US 3478868 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
NOV. 18, 1969 R w NERENBERG ET AL 3,478,868
STERILIZABLE CONTAINERS 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Sept. 1, 1967 \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\WW\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\V\\\\\\ nu n ///////////////////w mam w y 3 mm M g .m j MM 1 m @m BOA NOV. 18, 1969 R. w NERENBERG ET AL 3,478,868
STERILIZABLE CONTAINERS 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Sept. 1, 1967 INVENTOR/S (0552f W/vi/aL-"A/sma & Emma PW Per/v04 0 4/4, mid 521 A T T O R N EYS M 1 i 14/ 4w 4 5 M w EN. ...M w .AH H M H .WH M H H Y z 7/ w United States Patent U.S. Cl. 206-46 9 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE This invention relates to paperboard cartons and more particularly to lined carton structures in which the liner is, in part at least, formed from a gas permeable material which permits sterilization of the contents subsequent to the sealing of the liner. The carton structures are particularly suited for the packaging of products which must be mained in a sterilized condition, such as surgical instruments, syringes, intravenous tubes, and the like. A principal feature of the invention lies in the provision of a lined carton structure of the character described in which the carton and liner may be opened in such a way that the contents may be removed without chance contact with unsterilized outer portions of the carton or liner.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Packages of the envelope type have hitherto been proposed for packaging sterilized articles. Similarly, it has hitherto been proposed to provide sterilizable packages of a peelable seal type, such as that taught in U.S. Patent No. 3,217,871, dated Nov. 16, 1965 and entitled Pee'lable Seal Package. Such packages comprise a pair of opposed webs or sheets of paper, foil, film or the like, sealed together about their periphery with the contents enclosed therein. In accordance with the said patent, the sheets are sealed together by adhesive materials, such as heat sealable resins, which provide a relatively tight seal which is resistant to delamination by forces applied substantially in the'plane of the sealed areas, yet lend themselves to rupture when the sheets are peeled apart by forces applied at right angles to the plane of the sealed areas. Such packages are often referred to in the trade as aseptic packaging.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention provides a one-piece paperboard carton structure provided with a peelable type liner which may be readily associated with the carton blank and the package fabricated in a high speed folding and gluing operation. Thereafter, the lined structure is adapted to be erected, the contents inserted, the liner sealed, and the carton end walls closed and sealed, whereupon the structure may be sterilized by being subjected to a gaseous atmosphere.
In accordance with the invention, the carton structure is constructed so that a portion at least of one of the wall panels is readily removable by the user to expose the peelable portion of the liner, whereupon the liner may be readily opened and the contents removed. In this connection, the orientation of the removable portions of the carton and liner are such that sterilized portions of the liner extend beyond the adjoining edges of the carton structure so as to prevent accidental contact of the sterili zed article by the carton, thereby providing an aseptic lined carton structure.
DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIGURE 1 is a plan view of the outer surface of a liner forming sheet in accordance with the invention showing the areas to which adhesive has been preapplied.
FIGURE 2 is a view of the opposite side of the liner forming sheet of FIGURE 1 showing the application of adhesive thereto.
FIGURE 3 is a plan view illustrating the manner in which the liner sheet of FIGURES 1 and 2 is initially folded.
FIGURE 4 is a perspective view illustrating the manner in which a second peelable liner sheet is associated with the first liner sheet to form a flat-folded tubular liner.
FIGURE 5 is a plan view of a carton blank adapted to receive the tubular liner.
FIG. 6 is a plan view illustrating the manner in which the liner is juxtaposed onto the fiat carton blank.
FIGURE 7 is a plan view illustrating the initial step in forming the juxtaposed carton and liner into a knockeddown carton.
FIGURE 8 is a perspective view of the lined carton structure in erected condition illustrating the manner in which the liner is sealed.
FIG. 9 is a fragmentary perspective view illustrating the carton structure in completed condition.
FIGURE 10 is a perspective view illustrating the manner in which the carton and liner are opened to dispense the contents therefrom.
