US 3552595 A
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United States Patent  Inventors George Loyd Gerner 121 Blairsalen Ave., Carmel. Ind. 46032; William L. Brickson, 4363 Monitor Dr., Indianapolis, Ind. 46220 [211 App]. No. 800,401  Filed Feb. 19, 1969  Patented Jan. 5, 1971  A ONE-PIECE FOLDABLE PROTECTIVE CONTAINER FOR ARTICLES 10 Claims, 7 Drawing Figs.
 U.S. Cl 220/16, 206/42: 220/31. 220/60: 229/25  Int..Cl B65d 25/00  Field of Search 220/16, 42E; 206/42, 45.19; 229/25; 220/31SR, 60; 217/26.5
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,843,543 2/1932 DeReamer 217/26.5X 2,798,631 7/1957 Engel 220/42(E)X 3,356,277 12/1967 l-Iohnjec. 229/25 3,381,873 5/1968 l-lirota 229/2.5
Assistant Examiner.lames R. Garrett Atl0rney-Barthel & Bugbee ABSTRACT: Four panels, preferably of resilient synthetic sheet plastic material, are hingedly connected to one another along successive edges thereof. The two inner panels are hinged to each other and provided with aligned pairs of article-receiving recessed portions facing one another, the recesses of each inner panel being spaced laterally apart from each other and from the edges of that panel. The outer panels are hinged to remaining edges of the inner panels and are dished to fold into margin-to-margin engagement with the inner panels so as to completely enclose the folded inner panels but to remain spaced away from the walls of the recessed portions thereof. In one form of the invention (FIGS. 1 to 4) the hinged connections between the various panels are along mutually parallel edges of the panels. In a modification thereof (FIGS. 5 to 7), the hinged connections between the outer and inner panels are along edges which are perpendicular to the hinged connection between the inner panels.
PAT-ENTEMM sun 3.552.595
SHEEI 1 OF 2 INVENTORS GEORGE LOYD GERNER WILLIAM L. BRICKSON BYYQWQK- ATTORNEYS PATENTEU JAN 5m SHEET 2 UF 2 GEORGE LQYD GERNER N EYS WILLIAM L. BRICKSON A ONE-PIECE FOLDABLE PROTECTIVE CONTAINER FOR ARTICLES curved arrows showing the direction in which the various panels are folded toward one another;
FIG. 2 is an end elevation of the package of FIG. 1 in its folded condition; a
FIG. 3 is a horizontal section, upon an enlarged scale, taken along the line 3-3 in FIG. 2;
FIG. 4 is an enlarged fragmentary end elevation of the lower portion of FIG. 2, showing the interlocked connection between the outer panels;
FIG. 5 is a perspective view of a rriodified protective package of the present invention in its unfolded position, with curved arrows showing the direction in which the various panels are folded toward one another; 1
FIG. 6 is a side elevation of the modified package of FIG. 5 in its folded condition; and
FIG. 7 is a vertical cross section taken along the line 7-7 in FIG. 6.
Referring to the drawings in detail, FIGS. 1, 2 and 3 show a one-piece folding protective package for fragile articles, generally designated 10, according to one form of the invention as consisting generally of four panels 14, 16, 18 and 20, preferably formed of resilient synthetic sheet plastic material. The outer sections or cover sections or panels 14 and 20 have hinged connections at 22 and 24 with the remote edges of the inner article container panels 16 and 18 which in turn have a hinged connection at 26 with one another along adjacent edges thereof. The hinge portions 22, 24 and 26 are preferably arched or arcuate in cross section to facilitate folding. The inner panels 16 and 18 are provided, as by molding, with multiple recessed portions 28 and 30 respectively facing one another and containing recesses 29 and 31 alignable with one another for receiving the fragile articles to be packed therein and protected by the construction of the package from damage due to blows, jolts or other shocks. The shapes of the recessed portions 28 and 30 will of course vary according to the shapes of the articles to be packaged therein.
