|Publication number||US3468445 A|
|Publication date||Sep 23, 1969|
|Filing date||Aug 7, 1967|
|Priority date||May 17, 1967|
|Also published as||DE1566530A1, US3339771, US3567060|
|Publication number||US 3468445 A, US 3468445A, US-A-3468445, US3468445 A, US3468445A|
|Original Assignee||Gene Ballin|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (5), Referenced by (20), Classifications (11)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
Sept. 23, 1969 a. BALLIN 3,
INFANT-FEEDING CONTAINER AND CAP ASSEMBLY Filed Aug. 7, 1967 FIG. 2
INVENTOR GENE BALLlN ATTORNEYS United States Patent 3,468,445 INFANT-FEEDING CONTAINER AND CAP ASSEMBLY Gene Ballin, 3045 Shore Drive, Merrick, N.Y. 11566 Continuation-impart of application Ser. No. 550,809, May 17, 1966. This application Aug. 7, 1967, Ser. No. 658,933
Int. Cl. A61j 9/08 U.S. Cl. 21511 16 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE An infant feeding container having an insert located inside the nipple to seal the bottle when in the closed condition. The insert has downwardly depending legs around its periphery which rest on a flange at the base of the nipple. In the closed condition the imperforate center of the insert seals the bottle and the legs compress the flange so that when the exterior cap is removed the insert moves upwardly from the bottle mouth to permit the bottle contents to flow.
This application is a continuation-in-part of my c0- pending application Ser. No. 550,809, filed May 17, 1966, now U.S. Patent No. 3,339,771 entitled Infant Feeding Container and Cap Assembly.
This invention relates to an improved infant feeding container, and more particularly to a cap assembly for combining with a container while permitting presterilization of the cap assembly, container and contents thereof, and maintaining such sterilization until the container is ready for use.
conventionally, one form of infant feeding bottle and cap has a nipple on one end and a cap for maintaining the nipple in a sealed position on the top of the bottle. Various methods heretofore have been used to maintain the bottle and nipple in a sterile condition prior to use, such as by physically removing the nipple and inverting it, so that the nipple extends into the interior of the bottle, and then covering the reversed nipple with a flat plate or disc. A cap is used to maintain the seal until the bottle is ready to be used. In use, the cap is removed, the plate is taken off, and the nipple is carefully removed from the bottle and turned over; the cap is replaced around the nipple and fastened on the bottle to seal the underside of the flange of the nipple to the top of the bottle to prevent leakage. While this construction offers advantages of being able to presterilize the interior and contents of the container, to maintain such sterilization care has to be taken in removing and reversing the nipple just prior to use, or else the sterile condition is destroyed.
Another prior art construction has utilized a nipple cover which fitted over the erect nipple portion after sterilization to maintain it in sterile condition until ready r to be used. In use, this cover was physically removed and the bottle was then ready to be used. This construction offered serious disadvantages in that the cover had to be sterilized separately and often was not put on correctly or, if put on correctly, it was difiicult to remove.
Another disadvantage has been that in storage and transit from producer to user, the contents were permitted to be in contact with the nipple material, often leading to spoilage or contamination of the contents.
Attempts have been made heretofore to prebottle feeding formula for infants in infant feeding containers in sterile condition, so that the infant feeding containers are ready to be used and hence the necessity of individual mixing of ingredients to prepare formula for a day, or sterilizing the filled bottles is avoided. One method of doing this is shown in my prior Patent No. 3,219,221 issued Nov. 23, 1965.
pressed into the depression formed at the center of the diaphragm insert. This cap assembly structure, while having improved characteristics over the cap structures of the prior art, is not readily susceptible of easy assembly by machine, and requires that the nipple and diaphragm be first assembled on the bottle followed by the assembly of the outside retaining cap.
The present invention provides an improved cap assembly for a feeding container which can be machineassembled with a container of prepackaged infant-feeding formula in sterilized condition, which can be maintained until the bottle is ready to be used, and with the container requiring the minimum amount of time to make ready for use, by even the most unskilled help.
