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Publication numberUS20070180668 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/349,558
Publication dateAug 9, 2007
Filing dateFeb 8, 2006
Priority dateFeb 8, 2006
Also published asCA2577356A1
Publication number11349558, 349558, US 2007/0180668 A1, US 2007/180668 A1, US 20070180668 A1, US 20070180668A1, US 2007180668 A1, US 2007180668A1, US-A1-20070180668, US-A1-2007180668, US2007/0180668A1, US2007/180668A1, US20070180668 A1, US20070180668A1, US2007180668 A1, US2007180668A1
InventorsBryan Ackerman, John McCree
Original AssigneeAckerman Bryan L, Mccree John O
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Pouch with slider and grip members
US 20070180668 A1
Abstract
A reclosable pouch comprises first and second side panels and a mouth at an upper end of the pouch. A first closure mechanism that includes complementary opposing interlocking profiles is disposed on the first and second side panels and a second closure mechanism that includes complementary opposing interlocking profiles is disposed on the first and second side panels and spaced from the first closure mechanism. A slider is adapted to straddle the mouth of the pouch and is movable between a first position and a second position. A separator member is disposed adjacent one end of the slider for separating the interlocking profiles of the first closure mechanism when the slider is moved toward the first position. A protrusion is disposed adjacent an opposite end of the slider for engaging the interlocking profiles of the first and second closure mechanisms when the slider is moved toward the second position. A grip member is disposed between the first closure mechanism and the mouth.
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Claims(20)
1. A reclosable pouch, comprising:
first and second side panels and a mouth at an upper end of the pouch;
a first closure mechanism that includes complementary opposing interlocking profiles disposed on the first and second side panels and a second closure mechanism that includes complementary opposing interlocking profiles disposed on the first and second side panels and spaced from the first closure mechanism;
a slider adapted to straddle the mouth of the pouch and movable between a first position and a second position, wherein a separator member is disposed adjacent one end of the slider for separating the interlocking profiles of the first closure mechanism when the slider is moved toward the first position, and wherein a protrusion is disposed adjacent an opposite end of the slider for engaging the interlocking profiles of the first and second closure mechanisms when the slider is moved toward the second position; and
a grip member disposed between the first closure mechanism and the mouth.
2. The reclosable pouch of claim 1, wherein the grip member is disposed on an inner wall of one of the first and second side panels.
3. The reclosable pouch of claim 2, wherein a second grip member is disposed on an inner wall of one of the first and second side panels opposite the grip member.
4. The reclosable pouch of claim 1, wherein the grip member is disposed on an outer wall of one of the first and second side panels.
5. The reclosable pouch of claim 4, wherein a second grip member is disposed on an outer wall of one of the first and second side panels opposite the grip member.
6. The reclosable pouch of claim 1, wherein a plurality of grips members are disposed between the first closure mechanism and the mouth of the pouch.
7. The reclosable pouch of claim 6, wherein the plurality of grip members are disposed on an inner wall of at least one of the first and second side panels.
8. The reclosable pouch of claim 6, wherein the plurality of grip members are disposed on outer wall of at least one of the first and second side panels.
9. The reclosable pouch of claim 6, wherein at least one of the plurality of grip members is disposed on an inner wall of one of the first and second side panels and at least one of the plurality of grip members is disposed on an outer wall of one of the first and second side panels.
10. A reclosable pouch, comprising:
first and second side portions and an opening at an upper end of the pouch;
a first closure strip that includes complementary opposing interlocking members disposed on the first and second side portions and a second closure strip that includes complementary opposing interlocking members disposed on the first and second side portions and spaced from the first closure strip;
a slider adapted to straddle the mouth of the pouch and movable between a first position and a second position, wherein a separator member is disposed adjacent one end of the slider for separating the interlocking members of the first closure strip when the slider is moved toward the first position, and wherein a protrusion is disposed adjacent an opposite end of the slider for engaging the interlocking members of the first and second closure strips when the slider is moved toward the second position; and
a first flange and a second flange adjacent the opening of the pouch and extending from the first side portion and the second side portion, respectively, wherein a grip member is disposed on at least one of the first and the second flanges.
11. The reclosable pouch of claim 10, wherein the grip member is disposed on an inner wall of the at least one of the first and second flanges.
12. The reclosable pouch of claim 11, wherein a second grip member is disposed on an inner wall of the at least one of the first and second flanges and opposite the grip member.
13. The reclosable pouch of claim 10, wherein the grip member is disposed on an outer wall of the at least one of the first and second flanges.
14. The reclosable pouch of claim 13, wherein a second grip member is disposed on an outer wall of the at least one of the first and second flanges and opposite the grip member.
15. The reclosable pouch of claim 10, wherein a plurality of grip members are disposed on the at least one of the first and second flanges.
16. The reclosable pouch of claim 15, wherein the plurality of grip members are disposed on an inner wall of the least one of the first and second flanges.
17. The reclosable pouch of claim 15, wherein the plurality of grip members are disposed on an outer wall of the least one of the first and second side panels.
18. The reclosable pouch of claim 15, wherein at least one of the plurality of grip members is disposed on an inner wall of one of the first and second flanges and at least one of the plurality of grip members is disposed on an outer wall of one of the first and second flanges.
19. A method of opening a closed pouch, comprising:
moving a slider straddling a mouth of a pouch having opposing first and second side panels from a first position to a second position, wherein a separator member disposed within the slider opens interlocking profiles of a first closure mechanism disposed between the mouth of the pouch and a second closure mechanism when the slider is moved toward the second position;
gripping at least one grip member disposed between the first closure mechanism and the mouth of the pouch and the opposing first and second side panels adjacent the mouth of the pouch; and
pulling at least one of the opposing first and second side panels in a direction substantially opposite each other and away from an interior of the pouch.
20. The method of claim 19, wherein the at least one grip member assists in gripping the opposing first and second side panels.
Description
CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

