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Publication numberUS3337110 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 22, 1967
Filing dateApr 8, 1966
Priority dateApr 8, 1966
Also published asDE1586791A1, DE1586791B2
Publication numberUS 3337110 A, US 3337110A, US-A-3337110, US3337110 A, US3337110A
InventorsCommisso Nicholas D, Connie Lake
Original AssigneeMobil Oil Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Egg carton construction
US 3337110 A
Abstract  available in
Images(3)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Aug. 22, 1967 N. D. COMMISSO ETAL EGO CARTON CONSTRUCTION Filed April 8, 1966 5 Sheets-Sheet l I? M W V I i 50 [1 1 8 L M M p I W m .1 \i/ in i w *3 T mcuoLA CONNIE LAKE N. D. COMMISSO ETAL 3,337,110

EGG CARTON CONSTRUCTION Aug. 22, 1967 5 Sheets$heet 2 Filed April 8, 1966 INVENTORS NICHOLAS D. COMMISSO CONNIE LAKE 2, 1967 N. D. COMMISSO ETAL 3,337,110

EGG CARTON CONSTRUCTION S S heetS-Sheet 3 Filed April 8, 1966 F/aQ/o 3| 2| 30 F 6. INVENTORS NICHOLAS 0. 00umss0 CONNIE LAKE 3,33 7,1 Patented Aug. 22, 1967 fifice ration of N ew York Filed Apr. 8, 1966, Ser. No. 541,327 4 Claims. (Cl. 229-) The present invention relates to improvements in carton structures and more particularly to an improved molded egg carton structure.

The molded egg carton structures contemplated in accordance with the present invention comprises a top or cover section and a bottom cellular section. The bottom cellular section is provided with a plurality of egg receiving cells. These cells are arranged in parallel rows and although the number of cells and rows may vary, this section consists preferably of a dozen cells arranged in two parallel rows of six cells each as illustrated in the attached drawings.

A wide variety of materials may be employed in the fabrication of the carton structures of the present invention, for example, molded paper pulp, pasteboard, plastic, and the like. A preferred material has been found to be thermoplastic foam such as, for example, foam polystyrene, although other polymers such as polyethylene, polypropylene, polyvinyl chloride and the like are also useful. A single preferred embodiment of the pres ent invention is presented, for purposes of illustration,

in the attached drawings showing an egg carton as embodied herein produced by vacuum molding or match molding techniques from a sheet of polystyrene foam. However, the invention may be incorporated in other modified carton forms as hereinafter described.

In many of the prior art egg container forms it has been found that cellular egg receiving sections do not afford sufiicient protection to the eggs packed in the container in that the container is liable to become bent or distorted during shipment and handling, frequently resulting in breakage to the eggs packed therein. Attempts to remedy this situation have met with partial success. For example, the cellular bottom sections of some cartons have been reinforced by providing a continuous series of integrally molded, hollow, external ribs, interconnecting adjacent pairs of cells contained in each of the longitudinal extending rows of cells as well as having similar ribs connecting each pair of transversely arranged cells. These continuous ribs impart a limited amount of deformation resistance to the cellular carton section dependent largely upon the direction of the forces which are applied to the carton during handling thereof and, for example, when it is being opened and closed. The direction of these applied forces will in turn vary depending to a great extent upon the type of locking arrangement employed with such cartons. For example, certain locking arrangements for egg cartons employ a projecting flange on the longitudinal edge of the bottom section which may be lockingly engaged with a U-shaped channel extension carried on the lower longitudinal edge of the cover section. Such a locking arrangement will necessitate that compressive (front to back) forces be applied to the bottom section in a direction perpendicular to the longitudinally extending rows of cells to inwardly depress the locking flange when the carton sections are being locked and again when they are reopened. Such compressive forces have a definite tendency to deform and distort the cells of the bottom section unless these cells are provided with interconnecting reinforcing ribs. Certain alternate types of carton locking arrangements result in forces being applied to the cellular bottom sections in other directions while the carton is being locked and unlocked. For example, certain egg carton locking arrangements, as more fully described hereinafter, require that not only compressive forces be applied to the bottom cellular section when the egg carton is being closed and reopened, but also forces in a direction parallel to the longitudinally-extending cell rows. Such a locking arrangement requires that the individual cells be somehow reinforced to resist deformation in a direction parallel with the longitudinally extending cell rows. It has been found that when each cell in the longitudinal row is interconnected to each adjacent cell in the same row with a reinforcing rib of the type as aforediscussed, the longitudinal cell rows will not effectively resist deformation as a result of forces applied in a direction parallel to the cell rows. When such a force is locally applied to the bottom cellular section (i.e., when opening and/or closing the carton sections) it distorts not only the cells adjacent such a force but the force, by virtue of the continuous intercellular connecting ribs, is transmitted along the entire length of the longitudinal cell rows distorting all of the individual cells therein into crushing contact with the eggs contained therein.

