(11)EP 3 261 980 B1


(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
16.02.2022 Bulletin 2022/07

(21)Application number: 16723540.7

(22)Date of filing:  18.02.2016
(51)International Patent Classification (IPC): 
B67D 1/08(2006.01)
(52)Cooperative Patent Classification (CPC):
B67D 1/0831; B67D 1/0847
(86)International application number:
(87)International publication number:
WO 2016/135763 (01.09.2016 Gazette  2016/35)





(84)Designated Contracting States:

(30)Priority: 23.02.2015 IT TO20150119

(43)Date of publication of application:
03.01.2018 Bulletin 2018/01

(73)Proprietor: Vitop Moulding S.R.L.
15122 Alessandria (IT)

  • NINI, Diego
    15121 Alessandria (IT)

(74)Representative: Garavelli, Paolo 
A.BRE.MAR. S.R.L. Consulenza in Proprietà Industriale Via Servais 27
10146 Torino
10146 Torino (IT)

(56)References cited: : 
EP-A1- 2 829 505
US-A- 4 784 299
    Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).


    [0001] The present invention refers to a vessel equipped with a delivering tap, made of plastic material, for carbonated beverages (for example beer, Coca Cola, orange juice, etc.) with a high oxygen barrier with two inlets (for gas and liquid) to be placed on vessels, preferably made of polyethylene terephtalate (PET), preferably of the "one-way" unidirectional type.

    [0002] The vessel comprises a pre-formed neck with forgery-preventing system. The tap is preferably obtained through the known "stretch blow moulding" technique.

    [0003] The study of the new plastic closure (and of the particular geometry of the neck of the associated vessel), which is wholly recyclable, has started from the analysis of the system nowadays on the market, called in particular "Cornelius keg".

    [0004] The Cornelius kegs of the IMI Cornelius Company have been and are uncontested market leaders.

    [0005] The Cornelius kegs (also known as "soda kegs" or "pepsi kegs") are a particular type of barrel used for dispensing soft drinks and draft beverages.

    [0006] The main features of this barrel are:
    • its slim shape, which allows inserting many barrels inside a refrigerator;
    • its opening with wide mouth, which allows also manually performing the internal cleaning of the barrel;
    • its reduced capacity, about 18 litres (or 5 gallons) for the bigger ones and about 9 litres (or 3 gallons) for the smaller ones.

    [0007] Actually, these barrels are divided into two categories, according to the type of connection: "ball lock" (or Jolly) and "pin lock".

    [0008] The "Cornelius keg" has a very simple operation.

    [0009] The keg head, which is made of steel/aluminium, is equipped with a main trap useful for the internal washing of the vessel, and with two connections (which can be, as stated above, "ball lock" or "pin lock"). One operates as entry for gas (where CO2 or nitrogen can be inserted) and the other one as outlet for liquid.

    [0010] A dip tube is always connected (inside the vessel) to the liquid outlet, such tube collecting the liquid pushed by the pressure on the bottom, in order to enable completely emptying the keg.

    [0011] This type of vessel however has various problems:
    • the Cornelius keg is re-usable and very costly and has no forgery-preventing systems which protect the beverage inside it;
    • the barrels are composed of many costly parts (some need a replacement after every use);
    • the Cornelius kegs can be re-filled, since their closures has no forgery-preventing systems, and therefore products (beverages) not certified by the manufacturers could sometimes be put on the market;
    • being re-usable, the vessel must necessarily go back, after their use, to the filling centre to be washed and sanitized;
    • the consumer must pay a high amount as caution of the vessel when he purchases the beverage in these kegs;
    • also for the manufacturer, the cost is high, because he will have to support expenses for transporting the filled vessel, but also for taking back the empty vessel to his company;
    • moreover, the management and washing costs are also born by the end user;
    • at "carbon footprint" and ecologic level, the Cornelius keg has a heavy impact on the environment, two to its transport (of a filled barrel and the return of the empty barrel) and washing (with great uses of water and disinfectant);
    • the Cornelius keg has several pieces which must necessarily be replaced at the end of every use (since the Cornelius keg, as previously stated, is re-usable, obviously after washing and sterilization);
    • the pieces which are normally exchanged upon every use are: CO2 pipe, internal valve, O-ring 8.4 Jolly, O-ring 8.4 pipe, red taps for handle, Jolly connections, safety valve, O-ring 8.4 cover. All these components have O-rings 8.4 and small springs inside them; the elastic and mechanical properties of these components, with their use, and with time, can worsen and thereby impair their pressure seal;
    • moreover, a normally used barrel has the gaskets used for the previously contained product, which therefore could modify the taste of the beverage inserted afterwards; an exchange of the O-rings 8.4 is compulsory to have always clean and efficient barrels.
    • the Cornelius kegs, being re-usable, must necessarily go back to the filling centre, must be disassembled and sterilized, and moreover it is necessary to change all O-rings 8.4: therefore, high management costs will occur both for the filled barrel, and for the used "return" barrel;
    • there is a single warranty seal (which is also a protection of the two connections from dirt and dust) : it is a big-sized tap which covers the area of the two connections and is fastened with a warranty strap/seal only after its filling. Once having removed the tap (after its first use), if stored, it can be re-used by a possible counterfeiter (after he has filled again the keg with a different product), and again blocked with a new strap, certifying, with the same "regenerated" warranty seal with a new blocking strap, actually a non-original product;
    • since there are no recognition signs on the keg body, it is not easy, above all for the end user, to discriminate at first sight the gas connection from the liquid connection: many times the connections are reversed and therefore the system does not work and is blocked, thereby requiring the assistance intervention (additional costs).

    [0012] Document EP-A1-2 829 505 discloses a delivering tap according to the preamble of Claim 1.

