US 3330436 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
July 11, 1967 E. J. sLoMsK:
SEAM RELEASE CONTAINER 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Aug. 26, 1966 BY Z ATTJIP/VEY July 11, 1967 E. J. SLOMSKI 3,330,436
SEAM RELEASE CONTAINER Filed Aug. 26, 1966 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR. [0140422 f0/m 54 0/145/(/ United States 3,33%,436 Patented July 11, 1957 3,330,436 EAM RELEASE CQNTAI'NER Edward John Slomsiri, 222 Evergreen Parkway, Crystal Lake, Iil. 66014 Filed Aug. 26, 1966, Ser. No. 575,435 12 Claims. (Cl. 220-53) This application is a continuation-in-part of my earlier filed application Ser. No. 370,801 filed May 28, 1964.
This application embodies subject matter described in my copending applications Ser. Nos. 370,801 and 530,455 now abandoned, filed May 28, 19 64 and Feb. 28, 1966, respectively.
The present invention relates to a container which may be manually operable without the need of can opening tools. In particular, this invention relates to a container having a manually detachable seam release strip for easy opening of the container.
Containers which are manually openable by the pulling out of a strip from within the end seam attaching an end closure to a container body to thereby loosen this attachment, so called seam release container, are known to the art. An example of such a container is disclosed and described in U.S. Patent No. 3,142,433 in the name of A. E. Balocca. Other examples of such seam release containers could be cited dating back many, many years.
However, each of the prior art containers, except for that disclosed in Balocca, suffers from a common deficiency which makes them unsuitable for the present day demands of high-speed automated production. This deficiency, is the registration and attachment of the seam release strip to the container body by some high-speed automated means so that upon subsequent attachment of the end closure to the container body the seam release or pull-out strip will be properly oriented with respect to the securement of the end closure to the body, i.e., with the pull-out strip secured in the end seam attaching the closure to the body.
The above cited Balocca patent solves this problem by making the pull-out strip from a portion of the body itself, but weakening the attachment of this pull-out strip to the body. \Vhile such a construction is reasonably satisfactory, it does not meet the high standards required for consumer acceptance. It has been found that with this construction, the force required to rupture the connection of the pull'out strip to the body and remove the strip from the end seam is often somewhat higher than is considered acceptable to meet consumer demands.
It is, therefore an object of the instant invention to provide a construction for a container, which container, when filled with a product and closed will enable the consumer of the product to open the closed container easily by a manual manipulation without the need of special opening tools.
Yet another object is to provide a construction for the container which may be readily made on hi h-speed, automated equipment.
A further object is to provide a construction for a container which meets the demands for consumer acceptance.
Numerous other objects and advantages of the invention will be apparent as it is better understood from the following description, which, taken in connection with the accompanying drawings discloses a preferred embodiment thereof.
To accomplish the above objects, a tubular container body is provided with a seam release strip by adhesively securing the strip to the outside wall surface of the body adjacent to an open end of the body. The strip is so positioned on the body that a non-adhered portion thereof,
adjacent to the open end of the body, is enclosed within the end seam which secures the end closure to the open end of the body. A tab is provided on the strip whereby the user of the can may manually grasp the tab; and, by a pulling action, withdraw the strip from its engagement within the end seam thereby loosening the connection of the end closure to the body for easy separation of the end seam from the body.
Referring to the drawings:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a first embodiment of the present invention showing an open ended can body having a pull-out strip secured in place;
FIG. 2 is a perspective View similar to FIG. 1 but showing the end closure attached to the body;
FIG. 3 is an enlarged fragmentary, sectional View taken substantially along the line 33 of FIG. 2; and
FIG. 4 is an enlarged fragmentary, elevational View showing the relationship of the elements during removal of the seam release strip;
FIG. 5 relates to a second embodiment of the present invention and is a perspective view of an open ended can body having a pull-out strip secured in place;
FIG. 6 is a perspective view similar to FIG. 5, but showing the end closure secured to the body;
FIG. 7 is an enlarged, fragmentary, sectional View taken substantially along the line 7-7 of FIG. 6; and
FIG. 8 is an enlarged, fragmentary elevational view showing the relationship of the elements during removal of the seam release strip.
