US 3318496 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
y 9, 1967 R. A. AYOTTE ETAL 3,318,495
CONTAINER CLOSURE WITH AXIAL PLUG Filed Jan. 26, 1965 64 Wil Rober/ A. flyofle BY Robe/1 J. Muse/ 61mm JM ATTORNEY United States Patent Filed Jan. 26, 1965, Ser. No. 428,070 1 Claim. or. 222-546) This invention relates to devices for dispensing liquids, powders, or the like, and moreparticularly to dispensing containers of the type having dispensing plugs positioned in the neck or outlet end of the container.
Many known types of dispensing containers include a dispensing plug member inserted at the neck or outlet opening of the container, the dispensing plug having an outlet passage or passages therein which permit dispensing of the contents of the container. Such containers usually also include a removable cap member which is secured to the neck of the container by a screw-threaded connection or otherwise and serves to close the outlet opening or openings of the insert plug when the container is not being used for dispensing, such outer closure members being removed when it is desired to dispense the contents of the container.
After containers of the type just described have been filled with the desired liquid or powder contents, the insert plug is then positioned in the neck of the container and the outer closure cap is secured to the neck of the container in sealing relation to the dispensing plug. Thus, the procedures used for closing the prior art containers as just described require several distinct manipulative steps at the site where the container is filled. In addition to the fact that the prior art procedure just outlined requires two separate manipulative steps at the site of the filling and capping operation, the prior art procedure also provides complications and tie-ups in the filling and capping procedure, such as plug jamming due to equipment, bottle, and line speed variances, necessitating extra labor and extra plug inventory.
Accordingly, it is an object of this invention to provide a combined container, a dispensing insert plug, and closure member for the container which cooperate with each other to eliminate the need for a separate plug insertion step in the container filling operation.
Another object of the invention is to provide a combined container, dispensing insert plug and closure cap which permits shipment of the closure cap and insert plug in pro-assembled relation with respect to each other to the site where the containers are to be filled whereby to increase the speed and efiiciency of the container capping operation.
Another object of this invention is to provide a dispensing insert plug and a closure member for a container which are so related to each other as to permit the insert plug and the closure member to be positioned on the container in a single manipulative step.
Still a further object of the invention is to provide in combination a container, a dispensing insert plug in the neck of the container and a closure cap for the container which are so structurally related to each other as to provide an improved sealing arrangement for the container.
Still a further object of the invention is to provide a combined container, insert plug, and closure member which reduce labor at the container filling line, provide an improved inventory control of insert plugs and closure caps, and reduce extraneous costs due to loss of insert plugs.
Still a further object of the invention is to provide a dispensing container having a dispensing insert plug so constructed as to provide an improved dispensing action, whereby liquid contents of the container may be dispensed in either drops or in a stream.
In achievement of these objectives, there is provided in accordance with this invention a combined container, dispensing insert plug for the neck or outlet of the container, and a closure cap for the container, in which the closure cap includes a stern member projecting downwardly from the under surface of the top wall thereof which is adapted to receive the dispensing insert plug whereby to permit a preassembly of the dispensing insert plug and the closure cap by the container manufacturer. The preassembled closure cap and dispensing insert plug are assembled in a single operation on to the container after the container has been filled, with the stem member of the container cap providing a primary seal for the outlet passage of the insert plug. The dispensing insert plug is secured in interlocking engagement with the interior of the container neck by cooperating bead and undercut means provided on the container and plug members, so that when the closure cap is removed from the container, the dispensing insert plug remains in assembled relation with the container.
A further feature of the invention is the construction of the dispensing insert plug including a small inlet passage in the base of the insert plug which communicates with a larger dispensing outlet passage having a tapered outlet month which facilitates the dispensing of liquid contents of the container either in individual drops or in a stream.
Further objects and advantages of the invention will become apparent from the following description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawing in which:
FIG. 1 is an exploded view of a container, the dispensing insert plug, and the closure cap in accordance with the invention;
FIG. 2 is an exploded vertical sectional view of the container, the dispensing insert plug, and the closure cap;
FIG. 3 is a top plan view of the dispensing insert plug;
FIG. 4 is a view in vertical section of the closure cap and dispensing insert plug in preassembled relation to each other; and
FIG. 5 is a view in vertical section showing the dispensing insert plug positioned in engagement with the neck of the container, with the outer closure cap being shown in phantom line.
Referring now to the drawing, the container assembly is generally indicated at 10, and includes a container generally indicated at 12, an insert plug generally in dicated at 18, and a closure cap generally indicated at 20.
