US 3388853 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
June 18, 1968 T. G. MATICH, JR 3,3 53
TONER CONTAINER Filed Sept 19, 1966 2 Sheets-Sheet l INVENTOR. THflMAS G MAT/6W, JR.
yaffid/g June 18, 1968 1-. 5. MATICH, JR 3,388,853
TONER CONTAINER 2 Sheets-She et 2 Filed Sept. 19. 1966 M mm In mm ma United States Patent 3,388,853 TONER CGNTAEIER Thomas G. Matich, Jr., McKeesport, Pa, assignor to Koppers Company, Inc., a corporation of Delaware Filed Sept. 19, 1966, Ser. No. 580,492 7 Claims. (Cl. 229-51) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLGSURE A container is provided for storage and discharge of dry powder without spillage. The container is particularly useful for holding toner powder used in electrostatic copying machines because it will minimize spillage of the toner powder when adding toner to an electrostatic copy machine. The container is sealed, but has a puncture member therein, held to the wall of the container. After the puncture member is released by the operator, it is used to puncture the seal enabling the powder to flow out of the container. When the container is used for toner powder to be used in an electrostatic copying machine, the seal is not broken until the container had been inserted into the opening of the toner reservoir which the end of the container is designed to snugly fit into.
This invention relates to a container for storage and discharge of dry powder materials. More particularly, the invention is directed toward a container suitable for the storage of toner powder used in Xerography.
In recent years, electrostatic copy machines which find their principal use in offices have been introduced which use a xerographic or dry photography process. A positively or negatively attractable powder having a coloring pigment therein is used to develop the latent image on an electrophotographically sensitive surface such as selenium or zinc oxide, which has been previously charged with an electrostatic charge and exposed to a light image to selectively discharge portions of the charged surface. Those portions which have not been discharged attract a fine toner powder to form a powder image which may then be fused to the supporting surface or may be transferred to another surface.
The toner powder is usually black in color. Thus, any spillage, when adding toner to the copy machine, results in a dirty appearance to the areas having spilled toner thereon. The toner powder, being very finely ground also becomes airborne carrying the dirt to areas not immediately adjacent the copy machines as well.
This use of toner powder has also resulted in several special problems as well. The toner is designed from materials which are selected for their electrostatic activity. Depending upon the particular process used, the toner powder may be attracted to positive charges or to negative charges. Unfortunately, however, this advance in technology within the photocopying field has been contemporaneous with other technological advances which resulted in the wide use of plastic materials throughout offices for drapes, furniture, and the like, as well as the use of plastic and other artificial fibers in clothing. These plastic materials also have electrostatic activity; and therefore, toner powder inadvertently spilled or dispersed in the atmosphere finds its way onto and clings to desk tops and adheres to clothing, particularly any articles of clothing having artificial fibers therein, creating a very unsightly and messy condition.
It is, therefore, of utmost importance to package toner powder in a container which may be used to dispense the toner into the copying machine without unnecessary spillage of the powder. The presently used containers re quire the operator to pour the toner powder into the toner reservoir within the machine. This pouring action Patented June 18, 1968 ice is inevitably accompanied by a dust cloud and other spillage adjacent the toner reservoir. Furthermore, if the entire contents of the container are not used in the filling operation, the container must be rescaled to protect the contents from contamination, moisture, and the like as well as to prevent inadvertant spillage.
This invention provides a container having a crossscctional profile adjacent one end which is conformed to the configuration of the toner reservoir opening so that this end may be inserted into the opening of the toner reservoir of an electrostatic copying machine as a sealed package, and the container need not be removed until the contents have been completely discharged into the toner reservoir. The container of this invention is opened by selected steps performed by the operator after the container has been inserted into the opening, which steps release a puncture member within the package which, in turn, is then used to break a seal within the package to allow the toner to pour from the container into the reservoir.
In accordance with the invention, a sealed container for the storage and dispensing of the powdery substances is provided having a wall, a slidable puncture member within the container is releasably attached to the wall, a puncturable sealing member is attached to the wall adjacent the puncture member, and holding means re lcasably hold the slidable puncture member to the wall. The puncture member is activated to a slidable condition to puncture the sealing member by release of the holding means.
