PatentDe  


Dokumentenidentifikation EP0301677 09.03.1989
EP-Veröffentlichungsnummer 0301677
Titel Kindersicherer Verschluss.
Anmelder Polytop Corp., Slatersville, R.I., US
Erfinder Wilson, Woodrow S., Johnston, Rhode Island 02919, US;
La Vange, Donald, Cumberland, Rhode Island 02864, US
Vertreter derzeit kein Vertreter bestellt
Vertragsstaaten AT, BE, CH, DE, ES, FR, GB, GR, IT, LI, LU, NL, SE
Sprache des Dokument En
EP-Anmeldetag 18.04.1988
EP-Aktenzeichen 883034605
EP-Offenlegungsdatum 01.02.1989
Veröffentlichungstag im Patentblatt 09.03.1989
IPC-Hauptklasse B65D 47/26

Beschreibung[en]

This invention generally pertains to a child resistant dispensing closure employing a cap and a spout. Such closures are normally constructed so that the spout is rotatably mounted within a cavity formed in the cap in such a manner as to be capable of being rotated between an open position in which a passage through the spout is aligned with an opening through the top of the cap, and a closed position in which the spout closes off the opening through the cap.

While closures of this type are extremely utilitarian, a critical feature which limits their commercial applicability and acceptance is the ease with which the closure may be opened and, hence, access to the contents of the associated container gained. Although facility of operation may, at first blush, appear to be advantageous, closures utilized with hazardous or similar materials must be relatively difficult to open so that comparatively young children or those of reduced mental capacity cannot open them under normal circumstances. However, the dispensing closure must also be sufficiently easy to open so that it may be conveniently operated by individuals of normal mental capacity, even if such individuals do not possess what may be regarded as normal physical strengths.

In response to the foregoing problem, efforts have been made to provide rotatable spout dispensing closures with detents or detent-like structure intended to render the spouts in said closures relatively difficult to open. Closures of this type have failed to be sufficiently child resistant in character to be acceptable from a commercial standpoint. May of these closures essentially rely on relatively high rotational torque levels in order to satisfy child resistant standards. Consequently, the spouts must be inserted into the caps in such a manner as to require a minimum of two or three pounds of rotational torque in order to resist the manipulation efforts of a child. These high rotational torque levels consequently render adult operation more difficult and thereby reduce the commercial feasibility of the dispensing closure.

Presently known dispensing closures of the foregoing type have been disappointing in responding to child resistant demands.

Examples of such prior art dispensing closures are shown in U.S. Patent NoS: 3,568,895, 3873005, 3957181, 4,209,114 and 4,219,138.

These prior art child resistant dispensing closures of the type having a rotatable spout have generally relied upon either diverse locking mechanisms to maintain the spout in a closed position or upon complex designs intended to require a sequence of manipulative motions. US Specification 3873005 has a spout which can only be lifted when it is in a particular angular position relative the container. In this position the end of the spout is contactable by a finger to produce an effective turning force on the spout. While two circumferential grooves are formed on the spout, in its planar outer surface adjacent its turning axis, these could not be used to rotate the spout to an open position unless it was in said particular angular position and then would be relatively ineffective, compared with the spout end, for applying a rotating force to the spout.

US Specification 3957181, which is regarded as the closest prior art, has an enlargement with an angled surface which can be pushed to initiate rotation of the spout. However, this angled surface is not hidden among a plurality of other angled surfaces which are unsuitable for such rotation.

Thus, the prior art fails to provide a rotatable spout dispensing closure which is not only effective and reliable from a child resistant viewpoint, but which is also susceptible to easy adult operation, which is desirable from an aesthetic and a utilitarian standpoint, and which is cost effective.

