US 3412889 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
NOV. 26, 1968 c v ElcHOLTZ ET AL 3,412,889
CONTAINER FOR DAIRY PRODUCTS OR THE LIKE Filed Nov. 24, 1967 3 Sheets-Sheet Z8 .50 JNVENTORS.
C/ara V/rgm/a El'c/vo/lfg Robe/7 W Van Sickle O Barf/"000W Tramb/ey H TTOR NE Y NOV. 26, 1968 c v. |H Z ET AL I CONTAINER FOR DAIRY PRODUCTS OR THE LIKE Filed Nov. 24, 1967 5 Sheets-Sheet 1 54 I E INVENTORS. F4591 Clara Vl'r inl'a fc/7o/f3 Rober/ Van Sick/e B Berfrand/V. Tromb/ey NOV. 26, 1968 c v ElcHOLTZ ET AL 3,412,889
CONTAINER FOR DAIRY PRODUCTS OR THE LIKE Filed Nov. 24, 1967 5 Sheets-sheaf 5 I INVENTORS. C/ara Vlrglnl'a fic/iO/fj Rober/ 14 Van Sick/e Berfrana M Tromb/ey i BY HTTORNEY United States Patent 3,412,889 CONTAINER FOR DAIRY PRODUCTS OR THE LH(E Clara Virginia Eicholtz and Robert W. Van Sickle, Nlldland, and Bertrand N. Trombley, Bloomfield Hills,
Mich., assignors to The Dow Chemical Company,
Midland, Mich., a corporation of Delaware Filed Nov. 24, 1967, Ser. No. 685,522 Claims. (Cl. 220-60) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A table ready container for dairy products or the like, the tub of which can have plain (unprinted) side walls because the lid contains flaps which extend downwardly therefrom along the sides of the tub and lock underneath, which flaps can contain the printed legends and designs necessary for product identification and any of the other usual information incident to the sale thereof.
The type of containers for which the present invention is primarily directed are those designed to hold cottage cheese, salads, ice cream and other dairy products, which containers are usually sold in the dairy case of grocery stores. This invention has particular application to such containers manufactured from materials such as polystyrene, polyethylene and certain other resins which provide a tub sturdy and attractive enough to be placed on the table during mealtime. Part of the objection to such containers in the past has been the fact that to place such containers on the table often resulted in annoyance to the viewers because of the printing on the side Walls thereof which is necessary to identify the product, its manufacturer and other information pertinent to the sale thereof.
By the present invention at least two things of significance have been accomplished. The first is that the lid has been designed with respect to the tub such that all the printing occurs on the lid components so that when the lid is removed, the tub of the container contains no graphics on its side walls with the result that it can more properly be considered a table ready dish. In accomplishing this, a sturdy relationship between the lid and container is also achieved and the lid, which is of the recloseable variety, has firm, secure engagement with respect not only to the top of the tub but also with respect to its sides and bottom. The second chief advantage of the present container is that in its generally rectangular or square configuration, more such containers can be located in the dairy display case than was otherwise possible with round containers as have been commonly used for similar purposes in the past.
Briefly then, the present invention comprises a container for dairy products or the like which has a bottom wall and four side walls, the side walls defining a generally rectangular configuration. The side walls are indented in their central portion along their entire height to receive flaps which extend downwardly from the lid and securely lock underneath the bottom of the tub. The flaps are integral with (the lid and are coined at their juncture with the lid and at each fold point so that they are bendable and yet can be firmly fixed with respect to the side walls and bottom of the tub. The container lid can be designed so as to accommodate a flap or flaps on any number of sides as may be desired. The lid and flaps can contain all the printed material necessary for product identification and the like.
Yet additional objects and advantages of the present invention are even more apparent when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawing in which like 3,412,889 Patented Nov. 26, 1968 characters of reference designate corresponding material and parts throughout the several views thereof, in which:
FIGURE 1 is a side elevational view of a container for dairy products or the like illustrating the principles of the present invention;
FIGURE 2 is a top view thereof illustrating by broken lines the flaps of the lid in their disengaged position;
FIGURE 3 is a bottom view of the container showing by dotted lines the flaps in their disengaged position;
FIGURE 4 is a fragmentary cross sectional view of the container taken along line 4--4 of FIGURE 2;
FIGURE 5 is a side elevational view of the container without its lid;
FIGURE 6 is a top view of the container without its lid; and
FIGURE 7 is a top view of the lid alone with its flaps in their disengaged position.
Referring more particularly to the drawing, container 10 comprises a lid 12 and a tub 14. All the components thereof can be formed of thermoplastic materials such as polystyrene, polyethylene, polypropylene, or the like. While such containers are more commonly vacuum formed, it is conceivable that they could be formed by other conventional techniques, such as by injection molding for example.
The tub 14, which is shown by itself in FIGURES 5 and 6, is generally rectangular in its planar configuration (see particularly FIGURE 6). There are four side walls 16 which extend upwardly from generally rectangular bottom 18, the side walls being joined by arcuate corners 20. The side walls taper outwardly from their bottom to top, the top including a reverse taper stacking ring 22 and lid receiving band 23, such as typified by US. Patent No. 3,262,602, for example, and ends in a peripheral rim 24. Centrally located along the entire height of each side wall 16 is a recessed channel 26 adapted to receive flaps 34 (to be later described) extending from the lid 12. A recess portion 28 indented upwardly from the rest of bottom 18 is in communication with channel 26, the purposes of which will be described hereinafter.
