Title:
Tab-interconnected dispensing closure and container neck finish
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A package includes a container having a neck finish with at least one external thread segment and at least one pair of angularly spaced external lugs disposed beneath the thread segment. A closure has a cylindrical wall with at least one internal thread segment for mating engagement with the external thread segment on the container neck finish and at least one tab extending from the wall for receipt between the lugs to resist removal of the closure from the container neck finish and aligns the closure with the container body. The clockwise-disposed lug prevents over-tightening of the closure on the container neck finish, while the counterclockwise-disposed lug resists unthreading of closure from the container neck finish when the tab on the closure skirt has been received between the lugs. The clockwise-disposed lug that prevents over-tightening of the closure on the container neck finish has a greater radial dimension than the counterclockwise-disposed lug, preferably by being radially thicker than the counterclockwise-disposed lug.



Inventors:
Robinson, Philip J. (Sylvania, OH, US)
Application Number:
11/355292
Publication Date:
08/16/2007
Filing Date:
02/15/2006
Assignee:
Owens-Illinois Closure Inc.
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
215/331
International Classes:
B65D39/00; B65D41/04
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
VOLZ, ELIZABETH J
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
REISING, ETHINGTON, BARNES, KISSELLE, P.C. (TROY, MI, US)
Claims:
1. A package that includes: a container having a neck finish with at least one external thread segment and at least one pair of angularly spaced external lugs disposed beneath said at least one thread segment, and a closure having a cylindrical wall with at least one internal thread segment for mating engagement with said at least one external thread segment and at least one tab extending from said wall for receipt between said lugs to resist removal of said closure from said neck finish, one of said lugs being disposed in a clockwise direction from the other of said lugs as viewed from above said neck finish, with the clockwise-disposed lug cooperating with said tab to prevent over-tightening of said closure on said neck finish and the counterclockwise-disposed lug resisting unthreading of said closure from said neck finish when said tab is received between said lugs, characterized in that said clockwise-disposed lug has a greater radial dimension than said counterclockwise-disposed lug.

2. The package set forth in claim 1 wherein said container has two pair of said lugs on diametrically opposed sides of said neck finish and said closure has two of said tabs on diametrically opposed sides of said wall.

3. The package set forth in claim 2 wherein said closure has an inner wall on which said at least one internal thread segment and said tabs are disposed, and an outer skirt spaced radially outwardly from said inner wall.

4. A container having a neck finish with at least one external thread segment and at least one pair of angularly spaced external lugs disposed beneath said at least one thread segment, one of said lugs being disposed in a clockwise direction from the other of said lugs as viewed from above said neck finish, characterized in that said one of said lugs has a greater radial dimension than the other of said lugs.

5. The container set forth in claim 4 having two pair of said lugs on diametrically opposed sides of said neck finish.

6. A method of making a container that includes the step of molding a plastic container having a neck finish with at least one external thread segment and at least one pair of angularly spaced external lugs disposed beneath said at least one thread segment, one of said lugs being disposed in a clockwise direction from the other of said lugs as viewed from above said neck finish, said one of said lugs having a greater radial dimension than the other of said lugs.

Description:

The present disclosure relates to dispensing closures and packages, and more particularly to dispensing closures that resist removal from a container neck finish.

BACKGROUND AND SUMMARY OF THE DISCLOSURE

U.S. Pat. Nos. 4,638,916 and 5,489,035 disclose dispensing closures of one-piece integrally molded plastic construction. These closures include a base with a dispensing opening and an internally threaded skirt for securement to a container neck finish. A lid is integrally connected by a hinge to a periphery of the base. U.S. Patent Document 2005/0023285A1 discloses a child-resistant dispensing closure that includes a base having a deck with a dispensing opening and a peripheral skirt. A lid is integrally molded with the base and coupled by a hinge to a periphery of the base so as to be pivotable between closed and open positions. One of the lid and the base has a latch arm resiliently extending from its periphery diametrically opposite the hinge. The latch arm has a pair of oppositely extending tabs adjacent to a free end of the arm. The other of the base and the lid has an axial passage for receiving the latch arm, and a pair of laterally spaced ledges in the passage for engagement by the tabs to lock the lid in a closed position. The latch arm is directly manually engageable by a user from a radial direction external to the closure to pivot the latch arm radially inwardly within the passage and release the tabs from the ledges so that the lid can be pivoted to the open position.

