US 3401825 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Sept. 17, 1968 H. R. WEISS PACKAGE FOR SOFT MELTABLE SOLIDS 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Aug. 14, 1967 Inventor MEDERT 8 TeGROTENHUIS A77'oRNEY5 Sept. 17, 1968 H. R. WEISS PACKAGE FOR SOFT MELTABLE SOLIDS 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Aug. 14, 1967 .MEDERT 8TeGROTENHUIS 4TT' RNEYS United States Patent 3,401,825 PACKAGE FOR SOFT MELTABLE SOLIDS Hugh R. Weiss, Montclair, N.J., assignor to The Pautasote Company of New York, Inc., New York, N.Y., a corporation of New York Filed Aug. 14, 1967, Ser. No. 660,459 Claims. (Cl. 220-60) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A plastic container for margarine and the like nestable in the empty state and stackable and interlockable in the filled state has a tub portion with outwardly inclined sidewalls with a peripheral seat at the upper edge portions thereof for receiving a cover. The said seat is formed by an inwardly inclined wall and an outwardly extending flange. The cover has a plate-like central portion that has, disposed about its periphery, a hollow-rib groove arrangement with an outer inclined face to be received in said seat. The rib-groove arrangement forms a spring that permits a temporary reduction in size of said cover so it can be sprung into the opening in said seat to effect a seal therewith, even though said cover is larger than said seat.
The present invention relates to a package which is suitable for packaging soft meltable solids, such as lard, margarine, butter and the like, and which are formed from thin sheets of thermoplastic resinous material such as polychloride, polyethylene, polypropylene, and the like.
Materials such as margarine and certain shortenings are desirably prepared with a large amount of unsaturated oils and therefore melt and/ or remain soft and spreadable at relatively low temperatures, even at temperatures well below room temperatures. Packages such as are conventionally used for butter are unsuitable for such materials. The containers for holding and marketing soft materials must form a complete closure and should have a conveniently removable and replaceable cover for tightly sealing the container to prevent loss of contents and free access of air which oxidizes the unsaturates and may cause rancidity. The containers should preferably also provide surfaces for effectively sealing the lid on the container prior to the first removal of the lid therefor, so that the purchaser can be certain that the contents have not been tampered with. The container should preferably carry a unitary quantity, such as a pound or a kilogram of the packaged material. The containers must also present a pleasing appearance to promote salability of the article, and should interlock with each other to facilitate stackability on the grocers shelves so that they occupy as little space as possible per unit.
It is an object of the present invention to provide a tublike plastic container suitable for receiving and protecting soft, low meltable fats and other items, such as margarine, made with a substantial amount of unhydrogenated (unhardened), oily materials, which tub or container is provided with a readily removable and readily replaceable plastic cover that protects the contents even after the cover has been removed from and replaced on the container several times.
It is another object of the present invention to provide a container for margarine and similar soft materials Patented Sept. 17, 1968 ice which has .a removable and replaceable snap-fitting cover, which may be conveniently sealed to the container.
It is another object of the present invention to provide margarine containers, the tub portions of which will stack when empty to facilitate shipment of the empty containers to the margarine manufacturers, and which will be readily separated one from the other just prior to the filling of the tubs with margarine and the like and which containers when filled will interlock with each other to facilitate stacking on the grocers shelves.
It is a further object of the present invention to provide a margarine cup or tub suitable for holding a unitary amount of margarine while it is in a relatively soft, oilyto-spreadable consistency, which tub has a snap-fitting removable and replaceable cover that is conveniently removed and replaced without soiling ones fingers by contact with the margarine that might be on marginal edges of the cover.
