US20070278175A1 - Closure having inverted frangible valve - Google Patents

Closure having inverted frangible valve Download PDF

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Publication number
US20070278175A1
US20070278175A1 US11/535,197 US53519706A US2007278175A1 US 20070278175 A1 US20070278175 A1 US 20070278175A1 US 53519706 A US53519706 A US 53519706A US 2007278175 A1 US2007278175 A1 US 2007278175A1
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Prior art keywords
cap
base structure
defined
portion
frangible
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US11/535,197
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Gary Smith
Steve Kim
Richard Lohrman
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Portola Packaging Inc
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Portola Packaging Inc
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Priority to US80399706P priority Critical
Priority to US11/535,197 priority patent/US20070278175A1/en
Assigned to PORTOLA PACKAGING, INC. reassignment PORTOLA PACKAGING, INC. ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: KIM, STEVE, LOHRMAN, RICHARD, SMITH, GARY
Application filed by Portola Packaging Inc filed Critical Portola Packaging Inc
Publication of US20070278175A1 publication Critical patent/US20070278175A1/en
Assigned to GENERAL ELECTRIC CAPITAL CORPORATION, AS AGENT reassignment GENERAL ELECTRIC CAPITAL CORPORATION, AS AGENT SECURITY AGREEMENT Assignors: PORTOLA PACKAGING, INC.
Assigned to WAYZATA INVESTMENT PARTNERS LLC reassignment WAYZATA INVESTMENT PARTNERS LLC SECURITY AGREEMENT Assignors: PORTOLA PACKAGING, INC.
Assigned to PORTOLA PACKAGING, INC. reassignment PORTOLA PACKAGING, INC. RELEASE BY SECURED PARTY (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: GENERAL ELECTRIC CAPITAL CORPORATION, AS AGENT
Assigned to PORTOLA PACKAGING, INC. reassignment PORTOLA PACKAGING, INC. RELEASE BY SECURED PARTY (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: WAYZATA INVESTMENT PARTNERS LLC
Assigned to WELLS FARGO FOOTHILL, LLC, AS AGENT reassignment WELLS FARGO FOOTHILL, LLC, AS AGENT SECURITY AGREEMENT Assignors: PORTOLA PACKAGING, INC.
Assigned to WAYZATA INVESTMENT PARTNERS, LLC (AGENT FOR THE SUBORDINATED CREDITORS) reassignment WAYZATA INVESTMENT PARTNERS, LLC (AGENT FOR THE SUBORDINATED CREDITORS) SECURITY AGREEMENT Assignors: PORTOLA ALLIED TOOL, INC.
Assigned to GENERAL ELECTRIC CAPITAL CORPORATION, AS US AGENT AND CANADIAN AGENT reassignment GENERAL ELECTRIC CAPITAL CORPORATION, AS US AGENT AND CANADIAN AGENT SECURITY AGREEMENT Assignors: PORTOLA PACKAGING, INC.
Assigned to PORTOLA PACKAGING, INC. reassignment PORTOLA PACKAGING, INC. RELEASE BY SECURED PARTY (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: WELLS FARGO CAPITAL FINANCE, LLC, AS AGENT, (F/K/A WELLS FARGO FOOTHILL, LLC, AS AGENT)
Assigned to PORTOLA PACKAGING, INC. reassignment PORTOLA PACKAGING, INC. RELEASE BY SECURED PARTY (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: GENERAL ELECTRIC CAPITAL CORPORATION, AS U.S. AGENT AND CANADIAN AGENT
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    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65DCONTAINERS FOR STORAGE OR TRANSPORT OF ARTICLES OR MATERIALS, e.g. BAGS, BARRELS, BOTTLES, BOXES, CANS, CARTONS, CRATES, DRUMS, JARS, TANKS, HOPPERS, FORWARDING CONTAINERS; ACCESSORIES, CLOSURES, OR FITTINGS THEREFOR; PACKAGING ELEMENTS; PACKAGES
    • B65D47/00Closures with filling and discharging, or with discharging, devices
    • B65D47/04Closures with discharging devices other than pumps
    • B65D47/06Closures with discharging devices other than pumps with pouring spouts or tubes; with discharge nozzles or passages
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B67OPENING, CLOSING OR CLEANING BOTTLES, JARS OR SIMILAR CONTAINERS; LIQUID HANDLING
    • B67DDISPENSING, DELIVERING OR TRANSFERRING LIQUIDS, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • B67D3/00Apparatus or devices for controlling flow of liquids under gravity from storage containers for dispensing purposes
    • B67D3/0029Apparatus or devices for controlling flow of liquids under gravity from storage containers for dispensing purposes provided with holders for bottles or similar containers
    • B67D3/0032Apparatus or devices for controlling flow of liquids under gravity from storage containers for dispensing purposes provided with holders for bottles or similar containers the bottle or container being held upside down and provided with a closure, e.g. a cap, adapted to cooperate with a feed tube
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65DCONTAINERS FOR STORAGE OR TRANSPORT OF ARTICLES OR MATERIALS, e.g. BAGS, BARRELS, BOTTLES, BOXES, CANS, CARTONS, CRATES, DRUMS, JARS, TANKS, HOPPERS, FORWARDING CONTAINERS; ACCESSORIES, CLOSURES, OR FITTINGS THEREFOR; PACKAGING ELEMENTS; PACKAGES
    • B65D2231/00Means for facilitating the complete expelling of the contents
    • B65D2231/02Precut holes or weakened zones
    • B65D2231/022Precut holes or weakened zones for permitting the insertion of a tubular contents-removing device, e.g. a drinking straw

