US 3618802 A
Abstract available in
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent  Inventor George Yates, Jr.
] Appl. No. 883,869
 Filed Jan. 26.1970
 Patented Nov. 9, i971 73] Assignee Growth International Industries Corp.
Cleveland, Ohio Continuation-impart of application Ser. No. 781,556, Dec. 5, 1968, now Patent No. 3,499,574, and a continuation-impart of 791333, Jan. 17, 1969, now Patent No. 3,532,544.
s41 DDISTORTION PREVENTER 12 Claims, 5 Drawing Figs.
52 u.s.c| 215/41,
[5|] lut.Cl ..B65d4l/22 [501 Field of Search... 220/60, 42; 2l5/4l; 150/5; 229/43 [56) References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,5 l0,023 5/1970 Ullman et al. 220/60 R Primary Examiner-George T Hall Auorneys- Ronald L. Engel and Daniel W. Vittum ABSTRACT: A distortion preventer bead on a container body is spaced from another head, which cooperates with an adjacent peripheral leg ofa closure to provide a locking engagement of the closure and the container body, and serves to limit any pivotal motion by the leg in the direction of the container body.
CROSS-REFERENCE This is a continuation-in-part of applicant's copending applications Ser. No. 781,556, filed Dec. 5, 1968, now US. Pat. No. 3,499,574 and Ser. No. 791,933, filed Jan. 17, 1969, now US. Pat. No. 3,532,544 titled, respectively, Resilient Closure Having Retaining Means and Seal for Resealable Bucket Closure.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention This invention relates to containers and closures and more particularly to a container body and a closure which cooperate to prevent distortion of the closure and thereby prevent accidental disengagement of the closure from the container body.
2. Description of the Prior Art The prior art is replete with examples of containers having closures which are at least partially flexible and which engage the container body by being snapped-on." An example of such an arrangement is shown in U.S. Pat. No. 2,977,019 which illustrates a metal container body and a metal closure, the closure has a peripheral lip or leg which is slotted and of sufficiently thin gauge toallow it to be snapped around a flange formed in the periphery of the container body.
When the peripheral leg of a closure is designed to be spaced from the side of a container body with only a portion of the leg contacting a projection of the container body, such as is shown in another patent, U.S. Pat. No. 2,339,343, then there is a possibility that the flexible peripheral leg may be distorted accidentally, for example, by having the container body-closure combination roughly handled or dropped during movement. If allowed to distort, the peripheral leg may disengage the projection causing the closure to loosen or pop off. This is especially true when the container body or closure is made of a thin gauge spring metal or of a synthetic resin. If the closure or container body were to be increased in thickness, the ability to snap the closure on the container body would be markedly lessened and/or the expense of manufacture and material would be increased to a prohibitive degree. In addition, synthetic resin materials tend to become brittle as the gauge of the material is increased, thus enhancing the likelihood of cracking.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION In accordance with the present invention, the above-mentioned problems in the prior art may be solved with a container body having a closure distortion preventer comprising an open end container body having a sidewall and a bottom, the bottom being disposed opposite the open end and the sidewall having interior and exterior surfaces; interlocking means on the sidewall for cooperating with a closure to provide for the locking engagement of the closure and the container body; and a projection on the sidewall spaced apart from the interlocking means and extending away from the exterior surface, whereby a depending peripheral leg of the closure is prevented from being excessively distorted.
An object of the present invention is to provide a container which is capable of preventing a closure from excessive distortion.
Another object of the present invention is to provide a container having a projecting bead closely spaced from a peripheral leg of a cooperating closure.
Still another object of the present invention is to provide a container body and closure which will not accidentally disengage if the closed container were accidentally dropped or roughly handled.
Yet another object of the present invention is to provide a container with a closure which will preclude tampering with the contents of the container.
A further object of the present invention is to provide a closure-container body combination which 'is relatively simple and inexpensive to manufacture.
DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIG. 1 is a side view partially broken away of a container body with an engaging closure;
FIG. 2 is an enlarged longitudinal sectional view of a portion of a container body and a closure taken along line 2-2 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is an enlarged longitudinal sectional view similar to that shown in FIG. 2, illustrating a comparison between an excessively distorted closure and a mildly distorted closure;
FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional plan view of the container body taken along line 4-4 of FIG. 1 with the closure deleted and illustrates a plurality of radially projecting beads; and
FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional plan view of a container similar to that shown in FIG. 4 and illustrates an annular projecting bead.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Referring now to FIGS. 1 and 2, there is illustrated a closure 10 lockingly engaging a container body 12. The container body 12 comprises an open end 14 surrounded by a rim 15, a sidewall portion 16, and a bottom portion 18. The sidewall has two surfaces, an exterior surface 20 and an interior surface 22 and in conjunction with the bottom portion 18 may contain a material such as a liquid 24.
