Title:
System for securing a cover on a container
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The invention relates to a system for securing a cover on a container by providing a retaining mechanism having a projection that is received by corresponding apertures and/pr cavities in the cover and container, thus preventing the rotation of the cover with respect to the container. The cover can include a projection, such as a gas outlet, by which the retaining mechanism can be anchored to the cover. A sealing assembly can be received in the gas outlet, and include a projection extending outward from the gas outlet thus preventing the removal of the retaining member until the sealing assembly is removed. Preferably, the sealing assembly also closes a gas aperture in the cover when inserted into the gas outlet.



Inventors:
Wild, Hans-peter (Eppelheim, DE)
Liebenstein, Rainer (Malsch, DE)
Application Number:
11/636297
Publication Date:
06/21/2007
Filing Date:
12/06/2006
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
220/724
International Classes:
B65D41/06; B65D25/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
CASTELLANO, STEPHEN J
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
STROOCK & STROOCK & LAVAN LLP (NEW YORK, NY, US)
Claims:
We claim:

1. A system for securing a cover on a container, the system comprising: a container; a cover constructed and arranged to create a seal with the container and a projection extending through said cover; a retaining mechanism constructed and arranged to engage the cover and the container to selectively prevent the rotation of the cover with respect to the container; wherein the retaining mechanism engages the projection to maintain the retaining mechanism engaged with the cover and the container.

2. The system of claim 1, wherein the retaining mechanism includes a second projection and the container comprises a cavity and the cover includes an aperture for selectively receiving the second projection.

3. The system of claim 1, further comprising a fastener constructed and arranged to surround the perimeter of the cover, the fastener having a lip constructed and arranged to shield the seal, the fastener further having a fastening notch; wherein the container comprises a fastening pin constructed and arranged to be selectively received by the fastening notch.

4. The system of claim 1, wherein the cover comprises a gas aperture and a gas outlet, the gas outlet comprising: a housing; and a sealing assembly, wherein the sealing assembly comprises a plug constructed and arranged to selectively close the gas aperture.

5. The system of claim 4, wherein the housing includes a retaining notch, and sealing assembly includes a retaining pin constructed and arranged to be selectively received by the retaining notch.

6. The system of claim 5, wherein the retaining mechanism comprises a first leg for engaging the gas outlet, such that the retaining mechanism is prevented from being removed from the gas outlet when the retaining pin is received by the retaining notch.

7. The system of claim 4, further comprising a bolt constructed and arranged-to maintain the sealing assembly in place with respect to the housing.

8. The system of claim 4, wherein the sealing assembly further comprises a spring.

9. The system of claim 4, wherein the sealing assembly is selectively rotatable within the housing.

10. The system of claim 5, wherein the plug seals the cover when the retaining pin is received by the retaining notch.

11. The system of claim 5, wherein the gas aperture is opened when the retaining pin is released from the retaining notch.

12. The system of claim 4, further comprising a bolt constructed and arranged to maintain the sealing assembly in place with respect to the housing.

13. The system of claim 4, wherein the housing includes a retaining notch, and sealing assembly includes a retaining pin constructed and arranged to be selectively received by the retaining notch.

14. The system of claim 5, wherein the retaining mechanism comprises a first leg for engaging the gas outlet, such that the retaining mechanism is prevented from being removed from the gas outlet when the retaining pin is received by the retaining notch.

15. The system of claim 1, wherein the first projection comprises: a housing having a retaining notch; a locking assembly comprising an insert constructed and arranged to be received within the housing, the insert having an insert pin constructed and arranged to be received in the retaining notch when the insert is received in the housing; wherein the insert pin prevents the removal of the retaining mechanism from the first projection.

16. The system of claim 15, wherein the first projection further comprises a rod, and wherein: the insert comprises a groove; the housing comprises a retaining aperture; the rod is constructed and arranged to be inserted through the aperture and at least partially retained by the housing; and the rod is further constructed and arranged to be at least partially received by the groove.

17. The system of claim 1, wherein the first projection comprises: a housing having a retaining aperture; and a rod constructed and arranged to be inserted through the retaining aperture, such that a first portion of the rod is received by the housing and a second portion of the rod extends outward from the housing; wherein the second portion prevents the retaining mechanism from being removed from the first projection.

