US 3207420 A
Abstract available in
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Sept. 21, 1965 3,207,420
OCTAVIANO DE J. NAVARRETE-KINDELAN CONTAINER Filed May 19, 1964 3 Sheets-Sheet 1 ME 8 5 a I M HH Sept. 21, 1965 3,207,420
OCTAVIANO DE J. NAVARRETEKINDELAN CONTAINER 5 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed May 19, 1964 Sept. 21, 1965 3,207,420
OCTAVIANO DE J. NAVARRETE-KINDELAN CONTAINER Filed May 19, 1964 3 Sheets-Sheet 3 FIG l5 1 STATION I 40:
FIG l6 STATION 1 H618 sTAT|0N 11 FIG]? STATION 11 8 sTAT|oNs 1,121,111, PUNCHING OR REPEAT sTATToNs 11,111,111,
T SCORING AT RIGHT ANGLES FIG|9 STATION 111 FIGZO STATION IY FIG. 2|
Fl G122 STATION m United States Patent 3,207,420 CONTAINER Octaviano de J. Navarrete-Kindelan, 2214 Park Blvd., Santurce, Puerto Rico Filed May 19, 1964, Ser. No. 368,503 9 Claims. (Cl. 229-56) This invention relates to the fluid packaging art. More specifically, this invention relates to an improved family of containers wherein a relatively large volume of at least one of great variety of materials in fluid form may be inserted into a container .according to the invention and thereafter selectively withdrawn in relatively smaller amounts.
The word fluid as used in describing this invention is intended to be given its broadest possible connotation; by way of example, it is intended to encompass (a) liquids in a wide range of viscosities which may contain a wide range of suspended and dissolved solids, and (b) solids in very finely ground form. The instant invention is directed for use with any substance which (a) may be packaged by container structures such as those subsequently described, and (b) has at least one physical state, or may be placed in a physical condition, in which it may flow. Thi invention, as will hereinafter be described in detail, may be produced in many different forms, each having particularly desirable features. Also, as used in this specification, the word substance is intended to include a mixture of substances in fluid :and/ or solidified form.
In the use of modern day containers, it is well known to package products in containers whose size is scaled to the amount of the product which it may be anticipated will be consumed in unit amounts. For example, because the anticipated quantity of grass seed consumption by the average home owner may generally be anticipated to be in multiples of five pounds, it is common practice for grass seed companies to package their products in five (5 pound bags. Individual doses of a great number of medications have been similarly packaged in recent times.
More recently, containers have been developed which hold, in separate compartments, from two to one hundred or more individual unit amounts of the packaged product. In such containers the packaged product will most commonly be in solid, pill-like form.
The use of these well known containers has been limited and restricted for two reasons, one relating to considerations of cost in the creation of these containers and the other relating to the physical state of the packaged product. It has been found that the cost of a container which is designed to package in separate container compartments a large number of inexpensive products will frequently approximate or even exceed the actual cost of the packaged product. This high cost factor is particularly noticeable in those instances where the capacity of the package is small. It can be seen, therefore, that from an economic view point the use of such containers, as presently known, can only be justified in those instances where the prime reason for such packaging is not cost, e.g. where sanitary requirements dictate their use or where the cost of such packaging is economically advisable because of increased demand for the product as thus packaged.
When the substance to be packaged is in fluid form, problems in addition to those just described have been experienced by workers in the art. These problems have been particularly vexatious where it has been desired to withdraw the packaged substance in relatively small quantities in the fluid state. In the latter case, it has been found necessary to provide individual fluid-tight chambers or compartments in the container to avoid premature withdrawal of unwanted portions of the packaged substance. Additional problems are presented in the case of packaging fluids which relate to simple-to-construct but reliable package sealing means which must be provided to insure that none of the fluid initially packaged will subsequently be prematurely lost. Many attempts have made by persons active in the packaging art to provide a container which i susceptible to high-speed, low-waste initial packaging of substances in fluid form when packaged and the selective withdrawal of portions of the substance unaccompanied by waste or fluid handling problems. For one reason or another, none of these attempts has been found completely suitable nor has any been universally used, as far as is known.
According to the present invention, it has been found that a wide range of substances in fluid or fluid-like form may be packaged in a practical, disposable container which may readily admit a large volume of the substance to be packaged in a single, rapid and reliable filling operation with little or no resulting waste.
