US 3884393 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 1191 Wassilieff May 20, 1975 1541 ROTATABLE CONTAINER CLOS RE 3,426,948 2/1969 Stirling 222/40211 3,474.930 /1969 Lerner 222/1112 x g? A REMOVABLE LOCKING 3,632,024 1/1912 Usen .7 222/40211 M 3,229,119 4/1973 Sette 222/132 x  Inventor: Victor Wassilieff, 84, Rue de l'ASSOmPliOYL 750m Puris- France Primary Examiner-Richard A. Schachcr  FiledZ Dec 29, [972 Ass/Man! Examiner-James M. Slattery Attorney. Agenl, 0r Firm-Diller, Brown, Ramik & [2 l] Appl. No.: 319,661 Wight Foreign Application Priority Data 57 ABSTRACT Dec 30, I971 France 7l.47469 A closure for a Container comprises a p mounted on an intermediate member adapted to be secured to the  222/153; 222/182; 222/402" 1; container. The cap is turnable between a closed posi- [5 l l l Cl B67 b g lion in which axial movement between the cap and the n mtermedlate member is prevented and an open posil58l Fleld Search 2 tion in which such relative axial movement may take 222/4021 220/27 215/7 place to operate for example an aerosol valve on the container. The closure includes a removable locking element for initially maintaining the cap in the closed  References Cited position UNITED STATES PATENTS D F 2,643,015 6/1953 Soffer 1. 220/27 x H PATENTED HAYZOISYS SHEET 2 OF 3 FIG] m7 (1 W 3 .M//\ 0 MC? 3 PAIENIED MAY 2 0191s SHEET 3 BF 3 FIG.
F/GJO 1 ROTATABLE CONTAINER CLOSURE INCLUDING A REMOVABLE LOCKING ELEMENT BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention This invention relates to container closures provided with removable locking elements.
2. Description of the Prior Art Containers are known, equipped closures which include a fragile safety component which initially maintains the lid or cap tightly against the body of the receptacle to assure the safety of the contents. In these containers, when the component is broken it frees the cap irreversibly and the cap cannot subsequently be held tightly against the body of the receptacle.
It is an object of the present invention to improve such container closures.
SUMMARY According to the present invention, there is provided a closure for a container comprising a cap capable of turning about its axis to pass reversibly from a closed position in which it is held axially against the body of the receptacle, to an open position in which it may move axially, and a frangible safety element which maintains the cap temporarily in its closed position, preventing it from turning, it being therefore necessary to break this safety element to enable the cap to turn and to assume an axially free and open position for the first time.
Such device is applicable in particular to aerosol containers of the type described in French Pat. Application No. 69.0[450 filed Jan. 24, 1969 in the name of the present applicant, and its first addition No. 69.31454 filed Sept. 16, I969 in which provision is made to fix between the body of the container and the cap, an intermediate part permanently held against the body of the container, which facilitates the provision of stop means for fixing the cap axially in a predetermined an gular position.
According to one embodiment of the invention, the cap is a distributing cap for such an aerosol can and its ability to move freely in an axial direction, is limited in both directions, this movement having the desired amplitude to enable the cap to operate the aerosol valve into action for distributing the contents of the container.
According to another embodiment the safety element takes the form of a component which may be pulled away from a complementary recess, the component and the recess being connected in any suitable manner and being formed one on the cap and the other on the body of the receptacle or on the intermediate part fixed to it.
The component which may be pulled away is advantageously a bridge-like element in the form of an inverted U with the arms of the U fixed at their ends in a frangible manner to the body of the receptacle or to the intermediate piece, the cross piece of the U being at the same level as a notch formed in the cap, so that it may be seized between two fingers with greater ease.
More generally speaking, the cap may be temporarily integrated with the body of the container or with the intermediate member by means of tenons and recess. The tenon portion may be formed on a part which is detachable and which is loosely joined to one of two integrated components. It may be in the form of a ring which passes around the whole of the cap and the container.
