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Publication numberUS3016177 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 9, 1962
Filing dateAug 22, 1958
Priority dateNov 19, 1957
Publication numberUS 3016177 A, US 3016177A, US-A-3016177, US3016177 A, US3016177A
InventorsChaplin Charles J
Original AssigneeDiamond National Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Molded pulp package
US 3016177 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Jan. 9, 1962 Original Filed Nov. 19, 1957 C. J. CHAPLIN MOLDED PULP PACKAGE 5 Sheets-Sheet 1 Jan. 9, 1962 c. J. CHAPLIN MOLDED PULP PACKAGE Original Filed Nov. 19, 1957 5 Sheets-Sheet 2 Fig. J

Jan. 9, 1962 C. J. CHAPLIN MOLDED PULP PACKAGE 5 Sheets-Sheet 3 Original Filed Nov. 19, 1957 Jan. 9, 1962 c. J. CHAPLIN 3,016,177

MOLDED PULP PACKAGE Original Filed Nov. 19, 1957 5 Sheets-Sheet 4 89 91 86 94 B4 94 F1 .9 i g 10 82 82 10 Jan. 9, 1962 c. J. CHAPLIN 3,016,177

' MOLDED PULP PACKAGE Original Filed Nov. 19, 1957 5 SheetsSheet 5 United States PatentO 3 Claims. (Cl. 229-25) This invention relates to packaging, and more particularly to a novel molded package. providing an enclosure having a plurality of integral sections or members for suspending an article therein out of contact with the walls of the enclosure. In my copending divisional application, Serial No. 697,369, filed November 19, 1957, there is disclosed and claimed a novel composite readily assembled type of forming die especially useful for manufacturing a variety of such molded packages.

The provision of economical packaging for relatively fragile articles, or articles where handling shocks must be minimized, has long been a problem in the packaging art. There are three essential requirements.

(1) A sturdy, strong product which will stand rough handling and damage on any portion of its exterior,

(2) A yielding, suspension area or members for supporting the object on the inside of the rigid package, and

(3) Low cost.

Another objective of molded packaging is to provide a package which is complete in itself. Inother words, which does not require being placed in a fibreboard and/ or other package for shipment. Such an article, in order to provide adequate support and protection for the packed product must resist deformation either by vertical pressure when being placed at the bottom of a stack of similar or other articles, or by puncturing or breaking during rough handling. In all instances, whether it be handling or storage, no appreciable force, weight or strain should be applied to the packed suspended product, the outer case, Walls, or structure of the pack absorbing all of the shock and/ or other loads.

According to the present invention, a novel package is provided wherein a fragile article is supported over a relatively large surface area and out of contact with the walls thereof beyond the reach of expected damage and in a manner such that shock loads or forces transmitted to the article are reduced to a value which the particular article is capable of resisting. Briefly, this is accomplished by the use of a molded package having relatively rigid outer walls providing a surrounding enclosure and a plurality of substantially energy-absorbing supporting structures molded integrally with and usually projecting inwardly from said walls to support an article in a-position spaced from said walls. In accordance with the principles of the present invention, the internal support structures are progressively deformable under shock loads, thereby reducing the g factor, or shock factor, on the article While the outer walls of the enclosure maintain their original position, stiffness and rigidity.

It is known that the shock loads or forces which any article can resist without damage can be expressed for a particular article in terms of a multiple of the force of gravity, the factor g, applied in a given direcion relatively to the article. Therefore, each different type or kind of article must have its molded pack engineered to meet the particular requirements. First, that adequate protection be given to the weight, size and stacking requirements of the complete package, and, second, that sufficient shock absorbing means be provided to reduce the g factor under shock loads below that which is Patented Jan. 9, I962 the maximum which the article or product will absorb in itself without damage.

Considering for a moment a perfectly rigid support for a fragile article, so long as the g forces applied to the support are less than the minimum value of g force which can be applied to the article without damage, such a support will provide the best possible support for a fragile article, since, if accurately fitting, it can hold the article firmly and positively prevent any movement of the article relative to its supporting structure which itself might cause g forces large enough to damage the article. An elastic support, on the other hand, has the advantage of not requiring the accurate fitting of a rigid support, and will cushion the article supported thereby and so generally reduce the smaller g forces applied to the package. In the event of the application of a high g force, however, an elastic support must inevitably itself create large g forces, particularly when bottoming occurs, that is, collision at the limit of travel of the elastic support.

