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Publication numberUS2575138 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 13, 1951
Filing dateOct 29, 1948
Priority dateOct 29, 1948
Publication numberUS 2575138 A, US 2575138A, US-A-2575138, US2575138 A, US2575138A
InventorsCharles E Slaughter
Original AssigneeCharles E Slaughter
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Method and apparatus for packaging and package
US 2575138 A
Images(3)
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Nov. 13, 1951 c. E. SLAUGHTER 2,575,138

METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR PACKAGING AND PACKAGE Filed Oct. 29, 1948 s Sheets-Sheet 1 ATTORNEY 1951 c. E. SLAUGHTER METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR PACKAGING AND PACKAGE 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Oct. 29, 1948 FIG.6

FIG.8

FIG. 4

FIG,5

INVENTOR. I CHARLES E. SLAUGHTER BY FIG ATTORNEY Nov- 3, 9 c. E. SLAUGHTER METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR PACKAGING AND PACKAGE 3 Sheets-Sheet 5 Filed Oct. 29, 1948 FIG. 12

INVENTOR. CHARLES E. SLAUGHTER BY FIG.11

ATTORNEY Patented Nov. 13, 1951 METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR PACKAGING AND PACKAGE Charles E. Slaughter, New Canaan, Conn.

Application October 29, 1948, Serial No. 57,331

16 Claims.

This invention relates to packaging, to apparatus, methods, and articles employed in such packaging operations and particularly is concerned with the utilization of extruded seamless tubing in such packaging, apparatrs, methods, and articles.

Among the objects of the present invention is apparatus for packaging in which utilization is made of extruded seamless tubing particularly thermoplastic tubing in which the packaging operation is carried out within such extruded tubing at the time of production of the tubing.

Other objects include novel methods of packaging employing such extruded seamless thermoplastic tubing.

Other objects include articles resulting from such methods of operation.

Still further objects and advantages of the present invention will appear from the more detailed description set forth below, this more detailed description being by way of illustration and explanation only, and not by way of limitation, since various changes therein may be made by those skilled in the art without departing from the scope and spirit of the present invention.

In connection with that more detailed description, there is shown in the accompanying drawings, in

Figure l, a side elevation of a machine that may be utilized in carrying out the present invention, partly shown in section; in

Figure 2, a side elevational view showing tubing carrying materials therein as taken ofi of the apparatus of Figure l; in

Figure 3, a modified form of machine shown in side elevation, partly in section, that may be utilized in carrying out the present invention; in

Figure 4, a modified form of chain comprising extruded tubing having spaced materials therein; in

, Figure 5, a detail in section of one of the packaged materials of Figure 4; in

Figure 6, a single element cut from the continuous tubing of Figure 4; in

Figure 7, a finished collapsible tube produced in accordance with the present invention shown in front elevation; in

. Figure 8, the finished tube of Figure 7 in side elevation; in

Figure 9, a transverse section through a modified form of closure end; in

Figure 10, an elevation of cutting mechanism;

Figure 11, a modified collapsible tube blank; in

Figure 12, a further modified form of chain comprising extruded tubing having spaced materials therein; and in Figure 13, a detail in section of one element of the chain of Figure 12.

In accordance with the present invention, apparatus and methods for packaging are utilized in which there is continuous extrusion of a heated thermoplastic resin to form continuous, seamless tubing, said extrusion apparatus and methods including an extrusion die provided with an opening leading to the interior of the continuous extruded tubing and during such extrusion operation there is intermittent insertion of a solid material to be positioned within said extruded tubing, into said tubing after the tubing has attained its tubular structure and as the tubing is being extruded; desirably the pressure within said extruded tubing being controlled during the insertion or packaging operations for particular purposes hereinafter set forth. In accordance with the present invention therefore, thermoplastic tubing is extruded produced from thermoplastic materials having the properties desired for the particular purposes in hand, such as heat resistance, or water-vapor resistance, rigidity, insulating character, and the like. And during the process of extrusion of such tubing, solid materials are inserted within the extruded tubing as the latter is being extruded, the solid material or materials being fed desirably intermittently through the extrusion die into and within the tubing as it is being extruded, desirably the inserted materials being in spaced relation in the tubing. In this way there is produced a continuous chain comprising a continuous length of extruded tubing carrying a series of materials therein in spaced relation to one another. The tubing may then be cut in any desired way between the spaced materials to give a series of individual articles or packages. The ends of the plastic tubing my then be sealed depending on the particular types of materials or articles produced. Thus filled packages may have the ends sealed immediately. These and other features will be further illustrated below.

