US 3754678 A
A container having a body and at least one open end with the container end secured to the body and closing the opening, wherein the container end includes a removable panel portion, the removal of which produces an inner edge in the container end defining an access opening through which the contents of the container may be removed and a protective bead operatively associated with the container end and the removable panel portion for guarding the hazardous edges of said removable panel portion and said inner edge for allowing the removal of the contents of the container through the access opening by the consumer without injury from the edge of the container end or the removed panel portion thereby produced.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Elnited States Patent Fox et al.
CONTAINER END WITH PROTECTIVE BEAD inventors: James D. Fox, Darlington; Earl P.
Norman, Jr.; Jerry F. Sansbury, both of l-lartsville, all of S.C.
Sonoco Products Company, Hartsville, S.C.
Filed: July 14, 1971 Appl. No.: 162,379
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS l0/i97l Saunders 220/54 6/1969 Stec [451 Aug. 28, 1973 Primary Examiner-George T. Hall Attorney-C. Gordon McBride [5 7] ABSTRACT A container having a body and at least one open end with the container end secured to the body and closing the opening, wherein the container end includes a removable panel portion, the removal of which produces an inner edge in the container end defining an access opening through which the contents of the container may be removed and a protective bead operatively associated with the container end and the removable panel portion for guarding the hazardous edges of said removable panel portion and said inner edge for allowing the removal of the contents of the container through the access opening by the consumer without injury from the edge of the container end or the removed panel portion thereby produced.
5 Claims, 5 Drawing Figures I Patented Aug. 28, 1973 FIG. 2
lNVENTORS mmm 0U .E NB N As m xMN T ORA T F S A F D Y mmm AE JE CONTAINER END WITH PROTECTIVE BEAD This invention relates to a container for storing food and the like and more particularly to an improved container end of the easy open type for hermetically storing food or any desired contents.
Recent developments in the production of sealed containers have introduced the use of container ends fabricated from relatively thin gauge metal, particularly aluminum and alloys thereof, for the purpose of economy and ease in opening. While these container ends are easy to open with the conventional punch-type container openers, additional developments have provided container ends of this type with a removable panel portion which typically includes a score line formed around the outer periphery of the removable panel portion in the container end and a device for fracturing the container end along the score line for removal of the panel portion. However, the full panel E-Z open metal ends are opened by tearing the metal panel along the pre-scored line. Such tearing leaves a sharp edge on the panel that has been removed and the residual lip remaining on the can body, which upon removal of the contents of the container by the consumer and especially when removed by hand, oftentimes injures the consumer through contact with the remaining sharp edge or the edge of the removed panel portion may cause injury during opening. Thus it is seen these sharp edges are hazardous and can easily cut fingers or hands during the handling, opening or removal of the contents.
Accordingly, it is an object of this invention to provide a container end eliminating the cutting hazard by shielding the raw and sharp metal edges during and after removal of the center panel portion.
Another object of the instantinvention is to provide a sealed container having aremovable central panel portion in the container end, the removal of which produces an inner edge in the container end defining an access opening which is guarded so as to allowr'emoval of the contents of the container by the consumer with out injury from said inner edge produced in the container end and guarding the edge ofthe removed central panel portion to prevent-injury from the sharp edge thereof also..
Still another object of the instant invention is to procenter panel of an E-Z open end or from the sharp inner residual lip remaining on the container after opening.
Yet another object of the instant invention is to provide protection against the hazards encountered on the removal of a central panel of an easy open container end, as well as protecting against injury from the portion remaining on the can body.
A further objectof this invention is to provide a methodof producing substantially hazard-free easy open container ends.
In accordance with the above objects, the container of the present invention comprises a container end for a container body which includes a central removable panel portion, the removal of which produces an access opening through which the contents of the container may be removed. A bead of plastic material is positioned on the end directly over and bonded on both sides of the score line such that rupture and removal of the central panel portion results in rupture of the plastie material directly over the score line and leaves a portion of the material on the raw edge of boththe re- FIG. 1 is a fragmentary perspective view of a container incorporating a conventional easy open container end to which theinstant invention applies;
FIG. 2 is a fragmentary perspective view of a con-- tainer wherein the central removable panel portion of the container end hasbeen removed;
FIG. 3 is an enlarged fragmentary sectional view taken substantially along the line 3-3 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 4 is an enlarged fragmentary sectional view taken substantiallyalong the line 4-4 of FIG. 2; and
FIG. 5 is a diagrammaticrepresentation of the method of producing the container ends.
