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Publication numberUS3695476 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 3, 1972
Filing dateJun 15, 1971
Priority dateJun 15, 1971
Publication numberUS 3695476 A, US 3695476A, US-A-3695476, US3695476 A, US3695476A
InventorsRuekberg Herbert S
Original AssigneeContinental Can Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Tamper-indicating and child-proof closure
US 3695476 A
Abstract
A tamper-indicating and child-proof closure for a container having a threaded neck and a beaded pouring lip comprising an upper skirt and a lower skirt. The upper skirt includes an internal annular snap-on bead which seats under the pouring lip. The lower skirt includes internal threads complementary to the neck threads and outwardly spaced therefrom. The upper and lower skirts are non-severably connected along a short arc and severably connected by horizontal fracture bridges along substantially circumferential contact surface. The normal spacing of the lower skirt threads from the neck threads permits turning of the closure without removal thereof until the lower skirt is deflected inwardly to engage the threaded neck. Upon deflection of the lower skirt and a small amount of rotation, a portion of the snap-on bead is progressively uplifted over the pouring lip resulting in the eventual removal of the closure during which circumferentially spaced bridges joining the upper and lower skirts are fractured to permit the removal of the closure and additionally provide a tamper-indicating function.
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United States Patent 51 Oct. 3, 1972 Ruekberg TAMPER-INDICATING AND CHILD- PROOF CLOSURE [72] Inventor: Herbert S. Ruekberg, Highland Park, Ill. [73] Assignee: Continental Can Company, Inc.,

New York, NY.

[22] Filed: June 15,1971

[21] Appl.No.: 153,292

[52] u.s.ci. ..215/9,215/42,215/41, 215/43 [51] Int. Cl. ..B65d 55/02 [58] FieldofSearch ..2l5/42,9,4l,43

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,752,060 6/1956 Martin ..2l5/9X 3,371,808 3/1968 Velt ..2l5/9 Primary ExaminerGeorge T. Hall Attorney-Charles J. Diller et al.

[ 7] ABSTRACT A tamper-indicating and child-proof closure for a container having a threaded neck and a beaded pouring lip comprising an upper skirt and a lower skirt. The upper skirt includes an internal annular snap-on bead which seats under the pouring lip. The lower skirt includes internal threads complementaryv to the neck threads and outwardly spaced therefrom. The upper and lower skirts are non-severably connected along a short arc and severably connected by horizontal fracture bridges along substantially circumferential contact surface. The normal spacing of the lower skirt threads from the neck threads permits turning of the closure without removal thereof until the lower skirt is deflected inwardly to engage the threaded neck. Upon deflection of the lower skirt and a small amount of rotation, a portion of the snap-on bead is progressively uplifted over the pouring lip resulting in the eventual removal of the closure during which circumferentially spaced bridges joining the upper and lower skirts are fractured to permit the removal of the closure and additionally provide a tamper-indicating function.

9 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures TAMPER-INDICATING AND CHILD-PROD CLOSURE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention The invention relates to container closures and in particular to an improved closure which includes tamper-indicating means and which is difficult for a child to open.

2. Description of Prior Art Tamper-indicating closures are used by the packaging industry to protect the consumer from unknowingly ingesting food products which may be decayed or otherwise spoiled as a result of unauthorized opening of the container. Tamper-indicating closures including a circumferential zone of weakness consisting of alternately spaced fracturable bridges and slots are primarily used on so-called twist-off caps or closures wherein a large torque must be applied to the closure to break the fracturable bridges.

While incorporation of a tamper-indicating band of fracture bridges in a twist-off closure skirt is wellknown the construction and function thereof in the subject snap-on closure differ from the prior art. By virtue of the substantially circumferential zone of horizontal fracture bridges and the small non-severable connection between the upper and lower skirts, fracture results from tension caused by relative vertical motion between the upper and lower skirts rather than torque as in prior art closures. Furthermore, this fracturing action is accompanied by the additional characteristic of localized prying action on the snap-on bead, which is a further advantage of the closure as a whole. Moreover, the coupling of a child-proofing feature with tamper-indicating fracture bridges and slots in a snap-on closure has not been done before.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION By the present invention, it is proposed to provide a new and improved container closure and in particular tamper-indicating and child-proof closure which includes a pouring lip with a bead thereon and a screw thread on the neck of the container below the pouring lip. The closure consists of a circular sealing panel and two downwardly extending peripheral skirts. The upper skirt includes an annular internal snap-on bead for seating under the pouring lip bead whereby the closure can be snapped onto the container in sealing engagement thereto. The lower skirt includes internal threads complementary to the neck threads and radially outwardly spaced therefrom. The upper and] lower skirts are severably connected by alternately spaced horizontal fracture bridges and slots along substantially a circumferential contact surface and non-severably connected along a short arc.