As one of the preferred embodiments of the present invention there is shown in FIG. 1 a tubular container body It). The body 19 is formed primarily of fibre and preferably by spiral winding. If desired, the fibre of body 10 may have associated therewith other materials such as a fluid-impervious ply of aluminum foil, or a plurality of fibre plies to provide rigidity and strength, or combinations of other materials. It is also Within the scope of the present invention that the body 10 be made of materials other than fibre, such as plastic, e.-g. polyethylene, or sheet metal, e.'g. aluminum or tin plate.
Completely surrounding the body adjacent to its open upper end 12 is a seam release strip 14 preferably made of a resilient but tough, i.e. relatively high tensile strength plastic; but it is to be understood that other materials having the necessary resiliency and tensile strength such as metal foilor plastic film-backed paper, may also be used. Metal strip by itself is not practicable because in strip thicknesses needed to provide efficient seam release, metal is too stiff. For efiicient seam release, the strip 14 should have a thickness of at least 3 mils and preferably 10 to 15 mils. Thicknesses less than the minimum would not have sufficient tensile strength and would not provide enough clearance after removal to satisfactorily loosen the closure attachment to the body. The upper limit on strip thickness is governed by cost.
The upper edge 16 of the strip 1- is contiguous to the periphery of the open end 12. However, the exact registration of the edge 16 and the body periphery is not absolutely necessary as long as the edge 16 is eventually enclosed within the end seam. The lower edge 13 of the strip 14 is adhesively secured to the body 10 by an adhesive layer or band 29 (FIG. 3) disposed between the inner surface of the strip 14 adjacent to the edge 18 and the outside surface of the body 10. As shown, for ease of application, the adhesive band 2% is peripherally continuous; but, if desired, the adhesive could be in the form of separated spots.
The function of the adhesive band 24 is to hold the strip 14 in position on the body 10 until the upper edge 16 is engaged within the end seam, more fully described below. Any suitable adhesive can be used for the band 2%; but a hot melt adhesive is preferred because its quick setting property permits high-speed operation. Suitable construction is not absolutely necessary. In orther words,
the length of the strip 14 can be equal to or slightly less than the circumference of the body 16 whereby the end of the tab 22 meets or is just short of the transverse edge 21 (FIG. 4) of the strip 14.
The purpose of the tab 22 is to permit initial grasping and pulling of the strip 14; and to this end the tab 22 may be free of any adhesive attachment to the subiacent surface, but preferably is weakly adhered to the subjacent surface. By this weak adherence the tab 22' is held in substantial conformity to the contour of the body, i.e. is prevented from extending outwardly from the body thereby minimizing damage to the tab or container during shi ment or handling. This weak adherence is accompiished by providing an adhesive bond 23 between the inside surface of the tab and the subjacent surface adjacent to the free end of the tab. Pulling the tab outwardly subjects this adhesive bond 23 to peel stress under which it ruptures readily. The upper edge of the tab 22 is cut down from the remainder of the upper edge strip 14 to insure against this edge being enclosed within the end scam in a manner more fully described hereinafter.
Between the adhesive band and the strip upper edge 16, the strip 14 has formed therein a line of weakness 24 extending completely around its periphery but terminating short of the tab 22 by curving downwardly at 25 and merging with the strip lower edge 18. The line of weakness 24 is shown as a score line but it could be of some other construction such as a series of perforations.
