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Publication numberUS3572007 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMar 23, 1971
Filing dateMar 25, 1969
Priority dateMay 2, 1966
Publication numberUS 3572007 A, US 3572007A, US-A-3572007, US3572007 A, US3572007A
InventorsJay W Rapp, Richard K Shelby
Original AssigneeMonsanto Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Apparatus for sealing two-piece containers
US 3572007 A
Abstract  available in
Images(5)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent Inventors Richard K. Shelby Chicago; Jay W. Rapp, Park Ridge, lll. Appl. No, 840,072 Filed Mar. 25, 1969 Patented Mar. 23, 1971 Assignee Monsanto Company St. Louis, Mo.

- Continuation-impart of application Ser. No. 546,990, May 2, 1966, now Patent No. 3,428,238, which is a division of Ser. No. 0 2 1966, ?N 15 1Q.

APPARATUS FOR SEALING TWO-PIECE CONTAINERS 16 Claims, 21 Drawing Figs.

U.S. Cl 53/282, 53/329 Int. Cl 1365!! 3/06, B65b l/06 Field of Search 53/369,

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,200,562 8/1965 Zebarth et al. 53/329XR 3,354,614 11/1967 St. Clair et al. 53/282 3,224,163 12/1965 Ray ll 53/329 3,492,785 2/1970 Mancini 53/282 2,841,938 7/1958 Speroni 53/282 Primary Examiner-Granville Y. Custer, Jr.

Assistant Examiner-l-lorace M. Culver Attorneys-Robert J. Schaap, John D. Upham and Joseph D.

Kennedy ABSTRACT: An apparatus for permanently sealing a plastic cover member to a plastic receptacle. The receptacle is disposed in a worktable and moved to a plurality of work stations. At one of such work stations, a cover member is disposed on the receptacle and at another of said work sta- 'tions, a flange on the cover member is heated and urged into a groove on the receptacle to thereby permanently seal the cover member to the receptacle. Thereafter, the container in the form of a unitary member is removed from the worktable.

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of NfUE ATTORNEY 1 APPARATUS FOR SEALING TWO-PIECE CONTAINERS This application is a division of our copending application Ser. No. 603,220, filed Dec. 20, 1966 which is a continuationin-part of copending application Ser. No. 508,412, filed Oct. 18, 1965, which is in turn, a divisional application of our copending application Ser. No. 335,087, filed'Jan. 2, 1964, and now abandoned. This present application is also a continuation-in-pan of copending application Ser. No. 546,990, filed May 2, 1966, and now Pat. No. 3,428,238, continuationin-part of copending application Ser.- No. 335,087, filed Jan. 2, 1964.

This invention relates in general to certain new and useful improvements in plastic containers and more particularly to the apparatus and method for sealing two-piece nestable portions of plastic containers in a unitary structure. I

Today, plastic and synthetic resin material have found widespreaduse in the packaging industry because of the inexpensiveness of the raw material and the mass production methods of manufacturing. "Plastic containers have been rapidly replacing both metal and paperboard containers inasmuch as the plastic type of container can be readily molded in an inexpensive mass production operation. Moreover, containers formed of plastic and synthetic resinuous materials are adapted to be hermetically sealed and are capable of holding fine powders and low viscosity liquids.

The use of plastic as a material for the manufacture of nestable containers such as drinking cups and the like has met with widespread success inasmuch as the nestable items are capable of being shipped for large distances-without absorbing large transportation costs. However, sealed containers, such as powder cans and the like, which are'nonnestable, cannot be stacked in small packages and'conse quently consume a great deal of shipping space. While large shipping cases ofnonnestable containers do not have a great mass, they do have a great bulk and this bulk consumes a great deal of expense in transportation. Inasmuch as the nonnestable containers must absorb this considerable transportation cost, they have been usually limited to within approximately 150 mile radius from the source of manufacture. As a result thereof, the marketing of nonnestable containers and more particularly, nonnestable plastic containers has been seriously hampered.

In an effort to obviate the difficulty of the nonnestable container, various manufacturers and producers of containers have resorted to two-piece nestable sections which are ultimately formed or connected into a unitary structure. The manufacturers of metal containers, such as powder cans, now produce nestable container portions with nestable cover members which can be shipped for large distances. At their destination, the cover member can be secured to or hermetically sealed to the container portion by a conventional crimping mechanism. Plastic articles are not capable of being connected by this type of operation and manufacturers of twopiece nestable plastic sections have resorted to the use of cement and similar methods of fusion. However, there is no convenient method of sealing two-section nestable containers into a unitary structure at their destination in a mass-production operation. The methods presently employed require the packager using the nestable containers to install the necessary equipment for performing the sealing operation. However, the equipment presently available is relatively expensive and the labor time consumed in order to perfonn the necessary operations is quite considerable. Due to this expense, many of the users of sealed containers have shifted to containers being formed of other materials.

It is, therefore, the primary object of the present invention to provide an apparatus and method for sealing multiple-piece plastic containers which can be readily sealed into a unitary structure on a mass-production basis.

It is another object of the present invention to provide an economical method of sealing multiple-piece plastic containers, which method is relatively inexpensive, rapid and efficient.

It is a further object of the present invention to provide an apparatus for sealing multiple-piece plastic containers on a low cost and mass production basis.

It is also an object of the present invention to provide an apparatus and method for sealing two-piece, thin-walled containers of the type stated which .are disposable and can be mass produced at a relatively low unit cost.

It is another salient object of the present invention to provide plastic containers of the type stated which are capable of withstanding the abuse normally subjected to such type of containers and which have a readily marketable appearance.

With the above and other objects in view, our invention resides in the novel features of form, construction, arrangement and combination of parts I presently described and pointed out.

In the accompanying drawings:

FIG. 1 is a side elevational view, partially broken away, of an apparatus for sealing a cover member to a receptacle which is constructed in accordance with and embodies the present invention; j

FIG. 2 is a top plan view, partially-broken away, of the apparatus of FIG. I;

FIG. 3 is a horizontal sectional view taken along line 3-3 of FIG. 2 and showing in detail the driving mechanism forming part of the apparatus of the present invention;

FIG. 4 is a fragmentary sectional view taken along line 44 of FIG. 3 and showing the segmental gearing forming a part of the drive mechanism of the present invention;

FIG. 5 is a fragmentary sectional view taken along line 5-5 of FIG. 2;

FIGS. 6, 7 and 8 are sequential enlarged sectional views schematically showing the method of sealing a cover member to a container in accordance with the present invention, of which:

FIG. 6 illustrates the dies forming part of the apparatus and the cover member and the receptacle in the separated position;

FIG. 7 shows the dies in an intermediate engaged position and the cover member and receptacle in intimate contact with the dies;

FIG. 8 shows the dies in the fully engaged position and the cover member permanently sealed to the receptacle;

FIGS. 9 and 10 are sequential enlarged sectional views schematically illustrating the method of sealing a modified form of cover member to a modified form of receptacle, thereby forming a modified form of seal, of which:

FIG. 9 illustrates the dies which are used to seal the cover member to the receptacle and showing the cover member and receptacle in a separated position;

FIG. 10 shows the dies in the fully engaged position and the cover member permanently sealed to the receptacle;

FIGS. 11 and 12 are sequential enlarged sectional views showing the method of sealing another modified form of cover member to a modified form of receptacle thereby producing a modified form of sealed joint therebetween of which:

FIG. 11 illustrates the dies which are used to seal the cover member to the receptacle and showing the cover member and receptacle in the separated position;

FIG. 12 shows the dies in the fully engaged position and the cover member permanently sealed to the receptacle;

FIGS. 13 and 14 are sequential enlarged sectional views showing the method of sealing another modified form of cover member to another modified form of receptacle thereby producing a modified form of joint therebetween, of which;

FIG. 13 illustrates the dies which are used to seal the cover member to the receptacle and showing the cover member and receptacle in the separated position;

FIG. 14 shows the dies in the fully engaged position and the cover member permanently sealed to the receptacle;

FIGS. 15, 16 and 17 are sequential enlarged sectional views showing the method of sealing a rectangularly-shaped cover member to a rectangularly-shaped receptacle in accordance with the present invention, of which;

FIG. illustrates the dies which are used to seal the cover member to the receptacle and showing the cover member and receptacle in the dies in the separated position;

FIG. 16 shows the dies in an intermediate engaged position and the cover member and receptacle in intimate contact with the dies;

FIG. 17 shows the dies in the fully engaged position and the cover member permanently sealed to the receptacle;

FIGS. 18 and 19 are sequential enlarged sectional views showing the method of sealing a modified form of rectangularly shaped cover member to a modified form of rectangularly shaped receptacle in accordance with the present invention, of which;

FIG. 18 illustrates the dies which are used to seal the cover member to the receptacle and showing the cover member and receptacle in the separated position;

FIG. 19 shows the dies in the fully engaged position and the cover member permanently sealed to the receptacle; and

FIGS. 20 and 21 are sequential enlarged sectional views showing the method of sealing another modified form of rectangularly shaped cover member to another modified form of rectangularly-shaped receptacle in accordance with the present invention, of which:

FIG. 20 illustrates the dies which are used to seal the cover member to the receptacle and showing the cover member and receptacle in the separated position;

FIG. 21 shows the dies in the fully engaged position and the cover member permanently sealed to the receptacle.

GENERAL DESCRIPTION Generally speaking, the present invention provides an apparatus and a method for sealing cover members to receptacles of the type described in my copending application Ser. No. 335,087, filed Jan. 2, I964 and of the type described in my copending application Ser. No. 546,990, filed May 2, 1966. The present invention also provides a series of dies which are used for a number of embodiments of the two-piece containers.

The apparatus and the method are designed to seal each of the embodiments of the aforementioned containers in a massproduction operation, wherein the container is continuously moved through a series of stations and in which the cover member is sealed to the receptacle, The apparatus generally comprises a circular rotating table which is provided with a series of receptacle accommodating apertures. Disposed above the table in proximate radial alignment with each of the apertures is a circular housing containing nested receptacles and which is adapted to deposit a receptacle in each aperture, as the aperture passes beneath the receptacle housing. This receptacle housing constitutes a first station. At a second station, a cover member housing is provided and contains a stack of nested cover members. This housing is similarly provided with means for depositing a cover member on a receptacle as the receptacle passes therebeneath. This cover member housing constitutes a second station. As the receptacle, which is disposed with an aperture, passes between the first and second stations, it is suitably filled with any suitable material that is designed to contain.

