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Publication numberUS3246833 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 19, 1966
Filing dateNov 16, 1964
Priority dateNov 16, 1964
Publication numberUS 3246833 A, US 3246833A, US-A-3246833, US3246833 A, US3246833A
InventorsBoyd Phillip C, Schlienz Ralph W
Original AssigneeRiegel Paper Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Reclosable tear string package
US 3246833 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

R. W. scHLn-:Nz ET AL 3,246,833

RECLOSABLE TEAR STRING PACKAGE 2 Sheets-Sheet l April 19, 1966 'Filed Nov. 16, 1964 Il-+2.

IYVFNTORS RALPH W. SCHLIENZ PHILLP C. BOYD BY ,Y f f4 M A7 OP/V'VS April 19, 1966 R. w. scHLn-:Nz ET Al- RECLOSABLE TEAR STRING PACKAGE 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Nov. 16, 1964 Z EN n OE E Tl D N NLY BHO W rL SB/W 1.c. A WDI JJ/ Hl AH RP United States Patent() 3,246,833 RECLOSABLE TEAR STRING PACKAGE Ralph W. Schlienz and Phillip C. Boyd, Indianapolis, Ind., assignors to Riegel Paper Corporation, New York,

N.Y., a corporation of Delaware Filed Nov. 16, 1964, Ser. No. 411,245 8 Claims. (Cl. 229-86) The present invention Vrelates to pouch-type packages and is directedmore particularly to a novel and improved pouch package having -a-tear string opening facility and 'which is also reclosable yto retain and protect the contents of the package.

'One of the popular styles ofthe package, for packaging small quantities of particulate materials such as dried soups, drink and dessert mixes, etc., ist-he so-called pouch package which is typically formed by 'folding a panel of packaging `material and `bonding the edge 'margins to *form an enclosure about the contents. Typical advantageous pack-aging materials for this purpose are `foilpolyethylene or,paper-foil-polyethylene flaminations, although other materialscan-be used.

Particularly because of the presence of relatively stre-tchable materials, such as rpolyethylene in the packaging lamination, it Lis sometimes vdiiiicult to tear open the sealed pouch package neatly land cleanly, and `it has therefore `become fdes'irable, 1iny certain cases, to incorpoirate Lin the .completed pouch package a tear string open- -ing facility. With this arrangement, Ja ysealed package -canfbe openedfby manually gripping one end of the tear -string andv pulling :it .free Tof 'the package, 'to Asever fone or :more walls of Zthe package. Alternatively, the margin of the package .adjacentthe tear stringcan be torn free, using -`thetear string, fin effect, :as .a cuttngedge. A conventional :arrangement vof `a tte'ar string .pouch is illustrated, by wa-y Iof `example, .in the Leary, .United vStates VPatent No. 4,3,'057,5:9.

'In -accordancewith the 'zbasic objectives of the present invention, a'novel .and .improved Atear. string pouch pack- @age yis provided, in which provisions are made lfor engage- .ment and removal .of the tear string in such a way as :to Asever tone wa'll only of the ,pouch neatly and cleanly 7along 1its 'upper edge, leaving za `folda'ble iupper .margin of the pouch intact and integrally attached to the opposite panelof the package. vAfter opening Iof .the package .and partial y.removal of its contents, vthe .upper margin of the package is -folded over the-severedupper edge tofthe open tpanelt-and `provides apractical and wholly :effective reclosure flap.

In accordance Vwith 'amore specific aspectofthe 'invention, fthe packaging material incorporated in thenew reclosable tear string 4pouch Vis `non-elastically pliable so -that -it `will .accept and retain `folding manipulations. A `rnost `advantageous material for this -purpose is a :soft metal foil, such'as aluminum foil, vor a 'lamination 4of .packaging materials including a soft :metal -foil .as a significant component.

vvIn accordance witha further specific aspect `of lthe invention, the new reclosable tear string pouch is :formed .to have a `tear string disposed between bonded-together,

pouch-forming panels, immediately `adjacent the "inner .edge-.extremity vof a rbonded-top margin. The top margin, :above the -tear string, is initially folded downward .through about 180 (assuming that `thepouch package is substantially -ilat in its upper regions) and tprovides a sharp, :creased edge overlying the .tear:string. This varfrangement vpermits the package to be opened withggreat facility by .gripping .one endofthe tear stringand-drawing upward, and assures :a sharp, clean, straight-line cut .through the uppermost .panel of the pouch. One side of the top margin remainsintegrally attachedl to the pouch along the undersideof the -tealstring so Vthat-thepartially 3,246,833 Patented Apr. 19, 1966 "ice freed vupper margin then becomes a reclosure flap, foldable through 360 about a hinge axis generally coincident with the initial axis of the tear string. By reason of the non-elastically pliable nature of the packaging material, the flap formed by the bonded upper margin of the pouch will retain its initial position, folded against one side of vthe package, and its subsequent reclosure position, folded against the other side or 4the package.

