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Publication numberUS3805991 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 23, 1974
Filing dateNov 8, 1972
Priority dateSep 11, 1967
Publication numberUS 3805991 A, US 3805991A, US-A-3805991, US3805991 A, US3805991A
InventorsArlind J, Cheladze G
Original AssigneeArlind J, Cheladze G
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Lid construction with non-leak vent
US 3805991 A
Abstract
A container lid with a non-leak vent comprising a lid having a recessed portion surrounded by an upwardly converging wall portion which intimately retains a peripheral portion of an absorbent member; said absorbent member being disposed over a vent opening in the recessed portion of the lid to prevent undue leakage of liquids through the vent opening, but to permit breathing of fluid therethrough in accordance with the thermal condition of contents in the container covered by the lid.
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United States Patent [191 Cheladze et al.

[451 Apr. 23, 1974 1 1 LID CONSTRUCTION WITH NON-LEAK VENT [76] Inventors: George Andre Cheladze, 5236 N.

20th St., Phoenix, Ariz. 85016; Jack Arlind, 3530 Henry Hudson Pky., New York, N.Y. 10014 [22] Filed: Nov. 8, 1972 [21] Appl. No.: 304,706

Related US. Application Data [63] Continuation of Ser. No, 666,662, Sept. 11, 1967.

[52] US. Cl. 220/44 R, 229/43 [51] Int. Cl B65d 51/16 [58] Field of Search 220/44 R, 44 A, 44 C, 60;

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,048,317 8/1962 Cochrane 229/7 R 3,083,861 4/1963 Amberg 220/44 A 3,193,130 6/1965 Miller 220/60 R 3,455,481 7/1969 Colgan 220/44 R Primary ExaminerDonald F. Morton Altorney, Agent, or Firm-Kenneth .1. Hovet; Paul R. Wylie; Leigh B. Taylor [57] ABSTRACT A container lid with a non-leak vent comprising a lid having a recessed portion surrounded by an upwardly converging wall portion which intimately retains a peripheral portion of an absorbent member; said absorbent member being disposed over a vent opening in the recessed portion of the lid to prevent undue leakage of liquids through the vent opening, but to permit breathing of fluid therethrough in accordance with the thermal condition of contents in the container covered by the lid.

5 Claims, 7 Drawing Figures LID CONSTRUCTION WITH NON-LEAK VENT This is a continuation of application Ser. No. 666,662, filed 9/11/67.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Prior art coffee cups and other containers, such as polystyrene foam cups, have been provided with thin plastic lids which engage the perimeter of the cup in a sealing relation therewith. Such prior art lids have been provided with small perforations to allow for the escape of steam or for breathing of fluid through the lid to prevent an undue pressure differential from being exerted thereon when thermal conditions of the liquid in the cup changes. As for example, when the liquid in the container cools, this vent permits air to pass inwardly through the vent opening to compensate for fluid contraction.

A common fault of such prior art lid vents is that they permit a considerable leakage of coffee or other fluids therethrough onto the top of the lid, and oftentimes the excess leakage of the fluid causes the fluid to spill.

Many prior art lids have been provided with recesses for retaining excess fluid which leaks through the vent in the lid. This condition is unattractive, and often results in spillage of coffee, or other such material, causing damage to clothing or other articles.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention comprises a novel container lid construction with a non-leak vent so as to provide a very desirable enclosing lid for a polystyrene foam cup, or the like. Said lid, according to the invention, includes a fluid vent to permit the maintenance of a normal pressure differential across the lid so as to avoid undesirable conditions of expansion or contraction relative to the lid and the container. The lid of the invention comprises an upstanding converging wall structure surrounding a portion of the lid in which a vent opening is disposed; and an absorbent member made of material, such as blotting paper, is located to overlie the vent opening, and is provided with a periphery intimately retained in the upwardly converging wall structure. The absorbent member prevents undue leakage of liquid through the vent opening, but permits normal fluid breathing through the opening to prevent high pressure differentials across the lid and the walls of the container. 7

The absorbent member is liquid and fluid pervious, and yet prevents a high flow rate of liquid through the opening due to the fact that the absorbent member is held in close adjacent relationship to the opening by a converging wall structure of the lid.

Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide a novel container lid construction with a non-leak vent which prevents undue flow of liquid through the vent, and permits maintenance of a nominal pressure differential across the lid or across the walls of the container.

