Title:
Dual sealing closure
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The invention relates to a dual sealing closure for use with an associated container having a neck. The closure comprises two sealing arrangements for forming a dual seal between the closure and the neck of the associated container. The first sealing arrangement forms a first seal with the neck of the container at a first contact point and a second sealing arrangement forms a second seal with the neck of the container at a second contact point.



Inventors:
Ekkert, Len (Lemont, IL, US)
Application Number:
09/805706
Publication Date:
09/19/2002
Filing Date:
03/13/2001
Assignee:
EKKERT LEN
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
215/256
International Classes:
B65D43/02; (IPC1-7): B65D41/46
View Patent Images:
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20050211660Colorant containerSeptember, 2005Galownia et al.
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20080087626Cap structure of a raw material bottleApril, 2008Tsai
20090294462Tub-itsDecember, 2009Lovett
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20080179340Sipper cap with a reciprocally movable nozzleJuly, 2008Scott



Primary Examiner:
NEWHOUSE, NATHAN JEFFREY
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
HUSCH BLACKWELL LLP (CHICAGO, IL, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. A dual sealing closure for use with an associated container having a neck comprising: a closure including two sealing arrangements for forming a dual seal between the closure and the neck of the associated container, wherein a first sealing arrangement forms a first seal with the neck of the container at a first contact point and a second sealing arrangement forms a second seal with the neck of the container at a second contact point.

2. The dual sealing closure as defined in claim 1, wherein the first sealing arrangement includes a V-shaped section, the V-shaped section including a substantially straight segment and a concave segment, the concave segment including a contacting sealing surface, wherein the contacting surface forms a first seal with the neck of the associated container at a first contact point.

3. The dual sealing closure as defined in claim 2, wherein the closure further includes a top wall connected to a peripheral surface by the V-shaped section, wherein the peripheral surface is substantially parallel to the top wall.

4. The dual sealing closure as defined by claim 1, wherein the second sealing arrangement includes a V-shaped section, the V-shaped section having a substantially straight segment and a concave segment, the concave segment including a contacting sealing surface, wherein a nip is formed along the contacting surface, the nip forming a seal with the neck of the associated container at a second contact point.

5. The dual sealing closure as defined by claim 1, wherein said closure has a top wall connected to a flat peripheral surface by a V-shaped section so that the peripheral surface is substantially parallel to the top wall; the first sealing arrangement of said closure including the V-shaped section, the V-shaped section including a straight segment and a concave segment, the concave segment including a contacting sealing surface, wherein an upper portion of the contacting surface forms a first seal with the neck of the associated container at a first contact point; and the second sealing arrangement including a nip formed along a lower portion of the contacting surface, the nip forming a second seal with the neck of the associated container at a second contact point.

6. The dual sealing closure as defined by claim 5, wherein the closure is made from polypropylene.

7. The dual sealing closure as defined by claim 5, wherein the closure is made from polyethylene.

8. The dual sealing closure as defined by claim 5, wherein the closure has a thickness of about 0.025 mm to about 0.75 mm.

9. The dual sealing closure as defined by claim 6, wherein the closure has a thickness of about 0.05 mm.

10. The dual sealing closure as defined by claim 7, wherein the closure has a thickness of about 0.05 mm.

11. A dual sealing closure for use with an associated container with a neck comprising: a closure including two sealing arrangements, wherein said closure has a top wall connected to a flat peripheral surface by a V-shaped section so that the peripheral surface is substantially parallel to the top wall; the first sealing arrangement of said closure includes the V-shaped section, the V-shaped section having a straight segment and a concave segment, the concave segment including a contacting sealing surface, wherein the contacting surface forms a first seal with the neck of the associated container at a first contact point; and the second sealing arrangement including a nip formed along the contacting surface below the first contact point, the nip forming a second seal with the neck of the associated container at a second contact point.

12. The dual sealing closure as defined by claim 11, wherein the closure includes at least one fastening arrangement to fasten the closure to the neck.

13. The dual sealing closure as defined by claim 12, wherein the closure further includes a ribbed annular skirt, the ribbed annular skirt depending downwardly from an outer edge of the peripheral surface, wherein the ribbed annular skirt includes at least one annular shoulder protruding inwardly from an interior surface of the ribbed skirt, wherein a first fastening arrangement includes the at least one annular shoulder so that the at least one annular shoulder cooperates with the associated container.

14. The dual sealing closure as defined by claim 13, wherein the ribbed annular skirt includes upper and lower inwardly protruding annular shoulders, both shoulders protruding from the interior surface of the ribbed skirt, wherein the first and second fastening arrangements include the upper and lower inwardly protruding shoulders so that the upper and lower shoulders cooperate with the associated container.

