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Publication numberUS3904071 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 9, 1975
Filing dateFeb 6, 1974
Priority dateFeb 6, 1974
Publication numberUS 3904071 A, US 3904071A, US-A-3904071, US3904071 A, US3904071A
InventorsStearns Richard I
Original AssigneeStearns Richard I
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Resealing device for a container
US 3904071 A
Abstract  available in
Images(1)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [191 Stearns 1 RESEALING DEVICE FOR A CONTAINER Richard I. Stearns, 240 Shadowwood Ln., Northfield, 111. 60093 22 Filed: Feb. 6, 1974 [21] App1.No.:440,257

[76] Inventor:

3,438,542 4/1969 Fcld 220/24 R X 3,445,030 5/1969 Lutzker t 220/60 R 3,650,432 3/1972 Easton et a1. 220/24 R X 3,664,541 5/1972 Ruskin 220/24 R X 51 Sept. 9, 1975 Primary Examiner-William 1. Price Assistant Examiner-Steven M. Pollard Attorney, Agent, or FirmWegner, Stellman, McCord, Wiles & Wood [57] ABSTRACT The invention provides a seal for an opening in a container and is particularly adapted to close the opening in a flip-top type can where it is desired to reclose the can after a portion of the contents has been removed. The device includes a base member having the shape of the opening in the can but being larger than said opening, and a cover member conforming generally to the base member but being smaller than the base member, with the two members being interconnected by a flexible, stretchable seal around their peripheries so that the seal may be inserted through the opening, rotated to position the base member beneath the opening, and then rocked by stretching the seal to permit the cover member to pass upwardly through the opening and rest against the exterior surface of the can surrounding the opening.

3 Claims, 13 Drawing Figures JIIIIIII PATENTED 9 5 RESEALING DEVICE FOR A CONTAINER BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION A number of devices have been proposed in the past for resealing a container which has been opened but only a portion of the contents used. A prime example of such containers is the flip-top type can, such as beer cans, soft drink cans, and the like, which are equipped with a pulloff tab covering a more or less teardrop shaped opening in the top wall of the can so that the contents may be made available. A number of devices have been heretofore proposed for resealing the opening to maintain the fresh (and often carbonated) contents of the drink therein, some of such devices including a clamp to be clamped to the side of the can with a stopper mounted on the side of the clamp, and others including a plug of some sort adapted to be pushed into the opening, something like the action of a cork in a bottle.

In spite of the number of different devices designed for this purpose, there still exists a need for an inexpensive rescaling device which can readily be inserted, readily removed, and yet will maintain the liquid in the container in its original condition, or at least in the same condition it was when the resealing device was put in place.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION According to the present invention, there is provided a rescaling device having a base member which has the same general shape as the opening in the can but is larger than the opening, in combination with a cover member conforming generally to the shape of the base member but being somewhat smaller, with both mem bers being of fluid-impervious material and interconnected by a flexible seal around their peripheries. A handle is provided on the cover member to permit the device to be manipulated. The arrangement is such as to permit the base and cover member to be inserted crosswise through the opening in the can into the interior thereof, rotated so as to position the base member beneath and in alignment with the opening, whereupon the cover member may be rocked up through the opening by stretching the seal to position it on the exterior of the opening, with the resiliency of the seal interconnecting the two members holding the device in position effectively sealing the opening in the can. Any buildup of pressure in the can serves only to seat the device more firmly, thus insuring the integrity of the contents.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the top of a flip-top can showing in dotted lines the position of the parts be fore the can is opened, and in solid lines the position of the parts as the pulloff tab is being pulled away;

FIG. 2 is a view like FIG. 1 showing an open can with the device of the present invention positioned in place thereon;

FIG. 3 is an enlarged horizontal sectional view show ing the device of the present invention in position over the opening in the can;

FIG. 4 is a vertical section taken along line 4-4 of FIG. 3;

FIG. 5 is a vertical section taken along line 5-5 of FIG. 3;

FIG. 6 is a vertical section taken along line 6-6 of FIG. 3;

FIG. 7 is a perspective view of the top portion of an open can showing the device of the present invention in the process of being inserted through the opening;

FIG. 8 is a view like FIG. 7 showing the final steps of positioning the device to close the opening in the can;

FIG. 9 is a sectional view taken along line 9-9 of FIG. 8;

FIG. I0 is a longitudinal section along line l0l0 of FIG. 8;

FIG. I] is a vertical section along line 1111 of FIG. 10;

FIG. 12 is a sectional view similar to FIG. 9 but showing the device being rocked in position; and

FIG. 13 is a view like FIG. 12 showing the positioning of the device as it approaches the position illustrated in FIG. 5.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMOBIDMENT Referring now to the drawings, there is shown a container II) of the popular type having a flip-top closure. This type of can is used often for beer, soft drinks, and other liquids. The can is provided with a generally teardrop shaped opening ll in the top wall 12 of the can, which opening is originally sealed by a closure 13 connected to a finger pull tab 14. The pull tab is normally in the position shown in the dotted lines of FIG. I, from which position it may be lifted by a finger and then used to pull off the closure 13.

The resealing device of the present invention includes a base member 16 formed by a frame 17 which may be of wire, with the frame having generally the shape of the opening 11 but being larger than said opening. In other words, the longest dimension of the frame 16 is greater than the corresponding dimension of the opening 11, and the dimension of the frame 16 normal thereto is also larger than the corresponding dimension of the opening.

The device includes a cover member 20 which has a wire fr: 2] having a first portion generally conforming t hape of the opening but being smaller in dimen. than the dimensions of the base member 16.

The ..ire forming the frame of the cover member is bent upwardly as shown at 23 to form a handle 24 for manipulating the device.