Another object of the invention is to provide a container lid construction with a non-leak vent, wherein an upper portion of a thin plastic lid of the invention is reccssed and surrounded by an upwardly converging resilient annular wall within which is retained the perimeter of an absorbent member of blotter-like material; the perimeter of the absorbent member being resiliently and intimately engaged by said upwardly converging wall to maintain the absorbent member in position over the vent opening in the recessed portion of the lid, and to hold the absorbent member, such as to prevent substantial flow of liquid through the vent opening.

Another object of the invention is to provide a container lid construction with a non-leak vent which is particularly adapted for use in connection with polystyrene foam coffee cups, or the like, in order to prevent leakage of coffee through the lid during transportation from a coffee dispenser to a location at which the coffee is consumed, all of which provides a most desirable condition of the container, and avoids spillage which normally is undesirable, and sometimes damaging to clothing or surrounding objects.

An additional object of the invention is to provide a novel container lid construction with non-leak vent having novel means for retaining an absorbent member over a vent openingin the lid, and for bracing and holding the structure surrounding the absorbent member of the invention relative to the rim 'of the lid which engages or is adapted to engage a normally open end of a container, such as a polystyrene foam cup, or the like.

Other objects and advantages of the invention may be apparent from the following specification, appended claims, and accompanying drawings:

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a top side of a container lid construction with a non-leak vent, in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 2 is an enlarged fragmentary sectional view taken from the line 2-2 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a top or plan view of a container lid construction with non-leak vent, according to the present invention;

FIG. 4 is an edge elevational view of a container lid construction with non-leak vent, according to the present invention, said lid construction being shown engaged with an open end of a container, such as polystyrene foam cup, or the like, said cup being shown fragmentarily;

FIG. 5 is an enlarged cross-sectional view taken from the line 5-5 of FIG. 3;

FIG. 6 is an enlarged fragmentary sectional view of the rim structure of the container lid construction of the invention shown spaced relative to a fragmentary portion of an open end rim structure of a container, such as a polystyrene foam cup, or the like; and

FIG. 7 is a view similar to FIG. 6, but showing the rim structure of the container lid construction of the invention resiliently engaged with an open end structure of a polystyrene foam cup, or the like, and wherein the said rim structure is annular and channel-shaped in cross-section, and engages in a sealing relation with both inner and outer annular surfaces of the open end of the container structure.

As shown in FIG. 1, a container lid construction with non-leak vent, and according to the present invention, comprises a lid structure 10 which is generally discshaped or annular, and which is provided with a centrally disposed recessed portion 12 over which an absorbent member 14 is disposed. The recessed portion 12 is provided with a vent opening 16 which extends through the recessed portion 12from an upper surface 18 thereof to a lower surface 20 thereof.

The absorbent member 14 is preferably a fluid pervious member, and may be of material similar to blotter paper, or the like.

Surrounding the recessed portion 12 is an upwardly converging annular wall portion 22 which is integral with the recessed portion 12. This converging annular wall structure 22 is disposed generally at an angle to a central axis of the lid of the invention, as by a line 24, and lines 26 and 28 are spread apart a distance which represents the radial dimension of interference provided between an inner surface of the annular converging wall 22, and perimiter portion 30 of the absorbent member 14. This absorbent member 14, at its peripheral portion 30 is pressed into position to attain substantially a radial interference, as indicated by the space between the lines 26 and 28.

When the absorbent member is pressed into the space internally of the upwardly converging annular wall 22, this wall 22 may be slightly resiliently expanded or deflected to receive the peripheral portion 30 of the absorbent member 14 so that it is intimately and very securely held in position over the recessed portion 12, and in closely adjacent relation with the vent opening 16.

Integral with the annular wall portion 22, and extending in a substantially horizontal direction, is a ring portion 32 which is integral with a downwardly extending annular wall 34. It will be understood that the upwardly converging annular wall 22, ring 32, and downwardly extending annular wall 34, form a generally inverted substantially annular channel-shaped in cross-section structure surrounding the absorbent member 14.

Integral with the wall 34 are generally inverted, radially disposed, channel-shaped in cross-section braces 36, these braces '36 at their lowermost portions, are integral with horizontal lid portions 38, which are also integral with the lower edge of the annular wall 34. These horizontal lid portions 38 are relatively recessed below the ring portion 32 and uppermost portions of the radial brace portions 36.

lntegral with outermost portions of the horizontal lid portions 38 and outer ends of the radial brace portions 36 is an annular, inverted, channel-shaped in crosssection portion 40, this annular channel-shaped in cross-section portion 40 is provided with an annular inclined portion 42 which is integral with a second annular inverted, channel-shaped in cross-section structure 44 which forms the container engaging rim structureof the lid of the invention. This second annular inverted channelshaped in cross-section structure 44 is provided with an annular inner rim engaging portion 46 adapted to engage an inside portion 48 of a container open end structure 50, as shown in FlGS. 5, 6 and 7 of the drawings.

