US 3729122 A
A completely enclosed plastic container has two openings or vents. One vent has an internal valve and a pouring spout attached thereto. The other vent has a spring biased safety cap which raises for filling or to vent vapors when the internal pressure exceeds some predetermined level. A handle linkage controls the two vents so that the pouring valve opens first and the venting safety cap opens second, as the can is tipped. Suitable springs urge the valve, cap and handle to an automatically closed position when the container is sitting at rest. The handle linkage is attached to a vertical fin formed between the two vents by an enlargement of the flash line formed in molding the container.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 1 Flider 1 SAFETY CONTAINER FOR INFLAMMABLES  Inventor: Frank S. Flider,Chicago, Ill.
 Assignee: Justrite Manufacturing Company,
 Filed: May 27,1971
] App1.No.: 147,345
Related [1.8. Application Data  Continuation-in-part of Ser. No, 97,713, Dec. 14, 1970, and a continuation-in-part of Ser. No. 98,557,
222/397, 468-474, 481-484, 506,545, 556, 558; 215/1 C X; 220/29 X, 44 R  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,040,087 Hackl ..222/469 Ritter ..222/482 Richmond ..220/44 R Primary Examiner-Samuel F. Coleman Assistant Examiner-Larry Martin Att0rneyAlter, Weiss & Whitesel  ABSTRACT A completely enclosed plastic container has two openings or ven-ts. One vent has an internal valve and a pouring spout attached thereto. The other vent has a spring biased safety cap which raises for filling or to vent vapors when the internal pressure exceeds some predetermined level. A handle linkage controls the two vents so that the pouring valve opens first and the venting safety cap opens second, as the can is tipped. Suitable springs urge the valve, cap and handle to an automatically closed position when the container is sitting at rest. The handle linkage is attached to a vertical fin formed between the two vents by an enlargement of the flash line formed in molding the container.
10 Claims, 14 Drawing Figures Patented April 24, 1973 3,729,122
4 Sheets-Sheet 1 INVENTOR FRANK S FL! DER ATTORNEYS Patented April 24, 1973 v 3,729,122
4 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR FRANK S4 FLIDER ATTORNEYS Patented April 24, 1973 3,729,122
i \l i7 //4 FIG.H
NNNNNN 0 TT YS SAFETY CONTAINER FOR INFLAMMABLES This invention is a Continuation-In-Part of my previously filed applications for Letters Patent entitled SAFETY CONTAINER FOR INFLAMMABLES and SAFETY CONTAINER FOR INFLAMMABLES WlTH SNAP-ON SPOUT" filed on Dec. 14, 1970 and Dec. 16, 1970, respectively, and bearing Ser. Nos. 97,713 and 98,557, respectively.
This invention relates to new and improved containers, especially although not exclusively to containers for inflammable fluids, and more particularly to low cost containers having self-operating vents.
Closed containers for inflammables are not only known in the art, but also have very carefully prescribed safety regulations enforced by governmental and industrial agencies. Thus, improved containers must not only meet or exceed the existing safety regulations, but must also have advantages, such as being less expensive and more reliable than the previously available containers. Finally, these containers must be attractive and have a sales appeal for the buying public, which goes beyond the sales appeal of previously available safety cans.
Previously, cans have generally been made of a heavy gauge steel material, such as the 24 gauge Terne plate. Reinforcing ribs have been formed to add strength. Seams have been folded and crimped to provide four or five thicknesses of metal locked together by double seaming. Preferably, the container has been dipped in a hot lead or tin bath to provide a corrosion protection. Then, a fine quality of enamel was baked on over the tin coating.
Thus, the presently available fabricated metal safety cans are relatively expensive. The ferrous metal, notwithstanding the platings and coatings, tends to corrode, and therefore,- tends to create hazardous sparks responsive to an accidental contact with other ferrous materials. The disadvantages engendered in using metallic cans is overcome by fabricating the safety containers from plastic.
A problem raised by the use of plastic material for the cans is how to economically connect hardware such as the handle linkages to the plastic can without encountering leakage problems at the points of attachment. This problem has greatly restricted the use of plastic safety containers.
