US 2872081 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
1959 F. E; RANDALL" 2,872,081
DISPOSABLE CONTAINER FOR LIQUID AND HOLDER FOR CONTAINER Filed Feb. 3, 1956 INVENTOR.
T TORNEYS United rates DISPOSABLE CONTAINER FOR LIQUID AND HOLDER FOR 'CONTADJER Frank E. Randall, Naugatuck, Conn. Application February 3, 1956, Serial No. 563,222 9 Claims. (Cl. 222-183) This invention relates to the packaging and dispensing of liquid or granular material with thin-walled flexible bags.
One of the modern and inexpensive ways of packaging material is by flowing the material in controlled batches into a flexible tube made of plastic material which is sealed across its full width behind each batch and ahead of the next batch. This method of packaging forms a long series of connected bags which are then cut apart along lines within the sealed areas. Such packages have had the one disadvantage that the dispensing of the contents has been diflicult, particularly when the entire contents are not to be used at the same time. It has been necessary to dump the contents into another container, such as a pitcher or bottle, and this introducesan inconvenience in the use of these sealed plastic bags.
It is an object of this invention to provide a dispenser which includes a bag of the character indicated held in a frame for supporting an outlet area of the bag so that the dispenser is used in the same manner as a pitcher; and any limited quantity of liquid or granular material can be poured from the bag with the same ease as the contents are poured from a bottle, and with'better pouring because the sharp pouring edge of the bag eliminates the drip commonly encountered with the rounded pouring lips of pitchers. 7
It is a feature of the invention that the flexible bag is supported above its outlet and in such a way that the bag cannot collapse, and the outlet end of the bag cannot pull back into the frame or holder as the contents of the bag are used leaving the sides of the bag otherwise free to collapse.
. Another object of the invention is to provide a flexible, sealed bag constructed of plastic material and having a tab across at least a part of the sealed upper end of the bag for gripping in a clamp or by other means for supporting at least that portion of the bag above the outlet through which the contents of the bag are dispensed. Still another object of the invention is to provide a method of cutting apart a series of connected bags so as to obtain such tabs along at least one side of the upper end of each bag, and to obtain such tabs without requiring the use of substantially more plastic material in the construction of the bags.
Other objects, features and advantages of the invention will appear or be pointed out as the description proceeds.
In the drawing, forming a part hereof, in which like reference characters indicate corresponding parts in all the views;
Figure 1 is a sectional view through a sealed plastic bag made in accordance with this invention;
Figure 2 is a greatly enlarged sectional view taken on the line 2-2 of Figure 1; c
Figure 3 is a greatly enlarged sectional View taken on the line 3-3 of Figure 1;
Figure 4 is a detail view of the sealing strip shown in Figure 3;
Figure 5 is an elevation of the side of the bag through which the outlet opens;
Figure 6 is an enlarged sectional view, on the line 6-6 of Figure 5, showing the way in which liquid is poured from the outlet across the bottom edge of the outlet which serves as a pouring lip;
Figures 7-9 are side elevations showing the upper ends of three bags having different modified constructions;
Figure 10 is a vertical sectional view through a dispenser embodying this invention and including the bag shown in Figure 1; I
Figure 11 is an end view of the dispenser shown in Figure 10;
Figure 12 is a sectional View taken on the line 12-12 of Figure 10;
Figure 13 is a perspective view showing a modified construction for supporting the, bag above the outlet; and
Figure 14 is a diagrammatic view showing the method of sealing and cutting the successive bags so as to obtain tabs without the use of substantially greater quantities of tubing in making the bags.
Figure 1 shows a bag formed of thin flexible material which is preferably tubular and transparent. The bag has side walls 22 and it contains liquid material 23 which is visible through the transparent walls 22. At the upper and lower ends of the bag 20, the walls are flattened and the front and back surfaces of the tubular material are bonded to one another over a bottom area 25 and a top area 26. In theconstruction shown in Figure 1, the top area 26 is of greater height toward one end so as to provide. a tab 28 by which a portion of the bag is supported in a frame in a manner which will be described hereinafter. a
The shape of the bag 20, when sealed, is that shown in full lines plus the additional portion shown in dotted lines inFigure 1.