The closure in accordance with the invention therefore forms part of a combination which comprises means which enable two components to be locked together axially at will, one a cap and the other a container body or an intermediate member joined thereto, the axial interlocking coming into action when these two compounds are located at predetermined relative angular displacement.
According to a particularly advantageous embodiment, these locking means have resiliently deformable parts which provide a convenient method of assembling the two components made separately by forcing them axially one on the other whilst they occupy the aforesaid angular displacement.
The safety element suitably forms part of one of the two elements to be assembled, and it is adapted for accommodation in a housing formed on the other component, the effect of the reciprocal engagement of the device and the housing being on the one hand to secure the positioning of the two components to be assembled at the aforesaid angular displacement, and on the other hand to interlock them in rotation. The assembling of the two components and their temporary interlocking whilst in rotation are thus effected in one single operation. In addition, the arrangement of these components is such that the axial unlocking of the cap demands the breaking of the safety device followed by rotation of the cap about its axis. This ensures that the permanent method of functioning of the closure is understood by the user from the start.
The invention moreover includes the particular designs of permanent means for axially interlocking as referred to above.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a distributor cap for an aerosol container constructed in accordance with the invention.
FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a variation of the embodiment of FIG. 1.
FIG. 3 shows the cap of FIG. 1 in vertical section to a larger scale.
FIGS. 4 to 8 represent two components forming part of another group constructed in accordance with the invention and more particularly:
FIG. 4 represents a vertical section of the lower part of a cap;
FIG. 5 represents this cap seen from below.
FIG. 6 represents an intermediate member in vertical section;
FIG. 7 represents this intermediate member seen from the top;
FIG. 8 represents a section along line VIIIVIII of FIG. 7;
FIG. 9 represents a vertical section of a cap made in accordance with the invention mounted on an intermediate member, which is itself fixed to an aerosol container',
FIG. 10 represents the group of FIG. 9 seen from above, and
FIG. 11 represents a vertical section ofa closure similar to that of FIG. 9 applied to a pill box.
The same references are used to designate the same or similar parts.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS The closure devices forming the object of the invention will be described in the position they normally occupy when the receptacle is upright and the cap is located at the top.
Referring to FIGS. I and 3, a container R is equipped with a cap C an intermediate member M being arranged between the components R and C. The container R has a truncated wall at its upper end, coverging upwards and terminating in a projecting flange 2 sur rounding a valve opening, not shown.
The intermediate member M is composed of several parts formed from a single unit of plastics material, the parts being as follows: a flat horizontal washer 3, an inner vertical sleeve 4 which is joined on to the washer 3 at the periphery thereof, and an outer sleeve 5 surrounding the sleeve 4 co-axially and connected thereto by a horizontal wall 6 forming a bridge. The intermediate member M is secured to the container R in known manner by forcing of the flange 2 into the central hole of the washer 3, accompanied by resilient deformation of the washer.
The inner sleeve 4 extends partly above and partly below the horizontal washer 3. Its upper edge has different levels over each third of its circumference, the levels being repeated over each third, i.e., over each I'll)". These levels for each 120 of circumference are in succession: a horizontal bearing 7, corresponding to a portion of the upper edge of the sleeve which is not indented, a vertical straight edge 8, a horizontal bearing 9 located downwardly relative to the bearing 7, an ascending incline 10, a horizontal bearing 11 occupying an intermediate level in relation to the bearings 7 and 9 and a vertical straight edge 12 which rejoins the hearing 7A of the levels of the adjacent I20".
The outer sleeve 5 extends partly above and partly below the horizontal bridge 6, the latter being located on a level with the lower edge of the inner sleeve.
The intermediate member M is supported on the con tainer R by abutment of the truncated wall 1 with the lower edge of the outer sleeve 5. The upper edge of this sleeve is equipped with an inturned lip 13 distributed at intervals as segments over the circumference of the sleeve.
