Title:
Ceremonial plug closure and package
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A closure includes a plastic shell having a base wall and a skirt with at least one internal thread segment for threaded engagement with at least one external thread segment on a container neck finish. A stopper, preferably of natural or synthetic cork, is secured to the base wall within the skirt and has an outer surface for sliding fit within the inside diameter of the container neck finish. An annular seal is disposed on the base wall surrounding the stopper within the skirt for sealing engagement with an end surface of the container neck finish. The closure can readily be removed from the container neck finish by unthreading the closure shell and pulling the plug from the container neck finish. The sliding fit between the external surface of the stopper and the inside diameter of the neck finish is sufficiently tight to provide a popping sound as the closure is removed from the neck finish.



Inventors:
Beckmann, David C. (Toledo, OH, US)
Krishna, Raj (Sylvania, OH, US)
Application Number:
11/881938
Publication Date:
02/05/2009
Filing Date:
07/30/2007
Assignee:
Owens-Illinois Closure Inc.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65D41/00
View Patent Images:
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20090218306Laboratory Culture Flask With Snap-On CapSeptember, 2009Menchel et al.
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20080272086Composition Stopper CapNovember, 2008Granger et al.
20090178997FLUID CONTAINERJuly, 2009Clark



Primary Examiner:
ELOSHWAY, NIKI MARINA
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Reising, Ethington Barnes Kisselle P. C. (P.O. BOX 4390, TROY, MI, 48099-4390, US)
Claims:
1. A closure for application to a container having a neck finish with at least one external thread segment, an end surface and an inside diameter, said closure including: a plastic shell having a base wall and a skirt with at least one internal thread segment for threaded engagement with the external thread segment on the container neck finish, a stopper secured to said base wall within said skirt, said stopper having a cylindrical outer surface for sliding fit within the inside diameter of the container neck finish, and an annular seal on said base wall surrounding said plug within said skirt for sealing engagement with a surface of the container neck finish.

2. The closure set forth in claim 1 wherein said annular seal includes a sealing gasket.

3. The closure set forth in claim 2 wherein said sealing gasket is of synthetic resin construction.

4. The closure set forth in claim 3 wherein said sealing gasket includes barrier resin to resist transmission of gases, water vapor and/or flavorants.

5. The closure set forth in claim 3 wherein said stopper is of synthetic resin construction.

6. The closure set forth in claim 5 wherein said stopper and said sealing gasket are of one-piece integrally molded plastic construction.

7. The closure set forth in claim 6 wherein said stopper and said sealing gasket include barrier resin to resist transmission of gases, water vapor and/or flavorants.

8. The closure set forth in claim 1 wherein said annular seal is a linerless seal that is of one-piece construction with said shell.

9. The closure set forth in claim 1 wherein said stopper is of synthetic resin construction.

10. The closure set forth in claim 9 wherein said stopper includes barrier resin to resist transmission of gases, water vapor and/or flavorants.

11. The closure set forth in claim 1 including a tamper band frangibly connected to an edge of said skirt remote from said base wall.

12. The closure set forth in claim 1 wherein said stopper is of natural cork or synthetic resin construction.

13. A package that includes: a container having a neck finish with at least one external thread segment, an end surface and an inside diameter, a closure that includes: a plastic shell having a base wall and a skirt with at least one internal thread segment in threaded engagement with said at least one external thread segment on said neck finish a stopper secured to said base wall within said skirt, said stopper having an outer surface in sliding engagement with said inside diameter of said neck finish, and an annular seal on said base wall surrounding said stopper within said skirt for sealing engagement with said end surface of said neck finish.

14. The package set forth in claim 13 wherein said annular seal includes a sealing gasket.

15. The package set forth in claim 14 wherein said sealing gasket is of synthetic resin construction.

16. The package set forth in claim 15 wherein said sealing gasket includes barrier resin to resist transmission of gases, water vapor and/or flavorants.

17. The package set forth in claim 15 wherein said stopper is of synthetic resin construction.

18. The package set forth in claim 17 wherein said stopper and said sealing gasket are of one-piece integrally molded plastic construction.

19. The package set forth in claim 18 wherein said stopper and said sealing gasket include barrier resin to resist transmission of gases, water vapor and/or flavorants.