The present invention provides a child resistant closure comprising a cap and a spout, said cap being adapted for attachment to a container, said cap having a top, an opening formed in said cap communicating with the interior of said dispensing closure, a through passage formed in said spout, said spout having an upper surface, said spout being supported within said cap, said spout being adapted for rotation about a horizontal axis between a closed position wherein said spout closes off said opening in said cap and an open position wherein said opening in said cap and said through passage are aligned; a plurality of ribs formed on said upper surface of said spout, each of said ribs including a ramp like forward surface; characterised in that there are at least three ribs, spaced over the upper surface of the spout, in the closed position of said spout all except one of said plurality of ribs being located at that side of the vertical centre line through said opening which faces towards the dispensing opening of said passage, said one of said ribs being located on the opposite side of said centre line, and each of said ribs has a planar upper surface, all except one of said ramp like surfaces being angled so as to prevent sufficient purchase to rotate said spout when a manual force is applied thereto and thereby prevent the proper force vector required to rotate said spout when said force is applied to said ramp like surface, said one of said ramp like surfaces being angled at a greater angle to its planar upper surface to provide sufficient purchase to rotate said spout when said force is applied thereto and thereby producing the proper force vector required to rotate said spout when said force is applied to said ramp like surface.

The all except one of the ribs successfully divert and confuse a child or individual of impaired mental capacity preventing accidental opening.

Preferably the probability that a child or individual of infirm mental capacity would inadvertently discover the sole rib capable of operating the rotatable spout is even further diminished by a pattern of ribs formed on the upper surface of the top of the cap. The pattern of ribs, in conjunction with the ribs formed on the spout, reduce to neglible the possibility that a child, or other individual of similar mental capability, exploring the cap with fingers, objects or teeth, would locate the only proper rib for successful operation of the spout. For a small child, the teeth provide the primary tool in opening a closure. Although visual observation and intellect may indicate to a child that only the rearmost rib will open the closure, the child's orientation is lost when the closure is put to the mouth and the teeth have many ribs to select.

Embodiments of the present invention are now described by way of example only with reference to the accompanying drawings in which:

  • Fig. 1 is a perspective view of a dispensing closure showing the dispensing spout partially raised;
  • Fig. 2 is a top plan view of the dispensing closure;
  • Fig. 3 is an exploded cross-sectional view of the dispensing closure taken along line 3-3 of Fig 2;
  • Fig. 4 is a transverse vertical cross-sectional view of the dispensing closure taken along line 4-4 of Fig. 3;
  • Fig. 5 is a horizontal cross-sectional view of the dispensing closure taken along line 5-5 of Fig. 3;
  • Fig. 6 is a fragmentary vertical cross-sectional view of the dispensing closure taken along line 6-6 of Fig. 5; and
  • Fig. 7 is a side elevational view of a first alternative embodiment of dispensing closure.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

Referring to FIGS. 1-3, there is shown a dispensing closure 10 in accordance with this invention having a closure body or cap 12 and a spout 14. These two parts may be conveniently formed so that each is an integral unit by means of common high speed injection molding techniques.

The cap 12 is defined by a planar top 16 terminating in a dependent peripheral skirt 18. As shown in FIG. 3, the interior of the skirt is provided with conventional securing means, such as threads 20, for cooperating with similarly configured means, such as recesses 22, formed in the neck of a container 24 for attaching the dispensing closure thereto. Various other equivalents known in the art may be substituted for the threads 20 and recesses 22. Moreover, the skirt 18 may, if desired, be formed integral to the container wall by means of known molding processes.

As is best depicted in FIGS. 1-4, top 16 is of substantially flat configuration and is provided with an elongated cavity 26. The cavity 26 extends from within the central region of the top 16, terminating adjacent to the interior of the skirt at 28 as shown in FIG. 3. With further reference to FIG. 3, cavity 26 is defined by a bottom wall 30 and an enlarged end 32. An opening 34 is provided in the bottom wall of the cavity at the enlarged end to establish communication between the cavity 26 and the interior of the dispensing closure. A pattern of transverse ribs 35 is formed on the upper surface of the top 16 for a purpose to be hereinafter described.

Referring to FIGS. 3, 4 and 5, cavity 26 is further defined by parallel vertically oriented side walls 36. A bearing opening 38 is provided in each of the side walls 36 opening into the enlarged end 32 of the cavity 26. The bearing openings have aligned axes, which establish the axis of rotation for the spout 14, and are each provided with tapered, slot-type entrances 40 best illustrated in FIG. 6.

