|Publication number||US3777936 A|
|Publication date||Dec 11, 1973|
|Filing date||Jul 24, 1972|
|Priority date||Jul 24, 1972|
|Publication number||US 3777936 A, US 3777936A, US-A-3777936, US3777936 A, US3777936A|
|Original Assignee||Polytop Corp|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (7), Referenced by (21), Classifications (11)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
[ 1 Dec. 11, 1973 SAFETY DISPENSING CLOSURE  Inventor: Robert E. Hazard, North Kingstown, R1.
 Assignee: Polytop Corporation, Slatersville,
 Filed: July 24, 1972  Appl. No.: 274,399
 U.S. Cl 222/48, 222/153, 222/515,
209,483 4/1940 Switzerland 222/524 Primary Examiner-Robert B. Reeves Assistant Examiner-Frederick Rv l-landren Attorney- Edward D. OBrien  ABSTRACT A dispensing closure having a linearly movable closure member mounted on a closure body so as to be capable of being moved between open and closed positions can be constructed as a safety closure by forming the closure member and the closure body so that in the closed position the closure member can be rotated in order to place interengaging means or parts on the closure member and the closure body into engagement with one another so that the closure member is held in a secured position in which it cannot be linearly moved with respect to the closure body. The closure member is preferably mounted within a cavity in the closure body and the interengaging means are preferably located generally within the area of this cavity so as not to be visible or accessible from the exterior of the closure when the closure is in a closed position.
7 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures minnow 1 1 3.717. 936
SAFETY DISPENSING CLOSURE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The term dispensing closure" is commonly applied to closures having a closure member movably mounted in a closure body so that the closure member may be moved relative to the closure body between open and closed positions. There are a number of different types of such dispensing closures. It is considered that the most common of such closure structures are all twopiece devices in which one or both parts are formed of a somewhat resilient material such as polyethylene in such a manner that the two parts may be easily snapped or popped together during an assembly operation.
The term safety closure" is commonly utilized to designate closures of various types which are constructed in such a manner that they cannot be easily or readily opened by comparatively young children or others with a less than normal mental capacity. It is normally desired that such safety closures be constructed so that they can be easily opened by comparatively infirm individuals such as arthritics. These safety closures are becoming increasingly important as there is an increase in the recognition of the hazards attendant to packaging dangerous toxic or damaging products in containers which can be easily opened.
A major problem which has faced and is facing the dispensing closure industry is the problem of adapting or modifying existing dispensing closures so that such closures can be properly termed as safety closures. This problem has been and is being solved in various different ways in conjunction with various different types of dispensing closures since the differences in such closures does not permit the use of any one universal" concept or type of structure in adapting them all so that they are all of a safety character.
It is not considered that this problem of providing safety dispensing closures has been adequately solved in connection with the field of dispensing closures constructed so as to utilize a closure member linearly movable on a closure body so as to be capable of being moved between open and closed positions on this closure body. Such dispensing closures having a linearly movable closure member can be referred to as pull-in, pull-out type closures because of the manner in which they are opened and closed. Because of cost and other considerations they are frequently utilized in packaging a wide variety of products such as detergents having at least some characteristics making it desirable that these products be packaged in closures of a safety character.
BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION An objective of the present invention is to provide new and improved safety dispensing closures. More specifically an objective of the present invention is to provide safety closures which are also dispensing closures and which are constructed so as to utilize a linearly movable closure member as indicated in the preceding discussion capable of being linearly moved between open and closed positions on a closure body.
An objective of the present invention is also to provide safety dispensing closures of this type employing only two parts which can be easily and conveniently manufactured at a comparatively nominal cost utilizing known injection molding techniques. A further related objective of the invention is to provide safety dispensing closures as indicated employing two parts of polyethylene or a similar resilient material which may be readily assembled utilizing the inherent properties of such material at a comparatively nominal cost. A still further objective of the invention is to provide safety dispensing closures as indicated which may be easily and conveniently assembled on packages and used when located on such packages.
