Title:
BEER KEG
United States Patent 3827595
Abstract:
A beer keg having the top, bottom and side walls made of plastic, and tapper and filler plug mounting members made of plastic or metal which in one embodiment are cast in position as the top and side walls are formed. In the second embodiment the filler plug is retained in the central part of the keg as the keg is molded and thereafter mounted in a filler opening formed in the barrel.


Inventors:
REYNOLDS R
Application Number:
05/217306
Publication Date:
08/06/1974
Filing Date:
01/12/1972
Assignee:
Huck Finn, Inc. (Spring Lake, MN)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
220/288, 220/601, 220/675, 220/DIG.1
International Classes:
B29C41/20; B65D1/16; B65D1/20; B29C41/04; (IPC1-7): B65D1/20
Field of Search:
220/1R,DIG.1,3,70,72,5R,27,1
View Patent Images:
US Patent References:
3468450NO-RETURN CONTAINER FOR BEER AND OTHER LIQUIDS1969-09-23Webel
3279640Steel drum construction1966-10-18Dodson
3140796Planchet1964-07-14Broida
2983403Container1961-05-09Mauser
2624486Steel barrel1953-01-06Lee
1986447Connector or coupling1935-01-01Rishel
Primary Examiner:
Price, William I.
Assistant Examiner:
Pollard, Steven M.
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Dugger, Johnson & Westman
Parent Case Data:


RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application is a continuation-in-part application of my application, Ser. No. 58,341, filed July 27, 1970 now abandoned.
Claims:
What is claimed is

1. A container for beer comprising a keg having integrally joined top, bottom and side walls defining a keg chamber, said walls being made of unitary formed plastic, said side wall having a portion defining a plug mounting member opening and said top wall having a portion extending toward the bottom defining a tapper plug mounting member opening, a filler plug mounting member mounted in the side wall opening by said side wall portion, and a tapper plug mounting member mounted in said top wall opening in adhered relationship to the top wall portion, the top wall opening including a recess opening outwardly, circumferentially spaced grooves radially inwardly of said recess and a reduced diameter bore portion opening to said grooves and recess defined by said top wall portion, and the tapper plug mounting member including a radially enlarged diameter flange portion having circumferentially spaced cutouts providing radial flange portions extending into said grooves, an annular flange portion joined to said enlarged diametric flange portion and in sealing fitting relationship to the wall portion defining said reduced diameter portion, said enlarged diametric flange portion being joined to the annular flange portion, and a top flange portion integrally joined to the annular flange portion to extend thereabove, substantially spaced from the wall defining said recess and extending to a maximum elevation lower than the maximum elevation of the top wall.

2. A container for beer comprising a keg having integrally joined top, bottom and side walls defining a keg chamber, said walls being made of unitary formed plastic, said side wall having a portion defining a plug mounting member opening and said top wall having a portion defining a tapper plug mounting member opening, a filler plug mounting member mounted in the side wall opening by said side wall portion, and a tapper plug mounting member mounted in said top wall opening by said top wall portion in adhered relationship to the top wall portion, the top wall and adjacent part of the side wall having a first radius of curvature and the bottom wall and adjacent part of the side wall being curved about a second radius of curvature, the first radius of curvature emanating from a point spaced from and vertically above the point from which the second radius of curvature emanates, the spacing of said points being less than the length of each of the first radius and the second radius.

3. The container of claim 2 further characterized in that said side wall has a portion between said adjacent parts of the side wall that has an exterior surface, the horizontal dimension from a point vertically between the points of the first and second radii of curvature and the exterior surface being slightly greater than the dimension of each of the first and second radii of curvature and the dimension from said point between said points to the exterior surface adjacent the juncture of the portion between the adjacent parts with the side wall part adjacent the bottom being slightly greater than the horizontal dimension.

