US 3447725 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
June 3, 1969 F. ARMOUR 7,7
SHAKER iled Nov. 25, 1966 Sheet of 2 INVENTOR. DONALD F. ARMOUR June 3, 1969 D. F. ARMOUR SHAKER Filed Nov. 25. 1966 IN-VENI'OR.
DONALD F. ARMOUR w 04 mi 0RNEY= United States Patent 3,447,725 SHAKER Donald F. Armour, Bloomfield, Conu., assignor to Monsanto Company, St. Louis, Mo., a corporation of Delaware Filed Nov. 25, 1966, Ser. No. 597,038 Int. Cl. B65d 83/06 US. Cl. 222-486 7 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE This invention relates to shakers for dispensing powder or granular materials, and more particularly to resilient shaker caps, of the type which surround and engage the discharge end of a container, as well as the container suited for use therewith.
Plastic dispensers have become important in the field of packaging in recent years and are now finding application in the dry product market, particularly as shakers for powder and granulated materials, such as baby powder, cosmetics, seasoning and the like. The majority of shakers presently in commercial use suffer from several disadvantages, including elaborate preassembly requirements, high cost, and sifting or leaking of the contents during shipment due to attempts to obtain a maximum size orifice to facilitate container filling.
Furthermore, these dispensers are usually sealed with caps or the like which are dependent for sealing on a mating engagement between the cap and the upper rim of the container. Special tolerances must generally be maintained on the container upper finish, and on the cap to optimize sealing, and minimize sifting. These design features are costly and frequently inadequate in the case of plastic dispensers, because of shrinkage of the hot plastic which occurs on cooling after removal of the part from the mold. Such shakers, therefore, have been used at most with indifferent success in the past.
It has been found that a dispenser constructed in accordance with the present invention overcomes the disadvantages of the prior art, particularly in regard to economy, simplicity of construction, and elimination of sifting.
It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide a resilient plastic shaker cap having improved sealing features.
It is a further object of the present invention to provide a resilient plastic shaker cap having improved sealing features for the discharge end of a container which has relatively low end finish construction tolerances.
It is a further object of this invention to provide a container having simplified stop provisions in its discharge end, which cooperate with those on a resilient cap for the container, to define the limits of rotational movement of the cap on the container.
It is an additional object of the present invention to provide a container which has improved sealing features for cooperation with mating provisions on a resilient container cap.
It is a further object of the present invention to provide a resilient plastic shaker cap having a straight outer side wall to simplify mold construction.
3,447,725 Patented June 3, 1969 Other objects of this invention will be obvious and will in part appear hereinafter.
These and other objects are accomplished by providing a plastic shaker comprising a container having an open ended tubular neck with locking means and a notch in its upper end, and a rotatable cap for the neck having a side wall, cooperating locking means for engaging the locking means of the neck, a top wall inclined downwardly towards its center, contiguous with the side wall, having an aperture therein alignable with the notch on rotating the cap, and a thinned section adjacent the point of c0ntiguity to permit flexing the top wall when the cap is placed on the neck.
In describing the overall invention, reference will be made to the preferred embodiment illustrated in the accompanying drawings in which:
FIG. I is an exploded, partial, perspective view of a shaker constructed in accordance with the present invention.
FIG. II is a fragmentary perspective view of the assembled shaker of FIG. I illustrating the cap in open dispensing position on the container.
FIG. III is a view similar to FIG. II illustrating the cap in closed position on the container.
FIG. IV is an enlarged fragmentary section of the shaker of FIGS. I-III illustrating the cap sealing provisions cooperating with the upper end of a container having a low tolerance, downwardly sloping upper end finish.
FIG. V is a view similar to FIG. IV illustrating the cap sealing on a container end having a low tolerance upwardly sloping upper end.
With reference to the drawings, wherein identical numerals refer to identical parts, there is shown in FIG. I, shaker 10 of the present invention, comprising container 11 and cap 12. Container 11 may assume any useful shape, and has a conventional bottom wall, a side wall contiguous with the outer periphery of the bottom wall (not shown) and an open ended tubular neck 14, projecting upwardly from top wall 16. Tubular neck 14 has locking means on its outer surface comprising annular recess 18, and dispensing passageways or notches 20a and 20b in its upper end 19. The outer surface of upper end 19 1s beveled and slopes inwardly at a slight angle and terminates at top sealing face 21. Top face 21 may be horizontal as in FIG. I or gradually sloped downwardly as at 21a in FIG. IV or sloped slightly upwardly as at 21b in FIG. V. Though molded to be horizontal, when the neck cools after molding, face 21 may vary from the horizontal due to shrinkage of the plastic. Smooth cylindrical sealing surface 22 may also be provided on the outer surface of neck 14.
