|Publication number||US2976988 A|
|Publication date||Mar 28, 1961|
|Filing date||Jun 25, 1957|
|Priority date||Jun 25, 1957|
|Publication number||US 2976988 A, US 2976988A, US-A-2976988, US2976988 A, US2976988A|
|Inventors||Schneider William S|
|Original Assignee||Schneider William S|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (8), Referenced by (18), Classifications (10)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
W. S. SCHNEIDER UNIT DISPENSING CONTAINER Filed June 25,' 1957 lllllllllllllllll WZL IHM 5'. 5cm/Elbe@ March 28, 1961 UNIT DHSPENSING CGNTAINER William S. Schneider, 2520 San Fernando Road, Los Angeles 65, Calif.
Filed June 25, 1957, Ser. No. 667,888
5 Claims. (Cl. 206-56) The present invention relates to flexible containers made from a sheet or sheets of materials capable of being sealed together by heat and pressure; and especially containers that are capable of dispensing a measured part of their contents. The container is typically iilled with a liquid or granular substance, including the pill or tablet form; though generally speaking any substance that can be subdivided into measured portions may be used with the container.
The containers of this type are usually relatively flat or thin, as they consist of two thin, flexible wall members joined around* their periphery to enclose the contents. Various materials may be used that have the characteristic of being thermoplastic or heat scalable. In addition to homogeneous sheets of synthetic materials, composite sheets consisting of paper or the like coated with a thermoplastic or heat scalable material may be used equally well.
It has become common practice to package materials in small unit packages, often referred to as unit of use packs. These packages individually hold the amount required to b e dispensed or used at one time, as a serving of sugar or a dose of pills. After opening, the container is usually emptied Aand destroyed as it is of no further use.
Unit packages of this character are not adapted to consumption of their contents over a period of time, and
require a number of separate containers for packaging an equal number of units of use. At times this characteristic makes the small unit packages unnecessarily expensive for packaging commonly used substances and inconvenient for an individual to carry several units of use of a substance. On the other hand, placing a plurality of units of use in a single conventional style container leaves the user with no way to measure-the portion to be dispensed at any one time. Ordinarily, a separate measuring means,
especially for a liquid, is inconvenient to use and carry and is more expensive than using the package as a Y measure.
Accordingly, it is a general object of my invention to provide a containerof novel design holding an amount of a substance suiiicient for several portions and having means to measure the total contents into individual portions to be dispensed one at a time.
It is also an object of the invention to provide a con tainer of'this character that can be adapted to liquids or dry materials.
It is a further object of the invention',V to providev a container ofthe character describedrthat can be used with tablets, pills, or the like to retainv an unconsurned' fraction of a. measured portion, when notr all of a measured portion is dispensed `at one time, and thus serve to remind or indicate to the-user how much of a measured portion has been consumed,
` The above advantages are attained in a iiexible con- Patented Mar. 28, 1961 sealed areas at selected positions, the interior of the container is divided into two chambers, one of which is preferably smaller than the other and of a size to hold a predetermined fraction of the contents of the other chamber. The two chambers are in communicationvwith each other through a transfer passage which permits transfer at will of a portion of the contents of the larger chamber to the smaller one. A discharge passage is provided communicating at its inner end with the smaller chamber in order to discharge the contents from the container. The discharge passage extends into but not through the sealed area at the margin of the container and to be thereby sealed at its outer end to prevent discharge of the contents of the container before the package is opened.
The container is preferably but not necessarily polygonal in shape in order that the discharge passage may be located at a corner. A row of perforations intersects the discharge passage near the outer end thereof to facilitate tearing off a corner portion of the container at a position to open the passage for discharge of the contents from the smaller chamber.
When packaging dry materials the transfer passage be-V tween the two chambers may be of approximately the same size in cross-section as the discharge passage. When packaging a liquid the transfer passage is made sufficiently small that natural stresses in the container walls cause thepassage to close and prevent the liquid contents from flowing into the smaller chamber from the larger one unless pressure is purposely applied to the larger chamber. In this case thel discharge passage is preferably made larger in cross-section than the transfer passage in order to facilitate discharge of liquid from the container. Liquidcontents are forced out through the discharge passage by pressure applied externally to the smaller chamber. The larger size of the discharge passage causes it to open at a lower pressure and so prevents the pressure from building up to a point at which the contents squirt out forcefully enough to travel some distance, to obvious disadvantage and inconvenience.