To remove the tightly engaged snap-on closure from a container, the threaded lower skirt is squeezed (as between ones thumb and first finger, preferably with one pressure point on the skirt directly below the nonseverably connection) at diametrically opposed points, ovalizing the lower skirt so that its threads mesh' with the threads of the container neck. A twisting action on either the lower skirt or the container (as in removing a conventional screw cap) will urge the lower skirt axially upward in respect to the container. The turning motion is transmitted from the lower skirt to the upper ment of the upper skirt vertically contiguous with the non-severable connection thus forcing said skirt segment over an adjacent cooperating segment of the container lip. To an initial upward motion of the lower skirt, a major segment of the upper skirt that is not vertically influenced by the non-severable connection is constrained to a vertical relationship with the container body by the pouring lip bead thereof. Thus, the lower skirt is moving up in relation to the major portion of the upper skirt, and this action puts the fracturable bridges in tension causing them to break, and initiates peeling off of the closure. As the lower skirt continues its upward travel a larger segment of the closure bead is urged up and over the container lip bead until the entire closure bead is freed by the latter-noted peeling action. Thus, the squeeze and twist necessary to remove the closure achieves the characteristics of a child-proof closure while the fact that the closure cannot be removed without breaking the fracturable bridges renders it tamper-proof.

In view of the foregoing, the primary object of this invention is to provide a novel closure of the snap-on type wherein the upper and lower skirts are connected along a short are and wherein the lower skirt includes means engageable with the threaded container neck whereby twisting of the lower skirt is accompanied by vertical or axial movement of the upper skirt to provide localized prying action on the snap-on bead to peel off the closure.

Another object of this invention is to provide a novel tamper-indicating closure of the snap-on type wherein the upper and lower skirts are connected by alternately spaced horizontal fracture bridges and slots along substantially a circumferential contact surface to form a zone of weakness and non-severably connected along a short are and wherein said fracture bridges are ruptured by tension resulting from relative vertical motion between the upper and lower skirts rather than by torque.

Still another object of this invention is to provide a novel tamper-indicating and child-proof closure of the snap-on type wherein the upper and lower skirts are connected by alternately spacedl horizontal fracture bridges and slots along substantially a circumferential contact surface to form a zone of weakness and nonseverably connected along a short arc and wherein the lower skirt is flexible around its entire circumference and is provided internally with threads radially outwardly spaced from the container threaded neck and engageable therewith for closure removal.

With the above and other objects in view that will hereinafter appear, the nature of the invention will be more clearly understood by reference to the following detailed description, the appended claims and the several views illustrated in the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a top plan view of a closure constructed in accordance with this invention, and illustrates alternately spaced horizontal fracture bridges and slots along a major circumferential portion of the closure, and a non-severable connecting portion between upper and lower peripheral skirts.

FIG. 2 is a sectional view taken generally along the line 2-2 of FIG. 1, and more clearly illustrates the non-severable connecting portion, threads of the lower skirt, and an inner annular snap bead of the upper skirt.

FIG. 3 is a side elevational view of the closure and illustrates the non-severable connecting portion between upper and lower skirts.

FIG. 4 is a fragmentary side elevational view of a container with a portion of the closure seated thereon being broken away for clarity, and illustrates the upper skirt snap-on bead seated under the pouring lip bead and threads of the container neck and the lower skirt in normally spaced relationship.

FIG. 5 is a fragmentary vertical sectional view through the closure and container of FIG. 4, and illustrates the closure being peeled-off the container during the opening operation with at least part of the fracture bridges broken due to relative vertical motion of the upper and lower closure skirts. 1

FIG. 6 is a top plan view of the closure and container of FIG. 5, illustrating the manner in which the lower peripheral skirt is ovalized by finger and thumb pressure to engage the threads resulting in the eventual fracture of the bridges upon the unthreading of the closure.