The invention may be utilized in the packaging of various types of materials, including articles, packages, closures, containers, tubes, dry cells, and the like, as long as such materials may be fed intermittently into the tubing during the extrusion of the latter. Thus the materials to be packaged may be solid materials of any desired character and the results of the packaging operations may be either filled, closed, containers, or unfilled containers or closures which are subsequently to be filled, discrete lengths of tubing such as metal tubing, paper tubing, cardboard, plastic tubing, and the like; packaged cigarettes, rolls of photographic film, dry cells, and the like.

The tubing utilized may be produced from any desired thermoplastic material that may be extruded having the properties desired for the particular packaging or covering operation in hand but most desirably thermoplastic synthetic resinous materials are employed including cellulose derivatives such as the esters and others for example, cellulose acetate, cellulose acetate butyrate, ethyl cellulose, benzyl cellulose, and the like; vinyl polymers and copolymers including polymerized vinyl acetate, polymerizedvinylidene chloride, and copolymers of vinyl'chloride and vinyl acetate; polymerized styrenes, methacrylate and methyl methacrylate resins, polyethylenes; The choice ofnylon type resins, and the like. the particular material depends on the particular packaging operation to be carried out, thenature of the article to be packaged or protected, properties such as water-tight packaging, vaporproof protection, the rigidity of the coating and the like. The wall thickness of the extruded tubing depends on many of these considerations but since the tubing is being'extruded directly about a solid material which may bean article or-package, or solidmaterial is being inserted at the time of the extrusion of the tubing, it is possible to use much thinner wall tubing than can be employed if such tubing were first preformed and subsequently used for application to the solid materials. Tubing for example in some cases may have a wall as thin as .003" to .0635 up but no limit need be placed on the thickness employed since this may vary with the type of thermoplastic material and type of packaging being carried out. Wall thickness may also in some cases be determined by the particular operation being carried out as for example whether direct adherence or, welding of the plastic to the solid material is to be obtained at the time of these operations.

By choice of the thermoplastic synthetic resinous material, in connection with the particular material constituting the solid materials undergoing packaging, and the conditions of operation under which the'extrusion is carried out, the adherence of the extruded tubing to material being packaged may be controlled. Thus it is possible to extrude certain synthetic resinous plastic materials about metallic. and non-metallic. articles or packaged articles so thatthe tubing, as extruded under the temperature conditions prevailing, and due to the nature of the materials, is directly adherent to the package.whethermetalli'c or non-metallic.

On the other hand, cooling of the extruded tubing with variation ofpressure within. the tubing may be utilized to-enable packaging, of solids.

which is not otherwise feasible. Thus, as the tubing is being formed, it may be expanded by air pressure and chilled in closeproximity to the die, and the solid material thenv inserted. At suchstage, any desired material may be inserted, without adherence, and further the solid may be precoole-d prior to insertion at such point. After apredetermined-solid product or material has thus been inserted, the tubing may be heat sealed above the chilling stage.

Variations of such procedure may be effected. Thus the tubing as extruded may be heat sealed transversely to close the tubing'at such point of sealing. It may then be expanded by air pressure and chilled just above said seal, as'explained above, the pressure-releaseithe solidmaterial inserted, andthe tubing-then sealed transverselybeyond said material to form a second seal.

These operations may be repeated intermittently and successively as explained above to give a chain of packaged solids; By cutting through the tubingwithin the areas of transverse seal, retaining-a sealed portion of tubing on each end of thesevered tubing, individually sealed packages are obtained.

