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Publication numberUS3422978 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 21, 1969
Filing dateJul 7, 1967
Priority dateJul 7, 1967
Publication numberUS 3422978 A, US 3422978A, US-A-3422978, US3422978 A, US3422978A
InventorsQuackenbush Edward C
Original AssigneeWhitney Blake Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Self-locking bottle cap
US 3422978 A
Abstract  available in
Images(1)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Jan. 21, 1969 E. c. QUACKENBUSH SELF-LOCKING BOTTLE CAP Filed July '7, 1967 INVENTOR Edward G Qaac/cenbus/z BY 1,62%, mam M J1. 42

ATTORNEYS United States Patent O Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE The disclosed self-locking closure includes a cap threadably engageable about the mouth of a bottle. A sleeve surrounds the cap and is connected thereto by a resilient member accommodating relative axial movement therebetween. Ratchet teeth formed on the bottom edge of the sleeve engage one or more fixed pawls on the bottle as the sleeve is rotated to thread the cap on the bottle mouth. Rotation of the cap by turning the sleeve in the direction of removal is inhibited unless the sleeve is pulled away from the bottle to disengage the ratchet teeth and pawls.

Background of the invention A variety of safety container closures designed to thwart the removal attempts of children have been proposed in the past. For the most part, such prior art designs have proven .to be complicated and expensive to manufacture. Indeed, some safety bottle cap designs are found to be so intricate as to render it difficult for even an adult to eflfect their removal. Other designs require only minor manipulation incident to removal and therefore present no significant obstacle to a determined youngster.

In every household there is an infinite variety of bottle substances ranging from cleaning solutions to insecticides and medicinal preparations which present a clear and present danger in the hands of children. Each year a number of children die as a result of consuming aspirin tablets alone. Parents endeavor to keep such dangerous substances out of the reach of children but children have been known to find means by which to reach those seemingly unreachable bottled substances.

Consequently, there is great need for a safety container closure which is simple in design and economical to manufacture, and yet is reliably capable of inhibiting the removal attempts of children. My invention provides such a closure. In addition to the safety aspects of my invention, I also provide an inherent self-locking feature effectively preventing spurious unscrewing of my closure as may otherwise occur when the container is subjected to prolonged vibrations during shipment, storage, etc.

The invention accordingly comprises an article of manufacture possessing the features, properties, and the relation of elements which will be exemplified in the article hereinafter described, and the scope of the invention will be indicated in the claims. I

For a fuller understanding of the nature and objects of the invention, reference should be had to the following detailed description taken in connection With the accompanying drawing in which:

FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of one self-lock bottle cap embodiment constructed according to my invention;

FIGURE 2 is a sectional view taken along line 2-2 of FIGURE 1;

FIGURE 3 is a longitudinal sectional view of an alter- Patented Jan. 21, 1969 "ice native self-locking bottle cap embodiment constructed according to my invention; and

FIGURE 4 is a sectional view taken along line 44 of FIGURE 3.

Similar reference numerals refer to corresponding parts throughout the several views of the drawing.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Referring now to the drawing, the self-locking bottle closure, generally indicated at 10 in FIGURES 1 and 2, includes a cap, generally indicated at 12. The cap 12 is formed having cylindrical sidewall 14 and a solid top 16 (FIGURE 2). Threads 18 formed in the interior surface of the cap sidewall 14 engage corresponding screw threads 20 formed in the exterior surface of a neck 22 of a bottle, generally indicated at 24, when cap 12 seals bottle mouth 25.

An outer sleeve 26 disposed concentrically about and extending substantially coextensively with the cap 12 is integrally joined to the cap by a resilient spring member, generally indicated at 28. The spring member 28 is integrally formed with the outer sleeve 26 and the cap 12 and extends annularly about the top of the self-locking closure 10. As best seen in FIGURE 2, the spring member 28 is U-shaped in cross-section. Diametrically opposed notches 30 are formed in the spring member 28 to accommodate fiexure of the spring member incident to manipulation of the self-locking closure 10 in a manner to be described. The number of notches 30 is largely determined by the size of closure 10.

