Title:
Composition Stopper Cap
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Composite stopper cap includes: a) a metal cap having a crimp region and a means of easy initial opening, b) a plastics insert joined to a top part of the metal cap, the insert having a sealing head and an internally threaded skirt, and c) at least one first outer component assembled to the metal cap, the first outer component having at least one peripheral hand grip part. The cap is also includes a second outer component assembled to a metal connecting skirt in such a way as to cover and conceal the lower part of the metal cap.



Inventors:
Granger, Jacques (Sainte Terre, FR)
Bourreau, Jean-marie (Le Pizou, FR)
Application Number:
12/093401
Publication Date:
11/06/2008
Filing Date:
11/22/2006
Assignee:
ALCAN PACKAGING CAPSULES (Courbevoie, FR)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65D41/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
ALLEN, JEFFREY R
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Arlington/LADAS & PARRY LLP (ALEXANDRIA, VA, US)
Claims:
1. Composite stopper cap (1) for sealing the neck (2) of a bottle, said neck (2) comprising a glass ring (21) and an external screw thread (20), said composite stopper cap (1) being of height H in an axial direction (10) and comprising: a) a metal cap (3) provided with a metal head (30) and with a metal skirt (31), of axial height Hc<H and with average diameter DM, comprising a crimping zone (36) of said metal cap and an means of first easy opening (12) said composite stopper cap (1), a bottom part (35) of said metal skirt (31) remaining interdependent with said neck (2) when said composite stopper cap (1) is unscrewed when said neck (2) is opened for the first time; b) a plastic insert (4) interdependent with a top part (32) of said metal cap (3), said insert comprising a head (40) and an internally threaded skirt (41) of axial height Hi<Hc; and c) at least one first external part (5) assembled onto said metal cap (3), said first external part (5) having at least a peripheral part (50) for manual gripping of average diameter DP>DM, so that, when said composite stopper cap (1) seals said neck (2), manual rotation of said external part (5) causes said metal cap (3) and said insert (4) to rotate also, thereby allowing said composite stopper cap (1) to be unscrewed and said neck (2) to be opened, characterized in that it also comprises a second external part (6) assembled to the metal skirt (31) so as to cover and to mask the bottom part (35) of said metal cap.

2. A composite stopper cap (1) according to claim 1, in which said second external part (6) forms a cylindrical tubular part (6′) with an external diameter Ds ranging between DP and DM, its internal diameter being typically close to DM.

3. A composite stopper cap according to claim 1, in which said second external part (6) works in conjunction with said bottom part (35) of said metal skirt (31), so that said second external part (6) remains axially interdependent with said bottom part (35) when said neck (2) is opened for the first time.

4. A composite stopper cap according to claim 1, in which said second external part (6, 6′) is fixed at the low part (34) of metal cap (3), its axial height Hs being at least equal to 0.5 times the height HB of said bottom part (35), so as to cover most of said bottom part (35) while allowing the capping operation to take place, said external part being a fixed part (60) leaving free access to said crimping zone (36) of said metal skirt (31).

5. A composite stopper cap according to any claim 1, in which said external part (6, 6′) is a moving part (61) which moves axially and which has, in relation to said metal skirt (31), two predetermined stable positions, via a means of positioning (18), with a so-called low position in which said moving part leaves free access to said crimping zone (36) of said metal skirt (31), and with a so-called high position in which said moving part (61), raised axially towards said first external part (5) after crimping, masks at least the crimped zone (36′) of said metal skirt (31), said moving part (61), in high position, working in conjunction with said bottom part (35) so as to remain interdependent with said neck (2) after said composite stopper cap (1) is unscrewed.

6. A composite stopper cap according to claim 5 in which said means of positioning (18) comprises the axial co-operation of means of axial blocking (64, 631) borne by said moving part (61), and of means of axial blocking (311, 312) borne by said metal skirt (31).

7. A composite stopper cap according to claims 5 in which said means of positioning (18) includes or forms a reversible snap-on means so as to allow reversible movement from a high or low position, to the other, respectively low or high position.

8. A composite stopper cap according to claim 5, in which said metal skirt (31) has, just below the crimping zone (36) or the crimped zone (36)′, a first snap ring (37) whose two slopes (311) and (312) act as snap-on means g, the first slope (311) being used in top position, as a reversible snap-on stop for a lip (64) of said moving part (61), and the second slope (312) being used, in bottom position, as a reversible snap-on stop for the inward turning oblique wall (631) of the top end of said moving part (61).

9. A composite stopper cap according to claim 5, in which said metal skirt (31) is provided with a second snap ring (38), of radial height typically 0.5 mm, which allows the second external part (61) to slide along the axis (10) while remaining centered.

10. A composite stopper cap according to any of claims 1 to 9 in which said second external part (6, 6′) is made from a material chosen from: plastics, metals, metallized plastics.

11. A composite stopper cap according to claim 1, in which said second external part (6, 6′) comprises at least one transparent zone, typically a transparent upper part (63), so as to allow said line of weakening or said line of bridges (330) appear, and thereby making said first opening of said neck (2) visible.

