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Publication numberUS3794206 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateFeb 26, 1974
Filing dateApr 6, 1972
Priority dateApr 6, 1972
Publication numberUS 3794206 A, US 3794206A, US-A-3794206, US3794206 A, US3794206A
InventorsDe Line J, Ida N
Original AssigneeDe Line J
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Frangible opening means for a container lid
US 3794206 A
Abstract
A container lid for beverage containers and the like has a tear strip formed as a unitary part of the closure which can be at least partially separated from the closure by pressing it downwardly to displace it into the container about a hinge point in such a way as to leave a protected opening for removal of the contents from the container.
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United States Patent [191 De'Line et al.

I 'in if 3,794,206 ['45] Feb.26, 1974 FRANGIBLE OPENING MEANS FOR A CONTAINER u [75] Inventors: John W. De Line, 6011 E. Sixth Ave., Denver, Colo. 80220; Nobel N. Ida, Boulder, C010.

[73] Assignee: John W. De Line, Denver, Colo. by said'lda N. Nobel 22 Filed: Apr. 6, 1972 21 Appl. No.: 241,642

[52] US. Cl 220/27, 220/48, 220/44 R [51] Int. Cl B65d 17/00 [58] Field of Search 220/48, 54, 27, 53, 44 B [56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,334,775 8/1967 Klein eta]. 220/48 I 3,362,569 1/1968 Geiger ..220/48 2,261,117 11/1941 Jack,.lr.... ..220/27 3,696,961 10/1972 l-lolk ..220/54 Primary Examiner-George T. Hall Attorney, Agent, or Firm-John E. Reilly 57 ABSTRACT A container lid for beverage containers and the like has a tear strip formed as a unitary part of the closure which can be at least partially separated from the closure by pressing it downwardly to displace it into the container about a hinge point in such a way as to leave a protected opening for removal of the contents from the container;

9 15 Claims, 16 Drawing Figures PATENTEI] FEBZ 61974 SHEET 1 0F 2 FRANGIBLE OPENING MEANS FOR A CONTAINER LID This invention relates to novel and improved container end closures, and more particularly relates to end closures and a method-of making same having integral tear strips or sections which are relatively easy to open and when displaced inwardly to form an opening lar configuration and is provided with some .type of stiffening portion around the periphery of the tab to assist in promoting fracture or shear of the tab along its weakened line of separation. 1

Previously, it has been proposed to form such opening devices or tabs as a tear strip in a depressed section beneath the surface of the lid with a surrounding edge forming a stiffening portion as well as a protective edge for drinking purposes. For example, reference is made to U. S. letters Pat. No. 3,334,775 to Klein et al. and u. 5. letters Pat. No. 2,3l2,358 to'Punte. The present inventi'onhas to do with certain improvements in the will nevertheless remain as a connected part of the conor mass production procedures while being highly dependable and efficient in use.

It is an additional object of the present invention to provide for a sheet metal container end closure of the type having a press-in tear strip recessed beneath the surface of the closure but formed integrally therewith and characterized by having a closely-controlled weakened area of separation formed by coining along the outer periphery of the tear strip beneath the lid surface and'an improved stiffening rib to promote initial fracture of the tear strip from the'closure.

In accordance with the present invention, improvements in container lids have been devised wherein the lids are specifically adapted for use in beverage containers, such as, beer cans. Specifically, the container lids are of the type having an integrally formed press-in tear strip in off-center relation to the lid and relatively near the periphery of the lid, the tear strip being encircled by a rolled drinking surface. Preferably the drinking surface is reverse-formed out of the thickness of the lid to curve downwardly and outwardly beneath the lid surface then is once again reversed in a direction to merge into a tear-open section or strip spaced beneath the lid surface.

