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United States Patent 3,902,620
McIntosh September 2, 1975

Container and closure cap

Abstract

There is disclosed a container and a closure cap screwed onto a threaded neck of the container, in which the cap has an external ratchet and the container has a resiliently displaceable pawl which normally engages the ratchet to preclude rotation of the cap in an opening direction and allows rotation of the cap in a closing direction. The pawl is manually displaceable to be disengaged from the ratchet to allow the closure cap to be removed.


Inventors: McIntosh; James A. (Upper Montclair, NJ)
Assignee: Mack-Wayne Plastics Company (Wayne, NJ)
Appl. No.: 05/465,939
Filed: May 1, 1974


Current U.S. Class: 215/209 ; 215/216; 215/221
Current International Class: B65D 50/00 (20060101); B65D 50/04 (20060101); B65D 055/02 ()
Field of Search: 215/9,209,216,221,330

References Cited

U.S. Patent Documents
3101856 August 1963 Whiteman, Jr.
3472409 October 1969 Sack et al.
3744655 July 1973 Nixdorff, Jr.
Primary Examiner: Hall; George T.
Attorney, Agent or Firm: Nolte and Nolte

Claims



What is claimed is:

1. A container and closure cap combination wherein said container comprises an externally threaded cylindrical neck and said cap a correspondingly internally threaded skirt, an outwardly extending flange formed on the skirt, a plurality of ratchet teeth extending around the outer periphery of said flange, a pawl element formed integrally on a shoulder region of said container close to said neck, said pawl element comprising a stem extending upwardly from said shoulder region in a generally axial plane and normally extending into a space between an adjacent two of said ratchet teeth and including a blocking surface engageable with said teeth and constituting means permitting rotation of said cap in a closing direction and precluding rotation of said cap in an opening direction and further including a finger rest portion extending outwardly beyond said flange, said stem being resilient in a generally axial plane to be movable upon the downward application of finger pressure on said finger rest portion downwardly and outwardly in that plane to an inoperative position disengaged from said ratchet teeth to permit rotation of said cap in an opening direction.

2. A combination as claimed in claim 1 wherein said container has two angularly spaced pawls.

3. A combination as claimed in claim 1 wherein said container is molded and said pawl is molded integrally with said container and is disposed on a mold parting line of said container.

4. A combination as claimed in claim 2 wherein in the fully closed position of said cap said stem of the container extends from one side of said flange to the other through a space between adjacent teeth of said plurality of ratchet teeth.

5. A combination as claimed in claim 2 wherein said teeth are disposed on the outer periphery of said flange.

6. A combination as claimed in claim 5 wherein said teeth have the same axial thickness as does the flange.

7. A combination as claimed in claim 5 wherein said teeth are of lesser thickness than is said flange, said teeth being formed on a lower edge of said flange.

8. A container and closure cap combination, said container comprising an externally threaded cylindrical neck portion, a shoulder portion and a body; said cap comprising a cylindrical skirt having an internal screw thread cooperating with said threaded neck portion of the container, a flange on said skirt projecting outwardly beyond the outer periphery of said skirt, a plurality of ratchet teeth formed in the outer periphery of said flange to constitute a ratchet, said container having an integrally formed pawl member projecting from said shoulder portion in a generally axial plane and being flexible in that plane, said pawl having a finger rest portion extending outwardly beyond said flange, said pawl in an upflexed condition thereof having a blocking portion extending into a space between an adjacent pair of teeth of said ratchet, and said pawl being flexible to be moved out of said space upon the downward application of finger pressure on said finger rest portion, said ratchet being oriented so that the pawl, in its unflexed condition, allows rotation of the cap in a closing direction and prevents rotation thereof in an opening direction and the pawl, when it is flexed in said axial plane to an inoperative position disengaged from said ratchet, allows rotation of said cap in both of said closing and opening directions.

9. A combination as claimed in claim 8 wherein said container is molded and said pawl member is formed at a mold parting line of said container.

10. A combination as claimed in claim 8 wherein said container has two pawl members each of which has a single blocking portion extending into a space between adjacent teeth of said ratchet.

11. A container and closure cap combination wherein said container comprises an externally threaded cylindrical neck and said cap a correspondingly internally threaded skirt, an outwardly extending flange formed on the skirt, a plurality of ratchet teeth extending around the outer periphery of said flange, a pawl element formed integrally on said container close to said neck, said pawl element comprising a stem joining said container and extending upwardly from its juncture with the container in a generally axial plane and normally extending into a space between an adjacent two of said ratchet teeth and including a blocking surface engagable with said teeth and constituting means permitting rotation of said cap in a closing direction and precluding rotation of said cap in an opening direction and further including a finger rest portion extending outwardly beyond said flange, said stem being resilient in a generally axial plane to be movable upon the downward application of finger pressure on said finger rest portion downwardly and outwardly in that plane to an inoperative position disengaged from said ratchet teeth to permit rotation of said cap in an opening direction.
Description



This invention is concerned with containers and closure caps for containers and is particularly but not necessarily exclusively, concerned with plastic containers.