A component 14 in the form of a bridge with a horizontal cross piece 15 and two vertical uprights 16 moulded in one piece to the piece M is connected to the upper edges of the sleeves 4 and 5 from which it may be removed, by breaking the lower ends of these two uprights.
The cap C, which incorporates distributing channels which will not be described in detail, has an upper wall 17, which is flat and horizontal, and a cylindrical skirt [8. The upper wall 17 has a hollow portion 19 in which an angular sector of the skirt 18 is removed. At both ends of this sector are formed two vertical grooves 20 over the entire remainder of the skirt, extending from the base 21 of the hollowed-out section 19.
The skirt is lined around s entire lower edge with a rim 22 projecting towards the tutsider Like the inturned lip 13, the rim 22 may be reduced to segments of a circle distributed at intervals over the circumference of the skirt, provided that the segments of the rim are longer than the spaces between the segments of the lip 13.
The skirt 18 is formed with projections on its inner face in the form of three vertical flutings 23 located in spaced relationship. The lips 13 and rim 22 have profiles in section which enables the skirt 18 of the cap C to be forced into the space between the sleeves 4 and 5 by resilient deformation and thereafter retain it in po sition, the connection constituting in practice a perma nent locking which prevents the cap from separating from the intermediate member and hence the container.
The parts R, M and C are made separately. After filling the container R, the intermediate member M is fitted by interlocking of the washer 3 with the flange 2. The cap C is next placed on the central axis of the container, the vertical grooves 20 of the skirt 18 being brought into alignment with the uprights 16 of the removable bridge 14, and the cap C is force-fitted onto the intermediate member M by relative axial displacement, the interlocking action of the rim and lip pre venting them from becoming separated as explained above. The closure is then mounted onto the container by interlocking the flanges 2 and 3.
The assembly thus formed is in the condition shown in FIGS. 1 and 3. In order to bring this about it was nec essary to bring the grooves 20 into alignment with the uprights l6, and this necessity in turn governed the position of the ribs 23 relative to the upper edge of the sleeve 4. As will be seen from FIG. 3, the ribs 23 are then in contact, or almost, by their lower ends with an intermediate bearing 11 of this upper edge in such a way that the cap C is locked axially to the receptacle R, in a generally central position. It is likewise locked in rotation owing to the presence of the uprights 16 in the grooves 20.
In order to bring the distributor cap into operation the component 14 must first be removed in order to free the cap in rotation. The cap is then turned about its axis in an anti-clockwise direction until the ribs 23 are vertical above the bottom bearings 9. The cap is then free to move axially downwardly a degree necessary to bring the valve of the receptacle into action and the cap can then operate in known manner, the lower limit of its movement being governed by contact between the ribs 23 and the bearings 9 and its upper limit being effected by abutment of the lips 13 and rims 22. After use, it suffices to rotate the cap in the opposite direction in order to restore the cap to the position shown in FIG. 3 and to lock it axially and thus prevent any accidental handling of the spray, a notable advantage when handling dangerous or expensive products.
The vertical straight edges 8 and 12 located on either side of each rib 23 form in themselves abutments which demarcate the width of movement of rotation of the cap in two directions. When the rib stops on one or other of these abutments, it is certain that the cap is ax ially locked or freed depending on whether the stop has brought about the termination of a movement in a clockwise or an anti-clockwise directionv As will be seen clearly from the drawings, the crosspiece 15 of the bridge 14 located at the front of the hollowed out portion 19 may easily be taken between two fingers; this facilitates removal of this component, the main object of the recessed portion 19 being otherwise to receive the thumb of the user and to facilitate the putting into operation of the distributor cap whilst properly guiding the aerosol jet.
The cap is guided in rotation by the sliding of the skirt 18 on the outer surface of the sleeve 4, the sleeve 5 constituting the complementary guiding component. The sleeve 4, being higher than the sleeve 5, also serves to guide the cap axially whilst the parts are fitted together.