The annular channel-shaped in cross-section structure 44 is also provided with an outer annular rim engaging portion 52 which is adapted to engage and surround an outer peripheral portion 54 of a container open end structure 50.

It will be seen that the upwardly converging annular wall 22, and the annular channel-shaped structures 40 and 44 are all in concentric spaced relationship to each other, and that the braces 36 and lid portions 38 surrounding the ring-shaped structure 32 provide for a generally recessed relationship of the lid portions 38, while a second recess of annular form exists between the annular structures 40 and 44.

In operation, the lid is paced over an open end 50 ofa polystyrene foam cup, or the like, such that the resilient engaging portions46 and 52 of the lid engage inner and outer annular portions of the cup open end structure 50, so as to provide an intimate seal, this seal is maintained by resilient character of the material of the lid 10, and particularly at the channel structure 44 which resiliently tends to hold the annular seal engaging portions 46 and 52 close together and substantially closer than the wall thickness of the end portion 50 of the cup. This effectively seals against liquid or fluid leakage at the rim of the lid, as it engages the annular open end structure 50 of the cup.

When hot coffee or other fluids or liquid is contained in the cup, the steam may pass through the vent opening 16, and through the fluid pervious absorbent member 14.

As liquid coffee, or the like, is carried in the cup, with the lid of the invention in place, as hereinbefore described, the free surface effect of the liquid in the cup may tend to displace some of theliquid through the vent opening 16. However, the absorbent member in close adjacent relation to the opening 16 prevents substantial flow of coffee, or other liquid, outwardly through the opening 16, however, the small amount of liquid which does pass through the opening 16 is readily absorbed by the absorbent member 14, and this liquid saturates the area of the absorbent member 14 at the opening 16, and effectively prevents substantial flow of liquid through the opening 16.

Theabsorbed liquid in the absorbent member 14 migrates radially outward toward the upwardly converging annular wall 22, but this happens slowly so as to maintain an efficient wet seal at the opening 16.

When the liquid in the cup cools, the volatile fluids above the hot liquid cool, and tend to condense and contract; this tends to create a pressure differential, such that air from the outside tends to pass into the cup, and this passage of air through the pervious absorbent member l4 and the opening 16 prevents a high pressure differential from occuring relative to the lid of the invention, or the cup on'which it is engaged.

It will be appreciated by those skilled in the art that the container lid construction with a non-leak vent of the present invention, readily prevents the leakage of liquids in substantial amounts from the container through the vent opening, and yet allows a pressure differential relieving function of the vent opening, as may be desired in the operation of coffee cup containers and lids, as hereinbefore described.

It will be obvious to those skilled in the art that various modifications of the present invention may be resorted to in a manner limited only by a just interpretation of the following'claims.

We claim:

1. In a container lid construction with a non-leak vent means, the combination of: a lid provided with upper and lower sides having a rim structure adapted sealingly to engage an open end ofa container, said lid having a downwardly recessed portion having a substantially flat bottom wall; an upwardly converging wall portion integral with said recessed portion, said wall portion surrounding said recessed portion and extending thereabove, said bottom wall having a vent opening extending therethrough; a fluid pervious absorbent flat disc having a perimeter portion intimately engaged with said upwardly converging wall portion and in flat engaged relationship with said bottom wall, and thereby retained in adjacent relation to said recessed portion to prevent excessive leakage of liquid outwardly through said vent opening, but permitting passage of fluid through said absorbent member and said vent opening in accordance with thermal conditions of fluid internally of a container on which said lid is sealingly engaged, a ring-shaped portion is integral with and surrounding an uppermost portion of said upwardly converging wall portion; said ring-shaped portion being integral with a downwardly extending second wall portion; a generally horizontal lid portion surrounding said second wall portion and integral with a lower portion of said second wall portion below said ring-shaped portion; a first annular generally inverted channel-shaped in cross-section portion integral with said horizontal lid portion and provided with a surrounding annular recess which is integral with said rim structure; a plurality of inverted channel-shaped in cross-section brace portions integral with said horizontal lid portion and extending thereabove, said brace portions having ends integral with and extending between said second wall portion and said first generally inverted channel-shaped portion, said brace portions extending radially outward from said second wall portion and spaced apart so that they are not in alignment with each other across the center of said lid.