The recessed portions 28 and 30 are spaced away from the end edges 32 and 34 respectively and also from the side edges formed by the hinge portions 22, 24 and 26 by flat marginal portions 36 and 38 respectively and from each other by intervening flat portions 40 and 42 respectively. Each of the outer sections 14 and is provided with a dished central portion 44 or 46 separated from the end edges 48 and 50 respectively and from the hinged edges 22, 24 and 26 by flat marginal portions 52 and 54 respectively which in the folded condition of the package 10 engage the marginal portions 36 and 38 of the inner panels 16 and 18 in face-to-face relationship (FIG. 2). The dished portions 44 and 46 have cavities 55 and 57 of suffrcient depth that their backwalls 56 and 58 are spaced away from the bottom walls 60 and 62 respectively of the recesses 28 and 30. The dished portions 44 and 46 have sidewalls 64 and 66 respectively joining their backwalls 56 and 58 to their marginal portions 52 and 54.
The outermost edges 68 and 70 of the outer panels 14 and 20 are provided with longitudinally extending interlocking detent portions or hollow ribs 72 and 74 respectively of arcuate cross section but of slightly different diameters which interfit with one another (FIGS. 2 and 4) in interlocking engagement to provide a snap lock therefor when the package 10 is in its closed condition. Elongated flanges 76 and 78 are provided adjacent the hollow ribs 72 and 74 for convenience of grasping to close or prying apart to open and separate the outer sections 14 and 20 from one another. The package 10 is formed by conventional molding processes with the various sections 14, 16, 18 and 20 formed from a single piece of resilient synthetic plastic sheet material, polyethylene plastic being one form of material suitable for this purpose.
The modified one-piece folding protective package, generally designated 80, shown in FIGS. 5, 6 and 7 is similar in principle to the package 10 shown in FIGS. 1 to 4 inclusive and similar parts are therefore designated with the same reference numerals. In the package 80, however, the outer panels 14 and 20 are hinged to the inner panels 16 and 18 along their end edges 32 and 34 respectively, whereas the inner panels 16 and 18 are hinged to one another, as before, along their side edges at 26 (FIG. 5).
In the use of the protective package 10, the articles to be packed are placed in the recesses 28 or 30 of the inner sections 16 or 18 while the selected section is in a horizontal position, whereupon the opposite inner section 18 or 16 is folded downward upon it, as indicated by the central arrows in FIG. 1, so that the hinge portions 22 and 24 engage one another (FIG. 2).
The outer panels 14 and 20 are then folded around their respective hinge portions 22 and 24 into nesting but spaced relationship to their respective inner panels 16 and 18, so that the bottom walls 60 and 62 of the recessed portions 28 and 30 are spaced away from the backwalls 56 and 58 of the dished portions 44 and 46 (FIG. 3'). As the panels 14, 16 and 18 approach their closed positions, the detent portions 72 and 74 snap together. For shipment, the various panels 14,16, 18 and 20 may be sealed by heat or adhesively sealed along their meeting marginal surfaces 52, 36, 38 and 54 or they may be mechanically fastened to one another, as by stapling.
The sheet material employed is preferably transparent synthetic plastic, so that it shows the nature of the packaged articles at a glance without requiring the opening of the package or the labeling thereof. When so sealed, the package provides protection against moisture, dust or injurious gases, and in the case of pharmaceutical products or medical articles, such as hypodermic syringes, also protects against contamination or infectious microbes or viruses. It also eliminates the need for individual packages for each article and the printing and plate costs thereof. Strengthening ribs, where deemed advisable, may be conveniently formed in the backwalls 56 and 58 during molding. The lighter weight of the plastic package 10 or 80 also reduces shipping costs as compared with those of ordinary chipboard. The packages 10 or 80 in their flat unfolded form can also be stacked in nested relationship where it is not desired to mold them adjacent the production line, and in stacked arrangement they greatly reduce the warehouse and storeroom space needed.
