US 3613928 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
llnited States Patent  Inventor William James Landen Cheshire, Conn.  AppLNo. 101,879  Filed Dec.28, 1970  Patented Oct. 19,197] ['73] Assignee Eyelet Specialty Company Wallingford, Conn. Continuation-impart of application Ser. No. 70,749, Sept. 9, 1970.
 SAFETY-CLOSURE DEVICE 27 Claims, 6 Drawing Figs.
 U.S.Cl 215/9, 215/40, 215/44  lnt.Cl A61j 1/00, B65d 55/02  FieldofSearch 2l5/9,44, 40, 98; 220/40  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,435,975 4/1969 Weigand 215/9 Primary Examiner-George T. Hall Attorney-Sandoe, Hopgood & Calimafde ABSTRACT: The invention contemplates selectively openable closure means that is tamperproof, in the sense that a correct sequence of two deliberate and independent movements of two parts is necessary in order to achieve access to the contents of the bottle or the like which is protected by the closure.
The specific construction that is described involves a bottle with a neck having a circular opening, and a closure cap having a cylindrical wall to overlap and lock to the outer surface of the neck. The closed end of the cap has an axially tapering yieldable section which engages the circular neck opening in the course of closing the bottle. The nature of the lock is such as to preload the yieldable engagement and to utilize the resilient action to retain the lock and to establish a liquid seal of the bottle contents.
SAFETY-CLOSURE DEVICE This application is a continuation-in-part of my copending application Ser. No. 70,749, filed Sept. 9, 1970.
This invention relates to tamperproof selectively openable closure devices, as for closure of bottles containing liquid or solid matter that might be injurious when in unauthorized hands.
With recent growth in the use of drugs, pills, and the like, each with its specific prescribed purpose for a particular member of a household, there has been a corresponding increase in the chances for unauthorized access, particularly access by small children. And it has become increasingly difficult, if not impossible, to supervise children enough to assure against their access to materials that can be harmful to them.
Accordingly, it is an object of the invention to provide a tamperproof feature in containers for materials of the character indicated.
A specific object is to achieve the above-stated object with a construction in which a correct sequence of independent motions of two parts in a prerequisite for access to the contents of the container.
Another object is to achieve the foregoing objects with a simple construction, involving the addition of no parts, beyond the container and its closure.
A further object is to provide a closure meeting the above objects and establishing a liquid seal.
A specific object is to provide a bottle and cap with integral locking and sealing formations which inherently achieve all the foregoing objects.
Another specific object is to achieve the stated objects using resilient deformable action of one of the parts to establish both a resiliently preloaded seal and resiliently preloaded lock retention; more specifically, it is an object to achieve smooth and continuously applicable resilient reaction-force development, over the axial range of relative positions of the parts, in the course of establishing locking and scaling functions.
Other objects and various further features of novelty and invention will be pointed out or will occur to those skilled in the art from a reading of the following specification in conjunction with the accompanying drawings. In said drawings, which show, for illustrative purposes only, illustrative and preferred forms of the invention:
FIG. 1 is an exploded view in perspective showing a bottle, above which closure means of the invention is poised for application;
FIG. 2 is an enlarged exploded fragmentary view in eleva tion, certain parts being broken away and shown in section; and
FlGS. 3, 41, 5 and 6 are views similar to the cap of FIG. 2 to illustrate modifications, PK]. 6 being on an enlarged scale, for a better showing of proportions.
Referring to FlGS. 1 and 2 of the drawings, the invention is shown in application to a bottle 10 and to a selectively removable closure cap 11 therefor. The bottle 11) may be of any suitable material but is conveniently of glass, being integrally formed with a reduced neck 12 having a circular axialend opening to be selectively opened and closed by the cap 11. The bottle 10 is shown to be further integral with bayonettype locking formations 13, 13' which project radially outwardly at angularly spaced locations on the neck 12.
The cap 11 is of deformable material such as a plastic having good memory, good flexural properties, a low coefficient of friction and relative inertness to most household chemicals; such materials include polypropylene and polyethylene, each of which lends itself to injection molding of the cap 11.
The cap 11 is generally cup shaped, comprising an outer cylindrical wall portion 14 which is relatively thick (and therefore relatively rigid) and which telescopically overlaps the neck 12. The portion 14 includes angularly spaced integral inwardly projecting lugs 15, for bayonet-locking engagement with the neck formations 13, 13'. The closed end of the cap is preferably relatively thin, to permit local deformation at a converging taper zone 16, as will be explained in detail.
