US 3741421 A
A self-locking and sealing cap and bottle in which cooperating locking elements in the form of lugs and detents are provided on the matching threads of the cap and the bottle. A plurality of locking elements is provided on at least one of the bottle and cap, to thereby ensure that engagement of that one locking element with a corresponding element on the other member is achieved when the cap is tightly secured on the bottle. The locking lugs may be shaped with one edge tapered in the direction of rotation of the cap to permit ready rotation of the cap in that direction.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 1191 Wittwer June 26, 1973 SAFETY LOCKING CAP Primary Examiner--George T. Hall F  Inventor grg wf rggzg D NO 2 Mount Attorney-Sandoe, Hopgood & Cahmafde  Filed: May 10, 1971 21 A l N 141 613  ABSTRACT 1 pp o" A self-locking and sealing cap and bottle in which c0- operating locking elements in the form of lugs and de-  US. Cl. 215/9, 215/43 t nts are provided on the matching threads of the cap Int. and the bottle. A plurality of locking elements is pro-  Field of Search 215/9, 43, 44; id d on t l a t one of the bottle and cap, to thereby 220/39 ensure that engagement of that one locking element with a corresponding element on the other member is 1 Y References Cited achieved when the cap is tightly secured on the bottle. UNITED STATES PATENTS The locking lugs may be shaped with one edge tapered 3,445,022 5/1969 Cilluffo 215/9 in the difectiml Imam)" the cap m Fermit ready 3 ,435,972 4/1969 Wittwer 215/9 rotation of the p in that direction 3,297,185 1/1967 Phyma1e.... 215/43 R 3,405,831 10/1968 Hudson 215 43 R 2 Clams, 7 Drawmg Figures SAFETY LOCKING CAP The present invention relates generally to bottles and closures therefor, and more particularly to an improved threaded bottle and mating cap for reliable locking thereon.
In my US. Pat. No. 3,435,978, there is disclosed a bottle and bottle cap combination in which the threads of the cap and the neck of the bottle each includes a cooperating locking element such that when the cap is threaded onto the neck of the bottle to thereby close the bottle, the mating bottle and neck threads frictionally engage to tighten the cap on the bottle and the locking elements cooperate to provide a supplemental, positive locking action of the cap on the bottle. Removal of the cap from the bottle and the removal of the contents of the bottle, such as by an overly inquisitive child, is made significantly more difficult. The safety implications of this result are apparent, particularly when harmful substances such as poisons, harsh cleansing fluids, and the like are contained in the bottle. The locking of the cap on the bottle in this manner is also of importance in preventing the loosening of the cap and the possible ensuing spillage of the bottoles contents such as during shipment of the bottle.
The locking arrangement disclosed in that patent has proven to be highly effective to achieve locking when the bottle neck is dimensioned such that engagement of the locking elements on the cap and bottle is achieved when the cap is tightly closed on the bottle, particularly since the locking is achieved without any deformation in either the frictionally engaging cap or bottle threads.
Plastic bottles, (e.g. polyethylene) with which the present invention, as well as that disclosed in my said patent, are both particularly amenable, are fabricated by a process which includes a molding operation. Upon the completion of the molding operation, the threaded neck portion is cut to establish a standard" neck height for the bottle. As a result, however, of variations in the molding process, there may be differences in the neck heights of the completed bottles as well as in the dimensions of thebottle threads.
For this reason, it is difficult to accurately determine the relative position of the cap and bottle at which a secure, tight sealing engagement of the cap on the bottle will be achieved. For example, a variation in neck height of as little as 0.025inch may be equivalent to a variation of one-eighth of a turn of the cap to effect cap tightening.
The locking engagement of the cap and bottle that may be achieved by the arrangement shown in said patent may thus occur when the cap has not yet reached its fully tightened, sealed position with respect to the bottle neck. Thus, the cap may be locked onto the bottle by virtue of the cooperating locking elements on the cap and bottle threads when thecap threads are only loosely engaged with those on the bottle neck. This may result in an undesirable leakage of the material contained in the bottle, particularly when the bottle is subjected to vibration such as when in shipment. As a result, the improved and simplified locking that could be obtained by the use of the bottle cap locking arrangement of my patent may not be utilized because of the possibility of leakage presented by manufacturing variations in the bottle dimensions.