Abstract

The present invention is directed to a closure for a container. Among the embodiments provided herein, a cap for a container used on a water dispenser has a roof portion, a cylindrical skirt, and a well extending from the roof portion into the cap. The well has a wall structure terminating at a base structure that has a shape defined as comprising an annular rim connected to the wall structure and either a frusto-conical member having an edge that terminates to a disk shaped member, a dome member, or a convex member depending from the annular rim and extending in a direction towards the roof portion. The cap may further include at least two frangible lines defined on the base structure with scored sections at the ends defined by each frangible line. Alternatively, the cap may have a base structure that includes at least two sections, one of which is dominant and overlaps or is coincident with an edge of the other subservient section, the two sections causing the base structure to be sufficiently sealed during non-use and being deformable when penetrated by a probe to separate and allow dispensing of liquid within the container.

Description

    CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
  • This application claims priority to U.S. Provisional Patent Application 60/803,997 filed Jun. 6, 2006.
  • BACKGROUND
  • This invention relates to a closure for a container, and particularly to, a container used in the water bottling industry for water dispensers and water coolers, such as a five-gallon container.
  • Drinking water has been supplied to consumers for many years in large containers, which typically have volumes ranging from 2.5 to 6 gallons. These large containers are often mounted upside down on a dispensing device which may also cool or heat the water as desired. The dispensing devices also permit facile dispensing of the water. A typical large container has an upstanding neck, defining an opening for the container, and has an external snap formation for engagement with a closure. Closures for the large containers are also known and typically include a roof portion, a shoulder portion depending downwardly from the roof portion, and a skirt portion depending downwardly from the shoulder portion. Internally, the closure has a snap bead, located generally at the intersection between the skirt portion and the shoulder portion, for complementary engagement with the snap formation on the container neck.
  • The closure may either be a “flat-roof” or a “non-spill” closure, both of which are known in the industry. A flat-roof closure has a generally flat, closed-off roof portion, which is in the form of a disc. The flat-roof closure therefore needs to be removed from the neck of the container in order to discharge the fluid or contents of the container.
  • There is a relatively high degree of standardization in the water bottling industry, such that most closures for large containers have many corresponding, or similar features. In addition, many of the dimensions for closures are required to lie within relatively tight tolerances, in order for the closures to provide an effective liquid-tight seal on a range of conventional container neck finishes. Accordingly, design freedom for such closures is limited.
  • An issue associated with large containers is that the containers must be lifted and inverted in order to mount on the dispensing device. Lifting and inverting the open, heavy bottle is awkward and can lead to accidental spillage and/or an unsanitary condition if one attempts to cover the open end of the bottle with their hand.
  • A number of prior art approaches have been advanced to facilitate mounting of large containers onto dispensing devices. One of the first approaches may be found in U.S. Pat. No. 4,699,188, the entire contents of which are incorporated herein by reference. The '188 patent teaches the use of a hygienic cap, for a container, which has a central recessed portion (cylindrical well) depending from its top and extending downward into the neck of the container. The well is closed at its bottom end by an integrally attached bottom portion. The dispensing device includes a feed probe having a sharp pointed upper end and a lower end that facilitates draining into the dispenser's reservoir. The probe is positioned axially within a cylindrical sleeve, which receives the inverted container neck (with cap attached) and snugly holds the container upright in its inverted position. When the large container is raised and inverted onto the dispenser, the probe pierces the bottom portion of the closure well allowing water to flow out of the container into the dispenser. The '188 patent does not enjoy significant commercial acceptance for a number of reasons. The sharpness of the upper end of the probe can be a safety concern. Possible attempts to soften the end would lead to increased difficulty in piercing the bottom portion of the closure well. This situation was aggravated in that the bottom portion of the closure well is essentially solid, having no structural feature to promote frangible penetration of the by the probe.
  • Another problem with the '188 patent is that there is no provision to reseal the closure well when the container, still having water within, is removed from the dispenser. Such a removal would inevitably result in significant spillage from a partially full container, leading to messy and possibly hazardous conditions. Spillage was even a problem when removing an essentially exhausted container. As fully mounted on the dispensing device, the opened upper end of the probe was well above the level of the inverted container closure top. Thus, when the contents of the container were effectively exhausted, a small amount of residual water still remained in the container, trapped between the inverted closure cap and the opening of the probe. This situation is best visualized by reference to FIG. 1 of the '188 patent. When the container was removed from the dispenser, a small amount of water is free to spill though the pierced bottom portion. Over time this spillage could result in excessive water gathering in the cup-like receptacle of the dispenser, leading to an unsanitary condition.
  • Given the problems of initial opening and reclosing associated with the '188 patent, a number of other systems teach a multiple piece closure wherein the end of the closure well is sealed by a resealable secondary cap. Typical systems comprising a resealable secondary cap include U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,121,778; 5,031,676; and 5,232,125, the entire contents of these U.S. Patents are incorporated herein by reference. While various modifications and designs variations exist among these teachings, the essence of operation is similar. The dispensing probe, rather than being sharp to promote piercing, is designed to be complimentary to structural features incorporated into a cap, plug, or sliding member (hereinafter referred to as a “secondary cap”) that initially seals the central closure well. When the container is inverted onto the dispenser, the complimentary features on the probe and plug interact to initially attach the secondary cap to the probe. As the container moves further downward onto the probe, the secondary cap, still attached to the probe, is moved further into the container, upon which a dispensing port on the probe becomes exposed to the fluid contents of the container. The contents would then flow freely by gravity through the dispensing port to the inside of the probe and then to the dispensing reservoir.
