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Publication numberUS3428212 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateFeb 18, 1969
Filing dateApr 20, 1967
Priority dateApr 20, 1967
Publication numberUS 3428212 A, US 3428212A, US-A-3428212, US3428212 A, US3428212A
InventorsRohrlick Myles A
Original AssigneeRohrlick Myles A
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Closure for easy opening cans
US 3428212 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Feb. 18, 1969 M. A. ROHRLJCK I 3, ,2


Mac as 4. Roam/m United States Patent 1 Claim ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE The present disclosure is directed toward a cover or stopper that will fit into the generally triangularly shaped (interpreted to include keyhole shaped) opening now common in the easy opening cans used for soft drinks and beer. The cover is made of an elastomeric material and has a peripheral groove which is of size to receive the edges defining the opening in the can. The groove itself is formed to grip tightly onto these edges to give a tight seal when in place to prevent flavor or the fizz from going out of the drink in the can. In addition, the cover has a stop lip or shoulder that prevents it from being pushed through the opening into the inside of the can and a tab that permits easy removal when the can is again to be drunk out of.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Field of the invention The present invention relates to replaceable and removable covers for cans and the liks.

Description of the prior art Insofar as applicant knows, there is no direct prior art on the use of a cover that is easily slipped into an opening of an easy opening can. The cans having the easy opening feature are marketed under a variety of trade names including Pop Top and Snap Tab and all have a generally triangular or slightly keyhole shaped opening that is diflicult to seal. While the covers and stoppers have been used for bottles for the same purpose as the present cover, the cover herein is designed to seal against the surfaces of the can defining the opening to insure that a good seal is maintained.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention thus deals with a cover that will go into an irregularly shaped opening, generally considered to be triangular in the usual case, and which has a peripheral groove shaped to grip the edges of the can defining the opening to give a good flavor seal. In addition, other features of the invention include a lip that prevents the cover from being thrust through the opening that is to seal and the provision of tabs that allow the unit to easily be removed or replaced. The unit is simple to make, as it is formed from an elastomeric material. The material will provide gripping force around the periphery of the opening to prevent flavor and carbonation escaping from the cans when the drink in the can is only partially consumed.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIGURE 1 is a top plan view of an easy opening can showing a cover made according to the present invention in place on the opening;

FIGURE 2 is a sectional view taken as on line 2-2 in FIGURE 1;

FIGURE 3 is a perspective view showing a cover being inserted into an opening on a can;

FIGURE 4 is a top plan view of the top of an easy ice opening can showing a modified type of lifting tab with the cover of the present invention; and

FIGURE 5 is a top plan view showing a different shaped opening in the top of the can.

Referring to the drawing and the numerals of reference thereon, a can 10 is of a type commonly called the easy opening can which has a tab that is lifted for uncovering an opening in the top cover panel 11 of the can itself. The opening is shown only in dotted lines in FIG- URE 2.

Normally, the drink is consumed directly from the can and if the entire can is not used and the remaining drink such as a soft drink or beer, is to be stored in the refrigerator, the flavor is lost very quickly, or in the ease of soft drink, the carbonation escapes almost immediately.

In order to prevent this escape of the flavor and/or carbonation or whatever affects the quality of the drink in the can, a cover illustrated generally at 12 that will fit within these openings and seal in flavor is provided.

The cover comprises a body member 13 which is made of a molded elastomeric material, such as a pliable urethane or plastic or other elastomeric material that does not have a taste and is not toxic, The cover is molded so that it has a boss-like section 14 extending down from the main body. The main body thus forms a peripheral shoulder member 15 that goes all the -way around the cover. Adjacent the junction between the shoulder member 15 and the boss 14, there is a peripheral inwardly extending groove 16 that goes around the boss and is molded actually into the side edges of the boss.

The boss 14 is slightly larger than and the same general shape as the opening into which it is being inserted. As can be seen, the edges 17 of the opening (see FIGURE 2) extend almost to the interior edge of the groove 16. The groove 16 is formed to have an enlarged inner end, as shown, and adjacent the junction of the groove 16 with the boss, there is a first or lower lip 20 and an upper lip 21 that are aligned with each other. These lips 21, When at rest, are close together, and generally are spaced less than the thickness of the top panel 11 of the can.

A tab 22 is integral with the member 13 adjacent one edge thereof and the tab has a finger opening 23 defined therein to give a better gripping power to the tab itself.

