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Publication numberUS3618848 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 9, 1971
Filing dateNov 17, 1969
Priority dateNov 17, 1969
Also published asCA954831A1
Publication numberUS 3618848 A, US 3618848A, US-A-3618848, US3618848 A, US3618848A
InventorsThomas Dominic Pawlowski, Richard Gene Mathison
Original AssigneeAmerican Can Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Paperboard sleeve for trays
US 3618848 A
Abstract  available in
Images(4)
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [72] inventors Thomas Dominic Pawlowski Neenah; Richard Gene Mathison, Larsen, both of Wis. [2|] Appl. No 877,390 [22] Filed Nov. 17, 1969 [45] Patented Nov. 9, 197! [73] Assignee American Can Company New York, N.Y.

[541 PAPER BOARD SLEEVE FOR TRAYS 5 Claims, 22 Drawing Figs.

[521 0.8. Ci 229/39 R, 206/4514. 229/51 TS. 229/40 [5 l] Int. Cl 865d 5/10 [50] Field of Search 229/37 R. 39 R. 39 B. 34 R, 34 B; 206/45. 14, 45.31

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2.274.253 2/1942 Howell 206/4531 X 2.960,!49 ll/l960 Throssel $330,465 7/1967 Davidsonetal.

Primary Examiner-Joseph R. Leclair Assistant Examiner-Steven E. Lipman Anorneys- Robert P. Auber George P. Ziehmer and Frank 8.

Charlton 229/34 X 206/45. l4 X ABSTRACT: A substantially open-ended paperboard sleeve for a tapered tray containing a ready-to-cook comestible. having a new end construction designed to hold the tray in place in the sleeve. The end construction includes a restraining panel biased against an end panel of the tray. hingedly attached to the bottom panel of the sleeve and extending inwardly of the sleeve. The end construction also includes two locking panels hingedly connected to the side panels of the sleeve and extending inwardly of the sleeve. The restraining panel is provided with a pair of fingers. extending inwardly of the sleeve and in cradling relationship to the end panel of the tray. Each locking panel overlies a respective finger thereby preventing the restraining panel from moving outwardly of the sleeve and away from the tray.

PAPER BOARD SLEEVE FOR TRAYS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION In recent years, packages of frozen food capable of being taken from the home freezer and placed directly into a home oven for heating and serving have gained wide consumer acceptance. Typically, such frozen, heat-and-serve packages have included an aluminum, generally rectangular tray or dish containing the frozen comestible with a paperboard or foil top closure. The sidewalls of such trays have typically been tapered outwardly from the bottom to the top for ease of filling. In addition, the trays have typically been provided with an annular flange about the top thereof which has been crimped about the paperboard or foil closure, thereon, to create a greater overall tapered effect in the finished tray.

Unfortunately, the above described tapered gray and closure thereon have usually been relatively susceptible to damage from the ordinary abuse associated with transporting these packages from the factory to the grocers freezer. Furthermore, there has been an additional problem associated with such trays and closures due to the relatively small area available for printed matter and decoration thereon.

To solve these problems, such trays have been packed in decorated paperboard boxes, thereby affording some added protection against abuse to the tray and also allowing for convenient printing and adequate presentation of printed matter on the tray package. The consumer, of course, removes the tray from the decorated box before heating the contents thereof.

However, such paperboard packageshave had several serious commercial drawbacks; viz, the consumer could not see the aluminum tray within the closed package and was therefore suspicious as to the exact size thereof; and the tray tended to bounce around in the package, thereby creating further doubts in the consumer's mind as to the size and nature of the contents of thepackage. These drawbacks have tended to discourage the sale of frozen, heat-and-serve trays in paperboard packages.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION In order to overcome the drawbacks in previous paperboard packages for tapered trays, as indicated in the Background of the Invention, this invention relates to a substantially openended paperboard sleeve for a tapered tray, having a unique end construction including a restraining panel. The restraining panel is biased against an end panel of the tray, is hingedly attached to the bottom panel of the sleeve and extends inwardly of the sleeve. The restraining panel is provided with a pair of spaced fingers, extending inwardly of the sleeve and laterally of the end panel of the tray. The end construction further includes two locking panels, each hingedly attached to aside panel of the sleeve, extending inwardly of the sleeve, and each overlying a respective finger on the restraining panel.

