US 3537634 A
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Q United States Patent  Inventor Stafford D. Collie  Field ofSearch 229/17, 37, Kansas City, Missouri 51 ] Appl. No. 825 490  Filed Ma; 19, 1969 References Cited  Patented Nov. 3, 1970 UNITED STATES PATENTS 1 Auism ip Petroleum p y 3,217,966 10/1965 Kelly 229/110 a corporation of Delaware 3,366,308 1/1968 Phillips..... 229/ 1 7G a I Primary Examiner-David M. Bockenek  PUSIIBUTTON OPENER FOR GABLE TOP y- 8 and Q g CONTAINERS 7 Clallnl, 6 Drawing Figs.  [1.8. 229/17, ABSTRACT: Snap-action score lines in the side wall adjacent 229/37, 229/51 the first end closure panel of the container cause the first end  lntJ 365d 5/72, closure panel to snap open when a portion of the side wall within said score lines is depressed.
365d 5/02, B65d 17/00 Patented Nov. 3, 1970 3,537,634
shut of s INVENTOR. S. D. COLLI E A TTORNEVS Patented Nov. 3, 1970 Sheet of 8 A TTORNEVS Patented Nbv. 3, 1970 Shut L or 3 FIG. 4
INVENTOR. S. D. CO L Ll E A TTORNE VS 1' PUSHBUTTON OPENER FOR GABLE TOP CONTAINERS This invention relates to blanks for forming gable-top con tainers and the resulting containers. In another aspect,.this invention' relates to improved snap-action score lines for endopen' gable-top containers. The invention is particularly applicable to gable-top containers of rectangularcross section formed from a paperboard'blank coated on one or both sides with a thermoplastic material. These containers are commonly used in the dairy industry for packaging milk, orange-juice, lemonade, and the like. The gable-top closure-structure consists generally of opposed front and rear-roof panels inclined to make the gable formation, and a pair of triangular-shaped end closure panels inclined upwardly between the front and rear roof panels. These end closure panels have integralfoldback panels that assume aposition lying against the underside of the rear roof panels. The fold-back panels, and the front and rear roof panels are formed with integrallridge panels which become disposed in vertical contacting relation and are joined together by some form of adhesive, usually by a bonding of the thermoplastic coating, to form the-ridge of the gable top.
In the past, numerous configurations have been proposed for the paperboard gable-top containers. -U.S. Pat. No.
3,348,755 is an exampleof an excellent snap action container.
We have discovered, however, that the containerdescribed in the above patent can be significantly improved by the addition of the score lines of this invention. This invention isequally applicable to end-open, snap-action containers of other-configurations in order to provide containers which open with greater ease and efficiency.
Accordingly, it is an objectofythis invention toprovide a new improved snap-action score line for gable topcontaincrs.
Another object of this invention is to provide a snap-action container which opens withgreater ease and efficiency.
Other objects, aspects, and advantages of the invention will be apparent from a study oi" the specification, the drawing, and the appended claims to the invention.
In the drawing:
, FIG. 1 is a perspective view of .a container embodying the invention;
FIG. 2 is a plan view-Iofthepaperboard blank from which the container-olFlG. is formed;
FIG. 3 is a perspective view ofthe gable-top structure in partial cross section in a-partially open condition;
1 FIG. 4 is a perspective view of thegable-top structure in partial cross section in an advanced open condition;
FIG. 5 is a perspectivewiew of the gable-top structure in the fully open condition after the tapehas been removed; and
FIG. 6 is a planview similartoFIGIIZ-showing another embodiment of this invention.
