US 3595441 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 3,367,380 2/ 1968 Dickey 222/107 X 1,293,860 2/1919 Mock 222/92 3,269,575 8/1966 Hammes 215/41 3,306,483 2/1967 Bellafiorefl 215/99 3,319,684 5/1967 Calhoun 150/8 3,354,924 1 H1967 Birrell et al. ISO/.5 FOREIGN PATENTS 1,356,549 2/1964 France 222/107 Primary ExaminerRobert B. Reeves Assistant Examiner-Frederick R. Handren Att0rney-Allen D. Gutchess, Jr.
ABSTRACT: A single-use or one-way dispensing container is made of one piece of plastic material. The container is designed to be completely collapsed to facilitate dispensing of the contents and yet even in its partially or wholly collapsed state, the bottom remains flat so as to support the container continuously in an upright position. The spout of the container preferably is made with an integral cap portion connected to a spout portion by a web and designed so that the web can be severed to enable the cap portion to serve as a removable cap on the spout.
PATENTED JUL27 I971 SHEET 1 [IF 2 FIE-7- INVENTOR: HHBEHTM. EHUSJEAN.
PATENTED JUL27 IHYI SHEET 2 [1F 2 llllll. .lllllill TIE-l1- INVENTOR: FuBERTMGRusJEAN.
BY @a 'r 04a.
SINGLE-USE CONTAINER WITH DISPENSING SPOUT This invention relates to a container and specifically to a single-use container of plastic material.
The container according to the invention is designed to be made inexpensively so as to be practical for a single use, after which it is thrown away. The container can be used with a multiplicity of materials having pastelike characteristics, including such diversified materials as catsup, ointments, lubricants, toothpaste, and emulsions. Heretofore, paste dispensers have often been made of relatively expensive lead-alloy tubes. Such tubes have required cardboard protective containers for shipping and storage. Such is not necessary with the instant container. The container is particularly advantageous when used with foods such as catsup and mustard which are difflcult to dispense from glass or other rigid containers. Further, while plastic dispensers or containers are now used for catsup and mustard, they are relatively expensive and are designed for repeated use in order to be economical. When these plastic containers are refilled from a main source of supply such as a large catsup bottle, an unsanitary condition results from the residue remaining in the containers. Consequently, the reusable plastic dispenser is or soon will be prohibited from use in commercial establishments.
The plastic container according to the invention is designed to be collapsed by the consumer so as to easily dispense the contents therefrom. The container is scoredwith fold lines in a manner such that it can collapse substantially completely and yet the bottom of the container remains flat and capable of supporting the container in all degrees of collapse.
The container according to the invention also features an integral spout construction, preferably designed with a spout and cap formed as an integral one-piece member. A web portion connecting the spout and cap portions can be severed to enable the-cap portion to then serve as a removable cap for the spout. In another form, the integral spout is especially suited for production by means of an injection molding operation.
It is, therefore, a principal object of the invention to provide an improved single use plastic container.
Another object of the invention is to provide a collapsible plastic container which can be collapsed substantially fully, and yet have a bottom wallcapable of supporting the container even when collapsed.
A further object of the invention is to provide an improved container having a spout member consisting of an integral spout portion and cap portion which can be severed for use as a removable cap.
Still another object of the invention is to provide a container with an integral spout particularly designed for being produced by an injection-molding operation.
Other objects and advantages of the invention will be apparent from the following detailed description of preferred embodiments thereof, reference being made to the accompanying drawings in which: I i
FIG. I is an overall view in perspective of a single-use container embodying the invention;
FIG. 2 is a view similar to FIG. 1 of the container in a par tially collapsed state;
FIG. 3 is a view similar to FIG. I of the container in a fully collapsed state;
FIG. 4 is an enlarged front view in elevation of a spout member for the container of FIGS. 1-3;
FIG. 5 is a sectional view of the spout member of FIG. 4, taken along the line 5-5;
FIG. 6 is a front view similar to FIG. 4 showing a spout and cap produced by removing a web portion of the spout member;
FIG. 7 is a sectional side view in elevation of the spout and cap ofFIG. 6, taken along the line 7-7;
FIG. 8 is a front view in elevation of a slightly modified spout member;
FIG. 9 is a sectional view of a spout and cap made from the spout member of FIG. 8;
FIG. 10 is a view in perspective of a slightly modified container embodying the invention, shown in the position in which it is molded;
FIG. I1 is a sectional view through the upper portion of the container of FIG. 10 when filled and closed; and
FIG. 12 is an overall view in perspective of a slightly modified, single-use container embodying the invention and particularly adapted for production by injection molding.
