|Publication number||US3292810 A|
|Publication date||Dec 20, 1966|
|Filing date||Sep 3, 1963|
|Priority date||Sep 3, 1963|
|Publication number||US 3292810 A, US 3292810A, US-A-3292810, US3292810 A, US3292810A|
|Original Assignee||Phillips Petroleum Co|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (11), Referenced by (42), Classifications (14)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
Dec. 20, 1966 A. SCHECHTER 3,
MULTIPAGKS FOR PERISHABLE MERCHANDISE Filed Sept. 5, 1963 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 INVENTOR ALFRED SCHECHTER ATTORNEKSW j Dec. 20, 1966 v A- SCHECHTER MULTIPACKS FOR PERISHABLE MERCHANDISE 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Sept. 5, 1963 FIG. 4
INVENTOR ALFRED SCHECHTER BY a A TTOR/VEYS United States Patent 3 292 810 MULTIPACKS non PEnrsrrABLa MERCHANDISE Alfred Schechter, New Rochelle, N.Y., assignor to Phillips Petroleum Company, a corporation of Delaware Filed Sept. 3, 1963, Ser. No. $436,152 Claims. (Cl. 2204) This invention relates to providing a plural unit package of protective character for perishable merchandise. In another aspect it relates to joining plural pairs of formed containers into an integral package which can be readily broken up as desired by the consumer, while preserving the contents of the individual units from exposure.
In the newer food packaging process of packaging perishable edibles in formed plastic containers, it is often desirable, from a retailing viewpoint, to provide the individual food containers in plural packs when on multiitem sale, or simply for ease in handling when the shopper wants to purchase several standard packages. Although using a continuous film as a common cover ties single packs together, it is too flexible and makes the packages cumbersome for convenient handling. A means of simply and economically forming rigid multipacks of a plurality of formed containers, which multipacks may be broken up and used as required, would be most desirable.
The prior art discloses methods for packaging a plurality of formed containers by using flexible strips, or the like, to tie the individual articles together. It is also known to hermetically close individual packages by sealing the lid to an annular gasket retained in place by lip or flange of open-faced containers rather than by scaling to the flange itself. This, of course, requires a separate lid and gasket for each unit. Moreover, once the lidgasket seal is broken, the airtight nature of the original closure is permanently lost.
Additionally, a method of economizing on the expenditure of lids and gaskets, which are used up in tremendous numbers in food packaging, is always to be sought after.
Accordingly, it is an object of this invention to provide a superior multipack for perishable merchandise.
It is another object to provide a multipack of formed containers for perishable items from which a unit container may be broken oil, as required, without perm-anently exposing the contents of the units to the atmosphere.
Still another object of this invention is to avoid the destruction of sealing lids and gaskets from the rupturing of hermetically sealed packages.
These and other objects, aspects, and advantages of the invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art from a study of the disclosure, the drawings, and the appended claims to the invention.
The foregoing objects are achieved broadly, in this invention, by providing a multiple unit package comprising at least two formed containers. Each of the containers has an open face which is flanged to form a lip on which to seat the corresponding lip area of an opposing container. An outwardly projecting recess is disposed within the generally vertical sides of each of said containers near the upper edges. Removable inner lids are provided to snap into and out of said recess of each of said containers merely with a manually exertable force. A flat strip-like gasket is provided to be disposed on the external side of each of the container edges and is sized to overlap the outer edges of said container lips. The exposed portions of the gaskets are of sufiicient rigidity to be joined securely to one another, but they are still capable of being manually separated to expose the inner lids of each of the joined containers for repetitive removal.
In a preferred embodiment at least one of the gaskets is extended well beyond the area of sealing to provide a carrying handle.
In another principal embodiment the multipack is sealed without the use of flanged edges on the individual formed container, but rather employs a band-shaped union of sufiicient width to substantially overlap the margins of a pair of containers disposed top to top; outwardly projecting peripheral recesses are similarly disposed within container sides, adapted to permit the use of removable inner lids as in the other embodiments; the unions are of sufiicient rigidity to securely join the margins of the opposing containers to one another; but are still capable of manual separation to expose the inner lids of the previously joined containers for repetitive removal and reinsertion. If the unions are thermoplastic, they can be heat sea-led to the container margins, or if of dissimilar material, a conventional adhesive of limited bond strength for material separability can be employed.