These and various related objectives of the invention as will appear from a consideration of the remainder of this specification are achieved by providing in a dispensing closure having a closure body and a closure member mounted on the closure body so as to be capable of being moved between open and closed positions on the closure body a structure permitting the closure member in at least the closed position to be rotated relative to a closure body and providing on the closure member and on the closure body interengaging means or parts which can be brought into engagement with one another by rotation of the closure member when it is in a closed position so as to place said closure member in a secured position to prevent the closure member from being moved from the closed position until it is rotated back to an initial position.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING A summary such as the foregoing is inherently incapable of indicating many important facets and details of an invention because of its length. A complete understanding of the invention as well as the manner in which the aforegoing objectives are achieved can be gained from a detailed consideration of the remainder of this specification, the appended claims and the accompanying drawing in which:
FIG. 1 is an isometric view of a presently preferred embodiment or form of a dispensing closure of the present invention in a closed position or configuration;
FIG. 2 is a crosssectional view taken at line 2-2 of FIG. 1 in which part of a closure member used in the closure illustrated is shown in elevation;
FIG. 3 is a view corresponding to FIG. 1 showing the closure illustrated in FIG. 1 in an open configuration or position;
FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view taken at line 4-4 of FIG. 3;
FIG. 5 is a partial cross-sectional view taken at line 5-5 of FIG. 2; and
FIG. 6 is a view corresponding to FIG. 5 showing a part of a modified dispensing closure in accordance with the invention which utilizes the same principal parts and construction as the closure indicated in the preceding figures.
It is to be realized that the dispensing closures illustrated are not the invention as such since the invention involves certain intangible concepts as are set forth and in the dependent claims. These concepts are utilized in the particular closures illustrated. They can also be employed in other somewhat differently constructed and differently appearing closures through the use and exercise of conventional design and engineering skill in the packaging industry.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT In the drawing there is shown a safety dispensing closure 10 of the present invention which has a closure body 12 and a closure member 14. Both the body 12 and the member 14 are preferably formed by relatively inexpensive injection molding techniques out of a material such as polyethylene or a similar polymer or polymer composition having the resiliency and related physical properties of polyethylene. When so formed the body 12 and the member 14 may be readily snapped together so as to be assembled as shown by an operation involving temporary deformation of the polymer materials used in these parts.
The closure body 12 includes a top 16 supporting a normal peripheral skirt 18 which is adapted to fit around a bottle neck (not shown) so that an internal flange 20 towards the bottom of this skirt 18 will hold the closure 10 in place on a bottle neck so that it cannot be removed from such a container during the use of the closure 10. This top 16 also includes a nearly cylindrical dependent internal plug-like skirt 22 which is adapted to fit within the interior of such a container neck so as to aid in the formation of a satisfactory seal with respect to it, and so as to aid in holding the closure 10 in place.
Within the closure body 12 there is located an elongated internal cavity 24 opening to the top of the closure body 12. In order to accommodate the length of this cavity 24 the top 16 carries an upstanding annular flange 26 and a dependent cup-like extension 28. As will be apparent from FIGS. 2 and 4 of the drawing the cavity 24 extends through the flange 26 and into the extension 28. A small side opening 30 is located adjacent to the bottom 32 of the extension 28 for use in connection with the flow of material through the closure 10. This bottom 32 carries an upstanding rod-like closure part 34 which is tapered so as to narrow down as it extends away from the bottom 32 in a step-wise manner so as to provide a shoulder 36 adjacent to, but spaced from the bottom 32 and an end 38 shaped as a frustrum of a right circular cone.
In general the interior of the cavity 24 is shaped as a surface of revolution having an axis extending through the center of the closure part 34. The body 12 is provided with two retaining or positioning grooves 40 which are located in planes perpendicular to this axis around the exterior of the cavity 24. It is also provided with a top groove 42 located in a plane which may be perpendicular to the same axis, but which is preferably askewed slightly around this axis in the manner in which a thread on a bolt extends at a slight angle to the axis of the bolt. At least one notch 44 is provided in the flange 26 so as to lead from the top groove 42 for a purpose as hereinafter described. Preferably several of these notches 44 are utilized.
The closure member 14 has a more or less mushroom shaped top 46 which carries a dependent generally cylindrical annular stem 48 fitting within this cavity 24. It will be noted that the stem 48 is provided with a slightly tapered external bottom portion 50 which fits against a correspondingly shaped annular region 52 in the bottom of the cavity 24 when the member 14 is in a closed position as indicated in FIGS. 1 and 2 so as to close off the opening 30.
This stem 48 is also provided with an annular bead like projection 54 which is capable of fitting within either of the grooves 40 depending upon whether or not the member 14 is in either of the positions shown in FIGS. 2 and 4. The top 16 is preferably resilient enough so as to permit temporary deformation to permit the member 14 to be moved between these two positions by reasonable force being exerted manually to the top 46 so as to cause deformation enabling this bead-like projection 54 to be moved between the groove 40.
The stem 48 also preferably includes at least one projection 56 located on its periphery which is capable of slipping through the notch 44 and which is capable of fitting within the groove 42. Where several of these notches 44 are used as shown, several of these projections 56 are preferably used and they are spaced so as to correspond to the positions of the notches 44.