The operation of the modified protective package 80 of FIGS. 4, 5 and 6 follows a similar procedure to that of the package 10 of FIGS. 1, 2 and 3, is sealed in a similar way and obtains similar advantages by its somewhat different arrangement. In the case of the package 80, the inner panel 16 or 18 is placed in a horizontal position for loading, whereupon the opposite panel 18 or 16 is folded downward upon it and the two outer panels 14 and 20 folded together upon their respective folded inner panels 16 or 18 and interlocked by their detent portions 72 and 74.
In either form of the invention, the package 10 or 80 can be formed by suitable molding machines at or near the production line of the articles to be packaged, using sheet plastic material in roll stock form on a mandrel. This is unwound as it is fed through the molding press. Thus, the packages 10 or 80 are manufactured as they are required, thereby eliminating the warehouse space otherwise needed for the storage of preform packages. When the package is shipped, the outer panels or covers 14 and 20 absorb the shocks, vibrations or jolts sustained during transportation, thereby protecting articles in the recessed portions 28 and 30, the bottom walls 60 and 62 of which are spaced away from the adjacent backwalls 56 and 58 of the outer sections or covers 14 and 20.
Moreover, each individual container formed by the sealing of the inner panels 16 and 18, when these panels are perforated between containers, can be removed without impairing the sealed condition of the other containers. Even when no perforations are provided, each individual container can be cut away from the adjacent containers, also without impairing the sealed condition thereof. Thus, if sterile articles were packed in the individual containers, the doctor or hospital attendant could remove one such article while leaving the others still individually packed in their original sterile state. Electrical component parts could also be kept dust and moisture-free until ready for actual assembly in an installation.
1. A one-piece foldable protective package for articles, comprising:
a pair of inner container panels having edges disposed adjacent one another and having an inner hinged connection with one another along said adjacent edges: said inner panels having a plurality of article-receiving recessed portions disposed in spaced relationship relatively to one another and to the edges of said inner panels; and
said inner panels being foldable into face-to-face engagement with one another around said inner hinged connection:
said recessed portions being disposed in aligned pairs facing one another in the folded positionof said inner panels; and g a pair of dished outer cover panels having outer hinged connections with edges of said inner panels other than the previously mentioned hingedly connected edges thereof: said outer panels having cavities therein configured to receive said inner panels inwardly of the margins thereof; and said outer panels being foldable toward one another into enclosing relationship with said recessed portions of said inner panels.
2. A one-piece foldable protective package, according to claim 1, wherein said outer panels have backwalls which are spaced away from said recessed portions in the folded position of said panels.
3. A one-piece foldable protective package, according to claim 1, wherein said inner panels have marginal portions surrounding said recessed portions and foldable into said face-toface engagement with one another.
4. A one-piece foldable protective package, according to claim 3, wherein said outer panels have marginal portions surrounding said cavities and foldable into face-to-face engagement with the marginal portions of said inner panels.
5. A one-piece foldable protective package, according to claim 1, wherein said outer panels have interlocking detent portions on the edges other than their hinged connection edges.
6. A one-piece foldable protective package, according'to claim 1, wherein said outer panels have said outer hinged connections disposed on edges of said inner panels remote from said inner hinged connection of said inner panels with one another. I
7. A one-piece foldable protective package, according to claim 6, wherein said outer panels have interlocking detent portions on edges disposed parallel to the edges having hinged connections with said inner panels.
8. A one-piece foldable protective package, according to claim 1, wherein said outer panels have said outer hinged connections disposed on edges of said inner panels adjacent said inner hinged connection of said inner panels with one another.
9. A one-piece foldable protective package, according to claim 8, wherein said outer panels have interlocking detent portions on edges disposed perpendicular to the edges having hinged connections with said inner panels.
10. A one-piece foldable protective package, according to claim 4, wherein said cavities have backwalls and sidewalls connecting said backwalls, to said marginal portions of said outer panels, and wherein said sidewalls completely surround said recessed portions of said inner panels in spaced relationship therewith.