The sequence of operations referred to immediately above may also be carried out without the chilling operation where the solid being packaged or encased and the thermoplastic are of such character that adherence either does not take place, or where actual adherence is desired as in some cases as explained herein. In this way encasement may be carried out without any substantial adherence or welding of the extruded tubing to the inserted material. Even in the latter instance where there is no substantial Welding; the extruded tubing may be produced about the. seli'dmaterial. being packaged with a snugness as desired, and the cooling operation when employed may be utilized to shrink the extruded tubing so that it is closely adjacent to the material. undergoing packagingeven if no actual welding effect is sought. In these operations the package itself if such is being covered with extruded tubing, may serve as a support for the plastic tubing so that a very thin wall in the tubing itself may be employed.

If a package is being covered or protected which package is complete with its contents, then it is only'necessary to feed such packages at the desired intervals through the extrusion die into the tubing as. the latter is being extruded about the articles, leaving sufficient space between each package to permit heat sealing of t e end portions of the plastic tubing about each article after the individual articles carrying the tubing thereabout have been severed from the chain of articles produced'by the operation set forth.

If the article being encased or protected is an unfilled container, it may similarly be fed throughthe die into the tubing as the lattcr'is being extruded'to produce a continuous chain or endless string of empty packages. Splitting halfway between the packages, there is obtained an unfilled package or carton or container or closure which is encased except for the open end. The contents then may be inserted into the unfilled container and the open end automatically folded over andsealecl as by heat.

The tubing which is extruded and utilized for encasement or: packaging of solid materials of any desired type, may be adapted to conform to a particular cross-sectional shape desired as for example a cross-sectional shape corresponding with that of the material undergoing packaging. In any event the extruded tubing may be of any desired cross-sectional shape such as round, rectangular, hexagonal, oval, and the like.

Collapsible tubes may be produced in accordance with the present invention from thermoplastic. tubing extruded from desired thermoplastic materials having the properties sought for such collapsible tubes, and during the process of extrusion of such tubing, the material inserted within the extruded tubing as the latter is being extruded consists of rigid closures desirably fed intermittently through the extrusion die into and within the tubing as the latter is being extruded, such closures being in spaced rela-- tion one to the other. Desirably the tubing is still hot from the extrusion operation at the time'that the closure is inserted therein so that the latter is sealed to the tubing at its point of contacts; There is thus produced a continuous chain of ensheathed closures comprising a continuous. length of extruded tubing carrying a series of such rigid closures therein in spaced relation one to the other. The tubing may then be cut in any desired way between the spaced closures to give a series of collapsible tube blanks, each of which carries a closure element adherent to alength of extruded tubing atone end thereof while the other end of the extruded tubing is open. The open end of such tubing may then be sealed as by solvent action depending on the plastic employed, by heat, etc, to give a finished collapsible tube.

For collapsible tubing, the thermoplastic material will be that which will give thin-walled pliable tubing and may be made from materials as set forth above including cellulose derivatives such as the esters and ethers and other synthetic resinous thermoplastic materials as set forth above. In addition protein type materials may be employed. For the production of collapsible tubing of the most desirable type, the thermoplastic resinous material desirably employed is a plasticized vinyl or polyethylene material, giving a collapsible body portion which is readily pliable and utilizable for purposes of collapsible tubes.

By insertion of the closures intermittently within the tubing while the latter is being extruded and while still hot from the extrusion operation, conditions and materials may be chosen so that the closure is welded directly to the tubing at its point of contact to give a tight permanent sealed joint as pointed out above. The closures employed for these purposes may be made from any desired material and may be a rigid plastic of synthetic resin type such as may be produced from methyl methacrylate, phenol formaldehyde resins, urea-formaldehyde resins, melamine resins, etc.

In connection with the manufacture of collapsible tubes by apparatus and methods referred to above a modification of operation may desirably be included. For this purpose the series of rigid closures which are intermittently inserted in the extruded thermoplastic tubing during the extrusion operation, is alternated with rigid sleeves so that a sleeve is interposed between each closure. The insertion of such sleeves may exhibit a number of desirable functions in these operations. Such rigid sleeves will serve as rigid spacers between each preformed closure which has been inserted the reinforcing sleeve will prevent any objectionable shrinkage during the rigidifying or solidifying of the tubing. In addition such sleeve while present will serve as a support for the collapsible tube during any subsequent operations as for example printing. It is frequently desirable to print the tubing in connection with the manufacturing operations and this may readily be done where such reinforcing sleeve is present.

