US 3661289 A
A snap-on bottle cap seal device is made of a elastic material, such as a plastic, and is formed of a reusable sealing cap and a ring-shaped safety strip detachably secured to and extending circumferentially about the lower end of the cap when it is initially secured on a bottle. A lifting lug is formed on the lower edge of the sealing cap and a tear-off tab, attached to the safety strip, is secured by small web sections to the lug.
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lJnited States Patent Segmuller 51 May 9,1972
 BOTTLE CAP SEAL DEVICE WITH A TEAR-OFF SAFETY STRIP  lnventor: Bruno Segmuller, Niederfeld, Switzerland  Assignee: Segmuller AG, Stein am Rhine, Switzerland  Filed: Aug. 26, 1970  Appl. No.: 67,127
 I Foreign Application Priority Data Sept. 21, 1969 Switzerland ..15732/69 Apr. 2, 1970 Germany ..P 20 15 780.6
 user ..2l5/4l,2l5/42,2l5/46A  mar ..B65d4l/22 5s FieldofSearch ..2l5/4l,42,46A,7
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,142,403 7/1964 Fox ..215/41 3,473,685 10/1969 Karlan .2 15/41 FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 1,412,186 8/1965 France 215/42 639,037 5/1962 Italy ..215/42 Primary Examiner-Joseph R. Leclair Assistant E.raminer--Jam es R. Garrett Attorney-McGlew and Toren  ABSTRACT A snap-on bottle cap seal device is made of a elastic material, such as a plastic, and is formed ofa reusable sealing cap and a ring-shaped safety strip detachably secured to and extending circumferentially about the lower end of the cap when it is initially secured on a bottle. A lifting lu'g is formed on the lower edge of the sealing cap and a tear-off tab, attached to the safety strip, is secured by small web sections to the lug 7 Claims, 5 Drawing Figures PATENTEDMM 9 I972 3. 661- 2 8 9 sum 1 [IF 3 INVENTQR. BRUNO SEGHULLER BY mc yaw a/m/ Fmm ATTOR N EYS PATENTEDMAY 9 197 sum 2 or 3 INVENT BRUNO sEeMu BY y zw amd ATI'O R N 5 PATENTEDMAY 9 I972 661 ,289
NVENT R BRU NO SEGM ULLER BY c (0W7 flTTORNEW BOTTLE CAP SEAL DEVICE WITH A TEAR-OFF SAFETY STRIP SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The invention is directed to a bottle cap seal device formed of an elastic material and, more particularly, it is directed to a sealing cap incorporating a lifting lug and a detachable safety strip which extends around the lower edge of the sealing cap and is provided with a tear-off tab arranged in such a manner that the tear-off tab may easily be gripped by a user who wants to remove the safety strip from the seal device.
Known plastic seals used for bottles filled with a liquid under pressure have the disadvantage that, unlike metallic seals of conventional design, they are not suitable for mechanical filling and cleaning, they do not withstand the bottling pressure during shipping, they are difficult to open, and they cannot be used as a pilfer-proof seal. In known bottle cap seal devices, the tear-ofi tab of the safety strip is arranged with a gap between the free end of the tab and the lifting lug.
The primary object of the present invention is to provide a bottle seal device formed of elastic material which does not have the above mentioned disadvantages and in which no gap is present between the lifting lug and the free end of the tearoff tab, and which is easily manufactured by mass-production methods.
Another object of the invention is to provide a bottle cap seal device provided with a tear-off t'ab attached to the safety strip and detachably connected to the lifting lug for securing the cap on the bottle before its contents are used.
A further object of the invention is to provide a bottle cap seal device comprising a lifting lug and a a safety strip provided with a tear-off tab which offers a pleasant appearance and exhibits a continuous circumferential surface structure.
The sealing device, in accordance with the present invention, can be mechanically sorted, aligned and secured on the bottle. Furthermore, it affords a rinsable, pilfer-proof seal which can be easily opened and closed.