  • When it is desired to remove the partially filled or exhausted container, the secondary cap, still attached to the probe, would be repositioned into a sealing position with the closure well. As the container is removed from the dispenser, the secondary cap is released from its attachment to the probe at which point the central closure well is resealed.
  • The multiple component closure systems taught in U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,121,778; 5,031,676; and 5,232,125 have enjoyed substantial success in the marketplace. Nevertheless, the relatively high cost of these multiple component systems has challenged the packaging industry to devise improved, less costly alternatives. These closure systems are directed to providing a frangible opening on a base portion of a closure well defined on a closure.
  • A first of the concepts incorporating a frangible opening of the base portion of a closure well was taught in U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,687,865 the entire contents of which are herein incorporated by reference. The '865 patent teaches at least one frangible line or line of weakness extending across the base portion of a closure well. In addition, a projecting member was positioned adjacent one of the frangible lines. The projecting member was initially contacted upon insertion of the probe to concentrate force and facilitate initial tearing of the frangible line. The projecting member reduced the amount of downward force required to initially rupture the frangible line. The '865 patent further teaches a conical geometry for the opening portion. In the case of a single frangible line, the structure opened like a clamshell, best seen in FIG. 5 of the '865 patent. When the probe is removed, the clamshell like structure at least partially closed due to the material characteristics as it has a tendency to return to its original molded position. This thereby reduced spillage associated with removing a partially filled container.
  • U.S. Pat. No. 5,687,867, herein incorporated in its entirety by reference, shows four frangible lines extending downward over a conical base portion of the closure well. Insertion of the probe splits the conical base into four portions, described as “petals” in the '867 patent. While it is desired to have the petals partially return to their original position upon removal of the probe, thereby reducing spillage upon removal of a partially consumed bottle, in practice the petals do not re-close the well.
  • U.S. Pat. No. 6,308,849, herein incorporated in its entirety by reference, discloses a container closure with a central receiving bore closed by a base having frangible lines. In this patent the base comprises two frusto-conical portions extending in opposite directions. Insertion of the probe causes the base to turn “inside-out”as the three frangible lines rupture. The '849 patent teaches that this arrangement helps promote return of the three separate petals formed on probe insertion to a sealing position upon removal of the container from the probe.
  • Two problems are associated with the “non-spill” type closures comprising frangible lines intended to be penetrated by a standard blunt probe. First, the force required to initially puncture the frangible lines can be considerable. In general, the frangible lines must rupture under the weight of a full container. Second, the effectiveness of the partial reclosure when the probe is removed must be reasonably effective in order to prevent excessive spillage and/or contamination upon removal of the container.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • The instant invention offers the art an improved closure for a container and a dispensing system for large liquid containers such as the 5 gallon water container. Here the closure includes a central well sized to sealingly receive a probe such as those currently employed on many 5 gallon water dispensing apparatus. The well has an open end for receipt of the probe and an integrally molded closed base structure. The closed base structure allows facile penetration by the inserted probe for the dispensing of fluid. Upon removal of the probe, satisfactory reseal is achieved through the unique design aspects of the base structure. Various aspects of the novel design aspects are embodied in the disclosure herein.
  • According to one aspect of the invention, a cap for a container used on a water dispenser is provided to include a well extending from a roof portion into the cap. The well has a wall structure terminating at a base structure. The base structure has a shape defined as an annular rim connected to the wall structure and a frusto-conical member depending from the annular rim and extending in a direction towards the roof portion. The frusto-conical member has an edge that terminates to a disk shaped member.
  • In another embodiment the cap may have a dome depending from the annular rim that extends towards the roof portion.
  • In another embodiment the cap may include a convex member depending from the annular rim and extending in a direction towards said roof portion.
  • The base structure may further include at least one frangible lines defined thereon. The frangible lines may traverse the base structure and/or intersect one another.
  • At the end of each frangible line, the cap may further include scored sections to help prevent damage and rupturing of the well during probe insertion. The scored section may include a portion on the base structure and/or a portion on the wall structure.
  • In one instance, the frangible lines would be defined on the frusto-conical member, dome, convex member, and/or base structure. However, in a second instance, the base structure would include at least two sections. The two sections would include a dominate portion that overlaps or is coincident with a subservient portion defined by another one of said sections, such that the overlap or coincidence causes the base structure to be sufficiently sealed during non-use. The two sections are also deformable during penetration of the base structure by a probe defined by the water dispenser, such that the two sections deform to separate and allow liquid within said container to dispense. The base structure may also include four sections wherein two of the sections would have dominate portions overlapping or coincident with two subservient portions defined by the other two section.
