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Publication numberUS3480171 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 25, 1969
Filing dateDec 30, 1966
Priority dateDec 30, 1966
Publication numberUS 3480171 A, US 3480171A, US-A-3480171, US3480171 A, US3480171A
InventorsRohde Le Roy H
Original AssigneeWest Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Container closure
US 3480171 A
Abstract  available in
Images(2)
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Nov. 25, 1969 LE ROY H.'ROHDE 3,480,171

CONTAINER CLOSURE Filed Dec. 30. 1966 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Nov. 25, 1969 LE ROY H. ROHDE 3,480,171

CONTAINER CLOSURE Filed Dec. 30, 1966 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 FIGIB.

f FIG. l2. H614 mvemon: H. ROHDE AT YS.

United States Patent 3,480,171 CONTAINER CLOSURE Le Roy H. Rohde, Phoenixville, Pa., assignor to The West Company, Phoenixville, Pa., a corporation of Pennsylvania Filed Dec. 30, 1966, Ser. No. 606,061 Int. Cl. B65d 17/10, 41/12 US. Cl. 215-46 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A tear off cap for a container comprising an annular top portion, a skirt depending from the outer peripheral edge of the top portion, a central disc connected to the annular top portion along a hinge line, a pair of closely spaced score lines in the top and skirt defining therebetween a detachable tab section, one of said score lines disposed adjacent one end of the hinge line extending across the annular top and down said skirt to a point spaced from the lower edge thereof, the other of said score lines being disposed adjacent the other end of said hinge line and comprising a first segment extending across the top portion downwardly along the skirt and terminating upwardly from the lower edge thereof and a second segment aligned with the first segment spaced therefrom by a bridge and extending to the lower edge of the skirt and a third score line in the cap approximately diametrically opposed from said tab portion including a first score line section extending across the annular top portion and down said skirt and a second score line section vertically aligned with said first score line section and opposed therefrom to provide a short connecting bridge on said skirt serving as a hinge facillitating removal of the cap from the container, said second score line section extending to the lower edge of the skirt.

The present invention relates generally to container closures and more particularly to the outer cap structure used, for example, on pharmaceutical bottles or the like which normally seals the contents and is adapted to be torn off by the user when it is desired to dispense the contents of the bottle.

These caps, which are commonly termed tear-off caps, generally hold a stopper in place in the opening of a bottle and comprise an outer cap portion having an annular top, a skirt which is adapted to be crimped at its lower edge over a flange finish on the bottle to hold it in place and a removable disc disposed centrally of the annular top. In some of these prior caps, for example in the type shown in the Underwood Patent No. 2,544,969, score lines are provided in the annular portion of the cap and skirt adjacent the disc which terminate short of the lower edge. By this construction when the central disc is peeled back, the annular top and sidewall rip along the score lines. Since the score lines terminate short of the lower terminal edge of the cap, the tab usually does not break all the way through the skirt whereby the cap still adheres firmly to the container. However, it has been found that in order to completely remove the cap, it is necessary to sever the tab formed by pulling on the disc completely and then peel back the remainder of the cap.

This, of course, is an extremely awkward and clumsy way to remove the cap entirely and requires in most instances two hands of the user. Furthermore, sharp edges invariably formed upon removal of the disc present a hazard and risk of injury to the user when peeling back the remainder of the cap to remove it. More specifically, it has been found that even when the tab is completely severed from the remainder of the cap, two hands of the "ice user are still required to separate the cap from the container.

With the foregoing in mind, a principal object of the present invention is to provide a tear-off cap of the above type which is easy and economical to manufacture and which is much simpler to remove completely from the bottle and wherein the risk of injury to the user caused by removal of the cap is minimized. To this end, the cap structure includes a pair of closely spaced score lines extending on either side of the main connecting hinge of the disc to the annular top and downwardly along the skirt. One of the score lines terminates above the lower edge of the skirt and other score line is broken to define a first segment extending from the throat of the tab over the bent edge and a shorter segment spaced from the first segment by a short bridge connection extending to the lower edge of the cap.

