US 3263903 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
g- 66 R. J. WALLER ETAL 3,263,903
VALVED CONTAINER Filed May 21, 1964 2 Sheets-Sheet l INVENTORS. ROBERT J WALLER BY CARL G. L/NDQU/ST A 7' TORNE Y g- 5 R. J. WALLER ETAL' 3,263,903
VALVED CONTAINER 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed May 21, 1964 INVENTORS: ROBERT J WALLER CARL G. L/NDQU/ST BY ATTORNEV United States Patent 3,263,903 VALVED CONTAINER Robert J. Waller, Costa Mesa, and Carl G. Lindquist,
Glendora, Califi, assignors, by direct and mesne assignments, of sixty-six and two-thirds percent to Waller- Lindquist, Inc., Los Angeles, Calif., a corporation of California, and thirty-three and one-third percent to Byron V. Curry, Arcadia, Calif.
Filed May 21, 1964, Ser. No. 369,222 4 Claims. (Cl. 229-625) The invention relates to valved containers, and more particularly to containers having one-way valves through which fluids or solids may enter and leave the container.
There are many patented containers which have valved openings of various descriptions. Each valved container aims for positive closing, ease of filling, simplicity of construction and accessibility of the contents in the container after filling. Previous valved containers have succeeded in accomplishing one or more of these objectives. We have invented a container and valve combination which not only achieves the above objectives but can be fabricated at a much lower cost than conventional containers with the same purpose.
Our invention contemplates a valved container that comprises container walls joined at their contiguous edges to define a volume, with a mouthor port opening from the exterior of the container. Preferably, but not necessarily, the container walls are flexible. First and second valving sheets of flexible material are sealed about the mouth of the container. The valving sheets are adjacent and parallel and are sealed where their edges meet adjacent the container mouth such that acces between the sheets is afforded through the mouth. The mutually adjacent obverse surfaces of the valving sheets have a greater affinity or adhering at-traction one for another than the reverse faces of the valving sheets have for the adjacent walls of the container.
The adjacent obverse surfaces of the valving sheets preferably are very smooth and lie together in sealing relationship. The valving sheets depend from the month Within the confines of the container walls. Access to the volume defined by the container walls is through the mouth and between the valving sheets. A filling tube may be utilized to load the container. The filling tube serves to part the valving sheets, giving access to the container interior.
Provided proper materials are used for the valving sheets and the container walls, the container may hold fluids such as gas and water or granular solids with a particle size commensurate with the opening in the container. Once the container is filled, any movement of the filling material toward the opening tends to take place between the reverse faces of the valving sheets and the walls of the container. Such movement occurs as the container is inverted, for instance. The materials within the container are incapable of parting the valving sheets. For instance, liquid within an inverted container tends to lodge between the container wall and the reverse surfaces of the valving sheets. Pressure of the liquid bear against the valving sheets, adhering them more closely to each other and sealing the mouth or opening of the container.
Materials may be removed from the filled container by means of a tube or other instrumentality adapted for easy insertion through the mouth and which wedges apart the adjacent faces of the valving sheets.
Preferably the container and the valving sheets are of a flexible plastic material, such as lightweight polyethylene or polyvinyl plastics. Each of these materials is available commercially with either textured or extremely smooth surfaces. It has been found that the smooth surfaces of materials such as the polyvinyls, for instance,
adhere firmly to one another. Electrostatic charges may be responsible for adherence, although it is believed that molecular adhesion is a factor.
The container of the invention may be embodied in shipping bags for small instruments which must be handled in sterile condition, may be used to mix liquids and solids without leakage, or may be used removably to establish in insulating layer of air about a volume. These and other advantages of the invention are apparent from the following detailed description and drawing in which:
FIG. 1 is a fragmentary elevational view, partly in section, of .a simple form of the invention;
FIG. 2 is a plan section taken along line 22 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is an elevational view, partly broken away, of a preferred embodiment of the invention;
FIG. 4 is a plan section taken along line 4-4 of FIG. 3;
FIG. 5 is a fragmentary elevational view, partly broken away, showing a filling tube in place in the embodiment of FIGS. 3 and 4;
FIG. 6 is a fragmentary elevational view, partly broken away, of an alternate embodiment of the invention;
FIG. 7 is a fragmentary elevation of a further alternate embodiment of the invention;
FIG. 8 is a fragmentary sectional elevation taken along line 8-8 of FIG. 7; and
FIG. 9 is a sectional view similar to FIG. 8 but inverted.
In FIGS. 1 and 2 a container 11 has side walls 12, 13 and end walls 14, 15 and top and bottom walls 16, 17 sealed together as at 19. Top wall 16 has a mouth or opening 21 connecting between the exterior and interior of container 11. The mouth is defined by an adhered area on each side 23, 24. The adhered areas in the drawing are indicated by a boundary line surrounding a multiplicity of small dots. Adherence may be achieved by adhesives, heat sealing, or electronic sealing, depending upon the materials used for container construction.
A first valving sheet 26 and a second valving sheet 27 are each sealed at 28, 29 about the container mouth. Additionally, each valving sheet is adhered between points 28 and 29 to the respective adjacent side wall of the container. The respective top edges 31, 32 of valving sheets 26, 27 adjacent the mouth may also be sealed together.
