US 20070215495 A1
A packaging container has an integral handle. The container is formed from a preformed, rigid unit of generally U-shaped cross-section having a main body portion with a generally flat bottom wall and upstanding, opposing sidewalls. The unit is foldable at at least two regions to form a base channel and opposing side channels of a protective package for an item. Hand openings are formed in the bottom wall of the opposing side channels configured for a user to insert a hand for use as the handle for the packaging container.
1. A packaging container having an integral handle comprising:
a preformed, rigid unit of generally U-shaped cross-section having a main body portion with a generally flat bottom wall and upstanding, opposing side walls, the unit being foldable at at least two regions to form a base channel and opposing side channels of a protective package for an associated item, hand openings formed in the bottom wall of the opposing side channels configured for a user to insert a hand for use as the handle for the packaging container.
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The present invention is directed to a packaging container. More particularly, the present invention pertains to a packaging container formed from a rigid U-shaped material having an integral handle.
U-shaped material or U-board is a known packaging material for many objects. The material is formed from a layered construction (a lamination) of paper and/or paper board that is formed into a U-shape (U-shaped cross-section). The board is rigid. That is the walls are rigidly formed into the U-shape (transverse relative to the base) and are rigid longitudinally along the length of the board. Essentially, the board is rigid, the walls do not fold down onto the base, nor can it be folded, lengthwise onto itself.
U-board is used for a wide variety of commonly packaged items. It can be used to package long, fragile items. In a common use, U-board is used for packaging doors and windows to protect the edge of these items from damage due to bumping, dropping or general handling.
While U-board has been used with a great deal of success for packaging such items, in order to carry or otherwise handle the U-board, it has been found that handles or grasping members have required additional materials to supplement the U-board. In large measure handles have been attached to the U-board to handle or carry the items. Handles that are presently used are made from paperboard-type materials, wood, metal or some combination of these materials. The handles can be strapped or taped to the package to affix the handles. The strapping or taping requires time and materials and at times, although seldom, the handles can be pulled from the package and if the package fall, damage can occur.
Accordingly, there is a need for a handle for U-board packages. Desirably, such a handle minimizes the amount of additional materials, needed to form or create the handle. More desirably, such a handle is readily made and usable, and has a high degree of integrity.
A packaging container having an integral handle is formed from a preformed, rigid unit of generally U-shaped cross-section having a main body portion with a generally flat bottom wall and upstanding, opposing side walls. The unit is foldable at at least two regions to form a base channel and opposing side channels of a protective package for an associated item, such as a window or a door.
Hand openings are formed in the bottom wall of the opposing side channels. The openings are configured for a user to insert a hand for use as the handle for the packaging container. The openings are formed in the bottom wall only and extend across less than an entire width of the bottom wall so as to not extend into the side walls. The openings are preferably formed as elliptical shaped openings having substantially straight sides.
A present package is foldable at two regions to define only a base channel and opposing side walls, and wherein hand openings are formed in each of the side walls. Each side walls can include a single opening or multiple opens.
The foldable regions are defines by cuts in the side walls. The cuts can be straight cuts or V-shaped notches formed in the side walls.
These and other features and advantages of the present invention will be apparent from the following detailed description, in conjunction with the appended claims.
The benefits and advantages of the present invention will become more readily apparent to those of ordinary skill in the relevant art after reviewing the following detailed description and accompanying drawings, wherein:
While the present invention is susceptible of embodiment in various forms, there is shown in the drawings and will hereinafter be described a presently preferred embodiment with the understanding that the present disclosure is to be considered an exemplification of the invention and is not intended to limit the invention to the specific embodiment illustrated.
It should be further understood that the title of this section of this specification, namely, “Detailed Description Of The Invention”, relates to a requirement of the United States Patent Office, and does not imply, nor should be inferred to limit the subject matter disclosed herein.
Referring now to the figures and in particular to
For purposes of the present disclosure, the package material, although defined as having a U-shaped cross-section is, in fact, formed from a material having a channel-like or squared U-shape having a flat or near-flat (e.g., planar) bottom wall 16 and straight (e.g., generally planar) upstanding side walls 18. The corners 20 are typically formed having a radius of curvature (i.e., rounded), however, they may be formed having relatively sharp angles. Nevertheless, for purposes of the present disclosure, the container material 14 is referred to as “U-shaped”.
The board 14 is formed in a layered construction (e.g., a lamination) of paper and/or paper board materials. The board 14 is rigid, and accordingly, the walls 16, 18 are rigidly formed into the U-shape (transverse relative to the bottom wall 16) and are rigid longitudinally along the length 114 of the board 14. Essentially, the board 14 is rigid, the walls 18 do not fold down onto the bottom 16, nor can the board 14 be readily folded, length-wise onto itself.
Accordingly, in order to fold the board 14 about the cross-section, as seen in
The present invention includes the formation of handles 12 integral with the U-board 14. The handle 12 is formed by cutting an opening 24 into the bottom wall 16 of the board 14 to define a region for a user to insert a hand. The opening 24 can be any of a variety of shapes, however, it is anticipated that an oval or elliptical shaped opening, with relatively straight sides 26 and rounded corners 28 will be used for its ease in cutting (or forming) in the material 14. However, other shapes of openings 24 are also contemplated. Regardless of the shape, the opening 24 is sized to permit the user to insert a hand (fingers up to about the hand-finger joint) into the opening 24 to grasp the board 14 to move or handle the package W.
In this manner, because the handle 12 is formed in the board 14 material, it is about as strong as the board 14 material itself. Advantageously, this straight-forward solution not only increases assurance of the integrity of the handle 12 system, it does so while reducing the overall number of parts (e.g., handles, etc.) needed to form a holding element.
It is anticipated that the handle openings 24 can be cut into the material 14 as the board is cut to fit the item W (e.g., the window or door). It is also anticipated that “standard” U-boards 14 can be formed that have a plurality of openings (the plurality is not shown) formed in the bottom wall 16 at predetermined intervals or distances to provide a standardized packaging material for windows, doors and the like. It will be appreciated that in use, the board 14 is cut 22, 122 at the corners 20 and the item W is positioned in the channel 30 in the base channel element 32. The side channel elements 34 are folded up along the sides S of the item W with the handles 12 disposed in the side channels 34.
All patents referred to herein, are hereby incorporated herein by reference, whether or not specifically do so within the text of this disclosure.
In the present disclosure, the words “a” or “an” are to be taken to include both the singular and the plural. Conversely, any reference to plural items shall, where appropriate, include the singular.
From the foregoing it will be observed that numerous modifications and variations can be effectuated without departing from the true spirit and scope of the novel concepts of the present invention. It is to be understood that no limitation with respect to the specific embodiments illustrated is intended or should be inferred. The disclosure is intended to cover by the appended claims all such modifications as fall within the scope of the claims.