Numerous other advantages of the invention will be apparent as it is better understood from the following description, which, taken in connection with the accompanying drawings, discloses a preferred embodiment thereof.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a plan view of a paperboard blank to be formed into a paperboard sleeve, not showing the glue patterns to be used.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the formed paperboard sleeve, with a tapered tray inserted therein.

FIG. 3 is a fragmentary, perspective view of an end portion of the sleeve shown in FIG. 2 showing the restraining panel folded inwardly against the tray.

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the closed paperboard sleeve enclosing the tray.

FIG. 5 is a longitudinal, sectioned view taken along line 5- 5 in FIG. 4 of the closed sleeve shown in FIG. 4, the tray being fully shown in elevation.

FIG. 6 is a transverse sectioned view taken along line 6-6 in FIG. 5 of the closed sleeve shown in FIG. 4, the tray being fully shown in elevation.

FIG. 7 is a fragmentary plan view of a first modified paperboard blank to be formed into a first modified paperboard sleeve. 7

FIG. 8 is a fragmentary, perspective view of an end portion of the first modified sleeve similar to FIG. 2.

FIG. 9 is a fragmentary view of the formed first modified sleeve similar to FIG. 4.

FIG. 10 is a fragmentary, longitudinal sectioned view of the formed, first modified sleeve, similar to FIG. 5, the tray being shown in elevation.

FIG. 11 is a fragmentary plan view of a second modified paperboard blank to be formed into a second modified paperboard sleeve.

FIG. 12 is a fragmentary, perspective view of the end portion of the second modified sleeve similar to FIG. 2.

FIG. 13 is a fragmentary, perspective view similar to FIG. 12, showing the folded restraining panels extending outwardly of the second modified paperboard sleeve.

FIG. 14 is a fragmentary, perspective view similar to FIG. 3, showing the folded restraining panel extending inwardly of the second modified sleeve.

FIG. 15 is a fragmentary, perspective view similar to FIG. 4, showing the folded restraining panel and the locking panels enclosing the tray.

FIG. 16 is a fragmentary, longitudinal sectioned view taken along line 16l6 of FIG. 15, similar to FIG. 5, the tray being shown in elevation.

FIG. 17 is a fragmentary, perspective view similar to FIG. 12 of a third modified paperboard sleeve.

FIG. 18 is a fragmentary, perspective view similar to FIG. 15 of the third modified sleeve enclosing the tray, a corner of the sleeve being partially cut away.

FIG. 19 is a fragmentary plan view similar to FIG. 7 of a fourth modified paperboard blank to be formed into a fourth modified paperboard sleeve.

FIG. 20 is a fragmentary, perspective view of an end portion of the fourth modified sleeve, similar to FIG. 8.

FIG. 21 is a fragmentary, perspective view of an end portion of the fourth modified sleeve similar to FIG. 9.

FIG. 22 is a fragmentary, longitudinal sectioned view taking along line 22-22 in FIG. 21, similar to FIG. 10, the tray being shown in elevation.

DESCRIPTION OF A PREFERRED EMBODIMENT OF THE INVENTION As a preferred or exemplary embodiment of the instant invention, FIG. 1 shows a blank, generally 10, to be formed into a sleeve, also generally 10, for a tapered tray, generally 30. The blank 10 is made from any relatively inexpensive, rigid material such as paperboard or plastic that is capable of affording satisfactory protection and decoration to a tapered tray, to be enclosed in the formed sleeve 10. The rigid material selected for the blank and sleeve 10 is also adapted to having a plurality of panels hingedly attached thereto.