The new reclosable pouch package, which is particularly desirable for the packaging of such products as pipe tobacco, for example, where it is contemplated that the package will have to be reclosed one or more times, may be manufactured and used by highly simplified procedures, which in themselves form specific aspects of -this invention. Typically, the tear string is incorporated into the packaging material in its bulk or web form, as 4by being partially embedded in the heat-scalable inner layer of the packaging material where such heat-sealable 4material is employed. Thereafter, the package may be formed by generally conventional techniques, utilizing relatively simple and inexpensive machine attachments -to effect an initial fold-over of the -bonded top margin generally about the axis of the tear string, after the package is Afilled and initially closed and sealed.

For a better understanding of the invention, reference should be made to the following detailed description and to the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a plan view of a section ofp-ackaging material to be used in the manufacture of a reclosable tear string .pouch according -to the invention;

FIG. 2 -is an enlarged, fragmentary, cross-sectional view taken along line 2-2 of FIG. 1;

FIG. .3 is van enlarged, fragmentary, perspective view Vof .the packaging `material illustrated in FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a .perspective View illustrating -a sequence .of `folding manipulations involved in the `forming of a ,gusset-bottom pouch vpackage Aincorporating the reclosable tear string opening feature ofthe invention;

FIG. 5 is Va perspective view lof a lled and sealed reclosable -tear string pouch according to the invention;

FIG. `6 is an enlarged, fragmentary, cross-sectional viewtaken `along line 6-6 of FIG. 5;

FIG. l7 is a perspective view ofthe package of FIG. 5, illustrating the manner in which the package is `opened byengagement and removal of the tear string;

FIG. 8 is a `perspective view ofthe fully opened package;

FIG. 9 is a perspective view of the new :package after opening and reclosure; and

FIGS. .10 and 11 are enlarged, fragmentary, crosssectional views taken generally along `lines 10-10 and 11--11,res pectively, of FIG. 9.

Referring .now to'the drawing, the reference numeral 10 .designates -generally a cut section or blank of packaging material, of .a size and shape suitable for forming a single pouch package, ,it being understood that the `packaging material typically is supplied to packaging machines in the form of a 'continuous web rather than ,in individual, package-size blanks. .At an appropriate stage in the packaging process, either before or after comple- .tion-of the package forming operations, the individual package segments are -severed from the continuous web supply.

The-individualblank 10 of FIG. lis delineated to facilitate description 4by :marginal dotted llines 11-14, dening a-marginal border, and fold lines 15-17 delineating folds `involved in the formation vof the bottom structure of the package. The illustratedpackage blank is .thus comprised of opposed top margin areas v18, 19, pairs ofopposedside margin areas 20, 21 and 22, 23, .bottom forming .panels24, 25, andcentral pouchbody ,forming panels 26, p27.

In accordance with one of the specific aspects of the invention, there is bonded to the inner surface of the packaging material a tear string element 28. The tear string, which advantageously may be a ne (70 denier) man-made fiber, such as Daeron polyester, is disposed in transverse relation to the package blank 10, extending from one side edge to the other of the blank immediately adjacent the imaginary line 12 which delineates the inner edge extremity of the top margin 18.

In accordance with a significant aspect of the invention, the packaging material from which the blank is derived is non-elastically pliable, so that it may be subjected to folding manipulations and will retain its folded form. To particular advantage, the packaging material may incorporate a soft metal foil, such as aluminum foil. More advantageously, the packaging material is a multi-ply laminate, as shown in FIGS. 2 and 3, comprising an outer layer of paper, designated by the numeral 29, an intermediate layer of aluminum foil designated by the numeral 30, the foil being bonded to the paper by a wax or polyethylene bonding layer 31, and an innermost layer of a heat-scalable thermoplastic material such as polyethylene, the latter being designated by the reference number 32. By way of example, the paper web 29 may be a twenty-one pound (per 3,000 square foot ream) machine glazed web, the bonding layer 31 may be a six pound layer of polyethylene or wax, the foil layer 30 may be 0.00035 inch thick aluminum foil, and the heat-sealable layer 32 may be a twenty-two and onehalf pound polyethylene coating.

