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Publication numberUS3800971 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 2, 1974
Filing dateJul 9, 1973
Priority dateJul 9, 1973
Also published asCA958994A1, DE2432733A1, DE2432733B2, DE2432733C3
Publication numberUS 3800971 A, US 3800971A, US-A-3800971, US3800971 A, US3800971A
InventorsLa Vista E
Original AssigneeVista E
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Push button lid for beverage cans and the like
US 3800971 A
Abstract
A lid for beverage cans and the like is provided with a circular opening, the opening being formed so as to have an inwardly extending tapered peripheral wall, the innermost edge of which may be flared laterally to form a skirt. The diameter of the opening is less at the outermost than at the innermost edge of the wall. A similarly tapered plug is fitted tightly, from inward to outward in this opening, and may have an enlarged skirt portion which engages the skirt of the opening in a sealing relationship. The plug, therefore, has a maximum diameter which is greater than the diameter of the opening. The outer part of the plug has a raised table portion along part of its circumference to create leverage when the plug is dislodged by pushing inwardly on the table portion.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent 1 1 La Vista Y [451 Apr. 2, 1974 PUSH BUTTON LID FOR BEVERAGE CANS AND THE LIKE [76] Inventor: Edward G. La Vista, 3000 E.

Olympic Blvd., Los Angeles, Calif. 90023 [22] Filed: July 9, 1973 21 App]. No.: 377,802

[521' US. Cl 220/24 R, 220/42 B [51] Int. Cl B6 5d 39/00, B65d 41/00 [58] Field of Search 220/24, 42 B, 42 C, 47,

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,190,043 7/1916 Thompson et a'1..i 220/24R Primary Examiner-George T. Hall Attorney, Agent, or FirmLyon and Lyon [57] ABSTRACT A lid for beverage cans and the like is provided with a circular opening, the opening being formed so as to have an inwardly extending tapered peripheral wall, the innermost edge of which may be flared laterally to form a skirt. The diameter of the opening is less at the outermost than at the innermost edge of the wall. A

similarly tapered plug is fitted tightly, from inward to outward in this opening, and may have an enlarged skirt portion which engages the skirt of the opening in a sealing relationship. The plug, therefore, has a maxi mum diameter which is greater than the diameter of the opening. The outer part of the plug has a raised table portion along part of its circumference to create leverage when the plug is dislodged by pushing inwardly on the table portion.

9 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures PUSH BUTTON LID FOR BEVERAGE CANS AND THE LIKE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Beverage can lids provided with means for opening the same without the use of extra implements have been known for many years, the most familiar being the type which is provided with a pull ring attached to a portion of the can lid which has been scored and can thereby be torn away from the remainder of the lid. This has provided a beverage can which can be easily and readily opened. The disadvantage of using this type of beverage can, however, billions of which are sold annually, is that once the tear-off tab has been removed, the users frequently throw the tab aside and the litter caused thereby has been the subject of great concern to those persons interested in maintaining a clean environment. I have in fact observed that recently restrictive legislation concerning the sale of beverage cans with detachable tabs has been enacted or is being coning into the fluid since the table of the plug and the fixed edge of the lid opening are adjacent to each other. The plug, being of greater specific gravity than the fluid, will tend to drop to the bottom of the can. Since the diameter of the plug is greater than the diameter of the opening, the plug can never be removed from the inside of the can and therefore will never become litter.

Furtherobjects and advantages of the present invention will be readily apparent to those skilled in the art upon reading the ensuingdetailed description'thereof sideredby many governmental bodies because of the litter created by the indiscriminate disposal of these detachable tabs. Another disadvantage of such lids is that after removal of the tab, a sharp edge is left around the opening which can cause injury to the consumer.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention has as its principal object to provide an improved type of can lid which can be easily opened without any extra tools yet which will not have the foregoing objectionable features. More particularly, the object of the present invention is to provide a beverage can lid which can be opened easily but when opened will not leave any portion thereof which can be discarded, the beverage can retaining the portion of the lid which is dislodged. It is also an object and advantage of the present invention that it provides an improved beverage can lid which can be readily opened by pushing thereon with a finger, yet which is so constructed that the potential for injury to the finger or the lips of the user drinking therefrom is substantially eliminated. Although the ensuing description refers to the application of this invention particularly to beverage cans, it is understood that the invention is applicable to containers that hold substances other than beverages.