Not applicable

REFERENCE REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT

Not applicable

SEQUENTIAL LISTING

Not applicable

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present disclosure relates to a closure assembly, and more particularly, to a closure assembly having at least one grip member adjacent thereto and a slider operationally disposed thereon.

2. Description of the Background of the Invention

Closure assemblies in combination with sliders are well known to those skilled in the art. In one instance, a closure assembly includes spaced apart upper and lower pairs of interlocking profiles. A slider disposed on the closure assembly 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 profiles. When the slider is slid along the closure assembly in a first direction, the slider only opens the upper pair of opposing interlocking profiles. A user must then manually open the lower pair of opposing interlocking profiles, such as by pulling the profiles apart. When the slider is slid in a second direction along the closure assembly, the slider utilizes projections thereon to close and interlock the upper and lower pairs of opposing interlocking profiles.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

According to one aspect, a reclosable pouch comprises first and second side panels and a mouth at an upper end of the pouch. A first closure mechanism that includes complementary opposing interlocking profiles is disposed on the first and second side panels and a second closure mechanism that includes complementary opposing interlocking profiles is disposed on the first and second side panels and spaced from the first closure mechanism. A slider is adapted to straddle the mouth of the pouch and is movable between a first position and a second position. A separator member is disposed adjacent one end of the slider for separating the interlocking profiles of the first closure mechanism when the slider is moved toward the first position. A protrusion is disposed adjacent an opposite end of the slider for engaging the interlocking profiles of the first and second closure mechanisms when the slider is moved toward the second position. A grip member is disposed between the first closure mechanism and the mouth.