The present invention has to do not only with immovements in the formation of the rolled drinking surface, but alsowith the reverse forming and folding of manufacture of such lids wherein the tear strip is recessed within the lid as a'unitary part thereof and cooperates with the lid in forming an effective end closure for a container but is readily displaceable inwardly under finger pressure to leave a protected opening for removal or drinking of the contents. lt is particularly important that the formation of the weakened area be closely controlled to form the necessary seal but at the same time permit ease of fracturing or shearing without the risk of injury; and from an ecological standpoint it is desirable that the tear strip remain attached within the can once opened without interfering with removal of the contents from the can.

Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide a novel and improved container of the type the encircling edge portion'beneath the lid surface followed by c'oining a weakened area of separation between the encircling edge portion and the tear open section. The area of separation is interrupted only to form a limited hinge point whereby to permitinward in which a unitary tear strip is displaceable from the lid I into the container under finger pressure to form a protective opening for removal of the contents and which eliminates the necessity of scoring to form the area of separation between the lid and tear strip.

It is another object of the present invention to minimize the risk of injury to 'thefinger's in opening or to the mouth in drinking the contents of the container..

lt is a further objectof the present invention to facilitate opening a container in which the contents are held under pressure by utilization of a container lid which is so constructed as to establish an effective seal against accidental leakage of the contents even under rough handling, is capable of withstanding extremely high indisplacement of the tear strip about the hinge point under finger or thumb pressure so that the tear-open section will remain intact within the can and. permit pouring or drinking of the contents through the opening. The protective encircling edge, in combination with the weakened area of separation, greatly minimizes possible injury to the finger or hand in opening the can or tothe mouth in drinking from the can.'This is accomplished by the particular construction and configuration of the rolled drinking surface as well as the placement and formation of the weakened area of separation beneath the lid surface and somewhat outside of the encircling edge so as not to be subject to accidental fracture or rupture under pressure of the contents of the'can. Preferably the weakened area of separation fonned beneath the encircling edge is done by a closely controlled coining operation around the outer peripheral edge of the tear strip, directly following the reverse forming of the encircling edge to form an outwardly tapered area of separation. The coining step can be accompanied by a scoring step if desired as well as application of a sealant in the score line formed along or through the coined section to insure against leakage.

In the alternate forms of invention to be hereinafter described, most desirably inward displacement of the tear-open section is controlled so as to be initiated from edge. This point of initial fracture or rupture of the weakened area is opposite to the hinge point formed in the weakened area so that the fracture of the tear strip will proceed inwardly toward the center of the lid thereby causing the tear-open section to be displaced downwardly and inwardly toward the center of the lid. The tear strip may assume various configurations, such as, generally circular or an oval-shaped configuration with a wider oval portion towards the outer periphery of the lid. Other stiffening portions may also be formed either in the surface of the tear-open section or lid section which will contribute to concentrate the pressure exerted at a desired piercing point along the weakened area of separation.

The above and other objects, advantages and features of the present invention will become more readily appreciated and understood from a consideration of the following detailed description of preferred and alternate forms of the present invention when taken together with the accompanying drawings, in which:

P18. 1 and l are somewhat fragmentary views in perspective of one form of container end closure, in accordance with the present invention, FIG. 1 illustrating the tear strip in the closed position and FIG. 2 illustrating the tear strip in the open position.

FIG. 3 is an enlarged cross sectional view of the form of end closure shown in FIG. 1.

FIG. 4 is an enlarged cross-sectional view of the end closure of FIGS. 1 to 3 with the tear'strip shown in an open position.

FIG. 5 is a somewhat perspective view of a modified form of end closure.

FIG. 6. is an enlarged cross-sectional view taken about lines 6'-6 of FIG. 5.

FIG. 7 is a somewhatperspective view of another form of end closure.

FIG. 8 is an enlarged cross-sectional view taken about lines 8-8 of FIG.'7. 4

FIG. 9 is a cross-sectional viewtaken about lines 99 of FIG. 8.

FIG. 10 is a cross-sectional view in detail of another modified form of end closure; and

FIGS. ll to 16 illustrate in cross-sectional form the sequence of steps followed in formation of a container lid of the type illustrated inFIGS. l to 4 together with the rolled drinking edge of FIGS. 5 and 6 wherein the lid is successively dimpled, squared, reverse-formed, drawn, flattened and coined into the desired configuration.

