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Publication numberUS3398501 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 27, 1968
Filing dateJul 26, 1967
Priority dateJul 26, 1967
Publication numberUS 3398501 A, US 3398501A, US-A-3398501, US3398501 A, US3398501A
InventorsAninger John H
Original AssigneeJohn H. Aninger
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Method and equipment for packing
US 3398501 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)


United States Patent 3,398,501 I METHOD AND EQUIPMENT FOR PACKING John H. Aninger, 2031 S. Beverly Glen Blvd., Los Angeles, Calif. 90025 Filed July 26, 1967, Ser. No. 656,185

2 Claims. (CI. 53-35) ABSTRACT OFTHE DISCLOSURE v A method and an equipment for the packing of compleX, irregularly-shaped fragile and delicate articles .of merchandise selectively. The packing is accomplished by means of an inflatable pneumatic cushion configuration adapted to be placed around the article of merchandise and to be joined through fastening means which are integral with said pneumatic cushion.

The subject of this invention is both a method and an equipment for the packing of complex irregularly-shaped articles of merchandise, selectively.

Both the methods and the implements known in the art for packing by means of inflatable cushions, either rely on an external container for the securing of the cushion ends with each other, or require specialized provisions on the inflatable cushion in combination with additional, essentially disassociated assembly parts. These circumstances contribute to the increased production cost of those inflatable cushions, to their cumbersome negotiating about the merchandise, and to the need for additional and, at that, small and loose parts, resulting in stocking problems, loss of time and possible physical injury to those cushions and the merchandise. 7 g

The improved method and equipment is capable of accomplishing the required enveloping of the to be protected article through means integral with the basic inflatable cushion. Specific details of this concept will vbecome more apparent from the following description and the accompanying drawing, presenting but typical appli cations for said method and but representative configurations for said equipment in accordance with this invention.

In the drawing, FIG. 1 shows, in isometric projection, a typical inflatable pneumatic cushion in its deflated and developed position, FIG. 2 is an orthogonal, cross-sectional view of a cushion extremity taken along the plane II-II of FIG. 1 and in the indicated direction, however, omitting the valve and the valve stem, FIG. 3 portrays in an orthogonal front elevation, partly in view and partly in cross-section, a deflated, inflatable pneumatic cushion enveloping, in its secured condition, an article of merchandise and inserted, together with the latter, into a container. FIG. 4 illustrates in an orthogonal front elevation, partly in view and partly in cross-section, a pneumatic cushion enveloping, in its secured and inflated condition, an article of merchandise positioned, together with the latter, Within a sealed container.

Referring now to the drawing, wherein like numerals designate like or corresponding parts and, particularly, to FIG. 1, an inflatable, pneumatic cushion is shown consisting of a base portion 12 having a plurality of, for example, equally long inflatable extremities 14A, 14B, 14C and 14D extending radially therefrom, and communicating with said base 12 pneumatically and operationally. A valve stem 16, equipped with a fill and bleed valve 18 at its terminus is provided at a conveniently accessible cushion location to facilitate the cushion inflation through the connection of a compressed-air supply line with said valve 18. To prevent excessive inflation of the cushion base 12 at the expense of the extremities 14A, 14B, 14C and 14D, a hole 20, sealed by its seam 21 is together ,along the seam- 26 surrounding and hermetically seal-ing each said aperture 24 to the cushion. The described aperture 24 and seam 26 arrangement may be'ob served in greater detail in FIG. 2, which also illustrates clearly the peripheral cushion seam 22. It shouldbe' noted that each aperture 24 may have, for example, an oblong shape, as shown in FIG. 1 for extremity 14A, and be oriented radially. Additional aperture orientations, namely, in a transverse direction as indicated for the extremity 14B and additional aperture shape, for example, round apertures as illustrated for extremities 14C and 14D are feasible within the scope of this invention, depending on specific cushion material properties, cushion manufacturing processes and application requirements.