18. The system of claim 1, further comprising a sealing ring between the container and the cover.

19. The system of claim 1, wherein the container comprises a flange, the flange and the cover each comprising an aperture for selectively receiving the projection.

20. The system of claim 1, wherein the retaining mechanism further includes a panel constructed and arranged to cover the projection when the projection is received by the cover and the container.

21. The system of claim 1, wherein the container comprises wheels.

22. A system for securing a cover on a container, the system comprising: a container; a cover having a gas outlet having an open position for releasing pressure within the container and a closed position for preventing releasing pressure within the container, the cover constructed and arranged to engage the container; a retaining mechanism constructed and arranged to be selectively removable only when the gas outlet is in the open position, wherein the retaining mechanism selectively prevents the cover from being removed from the container.

23. A system for securing a cover on a container, the system comprising: a container having a flange having a flange cavity; a cover constructed and arranged to engage the flange, the cover having a cover aperture and a gas outlet; a retaining mechanism having a first projection constructed and arranged to be inserted through the cover aperture and into the flange cavity, the retaining mechanism having a first leg constructed and arranged to engage the gas outlet; the gas outlet comprising a sealing assembly constructed and arranged to be received in the gas outlet, the sealing assembly having a plug for selectively closing the gas aperture and a second projection extending outward from the gas outlet; wherein the retaining mechanism is releasable when the sealing assembly is removed.

24. A method of securing a cover onto a container; the method comprising: positioning a cover on a container, wherein the container includes a pin and a container aperture, wherein the cover includes a gas outlet and a cover aperture; placing a fastener on the cover, the fastener having a notch constructed and arranged to receive the pin; positioning the fastener such that the pin is received by the notch; rotating the fastener with respect to the container to a lock position; providing a retainer having a retainer aperture and a retainer projection; positioning the retainer on the cover such that the gas outlet projects through the retainer aperture and the first projection is inserted in the cover aperture and the container aperture; locking the retainer in place to selectively prevent the removal of the retainer from the cover.

25. The method of claim 24, wherein locking the retainer comprises inserting a locking assembly into the gas outlet, the locking assembly having one or more projections, wherein the gas outlet includes one or more notches for receiving the one or more projections, wherein the retainer cannot be removed without removing the locking assembly.

26. The method of claim 25, wherein the locking assembly further comprises a plug for selectively preventing the release of pressure from within the container.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a rotation mechanism for sealing transport containers for liquids.

An example of a clamping ring used for sealing transport containers is disclosed in the form of a lid for a pot in EP 1 215 138 B1, in which a pressure release device is provided on the lid and a locking ring fits around the lip of the pot for substantially creating a seal with the pot. A part of a securing mechanism extends horizontally from the pressure release device, and a bolt pointing downwards is provided on the end of the securing mechanism, wherein the bolt is received by an aperture in the clamping ring.

This securing mechanism and others like it can have various shortcomings. The securing mechanism can become deformed, and it can be difficult to take apart the pressure release valve or the securing mechanism. Furthermore, in such a case it is necessary to replace the valve and the securing means, which is associated with considerable costs.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Generally speaking, in accordance with the invention, a system and method for securing a cover onto a container is provided, including a visual verification that the cover is secured. In one embodiment of the invention, a retaining mechanism is provided which prevents the cover from being inadvertently lifted from the container, more specifically, from being rotated when in the locked position.

Another embodiment of the invention provides a securing assembly for ensuring that the retaining mechanism cannot be inadvertently removed from the cover unless the securing assembly is disassembled or broken. A user is thus visually alerted to the risk, ensuring that the user either replace the securing assembly or take necessary precautions while handling the container.

In accordance with a preferred embodiment, a retaining mechanism comprises a projection that engages a corresponding cavity or aperture in a cover, a container with which the cover creates a seal when in the locked position, and a latching ring, which maintains the cover in place on the container.

The object of the invention under consideration is therefore to create a more reliable and economical system for securing a cover by latching a clamping ring than presently available.

It is also an object of the invention to provide a system for securing a cover by latching a clamping ring providing a securing element that is not easily deformed.