At the time of sealing the seam 26, the part indicated in dotted lines is cut off to leave an outlet opening below the sealed tab 28, and this outlet opening is closed by a sealing tape 30.
The tape 30 has a lower portion 34 which extends beyond the sealing portion of the tape and is then folded back at a region 35 the portion of the tape which seals the outlet opening. A cut out area 36 extending down from the line 35 facilitates the folding back of the tape. The bag can be opened by pullingthe folded-over portion 34 upwardly so as to detach the tape from the bag and expose the outlet opening.
Figure 2 shows the way in which the bag 20 is sealed at its upper end. The walls 22 of the bag are pressed together and preferably sealed by fusing heat applied to the confronting surfacesof the side walls. The walls is attached to the wall 22 over the outlet opening left in the bag by the cutting off of the dotted line portion of the bag shown in Figure 1. The'edges ofthis outlet are held together by the tape 30 in Figure 3 but there may be clearance between them. Unless confined by the tape 30, the outlet opening will expand to greater size, as shown in Figure 5. The outletopening, indicated by Patented Feb. 3, 1959 the reference character 37, is spread by thepressure of the contents or the bag against the walls 22.
Figure 6 shows the way in which the liquid 23 pours through the outlet opening 37 when the bag 2! is tilted. Because at the thin'iiss of the material of the walls 22, the liquid 23 pours over a sharp pouring edge and this prevents the usual drip encountered with pitchers, bottles, and other containers which have rounded lips for pouring. The tab 26 is supported during the pouring of the liquid and this limits the extent to which i the outlet opening 37 spreads and maintains an effective rigidity of the pouring lip formed by the bottom edge of the outlet opening 37.
In order to provide what is in eifecta pouring spout for the bag 21 the upper sealed area 26 extends at an acute angle to the side of the bag which is cut off to provide the outlet. Various modifications can be made in the construction of the upper end of the bag 20 shown in Figure 1.
Figure 7 shows a bag 38 having a sealed area 39 which extends at right angles to thelo'n'gitudinal axis of the bag for a portion of the length of the sealed area then sharply upwardly as it approaches an outlet area 40 of the bag 26. This bag 36 is opened by cutting it across the dotted line 41. The right hand portion of the sealed area 37 serves as a tab 42 for supporting the bag above its outlet area.
Figure 8 shows another modification in which a bag 44 has a sealed area 46 which extends in a straight line across the entire top of the bag at an angle to the longitudinal axis of the bag. This bag 44 is opened by cutting it along the line 48. The sealed area 46 is of sufiicient height to serve as a tab. In other words, the tab at the top of the bag 44 extends across the full length of the sealed area instead of being confined to only one end as in Figure 1. This construction shown in Figure 8 requires more material than the bag shown in Figure 1 because with alternate bags, of the type shown in Figure 1, facing in different directions, the sealed area of reduced height on one bag provides material for the tab of the next bag.
Figure 9 shows another modified construction in which a bag 50 has a sealed area 52 extending across the entire top of the bag at substantially right angles to the longi tudinal axis of the bag. This bag is opened by cutting it along a line 54. The tab for the bag 50 extends across the full width of the bag and constitutes the sealed area 52. The construction shown in Figure 9 does not provide the same effective spout structure as the construction shown in Figures 1, 7 and 8.
Figures -12 show a frame 60 which is made in the form of an enclosure having a back wall 61, a bottom 62 and end Walls 63 and 64. The frame or container 61) also has a top wall 66. There is an opening 68 at the upper end of the container above the end wall 64, and the bag is enclosed within the container 60 with the outlet area or opening 37 exposed at the container opening 68. A handle 72 extends outwardly from the end wall 63, and the container is lifted by this handle 72 and conveniently manipulated for pouring liquid from bag and container as from a pitcher.