    [0013] The above prior art problems are solved by providing a vessel equipped with a delivering tap for barrel-type vessels made of PET developed by the market as an eco-friendly, economic alternative, to metallic barrels for draft beverages.

    [0014] Such barrel-type beverage vessels are lightweight, made of recyclable PET, which has been designed for a unidirectional use, and therefore do not need their withdrawal for washing and filling them again: at the end of their use, they are dispensed with in the plastic recycling container.

    [0015] The barrel is usually available with unidirectional, low cost taps, which allow being placed to existing draft systems, for example for draft beers.

    [0016] The keg made of PET offers a meaningful solution in the sale and marketing of volumes of beer, wine and other beverages.

    [0017] It opens new channels and markets and provides a change of attitude in environmental performances - as well as reducing the costs and improving the cash flow.

    [0018] The advantages of the keg made of PET with respect to metal barrels include the total property costs, reduced environmental impact, new market opportunities and easier short-term response as regards demand peaks and depressions.

    [0019] There is potentially a big saving in invested capital, removing the need of keeping a 'fleet' of metallic barrels.

    [0020] Removing the fleet, the high sums linked to this 'good' can be freed and the constant expenses of replacing damaged, lost or stolen barrels can be removed.

    [0021] Moreover, there is no more the need of keeping the costly tracing systems for metallic kegs.

    [0022] The environmental benefits of the keg made of PET include: low use of materials, with respect to disposable metallic barrels and other unidirectional barrels, and a lightweight construction which reduced the environmental impacts.

    [0023] Moreover, there is a higher flexibility in the choice of the litres of liquid to be transported (nowadays the litres are fixed and established).

    [0024] The kegs made of PET are completely and easily recyclable, satisfy all essential requirements covered by Community regulations, among which suitability both for mechanics, and for recycling "waste energy".

    [0025] Using barrels made of PET, real benefits for end users are obtained.

    [0026] One of the biggest advantages is the reduced storage space necessary for the PET barrels: safely storing empty metallic barrels to prevent them from being stolen before being collected is a problem in many sales points.

    [0027] As already previously stated, the kegs made of PET can be easily squashed once they are empty, to place them afterwards in a basket with other recyclable plastic materials.

    [0028] These PET kegs, in order to comply with the above mentioned features imposed by the market, need a connecting tap which can be adapted to existing draft systems present in bars and in restaurants, etc., which is compatible with the PEG kegs (therefore made of recyclable plastic, etc.).

    [0029] Usually, the connection / delivery tap is connected by engagement, screwing on a thread and/or sometimes also welded (thermally or with ultrasounds).

    [0030] The delivering tap can have different types of connections depending on the delivered product, or on dispensers to which it will be addressed: the known and widest types of connections are types D, S, A, G, U and M.

    [0031] Currently, in the market of PET kegs, there are many proposals as regards practically all above-listed types of connections, proposals set forth, for example, by the Companies PETAINER, KEYKEG or POLYKEG, but there is no plastic tap, apart from the one disclosed in EP-A-2829505, of the same Applicant of the present Application, dedicated to a unidirectional use, which synthesizes in a single solution a closure with double connection with two turrets of the Cornelius type, used for example for the products of the PEPSICO Company, with two separate connecting turrets, one for gas (as entry) and one for liquid (as outlet).

    [0032] And above all there is no tap with two turrets of the Cornelius type which has solved all the above mentioned problems.

    [0033] The above problems are solved by providing a vessel with a delivering tap with double turret of the Cornelius style (with the chance of having both the connection of the pin lock type, and the connection of the ball lock type, and also connections with a specific geometry for PEPSICO products for the so-called JOLLY valve and the so-called NC valve) which is equipped with warranty seals which state the non-authorized opening, with a geometry, integrated on the seal itself, which will allow degassing the vessel (and therefore discharging it from its internal pressure and giving the chance of disassembling the vessel for an adequate recycle in containers for plastics and the like), and with forgery-preventing means, which prevent the vessel from being re-opened for a second, unauthorized filling (unless the tap is destroyed), and that is equipped at the same time with a main head (with the two connecting turrets) made in a single piece, but which is different from the main screwing body, in order to also provide the chance of differentiating the used plastic materials and allow using, for the main piece, the piece which will then perform the real liquid seal, possibly a material with high oxygen barrier. The tap will be recyclable and thereby eco-friendly.

    [0034] A further object of the present invention is providing a vessel with a tap as stated above in which a closure is created reducing (and simplifying the geometry in order to have an injection mould which produces the very simple and therefore more economic part) the number of pieces, simplifying its assembling and the related final cost with respect to the existing solution of the aluminium keg.

    [0035] A vessel is provided with a tap as stated above which has an immediate (aesthetic and geometric) system for locating the two connections for liquid and gas, by the end user and the filling centre.

    [0036] It is also possible to provide the bottle neck with particular internal elements (geometries) which, coupled with the elements (geometries) being present (possibly if requested) on the tap, will make the tap unscrewable and therefore not reusable a second time (forgery-preventing tap + forgery-preventing means present on the neck of the vessel (also called herein below "carafe")).

    [0037] A further object is having integrated on the warranty seal, which will be inserted on the tap once having filled the vessel with liquid for safeguarding the integrity and the originality of the product contained inside, a key for degassing the barrel (at the end of its life, in order to be able to bend, disassemble and recycle it in suitable containers, dividing plastics and metal of internal springs). On the marketed barrels, such key is a very costly accessory sold apart.

    [0038] The above and other objects and advantages of the invention, as will result from the following description, are obtained with a vessel equipped with a delivering tap as claimed in the independent claim.

    [0039] Preferred embodiments and non-trivial variations of the present invention are the subject matter of the dependent claims.