The receptacle with the cover member disposed thereon is next passed to a third station where a male die engages the cover member and forces the same into intimate contact with the receptacle. Simultaneously therewith, the receptacle is lowered so that the cover member and receptacle are maintained in contact with a heated female die for sealing the cover member to the receptacle. This contact with the heated female die is maintained for a predetermined period until the material in contact therewith becomes sufficiently flexible; at which time the male die subjects the cover member to an instantaneous downwardly directed force where the cover member is sealed to the receptacle. Thereafter, the sealed container is ejected from the aperture and deposited upon a suitable conveyor mechanism at a fourth station. A suitable driving mechanism is provided for operating each of the aforementioned functions in pretimed relationship.

The present invention provides four sets of dies for sealing four modifications of circularly-shaped containers and three sets of dies for sealing three embodiments of rectangularlyshaped containers. In each of the containers of the present invention, the receptacle is generally provided along its upper margin with a reversely bent downwardly-extending flange forming an annular groove. The cover member of the circular container is also formed with an annular downwardly flaring flange which is capable of being heated into a flexible condition and bent inwardly into the groove formed on the receptacle. In the first of these modifications, the dies are designed to force the flange on the cover member into the groove formed in the receptacle so that the flange fits snugly between the rimforming flange of the receptacle in the sidewall of the receptacle. In the second embodiment of the circularly shaped containers, the dies are designed'to cause the flanges on each of the cover member and receptacle to curl inwardly into the groove fonned by the flange on the receptacle. In the third modification of the circular container, each of the flanges on the cover member and receptacle is curled inwardly in the form of an annular bead and bent back upon themselves so that they are horizontally disposed. In the fourth modification of the circular container, the flange on the cover member is curled inwardlyin the fonn of a bead os that it is disposed in the groove formed on the receptacle. However, the flange of the cover member, which is turned inwardly and upwardly, is spaced from the side wall of the receptacle and engages the rim-forming flange of the receptacle. In each of the aforementioned embodiments, the flanges on the cover member and receptacle may be raised to a temperature where a reorientation of the plastic material takes place and forms a heat seal or fusion between the two flanges, thereby permanently heat sealing the cover member to the receptacle. Furthermore. the temperature of the dies may always be maintained at a point where the plastic material is heated to a temperature below the reorientation temperature of the plastic material and above the temperature where the material becomes flexible. In this manner, where the plastic material is sufficiently above the low-softening range and sufficiently below the orientation temperature, a fluidtight mechanical seal may be attained. The heat and pressure of forcing the two dies together is sufficient to cause the free terminal margins of the flange on the receptacle or the flange on the receptacle and flange on the cover member to become readily deformable. The flanges are thereby urged into the groove on the receptacle where a mechanical seal takes place.

The present invention also provides the cooperating sets of dies for sealing the three rectangularly-shaped containers. The rectangularly-shaped containers and the dies and method for sealing the cover member to the receptacle thereof, are very similar to the circularly-shaped containers except that in the rectangularly-shaped containers, a reinforcing groove is formed in the cover member. In the first embodiment of the rectangularly-shaped container, the flange on the cover member is struck inwardly into a groove formed on the receptacle and is permanently disposed therein. In the second modification of the rectangular container, each of the flanges on the cover member and receptacle is curled inwardly in the form of an annular bead so that they are vertically disposed. In the third modification of the rectangular container, the flange on the cover member is curled inwardly in the form of a bead so that it is disposed in the groove formed on the receptacle. However, the flange of the cover member, which is turned inwardly and upwardly, is spaced from the sidewall of the receptacle and engages the rim-fonning flange of the receptacle. In each of the aforementioned embodiments, the flanges on the cover member and receptacle may be raised to a temperature where a reorientation of the plastic material takes place and forms a heat seal or fusion between the two flanges, thereby permanently heat sealing the cover member to the receptacle. Furthermore, the temperature of the dies may always be maintained at a point where the plastic material is heated to a temperature below the reorientation temperature of the plastic material and above the temperature where the material becomes flexible. In this manner, where the plastic material is sufficiently above the low-softening range and sufficiently below the orientation temperature, a fluidtight mechanical seal may be attained. The heat and pressure of forcing the two dies together is sufficient to cause the free terminal margins of the flange on the receptacle or the flange on the receptacle and flange on the cover member to become readily deformable. The flanges are thereby urged into the groove on the receptacle where a mechanical'seal takes place.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION supporting structure and substructure for the apparatus A has been eliminated from the drawings and the description herein in order to maintain clarity inasmuchas the detail of the sup porting structure are conventional in their construction.

The apparatus A generally comprises a circular rotating table 2 which is provided on its underside somewhat radially spaced from the center thereof with a groove which is fitted with a bearing race 3 for retaining roller bearings 4 in which manner the table 2 is rotatably supported. The table 2 was provided somewhat centrally thereof with a depending hub 5 and rigidly secured to its peripheral surface is a ring gear 6 in meshing engagement with a drive gear 7 the latter being secured to the upper end of a vertically extending drive shaft 8. By reference .to FIG. 3, it can be seen that the drive shaft 8 is operatively connected to an electric motor 9 which is in turn, provided with support brackets 10 for securement to a suitable supporting structure (not shown).

The table 2 is formed with a series of radially spaced container-receiving compartments 11 along its peripheral margin substantially as shown in FIG. 2. The container-receiving compartment 11 is cylindrical and includesan annular sidewall 12 and bottom wall 13, the latter being provided with a central aperture 14 for accommodating a cam rider shaft 15, which is connected at its upper end to a receptacle retaining plate 16. Mounted on the lower end of the cam rider shaft 15 is a cam rider, or so-called cam follower 17, which moves along and is shiftable by a cam 18 having an upper camming surface 19 and which is secured to a main table support 20, substantially as shown in FIGS. 3 and 4. Furthermore, it can be seen that a compression spring 21 is concentrically disposed about the cam rider shaft 15 and bears against the underside of the bottom wall 13 and the cam rider shaft 15, urging it in a downward direction so that the receptacle retaining plate 16 is always urged to the bottom of the compartment 11, all for reasons which will presently more fully appear.

Rigidly mounted on the upper surface of the table 2 and being rotatable therewith is anupstanding hub 22 and being disposed within the hub 22 are a series of coaxially extending concentric quill shafts 23, 24, 25 and 26, substantially as shown in FIG. 3. The quill shafts 23, 24, 25 and 26 are supported in any conventional manner and are rotatable with respect to each other and with respect to the hub 22 through a seriesof axially spaced ball bearings (not shown). The structure for suitably supporting eachof the quill shafts 23, 24, 25 26 is conventional and, therefore, neither illustrated nor described in detail herein.

Disposed above the table 2 in proximate alignment with the compartments 11 is a receptacle dispensing housing 27 and which contains a stack of nested receptacles R. Each of the receptacles are held within the housing 27 by a pivotal yoke 28 having a pair of fingers 29, which extend through a slot 30 formed within the sidewall of the housing 27. The fingers 29 engage the lip of the receptacle R and thereby retain the entire stack. A suitable mechanism is provided for shifting the yoke 28 so that a single receptacle R is separated from the stack of receptacles R and retained at the lower end of the housing 27 by means of a somewhat U-shaped inwardly struck flange 31 at the lower end of the housing 27 so that the lower end of the receptacle R projects downwardly from the housing 27. Rigidly mounted on the quill shaft 23 and being pivotable therewith is an outwardly radially extending arm 32 which is provided at its outer end witha receptacle engaging claw 33. The quill shaft 23 pivots in timed relation to the rotation of the table 2 by a suitable mechanism hereinafter described, and as the compartment 11 moves beneath the housing 27, the quill shaft 23 rotates in a counterclockwise direction reference being made to FIG. 2 and the claw 33 will engage the receptacle R and shift the same outwardly from the housing 27 through a slot 34 formed along the base thereof. The quill shaft 23 is located at a slight distance above the table 2 and the claw 33 is sized to guide the movement of the receptacle R in the compartment 11 substantially as shown in FIGS. 7 and 8.

The arm 32 is designed to "engage a depending hook 35 which is formed along a radially extending arm 36, the latter being rigidly secured to and rotatable with the quill shaft 24. Secured to the outer end of the arm 36 and being movable therewith is a dispensing nozzle 37, which is connected to the lower end of a dispensing tube 38, the latter being connected at its other end to a bin (not shown) for dispensing the contents to be charged into the container B, such as a suitable powder or liquid. Naturally, this bin is provided with a suitable charging and weighing mechanism which permits a charge of the material to pass through the nozzle 37 for each receptacle R which passes therebeneath. As soon as the receptacle has been filled to a predetermined depth, in a predetermined time, the arm 32 and the arm 36 will swing in a clockwise direction, reference being made to FIG. 2, to their original position. In this connection, it should be understood that the arms 32 and 36 are spring loaded so that they are urged to rotate in a clockwise direction, referring to H0. 2, and the arm 32 is driven in the counterclockwise direction through the quill shaft 23. The quill shaft 24 is, in effect, an idler shaft and is not driven.

As the filled receptacle R continues to rotate with the table 2, it is passed beneath a cover member dispensing housing 39, which is provided with a stack of nested cover members C. The stack of cover members C are maintained within the housing 39 by means of a yoke 40 which is substantially similar to the yoke 28 and is provided with a pair of cover member engaging fingers 41 which extend through apertures 42 fonned within the sidewall of the housing 39. The yoke 40 is driven through a suitable mechanism in timed relation to the movement of the table 2 and is adapted to reciprocate so that the fingers 41 engage the lower margins of the cover member C, and as the fingers 41 swing, they will permit a single cover member to separate from the remainder of the stack. This latter cover member C which has been separated from the stack is then deposited on a pair of upwardly struck flanges 43 formed along the lower end of the housing 39. The housing 39 is also provided with an enlarged slot 44 along its lower end and is designed to accommodate a cover member engaging claw 45, which shifts through the slot 44 and engages a deposited cover member C retained therein. The claw 45 is secured to the curved lower end of a downwardly and radially outwardly extending arm 46, the latter, in turn, being rigidly secured to and rotatable with the quill shaft 25. Thus, through the above-outlined construction, the yoke 40 will shift through a suitable mechanism (not shown) in timed relation to the table 2 and deposit a single cover member C on the inwardly struck flanges 43. The cover member engaging claw 45 will engage the single cover member deposited on the flange 43 as it passes through the slot 44 and carry the same in direct marginal registration with the receptacle R disposed therebeneath as the receptacle rotates in a counterclockwise direction. The arm 46 carried on the quill shaft 25 is so located that the cover member C is physically placed on the upper margin of the receptacle R as the table 2 and arm 46 continue to rotate in timed relation. After this occurs, the quill shaft 25 will rotate in a clockwise direction to its original position, reference being made to FIG. 2. In this connection, the cover member C is sized to snugly engage the exterior surfaces of the receptacle R, and is retentively held on the receptacle R.