The support of the present invention, however, frequently prevents article damage when "g forces greater than those the article is capable of resisting are applied to the package, by virtue of theenergy absorbing qualities of its non-resilient ,molded pulp supporting structure, which unique qualities neither rigid nor elastic structures can provide. The suspended article, then, so long as the package is not subjected to a shock load or force greater than that at which the article supports are intended to fail progressively, is rigidly supported within the package. 'This prevents creation of shock loads on the article by movement of the article itself within the package which might result in shockloads high enough to damage the article even though the initiating shock load applied to the walls of the package be less than the critical value, as might occur upon collision of the article with a nonyielding surface within the package. However, when the. package receives a shock load of a predetermined value somewhat less than that which the suspended article is designed to resist, progressive deformation of the supporting structure begins so that the excess shock load is absorbed thereby without being transmitted to the article.

It is an object of the present invention to provide a molded pulp package having an internal normally rigid supporting structure especially useful for odd shaped articles without the necessity for accurate dimensioning of the package or its support. This has been accomplished by providing a rigid, generally non-resilient, hollow, energy absorbing supporting member with an article contacting surface of readily deformable material so that it will deform to the extent necessary to fit itself to an article positioned within the package and yet rigidly support it thereafter.

It is still another object of the invention to provide as agenerally fiat sheet to be thereafter set up, a molded pulp package having outer walls and an internal normally rigid supporting structure all of generally uuiformwall thickness. By so doing, relatively large enclosures may be provided without the necessity for correspondingly deep molds or dies, since the depth of the molds or dies need not exceed the depth of the supporting projections.

It is yet another object of the invention to provide a molded, pulp package having a supporting structure with a limited degree of resiliency to enable the resilient support of an article therein if desired, this being accomplished by the use of a resilient surface on the otherwise non-resilient supporting structure so that the energy absorbing qualities upon progressive deformation thereof are not seriously affected.

Various other objects and features of the invention will be apparent from the following description of preferred embodiments thereof, together with the accompanying drawings wherein:

FIG. 1 is an isometric view of a molded pulp enclosure of the invention prior to being set up;

FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view of the enclosure of FIG. 1 in set up condition;

FIGS. 3 and 4 are, respectively, a cross-sectional and a plan view of a portion of the enclosure of FIGS. 1 and 2 showing a modification thereof;

FIG. 5 is an isometric view of one symmetrical half of a modified form of a package according to the present invention;

FIGS. 6-8 are views of the package half of FIG. 5, FIGS. 6 and 8 being sections taken on the lines 66 to 8--8 thereof, and FIGS. 7 and 8 showing the package with an article enclosed therein;

FIG. 9 is an isometric view of one symmetrical half of another modified form of a package according to the present invention, somewhat similar to that of FIG. 5 but intended to carry a plurality of articles;

FIGS. 10-12 are views of the package half of FIG. 9, FIGS. 10 and 12 being sections taken on the lines 10-10 to 1'212 thereof, and FIGS. 11 and 12 showing the package with articles enclosed therein.