  • Numerous other advantages and features of the invention will become readily apparent from the following detailed description of the invention and the embodiments thereof, from the claims, and from the accompanying drawings.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • A fuller understanding of the foregoing may be had by reference to the accompanying drawings, wherein:
  • FIG. 1 is a sectional view of a prior art closure commonly used with a large container;
  • FIG. 2 is a sectional view of one component, the “primary cap” of a prior art closure commonly used on a large container;
  • FIG. 3 is a sectional view of a complimentary component, the “secondary cap”, used in conjunction with the component embodied in FIG. 2;
  • FIG. 4 is a sectional view of the assembly of the components shown in FIGS. 2 and 3 as applied to the neck of a large container;
  • FIG. 5 is a partial sectional view of the assembly of FIG. 4 after being inverted and mounted on a prior art dispensing apparatus;
  • FIG. 6 is a sectional view of another prior art “non-spill” closure used with large containers;
  • FIG. 7 is a partial sectional view showing the closure of FIG. 6 inverted and mounted on a typical probe of a dispensing apparatus;
  • FIG. 8 is a sectional view of an improved closure according to an embodiment of the invention;
  • FIG. 9 is a magnified view of a portion of the closure of FIG. 8, taken substantially from the perspective of the encircled region identified as C-C of FIG. 8;
  • FIG. 10 is a view similar to that of FIG. 9 showing an alternate embodiment for the functional structure of a “non-spill” closure;
  • FIG. 11 a is an embodiment showing another closure incorporating a projecting member, namely a bead-like structure, in the well;
  • FIG. 11 b is an embodiment showing another closure incorporating a upwardly projecting member in the well;
  • FIG. 11 c is an embodiment showing another closure incorporating a downwardly projecting member in the well;
  • FIG. 12 is an illustration of a probe inserted in the well that has a projecting member;
  • FIG. 13 a is a top view of an embodiment showing a pair of frangible lines disposed on a base structure with scored sections positioned at the ends of the frangible lines;
  • FIG. 13 b is a top view of an embodiment showing a single frangible line disposed on a base structure with scored sections positioned at the ends of the frangible line;
  • FIG. 13 c is a top view of an embodiment showing frangible lines disposed on a base structure with scored sections defined as arcuate frangible lines
  • FIG. 14 a is a plan view of an embodiment showing two deformable sections with one dominant section positioned to overlap a portion of a subservient section;
  • FIG. 14 b is a partial side view of FIG. 14 a;
  • FIG. 14 c is a partial side view similar to FIG. 14 b but now showing one dominant deformable section coincident with a subservient deformable section; and
  • FIG. 15 is a plan view of an embodiment showing multiple deformable sections.
  • DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
  • The aspects of the instant invention will now be described in detail in conjunction with the descriptive figures. While the invention is susceptible to embodiments in many different forms, there are shown in the drawings and will be described herein, in detail, the preferred embodiments of the present invention. It should be understood, however, that the present disclosure is to be considered an exemplification of the principles of the invention and is not intended to limit the spirit or scope of the invention and/or the embodiments illustrated.
  • Prior art FIGS. 1 and 2 show closures currently used with large containers. FIG. 1 is a sectional view of a “flat-roof” closure. This type of closure is removed from the container prior to mounting on the dispensing apparatus. The closure 1 has a roof portion 2 and has a shoulder portion disposed outwardly from the roof portion 2. The shoulder portion includes a rounded corner 3, below which is a downwardly depending side wall 4. Depending from the side wall 4 is a skirt portion 5. The roof portion 2 is in the form of an annular disc. A tension ring, or snap bead 8, is located on the inside of the closure 1. The snap bead 8 is in a position to fit under the snap formation on the neck of a container (not shown in FIG. 1) and to draw the internal surface of the corner 3 towards the snap formation of the neck. The internal surface of the corner 3 is provided with an internal seal bead 9, which engages a lip (not shown) defined by the container to seal against leakage. A release tab 7 extends downwardly from the bottom edge of the skirt portion 5 for removal of the closure 1 from the neck of the container. By pulling upwards on the tab 7, the skirt portion 5 may be torn along score lines 6 so that the skirt portion releases its grip on the container neck. The closure 1 also is shown to have narrow “application ramps” 54 projecting slightly above the internal surface formed by the tension ring 8. These application ramps were first taught in U.S. Pat. No. 4,911,316 which is hereby incorporated in its entirety by reference. In the '316 patent, such ramps on the tension bead are used to accommodate bottles of varying structural geometries. It was subsequently found that the ramps serve an additional function in facilitating capping of the container. The raised ramps also serve to remove the surface of the tension bead 8 slightly from the surface of the container neck locking bead (not shown in FIG. 1) as the cap 1 is pushed onto the neck. Without the ramps 54 the tension bead and container locking bead may form an airtight seal during expansion of the tension bead 8 over the outwardly directed container locking bead. The airtight seal prevents venting of air still remaining in the head space of the container, creating an internal pressure which can impede facile capping.
  • FIG. 2 is a sectional view of a “non-spill” closure 1 a. Many of the features of the “non-spill” type closure 1 a are similar to those of the “flat roof” closure 1 depicted in FIG. 1. In this specification, similar features among embodiments will be identified by the same numeral plus a letter designation indicative of the particular embodiment. In the FIG. 2 closure 1 a, it is seen that the roof portion 2 a is in the form of an annular disk, with a central well 60 formed therein. The well 60 has a cylindrical side wall 62 which extends down into the closure 1 a to an open end 75. Fitted snugly within the well 60 is a displaceable plug 11, illustrated in FIG. 3. The plug 11 has a bottom 12 and a side wall 13 which when placed in the well 60 of closure 1 a closes the open end 75.
  • The assembly of plug 11 and closure 1 a is illustrated in FIG. 4. In FIG. 4, the plug 11 has been inserted into the originally open end 75 of well 60 in order to the seal the well 60 and complete the closure system. The completed closure is further shown mounted to a typical neck 14 of a container.