On the basis of the foregoing description of a typical pneumatic, inflatable and deflatable cushion construction, the method of its application proceeds as follows, depicted in FIG. 3: A delicate article, for example, a lamp base 28, is placed upon, say, the base 12 of the developed, deflated, pneumatic cushion 10. Then, both one extremity 14A and, for example, its opposite extremity 14C are placed about said article 28 so as to meet at its top. The end of the extremity 14C is then inserted into the aperture 24 of the extremity 14A and pulled through aperture 24 until a hand-tight union results. A comparable opera tion follows with regard to any other cushion extremity pair. The aforementioned fastening principle allows further for the securing, and subsequent locking, of a plurality of ends of the same cushion construction within one single end; for example, the three extremities 14B, 14C and 14D of the cushion 10 in FIG. 1, may be inserted into any of the apertures 24 shown in extremity 14A and, if desired, into only one of those apertures 24. Another, considerable advantage of the aforementioned fastening method consists in the expediency with which the joining of at least one end of a new cushion with an aperture of a former cushion can be accomplished: this allows for the packing of merchandise of varying dimensions through the use of one basic cushion size stock, reducing further the packing inventory and cost. The described packing and article assembly is inserted into a shipping container 30. The pneumatic cushion is the-n inflated through air introduced by way of the fill and bleed valve 18, and is assuming the appearance set forth in FIG. 4. This causes not only the expansion of the pneumatic, inflatable cushion so as to occupy the space between the delicate article 28 and the shipping container 30, but also the mutual locking of one cushion extremity end with its respective counterpart, for example, extremity 14A with extremity 140. More specifically, the portion of each first cushion extremity end becomes especially bulged ahead of and past its passage through the aperture 24 while said second cushion extremity, upon having also become bulged, exerts a clamping action, esepcially about its aperture 24 on said first inserted and inflated cushion extremity portion, resulting in the aforementioned mutual locking action among the two cushion extremities. This entire arrangement imparts an infinitely-adjustable, mutually selflocking characteristic upon the herein disclosed improvement without the need for any auxiliary elements and fastening means, whether these are mounted on the pneumatic cushion, or not.

The deflation of the inflated pneumatic cushion and the subsequent removal of the article from the shipping container can be performed readily upon the release of the Patented Aug. 27, 1968 compressed air through triggering of the bleed valve. Thereafter, the formerly locked cushion extremities can be separated and the entire pneumatic cushion can be discarded and reused, selectively.

The herein disclosed method and, more particularly, the described equipment can be practiced in various modes within the frame of this invention. To accommodate unconventionally-shaped pieces of merchandise, each extremity 14A, 14B, 14C and 14D of the pneumatic cushion 10 may vary in length, width and inflatability, selectively, from any respective dimension of the other extremities. Likewise, the entire pneumatic cushion base and extremity pattern may be modified as to the quantity of cushion bases, cushion extremities, symmetry, regularity and structural geometry to suit particular applications. It is also apparent that inert gases and those having specific, for example, fire-extinguishing capabilities may be employed for the cushion inflation in place of atmospheric air.

Whereas the subject invention was set forth for use with the shipment of lamp bases, its object lends itself readily, and with equal advantage, to the packing of any other commercial, industrial and military merchandise, like delicate optical, electrical and scientific instruments, glassware and food, to mention but a few. The pneumatic cushion can further be applied for the safekeeping and storage of articles involving no movement and transportation at all.

What is claimed is:

1. Method of packing, especially, fragile, delicate and irregularly-shaped articles, selectively, which comprises:

placing, selectively, a (first end having at least one aperture formed integrally therein, of a deflated inflatable selectively reusable pneumatic cushion semiperipherally around one side of said article.

placing, selectively, a second end having at least one aperture formed integrally therein, of said deflated inflatable reusable pneumatic cushion semiperipherally around another side of said article,

inserting said first end into an aperture formed interally within said second cushion end until a handtight union among said first and said second cushion end has been effected,

positioning said so united cushion ends together with said so enveloped, fragile article into a container,

inflating said so inserted and so secured cushion configuration so enveloping said fragile article so as to effect its occupying the space between said fragile article and said container.

2, An inflatable, selectively reusable pneumatic cushion of an expandable impermeable material having at least two ends, provided with a valve stem and a selfsealing fill and bleed valve operationallyconnected with said cushion for thepacking of, especially, irregularlyshaped, fragile and delicate articles, selectively, within a container, a means integral with'said inflatable, selectively reusable pneumatic cushion for the securing of said inflatable pneumatic cushion about said article when deflated and for the locking of said inflatable, pneumatic cushion so secured about said article when inflated, comprising:

at least one aperturev formed into and hermetically sealed with respect to each said inflatable pneumatic cushion end, adapted to receive and to secure at least one other unifiated end of the same and of another inflatable pneumatic cushion, selectively,

said inflatable, pneumatic cushion adapted to be positioned about and together with said article into said container when uninflated and to occupy the space between said article and said contaners interior and thereby locking one said end of said pneumatic cushion with any said other coacting end of said pneumatic cushion, and of any other said inflatable pneumatic cushion, selectively, when inflated.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,449,591 9/1948 Couse 20646 2,874,826 2/ 959 Matthews et al. 20646 2,772,712 12/1956 Post 3 FOREIGN PATENTS 848,248 9/1960 Great Britain.

MARTHA L. RICE, Primary Examiner.

Patent Citations
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U.S. Classification53/474, 206/522, 53/472
International ClassificationB65D81/05
Cooperative ClassificationB65D81/052
European ClassificationB65D81/05A1