Title:
PLASTIC CLOSURE COMPRISING A DRINKING OR POURING NECK AND FOIL PIERCING DEVICE
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The closure consists of a lower closure part, which forms a drinking and pouring neck, in addition to a closure cap, which is pivotally connected to the lower closure part by a hinge. The drinking and pouring neck sits in a planar disc, onto which the hinge of the closure cap is formed. Below the disc, the drinking and pouring neck is surrounded by a deformable wall that forms a cone or dome, said wall extending obliquely downwards from the neck and being connected to the outer edge of the lower closure part. The drinking and pouring neck projects beneath the underside of said deformable wall and the lower edge of said neck forms at least two piercing elements. A spacer strip is formed onto the lower edge of the closure cap by means of one or more material bridges that act as predetermined breaking points. The spacer band guarantees that the cap has never been opened.



Inventors:
Seelhofer, Fritz (Lindau, CH)
Application Number:
12/298610
Publication Date:
04/23/2009
Filing Date:
04/19/2007
Assignee:
BELCAP SWITZERLAND AG (Neuhausen am Rheinfall, CH)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65D43/16
View Patent Images:
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20100059472VESSEL CLOSURE SYSTEM INCORPORATING HIDDEN MESSAGEMarch, 2010Eagleton
20070245538Plastic aerosol container and method of manufacturing sameOctober, 2007Salameh
20080087624Daily water bottle consumption systemApril, 2008Buckley
20010027956Infant feeding deviceOctober, 2001Bonacorso et al.
20070051691Cap with visible tamper-indicating sealMarch, 2007Hidding
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20080017603Cover For Beverage CansJanuary, 2008Gonzalvez Pinera et al.



Primary Examiner:
HYLTON, ROBIN ANNETTE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Brooks Kushman (Southfield, MI, US)
Claims:
1. A plastic closure comprising a drinking or pouring neck and foil piercing device, consisting of a closure bottom part, which forms a drinking and pouring neck, as well as a closure cap, which is connected by a hinge pivotably to the closure bottom part, characterized in that the drinking and pouring neck sits in a planar disk, onto which the hinge of the closure cap is formed, in that beneath the disk the drinking and pouring neck is enclosed by a deformable wall, which forms a concave cone or a convex dome, and which wall leads obliquely downward from the neck and is connected to the outer edge of the closure bottom part, the drinking and pouring neck projecting over this deformable wall on the underside thereof and its lower edge forming at least two piercing elements, and in that onto the lower edge of the closure cap a distancing band is formed via one or more material bridges acting as predetermined breaking points, the distancing band, in the closed state of the closure cap, enclosing the deformable wall and resting on the outer edge of the closure bottom part, so that the closure cap, after this distancing band has been torn off, can be pressed downward, at the same time as the disk, and the drinking and pouring neck passing through it, are depressed and the deformable wall is deformed.

2. The plastic closure comprising a drinking or pouring neck and foil piercing device as claimed in claim 1, characterized in that formed onto the edge of the disk are latching elements, which, when the planar disk is depressed, engage on the upper edge of the lower closure part, so that the disk is hereafter locked in the depressed position on the closure bottom part.

3. The plastic closure comprising a drinking or pouring neck and foil piercing device as claimed in claim 1, characterized in that the deformable wall enclosing the drinking and pouring neck is of dome-shaped configuration, the drinking and pouring neck being seated in the center of the formed dome.

4. The plastic closure comprising a drinking or pouring neck and foil piercing device as claimed in claim 1, characterized in that the deformable wall enclosing the drinking and pouring neck forms a cone, the drinking and pouring neck being seated in the center of this cone.

5. The plastic closure comprising a drinking or pouring neck and foil piercing device as claimed in claim 1, characterized in that the deformable wall has at least one sub-region as a deformation aid, which sub-region lifts off downward or upward from the wall surface thereof.

6. The plastic closure comprising a drinking or pouring neck and foil piercing device as claimed in claim 1, characterized in that the deformable wall has at least one rib as a twisting aid, running at an oblique angle to its radial, which rib is designed to set the pouring neck and its piercing elements in rotation as the wall is deformed.

