Title:
Tamper-indicating closure and container
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A tamper-indicating package includes a container having a neck finish with at least one external thread segment, at least two angularly spaced sets of external ratchet teeth spaced from the thread segment and a circumferentially extending radial enlargement between the two sets of ratchet teeth. A closure includes a skirt with at least one internal thread segment engaging the external thread segment on the container neck finish, a tamper band frangibly connected to the skirt, and a circumferential array of internal engagement elements on the tamper band for engaging the ratchet teeth on the neck finish to prevent rotation of the tamper band with respect to the ratchet teeth and thereby sever the tamper band from the closure skirt upon first unthreading of the closure from the container neck finish. The circumferentially extending radial enlargement between the sets of ratchet teeth is slidably engaged by the engagement elements on the tamper band to prevent ovalization of the tamper band between the sets of ratchet teeth.



Inventors:
Flak, Frank (Ada, OH, US)
Kozlowski, Thomas A. (Perrysburg, OH, US)
Smith, Scott B. (Perrysburg, OH, US)
Bloom, Kenneth S. (Bloomdale, OH, US)
Application Number:
11/717523
Publication Date:
09/18/2008
Filing Date:
03/13/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65D39/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
HYLTON, ROBIN ANNETTE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
REISING, ETHINGTON, BARNES, KISSELLE, P.C. (TROY, MI, US)
Claims:
1. A tamper-indicating package that includes: a container having a neck finish with at least one external thread segment, at least two angularly spaced sets of external ratchet teeth spaced from said thread segment and a circumferentially extending radial enlargement between said at least two sets of ratchet teeth, and a closure that includes a skirt with at least one internal thread segment engaging said external thread segment on said neck finish, a tamper band frangibly connected to said skirt, and a circumferential array of internal flexible resilient wing-shaped engagement elements on said tamper band engaging said ratchet teeth on said neck finish to prevent rotation of said tamper band with respect to said ratchet teeth and thereby sever said tamper band from said closure skirt upon first unthreading of said closure from said neck finish, said circumferentially extending radial enlargement between said sets of ratchet teeth being slidably engaged by said flexible resilient wing-shaped engagement elements and preventing ovalization of said tamper band between said sets of ratchet teeth.

2. The package set forth in claim 1 wherein said neck finish includes two diametrically spaced sets of said ratchet teeth and two diametrically spaced enlargements respectively disposed between said sets of ratchet teeth.

3. The package set forth in claim 2 wherein said external ratchet teeth have radially outer edges at a first radius from an axis of said neck finish and said enlargements have outer edges at a maximum second radius from said axis equal to or less than said first radius.

4. The package set forth in claim 1 wherein said circumferentially extending radial enlargement has a smooth radially outwardly facing external surface.

5. The package set forth in claim 4 wherein said radially outwardly facing external surface is at constant radius from an axis of said neck finish.

6. The package set forth in claim 4 wherein said radially outwardly facing external surface is at varying radius from an axis of said neck finish.

7. A container having a cylindrical neck finish with a central axis, at least one external thread segment, at least two angularly spaced sets of external ratchet teeth spaced from said thread segment and a circumferentially extending radial enlargement between said at least two sets of ratchet teeth, wherein said circumferentially extending radial enlargements have smooth radially outwardly facing external surfaces at varying radius from said axis of said neck finish.

8. The container set forth in claim 7 wherein said neck finish includes two diametrically spaced sets of said ratchet teeth and two diametrically spaced enlargements respectively disposed between said sets of ratchet teeth.

9. The container set forth in claim 8 wherein said external ratchet teeth have radially outer edges at a first radius from said axis and said enlargements have radially outer edges at a maximum second radius from said axis equal to or less than said first radius.

10. 10-12. (canceled)

Description:

The present disclosure relates to tamper-indicating closures and packages, and more particularly to a tamper-indicating package having a container with diametrically spaced sets of ratchet teeth on the neck finish and engagement elements on the tamper band of a closure applied to the container neck finish.

BACKGROUND AND SUMMARY OF THE DISCLOSURE

U.S. patent document 2005/0199574 discloses a tamper-indicating package that includes diametrically spaced sets of external ratchet teeth on the container neck finish. The closure has a tamper band frangibly connected to a closure skirt and a circumferential array of internal engagement elements in the form of flexible resilient wings on the tamper band. The wing-shaped engagement elements engage the ratchet teeth on the container neck finish to prevent rotation of the tamper band with respect to the neck finish so that the tamper band is at least partially severed from the closure skirt upon first removal of the closure from the container neck finish. However, it has been found that the tamper band of such a closure can ovalize into the areas between the sets of ratchet teeth on the container neck finish, resulting in uneven separation of the tamper band from the closure skirt. It is a general object of the present disclosure to provide a closure and container package, and to provide a container for such a package, in which such ovalization of the tamper band is prevented to achieve more uniform severing of the tamper band from the closure skirt.

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

A tamper-indicating package in accordance with one aspect of the present disclosure includes a container having a neck finish with at least one external thread segment, at least two angularly spaced sets of external ratchet teeth spaced from the thread segment and a circumferentially extending radial enlargement between the two sets of ratchet teeth. A closure includes a skirt with at least one internal thread segment engaging the external thread segment on the container neck finish, a tamper band frangibly connected to the skirt, and a circumferential array of internal engagement elements on the tamper band for engaging the ratchet teeth on the neck finish to prevent rotation of the tamper band with respect to the ratchet teeth and thereby sever the tamper band from the closure skirt upon first unthreading of the closure from the container neck finish. The circumferentially extending radial enlargement between the sets of ratchet teeth is slidably engaged by the engagement elements on the tamper band to prevent ovalization of the tamper band between the sets of ratchet teeth.

