Title:
Miniature cap having a skirt which is to be inserted in a filling opening of a bottle
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Cap comprising a base surface having a dispensing opening, closure means enabling the dispensing opening to be closed or opened, retaining means for holding the cap in position relative to a bottle, and a skirt which is to be inserted tightly in the filling opening of the bottle. The skirt also has a substantially cylindrical outer surface extending continuously around the entire skirt. The retaining means comprise a resiliently deformable peripheral protuberance which is arranged in the vicinity of the free end of the skirt.



Inventors:
Rennie, Patrick (Morris Town, NJ, US)
Application Number:
09/808937
Publication Date:
09/19/2002
Filing Date:
03/16/2001
Assignee:
QUALIPAC
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
222/556, 215/235
International Classes:
B65D47/08; (IPC1-7): B65D47/08
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
NEWHOUSE, NATHAN JEFFREY
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
ROTHWELL, FIGG, ERNST & MANBECK, P.C. (WASHINGTON, DC, US)
Claims:
1. Cap comprising: a base surface having a dispensing opening, closure means enabling the dispensing opening to be closed or opened, retaining means for holding the cap in position relative to a bottle or the like having a filling opening, a skirt which is to be inserted in the filling opening of the bottle, the said skirt extending in a direction of extension between a free end and an opposite end integral with the base surface and having an inner surface defining a dispensing duct leading in the vicinity of the said opposite end to the dispensing opening, wherein: the skirt also has a substantially cylindrical outer surface extending continuously around the entire skirt, the retaining means comprise a resiliently deformable rounded peripheral boss arranged in the vicinity of the free end of the skirt, with the exception of the skirt, the whole of the cap extends on the same side relative to a plane which is perpendicular to the direction of extension of the skirt and which passes through the retaining means.

2. Cap according to claim 1, wherein the closure means comprise a plug integrated in a cover which is articulated relative to the base surface by means of a film hinge.

3. Cap according to claim 2, wherein the base surface and/or the cover has (have) on the inside, in the immediate vicinity of the hinge, a bevel shape providing clearance.

4. Cap according to claim 1, wherein the outer surface of the skirt is free from slits.

5. Cap according to claim 1, of rigid thermoplastic resin.

6. Assembly comprising a bottle having a finish defining a filling opening and a cap comprising: a base surface having a dispensing opening, closure means enabling the dispensing opening to be closed or opened, retaining means for holding the cap in position relative to the bottle, a skirt inserted in the filling opening of the bottle, the said skirt extending in a direction of extension between a free end and an opposite end integral with the base surface and having an inner surface defining a dispensing duct leading in the vicinity of the said opposite end to the dispensing opening, wherein: the skirt also has a substantially cylindrical outer surface extending continuously around the entire skirt and coming into close contact with an inner surface of the filling opening, over an annular contact region, in order to provide leak-tightness between the skirt and the bottle, the retaining means comprise a resiliently deformable protuberance arranged at a distance from the said annular contact region.

7. Assembly according to claim 6, wherein the said resiliently deformable protuberance is constituted by a peripheral boss free from sharp edges.

8. Assembly according to claim 6, wherein the bottle has a flat upper surface and the base surface of the cap projects entirely from that upper surface.

9. Assembly according to claim 6, wherein the closure means comprise a plug integrated in a cover articulated relative to the base surface by means of a film hinge.

10. Assembly according to claim 9, wherein, since the base surface is arranged above an upper surface of the bottle, when the cover is in a closed position such that the plug closes the dispensing opening, the cover has, on the side opposite the film hinge, a gripping flange extending beyond the base surface and opposite a marginal region of the upper surface of the bottle.

11. Assembly according to claim 6, wherein the said resiliently deformable protuberance constitutes the only means of retaining the cap relative to the bottle.

12. Assembly according to claim 6, constituting a single monobloc piece.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] The invention aims in particular to propose a cap, known as a service cap, which is to prevent or permit the discharge of a fluid cosmetic product contained in a bottle or the like.

[0002] To be more precise, the invention relates to a cap of the type comprising:

[0003] a base surface having a dispensing opening,

[0004] closure means enabling the dispensing opening to be closed or opened,

[0005] retaining means for holding the cap in position relative to a bottle or the like having a filling opening.

[0006] The object of the invention is to propose a solution which is simple, reliable, inexpensive, easy to use, compact, discreet and aesthetic.