Referring first to FIGS. 1 and 2, the novel molded pulp suspension pack according to the present invention includes a plurality of sides, preferably six in number as shown, including a bottom 10, sides 12, '13, 14 and 15 and a top 18, all integrally molded as a generally uniform thick fiat sheet with molded hinge portions between said sheets, and positioned in each of said sides and integrally molded are a plurality of hollow normally rigid article suspending portions in the form of truncated projections 22 of generally uniform wall thickness but of decreasing cross-section away from the inner surface of their side, said projections having their smaller ends away from their side surface closed providing a surface 24 for contacting an article to suspend it over a substantial contact area. If desired, the surface portions 24 may be reworked after molding so that the surface itself is readily deformable, without affecting the supporting function of the projection itself to any great degree, so that the necessary accuracy of molding is decreased, while maintaining rigid support of an article. As set forth above in the discussion of the principles of the present invention, the wall thickness of the projections 22 is controlled as desired to provide strength such that the progressive deformation of the article suspending structures or projections 22 will begin to deform at g forces somewhat less than those which will damage the article to be protected. Thus, assuming that the maximum tolerable g force which can be applied to the article is known, a wall strength can be arrived at whereby the energy absorbing progressive failure will commence at a somewhat lower value, and this can readily be done either by calculation or tests as is most appropriate, the latter being carried out by means of a mass equivalent to the article including a suitable accelerometer which will record g forces in conventional drop tests or the like. strength itself is dependent upon a number of factors which may be readily controlled in accordance with con ventional pulp molding procedures. Thus, wall thickness will affect wall strength, as Well as the specific nature of the pulp fiber desposrted on the die. Wall thickness in particular is easily controllable by varying deposit time so that a series of packages having differing wall strengths may quickly and easily be made up for testing to arrive at the wall strength desired for a particular application.

When the suspension pack of FIGS. 1 and 2 is set up, with the projections 22 extending inwardly toward one another to contact the surface of an article A, and with the sides held together by any suitable means, such as pressure sensitive tape, for example, the article A will be rigidly supported out of contact with the sides of the enclosure, but due to the nature of the molded pulp The wall projections 22 as explained above, any shock loads over a predetermined value will result in progressive deforming or crushing of the projections from the smaller or inner ends thereof adjacent the article. Hence, the shock load will be absorbed by the projection without damage to the article suspended thereby. Yet, a measure of protection will be retained, since the projection, if the shock load be not too high, will not be entirely destroyed but only deformed adjacent its smaller end, although the desirable rigid support of the article will then to some degree he lost.

If it be desired to provide a degree of resiliency to the article supporting projections 22, a corrugation 26 as shown in FIGS. 3 and 4 may be provided surrounding one or more'of said projections. Such a corrugation will provide a limited degree of resiliency without either weakening the structure to any appreciable extent or preventing the non-resilient absorption of shock loads by a projection 22, since upon distortion of the corrugation 26 to its maximum extent, i.e. bottoming, the projecttion will react to shock loads as before.

The package as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, then, provides a unique energy absorbing suspension for protection during shipment or other handling of an article, such as an electrical appliance, for instance, by supporting its easily damaged, usually chrome-plated outer surfaces in contact over a substantial area with a relatively soft, deformable molded pulp surface which will not scratch it under any conditions and yet which will normally rigidly support it. Furthermore, the outer walls, together with the projection Walls, completely surround the article and, upon sealing of the edges of the package, so prevent entry of dirt, water and the like which might damage it to the extent of rendering it unsaleable.

In FIGS. S-8 is shown a novel package according to the present invention, made up of two identical molded pulp package halves, again of generally uniform wall thickness throughout, but especially adapted for enclosing and suspending a conventional watt hour meter having a glass cup-like forward portion and an enlarged cylindrical rear portion usually with four terminals protruding therefrom spaced from the vertical center line of the circular rear face of the instrument. Such meters are relatively fragile, particularly in regard to the bearings of their rotating elements, and must be protected against high g loads which are likely to occur during shipment. Furthermore, since meter packages are generally stacked for storage and shipment, it is important that the weight of the meters in the upper layers of a stack not be imposed upon the meters in the lower layers, but rather be taken by the walls of the packages themselves.

Referring specifically to FIGS. 5-8 then, the integrally molded package half 40 therein shown has an interrupted generally flat bottom 42, side walls 44, and front and rear Walls 46 and 48 respectively, with a turned-out horizontal flange 50 extending around the open end of the package half 40. A plurality of hollow, entirely enclosed meter suspending structures integrally molded into the package at the juncture of the bottom 42 and walls 44, 46 and 48. serve not only .to support the meter in accordance with the principals of the invention but also to stiffen the outer walls and bottom of the package by acting as stiffening members positioned perpendicularly both to said bottom and sides and extending inwardly therefrom. As herein shown, such meter suspending structures are six in number for each half package 40, including two for each side wall 44, a forward projection 52 for supporting. the glass cup portion C of the meter M and a rearward projection 54 for supporting the cylindrical rear portion R of the meter M, and a projection 56 and 58 for each of the front and rear walls respectively, all at the juncture of said walls with bottom 4-2. Each of said projections are generally similar with a pair of spaced end walls 62 acting as stiffening means with a connecting Wall 64 extending along the entire length of said end walls interconnecting both them and the bottom 42 and outer wall tions 52 and 54 are arcuate to support the cup portion and rim portion of the meter respectively, with the latter having a greater radius of curvature than the former, and the forward projection 56 is also curved about the edge of the cup-like end of the meter. The rear projection 58 is generally straight and narrow enough so that the meter terminals project beyond it without touching it.