4. A container for beer comprising a keg having integrally joined top, bottom and side walls defining a keg chamber, said walls being made of unitary formed plastic, said side wall having a portion defining a plug mounting member opening and said top wall having a portion defining a tapper plug mounting member opening, a filler plug mounting member mounted in the side wall opening by said side wall portion, and a tapper plug mounting member mounted in said top wall opening in adhered relationship to the top wall portion, the top wall including a portion which defines the top opening having a first bore portion of a given diameter that opens through the keg outer surface, a second bore portion of a substantially smaller diameter than said given diameter that opens to the first bore portion remote from the keg outer surface, a third bore portion opening to the second bore portion remote from the first bore portion and having radial extending recesses of a greater radius than the radius of the second bore portion, and a fourth bore portion opening to the third bore portion and to the interior of the third bore and to the interior of the keg that is of a smaller diameter than the third bore portion, and the tapper plug mounting member including a first flange portion of a substantially smaller diameter than the first bore portion, an annular second flange portion integrally joined to the first flange portion, and an annular third flange portion joined to the inner end of the second flange portion to extend away therefrom in a direction away from the first flange portion that is of a larger diameter than the second flange portion and is provided with circumferentially spaced cutouts, said third flange portion extending into the third bore portion recesses.

5. The container of claim 4 further characterized in that the third flange portion has an inner, annular radial surface remote from the second flange portion and that the top wall portion has an annular portion abutting against said inner, annular radial surface.

6. A container for beer comprising a keg having integrally joined top, bottom and side walls defining a keg chamber, said walls being made of unitary formed plastic, one of said walls having a portion defining a plug mounting member opening and a plug mounting member mounted in said wall opening in adhered relationship to said wall portion, the portion which defines the opening having a first bore portion of a given diameter that opens through the keg outer surface, a second bore portion of a substantially smaller diameter than said given diameter that opens to the first bore portion remote from the keg outer surface, a third bore portion opening to the second bore portion remote from the first bore portion and having radial extending recesses of a greater radius than the radius of the second bore portion, and a fourth bore portion opening to the third bore portion and to the interior of the third bore and to the interior of the key that is of a smaller diameter than the third bore portion, and the plug mounting member including a first flange portion, an annular second flange portion integrally joined to the first flange portion, and in sealing fitting relationship to the second bore portion, and an annular third flange portion joined to the inner end of the second flange portion to extend away therefrom in a direction away from the first flange portion that is of a larger diameter than the second flange portion and is provided with circumferentially spaced cutouts, said third flange portion extending into the third bore portion recesses and having an inner, annular radial surface remote from the second flange portion, and said wall portion having a portion abutting against said inner, annular radial surface.

Description:
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

A keg for beer. In the prior art it is old to make metal kegs, for example of aluminum for storing beer, and provide an opening in the side wall of the keg and in the top wall of the keg in which a filler plug mounting member and a tapper plug mounting member are respectively subsequently mounted. However metal kegs are relatively heavy and relatively expensive to make. In U.S. Pat. No. 2,983,403 to Mauser there is disclosed a barrel for beer that includes a thin wall inner shell of metal or synthetic material that at the ends is provided with reinforcing rings, the shell and rings being covered by a layer 23 of synthetic material. However, such is not an integrally formed unit and not as economical to produce as desired. In order to overcome objections of the above mentioned nature, as well as others, the present invention has been made.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

A beer keg having plastic top, bottom and side walls that are of integral unitary construction, and a tapper mounting member cast in position in the top wall and a filler plug mounted in the side wall.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a side view of the first embodiment of the beer keg of this invention;

FIG. 2 is an enlarged fragmentary cross-sectional view of the beer keg of FIG. 1 showing the joining of the top and bottom walls to the side wall;

FIG. 3 is an enlarged fragmentary cross-sectional view generally taken along the line and in the direction of the arrows 3--3 of FIG. 1 to show the mounting of filler plug mounting member;

FIG. 4 is an enlarged fragmentary plan view generally taken along the line and in the direction of the arrows 4--4 of FIG. 1 to show the mounting of the tapper plug mounting member;

FIG. 5 is a fragmentary cross-sectional view generally taken along the line and in the direction of the arrows 5--5 of FIG. 4;

FIG. 6 is a vertical cross-sectional view of the second embodiment of the beer keg of this invention, said view being generally taken along the line and in the direction of the arrows 6--6 of FIG. 8;