FIG. 2 illustrates the container body 10 having the pull strip 14 secured thereto as previously described but with a metal end closure generally designated 26 closing the open end 12. The end closure 26 comprises a central panel 28 merging at its periphery with an upstanding countersink wall 30 thence substantially horizontally outwardly over the upper periphery of the can body 10 and thence downwardly in a hemmed skirt 32 to provide a.
substantially U-shaped channel. Within the U-shaped channel and compressed between the Wall 30 and skirt 32 is the upper periphery of the can body '19 and the upper edge 16 and portions adjacent thereto of the strip 14 to frictionally lock the end closure 26 to the body it in an end seam 34. To provide this frictional lock, it is necessary that at least one of the materials within the end seam 34 have some degree of resiliency or compressibility to enable the wall 30 or skirt 32 or both to bite into and obtain a grip on the contiguous material. If the body it and strip 14 do not provide suificient resiliency an auxiliary gasketing material can be used. As best shown in FIG. 2 the upper edge and therefore the entire tab 22 is outside of the end seam 34 to permit the tab to remain free for easy grasping.
In the manufacture of the container shown in FIGS. 1 through 4, the body It is first formed. The shaped and scored strip 14 with the band 20 of the adhesive thereon, which adhesive is heat activated, is then secured to the body 10 adjacent to one open end. It is also possible to apply the adhesive to the body 10 rather than to the strip 14. Thereafter, the end closure 26 is attached to the body and strip by means of the end seam 34. Filling of the container thus formed with a product through the open, lower end, i.e., the end of the body 1%) remote from the end closure 25; whereupon a closure is secured to this open end by conventional means to completely close the package.
To open the package thus formed the tab 22 is grasped and pulled outwardly and around the can to tear along the line of weakness 24 and simultaneously disengage the upper edge 16 from the end seam 34. This action is continued until the removable portion or" the strip 14 is completely withdrawn from the end seam 34 thereby loosening the attachment of the closure 26' to the body 10. The closure 26 can then be easily lifted, also manually, ofi the body 1% thereby providing a full opening at one end of the container for removal of the product packed therein.
FEGS. 5 through 7 show a second prefered embodiment of the present invention. It differs from the embodiment shown in FIGS. 1 through 8 primarily because the second embodiment has a seam release strip which does not have a line of weakness such as that 24 in the seam release strip 14. The second embodiment involves a simpler construction which permits more economical manufacture without increasing the force required to remove the release strip from the container seam. In the second embodiment, a tubular container body 110, which can be substantially similar to the one shown in FIGS. 1 through 4 has an open upper end 112 which is surrounded by a seam release strip 114 which can be made of the same material as the strip 14 of the embodiment shown in FIGS. 1 through 4. The upper edge 116 of the strip 114 is positioned close enough to the periphery of the open end 112 so that in the finished container a reasonable width of the strip 114 will be enclosed within the end seam. The lower edge 118 of the strip, that portion not enclosed in the end seam, is adhesively secured to the body by an adhesive layer or band 12% (FIG. 7) disposed between the inner surface of the lower edge 118 and the outside surface of the body 110. As shown, for ease of application, 7
the adhesive band 12% is peripherally continuous; but, if desired, the adhesive could be in the form of separated spots. Thefunction of the adhesive band 120 is the same as the function of the adhesive band 20 of the embodiment in FIGS. 1 through 4, i.e., to hold the seam release strip 114 in position on the body 110 until the upper edge 116 is engaged within the end seam. The adhesive 120 must have a low peel strength so that the strip 114 may be manually removed from the container body when the container is opened. In addition, the bond should also exhibit relatively high shear strength so that the strip 114 will lie adjacent to the body 110, without accidental separation, until it is desired to open the container.
Although a number of adhesive systems may be useful and have the desired properties, it has been found that a hot melt adhesive of plasticized blend of polyethylene and polyvinyl acetate sold by United Shoe Machinery Corporation as #1324 will exhibit this low peel and higher shear strength when used in conjunction with a polystyrene based body varnish 121 which forms an outside coat for the body 11%.