The blank 10 of the preferred embodiment, shown in FIG. 1, as well as the sleeve 10, shown in FIG. 2, are substantially symmetrical about their lateral midsections. The blank and sleeve of the preferred embodiment are symmetrically provided with the end construction of the instant invention at both ends, enabling the consumer to see the end panels 31 of the tray 30 inside the formed sleeve 10 through either end thereof. However, for the tray to be sufficiently visible to satisfy a consumer, it is believed that the and construction of the instant invention need be provided at only one end of the sleeve, it not being necessary that the blank and sleeve 10 of the instant invention be symmetrical. Because the provision of symmetrical end constructions in the blanks and sleeves of the instant invention is considered optional, only half of each modified blank 100, 200 and 40 is shown in FIGS. 7, 11 and l9 and correspondingly only one-half of each modified sleeve 100, 200, 300 and 404) is shown in FIGS. 8, 12, 17 and 20, and the following discussion of the preferred embodiments will similarly concern only one-half of each blank and sleeve, although it is intended to be applicable to the other half thereof. Thus, the discussion of the preferred embodiment of the instant invention is being restricted to one half thereof except where the other half is particularly relevant, although the end construction of the instant invention, in all the rigid sleeves 10, 100, 200, 300 and 400 of the preferred embodiment, has been provided at both sleeve ends to promote the viewing of the tapered trays.

As shown in FIG. 1, the paperboard blank 10 to be formed into the paperboard sleeve 10 of the instant invention includes the following hingedly connected panel members: a first side panel 14, a top panel 13, a second side panel 12, a bottom panel 11, and a glue flap 15. Hingedly attached to the bottom panel 11 is a restraining panel 16, and hingedly attached to each side panel 12 and 14 is a locking panel 17. The panel members 11-17 are capable of hinged movement relative to each other due to scored or otherwise formed hinge lines or lines of weakness lying between adjacent panel members, a first hinge line 27 being located between the restraining panel 16 and the bottom panel 11, and a second hinge line 29 being located between the side panels 12 and 14 and each locking panel 17.

The blank 10 in FIG. 1 is further provided with a zipper pattern 22 in the second side panel 12, consisting of a plurality of cut lines, and with a preweakened, removable area 18. The zipper pattern 22 and the removable area 18 are adapted to permit the completed sleeve 10 to be easily destroyed by tearing the second side panel 12 apart along the zipper pattern 22, the removable area 18 promoting the grasping and tearing of the second side panel 12.

The blank 10 is still further provided on the exterior surface of the glue flap 15 with an adhesive capable of holding the glue flap 15 to the first side panel 14. The adhesive selected may be either pressure sensitive or heat sensitive, the former being preferable if the formed sleeve is to be stored for a length of time and the latter being preferable if the unformed blank is to be stored, before forming the sleeve. Of course, for the same purpose, the interior surface of the first side panel 14 could also be provided with adhesive along the free edge thereof.

Shown in FIG. 2 is the paperboard sleeve 10 formed from the just described blank 10, the first side panel 14 being adhesively secured to and overlapping the glue flap 15. Because each panel 11-17 is hingedly connected in the blank 10, the sleeve 10 may be formed with relative ease by securing the glue flap 15 to the first side panel 14. As the sleeve 10 is initially formed, the restraining panel 16 and the locking panel 17 are shown extending outwardly of the paperboard sleeve 10 at both ends thereof.

The restraining panel 16 is hingedly secured to the bottom panel 11. The restraining panel 16 is provided with two outwardly or longitudinally extending fingers 26, which fingers extend from the lateral portions of the restraining panel. The exact placement and configuration of the fingers 26 will be hereinafter more fully described.

After the sleeve 10 is formed, the tapered tray 30 is inserted therein, the smaller, bottom portion of the tray resting on the bottom panel 11 and the larger, top portion of the tray being located in near proximity to the top panel 13. Movement of the tray 30 is restrained somewhat by closing one end of the sleeve 10 in a manner appropriate to the construction of the end. The method used to close this first end will, of course, correspond to the method used to form the end construction of the instant invention if the sleeve is symmetrical as shown in FIG. 2. The exact method of forming the end construction of the sleeve of the instant invention will be hereinafter explained with reference to FIGS. 3 and 4.

With regard to the structure of the tapered tray 30 to be inserted into the sleeves 10, 100, 200, 300 and 400 of the instant invention, only several portions thereof are important to the cradling efiect of the end construction of the instant invention. The important portions of the tray 30, which will be hereinafter referred to, are as follows: the tray end panels 31 which are the portions of the tray 30 that can be seen through the end construction of the sleeve 10; the tray side panels 33; the rounded tray comers 32 which constitute the areas of the tray between the tray end panels 31 and the tray side panels 33; and the tray flange 34 which surrounds the top of the tapered tray 30. Of course, it should be obvious that the end construction of the instant invention is not limited to tapered trays nor to the rounded tray corners 32 as shown in the figures. However, although the restraining panels 16 and the locking panels 17 of the instant invention could be easily adapted to accommodate nonrounded corners and nontapered trays, both rounded tray corners and tapered tray sidewalls have been found preferable in connection with the preferred embodiments of the paperboard sleeve of the instant invention.

