US 3895743 A
A lid adapted to fit over the opening of containers and having a raised portion serving as an open spout for the container. The lid construction includes a central ring portion having a plurality of rib sections extending radially therefrom and terminating at a vented inverted U-shaped rim structure. The rib sections have raised points and the pour spout is recessed to provide for placement of containers in a stacked relationship.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [191 Christian POUR SPOUT LID  Inventor: Hubert E. Christian, Phoenix, Ariz.
 Assignee: Dart Industries Inc., Los Angeles,
 Filed: Dec. 8, 1972  Appl. No.: 313,220
 US. Cl. 222/143; 206/508; 222/570  Int. Cl B65d 51/16  Field of Search D9/l70, 267, 275, 290;
222/143, 481, 541, 566-570; 215/41, 229; 220/24.5, 42, 90.4, 97 R, 97 C, 97 F;
206/508  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,952,674 3/1934 Karsel 222/567 3,339,786 9/1967 Biglin 220/97 F 3,362,575 1/1968 Fotos 220/97 F [451 July 22, 1975 3,384,265 5/1968 Frank 220/97 F 3,387,749 6/1968 Godshalk et al 222/143 3,557,995 1/1971 Mirasol 220/42 Primary Examiner-Allen N. Knowles Assistant Examiner-Larry Martin Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Kenneth J. Hovet; Leigh B. Taylor; Paul R. Wylie  ABSTRACT A lid adapted to fit over the opening of containers and having a raised portion serving as an open spout for the container. The lid construction includes a central ring portion having a plurality of rib sections extending radially therefrom and terminating at a vented inverted U-shaped rim structure. The rib sections have raised points and the pour spout is recessed to provide for placement of containers in a stacked relationship.
8 Claims, 5 Drawing Figures PATENTED JUL 2 2 m5 FIG. 1.
POUR SPOUT LID BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention The present invention relates to closure devices for containers. In particular, the invention is concerned with the structureof closures which are fitted over containers containing flowable materials.
2. Description of the Prior Art There has been a long felt need in the art to provide a lid that can be economicallymass-produced yet provide a cover for receptacles containing soft drinks, milk, coffee, tea, various powders or granular materials and the like, that can remain on the receptacles during dispensation of the materials contained therein. Such a lid is especially advantageous for use 'with children, or others, who may be prone to spilling the contents of containers when removal of tightly-fitting prior art lids may be difficult but necessary to dispense for use in preventing large particles of ice from falling and splashing out of the container and are adaptable for use as a means for flow control or for the insertion of a straw through the spout opening.
Prior art pour spout lids are generally of complicated design and require multiple molding, cutting and/or punching steps to produce the desired structure. Such manufacturing steps necessitate special expensive dies for both the molding and trimming operations. Furthermore, prior art lids having provisions for a spout generally lack strength and are not suited for holding beverage containers or the like in a vertical stack upon the lids.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION tightly engaging the open-end of containers. A portion material may be used to make the closure such as polyethlene, copolymers of polyethlene and polypropylene, polystyrene, polybutadiene, copolymers of polybutadiene and polystyrene, or copolymers of any number of monomers including ethylene, propylene, butadiene, styrene, and other olefins and diolefins of two to ten carbon atoms.
The closure 11 includes a central circular diaphragm 12 the periphery of which is defined by an upwardly extending annular ridge or ring portion 13. The diaphragm may be flat, imprinted, embossed, or shaped with a characterizing fanciful design. Emanating outwardly from the annular ridge 13 are a plurality of rib sections generally designated by reference numeral 14. The rib sections extend upwardly from monoplanar web portions 15 and are of an inverted V-shaped crosssectional configuration. However, the rib sections may optionally be curved, rectangular, or square in crosssection depending on whatever style is desired.
As best shown in FIG. 1, the V-shaped cross-section of the rib sections flare to a more open cross-section as the rib extends radially from the annular ridge 13. The
of the rim structure comprises a raised pour spout portion which does not engage the top edges of the container. Another portion of the rim structure is enlarged in atransverse direction to provide a vent. fer the pour spout.
FIG. 1 is a top plan view of aclosure'constructedin accordance with the present invention.
ribs 14 terminate at, and are integral with, the inverted U-shaped rim structure generally shown with reference numeral 16. Extending inwardly from the rim structure are V-shaped raised segments shown as 17. The points 18 of said segments serve to maintain cups or other containers resting thereon in a stabilized position. In this regard, it is to be noted that for stability purposes the pour spout shown by reference numeral 24 has been recessed at 20 to a level corresponding to the top 21 of rib sections 14. This feature is especially important when several containers are stacked upon each other for transport. FIG. 2 depicts a sectional view of atypical beverage container 23 resting upon closure 11 I between points 18 and side wall 22 of recess 20.
Returning again to FIG. 1, the inverted U-shaped rim structure 16 is shown as merging into the pour spout structure at points 25. The U-shaped rim structure resiliently engages and seals with the upper edges of the side walls of a container except at the area beneath the spout 24 between points 25-25 and at the vent structure shown generally at 26. This feature will be discussed hereinafter with reference to FIG. 4.