DESCRIPTION OF A PREFERRED EMBODIMENT OF THE INVENTION Referring first to FIGURES 1 and 2 of the drawings, there is illustrated a first sheet of liner forming-material 1 which preferably will be formed from paper, although it may be formed of any suitable liner forming material such as foil, non-fibrous film, or combinations thereof. If the liner is to be of the gas permeable type, it is preferred that the sheet 1 be formed from known papers of the type which are sufiiciently porous to permit the transfer therethrough of gas under pressure, but at the same time are impermeable by bacterial and other microorganisms which might contaminate the contents of the of the package.
In accordance with the invention, the outside of sheet 1, i.e., the surface thereof which will be outermost in the liner being formed, is provided along its opposite side edges with longitudinal stripes of adhesive 2 whichare preferably discontinuous 0r patterned in order to facilitate the peeling apart of the liner sheets in a manner which will be explained more fully hereinafter.
On its opposite or inner side the sheet 1 is provided along its opposite end edges with stripes of adhesive made up of outer portions 3 and central portions 4, the former preferably being continuous areas of adhesive whereas the latter are discontinuous or patterned in the same manner as the longitudinal adhesive strips 2.
The liner sheet will be formed into a tubular liner by folding its opposite side edges inwardly along fold lines 5 and 6, thereby bringing the sheet to the condition illustrated in FIGURE 3. It will be noted, however, that the opposite side edges 7 and 8 of the sheet do not meet or overlap to form a complete tube, but rather he in spaced apart relation with the longitudinal adhesive stripes 2 offset laterally with respect to the center line of the sheet.
The liner tube is completed by applying a second liner sheet 9 to the upper surface of liner sheet 1 in the manner illustrated in FIGURE 4. In the preferred embodiment of the invention, the liner sheet 9 will be formed of transparent film, preferably polyethylene coated Mylar or a cellophane-polyethylene combination, having a width such that its opposite side edges will overlie the adhesive stripes 2. Where the sheet 9 is formed from a film, such as Mylar-polyethylene combination, which has heat sealing properties, such heat sealing properties may be utilized to effect a releasable bond with the liner sheet 1. Altematively, edges of the opposite marginal edges of sheet 9 may be provided with longitudinal stripes of adhesive 10 which will be juxtaposed to the adhesive stripes 2. The adhesive stripes 10 may be formed from either the same adhesive as the stripes 2 or from a specifically different yet compatible adhesive, as will be discussed more fully hereinafter.
While in describing the construction of the liner, the sheets 1 and 9 have been described in conjunction with the formation of a single tubular liner, it will be understood that the liner tubes may be continuously formed from webs of sheet material to form a continuous flatfolded tube which may then be severed transversely into liners of the desired length.
The liners just described are adapted to be associated with the paperboard carton structure illustrated in FIGURE 5. It will be understood that such carton structure will be cut and scored from a paperboard Web in conventional fashion. In the embodiment illustrated, the carton blank comprises a front wall 11, a side wall 12, a rear wall 13 and a side wall 14 in side-by-side articulation in the order named. A glue flap 15 is hingedly articulated to the outer side edge of front wall 11. Bottom closure flaps 16, 17, 18 and 19 are hingedly connected to the bottom end edges of body walls 11, 12, 13 and 14, respectively, and similarly, top closure flaps 20, 21, 22 and 23 are hingedly connected to the opposite ends of the said body walls. Top closure flap is of somewhat lesser width than the remaining top closure flaps and is provided with an opening tongue 24. A window forming cutout 25 is provided in front wall 11.
In the preferred embodiment of the invention, the lines of articulation between front panel 11 and the body wall 12 on one side and the glue flap 15 on the other, are defined by lines for severance 26 which preferably comprise a series of spaced apart so-called buttonhook perforations 27. While the buttonhook perforations in the embodiment illustrated coincide with the lines of articulation between the front wall panel 11 and the adjoining parts of the carton, it will be evident that the lines for severance could be spaced inwardly so that in severing the parts, less than the full Width of front wall 1 would be removed.