This invention will be appreciated more fully by referring to the following description and accompanying drawings in which:
FIG. 1 is an isometric partially cut away view of the sealed container illustrating use of a perforated tear strip;
FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view of a side portion of the sealed container prior to opening;
FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view of the container shown in FIG. 2 with the lower tear strip removed preparatory to removal of the cover;
FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view of the container shown in FIGS. 2 and 3 showing the cover removed and the upper tear strip also removed. The phantom lines indicate that the container has already been inserted into the toner reservoir;
FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view of the container of FIGS. 2, 3 and 4. The phantom lines indicate, as in FIG. 4 that the container has already been inserted into the toner reservoir showing activation of the puncturing mechanism to puncture the seal;
FIG. 6 is an isometric view of the entire container in a position similar to the cross-sectional vew of FIG. 5, showing the toner actually being dispensed from the container;
FIG. 7 is a cross-sectional view of another alternate construction wherein the outer walls of the container are tapered inwardly to seal the container against the periphery of the toner reservoir;
FIG. 8 is a cross-sectional view of an alternate construction wherein a large sealing surface is provided to mate with the periphery of the toner reservoir opening.
Referring now to FIG. 1, the toner container is generally indicated at it). The container, as shown, is rectangular, but it may be constructed as a square or circular container depending upon the exact configuration of the toner reservoir opening of the particular machine for which the container is dimensioned to dispense into.
Container lltl is designed for the storage and dispensing of the powdery toner. The preferred embodiment is illustrated in FIGURE 1 as having a wall constituted of laminates 26 and 28. A slidable puncture member within container 20 is releasably attached to walls 26, 28. A
puncturable sealing member 71) is attached to the wall adjacent the puncture member 20. A holding means in the form of tear strip 14 is carried by the walls 26, 28 for releasably holding the slidable puncture member 2% to the wall. Thus, puncture member 26 is activated to a slidable condition to puncture the sealing member 70 by release of the tear strips holding means 14.
Container 10, as mentioned above, is provided with a tear strip 14 which constitutes a portion of wall layers 26, 28 adjacent top surface 18. Another tear strip 16 adjacent bottom member 40 constitutes a portion of wall 26 only. As shown in FIG. 1, the upper tear strip 14 is being torn away to reveal an inner wall 20 beneath the perforated tear strip. Tear strip 14 when torn away exposes innermost wall 20. Layers 26 and 28 are laminated to one another by adhesive or other suitable means at c, FEGURE 2. The glue line extends from the glue line b only to the top edge of tear strip 16. Thus, lower perforated tear strip 16 is a single layer tear strip forming a portion of outer layer 26 only, so that removal of tear strip 16 exposes intermediate layer 28, FIG. 35.
Referring to FIG. 2, a portion 32 of wall 26 beneath tear strip 16, together with the bottom surface 49 of container 10, form a cover 42. This cover may be removed, as illustrated in FIGURE 6, after tear strip 16 has been torn away because glue line 0, which holds wall 26 to wall 28 is above the tear strip.
Referring now to FIGS. 25, a cross-sectional view of the container is shown in the various conditions following the sequential steps of placing the container in operaton. When the container is to be inserted in the electrostatic copying machine reservoir, the lower tear strip 16 is removed in a manner similar to the illustrated removal in FIG. 1. The cover 42 formed by the bottom surface 40 and lower portion 32 of side wall 26 is released and is removed as shown in FIG. 3.
Container 10 is then inserted into the'opening of the toner reservoir of a copying machine, the phantom lines in FIG. 4 indicating the opening of the reservoir. It should be noted here that, at the lower edge of wall 26, a shoul-' der 90 has been formed by the removal of tear strip 16. This shoulder 90 circumferentially surrounds the container It and sealingly engages the edge of the opening to the reservoir to prevent spillage of toner. At this time, upper tear strip 14 is removed after the container has been inserted into the opening of the toner reservoir. Until removal of tear strip 14, wall 2% is immobile relative to wall 28 because of glue lines a and b. Glue line c forms a laminate of wall 20 and the upper portion 92 of wall 28. Glue line 12 forms a laminate of top 18 with the upper surfaces of walls 26 and 28.
However, the removal of tear strip 14 releases wall 20 and top portion 18 attached thereto relative to wall 28. FIGURE 4 illustrates the container in this condition.
Removing tear strip 14 activates the puncture member 20. Exerting a force downwardly on top wall 18 allows side wall 20 to slide downwardly with relation to walls 26 and 28 to a position as seen in FIGS. 5 and 6. Attached to the lower edge of wall 20 is a serrated member 60, which as shown in FIG. 6 preferably has extended teeth 62 adjacent the corners. Serrated member 60 is attached to three sides of the wall 20 and extends downwardly from wall 20 to a point above the end of wall 28 before the tear strip 14- is removed and wall 20 is forced downwardly by action upon top wall 18. (FIGS. 1-4.)