Therefore, the seal device is characterized by a safety strip attached to the lower edge of the sealing cap and secured about the bottle. A tear-off tab is attached to the safety strip so that it can be easily separated from the sealing cap and removed from the bottle.
When the seal device is secured on a, bottle, the tear-off tab is positioned just below a lifting lug on the sealing cap and it is connected to the lug by a plurality of spaced narrow web sections. To remove the cap, first the tear-off tab must be separated from the lifting lug by breaking the web sections and then by pulling the tab outwardly the safety strip can be separated from the lower edge of the cap. With the safety strip removed the cap can be readily opened by lifting upwardly on the lug. After its removal, the cap can be easily and effectively replaced on the bottle.
Preferably, the seal device is made of an elastic flexible material, particularly a thermoplastic material. Thermoplastic materials which are suitable for forming the seal device are polyethylene, polypropylene, polyamides and plasticized polyvinyl chloride.
The various features of the novelty which characterize the invention are pointed out with particularity in the claims annexed to and forming a part of this specification. For a better understanding of the invention, its operating advantages and specific objects attained by its use, reference should be had to the accompanying drawings and descriptive matter in which there is illustrated and described a preferred embodiment of the invention.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a seal device, in accordance with the present invention, positioned on a bottle;
FIG. 2 is a top view of the seal device shown in FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a sectional view taken along line III-III in FIG. 2 with the left hand half of the view representing the seal device before it is placed on a bottle and the right hand half of the view illustrating the seal device secured on a bottle;
FIG. 4 is an enlarged detail view of a portion of the seal device shown in FIG. 3; and
FIG. 5 is an axial sectional view showing the seal device resting but not in sealed engagement on the upper end of a bottle.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION In FIG. 1, the bottle seal device I is shown secured on a bottle 22 and it consists of a sealing cap 2 and a safety strip 3 which is detachably secured to the sealing cap around its bottom edge. Extending laterally from the lower edge of the sealing cap is a release lug 4. Located below the release lug 4 is a tear-off tab 5 which is secured to the safety strip 3 and is detachably connected along its upper inner edge at several points to the lower outer edge of the release lug.
When the seal device I is to be removed from the bottle 22, the end of the tear-0E tab 5 is initially broken off from the release lug 4 and then, by pulling outwardly on the tab, the safety strip 3 is removed from the sealing cap and is displaced from around the neck of the bottle. With the safety strip 3 removed, the sealing cap can be separated from the bottle by pressing upwardly on its release lug.
As shown in FIGS. 2 and 3, the sealing cap 2 is formed of a closure plate 14A which extends across the mouth of the bottle and a skirt 148 which extends downwardly from the circumferential edge of the closure plate 14A about the exterior surface of the bottle mouth. The closure plate 14A has a circular center section 17A and an annular section 17B disposed concentrically about the center section. While the annular section 17B is disposed in a horizontal plane, as shown in FIG. 3, the center section 17A has a concave configuration, that is it curves inwardly and downwardly from the annular section 173. The side wall or skirt 148 extends downwardly from the outer edge of the annular section 17B and has a circumferentially disposed inwardly directed bulge 10 formed on its inner surface and, as can be noted in the right hand half of FIG. 3, the protuberance 10 extends under the lid of the bottle 22 and retains the sealing cap on the bottle.
On the lower or inner surface of the closure plate 14A a downwardly extending tubular-shaped projection 15 is provided which is arranged to extend into the mouth of the bottle. Intermediate its upper and lower ends, on its outer surface, the tubular projection 15 has a circumferentially arranged bulge 16 which also provides a sealing action with the bottle when the cap is in the sealing position. At its upper end the tubular projection 15 is joined to a ring-like support part 20 which forms the circumferential periphery of the center section 17 A. The upper surface of the support part 20, disposed above the projection 15 and adjacent the inner periphery of the annular section 173 provides a surface which forms an angle of inclination of about 35 to 55, for example, an angle of 45,with the central axis of the cap. Thus, at the circumferentially extending edge 18 at the intersection of the center section 17A and the inner wall of the projection IS the edge 18 is insetdownwardly into the upper end of the projection 15. At the upper end of the projection I5 directly below the inner edge of the annular section 17B of the closure plate MA a ring-shaped constriction 19 extends into the surface of the projection toward the center section 17A of the closure plate.
