US 3398876 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
ug. 27, 1968 F, A WARD A 3,398,876
RECLOSABLE PACKAGE Filed Feb. 6, 1967 United States Patent O "f 3,398,876 RECLOSABLE PACKAGE Frank A. Ward, Rockford, Ill., assignor to Anderson Bros. Mfg. Co., Rockford, Ill., a corporation of Illinois Filed Feb. 6, 1967, Ser. No. 614,333 12 Claims. (Cl. 229-45) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A container having a peripheral flange and a separable flange portion which may be lifted to peel a sealed cover member. Protrusions are provided on the container to engage the separated flange portion and hold the cover member in reclosed position. The peripheral flange is disposed downwardly to rigidify the container and provide better reclosing.
BACKGROUND SUMMARY The present invention provides a package having a separable flange portion and means for engaging the same and holding the cover in reclosed position. Another feature of the invention resides in the downwardly extending peripheral flange for rigidifying the container or for providing an apex for engaging the cover member in reclosed position.
It is an object of the present invention to provide a reclosable package having new and useful means for holding the cover in reclosed position.
Another object is to provide a package which is relatively more rigid.
Still another object is to provide a reclosable package in which the reclosed cover is contacted inwardly of the seal area.
These, and other objects and advantages of the present invention, will become apparent as the same becomes better understood from the following detailed description taken in conjunction with the drawing.
DRAWING FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of an embodiment of the present invention;
FIG. 2 is a side elevational view thereof;
FIG. 3 is a fragmentary top view taken along line 3 3 of FIG. 4 and having a part broken away for better illustration;
FIG. 4 is a fragmentary elevational view taken along line 4--4 of FIG. 3 and also having a part broken away for better illustration;
FIG. 5 is a partial sectional View taken along line 5-5 of FIG. 4 and on a larger scale;
FIGS. 6 and 7 are views similar to FIG. 5 but showing the cover being removed and in reclosed position, respectively; and
FIG. 8 is a partial sectional view taken along line 8-8 of FIG. 7.
DESCRIPTION In the preferred embodiment illustrated, the package includes a rectangular container having side walls 21-24 3,398,876 Patented Aug. 27, 1968 rising upwardly from a bottom wall 26. The container illustrated is advantageously made of thin thermoplastic material; however, it is contemplated that other materials may be utilized within the spirit of the present invention. The container is substantially shallow in depth, being designed to receive a sliced product, such as bacon; however, deeper containers can be formed, if desired. The upper ends of walls 21-24 define an open end of the container and preferably the upper ends of the walls are generally coplanar. Flanges 31, 32, 33 and 34 extend outwardly from the upper ends of walls 21, 22, 23 and 24, respectively. As can be seen, flange 34 is advantageously Wider than the other flanges for a purpose which will hereinafter become apparent. A flexible cover member 36 overlies the open end of the container and is sealed to the flanges to provide a sealed package. Cover member 36 is formed of flexible material and is sealed to the flanges in any convenient manner. The cover member may be transparent thermoplastic material compatible with the material of the container and heat-sealed to the flanges, if desired.
In accordance with the present invention a portion 34a of flange 34 is adapted to be separated from the rest of the container along a preselected line while cover member 36 remains sealed to the separated flange portion. For this purpose, the container is advantageously formed of a breakable material, and the separation is accomplished by deflecting flange 34 at the preselected line. As shown, the preselected line, or break line, is advantageously defined by a plurality of slots 38 in flange 34. Depending on the material used, the break line may be provided by other arrangements such as score lines, notches, and the like. If desired, flange portion 34a may be a separate strip to which the cover member 36 is sealed.