For the purpose of more clearly describing the invention and providing a better understanding thereof, reference is made to the accompanying drawings, in which like parts have been designated with like reference numerals:
FIGURE 1 is a schematic perspective illustrating a novel two-unit multipack;
FIGURE 2 is an elevational view in full section showing a two-unit multipack sealed according to this invention;
FIGURE 3 is a schematic perspective of a four-unit multipack provided with a carrying handle;
FIGURE 4 is tn elevational view in partial section showing a two-unit multipack sealed according to this invention;
FIGURE 5 is a schematic perspective illustrating a novel union for use in the multipack of FIGURE 4;
FIGURE 6 is an elevational view in partial section showing a two-unit multipack sealed by another type of union; and
FIGURES 7a and 7b are an elevation-a1 view in full section and an elevational view, respectively showing another novelly joined multipack.
Referring now to the drawing, and to FIGURE 1 in particular, there is shown a multipack, generally designated 6, comprising, typically, two units of formed containers filled with foodstuifs.
Each of the cups 7a and 7b is formed from a continuous plastic strip by the action of heat, pressure, and suitable forming dies, in a manner well known to those sldlled in the art. A margin (seen in FIGURE 2) of undeformed plastic strip is left around the cup to provide a horizontal lip or flange, to which the corresponding lip area of the opposing container can seal. The two units are secured to one another by sealed gaskets 8a and 8b. The side walls of cups 7a and 7b show a ridge 9a and b disposed completely around the periphery of the cups, which comprises an outwardly projecting recess on the inner surface of the cup walls; this recess accommodates an inner snap-in lid (see in FIGURE 2) which protects the stored perishables, or the like.
In FIGURE 2, an elevational view in full section, taken through line 22 of FIGURE 1, is shown of the multipack, with the perishables 11a and b being retained in position by removable snap-in lids 12a and b, held in place by anchoring in formed recesses 13a and 13b. The lips or flange 14a and b of the containers are seen as being held in close contact by sealed gaskets 8a and 8b.
FIGURE 3 depicts another embodiment of the invention similar in all respects regarding sealing, except that a four-unit multipack is shown, prior to folding over the two right hand units along perforated line 16. Gasket 8a is seen to extend beyond lip 14a and will be secured against gasket 8b. In this embodiment, gasket 8 is proin an annular recess and flat ring-like gaskets for sealing.
The four-unit pack of FIGURE -3 could be extended in a longitudinal direction by adding pairs of units up to as many as desired. The added pairs would be folded over and sealed in the same manner.
The resulting multipack when opened destroys perm-anently only the ruptured sealing gaskets, and then only if they are not composed of a heat-resealable material. The removable inner lids are intact and can be opened and reclosed very simply. Moreover, the. tightness of the fit of the snap-in lids for shipment purposes is not critical, because the gaskets provide the liquid-tight seal until the package is opened.
Further advantage can be gained by the careful manufacture of the customarily ring-like sealing gasket. In stamping out an annular gasket 8 there remains a circular board, which is generally discarded. With perhaps a slight additional reduction of its diameter the resulting disc can serve as the removable snap-in lid 12.
FIGURE 4 depicts another embodiment of the invention in which a band-shaped union 21, provided with formed annular recesses 22a and 22b, secures together former containers, or cups, 231:: and 23b to one another. Cups 23a and 23b, like those of the first disclosed embodiments, are each formed from a continuous plastic strip by the action of heat, pressure, and suitable forming dies. The cups are provided with removable snap-in lids 24a and 24b, anchored in place by container peripheral recesses 25a and 25b. The internal surfaces of the annular recesses, of the union conveniently serve to accommodate the external surfaces of the peripheral recesses of the containers. This results in a strong container-union, but yet one which can be manually severe-d, when desired. If the package materials dictate the use of a light adhesive, it can be spread into the opposing recesses befor joining manually.