The bottom edge of the sleeve 26 is formed into an annular array of ratchet teeth 32 effective to engage fixed pawls 34 upstanding from the annular shoulder 36 of bottle 24 when the closure 10 is applied to the bottle. The number of pawls 34 is largely a matter of choice.

In applying the self-locking closure 10 to bottle 24, sleeve 26 is grasped and rotated to thread cap 12 on the bottle neck 20. Rotational movement of the sleeve 26 is communicated to cap 12 through the spring member 28. As the cap 12 advances down on the bottle neck 22, ratchet teeth 32 come into contact with the fixed pawls 34. By virtue of the physical geometry of the ratchet teeth 32, continued rotation of the self-locking cap 10 in the clockwise direction (FIGURE 1) is permitted as the ratchet teeth ratchet over fixed pawls 34, As teeth 32 ratchet over pawls 34, the spring member 28 deflects as shown in phantom in FIGURE 2. Ultimately, the mouth 25 of bottle 24 is sealed off against the top wall 16 of cap 12.

It is seen that once the self-locking closure 10 is applied to the bottle 24, attempted rotation in a removal or counter-clockwise direction is inhibited by the abutment of the fixed pawls 34 against the straight sides 32a of ratchet teeth 32; the ratchet teeth being normally biased into interengagement by spring member 28. In order to disengage the ratchet teeth 32 from pawls 34, the outer sleeve must be pulled upwardly away from bottle 24, as shown in FIGURE 1. The resulting axial movement of sleeve 26 relative to cap 12, fixed in axial position on bottle neck 22, is accommodated by the fiexure of spring member 28 generally in the manner shown in phantom in FIGURE 2. At the same time as outer sleeve 26 is pulled away from the bottle 24 to disengage the ratchet teeth 32 from the pawls 34, the sleeve must also be rotated to effect its removal. If this pulling force is relaxed prior to complete removal of the closure 10, spring member 28 will revert to its normal condition causing the sleeve 26 to move axially toward bottle 24 with the ratchet teeth 32 again engaging fixed pawls 34. It is thus seen, that the axially pulling force on the sleeve 26 must be maintained until the cap 12 has been substantially fully screwed off bottle neck 22.

For ease of operation of the self-locking closure 10, it is preferred that the physical relationship of the pawls 34, ratchet teeth 32 and cap 12 be such that the cap threadingly engages the bottle neck 22 before the ratchet teeth engage the pawls. In this manner, the sleeve 26 need only be rotated in applying the closure 10 to the bottle 24; the pawls 34 camming over sloping sides 32b of ratchet teeth 32. During removal however, composite forces in the form of an axial pulling force and a rotational force must be applied to the sleeve 26, a manipulation difficult for small children. Apart from the safety aspects, it is seen that mechanical vibrations cannot work closure 10 loose; it being positively locked on bottle neck 22.

The closure 10 of FIGURES 1 and 2 is preferably formed in a one-step molding operation, requiring no subsequent cutting of forming. Thus, these closures can be readily manufactured inexpensively. The material of closure 10 may be any suitable semi-rigid thermoplastic such as polypropylene.

The self-locking bottle closure '10 shown in FIGURES 3 and 4 is formed in two parts of suitably semirigid plastic such as polypropylene, rather than integrally as is closure 10 of FIGURES 1 and 2. One part is a cap 12' having a cylindrical sidewall 14' and a solid top 16. Screw threads 18 on the cap 12 are engageable with threads 20 formed about the neck 22 of bottle 24.

The other part consists of an outer sleeve 26' and a resilient spring member 28 integral with the sleeve side. The spring member 28 is in the form of a disk overlying the top 16' of cap 12. A stud 3i, integrally formed with top '16 extends through a central aperture 29 in spring member 28. The upper end of stud 31 has an enlarged head 33 retaining the two parts in assembly.