  • FIG. 5 illustrates the situation which results when the assembly of FIG. 4 is inverted and lowered onto a dispensing apparatus equipped to cooperatively function with the “non-spill” type closures. In FIG. 5, the container has been lowered into receptacle 15 whose dimensions help position the container neck 14 axially over a hollow probe 16. The probe 16 enters the well 60 of the closure 1 a as the container is lowered onto the dispensing apparatus. Eventually, complimentary features on the plug 11 and probe 16 interact to result in attachment of the plug 11 to the probe 16. In its final position, the probe 16 has penetrated into the container neck 14 sufficiently to displace the plug 11 and expose ports 17 to the contents of the container. Fluid is then able to enter the inside region of probe 16 through the ports 17 and flow downwardly for dispensing.
  • A more detailed description of the structural details and function of the closure, container, and dispensing features embodied in FIGS. 2 through 5 are presented in U.S. Pat. No 5,232,125.
  • Turning now to FIG. 6, there is shown another prior art closure of the “non-spill” type. Many of the structural features present in the closure embodied in FIG. 6 are similar or identical to those of the closure of FIG. 4. Thus, many like features will be identified with the same numeral followed by a letter to designate the particular embodiment.
  • A major distinction between the closures of FIGS. 4 and 6 is in the functional aspects of the central well 60 depending from the closure roof. In the FIG. 6 embodiment, the well 60 comprises a short cylindrical portion 62 b sized to form a slideable sealing surface with a standard diameter probe 16 of a dispenser. Extending downward from this short cylindrical portion is a lower base portion comprising a generally conical section 80 merging at its lower end with a truncated spherical-like portion 82. At least one frangible line 84 extends downward on the conical section 80, across the spherical portion 82, and continuing back upward on the conical portion 80.
  • FIG. 7 shows the condition resulting when the closure of FIG. 6, applied to a standard container (not shown), is inverted and placed on a “non-spill” dispensing device. Insertion of the probe 16 into the well 60 causes the initially integral well to split open along the frangible line 84 and open like a “clam shell” as the probe, and its exit ports 17 pass into the container. Obviously, if the well 60 were to comprise multiple score lines, a number of deformable sections would be formed as compared to the “clam-shell” description associated with a single line. When the probe 16 is eventually removed, the “clam shell” arrangement will close somewhat because of the tendency of the plastic material to return to its original molded shape. The functional and structural aspects of the closure depicted in FIG. 6 are taught in much greater detail in U.S. Pat. No. 5,687,865.
  • Referring now to FIG. 8, there is shown a sectional view of a novel closure which can be categorized as a “frangible valve non-spill” variety. One important aspect of the novel closure embodied in FIG. 8 is incorporated in the central well 60 c of the closure. This region of the well is encircled as identified as C-C of the FIG. 8 and this encircled region C-C is reproduced in the magnified depiction of FIG. 9. In FIGS. 8 and 9, it is seen that the well 60 c is closed off by an inventive base structure. The base structure 89 comprises an annular rim 90 extending inwardly from the wall 62 c of the well 60 c. As with prior art closures the internal diameter of the well wall 62 c is sized to sealingly engage a standard probe of a dispensing apparatus. The annular rim 90 extends inwardly to an upward directed frusto-conical member 92. The frusto-conical member 92 extends back into the well 60 c and is truncated at it upper end, connecting at the upper end to a disk shaped member 94.
  • One or more frangible lines 86 extend over the base structure 89. Other arrangements, placements, and quantities of frangible lines are clearly within the scope of the inventive structure embodied here. The sectional view of FIGS. 8 and 9 is taken through one such frangible line. In this embodiment the frangible line begins at the junction of the well side wall 62 c and the annular rim 90 at arrow 88. The line then extends over the annular rim 90, up the conical member 92, across the disk shaped member 94, down the conical member 92 and finally across the annular rim 90 to the wall 62 c at arrow 91.
  • In actual use, a dispensing probe (not shown in FIGS. 8 and 9) enters the well and contacts the top disk shaped member 94. Continued insertion of the probe turns the frusto-conical structure 92 “inside-out” to a highly deformed position. The high deformation results in facile rupturing of the frangible lines on the base structure 89 allowing the probe to fully penetrate the base structure 89 and expose the exit ports to the fluid contents. Another aspect of the embodiments illustrated in the inventive structures herein (FIGS. 8 to 15) is that the frangible lines are designed for use with blunt dispensing probes, while some prior art references (as in U.S. Pat. Nos. 4,699,188 and 4,022,258) require sharp probes for penetration.
  • Upon removal of the probe, the base structure 89 is vigorous in its attempts to reseal. This is not only a result of the high degree of deformation for its original molded geometry, but also because the removal action of the probe tries to reinvert the structure, thereby assisting in pulling it closed.
  • FIG. 10 is a view, similar to FIG. 9, of another embodiment for the well structure of a “frangible valve non-spill” closure. In the FIG. 10 embodiment, the “truncated cone/disk end” of the embodiment of FIGS. 8 and 9 is replaced with a spherical-like body 96 extending upward back into the well. It is not required that the spherical-like body 96 has the exact surface of a sphere. The distinguishing characteristic is that the member is domed upward, like that shown. As with the FIG. 9 embodiment, one or more frangible lines 86 a are positioned on the base structure 89 a to facilitate penetration by a blunt probe of a dispensing apparatus. These lines 86 a may extend across the annular rim 90 a, over the spherical-like body 96, and then back across the annular rim 90 a to the well wall. Other arrangements for the weakened line(s) may be chosen.
  • In practice, the operation of the FIG. 10 embodiment is similar to the embodiment of FIGS. 8 and 9. The probe enters the well to push the spherical-like body and frangible structure “inside out”. The extensive deformation involved easily ruptures the frangible lines to permit facile probe penetration. Removal of the probe results in a very effective amount of re-closure.