According to a different aspect, a reclosable pouch comprises first and second side portions and an opening at an upper end of the pouch. A first closure strip that includes complementary opposing interlocking members is disposed on the first and second side portions and a second closure strip that includes complementary opposing interlocking members is disposed on the first and second side portions and spaced from the first closure strip. A slider is adapted to straddle the mouth of the pouch and is movable between a first position and a second position. A separator member is disposed adjacent one end of the slider for separating the interlocking members of the first closure strip when the slider is moved toward the first position. A protrusion is disposed adjacent an opposite end of the slider for engaging the interlocking members of the first and second closure strips when the slider is moved toward the second position. A first flange and a second flange adjacent the opening of the pouch extend from the first side portion and the second side portion, respectively. A grip member is disposed on at least one of the first and the second flanges.

In another aspect, a method of opening a closed pouch includes the step of moving a slider straddling a mouth of a pouch having opposing first and second side panels from a first position to a second position. A separator member disposed within the slider opens interlocking profiles of a first closure mechanism disposed between the mouth of the pouch and a second closure mechanism when the slider is moved toward the second position. Another step includes gripping at least one grip member disposed between the first closure mechanism and the mouth of the pouch and the opposing first and second side panels adjacent the mouth of the pouch. Finally, a different step recites pulling at least one of the opposing first and second side panels in a direction substantially opposite each other and away from an interior of the pouch.

Other aspects and advantages of the present invention will become apparent upon consideration of the following detailed description and the attached drawings, in which like elements are assigned like reference numerals.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

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

FIG. 2 is a partial cross-sectional view along lines 2-2 of FIG. 1 showing an opening end of the slider in a first embodiment with portions behind the plane of the cross-section omitted for purposes of clarity;

FIG. 3 is a partial cross-sectional view along lines 3-3 of FIG. 1 showing a closing end of the slider in a first embodiment with portions behind the plane of the cross-section omitted for purposes of clarity;

FIG. 4 is a partial cross-sectional view along lines 4-4 of FIG. 1 showing an opening end of the slider in a second embodiment with portions behind the plane of the cross-section omitted for purposes of clarity; and

FIG. 5 is a partial cross-sectional view along the lines 5-5 of FIG. 1 showing an opening end of the slider in a third embodiment with portions behind the plane of the cross-section omitted for purposes of clarity.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 depicts a pouch 10 having a first side panel 12 disposed opposite a second side panel 14. A mouth 16 of the pouch 10 is provided on an upper end 18 thereof and provides access to an interior space 20. A closure assembly 22 is disposed adjacent the mouth 16 to facilitate the opening and closing of the pouch 10. The closure assembly 22 includes a first closure mechanism 24 and a second closure mechanism 26 disposed on inner walls 28 of the first and second side panels 12, 14. The first closure mechanism 24 is disposed between the mouth 16 of the pouch and the second closure mechanism 26. Both the first and second closure mechanisms 24, 26 are elongate and have elongate closure members/profiles disposed on the inner walls 28 of the respective opposing first and second side panels 12, 14 extending in a direction substantially parallel to the mouth 16.

A slider 30 is operationally disposed on the upper end 18 of the pouch over the mouth 16 to move between a first position and a second position. More particularly, the slider 30 is movable between an opening end 32 and a closing end 34, wherein the first and second positions may coincide with the opening and closing ends 32, 34 or any two positions therebetween. The slider 30 defines a channel 36 extending between a closing side 38 and an opening side 40 thereof. The slider 30 at least partly opens the mouth 16 and the closure assembly 22 when the slider 30 is moved along the closure assembly 22 toward the opening end 32 and at least partly closes the mouth 16 and the closure assembly 22 when moved toward the closing end 34.

As shown in FIGS. 2 and 3, the first and second closure mechanisms 24, 26 are elongate and extend the length of the mouth 16. The first and second closure mechanisms 24, 26 may be disposed directly onto upper portions of the first and second side panels 12, 14 or may be disposed on discrete strips of material distinct from the first and second side panels 12, 14. With respect to the embodiment depicted in FIGS. 2 and 3, the first closure mechanism 24 comprises an upper female interlocking profile 42 and an upper male interlocking profile 44 disposed on the first and second side panels 12, 14, respectively. The second closure mechanism 26 comprises a lower male interlocking profile 46 and a lower female interlocking profile 48 disposed on the first and second side panels 12, 14, respectively. In the depicted embodiment, the upper male and female interlocking profiles 44, 42 are elongate and resealable with each other, and similarly, the lower male and female interlocking profiles 46, 48 are elongate and resealable with each other. However, other embodiments within the scope of the present disclosure may include more than two closure mechanisms or one or more closure mechanisms having non-elongate interlocking members/profiles.