FIG. 7 is a top view generally taken along the line and in the direction of the arrows 7--7 of FIG. 6;

FIG. 8 is a bottom view generally taken along the line and in the direction of the arrows 8--8 of FIG. 7;

FIG. 9 is a side view of the tapper plug mounting member, said view being generally taken along the line and in the direction of the arrows 9--9 of FIG. 10;

FIG. 10 is a top view of the mounting member of FIG. 9, said view being generally taken along the line and in the direction of the arrows 10--10 of FIG. 9;

FIG. 11 is a fragmentary view of the filler plug mounting member, said view being generally taken along the line and in the direction of the arrows 11--11 of FIG. 6;

FIG. 12 is a fragmentary view generally taken along the line and in the direction of the arrows 12--12 of FIG. 11;

FIG. 13 is a view of the retainer ring that is generally taken along the line and in the direction of the arrows 13--13 of FIG. 14;

FIG. 14 is a side view of FIG. 13; and

FIG. 15 is a fragmentary cross-sectional view showing the filler plug mounting member mounted in the central portion of the keg as the keg is being formed.

FIG. 16 is a horizontal cross sectional view generally taken along the lines and in the direction of the arrows 16--16 of FIG. 10 of the tapper plug mounting member and the surrounding part of the top wall to illustrate tapper plug member radial flange portions extending into circumferentially spaced grooves.

Referring to FIGS. 1-5, there is shown the first embodiment of the beer keg, generally designated 10, of this invention. The keg 10 includes an annular side wall 11, a bottom wall 12 and a top wall 14. The top and bottom walls are fixedly joined to the opposite ends of the side wall whereby there is provided a keg chamber 13.

In a central portion of the side wall there is provided an annular mounting member 16. Member 16 has a generally axially extending annular flange portion 16a that opens through the outer peripheral surface of the side wall and a radially extending, annular flange portion 16b having an outside diameter substantially greater than the outside diameter of flange portion 16a. The plastic material of the side wall surrounds the radially outwardly, axially extending surfaces of the mounting member in sealing engagement therewith. Further the side wall includes an annular portion 11a integrally formed with the adjacent portions of the side wall that covers a substantial part of the axially inner, radially extending surface of the mounting member. Thus flange portion 16b, other than for its juncture to flange portion 16a, is embedded in plastic material on all sides thereof. The filler member 16 has a central aperture opening into the keg for filling the keg.

Mounted by the central portion of the top wall 14 is the tapper plug mounting member 20. Tapper member 20 has an axially extending, annular flange portion 20a and a radially enlarged flange portion 20b integrally joined to the axially inner end of flange portion 20a. Thus the outer diameter of flange portion 20b is substantially larger than the outer diameter of flange portion 20a. The plastic material surrounds and is in sealing engagement with the exposed outer peripheral surfaces of flange portions 20a, 20b and at least a substantial annular portion of the axial inner surface of flange portion 20b. As may be noted, plastic material 14b extends over the last mentioned surface. Thus the top wall has a first bore portion 14c forming a matching fit with flange portion 20a, and opens through the top wall exterior surface, a second bore portion 14d that opens through the top wall interior surface, and a third bore portion 14e of a substantially larger diameter than the first and second bore portions and axially intermediate the first and second bore portions, the axially inner terminal edge surface 20d being in sealing relationship to the shoulder 14f formed by the juncture of the second and third bore portions. Other than for the inner peripheral surface, the surfaces of flange 20b are covered by plastic material; i.e., flange 20b embedded in plastic. Member 20 has a central aperture opening into the interior of the keg. A pumping attaching portion 20c is joined to flange 20a to extend axially outwardly thereof, portion 20c having internal grooves (not shown) to have a tapper plug (not shown) removably secured in portion 20c.

