Title:
Grippable lid
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A closure includes a cap having a top and a skirt and an outer layer of material softer than the skirt is adhered to the outer surface of the skirt. The outer layer may have a thickness of at least 20 mils and may be molecularly bonded to the skirt. Advantageously, the outer layer covers substantially the entire surface of the skirt. The closure may be formed using a two-shot injection molding process in which the cap is formed in a first step and the outer layer of a softer material is formed on the skirt of the cap during the second step of the two-shot injection molding process.



Inventors:
Kaufman, Richard H. (Chappaqua, NY, US)
Application Number:
11/235103
Publication Date:
03/29/2007
Filing Date:
09/27/2005
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
215/329
International Classes:
B65D41/00; B65D41/04
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
COLLINS, RAVEN
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
STITES & HARBISON PLLC (ALEXANDRIA, VA, US)
Claims:
1. A closure comprising: a cap having a top and a skirt; an outer layer of a material softer than the skirt and adhered to the outer surface of the skirt, the outer layer having a thickness of greater than 38 mils.

2. The closure of claim 1, wherein said outer layer has a thickness of 40-60 mils.

3. The closure of claim 1, wherein said outer layer covers substantially the entire surface of the skirt.

4. The closure of claim 1, wherein said outer layer is intermolecularly bonded to the skirt.

5. The closure of claim 1, wherein said outer layer comprises a rubberized elastomer.

6. A closure comprising: a cap having a top and a skirt; an outer layer of a material softer than the skirt, said outer layer adhered to and covering substantially the entire surface of the skirt, the outer layer having a thickness of greater than 38 mils.

7. The closure of claim 6, wherein said outer layer is molecularly bonded to the skirt.

8. A closure comprising: a cap having a top and a skirt; an outer layer of a material softer than the skirt which is intermolecularly bonded to the outer surface of the skirt.

9. A method of manufacturing a closure, said method comprising; forming a cap having a skirt using a first step of a two shot injection molding process; forming an outer layer of a material softer than the skirt on the skirt using a second step of the two shot injection molding process to intermolecularly bond the outer layer to the skirt.

10. The method of claim 9, including forming the outer layer with a thickness of at least 20 mils.

11. The method of claim 9, including forming the outer layer with a thickness of 40-60 mils.

12. The method of claim 9, including forming the outer layer such that it covers substantially the entire surface of the shirt.

13. The method of claim 9, including forming the outer layer with a rubberized elastomer.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a lid, and in particular, a lid with an improved grippable surface.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Many containers such as jars have a top opening and a lid or other closure to cover or close over the opening. One typical arrangement includes a threaded jar neck opening onto which a correspondingly threaded lid twists on and off. In order to provide a grippable surface, some lids include ribs or grooves along their axially extending portion, commonly known as the skirt of the lid, to provide enhanced grippability and thus allow one to more easily twist the lid on and off the neck of the container.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,481,589 discloses a jar closure in which a rigid piece forms a first part of the closure, including its skirt, and a second part is molded onto the first, rigid part, to define a portion of the periphery of the exterior of the closure. The second part is formed within an inlay or void of the skirt so that the resulting closure has the second part flush with the outer surface of the skirt and/or the top of the first part of the closure.

U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2005/0145593 discloses a closure with a soft feel gripping surface in which an in-mold label forms a thin gripping surface over the skirt of a closure.

There exists a need in the art for improved closures with grippable surfaces which allow one to more easily open and close a container.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention concerns a grippable closure in which a soft outer layer is formed on a skirt portion of a closure such as a lid, to provide a grippable surface. Advantageously, the outer layer forms a strong bond to the skirt which may include an intermolecular bond in which respective materials from the outer layer and the skirt are intermixed with one another. Further, advantageously the outer layer is of a sufficient thickness to provide an enhanced grippable surface which is comfortable for one to grasp and allows one to easily open a container to which the closure is attached.

