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Publication numberUS3650428 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMar 21, 1972
Filing dateApr 9, 1970
Priority dateApr 9, 1970
Publication numberUS 3650428 A, US 3650428A, US-A-3650428, US3650428 A, US3650428A
InventorsMiller Christian F
Original AssigneeV C A Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Tamperproof closure device
US 3650428 A
Abstract
The present invention relates generally to closure members for application to external thread convolutions of a container and more particularly to an improvement in such closure members whereby unauthorized or unintentional unscrewing of the closure may be readily detected. The embodiments of the present invention disclosed herein include an internally threaded closure member or cap and a locking ring fracturably connected with the lower margin of the cap. Ratchet teeth provided along the inner surface of the locking ring are adapted to interlock with complementary external teeth or protuberances on the container to resist forces tending to unscrew the cap after it has been finally tightened in place. If the cap is subjected to sufficient force tending to unscrew the cap while the ratchet teeth abut the external container protuberances, the fracturable connection will rupture, thereby affording a clear indication that the cap may have been tampered with.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent Miller [4 1 Mar. 21, 1972 [54] TAMPERPROOF CLOSURE DEVICE [72] Inventor: Christian F. Miller, Palos Park, Ill. [73] Assignee: V.C.A. Corporation (formerly k/a Valve Corporation of America), Greenwich,

Conn.

[22] Filed: Apr.9, 1970 [21] Appl. No.: 27,062

[52] U.S.Cl. ..2l5/42,2l5/46 A,2l5/7 [51] Int. Cl ..B65d 41/32 [58] Field of Search ..2 1 5/42, 7, 43, 46 A; 220/54, 220/27 [56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,504,818 4/1970 Crisci et a1 ..2l5/42 3,407,976 10/1968 Homma ....2l5/42 3,493,140 2/1970 MacNeil ..2l5/42 FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 1,393,366 2/1965 France ..2l5/42 Primary Examiner-George T. Hall Attorney-Olson, Trexler, Wolters & Bushnell [5 7] ABSTRACT The present invention relates generally to closure members for application to external thread convolutions of a container and more particularly to an improvement in such closure members whereby unauthorized or unintentional unscrewing of the closure may be readily detected. The embodiments of the present invention disclosed herein include an internally threaded closure member or cap and a locking ring fracturably connected with the lower margin of the cap. Ratchet V teeth provided along the inner surface of the locking ring are adapted to interlock with complementary external teeth or protuberances on the container to resist forces tending to unscrew the cap after it has been finally tightened in place. if the cap is subjected to sufficient force tending to unscrew the cap while the ratchet teeth abut the external container protuberances, the fracturable connection will rupture, thereby affording a clear indication that the cap may have been tampered with.

8 Claims, 12 Drawing Figures TAMPERPROOF CLOSURE DEVICE SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention is particularly concerned with the provisions of an improved tamperproof closure member or cap of the type adapted for application to the external thread convolutions ofa container.

More specifically, it isan object of the present invention to provide a closure member or cap equipped with novel and practical means which will prevent unscrewing of the cap without indicating to a user that the cap may have been previ- BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS The foregoing and other objects and advantages will be more apparent from the following detailed description when considered in connection with the accompanying drawings wherein:

FIG. I is a perspective view of a closure member or cap device which is representative of one embodiment of the present invention, said cap being shown in operative association with the externally threaded neck of a bottle type container;

FIG. 2 is an enlarged vertical central sectional view of the closure member shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a horizontal sectional view taken substantially along the line 3-3 ofFlG. 2;

FIG. 4 is an enlarged detail sectional view of the ratchet type ring in locking association with external protuberances on the container, said view being taken substantially along the line 4-4 of FIG. 5;

FIG. 5 is a fragmentary detail sectional view taken substantially along the line 5-5 of FIG. 4 before the integral connec tion between the cap body and the locking ring has been ruptured;

FIG. 6 is a fragmentary sectional view similar to FIG. 5, showing the rupture or severance which occurs when sufficient retrograde force is applied to the cap;

FIG. 7 is a perspective view similar to FIG. 1, disclosing a modified form of tamperproofcap;

FIG. 8 is an enlarged vertical sectional view of the cap and annular locking section illustrated in FIG. 7;

FIG. 9 is a horizontal sectional view taken substantially along the line 9-9 of FIG. 8;

