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Publication numberUS3691725 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 19, 1972
Filing dateApr 19, 1971
Priority dateApr 24, 1970
Also published asDE2119942A1
Publication numberUS 3691725 A, US 3691725A, US-A-3691725, US3691725 A, US3691725A
InventorsJean Cassimatis, Robert Vie
Original AssigneeJean Cassimatis, Robert Vie
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Pneumatic machine for the leak-tight closure of flasks
US 3691725 A
Abstract
A skirted stopper is inserted into the neck of a flask within a shielded enclosure and the skirt is folded-back outside the neck to form a leak-tight seal by means of a machine comprising a flask receptacle surmounted by a hollow casing which contains a number of pistons in interfitting relation. Admission of compressed air into the casing by remote control means results in displacement of a main piston, a central plunger and a hammer rod which inserts the stopper; a separator piston provided with flexible extension strips projecting from the casing and surrounding the hammer rod is then displaced downwards to initiate reversal of the skirt; a releasing piston having flexible extension strips which surround the strips of the separator piston is then displaced downwards to complete reversal of the skirt which is applied against the neck, whereupon the pistons are returned upwards automatically and simultaneously by remote control of the compressed-air supply.
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United States Patent Cassimatis et al.

[54] PNEUMATIC MACHINE FOR THE LEAK-TIGHT CLOSURE OF FLASKS [72] Inventors: Jean Cassimatis, Chemin des Plantiers, 04 Manosque; Robert Vie, 49 mt, avenue St.-Jerome, l3 Aix en Provence, both of France [22] Filed: April 19, 1971 [2i] Appl. No.: 135,020

[30] Foreign Application Priority Data April 24, 1970 France ..70l5l48 [52] US. Cl ..53/3 28, 53/332 [51] Int. Cl. ..B6Sb 7/28, B67b 1/04, B67b 3/14 [58] Field of Search ..53/3l9, 332, 328, 355, 356,

[56] References Cited 3 UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,475,732 7/1949 Yeo ..-..53/332 2,840,970 7/1958 Brown ..53/328 [15] 3,691,725 [45] Sept. 19, 1972 Primary Examiner-Theron E. Condon Assistant Examiner-Horace M. Culver Attorney-Cameron Kerkam & Sutton [57] ABSTRACT A skirted stopper is inserted into the neck of a flask within a shielded enclosure and the skirt is foldedback outside the neck to fonn a leak-tight seal by means of a machine comprising a flask receptacle surmounted by a hollow casing which contains a number of pistons in interfitting relation. Admission of compressed air into the casing by remote control means results in displacement of a main piston, a central plunger and a hammer rod which inserts the stopper; a

separator piston provided with flexible extension strips projecting from the casing and surrounding the hammer rod is then displaced downwards to initiate reversal of theskirt; a releasing piston having flexible extension strips which surround the strips of the separator piston is then displaced downwards to complete reversal of the skirt which is applied against the neck, whereupon the pistons are returned upwards automatically and simultaneously by remote control of the compressed-air supply.

2 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures PATENYEDsEP 19 Ian SHEET 1 [IF 2 viz .7 11 WI ilin VII/AIIIIIIIII'II/IA PNEUMATIC MACHINE FOR THE LEAK-TTGHT CLOSURE OF FLASKS This invention relates to a pneumatic machine for leak-tight closure of flasks and in particular for the remote-controlled leak-tight closure of flasks located within a shielded enclosure or so-called hot cell by means of flexible stoppers of the reversible skirt type.

As is generally known, it is practically impossible when operating from the exterior of a hot cell equipped with remote manipulators or a master-slave tong unit to insert a flexible stopper of the reversible skirt type into the neck of a vessel or bottle which is placed within said cell and especially to fold back the skirt of said stopper against the neck. However, it is this skirt which ensures leak-tight closure.

One application for which the invention is of interest is the fitting of a leak-tight stopper from the exterior of a hot cell under excellent mechanical conditions without entailing any need for manual operation.