According to the present invention, a cap assembly is provided for a bottle or other container which can be easily sterilized and assembled on the bottle after filling. A diaphragm insert having a downwardly extending side wall is provided within and at the bottle end of the nipple. The nipple is depressed inwardly into a central depression in the diaphragm, and the nipple in conjunction with the insert form a seal to prevent the passage of any contents from the bottle prior to use. The nipple and insert are preassembled as a unit together with an exterior cap, so that the entire unit can be assembled on a bottle in a single operation, while the bottle, cap assembly and contents are being sterilized. The bottle is ready to be used by simply removing the exterior cap assembly and allowing the nipple to spring into an erect position ready for use without impairment of sterility.
The invention will be described in greater detail below and in the drawings in which:
FIGURE 1 is an exploded perspective View of the several parts of the invention;
FIGURE 2 is a cross-section of the partially assembled cap, nipple and bottle, at an early stage of assembly;
FIGURE 3 is a cross-section of the fully assembled container unit;
FIGURE 4 is a cross-section of the container unit with the exterior cap removed; and
FIGURE 5 is an enlarged fragmentary cross-section of a modified construction; after the cap has been removed.
Referring to FIGURE 1 of the drawings, 10 generally designates a bottle or other type of container with which a cap assembly 11 constructed in accordance with the present invention may be used. Bottle 10 has a general configuration similar to the conventional infant-feeding bottle heretofore used and has a mouth 12 at the top.
Bottle 10 contains a liquid 13 which may be milk or any other formula prescribed for infant-feeding. The bottle 10 is provided with a neck 16 having an exterior flange 14 thereon. Neck 16 terminates in a reduced diameter mouth 12. Art annular shoulder 17 is provided around mouth 12. Shoulder 17 has a flat annular surface 20 and a beveled surface 20a exterior of the fiat surface.
As shown in FIGURES 2 and 3, a flexible nipple 21 formed of the customary soft rubber or the like is to be mounted on mouth 12. The bottom edge of nipple 21 contains an inwardly extending flange 22. Flange 22 is furthat provided with an annular recess 23 located on its bottom and adjacent the exterior wall of the nipple. The lower side 18 of flange 22 inwardly of recess 23 is beveled upwardly at 23a. Surrounding the outer peripheral surface of nipple 21 is an outwardly extending normally 3 flat skirt 24 (seen in FIG. 4) which is located slightly above the level of lower nipple flange 22. Nipple 21 is also provided with opeenings 25 at its top center for release of the fluid contents of the bottle during use.
The cap assembly 11 includes a rip-type cap 26 having a vertical sidewall 27. Cap 26 is provided with a tearaway tab 28 which after assembly can be easily removed, thereby permitting removal of the entire cap 26. Cap 26 may be made of any of the conventional materials used for a rip-away cap such as aluminum.
Referring particularly to FIGURE 2 the interior top surface of flange 22 forms a shelflike portion 22a. Coaxially located within nipple 21 and resting on shelf 22a is a diaphragm insert 29.
Insert 29 is provided at its periphery with a plurality of closely spaced downwardly extending legs 30. At the base of each leg 30 is an inwardly extending foot 31. Feet 31 rest on surface 22a of inner flange 22 of the nipple when the unit is assembled. Although the preferred embodiment of insert 29 includes legs 30, it is possible to use an unperforated sidewall and to provide perforations near the intersection of the sidewall and the horizontal surface of the insert. The center of insert 29 is further provided with a depression 32 which is designed to receive the collapsed nipple as will be explained in detail below. Insert 29 is made of plastic or any other suitable material which will not deform or degrade when subjected to sterilizing temperatures and which will be non-reactive in contact with the contents of bottle 10. It may readily be molded from powdered material or punched and heatformed from sheet material.
