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|United States Patent
June 13, 1972
SAFETY CAP FOR CONTAINER
A unitary closure cap having a skirt receiving and snap-fitted on the end
of a container neck to close the mouth of the container and also to
rotatably support the closure cap on the neck. A radially inwardly
directed locking flange carried within the container mouth is formed with
a plurality of relatively spaced gaps and the cap has support means
extending into the mouth and supporting a plurality of lugs which project
radially beneath and in axial abutment with the flange when the cap is
operatively applied. These lugs are positioned and proportioned for
registry with the respective gaps so that in a predetermined position of
angular orientation of the cap on the container they are no longer
operative and the cap may be removed from the container simply by
releasing the snap-fit in known manner.
Horvath; William (Chatham, NJ) |
Diamond International Corporation
August 21, 1970|
|Current U.S. Class:
||215/206 ; 215/211|
|Current International Class:
||B65D 43/02 (20060101); B65D 50/00 (20060101); B65D 50/06 (20060101); B65d 055/02 (); B65d 041/22 ()|
|Field of Search:
U.S. Patent Documents
Hall; George T.
Having thus described my invention, I claim:
1. In a container having an upstanding circular neck defining its mouth, a unitary closure cap including an end wall fitted over said mouth and seated
against the end of said neck, said closure cap being rotatable with respect to the container, the improvement which includes a radially inwardly directed annular locking flange carried by the neck in said mouth, said flange being formed with a plurality
of relatively spaced gaps extending axially therethrough, support means carried by the cap and extending into said mouth, and a plurality of locking lugs carried by said support means, said lugs projecting radially beneath said flange in axially abutting
engagement therewith, and being positioned and proportioned for registry with a similar plurality of said gaps in a predetermined position of angular orientation of said cap on the container, whereby to permit application and removal of the cap to and
from the container, said closure cap including a depending skirt encircling said neck, said neck and skirt respectively having cooperating radially projecting snap means for rotatably and releasibly securing the closure cap on the container in all
positions of relative orientation of said closure cap and container.
2. In a container as defined in claim 1, the further improvement wherein said locking lugs are irregularly spaced from each other to register with similarly spaced gaps in the locking ring in but a single preselected position of orientation of
said closure cap on the container.
3. In a container as defined in claim 1, the further improvement which includes cooperating external indicia on said closure cap and on the container, respectively, in positions for registry with each other when the closure cap and the container
are in said predetermined position of angular orientation.
4. In a container as defined in claim 1, the further improvement wherein said cap includes a removal tab projecting radially from its said skirt at an angular location on the cap coincident with that of one of said locking lugs.
5. In a container having an upstanding neck of circular cross-section defining an upwardly opening circular mouth, a snap bead externally encircling said neck, and a closure cap having an end wall extending across said mouth and seated against
the end of said neck and a depending skirt encircling said neck, said closure cap being rotatable on the neck, radially inwardly projecting retainer means within said skirt cooperating with said snap bead for releasably maintaining the closure cap
snap-fitted onto the neck, the improvement which includes a radially inwardly directed annular locking flange carried within the neck adjacent the end thereof, there being a plurality of relatively circumferentially spaced gaps extending axially through
said locking flange, support means depending from said cap through said flange and a plurality of locking lugs carried by said support means and projecting radially outwardly therefrom beneath said locking flange for engagement therewith to prevent
removal of the closure cap from the container neck, said locking lugs being relatively angularly spaced and proportioned for simultaneous registry with a corresponding plurality of said gaps in a preselected rotational position of the closure cap on the
container, to permit application and removal of the cap to and from the container.
6. In a container as defined in claim 5, the further improvement wherein said support means is circular and concentric to the said flange to assist in centering the closure cap, and locking lugs with respect to the flange.
7. The invention defined in claim 6, further including indicia on the exterior of said cap and said container, respectively, for indicating when said closure cap is in said predetermined position of angular orientation on the container.
8. In a container having an upstanding circular neck defining its mouth, a unitary closure cap including an end wall fitted over said mouth and seated against the end of said neck, said closure cap being rotatable with respect to the container,
the improvement which includes a radially inwardly directed annular locking flange carried by the neck in said mouth, said flange being formed with a gap extending axially therethrough, support means carried by the cap and extending into said mouth, and
a locking lug carried by said support means, said lug projecting radially beneath said flange for axial abutting engagement therewith, and being positioned and proportioned for registry with said gap in a predetermined position of angular orientation of
said cap on the container, whereby to permit application and removal of the cap to and from the container, said closure cap including a pending skirt encircling said neck, said neck and skirt respectively having cooperating radially projecting snap means
for rotatably and releasably securing the closure cap on the container in all positions of relative orientation of said closure cap and container.