The present disclosure embodies a number of aspects that may be implemented separately from or in combination with each other.

A package in accordance with one aspect of the present disclosure includes a container having a neck finish with at least one external thread segment and at least one pair of angularly spaced external lugs disposed beneath the thread segment. A closure has a cylindrical wall with at least one internal thread segment for mating engagement with the external thread segment on the container neck finish and at least one tab extending from the wall for receipt between the lugs to resist removal of the closure from the container neck finish. One of the lugs is disposed in a clockwise direction from the other lug as viewed from above the container neck finish. The clockwise-disposed lug prevents over-tightening of the closure on the container neck finish and aligns the closure with the container body, while the counterclockwise-disposed lug resists unthreading of closure from the container neck finish when the tab on the closure skirt has been received between the lugs. The clockwise-disposed lug that prevents over-tightening of the closure on the container neck finish has a greater radial dimension than the counterclockwise-disposed lug, preferably by being radially thicker than the counterclockwise-disposed lug.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The disclosure, together with additional objects, features, advantages and aspects thereof, will best be understood from the following description, the appended claims and the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a fragmentary sectional view of a closure and container package in accordance with an exemplary embodiment of the present disclosure;

FIG. 2 is a fragmentary elevational view of the package in FIG. 1 taken substantially from the direction 2 in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a fragmentary sectional view taken substantially along the line 3-3 in FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is a sectional view taken substantially along the line 4-4 in FIG. 1;

FIG. 5 is a fragmentary sectional view taken substantially along the line 5-5 in FIG. 2;

FIG. 6 is a partially sectioned perspective view of the package illustrated in FIGS. 1 to 5;

FIG. 7 is a top plan view of the container of the package in FIGS. 1-6;

FIG. 8 is a fragmentary plan view on an enlarged scale of the portion of FIG. 7 within the area 8;

FIG. 9 is a fragmentary sectional view taken substantially along the line 9-9 in FIG. 7;

FIG. 10 is a top plan view of the closure in the package of FIGS. 1-6;

FIG. 11 is a sectional view taken substantially along the line 11-11 in FIG. 10;

FIG. 12 is a fragmentary side elevational view taken substantially from the direction 12 in FIG. 11; and

FIG. 13 is a fragmentary side elevational view taken substantially from the direction 13 in FIG. 11.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

The disclosure of U.S. Patent Document 2005/0023285A1 is incorporated herein by reference.

FIGS. 1-5 illustrate a child-resistant package 20 in accordance with one presently preferred embodiment of the disclosure as including a container 22 and a dispensing closure 24 secured to the container. Container 22 has a body 26 of flexible resilient construction, preferably molded plastic construction, that can be squeezed by a user to dispense product from within the container through closure 24. Container 24 also has a neck finish 28, preferably cylindrical in contour, having one or more external thread segments 30 to which closure 24 is secured. The term “thread segment” is used in its usual broad sense to include both continuous and discontinuous thread portions.

Closure 24 includes a base 32 and a lid 34 integrally coupled to base 32 by a pivot hinge 36. Hinge 36 may be of any suitable type, such as that illustrated in U.S. Pat. No. 6,041,477 or those illustrated in above-noted U.S. Pat. Nos. 4,638,916 or 5,489,035. Closure base 32 includes a deck 38, which may be flat, dished, domed, slanted or of other suitable contour. A dispensing opening 40 is provided in deck 38, and may be surrounded by a wall 42 that extends axially from deck 38. Opening 40 and wall 42 may be diamond-shaped as illustrated in the drawings, or may be circular or of any other suitable geometry. A dispensing valve or the like could be disposed within opening 40, and the dispensing opening can be concentric with or offset from the axis of the closure. An outer wall or skirt 44 extends from the outer periphery of deck 38. Peripheral skirt 44 is cylindrical in the embodiment illustrated in the drawings. However, skirt 44 may be of other suitable geometry, such as oval, for matching the geometry of container body 26.