As best seen in FIGURE 4, a series of axially extending splines 35 spaced circumferentially about the outer surface of cap sidewall 14 engage correspondingly spaced grooves 37 formed in the interior surface of sleeve 26. It is thus seen that by virtue of the splines 35 and grooves 37 rotation of sleeve 26' imparts rotational motion to the cap 12 and yet the sleeve may move axially relative to the cap. This relative axial movement of the sleeve 26 and cap 12' is accommodated by the spring member 28. Ratchet teeth 32' formed in the bottom edge of sleeve 26 engage fixed pawls 34 on bottle 24.

From the foregoing description, it is seen that the selflocking bottle closure 10' of FIGURES 3 and 4 is operated in the same manner as closure 10 of FIGURES 1 and 2. In fact, the two embodiments are interchangeable on the same bottle 24. As closure 10 is threaded on bottle neck 22, the ratchet teeth 32' carried by sleeve 26' ratchet over fixed pawls 34 on bottle 24; relative axial movement of the sleeve 26' and cap 12' being accommodated by fiexure of the spring member 28 as seen in phantom in FIGURE 3. Once closure 10 is screwed on bottle neck 22, inter-engagement of the ratchet teeth 32' with the fixed pawls 34 prevent removal unless and until sleeve 26 is pulled away from the bottle 24 to effect disengagement. This being done, the sleeve 26 may be rotated; its rotational movement being communicated to cap '12 by the engagement of splines 35 in grooves 37 incident to removal of closure 10'.

It will be appreciated that the bottle 24 may carry the ratchet teeth 32, 32 and the sleeves 26, 26' carry one or more pawls 34 without departing from the invention.

It will thus be seen that the objects set forth above, among those made apparent from the preceding description, are eificiently attained and, since certain changes may be made in the above article without departing from the scope of the invention, it is intended that all matter contained in the above description or shown in the accompanying drawing shall be interpreted as illustrative and not in a limiting sense.

It is also to be understood that the following claims are intended to cover all of the generic and specific features of the invention herein described, and all statements of the scope of the invention, which, as a matter of language, might be said to fall therebetween.

Having described my invention, what I claim as new and desire to secure by Letters Patent is:

1. A self-locking closure for containers, said closure comprising, in combination:

(A) a cap for the container;

(B) means carried by said cap engaging corresponding means adjacent the container top,

(1) said means being effective upon relative rotation of the container and said cap in a first direction to translate the latter in a first direction to a closure position relative to the container top;

(C) an outer sleeve surrounding said cap;

(D) at least one first projection extending from one end of said sleeve;

(E) at least one second projection on the container adjacent its top; and

(F) means interconnecting said cap and said sleeve for coupling rotational motion therebetween, said interconnecting means including 1) a resilient member (a) biasing said sleeve into a position normally maintaining interengagement between said first and second projections with said cap in said closure position such as to constrain relative rotation of the container and said cap in a second direction, and

(b) deflecting to accommodate movement of said sleeve in a direction disengaging said first and second projections to permit relative rotation of said cap and container in said second rotational direction incident to removal of said closure 2. The closure defined in claim 1 wherein:

(1) one of said first and second projections is formed having an inclined side and a straight side,

(2) whereby said first and second projections, by virtue of the deflection of said resilient member, ride past each other on said inclined side upon said relative rotation in said first direction and said first and second projections abut each other along said straight side to constrain said relative rotation in said second direction.

3. The closure defined in claim 1 wherein:

(1) one of said first and second projections is at least one fixed pawl and the other a series of ratchet teeth.

4. The closure defined in claim 1 wherein:

(1) said cap, said sleeve and said interconnecting means are integrally formed.

5. The closure defined in claim 4 wherein:

(1) said resilient member is U-shaped in cross-section with one edge integrally joined with the other end of said sleeve and the other edge integrally joined with said cap.

6. The closure defined in claim 5 wherein:

(1) said resilient member is notched to accommodateits deflection.