In operation insert 29 is pre-installed in nipple 21 so that feet 31 rest on ledge 22a. This is facilitated by the slope 23a on the inward flange 22 and the slope 30a on the legs 30 of the insert 29. The insert will slightly spread the base of the nipple into an open position and retain it in such open position during later assembly to facilitate placement over the mouth of a container vessel. As shown in FIG. 2, the entire nipple and insert sub-assembly is then forced into exterior cap 26 and is retained in position by frictional engagement of skirt 24 with the interior of wall 27 of the cap. The entire cap assembly may then be sterilized prior to being placed on the bottle. The cap assembly is then placed over the mouth of the bottle in the position shown in FIG. 2, with slanted surface 23a of the nipple resting on slanted surface 20a of the mouth. Further pressure on the cap forces both flange 22 and legs 30 to spread outwardly beyond annular shoulder 17, after which further pressure releases them from shoulder 17 and they enter into recess 17a formed at the mouth of the bottle between flange 14 and shoulder 17 as shown in FIG. 3. Annular recess 23 provided in the base of flange 22 of the nipple permits the flange 22 to bend upwardly and inwardly in passing around shoulder 17 provided on the exterior of the mouth of the bottle. In addition the recess 23 facilitates a tight sealing relationship between the base of the nipple and the sloping surface of flange 14 against which it rests. The downward pressure exerted on the exterior cap 26 also forces nipple 21 downwardly against diaphragm 29 as in FIG. 3, collapsing the nipple into depression 32 and thereby pressing the unperforated portion 29a of the diaphragm 29, interior of legs 30, against flat surface 20 of the bottle. A seal will thereby be formed preventing any of the contents of the bottle from passing between the surface 29a of insert 29 and surface 20 of the bottle mouth. After the downward pressure is completed, a crimp 34 is formed in the base of vertical wall 27 of the cap to retain the cap assembly in position.
Where desired, the sequence of assembly of the cap assembly unit may be modified, so that the nipple is first inserted in the cap, and thereafter the diaphragm insert is inserted into the nipple, after which the cap assembly is placed in position as just described.
Skirt 24 on nipple 21 which during the assembly of the cap unit assisted in holding the unit together, will act as an additional seal after assembly of the cap on the bottle to prevent the entry of contaminants into the cap, thereby protecting the nipple and contents during storage. The seal thus formed prevents leakage of the contents or of vapor formed during the sterilization processing, and also prevents entry of unsterile or possibly contaminated air, until the cap is removed, when the container is ready to be used. Further, diaphragm insert 29 in the sealed position prevents contact between the bottle contents and nipple, thereby preventing deterioration of the nipple by contact with the milk or other stored material, and avoiding possible degradation of the stored material after prolonged periods of storage.
A preferred method of sterilization is to perform it during assembly. A blast of steam is supplied into the open mouth of the bottle just as the cap assembly is forced over the bottle mouth. The cap assembly traps steam between the diaphragm insert and the liquid in the bottle, and some of this steam also quickly enters the space between the insert and the nipple, by way of the diaphragm apertures. The action is performed rapidly, before the steam has a chance to cool, thereby sterilizing all surfaces reached by the steam.
Depending upon the location of the apertures in the nipple at its top, the steam may also enter the space between the cap and the nipple, thereby also sterilizing the outer surface of the nipple. However, to assure such sterilization even should the nipple apertures be blocked by the cap, during assembly of the nipple into the cap, a few drops of water are preferably injected into the space between the cap and nipple. After assembly of the cap unit on the bottle mouth, the entire sealed container is then subjected to a terminal sterilization (for example, by heating to about 240 F. for about 20 to 25 minutes). This serves to convert the drops of water into steam in the space between cap and nipple, completing any sterilization left incompleted previously.
FIG. 4 shows how to utilize the container and contents. Cap 26 need merely be removed, which is done by ripping away tear strip 28, which will in return permit removal of the exterior cap 26. When cap 26 is removed, the resiliency of nipple 21 will cause it to spring upwardly, releasing diaphragm insert 29 which also moves upwardly because of the resiliency of its legs, thereby exposing passages 33 between legs 30.
Annular flange 22, having been compressed downwardly by the cap and bent upwardly along groove 23, will also assist the nipple in assuming its erect position by springing back to its normal position. In addition, flange 22 will carry diaphragm 29 upwardly until feet 31 abut the bottom of shoulder 17 (as seen in FIG. 4) and a space then forms between surface 20 of the bottle and surface 29a of the insert. In this way, the nipple flange 22 effectively retains the feet 31 forming the edge of the diaphragm insert 29 with the apertures 33 communicating with both the interior of the nipple and the interior of the bottle. The milk or other material contained within the bottle will then pass through openings 33 into the nipple, where it may be utilized by the infrant in a normal manner. Annular surface 29a of diaphragm 29 preferably is located sufficiently above shoulder 20 so as topr event clogging of the passage area between the two by the liquid being used to feed the infant. Since there is no necessity to touch the nipple or any portion of the interior of the bottle in the preparation for use, no contamination can resu t.