The upper female and male interlocking profiles 42, 44 are spaced between the mouth 16 and the lower male and female interlocking profiles 46, 48. A medial space 50 is defined by the space between the upper female and male interlocking profiles 42, 44 and the lower male and female interlocking profiles 46, 48. Each of the upper and lower female interlocking profiles 42, 48 includes a pair of inwardly hooked arms 52 for interlocking receipt of the upper and lower male interlocking profiles 44, 46, respectively. The upper male interlocking profile 44 has a symmetrical barbed head 54. The lower male interlocking profile 46 has an asymmetrical barbed head 56 to provide a differential opening force, such that more force is needed to open the lower male and female interlocking profiles 46, 48 from an interior side 58 of the closure assembly 22 than from an exterior side 60 thereof. In one embodiment, the asymmetrical barbed head 56 includes a single hook 62 that is turned toward the interior side 58. In another embodiment (not shown), the asymmetrical barbed head 56 may include a pair of opposing hooks in which the hook on the interior side 58 is larger than a hook extending toward the exterior side 60. In a further embodiment (not shown), both the upper and lower male interlocking profiles 44, 46 may, for example, have asymmetrical barbed heads or symmetrical barbed heads. In yet another embodiment (not shown), both the upper and lower male interlocking profiles 44, 46 may be disposed on the first or second side panel 12, 14 and the upper and lower female interlocking profiles 42, 48 disposed on the opposing first or second side panel 12, 14. In any of the embodiments disclosed herein, the male and female profiles may be disposed on any of the first or second panels 12, 14 and may comprise any type of interlocking profile known to those skilled in the art.

A first grip member 64 is disposed on the inner wall 28 of the first side panel 12 between the mouth 16 and the first closure mechanism 24. A second grip member 66 is disposed on the inner wall 28 of the second side panel 14 between the mouth 16 and the first closure mechanism 24. The first and second grip members 64, 66 have substantially triangular cross-sections with apexes 68, 70, respectively. The apex 68 of the first grip member extends toward the second side panel 14 and the apex 70 of the second grip member 66 extends toward the first side panel 12. In a different embodiment depicted in FIG. 4, a first grip member 64′ is disposed on an outer wall 72 of the first side panel between the mouth 16 and the first closure mechanism 24 and a second grip member 66′ is disposed on the outer wall 72 of the second side panel 14 between the mouth 16 and the first closure mechanism 26. In yet another embodiment depicted in FIG. 5, a first grip member 64″ is disposed on the inner wall 28 of a first flange portion 74 integral with the upper end 18 of the first side panel 12 and a second grip member 66″ is disposed on the inner wall 28 of a second flange portion 76 integral with the upper end 18 of the second side panel 14. The first and second flange portions 74, 76 bend about folds 78, 80, respectively, so that the first and second flange portions 74, 76 may be rotated between positions substantially flush with the outer wall 72 of the first and second side panels 12, 14, respectively, and positions substantially perpendicular with the first and second side panels 12, 14 so that the first and second flange portions 74, 76 extend outwardly away from the interior space 20 within the pouch 10. The first and second flange portions 74, 76 may be integral with the first and second side panels 12, 14 or discrete strips of material distinct from the first and second side panels 12, 14.