Two notches as shOWn in FIG. 1 are preferred; however, only one is essential. Notch 20a has surfaces 24a and 24b gradually tapering upwardly from bottom face 26a to vertically disposed abutments 28a and 28b on each side of notch 20a. Notch 20b is similarly constructed.
Cap 12 has a generally cylindrical top 30 and vertical side wall 32, contiguous with the top at the outer periphery thereof. Outer surface 34 of side wall 32 is unstepped, i.e. lies entirely in a vertical plane. Side wall 32 has co operating locking means comprising inwardly projecting bead 36 which resiliently fits within annular recess 18 and engages the upper surface thereof when the plastic cap is fitted over the neck. Grooves to facilitate finger gripping may, however, be provided an outer surface 34 if desired. As an important feature of the invention, top 30 is inclined slightly downwardly toward its center in a concave manner when disengaged from the neck, or when fitted to a container neck having a gradually downwardly sloping top face 21 as shown in FIG. IV. The concavity is slight and is illustrated in exploded cross section by the angle in FIG. IV. Top 30 has one or more apertures 38 which are alignable with notches a and 20b on rotating the cap when engaged on the neck by bead 36 in recess 18. As a preferred embodiment of this invention, top also may have a stop block typically shown at 40 protruding down from its underside, which fits within notch 20a and moves therein on rotating cap 12 when engaged on neck 14. The thickness of top 30 is slightly reduced somewhat adjacent the point of contiguity with the inner surface of side wall 32, so as to provide groove 42 extending around the periphery of the top on the underside thereof, at the point of contiguity with the inner surface of side Wall 32. Downwardly extending sealing beads, typically shown as 44 are provided on the underside of top 30 to surround each aperture 38 as shown in FIGS. IV and V. Secondary sealing provisions may be provided if desired, on the inner surface of the cap side wall by inwardly projecting bead 46 spaced upwardly from bead 36 near the lower end of side wall 32 as shown in outline form in FIGS. IV and V. This sealing bead would cooperate with smooth, cylindrical sealing surface 22 of neck 14. Straight section 48 is provided at the lower end of side wall 32 of cap 12.
When the cap is positioned on the container neck as shown in FIG. II, one of the vertical sides of stop block 40 abuts against vertically disposed abutment 28a on one side of notch 20a and apertures 38 are so spaced in the cap top wall that in this position they are in axial alignment with dispensingchamber or notch 20a of the container neck. When the shaker is turned on end, with the cap in this position, material may flow from the interior of the container body through the dispensing chamber or notch 20a and exit through the apertures.- When the cap is rotated in the opposite direction, as illustrated in FIG. III so that the opposite surface of stop block 40 abuts against vertically disposed abutment 28b of notch 20a, the apertures are no longer in alignment with dispensing chamber 20a and are situated above the closed upper face 21 of upper end 19 of neck 14. In this position, a closed portion of the top wall of the cap, rather than the apertures, is in axial alignment with the dispensing chamber and material, therefore, cannot flow out of the container.
As the cap is rotated from the open, discharge position on the neck to the closed position, each sealing bead matingly and sealingly contacts upper face 21 of end 19 of neck 14 to insure positive sealing between the interior of the container and the aperture which acts as an opening to the atmosphere.
Groove 42 provided by the thinned section at the outer edge of the top of the shaker cap is particularly important to the sift proof feature of the present invention. This thinned out section in conjunction with concave top 30 of cap 12 permits the top to flex upward and compensate for any variation in the flatness of upper sealing surface 21 of end 19, While still maintaining an effective seating of sealing beads 44 surrounding the discharge apertures 38 on upper sealing face 21. This cooperation is illustrated in FIGS. IV and V of the drawings. Maximum variation of the concave top in an upward direction is illustrated (not to scale) by the angle ,5 in FIG. V. Without the use of the thinned section, flexing of the top would be practically non-existent and the sealing beads could not effectively follow any variation in the flatness of sealing face 21. For example, the outer side of bead 44 would seal hard, i.e. with high pressure, against surface 21, with the opposite inner side out of contact with surface 21. This would result in leakage, and would render the cap appreciably more difficult to turn because of the uneven distribution of the sealing pressure.
The concave design of the cap top in conjunction with the aperture sealing beads thereon compensate for any variation in the flatness of the sealing face which generally occurs on cooling of the plastic container after molding.