As shown in FIG. 3, after the tray 30 is inserted in the sleeve 10, the restraining panel 16 and the fingers 26 thereon are hingedly rotated about hinge line 27 inwardly of the sleeve until the restraining panel 16 is biased against the tray end panel 31 of the tray 30. The restraining panel 16 is designed to urge the tray 30 inwardly of the sleeve 10 and to obstruct movement of the tray outwardly of the sleeve 10 through the substantially open end thereof. The fingers 26 on the restraining panel 16 are adapted to closely surround the tray corners 32 and the lateral portions of the tray side panels 33 to provide a cradling effect for the tray end panel 31 when the restraining panel 16 is biased there against. The cradling effect is intended to restrain lateral movement of the tray 30 within the sleeve 10, the fingers 26 extending laterally of the tray end panel 31, inwardly of the sleeve 10. Because the length of the fingers 26 is relatively limited by the height of the tray, the principal restraining action of the fingers 26 is directed to the tray corners 32. To insure, in a relatively low sleeve, the cradling effect of the fingers 26 and the restraining effect of the restraining panel 16 against portions of the tray 30, the fingers 26 and the restraining panel 16 are relatively closely shaped to the contours of the tray corners 32 and the tray end panels 31, respectively. Thereby, when the restraining panel 16 is biased against the tray 30, the tray is restrained against both lateral and longitudinal movements relative to the sleeve 10 and the end construction of the instant invention.

The length of each finger 26 is, of course, adapted so that it does not strike the top panel 12 or the tray flange 34 when the restraining panel 16 is rotated inwardly of the sleeve 10. The width of each finger 26 is adapted so that it passes relatively freely between the side panels 12 and 14 and the tray side panels 33 when the restraining panel 16 is rotated inwardly of the sleeve 10. The length and width of each finger 26 depends then on the dimensions of the tray 30, the sleeve 10 and the relative position of the tray in the sleeve when the restraining panel 16 is folded inwardly of the sleeve.

After the restraining panel 16 and the fingers 26 thereon are positioned, substantially cradling the end panel 31 of the tray 30 as shown in FIG. 3, the pair of locking panels 17 is hingedly rotated about the second hinge line 29 and is urged inwardly of the sleeve 10. In order for the locking panel 17 to pass inwardly of the sleeve over the restraining panel 16 without substantial hindrance from the restraining panel 16, the locking panel 17 includes a first angle cut edge 17A. The first angle cut edge 17A is adapted to just pass over the surface of the restraining panel 16 as the locking panel 17 is moved inwardly of the sleeve 10. As shown in FIG. 5, the restraining panel 16, when biased against the tray end panel 31, forms an angle A relative to the bottom panel 11, and the first angle cut edge 17A is adapted to form an angle with respect to the bottom panel 11 slightly greater than angle A. As a result, the first angle cut edge 17A slides smoothly over the underlying restraining panel 16.

A second angle cut edge 17B is also included on the locking panel 17. The second angle cut edge 17B is adapted to provide the proper amount of surplusage of paperboard at this lateral, free edge 17B of locking panel 17, the lateral surplusage portions associated with the second angle cut edge 17B hindering rotational movement of the locking panel 17, past the tray comer 32, into and out of the locking position thereof. By locking position is meant the location of the locking panels 17 between the tray side panel 33 and the sleeve side panels 12 and 14, as shown in FIGS. 4 and 6. The lateral surplusage portions of the locking panel 17 are bent outwardly of the sleeve as the locking panel 17 is urged past the tray corner 32 into the locking position inwardly of the sleeve 10. These lateral portions of the locking panel 17 tend to be biased against the tray side panels 33 in the locking position due to the resiliency of the paperboard hinge urging the locking panel 17 outwardly of the sleeve 10. In spite of the resiliency of the hinge of locking panel 17, however, the panel cannot swing back outwardly of the sleeve once it has been forced into its locking position because it is restrained by the tray comer 32.