After the one portion 34a of flange 34 has been separated from the remainder of the container, flexible cover member 36 is peeled off the remainder of flange 34 and flanges 31 and 33 by lifting upwardly on one flange portion 34a, as shown in FIG. 6. Thus, portion 34a provides a grip for peeling of the cover member. For this purpose, cover member 36 is advantageously sealed to the flanges as by heat which is controlled so that there is a limited amount of fusion between the cover member and container. The peeling is accomplished by the cover member separating from the container at the seal line. When so separated, the flexible cover member 36 will frequently wrinkle, as at 36a in FIG. 8, in the area of the seal line, due to forces applied in the separation; however, this does not adversely affect reclosure of the container, as will hereinafter be described. It is also contemplated that the peeling of the cover from flanges 31 and 33 may be accomplished by tearing or the like as along a score line adjacent the seal. In accordance with the present invention, flexible cover member 36 is to remain sealed to flange 32 to secure the cover member to the container adjacent the side opposite flange 34. It is deemed obvious that the peeling of cover member 36, as described above, provides initial access through the open end of the container.
After opening, the package may be reclosed by moving flange portion 34a to the position illustrated in FIG. 7 and holding the flange portion in that position to hold cover member 36 in reclosed position. For this purpose, protrusions, generally designated 4f), extend outwardly from wall 24 to engage flange portion 34a. Advantageously, a pair of protrusions are provided and located on opposite sides of the center of wall 24 (see FIG. l). As illustrated in FIG. 7, protrusion 40 extends outwardly from wall 24 into the area of an arc A which has a radius equal to the width of flange portion 34a and a radius point at the underside of the preselected line, or break line, defined by slots 38. In the present embodiment, protrusions 40 are formed during the container forming operation and include an engaging face 41, a front face 42 and side walls 43 and 43. Engaging face 41 is spaced from the underside of flange 34 a distance equal to the thickness of fiange portion 34a and the attached cover member 36. Engaging face 41 operatively engages fiange portion 34a through cover member 36. This engagement is herein referred to as engaging the ange portion 34a; however, this l should be taken as engaging the ange portion directly or through the cover member, as shown. The engaging face 41 may slant downwardly, as shown, to aid in disengaging the fiange portion 34a for reopening the package. It is important, however, that the engaging face 41 extend into the area of arc A to be able to engage and hold the flange portion 34a. The fiange portion 34a is conveniently provided with a finger-grip area 34b for manually disengaging the flange from the engaging face to reopen the package.
Another feature of the invention resides in the downward extension of flanges 3'1-'34 from the plane defined by the upper ends of walls 21-24. Preferably, the fianges extend downwardly at a generally uniform angle designated at B from their juncture with their respective wall. In this manner, the flange and adjacent wall form an apex, as shown. This downward incline of the fianges preferably provides a well-defined juncture 45 at the corners of the container. When the container is formed of thin thermoplastic material, the container may have a lack of rigidity. The outwardly and downwardly extending peripheral flange tends to rigidify the container and, by juncturing in the manner described, the downward incline further tends to rigidify the fianges and the comers of the container. This results in a substantially more rigid container than is otherwise obtainable. For this purpose, the angle designated B is preferably greater than 5. It will be observed that the sine and tangent of angles through 5 are substantially equal and, therefore, an angle greater than 5 provides a well-defined juncture and desirable rigidifying characteristics. Generally speaking, the greater the incline, the greater is the rigidifying of the flanges by juncture 45. The angle may be of any desired size, limited only by the practical necessity of supporting the flange during the sealing operation; however, it has been found that an angle of about is most practical and allows the flanges to be easily supported during the sealing operation and yet provides a downward incline which reinforces the container.
The stiffening of the lianges due to the downward incline is also advantageous during the reclosing operation. As stated above, cover member 36 remains sealed to ange 32. In reclosing the cover, there is a component of force which tends to raise flange 32 and provide a gap between the cover member and other flanges. Since ange 32 is held at junctures 4S, the flange is restrained from such movement, and thus the structure provides for better engagement of fianges 31 and 33 by the cover member when reclosed. Additionally, as previously described, the cover member 36 may have wrinkles 36a caused by the peeling operation. If the anges are coplanar with the open end, these wrinkles 36a can cause gaps for the passage of air when the cover member 36 is reclosed. In accordance with the present invention, cover member 36 is sealed to the fianges outwardly of the apex, and the flanges extend downwardly from the apex. In this manner, the cover member is engaged at the apex without interference by any wrinkles 36a.
