This invention relates to a closure device for bottles. particularly
intended for use on bottles containing quality drinks such as vintage spirits.
Known are closure devices for bottles which comprise essentially
a pour body adapted for secure mounting to the bottle neck and a cap which is releasably
engaged with the pour body; the cap is rigid with a tubular outer skirt abutting
an annular outer portion of a collar attached to the pour body.
The tubular outer skirt and the annular outer portion abutting the
skirt afford a closure device having exposed surfaces which are free of faults
or distortions and can accept appropriate decoration.
Such closure devices also comprise sealing means simply provided
by a wax applied over a step formed in a juncture between the skirt and the annular
outer portion of the collar.
A fault inherent to that sealing arrangement is that it can be readily
rebuilt at a low cost by reason of its very simplicity.
This may easily invite tampering as enacted by picking up an emptied
bottle complete with its, unsealed, closure device and re-filling it with some
similar, but inferior quality drink, thereafter the bottle would be re-applied
its closure device and the seal rebuilt.
It is the object of this invention to provide a bottle closure device
which can remedy the above fault.
This object is achieved by a closure device for bottles, particularly
intended for use on bottles containing quality drinks, which comprises a pour body
adapted for secure mounting to the bottle neck, and a cap being releasably engaged
with the pour body and rigid with a tubular outer skirt abutting an annular outer
portion of a collar rigid with said pour body, said skirt and said annular outer
portion being interconnected by a sealing means, characterized in that said sealing
means comprises a frangible outer ring binding said skirt and said annular outer
portion of the collar together.
In the interest of a clearer understanding of the features and advantages
of this invention, a description will be given herein below of two non-limitative
embodiments thereof, illustrated by the accompanying drawings, wherein:
- Figure 1 is a part-sectional elevation view, taken along line I-I in Figure
2, of a closure device for bottles according to the invention;
- Figure 2 is a cutaway detail view, in the direction of arrow F, of the closure
device in Figure 1;
- Figures 3 and 4 are perspective views illustrating how the closure device of
Figure 1 is unsealed;
- Figure 5 is a part-sectional elevation view of a closure device similar to
that shown in Figure 1, but supplemented with additional tamper-proof elements;
- Figure 6 shows a fragmentary section taken along line VI-VI in Figure 5; and
- Figure 7 shows the closure device of Figure 5 in the unsealed condition thereof.
With reference to Figure 1, the closure device of this invention
is indicated at 10 and the bottle, of which only the top portion is shown, is indicated
The bottle 11 is conventional and has a longitudinal axis X-X, a
substantially cylindrical neck 12 with a mouth 13, and a bottle body 14 merging
externally into the neck 12 through an annular portion 15 lying at an angle to
the axis X-X.
The closure device 10 includes preferably a valve assembly adapted
to prevent deceptive filling of the bottle 11. Said valve assembly comprises a
tubular member 16 made of an elastically deformable material, being an interlocked
fit in the mouth 13 and formed of a portion 17, received in the neck 12 to retain
two glass balls 18 in a guided fashion along the axis X-X, and of a flange 20
abutting the mouth 13.
A pour body 21 is a force fit over an extension 22 of the tubular
member 16. A threadway 24 is formed circumferentially around the pour body 21.
The closure device 10 further comprises a collar 25 of a suitably
rigid synthetic plastics material, such as an ABS resin; this collar 25 has a
substantially cylindrical shape and fits over the neck 12 of the bottle 11 and
is attached, such as by ultrasonic welding, with a top end 26 to the pour body
Formed circumferentially around an opposite bottom end of the collar
25 located next to the angled portion 15 of the bottle 11, is a raised annular
Formed internally of the collar 25 are tabs 28 sloping inwards and
toward the top end 26 of the collar 25 in abutting engagement inside a recess 29
formed in the neck 12 of the bottle 11. In addition, the interior of the collar
25 and the neck 12 are formed with mutually engaged, respective longitudinal ribs
30 and 31.
The closure device 10 further comprises a cap 32 mounted on the pour
body 21; defined in the cap 32 are a bottom 33 and a tubular wall 34 which is formed
with an inside threadway 35 engaging with a threadway 24 on the pour body 21.
The cap 32 blocks the pour body 21 in a tight sealed manner.
Rigid with the cap 32 is a smooth tubular skirt 37 having a strictly
constant thickness and extending coaxially with the cap 32.
The skirt 37 has annular elevations 40 thereon effective to retain
the cap 32. Furthermore, respective longitudinal ribs 38, 39 are formed on the
cap 32 exterior and the skirt 37 interior for mutual engagement.
The skirt 37 is formed from a suitable stiff synthetic plastics material
such as an ABS resin.
The bottom end of the skirt 37 has a raised annular portion 41 which
abuts against the raised annular portion 27 on the collar 25, thereby this annular
portion 27 forms an extension of the skirt 37.