The carton blank and liner are adapted to be assembled using conventional high speed folding and gluing equipment, the fiat-folded liner structures being first deposited on the carton blanks to which adhesive has been previously applied, whereupon the carton is folded about the liner to form a knocked-down fiat-folded carton structure. To this end, stripes of adhesive 28 and 29 are applied to the inner surfaces of carton body walls 12 and 14, respectively, and a similar stripe of adhesive 30 is applied to glue flap 15. Preferably, the last named stripes of adhesive will be applied to the carton blanks as they are advanced in the direction of their length just prior to the deposit of the liners thereon.
The liners will be deposited on the carton blanks in the manner illustrated in FIGURE 6, wherein it will be seen that the liner assembly is juxtaposed to the carton side wall 12 and rear wall 13, the width of the liner structure being substantially equal to the combined width of the two body walls. The portion of liner sheet 1 overlying body wall 12 will be adhesively secured thereto by means of the adhesive strips 28. Thereafter, front wall 11 is infolded in the manner illustrated in FIGURE 7, thereby juxtaposing glue flap 15 to the portion of the liner lying immediately beyond the side edge of the second liner sheet 9. This is followed by the infolding of body wall 1 4 which, by reason of the glue stripes 29, is adhesively secured both to the adjoining exposed area of liner sheet 1 and to the uppermost surface of glue flap 15. The glue flap 15 thus serves to hingedly articulate body Wall 14 to the side edge of front wall 11, thereby tubing the carton with the liner enclosed therein. At the same time, it will be noted that the front wall 11 of the carton overlies the liner sheet 9, with the seams formed by the juxtaposed adhesive stripes 2 and 5 lying to either side of the window opening 25. Since the sheet 9 is preferably formed from a transparent film, the window opening 25 provides a convenient means for inspecting the contents of the package.
When the carton structure is erected by displacing the adjoining body walls at right angles to each other, the enclosed liner structure, which is adhered to the opposite side walls, will be concurrently erected and will assume the condition illustrated at the top of FIGURE 8. As seen therein, the liner sheet 1 extends completely across the rear wall 13 of the carton, forwardly along the inner surfaces of opposing side walls 12 and 14, with the opposite marginal edges carrying the juxtaposed stripes of adhesive 2 and 10 lying along the opposite side edges of front wall 11. It will also be noted that the opposite end edges 3a and 3b of adhesive areas 3 are in front to rear alignment with the central adhesive portion 4 aligned with the corresponding portion 4a of liner sheet 9. The
reason for the relationship just described is that, when the open ends of the liner are juxtaposed and sealed together in the manner illustrated at the bottom of the carton shown in FIGURE 8, the opposing portions of adhesive stripe 3 will be adhered together, and adhesive stripe 4 will be juxtaposed and sealed to area 4a of liner sheet 9.
It will be understood that once the bottom end of the liner is sealed, the contents may be inserted in the package followed by the sealing of the uppermost end of the liner. It will be understood that once the ends of the liner have been sealed, they will be folded so as to overlie the ends of the carton body, whereupon the sets of end closure flaps 16, 17, 18 and 19, and 20, 21, 22 and 23 will be closed and sealed. While in the embodiment illustrated, the end closure flaps are adapted to be adhesively secured together, it will be understood that they may be of the tuck-in variety which do not require that they be sealed together. If they are sealed, it is preferred that the closure flap 20 carrying opening tongue 24 be positioned to the outside so that the top end of the carton may be readily opened when it is desired to dispense the contents. The closed and sealed condition of the carton is shown in FIGURE 9.
When it is desired to dispense the contents from the carton structure, the user has but to lift the flap 20, whereupon using the flap 20, the front wall 11 may be readily torn free from the remainder of the package along the lines for severance 26, thereby exposing the underlying portion of the liner, which comprises the second liner sheet 9. The'liner sheet 9 may then be peeled from the liner sheet 1, the opposite side edges of the sheet 9 breaking away .from the adhesive stripes 2 in the manner illustrated in FIGURE 10, thereby exposing the contents of the package.
When the package is so opened, it will be noted that the opposite side edges of the liner sheet 7 and 8 will be in a sterilized condition inthat the liner sheets will have been separated outwardly of the edges of sheet 1. Consequently, the outer marginal portions of sheet 1 adjacent edges .7 and 8 willstill be in a sterilized condition and even should the enclosed product contact such marginal edges as it is being removed from the package, such edges will still be in sterilized condition. Similarly, the marginal edge portions of liner sheet 1 effectively prevent the contents of the package from touching any portion of the surrounding carton which is not in a sterilized condition.