Container 11 is normally closed except where mouth 21 opens between valving sheets 26 and 27. Therefore, access to the interior 34 of the container is between the valving sheets. As indicated by the dotted lines 36 of FIG. 2, the valving sheets may be parted at 38 to receive materials through mouth 21.
A preferred embodiment of the invention is illustrated in FIGS. 3, 4 and 5. A container 41 having side walls or panels 42, 43 combined with valving sheets 45, 46 is sealed along its sides 48, 49 and bottom 51. Preferably, the side panels are of a flexible plastic material, such as polyethylene or polyvinyl. The materials named may be heatsealed or electronically joined.
A first sealing area 53 extends from the top 55 of the container toward the interior thereof. A second sealing area 56 extends from the opposite side of the top toward the interior of the container to a point spaced from the interior termination of the first sealing area. Sealing areas 53 and 56 define a funnel-like entry 57 which ends in a mouth or port 58 extending between the interior terminal points of areas 53 and 56. Port 58 provides access from the exterior of container 42 to the interior of the container between valving sheets 45 and 46. If more rapid filling is desired than permitted by the port 58, materials may be introduced into the container from bottom 51 before the side walls 42, 43 are sealed together along the I 3 bottom. Other embodiments of the invention are amenable to similar filling techniques.
To insure a closed container, whether before or after filling, the corner portions 61, 62 of container top 55 are sealed together in the portion between the sides of the container and the respective exterior terminus of each sealing area 53, 56.
A preferred method of fabrication of the container of FIGS. 3-5 is as follows:
Side walls 42, 43 are combined with the shorter valving sheets 45, 46 so that the smooth obverse sides of the valving sheets are adjacent. The reverse sides of the valving sheets are adjacent the relatively rough inner faces of the side walls. As previously described, the tendency of the smooth surfaces to adhere together is greater than is the tendency for other surfaces. After the sheets and sides are properly located, with the valving sheets being transversely co-extensive with the side walls, and'sharing a common upper boundary, the entire container is sealed around its boundaries and in areas 53, 56 in a single heatsealing or electronic sealing operation, simultaneously effecting all joinders. Such a method can be performed in a continuous flow operation in which the vertical boundary of the container can be severed from the next adjacent container being formed from the continuous strips supplied to the sealing stat-ion on the fabricating line.
A container so formed has, sealed side and bottom boundaries with the valving sheets comm-only sealed with the side boundaries for a portion of the top edge and along the sealing areas 53-, 56. The sealing areas need not approach each other uniformly, but may be curving or nonlinear so long as the mouth or port defined by their internal ends has a lesser transverse extent than the transverse extent of the valving sheets.
If the material used for the container is 4 mil polyvinyl plastic, it is preferred that the lower edge 45A of each valving sheet extend about an inch below port -58 and that the extent of port 58 be no more than fifty percent of the transverse dimension of the valving sheets. These limitations vary in accordance with the material and the sheet thickness utilized.
In FIG. 5 a filling or access tube 71 is shown thrust through port 58 between valving sheets 45 and 46 into the interior of container 41. Tube 71 may be a drinking straw or other hollow instrument through which the contents of the package may be extracted. The tube may also be used to fill the container if the container has been completely sealed except for port 58 prior to filling. Tube 71 or a like instrument is easily inserted through port 58 because of the guiding tapering configuration of entry 57. A solid rod smaller than port 58 can be used to separate the valving sheets and provide a passage therebetween through which the materials within the container may be extracted around the rod. Bifurcated instruments may also be used for the same purpose and give greater passage area than does a solid rod.
In FIG. 6 an alternate embodiment of the invention is illustrated. A container 81 similar in configuration to the previously described container 41 comprises side walls 82, 83. Each side wall is a laminate having an outer facing 84, 84A and an inner facing 85, 85A, respectively. The facings 84, 84A are of a smooth material such as the proprietary plastics Saran or Mylar adapted to adhere on contact in separable fashion. Inner facings 85, 85A may be of polyethylene material. Each side wall bends inwardly and downwardly at the container top 86 in valving sheet portions 87, 87A, bringing the smooth facings 84, 84A adjacent within the container. Sealing areas similar to areas 53, 56 and binding together in the areas the side walls and the valving sheet portions thereof create an entry similar to that described with respect to the previous embodiment.
The downward extent of the valving sheet portions depends in part upon the type of entry that the lading material of the container requires. The bottom edges 89, 89A
of the valving sheet portions preferably extend below the mouth (not shown) of the entry in the manner described previously with respect to the embodiment of FIG. 3.
If proper material thicknesses are used, the facings 84, 84A need only cover the inner portion of the side wall bend.
The operation of the embodiment of'FIG. 6 and its use are similar to that set forth in conjunction with the previously described embodiments.
FIGS. 7, 8 and 9 illustrate a further alternate embodiment of the invention. In FIGS. 7 and 8 a container 101 has flexible side walls 102, 103 combined with a flexible first valving sheet 104. The side walls 102, 103 and sheet 104 are sealed together, as shown by the dot-filled areas between defining lines along vertical edges 106, 107 of the container downwardly from a top boundary 108. Valving sheet 104 may be sealed to side panel 102 along their common top boundary.
