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Publication numberUS3720342 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMar 13, 1973
Filing dateFeb 8, 1971
Priority dateFeb 8, 1971
Also published asCA967913A1
Publication numberUS 3720342 A, US 3720342A, US-A-3720342, US3720342 A, US3720342A
InventorsP Vercillo
Original AssigneeContinental Can Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Safety closure
US 3720342 A
Abstract
This disclosure relates to a safety closure associated with a container having a normally open upper end portion, the closure having a peripheral skirt in telescopic relationship to the container end portion with cooperative means therebetween for normally interlockingly securing the container and safety closure to each other, the periphery skirt being constructed from material having a slow rate of resilient return, and means for temporarily radially outwardly deflecting the peripheral skirt to disengage the interlocking means whereby removal of the safety closure from the container may take place during such time as is required for the peripheral skirt to return to its normal nondeflected interlocked condition.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

willled State S Patent 91 Vercillo ]March 13, 1973 I SAFETY CLOSURE [75] Inventor: Peter A. Vercillo, Chicago, Ill.

[73] Assignee: Continental Can Company, Inc.,

New York, N.Y.

[22] Filed: Feb. 8, l97l [21] Appl. No.: 113,559

[52] U.S.Cl. ..2l5/9,2l5/4l,215/40 [51] Int. Cl. ...B65d 55/02 [58] Field of Search ..220/60; 21 5/9.46 R, 41, 9

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,398,848 8/1968 Donovan ..215/46 R Primary Examiner-George T. Hall Attorney-Diller, Brown, Ramik & Holt [57] ABSTRACT This disclosure relates to a safety closure associated with a container having a normally open upper end portion, the closure having a peripheral skirt in telescopic relationship to the container end portion with cooperative means therebetween for normally interlockingly securing the container and safety closure to each other, the periphery skirt being constructed from material having a slow rate of resilient return, and means for temporarily radially outwardly deflecting the peripheral skirt to disengage the interlocking means whereby removal of the safety closure from the container may take place during such time as is required for the peripheral skirt to return to its normal nondeflected interlocked condition.

11 Claims, 10 Drawing Figures PATENTEUMARI 3197a 3,720,342

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SAFETY CLOSURE Safety closures have recently come into prominence because of the desirability of federal, state and local agencies to preclude or substantially reduce accidental illness and/or death resulting from the consumption of harmful packaged products. A most notable example is that of infants or younger children opening aspirin bottles and consuming the contents thinking it to be candy.

It is because of such typical accidental overdosages that many conventional so-called child-proof closures or simply safety closures have been developed. Unfortunately, such conventional safety closures generally include a variety of disadvantages, the most common of which is the relatively high manufacturing cost due to intricate container and/or closure design.

This is particularly true in the production of small lots wherein the cost of the dies themselves, in the case of injection and/or compression molding techniques, is itself prohibitive from a cost standpoint.

The second disadvantage is the difficulty in intentionallyopening many typical safety closures, the most common of which is various varieties of palm and twist" types. This has been found to be true when such closures are attempted to be opened by older or unedu gated persons, particularly if they are handicapped or, for example, suffering from arthritis. It is for these and other reasons that the Foodand Drug Administration lists among its. requirements for safety closures not only criteria for precluding the accidental removal of a closure from an associated container, but criteria for the relatively easy removal of safety closures when such removal is intentionally desired.

In view of the foregoing disadvantages of conventional safetystype closures, it is a primary object of this invention to provide a safety closure which not only with a portion thereof broken away and removed for clarity, and illustrates a head of the closure peripheral skirt in interlocked relationship with an associated groove of the container body.

FIG. 2 is an enlarged fragmentary sectional view of the encircled portion of FIG. 1, and more clearly illustrates the interlocked condition of the closure and container.

FIG. 3 is a fragmentary sectional view of the container and closure of FIG. 2, and illustrates the manner in which an axial force is applied to the closure to deflect the peripheral skirt thereof radially outwardly to disengage the cooperative interlocking means incident to the intentional removal of the closure from the container.

FIG. 4 is a fragmentary sectional view of another container and closure constructed in accordance with this invention, and illustrates like cooperative interprecludes inadvertent and/or accidental operation thereof, but permits ease of removal when intentionally desired.

The latter object is achieved by providing a safety closure which includes an end panel and a depending peripheral skirt adapted for telescopic unification with an associated container body, the peripheral skirt including means cooperative with the container body for normally interlockingly securing the same to each other, and means for temporarily radially relatively deflecting the peripheral skirt to disengage the cooperative interlocking means whereby the closure can be removed from the container body.