By reference to FIG. 5, it can be seen that the receptacle R is maintained in a position so that the upper margins thereof are spaced somewhat above the upper margin of the table 2. This is accomplished by the cam rider 17, which rides along the camming surface 19 and thereby maintains the retaining plate 16 in a raised position against the action of the compression spring 21.

The upper end of the compartment 11 is provided with a female die M, substantially as shown in FIG. and which cooperates with a male die frame 48 having a cooperating male die N, formed along the lower margins thereof. The male die frame 48 is mounted on the lower end of a downwardly and outwardly extending arm 50, which is secured at its upper end to the quill shaft 26 and is rotatable therewith. As the table 2 continually rotates in the counterclockwise direction, reference being made to FIG. 2, the quill shaft 26 will rotate through an arc in timed relation thereto. When the filled receptacle R passes beneath the male die frame 48, the quill shaft 26 will shift downwardly through a mechanism hereinafter described and force the cover member in intimate contact with the upper margin of the receptacle R, and furthermore urge the receptacle R and cover member C disposed thereon into intimate contact with the female die M in a manner to be hereinafter described in detail. Simultaneously with the vertical shifting of the quill shaft 26, the cam follower 17 will ride upon a depressed portion of the camming surface 19 and thereby permit the retaining plate 16 to move downwardly within the compartment 11.

The table 2 is preferably an aluminum casting and suitable electrically operated heat elements 51, such as, for example the heating elements known in the trade as Calrod element, are imbedded in a retaining ring 52 which surrounds the female die M, and are connected through suitable conductors such as, for example, brushes and'commutators (not shown) to a suitable source of electrical power (also not shown). The heating elements 51 are of such capacity and are so disposed along the outer margin of the female die M, that they are effective to maintain the female die M, at a temperature to heat the free edge portion of the cover member C to such temperature, during the movement of the containers B, which is effective to render the free edge portions readily deformable. In this manner, the free edge portions of the cover member C can be sealed to the free edge portions of the receptacle R in a manner more fully hereinafter described in detail.

The cover member C is heat sealed to the receptacle R during the movement of the table 2 and after continued rotation thereof, the cam follower 17 will ride-along a high spot of the camming surface 19 and thereby shift the retaining plate 16 upwardly within the compartment 11. This high spot of the camming surface 19 is designed so that the upper surface of the retaining plate 16 is substantially parallel to the table 2 and the filled and sealed container B retained by the plate 16 is then moved into alignment with two upstanding guide plates 53, 54 which guide the filled container A on a conveyor belt 55 to the ultimate packing station (not shown).

By reference to FIG. 3, it can be seen that each of the quill shafts 23, and 26 projects through the bottom of the table 2. The quill shaft 24 does not project downwardly from the table 2 inasmuch as it is an idler shaft and is not driven. The quill shaft 23 is provided with an annular gear surface 56 which meshes with a drive wheel 57 having a gear segment 58, the drive wheel 57 being mounted on and rotatable with the drive shaft 58. The quill shaft 25 similarly projects through the lower end of the quill shaft 23 and is provided with an annular gear surface 59 in meshing engagement with a gear segment 60 formed on a drive wheel 61, the latter being mounted on i CWWAS M the drive shaft 8. Finally, the quill shaft 26 projects through the lower end of the quill shaft 25 and is provided at its lower end with a relatively wide pinion gear 62, which meshes with a gear segment 63 formed on a drive wheel 64, the latter being in turn, mounted on the drive shaft 8. By reference to FIGSv 3 and 4, it can be seen that the drive wheels 57, 61 and 84 are only arcuate segments of circular wheels and the outer periphery of the wheels constitutes the respective gear segments. Furthermore, each of the aforementioned wheels is concentrically mounted on the drive shaft 8 so that through their respective gear segments they are in meshing engagement with the gear surfaces 56, 59 and the gear 62, respectively only for a portion of the rotation of the drive shaft 8. By further reference to FIG. 4, it can be seen that the gear segments on each of the drive wheels extend through an arc of approximately degrees so that, in effect, each of the quill shafts 23, 25 and 26 are only driven through an approximately 90 degree are before they are spring biased back into their original position It should again be pointed out that many of the details such as retaining collars for the drive wheels have been eliminated in order to maintain clarity.

The quill shaft 23 has a slightly greater length than any of the quill shafts 24, 25 or 26 as can be seen by reference to FIG. 3. Moreover, the quill shaft 23 is diametrally sized so as to be vertically shiftable within the quill shaft 24. Rigidly secured to the annular surface of the pinion gear 62 is a radially extending camming arm 65 having a depending roller or so-called cam follower 66 which rides along a camming surface 67. The carnming surface 67 is suitably formed from a structure which is neither illustrated nor described in detail herein in order to maintain clarity. It should be understood that this camming surface is suitable mounted on the same supporting structure which supports the apparatus A. The camming surface 67 has a substantially horizontal surface for the greater portion of its length and thereby maintains the arm 50 in the same horizontal plane as-the table 2 rotates. The camming surface 67 is provided with an arcuate surface or socalled low 68 in the area of rotation of the table 2 where the male die 48 holds the cover member C and receptacle R in intimate contact with the heated female die M, for approximately ten seconds. This arcuate surface or low 68 then merges into a relatively sharp V-shaped dropoff groove 69 where the male die N, is designed to engage the cover member C and force the same downwardly into the female die M, for permanently sealing the cover member C to the receptacle Rv By this construction, as the cam follower 66 moves along the lower arcuate portion 68 of the camming surface 67, the pinion gear 62 and the quill shaft 23 carried therewith will shift downwardly within the quill shaft 24 thereby permitting the arm 50 to shift downwardly and hold the cover member C in engagement with the heated female die M,. This arcuate surface or low 68 has a length which is sufficient to hold the cover member C and receptacle R in engagement with the heated female die M, for approximately ten seconds. Thereafter, the cam follower 66 will instantaneously shift into the V-shaped dropoff groove 69 thereby pulling the arm 50 in a further downward direction instantaneously for the final sealing of the cover member C to the receptacle R in this position. The V-shaped dropoff groove 69 is so located that the container B is ejected from the table 2 immediately after the heat sealing operation takes place. After the heat sealing operation has taken place, the cam follower 66 will move to the substantially horizontal portion of the camming surface 67 and thereby raise the pinion gear 62, the quill shaft 23 and the arm 50.

By further reference to FIG. 2, it can be seen that the apparatus A is so constituted and arranged that there are in effect, four work stations which are disposed around the periphery of the table 2. The first work station is constituted by the receptacle housing 27 and the mechanism associated therewith for depositing the receptacle R in the compartment 11. The second work station is constituted by the cover member housing 39 and the mechanism associated therewith for placing the cover member C on the receptacle R. It can thus be seen that the receptacle R is filled during its movement between the first and second work stations. The male die frame 48 and the mechanism associated therewith for moving the die frame 48 constitutes a third work station where the cover member and receptacle are forced into intimate contact with the heated female die M, for permanently sealing the cover member C to the receptacle R. As previously pointed out, the preheating of the covermember and container in the female die M, takes place for approximately seconds, in the manner as shown in FIG. 13. This occurs as the cam follower 66 rides along the low 68. When the cam follower 66 shifts downwardly into the dropoff groove 69, the male die frame 48 will force the cover member C into intimate contact with the receptacle R. The discharging of the sealed container B from the compartment 11 and moving the same on the conveyor belt 55 constitutes a fourth work station. It should, of course, be understood that the heat sealing of the cover member C to the receptacle R takes place during the movement between the third and fourth work stations. Moreover, it can be seen that the work stations are so disposed around the wheel that upon completion of the movement of the table 2 through a 90 degree revolution a receptacle R will be shifted from one work station to the next succeeding work station.

The upper end of the compartment 1 l'is designed to accommodate various types of female dies M for sealing various types of two-piece container sets B. The container sets for which the apparatus and the dies of the present invention were designed are more specifically described in my copending application Ser. No. 335,087, filed Jan. 2', 1964 and for the containers described in my copending application Ser. No. 546,990, filed May 2, 1966. However, it should be recognized that the apparatus of the present invention is capable of seal ing many types of container sets and is not necessarily limited to the types of containers described in said copending applications. The cover members C and receptacles R of the container set B are formed by any convenient process and apparatus such as by the molding machine described in the Richard K. Shelby et al. U.S. Pat. No. 2,967,328.

The cover member C and receptacle R are preferably formed of a high impact modified polystyrene. The modified polystyrene material generally comprises approximately 94 percent polystyrene and approximately 5.0 to 6.0 percent of a styrene-butadiene rubber. Additionally, the composition of the present invention also contains approximately 2.0 percent of a mineral oil such as standard aliphatic white mineral oil such as the oil sold under the trademark WESTOL 35 from Penn Refining Company. The mineral oil employed in the composition is preferably designed to have a Saybolt viscosity within the range of 80 to 210 at a temperature of 70 F. While the styrene-butadiene rubber can be varied between 4.0 percent and 10.0 percent, the mineral oil can be varied between 0.5 percent and 3.0 percent with the polystyrene making up the remainder of the mixture.

The apparatus of the present invention is suitably designed to both mechanically seal and heat seal cover members to receptacles. The mechanism for performing both the heat seal and the mechanical seal by this apparatus is hereinafter more fully described in detail. The embodiments disclosed in FIGS. 6-14 are circular containers which have a circular beadforming seal and the dies disclosed in FIGS. 6-14 are designed to produce the circular bead. The embodiment of the circular container disclosed in FIGS. 6-8 has the mechanical seal; the embodiment disclosed in FIGS. 9 and 10 is formed with a heat seal, the embodiment disclosed in FIGS. 11 and 12 has a mechanical seal and the embodiment disclosed in FIGS. 13 and 14 has a heat seal. The embodiments of the containers and the dies disclosed in FIGS. 15-21 are rectangularlyshaped containers which contain a reinforcing groove. The embodiment disclosed in FIGS. 15-17 is formed with a heat seal, the embodiment disclosed in FIGS. 18 and 19 is formed with a mechanical seal, and the embodiment disclosed in FIGS. 20 and 21 is formed with a heat seal. It should be understood in connection with the present invention that any of these embodiments could be formed with either a mechanical seal or a heat seal so that each container described herein is not limited to the type of seal illustrated in the drawings. The method of forming either the heat seal or the mechanical seal will be hereinafter described in more detail.