Referring in more detail to the drawings, there is shown by way of illustrative example in FIGS. 1 and 2 a beverage container 10, such as, a beer can having a cylindrical wall 11 and a generally circular container end closure 12. The end closure 12 is relatively thin and flat and is sealed in a conventional manner to the edge of the cylindrical wall 11 by an outer peripheral rim or seam 14 in a manner not shown. Also in accordance with conventional practice a slight groove 15 may extend circularly around the end closure or lid 12 just inwardly of the peripheral rim 14.

As shown in FIGS. 3 and 4, the end closure or lid 12 is of unitary construction and is seen to broadly corn prise an outer, relatively flat lid section 16 and aninner tear-open section or strip 17 which is formed out of the material of the lid, in a manner to be described, so as to be recessed beneath the plane of the lid section 16. The tear-open section 16 is shown as being of generally 4 circular configuration and is off-set from the center of the lid so that the outermost point 18 on its circumference is directly adjacent or contiguous to the outer peripheral rim 14, separated only by the groove 15 and a limited surface portion 16 ,of the lid section 16.

In the formation of the tear-open section, the lid section is provided with a protective, encircling edge 20 which surrounds the tear-open section 17, the edge portion 20 undergoing a first downward and outward reversal upon itself as designated at 22, followed by a second downward and inward reversal upon itself as designated at 23 to terminate beneath the surface of the lid whre it continues into and is joined to the outer periphery 24 of the tear-open section 17. The reversed portion 23 of the edge 20 beneath the lid surface 16 is together with the outer peripheral end 24 of the tearopen section 17 flattened beneath the lid surface, and the peripheral edge 24 of the tear-open section is thinned or coined into an extremely thin, outwardly tapered section at that point to form a weakened area of separation between thetear-open section 17 and the encircling edge 20.-The weakened area extends continuously around the peripheral edge of the section 17 except at a limited area 26 which is diametrically opposite to the outermost point 18 on the tear-open section where the flattened and coined sections are interrupted so as to form the hinge area 26 as shownin shown in 3 and 4. In general, the thickness of the lid is reduced in excess of one-half of its original thickness inthe coining operation. For the purpose of illustration and not limitation, in a sheet metal or aluminum alloy container lid having a thickness of 0.012 inches the outer peripheral edge of the tear-open section may be reduced to a thickness on the order of 0.00l to 0.005 inches to form the weakened area of separation 24 beneath the surface of the lid section 16. This area 24'can be fractured under finger pressure to permit downward displacement of the tear-open section into the can about the hinge point 26, for example, to the positionillustrated in FIG. 4. Accordingly, when the tear-open section is displaced downwardly by the finger or thumb, the encircling edge portion 20 will prevent direct contact with the fractured edge of the can along the area of separation and will also avoid contact with thearea of separation by the mouth in drinking from the can.

In the form described, it will beseen thatthe width of the limited surface area 16 remaining between the encircling edge 20 and outer peripheral edge 14 of the lid is just sufficient to permit reverse forming and flattening of the reverse portion of the encircling edge beneath the lid surface. Moreover, it is desirable that the tear-open section 17 be given a slight convexity as shown at 28 so as to stiffen the section and concentrate the applied force along the weakened area of separation. In this relation, it will be seen that coining at the lower reversed or folded edge 24 will effect outward thinning or tapering of the upper and lower surfaces to a relatively sharp vertex, although the lower surface in tents as a preliminary to displacement of the entire tear-open section. Alternately, in accordance with conventional practice, the vent opening 30 may be located in a separate portion of the lid section 16.

