US 3312337 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
April 4, 1967 v. P. MARTIN PROTECTIVE PACKAGE FOR FRANGIBLE ARTICLES Filed March 21, 1966 TIC-5.1
INVENTORS VERNON F? MARTIN United States Patent 3,312,337 PROTECTIVE PACKAGE FOR FRANGIBLE ARTICLES Vernon P. Martin, West Chester, Pa., assignor to Continental Can Company, Inc., New York, N.Y., a corporation of New York Filed Mar. 21, 1966, Ser. No. 536,113 4 Claims. (Cl. 206-46) This invention relates to a novel package for frangible articles, and is particularly directed to a shock-absorbing package in which frangible articles, such as cookies, crackers, potato chips, light bulbs, Christmas tree ornaments, etc., may be packaged, stored, and shipped with minimum article breakage.
Heretofore, packages provided for frangible articles (or a single article) generally included shock-absorbing panels or fillers which served as partitions to separate the articles and prevent contact therebetween. The articles are thereby continuously maintained in spaced non-contacting relationship and there is, therefore, relatively little opportunity for the articles to be broken or otherwise damaged. Such containers are well known for their use as bottled beer and soda carriers of the six-pack type.
In the packaging of more frangible and less costly articles, such as cookies and potato chips, no provision had been made in the past for preventing such articles from breaking during storage, shipment or other handling. The articles are generally loosely packaged in bulk in a bag or similar container and, When subjected to rough handling, tend to break and crack and become otherwise damaged. This is due primarily to the fact that nothing is done to prevent the fragile articles from moving independently relative to each other and breaking upon impact.
It is, therefore, a primary object of this invention to provide a novel package which is particularly adapted for protecting a plurality of frangible articles against breakage by providing a package formed of an inner container housed withinan outer container, the outer container being constructed of non-heat-shrinkable material, the inner container being constructed of heat-shrinkable material, a plurality of frangible articles within the inner container, and the inner container being heat-shrunk into intimate conforming relationship to the articles whereby the articles are maintained in generally immovable relationship relative to one another and in the absence of relative movement therebetween aids in preventing article breakage.
A further object of this invention is to provide a novel package of the type immediately above-described wherein the inner and outer containers are tubular members having axially opposite end portions, and means are provided for securing the inner and outer containers to each other at the axial end portions while major surface areas of the containers are disconnected whereby the shrinkage of the inner container in no way affects the outer container and the material of the latter remains relatively smooth and unwrinkled.
With the above and other objects in view that will hereinafter appear, the nature of the invention will be more clearly understood by reference to the following detailed description, the appended claimed subject matter, and the several views illustrated in the accompanying drawing.
In the drawing:
FIGUREl is a partial top and partial side perspective view of a novel package constructed in accordance with this invention, and illustrates inner and outer containers of the package prior to the packaging of frangible articles into the inner of the containers through an open mouth thereof.
FIGURE 2 is a sectional view taken generally along "ice line 22 of FIGURE 1, and illustrates the inner and outer containers in intimate contacting relationship prior to the completion of the package.
FIGURE 3 is a partial top and partial side perspective view of the package after the same has been completed, and illustrates a window in the outer container for viewing frangible articles through transparent material of the inner container.
FIGURE 4 is a highly enlarged sectional view taken generally along line 44 of FIGURE 3, and illustrates the inner container heat-shrunk into intimate conforming relationship to a plurality of articles packaged therein.
A novel package constructed in accordance with this invention for preventing the breakage of frangible articles is referred to in the drawing by the reference numeral 10, and includes an outer container or bag 11 and an inner container or bag 12.
The containers 11, 12 are initially formed from webs of material which are suitably transversely severed to form a pair of blanks (not shown) of a generally rectangular configuration which are fiat and planar and include staggered longitudinal edges (not shown). The fiat blanks are formed into tubes with the longitudinal edges of the blanks joined to form staggered longitudinal side seams (not shown) in a manner known in the art. Such tubular multi-ply elements are produced on conventional bagmaking equipment (not shown), and a further description of the manner by which the blanks are formed to form the tubular elements is believed unnecessary for a complete understanding of this invention. However, opposed to conventional duplex bag or container structures, the containers, tubular bag members or tubes 11, 12 are secured to one another by adhesive A only at upper and lower axial end portions 13, 14, respectively. A major central portion (unnumbered) of the containers 11, 12 is completely unconnected. The containers 11, 12 are also coextensive in surface area (FIGURES l and 2) prior to the packaging of frangible articles therein for a reason which will be more apparent hereafter.
The lower end portion 14 of the package 10 is closed by first flattening this end portion and folding a terminal flap portion 16 into overlying relationship with a flap portion 17, as is graphically illustrated in FIGURE 2 of the drawing. Adhesive 18 maintains the flap portions 16, 17'
in secured relationship to each other. The terminal flap portion 16 is in turn folded into engagement with adhesive 20 applied to a bottom panel 21 to complete the formation of the bottom closure, as is best illustrated in FIGURE 4 of the drawing.
