US 3366269 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
1968 E. J. SLOMSKI 3,366,269
SEAM RELEASE CONTAINER Filed April 6, 1966 ;f j:? Z 'M i i INVENTOR. 37/ Q AW/m MM 610M670 7 ii I United States Patent 3,366,269 SEAM RELEASE ONTAINER Edward John Slomski, Crystal Lake, 111., asslgnor to American Can Company, New York, N.Y., a cororation of New Jersey p Filed Apr. 6, 1966, Ser. No. 540,685
Claims. (Cl. 220-53) The present invention relates to a container which may be manually openable without the necessity of using tools. In particular, this invention relates to a conta1ner 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 securing an end closure to a container body to thereby loosen this securement, so-called seam release containers, are known in the art. Examples of such containers are disclosed and described in United States patent 3,142,433 and in copending application Ser. No. 370,801, filed May 28, 1964. Other examples of such seam release containers could be cited from the prior art.
However, most of the prior art containers suffer from a common deficiency which makes them unsuitable for present day demands for 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 patent solves this problem by making the pull-out strip from a portion of the body itself, but weakening the edge of this pull-out strip. While 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 somewhat higher than is considered acceptable to meet consumer demands.
In the co-pending application, cited hereinbefore, the above problem was eliminated by using a strip separate from the body and partially enclosed in the end closure seam. In order to facilitate removal, only the lower peripheral portion of the strip was adhesively secured to the body. A peripheral line of weakness was placed within the strip such that the portion of the strip between the lower adhesively secured portion and the edge of the strip within the closure seam could be manually grasped and pulled along the line of weakness in order to withdraw the strip from within the end seam and to separate the closure from the body. Thus, the lower portion of the strip adhesively secured to the body would remain in place during opening.
The instant invention involves a simpler construction which permits more economical manufacture without increasing the force required to remove the release strip from the container seam.
It is therefore an object of the instant invention to provide a construction for a container,which container, when filled with product and closed, will enable the consumer of the product to open the closed container easily by manual manipulation without the need of special opening tools.
Yet another object is to provide a construction for a container which may be readily m de on high speed automated equipment. 5 i
A further object is to provide a construction for a con- 3,366,269 Patented Jan. 30, 1968 "ice tainer which meets the demands of consumer acceptance.
Numerous 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 separate pull-out or seam release strip surrounding the outside of the container body and free of direct adherence to the body. The strip is so positioned on the body that one edge of the strip and a portion adjacent thereto are mechanically enclosed within the end seam securing the end closure to the open end of the body. A length of tape overlies and is adhesively secured to a portion of the strip outside the end seam and the tape is also secured to the body adjacent the strip outside the end seam. Within the tape overlying the second longitudinal edge of the strip is a line of weakness, so that when the strip outside the end seam, covered by the overlying tape, is grasped and manually pulled away from the body, the second edge fractures the tape and the first edge and strip portion are withdrawn from the end seam and entirely separated from the container. This separation loosens the securement of the closure to the body for easy removal of the end and opening of the container.
Referring to the drawings:
FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of an open ended container body having a pull-out strip secured in place;
FIG. 2 is a perspective view similar to FIG. 1, but showing the end closure to the body;
FIG. 3 is an enlarged fragmentary, sectional view taken substantially along the line 3-3 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.
As a preferred or exemplary embodiment of the instant invention, FIG. 1 shows a tubular container body 10, formed primarily of fibre, and preferably by spiral winding, although the body may be convolutely wound. If desired, the fibre 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 instant invention that the body 10 be made of a material other than fibre, such as a plastic, e.g., polyethylene, or sheet metal, e.g., aluminum, steel or tinplate.
Completely surrounding the body adjacent 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 metallic foil-backed paper or plastic film-backed paper, may also be used. Metal strip, by itself, is somewhat impractical because in strip thicknesses needed to provide eflicient seam release, metal is too stiff. For efficient seam release, the'strip should have a thickness of at least 3 mils, and preferably 10 to 15 mils. Thicknesses less than the minimum would probably not have sufficient tensile strength and would not provide enough clearance after removal to substantially loosen the closure attachment to the body. The upper limit on strip thickness is generally governed by economics.