It has also been found that if all of the intercellular reinforcing ribs are located on the exterior of the bottom cellular section, when compressive forces are applied to the bottom section the cell walls will have a definite tendency to flex inwardly into crushing contact with the contents thereof in the absence of internal reinforcing ribs. Conversely, if all of the intercellular reinforcing ribs are located interiorly of the bottom cellular section, although the carton section will exhibit good resistance to applied compressive forces, however, when a downwardly directed force is exerted against the bottom cellular section, i.e., in a direction perpendicular to the plane of the bottom section, the section will tend to buckle and collapse. For example, when the bottom cellular section is loaded with eggs and when the loaded, open carton is grasped and supported by the user at one end of said loaded section in order to dispense the contents thereof, the weight of the eggs contained in the unsupported portion of the bottom carton section will tend to result in buckling of the bottom section.

Applicant has now found that by selection of a particular arrangement of cellular reinforcing ribs, a bottom cellular carton section may be produced which Will effectively resist the deformation forces normally encountered by such carton sections as aforediscussed.

In the novel carton construction of the present invention, an egg carton structure is provided which comprises a bottom cellular section constructed in such a manner as to effectively resist cell deformation when forces are applied to the bottom cellular carton section in a direction substantially parallel to the longitudinal rows of egg receiving cells contained therein. In addition, the bottom cellular carton construction of the present invention will also effectively resist compressive forces normally applied to such structures as well as forces applied to the cellular bottom section which are in a direction perpendicular to the plane of said bottom section. This has been accomplished by providing the cellular bottom section with cell connecting reinforcing ribs arranged not in a continuous cell to cell pattern as discussed hereinbefore but in a manner whereby said intercellular reinforcing n'bs are non-continuous and selectively positioned both exteriorly and in-- teriorly of the bottom cellular section to effectively absor-b and transmit, with minimal cell deformation, cell distortion forces normally encountered with such cartons.

The foregoing and other features of the carton structure of the present invention will .be more fully understood when the following description is read with reference to the attached drawings wherein:

FIGURE 1 is a top plan View of the molded carton of the present invention in an open position.

FIGURE 2 is a bottom plan view of the molded carton of the present invention in an open position.

FIGURE 3 is a view in transverse vertical section of the open carton along the line corresponding to line 3-3 of FIGURE 1.

FIGURE 4 is a view in transverse vertical section of the open carton along the line corresponding to line 44 of FIGURE 1.

FIGURE 5 is a view in transverse vertical section of the open carton along the line corresponding to line 5 -5 of FIGURE 1.

FIGURE 6 is a front elevational view of the carton in section showing the relationship of the carton locking means as the carton sections are being drawn into closed relationship.

FIGURE 7 is a front elevational view of the carton in section when the carton sections are in a closed position.

FIGURES 8 and 9 are fragmentary views in vertical sections along lines 8-8 and 9-9, respectively, of FIG- URE 7.

FIGURE 10 is an end-elevational view of the carton taken along line 10-10 of FIGURE 7.

FIGURE 11 is a fragmentary view on horizontal section along line 1111 of FIGURE 9.

As illustrated in FIGURE 1 the carton construction of the present invention comprises a cover section 11 and a bottom cellular section 12 integrally connected along a common longitudinal margin by an integral hinge member 13.

The cover section 11 comprises a generally rectangular, planar top portion 14 and four wall members integrally formed therewith and comprising side wall members 15 and 16 respectively and end wall members 17 and 18. As more clearly illustrated in FIGURE 2 the side and end walls members 15-18 of cover section Ill depend downwardly from top portion 14 and in the embodiment illustrated, flare outwardly at a slight angle to the vertical.