7. The plastic closure comprising a drinking or pouring neck and foil piercing device as claimed in claim 1, characterized in that formed on the underside of the closure cap is a ring, which, when the closure cap is swung shut, encloses the upper edge of the drinking and pouring neck, and the closure bottom part, at the place where the deformable wall adjoins its outer edge, has a circumferential edge, which is designed to act as a supporting surface for the lower edge of the distancing band.

8. The plastic closure comprising a drinking or pouring neck and foil piercing device as claimed in claim 1, characterized in that the closure bottom part forms on its underside a threaded cap with internal thread, which cap can be screwed onto the threaded neck of a container.

9. The plastic closure comprising a drinking or pouring neck and foil piercing device as claimed in claim 1, characterized in that the closure bottom part has an inner, circumferential or part-circumferential bead, or a groove, with which it can be impacted on over a fittingly shaped pouring neck of a container.

10. The plastic closure comprising a drinking or pouring neck and foil piercing device as claimed in claim 1, characterized in that the closure bottom part passes into a flange protruding radially therefrom, which flange can be applied over the foil-sealed hole of a container.

Description:

The present invention relates to a plastic closure comprising a drinking or pouring neck and foil piercing device, which offers a first opening guarantee and, in addition thereto, serves to open a foil-sealed container or container neck equipped with this closure without needing, for this purpose, to touch the actual drinking or pouring neck with the fingers. This closure is suitable for containers of all types, in particular for those made of plastic, composite board, glass, or else for tubes or other containers made of a combination of the aforementioned materials. It is suitable, above all, for contents of liquid or paste-like consistency.

There are already a wide variety of plastic closures comprising a drinking or pouring neck, which are generally known as sports closures. These normally consist of a closure bottom part, which can be screwed onto a threaded neck, and a closure cap formed articulately thereon. In the center of the closure bottom part a drinking and pouring neck is fitted, which is axially displaceable for opening and closing purposes. For initial usage, the entire closure has to be unscrewed from the container, whereafter the sealing foil on the container neck can be torn off and the closure then screwed back onto the container, after which the closure lid is removed or opened up and frees the drinking or pouring neck. In other solutions, the sealing foil, following opening up of the closure cap, is pierced by the drinking and pouring neck being pressed axially downward with the fingers. Because the neck must be touched for this purpose, this solution is incapable of fully meeting the hygiene requirements. Moreover, all these solutions are of multipart construction, i.e. they are made from a plurality of parts which have been individually injection molded and subsequently put together. These multipart solutions are dear and require complicated, space-consuming assembly plants.

The object of the present invention is therefore to provide a closure comprising a drinking and pouring neck, which closure offers a first opening guarantee and with which closure the sealing foil of a container or container neck equipped therewith can be opened without the actual drinking or pouring neck having to be touched with the fingers and without the entire closure having to be removed from the container. In addition, this closure is intended to be producible in one piece, i.e. in a single injection molding operation.

This object is achieved by a plastic closure comprising a drinking or pouring neck and foil piercing device, consisting of a closure bottom part, which forms a drinking and pouring neck, as well as a closure cap, which is connected by a hinge pivotably to the closure bottom part, and which is characterized in that the drinking and pouring neck sits in a planar disk, onto which the hinge of the closure cap is formed, in that beneath the disk the drinking and pouring neck is enclosed by a deformable wall, which forms a concave cone or a convex dome, and which wall leads obliquely downward from the neck and is connected to the outer edge of the closure bottom part, the drinking and pouring neck projecting over this deformable wall on the underside thereof and its lower edge forming at least two piercing elements, and in that onto the lower edge of the closure cap a distancing band is formed via one or more material bridges acting as predetermined breaking points, the distancing band, in the closed state of the closure cap, enclosing the deformable wall and resting on the outer edge of the closure bottom part, so that the closure cap, after this distancing band has been torn off, can be pressed downward, at the same time as the disk, and the drinking and pouring neck passing through it, are depressed and the deformable wall is deformed.