The above two outer and raised annular portions 27 and 41 are interconnected
by a sealing means.
Such sealing means includes an outer ring 42 which binds the two
raised annular portions 27 and 41. In particular, the ring has a substantially
C-shaped cross-section with opposed sides 43 and 44 which engage oppositely located
steps 45 and 46 formed by the annular portions 27 and 41, respectively.
The ring 42 is made frangible, and to this aim, it includes an arcuate
tear-off portion 47 (Figure 2) which is connected to the remainder of ring 42 through
two weakening sections 48, 49 on opposite sides of said tear-off portion 47. Within
the weakening section 48, the tear-off portion 47 is arranged to connect to the
remainder of ring 42 through just a series of bridges 50 which span the full height
of the ring. It is contemplated that, within the weakening section 49, the tear-off
portion 47 be connected to the remainder of ring 42 by bridges 51 which extend
approximately half-way up the ring 42, the tear-off portion being made integral
with the remainder of the ring over the other half of the ring height.
A tab 54 extends, close to the skirt 37, upwardly from the tear-off
The ring 42 may be molded from a plastics material, such as polypropylene.
The sealing means also comprises a thin outer band 52 fitting around
said ring 42 in close contact therewith.
Preferably, said band 52 is of a metallic material, such as aluminum,
and is set tightly around the ring 42 by a magnetic forming process. The magnetic
forming process is carried out by generating a quickly varying, high-energy magnetic
field, e.g. by the supply of a high-current pulse through suitable leads arranged
to induce a current through the band; the energy transferred to the band by interaction
between the induced current and the magnetic field is of such a level as to create
a force which causes the band to shrink radially and set tightly around the outer
surface of the ring 42.
The outer band 52 has a substantially C-shaped cross-section, the
same as ring 42.
Preferably, the ring 42 is formed with depressions into which the
band 52 is inset. These depressions may be in the form of letters, as shown in
Figure 2, where the letter "E" is illustrated by way of example and the depressions
are denoted by 53 (the depressions viewed in cross-section on the right relate
to the horizontal bars of the "E"). The band 52 will therefore show recessed E-shaped
patterns 55. The letters may spell, for example, a trademark of the bottle contents
and/or a brand name. Of course, graphics of any kinds could be alternatively shown,
such as characters, numerals, logos, etc.
The closure device 10 is assembled by welding the collar 25 to the
pour body 21, screwing the cap 32 onto the pour body 21, force fitting the pour
body 21 over the extension 22 of the tubular member 16, introducing balls 18 into
the tubular member 16, force fitting the skirt 37 over the cap 32, and finally
force fitting the ring 42 over said raised annular portions 27 and 41 around which
the band 52 would be subsequently set.
The closure device 10 thus assembled is installed on the bottle 11
by driving the tubular member 16 into the neck 12 of bottle 11 so as to have it
interlocked at the location of the mouth 13.
The collar 25 is firmly retained axially on the neck 12 by the abutting
engagement of the tabs 28 in the recess 29; also, the collar 25 is prevented from
turning by the interfit relationship of the longitudinal ribs 30 and 31, respectively
on the collar 25 and the neck 12.
The cap 32 is retained axially to the skirt 37 by the annular elevations
40; further, relative rotation of the skirt 37 and the cap 32 is inhibited by the
interfitting longitudinal ribs 39 and 38.
The closure device 10 is particularly useful with bottles intended
to contain quality drinks, such as vintage spirits, by virtue, inter alia, of the
skirt 37 presenting a broad, smooth and faultless outer surface of aesthetic value
and ideally suited to accept decoration.
In order to unseal the closure device 10, one proceeds as shown in
Figures 3, 4 (for clarity, the E-shaped recessed pattern is not shown in these
Figures). In essence, one grasps the tab 54 to apply an outwardly directed pull
from the bottle 11, thereby rupturing the bridges 50 and 51 and opening the ring
42. Continued pulling of the tab 54 in a clockwise direction about the bottle
11 causes the ring 42 to come loose from the raised annular portions 27 and 41.
Together with ring 42, the band 52 is also ruptured along sections 48, 49.
The ring 42 already provides by itself a tamper-proof seal which
is difficult to restore once broken because it would display the rupture opened
condition. Of course, it could be replaced with a new ring, but this would entail
high costs of production and assembly of the ring to the closure device, apt to
discourage any tampering attempt.
Accordingly, the ring 42 already provides a solution to the problem
mentioned in the preamble.
The provision of the band 52 increases the difficulty of rebuilding
the sealing arrangement, as it would also display a rupture opened condition.
In addition, the band, being of metal construction in this embodiment,
becomes so distorted as to be hardly restorable after unsealing to its original
C-shaped cross-sectional configuration.
The application of a new band would be again cost-intensive due to
the requirement for magnetic forming.