12. A composite stopper cap according to claim 1, in which said metal skirt (31) comprises a lower part (34) designed to be crimped under a lower shoulder (210) of said ring (21) during an operation known as capping and an intermediate part (33) comprising at least one line of weakening (330), so as to form said means of first easy opening (12), a break in said line of weakening (330) making it possible to detect said first opening of said neck (2).

13. A composite stopper cap according to claim 1, in which said first external part (5) comprises a first external skirt (52) forming said manual gripping peripheral part (50) and an outer head (51) positioned above said metal head (30) and of diameter no greater than Dm.

14. A composite stopper cap according to claim 1, in which said second external part (5) is made from a material chosen from: a metal, a plastic, glass, ceramics, a refractory material, a composite material, a natural material, a compressed or sintered material, or a combination of one or more of these materials

15. A composite stopper cap according to claim 14 in which said first external part (5) is a solid part (5′) formed using a mould or by machining and/or removal of matter, said solid part (5′) comprising or forming a cavity in which said upper part (32) of said metal cap (3) can be housed.

16. A composite stopper cap according to claim 14 in which said external part (5) is a non-solid part (5″) formed from a strip or sheet of starting material, typically metal, and formed by stamping or spinning.

17. A composite stopper cap according to claim 1, in which said first external part (5) forms or comprises a means of weighing down said composite stopper cap (1).

18. A composite stopper cap according to claim 1, in which said peripheral part (50) of said first external part (5) has an envelope surface of revolution.

19. A composite stopper cap according to claim 1, in which said peripheral part (50) has a main direction (54) in a longitudinal plane comprising said axial direction (10), so as to facilitate manual gripping and rotation of said composite stopper cap (1).

20. A composite stopper cap according to claim 19 in which said peripheral part (50) has, in a transverse plane perpendicular to the axial direction, a section bounded by an elliptical contour, the main axis of which corresponds to said main direction.

21. A composite stopper cap according to claim 1, in which said peripheral part (50) comprises a plurality of N axial cavities or axial grooves (53), with N being between 3 and 18, typically angularly distant by 360°/N, so as to facilitate manual gripping and rotation of said composite stopper cap (1).

22. A composite stopper cap according to claim 1, in which said peripheral part (50) comprises a plurality of N′ axial cavities or axial grooves (53′), with N′ being between 1 and 10, typically equidistant in said axial direction, so as to facilitate manual gripping of said composite stopper cap (1).

23. A composite stopper cap according to claim 1, in which said insert (4) is made interdependent with said metal cap (3) by means of a layer of an adhesive material.

24. A composite stopper cap according to claim 1, in which said insert (4) is made interdependent with said metal cap (3) by heat sealing of the threaded skirt (41) of said insert (4) to the metal skirt (31) of said metal cap (3), at least said metal skirt (31) of said metal cap (3) being covered on the inside by an internal layer of varnish or a selected thermoplastic material depending on said plastic of said insert (4) and able to be heat sealed to said insert (4).

25. A composite stopper cap according to claim 24, in which said interior layer of said metal cap (3) comprises, in divided state, said plastic of said insert (4), so as to allow said heat sealing of said insert (4) into said metal cap (3).

26. A composite stopper cap according to claim 1, in which said first external part (5, 5′, 5″) is made interdependent with said metal cap (3) by means of a layer of an adhesive material.

27. A composite stopper cap according to claim 1, in which said upper part (32) of said metal skirt (31) comprises a plurality of radial openings, and in which said insert (4) and said first external part (5, 5′, 5″) are made interdependent by heat sealing through said plurality of radial openings, whole or part of said insert (4) and the first external part (5, 5′,5″) being of a chemical nature such as to allow said heat sealing.

28. A composite stopper cap according to claim 1, in which said insert (4) made of plastic comprises a head (40) provided with a ring-shaped lip (46, 470).

29. A composite stopper cap according to claim 28 in which said head of said insert (4) made of plastic comprises a seal (7), said ring-shaped lip (46) being used as a radial compression ring for the edge of said seal, so as to ensure that said neck is tightly closed.

30. A composite stopper cap according to claim 28 in which said head of said insert (4) made of plastic comprises an obturator (47) provided with said ring-shaped lip (470).

31. A composite stopper cap according to claim 1, in which said metal skirt (31) comprises a shoulder (310) forming an axial stop for said external part (5, 5′, 5″), typically for a lower end (55) of said first external part (5, 5′, 5″), said shoulder (310) dividing said metal skirt (31) into an upper part of smaller diameter and a lower part of larger diameter.

32. A composite stopper cap according to claim 1, in which said first external part (5) has a lower end (55) which is connected tangentially to said metal skirt (31), so that said lower end (55) and said metal skirt (31) are connected without discontinuity by having typically the same diameter.

33. A composite stopper cap according to claim 1, comprising an anti-refilling device (8) designed to prevent any fraudulent refilling of said bottle by said neck (2), said device (8) being made removeably interdependent with said composite stopper cap (1) so that said device (8) is fixed to said neck (2) during the capping operation and remains fixed to said neck when said composite stopper cap (1) is unscrewed.

