|Publication number||US3655105 A|
|Publication date||Apr 11, 1972|
|Filing date||Jul 14, 1969|
|Priority date||Jul 14, 1969|
|Publication number||US 3655105 A, US 3655105A, US-A-3655105, US3655105 A, US3655105A|
|Inventors||Johns Stanley K|
|Original Assignee||Johns Stanley K|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (9), Referenced by (6), Classifications (4)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
United States Patent Johns 5] Apr. 11, 1972 s41 DISPENSING CLOSURE 3,115,994 12/1963 Grady ..222/531 x  Inventor: Stanley K. Johns, 588 Linwood Avenue, Eggg at Buffab' NY 14209 3,484,034 12/1969 Sternau ..'..222/s31 x  Filed: July 14, 1969 Primary Examiner-Robert B. Reeves  App) 841492 Assistant ExaminerFrederick R. Handren Attorney-Christel & Bean  US. Cl ..222/484 51 1111.131 ..B67c 3/00 ABSTRACT  Field ofSearch ..222/484,53l, 532, 5423/5660; A dispensing closure comprising a closure member a pouring spout and a strip of material connecting the member and pouring spout and formed integral therewith in a one-piece con-  References Clted struction of yieldable resilient plastic material. The strip is UNITED STATES PATENTS provided with hinge portions about which the spout is swung 1nto assembled relation with the closure member, and about 3,254,812 APbOtt" X the pout pivots in use Locking means secure the pout 3,397,823 8/1968 P "222/ 5 56 X in closed position, and sealing means prevent leakage between 1 BuChen the spout and the member 3,036,746 5/1962 Hagen .222/484 X 3,048,309 8/1962 Albiani ..222/53l X 8 Claims, 14 Drawing Figures Q2 mgm/grz. 7 ffonz y ff 0 725' fl ga #6 ATTORNEYS.
Patented April 11, 1972 3,655,105
2 Sheets-Sheet z INVENTOR.
705 51 02162; 1 J07? 7 [759 72 ,gM+ QWW ATTORNEYS.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to a closure construction and, more particularly, to a closure construction of the dispensing spout type.
Dispensing closures of the type having a pouring spout hinged for pivotal movement between an open dispensing position and a closed position are known. Generally they comprise a metal spout hinged to a cardboard container. It is believed that a dispensing spout of this type would be desirable for use in plastic containers, but problems arise.
For example, if the container must be filled through the relatively small dispensing spout or the opening through which the spout moves, instead of through a relatively large container mouth, the filling operation will be slowed down and/or complicated. If the spout is formed as a separate piece, it must be attached to the closure in a manner providing a hinge, and this adds to the manufacturing cost.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION It is an object of this invention to provide a dispensing closure for closing a relatively large container opening through which the container is filled prior to attachment of the dispensing closure, the closure having a pouring spout smaller than the container opening through which the container contents are dispensed.
It is another object of the present invention to provide a dispensing closure of a unitary, one-piece construction having a pivoted pouring spout formed integral therewith.
It is a further object of the present invention to provide a dispensing closure having sealing means for preventing leakage between the pouring spout and the cap of the closure.
The dispensing closure of the present invention is characterized by a closure assembly comprising a cap and a pouring spout connected together by a strip of material, all formed as a unitary, one-piece construction. Reduced portions in the strip serve as hinges about which the spout can be swung into assembled relation with the cap and about which the spout pivots in use. Various means are employed to secure the spout in a closed position and sealing means are provided to prevent leakage between the spout and the cap.