Referring to FIG. 2, thetre'ctangular blank isprovidedwith vertical score lines 1 2, 13, '14,and *1'5, extending upwardly from the lower'edge of'the blank to a series 16 of'horizontal extending score lines 16a, I6 b,"16c,-and "l'6d,-and 16c. The score lines 13,14, and 16b definea front sidewall panell7. Score lines and '16d,and 12 and "l6edefine panels 18and 19, the free edges'of which, inthe formed container; are overlapped and, joinedbya p'ermanent adhesive bond toform'a rear side wall panel which is located-oppositefrontside panel 17. End wall panels zl an'd 22' are defined by-scorelineslZ, l3, and 16a, and 14, l5,and I6c-, respectively. Horizontal score lines l6a'and16care located lower on the container than other'sc'ore lincs"l'6b, l'6c, and 16:2 to substantially reduce the thickness of the folds adjncentlowcr corners of the closure panels. In other words, the spacing apart in the vertical plane of the bend of each roof panel into its vertical container wall from the bend of each'end closure panel into itsvertical container wall forms'smaller and more attractive folds in the resulting corners ofthe container. With the scoring arrangements shown in FIG.2, the panels 17,'2ll,f22,'and'the rear wall panel formed by panelsl8 and I9-areall of equal' width.
The vertical score lines 12, 1'3, "14;, and :':l5,- which are located at the vertical corners of the, completed container; ex-
tend upwardly past score lines 16, as at 23,24, 25, and 26, and terminate at the top edge of the blank. Horizontal score line 27 is located a short distance downward from the top edge of the blank. When the blank has been folded to tubular form and overlapping edges of the panels 18 and 19 have been joined together, a bottom closure 20 is permanently sealed to the lower ends of the tubular formation. Score lines 24, 25, 16b and 27 define the front roof closure panel 28. Score lines 24, 25, and 27 define the rib panel 29, surmounting the front roof panel 28. Score lines 23, 26, 16d, 16c, and 27 define the rear roof closure panel comprised of sections 31 and 32. Score lines '26, 23, and 27 define the ridge panel, comprising sections 33 and 34, surmounting the rear roof panel. Score lines 25, 26, 16c 27 define the first rectangular end closure panel. This first end closure panel is provided with converging score lines 44 and 45, which, at their upper ends intersect score line 27 medial of score lines 25 and 26, thus defining a first triangularend closure panel portion 46 and a pair of first fold-back panels 47 and 48. Score lines 23, 24, 16a, and 27 define a .second rectangular end closure panel. This end closure panel is provided with converging scorelines 35 and 36 which at their upper ends intersect the score line 27 medial of score lines 23 and 24, thus defining a second triangular end closure panel portion 37 and a pair of second triangular fold-back panel portions 38, and 39. Score lines 23, 24, 27, and 41 define rib panels 42 and 4,3, surmounting second fold-back panel portions 38 and39, respectively. Score lines 25, 49, 26, and 27 define rib panels 51 and 52, surmounting the first foldbackpanel portions 42 and 48, respectively. in the completed container, the pair of opposed roof panels 28 and 31, 32 are inclined toward each other and overlie the top of the tubular body formed by side walls 17, 21, 22, and l8, 19. The pair of second opposed end closure panels 37 and 46 are enfolded betweenroof panels .28 and 31, 3.2 from the opposite gable endsformed by the latter, and with their apexes located at the central area of the gable.
The fold lines 44, 45,35, and 36 which join each pair of first and second triangular fold-back panels 47, 48, and 38, 39 to the oppositesidesof first and second triangular end closure panels. Ridge panels5land52 surmounting the first fold-back panels 47 a'nd 48 arehinged together at the apex of the first end closure panel 46 and are folded about the hinge joinder score line in face-torface relation, between the ridge panels 29 and 33 surmountingthe'roofp'anels. Similarly, ridge panels 42 and 43 surmounting fold-baclt panels 38 and 39 are hinged together at the apexof the second end closure panel 37 and are folded about thehinge joinder score line 41 in face-to-face relation, between ridge panels 29 and 3,4.The ridge panels are heated'to form a bond between the contacting thermoplastic coating to form theridge structure of the gable top.
'Score lines '23, 24, 25,'and More of extended width, with respect to theremainder of score lines 12,13, 14, and 15, with thecxtension being in a direction toward the center of the respectiveroof panel. Thus, score lines 24 and 25 are of exa direction toward the centerof the roof panel formed by panels Stand 32.