Spout 14 is of elongated configuration having a first or base end 42 and a second end 44. A through passage 46 extends longitudinally through the spout from the first to the second end. Aligned trunnions 48 are provided on the spout on the base end. These aligned trunnions 48 may be forced downwardly into and through the slot-type entrances 40 so as to be "popped" into place within the bearing openings 38 in such a manner that the spout 14 may be rotated from a closed position as shown in FIGS. 2 and 3 to an open position as indicated in phantom in FIG. 3. Preferably, both the trunnions and the bearing openings are shaped as the frustrum of a circular cone, although other known types of structures can be utilized for rotatably mounting the spout 14 upon the cap 12.

As is best illustrated in FIG. 3, spout 14 is constructed so as to lie entirely within the cavity 26 when the spout is in the closed position. When the spout 14 is rotatably mounted upon the cap 12, the base end 42 of the spout fits within the enlarged end 32 of the cavity 26. The spout is dimensioned so as to have sides 50 which fit within, and slightly spaced from, the side walls 36 of the cavity, as depicted in FIG. 5. The second end 44 of the spout is provided with a projection 52 which terminates adjacent to and just inside of the peripheral skirt at 28. Thus, the projection 52 normally cannot be manually engaged so as to maneuver or rotate the spout.

With particular reference to FIG. 3, it can be seen that, in the closed position, through passage 46 provided in spout 14 is not aligned with the opening 34 provided in the bottom wall 30 of cavity 26, but rather, extends perpendicular thereto. Hence, in the closed position, opening 34 is closed off by the base end 42 of the spout and the contents of the container cannot be released. When the spout is rotated to the open position as shown in phantom in FIG. 3, through passage 46 is aligned with opening 34 and the contents of the container may be released.

As depicted in FIGS. 1 and 2, and, in particular, FIG. 3, the top surface 53 of the spout 14 is provided with a plurality of ribs 54, 56 and 58, three of which are herein shown. Two of these ribs 56, 58 are located forward of the center line of opening 34, which center line extends perpendicular to and intersects the horizontal axis of rotation of spout 14. The ribs 54, 56 and 58 are provided, respectively, with ramp-like forward surfaces or energy planes 60, 62 and 64. Energy plane 64 of rib 58 projects above the top surface 53 of the spout with a slope which, when a manual force is applied to the energy plane, results in the force vector indicated by arrow A in FIG. 3. This manual force may be applied directly by a person's finger or fingernail, a child's tooth, or it may be applied by means of a small object, such as a coin or the like. Similarly, a manual force applied to the energy plane 62 of rib 56 results in the force vector indicated by arrow B in FIG. 3.

It can be seen from FIG. 3 that force vectors A and B represent a force emanating from the energy planes 64 and 62, respectively, and intersecting the horizontal axis of rotation of the spout, and the center line of the opening 34. Thus, the slope of each of the energy planes 62, 64 is such as to fail to provide a proper force vector to rotate the spout when a force is applied to the energy planes. Moreover, the energy planes 62, 64 fail to allow sufficient purchase on their respective ribs 56, 58 in that each of the energy planes is relatively gently sloping and terminates in flat upper surfaces 66, 68, respectively. Hence, any amount of force, whether calculated or inadvertent, applied by any means to the ribs 56 and 58 and, in particular, to their energy planes 62 and 64, will fail to result in any rotational movement of the spout.

Rearmost rib 54, in contrast, is provided with energy plane 60 and is located on the opposite side of the axis of rotation of the spout 14 on the base end 42. Energy plane 60 terminates in a flat upper surface 70, which surface is coplanar with the top surface 53 of the spout 14. The slope of energy plane 60 is such as to result in the force vector designated by arrow C of FIG. 3 when a force is applied thereto. This force vector associated with energy plane 60 is sufficient to initiate rotation of the spout in order to raise the second end 44 of the spout so that projection 52 may be manually grasped and the spout further rotated to the open position shown in phantom in FIG. 3. Additionally, the slope of energy plane 60 is relatively steep so as to allow sufficient purchase on rib 54 to effect rotation of the spout.

The combination of ribs 54, 56 and 58, with only the rearmost rib 54 being capable of providing rotation of the spout 14, provides significant child resistant protection. The several ribs serve to confuse a child or mentally infirm individual, while simultaneously diminishing the probability that the child or other individual of reduced mental capacity will inadvertently select the only rib capable of providing access to the container. The combination of ribs provided on the spout is rendered even more confusing by the pattern of transverse ribs 35 formed on the upper surface of the top 16 of the cap 12. Ribs 35, which blend with the ribs provided on the spout, effectively preclude a child who is randomly exploring the dispensing closure with his teeth or some object from encountering the sole energy plane which will provide both sufficient purchase and the proper force vector to rotate the spout. Hence, the probability that a child will inadvertently successfully manipulate the dispensing closure is reduced to negligible.