Where such rigid sleeve is to be used merely as a temporary reinforcement it may be utilized under conditions indicated above which prevent adherence or sealing of the material of the wall of the extruded tubing to such sleeve. For example such spacers may be chilled before insertion into the extrusion die in order to prevent any possibility of sticking or adherence of the material of the wall of the tubing to such spacer. The spacers may be made of metal or of other materials.

On the other hand if such rigid spacer or sleeve is to remain in the tubing as a permanent reinforcing wall therefore, then the conditions may be chosen to obtain adherence of the material of the tubing to the sleeve. Subsequently when the chain of closures with spacers or sleeves is cut through adjacent the end of such spacer and the immediately adjacent closure, a rigid container is produced, which may be used as a packaging article for various purposes includin powdered materials, liquids, etc.

Referring to Figure 1 of the drawings for illustrative apparatus that may be utilized in carrying out the present invention, there is shown an extrusion die I of cross-head type through which the plastic tube being extruded is forced through the extrusion die orifice 3- about the core 4 to form the continuous, seamless, extruded tube 5. The core may be held in place by means of the nut 6 threaded onto the threaded end I of the core. The core 4 is provided with a passage 8 that passes directly through the core desirably centrally positioned within the die body I, which passageway opens into the interior of the tubing 5 as it is being extruded. The material being packaged is shown at 9 and is fed through the cross-head in the passage 8 at intervals as the tubing is being extruded so that the tubing 5 is formed directly about the material 9 with a space I0 between each such material 9. Any desired means manual or otherwise but preferably automatic; may be utilized for feeding the materials through the passageway into the tubing as it is being extruded. If desired depending on the speed of the operating conditions, the nature of the synthetic resinous material, and the like. coolant I3 may be applied from the nozzle I4 as soon as the extruded material has covered the inserted material, passing at this point to form a screen of coolant which may for example, be a water screen, to set the resin and shrink it either about a package being treated or other material which is undergoing packaging. If such shrinking operation is carried out, the tubing will be shrunk to a lesser diameter as shown at I5 and set in this condition in between the successive intermittently fed material. An air lock may be used to control the pressure within the tubing.

If desired, the air pressure within the tubing may also be controlled in other ways. Thus a passageway I6 through the core may lead from a point within the tubing where it is first being formed about the material 9, as shown in I I, back through the core 4 to the outlet I 8. The production of a few inches of vacuum applied as the package emerges from the die causes the tubing to contract just ahead of the material and to produce immediate heat sealing of the tubing about such material. The few inches of vacuum may then be replaced by a few inches of water pressure as the next material is inserted. These operations may be carried out correlated with the operations of feeding the material through the passageway 8 into the tubing as the latter is being extruded.

The apparatus shown in Figure 1 may be set up to extrude tubing in a vertical position so that the material 9 may drop by gravity through the passageway 8 to the point where the tubing is leaving the extrusion die. As the tubing is formed by extrusion, the material 9 will be seized by the tubing and carried along with it. The material 9 may be dropped-or inserted into the passageway successively at spaced intervals.

The chain of material encased in the tubing produced by the apparatus of Figure 1 may be taken off of that apparatus in the manner shown in Figure 2, the continuous chain of material 9, 9 in the tubing 5 passing under wheel I2 onto the belt conveyor I9.

