Title:
Reusable Seal for Beverage Container
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A metal reusable lid for resealing shaped to cover the opening of an opened metal beverage container. The lid is formed by from metal and comprises a top with a lip, a bottom with an edge and a projection to create the seal, and a notch that extends from the top to the bottom at a point on the lid corresponding to a rivet in the container. When the lid is pressed over the opening of the container, the edge overlaps the opening to extend outside of the interior of the container at the opening with the notch allowing for extension of the lid around the rivet such that a portion of the top of the lid at the rivet is located beneath a ring of the rivet, and the projection fits inside the container at the opening.



Inventors:
Jenkins, Mary (Gahanna, OH, US)
Application Number:
11/771670
Publication Date:
01/01/2009
Filing Date:
06/29/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65D39/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
MCKINLEY, CHRISTOPHER BRIAN
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Melanie R. Martin-Jones;Porter Wright Morris & Arthur, LLP (41 S. High Street, Columbus, OH, 43215, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A metal reusable lid for resealing an opened metal beverage container comprising: a top, said top shaped to conform to the opening of the container and having a length and a width slightly greater than the opening of the container, said top comprising a manipulated lip; a bottom, said bottom conforming to the opening and shaped to fit within the opening, said bottom comprising an edge and a projection; a notch, said notch extending from the top to the bottom at a point on the lid corresponding to a rivet attached to the container top, said notch shaped for allowing the edge to extend around the rivet; wherein, when the lid is pressed over the opened opening of the container, 1) the edge overlaps the container opening to extend to a portion of the container proximate to an exterior side of the opening with the notch allowing for extension of the lid around the rivet such that a portion of the top of the lid at the rivet is located beneath a ring of the rivet, and 2) the projection fits inside the container at the opening.

2. The lid of claim 1 wherein the length of the lid is approximately 26 mm at a longest point and the width of the lid at a widest point is approximately 17 mm.

3. The lid of claim 1 wherein the projection is a ridge, said ridge a solid extending from the bottom continually at a point corresponding to the opening of the container, said ridge shaped similarly to the perimeter of the lid, said ridge having two converging sides projecting from the bottom that, at a point where the bottom and the ridge intersect, are approximately 1.5 mm apart from each other, said ridge extending approximately 1.5 mm from the intersection with the bottom.

4. The lid of claim 1 wherein the top is approximately 1 mm thick at points opposite the edge and the projection extends from the interior perimeter of the edge to form a gradually greater curvilinear surface increasing to a point approximately in the center of the lid, said projection having a greatest depth of approximately 2.5 mm from a point where the bottom and the edge intersect.

5. The lid of claim 1, wherein the top is essentially ovoid in shape.

6. The lid of claim 1, wherein the lip is manipulated by one of crimping, buffing rolling, roughing, and blasting.

7. The lid of claim 1, wherein the metal is aluminum.

8. The lid of claim 1 further comprising a plastic coating on the bottom.

9. The lid of claim 1 wherein the lid comprises an imprint.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to stand alone, reusable seals for metal beverage containers.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Metal beverage containers typically have a tab opening pivoted to the container by a rivet. The tab operates to detach a part of the top of the container at a score line. After the tab is used to open the container, the detached part cannot be repositioned to close or seal the container. Without a means to reseal the container, metal beverage containers containing a carbonated drink must be consumed in one sitting to avoid spillage and to avoid loss of carbonation.

Various devices to re-seal a carbonated beverage have been described. U.S. Pat. No. 4,877,129 describes a reclosure cover having sides extending downwardly over the rim of the tab finger-engaging region and have a flanged inner periphery displaced slightly below the rim. To close, the tab is pivoted back to the hole and then pressed downwardly to engage the inwardardly-facing flange of the reclosure cover with the rim surrounding the opening. U.S. Pat. No. 4,948,008 describes a tapered insert portion to snugly seal the opening in the container end. U.S. Pat. No. 4,537,326 discloses a consumer-applied flat flow through cover having a number of small apertures that uses an adhesive as the means by which the cover is attached to the container. U.S. Pat. No. 5,617,970 discloses a protective cover for a drink opening in a liquid container. U.S. Pat. No. 5,845,801 discloses a single use flow-through cover that is built into the container at the time of manufacture. U.S. Pat. No. 5,975,327 describes a tab body with a seal opening portion, a mounting portion, a lifting portion, and at least one wing portion positioned adjacent the lifting portion. U.S. Pat. No. 6,098,830 discloses a devise that is attached to the tab actuator. U.S. Pat. No. 6,427,861 discloses a top for beverage containers with an opener integrated sanitary cover. U.S. Pat. No. 6,460,719 describes a cover with a body shaped and dimensioned to completely cover the hole in the top of the container. The body has a channel shaped and dimensioned to slidably receive the tab opener so that cover may be slidably installed to engage the tab opener. U.S. Pat. No. 6,722,518 discloses a rotatable cover for a tab actuated drink opening in a conventional beverage container. The cover is removable and reusable, with a bottom surface larger than the drink opening and a recessed top portion adapted to receive and engage the tab actuator to secure it to the container.