The length of the strip 114 is shown as slightly greater than the circumference (periphery in the case of a noncylindrical body) of the body 110 so that the strip 114 not only extends around the body in adhesive attachment thereto but also overlaps itself a short distance to provide a grasping tab 122. While the overlapping construction is preferred it is not absolutely necessary. In other words,- the length of the strip 114 could be equal to or slightly less than the circumference of the body 110 whereby the end of the tab 122 meets or is just short of the transverse edge 123 (FIG. 8) of the strip 114. j
The purpose of the tab 122 is to permit initial grasping and pulling of the strip 114. To this end, the tab 122 may be free of any adhesive attachment to the subjacent surface, but preferably is weakly adhered to the subjacent surface. By this weak adherence, the tab 122 is held substantially in conformity to the contour of the body, i.e. is'
prevented from extending outwardly from the body, thereby minimizing damage to the tab or container during shipping or handling and possibly pulling the strip 114 so as to open the container. This weak adherence is accomplished by extending the adhesive band 120 onto the inside surface of the tab thus adhering the subjacent surface to the free end of the tab. Pulling the tab outwardly subjects the adhesive hand between the tab 122 and the underlying tape to peel stress under which the tab 122 separates readily. The upper edge of the tab 122 is cut down from the remainder of the strip 114 to insure against this edge being enclosed in the end seam in a manner to be more fully described hereinafter.
FIGS. 6 and 7 illustrate the container body 110 having a pull strip 114 secured thereto as previously described, but with a metal end closure, generally designated 126, closing the open end 112. The end closure 126 comprises a central panel 128 merging at its periphery with an upstanding countersink wall 130 thence substantially horizontaily outwardly over the upper periphery of the can body and thence downwardly in a hemmed skirt 132 to provide a substantially U-shaped channel 133.
Within the channel 133, and compressed between the wall 130 and the skirt 132 is the upper periphery of the can body 110 and the upper edge 116 and portions adjacent thereto of the strip 114 to frictionally lock the end closure 126 to the body 110 in an end seam 134. To provide this frictional lock, it is necessary that at least one of the materials Within the end seam 134 have some degree of resiliency or compressibility to enable the wall 130 or skirt 132, or both, to obtain a grip on the contiguous material. If the body 110 and strip 114 do not provide sufficient resiliency, an auxiliary gasketing material may be used in the channel 133. As best seen in FIG. 6, the upper edge 135 and therefore the entire tab 122 is outside the end seam 134 to permit the tab 122 to remain free for easy grasping.
In another form of the invention a thin tape having adhesive on both sides and an easily peelable adhesive on at least one side is placed between the pull strip 114 and the body 110 to adhere the strip 114 to the body 110.
In the manufacture of the container shown in FIGS. 5 through 8 the body 110 is first formed and is externally coated with a varnish 121. The shaped strip 114, with the band 120 of adhesive thereon, which adhesive is heat activated, is then secured to the body 110 adjacent to one open end. It is also possible to apply the adhesive to the body 110 rather than the strip 114. Thereafter the end closure 126 is attached to the body 110 and the strip 114 by means of the end seam 134. The container shown in FIGS. 5 through 8 can be filled in the same manner as the container shown in FIGS. 1 through 4, that is through the end which is remote from the end closure 126; whereupon a closure is secured to this lower open end by conventional means to completely close the package.
It is also within the purview of the present invention, including the two preferred embodiments described therein to fill the container through the end adjacent to the seam release strip. In such a case the end closure remote from the seam release strip is secured on the body before the container is filled but the seam release strip may be placed on the body before or after the filling operation. After the container has been filled and a seam release strip has been adhered to the body adjacent to the open end, the open end is fitted with an end closure which is joined to the body by a seam which encloses the seam release strip.
To open the package of the second embodiment the tab 122 is grasped and pulled outwardly around the can to peel along the interface of the strip 114 and the body 110 and simultaneously disengage the upper edge 116 from the end seam 134. This action is continued until the portion of the strip 114 within the end seam is completely withdrawn therefrom, thereby loosening the attachment of the closure 126 to the body 110. The closure 126 can then be easily lifted, also manually, off the body 110 thereby providing a full opening of the container for removal of the product therein. Both of the embodiments of the present invention, that is the embodiment of FIGS. 1 through 4 and the embodiment of FIGS. 5 through 8 are especially advantageous when the product is a frozen juice concentrate since no end closure is left on the body to act as an obstruction to the removal of the substantially solid block of product. For other dry products, such as coffee, not only is the opening feature advantageous, but also the loose fit between the closure and the body, after opening, permits ready reclosure during the useful life of the container. However, for such containers requiring hermetic sealing, a non-tacky or sealing compound, such as plastisol, is placed on the countersink wall to form a seal between the wall and the end of the body.
