Title:
NONFLIPPING BEER CAN END
United States Patent 3554400


Abstract:
An easy opening end particularly adapted for use on beverage cans, said end including an end panel, weakening line formed in said end panel and defining a removable tearout portion which extends generally from the central portion of said end panel to the periphery of said end panel, and a circumferential rib in said end panel, said rib being generally C-shaped in outline and having opposite ends terminating adjacent said tearout portion and reinforcing said end panel around said tearout portion to prevent premature rupturing of said can end along said weakening line, and a pull tab secured to said tearout portion for effecting the removal thereof, said rib being depressed to define an upwardly opening groove, and said pull tab having a free end overlying said groove whereby clearance is provided between said pull tab free end and said end panel to facilitate the initial lifting of said pull tab.



Inventors:
BOZEK JOHN S
Application Number:
04/345615
Publication Date:
01/12/1971
Filing Date:
02/18/1964
Assignee:
CONTINENTAL CAN CO. INC.
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
D09/438
International Classes:
B65D17/34; B65D; (IPC1-7): B65D17/20; B65D17/24
Field of Search:
220/52--54,48,27,72 229
View Patent Images:
US Patent References:
2305528Container1942-12-15Henchect
2112231Container1938-03-29Speidel
2029329Device for opening cans1936-02-04Ljungstrom et al.
1022050N/A1912-04-02Rudolphi et al.
0484099N/A1892-10-11
0195604N/A1877-09-25



Primary Examiner:
Hall, George T.
Claims:
I claim

1. An easy opening end particularly adapted for use on beverage cans, said end including an end panel weakening line formed in said end panel and defining a removable tearout portion which extends generally from the central portion of said end panel to the periphery of said end panel, and a circumferential rib in said end panel, said rib being generally C-shaped in outline and having opposite ends terminating adjacent said tearout portion and reinforcing said end panel around said tearout portion to prevent premature rupturing of said can end along said weakening line, and a pull tab is secured to said tearout portion for effecting the removal thereof, said rib being depressed to define an upwardly opening groove, and said pull tab having a free end overlying said groove whereby clearance is provided between said pull tab free end and said end panel to facilitate the initial lifting of said pull tab.

2. In an end for a can of the easy opening type and particularly adapted for the dispensing of beverages, said end including an end panel having a single continuous score line defining a removable tearout portion which extends generally radially from the central portion of said end panel to the periphery of said end panel, a pull tab secured to the inner end of said tearout portion for facilitating the removal of said tearout portion, and wherein in the forming of said score line there results in an excess of material which undesirably increases the flexibility of said end panel and effects the flipping of said pull tab from the surface of said end panel; the improvement residing in providing said end panel with means absorbing said excess material and stiffening said panel against flexing, said means including an offset portion on each side of said tearout portion circumferentially of said end panel, said offset portions are end portions of a C-shaped offset portion of said end panel which reinforces the entire end panel, and said C-shaped offset portion is inwardly offset and extends below a free end of said pull tab to facilitate the lifting of said pull tab.

3. In an end for a can of the easy opening type and particularly adapted for the dispensing of beverages, said end including an end panel having a single continuous score line defining a removable tearout portion which extends generally radially from the central portion of said end panel to the periphery of said end panel, a pull tab secured to the inner end of said tearout portion for facilitating the removal of said tearout portion, and wherein in the forming of said score line there results an excess of material which undesirably increases the flexibility of said end panel and effects the flipping of said pull tab from the surface of said end panel; the improvement residing in providing said end panel with means absorbing said excess material and stiffening said panel against flexing, said means including offset portions extending at least from a pair of points adjacent each side of said tearout portion away from said tearout portion, at least one said offset portion is depressed to define an upwardly facing groove, and said pull tab having a free end overlying said groove whereby clearance is provided between said pull tab free end and said end panel to facilitate the initial lifting of said pull tab.

Description:
This invention relates in general to new and useful improvements in can constructions, and more particularly to a novel can end particularly adapted for the packaging of beer and other beverages.

