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Publication numberUS20060210201 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/440,857
Publication dateSep 21, 2006
Filing dateMay 25, 2006
Priority dateApr 9, 2004
Publication number11440857, 440857, US 2006/0210201 A1, US 2006/210201 A1, US 20060210201 A1, US 20060210201A1, US 2006210201 A1, US 2006210201A1, US-A1-20060210201, US-A1-2006210201, US2006/0210201A1, US2006/210201A1, US20060210201 A1, US20060210201A1, US2006210201 A1, US2006210201A1
InventorsBryan Ackerman, James Pawloski, John McCree
Original AssigneeAckerman Bryan L, Pawloski James C, Mccree John O
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Slider and closure mechanism for closure assembly
US 20060210201 A1
Abstract
A closure assembly usable with a pouch includes an elongate closure mechanism and a slider. The closure mechanism includes opposing closure members, each having an upper interlocking profile spaced from a lower interlocking profile. The slider includes a separator member spaced between opposing channel walls, and upper closure bars and lower closure bars protruding inwardly from the channel walls. The slider may be operatively disposed on the closure mechanism with the upper closure bars engaging the upper interlocking profiles, the lower closure bars engaging the lower interlocking profiles, and the separator member disposed between the upper interlocking profiles. The slider occludes the upper interlocking profiles and the lower interlocking profiles when urged in a closing direction along the closure mechanism, and de-occludes the upper interlocking profiles without de-occluding the lower interlocking profiles when urged in an opening direction opposite the closing direction.
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Claims(20)
1. A closure assembly, comprising:
a first elongate closure member having a first upper interlocking profile spaced from a first lower interlocking profile;
a second elongate closure member having a second upper interlocking profile opposite the first interlocking profile and a second lower interlocking profile opposite the first lower interlocking profile; and
a slider including a separator member spaced between a first channel wall and a second channel wall, the slider including an upper closing bar disposed on an inner surface of one of the first and second channel walls aligned with the upper interlocking profiles and spaced from a lower closing bar disposed on an inner surface of one of the first and second channel walls aligned with the lower interlocking profiles;
wherein the slider is operationally disposed on the first elongate closure member and the second elongate closure member such that the slider de-occludes the first upper interlocking profile and the second upper interlocking profile when moved along the first elongate closure member and the second elongate closure member in a first direction without de-occluding the first lower interlocking profile and the second lower interlocking profile; and
wherein the slider occludes the first upper interlocking profile with the second upper interlocking profile and occludes the first lower interlocking profile with the second lower interlocking profile when moved along the first elongate closure member and the second elongate closure member in a second direction opposite the first direction.
2. The closure assembly of claim 1 further including a flange portion extending beyond the upper interlocking profile of one of the first and second closure members in a direction opposite the respective lower interlocking profile, the flange portion not opposed by the other of the first and second closure members.
3. The closure assembly of claim 1, wherein the second lower interlocking profile is a male profile comprising an asymmetrical barbed head.
4. The closure assembly of claim 3, wherein the asymmetrical barbed head hooks away from the upper interlocking profiles.
5. The closure assembly of claim 1, wherein the first upper interlocking profile comprises a symmetrical male profile, the second upper interlocking profile comprises a symmetrical female profile, the first lower interlocking profile comprises a symmetrical female profile, and the second lower interlocking profile comprises an asymmetrical hooked male profile.
6. The closure assembly of claim 5, wherein the asymmetrical hooked male profile is turned away from the upper interlocking profiles.
7. The closure assembly of claim 1 further comprising an exposed upper flange extending upwardly beyond the first upper interlocking profile, wherein the exposed upper flange is offset beyond an upper edge of an opposing backing member for the second upper interlocking profile.
