US 3850330 A
A composite plastic and metal closure cap is described for sealing containers such as glass tumblers or similar containers. The closure cap has an outer plastic ring portion which engages the container and which mounts a disc-like metal cover. The plastic ring includes lugs which snap over a bead on the container rim when the package is sealed and which are snapped off of the bead for cap removal. The cap is particularly useful for sealing vacuum containers and includes means for facilitating its removal against the vacuum force on the closure of the sealed package. In one embodiment, this means comprises a vent in the metal cap cover and an integral vent opener. In another embodiment, vacuum-breaking lift means are formed on the plastic rings.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Unite States Patent [19'] Koontz et a1.
11] assess Nov. 26, 1974 COMPOSITE CLOSURE CAP  Assignee: Anchor Hocking Corporation,
Lancaster, Ohio  Filed: Jan. 8, 1973  Appl. No.: 321,784
Heffran 215/262 Westfall 215/274 Primary Examiner-William T. Dixson, Jr.
Assistant ExaminerR. E. Hart Attorney, Agent, or FirmHolland, Armstrong, Wilkie & Previto [5 7 ABSTRACT A composite plastic and metal closure cap is described for sealing containers such as glass tumblers or similar containers. The closure cap has an outer plastic ring portion which engages the container and which mounts a disc-like metal cover. The plastic ring includes lugs which snap over a bead on the container rim when the package is sealed and which are snapped off of the bead for cap removal. The cap is particularly useful for sealing vacuum containers and includes means for facilitating its removal against the vacuum force on the closure of the sealed package. In one embodiment, this means comprises a vent in the metal cap cover and an integral vent opener. In another embodiment, vacuum-breaking lift means are formed on the plastic rings.
8 Claims, 21 Drawing Figures COMPOSITE CLOSURE CAP BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates to an improved composite closure cap particularly useful for vacuum sealing glass tumblers or similar containers. More particularly, the invention relates to a two-piece closure having a plastic ring portion which engages the container and which supports a metal sealing cover including a container sealing gasket.
There is a continually increasing demand for packages, and particularly for food packages, formed of relatively light glass containers and which are vacuum sealed with closures of the press-on lift-off type. It is desirable that such closures may be originally applied to form a tight seal with a simple press-on sealing action and may be easily removed against the vacuum force of the sealed package with a simple removal action not requiring the use of a tool.
Many present closures for sealing vacuum containers operate satisfactory when designed for use as twist or screw closures and in this case the lifting action of the threads operates to break the package vacuum for a ready removal and reapplication of the closure caps. For a relatively large number of packages, and particularly food packages, the presence of lugs or threads at the container rim is objectionable. The cap engaging means which is acceptable on such containers comprises a smooth outwardly directed bead at the container rim.
The closure of the present invention provides means for engaging such a bead in the initial sealing operation and additionally provides means operable without a tool for permitting easy removal of the cap against the force of the package vacuum.
In certain embodiments, as more fully described below, the closure includes integral means for venting the package to release the vacuum. Other embodiments include novel integral lift bails or handles which facilitate the breaking of the vacuum and the closure removal.
Accordingly, an object of the present invention is to provide an improved closure cap for sealing tumblers or tumbler-like containers.
Another object of the present invention is to provide an improved composite cap particularly adapted for sealing vacuum packed containers.
Another object of the present invention is to provide a press-on lift off cap for vacuum containers including integral vacuum release means.
Another object of the present invention is to provide an improved composite closure cap including integral lift handle means.
Another object of the present invention is to provide an improved composite closure cap for vacuum packages including tamper indicating means.
Other and further objects of the invention will be obvious upon an understanding of the illustrative embodiment about to be described or will be indicated in the appended claims, and various advantages not referred to herein will occur to one skilled in the art upon em ployment of the invention in practice.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a package sealed with a preferred embodiment of a tamperproof and vacuum release-type of closure cap in accordance with the present invention.
FIG. 2 is an exploded perspective view of the closure cap and package of FIG. 1.
FIG. 3 is a top plan view of the package of FIG. 1 prior to vacuum release.
FIG. 4 is a top plan view corresponding to FIG. 3 illustrating the vacuum release means in its operative position.
FIGS. 5 and 6 are vertical sectional views of the package of FIG. 1 showing successive steps in the vacuum release.
FIG. 7 is a perspective view illustrating another embodiment of a sealed package including a closure with a vacuum release means.
FIG. 8 is an exploded perspective view of a package of FIG. 7.
FIG. 9 is a top plan view of the package of FIG. 7.
