US 3049224 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Aug. 14, 1962 J. H. FREDETTE ET AL 3,049,224
CONTAINER Filed June 5, 1959 2 sheets-sheet 1 ilnited States @arent @bien lidgd Patented Aug. 14, 1962 doseph Henry Fredette, New York, NX., William lidward Taylor, Fairiield, Conn., and Richard 'oseph White, New York, NX., assignors to American Can Company, New York, FLY., a corporation of New .iersey Filed June 3, 1959, Ser. No. 817,751 4 Claims. tCl. 20o-42) The present invention relates to containers and has particular reference to an improved dispensing container provided with a sealing diaphragm especially adapted to protect the container contents from deterioration and contamination.
There are on the market Vat the present time certain medicinal compounds, normally in the form of tablets, which absorb moisture from the air and thus must be packed in moisture-tight containers. Some of these tablets have heretofore been packed in glass bottles provided with gasketed sealing caps which form substantially hermetic and/or moistureproof seals. There is a demand, however, for a more convenient and attractive, iiat, purse-size or pocket-size container which will protect the product, and at the same time permit the controlled dispensing therefrom of a single tablet.
The present invention provides such a container, wmch comprises essentially a Shallow body for receiving the tablets, a exible, nonpermeable diaphragm secured to the upper end of the body with a pressure sensitive adhesive to provide a substantially airtight, moistureproof resealable cover for the tablets, and a rigid slidable protective cover to protect the diaphragm from physical abuse.
in order to permit controlled dispensing of the tablets,
at least one end of the body is recessed or cut away below Y a marginal end portion of the diaphragm so that the diaphragm may be easily grasped by the consumer and peeled back, preferably from one corner of the body, to thus create a triangular opening of such size that only one tablet will drop out when the container is inverted. The diaphragm may thereafter be pressed back onto the body -to reseal the container and protect its contents from exposure to the atmosphere until such time as the next tablet is to be dispensed, whereupon the diaphragm may again be peeled back and a dispensing opening again created, this operation being repeated until all of the tablets have been dispensed.
An object of the invention therefore is the provision of a flat tablet container which is provided with a substantially air and moisture-tight exible diaphragm which effectively protects the tablets throughout the normal life of the package.
Another object is the provision in such a container of a resealable diaphragm which may be peeled back from a corner of the body to create a temporary dispensing opening of a size suitable to permit the controlled dispensing of a single tablet.
Still another object is the provision of such a container wherein a sliding cover is provided to protect the diaphragm, the cover being maintained out of contact with the diaphragm while it is being slid to open or closed position in order to prevent damage to the diaphragm.
Yet another object is the provision in such container of means to hold the sliding cover in closed position and to put it under moderate tension during its sliding movement to enable the consumer to easily maintain it under control and to keep it from falling olf the container body.
Numerous other objects and advantages of the invention will be apparent as it is better understood from the following description, which, taken in connection with the accompanying drawings, discloses a preferred embodiment thereof.
Referring to the drawings:
`FIGURE 1 is `a perspective view of a container ernbodying the principles of the instant invention;
FIG. 2 is a view similar to FIG. l but showing the outer, rigid cover slid back to open position and the sealing diaphragm partially peeled back to create a dispensing opening at one corner of the container;
FIGS. 3 and 4 are sectional views on an enlarged scale taken substantially along the lines 3--3 and 4-4 of PIG. 1, respectively;
FIGS. 5 and 6 are side elevations of the container respectively showing the rigid sliding cover in closed and partly open positions, and
FIG. 7 is an enlarged fragmentary sectional detail taken substantially along the line 7 7 in FIG. 6.
As a preferred and exemplary embodiment of the invention, the drawings illustrate a container comprising a shallow tray-like body l0 which is preferably formed from a suitable stift plastic such as polystyrene, high density of polyethylene, or the like. The body l0 is preferably rectangular in shape and is formed with a fiat bottom wall i2 which is surrounded by pairs of upstanding inner end and side walls 14, 1.6, respectively, which cooperate with the wall 12 to define a shallow rectangular recess R which receives the container contents, here shown as tablets 18. The recess R is preferably so dimensioned that the contained tablets may be snugly arranged therein in a desired pattern.
At their upper ends, the inner body walls 1d, 16 are extended outwardly to form a continuous dat horizontal ledge 2o which extends completely around the body 1G. The body also is formed with opposed pairs of integral outer end and side walls numbered 22 and 24, respectively, which depend from the outer edges of the ledge 20 for substantially the full height of the body 10 and enhance its appearance by giving it a smooth external contour. As seen in FIGS. 3 and 7, at least the side walls 24 are formed with a slight inward and downward inclination for a purpose to be hereinafter explained.