The frame or container 60 has an open front through which the bag 20 is inserted into' the container and this open front is then closed by a door 75 connected to the bottom 62 by a hinge 76. The door 75 is shown in closed position in full lines inFigure -11 and is shown in open position in dotted lines for at least a portion of the height of the door. At its upperend, the door '75 has a clamping jaw 80 which confronts a complementary clamping jaw 82 formed on a cut-out section of the top 66 of .the container. The tab 28 of the bag 20 is gripped tightly between the clamping jaws 80 and 82. This supports the bag 20 above the outlet opening 37 and also prevents the bag from collapsing into the container Zll'as the bag becomes partially empty.
There-is preferably a catch 85 attached to the top 66 and this catch 3S isrnovable out of the path of the door 75, as the door closes, and then into position to latch behind a flange 86 of the door after the door is closed and its clamping'jaw has been brought into firm clamping contact with the tab of the bag. Thus the catch locks the door 75 closed and locks the clamping jaws 86 and 82 together.
As the contents of successive bags are used, each bag is removed fromthe container 60 and another bag is inserted. Thus the container 60 of this invention provides a dispenser that, makes it possible to have only one rigid frame or container at the place where the contents of the bags are to be used, and the bags themselves are of thin inexpensive material that can be thrown away as each bag becomes empty.
Although a container such as shown in Figures 10-12 has the advantage of completely enclosing the bag 20, except for the region around the outlet area of the bag, simpler and less decorative frames or containers can be used for holding the bag 2t). Figure 13 shows a simple construction in which the lower portion of the bag 20 is contained in a box open at the top. An upper frame member consisting of a wire clamp 97 has legs 9 at its lower end for straddling the upper edge of the box 95. These legs 99 hold the wire clamp 97 on the box 95 in a manner similar to a paper clip. The wire extends upwardly and is bent to form two clamping jaws 101 and 102 which grip the tab 28 of the bag 21 The clamp 97 is constructed so that the spring or resilience of the metal of the wire holds the jaws 101 and 102 in firm contact with the tab 28. When there is no tab between the jaws 101 and 102, they contact firmly with one another.
The wire from which the jaws 101 and 102 are constructed is bent so as to diverge below the jaws to leave an opening 104 through which the outlet area of the bag can project or through which the liquid can be poured from the outlet opening of the bag.
The clamping jaws thus far described hold the tab of the bag by friction but they can be constructed so as to pierce it. in order to obtain a more positive grip. This clamping of the bag at a location above the pouring lip together with the guiding action of the sides of the opening 68 provides a complete control of the bag held in the frame or container. The frame can be made to grip the bag below the sealed upper area, but such a dispenser is not as convenient to use. The frame or container can be made of various materials and can be of any kind of a rigid structure from a wire cage to a solid box or a box with various openings in the walls for lightening or for decoration. The frame or container can also be made from any materials from which pitchers are constructed.
Figures 14 and 15 illustrate methods by which the bags can be formed by sealing spaced regions along the length of a plastic tube 110. In Figure 14 alternate sealed areas 112, which correspond to the bottoms of the bags, extend transversely of the tube at' substantially right angles to the longitudinal axis or length of the tube 110. The other areas 114, whichcorrespond to the tops of the bags, are wider than the areas 112 and these sealed areas 114 preferably extend at an angle to the longitudinal axis of the tube so as to provide, in effect, spouts for the bags.
It will be understood that the bags can be considered as facing in opposite directions so that the spout on one bag will be at the lower end of the sealed area 114 and the spout on the next adjacent bag will be at the upper end of this area 114, as viewed in Figure 14. The sealed areas 114 are then cut along a line 116 extending in different and changing directions so as to provide tabs for the respective bags at the spout end of the sealed area 114. It will be apparent from an inspection of Figure 14 that this method of making the tabs reduces the amount of the tube which has to be sealed to form the top portions .of the bags.
The preferred embodiments of the invention have been illustrated and described, but changes and modifications can be made and features can be used in dilferent combinations without departing from the invention as defined in the claims.