The invention is more generally concerned with a pneumatic machine for leak-tight closure of flasks by means of flexible stoppers of the reversible skirt type, said machine being essentially characterized in that .it comprises on the one hand a receptacle for receiving a flask which is covered by a flexible skirted stopper and on the other hand a hollow casing which is disposed above said receptacle and contains a series of pistons fitted one inside the other and capable of moving towards or away from said receptacle and consequently said flask which is covered by a stopper placed within said receptacle as a result of introduction of compressed air through one of two pipes each having its opening at one end of said hollow casing, said series of pistons being constituted by a so-called main piston which is applied against the internal wall of the hollow casing and delimits with that end of the hollow casing which is remote from the receptacle a first chamber which communicates with one of the compressed-air pipes, a central plunger in coaxial and rigidly fixed relation to the main piston and extended by a so-called hammer rod which projects from the hollow casing, a so-called separator piston applied against said central plunger and delimiting with the end-wall of the main piston a second chamber which is capable of communicating with the first chamber by means of a duct pierced in the central plunger, said separator piston being extended by flexible strips which project from the hollow casing and surround the so-called hammer rod, and a so-called releasing piston which is applied against the separator piston and delimits with the internal wall of the main piston and with the end-wall of the separator piston a third chamber which is capable of communicating with the second chamber by means of a duct pierced in the lateral wall of the main piston, said releasing piston being extended by flexible strips which project from the hollow casing and surround the flexible strips of the separator piston, the assembly being such that the introduction of compressed air into the first chamber causes successively the sliding motion of the main piston within the hollow casing until said piston is arrested by a stop device and consequently the displacement of the hammer which inserts the stopper in the neck of a flask at the end of travel, then the penetration of compressed air into the second chamber and consequently the displacement of the flexible strips of the separator piston u'ntil said piston is arrested by a stop device, said flexible strips having the effect at the end of travel of partially folding-back the stopper skirt against the neck of the flask and finally the penetration of compressed air into the third chamber and consequently the displacement of the flexible strips of the releasing piston until said piston is arrested by a-stop device, said flexible strips having the effect at the end of travel of completely folding-back the stopper skirt against the neck and of being fully released from said skirt, the return of all the pistons into the hollow casing being ensured by introduction of compressed air into the other compressed-air pipe.

Further properties and advantages of this invention will become apparent from the following description which is given with reference to the accompanying drawings and in which one embodiment of the pneumatic machine according to the invention is described by way of explanation and not in any limiting sense.

In the drawings, FIGS. 1 to 4 are axial longitudinal sectional views showing the machine according to the invention at the different stages of stoppering of a flask in the particular case of remote-controlled stoppering of flasks which are placed within a shielded enclosure or so-called hot cell.

As shown in FIG. 1, in which the machine is shown in the inoperative position, said machine comprises the following elements: l. A receptacle 1 supported on a base-plate 2 which is placed on the floor of a hot cell (not shown). Said receptacle is capable of pivoting about a pin 3. Introduction of a flask or bottle 4 (of plastic material,for example) into the receptacle 1 and placing on said flask of a flexible stopper 5 (of rubber, for example) having a reversible skirt 6 are readily carried out by remote control from the exterior of the hot cell.

When the flask 4 which is covered by its stopper 5 has been placed within the receptacle 1, said receptacle is rotated about the pivot-pin 3 by means. of a remote control system which produces the displacement of the arm 7 of said receptacle until the flask 4 is located vertically beneath the hollow casing 9 (which will be described hereinafter) at this moment, the receptacle is locked against the base-plate 2 by engagement of a ball 8 in said base-plate.

2. A hollow casing 9 which can be rigidly fixed to the base-plate 2.

Two pipes 10 and 11 each have an opening at one end of said casing and each pipe serves to put this latter into communication either with compressed air or with free air by means of a remotely operated multi-way control lever (not shown).

There are housed within the interior of the hollow casing 9 a number of different pistons which are fitted one inside the other, namely as follows a. A main piston 12 which is applied against the internal wall of the casing 9 and delimits with the endwall 13 of said casing a chamber 14 which communicates with the pipe 10 b. A central piston or plunger 15 mounted coaxially with the piston 12 in rigidly fixed relation thereto and extended by a so-called hammer rod 16 which projects from the casing 9 c. A piston 17 or so-called separator piston which is applied against the central plunger 15 and delimits with the end-wall 18 of the main piston 12 a chamber 19 which, after displacement of the piston 17 to the end of travel, is permitted to communicate with the chamber 14 by means of a duct 20 which is pierced in the central plunger 15.