15. The dual sealing closure as defined by claim 14 wherein the neck of the associated container includes upper and lower annular rings so that the upper and lower annular shoulders of the first and second fastening arrangements interact with the upper and lower annular rings of the neck of the associated container.

16. The dual sealing closure as defined by claim 13, wherein the closure further includes a horizontal frangible wall extending from a lower end of the ribbed skirt so that a removable strip depends downwardly from the frangible wall.

17. The dual sealing closure as defined by claim 16, wherein the closure further includes a top wall connected to the peripheral surface by the V-shaped section so that the peripheral surface surrounds the top wall and is substantially parallel to the top wall.

18. The dual sealing closure as defined by claim 17 wherein the peripheral surface is vertically spaced with respect to the top wall, and the removable strip includes a pull away tab formed thereto.

19. The dual sealing closure as defined by claim 12, wherein the closure includes a ribbed annular skirt, the ribbed annular skirt depending downwardly from an outer edge of the peripheral surface, wherein internal grooves are formed on an interior surface of the annular skirt, wherein one fastening arrangement includes the internally formed grooves, the internally formed grooves cooperating with the neck of the associated container.

20. The dual sealing closure as defined by claim 11, wherein the closure is configured so that the first contact point is positioned at an inner point of a curved elbow portion of the neck of the associated container and the second contact point is positioned at a point below the inner point of the curved elbow portion of the neck.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0001] This invention relates to a closure for glass and plastic containers and more particularly to a closure with a unique sealing arrangement that enjoys two distinct sealing points to provide a positive seal.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] The present invention is related to closures for use with an associated container. Prior closures of this type may be seen in U.S. Pat. No. 4,658,977. These known closures have several shortcomings, including the incorporation of ineffective sealing surfaces that engage the container neck and, thus, are susceptible to leaking.

[0003] Accordingly, there is a strong need for a dual sealing closure that forms a tight seal between the closure and container neck and that further allows the closure to conform to the shape of the container neck.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0004] A dual sealing closure for use with an associated container comprises a top wall that is connected to a peripheral surface by a depending flexible V-shaped section. Preferably, the V-shaped section is defined by a straight segment that depends from an outer edge of the top wall and a concave segment that depends from an inner edge of the peripheral surface (The segment is concave when perceived from a top outer view with respect to the closure). The straight segment and concave segment converge downwardly to form the vertex of the ‘V’.

[0005] A contacting sealing surface is located on an interior surface of the concave segment. The contacting sealing surface preferably has upper and lower portions, and a nip can be formed along the lower portion. An upper point of the contacting sealing surface and the nip engage the neck of the associated container at two contact points to form a dual seal.

[0006] The closure also has a ribbed annular skirt that depends from an outer edge of the peripheral surface. A frangible wall extends from a lower end of the skirt and a removable strip depends downward from the frangible wall. Upper and lower inwardly protruding annular shoulders are formed on an interior surface of the skirt and coact with the neck of the associated container to form first and second fastening arrangements.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES

[0007] Further objects of the invention, taken together with additional features contributing thereto and advantages occurring therefrom, will be apparent from the following description of the invention when read in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, wherein:

[0008] FIG. 1 shows a cross sectional view of the subject invention;

[0009] FIG. 2 shows a cross sectional view of the closure (in an unstressed condition) engaging the neck of the associated container;

[0010] FIG. 2a shows a close up view of an angle a formed between an upper portion of the concave segment and the peripheral surface;

[0011] FIG. 3 shows a cross sectional view of the closure (in a stressed condition), without the removable strip, engaging the neck of the associated container; and,

[0012] FIG. 4 shows the closure snapped on the neck of the associated container with a pullaway tab formed on the removable strip

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0013] While the present invention is susceptible of embodiment in various forms, there is shown in the drawings and will hereinafter be described a presently preferred embodiment with the understanding that the present disclosure is to be considered an exemplification of the invention and is not intended to limit the invention to the specific embodiment illustrated.

[0014] Referring now to the figures, in particular to FIGS. 1-4, there is shown a preferred embodiment of the dual sealing closure 10. The dual sealing closure 10 acts in conjunction with an associated container 70 having a neck 72 to form a dual seal indicated at 110, 120.

[0015] It is to be understood that the closure 10 is preferably formed from a durable and flexible material, having properties to facilitate workable sealing and fastening arrangements. In a preferred embodiment, the closure is made from thermoplastic materials such as polyethylene or polypropylene. Referring now to FIG. 1, there is shown a closure 10 including a flat top wall 12 that is connected to a peripheral surface 26 by a flexible V-shaped section 16.

[0016] The closure 10 is configured for use with an associated container 70 that can be formed from glass, polyethylene, polypropylene or any other convention known for the manufacture of containers. Referring now to FIG. 1-3, there is shown an exemplary associated container 70 having a neck 72 that includes a curved elbow portion 76 that defines an opening to the container. As will be seen, the closure 10 will engage the neck 72 of the associated container 70 at two contact points to form a dual seal at 110, 120.