The closure member 14 also preferably includes an internal elongated passage 58 which fits around the part 34 between the ends of the part 34 when the member 14 is in a closed position as shown in FIG. 2. The bottom 60 of this passage 58 is preferably dimensioned so as to fit closely against the lower part of the part 34 beneath the shoulder 36 when the member 14 is in a closed position. The top portion 62 of the passage 58 is preferably inwardly tapered so as to fit closely against the end 38 when this member 14 is in a closed position.
This structure of the closure 10 is designed so that the closure member 14 may be assembled on the closure body 12 by the member 14 being located above the closure body 12 and then being pushed downwardly towards this closure body 12 so as to snap the closure member 14 into the cavity 24 as shown. In order to achieve this snapping action it is either necessary to position the member 14 so that the projections 56 slide through the notches 44 or to form these projections 56 so that a ratchet-like type of pop-over action is achieved in assembling them in position. To achieve this action it is possible to utilize sloping shoulders 64 on the projections 56 and at the top of the flange 26 adjacent to the cavity 24.
If the closure 10 is assembled by pushing the projections 56 through the notches 44 it may be secured in an in use or secured position by twisting the member 14 slightly so as to position the projections 56 within the top groove 42 away from the notches 44. If the projections 56 have been popped into this top groove 42 such twisting is not normally necessary. In such a secured position the closure member 14 cannot be directly moved so as to be located in an open position.
Once the closure 10 has been assembled into a closed, secured position as indicated by the preceding discussion it may be easily opened by engaging the top 46 manually and twisting the member 14 until the projections 56 are located so that the closure member 14 may be withdrawn upwardly with the projections 56 passing through the notches 44. As this occurs all portions of the interior of the passage 58 will be spaced from the part 34 and the bottom opening 30 will be exposed so that material such as fluid can move completely through the closure 10.
In achieving an open position as shown in which such movement is possible it is considered that it will normally be desirable to locate on the member 14 and on the body 12 indicia such as the marks 66 which, when aligned with one another will indicate that the member 14 may be moved between the two positions shown. If desired small detent bumps 68 capable of temporary deformation may be utilized on the closure 10 to increase the difficulty of rotating the closure member 14 to a position in which the projections 56 can be withdrawn through the notches 44.
In returning the closure member 14 from the open position to the closed position force is applied to the top 46 and this top is turned to the degree necessary so that the projections 56 will pass through the notches 44. When the member 14 bottoms out" it may be twisted slightly so as to place the projections 56 within the top groove 42.
From a consideration of the closure it will be realized that this closure 10 embodies a type of opening and closing action involving movement of a closure member along a linear path which has been embodied within existing, known dispensing closures. The structure previously indicated in this specification involves the addition to such known closures of the top groove 46, one or more of the notches 44 and one or more of the projections 56 to operate in the manner described so as to impede or make it difficult to move the closure member 14 from a completely closed position by young children and certain others.
The structure described for preventing normal linear movement of the closure member 14 involving the top groove 42, the notches 44 and the projections 56 and, if used, the detents 68 may be considered or classified as a collection of interengaging parts or means used to prevent inadvertent linear movement of the closure member 14. Such means or parts may be reversed if this is desired in a particular closure and other some what differently appearing means than those illustrated can be employed. Thus, for example, the notches and projections used may be located at an angle to one another with respect to the part 34 as indicated in FIG. 6 of the drawing instead of being located directly from one another across from one another. Also as indicated in FIG. 5 where several of the notches 44 and projections 56 are used these notches 44 and projections 56 may differ in size.
The degree of relative difficulty in opening the closure 10 described in the preceding may be increased if this is desired by including in this closure 10 a cavitylike enlargement 70 within the groove 42 corresponding to each projection 56 employed. In a closure such as the closure 10 illustrated where there are two of these projections 56 the groove 42 will be formed so as to include two of these enlargements 70 located so as to be spaced from one another around the groove 42 in such a manner that each of them will receive one of the projections 56 when the member 14 is in a closed position. It will be noted that these enlargements 70 are located in what may be referred to as the upper wall of the groove 42 spaced generally away from the skirt 18 and the bottom of the closure 10.
When the member 14 is in a closed position the projections 56 are normally biased so as to fit within these enlargements 70 by mean of a small, resilient, cylindrical spring-like flange 72 located within the bottom of the cavity 24 generally within the region 52. This flange 72 is formed integrally with the body 12 and is intended to serve as a spring or a spring means engaging the bottom 74 of the stem 48 when the closure member 14 is in a position in which the projections 56 are roughly opposite, but slightly above the groove 42.