In the form shown, the converging taper 16 is generally frustoconical, having limiting radii R R, which straddle the radius R of the circular opening of the bore 17 of neck 12. Taper 16 is integral with a short cylindrical portion 18 which is connected to outer wall 14 by a short annulus 19; the inner end of taper 16 is closed by an opposing taper 20, substantially matching the axial extent of taper 16. In FIG. 2, or marks the taper angle.
In locked condition, the cap lugs 15 engage the recesses or undersides 21 of the formations 13, 13' and in this condition the taper 16 has engaged the neck bore 17, and is radially inwardly deformed thereby. Since cap 11 is of low-friction material, the compliant reaction to such deformation produces an axially separating force between neck 12 and cap 11, and this force resiliently loads and retains the bayonet engagement at 15-21. The same resilient action radially out wardly loads the taper 16 in its contact with bore 17, thus establishing a liquid-retaining seal of the contents of the bottle 11).
In accordance with a further feature of the invention, cam means are provided in the formations l3, l3, 15, to permit the resilient deformations to take place in the course of the partial rotation which is involved in setting the bayonet lock. Such cam action is preferably operative for one direction of rotation (lock-setting), and not for the opposite direction of rotation, as will be explained.
As shown, each of the lugs 15 of the cap is provided with cam ramp 22, of rise D,and the bayonet formations 13, 13' are similarly characterized by cam ramps, as at 23. The ramps 22, 23 will be understood to engage in the course of clockwise cap rotation on the bottle. Preferably, the axially offset extent D between the open end of neck 12 and the lug-seating surface 21 exceeds the corresponding offset D for initial engagement of cam means 22, 23, and the latter engagement occurs at or just beyond the axial location of initial taper engagement, at 16, 17 Also, the bayonet surface 21 is preferably axially offset to a substantial extent D, from the peak of cam 23, to establish a well-defined shoulder 24 against which the back side 24 of lug 15 will interfere, should one attempt to remove a locked cap through purely counterclockwise torque. i
In use, an open bottle is closed by axially applying the cap 11 at an angular position such that lugs 15 pass between the respective bayonet formations 13, 13'; such axial insertion will be free until initial taper contact at 16, 17. At this point, cam means 22, 23 are in sufficient register to engage upon clockwise rotation of cap 11. In the course of such rotation, lug 15 rides up and over the peak of cam 23, against the relatively stiffly compliant yielding compression of the tapered section 16. Once over cam 23, lugs 15 snap back against surfaces 21, at which point the lock action is resiliently loaded and a circumferential seal action is resiliently loaded, both due to taper deformation at 16, 17, and to an extent proportional to the difference between offsets D and D As shown, at least one of the bayonet formations (13) includes an axial wall or rib 25, providing a firm limiting abutment for clockwise or lock-setting rotation.
The lock, thus set, remains positive and liquid sealing, and is secure against any attempted cap removal through purely counterclockwise (unthreading) torque. The only way to remove the cap 1 1 is by the deliberate further action of axially displacing cap 11 into further overlap with neck 12, until lugs 15 clear the peaks of cams 23. Such axial displacement is against elevated compressional deformation of tapering section 16 and must be held while thereafter rotating cap 11 counterclockwise; such counterclockwise rotation will be limited by rib 25 at a location where cap 11 is freely axially removable.
FIG. 3 shows a cap 30 similar to cap 11 except that a central cup-shaped section 31, rather than the tapering section 20, is relied upon to close the small end of the tapering section 32. Parts are otherwise the same as for FIGS. 1 and 2 and therefore need not be further identified. Cup section 31 establishes an enlarged flat central area 33 at the closed end of a substantially cylindrical wall section 34, thus enabling product identification to be formed in or applied to the cap, at area 33. Locking and sealing action are as already described.
In FIG. 4, another cap 35 is shown wherein the reduced end of the yieldable tapering section 36 is closed by a flat radial surface or panel 37. Again, locking and sealing action are as already described, and the differing external appearance may be relied upon for product identification.
in the modification of FIG. 5, a cap 40, with yieldable tapering section 41, is closed by a reverse-taper section 42 which establishes a reference plane or abutment 43, axially offset to the extent D from the closed end of the cap, and thus recessed within the concavity externally presented by the formation 41. Such construction lends itself to the press-fitted assembly of a disc or plug element 44, which may be appropriately marked for product identification. Disc 44 is shown as generally cylindrical, of thickness substantially D and with a small radially outward bead 45 near its lower edge. It will be understood that force fit application of disc 44 to cap 40 will drive head 45 past the plane of the radial annulus 46, causing a slight deforming bulge 47 beneath said plane, for secure retention of disc 44, regardless of the use of cap 40 to selectively open and close a bottle 10.
