US 3363807 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Jan. 16, 1968 P; POWELL 3,363,807
' FLEXIBLE DISPENSING BAG -AND SEMI-RIGID CONTAINER THEREFOR Filed Jan. 22, 1965 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 mmm rw? Jan. 16, 1968' H. P. POWELL FLEXIBLE DISPENSING BAG AND SEMI-RIGID CONTAINER THEREFOR 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Jan. 22, 1965 A 1 0/0 Raf/PW? r 1 1 4 2 d H 4 v a k V 4 7 P M 4% n 4 g United States Patent Office 3,363,807 FLEXIBLE DISPENSING BAG AND SEMI- RIGID CONTAHNER THEREFOR Howard P. Powell, 8400 Bonnie Brae Drive, Buena Park, Calif. 90620 Filed Jan. 22, 1965, Ser. No. 427,431 4 Claims. (Cl. 222-405) This invention relates generally to receptacles and more particularly to a receptacle having an outer semi-rigid container and an inner flexible plastic bag particularly adapted for receiving liquids and subsequently dispensing the liquids. This invention further relates to a method of filling said receptacle.
There has been a long felt need in the prior art for a receptacle capable of receiving liquids which are to be subsequently dispensed for human consumption and which receptacles maintain the contents thereof in a sanitary condition. Some such containers or receptacles have been provided in the past, but such prior art receptacles have had certain inherent limitations. For the most part such prior art receptacles have been exceedingly expensive to manufacture. Since the expense of manufacture of the receptacles was quite great, the receptacle once the contents thereof had been emptied, could not be disposed of and thus reuse thereof was necessitated. In such instances where reuse of a container which is designed for dispensing liquid for human consumption is required, the container must be thoroughly cleaned and sterilized prior to subsequent refilling thereof. Such cleaning operations are exceedingly difiicult to accomplish in an inexpensive manner which will accomplish the desired end result.
Some containers have been offered in the prior art which were inexpensive and allegedly disposable. However, these containers were operable in such a manner that the consumer when attempting to dispense the liquid therefrom Was in effect required, when the liquid level became rather low inside the receptacle, to use three hands for dispensing liquid. This was necessitated since the dispensing valve required a pulling operation in order to open it. If one therefore was to attempt to hold the glass into which the liquid was to be dispensed in one hand and operate the valve with another hand, and the liquid level in the container was such that the weight of the container was not sufiicient to resist the friction in the valve, then one must hold the receptacle to permit opening of the valve. Such a situation is obviously less than satisfactory.
Furthermore, for the most part, those prior art disposable receptacles presently available also require filling thereof through the dispensing valve. Such an operation is obviously extremely slow and requires additional labor and effort during the actual filling, packing and storing of the liquid containing receptacles. Such an operation obviously increases the expense of the overall product thus making it less desirable from the sellers point of view.
Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide a receptacle for retaining and dispensing liquids which is rugged, easy to assemble, inexpensive, and can be disposed of after use.
It is another object of the present invention to provide a receptacle for retaining and dispensing liquids which can easily be operated irrespective of the level of the liquid within the receptacle.
It is another object of the present invention to provide a receptacle for retaining and dispensing liquids which can easily and quickly be fiilled in a manner other than through the dispensing valve thereof.
It is another object of the present invention to provide a method of filling a receptacle which is adapted for retaining and dispensing liquids, which method is easy, quick, requires little handling, and provides a filled receptacle for a little more than the cost of the contents thereof.
3,363,807 Patented .Fan. 16, 1968 It is a further object of the present invention to provide a receptacle for retaining and dispensing liquids which maintains the dispensing valve internally of the receptacle during shipment or storage thereof, but permits the valve to extend through the container and to be locked therewith for further use in dispensing the liquid contained within the receptacle.
