|Publication number||US3216172 A|
|Publication date||Nov 9, 1965|
|Filing date||Aug 10, 1962|
|Priority date||Jun 11, 1958|
|Publication number||US 3216172 A, US 3216172A, US-A-3216172, US3216172 A, US3216172A|
|Inventors||Piazze Thomas E|
|Original Assignee||Continental Can Co|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (6), Referenced by (21), Classifications (6)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
Nov. 9, 1965 METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR SEALING VACUUM PACK BAG Original Filed June 11, 1958 T. E. PIAZZE 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 INVENTOR T/zam aazffiz azze ATTORNEYS Nov. 9, 1965 T. E. PIAZZE 7 METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR SEALING VACUUM PACK BAG Original Filed June 11, 1958 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 IN VENTOR ATTORNEYS United States Fatent 3,216,172 METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR SEALING VACUUM PACK BAG Thomas E. Piazze, Mount Vernon, Ohio, assignor to Continental Can Company, Inc., New York, N.Y., a corporation of New York Original application June 11, 1958, Ser. No. 741,370, now Patent No. 3,086,693, dated Apr. 23, 1963. Divided and this application Aug. 10, 1962, Ser. No. 216,219
3 Claims. (Cl. 53-22) This application is a division of my copending application Serial No. 741,370, filed June 11, 1958, now Patent No. 3,086,693 granted April 23, 1963.
In the packaging of cheeses, meats, coffee and various other commodities, it is quite common to vacuum-pack them in sealed bags of polyethylene or other heat-scalable plastic, but difiiculties have been experienced in Vacuumizing the filled bags and then tightly sealing them against re-entrance of air.
It has been proposed to provide one wall of the bag with an air-evacuating opening for communication with an air evacuating member, to providean internal flexible patch extending over said opening and spaced from said bag wall to form an air-evacuating passage communicating with said opening and With the bag interior, and to heatseal said patch to said wall around said opening after evacuation of air from the bag. However, unless the bag contents so smoothly and uniformly contact with the flexible patch as to prevent distortion of this patch during performance of the heat-sealing operation, there is danger of producing a faulty seal. Also, when vacuum-packaging a rather finely granulated or a powdered material, there has been liability of some of such material becoming entrained with the outgoing air and becoming deposited on the opposed surfaces of the bag wall and patch which are to be heat-sealed together: and such deposits have interfered with the production of a perfect seal.
The present invention has aimed to overcome the above mentioned difiiculties.
In carrying out the above end, a specific object has been to provide an improved patch comprising a relatively stifl? backing sheet and a film of heat-sealable material secured to the side of said backing sheet which faces the bag wall having the air-evacuating opening. The relatively stifi backing sheet is exposed to the bag contents and therefore, even if such contents do not contact smoothly and uniformly with the patch, appreciable patch distortion will be prevented. Consequently, when a heated sealing member is pressed against the bag wall to seal it to the patch film, said bag wall and film will become tightly clamped between the relatively stilf patch backing and said sealing member, and a perfect seal will be produced.
Another specific object has been to seal all edges of the patch to the bag wall and to admit air to the evacuating passage between the patch and the bag wall, only through perforations in the patch. Thus, by forming these perforations so fine that particles of granulated or powdered bag contents cannot pass through them, such particles will be excluded from the opposed surfaces of said patch and bag wall and cannot interfere with heat sealing.
Further objects have been to provide a novel and advantageous method and a novel and advantageous apparatus for evacuating the air and then sealing the bag against re-entrance of air.
With the above and other objects in view that will hereinafter appear, the nature of the invention will be more clearly understood by reference to the following detailed description, the appended claims and the several views illustrated in the accompanying drawings.
In the drawings:
FIGURE 1 is a side elevation, partly broken away, showing a bag having a perforated patch, the bag being filled with granular material and in readiness for the evacuation of air through the perforations in the patch.
FIGURE 2 is a vertical sectional view, partly in elevation, showing the filled bag engaged with the air-evacuating and heat-sealing apparatus, the evacuation of air being indicated by arrows.
FIGURE 3 is a view similar to FIGURE 2 but showing the heated sealing ring of the apparatus in the act of sealing together the portions of the bag walls and patch around the air-evacuating opening and between this opening and the patch perforations.
FIGURE 4 is a fragmentary top view showing the bag support, the air-evacuating member and the heat-sealing ring.
FIGURE 5 is a view similar to FIGURE 1 but showing a construction Which may be employed when there is no danger of any particles of the bag contents entering between the patch and the bag wall.
The bag 10 shown in the drawings is constructed from two sheets 11 and 12 of plastic heat-scalable stock, three edges of said sheets being heat-sealed together at the factory, as indicated at 13, leaving the bag open at one end for filling. The open end is to be heat-sealed at 14, after filling. This type of bag has been shown for illustrative purposes only and other known bag structures could be employed if desired.
The sheet 11 forms one side wall of the bag and is formed with an air-evacuating opening 15. Within the bag is a patch 16 which extends across the opening 15 and is secured to the bag wall 11. Provision is made for spacing the patch 16 from the wall 11 to provide an airevacuating passage 17 between them, said passage being in communiaction with the opening 15 and with the bag interior.
In each form of the invention, the patch 16 is of composite form and comprises a relatively stilt backing sheet 18 and a film 19 secured to the side of the backing sheet 18 which faces the bag wall 11. The relatively stiff backing sheet 18 may be formed from cardboard or other appropriate material having required stiffness to prevent patch distortion during sealing around the opening 15. The film 19 is of heat-scalable material, for example polyethylene, and it may be cemented to or otherwise united with the relatively stiff backing sheet 18, or it may be formed by a layer of heat-scalable cement applied to said backing sheet. In either instance, the film 19 preferably has a multiplicity of suitable projections 20 which space the patch 16 from the bag wall 11 to provide the passage 17. However, this bag wall 11 could well be provided with equivalent spacing projections, if desired.