A further object of the invention is to provide a system for securing a cover by latching a clamping ring that is easy to use, that can be assembled and disassembled relatively simply.

The invention accordingly comprises the features of construction, combination of elements, and arrangement of parts, which will be exemplified in the construction hereinafter set forth, and the scope of the invention will be indicated in the claims.

The invention accordingly comprises the several steps and the relation of one or more of such steps with respect to each of the others, and the apparatus embodying features of construction, combination (s) of elements and arrangement of parts which are adapted to effect such steps, all as exemplified in the following detailed disclosure, and the scope of the invention will be indicated in the claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

For a fuller understanding of the invention, reference is had to the following description, taken in connection with the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a front elevational cross-sectional view of a container and cover in accordance with an embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 2 is a partial view of a cover, fastener and retaining mechanism in accordance with an embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 3a is a partial view of a cover and fastener in accordance with an embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 3b is a perspective view of a retaining mechanism in accordance with an embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 4 is a partial cross sectional view of a container, cover, fastener and retaining mechanism in accordance with an embodiment of the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Certain exemplary embodiments of the present invention will now be described with reference to the drawings. In general, a system for securing a cover on a container is provided. In one embodiment of the invention, a fastener, such as a clamping ring, secures the cover in place and helps create a seal between the cover and the container. It is preferable for a seal to be created to prevent leakage, especially if the container is filled with liquid. In accordance with a preferred embodiment of the invention, the clamping ring covers the seal formed between the cover and the container, thus protecting it and helping to prevent it from being broken.

FIG. 1 is an illustrative depiction of a container generally indicated as 1 in which liquids can be held. Container 1 preferably has an outlet (not shown) proximate its lower end or on the lower area of the sidewall. Preferably, container 1 is suitable for being transported. For example, container 1 can have castors 8 as shown. Alternatively, container 1 can be transported using forklifts or the like, rather than being rolled. Container 1 can thus be formed as a transport container.

In accordance with the embodiment shown in FIG. 1, container 1 comprises a tank 2, which has an opening generally indicated as 4 proximate its upper end. Opening 4 can provide access to the interior of the tank 2, for example, for maintenance work, cleaning or the like. It is common for opening 4 to be called a “manhole”.

At least during transport, it is preferable for container 1 and thus opening 4 to be closed, more preferably sealed, to prevent the contents of container 1 from spilling or leaking out of container 1. A cover 3 can be placed on container 1 to close opening 4. Cover 3 is preferably placed on a seal 6, which can facilitate sealing cover 3 and container 2. A fastener 5 can be provided to apply pressure on cover 3 onto container 1 to keep cover 3 in place with respect to container 1 and can also shield cover 3 and container 2 where they meet.

Reference will now be made to FIG. 2, wherein a portion of cover 3 and faster 5 is shown with gas outlet 7 and a retainer 10 are shown. Retainer 10 preferably prevents fastener 5 from being shifted out of place, and preferably, from being inadvertently released from container 1. In the example shown in FIG. 2, fastener 5 is placed on container 1 so that a notch generally indicated at 12 of fastener 5 receives a pin 13 of container 1. Once pin 13 is received in notch 12, fastener 5, which can either be connected to or be independent from cover 3, is preferably rotated, thus permitting pin 13 to enter a channel generally indicated at 12a of notch 12. Therefore, once fastener 5 is in this locked position, neither fastener 5 nor cover 3 can be removed simply by pulling at it. Rather, fastener 5 must be rotated until pin 13 is no longer within channel 12a of notch 12 before fastener 5 and cover 3 can be pulled away from container 1.

However, an additional verification that cover 3 is properly in place is provided by retainer 10 in accordance with an embodiment of the invention. In the embodiment shown in FIGS. 2 and 3b, retainer 10 comprises a projection 11 which can be inserted into a corresponding aperture in fastener 5. Preferably, container 1 has a corresponding aperture or cavity for receiving projection 11. Therefore, when projection 11 is received by fastener 5 and container 1, fastener 5 is substantially prevented from rotating or shifting, thus preventing the inadvertent release of pin 13 from notch 12.

