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Publication numberUS3437224 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 8, 1969
Filing dateJan 18, 1967
Priority dateJan 18, 1967
Publication numberUS 3437224 A, US 3437224A, US-A-3437224, US3437224 A, US3437224A
InventorsRobert J Williams
Original AssigneeDover Molded Products Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Vial closure
US 3437224 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

April 8, 1969 R. J. WILLIAMS VIAL CLOSURE Filed Jan. 18, 1967 FIG. 2.


3 W A 6 mm l U L WW '1 J IN 4. A, m 2 7 INVENTOR Robert J. Williams ATTORNEY United States Patent 3,437,224 VIAL CLOSURE Robert J. Williams, Dover, Ohio, assignor to Dover Molded Products Company, Dover, Ohio, a corporation of Ohio Filed Jan. 18, 1967, Ser. No. 610,068

Int. Cl. B65d 51/16 US. Cl. 215--56 1 Claim ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A one-piece molded plastic closure or cap is provided for vials, such as are used to hold biological cultures, the cap fitting over the end of the vial in such a manner as to allow some access of air from the outside, but through a tortuous path, and being arranged to prevent contamination of the culture from the external atmosphere. The cap is provided with centering fins and stop elements which prevent the cap from completely sealing the culture, and which keep the vial centered within the cap, but out of contact with the major portion of the walls thereof, in order to allow the passage of air.

It has long been the practice to plug up the vials used for holding bacteriological cultures with a plug of absorbant cotton, which provides a tortuous path for air, thus enabling the culture to obtain the necessary air, but at the same time tends to keep out any contaminating influences from the external atmosphere. The present invention provides a substitute for this cotton plug, in the form of a sleeve-type plastic cap which fits over the top and outside of the via-l, the cylindrical walls of the cap being kept out of contact with the vial by flexible fins integral with the interior wall of the cap, which tend to center the cap and to provide the small clearance necessary so that a tortuous path for the air is provided which allows breathing of the culture, but which prevents the access of contaminants from the external atmosphere. Stops are similarly provided near the top of the cap to prevent the rim of the vial from closely engaging the top of the cap, which would prevent the access of air. The plastic cap is an inexpensive molded unit which is sterile in its new condition, and can be readily resterilized if desired or can be thrown away after use because of the very low cost of the cap.

DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION The specific nature of the invention as well as other objects and advantages thereof will clearly appear from a description of a preferred embodiment as shown in the accompanying driwings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a view of a vial provided with a cap according to the invention;

FIG. 2 is a sectional view of the cap and top portion of the vial, taken on line 2-2 of FIG. 3;

FIG. 3 is a sectional view taken on line 33 of FIG. 2; and FIG. 4 is a sectional view similar to FIG. 3, showing the cap without the vial. 1

Referring to FIG, 1, a glass vial 2, of the type commonly used in biological and bacteriological laboratories for holding specimens and cultures, is provided with a plastic cap 3 according to the invention. As shown in FIGS. 2 and 3, the cap is provided with a number, prefably three, of equally spaced axially extending fins 4 in the form of thin plastic vanes which extend out from the interior wall of the cylindrical portion of the cap at a slight angle, so that when a glass vial is inserted, the vanes will be bent as shown in FIG. 3, in such a manner as to maintain the vial centered with respect to the cap, and out of contact with the walls of the cap, and thereby Ice providing a narrow passage between the inner wall of the cap and the outer wall of the vial, the cap being properly dimensioned for this purpose. The vanes also provide sufficient frictional force to retain the cap against accidental displacement, although the friction fit is made such that the cap can easily be put on or removed by hand. If the vial were allowed to come in contact with the top wall 6 of the cap, then the top of the vial might be sealed to an undesirable extent. To prevent this, and to provide the proper clearance for passage of air, angular stops 7 are provided between the top and side wall of the cap. It will be understood although three of these stops are shown, there could if desired be four or more such stops and a similar number of fins provided.

