Title:
Bottle seal
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The invention relates to a closure for closing a bottle having a bottleneck (1) with an opening on which bottleneck an outer thread (5,6) is formed in the vicinity of the opening.

In order to provide a closure that is easy to handle and can be fabricated inexpensively, the closure (2) has at least one, and particularly several, deformation regions which are plastically deformed so that in the outer peripheral surface of the closure they form indentations (21,22) and internally (25,26) they are adapted to the thread (5,6).




Inventors:
Spatz, Günter (Lampertheim, DE)
Application Number:
10/556435
Publication Date:
11/30/2006
Filing Date:
05/05/2004
Assignee:
Alcoa Deutschland GmbH (Worms, DE)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65D51/00; B65D41/04; B65D41/34; B67B3/12; B67B3/14; B67B3/20
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20080093363Secure Sample CollectionApril, 2008Pedlar
20060243695Disposable baby bottle deviceNovember, 2006Littell
20030010744Plastic massage bottleJanuary, 2003Ma et al.
20080277369Flip-lid dispensing closure and packageNovember, 2008Robinson
20050211656Bottle cap with built-in magnificationSeptember, 2005Muir
20040069736Plastic water bottleApril, 2004Peronek et al.
20070119810Breast Feeding Reminder Method and DeviceMay, 2007Boles
20090078671SEALING DISC WITH TAB FOR CLOSING A CONTAINER HAVING A PLUG OR CAP CLOSURE AND FABRICATION METHODMarch, 2009Triquet et al.
20090212059INSULATED WATER BOTTLE ASSEMBLYAugust, 2009Chen
20090120897PACKAGE OF IDENTIFIABLE BEVERAGE CONTAINERSMay, 2009Armenti
20080217283BEVERAGE CONTAINER SPOUT COVER, STORAGE RACK AND METHOD FOR USESeptember, 2008Conforti et al.



Primary Examiner:
WALKER, NED ANDREW
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
HARNESS DICKEY (TROY) (Troy, MI, US)
Claims:
1. Closure for closing a bottle having a bottleneck with an opening on which bottleneck, in the vicinity of said opening, there is formed an outer thread, the closure having at least one and particularly several deformation regions that are plastically deformable so that in the outer peripheral surface of the closure they form indentations and internally they are adaptable to the thread, the deformation regions being elongated and disposable essentially parallel to the longitudinal axis of the bottle or at an angle to the thread and the closure having an outer jacket made of plastically deformable sheet metal, particularly aluminum, on the inside of which can be placed a plastically deformable sealing material, particularly a plastic material, wherein the deformation regions in the outer jacket are shaped in the form of elongated tongues or creases disposed in the direction of the longitudinal axis of the bottle and that in the deformation regions, on the inside of the closure, the sealing material can be pressed against the thread flights.

2. Closure as defined in claim 1, wherein the jacket has the shape of a cap surrounding an essentially cylinder jacket-shaped body one face of which is closed by a circular disk-shaped lid.

3. Closure as defined in claim 2, wherein the sealing material is disposed internally on the cylinder jacket-shaped body.

4. Closure as defined in claim 1, wherein the sealing material is disposed in the region of the interface between the body and the lid.

5. Closure as defined in claim 1, wherein the closure is combined with a safety element providing a tamper-evident closure.

6. Bottle, particularly a beverage bottle, with a bottleneck having an opening on which bottleneck, in the vicinity of said opening, there is formed an outer thread, wherein the bottle opening is closed by a closure as defined in claim 1.

7. Method for closing a bottle, particularly a beverage bottle, with a bottleneck having an opening, on which bottleneck, in the vicinity of said opening, there is formed an outer thread, with a closure as defined in claim 1, wherein the closure is placed on the bottleneck and the deformation regions are deformed plastically so that in the outer peripheral surface of the closure they form indentations and internally they are adapted to the bottle thread.

8. Method as defined in claim 7, wherein the following steps: a) first, applying pressure to the closure to ensure sealing between the closure and the bottleneck opening; b) then, deforming the deformation regions of the closure.

9. Device for closing a bottle, particularly a beverage bottle, with a bottleneck having an opening on which bottleneck, in the vicinity of said opening, there is formed an outer thread, with a closure as defined in claim 1, wherein form fingers intended for the purpose of forming the deformation regions.