A further object of this invention is to provide a novel closure of the type immediately heretofore set forth wherein the peripheral skirt is constructed from material having a slow resilient return rate whereby removal of the closure from the container body can take place during such time as is required for the peripheral skirt to return to its normal non-deflected interlocked condition.

Another object of this invention is to provide a novel safety closure of the type heretofore described wherein the deflecting means includes cooperative cam and cam follower means between the closure peripheral skirt and the container bo y for radially deflecting the peripheral skirt incident to the'removal thereof from its associated container body.

With the above and other objects in view that will hereinafter appear, the nature of theinvention will be locking means between a peripheral skirt of the closure, a neck of the container, and'an interior depending annular seal.

FIG. 5 is a fragmentary sectional view of the container and closure of FIG. 4, and illustrates the closure in its axially depressed condition resulting in radial outward deflection of the peripheral skirt and radial inward deflection of the annular sealing member incident to the intentional removal of the closure from the container.

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of another container and safety closure constructed in accordance with this invention with a portion thereof broken away and removed for clarity, and illustrates a head of the closure peripheral skirt in interlocked relationship with an associated groove of the containerbody above a recess shoulder of the container body.

FIG. 7 is an enlarged bottom plan view of the safety closure of FIG. 6 with a portion thereof removed for clarity, and illustrates a plurality of circumferentially spaced reinforcing lugs on the interior of the closure peripheral skirt.

FIG. 8 is an enlarged fragmentary sectional view of the encircled portion of FIG. 6, and more clearly illustrates the interlocked condition of the closure and container.

FIG. 9 is a fragmentary sectional view of the container and closure of FIG. 8, and illustrates the manner in which an axial force is applied to the closure to deflect the peripheral skirt thereof radially outwardly to disengage the cooperative interlocking means incident to the removal of the closure from the container.

FIG. 10 is a fragmentary sectional view of another container and safety closure constructed in accordance with this invention, and illustrates a gasket constructed from foam or like compressible material disposed in a channel of the closure.

A novel container and safety closure combination constructed in accordance with this invention is illustrated in FIGS. 1 through 3 of the drawings, and is generally designated by the reference numeral 10. The combination includes a container 11 and a closure 12 which are normally united in interlocked relationship in the manner best illustrated in FIG. 2 of the drawing.

The container 11 includes a generally cylindrical body 13 closed at one end by a bottom wall (not shown), while an opposite end portion 14 is normally open and includes an inner cylindrical surface 15, an uppermost peripheral surface or lip 16, and an outermost surface which is generally designated by the reference numeral 17. The outermost surface 17 includes an uppermost cylindrical circumferential surface portion 18 which gradually merges with a radially downwardly and outwardly directed surface portion 20 which terminates at another cylindrical circumferential surface portion 21. Merging with the surface 21 is a downwardly and outwardly facing inclined peripheral surface portion or shoulder 22 which merges with another cylindrical circumferential surface 23 which in turn merges with a downwardly and outwardly included surface 24, the latter constituting cam follower means in a manner and for a purpose which will be described hereinafter. The surfaces 22, 23 and 24 thereby define a generally outwardly opening groove 25 circumferentially surrounding the entire exterior of the container body 13 at the upper end portion 14 thereof.

The closure 12 includes an end panel 26 having at its under surface a generally annular outwardly and downwardly inclined sealing member 39 which seats upon the lip 16 of the container body 13 in the sealed condition thereof, as is best illustrated in FIG. 2. The end panel 26 of the closure 12 merges with a peripheral skirt 27 in exterior telescopic relationship to the body wall end portion 14. The peripheral skirt 27 includes an exterior surface 28 provided with a plurality of equally circumferentially spaced axially extending slots or recesses 29 which impart additional resilience to the peripheral skirt 27, for a purpose which will be more clear hereinafter.

The peripheral skirt 27 terminates at a circumferential bead 30 which includes an upwardly and inwardly facing annular shoulder 31 and a lower rounded surface 32. The annular shoulders 22, 31 define cooperative interlocking means between the end portion 14 and the peripheral skirt 27 for normally interlockingly securing the container 11 and the closure 12 to each other, in a manner readily apparent in FIG. 2.

