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Publication numberUS3319684 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMay 16, 1967
Filing dateNov 30, 1964
Priority dateNov 30, 1964
Publication numberUS 3319684 A, US 3319684A, US-A-3319684, US3319684 A, US3319684A
InventorsWilliam D Calhoun
Original AssigneePharmaseal Lab
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Collapsible container
US 3319684 A
Abstract  available in
Images(1)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

May 16, 1967 w. D. CALHOUN COLLAPSIBLE CONTAINER Filed Nov 30, 1964 W 0 R m n m m M 6 E w a W I W/\ M \J I H WU y Y W a "IIIIH 3 5- 9 HI'I H IIH I!" 2 W I /h H .///.\l.. 4

United States Fatent C) 3,319,684 COLLAPSIBLE CONTAINER William D. Calhoun, La Crescenta, Calif., assignor to Pharmaseal Laboratories, Glendale, Calif., 21 corporation of California Filed Nov. 30, 1964, Ser. No. 414,649 8 Claims. (Cl. 1508) This invention pertains to plastic, collapsible containers and more specifically to containers that are suitable for medical use in closed system liquid administration or drainage.

The container of this invention is well suited to flexibly connect to a conduit means by means of an adapter to form a Liquid Collection System that is the subject of a separate application filed Nov. 30, 1964, Ser. No. 414,- 723, and invented by Bern D. Folkman and Stephen D. Thornton, Jr.

Very often in hospitals or doctors oflices, liquid is either administered to a patient, such as enema administration, or drawn from the patient, such as in urine collection. It is desirable in these uses to have a collapsible container that changes volumes to correspond to volumes of liquid collected and which therefore does not unnecessarily expose the liquid to the atmosphere. Rigid containers must expel air through a vent to the nonsterile atmosphere or build up a pressure. Such pressure could have adverse effects on the patient.

A collapsible container can be in the form of a layflat flexible bag which is essentially two flat sheets of plastic material heat sealed together around their edges. However, layflat bags are very diflicult to handle when they contain liquid. Because they have no fixed or definite shape when containing liquid, they aften squash out into a shapeless mass when set on a table top. These layflat bags give the nurse or physician the feeling of carrying water in a toy balloon. Also, large-volume layflat bags tend to leak at their seals when filled with liquid.

An object of this invention is to provide a collapsible thermoplastic container for liquid administration or collection wherein the container has a definite shape.

Another object of this invention is to provide a collapsible thermoplastic container that can be suspended from a support means and maintain a generally rectangular shape when containing liquid.

Still another object of this invention is to provide a collapsible thermoplastic container that can sit on a flat surface and not tip over when containing a liquid.

Other objects of this invention will become apparent from a further description and the following illustrations, in which:

FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of the collapsible con tainer as it is used for fluid collection;

FIGURE 2 is a perspective view of the collapsible cont ainer as it is used for fluid administration;

FIGURE 3 is an enlarged perspective view of the collapsible container in section;

FIGURE 4 is a side view of the collapsibe container showing it partially collapsed with its ends folded inwardly;

FIGURE 5 is a side view of the collapsible container showing it partially collapsed with its ends folded outwardly;

FIGURE 6 is an end view of the collapsible container in FIGURE 4 showing it partially collapsed; and

FIGURE 7 is an enlarged cross-sectional view of the U-shaped fold line.

As shown in FIGURE 1, the collapsible thermoplastic container 1 includes a rectangular top 2 with a rigid central portion 7 integrally connected to support means 6. The rectangular top 2 thins progressively outwardly from ICE rigid central portion 7 to a thin foldable peripheral portion 8. Foldable rectangular sides 5 and ends 4 connect to the foldable peripheral portion 8. A rectangular bottom 3 with a rigid central portion 9 thins progressively outwardly to its thin foldable peripheral portion 10 which foldably connects to rectangular ends 4 and rectangular sides 5. The sides 5, ends 4, top 2, and bottom 3 may all be square and the same size, thereby giving the expanded container a neat cubicle shape.