The present invention in one form thereof concerns a closure having a rigid cap with a top and a skirt and an outer layer of a material softer than the skirt, adhered to the outer surface of the skirt. The outer layer has a thickness of at least 20 mils. In alternative further embodiments, the outer layer has a thickness of 40-60 mils and the outer layer preferably covers substantially the entire surface of the skirt. The outer layer may comprise a rubberized elastomer.

Another aspect of the present invention concerns a closure having a cap with a top and a skirt, and wherein an outer layer of softer material than the skirt is adhered to and covers substantially the entire surface of the skirt.

Another aspect of the present invention concerns a cap having a top and a skirt and an outer layer of a material softer than the skirt which is intermolecularly bonded to the outer surface of the skirt.

Another aspect of the present invention concerns a method of manufacturing a closure. The method includes forming a cap having a top and a skirt using a first step of a two-shot injection molding process. An outer layer of material softer then the cap is formed on the skirt using a second step of the two-shot injection molding process whereby the outer layer is intermolecularly bonded to the skirt.

These and other objects of the present invention will become apparent from the brief description of the drawings which follows, together with the detailed description of the preferred embodiments.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

There follows a detailed description of the preferred embodiments of the present invention, to be read together with the accompanying drawings, wherein:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a closure in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a cross sectional view of the closure taken along line 2-2 of FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is an enlarged partial view of the closure from box 15 from FIG. 2.

FIG. 4 is an elevational view of a closure and container in accordance with the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Referring to the drawings, like elements are represented by like numbers throughout the several views.

Closure 10 has a cap with a top 11 and a skirt 12. Advantageously, the cap is formed of a plastic material or polymer using injection molding in a first step of a two-shot molding process. The cap can be composed of polyethylene or polypropylene. Alternatively, the cap can be formed of any other suitable material known to one of ordinary skill in the art.

The closure 10 includes an outer layer 13 which is adhered to the skirt 12, preferably covering substantially the entire surface of skirt 12. The outer layer 13 forms a strong bond with skirt 12 so that the outer layer 13 does not slip or move relative to the skirt 12 when twisted to open or close a container 14 (FIG. 4).

In one advantageous method of making the closure 10, the outer layer 13 is formed during the second step of a two-shot molding process. Preferably, the resulting skirt 13 is intermolecularly bonded to the skirt 12 such that interface 16 formed therebetween includes material from the skirt 12 and outer layer 13 intermixed with one another, as shown in FIG. 3 which is an enlargement of box 15 of FIG. 2. Although it is advantageous to have intermolecular bonding between skirt 12 and outer layer 13, it is not necessary to have intermolecular bonding to achieve a sufficiently strong bond between the skirt and the outer layer.

The outer layer 13 is at least 20 mils thick and preferably 40-60 mils. These thicknesses provide a comfortable grippable surface along the skirt 12 of the closure 10 to allow one to easily grip and open the container 14. The outer layer 13 can be formed of any suitable soft material which includes rubberized elastomer.

Although the preferred method of forming closure 10 is two-shot injection molding, alternatively any other manufacturing process known to one of ordinary skill in the art can be used which forms a skirt 12 with a sufficiently strong bonded or adhered softer outer layer.

In one application or use, closure 10 has threads 17 on the interior surface of skirt 12 which allows closure 10 to be removed from container 14 which has complementary threads (not shown), by twisting or rotating closure 10 in a counterclockwise direction as indicated by arrow 18 of FIG. 4.

It will now be apparent to one of ordinary skill in the art that the present closure offers advantages and features not found in prior closures. For example the present closure includes a sufficiently thick outer layer of a soft material which provides a comfortable and grippable surface. An additional advantageous feature of the present closure is an outer layer sufficiently bonded to a skirt such as by being intermolecularly bonded thereto, thereby ensuring that the outer layer will not slip relative to the skirt when opening or closing a container.

Although the invention has been described above in relation to preferred embodiments thereof, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that variations and modifications can be effected in these preferred embodiments without departing from the scope and spirit of the invention.