US 3401475 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
p 1968 D. s. MOREHOUSE ET AL 3,401,475
LABEL AND LABELLED CONTAINER Filed July 18, 1966 INVENTORS.
Dona/0'5. Mo rebo use James L. Kneese United States Patent 3,401,475 LABEL AND LABELLED CQNTAINER Donald S. Morehouse and James L. Kneese, Midland,
Mich., assignors to The Dow Chemical Company, Midland, Mich., a corporation of Delaware Filed July 18, 1966, Ser. No. 566,122 10 Claims. (Cl. 40-306) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLQSURE Containers such as metal cans are labelled with a label consisting of an outer layer such as paper and a second layer adjacent the can wall of expandable hollow microspheres adhered to the label. The combination of the two layers provides insulation particularly suited for machinedispensed containers.
This invention relates to an improved label and labelled container, and more particularly relates to an improved label and labelled container particularly adapted for use in hot food dispensing apparatus.
A wide variety of foods and the like are dispensed by automatic coin operated machinery. Such food is oftentimes in a preheated condition or is heated immediately upon being dispensed. As the food is consumed, oftentimes directly from the container and must be handled by the purchaser, it is desirable that an attractive, sturdy and thermally insulating label be employed. oftentimes, such thermally insulating labels are prepared by employing a two layer label or outer covering for the container wherein a first layer of a heat insulating material such as a crepe paper or bulked paper layer is disposed adjacent the container and a smooth printed external label is disposed thereover. Labels prepared from cellulosic fibers such as wood fibers oftentimes provide less than the desired degree of insulation and present problems in overwrap of the label on the filled container. Oftentimes, the cellulosic fiber label tends to alter slightly in size depending on the humidity, and in cases where a first layer is provided of a crepe-type paper, that is, a paper having bulk by virtue of a plurality of folds, the folds oftentimes are compressed and the exterior label is relatively loose. This condition oftentimes is undesirable in that occasionally the consumer will consider that the food has been improperly packaged.
It is an object of the present invention to provide an improved label for a food container which is adapted to be heated in the container prior to consumption of the food by the consumer.
Another object of the invention is to provide an improved labelled container wherein the configuration of the label is not readily deformed.
A further object of the invention is to provide an improved labelled container which is relatively insensitive to humidity.
A further object of the invention is to provide an improved labelled container which is resistant to Contact with other objects and deforms less readily than creped paper.
These benefits and other advantages of the present invention are achieved in an improved label for a container, the label comprising an outer or exposed layer of a readily deformable sheet, the sheet having a first surface and a second surface, the first surface of the sheet bearing desired indicia, the second surface of the sheet being in contact with and adhered to a second layer, the second layer comprising a plurality of hollow resinous bodies in closely spaced adjacent relationship, the bodies of the second layer being adhered to each other by a synthetic resinous binder.
Also contemplated within the scope of the present invention is a container comprising a hollow body having a first end and a second end, a side wall portion extending between the first end and the second end; the first and second ends and side wall portion defining a totally enclosed space, a quantity of an edible substance disposed within the space, a label disposed about the side wall of the container and adhered thereto in at least a desired location, the label comprising a first or outer layer and a second or inner layer, the outer layer being a generally smooth continuous deformable sheet having a first or outer surface and a second or inner surface, the first surface having visible thereon desired indicia, the inner second layer adhered to the second surface of the outer layer, the second layer comprising a plurality of hollow resinous bodies in closely spaced adjacent relationship and adhered to each other by a synthetic resinous binder.
Further features and advantages of the present invention will become more apparent from the following specification when taken in connection with the drawing wherein:
FIGURE 1 is a view of a container and label in accordance with the invention.
FIGURE 2 is an enlarged exaggerated cross-sectional view of a portion of the wall of FIGURE 1 taken along the line 22 thereof.
FIGURES 3 and 4 depict alternate embodiments of the invention.
In FIGURE 1 there is illustrated a container generally designated by the reference numeral 10. The container 10 has a first end 11, a second end 12 and a side wall portion 13. The first end 11, second end 12 and the side wall portion 13 define a totally enclosed and hermetically sealed space 15. The side wall 13 has an external surface 17. A label 18 is disposed about the side wall 13 and generally adjacent the external surface 17. The label 18 is adhered to a selected portion 20 of the surface 17. The label 18 comprises a first or outer layer 21. The outer layer 21 has an external surface 22 from which desired indicia 24 is readily observed. The label 18 has a second layer 26 adhered to the first layer 21 and disposed between the first layer 21 and the surface 17 of the side wall portion 13. The second layer 26 comprises a plurality of hollow synthetic resinous thermoplastic bodies disposed within a synthetic resinous thermoplastic binder or matrix. Disposed within the space 15 within the container is an edible material 28.