In the alternate form of invention shown in FIGS. 5 and 6 like parts and portions of the end closure are correspondingly enumerated to those of FIGS. 1 to 4. However, in the alternate form the configuration of the tear-open section is modified to be more nearly ovalshaped with a relatively wide, substantially semicircular section 32 near the outer periphery of the lid extending into a relatively narrow, rounded triangular section 33 towards the center of the lid so that the tear strip is somewhat elongated with its major axis extending radially of the lid. Again the lid section has an encircling edge. in surrounding relation to the tear strip 17' which is reverse-formed and joined to the outer peripheral edge 24' of the tear strip in the same manner as described with reference to FIGS. 1 to 4. However, the edge 24 is coined by thinning into a stepped area directly beneath the fold of the lower reversal section 23. Another feature of the alternate form shown in FIGS. 5 and 6 is the provision for a rather highly crowned, stiffening rib portion 35 formed out of the thickness of the tear strip 17' and the encircling edge 20, which portion extends radially across and traverses the intersection of the tear strip 17', encircling edge 20 and lid surface at the outermost point 18 in diametrically opposed relation to the inner hinge point 26. It will be seen that the stiffening rib 35 is sharply crowned and half again as high as the raised or convex portion of the tear strip thereby forming increased stiffening I areas at the desired point of initial rupture or shear of the weakened area of separation 25. Accordingly, pressure applied to the stiffening rib will be concentrated at the weakened area of separation 25 directly beneath the outermost point '18 and encourage initial shearing at that point. If desired, further weakening by scoring at least along the peripheral edge 18 will materially contribute to case of initial separation at that point upon application of downward pressure to the tear strip.

Still another modified form is shown in FIGS. 7 to 9; and again like parts are correspondingly enumerated to those of FIGS. 1 to '4. In FIGS. 7 to'9 the tear strip 17 is of generally circular configuration and is off-set from the center of the lid so as to be relatively near the outer periphery of the lid as shown. In this form, the encircling edge portion 20 is raised above the surface of the lid 16 and specifically is curved rather sharply in an upward direction from the surface of the lid 16 to form a rolled drinking surface 40. As in the form of FIGS. 1 to 4, the edge portion then undergoes a downward and outward reversal 41 beneath the surface of the lid 16 followed by a second downward and inward reversal 42 into the outer peripheral edge 24" of the tear strip 17,

and a weakened area of separation again is formed at or contiguous to the edge 24" by coining. As best seen in FIG. 9, however, the area 24'- is coined to the extent of thinning and compressing into an indented portion 43 in the undersurface of the lid just outwardly of the edge 20, and a suitable sealant 45 is applied along the coined area. A score line 46 is formed in the undersurface of the peripheral edge 24', at the weakened area just inwardly of the fold of the reversal 42, except at the hinge area 26,-and the sealant 45 is applied over the scored area to prevent accidental leakage prior to 6 opening. By forming a relatively broad peripheral surface portion around the outer periphery of the tear strip which is flattened and tightly folded against the upper reverse folded portion of the encircling edge,

with the weakened area of separation at the outer extremity, any danger of outward displacement of the tear strip under the pressure of the fluid contents is substantially eliminated while permitting relative easeof inward displacement merely under hand or finger pressure. 7

In FIGS. 7 to 9, the stiffening rib 35 is formed out of the tear strip to extend radially across a limited portion of the tear strip adjacent to the outermost end point 18 and is aligned with a radial stiffening rib portion 35 formed out ofthe thickness of the lid so as to create additional stiffening at the desired point of initial rupture in the weakened area of separation directly beneath the. point 18. The encircling edge portion 20 essentially defines a beaded edge portion which not only serves as a rolled drinking surface but lends additional stiffening to the lid in surrounding relation to the tear strip so as to cooperate with the stiffening rib 35 and afford increased ease of separation along the weakened area.

In still another modificationillustrated in FIG. 10, the reverse folded portions 41 and 42 are coined by flattening, thinning and tightly folding upwardly along the areas 47 and 48 of the portions 41 and 42, respectively, into a depression or circular groove 49 in the lid section 16' between the outermost point of the lower portion 42 and the rolled drinking'surface 40. Once again, the coined area may be scored as at 46' through the thickness of the coined portion 48 and covered by the sealant 45 as shown. An important feature of this form as well as that of FIGS. 7 to 9 is that coining, as

a preliminary to scoring, will by weakening and thinning the area to be scored contribute greatly to the ease of scoring and as a result permit formation of the lid from metals other than special aluminum or steel alloy materials.

