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Publication numberUS3734338 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMay 22, 1973
Filing dateMay 13, 1971
Priority dateMay 13, 1971
Publication numberUS 3734338 A, US 3734338A, US-A-3734338, US3734338 A, US3734338A
InventorsSchubert J
Original AssigneeFraze Ermal C
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Can end with nondetachable tab
US 3734338 A
Abstract
An easy opening container wall comprising a container wall of sheet material, a line of weakness in the container wall defining a tear portion partially removable from the container wall, a tab attached to the tear portion to initiate removal of the tear portion and a guard carried by the tab for hindering contact with the relatively sharp edge portion of the tear strip caused by the rupture of the sheet material.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [191 Schubert CAN END WITH NONDETACHABLE TAB Inventor: James R. Schubert, Dayton, Ohio Assignee: Ermal C. Frau, Dayton, Ohio Filed: May 13, 1971 Appl. No.: 143,129

U.S. Cl ..220/54 Int. Cl. ..B65d 17/20 Field of Search ..220/54, 53, 48, 27,

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 11/1968 Perry ..220/54 1 3,734,338 1 May 22,1973

3,442,416 5/1969 Nicholson ..220/54 3,627,168 12/1971 Fraze ..220/54 Primary Examiner-George T. Hall Attorney-Smyth, Roston & Pavitt [57] ABSTRACT An easy opening container wall comprising a container wall of sheet material, a line of weakness in the container wall defining a tear portion partially removable from the container wall, a tab attached to the tear portion to initiate removal of the tear portion and a guard carried by the tab for hindering contact with the relatively sharp edge portion of the tear strip caused by the rupture of the sheet material.

14 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures Patented May 22, 1973 3,734,338

2 Sheets-Sheet l Patented May 22, 1973 3,734,338

2 Sheets-Sheet 2 CAN END WITH NONDETACHABLE TAB BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The typical easy opening container has a tear portion and a tab secured directly to the tear portion so that upon lifting of the tab, the tear portion and tab are completely removed from the container wall. The tab and tear portion are relatively small and are frequently carelessly discarded following their removal from the container. The container may also be discarded when empty; however, because the container is relatively large, it can be easily collected for disposal. On the other hand, the tab and tear portions, being quite small, are much more difficult to collect. Consequently, the separated tabs and tear portions are creating an ecology problem particularly at recreational areas. It has been proposed to solve this problem by providing an easy opening container in which the tab and tear portions are not separable from the container. There are a few easy opening devices which have nonseparable tab and tear portions.

One kind of easy opening container having a nonseparable tab and tear portion is shown in US. Pat. No. 3,327,891. In the construction shown in this patent, the tab is attached to the tear portion, and the tear portion can be peeled back over the periphery of the can body without removing the tear portion to provide an opening in the can end. This solves the litter problem; however, it creates a new problem in that the exposed edges of the tear portion are sharp and jagged and thereby are a potential source of injury to anyone handling the container after it has been opened.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention solves the problems noted above by providing guard means which substantially reduce the likelihood of contacting the sharp edges of the tear portion. The guard is operative immediately upon rupture of the sheet material along the line of weakness. Although the guard is particularly adapted for use on an easy opening container wall with a nonseparable tear portion, it can be used to advantage on easy opening container walls in which the tear portion is completely severed from the container wall.

The present invention teaches that the guard can be advantageously carried by the tab and arranged to partially encase the sharp edge of the tear portion when the tear portion is partially severed from the container wall. This can be advantageously accomplished by offsetting the line of weakness and a region of the container wall extending along the line of weakness immediately adjacent thereto so that the region lies axially inwardly of the line of weakness. The tab carries the guard and the latter projects into the region a sufficient distance so that at least a portion of the guard lies axially inwardly of the tear portion. When the tear portion is partially removed, the face thereof which was the inner face in the closed condition of the container becomes the outer face in the open condition of the container. Therefore, upon partial removal of the tear portion to open the container, the guard projects axially outwardly beyond the sharp edge.

The guard can extend along the edge of the tab to the extent desired. Providing the guard along the opposed longitudinal edges of the tear portion is desirable.

To accomplish the necessary offset either or both of the tear portion and the container wall can be deformed. For example, the container wall can be deformed inwardly to form an offset zone which may take the form of an outwardly opening rib or panel. This can be done so as to take up excess metal produced in forming the line of weakness. The guard can advantageously be embodied in a bead or curl formed integrally with the tab. In addition to serving as a guard, the bead increases the strength of the tab.

Because of the cooperation between the tear portion and the tab as the sheet material along the line of weakness is ruptured, it is important that the prescribed orientation between the tab and tear portion be maintained, i.e., it is important that the tab not be able to rotate relative to the tear portion in the plane of the container wall. To accomplish this, the tab can be connected to the tear portion at two separate locations.