Any desired means may be utilized to cut the tubing carrying encased material, to produce either an individual article or package or a chain of such articles or packages. Depending on whether individual articles are severed at this point from the chain of articles or whether a group of. articlesiremain together inthe; chain, various procedures are possible;

Where an empty package, sealed at one end, as" for example aicardboard film box is to be ensheathed andsubsequently the film roll inserted, the empty packages sealed at one end, are fed into the tubing as the latter is being extruded as explained above, the empty packages being fed however alternately with the open and forward and the sealedend forward; This will give a series of ensheathed empty packages with the sealed ends of adjacent packages facing each other alternating-- with adjacent packages having'thewopen'ends facing each other. The air pressurein the: tubing during extrusion may be variedby means of the-air look so that the small amount of air pressure is 'procluced'in the tubing where the open ends of the packages face each other to produce a bulge in the tubing. At the point where the sealed endsof the packages face each other, the production of a small vacuum may be used to shrink the tubing at this place, before cooling.

A chain ofsuch sheathed or packaged material as shown at the bottom of Figure 1 of the drawing may have the tubing out either automatically or manually through the tubing atpoints ii], iiibetween' the material 9, il-to produce a package of tubing 5 carrying material 9 with the out ends of the tubing extending over-or beyond the material S and such ends may be sealed together if desired-in anydesired way. If the material being packaged is an unfilled container with one end closed, the cut portion of the tubing may be sealed thereabout, thedesired material placed inthe unfilled container, the latter closed and the otherendof the extruded tubing cut through at this point then heat sealed or otherwise sealed to produce the finished package.

Where the-materials being encased, are discrete lengths of tubing such as metal tubing utilizable for example for flashlight casings, a length of metal tubing will be severed from the chain of packaged metal tubingand then utilized in the production of a flashlight casing. The extruded tubing about such discrete length of metal tubing will produce'a tightly adherent protective coating of insulating material. In similar way dry cells may have a thermo-plastic tubing applied thereover;

The invention thus results in the production of packaged articles or materials carrying protective coatingsor sheaths for discrete'lengths of tubing or other rigid articles packaged or encased by thermoplastic materials, the operations being simple and'economical and where coverings are produced in situ on desired articles, such coverings may fit as closely as desired, be tightly adherent or welded to the articles, etc.

In some cases, where desired, the tubing carrying intermittently spaced materials therein may be heat sealed in the spaces between such materials by the application of pressure to the tubing shortly after it emerges from the die and while the tubing is still hot from the extrusion step. In this way immediate heat sealing may be produced by compressing the walls of the tubing together. As shown in Figure 3, the tubing 45 as it emerges from the die 55 within which it has received the material ii in the manner as explained above in connection with Figure 1, passes immediately between two sets of compression members 48, 49having arms 56, 5c and 5|, 5! which rotate synchronously so that a pair of arms 50 and5l simultaneously compress the tube-45 as shown at 52 to heat-seal the tubingat'this point, this-operation taking place whilethe tubing is advancing from extrusion. Immediately following the compression elements \vhich heat seal the tubing, a water curtain 53'from the ring 55 may be-applied to rigidify the resin about the material ii. Where such heat scaling is utilized it is only necessary to cut through the chain of encased material at points 52, 52 to produce'an' individual article or package fully encased with the protective thermoplastic covering.

In the modification shown'in Figures 4 and 5 the invention is applied to the production of collapsible tubes or similar articles. This phase of the invention is carried out as explained above for Figure l and the like, the tubing 5 being extruded as'explained above for the other examples, but the articles or materials which are intermittently inserted into the tubing 5 during its extrusion, may be a series of closure ends 55, 55

spaced apart within the tubing 5 a distance to form spaces 55, 55 of a length substantially equal to the length of individual collapsible tube to be made. Such closure ends 55' may thus be heat sealed or welded as explained above to the tubing 5 at the areas of contact 5?, 51. Each closure end 55 may take the form as shown of a hollow body portion 58 having a notched or grooved side Wall 59 with a tapered. shoulder joined to the neck portion [it which may be threaded as shown at 52 for reception of a conventional cap (not shown). During the extrusion and. formation of a chain ofthis character, the air pressure within. the tubing may desirably remain constant. After formation of the chain shown in Figure 4, the chain may be cut circum erentially by a hot knife at the point 53thus producing a series-of articles for use for tubes having a flexible elongated body portion 54 carrying the closureend 55 and open at the opposite end. If the material used for the extruded tubing 5 -is flexible or pliable enou h, the resulting articlesmay be used as collapsible tubes for tooth or other pastes and-the like. Such extruded tubing 5 may for this purpose be made of plasticized vinyl or polyethylene material giving a collapsible body portion 64 carrying the rigid end 55.