The lower longitudinal edge of side wall member 15 is integrally connected with hinge member 13 which secures cover section 11 and bottom cellular section 12 in hinged relationship. Hinge 19 connects the lower longitudinal edge of side wall 16 with cover section locking flange 20, molded integrally along hinge 19 with the lower front edge of cover section wall 16. Locking flange 20 may be integrally molded in flat position extending outwardly substantially perpendicular to cover section 11, as illustrated in FIGURE 1, and is adapted to be rotated inwardly of said cover section to a position adjacent the inner surface of cover section wall 16 when the carton sections are in closed relationship. The surface of cover locking flange 20 is provided with a series of wedge shaped projections 21 disposed at locations substantially intermediate pairs of adjacent cells in bottom section 12 when said carton sections are in closed relationship.

Cellular bottom section 12 comprises a series of egg receiving cells 22 arranged in two parallel longitudinal rows, each row comprising three pairs of cells. Intermediate cells 22 are arranged a series of hollow, substantially pyramidal shaped, upstanding post members 33, certain of the side portions of said posts forming portions of the egg receiving cells 22. Cells 22 are interconnected by a series of external transverse reinforcing ribs 23 which connect each adjacent pair of cells of the longitudinal rows and extend transversely of said longitudinal cell rows as illustrated in FIGURE 2. EX- ternal reinforcing ribs 24 interconnect alternate pairs of longitudinally aligned cells, extending intermediate pairs of cells in said longitudinal rows. As illustrated in FIG- URE 2 ribs 24 are arranged so that the ribs interconnecting alternate pairs of cells in one longitudinal row are staggered with respect to ribs 24 interconnecting alternate pairs of cells in the adjacent longitudinal row. It has been found that by only connecting alternate cell pairs in each longitudinal cell row and by staggering said connections so that each pair of unconnected cells in one of the longitudinal cell rows is opposite a connected pair in the adjacent row, such a structure will withstand deformation when normal handling forces are applied thereto, particularly when such forces are in a direction parallel to the direction of the longitudinal cell rows. Such a feature is highly desirable in egg cartons and especially so when the particular carton locking arrangement employed is such that when the carton latching mechanism is being opened and again reclosed the requisite opening and closing forces are, as a result of the locking mechanism design, necessarily in a direction parallel to the longitudinal cell rows.

As illustrated in FIGURE 1 internal reinforcing ribs 2 are positioned transversely of said two longitudinally extending cell rows, intermediate cells 22, and in a discontinuous or staggered arrangement whereby transverse ribs 2 interconnect internal hollow post members 33 on alternating sides of each consecutive post, with the walls of cellular bottom section 12, as more clearly illustrated in FIGURES 3, 4 and 5. Internal ribs 24 function primarily to resist normally encountered compressive forces applied to bottom cellular section 12 during handling of the carton, i.e., opening and closing thereof, for example.

It has been found that the present arrangement of interconnecting ribs as described above will resist opening and closing forces which are applied to the carton in a manner far superior to ordinary carton constructions employing continuous interconnecting cell ribs, i.e., interconnecting all of the individual cells in the longitudinal rows and/or positioning the reinforcing ribs so that they all are located either interiorly or exteriorly of the bottom cellular section.

As illustrated in FIGURE 1 integrally hinged at 25 along the longitudinal edge of cellular bottom section 12, and opposite hinge I3, is bottom section locking flange 26 which extends substantially the entire length of bottom cellular section 12. Locking flange 26 may be integrally molded in a flat position extending outwardly, substantially perpendicular to bottom section 12, and is adapted to be rotated about hinge 25 to a substantially vertical position, to be located inside the front wall of cover section II when the carton sections are in closed relationship. The surface of bottom locking flange 26 is provided with a series of longitudinally spaced, wedge shaped recesses 27 disposed at locations substantially intermediate pairs of adjacent cells contained in bottom section 12. The wedge shaped recesses conform in shape to the wedge shaped projections 21 carried on the surface of cover locking flange 20 and are adapted to receive said projections in interlocking, mated relationship when said cover sections are in a closed relationship. It will be noted from FIGURE 2 that the terminal and in this instance the wide or base portions of wedge shaped recesses 27 are located slightly below the leading edge 28 of bottom locking flange 26 whereby a series of locking detents 29 are provided along the upper portion of flange 26.

