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Publication numberUS3744682 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJul 10, 1973
Filing dateSep 1, 1971
Priority dateSep 1, 1971
Publication numberUS 3744682 A, US 3744682A, US-A-3744682, US3744682 A, US3744682A
InventorsE Blank
Original AssigneeDow Chemical Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Safety overcap for aerosol containers
US 3744682 A
Abstract  available in
Images(2)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [1 1 Blank [111 3,744,682 51 July 10,1973

I SAFETY OVERCAP FOR AEROSOL CONTAINERS [75] Inventor: Elliott E. Blank, Midland, Mich.

[73] Assignee: The Dow Chemical Company,

Midland, Mich.

[22] Filed: Sept. 1, 1971 [21] Appl. No.: 176,919

[52] US. Cl. ZZZ/402.11, 222/402.13 [51] Int. Cl. B65d 83/14 [58] Field of Search 222/402.11, 402.13,

V ZZZ/402.15, 182; 215/9 [56] I v, 1 Relerences Cited V UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,050,219 8/1962 Sagan'n et al. ZZZ/402.1 l X 3,591,128 7/1971 Ramis ZZZ/402.11 X 3,236,421 2/1966 Glazier 222/182 X 3,601,290 8/1971 Nigro ZZZ/402.11 3,642,179 2/1972 Micallef ZZZ/402.11 X

Primary Examiner-Robert B. Reeves Assistant Examiner-John P. Shannon Attorney-Wil1ian1 M. Yates et al.

[57] ABSTRACT A safety overcap which, when attached to an aerosol container, provides pivot locking of the actuator means. to prevent uninformed users such as children from dispensing products which may cause harm to them or others.

7 Claims, 9 Drawing Figures 7 PAIENIE JUL 1 0 ma SHEEIBIJFZ INVENTOR. ///'off E. B/ank SAFETY OVERCAP FOR AEROSOL CONTAINERS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION endwise from the top of the container. The usual closure or overcap comprises a cup-shaped body which is frictionally or otherwise coengaged with the top container bead to hold the overcap in place. More recently, other overcap designs have been developed which include safety features to prevent inadvertent or accidental dispensing of the contents in aerosol contain'ers. A wide variety of means are employed to provide the safety function of these overcaps, one of which is typically disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 3,050,219 by Sagarin et al.

There is an ever increasing use of aerosol packaging means for distributing products other than food products which, if dispensed inadvertently or accidentally, present potential harmful effects to uninformed users such as children. These products include, but are not limited to, paints and lacquer, oil, hair spray, insecticides and other various pesticides and herbicides, bathroom cleaners, oven cleaners, deoderizers and the like. All of the aerosol containers packaging such potentially harmful material caution the users to keep. out of reach of children" and not to make contact with the body or eyes, but many do not provide a safety closure or overcap for such containers.

There are numerous other circumstances which can result in loss of contents of aerosol containers when a safety closure is not used. For example, an aerosol container may fall over so that the actuator means contacts and is depressed by a vertical surface. Also, anobject may be inadvertently placed on the actuator means while the aerosol container stands amongst other articles. The accidental loss of contents is most likely during shipment, and storage, before and during use, of the aerosol container. The use of a temporary cup shaped closure will overcome many of these problems, but will not deter use by uninformed users. Also the temporary closure may be thrown away in that it frequently becomes a nuisance to the user in taking off, holding and replacing it.

SUMMARY limited thereto. The safety overcap may be readily molded in simple molding equipment involving high speed production techniques, thereby affecting low fabrication costs. Thereafter, the safety overcap may be delivered to the packager in one assembled piece in the locked position ready for automatic, one step, machine application onto an aerosol container.

In the present invention, the overcap has a generally hollow interior locking control member with the lower end thereof securely fixed to an aerosol container over a depressible valve stem projecting from the top of said aerosol container. The locking control member provides a stepped arrangement at its top end such that the top edge thereof is defined by upper and lower planar edges substantially perpendicular to the axis thereof.

Smooth inclined riser edges integrally interconnect the upper and lower planar edges.

Overlying the interior locking control member is an outer shell which is rotatably mounted on the aerosol opening through which the contents of the container are distributed from the actuator means. Also, internal indexing means such as interacting lugs fixed to the outer shell and interior locking control member cooperate to index and hold the outer shell at a fully open or locked position.

