US 3716163 A
A stopper made of molded synthetic material comprises a dome-shaped head and a hollow cylindrical body depending therefrom, the said body being closed at its lower end. The periphery of the body is provided with annular protruding ribs which coact with the inside of the bottle neck to insure fluid-tightness and these ribs are of substantially sinusoidal shape, each comprising an even number of undulations or wave lengths. With such an arrangement, if the neck has a zone of somewhat restricted diameter and/or of somewhat non-circular cross-section, as such is often the case with bottles for sparkling beverages, the stopper may nevertheless be easily extracted from the bottle by rotating it within the neck while it is submitted to a pulling force.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [191 Marcel STOPPERS FOR PRESSURIZED CONTAINERS  Inventor: Henri Marcel, Les Cheres, France  Filed: Sept. 7, 1971 [2i] Appl. No.: 178,354
 Foreign Application Priority Data FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 4/1959 Germany ..215 4s 5] Feb. 13, 1973 Primary Examiner-Joseph R. Leclair Assistant Examiner-Stephen Marcus Attorney-Arthur E. Dowell, Jr. et al.
57 ABSTRACT A stopper made of molded synthetic material comprises a dome-shaped head and a hollow cylindrical body depending therefrom, the said body being closed at its lower end. The periphery of the body is provided with annular protruding ribs which coact with the inside of the bottle neck to insure fluid-tightness and these ribs are of substantially sinusoidal shape, each comprising an even number of undulations or wave lengths. With such an arrangement, if the neck has a zone of somewhat restricted diameter and/or of somewhat non-circular cross-section, as such is often the case with bottles for sparkling beverages, the stopper may nevertheless be easily extracted from the bottle by rotating it within the neck while it is submitted to a pulling force.
5 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures PATENTEDFEBIS 1915 I 3.716.163
ATLZBNLLE 1 STOPPERS FOR PRESSURIZED CONTAINERS The present invention relates to stoppers made from a moulded synthetic material, such as polyethylene, of the'kind comprising an upper head and a substantially cylindrical body adapted to be engaged into the neck of a bottle, flask or like container, the said body having on its periphery at least one annular sealing bead. The invention more particularly concerns the stoppers of the kind above referred to which are intended for bottles containing aerated or sparkling beverages, such as champagne or like wines.
In such bottles, and more particularly in those made of thick glass in order to withstand high inner pressures, the neck often comprises a zone of somewhat reduced inner diameter which is generally not perfectly circular. Such is more particularly the case for champagne bottles adapted to receive a crowned stopper during the preparation of the wine, and thereafter a normal headed stopper retained in position by a wiring.
When a stopper is driven into the neck of such a bottle, it is squeezed in the zone of irregularly reduced diameter between the points where this diameter is at a minimum. If the stopper is of the kind above referred to, and if one or more of its peripheral sealing beads is or are engaged below the" said zone, it becomes extremely difficult to extract the stopper from the bottle neck when desired. 1
It is a main object of the present invention to avoid this disadvantage and to provide a stopper of the kind above referred to which may always be easily removed from a bottle or like container in spite of the irregularities existing in the neck thereof.
ln'accordance with the present invention, the annular peripheral sealing bead is of undulated shape.
Preferably the annular peripheral sealing bead is of substantially sinusoidal shape, with its amplitude extending parallel to the axis of the stopper body. It may be convenient that the wavelength or length of a full undulation of the sinusoidal shape be an even sub-multiple of the peripheral length of the stopper body. In a preferred embodiment the wave length is equal to half the length of the said periphery.
of the stopper body.
In the accompanying drawings:
FIG. 1 is a view in elevation showing a stopper moulded in a synthetic material and established in accordance with the present invention for bottles of sparkling beverages such as champagne. I
FIG. 2 is a longitudinal section taken along line ll-II of FIG. 1.
FIG. 3 illustrates'the development of the cylindrical surface of the stopper body in the case of FIGS. 1 and 2. FIG.-4 is a view similar to FIG. 3, but corresponding to a modification.
FIG. 5 is a longitudinal section of the neck ofa bottle as commonly used for sparkling wines.
FIG. 6 'is 'a diagram showing in transverse section how a stopper according to the invention may fit within a-bottle neck such as illustrated in FIG. 5.