The use of an airlock to control the air pressure within thetubing has been indicatedabove. Any type of means may be used for this purpose .Which serves to sealthe passage 8 through which the articles pass as the tubing is being extruded. A simple form of device-for thispurpose is an inner liner-placed withinthe core in the passage 8, fitting loosely therein with an air inlet passage leadingto the space between the liner and the core wall forming the passage. The end of the liner. is provided with a loose fitting peripheral flap that seals 01? the space so that pressure or vacuum produced at the air inlet passage control the pressure or vacuum in the passage 8. In this way the inlet is alternatively sealed and unsealed as the materials or articles are inserted and vacuum or pressure, applied intermittently.

A more exact control may be obtained by means of the following. The articles are fed into the passage 8 from a closed cylindrical housing within which is a rotatable article carrier which maybe in the form of a rotor member having a series of open ended compartments for the articles. The rotor may be motor driven through the shaft of the rotor. As the rotor rotates, it receives articles from a hopper feeding through'an opening in the cover; Rotation of the rotor carries the articleto apoint in the carrier where an opening in the floor of the housing of the carrier communicates with a conduit directly over the passage 8 in the extruding die. At this point the article may pass into the passage 8 from the carrier and the operation is exactly as explained above in connection with Figure 1 for example. While the article may drop by gravity from the passage in the rotor to the passage 3, more positive feeding may be had by a plunger operating to force the article out of the carrier. An air pipe connection to the conduit between the carrier and die enables pressure or vacuum to be produced intermittently or otherwise as desired. By having the rotor fit snugly within the casing, a sufficient seal is obtained in maintenance of the pressure conditions desired.

In the production of collapsible tubes as eX- plained above, a chain of such sheathed closures as shown in Figure 4 may have the tubing out either automatically or manually through the tubing at point 33 to produce a single collapsible tube blank as shown in Figure 6 in which the extruded collapsible pliable thermoplastic tube 64 is open at one end 65 and at the other end carries the rigid closure 35 provided with the threaded dispensing end 6! as explained above, the closure 53 being rigidly attached to the tubing 64 at 57.

To form the finished collapsible tube from such collapsible tube blank, it is only necessary to seal the end 33 of the blank shown in Figure 6 to form a sealed end 35 as shown in Figure 7. Such sealing operation may take place by the application of solvents depending on the particular plastic employed, or by the application'of heat as by applying heated platens to the end of such tubing, or the heating operation may be applied by electronic heating, while the ends 33 are in juxtaposition, or any other means for sealing the end of the tube may be employed. Any usual threaded cap may then be applied to the tube. The filling operations for introducing the ma terial into the collapsible tube may take place as has heretofore been done in the prior art. Where solvents are employed or cements are used to obtain the sealing action, the solvents selected or the cements used will depend on the thermoplastic utilized in the production of the tubing. Such solvents and cements are well known. To illustrate, where the thermoplastic material is cellulose acetate butyrate such as the product on the market known as Tenite the solvent employed may be a solvent cement consisting of acetone and methyl-cellosolve in equal parts. But as noted the particular solvent or cement employed will depend on the nature of the plastic utilized.

To simplify the cutting operations, the following practice may be followed. A closure end is utilized which has a sharp edge projecting laterally from the closure. As shown in Figure 9, the closure and 24 having the usual threaded neck 25 for receiving a cap (not shown) and grooved side walls 26 is provided with a sharp peripheral projection 21 desirably formed in the cap at the time of its manufacture. Such caps may be produced from polystyrene or other desirable plastic as set forth above by injection molding or may be of metal die cast, and the like. A series of such closures are passed intermittently into the tubing during extrusion of the latter as explained above in producing the article of Figure 4. The resulting chain as shown in Figure 10, of tubing carrying closures 24 is thus obtained. It may then be passed between steel rolls 29, 29 where pressure is exerted on the flexible plastic at the sharp edge or projection 21 to cut through the plastic and to produce the individual collapsible tube blank as shown in Figure 11, the predetermined length of tubing 28 being open at one end 30 and carrying the tube closure 24 at the other end. If desired the sharp edge 21 may be rolled'down at the time of cutting or subsequently to round it off. The blank may then be used as set forth above.