In any of the embodiments disclosed herein, one or both of the first and second grip members 64, 64′, 64″ and 66, 66′, 66″ may be disposed on the inner and outer walls 28, 72 of the side panels 12, 14 or the first and second flange portions 74, 76. In one embodiment (not shown), a plurality of grip members are provided on at least one of the first and second side panels 12, 14. The plurality of grip members may be disposed on the inner wall 28 of the side panels 12, 14, the outer wall 72 of the side panels 12, 14, or a combination of the inner and outer walls 28, 72 of the side panels 12, 14. For example, a pair of grip members may be provided on the inner wall 28 of the first side panel 12 and an opposing pair of grip members provided on the inner wall 28 of the second side panel 14. In a different example, a pair of grip members on the first side panel includes one grip member on the inner wall 28 and a second grip member on the outer wall 72. In a different embodiment, only one grip member is provided on the inner or outer walls 28, 72. One skilled in the art will realize the various combinations of grip members encompassed by the present disclosure may be included on various panels and flanges of reclosable pouches.

Any combination of the grip members disclosed herein will assist a user in opening, holding, or filling the pouch 10. The grip members assist a user in opening, holding, or filling the pouch 10 regardless of whether the slider 30 is disposed on the pouch 10, e.g., if the slider 30 is removed from the pouch 10 the user may still use the grip members to hold the pouch 10 and pull the first and second closure mechanisms 22, 24 apart to open the pouch 10. Further, combining grip members with the pouch 10 will provide the user a visual cue to determine whether the pouch 10 is fully opened when the slider is slid toward the opening end 32, i.e., the first and second closure mechanisms 24, 26 are unsealed. The grip members may also be made of similar or different materials from each other or the pouch 10 itself to provide, for example, a different tactile feel or coefficient of friction to assist in gripping the pouch 10. Further, the grip members may be colored differently from each other or the pouch 10 itself to make the grip strip more prominent and to provide other visual cues. For example, all or a portion of the first and second flange portions 74, 76, the first and second grip members 64″, 66″, and the first and second closure mechanisms 24, 26 of the embodiment depicted in FIG. 5 may be colored. When the closure assembly 22 is opened the first and second flange portions 74, 76 flare outwardly from the side panels 12, 14 and provide a visual indication to the user of a greater colored surface area than provided when the closure assembly 22 is closed, i.e., the first and second flange portions bend outwardly about folds 78, 80 so that the flange portions 74, 76 are substantially less flush with the side panels 12, 14 to provide a greater surface area for viewing the colored portions of the first and second flange portions 74, 76, the first and second grip members 64″, 66″, and the first and second closure mechanisms 24, 26.

FIGS. 2 and 3 depict the slider 30 having a left channel wall 82 laterally spaced from a right channel wall 84, which defines the channel 36 that is sized to receive the closure assembly 22 therein. The left channel wall 82 is connected to the right channel wall 84 at an upper end 86 thereof by a top channel wall 88 extending laterally across the channel 36. A separator member 90 is disposed within the channel 36 spaced between the left and right channel walls 82, 84 adjacent the opening side 40 of the slider 30. In one embodiment, the separator member 90 comprises a substantially vertical separator finger that depends from the top channel wall 88. The separator member 90 depends a distance sufficient to extend between the upper female and male interlocking profiles 42, 44 but not between the lower male and female interlocking profiles 46, 48 when the slider 30 is operatively disposed on the closure assembly 22. A lower closure protrusion, such as an opposing pair of lower closure bars 92, 94 are disposed on the left and right channel walls 82, 84, respectively, and extend the length thereof proximate a lower end 96 of the slider 30. An upper closure protrusion, such as an opposing pair of upper closure bars 98, 100 are disposed on the left and right channel walls 82, 84, respectively, proximate the upper end 86 of the slider 30. The lower closure bars 92, 94 are aligned with the lower male and female interlocking profiles 46, 48 and the upper closure bars 98, 100 are aligned with the upper female and male interlocking profiles 42, 44 when the slider 30 is operatively disposed on the closure assembly 22. One skilled in the art will realize the various manners in which the above described embodiment may be altered to provide upper and lower closure protrusions that are adapted to close the first and second closure mechanisms 24, 26 when the slider 30 is moved toward the closing end 34 and that are adapted to open the first closure mechanism 24 when the slider 30 is moved toward the opening end 32.