It is a feature of this invention that containers may be constructed from readily available packaging materials. It is a further feature of thi invention that containers may be constructed which are particularly suitable for dispensing packaged substances in relatively small, individual quantities. It is also a feature of this invention that with but slight modifications to the basic principles of the invention, containers may be adapted to dispense their contents in either fluid or solidified form. It is yet another feature of the invention that the cost of containers according to the present invention may be maintained at such a low level that the ultimate disposal thereof is of no consequence in view of the advantages such containers possess over present packaging units. It is still another feature of the invention that containers according to the invention may be constructed in a wide variety of shapes from a variety of materials so as to be suitable to achieve the objects which follow with respect to a wide range of substances.
It is accordingly, a primary object of the present invention to provide an improved container, disposable in form, which may be filled easily and simply with a substance in fluid form, and yet with geat facility permit the closure of the container and the selective withdrawal of the contents thereof in fluid or solidified form as desired.
It is another object of the invention to provide a container of the foregoing type which may be constructed at low cost by means of readily available materials which nevertheless will permit suitable operation of the cont-ainer according to the invention.
It is a further object of the invention to provide fluid containers of the foregoing type which are adapted to be constructed in a wide range of sizes and shapes and which may readily be useable with household and/ or industrial substances which when in fluid form have a wide range of viscosities and which may include almost any proportion of suspended and/ or dissolved solids.
It is a further object of the invention to provide a container the encasing walls of which need not be especially shaped to adapt the container for use as a package for a wide range of substances when in fluid or solidified form.
It is still another object of the invention to provide a contained which may be constructed in completed form prior to the entry of the packaged substance therein and which may be used to dispense the substance in selective, relatively small amounts in solidified form.
It is also an object of the invention to provide a particularly useful fluid seal mechanism which may be constructed so as to be seal maintaining during use and/or semi-automatic in operation.
It is yet another object of the invention to provide a simple method by which multi-compartment containers according to the invention may be readily filled with a fluid substance and thereafter sealed so as to premit the withdrawal of selected, relatively small, portions of the substance in the fluid state.
These and further objects and advantages of the invention will become more apparent upon reference to the following specification, claims and appended drawings wherein:
FIGURE 1 is'an isometric view of one form of container according to the present invention showing in dotted line a perforated panel-type fluid entry structure.
FIGURE 2 is a schematic layout in plan of the internal fluid-flow controlling structure of the container of FIGURE 1 with the position of a semi-automatically sealing, perforated, panel-type fluid entry shown schematically in dotted line.
FIGURE 3 is a schematic layout in plan of a container similar to that of FIGURE 2, incorporating, however, a diflerent fluid-flow-controlling structure.
FIGURE 4 is a schematic layout in plan similar to that of FIGURE 2 incorporating another fluid-flow-controlling structure and also a different fluid-entry structure.
FIGURE 5 is a schematic layout in plan similar to that of FIGURE 2 incorporating yet another fluid-flow-controlling structure and a fluid entry structure similar to that shown in FIGURE 4. 7
FIGURE 6 is a schematic layout in plan similar to that of FIGURE 2 incorporating still another diflerent fluidflow-controlling structure and a fluid entry structure similar to that shown in FIGURE 4.
FIGURE 7 is a schematic layout in plan of a fluidflow-controlling structure wherein the flow of fluid substantially throughout the container is in one serpentine flow path and selective removal of portions of the fluid when in solidified form is facilitated by tear strips or strings. schematically shown in FIGURE 7 is a semiautomatic fluid seal mechanism of the same general type as that shown in FIGURES l-3.
FIGURE 8 is a schematic layout in plan of another form of container according to the present invention.
FIGURE'9 is an isometric exploded view of one form of a self-sealing fluid entry structure showing the path of fluid therethrough.
FIGURE 10 is a sectioned isometric detail view, taken along section line A-A of FIGURE 9 of the self-sealing fluid entry structure of FIGURE 9 showing the path of fluid therethrough.
I FIGURE 11 is an isometric exploded view of another self-sealing fluid entry structure showing the path offluid therethrough.
FIGURE 12 is a sectioned isometric detail view, taken along section line BB of FIGURE 11, of the self-sealing fluid entry structure of FIGURE 11 showing the path of fluid therethrough.
FIGURE 13 is a schematic side view of another selfsealing fluid entry structure showing the path of fluid therethrough.
FIGURE 14 is a schematic side view of yet another self-sealing fluid entrystructure showing the path of fluid therethrough.
FIGURES 15 through 24 depict the successive steps involved in one method by which the interconnecting fluid passageways of a container such as that of FIGURE 8 may be closed.
