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Publication numberUS3796344 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMar 12, 1974
Filing dateMay 18, 1972
Priority dateMay 18, 1972
Also published asCA969875A1
Publication numberUS 3796344 A, US 3796344A, US-A-3796344, US3796344 A, US3796344A
InventorsPhillips J De, R Karka
Original AssigneeContinental Can Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Non-detachable tear strip and pull tab structure for easy opening container
US 3796344 A
Abstract
An easy opening container having a panel including a tear strip defined by a weakening line which terminates in spaced ends. A pull tab is attached to the panel for severing the weakening line along the length thereof and bending the tear strip into the container about a line extending between the ends of the weakening line to thereby provide a pour opening. The pull tab is constructed so as to be bendable in overlying relation with the panel after severance of the weakening line without reclosing the pour opening.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent De Phillips et al.

[ Mar. 12, 1974 NON-DETACI'IABLE TEAR STRIP AND PULL TAB STRUCTURE FOR EASY OPENING CONTAINER Inventors: James V. De Phillips, Oak Lawn; Ronald O. Karka, Tinley Park, both of III.

Assignee: Continental Can Company, Inc.,

New York, NY.

Filed: May 18, 1972 Appl. No.: 254,585

US Cl. 220/54 Int. Cl B65d 17/20 Field of Search 220/48, 54

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS Heffner 220/48 3,656,652 4/1972 Khoury 220/54 Primary Examiner-George T. Hall Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Americus Mitchell; Joseph E. Kerwin; William A. Dittman [57] ABSTRACT An easy opening container having a panel including a tear strip defined by a weakening line which terminates in spaced ends. A pull tab is attached to the panel for severing the weakening line along the length thereof and bending the tear strip into the container about a line extending between the ends of the weakening line to thereby provide a pour opening. The pull tab is constructed so as to be bendable in overlying relation with the panel after severance of the weakening line without reclosing the pour opening.

7 Claims, 9 Drawing Figures NON-DETACIIABLE TEAR STRIP AND PULL TAB STRUCTURE FOR EASY OPENING CONTAINER BACKGROUND AND SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The invention relates to an easy opening container in which the sheet metal end closure is formed with a weakening line to define a tear strip and a tab is attached to the tear strip for severing the weakening line to form a pour opening.

I-Ieretofore, it has been common practice to provide a weakening line which defines a tear portion that is completely removable and separable from the con tainer. This has the disadvantage that the separated tear portion may be carelessly discarded and create litter.

The present invention provides an easy opening container having an improved non-detachable tear strip and an improved pull tab for facilitating the separation of the tear strip from the panel to form a pour opening and to position the non-detached tear strip and pull tab in a non-obstructing position after formation of the pour opening.

The foregoing is accomplished generally by providing the panel of an end closure with a tear strip defined by a weakening line terminating in spaced ends. The tear portion or strip is bendable about a line extending between the ends of the weakening line. A pull tab having a nose portion and a finger grip portion is fastened to the panel at the nose portion and the finger grip portion. A U-shaped slit is formed in the finger grip portion to define an attachment panel which receiver a fastener for attaching the tab to the panel.

The pull tab is constructed to act as a lever upon lifting or tilting at the finger grip portion to initiate rupture of the weakening line. A hinge connection is provided between the nose portion and the finger grip portion to permit bending of the tab after the weakening line is severed and the tear portion is bent into the container. The hinge connection is arranged so that the finger grip portion projecting above the plane of the panel may be bent along the line extending between the ends of the weakening line to a position overlying the panel. In this manner, the tear portion remains in the container along with the nose portion while the finger grip portion lies in a non-obstructing position overlying the panel.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a top plan view of an easy opening container prior to being opened and embodying the structure of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a top plan view of the container showing the container when opened;

FIG. 3 is an enlarged fragmentary view of the container end panel and the pull tab prior to being opened;

FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view taken generally along the lines 4-4 of FIG. 3;

FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view similar to FIG. 4 but showing the condition of the panel and pull tab upon initial upward tilting of the latter;

FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional view of FIGS. 4 and 5 but showing the condition upon further upward tilting;

FIG. 7 is a cross-sectional view similar to FIGS. 4, 5 and 6 but showing the condition of the panel and pull tab when the tear strip is severed along the full length of the score line to provide a fully opened pour opening;

FIG. 8 is a cross-sectional view similar to FIG. 7 but DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Referring now to the drawings, there is shown a container 10 having an end closure 1 1 embodying the easy opening structure of the present invention. The end closure 11 comprises generally a flange 12 which is double seamed to an end of a container body 14. The other end of the container or can body 14 may either be formed with an integral end or a separate end closure attached thereto (both types of end structures not shown).

