US 3286902 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Nov. 22, 1966 P. H. HUNTER ETAL 3,286,902
RIGID CONTAINER Filed 001;. 20, 1964 pl-(- 32 a 024 A9 PAUL H. Wfi'FER ALFR D J. GUZZ TTI ATTORNEY United States Patent 01 3,286,902 RIGID CONTAINER Paul H. Hunter, New Brunswick, and Alfred J. Guzzetti,
Westfield, NJ., assignors to Union Carbide Corporation, a corporation of New York Filed Oct. 20, 1964, Ser. No. 405,216 3 Claims. (Cl. 229-25) This invention relates to a low cost container for liquids and other flowable materials and more particularly to a rigid, leakproof container suitable for household use.
Because of the problems encountered in handling and sterilizing multiple trip containers for perishable food items such as milk, efforts have been made and continue to be made to provide single-trip, low-cost containers attractive to the supplier, distributor, retailer, and perhaps most important, the housewife. As the trend away from home delivery of milk, for example to purchases in supermarkets continues, changes in the type, shape and capacity of containers have appeared. Glass containers of two quarts or four quarts size do not solve handling and sterilizing problems; wax-coated paper and plastic coated paper cartons still have a tendency to leak or sag, and blow-molded rigid plastic containers recently introduced are relatively expensive for use as single-trip containers.
Accordingly, it is an object of this invention to provide a low-cost rigid container which is easily disposable.
The present invention provides a rigid, leakproof, container for receiving, storing, and dispensing flowable materials which comprises a rigid container body having a plurality of faces and a top and a bottom. The container body has at least one vertical edge sealed from top to bottom and at least two transverse edges sealed to the top and at least two transverse edges sealed to the bottom, thus forming an interiorly substantially sterile container. Furthermore, each of the faces of the container body has a plurality of ribs, each rib having a pair of ends. The ends of each n'b are in contiguous relation with an adjacent rib end and each of the rib ends are so arranged with respect to adjacent ribs that joints therebetween are resistant to bulge and compressive stress.
In another aspect, the present invention provides a container which comprises a top having a pouring means for removal of ingredients packaged in the container.
The pouring means may, advantageously have a cap hingeably mounted on the top of the container body.
In the drawing:
FIG. 1 is an isometric view of a container embodying the invention.
FIG. 2 is a development view of the container of FIG. 1.
Referring now to the drawing, as shown in FIG. 1, the container 10 has a plurality of faces 12 Vanda top 14 and a bottom 16. Each face 12 has a plurality of ribs 18 and each rib 18 is arranged parallel to the top 14 of the container 10. While it is preferred that the ribs 18 be so arranged, vertical or diagonal pbsitionin-g for example may be employed depending on the containers intended use. Each ri-b 18 has a pair of ends 20 which are mitered and in contiguous relation with adjacent rib ends. This is more readily observed in FIG. 2 which shows the container 10 in a flat sheet form before it is assembled. More specifically, FIG. 2 as shown represents the internal structure of the container lfl.
The container 10 also includes an aperture 22 defined by an upstanding flange 24. A cap26 hingeably mounted on the top 14 of the container 10 is provided for the aperture 22.
As shown in FIG. 2 the ribbed container 10 is prepared in a one-piece sheet having concave ribbed sections 18,
3,286,902 Patented Nov. 22, 1966 ice which is then folded into the container 10 of FIG. 1 whereby the ends 20 of the ribbed sections 18 become contiguous and strengthen the container 10. Heat sealing is applied along a vertical edge 28 of the container 10 and along the opposite transverse edges 20 and 32 of the faces 12 to seal the top 14 and the bottom 16 respectively to the faces 12 of .the container 10. Thus an interiorly substantially sterile container is formed. As further shown in FIG. 2, the bottom 16 of the container 10 may be concave in order to facilitate stacking of the containers. In addition, a flat space 24 for labeling or decorating is made. available preferably in the top third of each two opposite faces 12. This provides adequate. advertising space and, being on the upper part of the container, prevents excessive bulging of the uncontoured section. However, the container 10 is easily decorated and labeled by use of a preprinted film sleeve which can be placed over the container and shrunken on. This improves the sanitary aspects of the container :and also permits ribbing the entire surface of the container for maximum stiffness since the flat area 34 will no longer be required for labeling.
