US 3924774 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Umted States Patent 1191  3, Donnelly [4 Dec. 9, 1975 CLOSURE FOR CONTAINERS 2,429,984 11/1947 Berglund 220/44 2,489,989 11/1949 Totman 220/44  Inventor- Donnelly 343 30th 2,726,012 12/1955 Jensen 220/93 New York, 10016 2,828,886 4/1958 Thomas 220/93 Oct- 3,159,176 12/1964 Russell 137/5253 3,164,289 1/1965 Cocchiarella 220/93  Appl. No.1 296,635
 [1.5. CI. 220/93; 220/200  Int. Cl. B651) 25/10  Field of Search 150/.5; 220/24, 44, 93; 215/33, 37, 56
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 725,149 4/1903 Saenger 220/93 892,716 7/1908 Ellery 220/44 1,941,048 12/1933 Punte 220/44 1,950,325 3/1934 Punte 220/44 1,950,326 3/1934 Punte 220/44 1,978,025 10/1934 McCown 220/93 2,117,075 5/1938 Belmont 220/44 2,172,457 9/1939 Schwartz 220/93 Primary Examiner-William 1. Price Assistant Examiner-R0 E. Hart Attorney, Agent, or FirmEugene E. Geoffrey, Jr.
 ABSTRACT 3 Claims, 10 Drawing Figures us. Patent Dec.9,1975 3,924,774
JTZK Q6 CLOSURE FOR CONTAINERS This invention relates to container closures and more specifically to a novel and improved closure for jars, cans and the like formed of glass, metal, plastic and other materials and of a wide variety of shapes and configurations.
While many containers for packaging and storing goods and particularly foods are provided with replaceable closures, it is well recognized that the presence of air in the container has an adverse effect on the aroma and flavor of the food. Thus in the case of ground coffee for instance, as coffee is used from the container, the air remaining in the container each time it is closed will tend to oxidize the coffee aroma and since the air is replaced with fresh air each time the can is opened, the oxidation process continues. As a result the coffee rapidly loses its aroma and flavor. The same conditions occur with other foods, particularly when contained in wide mouth vessels.
This invention has as one of its objects the provision of a novel and improved closure for containers which will afford a substantially airtight seal and can be positioned within the container close to the surface of the food remaining therein so that the quantity of free air within the container can always be maintained at a minimum.
Another Object of the invention resides in the provi sion of a novel and improved closure for a container which can be positioned at any desired level within the container and includes valving means to break the seal and facilitate removal of the closure.
Still another object of the invention resides in the provision of a novel and improved closure for containers which will readily conform to the configuration of the walls of a container and produce a substantially airtight seal.
The closure in accordance with the invention utilizes a flexible diaphragm of air impervious material such as a cellular plastic Or the like, central support means of a diameter smaller than the container with which it is to be utilized and suitable gripping means affixed to the support means for inserting and removing the closure. Valving means for admission of air to the container to facilitate removal of the closure may be in the form of mechanical relief valves in the handle and support means or openings in the diaphragm normally covered by the support means and opened upon application of upward motion of the support means to remove the closure.
The above and other objects and advantages of the invention will become more apparent from the following description and accompanying drawings forming part of this application.
In the Drawings:
FIG. 1 is an elevational view in partial section of a closure in accordance with the invention,
FIG. 2 is a view similar to FIG. 1 of a modified embodiment of the invention,
FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view of still another embodiment of the invention,
FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view of still another embodiment of the invention,
FIGS. 5 and 6 are elevational views in partial section of further embodiments of the invention,
FIG. 7 is a cross-sectional view of a simplified embodiment of the invention,
FIG. 8 is a cross-sectional view of another embodiment of the invention,
FIG. 9 is a perspective view of a cylindrical container showing a closure as illustrated in FIG. 1 positioned therein, and
FIG. 10 is a perspective view of a container of square cross-section with a closure in accordance with the invention positioned therein.
Referring now to the drawings and more specifically to FIG. 1, a closure 10 in accordance with the invention is shown in position in a container 11. The closure includes a sheet of flexible material 12 having a central opening 12' and which is normally flat as shown in the broken line position. The sheet or disc 12 is preferably formed of an air impervious material such as rubber, cellular plastic or the like having sufficient resilience to conform with the inner configuration of a container such as the container 11 without having the edges wrinkle. The support 13 includes an upper plate 14 which is normally circular and smaller in diameter than the sheet 12 so the latter can deform to conform to the inner configuration of the container 11 as illustrated in solid lines. A second plate 15 forming part of the support 13 is smaller in diameter than the plate 14 and coupled thereto by a neck portion 16. The plates 14 and 15 and the neck 16 may be formed integrally if desired and retain the flexible material 12 therebetween. A handle 17 extends from the plate 14 and the flexible disc.or sheet 12 includes openings 18 which are positioned beyond the edge of the bottom plate 15 but are covered by the top plate 14.
The structure as described above can be inserted in a container such as the container 11 and the edge of the disc 12 will conform with the inner surface of the container as illustrated. The plate 14 will seal the openings 18 so that the closure provides a substantially airtight seal and can be positioned at any point within the container so that minimum air space will remain above the contents of the container. Moreover, because of the resilience of the disc 12, it will provide an effective seal about the vertical seam 19 of the can 11 as well as about annular beads 20 or other dents 20 that may occur in the side wall and the container may have a wide variety of cross-sectional configurations or tapers.
The form of the invention shown in FIG. 2 is similar to FIG. 1 in that it includes a disc 12 of resilient material having openings 18 therein. The support denoted by the numeral 21 includes a top plate 22 overlying the openings 18 and formed integrally with a hollow handle 23. The bottom plate 24 is formed integrally with a sleeve 25, the latter extending through the disc 12 into the handle 23 and cemented or otherwise secured to the handle. The operation of this embodiment is identical to that described in connection with FIG. 1.