    [0040] It is intended that all enclosed claims are an integral part of the present description.

    [0041] The present invention will be better described by some preferred embodiments thereof, provided as a non-limiting example, with reference to the enclosed drawings, in which:
    • Figure 1 is a perspective view of an embodiment of the tap of the vessel according to the present invention;
    • Figure 2 is a side view of the tap of Fig. 1;
    • Figure 3 is a sectional view of the tap of Fig. 1 and 2;
    • Figure 4 is a sectional view of the tap of Fig. 1 and 2;
    • Figure 5 is an exploded view of the tap of Fig. 1;
    • Figure 6 is an exploded sectional view of the tap of Fig. 1;
    • Figure 7 is a view of the main body of the tap;
    • Figure 8 is a view of the internal piston of the tap;
    • Figure 9 shows the upper part of the tap with the two turrets;
    • Figure 10 is a view of one of the two lower parts of the tap;
    • Figure 11 is a view of the warranty seal for the tap; and
    • Figure 12 is the view of the carafe neck to which the tap is applied;
    • Figure 13 is the view of the toroidal O-rings assembled on the tap;
    • Figure 14 is the view of the sealing washer with rectangular section between tap and neck keg;
    • Figure 15 is the view of internal springs which will be inserted in every connecting turret;
    • Figure 16 is the sectional view of the tap with the detail of the operating seals between the various parts which will be described below.

    [0042] With reference to the Figures, a preferred embodiment of the vessel with tap 1 of the present invention is shown and described.