Advantageously, the multi-ply packaging material is manufactured by first forming a laminate of the paper and foil webs 29, 30, bonded by the intermediate Wax or polyethylene layer 31. Thereafter, a thin film 32 of polyethylene is applied to the exposed surface of the aluminum foil, advantageously by extrusion techniques, and the tear string 28 is applied to the polyethylene film immediately thereafter and while the film is still in a semi-plastic state, so that the tear string 28 becomes partially embedded in and at least temporarily bonded to the thermoplastic layer.

In FIGS. 4-11, there is illustrated in various stages a gusset-bottom, pouch-type package, it being understood, however, that the invention is not limited to the specific form of package illustrated, or otherwise than as set forth in the appended claims. With initial reference to FIG. 4, a gusset-bottom, pouch-type package may be formed by folding the blank 10 along the fold lines 15- 17 in such a manner that the bottom forming panels 24, 25 are folded inward upon each other and between the main body forming panels 26, 27. As the folding continues, the body forming panels 26, 27 are brought substantially into face-to-face relation and the thus-formed pouch is sealed along its opposed side edges to bond the margins 20, 22 and 21, 23 to form conventional fin-type seals. This operation serves to anchor the opposite ends of the tear string 28 in the opposed, bonded side margins, as will be understood. At this time, or at a subsequent time depending upon the nature of the packaging machinery, appropriate cuts 33 may be formed in one of the bonded side margins 20, 22 to form -a partially separated tab 34, which is so located as to have one end of the tear string 28 anchored therein. The cuts 33 forming the tab 34 are so shaped and proportioned as to permit the tab 34 to be readily engaged by the fingers for drawing the string to open the package.

After heat-seal closure of the side seams, the package is in the form of an open-top pouch, which is then directed through the packaging machinery in such a way as to receive the desired contents, most advantageously a particulate material such as pipe tobacco.

In accordance with the invention, after filling of the pouch, the top marginal areas 18, 19 are brought into face-to-face relation and bonded together to form a iintype seal. Thereafter, and as part of the package forming operation, the flap-like section formed by the bonded top margins is folded over against one of the body forming panels 26 of the closed package. In a typical pouch package, the uppermost areas of the pouch body are relatively ilat, in which event the flap-like section, designated for convenience by the letter F, is folded through substantially As illustrated specifically in FIG. 6, the fold line for the flap section F is substantially coincident With the axis of the tear string 28, which is disposed at or just below the bonded area of the opposed top margins 18, 19. In accordance with the invention, the packaging material is non-elastically pliable (a characteristic typified by aluminum foil, for example) so that when the flap F is folded over against the body panel 26 it is self-retaining in the folded position without the use of adhesives or other securing means. In this connection, the invention does not preclude the possibility of utilizing some kind of temporary releasable means for initially and non-permanently holding the flap F in its initial, folded-over position as shown in FIG. 6, if it appeared expedient to do so, but the flap must in any event be self-retaining in a folded position by reason of being non-elastically pliable.

To open the package of the invention, one edge of the package may be gripped, adjacent the string tab 34, such that, for example, the margin 20, 22 and the corresponding edge of the flap F are gripped between the thumb and forefinger of the user. With the other hand, the user grips the string tab 34, drawing upward against the fold line 35 and forming a sharp, neat cut 36 along the upper edge of the body panel 27. In this connection, it is a specific, advantageous feature of the invention that the flap F, formed by the bonded upper margins 18, 19 of the pouch, is folded flat against the side of the pouch as a part of the package forming, filling, and shipping procedure, such that a sharp fold line is formed directly over the tear string 28 at the upper edge extremity of the finished package. This fold line guides and controls the tear string, when it is drawn upward, so that the cut line 36 is reliably straight and uniform. Heretofore, with more conventional tear string packages, it has been diicult to form a straight line cut when opening along a line adjacent a fin-type seam. And, as will be understood, the formation of a uniform straight line cut is important to the proper reclosure of the package.

In FIG. 8, the new package is illustrated in an opened condition with the flap F folded into a position extending vertically upward. In this respect, it will be understood, that immediately after the initial opening of the package, the flap will remain folded against the body panel 26. However, upon reclosure and subsequent reopening of the package, it will be typical for the flap F to be directed upward, substantially in the manner indicated in FIG. 8. In either condition of the opened flap F, the contents of the package are readily accessible through the top opening, as clearly evident in FIG. 8.

For reclosure of the package, the flap F is merely folded over along the fold line 35, to lie against the body panel 27. This not only serves to press the upper edge of the cut panel 27 into a closed position, but also brings the flap F into a position overlying and closing off the pouch opening, as clearly indicated in FIG. l0.

