US 3486666 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Dec. 30, 1969 A. M. HERZIG ETAL SQUEEZABLE CONTAINERS 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Original Filed Jan. 25 1961 MI c.
I N VEN TOR Dec. 30, 1969 A, mHERil'g ET'AL 3,486,666
SQUEEZABLE CONTAINERS Original Filed Jan. 25, 1961 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTORS ALBERT M. #1516216 4 7-1-0 2NEY5 United States Patent 3,486,666 SQUEEZABLE CONTAINERS Albert M. Herzig, 9465 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills, Calif. 90212, and Benjamin David Menkin, 11527 W. Washington Blvd., Los Angeles, Calif. 90066 Original application Jan. 25, 1961, Ser. No. 611,639 now Patent No. 3,426,629, dated Feb. 11, 1969. Divided and this application Nov. 12, 1968, Ser. No. 774,842
Int. Cl. B65d 35/40 US. Cl. 222-494 4 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE The device is an automatic closure for squeeze containers. The container has a neck part formed by areas of heat sealable material heat sealed together and leaving an unsealed discharge channel. A stiffening member as part of the closure is placed across the channel at a position that would be at the end or focus of a bubble of liquid in the container upon the application of threshold pressure which would begin to cause release of the liquid.
The invention resides in closures for squeeze containers and the like of the type shown in prior Patents Nos. 2,815,150 and 2,753,091. This application is a division of prior application Ser. No. 611,639, filed Jan. 25, 1967, now Patent No. 3,426,629 of Feb. 11, 1969.
Such automatic closures are formed preferably integrally from a tube of elastomeric material and can have sides heat sealed together, but in any event leaving an intermediate opening or channel. The heat sealed material is stretched laterally and held bowed by a rigid or stiffening means applied to it.
The improvements of this invention reside in part in positioning of the stiffening means at the optimum position with reference to the unsealed channel; (i.e.) at the position established as the amount or distance that liquid will be forced into the channel at a relatively small threshold pressure, it having been found that in order to force the liquid further into, or more pertinently, out of the channel, a substantially higher pressure or force is required. This latter unexpected phenomena was discovered to be a natural bubble, kinking the outlet.
A further improvement resides in the particular configuration of the holding tangs on one preferred form of the stiffening means. They are preferably formed by way of deforming material out of the plane of the stiffening or clip member from a single transverse cut through the material of the member.
Further improvements of the invention reside in the particular method or technique and means for making cuts and score lines in the material of the closure means to provide a tear-off strip. Cuts are made through the side edges of the material aligned with score lines in the surface of the two layers of material, heat sealed together. A tool or die is provided for effectively making these cuts and score lines in a simple operation. The tool provides dies for holding the material of the closure means so as to deform side portions of it out of the plane of the intermediate part. Upper and lower knives or cutting edges are then moved transversely so that one knife cuts completely through the deformed portions to provide the side cuts and the knives to form the scores in the upper and lower surfaces. Modified forms of die configurations are provided for deforming material out of the plane of the closure means.
The closure means is provided by the flattened neck of resilient material, the flattened sides of which are heat sealed together leaving an unsealed area. Holes are punched in the heat sealed areas and a stiffening clip or rib is applied holding the material laterally stretched.
The stiffening member is applied in the optimum position, that is, in the position at whch liquid can be forced out through the closure by application of only the minimum threshold pressure or force. Improved tangs are formed in the holding clip or stiffening member to provide optimum holding strength without tearing.
Improved methods and means are provided for fabricating the tear-off strip. By this method and means side cuts and score lines on opposite sides of the closure means are effectively provided for in a tool for this purpose. The material of the closure means is held in a diewhich deforms side parts of the closure means out of a plane. Knives then move transversely with respect to the closure means so that one knife cuts completely through the side portions that are deformed out of a plane and the score lines are simultaneously made through the intermediate part.
In the light of the foregoing, it is a primary object of the invention to provide and make available certain particular improvements in automatic closures of the type referred to in the foregoing, contributing to their effectiveness and further to make available improvements in the process or technique for fabricating or producing the closures.
A further object of the invention is to improve upon and make more effective the positioning of the stiffening and tensioning member used with the automatic closure to optimize its utility. Having reference to an automatic closure formed by providing an unsealed neck or channel between flattened heat sealed areas at an end part of a container of polyethylene material or the like, it has been discovered that by pressure on the container liquid material can be forced a limited distance into the unsealed neck or channel, with very light squeezing pressures; this position or point establishes a threshold pressure, and to force the liquid further into the neck requires a substantially higher pressure or force beyond the threshold value. Optimum effectiveness is, therefore, realized by placing the stiffening member substantially at this point or position.
