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Publication numberUS3724724 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 3, 1973
Filing dateJan 27, 1972
Priority dateJan 27, 1972
Also published asCA964230A1, DE2303921A1
Publication numberUS 3724724 A, US 3724724A, US-A-3724724, US3724724 A, US3724724A
InventorsSunbeam Plastics Corp
Original AssigneeSunbeam Plastics Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Tamperproof and childproof overcap for an aerosol can
US 3724724 A
Abstract
A substantially tamperproof and childproof replaceable overcap for an aerosol spray can or the like which has a central dispensing valve at one end with an annular collar surrounding the dispensing valve. The cap is molded from a resilient material and has an inverted, cup-shaped, outer wall and an inner concentric skirt. The inner skirt is vertically slotted and has an inwardly turned retaining lip at its lower edge. The resiliency of the skirt biases the lip inwardly to engage beneath the collar of the can in order to retain the cap in place. A locking element which is manually rotatable between "Open" and "Locked" positions is mounted in an opening in the cap and extends downwardly between the cap wall and inner skirt to a position adjacent the lower end of the inner skirt. Engagement lugs are located on the outer side of the skirt at opposite sides of the slot in the skirt and near the bottom of the skirt. The lower end of the locking element extends between the engagement lugs on the skirt and is so shaped that rotation of the element to "Open" spreads the lower end of the skirt to reduce the degree of engagement of the retaining lip beneath the can collar so the cap can be removed. The upper end of the locking element extends upwardly through the top of the cap where it has a manually engageable head. A frangible tab on the upper end of the locking element is initially engaged in a recess in the body of the cap and prevents rotation of the locking element from "Locked" to "Open" position until it has been broken off.
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United States Patent [191 Gach [ 1 Apr. 3, 1973 [54] TAMPERPROOF AND CHILDPROOF OVERCAP FOR AN AEROSOL CAN [75] Inventor: Peter P. Gach, Evansville, Ind.

[58] Field of Search....222/l53, I82, 402.11, 402.13; 220/55, 55 G, 85 P [56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,616,475 10/1971 Gach ..222/l82 3,349,969 10/1967 Velt ..222/182 X 3,149,746 9/1964 Edelstone et a1. ..222/ 182 X Primary Examiner-Robert B. Reeves Assistant Examiner-John P. Shannon Attorney-Carl F. Schafter et al.

[5 7 ABSTRACT A substantially tamperproof and childproof replaceable overcap for an aerosol spray can or the like which has a central dispensing valve at one end with an annular collar surrounding the dispensing valve. The cap is molded from a resilient material and has an in-' vetted, cup-shaped, outer wall and an inner concentric skirt. The inner skirt is vertically slotted and has an inwardly turned retaining lip at its lower edge. The resiliency of the skirt biases the lip inwardly to engage beneath the collar of the can in order to retain the cap in place. A locking element which is manually rotatable between Open and Locked positions is mounted in an opening in the cap and extends downwardly between the cap wall and inner skirt to a position adjacent the lower end of the inner skirt. Engagement lugs are located on the outer side of the skirt at opposite sides of the slot in the skirt and near the bottom of the skirt. The lower end of the locking element extends between the engagement lugs on the skirt and is so shaped that rotation of the element to Open spreads the lower end of the skirt to reduce the degree of engagement of the retaining lip beneath the can collar so the cap can be removed. The upper end of the locking element extends upwardly through the top of the cap where it has a manually engageable head. A frangible tab on the upper end of the locking element is initially engaged in a recess in the body of the cap and prevents rotation of the locking element from Locked to Open position until it has been broken off.

6 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures TAMPERPROOF AND CI'IILDPROOF OVERCAP FOR AN AEROSOL CAN BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION tainers have been suggested in order to prevent their 1 being opened by small children but most of the structures suggested have been rather complicated and expensive to manufacture or to position on the caps during assembly of the caps on the pressurized cans.

In addition many suggestions have been made for caps for pressurized aerosol cans which would make it difficult if not impossible for a purchaser in a supermarket or the like to substitute a cap of a lower priced item for the cap on a higher priced item and thus to confuse the checkout clerk so as to obtain the higher priced item at the price of the lower priced item. Many of these caps have required fracturing a part of the cap in order to remove it from thecontainer so that when a purchaser attempts to substitute one cap for the other the checkout clerk can tell at a glance that the cap has been substituted. Some of the prior art caps have required the use of accessories on tools in order to open them and this is somewhat inconvenient when a user wishes to'discharge the content of the container but does not have the necessary tool readily available.

It is therefore the principal object of the instant invention to provide an overcap for an aerosol container which can readily be removed by an adult or an older child, but which will effectively inhibit the removal thereof by a small child.