In the modification of FIG. 6, which represents the form which i presently prefer, the one-piece molded-plastic cap 50 comprises a cylindrical outer body 51, with integral internal locking formations near the open end; the other end is closed by a first annular portion 52 which extends radially inward and axially downward at an inclination angle [3, a second annular portion 53 which extends substantially axially from the radially inner limit of portion 52, and a third annular portion or taper section 54 which extends radially inward and axially downward (at the relatively gentle taper angle or already defined) to juncture with the flat radial surface or panel 55.
The invention will be seen to achieve the stated objects and to provide a tamperproof feature without adding to the number of required parts. Furthermore, preloaded liquid sealing and preloaded locking action are the inherent result of the described coaction. Liquid sealing is believed to be promoted by radial compression of the yieldable taper section (16, 32, 36, 41) and by an accompanying axial distention thereof, resulting in both axial and angular wiping contact in the course of establishing the seal. in an illustrative actual employment of my invention, using a taper a at 16 to close a circular bottle opening of r-inch diameter, the radially inward displacement in the course of cam lift was substantially 0.017 inch and after snapback to retained locking at 15, 21, the residual radially inward displacement of taper section 16 was substantially 0.010 inch. This 0.0l0-inch displacement was adequate to establish a stiffly resilient preload on both the locking and sealing functions.
More specifically, for the case of the preferred form of FIG. 6, the sectional thicknesses and sectional extents of the various integrally connected body and bottom parts 51, 52, 53, 54, 55 are chosen and proportioned to achieve a plurality of cooperating functions wherein the axial resultant of resilient reaction forces is smoothly and continuously applicable, over the axial range of relative positions of the parts, in the course of establishing locking and scaling functions. Preferably, the thinnest wall section occurs at the adjacent wall sections 53, 54 which are relied upon for radially inward deformation; the panel 55 may be as thin as sections 53, 54 but is preferably thicker, to provide a reacting compressional stiffness, for radial reference of the lower (smaller) end of the tapering section 54; and the annular portion 52 is considerably thicker (e.g., substantially twice as thick as the sections 53, 54) to provide (a) a relatively stiffly compliant axial deflection characteristic over essentially the range D of its normal deflection and (b) a firm coaxial positioning reference for the upper end of the thin section 53 (and thus for all the parts thereby suspended, i.e., portions 53, 54, 55). Typically, for a closure 50 of overall l.24-inch diameter, and for the indicated typical 6-inch bottle opening, the outer body or wall 51 is of 0.050-inch thickness,
the section 52 is of 0.030-inch thickness, the thin sections 53, 54 are of 0.0l5-inch thickness, and the panel 55 is of 0.025- inch thickness; the angles a and B are of substantially 20 and 15, respectively, and the axial extent of section 53 is preferably at least substantially the axial extent of section 54.
FIG. 6 also indicates a preferred formation of the mouth of the container bore, as indicated by fragmentary phantom outline of neck 12' with a bore 17 having a beveled or chamfered mouth formation 56. The formation 56 is shown as a frustoconical taper extending at a convergence angle 6, from a larger radius R, to a smaller radius R,,, namely the radius of bore 17'. The convergence angle 8 is preferably substantially less than the angle a of cap taper 54, and the radius R, is intermediate the unstressed radii R,, R of the cap 50; also, the axial extent D of the taper 56 is sufficient to assure that under no circumstances will the cylindrical wall portion 53 ever become a plug by entering the cylindrical bore 17', being rather limited only to partial entry into the tapered counterbore or chamfer 56. Typically, for the cap of FIG. 6, the angle 6 is substantially 10.
In operation, commencing with the unstressed condition displayed in FIG. 6, initial bottleneck interference (at the outer limit R of the tapered counterbore 56) strikes taper section 54 at an axially intermediate location, above the plane of panel 55, with a circumferentially continuous, essentially circular, line contact. Axially downward drive of the closure 50 onto the bottle reduces diameter of the juncture between sections 53, 54 causing section 53 to adopt a convergent taper, in approach to the reduced taper of section 54, and also in approach to the counterbore taper 56. The cantilevered suspension of section 52 from wall 51 is stressed axially deflect, within the range D As the tape angle a reduces, in the course of the indicated deflections, the locus of bottleneck contact shifts axially, with a resulting resiliently loaded wipe action which serves to locally clean the contacting surfaces, for greater assurance of seal effectiveness. Initially, the shift of this locus is upward along taper 54 until the juncture 57 between surfaces 53, 54 reaches the outer limit R of the bottle mouth 56; further axial depression of cap 60 on neck 12' causes the circular profile of juncture 57 to ride the tapered counterbore 56, being radially resiliently compressed in the course of such depression. The wipe action involves successive upward and downward strokes as the closure 50 is caused first to ride the peak of earns 23, and then to retract to the axially locked reference or lug-seating engagement at 21.