FIG. 10 is an enlarged fragmentary sectional view taken substantially along the line l0-l0 of FIG. 9, before the continuity ofthe locking ring has been broken;

FIG. 11 is a view similar to FIG. 9 disclosing the internally ratcheted locking ring severed from the lower margin of the cap proper; and,

FIG. 12 is an enlarged fragmentary sectional view taken substantially along the line 12l2 after the locking ring has been severed from the lower margin ofthe cap body.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Referring now to the drawings more in detail, wherein like numerals have been employed to designate similar parts throughout the various figures, it will be seen that a closure device representative of one embodiment of the present invention is designated generally by the numeral 14. The closure device 14 includes an internally threaded cap body 16 and an integral annular locking member or ring 18 at the base of the cap body 16.

The internal surface of the locking ring member 18 is formed with a plurality of ratchet teeth 20. The external periphery of a neck portion 22 of a container 24 is provided with a plurality of circumferentially distributed external teeth or protuberances 26. As the cap body 16 is rotatably applied to the externally threaded section 27 of the container 24, the ratchet teeth 26 are ultimately brought into engagement with the external protuberances 26. Thus when the cap body 16 is finally tightened into position as shown in FIG. 2, the ratchet teeth 20 will interlock with the protuberances 26 to counteract forces tending to unscrew the cap body 16.

Attention is directed to the fact that the lower margin of the cap body 16 is integrally connected with the upper margin of the locking ring 18 by an area of limited cross section, indicated by the numeral 28 in FIG. 5. To unscrew the cap body 16 from the container, it is necessary to apply a retrograde force which is sufficient to rupture the connecting area 26. This ruptured condition is indicated clearly in FIG. 6. Thus any tampering with the cap body 16 which would tend to cause the cap to rotate in a retrograde rotation with respect to the container, will be evidenced by the ruptured area between the ring 18 and the lower margin of the cap.

In FIGS. 7 to 12, inclusive, a modified form of a tamperproof closure device is shown. The only distinguishing difference between the device shown in these figures over the closure device illustrated in FIGS. 1-6, inclusive, is in the provision ofa structurally modified locking ring 18a. The closure device FIGS. 7-12 inclusive is indicated generally by the numeral 14a and includes an internally threaded cap body 16a. The cap 16a may be applied to the externally threaded neck portion 26a of a container 24a. The locking ring 18a is formed integral with the lower margin of the cap body 16a by a fracturable connecting portion 281:. The inner surface of the strip which forms the locking ring 18a is provided with a plurality of ratchet teeth 20a adapted to interlock with complementary protuberances 26a formed along the exterior of the neck section 22a of the container 24a. The engagement of the ratchet teeth 20a with the complementary circumferentially distributed protuberances 26a counteracts forces tending to unscrew the cap body 160. Should sufficient retrograde forces be applied to the cap 16a, the connecting area 28a of limited cross section will rupture, thereby freeing the cap for removal. In this manner, any tampering with the cap body is readily detectable.

Attention is directed to the fact that the locking ring 18a is secured as an integral ring when a tab member 30 formed as a part of the ring 18a occupies the position shown in FIG. 9. In this position, the tab member 30 secured to a peripheral portion of the locking ring 18a by fracturable connecting sections 32 of restricted cross section. To release the ring 18a from association with the neck portion 2211, it is only necessary to grip the free extremity of the tab 30 and exert a force which is sufficient to cause the section 32 to be ruptured as clearly indicated in FIG. 12. The ring member 18a may then be unwrapped, thereby rupturing or severing the connecting areas 28a previously referred to. Should the ring be removed without authorization, it will be readily apparent that the closure device has been tampered with. Thus the closure device 14a exhibits the advantage of detecting tampering in two ways. Namely by the severance or rupture of the connecting areas 28a as a result of unauthorized retrograde forces being applied to the cap body 16a or by the removal of the locking ring 18a before unscrewing the cap body.

From the foregoing, it will be apparent that the present invention contemplates a very simple yet practical closure device which is tamperproof. The structural design of the do sure devices 14 and are such as to enable the production thereof by practicing conventional plastic molding methods. Hence, the cost of production may be held to a minimum. In both forms, any authorized or unintentional retrograde rotation of the cap body is readily detectable.