The stopper illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2 comprises a dome-shaped head I and a hollow substantially cylindrical body 2 depending therefrom, the lower end of this body being closed as shown. Such stoppers are generally manufactured by moulding from synthetic materials such as polyethylene. Since these materials are not very compressible, in order to render the stopper liquid-tight its body such as 2 is generally provided with one or more annular peripheral sealing ribs which project from the outer surface of the said body.
But the necks 3 (FIG. 5) of bottles for champagne and like sparkling beverages are generally somewhat defective in that they comprise a zone of slightly reduced inner diameter, which moreover is not perfectly circular, but somewhat elliptical, which means that in transverse section (see FIG. 6) two points 30 and 3b of the inner periphery of the neck are at' a minimum diametral distance d from each other.
With the known stoppers of the kind above referred to, having circular peripheral sealing beads, when such a bead has been driven below the zone (FIG. 5) of irregularly reduced diameter, it is extremely difficult in practice to extract the stopper from the neck of the bottle. In such a case it is of no use to rotate the stopper within the neck, since the perfectly circular bead situated below the zone Z of reduced diameter then acts as a stop ring against the points such as 3a and 3b of FIG. 6.
In accordance with the present invention this drawback is avoided by imparting to the annular peripheral sealing beads an undulated shape, as indicated at 4, 4a and 4b in FIG. 1.
In the example of FIGS. 1 and 2 and as shown in the development of FIG. 3, these undulating sealing beads are of substantially sinusoidal shape with their amplitude A extending parallel to the axis of the stopper body. Their wave length (length of one undulation) is equal to half the length L of the periphery of body 2. The successive beads are parallel to each other and equidistant from each other.
When a stopper such as illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2 has been driven into the neck 3 of a bottle of the kind shown in FIG. 5, its body is strongly squeezed between points 3a and 3b which protrude inwardly. If now such a stopper is rotated within the neck of the bottle, the contact between its undulated beads 4, 4a, 4b and the aforesaid points will generate a reaction having an axial component, with this component being alternately directed upwardly and then downwardly. When the said component is directed upwardly it adds its effects to the pull exerted by the operator on the stopper which is thus easily removed from the bottle neck. As to the torque required to rotate the stopper, it is of course proportional or substantially proportional to the slope of the bead 4, 4a or 4b at its point of contact with the protruding points 30 and 3b.
It is clear that for a satisfactory operation the development of the cylindrical surface of body 2 should comprise an even number of wave lengths of the sinusoidal beads. in order that the axial components which appear at 3a and 3b be both directed in the same direction. It is obvious, for instance, that if the sealing beads formed a single undulation or wave length the contrary in the case illustrated in FIG. 3 both axial components are always in the same direction and therefore the stopper may be easily extracted by pulling it axially during the rotation. The angle of rotation required is here of about one halfturn or 180.
FIG. 4 illustrates a modification wherein the sealing beads form four undulations or wave lengths around the stopper body. Here again with this number the wave length of the undulations corresponds to an even sub-multiple of the length of the periphery of the stopper body and the axial components which appear at points 3a and 3b during rotation of the stopper within the bottle neck are always in the same direction. The angle of rotation required to remove the stopper is here reduced to one quarter of a turn (90), but for the same amplitude A the slope of the undulations is twice greater, which means that the torque required to rotate the stopper within the neck is also doubled.
1. A stopper of molded synthetic material, more particularly for bottles of sparkling beverages, comprising a head and a substantially cylindrical body depending therefrom, said body having a periphery formed with at least one undulated annular peripheral sealing bead of substantially sinusoidal shape, said sinusoidally shaped bead extending entirely around said periphery and having a wave length, said periphery of said body having a peripheral length and said wave length being an even sub-multiple of said peripheral length.
2. In a stopper as claimed in claim 1, said wave length being equal to half said peripheral length.
3. In a stopper as claimed in claim 1, said body having more than one annular peripheral sealing bead and said beads being parallel to each other around the periphery of said body.
4. In a stopper as claimed in claim 3, said beads being equidistant from each other.
5. In a stopper as claimed in claim 1, said body being hollow and having a first end and a second end, and said body further including a partition to close said first end.