20. The package set forth in claim 13 wherein said annular seal is a linerless seal that is of one-piece construction with said shell.

21. The package set forth in claim 13 wherein said stopper is of synthetic resin construction.

22. The closure set forth in claim 21 wherein said stopper includes barrier resin to resist transmission of gases, water vapor and/or flavorants.

23. The package set forth in claim 13 wherein said closure shell includes a tamper band frangibly connected to an edge of said skirt remote from said base wall, and wherein said neck finish includes an external abutment for engagement by said tamper band during removal of said closure from said neck finish at least partially to separate said tamper band from said skirt.

24. The package set forth in claim 13 wherein said neck finish includes a plastic fitment secured to said container, said fitment including said at least one external thread segment, said end surface and said inside diameter.

25. The package set forth in claim 13 wherein said stopper is of natural cork or synthetic resin construction.

26. The package set forth in claim 13 including a pressurized product within the container, removal of said stopper creating a popping sound at said package.

Description:

The present disclosure relates to a stopper with threaded closure for threaded engagement with a container neck finish and to a package that includes such a closure.

BACKGROUND AND SUMMARY OF THE DISCLOSURE

Stopper or plug-type closures, including natural or synthetic cork, when used in combination with carbonated and non-carbonated beverages, provide a “popping” sound when removed from the container that adds ceremony to the occasion. However, conventional stopper-type closures typically require tools such as a corkscrew to remove the closure and can be difficult to remove under the best of circumstances. Conventional closures also can be pushed up and/or out of the container neck finish by fermentation carbonization breaking the seal of the package. Conventional closures also can allow oxygen to enter the container through the stopper and/or at the interface of the stopper and the inside surface of the neck finish. A general object of the present disclosure is to provide a closure for assembly to a container neck finish, and to provide a package that includes such a closure, that is easy to remove from the container neck finish and provides the ceremonial popping when the package is opened, and/or offers opportunity for greater sealing, tamper evidence and/or barrier properties as needed by a particular beverage product.

The present disclosure embodies a number of aspects that can be implemented separately from or in combination with each other.

A closure in accordance with one aspect of the present disclosure includes a plastic shell having a base wall and a skirt with at least one internal thread segment for threaded engagement with at least one external thread segment on a container neck finish. A stopper is secured to the base wall within the skirt and has an outer surface for sliding fit within the inside diameter of the container neck finish. An annular seal is disposed on the base wall surrounding the stopper within the skirt for sealing engagement with an end surface of the container neck finish. The closure can readily be removed from the container neck finish by unthreading the closure shell, which will move the stopper up the finish and remove the closure from the container neck finish with a final completing pull by the consumer. The sliding fit between the cylindrical external surface of the stopper and the inside diameter of the neck finish is sufficiently tight to provide a popping sound as the closure is removed from the neck finish. The threaded closure provides the benefits of an improved seal and stopper retention when used with carbonated or fermented beverages. The stopper preferably is of synthetic resin construction, and can include active and/or passive barrier resins to retard migration of gases, water vapor and/or flavorants. The closure can provide tamper evidence if desired.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The disclosure, together with additional objects, features, advantages and aspects thereof, will best be understood from the following description, the appended claims and the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a fragmentary sectional view of a package in accordance with one exemplary embodiment of the present disclosure;

FIG. 2 is a fragmentary sectional view of a package in accordance with a second exemplary embodiment of the present disclosure; and

FIGS. 3-5 are fragmentary illustrations of embodiments of the present disclosure that include linerless seals.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

FIG. 1 illustrates a package 10 in accordance with a first exemplary embodiment of the present disclosure as including a closure 12 applied to the neck finish 14 of a container 16. Neck finish 14 has one or more external thread segments 18. (The term “thread segments” is employed in its usual broad sense to include both single and multiple threads, and to include both continuous and discontinuous threads.) Container 16 including neck finish 14 can be of glass or plastic construction.