Some further factors which are pertinent to this invention relate to the method of filling, pouring and venting the safety can. More'particularly, the pouring of a liquid from a closed container requires the intake of air to avoid an air lock inside the container. A number of disadvantages are found in the air intake vents which are currently in use. When the air intake device is in or near the pouring opening, the incoming air reacts on the flowing liquid to create turbulence that makes the flow erratic. When small openings are added for the sole purpose of taking in air during the pouring operation, they may become clogged by dirt from either the outside or the inside of the can. Also, when completely filled cans are tilted, the air vent must open if it is to be effective. As a result, liquid sometimes spills out the air vent. This can be very hazardous, as when the pouring is being done over a hot engine.
Separate air vents are uneconomical additions as compared to the total cost of a safety can. The invention, on the other hand, uses a large opening air intake which is a component of the can also used during the filling operation. This opening is located well above the liquid level and well removed from the pouring opening.
Thus, the invention provides a number of attractive features for the safety can. Hardware can be reliably attached to the container without encountering leakage problems and in a less expensive manner than has heretofore been possible.
The air vent is at a high point on the container where vapors collect, and it is loaded to release pressure at less than a dangerous pressure level, such as 5 psi. The container has automatic venting. during draining to prevent an air lock followed by a surging flow of the inflammable fluid. Still other features will occur to those who are skilled in the art.
Accordingly, an object of the invention is to provide new and improved plastic safety containers for inflammable liquids.
A related object of the invention is to provide plastic containers having solid vertical fins at the top thereof for use in coupling the hardware used in conjunction with the containers to the containers.
Yet, another object of the invention is to provide means for solidly mounting the unique linkage to the plastic container.
Another object is to provide a spring loaded vent linked to a handle arrangement attached to the vertical fin which opens when the can is tipped to a predetermined angle for pouring. Hence, an object of this invention is to provide a low cost explosion proof, automatically venting gasoline container.
In keeping with an aspect of the invention, these and other objects are accomplished by providing a safety container having two oppositely disposed openings or vents. A vertical fin integral to the can extendsbetween the vents. One vent has an internal valve for controlling the flow of a fluid to a pouring spout. The other vent has a spring biased safety cap which raises either for filling or to vent air or vapors. The spring bias is overcome when the internal pressure exceeds some predetermined level, such as 5 psi.
A handle linkage is attached to the solid integral vertical fin. The handle linkage controls the vents so that the pouring valve opens first, and the venting safety cap opens second, as the can is tipped. Suitable springs urge the valve, cap and handle to an automatically closed position when the container is sitting at rest. The fin enables an extremely stable and reliable handle linkage arrangement.
The structure of a preferred embodiment of the invention may be understood best from the following description, when taken in conjunction with the attached drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the container and handle linkage arrangement of the original application;
FIG. 2 is an exploded view of the linkage and the fin bracket to which the linkage is attached on top of the container of FIG. 1;
FIGS. 3-6 are schematic stop motion views showing how the linkage operates;
FIG. 7 is a side view of the top of the plastic container showing the fin and openings when blow molded without the bracket and linkage attached;
FIG. 8 is a top plan view of the showing of FIG. 7;
FIG. 9 is a pictorial showing of the attachment of the vent opening to the container;
FIG. 10 is a partial side view of the container having an injection molded valve body;
FIG. 11 is a sectional showing of the view of FIG. 10;
FIG. 12 is a top plan view of the injection molded valve body;
FIG. 13 is a partial side view of the valve body of FIG. 12; and
FIG. 14 is a side view of the top of the container of FIG. 7 showing the linkages mounted on the fin.
In greater detail, FIG. 1 shows a steel container 10, made of a heavy gauge material, such as 24 gauge Terne plate. Reinforcing ribs appear, as at l2, 13 to add strength. The seams at 14 are folded and crimped to provide four or five thicknesses of metal locked together by double seaming. The container is preferably dipped in a hot lead or tin bath to provide a corrosion protection. Then, a fine quality of enamel may be baked on over the tin coating.
Two openings or vents 20, 21 are formed in the top of the container. The opening or vent has an internal spring biased valve controlled by a valve stem 22. The other opening or vent 21 has a spring biased safety cap 23 which opens either by hand for filling or in response to dangerous internal vapor pressures. Filters (not shown) may be provided to strain the fluid entering and leaving the container.
A handle controlled linkage 24 operates the two vents. More particularly, the left-hand end (as viewed in FIG. 1) of the linkage 24 operates the valve stem 22 for raising and lowering an internal valve to enable or prevent the flow of fluids through a flexible hose 25. The right-hand end of the linkage 24 is positioned to bear against a control lever 26 which is an integral part of the safety cap 23. Suitable springs bias the valve, safety cap, and linkage to a closed position when the container is in a resting position.