Referring to the drawings, and more particularly to FIGS. I3, a single-use plastic container embodying the invention is indicated at 20. The container includes a top 22, a bottom 24, and four sidewalls designated 26, 28, 30 and 32. The opposed sidewalls 26 and 28 each have score or fold lines 34 and 36 extending perpendicularly to the longitudinal extend of the container 20 and spaced from the ends of the sidewalls a distance substantially equal to one-half the width of the other two opposed walls 30 and 32. The various score or fold lines described herein can be formed by small grooves located in the appropriate surface of the wall to facilitate bending or folding of the wall along the groove.
Each of the other two opposed sidewalls 30 and 32 also has transverse score or fold lines 38 and 40 extending perpendicularly to the longitudinal extend of the container and spaced from the ends of the sidewalls a distance equal to the spacing of the score lines 34 and 36, namely substantially one-half the width of the sidewalls 30 and 32. Each of the sidewalls 30 and 32 further has four diagonal fold or score lines 42, 44, 46, and 48 which extend from the corners of the walls 30 and 32 to central points 50 and 52 on the lines 38 and 40. In addition, the sidewalls 30 and 32 have longitudinal, central score or fold lines 54 which extend between the central points 50 and 52 on the score lines 38 and 40.
The specific arrangement of the score or fold lines on the sidewalls 26-32 enables the container 20 to be collapsed substantially fully, as shown in FIG. 3, as the contents are dispensed. This is accomplished essentially by squeezing the sidewalls 26 and 28 toward one another. Virtually all of the contents of the container 20 thereby are removed. In addition, the bottom wall 24 remains flat and perpendicular to the longitudinal extent of the container 20 during all degrees of collapse of the container. The container thereby will remain supported in an upright position by the bottom wall 24 at all times. This is particular advantage when the container is used on a table for the purpose of dispensing foods.
A spout member 56 preferably is integral with the top wall 22. As shown particularly in FIGS. 4-7, the spout member is relatively flat, being wide in a direction between the sidewalls 30 and 32 and narrow or thin in a direction between sidewalls 26 and 28. The spout member 56 includes a spout portion or section 58, a cap portion or section 60, and a web portion or section 62 therebetween, and integral therewith. The internal dimensions and shape of the cap section 60 are designed to enable the cap section to fit over and nest with the nozzle section 58 when the web section 62 is removed. To remove the section 62, the spout member 56 is simply cut by household scissors, for example, along a line 64 where the web section 62 meets with the spout section 58 and along a line 66 where the web section 62 generally meets with the cap section 60. Because the spout member 56 is flat, the web section 62 is relatively easy to remove by so cutting.
When the web section 62 is removed, a spout 68 is formed for dispensing the contents of the container 20 and a removable cap 70 is likewise formed fitting by a friction fit with the spout 68. With this arrangement, the cap and spout are formed in one piece without any further manufacturing operations. Further, there is no possibility of the cap being lost between the producer and the consumer.
An integral attachment loop or strap 72 can be molded with the spout member 56 and integrally connected to the spout section 58 and the cap section 60. Subsequently, the at tachment loop will always keep the cap and spout together.
Referring to FIGS. 8 and 9, a slightly modified spout similar to the spout member 56. In this instance, the spout member includes a spout section 74, a cap section 76, and a narrow web section 78. The web section 78 in this instance can be severed with a single cut, rather than be completely removed, to form a spout 80 and a cap 82. A lower edge portion 84 of the cap 82, constituting all or at least a substantial part of the web section 78, folds along the inner surface of the cap 82 when assembled with the spout 80 and facilitates sealing and holding the cap in place.
As shown in FIGS. and 11, a modified container 86 is similar in many respects to the container of FIGS. l-3 but has a top 88 made in two halves 90 and 92 each with a spout member half 94 and 96. The container 86 is molded in the position shown so that it can be injection molded in a two-part mold. After the container 86 is molded, it can be filled through the open top, with the two halves 90 and 92 then heat sealed to the vertical walls of the container and with the edges of the spout member halves 94 and 96 also heat sealed. The filled and heat sealed container is shown in FIG. 11.