When the blank-of FIO.-'-2 is folded on the score lines 12, i3, 14, and 15, about the square mandrel of the container erecting machine the closure panels above the series of score lines 16 form a square, tubular cross section in a direction trnverscly of the container. When the top closure panels are folded inwardly, the greater width of the score lines 23, 24, 25, and 26 provides extra material for the end closure panels 46, 47, 48, and37, 38, 39 and surmounting roof panels 51, 52, and 42, 43,-whereby in the formed and sealed container, ridge panels 43 and-51 have a greater combined length than rib panel 29 .surrnounting the front roof-panel 28;. Similarly, ridge panels 52 and.42 have a: greater combined length in the formed and sealed container than the ridge panel formed by panels 33, 34
surmounting the rear roof panels 3!, 32. This. in turn, results in the hinge joint of score lines ii and 49 abutting or slightly overlapping at the center of the laminar ridge structure formed by bonding the ridge panels together.
in the first end closure panel, which serves as the pour spout, converging score lines 44 and 45 intersect horizontal score line 27 midwaybetween the score lines 25 and 26. Vertical score line 49 extends upwardly from the intersection of the score lines 4 8 and 45 to the top edge of the blank. The first weakened line of severance 60 is located in the upper part of panel portions 47, 46, and 48 preferably below horizontal score line 27. The first weakened line of severance 66 would intersect score lines 64 and 45 at points below the junction of said score lines except that score lines 44 and 45 are discontinuous, or interrupted, in the area of the weakened line of severance 60. Score lines 4 and 45 stop short of lines 60 to prevent leakage which would otherwise occur by capillary action through the slit and along the score lines. Eliminating all score line grooves inthe vicinity of the line 60 provides a flat surface completely around the periphery of theslit, thus permitting a liquid-tight seal to be effected between the tape 61 and the container. The weakened line of severance sections 60a and 60b are preferably formed by a series of zig-zag incisions and the center section 600 being formed by a straight, horizontal incision. Center section 600 extends completely across panel 46 and preferably extends into panel 47, 38. The straight center section 600 provides for easy separation of the pouring spout section of the first end panel 46, 47, 48 from the upper portion thereof above severance lines 60. This is par- I ticuiarly important in view of the large amount of paperboard in the relatively small area of the triangle formed by lines 44, 46, and-60c, as well as the fold lines formed in this area by the fabrication of the central laminar ridge and subsequent opening and closing of the pouring spout.
A strip of tape 61 is bonded to the first end closure panel in overlaying relation to the weakened line of severance 60. The tape 61 is applied over the weakened line of severance 60 and heat sealed to the entire marginal surface about the weakened line of severance. The tape 61 can be formed of thermoplastic material or it can be a nonthermoplastic material provided with a coating of thermoplastic material compatible and heat scalable to the thermoplastic coating on the container. it is presently preferred that the nonthermoplastic material have a heat reflective outer surface to prevent any weakening of the bond between tape 61 and the container during the time the top section of the container is being subjected to heat in preparation of sealingthe ridge panels to form the central laminar ridge. The ends 62 of tape 61 extend beyond the ends ofthc second end closure panel to provide grasping tabs.
This strip of tape 6! can be eliminated in containers wherein there is no weakened line of severance 66, score lines 44 and 45 extend downwardly to the upper edge of the rectangular panel comprising panel portions 46, 47, and 48, and the pouring spout is opened by separation of panel portions 46, 47, and 48 from their respective restricting ridge panels 51, 52. abcabc In order to provide a snap action for opening and closing the pouring spout, the front roof panel 28 is provided with score lines 71 and 72, extending upwardly from the intersection of the horizontal score line 16b and vertical score line 25 to a point on score line 27 midway between vertical score lines 24 and 25. Score line 71 is preferably formed in three sections 71a 71b and 71c. Score line 72 is preferably formed in three sections 72a, 72b, and 720. Straight line sections 7112 and 72b are substantially parallel to an imaginary line 73 between the point on score line 27 midway between score lines 24 and 25 and the intersection of score lines 16b and 25. imaginary line 73 closely proximatesthe plane of the first triangular end closure panel d6 in the enfolded, sealed condition. if side walls 17 and 18, 19 were of greater width than c. 21 and 22, score line sections 71a and 7211 would intersect score line 27 at or closely adjacent to the intersection of the imaginary line 73 and score line 27, or, in other words, at or closely adjacent to the intersection of score line 27 with the plane of panel '46 in the enfolded, sealed condition of the container. Score section 72b is positioned in roof panel 28 above the imaginary line 73, while score section '71!) is positioned in roof panel 28 below imaginary line 73. Score sections 710 and 720 extend from the lower ends of score sections 7 lb and 72b, respectively, to converge together at the intersection of score line 56b and 25.
