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Publication numberUS3660965 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMay 9, 1972
Filing dateSep 8, 1969
Priority dateSep 19, 1968
Publication numberUS 3660965 A, US 3660965A, US-A-3660965, US3660965 A, US3660965A
InventorsJose Coloma Morera
Original AssigneeAlimentas Ibericos Sa
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Apparatus for sealing upper closure covers of containers
US 3660965 A
Abstract
A method of and apparatus for sealing containers for food products, comprising the steps of and means, respectively, simultaneously effecting the sealing of the peripheral zone of the cover on a corresponding flange of the neck of the container and effectively cooling the remainder of the surface of the closure cover, to obtain a pore-free hermetically tight closure.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

O United States Patent 1151 3,660,965 Morera 1 1 May 9, 1972 15 1 APPARATUS FOR SEALING UPPER 1561 References cm CLOSURE COVERS 0F CONTAINERS UM D STATES PATENTS 2] Inventor: J Column More, Barcelona, Spain 3,555,769 1/1971 Sternau .53/42 [73] Assignee: Allmentas lberlcos S.A., Barcelona, Spain FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS [22] F 3' 1969' l,232,873 l/l967 Germany .53/39 21 Appl. No.: 856,014

Primary Examiner-Robert L. Spruill [30] Foreign Application Priority Data A"0mey -Emest Montague Sept. 19, 1968 Spain ..358,578 ABSTRACT A method of and apparatus for sealing containers for food [52] 0.8. Cl ..53/329,53/39, 115566024892; products comprising the steps f d means, respectively, 5! I t B65, 7/28 simultaneously effecting the sealing of the peripheral zone of i 287 300 the cover on a corresponding flange of the neck of the container and effectively cooling the remainder of the surface of the closure cover, to obtain a pore-free hermetically tight closure.

5 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures PATENTEDIMY 9 1972 S'riEET 2 OF 3 FIG. 3

PATENTEDMAY 9 I972 SHEET 3 OF 3 APPARATUS FOR SEALING UPPER CLOSURE COVERS OF CONTAINERS The present invention relates to a process of and apparatus for sealing upper closure covers of containers for food products.

As is known, there has been a considerable increase in the use of hermetically sealed plastic containers for containing food products of various types, including vegetable products, such as olives and the like. It is essential in the processing of these products to obtain a hermetic closure of the container after it has been filled with the food product in order to avoid the harmful effect of the ambient air. For this purpose various closure methods have been used in order to attempt in all cases a perfect isolation from the surrounding air.

However, many of the methods presently known suffer defects, since a perfect hermetic closure is not absolutely guaranteed, and consequently in certain cases the food products spoil. In other cases the high resultant cost of the known methods has a substantial effect on the marketing of the product.

It is an object of the present invention to provide a very high quality closure of the container cover, as well as a substantial reduction in cost, which can be applied in particular to systems of closing containers of food products and which comprises the sealing of an upper closure cover on the edges of the container proper. In this case the covers are customarily of a different material than that of the container, covers made from a thin aluminum sheet being frequently employed.

It is another object of the present invention to provide a sealing closure cover which overcomes the heretofore substantial drawbacks which frequently occur in the known sealing of covers on containers when there are pores present, as is very frequent upon use of covers of such type which consist of very thin sheets of aluminum sealed to the edges of the receptacle or container which is to contain the food products.

It is yet another object of the present invention to provide a method of and apparatus for sealing containers whereby there is simultaneously sealed onto the neck of the container, a peripheral annular rim of a cover closure sheet and the rest of the cover plate is cooled. There is necessarily provided a means for producing these effects simultaneously upon the sealing of the cover to the neck of the container.

It is yet still another object of the present invention to provide an apparatus for sealing containers comprising a hollow, cylindrical body having electric heating resistors therein and having a loweredge, the surface of which coincides with that of an annular rim to be sealed. An inner core is mounted within the hollow cylindrical body having a lower surface substantially flush with the lower edge of the cylindrical body and having as an essential feature an internal cooling means which may comprise especially a means for the forced circulation of water. By this combination the result is obtained that simultaneously with the sealing of a circular rim on the periphery of the preferably metal cover, the rest of the surface of the metal cover is subjected to the cooling resulting from the internal cooling means constituting the inner assembly.