The construction of the device therefore enables each of the three parts composing it to be made separately and completely, and the assembling to be carried out by a simple interlocking action. Once mounted the cap is locked both in a downward axial direction and to the same extent in rotation, and in order to be able to enter into operation for the first time both the rupturing of a safety element and the rotation of the cap are necessary.
The embodiment of FIG. 2 is identical to that of FIGS. 1 and 3 except in respect of the safety element. In FIG. 2 the removable component 14 and the grooves are dispensed with. Instead, the outer sleeve 5 of the intermediate member M has a stepped profile, with a horizontal step 24 forming the transition between two zones, above and below, the former being recessed. The step 24 includes a notch receiving a projection 25 formed on the intermediate member and a removable ring 26 fitted with a pull-tag 27 is connected by frangible points of connection 28 to the outer cylindrical face of the cap C, closely surrounding the upper zone of the sleeve 5. The combined notch and projection obstructs the rotating cap making it impossible to gainaccess to the contents of the receptacle whilst the ring 26 is still in place.
The construction of FIG. 2 has the same advantages as that described earlier. The cap C may be formed in one piece with the ring 26, to be assembled afterwards at part M merely by using force, the presence of the projection 25 and the notch indicating the correct radial displacement of components C and M to allow them to be locked axially in both directions after having been fitted.
In the embodiment of FIGS. 4 to 8, part M differs basically from that of FIG. 3, by the absence of indentations in the upper edge of the inner sleeve 4 as well as in the form of the bridging connecting the two sleeves 4 and 5. In this embodiment, the bridging comprises solid angular sectors 29 separated by windows 30 the windows and sectors recurring three times over l20 of arc along the annular space between the sleeves.
Moving clockwise from the window 30, each solid sector 29 has a lower horizontal bearing 31, an upright, vertical face 32 an upper horizontal bearing 33 and an even subsiding vertical face, faces 32 and 34 being arranged in radial planes.
Thelower edge of the cap C has a broken profile in effect forming three teeth 35 therein distributed over the circumference in intervals of l20 of arc. Each tooth has a lower horizontal edge 36 a straight vertical edge 37, and a straight inclined edge 38. The teeth 35 are separated from one another by upper horizontal bearings 39.
The safety element comprises a removable claw 40 moulded in one piece with the cap C and connected thereto by a breakable link or bond. The claw 40 is in the form of an inverted T with a vertical rod 41 forming an integral part of the skirt 18 of the cap and a lower transom 42 adapted to fit into a notch 43 of corresponding tangential dimension formed in the upper edge of the sleeve 5. Like the safety element described previously, the components 40 and 43 are for locking the cap C temporarily in rotation, whereas the cap occupies an angular position governed in relation to the intermediate part M. For this position, the teeth 35 are located in a position facing the bearings 31 to prevent any axial downward movement of the cap even after the claw 40 has been removed. Once the latter has been taken off, the cap may be turned anti-clockwise to place the teeth 35 into position opposite the windows 30 so as to allow the distributor cap to be brought into action. It is then possible to close the cap by causing it to rotate clockwise, the limits of its angular path being governed by the vertical even faces 32 and 34 which frame each section occupied by a window 30 and a bearing 31.
In relation to the earlier embodiment, the one described in FIGS. 4 to 8 has the advantage of providing better guidance for the skirt owing to the latter covering the sleeve 4 to a much greater height.
The embodiments of FIGS. 9 to 11 are applicable to containers having a separable cap of the type which must be raised entirely in order to gain access to the contents.
In FIGS. 9 and 10, which relate to an aerosol container, the washer 3 of the intermediate member M extends to the outer sleeve 5, which, whilst extending upwards from the washer to end in an inturned lip 13 extends downwardly onto the truncated face I of the container R. The inner sleeve 4 is reduced to a simple vertical annular flange formed on the upper face of the washer 3.