Since the instant dispensing closure employs a pattern of confusingly similar ribs to prevent unauthorized operation by a child, the rotational torque of the spout need not be very great. Eliminating reliance on high rotational torques to prevent entry allows the spout to be situated in the cap so as to possess very little rotational resistance. The dispensing closure is thereby rendered more adult receptive in that it may be operated easily and conveniently by an individual possessing less than average physical strengths.

A first alternative embodiment for the spout 14 of the instant dispensing closure is depicted in FIG. 7. As illustrated therein, spout 72 is provided with ribs 74, 76 and 78 having, respectively, energy planes 80, 82 and 84. As previously discussed in connection with spout 14, energy planes 82 and 84 do not provide sufficient purchase, nor do they present the proper force vectors, to rotate spout 72. Only rearmost energy plane 80 slopes upwardly above the top surface 53 of the spout a sufficient extent to provide adequate purchase and the proper force vector to attain rotation of the spout.


Anspruch[de]
  1. Kindersicherer Verschluß mit einer Kappe (12) und einer Tülle (14), wobei die Kappe zur Befestigung an einem Behälter (24) geeignet ist; die Kappe ein Oberteil (16) aufweist, eine in der Kappe ausgebildete Öffnung (34) mit dem Inneren des Abgabeschlusses in Verbindung steht, ein Durchtrittskanal (46) in der Tülle ausgebildet ist, die Tülle eine obere Oberfläche (53) aufweist, die Tülle innerhalb der Kappe gelagert ist, die Tülle zur Verschwenkung um eine Horizontalachse zwischen einer Schließstellung, in der die Tülle die Öffnungen der Kappe verschließt und einer Öffnungsstellung, in der die Öffnung in der Kappe und der Durchtrittskanal miteinander fluchten, verschwenkbar ist, eine Vielzahl von Rippen (54, 56, 58) an der oberen Oberfläche der Tülle ausgebildet ist, wobei jede der Rippen eine rampenartige vordere Oberfläche aufweist, dadurch gekennzeichnet, daß mindestens drei Rippen in Abständen über der oberen Oberfläche der Tülle vorgesehen sind, wobei in der Schließstellung der Tülle mit einer Ausnahme alle Rippen der Vielzahl von Rippen (56, 58) an derjenigen Seite der vertikalen Mittellinie durch die Öffnung (34) angeordnet sind, die der Abgabeöffnung des Durchtrittskanals (46) zugewandt ist, wobei die eine (54) der Rippen an der gegenüberliegenden Seite der Mittellinie angeordnet ist, und wobei alle Rippen eine planare obere Oberfläche aufweisen, wobei alle Oberflächen (62, 64) mit einer Ausnahme (60) der rampenartigen Oberflächen in Hinblick darauf abgewinkelt sind, einen ausreichenden Zugriff zu verhindern, um die Tülle bei Aufbringen einer Handkraft zu verschwenken, und dadurch den für das Verschwenken der Tülle erforderlichen geeigneten Kraftvektor zu verhindern, wenn die Kraft auf die rampenartige Oberfläche aufgebracht wird, wobei eine (60) der rampenartigen Oberflächen unter einem größeren Winkel zu ihrer planaren oberen Oberfläche abgewinkelt ist, um einen ausreichenden Zugriff zu schaffen, um die Tülle bei Aufbringung der Kraft zu verschwenken und um dadurch den für das Verschwenken der Tülle erforderlichen geeigneten Kraftvektor zu schaffen, wenn die Kraft auf die rampenartige Oberfläche aufgebracht wird.
  2. Kindersicherer Abgabeverschluß nach Anspruch 1, dadurch gekennzeichnet, daß alle rampenartigen Oberflächen (62, 64) mit Ausnahme der einen einen Kraftvektor aufweisen, der die Horizontalachse schneidet, wenn die Kraft auf die rampenartigen Oberflächen aufgebracht wird.
  3. Kindersicherer Verschluß nach Anspruch 1 oder Anspruch 2, bei dem das Oberteil (16) der Kappe (12) eine länglichen Hohlraum (26) definiert, der erste Anbaumittel (36) in der Kappe und damit zusammenarbeitende Anbaumittel (48) an der Tülle zur schwenkbeweglichen Lagerung der Tülle in dem Hohlraum umfaßt, wobei die planaren oberen Oberflächen der Rippen parallel zu der oberen Oberfläche der Kappe in der Schließstellung der Tülle verlaufen.
  4. Kindersicherer Verschluß nach Anspruch 3, dadurch gekennzeichnet, daß die Tülle in der Schließstellung in dem Hohlraum derart aufgenommen ist, daß sich nur die eine Rippe (54) der Vielzahl von Rippen nicht über das Niveau des Oberteils der Kappe erstreckt.
