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Publication numberUS3446383 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMay 27, 1969
Filing dateSep 29, 1966
Priority dateSep 29, 1966
Publication numberUS 3446383 A, US 3446383A, US-A-3446383, US3446383 A, US3446383A
InventorsHannon Charles N
Original AssigneeHannon Charles N
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Container closure
US 3446383 A
Abstract  available in
Images(1)
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

M y 1969 c. N. HANNON 3,446,383

CONTAINER CLOSURE Filed Sept. 29, 1966 INVENTOR CHARLES HANNON ATTORNEY United States Patent US. Cl. 215-56 7 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE This invention relates to a container closure having a cap portion for covering the opening of a container and a skirt portion depending from the cap portion. A gasket is disposed on the underside of the cap portion and extends from adjacent the skirt portion toward the center of the cap portion for sealing the lip portion of a container. The gasket is made of relatively flexible material and is adhesively attached to the cap portion. A release flap portion extends from the skirt portion to the cap portion and a hinge for the flap is formed by a part of the cap portion. The skirt portion has a lifting aperture formed therein adjacent the fiapportion for insertion of a tool to lift the flap portion about the hinge portion to form a passage between a container sealed by the container closure and the atmosphere.

The present invention relates to container closures and more particularly to a container closure having means for breaking the vacuum or releasing the pressure within a container before removing the closure.

It is a well-known fact that it is difficult for the average person particularly for the housewife to remove a conventional container closure from a vacuum or pressure type container because of the force on the cap created by the vacuum or pressure within the container. This is particularly true of twist-off type container closures engageable with the threaded portions of vacuum containers such as jars and bottles, because the vacuum in the container causes the pressure of the atmosphere to force the closure tightly against the container, thereby making it difficult to simply twist off the closure. The prior devices that have attempted to deal with this problem have either been cumbersome, difiicult to open, or expensive to manufacture.

-It is an object of this invention to provide a novel container closure adapted to readily release the vacuum or pressure within a container prior to removing the closure.

-It is another object of this invention to provide such a container closure of the twist-off type for vacuum containers having a vacuum release portion on the closure that may be readily used to release the vacuum within the container so that the twist-off type closure may be easily removed from engagement with the container.

It is a further object of this invention to provide such a container closure that is simple for operation, relatively inexpensive to manufacture and may be reused to seal the container.

Other objects and advantages will be readily apparent from the following specification, claims and the drawings appended hereto wherein:

FIGURE 1 is a fragmentary top view of a blank for making the container closure of this invention.

FIGURE 2 is a fragmentary perspective view of a container sealed by the container closure of this invention.

FIGURE 3 is a fragmentary cross-sectional view of a portion of the container and closure.

FIGURE 4 is a view similar to FIGURE 3 with the tab illustrated in the open position.

FIGURE 5 is a perspective view of another embodiment of the container closure of this invention.

It has now been found that the foregoing and related objects can be readily attained in an integrally formed container closure having a cap portion for covering the opening of a container and a skirt portion depending from the cap portion having engaging means for securing the container closure in sealing engagement with the container. The container closure is of the type adapted to seal the lip portion of a bottle or jar in an air tight manner, particularly a container having a vacuum therein, however, the container closure is equally effective for use with containers under pressure gerater than atmospheric.

A release flap portion is provided on the container closure which extends from the skirt portion to the cap portion, and a hinge for the flap portion is provided by a part of the cap portion. The skirt portion has a lifting aperture formed therein adjacent the flap portion for insertion of a tool such as a kitchen knife or a finger nail for bending the flap portion about the hinge portion to form a passage between the container sealed by the closure and the atmosphere. This passage allows air to enter a container under a vacuum, or allows gas or air to escape from a container under pressure.

The container closure in the disclosed embodiment is of the twist-off type where it is desirable to release any pressure thereon so that the closure may be easily turned and removed from engagement with the container. The skirt portion of a twist-off type closure has portions adapted to extend inwardly to engage the threaded portion of a container. This invention may be utilized equally well on other types of suitable container closures in addition to the twist-off type.

The release flap may be formed on the container closure by slits made therein extending from the hinge on the cap portion to the lifting aperture on the skirt portion. Desirably, the container closure is cup shaped with a raised annular portion extending about the circumferential periphery of a disc shaped cap portion and is attached thereto by an annular wall extending generally upwardly between the cap portion and the annular ring. The annular ring portion forms an annular groove in cooperation with the skirt portion and the annular wall for sealing engagement with the lip portion of the container. In one embodiment the flap is formed by a pair of slits made in the closure which extend from the hinge disposed on the annular wall portion adjacent the cap portion to the lifting aperture on the skirt portion. However, the container closure may be made in any desirable configuration effective to seal a particular container.

In another embodiment the release flapportion may also be formed by indentations in the closure extending from the hinge on the cap portion to the lifting aperture in the skirt portion. These indentations form tear lines so that the flap may be lifted by a tool inserted in the aperture with a minimum of effort. In a container closure having an annular ring portion, the indentations may be formed in the same manner as the slits described above. The aperture in the skirt portion may be formed by indentations forming a knock out portion for the insertion of a tool to lift the flap.