  • Referring now to FIGS. 11 a through 11 c there is shown another embodiment for the well structure of a closure. While the closure is shown similar to the closure in the FIG. 10 embodiment, the closure in FIGS. 11 a through 11 c may be any type of closure and should not be limited to the illustrations shown. The well structure 60 g extends from the roof portion 2 g into the closure. The well 60 g has a wall structure 62 g that terminates at a base structure 89 g. The base structure 89 g may further include one or more frangible lines 86 g disposed thereon such that it may be penetrated by the probe from the dispensing apparatus. As shown in FIG. 11 a, the well 60 g further includes a projecting member 200 (the function of which is explained below). The projecting member 200 may be a bead-like structure 202 that extends annularly around the well. The projecting member 200 may be positioned anywhere along the wall structure 62 g, and preferably closer to the roof portion 2 g. The projecting member 200 may also be an upwardly projection 205 that extends radially inward towards the center of the well 60 g and that extends at an angle φ towards the roof portion 2 g (illustrated in FIG. 11 b). The projecting member 200 may also be an downwardly projection 210 that extends radially inward towards the center of the well 60 g and that extends at an angle γ towards the base structure 89 g.
  • Referring now to FIG. 12, once the probe 16 is inserted into the well 60 g and the frangible line(s) 86 g are broken, the base structure 89 g becomes deformed as it wraps against the probe 16. The projecting member 200 (or as illustrated the bead-like structure 202) becomes positioned against the probe 16 acting as a means for sealing the well 60 g against the probe 16 and aid in preventing and/or reducing the amount of liquid from seeping down the probe 16 past the broken base structure 89 g and then entering into the reservoir of the dispenser.
  • Referring now to FIGS. 13 a and 13 b, there is illustrated a top view of a well 60 h, drawn in accordance to having a wall 62 h that terminates to a base structure 89 h. The base structure 89 h includes an annular rim 90 h extending inwardly from the wall 62 h of the well 60 h. The annular rim 90 extends inwardly to an upward directed member 92, which may have a spherical shape (as shown) or a frusto-conical shape (as shown in the other figures). The member 92 extends back into the well 60 c. Two frangible lines 86 h are disposed on the base structure 89 h and are positioned to cross or overlap each other. As a preferred element of this embodiment, the frangible lines 86 h begin and end approximately at the wall 62 h. Adjoining these approximate points, where the frangible line 86 h meet the wall 62 h, are scored sections 220. The scored sections 220 may preferably be positioned to cross the ends of the frangible lines 86 h. In addition a portion of the scored sections 220 may traverse not only a portion of the base structure 89 h but also may traverse a portion of the wall 62 h (such a portion would extend perpendicularly from the view as shown). While the scored sections 220 are shown at each end of the frangible lines 86 h, it is possible to provide scored sections 220 at less than all of the ends of the frangible lines 86 h. The scored sections 220 by definition have thinner cross sections then the surrounding base structure 89 h (and the wall 62 h). During rupturing of the frangible lines 86 h by insertion of the probe 16, the ruptured sections 222 are forced out of the way by the probe 16 which may further deform the well 60 h and the wall 62 h. The scored sections 220 aid in allowing the well 60 h to become slightly deformed without further rupturing or breaking the well 60 h where the wall 62 h terminates at the base structure 89 h.
  • As shown in FIG. 13 b, it is further possible to provide a single frangible line 86 h disposed on the base structure 89 h and provided with a pair of scored sections 220. Similarly, the scored section 220 may preferably be positioned to cross the ends of the frangible line 86 h. In addition a portion of the scored sections 220 may traverse not only a portion of the base structure 89 h but also may traverse a portion of the wall 62 h.
  • In addition, it is contemplated by the present invention and included in the definition of a scored section 220 that the scored section 220 is an arcuate frangible line 225 (FIG. 13 c) that is disposed transversely to the frangible lines 86 h that are disposed on the base structure 89 h. The arcuate frangible line 225 is similarly positioned approximately at the ends of the frangible lines 86 h near or at the wall 62 h. However, it further is contemplated that the scored sections 220 may be positioned at a point that crosses the frangible lines 86 h but not at the ends thereof such that the frangible lines overlap the scored sections 220.
  • Referring now to FIGS. 14 a and 14 b there is shown a base structure 89 i shown with a well 60 i and the wall structure 62 i that would extend and terminate at the base structure 89 i. In this embodiment the base structure 89 i includes two deformable sections 250 and 252 that overlap one on top of the other such that the base structure 89 i includes a dominate deformable section 250 positioned to overlap, or to be coincident with an edge of, the subservient deformable section 252. In the partial side view of FIG. 14 b, the overlap of the two sections is preferably made to include only a portion 260 of the section 250 to lay over section 252. The overlap portion 260 is considered to be a frangible area such that when a blunt probe is pushed through the base structure 89 i it causes the two deformable sections 250 and 252 to separate, thus allowing the blunt probe to enter and permit liquid in the container to dispense. In FIG. 14 c, coincident portion 260 a is a common frangible line shared between the dominant deformable section 250 and the subservient deformable section 252. Hence in the overlap of FIG. 14 b, the overlap of the dominant deformable section 250 laps over, extends over, or covers at least a portion of the subservient deformable section 252 whereas in the coincident connection of FIG. 14 c, the coincident portion 260 a is a common frangible line between the dominant section 250 and the subservient section 252 wherein the sections coincide in part with or have an edge in common with each other.
  • As illustrated in FIG. 14 a there are only two deformable sections, however, multiple deformable sections may be present. Referring now to FIG. 15, there is shown a base structure 89 j that includes four deformable sections two of which would be dominate deformable sections 250 positioned to overlap or be coincident with two subservient deformable sections 252.
  • From the foregoing and as mentioned above, it will be observed that numerous variations and modifications may be effected without departing from the spirit and scope of the novel concept of the invention. It is to be understood that no limitation with respect to the specific methods and apparatus illustrated herein is intended or should be inferred.