8. The closure assembly of claim 7, wherein the exposed upper flange is an upper portion of a first pouch sidewall, and the opposing backing member is an upper portion of a second pouch sidewall.
9. A slider for operatively engaging an elongate resealable closure mechanism, the slider comprising:
a channel defined by a left channel wall connected to a right channel wall at an upper end thereof, the channel adapted to receive the elongate resealable closure mechanism therein through a lower end opposite an upper end;
a lower closure bar protruding into the channel adjacent the lower end;
an upper closure bar protruding into the channel and spaced between the lower closure bar and the upper end; and
a separator finger spaced between the left channel wall and the right channel wall, the separator finger being aligned with the upper closure bar and not aligned with the lower closure bar.
10. The slider of claim 9, wherein the elongate resealable closure mechanism includes a pair of opposing upper interlocking profiles spaced from a pair of opposing lower interlocking profiles, and wherein the separator finger extends between the upper interlocking profiles and not between the lower interlocking profiles when the slider is operatively engaged on the resealable closure mechanism.
11. The slider of claim 10, wherein the upper closure bar engages one of the upper interlocking profiles and the lower closure bar engages one of the lower interlocking profiles when the slider is operatively engaged on the elongate resealable closure mechanism.
12. The slider of claim 9, wherein the upper closure bar is substantially vertically coextensive with the upper interlocking profiles, and the lower closure bar is substantially vertically coextensive with the lower interlocking profiles.
13. A method of occluding and de-occluding a closure mechanism on a pouch having a first sidewall and a second sidewall defining an opening into an interior space therebetween, the method comprising the steps of:
sliding an actuation member along the closure mechanism in a first direction to de-occlude an exterior pair of interlocking members;
gripping an exposed upper flange above one of the exterior pair of interlocking members and an opposing one of the first and second sidewalls;
urging the first and second sidewalls away from each other to de-occlude an interior pair of interlocking members including an asymmetric interlocking member; and
sliding the actuation member in a second direction opposite the first direction to re-occlude the exterior and interior pairs of interlocking members.
14. The method of claim 13, wherein the actuation member further comprises a body defining a channel between two opposing channel walls, and a separator member disposed in the channel spaced between the opposing channel walls, and wherein the separator member extends between the exterior interlocking members and does not extend between the interior interlocking members.
15. The method of claim 14, wherein the actuation member further comprises a first closure member protruding into the channel and a second closure member protruding into the channel, and wherein the first closure member is aligned and substantially coextensive with the interior pair of interlocking members and the second closure member is aligned and substantially coextensive with the exterior pair of interlocking members.
16. The method of claim 15, wherein the second closure member is spaced between the first closure member and a top wall of the channel.
17. The method of claim 16, wherein the first closure member comprises a first closure bar disposed on a first one of the channel walls and a second closure bar opposing the first closure bar disposed on the other of the channel walls, and the second closure member comprises a third closure bar disposed on the first one of the channel walls and a fourth closure bar opposing the third closure bar disposed on the other of the channel walls.
18. The method of claim 13, wherein the step of urging requires more force to de-occlude the interior pair of interlocking members if urged from an interior side of the inner pair of interlocking members than from an exterior side of the same.
19. The method of claim 13, wherein the asymmetric interlocking member includes a hook that is turned toward the interior space.
20. The method of claim 13, wherein the asymmetric interlocking member includes a male member having a first hook on an interior side and a second hook on an exterior side, wherein the first hook is smaller than the second hook.
Description
CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/684,914, filed May 26, 2005, and is a continuation-in-part of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/821,341, filed Apr. 9, 2004, and U.S. patent application Ser. No. 11/349,558, filed Feb. 8, 2006, each of which is incorporated by reference in its entirety herein.