The closure 10 (see FIG. 2) comprises a center portion 26, an inner leg portion 28, a base portion 30, and an outer peripheral leg portion 32. The center portion, the two leg portions, and the base portion are integrally formed. The outer leg 32 has a plurality of slots 34 spaced along its periphery and terminates in a continuous end bead 36. The term bead" is used to refer to any projection or thickened section of material.
About the rim 15 of the container body 12 there is provided a bead 40 of material extending outwardly from the sidewall 16 away from the exterior surface 20 to provide a shoulder or abutment surface 42 situated generally perpendicular to the exterior surface 20.
During the process of placing the closure 10 in blocking engagement with the container body 12, an upper surface 41 of the bead 40 functions as a cam on a surface 46 of leg 32 which functions as a cam follower to cause the leg 32 to be bowed outwardly to allow the passage of the bead 40. The leg 32 can be readily flexed because of the plurality of slots 34 and the type of gauge of the material used. Meanwhile, a restraining effect is created by the base portion 30 and the continuous bead 36 because of their continuous and thicker cross sections, thus allowing only that portion of the leg 32 lying between the base 30 and the bead 36 to be flexed. Once the abutment surface 42 has cleared the cam follower surface 46, the leg 32 will spring or snap back into its position, as shown in FIG. 2, to cause an interference between the abutment surface 42 and another shoulder or abutment surface 48 formed as a continuation of surface 46, although directed roughly perpendicularly to the leg 32. Once in locking engagement there is no corresponding cam follower surface similar to the surface 46 for the bead 40 to push outwardly, thus there is an effective interlock between the container body and the closure.
In order to open the container, that is, to remove the closure from the container body, it is necessary for the abutment surface 48 to be moved out of interference with the abutment surface 42. This could be done by using a sharp tool to cut through selected portions of the continuous bead 36 so as to form pivotable tabs of portions of leg 32 between adjacent slots 34. In this manner, leg 32 may be pivoted by the application of outward pulling force on the bead 36 causing the leg 32 to pivot, thereby misaligning the abutment surfaces 42 and 48.
However, if the continuous head 36 is not cut, then there is no way of removing the closure from the container body unless the closure and/or container body can be distorted sufficiently to cause the abutment surface 48 or at least a portion thereof to be moved out of alignment with the abutment surface 42. For example, it is conceivable that the outer leg 32 could be knocked or pushed into the position shown in phantom lines in FIG. 3. Should that occur, the opposite side of the closure, i.e., 180 away, could distort to cause a misalignment of the abutment surface 48 with the abutment surface 42. Thus, the closure could be popped" along a portion of its peripheral length to allow removal of the contents of the container body 12 either intentionally or accidentally. Additionally, as soon as the disengagement occurs there is a loss of a hermetic seal should a sealing device such as a gasket 49 (see FIG. 3) be located between the rim l and the base portion 30.
In order to prevent the above-described distortion from occurring, a projection, such as a peripheral bead 50, is provided spaced a short distance from the bead 40 along the exterior surface 20 of the sidewall 16. The bead 50 is provided with an outer surface 52 which is generally complementary to the surface 46 of the leg 32 to prevent injury to the leg 32 and to provide a substantial support for the leg 32 should distortion occur. In the usual rest position, as shown in FIG. 2, the surface 52 is closely spaced from the surface 46 providing a slight gap designated as 54. Should a lateral force, however, be applied to the closure, such as by being roughly handled, the leg 32 can move only to close the gap 54 pressing the surface 46 against the outer surface 52 of the bead 50. Such a movement would only mildly distort the closure and be insufficient to cause the abutment surface 48 to be misaligned with the abutment surface 42. Of course an unusually large force could distort the leg 32 and the bead 50 by additionally distorting the sidewall 16 of the container body 12, and the inner leg 28 and the center 26 of the closure. However, such a force would have to be many magnitudes larger than the force necessary to distort the leg should the bead 50 be absent and in all likelihood the force would be sufficient to damage the container body 12 severely, if not destroy it altogether, so that the presence or absence of the bead 50 would be of little consequence. However, in the usual situations where the force is caused by rough handling or droppage, the bead 50 is extremely effective.