A third angle cut edge 17C is further included in locking panel 17. In this original sleeve 10, however, the third edge 17C is merely adapted to avoid having the locking panel 17 strike the tray flange 34 when the locking panel 17 is rotated inwardly of the sleeve 10.

FIGS. 5 and 6 show the underlying relationship of the restraining panel 16 relative to the locking panel 17. The restraining panel 16 is biased against the tray end panel 31 while the two fingers 26 of the restraining panel 16 cradle the tray end panel 31, the tray comers 32 and the tray side panels 33 between them. The effect of the former and the latter is to restrain both lengthwise and side to side movement respectively of the tray in the sleeve 10. Each locking panel 17, in the locking position, overlies the restraining panel 16 and/or a finger 26 thereon. By overlying these restraining members, the locking panel 17 resists the resilient tendency of the cardboard hinge 27 associated with these members to move the restraining panel 16 outwardly of the sleeve 10. It should be appreciated, however, that only one locking panel 17 of the configuration shown and discussed is necessary to adequately hold the restraining panel 16 inwardly of the sleeve 10, two locking panels being used only for purposes of a better appearing end construction and for added restraint upon the tray 30 when the locking panels are actually biased thereagainst.

FIG. 7 shows half of a first modified blank, generally 100, for forming a first modified sleeve, also generally 100. The first modified blank 100 differs from the original blank 10 in the numbering thereof by the addition of 100 to the reference numerals of all corresponding members. Thus, first modified blank 100 has a glue flap 115, bottom panel 111, side panels 112 and 114, etc. However, epistemologically, the function of the named members of the original sleeve 10 is intended to be carried forward to the discussion of the same named members in the subsequent modified sleeves 100, 200, 300 and 400, only the reference numerals thereof being changed. The first .nodified blank 100 is substantially similar to blank 10, the differences therebetween relating to the addition of a second restraining panel 119, hingedly connected to the top panel 113, and the changed configuration of the third angle cut 117C on locking panel 1 17.

As with the original blank 10 in FIG. 2, the first modified blank 100 as shown in FIG. 7 is formed into the first modified sleeve 100, as shown in FIG. 8. In the formed first modified sleeve 100, the locking panels 117 and the restraining panels 116 and 119 extend outwardly of the sleeve 100, the tapered tray 30 being already positioned therein.

In forming the first modified end construction of the first modified sleeve, the restraining panels 116 and 119 are rotated inwardly of the sleeve 100 about their hinge lines, 127 and 128, respectively. In this way the first restraining panel 116 is biased against the tray end panel 32, and the fingers 126 on the first restraining panel 116 cradle the tray end panel 31. Additionally, the second restraining panel 119 is biased against the tray end panel 31 and overlies the end portions of the tray flange 34. Provision for spaced fingers on the second restraining panel 119 is believed to be optional, such fingers having been omitted in the second restraining panel 119 of the preferred embodiment of the first modified sleeve 100.

Then, as shown in FIG. 9, the locking panels 117 are rotated inwardly of the sleeve and are urged past the tray corners 32. The angle cut edges 117A and 117C are adapted so that the locking panels 117 will slide smoothly over both restraining panels 116 and 119 and will overlie the fingers 126 and underlie the lateral portions of the second restraining panel 119, the first edge 117A overlying the first restraining panel 116 and the fingers 126, thereon, and the third edge 117C underly ing the second restraining panel 119. The second angle cut edge 1178 is adapted so that the surplusage of the locking flap 117 can be pushed with some difficulty past the tray comers 32 but at the same time the surplusage is sufficient to prevent the locking flap 117 from springing back, past the tray corner 32 and outwardly of the sleeve due to the resiliency of the cardboard material.

The third angle cut edge 117C is adapted to form an angle with respect to the top panel 113 of the sleeve 100 which is slightly greater than an angle C, shown in FIG. 10, angle cC being the angle between the second restraining panel 119 and the top panel 113. Similarly, the first angle cut edge 117A is adapted to be slightly greater than angle A as shown in FIG. 10 and as noted in the discussion concerning the first angle cut edge 17A in the sleeve 10. As a result, the first and third angle cut edges 117A and 117C provide the aforementioned smooth sliding during rotation of the locking panels 117 inwardly of the first modified sleeve 100.

