US 3156352 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Nov. 10, 1964 1.. J. HAYHURST 3,156,352
MULTI-COMPARTMENT PACKAGE Filed Aug. 6, 1962 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 INVENTOR. Lew/ls .7. Hay/yum Nov. 10, 1964 L. J. HAYHURST MULTI-COMPAR'I'MENT PACKAGE Filed Aug. 6, 1962 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 HHHI IIHHHIIWLHUW Lew/'5 J. Hay/70rd 4 52:1! I g? I t I I g 2/ W Fig. 12
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United States Patent Gflice 3,155,352 Patented Nov. 10, 1964 3,156,352 MULTI-COMIARTMENT PACKAGE Lewis J. Hayhurst, San Carlos, Califl, assignor to Foremost Dairies, Inc., San Francisco, Calif., a corporation of New York Filed Aug. 6, 1962, Ser. No. 214300 4 Claims. (Cl. 206-47) This invention relates generally to packages formed of flexible sheet materials, such as plastic, coated paper or coated foil. More particularly, the invention pertains to packages of this type which have a plurality of compartments separated by a seal and arranged whereby the seal can be disrupted to permit mixing of the several materials, before they are dispensed from the package.
Multi-compartment packages such as have been made in the past, with breakaway sealing means between compartments, have been subject to certain disadvantages. One package of this kind utilizes a heat seal between the separate compartments, and this seal is disrupted by pinching the sidewalls between the fingers to secure a grip, after which the sidewalls are pulled apart to disrupt the seal. This type of package is unsatisfactory because it is quite difficult for the average consumer to obtain an effective grip upon the sidewalls, and this difficulty becomes increasingly serious when the heavier sheet materials are used. Another type of package which has been proposed utilizes pressure applied to a liquid ingredient in one compartment to extend suflicient force to disrupt a barrier seal. While a package of this type may be somewhat simpler to use, it requires careful control of the force required to break the barrier, because if too much force is required, then the walls of the package may be broken. Also it has been noted that consumers hesitate to squeeze or press upon one compartment with sutlicient force to disrupt the barrier, for fear of disrupting the entire package.
' In general it is the object of the present invention to provide an improved multi-compartment package which has breakaway seal means between the compartments, but which avoids the difficulties outlined above with prior packages.
Another object of the invention is to provide a package of the above character which provides convenient pull tabs for disrupting the seal, but which can be readily manufactured with the pull tabs constituting a part of the material from which the package is made.
Another object of the invention is to provide a multicompartment package construction which readily lends itself to machine manufacturing methods.
Additional objects and features of the invention will appear from the following description of which the preferred embodiments have been set forth in detail in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.
Referring to the drawings:
FIGURE 1 is a perspective View illustrating one embodiment of my invention.
FIGURE 2 is a detail in section on an enlarged scale, illustrating one step in the manufacture of the package.
FIGURE 3 is a cross-sectional detail on an enlarged scale taken along the section line 33 of FIGURE 1.
FIGURE 4 is a detail in section like FIGURE 3, but illustrating the manner in which the tabs are used to disrupt the seal.
FIGURE 5 is a cross-sectional view similar to FIG- URE 3, but illustrating another embodiment.
FIGURE 6 is a View like FIGURE 3 but illustrating another embodiment.
FIGURES 7 and 8 are cross-sectional details on an enlarged scale, illustrating steps in the manufacture of the arrangement shown in FIGURE 6.
FIGURE 9 is a detail showing one portion of the package utilizing the arrangement shown in FIGURE 6.
FIGURE 10 illustrates how the package FIGURES 6 and 9 is used by the consumer. 7
FIGURE 11 is a side elevational view in section illustrating a S-compartment package.
FIGURE 12 is an enlarged detail in section illustrating the manufacture of the package shown in FIG- URE 11.
FIGURE 13 illustrates construction of a pouch which is open along one edge, and which after being filled and sealed, provides a package as shown in FIGURE 1.