34. A composite stopper cap according to claim 33 in which said anti-refilling device (8) comprises: a) a so-called higher part (80) comprising a threaded ring (800) able to work in conjunction with said threaded skirt (41) of said insert (4), b) a so-called lower part (81) comprising a fixing skirt (810) able to work in conjunction with said glass ring (21), and an interior wall forming a cage (811) comprising a lower opening (812), and c) a mobile component (82), typically a ball (820), able to move in said cage and to close, by gravity, said lower opening (812) when said composite stopper cap (1) is in vertical position, so as to form an anti-run-back device.

35. A composite stopper cap according to claim 34 in which: a) said higher part (80) comprises a top grid (801), and b) said lower part (81) comprises a vault (813) provided with side openings to allow said liquid to pass,

36. A composite stopper cap according to claim 35 in which said anti-refilling device (8) comprises a protective part (83), typically a portion of metal plate (83′), placed between said top grid (801) and said vault (813), so as to obstruct any attempt to reach and move said mobile component (82, 820), while allowing said liquid to flow normally out of said bottle.

37. A composite stopper cap according to claim 1, comprising a pouring device (9) designed to facilitate the flow of said liquid, said pouring device (9) comprising a flexible ring-shaped lip (90), and able to work in conjunction, moveably, with said composite stopper cap (1) and an interior skirt (91) able to work in conjunction with the interior of said neck (2), typically by means of at least one circular fin (910), so as to be tightly interdependent with said neck (2).

Description:

The invention relates to the field of closure caps designed to seal containers, typically bottles, designed to contain an alcoholic drink, typically alcohols, aperitifs and liqueurs. The invention relates particularly to the field of composite stopper caps, so called because they are equipped with means that are complementary to the basic means of a “standard” closure cap, said basic means in particular including means of fixing it to the neck and means of leakproof sealing. The invention even more specifically relates to the field of screw-on closure caps comprising a threaded insert or a threaded element co-operating or working in conjunction with a threaded neck on the container.

French patent FR 2.802.181 has already made known a composite stopper cap in the name of Pechiney Emballage Alimentaire, the former name of the applicant. This cap, which comprises a plastic insert equipped with a seal, a threaded skirt and a metal wall covering the insert, also comprises a means of giving weight and/or volume to the part of the cap located above the seal forming its means of leak-tight closure.

The present invention aims, as did the closure caps according to French patent FR 2.802.181, to provide the manufacturer of alcohol, spirits and other liquors with the means of making over the packaging of these products, with the assistance in particular of a new cap fulfilling the basic technical functions of the known caps, but additionally offering other aspects of product renewal possibilities, by contributing new functionalities. The present invention especially aims at providing a solution to the problems arising in French patent FR 2.802.181 other than that revealed in this patent, in order to have a wider sales offer.

It also aims at providing a plurality of alternatives to solve the problems arising. Given the major importance of brand names in the alcohol, spirit and other liquor trade, each brand wishes to have a cap specific to its brand name, so as to still further increase its distinctive character.

Moreover, the present invention aims at providing the caps with a particular visual aspect which differentiates them from conventional closure caps.

According to the invention, the composite stopper cap, designed to seal the neck of a bottle that is to contain a liquid, typically an alcoholic drink, said neck comprising a glass ring and an external screw thread, said composite stopper cap having a height H along an axial direction and comprising:

  • a) a metal cap provided with a metal head and a metal skirt, of axial height Hc<H and average diameter DM, comprising a zone for crimping said metal cap typically around said neck of the bottle or around a part designed to be fixed onto said neck, and a means of first easy opening of said composite stopper cap, a bottom part of said metal skirt remaining interdependent with said neck when said composite stopper cap is unscrewed when said neck is opened for the first time,
  • b) a plastic insert interdependent with a top part of said metal cap, said insert comprising a head and an internally threaded skirt of axial height Hi<Hc,
  • c) at least one first external part assembled onto said metal cap, said first external part having at least one peripheral part that allows manual gripping, of average diameter DP>DM, so that, when said composite stopper cap seals said neck, a manual rotation of said external part causes said metal cap and said insert to rotate also, thereby making it possible to unscrew said composite stopper cap and to open said neck,
  • is characterized in that it also comprises a second external part assembled to said metal skirt so as to cover and to mask the bottom part of said metal cap.

The caps according to the invention completely renew the image of conventional closure caps. With said first and second external parts, they provide two supports that complement any type of decoration, which opens up a huge range of possibilities for differentiating these caps from conventional caps, while incorporating therein elements of presentation or decoration generally seen only in luxury packing,

Said composite stopper cap comprises a metal cap, a part which is also called a “shell”, composed of a head and a metal skirt. The metal skirt has a zone, typically ring-shaped, for crimping the shell around the lower shoulder of the glass ring or for crimping around an adaptor which is fixed to the neck, such as the bottom part, marked 81 and shown in FIG. 7, of an anti-refilling device,

According to the invention, said composite stopper cap comprises a second external part assembled to the metal skirt of the shell, so as to cover and to mask the bottom part of said metal skirt, said second part typically having a decorative motif on its outer surface. Said second external part may form a cylindrical tubular part, of diameter Ds, ranging between DP and DM, the internal diameter of said cylindrical tubular part being typically close to DM.