How the above objects and advantages of my invention, Ias well as others not specifically mentioned, are attained will be more easily understood by reference to the following description andto the annexed drawing, in which:
Fig. l is a perspective of a flexible container with transparent walls embodying oneform of my invention;
Fig. 2 is an enlarged elevation of the container of Fig.
l with 'part of the near wall broken away;
Figs. 3 and 4 are transverse sections on lines 3 3 and 4 4, respectively, of Fig. 2;
Fig. 5 is a fragmentary elevation of the container of Fig. `2 with a corner removed to open the discharge passage;
Fig. 6 is a side elevation of a variational embodiment of my invention especially adapted to holding a liquid;
Fig. 7 is a fragmentary elevation of the container of Fig. 6 with'the corner removed to open the discharge tainer constructed according to my invention by joiningV two exible wall members togetheraround their periphery either by a heat-sealed area or by Van integral connection between the two walls. By means of one or more heat tcrial having `thermoplastic characteristics.
Fig. 8 `is a transverse section on line 3--8 of Fig. 6 showing the transfer passage open to permit flow of liquid through it; and y I Fig. 9 is a view similar to 7 showing a variational shape v Fig. 9 is a View similar to 7 showing ya variational shape of transferrpassage.
Referring nowV to the drawing, there is shown in Figs.V
1 -5 a preferred embodiment of my invention especially adapted to holding andv dispensing a dry substance in tablet or pill form. The container indicatedA generally at l0 comprises two wall members '1i and i2 of a ma- These two walls are integrally joined at one end 1d of the container 3 but are joined together at their peripheries around the other three sides of the container by a sealed area l5 formed by the application of heat and pressure to the two wall members.
In` this example of my invention, the walls 1i and l2 were originally a single web of stock that was folded overA on itself at the end i4 and the heat sealed arcateE joinedV the two walls around the remainder of their periphery, in `this case three sides of the finished container. However, it is within the scope of my invention to increase or decrease the extent of the heat sealed area is.. it will be understood without added illustration that if the two walls `lll and l2 were initially separate sheets or webs they could be heat sealed together along the fourth side 14 of the container. It is also well known in the packaging art to make iiexible containers from tubular stock, in which case two edges of the walls would be integrally connected -to start with and the heat-sealed area is impressed only at `the remaining two edges. For this reason the heat-sealed area i5 is described as being applied to at least a portion of the periphery of the package but it may be applied to more or Iless than the portion shown, as circumstances require.
Walls lll and l2 are yeach typically a sheet of thin transparent synthetic material which can be joined to another sheet of similar material by electronic sealing or by the direct application of heat and pressure. Electronic sealing involves induction heating using a high frequency electromagnetic field. The wall may be a homogeneous film of such material or it may be a composite member consisting of a layer of paper or other similar material coated with a material having these sameV sealing characteristics. All such types of materials that are sealable in either manner are comprehended within the term thermoplastic characteristics as used herein to describev suitable wall members.
As shown particularly in Figs. l and 2 the container is formed with the transversely extending sealed area 18 which divides the total interior space of the container into a tirst or storage chamber Ztl and a second or dispensing chamber 2l. Sealed area it is a narrow elongated area extending inwardly from at least one of the marginal sealed areas l5. it is divided conveniently into two parts, as shown in Fig. 2, spaced at their inner ends to provide transfer passage 23 through which the two chambers "Zfi and 2l communicate with each other. Storage chamber Ztl is'large enough to hold several units to be measured and dispensed individually by dispensing chamber 2l which in turn is made a predeterminedfraction of the size of 'the storage chamber.
by way et example in order'to xplain more fully the characteristics and advantages of my invention, storage chamber 2tis here shown as holding a plurality of tablets T which are to be dispensed in units of use, each unit consisting of a pluralityof tablets. A typical vsituation encountered is that in which it is desired to package enough tablets to supply a user for one week, daily doses of three tablets per day. The dispensing chamber Z1 is of a size to hold three tablets constituting a single dose or the un-it of use for one day, and the storagechamber holds seven dosesy or twenty-one tablets. Transfer pas'- sage 23 is at least large enough to permit the tablets to be transferred from the storage chamber tothe smaller chamber one at a time. Tae size of the smaller chamber 2l may vary somewhat when it is not necessarily filled to capacity to measure the daily dose. Here the tablets are'counted to accomplish the measurement of a unit of use or daily dose. Por this reason the chamber could be large enough to hold more than three tablets at once allowing the user-to vary the rate of use as 'he desires.