In use, a meter M will be supported within a pair of package halves 40 as shown in FIGS. 6-8, with all of its parts out of contact with the outer Walls and suspended against breakage in accordance with the principles of the invention. Furthermore, by sealing together the opposing flanges 50 of the package halves, as by a suitable adhesive, the meter will also be protected against dust or water damage.

A related package capable of enclosing and suspending four individual watt hour meters is shown in FIGS. 9-12. Such package also has the advantage of being able to handle meters having cup-like glass portions of differing overall lengths presently common in the industry. This is accomplished in the structure of FIGS. 9-l2 by supporting the meters against movement in a forward direction parallel to their axes at their rim portions, enabling the omission of a supporting projection in contact with the front face of the glass cup-like portion of the meter. Thus, as shown in FIGS. 9-12, .the four meterhalf package 70 has a bottom 72, side walls 74, and end walls 76 as well as a plurality of projections positioned at the juncture of the bottom and the walls which serve inde pendently to support the meters spaced from one another and the side walls. In addition, further projections are provided which extend upwardly from bottom 72. Thus,

as shown best in FIG.- 11, a generally straight sided 'upstanding projection 80 is positioned midway between end walls 76 generally along the common center line of each of the pairs of meters arranged in back-to-back relationship with said projection 80 maintaining them including their terminals out of contact with one another. Further projections, one adjacent each of end walls 76 along said common centerline, are also provided for supporting away from the bottom the glass cup-like end of the meters and such projections, by virtue of their spaced Walls 81 extending perpendicularly to end walls 76 and bottom 72 and their meter supporting wall 82 extending therebetween, also serve to stiffen the package.

For supporting the cylindrical rim of the meter, steppedarcuate surfaces are provided on each side of said centerline for each of said pairs of meters with the arcuate surfaces 84 of greater radius adjacent projection 80 and with the arcuate surfaces of lesser radius 86 spaced from surfaces 84 by a radially extending wall 85 which is adapted to retain the forward face of the rim portion of a meter. The surfaces adjacent the side walls 74 of the half package are in the form of projections at thejuncture of said side walls and bottom and have spaced stilfening Walls 83 and 87 adjacent surfaces 84 and 86 respectively. The arcuate surfaces adjacentthe center of the package take the form of'a pair of upstanding projections 90, each supporting at one side thereof on said arcuate surfaces 84 and 86 a pair of meters in side-by-side relationship adequately spaced from one another, with such projections 90 having inner opposed stiffening walls 89 spaced from one another and projecting upwardly from bottom 72 to the edge of arcuate surfaces 84-and outer stiffening Walls 91 similarly projecting upwardly to the edge of arcuate surfaces 86. Preferably, a stiffening projection 94 of inverted U shape extends upwardly from bottom 72 between each of outer stiffening walls 90 and end walls 76.

In use, as best shown in FIG. 11, four meters may be supported within a pair of package halves 70, and meters having cup-like glass portions of different lengths may be accommodated. For example, in FIG. 11 the package half of the invention is shown as supporting two meters M and M' of different length, the meters in each case being restrained againstmovement in a direction to-.

ward an end wall 76 by virtue of contact of thefowrard face of their rim-like portions with surface 85, thus keeping the forward face of their cup-like glass portions spaced from end wall 76 at all times.

It will be obvious to those skilled in the art that various changes may be made without departing from the spirit of the invention and, therefore, the invention is not limited to what is shown in the drawings and described in the specification but only as indicated in the appended claims.

