Title:
Tamper evident band with hook
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A tamper indicating closure includes a cap having a top and skirt portion. A frangible connection connects an anti-tamper band with the skirt. The anti-tamper band includes a main body and a foldable portion hingably connected thereto. The foldable portion is foldable so that it is disposed within the volume defined by the main body. The foldable portion further comprises an edge for engaging the shoulder of a container at a recess below the shoulder and a plurality of tabs for engaging the shoulder to prevent “tiring off” of the anti-tamper band.



Inventors:
Neputy, Darren (Palos Hills, IL, US)
Kras, Stephen (Chicago, IL, US)
Application Number:
12/008862
Publication Date:
07/24/2008
Filing Date:
01/15/2008
Assignee:
Silgan Holdings Inc.
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
215/324, 215/43
International Classes:
B65D41/38; B65D39/00; B65D41/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
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20090272712PLASTIC DRINKS BOTTLE WITH CAPNovember, 2009Muhlemann
20070007296Flexible bottle mouth insertJanuary, 2007Guyot
20050236356Plastic container and method of integrally securing a neck attachment theretoOctober, 2005Lonsway
20080264896Beverage bottle carrier and handleOctober, 2008Eveleth
20060065566Container having label protection featureMarch, 2006Steih
20050139574Bottle with soft feel handleJune, 2005Simone et al.
20050199579Protective collarSeptember, 2005Novak
20090266786Large bottle-shaped container having substantially rectangular cross sectionOctober, 2009Sasaki
20100051630Children's disposable drinking capMarch, 2010Ellenbecker
20080093331Aseptic structural rib for plastic containersApril, 2008Roubal et al.



Primary Examiner:
HYLTON, ROBIN ANNETTE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
REINHART BOERNER VAN DEUREN S.C. (MILWAUKEE, WI, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A tamper indicating closure, comprising; a cap having a top portion connected to a skirt; an anti-tamper band connected to the skirt via a frangible connection, the anti-tamper band including a main body and a folded band connected to the main body opposite the cap via a hinge, the band continuous along the entire perimeter of the main body; and a plurality of flexible tabs extending from the folded band.

2. The closure of claim 1, wherein the flexible tabs are partially embedded within the folded band.

3. The closure of claim 1, wherein the folded band comprises a plurality of shoulder engaging edges separated by each separated by indentations.

4. The closure of claim 3, wherein the tabs extend from the indentations.

5. The closure of claim 1, wherein the anti-tamper band and cap are molded as a single component.

6. The closure of claim 1, wherein the folded band is positioned substantially at an edge of the main body opposite the frangible connection.

7. The closure of claim 1, wherein the tabs extend from the folded band proximate a side of the folded band closest to the main body.

8. The closure of claim 1, wherein the foldable band has an unfolded state, where the foldable band extends substantially linear from the main body, and a folded state, wherein the foldable is pivoted about the hinge from the unfolded state and is disposed with a volume defined by the main body.

9. A system for tamper indicating, comprising: an article having an opening surrounded by a neck, the neck having a shoulder abutting there from thereon, forming a recess under the shoulder; a closure including: a cap having a top portion connected to a skirt; an anti-tamper band frangibly connected to the skirt, the anti-tamper band including a main body and a folded band connected to the main band body opposite the cap, the band continuous along the entire circumference of the main body; the folded band having a shoulder engaging end, the shoulder engaging end having a plurality of flexible tabs extending therefrom; and the shoulder engaging end and flexible tabs engagable with the shoulder of the article.

10. The system of claim 9, wherein the flexible tabs are integral with the foldable band.

11. The system of claim 9, wherein the flexible tabs comprise an elastic material.

12. The system of claim 9, wherein the folded band comprises a plurality of shoulder engaging edges separated by each separated indentations

13. The system of claim 12, wherein the tabs extend from the indentations.

14. The system of claim 9, further comprising a plurality of drainage windows positioned in the foldable band, allowing drainage of liquid captured in the fold between the foldable band and the main body.

15. The system of claim 9, wherein the folded band is positioned substantially at an edge of the main body opposite the frangible connection.

16. The system of claim 9, wherein the tabs extend from the folded band proximate a side of the folded band closest to the main body.

