Title:
Spice dispensing closure with positive seal
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A circular lid hinged to open and close a circular cap having a web with a plurality of orifices cooperates with a two-component seal and two-component lock in a manner such that the lid is secured in position when depressed while at the same time providing a positive seal preventing any intake of moisture from ambient humidity to enter a cylindrical container to agglomerate the particulate inside and/or to clog its dispensing orifices.



Inventors:
Sheffler, Robert J. (Morganville, NJ, US)
Dolan, Thomas J. (Flemington, NJ, US)
Zuber, Harold E. (Wall, NJ, US)
Application Number:
11/433172
Publication Date:
11/15/2007
Filing Date:
05/15/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65D51/18
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
NICHOLS II, ROBERT K
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Charles I. Brodsky (Marlboro, NJ, US)
Claims:
1. A dispensing closure for a cylindrical container comprising: a cylindrical cap attached to said container; a circular lid hinged to said cap; a circular web having a plurality of orifices upwardly facing from said cap toward said lid; a two-component seal, one component being a male member ring extending downwardly from an underside of said lid inwardly of its outer circumstance, and one component being a female member seat encircling said web; and a two-component lock, one component being a male member projection downwardly extending from an underside of said lid and one component being a female member well within said web oriented to receive said male member projection; whereby depressing said lid positions said male member projection within said female member well and encloses said male member ring onto said female member seat.

2. The dispensing closure of claim 1, also including a locking ring within said female member well to envelop said male member projection securing it into position.

3. The dispensing closure of claim 2, additionally including a finger detent on said cylindrical cap to release a depressed lid by an upwards pushing movement.

4. The dispensing closure of claim 1, including a further orifice within said female member well communicating with the inside of said cylindrical container.

5. The dispensing closure of claim 1 wherein said circular hinge is rotatable from substantially 0° closed to 180° open with respect to said cap.

6. The dispensing closure of claim 1 wherein said web includes a first plurality of orifices of larger diameter than a second plurality of orifices located therein.

7. The dispensing closure of claim 1 wherein said male member projection is of a cylindrical configuration.

8. The dispensing closure of claim 1 wherein said cylindrical cap is detachably attached to said container.

9. The dispensing closure of claim 1, including a second two-component seal, one component being a second male member ring extending upwardly from a top side of said web and one component being a second female member seat extending said underside of said lid inwardly of its said outer circumference.

10. A dispensing closure for a cylindrical container comprising: a cylindrical cap attached to said container; a circular lid hinged to said cap; a circular web having a plurality of orifices upwardly facing from said cap toward said lid; a two-component seal, one component being a male member ring extending downwardly from an underside of said lid inwardly of its outer circumstance, and one component being a female member seat encircling said web; and a two-component lock, one component being a male member projection downwardly extending from an underside of said lid and one component being a female member well within said web oriented to receive said male member projection; whereby depressing said lid positions said male member projection within said female member well and encloses said male member ring onto said female member seat; a further orifice within said female member well communicating with the inside of said cylindrical container; wherein said circular hinge is rotatable from substantially 0° closed to 180° open with respect to said cap; a locking ring within said female member well to envelop said male member projection securing it into position; and a finger detent on said cylindrical cap to release a depressed lid by an upwards pushing movement.

11. The dispensing closure of claim 5 wherein said web includes a first plurality of orifices of larger diameter than a second plurality of orifices located therein; wherein said male member projection is of a cylindrical configuration; and wherein said cylindrical cap is detachably attached to said container.

12. A dispensing closure for a cylindrical container comprising: a cylindrical cap attached to said container; a circular lid hinged to said cap; a circular web having a plurality of orifices upwardly facing from said cap toward said lid; a two-component seal, one component being a male member ring extending downwardly from an underside of said lid inwardly of its outer circumstance, and one component being a female member seat encircling said web; and whereby depressing said lid encloses said male member ring onto said female member seat.

13. The dispensing closure of claim 12, additionally including a finger detent on said cylindrical cap to release a depressed lid by an upwards pushing movement.

14. The dispensing closure of claim 12 wherein said circular hinge is rotatable from substantially 0° closed to 180° open with respect to said cap.

15. The dispensing closure of claim 12, including a second two-component seal, one component being a second male member ring extending upwardly from a top side of said web and one component being a second female member seat extending onto said underside of said lid inwardly of its said outer circumference.

16. The dispensing closure of claim 15, also including a two-component lock, one component being a male member projection downwardly extending from an underside of said lid and one component being a female member well within said web oriented to receive said male member projection; whereby depressing said lid also positions said male member projection within said female member well.

17. The dispensing closure of claim 16, wherein said web includes a first plurality of orifices of larger diameter than a second plurality of orifices located therein; and wherein said cylindrical cap is detachably attached to said container.

18. The dispensing closure of claim 17, also including a locking ring within said female member well to envelop said male member projection securing it into position.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

None.

STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT

Research and development of this invention and Application have not been federally sponsored, and no rights are given under any Federal program.

REFERENCE TO A MICROFICHE APPENDIX

Not Applicable

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

This invention relates to dispensing closures that one would utilize in sprinkling solid particulate such as spices or mixtures of spices.