Various attempts have been heretofore made to
adapt a generally conventional snap-fitted container closure cap for use as a safety cap which, though capable of effectively preserving the container contents against deterioration, is nevertheless easily removable by adults, but the removal of which
requires certain manipulations which discourage and normally prevent its removal by small children so as to reduce the hazard arising from possible consumption by the children of the container contents.
In such prior safety closure caps, either it has been customary to form the closure cap in multiple parts, to include a separable locking ring or equivalent structure, in addition to the closure cap per se, as exemplified in the Linkletter et
al., U.S. Pat No. 3,407,956, or else it has been customary to form both the snap fastening means and the locking means on the exterior of the container and within the skirt of the closure cap. In the latter case, the locking means are subject to
release by prying the accessible skirt of the closure cap radially outwardly away from the container neck. Moreover, such arrangement necessitates a substantial increase in the axial dimension of the skirt.
SUMMARY OF THE DISCLOSURE
With the foregoing considerations in mind, the present invention contemplates the provision of a unitary safety closure cap having a depending exterior skirt and means for snap fitting the latter onto a container neck in conventional manner,
together with a plurality of circumferentially spaced locking lugs supported by the closure cap and depending through the mouth of the container, the lugs projecting radially beneath an overhanging locking flange constituting an integrally formed portion
of the container within the container mouth. The flange is provided with a plurality of gaps, the relative spacing and proportions of the gaps and the locking lugs being arranged so that in a reselected rotational position of the closure cap on the
container, the lugs will each register with a gap, so that upon release of the snap-fit, the closure cap may be readily removed from the container. Such arrangement permits the closure skirt to be of minimum axial dimension and, also, make impossible
removal of the cap merely by prying the skirt outwardly away from the container neck. Moreover, such a cap retains the advantage of being capable of formation as a unitary integral structure by suitable plastic molding operations.
accompanying drawing in which the preferred embodiment of the invention is illustrated by way of exemplification:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the upper end portion of a container to which the closure cap of the invention is applied.
FIG. 2 is a somewhat enlarged sectional view on the line 2--2 of FIG. 1.
FIG. 3 is a similarly enlarged plan view of the closure cap per se; and
FIG. 4 is a perspective exploded view showing the cap disassembled from the container.
Referring now in detail to the accompanying drawing, the numeral 10 in FIGS. 1, 2 and 3 designates in its entirety a generally conventional container which may be formed of glass, a suitable plastic or other material, having means such as a
reduced diameter circular neck 12 at its upper end defining a mouth 14 for the container. Formed on the outside of the neck adjacent the upper end thereof is a suitable conventional snap-fitting means, here in the form of a bead 16 encircling and
projecting radially outwardly from the neck for cooperation in usual manner with a snap-fitting means exemplified by an annular bead 18 projecting radially inwardly from the skirt 20 of the safety closure cap 22, the end-wall of which extends across and
closes the mouth of the container, preferably being in sealing engagement with the upper end of the neck 12. Also, if desired, the snap-beads 16 and 18 of the container and cap, respectively, may be continuous and in sealing engagement with each other
around the entire circumference of the container.
It will be understood that the closure cap 22 is a unitary structure, preferably being formed of a suitable plastic by conventional plastic moulding operations, the arrangement being such that the skirt 20 and its associated snap bead 18 have
sufficient flexibility and elasticity that the bead 18 is capable of being resiliently expanded by engagement with the downwardly sloping upper surface of the bead 16 to more downwardly over the maximum diameter portion of the latter bead and snap
inwardly therebeneath in retaining engagement with the under surface of said bead, as in FIG. 2.
The closure cap and the container as thus far described are of a generally conventional construction in which the closure cap may readily be applied and removed simply by manual force applied in well-known manner.