REFERENCE REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT

Not applicable

SEQUENTIAL LISTING

Not applicable

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to a closure assembly including an elongate closure mechanism and a slider operationally disposed thereon, such as might be used on a pouch.

2. Description of the Background of the Invention

Closure mechanisms that include a slider for occluding and de-occluding one or more pairs of opposing interlocking profiles are known. The slider facilitates relatively easy opening and closing of the interlocking profiles. A difficulty with such closure mechanisms, however, is preventing leakage around a separating member when the slider is disposed in a fully closed position on the interlocking profiles.

In one instance, a slider includes a separator finger that extends only between the upper pair of opposing interlocking profiles so that the slider does not separate the lower pair of opposing interlocking profiles. When slid along the closure mechanism in an opening direction, the slider only opens the upper pair of opposing interlocking profiles. A user then manually opens the lower pair of opposing interlocking profiles, such as by pulling the profiles apart. When slid along the closure mechanism in a closing direction, the slider includes projections that are adapted to cause the upper and lower pairs of opposing interlocking profiles to move together and engage mutually.

In another instance, a slider for a closure mechanism having upper and lower pairs of opposing interlocking profiles has an opening plow that separates the upper and lower pairs of interlocking profiles when slid in an opening direction along the closure mechanism. The plow is a vertical member depending from a top wall of the slider and a horizontal member extending laterally from a lower end of the vertical member outwardly toward left and right sidewalls of the slider between the upper and lower interlocking profiles. The horizontal member presses against a backing member extending between the upper and lower interlocking profiles to separate the interlocking profiles without having the vertical member engage the interlocking profiles.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

According to one aspect of the invention, a closure assembly includes a first elongate closure member having a first upper interlocking profile spaced from a first lower interlocking profile, a second elongate closure member having a second upper interlocking profile opposite the first interlocking profile and a second lower interlocking profile opposite the first lower interlocking profile, and a slider including a separator member spaced between a first channel wall and a second channel wall. The slider further includes an upper closing bar disposed on an inner surface of one of the left and right channel walls aligned with the upper interlocking profiles and spaced from a lower closing bar disposed on an inner surface of one of the left and right channel walls aligned with the lower interlocking profiles. The slider is operationally disposed on the first elongate closure member and the second elongate closure member such that the slider de-occludes the first upper interlocking profile and the second upper interlocking profile when shifted along the first elongate closure member and the second elongate closure member in a first direction without de-occluding the first lower interlocking profile and the second lower interlocking profile. The slider also occludes the first upper interlocking profile with the second upper interlocking profile and occludes the first lower interlocking profile with the second lower interlocking profile when shifted along the first elongate closure member and the second elongate closure member in a second direction opposite the first direction.

According to another aspect of the invention, a slider for operatively engaging an elongate resealable closure mechanism includes a channel defined by a left channel wall connected to a right channel wall at an upper end thereof. The channel is adapted to receive the elongate resealable closure mechanism therein through a lower end opposite an upper end. A lower closure bar protrudes into the channel adjacent the lower end, and an upper closure bar protrudes into the channel and is spaced between the lower closure bar and the upper end. A separator finger spaced between the left channel wall and the right channel wall is aligned with the upper closure bar and not aligned with the lower closure bar.

According to yet another aspect of the invention, a method of occluding and de-occluding a closure mechanism on a pouch having a first sidewall and a second sidewall defining an opening into an interior space therebetween includes the step of sliding an actuation member along the closure mechanism in a first direction to de-occlude an exterior pair of interlocking members. The method further includes the steps of gripping an exposed upper flange above one of the exterior pair of interlocking members and an opposing one of the first and second sidewalls and urging the first and second sidewalls away from each other to de-occlude an inner pair of interlocking members including an asymmetric male hook member turned toward the interior. Still further, the method includes the step of sliding the actuation member in a second direction opposite the first direction to re-occlude the exterior and interior pairs of interlocking members.

Other aspects of the present invention will become apparent upon consideration of the following detailed description.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a partial isometric view of a pouch having a closure assembly including a slider operatively disposed on a closure mechanism;

FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view along the lines 2-2 of FIG. 1 showing an opening end of the slider; and

FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view along the lines 3-3 of FIG. 1 showing a closing end of the slider.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Turning now to the drawings, a pouch 10 shown in FIG. 1 according to one embodiment has a left pouch sidewall 12 disposed opposite a right pouch sidewall 14 and defining a mouth 16 into an interior space 18 between the left and right pouch sidewalls. (Global relational spatial terms, such as “left” and “right,” “upper” and “lower,” “lateral,” etc., are used hereinafter in reference to the opening end view shown in FIG. 2 for explanatory purposes only, it being understood that the “left” and “right” sides are opposite in the closing end view shown in FIG. 3 and that the global spatial relationships are different when the closure assembly is oriented differently.) A closure assembly 20 is disposed at the mouth 16 to facilitate sealing, opening, and/or re-sealing the pouch 10. The closure assembly 20 includes an elongate closure mechanism 22 having opposing elongate closure members disposed on respective opposing pouch sidewalls 12, 14 extending along the mouth 16 and a slider 24 disposed on the closure mechanism to operationally engage the closure members. The slider 24 defines a channel 26 that extends between an opening end 28 and a closing end 30, and is sized to receive the closure mechanism 22 therein. The slider 24 at least partly opens the mouth 16 when shifted along the closure mechanism 22 toward the closing end 30 and at least partly closes the mouth when shifted along the elongate resealable closure mechanism toward the opening end 28.

As shown in FIGS. 2 and 3, the closure mechanism 22 includes a left closure member 32 and a right closure member 34, each of which is elongate and disposed along the length of the mouth 16. The left closure member 32 includes an upper male interlocking profile 36 and a lower female interlocking profile 38 disposed on a backing member 40. The right closure member 34 includes an upper female interlocking profile 42 opposite the upper male interlocking profile 36 and a lower male interlocking profile 44 opposite the lower female interlocking profile 38 disposed on a backing member 46. In the depicted embodiment, the upper male and female interlocking profiles 36, 42 are elongate and resealable with each other, and similarly, the lower female and male interlocking profiles 38, 44 are elongate and resealable with each other. In other embodiments, the left and right closure members 32, 34 may include non-elongate interlocking members, such as, for example, hook and loop fastener strips, elongate arrays of discrete inter-engaging protrusions, etc. The upper male and female interlocking profiles 36, 42 are spaced between the mouth 16 and the lower male and female interlocking members 38, 44, defining a medial space 48 therebetween. Each of the upper and lower female interlocking profiles 42, 38 includes a pair of inwardly hooked arms 50 to interlockingly receive the respective opposing upper and lower male interlocking profiles 36, 44 therein. The upper male interlocking profile 36 has a symmetrical barbed head 52. The lower male interlocking profile 44 has an asymmetrical barbed head 54 to provide a differential opening force, such that more force is needed to de-occlude the lower male/female interlocking profiles 44, 38 from an interior 18 side of the closure mechanism 22 than from a mouth 16 side of the closure mechanism. In one embodiment, the asymmetrical barbed head 54 includes a single hook 56 that is turned toward the interior 18. In another embodiment (not shown), the asymmetrical barbed head 54 may include a pair of opposing hooks in which, for example, a hook on the interior side is larger than a hook on the mouth side. In a further embodiment (not shown), both the upper and lower male interlocking profiles 36, 44 may, for example, have asymmetrical barbed heads or symmetrical barbed heads, and the upper and lower male interlocking profiles may be disposed on one backing member and the upper and lower female interlocking profiles 42, 38 may be disposed on the opposing backing member. Further, the backing members 40, 46 in one embodiment are upper portions of the left and right pouch sidewalls 12, 14, and in another embodiment are discrete strips of material distinct from the left and right pouch sidewalls. In another embodiment, an upper flange 58 (shown in dashed lines in FIG. 2) extends upwardly beyond the upper male interlocking member 36 such that the upper flange is offset beyond and not directly opposed by an upper edge 60 of the opposite pouch sidewall 14. The upper flange 58 in another embodiment may, for example, extend beyond either one of the closure members 32 or 34 to provide an exposed strip of material that is not opposed by any portion of the opposite sidewall 14, or right closure member 34 to aid a user in grasping and opening the mouth 16.