FIGS. 10 and 11 are vertical sectional views of the package of FIG. 7 showing the successive positions of the vacuum release means.
FIG. 12 is a perspective view of a sealed package in accordance with the present invention including an integral vacuum release lift ring.
FIG. 13 is an exploded perspective view of the package of FIG. 12.
FIG. 14 is a perspective view illustrating the plastic lift ring being used to remove a closure cap from a container.
FIG. 15 is a vertical sectional view illustrating the lift ring in the removal position shown in FIG. 14.
FIG. 16 is a perspective view of another embodiment of a sealed package including a composite closure with an integral lift handle.
FIG. 17 is an exploded perspective view of the package of FIG. 16.
FIG. 18 is a top plan view of the package of FIG. 16.
FIG. 19 is a perspective view illustrating the lift handle in its operative position.
FIGS. 20 and 21 are vertical sectional views of the sealed package corresponding to FIGS. 16 and 19, respectively.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT FIGS. 1 through 6 illustrate a preferred embodiment of a composite closure cap 1 which includes an integral venting means and tamper indicator. This embodiment of the cap 1 includes a molded plastic outer ring 2 which mounts a metal cover 3.
The molded outer ring 2 includes a skirt portion 4 and a partial cover portion 5 extending radially inwardly from the skirt 4 as best illustrated in FIGS. 5 and 6. A number of spaced container engaging lugs 6 are formed on the cap skirt 4 below the cover portion 5 which cooperate with the cover portion 5 to form a cover engaging channel 7. These spaced lugs 6 lock beneath the lower edge of a bead 8 provided at the rim of the container 9. The lugs 6 thus provide an attachment means for a press-on sealing of the container 9 and for a similar press-on resealing of the package 10 after it has been initially opened.
The metal cap cover 3 has a gasket receiving channel 11 formed at its outer edge between a depending'flange 12 and an inner inclined wall 13 at the edge of a depressed center panel 14 on the cover 3. A gasket 15 which preferably comprises a flowed-in plastisol or similar gasket is formed in the channel 11 with the gasket 15 extending from the flange 12 to the inclined inner wall 13. When the closure cap 1 has been pressed onto the container 9 in its sealed position as illustrated in FIGS. and 6, the gasket forms a seal with the top 16, corner 17, and beaded side portion 8 of the container finish.
The metal cover 3 also preferably includes a closed vent 18 at its central portion. The vent 18 is defined by a circular score line 19 which does not penetrate through the cover metal so that the vacuum seal is maintained within the sealed package. Preferably, a small arcuate portion of the circular score line 19 is formed with a lesser depth to provide a hinge means for retaining the punched-out vent 18 on the disc 3 when it is opened thereby preventing the punched-out vent 18 from dropping into the packaged product.
A punch or penetrator 20 for the vacuum release is provided as illustrated in FIGS. 3 through 6. The pene trator 20 is a plastic member molded as an integral portion of the plastic outer ring 2. It is connected to the ring 2 by a pair of thin molded bridges 21 and 22. These bridges hold the penetrator 20 in its original inoperative position during package transport and display in the position illustrated in FIG. 3.
When it is desired to open the package 10, the bridge 22 is broken permitting the penetrator 20 to be swung on the remaining bridge 21 to its operative position with a penetrator button 23 immediately above the vent 18. A downward pressure on the penetrator 20 now causes the vent 18 to break loose and to swing inwardly on the thicker portion 19A of the score 19 in the manner illustrated in FIG. 6. This initial breaking action permits air to enter the package l0 thereby removing the vacuum and permitting the cap 1 to be easily pressed upwardly off of the container 9.
A preferred form of the penetrator button 23 is a Teflon or nylon button or other relatively hard plastic button having an upper stem 24 engaging the penetrator 20 and having a beveled lower portion 25 to facilitate the vent opening action. In the preferred embodiment illustrated. the outer diameter of the penetrator button is made approximately equal to the diameter of the vent 18 so that the button 23 may be left in the vent 18 to close it off where the cap 1 may be used for resealing the package 10 after the initial opening.
The ring 2 may be molded from a suitable plastic polymeric material including polypropylene and polyethylene.
When the penetrator 20 has been swung to its central operative position for opening the vent 18, this position of the penetrator together with the rupture of the bridge 22 gives a clear indication that someone has tampered with the sealed package.
The preferred central positioning of the vacuum vent 18 places it in a location remote from the edge or skirt portions of the plastic ring 2 and remote from any abutting portions ofthe plastic ring 2 and the cover 3 so that the vent 18 is remote from any dust or other material which may have accumulated at the outer plastic ring. This eliminates any tendency for foreign matter to be carried into the headspace of the container 10 during venting.