Said second external part may also work in conjunction with the bottom part of the metal skirt of the shell, so that said second external part remains axially interdependent of said bottom part when said neck is first opened.

Said external part may be a fixed part, axially interdependent with the metal skirt of the shell, for example at its lower part, typically via a layer of adhesive, its axial height Hs being at least equal to 0.5 times the height HB of the bottom part of the skirt of the shell, so as to cover most of said bottom part while allowing the bottle to be capped on. This fixed part is positioned so that it leaves free access to a typically ring-shaped crimping zone of said metal skirt.

Said external part may also be a moving part, which moves axially and which has, in relation to said metal skirt, two predetermined stable positions, by virtue of a means of positioning. These two positions are a low position, in which said moving part leaves free access to a typically ring-shaped crimping zone of the metal skirt of the shell, and a high position, in which said moving part, that has moved up axially towards said first external part after crimping, masks at least the crimped zone of said metal skirt. When it is in the top position, said moving part works in conjunction with the bottom part of the metal skirt of the shell so as to remain interdependent of said neck, after the composite stopper cap is unscrewed.

The means of positioning used for the second mobile external part may include axial co-operation of means of axial blocking borne by said moving part, and of means of axial blocking borne by said metal skirt. This means of positioning may include or form a reversible snap-on means so as to allow reversible movement from a high or low position, to the other, respectively low or high, position. This means of positioning is designed so that, even when the second external part is in high position, said composite stopper cap can be unscrewed, said second external part remaining interdependent of the neck, by virtue of the means of axial blocking for the high position. In addition, the means of axial blocking used for said low position allows said second external part to remain interdependent of the metal skirt of the shell when the cap has not yet been crimped onto the neck. Advantageously, said means of positioning is designed so that said second external part, after being maintained in the low position to facilitate access of the crimping tools to the zone to be crimped of the metal skirt of the shell, is put in top position and held in this top position, in order to prevent access to the crimped zone.

According to the invention, said second external part can be made from plastic, metal, or metallized plastic materials. It can, to advantage, include at least one transparent zone, typically a transparent top part, so as to render the line of weakening, or line of bridges, visible, and thereby making said first opening of said neck visible.

Advantageously, the cap according to the invention comprises at least one external first part assembled to said metal cap by a means of connection, said first external part having at least one peripheral manual gripping part of average diameter DP>DM, with a DP/DM ratio ranging typically from 1.1 to 1.5, said average diameter DP being that of an axial surface, called an envelope surface, surrounding said first external part, so that, when said composite stopper cap closes said neck, a manual rotation of said external part causes said metal cap and said insert to rotate also, thus allowing said composite stopper cap to be unscrewed and said neck to be opened.

Advantageously, said first external part is made of a material chosen from: a metal, a plastic, glass, ceramics, a refractory material, a composite material, a natural material, a compressed or sintered material, or a combination of one or more of these materials; it may be a solid part formed using a mould or by machining and/or removal of material, said solid part comprising, or forming, a cavity suitable for housing said top part of said metal cap. It may also be a non-solid part formed from a strip or sheet of starting material, typically metal shaped by stamping or spinning. Advantageously, said first external part forms or comprises a means making it possible to weigh down said composite stopper cap.

The peripheral part of said first external part may have an envelope surface of revolution. But to facilitate manual gripping and rotation of the composite stopper cap, it may also:

    • be extended along a main direction;
    • include a plurality of N axial cavities or axial grooves, with N being from 3 to 18, typically angularly distant by 360°/N;
    • include a plurality of N′ ring-shaped cavities or ring-shaped grooves, with N′ being typically from 1 to 10, typically equidistant along said axial direction.

Typically, said insert is made interdependent of said metal cap by means of a layer of an adhesive substance, but it may also be made interdependent of said metal cap by heat sealing of the threaded skirt of said insert onto the metal skirt of said metal cap, at least said metal skirt of said metal cap being covered on the inside by an interior layer of a varnish or a thermoplastic matter selected according to said plastic of said insert and suitable for being heat sealed to said insert. Advantageously, said interior layer of said metal cap comprises, in divided state, said plastic of said insert, so as to allow said heat sealing of said insert into said metal cap.

Typically, said first external part is made interdependent of said metal cap using a layer of an adhesive substance.

In a particular embodiment of the invention, the top part of said metal skirt comprises a plurality of radial openings, so that said insert and said first external part can be made interdependent by heat sealing through said plurality of radial openings, all or part of said insert and said first external part being chemically suitable to allow said heat sealing.

Said plastic insert advantageously comprises a seal forming an extra part, made interdependent of said insert and designed to ensure the leak-tight closure of said neck. When the neck of the bottle is to be provided with a pouring device or a device to prevent fraudulent refilling, said insert is advantageously made interdependent with an obturator. The insert comprises, for example, a plastic head which comprises at least one ring-shaped lip which works in conjunction with said extra seal or said obturator, so as to ensure that said neck is tightly closed.