Notches 12 and pin 13 interact in such a way that fastener 5 can be rotated into a latching position in which cover 3 sits firmly on container 1 or a position in which fastener 5, preferably together with cover 3, can be removed from container 1. The interaction of projection 11 and fastener 5 and container 1, more preferably also with cover 3, substantially prevents rotation of fastener 5, unless projection 11 has been removed.

Cover 3 preferably includes a gas outlet 7. Gas outlet 7 is preferably constructed and arranged to relieve excess pressure in container 1, or to limit the amount of excess pressure in container 1. Preferably, gas outlet valve 7 can release gas from within container 1 when a predetermined pressure is reached.

An exemplary embodiment of retainer 10 extends toward gas outlet 7 as shown in FIG. 2. As illustrated in FIG. 3b, retainer 10 has a first leg 10a having projection 11, first leg 10a extending substantially parallel to cover 3a second leg 10b extending away from cover 3, and a third leg 10c having an aperture generally indicated at 19. Aperture 19 preferably can receive at least a portion of gas outlet 7. In the embodiments shown in FIGS. 2 and 4, when retainer 10 is properly positioned to retain fastener 5 and cover 3 in place with respect to container 1, projection 11 is received by container 1 and third leg 10c is positioned such that gas outlet 7 is at least partially received within aperture 19.

In accordance with the embodiment shown in FIGS. 2 and 4, gas outlet 7 comprises a hollow housing 40 and includes a plug assembly 14 therewithin. Plug assembly 14 preferably comprises a plug 22 which can substantially seal a gas aperture 25 in container 1. As illustrated in FIG. 4, top 30 exerts a pressure on a spring 23 and thus plugs 22 toward container 1 to close gas aperture 25. Alternatively, when the pressure within container 1 is greater than desired, plug 22 can be pushed outward in order to permit gas to exit container 1. Gas outlet 7 preferably comprises one or more openings 26, more preferably proximate cover 3. The gas escaping from container 1 can thus exit through the one or more openings 26 to relieve the pressure within container 1. Once the desired pressure is achieved, plug 22 preferably substantially seals gas aperture 25 again. It is to be understood that whereas a spring 23 is preferred, for example, because it permits the movement of plug 22 without requiring the movement of a top 30 of plug assembly 14, this selective movement can be provided in a variety of ways without the use of a spring.

Top 30 preferably includes one or more protrusions 15, and gas outlet 7 preferably comprises one or more top notches generally indicated at 16. According to an exemplary embodiment of the invention, plug assembly 14 is inserted into housing 40 of gas outlet 7 until protrusions 15 are received by top notches 16, whereupon top 30 is rotated until protrusions 15 are sufficiently within top-notch channel 16a. Thus, top 30 is substantially prevented from being removed from gas outlet 7 by merely pulling it. Rather, top 30 must be rotated and then pulled in order to be removed from gas outlet 7.

The combination of protrusions 15 and top notch 16 provide an additional benefit. It can prevent the removal of retainer 10. Once retainer 10 is positioned so that gas outlet 7 is received within aperture 19 and projection 11 is sufficiently received by container 1, protrusions 15, which extend outwardly from gas outlet 7, can prevent the removal of retainer 10.

In accordance with an exemplary embodiment of the invention, a bolt 31 provides an additional reassurance as well as a visible indicator that retainer 10 is properly in place. In the embodiment of the invention shown in FIG. 2, top 30 has a groove 28. When top 30 is rotated to and properly positioned, groove 28 aligns with one or more bolt apertures 27 of gas outlet 7. Therefore, once retainer 10 and plug assembly 14 are properly positioned, bolt 31 can be slid through a first bolt aperture 27, through groove 28 and through a second bolt aperture 27, such that bolt 31 is located within groove 28 with a portion of bolt 31 extending outward from gas outlet 7. Thus top 30 can be prevented from being rotated unless bolt 31 is removed or broken. This can thus substantially prevent the removal of retainer 10 as long as container 1 is still under pressure.

Whereas groove 28 can be preferable because it can prevent top 31 from being rotated to release protrusion 15, it is not necessary. Alternatively, bolt 31 can be positioned above top 30, thus preventing top 31 from being removed without removing or damaging bolt 31.