It is thus an object of the invention to provide a locking arrangement in a threaded bottle and cap in which locking is uniformly achieved when the cap is in a fully threaded or tightly closed and sealed condition.
It is a further object of the invention to provide a positive locking arrangement between a threaded bottle and cap in which at least one of a plurality of possible locking engagements is made when the cap is in its fully engaged position on the bottle. a
It is another object of the invention to provide positive locking between a bottle and its accompanying closure cap while still ensuring tight, leak-proof engagement between the bottle and cap.
In the locking arrangement of the present invention,
the thread of one of the bottle and the cap includes a plurality of locking elements. The other thread includes at least one cooperating locking element, such that when the 'cap is threaded into a sealing position with respect to the bottle, at least one pair of locking elements on the bottle and cap are in cooperating locking arrangement.
In an embodiment of the invention herein specifically disclosed, a plurality of cooperating or mating locking elements in the form of lugs and detents are provided on the threads of the cap and the bottle. The lugs are preferably shaped in amanner permitting either an increase or decrease in the amount of torque necessary to remove the cap from the bottle. In the embodiment of the invention herein specifically shown, the lugs have one tapered or sloping camming surface to permit ready rotation of the cap in the direction for closing, and a substantially vertical surface to prevent rotation of the cap in the opposite or opening direction.
In another embodiment of the invention, the number of locking elements on one of the cap and bottle memhers is an integral multiple of the number of locking elements in the other member. In this embodiment, the locking elements in both the bottle and the cap are equiangularly spaced about the periphery of the thread on which they are respectively formed. This arrangement ensures that when one pair of locking elements becomes engaged, all remaining ones of the lower number of locking elements are similarly engaged with respective ones of the other locking elements, to thereby provide additional locking action.
To the accomplishment of the above and to such further objects as may hereinafter appear, the present invention relates-to a safety locking cap substantially as defined in the appended claims, and as described in the following specification taken together with the accompanying drawings in which:
FIG. 1 is a fragmentary view, partly in cross-section, of a spiral threaded bottle and complementary spiral threaded cap in accordancev with one embodiment of the invention;
FIG. 2 is a view similar to FIG. 1 with the cap shown in its closed and locked position on the bottle;
FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view as viewed in the direction of the arrows 3-3 of FIG. 2;
FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view taken along the arcuate line 4-4 of FIG. 3;
FIG. 5 is a fragmentary cross-sectional view, on a relatively enlarged scale, taken along the line 5-5 of FIG.
FIG. 6 is a transverse cross-sectional view of a locked threaded cap and bottle arrangement according to a second embodiment of the invention; and
FIG. 7 is a fragmentary cross-sectional view taken along line 7-7 of FIG. 6.
n t t 3341;421 i i Thellockingezip and bottleerrngement of tl1epi'es- 18S viewed in plan; are approximately the form ofu ent invenftionie fan improvementjoi er the lockingmr right trianglehaving a sloping: side 2 4 endnan almost rangement diseloseduih irnyfsaidpatentxThatimprove h \norr nalside 26,]When:taplfiiSj? i 1 nllhedireetion 'I i'nent ensures thatlockingofjthe capbn the bottle-fits ff ihfil arrow SfiinyFIG to tighten and lhel-t thefiap uniformly achieved When the threadedteaphisftightly bottle, theleadin epereti sideeof the h1g3 de serewedonto the neck of tjhebottle, irrjespeetiveoffioe fine paninxing luifteees whiehenahle the eap to Tlide sible variations in the bottle dimensionsfAsfbroetil i i i t 1 considei'ed, in th e tcapdloc jking arrangement olf th e i ifvention, a plurality of locking elements is'jprovided on one mernber, towitgthelhottleor cpg i Cooperetihg locking element is provide plurality of lockingfelenientsbn thenfirst inenti oned member; Ihthe embodimentoffthe irivention sliowh i l-1S, abottlel0,\whieli?rnaywbe advttntagously g 0f gIZ'tSSQI hGt EIOI' polyethylene or siniilnr p lastic nete rial, has a neck 12on whiche soiral threadfl l formed ;on itsouter peribheryflfisflii eonilentionlfiAbottlecap V 7 i 16, medepreferablyof lres ilient materials ueh Iasboiyn ne lugj ih a ebn plementery"tietentjlwhenthejeep ethyleneor polypropyleneand whieh i eduptedtdbe onthe htittlerIrithifijemhdditnen hfpluia sorewedonto, tighteh ed andthen lockedhyith fthe n ek gs afidfeoopertin giieteh 2d a of thefbottle lfigiheludestaglconiplehjenta l threed 18 formed aboutitginternl peripheijelsuifface.