Another object is to improve the holding qualities of the stiffening member with respect to the resilient elastomeric material by the provision of a specific configuration of holding tangs which bites into the resilient material. Preferably, these tangs are formed by deforming material of the stiffening member outwardly from the surface thereof with respect to a single transverse cut in the material to provide a particular configuration of the tang as will be described in detail hereinafter.
A further object of the invention resides in the provision of a unique alternative form of automatic closure wherein the stiffening member may be bonded to the material of the automatic closure in a position aligned with the openable neck or channel of the closure.
The container with the automatic closure may initially at the time of manufacture be positively sealed by way of a tear strip at the end of the closure which can be manually torn off, exposing the discharge opening. As shown in prior art Patent No. 2,815,150 preferably the tear strip may be provided for by way of side cuts through the material of the closure, and score line on opposite sides of the closure member aligned with the side cuts. A further and particular object of this invention is to provide improved methods and means for forming these side cuts and score lines whereby the tear strip of the closure may be torn off. This method and means constitute improvements also on the method and means of prior application, Ser. No. 330,379, filed Jan. 9, 1953.
Further objects and additional advantages of the invention will become apparent from the following detailed description and annexed drawings wherein:
FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of a squeezable container having the closure means of the invention before the fabrication of the closure has been completed;
FIGURE 2 is a crosssectional view taken along the line 2-2 of FIGURE 3;
FIGURE 3 is a view of a preferred form of the closure means of the invention, shown without the cuts and score lines for the tear strip;
FIGURE 4 is a sectional view taken along the line 44 of FIGURE 5;
FIGURE 5 is a view like FIGURE 3 illustrating the effect of pressure upon the squeezable container with reference to the closure means;
FIGURE 6 is an end view of the closure of FIGURE 7, taken along line 6-6 of FIGURE 7;
FIGURE 7 is a view of a modified form of closure member;
FIGURE 8 is a sectional view of the closure means of FIGURE 7 taken along the line 8-8;
FIGURE 9 is a detail view of the improved form of stiffening member or clip;
FIGURE 10 is a sectional view of the closure shown in FIGURE 11 taken on the line 1010;
FIGURE 11 is a view of the closure showing the side cuts and score lines;
FIGURE 12 is a sectional view of the closure of FIG- URE 11 taken on the line 15;
FIGURE 13 is a perspective view of the closure means of FIGURES 10, 11 and 12;
FIGURE 14 is a schematic view of a preferred form of tool or the die for making the side cuts and score lines of the closure of FIGURES 10 to 13;
FIGURE 15 is a sectional view of the tool or die of FIGURE 14 taken on the line 1515;
FIGURE 16 is a view of the die of FIGURE 14 with the jaws in closed position, and the cutting edges in operation;
FIGURE 17 is a perspective view illustrating the operation of the die of FIGURES 14 to 16; and
FIGURE 18 is a view of a modified form of die or tool for making the side cuts and score lines.
Referring now more particularly to FIGURE 1 of the drawings, it illustrates a squeezable container 10 which may be made of elastomeric material similar to the container of the previous patents and application referred to. The end of the container 10 is heat sealed at the end as shown at 11 and at the openable closure end as shown at 13, there being an unsealed neck or channel portion 15. The closure means shown in FIGURE 1 is not in the completely fabricated state. This figure illustrates that with the application of a relatively small force or pressure to the container, liquid in the container will be forced into the neck or channel 15 to a point as illustrated at 16, designating a bubble or meniscus at the end of the liquid. This position establishes a threshold pressure. To force the liquid further into the channel, it has been discovered, requires the application of a rather substantial additional force or pressure above and beyond the said threshold pressure. It is a purpose of the invention to take advantage of this phenomenon by placing the clip or stiffening member, which is designated at 20, in a position substantially at the point referred to, i.e., in a position which has at the outer edge of the bubble or at a point overlapping or wholly or at least partially overlying the bubble established by the said threshold pressure. The threshold pressure is that which precedes the effective stretching of the elastomeric closure material past the closure. That is to say, the threshold pressure is found without the closure device and is the pressure required to merely form the bubble. As such bubble is formed by pressure, for example, on the tube, the end of the outlet passage or opening outwardly of the bubble usually, if not invariably, deflects to one side or the other, thus effectively kinking the outlet until the application of greater pressure stretches or further stretches and forces the kink so the contents of the tube are extruded or flowed in the desired volume past the kink and through the outlet to discharge the tube.