FIG. 5 shows a modified form of construction. Here, nipple flange 124 is sloped, to facilitate assembly with the cap 26. Also, the inner edges of insert diaphragm feet 31 are rounded, as at 42. The nipple fiange'groove 23 is omitted, and an annular groove 123 is provided at the corner where the nipple flange 22 meets its side wall. The feet 31 of diaphragm 29 are similarly provided with a ridge 12S mating with groove 123, so as to resist pulling the nipple out after the cap is removed. This improves the seal at the shoulder 17 of the bottle. Circumferential ridges 44 may be added to the under side of nipple 21 opposite the edge of the imperforate center section of diaphragm 132 to aid in sealing when the cap is in place. Similar ridges 46 may be added to the under surface of the diaphragm opposite the top of the bottle mouth.
It will be understood that the nipple 21 of FIG. 5 has its flange 122 normally extending flatly inward, as with flange 22 in FIG. 2. However, after mounting on the bottle mouth, which requires stretching of both nipple 21 and insert 132, the resiliency of those elements forces flange 122 upwardly along the curved bottle shoulder 114 into the space between the insert flange at 42 and the bottle, as shown at 43. This also helps retain the nipple on the bottle. In addition, nipple flange 122 is provided with at least two grooves extending radially inwardly, one being shown at 41. These grooves 41 are non-symmetrically disposed, so that at least one will be aligned with a notch 33 between two legs 30 of diaphragm insert 132. Such grooves provide vents for air to enter the bottle when the contents are being sucked out by the user.
While a preferred embodiment of the invention has been described above, it will be understood that it is illustrative only and that variations in configuration of the cap, nipple and diaphragm are possible without changing their essential functioning. Thus, for example, while the invention has been described with respect to rip-type caps, it will be understood that other types may be used, whether threaded or unthreaded, and diflerent means may be employed to retain the nipple Within the cap. Hence, the present invention is to be deemed limited solely by the appended claims.
1. A cap and nipple assembly for use with a liquidcontaining vessel having a mouth, comprising in combination, a flexible nipple including means for mounting said nipple on said vessel mouth, an insert including portions Within said nipple and having a central imperforate section and a side Wall downwardly depending from said central section, said insert including a plurality of apertures adjacent the periphery of said central section, means on said nipple positioning said insert with said side wall at the inner wall of said nipple adjacent the lower edge thereof and with said apertures in communication with said nipple and adapted to communicate with the interior of the vessel when the nipple is mounted on said vessel mouth and in an erect position, the plane of said insert being located substantially parallel to the bottom of said nipple, said insert serving to spread said means for mounting said nipple when mounting said nipple on the mouth of a vessel, and a cap structure cooperating with said nipple and adapted to hold said insert against the mouth of said vessel to seal said imperforate section of said insert against said vessel mouth when said cap structure is on said vessel mouth in closed condition.
2. A cap and nipple assembly according to claim 1 also including means responsive to removal of said cap structure from said assembly when assembled on a vessel for causing said insert to move away from said vessel mouth.
3. A cap and nipple assembly according to claim 1 wherein said nipple includes a flexible annular extension mounted on the exterior of said nipple above the base of said nipple and adapted to frictionally engage said cap structure to permit assembling of said nipple insert and cap structure into a unitary assembly.
4. A cap and nipple assembly according to claim 1 wherein said insert central section has a depression therein and said nipple is located in said depression when said cap structure is in closed condition.
5. A cap and nipple assembly according to claim 1 wherein said apertures are notches that extend from the periphery of said insert to points adjacent said imperforate center section.
6. A cap and nipple assembly according to claim 1 wherein said means for positioning the insert comprises a flexible flange extending inwardly from the base of said nipple.
7. A cap and nipple assembly according to claim 6 also including inwardly extending portions at the base of said side Wall of said insert, said inwardly extending portions lying on said nipple base flange.
