US 20110049086 A1
A plastic bottle comprises a main body defining an upper portion and a lower portion, the lower portion including a plurality of vacuum flex panels, said lower portion including upper and lower label bumpers to receive a wrap around label. A circumferential, recessed waist portion defines a transition between the upper and lower portions of the main body. The upper portion includes a dome with a gripping section having a pair of opposed grip portions positioned above the waist and recessed into the upper portion.
1. A plastic bottle comprising:
a main body defining an upper portion and a lower portion, the lower portion including a plurality of vacuum flex panels, said lower portion including upper and lower label bumpers to receive a wrap around label; and
a circumferential, recessed waist portion defining a transition between the upper and lower portions of the main body, wherein
the upper portion includes a dome with a gripping section having a pair of opposed grip portions positioned above the waist and recessed into the upper portion.
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The present application is directed to plastic bottles, typically blow molded from PET material. In particular, the present application is directed to such plastic bottles that include gripping sections for round bottles of relatively large capacity, e.g., 60 oz, 64 oz, 96 oz, 128 oz., etc.
Many 96 oz. bottles are commercially available and prevalent in consumer settings, such as grocery stores. See, e.g., U.S. Pat. Nos. 6,273,282, 6,796,450, 6,257,433, 6,044,997 and 5,762,221. In addition, so-called pinch grip containers are prevalent in the field, especially in regard to 64 ounce bottles, see, e.g., U.S. Pat. No. 5,165,557. However, there is an ever growing need to improve bottles in terms of gripability, pourability, labeling, reducing weight, decreased weight/material and/or increased strength, etc.
Thus, a need has developed in the bottling art to provide address one or more of these challenges.
One aspect of the present invention relates to an improved bottle design having a gripping section located above the bottle label panel to enable labeling with a wrap around label using a wrap around labeling machine.
Another aspect is to allow for material reduction, while maintaining the bottle's strength and load capacity, as well as the bottle's ability to accommodate for or otherwise resist vacuum deformation.
Another aspect is to provide improved gripping and/or pourability, e.g., by providing one or more raised beads in the grip area of each gripping portion, and/or positioning and/or dimensioning the gripping section relative to the remainder of the bottle.
Another aspect is to provide an improved and/or coordinated logo scheme, by providing relatively large logo areas on the upper and lower portions of the bottle that are aligned and/or coordinated with one another.
Another aspect is to provide for vacuum deformation flex panels in the base, upper and/or lower portions of the bottle to accommodate for any forces introduced during the pasteurization process during a filling operation.
Another aspect is directed to a bottle having a reinforced upper portion of the dome portion thereof, e.g., on a generally round bottle.
The bottle described herein may be a hot-fillable or cold-fillable plastic bottle. In one form, the bottle is made from blow-molded plastic (e.g., PET or another suitable plastic).
According to one aspect of the invention, there is provided a plastic bottle comprising a main body defining an upper portion and a lower portion, the lower portion including a plurality of vacuum flex panels, said lower portion including upper and lower label bumpers to receive a wrap around label; and a circumferential, recessed waist portion defining a transition between the upper and lower portions of the main body, wherein the upper portion includes a dome with a gripping section having a pair of opposed grip portions positioned above the waist and recessed into the upper portion.
One or more reinforcing or strengthening members, e.g., ribs, may be provided about or within the grip portions. For example, one or more laterally extending ribs (e.g., 1-4 or more) may be provided between the grip portions on the rear side of the bottle. An arch body and/or ribs may be provided about the perimeter or in the vicinity of the grip portion. The terms “vertical” and “lateral” or horizontal are taken when the bottle is resting upright on its base.
These and other aspects will be described in or apparent from the following description of preferred embodiments.
The following description is provided in relation to several examples that may share common characteristics and/or features. It is to be understood that one or more features of any one example may be combinable with one or more features of the other examples. In addition, any single feature or combination of features in any of the examples may constitute an additional aspect of the invention.
The bottle 10 includes a finish or neck 30 and a main body 40 that extends away from the neck 30. The neck 30 may be crystallized to have a substantially opaque or white appearance, as is well known in the art. However, it is not necessary to provide a crystallized neck. The body portion 40 includes an upper portion 45 and a lower portion 50, which in the exemplary embodiment has the vacuum flex panels or deformation portions 55, which may be in the form of panel sections recessed into the lower portion, e.g., 1-5 mm or more. The vacuum deformation portions 55 accommodate internal forces tending to collapse the bottle inwardly due to filling the container 10 with a liquid at an elevated temperature, e.g., a pasteurization temperature. After the container 10 is hot-filled and capped, cooling of the liquid tends to collapse the vacuum deformation portions 55. Each vacuum deformation portion 55 may include at least one, e.g., 2-3, stiffening structures 56, e.g., truncated pyramids, to add rigidity, e.g., to prevent more than a certain amount of deformation of the vacuum deformation portions 55. Upper portion 45 is shorter than the lower portion 50 in the illustrated embodiment, although they could have the same height or the lower portion 50 could be shorter than the upper portion 45. A base or heel portion 25 is provided below the lower portion 50.
The bottle 10 is manufactured, for example, using a blow-molding process which is well known. During blow-molding, a preform (not shown) is expanded and assumes the shape of an interior molding surface, i.e., a mold (not shown), to form a substantially transparent, biaxially-oriented bottle. The neck 30 of the preform is not expanded and remains as the neck 30 of the bottle 10. The neck 30 includes threads and an open mouth 35 for receiving a screw-on cap (not shown). The lower portion of the preform is expanded to form the body portion 40 of the bottle 10, including the upper portion 45 and the lower portion 50.