In another embodiment, the metal skirt of the shell comprises a shoulder forming an axial stop for said first external part, typically for a lower end of said first external part, said shoulder dividing said metal skirt into an upper part of smaller diameter and a lower part of larger diameter.

In a great number of variants of the invention, said first external part has a lower end which is connected tangentially to the metal skirt of the shell, so that said lower end and said metal skirt are connected without discontinuity by typically having the same diameter. The composite stopper cap according to the invention may include a device, known as a “pouring device”, designed to facilitate the flow of said liquid, said pouring device comprising a flexible ring-shaped lip, and suitable for being made moveably interdependent with said composite stopper cap, typically by means of a frictional contact against an axial projection of said insert, and an interior skirt suitable for working in conjunction with the inside of said neck, typically via at least one circular fin, so as to be made tightly interdependent with said neck.

The composite stopper cap according to the invention may also include a device, known as an “anti-refilling device”, designed to prevent any fraudulent refilling of said bottle through said neck, said anti-refilling device being provided with means of being made reversibly interdependent with said composite stopping cap, so that the anti-refilling device is fixed at the neck during the capping operation and remains fixed to said neck when the composite stopper cap is unscrewed. In a particular embodiment, this device can be directly and irreversibly fixed to the glass ring. In this case, the external thread of the neck is not on the glass ring but in the top part of this anti-refilling device fixed irreversibly to the neck, the latter having a screw thread complementary to that of the threaded insert.

All the figures relate to the invention. Unless otherwise specified, all the figures are axial sections along the axial direction (10) of the composite cap (1). In these figures, certain parts of the cap (1) have not been hatched for reasons of clarity.

FIGS. 1a and 1b illustrate a first variant of the composite cap according to the invention, a variant in which the tubular part (6′) is a fixed part (60) made permanently interdependent with the lower part (34) of the metal skirt (31) of the metal cap (3), so as to leave a ring-shaped crimping zone (36) free. FIG. 1a shows the cap (1) placed on the neck (2) before crimping the cap. FIG. 1b shows the cap (1) after crimping, said skirt (31) then comprising a crimped ring-shaped zone (36′) formed by radial compression of a crimping roller, said compression being shown by a radial arrow in FIG. 1b.

FIGS. 2a to 3d illustrate another variant, in which the tubular part (6′) is a moving part (61) made moveably and axially interdependent with the lower part (34) of the metal skirt (31) of the metal cap (3). FIG. 2a is a view of the cap (1), the tubular part (6′) being in the so-called “top” position. FIG. 2b shows the cap (1) of FIG. 2a placed on the neck (2) to be crimped. FIG. 2c shows the cap (1) of FIG. 2b after crimping the metal skirt (31) and forming a ring-shaped zone (36′), after having moved said tubular part (6′) downwards to the “low” position, so as to reveal said ring-shaped crimping zone (36). FIG. 2d shows the cap (1) of FIG. 2c after said tubular part (6′) has moved upwards to the top position, so that the top part of the mobile tubular part (6′, 61) masks the crimped ring-shaped zone (36′). FIG. 3a shows the cap (1) crimped at the neck (2) as in FIG. 2d, before the top part (19) of the cap (1) is first unscrewed, said unscrewing being shown by an arrow placed above the cap (1). FIG. 3b shows the top part (19) separated by unscrewing, while FIG. 3c shows the lower part (19′) remaining interdependent with the neck (2). FIG. 3d, similar to FIG. 3b, shows another cap variant in which the line of weakening (330) is not masked by the bottom end (55) of said first external part (5) but by the top end (62) of said second external part (6).

FIG. 4 is a side view of a neck (2) on which a cap (1) of the same type as that shown in FIGS. 2a to 3d has been crimped, said second external part (6), shown in top position, comprising an upper part (63), typically transparent so as to enable a visual examination of said line of weakening (330), said top part comprising two ribs (630) to make any manual gripping of said second external part (6) easier.

FIG. 5 illustrates the case of a cap of the same type as those shown FIGS. 2a to 3d and 4, comprising a pouring device (9), temporarily interdependent with said insert (4) via an axial fixing projection (45) comprising a plurality of brackets, said pouring device (9) comprising at its upper part a flexible ring-shaped lip (90) and an internal skirt (91) suitable for being inserted in the neck (2) and for being forced tightly into said neck (2), by means of a plurality of fins (910), the radial height of which is such that the radial distance of their ends in relation to the axis is greater than the internal diameter of the neck. These fins are represented schematically here, “going in” to the glass of the neck and not tilted upwards.