By providing the steep taper [3 at 52, there is assurance of a consistency and smoothness of developing axial reaction force, as a function of deflection within the range D even though such force may be the reaction between counterbore 55 and the radially compressed juncture 57; no further deflection is needed at 52, so that the truncated cone of section 52 is never displaced past its dead center or flattened condition, and there is no discontinuity in that part of the deflection characteristic which is utilized. By providing the acute-angle relationship, (i.e., the relatively small angle a) between the geometrical cylinder and cone of sections 53, 54, in the context of approximately equal axial extents of sections 53, 54, there is assurance that their radially inward deflection under neck-contacting circumstances will occur over the generally central region of the combined axial extent, i.e., not primarily characterized by a local radially inward bulge at the immediate vicinity of neck contact; stress reversals at the zone of contact are thus muted, with resultant longevity for the product and its effectiveness.
While the invention has been described in detail for the preferred forms shown, it will be understood that modifica tions may be made without departure from the invention.
What is claimed is:
1. Tamperproof selectively openable closure means, comprising a body including a neck with a circular axial-end opening, and a cap for selectively opening and closing said opening, said cap and the exterior of said neck having coacting telescoping parts for removably securing the same, and said cap and the bore of said neck having coacting telescoping parts including radially extending yieldable means having circumferentially continuous resiliently loaded contact with said opening when said cap is in secured position; said cap being of single-piece integral molded-plastic construction, comprising an outer generally cylindrical portion having the means for removable securing to the exterior of said neck, and a closure for which the cross section defines a continuous integral connection of elements between diametrical extremes at one end of said cylindrical portion; said connections including in succession a generally radially inward flange, a generally axially downward flange, a generally downward converging taper at an acute angle to the direction of said axially downward flange, and a closure of the bottom end of said taper; said taper being of radial inner and outer limits spanning the circle of the neck opening and constituting the cap part having telescoping fit with the bore of said neck and said taper and said axially downward flange having substantially the same uniform relatively thin and yieldable thickness, whereby in the course of radially inward resilient deflection of said taper, the taper is reduced and the adjacent end of said axial flange is inwardly converged to further reduce the acute angle between said taper and said axial flange.
2. Closure means according to claim 1, in which the securing telescoping portion of said cap is relatively thick and rigid, the remaining elements of said cap being relatively thin and flexible.
3. Closure means according to claim 2, in which the angle of taper of said configuration is in the order of a. Closure means according to claim 1, in which said tapering configuration is substantially frustoconical, with a cupped formation closing the small end of the frustoconical portion.
5. Closure means according to claim 4, in which said cupped formation is generally frustoconical in the opposite direction of taper of said first frustoconical portion.
6. Closure means according to claim 4, in which said cupped formation comprises a generally cylindrical wall with a generally radial central closure at one end, the other end of said cylindrical wall being joined to said frustoconical portion,
7. Closure means according to claim 6, in which said frustoconical and cylindrical wall portions are axially substantially coextensive.
8. Closure means according to claim 6, in which said cylindrical wall portion is of lesser axial extent than said frustoconical portion whereby said central closure defines an externally accessible axial stop within said frustoconical portion, and a plug member positioned against said stop and retained within said frustoconical portion.
9. Closure means according to claim 1, in which said tapering configuration is substantially frustoconical, and a substantially flat radial wall integrally joined to the small end of the frustoconical portion and closing the same.
10. Tamperproof selectively openable closure means, comprising a bottle including a neck with a circular axial-end opening, and a cap for selectively opening and closing said opening, said cap having an outer cylindrical portion having telescoping overlap with said neck, and said neck and cap having bayonet-locking formations at the region of their overlap, whereby first axial and then rotary manipulation are required to secure the cap to the neck; said cap being of single-piece molded-plastic construction and having a closure wall which defines a continuous integral connection of elements between diametrical extremes at one end of said cylindrical portion; said connections including in succession a generally radially inward flange, a generally axially downward flange having a radially yieldable downward end, a generally downwardly converging tapering section at an acute angle to the direction of said axially downward flange and depending therefrom, and a closure of the bottom end of said tapering section; said tapering section having initial interference with the circular neck opening prior to achieving the ultimate axial overlap which represents full securing of the cap to the neck, whereby when fully secured the tapering section is resiliently and radially inwardly stressed into closing and sealing contact with said neck.