The metallic cans tend to corrode, which results in safety problems in addition to decreasing the life expectancy of the cans. The preferred plastic containers are depicted in FIGS. 2-14. The plastic containers are preferably blow molded although some parts such as valve body 30 may be injection molded and attached to the plastic container, as shown in FIGS. 10 and 11.
The mold (not shown) includes two piece parts which are mated to each other for a good fit. The flash line where the mold parts join is thick at the top to form an upstanding rib or fin 27 (best seen in FIGS. 7, 8 and 10, 11) which is between the opening bodies 20, 21. The fin or rib 27 is used for attaching the handle linkage to the container. In addition, the fin reinforces and supports the vents 20, 21. On the prior art can, the vents are not only supported but in addition they are used for attaching the handle linkage to the can. Further, in the prior art can, the vents were each separately attached to the dome of the can, rather than being integral thereto.
The fin 27 has apertures therethrough, such as hole 13, which is used for attaching the handle linkage to the container using rivets, or the like. Since the fin is not connected to the interior of the container, there are no leakage problems inherent in such an attachment.
The details of the linkage arrangement will become more apparent from a study of FIGS. 2, 3-6 and 13. In
greater detail, the structures forming the openings or vents 20, 21 are upstanding cylindrical portions 30, 31, respectively. A reinforcing ring 32 is shown on cylindrical or tubular portion 31. In addition, reinforcing ridges, such as ridge 14a is shown at the junction of cylindrical portion 31 and container 10.
Inside pouring vent cylindrical part 30 is a valve 40 having an attached valve stem 22 which is pressed into a normally closed position by a coil spring 41. The upper end of the cylindrical part 30 is closed and sealed by a suitable means, such as cap 42 and a gasket. The cap is internally threaded to mate with the external threads 43 on cylinder part 30. Alternatively, the cap could be attached to the cylindrical part 30 by any other well known fastening means.
The valve stem 22 projects through a hole in the cap 42 and engages washers 44. After the assembly of the valve 40, spring 41, cap 42 and washers 44, the top of the stem 22 is swaged or otherwise formed to make a complete sub-assembly.
Mounted on fin 27 is a base or saddle bracket 35. Means, such as pin 47, are used and pivotally mount an L-shaped bracket 48 to base bracket 35. Bracket 48 has a fork shaped section having tines 49, 50 which fits under the washers 44. A pair of upstanding cars 51 on bracket 35 positions the L-shaped bracket 48 to control valve 40.
Normally, the spring 41 presses the valve 40 downwardly with sufficient force to seal the opening. When the washers 44 are lifted by the fork tines 49, 50, the spring 41 is compressed, the valve 40 opens, and the fluid may be poured from the container and through the hose 25.
The part 30 may be integrally blow molded with the container'or it may be injection molded and attached as shown in FIGS. 10-13.
More particularly, as shown in FIG. 10, the cylindrical portion of the vent 20 comprises two distinct parts, 30a and 30b. The cylindrical portion 30a is blow molded to the body of the container, and terminates in threads 76 (FIG. 11). The cylindrical portion 30b comprises the valve body. The valve body is injection molded and must be attached to cylindrical section 30a. Thus, as best seen in FIG. 11, a valve body swivel or lock ring 77 threads onto threads 76 and fits over swivel or lock ring 77, which in turn fits into groove 78, which is integral to valve body 30b. A seal 79 insures that there is no leakage at the coupling point of the valve body 30b and cylindrical section 30a.
The injection molded portion valve body 30b includes an integral bracket 69a which is injection molded along with the valve body 30b. There are ribs, such as rib 81, for further strengthening the integral bracket 69a. The integral bracket 69a abuts the end of rib 27 and is joined thereto by fasteners fitting through aperture 82 on the bracket portion 69a and through the apertures on base or saddle bracket 35. The valve body 30b includes a flange section 33a used for connecting the outlet hose to the valve body. The valve body further includes external threads 43a for receiving the cap 42 thereon. The valve 40 operates in the same manner, whether the body is injection molded or blow molded.
The top view of the valve body shows in greater detail the bracket 69a, which includes an aperture 47a for receiving pin 47 utilized in pivotally attaching L- shaped bracket 48 to bracket 69a. Also, there is shown in FIGS. 12 and 13 details of flange section 33a, which contains threaded holes, such as hole 84 designed to receive fasteners therein for attaching a hose section (not shown) to the hold of the flange section with a gasket (not shown) therebetween.