FIGURE 15 is a sectioned view taken along section AA of FIGURE 8 depicting the condition of the container at Station I of the fluid passageway closing process.
FIGURE 16 is a sectioned view takenval-ong section BB of FIGURE 8 also depicting the condition of the container at Station I of the-fluid passagewayclosing process.
FIGURE 17 is a sectioned view of the container sealing press assembly and the container of FIGURE 8, the section as to the container being taken along a section line similar to that of BB of FIGURE 8. FIGURE 17 4- depicts the condition of the container at Station II of the fluid passageway closing process.
FIGURE 18 is another sectioned view of the container Sealing press assembly and the container of FIGURE 8, the section as to the container taken along a section line similar to that of BB of FIGURE 8. FIGURE 18 depicts the condition of the container at Station III of the fluid passageway closing process.
FIGURE 19 is a sectioned view of the container taken along a section line similar to that of BB of FIGURE 8 depicting the condition of the container after it emerges from Station III of the fluid passageway closing process.
FIGURE 20 depicts the fact that at Station IV of the fluid passageway closing process the sealed sections of the container are punched or scored.
FIGURE 21 depicts the fact that at Station V, VI', and VII of the fluid passageway closing process the container is rotated and the operations performed at Stations II, III, and IV repeated.
FIGURE 22 is an enlarged plan view of a section of the container of FIGURES 1 and 2 illustrating the condition of the container upon completion of the fluid passageway closing process.
FIGURE23 is a sectioned view taken along section line C-C of FIGURE 22.
FIGURE 24 is a sectioned view taken along section line DD of FIGURE 22.
Referring more particularly to the figures of the drawing, there is shown in FIGURES 1 and 2 a container 2 according to the present invention. It may be seen, particularly in FIGURE 1, that the container 2 is generally configured in the form of an envelope having opposed panels shown generally at 4 and 6 in FIGURE 1. Predetermined sections of panels 4 and 6 are sealed or welded together as at 8 in FIGURES 1 and 2 in a manner which subsequently will be described and which create compartments 9 interconnected by means of the discontinuities in seals 8. A fluid entry structure 10 is provided to permit ingress of a fluid substance to be held by container 2. Fluid entry 10 includes a fluid entry portal 12 (FIGURE 1) and an outer portal-covering panel 14 having a terminal flap section 16. The fluid entry structure is semi-automatically sealingin nature in a manner which shall be described in greater detail with respect to FIGURES 9 through 14 of the drawing. The path of fluid flow within the container of FIGURES 1 and 2 is shown by the arrows in FIGURE 2. Upon entry of the fluid substance within container 2, the portions of panels 4 and 6 which are not sealed expand freely and achieve a general shape which is predetermined by the particular disposition of seals or welds 8.
FIGURES 3 through 7 disclose a small fraction of the myriad of alternative seal 8 positioning schemes that may, under appropriate circumstances, be deemed particularly desirable. The compartments resulting from a container having seal sections 8 such as those in FIGURE 4 will be of generally diamond shape, whereas the compartments resulting from a container having seal. sections such as those in FIGURES 5 and 6 will be of generally hexagonal configuration. The particular seal disposition chosen will depend on many factors including the viscosity of the fluid substance involved and the number, position and configuration of the fluid entry structure.
FIGURES 4, 5 and 6 disclose an alternative fluid entry structure 10 which consists basically of a generally tubular or funnel shaped passageway connected to the body of the container structure. Similarly, in FIGURE 7, there is schematically disclosed athird alternative fluid entry structure which will be more fully described with reference to FIGURES 9 through 14.
Referring to FIGURE 8, another form of container structure according to the present invention is disclosed. As will be discussed in greater detail, particularly with respect to FIGURES 15 through 24, this form of conthe container substance in fluid form. Also disclosed in FIGURE 8 is the inclusion in a single container structure of more than one semi-automatically sealing fluid entry structure, The reason for such a provision will be discussed anon.
Referring to FIGURES 9 through 14, there are disclosed a series of refined fluid entry structures each of which contains a semi-automatically operated sealing mechanism. FIGURE 9 discloses in exploded detail the relationship of the basic elements of one form of semiautomatically sealing fluid entry structure according to the present invention. They are: container panels 4 and 6; tabbed cover strip 22 and adhesive-containing panel 20. As may best be seen in FIGURE 10, panels 4 and 6 are sealed together along line 8. Also, panel 20 is sealed to panel 4 along seal line 8 which is of generally U shape leaving an upwardly and outwardly extending opening through which fluid may flow into the container. The flow of fluid through this fluid entry structure and into the container is illustrated by the large arrows in FIGURES 9 and 10. It may be seen in FIG- URES 9 and 10 that this form of fluid entry structure includes the provision of a fluid entry portal 12 in container panel 4 and an air vent 26 which is provided to permit the escape of air from the container as fluid passes through the entry structure.