The slider 30 of FIG. 4 is similar to the above described slider 30 of FIGS. 2 and 3 except that portions of the left and right channel walls 82, 84 include opposing grooves 102, 104, respectively. The opposing grooves 102, 104 extend the length of the channel 36 beneath the top channel wall 88 and adjacent the upper end 86 of the slider 30. The opposing grooves 102, 104 are adapted to allow the outwardly facing first and second grip members 64′, 66′ to traverse the length of the slider 30 during an opening or closing slider operation. The size and number of grooves may be adapted by those skilled in the art to allow various numbers and types of grip members through the slider 30. In one embodiment, the grip members 64′, 66′ and the corresponding grooves 102, 104 are adapted to solely hold, or assist in holding, the slider 30 on the mouth 16 of the pouch 10.

The slider 30 of FIG. 5 is similar to the slider of FIGS. 2 and 3 except that a pair of triangular guide members 106, 108 extend upwardly from the lower closure bars 92, 94, respectively, along the length of the channel 36. Recesses 110, 112 are provided adjacent the guide members 106, 108, respectively. The recesses 110, 112 and the guide members 106, 108 are adapted to allow the first and second flange portions 74, 76, respectively, and the accompanying first and second grip members 64″, 66″, to be disposed therebetween during an opening or closing operation of the slider 30. In this particular embodiment, the folds 78, 80 of the first and second flange portions 74, 76 are disposed adjacent apexes 114, 116 of the guide members 106, 108, respectively. When the slider 30 is moved in an opening direction, the opening side 40 of the slider is adapted to space the first and second flange portions 74, 76 from the outer wall 72 of the first and second side panels 12, 14, thereby assisting a user in grabbing the first and second flange portions 74, 76 and the attendant first and second grip members 64″, 66″. When the slider 30 is in moved in a closing direction, the closing side 38 of the slider 30 is adapted to close the first and second closure mechanisms 24, 26 by way of the lower closure bars 92, 94 and upper closure bars (not shown) extending from the guide members 106, 108, respectively, adjacent the upper end 86 of the slider 30.

The closure assembly 22, including the first and second closure mechanisms 24, 26 and the slider 30, may be made of any material suitable for providing a relatively resilient slider and a relatively flexible closure assembly. In one embodiment, the slider 30 is molded of a relatively stiff or rigid polymeric material and the closure assembly 22 is extruded from a more pliable polymeric resin.

To open the closure assembly 22, a user urges the slider 30 in an opening direction along the mouth 16 of the pouch 10 from a first position, e.g., the closing end 34, toward a second position, such as the opening end 32. Movement of the slider 30 in the opening direction opens the upper female and male interlocking profiles 42, 44. The remaining lower male and female interlocking profiles 46, 48 of the second closure mechanism 26 are opened by, for example, grasping the upper end 18 of the first and second side panels 12, 14 and at least one grip member and urging at least one of the first and second side panels 12, 14 away from the opposing first and second side panel 12, 14. To close the closure assembly 22, the user urges the slider 30 in an opposite, closing direction, i.e., toward the closing end 34 of the pouch 10, along the mouth 16 of the pouch 10, thereby closing the upper female and male interlocking profiles 42, 44, and the lower male and female interlocking profiles 46, 48.

INDUSTRIAL APPLICABILITY

The apparatus described herein advantageously allows for grip members to be provided on an upper end of a pouch for assisting a user in opening a closure mechanism not fully opened by a slider when same is moved toward an opening end of the pouch.

Numerous modifications 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 what is herein disclosed and to teach the best mode of carrying out same. The exclusive rights to all modifications which come within the scope of this disclosure are reserved.

Classifications
U.S. Classification24/400
International ClassificationA44B19/16
Cooperative ClassificationY10T24/2534, A44B19/10
European ClassificationA44B19/10