I claim:

l. A tamper proof closure device for application to a container having external closure accommodating thread convolutions circumferentially distributed peripheral abutments in the vicinity of said convolutions, and an annular closure engageable shoulder located between said convolutions and said abutments, including an internally threaded cap body, an annularly disposed cap locking section in the vicinity of and below said internal thread convolutions having internal locking teeth adapted, when the cap body is rotatably tightened upon complementary external container threads, to interlock with complementary peripheral container abutments, whereby to counteract retrograde rotary forces to which the cap body may be subjected, a fracturable integral coupling between the cap body and the annular locking section and an annular abutment surface interposed between said cap locking section and the lowermost internal thread convolution for engaging a complemental shoulder ofa container.

2. A tamper proof closure device as set forth in claim 1, wherein the internal locking teeth are in the form of ratchet teeth which permit tightening rotation of the closure device, but are adapted to lockingly engage complementary peripheral container abutments to counteract retrograde rotation.

3. A tamper proof closure device as set forth in claim 1, wherein the fracturable integral coupling is located between the lower margin of the cap body and the upper margin of the annularly disposed cap locking section.

4. A tamper proof closure device as set forth in claim 1, wherein the annularly disposed cap locking section comprises a uniformly continuous ring member.

5. A tamper proof closure device as set forth in claim 1,

wherein the annularly disposed locking section comprises a member in the form of a discontinuous ring and a fracturable tab member formed integral with and coupling the opposite extremities of said discontinuous ring member.

6. A tamper proof closure device as set forth in claim 5, wherein the upper margin of the discontinuous ring member is connected to the lower margin of the cap body by fracturable coupling means oflimited cross section.

7. The combination including a container having external thread convolutions in the vicinity of an open area thereof, circumferentially distributed peripheral abutments in the vicinity of and below said external thread convolutions, an annular closure engageable shoulder located between said convolutions and said abutments, a closure device for said container including an internally threaded cap body and an annularly disposed cap locking section in the vicinity of and below said internal thread convolutions having locking teeth which are so disposed that when the cap body is rotatably tightened upon said container, said internal teeth will interlock with the above-mentioned circumferentially distributed peripheral abutments to counteract retrograde rotary forces to which the cap body may be subjected, a fracturable integral coupling between the cap body and the annular locking section and an annular abutment surface interposed between said cap locking section and the lowermost thread convolution thereof for engaging the aforesaid container shoulder.

8. The combination as set forth in claim 7, wherein the annularly disposed cap locking section is in the nature of a discontinuous ring member and includes integral tab means adapted to be gripped for rupturing said integral coupling.

UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE N CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION Patent No. 3,650,428 Dated March 21, 1972 Inventor(s) Christian F Miller It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:

Col. 2, line 43, after cap" insert --body-- Col. 2, line 73, change "authorized" to unauthorized-- Signed and sealed this 27th; day of June 1 972.

(SEAL) Attest:

EDWARD M.FLETCHER,JR. Attesting Officer ROBERT GOTTSCHALK Commissioner of Patents USCOMM-DC 60376-F'69 us. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE: I969 O366-334 ORM PO-IOSO (10-69)