With respect to tabbed cover strip 22, it may be seen that in the form of the fluid entry structure contemplated by, and disclosed in FIGURES 9 and 10, this cover strip is associated with panel 20. The cover strip 22 includes a portion extending outwardly from the container which may be clasped by a person utilizing the container with which it is associated for reason discussed below. The remainder of cover strip 22 extends (a) downwardly within the container to overlie portal 12 in panel 4 and then (b) in a reverse manner upwardly in juxtaposition with the inner surface of panel 20. Coated on the inner wall of panel 20 is adhesive 24 of the permanently tacky type which is well known and readily available on the market. This adhesive firmly grasps thereto the related portion of tabbed cover strip 22 so as to prevent inadvertent removal thereof from the container.
Subsequent to the passage of fluid through the entry structure of FIGURES 9 and 10, the tabbed cover strip 22 may be pulled upwardly, resulting in (a) the peeling away of this strip from adhesive 24 and (b) the thorough, fluid-tight engagement of the adhesively coated surface 24 of panel 20 with the portion of panel 4 surrounding portal 12 and air vent 26.
Referring to FIGURES l1 and 12, there is disclosed a fluid entry structure and seal mechanism quite similar to that of FIGURES 9 and 10, but wherein the tabbed cover strip 22 and panel 28 are both provided with portals 12 and both positioned intermediate primary container panels 4 and 6 in a manner similar to that in which panels 13 and 14 are positioned intermediate panels 4 and 6 in FIGURES 8. It may be seen that upon ingress of fluid through the fluid entry structure of FIG- URES 11 and 12 as shown by the large arrow in FIGURE 12, the associated container body will fill. Concurrently with the filling of such a container fluid pressure within the container will tend to (a) exert an outward force on panel 28 (b) placed in tension that portion of panel 4 overlying tabbed cover strip 22 and panel 28. Accordingly, upon the stripping away of cover strip 22 from the adhesive surface 24 on panel 28, both of the aforementioned forces will tend to bring the adhesive surface of panel 28 in particularly intimate contact with the opposed portion of panel 4. It may therefore be seen that because of the nature of the forces exerted on the area of adhesion between panels 28 and 4, the primary stresses on these panels will be in shear. The shear resistance of the commonly known permanently tacky adhesives is, however, very high: the seal effected between panels 28 and 4 of FIGURES 11 and 12 is therefore extremely strong and reliable. It has, in fact, been found that containers according to the present invention which utilize the fluid entry structure and seal mechanism of FIGURES 1 1 and 12 have a higher resistance to bursting in the area of adhesive jointure than in any other part of the container.
FIGURES 13 and 14 disclosed other modified forms of the invention which the fluid entry structure and seal mechanism of the present invention may take. In each figure, the lines of sealed engagement between the panels are shown by the numerals 8; the path of fluid entry through portals 12 is shown by directional arrow and the direction of pull on the tabbed cover strip 22 is also shown by directional arrow.
With respect to FIGURES 9 through 13, in particular, it may be seen that tabbed cover strip 22, once used, becomes detached from the container-fluid-entry structure inasmuch as no seal engagement exists between any portion of such strips and the adjacent panel elements.
Referring to FIGURE 14, however, it may be seen that the portalled panel and tabbed cover strip structure are combined into one panel section 30 which is sealed to primary panel sections 4 and 6 along lines 8. Upon upward pull of tab 32, sections 34 and 36 of tab 30 will be drawn apart and thrust upward, and adhesive-containing section 34 of tab 30 will be brought into firm engagement with that portion of panel 4 surrounding portal 12 therein. As previously explained with respect to the embodiment of the invention disclosed in FIGURES 11 and 12 of the drawing, the pressures resulting from the containment of fluid within container panels 4 and 6 will, with respect to the FIGURE 1'4 form of the invention also, result in forces being exerted on the area of adhesion between panels 30 and 4 which will tend to maintain these panels in intimate contact. If desired, adhesive may also be disposed along section 38 of panel 4 so as to engage the area surrounding portal 12 in panel 30 upon the upward pull of tab 32.
