|Publication number||US20040252919 A1|
|Application number||US 10/458,609|
|Publication date||Dec 16, 2004|
|Filing date||Jun 10, 2003|
|Priority date||Jun 10, 2003|
|Publication number||10458609, 458609, US 2004/0252919 A1, US 2004/252919 A1, US 20040252919 A1, US 20040252919A1, US 2004252919 A1, US 2004252919A1, US-A1-20040252919, US-A1-2004252919, US2004/0252919A1, US2004/252919A1, US20040252919 A1, US20040252919A1, US2004252919 A1, US2004252919A1|
|Original Assignee||James Welch|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (20), Referenced by (5), Classifications (4)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
 The disclosures made herein relate generally to insulated containers and, more specifically, to an insulated bag configured for being packed, stored and transported in an efficient and convenient manner.
 Insulated article-receiving implements that can be used for retaining one or more articles that are to be maintained at about a particular desired temperature are known. For example, it is common to use an insulated jacket around an article such as a container having a beverage therein. Similarly, it is common to place articles such as grocery items into conventional types of insulated bags.
 Conventional insulated article-receiving implements exhibit one of more limitations. One limitation is that they often cannot be carried, packed and/or transported conveniently and efficiently. Another limitation is that they are often designed in a manner limiting their use to holding beverage containers, rather than diverse types of articles. Yet another limitation is that they often provide less than acceptable insulating performance. Still another limitation is that they are often made from one or more materials that are limited in its durability. Yet, still another limitation is that they are often not foldable, rollable and/or conformable in an efficient and convenient manner.
 Therefore, an insulated bag that at least partially overcomes limitations of conventional insulated article-receiving implements would be useful.
FIG. 1 is a preferred embodiment of an insulated bag in its open state for receiving an article therein;
FIG. 2 is a side view showing a can being removed from the insulated bag;
FIG. 3 is a view taken along the line 3-3 of FIG. 2; and
FIG. 4 illustrates a blank from which a rectangular version of the insulated bag is formed.
 Referring to FIG. 1, an insulated bag 10 in accordance with an embodiment of the disclosures made herein is depicted. The insulated bag 10 is shown in its open position to receive an article such as a beverage container 12 (FIGS. 1 and 2) or the like within a cavity 13 of the insulated bag 10. The bag 10 is shown as being formed from a blank 14 (FIG. 4) that is folded, creased and glued to form the bag depicted in FIG. 1.
 The insulated bag 10 is in the form of a rectangular-shaped, flat-bottom bag. However, although not specifically shown, other configurations of bags are contemplated, as bags in accordance with embodiments of the disclosures made herein are not necessarily limited to any particular shape. For example, it is contemplated herein that bags in accordance with embodiments of the disclosures made herein may be configured as pleated flat-bottom type bags, pleated sleeve type bags, non-pleated sleeve type bags, and other known and proprietary bag configurations.
 In one embodiment of the disclosures made herein, the blank 14 consists of a first pliant sheet of material 16 that is laminated, such as by gluing, thermal bonding or molecular bonding, to a second pliant sheet of material 18. Examples of the first pliant sheet of material 16 include sheets of pliant paper, pliant plastic and the like. Examples of the second pliant sheet of material 18 include sheets of pliant foam (polymeric and otherwise), pliant paper-based insulating materials and the like. Accordingly, the first pliant sheet of material 16 defines an outer layer of the insulated bag 10 and the second pliant sheet of material 18 defines an inner insulating layer (i.e., broadly an inner layer) of the insulated bag 10.
 In another embodiment of the disclosures made herein, the blank 14 consists of smooth-face insulating substrate having a skin layer and an insulating layer formed from a common material in a unitary manner (e.g., via casting or extrusion) with the skin layer. Polymeric foam having a cellular insulating layer and a relatively flat skin layer defining at least one face of the cellular insulating layer is an example of such a smooth-face insulating substrate. Accordingly, the skin layer defines the outer layer of the insulated bag 10 and the cellular insulating layer defines the inner insulating layer of the insulated bag 10.
