US 3101870 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Aug. 27, 1963 T. E. BETNER FILM SEALED CONTAINER WITH POURING SPOUT Filed Oct. 12, 1960 United States Patent 3,101,870 FILM SEALED CONTAINER WITH POURING SPOUT Thomas E. Betner, Bryn Mawr, Pa., assignor to Plastematic Corporation, Maivern, Pa., a corporation of Pennsylvania Filed Oct. 12, 1960, Ser. No. 62,154 4 Claims. (Cl. 2221[i7) This invention relates to sealed plastic containers having a pouring spout.
in accordance with the present invention, the open end of the plastic container body is provided with .a pouring spout bounded by a local integral tear-oif head or flange. A plastic film member is peripherally heat-scaled to the top edge of the container body except along the spout where it is heat-sealed to the tear-ofi head of the spout. The film thus forms a sealing cover protecting the con tainer contents until the time for utilization of at least a portion thereof. The spout is uncovered for pouring by the tearing oil of its head or flange from the body of the container, the cover film remaining sealed to the spouts tear-off flange and to the top of the container body. The flange as torn from the spout and that portion of the film heat-sealed to the flange forms a spout cover which can be re-closed over the spout so completing closure of the container top for protection of the unused contents.
The invention further resides in plastic containers having features of novelty and utility hereinafter described and claimed.
For a more complete understanding of the invention, reference is made in the following description of embodiments thereof to the attached drawings in which:
FIG. 1 is a top plan view of a container body of the pitcher type;
FIG. 2 is a side elevational view, partly in section, of the container body; of FIG. 1 with the cover film sealed the eto;
FIG. 3 is a fragmentary sectional view, on enlarged scale, of the sealed pouring spout of MG. 2;
FIG. 4 is a sectional detail view showing the pouring spout of FIG. 3 after unsealing;
FIG. 5 is a top plan view of a container body of the carton type;
FIG. 6 is aside elevational view, partly in section, and Within the lower portion omitted, of the container body of FIG. 5 with the cover film applied thereto;
FIG. 7 is a fragmentary sectional view, on enlarged scale, of the sealed pouring spout of HG. 6; and
FIG. 8 is a sectional detail view showing the pouring spout of FIG. 7 after unsealing.
Referring to FIGS. 1 and )2, the body 10 of the con tainer 11 is formed, as by molding, of plastic material such as polypropylene, various types of polyethylene, or the like. The open end of this pitcher-shaped container has an integral trough-shaped spout 12 bounded by a local integral tear-off flange "13 which extends downwardly from the upper edge or lip of the spout. The inner boundary of this tear-off flange is preferably defined by a groove 14 which on the upper face of the flange follows the contour of the junction between the spout and the lower face of the flange. When polypropylene or similarly tough plastic is used, it is also desirable that there be an opposed groove 15 (FIG. 3) at the junction of the spout and the lower face of the tear-off flange. The upper edge or lip of the spout 12 with its tear-off flange 13 is in the same plane as the rest of the open end of the container body. Preferably, the upper edge of the body 10 is provided with an integral bead 16 3,191,870 Patented Aug. 27, 1963 which merges with the tear-off flange 13 on opposite sides of the spout 12.
After the container body is filled with its intended contents, such as milk, cream, fruit juice or the like, a plastic film cover 17 is applied over the open end of the container body including the open top of spout 12 (FIG. 2). Except at the spout, the film 17 is heat-sealed throughout its peripheral area to the upper face or edge of the container body; at the spout (FIGS. 2 and 3), the film 17 is heat-sealed to the tear-ofi flange 13 bounding the spout. The film is not sealed to the lip of the spout inwardly of groove 14. Suitable film materials include polyethylene, polyethylene-coated cellophane and polypropylene or other films which have been treated with a heat-scalable solution. Thus, the contents of this pitcher-type container are hermetically confined and protected during shipment, storage and display by an inexpensive cover consisting only of a member of plastic film or other cheaper film treated to induce a heat-seal on bottom.
To open the container for pouring out of at least some of its contents, the flange i3 is torn from the spout 12 (FIG. 4) together with that portion of the film cover 17 sealed thereto, so uncovering only the spout. The cover film 17 remains heatsealed to the top of the container and to the torn-off flange: i.e., the film cover remains intact in its entirety, that portion of it heatsealed to the torn-off flange 13 now forming therewith a hinged cover 18 which can be swung downwardly to re-close the spout and so completely enclose the remaining contents of the container.
The hinge for spout cover 18 may consist only of the film material, or it may additionally include the opposite ends of the flange 13. In the latter case, the flange grooving, when provided, does not flare outwardly at the end junctions of the flange with the container body.
Particularly when the container body as thus far described is made of polypropylene, high-density polyethylone, or similarly tough plastic, it may be dillicuit to tear off the spout flange 13 without first making a starting cut with a pointed knife or similar tool. To avoid such inconvenience and also to avoid possibility of injury to the person or to the container, the flange 13 may be provided at the tip of the spout with an integral outwardly extending tab 19. When this tab is pressed sharply downwardly or upwardly, the spout is temporarily deformed and the plastic between the opposed grooves 14, 15 is so highly stressed at the spout tip that a short snap break there occurs. By now lifting the tab 19, the flange 13 easily and smoothly tears in both directions from the break to extent separating it from the spout and at the same time locally raises the film to uncover the spout.