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3407976 *May 24, 1966Oct 29, 1968Zensho HommaContainer with plural pour spouts and frangible closure
US3493140 *Nov 29, 1968Feb 3, 1970Container CorpTamper-proof closure arrangement
US3504818 *Nov 25, 1968Apr 7, 1970Crisci HarryTamper proof bottle closure
FR1393366A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3812994 *May 18, 1972May 28, 1974Dairy Cap CorpTamper-proof closure cap
US3840136 *Feb 2, 1973Oct 8, 1974Doll GmbhClosure with fracturable auxiliary container
US3871545 *Jul 16, 1973Mar 18, 1975Astra PlastiqueClosure devices for containers
US3888383 *Aug 17, 1973Jun 10, 1975Bowater Packaging LtdContainer having a tamperproof closure
US3901404 *May 3, 1973Aug 26, 1975Dairy Cap CorpBottle cap
US3904061 *May 14, 1973Sep 9, 1975Klm CompanyTamper-proof bottle closure
US3924769 *Dec 20, 1974Dec 9, 1975Owens Illinois IncSingle use safety closure
US3929246 *Feb 24, 1975Dec 30, 1975Koninkl Emballag Ind Van LeerPlastic container cap unit with integral sealing ring
US3942675 *Jul 29, 1974Mar 9, 1976Continental Can Company, Inc.Full opening reclosable container closure
US3967745 *Aug 18, 1975Jul 6, 1976Sunbeam Plastics CorporationSelf-positioning child-resistant closure
US4062466 *Oct 7, 1976Dec 13, 1977Dairy Cap CorporationTamper-proof closure cap with self-removing ring
US4131212 *Mar 28, 1977Dec 26, 1978Airfix Industries LimitedContainers
US4333577 *Sep 15, 1980Jun 8, 1982Owens-Illinois, Inc.Tamperproof closure
US4355730 *Jun 2, 1980Oct 26, 1982Ernest WiedmerScrew cap with a guarantee ring for indicating the first opening of a container
US4377106 *Jun 30, 1980Mar 22, 1983Realex CorporationTamper-resistant locking clip for dispensing pumps
US4402415 *Oct 16, 1981Sep 6, 1983U. G. Closures & Plastics LimitedIntegrally sealed container with cap
US4469234 *Feb 4, 1983Sep 4, 1984Werner DeussenTamperproof container closure
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US4534480 *Jun 1, 1984Aug 13, 1985Sun Coast Plastics, Inc.Tamper evident closure
US4546893 *Oct 22, 1984Oct 15, 1985Gene StullTamper-evident closure cap construction
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US4565294 *Feb 15, 1985Jan 21, 1986Smith Moe STamper evident container shroud
US4592476 *Jun 19, 1984Jun 3, 1986Japan Crown Cork Co., Ltd.Combination of a container and a closure
US4722449 *Aug 18, 1986Feb 2, 1988Alfatechnic AgContainer closure with hinged cap and seal piercing means
US4784281 *Oct 23, 1986Nov 15, 1988Oleg RozenbergTamper-evident closures
US4909404 *Sep 23, 1988Mar 20, 1990Oleg RozenbergTamper-evident closures
US5056675 *Jan 18, 1991Oct 15, 1991Sunbeam Plastics CorporationTether web ratchet drive tamper indicating band closure
US5100011 *Apr 5, 1991Mar 31, 1992The West Company, IncorporatedTamper evident closure
US5209795 *Aug 9, 1991May 11, 1993Teledyne Industries, Inc.Method of forming a seal removal tab on a collapsible tube
US5285912 *Jul 9, 1993Feb 15, 1994Northern Engineering & Plastics, Corp.Snap on pull off tamper indicating flexible cap and neck configuration
US5307946 *Mar 24, 1993May 3, 1994Northern Engineering & Plastics, Corp.Neck finish for a container and a matching registering multiple thread pattern in a flexible cap for engagement on neck said finish
US5480045 *Aug 30, 1993Jan 2, 1996Portola Packaging, Inc.Neck finish for a container and a matching registering multiple thread pattern in a flexible cap for engagement on said neck finish
US5560504 *Nov 4, 1993Oct 1, 1996Molinaro; LucaSnap on pull off tamper indicating flexible cap and neck configuration
US5685444 *Sep 19, 1995Nov 11, 1997Valley; Joseph P.Tamper-evident hinged closure cap construction
US7905369 *Apr 19, 2006Mar 15, 2011Bernd HansenDispensing closure with a plug-through sleeve for fixing it to a container
USRE37243 *Mar 22, 1996Jun 26, 2001Portola Packaging, Inc.Neck finish for a container and a matching registering multiple thread pattern in a flexible cap for engagement on said neck finish
DE2543812A1 *Oct 1, 1975May 26, 1976Owens Illinois IncDeckel, der gegen oeffnen durch schlag oder stoss gesichert ist
EP0433193A1 *Dec 11, 1990Jun 19, 1991Cebal S.A.Improved container closure with screw cap and tear-off tamper evident band
Classifications
U.S. Classification215/252, 215/256
International ClassificationB65D41/34
Cooperative ClassificationB65D41/3409, B65D2101/0038
European ClassificationB65D41/34A1
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Jan 25, 1984ASAssignment
Owner name: ETHYL MOLDED PRODUCTS COMPANY, 330 SOUTH FOURTH ST
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:ETHYL PRODUCTS COMPANY;REEL/FRAME:004219/0248
Effective date: 19831216