In order to achieve a seal between liner sheetsl and 9 which is resistant to rupture undernormal conditions and yet will readily rupture When the sections are peeled apart, it is preferred to juxtapose stripes of adhesive formed from different adhesive materials. Thus, it is preferred that the adhesive stripes 2 and be formed from dilferent adhesives, usually thermoplastic resins, which are selected so that while each resin will tightly adhere to the sheet to which it is applied, and the resin coating on one sheet will adhere to the surface of the other sheet under sealing conditions, the two resins are non-adherent to each other even under sealing conditions. In order to form a seal between the two resins, at least one set of the adhesive stripes is discontinuous or patterned so as to expose a large number of small spaced apart areas of the sheet surface underlying the coating. For example, if, as is preferred, the adhesive stripes 2 are discontinuous or patterned, small areas of the underlying sheet 1 will be exposed through the adhesive stripes 2. Thus, when sheets 1 and 9 are sealed together, the adhesive in stripes 10, which are continuous, will flow into the patterned areas and will bond directly with the exposed surface areas of sheet 1. Examples of adhesives suitable for such purpose will be found in US. Patent 3,217,871 referred to earlier herein. It is to be understood that, as previously indicated, the adhesive stripes 10 may be omitted where the sheet 9 has heat sealing properties and, in effect, provides an allover adhesive surface which, when heat sealed, will penetrate the patterned areas of adhesive stripes 2 and bond to the exposed areas of liner sheet 1.
With respect to the adhesive stripes 3 and 4, it is preferred that the stripes 3 be of imperforate character so that when the opposite sides of the liner ends are juxtaposed for sealing, a tight and permanent bond will be made between the outer portions of the liner ends, whereas the central portion 4 will be discontinuous or patterned, so that the adhesive stripe 4 will peelably bond to the juxtaposed ends of liner sheet 9. In this connection, the ends of the liner sheet 9 may be provided with continuous stripes of the second adhesive or, in the alternative, it may be found more feasible to coat the entire inner surface of liner sheet 9 with such adhesive, thereby obviating the necessity for adhesive stripes 10.
It has also been found desirable to effect the seal across the upper end of the liner slightly inwardly from the free edge of the seal. Such condition is illustrated at 31 in FIGURE 10 wherein it will be seen that the heat seal line 31 is spaced inwardly from the uppermost edge 32 of the liner end. The marginal portion between the seal 31 and edge 32 provides a starting point for separating the two liner sheets so that the peeling action may be readily initiated.
It will be understood, of course, that numerous modifications may be made in the invention without departing from its spirit and purpose. Various modifications have already been suggested, and others will undoubtedly occur to the skilled worker in the art upon reading this specification. For example, while a preference has been expressed for the use of heat scalable adhesives, and more particularly for the use of different adhesives, which, when employed in the manner described, facilitate the peeling apart of the liner sheets, it will be evident that any adhesive or combination of adhesives which provides a tight seal and yet is capable of being separated may be employed.
The embodiment of the invention in which an exclusive property or privilege is claimed are defined as follows:
1. A two-piece sterilizable package formed from foldable sheet material, said package comprising a tubular sleeve composed of a generally rectangular body part having its opposite side edges infolded to define a pair of spaced apart flanges, and a generally rectangular removable part overlying said body part with its opposite side edges juxtaposed to the upper surfaces of said flanges and releasably secured thereto, said tubular sleeve defining an article receiving receptacle which is generally rectangular in cross-section when erected, with said body part defining three adjacent walls of said receptacle and said inturned flanges and said removable cover part defining the remaining wall thereof, the opposite ends of said tubular sleeve being capable of being flattened and sealed together in face-to-face relation with an end of said removable part releasably secured to the underlying end portion of the body part, whereby when an article is sealed within said tubular sleeve and the package sterilized, the portions of said inturned flanges underlying said removable part will be in sterilized condition and the article may be thereafter removed from the package in sterilized condition by stripping away said removable part, the article remaining in sterilized condition even though it might contact the exposed marginal edge portions of the infolded flanges.