The foregoing and other objects, advantages and characterizing features of the present invention will become clearly apparent from the ensuing detailed description of certain illustrative embodiments thereof, taken together with the accompanying drawings wherein like reference numerals denote like parts throughout the various views.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective view of one form of a dispensing closure of the present invention:
FIG. 2 is a vertical sectional view thereof taken about on line 2-2 of FIG. 1 showing the spout in a closed position;
FIG. 3 is a vertical sectional view similar to that of FIG. 2 but showing the spout in an open position;
FIG. 4 is a vertical sectional view thereof taken about on line 44 of FIG. 3;
FIG. 5 is a vertical sectional view showing the dispensing closure prior to assembling the same for use;
FIG. 6 is a vertical sectional view taken about on line 6-6 of FIG. 2;
FIG. 7 is a top plan view of another form of dispensing closure of the present invention;
FIG. 8 is a vertical sectional view thereof taken about on line 8-8 ofFlG. 7;
FIG. 9 is a vertical sectional view thereof taken about on line 99 of FIG. 7;
FIG. 9a is a fragmentary vertical sectional view illustrating a modification of the dispensing closure shown in FIGS. 79;
FIG. 10 is a top plan view of a third form of the dispensing closure of this invention;
FIG. 11 is a vertical sectional view thereof taken about on line 1lll ofFlG. l0;
FIG. 12 is a top plan view of a fourth form of the dispensing closure of this invention; and
FIG. 13 is a vertical sectional view thereof taken about on line 13-13 of FIG. 12
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE ILLUSTRATED EMBODIMENTS Referring now in detail to the drawings, there is shown in FIG. 1 an illustrative embodiment of a dispensing closure, generally designated 10, of the present invention adapted to be attached to the upper end of a container (not shown). It should be understood that the dispensing closure which forms the subject matter of this invention can be applied with equal effect to containers of any shape and form.
Dispensing closure 10 comprises a closure member, here shown as a cap generally designated 16, having an end wall portion 18 and a cylindrical side wall portion 20 having internal threads 22 for threading cap 16 on the container. It should be appreciated that cap 16 can be secured to the container by other suitable coupling means, if desired, such as shown in FIG. 8 wherein the side wall or skirt of cap 16 is provided with an internal annular rib 24 projecting radially inwardly from the inner surface of wall 20 and adapted to mate with an annular groove provided on the periphery of the upper end of the container. Another manner of attaching cap 16 to the container is to provide a peripheral external groove 26 on cap 16 as shown in FIG. 11 for receiving an inturned annular flange provided at the upper end of the container. If desired, cap 16 can be permanently secured to its associated container by the use of an adhesive, by heat sealing or spin welding the same, or in any other desired manner. Also, cap 16 need not be cylindrical but can be of any desired shape and can be fiat instead of skirted.
In addition to cap 16, dispensing closure 10 also comprises a spout, generally designated 30, connected to cap 16 by means of a strip 32, formed integral with end wall portion 18 of cap 16 adjacent the edge thereof. A significant feature of this invention resides in the fact that the entire closure assembly, including cap 16, spout 30 and hinge strip 32 can be formed of a plastic material in a unitary, one-piece construction by an injection molding process, thus realizing a material saving in production cost as opposed to fastening various components together to assemble a closure. The plastic material of which closure 10 is formed can be a synthetic resin such as polypropylene or any other suitable plastic material which is relatively rigid but which is sufficiently flexible to provide a hinge.
As shown in FIG. 5, the thickness of strip 32 is reduced adjacent cap 16 and also adjacent spout 30, as indicated at 34 and 36, such reduced portions providing hinges about which strip 32 can be easily flexed for assembling the closure components into their position of use, and for thereafter opening and closing spout 30, as hereafter described.
Spout 30 consists of a generally V-shaped body comprising two opposed, sector shaped, spaced apart side walls 40 having arcuate outer edges 42, the side walls 40 being joined by a transverse end wall 44 extending along one of their straight side edges from hinge 34 to curved edges 42. The sectors defined by side walls 40 extend through an arc of approximately Edges 42 are joined together and maintained in spaced-apart relation by an arcuately curved wall 46 extending therealong from the edge of walls 40 remote from wall 44 and terminating inwardly of end wall 44 remote from hinge 34 to define a dispensing opening 48. A relatively large opening 50 is defined between walls 40 along the other straight side edge thereof from the end of curved wall 46 to the end of wall 44 adjacent hinge 34.
