Title:
Anti-rotation can opening
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Metal cans having openings formed therein with plastic fitments inserted therein provide a pouring spout for convenient dispensing of the contents of the metal cans. Many classes of chemicals are shipped in such cans. These chemicals can cause the plastic fitment to swell and soften. This swelling causes interference with the screw cap and increases the torque necessary to remove the cap and dispense the contents. At the same time, the softening of the fitment by the chemical shipped in this package causes a decrease in the spin resistance of the fitment in the formed opening of the can. A can, therefore, is provided that comprises a top wall, an opening in the top wall, a substantially cylindrical surface located on the top wall and surrounding the opening, the cylindrical surface includes an outer portion and an inner portion, and a non-rotational surface positioned on the inner portion, the non-rotational surface resists rotation of a fitment positioned in the opening.



Inventors:
Stalions, Steve (Fort Wayne, IN, US)
Taylor, Dale (Hamilton, IN, US)
Application Number:
11/347017
Publication Date:
12/07/2006
Filing Date:
02/03/2006
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
220/716, 220/717, 220/906
International Classes:
A47G19/22; B65D41/18
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
POOS, MADISON LYNN
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
WOODARD, EMHARDT, HENRY, REEVES & WAGNER, LLP (INDIANAPOLIS, IN, US)
Claims:
Having thus described the invention, we claim:

1. A can comprising: a top wall; an opening in said top wall; a substantially cylindrical surface located on said top wall and surrounding said opening, said cylindrical surface includes an outer portion and an inner portion; and a non-rotational surface positioned on said inner portion, said non-rotational surface resists rotation of a fitment positioned in said opening.

2. The can of claim 1, wherein said non-rotational surface comprises at least one substantially vertical component that resists rotation of said fitment.

3. The can of claim 2, further comprising a plurality of vertical components located on said inner portion of said cylindrical surface, each said vertical component having at least one edge that resists rotation of said fitment.

4. The can of claim 2, further comprising a fitment positioned in said opening, wherein said vertical component resists rotation of said fitment.

5. The can of claim 4, wherein said vertical component resists clockwise rotation of said fitment.

6. The can of claim 4, wherein said vertical component resists counter-clockwise rotation of said fitment.

7. The can of claim 4, wherein said vertical components resist clockwise and counter-clockwise rotation of said fitment.

8. The can of claim 2, wherein said opening is non-circular.

9. The can of claim 8, wherein said vertical component is non-linear.

10. A can comprising: a top wall; a substantially cylindrical surface located on said top wall, said cylindrical surface having an inner portion and an outer portion; a sealing surface located on said outer portion of said cylindrical surface; and at least one substantially vertical component located on said inner portion of said cylindrical surface wherein said substantially vertical component resists rotation of a fitment positioned in said can.

11. The can of claim 10, further comprising a non-circular opening located in said top wall wherein said cylindrical surface surrounds said opening.

12. The can of claim 11, further comprising a fitment positioned in said opening, wherein said vertical component resists rotation of said fitment.

13. The can of claim 12, further comprising a plurality of substantially vertical components that resist rotation of said fitment in said opening.

14. The can of claim 12, wherein said substantially vertical component resists at least one of clockwise rotation and counter-clockwise rotation.

15. A method of manufacturing a can comprising: providing a top wall; forming an opening in said top wall; forming a cylindrical sealing surface surrounding said opening; forming a non-rotational surface adjacent said opening; and installing a fitment in said opening, wherein said non-rotational surface resists rotation of said fitment.

16. The method of claim 15, wherein said non-rotational surface comprises at least one vertical component.

17. The method of claim 16, wherein said vertical component resists at least one of clockwise rotation and counter-clockwise rotation of said fitment.

18. The method of claim 17, wherein said can is made of metal having a predetermined hardness.

19. The method of claim 18, wherein said fitment is a made of a material that is less hard than said predetermined hardness of said can.

20. A can comprising: a top wall; a non-circular opening in said top wall; a substantially cylindrical surface located on said top wall and surrounding said opening, said cylindrical surface includes an outer portion and an inner portion; a plastic fitment positioned in said opening; and at least one substantially vertical component that resists clockwise and counter-clockwise rotation of said fitment in said opening.

21. The can of claim 20, wherein said vertical component is curved.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims priority from U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/649,780 filed on Feb. 3, 2005, which is hereby incorporated by reference.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates generally to openings on metal cans, and, more particularly, to anti-rotation formed openings on metal cans into which fitments are inserted.

BACKGROUND

Metal cans having openings formed therein with plastic fitments inserted therein provide a pouring spout for convenient dispensing of the contents of the metal cans. The plastic fitments also create a seal for the metal cans. This is especially helpful during distribution of the metal cans.

A major problem with such system is that many classes of chemicals shipped in these packages cause the plastic fitment to swell and soften. This swelling causes interference with the screw cap and increases the torque necessary to remove the cap and dispense the contents. At the same time, the softening of the fitment by the chemical shipped in this package causes a decrease in the spin resistance of the fitment in the formed opening of the can.

The net effect is often that removal torque of the screw cap from the fitment exceeds the spin resistance of the fitment in the formed opening of the can, and the consumer cannot remove the cap. The fitment merely spins in the can opening and the cap never loosens itself from the fitment.