FIGURE 5 shows a union 21, having edge or annular recesses 22a and 22b, which is preferably composed of a thermoplastic to permit heat sealing, but can easily be composed of a metal, or the like, probably requiring the use of an adhesive. This union is suited for use in the embodiment of FIGURES 4 and 6. V
In FIGURE 6, there is shown another embodiment of the invention in which union 21a is a flat external band overlapping the reduced portion 26 defined by the abutting edges of containers 23a and 23b. Lids 24a and 24b are held in cup recesses 25a" and 25b.
FIGURE 7 depicts still another embodiment of the invention, in which union 21b is of like configuration to that shown in FIGURE 5, but of slightly reduced diameter so as to make engaigement with the inner surface of recesses 25a" and 25b" of cups 23a and 23b", respectively, after lids 24a" and 24b" are slipped in place. A heat shrinkable band of material 26 is disposed loosely about the united containers, as seen in FIGURE 7a, then is shrink fitted to give a gas-tight seal, as seen in FIGURE 7b.
The opposing gaskets can be heat-sealed together if formed from thermoplastics. Alternatively, if conventional materials are employed, they may be glued or stapled to one another to form the double pack. As a unit is required, a knife can most conveniently be employed to slit the gaskets, and expose the inner lids of the unit packs.
The formed containers to which the instant invention is applied are conveniently fabricated from the thermoplastic normally solid polymers and resins, such as the polyolefins, and especially high density polyethylene, because of the packaging properties and heat scalability. In general, any solid polymer of an aliphatic mono-1- olefin can be used within the scope of this invention. Examples of such st-artingmaterials include polymers and copolymers of aliphatic mono-l-olefins, such as ethylene,
propylene, butene-l, hexene-l, octene-l, and the like.. Polymers of aliphatic mono-l-olefins having a maximum of 8 carbon atoms per molecule and no branching'nearer the double bond than the fourth position provide thermo-, plastic containers having desirable packagingproperties. Homopolymers and copolymers, as well as mixtures of i homopolymers and copolymers are suitable polymeric,
materials for the multipack of the invention.
Generally, the invention is applicable to all types of extrudable or deformable plastic. resins, such as polyvinyl chlorides, polystyrene, nylon, and Teflon. any materials that containers may be fabricated from, such as paper or wood, may be subjected to this invention.
mill thick sheet of solid polyolefins. as cardboard, can likewise serve as the lid or gasket.
two gaskets. If cardboard, or the like, is employed as the lid or gasket, the use of any standard adhesive compound will be more convenient to secure container gaskets to one another.
Reasonable variations and modifications are possible within the scope of the foregoing disclosure, the drawings, and the appended claims to the invention.
1. A multipack comprising at least two formed containers: each of said containers having an open face which is flanged to form a lip on which to seat the corresponding lip area of an opposing container; an outwardly projecting recess disposed within the general vertical sides of each of said containers near the lips thereof; a removable inner lid disposed in said recess of each of said containers, said lids being capable of snapping in and out of said recess with a manually exertable force; a flat strip-like gasket disposed on the external side of each of said container lips and sized to overlap the outer edges of said container lips; and the exposed portion of said gaskets being joined securely to one another, but capable of manual separation to expose the inner lids of the previously joined containers for removal.
2. The article of manufacture of claim 1 wherein both of saidgaskets and said inner lids are fabricated from normally solid polyolefins.
3. The article of manufacture of claim 1 wherein said gaskets are fabricated of normally solid polyolefins and are initially secured to one another by heat sealing.,
4. The article of manufacture of claim 1 wherein said gaskets are fabricated from non-heat scalable materials and are secured to one another by an adhesive.
5. The article of manufacture of claim 1 wherein at least one of said gaskets is fabricated to extend well beyond the area of sealing with the other gasket, and provide a carrying handle.
6. A multipack comprising at least two generally cylindrical containers; each of said containers having an open face which is flanged to form a lip on which to seat the corresponding width area of an opposing container; an outwardly projecting annular recess disposed within the generally cylindrical sides of each of said containers near the lips thereof; a generally circular removable inner lid disposed in said annular recess of each of said containers, said lids being capable of snapping in and out of said recess with a manually exertable force; a fiat ring-like gasket disposed on the external side of each of said containers and sized to overlap the outer edges of said container lips; and the-exposed portion of said gaskets being joined securely to one another, but capable In fact,
The lid and gasket may, of course,,be printed just as the film cover, or a conventional outer.
of manual separation to expose the inner lids of the previously joined containers for removal.