The handle linkage comprises a bar 55 having a longitudinal slot 56 therein and at least one wheel 57 rotatably attached to the distant end thereof (as viewed in FIG. 2). The near end of the bar 55 is pivotally attached to the L-shaped bracket 48 by means such as a pin 59 extending through cars 60 fixed to bracket 48.
Means are provided for attaching a handle to the container. More particularly, a pair of oppositely disposed integral lugs 65 extend upward approximately midway on the bracket 35. Pivotally mounted, at they point 64 on the lugs 65 is a handle 66. The handle is equipped with a spring which normally forces the handle 66 to swing in the direction A and into a forwardly folded position, which presents a low profile when the container is not in use.
Means are provided for enabling the handle to be used for carrying the container without opening either vent. More particularly, a pin 68 fits through the handle 66 and the slot 56 in the bar 55. Thus, if the handle 66 is raised, there is a lost motion as the pin 68 moves through the length of the slot 56 before any linkage action occurs. The amount of movement allows the user to secure a comfortable grip before lifting the weight of the container and to carry the container without operating the linkage. A plurality of spacers provide clearance for a smooth and free sliding motion between the handle 66 and the bar 55.
The pouring vent includes flange section 33 for attaching the hose thereto. A reinforcing ring 34 is shown beneath the flange section 33 of vent body 30.
The filling vent includes the cylinder 31. A safety cap assembly 21 includes cap 23 and bracket 26. The cap and bracket are attached together in any well known manner. Bracket 26 is mounted onto bracket by pin 70 extending through oppositely disposed and upwardly extended ears 69 integral to bracket 35.
A spring 71 wraps around pin 70 and bears down on top of cap 23 with a predetermined pressure. Thus, when the vapor pressure inside the container exceeds, say 5 psi, the cap 23 raises to vent the interior of the container. As soon as the internal pressure falls below 5 psi, the spring 71 overcomes such pressure and the cap 23 recloses.
'When the wheel 57 at the end of horizontal bar 55 moves in direction B, it encounters bracket 26. When linkage bar 55 is pushed with sufficient force, the cap 23 opens. i
The operation of the inventive structure should be apparent from a study of FIGS. 3-6. In each of these figures, the linkage ground is the attachment to the container of the bracket 35.
In greater detail, when the can is resting on the ground (FIG. 3), the handle 66 is in a lowered position at the forward end of slot 56, and pulled down under spring tension. In this position, the cap 23 may be raised by hand applying pressure at 72, and the container may be filled. For example, a gasoline hose 75 may be inserted into the filling vent or tube 21.
Gasoline or any other fluid is pumped through hose and into the can 10 via the filter (not shown) associated with vent 21.
The linkage operation during the pouring sequence is shown in FIGS. 4-6. More particularly, the container is picked up by the handle, and there is a lost motion while the pin 68 moves through the slot 56. Except for the handle, none of the linkage is moved (FIG. 4) during this lost motion.
Spring 41 holds the valve 40 closed and spring 71 holds cap 23 closed so that the container may be lifted and carried about without either of the vents being opened. When the bottom of the container is lifted (FIG. 5) to tip the spout 25 downwardly, the pin 68 in handle 66 engages the back end of the slot 56, and the bar 55 moves back in the direction of arrow B. This motion of bar 55 pulls pin 59 causing the bracket 48 to pivot about point 47 in the direction C. Valve 40 rises against the bias of the spring 41. The wheel 57 has not yet pushed against the bracket 26 with sufficient force to open the cap .23 against spring 71. Thus, valve 40 opens first. Because cap 23 is located at a high point on the container, there is no danger that the inflammable fluid will pour out of the vent 21 before it pours out of hose 25.
Finally, at the end of the sequence, (FIG. 6), the bottom of the container is lifted high enough to provide a steady flowof the fluid from the can. The handle 66 is pulled backward to its rear most point with respect to the ground point 64. Here the flow valve control bracket 48 has reached its point of maximum travel in the direction C. The spring 41 is at its maximum compression, and the valve 40 is at its maximum opening. The wheel 57 forces the bracket 26 to its point of maximum displacement. The cap 23 is open as widely as possible. The inflammable liquid is poured from the can at a maximum rate, and the air vent 21 is open. When the can is set down, the sequence reverses, cap 23 closes first, then valve 40, and finally handle 66 is spring biased to its normal positions.