It is another object of the instant invention to provide a relatively childproof overcap-for an aerosol container which has a manually rotatable locking element that is manually movable between a Locked position and an Open position.

It is yet another object of this invention to provide a substantially childproof overcap for an aerosol can that has a locking element movable between Open" and Locked positions and which has a frangible portion engaged with the overcap body which must be broken in order to unlock the overcap the first time, and which clearly'indicates this fact in order to prevent surreptitious removal of the overcap and the substitution of the cap of a lower priced material for the cap of a higher priced material, by a dishonest purchaser.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a plan view of an overcap embodying the invention;

FIG. 2 is a fragmentary view, partly in elevation and with parts broken away, of the upper end of an aerosol container equipped with an overcap embodying the invention; v

FIG. 3 is' a fragmentary perspective view of an overcap embodying the invention with the locking element shown separated from the overcap body; I I FIG. 4 is a horizontal sectional view taken along the line 4-4 of FIG. 2;

FIG. 5 is a fragmentary view, partly-in elevation and partly in section, showing the locking element of an overcap embodying the invention in Locked" position; and

FIG. 6 is a view similar to FIG. 5 but showing the locking element in Open" position.

DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS A typical aerosol can generally indicated by the reference number 20 comprises a cylindrical body 21, a breast portion 22 and a valve generally indicated by the reference number 23 which comprises a feeding tube 0 24 (FIG. 2) and a dispensing nozzle 25. The valve 23 is held in the breast portion 22 by an annular sealing collar 26 which seals the can 20 and retains the valve 23 in the can 20.

An overcap embodying the invention is generally indicated by the reference number 27 and comprises an inverted, cup-shaped, outer wall 28 and an inner concentric skirt 29. At the lower edge of the skirt 29 there is located an inwardly turned retaining lip 30 which is of such size as to be frictionally engaged beneath the collar 26 when the overcap 27 is in place on the can 20. The lip 30 is vertically slotted and a pair of engagement lugs 31 are located on the outer side of the skirt 29 at opposite sides of the slot near the bottom of the skirt 29.

The overcap 27 is molded from a resilient material so that the lip 30 is biased inwardly and into frictional engagement beneath the collar 26 in order to retain the overcap 27 on the can 20 when the skirt 29 is in relaxed position as illustrated in FIGS. 1-5.

According to the instant invention, the overcap 27 has a rotatable locking element generally indicated by the reference number 32 shown inperspective in FIG. 3. The locking element 32 has a generally cylindrical body 33 which fits rotatably into a well 34 formed in the overcap 27 between the outer wall 28 and the skirt 29. At its upper end, the locking element 32 has an enlarged, serrated head 35 which fits into a counterbore 36 formed in a flat top 37 of the overcap 27. The body 36 of the element 32 extends down through the well 34 and an oblong key or cam 38 on its lower end extends downwardly between the lugs 38 on its skirt 29.

Thus, when the locking element 32 is rotated from the Locked" position shown in FIGS. 1-5 to the Open" position shown in FIG. 6, the lugs 31 are spread apart, expanding the lower end of the skirt 29 to greatly reduce or substantially eliminate the frictional engagement of the lip 30 beneath the can collar 26.

The lower end of the body 33 of the element 32 carries a pair of retaining dogs 39 (see FIGS. 3 and 6) which snap beneath the lower edge of the well 34 when the element 32 is pushed downwardly into the cap 27 upon initial assembly.

Because the Open'position of the locking element 32 is less than away from the Locked" position, the element 32 is urged toward Locked" position by the biasing force of the resilient skirt 29 acting to squeeze the two engagement lugs 31 toward each other thus tending to rotate the cam 38 to the position where its lesser thickness is interposed between the lugs 31. It will be appreciated that while the cam or key 38 is shown as having an oblong horizontal section, it is only necessary that it have two dimensions, indicated by d in FIG. 5 and d, in FIG. 6 such that the smaller will allow the skirt to squeeze inwardly and the larger will spread the lugs 31 sufficiently to expand the skirt 29 enough to allow removal of the cap. Thus the force resiliently retaining said cap on said can, lugs on the outer side of said inner skirt at opposite sides of such slot/means in the space between said skirts defining a the outer edge of the head 35 for access to the edge of the head 35 and a finger 40 which protrudes radially outwardly from the head 35.