The cap further includes a third score line approximately diametrically opposed from the closely spaced pair described above having an upper segment which extends along the annular portion from its inner edge and downwardly along the skirt and a lower segment spaced from the main segment and extending to the lower edge of the cap. This third score line provides a hinge during removal of the cap structure. By this arrangement when it is desired to remove the cap, the disc is simply peeled back to break the small bridges connecting the disc to the annular portion and as the disc is further pulled away from the bottle, a tail-like tab is formed between the closely spaced score lines. The segmented score line by reason of the fact that the lower segment extends to the lower edge of the skirt breaks through entirely when the disc and tab are pulled downwardly and results in separation of one side of the tab from the skirt dividing the cap into three connected sections which pivot outwardly away from the bottle about the pivot provided between the segments of the second score and the third score area to release the cap from the bottle. Thus, it is readily apparent from the above that the cap of the present invention is much simpler to remove by a one-hand operation and that the cap is capable of being completely removed without the user coming in close contact with any sharp or jagged edges formed during separation of the portions of the cap as noted above.

With the foregoing in mind, an object of the present invention is to provide a tear-off cap which may be removed easily and quickly and completely by a one-hand operation without risk of injury to the user.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a tear-off cap of relatively simplified construction which is effective for the purposes intended.

Still another object of the invention is to provide a tear-off cap which is relatively easy and economical to manufacture.

These and other objects of the present invention and the various features and details thereof are hereinafter more fully set forth with reference to the accompanying drawings, wherein:

FIG. 1 is a plan view of a tear-off closure constructed in accordance with the present invention applied to a container such as a bottle;

FIG. 2 is an enlarged sectional view taken on lines 22 of FIG. 1 showing a portion of the bottle;

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of one embodiment of tear-off closure in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 4 is a plan view of a pre-scored blank from which the cap shown in FIG. 3 is formed;

FIGS. 5 and 6 are fragmentary perspective views illustrating removal of the closure from a bottle;

FIG. 7 is a perspective view of the cap after removal from a bottle;

FIG. 8 is a perspective view of a second embodiment of closure in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 9 is a plane view of the cap shown in FIG. 8;

FIG. 10 is a plan view of a pre-scored blank for making the second embodiment of closure.

FIG. 11 is a plan view of a third embodiment of container closure in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 12 is an enlarged sectional view taken on lines 1212 of FIG. 11;

FIG. 13 is a plan view of a circular blank from which the container closure shown in FIG. 11 is made; and

FIG. 14 is a perspective view of the container closure prior to application to a container.

Referring now to the drawing and particularly to FIGS. 1 and 2 thereof, there is shown a container closure 10 constructed in accordance with the present invention applied to a container, in the present instance, a bottle 12. The cap 10, in the present instance, holds a stopper 14 made of rubber in place in the open end of the bottle. The bottle, as illustrated, has a reduced neck 16 and a radially outwardly projecting flange 18 adjacent the open end thereof providing an annular shoulder 19 spaced downwardly from the open end of the bottle.

The closure 10 comprises, in the present instance, an outer cap 20 having an outer annular top portion 22 and a generally cylindrical skirt 24 depending from the outer circumferential edge of the annular top portion 22, the lower terminal edge 23 of the skirt 24 adapted to be crimped or spun under the shoulder 19 of the bottle to hold the cap in place. The closure further includes a central circular disc member connected to the annular top portion by fracturable bridge means 31 and along one arcuate edge portion of the disc is connected to the annular top by a hinge section as at 32. The disc has an upturned edge portion 34 diametrically opposed from the tab connection 32 which is designed to be engaged by the fingernail of the user or another implement to pry the disc 30 upwardly when it is desired to raise the disc and expose the stopper. The disc in the present instance has a raised rib in the form of an arrow to rigidity the disc upon actuation thereof to expose the stopper.