As can be noted particularly from the left hand side of FIG. 3 and from FIG. 5, the centrally arranged portion of the center section 17A is reinforced, that is it is thicker than the radially outer portion thereof and has a lens-like appearance.
The arrangement of the sealing cap 2 permits the cap to withstand high internal pressures without being displaced from the bottle opening. At high internal pressures the center section 17A tends to move upwardly and flatten out, note the right hand portion of FIG. 3, and transmits forces radially outwardly to the ring-shaped support section 20 and to the tubular projection 15. Accordingly, the protuberance 16 on the outer surface of the projection 15 is pressed firmly against the inside surface of the bottle mouth for increasing the tightness of the seal and increasing its adhesion to the surface of the bottle.
The side wall or skirt 14B of the cap is provided with a plurality of axially extending laterally spaced grooves 8. At the lower end of the skirt 148 it is attached to the safety strip 3, as can be seen in FIGS. 3 and 4, by a relatively thin intermediate piece 21 so that the safety strip can be relatively easily detached from the bottom edge of the cap.
As shown in FIG. 3, a plurality of axially extending ribs 7 are formed on the interior surface of the safety strip 3 and the lower portion of these ribs are disposed in contacting engagement with the outer surface of the bottle when the seal device is secured on the bottle. Due to the ribs 7 the remaining inner surface of the safety strip 3 is spaced outwardly from the bottle surface and forms an open space which extends from the lower to the upper edges of the safety strip. At the upper limit of the inner surface of the safety strip, its surface tapers outwardly along a bevelled surface 11 and merges with the inner part of the intermediate piece 21. Accordingly the space 9 between the inner surface of the strip 3 and the bottle is wider adjacent the lower end of the skirt on the sealing cap 2.
The depth of the grooves 8 formed into the outer surface of the skirt 14B is such that openings 6, note FIG. 4, are formed between the lower ends of the grooves 8 through the intermediate piece 21 into the upper ends of the spaces 9 inwardly of the safety strip. These openings 6 make it possible to rinse the seal, after the bottle has been filled and the seal secured to it, for removing any residue of the filling material which might adhere to the interior of the safety strip 3. Because air can circulate through the passages 9 between the strip 3 and the bottle, the formation of mold is prevented in the event any residue of the filling material remains within the strip. in FIG. a seal device 1 is illustrated similar to that displayed in FIGS. 1 to 4 which is positioned loosely on the opening to the bottle with a so-called dragging takeover of the filled bottles. In this arrangement the ribs 7 effect a preliminary clamping of the seal device on the bottle. The lower ends of the ribs 7 extend further inwardly than the remaining surface of the ribs so that the seal device is clamped securely on the mouth of the bottle. During the final mechanical closing of the bottle mouth, the seal device is pressed by a die downwardly onto the bottle into a position corresponding to that shown in the right hand half of FIG. 3.
The release lug 4, as indicated in the drawing, is secured to the skirt 14B of the sealing cap 2 and has a flat lower portion 24 which extends horizontally from the skirt and is in the plane of the lower edge of the skirt. The surface of the part 24 is provided with a corrugation for easier lifting. A pair of support webs 12 are secured to the release lug 4 and to the skirt 14A. These support webs 12 facilitate the replacement of the sealing cap 2 on the bottle after the seal device has been opened.
When the seal device is secured on the bottle the tear-off tab 5 provides, to a great extent, a shield for the bottom portion ofthe release lug 4.