What is claimed is:
1. A liquid or granular substance dispenser including a bag made of thin flexible material and closed at its upper and lower ends by sealed areas and having an outlet area at one end of the upper sealed area of the bag, the outlet area being adapted to be opened to provide an outlet opening having a directional component which is vertical and having a lower edge of the opening formed of the material of the side of the bag and adapted to serve as a pouring lip, a frame in which the bag is supported when dispensing the contents of the bag through the outlet, and a clamp carried by the frame in position to grip a portion of the bag above the outlet to support the portion of the bag that is above and adjacent to the pouring lip.
2. A dispenser for liquid or granular substances ineluding a bag of thin flexible material for containing the substance that is to be dispensed, the bag having a tab at its upper end and an area adjacent to the tab adapted to be opened to provide an outlet for the bag, said outlet having a directional component which is vertical and having a lower edge of the opening formed of the material of the bag and adapted to serve as a pouring lip, a frame by which the bag is supported when dispensing the material through the outlet, and a clamp carried by said frame and located above the tab area that is adapted to be opened and in position to grip the tab and thereby to support the portion of the bag above the opening and to support the sides of the opening that extend upwardly from pouring lip.
3. The dispenser described in claim 2 and in which the frame is a container enclosing the bag and having an opening through which the bag is exposed in the vicinity of the outlet area, the opening in the container extending below the pouring lip of the bag when the upper part of the bag is gripped by said clamp.
4. The dispenser described in claim 3 and in which the container has a handle extending outwardly from a side of the container opposite the side through which the outlet area of the bag is exposed.
5. The dispenser described in claim 2 and in which the frame has a front portion in position to contact with one side of the bag to hold the bag in the frame, said front portion being hinged to the remainder of the frame for movement between open and closed positions, and in which the clamp has clamping jaws, one of which is on the hinged front portion of the frame and the other of which is on the other part of the frame and in a position confronting the clamping jaw of the front portion when the front portion of the frame is swung into closed position.
6. The dispenser described in claim 5 and in which there is a catch on one part of the frame and the catch is movable into position to hold the front portion of the frame in closed position with its clamping jaw clamped firmly against the tab of tthe bag in front of the clamping jaw on the other portion of the frame.
7. The dispenser described in claim 2 and in which the frame is a container enclosing the bag, and the frame has a front door with hinge means at its lower end connecting to the rest of the container and on which the front door swings into open position to permit removal and replacement of bags, and a catch movable into position to lock the door in closed position to hold a bag within the enclosure, the clamp including a clamping jaw connected to the front door and another clamping jaw on the other part of the container in position to confront the clamping jaw on the door when the door is closed, the container having an opening in the reglon of the clamping jaws and extending downwardly below the clamping jaws to a location below the pouring lip of the bag.
8. The method of making containers from a length of tubing by sealing opposite faces of the tubing together at spaced regions along its length leaving sealed bags between said regions with material enclosed within the bags, sealing at least every other of said spaced regions along lines, extending at an acute angle to the longitudinal axis of the tubing, and then cutting the successive bags apart along lines which are near to one end of the sealed region at one side of the tubing and nearer to the other end of the sealed region at the other side of the tubing so as to leave sealed areas forming tabs at the ends of each successive bag where the sealed area is of substantially greater height than at other portions of the length of said sealed areas.
9. In the manufacture of containers from tubular material by sealing the front and back portions of the tubing together at regions spaced from one another along the length of the tubing and with the material to be packaged located in the tubing between said regions so as to form a length of connected bags containing said material, the improvement which comprises cutting successive bags apart along lines which extend in different and changing directions across the sealed area, each line of out having a variation that leaves a tab on each bag where the height of the sealed area is substantially greater toward one end of the sealed area adjacent to which an outlet area of the bag is located.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,592,584 Viegelmann July 13, 1926 2,025,796 Waldheim Dec. 31, 1935 2,102,685 Du Bois Dec. 21, 1937 2,430,995 Roos Nov. 18, 1947 2,574,931 Nason Nov. 13, 1951 2,665,033 Robertson Jan. 5, 1954