What is claimed is:

1. A molded pulp container for packaging articles, comprising a unitary molded pulp sheet adapted to enclose an article tobe packaged on all sides thereof, said sheet having interconnected generally flat sections forming container walls on each of the enclosed sides of the article, each of said sheet sections having at least one relatively small, centrally positioned, inwardly extending, integrally molded projection adapted to engage a portion ofthe packaged article and to suspend the article out of contact with the container walls, said projections being deformable progressively when a predetermined load force is exceeded, thereby cushioning the packaged article and conforming to the shape thereof and each of said projections comprising a tapered truncated polyhedron subdivided intermediate its height to provide a plurality of separateupper polyhedron segments having flattened apex ends and being interconnected on a common projecting base. i

2. The container defined by claim 1, wherein the molded projections are truncated polyhedrons of pyramidical configuration diminishing in cross section outwardly to generally square flattened smaller ends which are adapted to engage the packaged article.

3. The container defined by claim 2, wherein each of the sheet sections is provided with a corrugation molded therein and completely surrounding the base portions of the projections thereon, thereby providing increased resiliency to the suspension support of said projections in engagement with the packaged article.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS Emery Dec. 9, 1958

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2217455 *Nov 20, 1937Oct 8, 1940Hawley Products Company IncPackage
US2231981 *Apr 20, 1936Feb 18, 1941Zalkind PhilipDish insulation member
US2758772 *Jun 2, 1952Aug 14, 1956Keyes Fibre CoPack for books and the like
US2808976 *Oct 30, 1956Oct 8, 1957Chaplin CorpMolded pulp set-up box
US2863595 *Nov 23, 1953Dec 9, 1958Keyes Fibre CoMolded pulp packaging members
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3170571 *Aug 31, 1962Feb 23, 1965Corning Glass WorksPackaging and display tray
US3181698 *Aug 31, 1962May 4, 1965Corning Glass WorksPackaging and display device
US4778056 *Aug 14, 1987Oct 18, 1988Eastman Kodak CompanyContainer adapter
US5156277 *Apr 30, 1991Oct 20, 1992Gunter Witz AgPackage for consumer goods susceptible to shock
US5262802 *Sep 17, 1990Nov 16, 1993Canon Kabushiki KaishaRecording head assembly with single sealing member for ejection outlets and for an air vent
US5806683 *Dec 16, 1996Sep 15, 1998Gale; Gregory W.Wrapped package and method using molded fiber inner structure
US5850238 *Aug 13, 1993Dec 15, 1998Canon Kabushiki KaishaRecording head with cover
US5975300 *Jun 26, 1997Nov 2, 1999Gale; Gregory W.Shipping carton for glass bottles and pulp inserts for use therein and combination thereof
US6082546 *Dec 11, 1998Jul 4, 2000Acer Peripherals, Inc.Shock-resistant container
US6345720 *Dec 11, 2000Feb 12, 2002Advanced Micro Devices, Inc.Packaging tray
US6997318 *Feb 8, 2001Feb 14, 2006Lg.Philips Lcd Co., Ltd.Packing apparatus for liquid crystal display modules
US20010019370 *Feb 8, 2001Sep 6, 2001Sun-Im ParkPacking apparatus for liquid crystal display modules
US20070138047 *Jan 26, 2005Jun 21, 2007Keyes Fibre CorporationTray for protective packaging
EP0418828A1 *Sep 18, 1990Mar 27, 1991Canon Kabushiki KaishaRecording head with cover
EP0563426A1 *Apr 2, 1992Oct 6, 1993Hans Dr. ViessmannPackage
EP0605385A2 *Sep 18, 1990Jul 6, 1994Canon Kabushiki KaishaRecording head with cover
EP0605385A3 *Sep 18, 1990Dec 28, 1994Canon KkRecording head with cover.
WO1989002860A1 *Sep 23, 1988Apr 6, 1989Ncr CorporationFolded container for packaging electronic devices
WO1998026996A1 *Dec 11, 1997Jun 25, 1998Gale Gregory WWrapped package and method using molded fiber inner structure
U.S. Classification229/406, 206/521
International ClassificationB65D81/02
Cooperative ClassificationB65D81/025
European ClassificationB65D81/02B