FIGURES 1-4 illustrate one embodiment of my invention which utilizes two separate compartments. The sheet material used for the forming of this package can be a suitable thermoplastic polymeric film, capable of being heat sealed, or it may be made of paper or metal foil with a heat scalable plastic coating. So-called plastic laminates can be employed, such as a sheet material having one plastic layer for lending strength, another layer to make the sheet completely impervious, and a third surface layer having heat sealing properties. All of such materials have a fair degree of flexibility and may be handled and folded in processing machinery. The package shown in FIGURE 1 is constructed of two such sheets, 16a and 10b, which are joined by heat seals at their longitudinal and end edges 11 and 12. The two side walls of the package are provided with folded pull tabs 13a and 13b, which extend between the edges 11. Parallel heat seals 14 also extend between the edges 11, and serve to separate the package into the two compartments A and B.
One way in which the pull tabs 13a and 13b can be formed is shown in FIGURES 2 and 3. As shown in FIGURE 2 before the two sheets 19a and lilb are joined at their edges, they are folded upon themselves, and the heat seals 14 applied. Thereafter the folds are bent against the sides of the package in the manner shown in FIGURE 3, and the edges of the sheet heat sealed together, to complete the package. The ends of the tabs 13a and 13b can be separately heat sealed, but preferably they are heat sealed fiat against and thus incorporated with the seals 11 as shown in FIGURE 1.
Before sealing is completed, it is of course understood that separate ingredients are placed in compartments A and B, as for example, a powdered material like dried milk in compartment A, and a liquid material like distilled water in compartment B. When a consumer desires to use a package, the tabs 13a and 131) are pulled outwardly in the manner shown in FIGURE 4. The tabs are grasped by the fingers and pull applied in opposite directions, whereby sufficient force is exerted to disrupt or break away the seals 14. It will be evident in this connection that the seals 14- must be constructed in such a manner that they can be disrupted with forces considerably less than that required to break the sidewalls. The strength of the seals 14 can be controlled by limiting the area of the heat seal, and by such other factors as the embossing on the heat sealing bars, the temperature employed for the sealing operation, the pressure between the heat sealing bars, and by proper selection of the sheet material employed. In practice it has been found satisfactory to utilize laminated sheet material having a surfacing of heat scalable material which has substantially less strength than the remainder of the sheet. A heat seal formed between two sheets having such coatings can be readily disrupted when forces are applied substantially less than that required to break the sheets. Assuming that the sheet material is coated paper or foil, here again the coating can be selected to control the forces required within practical limits.
As seen in FIGURE 4, the forces are not applied in shear to the seal areas, but the wall portions extending from one edge of each seal area are pulled in opposite directions to strip or peel away the walls along the seal area.
In some instances it may be desirable to employ breakaway heat seals comprising two or more narrow parallel seals, in place of sealing in one area. Such seals may be in close proximity but on separate areas, whereby the breakaway force required is determined by each narrow area, the plurality of areas affording a factor of safety.
It will be evident that the package described above has a number of desirable properties. Adequate pull tabs are provided, but these are made from the same sheet material as that used to form the package. Because adequate forces can be applied manually, the seals 14 can be of proper strength to withstand shipment and handling, without accidental breakage. The construction lends itself to quantity manufacturing in bag or package making machinery, because it is only necessary to incorporate the folds in the sheet materials, and to incorate such folds in the manner described above. Because the seals are disrupted by a stripping away action in place of applying forces in shear, the seals can be quite stronge without requiring excessive manual forces for the break away operation.
In the embodiment described above the tabs are folded over the seals 14. It is also possible as shown in FIGURE 5, to fold the tabs into the area between the seals 14, provided the material from which the package is made is of sufficient thinness. The folded tabs in FIGURE are designated 16a and 16b. Note that they are folded within the area between the seals 14. The embodiment of FIGURE 5 is utilized in the same fashion as the first described embodiment.
Instead of utilizing two heat seals 14, it is possible to utilize a single seal, as illustrated in FIGURES 6-10. As shown in FIGURE 6, the folded tabs 17a and 17!) are disposed on one side of the heat seal 18. As indicated in FIGURE 7, before the two sheets 10a and 1012 are joined at their edges, they are folded upon themselves, and heat sealed along the regions 19a and 1%, whereby the folds are closed. Thereafter as shown in FIGURE 8, in the final construction of the package, the two tabs 17a and 17b are folded along the sides of the sheets 10a and 10b, on the same side of the seal 18. As shown in FIGURE 9, when the package is viewed in plan, the
tabs 117a and 17b are located on one side of the separating seal 18, and here again the ends of the tabs are incorporated in the edge seals 11.