The ledge 20 forms a seat for receiving a nonpermeable diaphragm 26 which is preferably of a length substantially equal to the maximum external length of the body l0, and which functions as a barrier to protect the tablets from deterioration and contamination. The diaphragm 26, in part at least, is laminated, for reasons hereafter explained, and includes an upper layer or [lamination 28 formed of a sheet of a suitable barrier material such as aluminum foil which is impervious to atmospheric moisture, air, and other gases. The invention of course is not limited to the use of a metal foil for the layer 2S, since under certain circumstances, other materials, such as films of suitable plastic materials such as saran, laminations of foil and plastics, etc., will provide the necessary protection for the tablets 13.
The diaphragm 26 is secured to the ledge 20 by means of a suitable pressure sensitive adhesive 30 l(see FIGS. 2 and 7) which is carried on the lower surface of the foil layer 23 and is so firmly united to the layer 28 that the layer 2S may be stripped from the smooth surface of the ledge 20 Without offsetting of the adhesive 30 on the ledge surface. Pressure sensitive adhesives of this type are well known in the art and may be defined as adhesives which are normally tacky or non-drying and which adhere by pressing without need of activation by water, solvents or heat. They have the property of releasably securing two surfaces together so that they may be repeatedly separated and reunited. Examples of such adhesives are disclosed in United States Patents 2,156,380, 2,328,057, 2,328,066, 2,410,053, 2,410,079 and 2,532,011.
In order to eliminate registration problems during formation and application of the diaphragm to thereby reduce the cost of the container, it is desirable to coat the entire undersurface of the foil layer 23 with the pressure sensitive adhesive 30. Since theadhesive 3) carried on the medial undersurface portions Yof the layer 2S must be kept out of contact with the tablets V13, a masking sheet 32 is provided which is pressed against the undersurface of the layer 28 and is adhered thereto through the medium of the adhesive 3) and thus becomes the lower layer of the laminated diaphragm 25. The masking sheet 32 is slightly smaller in length and width than the open upper end of the body recess R, and consequently is smaller in both length andwidth than the foil layer 28. As a consequence, the marginal edge portions of the foil layer 2S extend outwardly beyond the masking sheet 32 and the adhesive 30 carried on such marginal edge portions is not masked oi (see FIG. 2) but comes into contact with the ledge 20- to secure the diaphragm 26 in -place on the body 10.
Since the foil layer 28 is normally impervious to air and moisture, the masking sheet 32 need not be impervious, and thus may be formed of inexpensive paper stock. However, it will be realized that the masking sheet 32 may also be formed of a suitable nonpermeable material such as metal foil or a plastic film, or laminated combinations thereof.V VIn such event, the masking sheet 32 contributes tothe protection of the container contents 1S against atmospheric gases and moisture. It is thus evident that the upper layer 2S and the masking sheet 32 may be provided in various combinations of materials in order to meet any speciiic requirements necessary for the protection of the container contents. p
It is obvious that in addition to its masking function, the sheet 32 also serves to reinforce the foil layer 2S and thus increases the resistance of the diaphragm 26 to tearing and puncturing.
The preferred method of forming and applying the diaphragm 26 to the body 10 is shown vand, described in copending United States application Serial No. 818,690 led on June 4, 1959, in thename of William Edward Taylor, and entitled Method of Sealing Containers.
In order Yto further protect theA flexible diaphragm 26 from physical damage, the container is provided with a sliding metal cover 34 which completely covers the upper end of the container, including the diaphragm 26. The cover`34 comprises a flat top panel 36, the corners of which are rounded off as at 38, and a pair of opposed depending side walls 40 which at their bottom ends are formed with inwardly turned flexible tianges 42 which engage beneath the outer side walls 24 of the body 10. As bestseen in FIGS. 3 and 7, the outer body side walls 24 are slightly less in height than are the outer body end Walls 22 so that the inturned cover anges 42 in effect are recessed into the body 10.
One Vend of the cover panel 36,V which may be called its front end, is provided with an inwardly extending hem 43 while the rear end of the cover panel 32 is provided with a downwardly extending flange 44 which engages against the adjacent body end Wall 22 and thus functions as a stopV to limit the movement of the cover in one direction.
The body is provided with a pair of longitudinal side rails 46 which are positioned outwardly of the ledge and project above the -upper surface of the ledge a distance substantiallyV equal to the combined thickness of the upper diaphragm foil layer 28 and thercover hem 43. As best seen in FIGS. 5 and 6, the rails 46y are somewhat shorter than the body 10. When the cover 34 is in closed position, as seen in FIGS. 4 and 5, the undersurface ofthe cover panel 3-6 lies atly against the body side rails 46 and the bottom surface of the cover hem 43 contacts the upper surface of the laminated diaphragm 26. In order to prevent inadvertent opening of the cover,
a pair of downwardly extending rounded dimples or lugs 48 are formed in the front end of the cover panel 36 immediately adjacent the front ends of the body side rails 46 and disposed in longiutdinal alignment therewith. Thus, as seen in FIG. 5, when the cover is in closed position, these lugs 48 engage against the front ends of the rails 46 and serve as stops to inhibit movement of the cover to open position.