In FIGS. 6a to 6c, the pouring device (9) is a pouring device (9′) comprising an anti-refilling device comprising an internal cage (92) suitable for housing a ball (94) designed to rest on a lower circular lip (93) when said cap (1) is in vertical position, so as to seal the central opening bounded by said circular lip (93), but to let the contents of the bottle through when the latter is tilted sufficiently. As is the case for the pouring device (9) in FIG. 5, its skirt (91) comprises at its top end an external radial projection forming an axial stop (911) for said pouring device against the mouth (22) of the neck (2). FIG. 6a is a left axial half-section of the cap crimped onto the neck (2). FIG. 6b is a cross-section of the pouring device (9′). FIG. 6c is a side view of the pouring device (9′).

FIGS. 7a and 7b illustrate the case of another cap (1), still of the same type as those of FIGS. 2a to 3c, 4,5 and 6a to 6c, comprising an anti-refilling device (8). FIG. 7a shows, in the top left, a side view similar to FIG. 4, and in the top right an axial cross-section of said cap (1) provided with said anti-refilling device (8). FIG. 7b shows the cap snapped on at the neck (2). FIG. 7c illustrates the leak-tight stopping of the neck (2) by radial compression of the edge (70) of the seal (7), by means of a radial compression ring (46) formed inside the skirt (41,41′) of said insert (4).

FIGS. 8a and 8b illustrate other methods in which said external part (5) is a non-solid part (5″), i.e. an internally hollowed out part. The non-solid part (6″) comprises a lower part of smaller diameter, with a lower end (55) connecting tangentially to the metal skirt (31). In FIG. 8b, the metal cap (3) is a metal cap (3′) whose metal skirt (31) comprises a shoulder (310) forming an axial stop for said external part (5, 5″), typically for a lower end (55) of said external part (5, 5″).

FIGS. 9b to 9e are top views of various variants in the shape of said first external part (5). FIG. 9a shows a cross section of the top part of the composite cap. In FIG. 9b, the first external part (5) is round and has a circular outside section. In FIG. 9c, the peripheral part of the first external part has, in a transverse plane perpendicular to the axial direction, a section bounded by a closed curve C, for which the polar coordinates indicate that each point of said curve C is at a distance R=f(θ) which varies with said angular direction 6 so that said peripheral part does not have an envelope surface of revolution in relation to said axial direction. In fact, the first external part illustrated in FIG. 9c has a main direction in a longitudinal plane comprising said axial direction. Its peripheral part has, in a transverse plane perpendicular to the axial direction, a section bounded by an elliptical contour whose main axis corresponds to said main direction.

FIGS. 9d and 9e are variants of FIG. 9b according to which said first external skirt (52) comprises a plurality of axial grooves (53), as illustrated in FIG. 9d, or of axial ribs (53′) as illustrated in FIG. 9e.

EXAMPLES OF EMBODIMENTS

The examples can be summarized in the following table:

NoMetalShell
Exam-Nocap1st internal partInsert 4,4′2nd external partfitting to2nd external part
pleFIGS.3,3′5,5′, 5″(Leak tightness)6, 60, 61the neckfitting to the neck
11a, 1bAlPolyolefinePolyolefinPolyolefinAnnularAdhesive
3PET, ABS,PET, ABS,PET, ABS,crimpingHeat sealing
PC, PSPC, PSPC, PS36′
5,5′(Seal 7)60 fixed
22a-2dnniiPolyolefinAnnularMechanical
3a-3cmobile 61crimpingtightening
PET, ABS,36′
PC, PS
35Similar to example 2 with pouring device (9) incorporatedClips into
Leak tightness by means of lip (470) acting on the flexible ring-shaped lipgroove
(90) of the pouring device which comes up against the mouth (22)
46a-6cSimilar to example 3, with another pouring device (9′)Clips into
groove
57a, 7cSimilar to example 3 with anti-refilling device (8) incorporated.Clips into
Leak-tightness by radial compression ring (46) acting on the extra seal (7)groove

The molded plastic parts were made of PP or PE. These same parts have also been made from PA or PET. For the second external part (6), portions of metal tube with a corrugated surface have also been used.

Depending on the type of cap (1), the various parts of said cap (1) were assembled, either as indicated in the description, or in a self-evident way, namely:

    • either permanently to make them interdependent, in particular for rotation, for example for the metal cap (3), the insert (4) and said first external part (5), which can be made interdependent in particular by means of adhesive layers
    • or by tight fitting or axial clipping of the parts, in particular when said second external part is involved (6).

Depending on the type of decoration, said first (5) and second (6) external parts were decorated either before assembly, or after assembly, once said cap (1) had been formed.

We describe here in greater detail example 3 illustrated in FIG. 5, given that this cap demonstrates common characteristics of the invention, which may be detailed and/or referred to in other figures.

The composite stopper cap 1 in this example comprises a pouring device 9 comprising in its top part a flexible ring-shaped lip 90 and an interior skirt 91 suitable for being inserted into neck 2 and being tightly forced into said neck by means of a plurality of fins 910.

The composite stopper cap 1 comprises a metal cap (or “shell”) 3 equipped with a metal skirt 31 comprising a crimping zone (36) for said metal cap around the neck, (FIG. 5 illustrates skirt 31 crimped at 36′ onto the shoulder 210 of the ring 21) and a line of weakening 330, used as an easy means of first opening said composite stopper cap.

