Title:
Can for Beverages Comprising a Protective Lid
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The metal can (1, 2) is provided with a protecting cover (3) that can be clipped on the top edge of the can (1,2), said protecting cover (3) being connected with the can (1, 2) through a tongue (4) made integral with the cover (3).

The can of the invention is characterized in that the cover (3) and the tongue (4) are integrally made of the same metal or metal alloy as the can (1, 2), and that the end of the tongue (4) opposite to the cover (3) is fixed to the can (1, 2).

Application to manufacturing protected and reclosable metal cans for sparkling or non sparkling beverages.




Inventors:
Dawidowicz, Benjamin (Paris, FR)
Savino, Julien (Paris, FR)
Savino, Alain (Paris, FR)
Application Number:
12/091269
Publication Date:
09/11/2008
Filing Date:
10/16/2006
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
220/256.1
International Classes:
B65D51/20; B65D1/16; B65D17/32
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
ELOSHWAY, NIKI MARINA
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
MILLEN, WHITE, ZELANO & BRANIGAN, P.C. (ARLINGTON, VA, US)
Claims:
1. A metal can (1, 2) designed for beverages and provided with a protecting cover (3) fitting on the top edge of the can (1,2), said protecting cover (3) being connected with the can (1, 2) through a tongue (4) made in one piece with the cover (3), characterized in that the cover (3) and the tongue (4) are made integral out of the same metal or metal alloy as the can (1, 2) and in that the end of the tongue (4) opposite to the cover (3) is fixed to the can (1, 2).

2. The metal can as defined in claim 1, characterized in that the end of the tongue (4) opposite to the cover (3) is provided with slots forming between them articulation members (5) for cooperating with the top edge of the can (1, 2).

3. The metal can as claimed in claim 1, characterized in that the free end of the tongue (4) is sticked on the can (1, 2).

4. The metal can as claimed in claim 1, characterized in that the free end of the tongue (4) is welded on the can (1, 2).

5. The metal can as claimed in claim 1, characterized in that the free end of the tongue (4) is attached to the can (1, 2) by means of an adhesive or self-adhesive strip, preferably based on the same metal as the can (1, 2) and the cover (3) with the tongue (4) thereof.

6. The metal can as claimed in claim 1, characterized in that the free end of the tongue (4) is crimped between the upper face (2) of the can (1, 2) and the top edge (11) of the can (1, 2).

7. The metal can as claimed in claim 1, characterized in that the tongue (4) is integral with the upper face (2) of the can (1, 2).

8. The metal can as claimed in claim 1, characterized in that the cover (3) is provided with a peripheral groove (6) allowing stacking of another identical can.

9. The metal can as claimed in claim 1, characterized in that the cover is provided with a grasping appendix (7).

10. The metal can as claimed in claim 1, wherein the upper face is formed with an opening lid (10), characterized in that the axis of the tongue (4) is angularly shifted from the axis of the opening lid (10).

11. The metal can as claimed in claim 10, characterized in that the axis of the tongue (4) and the axis of the opening lid (10) include an angle of about 140 degrees between them.

12. The metal can as claimed in claim 1, characterized in that the cover (3) is conformed such that it can be clipped over the top edge of the can.

13. The metal can as claimed in claim 1, characterized in that the cover (3) is provided on its folded external edge with slots forming elastically deformable tabs between them.

14. The metal can as claimed in claim 1, characterized in that a seal is interposed between the cover (3) and the can (1, 2).

15. The metal can as claimed in claim 14, characterized in that the seal consists of a thin elastomer layer coated on the cover at the place where it contacts the can.

16. The metal can as defined in claim 1, characterized in that the central zone of the cover (3) is dome-shaped towards the can (1, 2) so that it can be deformed in the reverse direction under the gas pressure inside the can after opening it.

17. The metal can as defined in claim 1, characterized in that the seal between the cover and the can body is enclosed in a tight ring, such as a sleeve made of a retracted polymer material.

Description:

The present invention concerns a metal can for beverages which is provided with a lid and protecting cover.

Metal drink cans, that are made of steel or aluminum, enjoy an increasing market development for sparkling or non sparkling beverages, due both to the preservation quality they ensure for the beverages they contain and to their being easy to store, to transport and to use.

Their success has been reinforced by the development of opening lids, formed in the can upper face, that can be torn off or more recently pushed in, which permits in particular to drink the beverage direct out of the can by bringing it up to the mouth.

Such known cans however suffer from several drawbacks. Whereas the cans are filled and closed in a sterile atmosphere, their storage and transportation conditions will only afford a limited protection, when for instance a whole set of cans are wrapped together in a thermo-retractable film, generally on a pallet. Even that limited protection disappears when the cans are placed on store shelves, either individually or grouped in cardboard packages. As a consequence, drinking the beverage directly from the can will expose the consumer to a pollution that can be dangerous for his or her health.

Another drawback of those known cans lies in the difficulties encountered in keeping the rest of the beverage in a can after part of it has been drunk, since the remaining liquid tends to spill out of the can and, in the case of sparkling beverages, to quickly loose the gas they contain.

In an attempt to remedy to part or all of these drawbacks, it has been proposed (as disclosed in WO98/54 061 for instance) to provide the can with a cover or cap adapted onto its upper face that protects the top edge of the can during storage and transportation and is taken off for opening the can and drinking the beverage contained therein. Once the cap has been placed back after partial consumption of the beverage, it can prevent the liquid from flowing out, and in some cases, it can restrict gas leakage.

Such covers, or caps, are generally made of polymer materials. They can be connected with the metal can by means of a ring attached to the latter, together with a tongue connecting the cap to that ring. Manufacturing and mounting this assembly are complicated and costly, even when the cap, tongue and ring are made integral. And again, mounting the one-piece assembly on cans already filled and sealed raises health problems.