It is yet still another object of the present invention to provide an apparatus for sealing containers in accordance with the above-mentioned objectives and further comprising two arched parts which are moved over a'plane perpendicular to the axis of the container and which come into coincidence below the flange of the container which is desired to be sealed. The arched parts when so positioned together cooperate'with a sealing device. The advance and withdrawal of the arched parts can easily be mechanized, thereby generally mechanizing the operation of the apparatus of the present invention.

With these and other objects in view which will become apparent in the following detailed description, the present invention will be clearly understood in connection with the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is an axial cross-sectional view of the arrangement of means for effecting the sealing of the mouth of a container;

FIG. 2 is a plan view of the structure of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 isa section along the lines 4--4 of FIG. 4, partially broken away;

FIG. 4 is a top plan view of the closed container, partially broken away;

FIG. 5 is a section along the lines 5-4 of FIG. 6; and

FIG. 6 is a plan view of another embodiment of the present invention illustrating a sealing unit with circumferential heating resistors.

Referring now to the drawings, and more particularly to FIGS. 1 4, it is essential in the present invention to effect the sealing of an essentially metal cover I, of reduced thickness onto an upper flange 2 having the shape of an outwardly directed annular shoulder which forms part of a container 3 made preferably of synthetic material, and particularly thermoplastic material, or the like, intended to contain food products therewithin. In order to effect the sealing a hollow cylindrical member 4 of annular cross-section is provided which has a flat annular bottom surface 40 of a width desired for the sealing of the cover 1 and the shoulder of the flange 2, and substantially of the same shape and size as that of the annular flange 2, the annular member 4 having a vertical projection corresponding to a circular rim. The member 4 has on its inside, in its cylindrical walls, independent heating elements, such as resistors, housed in cavities 5, the latter having a shape complementary to the shape of the resistors.

A cooling device is provided, essential to the present invention, which can substantially maintain the thermal equilibrium of a portion of the cover 1, which portion is limited or bounded at its outermost periphery by the annular sealing zone, for which purpose, in accordance with the present invention, there can be provided a cylindrical core or cooling member 6 housed within the hollow member 4 and having a flat lower closed circular surface 7 substantially abuttingly flush with and in the same plane as the annular bottom surface 4a of the member 4, whereby, by direct contact, the refrigeration or cooling of the cover 1 is facilitated. The cooling member 6 includes refrigeration or cooling means which are represented, although not limited thereto, by two tubes 8 and 9 for the entrance and discharge of cooling water, respectively, and an intermediate partition 10 defining a lower refrigerant chamber 11 adjacent the closed circular surface 7.

For the'operation to be carried out in accordance with the present invention, there are provided two complementary clamping and supporting parts 12 and 13 (FIGS. 1 and 2), which are formed with semicircular arcuate recesses 14 and 15 such that when they are moved so that they abut each other, they form a circular central opening complementary to and surounding the zone of the neck of the container 3 adjacent and below the flange 2 on which the cover of the con tainer is sealed. In this manner it is possible to mechanize the entire positioning, as well as, removal of the container before and after the sealing and the bringing together of the parts l2 and 13, so that the flange 2 can rest thereupon and can therefore resist the pressure of the sealing element 4.

For the mechanization of the movement, a longitudinal guiding of the parts 12 and 13 may be provided, the actuation thereof efi'ected by means of individual rollers 16 and 17, whereby, by the cooperation of the parts with suitable outer guides 12a and 13a, preferably of a machine, the desired displacement of the parts can be effected. In this manner it is possible to establish with great ease, a means for completely mechanizing the sealing of the containers, the parts 12 and 13 moving via the guide means until coinciding with the sealing zone at which position the parts 12 and 13 are surrounding the neck of each container as illustrated in FIG. 2 After the sealing is effected, the parts 12 and 13 are immediately withdrawn, leaving the container free, so that the container can be removed by ordinary mechanical means.

Referring now again to the drawings, and more particularly to FIGS. 5 and 6 another embodiment of the present invention is illustrated in which a sealing member 18 effects the sealing and has the shape of a hollow cylindrical element. The

member 18 has a group of inner resistors 19 which are disposed traversely or circumferentially and contain a cooling element 20 which has internal passageways 21 and 22 for the passage of a refrigerant fluid, which may be water, or any other coolant. Furthermore, two parts of half-moon 23 and 24 assure the sealing operation upon a displacement toward each other by means of guide members 23a and 24a of the machine, via rollers 25 and 26.

While I have disclosed several embodiments of the present invention, it is to be understood that these embodiments are given by example only and not in a limiting sense.