In accordance with the present invention, the cap is characterized by novel features of construction and arrangement whereby the cap may be completely removed from the container in one operation by one hand of the user without contacting any sharp edges generally produced on removal of a tear-off cap of this type. To this end, in accordance with the embodiment of the invention illustrated in FIGS. 1-7 inclusive, two closely spaced score lines and 42 are provided which, as illustrated, define therebetween a tab 43 connected to the disc 30 and a single score line section 44 is provided opposite the tab 43 approximately diametrically opposed from the score lines 40 and 42. The score lines 40 and 42 in the present instance have substantially parallel sections 40a and 42a respectively in the annular tap portion of the cap extending from the inner edge thereto to a point adjacent the outer edge of the annular portion and depending sections 40b and 42b respectively extending downwardly along the skirt of the cap. These score line sections 40b and 42b converge inwardly to provide a truncated V arrangement of the score lines in the skirt of the cap. Further, as illustrated in the present instance the score line segment 42b terminates short of the lower end of the flange and the score line section 40b has a lower extension 41b spaced from the score line section 40b to define a connecting bridge and extending fully to the lower edge of the skirt. The score line 44 also has a segment 44a extending across the annular portion from the inner to the outer terminal edge thereof, a depending segment 44b extending down the skirt of the cap and a lower extension 45b which is spaced from the segment 44b by a short connecting bridge 47. It is noted that in the present instance the score line sections 40b and 42b in the skirt 24 terminate at a point approximately the same distance from the lower edge of the skirt and bridge 55 is narrower than the distance from the lower end of the score line segment 42b and the lower edge of the skirt.

Consider now the procedure to remove a cap in accordance with the present invention from the bottle 12. The bottle 12 is supported with one hand of the user, for example, the left hand and the user positions a fingernail of the thumb of the right hand underneath the raised edge portion 34 of the disc 30 and pries it upwardly to a point where he can grasp it with the thumb and forefinger. The disc 30 is then raised to initially break the bridge connections to the annular portion of the cap and pivot the disc about the hinge line 32, the embossed indicating arrow 51 serving as a strengthening rib to prevent buckling of the disc. Now, upon further pulling of the disc 30 in a radially outward direction, the annular top and skirt break away at the score lines by virtue of the score line to form a pull tab extension 43 integrally connected to the disc and to the remainder of the cap along an extension of the score line 42b. It is noted that the bridge connection between the score line sections 40b and 41b fractures to completely sever the cap along a line through the score lines 40b and 41b. By this arrangement further pulling of the disc in the manner described above causes the score lines 44 and 45b to fracture as indicated in FIG. 7 to form a hinge-like connection between the score lines thereby separating the cap in halves so that it drops away from the neck of the bottle. It is noted that in the present instance the tab has a truncated V portion defined by the downwardly converging score lines. Further, it is noted that the provision of the score line extension 41b and 45b are important factors in the overall score arrangement to facilitate easy removal of the cap in the manner described above.

Tear-01f caps in accordance with the present invention may be made from a flat sheet of soft metal such as aluminum by stamping out circular blanks B of the type illustrated in FIG. 4 and simultaneously with the stamping operation providing groups of score lines in the blank as shown. In the present instance, the score lines formed in each circular blank include the score lines 40 and 42 which are parallel and are disposed on opposite sides of a true radial line extending from the center of the blank. The inner spaced ends of the score lines 40 and 42 define the hinge portion between the annular top and center disc when the circular disc blank is stamped and formed into the finished cap.

Preferably the score line 44 and extension 45b are disposed on a radial line continued from the true radial line between the score lines 40 and 42. Following the pre-scoring step, the disc-like blanks are formed in a stamping and forming operation to provide the finished cap shown in FIG. 3 and in this scoring operation the center disc and various bridges and edges of the finished cap are formed including the depending skirt. It is noted that the score lines 40 and 42 become downwardly converging score lines in the skirt of the cap due to the flow of metal caused by the stamping and forming operation. As noted above, this produces a truncated V arrangement of the score lines in the skirt so that when the cap is torn off, the metal in the cap has a natural tendency to tear along a V and the arrangement of the score lines utilizes such tendency to advantage.