Other objects will be apparent from the following description of the invention as illustrated by the appended drawings, in which:
FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of a margarine tub or cup embodying the present invention;
FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a cover for cooperating with the tub of FIGURE 1;
FIG. 3 is a plan view of the tub of FIG. 1;
FIG. 4 is a side elevational view of the tube of FIG. 1 as viewed from points perpendicular to the vertical plane through the line 77 of FIGURES 1 and 3;
FIG. 5 is a plan view of the cover of FIG. 2.;
FIG. 6 is a side elevational view as seen looking in the direction of arrows 77 of FIG. 5;
FIG. 7 is a sectional view through a portion of the tub with a cover in place on the tub which section is along a vertical plane, through the tub on line 7--7 of FIGURES 1 and 3 and through the cover on the line 77 of FIG- URES 2 and 5;
FIG. 8 is a vertical sectional view of the tub with cover in place taken on the line 88 of FIGURES 1, 2, 3 and 5, showing the interlocking of the edge portions of the cover with the upper edge wall portions of the tub;
FIG. 9 is a perspective view of a modified form of tub embodying the present invention;
FIG. 10 is a plan view of the tub of FIG. 9;
FIG. 11 is a perspective view of a cover for cooperating with the tub of FIGURES 9 and 10;
FIG. 12 is a plan view of the cover of FIG. 11;
FIG. 13 is a side elevational view of the cover of FIGS. 11 and 12, as viewed from points perpendicular to the vertical plane through the line 1414 of FIGURES 11 and 12;
FIG. 14 is a sectional view through a portion of the tub of FIGURES 9 and 10, with the cover of FIGURES 11 and 12 in place thereon, the section. is that cut by a vertical plane through the tub and cover on the lines 14-14 of FIGURES 9, 10, 11 and 12;
FIG. 15 is a side elevational view of the tub of FIG- URES 9 and 10 taken perpendicularly to the vertical plane through the lines 1414 of FIGURES 9 and 10;
FIG. 16 is a sectional view of the tub and the cover in position thereon, the sections through the cover and tub being cut by a vertical plane through the lines 16-16 of FIGURES 9, 10, and 11 and 12;
FIG. 17 is a sectional view through a portion of the cover along the lines 1717 of FIGURE 12, showing the 3 undercut fingergrip portions for holding and replacing the cover.
Referring more particularly to the drawings, in which like parts are designated by like numerals of reference throughout the several views, the containers of the present invention which are suitable for holding and marketing a measured quantity of margarine or other soft fat comprise tub A and a cover B. The tub A is suitably cupshaped, preferably having a generally round horizontal section, as shown. The tub portion has a relatively narrow bottom portion 3 with outwardly inclined or bulging sidewalls 4 which are of greater diameter at the top portion and which terminate in an upper, generally horizontally extending flange 5. Adjacent the bottom portion, the sidewalls have a generally cylindrical portion 6 which is adapted to be received within the cavity formed by the inner surface 7 of the annular or cylindrical rib 16 and the base 8 of the cover B of another container for facilitation of stacking of the filled margarine containers, one on the other.
The laterally or horizontally extended flange portion terminates in a generally vertical but inwardly inclined wall 9 so that an acute angle is formed between the wall 9 and the generally horizontally extending flange portion 5 located at the upper edge of the wall 4. The flange 5 and the wall 9 cooperate to form a peripheral seat to receive the periphery of the cover B. The upward peripheral edge of the inwardly inclined wall 9 at the outer periphery of the flange 5 terminates in a generally laterally extending flange 10, which has a raised peripheral annular rib 11 of just sufficient height so that the upper surface 12 thereof may cooperate with the surface 13 of the peripheral lip of the cover to receive an annular adhesive seal (not shown), if desired, which may be attached to the upper surface 13 of the outer peripheral lip of the cover and the upper surface 12 of the rib 11. A downwardly extending, generally vertical lip 14 is provided at the outer periphery of the rib 11 to stiffen the container and particularly the sealing portions thereof.
The cover portion B of the margarine container of the present invention has a generally flat or plate-like base 8 which terminates in an hollow peripheral rib 16 of generally inverted U-shaped cross section. The rib 16 has an inner vertical face or cylindrical surface 7 and an outer generally cylindrical face 17. The diameter of the cylindrical surface 7 is as aforesaid sufficient to receive therein the base portion 6 (usually cylindrical) of the walls of the tub. The upper surface of the hollow inverted U-shaped rib 16 is generally horizontal and the outer peripheral portion of the rib 16 is a surface 17 which is usually cylindrical as shown. Extending outwardly from the base of the outer face or surface 17 of the rib 16 is a laterally extending portion or base 18. The outer peripheral wall 17 of the rib 16 cooperates with the laterally extending peripheral base 18, which is preferably substantially coplanar with the flat base 8, and with an outer inwardly inclined peripheral wall 19 to form a peripheral groove adjacent the periphery of the cover B. The upper surface of the inwardly-inclined annular wall 19 terminates in the horizontally extending lip 20, which has the upper sealing surface 13. The inwardly-inclined wall 19 forms an acute angle with the base 18 of the groove and is adapted to fit tightly into the acute angle formed by the portions 9 and 5 of the tub, as shown in FIGURE 8. The vertical section through the walls of the rib 16 and the walls of the adjacent peripheral groove is generally an S-shaped curve so that by exerting a small force radially inwardly from the periphery of the cover, the diameter or the periphery or the cover may be temporarily reduced. This provides a spring-like reduction in diameter the permits the snap action desirable for an effective seal.