An additional feature of the present invention is provided by the cooperation between straight section 48 of cap 12 and the inwardly sloping outer surface of neck end 19. In assembling the cap on the neck with automatic capping machines, for example, the slight inward taper of the outer surface of the top of end 19 aids in guiding the sharply cut lower end of straight section 48 of the cap down onto the neck.
As mentioned previously, secondary sealing provisions may be provided by bead 46 on the inner surface of the cap side wall, positioned so as to mate with cylindrical surface 22 of the neck, to prevent material from sifting out of the container through the space between the under side of the top of the cap and upper sealing face 21 at the points where there are no aperture sealing beads. The cooperation between the upper surface of recess 18 and locking ring 36 may, however, be successfully utilized to provide this sealing in lieu of seal 46 and cylindrical surface 22.
The above description and particularly the drawings are for purposes of illustration only and are in no Way to be taken in a limited sense.
As mentioned previously this invention is directed toward a plastic shaker comprising a container having a tubular neck having locking means and a notch in its upper end; a rotatable cap for the neck having (a) a side wall having cooperating locking means for engaging the locking means of the neck and (b) a top wall inclined downwardly toward its center contiguous with the side wall, having an aperture therein alignable with the notch on rotating the cap, and a thinned section adjacent the point of contiguity with the side wall to permit flexing the top Wall when the cap is placed on the neck.
The container of the present invention can obviously assume numerous shapes, for example, it may consist merely of a bottom wall having sides which converge into the neck of the container. Also, the container may, if desired, be simply an open ended container having notches in its upper rim thereby eliminating the necessity of a neck portion. In this event, the shaker closure would accommodate the wall of the container itself in the sam manner as that indicated for a container having a neck portion.
Obviously, the aperture in the cap can assume a variety of shapes, depending on the type of material to be poured. For example, the aperture might more desirably have a spout or funnel cross section in place of the series of small perforations shown in the drawings.
Though use of a stop block in the shaker of the present invention is not essential to its successful operation, it is a preferred embodiment which greatly simplifies its use.
Also notch(es) 20 may be cut out of only a portion of the thickness of the neck, rather than completely through the thickness as shown in the drawings. It is necessary, however, that the notch if so designed be cut on the inner surface of the end of the neck. The stop block, aperture, and aperture seal, or plurality of same, of course would correspondingly require repositioning to cooperate with the revised notch position.
Though it is preferred, it is not essential that the thinned section of the shaker cap top or closure extend completely around the periphery of the top. Equally satisfactory results may be obtained if only portions of the periphery of the top wall are reduced in cross section. Likewise, though the groove is shown on the underside of the top in the drawings, equally satisfactory results would be obtained if it were on the outer, upper side of the cap rather than the inner side. Two grooves, one on the outer and one on the inner side with a thinned section between would likewise be suitable. Obviously any shape of out which provides the thinned, reduced top wall thickness will give satisfactory results. For example, a triangular, rectangular, square etc. cut are all satisfactory.
The position of the locking means of the bead and container neck may be reversed from that shown in the drawings, i.e., the bead may be on the neck and the cooperating recess in the cap side wall.
Though it is preferred for extreme simplicity of construction and ease of operation to design the notches in the container neck to accomplish the dual function of cooperating with stop blocks to limit rotational movement of the cap, as well as to act as passageways for discharge of the container contents, separate notches may be employed to accomplish each function. For example, in US. Patent No. 3,214,068, grooves to limit rotational movement are located anywhere on the outer surface of the neck, and notches provided in the upper end as passageways for cooperation with the apertures. The stop block design in such cases would, of course, have to be altered from that shown in the drawings, i.e., elongated so as to fit within the groove in the outer surface of the neck rather than in its upper face.
The opposed upwardly tapering surfaces of the notches of the container neck act as an aid in preventing slivers of waste plastic from building up in any sharp corners of the notches when the neck sprue is being ground off in the container finishing operation. For this reason the taper is preferred, though obviously a groove with a sharply cut untapered joint between the side and bottom face would be satisfactory.
As previously mentioned, a plurality of stop blocks.
and notches may be used, though only one is necessary. A separate set of apertures for cooperation with each notch is preferred. Four sets of apertures cooperating with four notches, for example, may be used, thereby decreasing the rotation necessary to open and close the cap by the user.
The individual sealing beads surrounding each aperture on the underside of the cap are not essential since the underside of the top wall of the cap may be designed to sealingly contact the upper face of the container neck end. These beads are preferred, however, though they may be replaced if desired with a larger sealing projection which surrounds each set, or portion of a set of apertures in the cap, rather than each individual aperture. Set herein is taken to mean the group of apertures alignable with each individual notch.