An applied valving patch 111 located below boundary 108 and between container edges 106 and 107 lies against the inner face of side wall 103. The applied patch is adapted to contact the obverse surface 112 of valving sheet 104. Obverse surface 112 is a relatively smooth surface with adhering characteristics when brought into contact with a like surface.
It is preferred that patch 111 be an applied smooth area sprayed onto side wall 103 to comprise therewith a second valving sheet. Special spray-coating forms of polyethylone and other like plastics are presently available. Other materials such as various latex compounds or metallic coatings may also be used.
A transverse sealing area 114 extends inwardly along a part of the upper edge of the, applied patch. A similar sealing area 115 extends inwardly along the upper edge of the applied patch from the opposite end of the patch. The sealing areas (designated by the bounded small dots) bind together the valving sheet and the opposed side walls of the container. A port or mouth 117 between the inner ends of the sealing areas opens between the patch and valving sheet 104 from the entry 118 defined by sloping vertical sealing areas 119, 120 that extend upwardly and outwardly to boundary 108 of the container. Patch 111 extends horizontally nearly to the vertical seal between the side walls. This horizontal extent is co-extensive with the transverse sealing areas 114 and 115.
When the container is fiat, obverse face 112 of valving sheet 104 and the smooth surface presented by patch 111 comprise an effective sealing valve to prevent communication between the container interior and entry 118. If the container is inverted, as shown in FIG. 9, material, such as the liquid 121 within the container, migrates toward boundary 108. The smooth obverse face 112 of the valving sheet has a greater aifinity for the smooth. applied patch 111 than does reverse face 122 of the sheet for the inner surface of wall 102, leaving face 122 and wall 102 separated. Therefore, initial flow toward boundary 108 is between side wall 102 and the valving sheet. As material lodges between those two surfaces, additional pressure bringing the valving sheet and the patch into closer relationship effects an even tighter seal at month 117.
Like other embodiments of the invention, the materials of the side walls and the valving sheet are preferably a fluid-impervious flexible plastic material. Varying container loads may dictate differing container materials.
Any of the embodiments may be filled through an unsealed container seam which is then closed so that the valve is the only access to the container interior. Tests have shown that the container of the invention affords an airtight and watertight package capable of retaining encased fluids without loss for long periods. This attribute of tight sealing is of great advantage in packaging materials which must be kept sterile or which tend to evaporate.
The container of the invention has been illustrated by several embodiments. However, many other variations within the scope of the invention will occur to those skilled in the art. Therefore, it is our desire that the invention be measured by the appended claims rather than by the purely illustrative disclosures herein.
1. A valved container adapted to be relatively flat when empty and comprising a plurality of walls defining a volume, a pair of valving sheets within the volume, each sheet having an obverse face adapted to adhere normally to the obverse face of the other sheet when brought into mutual surface contact, an entry between the side Walls communicating from the container exterior to between the valving sheet, the reverse faces of said valving sheets and the respectively adjacent inner surfaces of the adjacent container walls having less mutual adherence than do the obverse faces of the valving sheets.
2. A process for fabricating a substantially fiat valved container having flexible side walls and shorter flexible internal valving sheets comprising the steps of placing the valving sheets face to face between the side sheets, sealing together a major portion of the side wall periphery, sealing the valving sheets together on either side of the unsealed portion of the side walls, and joining in locally sealed relationship the side walls and the valving sheets along nonmeeting lines extending inwardly from each corner of the sealed side wall periphery.
3. A process in accordance with claim 2 wherein all sealing joinders are made simultaneously.
4. A valved container comprising a first wall vpanel of fluid-impervious material, a second like wall panel, said first and second wall panels being sealed to each other about their respective peripheries to form a substantially fiat bag adapted to contain fluids and solids, a first valving sheet disposed within the bag so formed adjacent an end thereof, a second valving sheet disposed within the bag adjacent the first valving sheet and in substantial parallel relationship thereto, the adjacent obverse surfaces of said valving sheets having a greater aflinity for each other than do the reverse surfaces of the first and second valving sheets for the panels, a first sealing area extending from the exterior of the bag toward the central portion thereof and sealing together the wall panels and the first and the second valving sheets, a second sealing area extending from the exterior of the bag toward the interior thereof and terminating at a point spaced from the inward termination of the first sealing area, said second sealing area joining the waltl panels and the first and the second valving sheets, a mouth opening exteriorly of the bag between the two sealing areas, and a port at the inward terminus of the sealing areas opening between the first and the second valving sheets.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,799,314 7/1957 Dreyer et a1. l-0.5 3,189,252 6/1965 Miller -9 X FOREIGN PATENTS 529,427 6/1955 Italy. 316,769 10/ 1956 Switzerland. 330,696 6/ 1958 Switzerland.
JOSEPH R. LECLAIR, Primary Examiner.
FRANKLIN T. GARRETT, Examiner.
D. T. MOORHEAD, Assistant Examiner.