- This dual connection maintains the tear portion inside the guard or the beads forming the guard.

One kind of tab which can be used to advantage is constructed of sheet material and includes an attachment segment and a handle segment joined by a pliable portion of the sheet material. The attachment segment as first and second beads or curls extending along the generally opposed longitudinal edges thereof with each of the beads projecting axially inwardly beneath the adjacent portions of the attachment segment.

When the tab is installed on the can end, the attachment segment is attached to and overlies a portion of the tear portion. The beads serve as the guard and are received in the offset zone of the container wall adjacent the line of weakness.

The invention can best be understood by reference to the following description taken in connection with the accompanying illustrative drawing.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a top plan view of an easy opening container wall constructed in accordance with the teachings of this invention.

FIG. 2 is an enlarged fragmentary sectional view taken generally along line 2-2 of FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a top plan view of the easy opening container wall with the tab having been manipulated to partially remove the tear portion to form an opening in the container wall.

FIG. 3A is a fragmentary sectional view taken generally along line 3A-3A of FIG. 3.

FIG. 4 is a fragmentary sectional view taken generally along line 4-4 of FIG. 1 with the easy opening container wall being affixed to a can body.

FIG. 5 is a sectional view similar to FIG. 4 with the handle portion of the tab elevated to initiate severance of the tear portion from the container wall.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT FIG. 1 shows an easy opening container wall 11. The easy opening container wall 11 includes a container wall 13 constructed of sheet material such as an aluminum alloy and having a peripheral attaching flange 15 for attaching the container wall 13 to a can body 17 as shown in FIGS. 4 and 5. Although the container wall 13 is circular in plan, obviously the invention is not limited to use with circular container walls.

The container wall 13 has a line of weakness therein in the form of a score line 19 defining a tear portion 21 which extends generally radially from a central location on the container wall outwardly to a leading end 23 located near the attaching flange 15. The score line 19 terminates in end portions 25 and 27 and does not form a closed loop so that the tear portion 21 is only partially removable from the container wall 13. In the embodiment illustrated, the tear portion 21 tapers as it extends radially outwardly so that the lead end 23 is defined by an arcuate, relatively short length of the score line 19 to thereby facilitate rupture of the sheet material at the leading end. The score line 19 includes two legs 29 which diverge as they extend generally radially inwardly from the leading end 23. Near the central region of the can end 13, the score line converges and then diverges to terminate in the end portions 25 and 27.

The region of the can end immediately radially outwardly of the score line 19 is offset axially inwardly or downwardly (as viewed in FIG. 2) from the score line 19. In the embodiment illustrated, such offset is in the form of two downwardly offset upwardly opening ribs 31 (FIGS. 1 and 2) which extend along and beyond the legs 29 of the score line 19 outside of the tear portion 21 closely adjacent the legs 29. Although the offset regions in the embodiment illustrated as in the form of the ribs 31, it should be understood that other suitable offsetting techniques such as panel forming could be utilized to provide the desired axial offset between the score lines 19 and the adjacent regions of the container wall 13.

A tab 33 which, in the embodiment illustrated is integrally constructed from a single piece of sheet material, is attached to the tear portion 21 to partially remove the tear portion from the container wall 13. Generally the tab 33 includes a ring-like handle portion 35 and an attachment portion 37 joined to the handle portion by a pliable connecting portion 39. The handle portion 35 has a lifting end 41 and a fulcrum end 43. The handle end 41 is adapted to pivot generally about its connection with the attachment portion 37 in response to movement of the lifting end 41 away from the container wall 13. The handle portion 35 in the embodiment illustrated circumscribes the attachment portion 37 and is formed by a downwardly turned bead 45 and an inner downwardly turned bead 47. Although other constructions may be employed, the outer bead 45 completely circumscribes the attachment portion 37 and the inner bead 47 substantially circumscribes the attachment portion and blends into the connecting portion 39.

The attachment portion 37 includes a planar region 48 and a pair of downwardly turned beads 49 which diverge along the opposite edge portions of the attachment portion. The end of the attachment portion 37 remote from the connecting portion 39 has a turned up flange 53.

The tab 33 is attached to the tear portion 21 by a pair of rivets and 57 which are formed integrally with the tear portion 21 and which project through the attachment portion 37. The rivets 55 and 57 prevent the tab 33 from pivoting relative to the tear portion 21 in the plane of the can end 13 and thereby hold the tear portion between the curls 49 on the tab. The rivet 55 is located at the leading end 23 of the tear portion and the rivet 57 is located near the center of the can end although the relative positions of the rivets could be changed, if desired.