PREFERRED EMBODIMENT In the drawing there is shown a reusable twist-off snap-on closure 10 having tamper-indicating and childproof means which is adapted to be snapped on a container I l in the manner shown in FIG. 4. The container 11 includes a body having an upper pouring lip 23 with a radially outwardly extending annular bead 24 thereon and a tubular neck 21 with threads 22 thereon below the pouring lip 23. The pouring lip bead 24 and the neck threads 22 are separated by an outwardly opening circumferential groove 25. The closure 10 further includes a circular end panel 12, an upper peripheral skirt 13 downwardly depending therefrom and a lower peripheral skirt 14 downwardly extending or depending from the lower end of upper skirt 13.

As best seen in FIG. 4, the upper skirt 13 includes first means in the form of an internally radially inwardly projecting snap-on bead 15 for seating in the groove 25 and against the underside of the pouring lip bead 24, as is best shown in FIG. 4, whereby the closure 10 can be snap-secured to the container 1 l in sealing engagement thereto. Snap-on bead 15 prevents vertically upward or axial movement of closure 10 relative to container 11 in the locked-on position. Lower skirt 14 includes annular internal threads 16 complementary to neck threads 22 and being engageable therewith and normally radially spaced therefrom in the assembled position of FIG. 4. The lower skirt 14 is flexible around its entire periphery so that lower skirt 14 may be deflected inwardly at any two generally diametrically opposite points to ovalize skirt 14 to engage internal threads 16 thereof with neck threads 22 for removal of closure 10.

As best seen in FIGS. 1, 2 and 3, lower skirt 14 is connected to upper skirt l3 and is in substantial continuity thereto along a short arc through second means in the form of a horizontal connecting wall 28 reinforced by a vertical rib 29. Lower skirt 14 may additionally be connected to the lower end of upper skirt 13 by alternately spaced horizontal fracture bridges 26 and slots 27 forming a circumferential zone of weakness.

The closure 10 is assembled to the container 11 by pressing down on the end panel 12 of closure 10 until upper skirt bead l5 snaps over pouring lip bead 24 of container 11 in a manner typical of assembling snap-on closures to rigid or semi-rigid containers. When the closure 10 is assembled on the container 11, there is a small gap or radial clearance between lower skirt 14 and threaded neck 21. Minor diameter 31 of internal threads 16 is greater than major diameter 32 of neck threads 22 whereby when closure 10 is seated over container l1 and relatively twisted thereto, there will be no forces tending to change their relative vertical alignment, as can be best visualized in FIG. 4.

To remove closure 10 from container 11, lower skirt 14 is deflected or squeezed radially inwardly at generally diametrically opposed points to ovalize lower skirt 14 so that third means defined by internal threads 16 mesh with or engage neck threads 22 of container 11 (FIG. 6). This may be accomplished by pressure being exerted between the thumb and first finger of the hand and preferably with one pressure point on lower skirt 14 directly below the connecting wall 28 and rib 29. Subsequently, a twisting action or rotation applied to lower skirt 14 (as in removing a conventional screw cap) will rotate both upper skirt l3 and lower skirt 14 and will urge lower skirt 14 axially upward in respect to a major segment of upper skirt l3 and container 11. The turning motion is transmitted from lower skirt 14 to upper skirt 13 through connecting wall 28 and vertical rib 29.

The vertically upward or axial force provided by turning the threadably engaged lower skirt 14 will be transmitted from lower skirt 14 to upper skirt 13 to a small circumferential portion or segment 30 (FIG. 6) of internal bead 15 adjacent to and vertically contiguous with connecting wall 28 and vertical rib 29. This forces or prys the bead portion 30 over the cooperating portion of pouring lip bead 24 to initiate peeling off of the closure 10, as best shown in FIG. 5. During the initial upward motion of upper skirt 13, the major portion or circumferential segment of internal bead 15 that is not vertically influenced by the connecting wall 28 and vertical rib 29 is constrained to its locked-on vertical relationship with container 11 by pouring lip bead 24 of container 11. Thus, lower skirt 14 is moving upwardly in relation to a major portion of upper skirt 13. This action places fracture bridges or fourth means 26 in tension resulting from relative vertical motion between upper skirt 13 and lower skirt 14 rather than torque and causes at least part of fracture bridges 26 opposite connecting wall 28 and vertical rib 29 to rupture first. Upon continued turning of lower skirt 14, lower skirt 14 substantially circumferentially overlaps upper skirt 13 as shown in FIG. 5, thus fracturing the balance of the bridges.