FIG. 11 shows half of a second modified blank 200 for forming a second modified sleeve 200. The second modified blank 200 differs from the original blank 10 in the numbering thereof by the addition of 200 to the reference numerals of all corresponding members. This, the second modified blank 200 has a glue fiap 215, bottom panel 211, side panels 212 and 214, etc. The second modified blank 200 is substantially similar to the original blank 10, the difference therebetween relating to the addition of the following: a third restraining panel 216A, having a pair of second, spaced fingers 226A that are hingedly attached to the first spaced fingers 226 of the first restraining panel 216; a notch 216D in the first restraining panel 216 in combination with a fourth angle cut edge 217D in the locking panel 217; and a plurality of tabs 218 extending longitudinally from the end of the third restraining panel 216A in combination with a plurality of knife cuts 220 located on the first hinge line 227, between the bottom panel 211 and the first restraining panel 216, the knife cuts 220 being adapted to having the tabs 218 inserted therein.

In forming the second modified sleeve 200, the second modified blank 200 is formed into the sleeve 200 in the same manner as heretofore explained with regard to the original sleeve 10, the tray 30 then being inserted therein. As shown in FIG. 12, the first and third restraining panels 216 and 216A and the locking panels 217 extend outwardly of the sleeve 200.

As shown in FIG. 13, the third restraining panel 216A is then folded over the first restraining panel 216 so that the second spaced fingers 226A overlie the first spaced fingers 226 and the third restraining panel 216A overlies the first restraining panel 216. A scored, or otherwise preweakened, forth hinge line 225 is provided between the spaced fingers 226 and 226A to promote the folding operation. The overly ing restraining panels provide a single reinforced cradle, having the general configuration of the original restraining panel 16 with its spaced fingers 26 extending outwardly of the sleeve 10, in the formed second modified sleeve 200.

As shown in FIG. 14, the overlying restraining panels 216 and 216A are then rotated about the first hinge line 227 and are biased against the tray end panel 31, the spaced fingers 226 and 226A surrounding the tray corners 32 and the tray side panels 33. The tabs 218 extending from the third restraining panel 216A are adapted to be inserted in the knife cuts 220 provided in the first hinge line 227 when the restraining panels are properly folded and biased against the tray end panel 31. The combination of tabs 218 and die cuts 220 provide this end construction with added strength and also prevent the folded restraining panels from separating during the interval of time between their being biased against the tray end panel 31 and their being secured inwardly of the sleeve 200 by the locking panels 217. Of course, the number of tabs and knife cuts may be varied, either one or two being the preferred number for simplified insertion and registration thereof during the folding operation. Also, the tabs and knife cuts may be dispensed with altogether in the second modified sleeve when the separation of the end portions of the third restraining panel 216A from the bottom portions of the first restraining panel 216, adjacent hinge line 227, is not a problem.

As shown in FIG. 15, after biasing the restraining panels 216 and 216A against the tray end panel 31, the locking panels 217 are folded inwardly of the sleeve 200 and urged past the tray corners 32.

Angle cut edges 217A, 2173 and 217C have been provided, as heretofore noted with regard to sleeves 10 and 100, the angle cut edges differing in several respects, however. In the second modified sleeve 200, the second angle cut edge 2178 is adapted to approximately conform to the taper of the tray 30 at the corner 32 thereof, the surplusage of locking panel 217 being distributed along the length of the second angle cut edge 2178 rather than near the intersection of the first and second angle cut edges A and B. The third angle cut edge 217C is adapted to avoid its striking the tray flange 34 when the locking panel 217 is rotated inwardly of the sleeve. it also provides the just noted surplusage along the second angle cut edge 2178, rather than being adapted to overlie a second restraining panel as noted in connection with the first modified sleeve 100.