With the tab 33 attached to the tear portion 21, the fulcrum 43 lies closely adjacent the attaching flange 15 and the beads 49 are received within the upwardly opening ribs 31, respectively. The beads 49 are no longer than the legs 29 of the score line 19 and extend for substantially the full length of the ribs 31.

In use of the easy opening container wall 11, the lifting end 41 of the tab 33 is raised to the position shown in FIG. 5 to thereby pivot the handle portion 35 relative to the attachment portion 37 generally about the connecting portion 39. This causes the fulcrum end 43 to bear against the container wall 13 and apply an upward lifting force to the leading end 23 of the tear strip 21 through the connecting portion 39 and the rivet 55 to thereby rupture the sheet material at the leading end 23. Thereafter the user exerts an outward pulling force on the handle portion 35 to sever the sheet material along the full length of the score line 19 to form an opening 59 (FIG. 3). As shown in FIG. 3, the handle portion 35 extends downwardly along the periphery of the can body 17 while the tear portion 21 projects radially outwardly from a central region of the container wall 13 in a direction opposite to that shown in the closed condition of FIG. 1. The sheet material of the tear portion 21 is bent through about and the flange 53 assures that this bend is not too sharp. The ends 25 and 27 of the score line are located appropriately relative to the center of the container wall 13 to allow the handle portion 35 to extend down the side wall of the can body 17. In the embodiment illustrated, this means that the end portions 25 and 27 are located on the opposite side of the center of the container wall 13 from the leading end 23. The outward flaring of the end portions 25 and 27 prevents tearing of the sheet material of the container wall 13 beyond the end portions 25 and 27.

The rupturing of the sheet material along the score line 19 leaves a relatively sharp and sometimes jagged edge 61 (FIGS. 3 and 3A) on the tear portion 21. With the present invention, however, the beads 49 form, in effect, guards which project upwardly above the edge 61 when the container wall 13 is opened as shown in FIGS. 3 and 3A. The beads 49 lie closely adjacent the edge 61 so as to form a partial sheath therefor which substantially hinders or impedes inadvertent contact with the sharp edge 61. As shown in FIG. 3A a portion of the bead 49 lies outwardly of the sharp edge 61 and a portion of the bead 49 lies inwardly of the sharp edge 61. Thus, the present invention provides a nonremovable tab and tear portion for an easy opening container wall in which the sharp edge of the tear portion is partially encased to prevent injury to the consumer.

Although exemplary embodiments of this invention have been shown and described, many changes, modifications and substitutions may be made by one having ordinary skill in the art without necessarily departing from the spirit and scope of this invention.

1 claim:

1. An easy opening container wall comprising:

a container wall of sheet material;

means on said container wall defining a tear portion only partially removable from the container wall, said tear portion having a relatively sharp edge when the tear portion is partially removed from the container wall;

a tab attached to said tear portion to initiate separation of the tear portion to partially remove the same from said container wall; and

guard means on said tab for hindering contact with said edge when said tear portion is partially removed from the container wall.

2. An easy opening container wall as defined in claim 1 wherein said edge extends along a major portion of the periphery of said tear portion and said guard means hinders contact with said edge along a major portion of the length thereof when said tear portion is partially removed from the container wall.

3. An easy opening container wall as defined in claim 1 wherein said guard means includes a recess in said tab for receiving a substantial segment of said tear portion including substantial portions of said edge at least when said tear portion is partially removed from the container wall.

4. An easy opening container wall as defined in claim 1 wherein said guard means includes an offset section of said tab closely adjacent said edge.

5. An easy opening container wall comprising:

a container wall of sheet material;

a line of weakness in said container wall defining a tear portion at least partially removable from the container wall;

a tab;

means for attaching said tab to said tear portion so that said tab can at least partially remove the tear portion from the container wall;

the sheet material of the container wall being offset inwardly relative to the tear portion in a zone extending along and closely adjacent a region of the line of weakness outside of the tear portion to thereby define an offset zone which extends along a substantial section of the tear portion; and

said tab having a segment received in said offset zone and extending therealong for a substantial portion of the offset zone.

6. An easy opening container wall as defined in claim 5 wherein said tab overlies a major portion of the tear portion and said means for attaching includes first and second separate attaching means for attaching said tab to said tear portion to prevent relative pivotal movement between the tab and the tear portion.

7. An easy opening container wall as defined in claim 5 wherein said offset zone is offset a distance greater than the thickness of said sheet material at said offset zone and said segment projects into said offset zone for a distance greater than said thickness.

8. An easy opening container wall as defined in claim 5 wherein said tab is constructed of sheet material and includes a peripheral bead defining said segment.