The closure 12 is preferably constructed from polymeric or copolymeric plastic material by conventional injection molding techniques, and the material thereof though it is resilient has a very slow resilient return rate. Stated another way, when the material of the closure 12 is strained within its elastic limit from its original position, it will not immediately rebound or snap to its original condition but will instead slowly return with the rate of return being a function of time between the deflected and normal condition of the closure. With this characteristic of the material of the closure 12, the latter is intentionally removed from the container 11 by applying an axial downward force against the closure 12, as indicated by the solid unnumbered arrow in FIG. 3 which causes the cam follower 32 of the peripheral skirt 27 to ride along the cam surface 24 of the container end portion 14 thereby progressively radially outwardly deflecting the peripheral skirt 27 resulting in the shoulders 31, 22 coming out of contact with the creation of a circumferential gap S therebetween. Since the resilience of the material of the closure 12 within the elastic limit is a function of time [f(t)] the peripheral skirt 27 will creep or slowly return from the position shown in FIG. 3 to the original position of FIG. 2 upon the termination of the applied force. Within this time span the closure 12 can be removed simply by lifting the same upwardly, as indicated by the unnumbered dashed arrow in FIG. 3, and any time thereafter the closure 12 may be reapplied to the container 11. When originally applied to the container 11, the surface 20 functions as a cam in conjunction with the follower 32 of the peripheral skirt 27 to permit the passage of the shoulder 31 past the shoulder 22 for subsequent interlocking engagement therebetwcen as the peripheral skirt 27 creeps to its original condition. The precise rate of return from the strained condition (FIG. 3) to the normal condition (FIG. 2) may be varied, as desired, by specifically compounding the material to vary the creep characteristics thereof or by such means as the recesses 29 which increase the rate of return.

It is to be noted that the annular sealing member 39 also functions as a spring which in the normal position (FIG. 2) continuously applies a biasing force in a direction tending to lift the closure 12 upwardly away from the lip 16 thereby maintaining the shoulders 22, 31 in intimate interlock relationship. This closing force created by the annular seal 39 can similarly be regulated by varying the resilience of the material as well as the cross-sectional thickness of the sealing member 39 to thereby selectively alter the closure to vary the forces required to temporarily distort the peripheral skirt 27 to its deflected condition (FIG. 3).

Reference is now made to FIGS. 4 and 5 which illustrate another combined container and safety closure combination constructed in accordance with this invention, which is generally designated by the reference numeral 10' with the remaining components thereof which are identical to the combination 10 being likewise primed. The combination 10' differs from the combination 10 in that an integral annular depending sealing member 37 of the closure 12' is received within the opening of the container body end portion 14' with the opening (unnumbered) being defined by an inner cylindrical circumferential surface 38 which progressively merges with a radially downwardly and outwardly directed camming surface 40. In the interlocked condition of the combination 10', the surfaces or shoulders 22, 31' are interlocked, just as in the case of the combination 10 (FIG. 2), while a terminal edge 41 of the annular sealing member 37 is in engagement with the cylindrical circumferential surface 38. However, upon the application of a downward directed axial force against the closure 12', as indicated by the unnumbered arrow in FIG. 5, the surface 32' rides along the cam surface 24' to temporarily deflect the peripheral skirt 27' radially outwardly to disengage the shoulders 22', 32', as in the case of the closure 12. However, in addition the edge 41 of the annular sealing member 37 rides along the camming surface 40 and is urged radially inwardly a distance S2. Due to the circumferential gaps S' and S2, the closure 12' can now be lifted from the container 11 in the absence of most all frictional contact. The material from which the closure 12 is constructed is identical to that heretofore described relativeto the closure 12 and thus the peripheral skirt 27' and the annular sealing member 37 return to their normal position at a very slow resilient return rate therebytpermitting the removal of the closure 12' from the body end portion 14 during such time as is required for the peripheral skirt 27 and the annular sealing member 37 to return from the strained condition of FIG. 5 to the original or normal nondeflected interlock condition of FIG. 4.

Another novel containerand safety closure combination constructed in accordance with this invention is illustrated in FIGS. 6 through 9 of the drawings, and is generally designated by the reference numeral 40. The combination 40 includes a container 41 and a closure 42 which are normally united in interlocked relationship in the manner best illustrated in FIGS. 6 and 8 of thedrawings.

The container 41 includes a generally cylindrical body .43 closed at one end by a bottom wall (not shown), while an opposite end portion 44 is normally open and includes an inner cylindrical surface 45, an

uppermost peripheral surface or lip 46, and an outermost surface which is generally designated by the reference numeral 47. The outermost surface 47 includes an uppermost cylindrical circumferential surface portion 48 which gradually merges with a radially downwardly and outwardly directed surface portion 50 which terminates at another cylindrical circumferential surface portion 51. Merging with the surface 51 is a downwardly and outwardly facing inclined peripheral surface portion or shoulder 52 which merges with another cylindrical circumferential surface 53 which in turn mergeswith a downwardly and outwardly inclined surface 54, the latter constituting cam follower means in a manner and for a purpose which will be described hereinafter. The surfaces 52, 53 and 54 thereby define a generally outwardly opening groove 55 circumferentially surrounding the entire exterior of the container body 43 at the upper end portion 44 thereof, it being noted that the surface 54 is above a recessed annular shoulder 59.