  5. Kindersicherer Verschluß nach Anspruch 3 oder Anspruch 4, wobei das vordere Ende (52) der Tülle in der Schließstellung derjenigen Wand der Kappe eng benachbart ist, die das vordere Ende des Hohlraums definiert.
  6. Kindersicherer Verschluß nach irgendeinem der Ansprüche 1 bis 5 mit einem Muster quer verlaufender Rippen, die an dem Oberteil der Kappe ausgebildet sind und wobei die Rippen an der Kappe derart in die Rippen an der Tülle übergehen, daß sie ein Kind oder eine anderweitige Person geschwächter geistiger Fähigkeit verwirren oder von einem unbeabsichtigten Öffnen des Verschlusses abhalten.
Anspruch[en]
  1. A child resistant closure comprising a cap (12) and a spout (14), said cap being adapted for attachment to a container (24), said cap having a top (16), an opening (34) formed in said cap communicating with the interior of said dispensing closure, a through passage (46) formed in said spout, said spout having an upper surface (53), said spout being supported within said cap, said spout being adapted for rotation about a horizontal axis between a closed position wherein said spout closes off said opening in said cap and an open position wherein said opening in said cap and said through passage are aligned; a plurality of ribs (54, 56, 58) formed on said upper surface of said spout, each of said ribs including a ramp like forward surface; characterised in that there are at least three ribs, spaced over the upper surface of the spout, in the closed position of said spout all except one of said plurality of ribs (56, 58) being located at that side of the vertical centre line through said opening (34) which faces towards the dispensing opening of said passage (46), said one (54) of said ribs being located on the opposite side of said centre line, and each of said ribs has a planar upper surface, all (62, 64) except one (60) of said ramp like surfaces being angled so as to prevent sufficient purchase to rotate said spout when a manual force is applied thereto and thereby prevent the proper force vector required to rotate said spout when said force is applied to said ramp like surface, said one (60) of said ramp like surfaces being angled at a greater angle to its planar upper surface to provide sufficient purchase to rotate said spout when said force is applied thereto and thereby producing the proper force vector required to rotate said spout when said force is applied to said ramp like surface.
  2. The child resistant dispensing closure as recited in Claim 1 characterised in that each of said all except one of said plurality of ramp like surfaces (62, 64) has a force vector intersecting said horizontal axis when said force is applied to said ramp like surfaces.
  3. A child resistant closure according to Claim 1 or Claim 2 in which the top (16) of the cap (12) defines an elongated cavity (26) including first mounting means (36) in the cap and co-operating mounting means (48) on the spout for rotatably supporting the spout in the cavity, said planar upper surfaces of the ribs being parallel to the upper surface of the cap in the closed position of the spout.
  4. A child resistant closure according to Claim 3 characterised in that in the closed position the spout is housed in the cavity such that only the said one (54) of said plurality of ribs does not extend above the level of the top of the cap.
  5. A child resistant closure according to Claim 3 or Claim 4 in which in the closed position the front end (52) of the spout is closely adjacent the wall of the cap defining the front end of the cavity.
  6. A child resistant closure according to any of Claims 1 to 5 including a pattern of transverse ribs formed on the top of the cap and in which the ribs on the cap blend with the ribs on the spout such as to confuse or distract a child or other individual of reduced mental capacity from inadvertently opening the closure.
Anspruch[fr]