The tablets are dispensed from chamber 2i through discharge passage 2S which communicates at its inner end with the Vdispensing chamber. char-ge passage is ordinarily closed. This is done for The outer end of the dis-V several reasons; to keep the contents fresh; to exclude dirt; to prevent discharge of the contents of the container until the passage is open, and so on. The discharge passage is conveniently closed -by extending heat-sealed area across the outer end of the passage. To facilitate opening the passage by tearing olf a part of the container, the container is made rectangular and a row 27 of perforations is located at one corner at a position to intersect passage 25. The row of perforations creates a line of weakness so that the corner ltlc may be torn oft along this vline 27, as shown in Fig. 5. Now the outer end of passage 25 is open; and the passage is preferably of a size to permit the tablets to be dispensed from cham? ber 2.1 only one at a time as shown in Fig. 5. This arrangement leaves the distribution chamber substantially intact after the package is opened.
ln the case of tablets, all those constituting one dose may be dispensed at one time. However, if -it is desired to distribute the dose over one day, as when one tablet is tal-ien with each meal, the tablets may be dispensed individually at different times. By filling the dispensing chamber 2'1 at the beginning of the day, the unconsumed portion of the dosage for that day is always clearly shown by the number of tablets remaining in chamber 21 so that the chamber performs a memory or reminder function to remind the user of the dosage taken or yet to be taken during any one day.
My invention is not necessarily limited to use with dry materials either in tablet or granular form, but may be used equally well with a liquid. A container 10a particularly adapted to use with a liquid is illustrated in Figs. 6 8. In this form of the invention, the container is constructed essentially as already described, except that here the two walls 11a and 12a were originally separate sheets and so are joined entirely by the marginal heat sealed area 15a. Also, there is a change in the relative size in cross-section of the transfer passage 23a and the discharge passage 25a. In Fig. 6, transfer passage 23a is made considerably smaller thanV described above which is permissible with liquid contents. The two walls of the container are naturally brought together by stresses'v Ma and i201 toy squeeze the body of liquid in the largerY chamber 20a the transfer passage 23a is forced open' and' liquid flows through it into the dispensingtcharnb'er 21a' until the dispensing-chamber is full.. The volume of the smaller chamber is designed to hold a predeterminedfraction of the total liquid of the larger'stor'agel chamber so that by iilling the dispensing: chamber, the desired dose is measured. This dose is then dispensed through dis-f charge-passage 25a after it is openedI by tearing off a corner of the containerV along the row of perforations 27a, as shown in' Fig, 7. Dispensing thecontents is ac-V complished by compressing'the dispensing chamber to force the liquid in it through passage 25a. After. passage 25a is once open at its end', it is necessary to close the passage temporarily, while iilling the dispensing chamber' again, by compressingthe discharge passage 25a between' the thumb and forelinger.
The discharge passage is preferably made larger in cross-section thanthe transfer passage for ltwo reasons.' First, it is easier to dispense the liquid from the con-V tainer. Less pressurev on the liquid in the dispensing chamber is required to cause the liquid to flowVv through the dispensing passage because/with a relatively larger v passage it opens up more easily and it also offers less resistance to liquid flow. Second, the lower dispensing pressure is less likely to :open the transfer passage- 23a and force any of the liquid back into the-"storagecharnwalls 11a and 12a at the transfer passage to keep the passage closed during the time that liquid is being forced out through discharge passage 25a. This may be done by placing the thumb and foreiinger at opposite sides of the container and compressing passage 23a.
Transfer passage 23a may be centrally located in the container as previously described; but it may be preferred to locate it at or near one corner of the storage chamber, as shown in Fig. 6. This is accomplished by extending one transverse sealed area 18a nearly across the container to space the end of it a short distance from the sealed area a at the opposite margin of the container. This location places the outlet from chamberfZtla at the convergence of two of its boundaries, one marginal sealed area 15a and transverse area 18a, enabling them to guide the liow of liquid contents to the outlet 23a. Another advantage is that the inlet and outlet to discharge chamber 21a are at opposite lends of the discharge chamber, providing maximum spacing between them and giving more room for the manipulations involved in emptying and refilling the discharge chamber easily and effectively.
Fig. 9 illustrates a variational form of transfer passage 23h in the package 10b which is otherwise as shown in Figs. 6-8. Here the transverse sealed area 18b is made wider than before and passage 23b is given a slight curve. As mentioned above, stresses naturally present in the exible wall members tend to iiatten them and close the transfer passage, sealing it against leakage of liquid from the storage chamber. When the passage is straight, it is possible for the seal to be broken by a fold or wrinkle being formed in one or both wall members, which opens the transfer passage. Such a fold or wrinkle almost always extends in a straight line; and by slightly curving passage 23b a fold, if formed, Cannot open the passage for its full length. The curvature is such that a straight line passing through both ends of the passage does not lie wholly within the passage but intersects a sealed area at some intermediate point. The width and length of the passage are factors in determining the minimum curvature required; and it is to reduce the necessary curvature in the passage that the passage is made longer by making area 18b wider than in Figs. 68. This arrangement may be used as a'means to improve the selfsealing characteristics of passage 23b without appreciablyV increasing the pressure that must be applied to opposite sides of chamber 20a to cause the liquid to open the passage and flow through it.