Referring now to the drawings wherein like reference characters are used to indicate like parts, there is illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 3 a container 10 which comprises a substantially cylindrical container body 11 having at least one end thereof sealed and closed by an improved container end 12, in accordance with the instant inven tion, secured to the end of containerbody. 11 by con ventional double-folded seam 13.'In addition to the; double folded seam l3,'container end 12 includes chuck wall 14 and end panel 15 which are joined by chuck radius 16. Chuck wall 14 serves to-reinforce folded seam 13 against radial and outward expension of.
container end 12. It is to be noted that chuck wall 14 would normally include recess 17 against which a conventional sealing chuck could operate for seaming '0 container end 12 to container body 11. End panel 15 includes a removable central panel portion 18 formed by score linev 21 disposed around the outer periphery thereof. -Although score line 21 is. shown as located near the periphery of end panel 15',
it is to be understood that score line 2 1 may be of anyplanar configuration for removal of all or a portion of panel 18. A suitable pull or tear tab 22 is secured tore movable central panel portion I8- for removing panel" portion 18 by fracturing or tearing along score line 21;; Such action produces inner edge.'23.,in container endi 12 (FIGS. 2 and 4-) to define anaccess' opening in con tainer end 12 through which the contents of the conv tainer may be removed by the consumer. 1
As normally is the case, container end 12 of the pres ent invention is constructed of a relatively thin gauge metal, such as aluminum or alloys thereof, and, thus;
inner edge 23 produced upon removal of central panel portion 18 is sharp, irregular and is very likely to injure I the consumer if not handled properly when removing the contents of container 10. Similarly, removed central panel portion 18 has sharp, irregular edge 24 that is extremely hazardous to the consumer if not handled properly.
In accordance with the present inventionythere is provided protective beador shield 25 for guardinginner edge 23 produced in container end I2 and outer edge 24 of central panel portion 18 upon removal of central panel portion 18 from container end 12. More particularly, protective bead 25 is preferably formed from a plastic material, such as a hot melt adhesive which is a mixture of suitable thermoplastic resins and wax, but which could be any suitable plastic-like or rubber-like protective material. Bead 25 is operatively associated with container end 12 and adhesively attached to the exterior surface of container end 12 adjacent chuck radius 16 and chuck recess 17. Bead 25 extends radially inwardly of chuck wall 14 to at least slightly beyond score line 21 so as to guard the inner edge 23 produced in the container end 12 upon removal of central removable panel portion 18, as well as outer edge 24 of central panel portion 18, and prevent injury to a consumer removing the panel or contents from the container. In the event score line 21 is of a configuration and location other than the periphery of end panel 15, such for example as of a spiral configuration, head 25 would be applied over score line 21 regardless of the location.
Referring now to FIGS. 2 and 4, there is illustrated container 10 wherein central panel portion 18 has been removed. The relative relation of inner edge 23 produced in container end 12 and outer edge 24 on central panel portion 18 with bead 25 of plastic material is to be particularly noted in the enlarged fragmentary sectional view, FIG. 4. Bead 25 extends inwardly of chuck wall 14 slightly past score line 21 and, therefore, past inner edge 23 and into the access opening adjacent the inside surface of container end 12 to serve as a protective shield for the consumer against contact with the sharp inner edge 23. Furthermore, bead 25 extends outwardly of removable central panel portion 18 beyond outer edge 24 and serves as a protective guard for the consumer against contact with sharp outer edge 24.
Protective head 25 comprises a coating of pliable material, such as a thermoplastic material, applied to container end 12 in such a manner that the coating extends from the inside rim, chuck wall 14, over score line 21 where the metal will be torn and onto central panel portion 18 which is to be removed.
It has been found that a coating of thermoplastic material, commonly referred to as a hot melt which may be composed of combinations of the following materials: a plastic type resin such as ethylene vinyl acetate,
polyethylene, or polypropylene; waxes such as paraffin and/or micro-crystalline; tackifying resins such as wood rosin, hydrocarbon, polyterpine, or synthetic; plasticizers; extenders; fillers; colorants; anti-oxidants and preservatives. This hot melt material is so formulated that it adheres to the metal and when center panel 18 is removed, the hot melt material tears along score line 21 of removable central panel portion 18, leaving a protective shield or coating extending over the metal edges on removed central panel 18 and on residual lip portion 26 which remains on container body 11. It is to be understood that the material from which bead 25 is made should have greater adhesion for end 12 than the tear strength of the material from itself.
The material for protective bead 25 may be of any plastic or rubber-like material which adheres to container end 12 and is of proper tensile and tear strength to permit tearing above score line 21. A material which has been found to perform extremely well as 'a protective bead is hot melt material CHM 6380 manufactured by Sonoco Products Company, Hartsville, SC. 295 '0.