Other and more specific objects and advantages of the present invention both as to its organization and method of operation will become apparent from a consideration of the following description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, which are presented by way of example only and are not intended as a limitation upon the scope of the present invention, and in which:
FIG. 1 is a perspective View of a receptacle in accordance with the present invention;
FIG. 2 is a top plan view of a blank from which a con tainer in accordance with one feature of the present invention is manufactured;
FIG. 3 illustrates a flexible plastic bag which is used in conjunction with the container in accordance with one aspect of the present invention in order to provide the completed receptacle as illustrated in FIG. 1;
FIG. 4, FIG. 5, FIG. 6, and FIG. 7 each illustrate a step in the method of filling a receptacle in accordance with the present invention;
FIG. 8 is a view partly in cross section taken along the lines 8-8 of FIG. 7; and
FIG. 9 is a partial cross lines @-9 of FIG. 1.
A receptacle for containing and dispensing liquid in accordance with the present invention includes a flexible plastic bag which includes as a part thereof, a dispensing valve. The receptacle further includes a container member adapted to receive the plastic bag and which includes as a part theerof a closure flap which cooperatively receives the dispensing valve affixed to the plastic bag in such a manner that the valve is retained Within a predetermined location with respect to the container. An additional closure flap includes a cutout tab thereon which overlies the retained dispensing valve in such a manner that upon being removed, the valve can be withdrawn from the container, locked in place upon the container, and thereafter used for dispensing the liquid contained within the flexible plastic bag.
In accordance with a more specific aspect of the present invention, the flexible plastic bag includes a tubular sheet plastic member which is sealed across one end and partially across the other end. A dispensing valve is permanently aihxed to one side of said sheet plastic member adjacent the open end portion, and includes a bore communicating with the interior of said plastic bag. The open end portion of the plastic bag is adapted for sealing once liquid has been injected into the plastic bag.
Further in accordance with yet another more specific aspect of the present invention, a container which is adapted to receive the flexible plastic liquid retaining bag includes a rectangular tubular member having at least two closure flaps at one end thereof. One of the closure flaps defines an elongated opening adapted to receive the dispensing valve which is aflixed to the flexible plastic bag. The other of the closure flaps defines a cutout tab which is positioned in such a manner that when the two closure flaps are in their closed position, the tab overlies the elongated opening within the one closure flap.
In accordance with the method of filling a liquid retaining receptacle in accordance with the present invention, thereis provided a receptacle including an inner bag and an outer container, the bag having one end portion which is at least partly open. The bag is first positioned Within the container, and thereafter liquid is injected into the bag through the open end portion thereof. After fillsectional view taken along the ing the bag with the liquid the open end portion thereof is sealed. Upon such filling and sealing, the container is then closed about the filled bag.
It should be expressly understood that the receptacle in accordance with the present invention is usable for retaining and dispensing any liquid which is desirable so long as the liquid is compatible with the flexible plastic material, and with the dispensing valve. However, for purposes of ease of illustration and clarity of description, the following description will be given with particular emphasis placed upon the utilization of a receptacle structured in accordance with the present invention in conjunction with receiving and dispensing milk.
Referring now to the drawings, and more particularly to FIG. 1, there is illustrated a perspective view of a receptacle in accordance with the present invention, as it would appear when ready for dispensing milk therefrom. As is therein seen, the receptacle illustrated generally at 11 includes a container having a dispensing valve 12 extending externally thereof through an opening provided in an outer closure flap 13. The outer closure flap 13 includes a cutout tab 14 which is perforated or scored along the line 15 to permit the tab 14 to be raised, thus defining an opening in the outer closure flap 13 through which the dispensing valve 12 may protrude. The tab 14 may then be replaced in position to cover the opening once the dispensing valve is locked in place, as will be more fully described hereinafter.
A better understanding of the structure of the receptacle and particularly of the container 11 will be obtained from a consideration of FIG. 2 to which reference is hereby made.