The composite stopper cap 1 comprises an insert 4 made of plastic, interdependent with a top part 32 of the shell 3, said insert comprising a sealing head 40 and an internally threaded skirt 41′, that here is particularly thin, of axial height HI<Hc

The composite stopper cap 1 comprises a first external part 5, assembled with the metal cap 3, having a peripheral manual gripping part 50 of average diameter DP>DM, so that, when said composite stopper cap seals said neck, manual rotation of said external part causes said metal cap and said insert to rotate also, thereby allowing said composite stopper cap to be unscrewed and said neck to be opened.

The composite stopper cap 1 comprises a second external part 6 assembled with the metal skirt 31 so as to cover and to mask the bottom part 35 of said metal cap. This second external part 6 is a moving part 61, which moves axially and which has, in relation to the metal skirt 31, two predetermined stable positions: a low position in which the moving part 61 leaves the ring-shaped crimping zone of the metal skirt of the shell accessible, and a top position in which said moving part 61, raised axially towards the first external part 5 after crimping, masks at least the crimped zone 36′ of said metal skirt. The moving part 61, in top position, works in conjunction with the bottom part 35 of the metal skirt 31 of shell 3 so as to remain interdependent with the neck 2 after unscrewing said composite stopper cap 1.

The means of positioning 18 used for the second mobile external part 61 uses the axial co-operation of the means of axial blocking 64 and 631 borne by said moving part, and of the means of axial blocking 311 and 312 borne by the metal skirt 31. This means of positioning could form a reversible means of clipping so as to allow reversible movement from one position, high or low, to the other position, low or high respectively. But here, the means of positioning 18 is designed so that said second mobile external part 61, after being held in low position to facilitate access of the crimping tools to the zone to be crimped on the metal skirt of the shell, is put in top position and held there, in order to prevent access to the crimped zone 36′.

As illustrated in FIG. 5, the second external part 61 is held in top position by the fact that the means of axial blocking 64 and 311 work in conjunction with each other. It is held in bottom position by the fact that the means of axial blocking 631 and 312 work in conjunction with each other. This means of axial blocking used for the bottom position allows said second part external 61 to remain interdependent with the metal skirt 31 of shell 3 when the cap has not been crimped onto the neck. FIG. 5 shows that the metal skirt 31 has, just below the crimping zone 36 or the crimped zone 36′, a first snap ring 37 whose two slopes 311 and 312 act as a means of clipping, the first slope 311 being used in top position, as an irreversible snap-on stop for a lip 64 of the moving part 61, and the second 312 being used, in bottom position, as a reversible snap-on stop for the inward turning oblique wall 631 of the top end of said moving part 61.

The composite stopper cap can be unscrewed, the first external part 5 remaining interdependent with the upper part 32 of shell 3 and the second external part 61 remainder interdependent with the bottom part 35 of the metal skirt 31, itself interdependent with the ring 21 on which it is crimped.

The second external part 61 is made of polyolefin, typically a polypropylene. Its top part 63 has not been made opaque (metallized, lacquered, decorated, etc,) so that the latter remains transparent and the line of weakening 330 can be seen when said second mobile external part 61 is in top position. In a variant, to improve the transparency of the top part 63, the second external part 61 is made of crystal polystyrene. The top part 63 is provided with ring-shaped ribs 630 which make it easier to manually grip the second external part 61

The second external part 61 must slide over a large enough distance to reach its low position, in order to leave sufficiently broad access to the crimping zone so that the crimping rolls or other crimping tools can reach shoulder 210 of the ring 21 without disturbing the other parts of the cap. This distance typically lies between 5 and 15 mm. As can be seen in FIG. 2c, the low position may correspond to the lower end 611 of the second external part 61 coming up against neck 2 of the bottle, which is conical in this area. In this case, the second external part 61, which is in the form of a cylindrical sleeve, must have an internal diameter typically greater by 1 mm than the diameter of the bottom part 35 of the metal skirt 31. Advantageously, said metal skirt 31 is provided with a second snap ring 38, of radial height typically equal to 0.5 mm, which allows the second external part 61 to slide along axis 10 while remaining centered.

The composite stopper cap in this example 3 (FIG. 5) comprises a pouring device 9 designed to facilitate the flow of the liquid, which comprises a flexible ring-shaped lip 90, and which is suitable for being made removably interdependent with the composite stopper cap 1, by means of the insert 4, by frictional contact against axial projection 45 of obturator 47 interdependent with insert 4. This pouring device 9 also comprises an interior skirt 91 able to work in conjunction with the interior of neck 2, by means of at least one circular fin 910, so as to be made tightly interdependent with neck 2. Fins 910 are here shown schematically, “going in” to the glass and not tilted upwards.

On the cap of example 4 (FIGS. 6a to 6c) can also be found a pouring device 9′ also doing duty as an anti-refilling device. It is also provided with a flexible ring-shaped lip 90 which can be made interdependent with insert 4. It also comprises an interior skirt 91 which works in conjunction with the interior of neck 2 via several circular fins 910, bent when the device is forced inside the neck (FIG. 6a).