 In one embodiment of an approach for forming the blank 14, a pre-cut piece of the first pliant sheet of material 16 and is laminated to a pre-cut piece of the second pliant sheet of material 18 having a shape similar to or essentially the same as a shape of the first pliant sheet of material 16. It is contemplated herein that the pre-cut piece of the second pliant sheet of material 18 may cover less than the entire surface of the pre-cut piece of the first pliant sheet of material 16. For example, portions of the blank 14 that comprise a bottom of the insulated bag 10 may be devoid of the second pliant sheet of material 18 and/or portions of the blank 14 defining fold lines of the insulated bag 10 may be devoid of the second pliant sheet of material 18.
 In another embodiment of an approach for forming the blank 14, the blank 14 is cut (e.g., via a die) from a pre-formed multi-layer substrate comprising an outer layer and an inner insulating layer of the insulated bag 10. A smooth face insulating structure as discussed and defined above and a multi-layer laminate formed in a pre-fabrication operation (e.g., a separate operation for laminating the first pliant sheet of material 16 to the second pliant sheet of material 18 prior to forming the blank 14) are examples of such a pre-formed multi-layer substrate.
 The blank shown in FIG. 4 has a number of bond areas 20 that are so located that when the blank 14 is formed by hand, by conventional bag forming machinery or by proprietary bag forming machinery, the blank 14 is folded into the shape of the insulated bag 10 shown in FIG. 1 and is bonded together (e.g., at the bond areas 20) to retain that shape. It is contemplated herein that alternate means of bonding the bond areas 20 of the blank 14, such as bonding via thermal means, laser means, solvent means, etc, may be employed. It is also contemplated that the actual size of the bonds may be smaller than or greater than the bond areas 20 depicted in FIG. 4.
 In an embodiment where the first pliant sheet of material 16 is pliant paper and the second pliant sheet of material 18 is pliant polyethylene foam, it is contemplated herein that the polyethylene foam may be glued to the paper by a non-water soluble glue so that in the event the paper becomes moistened there will not be any delaminating of the foam from the paper backing. An advantage of the outer layer and the inner insulating layer of the insulated bag 10 both being formed from polymeric materials is that it enables and/or enhances bonding approaches such as thermal means, laser means, solvent means relative to the outer layer being formed from pliant paper and the inner insulating layer being formed from a polymeric material (e.g., polyethylene foam). In such embodiments where the outer layer and the inner insulating layer of the insulated bag 10 are both formed from polymeric materials, the potential for moisture-related bond failure is reduced.
 As shown in FIG. 1 the edges of the blank are overlapped and the bond line 20A that extends the full height of the package retains the blank in its formed position. The insulated bag 10 includes fold lines 22 for enabling the insulated bag 10 to be closable/foldable longitudinally and/or laterally in an accordion type fashion, producing a flattened condition. The pliant sheets of material (16, 18) enable the insulated bag 10 to be flattened and then rolled. Accordingly, the ability to for the insulated bag 10 to be folded and or rolled enhances the ability for the insulated bag 10 to be carried, packed and/or transported conveniently and efficiently. Furthermore, the construction of the insulated bag 10 enables repeated use of the insulated bag 10.
 It is important to note that, in at least one embodiment of the disclosures made herein, there are cut-out portions 24 that are so located in the opposite side walls 16A, 16B of the receptacle. The cut-out portions 24 enable a close-fitting article such as a beverage container to be readily gripped and removed from the insulated bag 10, even if the close-fitting article is totally disposed within the insulated bag 10. When the blank of FIG. 4 has been folded into the desired configuration it can be seen from FIGS. 2 and 3 that the cut-out portions 24 facilitate the introduction and removal of the article with respect to the insulated bag 10. Without these cut-out portions 24, it may be difficult to conveniently introduce and remove a close-fitting article (e.g., a beverage container) relative to the insulated bag 10 when such article has a length in excess to or about the same as the length of the insulated bag 10 itself.
 It is intended to cover by the intended claims all improvement and modifications that fall within the true spirit and scope of the invention. For example, an insulated bag in accordance with an embodiment of the disclosures is not limited in the size or shape in which it may be formed. Furthermore, it is contemplated herein that an outer layer of an insulated bag as disclosed herein may be made from a polymeric insulating material.
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