2. The structure claimed in claim 1 wherein one of the parts of said tubular sleeve is formed from a sheet material permeable by a gaseous sterilizing medium.
3. The structure claimed in claim 2 wherein said body part and said removable part are heat sealed together by means of heat sealable substances applied to at least the contacting portions of said sleeve forming parts in the areas of said inturned flanges and across the ends of said sleeve.
4. The structure claimed in claim 3 wherein at least one of said heat scalable substances is discontinuous to expose closely spaced small surface portions of the sheet material to which the coating is applied in the areas of said inturned flanges and in the areas across the ends of said sleeve between the innermost edges of said inturned flanges.
5. The structure claimed in claim 4 wherein different eat scalable substances are applied to said parts which are essentially non-adherent to each other but are adherent to the exposed closely spaced surface portions of the underlying sheet material.
6. The package claimed in claim 1 including a paperboard carton having enclosing body walls surrounding said tubular sleeve, said removable part and said flanges underlying a single one of said carton body walls, with the remainder of the body part of said tubular sleeve secured to the inner surfaces of remaining body walls of said carton, a portion at least of said single carton body wall being removable to expose the underlying removable part of said tubular sleeve, the removable portion of said single carton body wall being defined by a spaced apart pair of lines for severance extending in parallel relation to and lying outwardly beyond the opposite side edges of the removable part of said tubular sleeve, whereby when both said removable portion of said single carton body wall and the removable part of said tubular sleeve have been stripped away to expose the packaged article, the inturned flanges of said tubular sleeve will extend freely inwardly beyond the severed edges of said carton resulting from the removal of the said portion of said single carton body Wall and the said flanges will protect the enclosed article against accidental contact with the said severed edges of the carton.
7. The package claimed in claim 6 wherein one end of the removable portion of said single carton body wall coincides with one end of said body wall, and wherein a flap is hingedly connected to the said end of said body wall, said flap serving as a gripping means to facilitate the stripping away of the removable portion of said carton body wall.
8. An aseptic pack-age comprising a paperboard carton surrounding a two-piece sterilizable liner formed from foldable sheet material, said carton having four enclosing body walls defining a tubular body closed at its opposite ends by juxtaposed end closure flaps, said tubular liner being composed of a generally rectangular body part having its opposite side edges infolded to define a pair of spaced apart flanges, and a generally rectangular removable part overlying said body part with its opposite side edges juxtaposed to the upper surfaces of said flanges and releasably secured thereto, said body part covering the inner surfaces of three contiguous body walls with its inturned flanges and said removable part underlying the remaining carton body wall, a portion at least of said remaining carton body wall being removable to expose the underlying removable part of said tubular liner, the removable portion of said single carton body wall being defined by a spaced apart pair of lines for severance extending in parallel relation to and lying outwardly beyond the opposite side edges of the removable part of said liner, the opposite ends of said tubular sleeve being fiattened and sealed together in face-to-face relation with an end of said removable part releasably secured to the underlying end portion of the body part, one of said parts being formed from a sheet material permeable by a gaseous sterilizing medium, whereby when both said removable portion of said remaining carton body wall and the removeable part of said liner have been stripped away to expo e an article packaged therein, the exposed marginal edge portions of said infolded flanges will be in sterilized condition and said flanges will extend freely inwardly beyond the severed edges of the carton to protect the enclosed article against accidental contact with the said severed edges of the carton.
9. The aseptic package claimed in claim 8 wherein the opposite ends of the liner are each sealed together References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,200,818 5/ 1940 Bergstein 22914 2,541,173 2/1951 Moore 229-11 2,990,948 7/ 1961 Zackheim 2295 1 3,183,800 5/1965 Farrel et al 229-51 3,217,871 11/1965 Lee 20663.2 3,349,985 10/1967 Salway 2295l 3,410,393 11/1968 Lee 20663.2
WILLIAM T. DIXSON, JR., Primary Examiner US. 01. X.R.