Upon the downward movement of wall 20, serrated edge 60 pierces the plastic sealing surface '10 attached to wall 28. This plastic sealing surface is not exposed until after the removal of the cover 42. Upon the puncturing of seal 70 by serrated edge 60, the toner powder pours out of container and into the toner reservoir as is best seen in FIG. 6.
It should also be noted in FIG. 6 that one side of wall may have a non-serrated lower extended edge 64 which is slightly above the serrated portions. Thus, after the serrated portions pierce the plastic seal, cutting it on three sides, the fourth wall forces the remaining side of the plastic seal to flip downwardly out of the path of the falling toner powder. This causes the entire contents of the container to fall into the reservoir without any appreciable residues being left in the container. Thus, the container 10 may be removed thereafter without any toner powder remaining to be spilled in the areas adjacent the opening.
Now referring more particularly to FIGS. 7 and 8, alternate constructions are shown for container 10 which may be used instead of the three-layered wall construction shown in FIGS. 1-6. For example, in FIG. 7 the lower portions of wall 20' and 28' have sloped portions 22 on wall 2% and 30 on wall 28'. After removal of tape 24 which serves the same function astear strip 16, cover 42' formed by side wall 32 and bottom wall 40' is removed and the slanted portion 30 of wall 28' then is used as the sealing portion; the periphery about the bottom being circumferentially slightly less than the opening of the toner reservoir while the portion above the slant (wall 28 proper) is slightly larger. Thus, the container is forced into the opening and held therein in sealing engagement by the slanted portions. Tear strip 14' is removed allowing top wall 18 and side wall 20' to slide downwardly to puncture seal 70', the slanted portion 22 mates with slanted portion 30 of wall 28'.
FIG. 8 shows another embodiment of single construction. In this embodiment, walls 20" and 28" have the same function as the embodiment of FIGURE 1. A sealing member 89 is provided which may be made of a plastic or foam rubber material. Sealing member encircles the container just above tape 24'. Tape 24 holds cover 42" to sealing member 80. After removal of tape 24 and cover 42", the container is inserted into the opening of the toner reservoir in a copying machine and the sealing member 80 provides a shoulder for sealing the opening of the copying machine. The cover 42 is formed of '32" and wall 48" and comprises cover 42".
Thus, the invention provides a clean, spillage free, dispenser for refilling the toner reservoir of an. electrostatic copying machine. The container is shippable without any risk of spillage because the seal cannot be punctured before the perforated tear strip is completely removed. It will be obvious that such a container may find use in packaging of any powdery substances where spillage and the like are undesirable. It will also be readily apparent that minor modifications and changes may be made in the physical structure which still embrace the basic concepts of the invention, which are contained in the appended claims.
1. A sealed container for the storage and dispension of powdery substances having a wall and one closed end, a puncturable sealing member attached to said wall opposite said closed end, a slidable puncture member within said container, and holding means carried by said wall for releasably holding said puncture member to said wall, said puncture member being activated to a slidable condition to puncture the sealing member by release of the holding means.
2. The container of claim 1 wherein said holding means are operatively attached to both said wall and said slidable puncture member before release of the holding means and the release of the holding means detach said slidable puncture member from said holding means.
3. The container of claim 2 wherein said holding means comprise a perforated tear strip which forms a part of said wall and which is positioned between a minor portion of said wall which is attached to said slidable puncture member and a major portion of said wall which is attached to said puncture member, the removal of said tear strip causing a physical separation of said major portion from said minor portion rendering said puncture member movable with respect to said major portion.
4. The container of claim 2 wherein said holding means comprise a removable tape which is adhesively atfixed to both a major portion of said walls which is not attached to said puncture member and to a minor portion of said wall which is attached to said puncture member, there being a physical separation between said major portion and said minor portion, removal of said tape which holds said major portion and said minor portion immobile relative to one another rendering said puncture member movable with respect to said minor portion.
5. The container of claim 1 wherein said slidable puncture member has an edge adjacent said puncturable sealing member and a cutting surface on a portion of said edge.
6. The container of claim 5 wherein said cutting surface comprises a serrated blade having several cutting teeth extended beyond the remainder of the teeth to 6 puncture the sealing member before the remainder of the serrated blade.
7. The container of claim 1 wherein a removable cover member is carried by said Wall and surrounds said sealing member to protect said sealing member from accidential puncture while in storage and before it is desired to dispense the powdery substance therein.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 11/1961 Foss 220-48 10/1965 De Kolb 22048