The advantages of the invention should now be apparent. There is a very low cost since the number of parts are reduced in a minimum. There are no corrosion problems and no leakage at attachment points. There are no excess or supplementary valves or other parts. The two openings 20, 21 may be raised to any convenient height so that the highest part may be vented. The sequence of valve openings may be selected by varying the relative lengths of the linkage parts.
While the principles of the invention have been described above in connection with specific apparatus and applications, it is to be understood that this description is made only by way of example and not as a limitation on the scope of the invention.
1. A plastic safety container comprising a pair of spaced apart neck-like openings at the top portion of said container,
upstanding fin means integral to said container and extending between said spaced apart pair of necklike openings,
valve means for controllably closing and opening a first of said pair of neck-like openings,
cap means for controllably closing and opening a second of said pair of neck-like openings,
said valve means and said cap means being normally closed, handle linkage means for operating said valve means and said cap means to open said neck-like openings in a predetermined sequence, and
attachment bracket means for coupling said handle linkage means to said upstanding fin means, the attachment bracket means being independent of said neck-like openings.
2. The safety can of claim 1 wherein said neck-like openings are integral to said container.
3. The plastic safety container of claim 1 wherein said attachment bracket means comprises a saddle bracket,
means on said saddle bracket for pivotally attaching a carrying handle to said saddle bracket,
means being for normally maintaining said carrying handle in a downward position,
said carrying handle being attached to lost motion means in said handle linkage means, in said predetermined sequence said lost motion means maintaining said valve means and cap means closed when said carrying handle is lifted from said normally downwardly position to a carrying position,
said lost motion means operated responsive to further movement of said handle opposite to said normally downward position for opening said valve means and said cap means.
4. The plastic safety container of claim 3 wherein said valve means comprises:
valve body means,
a hose attaching opening in said valve body means,
a valve shaped to close the opening into the container at the bottom of said neck-like opening,
valve stem means attached to said valve,
valve cap means removably attached to said valve body,
aperture means in said valve cap means for receiving said valve stem means therethrough,
spring means for keeping said valve normally closed,
linking bracket means for linking said valve stem means to said handle linkage means for opening said valve to connect said hose attaching opening to the opening into the container against the forces of said spring means.
5. The plastic safety container of claim 4 including means for attaching said valve body means to said first of said pair of neck-like openings.
6. The plastic safety container of claim 5 wherein said means for attaching said valve body means to said first of said pair of neck-like openings comprises threads at the top of said first of said pair of neck-like openings,
a notch surrounding said valve body means at a fixed distance from the bottom of said valve body means,
the bottom of said valve body means sized to slip fit into said first of said pair of neck-like openings below said notch,
shoulder means on said valve body means above the bottom of said valve body means which fits into said first of said neck-like openings for resting on the top of said first of said pair of neck-like ev n swivel ring means sized to fit over said valve body above said notch,
lock ring means located in said notch and being larger in outer diameter than said swivel ring means,
threads on said swivel ring means to match and mate with the threads on said first of said pair of necklike openings, whereby when said swivel ring means is threaded onto said first of said pair of neck-like openings said valve body means is pulled down, sealed and tightened against said first of said pair of neck-like openings to attach said valve body means to said first of said pair of neck-like openings.
7. The plastic safety container of claim 4 wherein said saddle bracket means comprises first ear means risingjuxtaposed to said valve body means,
said first ear means being integral to said saddle bracket means,
said linking bracket means for linking said valve stem means being pivotally attached to said ear means whereby when said handle is operated, said bracket means pivots on said ear means and pulls said valve stem against the force of said spring means.
8. The plastic safety container of claim 6 wherein said valve body means is plastic and includes integral bracket means integral thereto,
said integral bracket means having a pivot point thereon,
means for pivotally attaching said linking bracket means to said integral bracket of said valve body, whereby when said handle means is operated said linking bracket means pivots around the pivot point of said integral bracket means to open said valve against the force of the spring means.
9. The plastic safety container of claim 8 wherein said integral bracket means is shaped to be contiguous with the end of said upstanding fin means, and wherein the said saddle bracket means extends beyond said fin means to reinforcingly attach said integral bracket means to said upstanding fin means.
10. The plastic safety container of claim 7 wherein said saddle bracket means further comprises second and third integral ear means,
said second integral ear means used to pivotally attach said handle means, and
said third integral ear means used for pivotally attaching a control bracket to control the opening of said cap means responsive to the operation of said handle linkage means.