This invention particularly relates to a can end of the easy opening type adapted for the dispensing of beverages including beer, wherein an end panel of the can end is provided with a score line which defines a tearout portion through which the beverage is poured. In the forming of the score line, there is a gathering of the metal within the area defined by the score line and a generally circumferentially bulging of the metal outwardly of the score line. The excessive metal resulting from the forming of the score line results in two major disadvantages. In the first place, the excess metal effects a crowding of the remaining metal of the end panel and causes the end panel to be readily flipped from one side to the other of the normal median plane of the end panel with the result that a premature rupture of the end panel along the score line may result. The second disadvantage is that the excess metal which causes the bulging of the end panel also tends to flip up the free end of the pull tab which is attached to the tearout portion whereas the pull tab should remain as flat as possible against the end panel so as to not interfere with the stacking of the can ends or the seaming of the can ends to can bodies.

It is the primary object of this invention to provide a simple solution to the above problem. This solution is in the form of a circumferentially extending rib which is offset from the plane of the end panel. The forming of this rib serves to absorb the excess metal resulting from the forming of the score line and thus greatly reduces the tendency of the end panel to flip out of the median plane thereof.

Another object of this invention is to simultaneously overcome the tendency of prior can ends of the easy opening type for dispensing beverages to flip out of the median plane thereof and reinforce the end panel. This is accomplished by providing at least one rib extending generally circumferentially about the periphery of the end panel with the rib having absorbed excess metal which results from the forming of the score line in the end panel, and at the same time the rib serving as a circumferential reinforcement to stiffen the entire end panel.

A further object of this invention is to improve upon existing can ends for the dispensing of beverages, such as beer, by providing such can ends with at leas one circumferentially extending rub which is inwardly offset from the plane of the end panel to define an upwardly opening groove in the end panel. By placing the groove at a position wherein it underlies a free end of a pull tab associated with a tearout portion of the can end, the rib or groove has three advantageous functions. In the first place, the rib or groove absorbs the excess material which results from the forming of a score line defining the tearout portion of the can end. Secondly, the rib serves to reinforce the entire end panel against flexing and thereby prevents the premature rupture of the end panel along the score line. Thirdly, since the groove underlies the free end of the pull tab, it will be readily apparent that this relationship facilitates the insertion of one's finger under the free end of the pull tab to effect an upward lifting force thereon.

In accordance with this invention, several groove or rib arrangements have proved to be feasible with various arrangements having different advantages and disadvantages. By making the groove or rib continuous, there is a greater reinforcement of the end panel against flexing and since the groove extends across the tear out portion, the groove more effectively absorbs the excess material which results from the forming of a score line defining the tearout portion. On the other hand, the continuous groove or rib has the disadvantage in that it intersects the score line defining the tearout portion and offers a resistance to the tearing of the end panel along the score line to effect the removal of the tearout portion. Therefore, it has also proved feasible to form only a C-shaped groove or rib with the groove or rib terminating closely adjacent opposite sides of the tear out portion. Such a groove or rib construction will serve to greatly reinforce the end panel against flexing and at the same time will absorb to a very great extend the excess metal resulting from the forming of the score line. The advantage of the C-shaped rib formation as compared to the continuous rib formation is the elimination of the resistance to tearing of the end panel along the score line when the rib traverses the score line.

It has also been found that the reinforcement of the end panel against flexing and the absorption of the excess metal is greatly enhanced when more than one rib or groove is provided. Accordingly, in accordance with this invention, the number of ribs may be varied. Furthermore, it has been found that the rib formation is effective when outwardly directed or when inwardly directed. Therefore, while it is more advantageous for the rib to be inwardly directed in that it provides the relief under the free end of the pull tab to facilitate the lifting of the pull tab, in many instances it is feasible to have the rib or ribs outwardly projecting as compared to inwardly projecting.

With the above and other objects in view that will hereinafter appear, the nature of the invention will be more clearly understood by reference to the following detailed description, the appended claims and the several views illustrated in the accompanying drawings.

In the Drawings:

FIG. 1 is a top perspective view of a can incorporating the can end which is the subject of this invention, only an upper portion of the body of the can being shown.

FIG. 2 is a plan view on a reduced scale of the can end and shows the specific outline thereof.

FIG. 3 is an enlarged fragmentary vertical sectional view taken along the line 3-3 of FIG. 2 and shows more specifically the details of the can end along the tear out portion thereof.