End wall 44 is provided with an offset flange 52 forming a continuation thereof and projecting radially outwardly beyond edges 42. As shown in FIG. 2, flange 52 is adapted to abut the outer surface of end wall 18 in the closed position of spout 30 as shown in FIG. 2. Flange 52 also serves as a lift tab or gripping handle and is undercut as at 54 to facilitate opening of spout 30. The end of wall 46 remote from opening 48 is provided with a flange which extends outwardly of curved edges 42 of side walls 40 to provide an abutment stop 56 engageable with the inner surface of end wall 18 when spout 30 is in the open position as shown in FIG. 3.
A detent 58 formed on the inner surface of flange 52 is adapted to be inserted into place in a vent opening 60 provided in end wall 18 of cap 16. Opening 60 can receive detent 58 with a friction fit, and serves as a vent to facilitate the pouring of liquid contents from the container through spout 30. Thus, detent 58 closes the vent provided by opening 60.
End wall 18 of cap 16 is provided with a rectangular opening 62 to accomodate and receive spout 30. In assembling spout 30 in operative position on cap 16, spout 30 is swung about hinges 34 and 36 and stop 56 is inserted into opening 62. Strip 32 is then moved about hinge 36 toward end wall 18 of cap 16 with the side edges of strip 32 camming a pair of tabs 64 laterally outwardly until strip 32 is disposed flush against the top surface of end wall 18. The resiliency of tabs 64 causes them to spring back to their original positions in overlapping relation to strip 32, thereby snapping the same into a locked position. Spout 30 is thus swung into its operative position of use and thereafter can be pivoted to an open or closed position about hinge 34. Although hinge 36 extends in a straight line and projects outwardly of wall 20, it should be understood that the pivot axis of hinge 36 can be curved to follow the curvature of wall 20 and be flush therewith since this hinge is used only once to assemble spout 30 in cap 16.
Prior to attaching dispensing closure to the container, the container can be filled with the desired contents through the relatively large open end of the container. This greatly facilitates filling of the container because filling can proceed much more rapidly through the relatively large container mouth than it could, for example, through the relatively small spout 30 or spout receiving opening 62. When the container is filled, cap 16 with spout 30 assembled in operative position thereon can be threaded or otherwise secured to the open end of the container. With spout 30 in the open position shown in FIG. 3, the contents of container 14 can be dispensed through opening 50, spout 30 and discharged through opening 48 upon inverting the container. After use, spout 30 can be retracted about hinge 34 to the closed position shown in FIG. 2 whereby end wall 44 closes opening 60 in cap 16.
Wall 44 fits into opening 62 with a snug fit, thereby providing a tight closure in the closed position.
FIGS. 7, 8 and 9 illustrate another form of a dispensing closure of the present invention, particularly adapted for dispensing liquid contents. The same reference characters will be applied to elements identical to the form first described, it being understood that the entire closure assembly, consisting of cap 16, spout 30 and strip 32, is formed of a plastic material in a unitary, one-piece construction by an injection molding process. As hereinbefore mentioned, closure 10 of FIG. 8 is provided with an annular rib 24 projecting inwardly from the inner surface of wall and adapted to mate with a corresponding groove provided on the peripheral surface of the upper end of a container body.
Wall 46 is provided with a conical pouring nozzle 70 projecting outwardly from wall 46 and disposed in close proximity to the inner surface of wall 44. Nozzle 70 is provided with an orifice 72 gradually decreasing in diameter toward the outlet thereof to facilitate the pouring of liquid contents from the container in a small stream for better controlling the discharge thereof. The outer surface of wall 44 is generally planar except for the portion adjacent hinge 34 and projects outwardly of wall 20 forming a flange 74. With this arrangement, the container can be held in one hand and spout 30 flipped open by pressing the users thumb nail against the underside of flange 74.