When there is such an engagement the flange 72 will tend to bias the closure member 14 upwardly in such a manner that this closure member 14 cannot be twisted unless it is forced downwardly against the flange 72 compressing this flange 72 to a slight extent so that the projections 56 may be located within the groove 42 as the closure member 14 is turned. Then when the downward pressure on the closure member 14 is released and when the closure member 14 is turned so that these projections 56 are opposite these enlargements the spring-like action of the flange 72 will tend to force the member 14 upwardly until the projections 56 are engaged in the enlargements 70 in such a manner that the member 14 is secured against rotation. When it is desired to open the closure 10, the closure member 14 may be pushed downwardly against the pressure exerted by the flange 72 and then may be rotated so as to be opened as indicated in the preceding discussion.
From this it will be apparent that the flange 72 is essentially a spring element or means. Other equivalent structures designed to accomplish the same function as this flange 72 may be used. Similarly, the enlargements 70 serve essentially as stop means to prevent rotation of the closure member 14 except when it is forced downwardly. These enlargements 70 and the flange 72 may be considered together as a latch means for preventing rotation of the closure member 14 into or out of a closed position except when axial downward pressure is applied to the closure member 14 by preventing disengagement of the noted interengaging means. If desired, an indicia 76 corresponding to the indicia 66 on the closure body 12 may be located so as to indicate when these stop or latch means are interengaged.
I claim: 1. In a dispensing closure having a closure body adapted to be secured to a container so as to be incapable of being removed from said container during the normal use of said closure and having a closure member movably mounted on said closure body so as to be incapable of being removed from said closure body during the normal use of said closure, said closure member being capable of being moved linearly relative to said closure body between a closed position in which an opening in said closure body is covered by said closure member and an open position in which said opening is uncovered so that material is capable of being moved through said opening and said closure member in which the improvement comprises:
interengaging means upon said closure member and said closure body for securing said closure member against direct movement from said closed position to said open position during engagement of said interengaging means, said interengaging closure means comprising at least one projection on one of said closure parts and a groove having at least one notch leading from its interior on the other of said closure parts, said projection being capable of fitting within said notch and said groove in bringing said interengaging means into and out of engagement with one another,
said closure member being capable of being rotated when in said closed position in order to position said interengaging means relative to one another so that said interengaging means are engaged to secure said closure member against direct movement from said closed position to said open position and in order to position said interengaging means so that said closure member may be moved from said closed position to said open position at least one enlargement in said groove, said projection on said one of said closure parts being capable of fitting in said enlargement so as to prevent movement serving to disengage said interengaging means and spring means biasing said closure parts so as to hold said projection in said enlargement,
said enlargement and said spring means serving as a co-acting latch means for preventing separation of said interengaging means except when said closure member is moved in still another manner than the manner in which it must be moved to disengage said interengaging means and the manner necessary to move said closure member from said closed position to said open position.
2. A dispensing closure as claimed in claim 1 including:
indicia means for indicating that said closure member cannot be moved directly from said closed position to said open position located on said closure member and said closure body.
3. A dispensing closure as claimed in claim 1 including:
detent means for limiting movement of said closure member between a position in which it can be moved from said closed position to said open position and a secured position in which it cannot be directly moved from said closed position to said open position.
4. A dispensing closure as claimed in claim 1 wherein:
said closure member is slidably mounted in a cavity in said closure body so as to be capable of being moved linearly between said open and said closed positions,
said interengaging means are located so as to both be within the interior of said cavity when said closure member is in said closed position.
5. A dispensing closure as claimed in claim 1 wherein:
there are two of said projections and of said notches located so that each of said projections must be aligned with one of said notches in movement of said closure member between said open and said closed positions.
6. A dispensing closure as claimed in claim 1 wherein:
said spring means is a resilient, cylindrical flange located within said closure body so as to resiliently engage said closure member when said closure member is in closed position.
7. A dispensing closure as claimed in claim 1 wherein:
said closure member is slidably mounted in a cavity in said closure body so as to be capable of being moved linearly between said open and said closed positions,
said interengaging means are located so as to both be within the interior of said cavity when said closure member is in said closed position,
there are two of said projections and of said notches located so that each of said projections must be aligned with one of said notches in movement of said closure member between said open and said closed positions,
said spring means is a resilient, cylindrical flange located within said closure body so as to resiliently engage said closure member when said closure member in in closed position,
indicia means for indicating that said closure member cannot be moved directly from said closed position to said open position located on said closure member and said closure body,
detent means for limiting movement of said closure member between a position in which it can be moved from said closed position to said open posi' tion and a secured position in which it cannot be directly moved from said closed position to said open position.
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|U.S. Classification||222/48, 222/515, 222/153.14, 222/525|
|International Classification||B65D47/24, B65D47/04, B65D55/02|
|Cooperative Classification||B65D55/02, B65D47/247|
|European Classification||B65D47/24C2, B65D55/02|