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Publication numberUS3600027 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 17, 1971
Filing dateNov 27, 1968
Priority dateNov 27, 1968
Publication numberUS 3600027 A, US 3600027A, US-A-3600027, US3600027 A, US3600027A
InventorsLayman Glenn W, Noland William P
Original AssigneeLayman Glenn W, Noland William P
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Tamper proof seal
US 3600027 A
Abstract  available in
Images(1)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent Inventors William P. Noland 402 Helke Rood, Vandalia, Ohio 45377; Glenn W. Layman, 1030 Bookwalter Drive,

New Carllsle, Ohio 44344 Appl. No. 779,527 Filed Nov. 27, 1968 Patented Aug. 17, 1971 TAMPER PROOF SEAL 7 Claims, 6 Drawing Figs. v US. Cl 292/322,

24/16 Int. Cl ...B65d 55/06,

365d 63/ 10 Field of Search 292/322, 317, 318, 319, 320, 321, 323, 324, 307; 24/16 PB,

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 9/1908 Plein 12/ 1909 Elliott 2,840,409 6/ 1958 Ashworth 3,128,114 4/1964 Nierhausn Primary ExdminerMarvin A. Champion Assistant ExaminerEdward J. McCarthy Attorney-Jerome P. Bloom ABSTRACT: A tamper proof seal for the doors of box cars or like'applications comprised of a single elongate plastic strip the ends of which interlock.

' PATENTEDAusHmn I v 3600027 IIVVENTORS' WILLIAM P. NOLAND I GLENN W. LAYMAN A TTOR/VE Y TAMPER PROOF SEAL This invention relates to seals and more particularly to improvements in seals of the type used for railroad freight cars and similar applications. The purpose of such seals is to show immediate and obvious visual evidence of tampering. Once tampering is indicated, the contents of the sealed chamber can be immediately checked. If theft has occurred, then the matter can be pursued without delay.

Seals of the type described have appeared in many forms, each evidencing a common objectionable feature. A universal problem in their use is that their construction generally lends itself to disengagement and reengagement by adept persons of criminal intent.. In most cases of this nature, the tampering which has occurred is not readily apparent on a quick glance. The obvious result is that by the time the contents of an enclosure are physically checked, the thief is long gone. Many of the prior art seals are also difficult and expensive to fabricate and sometimes difficult to manipulate and use.

For example, one prior art seal most widely used is comprised of a'wire and lead disc having parallel bores. In application, the ends of the wire are threaded through the bores, whereupon a tool is applied to compress the lead disc whereby to frictionally engage the ends of the wire and hopefully form afixed loop. While generally adequate, many times an end of the wire'can be withdrawn and the seal removed and then replaced without it being obvious, on a casual inspection, that this has occurred. Any one of criminal intent can obtain a tool to compress the lead disc once the wire is reinserted. There is no uniformity in applying such a seal. It is of course obvious that not only is such a seal of two parts but it requires a tool for its application.

' Other seals have been of a more or less singular form but their composition and configuration quite involved. In substantially each case where the seal is closed upon itself there is left access to the interlocked parts enabling their disengagement without obvious damage. This enables removal and replacement which is again inobvious on casual inspection.

The present invention obviates the above problems. It provides a seal of unitary threadlike form having integral integral therewith portions which interlock to provide a loop which is permanent until a part thereof is physically and obviously severed. Any such occurrence is obvious at a glance.

It is therefore a primary object of the invention to provide an improved seal used on box cars and for like applications which is economical to fabricate, more efficient and satisfactory in use, adaptable to wide variety of applications and unlikely to malfunction.

A further object of the invention is to provide a unique tamper proof seal for enclosures, such as box cars for examp Another object of the invention is to provide a tamper proof seal having a threadlike body and integrated minute portions which will interlock to form a closed loop which cannot be opened except by an obvious severing.

An additional object of the invention is to provide a tamper proof seal possessing the advantageous structural features, the inherent meritorious characteristics and the means and mode of operation herein described.

With the above and other incidental objects in view as will more fully appear in the specification, the invention intended to be protected by Letters Patent consists of the features of construction, the parts and combinations thereof, and the mode of operation as hereinafter described or illustrated in the accompanying drawings, or their equivalents.

Referring to the accompanying drawing wherein is shown one but obviously not necessarily the only form of embodiment of the invention,

Fl(i.-l is a perspective view of the tamper proof seal of the invention in its naturally extended form;

FIG. 2 shows the device of FIG. 1 in its operative condition;

FIG. 3 schematically illustrates the seal of H68. 1 and 2 as applied to the doors of a box car or other enclosure;

FIG. 4 is a detailed illustration of the simple but effective manner the device of FIG. 1 may be closed on itself; and

FIGS. 5 and 6 illustrate the only manner in which the invention seal may be opened.

Like parts are indicated by similar characters of reference throughout the several views.

As seen in the drawings, the invention embodiment there illustrated comprises an elongate flexible strip of plastic. Its body 10 has an integrally molded threadlike form. At its one end the body 10 has a small knoblike extremity 11 which is the case illustrated has a conical form. Immediately preceding the knob '11 the body 10 is necked at 12. The reduced cross section produced by the neck 12 dictates a point of severance, as will be further described.