The fins 4 may either be made as rather thin vanes, as shown in FIG. 4, or may be somewhat tapered in cross section, or feathered, as shown in FIG. 3, the important thing being that they are made sufliciently flexible to yield when the vial is thrust into the cap, but with willcient stiffness to hold the cap centered, and to keep it firmly in place.

It will be seen that the cap thus provides a narrow, tortuous path for air which permits the desired amount of breathing, and permits the slow access of air to the inside of the vial, but since any contaminants in the air tend to drift slowly downward, even when they are very small in size, the likelihood of any such contaminants being able to travel up the very thin annular channel provided between the cap and the vial is reduced to a minimum. Similarly, any possible dangerous contaminating material within the vial is prevented from reaching the exterior atmosphere.

I claim:

1. A unitary molded plastic cap for a cylindrical vial,

(a) said cap comprising a cylindrical side member having a diameter slightly larger than a vial to be capped, and

(b) a top member closing one end of the cylindrical side member, the other end being open,

(c) a series of three thin, equally spaced flexible fins,

extending inwardly from the inner side of the cylindrical side member for a sufficient radial distance to engage the outer wall of the vial within the cap and to keep the outer wall of the vial spaced from the inner wall of the cap,

(d) said fins extending inwardly at an angle away from a radial line between the base of the fin and the central axis of the cap, such that the insertion of a vial end into the cap tends to bend each fin so that its edge lies closer to the side wall of the cap than in the unflexed condition, and

(e) three equally spaced stops between the top of the cap and the rim of an inserted vial for keeping the rim of the vial out of sealing contact with the top of the cap, each said stop being a small plastic projection extending between the side and top at a sloping angle so as to maintain the vial rim centered and spaced from the top of the cap, said stops being respectively centered between the fins.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS FOREIGN PATENTS 6/ 1963 Australia.

DONALD F. NORTON, Primary Examiner.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1919811 *Jun 27, 1931Jul 25, 1933Harold E StonebrakerThermometer case
US2287746 *Aug 19, 1939Jun 23, 1942Harry E MortonTest tube closure
US3085705 *Sep 29, 1960Apr 16, 1963Brunswick CorpClosures for laboratory glassware
AU245246B * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3776229 *Nov 26, 1971Dec 4, 1973American Hospital Supply CorpMedical liquid administration set for rate or volume delivery
US3865236 *Mar 16, 1973Feb 11, 1975Becton Dickinson CoNeedle shield
US4116353 *Feb 18, 1977Sep 26, 1978Hoffmann-La Roche Inc.Self-centering rotatable closure retainer
US4187057 *Jan 11, 1978Feb 5, 1980Stewart-Naumann Laboratories, Inc.Peristaltic infusion pump and disposable cassette for use therewith
US4190170 *Jan 15, 1979Feb 26, 1980United States Tobacco CompanySnuff can and the like
US5280809 *Sep 28, 1992Jan 25, 1994Cobe Laboratories, Inc.Medical conduit end breather cap
US5613615 *Jul 26, 1995Mar 25, 1997Bunzl Plastics, IncorporatedVenting cap for masking
US5657895 *Nov 29, 1995Aug 19, 1997Rogge; Dwaine W.Food container
US7677403 *Feb 24, 2004Mar 16, 2010Ecocap's S.R.L.Glued or heat-sealed cap for resealing test tubes for clinical analyses
US8458996Aug 18, 2010Jun 11, 2013U.S. Smokeless Tobacco CompanyContainer device for tobacco articles
US8556070Apr 26, 2013Oct 15, 2013U.S. Smokeless Tobacco CompanyContainer device for tobacco articles
US8910781Jan 11, 2013Dec 16, 2014R.J. Reynolds Tobacco CompanyContainer for smokeless tobacco products and related packaged product assembly and method
U.S. Classification215/307, 422/916
International ClassificationB01L3/14, C12M1/24
Cooperative ClassificationB01L3/50825, C12M23/08, C12M23/38
European ClassificationB01L3/50825, C12M23/38, C12M23/08