FIGURE 10 illustrates how the package of FIGURES 69 can be used. The tabs 17a and 17b are bent outwardly, then pulled in opposite directions to break the seal 18. It will be evident that the tab seals.19 prevent entrance of material from the package into the tabs, and in addition they facilitate handling of the sheets in package forming machines.
In the embodiment of FIGURES 11 and 12, it is assumed that the tabs are formed in the same manner as shown in FIGURE 6. However, two breakaway seals 21 are formed, a substantial distance apart, and closed tabs 17a and 17b are located intermediate these folds. As shown in FIGURE 11, a package formed in this manner provides the three compartments, A, B, and C, the latter being between the seals 21.
It will be evident the various manufacturing methods and machines can be used for making my package. Most of such machines utilize continuous webs of sheet material, and the ingredients may be introduced into the compartments before the heat seal is completed. In some instances it may be desirable to construct multiple compartment bags or pouches, of the type illustrated in FIGURE 13. The tabs 13a and 13b and the seals 14,
are formed in this instance in the same manner as shown in FIGURES 13. It will be noted that the compartments A and B are opened along one edge. After being filled with the materials desired, either manually or by machine, the open end of this pouch is heat sealed so that the final package is the same as in FIGURE 1.
As previously stated, my package can be used with a wide variety of materials, wherever it is desired to package two or more materials or ingredients, which are to be kept separate until intermixed by the consumer. Previous reference has been made to the packaging of milk powder in one compartment, and distilled water in the other. When these two materials are intermixed a potable milk is formed, which can be removed from the package, by clipping off one corner. Other beverages or liquid food materials can be similarly packaged, such as powdered cocoa, soup stock and the like in one compartment, and water in the other. Dehydrated foods can be packaged in one compartment, and suficient distilled water in the other compartment to effect rehydration when the compartments are joined. Dry premixes containing cereal flour can be placed in one compartment, and sufficient distilled water in the other compartment to form a batter when the ingredients are intermixed. A suitable oil, like olive oil can be placed in one compartment, and vinegar in the other compartment, thereby forming a salad dressing when the two ingredients are intermixed. For special salad dressings a dried condiment can be placed in a third compartment. As examples of industrial applications, reference can be made to epoxy resins. Thus a resin in liquid form can be placed in one compartment, and an activator in the other compartment, whereby when the two ingredients .are intermixed, the mixture, can be used as a self-setting resin. Also, if desired, such a liquid resin can be placed in one compartment, an activator in the second compartment, and a blowing agent in a third compartment. By the intermixing of these ingredients a so-callcd resin foam system is provided.
1. A multi-compartment package comprising: opposed flexible sheet material side walls sealed together along their end and longitudinal edges; a transverse breakaway seal between said end edges and extending from one longitudinal edge to the other to divide said package into at least two compartments; each of said side walls being folded upon itself to form a generally U-shaped pull tab extending outwardly therefrom and transversely thereacross adjacent said breakaway seal; said pull tabs being opposite each other and on the same side of said breakaway seal.
2. A package as defined in claim 1 wherein the portions of each of said pull tabs, adjacent its respective side wall, are sealed together.
3. A package as defined in claim 1 wherein said pull tabs are arranged to lie fiat against their respective walls and wherein the ends of said pull tabs are incorporated in the seals along the longitudinal edges of said walls.
4. A package as defined in claim 1 having at least two of said transverse breakaway seals thereacross and spaced apart to define a third compartment therebetween; said pull tabs being between said breakaway seals.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,756,875 Yochim July 31, 1956 2,771,724 Hosier NOV. 27, 1956 2,800,269 Smith July 23, 1957 2,932,385 Bollmeier Apr. 12, 1960 2,973,087 Rohdin Feb. 28, 1961