FIG. 2 illustrates generally at 21 a unitary blank from which the container 11 is constructed. The unitary blank 21 includes opposed side walls 22 and 23 and opposed end walls 24 and 25. Side wall bottom closure flaps 26 and 27 are hingedly attached along the score line 30 to opposed side wall panels 22 and 23 respectively. End wall bottom closure flaps 28 and 29 are hingedly secured along the score line 30 to end Wall panels 24 and 25 respectively. As should be noted, the bottom closure flaps 26, 27, 28 and 29 function in the normally accepted manner to close one end of a generally tubular rectangular structure which is formed by folding the unitary blank 21 along the score or hinge lines 31, 32 and 33 transversely extending across the body of the unitary blank 21. An attaching flap 34 is hingedly secured along score or hinge line 35 to the side of end wall panel 24 and attaches by means of adhesive, tape or any other well known expedient to the edge side wall panel 23, to maintain the unitary blank 21 in a generally tubular form. As is well known, when the blank is thus folded and formed and the attaching flap adhered as above described, the blank may be stored or shipped in a collapsed position.
Outer closure flaps 41 and 42 are hingedly secured along hinge or score line 36 to the top of the opposed side wall panels 22 and 23 respectively. Inner closure flaps 43 and 44 are hingedly secured along hinge or score line 36, to the top of end wall panels 24 and 25 respectively.
An elongated opening such as the slot 45 is defined by the inner closure flap 44. It should be noted that the inner closure flap 44 is separated by die cut 46 into two separate sections, 44A and 448. The slot 45 is defined by the section 44B of the inner closure flap 44. The slot 45 is adapted to receive the dispensing valve as will be more fully described hereinafter. A cutout tab 47 is provided in outer closure flap 41. The cutout tab has a wide base 48 and a narrow neck portion 49 and as is illustrated in FIG. 2, takes the shape generally of a bell. It should, however be understood that any geometric shape desired can be utilized. The terminal end portion 52a of the cutout tab 47 is perforated along the line 52 and can be completely removed from the tab 47 and discarded if such is desired leaving an opening having approximately the same diameter as the body of the dispensing valve 12. The wide base portion 48 of the cutout tab 47 may be scored, hinged or perforated as indicated by the dashed line. It should be noted that when the inner and outer closure flaps 44 and 41 respectively are in their closed position, that the longitudinal axis of the slot 45 as indicated by the broken line 51 and the longitudinal axis of the tab 47 as indicated by the broken line 51a substantially coincide. The purpose of such coincidence will become more apparent as the description of the receptacle in accordance with the present invention progresses. A die cut 53 is provided in the inner closure flap 43 for a purpose to be described in detail hereinbelow.
It should be noted that the heights of the outer closure flaps 41 and 42 are different, flap 41 being larger in dimension thus causing the point of contact between the edges of the flaps 41 and 42 to be off center, as is illustrated at 54 in FIG. 1.
The opposed side wall panels 22 and 23 each have a die cut member 54 and 55 respectively, which is hinged along the score lines 56 and 57 respectively. The die cut members 54 and 55 may be pushed inwardly to provide a handle or gripping area so that the filled receptacle can easily be lifted by the consumer.
Referring now more particularly to FIG. 3, a liquid containing bag which is cooperatively received by the container 11 constructed from the blank 21 above described, is illustrated generally at 69. The liquid containing bag 60 is preferably constructed of a tubular sheet of flexible plastic material such as, for example, polyethylene, having a generally trapezoidal configuration as shown in FIG. 3. The tubular sheet of flexible plastic material is sealed completely across one end thereof as is illustrated by the seal line 61 and is sealed across only part of the opposite end 64 as shown by seal line 66. It should be noted that the said opposite end 64 of the sheet material is cut on an angle so that there is provided a shorter side 62 and a longer side 63 thereof. The opposite end 64 which is angularly cut, is open as shown at 65 from a point intermediate the ends thereof, extending outwardly to substantially its terminal point adjacent the end of the longer side 63. This open portion 65 of the bag 60 is provided by causing the seal line 66 to progress along the opposite end 64 at an angle A which is greater than the angle formed between the side 62 and the end 64 of the bag. A dispensing valve 12 is permanently afl'ixed as by heat sealing, to one side of the pastic material which forms the bag 60. It should be noted that the dispensing valve 12 is affixed adjacent the end edge 64 having the open portion 65 above described, and specifically is affixed adjacent the juncture of the end edge 64 and the side edge 62 which form the angle A above referred to.