    [0043] According to the Figures, the delivering tap/connector 1, for a vessel for liquids of the keg type made of polyethylene terephtalate (PET) (not shown) substantially comprises:
    • a main body 7 (shown in detail in Fig. 7) with an elongated shape, which is used to block the covering device 9 (shown in detail in Fig. 9 and described below) (and the other components connected to the covering device 9 itself) on the neck 12.2 of a carafe of the keg type (Fig. 12) and to provide the right "pull" to the head gasket 14.1 with rectangular section (shown in Fig. 14) in order to have a perfect seal 16.1 (Fig. 16); the body 7 has connecting means 7.2 (preferably a fastening threading) to the carafe, adapted to be stably connected with the geometry of the neck 12.2; undercut-type fastening means 7.3 for the warranty seal with degassing key integrated; fastening means, as flexible teeth 7.4, to the covering device 9 due to the undercut geometry 9.2, preferably, as stated before, made as flexible teeth; areas dedicated to recognizing the turrets evidencing the words "GAS" 7.6 and 7.5 "N" which, once having assembled the tap 1, considering that the part below the covering device 9 could possibly be of a different colour with respect to the body 7, will thereby more accurately point out which of the two turrets 9.3 is dedicated to the gas connection ("GAS") 7.6 and which to the liquid connection ("N") 7.5, pointed out, like the word "GAS", directly on the upper side of the part 7. There are further a series of "teeth" 71, useful to have a catching area necessary for screwing the tap 1 assembled on the neck 12.2; finally, there are transmitting means (of the through-type or not) 7.9 of the circular screwing motion, which transmit the screwing motion to the tap 1 assembled onto the covering device 9 due to the geometry 9.4, and consequently to the other components assembled onto the covering device 9;
    • at least one covering device 9 (better shown in Fig. 9), which is composed of a body with two turrets 9.3 (which could be with a geometry for connections both of the pin ball type (shown in the drawing), and of the pin lock type (not shown), and anyway always capable of being customized for every type of "quick" connection or not); the device 9 is purposefully divided from the main body 7 since, being the main part of the delivering tap/connector, and "pressing" a gasket 14.1 with rectangular section (shown in FIG.14) which in turn will press the neck 12.2 of the carafe due to the body 7, generating the main seal of the system 16.1 (Fig. 16), will have to have oxygen permeability features, in addition to consistent mechanical properties, since it will have to bear the internal pressures: therefore, it will be possible to use particular plastic materials for other performances. In this way, it will be possible to produce the main piece with two turrets 9.3 with specific materials; moreover, the uncoupling from the main body 7 allows moulding the covering device 9 with a different colour, in order to point out the two turrets from the main screwing body 7 (once the tap 1 is assembled with the body 7); there are also geometries 9.4 between the two turrets 9.3 which will be stably coupled with the hollow geometries (of the through-type and not) 7.9 obtained on the screwing body 7, and they will be stably fastened to the body 7 transmitting its rotary screwing movement during the assembling/screwing phase of the tap 1 on the keg; the geometry between the two turrets 9.3 has the additional purpose of transmitting the circular screwing motion to the main body 7 by means of the geometries 9.4 which will "push" in rotation the covering device 9. Undercut-type seats 9.2 will be present at the base of every turret, onto which the fastening teeth 7.4 will be fastened, present on every hole which will house every single turret on the main screwing body 7. The lower side of the part with two different turrets 9 has two elongated geometries on which two threadings 9.5 are obtained, and on which the two parts 10 will be stably screwed. The disk 9.7 is used to transmit the pressure given by the body 7 to the covering device 9 once screwed, as shown also in 16.1 (Fig. 16). Moreover, on the part 9, between the two threaded cylinders 9.5, there will be an elongated geometry 9.8 on which two flexible wings 90 are obtained, which, when screwing, will be adapted to the internal diameter of the neck 12.2 of the carafe and, once having reached the correct position, will "snap" on the two internal geometries 12.3 of the neck 12.2 of the carafe, blocking from inside the possible attempt to counterfeit / remove the closure once it is screwed (where such internal screwing prevention will obviously be requested, which anyway remains an option). The fact of possibly having a forgery-preventing geometry inside the system provides more warranty, since it is scarcely reachable by possible forgers; the lower part between the two zones on which there are the threadings 9.5 will be occupied by an elongated body 9.8 which, in addition to having the purpose of "containing" the two geometries 90 with flexible teeth for the internal screwing prevention, will also have the purpose of being a stiffening geometry of the covering device 9, in order to avoid distortions due to the internal pressure; on every turret 9.3 the necessary geometries will be obtained for coupling with the quick connections, and on every turret 9.3 there will be the seats 91 of the sealing O-ring 13.1 between tap and quick connection according to the diagram 16.2 shown in Fig. 16; every turret 9.3 wull have inside a chute 93 onto which the O-ring 13.1 will push, assembled on every piston 8.1, and it will generate an operating seal according to diagram 16.2 shown in Fig. 16; analyzing the internal part of ogni turret 9.3, the upper seat 9.9 of the O-ring 13.1 can be noted, which will perform, on every turret, an operating seal due to the pressure of the lower seat of the O-ring 13.1 obtained on the part 10 in its geometry of lower seat of the O-ring 10.9 as shown in 16.3 (Fig.16);
    • at least one bottom 10 for every turret 9.3 (shown in detail in Fig. 10), which is composed of a body whose primary function is pre-loading and blocking the springs 8.3 which are below the pistons 8.1 (described below with reference to Fig. 8) of every single delivering turret 9.3; the two turrets 9.3 moreover will guide the pistons 8.1 when opening (and before assembling), also due to the elongated geometry of the piston 8.1 itself; moreover, the ribs 10.6 connected to the guiding cylinder of the stem of the piston 8.1, cooperating with the geometry 8.2 of the piston 8.1, when opening the tap 1, will operate as descent stopper of the piston 8.1, which will then be able to vertically move only by few millimetres, and therefore will be blocked, making the piston 8.1 inside the connections (external to the system and used for connecting the tap 1 to the dispensers), which will be connected to the turrets 9.3, open and allow the flow of gas or liquid, according to the affected connection. In practice, the piston 8.1 of the tap 1 will drop down by a few mm (pushed by a stem which is inside the "external connector" connection) and then will be blocked. At that time, once having blocked the stem of the tap 1, the stem present on the "external connector" connection will be allowed to open, by being in practice pushed by the blocked stem. Thereby, actually, when the external connector will be on the turret 9.3, it will have the ducts (those present on the external connector and those present on the turret 9.3) completely open, allowing the delivery of liquid from existing dispensers. Moreover, the geometries 10.3 will allow the connection of the dip tube, which will be put under the turret-type connection where liquid passes; below the rib-type geometries 10.6 present on every turret 9.3, there is an area which operates as seat 10.9 for a sealing O-ring 13.1 (shown in FIG. 13), which will seal the geometry 9.9 which operates as "counter-seat" of the O-ring 13.1 of the covering device 9, and in this, by sealing on every single turret, will generate separate ducts (one for air/gas and one for liquid) as shown in 16.3 (Fig. 16). On the central part of the ribs, a tapered duct 10.8 will be obtained, for sliding the sealing piston 8.1 (shown in FIG. 8) guaranteeing its perfect sliding along a vertical axis during the opening and closing step. There is also a threaded area 10.7 useful for a connection with the geometries 9.5 (shown in FIG. 9); a bolt-type" geometry 10.2 (preferably an hexagonal bolt) will be present externally, useful for assembling the piece to have a "grip" area for screwing the bottom 10 onto the covering device 9. Obviously, by modifying the parts 9.5 (of the covering device 9) and 10.7 (of the bottom 10), variations of the connecting system can be made (for example engagement systems if, in place of the threading 9.5, there will be an undercut-type tooth and, consequently, in place of the threading 10.7, there will be a slit useful for a stable engagement of the two parts);
    • at least one piston 8.1 (shown in detail in Fig. 8), which is the element with an elongated shape on which the sealing O-rings 8.4 will be placed, which, due to the thrust of the spring 8.3 below, will generate the airtight closing and/or the opening of the turrets 9.3, as shown in 16.2 (Fig. 16). The piston 8.1 has a seat for the sealing O-ring 8.4 with chamfered head, which will be adapted to the internal profile of the turrets 9.3, an upper abutment zone of the metallic spring 8.3 (the lower abutment zone 10.6 is on the threaded bottom 10 of every single turret 9.3); there will also be a mechanical stopper geometry 8.2, which limits the excursion of the piston 8.1 to few mm when opening, by abutting against the geometry 10.6 of the bottom 10. Moreover, there is a vertical, cross-type guide;
    • at least one seal 11.1 (better shown in Fig. 11): it is a body adapted to protect the turrets 9.3 of the covering device 9 after filling, and adapted to possibly support the weight of the parts being stacked on a pallet; this is a protecting, hygienic and above all forgery-preventing device, which allows determining the packaging integrity by means of a tamper-evident, ring-type system 11.1 and of breakable jumpers 11.2; moreover, there is a cover constrained by a hinge 11.7, capable of being fractured, namely, after the first opening, the cover will be constrained to the tamper-evident ring to avoid losing it, but then, when the keg has been used, it will be possible to "break" this hinge and use the cover for its second and major scope, namely as degassing key, using the internal geometry 11.8. The tap, as stated, will be removable, connected to a hinge-type geometry 11.7 which prevents its cover from being lost once opened, but remains constrained to the tap 1 till the user decides to remove it by tearing the hinge itself. There are further the geometries 11.4 with circular section, which increase the structural resistance of the part; finally, there are catching areas 11.5 to facilitate the catch for removing the seal; moreover, there is a central pin integrated in the piece 11.8 itself, which will integrate in the warranty seal also a tool, which is generally a very costly piece apart, which will be used to degas the keg once having ended its life cycle, and will thereby allow recycling its various components. In fact, by removing the gas, and therefore the pressure, inside the keg, it will be possible to disassemble the various components of the keg and throw them into the suitable drums for their best recycling. The seal with degassing key is used by pushing the central pin of the seal 11.8 on one of the two turrets, pushing towards opening the pin 8 contained therein and which performs an operating seal (preferably the one designated with "GAS") in order to discharge the pressure at the end of its use. The tamper-evident cup 11.9 in this case is also working as protection for the eyes, since gas discharged from the turret meets the internal walls of the cover, which prevent gas itself from discharging on the user face. Finally, the tap 1 is engaged with a system with flexible wings 11.6 on the geometries 7.3 obtained on the body 7;
    • at least one neck 12.2 of a carafe (shown in detail in Fig. 12): this is the bottle neck 12.2 with particular geometries which is associated with the tap 1; it is an elongated body 12.2 equipped with thread with safety device 12.4 for discharging gas if a forced and accidental opening occurs, which allows, in case of forced unscrewing, discharging the pressure inside the vessel before the whole unscrewing is completed, and therefore the tap 1 is "free" of moving and possibly injurying the user who is unscrewing it; it is further equipped with: an external ring 12.5 possibly adapted to support a handle (not shown); external blocking or forgery-preventing means 12.1; internal forgery-preventing means 12.3, which will operate, once having screwed the tap 1 on the neck 12.2, with the flexible wings 9.5 of the covering device 9.