The closure 42 includes'an'end panel 56 having at its under surface a generally annular outwardly and downwardly-inclined sealingmember 57 which seats upon the inner surface 45 of the container body 43 in the sealed condition thereof, as is best illustrated in FIG. 8. The end panel 56 0f the closure 42 merges with aperiphera l skirt 58 in exterior telescopic relationship to the body' wall end portion 44.

The peripheral skirt- 58 terminates at a circumferential head 60 which includes an upwardly and inwardlyfacing annular shoulder 61 and a lower inclined surface ,62. The annular shoulders 52, 61 define cooperative interlocking means between the end portion '44 and the peripheral skirt 58 for normally interlockingly securing the container 41 and the closure 42 to each other, in'a manner readily apparent in FIG. 8.

' thereof though it is resilient has a very slow resilient return rate, just as in the case of the closure 12 and thus when the material of the closure 42 is strained within its elastic limit from its original position it will not immediately rebound or snap to its original condition but will instead slowly return with the rate of return beinga function of time between the deflected and normal condition of the closure. With this characteristic of the material of the closure 42, the latter is intentionally removed from the container 41 by applying an axial downward force against the closure 42, as indicated by the solid unnumbered arrow in FIG. 9 which causes the cam follower 62 of the peripheral skirt 58 to ride along the cam surface 54 of the container end portion 44 thereby progressively radially outwardly deflecting the peripheral skirt 58 resulting in the shoulders 61, 52 coming out of contact with the creation of a circumferential gap S" therebetween with the gap S" being maintained automatically by the head resting upon the shoulder 59, as shown in FIG. 9. Since the resilience of the material of the closure 42 within the elastic limit is a function of time [f(t)] the peripheral skirt 58 will begin to creep or slowly return from the position shown in FIG. 9 to the original position of FIG. 8 only after the closure 42 is pulled upwardly from the position shown in FIG. 9 a sufficient distance to draw the bead 60 above the shoulder 59. Any time thereafter but prior to the elimination of the 'gap S" the closure 42 may be removed from the container 41. The precise rate of return from the strained condition (FIG. 9) to the normal condition (FIG. 8) once the bead 60 is above the shoulder 59 may be varied, as desired, by specifically compounding the material to vary the creep characteristics thereof. Furthermore, in order to limit downward movement of the closure 42 the peripheral skirt 58 thereof is provided at its interior with a plurality of circumferentially spaced projections 63 which bottom against the surface portion 50, as shown in FIG. 9. s

Reference is now made to FIG. 10 which illustrates another combined container and safety closure combination constructed in accordance with this invention, which is generally designated by the reference numeral with the remaining components thereof which are identical to the combination 40 being primed. The combination 70 differs from the combination 40 in that the shoulder 59 has been eliminated and as gasket 71 constructed from plastic foam or like easily compressible material is housed in a downwardly opening channel 72 between the peripheral skirt 58' and the sealing member 57'. The gasket 71 would not, however, hinder the functional characteristics of the closure 70 which are identical to those of the closures 12, 12', 42, and would simply function in lieu of the fin 39 of the closure 12 in addition to performing its normal scaling function.

While in the preferred embodiments of the invention heretofore described the closures 12, 12', 42 and 70 have been described as being constructed from materi al having a slow return rate or a slow creep factor, it is to be understood that the reverse construction of the container and closure is possible. That is, the closure 12, for example, can be constructed from rigid material while the container 11 would then be constructed from resilient material having a slow resilient return rate. Under these circumstances axial downward forces applied to the closure 12 would cause the surface 32 to ride against the surface 24 and urge the more resilient material of the end portion 14 to deflect radially inwardly with the removal of the closure now being permitted within the time period required for the container end portion 14 to return to its non-strained con dition. In this regard the annular sealing member 39 would be constructed to normally contact the corner (unnumbered) between the surfaces l6, 18 to likewise deflect the uppermost edge of the end portion 14 inwardly during the application of an axial force to the closure 12 incident to an opening operation.

While no specific material has been set forth heretofore, the closures 12, 12', 42 or 70 may be constructed from most any type of polymeric or copolymeric material, such as polyethylene, polypropylene, and/or various mixtures or laminates to achieve a desired creep rate or resilient return rate.