I have accomplished the foregoing objectives and advantages by providing a beverage can lid which has a single circular opening located near one edge of the lid the opening being provided with a tapered inwardly projecting annular wall, whereby the outermost diameter of the opening is smaller than the innermost diameter. The wall further projects laterally to provide a skirt portion thereon. A tapered plug is provided which is fitted tightly into the tapered opening in the lid. The plug wall conforms to the configuration of the opening in a tight fitting and sealing relationship. In addition,

the wall of the plug is also provided with a skirt portion which engages the skirt portion of the wall of the opening for an additional tight fitting and sealing relationship. A raised table is formed along part of the circumference of the outer part of the plug so that it may be pressed by a finger to open the can. This forces down one part of the edge of the plug, thereby breaking the seal gradually rather than the plug breaking away suddenly, which might cause the pressurized fluid to squirt out. When the plug is dislodged inward by a finger, the edge of the lid opening prevents the finger from plungin conjunction with the accompanying drawings.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a plan view of a beverage can lid made in accordance with the present invention with the plug in place.

FIG. 2 is a similar plan view of the beverage can lid with the plug removed.

FIG. 3 is a sectional elevation taken along line 3-3 DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT A beverage can lid designated generally by the numeral 10 is conventionally provided with a peripheral rim 1], surrounding a central portion 12 which is slightly convex in shape. Between central portion 12 and the rim 11 is formed a peripheral trough 13. Typically, the rim 11 is crimped over the top edge of a can 14 to seal the same after the can has been filled with fluid 15. In the present invention, the central portion 12 is provided with a circular opening 16 the diameter of which is substantially less than the diameter of the lid 10, and preferably less than half the diameter thereof. For beverage cans, the opening 16 is located near the edge of the lid and is of sufficient diameter that when opened will provide a large enough opening so. that fluid may be conveniently poured or drunk therefrom, and which is also large enough so that when a person is drinking from the opening 16 there will be room enough to permit air to enter the can, so as to make possible the smooth flow of the liquid from the can.

Opening 16 may be punched and rolled or otherwise formed by conventional means such that about the upper periphery ofthe opening a raised rim 17 may be provided extending all the way around the opening 16. The rim or bead 17 is arcuate in cross section, as can be seen in FIGS. 3 and 4. Depending inwardly from opening 16 beyond the central portion 12, and as an extension of rim portion 17, is a laterally tapering annular wall 18. The annular wall 18 is linear in cross section thereby providing a tapered hole configuration. At the innermost extent of wall 18, the material is further flared laterally to provide a skirt portion 19.

To fill the opening 16, a plug, generally designated 20, is provided having a circular outer portion 21 and a depending sidewall 22, the inner side of the plug being open. The sidewall 22 depends at first at right angles away from the outer portion 21 and is then flared slightly laterally to provide a laterally tapered sidewall 23 conforming to the configuration of wall 18 of the 3 opening, including being substantially linear in cross section. The inner portion of the sidewall 22 is flared laterally to provide a skirt portion 24 which'conforms to skirt portion 19 of the opening 16.

The circular outer portion 21 of plug is provided with a raised table as a segment of the circumference thereof. The purpose of this table 25 may be best learned from viewing FIG. 3. When it is desired to open the can, the finger shown in phantom lines in FIG. 3 pushes inwardly on the table 25 creating a lever-type action on the plug, tending to cause one portion of the edge of the plug to break the seal established between the wall of the plug and the wall of the opening so that pressure is gradually released from the interior of the can and the can is thereby easily opened. Without the raised portion 25, it is felt that the lack of lever action on the plug could permit the plug to be burst open suddenly with a resultant unpleasant gushing of some of the contents of the can due to the pressure maintained therein, and.also cause the pressing finger to'plunge into the fluid in the can. I The tapered portion 23 of sidewall 22 of plug 20 conforms to the tapered annular wall 18 of the opening 16, making it possible to achieve a tight seal therebetween without the necessity for manufacturing either of the parts with overly stricttolerances. A press fit can be obtained between the two parts by virtue of the taper and will be maintained by the pressure of the fluid inside the can. It will be further noted that the arcuate configuration of the rim 17 surrounding opening 16 provides further resilience to the size of the opening assuring that the opening will sealingly receive the plug therein even if it may be formed slightly oversize. The engagement of the skirt portions 19 and 24 under the influence of the pressure inside the can will further seal the opening. lf necessary,,a non-toxic resilient gasket material can be used upon one of the mating surfaces of the skirts to insure a sealing relationship.

