|Publication number||US3888375 A|
|Publication date||Jun 10, 1975|
|Filing date||Dec 17, 1973|
|Priority date||Dec 17, 1973|
|Publication number||US 3888375 A, US 3888375A, US-A-3888375, US3888375 A, US3888375A|
|Inventors||Gerk Richard G|
|Original Assignee||Vca Corp|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (3), Referenced by (47), Classifications (5), Legal Events (1)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
United States Patent 11 1 Gerk [ SAFETY CLOSURE ASSEMBLY  Inventor: Richard G. Gerk, Palos Park, Ill.
 Assignee: VCA Corporation, Baton Rouge,
22 Filed: Dec. 17, 1973 21 Appl. No.1 425,111
Primary Examiner-George T. Hall Attorney, Agent, or FirmMax R. Kraus  ABSTRACT A safety closure assembly for containers, such as bottles and the like, whereby unauthorized removal of the [4 1 June 10, 1975 closure from the container is prevented. More particularly, the invention relates to a closure unit comprising an inner or closure cap which is used to close the open end of the container cooperatively connected to an outer or actuator cap superimposed over the inner cap and in which the top walls of the inner and outer caps have interengaging means to permit simultaneous rotation of the inner cap with the rotation of the outer cap in one direction so that the inner cap forms a do sure for the container and in which the skirt portion of the outer cap has a radially deflectable surface, deflectable by manual pressure, the inside of said deflectable surface having a rib or ribs engaging the rib or ribs on the skirt portion of the inner cap so that a rotation of the outer cap in an opposite direction when said deflectable surface is manually radially deflected will simultaneously rotate the inner cap to effect an unscrewing of the inner cap as a closure memher, yet when said deflectable radial surface is not manually radially deflected, the top interengaging means and the ribs on the skirts will override and no counterclockwise rotation or unscrewing action will be imparted to the inner cap and it will remain in a closure position on the bottle or container.
7 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures JZ'I'I IIW/I'Y' 1 1 4Q 49 52 l 4e 48 54 38 SAFETY CLOSURE ASSEMBLY BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION It is well recognized that there is potential hazzard. particularly for young children if they are able to remove the closure cap from a bottle or container which may contain medicine or a toxic material or the like. It is therefore an object of this invention to provide a safety closure comprising an inner closure cap and an outer cap, both having interengaging means on their respective top walls so that rotation of the outer cap in a clockwise direction will simultaneously and in unison rotate the inner cap to readily secure the inner cap to the neck of a bottle or container but which inner cap cannot be unthreaded or disengaged from the neck of the bottle or container unless a radial manual pressure is applied against the skirt of the outer cap to produce an interengagement between the engaging means on the skirts of the inner and outer caps so that they operate in unison when rotated counter-clockwise to thereby disengage the inner cap from the container.
Another object of this invention is to provide a safety closure means which cannot be removed by a child but which may be readily removed by one familiar with the manner of operation of the closure cap.
Another object of this invention is to provide a safety closure which may be economically molded and readily assembled.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS In the drawings:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the safety closure unit of this invention applied to a bottle or container.
FIG. 2 is a view of the outer cap.
FIG. 3 is a view of the inner or closure cap.
FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view of the two caps in assembled relation with the skirt portion of the outer cap pressed radially inward, as it would be by manual pressure, to interengage the outer cap with the inner cap when rotating same counterclockwise to effect an unscrewing of the inner cap from the container.
FIG. 5 is a view partially in section showing the position of the parts when the skirt of the outer cap is normal and not manually radially pressed inward; and
FIG. 6 is a top plan view of the inner cap.
The safety closure unit, generally indicated at 10, consists essentially of two cap members with interengaging means. The inner or closure cap is designated by the numeral 12 and the outer cap which is superimposed over the inner cap and is the actuator cap is designated by the numeral 14.