'Said separator piston 17 is provided with an extension in the form of flexible strips 21 which project from the casing 9-and surround the hammer l6 said strips are integral with a collar 28 which is screwed into the piston 17.

d. A piston 22 or so-called releasing piston which is applied against the separator piston 17 and delimits with the internal wall of the main piston 12 and with the end-wall 23 of the separator piston 17 a chamber 24 which, after displacement of the piston 22 to the end of travel, is permitted to communicate with the chamber 19 by means of a duct 25 pierced in the lateral wall of receptacle 1 and covered with a flexible stopper 5 provided with a skirt 6 is brought into coaxial relation with the hollowcasing 9 in the manner which has been explained above and as a result of remote control action from the exterior of the hot cell. The different elements of the machine are then located in the positions shown in FIG. 1. 2. By actuating the multi-way remote-control lever (not shown), it is apparent from FIG. 2 that compressed air is introduced through the pipe 10 onto the chamber 14 (the pipe 11 being connected to free air) and that the main piston 12 is thus displaced in sliding motion within the casing 9, thereby displacing the central plunger 15 and the hammer 16 until the complete assembly is stopped by the bolt (which is screwed onto the extremity of the central plunger 15 and surrounded by a protective end-cap which comes into abutment with the end-wall 31 of the hollow casing 9. At the end of travel, the extremity of the hammer 16 inserts the stopper 5 in the neck 32 of the flask 4, said stopper having simply been placed on said neck up to that time. FIG. 2 shows the stopper which has thus been inserted. It is apparent from this figure that, as a result of sliding motion of the main piston 12, the chamber 14 is much larger than in the case of FIG. 1.

3. At this stage, the central plunger 15 takes up a position such that the duct 20 puts the chamber 14 which is filled with compressed air into communication with the chamber 19. In consequence, said chamber 19 is filled with compressed air (as shown in FIG. 3), thereby displacing the separator piston 17 until this latter comes into abutment against a washer 33 which is imprisoned between the hammer 16 and the central plunger 15.

At the end of travel, the flexible strips 21 partially turn back the skirt 6 of the stopper 5 against the neck 32 while remaining engaged in said skirt.

FIG. 3 shows this operation at the point of complesequently said flask which is covered by a stopper 29kt this stage, the separator piston 17 takes up a .position such that the duct 25 puts the chamber 19 which is filled with compressed air into communication with the chamber 24. In consequence, said chamber 24 is filled with compressed air (as shown in FIG. 4), thereby displacing the releasing piston 22 until this latter comes up against the ring 34.

At the end of travel, the flexible strips 26 complete the operation which consists in folding-back the skirt 6 against the neck 32 and then fully withdraw from said skirt.

FIG. 4 shows this operation at the point of completion. 5. By producing action on the remote-control lever (not shown), the pipe 10 is connected to free air and the pipe 11 is connected to the compressed air. The pistons then return upwards simultaneously and automatically.

After closure, each flask or bottle is transferred by pneumatic tube, for example. a

It is worthy of note that the machine accordingto the invention takes up only a small area of the hot cell floor by virtue of its small overall size.

What we claim is 1. A pneumatic machine for leak-tight closure of flasks by means of flexible stoppers of the reversible skirt type, wherein said machine essentially comprises a receptacle for receiving a flask which is covered by a flexible skirted stopper and a hollow casing disposed above said receptacle and containing a series of pistons which are fitted one inside the other and are capable of moving towards or away from said receptacle and conplaced with said receptacle as a result of introduction of compressed air through one of two pipes each having its opening at one end of said hollow casing, said series of pistons being constituted by a main piston which is applied against the internal wall of the hollow casing jects from the hollow casing, a separator piston applied against said central plunger and delimiting with the end-wall of the main piston a second chamber which is capable of communicating with the first chamber by means of a duct pierced in the central plunger, said separator piston being extended by flexible strips which project from the hollow casing and surround the hammer rod, and a releasing piston which is applied against the separator piston and delimits with the internal wall of the main piston and with the end-wall of the separator piston a third chamber which is capable of communicating with the second chamber by means of a duct pierced in the lateral wall of the main piston, said releasing piston being extended by flexible strips which project from the hollow casing and surround the flexible strips of the separator piston.

2. A pneumatic machine according to claim 1, wherein said receptacle for flasks rests on a base-plate and is capable of pivoting about its own axis and of being locked against said base-plate.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2475732 *Aug 23, 1946Jul 12, 1949AmerStoppering device
US2840970 *Mar 7, 1955Jul 1, 1958Unette CorpStoppering apparatus
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4291813 *Dec 4, 1979Sep 29, 1981Buckeye Molding CompanyContainers and closures
WO1994000349A1 *Jun 18, 1993Jan 6, 1994Habley Medical Technology CorporationLyophilization cap and method
Classifications
U.S. Classification53/328, 53/332
International ClassificationB67B3/16, B67B1/04
Cooperative ClassificationB67B3/16, B67B1/04
European ClassificationB67B3/16, B67B1/04