8. A cap and nipple assembly according to claim 6 wldierein said flange has an annular recess on its lower s1 e.
9. A cap and nipple assembly according to claim 8 wherein said vessel contains a groove on its exterior surface adjacent its mouth and said flange on said nipple is adapted to be positioned within said groove when said assembly is assembled on said vessel.
10. A cap and nipple assembly according to claim 9 wherein said apertures are notches that extend from the periphery of said insert to points adjacent said imperforate center section.
11. A container, nipple and cap assembly, comprising a vessel having a mouth with an upper surface, a flexible nipple having a base encircling said mouth, an insert within said nipple and having (a) a central imperforate section over said mouth, (b) a plurality of apertures adjacent the periphery of said central imperforate section and (c) a side wall depending from said central section; means on said nipple for positioning said insert with said side wall lining the inner wall of said nipple adjacent the lower edge thereof and with its apertures communicating with said nipple and the interior of said vessel when said nipple is in erect position, the plane of said insert being located substantially parallel to the bottom of said nipple and said insert serving to spread said nipple base when mounting said nipple on the mouth of said vessel, and a cap structure cooperating with said nipple and adapted to hold said insert against the mouth of said vessel to seal said imperforate section of said insert against said vessel mouth when said cap structure is on said vessel mouth in closed condition.
12. A container, nipple and cap assembly as in claim 11 including means formed on said nipple base for raising said insert from said vessel mouth upon removal of said cap structure.
13. A container, nipple and cap assembly as in claim 11 wherein said positioning means comprises an inwardly extending flange at the lower edge of said nipple base, said vessel having an annular groove below said mouth in which said flange is seated, and said insert having an inwardly turned peripheral edge in said groove and on said flange.
14. A container, nipple and cap assembly, as in claim 13 wherein said insert has a central depression and said cap in its closed condition retains said nipple in said depression.
15. A cap and nipple assembly for a liquid-containing vessel having a month, said vessel having an annular groove below said mouth, comprising in combination, a flexible nipple having an inwardly extending resilient flange at the lower edge of said nipple base, said flange being located in said groove when assembled on said vessel month, an insert within said nipple having a central imperforate section, said insert having an inwardly turned peripheral edge, said edge being located in said groove and on said flange when assembled on said vessel, said insert also having a plurality of apertures adjacent the periphery of said central section, said insert being positioned with said apertures in communication with said nipple and the interior of the vessel when said nipple is mounted on said vessel mouth and in an erect position, a cap structure cooperating with said nipple and adapted to hold said insert against the mouth of said vessel and against said resilient flange in compressed condition to seal said vessel mouth when said cap structure is on said vessel mouth in closed condition, whereby upon removal of said cap structure from said assembly when assembled on a vessel said flange expands, moving said insert away from said vessel mouth, allowing communication between the interior of said nipple and the interior of said vessel.
16. A container, nipple and cap assembly, comprising a vessel having a mouth with an upper surface, said vessel having an annular groove below said mouth, a flexible nipple having a base circling said mouth, said nipple having an inwardly extending resilient flange at the lower edge of said base, said flange extending into said groove, an insert within said nipple and having a central imperforate section over said mouth and a plurality of apertures adjacent the periphery of said central imperforate section, said insert also having an inwardly turned peripheral edge, said edge being located in said groove and on said flange, said insert being positioned with its apertures communicating with said nipple and the interior of said vessel when said nipple is in an erect position, a cap structure cooperating with said nipple and insert to hold said insert against said mouth surface and against said compressed resilient flange to seal said vessel mouth when said cap structure is in closed position whereby upon removal of said cap structure said flange expands, moving said insert away from said vessel mouth to permit communication between the interior of said nipple and the interior of said vessel.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,982,432 5/1961 Mehl 215-l1 3,253,726 5/1966 Meierhoefer 21511 3,339,771 9/1967 Ballin 215-11 755,276 3/1904 Clay 21538 1,426,209 8/1922 Newland 2l538 DONALD F. NORTON, Primary Examiner
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|U.S. Classification||215/11.6, 215/11.1|
|Cooperative Classification||A61J11/0095, A61J9/008, A61J11/008, A61J11/045|
|European Classification||A61J11/00Z2, A61J11/04A, A61J11/00Z6, A61J9/00E|