A plurality of frangible articles A, such as cookies, crackers, potato chips, light bulbs, etc., are thereafter inserted into the inner container 12 by conventional apparatus (not shown). The articles A are initially loosely packaged in the inner container 12 (not shown). After the articles A have been packaged into the inner container 12, the upper end portion 13 is overfolded upon itself to form an elongated closure 23 which serves as a handle for carrying the package 10. Staples 24 or suitable conventional securing means maintain the handle portion 23 in the folded condition best illustrated in FIGURE 4 of the drawing.
In accordance with this invention, the inner container or liner 12 is formed of relatively thin heat-shrinkable material while the outer container 11 is constructed of heavier but non-heat-shrinkable material. The inner container 12 is preferably an oriented polymeric film, such as oriented polypropylene, polyvinylchloride or polyester, which not only maintains the freshness, sanitation, flavor and other qualities of the articles or food products A, but after the noted closing and sealing, the inner container 12 can be heat-shrunk into intimate forming relationship to the articles A, in the manner clearly shown 3 in FIGURE 4 of the drawing. The inner container 12 is heat-shrunk to urge the articles A into intimate contact With one another, thereby limiting movement during shipment and handling and thus minimizing article-breakage.
The particular manner by which the package is heated to cause the inner container 12 to shrink may be varied and can be accomplished by, for example, passing the package 10 through an infra-red or similar high frequency oven. In lieu of this latter method, an opening 22 may be formed in the outer container 11 prior to the assembly of the containers in the manner heretofore described. Heat from a suitable source could be directed by nozzles or similar means toward and through the window 22 to surround and shrink the inner container 12. In this case the heat-shrinkable material of the inner container 12 is also preferably of a transparent or translucent construction whereby the articles A can be viewed by a potential consumer through the window 22.
It should also be particularly noted that while the inner container 12 shrinks and becomes somewhat distorted, the outer container 11 remains relatively unchanged in configuration and presents an aesthetic appearance to potential consumers. In addition, due to the two axially opposite points of connection between the inner container 12 to the outer container 11 at the end portions 13, 14, the inner container 12 is suspended between these points of connection and tends to float within the outer container 11. That is, if a force were applied from right-toleft in FIGURE 4 of the drawing against the outer container 11, the same would first contact the inner container 12 which would, in turn, float or shift slightly to the left due to the appreciable space between the two containers. Appreciable damage to the articles A will, therefore, not occur until the inner container 12 has floated an appreciable distance to the left and the outer container wall restrains further movement of the inner container, and only thereafter will breakage or other damage to the articles A occur. This same action will, of course, occur about the entire major portion of the package 10 due to the annular space orgap (unnumbered) between the containers 11 and 12.
While a plurality of articles A have been illustrated in the package 10, it is to be understood that the package 10 is equally capable of preventing a single article, such as a light bulb, from breaking. In addition, while the invention has been described in connection with frangible articles, the same is equally adapted for packaging nonfrangible articles as, for example, yarn or thread, in which case the inner container 12 would function to prevent the yarn or thread from tangling due to the inability thereof to unwind from associated reels or spools.
While preferred forms and arrangement of parts have been shown in illustrating the invention, it is to be clearly understood that various changes in details and arrangement of parts may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as defined in the appended claimed subject matter.
1. A shock-absorbing package adapted for protecting a lurality of frangible articles comprising an outer container, an inner container housed within said outer container, said outer container being constructed of non-heatshrinkable material, said inner container being constructed of heat-shrinkable material, a plurality of frangible articles in said inner container, said inner container being heat-shrunk into intimate conforming relationship to said articles, said inner and outer containers being tubular bag members having closed axially opposite end portions, means connecting said inner container to said outer container at each of the axial end portions thereof, and said containers being disconnected over major surface areas thereof whereby the shrinkage of said inner container is ineffective to materially affect the outer container and the material of the latter remains relatively smooth and unwrinkled.
2. The shock-absorbing container as defined in claim 1 wherein said inner and outer containers are constructed from respective first and second longitudinally seamed blanks, and the longitudinal seams of said containers are in circumferentially staggered relationship.
3. The shock-absorbing container as defined in claim 1 wherein the material of said inner container is transparent and an opening is formed in the outer container for viewing the articles therethrough.
4. The shock-absorbing container as defined in claim 1 including means defining a fold for closing said containers at least at one of the axially opposite end portions thereof, and said fold defines a carrying handle of the package.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,987,402 6/1961 Dold 99-171 3,084,984 4/1963 Alder 229- X 3,116,154 12/1963 Rurnsey 229-5 3,190,441 6/1965 Rausing 22955 X LOUIS G. MANCENE, Primary Examiner,