point for the tool being twisted. After the tool has been twisted through a sufficient arc, for example, about 45, the overcap will have been lifted far enough to raise the interrupted flange 34 above the chime for at least half of the circumference of the mouth of the overcap, whereupon the overcap can be manually lifted clear of the container.
In the preferred form of my invention the circumferential slot 36 is sufficiently low on the overcap so that the lower edge thereof interrupts the ledge 28 and shoulder 30, that is to say, at the slot, the ledge and shoulder have been removed, i.e., are non-existent. The purpose of this arrangement is to ensure engagement of the lower corner of the tool blade with the chime when a blade inserted in the slot is twisted.
Although my invention can be used only for the purpose of enabling an overcap to be removed from a container with the aid of a tool, the use of the aforesaid elongated slot positioned in the unique location described lends itself to other useful functions. Specifically, the said slot can be combined with other structure so as (a) to enable the overcap to be recoupled with the container after once being lifted, the recoupling being performable by hand without the aid of the substantial force initially needed to couple the overcap to the container at a factory, and the overcap thereafter being removable by hand at the home of the purchaser without the need for using tools; and (b) to leave a telltale sign that the overcap has been removed, thereby discouraging a Storekeeper from wrongfully using a portion of the container for his own purposes and then offering the container for sale.
I accomplish the additional functions just described merely by weakening the side flange 32 below the slot 36 so that the portion of the flange below the slot will be broken during removal of the overcap by a torquing action of a flat-bladed tool in the slot. Such rupture of a local portion of the flange 32 leaves the desired visual telltale, and, by destroying the circumferential integrity of the side flange 32, permits it to act as a split constrictive ring which can be readily engaged to or disengaged from the top chime 18.
The weakening of the flange 32 below the slot 36 can be of a general nature, that is to say, this portion of the flange simply may be of a lesser thickness than the remainder of the circumference of the flange, or local zones of weakness may be provided. I have employed both of these arrangements in the illustrated overcap. The same are best shown in FIG. 5. Here, as indicated, I have formed two longitudinal zones (with respect to the container) in the shape of grooves 38, i.e., slots, which extend longitudinally of the flange 32, that is to say, in a topto-bottom direction, the grooves being located adjacent opposite bottom corners of the slot 36. Moreover, the space between the grooves is of a lesser thickness than the balance of the flange 32. However, the provision of the locally weakened zones at the grooves 38 predetermines the section of the flange 32 which will be ruptured upon removal of the cap, and indeed, essentially ensures that the overcap will be ruptured at some place below the slot. This overcomes the possibility that if the grooves were not employed, the portion of the flange 32 below the slot might yield without breaking during the torquing action of the tool, which would mean that no visual telltale of tampering would be left and that it would be difiicult, if this happened, for a homeowner to replace the overcap when he desired to store the container after dispensing a part of its contents. Hence, in the preferred form of my invention, grooves or the like scored lines, i.e., locally weakened zones, are utilized below the slot. It will be readily apparent that the grooves need not be positioned at the ends of the slot. They can be positioned anywhere along the length of the slot, and, if desired, only one groove can be used, or more than two. The tab 40, left upon breaking the flange at one of the slots, tends to stay in a deformed position, so that it flags the immediate attention of any user. It is a sign which it is almost impossible to disregard.
Also, to aid in weakening the zone of the flange 32 beneath the slot 36 so as to render the same more susceptible to rupture upon the torquing action of a flatbladed tool, the depth of the flange 32 may be reduced at the aforesaid area, as by the provision of a notch 41.
It will be appreciated that it is desired to make the cap of a resilient, flexible material, such, for instance, as polyethylene, or other synthetic resin, in order to give the cap sufficient yieldability to be coupled with the chime in the first instance and in order to allow the flange 32 to yield longitudinally as the tool starts to be torqued, ultimately reaching its breaking point. However, the same flexibility and resiliency would tend to permit stretching of the upper edge of the slot during cap lifting, which is undesirable because at this area the cap has a force applied to it for the purpose of lifting and such force is applied in a very restricted zone, to wit, at a corner of the flat-bladed tool. Hence, to counteract the yieldability of the cap at the upper edge of the slot, I preferably reinforce this edge. This is done by thickening the skirt of the overcap at and for some distance above the top edge of the slot, the same being accomplished through the formation of a raised plateau 42 on the outer surface of the cap directly above the slot. The plateau has legs 44 depending along and coextensive with the ends of the slot. These legs run into the ledge 28.
It was mentioned previously that the skirt 26 is upwardly tapering to provide a draft that enables it to be readily pulled from a mold. However, the taper angle, as shown, is greater than needed for merely facilitating removal from a mold, the increased angle being provided in order to enable overcaps to be stacked for storage and shipment. That is to say, the crown of any given overcap is inserted into the mouth of another overcap, etc., so that a number of overcaps can be assembled into a column. However, because the draft angle is comparatively small, there is a tendency for the caps to wedge together, particularly if compressive forces are exerted on the column. To prevent this from taking place. I provide stop means on each of the overcaps, the means being such as to prevent the overcaps from being too forcefully telescoped into one another. As shown in FIGS. 16, the stop means is in the form of exterior ribs 46. Several such ribs are provided, for example, four on each overcap, in which event the ribs will be apart. The ribs run upwardly from the ledge 28. One of the ribs is shown as being partially coextensive with the plateau 42. Hence, this particular rib only extends upwardly from the plateau. The ribs are perpendicular tc the shoulder 30, being, in effect, oriented as a slant height would be. The upper ends of the ribs are adapted to be abutted by the shoulders 30 when the overcaps are stacked in a column and thereby define the maximum en try of any overcap into the mouth of the next superior overcap.