Preferably, the sides 5 and ends 4 have predetermined fold lines to give them definitely shaped folding panels. These fold lines can include a center fold line 11 across each side 5 and end 4, which center fold lines are generally parallel to the top 2 and bottom 3, and form a rectangular fold that encircles the container midway between its top 2 and bottom 3. Two diagonal fold lines 12 extend between opposite corners of each end 4.

With the above described fold lines, the collapsible container 1 can collapse with ends 4 folding either inwardly or outwardly as shown in FIGURES 4 and 5, respectively. A slight toggle action is built into the ends 4, so that both ends 4 will fold inwardly if desired or alternatively outwardly. This is done by providing ends 4 with diagonal fold lines 12 that are longer than the straight line distance between opposite ends of these fold lines 12. I have found that this can be accomplished easily by blow molding the container with its ends slightly bowed out as shown in dotted lines in FIGURE 3. After molding, the container ends 4 are lightly tapped whereby they toggle inwardly as shown in solid line in FIGURE 3.

The fold lines 11 and 12 can be narrow, thin, stretched areas in the ends 4 and sides 5. These areas are made by blow molding the container in a mold with either grooves or ribs corresponding to the fold lines of the container. Thus, the material in ends 4 and sides 5 stretches to conform to the grooves or ribs and provides U-shaped thinned areas as shown in FIGURE 7 which fold more readily than the adjoining panels of sides 5 and ends 4.

The support means 6 in FIGURE 1 is tubular and contains a passage 13 for fluid entrance. Such a container is well suited for urine collection. For hanging the container, such as on a bed rail during collection of the urine, the support means can have integral hangers 14 for attaching to a hanging strap 18. These hangers 14 include enlarged heads 15 connected to and spaced from the supporting means 6 by reduced diameter necks '15.

In FIGURE 2, the collapsible container is shown as it is used for fluid administration, such as enema administration. Here the collapsible container has no passage through its top 2' to connect with the exterior of the container. Instead, the container here has a liquid outlet 17 in its bottom 3', and a support means 6' in the form of a hanging tab.

Because of the structure of top 2 or 2- and bottom 3 or 3, the one-piece collapsible, seamless, thermoplastic container of this invention does not squash out into a shapeless mass such as layflat containers do when con taining a liquid. The top 2 or 2' and bottom 3 or 3' are essentially nonfoldable at their rigid centers but are foldable at their thin rectangular periphery portions 8 and 10, respectively. The rigid central portions 7 and 9 preferably have a thickness at least twice that of foldable peripheral portions 8 and 10'.

The collapsible container of this invention may be made of a thermoplastic material such as polymers or copolymers of ethylene, propylene, vinyl chloride, or urethane.

While I have described my invention with specific embodiments, it is understood that those skilled in the art can make certain modifications in these embodiments without departing from the spirit and scope of this invention.

I claim:

1. A collapsible seamless thermoplastic container for handling liquids, said container comprising:

(a) a support member for suspending said container;

(b) a top thinning progressively outwardly from a central portion to a thin, foldable, rectangular peripheral portion;

(c) thin, foldable, rectangular sides and ends integrally connected with the peripheral portion of the top; (d) a bottom which becomes thinner progressively outwardly from a rigid central portion to a thin, foldable, rectangular peripheral portion that is integrally connected to said thin, foldable, rectangular sides and ends;

(e) one of said top, bottom, sides and ends having a passage therethrough for liquid to flow;

(f) said top, bottom, sides and ends being of a one-piece integral homogeneous mass of thermoplastic material, with the sides and ends collapsing so the top and bottom are in close proximity to each other for compact packaging of the container;

(g) a center fold line across each side and end, said center fold line being generally parallel to the top and extending across a middle of each side and end; and

(h) diagonal fold lines across each end between opposite corners of said ends, the expanded container having said ends slightly longer across their diagonals than a straight line distance between diagonally opposite corners of said ends, so the ends toggle between slightly bowed out and slightly bowed in positions to insure the ends collapse in a predetermined direction, the rectangular top and bottom which thin progressively outwardly from their rigid center portions keeping the container in the general shape of a rec tangular solid when containing liquid.