9. An easy opening container wall as defined in claim 5 wherein said offset zone includes first and second offset zones lying on opposite sides of said tear portion tear portion only partially removable therefrom to define an opening in the container wall, the sheet material being rupturable along the line of weakness to partially remove the tear portion from the container wall, the rupture of the sheet material along the line of weakness to partially remove the tear portion from the container wall providing a relatively sharp edge on the tear portion;

a tab attached to the tear portion to partially remove the tear portion from the container wall;

guard means carried by the tab and extending along a substantial length of the relatively sharp edge for protecting the user against injury from said substantial length of the relatively sharp edge; and

said tab including an attachment segment and a handle segment interconnected by a hinge portion which permits relative pivotal movement between said handle segment and said attachment segment, said attachment segment being constructed of sheet material and being attached to said tear portion, the sheet material of the container wall adjacent the line of weakness being offset from the sheet material along the line of weakness in a region extending for a substantial distance around the periphery of the tear portion, said guard means including first and second peripheral curls on said attachment segment projecting into said region.

12. An easy opening container wall comprising:

a container wall of sheet material;

means on said container wall defining a tear portion only partially removable from the container wall to define an opening therein whereby said tear portion remains attached to the container wall, said tear portion having a relatively sharp edge when the tear portion is partially removed from the container wall;

a tab attached to said tear portion to partially remove the tear portion from the container wall;

guard means on said tab for at least partially encasing the relatively sharp edge upon partial removal of the tear portion from the container wall;

said tear portion having inner and outer faces; and

one portion of said guard means lying inwardly of said sharp edge and another portion of said guard means lying outwardly of said sharp edge at least when the tear portion is partially removed to thereby afford substantial protection against injury from the relatively sharp edge when the tear portion is partially removed.

13. An easy opening container wall as defined in claim 12 wherein said guard means includes a bead on said tab extending along said sharp edge, said container wall having a recess therein along said tear portion for accommodating said bead before partial removal of the tear portion.

14. An easy opening container wall as defined in claim 1 wherein said means defining said tear portion includes a score line which terminates in spaced ends and said guard means extends along a major length of said score line.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3411661 *Oct 23, 1965Nov 19, 1968Walter M. PerryContainer with openable segment
US3442416 *Jun 19, 1967May 6, 1969Continental Can CoContainer having lip protecting means
US3627168 *Nov 13, 1969Dec 14, 1971Fraze Ermal CEasy opening container wall with vent opening
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3952911 *Jun 8, 1973Apr 27, 1976Continental Can Company, Inc.Non-detachable and reclosable easy opening container closure structure
US3970212 *Jun 10, 1974Jul 20, 1976Ermal C. FrazeEasy opening ecology end with retained tear strips
US5411159 *Apr 14, 1994May 2, 1995Fan; Kuo-WeiEasily openable can with foldably concealed tab
US6460723May 18, 2001Oct 8, 2002Ball CorporationMetallic beverage can end
US7100789Jan 10, 2003Sep 5, 2006Ball CorporationMetallic beverage can end with improved chuck wall and countersink
US7500376Jul 29, 2005Mar 10, 2009Ball CorporationMethod and apparatus for shaping a metallic container end closure
US7506779Jul 1, 2005Mar 24, 2009Ball CorporationMethod and apparatus for forming a reinforcing bead in a container end closure
US7673768Jun 3, 2008Mar 9, 2010Metal Container CorporationCan lid closure
US7743635Jan 6, 2009Jun 29, 2010Ball CorporationMethod and apparatus for forming a reinforcing bead in a container end closure
US7938290Sep 29, 2008May 10, 2011Ball CorporationContainer end closure having improved chuck wall with strengthening bead and countersink
US8205477Jun 14, 2010Jun 26, 2012Ball CorporationContainer end closure
US8235244Apr 29, 2011Aug 7, 2012Ball CorporationContainer end closure with arcuate shaped chuck wall
US8313004Oct 14, 2010Nov 20, 2012Ball CorporationCan shell and double-seamed can end
US8505765Jul 26, 2012Aug 13, 2013Ball CorporationContainer end closure with improved chuck wall provided between a peripheral cover hook and countersink
US8727169Nov 18, 2010May 20, 2014Ball CorporationMetallic beverage can end closure with offset countersink
DE2537874A1 *Aug 26, 1975May 26, 1976Continental Can CoVorrichtung zum verriegeln der grifflasche an aufreissdeckeln
EP0074223A1 *Aug 26, 1982Mar 16, 1983STOLLE RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT CORPORATIONEasy open can end with pull tab having retained tear strip with stress relief means
WO2000068092A2 *May 5, 2000Nov 16, 2000Fiorentini GraziellaClosure for a can end
WO2007077179A1 *Dec 27, 2006Jul 12, 2007Joseph AquilinaDevice for opening a drinks can
Classifications
U.S. Classification220/269, D09/438
International ClassificationB65D17/28, B65D17/32
Cooperative ClassificationB65D17/165
European ClassificationB65D17/16B2