FIG. 2 is a cross-sectionalview taken along the line 22 of FIG. 1 including a cross-sectional view of atypical containerresting upon theclosure.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS OF THE INVENTION A preferred closure of the present invention is shown generally as 11 in FIGS. 1 and 5. Any flexible plastic f The pour spout 24 comprises an inverted V-shaped in cross-section wedge structure that flares radially outward and upwardfrom the annular ridge 13. The outer BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF A N g i. edges of the spout are coextensive with the outer perimeter of the closure 11. This is an important feature of the present invention sinceit allows the closure to be economically formed from a web with an uncomplicated circular mold and trimmed with a standard round closure punch. The wedge shape of the pour spout provides a convenient substantially flat surface for trimming, however, semi-round shapes may also be used.
The elongated crest 27 of spout 24 rises substantially above the level of rim structure 16 from an initial level substantially coextensive with ridge 13 so as to provide a clear opening above the top edges of a container. The
height of the crest above the container edges is therefore a function of providing for the adequate dispensation of materials contained therein in that it provides a means for controlling and guiding the flow of material.
The crest is indented or transversely recessed as at 20 to provide a flat surface 28 for supporting a container thereon. The recess 20 results in the formation of side wall 22, the inner surface of which is shown in FIG. 3.
Referring now to FIG. 4 there is shown an enlarged partial cross-section taken along section lines 4-4 depicting the engagement of the top of a typical container wall with rim structure 16 and the operation of the air vent 26. The inverted U-shaped rim structure is shown with inner wall 30 and outer wall 31 resiliently and sealingly engaging the upper surfaces of container wall 29. A seal is effected between the engaging walls of the rim structure by virtue of their plastic resistance to being flexed apart when forced upon the open end of a container. To further provide extra strength and resilience to the rim structure 16, an inwardly directed groove 32 is formed around the periphery of outer wall 31.
Air vent 26 is formed as a channel extending transversely across the rim structure at the side of the closure substantially opposite of the pour spout 24. When the closure is fitted upon the open end of a container, an air passageway is formed between the end of the container and the transverse channel. This feature is desirable but optional with the present invention since the pour spout itself may provide sufficient space for equalizing air to flow into the container. During pouring of a fluid from the pour spout 24, ambient air will flow into the vapor space above the fluid, as shown by arrows in FIG. 4.
From the foregoing description of the preferred embodiments, it will have become apparent that the present invention provides a closure having great utility, strength and durability while retaining a simplicity of design and construction. It is to be understood that various changes and modifications can be made in the described and illustrated structure without departure from the basic concepts of the invention. For example, three V-shaped radial reinforcing ribs have been shown in symmetry with the pour spout, however, there could just as well be two, four or more depending on the size of the closure and various cost considerations.
The closures are readily formed by conventional means known in the art. Preferably, they are vacuum thermoformed whereby a heated plastic sheet is placed over a lower mold half. The air between the plastic sheet and mold is evacuated to draw the plastic down into the shape of the mold. While thermoforming the closure of the present invention, a web is formed across the pour spout opening 33. The web extends beyond the trim diameter and is cut off in the trim operation to provide the pour spout. The trim is round in shape and a standard lid punch can be used with the addition of a simple back-up die for the spout. The wide-angled wedge shape of the pour spout 24 is advantageous in that it provides a near flat surface for trimming. As
mentioned, other manufacturing techniques may be used without undue complications because of the sim-. plicityof design of the present invention.
What is claimed is:
1. A closure having a rim structure adapted to engage the top of a container comprising:
a central ring portion;
a plurality of rib sections extending radially from said ring portion to said rim structure with at least a part of some of said rib sections including a surface for supporting a container; and, i
a raised portion extending radially outwardly from said ring to a point above the rim structure. said portion presenting an outwardly flared upwardly directed elongated crest to guide the flow of materials from said container said elongated crest and said container top thereby forming the spout opening.
2. The closure of claim 1 wherein said raised portion is indented to cooperate with said rib sections in providing a base upon which a container may rest.
3. The closure of claim 1 wherein said raised portion terminates at a point substantially coextensive with the outer edge of said rim structure.
4. The closure of claim 1 wherein said raised portion and rib sections are generally wedge shaped in crosssection.
5. A flexible closure for a container comprising:
an annular ridge about the center of said closure;
an inverted U-shaped in cross-section rim structure about a major part of the circumference of said closure with the remainder of said circumference de-. fined by a raised portion extending above the top of said rim structure, said raised portion comprising an upwardly directed elongated crest for controlling and guiding the flow of materials from said container said elongated crest and the container top thereby forming the spout opening; and
a plurality of rib sections extending between said annular ridge and said rim structure.
6. The closure of claim 5 wherein at least a portion of the top of said rib sections and said raised portion presenting a surface for supporting a container in a stable manner.
7. The closure of claim 5 wherein said rim structure is provided with a channel extending transversely thereof to effect an air vent when said closure is in engagement with a container.
8. The closure of claim 6 wherein said raised portion is wedge shaped in cross-section.