The phenomenon of natural kinking of a flattened outlet appears to depend upon the geometry of the end of the tube and upon the geometry of the outlet. The tube body, being preferably cylindrical or elliptical in the crosssection perpendicular to its axis, is placed under manual pressure. The junction, usually tapered, of the neck or end of the tube adjacent the flattened outlet passage appears to come to a focus at the outer edge of the bubble so that some additional pressure-before the outlet is forced to stretch, open, or un-kink by the ultimate pres sure-appears for a while to add to and accentuate the forces tending to deflect and kink the flattened (or bowed) outlet at the said focus or outer end of the resultant bubble.
So that said some additional force or ultimate force is utilized in desired extrusion of the contents of the tube and not by an undesired additional threshold of pressure to be overcome by the user, the effective desired closure means should effectively intersect or overlap the outer edge or focus of the bubble.
A possible explanation and theory explaining the abovedescribed phenomena may be as follows:
At the initial application of a very light pressure to the container the flowable material therein is caused to assume a slightly bulged condition, as indicated by dotted line A in FIG. 3, defining a meniscus curve across the entrance to the passageway 15. As pressure is increased slightly, the continuously curved meniscus is further enlarged to the shape indicated by dotted line B and the increase in pressure necessary to cause this change is a uniformly changing pressure. When the meniscus or bubble reaches the position B, the same rate of pressure increase has almost no immediately additional effect but a very substantial increase in pressure is required to force the meniscus farther out to about the position indicated at C. It is to be noted that, at C, the surface of the meniscus has broken away from the main body of material in the container 10 and extends across between the side walls of the passageway 15 rather than merely spanning the entrance to the passageway. Herein applicants use the term threshold pressure to define that uniformly increasing pressure necessary to force the meniscus to the position B and, as pointed out, a substantial increase of pressure is necessary to force the material outwardly beyond that point.
This bubble focus phenomenon may be used to reinforce the closure pressure within desired low manipulatable pressure bursts for users of the tubes while utilizing relatively thin (e.g., 0.10") elastomeric container or outlet walls of plastics of the nature of rubber, soft vinyl and the. like.
The process of fabrication of the closure means includes the making of the holes as designated at 21 and 22, and the application of the stiffening member. A preferred form of the stiffening member is shown in FIG- URE 9. The preferred process of fabricating a closure means, as shown in FIGURES 2 to 5, is essentially that of the prior application referred to, and the prior Patent No. 2,815,150, except for the particular positioning of the stiffening member 20 as described, and providing for the tear strip as described hereinafter. Briefly, after the holes 21 and 22 are punched, the stiffening member 20 is applied by means of a clamping die. It holds the material of the closure means 13 laterally stretched.
The stiffening member 20 may be made of suitable bendable metal. It has inwardly bent end parts 26 and 27, which are clamped against the resilient material of the closure member. Formed in these end parts are gripping tangs or teeth 30 and 31. A particular feature of the invention lies in the configuration of these tangs. The material of the closure means is stretched laterally at the time that the stiffening member 30 is applied as described in the earlier application. The clamping ends 26 and 27 and the tangs or teeth in them, must be able to hold the resilient material without releasing it or tearing it. It has been found that this can be most effectively accomplished by tangs such as shown at 30 and 31. These tangs constitute material deformed from the surface of the end parts 26 and 27. Referring to the tang 31, there is a transverse cut 33 through the material of the end part 27. The material of the tang is then forced inwardly adjacent this single transverse cut into a configuration as shown. This configuration is similar to a half of a cone, split along a plane passing through the vertical axis of the cone. The configuration provides a shoulder 35 at the end of the surfaces that are deformed inwardly out of the plane of the end part 27 and having the configuration as shown. The tang 30 has a similar configuration. It has been found that these tangs are very effective and satisfactory for the purpose which has been set forth in the foregoing.
FIGURES 6, 7 and 8 show a modified form of a closure means embodying a stiffening member 40 which may be metal or other material having some rigidity. This member is narrower than the channel 15 and is placed along the channel as shown. FIGURES 6, 7 and 8 show this modification in a form in which it is not completely fabricated. It is to be understood that the end part of the closure member is cut off approximately along the section line 6-6 to expose an outlet opening at the end of the unsealed channel part 15. The stiffening member 40 may have some curvature and may be arranged to provide a function similar to that of the closure shown in FIG URE 23 of Patent No. 2,815,150. That is, member 40 may be bonded on to hold one side of the closure under tension allowing it to flex outwardly away from the member.