The penetrator button described above and illustrated in FIGS. 5 and 6 is a separate button 23 preferably formed of a harder plastic than the plastic used for the outer ring 2. Alternatively, the penetrator button may be formed as an integral portion of the ring 2 and of the same plastic used in the ring.
FIGS. 7 through 11 illustrate another embodiment of a composite cap 30 in accordance with the invention having a differing form of penetrator 31. The composite cap 30 comprises an outer molded plastic ring 32 with a skirt portion 33 and with an inwardly directed partial cover portion 34 extending inwardly from the top of the skirt portion 33. The cap 30 includes a metal disc cover 35 having an outer flange 36 engaged between the cover portion 34 and spaced lugs 37 which engage container 38. A gasket-receiving channel 39 is provided between the flange 36 and an inclined inner wall portion 40 forming a depressed center 41 on the cover 35. A plastisol or other gasket 42 is positioned in the channel 39. The gasket 42 provides a side. edge, and top seal with the container 38 finish 43 in the manner illustrated in FIGS. 10 and 11 when the closure cap 30 is in its sealed position on the container 38. A number of the inwardly directed and spaced lugs 37 are provided on the cap skirt portion 33 which lock beneath a bead 44 at the container 38 rim to hold the closure 30 in place on the container 38.
In order to facilitate cap removal where the cap is sealing a vacuum package, a removal vent 45 is provided. The vent 45 is defined by a circular score line 46 preferably formed at the center of the cover 35. An arcuate portion of the score line 46 preferably has a lesser depth to act as a hinge when the vent 45 is pressed downwardly on the cover 35 by the penetrator 31. The preferred form of the penetrator 31 is molded as an integral portion of the outer plastic ring 32 and is coupled to the ring by an integrally molded bridge or hinge 47. It has a finger portion 48 at its outer end including an integral penetrator button 49. When the penetrator 31 is pressed downwardly, the button 49 breaks the vent 45 clear of the cover 35 so that it swings downwardly in the manner illustrated in FIG. 11. The button 49 may have a smaller diameter than the diameter of the vent score line 46 in which case no resealing action is provided. In the event that it is desired that the vent 45 be resealable, the button 49 may have a larger diameter approximating that of the vent 45. A separate button of the general type illustrated in FIG. 6 may alternatively be used.
This embodiment of a venting closure also is seen to eliminate the entry of foreign material into the package during the vacuum venting operation as the vent 45 is located in a position remote from the outer plastic ring 32 or any of the abutting portions of the cover 35 and the outer plastic ring 32.
FIGS. 12 through 15 illustrate another embodiment of a composite cap 50 which includes an integral cap removal means formed as a portion of a molded plastic outer ring 51. The outer plastic ring 51 has a skirt portion 52 and a partial cover 53 extending radially inwardly from the upper portion of the cap skirt 52. The cover portion 53 and a number of spaced lugs 54 coopcrate to hold a metal disc cover 55 in place within the plastic ring 51. The cover 55 preferably has an outer flange portion 56 which cooperates with an inclined inner channel wall 57 to receive a flowed-in plastisol gasket or a similar gasket 58. As illustrated in FIG. 15,
a seal is provided between the side, edge and top portions of the container 59 finish 60. The container finish includes an outwardly directed bead 61 at the container rim. The closure cap 50 is particularly useful for vacuum sealed packages and a lift ring 62 is provided for the purpose of permitting the easy removal of the closure cap against vacuum forces on the cap 50.
The bottom portion of the cap skirt 52 forms the lift ring 62 which is initially fastened to the upper portion of the cap skirt 52 by a number of thin and spaced bridges 63. in addition to these relatively narrow ridges 63, one arcuate portion of the lift ring 62 is fastened to the upper portion of the skirt 52 by a relatively wide hinge 64. When it is desired to open the sealed package 66, the ring 62 is pulled upwardly in the manner illustrated in dash-dot lines in FIG. causing all of the narrow bridges 63 to rupture and leaving only the wider hinge portion 64 connecting the ring 62 and the remainder of the skirt 52 The partially released ring 62 provides a lift ring or bail which when pulled exerts a strong rocking or tilting action on the closure cap 50 so that one cap edge adjacent the hinge 64 is rocked clear of the glass finish thereby breaking the container vacuum. Thereafter, the cap 50 may be easily lifted clear of the container 59. The cap 50 may be reapplied to the container 59 using the lugs 54 with the lift ring 62 being permitted to return to approximately its original position.