It can be seen that the present invention provides a reclosable package in which a portion 34a of flange 3 4 provides a grip for peeling of cover member 36 from a portion of the container to permit access through the open end thereof. Protrusions 40 are provided for engaging the flange portion 34a and holding the cover member in reclosed position. The outwardly extending flange preferably also extends downwardly to rigidify the structure and to provide a more secure closure when the cover is assas't,
4 reclosed. Preferably, the cover member 36 is held taut in its reclosed position for this purpose.
While it is contemplated that the present invention may be manufactured in various ways, it may be conveniently formed, filled, and sealed by the apparatus described in Patent No. 3,000,157, issued to Ollier et al. When so formed, thermoplastic materials of various types may be utilized for the container, and cover member 36 may be of a flexible thermoplastic material of any type compatible with the container for sealing thereto. If desired, however, the cover member can be formed of sheets of material, such as paper or aluminum foil, coated with a material for sealing to the container.
While a preferred embodiment of the invention has herein been illustrated and described, this has been done by way of illustration and not limitation, and the invention should not be limited except as required by the scope of the appended claims.
What is claimed is:
1. A reclosable package comprising: a container having wall means defining an open end and having an outwardly extending fiange at the open end, a flexible cover member sealed to the ange and providing a sealed closure for the open end, said fiange arranged for breaking off one portion thereof from the remainder of the container along a preselected line spaced outwardly from the open end while the cover member remains sealed to said one flange portion, the cover member being peelable from at least a part of the remainder of the container as said one flange portion is lifted to provide access to the container, said one flange portion movable to a position underlying at least part of the remaining flange and with the outer end of the one flange portion facing the wall means, and holding means on the container adjacent but spaced from the flange for engaging said one ange portion adjacent said outer end when in said underlying position to retain the cover member in a reclosed position.
2. A reclosable package as set forth in claim 1 wherein the holding means comprises at least one protrusion on the wall means and extending outwardly therefrom into the area .of an arc having a radius equal to the width of said one flange portion and a radius point at said preselected line.
3. A reclosable package as set forth in claim 1 wherein the flange extends around the periphery of said open end and the cover member is sealed thereto in a continuous line around the open end of the container, and wherein the wall means defines a plane at the open end of the container and the fiange is disposed downwardly from said plane.
4. A reclosable package comprising: a container having walls defining a generally rectangular open end and having an outwardly extending fiange along at least one wall of the container at the open end thereof, means on the ange spaced from said one wall and generally parallel thereto for defining a line along which the outer portion of the fiange may be separated from the remainder of the container, a flexible cover member overlying the open end and peripherally sealed to the container and flange, the cover member so constructed and arranged that the outer flange portion may be separated along said line while the cover member remains sealed thereto, the cover member being peelable from a portion of the container to provide access thereto, said outer ange portion movable to a position underlying at least part of the remaining flange and with the outer end of the outer flange portion facing said one wall, and holding means on said one wall for engaging the outer flange portion adjacent said outer end to hold the same in said underlying position and hold the cover member in a reclosed position.
5. A reclosable package as set forth in claim 4 wherein: the flange includes a flange member extending outwardly from each wall to form a peripheral fiange, the ends of the walls are generally planar at said open end, each ange member extending downwardly with respect to said plane, and adjacent flange members joined at a well-defined juncture at each corner of the container.