The ribbed structure of the container of the invention permits the use of much lighter weight material without any sacrifice of container strength. Furthermore, because very thin material can be employed, a low-cost, easily disposable container is realized. 7
While it is preferred to thermoform or vacuum form a flat sheet of high density polyethylene, other thermoplastic resins may be used, including polyethylene copolymers, polypropylene, copolymers of ethylene and pro pylene, and mixtures of such polyolefins, polystyrene and its modifications and other thermoformable plastic materials. In addition, some paper materials, thin metals or any other materials which can be so shaped and folded accordingly may be substituted depending on the intended use of the container.
Depending on the planned life of the container, the container material can vary in thickness and weight and design. Its shape may be trihedral, rectangular or tetrahedral, pentahedr-al, hexahedral, octahedral, and the like.
While polyethylene sheet 10 to 20 mils thick is desirable, polyethylene sheet 5 to 25 mils in thickness is also appropriate.
The pouring aperture having an upstanding flange such as the aperture described is formed simultaneously with the container itself and isentirely sealed. Thus the-aforementioned container is admirably suited for containing flowable materials and particularly perishable materials, such as milk where sterile conditions are mandatory. If the container were to contain milk, the dairy may fill it several ways. One way is to form the containers from the ribbed-sheets as delivered from the manufacturer, fill through either the top or bottom, and close the containers as by heat scaling in a rapid operation. Alternatively,
- the dairy may receive the ribbed-sheet already folded and sealed into a con-tainer body with attached cap whereby the dairyman would simply fill through the precut pouring aperture and then recap. In any event, the housewife would receive the packaged milk completely protected from foreign matter. In addition, the filled disposable containers are light and easy to handle. The concave ribs provide good rigidity and at the same time permit the container to be grasped and held easily without experiencing any structural failure. Furthermore, the container is completely leak-proof. Its compactness allows it to be conveniently stored, requiring minimum storage space. Several containers can even be stacked until ready for use. After the contents of the container has been exhausted, the container is easily disposed of.
Consequently, the dairy, the distributor, and the housewife need not be concerned with returnable bottles and repurification of the same so as to remove foreign materials that Would affect the taste of the milk later put into them. Also, the danger of broken glass is eliminated. Thus, the disposable container of the instant invention is considerably less expensive to manufacture than the conventional glass bottle and completely eliminates costly sterilization. In addition, because of its light weight structureand because it can be shipped to the dairy in flat sheet form, the ribbed-rigidized plastic container is cheaper to manufacture and distribute than the conventional plastic bottle.
The proposed container may vary in size, including the typical 64-0unce and 32-ounce sizes, their choice depending on requirements.
While the aforementioned container is especially suitable for milk, it can also be used for shipping, storing and dispensing other flowable material including fruit, juices, syrups, and other liquids, as well as powdered and 1 granular foods and thelikc.
What is claimed is: 1. A rigid, leakproof, one-piece container, for receiving,
storing and dispensing flowable materials which container 4 4 two opposing faces of said four faces having -a plurality of transverse, parallel, inwardly curving ribs extending across the entire surface of said faces and the other two faces having said ribs extending ,over 5 only a substantial portion of said faces thereby providing a fiat surface space for container labeling; (d) each of said ribs having a pair of mitered endsiin contiguous relation with an adjacent mitered rib end;
(e) each of said mitered ribs ends so arranged with respect to said adjacent ribs that joints therebetween are resistant to distortion, and
(f) said top of said container being provided with pouring means. 2. The container of claim 1 wherein said pouring means comprises a beaded neck portion having a relatively rigid cap hingeably mounted on said top of said container body. 3. The container of claim 1 wherein said container comprises thermoplastic polymeric material.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS GEORGE O. RALSTON, Primari Examiner.