Also, the provision of depressions and corresponding recessed patterns
in the forms of letters, respectively in the ring 42 and the band 52, makes for
added difficulty of rebuilding the sealing arrangement because it introduces more
elements that come to harm on unsealing and require re-making.
It should be added that the removal of the ring 42 and the band 52
in no way deteriorates the underlying raised annular portions 27 and 41, so that
the closure device will loose nothing of its aesthetic appeal. Accordingly, such
annular portions 27 and 41 may be made to carry graphics of various descriptions,
e.g. the graphics displayed on the band 52 could be duplicated thereon.
Variations may be applied to the configurations of the ring, the
band, and the underlying raised annular portions.
The materials employed in the construction of this closure device
may be others than those described hereinabove.
The band could be clamped around the ring using a forming process
other than magnetic.
The ring could be provided with elevations, instead of depressions,
to be encompassed by the band, thereby the latter would show outward deformations
in correspond patterns to the elevations. Such elevations could also be in the
forms of generic graphic markings.
The tab may be given a shape and layout other than that shown.
The closure device of Figures 5, 6, 7, generally indicated at 60,
is similar to the above-discussed closure device 10, but provided with additional
Similar component parts of closure device 60 to those of closure
device 10 are denoted by the same numerals with an "a" suffix. It should be noted
that the weakening sections 48a and 49a are obtained here by means of cutouts
61 and 62, respectively, formed in the ring 42a, cutout 62 being arranged to span
the full height of the ring 42a, and cutout 62 approximately one half only of
ring 42a height.
Additionally to what has been illustrated for closure device 10,
closure device 60 includes a bottom ring 63 coaxial with ring 42a and connected
thereto by a series of bridges 64. The ring 63 has inward elevations 65 adapted
to mate with a recessed rim 66 on the raised annular portion 27a of the collar
Further in addition to what has been illustrated for closure device
10, provided in closure device 60 is an annular wall 67 which extends integrally
from the ring 42a and covers a series of windows 68 formed annularly in the skirt
37a. This annular wall 67 is only discontinued at the tab 54a, which takes over
at the discontinued section in the function of covering, at least in part, the
window 68 behind it. The annular band of the collar 25a located at the windows
68 is applied an indication of the closure device 60 having been unsealed, such
as the inscription OPENED shown in Figure 7; of course, any equivalent graphic
symbols may be used to provide visual indication of the unsealed condition.
Closure device 60 is unsealed in a similar way to closure device
10, that is the tab 54a is first grasped and pulled away from the bottle, and then
pulled circumferentially in a counterclockwise direction. This operation results
in the ring 42a and band 52a being first ruptured and unwound, similarly to closure
device 10. In addition, as the ring 42a is being unwound, the bridges 64 are progressively
broken until ring 63 fully parts from ring 42a; said ring 63 cannot be slid off
the closure device because it is held back by its annular elevations 65 abutting
against the rim 66 of the portion 27a of collar 25a. Finally, on removing the ring
42a, the wall 67 is also detached and the windows 68 are uncovered.
The same advantages as previously mentioned with reference to closure
device 10 are also afforded by ring 42a and band 52a toward tamperproofing.
The tamperproof feature is enhanced by the ring 63, once separated
from ring 42a, staying fixedly with the closure device 60 and forcing, in the event
of a deceptive re-construction of the closure device seal, restoration of all
the connection bridges to the top ring. It should be added that, upon removal of
ring 42a, progressive rupturing of the bridges 64 generates a sound effect to
reveal that the seal is being broken; the retention of ring 63 after the closure
device 60 is unsealed will then display the unsealed condition of the latter.
Tampering with the closure is further resisted by the annular wall
67 constituting yet another element that requires to be rebuilt before the closure
can be re-sealed. Also, once the ring 42a is removed together with the wall 67
from the closure device 60, the windows 68 become uncovered, as shown in Figure
7, and the indications of the closure device having been unsealed fully exposed
therethrough to provide evidence of the tampering act.
As for ring 63, at the location of the cutout 61, there could be
alternatively provided a strong bridge for connecting ring 63 to ring 42a, and
a weakening section of ring 63 whereby ring 63 will also be ruptured on completion
of the ring 42a removal and come away together with ring 42a. In this way, the
advantage would be secured of eliminating ring 63 from the closure device, which
ring may be aesthetically unattractive, but at the expense of losing the visual
evidence of the closure device having been unsealed. Alternatively to the bridges
64, a continuous weakened connector portion may be provided: although in this case
the sound effect would be lost upon unsealing.
For the purpose of simplification, the embodiment of Figure 5 could
do without the ring 63 or, alternatively, the wall 67, windows 68, and related
graphical indications on collar 25a.
Of course, the ring 42a could be provided or not with depressions
or elevations in graphic forms penetrated or encompassed by the band 52a, either
using a magnetic forming process or otherwise.