While any of these devices may reseal a beverage container, all are relatively expensive and inconvenient to use. Many existing devices marketed to reseal beverage containers actually leak. Some reseal devices are bulky and do not provide for ease of storing or stacking of the container. Existing resealers made of plastics or rubber typically add a “taste” to the product or often crack from repeated refrigeration, damage, or exposure to sunlight. A need exists for a simple, economic, durable reusable sealing device for a metal beverage container that can reliably reseal the container opening.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The problems with present resealers for beverage containers described can be solved with a lid according to the present invention; more specifically, with a metal reusable lid for resealing an opened metal beverage container comprising a top, a bottom, and a notch.

The top of the lid is shaped to conform to the opening of the beverage container. The top is essentially ovoid in shape. The length and width of the top are slightly greater than the length and width of the opening of the container. The top comprises a manipulated lip. The lip is manipulated by crimping, buffing rolling, roughing, blasting, and the like to prevent injury to a user.

The bottom of the lid conforms to the opening of the beverage can and is shaped to fit within the opening. The bottom comprises an edge and a projection. In an embodiment, the projection is a ridge, having a solid extending from the bottom continually at a point corresponding to the opening of the container. The ridge is shaped similarly to the perimeter of the lid. The ridge has two converging sides projecting from the bottom that intersect. In an embodiment, the projection is a curvilinear shape with a surface extending from a point at the interior perimeter of the edge. The curvilinear shape gradually increases to a point approximately in the center of the lid.

The notch extends from the top to the bottom at a point on the lid corresponding to a rivet attached to the beverage container top. The notch is shaped for allowing the edge to extend around the rivet.

The elements of the lid are such, that when the lid is pressed over the opened opening of the beverage container, 1) the edge overlaps the container opening to extend to a portion of the container proximate to an exterior side of the top of the beverage container at the opening, with the notch allowing for extension of the lid around the rivet, such that a portion of the top of the lid at the rivet is located beneath a ring of the rivet, and 2) the projection fits inside the container at the opening.

The lid has a length of approximately 26 mm at a longest point and a width of approximately 17 mm at a widest point. The top is approximately 1 mm thick at points opposite the edge. The two converging sides of the ridge are approximately 1.5 mm apart from each other at the bottom and extend approximately 1.5 mm from the bottom to the point of intersection. The curvilinear surface at a point approximately in the center of the lid has a depth of approximately 2.5 mm from a point where the bottom and the edge intersect.

The lid of the present invention is comprised of metal, preferably aluminum. In an embodiment, the bottom of the lid comprises a plastic coating. In an embodiment, the lid comprises an imprint.

The present invention is easy to apply and remove and is economic due to its small size and lack of complicated components. When in use, the present invention prevents leakage of the beverage from the container.

The present invention is simply placed on the opening of the beverage container after opening and nudged under the rivet used to attach the tab. When a consumer wishes to drink, s/he applies a slight force to the edge of the present invention to dislodge the device and gain access to the container contents.

As used herein, “beverage container” means the type of container having a top end described in U.S. Pat. No. 5,711,448 to Clarke (“Non-detachable tab can end with large oval opening”; issued Jan. 27, 1998.

As used herein, “approximately” means within plus or minus 25% of the term it qualifies. The term “about” means between ½ and 2 times the term it qualifies.

The devices of the present invention can comprise, consist of, or consist essentially of the essential elements and limitations of the invention described herein, as well as any additional or optional ingredients, components, or limitations described herein or otherwise useful in compositions and methods of the general type as described herein.

Numerical ranges as used herein are intended to include every number and subset of numbers contained within that range, whether specifically disclosed or not. Further, these numerical ranges should be construed as providing support for a claim directed to any number or subset of numbers in that range.

All references to singular characteristics or limitations of the present invention shall include the corresponding plural characteristic or limitation, and vice versa, unless otherwise specified or clearly implied to the contrary by the context in which the reference is made.

The following detailed description, which references and incorporates the figures, describes and illustrates one or more specific embodiments of the invention. These embodiments, offered not to limit but only to exemplify and teach the invention, are shown and described in sufficient detail to enable those skilled in the art to practice the invention. Thus, where appropriate to avoid obscuring the invention, the description may omit certain information known to those of skill in the art.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1a is a top view of the present invention.