    [0044] With the above described arrangement, a tap 1 is obtained, for beverages vessels preferably made of polyethylene terephtalate (PET), which is recyclable and disposable, has two connections (turrets) and is specific for carbonated beverages, and with dedicated and specific connections for the manufacturers of beverages currently on the market.

    [0045] The tap 1 has a low cost, two separate, preferably parallel ways (one for gas and one for liquid) (two turrets) and with specific geometries which can be adapted to the two systems on the market (pin ball and pin lock), which allow a connection to existing systems for dispensing beer, wine and in general all carbonated, draft beverages.

    [0046] The solution associated with new unidirectional plastic vessels, preferably made of PET, offers environmental and economic benefits.

    [0047] The tap 1 provides economic and ecologic advantages with respect to existing systems on metal kegs and to other plastic variations currently on the market (less pieces which are easier to assemble and less costly, being made of plastic and obtained from injection moulding).

    [0048] The tap 1, associated with plastic vessels, preferably made of PET, provides major advantages for beer and wine shops and all distributors of carbonated beverages and other users of kegs - above all when compared with metalk kegs.

    [0049] They are: lower total property costs, reduction of environmental impacts, new market opportunies and quicker response to variations of the short-term demand.

    [0050] The passage from metal kegs to plastic kegs, preferably made of PET, equipped with the tap 1, allows saving in terms of capital and operating costs.

    [0051] These are potentially important savings in terms of used capital, removing the need of keeping a wide series of kegs. Removing the excessive number of kegs allows freeing important sums invested in such "assets" and does without the need of further constant expenses for replacing damaged, lost or stolen kegs.

    [0052] Moreover, it is not necessary to use costly tracing systems.

    [0053] Further savings are possible regarding further savings in terms of capital with the removal of costly and complex cleaning systems for kegs.

    [0054] The use of spaces is more efficiently improved, as consequence of the elimination of the need of storing a high number of kegs when the demand is low, to have them available during demand peaks.

    [0055] By removing the return of used metal kegs, cleaning and re-use costs are reduced. With the plastic keg, preferably made of PET, not only the vessel but also the valve and the taps 1 are disposable - total absence of return and cleaning costs.

    [0056] Strong savings in terms of logistics are also guaranteed, not only by removing the return costs in case of metal kegs, but also reducing the delivery costs outside for filled kegs. Kegs made of PET are lighter than metal kegs containing the same volume of liquid. Consequently, a higher number of kegs can be loaded on every vehicle going out of the factory.

    [0057] The main components of the taps 1 are wholly recyclable with dry wastes or following the normal plastic recovering cycle, as provided for single manufacturing systems and plants.

    [0058] The tap 1 is designed to allow the owners of bars and restaurants to use the kegs exactly in the same way of the metal kegs.

    [0059] Without proceeding to any replacement of fixtures available in bars or canteens, they will immediately be able to benefit from the advantages of the plastic keg on which the tap 1 will be placed; reduced weight, easy storage and recyclability.

    [0060] The availability of a two-way tap 1 produced under hygienic conditions means that the keg users will have less to worry about health and safety, and less work to keep the taps 1 and equipment clean. All components of the keg and of the taps 1 will be approved for foodstuff use.

    [0061] Other features of the tap 1 are:
    • since the covering device 9 is uncoupled from the main body 7, there is the chance of moulding with highly technical materials only the major part of the tap 1, and not the whole piece, actually doing away with the waste of technical material for geometries for which certain features are not useful, and therefore actually saving the use of these highly costly materials, for example increasing the oxigen barrier;
    • at the end of filling the keg with a liquid, it will be possible to place a tamper-evident element or warranty seal, which will protect it hygienically and will help locating the kegs which have already been used (forgery prevention);
    • moreover, the warranty seal will have such a geometry as to allow stacking the barrels;
    • another important innovation is that the warranty seal has integrated geometries 11.8, which will allow the part to also operate as degassing key, thereby avoiding to have a very costly dedicated and additional tool;
    • the tap 1, as previously stated, will be unidirectional like the associated vessel, and this will allow having strong advantages at economic and ecologic level. The tap 1 for such purpose will be composed of the various components made of recyclable plastic (only the two internal springs will be made of stainless steel);
    • the system will allow moulding the main piece (the one with the two turrets) in PET (for example), thereby with an analogue product to the vessel on which it will be assembled. There will be above all the chance of moulding the piece with the two parallel turrets in a material with high oxigen barrier;
    • the tap 1 will have forgery-preventing systems which are internal (two sealing areas) and possibly external (four sealing areas not shown in these drawings) to the product, in order to protect integrity and quality of the internal beverage (this feature is not guaranteed in current kegs, because they have no forgery-preventing geometries of this type). In this way, it is guaranteed that the keg cannot be re-filled again (after its first use), unless the tap 1 is destroyed, but then it will be very easy for a user to locate the forged kegs.

