US 3502381 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
March 24, 1970 M. M. s. FISH 3,50
ART I CLE PACKAGE Filed April 1. 1968 Fig.2.
INVENTOR Mary Mikel Sfockwood Fish United States Patent 3,502,381 ARTICLE PACKAGE Mary Mikel Stockwood Fish, 112 Kendall Road, Independence, Mo. 64050 Filed Apr. 1, 1968, Ser. No. 717,631 Int. Cl. B01f 3/06; B65d 81/00 US. Cl. 31231 4 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE An article package comprising a bag formed of plastic material having the characteristic-s of permitting the passage of minute quantities of water when exposed to humid conditions for a relatively long time interval. A container larger than the bag receives the later and a quantity of water is received in the space between the container and bag to maintain a humid environment around the bag.
This invention relates to article packaging and, more particularly, to a package for maintaining a required level of moisture in an article which is subject to dehydration. Modeling clay of a type which is particularly well suited for sculpturing has been found to be subject to drying or dehydration when stored under other than optimum environmental conditions. For example, when supplies are compounded by the manufacturer in large quantities it may be a relatively long period of time before the material is actually shipped to a user. Further, the user may store the material for further periods of time before it is actually used. As a result, certain materials eventually dehydrate beyond a point where they may advantageously be used for the purpose for which they were intended.
It is, therefore, the primary object of this invention to provide a package which prevents dehydration of the article contained therein, even when it is necessary to store the article for relatively long periods of time.
It is another object of this invention to provide a package which provides a humid enviornment for an article at all times.
It is still another object of the invention to provide a package which maintains the proper moisture level for the article contained therein without subjecting the article to deleterious quantities of moisture.
Another object of the present invention is to provide a package capable of achieving the foregoing objects and which may be economically fabricated from commercially available and therefore relatively inexpensive materials.
A still further object of the invention is to provide such an article package which is not subject to contamination even when used for relatively long periods of time.
These and other important objects of the invention will become apparent or will be further explained in the specification, claims and drawing.
In the drawing:
FIGURE 1 is a vertical, cross-sectional view through a container illustrating a package embodying the principles of this invention, the plastic bag appearing in elevation; and
FIG. 2 is a view similar to FIG. 1 but showing a modified construction of the container.
A package embodying the principles of this invention is broadly illustrated in FIG. 1 and is designated by the reference 10. Package includes an inner membrane -12 which is in the form of a bag 14. Membrane '12 is of sheet material which has the characteristic of permitting the passage of minute quantities of moisture through the membrane when the latter is exposed to humid conditions for relatively long periods of time. For example, a plastic material such as polyethylene has been found to have this characteristic even though plastic of this type is normally thought to be impervious to moisture. Actually, microscopic pores in the material will transmit moisture through the material under the conditions mentioned above.
Bag 14 is adapted to contain a quantity of the article to be packaged, such as molding clay or the like, which is subject to become dehydrated if exposed to drying conditions. Manifestly, after the material to be stored in the package has been placed within bag 14, the same may be sealed by the use of a shielded wire retainer 16 or the like.
The bag 14 containing the material to be packaged is thereupon placed within a container 18 which may comprise an open top jar 20 having a lid 22 threadably engaging the screw threads 24 surrounding the top of the container. It will be noted in FIG. 1 that container 18 is appreciably larger than bag 14 to present a space 26 between the outer surface of the bag 14 and the inner surface of container 20.
A quantity of water 28 is introduced into space 26 to only partially fill the latter. Thus, as water 28 is completely enclosed within container 18, the evaporation of the water 28 into the air which is in space 26 maintains a humid atmosphere completely surrounding bag 14. Any tendency which the material within bag 14 might have to dry out during storage of the material in container 18 is overcome by the characteristic of membrane 12 to permit minute quantities of the moisture in the atmosphere to pass through the membrane and into the material. This maintains the material in a desirable condition without the material becoming excessively wetted as would be the case if exceedingly large quantities of water were permitted to enter the material. Further, it is not necessary to compound the material with an oversupply of moisture to allow for dehydration over relatively long periods of time as may be encountered during shipping or storage. Rather, the material may be compounded with precisely the proper moisture content for usage and any tendency of the material to dehydrate is overcome by the passage of moisture through the membrane from the surrounding atmosphere. Manifestly, jar 20 and lid 22 may be impervious to the flow of moisture therethrough.
It may be desirable for a small quantity of medicament such as a diluted mixture of water and pine oil to be added to the water 28 at the time the same is introduced into container 18. The medicament serves to prevent the growth of microorganisms within space 26 and water 28 to maintain the package in a fresh and attractive condition even though the container 18 is sealed for relatively long periods of time.
Referring now to FIG. 2, the container 118 is in the nature of a plastic bag 120 closed at the top with a flexible closure 122 which may be identical with retainer 16. In all other respects the package illustrated in FIG. 2 may be identical with the package 10 illustrated in FIG. 1. The water contained within bag provides a humid atmosphere in the space between the bag '120 and bag 14. This keeps the material within bag 14 in a condition resisting dehydration in exactly the same way as described with respect to package 10.
Having thus described the invention, what is claimed as new and desired to be secured by Letters Patent is:
1. A package for storing modeling material subject to dehydration comprising:
a plastic membrane formed into a bag adapted to receive said material and completely enclose the latter, said membrane having the characteristic of permitting the passage of minute quantities of moisture when exposed to humid conditions for relatively long intervals;
a closed container, said bag being received entirely within the container, the container being larger than the bag to present an air space therebetween; and
a quantity of water received in the container exteriorly 4 of the bag, partially surounding the latter and partial- 4. The invention of claim 1, wherein said container 1y filling said air space, the bag being positioned in, comprises a second plastic bag.
the container so that the air space completely surrounds the portion of the bag which extends above erences Cited the level Of said Water in the container t0 provide a 5 UNITED STATES PATENTS humid environment in the container surrounding the bag to maintain the moisture level in said mate- 3 i rial by moisture passing through the membrane; and 08 491 3 gz ?:2; means closing said b ag. 2. The invention of claim 1, wherein said plastic mate- 10 3336O93 8/1967 Phelps 31231'1 1S -i CASMIR A. NUNBERG, Primary Examiner 3. The 1nvent1on of claim 1 wherein sald container comprises an open top jar, and lid means for closing said US. Cl. X.R.