From the foregoing it will be seen that various changes in the relative size and arrangement of the elements of my improved container may be made by persons skilled in the art without departing from the spirit and scope of -my invention. Accordingly, it is to be understood that the above description is considered to'be illustrative of, rather than limitative upon, :the appended claims.
l. A flexible, dispensing package, comprising: a plurality of tablets to be dispensed; two thin, exible wall members having thermo-plastic characteristics and joined together around their periphery, at least a portion of their periphery being joined by a sealed area formed by application of heat and pressure, to dene an interior space between the Wall members; a pair of transversely extending sealed areas extending inwardly from opposite margins of the wall members to divide said interior space into a relatively larger rst chamber adapted to hold said plurality of tablets and a relatively smaller second chamber adapted to hold a smaller plurality of tablets amounting to a fraction of the tablets in the rst chamber, the two transversely extending sealed areas being apart to dene a transferpassage communicating with the rst and second chambers and of a size to pass a single tablet at a time; and a discharge passage open at one end to the second chamber and closed at the 6 other end by the marginal sealed area, said discharge. passage being of a size to pass a single tablet at a time.
2. A exible tablet dispensing package comprising: a plurality of tablets to be dispensed; two, thin flexible wall members joined together around their entire periphery to define an interior space between the wall members;
means dividing the interior space into a primary tablet containing chamber and a smaller secondary tablet receiving chamber;
passage means providing restricted transfer of said tablets from the primary chamber into the secondary receiving chamber to receive from the primary chamber a predetermined fraction of its contents;
and a discharge passage open at one end to the secondary chamber and closed at the other end, said discharge passage providing for a restricted rate of discharge of said tablets therethrough as tablets are dispensed from the package.
3. A flexible tablet dispensing package as claimedin claim 2 in which the transfer passage and the discharge passage each have a cross-section of a size to pass a single tablet at a time.
4. A flexible, tablet dispensing package comprising:
a plurality of tablets to be dispensed;
two, thin ilexible wall members joined together around their entire periphery to define an interior space between the wall members, said wall members being joined by a l sealed area around at least a part of the periphery;
means dividing the interior space into a primary tablet containing chamber and a secondary tablet receiving chamber; i
passage means providing restricted transfer of tablets from the primary chamber into the secondary receiving chamber to receive from the primary chamber a predetermined fraction of its contents;
and means including a line of Weakness to determine the location of an unobstructed exit from the secondary chamber of a size to limit passage therethrough of tablets from the secondary chamber to a single tablet at a time.
5. A ilexible, tablet dispensing package comprising:
a plurality of tablets to be dispensed;
two, thin iiexible wall members joined together around their entire periphery to dene an interior space between the wall members, said wall members being joined by a sealed area around at least a part of the periphery;
means dividing the interior space into a primary tablet containing chamber and a secondary tablet receiving.
References Cited in the le of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,245,738 Tay1or Jima 17, 1941 2,325,921 Salisberg Aug. 3, 1943 2,333,587 Salsberg Nov. 2, 1943 2,348,449 Chandler May 9, 1944 2,753,990 Chaln et al. July 10, 1956 2,800,269 Smith July 23, 1957 2,828,858 Tooke Apr. 1, 1958 l FOREIGN PATENTS 1,100,002 France Mar. 30, 1955 UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION Paten-I No., 2,976,988 v March 2eY 196i William So Schneider I It is hereby certified `that error appears in 'bhe above numbered patent requiring correction and that the said Letters Patent. should read as "corrected below.
Column 2, line 623Y sirike out "Fig, 9 is a View similiar to 7 showin-g a variational shape"; column 5 line 72q Signed and sealed this 19th day of September 196104 (SEAL)-v Attesi: ERNEST W. SWIDER DAVID L. LADD Attesting Officer I v i Commissioner of Patents u scoMM-Dcf
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|U.S. Classification||206/445, 206/484, 206/528|
|International Classification||B65D75/58, B65D83/04, B65D75/52|
|Cooperative Classification||B65D75/5822, B65D83/0481|
|European Classification||B65D83/04D, B65D75/58D1|