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 partially sectioned fragmentary elevational view of a package in accordance with a first exemplary embodiment of the present disclosure;

FIG. 2 is a sectional view taken substantially along the line 2-2 in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a top plan view of the container neck finish in the package of FIGS. 1 and 2;

FIG. 4 is a fragmentary plan view on an enlarged scale of the portion of FIG. 3 within the area 4;

FIG. 5 is a fragmentary sectional view taken substantially along the line 5-5 in FIG. 3;

FIG. 6 is a sectional view similar to that of FIG. 2 but illustrating a second exemplary embodiment of the present disclosure;

FIG. 7 is a top plan view of the container neck finish in the package of FIG. 6;

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

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

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

FIGS. 1-2 illustrate a package 20 in accordance with one exemplary embodiment of the present disclosure as including a closure 22 applied to the neck finish 24 of a container 26. Closure 22 includes a skirt 28 with at least one internal thread segment 30 engaged with at least one external thread segment 32 on container neck finish 24. (The term “thread segment” is used in its usual broad sense to include both single and multiple threads, and both continuous and discontinuous threads.) The bullet-nose geometry of neck finish 24 illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 5 (and the bullet-nose geometry of neck finish 54 in FIG. 9) is merely exemplary. Although closure 22 is illustrated in FIG. 1 as a multipiece closure, it will be recognized as the description unfolds that the principles of the present disclosure apply equally as well to one-piece closures.

A tamper band 34 is frangibly connected to skirt 28, such as by frangible leaders 36. Leaders 36 can be molded into closure 22 and/or formed in a scoring operation performed on skirt 28 after closure 22 is molded. Container neck finish 24 is cylindrical, having a central axis and diametrically spaced sets of ratchet teeth 38. In the exemplary embodiment of FIG. 2, there are five ratchet teeth in each set of ratchet teeth; however, a greater or lesser number of ratchet teeth could be employed. Tamper band 34 surrounds ratchet teeth 38 and has a circumferential array of internal engagement elements 40 for engaging ratchet teeth 38. Engagement elements 40 preferably are flexible resilient wing-shaped engagement elements as disclosed in above-noted U.S. patent document 2005/0199574; however, other engagement element geometries could be employed. Upon first removal of closure 22 from container neck finish 24, engagement elements 40 engage ratchet teeth 38 to prevent rotation of tamper band 34 with respect to neck finish 24. Continued rotation of skirt 28 in the unthreading direction ruptures leaders 36 and thereby severs tamper band 34 from closure skirt 28, which indicates that the package has been opened.

A pair of diametrically spaced circumferentially extending radial enlargements 42 are disposed on neck finish 24 between the respective sets of ratchet teeth 38. Enlargements 42 preferably are identical. As best seen in FIG. 3, enlargements 42 preferably are equally spaced between the sets of ratchet teeth 38. In the embodiment of FIGS. 2-5, enlargements 42 have smooth convex radially outwardly facing surfaces 44 at varying radius with respect to the axis of container neck finish 24. Surfaces 44 preferably have radii 46 (FIG. 4) offset from the axis of neck finish 24 so that surfaces 44 have uniform radii that are less than the radius of the container neck finish. Outer surfaces 44 of enlargements 42 preferably have a maximum radius from the neck finish axis that is equal to the radius 48 of the outer edges of ratchet teeth 38 from the neck finish axis.

FIGS. 6-9 illustrate a package 50 that includes a container 52 having a neck finish 54. Elements in FIGS. 6-9 that are identical or similar to corresponding elements in FIGS. 1-5 are indicated by correspondingly identical reference numerals. The primary difference between neck finish 54 in FIGS. 6-9 and neck finish 24 in FIGS. 1-5 is that neck finish 54 has diametrically spaced enlargements 56 with convex outer surfaces 58 on uniform and equal radii 60 (FIG. 8) that extend from the central axis of the neck finish. As an option in this embodiment, outer surfaces 58 of enlargements 56 are at a lesser radius 60 from the axis of the container neck finish than the radius 48 of the outer edges of ratchet teeth 38.

Radial enlargements 42,56 are slidably engaged by internal engagement elements 40 on tamper band 34 and prevent ovalization of the tamper band into the arcuate regions between the sets of ratchet teeth 38. By preventing ovalization of the tamper band, the frangible leaders 36 (FIG. 1) that connect tamper band 34 to closure skirt 28 are more evenly stressed and the tamper band is held closer to the ratchet teeth on the container neck finish. This in turn promotes simultaneous rupture of the frangible leaders due to shear stress across the widths of the leaders. Furthermore, the increased interference between tamper band 34 and the container neck finish helps retain the tamper band on the container following removal of the closure. The anti-ovalization feature also helps prevent the wings on the tamper band from folding over and simply riding over the ratchet teeth, which would result in removal of the tamper band with the closure skirt rather than frangible separation of the tamper band from the closure skirt.

There thus have been disclosed a container neck finish, and a closure and container package including such a neck finish, that fully satisfy all of the objects and aims previously set forth. The disclosure has been presented in conjunction with exemplary embodiments, and additional 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 description. The disclosure is intended to embrace all such modifications and variations as fall within the spirit and broad scope of the appended claims.