US 2709519 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
May 5M, w55 W. W. GUSHMIAN UNITIZED PACKAGE Filed Jan. .19, 1955 INVENTOR m ATQRNEY manera animano mennen Walton W. Cashman, Webb City, Mo., assigner to the United States of America as represented by the Secretary of the Army Application January lll?, 1953, Serial No. 332,131
3 Claims. (Cl. 20d- 65) (Granted under Title 35, ILS. Code (1952), sec. 266) The invention described herein, if patented, may be manufactured and used by or for` the Government for governmental purposes, without the payment to me of` any royalty thereon.
My invention relates to a unitized package and method of making the saine.
lt is a common practice to form a unitized package from a plurality of separate packages or cartons by arranging the separate packages in stacked relation and binding them together with steel bands or the like. This provides a package which may be handled as a unit, and the package may be quite rigid if the individual or separate packages themselves are rigid, the steel bands` preventing relative shifting. movement between several individual packages of thestack.
lt is a further common practice,` prior to binding to* gether the individual packages in the above-mentioned manner to individually waterproof the individual pack-` ages by wrapping the sameseparately withsuitable waterproofing and protective wrapping materials, where a particular type of commodity requires this form of protection, and the steel bands are subsequently applied to theindividually wrapped and stacked packages for forming the unitized package, which will be both rigid and weten tight. This type of unitized package is quite expensive, due to the cost of the waterproof wrapping material and steel bands,; and also because considerable` labor is. involved in wrapping the packages individually prior to steel banding them together.
Accordingly, it is a primary obiect of this invention to provide a unitized package and` method of making the same which will eliminate entirely the need for the above-mentioned steel bands and individual waterproof wrappings for the separate packages, although providing a unitized package which may be quite rigid and completely watertight.
A further object is to provide means for forming a unitized, waterproof package of the above-mentioned character which is collapsible and flexible, so as to` occupy a minimum space during return shipment and the like, and also reuseable almost indefinitely.
A further object is to provide a unitized package which utilizes a partial vacuum in the outer llexible cover of the package to bind the same together as an integral substantially rigid unit for handling.
A still further object of` the invention is to provideY a unitized package of the above-mentioned character which will have substantially llat and smooth external surfaces to aid in handling the package.
Another object is to provide waterproof covering and binding means for stacked articles which are somewhatA adjustable for accommodating stacks which may vary somewhat in their overall heights.
Other objects and advantages of the invention will be apparent during the course of the following descrip'- tion. i
In the accompanying drawings, forming a part of this ice application, and in which like numerals are employedA to designate like parts throughout the same:
Figure l is a perspective view of a unitizedV package embodying my invention and formed in accordance with my method to` be described hereinafter.
Figure 2 is a longitudinal. vertical section taken on line 2 2 of Figure 1,
Figure 3 is a horizontal section on line 3-3 of Fig ure 2,
Figure 4 is an enlarged fragmentary vertical detail section through the overlapping end portions of flexible cover sections employed in the unitized package,
Figure 5 is an enlarged fragmentary plan view of a corner of the unitized package showing a self-sealing valve carried. thereby,
Figure 6 is a fragmentary vertical` section on line 6-6 of Figure 5, and
Figure 7 is a further fragmentary vertical section.
As shown in Figures` l. and 2, the individual packages` lil are arranged insuperposed stacked relation and preferably form a rectangular stack or unit having substantially at continuous surfaces,` free from proiections. Any preferred number of the individual packages l() may be employed` in the` stack of packages to be formed into the` unitized package by the means to be described hereinafter..`
I provide a` pair ofl companion flexible cover sections or jackets ll and l2, preferably formed of synthetic rubber, such as neoprene gum or the like. lt is prefera able that, the thickness` of the cover sections ll and l2 be approximately gg of an inch, although this thickness may be varied somewhat if desired. The cover sec,- tions. or` jackets 1l. and l2. are separately formed,` and eachcover section is` waterproof and capable of being substantially gastight. The cover sections ll and 12 are preformed or molded into a rectangular' shape, so as. tothe readily capable of conforming to the rectangular shaped stack of individual packages le, and each cover section is preferably slightly smaller in all dimensions than the corresponding dimensions of the rectangular stack of packages` 1d, so as to lit snugly over the stack of packages when applied thereto.
The` flexible cover sections 1l and f each have four integrally connected side walls i3 and corresponding outer end walls llt-l, integrally connected with the side walls i3. The ends of the cover sections 1l and l2 remote fromA their end walls i3 are entirely open, so that. the cover sections Hand l2 may be stretched over` the` opposite ends of the rectangular` stack of packages Il), as shown.