Referring now more particularly to FIGS. 4 through 7, the cooperative relationship between the bag 60 and the container 11 will become apparent. FIGS. 4 through 7 illustrate the various steps which are required to fill the receptacle with milk and ready it for storage, shipment, and ultimate use by the consumer. Each of the FIGS. 4 through 7 is a side view in which the side wall 23 of the container 11 has been removed for purposes of clarity and ease of illustration of the steps required.
As is illustrated in FIG. 4, the flexible plastic bag 69 is first positioned within the container 11 in such a manner that the angularly cut end 64 is positioned uppermost so that the open portion 65 of the bag is exposed. The side edge 63 of the bag adjacent the upper portion thereof, is inserted into the die cut 53 provided in the inner closure fiap 43, to thus hold the open portion of the bag in place. The dispensing valve 12 is inserted into the slot 45 provided in the inner closure flap 44 as above described. When the bag 60 is thus positioned within the container 11, it should be understood that the inner and outer closure flaps 41 through 44 have not as yet been bent along the score line 36. The bottom closure flaps 26 through 29 may have already been folded and sealed into position as is illustrated in FIGS. 4 through 7, although such an operation is not necessary.
After the flexible plastic bag 60 has been positioned within the container 11 as described in conjunction with FIG. 4, the bag 60 is filled with milk as is illustrated in FIG. 5. As is therein shown, a liquid reservoir 71 filled with milk or any desired liquid which is to be inserted into the bag 60, includes a spout 72 extending therefrom. The spout 72 is inserted into the opening 65 provided in the end 64 of the bag 60', and is inserted downwardly until the terminal end 73 of the spout 72 is adjacent the lower end edge portion determined by the seal line 61 of the bag 60. Milk is then injected into the bag 60/, causing the level of the milk therein to rise, as is indicated by the wavy line 74, until a predetermined point has been reached which point is determined by the amount of milk that is to be housed within the container. When such predetermined point has been reached, the spout 72 is withdrawn from the bag 60.
As the spout 72 is withdrawn through the opening provided in the bag 60, heat and pressure are applied along the end 64 of the bag 60, as is indicated by the arrows 75 and 76, in FIG. 6. The application of the heat and pressure seals the opening along the seal line 77 as shown in FIG. 6 which joins the seal line 66. In this manner the milk contained within the plastic bag 69 is sealed from the atmosphere and is thus maintained in a sanitary condition fit for human consumption. It should also be noted that the plastic bag 60 is filled through an opening provided within the bag, and thus is not filled through the dispensing valve 12 as has been the case in the prior art.
Once the bag 60 is thus filled and sealed as above described, the inner and outer closure flaps of the container 11 are then closed. Such closure is as illustrated in FIG. 7. As is illustrated in FIG. 7, the inner closure flaps 43 and 44 are closed and thereafter the outer closure flaps 41 and 42 are closed (flap 42 not being shown in FIG. 7). Upon the closure of the outer closure flap 41, the dispensing valve 12 is contacted by the cutout tab 47. The tension between the periphery of the cutout tab 4'7 and the outer closure flap 41 is such that the pressure applied by the cutout tab against the dispensing valve 12 pushes the valve 12, along with the section 44B of the inner closure flap :4, downwardly into the container. Sufficient space is provided between the level of the milk '74 within the plastic bag 60, and the top surface of the container 11 as viewed in FIG. 7, to permit the portion 44B of the inner closure flap 44 to easily be depressed into the interior of the container. It should thus be seen that the dispensing valve 12 is maintained internally of the container 11 thus preventing foreign matter such as dirt, bacteria or the like from entering the dispensing valve 12, prior touse thereof. Furthermore, the dispensing valve 12 is retracted into the container 11 in such a manner that it does not provide an external protuberance capable of interfering with shipment, storage or handling of the filled receptable It The particular relationship of the inner and outer closure flaps and the valve 12 is more clearly seen in FIG. 8 to which reference is hereby made.