During use of the aerosol container, the outer shell is rotated relative to the fixed locking control memberfrom a locked position to a fully open position for distribution of the contents in the aerosol container. Pivoting the outer shell to the full open position will allow at least a part of the actuator means to be depressed into operative contact with the depressible valve stem on the top of the container, said actuator means or a part thereof being moved from the upper planar edge to the lower planar edge of the interior locking control member. Pivoting the outer shell to the fully locked position will raise at least a part of the actuator means out of operative contact with the depressible valve stem on the top-of the container, said actuator means or part thereof being carried by and from the lower planar edge to the upper planar edge by wayof the smooth inclined riser edges of the interiorv locking control member. i

Accordingly, an object of the present invention is to provide an improved safety overcap for aerosol containers of a pivot locking kind wherein said pivot locking of the outer shell prevents inadvertent or accidental dispensing of the contents of said. aerosol containers.

Another object is to provide an improved safety overcap which is constructed so that it must be placed in a fully open operative condition before the contents of the aerosol container can be dispensed.

A further object is to provide an improved safety overcap of the above described type which may be placed in an inoperative position after being used.

A still further object is to provide a simple safety overcap which is inexpensive to manufacture being preferably composed of moldable synthetic plastic resms. i

Additional objects and advantages of the present invention are even more apparent. when taken in conjunction with the accompanying, specification, drawings and claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS This invention is further understood by reference of the accompanying drawings in which like characters of reference designate corresponding material and parts throughout the several views thereof, in which:

FIG. 1 is an isometric view of the top of a cylindrical aerosol container and an attached safety overcap in its fully open operative position constructed according to the principles of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is an isometric view like FIG. 1 showing the safety overcap in its fully locked inoperative position;

FIG. 3 is an isometric view of the interior locking control member of the safety overcap illustrated in locking control member of the modified safety overcapv shown in FIGS. 5 and 6;

FIG. 8 is an elevation view illustrating the actuator button of the modified safety overcap shown in FIGS. 5 and 6; and

FIG. 9-, is a partial cross-sectional view taken along line 9-9, in FIG. 5 illustrating more clearly the disposition of the actuator button with the outer shell of the safety overcap shown in FIGS. 5 and 6.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS The following description illustrates the manner in which the principles of the invention are applied but are not to be construed as limiting the scope of the invention.

More specifically referring to FIGS. 1-4, a safety overcap 10 made in accordance with the present invention is illustrated. As shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 the safety overcap 10 comprises essentially two salient parts, an

outer shell 14 and an interior locking control member 28, both of which may be molded from a thermoplastic synthetic resin such as polystyrene or the like. The

outer shell 14 is rotatably mounted on a cylindrical aerosol container 12 and is secured thereto by an enlarged mounting portion 20 positioned over the top side wall bead of the container 12 such that axial movement of the outer shell 14 is possible. The interior locking control member 24, clearly illustrated in FIG. 3, is of a generally hollow cylindrical contour with a lower end 26 frictionally or otherwise fixed to the top wall '13 of the container 12. If desired, an adhesive maybe included between the lower end 26 and the top wall 13 to assure immobility and retention of the control member 24 in place.

Referring to FIGS. 1 and 2, the outer shell 14 includes an outer actuator tab 16 with an integral flexible hinge 18 for depressing said tab 16 into the outer shell 14. The outer shell 14 also includes an opening or hole 22 to allow exterior dispensing of the contents in container l2. Referring to FIG. 3, the interior. locking control member 24 includes an upper planar edge 32 and a 1 lower planar edge 34 positioned at the top end and substantially perpendicular to the cylindrical axis thereof. Smooth inclined riser edges 36 and 38 interconnect the upper and lower planar edges 32 and 34. The control member 24 also includes an opening 44 through which the contents of container 12 are dispensed.

An inner actuator button 28 can be integrally molded with the control member 24. To facilitate integral molding, the actuator button 28 is connected to the control member 24 by webs 40 and 42 which may be flexible so as not to interfere with the operation of the actuator button 28 or may be designed to rupture during the first use of the contents in container 12. The actuator button 28 is friction mounted on the valve stem 46, shown in FIG. 4, projecting from container 12.