Cap 16 is serewed ontofthe bottle neckun til the a of the 93p epproa ches thegtop of the jneeklyat hiehf ti m stamaherefi je, 3 I the mating threads on the gap and bottleffrietionallyenptmeadz endnfetents are"respeetively hosi gage and tighten thejoapdand bottleg The eaplflloeking arrangement of the presentfinvention proyide addi;
tional locking between cap 16 and bottleiflendfen n sures that such locking occur swhenthe Cap and bottle 3 ate ina tight end thussealeclengagement;
To this end, a plurelityjofcooperatihg"looking ele 1 thisem odimenhoependingon th fments are providedpnat leastthe threed s ofleitherfthe dirnensionsfl ffthe eeplandbottlelthreadsgt lt whet gth caporthe bottleQan d in theernbocliment jof theinvert- 3 eep ie rotated to:itslon erinost tightenedjooitiohpn the j threads carry a plurality of locking elenfientsQThus, the registration"endi'iillbee gaged in a hiahnertojeehie bottle neck thread 14 is provitled with eseriee of equi looking ofthecap; Altho ughthe engagement o f a singl angularly spaced downwardly projeetinglugs ZOpandQf flugljend d etemjpg msda abie of producihg lockingoff the internal cap thread 18 provided with a eliir ility thejeap;the iengrigetnent of the additionel liigs entitle of equiangularly spaoed detents or notches zzgA w "jt ttentst ihen achievedprovidesetillfurtherloekingTh shown, the number of lugs formed on the bott e Ineek 1 shape ofthelugsinthe embodiment of FIG S. 6 and thread (here twelve spaced at approiriinate lyflfl30 is: oreferably 'similar to thetdeseribed withfreferehcejto intervals) is an integralrnultiple of the nurjnbef offcomthe e hodiment ofiFIGSQl -Qtc) permit relttivelyun plementary lug receii'irig detents formedohthe interf :obsttucted ee o rotation only the locking direetio nal cap thread (here fourspaced at intervelsfif Their nproved eap"looking arrangeinentofitheiinijen In operation, the" cepishpla ced ovetitheneekjofthex Q b sees which time each detention of the lugs on the bottleth l t of the lugs is received within a mating d t,1thefinte-j gral relation between ithe hutnher of ebmpleln enthry lugs and detents and their re spective equiengularspae ing ensures that each detent bvill reeeive one locking lug. As a result, not on lyt jigi locking ensuted jwhen thefl cap is tightly sealedhbut thefnet lockingfeffect isin creased by the plurality of cooperating loeltinfglengage ments that are achiet edfwhen the capflistightenedj on the bottle; f t Lugs 20 are shaped tojproviqe a tel ativelyloyv resis tance to cap rotetionlwhen the cap iegbeingtviwisted its tightened or closed position on the emanate vide substantial resistance toeap rotationjnythe o site or unlocking dii'eeti jon As shown inFIGI, 5; lug 2 bet. Moreover, while in the embodiments herein shown, the lugs are formed on the bottle neck threads, and the detents are formed in the cap threads, this arrangement could be reversed with the same results as described above.
Thus while several embodiments of the present invention have been herein specifically described, it will be apparent that modifications may be made therein without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.
1. A locking arrangement for a container and an accompanying cap therefor, comprising a spiral thread formed on the neck of said container and a complementary spiral thread formed on the interior surface of said cap for functionally engaging said container thread, a plurality of first locking elements formed on the thread of one of said cap and container, and a plurality of second locking elements formed on the complementary thread on the other of said cap and container for respectively receiving said plurality of first locking elements in a locking relation when said cap is tightly threaded onto said container by the engagement of said complementary spiral threads, said first and second plurality of locking elements being respectively substantially equiangularly spaced about at least a portion of the periphery of said neck and container, the number of one of said first and second locking elements being an integral multiple of the other of said first and second locking elements.
2. The locking arrangement of claim 1, in which one of said first and second locking elements comprises a lug and the other of said first and second locking elements includes a detent for receiving said lug, said lug including a sloping camrning portion and a substantially vertical portion for permitting ready rotation of said cap on said bottle in only the direction for thread engagement;