FIG. 4 is an enlarged fragmentary vertical sectional view taken along the line 4-4 of FIG. 2 and shows a specific cross section of the generally C-shaped rib or groove formed in the end panel.

FIG. 5 is an enlarged fragmentary vertical sectional view similar to FIG. 4 and shows a modified rib or groove configuration.

FIG. 6 is an enlarged fragmentary vertical sectional view similar to FIG. 4 and shows the rib projecting upwardly as opposed to projecting downwardly from the plane of the end panel.

FIG. 7 is a plan view of a can incorporating another form of can end wherein two C-shaped rib formations are provided.

FIG. 8 is an enlarged fragmentary vertical sectional view taken along the line 8-8 of FIG. 7 and shows the specific cross section of the can end in the vicinity of the rib formation.

FIG. 9 is an enlarged fragmentary vertical sectional view similar to FIG. 8 and shows the ribs projecting downwardly as opposed to projecting upwardly relative to the plane of the end panel.

FIG. 10 is a plan view of a can incorporating another form of can end wherein the end panel thereof is provided with a continuous groove or rib formation.

FIG. 11 is an enlarged fragmentary vertical sectional view taken along the line 11-11 of FIG. 10 and shows specifically the details of the rib formation and the relationship thereof to the tearout portion.

FIG. 12 is an enlarged fragmentary vertical sectional view similar to FIG. 11 and shows the rib formation as being upwardly projected relative to the plane of the end panel as opposed to being downwardly projected.

FIG. 13 is a plan view of still another form of can incorporating another modified form of can end wherein the end panel is provided with two circumferentially extending groove or rib formations.

FIG. 14 is an enlarged fragmentary vertical sectional view taken along the line 14-14 of FIG. 13 and shows more specifically the details of the groove or rib formations.

FIG. 15 is an enlarged fragmentary vertical sectional view similar to FIG. 14 and shows the ribs as being upwardly projected as opposed to being downwardly projected relative to the plane of the end panel.

Referring now to the drawings in detail, it will be seen that there is illustrated in FIG. 1 a can which is generally referred to by the numeral 10 and which is particularly adapted for the dispensing of a beverage, such as beer. The can 10 includes a conventional can body 11 which is closed at the lower end thereof. A can end formed in accordance with this invention and generally referred to by the numeral 12 is secured to the upper end of the can body 11 by means of a conventional double seam 13.

In addition to the portion of the can end 12 which forms a part of the double seam 13, the can end 12 includes a chuck wall 14 and an end panel 15. The end panel 15 is joined to the chuck wall 14 by an annular groove defining portion 16 which functions as a shock absorber in a manner to be described hereinafter.

The can end 12, being of the easy opening type, is provided with a tearout portion 17 which is defined by a score line 18. The general outline of the tearout portion 17 is best shown in FIG. 2. The tear out portion 17 is of a conventional configuration and is provided adjacent its inner end and generally at the center of the end panel 15 with an internal rivet 19 that is utilized for the purpose of securing a pull tab 20 to the inner end of the tearout portion 17. The illustrated pull tab 20 is of the rigid type and the specific details of construction thereof are not a part of this invention.

In the forming of the score line 18, there is a displacement of the metal of the end panel 15. This displacement of the metal results in a crowding of the metal both within the confines of the score line 18 and around the score line 18. As a result, there is a tendency of the metal to buckle and thus for the end panel to flip easily to opposite sides of the median plane thereof. This ease of flipping of the end panel is undesirable for two reasons. In the first place, if the end panel is unnecessarily flexed back and forth, there is an undue strain placed upon the end panel along the score line 18 with the result that the score line of weakening line 18 may be prematurely ruptured. One of the primary disadvantages of a can end that may flip or spring from an outwardly flexed position to an inwardly flexed position or vice versa after a can has been filled with a carbonated beverage, such as beer, and before the can is closed, is that the flipping may cause undue foaming and consequent partial loss of the contents overflowing the top of the open can thereby resulting in a can that is underfilled after it has been closed. Secondly, the undesired upward flipping of the end panel 15, as will occur when the contents of the can 10 is under pressure, results in an undue flipping of the pull tab 20 away from the surface of the end panel 15. While it may be desirable from the standpoint of grasping the pull tab 20 for this flipping to occur, it is undesirable from the standpoint of handling and securing in place the end 12. At no time can the pull tab 20 project above the chuck wall 14. Furthermore, it is obvious that the pull tab 20 must be sufficiently recessed within the can end 12 to clear the customary seaming rolls utilized in the forming of the double seam 13. In order that the height of the chuck wall 14 and thus the recessing of the end panel 15 may be held to a minimum, it is desirable that the pull tab 20 remain substantially flush against the upper surface of the end panel 15.