    [0062] The assembly of the tap 1 on the plastic vessel (preferably PET) occurs as follows:
    1. 1) the tap 1 will be supplied to the distributing company divided from seal/degassing key, which will then be placed as guarantee of the product integrity and originality, after having filled the plastic keg barrel;
    2. 2) the tap 1 will be placed for its screwing (or a snap, solution not shown) before filling on the vessel, also as warranty of internal hygiene;
    3. 3) when screwing, the different types of external forgery-prevention (not shown) will be "activated", together with the internal flexible teeth 90 present on the covering device 9 and on the main body 7 (not shown in this version), due to the elements 12.1 and 12.3 present on the carafe neck 12.2;
    4. 4) once screwed, unless the tap 1 is destroyed, the closure will remain fastened to the carafe neck 12.2;
    5. 5) the filling step will then start, and then the warranty seal with integrated degassing key 11.8 will be positioned.


    1. Vessel for liquids made of plastic material of the keg type, said vessel having a neck (12.2) and comprising:

    a) at least one delivering tap (1) with double turret (9.3) made of plastic material, for the vessel for liquids of the keg type, said delivering tap (1) comprising:

    • a main body (7) connectable to said neck (12.2);

    • at least one covering device (9) placed at a first end of said main body (7) and equipped with two turrets (9.3), one for entering gas into said vessel and one for exiting liquid from said vessel;

    • at least two pistons (8.1) guided in said turrets (9.3) when opening, and operatively coupled by means of sealing O-rings (8.4), each one, with a respective one of said turrets (9.3);

    • at least one tampering-preventing seal (11.1) placed above and around said covering device (9) in order to prevent an undesired external access to said turrets (9.3);

    characterized in that the delivering tap (1) further comprises:

    • a turret bottom (10) for each turret (9.3), operatively coupled through a threading (10.7) with a respective threading (9.5) present on elongated geometries present on the lower side of the covering device (9), every turret (9.3) being sealed from an adjacent turret (9.3) by means of sealing O-rings placed in seats (10.9) obtained on a turret bottom (10) and in sealing coupling on counter-seats (9.9) obtained on an internal part of every single turret (9.3), in order to be guaranteed that a passage of liquid will be accurately divided from a passage of gas, the turret bottoms (10), once screwed on the elongated geometries present on the lower side of the covering device (9), pushing a spring (8.3) as flexible pushing element placed on ribs (10.6) of the turret bottom (10), which will operatively push the piston (8) against a chute (93) of the turret (9.3), which in turn will push the pistons (8.1) in an operative coupling with the covering device (9) and will control its operation, said pistons (8.1) sliding in a tapered duct (10.8) on the central part of the ribs (10.6) of the turret bottom (10); and

    • at least one degassing key (11.8) integrated to the tampering preventing seal, operating as key for degassing the keg at the end of its life; and

    b) at least one neck (12.2) of the vessel of the keg type adapted to be operatively connected to said delivering tap (1) and equipped with internal and external forgery-preventing means (12.3) adapted to cooperate with said tampering-preventing seal (11.1) of said tap (1).

    2. Vessel according to claim 1, characterized in that said turret bottoms (10) are adapted to preload and block the springs (8.3) which are below the pistons (8.1), the two turrets (9.3) being further adapted to guide the pistons (8.1) when opening and before assembling, the ribs (10.6) connected to the guiding cylinder of a stem of the piston (8.1), cooperating with the geometry (8.2) of the piston (8.1), when opening the tap (1), and operating as descent stopper of the piston (8.1), which will thereby be able to vertically move, and will thereby be blocked, making the piston (8.1), present inside the connections which will be connected to the turrets (9.3), open and allow the flow of gas or liquid, according to the affected connection.
    3. Vessel according to claim 2, characterized in that seats (10.3) of the turret bottoms (10) are designed to be connected to a dip tube, which will be put under the connection to a turret (9.3) where liquid will pass, below the ribs (10.6) present on every single turret bottom (10) being a sealed engagement area (10.9), adapted to seal onto the geometry (9.9) of the covering device (9), and in this way to generate separate ducts for air and for liquid.
    4. Vessel according to claim 2 or 3, characterized in that the turret bottoms (10) are screwed by means of threading (10.7) obtained on the same turret bottom (10), with the connecting threading (9.5) present on the covering device (9).
    5. Vessel according to claim 1, characterized in that the piston (8.1) is the elongated element on which the sealing OR-rings (8.4) are placed, which, due to the thrust of the spring (8.3) below, are adapted to generate the airtight closure and/or opening of the turrets (9.3), the piston (8.1) having a seat for the sealing O-ring (8.4), a chamfered head which is adapted to the internal outline of the turrets (9.3), an upper abutment area of the metallic spring (8.3), wherein the lower abutment area (10.6) is on the turret bottom (10), a mechanical stopper geometry (8.2) adapted to limit an excursion of the piston (8.1) when opening, by abutting against the geometry (10.6) of the bottom (10), and a vertical, cross-type guide.