I claim:

1. An apparatus for sealing a circular closure cover onto a container having a flat annular flange, defining an open end of the container, comprising means for sealing a peripheral annular zone of a circular metallic closure cover onto an annular thermo-plastic flange of said container,

means for simultaneously cooling the rest of the surface of said closure cover, thereby obtaining a pore-free tight closure,

said sealing means comprises a hollow cylindrical sealing member including cylindrical walls having a flat annular bottom surface substantially of the same size as that of said annular flange of said container, and said hollow cylindrical sealing member adapted to be positioned with said bottom surface on said closure cover substantially directly above said annular flange of said container,

heating means disposed in said cylindrical walls of said hollow cylindrical sealing member and extending to adjacent said bottom surface,

a cylindrical cooling member disposed within said sealing member and having a lower closed circular surface flush with and along the same plane as said flat annular bottom surface of said sealing member, and

cooling means in said cooling member for cooling said lower closed circular surface.

2. An apparatus for sealing a circular closure onto a container having a flat annular flange, defining an open end of the container, comprising means for sealing a peripheral annular zone of said circular closure cover onto said annular flange of said container,

means for simultaneously cooling the rest of the surface of said closure cover, thereby obtaining a porefree tight closeup,

said sealing means comprises a hollow cylindrical sealing member including cylindrical walls having a flat annular bottom surface substantially of the same size as that of said annular flange of said container, and said hollow cylindrical sealing member adapted to be positioned with said bottom surface on said closure cover substantially directly above said annular flange of said container,

heating means disposed in said cylindrical walls of said hollow cylindrical sealing member and extending to adjacent said bottom surface,

a cylindrical cooling member disposed within said sealing member and having a lower closed circular surface flush with and along the same plane as said flat annular bottom surface of said sealing member,

cooling means in said cooling member for cooling said lower closed circular surface,

two supporting and clamping parts each having a semicircular recess facing one another and having a diameter complementary to the outer diameter of said container immediately below said flange,

means for guiding and displacing said parts in a direction perpendicular to the axis of said container toward each other so as to abut each other complementarily surrounding and clamping said container immediately below said flange, and for separating said parts in order to remove said container after sealing of said closure cover, and

said parts including upper surfaces upon which said flange is supported in said clamping position.

3. The apparatus, as set forth in claim 1, wherein said cooling member includes a lower refrigerant chamber adjacent said lower closed circular surface, and entrance and exit conduits for passing a liquid coolant into and out of said refrigerant chamber, said refrigerant chamber and said conduits constituting said cooling means. 4. The apparatus, as set forth in claim 1, wherein said heating means comprises resistor elements. 5. The apparatus, as set forth in claim 4, wherein said resistor elements are circumferencially disposed in said cylindrical walls of said sealing member.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3555769 *Jul 5, 1968Jan 19, 1971Martin M SternauClosure and method and apparatus for making same
DE1232873B *Oct 28, 1961Jan 19, 1967Bastert Werke Gustav BastertVorrichtung zum Verschweissen von Kunststoffbechern mit einem Deckel
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3849971 *Feb 22, 1973Nov 26, 1974Platmanufaktur AbA tool for sealing a container, such as a cup, bottle, jar or the like
US4625498 *Mar 25, 1985Dec 2, 1986Sealright Co., Inc.Apparatus for applying recessed membrane seals to containers
US4982555 *Oct 14, 1988Jan 8, 1991Plm AbVacuum sealing
US5029432 *Nov 13, 1989Jul 9, 1991Nestec S.A.Process and device for sealing a closing membrane on a spout
US5032213 *Nov 20, 1989Jul 16, 1991Rampart Packaging Inc.Thermal lid sealing method and apparatus
US5058360 *Sep 24, 1990Oct 22, 1991Toppan Printing Co., Ltd.Filling and sealing apparatus for fluid containing package
Classifications
U.S. Classification53/329.3, 53/478, 156/282, 156/498
International ClassificationB23K31/02, B29C35/16, B29C65/78, B29C65/00, B65B7/28, B29C65/18
Cooperative ClassificationB29C65/18, B29C65/7841, B29C66/81811, B29C66/3452, B29C66/348, B29C66/534, B65B7/2878, B23K31/02, B29C2035/1616
European ClassificationB29C65/78F, B29C66/534, B29C66/348, B29C66/81811, B29C65/18, B29C66/3452, B65B7/28F4, B23K31/02