The vertical side wall design of the cap of the present invention as opposed, for example, to that shown in U.S. Patent No. 3,214,068 having an outwardly protruding portion, provides for easier molding in that only a single diameter is involved.
The shaker of the present invention may be used to dispense any type of solid material, for example, powders and granulated materials in the form of baby powder, cosmetics, seasoning and the like.
Either the cap or the container of the present invention must be of a yieldable thermoplastic material, for example, low intermediate or high density polyethylene, polypropylene or polymers of vinyl chloride, in order for the cap to resiliently fit over the neck of the container, and for the sealing means of each to cooperatively hold the cap on the neck. Both cap and container may be of the same thermoplastic material, but both cannot be of a hard, non-yielding material. It is preferred that the shaker cap and container, however, be of dissimilar materials within the aforementioned grouping, since a lubricating effect which provides for ease of turning of the cap on the container is achieved with this combination.
Although the invention has been described with a certain degree of particularity, it is understood that the present disclosure has been made only by way of example and that numerous changes in the details of construction and combination and arrangement of parts may be resorted to without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention hereinafter claimed.
What is claimed is:
1. A plastic shaker comprising:
(A) a container having a tubular neck having locking means, a top sealing surface and a notch in its upper end; and
(B) a rotatable, resilient cap for the neck having:
(a) a side wall having cooperating locking means for engaging the locking means of the neck;
(b) a top wall slightly inclined downwardly toward its center, said top wall being contiguous with the side wall at its periphery, said top wall having an aperture therein alignable with the notch on rotating the cap, and a thinned section in said top wall adjacent to and extending entirely around its periphery, whereby said inclined top wall and thinned section coact to permit flexing of the top wall to follow any minor surface variations in the top sealing surface of the neck during rotation of the cap on the neck, thereby providing a tight seal between said cap and the top sealing surface of the container neck regardless of minor surface variations in the top sealing surface of the neck.
2. A resilient shaker cap for an open neck container having a dispensing chamber formed in said neck, which comprises:
(A) a side wall having locking means for engaging the neck; and
(B) a top wall inclined downwardly toward its center, said top wall being contiguous with the side wall at its periphery, said top wall having an aperture therein defining an opening between the inner and outer surfaces of the top wall which is alignable with the dispensing chamber, a thinned section in said top wall adjacent to and extending entirely around its periphery, whereby said inclined top wall and thinned section coact to permit flexing of the top wall to follow any minor surface variations in the top surface of the container neck, thereby providing a tight seal between said cap and the top surface of the container neck regardless of minor surface variations in the top surface of said neck, and sealing means surrounding the aperture projecting downwardly from the inner surface of the top wall of the cap.
3. The shaker of claim 1 wherein the cap has a stop block for movement Within the notch.
4. The shaker of claim 1 wherein the upper end of the neck is beveled inwardly, and the side wall of said cap is axially straight at its lower end so as to resiliently and slidingly contact the beveled surface of the neck when the cap is being fitted on the neck.
5. The shaker of claim 3 wherein the notch has a bottom wall and two side walls, each side wall having at least a portion thereof substantially parallel to the container axis against which the stop block abuts when the cap is rotated While locked on the neck to define the permissible limits of rotational movement of the cap on the neck.
6. A plastic shaker comprising:
(A) a thermoplastic container having a tubular, open ended neck with an annular recess in its outer surface, a plurality of circumferentially elongated notches axially extending downwardly from the top surface of the neck, each notch having a bottom wall and two sidewalls parallel to the container axis, the bottom wall of each notch gradually tapering upwardly into its sidewalls; and
(B) a thermoplastic cap rotatably mounted on the neck having a sidewall with its outer surface parallel to the container axis and having an inwardly protruding locking bead on its inner surface situated within the annular recess of the neck, a concave downward top wall contiguous with the sidewall having a plurality of sets of apertures formed therein defining openings between the inner and outer surfaces of the top wall, each set of apertures being alignable with a notch on rotating the cap in one direction, said top wall having a plurality of stop blocks for movement within the notches, said top wall having a thinned section adjacent its outer periphery and a plurality of downwardly ex tending beads in said top wall, each bead surrounding an aperture and sealably contacting a portion of the top surface of the container neck when the cap is rotated in the opposite direction.
7. The shaker of claim 5 wherein the top surface of the container neck deviates slightly from a horizontal position.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS Jamison 222562 X Thomas 222-562 X Cherba 222-519 Ruetz 222498 Malglaive 222562 X Armour 222486 ROBERT B. REEVES, Primary Examiner.