FIG. 1b and FIG. 1c are bottom views of embodiments of the present invention.

FIGS. 2a and 2b are sectional views embodiments of the present invention attached to an opened beverage container.

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the present invention attached to an opened beverage container.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is a unitary formed metal shape. In an embodiment, the present invention is formed by stamping from a rolled metal sheet. In an embodiment, the lid is pressed from an aluminum shape. In an embodiment, the metal is aluminum. Forming from aluminum provides for durability and flexibility at a low cost of production.

The lid shown in FIG. 1 has a top 10. The size and shape of the top 10 generally correspond to the size and shape of the opened opening of the beverage container. The top is generally planar and slightly longer and slightly wider that the opening of the beverage container, such that, the top 10 is essentially on the outside of the beverage container when properly positioned to reseal the container. The overall length of the top 10 varies to conform to the shape of the opening of the container. In an embodiment, the length of the lid 10 is approximately 25-30 mm. In an embodiment, the length of the top 10 is 26 mm. In an embodiment, the width of the lid 10 is approximately 10-15 mm. In an embodiment, the width of the top 10 is 13 mm. The overall width and length of the top 10 is such that the lid, when placed over the opening of the container, does not touch the ridge (indicated by the number 27 in FIG. 3) on the container top surface surrounding the opening. In an embodiment, the depth of the top 10 is approximately 0.5-2 mm. In an embodiment, the depth of the top 10 is approximately 1 mm. In an embodiment, the depth of the top is the maximum that allows the lid to be placed over the opening and under a ring attached to the rivet of the container.

In an embodiment, the top 10 comprises a lip 22. The lip is manipulated to prevent injury to a user. Manipulation may be my crimping, blasting, budding, roughing, rolling and the like. In an embodiment, manipulation is any treatment to the lid that does not effect the seal. The top 10 may be imprinted 26 (as depicted in FIG. 3.). The imprint 26 may be an added element that is applied, such as by inking, decal, and the like, or may be a change to the metal surface, such as by embossing, cutting, stamping, and the like. In an embodiment, the imprint 26 is a logo.

The present invention comprises a bottom 20. The bottom conforms generally to the overall length and width of the top 10. The bottom comprises an edge 21 that corresponds to the perimeter of the bottom 20. The edge 21 extends from the perimeter approximately 0.5-2 mm, preferably approximately 1 mm, such that, when the lid is in place on the container, the edge 21 extends beyond the opened opening approximately 0.5-2 mm, preferably approximately 1 mm, on the outside of the container proximate to the opening, and the remainder of the bottom 20 fits within the container. The middle section of the bottom 20 may comprise the negative image of the imprint 26.

The bottom 20 comprises a projection. As depicted in the embodiment shown in FIGS. 1b and 2b, the projection is a curvilinear shape 27 commencing at the edge 21. The curvilinear shape 27 extends from an interior perimeter of the edge 21 to form a gradually greater curvilinear surface increasing to a point approximately in the center of the lid. The curvilinear shape 27 has a depth measured from a point where the bottom 20 and the edge 21 intersect ranging from the edge 27 to a greatest depth of approximately 2-3 mm, preferably approximately 2.5 mm at about a center of the bottom 20.

In an embodiment depicted in FIGS. 1c and 2a, the projection is a ridge 25. The ridge 25 is a solid extending from the bottom 20 continually at a point corresponding to the opening of the container and the inner perimeter of the edge 21. The ridge 21 shaped similarly to the perimeter of the bottom 20. The ridge 25 has a first and second side that project from the bottom 20 at a point where the bottom 20 and slant toward each other to converge at a point approximately 1-2 mm, preferably approximately 1.5 mm from the bottom 20.

The lid comprises a notch 15. The notch 15 is located approximately midpoint of the length of the top 10 and extends from the top 10 to the bottom 20. The notch 15 is curved and corresponds to the rivet of the container. The notch allows the edge 21 to extend outside the opening of the container. The notch 15 fits against the rivet and positions the top 10 under a ring of the rivet and the bottom inside the opening of the container.

The foregoing descriptions of specific embodiments and examples of the present invention have been presented for purposes of illustration and description. They are not intended to be exhaustive or to limit the invention to the precise forms disclosed, and obviously many modifications and variations are possible in light of the above teachings. It will be understood that the invention is intended to cover alternatives, modifications and equivalents. The embodiments were chosen and described in order to best explain the principles of the invention and its practical application, to thereby enable others skilled in the art to best utilize the invention and various embodiments with various modifications as are suited to the particular use contemplated. It is therefore to be understood that within the scope of the appended claims, the invention may be practiced otherwise than as specifically described herein.