FIG. 4 clearly illustrates the interaction between the outer shell 14 and the control member 24, and the outer actuator tab 16 and the inner actuator button 28. Also, shown is an elongated channel or hollow 48, defined by the valve stem 46, actuator button 28 and nozzle 50, which provides communication to the exterior of the container 12 from the interior thereof for dispensing the contents therein.

During use, the outer shell 14 is rotated relative to the fixed control member 24 from a locked position as shown in FIG. 2, to an operative position, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 4, for distribution of the contents of container 12. Pivoting the outer shell 14 to the operative position will allow the actuator tab 16 to be depressed into operative contact with the actuator button 28. The actuator tab 16 is moved from the upper planar edge 32 to the lower planar edge 34 of the control member 24 and, at the same time, the elongated channel or hollow 48 is positioned in line with the hole or opening 22 through the outer shell 14. The procedure is reversed to place the safety overcap 10 in the locked inoperative position. Pivoting the outer shell 14 to the fully locked position will raise the actuator tab 16 out of operative contact with the actuator button 28, said actuator tab 16 being carried by and from the lower planar edge 34 to the upper planar edge 32 by way of one of the inclined riser edges 36 and 38 of the control member 24.

To prevent undesired premature use of the contents in container 12, a tear-out, tamper-proof tab, not

shown in the drawings, may be placed in the space 30 under the outer actuator tab 16 to prevent its depression until removed. Internal, interacting, indexing lugs, also not shown, which cooperate to index and firmly hold the safety overcap 10 in the locked, i.e. inoperative, or operative position, as desired, may be fixed to the outer shell 14 and control member 24. Retention means, also not shown, such as side projecting fingers may be fixed to the outer actuator tab 16 to prevent lifting of the same away from the outer shell 14 to expose the actuator button 28.

A modified specific embodiment of the present invention is illustrated in FIGs. 5-9, wherein a safety overcap is generally designated by the numeral 60. The overcap comprises essentially three salient parts, an outer shell 64, an interior locking control member 78 and an actuator button 68, all of which can be molded from a thermoplastic synthetic resin such as polystyrene or the like. The outer shell 64 is rotatably mounted on a cylindrical aerosol container 62 and secured thereto by an enlarged mountingportion 66 positioned over the top side wall bead of the container 62 such that axial movement of the outer shell 64 is possible. The interior locking control member 78, clearly shown in FIG. 7, is of a hollow cylindrical contour with a lower end 88 frictionally or otherwise fixed to the top wall 82 of container 62. As with overcap 10, an adhesive may be used to' assure immobility and retention of the control member 78 in place.

Referring to FIGS. 5 and 6, the outer shell 64 includes an expansive top divided into oppositely disposed portions 70 and 72, said portions being separated by a centered elongated top opening in which an activator button 68 is disposed. The actuator button 68, although movable up and down, is restricted by the edges of the opening so that it cannot be lifted out of said opening, as clearly'shown in.FIGS. 5 and 9. The portions 70 and 72 have recessed flanges "74 and 76 de pending from their interior edges, said flanges defining the opposite sides of the opening in which the actuator button 68 is disposed. The flanges 74 and 76 provide a strengthening and reinforcing means which, in conjunction with the lower part of the outer shell 64 impart stability to the top portions 70 and 72, whereby the latter will hold their given or molded shapes. The flanges 74 and 76 also provide alignment for theup and down movement of the actuator button 68, as shown in FIG. 9.

Referring to FIG. 7, the interior locking control member 78 includes upper planar edges 90 and 91, and lower planar edges 92 and 93 positioned at the top and substantially perpendicular to the cylindrical. axis thereof. Smooth inclined riser edges 94, 96, 98 and 100 interconnect the upper and lower planar edges 90, 91, 92 and 93.

The actuator button 68 is adapted for friction mounting on the depressible valve stem 80 projecting from the top wall 82 of container 62, as shown in FIG. 8. To accomplish friction mounting, the actuator button 68 includes a valve stem cavity 84. The actuator button also includes an elongated channel or hollow 86 which provides communication to the exterior of the container 62 from the interior thereof for dispensing the contents therein.