17. The system of claim 9, wherein the shoulder engaging end comprises a bulbous projection.

18. The system of claim 9, wherein the shoulder engaging end comprises a leading edge.

19. A tamper indicating closure and article for closure, comprising: an article having a circular opening surrounded by a cylindrical neck, the cylindrical neck having a shoulder circumscribed thereon, the shoulder having a protruding edge and a recessed edge; a closure including: a cap having a top portion connected to a cylindrical skirt; a cylindrical anti-tamper band connected to the cylindrical skirt via a frangible connection, the anti-tamper band including a main body and a folded band connected to the main band body opposite the cap, the band continuous along the entire circumference of the main body; the folded band having a shoulder engaging end, the shoulder engaging end having a plurality of flexible tabs extending therefrom; and the shoulder engaging end engagable with the recessed edge of the shoulder as the flexible tabs engage with the protruding edge of the shoulder.

20. The system of claim 19, wherein the flexible tabs comprise an elastic material.

21. The system of claim 19, wherein the flexible tabs are integral with the foldable band and pivotable in relation hereto.

22. The system of claim 19, further comprising a plurality of drainage windows positioned in the foldable band allowance drainage of liquid captured in the fold between the foldable band and the main body.

23. The system of claim 19, wherein the folded band is positioned substantially at an edge of the main body opposite the frangible connection.

24. The system of claim 19, wherein the tabs extend from the folded band proximate a side of the folded band closest to the main body.

25. The system of claim 19, wherein the shoulder engaging end comprises a bulbous projection.

26. The system of claim 19, wherein the shoulder engaging end comprises a leading edge.

27. The system of claim 19, wherein the folded band comprises a plurality of shoulder engaging edges separated by each separated indentations and the tabs extend from the indentations.

28. The system of claim 19, further comprising a plurality of drainage windows positioned in the foldable band, allowing drainage of liquid captured in the fold between the foldable band and the main body.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application is related to and claims priority from U.S. Provisional Patent Application 60/881,019 filed Jan. 18, 2007 which is hereby incorporated by reference.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

Generally, the present invention relates to the field of container closures. More particularly, the present invention relates to closures having a tamper-indicating band.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Consumers rely on container closures to protect many everyday goods ranging from food to medicine. While numerous types of tamper-indicating closures exist, a particularly common type of closure comprises a closure connected to a tamper-indicating band via a frangible connection, with the closure being applied to the threaded finish of the container. This type of closure often relies on a portion of the container to restrain the tamper-indicating band when the cap is removed, causing the frangible connection to break and leaving the tamper-indicating band on the container in a retained engagement with the container finish. Thus, even if the closure is replaced back on the container, a user is able to determine that the container has been opened because the frangible connection of the closure with the tamper band has been broken.

This type of tamper-indicating system relies on the frangible connection being broken and on the tamper-indicating band remaining on the container. However, conventional closures suffer from “tiring off,” where the tamper-indicating band is essentially peeled or slipped off the container. This is similar to the manner in which a tire is removed from a rim. This defect defeats or at least detracts from or reduces the tamper-indicating ability of the closure band. Thus, there is a need for an improved closure providing a frangible connection between a tamper-indicating band and a cap that is resistant to tiring off and other tamper-indication defeating mechanisms.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Various embodiments of the invention relate to a closure providing a frangible connection between a tamper-indicating band and the lower end of a closure sidewall skirt, with the closure being resistant to tiring off and other tamper-indication defeating mechanisms.

The closure comprises a top portion that is connected to a skirt. An anti-tamper band is frangibly connected to the skirt. The anti-tamper band comprises a main body and a foldable band connected to the main body opposite the cap, such that the band is continuous along the entire perimeter of the main body. The foldable band is connected to the main body via a hinge. The foldable band has an unfolded state, where it extends substantially linearly from the main body, and a folded state. In the folded state, the band is bent about the hinge, forming an acute angle with the main body and being substantially within the volume defined by the main body. The foldable band further comprises a plurality of flexible tabs extending from within the foldable band. The foldable band includes an end opposite the hinge for engaging a portion of the container. The tabs further engage the container to secure the anti-tamper band to the container when the cap is removed.

These and other advantages and features of the invention, together with the organization and manner of operation thereof, will become apparent from the following detailed description when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, wherein like elements have like numerals throughout the several drawings described below.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a side view of a cap with an attached anti-tamper band in an unfolded position;

FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view of a closure applied to a container;

FIG. 3 is perspective view of an upside-down cap with an anti-tamper band having a bulbous edge for engaging the shoulder of the container;

FIG. 4 is a close-up cut-away perspective view of the foldable band and tabs of the closure of FIG. 3;

FIGS. 5(a)-5(f) depict the application and removal of the closure depicted in FIG. 3 from a container;

FIG. 6 is perspective view of an upside-down cap with an anti-tamper band having a leading edge for engaging the shoulder of a container;

