US 2751953 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
June 26, 1956 GRlMM 2,751,953
COLLAPSIBLE CONTAINER Filed Oct. 1. 1953 IN V EN TOR. BTU as F Gr 211121211;
United States Patent COLLAPSIBLE CONTAINER Bruce F. Grimm, Washington, D. C.
Application October 1, 1953, Serial No. 383,712
3 Claims. (Cl. 150-.5)
(Granted under Title 35, U. S. 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.
This invention relates to collapsible containers and has for its primary object to provide a container formed of flexible material so that it may be collapsed into a comparatively small space and yet may be erected into setup form by a mere manipulation of the container itself.
More specifically, it is an object of the invention to provide a double-wall container formed of flexible material and provided with valves arranged so that by manipulating the container the space between the spaced walls will become charged with fluid thereby causing the container to assume an erect position and maintaining it in that position until the compressed fluid is released.
Other objects and advantages of the invention will be apparent from the following description when taken in connection with the accompanying drawings in which,
Figure 1 is a perspective view of a cylindrical container in which the present invention is incorporated;
Figure 2 is a longitudinal sectional view through the container of Figure 1 showing the same partly collapsed in full lines and in extended position in dotted lines;
Figure 3 is the enlarged fragmentary sectional view through the upper portion of the container and showing the arrangement of the valves; and
Figure 4 is a detailed view of one of several types of valves which might be employed in lieu of the specific type of valve shown in Figure 3.
Referring to the drawings in more detail the numeral 1 indicates generally a container formed of flexible material; and while the container is here shown as of cylindrical form, it is to be understood that the present invention may be embodied in containers of various types, that is, spherical, rectangular, etc.
The body of the container is formed of normally spaced inner and outer walls 2 and 3 of flexible material which is rendered airproof by any desired means. The top and bottom of the container are also formed of normally spaced inner and outer walls designated 4 and 5, and 6 and 7, respectively, and united to the body members 2 and 3 by fluidproof joints or seams. The space between the inner and outer walls of the body of the container as well as the ends thereof is to be filled with air or other gaseous material under pressure to render the container more or less rigid, and in order to maintain the inner and outer walls in their proper spaced relationship, they are connected throughout by a multiplicity of spaced threads or stays 8 as clearly indicated in Figures 2 and 3.
An inwardly opening flap valve 9 is provided in the inner wall 6 of the container for controlling an opening 10 which permits the entrance of air into the space between the walls of the container. Thus, if the empty container is collapsed and extended repeatedly more or less in the manner of an accordion, air in the interior of the container will be compressed and force the flap valve 9 inwardly so as to cause the compressed air to enter the space between the walls 6, 7 etc.
An interiorly threaded nozzle or filling opening 11 is provided on the top of the container and extends through the inner and outer wall 6 and 7, and a conventional threaded plug closure 12 is provided for closing the opening 11 as desired. It will be understood, of course, that the air within the container may be more readily compressed it the filling opening 11 is closed so as to prevent compressed air from escaping therethrough when the container is being collapsed, and yet it is desirable that atmospheric air enter the interior of the container during the pumping operation so as to avoid the creation of a partial vacuum within the container. To this end, the closure 12 is provided with a centrally disposed vent opening 13 which is controlled by means of an inwardly opening flap valve 14, so that, when the container is alternately collapsed and extended in the manner indicated in Figure 2, air from interior of the container will not only be forced past the valve 9 into the space between the spaced walls or" the container, but also atmospheric air will be caused to pass through the aperture 13 in the closure 12 and fill up the space provided in the container as it is extended, thereby taking the place of the air which has passed from the interior of the container into the space between the spaced walls.
After the container has been inflated into erect position and rendered more or less rigid, it may be filled with any contents desired. After the container has performed its function for the particular transaction, it is intended that it be collapsed for storage or shipping purposes, and to this end the outer wall 7 of the top of the container is provided with an outlet opening 15 which is controlled by an inwardly opening check valve 16 which is here shown as being of a fiap type construction. This valve may be opened by pressing downwardly through the opening 15 so as to unseat the valve 16 and allow the air within the spaced walls to escape so that the container may be returned to its original collapsed condition. In this condition the space between the walls is diminished if not entirely eliminated.
It will be readily understood that the present invention is not in any way limited in the type of valves to be employed for the control of the air, and while flap valves are shown in Figures 1, 2 and 3, a poppet valve 20 such as shown in Figure 4 could be employed for controlling the passage of air through openings such as the opening 21 for the admission and exit of air into and out of the space between the walls, or any other type of valve might be employed for this purpose as well as for permitting the passage of atmospheric air through the closure of the container.
From the foregoing description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings, it will be apparent that I have provided a fairly inexpensive construction of collapsible container which may be readily erected into form without the use of tools or other accessories by a mere pumping action caused by actuating the ends of the containers toward and from each other to force air between the spaced walls thereof; and that the container after use may be collapsed for storage or shipment by merely inserting the finger or a pencil or the like into the opening 15 in the outer Wall 7 so as to unseat the valve and permit the escape of the compressed air from between the walls of the container.
In accordance with the patent statutes I have described what I now consider to be the preferred form of the invention, but inasmuch as various minor changes may be made in structural details without departing from the spirit of the invention, it is intended that all such changes be included within the scope of the appended claims.
,vided with a filling opening, a closure for said opening,
said closure provided with an inwardly-opening valve for the opening therein.
2. A collapsible container formed of normally spaced inner and outer walls of flexible material, an inlet valve connected with the inner wall to permit the entrance of air to the space between the walls, said container provided with a filling opening, a closure for said opening,
7 said closure provided with a vent opening, an inwardlythe inner wall to permit the entrance of air or other fluid from the interior of the container to the space between said walls, saidcontainer provided with a filling opening, a closure for said opening, and a fluid pressure-operated inlet valve in said closure for permitting the entrance of air from the exterior of the container to the interior there- 7 References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 356,582 Freeman Jan. 25, 1887 793,960 Rosenfeld July 4, 1905 1,182,042 Rubin May 9, 1916, 1,860,609 Clarke May 31, 1932 2,068,134 Houghton Jan. 19,1937 2,334,948 Newton Nov. 23, 1943 2,437,602 Hann n Mar. 9,1948 FOREIGN PATENTS r Great Britain Mar. 28, 1919