Referring to FIGS. 6-14, the second embodiment of the beer keg, generally designated 50, includes a top wall 51, a bottom wall 52 and a side wall 53 that is integrally joined to the adjacent edges of walls 51 and 52 respectively to form a keg chamber 54. A top annular flange 57 has its lower edge integrally joined to the top and side walls at the juncture thereof, the outer edge of flange 57 being at a substantially higher elevation then the maximum elevation of the top wall. Likewise, a bottom annular flange 58 has its top edge integrally joined to the bottom and side walls at the juncture thereof, the lower edge of the bottom flange extending to a lower elevation than the lowermost part of the bottom wall.

Generally radially extending reinforcing flanges 59 are integrally joined to the top wall to extend thereabove and to flange 57 to extend radially inwardly thereof at a maximum elevation lower than the top edge of flange 57. Also radially extending reinforcing flanges 60 are integrally joined to the bottom wall to extend therebelow and to flange 58 to extend radially inwardly thereof at a minimum elevation above the bottom edge of flange 58.

Vertically spaced, exterior annular ribs 63, 64 respectively are integrally joined to the side wall, the ribs being of the same size. Other than for flanges 58, 60, the exterior surface of the bottom wall, and the adjacent part of the side wall that is below flange 64 has a radius of curvature S emanating from point 65, i.e., the portion arcuately from line B to line B, is in the shape of a portion of a sphere. Likewise, other than for flanges 57, 59 and the filler plug recess, the exterior surface of the top wall and the adjacent part of the side wall that is above flange 63 has a radius of curvature R emanating from point 66. Vertically between and slightly closer to point 66 than point 65, there is a point 67, the horizontal dimension X from point 67 to the exterior surface of the sidewall being slightly greater than the dimensions of radii R, S,; while the dimension W to the exterior surface adjacent the junctures of ribs 63, 64 respectively with the side wall (between the ribs) is slightly greater than the dimension X. Further the vertical distance from the top of rib 63 to point 66 is about one-third of the distance from the top of the rib to the bottom of the rib 64 while the corresponding distance of point 65 is about two-thirds of said distance between the ribs.

In the vertical central portion of the side wall (between ribs 63, 64), there is provided an annular plug mounting member, generally designated 70; that includes an annular flange 71 that is of a substantially larger outer diameter than the externally threaded reduced diameter annular flange 72 and integrally joined thereto. The flange 72 extends through an aperture in the side wall portion while flange 71 has a generally flat annular surface 73 to abut against a flat annular surface of the interior surface portion of the side wall surrounding flange 72. A plurality of circumferentially spaced, radially extending teeth 74 are integrally joined to flange 71 to bite into the side wall to prevent the member 70 turning relative the side wall. Member 70 has a frusto-conical plug receiving aperture 77 that is of progressively smaller cross-sectional areas in a direction toward the interior of the keg. Further, flange 71 has a tapered surface 76 extending between surface 73 and the axially opposite surface which forms a close fit with a corresponding surface of the side wall. A retainer unit 78 is provided to be threaded on flange 72 and abut against the exterior surface of the side wall to retain member 70 in position on the keg, member 78 having spaced wrench cutouts 78a.

Mounted by the top central portion of the top wall 51 is the tapper plug mounting member, generally designated 80 (see FIGS. 9 and 10), that is of the same construction as mounting member 20 except that the radially enlarged flanged portion is provided with circumferentially spaced cutouts 81a that the plastic material of the keg extends into, to prevent rotation of member 80 relative to the keg. That is plug mounting member 80 has an axially extending, annular flange portion 81b, a radially enlarged flange portion integrally formed to the axially inner end of flange portion 20a and having cutouts 81a to provide radially outwardly extending flange portions 81c, a flange portion 81d joined to flange portion 81b to extend axially outwardly thereof, and a flange portion 81e joined to flange portion 81d remote from flange portion 81b. Flange portions 81c extend radially outwardly beyond the outer peripheral wall of flange portion 81b while flange portion 81d is of a smaller diameter than flange portion 81b. Flange portions 81d, 81e are located in recess 51a and spaced from the wall portion defining said recess. The top wall has a cylindrical recess 51a of a substantially larger diameter than the outer diameter of the annular flange portion 81b. The top wall has an inwardly protruding portion 51b that mounts member 80 with the top surface thereof recessed with reference to the continuation of exterior surface of the side wall in which recess 51a is formed. The same portions of member 80 are surrounded by plastic material of parts of portion 51a as the portions of member 20 that are surrounded by plastic. Thus wall portion 51a has a first bore portion forming a recess 51a opening through the top wall exterior surface, a second bore portion 51c forming a matching fit with flange portion 81b and of a smaller diameter than the recess, a third bore portion 51d that opens through the top wall interior surface, and a fourth bore portion extending between bore portions 51c, 51d and that has radially extending, circumferentially spaced grooves 51e to receive flange portions 81c. The plug mounting member 80 has an axially inner, terminal edge 81f in sealing relationship to the shoulder formed by the puncture of bore portion 51d with the bore portion that has grooves 51e.