As described above, certain embodiments of the invention provide assurance that container 1 is properly closed, and a confirmation of the authenticity of the seal between cover 3 and container 1, thus substantially preventing accidental opening and spilling of the contents of container 1.

Whereas gas outlet 7 is illustrated as being cylindrical and extending substantially perpendicularly from cover 3, it is to be understood that gas outlet 7 can take other forms, such any extending at an acute or obtuse angle, being cubical, curved, etc., without deviating from the scope of the invention. Additionally, aperture 19 can be a different shape, for example, rectangular, oval, etc. without deviating from the scope of the invention.

FIG. 4 illustrates an embodiment of cover 3 and fastener 5 secured to container 1, wherein retainer 10 prevents cover 3 from being removed from container 1. The embodiment of container 1 has a flange 20 that extends around opening 4. A seal 21 lies on flange 20, and as shown, fastener 5 and cover 3 are pressed on to seal 21. As illustrated, fastener 5, cover 3 and flange 20 have apertures preferably aligned and suitable for receiving projection 11. Projection 11 of retainer 10 can be inserted through these apertures to prevent fastener 5 from being rotated about container 1. Projection 11 is preferably covered by first leg 10a of retainer 10, which can protect projection 11 from becoming deformed.

In the embodiment show, first leg 10a extends substantially parallel to cover 3 until it meets second leg 10b at a substantially 90 degree angle, which then meets third leg 10c at a substantially 90 degree angle. However, it is to be understood that the connections between second leg 10b and first leg 10a and/or third leg 10c need not be at substantially 90 degrees, but can be an acute or obtuse angle. Alternatively, the connection can be gradual, rather than at a defined angle. Additionally, the connection between first leg 10a and second leg 10b can be recessed from cover 3 and first leg 10a can extend away from cover 3, which may facilitate assembly. Furthermore, first, second and/or third leg 10a, 10b, 10c can be curved rather than straight as shown in FIGS. 2 and 3b, and can be separate pieces rather than one integral piece.

One method by which fastener 5 can be removed in accordance an embodiment of the invention includes removing bolt 31 from groove 28. Top 30 is then rotated to release protrusions 15 from top notch 16. Gas outlet 7 is thus made non-functional or is opened completely. The pressure exerted by spring 23 against plug 22 is thus removed, and therefore plug 22 retracts away from gas aperture 25. Any excess pressure in container 1 is consequently relieved, and the interior of container 1 is thus at ambient pressure. By removing the plug assembly 14, retainer 10 can be pulled away from cover 3 until it is released from gas outlet 7. Simultaneously, projection 11 is also pulled out of the apertures of fastener 5, cover 3 and flange 20 until projection 11 fastener 5 is released. Once projection 11 is removed, fastener 5 can be rotated to release pin 13 from notch 12, after which fastener and thus cover 3 can be removed from container 1.

The invention can be particularly advantageous for transport containers in which the persons who fill the containers are not the ones who empty the containers. The latter are thus often not familiar with all the technical details of the transport containers. Therefore, a transport container that prevents faulty operation, such as opening the manhole when the container is under pressure, as provided in accordance with an embodiment of the invention, can be advantageous. The examples provided herein are merely exemplary, as a matter of application specific to design choice, and should not be construed to limit the scope of the invention in any way.

This completely removable retainer 10 can also facilitate replacement of retainer 10 should the need arise. For example, if retainer 10 becomes deformed, or broken, etc., a new retainer can simply be used and the unusable retainer discarded. This can also reduce maintenance cost by permitting partial replacement rather than the replacement of the entire cover or container. However, retainer 10 is preferably formed of a substantially resilient material that is substantially resistant to deformation, chipping, cracking, etc.

Thus, while there have been shown and described and pointed out novel features of the present invention as applied to preferred embodiments thereof, it will be understood that various omissions and substitutions and changes in the form and details of the disclosed invention may be made by those skilled in the art without departing from the spirit of the invention. It is the intention, therefore, to be limited only as indicated by the scope of the claims appended hereto.

It is also to be understood that the following claims are intended to cover all of the generic and specific features of the invention herein described and all statements of the scope of the invention which, as a matter of language, might be said to fall therebetween.