Referring now to FIG. 12, a container 98 embodying the invention folds and collapses similarly to the container of FIGS. 13 but is specifically designed to be molded by an injection process. The body of the container in this instance has a bottom 100 which is integrally hinged at one edge to a sidewall of the container and is molded in the open position shown. After molding, the container is inverted and filled, with the bottom 100 then heat sealed to the edges of the sidewalls.
An integral spout member 102 is also a flat configuration and has a solid tip portion 104 which is designed to be cut to expose a slot for facilitating spreading of the contents. In this instance, a cap 106 is molded simultaneously with the spout and is connected by a strap or loop 108 which extends transversely to the spout member and is molded at the parting line of the mold halves. With this structural arrangement of the container, spout, cap, and strap, the entire assembly can be molded by a single-injection-molding step. After the container is filled, the heat sealing can also take place in a single step.
Various modifications of the above-described embodiments of the invention will be apparent to those skilled in the art, and it is to be understood that such modifications can be made without departing from the scope of the invention, if they are within the spirit and tenor of the accompanying claims.
l. A single-use dispensing container made in one piece and comprising a body of rectangular cross section, and including a flat bottom, a top, and four sides, two opposite sides each having two score lines extending perpendicular to the longitudinal extend of said body and spaced from the ends of said two sides each having two score lines extending perpendicular to the longitudinal extend of said body and spaced from the ends of said other two sides a distance substantially equal to onehalf the width of said other two sides, said other two sides each further having four diagonal score lines extending from the comers to points centrally of the adjacent perpendicular score lines of said other two sides, said other two sides each further having an additional, longitudinally extending central score line between the points of intersection of the diagonal score lines with the perpendicular score lines of said other two sides, whereby said body can be collapsed substantially fully by collapsing inwardly said other two sides with said bottom remaining flat to support said container in all degrees of collapse, said top having a spout extending upwardly therefrom.
2. A container according to claim 1 characterized further by said spout being wide in one direction between two of the sides and thin in the other direction between the other two sides.
3. A container according to claim 1 characterized by a cap cooperating with said spout and an attachment loop integrally connected between said cap and said spout.
4. A container according to claim 1 characterized further by said spout including a spout section, a cap section, and a web integral with the entire upper edge of said spout section and the entire lower edge of said cap section, said cap section being designed to nest with said spout section when said web is severed.
5. A container according to claim 4 characterized by an attachment loop integrally connected between said cap section and said spout section.
6. A container according to claim 1 characterized by said top being molded in two top halves attached to opposite sides of said container and said spout is molded in two halves each integrally connected to an edge portion of one of said top halves.
7. A container according to claim 1 characterized by said container being made by injection molding and said bottom being integrally attached to one ofsaid sides.
8. A container according to claim 7 characterized by said sp'out having a strap extending transversely therefrom and integrally connected thereto and a cap integrally connected to the outer end of said strap.
9. A single-use, disposable, dispensing container comprising a body of generally rectangular cross section, and including a flat bottom, a top, and four sides, each of two opposite sides having two score lines extending perpendicular to the longitudinal extent of said body and spaced near the ends of said two sides, said two opposite sides being flat between said score lines, each of the other two sides having two score lines extending perpendicular to the longitudinal extent of said body and spaced from the ends of said other two sides a distance substantially equal to the spacing of the first score lines from the ends of said two opposite sides, each of said other sides further having four diagonal score lines, two extending from comers formed by said bottom and said two opposite sides to a point centrally of the adjacent perpendicular score line of said other two sides, and two extending from corners formed by said top and said two opposite sides to a point centrally of the adjacent perpendicular score line of said other two sides, each of said other two sides further having an additional, longitudinally extending central score line connected between the points of intersection of the diagonal score lines with the perpendicular score lines of said other two sides, whereby said body can be collapsed by pushing inwardly said two opposite sides while remaining generally parallel with one another, and with said bottom remaining flat to support said container, said top having a spout extending upwardly therefrom, and a cap for closing off said spout.
10. A container according to claim 9 characterized by an integral attachment loop connected between said cap and said spout.
11. A container according to claim 9 characterized by said spout comprising a main spout section, said cap comprising a main cap section integral with said spout section and having an internal size and shape to fit with said spout section, and web means integral with said spout section and said cap sec tion to maintain them in spaced, continuous relationship until said web means is severed prior to dispensing the contents of the container to enable said cap section to fit on said spout section to serve as said cap.