US 3292778 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Dec. 20, 1966 R. H. ENDERI E I FOAM PACKAGING'MEMBER 2 Sheets-Shet 1 Filed March 22, 1965 V Fig.2
m mr Ne Ed V n m5 H I f 8 .0 0 R 'ATTORNEY 1966 R. H. ENDERLE FOAM PACKAGING MEMBER 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed March 22, 1965 INVENTOR. Robert H. Ender/e A TTORNEY United States Patent Office 3,292,778 Patented Dec. 20, 1966 York Filed Mar. 22, 1965, Ser. No. 441,483 3 Claims. (Cl. 206-65) This invention relates to improvements in packaging materials used to cushion mechanical forces exerted on frangible articles during storage or shipment, and more particularly to a packaging module which may be interlocked with an identical module to protect articles, such as glass tubing, cane, or the like from injury.
In the past fragile articles required special care in handling, storage and shipment. Known packaging required tubing and cane to be bundled by hand in a corrugated wrapper. The bundle was then packed within a shipping carton. Although the corrugated wrapper absorbed some mechanical shock, extensive breakage often resulted during storage and transit.
The bulkiness of the presently known, all-corrugated carton, adds to transportation costs, especially for export shipments where costs are based on the cubic measurement of the carton. These larger cartons require additional warehouse space during storage. Hand labor involved in making up the corrugated package increases the expense.
Basically the present invention is a packaging module which may be interlocked with an identical module to protect fragile articles from injury. The module includes a U-shaped body formed of a shock absorbing material, such as lightweight expanded foam plastic, and may be inexpensively manufactured. The module maintains articles packed therein in a cushioned spatial relationship with an enclosing carton. In addition, the shock absorbing material from which the module is formed provides adequate peripheral protection for the articles packed therewithin. Breakotf points allow the module to serve as a universal part to pack different sizes and quantities of tubing and cane, thus only one size module need be inventoried and stored, further reducing costs.
It has been an object of the present invention to provide an improved packaging member for frangible articles, such as glass tubing and cane, assembled from two identical modules which because of their particular construction, allow the packing of a line of products with a wide range of size variation.
An additional object of the present invention has been to provide a package capable of cushioning frangible articles contained therein against mechanical shock during storage and transit.
Another object of the present invention has been to provide a cushioning and resilient package for maintaining tubing and cane enclosed therein in a spaced relationship with an enclosing carton.
A further object of the present invention has been to provide an economical packaging member by reducing labor, material, inventory and breakage costs.
Other objects and advantages of this invention will be more apparent to those skilled in the art from the following disclosure and accompanying drawings in which:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view showing one embodiment of the invention with breakoff points formed in the legs.
FIG. 2 is a front elevational view of the embodiment shown in FIG. 1.
FIG. 3 is a side elevational view of the embodiment shown in FIG. 1.
FIG. 4 is a perspective view of a packaging saddle formed by interlocking two of the modules shown in FIG. 1.
FIG. 5 shows a perspective view of a modification of the packing saddle with portions of the legs having been removed outside the breakoff points.
FIG. 6 shows a shipping container carrying frangible glass tubing which is protected by the packing saddle shown in FIG. 4.
Referring to FIGURES l, 2, and 3, a module or part 11 is formed of a shock absorbing material, such as foam polystyrene plastic, and has a generally U-shaped configuration. Each module 11 has a base portion 13 and a pair of leg portions 15. The legs 15 are substantially parallel to one another, and are substantially perpendicular to the plane of the base 13. The terms substantially parallel and substantially perpendicular take into account the fact that molded items usually require a slight draft. One each of the pair of legs 15 is situated in an opposite diagonal corner of the base 13. Adjacent each leg 15 and formed in the base 13 are recessed portions 17. The recessed portions 17 are formed in opposite diagonal corners of the base 13. The cross-sectional configuration and proportion of the legs 15 and the recessed portions 17 should be the same, however, the depth of the recessed portion 17 is not critical.
A plurality of grooved breakoif points or recessed scores 19 are formed in each leg 15 so that an outer portion of each leg may be broken away beyond the score 19. In this manner the length of the legs may be shortened to accommodate a smaller quantity of articles to be packaged.