The fourth angle cut edge 217D has been provided in locking panel 217 and, in conjunction with the first angle cut edge 217A, is adapted to fit in locking relationship with the notch 216D provided in the first restraining panel 216. As shown in FIG. 16, when the locking panel 217 is in locking position, having been forced inwardly of the second modified sleeve 200 past the tray corner 32, the first angle cut edge 217A overlies the third restraining panel 216A, rather than the first restraining panel 216, and the fourth angle cut edge 217D overlies the first spaced finger 226. In this way, the locking panel 217 is fitted into the notch 216D in the first restraining panel 216, and the locking panel 217 is prevented from moving outwardly of the sleeve by the surplusage of paperboard associated with the first angle cut edge 217A. In this manner, the surplusage associated with the second angle cut edge 217B may be entirely dispensed with, its function being provided by the surplusage associated with the notch 216D and the fourth angle cut edge 217D. Of course, to provide this new type of surplusage, the first angle cut edge 217 cannot be greater than angle A, as used with regard to the original sleeve 10 and the first modified sleeve 100. Instead, the first angle cut edge 217A must form an angle with the bottom panel 211 less than the angle A between the first restraining panel 216 and the bottom panel 211.

FIG. 17 shows a third modified paperboard sleeve 300, made from a blank, not shown, which is essentially the same as the second modified sleeve 200 as shown in H6. 12, the reference numbering of the second modified sleeve being 200 and the third modified sleeve being 300. The third modified sleeve 300 differs from the second modified sleeve 200 in that a second notch 316A!) has been provided in the third restraining panel 316A. In much the same manner as the second modified sleeve 200, the third modified sleeve is formed as follows: the third restraining panel 316A is folded along the fourth hinge line 325 into overlying relationship with the first restraining panel 316. The restraining panels 316 and 316A are then biased against the tray end panel 31 by folding them inwardly along the first hinge line 327. Tabs 318 and die cuts 320 have been provided in the third restraining panel 326A and the first hinge line 327, respectively, and the tabs 318 are inserted into the die cuts 320 when the restraining panels are positioned inwardly of the third modified sleeve. The locking panels 317 are then pushed inwardly of the sleeve into locking position, the surplusage of locking panel 317 associated with the first and fourth edge cuts 317A and D restraining the locking panel from outward movement relative to the third modified sleeve 300. As shown in FIG. 18, the notches 316D and 316AD are in vertical alignment providing thereby a greater notched interfit with the locking panel 317. Accordingly, it is anticipated that the first angle cut edge 317A and the fourth cut edge 317D will be adapted to provide a greater surplusage of paperboard in locking panel 317 than was heretofore noted in the locking panel 217 of the second modified sleeve 200.

FIG. 19 shows a fourth modified blank 400 for fonning a fourth modified sleeve 400, shown in FIG. 20. The fourth modified blank and sleeve 400 resemble the original blank and sleeve 10 with the following modifications: a notch 416D has been provided in the restraining panel 416, a fourth cut edge 417D has been provided in the locking panel 417 and a fifth cut edge 41715 has been provided in the locking panel 417.

The purpose in providing the notch 416D and the fourth cut edge 417D is to restrain the locking panel 417 in the locking position as heretofore noted with regard to the second and third modified sleeves 200 and 300. Accordingly, the first angle cut edge 417A and the fourth angle cut edge 417D are adapted to provide a surplusage of paperboard for interfitting relationship with the notch 416D, the angle of the first angle cut edge 417A with respect to the bottom panel 411 being less than the angle between the restraining panel 416 and the bottom panel 411.

The purpose of the fifth cut edge 417E, which represents a relief between the sleeve top panel 413 and the locking panel 417, is to allow the locking panel 417 to fit beneath the tray flange 34.

FIGS. 21 and 22 show the locking flap 417 positioned in the locking position, biased against the tray side panel 33, underneath the tray flange 34. The first angle cut edge 417A is beneath the restraining panel 416 and the fourth cut edge 417D of the locking panel 417 is overlying the spaced fingers 426.

In view of the discussion with regard to the heretofore mentioned sleeves 10, 100, 200 and 3011, the end construction of the fourth modified sleeve, involving the restraining panel 416, the locking panel 417, the fingers 426 and the tapered tray 30 need not be set forth. However, the fourth modified sleeve 400 has one unique feature with respect to the heretofore noted sleeves. The fourth modified sleeve 400 is capable of having both its ends set up in locked relationship with the end construction of the instant invention being formed at either one or both ends thereof, and having a tapered tray subsequently inserted therein. The tapered tray can be pushed through the substantially open end construction and cradled between the spaced fingers 426 of the restraining panel 416. During insertion of the tray 30, the restraining panel 416 is forced downward against the bottom panel 411 and the locking panels 417 are forced laterally against the side panels 412 and 414. Subsequent to insertion of the tray, due to the resiliency of the paperboard sleeve, the members of the end construction return to the locked position, the restraining panel 416 being loosely biased against the tray end panel 31 and the locking panels 417 being biased against the tray side panels 33 and overlying the spaced fingers 426.