The inner or closure cap 12 is molded of plastic material such as propylene and comprises a top wall I6 and an annular skirt portion 18, which skirt is provided at its lower end with an outwardly flared annular portion which is angularly or downwardly inclined. and a bottom annular rim 22 which is substantiaily vertical The interior of the skirt portion 18 has a threaded portion 23 for screw threaded engagement with the exterior threaded portion or neck of a container 24. The top wall 16 of the inner cap is provided with a plurality of radially extending projections or ratchet teeth each generally indicated at 25 and all of which are inclined in the same direction. Each tooth is of identical shape. having a sloping or inclined ramp portion 26 which increases in thickness to a high point adjacent the front edge 28, which front edge extends vertically to the flat top wall 16. The rear portion 30 of the ramp of the tooth merges with the top flat portion of the top wall 16 and the ratchet tooth extends from adjacent the outer perimeter 3] of the top wall inwardly thereof but spaced from the central portion 32 of the top wall. The inner side of each of the ramps has a slightly curved portion 34. The central portion of the top wall is provided with an annular or ring-like projection 36 which extends upwardly of the top wall of the inner cap and defines a central annular well portion 37 which is adapted to receive the central portion on the outer cap for maintaining the inner and outer caps in axial alinement, as will be subsequently described.
The skirt portion I8 of the inner cap is provided with a plurality of spaced vertical projections or ribs generally indicated at 38, all of said projections or ribs being similar. The high point of the rib is at the front and defines a front straight edge 40 with the ramp or sloping surface 42 inclined downwardly and rearwardly where it merges into the outer wall of the skirt of the inner cap. The top of the rib 38 is substantially flush with the top of the wall I6 and the bottom of the rib terminates at the flared edge 20.
The outer cap 14 is molded of a polyethylene plastic material and comprises a top wall 44 and an annular skirt 46. The skirt is provided with a pair of diametrically positioned skirt portions 48 which are radially deflectable by an inward manual pressure, as indicated by the arrows 49 in FIG. 4. The deflectable skirt portions 48 are each spaced from the remaining skirt of the cap by a pair of spaced vertical slots 50. On the inside surface of each said radially deflectable skirt portion 48 is a centrally positioned vertical rib 52 which extends from the top wall and terminates at 54, a spaced distance from the bottom edge of the skirt. The bottom edge of the vertical rib has a tapered end 55.
The annular bottom edge of the skirt of the outer cap has an inwardly extending annular lip 56 which has an inclined top surface 57 and said lip serves to retain the inner cap inside the outer cap when the two are juxtaposed, as in FIG. 4, and prevents separation between said caps but permits relative rotation between said caps. The inner cap may be readily inserted and snapped into the outer cap when initially engaged.
The underside of the top wall of the outer cap is provided with a plurality of radially downwardly extending projections or ratchet teeth generally indicated at 58, all of similar shape and each of which comprises an inclined or sloping ramp portion 60 which increases to the high point at the front thereof to form the front vertical edge 62. The rear portion of the sloping ramp 60 merges into the inner surface of the top wall. The projections or ratchet teeth 58 extend from the skirt portion inwardly but are spaced from the central portion of the top wall of the cap. It will be noted. particularly in reference to FIG. 5, that the lead or front edge of certain of said ratchet teeth 58 are in alinement with the vertical slits or slots 50 of the skirt of the outer cap.
Extending downwardly from the inside of the top wall of the outer cap is a centrally positioned ring portion 64, smaller in diameter than the ring 36 on the top of the inner cap, and said smaller ring 64 is adapted to fit within the recess of the larger ring 36 on the top of the inner cap. The two rings when interengaged serve to aline the inner and outer caps in axial alinement.