It will, of course, ribs can with equal be appreciated that equivalent sto facility be located on the inside 0 each of the overcaps where they will serve the sam function. In this event, however, and as shown in FIG 7, the internal ribs will extend downwardly along th skirt from the crown of the overcap and their lower end Will abut against the outer surface of the crown of the immediately inferior overcap in the column.
It thus will be seen that I have provided overcaps which achieve the various objects of my present invention and which are well adapted to meet the conditions of practical use.
As various possible embodiments might be made of the above invention, and as various changes might be made in the embodiments above set forth, it is to be understood that all matter herein described or shown in the accompanying drawings is to be interpreted as illustrative and not in a limiting sense.
Having thus described my invention, I claim as new and desire to secure by Letters Patent:
1. In a combination of an overcap of flexible plastic material and a pressurized container, the container including a barrel and a top wall joined to the barrel by a radially outwardly extending chime, said top Wall having a dispensing valve, the overcap including a crown and a skirt, the overcap having a shoulder on the skirt engaging the upper surface of the chime, a first flange extending downwardly from the shoulder to below the chime and a second flange below the shoulder and extending radially inwardly from the first flange, said second flange engaging the under-surface of the chime, said overcap thereby being so tightly coupled to the chime that it cannot be removed by hand, that improvement comprising a circumferentially elongated slot wholly contained in the skirt immediately above the chime, the upper edge of the slot being located a short distance above the chime to define a circumferentially elongated space for reception of the tip of a fiat-bladed instrument, such as a screwdriver, whereby when the screwdriver is turned while in the slot a corner thereof will bear against the chime acting as a stationary anvil and an opposite corner will egnage the upper edge of the slot to lift the overcap and disengage the overcap from the chime, the portion of the first flange beneath the slot including means constructed to rupture as the screwdriver is turned and the overcap is lifted thereby, when the lower edge of the rising slot engages the first-named corner of the screw driver, so that a visual telltale of the overcap lifting is formed and so that circumferential integrity of the first flange is impaired whereby the overcap thereafter can be coupled to and disengaged from the chime by hand, said first and second flanges serving as a split constrictive ring.
2. A combination as set forth in claim 1 wherein the portion of the first flange beneath the slot is weaker than the remainder of said flange.
3. A combination as set forth in claim 1 wherein said portion of the first flange beneath the slot is formed with at least one longitudinally extending weakened Zone running from the lower edge of the slot to the lower edge of the skirt.
4. A combination as set forth in claim 1 wherein said portion of the first flange beneath the slot is formed with two longitudinally extending weakened zones running from the lower edge of the slot to the lower edge of the skirt.
5. A combination as set forth in claim 4 wherein the weakened zones are located adjacent the opposite ends of the slot.
6. A combination as set forth in claim 1 wherein an elongated notch is provided in the bottom edge of the skirt in registry with the slot.
7. A combination as set forth in claim 1 wherein the skirt tapers upwardly towards the crown so as to permit stacking of successive overcaps on one another, and wherein means is included to limit the telescopic interengagement of successive overcaps.
8. A combination as set forth in claim 7 wherein the means to limit telescopic interengagement of successive overcaps comprises protuberanceson the exterior of the skirt, said protuberances having their upper edges spaced downwardly from the crown of the overcap and engaging the shoulder of the superior overcap in a stack of overcaps.
9. A combination as set forth in claim 7 wherein themeans to limit telescopic interengagement of successive overcaps comprises vertically extending ribs on the exterior of the overcap, said ribs having their upper ends spaced downwardly from the crown of the overcap and said upper ends engaging the shoulder of the superior overcaps in a stack of overcaps.
10. A combination as set forth in claim 7 wherein the means to limit telescopic interengagement of successive overcaps comprises protuberances on the interior of the skirt, said protuberances having their lower edges spaced upwardly from the shoulder of the overcap and engaging the crown of the inferior overcap in a stack of overcaps.
11. A combination as set forth in claim 7 wherein the means to limit telescopic interengagement of successive overcaps comprises ribs on the interior of the skirt, said ribs having their lower ends spaced from the shoulder of the overcap, said lower ends engaging the crown of the inferior overcap in a stack of overcaps.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 667,422 2/1901 Brooks 220-97 3,028,992 4/1962 Bucher et al 222182 X 3,037,672 6/1962 Gach 222l82 3,088,635 5/1963 Steinkarnp 222182 3,208,631 9/1965 Edwards 220-97 3,262,600 7/1966 Gach 222-182 3,334,769 8/1967 Gach 222182 SAMUEL F. COLEMAN, Primary Examiner.
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|U.S. Classification||222/182, 206/520|