Preferrably a rotocasting process is utilized in making the kegs of this invention. In order to mount the filler plug member 70 in place with the surface 73 abutting a corresponding interior annular surface of the side wall and without the opposite annular surface of flange 71 covered with plastic, the mold 89 used includes a tapered plug 90 having an inner flat surface of a larger area than the outer surface (see FIG. 15). Suitable attaching members 92 are provided for removably attaching the plug to the remainder of the mold whereby selectively the plug 90 is retained in a fixed position on the mold, and the mold may be removed from the keg while the plug 90 is not removed therefrom. An elongated rod 93 is mounted by plug 90 to extend radially inwardly to the central part of the mold, the inner end of the rod mounting a block 94 having a frusto-conical surface to form a close fit with the member 70 wall that defines the plug aperture 77. Latch members 96 are mounted by block 94 for releasably retaining member 70 on block 94 but which can be turned by turning bolts 97 to permit withdrawing the block 94 from member 70.

With powdered or granular uncured plastic material in the mold and mounting member 70 mounted in the central part of the mold by the above structure, the mold is simultaneously rotated about two axes and heated. During the rotation the plastic material adheres to the mold but not to block 94 or member 70 since they are too cool for the powder to adhere to. After the rotocasting step, the mold (other than for Plug 91) is removed from the keg, then rod 93 pulled radially outwardly an appropriate distance and thence an aperture cut in the keg side wall that is only slightly larger than flange 72. Next rod 93 is further radially moved to pull member 72 to extend outwardly of the keg, bolts 97 turned to release latches 96 and block 94 removed from member 70. Now the retainer nut 78 is threaded on flange 72 to draw radial teeth 74 into the keg side wall sufficiently that surface 73 forms a sealing fit with the side wall. The shape of the mold is such that during the casting step, the side wall adjacent plug 91 provides an inner keg surface that subsequently forms a tight fit with the filler plug mounting surface 76 including a recess into which flange 71 fits.

As an example of the invention and not otherwise as a limitation thereof, dimensions R and S may be 7 11/32 inches; dimension W 7 19/32 inches; dimension X 7 15/32 inches; the spacing of point 66 from point 65 1-7/8 inches; the spacing of point 67 from point 65 1 11/16 inches; and the maximum outer diameters of each of flanges 57, 58 5 11/32 inches.

The filler and tapper plug mounting members of each embodiment advantageously may be made of metal, for example stainless steel or aluminum, or the same type of plastic that the walls of the keg are made of. In making the keg, the filler plug mounting members of the second embodiment and the tapper plugs of both embodiments are mounted in position in the mold and then the walls of the keg are formed whereby said mounting members are at least partially embedded as above described. Preferrably a rotocasting process is utilized in making the keg, and that the type of plastic used is a highimpact linear polyethylene.

By using preformed plug mounting members and at least partially embedding them during the wall forming process as referred to above, such that plastic material extends over both inner and outer surface portions (relative the keg), a good fluid seal is formed and the mounting members are firmly held in place. Further there is provided a durable, relatively light weight keg that can be used in the same manner as prior art kegs, but that is relatively inexpensive to produce. Additionally by making a keg of the shape of the second embodiment, it can be used for storing beer under higher pressure than the keg of the first embodiment that has the same wall thickness.

In both embodiments, the filler plug aperture may be modified for receivably retaining a twist-lock type of plug (not shown).