    1. Behälter für Flüssigkeiten aus fassartigem Kunststoffmaterial, wobei der Behälter einen Hals (12.2) aufweist und umfassend:

    a) mindestens einen Zapfhahn (1) mit Doppelrevolver (9.3) aus Kunststoff für den Behälter für fassförmige Flüssigkeiten, wobei der Zapfhahn (1) umfasst:

    • einen Hauptkörper (7), der mit dem Hals (12.2) verbindbar ist;

    • mindestens eine Abdeckvorrichtung (9), die an einem ersten Ende des Hauptkörpers (7) angebracht ist und mit mindestens zwei Türmen (9.3) ausgestattet ist, einer für den Eintritt von Gas in den Behälter und einer für den Austritt von Flüssigkeit aus dem Behälter;

    • mindestens zwei Kolben (8.1), die in der Öffnungsphase in den Revolvern (9.3) geführt und mittels Dichtungs-O-Ringen (8.4) mit jeweils einem der Revolver (9.3) wirkgekoppelt sind;

    • mindestens ein fälschungssicheres Siegel (11.1), das über und um die Abdeckvorrichtung (9) herum angebracht ist, um einen ungewollten Zugriff von außen auf die Türmchen (9.3) zu verhindern;

    dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass der Zapfhahn (1) auch umfasst:

    • einen Revolverboden (10) für jeden Revolver (9.3), der über ein Gewinde (10.7) mit einem jeweiligen Gewinde (9.5) betriebsmäßig gekoppelt ist, das an langgestreckten Geometrien vorhanden ist, die auf der Unterseite der Abdeckvorrichtung (9) vorhanden sind, jeder Revolver (9.3) von einem benachbarten Revolver (9.3) durch abdichtende O-Ringe (13.1) in Sitzen (10.9), die an einem Revolverboden (10) angebracht sind, und in dichtender Kupplung an Gegensitzen (9.9) an einem Innenteil angebracht sind jedes einzelnen Revolvers (9.3), um die klare Trennung eines Flüssigkeitskanals durch einen Gaskanal zu gewährleisten, die Revolverböden (10), einmal auf die länglichen Geometrien am seitlichen unteren Teil der Abdeckung aufgeschraubt Vorrichtung (9), die als flexibles Druckelement eine Feder (8.3) drückt, die auf Rippen (10.6) des Revolverbodens (10) aufgesetzt ist, die wiederum den Kolben (8) wirksam gegen eine geneigte Fläche (93) des Revolvers (9.3), die wiederum die Kolben (8.1) in eine Wirkverbindung mit der Abdeckvorrichtung (9) drückt und deren Funktion steuert, wobei die Kolben (8.1) in einem konischen Kanal (10.8) im Mittelteil von gleiten die Rippen (10.6) der Revolverbasis (10); und

    • mindestens ein Entgasungsschlüssel (11.8) integriert mit dem Fälschungsschutzsiegel, der als Schlüssel zum Entgasen der Fässer am Ende ihrer Lebensdauer dient; und

    b) mindestens ein Hals (12.2) des fassartigen Behälters, der mit dem Zapfhahn (1) betriebsfähig verbunden werden kann und mit internen und externen Fälschungsschutzmitteln (12.3) ausgestattet ist, die mit dem Fälschungsschutzsiegel (11.1) des Zapfhahns (1) zusammenwirken können.

    2. Behälter nach Anspruch 1, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass die Revolverböden (10) die Federn (8.3), die sich unter den Kolben (8.1) befinden, vorspannen und arretieren können, wobei die beiden Revolver (9.3) außerdem angepasst sind, um die Kolben (8.1) in der Öffnungsphase und vor der Montage, die Rippen (10.6), die mit dem Führungszylinder einer Kolben (8.1) verbunden sind, zusammenwirken mit der Geometrie (8.2) des Kolbens (8.1), beim Öffnen des Zapfhahns (1) und dient als Anschlag für das Absenken des Kolbens (8.1), der sich somit vertikal bewegen kann und auf diese Weise blockiert, wobei sichergestellt wird, dass der Kolben (8.1) an der der Anschlüsse vorhanden ist, die wird mit den Türmen (9.3) verbunden, öffnet und ermöglicht den Durchfluss von Gas oder Flüssigkeit, je nach betrachteter Verbindung
    3. Behälter nach Anspruch 2, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass die Sitze (10.3) der Revolverböden (10) für den Anschluss an ein Tauchrohr ausgelegt sind, das unter dem Aufsatz zu einem Revolver (9.3) platziert wird, wo die Flüssigkeit durchströmt , unter den an jedem einzelnen Revolverboden (10) vorhandenen Rippen (10.6) sich ein abgedichteter Verhakungsbereich (10.9) befindet, der geeignet ist, die Geometrie (9.9) der Abdeckvorrichtung (9) abzudichten und so separate Kanäle zu erzeugen für Luft und Flüssigkeit.
    4. Behälter nach Anspruch 2 oder 3, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass die Revolverböden (10) mittels am gleichen Revolverboden (10) erhaltener Gewinde (10.7) mit an der Abdeckvorrichtung vorhandenen Anschlussgewinden (9.5) verschraubt sind (9).
    5. Behälter nach Anspruch 1, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass der Kolben (8.1) das längliche Element ist, auf dem die dichtenden O-Ringe (8.4) aufgesetzt sind, die dank der Schubkraft der darunter liegenden Feder (8.3) geeignet sind für Erzeugen des hermetischen Verschlusses und/oder Öffnens der Revolver (9.3), wobei der Kolben (8.1) eine Aufnahme für den abdichtenden O-Ring (8.4) aufweist, einen abgeschrägten Kopf, der sich dem gesamten Profil der Revolver (9.3) an oberer Anschlagbereich der Metallfeder (8.3), bei dem sich der untere Anschlagbereich (10.6) am Revolverboden (10) befindet, eine mechanische Anschlaggeometrie (8.2) zur Begrenzung einer Auslenkung des Kolbens (8.1) beim Öffnen gegen die Geometrie (10.6) des Bodens (10) schlagend, und eine vertikale Querführung.