The exterior surface of the deflectable skirt portions 48 are each provided with ridges 48' so that a person's fingers may engage said surfaces without slipping and the balance of the skirt portion of the outer cap may be provided with finer ridges to distinguish same from the ridges 48'. Thus. one familiar with the closure unit may readily ascertain which skirt portions 48 are to be manually radially deflected to unscrew the inner cap from the container. which would not be apparent to a young child OPERATION The operation of the safety closure is as follows. When it is desired to secure the safety caps as a closure to a threaded neck of a bottle or container the assembly is positioned on the neck or outlet portion of the con tainer and by manually rotating the outer cap 14 clock wise the projections or ratchet teeth 58 on the underside of the top of the outer cap will engage the projections or ratchet teeth on the top wall of the inner cap l2 and this will cause a simultaneous rotation of the inner cap with the rotation of the outer cap to thereby permit the inner cap to be screwed onto the container and serve to close the container opening. After the inner closure cap 12 is secured to the container the outer cap 14 cannot be further rotated clockwise. If the outer cap 14 is rotated in the opposite direction. namely, counterclockwise then no corresponding rotation will be imparted to the inner cap 12 since the pro jections or ratchet teeth 58 on the underside of the outer cap will ride on the ramps of the projections or ratchet teeth 25 of the inner cap 12 and will override same to permit a counterclockwise rotation of the outer cap with respect to the inner cap without imparting corresponding rotation to the inner cap. it is only when a manual radial pressure is applied simultaneously against the diametrically opposite flexible or compressible skirt portions 48 of the outer cap 14, as indicated by the arrows 49 in FIG. 4, that an unscrew ing of the inner cap can take place. for as the skirt portions 48 are radially deflected inwardly by manual pressure the vertical rib 52 on the inside of each of said skirt portions 48 will engage the vertical ribs 38 on the skirt of the inner cap 12 and by such engagement will cause the outer and inner caps to be rotated simultaneously to effect an unscrewing of the inner cap with respect to the container. As best seen in FIG. 5, there are two vertical ribs 52 in diametrically opposite positions on the inside wall of the outer cap and four vertical ribs 38 on the skirt of the inner cap so that the outer cap even when the skirt portions 48 are radially deflected will be permitted to rotate a short distance relative to the inner cap to provide a short free play before interengagement is effected therebetween.
What is claimed is:
l. A safety closure assembly comprising an inner closure cap having a top portion to cover the mouth of the container and a skirt to fit over the container immediately adjacent the opening. means on said inner closure skirt for engagement with members on the container, an outer cap ofa size to receive said inner closure. said outer cap having a top portion and a skirt. with the skirt having a continuous and uninterrupted annular bottom edge. the underside of said top wall of said outer cap having spaced radially extending members and the top wall of said inner cap having spaced radially extending members adapted to be engaged by the spaced radially extending members of the outer cap when the outer cap is rotated in one direction to simultaneously rotate said inner cap to effect a closure of said inner cap with respect to said container and to permit a free rotation of said outer cap with respect to said inner cap when said outer cap is rotated in an opposite direction. said outer cap having a pair of spaced vertical slots extend' ing from adjacent the top portion to adjacent the continuous and uninterrupted annular bottom edge to provide a skirt panel which is substantially the height of the skirt and which is radially deflectable inwardly by manual pressure, said deflectable skirt panel having means on the inside thereof which engage means on the skirt of said inner cap when said outer skirt panel is radially deflected so that when the said means are interengaged a rotation of the outer cap in the opposite direction will simultaneously rotate said inner cap to effect an unscrewing of said inner cap with respect to the container and when said outer skirt panel is not deflected rotation of said outer cap in said opposite direction will not impart rotation to said inner cap. said deflectable skirt panel being connected to said annular continuous and uninterrupted bottom edge. the inside of said annular continuous and uninterrupted bottom edge having a continuous inwardly extending lip which engages the bottom edge of the skirt of the inner closure cap to prevent scparation of the inner cap relative to the outer cap.
2. A safety closure assembly as set forth in claim 1 in which the outer cap has a pair of diametrically positioned deflectable skirt panels. each of which has a rib engaging a rib on the skirt of the inner cap.
3. A safety closure assembly as set forth in claim 1 in which the inside of the top wall of the outer cap and the top wall of the inner cap have interfitting means to maintain said outer and inner caps in axial alinement.
4. A safety closure assembly as set forth in claim 2 in which the lower portion of the skirt adjacent the bottom edge of the inner cap has a flared annular portion which nests within the skirt of the outer cap and which permits the inner cap to be inserted into the outer cap past the continuous inwardly extending lip of the outer cap when the inner cap is first inserted and snapped into the outer cap.
5. A safety closure as set forth in claim 2 in which the inner and outer caps are molded of plastic material and in which the outer surface of the deflectable skirt panels have ridges for manual engagement.
6. A safety closure as set forth in claim 2 in which the rib on the deflectable skirt panel is adjacent the upper portion of the panel.
7. A safety closure assembly as set forth in claim 1 in which the inner and outer caps are molded of plastic material and in which the outer cap is formed of a ma terial having a greater resiliency than the inner cap.
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|International Classification||B65D50/00, B65D50/04|
|Jan 25, 1984||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: ETHYL MOLDED PRODUCTS COMPANY, 330 SOUTH FOURTH ST
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:ETHYL PRODUCTS COMPANY;REEL/FRAME:004219/0248
Effective date: 19831216