The end closure 11 includes an upstanding chuck wall 16 and a panel 17. The panel 17 may be provided with a peripheral head 18 which serves as a shock absorbing bead.

A substantially U-shaped weakening line 19 defined by a score line is formed in the panel 17. The weakening or score line 19 includes a bight portion 21 and a pair of transversely spaced legs 22 extending there from.

A pull tab 23 made from sheet stock is secured to the panel 17 for breaking the weakening line 19 and depressing a separable portion or tear strip 20 defined by the weakening line 19 downwardly and of the plane of the panel 17 and into the container body 14 to provide a pour opening 24. A hem 26 extends about the pull tab to impart rigidity thereto. The hem 26 is formed as a downwardly depending flange 27 overlying the bight portion 21 of the weakening line 18.

The pull tab 23 includes a forward or nose portion 28 which is separated from a rear or finger grip portion 29 by a transversely disposed slit 31. The slit 31 extends only partially through the hem 26 to provide an unslit portion 32 so that the finger grip portion 29 and the nose portion 28 remain attached but being bendable about the unslit portion 32. A cutout 33 if formed intermediate the length of the slit 31 in the nose portion 28 and a pair of projecting notches 34 are formed in the finger grip portion 29. To rigidity the nose portion 28, reinforcing beads 35 may be provided.

As shown the nose portion 28 of the pull tab 23 is contoured complementary to the score line 19 and is located so that the slit 31 lies generally along a line extending between the terminal ends of the legs 22.

The pull tab 23 is fastened to the panel 17 by means of a first rivet 36 formed integral with the panel and located on the tear strip 20. A second rivet 37 formed integral with the panel 17 extends through the finger portion 29 and is fastened to an attachment flap 38 defined by a pair of spaced longitudinal slits 39-39 extending inwardly from the notches 34--34. The slits 39 may each terminate in curled ends 40.

A score line 41 having a bight 41a and a pair of legs 42 is formed in the panel about the rivet 37 so that the terminal ends 42, which may be formed with curls, face the nose portion 28.

To open the container, the finger grip portion 29 of the pull tab 23 is grasped and tilted upwardly away from the underlying panel. Upon initial upward tilting, the finger grip portion 29 is easily lifted until the attachment flap 38 is tautened and applies a stress on the rivet 37 as shown in FIG. 5. Further upwardly tilting causes additional stress to be imposed on the weakening line 41 via the rivet 37 whereupon the length of the weakening line 41 is severed to provide a hinge flap 43 which is removed out of the plane of the panel 17 to provide a vent opening 44.

At the same time, the flange 27 engages the bight portion 21 of the score line 19 to initiate severance thereof. As the pull tab 23 is tilted to an upright position, the weakening line is severed along the length thereof so that the tear strip is depressed downwardly out the plane of the panel 17 to the position shown in FIG. 7. In this manner, the pour opening 24 is provided through which the contents of the container is emptied.

If it is desired to consume the contents directly from the container by placing the mouth over the pour opening 24, the upstanding finger grip portion 29 is easily bent about the unslit hem connection 32. The finger grip portion 29 is bent until it lies substantially flush with the remainder of the panel 17 as shown in FIG. 8.. The finger grip portion 29 is thus located in a nonobstructing position so that the mouth of a user may be placed directly over the pour opening. At the same time, the tear portion 20 and the pull tab nose 28 remain within the can body 14.

To further facilitate the lifting of the pull tab 23 to initiate the severance of the weakening line 19, a U- shape slit SI may be provided in the nose portion 28 as shown in FIG. 9. The U-shaped slit 51 opens toward the outer end of the nose portion 28 and the ends thereof may terminate in curls 52. The U-shaped slit 52 defines a second attachment flap 53 which facilitate the initial upward tilting of the pull tap 23. For example, upon upwardly tilting or lifting of the pull tab 23, the nose portion 28 and the finger grip portion 29 are both inclined away from the panel 17 until the flaps 38 and 53 are stressed by the rivets 36 and 37, respectively. Thereafter upon further tilting, the score line 41 breaks to vent the can and also allowing further upward tilting so that the score line 19 is severed by the flange 27 on the nose 28. The full length of the score line 19 is severed until the tear portion 20 is at substantially right angular relationship with the panel 117.

The finger grip portion 29 is bent rearwardly about the hinge connection 32 until it assumes the position as shown in FIG. 8.