In accordance with the invention, the flap F forms an ideal reclosure facility, since the predominant physical characteristics imparted thereto by the foil web 30 cause the ap to be non-elastically pliable, so that it is selfretaining in a folded-open position, as shown in FIG. 8, or in a folded-closed position, as shown in FIGS. 9 and 10. Further, the flap F, being formed by the bondedtogether upper margins 18 and 19 of the pouch-forming material incorporates two layers of the pliable metal foil, while being attached to the upper edge of the body panel at a hinge area 37 (FIG. 10) comprised' of only a single layer -of the pliable foil. The vHap section F also has more body or stiffness than other adjacent parts of the pouch, such that the flap `is easily manipulated into its folded-open and folded-closed positions.

If desired, 'after removel "of a substantial part of the 'contents of the package, the body of the package may be effectively reduced in 'size tby additional fold-over manipulations. For example, the package in FIG. 9 may be shortened yby folding the flap F about its lower edge, etc. Where multiplefolds are involved, the ap F serves to form and guide the folds, so that a neat, trim package is provided.

The new reclosable package of the invention is par-` ticularly advantageous for use in the packaging of materials intended to be only partially consumed upon initial opening of the package. The package is particularly suitable for particulate materials such as pipe tobacco, for example, a package of which may be consumed over a period of several days and which, during this period, must be protected against deterioration through change of moisture content, etc.

A basic feature of the invention resides in the formation of a pouch-type package, using non-elastically pliable material, in such a way as to enable bonded-together marginal areas of the package to 1function as a hinged Hap, which is self-retaining in folded-open and folded-closed positions. This advantageous arrangement is realized by incorporating in the pouch package a tear string element, which is disposed along and immediately adjacent the lower edge extremity of the bonded upper margin of the pouch, and, in conjunction therewith, initially folding over the bonded upper margin of the pouch, generally along the axis of the tear string as an integral or related part of the packaging operations. By this arrangement, the package is supplied to the consumer in a form to provide a sharp fold line, immediately adjacent a flap-forming, fin-type seam, enabling the consumer to tear open the package in a way to reliably assure a neat, clean, straight line opening cut. Thereafter, the ap section Iformed by the partially freed bonded upper margins of the package may be folded away from one of the pouch-forming panels and into a closed position against the opposite pouch-forming panel, to provide a neat, eiective reclosure means.

Typically, the exterior areas of the package will be provided with printed matter of various kinds, and the present invention contemplates that the printing of the margin 18, as well as that of a corresponding area along the upper edge of the pouch-forming panel 26 will take into consideration the fact that the package, as displayed in a store and/ or supplied to the consumer, will include the flap F folded against the upper portion of the pouchforming panel 26. In other words, the margin 18 may well be printed upside down and the upper portion of the panel 26 may not be used for printing information, as least of the variety intended to provide point of purchase impact.

It will be understood that the specific form of the invention herein illustrated and described is intended to be representative only, as certain changes may be made therein without departing from the clear teachings of the disclosure. Accordingly, reference should be made to the following appended claims in determining the full scope of the invention.

What is claimed is:

1. A reclosable tear string pouch comprising (a) panels of laminated pouch-forming material including a layer of metal foil and a layer of heatsealable material joined thereto,

(b) means including heat-sealed margins along the top and opposed side edges of said panels for joining said panels in pouch-forming relation, and

(c) a tear string extending across the top edge of the pouch adjacent the inner edge of the top heat-sealed margin,

(d) said tear string being disposed between the respective layers of metal foil `and extending from one heatsealed side Vmargin to the other,

(e) the' top heat-sealed margin being Vfolded over through about 180 adjacent the inner edge of the top heat-sealed margin to be substantially fiat .against the body of the pouch and to define a ifold line,

(rf-)f said :tearstring being substantially coincident with .said fold :line'and being manually'engageable at one end tobe torn -free of said pouch, whereby to open one of said panels adjacent the inner edge of the top heat-sealed margin,

(g) the top heat-sealed margin being foldable through about 360 after removal of said tear string to reclose the opened pouch panel.

2. The reclosable tear string pouch of claim 1, further characterized Iby (a) said panels of pouch-forming material being integrally joined along the lower edge of the pouch.

3. The reclosable tear string pouch of claim 1, further characterized by (a) said laminated pouch-forming material comprising an outer layer of paper, an intermediate layer of metal foil joined to the paper by a layer of wax, and an extruded-on layer of heat-scalable thermoplastic material joined to said metal foil.

4. The reclosable tear string pouch of claim 3, characterized by (a) said tear string being at least partly embedded in and bonded to the layer of thermoplastic material.