In accordance with this phase of the invention there may be readily produced collapsible tubes from extruded thermoplastic tubing, the collapsible tube consisting of an extruded collapsible pliable thermoplastic body portion having the rigid closure portion at one end and the opposite end sealed.

In the production of collapsible tubes where closures are intermittently fed into the extruded tubing as it is being formed, by methods and apparatus as set forth above, with some plastic materials, and under some conditions of operation, shrinkage may be obtained in the tubing at points intermediate of the positions of the successive closures. To avoid such shrinkage and for other purposes the following procedures may be adopted. Instead of inserting a series of said closures only into the extruded tubing during course of manufacture, a series of such rigid closures alternating with rigid sleeves may be inserted alternately so that a sleeve is interposed between each closure. The resulting chain from such operation is shown in Figure 12 in which the ex-'- truded tubing 33 carries the spaced rigid closures 3|, 3| which may be of the character set forth above, each of the closures being securely attached to the tubing 30 at 32 also as described above. Alternating with the closures so that one is interposed between each pair of closures, are the sleeves 33, 33. The outer diameter of the sleeves 33 may be used to control the size of the tubing between the rigid closures 3!. Where the tubing is to have at least at this time, a diameter equal to the outer diameter of the closure 32, then the sleeve 33 should be of such size as to give the desired diameter. The tubing 33 may then be cut through circumferentially at 34, 34 to segregate the individual article as shown in Figure 13 in which the length of tube 30 carries the closure 3| at one end rigidly secured thereto, and internally carries the sleeve 33. Where collapsible tubes are being made and the sleeve 33 is to be removed, the sleeve 33 may be made of metal or any other material which will not adhere to the plastic of which the tubing 33 is composed, under the conditions of operation. Metal sleeves may thus be employed and particularly if chilled before insertion into the tubing, will eliminate any possibility of sticking or adherence of the sleeve 33 to the tube 30. From the individual articles as shown in Figure 13, the chilled metal spacers or sleeves 33 may be blown off by compressed air or removed in any other way.

In those cases where the metal or other sleeve 33 is to remain as an integral part of the final article as in the production of rigid containers having an outside coating on the body thereof comprising the tube 30, the metal or other sleeve 33 need not be removed and adherence of the sleeve to the wall of the tubin 33 may be permitted to take place. 7

In all cases the sleeve may be made of metal, cardboard, hard plastic, or other material depending on the particular utility and ultimate end sought.

The .presence of the sleeves 33 in the tube 39 whether intermittently or permanently depending on the situation as explained above, enables printing operations on theside walls of the tube 30 to.be readily carriedout. Such printing operations may be carried out in thesequence of operations leading to the production of the chain of closures and sleevesas shown in Figure 12 .or may :be carried out on the individual article as shown in Figure 13 while the sleeveis temporarily in position or where it is permanently attached tothe tubing .30. The presence ofsuch supporting sleeve is important therefore in enabling printing .or decorating operations to be carried on withrespect to the plastic of the tubing 30.

This specification is a continuationeinepart ,of application Serial No. 487,403 filed May 17, 1943; of applioationSerial No. 575,856 filedEebruary 2, 1945, now vPatentNo. 2,452,607; .and ofapplicationSerial No. 708,771, filed. November 8, 1946, now Patent No. 2,484,965.

Having thus set forth my invention, I claim:

1. .Apparatusior packaging discrete..discontin ous solid material comprisingmeans for continuously extruding .a heated thermoplastic resin to formcontinuous, seamless tubing, said means .includinga die, said die being provided .withan opening leading to .theinteriorof the continuous extruded tubing, .and means for intermittently inserting discrete discontinuous solid imaterial into said tubing after-the tubing .has attained its tubular structureandas the tubing is beingextruded in such manner that thesolid material is intermittently spaced within the tubing and in intimate contact .with the walls of the tubing,

with unfilled portions of .tubing extending between such intermittent solid material.