Wall 44 overlies wall 18 on opposite sides of opening 62. A bead 76 has a pair of straight portions 78 extending along the marginal edges of wall 44 and joined together by a bight portion 80 adjacent the periphery of end wall 18. Bead 76 projects from the inner surface of wall 44 and is received with a snap fit in a corresponding groove 82 provided in the outer surface of end wall 18 outwardly of opening 62 for releasably securing spout 30 in closed position. A pair of similar beads 84 extend along the side edges of strip 32 and project from the underside thereof for snap-fit reception in complementary grooves located on the upper surface of end wall 18. In this form of the invention, locking tabs 64 are not necessary since beads 84 effect locking engagement of strip 32 with end wall 18. In closures used for containers having liquid contents the bead and groove construction not only locks spout 30 in the closed position but also insures a fluid tight seal between spout 30 and opening 62.
The end of wall 46 remote from nozzle 70 is provided with a relatively long flange 86 for engagement with the underside of end wall 18. Flange 86 projects beyond nozzle 70 and serves as an abutment stop for spout 30 in the open position and prevents withdrawal of spout 30 from opening 62.
FIG. 9a illustrates a slightly modified form of the invention shown in FIGS. 79 wherein bead 76 is provided on the outer surface of end wall 18 rather than on wall 44 of spout 30 and the associated groove is formed in the inner surface of wall 44.
FIGS. 10 and 11 illustrate a third form of the dispensing closure of this invention wherein the outer surface of wall 44 of spout 30 is flush with the planar surface of end wall 18, for ease in storing and convenient shipping. The side edges 90 and 92 of wall 44 are tapered downwardly and outwardly in a diverging relation (FIG. 11) and are received in complementary inclined recesses in end wall 18. The resilience of end wall 18 and wall 44 will cause edges 90 and 92 to snap into the closed position as shown in FIG. 11 and provide a fluid tight seal between spout 30 and the side walls of opening 62. The side edges of strip 32 similarly snap into end wall 18.
Wall 44 projects outwardly of the peripheral edge of cap 16 forming a triangular shaped flange 94 for easy lifting. As before mentioned, an annular groove 26 is formed in the periphery of wall 20 for receiving an inturned flange or lip of the associated container.
The upper end of arcuately curved wall 46 is provided with v a plurality of perforations 96 for dispensing food substances, baby powders and the like in granular or powdery form.
FIGS. 12 and 13 illustrate still another form of the dispensing closure of the present invention wherein the outer surface of end wall 18 is generally cone shaped and wall 44 of spout 30 and stops 32 are flush with the outer surface of end wall 18. Skirt 20 is adapted for a friction fit about a container neck. A pair of laterally projecting detents 100 extend outwardly from the side edges of strip 32 and are received in corresponding grooves cut into the upper surface of end wall 18 with a snap fit to secure strip 32 in place and substantially flush with the outer surface of end wall 18. A bead 102 extends outwardly from the peripheral walls of spout 30 for reception in a corresponding groove 104 in side walls 106 and 108 and the front wall therebetween which define opening 62. Thus, spout 30 is releasably locked in the closed position by means of the snap fit bead and groove arrangement.
The underside of the free end of wall is slightly recessed as shown at 110 in FIG. 13 and is spaced above a recess 112 (FIG. 12) provided in the outer surface of end wall 18 to provide access to the free end of wall 44 for ease of lifting. A circular opening 114 is provided in arcuate wall 46 below bead 102 for dispensing the contents of the container.
In order to provide a tight seal between spout 30 and cap 16, side walls 106 and 108 are tapered downwardly and terminate in trailing edges in the form of wiper-like fins 116. Opening 62 between side walls 106 and 108 becomes progressively smaller in a downward direction and from approximately midway downwardly of walls 106 and 108 this opening 62 is of a lesser width than the spacing between the outer surfaces of side walls 40. Thus, as spout 30 is closed, walls 40 engage side walls 106 and 108 and are in wiping contact therewith to spread such side walls 106 and 108 to effect a tight seal therebetween. The resiliency of the material of which cap 16 and spout 30 are formed permits such spreading action of side walls 106 and 108 and enables them to be urged against side walls 40 of spout 30. Wiper fin 116 also extends across the front of opening 62, against wall 46.