10. Device as defined in claim 9, wherein the form fingers are supported in swivelable manner.

11. Device as defined in claim 10, wherein a conical sleeve intended for the purpose of pressing the form fingers against the deformation regions of the closure so as to bring about plastic deformation of the deformation regions.

12. Device as defined in one claim 9, wherein a plunger intended for the purpose of applying pressure to the closure so as to press the closure against the bottle opening.

13. Device as defined in claim 12, wherein the form fingers are disposed on the plunger in swivelable manner.

14. Device as defined in claim 12, wherein the form fingers are held together by an elastic ring.

15. Device as defined in claim 14, wherein each of the form fingers is provided with a recess for receiving a section of the elastic ring.

16. Device as defined in claim 9, wherein in the end region of each of the form fingers there is provided a nose intended for the purpose of reshaping a safety element.

17. Device as defined in claim 9, wherein the conical sleeve is displaceable relative to the plunger in the direction of the longitudinal axis of the plunger.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The invention relates to a closure for closing a bottle having a bottleneck with an opening in the vicinity of which is provided an outer thread. The invention also relates to a bottle, particularly a beverage bottle, having a bottleneck with an opening in the vicinity of which is provided an outer thread. The invention also relates to a method for closing a bottle, particularly a beverage bottle, having a bottleneck with an opening in the vicinity of which is provided an outer thread, the bottle being provided with an afore-described closure. The invention also relates to a device for closing a bottle, particularly a beverage bottle, having a bottleneck with an opening in the vicinity of which is provided an outer thread, with an afore-described closure.

BACKGROUND

Conventional twist-closures contain internally an inner thread that is configured in a manner essentially complementary to the outer thread of the bottle. Also known are crown caps with an inner thread which, however, because of their outer shape are difficult to handle and which when the closure is twisted off or on can lead to injuries to the hand of the user.

DISCUSSION

The object of the invention is to provide a closure according to the preamble of claim 1 which is easy to handle and inexpensive to fabricate.

In the case of a closure for closing a bottle with a bottleneck having an opening in the vicinity of which there is provided an outer thread, this objective is reached by providing the closure with one, and particularly with several, deformation regions that are plastically deformed so that in the outer peripheral surface they form indentations and internally they are adapted to the thread. Unlike in conventional closures, the thread is not formed in its entirety, but only in the deformation regions of the closure. To this end, at least in the deformation regions, the closure is made of a plastically deformable material. This material can be, for example, a metal or a plastic material. The closure can be made of a single material or of several different materials. The deformation regions are deformed in a manner such that, seen from the outside, indentations are formed in the closure and, seen from the inside, elevations are formed. The external indentations ensure better packing than does a smooth outer surface. The purpose of the internal elevations is to form the bottle thread. The bottle thread is not formed in its entirety but only partly, namely in the deformation regions.

A preferred embodiment of the closure is characterized in that the deformation regions are of elongated shape and are disposed essentially parallel to the longitudinal axis of the bottle. The longitudinal axis of the bottle corresponds to the rotational axis of the closure when the bottle is in the closed condition. As a result of this configuration and arrangement of the deformation regions, said regions are disposed essentially at an angle to the flight of the threads. As a result, one deformation region extends over several threads. In other words, in a deformation region, neighboring sections of different threads are formed.

Another preferred embodiment of the closure is characterized in that the deformation regions are in the form of elongated tongues or creases disposed in the direction of the longitudinal axis of the bottle. In this manner, the closure assumes a crown cap-like shape. The deformation regions partly forming the bottle thread ensure that the closure can be repeatedly twisted off and twisted on.

Another preferred embodiment of the closure is characterized in that the closure has an outer jacket made of, in particular, plastically deformable sheet metal, particularly aluminum, on the inside of which is provided, in particular, a plastically deformable sealing material, particularly a plastic material. The jacket has the function of a carrier for the sealing material. Moreover, the jacket protects the bottle mouth from damage. In the deformation regions, the jacket is provided with longitudinal creases. The sealing material serves the purpose of sealing the interface between the bottle opening and the closure. Moreover, parts of the bottle thread are formed in the sealing material in the deformation regions.

Another preferred embodiment of the closure is characterized in that the jacket is shaped in the form of a cap that surrounds an essentially cylinder jacket-shaped body one face of which is closed by a circular disk-shaped lid.

Yet another preferred embodiment of the closure is characterized in that the sealing material is disposed internally at the cylinder jacket-shaped body. The thread is only partly formed. The threads formed in the sealing material are not complete but consist of only short adjacent pieces.