While the upper peripheral rim portion of the tub and of the cooperating cover is as aforesaid preferably generally annularly shaped, an outwardly extending tab portion 21 is provided on the rim of the tub to cooperate with an outwardly extending tab portion 22 on the cover to facilitate separation of the cover portion from the container portion when it is first opened. The upper surface of the tab 22 preferably contains a slight recess 2 to cooperate with a corresponding recess in the tab 21 of the tub. A locating recess 23 extend radially outwardly in the inwardly-inclined wall 9 to receive a corresponding protrusion 24 in inclined wall 19 of the cover. The protrusion 24 and the recess 23 are located in the respective tab portions 22 and 21 so that in the assembly of the cover on the tub, the portion 22 must be superimposed over the portion 21. The tab 21 terminates in an outer rib 25 which has an upper surface coplanar with the upper surface 12. The tab 21 has a depressed portion 26 between the rib 25 of the upper vertical wall of the recess 23.
Referring more particularly to the modification shown in FIGURES 9 to 17, inclusive, the cover B generally corresponds to the cover B, except a portion of the base 3 is raised to provide a plateau 30 with an upper surface that is generally parallel with the base 8. The plateau 30 is located centrally of the base 8 and has finger grips at two opposite sides thereof with outwardly inclined surfaces 31. Outer cylindrical surfaces 32 are provided etween the surfaces 31.
The tub portion A corresponds generally to the tub A except that a raised portion or plateau 35 is provided centrally in the bottom 3. The under surface of the plateau 35 in the bottom 3 of the tub cooperates with the cylindrical side walls 36 thereof to form a cavity of sufficient size to receive the plateau 30 on the cover B so that one filled container interlocks with a bottom of a superimposed container.
It is to be understood that in accordance with the provisions of the patent statutes, variations and modifications of the specific devices herein shown and described for purposes of illustration may be made without departing from the spirit of the invention.
What I claim is:
1. A plastic container suitable for packaging soft materials such as soft margarine, shortenings and the like, said container comprising a cup-shaped tub for receiving the soft material and a cooperating cover, said tub having a bottom and outwardly inclined side walls, an outwardly extending flange around the periphery of the upper edge of said side walls, an inwardly inclined peripheral wall at the outer edge of said flange to cooperate with said flange to form a seat for said cover, said cover having a plate-like central portion, a hollow rib of inverted U- shaped section around said central portion, a peripheral base extending outwardly from the base of said rib, an inwardly inclined, upstanding wall along the outer periphery of said base, the outer face of said rib cooperating with said base and said inwardly-inclined wall cooperating to form a groove, whereby a vertical section through said rib, said base and said inclined wall is an S-shaped curve that permits the said inclined wall of said cover to be moved radially inwardly with a spring-like action, said cover at the base of said inwardly-inclined wall being normally larger than the opening in said tub at the top of said inwardly inclined wall thereof, whereby when said cover is placed on said tub the peripheral portions of said inclined wall of said cover are pressed against the inclined wall of said seat of said tub to effect a seal therewith.
2. The package of claim 1 further characterized by having an outwardly extending tab at the upper edge portion of the wall of said tub, and an outwardly extending tab at an edge portion of said cover and means for facilitating alignment of said tab portions when said cover is placed on said tub.
3. The package of claim 2 wherein said aligning means comprises a radially extending protrusion in the sealing edge of said cover and a cooperating recess radially in the seat of the tub.
4. The package of claim 1 further characterized in that said cover has a peripheral lip that extends radially outwardly from the upper edge portion of said inwardlyinclined wall and said tub has a flange that extends generally radially outwardly from the upper edge portion of said inwardly-inclined Wall, said lip being positioned so that when said cover is in place with peripheral portions of the inclined wall of said cover bearing against the inner peripheral portions of the said inclined Wall of said tub, the lower surface of said lip bears against the upper portion of said last-mentioned flange.
5. The package of claim 4 wherein said flange at the upper edge of the said inwardly-inclined wall of said tub has an offset portion to receive said lip of said cover, whereby when said cover is in place on said tub the upper References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 5/1961 Aldington 220-60 9/1962 Ringlen 22060 JAMES B. MARBERT, Primary Examiner.