The closure illustrated in FIG. 3 differs from those shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 in that mechanical valving means is provided in the handle. The resilient or flexible disc in this embodiment of the invention is denoted by the numeral 26 and has an opening 26 in the center thereof. The support structure 27 includes a top plate 28 of smaller diameter than the disc 26 formed integrally with a tubular handle 29 having a top surface 30 with a central opening 31. The bottom plate 32 is formed integrally with a central sleeve 33 which extends through the disc 26 and into the handle 29. The sleeve 33 is cemented or otherwise secured to the handle 29. The bottom plate 32 includes a central tapered opening 34 which receives a tapered valve 35 having an upwardly extending stem 36. A spring 37 between the stem 39 and the plate 32 holds the valve in the closed position. Upon removal of the closure after being placed in a container, upward motion of the closure will create a vacuum in the container with the result that the valve 35 will open to permit air to flow into the container so that the closure can be removed easily.
Referring to FIG. 4, it will be observed that the structure is similar to FIG. 3 except that the support and valving means have been modified and like numerals have been used to denote corresponding elements in both figures. In the embodiment of FIG. 4, the inner surface of the handle 29 and the outer surface of the sleeve 33 have been provided with cooperating threads to facilitate attachment and permit ready disassembly for cleaning and replacement of parts. The top 30 of the handle 29 includes a tapered opening 38 while the bottom plate 32 includes a bleeder hole 39. A tapered valve 40 seats in the opening 38 and has a downwardly extending stem 41. A spring 42 is disposed between the valve 40 and the plate 32 to hold the valve in the normally closed position. With this arrangement, and as the closure is removed from a container, the vacuum produced will cause the valve to open and relieve the vacuum that would normally be created by such removal.
The closure shown in FIG. differs from the forms of the invention previously described in that it is of a unitary construction. It is formed of a flexible or resilient material such as rubber, cellular plastic or other suitable air impervious material and includes a flat disc portion 45, a tubular handle 46 extending upwardly from the center thereof, an upwardly and outwardly extending peripheral flange 47 and a plurality of stiffening ribs 48. Because of the resilience of the material it will readily conform to the internal configuration of a container and provide an effective seal.
The form of the invention shown in FIG. 6 is similar to that of FIG. 5 and like numerals have been used to denote corresponding elements. The closure in FIG. 6 however includes annular ribs 49' spaced inwardly from the peripheral flange 47 to afford somewhat greater flexibility.
FIG. 7 is a simplified version of a closure in accordance with the invention and includes a resilient disc 50, and a top support plate 51 which is pre-cut to provide tabs 52 which can be bent upwardly to form a handle or gripping means. The plate is secured to the disc by a suitable metal fastener 53.
The form of the invention shown in FIG. 8 is similar in structure and operation to the forms of the invention shown in FIGS. 1 and 2. It includes a disc 55 of a flexible resilient material as used in the formation of the discs 12, 26 and 50, all of which may be formed of similar materials. The support for the disc 55 includes an upper plate 56 of plywood or similar material such as a composition board formed of appropriately treated wood or paper to give it a high degree of stiffness and strength. The bottom plate 57 is preferably formed of an inert material such as plastic, impregnated wood or the like. The handle 58 is also formed of wood and the assembly is fastened together by a nail 59 or other similar fastener driven through the plate 57, disc 55 and plate 56 and into the handle 58. The disc 55 also includes valving holes 55 which function in the same manner as the holes 18 of FIGS. 1 and 2. When the structure of FIG. 8 is positioned in a container such as the container 60, it assumes the position shown in broken lines. As the closure is lifted to remove it, the edges of the disc 55 will be deflected downwardly relative to the plate 56 and open the holes 55 to admit air into the container to facilitate removal of the closure.
FIGS. 9 and 10 show typical containers in which closures as described above may be utilized. In both figures the closure 10 of FIG. I is shown in position in a container. The container 11 of FIG. 1 is cylindrical and has annular heads 20 while the container 11 in FIG. 10 is of a square cross section. In both case, however, the closure 10 of FIG. 1 as well as the closures of FIGS. 2 through 8 will function effectively to seal the containers and yet can be readily removed. Although the containers of FIGS. 9 and 10 have straight walls, it is evident that the closures previously described will be equally effective for use with containers having inclined walls. A
While only certain embodiments of the invention have been illustrated and described, it is apparent that alterations, modifications and changes may be made without departing from the true scope and spirit thereof as defined by the appended claims.
What is claimed is:
l. A removable closure for containers comprising a disc of relatively air-impervious resilient deflectable material having a selected peripheral configuration, a central relatively rigid support overlying said disc and secured to the disc centrally thereof, the area of said support being smaller than the area of said disc so that the edges of said disc can deflect relative to the edges of said support and a handle secured to and extending from said closure whereby said closure upon being inserted within a container will cause the edge of said disc to deflect upwardly and conform to the configuration of the container, said disc including at least one opening extending therethrough, said opening underlying the edge of said support and being normally closed thereby, said disc upon being deflected downwardly by removal of the closure from the container opens said opening to permit the flow of air therethrough.
2. A removable closure for containers according to claim 1 wherein said support includes a plate underlying said disc and means extending through said disc joining said plate to said support.
3. A removable closure for containers according to claim 2 wherein said second plate is smaller in area than said overlying plate and said valving means includes a passageway formed through said disc at a point beyond the periphery of said second plate and underlying said overlying plate.