In accordance with the present invention, the interior of the neck portion 12 of the container is formed adjacent its upper end with a radially inwardly directed annular locking flange 24, having a plurality of relatively circumferentially spaced
gaps 26 extending axially therethrough as is best shown in FIG. 4. It will be seen that the locking flange 24 in the preferred embodiment is formed as an integral portion of the container to surround and, in effect, to define the circular mouth 14 of
A plurality of locking lugs 28 integrally affixed to the closure cap 22 depend therefrom downwardly into the mouth 14 of the container and project radially outwardly to locations beneath the locking flange for axial abutting engagement therewith
to resist removal of the closure cap from the container when the two are operatively associated.
In the present embodiment, the locking lugs 28 are carried and interconnected to each other by a relatively thick and stiff support means in the form of a ring 30 of plastic material which is integral with both the lugs and the closure and which
snugly fits within the inner periphery of the locking flange 24 to support the lugs in operative engagement with such flange. The support means or ring 30 and the lugs 28 are formed of material of sufficient thickness to render them all substantially
rigid, so that the lugs 28 when operatively disposed beneath the segments of the locking flange 24, will securely hold the closure cap in place on the container.
The relative spacing and proportions of the lugs 28 are so chosen that in a preselected position of rotational orientation of the closure cap 22 on the container 10, such as is shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, the lugs 28 will register respectively with
the gaps 26 and upon the application of upward axial pressure to the skirt 20 to disengage the snap-fitted means 16 and 18, the closure cap may freely be removed from the container. The lugs in such case move upwardly without interference through the
gaps 26. Since the cooperating locking flange 24 and lugs 28 will be concealed by the closure cap when the latter is operatively applied, it is desirable to provide external indicia as at 32 and 34, respectively, on the closure cap and the container in
angular locations such that when the said indicia 32 and 34 are brought into angular registry, as in FIG. 1, this will signify to the user that the lugs 28 are in angular registry with the gaps 26 so that the cap may readily be removed. In order to
facilitate removal of the cap, the latter may be supplied with a radially outwardly projecting thumb tab 36.
It will be noted that in the preferred embodiment, the several gaps 26 in the locking ring or flange 24, though in the present instance of equal angular extent, are spaced angularly from each other at different angular intervals, and the
respective locking lugs 28 are similarly angularly spaced so that there will be but a single position of rotational orientation of the cap in which the lugs and the gaps will register. Although in the present embodiment the angular extent or
circumferential dimensions of the gaps 26 and lugs 28 are uniform, with the lugs 28 being proportioned for free movement through the gaps, the lugs and gaps may, if desired, be of non-uniform circumferential proportions, with the proportions of the
several lugs such that they will move freely upwardly through registering gaps 26 in a preselected position of angular orientation of the closure cap. In such event the angular spacing between adjoining lugs and adjoining gaps could be uniform.
In the use of the invention, which is believed to be readily apparent from the foregoing description, the closure cap is shown in the drawings in the position which it assumes after being initially pressed on to the container neck with the cap
rotationally oriented as indicated by the indicia 32 and 34, so that the respective lugs 28 therein are in registry with and may pass freely downwardly through the gaps 26 in the locking flange 24. In the position shown in FIG. 1, after the closure cap
22 has been pressed downwardly on to the container to interengage the snap beads 16 and 18, the closure cap then is manually gripped by its axially ribbed or corrugated skirt 20, and rotated for a part only of a revolution to move the lugs 28 to
positions in which each of them will underlie one of the segments of the flange 24 between the gaps therein. In this position of rotary orientation, the cap is firmly locked onto the container by the coacting lugs 28 and flange 24 and in the preferred
embodiment, it is sealed both by engagement of the closure cap with the top end edge or wall of the neck and by the interengagement between the snap beads 16 and 18.
To remove the cap, it is rotated until the point of the arrow 32 on the closure cap is in accurate angular registry with the apex of the triangle 34 on the container neck 12, at which time the lugs 28 are accurately registered with the gaps 26
through the locking ring or flange. Then upward manual pressure on the thumbtab 36 will result in removal of the closure cap.
Although the cap has been described as including the outer skirt 20 and snap bead 18, it will be apparent that from a broad standpoint an adequate closure may still exist even though these features are omitted. In such case, the locking lugs 28
will still cooperate with the locking flange 24 in the manner above described.
Although in this application I have shown and described only the preferred embodiment of the invention, it will be readily apparent that the invention is capable of other and different embodiments and that its details may be modified in various
ways without departing from the scope of the invention as defined in the appended claims.
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