Another embodiment of the composite closure cap is illustrated at 70 in FIGS. 16 through 21. The cap 70 has a plastic outer ring 71 generally similar to the ring of FIGS. 1 through 6 including a skirt 73 and container engaging lugs 74 and a metal cover 75 including a gasket 76 mounted in the ring 71. in place ofa cap vacuum releasing device in the form of a penetrator, however, the embodiment of FIGS. 16 through 21 includes a bail or lift handle 72 particularly adapted for raising the cap 70 against the force ofa vacuum seal. A significant improvement in the lifting action of the bail 72 results from the bail 72 being attached at widely spaced positions on the outer molded plastic ring 71. In the embodiment illustrated in FIGS. 16 through 21, for example, the generally U-shaped bail 72 has its leg portions connected to the ring 71 at about 40 to 60 degrees from one another. The lift ball 72 is molded as an integral portion ofthe plastic outer ring 71. A tamper indicating device is included in the form of a narrow bridge 77 removably attached to the bail 72. Prior to use of the bail 72 for lifting the cap 70 from the container 78, it is necessary to rupture the bridge 77 connection thus providing a clear indication that the bail 72 has been moved and that there is a possibility that the container 78 vacuum has been destroyed.
FIG. illustrates the closure cap 70 in its sealed position with the cap lugs 74 locked beneath an outwardly projecting bead 79 at the rim of the container 78.
FIGS. 19 and 21 illustrate the bail 72 being pulled upwardly to rock the cap 70 and to release the top, edge and side seal between the gasket 76 and the container 78 finish thereby breaking the vacuum. The spaced dual attachment arrangement of the bail 72 is seen to permit the lifting of the cap 70 clear of the container 78 without an objectionable strap action such as results through the use of a lift ring or bail which is connected to a plastic ring at a single point or over only a very limited arc of the plastic ring.
It will be seen that an improved composite closure cap is provided which is adapted for simplified press-on sealing operations and which is thereafter easily removed from the sealed package. The preferred embodiment of the cap includes integral means for assisting the removal of the closure caps against the vacuum forces present in vacuum sealed packages. These means are provided as integral portions of molded plastic ring portion of the composite closure. These means not only facilitate easy cap removal, but they are also relatively easily added to the closure caps by being formed during the molding operation for the plastic ring portion of the closure.
As various changes may be made in the form, construction and arrangement of the parts herein without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention and without sacrificing any of its advantages, it is to be understood that all matter herein is to be interpreted as illustrative and not in a limiting sense.
Having thus described our invention, we claim:
1. In a composite press-on, lift-off closure cap having a plastic molded outer container engaging ring including container engaging lugs and a metal cover mounted in said ring, the improvement comprising a closed vent positioned in the central portion of said cover defined by a score line, said ring having means for facilitating cap removal integrally formed thereon during the molding operation of the plastic material of the ring for assisting in lifting the cap against the sealing forces including the vacuum forces of vacuum sealed packages comprising a penetrator positioned adjacent to said plastic ring and coupled thereto by a plurality of spaced bridge members and having a vent opening button thereon, one of said bridge members being positioned for acting as a hinge for controlling movement of said penetrator from its position adjacent to said plastic ring to a second position over said vent, and the other of said bridges being frangible to release said penetrator for said movement.
2. The composite closure as claimed in claim 1 in which said score line has a portion of relatively lesser depth in said cover.
3. The composite closure as claimed in claim 1 in which said cover has a depending flange engaging said ring, and a gasket is positioned in said cover extending inwardly from said flange.
4. A composite closure cap as claimed in claim 1 in which said vent opening button is formed of a harder material than the material of said penetrator.
5. The composite closure cap as claimed in claim 1 in which said vent opening button is an integral molded portion of the penetrator.
6. In a composite press-on, lift-off closure cap having a plastic molded outer container engaging ring including container engaging lugs and a metal cover mounted in said ring, the improvement comprising a closed vent positioned in the central portion of said cover defined by a score line, said ring having means for facilitating cap removal integrally formed thereon during the molding operation of the plastic material of the ring for assisting in lifting the cap against the sealing forces including the vacuum forces of vacuum sealed packages comprising a penetrator coupled thereto by an integrally molded bridge member and having a vent opening button thereon, and said bridge member being positioned for acting as a hinge for controlling movement 7 i s of the vent opening button of said penetrator against 8. The composite closure cap as claimed in claim 6 said vent. in which said cover has a depending flange engaging 7. The composite closure cap as claimed in claim 6 said ring, and a gasket is positioned in said cover exin which said score line has a portion of relatively lesser tending inwardly from said flange depth in said cover.