2. Apparatus for packaging comprising means for continuously extruding a heated thermoplastic resin to form continuous, seamless tubing,

said means including a die,said.,die being pro vided with an opening leading .to theinterior-of the continuous extruded tubing, means for intermittently inserting a solid material intosaid tubing after thetubinghas attained vitstubular structure and asthe tubing isbeingextruded and means communicating with said opening tocontrol the pressure within said tubing.

3. Apparatus as set forth in. claim 1 including means for cooling thetubin carrying. said:material to rigidify the tubing.

4. Apparatus as set forth in-claimi including means for cutting through the tubing between for intermittently inserting a solid material within said tubing adjacent said seal after the tub- 12 ing has -.attained its tubular shape and as the tubing is being extruded, and means for transversely sealing said-tubing beyond said material to form a second seal for the material within the sealed tubing.

8. Apparatus aszset forth in claim 7 which includes means for controlling thepressure within said tubing during said insertion operation, and

means for cutting through the tubingat the seals. 9. Apparatus as set forth in claim 1 in which the material inserting means includesmeansjor inserting a. rigid closure.

.10. Apparatus as set forth inclaim 2 in which the material inserting means includes meansior insertinga'rigid closure.

.l pparatus asset -.fo 1:th .innclaim l'in-which the material inserting means includes nieansior inserting a series :of :rigid closures alternating with .rigid sleeves so that .a sleeve .is interposed between each pairgof closures.

12. The method of packaging whichnomprises extruding heated thermoplastic resinin the-form I of. continuous seamlesstubing, intermittently'sealing .said tubing transversely to close the tubing at such seal, intermittently inserting asolid material within saidtubing adjacentsaid seal,,and

transversely sealing said tubing beyond saidmaterial to forma second seal.

13. The method of packaging whichcomprises extruding heated thermoplastic .resin in .th.e.;form of continuous seamless tubing, intermittently sealing said tubingtransversely .to close the tubing at such seal, intermittently insertingasolid material within said .tubing adjacent .said seal,

controlling the pressure withinsaid .tubingduring said insertion operation, and transversely sealing said tubingbeyond said materialtoiorm a second seal.

14. The method as .set forth .in claim .12 in which the solid materialisa series of rigidclosures alternating with rigid .sleeves so :that a sleeve is interposedbetweeneach .pairof. closures.

.15. The method as set forthin claim .14 which includes .the steps of .rigidiiiying the tubing carryring alternating closures and sleeves, andcutting through .the .tubing adjacent each closure, and removing the sleeve from the severed tube .por-

tion.

:16. Achainsof rigidclosure ends comprisinga continuouslength of extrudedthin-walledpliable seamless thermoplastic tubing. carryinga series of discreterigid closureendsthereinin spaced relation to each otheneachof theends'beingsealed to the tubing anda rigid sleeve-interposed/be- :tween each pair of: closures.

CHARLES E. SLAUGHTER.

REFERENCES CITED The following references are of record inthe file of this patent:

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Classifications
U.S. Classification53/452, 206/277, 264/524, 264/569, 206/499, 264/571, 264/171.11, 264/DIG.410, 264/150, 264/209.1, 425/225, 264/297.6, 264/249, 53/140, 53/575, 264/149
International ClassificationB65B9/24, B65D35/10
Cooperative ClassificationB29C66/83513, B29C2793/0027, B29C47/0059, B29C47/0023, B29C2793/009, B29K2101/12, B29C47/028, B29C66/0242, B29C66/534, B29C65/028, B29C66/61, B29C66/30325, B29L2023/20, B29C66/83517, B65B9/24, B29C47/0026, B29C47/0066, Y10S264/41, B65D35/10
European ClassificationB29C47/02E, B29C66/534, B29C65/02T10, B29C66/0242, B29C66/61, B29C47/00L12, B29C66/83517, B29C66/83513, B65D35/10, B65B9/24