Still another preferred embodiment of the closure is characterized in that the sealing material is disposed in the region of the interface between the body and the lid. The sealing material in the region of the interface between the body and the lid serves to seal the bottle opening in radial and axial direction.

Another preferred embodiment of the closure is characterized in that a safety element, particularly a safety ring, is provided at the closure. The safety element is intended for the purpose of proving that the closure was not tampered with. In its place, however, the closure can be covered by shrink film.

The object of the invention is also to provide a bottle with a closure that is easy to handle and inexpensive to fabricate.

In the case of a bottle, particularly a beverage bottle, having a bottleneck with an opening in the vicinity of which is provided an outer thread, the objective is reached by closing the bottle opening with an afore-described closure. In the closed condition, the closure resembles a crown cap. The closure of the invention, however, has the advantage that it can be repeatedly opened and again tightly closed by twisting it on and off. With the aid of a safety ring provided at the closure or with the aid of shrink film, a tamper-evident closure can be obtained.

Another object of the invention is to provide a method for closing a bottle with an afore-described closure that can be carried out in simple fashion and inexpensively.

In the case of a method for closing a bottle, particularly a beverage bottle, having a bottleneck with an opening in the vicinity of which is provided an outer thread, with an afore-described closure, the objec-tive is reached in that the closure is placed on the bottleneck and the deformation regions are plastically deformed so that in the outer peripheral surface of the closure they form indentations and internally they are adapted to the bottle thread. In this manner, the closure placed on the bottle opening is given the appearance of a crown cap, but can still be removed and then again twisted on without using a bottle opener.

A preferred embodiment of the method is characterized by the following steps: First, pressure is applied to the closure to ensure sealing between the closure and the bottleneck; then, the deformation regions of the closure are deformed. This ensures especially good sealing between the closure and the bottle opening.

Another object of the invention is to provide a device for closing a bottle with an afore-described closure that is easy to handle and inexpensive to fabricate.

In the case of a device for closing a bottle, particularly a beverage bottle, having a bottleneck with an opening in the vicinity of which is provided an outer thread with an afore-described closure, the objective is reached by means of form fingers the purpose of which is to create deformation regions. With the aid of the form fingers, the deformation regions can be deformed inexpensively and quite reproducibly.

A preferred embodiment of the device is characterized in that the form fingers are supported in swiveling manner. The form fingers can, however, also be stationary.

Another preferred embodiment of the device is characterized by a conical sleeve the purpose of which is to press the form fingers onto the deformation regions of the closure so as to achieve plastic deformation of the deformation regions. In tests carried out within the framework of the present invention, this simple solution was found to be particularly advantageous.

Yet another preferred embodiment of the device is characterized by a plunger intended for the purpose of exerting pressure on the closure so as to press the closure against the bottle opening. This ensures unusually good sealing between the closure and the bottle opening.

Still another preferred embodiment of the device is characterized in that the form fingers are disposed on the plunger in swiveling manner. Within the framework of the present invention, this proved to be particularly advantageous from a constructive standpoint.

Another preferred embodiment of the device is characterized in that the form fingers are held together by an elastic ring. This prevents undesirable movement of the form fingers during the operation of the device.

Yet another preferred embodiment of the device is characterized in that each of the form fingers is provided with a recess for receiving a section of the elastic ring. This prevents the elastic ring from sliding during the operation of the device.

Still another preferred embodiment of the device is characterized in that in the end region of the form fingers there is provided a nose for the purpose of forming a safety ring. The safety ring is connected with the closure, for example, by a multiplicity of connectors. The safety ring can be fastened with the same tool that is used to deform the deformation regions.

Another preferred embodiment of the device is characterized in that the conical sleeve is displaceable relative to the plunger in the direction of the longitudinal axis of the plunger. This ensures simple hand-ling of the device.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Other advantages, features and details of the invention will become evident from the following description in which different embodiments are described in detail with reference to the attached drawings. The features referred to in the claims and in the description either alone or in any desired combination can be essential for the invention. In the drawings:

FIG. 1 shows a partly sectional representation of the upper end of a bottleneck with the closure in place;

FIG. 2 shows a partial view of a section through a closure similar to that of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 shows a lateral view of the closure of FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 shows a lateral view of a closure similar to that of FIG. 3;

FIG. 5 shows in longitudinal section a device for closing a bottle in sealing position;

FIG. 6 shows the device of FIG. 5 in deformation position, and

FIG. 7 shows in longitudinal section a device for closing a bottle with swivelably disposed form fingers.