The upper edge 16 of the strip 14 is contiguous to the periphery 17 of the open end 12. However, the exact registration of the edge 16 and body periphery 17 is not exactly necessary so long as the edge 16 and a reasonable width of the strip 14 are eventually enclosed within the end seam.
The entire strip 14 is not directly adhered to the body 10. However, the lower edge 18 of the strip 14 is secured 3 to the body by an overlying tape 20 which also adheres to the body 10 adjacent the lower edge 18 of the strip 14. This arrangement holds the strip 14 in place prior to securement of a closure 21 to the body 10, which will be explained more fully hereinafter.
As shown, for easy application, the tape 20 is peripherally continuous, but, if desired, the tape 20 could be discontinuous, since the function of the tape 20 is to hold the strip 14 in position on the body 10 until the upper edge 16 is engaged within the end seam, which will be more fully described hereinafter.
In order to facilitate separation of the strip 14 from the body 10, a peripheral line of weakness 22 is formed in the tape 20. Although this line of weakness is shown as a score in FIG. 3, it is readily apparent that an intermittent perforation, or a complete out after securing the closure 21 to the body 10 could be made. It is preferred that the peripheral line of weakness 22 would be formed subsequent to the securement of the strip 14 by the tape 20. This, of course, requires a precise weakening operation.
On the other hand, the operation to form the line of weakness 22 could be eliminated if random perforations were made in the tape 20, so that precise placement would not be necessary and any strong force pulling the lower edge 18 through the tape 20 would fracture the tape readily along the juncture of the edge 18 and the body 10.
It is readily apparent that the adhesive bond formed between the tape 20 and the body 10 should be nonpeelable and exhibit relatively high shear strength so that the strip 14 will lie adjacent the body 10, without accidental separation, until it is desired to open the container.
Any number of commercial pressure sensitive tapes could be utilized for the overlying tape 20, such as No. 480 polyethylene film tape manufactured by 3M Company. However, it is preferred that this tape be transparent so as to permit decoration on the exterior surface of the body 10 to be readily visible.
In the preferred embodiment illustrated, the length of the strip 14 is slightly greater than the circumference (periphery in the case of a non-cylindrical body) of the body 10 so that the strip 14 not only extends around the body 10 in adhesive attachment thereto, but also overlaps itself to provide a grasping tab 23. While the overlapping construction is preferred, it is not absolutely necessary. In other words, the length of the strip 14 could be equal to or slightly less than the circumference of the body 10, whereby the end of the tab 23 meets or is just short of the transverse edge 24 (FIG. 4) of the strip 14.
The purpose of the tab 23 is to permit initial grasping and pulling of the strip 14. To this end, the tab 23 may be free of any adhesive attachment to the subjacent surface, but is preferably partially adhered to the subjacent surface. By this partial adherence, the tab 23 is held substantially in conformity to the contour of the body 10, i.e. is prevented from extending outwardly from the body 10, thereby minimizing damage to the tab 23 or container during shipping or handling and possibly pulling the strip 14 so as to open the container. This partial or weak adherence is accomplished by providing an easily-peelable adhesive bond 25 between the inside surface of the tab 23 and the subjacent surface adjacent the free end of the tab 23.
The upper edge 26 of the tab 23 is cut down from the remainder of the upper edge 16 of the strip 14, to insure against this edge 26 being enclosed within the end seam in a manner more fully described hereinafter.
FIGS. 2 and 3 illustrate the container body 10 having a pull strip 14 secured thereto as previously described, but with the metal end closure 21 closing the open end 12. The end closure 21 comprises a central panel 28 merging at its periphery with an upstanding countersink wall 30, thence substantially horizontally outwardly over the upper periphery 17 of the body 10 and thence downwardly in a hemmed skirt 32 to provide a substantially U-shaped channel 33.
Within the channel 33 and compressed between the wall 30 and skirt 32 is the upper periphery 17 of the body It) and the upper edge 16 and portions adjacent thereto of the strip 14 to frictionally lock the end closure 21 to the body 10 in an end seam 34.