While this example relates to hot-fill applications, it is also contemplated that the bottle 10 can be used in cold-fill applications. For example, the bottle can be made using an aseptic cold-fill line.
Further, the lower portion 50 of the bottle 10 is adapted to receive a label 61 (
A front side 45F (
Bottle 10 includes a shoulder or dome portion 60 and a gripping section 64 provided below shoulder 60. As shown in
Main body 40 includes a recessed or pinched waist portion 57 that divides the upper and lower portions 45, 50. As seen in
Although not shown, the border of each grip portion 65 may include a ledge that improves gripability. Such a ledge if provided would substantially surrounds the entire grip portion 65, although it is possible that less than the entire perimeter of the grip portion 65 includes the ledge. Further, although the grip portion 65 is shown as generally square or slightly trapezoidal with rounded corners, it can take the form of other shapes such as circles, diamonds, rectangles or other geometric shapes.
As shown in
Each grip area 65.2 that extends from an imaginary plane P, running parallel to and adjacent a longitudinal axis A of the main body 10, to the rear wall 65.1 of the upper portion. As such, the grip portions 65 are oriented asymmetrically on the upper portion. A front wall 65.3 of the grip portion 65 transitions or flares into the front side 45F of the upper portion 45 which is generally cylindrical and corresponds to a maximum diameter of the upper portion 45 at that point. The grip portions 65 include upper and lower side walls 65U, 65L (
Each grip area 65.2 has at least one raised bead 90 (e.g., 1-5 mm) extending generally vertically. The at least one bead 90 may include at least three beads having the same or different heights. In the example shown in
Each bead 90 may be angled relative to a longitudinal axis of the main body. The upper part of each bead has an upper portion angled at an angle a towards a front side of the upper portion. The angle a is about 1-15 degrees, e.g., about 3-5 degrees or about 5-10 degrees.
The rear wall 65.1 is dimensioned to engage a user's palm, with the user's fingers and thumb engage the opposed grip portions 65 or grip or areas 65.2. The rear wall 65.1 includes at least one lateral rib 75 extending between the opposed grip portions 65, for strength and grippability. The at least one lateral rib 75 may comprise at least 2-4 or more lateral ribs that are parallel to one another and the waist portion 57. The lateral rib 75 is recessed into the rear portion (e.g., 1-5 mm), but it may protrude as well.
Bottle 10 may include an arch body 70 for each grip portion 65 positioned at least along a portion of a rear wall 65.1 of the grip portion 65. The arch body 70 may be recessed or protruding, e.g., 1-5 mm, and is positioned between the rear side 65R of each grip area 65.2 and the at least one lateral rib 75 that extends between the grip portions 65. Each arch body 70 may also extend adjacent a top border 65T of the grip portion 65, as seen in
Bottle 10 may include at least one rib 80 (1-5 ribs) positioned on a front side 45F of the upper portion 45, adjacent each said grip portion 65. The at least one rib 80 extends between the neck 30 to the waist portion 57. One of the ribs 80 may extend past arch body 70, as seen in
The bottle may also include a vacuum array, e.g., including one or more vacuum deformation portions positioned on the top portion 45 of the main body. For example, grip portion 65 and/or logo portion 53 may possess vacuum deformation capacity.
In this particular embodiment, bottle 10 has a volume capacity of about 96 oz. Exemplary dimensions d1-d12 of the bottle are shown in the various drawings, for example:
d1 is about 290-310 mm or about 300 mm;
d2 is about 120-130 mm or about 125 mm;
d3 is about 40-50 mm or about 45 mm;
d4 is about 70-80 mm or about 75 mm;
d5 is about 70-80 mm or about 75 mm;
d6 is about 15-25 mm or about 20 mm;
d7 is about 125-135 mm or about 120 mm;
d8 is about 140-150 mm or about 145 mm;
d9 is about 70-90 mm or about 75-80 mm;
d10 is about 40-50 mm or about 45 mm;
d11 is about 5-25 mm or about 15-20 mm;
d12 is about 2-10 mm or about 3-5 mm;
d13 is about 130-135 mm or about 135 mm; and
d14 is about 60-70 mm or about 65 mm.
Those of ordinary skill in the art would appreciate that aspects of the present invention are applicable to other containers, such as round or polygon shaped, e.g., square, pentagon, hexagon, septagon, octagon, etc., bottles, which may have different dimensions and volume capacities (+/−10-20% or more).
The grip portion 65 is adapted to be grasped by the fingers and thumb of a person of average size, for example, an average woman having a size 7 hand. For example, as shown in
As seen in the cross-sectional view of
While the invention has been described in connection with what are presently considered to be the most practical and preferred embodiments, it is to be understood that the invention is not to be limited to the disclosed embodiments, but on the contrary, is intended to cover various modifications and equivalent arrangements included within the spirit and scope of the invention. For example, while an exemplary hot-fellable container has been described, the disclosure is not limited to such and non-hot-fellable containers are also possible in which event vacuum panels would not be required. In addition, while PET containers made using a blow-molding process have been described, other materials and manufacturing processes are also possible. For example, the container can be made using extrusion molding or other stretch molding techniques, and the container could be made from materials such as, for example, polypropylene, high density polypropylene, polyolefin, styrene and other similar plastic materials.