As` shown` in the drawings, when the cover sections 1l' and 12 are` stretched over the stack of packages 1t), the side, Walls 13, of the separate. cover sections are adapted to overlap in telescoping relation for a substantial.l distance, such as from four to siti inches. Either of the cover Sections, 1l or l2 may have its side walls 13 arranged outermost, and merely for the. purpose of illustration in the drawings, I have shown` the side walls i3 of the Cover section 1l' arranged outwardly of side walls 13 of cover section 12, and overlapping `the same in snug tting telescoping relation. if desired,
- 11 or 12 with a self-sealing type of air valve.
the side walls of the cover section 12 may be arranged outermost, and the eect will be exactly the same. As shown in Figure 2, the open end of the cover section 11 receives the corresponding end of the cover section 12, and both cover sections lit snugly upon the rectangular stack of packages 1t), and are preferably free from slack, wrinklesand the like.
In order to insure a substantially gastight joint between the overlapping cover sections 11 and 12, I prefer to form continuous thickened beads 15, extending continuously about the open ends of the cover sections 11 and 12, and preferably formed by folding short sections of the side walls 13 inwardly upon themselves, Figure 4, and cementing the sanne securely in place. The beads 15 thus formed cause an additional binding or snug fitting engagement of the cover sections 11 and 12 about the stacked packages 10, and the side walls 13 of the cover section 11 which are arranged outermost are additionally stretched over the bead 15 of the cover section 12 as at 16 in Figure 4, provide a further gastight joint between the two cover sections. The beads 15 also render the individual cover sections 11 and 12 resistant to tearing from their open ends, and it should be mentioned that the cover sections 11 and 12 are preferably quite tough and abrasion resistant throughout.
ln order to permit exhausting of air from the interior of the cover sections 11 and 12, and creating a partial vacuum therein, I equip one of the flexible cover sections For the purpose of illustration only, I have shown the end wall 14 of the cover section 11 equipped near one corner thereof with a conventional self-sealing air valve 17, such as a football type self-sealing valve, or the like. The valve 17 is preferably formed of a unitary cylindrical section of rubber, synthetic rubber or the like and has its inner end permanently secured within a small opening 18, Figure 5, formed within the end Wall 14 of the cover section 11 by cementing, vulcanizing or the like. As shown in the drawings, the valve 17 projects a short distance outwardly of the adjacent end wall 14, and the valve may be further secured to the end Wall by a reinforcing band 19 or the like, preferably L-shaped in cross section, as shown.
The self-sealing valve 17 is provided in its outer end with a self-closing slit 20, extending longitudinally throughout the major portion of the length of the valve 17, and opening near the inner end of the valve into a recess or cavity 21, which extends through the inner end of the valve 17. The inner end of the valve 17 is preferably ush with the inner face of the cover end wall 14, as shown.
The slit 20 of the valve 17 normally remains closed and substantially airtight when the valve is in the undisturbed condition. When it is desired to exhaust or evacuate air from inside the cover sections 11 and 12, a conventional tubular exhausting needle 22 is inserted through the slit 20 until its end engages the adjacent side of the endmost package 10, Figure 7. The needle 22 is provided near its end with an exhausting opening 23, disposed within the recess 21 and spaced from the side of this recess so as to be capable of drawing air from inside the cover sections 11 and 12 through the recess 21 to the tubular needle 22. The needle 22 extends somewhat beyond the outer end of the valve 17, and carries a screw-threaded head or coupling element 24, adapted to receive a screw-threaded swivel tting 25 of an exhaust line or tube 26. The exhaust line 26 leads to and is connected with a suitable vacuum pump of any preferred type, not shown.
With the cover sections 11 and 12 applied to the stack of packages 1li, as shown and described, and the tubular needle inserted into the slit 20, suction is applied to the line 26 until a partial vacuum of approximately four pounds per square inch is created inside of the two cover sections 11 and 12. When approximately this degree of i vacuum is created, the tubular needle 22 is quickly withdrawn from the slit 20, which immediately closes and is held tightly closed by the vacuum within the flexible cover.
l have discovered that a vacuum of approximately four pounds per square inch within the cover sections 11 and 12 will cause the flexible cover sections to bind together the separate stacked packages 10 as effectively as the steel bands which are conventionally employed for this purpose, and the resultant unitized package is thereby rendered substantially rigid, so that the individual packages 10 cannot shift or slide relative to each other. The approximate four pounds per square inch Vacuum may be varied, as found desirable for increasing or decreasing the binding power of the exible cover sections 11 and 12, and this particular degree of vacuum was found to be adequate in connection with a stack of packages 10 which are individually approximately 40 inches by 48 inches by 27 inches in size. The degree of vacuum which may be created within the lexible cover sections 11 and 12 is limited only by the ability of the self-sealing valve 17 to hold the vacuum, and the ability of the overlapping joint between the cover sections 11 and 12 to do likewise, and both of these are adequate to withstand a four pounds per square inch vacuum or greater.
