US 3718238 A
A "safety" dispensing closure of the rotatable spout type can be constructed utilizing a closure top and spout structure such that the spout is recessed within the closure in a closed position and utilizing a recess structure within the top for use in engaging the spout so as to rotate it to an open position and utilizing a plurality of coacting detent means which lock the spout in a closed position against accidential or unadvertent movement.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [1 1 Hazard et al.
[ 51 Feb. 27, 1973  SAFETY DISPENSING CLOSURE  Inventors: Robert E. Hazard, North Kingstown; Woodrow S. Wilson, Slatersville, both of R.l.
 Assignee: Polytop Corporation, Slatersville,
22 Filed: July 27,1970
211 Appl. No.: 58,355
 US. Cl. ..222/536, 222/556, 222/538  Int. Cl. ..B67d 3/00  Field of Search ..222/534, 536, 53, 533, 556
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,254,812 6/1966 Abbott ..222/556 X 519,534 5/1894 James ..222/536 X 3,477,618 1 1/1969 Hazard I. 222/534 3,111,245 11/1963 Libit et al. ..222/534 3,194,441 7/1965 3,048,309 8/1962 3,490,659 1/1970 La Vange et al. ..222/534 Primary Examiner-Stanley H. Tollberg Assistant Examiner-Norman L. Smack, Jr. Attorney-Edward D. OBrian [57 ABSTRACT A safety dispensing closure of the rotatable spout type can be constructed utilizing a closure top and spout structure such that the spout is recessed within the closure in a closed position and utilizing a recess structure within the top for use in engaging the spout so as to rotate it to an open position and utilizing a plurality of coacting detent means which lock the spout in a closed position against accidential or unadvertent movement.
4 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures SAFETY DISPENSING CLOSURE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Dispensing closures of the rotatable spout type are normally constructed utilizing a closure body and a spout. In such a closure the closure body is normally formed as an integral unit having a top with a cavity I located therein and an opening extending through the top into the bottom of the cavity. Normally such a closure body includes mounting mean associated with the cavity for rotatably mounting the spout and is formed so that the spout can be snapped into place on such mounting means by temporary material deformation. The spout used in a closure of this type normally includes a support mean or trunnions for engaging the mounting means so as to rotatably mount the spout and a passage extending through the spout. With such a structure the spout or a part of it engages the closure body around the opening to form a seal within when the spout is in a closed position. In such a structure the spout is capable of being rotated to an open position in which the passage is aligned with the opening in the closure body.
Closures of this type are unquestionably extremely utilitarian. of them are sold and used every year. However, they suffer from one feature which is considered to limit their commercial applicability in the present market and in which it is through will limit their commercial acceptance even more assafety considerations become more and more significant. This feature is that these closures tend to be relatively easy to open. While it may seem that this is an advantage in many cases it is not.
Closures used with relatively hazardous or related materials should be relatively difficult to open so that comparatively young children or those or reduced mental capacity cannot open them under normal circumstances. However, they should also be sufficiently easy to open so that they may easily and conveniently be used by individuals of a normal mental capacity, even if such individuals do not possess what may be regarded as normal physical strengths.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION An objective of this invention is to provide new and improved dispensing closures of the so-called rotatable spout type which may be classified as safety closures. As used herein the expression safety closures is intended to designate a closure which is sufficiently difficult to open that it cannot be normally opened by the average comparatively young child, but which can be opened without significantly difficulty by the average person old enough to have reasoning ability, even if such a person may not have completely normal strength.
Further objectives of the present invention are to I provide safety dispensing closures of the type indicated which can be manufactured and assembled, which may be easily and conveniently used as dispensing closures and which are capable of giving prolonged reliable performance as safety closures In accordance with this invention these objectives are achieved by providing in a dispensing closure of the rotatable spout type as previously indicated a recess in the closure top, a groove extended in the closure top between the recess and the cavity in which the spout is located by providing a lip on the spout which will extend across the groove and part way into the recess, and by providing coacting detent means located on the spout in the closure body for engaging one another so as to tend to hold the spout in a closed position. With this structure the spout can only be rotated to an opened position from a closed position by reaching into the recess with a fingernail or any conveniently available hand held implement so as to engage the lip in order to apply pressure to it against the holding. force of the detent means so as to rotate the spout.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING The nature of a construction embodying the present invention and the manner in which the invention achieves the various objectives indicated in the preceding is best explained with reference to the remainder of this specification, the appended claims and the accompanying drawing is which:
FIG. 1 is an isometric view of a presently preferred embodiment or form of a dispensing closure of this invention on a container neck;
FIG. 2 is a top plan view of the closure shown in FIG. 1, a part of the spout shown in this view being broken away and shown in section for convenience of explanation;
FIG. 3is a cross-sectional view taken at line 3-3 of FIG. 2;
FIG. 4 is a partial cross-sectional view corresponding to FIG. 3 showing the spout used in the closure in an open position.