Referring now to FIGS. 6-8, portions of a circular container B, are illustrated as being mechanically sealed in the dies of the present invention. Again, the details of construction of the container are more fully illustrated in copending application Ser. No. 546,990, filed May 2, 1966. The container B, comprises a receptacle R, and a cover member C,. The receptacle R, which is generally cylindrical in horizontal cross section includes an annular skirt-forming wall 100. The receptacle R is integrally provided along its upper margin with an annular outwardly struck lip 101 which merges into an annularly formed downwardly struck rim-forming flange 102, substantially as shown in FIG. 6. The downwardly struck flange 102 is spaced from the skirt-forming wall by a distance which is approximately equal to the thickness of the flange 102 and moreover, the flange 102 is substantially parallel to the skirt-forming wall 100. Thus, it can be seen that as the skirt-forming wall 100. Thus, it can be seen that as the skirt-forming wall 100 has a downwardly converging taper, the flange 102 also projects downwardly in parallel relationship thereto.

The cover member C,.- which is also cylindrical in horizontal cross section includes an annular skirt 104 which is provided along its lower margin with an annular outwardly struck lip 105, the latter forming an annular shoulder surface 106 on its underside. The surface 106 is supported on the upper surface of the lip 101 when the cover member C, is sealed to the receptacle R, substantially as in the manner as shown in FIG. 6. The lip is integrally formed with a downwardly struck rim forming flange 107 which is slightly longer than the flange 102. The flange 107 is sized to snugly engage the exterior surface of the flange 102 in frictional contact when the cover member C, is disposed upon the receptacle R, in the manner as shown in FIG. 7. The flange 107 is of sufficient length to have a relatively free terminal portion which is capable of being heated to a temperature where it becomes flexible and is upwardly struck into the groove 103. In the sealing operation to be hereinafter described, the terminal portion of the flange 107 is sealed in the annular groove 103 to form a perfect liquidtight seal between the cover member C, and the receptacle R,. The cooperating dies used to seal the cover member C to the receptacle R, are also more fully illustrated in FIGS. 6- -8.

The cooperating dies generally comprise the female die M which cooperates with the male die N,. The dies operate by means of the above-described apparatus to force the cover member C, into intimate contact with the upper margin of the receptacle R, and furthermore, urge the receptacle R, and cover member C, disposed thereon into intimate contact with the female die M,.

The female die M, is capable of being inserted into and secured to a container-receiving compartment 11 in the manner as illustrated in FIG. 5. The male die N, is rigidly secured to the arm 32. The female die M, is formed with a substantially frustoconically-shaped interior sidewall 108, having an enlarged substantially cylindrical head portion 109. The head portion 109 has an arcuate top wall 110 which merges into a generally downwardly and inwardly sloping intermediate wall 111 and extending between the intermediate wall 111 and the frustoconically-shaped sidewall 108 is a lower arcuate surface 112 which is concave upwardly in shape and integrally merges into an upwardly extending relatively sharp edge 113 at the point of connection with the sidewall 108.

The male die N, is also substantially circular in horizontal cross section and has a somewhat S-shaped interior wall 114 at its lower end which engages the exterior surface of the lip 105, in the manner as illustrated in FIGS. 5 and 7. The side wall 114 integrally merges at its lower end into a downwardly extending relatively sharp guide flange 118 which engages a portion of the downwardly extending flange 107 on the cover member C,. The male die M, is urged into contact with the upper surface of the cover member C, and the surface 114 of the die n, engages the lip 105 of the cover member C in the manner as in FIG. 6. The female die is substantially circular and provided with a hollow portion so that it accommodates the receptacle R, in the manner as illustrated in FIG. 7. When the two dies M,, N, are urged together in a sealing position," that is the position as illustrated in FIG. 7, the flange 107 will become disposed over and lie in facewise engagement with the flange 102. The heating element 51 will create suflicient heat to bring the two flanges 102 and 107 to the desired postforming temperature. It has been found in connection with the present invention that the material in the flanges 102, 107 should be be heated to approximately 210 to 240 F. for the postforming operation. At this temperature range, the plastic material is sufficiently above the low-softening range and furthermore, sufficiently below the reorientation temperature of 225 to 260 F. for the particular type of material employed. It has been found that within this temperature range of 210 to 240 F. approximately 6-I0 seconds of preheating are desirable before the postforming operation. The exact low-softening temperature range and the reorientation temperature range will, of course, vary depending on the exact composition of the plastic material. During the postforming operation, the flange 107 is forced into the groove 102 in the manner as illustrated in FIG. 8. In effect, the free edge portion of the flange 107, which has been softened is urged into the groove 103 so that it is in a substantially upwardly struck vertical position. Furthermore, the free edge portion of the flange 107 is in intimate contact with the exterior wall of the receptacle R,. It should be pointed out that the postforming operation takes place in the manner of a fraction of a second so that the reorientation of the plastic material does not take place. The two dies are moved toward each other in the postforming operation at a rate of speed which prevents overheating and posible shrinking and undesired curling of the flange. It should be recognized that a fluidtight mechanical seal is thereby attained. The heat and pressure of forcing the two dies M,, N, together provides sufficient energy to cause the free terminal margin of the flange 107 to become readily deformable. The flange is thereby mechanically urged into the groove 103. However, a permanent heat seal where fusion of the flanges I02 and 107 does not take place since the plastic material is always maintained below its reorientation temperature.

FIGS. 9 and 10 illustrate the dies employed for a modified form of circularly shaped container B,, which comprises a cover member C, and a receptacle R The container B, is illustrated with a heat seal as shown in FIG. 10 and is also circular in horizontal cross section The container B, is formed in the same manner as the container B, and moreover, is constructed of the same material as the container B,. The receptacle R which is generally cylindrical in horizontal cross section includes an annular skirt-forming wall 116. The receptacle R, is integrally provided along its upper margin with an annular outwardly struck lip 117, which merges into an annularly formed downwardly struck rim forming flange 118 substantially as shown in FIG. 9. The downwardly struck flange 118 is spacedfrom the skin-forming wall 116 by a distance which is approximately equal to twice the thickness of the flange 118 and thereby forms a downwardly opening annular groove 119. Furthermore, the flange 118 is substantially parallel to the skirt-forming wall 116. Thus, it can be seen that as the skirtforming wall 116 has a downwardly converging taper, the flange 118 also projects downwardly in parallel relationship thereto. It is to be noted that the flange 118 is slightly longer with respect to the overall vertical dimension of the receptacle R, than the flange 102 was with respect to the overall vertical dimension of the receptacle R,.

The cover member C, which is also cylindrical in horizontal cross section includes an annular skirt 120. The skirt 120 is provided along its lower margin with an annular outwardly struck lip 121, the latter forming an annular shoulder surface 122 on its underside and which is supported on the upper surface of the lip 117 when the cover member C, is sealed to the receptacle R, substantially in the manner as shown in FIG. 110. The lip 121 is integrally formed with a downwardly struck rim forming flange 123 which is slightly longer than the flange 118. The flange 123 is sized to snugly engage the exterior surface of the flange 118 in frictional contact when the cover member C, is disposed upon the receptacle R, in the manner as shown in FIG. 9. The flanges 118, 123 are of suffieient length to have relatively free terminal portions which are capable of being heated to a temperature where they become flexible and are upwardly struck into the groove 119. In the sealing operation to be hereinafter described, the terminal portions of the flanges I18, 123 are sealed in the annular groove 119 to form a perfect liquidtight seal between the cover member C, and the receptacle R,. It should also be recognized that the flange 123 is longer than the flange 107 in the cover member C,. Thus by employment of a slightly longer flange 107 and a slightly wider arcuate wall 128 in the female die M it is possible to curl both of the flanges 118, 123 to form an annular bead, which is also substantially annular in cross section.

The cover member C, is sealed to the receptacle R in a manner which is somewhat similar to the method employed in sealing the cover member C to the receptacle R, except that a heat seal is formed. The cooperating dies which are employed to seal the cover member C, to the receptacle R, are also more fully illustrated in FIGS. 9 and 10, where FIG. 9 shows the dies in the separated position and FIG. 10 shows the dies in the fully engaged position. These dies M, and N, are also mounted on the apparatus A in the same manner-as the dies M and N, respectively.

The cooperating dies illustrated in FIGS. 9 and 10 generally comprise a female die M which cooperate with a male die N, The dies M,, N, are also urged together to force the cover member C, into intimate contact with the upper margin of the receptacle R, and furthermore, urge the receptacle R, and cover member C, disposed thereon into intimate contact with the female die M The female die M, is defined by a substantially frustoconically shaped interior sidewall 124 having an enlarged substantially cylindrical upper end portion 125. The end portion 125 has an arcuate top wall 126 which merges into a generally downwardly and inwardly sloping intermediate wall 127 and extending between the intermediate wall 127 and the frustoconically-shaped sidewall 124 is a lower arcuate surface 128 which is concave upwardly in shape and integrally merges into an upwardly extending relatively sharp edge 129 at the point of connection with the sidewall 124.

The male die N, is also substantially circular in horizontal cross section and has an interior S-shaped wall 130, which is sized to engage the lip 121 of the cover member C, in the manner as illustrated in FIG. 9. The S-shaped wall 130 integrally merges along its lower end into a downwardly extending relatively sharp guide flange 131. The male die N, is urged into contact with the upper surface of the cover member C, and the S-shaped wall 130 engages the exterior surface of the lip 121 in the manner as illustrated in FIG. 9. The female die M, is substantially circular and is provided with a hollow portion so that it accommodates the receptacle R, in the manner as illustrated 10. FIG. I10. When the two dies M,, N, are urged together in a sealing position, that is the position as illustrated in FIG. 10, the flange 123 will become disposed over and lie in facewise engagement with the flange 1 18.

The heating element 51 will create suflicient heat to bring the two flanges 118, 123 to the desired postforming temperature. It has been found in connection with the present invention that the material in the flanges 118, 123 should be heated to approximately 2l0 to 240 for the initial forming operation. At this temperature range, the plastic material is sufficiently heated above the low-softening range. Furthermore, it is sufficiently below the reorientation temperature of 225 to 260 F. for this particular type of material employed. It has been found that within this temperature range of 210 to 240 F., approximately 4--6 seconds of preheating are desirable before the postforming operation. Thereafter, the temperature is raised to a temperature above 260 F. or above the reorientation temperature for the particular material employed. During the postforming operation, the flanges 118, 123 are bent inwardly and forced into the downwardly opening groove 119 in the manner as illustrated in FIG. 10. However, the temperatures of the flanges have been raised to a point above the reorientation temperature of the material and consequently a fusion is attained. The plastic material actually melts slightly so that the molecules of each of the flanges will mix forming an actual fusion of thetwo flanges into a unitary flange or reversely bent flange in the manner as illustrated in FIG. 10.