    1. Conteneur pour liquides en matière plastique de type fût, ledit récipient présentant un col (12.2) et comprenant :

    a) au moins un robinet distributeur (1) à double tourelle (9.3) en matière plastique, pour le récipient pour liquides de type fût, ledit robinet distributeur (1) comprenant :

    • un corps principal (7) connectable audit col (12.2);

    • au moins un dispositif de couverture (9) placé à une première extrémité dudit corps principal (7) et équipé d'au moins deux tourelles (9.3), une pour l'entrée de gaz dans ledit conteneur et une pour l'échappement de liquide dudit récipient;

    • au moins deux pistons (8.1) guidés dans lesdites tourelles (9.3) en phase d'ouverture, et couplés fonctionnellement au moyen de joints toriques d'étanchéité (8.4), chacun, à l'une respective desdites tourelles (9.3);

    • au moins un scellé anti-contrefaçon (11.1) placé au-dessus et autour dudit dispositif de recouvrement (9) de manière à empêcher tout accès extérieur intempestif auxdites tourelles (9.3);

    caractérisé en ce que le robinet de distribution (1) comprend également :

    • un fond de tourelle (10) pour chaque tourelle (9.3), couplé fonctionnellement par un filetage (10.7) à un filetage respectif (9.5) présent sur des géométries allongées présentes sur le côté inférieur du dispositif de couverture (9), chaque tourelle (9.3) étant isolé d'une tourelle adjacente (9.3) au moyen de joints toriques d'étanchéité (13.1) placés dans des sièges (10.9) obtenus sur un fond de tourelle (10) et en accouplement étanche sur des contre-sièges (9.9) obtenus sur une partie interne de chaque tourelle individuelle (9.3), afin d'avoir la garantie qu'un passage de liquide sera bien séparé par un passage de gaz, les fonds de tourelle (10), une fois vissés sur les géométries allongées de la partie inférieure latérale du revêtement (9), poussant un ressort (8.3) en tant qu'élément de poussée flexible placé sur des nervures (10.6) du fond de tourelle (10), qui à son tour poussera le piston (8) contre une surface inclinée (93) du la tour tta (9.3), qui à son tour poussera les pistons (8.1) dans un accouplement fonctionnel avec le dispositif de couverture (9) et contrôlera son fonctionnement, lesdits pistons (8.1) glissant dans un conduit conique (10.8) sur la partie centrale de les nervures (10.6) de la base de tourelle (10); et

    • au moins une clé de dégazage (11.8) intégrée au scellé anti-contrefaçon, servant de clé de dégazage des fûts en fin de vie; et

    b) au moins un col (12.2) du récipient de type fût apte à se raccorder fonctionnellement audit robinet de distribution (1) et équipé de moyens anti-contrefaçon internes et externes (12.3) aptes à coopérer avec ledit scellé anti-contrefaçon (11.1) dudit robinet (1).

    2. Conteneur selon la revendication 1, caractérisé en ce que lesdits fonds de tourelles (10) sont aptes à précharger et bloquer les ressorts (8.3) qui se trouvent sous les pistons (8.1), les deux tourelles (9.3) étant en outre aptes à guider les pistons (8.1) en phase d'ouverture et avant assemblage, les nervures (10.6) reliées au cylindre de guidage d'une tige de piston (8.1), coopérant avec la géométrie (8.2) du piston (8.1), lors de l'ouverture du robinet (1), et faisant office de butée pour la descente du piston (8.1), qui pourra ainsi se déplacer verticalement, et ainsi se bloquer, en s'assurant que le piston (8.1), présent au niveau des liaisons qui se connectera avec les tourelles (9.3), s'ouvre et permet l'écoulement de gaz ou de liquide, selon le raccordement considéré
    3. Conteneur selon la revendication 2, caractérisé en ce que les sièges (10.3) des fonds de tourelle (10) sont destinés à se raccorder à un tube plongeur, qui sera placé sous l'attache d'une tourelle (9.3) où passera le liquide , sous les nervures (10.6) présentes sur chaque base de tourelle unique (10) se trouve une zone d'emboîtement étanche (10.9), apte à sceller la géométrie (9.9) du dispositif de couverture (9), et ainsi à générer des conduits séparés pour air et liquide.
    4. Conteneur selon la revendication 2 ou 3, caractérisé en ce que les fonds de tourelle (10) sont vissés au moyen de filetages (10.7) obtenus sur le même fond de tourelle (10), avec les filetages de raccordement (9.5) présents sur le dispositif de couverture (9).
    5. Conteneur selon la revendication 1, caractérisé en ce que le piston (8.1) est l'élément allongé sur lequel sont placés les joints toriques d'étanchéité (8.4) qui, grâce à la poussée du ressort sous-jacent (8.3), sont aptes à générant la fermeture et/ou l'ouverture hermétique des tourelles (9.3), le piston (8.1) comportant un siège pour le joint torique d'étanchéité (8.4), une tête chanfreinée qui s'adapte à tout le profil des tourelles (9.3), un zone de butée supérieure du ressort métallique (8.3), dans laquelle la zone de butée inférieure (10.6) est située sur le fond de tourelle (10), une géométrie de butée mécanique (8.2) destinée à limiter une excursion du piston (8.1) lors de l'ouverture, heurtant la géométrie (10.6) du fond (10), et un guide transversal vertical.


    Cited references


    This list of references cited by the applicant is for the reader's convenience only. It does not form part of the European patent document. Even though great care has been taken in compiling the references, errors or omissions cannot be excluded and the EPO disclaims all liability in this regard.

    Patent documents cited in the description