The lip 13 is limited to three sectors spaced evenly on the corresponding circumference. The same applies to the rim 22 which lines the lower edge of the skirt 18 of the cap, the length of each rim segment 22 being smaller than that of the gaps between the segments of lip 13. Owing to this, there are a number of angular positions in which the cap C remains fixed to the container by the engagement oflip l3 and rim 22 and other positions which allow the effortless raisingof the cap and its replacement. However, despite these arrangements, the lip 13 and rim 22 are profiled in such a way as to enable the parts C and M to be assembled by forced-fitting, and that is in order to necessitate the removal of a safety device for the initial raising of the cap, followed by the rotation of the cap.
Provision is made to this end for a sector 5' of reduced thickness on the sleeve 5, situated between two segments of lip 13 and produced by the removal of material on the inner face of the sleeve. In addition, the skirt of the cap is lined on its outer face, in the vicinity of its lower edge with a removable thin portion 44 located between two segments of rim 22.
As has been stated the lip 13 and rim 22 permit assembly of the elements C and M by force-fitting along their common axis. The thickness of the portion 44 is such that it must be located to the right of the thin sector 5' to permit this assembly by fitting. Arranged in this manner it is adapted to abut against one or other of the two segments of lip 13 which frame the sector 5', the effect of which is to limit the freedom of rotation of the cap C in both directions. During this displacement, the lip 13 and rim 22 remain mutually engaged. The removal of the cap C therefore necessitates the removal of the thin portion 44 followed by the rotation of the cap.
FIG. ll represents the application of the invention to a pill box by the use of a closure similar to that shown in FIGS. 9 and 10. ln FIG. 11 the container R is a simple tube of light alloy, aluminium or the like of the type which is currently used for containing pills or granulated products.
In certain cases it is expedient not to provide spaces between the segments of the lip 13 except for a space which is just sufficient to allow passage of the segments of the rim 22', this reduces the position of opening of the cap to a very narrow angular amount and thereby makes it very difficult for a child for example to open the receptacle.
The invention is naturally not limited to the embodiments herein described and encompasses within its scope numerous variations and modifications thereof.
1. A container closure combination comprising an assembly of a cap component and a container component disposed in coaxial relationship, interengaging means on said components for controlling the axial movement of said cap component relative to said container component towards a dispensing position in accordance with the relative angular positions of said components, said interengaging means including axial projection and recess means alignable in one of said relative angular positions for preventing said relative axial movement and alignable in another of said relative angular positions for facilitating said relative axial movement, said combination including guiding means arranged on said components guiding said components during axial assembly of said components into said one angular position, and stopping means arranged on said components for stopping the cap from rotating from said one angular position to said another of said relative angular positions, said stopping means including a tearable element with the tearing of said element enabling the cap component to rotate from said one angular position to said another angular position.
2. Apparatus according to claim I, in which said container component includes a container having a valved outlet and wherein when the cap component is in the open position said cap component may be axially displaced to move up and down a limited axial distance in both directions to operate said valved outlet of the container.
3. Apparatus according to claim 2, in which said container component includes a sleeve and said cap com ponent having a sleeve surrounding said skirt, said skirt having at least one projection on its inner face, cooperating with the border of one of two levels formed on the upper edge of the sleeve and adapted to come in contact with the said skirt projection to limit the freedom of movement of the cap in the axial direction, and said stopping means including said border being framed with two edges adapted to come in contact with said skirt projection in order to limit the freedom of rotation of the cap component in both directions.
4. Apparatus according to claim 2, in which the cap component is provided with a downwardly facing projection around at least its lower edge, a sleeve forming part of the closure component being surrounded by said cap component projection, and said stopping means including said sleeve being equipped on its outer face with two stops adapted to come in contact with said cap component projection to restrict the freedom of rotation of the cap component on the sleeve in both directions, and said interengaging means including an abutment on said closure component adapted to come in contact with said cap component projection to re strict the freedom of displacement of the cap component downwards in an axial direction, said abutment acting only on part of the degree of displacement of the cap component in rotation.
