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Publication numberUS3562999 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateFeb 16, 1971
Filing dateMay 28, 1969
Priority dateMay 28, 1969
Publication numberUS 3562999 A, US 3562999A, US-A-3562999, US3562999 A, US3562999A
InventorsBarbedienne Roger
Original AssigneeScal Gp Condit Aluminium
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Method and container for packing flexible tubes
US 3562999 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Feb. 16, 1971 R. BARBEDIENNE 3,552,999


2 6 FIG-3.3 FIG.4


Fl 6 5 P06 BAPBED/E/VA/' 777 w 7%, Quit *L dd Arry United States Patent 3,562,999 METHOD AND CONTAINER FOR PACKING FLEXIBLE TUBES Roger Barbedienne, Saint-Germain-en-Laye, France, assignor to Seal GP, Paris, France Filed May 28, 1969, Ser. No. 828,511 Int. Cl. B651) 53/00 US. C]. 5330 8 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE This invention relates to a method for packing flexible tubes and a container therefor, in which the container generally comprises a polygonal base and a plurality of side pieces sharing a common edge with the base. Flexible tubes are placed in the container, and the side pieces are urged toward the necks of the tubes to hold the tubes in place by a contractible sheet or envelope.

The present invention relates to a container and method for packing flexible tubes and more particularly to a container and method of packing flexible empty metal tubes.

It is known that flexible tubes may be used as containers for materials such as toothpaste, cream, pomade, mustard and the like. In the past, such tubes have been packed in cardboard boxes in which cross pieces defining a separate chamber for each tube have been placed in order to minimize deformation of the tubes in transit. However, such boxes have the disadvantage that they do not easily permit automatic packing of the tubes at the end of a production line, and cannot be easily picked up for delivery to the filling machine. Moreover, the boxes can only be used with tubes of a given diameter, and hence diflerent cross pieces are required for each diameter of tube to be packed. In addition, the total number of tubes which may be packed in a given box is considerably below the maximum because the rows of tubes cannot be staggered and because the cross pieces or dividers take up an appreciable volume of the box.

It is accordingly an object of the present invention to avoid the aforementtioned disadvantages of the prior art. This and other objects of the invention are realized by a container and method which is based upon the resistance of the tubes to be packed to axial compression, and upon the radial strength of their neck, the neck being the conical portion of the tube which carries the cap.

The method of the invention generally comprises placing the tubes in a box or container in a side-by-side staggered arrangement with the tops of the tubes extending upwardly. The box in which the tubes are placed is provided with a base which has a polygonal configuration, preferably square or rectangular. For sides, the base is provided with a plurality of side pieces in the shape of a truncated pyramid. The side pieces each have a lower edge in common with the polygonal base, and are foldable at this common edge with respect to the base. Thus, the side pieces are capable of being folded away from the base to form a container which has side pieces for its side walls and is open at the top. The side pieces are dimensioned to have a length greater than the length of the tubes below their neck portions so that the upper edges of the side walls extend beyond the necks of the tubes.

.When the tubes are placed in the container, the tubes are urged against each other at the level of their necks by compressing the tops of the side pieces by means of an envelope of a contractible material covering at least the upper portion of the container. It is preferred that the envelope entirely cover the container and the tubes contained therein.


For a better understanding of the invention, reference is hereby made to the following drawings, which are intended to be illustrative of one embodiment of the invention and not restrictive of the scope of the invention:

FIG. 1 illustrates the container positioned in a plane;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the container as it is prepared to receive the flexible tubes;

FIG. 3 shows the tubes positioned in the container prior to positioning of the envelope;

FIG. 4 illustrates the tubes positioned in the completed container; and

FIG. 5 is a plane view of the top of the container illustrating an arrangement of tubes in the container.

In accordance with the practice of the invention and as shown in FIG. 1, there is provided a container I having a square base 2 and side pieces 3. The container is constructed of a rigid material, preferably corrugated cardboard, although a variety of other materials known to those skilled in the art are likewise suitable. The polygonal base 2 is shown in FIG. 1 to be square, but other configurations such as rectangular, triangular, hexagonal, and the like are similarly suitable.

The side pieces 3 have the configuration of a truncated pyramid, and share a common lower edge 4 with the base 2 along which side pieces 3 may be folded or otherwise be made movable with respect to base 2. In the preferred practice, the cross pieces are integral along one edge with the base and are dimensioned to have a width corresponding to the width of the base portion to which it is connected and a length to extend beyond the neck of the tubes when vertically disposed within the formed container.

FIG. 2 depicts container 1 with base 2 and side pieces 3 in position to receive flexible tubes. Due to their trapezoidal shape, side pieces 3 are not in contact along their lateral edges when in contact with the tubes, but are separated by a distance designated as 4. If desired, side pieces 3 may be provided with openings 5 to permit visual inspection of the contents.

The flexible tubes 6 are vertically disposed in side by side staggered arrangement within the container, as depicted in FIGS. 3 and 5. As is more clearly shown in FIG. 3, prior to the positioning of the contractible envelope, the flexible tubes are only in contact with the container 1 at their bottoms.

FIG. 4 illustrates the manner in which the contractible envelope is preferably positioned, covering the entire container and tubes to be contained therein. As is evident from this figure, once the envelope has compressed the upper portions of the side pieces 3 against tubes 6, the tubes are in contact with the cross pieces and base of the container at their strongest points, at the neck and along their axial length. Nevertheless, they are held rigidly in place by side pieces 3 and are protected from lateral shocks by the free space designated as 8.