The material preferred for the manufacture of any particular container according to the present invention may vary widely depending largely on such factors as the intended use of the container, the physical, including chemical characteristics of the materials which it will contain and similar considerations. Thermoplastic synthetics such as polypropylene, polyethylene and cellophane have been found desirable particularly because of the ease with which they may be selectively sealed or welded. Also have, however, a wide variety of coated and specially-treated papers. It may be stated that the characteristics of the materials deemed generally suitable for the construction of containers according to the present invention are thin or film-like in configuration, slightly stretchable and possessing physical including chemical characteristics such that a container made therefrom may in fact contain and dispense, under all anticipated conditions of use, the substance to be contained thereby.
The primary container panels 4 and 6 may be constructed from a flat sheet folded upon itself longitudinally or transversely to the axis of the container, or from a total or partial tubular section, or by two separate flat sheets of the same or of different materials sealed together along their peripheries.
The dimensions, number and shape of the fluid containing compartments, as well as the number, dimensions and location of the openings between compartments, may also be varied to suit the substance contained, the portions required, the manner of filling and closing, and as subsequently discussed, the method of extracting selectively the contents.
The method chosen for sealing or welding together selected portions of the container panels may be any one of those presently known by the art which is suitable t the particular material used for the specific case, including pressure, thermal and ultrasonic sealing methods.
The final shape of each container compartment, as previously discussed, is set by the disposition of the container seals and also to a lesser extent by characteristics and amount of the fluid filling it. For some uses it may be advantageous to produce a particularly solid shape; this map be accomplished by pleating or crimping the primary container panels. It has been found that when stretchable materials are used for the container panels, it is desirable to cup both of the primary panels in the same direction allowing the fluid pressure to spring outwardly the concave-shaped side of one of the panels upon filling. The methods for producing these effects are well known by those skilled in the packaging art.
With respect to the fluid entry structure, the precise nature, positioning and number utilized in any particular container will depend on such factors as the substance to be contained, the material of the envelope, the method of filling, and the necessity of maintaining or not an air or gas space in the container. The ingress or egress of fluid through the fluid entry structure of the invention which are not semi-automatic in operation, such as those disclosed in FIGURES 46 may be by any of the methods known in the art for the respective materials used such as by tying a knot in or about such entry structure, or by applying. a suitable spring-loaded clamp similar to a clothes pin.
Industrial uses of the invention generally involve the presence of little or no air inside the container. The container structure of the invention, however, has been found to be readily adaptable for use by processes and apparatus well known in the art even Where the packaging of fluid substances in the absence of air is required. It has in fact been found that filling containers of the invention which utilize a large number of fluid containing compartments can be greatly facilitated by the application of partial vacuum to the outside of the container.
Itis a prime feature of the invention that the container envelope is susceptible to be opened by individual compartments or by groups of compartments. When the packaged substance is to be extracted in solidified or frozen form, the very solidified or frozen state of the substance will enable the ready removal of selected portions of the container contents without the necessity of special provisions being made to protect the unused portion of the container contents. In this case, all that is necessary to withdraw a portion of the packaged substance is to breach the integrity of the container. This may be done by means of pull strips or strings laminated or built into the envelope such as shown in FIGURE 7 at 39 in the case of a hard i-ce being formed by the frozen contents, as in ice making applications. Also, by specifically configuring compartments 9, the solidified material itself may be used as the instrument for breaking the container in the desired manner and to the extent required to permit the issue of the contents from as many compartments as needed. For example, the pointed ends of the diamond shaped compartments of FIGURE 4 maybe used for this purpose.
The above described forms of the present invention provide particularly useful and desirable containers. This may be seen from a brief discussion of one of their many usesthat of an ice cube maker, retainer and dispenser.
For one of many reasons it may happen that a family may desire a quantity f ice cubes which is in excess of that available even from modern refrigerators having automatic ice cube manufacturing units. The common solution to this problem is usually the purchase of one or more 25-50 pound bags of ice cubes. These bags are usually left in an above-freezing atmosphere until their use is desired. Frequently, the existing refrigerator trays containing ice cubes are emptied in an area outside of the freezing compartment of the refrigerator in an attempt to provide readily accessible reserve cubes. The trays are thenirefilled with fluid to give an additional supply of cubes when needed.
In both of the above situations, however, when consumption of the stored ice cubes is desired they most often have agglomerated to .one degree or another because they have been kept in an above-freezing atmosphere for a prolonged period of time.