7. The closure defined in claim 1 wherein said interconnecting means includes:

(1) interconnecting splines and grooves formed on said cap and said sleeve for coupling rotational motion therebetween while accommodating relative axial movement therebetween with deflection of said resilient member.

8. The closure defined in claim 7 wherein:

(1) said resilient member is in the form of a disk joined along its outer edge to the other end of said sleeve and centrally mounted on a post afiixed to said cap,

(i) said post being received in a central aperture in said disk and being enlarged at its free end to retain said disk thereon.

9. The closure defined in claim 7 wherein:

(1) one of said first and second projections is formed having an inclined side and a straight side,

(2) whereby said first and second projections, by virtue of the deflection of said resilient member, ride past each other on said inclined side upon said relative rotation in said first direction and said first and second projections abut each other along said straight References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS Everett 2159 Towns 2159 Whiteman 215-9 Powers 215-9 WILLIAM T. DIXSON, JR., Primary Examiner.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2964206 *Mar 6, 1958Dec 13, 1960Everett James CCap
US2964207 *Apr 15, 1958Dec 13, 1960Bryant W GriffinClosure for poison bottles
US3101856 *Apr 18, 1962Aug 27, 1963Whiteman Jr Daniel SBottle closure
US3200979 *Jun 17, 1964Aug 17, 1965Powers Joseph BLatching cap
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3520435 *Dec 30, 1968Jul 14, 1970Mack Wayne Plastics CoPlastic safety closure
US3685676 *Oct 2, 1970Aug 22, 1972Sunbeam Plastics CorpDouble shell child-proof bottle cap
US3777924 *Nov 10, 1970Dec 11, 1973Minnesota Mining & MfgSafety closure
US3794201 *Feb 25, 1971Feb 26, 1974United States Steel CorpSecurely closed containers
US3797688 *Jun 14, 1972Mar 19, 1974Federal Tool & PlasticsSafety cap unit
US3830391 *Sep 11, 1972Aug 20, 1974Uhlig GSafety closure container
US3848761 *Jun 22, 1973Nov 19, 1974Libit SChild-proof closures
US3857508 *Oct 3, 1973Dec 31, 1974Aluminum Co Of AmericaSafety closure and container
US3888373 *Aug 15, 1973Jun 10, 1975Sunbeam Plastics CorpChild-resistant closure
US3944101 *Apr 16, 1974Mar 16, 1976Landen William JamesSafety closure
US3945525 *Jun 6, 1974Mar 23, 1976American Hospital Supply CorporationClosure system for medical liquid container having low-torque breakaway ring
US3985229 *Jan 21, 1976Oct 12, 1976Takiron Co., Ltd.Detachably interlinked reinforced tubular golf club protectors
US4116351 *Oct 4, 1976Sep 26, 1978Uhlig Gerhardt ESafety closure container
US4865209 *Jul 25, 1988Sep 12, 1989Sunbeam Plastics CorporationChild resistant closure
US4878774 *Aug 12, 1987Nov 7, 1989Sterling Drug Inc.Valved dispensing applicator
US5181624 *Nov 19, 1991Jan 26, 1993Lir France (S.A.)Device for closing flasks
US5562220 *Feb 15, 1994Oct 8, 1996Lir France S.A.Stopper assembly of a bottle or the like with compensation of play
US5803287 *Apr 22, 1997Sep 8, 1998Owens-Illinois Closure Inc.Consumer friendly package
US8474634Apr 30, 2010Jul 2, 2013Rexam Healthcare Packaging Inc.Child resistant closure with vents
US9062869 *Mar 15, 2013Jun 23, 2015Cree, Inc.Lighting apparatus with mounting bracket, and method
US20140268825 *Mar 15, 2013Sep 18, 2014Cree, Inc.System and Method for Mounting and Locking a Lighting Apparatus
Classifications
U.S. Classification215/216, D09/436, 215/220
International ClassificationB65D50/04, B65D50/00
Cooperative ClassificationB65D50/046, B65D50/041
European ClassificationB65D50/04B, B65D50/04F2