FIG. 7 is a close-up, cut-away perspective view of the foldable band and tabs of the closure of FIG. 6; and

FIGS. 8(a)-8(f) depict the application and removal of the closure depicted in FIG. 6 from a container.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

The present invention comprises a closure 100 for sealing an article and providing tamper evidence. As shown in FIG. 1, one embodiment of a cap 101 for the closure 100 generally includes a top portion 110, a skirt 112, and an anti-tamper band 114. The top portion 110 and the skirt 112 are connected to each other and may be formed integral to each other. The skirt 112 extends substantially perpendicular from the top portion 110, forming the cap 101. As best shown in FIG. 2, the cap 101 engages the article or container 103 and sealing an opening 105 therein. The cap 101 is engagable with the article 103 as is known in the art. For example, an inner portion 113 of the skirt 112 may be threaded with a corresponding external thread 107 on the article 103. In an exemplary embodiment, the skirt 112 is cylindrical.

As referenced above, the closure 100 further includes an anti-tamper band 114. The anti-tamper band 114 is removably connected to the skirt 112. For example, the anti-tamper band 114 may be connected to the skirt via a frangible connection 116. In an exemplary embodiment, the anti-tamper band 114 is connected to the skirt 112 at an end opposite the top portion 110.

The anti-tamper band 114 includes a main body 118 and a foldable or “J” band 120. The main body 118 is attached via the frangible connection 116 to the skirt 112. A foldable band 120 is attached via a hinge 121 to the main body opposite the skirt 112. The hinge 121 may exert a bias on the foldable band 120. The foldable band 120 is pivotable about this hinge 121. The foldable band 120 has an unfolded state and a folded state. The closure 100 may be such that the foldable band 120 extends from the main body 118 in line with the main body 118 in an unfolded state. FIG. 1 depicts the unfolded state, wherein the foldable band 120 extends substantially linearly from the main body 118. In contrast, in the folded state (shown in FIGS. 5 and 8), the foldable band 120 is positioned along the interior surface 124 of the main body 118. In one embodiment, the hinge 121 provides a mechanism to bias the foldable band 120 to the folded state if the folded band 120 is within a degree range in relation to the main body 118, for example a range centered about 180 degrees. As more clearly shown in FIG. 3, the foldable band 120 may include drainage windows 123 providing a means for liquid from the article 103 which gathers in the fold (i.e., at the hinge 121) between the foldable band 120 and the main body 118 to drain.

As shown in FIGS. 5 and 8, the foldable band 120 further includes a shoulder engaging end 126. The shoulder engaging end 126 is adapted to engage a shoulder or “A” bead 128 on the finish of the article 103. The shoulder engaging end 126 may have a shape selected to engage the shoulder 128 in a particular manner. For example, as shown in FIG. 6-8, the shoulder engaging edge 126 may comprise a rounded edge or bulbous projection 122 for engaging the shoulder or “A” bead 131 of the finish in FIG. 5(a) and 8(a). Alternatively, as shown in FIGS. 3-5, the shoulder engaging end may provide a leading edge 136 for engaging the shoulder 128.

As shown in FIGS. 5 and 8, the shoulder 128 is designed with a sloped upper edge 130, a protruding edge or “A” bead 131, and a recessed lower edge 132 (FIGS. 5(a) and 8(a)) such that when the closure 100 is applied to the article 103 (best illustrated in FIG. 2), the foldable band 120 pivots about the hinge 121 towards the main body 118 as it contacts the sloped upper edge 130, allowing it to the foldable band 120 to pass the shoulder 128 on the article 103. Once the foldable band 120 passes the shoulder 128, the foldable band 120 is biased back towards the shoulder 128 positioning the shoulder engaging end 126 below the lower recessed edge 132 (FIGS. 5(c) and 8(c)) of the shoulder 128. The foldable band rests 120 under the shoulder 128 such that when the cap 101 is removed, the foldable band 120 contacts the shoulder 128, preventing the anti-tamper band 114 from being removed from the article 103 (as illustrated in FIGS. 5(d)-(e) and 8(d)-(e)). The force caused by the removal of the cap 101 and the resistance of the anti-tamper band 114 results in the separation of the anti-tamper band 114 from the skirt 112 along the frangible connection 116 (as is best seen in FIG. 5(e) and 8(e)).