During the postforming operation, the flanges 118, 123 are bent inwardly and forced into the downwardly opening groove 119 in the manner as illustrated-in FIG. 10. These flanges are forced into a substantially upwardly struck vertical position. These flanges are forced into a substantially upwardly struck vertical position. The two free edge portions of the flanges 118, 123 are spaced from the interior wall of the flange 123 and furthermore, the free edge portion of the flange 123 engages the exterior surface of the receptacle R It should be recognized that the bead thus fonned provides a fluidtight seal between the cover member C and the receptacle R,.

It can be seen by reference to FIG. that a fluidtight seal is formed between the cover member C and the receptacle R not only through'the fusion of 'the'two flanges 118, 123 but through the actual forming of the bead itself In other words, even if a mechanical seal were formed rather than the heat seal, as described in the container 8,, the sealed bead would still afford a fluidtight connection.

It is to be noted by reference to FIGS. 6 and 9, that the U- shaped arcuate surface 128 in the female die M is slightly wider in radial dimension than the U-shaped upwardly opening arcuate surface 112 in the female die M,. This upwardly opening wall is designed in such manner in the female die M since the bead formed on the container B, is slightly larger in radial dimension than the bead formed in the container 8,.

FIGS. 11- and 12 illustrate a set of dies employed for another modified form of circularly-shaped container 8,, and which is substantially similar to the container B,. The container 3,, is circular in horizontal cross section and comprises a cover member C, which is heat sealed to a receptacle R in the manner as shown in FIG. 12. The container 8,, is preferably formed in the same manner as the container B, and is constructed to the same material as the container 8,.

The receptacle R:, which is generally-cylindrical in horizontal cross section includes an annular skirt forming wall 132. The receptacle R is integrally provided along its upper margin with an annular outwardly struck hp 133, which merges into an annularly fonned downwardly struck n'm forming flange 134 substantially as shown in FIG. 11. The downwardly struck flange 134 is spaced from the skirt-forming wall 132 by a distance which is slightly greater than twice the thickness of the flange 134 and thereby forms a downwardly opening annular groove 135. Furthermore, the flange 134 is substantially parallel to the skirt-forming-wall 132. Thus, it can be seen that as the skirt-forming. wall 132 has a downwardly converging taper, the flange 134 also projects downwardly in parallel relationship thereto. It is to be noted that the flange 134 is slightly longer with respect to the overall vertical dimension of the receptacle R than the flange 102 was with respect to the overall vertical dimension of the receptacle R,. The flange 134 is also longer than the similar flange 118 in the receptacle R of the container B I The cover member C which is also cylindrical in horizontal cross section includes an annular skirt 136. The skirt 136 is provided along its lower margin with an annular outwardly struck hp 137, the latter forming an annular 138 on its underside and which is supported on the upper surface of the lip 133 when the cover member C, is sealed to the receptacle R substantially in the manner as shown in FIG. 12. The hp 137 is integrally fonned witha downwardly struck rim forming flange 139 which is slightly longer than the flange 134. In this connection, it should also be noted that the flange 139 is longer than the flange 123 of the container B The flange 139 is sized to snugly engage the exterior surface of the flange 134 in frictional contact when the cover member C, is disposed upon the receptacle R in the manner as shown in FIG. 11. The flanges 134, 139 are of sufficient length to have relatively free terminal portions which are capable of being heated to a temperature wherethey-become flexible and are upwardly struck into the groove 135. In the sealing operation to be hereinafter described, the terminal portions of the flanges 134, 139 are sealed in the annular groove 135 to form a perfect liquidtight seal between the cover member C and the receptacle R The cover member C is sealed to the receptacle R, in a manner which is similar to the method employed in sealing the cover member C, to the receptacle R,. Similar female and male dies M and N respectively are also employed. As indicated above, the flanges 134, 139 in the container 8,, are longer than the same flanges in the container 8,. When the two dies M N, are forced together, the flanges 134, 139 are urged upwardly into the groove 135. In the case of the container 8,, the flanges were substantially vertically disposed so that in effect, the flanges were U-shaped after the sealing operation. In the case of the container 8;, the flanges 134, 139 being substantially longer, are bent over so that they are substantially horizontally disposed. In effect, the free terminal portions of the flanges 134, 139 are rotated approximately 270 and the free ends thereof point toward the vertical portions of the flanges 134, 139.

Again, it should be recognized that the two flanges 134, 139 are not fused through a heat sealing operation. It is the pressure applied to the cover member C in combination with the heat causing both of the flanges to become readily deformable which causes each of the flanges to curl in the form of this annular bead. However, it should be recognized that the bead nevertheless provides a fluidtight seal between the cover member C, and the receptacle -R,,. It is to be noted by reference to FIG. 12 that both of the flanges 134, 139 are concentrically turned inwardly and curled and this curl forms a mechanical airtight connection between each of the sections. The bead between the two sections is substantially annular in transverse cross section and thereby affords a smooth substantially round free edge having the advantage of affording an especially pleasing finished appearance and which is comfortable when grasped by a users fingers.

The cover member C is sealed to the receptacle R, is a manner which is somewhat similar to the method employed in sealing the cover member C, to the receptacle R,. Again, a mechanical seal rather than a heat seal is formed between the cover member and the receptacle. However, it should be recognized that a heat seal could be formed as well in a manner similar to the method employed with the container 13,. The cooperating dies which are employed to seal the cover member C to the receptacle R are also more fully illustrated in FIGS. 11 and 12, where FIG. 11 shows the dies in the separated position and FIG. 12 shows the dies in the fully engaged position. These dies M, and N, are also mounted on the apparatus A in the same manner as the dies M, and N, respectively.

The cooperating dies illustrated in FIGS. 11 and 12 generally comprise a female die M, which cooperates with a male die N,,. The dies M N, are also urged together to force the cover member C, into intimate contact with the upper margin of the receptacle R and furthermore, urge the receptacle R, and cover member C disposed thereon into intimate contact with the female die M The female die M is defined by a substantially frustoconically shaped interior sidewall 140 having an enlarged substantially cylindrical upper end portion 141. The end portion 141 has an arcuate top wall 142 which merges into a generally downwardly and inwardly sloping intermediate wall 143 and extending between the intermediate wall 143 and the frustoconically shaped sidewall 140 is a lower arcuate surface 144, which is concave upwardly in shape and integrally merges into an upwardly extending relatively sharp edge 148 at the point of connection with the sidewall 140.

The male die N is substantially circular in horizontal cross section and has a rounded S-shaped lower interior wall 146 which engages the lip 137 of the cover member C and which integrally merges at its lower end into a downwardly extending relatively sharp guide flange 147.

The male die N is urged into contact with the upper surface of the cover member C, and the arcuate surface 144 of the die N engages the lip 137 of the cover member C in the manner as in FIG. 11. The female die M is substantially circular and provided with a hollow portion so that it accommodates the receptacle R,, in the manner as illustrated in FIG. 12. When the two dies M N are urged together in a sealing position," that is the position as illustrated in FIG. 12, the flange 139 will become disposed over and lie in-facewise engagement ,with the flange 134. The heating element 51 will create sufficient heat to bring the two flanges 134 and 139 to the desired postforming temperature. It has been found in connection with the present invention that the material in the flanges 134, 139 should be heated to approximately 210 to 240F. for the postforming operation At this temperature range, the plastic material is sufficiently above the low-softening range and furthermore, sufficiently below the reorientation temperature of 225 to 260 F. for the particular type of material employed. It has been found that within this temperature range of 210 to 240 F. approximately 6-10 seconds of preheating are desirable before the postforming operation. During the postforming operation, the flanges 134, 139 are both bent inwardly and forced into the downwardly opening groove 135 in the manner as illustrated in FIG. 12. The postforming operation takes place in the matter of a fraction of a second so that the reorientation of the plastic material does not take place. The two dies M N are moved toward each other in the postfonning operation at a rate of speed which prevents overheating and possible shrinking and undesired curling of either of the flanges 134, 139.

Again, it should be recognized that the two flanges 134, 139 are not fused through a heat sealing operation. It is the pressure applied to the cover member in combination with the neat causing both of the flanges to become readily deformable which causes each of the flanges to curl in the form of this annular bead. However, it should be recognized that the bead nevertheless provides a fluidtight seal between the cover member C and the Receptacle R,,. It is to be noted by reference to FIG. 12 that both of the flanges 134, 139 are concentrically turned inwardly and curled and this curl forms a mechanical airtight connection between each of the sections. The bead between the two sections is substantially annular in transverse cross section and thereby affords a smooth substantially round free edge having the advantage of affording an especially pleasing finished appearance and which is comfortable when grasped by a user's fingers.

FIGS. 13 and 14 illustrate a set of dies for sealing another modified form of circularly shaped container B, and which is similar to the previously described. containers B,-B,,. The container 8, is circular in horizontal cross section and comprises a cover member C, which is heat sealed to a receptacle R,, in the manner as shown in FIG. 14. The container B, is formed in the same manner as the container B, and moreover, is constructed of the same material as the container 13,. While the container B, is illustrated as being heat sealed, it should be recognized that the cover member C, can be mechanically sealed to the receptacle R, in the same manner as the cover member C, was sealed to the receptacle R, in the container 13,. The receptacle R,, which is generally cylindrical in horizontal cross section includes an annular skirt-forming wall 148. The receptacle R, is integrally provided along its upper margin with an annular outwardly struck lip 149, which merges into an annularly formed downwardly struck rim forming flange ARR substantially as shown in FIG. 13. The downwardly struck flange 150 is spaced from the skirt-forming wall 148 by a distance which is approximately equal to twice the thickness of the flange 150 and thereby forms a downwardly opening annular groove 151. Furthermore, the flange 150 is substantially parallel to the skirt-forming wall 148. Thus, it can be seen that as the skirt-forming wall 148 has a downwardly converging taper, the flange 150 also projects downwardly in parallel relationship thereto. It is to be noted that the flange 150 has substantially the same length as the flange 107 in the receptacle R,.