However, when pressure isapplied to slide the cover to open position, i.e. to the right as shown in FIGS. 2 land 6, the lugs 48 ride up on the rails 46 and raise their end of the cover against the resistance of the lexible i flanges 42, thus lifting the cover hem 43 out of engagement with the diaphragm 26 (as best seen in FIG. 7 where the hem 43 is shown in dot and dash lines) and thus increasing the frictional engagement between the cover 34 and the body 10 to a degree which inhibits complete removal of the cover from the body. This increase in frictional engagement is due to the fact that the upward movement of the cover 34 lresults in a downward exing of the inwardly turned, inherently resilient cover flanges 42 (see FIG. 7) which ilexing creates a moderate tension which holds the cover lugs 48 against the body rails `46. Excessive frictional contact between body and cover which might cause binding is prevented by the previously mentioned slight inward and downward inclination of the outer body side walls 24 which maintains these walls 24 substantially out of contact with the cover side Walls 40 (see FIGS. 3 and 7).
After the sliding cover 34 has been slid a substantial distance along the body 1t) to approximately the positionV of FIG. 2, the front edge of the diaphragm 26 is grasped by the consumer, preferably adjacent one of its corners, and the diaphragm 26 is peeled back, as shown in FIG.
2, to create a triangular opening which is suiciently large Y in diameter to permit a single tablet'18 to fall out when the container is inverted. To facilitate formation of the dispensing opening, at least one corner of the lfront end of the body 10 is formed with a bevel or recess 50 which underlies the front marginal portion of the diaphragm 26 so that this portion is free and can be easily grasped by the consumer. As seen in the drawings, the recess 50 preferably extends the full width of the container body 10 so that either front corner of the diaphragm 26 may be grasped and peeled back to create the dispensing opening. As also seen in the drawings, a second bevel or recess 52 is provided at the rear end of the body so that a particular end of the body 10 need not be registered with a particular end of the cover 34 during assembly of these parts. Y
After the dispensing opening has thus been created and one or more tablets 18 dispensed as needed, the diaphragm 26 is manually pressed back onto the ledge 2) to thereby reseal the body 10 and protect the tablets until such time as the next one is desired. This process may be repeated each time a tablet is desired until such time as all the tablets within the container have been consumed.
It is thought that the invention and many of its attendant advantages will be understood from the foregoing description, and it will be apparent that various changes may be made in the form, constructionrand arrangement of the parts Without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention or sacrificing all of its material advantages, the form hereinbefore described being merely a preferred embodiment thereof.
l. A slip cover dispensing container, comprising a rectangular body including opposed side and end Walls `dening a shallow rectangular recess for the container contents, the upper ends of said side walls terminating in a pair of upstanding parallel rails, a at horizontal peripheral ledge on said body surrounding said recess inwardly of said rails, a iiexible diaphragm overlying said recess and sealingly engaging said peripheral body ledge, said diaphragm including an outer flat impervious sheet pressure sealed to said ledge and an inner flat masking sheet adhesively secured to said outer sheet substantially lling said rectangular body recess to protect the container contents, whereby said diaphragm may be pressed into and pulled out of adhesively secured contact with said peripheral ledge respectively to conceal the container contents and to partially expose the same for dispensing at a corner of the container, and a sliding cover for said body, said cover including a hat top panel overlying said body rails and having depending side walls provided with inturned portions disposed beneath said body side walls to thereby slidably mount said cover on said body with said cover panel spaced above said diaphragm, and means on said top panel engaging against the front ends of said body rails when said cover is in closed position to prevent inadvertent sliding of the cover to open position, said means riding up and over said body rail front ends into overlying engagement with the top of said rails when the 3. The slip cover container of claim 2, wherein said body is formed of flexible plastic material and one of said body end walls is provided at its upper end with a beveled portion beneath the adacent edge of said flexible diaphragm thereby exposing the same to facilitate manual grasping thereof to peel the diaphragm from its sealed engagernent with said peripheral body ledge.
4. The slip cover container of claim l wherein the inner faces of said cover side walls are substantially equal in height to the exterior faces of said body side walls, whereby said inturned portions lleX downwardly when said cover is shifted to open position to thereby tension the same.
References Qited in the .file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,064,241 Batdorf Dec. 15, 1936 2,093,508 Batdorf Sept. 21, 1937 2,101,687 Paul Dec. 7, 1937 2,295,747 Mills Sept. 15, 1942 2,719,663 MeyerJagenberg Oct. 4, 1955 2,738,916 Peters lar. 20, 1956 FOREIGN PATENTS 9l6,634 Germany Aug. 12, 1954