Leak-tight stopping is provided by the action of the ring-shaped lip 470 of the obturator 47 which causes the flexible ring-shaped lip 90 to be flattened up against the mouth 22 of the neck.

The composite stopping caps in examples 4 and 5 (FIGS. 6 and 7) have anti-refilling devices 8 and 9′.

The anti-refilling devices 8 and 9′ are designed to prevent any fraudulent refilling of the bottle via the neck 2. They are made interdependent with the composite stopper cap 1:

    • device 8 comprises a threaded part which is used to screw it onto insert 4 (in this case, the composite stopper cap is not screwed onto the glass ring: the external thread 20′ of the neck belongs to device 8 fixed irreversibly to the neck),
    • device 9′, which also does duty as a pouring device as in example 3, is connected to insert 4 by means of a frictional contact on an axial projection 45 of obturator 47 interdependent with insert 4.

These devices are fixed to neck 2 during the capping operation and remain fixed to said neck when said composite stopper cap 1 is unscrewed.

The anti-refilling device 8 in example 5 comprises:

a) a so-called top part 80 comprising a threaded ring 800 able to work in conjunction with the threaded skirt 41 of insert 4;
b) a so-called bottom part 81 comprising a fixing skirt 810 able to work in conjunction with the glass ring 21, and an inside wall forming a cage 811 comprising a bottom opening 812,
c) a mobile component 82, here a ball 820, able to move in said cage and to seal, said bottom opening 812 by gravity, when said composite stopper cap 1 is in vertical position, so as to form an anti-run-back device.

In said anti-refilling device 8:

a) said top part 80 comprises a top grid 801,
b) said bottom part 81 comprises a vault 813 provided with side openings allowing the liquid through,

Said anti-refilling device 8 also comprises a protective part 83, typically a portion of metal plate 83′, which is housed between the top grid 801 and the vault 813, so as to form an obstacle to any attempt to reach and move said mobile component 82 (ball 820), while allowing the liquid to flow normally out of said bottle.

LIST OF REFERENCE NUMBERS

  • Composite stopper cap . . . 1
    • Axial direction . . . 10
    • Means of assembly of 1 and 2 . . . 11, 11
    • Means of first easy opening . . . 12
    • Means of positioning 61 . . . 18
    • Top part of 1 separated by unscrewing 19
    • Bottom part of 1 interdependent with 2 . . . 19
  • Neck of a bottle . . . 2
    • External screw thread of 2 . . . 20, 20
    • Glass ring . . . 21
      • Lower shoulder . . . 210
    • Mouth . . . 22
  • Metal cap or shell . . . 3
    • Metal head . . . 30
    • Metal skirt . . . 31
      • Shoulder . . . 310
      • Means of axial blocking of 6,6′ (top position) 311
      • Means of axial blocking of 6,6′ (bottom position) 312
  • Top part of 3 or 31 . . . 32
    • Intermediate part of 3 or 31 . . . 33
      • Line of weakening . . . 330
    • Low part of 3 or 31 . . . 34
    • Bottom part of 31, 31′ interdependent with 210 35
    • Crimping zone of 31, 34 . . . 36
    • Crimped zone of 31, 34 . . . 36
    • First snap ring 37
    • Second snap ring 38
  • Plastic insert . . . 4
    • Head . . . 40
    • Internally threaded skirt . . . 41
    • Thin internally threaded skirt . . . 41
    • Axial coupling projection for 8 or 9 . . . 45
    • Radial compression ring . . . 46
    • Obturator . . . 47
      • Ring-shaped lip of 47 . . . 470
  • First external part . . . 5
    • Solid part . . . 5
    • Non-solid part . . . 5
    • Peripheral part . . . 50
    • External head . . . 51
    • First external skirt . . . 52
    • Axial groove . . . 53
    • Radial groove . . . 53
    • Principal direction of extension of 50 . . . 54
    • Bottom end . . . 55
  • Second external part . . . 6
  • Cylindrical tubular part . . . 6
    • Fixed part . . . 60
    • Moving part . . . 61
      • Bottom end of 61 . . . 611
    • Top end of 6 . . . 62
    • Transparent top part . . . 63
    • Means of axial blocking (64) . . . 64
  • Seal . . . 7
    • External edge . . . 70
  • Anti-refilling device . . . 8
    • Top part . . . 80
    • Threaded ring . . . 80
      • Top grid . . . 801
    • Bottom part . . . 81
      • Means of coupling-skirt . . . 810
      • Cage . . . 811
      • Bottom opening . . . 812
      • Vault of 81 . . . 813
      • Side openings . . . 814
    • Mobile component . . . 82
      • Ball . . . 820
    • Protective part . . . 83
    • Metal plate . . . 83
  • Pouring device . . . 9
  • Pouring and anti-refilling device . . . 9
    • Flexible ring-shaped lip . . . 90
    • Inner skirt . . . 91
      • Leak tight fixing fin . . . 910
      • Axial stop . . . 911
    • Inner cage . . . 92
    • Bottom lip . . . 93
    • Ball . . . 94