5. Apparatus according to claim 1 in which said container component includes a container and wherein the cap component can be separated from the container by movement away from the container only when the cap is in said another relative angular position.
6. Apparatus according to claim 5 in which the cap component includes a skirt having a cylindrical face which is provided around the periphery of its lower edge with a succession of alternating free sectors and sectors provided with an upstanding rim, and said container component is provided with a sleeve having an annular face located adjacent said skirt lower edge and having in succession on its periphery alternating free sectors and sectors having an upstanding lip, the free sectors of the said container component being long enough to afford passage therethrough of the sectors of the skirt having the said rim relative axial displacement of the two components, the rim and lip being shaped to enable the skirt to be force-fitted in the sleeve by axial approach, said skirt and said sleeve forming said interengaging means, and said stopping means including the skirt having on its outer face said tearable element in the form of a detachable plate which in the course of this fitting operation can only be accommodated to the right of a free sector of the sleeve, and can move in rotation only along the length of the said sector, the limits thereby fixed in regard to the rotation of the cap serving to retain the cap in the sleeve by means of the said upstanding lip and rim.
7. Apparatus according to claim 6, in which the free sectors of the annular face of the sleeve are just long enough to allow passage of the sectors of the lower edge of the skirt which are provided with the said rim.
8. The combination according to claim 1, wherein said guiding means and stopping means are coextensive.
9. The combination according to claim 1, wherein said guiding means include means operative to prevent assembling the two components into an angular open position.
10. The combination according to claim 1, wherein said components are held assembled to each other through detent means.
11. The combination according to claim 8, wherein said guiding means and stopping means comprise projection means arranged on one of said components and complementary recess means arranged on the other of said components, said projection means and complementary recess means being mutually interengageable upon assembly of said components.
12. Apparatus according to claim 11, in which the complementary recess means include two vertical grooves formed in the outer cylindrical face of a skirt of the cap component and the projection means has the shape of two uprights adapted to fit into said grooves, the uprights being attached by a breakable connection to said container component, and the uprights being provided with a crosspiece acting as a pull-tag designed to facilitate the removal of the said projection by breakage.
13. Apparatus according to claim 12, in which the cross-piece is located opposite a cut-out formed in the upper face of the cap component.
14. Apparatus according to claim 11, in which the complementary recess means is a notch formed on a removable ring surrounding the skirt of the cap component and attached thereto by breakable connection, and the projection means is a tooth formed on the container component and housed in the notch.
15. Apparatus according to claim 11, in which the projection means is a movable claw attached by breakable connection to the skirt of the cap component around the periphery thereof and fitting into a hollowed out portion which is formed around the upper edge of a sleeve of said container component, which hollowed out portion defines the complementary recess means.
16. A container closure combination comprising an assembly of a cap component and a container component disposed in coaxial relationship, interengaging means on said components for controlling the axial movement of said cap component relative to said container component towards a dispensing position in accordance with the relative angular positions of said components, said interengaging means including axial projection and recess means alignable in one of said relative angular positions for preventing said relative axial movement and alignable in another of said relative angular position for facilitating said relative axial movement, said interengaging means being of a structural configuration facilitating mutual assembly by relative axial movement towards each other, and breakable connection means between said components for both assuring assembly of said components only in said one relative angular position and preventing relative rotation between said components to said another of said relative angular position, said breakable connection means including cooperating complimentary male and female parts on said components mutually engageable in an axial direction.
17. A combination according to claim 16, wherein the container component includes a container and a member connectable thereto to occupy an intermediate position between the cap component and the con tainer.
18. A combination according to claim 16, wherein the container component is a member assemblable to the cap component into said angular closed position to be connected thereafter to a container neck so as to occupy an intermediate position between the cap component and the container.