Referring now to FIGS. 4 and 5, two embodiments of the bead are illustrated. For example, FIG. 4 illustrates a plurality of radially extended beads 50 disposed about the periphery of the sidewall 16. It is, of course, understood that any convenient spacing might be used and that the circumferential length of any of the segments may be varied in any desired manner. In FIG. 5 the bead 50a is shown extending a full 360 about the periphery of the sidewall portion 16a of the container body 12a.
The container body 12 and the closure 10 are preferably formed from a suitable semirigid synthetic resin having sufficient strength to withstand the abuses to which a shipping container is subjected in normal use. Linear high-density polyethylene is an especially suitable synthetic resin material, although other resins of the polyolefin or petrochemical family may be employed. An especially preferred polyethylene is that having a density ranging between 0.941 and 0.965 grams per cubic centimeter (ASTM test D-lS05-60P) and a melt index ranging between 0.1 and 9.0 (ASTM test D-l238-57P). With the latter preferred polyethylene being employed in producing a blow-molded container, the melt index preferably ranges between 0.1 and 0.5, whereas when it is employed in producing an injection molded article, the melt index preferably lies between 4.0 and 9.0. One specific example of a container and closure made of high-density polyethylenes has a closure diameter of about 12 inches and a container body height of about 13.5 inches. Outer leg 32 has a thickness of 0.065 inch, sidewall 16 has a thickness of 0.100 inch, bead 50 has a tapered projection with the longer length extending from the exterior surface 20 being 0.100 inch, the shorter length being about 0.050 inch, and the width being about 0.2 inch. The length ofouter leg 16 is about 0.875 inch.
It is understood that the particular container body and closure shown have many equivalent structures which are still within the scope of the appended claims. For example, the beads 40 and 50 could be reversed in function by having the abutment surface 48 adjacent the bead 50 instead of its present position adjacent the bead 40. It is also to be understood that the beads 40 and 50 provide substantial strengthening to the container body 12.
I. In a container comprising an open end container body having a sidewall and a bottom, the bottom being disposed opposite the open end and the sidewall having interior and exterior surfaces; a comating closure comprising a center section, a peripheral channel having an inverted generally U- shaped cross section and including a base portion from which an inner leg and a flexible outer leg depend, with the lower end of the outer leg being free, the peripheral channel being formed integrally with the center section; and interlocking means on the sidewall for cooperating with a closure to provide for locking engagement of the closure and the container body; a closure distortion preventer comprising:
a projection on the sidewall spaced apart from and not in engagement with the interlocking means and extending away from the exterior surface, said projection having a generally fiat outer surface which is generally parallel to and in immediate proximity to the outer leg;
whereby the outer leg of the closure is prevented from being excessively distorted so as to disengage the interlocking means.
2. A closure distortion preventer as claimed in claim I, wherein the projection is formed integrally with the side wall of the container body.
3. A closure distortion preventer as claimed in claim 2, wherein the projection is segmented about the periphery of the container body.
4. A closure distortion preventer as claimed in claim 2, wherein the projection has an outer surface complementary to a surface of the peripheral leg of the closure.
5. A container body, as claimed in claim 2, wherein the container body is fabricated from plastic.
6. A closure and a container body having a closure distortion preventer comprising in combination:
an open end container body having a sidewall and a bottom, the bottom being disposed opposite the open end and the sidewall having interior and exterior surfaces;
a closure having a peripheral leg and adapted for placement over the open end of the container body with the peripheral leg extending downwardly generally parallel to the sidewall but spaced apart therefrom;
interlocking means on the sidewall cooperating with the peripheral leg to provide for locking engagement of the closure and the container body; and
a projection on the sidewall spaced apart from and not in engagement with the interlocking means and extending away from the exterior surface, said projection having an essentially flat outer surface which is essentially parallel to and in immediate proximity to the peripheral leg;
whereby the peripheral leg is prevented from being excessively distorted.
7. A combination, as claimed in claim 6, wherein the projection 13 formed integrally with the sidewall of the container body.
8. A combination, as claimed in claim 7, wherein the pro jection is segmented about the periphery of the container body.
9. A combination, as claimed in claim 7, wherein the peripheral leg has a surface which is complementary to the outer surface of the projection.
10. A combination, as claimed in claim 7, wherein the interlocking means comprises a first bead integrally formed around the periphery of the open end of the sidewall portion of the container body, and a complementary second beam integrally formed on the interior surface of the peripheral leg, said second bead adapted to engage said first bead when the closure is placed over the open end of the container body.
11. A combination, as claimed in claim 10, wherein the first bead comprises a first abutment surface, and the second bead comprises a second abutment surface adapted to cooperate with the first abutment surface of the first bead.
12. A combination, as claimed in claim 6, wherein the closure and container body are fabricated from plastic.