An overcap according to the invention is initially tamperproof because of the engagement of a frangible tab 41 in a recess 42 molded in the body of the overcap 27. In the illustrated embodiment, the tab 41 extends radially from the head 35 and the recess 42 is in the top 37. When the overcap is initially assembled, the element 32 is pushed down from the position shown in F IG. 3 into the well 34. This slides the cam 38 between the skirt lugs 32 and moves the tab 41 down into the recess 42. The element 32 cannot then be rotated to Open" position until the tab 41 has been broken off.

Thus a check-out clerk can readily see by a glance whether or not someone has tampered with the can. If the tab 41 is gone the overcap 27 may have been removed and switched or the contents of the can may have been tested.

After a purchaser has broken off the tab 41, he rotates the element 32 to Open" position and removes the overcap 27 for access to the contents of the can. As soon as the user releases the element 32, the resiliency of the skirt rotates the cam 38 and element 32 back to Locked" position The user need not rotate the element 32 to Open" position before replacing the overcap 27 on the can 20. The fact that the skirt 29 is slotted results in a user being able to press the overcap back into position, the upper outer quadrant of the collar 26 acting to spread the skirt 29 enough to allow the lip 36 to snap around and beneath the collar 26.

Thereafter, anyone wishing to gain access to the contents must rotate the element 32 against the resiliency of the skirt 29. This action requires a force significantly difficult of exercise by a small child. I

An overcap embodying the invention is (I) initially tamperproofand (2), thereafter, childproof.

What I claim is:

1. A substantially tamperproof and childproof replaceable overcap for an aerosol can, said can having a centrally located dispensing valve at one end and an annular collar surrounding the base of said valve, said overcap comprising an inverted cup-shaped body formed of a resilient material and having an outer tubular skirt and an inner, concentric, depending, tubular skirt adapted to enclose the valve, said inner skirt being axially slotted, an inwardly directed lip at the lower end of said inner skirt that is engageable with such collar for well having an open top, a manually rotatable locking element mounted in said well, the upper end of said locking element protruding through the open top of such well and the lower end of said locking element extending downwardly between said lugs on said inner skirt, said locking element being rotatable between a Locked position and an Open position, and means on the lower end of said locking element for spreading a recess in the body of said overcap into which said tab engages at Locked position prior to initial removal of said overcap.

4. An overcap according to claim 3 in which the tab is frangible and must be broken away in order for the locking element to be moved initially from Locked to Open position.

5. A substantially tamperproof and childproof replaceable overcap for an aerosol can, said can having a centrally located dispensing valve at one end and a collar surrounding the base of said valve; said overcap comprising an inverted, cup-shaped, resilient body having a tubular skirt and an inner, depending skirt adapted to enclose the valve, an inwardly directed lip at the lower end of said inner skirt that is engageable with said collar for resiliently retaining said overcap on said can, wall means located between said skirts and defining a well having an open top, a manually rotatable locking element mounted in said well, the upper end of said locking element protruding through the open top of said well and the inner end of said locking element extending inwardly adjacent the lower end of said inner skirt, said locking element being rotatable between a Locked position and an Open position, means on the lower end of said locking element cooperating with portions of said inner skirt for expanding said inner skirt when said locking elementis in Open position and co-operating means on said locking element and the body of said overcap for initially retaining said locking element in locked position.

6. An overcap according to claim 5 in which the cooperating means are a frangible tab on said locking element and a recess in thebody of said overcap in which said tab-is engaged for retaining said locking element in Locked position.

* :k in a a:

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3149746 *Oct 24, 1960Sep 22, 1964Spra Lok CorpSelf-locking container cap
US3349969 *Jul 25, 1966Oct 31, 1967Evert D VeltSafety closure for spray cans
US3616475 *Aug 14, 1969Nov 2, 1971Du PontFoamed polylactam buoyant belt
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3889852 *Aug 6, 1973Jun 17, 1975Strefford PeterContainer safety dispensing closure
US4576315 *May 10, 1984Mar 18, 1986Vitale Ralph ASafety closure for aerosol cans
US4662542 *Jun 7, 1985May 5, 1987Vitale Ralph ASafety closure for aerosol cans
US5632393 *Oct 3, 1995May 27, 1997Cobra Plastics Inc.Tamper resistant cover for aerosol can
EP0704387A1 *Sep 29, 1995Apr 3, 1996COMPAGNIE PLASTIC OMNIUM Société Anonyme dite:Safety device, particularly for children, in a container for collecting waste
WO2006118477A1 *May 2, 2006Nov 9, 2006Bloomfield John IanTamper evident or tamper proof cap
Classifications
U.S. Classification222/153.1, 222/182
International ClassificationB65D55/02, B65D55/14, B05B9/04, B65D83/14
Cooperative ClassificationB65D83/40, B65D55/14
European ClassificationB65D83/40, B65D55/14