2. Description of the Related Art

Dispensing closures for spice containers traditionally depend on the underside of its lid having projections that close off the orifices when the lid is in the sealing or storage mode. Such arrangements, although theoretically functional, are not practicable owing to the plurality of orifices and cooperating projections that require precise alignment to make sealing effective. Additionally, frequently there is entrapment of residual particles between the lid and the web. As a result, the projections cannot mesh precisely within the orifices to accomplish a true seal. This problem is especially prevalent among mixtures of spices that contain salt, and accordingly are hygroscopic—the particulate then may agglomerate and clog the orifices, preventing the spices from being freely dispensed. Furthermore, any inadequate sealing will permit moisture from ambient humidity to enter the container and agglomerate the particulate inside. In some cases oxygen combined with humidity may promote degradation of the contained product.

OBJECT OF THE INVENTION

It is an object of the present invention, therefore, to provide a new and improved sealing efficacy of hinged covers over the web that contains the dispensing orifices of the spice container.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

As will become clear from the following description, the spice dispensing closure of the invention provides a circumferential valve seal between the underside of the lid and the orifice-containing web to prevent moisture from entering. As will be seen, the seal is so designed that no components of the lid and the web are able to contact one another to prevent the efficacy of the valve seal which follows. The seal is enabled even should there be an inclusion of particulate between the lid and the web.

In a first embodiment of the invention, a male member of the seal extends downward from the lid and circumvents the center of the lid near its extreme circumference. A female cooperating member is located in the web to receive the male member.

In a second embodiment, a second valve seal arrangement is presented in which the location of the male and female cooperating components are reversed—the male portion being located within the dispensing web, and the female component being located within the underside of the lid.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

These and other features of the present invention will be more clearly understood from a consideration of the following description, taken in connection with the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a top view of the spice dispensing closure of the invention with its lid fully opened to 180°;

FIG. 2 is a lateral view of the closure cross-sectioned through its center without the lid in place;

FIG. 3 is a lateral view of the cross-sectioned closure with the lid opened to approximately 135°;

FIG. 4 is a lateral view of the cross-sectioned closure with the lid fully opened to substantially 180°;

FIG. 5 is a lateral cross-sectioned view of the spice dispensing closure of the invention with the lid in a closed, or sealed, orientation;

FIG. 6 is a detail helpful in an understanding of the snap-lock operation of the embodiment of the invention shown in FIGS. 1-5; and

FIG. 7 is a lateral cross-sectioned view of a second embodiment of the invention in a closed, sealed orientation, utilizing a double valve seal.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

In FIGS. 1 through 6, a circular lid or cover for the dispensing closure 10 is shown at 12 joined by a toggle hinge 14 to a cylindrical cap 16. The dispensing orifices in a circular web 28 are illustrated at 18, 20—with reference numeral 22 identifying a male snap-lock projection member extending downwardly from the underside of the lid 12 and with reference numeral 24 representing a female snap-lock well, extending downwardly in the web. A further orifice 26 is provided in the snap-lock well 24 to prevent any spice product from collecting there, falling instead into a cylindrical spice container or bottle beneath (not shown).

In the lateral view of FIG. 2, the wall of the cap 16 is shown at 30, a female valve seat encircling the web 28 is shown at 32, and a continuous thread for joining with the spice container or bottle is illustrated at 34. Reference numeral 36 identifies an injection mold gate for forming the dispensing closure of plastic.

(As previously noted, FIG. 1 represents a top view of the dispensing closure with its cover-lid 12 fully opened to substantially 180°, while FIG. 2 is a lateral view only of the cap 16, cross-sectioned through its center.)

As the lateral cross-sectioned views of FIGS. 3, 4 and 5 illustrate a male valve seal ring 40 extends downwardly from the underside of the cover-lid 12 near its extreme circumference 15 (see FIG. 1), and is configured to fit within the female valve seat 32 encircling the web 28 to which it is joined. As FIGS. 3-5 illustrate, the male snap-lock projection member 22 is configured to fit within the female snap-lock well 24, and a locking ring 44 within the well 24 retains the male member in place. Closing the lid 12 locks the male and female members 22, 24, and seals the ring 40 within the seat 32. Reference numeral 42 identifies a finger detent for then opening the cover-lid 12, and reference numeral 46 identifies a stacking ring on the top side of the lid 12 for arranging the closure for storage.

As will be understood, the orifices 18-20 of FIG. 1 are of different size for dispensing spices of different diameters or characteristics. The hinge 14 is constructed in three dimensions to give to it a toggle action as the cover-lid 12 opens and closes. The product passage orifice 26 within the female locking well 24 allows passage of the product back into the dispensing container should there be a tendency of particulate to build up within the well. The continuous thread 34 is in the nature of a screw thread for attaching the dispensing closure to the container or bottle. The circumferential valve seal formed by the ring 40 within the seat 32 between the underside of the cover-lid 12 and the web 28 prevents any component of the lid and web contacting one another to affect the efficacy and positive nature of the seal. The snap-lock that maintains the closure when the cover-lid 12 is depressed prevents any moisture from getting into the container and agglomerate the spices or mixtures of spices within. FIG. 6 is helpful in an understanding of the snap-lock operation.

In the configuration shown in the lateral cross-sectioned view of FIG. 7, a second female valve seat 50 is illustrated along with a second male valve seal ring 52. With all other component parts remaining the same, the male seal ring 52 will be understood to extend upward from the web 28 and the female valve seat 50 will be understood to be located within the underside of the lid 12 to provide a second seal encircling the seal formed by the ring 40 within the seat 32. This is just the opposite with respect to the orientation of FIGS. 1-5. With this arrangement, an even increased positive seal results.

While there have been described what are considered to be preferred embodiments of the present invention, it will be readily appreciated by those skilled in the art that modifications can be made without departing from the scope of the teachings herein. For at least such reason, therefore, resort should be had to the claims appended hereto for a true understanding of the scope of the invention.