There is shown in FIGS. 8 and 9 a second embodiment of container closure or cap in accordance with the present invention. The cap, generally similar to the previously described embodiment includes an annular top portion 122, a generally cylindrical disc member disposed centrally of the annular top portion and connected thereto by fracturable bridge means 131 and a hinge line 132. The disc 130 has an upturned edge portion 134 so that the disc may be pried upwardly for removal when it is desired to remove the cap from the container. The disc 130 also includes an embossed rib 151 in the form of an arrow to serve as a rigidifying means upon removal of the The cap includes a plurality of score lines which are severed during actuation of the disc to divide the cap into sections and permit removal thereof by a one-hand operation, the cap thus being termed a tear-off type. The score lines are arranged in generally the same manner as in the previously described embodiment, there being a pair of closely spaced score lines 140 and 142 defining therebetween a tab 143 on one side of the cap and a single score line 144 diametrically opposed from the tab 143. In the present instance, however, the score lines 140 and 142 have outwardly diverging sections 140a and 142a extending across the annular top portion from the inner to the outer edges thereof and depending sections 140b and 142b extending downwardly along the skirt of the cap which, as illustrated, are generally parallel to one another. As in the previously described embodiment, the score line segment 142b terminates short of the lower end of the skirt and to score line segment 140b has a lower extension 1411) spaced from the section 140b by a short connecting bridge 155, the extension 141b extending to the bottom edge of the skirt 124. It is noted that in the present instance the score line sections 140b and 1421: in the skirt 124 terminate at a point approximately the same distance from the lower edge of the skirt and that the bridge 155 is narrower than the distance from the lower end of the score line segment 142b and the lower edge of the skirt.

The score line 144 has a segment 144a extending across the annular top portion 122, a depending segment 144b extending down the skirt and lower extension 145b spaced from the segment 144b by a short connecting bridge 147 defining a hinge about which the halves of the cap pivot during removal from the container.

The embodiment is removed from a container in the same manner described above in connection with the previous embodiment. It is noted, however, that in the present instance the tab has a V-shaped formation adjacent the disc 130 and a generally rectangular formation along the width of the skirt 124.

This embodiment of cap may be made from flat sheet material by stamping out circular blanks B therefrom of the type illustrated in FIG. 10. This disc is formed with a plurality of score lines which prior to formation of the disc into a cap are generally aligned and arranged as shown in FIG. 10. As illustrated, the score lines 140*, 142 and 144 are true radial lines extending from the center of the disc.

There is shown in FIGS. 11-14 a third embodiment of container closure or cap in accordance with the present invention. The cap, generally similar to the previously described embodiment includes an annular top portion 222, a generally circular disc member 230 disposed centrally of the annular top portion and connected thereto along a hinge line 232. As best illustrated in FIGS. 11 and 12, the disc 230 has an upturned edge portion 234 so that the disc may be pivoted upwardly for removal when it is desired to remove the cap from the container.

The disc 230 also includes a series of embossed ribs 251 to serve as rigidifying means upon removal of the disc. The cap further includes a cylindrical skirt 224 which depends from the annular top portion 222 and is adapted at its lower edge to be turned under or crimped inwardly to engage under an annular shoulder 218 on the container 212. The container closure of the present invention is adapted to hold a stopper 214 in place in the open end of thecontainer. In the present instance, there is also provided a circular metal disc 215 between the stopper and cap.