The cover member C, which is also cylindrical in horizontal cross section includes an annular skirt 152. The skirt 152 is provided along its lower margin with an annular outwardly struck lip 153, the latter forming an annular shoulder surface 154 on its underside and which is supported on the upper surface of the lip 149 when the cover member C, is scaled to the receptacle R, substantially in the manner as shown in FIG. 14. The lip 153 is integrally formed with a downwardly struck rim forming flange 155 which is slightly longer than the flange 150. The flange 155 is sized to snugly engage the exterior surface of the flange 150 in frictional contact when the cover member C, is disposed upon the receptacle R, in the manner as shown in FIG. 13. The flange 155 is of sufficient length to have a relatively free terminal portion which is capable of being heated to a temperature where it becomes flexible and is upwardly struck into the groove 151. In the sealing operation to be hereinafter described, the terminal portion of the flange 155 is sealed in the annular groove 151 to form a perfect liquidtight seal between the cover member C, and the receptacle R,.

The cover member C, is heat sealed to the receptacle R, in a manner which is somewhat similar to the method employed in sealing the cover member C to the receptacle R The cooperating dies which are employed to seal the cover member C, to the receptacle R, are also more fully illustrated in FIGS. 13 and 14 where FIG. 13 shows the dies in the separated position and FIG. 14 shows the dies in the fully engaged position. The dies are also mounted on the work table 2.

The cooperating dies illustrated in FIGS. 13 and 14 generally comprise a female die M, which cooperates with a male die N,. The dies M,, N, are also urged together to force the cover member C, into intimate contact with the upper margin of the receptacle R, and furthermore, urge the receptacle R, and cover member C, disposed thereon into intimate contact with the female die M,. The female die M is formed with a frustoconically shaped interior sidewall 156 which matches the skirt-forming wall 148 of the receptacle R,. The female die M, is also formed with an enlarged head portion 157, which has an upper inclined wall 158 which matches an inclined wall 159 on the male die N,. The inclined wall 158 merges into a generally upward opening, U-shaped groove 160 with a downwardly sloping intermediate wall 161. The intermediate wall 161 merges into a lower arcuate surface 162 which is concave upwardly in shape and integrally merges into an upwardly extending relatively flat sidewall 163. The U- shaped groove 160 is spaced from the frustoconically sidewall 156 by a flat top wall 164 in the manner as illustrated in FIG. 13. An annular heat insulating member 165 is secured to the wall 156 and protects the skirt-forming wall 148 of the receptacle R, during the sealing operation.

The male die N, is similar to the male die N and also has lower S-shaped wall 166 which engages the exterior surface of the lip 153. The S-shaped wall 166 integrally merges into a downwardly projecting lower edge 166, which in turn forms the lower margin of the wall'159, in the manner as illustrated in FIG. 13.

The male die N, is urged into contact with the upper surface of the cover member C, and the S-shaped wall 166 engages the exterior surface of the lip 149 in the manner as illustrated in FIG. 13. The female die M, is substantially circular and is provided with a hollow portion so that it accommodates the receptacle R, in the manner as illustrated in FIG. 14. When the two dies M N are urged together in a sealing position," that is the position as illustrated in FIG. 14, the flange 155 will become disposed over and lie in facewise engagement with the flange 150.

The heating element 51 will createsuffrcient heat to bring the two flanges 150, 155 to the desired postforming temperature. It has been found in connection with the present invention that the material in the flanges 150, 155 should be heated to approximately 210 to 240 for the initial forming operation. At this temperature range, the plastic material is sufficiently heated above the low-softening range. Furthermore, it is sufficiently below the reorientation temperature of 225 to 260 F. for this particular type of material employed. It has been found that within this temperature range of 210 to 240 F approximately 4-6 seconds of preheating are desirable before the postforming operation. Thereafter, the temperature is raised to a temperature above 260 F. or above the orientation temperature for the particular material employed. During the postforming operation, the flange 155 is bent inwardly and forced into the downwardly opening groove 151 in the manner as illustrated in FIG. 14. However, the temperatures of the flanges have been raised to a point above the reorientation temperature of the material and consequently a fusion is attained. The plastic material actually melts slightly so that the molecules of each of the flanges will rnix forming an actual fusion of the two flanges into a unitary flange in the manner as illustrated in FIG. 14. I

By reference to FIG. 14, it can be seen that the free edge portion of the flange 155 which has been softened is urged into the groove 151 so that it is in a substantially upwardly struck vertical position. Furthermore, the free edge portion of the flange 155 is spaced from the exterior wall of the receptacle R by a distance which is approximately to the thickness of the flange 155 and also engages the interior wall of the flange 150. It should be recognized that while a heat seal is performed, a mechanical seal of the type employed in the container 18 could also be used to obtain a fluidtight connection between the cover member C and the receptacle R FIGS. -17 illustrate the set of .dies and method employed for sealing two-piece container sets B which are noncircular and preferably rectangular in horizontal cross section. The container 18 is similarly formed with nestable cover members C and nestable receptacles R The container B is formed in the same manner as any ofthe previously described containers and of the same material.

The receptacle R which is generally rectangular in horizontal cross section includes four upwardly and outwardly diverging sidewalls 167 which are connected along their lower margins by a relatively flat bottom wall (not shown). In this connection, it should be understood that the container B of the present invention is not limited to receptacles having nonuniform cross-sectional areas and that each of the sidewalls 167 could be relatively vertical, thereby forming containers having uniformly sized cross-sectional areas along their entire length. Each of the sidewalls 167 is provided along its upper margin with annular outwardly extending horizontal lips 168 which integrally merge into .downwardly extending rim-forming flanges 169. The flanges 169 extend in a direction which is parallel to each of thematchingwalls 167 and are spaced from the walls 167 .by a distance which is approximate ly equal to'the thickness of the flanges 169 thereby forming an annular groove 170.

The cover member C which is similarly rectangular in horizontal cross section is formed with four upwardly and inwardly converging sidewalls 171, which are connected along their upper margins by a relatively flat top wall (not shown). The four sidewalls 171 integrally merge into outwardly extending relatively flat sidewall portions 172, which are located at a greater dihedral angle than the sidewalls 171 and integrally merge into upwardly opening U-shaped reinforcing channels 173. The reinforcing channels 133 consist of a downwardly extending wall 174, which integrally merges into the lower end of the sidewall portions 172 and a contact wall 175, which is spaced from the wall 174 and connected by a bight portion 176. The contact wall 175 integrally merges into an outwardly extending annular lip 177 which in turn. integrally merges into a downwardly extending rim-forming flange 178, thereby forming a downwardly opening U-shaped channel 179.

By further reference to FIG. 15, it can be seen that the distance between the exterior surface of the wall 175 and the interior surface of the flange l78 is substantially equal to the width of the U-shaped groove and the combined thickness of the wall 167 and the flange 169 so that when the cover member C is disposed upon the receptacle R the undersurface of the lip I77 bears against the upper surface of the horizontal lip 168, the flange 178 engages the outer surface of the flange 169 and the U-shaped reinforcing channel 173 fits snugly within the upper open end of the receptacle R,, where the exterior surface of the engaging wall 175 snugly engages the interior surface of the wall 167 along its upper margin. The flange 169 is spaced from the sidewall 167 by a distance which is approximately equal 'to the thickness of the flange 178, and the length of the flange 178 is sufiicient so that it can be heated and tucked into the area formed by the groove 170 and permanently heat sealed therein.

The cover member C is sealed to the receptacle R,, by use of the male and female dies N M,, respectively as illustrated in FIGS. 15 to 17. The dies M and N,, are also mounted on the apparatus A in the same manner as the dies M and N respectively.

The male die N is substantially rectangular in horizontal cross section and includes a relatively vertical interior wall 180 and a downwardly and inwardly inclined exterior wall 181. The interior wall 180 integrally merges into a rectangularly shaped downwardly extending projection 182 having a bottom face 183 and an outwardly presented flat face 184. The flat face 184 in turn, merges into a downwardly facing upper wall 185 and which is connected through a relatively sharp marginal edge 186 to the inclined exterior wall 181.

The female die M includes four downwardly converging sidewalls 187 which engage the sidewalls 167 of the receptacle R The sidewalls 187 integrally merge into an upper end portion 188'which is formed by a downwardly inclined upper guide surface 189, the latter integrally merging into a downwardly extending intermediate portion 190. By further reference to FIGS. 15 and 16, it can be seen that the intermediate portion 190 merges into an arcuate lower surface 191 which is concave upwardly in shape. The surface 191 integrally merges into an upwardly extending relatively sharp marginal edge 192 substantially as shown in FIG. 15. Surrounding the female die M is the retaining ring 52 which carries the electrically operated heating element 51.

The male die N is urged into contact with the upper surface of the cover member C and the projection 182 will extend into the upwardly opening U-shaped reinforcing channel 173. The female die M is substantially circular and provided with a hollow portion so that it accommodates the receptacle R in the manner as illustrated in FIG. 16. When the two dies M N are urged together in a sealing position," that is the position as illustrated in FIG. 16, the flange 178 will become disposed over and lie in facewise engagement with the flange 169.

The heating element 51 will create sufficient heat to bring the two flanges 178, 169 to the desired postforrning temperature. It has been found in connection with the present invention that the material in the flanges 169, 178 should be heated to approximately 2l0240 F. for the initial forming operation. At this temperature range, the plastic material is sufficiently heated above lowsoftening range. Furthermore, it is sufficiently below the reorientation temperature of 225 to 260 F. for this particular type of material employed. It has been found that within this temperature range of 210 to 240 F., approximately 4 to 6 seconds of preheating are desirable before the postforming operation. Thereafter, the temperature is raised to a temperature above 260 F. or above the orientation temperature for the particular material employed.

During the postforming operation, the flange 178 is bent inwardly and forced intothe downwardly opening groove 170 in the manner as illustrated in FIG. 17. However, the temperatures of the flanges have been raised to a point above the reorientation of the material and consequently a fusion is attained. The plastic material actually melts slightly so that the molecules of each of the flangeswill mix forming an actual fusion of the two flanges into a unitary structure in the manner as illustrated in FlG. 17.