An inner skirt or wall 46 extends from deck 38 within skirt 44, preferably concentrically with skirt 44. Inner wall 46 preferably is cylindrical and has one or more internal thread segments 48 for engagement with external thread segments 30 on container neck finish 28 to secure the closure to the container. At least one tab 50 (FIGS. 4, 6 and 11) axially extends from inner wall 46, more preferably a pair of diametrically opposed tabs as illustrated. In assembly of closure 24 with container 22, tabs 50 are received, preferably by snap fit, between diametrically opposed pairs of external lugs 52, 53 on container neck finish 28. Lugs 52, 53 are contoured so that tabs 50 can ride over and snap between the lugs during application of the closure to the container neck finish, but resist removal of the closure from the container after such assembly as described hereinafter. In the illustrated exemplary embodiment of the disclosure, an annular wall 54 extends from deck 38 within inner wall 46 and may be received in plug-sealing engagement with the open end of container neck finish 28.

Lid 34 preferably includes a base wall 56 having a segmented peripheral skirt 58. In the illustrated embodiment of the disclosure, lid base wall 56 is circular and skirt 58 is part-cylindrical in geometry. A pair of spaced walls 60, 62 preferably are disposed on lid base wall 56 within skirt 58 for sealing engagement with dispensing opening wall 42 on base 32, as shown in FIG. 1. In the closed position of lid 34 over base 32, the axial edge of lid skirt 58 may engage a ledge 64 on base 32 that surrounds deck 38. The edge of lid skirt 58 and the surface of ledge 64 preferably are planar and perpendicular to the axis of the closure, although other skirt edge and ledge geometries can be employed. A continuous or segmented bead on the inside of lid skirt 58 may engage a continuous or segmented external bead on base 32 to hold lid 34 by snap fit in the closed position over base 32.

An axial passage 70 may extend from an opening 72 in deck 38 between outer peripheral skirt 44 and inner wall 46 of closure base 32. Passage 70 preferably is diametrically opposite from hinge 36 in closure base 32. (“Diametrically” does not mean that base 32 necessarily has to be of circular geometry as shown, but merely that axial passage 70 is disposed on the opposite side of base 32 from hinge 36. Directional words such as “axial” are employed by way of description and not limitation with respect to the central axis of base 32, which preferably although not necessarily is concentric with the central axis of dispensing opening 40, inner wall 46 and peripheral skirt 44.) There preferably is a radial opening 74 in peripheral skirt 44 that opens to axial passage 70 adjacent to deck 38 of base 32. A pair of ledges 76, 78 extend into axial passage 70 in laterally spaced opposition to each other. Each ledge 76, 78 has a radially outwardly facing surface that extends at a downward and outward angle away from deck 38 (FIG. 3). Ledges 76, 78 also have undersurfaces that are aligned with each other across axial passage 70 (FIG. 2). A fulcrum 80 (FIGS. 2 and 5), preferably in the form of a projecting triangular boss, most preferably a raised triangular boss, may be disposed on deck 38 at the edge of axial passage 70 between ledges 76, 78.