[0017] Referring now to FIG. 1, a closure 10 comprising a top wall 12 that is connected to the peripheral surface 26 by a flexible V-shaped section 16 is shown. The peripheral surface 26 is parallel to, can be vertically elevated with respect to the top wall 12, and is ideally flat and horizontal. The V-shaped section 16 is defined by a straight segment 24 that depends from an outer edge 14 of the top wall 12 and a concave segment 18 that depends from an inner edge 28 of the peripheral surface 26 (The segment is concave when perceived from a top outer view with respect to the closure). The straight segment 24 and concave segment 18 converge to form the vertex of the ‘V’. As shown in FIGS. 1-3, in the preferred embodiment, the concave segment 18 includes a lower portion 30, which is curved, and an upper portion 32, which is straight.

[0018] As shown in FIG. 2a, the concave segment 18 forms an angle a with the peripheral surface 26. Preferably, the angle α is sufficiently obtuse to allow the neck 72 of the associated container 70 to fit snugly between the concave segment 18 and a ribbed annular skirt (described below) 34 and to allow the neck 72 of the associated container 70 to push the concave segment 18 of the V-shaped section 16 radially inward. In a preferred embodiment, the angle α is about 95° and should be at least 90°. This, advantageously, allows for a snug fit between both standard and imperfect necks of associated containers and the closure.

[0019] Referring to the exemplary closure depicted in FIGS. 1-2, it can be seen that the closure 10 also includes a ribbed annular skirt 34 that depends downwardly from an outer edge 36 of the peripheral surface 26. The ribbed skirt 34 has an upper portion 38 and lower portion 40. As shown in FIG. 1, an outwardly inclined flange 44 is formed on the interior surface 42 of the upper portion 38 and upper and lower inwardly protruding annular shoulders 48, 50 are formed on the interior surface 42 of the lower portion 40.

[0020] In the preferred embodiment, the closure 10 can include tamper indication, in which the closure 10 has a removable strip 56, as shown in FIGS. 1-2. In one embodiment, the removable strip 56 is connected to the ribbed annular skirt 34 at a lower end 52 of the lower shoulder 50 by a substantially horizontal frangible portion 54. The frangible portion 54 can be configured as a wall. The wall 54 can be formed from thin and thick portions that tear when stress is applied to the wall 54. In the preferred embodiment, the removable strip 56 depends downwardly from the frangible wall 54 and can have a greater radius than the ribbed skirt 34. The difference in radii may be defined by the length of the frangible wall 54. The strip 56 can also have an outturned flange 68 that depends from a lower portion 60 of the strip 56. In other embodiments, the removable strip 56 can be connected to the ribbed annular skirt 34 by other tear away means.

[0021] Referring to FIGS. 2-3, an exemplary neck 72 of the associated container 70 is shown having a curved elbow segment 76. In a preferred embodiment, an upper portion 82 of the curved elbow segment 76 extends into a neck terminus 80. A substantially horizontal ledge 86 depends from a lower portion 84 of the curved elbow portion 76 and forms an upper annular ring 88 at its terminus 90. An annular flat shallow groove 92 depends downwardly from the substantially horizontal ledge 86 from a point radially inward of the upper annular ring 88. Preferably, a lower annular ring 94 is formed at a lower portion 96 of the annular flat shallow groove 92.

[0022] An outwardly angled segment 98 depends from a lower point of the lower annular ring 94. As shown in FIGS. 2-3, in a preferred embodiment, at least one finger recess 100 is formed below the lower annular ring 94. Preferably, as shown in FIG. 4, alternating outwardly angled segment 98 portions and finger recess 100 portions are formed within the associated container neck 72 to facilitate cap removal.

[0023] The sealing provided by the closure 10 will be described next. The closure advantageously forms a dual seal 110, 120 with the neck 72 of the associated container 70 at two contact points as depicted in FIG. 3. The location of the contact points (on the neck of the associated container) may vary depending on the dimensions of the closure and the neck of the associated container.

[0024] The concave segment 18 has a contacting sealing surface 20 that is located on an interior surface of the concave segment 18. Preferably, an upper point 22 of the contacting sealing surface 20 engages the neck 72 of the associated container 70 at a first contact point to form a first seal as indicated at 110. The upper point 22 is typically located along the upper portion 32 of the concave segment 18. Desirably, in a preferred embodiment, the closure 10 is configured so that the first contact point is located at an inner point 78 of the curved elbow portion 76 of the associated container neck 72. In other embodiments, the closure may be configured so that the first contact point is located at any point along an inner edge of the neck 72 of the associated container 70.