FIGS, 11 and 16 illustrate a preferred method for forming the invention similar to that illustrated in FIGS. 1 to-4 with a rolled drinking surface 40 as shown in FIGS. 7 to 9, except that the stiffening rib portions 35 and 35 are eliminated. In the sequence of operations to be described, the container lid 12 may be suitably formed out of a blank of metal commonly used in beverage containers, such as, a standard 5182 aluminum alloy which is currently used in the production of all-aluminum beer containers. Hand tools, such as, suitable punch and die means are illustrated in performing the sequence of operations. In the initial step shown in FIG. 11, a blank of metal is depressed away from the original plane of the lid section 16 in a dimpling operation to form a generally concave or dished section 50. In FIG. 12, the depressed section 50 is deepened and squared to form a relatively flat bottom surface portion 52, a surrounding vertical Iwall section 52', and an upper rolled edge portion 53.

As illustrated in FIG. 13, in the next step the flat bot-. tom surface 52 is reversed upwardly into a generally convex section 54 with its intermediate crown substantially on the same level as the original plane of the lid and with the outer edges folded upwardly into a generally W-shaped cross-sectional configuration with the outer surrounding vertical section 52'. In FIG. 14, the vertical section 52 and the outer folded edge of the intermediate section 52 are drawn outwardly, reverse 7 formed and partially folded into the configuration illustrated, the-folded section being designated 56. FIG. illustrates further drawing and folding of the folded section 56 against the undersurface of the section 51 in the next successive operation.

Finally, as shown in FIG. 16, the folded section 56 at the outer peripheral edge of the intermediate section 54 is coined by further drawing and thinning of the metal to approximately one-half of its original thickness. As a result, the coined area, as designated at 57, defines a weakened area of separation around the outer periphery of the tear stripexcept at the hinge point 26. In addition, the hinge point is formed by a narrow groove 60 in the lower female die in the step shown in FIG. 16. Similarly, the stiffening rib section may be formed out of the thickness of the material by mating rib and groove portions, not. shown, formed in the punch and die sets in FIGS. 14 and 16; and most desirably the outer ribportion 35 would be formed in a corresponding manner in the outer section 51 in the initial stages of the forming operation as illustrated in FIGS. 11 to 13.

It will be appreciated from the foregoing that the various forms of invention illustrated and described afford a number of advantages and features in the formation of a container lid. The design itself is extremely simple lending itself well to mass production, and is readily conformable for use with a great variety of metals as well as some plastic materials. Moreover, the tear strip is recessed and protected from accidental fracture but when displaced inwardly about the hinge point 23 will remain intact with the can. The necessity of scoring and sealing is eliminated although they may beutilized in cooperation with the coining operation with beneficial results as described. The entire lid structure is unitary and may be formed out of a single blank of material; also the rolled surface formed around. the encircling edge serves a dual purpose of preventing injuries in opening and acts as a stiffening portion in opening to promote increased ease of shearing along the weakened area of separation beneath the encircling edge.

It is therefore to be understood from the foregoing that various modifications and changes may be resorted 'to both in the method and articles produced according to the-present invention without departing from the spirit and scope thereof as defined by the appended claims. i

What is claimed is:

l. A container lid of unitary construction adapted. to close one end of a container, comprising an outer lid section and an inner tear-open section formed therein, said outer lid section having an inner edge portion surrounding said tear-open section and joined thereto, said surrounding edge portion undergoing a first outward reversal followed by an inward'reversal upon itselfto terminate outwardly of the inner edge portion of the outer lid section at its juncture with the tear-open section, and a coined section forming a weakened area of separation uniformly reduced in thickness with re spect to the thickness of said lid along the outer periphery of the tear-open section at its juncture with said surrounding edge portion, said tear-open section being displaceable by exerting pressure thereon to shear the tear-open section away from the surrounding edge portion along the weakened area of separation beneath th surface of the lid.