In the figures, different variants of this single-part closure for applying to a large number of containers are represented in various views. The closure is described in detail and its working is explained with reference to these figures, wherein:

FIG. 1 shows a closure with closed closure cap, having an integrated distancing and distancing band between the closure cap and the closure bottom part, viewed from the side;

FIG. 2 shows the closure according to FIG. 1 with swung-open closure cap and exposed drinking and pouring neck;

FIG. 3 shows the closure following injection molding, with swung-open closure cap;

FIG. 4 shows the closure following removal of the distancing band in a cross section, as the closure cap is pressed down;

FIG. 5 shows the closure according to FIGS. 1 and 2 in a view seen from diagonally below;

FIG. 6 shows the closure according to FIGS. 1 and 2 in a view seen from diagonally below, at a different viewing angle;

FIG. 7 shows the closure prior to first opening, with intact distancing band and shut closure cap, in a view from the rear, looking onto the hinge of the closure cap;

FIG. 8 shows a closure according to FIGS. 1 and 2 in cross section, screwed onto a container neck sealed with a foil, in the lower, depressed setting of the drinking neck;

FIG. 9 shows such a closure in cross section, which closure is impacted onto a container neck sealed with a foil;

FIG. 10 shows such a closure in cross section, which closure is bonded on over the foil-sealed hole of a composite pack;

FIG. 11 shows various containers and packs onto which such a closure can be fitted.

FIG. 1 shows the closure 1 in side view. In order of viewing from above can be seen firstly the closure cap 2, onto whose lower edge a distancing band 5 is formed via some material bridges 14 designed to act as predetermined breaking points. This acts, at the same time, as a distancing band and rests on the closure bottom part 4, so that the closure cap 2 cannot therefore be tilted or pressed further downward. Onto the bottom of the closure bottom part a further distancing band 6 is formed, via the material bridges 15. A lip 16 on the closure cap 2 helps to tilt this upward for opening purposes. On the other side of the closure cap the hinge 21 can be seen, by which the closure cap is connected with the upper edge to a disk (not visible here) situated level with the upper edge of the distancing band. The closure bottom part here forms a threaded cap, which can be screwed onto the threaded neck on a container. In order that the threaded cap, where necessary, can be unscrewed from said threaded neck, it is provided on the outside with ribs 3. The distancing band 5 forms close to the hinge 21 a tab, having ribs 11, by which ribbed tab it can be gripped for tear-off purposes.

FIG. 2 shows the closure with opened closure cap 2. It is in this state that the closure emerges from the injection molding die. The distancing band 5 is formed onto the lower edge of the closure cap 2. On the inner side of the closure cap, a ring 25 can be recognized, which, when the closure cap 2 is shut, is slipped over the drinking and pouring neck 13 and then encloses it at the upper edge. This drinking and pouring neck 13 is here arranged centrally in a planar disk 7, to which the closure cap 2 is connected by the hinge 21. Formed onto the outside of this planar disk 7 are latching elements 12. The disk 7, with the drinking and pouring neck 7 which it surrounds, can be pressed axially downward, whereafter the latching elements 12 engage on appropriately fitting catch elements on the closure bottom part 4 and retain or lock the disk 7, together with the drinking and pouring neck 13, in this lowered position. The drinking and pouring neck 13 has on the upper edge on the outer side a bead 10. This is enclosed in a positive-locking manner by the ring 25 on the inner side of the closure cap 2 whenever the closure cap 2 is swung down onto the neck. Formed in the clear opening 9 of the drinking and pouring neck 13 is a star-shaped reinforcement 31. If the closure cap 2 is swung out of the position here shown onto the closure bottom part 4, then the ring 25 engages over the upper edge of the drinking and pouring neck 13 and keeps the cap 2 swung down. The closure then appears as shown in FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 shows the closure in this position once again, yet at a different viewing angle, so that the region beneath the planar disk 7 is seen. As can be seen, extending beneath the disk 7 from the drinking and pouring neck 13 is a deformable wall 8, which here forms a type of arch or dome, i.e. the wall is curved outward and runs diagonally downward and is connected at its lower end to the upper edge of the closure bottom part 4. This wall 8 can also form a cone with an inwardly curved wall or a concertina wall. For the opening of the closure, the closure cap 2, in the swung-shut state, is pressed axially downward. On the closed closure as shown in FIG. 1, the distancing band 5 is first torn off, while the closure cap 2 remains sealed.