Lid 12, as seen by itself in FIGURE 7, also has a generally rectangular body portion 30 so as to fit the top of tub 14. Groove 32 around the peripheral edge of the portion 30 is of a size to fit over the rim 24 of tub 14. Extending from each of the four sides of groove 32 is a flap 34. Each flap 34 is connected to groove 32 by a coined bend line 36. Coined bend line means a line or zone which has been slightly thinned compared to its adjacent parts to provide for a bending effect between adjacent components. Such a coined bend line substantially retains its plastic memory so that if the relative angle of bend between adjacent components is changed, such as when the flaps are pulled away from the tub, the components return to their original bend angle upon release of the forces Which changed the angle from the original angle of bend. Such a coined bend line is generally more flexible than a non-thinned line formed between other component parts of the container 10.
Extending between the main area 38 of the flap and the coined bend line 36 is a generally Z-shaped section 40 which preferably but optionally, complements stacking ring 22 of the tub as can be seen in FIGURE 1, for example. A lip 42 is located at the outmost extent of the main area 38 and mates with recess portion 28 at the bottom of the tub 14.
The preferred embodiment of the invention leaves the tub side walls 16 (including channels 26) entirely free of printing or any other graphical representation, most of which appears on the center area 30 of the lid 12 and the main area 38 of each flap 34, as typically illustrated in the drawing by the location of the phrase ABC' bottom wall also contained marks or printing. Thus, when the lid with its flaps are removed, the tub will be completely free of any markings on its visible portions, i.e., the side walls, so as to present a dish suitable for placing on a table at mealtime.
Referring again to FIGURES l and 2, it is seen that each flap 34 mates with each channel 26 so that there is a secure arrangement between the two parts, the flap 34 being only slightly narrower in its width than the channel 26. While in FIGURES l and 2 the lid is shown engaged with the container in its completely closed position, the position of the flaps 34 when they are not engaged with the channel 26 is shown by imaginary lines. This is also true in FIGURE 3. While a non-thinned formed line might be used, preferably a coined bend line 46 forms the juncture between main body area 38 and lip 42 of the flap. This permits lip 42 to fit at a sharp angle into the recess portion 28 to secure the outward end of the flap in a closed disposition with the tub, while still providing for ease of disengagement because of the resilient character of the coined bend line 46. Such closed disposition is shown clearly in FIGURE 4. It is readily seen that the lip 42 is biased upwardly into the recess portion 28. The main body area 38 of the flap 34 is snugly engaged in channel 26 along its entire length. While the Z-shaped section 40 is shown generally fiat along its vertical extent, it can optionally (not shown) follow the detailed contours of the stacking ring 22, band 23 and rim 24 of the tub 14, if desired. In any event, it is preferably joined to the main body area 38 of the flap by a coined bend line 48.
To even more securely retain extension 42 within recess portion 28 there can be mating nibs 50 and detents 52 in each lip 42 and recess portion 28, respectively, if such is desired. However, the effect of providing a coined bend line between adjoining areas of the flap 34 adequately secures the lid with the tub in the normal situation without requirin the use of auxiliary securing means.
While the preferred embodiment of this invention shows a lid and tub arrangement having flaps and mating portions therefor on all four sides thereof, it is conceivable that the principles of the present invention could be made with other arrangements and numbers of flaps than that here shown. For example, it would be possible to form a relatively secure container with flaps on just two opposite sides thereof. Thus, while certain representative embodiments and details have been shown for the purpose of illustrating the invention, it will be apparent to those skilled in the art that various changes and modifications can be made therein without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.
Accordingly, what is claimed is:
1. A container comprising a tub and a lid, said tub having a generally rectangular bottom wall, circumferential side walls extending upwardly and generally inclined outwardly from said bottom wall and ending in a peripheral rim at their uppermost extent, an inwardly disposed channel extending centrally of at least a pair of said side walls from said bottom wall towards but spaced from said rim, a recess portion extending upwardly from said bottom wall and in communication with the bottom end of each said channel, a lid engaged with said container rim, and flaps extending from said lid and engaged with said channels and recess portions.
2. The container of claim 1 wherein each said flap includes a lip securely engaged with each respective recess portion.
3. The container of claim 2 wherein each said lip and recess portion have mating securing means.
4. The container of claim 2 wherein each said flap is joined with its respective side wall by a first coined bend line.
5. The container of claim 4 wherein said return portion is joined with a main portion of said flap by a second coined bend line adjacent the juncture of the bottom of said channel and said recess portion.
6. The container of claim 5 wherein a lid receiving band and a stacking ring are located immediately below said rim, said channel extending downwardly from said stacking ring, a section intermediate said first mentioned coined bend line and the main portion of said flap, said section snugly following the contour of said lid receiving band and said stacking ring, said section being joined to said main portion of said flap by a third coined bend line.
7. The container of claim 6 wherein said lid and flaps contain printed and other graphical information and the side walls of said tub are free of printed and other graphical information.
8. The container of claim 7 wherein there are four flaps mating with four channels and recess portions.
9. The container of claim 7 wherein said tub and lid comprise a thermoplastic material.
10. The container of claim 9 wherein said thermoplastic material is polystyrene.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,731,999 1/1956 Burns 22(l6() 3,064,876 11/1962 W'arner 22987 JAMES B. MARBERT, Primary Examiner.