The tear-off tab 5 is radially arranged on the safety strip 3 and is connected to the strip in the immediate proximity of the release lug 4. For its length, the tear-off tab overlaps the safety strip, however, it is also arranged so that the top edge of the tear-off tab is connected with the bottom edge of the release lug at several points by narrow webs 13 so that the tear-oft tab can be easily detached from the release lug.
This arrangement of the tear-off tab acts as a protection for the lower surface of the lifting lug and also enhances the pilfer-proof characteristic of the seal device.
This preferred arrangement of the seal device prevents the loose devices from being wedged with one another with the result that the devices can be used without any problems in mechanical sorting-and filling plants.
As indicated above, the arrangement of the tear-off tab 5 and the release lug 4 make it impossible to remove the cap by hand without destroying the arrangement of the sealing device on the bottle. Accordingly, it can be appreciated that this arrangement also provides a safety seal for the bottle.
What is claimed is: 1. A bottle cap seal device formed of an elastic material comprising a snap-on sealing cap having a closure plate arranged to extend across the mouth of a bottle and a skirt extending angularly downwardly from the circumferential edge of said closure plate and arranged to enclose the sides of the bottle at its mouth, an annular-shaped bulge formed on a inner surface of said skirt and spaced from the junction of said skirt and said closure plate for engaging the outer surface of the bottle at a position spaced from its mouth, a release lug secured to the outer surface of said skirt, a safety strip secured to the circumferentially extending lower edge of said skin in a detachable manner and arranged to encircle the bottle and secure the said sealing cap thereon when the device is in the sealing position, a tear-off tab secured to said safety strip for removing said safety strip from said sealing cap, and at least one web section interconnecting said tear-off tab and release lug so that said tear-off tab can be easily detached from said release lug prior to removing the sealing strip from said sealing cap and the bottle.
2. A bottle cap seal device, as set forth in claim 1, wherein the device is formed of a flexible plastic material selected from the group consisting of polyethylene, polypropylene, polyamides, and plasticized polyvinyl chloride.
3. A bottle cap seal device, as set forth in claim 1, wherein stiffener means are provided for supporting said release lug from the outer surface of said skirt.
4. A bottle cap seal device, as set forth in claim 3, wherein said stiffener means comprises a pair of support webs each having a first edge secured to the outer surface of said skirt, said first edge extending in the axial direction of said cap from said release lug upwardly toward said closure plate, and a second edge extending outwardly from the lower part of said skirt and secured to the upper surface of said release lug.
5. A bottle cap seal device, as set forth in claim 1, wherein said release lug is secured to and extends outwardly from the lower end of said skirt and said release lug has a lower planar portion extending radially outwardly from the lower circumferential edge of said sealing cap and said planar portion being disposed in a plane which includes the lower circumferential edge of said skirt of said sealing cap, and said tear-off tab being disposed radially outwardly from and disposed below said release lug and a plurality of circumferentially spaced said web sections interconnecting the upper inner edge of said tear-off tab and the lower outer edge of said release lug.
6. A bottle cap seal device, as set forth in claim 5, wherein said web sections interconnecting said tear-off tab and said release lug are spaced apart in the circumferential direction of said sealing cap.
7. A bottle cap seal device, as set forth in claim 5, wherein said tear-off tab extends in the circumferential direction of said sealing cap and is tightly secured to said safety strip at one circumferential end thereof adjacent a circumferential end of said release tab.
t t t t i UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION Patent No. 3, 9 Dated Inventor(g) BRUNO SEGMULLER It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:
In the heading of the patent, the
date of the Swiss application should read:
-O ctober' 21, 1969-- Signed and sealed this 25th day of July 1972.
ROBERT GOTTSCHALK EDWARD M'.FLETCHER, JR. Attestingz; Officer v Commissioner of Patents USCOMM'DC 60376-P69 Q U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE: 969 O365-33l FORM PO-IOSO (10-69)
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