To provide this frictional lock, it is necessary that at least one of the materials within the end scam 34 have some degree of resiliency or compressibility to enable the wall 30 or skirt 32, or both, to obtain a grip on the contiguous material. If the body 10 and strip 14 do not provide sufficient resiliency, an auxiliary gasketing material may be used in the channel 33. As best seen in FIG. 2, the upper edge 26 and therefore the entire tab 23 is outside the end seam 34 to permit the tab 23 to remain free for easy grasping.
In the manufacture of the instant container, the body 10 is first formed and its exterior surface suitably decorated. The shaped strip 14 with the tape 20 adhesivcly secured thereto is then adhesively secured to the body 10 adjacent one open end by the tape 20. Although the tape 20 is preferably pre-applied to the strip 14, it is also possible to hold the strip in place and thereafter apply the tape 20 to the strip 14 and body 10. Thereafter, the end closure 21 is attached to the body 10 and strip 14 by means of the end seam 34.
Filling of the container, thus formed, with a product is carried out from the open, lower end, i.e., the end of the body 10 remote from the closure 21; whereupon the closure is secured to this lower, open end by conventional means to completely close the package.
To open the package thus formed, the tab 23 is grasped and pulled outwardly around the container to fracture the tape 20 along the line of weakness 22 and simultaneously disengage the upper edge 16 from the end seam 34. If a randomly perforated tape 20 is used, fracture will occur at the point of greatest stress which will most likely be somewhere near the juncture of the lower edge 18 and the body 10. In either case, a portion 35 of the tape 20 will remain secured to the strip 14 and the remainder 37, adhesively secured to the body 10, will remain secured to the body 10 (FIG. 4).
This opening action is continued until the portion of the strip 14 within the end seam 34 is completely withdrawn therefrom, thereby loosening attachment of the closure 21 to the body 10. The closure 21 can then be easily lifted, also manually, Off the body 10 thereby providing a full opening on one end of the container for removal of the product therein.
This full opening feature of the instant container is especially advantageous when the product is a frozen juice concentrate, or other frozen comestible, since it leaves no part of the end closure to act as an obstruction to the removal of a substantially solid block of product.
For dry products, such as coffee, not only is the opening feature advantageous, but also, the loose fit between the closure 21 and the body 10, after opening, permits ready reclosure during the useful life of the container. However, if such containers require hermetic sealing, a non-tacky or adhesive sealing compound such as a plastisol may be used on the countersink wall 30 to form a seal between the wall 30 and the end of the body 10.
It is to be understood that the expressions upper and lower used hereinbefore are for the purpose only of 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 argement of the parts without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention or sacrificing all of its material advantages, the form hereinbefore described being merely t WC??? W1 embodiment thereof.
1. A container, comprising:
a tubular body;
a closure secured to one ned of said body by means of an end seam;
a separate strip of resilient material surrounding the outside of said body, said strip free of direct adherence to said body;
one longitudinal edge of said strip and a portion adjacent thereto partially Within said end seam;
a length of tape overlying and adhesively secured to a portion of said strip outside said end seam and said tape is also secured to said body adjacent a second longitudinal edge of said strip outside said end seam;
and a line of weakness in said tape overlying the second longitudinal edge of said strip so that when said strip outside said end seam, covered by said overlying tape is grasped and manually pulled away from said body, said second edge fractures said tape and said first edge and strip portion are withdrawn from said end seam and entirely separated from said container to loosen the securemnet of said closure to said body for easy separation therefrom.
2. The container of claim 1 wherein said strip is thermoplastic.
3. The container of claim 2 wherein said body is principally made of fibre.
4. The container of claim 1 wherein said strip terminates in a tab adapted to remain outside of said end seam to permit manual grasping of said strip.
5. The container set forth in claim 4 wherein said tab is partially adhered to the subjacent surface to insure its substantial conformity to the body of the container.
6. The container of claim 4 wherein said tab overlaps a portion of said strip.
7. The container of claim 1 wherein said line of Weakness is a score.
8. The container of claim 1 wherein said line of weakness is an intermittent perforation.
9. The container of claim 1 wherein said overlying tape is randomly perforated to facilitate fracture when removing said strip.
10. The container of claim 1 wherein there is an adhesive sealing compound between the inner end of said body within said end seam and said closure.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2/1966 Bennett et al 22951 XR 7/1967 Slomski 220-53