Formed integral with the opposite end of the body 10 is a radially oriented projection 13 which has a cylindrical form. At its one end the cylinder 13 has a planar surface 14 approximately coplanar with an adjacent surface portion of the uniform thread strip constituting the major extent of body 10. Formed inwardly of the surface 14 is cavity 15 to which there is a single opening 16. The latter is defined by a recessed annular flange 17 formed internally of and transverse to said cavity 15 adjacent the end surface 14 of the cylinder 13. The cross sectional area of the opening 16 is sufficiently less than the greatest cross-sectional dimension of the knob 11 that on insertion of the knob in the cavity .15 it cannot be extracted without breaking off. The flange 17 has sufficient give only to pass the knob l l on physical thrust thereof into the cavity but not sufficient to permit its withdrawal once inserted.

Formed integral therewith at its surface 14 the cylindrical projection 13 has a coplanar relatively rigid tab 19. The latter has a relatively enlarged disc shape as compared to the size of the cylinder to facilitategrasp thereof between the thumb and forefinger in a manner to stabilize the position of the cylinder 13 when required for insertion of the knob 11.

Thus, the body 10 is continuously integrated form and its configuration is extremely simple. As may be seen in FIG. 1, its molding presents no particular technical problems. FIG. 3 schematically illustrates its application to seal an enclosure such as a box car, for example. Here the seal is schematically shown as threaded through staplelike devices 20 fixed to project perpendicularly to a door or lid closure element and an adjacent wall surface of the primary structure, across an opening of which the door closes to form a seal. As may be readily seen, the one end including the knob 11 is passed through and about the staples 20 by the fingers on one hand while the thumb and forefinger of the other hand may securely grasp and hold the tab 19. Viewing FIG. 4, with the cylinder .13 firmly supported thereby, the knob 11 is thrust past the flange l7 and into the cavity 15. As this occurs, the head or knob 11 is somewhat compressed on moving through the opening 16 and when fully in the cavity it expands and is permanently interlocked by engagement under the flange 17 in an obvious manner. The neck 12 fills the opening 16 as this occurs.

Since there is no access to cavity 15 at this point, the only way the seal may be removed from is position about staples 20 is by attempting to pull knob 11 from the cavity 15. The structure, nature and relative firmness and dimensioning of the interrelated segments of body 10 is such that before the knob l 1 can be extracted it will break away from the neck 12. It will therefore be seen that one cannot tamper with the seal so provided; the tampering being immediately apparent at a glance since it will result in a complete breakage of the seal with no means remaining for reasonably interconnecting the severed parts.

Accordingly, the importance and benefits of the invention seal are readily apparent as contrasted to similarly used seals of the prior art. it provides not only a tamper-proof seal but one which is exceedingly economical tomake, very easy to manipulate and of unitary simple form. It will be obvious, moreover that the knob 11 and neck 12 may have shape other than that here shown without departing from the invention concepts. Such and other obvious modifications are considered part and parcel of the teachings here disclosed.

From the above description it will be apparent that there is thus provided a device of the character described possessing the particular features of advantage before enumerated as desirable, but which obviously is susceptible of modification in its form, proportions, detail construction and arrangement of parts without departing from the principle involved or sacrificing any of its advantages.

While in order to comply with the statute the invention has been described in language more or less specific as to structural features, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited to the specific features shown, but that the means and construction herein disclosed comprise but one of several modes of putting the invention into effect, and the invention is therefore claimed in any of its forms or modifications within the legitimate and valid scope of the appended claims.

We claim:

1. A tamper proof seal comprising a single elongate strip formed element having integral therewith to each of its respective ends a portion of lock, one of said portions being connected to said element by a weakened section defining a point of severance, said portions interengaging by a relative approaching motion to form a lock, a separating motion attempting to disengage said portions stressing said weakened section and resulting in rupture thereof before disengagement can take place, the body of said strip element substantially the length thereof having threadlike form and said lock portions respectively comprising a knob-shaped projection and means defining a restricted opening accommodating the entrance of said knob and formed to restrictively retain the same against withdrawal, at least one of said lock portions being deformable to allow entrance of said knob shaped projection through said opening and being self restoring after entrance of said projection for retention purposes.

2. A seal as in claim 1 characterized by said means defining said restricted opening forming a chamber entrance into which is provided by flange means defining saidopening and said projection is adapted to be permanently received in said chamber in a manner to relatively seal said single opening.

3. A tamper proof seal comprising a single elongate strip formed element having integral therewith to each of its respective ends a portion of a lock, one of said portions being connected to said element by a weakened section defining a point of severance, said portions interengaging by a relative approaching motion to form a lock, a separating motion attempting to disengage said portions stressing said weakened section and resulting in rupture thereof before disengagement can take place, said strip element having a threadlike form throughout its major extent and per se integrating means to lock one end relative the other and to form a seal of said one end so as to prevent access thereto for its release from the other, one of said ends having a knob form and the other end having means defining a pocket the opening to which is overlapped by means defining an overhanging restrictive relatively rigid lip, the relationship of the lip and the knob being such that once the knob has passed the lip, it cannot be withdrawn.