  1. Fermeture résistant aux enfants, comprenant une capsule (12) et un bec verseur (14), ladite capsule étant apte à être fixée à un récipient (24), ladite capsule ayant une surface supérieure (16), une ouverture (34) formée dans ladite capsule et communiquant avec l'intérieur de ladite fermeture de distribution, un passage traversant (46) formé dans ledit bec verseur, ledit bec verseur ayant une surface supérieure (53), ledit bec verseur étant supporté à l'intérieur de ladite capsule, ledit bec verseur étant apte à tourner autour d'un axe horizontal, entre une position fermée dans laquelle ledit bec verseur ferme ladite ouverture dans ladite capsule, et une position ouverte dans laquelle ladite ouverture dans ladite capsule et ledit passage traversant sont alignés; une pluralité de nervures (54, 56, 58) formées sur ladite surface supérieure dudit bec verseur, chacune desdites nervures comprenant une surface avant en forme de rampe, caractérisée en ce qu'il y a au moins trois nervures, espacées sur la surface supérieure du bec verseur dans la position fermée dudit bec verseur, toutes exceptée l'une de ladite pluralité de nervures (56, 58) étant situées du côté de la ligne centrale verticale à travers ladite ouverture (34) qui est en face de l'ouverture de distribution dudit passage (46), ladite une (54) desdites nervures étant située sur le côté opposé de ladite ligne centrale, et chacune desdites nervures ayant une surface supérieure plane, toutes (62, 64) exceptée l'une (60) desdites surfaces en forme de rampe étant inclinées de façon à empêcher une prise suffisante pour tourner ledit bec verseur quand une force manuelle est appliquée dessus, et de ce fait empêcher le vecteur convenable de force nécessaire pour tourner ledit bec verseur quand ladite force est appliquée à ladite surface en forme de rampe, ladite une (60) desdites surfaces en forme de rampe étant inclinée selon un plus grand angle par rapport à sa surface plane supérieure afin d'offrir une prise suffisante pour faire tourner ledit bec verseur quand ladite force est appliquée sur elle, et de ce fait produire le vecteur convenable de force nécessaire pour faire tourner ledit bec verseur quand ladite force est appliquée à ladite surface en forme de rampe.
  2. Fermeture de distribution résistant aux enfants selon la revendication 1, caractérisée en ce que chacune, exceptée une, de ladite pluralité de surfaces (62, 64) en forme de rampe a un vecteur de force intersectant ledit axe horizontal quand ladite force est appliquée auxdites surfaces en forme de rampe.
  3. Fermeture résistant aux enfants selon la revendication 1 ou la revendication 2, dans laquelle la surface supérieure (16) de la capsule (12) définit une cavité allongée (26) comportant un premier moyen (36) de montage dans la capsule et un moyen coopérant (48) de montage sur le bec verseur pour supporter le bec verseur à rotation dans la cavité, lesdites surfaces supérieures planes des nervures étant parallèles à la surface supérieure de la capsule dans la position fermée du bec verseur.
  4. Fermeture résistant aux enfants selon la revendication 3, caractérisée en ce que, dans la position fermée, le bec verseur est logé dans la cavité de telle sorte que seule ladite une (54) de ladite pluralité de nervures ne s'étend pas au dessus du niveau de la surface supérieure de la capsule.
  5. Fermeture résistant aux enfants selon la revendication 3 ou la revendication 4, dans laquelle, dans la position fermée, l'extrémité frontale (52) du bec verseur est étroitement adjacente à la paroi de la capsule définissant l'extrémité frontale de la cavité.
  6. Fermeture résistant aux enfants selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 5, comportant un motif de nervures transversales formées sur la surface supérieure de la capsule, les nervures sur la capsule se mélangent avec les nervures sur le bec verseur, de façon à embrouiller ou à distraire un enfant ou un autre individu de capacité mentale réduite, afin d'éviter d'ouvrir par inadvertance la fermeture.






IPC
A Täglicher Lebensbedarf
B Arbeitsverfahren; Transportieren
C Chemie; Hüttenwesen
D Textilien; Papier
E Bauwesen; Erdbohren; Bergbau
F Maschinenbau; Beleuchtung; Heizung; Waffen; Sprengen
G Physik
H Elektrotechnik

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