The present invention provides a simple yet non-wasteful solution to the above problem. The containers of the invention may be stored in large quantities almost indefinitely prior to use. The storage area required is extremely small inasmuch as the thickness of the container panels may, for home use, be on the order of 0.0015 inch. When their use is desired, one or more may be filled with water, or tea, or orange juice or whatever fluid is desired to be solidified. The disposition of the container seal lines 8 results in the automatic forming of the ice or tea or orange juice cube configurations as the container is filled. Upon solidification of this fluid, the container may be removed from the freezing compartment of, e.g., a household refrigerator and stored in a home cooler or the storage area of the refrigerator itself. If perchance some small amount of fluidation of the cubes should occur during storage this is of no consequence inasmuch as the container compartments, and therefore the enclosed cubes, are always maintained separated from each other by the very configuration of the container. If such fluidation has occurred to some slight degree,-it takes little or no more effort to individually withdraw portions of the solidified contents of a container according to the invention than if such contents were entirely solidified.
If the packaged substance .should melt in its entirety prior to any portion thereof being withdrawn, there would be no waste because the container is fluid-tight. Mere refreezing of the container prepares the packaged fluid for its desired use.
The outer shape of the container may be varied to suit any particularly desired use. Containers according to the present invention may be constructed having circular peripheries so as to be particularly desirable with picnic coolers. Also, as will presently be described, one aspect of the invention comprehends the complete sealing of compartments under certain circumstances. It is a feature of this invention that this aspect of the invention may be utilized to seal off groups of fluid containing compartments from one another. In such instances a multitude of fluid entry passages may be used as shown in FIGURE 8 and provisions made for the opening of each compartment of any group independently of other container groups (as by configuration of the solidified contents of the container or the use of tear strips or strings 39 of FIGURE 7, as previously described, or by the use of perforated seal strips as will subsequently be described). Such a container structure will minimize even the possi bility that any solidified substance will be ultimately lost upon the opening of a portion of the container and the return to the fluid state of the remainder of the packaged contents.
Where it is desired to extract the contents of any given container according to the invention in fluid form, it becomes necessary to close off the communicating links between the container compartments to insure the retention of that part of the contents not needed at the moment. This closing operation involves the application first, of high frequency sound waves while the line of points to be sealed is held in an elevated position to free the areas to be joined of the presence of the substance contained. The seal is then completed by the use of either heat, pressure, ultrasonics or the like. The sealed area may be wide enough to include a line of perforation or scoring, to facilitate breaking off the individual compartments, which can then be opened in any practical manner such as cutting with knife or scissors or hand, or with the help of" some built-in device like the tear strips or strings previously mentioned with respect to FIGURE 7.
Referring to FIGURES 15 through 24 of the drawing, one method by which the interconnecting fluid passage- 9 ways of a container such as that of FIGURE 8 may be closed is set forth.
At Station I (FIGURES and 16) of such a process, it may be seen that the fluid passageways of the container under consideration have portions 40 and 42 through which fluid may flow subsequent to the completion of the filling of the container. Stations II and III (FIGURES 17 and 18) of such a process involve the actual sealing off of a portion of the interconnecting passageways. In FIGURES 17 and 18 a press 44-46 having heating elements 48 and high frequency sound wave vibrators 50 of a. well known type are schematically shown. However, as previously indicated seals may be eifectuated also by means of well known ultrasonic equipment among others.
At Station IV (FIGURE 20) the sealed surfaces of the container (see FIGURE 19) are punched or scored to facilitate the tearing away of individual sections of the container without fear of accidental destruction of adjacent sections of the container.
At Stations V through VII (FIGURE 21) the container is rotated 90 and the operations involved at Stations II through IV are repeated to complete the seals. It should be understood that with differently configured multichambered container structures, the complete sealing of the chambers of such a container may involve a single sealing operation or many. A container configuration similar to that shown in FIGURE 8 is particularly desirable in that such will preclude the uneven distribution of fluid in the container compartments during the sealing operation. For example, at Station 11 it is contemplated that a seal will be completed along seal column 9 from one end of the container to the other. The configuration of the container of FIGURE 8 is such that after this particular operation, equal amounts of fluid will be contained on either side of seal column 9. Similarly, the completion of the remaining sealing steps will, if a symmetrical container is used, merely result in progressive re-subdivision of the contained fluid, the end result being that little or no variation will exist between the amounts of fluid contained in the individual container compartments.
Referring to FIGURES 22 through 24, the completely sealed container is shown at 2. It may be seen that the disposition of perforations 52 are such that individual sections 54 of the container may be readily removed.