4. A tamper proof seal comprising a single elongate strip formed element having integral therewith to each of its respective ends a portion of a lock, one said portions being connected to said element by a weakened section defining a point of severance, said portions interengaging by a relative approaching motion to form a lock, a separating motion attempting to disengage said portions stressing said weakened section and resulting in rupture thereof before disengagement can take place, said strip element having a threadlike form throughout is major extent and per se integrating means to lock one end relative the other and to form a seal of said one end so as to prevent access thereto for its release from the other, said other end having an integral portion forming a chamber into which there is a single opening and said one end being adapted to e permanently received in said chamber in a manner to relatively seal said opening, said chamber being defined by a projection formed integral with said stripelement, there being tablike means integral with said projection,

a grasp of which will cause a stabilization of said rojection so said one end of said strip element may be cast y and firmly thrust through said single opening and into said chamber.

5. A tamper proof seal comprising a single elongate strip fonned element having integral therewith to each of its respective ends a portion of a lock, one of said portions being connected to said element by a weakened section defining a point of severance, said portions interengaging by a relative approaching motion to form a lock, a separating motion attempting to disengage said portions stressing said weakened section and resulting in rupture thereof before disengagement can take place, characterized in that intermediate its end portions said strip element has a threadlike form, one of said end portions has a knoblike form and the other a radially oriented projection defining a chamber to which there is a single opening through which said knob may be thrust to permanently interlock within said projection, there being a relatively enlarged extremity on said strip element formed integral with said projection serving as a stabilizing medium for said projection during insertion ofsaid knob.

6. A tamper proof seal comprising a single elongate strip formed element having integral therewith to each of its respective ends a portion of a lock, one of said portions being connected to said element by a weakened section defining a point of severance, said portions interengaging by a relative approaching motion to form a lock, a separating motion attempting to disengage said portions stressing said weakened section and resulting in rupture thereof before disengagement can take place, characterized in that one of said portions is a socket formed by a cylinder defining a cavity having a relatively small diameter entrance opening, the other portion being a knoblike projection formed with a tapered leading end to penetrate the entrance opening of said cavity and a trailing end indented to define a shoulder large in diameter as compared to said small diameter entrance opening and which after penetrating said entrance opening to enter said cavity is denied withdrawal, said element being formed of a plastic deformable material.

7. A tamper proof seal according to claim 6, wherein the weakened section defining the point of severance is a section connecting said shoulder to said element.

Patent Citations
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US942316 *Apr 6, 1907Dec 7, 1909William E ElliottMetallic seal.
US2840409 *Sep 24, 1956Jun 24, 1958United Carr Fastener CorpPost office fastener
US3128114 *Apr 28, 1961Apr 7, 1964Stoffel Seals CorpLock hasp seal
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3729780 *Jul 8, 1971May 1, 1973R WhiteClamp
US3747163 *Jun 7, 1971Jul 24, 1973Serino VClosure or seal for doors, packages and the like
US3748696 *Jan 19, 1972Jul 31, 1973Martin MFastener
US3808649 *Jul 26, 1971May 7, 1974S AusnitPermanently closable fastener
US3814298 *Feb 5, 1973Jun 4, 1974Kidde & Co WalterSafety release pin
US3834748 *Jun 8, 1973Sep 10, 1974Lonnee NSelf-locking price tag
US3851359 *May 2, 1973Dec 3, 1974Wilson LDisposable safety pin
US3931667 *May 8, 1974Jan 13, 1976Dennison Manufacturing CompanyInterlocking attachment device
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US3985138 *Oct 10, 1974Oct 12, 1976Jarvik Robert KPreformed ligatures for bleeders and methods of applying such ligatures
US4001919 *May 22, 1974Jan 11, 1977E. J. Brooks CompanySeal
US4559676 *Nov 25, 1981Dec 24, 1985Dennison Manufacturing CompanyFilament fastener with locking head
US4586570 *Sep 29, 1982May 6, 1986E. J. Brooks CompanyCombination seal and locking pin
US4658481 *Jan 17, 1986Apr 21, 1987Pittway CorporationSafety release pin for fire extinguishers
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US4927074 *Jan 25, 1989May 22, 1990Larue John DDocument container
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US7360806Oct 14, 2004Apr 22, 2008Henry Kong Sun ChingMethods and apparatus for facilitating security and tamper control
US7740210Jan 30, 2007Jun 22, 2010Newfrey LlcBreak-away bundling device
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US20050156438 *Oct 14, 2004Jul 21, 2005Henry Kong Sun ChingMethods and apparatus for facilitating security and tamper control
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Classifications
U.S. Classification292/322, 24/16.0PB
International ClassificationG09F3/03, B65D63/10
Cooperative ClassificationB65D2563/102, B65D63/1027, G09F3/0352
European ClassificationG09F3/03A6B, B65D63/10B3