US 3367551 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Feb. 6, 1968 P. WHEELER 3,
PACKAGE 'Filed April 30, 1965 United States Patent ()fifice 3,367,551 Patented Feb. 6, 1968 3,367,551 PACKAGE Paul L. Wheeler, Wayland, Mass., assignor to Packaging Frontiers, Inc., Waltham, Mass., a corporation of Delaware Filed Apr. 30, 1965, Ser. No. 452,077 1 Claim. (Cl. 229-17) This invention relates to packages, and more particular- 1y to a tetrahedron-shaped package which contains a liquid and which has a pouring opening for dispensing the liquid.
The tetrahedron-shaped package, which essentially comprises a tube having seals at its ends in planes at right angles to another, thereby having four triangular sides, has come into extensive use for containing single servings of cream or the like for coffee, such a package being provided with an opening for dispensing of the cream into the coffee. Heretofore, such dispensing openings as have been used have the disadvantage that the cream does not readily flow out of the package, undesirably requiring squeezing of the package to force out the cream and the further disadvantage that the cream flowing out of the opening may contact the outside surface of the package before running off into the coffee, with the attendant possibility of becoming contaminated by contact with the unsterile outside surface of the package.
Accordingly, among the several objects of this invention may be noted the provision of an improved pouring opening for a liquid-filled tetrahedron package, and particularly a package containing a single serving of coffee cream, such that the liquid may be readily poured from the package without any necessity for squeezing the package; the provision of such a pouring opening for a liquidfilled tetrahedron package adapted for clean pouring of the liquid, without contact of the liquid with the outside surface of the package; and the provision of such a pouring opening adapted for pouring the liquid from the package though it may be held in different attitudes. Other objects and features will be in part apparent and in part pointed out hereinafter.
The invention accordingly comprises the constructions hereinafter described, the scope of the invention being indicated in the following claim.
In the accompanying drawings, in which one of various possible embodiments of the invention is illustrated,
FIG. 1 is a view in elevation of one triangular side of a tetrahedron-shaped package having a pouring opening of this invention;
FIG. 2 is a view in elevation of the right side of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a view in elevation of the right side of FIG. 2;
FIG. 4 is a section taken on line 4-4 of FIG. 2; and
FIGS. 5, 6 and 7 illustrate three different pouring attitudes of the package.
Corresponding reference characters indicate corresponding parts throughout the several views of the drawings.
Referring to the drawings, there is indicated at 1 a tetrahedron-shaped package containing a liquid L, and having a pouring opening 3 initially sealed by a removable closure constituted by a piece of tape adapted to be peeled off to open up the opening 3. The package conventionally comprises a tube of flexible sheet packaging material which is heat-scalable on the inside, the tube being closed at its ends by heat-sealed end seals 7 and 9. These are at right angles to one another, accounting for the tetrahedron shape of the package. The tube conventionally has a heat-sealed longitudinal seam 11. The package, being in the shape of a tetrahedron, has four triangular sides S1, S2, S3 and S4, and four corners,
two of these, designated C1 and C2, being at the ends of end seal 7, and the other two, designated C3 and C4, being at the ends of end seal 9. A typical package would be one containing a single serving (one-half fluid ounce) of coffee cream (e.g., whole cream, or half cream and half milk or the like), measuring three inches in length with each end seal about one and three quarter inches long.
The pouring opening 3 is located adjacent one of the corners of the package, the corner C1 as shown in the drawings. The opening 3 is cut in the material from which the package is formed while the material is in flat condition, prior to the formation of the tube. As initially cut in the flat material, opening 3 is of triangular shape, preferably with rounded corners as shown. The opening is of such size and so located in the material that when the material is formed into tubing and end seals 7 and 9 are made, the opening becomes located adjacent corner C1, has a main portion 3a located in the triangular side S1 of the package, and side portions 3b and 3c which extend into the two adjacent sides S2 and S3, respectively, of the package. The main portion 3a of the opening 3 has a V-shaped pouring lip 13 in the triangular side S1 of the package pointed away from the corner C1. Side portion 312 of the opening 3 has a V-shaped pouring lip 15 in the triangular side S2 of the package pointed away from side S1. Similarly, side portion 3c of opening 3 has a V-shaped pouring lip 17 in the triangular side S3 of the package pointed away from side S1.
The package is not completely filled with liquid, the amount of liquid preferably being such that its level is just below the pouring lip 13 when the package is standing upright on end seal 9 (see FIGS. 1-4). The closure tape 5 is removably sealed to the outside of sides S1, S2 and S3 of the package over the opening 3 to seal the latter, while being adapted to be peeled off for pouring out the liquid through the opening 3. For this purpose, the tape may have a heat-sealable coating on its inside face and be heat-sealed to the outside of the package, leaving corner portions 19 of the tape free to serve as tabs for grasping the tape to peel it away from the package. The tabs are located at the corners of the tape away from corner C1 of the package so that it is nonmal to grasp the package in the left-hand by end seal 9, and peel off the tape by grasping a tab 19. Then, the package may be tilted to pour out its liquid contents either over the pouring lip 13 (FIG. 5), or over the pouring lip 17 (FIG. 6), or over the pouring lip 15 (FIG. 7). In any one of these three pouring attitudes, the liquid pours out freely without any squeezing of the package, and pours out cleanly without flowing in contact with the outside surface of the package.
In view of the above, it will be seen that the several objects of the invention are achieved and other advantageous results attained.
As various changes could be made in the above constructions without departing from the scope of the invention, it is intended that all matter contained in the above description or shown in the accompanying drawings shall be interpreted as illustrative and not in a limiting sense.
What is claimed is:
1. A package formed from a tube of flexible packaging material having seals at each end in different planes so that the package has the shape of a tetrahedron, thereby having four triangular sides, two corners at the ends of one end seal, and two corners at the ends of the other end seal, said package having a pouring opening adjacent one of said corners, said pouring opening being in the shape of a triangle and having a base extending across the intermediate triangular side of the three triangular sides of the package which meet at said one 3 corner and extended around the edges of said intermediate triangular side into each of the other two sides which meet at said one corner, said base of said triangle being spaced from said one corner, said triangle further having legs extending from the ends of said base in the direction away from said one corner converging to an apex located in said intermediate triangular side of the package on the opposite side of said base from said one corner, said apex constituting a V-shaped pouring lip in said intermediate triangular side, and the apices of the triangle at the ends of said base constituting V- shaped pouring lips in said other two sides, said package having a closure tape removably sealed to said one triangular side and said two adjacent triangular sides of the package over said opening.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS Re. 25,938 12/1965 Mobley 2297 2,226,049 12/1960 Carley 2297 3,038,649 6/1962 Rausing 22922 XR 3,127,082 3/ 1964 Meyer-Jagenberg 2297 10 3,244,348 4/1966 Shaw 229-22 DAVIS T. MOORHEAD, Primary Examiner.
JOSEPH R. LECLAIR, Examiner.