[0007] EP-A-0 791 542 discloses a dispensing package for viscous liquid products including a plastic container having a finish defining an opening in a surface recessed in a portion of the container and a cap of the aforementioned type. The cap includes a skirt extending along an axial direction and inserted in the opening of the plastic container. The cap comprises retaining means including axial slits and annular portions of a retaining wall interrupted by the slits. The cap snaps below the finish, the annular wall being in contact with a flange of the finish, in order to hold the cap in position.

[0008] However, the embodiments described in that document are not entirely satisfactory. The slits ensure that the skirt is flexible, so that the shoulder can be inserted in the opening of the bottle. However, they constitute a weakness as regards radial leak-tightness between the opening and the skirt. To ensure leak-tightness between the bottle and the cap, the shoulder has to come firmly into contact with the finish in order to provide axial leak-tightness between the cap and the finish. This complicates production of the cap by moulding, especially as the shoulder forms an undercut. In addition, the leak-tightness is hardly satisfactory.

[0009] FR-A-2 728 543 describes a cap secured to the finish of a bottle. The cap comprises a skirt which is inserted in an opening formed in the finish, and a cylindrical portion extending around and along the finish and having, at its free end, a resiliently deformable bead which is inserted in a recessed portion formed in the outer surface of the finish of the bottle.

[0010] The presence of the cylindrical portion around the finish, which is necessary in order to retain the cap on the bottle, increases the size and the complexity of the cap, and consequently its cost.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0011] In order to overcome those disadvantages, the invention proposes that the skirt also have a substantially cylindrical outer surface extending continuously around the entire skirt and that the retaining means comprise a resiliently deformable rounded peripheral boss arranged in the vicinity of the free end of the skirt. Furthermore, with the exception of the skirt, the whole of the cap extends on the same side relative to a plane which is perpendicular to the direction of extension of the skirt and which passes through the retaining means.

[0012] Thus, the skirt provides radial leak-tightness between the cap and the bottle, the retaining means can be removed from the mould by resilient deformation without having to provide a secondary mould joint in order to remove them from the mould, and the cap, which is reduced in size, will cover only a small portion of the bottle.

[0013] One feature of the invention aims to produce a cap which is reduced in size and the closure means of which comprise a plug integrated in a cover which is articulated relative to the base surface by means of an almost invisible film hinge.

[0014] In order to do that, according to the invention, the base surface and/or the cover has (have) on the inside, in the immediate vicinity of the hinge, a bevel shape providing clearance.

[0015] Thus the cap is very compact and free from protuberances due to the hinge, in particular when it is in the closed position.

[0016] The invention relates also to an assembly comprising a cap and a bottle, in which the skirt has a substantially cylindrical outer surface extending continuously around the entire skirt and coming into close contact with an inner surface of the filling opening, over an annular contact region, in order to provide leak-tightness between the skirt and the bottle. In addition, the retaining means comprise a resiliently deformable protuberance arranged apart from the said annular contact region, in other words the retaining means are not in contact with the inner surface of the filling opening.

[0017] Thus there is no risk of the retaining means influencing contact between the outer surface of the skirt and the inner surface of the filling opening and, consequently, influencing the leak-tightness between the cap and the bottle, especially by deforming the outer surface of the skirt. Furthermore, the dimensional constraints concerning the production of the protuberance are reduced.

[0018] Other objects and features of the present invention will become more readily apparent from a better understanding of the preferred embodiments described below with reference to the following drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0019] FIG. 1 is a median sectional view, on a large scale, of an assembly according to the invention, the dispensing opening being closed,

[0020] FIG. 2 is a view in accordance with that of FIG. 1 but on a reduced scale, the dispensing opening being open,

[0021] FIG. 3 is a front view of the assembly on an even smaller scale.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0022] FIGS. 1 to 3 illustrate an assembly 1 comprising a bottle 4 and a service cap 2. The bottle 4 has a substantially flat upper surface 48 on which a finish 42 is provided. The finish has an inner surface 46 defining a filling opening 44.

[0023] The cap 2 comprises a cover 24 and a body incorporating a base surface 22 and a resiliently deformable skirt 34. The cover 24, the base surface 22 and the skirt 34 constitute a monobloc assembly in a single piece.

[0024] The substantially tubular non-slit skirt 34 extends in a direction of extension 28 between a free end 34a and an opposite end 34b which is integral with the base surface 22. It has an outer surface 36 and an inner surface 40 which are substantially cylindrical. The outer surface 36 forms a band which is closed on itself and which extends continuously over the periphery of the skirt 34.

[0025] Near its free end 34a, the skirt 34 has a peripheral boss 38, usually known as beading, which projects around its entire outer surface 36. The said boss has a rounded cross-sectional shape which is free from sharp edges and from an undercut shape.

