BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
1. Field of the Invention
The present invention relates to improving the leak-proof or spill-resistant quality of gussets in reclosable packages, particularly those made with multi-wall paper or woven polypropylene.
2. Description of the Prior Art
In the prior art of reclosable packages or bags, it is well known to use gussets between the front and rear walls to increase the capacity of the package or bag with only a small increase in the packaging material, such as multi-wall paper or polypropylene.
- OBJECTS AND SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
However, the use of gussets can increase the tendency for the contents of the reclosable package or bag to leak from the gusset area proximate to the intersection of the package or bag walls and the zipper. More specifically, the contents can travel up the center of the package or bag, between the zipper profiles and out the gusset.
It is therefore an object of the present invention to eliminate or reduce the leakage of contents of a gusseted reclosable package or bag through the gussets proximate to the intersection of the zipper profiles and the package or bag walls.
DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
This and other objects are attained by applying glue or adhesive to the walls of the package or bag within the gusset proximate to the zipper assembly, typically within the gusseted area which is between the zipper flanges.
Further objects and advantages of the invention will become apparent from the following description and claims, and from the accompanying drawings, wherein:
FIG. 1 is a plan view, partially in phantom, of a prior art gusseted package or bag, showing the route through which contents may inadvertently escape.
FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view along plane 2-2 of FIG. 1.
FIG. 3 is a plan view of the gusseted walls of a reclosable package or bag, prior to application of a zipper assembly, illustrating where the glue or adhesive is applied in an embodiment of the present invention.
FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view along plane 4-4 of FIG. 2.
FIG. 5 is a plan view, partially in phantom, of the gusseted package or bag of the present invention.
FIG. 6 is a plan view, partially in phantom, of a first alternative embodiment of the present invention.
FIG. 7 is a cross-sectional, partially exploded, view along plane 7-7 of FIG. 6.
FIG. 8 is a cross-sectional view, partially exploded, along plane 8-8 of FIG. 6 (not including the zipper).
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
FIG. 9 is an alternative cross-sectional, partially exploded view, along plane 4-4 of FIG. 3, thereby illustrating a second alternative embodiment of the present invention.
Referring now to the drawings in detail wherein like numerals indicate like elements throughout the several views, one sees that FIG. 1 is a plan view, partially in phantom, of a prior art reclosable package or bag 100 and that FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view thereof. The package or bag 100 is formed from co-extensive front wall 102 and rear wall 104 which are typically formed from polymeric materials (such as, but not limited to, polyethylene or polypropylene, including woven polypropylene), multi-wall paper or laminates. Gussets 106, 108 (illustrated in phantom in FIG. 1 and in cross section in FIG. 2) are formed as inwardly pointing folds between the side edges of front and rear walls 102, 104, typically integral with, or at least of the same material as, front and rear walls 102, 104. Gusset 106 is formed from gusset walls 106 a, 106 b in an inwardly pointing V-shaped configuration while gusset 108 is formed from gusset walls 108 a, 108 b in an inwardly pointing V-shaped configuration. The bottom edges of front and rear walls 102, 104 are sealed or otherwise closed or joined to form bottom 110. Mouth 112 is formed between the top edges of front and rear walls 102, 104. Zipper assembly 200 is sealed, glued or otherwise secured to the upper exterior of front and rear walls 102, 104. As shown best in FIG. 7, zipper assembly 200 includes first profile 202 and second profile 204 which are, referring back to FIG. 1, sealed together at ends 205, 207. First profile 202 includes first interlocking element 206 and first flange 210. Second profile 204 includes second interlocking element 208 and second flange 212. First and second flanges 210, 212 are sealed, glue or otherwise secured to the upper exterior of front and rear walls 102, 104, respectively. Typically, zipper assembly 200 includes slider 214 mounted on first and second profiles 202, 204. Slider 214 operates in a conventional manner of interlocking first and second interlocking elements 206, 208 with each other when moved in a first direction and separating first and second interlocking elements 206, 208 when moved in a second direction. However, alternatively, first and second interlocking elements 206, 208 may have a “press-to-close” configuration in which no slider is required.
As shown by the circuitous path indicated by the arrow in FIG. 1, this design is susceptible to contents within package or bag 100 traveling up the center of the package or bag 100, between the first and second flanges 210, 212 and out the gussets 106, 108. This leakage or spillage is illustrated for the first gusset 106 but is equally applicable to the second gusset 108.
As shown in FIGS. 3, 4 and 5, this leakage or spillage can be prevented or minimized by placing a smear of glue or adhesive 400, 402 in the gussets 106, 108 in the corner areas 300, 302. These smears can be on both the internal and external sides of gusset walls 106 a, 106 b, 108 a and 108 b so that gusset wall 106 a is glued to the interior of front wall 102 and to gusset wall 106 b; gusset wall 106 b is further glued to the interior of rear wall 104; gusset wall 108 a is glued to the interior of front wall 102 and to gusset wall 108 b; and gusset wall 108 b is further glued to the interior of rear wall 104.
FIG. 5 shows, in phantom, glued areas 220, 222 which are formed between first and second profiles 202, 204. Glued areas 220, 222 are formed to block off or gasket-close the space above the front and rear walls 102, 104 and below the first and second interlocking elements 206, 208. This further provides the leak-proof characteristics of the package or bag 100. An alternative configuration to create the desired gasket effect is to apply glue along the top of the gussets 106, 108 or on the gussets 106, 108 and pressing the package or bag 100 so that the glue is urged into the space above the front and rear walls 102, 104 and below the first and second interlocking elements 206, 208.
In a first alternative embodiment of the present invention, shown in FIGS. 6, 7 and 8, a series of glue or adhesive dots 500 (shown in an exaggerated or elongated in the exploded views of FIGS. 7 and 8) is placed between gusset walls 106 a, 106 b in corner area 300 and between gusset walls 108 a, 108 b in corner area 302.
In a second alternative embodiment of the present invention, shown in FIG. 9, glue smear 400′ is placed between the external sides of gusset walls 106 a, 106 b and glue smear 402′ is placed between the external sides of gusset walls 108 a, 108 b. In other words, in this second alternative embodiment, glue smears 400′, 402′ are intended to glue the respective gusset walls together with minimal, if any, contact with the interior of front and rear walls 102, 104.
The resulting package or bag 100 has reduced leakage and can be filled, transported and used in the same way as similar packages or bags.
Thus the several aforementioned objects and advantages are most effectively attained. Although preferred embodiments of the invention have been disclosed and described in detail herein, it should be understood that this invention is in no sense limited thereby and its scope is to be determined by that of the appended claims.