It should be recognized that a mechanical seal could also have been formed without the actual fusion between the two flanges. This type of seal would have been similar to the seal attained in the container 8,.

it can be seen by reference to FIG. 16 that the projection 182 will engage the upwardly opening U-shaped reinforcing channel 173 and thereby prevent collapsing of the sidewalls 174, 175 forming part of the cover member C The horizontal lips 168 are sized so that they fit snugly within the downwardly opening U-shaped channel 179 in which manner the surface of the contact wall 175 engages the interior surface of the wall 167 along their upper margin. In this manner, both the cover member C and the receptacle R are prevented from collapsing when pressure from the male die N is applied to the cover member C F168. 18 and 19 illustrate a set of dies used for sealing a modified form of rectangularly shaped container B which generally comprises a cover member C and a receptacle R The container B is formed in the same manner and of the same material as the container 3,. While the container B is illustrated as being mechanically sealed, it should be recognized that the cover member C can be heat sealed to the receptacle R in the same manner as the cover member C was sealed to the receptacle R in the container B The receptacle R which is generally rectangular in horizontal cross section includes four upwardly and outwardly diverging sidewalls 193. In this connection, it should be understood that the container B of the present invention is also not limited to receptacles having nonuniform cross-sectional areas and that each of the sidewalls 193 could be relatively vertical, thereby forming containers having uniformly sized cross-sectional areas along their entire length. Each of the sidewalls 193 is provided along it upper margin with annular outwardly extending horizontal lips 194 which integrally merge into downwardly extending rim-forming flanges 195. The flanges 195 extend in a direction which is parallel to each of the matching sidewalls 193 and are spaced from the walls 193 by a distance which is slightly greater than twice the thickness of the flange 195, thereby forming an annular groove 196.

The cover member C which is similarly rectangular in horizontal cross section is formed with four upwardly and inwardly converging sidewalls 197 which are connected along their upper margins by a relatively flat top wall (not shown). The four sidewalls 197 integrally merge into outwardly extending relatively flat sidewall portions 198 which are located at a greater dihedral angle than the sidewalls 197 and integrally merge into upwardly opening U-shaped reinforcing channels 199. The reinforcing channels 199 consist of a downwardly extending wall 200 which integrally merges into the lower end of the sidewall portions 198 and a contact wall 201 which is spaced from the wall 200 and connected by a bight portion 202. The contact wall 201 integrally merges into an outwardly extending annular lip 203 which, in turn, integrally merges into a downwardly extending rim-forming flange 204, thereby forming a downwardly opening U-shaped channel 205.

By further reference to FIG. 18, it can be seen that the distance between the exterior surface of the wall 201 and the interior surface of the flange 204 is substantially equal to the width of the U-shaped groove 191 and the combined thickness of the wall 193 and the flange 195. When the cover member C is disposed upon the receptacle R the undersurface of the lip 203 bears against the upper surface of the horizontal lip 194 and the flange 204 engages the outer surface of the flange 195. The U-shaped reinforcing channel 199 fits snugly within the upper open end of the receptacle R where the exterior surface of the engaging wall 201 snugly engages the interior surface of the wall 193 along its upper margin. The flange 195 is spaced from the sidewall 193 by a distance which is slightly greater than twice the thickness of the flange 195.

The cover member C is sealed to the receptacle R in a manner which is substantially similar to the method employed in sealing the cover member C to the receptacle R,. The cooperating dies which are employed to seal the cover member C to the receptacle R comprises a cooperating male die N and female die M and are also more fully illustrated in H68. 18 and 19. FIG. 18 shows the dies in the separated position and FIG. 19 shows the dies in the fully engaged position.

The male die N is substantially rectangular in horizontal cross section and includes a relatively vertical interior wall 206 and a downwardly and inwardly inclined exterior wall 207. The interior wall 206 integrallymerges into a rectangularly shaped downwardly extending projection 208 having a bottom face 209 and an outwardly presented flat face 210. The flat face 210, in turn, merges into a downwardly facing upper wall 211 and which is connected, through a relatively sharp marginal edge 212 to the inclined exterior wall 207.

The female die M includes four downwardly converging sidewalls 213 which engage the sidewalls 193 of the receptacle R The sidewalls 213 integrally merge into an upper end portion 214 which is formed by a downwardly inclined upper guide surface 215, the latter integrally merging into a downwardly extending upwardly opening U-shaped groove 216. The U-shaped groove 216 is spaced from the sidewall 213 by a flat top wall 217. An annular heat insulating member 218 is secured to the wall 213 and protects the skirt 193 of the receptacle R during the sealing operation. Surrounding the female die M is a retaining ring 52 which carries the electrically operated heating element 51.

The male die N is urged into contact with the upper surface to the cover member C and the projection 208 will extend into the upwardly opening U-shaped reinforcing channel 199. The female die M is substantially rectangular and provided with a hollow portion so that it accommodates the receptacle R in the manner as illustrated in H6. 19. When the two dies M N are urged together in a sealing position, that is the position as illustrated in FIG. 19, the flange 204 will become disposed over and lie in facewise engagement with the flange 145.

Furthermore, the flanges 195, 204 are brought into intimate contact with the heated female die M The flange 204 then engages the upper guide surface 215 and is guided into contact with the exterior wall of the U-shaped groove 216. The terminal margin of the flange 204 is heated to a temperature where it is readily deformable as shown in HQ 19, and continued downward pressure on the cover member C will cause the readily deformable free margin of the flange 204 to curl along the lower surface of the groove 216 until it is forced into the groove 196 of the receptacle R The heating element 51 will create sufficient heat to bring the flanges 195, 204 to the desired postforrning temperature. Again, it has been found in connection with the present invention that the material in the flanges 195, 204 should be heated to approximately 2l0 to 240 F. for the postforming operation. This temperature is suffrciently below reorientation temperature of 225 to 260 F. for the particular type of material employed. In effect, the free edge portion of the flange 204 which has been softened is urged into the groove 196 so that it is held in a substantially upwardly struck vertical position. Furthermore. the free edge portion of the flange 204 is spaced from the exterior wall of the receptacle R by a distance which is approximately equal to the thickness of the flange 204 and also frictionally engages the interior wall of the flange 195. Again, the postforming operation takes place in a matter of a fraction of a second so that the orientation of the plastic material does take place. The two dies are moved toward each other in the postforming operation at a rate of speed which prevents overheating and possible shrinking and undesired curling of the flange. Consequently, a fluidtight mechanical seal is thereby attained.

It can be seen, by reference to FIG. 19, that the projection 208 will engage the upwardly opening U-shaped reinforcing channel 199 and thereby prevent collapsing of the sidewalls 197, forming part of the cover member C The horizontal lips 194 are sized so that they fit snugly within the downwardly U- shaped channel 205 in which manner the surface of the contact wall 201 engages the interior surface of the walls 193 along their upper margin. In this manner, both the cover member C and the receptacle R are prevented from collapsing when pressure from the male die N is applied to the cover member C FIGS. 20 and 21 illustrate the dies employed in another modified form of rectangularly shaped container 8, which comprises a cover member C and a receptacle'R The container B is illustrated with a heat seal as shown in FIG. 21. The container B7 is formed in the same manner as the container B and moreover of the same material as the container 3;. While the container B, is illustrated with a heat seal, it should be recognized that a'mechanical seal could beemployed as well in order to attain a fluidtight connection between the cover member C, and .the receptacle R The receptacle R which is generally rectangular in horizontal cross section includes four inwardly and outwardly diverging sidewalls 219. In this connection, it should be understood that the container 8, of the present invention is also not limited to receptacles having nonuniform cross-sectional areas and that each of the sidewalls 219 could be relatively vertical, thereby forming containers having uniformly sized cross-sectional areas along their entire length. Each of the sidewalls 219 is provided along its upper margin with annular outwardly extending horizontal lips 220 which integrally merge into downwardly extending rim-forming flanges 221. The flanges 221 extend in a direction which is parallel to each of the matching sidewalls 219 and are spaced from the walls 219 by a distance which is slightly greater than twice the thickness of the flanges 221, thereby forming an annular groove 222.

The cover member (3,, which is similarly rectangular in horizontal cross section is formed with four upwardly and inwardly converging sidewalls 223, which are connected along their upper margins by a relatively flat top wall (not shown). The four sidewalls 223 integrally merge into outwardly extending relatively flat sidewall portions 224 which are located at a greater dihedral angle than the sidewalls 223 and integrally merge into upwardly opening U-shaped reinforcing channels 225. The reinforcing channels 225 consist of a downwardly extending wall 226 which integrally merges into the lower end of the sidewall portions 224 and a contact wall 227 which is spaced from the wall 226 and connected by a bight portion 228. The contact wall 227 integrally merges into an outwardly extending annular lip 229 which, in turn, integrally merges into a downwardly extending rim-forming flange 230, thereby forming a downwardly opening U-shaped channel 231.

By further reference to FIG. 20, it can be seen that the distance between the exterior surface of the wall 227 and the interior surface of the flange 230 is substantially equal to the width of the U-shaped groove 222 and the combined thickness of the wall 219 and the flange 221. When the cover member C is disposed upon the receptacle R-,, the undersurface of the lip 229 bears against the upper surface of the horizontal lip 220, the flange 230 engages the outer surface of the flange 221 and the U-shaped reinforcing channel 225 fits snugly within the upper open end of the receptacle R where the exterior surface of the contact wall 227 snugly engages the interior surface of the wall 219 along its upper margin. The flange 221 is spaced from the sidewall 219 by a distance which is slightly greater than twice the thickness of the flange 221. It should be recognized that the flanges 221, 230 of the container B7 are longer than the respective flanges 195, 204 in the container B The cover member C is-sealed to the receptacle R in a manner which is similar to the method employed in sealing the cover member C to the receptacle R Female and male dies M N respectively are also employed and are substantially similar to the previously described dies M N and are, therefore, not described in detail herein.

When the two dies M N, are urged together in a sealing position, that is the position as illustrated in FIG. 21. the flange 230 will become disposed over and lie in facewise engagement with the flange 221.

The heating element 51 will create sufiicient heat to bring the two flanges 221, 230 to the desired postforming temperature. It has again been found in connection with the present invention that the material in the flanges 221, 230 should be heated to approximately 2l0240 F. for the initial forming operation. At this temperature range, the plastic material is sufficiently heated above low-softening range. Furthermore, it is sufficiently below the reorientation temperature of 225 to 260 F. for this particular type of material employed. It has been found that within this temperature range of 210 to 240 F., approximately 4 to 6 seconds of preheating are desirable before the postforming operation. Thereafter, the temperature is raised to a temperature above 260 F. or above the reorientation temperature for' the particular material employed. During the postforming operation, the flanges 221, 230 are bent inwardly and forced into the downwardly opening groove 222 in the manner asillustrated in FIG. 21. However, the temperatures of the flanges have been raised to a point above the orientation of the material and consequently a fusion is attained. The plastic material actually melts slightly so that the molecules of each of theflanges will mix forming an actual fusion of the two flanges into a unitary structure in the manner as illustrated in FIG. 21.