Claims (34)

1. A cap for a container used on a water dispenser, said cap comprising:
a roof portion;
a cylindrical skirt;
a well extending from said roof portion into said cap, the well having a wall structure terminating at a base structure, said base structure having a shape defined as comprising an annular rim connected to said wall structure, a frusto-conical member depending from the annular rim and extending in a direction towards said roof portion, the frusto-conical member having an edge that terminates to a disk shaped member; and
at least two frangible lines defined on said base structure.
2. The cap of claim 1, wherein said disk shaped member is substantially planar.
3. The cap of claim 1, wherein each said frangible lines traverse said base structure.
4. The cap of claim 1, wherein each said frangible lines intersect one another.
5. The cap of claim 1, wherein each said frangible line traverse said base structure and intersect one another.
6. The cap of claim 1 further comprising scored sections positioned at ends defined by each frangible line.
7. The cap of claim 6 wherein each scored section includes a portion on the base structure and a portion on the wall structure.
8. The cap of claim 6 wherein each scored section is defined as a secondary frangible line.
9. The cap of claim 6 wherein each scored section is defined as an arcuate secondary frangible line.
10. The cap of claim 1 further comprising:
a shoulder portion which merges with the roof portion;
a skirt portion depending from the shoulder portion; and
the shoulder portion comprising an external surface having at least one first section having a first wall dimension, and at least one recessed region having a second wall dimension less than the first wall dimension.
11. A cap for a container used on a water dispenser, said cap comprising:
a roof portion;
a cylindrical skirt; and
a well extending from said roof portion into said cap, the well having a wall structure terminating at a base structure, said base structure having a shape defined as comprising an annular rim connected to said wall structure, a dome depending from the annular rim and extending in a direction towards said roof portion.
12. The cap of claim 11 further comprising at least two frangible lines defined on said base structure.
13. The cap of claim 11, wherein each said frangible lines traverse said base structure.
14. The cap of claim 11, wherein each said frangible lines intersect one another.
15. The cap of claim 11, wherein each said frangible lines traverse said base structure and intersect one another.
16. The cap of claim 12 further comprising scored sections positioned at ends defined by each frangible line.
17. The cap of claim 16 wherein each scored section includes a portion on the base structure and a portion on the wall structure.
18. The cap of claim 16 wherein each scored section is defined as a secondary frangible line.
19. The cap of claim 16 wherein each scored section is defined as an arcuate secondary frangible line.
20. The cap of claim 11 wherein the base structure includes at least two sections, wherein one of said sections includes a dominate portion that overlaps or is coincident with an edge of a subservient portion defined by another one of said sections, such that the overlap or coincidence causes the base structure to be sufficiently sealed during non-use, and said at least two sections being deformable such that during penetration of the base structure by a probe defined by the water dispenser, the two sections deform to separate and allow liquid within said container to dispense.
21. The cap of claim 20, wherein the base structure includes four sections defined to have two dominate portions overlapping or coincident with two subservient portions.
22. A cap for a container used on a water dispenser, said cap comprising:
a roof portion;
a cylindrical skirt; and
a well extending from said roof portion into said cap, the well having a wall structure terminating at a base structure, said base structure having a shape defined as comprising an annular rim connected to said wall structure, a convex member depending from the annular rim and extending in a direction towards said roof portion.
23. The cap of claim 22 further comprising at least two frangible lines defined on said base structure.
24. The cap of claim 23, wherein each said frangible lines traverse said base structure.
25. The cap of claim 23, wherein each said frangible lines intersect one another.
26. The cap of claim 23, wherein each said frangible lines traverse said base structure and intersect one another.
27. The cap of claim 23 further comprising scored sections positioned at ends defined by each frangible line.
28. The cap of claim 27 wherein each scored section includes a portion on the base structure and a portion on the wall structure.
29. The cap of claim 27 wherein each scored section is defined as a secondary frangible line.
30. The cap of claim 27 wherein each scored section is defined as an arcuate secondary frangible line.
31. A cap for a container used on a water dispenser, said cap comprising:
a roof portion;
a cylindrical skirt;
a well extending from said roof portion into said cap, the well having a wall structure terminating at a base structure, said base structure having a shape defined as comprising an annular rim connected to said wall structure, a dome depending from the annular rim and extending in a direction towards said roof portion;
a frangible line defined on said base structure and having a pair of ends; and
scored sections positioned at said ends defined by said frangible line.
32. The cap of claim 31 wherein each scored section includes a portion on the base structure and a portion on the wall structure.
33. The cap of claim 32 wherein each scored section is defined as a secondary frangible line.
34. The cap of claim 32 wherein each scored section is defined as an arcuate secondary frangible line.
US11/535,197 2006-06-06 2006-09-26 Closure having inverted frangible valve Abandoned US20070278175A1 (en)