7. A multipack comprising an even number of formed containers; said containers paired so that each of said containers has an open face which is flanged to form a lip on which to seat the corresponding lip area of an opposing container; an outwardly projecting recess disposed within the generally vertical sides of each of said containers near the lips thereof; a removable inner lid disposed in said recess of each of said containers, said lids being capable of snapping in and out of said recess with a manually exertable force; a flat strip-like gasket disposed on the external side of each of said containers and sized to overlap the outer edges of said container lips; the exposed portion of said gaskets, being joined securely to one another, but capable of manual separation to expose the inner lids of the previously joined containers for removal.
8. The multipack of claim 7 wherein said containers are generally cylindrical in configuration, said side recess describes an annulus, said lids are circular, and said gaskets are ring-like in configuration.
9. A multipack comprising at least two formed containers, each of said containers disposed so that the open edge of one is abutting the open edge of the other; an
outwardly projecting peripheral recess disposed within the generally vertical sides of each of said containers near said open edges; removable inner lids disposed in said recess in each of said containers, said lids being capable of snapping in and out of said recess merely with a manually exertable force; a single band-like union disposed adjacent the side of each of said containers and sized to overlap said generally vertical sides; and the said union being securely joining one container to the other, but being capable of manual separation to expose the inner lids of the previously joined containers for removal.
10. The multipack of claim 9 wherein said union is provided with annular recesses near the edges thereof positioned to engage with the peripheral recess of the adjoining container.
11. A multipack comprising at least two formed containers, each of said containers disposed so that the open end of one container is abutting the open end of the other container; an outwardly projecting peripheral recess disposed Within the generally vertical sides of each of said containers spaced near but below said open ends; a removable inner lid positioned in said recesses in each of said containers, said lids being capable of snapping in and out of said recesses with a manually exertable force; and a union member disposed about said containers overlapping the abutment of said open ends and secured thereto for joining said containers, but said union member being capable of manual separation to expose the inner lids of the previously joined containers.
12. A multipack comprising at least two for-med containers, each of said containers disposed so that the open end of one container is abutting the open end of another container; an outwardly projecting peripheral recess disposed within the generally vertical sides of each of said containers spaced near but below said open ends; a removable inner lid positioned in said recess in each of said containers, said lids being capable of snapping in and out of said recess with a manually exertable force; and a heat hrinkable band of material overlapping the abutted open ends of said containers shrink fitted thereto for joining and sealing said containers together.
13. The multipack of claim 12 further comprising a rigid band-like union tightly disposed within the abutting open ends of said containers.
14. The multipack of claim 13 wherein said heat shrinkable band of material overlaps the peripheral recess of each of said containers.
15. The article of claim 14 wherein all parts are fabricated from normally solid polyolefins.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED .STATES PATENTS 239,225 3/ 1881 Claussen 2204 281,556 7/1883 Richardson 2204 2,005,245 6/1935 Stover. 2,190,930 2/1940 Boyd 229-'-5.5 2,364,125 12/ 1944- Bruening 2204 2,679,281 5/ 1954 Paulucci. 2,931,494 4/ 1960 Pfohl 206-78 3,113,408 12/ 1963 Kirkpatrick et al. 3,144,343 8/1964 Fritsche 206-78 X FOREIGN PATENTS 1,153,020 9/1957 France. 1,206,658 4/ 1959 France.
THERON E. CONDON, Primary Examiner, M. L. RICE, Examiner,
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|U.S. Classification||220/4.24, 220/23.83, 206/497, 426/119, 220/DIG.340|
|International Classification||B65D73/00, B65D71/50|
|Cooperative Classification||B65D2543/00796, B65D71/502, B65D73/0092, B65D2543/00759, Y10S220/34|
|European Classification||B65D73/00F1B, B65D71/50B|