This state of the closure is represented in FIG. 4 on the basis of a cross section. With one finger or with the hand, the closure cap 2 is now pressed downward. The drinking and pouring neck 13 with its inner reinforcement 31, and the disk 7 enclosing it, is thereby displaced likewise axially downward, while the, in this case, arch-like wall 8 is deformed. Finally, the latching elements 12 engage on the outer edge of the disk 7 with associated latching elements 32 on the upper edge of the closure bottom part 4. At the same time, the lower, toothed edge of the drinking and pouring neck 13 has pierced with its piercing elements 22 the sealing foil, which is fitted over the threaded neck equipped with the closure or else is glued onto the shoulder 30 formed on the inner side of the closure bottom part 4. Only now is the closure cap 2 swung open, thus freeing the drinking and pouring neck 13. The sealing foil has thus been pierced and opened without the drinking and pouring neck 13 having had to be touched with the fingers.

In FIG. 5, the closure is represented viewed in perspective from below. To the back of the closure can be seen the hinge 21. In the center of the closure can be seen the drinking and pouring neck 13 with the piercing elements 22 on its lower edge. The pouring neck 13 is enclosed from below by the deformable wall 8. This here forms the underside of an arch-like elevation. It is additionally provided with regions 17, 18, which form bulges upward or downward and which facilitate the deformation of the wall 8 when the neck 13 is depressed by the closure cap 2. In the shown example, S-shaped ribs 19 are also formed in. When the neck 13 is depressed and the wall 8 is deformed, said S-shaped ribs cause the neck 13, during its downward motion, to be set in slight rotation, which makes it easier for a sealing foil to be pierced and cut open with the piercing elements 22. In FIG. 6, a similar representation at a somewhat different viewing angle can be seen.

FIG. 7 shows the closed closure viewed from behind. The hinge 21, the shut closure cap 2 and, adjoining its lower edge, the distancing band 5, which acts as a spacer, in that it rests with its lower edge on the lower closure part 4 and prevents the closure cap 2 from being pressed down on the closure bottom part 4, can be seen. For the pressing down, this distancing band 5 must first be removed. To this end, it can be gripped by the tab having the ribs 11 and can be torn off from the lower edge of the closure cap 2, with breakage of the different fine material bridges.

FIG. 8 shows a cross section through a closure of this type after the closure cap 2 has been pressed down. As can be seen, the drinking and pouring neck 13 has also thereby been depressed and its lower edge, equipped with piercing elements 22, has torn open the sealing foil 26 which sealed the container neck 23. The disk 7 engaged on the closure underside 4 and now holds the drinking and pouring neck 13 fixed in this position, even when the closure cap 2 is swung open. The distancing band 5 is no longer visible, having previously been torn off. The closure bottom part is realized as a threaded cap with internal thread 27.

FIG. 9 shows a very similar closure, with the sole difference that the closure bottom part is here not realized as a threaded cap, but as a press-on cap having a circumferential inner bead 29, with which it can be impacted onto a correspondingly shaped container neck. A foil present between the closure and the container edge can be glued down on both sides or heat-sealed with induction heat.

FIG. 10 shows a once again similar closure, the closure bottom part of which is formed out into a flange 28, with which the closure is glued or bonded on over the foil-sealed hole of a container, for example a cardboard pack. In FIG. 11, finally, a few different container types are shown, which can be equipped with a closure of this type, namely a plastic bottle, especially a PET bottle, or metal flask or glass bottle, then a composite board in some form, for example a round or cylindrical composite pack or a composite tetrapack. It is also suitable, however, for a cardboard cup sealed with a plastic lid with sealing foil, or for a tube.