FIGURES 10 to 13 show the end part of the container of FIGURE 1 with the closure means partly fabricated. These figures illustrate the side cuts and scores that are made in the material to provide a tear strip that can be manually torn off to expose the opening 15 at the end of the closure means. The tear strip is similar to that shown in Patent No. 2,815,150. The improvements herein lie in the method of making the side cuts and score lines. Preferably, these side cuts and score lines are made in the closure means before the holes 21 and 22 are punched and the stiffening member applied.
As shown in FIGURES 10 to 13, side cuts as shown at 50 and 51 in the sealed area 13 is the end part of the container. Aligned with the side cuts are score lines on opposite sides of the material partway through the material. One of these score lines is designated at 53, there being a similar one on the opposite side of the closure means designated at 54. The side cuts may extend all the way to the score lines or almost thereto, as will be made clear hereinafter. These side cuts and score lines make it easy to remove the tear strip by tearing it off as explained in detail in the prior Patent No. 2,815,150. As will be observed, the closure means is completely and positively sealed until the tear strip is torn off after which the closure operates automatically in response to pressure exerted on the container. The stiffening member 20 is preferably positioned as explained in connection with FIGURES 3 and 5, the cuts and score lines being made just outwardly of the stiffening member. Preferably, however, the cuts and score lines are made before the stiffening member is applied.
Improved and effective means and methods or techniques are provided for making the cuts 50 and 51, and the score lines 53 and 54. The means and method are illustrated in FIGURES 14 to 17. Preferably, the means comprises a die or tool designated generally at 60 and shown partly in schematic form. A frame is provided in which there is an upper die 65 having side frame members 63 and 64, with the die 65 itself between them. Numerals 68 and 69 designate lower frame members having a lower die 73 between them. The upper die frame is movable vertically relative to the lower die frame, on vertical posts 76 and 77. The lower die 73 is in the form of a truncated pyramid having an upper narrower part 80 having a channel in it as designated at 91 in FIGURE 15, with ribs 82 and 83 adjacent a slot 105. The upper die has a depressed center portion 86 overlying the part 80 of the lower die with adjacent bevelled surfaces complementary to the slanting or beveled surfaces at the sides of the truncated pyramid form of the lower die 73.
The upper die has a rectilinear channel 90' in it and the lower die has a similar rectinlinear channel 91 in it. Slidable in the channel 90 is a guide member 93 carrying a sharp-edged blade 94 in an angular position as shown, so that its edge 95 is on a slant with a downwardly extending point 96. The blade 90 moves in slot 98 having longitudinal ribs 100 and 101 at its lower edge to compress and hold the elastomeric material to insure that it will be out rather than simply deforming. Slidable in the channel 91 of the die 73, is a guide member 102 having a similar sharp-edged knife blade -103 similarly carried thereby at an angle but opposite to the angle of the blade 94. The blade 94 has a pointed upwardly extending tip 104. It moves in a slot 105 similar to slot 98 and having similar longitudinal ribs along its upper edge.
Tool or die 60 may be embodied in any suitable machine having means for operating the tool or die, that is, for moving the upper die frame 60 towards the lower die into a position as shown in FIGURE 16. The machine also embodies suitable means for reciprocating the sliding, or guide members 93 and 102, as illustrated in the figures. When the members 93 and 102 move to the left, as illustrated in FIGURE 16, the knife blades 94 and 103 move to the left, as illustrated in FIGURE 16, the knife blades 94 and 103 move with them making the cuts 50 and 51 and the score lines 53 and 54 in the closure member or means 13. The configuration of the upper die 65 is complementary to the pyramidal configuration of the lower die as described and, accordingly, when the upper die 60 moves down the neck portion 13 is deformed into a configuration as shown in FIGURE 16 with the side edges deformed downwardly conforming to the complementary bevelled surfaces of the dies. The pointed tips 96 and 104 of the knife blades are spaced apart so as to make the score lines as described, without cutting all the way through the heat sealed portion 13. Due to the deformation of the edges of the portion 13 in the dies as shown in FIGURE 16, the lower knife 99 cuts through them completely, as illustrated in FIGURE 17, except for a very small gap between these side edge cuts and the upper score line as shown in FIGURE 17; this gap may be a small fraction of an inch and does not interfere with the purpose of the cuts and score lines, (i.e.) to facilitate the easy tearing off of the tear strip.