While preferred forms and arrangements 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.

1 claim:

1. A combined container and closure combination comprising a container body having a normally open end portion, a closure body closing said normally open end portion, said closure body having a peripheral skirt in telescopic relationship to said body end portion, cooperative means between said body end portion and said peripheral skirt for normally interlockingly securing said container and closure to each other, means for temporarily radially relatively deflecting said body end portion and said peripheral skirt to disengage said cooperative interlocking means whereby said closure can be removed from said body end portion, and said deflecting means is in part defined by constructing at least one of said peripheral skirt and said body end portion from material having a slow resilient return rate whereby removal of said closure from said body end portion may take place during such time as is required for said peripheral skirt and body end portion to return to the normal nondeflected interlocked condition thereof.

2. The combination as defined in claim 1 wherein said deflecting means includes cooperative cam and cam follower means of said body end portion and said peripheral skirt.

3. The combination as defined in claim 1 wherein said deflecting means is operative upon relative axial movement between said peripheral skirt and said body end portion.

4. The combination as defined in claim 1 wherein said deflecting means is in part defined by constructing said peripheral skirt from material having a slow peripheral skirt.

7. The combination as defined in claim 4 wherein said deflecting means is operative upon relative axial movement between said peripheral skirt and said body end portion, and said deflecting means includes cooperative cam and cam follower means of said body end portion and said peripheral skirt.

8. A combined container and closure combination comprising a container body having a normally open end portion, a closure body closing said normally open end portion, said closure body having a peripheral skirt in telescopic relationship to said body end portion, said peripheral skirt being constructed from material having a slow rate of resilient return, means between said body end portion and said peripheral skirt for normally interlockingly securing said container and closure to each other, said interlocking means being shoulder means of said body end portion and said peripheral skirt in axially overlapped relationship in the interlocked condition of said container and closure, and means for temporarily radially outwardly deflecting said peripheral skirt to bring said shoulder means out of axial alignment whereby removal of said closure from said body end portion may take place during such time as is required for said peripheral skirt to return to the normal nondeflected interlocked condition thereof.

9. The combination as defined in claim 1 wherein said deflecting means includes cam means carried by said body end portion and cam follower means carried by said peripheral skirt, and said cam means slope radially outwardly and downwardly whereby axial force exerted against said closure causes said peripheral skirt to deflect radially outwardly as the cam follower means thereof rides downwardly and outwardly along said cam means.

10. The combination as defined in claim 9 wherein said cam and cam follower means are positioned below said shoulder means in the interlocked condition of said closure and container.

11. The combination as defined in claim 10 wherein said shoulder means are defined by a downwardly facing shoulder of a groove of said body end portion and an upwardly facing shoulder of a bead of said peripheral skirt.

Dated March 13, 1973 Patent No. 3,720,342

Inventor 8) PETER A VERC ILLO It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:

Column 8, line 2, after "portion" insert --may take place during such time as is required for said peripheral skirt to return to the normal nondeflected interlocked condition thereof.

Signed and sealed this 21st day of May 197M.

(SEAL) v Atheist: I EDWARD H.FLE2TIJIEQR,JR. MARSHALL DANN I Attesting Officer I Commissioner of Patents ".5. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE: 19! O-366-834,

FORM PO-105O (10-69)

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3398848 *Apr 7, 1967Aug 27, 1968Monsanto CoPackaging structure
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3866802 *May 5, 1972Feb 18, 1975Reflex Corp Of Canada LimitedChild proof closure assembly
US5979680 *Oct 10, 1997Nov 9, 1999Kerr Group, Inc.Push tab cap and locking tab vial assembly
US7527159Mar 11, 2004May 5, 2009Rexam Closure Systems Inc.Threaded child-resistant package having linerless closure
US7819264Dec 3, 2003Oct 26, 2010Rexam Closure Systems Inc.Child-resistant closure, container and package
US7967011 *Feb 3, 2006Jun 28, 2011Astrazeneca AbInhalation device
US8584668Feb 3, 2006Nov 19, 2013Astrazeneca AbInhalation device
DE102012204165A1 *Mar 16, 2012Sep 19, 2013Gfv Verschlusstechnik Gmbh & Co. KgSchutzkappe für einen Aerosol- oder Pumpspraybehälter
Classifications
U.S. Classification215/224, 215/211, 215/DIG.100
International ClassificationB65D50/04
Cooperative ClassificationY10S215/01, B65D50/045
European ClassificationB65D50/04F