[0025] Referring now to FIGS. 2-3, a nip 64 is formed along the contacting surface 20, and desirably, in a preferred embodiment, the nip 64 is formed along the lower potion 30 of the contacting surface 20. The nip 64 forms a second seal 120 with the neck 72 of the associated container 70 at a second contact point. Ideally, the second contact point is along a lower portion 84 of the curved elbow portion 76 of the neck 72. In other embodiments, the closure 10 may be configured so that the second contact point is positioned at any point along the neck 72 of the associated container 70 that is below or radially inward of the first contact point.

[0026] In the preferred embodiment, as shown in FIG. 2, the diameter D22 of the upper point 22 of the contacting sealing surface 20 is greater than the diameter D78 of the inner point 78 of the curved elbow portion 76. In other embodiments, where the first contact point is not positioned at the inner point of the curved elbow portion, the diameter D22 of the upper point 22 of the contacting sealing surface is greater than the diameter of the first contact point.

[0027] As a result, when the closure 10 is engaged with the container 70, the concave segment 18 and the nip 64 of the closure 10 are forced against the neck 72 of the associated container 70 at two contact points to form a dual seal with the neck. The greater diameter D22 of the upper point 22 and the flexible nature of the closure 10 facilitate tight first and second seals 110, 120 between the closure 10 and the container 70.

[0028] As illustrated in FIGS. 2-3, the preferred embodiment incorporates two fastening arrangements 130, 140 to prevent the closure 10 from opening. Desirably, the closure 10 is stretched and snapped onto the neck 72 of the container 70 so that the upper and lower inwardly protruding annular shoulders 48, 50 of the closure 10 coact with the upper and lower annular rings 88, 94 of the neck 72 of the associated container 70 to fasten the closure 10 onto the container 70.

[0029] In the preferred embodiment, as shown in FIG. 3, the closure 10 is snapped onto the neck 72 of the container 70 so that the upper and lower annular shoulders 48, 50 slide underneath the upper and lower annular rings 88, 94. In accordance with the preferred embodiment, the diameters of the upper and lower annular rings 88, 94 are greater than the diameters of the upper and lower annular shoulders 48, 50 when the closure 10 is in an unstressed position to allow the closure to ‘snap’ onto the neck 72 of the associated container 70 during capping operations.

[0030] In alternate embodiments, a screw on closure 10 may be used to fasten the closure 10 onto the neck 72 of the associated container 70. The screw on closure 10 could have internal grooves along the interior surface 42 of the upper and lower portions 38, 40 of the ribbed annular skirt 34. The internal grooves would cooperate with external threading of the neck 72 to fasten the closure 10 to the associated container 70. In other alternate embodiments, a frangible wall 54 can connect the removable strip 56 with a pull tab 66 to a lower end of the ribbed skirt 34. Internal grooves could also be formed on an interior surface 62 of the removable strip 56. The internal grooves of the removable strip would cooperate with external threading on the neck 72 of the associated container.

[0031] It will be apparent to those skilled in the art that, in alternate embodiments, a pull tab 66 can be utilized as part of the tamper indication to remove the closure 10 from the neck 72. An exemplary closure 10 utilizing a pull tab 66 is depicted in FIG. 4, where it is necessary to grasp the pull tab 66 located on the removable strip 56 and pull outwardly from left to right. The pulling motion causes the removable strip 56 to separate at the frangible wall 54. The removable strip 56 can be completely removed from the neck 72 of the associated container 70, leaving the first and second fastening arrangements 130, 140 intact, as shown in FIG. 3.

[0032] After the removable strip 56 (FIG. 4) is removed and the closure 10 is snapped on, the upper and lower protruding annular shoulders 48, 50 cooperate with the upper and lower annular rings 88, 90, and the dual sealing arrangement 110, 120 remain established between the closure 10 and the container 70. Thus, the first and second fastening arrangements 120, 130 and the dual sealing arrangement 110, 120 remain intact.

[0033] In other alternate embodiments that incorporate a screw on closure, after the pull tab 66 is removed, the closure 10 can be screwed onto and off of the container 70 so that the internal grooves along the interior surface of the ribbed annular skirt 34 cooperate with the external threading along the neck 72 of the associated container 70 to effectuate fastening. In these other embodiments, the dual sealing arrangement 110, 120 is also established between the closure 10 and the container 70 so that a screw-type fastening arrangement and the dual sealing arrangement is established between the closure 10 and neck 72 of the associated container 70 when the pull tab 66 is removed.

[0034] From the foregoing it will be observed that numerous modifications and variations can be effectuated without departing from the true spirit and scope of the novel concepts of the present invention. It is to be understood that no limitation with respect to the specific embodiments illustrated is intended or should be inferred. The disclosure is intended to cover by the appended claims all such modifications as fall within the scope of the claims.