The cap includes a plurality of score lines which are severed to permit removal of the cap and which are oriented to divide the cap into sections, this cap also being termed a tear-off type cap. The score lines are arranged in generally the same manner as in the previously described embodiments. Thus there are a pair of closely spaced score lines 240 and 242 defining therebetween a tab 243 on one side of the cap formed integrally with the disc on the opposite side of the hinge line 232 and a single score line 244 diametrically opposed from the tab 243. In the present instance the score lines 240 and 242 are not continuous, the score line 240 including a first section 240a extending from the inner edge of the annular portion approximately halfway across the top, a second section 24% in line with the first section 240a and spaced therefrom by a short connecting bridge 240e, the second section 24% extending across the top and down the skirt and a third section 240d spaced from the intermediate section by a short connecting bridge 240e and extending to the lower edge of the skirt as best illustrated in FIG. 14. Score line 242 comprises a first section 242a parallel to and of the same length as the score line 240a and a second section 242b spaced from the short score line section 242a by a connecting bridge 242c. The longer section 242b terminates short of the lower terminal edge of the skirt again as best illustrated in FIG. 14. The portions of the score lines extending along the skirt diverge inwardly toward one another so that the tab portion has a tapered tail. The score line 244 has a section 244a extending along the inner edge of the annular portion down- 'wardly along the skirt and a second section 244b spaced from the first section and in line therewith by a short connecting bridge 2 44c. The lower portion 244b of the score line 244 terminates at the lower edge of the skirt 244.

The container closure described above is adapted for removal from a container or bottle 212 in the same manner described above in connection with the previous embodiments.

The container closure shown in FIGS. 11, 12 and 14 may be made from flat sheet material by stamping out circular blanks B" of the type shown in FIG. 13, the blank being formed with a plurality of score lines which prior to formation thereof into a cap are generally aligned and arrayed as shown in FIG. 13. In this connection it is noted that the score lines 240- and 242 are parallel to one another in the circular blank and are not true radial lines, whereas the score line 244 is a true radial line extending from the center of the circular blank.

It is noted that in the illustrated embodiments of the invention and with respect particularly to FIGS. 3 and 4, the extended score line is to the left of the shortened score line. It is to be understood that these score lines can be reversed and the cap would function in precisely the same manner as the described embodiments.

While particular embodiments of the present invention have been illustrated and described herein, it is not intended to limit the invention and changes and modifications may be made.

1. A tear oif cap for a container comprising an annular top portion, a skirt depending from the outer peripheral edge of the top portion, a central disc connected to the annular top portion along a hinge line, a pair of closely spaced score lines in the top and skirt defining therebetween a detachable tab section, one of said scope lines disposed adjacent on end of the hinge line extending across the annular top and down said skirt to a point spaced from the lower edge thereof, the other of said score lines being disposed adjacent the other end of said hinge line and comprising a first segment extending across the top portion downwardly along the skirt and terminating upwardly from the lower edge thereof and a second segment aligned with the first segment spaced therefrom by a bridge and extending to the lower edge of the skirt and a third score line in the cap approximately diametrically opposed from said tab portion including a first score line section extending across the annular top portion and down said skirt and a second score line section vertically aligned with said first score line section and opposed therefrom to provide a short connecting bridge on said skirt serving as a hinge facilitating removal of the cap from the container, said second score line section extending to the lower edge of the skirt.

2. A cap as claimed in claim 1 wherein said central disc is circular.

3. A cap as claimed in claim 1 including fracturable bridge means connecting said central disc to said annular top portion.

4. A cap as claimed in claim 1 wherein said central disc has a rib formed therein serving as a strengthening member.

5. A cap as claimed in claim 1 wherein said disc has an upturned edge portion diametrically opposed from said hinge line adapted to serve as a means to permit engagement of the disc for removal thereof.

6. A cap as claimed in claim 1 wherein the portions of said score lines in the annular top are parallel and wherein the portions of said score lines in said skirt converge downwardly to form a truncated V-arrangement.

7. A cap as claimed in claim 1 wherein the portions of said score lines in the annular top are outwardly divergent and the portions of score lines in said skirt are parallel.