It should be understood that the various features described and illustrated in the various forms of the invention are not restricted to the particular forms shown but are selectively interchangeable with other forms of the dispensing closure of this invention. By way of example, the sealing arrangement of the wiper-like fins 116 of the form of the invention illustrated in FIG. 13 can be employed in the forms of the invention shown in FIGS. 1-6, 7-9, and 10 and 11, if desired. Likewise, the variation depicted in FIG. 11 wherein the outer surface of wall 44 is made flush with the outersurface of end wall 18 can be incorporated in any of the other forms illustrated. Also, discharge openings 48, 114 can take various outside dimensions and configurations to form a square, rectangular, triangular, circular, or elliptical shaped opening, as desired. It is also contemplated that the discharge opening can be of a configuration conforming to the shape of a pill or other definite shaped article for dispensing the same one at a time.
In all forms of the invention, the dispensing closure preferably is formed of an integral, one-piece construction by a suitable injection molding technique, for economy in manufacture. However, this invention also contemplates forming the closure in two parts, one consisting of cap 16 and the other of strip 32 and spout 30, thus eliminating hinge 36. To this end, tabs 64 or a bead and groove arrangement at shown in FIGS. 7-9 will maintain strip 32 properly positioned against or within end wall 18 of cap 16. Alternatively, strip 32 can be bonded to cap 16. Such two-part fabrication will be useful where it is desired to have the spout a different color from the cap.
The present invention thus provides a novel and simple dispensing closure having a pouring spout formed integral therewith and which is disposed out of the way for facilitating the introduction of the contents through the closure cap into the container and which pouring spout can be easily inserted into the opening and snapped into a position of use on the closure cap.
Selected embodiments of this invention having been disclosed in detail, it is to be understood that this has been done by way of illustration only.
1. A dispensing closure for a container comprising: a closure member adapted for attachment to a container and having an opening therethrough; a strip of material secured to said member in spaced relation to said opening and having a pouring spout integral therewith and pivotally connected to an end thereof; said pouring spout being insertable through said opening into a position of use and pivoted between an open position and a closed position; said spout having a discharge opening for dispensing the contents of an associated container when said spout is in said open position, wherein said member, said spout, and said strip are formed integral with each other in a unitary, one-piece construction, together with means pivotally connecting said spout to said strip and said strip to said member, said pivotal means comprising a pair of spaced hinge portions of reduced thickness extending transversely of said strip adjacent said member and said spout.
2. A dispensing closure according to claim 1, wherein said dispensing closure is formed of a resiliently yieldable plastic material.
3. A dispensing closure according to claim 1 together with a vent opening through said member, and a detent carried by said spout and closing said opening when said spout is in said closed position.
4. A dispensing closure according to claim 1, wherein said spout has an end wall closing said opening when said spout is in said closed position, together with a bead projecting inwardly from said end wall and engaging a corresponding groove in said member to releasably secure said spout in said closed position.
5. A dispensing closure according to claim 1, wherein spout has an end wall closing said opening when said spout is in said closed position, said end wall having tapered side edges snapfitting undercut side walls of said opening to releasably secure said spout in said closed position.
6. A dispensing closure according to claim 1, together with sealing means provided between said spout and said member.
7. A dispensing closure according to claim 6, wherein said sealing means comprises a wall section around said opening engaging said spout with a wiping action.
8. A dispensing closure for a container comprising: a closure member adapted for attachment to a container and having an opening therethrough; a strip of material secured to said member in spaced relation to said opening and having a pouring spout integral therewith and pivotally connected to an end thereof; said pouring spout being insertable through said opening into a position of use and pivoted between an open position and a closed position; said spout having a discharge opening for dispensing the contents of an associated container when said spout is in said open position, wherein said member, said spout, and said strip are formed integral with each other in a unitary, one-piece construction, together with means releasably securing said strip against said member.
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