As lower skirt 14 of closure 10 is further twisted or rotated on neck threads 22 to provide more upward axial movement thereon, a larger segment of the upper skirt 13 is urged up and over the pouring lip bead 24 until the entire snap on bead 15 of the closure 10 is free as by a peeling action and then closure 10 may be removed.

In lieu of the bridges 26 the area of the bridges 26 and the slots 27 could be formed as a thin continuous fracturable membrane which would rupture during an opening operation.

While preferred forms and arrangement of parts have been shown in illustrating the invention, it is to be clearly understood that various changes in details and arrangement of parts may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of this disclosure.

I claim:

1. A closure for a container comprising an end panel, an upper peripheral skirt depending from said end panel, said upper peripheral skirt having first means for securing said closure to an associated container, a lower peripheral skirt beneath said upper peripheral skirt, second means connecting said upper and lower peripheral skirts to each other by a peripherally short connecting portion, and said lower peripheral skirt hav ing third means responsive to rotation of said lower peripheral skirt for applying upward force to a portion of said first means through said second means' to pry said portion from an associated container by initiating peeling off of the closure and upon further rotation pryin g off of the remainder of said first means to completely peel off said closure.

2. The closure as defined in claim 1 wherein said first means comprises an internal annular bead.

3: The closure as defined in claim 1 wherein said second means comprises a horizontal connecting wall and a vertical reinforcing rib.

4. The closure as defined in claim 1 wherein said third means comprises annular internal threads.

5. The closure as defined in claim 1 including fourth means for severably connecting a remaining portion of said upper and lower peripheral skirts to each other whereby said rotation ruptures at least a part of said fourth means.

6. The closure as defined in claim 1 wherein said lower peripheral skirt is constructed of flexible material and is normally of a cylindrical configuration, and said third means is operative only upon applying force to said lower peripheral skirt to ovalzize the configuration thereof.

7. The closure as defined in claim 5 wherein said first means comprises an internal annular bead.

8. The closure as defined in claim 5 wherein said second means comprises a horizontal connecting wall and a vertical reinforcing rib.

9. The closure as defined in claim 5 wherein said third means comprises annular internal threads.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2752060 *Feb 16, 1955Jun 26, 1956Martin Warren NContainer closure
US3371808 *Aug 1, 1966Mar 5, 1968Evert D. VeltUnitary safety cap
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3856170 *Jun 14, 1973Dec 24, 1974Kessler MSnap-top bottle cap with safety pry-off
US4378894 *Jun 19, 1981Apr 5, 1983Aluminum Company Of AmericaTamper-evident closure
US4979648 *Jul 31, 1989Dec 25, 1990Sunbeam Plastics CorporationChild resistant push-pull dispensing closure
US5197617 *Oct 12, 1990Mar 30, 1993Ariel Industries PlcLockable closure fastening and tamper evident closure
US5456374 *Sep 19, 1994Oct 10, 1995Beck; Matthew R.Tamper evident container closure
US5477972 *Jun 2, 1994Dec 26, 1995Lester; William M.Tamper evident closure device for bottles and the like
US5680965 *Jan 29, 1996Oct 28, 1997Beck; Matthew R.Tamper evident container closure
US6095354 *Mar 30, 1999Aug 1, 2000Kerr Group, Inc.Child resistant closure and container
US6981607Aug 29, 2003Jan 3, 2006Snapware CorporationContainer cap assembly
US8132684Jul 14, 2005Mar 13, 2012Rexam Prescription Products Inc.Child-resistant closure, package and method of making
US20050045577 *Aug 29, 2003Mar 3, 2005Lown John M.Container cap assembly
US20050045636 *Aug 27, 2004Mar 3, 2005Lown John M.Container cap assembly
US20070012645 *Jul 14, 2005Jan 18, 2007Owens-Illinois Prescription Products Inc.Child-resistant closure, package and method of making
Classifications
U.S. Classification215/216, 215/225, 215/220, 215/203
International ClassificationB65D41/32, B65D50/04, B65D50/00
Cooperative ClassificationB65D50/048, B65D41/32
European ClassificationB65D41/32, B65D50/04F4