2. A collapsible one-piece seamless thermoplastic container for handling liquids as set forth in claim 4 wherein the passage for liquid flow extends through the support member.

3. A combination for handling liquids comprising:

(a) a collapsible seamless thermoplastic container including (1) a support member with an inlet passage therethrough,

(2) a pair of hangers including enlarged heads at their outer ends integrally connected to the support member at reduced neck portions of the hangers,

(3) a top integrally connected to the support member at a rigid central portion of the top, said top thinning progressively outwardly from the central portion to a thin, foldable, rectangular peripheral portion,

(4) thin, foldable, rectangular sides and ends integrally connected with the peripheral portion of the top,

(5) a bottom which becomes thinner progressively outwardly from a rigid central portion to a thin, foldable, rectangular peripheral portion that is integrally connected to said rectangular sides and ends,

(6) said support member, hangers, top, bottom, sides and ends being of a one-piece integral homogeneous mass of thermoplastic material, with the sides and ends collapsing so the top and bottom are in close proximity to each other for compact packaging of the container,

(7) a center fold line across each side and end, said center fold line being generally parallel to the top and extending across a middle of each side and end, said center fold line having a thinned, stretched, U-shaped cross-section,

(8) diagonal fold lines across each end between diagonally opposite corners of said ends, the expanded container having said ends slightly longer across their diagonals than a straight line distance between opposite corners of said ends, so the ends toggle between slightly bowed out and slightly bowed in positions to insure the ends collapse in a predetermined direction, said diagonal fold lines having thinned, stretched, U- shaped cross-sections; and

(b) suspension means connected to the hangers on the support member for attaching the container to a bedrail where it can be suspended from the rigid central portion of its top with its top and bottom that thin progressively outwardly from rigid center portions, keeping the container in the general shape of a rectangular solid when containing liquid.

4. A collapsible one-piece seamless thermoplastic container for handling fluids as set forth in claim 1 wherein said central portion of said top is rigid, said support member being integrally connected with said rigid central portion of the top.

5. A collapsible container as set forth in claim 1 in which said fold lines have a thin, U-shaped cross section.

6. A collapsible container as set forth in claim 1 in which said support member is integral with said top and is tubular, said support member including integral hangers for receiving a hanging strap thereon.

7. A collapsible container as set forth in claim 1 in which said support member is integral with said top and comprises a hanging tab, said container bottom including a fluid outlet.

8. A collapsible container as set forth in claim 1 in which the rigid centers of said top and bottom are of a thickness at least twice that of the peripheral margins of said top and bottom.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 901,134 10/1908 Weidl 4110 X 1,682,048 8/1928 Lerien 215 1,772,106 8/1930 Miller 22931 2,886,036 5/1959 Price 128275 3,087,491 4/1963 Gewecke et al. 188275 3,156,279 11/1964 Gvehowier et a1 .5 3,161,310 12/1964 Barton et al l28272 X 3,251,069 5/1966 Clark 128-225 X FOREIGN PATENTS 593,764 3/ 1960 Canada. 1,288,900 2/1961 France. 1,020,271 ll/1957 Germany.

FRANKLIN T. GARRETT, Primary Examiner.

Patent Citations
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Classifications
U.S. Classification604/326, 383/904, D24/118, 383/29, 604/322, 229/117.7, 383/13, 604/408, 190/107, 220/666, 206/806, 383/120
International ClassificationA61J1/00, A61M1/00, A61J1/05
Cooperative ClassificationA61M1/0019, A61J1/05, Y10S206/806, Y10S383/904
European ClassificationA61M1/00B, A61J1/05