Priority Applications (2)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US80399706P true 2006-06-06 2006-06-06
US11/535,197 US20070278175A1 (en) 2006-06-06 2006-09-26 Closure having inverted frangible valve

Applications Claiming Priority (2)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US11/535,197 US20070278175A1 (en) 2006-06-06 2006-09-26 Closure having inverted frangible valve
PCT/US2007/066590 WO2007146484A2 (en) 2006-06-06 2007-04-13 Closure having inverted frangible valve

Publications (1)

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US20070278175A1 true US20070278175A1 (en) 2007-12-06

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ID=38788874

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US11/535,197 Abandoned US20070278175A1 (en) 2006-06-06 2006-09-26 Closure having inverted frangible valve

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US (1) US20070278175A1 (en)
WO (1) WO2007146484A2 (en)

Citations (14)

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US4022258A (en) * 1975-10-28 1977-05-10 American Hospital Supply Corporation Ported closure and connector therefor
US4328904A (en) * 1981-02-03 1982-05-11 Iverson Elaine J Spill proof container and closure
US4699188A (en) * 1986-01-17 1987-10-13 Baker Henry E Hygienic liquid dispensing system
US4911316A (en) * 1989-04-27 1990-03-27 Cap Snap Co. Plastic bottle cap sealing plural neck profiles
US5025947A (en) * 1988-10-28 1991-06-25 Marcello Leone Single-dose beverage cup and rectangular cross-section straw assembly
US5031676A (en) * 1988-09-30 1991-07-16 Liqui-Box Corporation Decap dispensing system for water cooler bottles
US5121778A (en) * 1988-10-14 1992-06-16 Elkay Manufacturing Company Liquid container support and hygienic liquid dispensing system
US5147065A (en) * 1991-11-04 1992-09-15 James River Corporation Of Virginia Disposable cup lid having a tear-resistant straw slot
US5232125A (en) * 1991-10-08 1993-08-03 Portola Packaging, Inc. Non-spill bottle cap used with water dispensers
US5687865A (en) * 1991-10-08 1997-11-18 Portola Packaging, Inc. Spill-reduction cap for fluid container
US5687867A (en) * 1996-07-22 1997-11-18 Crealise Packaging Inc. One-piece cap for liquid dispenser container
US6032812A (en) * 1996-07-22 2000-03-07 Crealise Packaging Inc. One-piece cap for liquid dispenser container
US6308849B1 (en) * 1999-08-13 2001-10-30 Charles Y. J. Kim Cap for containers used on drinking water dispensers
US20040245250A1 (en) * 2003-06-09 2004-12-09 Hidalgo Craig A. Straw receptacle lid

Patent Citations (14)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US4022258A (en) * 1975-10-28 1977-05-10 American Hospital Supply Corporation Ported closure and connector therefor
US4328904A (en) * 1981-02-03 1982-05-11 Iverson Elaine J Spill proof container and closure
US4699188A (en) * 1986-01-17 1987-10-13 Baker Henry E Hygienic liquid dispensing system
US5031676A (en) * 1988-09-30 1991-07-16 Liqui-Box Corporation Decap dispensing system for water cooler bottles
US5121778A (en) * 1988-10-14 1992-06-16 Elkay Manufacturing Company Liquid container support and hygienic liquid dispensing system
US5025947A (en) * 1988-10-28 1991-06-25 Marcello Leone Single-dose beverage cup and rectangular cross-section straw assembly
US4911316A (en) * 1989-04-27 1990-03-27 Cap Snap Co. Plastic bottle cap sealing plural neck profiles
US5687865A (en) * 1991-10-08 1997-11-18 Portola Packaging, Inc. Spill-reduction cap for fluid container
US5232125A (en) * 1991-10-08 1993-08-03 Portola Packaging, Inc. Non-spill bottle cap used with water dispensers
US5147065A (en) * 1991-11-04 1992-09-15 James River Corporation Of Virginia Disposable cup lid having a tear-resistant straw slot
US5687867A (en) * 1996-07-22 1997-11-18 Crealise Packaging Inc. One-piece cap for liquid dispenser container
US6032812A (en) * 1996-07-22 2000-03-07 Crealise Packaging Inc. One-piece cap for liquid dispenser container
US6308849B1 (en) * 1999-08-13 2001-10-30 Charles Y. J. Kim Cap for containers used on drinking water dispensers
US20040245250A1 (en) * 2003-06-09 2004-12-09 Hidalgo Craig A. Straw receptacle lid

Also Published As

Publication number Publication date
WO2007146484A2 (en) 2007-12-21
WO2007146484A3 (en) 2008-11-20

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