In FIGURE 2 there is illustrated a sectional representation of a cross-section through the container 10 taken along the line 2-2 of FIGURE 1. This cross-section is schematic and the thickness of the layers have been greatly exaggerated. The container wall 13 is shown having an external surface 17. The second layer 26 of the label 18 is shown containing a plurality of hollow thermoplastic resinous bodies 32 which are in closely spaced adjacent relationship and are adhered together by means of a synthetic resinous thermoplastic matrix 33. The outer layer of the label 21 has an external surface 22 and an internal or second surface 23 which is adhered to the second layer 26. The label 18 provides significant and substantial thermal barrier and advantageously permits the consumer to handle without discomfort when the container has contents which are at a temperature of or F. The second layer 26 provides substantial insulating characteristics.
FIGURE 3 depicts an alternate embodiment of the invention generally designated by the reference numeral 40. The embodiment 40 comprises a container 41 generally of similar construction to the container of FIGURE 1. The container 40 has disposed about its side walls a label 42 having a first or continuous outer layer 43 bearing desired indicia 44 and thermal insulation portions 45 selectively disposed about the side wall of the container. Insulated portions 45 comprise a plurality of hollow thermoplastic particles such as spheres disposed in a synthetic resinous thermoplastic binder or matrix.
FIGURE 4 depicts an alternate embodiment of the invention generally designated by the reference numeral 50. The embodiment comprises a container 51 generally similar to the containers of FIGURES 1 and 3. The container 51 has a label 52 disposed about its side walls. The label 52 has disposed thereon visible indicia 53. A circumferentially disposed layer 55 is disposed between the label 52 and the side wall of the container 51. The layer 55 comprises a plurality of hollow thermoplastic resinous particles in closely spaced adjacent relationship adhered to each other and to the label 52 by means of a synthetic resinous thermoplastic material.
The embodiment of FIGURE 1 provides thermal insulation about the entire periphery of the container, whereas the embodiments of FIGURES 3 and 4 provide selective insulation of portions of the container which are most conveniently grasped by the consumer.
Beneficially, labels in accordance with the present invention may be prepared in a variety of manners. The composition and configuration of the first or outer layer beneficially may be of paper of the desired basis weight and configuration for the container. Generally, conventional labels for non-insulated materials are eminently satisfactory.
The labels in accordance with the present invention beneficially may also be prepared from transpment synthetic resinous film which may be printed on either surface, or from opaque synthetic resinous film which may be printed on the external or exposed surface.
Beneficially, labels in accordance with the present invention are prepared by coating the desired external layer on its inner surface either before or after printing with a dispersion of plastic bodies in a suitable binding medium.
Beneficially, the hollow plastic body for use in the present invention may be prepared in accordance with US. Letters Patent 2,797,201, or alternatively, they may be prepared by polymerizing a suitable monomer in a limited coalescense polymerization technique in the presence of a volatile fluid raising or blowing agent in such a manner that a spherical thermoplastic resinous polymer particle is obtained which has encapsulated therein a distinct and separate liquid phase of the volatile agent. When encapsulation is accompanied in such a man ner that the occlusion of the liquid is symmetrically disposed within the spherical particle, heating of the particle results in heat plastification of the polymer with volatilization of the blowing agent and expansion of the particle to form a hollow monocellular sphere. Such particles are described in Belgian Patent 641,711.
The hollow thermopalstic particles employed in the present invention are of relatively small size, usually below about 200-300 microns. Oftentimes, it is particularly advantageous to employ the expandable monocellular particles described in Belgian Patent 641,711 as the blocking of the coating is oftentimes less than when utilizing the expanded particles of US. Letters Patent 2,797,201.
A wide variety of synthetic resinous binders may be employed including film-forming synthetic ilatexes such as those obtained from copolymerization of 65 parts of styrene with 35 parts of butadiene. The quantity of binder is only sufi'icient to provide a coherent layer of particles in the expanded condition. The precise amount of binder on a weight basis will vary with the bulk density of the expanded spheres, the degree of expansion and the like. Such binders are discussed and disclosed in Belgian Patent 641,711.
The labels in accordance with the present invention having expanded hollow bodies in a synthetic resinous matrix are readily applied to containers in a conventional manner either by the use of adhesive in a selected area to give a readily removable label, or alternately by the use of an adhesive over the entire surface of the container to provide a firmly adhering label. If desired, pressure sensitive adhesives may be employed. Representative adhesives are described in the following US. patents: 2,358,761; 2,395,419; 2,744,041; 2,750,316; 2,783,166; 2,156,380; 2,177,627; 2,319,959 and 2,553,816.
By way of illustration, a mass of hollow expanded polymethyl methacrylate microspheres is prepared in accordance with Belgian Patent 641,711. The expanded microspheres have diameters ranging from about 10 to 27 microns. 10 parts by weight of the expandedhollow microspheres are admixed with 450 parts by weight of an aqueous dispersion of a film forming polymer of 65 parts by weight styrene and 35 parts by weight butadiene, the polymer dispersion being 20 weight percent solids. The coating is applied to the reverse side of a printed paper label and dried in an air oven at C. The coating procedure was repeated until the coating had a thickness of 25 mils when dried. The label was affixed to the commercially available generally cylindrical sheet metal plated can containing tomato soup. The label was found to be resistant to abrasion and indentation in comparison to a label having crepe paper disposed adjacent the can and beneath a similar label.