It should be recognized that a mechanical seal could also have been formed without the actual fusion between the two flanges. This type of seal would have been similar to the seal attained in the container B Each embodiment of the apparatus herein contained employs a male die and a female die, the former of which is more specifically referred to in the art as a punch. The apparatus of the present invention is also adapted for use with a positioning punch and a curling punch. The positioning punch would be equivalent to any of the male dies described herein which also presently serve as a curling punch. However, it is also possible to employ a separate punch which will function as the curling punch. In this event, the positioning punch is shifted away from the cover member after the cover member has been placed in contact with the receptacle and the flanges thereof in contact with the heated female die. The curling punch would function somewhat as a ram and would merely contain a flat bottom face designed to force the two flanges on the receptacle and cover member into intimate contact. Again, the curling must be performed at a constant velocity as in each of the aforementioned embodiments of the present invention. A constant velocity is critical inasmuch as the plastic material will only flow at a certain rate and if the velocity is too fast, the plastic material will.wn'nkle. It has been found that in the curling operation, a pressure of approximately 30 psi. has been found to be most suitable. The apparatus A of the present invention could easily be adapted to this type of structure by the addition of another station to perform the curling operation with a curling punch.

it will be appreciated by those skilled in the art that although the method of the present invention and the dies set forth herein are designed to seal cover members to receptacles of the type disclosed herein, this is really by way of illustration and not by way of limitation and that the present invention is also well adapted for the production of other containers which have separate nestable portions.

it should be understood that changes and modifications in the form, construction, arrangement and combination of parts presently described and pointed out may be made and substituted for those herein shown without departing from the nature and principle of our invention.

We claim:

1. Apparatus for permanently sealing a cover member having an outwardly flaring lip and a downturned flange along its outer margin to a receptacle having an outwardly flaring lip and downturned flange forming a groove along the upper margin of the receptacle; said apparatus comprising drive means, a wheel operatively connected to said drive means for rotation thereby in a series of substantially equal partial revolutions, at least four work stations disposed around the periphery of said wheel, said wheel including a rim having openings therethrough spaced from each other around the periphery of said wheel in such position that at the end of each of said partial revolutions each of said stations has a respective one of said openings disposed thereat, dispensing means at the first of said stations for introducing a receptacle into each of said openings when said opening is disposed at said one station, means at the second of said stations in the direction of rotation of said wheel, operable by said drive means in timed relation to said rotation of said wheel for disposing a cover member on said container in a closurewise position when the container is disposed at said second station, means at the third of said stations in the direction of rotation of said wheel for turning said flange on said cover member inwardly toward and within the groove of the receptacle when said receptacle is disposed at said third station, heating means for heating the terminal edge portion of the flange on said cover member during movement of said wheel from said third station to said fourth station to a sufficiently high temperature to render said terminal edge portion readily deformable and sealed in the groove of said receptacle, and means at the fourth of said work stations in the direction of rotation of said wheel for discharging the sealed receptacle and cover member outwardly from said apparatus when said receptacle is disposed at said fourth station.

2. Apparatus as defined in claim 1, and in which said openings in said rim have female die means in one end portion thereof, and in which the means at said third station includes a plunger reciprocable by said drive means into and out of engagement with said cover member when said cover members are disposed on said containers at said third station.

3. Apparatus as defined in claim 1, and in which said openings in said rim have female die means in one end portion thereof, and in which said female die means includes an enlarged portion and an inwardly sloping other portion, and in which the cover members are located so that portions of the flanges on the cover members are disposed in juxtaposition to said enlarged portions of said dies, and the terminal edge portions of said flanges are disposed in abutting engagement with said inwardly sloping portions of said female die means.

4. Apparatus as defined in claim 1, and in which said heating means are mounted in the rim of said wheel surrounding each of said openings in a position to heat said tenninal edge portions of said cover member to said sufficient temperature during movement of said container and cover member with said wheel from said third work station to said fourth work station.

5. The apparatus as defined in claim 1 and in which the means at the first work station for introducing a receptacle into each of the openings includes a movable arm, which removes the receptacles from the dispensing means and guides the same into said opening, said movable arm moving in timed relationship to the wheel through an are for a predetermined distance.

6. The apparatus as defined in claim 1, further characterized in that means is provided between the first and second work stations for introducing material into the container as it moves between the first and second work stations, said last named means including a movable arm which moves in timed relation to the wheel through an arc of a predetermined distance.

7. The apparatus as defined in claim 1, further characterized in that each of the receptacles are supported by a shiftable plate when disposed in the openings formed in said wheel, means for shifting said plate to a position where the upper margins of the receptacle are disposed above the heat- AREA ing means when the receptacle is moving between the first and third work stations, means for lowering the plate when the receptacle reaches the third station so the upper margins thereof are moved into intimate contact with the heating 5 means, and means for shifting the plate to a position where the receptacle is expelled from the opening when the receptacle has moved to the fourth work station in the direction of rotation of said wheel.

8. The apparatus of claim 1, further characterized in that the heating means is designed to heat the flange of said cover member to a temperature below the orientation temperature so that the flange on said cover member is disposed in the groove on said receptacle thereby forming a mechanical seal therebetween.

9. The apparatus of claim 1, further characterized in that the heating means is designed to heat the flange of said cover member to a temperature above the orientation temperature so that the flange on said cover member is disposed in the groove on said receptacle and fused to the flange on said receptacle thereby forming a heat seal therebetween.

10. Apparatus for permanently sealing a cover member having an outwardly flaring lip and a downturned flange along its outer margin to a receptacle having an outwardly flaring lip and downturned flange forming a groove along the upper margin of the receptacle; said apparatus comprising drive means, a wheel operatively connected to said drive means for rotation thereby in a series of partial revolutions, a plurality of work stations disposed around the periphery of said wheel. said wheel having openings therethrough spaced from each other around the periphery of said wheel in such position that at the end of each of said partial revolutions each of said stations has a respective one of said openings disposed thereat, means at one of said work stations for introducing a receptacle into each of said openings when said opening is disposed at said one station, means at a second of said stations in the direction of rotation of said wheel, for disposing a cover member on said container in a closurewise position, means at a third work station in the direction of rotation of said wheel for turning said flange on said cover member inwardly toward and within the groove of the receptacle, heating means for heating the terminal edge portion of the flange on said cover member during movement of said wheel toward a fourth work station to a sufficiently high temperature to render said terminal edge portion readily deformable and sealed in the groove of said receptacle, and means at the fourth of said work stations in the direction of rotation of said wheel for discharging the sealed receptacle and cover member outwardly from said apparatus.

11. Apparatus as defined in claim 10, and in which said openings have female die means in one end portion thereof, and in which the means at said third station includes a plunger reciprocable by said drive means into and out of engagement with said cover member when said cover members are disposed on said containers at said third station.

12. Apparatus as defined in claim 10, and in which said openings in said rim have female die means in one end portion thereof, and in which said female die means includes an enlarged portion and an inwardly sloping other portion, and in which the cover members are so located so that portions of the flanges on the cover members are disposed in juxtaposition to said enlarged portions of said dies, and the terminal edge portions of said flanges are disposed in abutting engagement with said inwardly sloping portions of said dies.

13. Apparatus as defined in claim 10, and in which said heating means are located to heat said terminal edge portions of said cover member to said sufficient temperature during movement of said container and cover member with said wheel from said third work station to said fourth work station.

14. The apparatus as defined in claim and in which the means at the first work station for introducing a receptacle into each of the openings includes a movable arm, which removes the receptacles from the dispensing means and guides the same into said opening, said movable arm moving in timed relationship to the wheel through an are for a predetermined distance.

15. The apparatus as defined in claim 10, further characterized in that means is provided between the first and second work stations for introducing material into the container as it moves between the first and second work stations, said last named means including a movable arm which moves in timed relation to the wheel through an arc of a predetermined distance.

16. The apparatus as defined in claim further characterized in that each of the receptacles are supported by a shiftable plate when disposed in the-openings formed in said wheel, means for shifting said plate to a position where the upper margins of the receptacle are disposed above the heating means when the receptacle is moving between the first and third work stations, means for lowering the plate when the receptacle reaches the third station 50 the upper margins thereof are moved into intimate contact with the heating means, and means for shifting the plate to a position where the receptacle is expelled from the opening when the receptacle has moved to the fourth work station in the direction of rotation of said wheel.

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3831344 *Jan 26, 1973Aug 27, 1974Aluminum Co Of AmericaContainer support in a capping machine
US4135347 *Oct 15, 1976Jan 23, 1979International Paper Co.Method and apparatus for producing a dispensing tube
US4159608 *Apr 28, 1978Jul 3, 1979Package Engineering CorporationBottling machine
US4319441 *Nov 3, 1980Mar 16, 1982The Coca-Cola CompanyAutomatic dispensing system
US4531342 *Sep 9, 1982Jul 30, 1985Wittenborgs Automatfabriker A/SCup dispenser for cups containing freshly made beverages
US4729206 *Aug 12, 1986Mar 8, 1988General Foods CorporationMethod and apparatus for filling and packaging a flowable product
US4751806 *Dec 8, 1986Jun 21, 1988Br drene Gram A/SProduction apparatus comprising a step-wise driven conveyor device
US5000345 *May 18, 1989Mar 19, 1991Pepsico Inc.Automated drinkmaker system
US5513096 *Jul 10, 1992Apr 30, 1996Connecticut Innovations, Inc.Multi-axis motion controller and lid dispenser
US5692359 *Dec 27, 1995Dec 2, 1997Connecticut Innovations, Inc.Lid dispenser
EP0198138A1 *Oct 29, 1985Oct 22, 1986General Foods CorporationMethod and apparatus for filling and packaging a flowable product
EP1319494A1 *Dec 10, 2002Jun 18, 2003RPC Packaging Holding B. V.Double-walled beaker and a method for producing same
Classifications
U.S. Classification53/282, 53/329.4
International ClassificationB29C57/12, B29C65/56, B65B7/28, B29C65/78, B29C65/80, B29C53/34, B29C65/18
Cooperative ClassificationB65D2543/00425, B29C65/567, B29C66/54, B29C57/12, B29C65/18, B65B7/2878, B65B7/285, B29C65/7882, B65D11/00, B29C66/8322, B65B7/2857, B29C65/80
European ClassificationB29C65/18, B29C66/54, B29C65/56H, B29C66/8322, B29C65/78M6B, B65B7/28F1, B29C65/80, B65B7/28F1A, B65B7/28F4, B29C57/12, B65D11/00