The re-closable hinged spout cover 18 formed by the torn-cit spout flange 13 and that portion of the film 17 heat-sealed thereto can be pressed down over the spout with the inner face of the flange frictionally engaging the outer surface of the spout lip throughout its extent. The slight irregularities or roughening of these two torn surfaces enhances their frictional engagement. With the spout cover so pressed into place, it, together with the remainder of the cover film 17 still heat-sealed to the rest of the top of the container 11, is efiective to provide and maintain a liquid-tight seal during normal handling of the container incident to its use for storage of the partially depleted original contents or for other storage purposes. In such subsequent use of the container, spout cover 18 may be easily peeled open by lifting flange 13 or tab 19 at the tip of the spout.
The carton-type container 11A shown in FIGS. 5 to 8 is generally similar to and has the advantages discussed in connection with the pitcher-type container of FIGS. 1 to 4.
In this modification, the container body A is of rectangular or other cross-sectional shape having two flat adjacent sides 20, 21. As will later more clearly appear, the upper corner 12A of the container formed by these two sides provides a pouring spout. This upper corner of the container is locally bounted by an outwardly extending integral tear-ofl flange 13A. Particularly when the container is made of polypropylene or similarly tough plastic, both the upper and lower faces of the flange 13A may be grooved, as at 14A and 15A (FIG. 7) t0 define the tear-ofi' line of the flange. In all cases, it is desirable that the upper face be grooved to define such tear-line and also the inner limit of the heat-seal between flange 13A and the film cover 17 applied after filling of the container.
Except at the spout corner, the film cover 17 is heatsealed to the top edge of the container body, which is preferably beaded as indicated by 16A, to aflord suflicient heat-sealing area and for stiffening purposes. At the spout corner, the film cover 17 is heat-sealed to the tear-oil flange 13A and, as in the previously described modification, is not sealed to the lip of the spout. Thus, the beat-seal between the film and the open end of the container is peripherally continuous throughout so to provide a hermetic seal protecting the milk, oil or other liquid contents of the carton during shipment, storage and display.
To open the container 11A for the pouring out of at least some of its contents, the flange 13A is torn from the top edge of walls 20, 21 beginning at their junction point and extending therefrom in opposite directions for the length of the flange 13A along such walls.
The corner spout 12A is thus uncovered (FIG. 8) for pouring out of at least a portion of its contents. The cover film remains intact and heat-sealed to the torr1off flange and to the remainder of the top of the carton. That portion of the film heat-sealed to the torn-oft flange 13 now forms therewith a hinged cover for the spout. As in the previously described modification, the hinge for the spout cover 18A so formed may consist only of the film material or it may additionally include opposite unsevered ends of the flange 13A.
The re-closable spout cover 18A may be pressed back into place over the spout with the inner face of flange 13A frictionally engaging the outer surface of the spout lip from which it was torn. The irregularities or roughening of these surfaces, due to tearing, enhance such frictional engagement. When the spout cover is so pressed back into place, it, together with the remainder of the cover film still heat-sealed to the top of the container 11A, is effective to provide and maintain a liquid-tight seal during handling of container 11A incident to its use for storage of the partially depleted original contents or for other storage purposes.
The tab 19A is preferably provided with the flange 13A at the tip of the spout to facilitate tearing-off of the flange in initial opening of the carton and to serve as a convenient handle for opening and closing the spout in subsequent re-use of the container.
What is claimed is:
l. A sealed container comprising a plastic body formed at its open end with an integral pouring spout bounded by an integral tear-oil flange localized at the spout, and a plastic film overlying the open end of the body and peripherally heat-sealed to said open end thereof except at the spout where it is sealed to the tear-off flange of the spent to provide a sealed closure for the container, the tearing of the flange from the container body opening the spout for pouring out at least part of the container contents, the film remaining intact and peripherally sealed to the tear-oft flange of the spout and to the container body for reclosure of the container.
2. A sealed container as in claim 1 in which the integral tear-off flange of the container body extends downwardly from the lip of the spout to facilitate starting of the tear-oil of the flange and to stiffen the re-closable spout cover formed by the flange and the film remaining sealed thereto after tear-oil of the flange.
3. A sealed pitcher-type container comprising a plastic body whose open top has an outward extension forming a pouring spout bounded by an integral tear ofl flange looalized at the spout, and a plastic film lying flat over the open end of said body and peripherally heat-sealed to the open end except at the spout where it is peripherally heat-sealed to said tear-oft flange so to provide a sealed closure for the pitcher body and its spout, the tearing of said flange from the pitcher body opening the spout for pouring out of at least part of the contents of the pitcher, the tear oif flange and the portion of the film sealed thereto now forming a hinged cover for reclosure of the pitcher spout.
4. A sealed carton-type container comprising a plastic body \having adjacent straight sides, an integral tear-off flange extending from the open end of said body and there locally bounding the corner formed by said sides, and a plastic film overlying the open end of said carton body and peripherally heat-sealed thereto except at said corner where it is heat-sealed to said tear-0E flange so as to provide a sealed closure for the carton body, the tearing of said flange rfrom the carton body opening said corner thereof to provide a spout for pouring out at least part of the carton contents, the tear-off flange and the portion of the film sealed thereto now forming a hinged cover for reclosure of the corner spout.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,038,545 Damrnert Apr. 28, 1936 2,705,579 Mason Apr. 5, 1955 2,736,656 Marshall Feb. 28, 1958 2,880,859 Tupper Apr. 7, l959 2,898,003 Wilson et al. Aug. 4, 1959 2,941,660 Tupper June 21, 1960