DESCRIPTION OF VARIOUS ASPECTS

FIG. 1 shows a bottleneck 1 of a beverage bottle in partial longitudinal section. In the region of the bottleneck opening there is formed an outer thread with two thread flights. Moreover, a circumferential bulge 8 is formed on bottleneck 1.

The opening of bottleneck 1 is closed by a closure 2 comprising a lid 10 that is essentially in the form of a circular disk from the periphery of which extends a body 12 essentially having the shape of a cylindrical jacket. Body 12 widens slightly in conical fashion. Closure 2 is connected with a safety ring 16 by connectors 14 regularly distributed over the periphery. Safety ring 16 has a multiplicity of bent regions 17, 18, 19 that surround bulge 8 so as to keep closure 2 on the bottle opening.

Closure 2 is provided with a multiplicity of deformation regions uniformly distributed over the periphery, said deformation regions when observed from the outside being in the form of elongated indentations 21,22. Indentations 21,22 extend from lid 10 to shortly ahead of the connectors 14. Internally, inden-tations 21,22 are adapted to the shape of the thread flights, as shown in cross-section at 25 and 26. In other words, each external indentation or inner elevation 21, 22 forms two adjacent sections of thread flights 5, 6.

In the transition region between lid 10 and body 12, on the inside of closure 2, there is formed an axial sealing region 28 and a radial sealing region 29. Axial sealing region 28 provides sealing between bottleneck 1 and closure 2 in the axial direction. Radial sealing region 29 provides sealing between bottleneck 1 and closure 2 in the radial direction.

FIGS. 2 and 3 show a bottleneck similar to that closed by a closure as depicted in FIG. 1. Equal parts are identified by equal reference numerals. To prevent repetition, the reader is referred to the preceding statements made in reference to FIG. 1. In the following, only the differences between the two embodiments will be dealt with.

In FIG. 2, it is shown in longitudinal section that closure 2 has an outer jacket 32 made of sheet metal, such as aluminum. On the inside of jacket 32 there is disposed a sealing material 34. Both the outer jacket 32 and the sealing material 34 that is firmly connected therewith are plastically deformable in at least some regions.

In the outer jacket 32, the deformation regions are in the form of creases 20,21. In the regions of creases 20,21, on the inside of closure 2, sealing material 34 is pressed against thread flights 5, 6. Unlike in the embodiment of FIG. 1, safety ring 16 is not bent in only some of the regions, but is completely bent, as can be seen in FIG. 3. In FIGS. 2 and 3, the bent edge of safety ring 16 is indicated by reference numeral 19. Bent edge 19 rests entirely on bulge 8.

In the embodiment represented in FIG. 4, closure 2 is fastened to bulge 8 of bottleneck 1 by means of a plastic film 42 or a plastic ring. Other variants (not shown) to provide a tamper-evident closure, however, are also possible.

FIGS. 5 and 6 show a device for applying closure 2 to bottleneck 1. In FIG. 5, a plunger 51, which can be actuated with the aid of a piston 52, is placed on closure 2. Plunger 51 is shaped so that the radial and axial sealing region between closure 2 and the opening of the bottleneck are sealed. To this end, a certain pressure is applied to closure 2 by means of plunger 51.

A pressure sleeve 55 is displaceable relative to plunger 51 in the axial direction. In essence, pressure sleeve 55 is shaped like a cylinder and is provided with a constriction 56. Constriction 56 forms a stop for the end of compression spring 58 the other end of which rests on the side of plunger 51 facing away from closure 2. The initial stressing force of compression spring 58 corresponds to the contact pressure exerted by plunger 51 onto closure 2.

From pressure sleeve 55 extend in axial direction form fingers 60, 61. A multiplicity of form fingers 60, 61 are uniformly distributed over the periphery of pressure sleeve 55.

In FIG. 6 it can be seen that form fingers 60, 61 can be pushed beyond plunger 51 when the pressure applied to pressure sleeve 55 exceeds the initial stressing force of compression spring 58. In that case, form fingers 60, 61 deform the deformation regions 21,62 in closure 2. The deformation leads to the formation of creases in closure 2 on the inside of which the sealing material is pressed against the bottleneck thread.