The invention is particularly concerned to provide a container and closure cap with special provision for avoiding the inadvertent opening of the closure cap. The most pertinent art of which the applicant is aware is U.S. Pat. No. 3,445,022 issued May 20, 1969 to Cilluffo. Another pertinent patent is 3,744,655 issued July 10, 1973 to Nixdorff Jr. and yet another is re-issue patent No. Re 27,673, issued June 19, 1973 to Landen. The manner in which the present invention is distinguished from this prior art will be apparent in that the disclosure of Cilluffo includes a complex cap element and those of Landen and Nixdorff include separate elements to the cap container.

In essence, this invention seeks to provide a container and closure cap combination in which the cap has a ratchet, and a pawl element is formed on the container normally to adopt a position for precluding the rotation of the cap in an opening direction but allowing rotation in a closing direction and being shiftable to a position in which it is disengaged from the ratchet and the cap freed for movement in the opening direction.

Embodiments of this invention are illustrated in the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is an elevational view of a part of a container according to this invention;

FIG. 2 is a part sectional, part elevational view of a cap for the container of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a part elevational, part sectional view of the cap and container of FIGS. 1 and 2 in a secured position;

FIG. 4 is a view similar to the FIG. 3 view but in a ready to open position;

FIG. 5 is a plan view of a detail of the cap of FIG. 2;

FIG. 6 is a plan view of a part of the container of FIG. 1;

FIG. 7 is a part sectional, part elevational view of a second form of container and cap combination according to this invention; and

FIG. 8 is a plan view of the container of the FIG. 7 combination.

The container of FIG. 1 is molded of plastic and includes a main cylindrical body part 10 and a shoulder region 12 tapering to a cylindrical neck 14. The neck has an external screw thread configuration 16. Projecting upwardly and outwardly from the shoulder portion 12 of the container is a pawl 18 which comprises a blocking portion 20 and a finger rest 22. The purpose and function of the pawl is described in greater detail hereinafter.

Referring now to FIG. 2, the cap comprises a cylindrical skirt 30 depending from a disc-like top wall 32. The interior of the skirt is threaded as at 34 for cooperation with the screw thread 16 of the neck of container 10. Below wall 32 is a liner 36 of conventional form. Projecting radially outwardly from the lower edge of skirt 30 is a flange 38 on which is formed a ratched made up of teeth 40. The teeth of that ratchet have the same axial thickness as the flange.

The cap may be placed on the neck 14 of container 10 and screwed to a closing position. During rotation of the cap the blocking surface 20 of pawl 18 will ride over the ratchet teeth 40. However, the ratchet would preclude rotation of the cap in an opening direction.

The closed or secured position of the combination is shown in FIG. 3. From that figure it will be seen that the pawl 18 extends through the gap between two adjacent teeth of the ratchet. It is of course to be appreciated that the position of the pawl 18 in FIG. 3 is the unflexed position and that the pawl is designed, or of a material, such that it is sufficiently strong to withstand a normal turning force applied to the cap to turn the cap in an opening direction. However, the pawl is also designed to have flexibility in an axial plane so that it can be easily moved by the application of pressure to the finger rest 22 outwardly and downwardly to the position shown in FIG. 4 in which it is disengaged from the ratchet so that the opening of the container is facilitated.

It is to be appreciated that with containers of which the resistance of the pawl to bending from its normal position under the application of force tending to turn the cap in an opening direction is great, there may well be provided another pawl such as that indicated in 18' in dotted line in FIG. 1. It will be understood that in such an arrangement both pawls are to be disengaged from the ratchet for opening the container. It may also be desirable to use two pawls instead of one since a child would find it rather more difficult to open a container with such a feature since opening requires the bending of each pawl.

Further in a two pawl embodiment it can be arranged that in the closed position of the cap one pawl is disposed fully in the space between two teeth while the other is held by a tooth so as not to extend fully into the space with which it is associated so that a turn of the cap through an angular distance representing one notch or tooth causes the second pawl to fully lock the cap. The advantage of such an arrangement resides in the fact that the teeth may be made larger and of course stronger.

An alternative embodiment of the invention is illustrated in FIGS. 7 and 8. In that embodiment, the cap 50 has a flange 52 projecting radially outwardly beyond the skirt 54 and in an outer and lower edge thereof teeth 56 are formed, the teeth forming a ratchet. It is to be appreciated that in this embodiment the teeth are of lesser axial thickness than the flange. In this arrangement, the pawl 60 of the container is slightly modified and comprises a stem 62 upon which is formed a single ratchet tooth engaging nib 64. Otherwise, the operation of the combination in FIGS. 7 and 8 is largely similar to that of the embodiment in FIGS. 1 through 6.

As a matter of production, it is generally desirable to dispose the pawl on a parting line of the molds in which the container is formed. In this way the removal of the container from the casting molds is facilitated.

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