What is claimed is:

1. An easy opening container comprising an end closure having a panel, a weakening line provided in said panel and terminating in spaced ends defining a tear strip, a pull tab, fastening means fastening said pull tab to said panel, said pull tab having a finger grip portion and a nose portion contoured to lie along said weakening line, slit means in said pull tab defining an attachment fiap to which said fastening means is connected, means connecting said nose portion and 'said finger grip portion to provide a lever when said pull tab is tilted upwardly at said finger grip portion so that said nose portion severs said panel along said weakening line and bends said removable panel portion inwardly substantially along a line extending between said spaced ends of said weakening line to form a pour opening in said panel, said means connecting said nose portion and said finger grip portion permitting said finger grip portion to be bent relative to said nose portion to a position overlying said panel adjacent said pour opening.

2. The invention as defined in claim 1 wherein said fastening means comprises a rivet extending through said finger grip portion and another rivet extending through said nose portion.

3. The invention as defined in claim 2 wherein said slit means defining said attachment flap is formed in said finger grip portion, and said slit is disposed about said rivet.

4. The invention as defined in claim 3 wherein a U- shaped slit is formed in said nose portion with the bight thereof facing said finger grip portion.

5. The invention as defined in claim 3 wherein a U- shaped score line is formed in said panel and disposed about said rivet with the open end facing toward said nose portion.

6. The invention as defined in claim 4 wherein a U- shaped score line is formed in said panel and disposed about said rivet with the open end facing toward said nose portion.

7. An easy opening container comprising an end closure having a panel, a weakening line in said panel and terminating in spaced ends defining a tear strip, a pull tab having a finger grip portion and a nose portion contoured to lie along said weakening line, a first rivet means fastening said nose portion to said panel, a second rivet means fastening said finger grip portion to said panel, slit means in said pull tab defining an attachment flap to which said second rivet means is fastened, a hem extending between said nose and said finger grip portion, a transverse slit disposed across said tab between said nose portion and said finger grip portion and extending partially into said hem to form an unslit portion whereby said nose portion and said finger grip portion provide a lever when said pull tab is tilted upwardly at said finger grip portion so that said nose portion severs said panel along said weakening line and bends said removable panel portion inwardly substantially along a line extending between said spaced ends of said weakening line to form a pour opening in said panel, said nose portion and said finger grip portion being bendable relative to each other about said unslit portion of said hem to locate said finger grip portion in an overlying position on said panel adjacent said pour opening after said weakening line is severed.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3618815 *May 4, 1970Nov 9, 1971Aluminum Co Of AmericaEasy-opening device for a container end
US3656652 *Mar 16, 1970Apr 18, 1972Continental Can CoPull tab
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3894651 *Oct 18, 1973Jul 15, 1975Hannon Charles NNon-removable opener
US3946895 *May 30, 1974Mar 30, 1976Pugh William AContainer lid with tear-out closure and straw
US3970212 *Jun 10, 1974Jul 20, 1976Ermal C. FrazeEasy opening ecology end with retained tear strips
US4019648 *Mar 11, 1976Apr 26, 1977The Continental Group, Inc.Childproof closure
US4108331 *Mar 11, 1977Aug 22, 1978The Continental Group, Inc.Non-obstructing end closure
US4915290 *Feb 27, 1989Apr 10, 1990Combibloc, Inc.Package closure
US5967726 *Nov 26, 1997Oct 19, 1999American National Can CompanyContainer-end tab and method of manufacturing same
US6105806 *Apr 17, 1998Aug 22, 2000Stasiuk; Joseph W.Laser etched pull tab container opening devices and methods of making the same
US6433302May 4, 2000Aug 13, 2002Ball CorporationMethod and apparatus for marking containers using laser light
US6498318Oct 16, 2000Dec 24, 2002Ball CorporationMethod and apparatus for marking containers using laser light
US6501046Oct 16, 2000Dec 31, 2002Ball CorporationMethod and apparatus for marking containers using laser light
US6575325 *Mar 12, 2001Jun 10, 2003Robert G. DickieArticulated pull tab opener for container
US6706995Sep 6, 2002Mar 16, 2004Ball CorporationLaser light marking of a container portion
US6926487Oct 5, 1999Aug 9, 2005Rexam AbMethod and apparatus for manufacturing marked articles to be included in cans
DE2842449A1 *Sep 29, 1978May 23, 1979Continental GroupEinteilige griffflasche aus metall zum hebelartigen oeffnen von leicht zu oeffnenden behaelterdeckeln
WO1984003850A1 *Mar 19, 1984Oct 11, 1984Saunders William TEasy-open container wall
Classifications
U.S. Classification220/269
International ClassificationB65D17/32
Cooperative ClassificationB65D17/165, B65D2517/0092
European ClassificationB65D17/16B2