11. Closure means according to claim 10, in which said bayonet-locking formations include an axial notch at an angular location following an angular region of axial-rise cam action, the axial depth of said notch being effectively less than the effective axial rise of said cam action, said interference occurring substantially at the region of initial cam action, whereby after notch engagement said cap is retained on said neck with radially and axially resilient loading of the seal of said tapering section at the circular end of the neck opening.
12. Selectively openable closure and seal means, comprising a body including a neck with a circular axial-end opening, and a cap for selectively opening and closing said opening; said cap being of single-piece molded-plastic construction having open and closed ends and having an outer wall sized to fit over said neck, and said cap and neck having coacting telescoping engagement parts for removably securing the same; the closed end of said cap comprising a relatively thin deformable radially limited and axially more extensive tapering section for seal contact with the end of the neck opening, the radial limits of said section being respectively less than and greater than the radius of the neck opening, means closing the smaller axial end of said section, and axially and radially resilient means connecting said outer wall to the larger axial end of said section.
13. The closure and seal means of claim 12, in which said last-defined means comprises a first annular downwardly convergent section, and a second annular generally cylindrical section connecting the first annular section to said tapering section.
14. The closure and seal means of claim 13, in which the thickness of said cylindrical section and of said tapering section are substantially the same.
15. The closure and seal means of claim 14, in which the thickness of said first annular section is in the order of double that of said tapering section.
16. The closure and seal means of claim 12, in which the thickness of all parts of the closed end of said cap is substantially less than that of said outer wall.
17. The closure and seal means of claim 13, in which the axial extent of said cylindrical section is in the order of magnitude of the axial extent of said tapering section.
18. The closure and seal means of claim 17, in which said axial extents are substantially the same.
19. The closure and seal means of claim 13, in which said first annular section is generally frustoconical, with a slope down from a radial plane; said slope being of such magnitude, over the radial extent between said wall and said cylindrical section as to provide a substantial range of axially compliant suspension of said cylindrical and tapering sections with respect to said outer wall, the compliance of said suspension smoothly rising as a function of approach to a radial-flat condition of said first annular section.
20. The closure and seal means of claim 19, wherein the angle of said slope, in the unstressed condition is in the order of 15.
21. Closure means according to claim 1, in which said generally radially inward flange is generally frustoconical, with a slope down from a radial plane; said slope being of such magnitude, over the radial extent between said wall and said generally axially downward flange as to provide a substantial range of axially compliant suspension of said axially downward flange and taper with respect to said outer wall, the compliance of said suspension smoothly rising as a function of approach to a radial-flat condition of said generally radially inward flange.
22. Closure means according to claim 21, wherein the slope angle of said generally radially inward flange, in the unstressed condition, is in the order of 15.
23. Closure means according to claim 1 wherein the axialend opening of said neck is a tapered counterbore of tapered slope less than that of said downwardly converging taper.
24. Closure means according to claim 23, in which the counterbore is frustoconical with a substantially 10 slope and said converging taper is frustoconical with a substantially slope.
25. Closure means according to claim 23, wherein the maximum radius of said counterbore is intermediate the unstressed maximum and minimum radii of said converging taper, and wherein the minimum radius of said downwardly converging taper is at least no greater than the minimum radius of said counterbore.
26. Selectively operable closure and seal means, comprising a body including a neck with a circular axial-end opening having a tapering counterbore at a first acute angle to the axis of the opening, and a cap for selectively opening and closing said opening; said cap being of single-piece molded-plastic construction having open and closed ends and having an outer wall sized to fit over said neck, and said cap and neck having coacting telescoping engagement parts for removably securing the same; the closed end of said cap comprising a relatively thin defonnable closure section including an axially extending downward flange and a generally downward converging tapering flange at a second acute angle to the axis of said cap and therefore to the direction of said axially downward flange, said cap including an integral closure of the bottom end of said tapering flange, said first acute angle being substantially less than said second acute angle, and the radial range of said tapering flange overlapping the radial range of said tapering counterbore; and axially resilient means integrally connecting said outer wall to the upper axial end of said section.
27. A combined closure-cap and seal construction, comprising a single-piece of molded plastic having open and closed ends and an outer generally cylindrical annular wall to flt over a bottleneck in telescoped relation therewith, the bore of said wall integrally including radially inward lug formations for removably securable connection to cooperating neck formations, the closed end of said cap comprising a relatively thin deformable closure section including an axially extending downward flange and a generally downward converging tapering flange at an acute angle to the axis of said cap and therefore to the direction of said generally downward flange, said cap including an integral closure of the bottom end of said tapering flange, and axially resilient means integrally connecting said outer wall to the upper axial end of said section.