Since the plug 20 has an outside diameter which is greater than the diameter of opening 16, it can never come out of the can. Because the specific gravity of the plug 20 is greater than that of the liquid, it will tend to sink to the bottom of the can.

Thus, I have provided an improved beverage can lid and a means for opening the same without the use of any tools or implements, yet wherein the portion removed to make the opening remains within the interior of the can and cannot become litter. In addition, the manner in which I have constructed the opening and the plug which seals the opening, provides a lid which is safe for the user thereof as it will not cut or scratch the fingers or lips of the user. While I have shown herein a single embodiment of my invention, it will be obvious to those persons skilled in the art that some changes and modifications might be made therein without departing from the invention and it is intended that this invention will be defined by the lawful scope of the appended claims.

l claim:

1. A can lid of the type having a central portion with 4 a peripheral rim, the combination comprising: i a circular opening in said central portion, said opening having a depending annular wall, said wall being tapered such that the diameter of said opening is smaller at the outermost side of said lid than at the innermost side thereof; and

a plug removably situated in said opening, said plug having an outer portion and a depending annular sidewall, said sidewall being tapered in substantially the same configuration as the annular wall of said opening.

2. The combination set forth in claim 1 wherein said plug further includes a laterally flared skirt formed along the inner edge of said sidewall.

3. The combination set forth in claim 1, further including:

a laterally flared skirt portion formed about the inner periphery of the depending annular wall of said opening; and V i a laterally flared skirt portion formed about the inner periphery of the annular sidewall of said plug, the aforesaid skirt portions being contiguous and having mutually conforming mating surfaces.

4. The combination set forth in claim 3, further including resilient gasket means situated upon one of the mating surfaces of said skirt portions. 7

5. The combination set forth in claim 1, further including:

a rim formed about the upper periphery of said opening, said rim being formed integrally with the central portion of said lid and with the depending wall thereof, said rim being arcuate in cross section.

6. The combination set forth in claim 5, further including:

a laterally flared skirt portion formed about the inner periphery of the depending annular wall of said opening; and

a laterally flared skirt portion formed about the inner periphery of the annular sidewall of said plug, the aforesaid skirt portions being contiguous and having mutually conforming mating surfaces.

7. The combination set forthin claim 6 further including resilient gasket means situated upon one of the mating surfaces of said skirt portions.

8. The combination set forth in claim 1, further including:

a table formed on the outer portion of said plug, said table extending above the surface of the outer portion of said plug, said table comprising a segment of the circumference of the outer portion of said plug.

9. The combination set forth in claim 6, further including:

a table formed on the outer portion of said plug, said table extending above the surface of the outer portion of said plug, said table comprising a segment of the circumference of the outer portion of said plug.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1190043 *May 21, 1915Jul 4, 1916Randal James AlcockMeans for locking cans.
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3910453 *Oct 10, 1974Oct 7, 1975Crown Cork & Seal CoEasy opening can end with push-in tabs
US4024980 *May 7, 1976May 24, 1977Crown Cork & Seal Company, Inc.Easy opening can end having a closure plug
US4034888 *Dec 16, 1975Jul 12, 1977Strauss Hubert MCan for containing beverages
US4078695 *Nov 15, 1976Mar 14, 1978Crown Cork & Seal Company, Inc.Easy-opening can end and method of opening
US4136797 *Oct 20, 1977Jan 30, 1979Crown Cork & Seal Company, Inc.Easy-opening can end and method of opening
US4157764 *Aug 1, 1978Jun 12, 1979The Continental Group, Inc.Easy open beverage can--non-detach
Classifications
U.S. Classification220/281, 220/240, D09/438
International ClassificationB65D17/28, B65D17/50, B65D43/02, B65D17/32, B65D43/04, B65D17/00
Cooperative ClassificationB65D17/506
European ClassificationB65D17/50B