It is to be understood that the expression upper and lower used hereinbefore are for the purpose only for describing the relative orientation of the parts and are not to be construed as limitations on the structure disclosed.
It is thought that the invention and many of its attendant advantages will be understood from the foregoing description and it will be apparent that various changes may be made in the form, construction and arrangement of the parts without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention or sacrificing all of its material advantages, the forms hereinbef-ore described being merely preferred embodiments thereof.
1. A tubular container body open at one end and adapted to have a rigid closure of relatively hard material secured to said open end by means of a single seam;
a separate strip of relatively soft material surrounding the outside of said body adjacent to said open end with the peripheral margin thereof close to said open end adapted to be non-adhesively and releasably frictionally engaged in said single scam;
the peripheral margin of said strip remote from said open end adapted to be outside said single seam and being secured to said body by means of a resin adhesive so that, in a completed container, upon manual grasping and pulling said remote peripheral margin, said strip is separated from said body and said engaged peripheral margin is withdrawn from said seam to loosen the securement of said closure to said body for easy separation of said closure.
2. The container set forth in claim 1 wherein said strip terminates in a tab adapted to remain outside of said seam to permit manual grasping and pulling of said strip.
3. The container set forth in claim 2 wherein said tab is weakly adhered to the subjacent surface to insure its substantial conformity of the contour of said body.
4. The container set forth in claim 2 wherein said tab overlaps a portion of said strip.
5. The container body set forth in claim 1 wherein said strip has a peripherally extending line of weakness between its adhesive securement to said body and its engaged peripheral margin.
6. The container set forth in claim 5 wherein said line of weakness is a scored line.
7. The container set forth in claim 5 wherein said line of weakness extends from the edge of said strip spaced from said body open end to a point intermediate to the edges of said strip beyond its adhesive securement of said body and thence peripherally around said strip to the transverse edge thereof.
8. A container comprising:
a tubular body open at one end;
a rigid closure of relatively hard material secured to said body adjacent to said end by means of a single seam;
a separate strip of relatively soft material surrounding the outside of said body adjacent to said end with the peripheral margin thereof contiguous to said end enclosed in said seam and the remaining portion thereof exposed;
said enclosed margin being only in pressure gripping 7 1 relationship with said body and said closure with each being free of adherence to each other;
said exposed portion of said strip being secured to said body by means of a resin adhesive so that upon manual grasping and pulling said exposed portion, said strip is separated from said body and said engaged margin is withdrawn from said seam to loosen the securernent of said closure to said body for easy separation of said closure.
9. A container comprising:
a tubular bodyi an end closure secured to said body by means of a single seam;
a separate strip surrounding the voutside of said body adjacent to said end with the peripheral marginal portion thereof closest to said end enclosed in said seam and the remaining portion thereof exposed;
said enclosed margin being only in pressure gripping relationship with said body and said closure with each being free of adherence to each other;
an adhesive layer disposed between said exposed portion and said tubular body;
a tab, said tab being positioned on said exposed marginal portion;
O a whereby pulling on said tab rernovessaid closure from said body. 10. The container defined in claim 9 wherein said adhesive layer is weak enough to allow substantially complete separation of said strip from said body.
11. The container defined in claim 9 wherein .a line of weakness is disposed on said strip between said adhesive layer and said seam so that when said tab is pulled said strip ruptures along said line of weakness.
12. A tubular container body open at one end, said body adapted to have a closure secured to said open end by means of an end seam and having a plastic seam release strip the lower portion of which is adhesively secured to the outside of said body adjacent said open end to position said strip so that the upperportion thereof is adapted to be incorporated in said end seam, said upper portion being free of adhesive securement to said' body.
No references cited.
THERON E. CONDON, Primary Exaniiner.
G. T. HALL, Assistant Examiner.