In accordance with this invention, the excess metal resulting from the forming of the score line 18 has been absorbed by forming in the end panel 15 a circumferential rib 21. The rib 21 is preferably C-shaped in outline, although it is feasible that the rib 21 be divided and that there be only short portions thereof, which short portions are disposed on circumferentially opposite sides of the tearout portion 17.

It will be readily apparent that by forming a rib or ribs in the end panel 15 on circumferentially opposite sides of the tearout portion 17, provision has been made for absorption of the excess material resulting from the forming of the score line 18. Thus, in this manner there has been eliminated the undesired bulging of the metal of the end panel 15 and the tendency thereof to flip or flex. Further, it will be readily apparent that the formation of the rib portions on opposite sides of the tearout portion 17 will result in the localized stiffening of the end panel 15 and prevent the undesired flexing thereof adjacent and along the score line 18.

Although the rib 21 could be in the form of short portions, as is clearly shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, it is continuous and is of C-shaped outline. Thus, the rib 21 serves the dual function of reinforcing the entire end panel 15 against flexing and absorbing the excess material resulting from the forming of the score line 18 so as to thereby further reduce the tendency of the material of the end panel 15 for flexing or flipping from the median plane thereof.

It is also pointed out that the rib 21 could feasibly project either upwardly or downwardly. However, it is preferred that the rib 21 project downwardly from the plane of the end panel 15 so as to define an upwardly opening groove 22. By having a groove 22 which opens upwardly and by locating the groove 22 so that it underlies the free end of the pull tab 20, as is clearly shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, sufficient space is provided between the terminal end of the pull tab 20 and the surface of the end panel 15 whereby one may place his or her finger beneath the terminal end of the pull tab 20 and exert the necessary upwardly directed force thereon to effect the tearing of the end panel 15 along the score line 18 whereby removal of the tearout portion 17 is possible. Thus, it will be readily apparent that the forming of the specifically positioned and shaped rib 21 has three beneficial effects which are highly desirable and which are solutions to existing problems in easy opening can ends.

The rib configuration illustrated in FIG. 4 has been selected because of the ease of forming the same. However, in lieu of having one generally upright wall 23 and a sloping wall 24, it will be desirable if the rib 21 could have two upright walls. Accordingly, there is illustrated in FIG. 5 a modification of the can end 12 wherein the end panel 15 thereof is provided with a downwardly offset rib 25 which has two upstanding walls 26 and 27. The rib 25 is a little more difficult to form but is of a cross section which will provide greater resistance to distortion as compared to the rib 21.

The can end of FIG. 6 is formed along the same general lines as the can end of FIG. 5 with the exception of the fact that in lieu of the downwardly offset rib shown in FIG. 5, the can end of FIG. 6 is provided with an upwardly offset rib 28. The rib 28, like the rib 25, has two upstanding walls 29 and 30. However, since the rib 28 projects upwardly above the plane of the end panel 15, the upstanding walls 29 and 30 project above the plane of the end panel 15.

Reference is now made to FIGS. 7 and 8 wherein there is illustrated another form of can end wherein in lieu of the single C-shaped rib formation shown in FIGS. 1 through 6, the end panel 15 of the can end is provided with two concentric C-shaped ribs. The outermost of the ribs is referred to by the numeral 31 and the innermost of the ribs is referred to by the numeral 32. It is to be noted that the ribs 31 and 32 terminate closely adjacent the removable portion 17 of the end panel 15. It is also to be noted that the ribs 31 and 32 are disposed generally in alignment with the wider part of the tearout portion 17 where the maximum accumulation of metal occurs. It will be readily apparent that the dual rib formation provides for a greater stiffness than the single rib formation and at the same time provides for a greater absorption of excess metal. It is also pointed out that the concentric rib formations actually result in the formation of a third rib 33 which projects downwardly between the two upstanding ribs 31 and 32. When viewed from the top, the rib 33 appears as a groove 34 extending between the ribs 31 and 32.