2. A container lid according to claim 1, at least that portion of the surrounding edge nearest the periphery of the lid curving upwardly then downwardly in undergoing its first downward and outward reversal into said tear-open section.

3. A container lid according to claim I, said weakened area of separation tapering outwardly to the point of inward reversal of the surrounding edge portion.

4. A container lid according to claim 1, said weakened area of separation being coined atthe point of downward and inward reversalof the edge portion into the outer periphery of the tear-open section.

5. A container lid according to claim 1, the downward and inward reversed portion being folded upon itself and tapered outwardly to define the weakened area of separation at the outer periphery of the tearopen section.

6. A container lid according to claim 1, said tearopen section being generally circular and having a convex cross-sectional configuration.

7. A container lid according to claim 1, a raised, rounded rib extending radially across the tear-open section and lid so as to intersect the surrounding edge at the end of the tear-open section nearest the outer periphery of the lid to promote initial shearing of the tearopen section at that point along the weakened area of separation nearest the outer periphery of the lid.

8. A container lid according to claim 1, said weakened area of separation having a score line extending atleast partially through the thickness of the coined section at the outer periphery of the tear-open section and a temporary adhesive sealing composition applied along said score line. l

9. A container lid according to claim 8,'said weakened area of separation being interrupted at a point diametrically opposed to that point nearest to the outer periphery of the lid whereby to form a hinge point for downward bending of the tear-open sectionabout the hinge point, and said reversed portions being tightly folded and flattened upwardly into a circular groove formed in the lid outwardly of the inner surrounding edge portion.

10. In a container end closure, a metalcontainer lid of unitary construction adapted to close one end of a container having a generally'circular tear strip formed therein with one end near the periphery of said lid, said lid having an edge portion encircling said tear strip and joined thereto, said encircling edge portion undergoing an outward and downward reversal in direction to terminate beneath the surface of the lid and further undergoing a downward and inward reversal in direction'to be joined to said tear strip outwardly of the encircling edge and beneath the lid surface, at least that portion of the encircling edge nearest the outer periphery of the lid being rolled upwardly'then downwardly in undergoing its outward and downward reversal, and the inward and downward reversed portion of the encircling edge portion being coined at its juncture with the tear strip to define a weakened area of' separation adjacent to the outer periphery of the tear strip beneath the surface of the. lid whereby said tear-open section is displaceable downwardly by exerting pressure thereon to shear the tear strip away from the encircling edge beneath the surface of the lid.

11. In a container end closure according to ,claim 10, wherein said inward and downward reversed portion of the encircling edge includes a score line along the coined area of the encircling'edge portion.

12. In a container end closure according to claim 10 including a raised rounded rib formed out of the thickness of the lid and tear strip to extend radially across the tear strip and lid at the point nearest the outer periphery of the lid.

13. In a container end closure according to claim 10, said container lid being relatively thin and flat except at the encircling edge and along the tear strip, said tear strip being of generally convex cross-sectional configuration.

14. ln a container end closure according to claim 10,

peripheral edge of said tear strip.

gg-3 g UNITED STATES PATEN'f OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION Patent No. 3 794,206 Dated 26 F bruary 1974 lnventofls) John W De Line, Nobel N. Ida

It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:

In the Specification:

Column "3, line 21, cancel "FIS.1 and 1" and substitute --FIGS and 2--' Signed and; seeled this 24th dayof September/1 974.

(SEAL) Attest: V v

MCCOY M. GIBSON JR. 1 v c.- MARS Br '1. 'D'ANN Attesting Officer n Comissioner of; Patents

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Classifications
U.S. Classification220/268, 220/281, 220/288, D09/438
International ClassificationB21D51/38, B65D17/28, B65D17/32
Cooperative ClassificationB21D51/383, B65D17/161
European ClassificationB65D17/16B, B21D51/38B