Closure 12 includes a plastic closure shell 20 having a base wall 22 and a skirt 24. Base wall 22 preferably is circular, and skirt 24 preferably is a cylindrical skirt extending from the peripheral edge of base wall 22. Skirt 24 has one or more internal thread segments 26 for threaded engagement with external thread segments 18 on container neck finish 14. A tamper band 28 or other tamper-indicating means optionally can be frangibly connected to an edge of skirt 24 remote from base wall 22 for engagement with an external bead 30 or the like on neck finish 14 for at least partially separating band 28 from skirt 24 and thereby indicating that package 10 has been opened. Tamper band 28 or other tamper-indicating means, when provided, may be of any suitable construction. Additional or alternative tamper evidence can be employed as desired.

A plug or stopper 32 is secured to the undersurface of base wall 22 within skirt 24, preferably concentrically with skirt 24. Stopper 32 can be secured to closure shell base wall 22 by adhesive, spin-welding or other suitable means. Stopper 32 has a external surface 34 in sliding sealing engagement with the inside diameter of neck finish 14. External surface 34 preferably is substantially cylindrical and can have a slight taper. Stopper 32 can be solid, porous or multilayer, and can be of natural cork or synthetic resin material. Stopper 32 preferably is of synthetic resin construction. Synthetic resin stoppers are disclosed, for example, in U.S. Pat. Nos. 6,221,451 and 6,911,171. An annular seal is disposed on base wall 22 surrounding plug 32 within skirt 24. In the embodiments of FIGS. 1 and 2, the annular seal is an annular gasket 36 or 36a. Gasket 36 can be of any suitable flexible resilient sealing material, preferably synthetic resin material, and can include one or more active and/or passive barrier resin to retard migration of moisture vapor, gases and/or flavorants into or out of the container. Annular gasket 36 is disposed for opposed abutting sealing engagement with the annular end surface 38 of container neck finish 14. Gasket 36 can be separately fabricated and laid into the closure shell. Gasket 36 alternatively can be compression molded in situ within the closure shell. As a further option, gasket 36 and stopper 32 can be of one-piece integrally molded plastic construction as illustrated in FIG. 2 compression molded within the closure shell, or fabricated separately and inserted into and secured to base wall 22 of closure shell 20.

The primary seal of package 10 is between annular gasket 36 (or gasket 36a in FIG. 2, or the linerless seals illustrated in FIGS. 3-5) and end surface 38 of neck finish 14. The sliding fit between stopper surface 34 and the inside diameter of neck finish 14 preferably provides a secondary seal that is only sufficient, in combination with internal pressurization of package 10, to provide a “popping” sound when opening package 10. Internal pressurization of package 10, containing a carbonated beverage 39 or an otherwise pressurized interior, expands stopper 32 into sealing engagement with neck finish 14. However thread segments 18, 26 function easily to start movement of stopper 32 within neck finish 14 so that closure 12 can readily be removed by hand.

FIG. 2 illustrates a package 40 in accordance with a second exemplary embodiment of the present disclosure. Reference numerals in FIG. 2 that are identical to those employed in FIG. 1 indicate correspondingly identical or related components. The primary difference between package 40 in FIG. 2 and package 10 of FIG. 1 is that the neck finish of package 40 includes a plastic fitment 42 that is secured to container 44. Such securement preferably is by means of an internal bead 46 on fitment 42 being received by snap fit over an external bead 48 on container 44. Fitment 42 includes external thread segments 18, end surface 38 and the inside diameter engaged by stopper external surface 34. FIG. 2 also illustrates a modification in which stopper 32 and gasket 36a are formed as one piece, either within or separately from closure shell 20.

FIGS. 3-5 illustrate exemplary embodiments in which annular gasket 36 or 36a is replaced by a linerless sealing feature. In package FIG. 3, an annular linerless seal 36b extends from shell base wall 22 for engagement with the outside edge and top of end surface 38. In package 54 of FIG. 4, an annular linerless seal 36c extends from base wall 22 for engagement with end surface 38. In package 56 of FIG. 5, annular V-ring seals 36d extend from base wall 22 for engagement with base wall 22. Other linerless seal configurations could be employed.

There thus have been disclosed a closure and a package that fully achieve all the objects and aims previously set forth. The disclosure has been presented in conjunction with exemplary embodiments, and additional modifications and variations have been discussed. Other modifications and variations readily will suggest themselves to persons of ordinary skill in the art in view of the foregoing description. The disclosure is intended to embrace all such modifications and variations as fall within the spirit and broad scope of the appended claims.