Previous attempts at a solution typically have involved increasing the interference between the sealing surface of the fitment and the formed opening in the can. While the increased interference, however, leads to an increase in the spin resistance of the fitment in the can, it also increases the insertion force of the fitment into the can. This often leads to permanent, unwanted deformation of the can opening. To resist permanent deformation of the can, the wall thickness of the can itself can be increased, but the resulting economics of the package becomes cost prohibitive.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Accordingly, the present application discloses a can that comprises a top wall, an opening in the top wall, a substantially cylindrical surface located on the top wall and surrounding the opening, the cylindrical surface includes an outer portion and an inner portion, and a non-rotational surface positioned on the inner portion, the non-rotational surface resists rotation of a fitment positioned in the opening.

Another embodiment discloses a can that comprises a top wall, a substantially cylindrical surface located on the top wall, the cylindrical surface having an inner portion and an outer portion, a sealing surface located on the outer portion of the cylindrical surface, and at least one substantially vertical component located on the inner portion of the cylindrical surface wherein the substantially vertical component resists rotation of a fitment positioned in the can.

In yet another embodiment, a method of manufacturing a can comprises providing a top wall, forming an opening in the top wall, forming a cylindrical sealing surface surrounding the opening, forming a non-rotational surface adjacent the opening, and installing a fitment in the opening, wherein the non-rotational surface resists rotation of the fitment.

In yet another embodiment, a can comprises a top wall, a non-circular opening in the top wall, a substantially cylindrical surface located on the top wall and surrounding the opening, the cylindrical surface includes an outer portion and an inner portion, a plastic fitment positioned in the opening, and at least one substantially vertical component that resists clockwise and counter-clockwise rotation of the fitment in the opening.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Objects and advantages together with the operation of the invention may be better understood by reference to the following detailed description taken in connection with the following illustrations, wherein:

FIG. 1 is a bottom view of a can opening possessing an embodiment of the present invention; and

FIG. 2 is a top vie the can opening possessing an embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Current can openings are formed by a simple punch and die where the sealing surface of the can becomes cylindrical, and the edge of the can opening is horizontal.

The present can comprises a formed opening in the can created by using a non-circular punch and die. This arrangement also forms a cylindrical sealing surface, but also creates an additional surface whose edge has vertical components that resist rotation of the fitment in the can. The edge could be formed to resist clockwise rotation, counter-clockwise rotation, or both. Any number of edges can be created with varying vertical components in order to more greatly resist rotation.

As shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, a can 10 (only a portion of which is shown) comprises a top wall 15, an opening 25 in the top wall 15. The can 10 can be any sort of can of any material, but is typical made of metal. The opening 25 can be non-circular. Although, other shapes are possible. The can 10 includes a substantially cylindrical surface 35 that is located on the top wall 15 of the can 10. It should be understood that the cylindrical surface 35 may extend upward from the top wall 15 or may extend downward from the top wall 15 into the can 10. The cylindrical surface 35 extends outward to the top wall 15. The cylindrical surface 35 includes an inner portion 37 and an outer portion 39. The outer portion 39 includes a sealing surface 41. The sealing surface 41 permits a cap (not shown), or other closing, to be removably connected with the can 10.

Further, the can 10 comprises a fitment (not shown), which can be made of any material. Typically, however, the fitment is made from a material that is softer than the material of the can 10, such as plastic. The fitment is positioned in the opening 25 in the top wall 15 of the can 10, adjacent the cylindrical surface 35.

The can 10 further includes at least one non-rotational surface 43 positioned on the inner portion 37 of the cylindrical surface 35. The non-rotational surface 43 comprises at least one substantially vertical component 45 that resists rotation of the fitment. Any number of such vertical components 45 can be used. The vertical components 45 substantially resist rotation of the fitment. More specifically, the vertical components 45 have at least one edge 47 that resists rotation of the fitment. This edge 47 can resist at least one of clockwise rotation and counterclockwise rotation of the fitment in the opening 25. Alternatively, the vertical components 45 can resist both clockwise and counterclockwise rotation of the fitment.

The opening 25 is typically formed on a metal can 10, such as a one-gallon metal rectangular or oblong can. The at least one vertical component 45 of the edge 47 resists rotation of the plastic fitment (not shown) when a user attempts to remove a cap (not shown) that is connected to the plastic fitment, such as screwing it on the plastic fitment. Any number of edges 47 can be used without deviating from the present invention. Also, any number of vertical components 45 can be used without deviating from the present invention. The vertical components 45 can also vary in shape and size. Furthermore, the vertical component 45 does not have to be perpendicular to the horizontal top 15 but can be of any non-horizontal angle. Finally, the vertical component 45 can also be curved as opposed to a straight line shown in the drawings.

The opening 25 formed in a can 10 (only a portion of which is shown) is shown in the drawings. In particular the opening 25 shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 is formed by using a non-circular punch and die. The can 10 is placed in a holder (not shown), which may or may not be a portion of the die, and the punch is lowered to create the opening 25. Further, the non-circular punch and die are used to form not only a cylindrical sealing surface 41, but also to create an additional surface whose edge 47 has vertical components 45 that resist rotation of the fitment in the can 10. The edge 47 may be formed to resist clockwise rotation, counter-clockwise rotation, or both. Any number of edges 47 can be created with varying vertical components 45 in order to more greatly resist rotation.

While the present invention is described with reference to the preferred embodiment, it should be clear that the present invention should not be limited to this embodiment. Therefore, the description of the preferred embodiment herein is illustrative of the present invention and should not limit the scope of the invention as claimed.