As is illustrated in FIG. 8, the cutout tab portion 47 on the outer closure flap 41 clearly overlies the dispensing valve 12 and is pushing it along with the section 44B of the inner closure flap 44 downwardly into the container as was above described in conjunction with FIG. 7. As can be seen, the portion 44A of the inner closure flap 44 remains in an upward fiat position even though the section 44B is arranged and adapted to be movable with respect to the outer closure flap 41 and associated parts thereof. It should further be noted that the point of joinder 54 between the outer closure flaps 41 and 42 overlies the section 44A of the inner closure flap 44. In this manner the box may be sealed by utilizing adhesive between the outer closure flaps 41, 42, and the inner closure flap section 44A or by using strips of adhesive coated tape as is well known in the art.
When the consumer purchases a carton. of milk, typically a two and one-half gallon carton thereof, packaged in accordance with the receptacle of the present invention, it will appear as is illustrated in FIGS. 7 and 8 with the dispensing valve 12 pushed into the interior of the receptacle. At the point when the consumer is ready to commence consumption of the milk housed within the receptacle 10, the consumer breaks out the section 51 of the cutout tab 47, and then lifts the tab 47 upwardly allowing it to bend along the hinge line or perforation 48 so that an opening is defined in the outer closure member 41 along the lines previously occupied by the cutout tab 47. When the tab 47 is thus lifted or removed, the force of the milk within the container 60 pushes the section 44B of the inner closure flap 44 upwardly as viewed in FIG. 8 so that the dispensing valve 12 is caused to protrude through the opening left by the removal of the tab 47. The consumer then grasps the dispensing valve 12.
pulling it the remainder of the distance outwardly, if such be necessary, and then slides the valve downwardly as viewed in FIG. 1 until the body of the valve is received within the lower portion of the opening left by the removal of the tab 47, that is, within the area formed by the removal of the section 51 of the tab 47. If desired, the tab 47 may be folded back into its original position and tucked into place against the valve 12 and the milk may then be dispensed from the receptacle 10 through the dispensing valve 12.
A better understanding of the cooperation of the dispensing valve with the various inner and outer closure flaps can be gained by reference to FIG. 9. As is therein illustrated, the dispensing valve 12 in accordance with the presently preferred embodiment of the present invention includes three flange members 81, 82 and 83 which define a pair of spaces therebetween. The flange 81 is also used as the section of the valve for scaling to the bag st for example, the large diameter flange 81 is received internally of the bag 60, and is heat sealed thereto along the seal line 84.
The section 44B of the inner closure flap 44 is received within the space defined between the flanges 81 and 82 as is illustrated in FIG. 9. As is shown in FIG. 9, the bottom of the body portion of the valve 12 is resting against the bottom end or terminal section of the slot 45 in the section 44B of the inner closure flap 44. The outer closure flap 41 is received within the space provided between the flanges 82 and 83 as is illustrated in FIG. 9. The body 85 of the valve 12 is resting at the bottom of the opening provided by the removal of the section 52a of the tab 4'7 in the outer closure flap 41. It is thus seen that the valve is locked into position by the flanges defining the openings or spaces within which the various sections of the container 11 are received. As is also illustrated, vertical ribs are provided as is illustrated at 86 on the inwardly facing sides of the flanges 82 and 83. The vertical ribs engage the closure flaps 41 and 44B and, if the material is pliant, depress the material slightly, thus more firmly affixing the valve 12 into position to prevent its rotation during use.