From a consideration of the precedingit will be realized that the dispensing closure illustrated is a presently preferred embodiment or form of a closure embodying the concepts of the invention set forth in appended claims. Through the use or exercise of routine engineering and/or design skill these concepts can be embodied within other somewhat differently appearing and/or constructed closures.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT physical properties which are similar to those of these polymers. It will be realized that the polymers indicated are somewhat resilient and are capable of temporary deformation.
The body 12 includes a planar top 16- carrying a dependent peripheral skirt 18 which. is provided with threads 20 adapted to engage corresponding threads22 on the neck 24 of a conventional container. Various other equivalents known to the art may be used instead of the threads 20 and/or if desired the skirt 18 can be formed integral to the container wall. The top 16 carries a dependent sealing ring 26 which is adapted to mate against the end of the neck 24 when the closure 10 is installed upon this neck 24. This top 16 is also provided with an elongated cavity 30 having opposed sides 32.
A portion 34 of the bottom 36 of the cavity 30 is of a rounded, cylindrical type shape having an axis coincident with the axis of aligned bearing openings 38 located in the sides 32 of the cavity 30 adjacent to a back end wall 40. These bearing openings 38 are in communication with the top 16 by means of entrances 42 defined by opposed sloping walls 44. In the portion 34 there is located a sealing ring 46 which extends completely around an opening 48 leading through the top 16. This sealing ring 46 may be constructed in various ways known to the art. Preferably the sealing ring 46 is constructed as shown in accordance with the Akers U.S. Pat. No. 3,495,745.
The cavity 30 has as what may be regarded as a front end wall 50 opposite the wall 40 and extending between the sides 32. This wall 50 does not extend to the plane of the top 16, and is separated from the plane of this top 16 by means of a flat groove 52 which extends between the sides 32. This wall 50 serves to separate the recess 54 from the cavity 30 as shown in the drawing. The recess 54 extends generally between the sides 32 and is curved outwardly away from the wall 50 at its center.
The spout 14 includes a generally cylindrical base 56 from which there extends a spout part or nozzle 58. A passage 60 extends completely through the base 56 and the nozzle 58 as shown. The base 56 and nozzle 58 have sides 62 which are slightly closer together than the distance between the sides 32. The base 56 carries shafts or trunnions 64 along the sides 62. These shafts 64 are axially aligned with the base 56 and are dimensioned so as to'fit within the bearing openings 38 in such a manner as ,to bias the base,56 against the sealing ring 40. The entrances 42 are dimensioned so as to enable the shaftsv 64 to be snapped or popped into the bearing openings 38 by temporary material deformation during the assembly of the closure 10.
When the closure is assembled a small lip 66 extending from the nozzle 58 extends through the groove 52 into the recess 54 so as to terminate approximately one-third of the distance across the width of this recess 54. It will be noted that the base 56 and the nozzle 58 and the lip 66 are all dimensioned so that the upper surface of these parts lie flat in the same plane as the top 16 when the spout 14 is in a closed position as indicated in FIGS. 1, 2 and 3 of the drawing. This is desirable from an aesthetic point of view. It also is desirable since it facilitates stacking of containers using closures such as the closure 10. However, this is considered important with the closure 10 since it means that the spout 14 in a closed position is recessed completely within the closure top 16 of the body 12 so that it cannot be inadvertently engaged so as to be opened.
The closure 10 may be opened by inserting a fingernail or a hand tool such as a nail file, a coin or the like into the recess 54 so as to pry up upon the lip 66. The portion of the top 16 adjacent to the recess 54 may be used as a fulcrum during such an operation. When this is done as soon as the lip 66 passes the groove 52 the spout 14 may be rotated to an open position as shown in FIG. 4. In this opened position the base 56 fits around the sealing ring 46 so that the passage 60 is in alignment with the opening 48 and so that a seal is formed between the spout l4 and the sealing ring 46. Such a seal is also formed when the spout is in other portions such as the closed position shown in the initial three figures of the drawing. In this opened position a portion of the nozzle 58 fits flush against the flat wall 40 so that'a user may be certain that the spout 14 is in a proper opened position.