In addition to the effect of binding together the individual packages 10 into a rigid unitized package, the cover sections 11 and 12 also serve to render the unitized package completely waterproof, and it is not necessary therefore to employ separate waterproof wrappings or the like for the individual packages 10.
When it is desired to remove the cover sections 11 and 12 from the stack of packages, it is merely necessary to break the vacuum within the same by inserting the needle 22 or the like into the valve slit 20 so that air at atmospheric pressure may rush into the interior of the flexible cover. When this is done, the cover sections 11 and 12 may readily be peeled olf and the individual packages 10 are now free and separate for their desired usage.
It should be mentioned that the cover sections 11 and 12 are somewhat adjustable to accommodate stacks of the packages 10 of varying heights, since the extent of overlap of the side walls 13 may be Varied somewhat as required. I have found that for best results, the side walls 13 should j overlap from three to four inches, minimum, but a much greater overlap may be provided if desired.
When the cover sections 11 and 12 are removed from the stack of packages 10, the same may be collapsed and flattened out, since they are flexible, andthe cover sections therefore occupy a minimum space in storage, return shipment empty and the like. The cover sections 11 and 12 may, of course, be used repeatedly and with proper care should last almost indefinitely.
It is to be understood that the form of the invention herewith shown and described is to be taken as a preferred example of the same, and that various changes in the shape, size and arrangement of parts may be resorted to, without departing from the spirit of the invention or scope of the subjoined claims.
l. A unitized moistureproof package comprising a plurality of separate sub-packages arranged in superposed stacked relation and subject to lateral shifting when the stack is handled, a rst flexible cover section vof rubberlike material having a substantial wall thickness engaging ove1 one end of the stack of sub-packages and having its inner end terminating near the longitudinal center of the stack, the rst cover section completely enclosing substantially one-half of the area of the stack of subpackages deiined by the side walls and one end wall of the stack, a second llexible cover section of rubber-like material having a substantial wall thickness engaging over the other end of the stack of sub-packages and having its inner end terminating near the longitudinal center of the stack, the second cover section completely enclosing substantially one-halt of the area of the stack of suhpackages defined oy the side walls and the other end wall of the stack, inner end portions of the iirst and second cover sections overlapping for a substantial distance near the longitudinal center of the stack and forming a gastight joint between the cover sections, and a selclosing valve carried by one of said cover sections and disposed opposite to one flat surface of the stack of sub-packages and adapted to receive a tubular needle through which air is exhausted from the interiors of the cover sections, whereby the cover sections are caused to bind the stack of suhpackages together tightly as a substantially rigid unit in which the separate sub-packages are rigidly held against lateral shifting.
2. A unitized moistureproof package comprising a plurality of separate sub-packages arranged in superposed stacked relation and subject to lateral shifting in the stack, first and second exible rubber-like cover sections of substantial wall thickness engaging over the opposite ends of the stack of sub-packages and having inner open f ends terminating near the longitudinal center of the stack, the inneropen ends of the cover sections being arranged in overlapping telescopic engagement adjacent to the longitudinal center of the stack for a substantial distance longitudinally of the stack and forming a gastight joint between the cover sections, the cover sections completely enclosing the stack of sub-packages, and a self-closing valve of rubber-like material secured to one Wall of one cover section in opposed relation to a at surface of the stack and adapted to receive a tubular needle or the like n through which air is exhausted from the interiors of the cover sections for causing the cover sections to bind the stack of sub-packages together in a rigid unit wherein the sub-packages are rigidly heid against lateral shifting. 3. A unitized moistureproof package comprising a plurality of sub-packages arranged in stacked relation and forming an elongated rectangular stack having fiat side walls and end walis, a pair of separate tiexibie cover sec` tions of rubber-like material having a substantial wall thickness engaging over the opposite ends of the rectangular' stack and having inner open ends terminating near the longitudinal center of the elongated stack, the inner end portions of the cover sections overlapping for u substantial distance near the longitudinal center of the stack, thickened beads formed upon the inner ends of the cover sections and extending continuously thereabout with the bead of one cover section underlying the inner end portions of the side walls of the other cover section when the cover sections have their inner end portions in overlapping relation, and a self-closing exhaust valve carried by one of said cover sections through which air may be exhausted from the interiors of the cover sections for causing the cover sections to bind the stack of subpackages together tightly as a substantially rigid unit.
References Cited in the le of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,207,814 Stockton Dec. 12, 1916 1,381,904 Christensen June 21, 1921 1,970,193 Riebel, Jr. Aug. 14, 1934 2,134,441 Geluso Oct. 25, 1938 2,210,509 Strauch Aug. 6, 1940 2,348,509 Wheeler May 9, 1944 2,609,646 Total Sept. 9, 1952