A major drawback of the above known caps results from their been made of synthetic materials, which requires recycling them separately from the cans and involves expensive costs.

The present invention aims at solving the problems of known metal cans with protecting caps while still keeping costs at a minimum.

For this purpose, the invention provides a metal box, or can, designed for beverages, that is provided with a protecting cover fitting all over the top edge of the can, said protecting cover being connected with the can through a tongue integral with the cover, characterized in that the cover and the tongue are integrally made as a single piece of the same metal or metal alloy as the can, and in that the end of the tongue opposite to the cover is fixed to the can.

Since both can and cover, thus made integral together, consist of the same material, recycling used cans with such covers does not raise any problem from now on, and the total cost of the system can be substantially reduced.

Depending on how the can and cover are made, the tongue can be attached to the can after it has been filled and closed, and filling and closing the cans can be performed without having to modify whatsoever the techniques and equipments used up to now for those operations.

According to an embodiment of the invention, the end of the tongue is provided with slots that form between them articulating members adapted for cooperation with the top edge of the can.

According to an alternative embodiment, the free end of the tongue is sticked on the can.

According to another embodiment, the free end of the tongue is welded on the can.

According to still another embodiment that enables optionally fixing the tongue after the can has been filled and closed, the free end of the tongue is fixed to the can by means of an adhesive or self-adhesive strip, and the latter is preferably made out of the same metal as the can and the cover with the tongue.

According to another embodiment of the invention wherein the tongue is fixed while the can is being closed after its filling, the free end of the tongue is crimped in between the can upper face and the can top edge.

According to an alternative embodiment, the tongue is made integral with the upper face of the can.

The invention will be easily understood from the detailed description that follows, with reference to the attached drawings wherein:

FIG. 1 is a schematic three-dimensional exploded, view of a first embodiment of the invention,

FIG. 2 is a view similar to FIG. 1 concerning an alternative embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 3 is a view similar to FIG. 1 relative to another alternative embodiment of the invention;

and FIG. 4 is a view similar to FIG. 1 for I another further alternative embodiment of the invention.

The embodiments of FIGS. 1 and 2 refer to embodiments of the invention wherein it is possible to attach the tongue to the can after filling and closing the latter. In the drawings same reference numbers are used to designate same components.

The can of the invention consists of a body 1 closed by an upper face 2 which usually includes an opening lid 10. A cover 3, made of the same metal or metal alloy as the body 1 and upper face 2 of the can, is integrally provided with a tongue 4, and the end of this tongue opposite to the cover 3 is fixed to the can 1, 2.

In the embodiment of FIG. 1, the end of the tongue 4 is cut and divided into three articulation members, among which the two external articulation members are curved in one direction, and the central articulation member is curved in the opposite direction, so as to allow attaching the top edge of the can by forming a pivot hinge for the cover 3.

It should be noted that the cover 3 is provided with a peripheral groove 6, that will allow stacking an identical can in order to reduce the overall dimensions during storage and transportation or in automatic vending machines, as well as with a grasping appendix 7 that allows an easy seizure of the can for opening it.

It should also be noted that, when the upper face 2 is provided with an opening lid 10, the axis of the tongue 4 is not aligned with the axis of this opening lid, but it is angularly shifted, preferably by an angle of about 140 degrees, from the axis. That is in order to prevent the cover 3 from potentially coming up in front of the eyes of the drinker, after the can has been opened and the opening lid 10 has been torn off or pushed in.

The cover 3 can advantageously be conformed so that it can be clipped over the top edge of the can 1-2, which can be for instance by having radial slots (not shown) cut off from a folded outside edge thereof, thereby forming elastically deformable tabs between the slots.

It is further advantageous that a seal (not shown) be interposed between the cover 3 and the can, which seal can be formed for instance as a thin elastomer layer coated on the cover at the place where it contacts with the can. Due to its very small volume, such a seal will not be prejudicial to the recycling of the assembly, since it will form a practically negligible impurity.

It can further be provided that the central zone of the cover 3 be dome-shaped towards the upper face 2 such that it can be deformed in the reverse direction under the gas pressure inside the can, without any loss of this gas, after a can containing a sprinkling beverage and provided with the lid 10 has been opened and the cover 3 has been tilted back.

According to alternative embodiments that are simultaneously represented on FIG. 2, either the free end 8a is curved upwards to allow for its being sticked or welded on the top end of the body 1 of the can, or the free end 8b is curved downwards to allow for its being sticked or welded lower down on the body 1.

In another, not shown, alternative embodiment of the invention, the free end 8a or 8b is attached to the body 1 of the can by means of an adhesive or self-adhesive strip, preferably based on the same metal or alloy as the body 1 and the cover 3 with the tongue 4 thereof.

FIGS. 3 and 4 refer to embodiments of the invention wherein the cover is attached during the filling and closing process of the can.

In the case of FIG. 3, the end of the tongue 4 opposite to the cover 3 is crimped between the top edge 11 of the body 1 and the crimping edge 12 of the upper face 2 of the can. It can then be provided that the free end of the tongue 4 be sticked or welded on the upper face 2 of the can before the crimping operation, so as to be fixedly attached to it.

In the alternative embodiment of FIG. 4, the upper face of the can is made integral with the tongue 4 and hence with the cover 3.

Health safety can still be reinforced by enclosing the seal interposed between the cover and the body in a tight ring, such as a sleeve made of a retracted polymer material that can be torn off before drinking, which sleeve further offers the additional advantage of constituting a guarantee that the cover has not been previously opened.