The foregoing features of the invention may be combined in a vast number of different ways to fill a wide variety of packaging problems. The following table of variable, combinable features is presented to indicate the multitude of possible container combinations that exist. A simple symbol-and-position code is used in which the unit section of each number refers to whether the contents are kept solidified or fluid throughout the use of the container; the tenth section to the manner in which the container is filled; the hundredths section to the contents of the container prior to filling; the thousandths section to the type of closure utilized, and finally, the ten thousandths section to the method of opening the container.
Using the above code, a model suitable for frozen orange juice could be designated 1.423,l meaning that the packaged substance is dispensed in solidified form (1); filled under vacuum with pressure feed (1.42); sealed by one of the standard industrial methods (1.423) and opened by a tear strip or string (l.423,1).
TABLE OF COMBINABLE FEATURES 1.000,0 for home or industrial use. Fluid dispensed in solidified form Fillable:
1.100,0 by simple gravity flow 1.200,0 vacuum assisted flow 1.300,0 pressure assisted flow 1: 1.400,0 pressure and vacuum assisted flow 1 0 Atmosphere in Container:
1.010,0 Air space 1.020,0 Vacuum 1.030,0 Gas space Closure:
1.00l,0 by simple twist, knot, or clamp device 1.002,0 by special sealing mechanism 1.00.3,0 by standard industrial methods Opening, for Use of Frozen Contents:
1.000, 1 by tear strips or strings 1.000,2 by special configuration of frozen contents 2.000,0 for Home or Industrial Use.
fluid form. Fillable:
2.100,() by simple gravity flow 2.200,0 vacuum assisted flow 2.300,0 pressure assisted flow 2.400,0 pressure and vacuum assisted flow Atmosphere in Container: 2.0l0,0 air space 2.020,0 vacuum 2.030,0 gas space Closure:
2.001,0 by standard industrial methods 2.002,0 by special sea-ling mechanisms described 2.003,0 by standard industrial methods Closing of Intercommunication of Compartments:
2.000,l with ultrasonic cleaning of joint surfaces 2.000,2 without cleaning of joint surfaces Opening for Use of Liquid Contents:
2000,01 by cutting or punching 2000,02 by tear notches, embrittlement of local areas, etc.
Fluid dispensed in The above table actually merely begins to disclose the true breadth of possible modifications of the invention inasmuch as further variations based on size, shapes and materials, as previously discussed are obtainable.
The variety of substances that may be packaged by containers according to the present invention is practically limitless. By using proper container materials the packaged contents may be sterilized, pasteurized, irradiated or processed in a wide variety of ways.
To all these substances the family of containers of the present invention is economically advantageous because of:
(1) Low direct cost per individual unit, from:
(a) Low cost of materials. Low priced, very thin, synthetics may be used.
(b) Simple manufacturing operations may be employed to produce a wide variety of container structures.
(0) Crowns, caps and/or closures are not needed.
(2) Low overall cost of containers, from:
(a) Low freight costs of empty containers. Containers pack flat in compact bundles.
(b) Low freight and outer packing costs of filled containers. Containers may be constructed having high volumetric efficiency because of compactness when nested in staggered arrangements.
(3) Lowering processing costs, from:
(a) Simple equipment which may be employed in the filling, closing and handling of the containers.
(b) Pasteurization and freezing accelerated and increased in effectiveness by faster temperature changes possible in thin walled flexible containers.
By way of summary, and in outline form, the many uses of containers according to the present invention include the following:
(1) Where the contents are frozen and used in portions:
(a) In the home, for the making of ice cubes, sherbets, storing frozen soups, fruit juices, infant formulae, etc.
(b) In industry, for transporting and dispensing frozen milk and other dairy products, fruit juices and pulps,
soups, sauces, ice cream, custard, infant formulae, for
neighborhood ice making, etc.
Pureed baby foods. Condensed or evaporated milk, soup, fruit juices and ex tracts.
Mustard, ketchup, mayonnaise, dressings, condiments, flavorings.
Jellies, marmalades, honey, molasses, syrups.
Cooking oils, lard, shortenings.
Wines, liquors, cordials, beer, and
Plain and carbonated drinks.
(3) In the pharmaceutical trade. For packaging shampoos, dyes, rinses, creams, lotions, salves, cosmetics, etc.
(4) In the automotive and industrial supply trade. For packaging oil and gasoline additives, cooling system aids, emorys and rouges, etc.
The invention may be embodied in other specific forms without departing from the spirit or essential characteristics thereof. The present embodiments are therefore to be considered in all respects as illustrative and not restrictive, the scope of the invention being indicated by the appended claims rather tha'n'by the foregoing description and all changes which come within the meaning and range of equivalency of the claims are therefore intended to be embraced therein.