The container closure may be made from blanks by conventional drawing processes having a concave portion cut from its peripheral edge adjacent the flap so that after the drawing process, the lifting aperture will have a desirable configuration. It has been found that if this concave portion is not removed from the blank, the lifting aperture will have an undesirable configuration when it is required to have this aperture placed near the lower edge of the skirt portion. When the aperture is placed ad- 3 jacent the upper edge of the skirt portion, the concave portion is unnecessary.

The container closure may be made of metal or other materials suitable to form an effective closure and which has sufiicient resiliency to provide a hinge about which the flap may move.

Referring now to the drawings, an integrally formed container closure, generally designated by the numeral 10, has a disc shaped cap 12 recessed below an outwardly extending flat annular ring 14 connected to the cap 12 by an inclined annular connecting wall 16 disposed about the circumferential periphery of the cap 12. A cylindrically shaped skirt 18 depends normally from the peripheral edge of the annular ring 14 and has its free edge rolled over inwardly to form an annular head 20. Spaced at 90 degree intervals around skirt 20 are four inwardly extending shoulder portions 22 formed from the annular bead 20 for engagement with the threads 24 of a conventional vacuum type container 26.

The vacuum container 26 has an annular lip portion 28 engaged with an annular channel formed by the ring 14 having the wall 16' and skirt 18 depending from opposite sides thereof. A conventional seal or gasket 30 is disposed between the annular ring 14 and the lip portion 28 in order to provide an air tight seal between the container closure 10 and the vacuum container 26.

A vacuum release flap, generally designated by the numeral 40, is formed in the skirt 18 and annular ring 14- of the container closure 10 by means of two generally parallel slits 42. which extend perpendicularly from opposite ends of a slot 44 formed in the skirt 18. The slits 42 extend upwardly from the skirt 18 and terminate on the wall 16 adjacent the cap 12. In an alternate embodiment (not shown) the slits 42 terminate on the annular ring 14 so that a portion of the annular ring 14 remains between the upper ends of the slits 14 and the inclined wall 16. The portion of the wall 16 between the upper ends of the slits 42 form a hinge 46 about which the flap may be bent or pivoted. The slot 44 is adapted, to be, of sufficient size to receive a utensil such as the end of a knife blade or a finger nail in order to bend the flap 40 about the hinge 46.

In another embodiment of this invention for use where relatively stiff material is used for the container closure 10, in order to make the flap 40 easily movable about the hinge 46, a pair of hinge slits (not shown) may be provided which extend perpendicularly toward each other from the upper ends of the parallel slits 42 on the annular ring 14 and are terminated at predetermined points to provide the hinge portion thereof between.

As mentioned above, the parallel slits 42 and hinge slits 48 extend to the inner peripheral edge of the annular wall 16 adjacent the cap 12. The container closure 10 is made of sufficiently stiff material so that when the flap 40 is in the closed position, illustrated in FIGURE 2, there is sufficient pressure on gasket 30 in the area of the flap 40 to maintain an air tight seal with the lip 28 of the container 26.

In order to open the vacuum container 26 sealed by the closure 10, a knife or similar utensil is inserted into the slot 44 and raised so that the flap 40 is moved upwardly about the hinge 46. As this occurs, the gasket 30, which is made of relatively flexible material and may be fastened to the annular ring 14 with an adhesive, is pulled away from the lip portion 28 by the movement of the flap 40. Upward movement of the flap 40 and gasket 30 allows air to flow between the gasket 30 and the lip portion 28 adjacent the inclined wall 16 thereby destroying the vacuum in the container 26. When the gasket is not fastened to the annular ring 14 the air may enter between the gasket and the wall 16. The closure 10 may then be easily removed from the container 26 by rotation of the closure 10 in the usual manner Without the resistance caused by a vacuum in the container 26.

In order to insure that the slot 44 is of the desired size and shape when the container closure 10 is being formed, a blank, generally designated by the numeral 50, is provided in the form illustrated in FIGURE 1, before being subjected to the drawing process. A concave section 52 is provided on the peripheral edge of the blank 50 adjacent the flap 40 formed thereon so that during the drawing process for forming the closure 10, the slot 44 will be formed with the desired size and shape, as illustrated in FIGURE 2. It has been found that if the concave portion 52 is not provided in the blank 50, the slot 44 will have an undesirable configuration after the drawing process. When the slot 44 is located near the upper edge of the skirt 1-8 the concave portion 52 is not provided in the blank 50 as it has been found unnecessary when such a construction is used. Instead of the concave section 52, a convex portion (not shown) may be provided extending outwardly from the blanks 50 when it is desired to form the shoulder portions 22 in this area.

As illustrated in FIGURE 5 the flap 40 may also be formed by tear lines 54 formed by indentations in the closure 10, instead of slits 42 so that the flap 40 may be moved about a hinge 56 by tearing the closure 10 along the tear lines. This construction functions in a manner similar to the one described above except that as the flap 40 is raised, it is necessary to exert extra force to tear the closure 10 along the tear lines 54.