FIG. 7 shows another embodiment of a device for closing bottleneck 1 with closure 2. The device comprises a plunger 71 that cooperates with a clamping sleeve 72. Plunger 71 is fitted with an annular groove having an essentially semicircular cross-section. In annular groove 73 are swivelably supported a multiplicity of form fingers 74,75. Form fingers 74,75 are uniformly distributed over the circumference of annular groove 73. On each of form fingers 74,75 are present thread-forming cheeks 76,77 which are pressed against the deformation regions of closure 2 when conical sleeve 72 is displaced relative to plunger 71 in axial direction.

Moreover, at each form finger 74,75 is provided a bending nose 78,79, for the purpose of bending safety ring 16 around bulge 8 in some regions. Form fingers 74,75 are held together by elastic ring 80.

An essential feature of the present invention is the combination of the deformation regions, each of which forms only one section of adjacent thread flights, with a safety element such as a safety ring or a safety film that ensures a tamper-evident closure. The use of aluminum has the advantage of pre-venting undesirable rusting.

All this indicates that the closure of the kind described herein has special advantages: It comprises a lid that closes the region of a bottle opening. To said lid is connected a cylindrical jacket-shaped body that extends over the outer threads of a bottleneck 1. The closure is made of a single piece and preferably consists of a deep-drawable metal, particularly aluminum.

In FIGS. 1 to 7 and the attendant explanations, it was assumed that the closure has a safety ring provided on the lower edge of the cylindrical jacket-shaped body surrounding the lid. The reader is specifically reminded, however, that for the inventive solution such a safety ring is not absolutely necessary even though it provides the user with the essential advantage that he can detect manipulation of the closure and a first opening.

In the cylinder jacket-shaped body are provided several deformation regions distributed over the periphery which, seen from the outside, appear as elongated indentations, namely they protrude in the direction of bottleneck 1. On the inside of cylindrical jacket-shaped body 12, in the region of the elongated indentations, there are formed projections into which the threads engage. In other words, in the region of the indentations, the body of the closure is adapted to the outer thread of a bottleneck.

The adaptation of a body, also referred to as the jacket, of a closure to the thread flights of a bottleneck is known. Here it is essential that such adaptation to the outer thread of a bottleneck is provided only in individual deformation regions, namely in the region of the indentations. Ribs are left between the indentations to enhance the gripping properties of the closure.

As a result of the adaptation, body 12 is approximately equally thick in the region of the indentations, as in the region of the ribs disposed thereinbetween. In other words, the body, seen in the circumferential direction, has a practically constant wall thickness.

The outstanding feature of the closure is that in the region of the indentations the body is optimally adapted or fitted to the outer thread of a bottleneck. This offers the advantage that after the first opening of the closure, said closure again optimally fits on the outer thread of a bottleneck.

This, for example, constitutes an essential difference compared to a closure devoid of threads on the inside when such a closure is placed on a bottle for the first time. Here the outer thread of a bottle fits into the inner surface of closure 2 which, for example, can have protruding ribs. The adaptation here occurs through the deformation and/or displacement of the material without any forces being exerted onto the outside of the closure or onto the outside of its body. In particular, the body when it is put in place for the first time is not deformed from the outside.

Because in the case of such closures the material that becomes deformed when put in place is reformed to some extent when the closure is opened, the reclosing of the bottle with such a closure is not entirely simple, because additional deformation work is required.

Hence, the closure of the invention stands out by the fact that in some regions an adaptation to the outer thread of a bottleneck takes place as a result of the fact that forces are applied to the body from the outside. In conventional closures, to form a thread, a force is applied to certain regions from the inside.

It is clear from the explanations of the figures that in the closure, preferably in the region of the cy-lindrical jacket-shaped body, there is provided a sealing material that extends as far as the region of lid 10 and is present there on the inside of the lid facing bottleneck 1.

When a force is applied to the body of the closure from the outside, said material is adapted to the outer thread of the bottleneck in the region of the deformation regions. The forces applied from the outside are thus somewhat reduced so that damage to the outer thread is safely prevented.

In this regard, the reader is specifically reminded of the fact that in the region of the body, also referred to as the jacket, such a sealing material is not necessarily required and that the body can be adapted directly to the outer thread of bottleneck 1.

By the adaptation to the outer thread in the deformation regions, an optimum fit is achieved between the closure and the outer thread of the bottleneck so that, during the first opening of the closure, defined opening forces can be provided with certainty and, moreover, it is ensured that the closure can again be placed on the once-opened bottleneck and here, too, it being possible to provide closing forces.