Extending around the peripheries of the frame members 17 and 21 is a seal 25 made of fluid-impervious flexible and stretchable material. In the particular embodiment of the invention illustrated in the drawings, the seal 25 is a portion of a rubber bag which has a second portion 26 covering the frame member 17, a third portion 27 covering the frame portion 21, and a fourth portion 28 covering the handle 24. Thus, in effect, the wire members are enclosed within the bag making a very simple construction and yet providing fluidimpervious memmbers l6 and 20 as well as a fluidimpervious but stretchable seal 25.

In using the device of the invention, the cover and base members held together by the resilience of the bag are inserted crosswise through the opening 11 as illustrated in FIG. 7. Once within the can, the resealing de vice is manipulated by the handle to the position shown in FIG. 8 wherein both cover and base members are positioned beneath the opening I l but in alignment therewith. In this position, both wire frames are beneath the opening as illustrated in FIGS. 9 and 10.

The handle 24 is then rocked as illustrated in FIG. 8 to move the cover member so as to cause one edge of the wire frame to move out of the opening as illustrated in FIG. 12, and then rocked again as illustrated in FIG. 13 to move the opposite side of the frame forming the cover member to a position outside the opening, until the cover and frame members are in the position illustrated in FIG. 5. The resilience of the seal 25 permits the frame members to be so moved relative to each other and also serve to hold the entire device in position on the cover of the can to seal the contents.

It is clear that any increased pressure within the container would serve to more firmly press the base member 16 against the interior surface of the can surrounding the opening and thus to insure a tight seal.

1 claim:

I. A rescaling device for a container having an opening therein in a wall of the container and wherein the opening has one dimension in the plane of the wall shorter than the dimension normal thereto in said plane, said device comprising a base member having a wire-like portion shaped to conform generally to the shape of the opening but having its corresponding dimensions larger than the dimensions of the opening, a cover member having a wire-like portion conforming generally to the shape of the opening but having dimensions smaller than the corresponding dimensions of the wire-like portion of the base member, a bag-like seal of fluid-impervious flexible and stretchable material containing said members, and a handle secured to said wire-like portion of the cover member whereby said device may be inserted crosswise in the direction of the longest dimension of the base member through said opening and into the interior of the container, rotated to align the base member with the opening, and then the cover member may be rocked through the opening by stretching the seal thereby to position the base and cover member respectively on the interior and exterior sides of the opening in sealing engagement with the edges thereof and with the resilience of the seal maintaining the device in such position.

2. A rescaling device for a container having an opening therein in a wall of the container and wherein the opening has one dimension in the plane of the wall shorter than the dimension normal thereto in said plane, said device comprising a base member having a wire frame shaped to conform generally to the shape of the opening but having its corresponding dimensions larger than the dimensions of the opening, a cover member having a wire frame conforming generally to the shape of the opening but being larger than the opening, the last mentioned frame having a second portion extending substantially normal to the plane thereof to form a handle, a bag of rubber-like fluid-impervious flexible and stretchable material containing said members, said bag having a portion stretched over the frame of the base member and over the frame of the cover member and forming a stretchable seal around the peripheries of each whereby said device may be initially inserted crosswise in the direction of the longest dimension of the base member through said opening and into the interior of the container, rotated to align the base member with the opening, and then the cover member may be rocked through the opening by stretching the seal thereby to position the base and cover member respectively on the interior and exterior sides of the opening in sealing engagement with the edges thereof and with the resilience of the seal maintaining the device in such position.

3. A rescaling device for a container having an opening therein in a wall of the container and wherein the opening has one dimension in the plane of the wall shorter than the dimension normal thereto in said plane, said device comprising a base member having a portion shaped to conform generally to the shape of the opening but having its corresponding dimensions larger than the dimensions of the opening, a cover member having a portion conforming generally to the shape of the opening but having dimensions smaller than the corresponding dimensions of said portion of the base member, a seal of fluid-impervious flexible and stretchable material extending between and continuously around the edge of the base member and the edge of the cover member, and a handle secured to said portion of the cover member whereby said device may be inserted cross-wise in the direction of the longest dimension of the base member through said opening and into the interior of the container, rotated to align the base member with the opening, and then the cover member may be rocked through the opening by stretching the seal thereby to position the base and cover member re spectively on the interior and exterior sides of the opening in sealing engagement with the edges thereof and with the resilience of the seal maintaining the device in such position.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2173843 *Nov 2, 1937Sep 26, 1939American Can CoContainer reclosure
US3438542 *Jun 4, 1968Apr 15, 1969Feld Goldie FCan opening and sealing device
US3445030 *Mar 8, 1968May 20, 1969Lawrence D LutzkerCan closure plug
US3650432 *Apr 2, 1970Mar 21, 1972Haidy Mark AllanRe-usable seal for tab opening cans
US3664541 *Feb 20, 1970May 23, 1972Ruskin Asa PClosure plug
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4747511 *Jul 10, 1986May 31, 1988Sun Coast Plastics, Inc.Plug-type openers for plastic can ends
US6883679Oct 30, 2002Apr 26, 2005L. L. Culmat L.P.Snap-insert hole closing plug
US7234221Nov 23, 2004Jun 26, 2007L.L. Culmat, L.P.Method of closing a partition opening
US7757889Sep 18, 2006Jul 20, 2010Zeev Haim ZiprisSealing and reopening device for opened aluminum beverage cans
US8215513Aug 20, 2008Jul 10, 2012Popseal LLC.Self-closing resealable can end
Classifications
U.S. Classification220/233, 220/791
International ClassificationB65D39/00, B65D39/02
Cooperative ClassificationB65D39/02
European ClassificationB65D39/02