Score sections 71a and 72a extend from the upper ends of score section 7117 and 7212, respectively, to the point on score line 27 midway between score lines 24 and 25. The rear roof panel 3t, 32 is provided with score lines 74 and 75, corresponding to score lines 71 and 72, respectively, comprising score sections 74a, 74b, 74c, and 75a, 75b, 750, respectively.
it has been discovered that a pushbutton" snap action for opening the pouring spout can be constructed by providing the side wall 22 adjacent the first end closure panel 46 with first and second score lines 89 and ill. in one embodiment of the invention, these score lines ill), 81 originate at a common point spaced from the sides of the side wall 22 and below the upper edge of said side wall a distance at least three-eighths of the width of the side wall, preferably in the range of threeeighths to five-eighths of the width of said side wall. It is also preferred that these first and second score lines 8d, 81 each extend from the common point of origin upwardly and outwardly toward their respective upper corner of said side wall and terminate adjacent the score lines intersecting at said respective corner. it is also preferred that the triangular shaped panel portion 82 circumscribed by score lines Si), 81 and 16c is substantially the same size as the first triangular shaped end closure panel 46 with the common point of origin equally spaced from the sides of the side wall 22. The score lines 30, 81 of this invention can also be positioned with their respective points of origin spaced from one another. in this embodiment a third score line will be formed which connects the point of origin of the first score line with the point of origin of the second score line 81. In cartons wherein the first rectangular end closure panel formed by the first triangular panels 46, 47, 48 form a square, the common point of origin of score lines 80, 81 should be spaced equal distances from the upper edge and either side of the side wall 22. These score lines 80, 81 slightly weaken a portion of the side wall 22. Pressure exerted on triangular panel 82 when the fold-back panels 47, 48 are folded backwardly toward the container, causes said triangular panel 82 to depress inwardly. Depressing the upper portion of the side wall 22 inwardly causes the upper corners of side wall 22 to move slightly toward the center of said side wall, exert a force against the incision 6i), and cause the incision to separate and triangular panel an to move out wnrdly. Upon release of pressure on triangular punel 82, separated triangular punel 46 will move further outwardly relative to the container, The pushbutton discovery of this invention thereby significantly improves the snap-open action of gable-top containers.
The container of FIG. 1 can be opened by applying outward pressure against the fold-back panels 47 and 48 to cause a separation of the bond between the adjacent outer faces of ridge panels 51. and 52. The container at this stage is illustrated in FIG. 3. Roof panels 23 and 31, 32 have broken along score lines 71 and 74, respectively. Pressure can then be applied against panels 47, 51, and 4%, 52 to move these panels toward the container as shown in H6. 4%. This movement causes roof panels 28 and 31, 32 to break along score lines 72 and 75. Tape 6i is removed from the container to permit the lower portions of 46, 47, and 48 to be separated from the upper portion thereof along the weakened line of severance 60. Measure can then be applied to triangular panel 82 to sever triangular end closure panels 46, 47, and 43 along the weakened line of severance 60 and cause triangular panels, 46, 47, and 4b to snap partially open. Release of said pressure causes the triangular end closure panels 46, 47, and 43 to open further. MG. 5 illustratesthe container in the stable open position. The container can be closed by applying pressure against panel 46 to move it inwardly. At a point during such inward movement, panel 46 will experience a snap action and be returned to its stable closed position, similar to position illustrated in F K]. 3, except for the absence of tape 61. Another embodiment of score lines 80 and 81 is a curved score line 83 illustrated in FIG. 6. It is a continuously curved score line in side wall 22 extending from adjacent the intersection of score line 16c and score line 14 to' adjacent the intersection of score line 16c and score line '15 having its apex about midway between score lines 14 and and three-eighths to fiveeighths of the width of side wall 22 downwardly from score line 160.