In the illustrated embodiment, container 12 is shaped to simulate the appearance of a lemon and is used for dispensing lemon juice or the like although obviously the container may be used for dispensing various types of liquids or powders. Container 12 is preferably formed of a suitable flexible plastic material such as polyethylene or other suitable material. As best seen in the views of FIGS. 2 and 5, the interior of neck 14 of the container is provided adjacent but spaced downwardly from the upper end thereof with a radially inwardly extending annular bead generally indicated at 22 which is tapered downwardly and radially outwardly at the lower portion thereof as indicated at 24. The internal diameter of portion 26 of neck 14 above head 22 is greater than the internal diameter of portion 28 of neck 14 which lies below bead 22, the larger internal diameter of neck portion 26 cooperating with the upper surface of bead 22 to define an annular shoulder 30.
The insert plug generally indicated at 18 is formed of a flexible plastic material such as polyethylene, for example, or other suitable plastic or rubber-like material, and includes an outer wall 32 which is tapered upwardly and radially outwardly from fiat base portion 34 of the insert plug. Plug 18 also includes at its upper end a flange-like wall portion 36, the under surface of which is separated from the upper portion of tapered outer wall 32 of the insert plug by an annular undercut region indicated at 38. Base 34 of the insert plug is provided with a relatively narrow inlet opening 40 therein which communicates with the hollow interior 44 of a tubular outlet member. generally indicated at 42 which is vertically upstanding from base portion 34 along the vertical axis of the insert plug. Tubular outlet member 42 is tapered at its upper end as indicated at '46 to facilitate the dispensing of the contents of the container in either a stream or in separate drops. The insert plug includes an annular hollow space bounded by the radially outer wall surface 48 of the upstanding outlet passage member 44 and by the radially inner wall surface 50 of wall 32 of the insert plug.
The cap generally indicated at is generally similar to a conventional screw-on cap, except as will be hereinafter described, and is formed of a suitable plastic material such as polypropylene, for example, or other suitable material. Cap 20 includes internal threads 60 which are adapted to mate with the external thread 16 on the neck of the container, and is additionally provided with a stem member 62 which is preferably molded integrally with the cap, stem member 62 extending downwardly from the underneath surface of the top wall of the cap along the central vertical axis of the cap and of the bottle. Stem 62 is adapted'to be received in sealing contact with the hollow interior 44 of the" upstanding tubular outlet member 42 of dispensing insert plug 18.
The outer surface of cap 20 is provided with vertical serrations 6 4 which providea frictional gripping surface which aidsin grasping the cap for rotationrthereof.
" ways. Thus, the stem 62'on the cap and the tubular As best seen in the view of FIG. 4, the insert plug 18 V and the closure cap 20 are preassembled with respect to each'other by pushing the downwardly depending stem 62 of the closure cap into thehollow interior space 44 of tubular outlet member 42. The outer diameter of stem 62 is made slightly larger than the normal unflexed inner diameter of outlet passage 44 so that when stem 62 is inserted into the interior of outlet member 42 it f-orms'a sealing contact therewith Which-prevents any leakage of thecontents of. the container past stem 62. Furthermore, when cap 20 is assembled onto insert plug 18 as seen in FIG. 4, a sealing contact is provided between the under surface of the top wall of the sealing capand the top surface of'tubular outlet member 42. The sealing contact between the outer surface'of stem 62' and the" inner wall surface of outlet member 42 provides a primary seal for the dispensing container, while the engagement of the under surface'of closure cap 20 with a the. upperrsurface of outlet member 42 provides a sec ondary seal for the dispensing container.
The assem bled closure cap and insert plug as shown in FIG. 4 may be shipped to the site of the filling operation in preassembled relation, as shown in FIG. 4. After container '12 has been filled the preassembled cap 20 and insert plug 18 may then be assembled onto the threaded neck of the container by screwing the'cap 20 onto the container neck. During the operation of screwing the cap down onto the container neck, the insert plug 18, carried by stem 62 of thecap, moves downwardly into the interior of the neck of the container, until the site of the container filling operation in this preassembled relation. This eliminates the need for a plug insertion station at the site of the container filling operation to thereby greatly improve the efliciency of the filling and capping operation by reducing the labor required at the filling line, providing better inventory'control of plugs and caps, and reducing extraneous costs in connection with the capping operation. The principle of the container assembly as hereinbefore described is'applicable to any package that requires a dispensing plug.