Container 10 is generally constructed in accordance with various conventional techniques with a slight modification in preparation of container end 12 incorporating the present invention and briefly described hereinafter. Container body 11 is provided with a conventional flange 27 for cooperation with the suitably curled container end 12 which is prefabricated to include removable central panel portion 18. Prior to application of container end 12 and formation of the conventional folded seam l3, bead 25 of hot melt adhesive is applied to the outside wall of container end 12 adjacent rim or chuck wall 14.
It has been found that container end 12 should be prepared in a special manner for applying hot melt bead 25 in order to obtain optimum results. The conventional technique of forming container ends is utilized at the initial stages of making press 30, compounder 32 and converting press 34, FIG. 5. The conventional technique of forming container end 12 would thus proceed with draw-forming container end 12, including the formation of the integral rivet, tab 22 and score line 21 through compounder 32 and converting press station 34. In the novel processing technique of the invention, container ends 12 are then conveyed to coating station which includes pre-heater 36 and hot melt applicator 38. The temperature of end 12 would be raised in preheater 36 to a temperature in the range of 175 to 225 with approximately 200 F. preferable. Container ends 12 are then passed to hot melt applicator 38 at which the plastic material forming bead 25 is applied at a temperature in the range of 300 to 375 F. or approximately 340 F. for CHM 6380 such that the hot melt material forms a bead adjacent that flows over score line 21 and onto center panel portion 18. After application of hot melt bead 25, container end 12 is conveyed to sleeve packer 42 for packaging into sleeve 44 which is handled conventionally prior to end 12 being sealed to container body 11. It is to be obflow inwardly of container body 11 and rim l4 slightly beyond score line 21. Thereafter, the hot melt material provides a resilient protective shield for the inner edge 23 produced incontainer end l2and outer edge 24 on central panel portion 18 upon removal of panel portion 18 as previously indicated.
It is to be understood that although bead 25 of hot melt material is preferably applied prior to application of container end 12 to container body 11, bead 25 could be applied after the sealing of end 12 to the container body and after completion of construction and the filling of container 10, especially in situations in which foodstuffs are being packaged and end 12 may have been preheated in the filling operation.
Thus, it is seen that the instant invention provides a container end wherein the sharp, hazardous edges of both the residual lip and the removed central panel portion of an easy open end for a container have been eliminated while permitting utilization of continued relatively simple production techniques. It is to be understood that the embodiment of the invention shown in the drawings is representative only and all types of easy open" ends are contemplated as being within the scope of the appended claims. Accordingly, protection is provided on the removable panel portion, as well as the portion which remains on the can body, to thereby protect the consumer not only during opening of the container, but during removal of the goods from within the container. The protective bead is attractive and may be colored or otherwise modified for aesthetic appeal.
In the drawings and specification there has been set forth a preferred embodiment of the invention, and although specific terms are employed, they are used in a generic and descriptive sense only and not for purposes of limitation.
What is claimed is:
l. A container end comprising an end panel; a removable portion in said end panel; said removable portion defined by a score line; pull means attached to said removable portion for removal thereof by tearing along said score line; protective means over said score line for protecting the sharp edges of the removed portion and the remaining residual lip of said end panel; and said protective means being a plastic material having greater adhesion for said end panel than the tear strength of said material, whereby the force applied to said pull means effects a tearing action along said score line and through said protective means such that a protective shield extends over the edge of said removable portion and said residual lip.
2. The container end of claim 1 wherein said removable portion comprises a full panel central portion; said end panel having a chuck wall extending about the periphery thereof; said score line located slightly inwardly of said chuck wall; and said plastic material extending over said score line. v
3. The container end of claim 2 wherein said chuck wall includes recess means for permitting contact of a sealing chuck for seaming of said end panel to a container body; and said plastic material of a height above said end panel less than said recess.
4. The container end of claim 1 wherein said plastic material is a hot melt comprised of plastic type resin; wax; and tackifying resin.
5. A container comprising a body having a normally sealed end panel secured thereto; said end panel having a central removable portion defined by a score line; pull means secured to said removable portion for permitting application of a force capable of tearing said end panel along said score line for removing said removable portion; a protective bead extending across said score line; said bead being of a hot melt material having a greater adhesion for said end panel than the tear strength of said material, and whereby residual lip remains upon removal of said removable portion and said bead is torn to leave a portion thereof on said removable portion and said residual lip for protection of the consumer obtaining goods from the container.