A latch arm 82 may extend from the edge of lid 34 at a position spaced from hinge 36, most preferably diametrically opposite from hinge 36. Latch arm 82 is generally T-shaped (FIGS. 2 and 13), having a central leg 84 and a pair of laterally extending tabs 86, 88. Tabs 86, 88 preferably are adjacent to the free end of leg 84. Lid skirt 58 may be indented at 58a (FIGS. 10 and 11) to accommodate latch arm 82 within the periphery of skirt 58 (FIG. 9). A pair of ribs 90 (FIG. 11) may extend along the inner surface of skirt portion 58a within latch arm 82 and onto the inside surface of lid base wall 56 to strengthen skirt portion 58a. Latch 82 may also have a pair of external ribs 92 (FIG. 13) that extend from latch arm 82 to lid skirt portion 58a to strengthen the lid skirt. There may be a parallel array of external axial ribs or raised or depressed lettering on latch arm leg 84 to facilitate frictional engagement between the latch arm with a user's thumb.

When closing lid 34 over base 32, from the open position of FIGS. 10-13 to the closed position of FIGS. 1-6, tabs 86, 88 on latch arm 82 preferably engage and ride along the outwardly facing cam surfaces of ledges 76, 78. The outwardly and downwardly sloping contours of ledges 76, 78 cam latch arm 82 radially outwardly as the lid is closed, so that resiliency of latch arm 82 snaps tabs 86, 88 beneath ledges 76, 78 when the lid is fully closed (FIGS. 1-6). When it is desired to open the lid, the user must engage latch arm 82 through lateral opening 74 and press the latch arm radially inwardly so that tabs 86, 88 clear ledges 76, 78 within axial passage 70. Fulcrum 80 on deck 38 may act as a pivot point for such inward flexure of latch arm 82. Internal ribs 90 and external ribs 92 preferably strengthen latch 82 so that such inward flexure of the latch can readily be accomplished by adults but is difficult to accomplish by children. Lid 38 can then be pivoted from the closed position to the open position. Internal ribs 98 on lid skirt segment 58a preferably are spaced sufficiently to clear fulcrum 80 as the lid is opened. Disposition of latch arm 82 between closure skirt 44 and wall 46, accessible through opening 74, inhibits opening by biting or prying on arm 82. Opening the lid preferably requires two essentially perpendicular actions, a radially inward movement of latch arm 82 to clear ledges 76, 78 and an upward pushing on latch 82 to unsnap beads 66, 68.

Closure 24, including base 32, hinge 36 and lid 34, preferably is formed as an integral unit of plastic construction in a suitable molding operation. The inside surfaces of tabs 84, 86 preferably are aligned with the outside surface of lid skirt segment 58a to facilitate demolding of the closure. Container 22 preferably is of molded plastic construction and may be formed in any suitable operation, such as by injection molding, injection blow molding, extrusion blow molding or reheat blow molding.

As best seen in FIGS. 7-8, the clockwise-disposed lug 52 of each pair of lugs 52, 53 has a greater radial dimension than the counterclockwise-disposed lug 53 of each pair. In the exemplary embodiment of the disclosure, in which neck finish 28 is of uniform radial thickness, clockwise-disposed lug 52, as viewed from above the neck finish in FIGS. 7 and 8, has a greater radial thickness than counterclockwise-disposed lug 53. This greater radial thickness of clockwise-disposed lug 52 prevents over-tightening of the closure onto the container and aligns the closure with the container body, while the lesser radial thickness of counterclockwise-disposed lug 53 permits removal of the closure by application of high torque in the unthreading direction while resisting removal under normal removal torque conditions. By way of example only, in a molded plastic container having a nominal “E” diameter of 1.354 inches, lug 53 may have an outer surface at a nominal radius of 0.741 inches from the axis of neck finish 28, and lug 52 may have an outer surface at a nominal radius of 0.755 inches.

There thus have been disclosed a closure and container package, a container and a method of making a container that fully satisfy all of the objects and aims previously set forth. The disclosure has been presented in conjunction with a presently preferred exemplary embodiment, and a number of modifications and variations have been discussed. Other modifications and variations readily will suggest themselves to persons of ordinary skill in the art in view of the foregoing disclosure. The disclosure is intended to embrace all such modifications and variations as fall within the spirit and broad scope of the appended claims.