8. In a blank of generally circular form for making a tear off cap for a container, means defining a plurality of score lines, said score lines including a pair of closely spaced score lines, one of said score lines terminating at a point spaced from the outer periphery of said blank and short of the center thereof, said other score line including a first segment terminating at a point spaced inwardly from the outer peripheral edge of the blank and a second segment aligned with the first segment and spaced therefrom by a short connecting bridge and extending to the outer peripheral edge thereof and a third score line approximately diametrically opposed from said first pair of score lines including a first section spaced inwardly from the outerperipheral edge of said blank and a second section aligned with said first section extending to the outer periphery of the blank, said first and second sections being spaced apart to define a short connecting bridge.

9. A blank as claimed in claim 8 wherein the pair of score lines are parallel and disposed on opposite sides of a true radial line extending from the center of the blank.

10. A blank as claimed in claim 8 wherein the pair of score lines are outwardly divergent and are true radial score lines.

7 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,214,675 2/1917 Heath 21546 2,222,371 11/1940 N esset.

2,387,955 10 /1945 Tilson 21546 X 2,544,969 3/1951 Underwood 2l546 X DONALD F. NORTON. Primary Examiner

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1214675 *May 5, 1915Feb 6, 1917William E HeathSealing-closure for bottles, jars, and other receptacles.
US2222371 *Jun 27, 1938Nov 19, 1940Baxter Laboratories IncLiquid withdrawal and dispensing means
US2387955 *Jan 8, 1942Oct 30, 1945Aluminum Co Of AmericaTamperproof closure
US2544969 *Oct 1, 1948Mar 13, 1951West CoMethod of making tear-off container caps
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3870184 *Jul 9, 1973Mar 11, 1975Owens Illinois IncEasy open metal closure
US3920142 *Jun 24, 1974Nov 18, 1975Scal Gp Condit AluminiumEasily operable closure cap
US4251003 *Jan 19, 1979Feb 17, 1981Toni CasuttBottle closing device
US4271972 *Jul 24, 1979Jun 9, 1981Container Corporation Of AmericaTamperproof overcap
US4320861 *May 12, 1980Mar 23, 1982Rieke CorporationMolded plastic tamper-proof cap with pull ring and tearable membranes
US4482071 *Oct 13, 1982Nov 13, 1984Olympus Optical Co., Ltd.Sealing aid for fastening a resilient plug inserted into an opening of a container
US4779750 *Dec 17, 1987Oct 25, 1988Arlco Pty. LimitedBeer keg cap
US4784279 *Jul 31, 1987Nov 15, 1988The West CompanyPresent invention relates to improvements in tamper-proof closures
US4863453 *Dec 22, 1987Sep 5, 1989Sherwood Medical CompanySterile closure device
US5004110 *Aug 3, 1989Apr 2, 1991Abbott LaboratoriesRetortable closure for plastic container
US5080245 *Mar 22, 1990Jan 14, 1992The West Company IncorporatedBidirectional scoring
US5611445 *Jan 25, 1994Mar 18, 1997Mect CorporationLid for container
US6095354 *Mar 30, 1999Aug 1, 2000Kerr Group, Inc.Child resistant closure and container
US8960242Jul 29, 2011Feb 24, 2015Medinstill Development LlcSealed containers and methods of filling and resealing same
US9051064 *May 28, 2010Jun 9, 2015Medinstill Development LlcResealable containers and methods of making, filling and resealing same
US20100236659 *Sep 23, 2010Daniel PyResealable Containers and Methods of Making, Filling and Resealing Same
EP0615915A2 *Mar 15, 1994Sep 21, 1994Societe Alsacienne D'aluminiumOversealing cap for bottle neck
EP2269912A1 *Jun 30, 2010Jan 5, 2011Catalent Pharma Solutions, Inc.Molded container with opener and method for use
WO2010012052A1 *Aug 1, 2008Feb 4, 2010Giovanni GarboniTamper-proof overcap for bottles
Classifications
U.S. Classification215/251, 215/254, D09/438, 215/354
International ClassificationB65D41/32, B65D41/40, B65D51/00
Cooperative ClassificationB65D51/002, B65D41/40
European ClassificationB65D41/40, B65D51/00B