FIGURE 4 shows a packaging saddle formed by interlocking two of the modules shown in FIGURE 1. For assemblies, the legs 15 of one module are lined up in a parallel relationship with the legs of an inverted module. The two modules are then respectively pushed together so that the respective legs of each module move into the corresponding recessed portions of the other module. The modules telescope with one another so that each leg 15 of one module is arranged in a coaxial relationship with the corresponding recessed portions of the other module. As seen in FIGURE 4, when assembled in the foregoing manner, the parts 11 are interchangeable.
It is apparent that the modules may be moved away from one another while the respective legs and recessed portion remain in coaxial alignment, so that the packaging saddle may accommodate frangible objects having larger dimensions than those which would be accommodated by the saddle as shown in FIGURE 6. The cushioned spatial relationship is still maintained with the enclosing container.
The purpose of the recessed portion 17 is to prevent inward deflection of the upper portions of mating legs when the modules are completely joined together. In addition the recessed portion acts as a bearing area against which vertical forces directed along the axis of the legs 15 may be absorbed, thus preventing vertical forces from being transferred to the frangible articles packed therewithin.
FIGURE 5 shows the packing saddle with outer portions of the legs having been removed at the breakoff points 19 of legs 15. In this manner smaller amounts of frangible materials may be packaged with the same universal module configuration. The inter-connections of the modules of FIGURE 5 are identical to those of the module shown in FIGURE 4 as discussed above.
FIGURE 6 shows how a packaging member or saddle, formed by interlocking two modules as shown in FIG- URE 4, would be employed to hold, and absorb shock transmitted to frangible objects, such as glass tubing or cane 21, while the objects are being transported or stored in an outer shipping carton 23. Means 25 for securing the carton maintain said carton as a unitized structure during storage and shipment.
The illustrated package has been constructed of foamed polystyrene plastic. This material is light and economically molded and sufficiently cushions frangible articles against mechanical shock. It will be understood that the package may be constructed of other conventional packaging materials and that the respective parts of the package may be assembled from components rather than molded as a single structure. The parts need not be shaped as illustrated but may be shaped to accommodate the configuration of the articles to be packed therein.
Thus the present invention enables packaging costs to be significantly reduced because different sizes and various quantities of articles may be packed using a universal interlocking module. Ease of packaging articlestherein reduces labor costs.
By maintaining the articles packed therein in a cushioned spacial relationship with the outer shipping carton, externally applied mechanical shock is reduced and ab sorbed. This absorption of mechanical shock should 'reduce the cost of breakage during transit and storage.
While'the fundamental novel features of the invention as applied to a preferred embodiment have been shown, described and pointed out, it will be understood that various omissions and substitutions and changes in the form and details of the device illustrated and in its operation may be made by those skilled in the art without departing from the spirit of the invention, and it is not intended that such forms and details be limitations upon the scope of the invention except insofar as set forth in the following claims.
1. A packaging unit including a pair of U-shaped packaging modules each having a body of shock absorbing material and each comprising, a base portion, a pair of solid leg portions extending from said base portion, said leg portions being substantially parallel to each other and substantially perpendicular to said base portion, one each of said pair of legs being situated at an opposite diagonal corner of said base portion, and each module having a leg-receiving portion formed in diagonally opposed corners of said base portion adjacent each one of the pair of said leg portions and operatively receiving a leg portion of the other module to form an interlocking packaging unit.
2. A packaging member comprising: two identical interlocking U-shaped modules, each module having a body of shock absorbing material comprising, a base portion; a pair of solid leg portions, each extending from a diagonally opposite corner of said base in a direction substantially parallel to each other and substantially perpendicular to said base portion; a pair of recessed portions formed in the base portion, one each in diagonally opposite corners of said base portion adjacent one of said leg portions, the
cross-sectional dimensions of said recessed portions being substantially equal to the dimensions of the cross-section of said leg portions; and each leg of each of the two.
modules being positioned within one each of said recessed portions of the other of the two modules to form an interlocking packaging member.
3. A packaging member as defined in claim 2 wherein a pluraltiy of grooved breakpoints are formed in sidewall portions of each of said leg portions. to facilitate the;
manual removal of end portions of said leg portions so as to shorten the same to a desired length.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS THERON E. CONDON, Primary Examiner.
RAPHAEL S. SCHWARTZ, Examiner.