The spout 14 is also held in this position by coacting detent means comprising elongated rib 68 formed on the sides 32 and corresponding grooves 70 in the sides 72. These ribs 68 are adapted to fit within the grooves 70 so as to tend to hold the spout 14 in a closed position when the spout 14 is in such position. Thus, they protect against the possibility of some child of comparatively minor strength engaging the lip 66 so as to rotate the spout 14. During rotation of the spout 14 because of forces being applied to the lip 66 the ribs 68 will pop out of the groove 70 as a result of temporary material deformation, alowing the spout 14 to be rotated to an opened position.
This safety feature alone could be achieved by reversing the positions of the ribs 68 and the groove 70 so that the groove 70 would be positioned in the sides 32 and so that the ribs 68 would be positioned on the spout 14. It is preferred, however, to utilize the ribs 68 on the sides 32 and to have them sufficiently long so that they will engage the under surface 72 of the nozzle 58 in order to hold the spout 14 in an opened position as shown.
As a further precaution against undesired movement of the spout 14 between closed and opened positions the base 56 of the spout 14 may carry a small rounded rib 74 which extends axially along the base 56. This rib 74 is designed to engage the wall 40 so as to impede rotation of the spout 14. However, by virtue of the material used in the body 12 and/or the spout 14 as a result of temporary material deformation rotation of the spout 14 is still possible. If desired the rib 72 can be constructed as shown in the Akers US. Pat. No. 3,283,967 so as to hold the spout 14 in an opened position.
It is also possible to form a groove 76 in the end of the nozzle 58 immediately beneath the lip 66 and to form on the wall 50 a corresponding rib 78 which will fit within the groove 76 when the spout 14 is in a closed position. This constitutes another coacting detent means which can be releasedas a result of temporary material deformation when the spout 14 is rotated to an opened position. The relative positions of the groove 76 and the rib 78 may be reversed if this is desired.
It will be noted that the rib 78 and the groove 76 in effect act as a seal structure extending between the sides 32 so as to tend to prevent the egress of air into the passage when the spout 14 is in a closed position. In order to prevent drying of any material which might be entrained in this passage 60 the end of the nozzle 58 is preferably dimensioned so as to fit closely against the wall 50 when the spout 14 is in a closed 1. In a dispensing closure having a closure body and a spout, said closure body having a top with a cavity having walls, said cavity being located in said top for receiving said spout, said cavity having an opening leading from its interior through said top and mounting means for rotatably mounting'said spout, said top including support means for engaging said mounting means so that said spout is rotatably mounted on said closure body, said closure body being resilient, said spout having a passage extending therethrough and being capable of being rotated with respect to said closure body between an open position in which said passage is aligned with said opening and a closed position in which said spout seals off said opening, the improvement which comprises:
a recess located in said closure top adjacent to said cavity, said recess being spaced from the periphery of said top,
a groove extending between said recess and said cavity,
a lip formed on said spot which will extend across said groove and into said recess when said spout is in a closed position,
said cavity and said groove being large enough to receive all of said spout with said lip extending across said groove and into a portion of said recess adjacent to said groove,
first detent means located in the walls of said cavity at the sides of said spout and second detent means on the sides of said spout, said detent means being capable of coacting with one another so as to hold said spout in said closed position,
whereby said spout is only capable of being rotated from said closed position by engagement of said lip within said recess so as to apply force to said lip and said spout so as to rotate said spout, said coacting detentmeans serving to oppose rotation of said spout from said closed to said opened position and being capable of releasing one another as a result of temporary material deformation during such rotation so as permit such rotation, said spout and said lip having a surface positioned in the same plane as the upper surface of said top when said spout is in said closed position. 2. A dispensing closure as claimed in claim 1 wherein:
said second detent means comprise groove means located at the sides of said spout and said first detent means comprise ribs located on the sides of said cavity so as to be opposite and fit into said groove means when said spout is in said closed position. 3. A dispensing closure as claimed in claim 2 wherein:
said ribs fit against the under surface of said spout when said spout is in said opened position so as to maintain said spout in said opened position. 4. A dispensing closure as claimed in claim 1 wherein:
said second detent means comprise groove means located at the sides of said spout and said first detent means comprise ribs located on the sides of said cavity so as to be opposite and fit into said groove means when said spout is in said closed position 831d l'lbS fit against the under surface of said spout when said spout is in said opened position so as to maintain said spout in said opened position.