Furthermore, the constructions of the insert plug and i the closure cap member cooperate in severalimportant 40 at the lower end of the plug, and the larger diameter passage 44 of tubular outlet member 42, together with the tapered mouth'46, all cooperate to permit dripless dispensing of the contents of the container in either drops or in a stream.'
Also, a further important as previously described, is the automatic interlocking which'occurs between insert plug 18 and the neck 14 0f the container when the preassembled cap 20 and insert plug 18 are screwed onto the neck of the container, due f 'to the automatic interlocking between annular bead 22 onthe neck of the container andrthe undercut region '38 of the insert plug. Due to this interlocking action, insert.
plug 18 remains interlockingly engaged with the neck of 7 the container when the closure cap isremoved.
While there has been shown and described a particular embodiment of the invention, it will be obvious to those skilled in the art that various changes and modifications Y may be made therein Without departing from the invention and, therefore, it is aimed to cover all such changes and modifications as fall within thetrue spirit and scope of the invention. 7 e
' What we claim'asour invention is:
A container assembly comprising a container having a hollow neck member with a screw threadon the exterior thereof, a one-piece insert plug member receivable in said neck member, said insert plugmember being made of flexible material, said insert plug member in-' eluding a base portion therein having an inlet communicating with the interior of said container when said insert plug member is positioned within said hollow neck a member, an integral tubularoutlet member carried by circularfiange portion 36 of the insert plug seats on a the upper surface of shoulder 30 of the container neck, with the annular head 22 on the interior of the container neck snapping into engagement with' the annular undercut region 38 of the insert plug to thereby securely hold insert plug 18 locked in engagement with the interior of the container neck. When closure cap 20 is unscrewed to permit dispensing of the contents of the ment' with the container neck due to the interlocking action between annular bead 22 of the container neck and the annular under-cut region 33 of the insert plug container, insert plug 18'remains in interlocked engagesaid insert plug'member and extending upwardly from said inlet, said tubular outlet member terminating at its 7 upper end in a dispensing outlet, said inlet of said base" portion being of substantially smaller cross-sectional area A than the internal cross-sectional are of saidtubular out.- I
let member, said insert plug member includingan outer wall which engages the neck of said container, said outer wall being separatedbyan annular'space from said tubular outlet member, a bead projecting radially inwardly from the inner surface of said neckmember adjacent but spaced from the outer and normally upper V end of said neck membensaid insert plug member in cluding an undercut region in said outer wall thereof feature of the construction,
whereby when said insert plug member is inserted in said neck member said bead and said undercut region will engage with each other to interlockingly engage said members with each other, said neck member being of greater internal diameter above than below said bead to define a shoulder above said bead, said outer wall of said insert plug member terminating at the normally upper end thereof in a flange-like portion which extends radially outwardly from the normally upper end of said outer wall and which lies above said undercut region, said flange-like portion being adapted to seat on said shoulder when said plug member is engaged with said neck member, the normally upper surface of said flangelike portion being flush with the normally upper end of said neck member, a closure cap engaging said neck member, said closure cap including a top wall and a side wall depending downwardly from said top wall, said side wall being internally threaded to mate with said screw thread on the exterior of said hollow neck portion, said closure cap including a stem member depending downwardly from the under surface of the top wall of said cap, said stem member being receivable in said dispensing outlet of said insert plug member and extending into said tubular outlet member for a substantial portion of the length of said tubular outlet member whereby said insert plug member may be preassembled with said closure cap prior to placement of said insert plug in said neck portion of said container, the diameter of said stem member being so dimensioned relative to the internal diameter of said tubular outlet member as to provide a primary sealing action when said stem member is received in said tubular outlet member, said dispensing outlet of said tubular outlet member being tapered to facilitate dispensing from said outlet and to facilitate insertion of said stem member in said tubular outlet member, the dispensing outlet end of said tubular outlet member terminating above the normally upper end of said outer wall of said insert plug member and above the normally upper end of said neck member whereby when the internally threaded closure cap is completely engaged with the externally threaded neck member of said container the under surface of the top wall of said closure cap compressively engages the dispensing outlet end of said tubular outlet member to provide a secondary sealing action.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,346,007 7/1920 DeAguiar 222-563 X 2,759,643 8/1956 Dahlin 222-521 3,010,619 11/1961 Gronmeyer et a1. 222-521 3,124,281 3/1964 Stull 222-546 X 3,209,963 10/1965 Krieps et a1. 222-546 X FOREIGN PATENTS 922,188 3/1963 Great Britain.
ROBERT B. REEVES, Primary Examiner. WALTER SOBIN, Examiner.