Reference is now made to FIG. 9 which shows the cross section through a slightly modified form of can end from that shown in FIGS. 7 and 8. The can end of FIG. 9 differs from the can end of FIG. 7 and 8 in that in lieu of the end panel 15 thereof being provided with two upstanding concentric ribs, the end panel 15 is provided with two concentric depending ribs 35 and 36. Each of the ribs 35 and 36 are defined by upstanding walls which appear as upwardly opening grooves separated by an upstanding rib 37. It will be readily apparent that the can end construction of FIG. 9 has all of the advantages of the can end construction of FIGS. 7 and 8. In addition, if the ribs 35 and 36 are properly spaced, particularly the rib 35, space may be provided beneath the extreme end of the associate pull tab 20 to facilitate the lifting thereof.

Reference is now made to FIGS. 10 and 11 wherein there is illustrated another modification of the basic can end. The can end shown in FIGS. 10 and 11 differs from the can end shown in FIGS. 1 through 5 principally in that in lieu of the end panel 15 thereof being provided with a single generally C-shaped rib or groove formation, the rib or groove formation is continuous, as is clearly shown in FIG. 10. The rib or groove formation, which is referred to by the numeral 38, does not stop on opposite sides of the tearout portion 17, but extends thereacross. It will be readily apparent that such a continuous rib or groove formation has all of the advantages of a similar C-shaped rib or groove formation. In addition, since it extends entirely about the periphery of the end panel 15, it will be seen that the resistance of the end panel against flexing is increased. Furthermore, since the rib or groove formation extends across the tearout portion, it will be seen that it can better absorb excess metal resulting from the forming of the score line 18.

Although the continuous rib or groove formation has advantages over the C-shaped rib or groove formation as far as reinforcement and the absorption of material is concerned, it will also be apparent that it has a minor deficiency in that it extends generally at right angles to the score line 18. Thus the rib or groove formation 38 resists the tearing of the end panel 15 thereacross along the score line 18 as is required in the normal tearing out of the removable portion 17.

The can end partially shown in FIG. 12 differs from the can end of FIGS. 10 and 11 only in that it is provided with a continuous rib formation 40 which projects upwardly above the median plane of the end panel 15 as opposed to being depressed therebelow, as is specifically shown in FIG. 10.

Another form of can end is illustrated in FIGS. 13 and 14 wherein the end panel thereof is reinforced by a continuous groove or rib formation. However, in lieu of the single rib or groove shown in FIGS. 10 and 11, the can end shown in FIGS. 13 and 14 is provided with two concentric rib or groove formations 41 and 42. The rib or groove formations 41 and 42 correspond to the rib and groove formations 35 and 36 shown in FIG. 9, but in lieu of being C-shaped in outline, they are of a full circle configuration. It is to be noted that the rib or groove formations 41 and 42 set off what may be considered an upstanding rib 43 therebetween. The continuous rib or groove formations 41 and 42 have the advantages and disadvantages set forth above with respect to the rib or groove formation 38. As is pointed out with respect to the can end of FIGS. 7 and 8, the two concentric rib or groove formations 41 and 42 provide for both a greater reinforcement of the end panel 15 against flexure and a greater absorption of the excess metal resulting from the forming of the score line 18.

The can end illustrated in FIG. 15 is very similar to that shown in FIGS. 13 and 14. However, in lieu of the two depressed rib or groove formations 41 and 42, the end panel of the can end shown in FIG. 15 is provided with two upwardly projecting ribs 44 and 45 which are of a circular configuration and disposed in concentric relation. The ribs 44 and 45 are arranged in substantially the same positions as the rib or groove formations 41 and 42 and the space therebetween is in the form of a circular groove 46.

Although there has been disclosed numerous specific embodiments of the invention, it is to be understood that other minor variations may be made in the disclosed can end constructions within the spirit and scope of the invention, as defined in the appended claims.