The foldable band 120 further includes one or more tabs 122. In an exemplary embodiment, the tabs 122 are embedded into the structure of the foldable band 120. The tabs 122 may be integral with the foldable band 120 such that band 120, tabs 122, and main body 118 comprise a single molded component (the anti-tamper band 114). The tabs 122 extend from the foldable band 120, forming an extension there from. The tabs 122 are positioned substantially proximate the edge of the foldable band 120 which is farthest from the article 103 when the closure 100 is applied and the foldable band 120 is positioned in its folded state. In one embodiment, the tabs 122 flex about a pivot 127, such as a thinned portion just above the foldable band 120. The tabs 122 engage the protruding edge 131 of the shoulder 128 (FIGS. 5(a) and 8(a)). This positioning of the tabs 122 assists in the prevention of undesired movement of the anti-tamper band 114, such as “tiring off” or other such actions of the anti-tamper band 114 that result in a loss of tamper evidence. In one embodiment, the shoulder engaging edge 126 is not continuous along the foldable band 120. Instead, a series of indentations 125 interrupt the shoulder engaging edge 126. In an exemplary embodiment, the tabs 122 extend from the indentations 125. FIG. 4 illustrates one embodiment having deep indentations 125, while FIG. 7 illustrates an embodiment having shallow indentations 125.

In an exemplary embodiment, the tabs 122 are flexible such that they may bend relative to the foldable band 120. As can be seen in FIGS. 5(c) and 8(c), the tabs 122, when aligned with the foldable band 120, prevent the shoulder engaging edge 126 of the foldable band 120 from fully engaging the recessed edge or surface 132 of the shoulder 128. The flexing of the tabs 122 allows the foldable band 120 to more fully contact the recessed edge 132 or surface below the “A” bead 131 of the shoulder 128. In one embodiment, this contact provides additional resistance to tiring off than if the tab 122 is rigid because substantially the full surface of the engaging end 126 is in direct bearing contact with the edge or surface 132 below the “A” bead 131.

FIGS. 5(a)-(f) and 8(a)-(f) illustrate the closure of the cap 101 to the article 103 and the removal of the cap 103 from the article. FIGS. 3-5 illustrate an embodiment having a shoulder engaging end 126 that has a bulbous projection 138. FIGS. 6-8 illustrate a shoulder engaging end 126 which includes a leading edge 136. In FIGS. 5(c) and 8(c), the closure 100 is applied to the article 103. Cap threads 106 engage article threads 107 to draw the closure 100 (including cap 101 and anti-tamper band 114) downward onto the article 103 to secure the opening 105. As illustrated in FIGS. 5(a)-(c) and 8(a)-(c), the foldable band 120 passes by the shoulder 128 by pivoting about the hinge 121. Once the foldable band 120 passes the shoulder 128, the foldable band 120 is biased back inwardly toward the article 103, positioned adjacent the shoulder 128.

When the cap 101 is removed, as illustrated in FIGS. 5(d) and 8(d), the cap 101 raises the foldable band 120 such that the shoulder engaging end 126 engages the shoulder 128 at the recessed edge 132. At substantially the same time, the tab 122 engages the “A” bead 131 of the shoulder 128, (such as a protruding edge of the shoulder 128). In combination the shoulder engaging end or surface 126 and tab 122 are serving to secure the anti-tamper band 114 against the shoulder 128. As can be seen in the FIGS. 5(d)-(e) and 8(d)-(e), the tab 122 is able to flex in relation to the foldable band 120. The tab 122 flexes exposing the full surface of the engaging end 126, allowing the shoulder engaging end 126 to fully engage the recessed edge 132 of the shoulder 128. While simultaneously the tabs 122 function to restrict rotation of the foldable band 120 about the hinge 121 and further under the “A” bead 131 of shoulder 128 preventing roll-out of the foldable band 120 which leads to tamper band tire-off. This functional structure provides for a more secure bracing of the anti-tamper band 114 against the shoulder 128 resisting deformation of the band 120 to the upward force produced by the cap 101 as it is removed as shown in FIG. 5d and 8d. This force on the foldable band 120 results in the frangible connection 116 breaking as depicted in FIGS. 5(e) and 8(e). The breaking of the frangible connection 116 allows the cap 101 to be removed while the anti-tamper band 114 remains on the article 103. This is shown in FIGS. 5(f) and 8(f). Thus, the presence of the anti-tamper band 114 being separated from the cap 101 provides an indication that the article 103 has been opened.

The foregoing description of embodiments of the present invention have been presented for purposes of illustration and description. It is not intended to be exhaustive or to limit the present invention to the precise form disclosed, and modifications and variations are possible in light of the above teachings or may be acquired from practice of the present invention. The embodiments were chosen and described in order to explain the principles of the present invention and its practical application to enable one skilled in the art to utilize the present invention in various embodiments, and with various modifications, as are suited to the particular use contemplated.