When the unit is to be inserted into the opening, the elastomeric material will compress slightly and the body 13 will also bow up so that the edges 24 of the boss will pass through the edges 17 of the opening, The narrow end of the cover is slid into place within the opening and then the wider end is pushed down so the boss edges will then snap back to their original position after they have cleared the top panel 11. In so doing, the lips 20 and 21 slide along the top and bottom surfaces of the panel 11, respectively, and tend to grip these surfaces tightly to provide a good seal. The cover 12 is pushed down into the opening until the shoulder surfaces 15 contact the upper surface of the can. The shoulders prevent the cover from being pushed through the opening and into the inside of the can.

When the unit is to be removed, the tab 22 is merely grabbed and it is then merely pulled up. The elastomeric material will give to permit the groove to release the edges of the can defining the opening so the cover can be easily pulled out. The material will conform to irregular surfaces so if the top panel of the can is irregular, or if the opening has a bead of material around it, a good seal can still be obtained.

Because the cover is made from an elastomeric material, the cover can be embossed with advertising slogans and the like. The advertising slogans can be printed on or molded directly in the covers. The tabs can also be changed in position or apperance.

For example, in FIGURE 4, a tab 26 is molded on the inner end of the opening. Further, the tabs can be molded into the shape of advertising characters if desired. One particular beer company, Hamm Brewing Co., uses a bear as an advertising symbol and the figure of a bear can be used in place of the flexible tab such as that shown in the drawing. This will permit great versatility insofar as using the cover for an advertising device. In the case of covers generally used for soft drink cans, the tabs can be replaced by cartoon characters that entertain the children and which may be used in general advertising of the soft drink company.

While the disclosure has dealt with a generally triangu lar shaped (or keyhole shaped) opening, it is to be understood that other shapes can also be adapted to be fitted by this type of a cover. A different triangular shape is shown in FIGURE 5. That cover 31 is the same construction as the other covers. The sealing is done by the lips that grip the top and the bottom of the cover panel in the areas adjacent the openings so that the groove does not have to fit tightly against the exact edges of the opening, The lips provide this sealing action even though the opening may be slightly larger than the interior dimensions of the groove.

What is claimed is:

1. A cover for an opening defined in an end wall of a can, said opening having one generally elongated dimension, comprising an elastomeric body having a main section, and a raised section comprising a boss generally of the shape of the opening to be filled and slightly larger than the opening, a groove defined in the peripheral edges of said boss and extending around the periphery thereof, said groove forming top and bottom lips adjacent the periphery of said boss, said lips being aligned and spaced apart less than the thickness of said end wall of said can, and the surfaces defining the remainder of said groove being spaced farther than said lips, said main body member extending outwardly beyond the periphery of said boss and beyond the periphery of the surfaces defining said lips of said groove to form a shoulder surface, the

shoulder surface portions of said main body being slightly concave to define an outer edge of which engages the can end wall surface when the cover is in place within the opening, a tab member integral with the main body and extending upwardly therefrom, said tab member being positioned adjacent the widest part of said opening in said can.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,229,478 1/ 1966 Alonso 220-24 XR GEORGE T. HALL, Primary Examiner.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3229478 *Dec 2, 1964Jan 18, 1966Alonso JoseSelf-cooled beverage container
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3622034 *Nov 4, 1969Nov 23, 1971Lutzker Lawrence DCan-top opening closure
US3682349 *Jul 6, 1970Aug 8, 1972Baumann BernardEasy-opening stopper for metal cans and the like
US4103804 *Oct 6, 1975Aug 1, 1978Fournier E PClamp action sealing device for tab opening cans
US4244491 *Dec 13, 1978Jan 13, 1981Tokan Kogyo Co., Ltd.Container cover member having synthetic resin openable portion
US4309952 *Jun 22, 1979Jan 12, 1982Tokan Kogyo Co., Ltd.Process for making a container cover member having synthetic resin openable portion
US4915252 *Mar 28, 1989Apr 10, 1990Schaffer Joel LBeverage can stopper
US5351853 *Sep 20, 1993Oct 4, 1994Shock John PBeverage can closure
US7607203 *Dec 18, 2006Oct 27, 2009Kotobuki & Co., Ltd.Clip ornament for a barrel, clip with an ornament and method for attaching an ornament to a clip
US8215513Aug 20, 2008Jul 10, 2012Popseal LLC.Self-closing resealable can end
US20070192999 *Dec 18, 2006Aug 23, 2007Kotobuki & Co., Ltd.Clip ornament for a barrel, clip with an ornament and method for attaching an ornament to a clip
US20080245191 *Apr 4, 2007Oct 9, 2008Robert BaillyDevice for opening and sealing a beverage can lid
US20090001092 *Jun 29, 2007Jan 1, 2009Mary JenkinsReusable Seal for Beverage Container
U.S. Classification220/791, D09/438
International ClassificationB65D51/00
Cooperative ClassificationB65D51/007
European ClassificationB65D51/00F