[0026] The inner surface 40 defines a dispensing duct 10 which communicates, towards its free end 34a, with the inside of the bottle 4 and, towards its opposite end 34b, with a dispensing opening 30 formed in the base surface 22. The cross-section of the dispensing opening 30 is smaller than the cross-section of the dispensing duct 10 and a fortiori than the cross-section of the filling opening 44.

[0027] The cap 2 is secured to the bottle 4 by inserting the skirt 34 in the filling opening 44. Although the cap is formed from relatively rigid thermoplastic resin, for example polypropylene, by pushing the cap towards the inside of the filling opening 44, owing to the small thickness of the skirt (a few tenths of a millimeter) and of the boss (an additional few tenths of a millimeter, that is to say, of the order of one millimeter), the boss 38 is deformed resiliently in order to pass the finish 42 and to permit the assembly of the cap and the bottle, as illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2.

[0028] The outer surface 36 of the skirt then comes into close contact with the inner surface 46 over an annular contact region 20, thus providing radial leak-tightness between the skirt 34 and the finish 42.

[0029] The cap is then retained on the bottle 4 by the boss 38. However, since the boss 38 is advantageously arranged at a distance from the base surface 22 which is slightly larger than the height of the finish 42 in direction 28, the said boss is situated beyond the finish 42, apart from the annular contact region and inside the bottle 4. There may even be a slight gap between the boss 38 and the finish 42 (as illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2) and/or between the base surface 22 and the finish 42.

[0030] The boss 38 constitutes the only means of retaining the cap 2 on the bottle 4. In order to provide better maintenance over time of the assembly and of the leak-tightness between the bottle 4 and the cap 2, it would, however, be possible in some cases to provide a weld, especially by ultra-sound, between the base surface 22 of the cap and the bottle 4.

[0031] Moreover, the cover 24 is articulated by means of a hinge 26, in this case a film hinge, relative to the base surface 22. The base surface 22 and the cover 24 both have a portion 12, 14 in the shape of a bevel, near the film hinge 26. Those bevel shapes provide internal clearance so that they are substantially opposite one another when the cap is closed, thus providing the said cap with satisfactory compactness.

[0032] The cover also carries a plug 32 which closes the dispensing opening 30 when the cover is in the closed position illustrated in FIG. 1. When the cover is in the open position illustrated in FIG. 2, after articulation about the hinge 26, the plug 32 is at a distance from the dispensing opening 30 which it frees.

[0033] In addition, the base surface 22, which is arranged above the upper surface 48 of the bottle, is terminated on the side opposite the hinge 26 by an end 22a which is arranged at a distance from the edge of the said upper surface 48. Still on the side opposite the hinge 26, the cover 24 has a gripping flange 18. When the cover is in the closed position, the gripping flange 18 extends, on the side opposite the hinge 26, beyond the base surface 22 and opposite a marginal region 16 of the upper surface 48 of the bottle 4.

[0034] As illustrated in FIG. 3, the cap 2 projects from the upper surface 48 of the bottle and does not extend beyond that upper surface. In particular, it does not extend over the side faces of the bottle.

[0035] In addition, as illustrated in FIG. 1, the whole of the cap, with the exception of the skirt (inserted in the bottle), in other words the base surface 22 and the cover 24, is located on the same side relative to the transverse plane P which is perpendicular to the direction 28 and which passes through the boss 38.

[0036] Furthermore, as illustrated in FIGS. 1 to 3, the base surface 22 comprises a peripheral flange 6 which is directed towards the upper surface 48 of the bottle 4 and which extends around the said entire base surface 22. In order to prevent the cap 2 from turning inside the filling opening 44, two elements 8 forming projections on the upper surface 48 and arranged below the base surface 22 come substantially into contact with the peripheral flange 6. In this case the said elements are constituted by pins but ribs extending along the flange 6 could also be provided.

[0037] Finally, it will be appreciated that, although the inner surface 46 of the filling opening 44 is curved, the annular contact region 20 may be narrow, or even almost limited to an annular line of contact. However, be that as it may, it will be continuous, that is to say, closed on itself.

[0038] The descriptions above and the accompanying drawings should be interpreted in the illustrative and not the limited sense. While the invention has been disclosed in connection with the preferred embodiment or embodiments thereof, it should be understood that there may be other embodiments which fall within the scope of the invention as defined by the following claims. Where a claim, if any, is expressed as a means or step for performing a specified function it is intended that such claim be construed to cover the corresponding structure, material, or acts described in the specification and equivalents thereof, including both structural equivalents and equivalent structures, material-based equivalents and equivalent materials, and act-based equivalents and equivalent acts.