5. The reclosable tear string pouch of claim 1, characterized by (a) said tear string being disposed immediately adjacent and not outward the inner edge extremity of the top heat-sealed margin.

6. A reclosable tear string pouch comprising (a) panels of pouch-forming material,

(b)` said pouch-forming material lbeing substantially non-elastically pliable, whereby to accept and retain folding and unfolding manipulations,

(c) said panels being formed into a closed pouch including a bonded top margin formed by opposed bonded-together panel sections,

(d) said bonded top margin being folded over to form a sharp angle with the body of the pouch and to dene a fold line immediately adjacent the inner edge of the bonded top margin, and

(e) a tear string disposed between the opposed panel sections, substantially coincident with said fold line immediately adjacent the inner edge of the bonded top margin, and having one end manually accessible -for opening of the po-uch,

(f) said bonded top margin being pliably and nonelastically foldable over the opened panel after removal of said tear string, to effect reclosure of the pouch.

7. The reclosable tear string pouch of claim 6, characterized by (a) said pouch-forming material comprising aluminum foil having a heat-scalable bonding material joined to one surface thereof.

8. A reclosable pouch package comprising (a) a pair of opposed panels of pouch-forming material,

(b) said pouch-forming material being ,substantially non-elastically pliable, whereby to accept and retain folding and unfolding manipulations,

(c) said panels being formed into a closed pouch including a bonded top margin formed b y opposed bonded-together panel sections,

(d) means for forming a substantially straight line cut in one of said panels, immediately below said top margin, while maintaining said margin integrally attached to the other of said panels,

8,246,833 7 8 (e) said top margin -being foldable, after forming of References Cited by the Examiner said straight line cut, over the cut upper edge of UNITED STATES PATENTS said one panel to reclose said package,

- i 2 635 788 4/1953 SI1 der et al 229--62 X (f) a tear stung bonded to one of said panels lmmedlf f y margin, and 3,057,539 10/1962 Leary 229-86 (g) means to form a straight line cutting edge com- 3,123,479 3/1964 Dfuttprising a sharp fold in said panels substantially l i coincident with the axis of said tear string, with said JOSEPH R' LECLAIR Pnma-ry Exammer' top margin being folded away from said one panel. 1() D. M. BOCKENEK, Assistant Examiner.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2635788 *Dec 13, 1949Apr 21, 1953Wingfoot CorpPackage
US2922568 *Mar 1, 1954Jan 26, 1960Bartelt Engineering CoPackage for tobacco or the like
US3057539 *Aug 23, 1957Oct 9, 1962Jr Daniel C LearyTear strip pouch type containers
US3123479 *Feb 9, 1961Mar 3, 1964 Granulated food package
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3276669 *Jul 30, 1965Oct 4, 1966Vilutis Leonard JPackage and method of making same
US3380644 *Feb 13, 1967Apr 30, 1968Alessio Gallery DBook mailing wrapper
US3426959 *Jan 16, 1967Feb 11, 1969Jerome H LemelsonPackaging assembly
US3447428 *Feb 16, 1966Jun 3, 1969Reynolds Metals CoMethod for making a pouch of laminated sheet material
US3494538 *Nov 30, 1967Feb 10, 1970Reynolds Metals CoTear string assembly for containers
US3655120 *Mar 20, 1970Apr 11, 1972Jason L SternSelf-opening envelope
US4650079 *Dec 26, 1985Mar 17, 1987Kazuhiro ItohEasy-to-open synthetic resin bag and apparatus for the manufacture thereof
US4961503 *Nov 30, 1989Oct 9, 1990Kapak CorporationTamper evident notched sealing envelope
US5046621 *May 30, 1990Sep 10, 1991Kapak CorporationTamper evident notched sealing envelope
US5094863 *Apr 24, 1991Mar 10, 1992James River Corporation Of VirginiaFood package with rip-cord opener
US5375930 *Aug 24, 1993Dec 27, 1994Tani; KanariEasily openable synthetic resin bag
US5470419 *Dec 21, 1993Nov 28, 1995Ajinomoto Co., Inc.Easily tearable film and pouch made therefrom
US5941641 *May 7, 1998Aug 24, 1999Kraft Foods, Inc.Wrap-around recloseable pouch
US20070028852 *Aug 2, 2006Feb 8, 2007Tracey CicioraPet toy and cover therefor
U.S. Classification383/206, 383/113, 383/86
International ClassificationB65D75/52, B65D75/66
Cooperative ClassificationB65D75/66
European ClassificationB65D75/66