Accordingly, this invention provides a novel container closure adapted to readily release the vacuum or pressure within a container prior to removal of the closure. The container closure has a release flap which may be readily lifted to release the pressure or vacuum within a container, so that the container closure may be easily removed therefrom. Such a container closure is simple in operation, relatively inexpensive to manufacture and may be reused again to seal the container.

It will be understood that the foregoing description with the details of exemplary structure is not to be construed in any way to limit the invention, but that modifications may be made thereto without departing from the scope of the invention.

Having thus described the invention, I claim:

I. A container closure comprising: a cap portion for covering the opening of a container; a skirt portion depending from said cap portion; a gasket disposed on the underside of said cap portion and extending from adjacent said skirt portion toward the center of said cap portion for sealing the lip portion of a container, said gasket being of relatively flexible material and adhesively attached to said cap portion; engaging means on said skirt portion for securing said container closure to a container; a release flap portion extending from said skirt portion to said cap portion; a hinge for said flap formed by a part of said cap portion; and said skirt portion having a lifting aperture formed therein adjacent said fiap portion for insertion of a tool to lift said flap portion and said gasket about said hinge portion to form a passage between a container sealed by said container closure and the atmosphere.

2. The container closure of claim '1 wherein said flap portion is formed by slits in said closure extending from said hinge on said cap portion to said lifting aperture on said skirt portion.

3. The container closure of claim 1 wherein said flap portion is formed by indentations in said closure extending from said hinge on said cap portion to said lifting aperture on said skirt portion, said indentations forming tear lines so that said flap may be lifted by a tool inserted in said aperture.

4. The container closure of claim 1 wherein said cap portion is generally disc shaped and has a raised annular ring portion extending about the circumferential periphery of said cap and is attached thereto by an annular wall extending generally upwardly from said cap portion to said annular ring portion, said annular ring portion forming an annular groove in cooperation with said skirt portion and said annular wall receiving said gasket for sealing engagement with the lip portion of a container.

5. The container closure of claim 4 wherein said flap portion is formed by a pair of slits in said closure extending from said hinge disposed on said annular wall portion to said lifting aperture on said skirt portion.

6. The container closure of claim 4 wherein said flap portion is formed by a pair of indentations in said closure extending from said hinge disposed on said annular Wall portion to said lifting aperture on said skirt portion, said indentations forming tear lines so that said flap may be lifted by a tool inserted in said aperture.

7. A container closure comprising: a cap portion for covering the opening of a container; a skirt portion depending from said cap portion; said cap portion being generally disc shaped and having a raised annular ring portion extending about the circumferential periphery thereof, said annular ring portion being attached to said 20 cap portion by an annular Wall extending generally upwardly from said cap portion to said annular ring portion, said annular ring portion forming an annular groove in cooperation with said skirt portion and said annular wall; a gasket disposed in said annular groove for sealing the lip portion of the container; engaging means on said skirt portion for securing said container closure to a container; a release flap portion extending from said skirt portion to said annular ring portion; a hinge for said flap formed by a part of said annular ring portion; and said skirt portion having a lifting aperture formed therein adjacent said flap portion for insertion of a tool to bend said flap portion about said hinge portion to form a passage between a container sealed by said container closure and the atmosphere.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,718,459 6/1929 Hammer 21546 1,866,841 7/1932 Crookshank 215-46 FOREIGN PATENTS 81,573 12/ 1955 Netherlands.

JOSEPH R. LECLAER, Primary Examiner.

US Cl. XJR. 22044

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1718459 *Dec 9, 1927Jun 25, 1929American Metal Cap CoRotatable vacuum-sealed cap
US1866841 *Dec 26, 1928Jul 12, 1932Bottle Tops IncCap for bottles
NL81573C * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3789788 *Nov 19, 1971Feb 5, 1974Seatech CorpBody seal for underwater device
US4069936 *Jun 21, 1976Jan 24, 1978Shibazaki Seisakisho Ltd.Cap for a beverage container
US4098420 *Dec 10, 1976Jul 4, 1978Daiwa Can Company, Ltd.Cap for a bottle
US4210272 *Jun 27, 1978Jul 1, 1980Michael M. SakovichContainer lid
US5979688 *Feb 23, 1998Nov 9, 1999Container Development, Ltd.Vacuum container with reclosable sealing closure having a vacuum release sealing button
US6206220Nov 9, 1999Mar 27, 2001Container Development, Ltd.Vacuum container with reclosable sealing closure having a vaccuum release sealing button
WO2005075301A2 *Jan 31, 2005Aug 18, 2005Francis ShoweringVented closure for a container
WO2005075301A3 *Jan 31, 2005Apr 6, 2006Francis ShoweringVented closure for a container
Classifications
U.S. Classification215/253, 215/262
International ClassificationB65D51/16
Cooperative ClassificationB65D51/1677
European ClassificationB65D51/16E1