In FIGURES 1 to 3, all edges of the patch 16 are heatsealed to the bag wall 11 as indicated at 21 and the passage 17 communicates with the bag interior only through perforations 22. These perforations 22 may be of any desired shape and they are all radially spaced from the opening 15. While they are shown as disposed in a circular series, this is not essential. All air being evacuated from the bag (see FIGURE 2) flows through the perforations 22 to the passage 17 to and through the opening 15. Therefore, by forming the perforations 22 sufiiciently small to prevent granular or powdered bag contents C from passing through them, particles of such contents cannot become deposited on the opposed surfaces of the patch film 19 and the bag wall 11 and cannot therefore interfere with heat sealing of these elements together after air evacuation.
When the bag contents are to be such that there is no danger of any particles thereof entering the passage 17, all edges of the composite patch 16 need not be sealed to the bag wall 11 and said patch need not have 3 the perforations 22. Such a construction is shown in FIGURE 5 and the contents are indicated at C. In this view, two edges of the patch 16 are shown heat-sealed at 21' to the bag wall 11. The heat sealing 21' is shown in stripe form but could Well be at intervals only.
The apparatus disclosed in FIGURES 2, 3 and 4 is preferably employed in effecting air evacuation from the bagand in then sealing the latter against re-entrance of air. In these views a horizontal table 23 is shown, upon which to lay the filled bag. This table 23 hasan opening 24 into which the upper end of an air-evacuating pipe 25 extends, the table and pipe being fixedly mounted in any suitable way. The upper extremity of the pipe 25 is preferably in the same plane with the top of the table 23, is open, and is of a diameter less than that of the table opening 24 but greater than that of the bag opening 15. A normally lowered sealing ring 26 surrounds the pipe 25 and may be raised by any suitable means. This ring 26 is heated by flame from a burner 27, or in any other suitable manner, to a temperature at which it may be utilized to heat-seal the bag wall 11 to the patch film 19 after evacuation of air from the bag 10.
The filled bag is laid upon the table 23 as seen in FIGURE 2, with its side wall 11 resting on the upper end of the pipe 25 and with the opening communicating with said pipe. Then by any adequate pump means, partial vacuum is created in the pipe 25. This causes the bag-contained air to enter the passage 17, flow through this passage to the opening 15 and flow through this opening to and through the pipe 25. When the patch of FIGURES 1 to 3, is used, the air from the bag enters the passage 17 only through the perforations 22. When the patch of FIGURE 5 is employed the air entersv the passage 17 at the periphery of said patch. When the desired vacuumizing has been attained, the heated sealing ring 26 is raised as seen in FIGURE 3.
19 between the sealing ring 25 and the stilt patch backing 18 and the heat from said sealing ring heat-sealssaid wall 11 and film 19 together as seen at 28. As the patch backing 18 prevents distortion of the patch film 19, even if the bag contents do not smoothly and uniformly contact with said backing, a perfect seal is assured. When the patch of FIGURES 1 to 3 is employed, the seal 28 is, of course, between the opening 15 and the perforations 22. Regardless of which form of patch is used, the projections in the zone of the seal 28 do not interfere with the formation of said seal, as they become sufficiently fluid to flatten out into the plane of the film 19.
During the air-evacuating and heat-sealing operations,
a bag hold-down plate 29 may be employed if the weight vantageous provision has been disclosed for attaining the However, variations may Well be made desired ends.
This causes tight clamping of the bag wall 11 and thepatch film within the scope of the invention as. claimed, audit is.
to be understood that the invention is not restricted to a bag but is adaptable also to other forms of containers, whether flexible throughout or flexible only at the wall portion which is to be sealed to the patch.
1. A method of sealing a flexible heat-scalable wall of a container to an internal heat-scalable patch which extends over an air-evacuating opening in said wall and provides an air-evacuating passage between said opening and the interior of said container, the steps of placing said wall against an air-evacuating member with said air-evacuating opening in communication with said airevacuating member, exhausting air through said opening and said air-evacuating passage and thereby evacuating air from the interior of the container, applying a heated sealing member against the outer side of said wall around the air-evacuating member before terminating the evacuation of air from the container, and moving the heated seal ing member against the wall to press the wall against said patch to seal said wall and patch together and close fluid communication between the interior of the container and the opening through the air-evacuating passage. I
2. The method defined in claim lincluding the additional step of spacing the portion of the patch overlying the opening during the evacuation of the interior of said container to prevent the patch from being drawnagainst portions of the wall adjacent the opening prior to com plete evacuation of the container interior whereby com-' having an opening to downwardly expose an area of the bag wall around said air-evacuating opening, an airevacuating member having an open upper end to abut the exterior of said container wall around said air-evacuating opening, said upper end of said air-evacuating member being received within said opening of said table but being spaced from the wall of this opening, a'sealing ring sur-; rounding said air-evacuating member and raisable into said opening of said table to seal said container wall to" said patch, and means for heating said sealing ring.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,387,812 10/45 Sonneborn et al 53112 X 2,708,541 5/55 Jones 53-112 2,778,171 1/57 Taunton 53 9. 2,896,385 6/59 Gebhardt 53-112 2,928,216 3/60 vOrsini 53-9 X 3,026,656 3/62 FRANK E. BAILEY, Primary Examiner.
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|U.S. Classification||53/434, 53/512, 53/479|