A plurality of cans were prepared in the hereinbefore described manner then heated in an air oven to a temperature of 175 F. Evaluation by a plurality of persons indicates that the cans having the label overlying a layer of hollow microspheres is cooler to the touch than paper insulated labels.
A plurality of unexpanded polymethyl methacrylate microspheres prepared in the manner of Belgian Patent 641,711 were prepared having a particle size ranging from about 8 to 15 microns. The expandable microspheres were obtained in the form of an aqueous dispersion, containing about 30 weight percent solids (including neopentane blowing agent). Ten parts of microsphere dispersion was admixed with 5 parts of weight of a 50 percent solids film-forming aqueous dispersion of a polymer of 70 weight percent styrene and 30 weight percent n-butyl acrylate. This mixture was employed to coat the reverse side of a printed label to provide a 1.5 mil thick dry coating which, on heating to C., expanded to a thickness of 15 mils. The label was then adhered to a sheet metal can containing tomato soup. The can was heated to F. in an air oven and removed from the air oven by grasping in unprotected fingers. No discomfort was observed.
Similar beneficial and advantageous results are achieved in the practice of the present invention when coatings are employed utilizing expanded hollow thermoplastic microspheres in a synthetic resinous matrix disposed between a label and a can.
Beneficial examples of such matrices are hollow thermoplastic microspheres of 60 weight percent styrene, 40 weight percent acrylonitrile which contained 30 weight percent (based on the weight of the polymer) of neupentane, prior to expansion, adhered together by means of an aqueous synthetic resinous dispersion prepare-d by polymerizing 50 parts by weight of methyl methacrylate, 40 parts by weight of ethyl acrylate and 2 parts by weight of acrylic acid; microspheres prepared from 80 weight percent vinylidene chloride, 20 weight percent acrylonitrile which contained, prior to expansion, 30 weight percent 1,2-dichlorotetrafiuoromethane in a binder of an aqueous dispersion of a polymer formed from 72 weight percent ethylene, 14 weight percent acrylic acid and 14 weight percent ethyl acrylate.
Also beneficially employed are phenolformaldehyde and urea-formaldehyde microspheres perpared in accordance with U.S. Letters Patent 2,797,201 employing a nitrocellulose lacquer as a binder.
Beneficial results are also achieved when a solution of rubber in toluene is employed as a binder.
As is apparent from the foregoing specification, the
present invention is susceptible of being embodied with various alterations and modifications which may differ particularly from those that have been described in the preceding specification and description. For this reason, it is to be fully understood that all of the foregoing is intended to be merely illustrative and is not to be construed or interpreted as being restrictive or otherwise limiting of the present invention, excepting as it is set forth and de fined in the hereto-appended claims.
What is claimed is:
1. An improved flexible label for a container, the label comprising a first layer of a readily deformable sheet, the sheet having a first or external surface and a second surface, the first surface of the sheet bearing desired indicia, the second surface of the sheet being in contact with and adhered to a second layer, the second layer comprising a plurality of hollow resinous bodies in closely spaced adjacent relationship, the bodies of the second layer being adhered to each other by a synthetic resinous binder.
2. The label of claim 1 wherein the hollow resinous bodies are thermoplastic.
3. The label of claim 1 wherein the outer layer is of paper.
4. The label of claim 1 wherein the second layer is generally coextensive with the first layer.
5. The label of claim 1 wherein the first layer is a transparent synthetic resinous film.
6. A container comprising a hollow body having a first end and a second end,
a side wall portion extending between the first end and second end, the first and second ends and side wall portion defining a totally enclosed space, a quantity of an edible substance disposed within the space,
a label disposed about the side walls of the container and adhered thereto in a desired location, the label comprising a first or outer layer and a second or inner layer, the outer layer being a generally smooth continuous deformable sheet having a first or outer surface and a second or inner surface, the first surface having visible thereon desired indicia, the inner layer adhered to the second surface of the outer layer, the second layer comprising a plurality of hollow resinous bodies in closely spaced adjacent relationship and adhered to each other by a snythetic resinous binder to thereby provide thermal insulation between the first surface of the label and the space Within the container.
7. The container of claim 6 wherein the container is a generally cylindrical sheet metal article.
8. The container of claim 6 wherein the edible substance is soup.
9. The container of claim 6 wherein the hollow resinous bodies are thermoplastic.
10. The container of claim 6 wherein the hollow thermoplastic spheres have a diameter of up to about 300 microns.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,797,201 6/1957 Veatch et al 2602.5 3,208,900 9/1965 Inklaar 3l0 XR 3,257,265 6/1966 Isenberg 161160 EUGENE R. CAPOZIO, Primary Examiner.
W. H. GRIEB, Assistant Examiner.