What is claimed and desired to be secured by United States Letters Patent is:
1. A container including a body and at least one inlet so constructed and arranged that filling of said container body by passage therethrough of a material in fluid form is permitted, said body including frangible wall portions so constructed and arranged as to encase and be capable of maintaining within their confines said material whether in fluid or solidified form, and to permit the removal of a segment of said material when in a solidified state by the rupture of a selected section of said body Without concomitant loss of the remainder of said material from said container, said inlet including means operable for closing the inlet so positioned and constructed with respect to said container bodyas to permit entry of said material yet selectively prohibiting escape of said material outwardly from said container body, said body further including at least one partition of thickness substantially that of said wall portions whereby at least two compartments containing said material are defined within the container, said partition, along with said wall portions constituting the primary means by which the configuration of the container compartments when filled is determined.
2. A container according to,claim 1 wherein said partitions are discontinuous so as to permit portions of said material to extend between and interconnect said com partments, the major cross-section of said material portions being substantially less than the major cross-section of the mass of material within each of said compartments whereby fracture of said container and its contents when in solidified form is relatively facile along the length of of said discontinuous partitions, said partitions being so constructed and arranged that they act as means for controlling the flow of material Within the container and to inhibit the disproportionate accumulation of material in any one container compartment, thematerial from which said body is constructed being stretchable whereby the encasing Walls of the container compartments are adapted to expand laterally upon the entry of said material therein. .I 1 v V 3. A container according to claim 1 wherein the rupture of a section of said body is facilitated by the configuration of at least one of said compartments.
4. A container according toclaim;=1I whereinf th'e means operablefor closing the inlet includes a fluid entry portal in one wall section of saidcontainenapanel juxtaposed to said wall section, an actuatable tab mechanism associated with said panel so constructed as to bring a portion of said panel into overlying engagement with said fluid entry portal upon actuation of s=aid'tab'rriechanism to inhibit the flow of fluid therethrough.
5. A fluid entry and seal structure for use with a conetainer, said structure including a fluid entry portal in one wall section of said container, a panel juxtaposed to said wall section, a tabbed cover strip associated with said panel so constructed as to bring a portion of said panel'into overlying engagement with s aidfiuid entry portal upon actuation of said tab mechanism to inhibit the fluid therethrough, any tendency toward disenagageinent of said container wall section and said panel being resisted by adhesive therebetween-and in contact therewith, said structure being so associated with the body of said container that filling of said container will facilitate the bringing of said wall section and said panel into close, fluid-flow inhibiting juxtaposition prior to the'actuation of the tabbed cover strip 6. A fluid entry and seal structure according to claim 5 wherein said panel is composed of a portion of a second wall section of said container. g
7. A fluid entry and seal structure according to'claim 5 wherein said tab mechanism is entirely detachable from the remainder of said fluid entry and seal structure upon complete actuation of said tab mechanism.
8. A fluid entry and seal structure for use with a container, said structure including a fluid entry portal in one section of said structure, a panel juxtaposed to said section, a tabbed cover strip associated with said panel so constructed as'to bring a portion of said panel into overlying engagement with said fluid entry portal upon actuation of said tab mechanism to inhibit the flow of fluid therethrough, said .tabled cover strip also including a. fluid entry portal positioned therethrough, said tabbed cover strip portal normally substantially coaxially overlying said first named portal, said structure further including air escape vent means cooperatively associated with the said portals for releasing air from said container during passage of material through said portals.
. 9. A disposable container so constructed and arranged that its contents may be selectively dispensed therefrom, comprising at least two substantially, identical monopl-anar wall portions constructed in envelope form from frangible material, selected segments of said portions being sealed together so as to create at least one discontinuous partition and a multiplicity of interconnecting compartments within the container into which material when in fluid state is adapted to flow during the filling of said container, but from which said material may not leave upon the filling of the container and the sealing together of selected segments of said walls so as to com-' pletesaid partitions and render said compartmentsnoncommunicating, said partitions being so constructed as to facilitate the breaking therefrom sections of the container so as to permit removal therefrom of the contents of at least one container compartment.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,166,568 7/39 Kuhlke. 2,813,799 11/57 Bender et al. 2,870,954 1/59 Kulesza 229-,62.5 3,098,563 7/63 Skees.
FOREIGN PATENTS 241,793 11/ 62 Australia.
GEORGE'O'. RALSTON, Primary Examiner.