During use, the outer shell 64 is rotated relative to the fixed control member 78 from the locked position, as shown in FIG. 6, to an operative position, as shown in FIG. 5, for distribution of the contents of container 62. Pivoting the outer shell 64 to the operative position will lower the actuator button 68 into operative contact with the valve stem 80. The actuator button 68 is carried by and from the upper planar edges 90 and 91 to the lower planar edges 92 and 93 by way of two of the inclined riser edges 94, 96, 98 and 100 of the control member 78. This procedure is reversed to place the overcap 60 in the locked inoperative position.

To prevent undesirable premature use of the contents in container 62, a tear-off, tamper-proof tab, not shown in the drawings, may be placed over the opening in which the actuator button 68 is disposed. Internal, interacting, indexing'lugs, also not shown, which cooperate to index and firmly hold the overcap 60 in the locked or operative position, as desired, are fixed to the outer shell 64 and control member 78.

The overcaps herein described are not limited by their attachment means to aerosol containers, as shown in the preferred embodiments, in that other known means could be just as effectively used if the interior locking control member is fixed relative to the container and the outer shell is rotatably movable relative to the control member. It is also understood that the scope of the invention is not limited by the technique of forming the overcaps, or by the use of thermoplastic synthetic resins of specific composition in that other materials including metals, glass, ceramics and the like could also be used to form the overcaps.

While certain representative embodiments in detail have been shown for the purpose of illustrating the invention, it will be apparent to those skilled in the art that various changes and modifications can be made outer shell overlying said control member and rotatably mounted and secured on said container, and an actuator means, said actuator means comprising an outer actuator tab connected to and disposed in rotational cooperation with said outer shell by an integral flexible hinge and an inner actuator button mounted on said valve stem having an elongated hollow communicating with said valve stem and exterior of said container, said,

tab adapted for cooperation with said button to enable depression of said valve stem, said outer shell having an opening through which contents in said container are distributed from said actuator button, said elongated hollow being aligned with said opening when said actuator means is in position to depress said valve stem and being out of alignment with said opening when said actuator means is not in position to depress said valve stem, said control member providing a stepped arrangement at its top end, said stepped arrangement defining upper and lower planar edges substantially perpendicular to the axis of said control member, said upper and lower planar edges integrally interconnected by smooth curved, inclined riser edges, said outer actuator tab maintained in coordinated relationship with said actuator button by said edges whereby said valve stem can be depressed by said actuator means when said tab is positioned adjacent said lower planar edge and cannot be depressed when said tab is positioned adjacent said upperplanar edge.

undesired premature use of contents in said container.

4. The safety overcap of claim 1 wherein saidovercap is formed of a thermoplastic synthetic resin.

5. A safety overcap for an aerosol container comprising a generally hollow cylindrical interior locking control member securely fixed to said container over a depressible valve stem projecting from said container, an outer shell overlying said control member and rotatably mounted and secured on said container, and an actuator means, said actuator means comprising an actuator button mounted on said valve stem and disposed in a centered elongated top opening in said outer shell, said actuator button having an elongated hollow communiand not being in position to depress said valve stem when said button is positioned adjacent said upper planar edge.

6. The safety overcap of claim 5 wherein said overcap includes a tear-out, tamper-proof tab preventing undesired premature use of contents in said container.

7. The safety overcap of claim 5 wherein said overcap is formed of a thermoplastic synthetic resin.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3958726 *Dec 10, 1973May 25, 1976Digital Differential Safety Systems, Inc.Safety cap for aerosol spray can
US4024995 *Sep 20, 1973May 24, 1977Landen William JamesSafety dispenser for an aerosol dispenser
US4053090 *Aug 22, 1974Oct 11, 1977Vca CorporationCap and valve actuator for spray dispensers
US4067482 *May 3, 1976Jan 10, 1978Aerosol Inventions And Development S.A. Aid SaDispensing and actuator cap for aerosol packages
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Classifications
U.S. Classification222/402.11, 222/402.13
International ClassificationB65D83/14, B65D83/16
Cooperative ClassificationB65D83/22, B65D83/228, B65D83/206
European ClassificationB65D83/22B, B65D83/22D4, B65D83/20C2
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Nov 25, 1988ASAssignment
Owner name: DOWBRANDS INC.,, INDIANA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:DOW CHEMICAL COMPANY;REEL/FRAME:005011/0775
Effective date: 19881122