To effect a locking closure of the carton of the present invention, bottom locking flange 26 is rotated about hinge 25, from its normal horizontal position to an upstanding or vertical position as illustrated by the dotted lines in FIGURE 3. Subsequently cover section 11 is rotated about hinge 13 towards closing relationship with bottom cellular section 12. Simultaneously, cover locking flange 20 is rotated about integral hinge 19 to a position adjacent the inside surface of cover section wall 16. As the carton is completely closed top and bottom locking flanges 2t and 26 come into face to face contact within the closed carton section, wedge shaped projections 21 located on cover locking flange 2t) engaging the opposite wedge shaped recesses carried on the surface of locking flange 26 whereby the interlocking of the mated projections and recesses is completed and the carton sections are in locked engagement. The natural tendencies of intergrally molded flanges 20 and 26 to assume their normally horizontal position results in the flanges being urged into locking engagement with one another, as illustrated in FIGURE 8, when the carton sections are closed and assists in preventing inadvertent opening thereof. As shown in FIGURES 8 and 9 when the carton is in a closed position, locking detents 29 carried on flange 26 are engaged by wide or base portion of wedge shaped projection 21 located on looking flange 20. When forces are applied to the carton sections during handling thereof, as for example by lifting the closed carton by engagement of only the top section thereof, the carton resists opening under the weight of eggs contained in cells 22 and the carton sections remain firmly locked in a closed position.

When it is desired to open the carton, wedge shaped projections 21 must be disengaged from correspondingly wedge shaped recesses 27 molded on the surface of flange 26. This may be readily accomplished by exerting a slight upward and outward pressure against the exposed surface of longitudinal hinge 19 while grasping the cartons cellular bottom section 12. As illustrated by the dotted lines in FIGURE 9, this results in the leading edge of top locking flange 20 pivoting about the points of engagement of wedge projections 21 with wedge recesses 27, viz, at detents 29 carried on the leading edge of bottom locking flange 26, resulting in disengagement of the locking flanges as the carton sections rotate about hinge 13 to an open position. The movement of top locking flange 20 during opening of the carton sections is illustrated by the dotted lines in FIGURE 9.

In a preferred embodiment of the carton structure of the present invention, and as illustrated in the attached drawings, cover section side walls 15, 16, 17 and 18 respectively are of scalloped shape, featuring longitudinally spaced outwardly curved or recessed bays 30 formed by frusto-conical sectional surfaces molded in the side walls of the cover section 11 to increase the egg room in the cover section above egg cells 22 of the bottom section.

Intermediate said bays 30, which are in vertical alignment with cells 22, are formed inwardly projecting abutment ledges 31 which abut in opposed surface contact with inwardly projecting abutment ledges 32, located intermediate cells 22, when the carton sections are in closed relationship, thereby lending vertical support against compressive forces which may be applied to the carton. Similarly the lower inside portions of wedge shaped recesses 27 carried on bottom locking flange 26 may also form abutment surfaces for abutment against inwardly projecting abutments 32 along the front edge of bottom sections 12 intermediate cells 22 whereby the inward movement of bottom locking flange 26 is limited to thereby avoid crushing contact with eggs contained in cells 22. Moreover the abutment action as described above imparts resistance to vertical collapse of the carton sections when compressive forces are applied thereto.

Additional resistance to vertical collapse of the carton sections results from a feature inherent in the locking arrangement as aforedescribed. When compressive forces are applied to the closed carton sections 11 and 12 the wedge shaped projections 21 carried on the surface of flange 20 tend to be wedged into and more tightly engage wedge shaped recesses 27 carried on the surface of bot tom locking flange 26, in which said projections are seated when the carton is closed, thereby effectively resisting against vertical collapse of the sections.

Although the present invention has been described with preferred embodiments, it is to be understood that modifications and variations may be resorted to, without departing from the spirit and scope of this invention, as those skilled in the art will readily understand. Such variations and modifications are considered to be within the purview and scope of the appended claims.

What is claimed is:

1. A molded carton structure comprising a cover section and a bottom cellular section, said cover section including a planar top wall and integrally molded side walls, said bottom cellular section comprising a multiplicity of article receiving cells arranged in two longitudinal rows, external transverse reinforcing ribs connecting each cell in one of said longitudinal rows with each adjacent cell of said other longitudinal row, external longitudinal reinforcing ribs interconnecting individual cells of each alternate cell pair in one of said longitudinal rows, and external longitudinal reinforcing ribs interconnecting only each of the individual alternate cell pairs in said other longitudinal row, said external longitudinal reinforcing rib in one of said longitudinal rows alternating with said longitudinal reinforcing rib in said other longitudinal row.