While the invention has been illustrated with the presently preferred container employing weakened line of severance 60. it is applicable to other side-open containers which do not utilize a weakened line of severance or which provide the weakened line of severance in a different location.
Reasonable variations and modifications are possible within the scope of the foregoing disclosure, the drawings, and the appended claims to the invention.
1. A gable-top container of sheet material comprising a tubular body having four side walls, a bottom closure fixed to said body, a pair of opposed roof panels inclining toward each other and overlying the top of said body, first and second opposed triangular enclosure panels enfolded between said roof panels from the opposite gable ends formed by the latter, first and second pairs of triangular fold-back panels, each pair of triangular fold-back panels being joined to the opposite sides of a respective one of said triangular end closure panels along fold lines which are in' proximity withsaid roof panels, said fold-back panels being folded against the underside of said roof panels, a ridge panel surmounting each of said roof panels, a ridge panel surmounting each of said fold-back panels, each pair of ridge panels surmounting a pair of foldback panels being hinged together at the apex of the contiguous end closure panel and being folded about such hinge joinder in face-to-face relation, between the ridge panels surmounting said roof panels, the first triangular and closure paneland its associated pair of triangular fold-back panels forming a first rectangular end closure panel having a weakened line of severance lying solely within the upper portion thereof below the respective surmounting ridge panels and extending traversely of said rectangular end closure panel and terminating at its ends in spaced relation to the side edges of said rectangular end closure panel, wherein the improvement comprises:
First and second score lines located in the side wall adjacent the first end closure panel; each first and second score line originating from a point spaced from the sides of the side wall below the upper edge of the side wall a distance at least three-eighths of the width of said side wall; and each first and second score line extending from its point of origin upwardly and outwardly toward a respective upper corner of said side wall and terminating adjacent the score lines intersecting at said respective corner.
2. A container, as set forth in claim 1, wherein said first and second score lines are curved lines.
3. A container, as set forth in claim 1, wherein the first and second score lines originate from a common point of origin, spaced an equal distance from each side of the side wall and the upper edge of the side wall.
4. A paperboard blank for forming a container of rectangular formation and having a gable top, said blank being formed with laterally spaced apart score lines extending vertically from the lower to the upper edge of the blank, a score line extending traversely of the blank in downward-spaced relation to the upper edge thereof, said latter score line, in conjunction with said vertically extending 'score line, defining opposed front and rear side wall panels and opposed end wall panels, a second traversely extending score line arranged intermediate the upper edge of said blank, and said first traversely extending score line and defining, in conjunction therewith, and with said vertically extending score lines, a front roof panel surmounting said front side wallpanel, a rear roof panel surmounting said rear side wall panel, and an area surmounting each of said end wall panels, each of said areas being provided with converging score lines inclining upwardly from said first traverse score line to said second traverse score line and defining in each of said areas a first and second triangular enclosure panel and a pair of triangular fold-back panels hinged to the triangular end closure paneL-said second traversely extending score line, in conjunction with said vertically extending score lines, defining ridge panels surmounting said front and rear roof panels and each pair of said fold-back panels, the first triangular end closure panel and its associated pair of triangular fold-back panels forming a rectangular end closure panel having a weakened line of severance lying solely within the upper portion thereof and extending traversely of said rectangular end closure panel and terminating at its ends in spaced relation to the side edges of said rectangular end closure panel, wherein the improvement comprises:
First and second score lines located in the side wall adjacent the first end closure panel;
each first and second score line originating from a point spaced from the sides of the side wall below the upper edge of the side wall a distance in the range of threeeighths to five-eighths of the width of said side wall; and each first and second score line extending from its point of origin upwardly and outwardly toward a respective upper corner of said side wall and terminating adjacent the score lines intersecting at said respective corner when folded and sealed to form a gabled top container.
5. A blank, as set forth in claim 4, wherein the points of origin of the first and second score lines are laterally spaced and are connected by a third score line.
6. A blank, as set forth in claim 4, wherein the first and secondscorc lines originate from a common point of origin spaced and equidistant from each side of the side wall and the upper edge of the side wall.
7. A blank, as set forth in claim 4, wherein said first and second score lines are curved lines.