FIGURE 18 illustrates an alternative form of the invention using a modified form of dies 65 and 73, other parts of the tool being similar and identified by similar numerals. Modified parts are identified by similar numerals primed. In this form of the invention, the upper die 65' has two downwardly extending ribs and 111, lying transversely to the path of the knives or cutting edges. The lower die 73 has depressions or grooves 112 and 113 complernentary to the ribs 110 and 111 and opposite them, When the upper die is lowered toward the lower die as shown in FIGURE 18, the ribs 110 and 111 on the upper die depress or deform portions of the sealed neck area 13' into the depressions or grooves 112 and 113 as shown. Side edge portions of the neck 13 extend beyond the portions depressed into the grooves 112 and 113. The ribs 110 and 111 and grooves 112 and 113 may be relatively short, merely extending a short distance in a direction normal to the travel of the knives to make the depressions or deformations on these areas. When the knives 94 and 103 move to the left, they out completely through the portions of the sealed area 13 that are depressed into the grooves 112 and 113, and make the score lines 53 and 54' similar to the manner in which they are made in the previous embodiment. After the sealed neck area 13' is removed from the die, side edge portions of the neck area 13, as designated at 116 and 117, are cut off and discarded, leaving edge cuts beginning at the edge and extending into the upper and lower score lines.
From the foregoing, those skilled in the art will observe and understand the nature of the invention and the manner in which its objectives and advantages are realized. The invention makes it possible to improve the positioning of the stiffening member of the closure means and to thereby render its effectiveness optimum. The improved holding means of the tangs of the stiffening member of FIGURE 9 provide a simple but effective way of realizing positive clamping and holding of the laterally stretched material at the neck or channel of the closure means.
The invention further provides for an easily removable tear off strip, and particularly, an effective method or technique for providing the necessary cuts and score lines in the fabrication of the container and automatic closure means.
The foregoing disclosure is representative of preferred forms of the invention and is to be interpreted in an illustrative rather than in a limiting sense.
What is claimed is:
1. In a closure comprising an elongated elastic sleeve forming a narrow neck extending from a sequeezable container, the sleeve being flattened so as to have two substantially flat sides with generally parallel side edges substantially longer than the width of said neck and providing a discharge outlet having an inner and an outer end, stiffening means provided across at least one side of said neck and attached to the material thereof holding it in a laterally stretched and bowed condition; the improvement comprising the stiffening member being positioned along the length of the neck at a point outwardly of the inner end of said outlet andin a region to which the leading end of a bubble of liquid will be forced by the application to the squeezable container at the maximum value of a uniformly increasing pressure to form a complete outwardly curved meniscus spanning said inner end, and then to move outward to discharge.
2. In a closure of the type comprising an elastic sleeve forming a neck, the sleeve being flattened and heat sealed together so as to have two substantially flat sides with side edges and providing a discharge channel, a stiffening rib provided across one side of the said neck and attached to the material thereof adjacent said side edges, holding said neck in a laterally stretched condition, the improvement comprising holding tangs formed in parts of the stiffening rib engaging the elastic material adjacent said side edges, each tang being formed by a single transverse cut in the material of the rib and material thereof being deformed out of the plane of the rib to a distance less than the thickness of said material adjacent the cut to form a laterally outwardly facing continuous transverse shoulder at the position of the cut.
3. The improvement as in claim 2 wherein the tang produced by the deformed material has a configuration which is generally that of a dimple split so that the said shoulder has a rounded edge configuration.
4. In a closure comprising an elastic sleeve forming a neck, the sleeve being flattened so as to have two substantially flat sides with side edges and providing a discharge outlet, stitfening means provided on at least one side of said neck and attached to the material thereof, said stiffening means comprising an elongated stiffening member positioned longitudinally along the length of the neck inwardly of the edges thereof and holding one side of the closure under tension whereby a side part of the sleeve can flex outwardly to provide an opening.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,061,485 ll/l936 Scheinman 22949 X 2,379,179 6/ 1945 Petersen 22949 2,753,091 7/1956 Herzig 222 491 2,815,150 12/1957 Herzig 222-491 X 2,947,448 8/1960 Maddox 222494 X M. HENSON WOOD, 1a., Primary Examiner H. S. LANE, Assistant Examiner