The contractible envelope may be composed of any of a wide variety of contractible materials known to the art. It is often advantageous to employ a transparent material to permit visual inspection of the contents. In the preferred embodiment, the contractible sheet or envelope is polyvinyl chloride, which may be caused to contract, as is known to those skilled in the art, by heating after it has been set in position around the box.

In one specific container of the type described herein, the base is constructed as a square with each side being 330 mm. The side pieces or walls have a small base of 310 mm. and a height of mm. This container can accommodate 12 rows of 10 tubes having a diameter of 30 mm. or 15 rows of 12 tubes 25 mm. in diameter. The side pieces extend beyond the necks of the tubes by 5 mm. The clearance between the lateral edges of the side pieces is approximately mm. after the polyvinyl sheet has been tightenedby heat contraction.

A container constructed according to the present invention is effectively protected from shock and dust, and permits nearly any'type of automated handling either at the end of a production line or at the start of an automated filling operation. The packs of tubes can be stacked on top of one another without deformation of the tubes. Moreover, for a container of given volume, the number of tubes which can be packed is at a maximum because of the staggered arrangement. And finally, the simplicity of the concept of the invention permits the container to be produced at a cost which is significantly lower than that of the partitioned boxes presently in use.

It will be apparent that changes may be made in the details of the invention without departing from the true spirit of the invention, especially as defined in the following claims.

I claim:

1. A method of packaging a plurality of elongated flexible tubes comprising providing a container having a base portion of polygonal shape and a cross piece of truncated pyramidal shape for each edge of the polygonal base portion, with the edge forming the base of the pyramid in common with the respective edge of the base and foldable with respect thereto, folding said cross pieces to extend upwardly substantially perpendicularly relative to the base to define a container, positioning the plurality of flexible tubes vertically in side-by-side relation in said container with a spaced relation between the outermost tubes and the edges of the base member, coveringthe containerwith a sheet of contractible material and causing said sheet to contract and thereby to urge the cross piecesto extend angularly inwardly from the edges of the base into engagement with the outermost tubes at a level near the top of the tubes.

2. The method as defined in claim 1 wherein said base is square in shape.

3.]The method as defined in claim 1 wherein said contractible sheet is polyvinylchloride.

4. The method as defined in claim 1 wherein said contractible sheet entirely covers said container and said tubes.

5. The method as defined in claim 4 wherein said contractible sheet is transparent.

6. The method as claimed in claim 1 wherein the cross pieces are integral with the base along one edge and are dimensioned to have a length to extend beyond the neck portions of said verticallydisposed tubes when in container position. 4 Y I I 7. The method as claimed in clainr' 1 in which the spaced relationship between the lateral edges of the upturned adjacent cross pieces increases "from the base upwardly.

8. The methodas claimed in claim in the tubes comprise elongate members having an inturned' portion adjacent the upper edge-with the cross pieces engaging the outer edge of said inturned portion, when in the assembled relation.

References Cited UNITED 'STATES PATENTS 6/1942 TheW 229-30 THERONE E. CONDONJPrimary Examiner r E. F. DESMOND, Assistant Examiner U.S. Cl. X.R. 206-45.33,

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3694995 *Sep 10, 1970Oct 3, 1972Grace W R & CoCorrugate-film laminate package material and package
US3796307 *Jun 5, 1972Mar 12, 1974Grace W R & CoCorrugate-film laminate package material and package
US3987897 *Apr 7, 1975Oct 26, 1976Monarch Marking Systems, Inc.Label roll package
US5138822 *Jul 29, 1991Aug 18, 1992Teledyne Industries, Inc.Method of packing empty collapsible tubes
US5265797 *May 18, 1992Nov 30, 1993Teledyne Industries, Inc.Box construction
US5676245 *Apr 2, 1996Oct 14, 1997Jones; William CharlesArticle packaging kit, system and method
US5934473 *Jun 23, 1997Aug 10, 1999International Paper Co.Method for packaging article and cradle insert
US6490844Jun 21, 2001Dec 10, 2002Emerging Technologies TrustFilm wrap packaging apparatus and method
US7428807 *Mar 1, 2007Sep 30, 2008West Pharmaceutical Services, Inc.Method for packaging medical containers
US7637084 *Dec 19, 2005Dec 29, 2009Kenbico LimitedTriangular packaging
US7963396Jul 28, 2009Jun 21, 2011West Pharmaceutical Services, Inc.Vacuum package system
US8100263Dec 30, 2008Jan 24, 2012West Pharmaceutical Services, Inc.Vacuum package system
US20060177159 *Dec 19, 2005Aug 10, 2006Charles AikenheadTriangular packaging
US20070157564 *Mar 1, 2007Jul 12, 2007Hamilton Beach/Proctor-Silex, Inc.Vacuum Package System and Method
US20090100802 *Dec 30, 2008Apr 23, 2009West Pharmaceutical Services, Inc.Vacuum package system
US20090288977 *Jul 28, 2009Nov 26, 2009West Pharmaceutical Services, Inc.Vacuum Package System
EP0576731A1 *Dec 22, 1992Jan 5, 1994Teepak, Inc.Method of packaging a plurality of food casing strands
EP0744352A1 *May 15, 1996Nov 27, 1996Hoechst AktiengesellschaftPackage with shrink film
U.S. Classification53/441, 206/782, 206/446
International ClassificationB65D71/00, B65D71/10, B65D71/06
Cooperative ClassificationB65D71/10, B65D71/066, B65D2571/00018
European ClassificationB65D71/06F2, B65D71/10