2. A molded carton structure in accordance with claim 1 wherein said bottom cellular section comprises a multiplicity of article receiving cells arranged in two parallel longitudinal rows, each of said rows comprising three pairs of cells.

3. A molded carton in accordance with claim 1 wherein said cover section and said bottom cellular section are provided with a locking means, said locking means comprising (1) a bottom locking flange having a longitudinal edge hinged to the longitudinal edge of said bottom cellular section and a locking detent on the opposite longitudinal edge of said flange and (2) a cover locking flange having a longitudinal edge hinged to the longitudinal edge of said cover section, said cover locking flange being positionable inside of the front wall of said cover section in substantially parallel relationship therewith and said bottom locking flange being positionable inwardly towards the interior of said carton sections whereby, when said carton is closed, said bottom flange is substantially adjacent to the cover locking flange and the longitudinal edge of said cover locking flange abuts against said locking detent on said bottom locking flange.

4. A molded carton structure in accordance with claim 1 which is formed of foam polystyrene.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,369,390 2/1945 Carruth et a1.

2,971,685 2/1961 Treida 22929 X 3,093,286 6/1963 Brickner et al. 2292.5 3,131,846 5/1964 Whiteford 229-29 X 3,138,314 6/1964 Reifers et a1 22929 X 3,176,899 4/1965 McMahon 229-29 3,223,306 12/1965 Alsman 2292.5

JOSEPH R. LECLAIR, Primary Examiner. GEORGE Q, RALSTON, Examiner,

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2369390 *Jul 21, 1942Feb 13, 1945Nat Folding Box CoHinged cover container
US2971685 *May 3, 1957Feb 14, 1961Kingston Products CorpMolded carton for ragile articles
US3093286 *Jan 24, 1961Jun 11, 1963Mead CorpMolded foamed plastic egg carton
US3131846 *Nov 10, 1959May 5, 1964Poly Pak Corp Of AmericaHermetically sealed, transparent, shock absorbing package for fragile articles
US3138314 *Feb 14, 1963Jun 23, 1964Diamond National CorpCarton
US3176899 *Aug 23, 1963Apr 6, 1965Red Owl Stores IncEgg carton
US3223306 *Apr 20, 1964Dec 14, 1965Alsman Eugene MCarton with dual locking flaps
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3465947 *Mar 5, 1968Sep 9, 1969British Petroleum CoContainers
US3501083 *Feb 19, 1968Mar 17, 1970Mobil Oil CorpEgg carton construction
US3563446 *Jun 12, 1969Feb 16, 1971Mobil Oil CorpMolded egg carton structure
US3563450 *Jan 2, 1969Feb 16, 1971Dahlberg Kurt GMolded egg carton
US3580479 *Aug 29, 1966May 25, 1971Continental Can CoMolded pulp egg carton
US3601306 *Jul 15, 1969Aug 24, 1971Sinclair Koppers CoLocking mechanism for egg cartons
US3633785 *Aug 25, 1969Jan 11, 1972Standard Oil CoHot food container
US3648916 *Feb 27, 1970Mar 14, 1972Mobil Oil CorpCarton
US3989154 *Nov 4, 1975Nov 2, 1976Mcneil CorporationStackable and nestable tray for shipping and displaying articles
US4057651 *Jan 2, 1975Nov 8, 1977Mobil Oil CorporationMeat tray
US4625905 *Feb 20, 1986Dec 2, 1986Mobil Oil CorporationHinged cover carton
US4742953 *Sep 17, 1986May 10, 1988Mobil Oil CorporationHinged cover carton with inboard locking extensions
US6276531Mar 1, 2000Aug 21, 2001Pactiv CorporationMolded fiber nestable egg tray packaging system
US8844721 *Dec 14, 2009Sep 30, 2014Pactiv Canada Inc.Stacking configuration for container for frangible items
US9266665Mar 10, 2014Feb 23, 2016Pactiv Canada Inc.Hinge configuration for container for frangible items
US20100147730 *Dec 14, 2009Jun 17, 2010Germain ArchambaultStacking configuration for container for frangible items
USB537990 *Jan 2, 1975Jan 13, 1976 Title not available
CN102862748A *Sep 20, 2012Jan 9, 2013浙江长诚包装建材有限公司Compression-resistant pulp-molded egg tray
Classifications
U.S. Classification206/521.1
International ClassificationB65D85/30, B65D85/32
Cooperative ClassificationB65D85/324
European ClassificationB65D85/32D