2. The invention as defined in claim 1, wherein: said rim structure comprises a second annular inverted generally channelshaped in cross-section structure surrounding said first inverted,channel-shaped in crosssection portion and integral with said surrounding annular recess.

3. The invention as defined in claim 2, wherein: said second channel-shaped in cross-section structure is disposed resiliently and frictionally to engage inner and outer walls of a container at its open end.

4. The invention as defined in claim 1, wherein: the channel-shaped cross-section of each of said brace portions being open toward said lower side of said lid.

5. In a container lid construction with a non-leak vent, the combination of: a lid constructed of a thin piece of liquid impervious resilient plastic material provided with upper and lower sides, said lid having a resilient annular inverted generally channel-shaped in cross-section rim structure adapted sealingly to engage and fit over an open end of a container, said lid having a recessed portion; an upwardly converging resilient annular wall portion integral with said recessed portion, said wall portion surrounding said recessed portion and extending thereabove, said recessed portion having a vent opening extending therethrough; a fluid pervious absorbent member having a perimeter portion intimately and resiliently engaged by said resilient upwardly converging wall portion and thereby retained in adjacent relation to said recessed portion to prevent excessive leakage of liquid outwardly through said vent opening, but permitting passage of fluid through said vent opening in accordance with thermal conditions of fluid internally of a container on which said lid is sealingly engaged; an outwardly and downwardly extending structure integral with said upwardly converging wall portion and forming a first generally annular rib structure disposed radially outwardly from said absorbent member; a plurality of inverted channel-shaped in cross-section radially disposed brace portions integral with said annular rib structure and positioned in a nonaligning relationship to each other with respect to the center of said lid; lid portions disposed generally horizontally and recessed below upper portions of said brace portions and said first annular rib structure; a second rib portion concentrically spaced from said first annular rib structure and integral with said lid portions and outer portions of said radially disposed brace portions; said annular channel-shaped in cross-section rim structure separated from said second rib portion by an annular recessed portion; said annular channel-shaped in cross-section rim structure having opposed portions disposed to engage inner and outer sides of a container at its open end.

Patent Citations
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US3193130 *Apr 10, 1961Jul 6, 1965Continental Can CoNon-spill vented closure for hot cups
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3904072 *Apr 30, 1973Sep 9, 1975Continental Can CoScrew on lid
US4007936 *Apr 9, 1975Feb 15, 1977Funstuf, Inc.Novelty closure
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Classifications
U.S. Classification220/373, D07/396.2
International ClassificationB65D51/16, B65D43/02
Cooperative ClassificationB65D51/1616, B65D2543/00555, B65D2543/00416, B65D2543/00296, B65D2543/00092, B65D2543/00796, B65D43/0208, B65D2543/00629, B65D2543/00509, B65D2543/00407, B65D2543/00231, B65D2543/00685, B65D2543/00731, B65D2543/00537
European ClassificationB65D43/02S3B, B65D51/16C2
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Jul 10, 1986AS17Release by secured party
Owner name: BANKERS TRUST COMPANY :
Owner name: WMF CONTAINER CORPORATION, 2501 EAST MAGNOLIA PHOE
Jul 10, 1986ASAssignment
Owner name: WMF CONTAINER CORPORATION, 2501 EAST MAGNOLIA PHOE
Free format text: RELEASED BY SECURED PARTY;ASSIGNOR:BANKERS TRUST COMPANY;REEL/FRAME:004584/0353
Aug 1, 1983ASAssignment
Owner name: WMF CONTAINER CORPORATION A DE CORP.
Free format text: MERGER;ASSIGNOR:THOMPSON STYROFOAM PRODUCTS, INC. AN AZ CORP.;REEL/FRAME:004152/0983
Effective date: 19821022
Owner name: WMF CONTAINER CORPORATION A DE CORP., DELAWARE
Nov 5, 1982ASAssignment
Owner name: BANKERS TRUST COMPANY; A NY. BANKING CORP.
Free format text: SECURITY INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:WMF CONTAINER CORPORATION;REEL/FRAME:004069/0017
Effective date: 19821027
Owner name: THOMPSON STYROFOAM PRODUCTS, INC., 2501 EAST MAGNO
Free format text: ASSIGNS THE ENTIRE INTEREST SUBJECT TO LICENS RECITED;ASSIGNOR:DART INDUSTRIES, INC.,;REEL/FRAME:004064/0543
Effective date: 19821022