The slider 24 includes a left channel wall 70 laterally spaced from a right channel wall 72, which defines the channel 26. The left channel wall 70 is connected to the right channel wall 72 at an upper end thereof, such as, for example, by a top channel wall 74 extending laterally across the channel 26. A separator member is disposed in the channel 26 spaced between the left channel wall 70 and the right channel wall 72. In one embodiment the separator member includes a substantially vertical separator finger 76 extending downwardly from the top channel wall 74 a distance sufficient to extend between the upper male and female interlocking profiles 36, 42 and not between the lower male and female interlocking profiles 38, 44 when the slider 24 is operatively disposed on the closure mechanism 22. A lower closure protrusion, such as an opposing pair of lower closure bars 78 disposed on the left and right channel walls 70, 72, extends into the channel 26 proximate the lower end thereof. An upper closure protrusion, such as an opposing pair of upper closure bars 80 disposed on the left and right channel walls 70, 72, extends into the channel 26 proximate the upper end thereof. The lower closure bars 78 are vertically aligned and substantially coextensive with the lower male and female interlocking profiles 38, 44, and the upper closure bars 80 are vertically aligned and substantially coextensive with the upper male and female interlocking profiles 36, 42 when the slider 24 is operatively disposed on the closure mechanism 22. In one embodiment, the upper closure protrusion is disposed between the lower closure protrusion and the upper end of the channel 26, such that, in one embodiment the upper closure bars 80 are spaced from the lower closure bars 78, and in another embodiment the upper closure bars are spaced between the lower closure bars and the top channel wall 74.

The closure assembly 20, including the closure mechanism 22 and the slider 24, may be made of any material suitable for providing a relatively resilient slider and a relatively flexible closure mechanism. In one embodiment, the slider 24 is molded of relatively stiff or rigid polymeric material, and the closure mechanism 22 is extruded with a more pliable polymeric resin.

Illustratively, to open and/or unseal the closure assembly 20, a user urges the operatively disposed slider 24 along the closure mechanism 22 in an opening direction toward the closing end 30 in order to de-occlude the upper male and female interlocking profiles 36, 42. The user may then de-occlude the lower male and female interlocking profiles 38, 44 by, for example, grasping the upper flange 58 and urging the left pouch sidewall 12 away from the right pouch sidewall 14. To close and/or reseal the closure assembly 20, the user urges the slider 24 in an opposite, closing direction, i.e., toward the opening end 28 of the slider, along the closure mechanism 22, thereby occluding the upper male and female interlocking profiles 36, 42 and the lower male and female interlocking profiles 38, 44 along the mouth 16.

INDUSTRIAL APPLICABILITY

The closure assembly described herein provides a mechanism for sealing, opening, and resealing a pouch for storing products therein. Of course, the closure assembly may be used for sealing and resealing openings of almost any kind. The opposing upper and lower interlocking members may form two resealable seals along the mouth of the pouch, and the slider may be adapted to not de-occluding the lower interlocking members, thereby ensuring at least one complete seal across the entire bag mouth when the slider is in the fully closed position. The asymmetrical barbed head disposed on the lower male interlocking profile may require a lower opening force for the user to de-occlude the lower interlocking profiles when gripping the upper flange and opposite upper pouch wall edge while requiring a larger opening force from the interior of the pouch by, for example, food or other products contained therein.

Each patent and reference cited herein is incorporated herein by reference in the entirety thereof. Numerous modifications to the present invention will be apparent to those skilled in the art in view of the foregoing description. Accordingly, this description is to be construed as illustrative only and is presented for the purpose of enabling those skilled in the art to make and use the closure assembly of the present invention and to teach the best mode of carrying out same. The exclusive right to all modification within the scope of the impending claims is expressly reserved.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7610662 *Nov 15, 2006Nov 3, 2009Illinois Tool Works Inc.Leakproof slider zipper
US7670051 *Oct 15, 2004Mar 2, 2010Ashok ChaturvediLeak proof re-closable flexible pouch
US7946003 *Oct 30, 2006May 24, 2011Reynolds Consumer Products, Inc.Package closure and method
US20110311167 *Jun 21, 2010Dec 22, 2011Poly-America, L.P.Closure Device for Reclosable Bag
US20120269469 *Oct 4, 2011Oct 25, 2012Exopack LlcReclosable full open mouth bag with a hook and hook closure and associated methods
Classifications
U.S. Classification383/61.2, 383/64
International ClassificationB65D33/16
Cooperative ClassificationB65D33/2591
European ClassificationB65D33/25C