6. A reclosable package as set forth in claim 5 wherein each flange member extends downwardly at a generally uniform angle with respect to said plane and thereby forms an apex at its juncture with its respective wall, and the cover member is sealed to the flange outwardly of said apex whereby, when the cover member is reclosed, the apex engages the cover member unhampered by any wrinkles in the sealing area of the cover member caused by the peeling operation.
7. A reclosable package as set forth in claim 6 wherein the holding means comprises first and second protrusions on opposite sides of the center of said one wall, each protrusion spaced from the adjacent flange a distance greater than the combined thickness of the flange and cover member, and each protrusion extending outwardly from said one wall into the area of an arc having a radius equal to the width of the outer flange portion and a radius point at the underside of the preselected line.
8. A package comprising: a container having walls defining a generally rectangular upwardly-facing open end, the upper ends of said walls being substantially planar, a peripheral flange at the open end and including a flange member extending outwardly from the upper end of each said walls, each flange member extending downwardly from its respective wall at a generally uniform angle greater than 5 degrees with respect to said plane, and the adjacentllange members being joined at a well-defined juncture at each corner of the container; and a relatively thin, flexible cover member overlying the open end and sealed to the peripheral flange.
9. A package as set forth in claim 8 wherein the angle is approximately degrees with respect to said plane.
10. A reclosable package comprising: a container having walls defining an upwardly-facing generally recangular open en-d, a peripheral flange extending outwardly from the upper end of each wall and including a separate flange portion extending along one wall and spaced outwardly therefrom, a flexible cover member overlying the open end and sealed to the peripheral flange, said separate flange portion providing a grip for peeling the cover member from a portion of the peripheral flange to provide access to the container, said separate flange portion movable to a position underlying at least part of the remaining flange and with its outer end facing the container wall, and holding means on the container adjacent the flange for engaging the separate flange portion adjacent its outer end when in said underlying position to retain the cover member in reclosed position.
11. A reclosable package comprising: a container having walls dening an upwardly-facing generally rectangular open end, a peripheral flange including a flange member extending outwardly and downwardly from the upper end of each wall, a flexible cover member overlying the open end and sealed to the peripheral flange, one of the flange members arranged for separating at least a portion thereof from the remainder of the container while the cover member remains sealed thereto, the cover member being peelable from the flange members adjacent said one flange member as the separated flange portion is lifted to provide access to the container, means on said remainder of the container for engaging the separated flange portion and holding the cover member in a reclosed position, at least said adjacent flange members each forming an apex at its juncture with its respective wall and having a downward incline from the apex Sullicient to allow the apex to engage the reclosed cover member unhampered by any wrinkles in the cover member caused by the peeling operation.
12. A reclosable package comprising: a container having wall means defining an open end and having an outwardly extending flange at the open end, said flange including a flange portion separate from the Iremainder of the container, said flange portion initially extending from a preselected line spaced outwardly to the open end to an outer edge disposed outwardly therefrom, a flexible cover member overlying the open end and secured to said flange portion, said flange portion movable to a position underlying at least a part of the remaining flange with the outer end facing the wall means, holding means on tne container adjacent but spaced from the flange for engaging the one flange portion adjacent its outer end when in said underlying position, and means for holding the flexible cover member on the container generally opposite said flange portion, whereby the flexible cover member is retained in a reclosed position.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,000,157 9/1961 Ollier et al. 53--184 3,048,299 8/ 1962 Hutchinson 220-54 3,069,273 12/1962 W'ayne 99--171 3,096,904 7/ 1963 Hutchinson 220-54 XR 3,101,870 8/1963 Betner 220-54 XR 3,108,708 10/1963 Betner 220-54 3,192,091 6/1965 Hey et al. 206--56 X 3,276,616 10/1966 Lurie 220 X 3,348,754 10/1967 Koolnis 229-17 3,352,479 11/1967 Mohs 229-5 3,371,848 3/1968 Ward et al. 229-43 FOREIGN PATENTS 234,579 7/ 1964 Austria.
DAVIS T. MOORHEAD, Primary Examiner.