There has thus been disclosed a receptacle for receiving and dispensing liquids which receptacle is exceedingly inexpensive, easy to assmble, and fill, and once the contents thereof have been utilized, may be disposed of. There has also been disclosed a method for filling the receptacle of the present invention. Although only a specific embodiment of a receptacle has been disclosed in detail herein, it is to be expressly understood that such is for the purpose of illustration and description of the invention only, and is not intended as a limitation upon the scope of the claims as they appear hereinafter.
What is claimed is:
1. A receptacle for retaining and dispensing liquid comprising:
(A) a fiexible plastic bag having a dispensing valve affixed permanently thereto and extending outwardly therefrom,
(1) said valve having a body portion having a predetermined outer dimension;
(2) first, second, and third spaced apart flanges on said predetermined outer dimension portion of said valve defining first and second spaces therebetween, said first flange being sealed to said bag; and
(B) a rectangular container receiving said plastic bag and being constructed of semi-rigid sheet material and including (1) two pairs of opposed wall panels interconnected to form a generally tubular member,
(2) first closure means interconnected to one end of said wall panels and closing one end of said tubular member,
(3) second closure means interconnected to the other end of said tubular member and comprising (a) first and second inner closure flaps each secured respectively to a first pair of said opposed wall panels along a hinge line and having an outer edge,
(i) said first inner closure flap being divided into first and second sections by a die cut extending from said outer edge to said hinge line, said first section defining an elongated opening extending from said outer edge toward said hinge line but terminating short of said hinge line, said elongated opening having a width slightly larger than said predetermined outer dimension on said valve, said valve being slidably received in said opening and abutting the terminal part of said opening to support said valve, and
(b) first and second outer closure flaps each secured respectively to the other pair of said opposed side walls along a hinge line,
(i) said first outer closure flap having a substantially larger dimension, measursed orthogonally to said hinge line, than said second closure flap,
(ii) said first and second outer closure flaps being secured along a line overlying said second section of said first inner closure flap,
(iii) said first outer closure flap having a cutout tab therein, said tab overlying said elongated opening when said first outer closure flap is closed,
(iv) said tab engaging said valve and pushing said valve and only said first section of said first inner closure flap inwardly into said container when said first outer closure flap is closed,
(v) said tab upon being removed defining an opening in said outer closure flap within which said valve is received for permitting said valve to extend outwardly from said container adjacent one corner thereof,
(vi) at least a portion of said tab opening being substantially the same width as said elongated opening, said first space receiving said first inner closure flap and said second space receiving said first outer closure flap.
2. A receptacle as defined in claim 1 wherein said tab has a wide base portion and a circular terminal portion opposite said base portion, said terminal portion having a diameter substantially the same as said predetermined outer dimension on said valve body, said base portion and said terminal portion being joined by a narrow neck portion.
3. A receptacle as defined in claim 2 wherein said base portion is secured along a hinge line to said first outer closure flap and said circular terminal portion is removable to define a circular opening, said tab, without said terminal portion, being insertable between said second and third flanges on said valve to assist in retaining said valve in said terminal portion.
4. A receptacle as defined in claim 3 wherein said first and second spaces on said valve include inwardly directed ribs on said second and third flanges for engaging respectively said first inner and first outer closure flaps and slightly depress the same to assist in preventing rotation of said valve.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,058,272 10/1962 Huber 53-37 3,077,062 2/1963 Brumbaugh 53-37 3,087,655 4/1963 Scholle 222-183 3,108,732 10/1963 Curie et al. 222-107 X 3,117,695 1/1964 Cox 222-107 X 3,138,293 6/1964 Roak et al. 222- 3,173,579 3/1965 Curie et al. 222-105 3,184,117 5/1965 Sanderson 222-183 3,212,681 10/1965 Weikert 222-183 3,219,240 11/1965 Campbell 222-183 3,233,817 2/1966 Casady 222-105 X 3,252,634 5/1966 Scholle c 222-105 X ROBERT B. REEVES, Primary Examiner.
CHARLES R. CARTER, KENNETH N. LEIMER,