It should be obvious from the discussion of the various embodiments of the end construction of the instant invention that many combinations and arrangements of the features disclosed herein can be made without departing from the scope of the invention. For instance, the second restraining panel 119 of the first modified sleeve could also be used in the subsequent, modified sleeves 200, 300 and 400. Similarly, the

third restraining panels 216A and 316A as used in the second and third modified sleeves 200 and 300 could also be used in the other sleeves discussed. Also similarly, the fifth cut edge 4175 as used in the fourth modified sleeve 400 as well as the fourth angle cut edge 217D and 417D and the first notch 216D and 416D as used in second and fourth modified sleeves could be incorporated into the other sleeves.

It should also be noted that it is anticipated that the paperboard sleeve of the instant invention will incorporate an easyopening feature such as the combination zipper pattern and removable side panel area provided in all the sleeves shown in FlGS. 1-22.

It should be further noted that each of the spaced fingers and restraining panel combinations was provided with a rounded, cradlelike edge contour for holding the tray corner. This contour has been dictated by the fact that the frozen heat-and-serve tray used in the preferred embodiment has rounded comers, but the fingers may be aligned in different manners to accommodate different shaped trays and to cradle or surround other articles in a substantially open-ended sleeve against lateral movement of the ends portions of such articles.

It should be still further noted that all the end constructions of the instant invention can be used at one or both ends of the sleeve. Since it may be desired to form one end of a sleeve before the tray is inserted therein, the arrangement of the notch on the restraining panel and the fourth cut edge on the locking panel may be required to prevent the locking and restraining panels from rotating outwardly of the sleeve as the tray is inserted therein. Of course, physically or otherwise holding the locking panels inwardly of the sleeve until the tray is cradled in the restraining panel would be a satisfactory alternative.

It is further obvious that, in each of the sleeves hereinbefore described, except for the fourth modified sleeve, the restraining panel could depend from the top sleeve panel rather than from the bottom sleeve panel as herein shown. In each case, the angles of the cut edges of the locking panels and the shape of the fingers of the restraining panel would be altered slightly because these elements would engage the tray walls closer to the upper, flanged end which is normally somewhat larger than the lower wall portions due to the upwardly and outwardly tapering shape of the tray.

Finally, it is obvious that a single locking panel of the types described will serve to substantially prevent any of the corresponding restraining panels from moving outwardly of the sleeve. However, it is also believed that two locking panels provide a more attractive and secure end construction than does one. In addition, two locking panels, except in the fourth modified sleeve 460 having the fifth cut edge 417E, provide some additional structural support to the sleeve panels against the crushing of the ends of the sleeve. This is an additional advantage of two locking panels over one locking panel.

It is thought that the invention and many of its attendant advantages will be understood from the foregoing description and it will be apparent that various changes may be made in the form, construction and arrangement of the parts without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention or sacrificing all of its material advantages, the form hereinbefore described being merely a preferred embodiment thereof.

We claim:

1. A substantially open-ended paperboard sleeve, enclosing a tapered tray, the sleeve having a top, bottom and two side panels and having an end construction comprising:

a restraining panel, hingedly attached to the bottom panel and extending inwardly of said sleeve into biased relationship against an end panel of said tray, said restraining panel having two spaced fingers attached at the lateral ends thereof for restricting the lateral movement of the end panel of the tray with respect to said restraining panel, said restricting panel being further provided with a notch formed in a side edge thereof; and

a locking panel hingedly attached to a sleeve side panel and extending inwardly of said sleeve, a portion of the bottom ed e of saidlocking panel overlying a portion of one of set restraining panel fingers and a portion of said locking panel bottom edge being lockingly engaged by said restraining panel notch, thereby to prevent movement of said restraining panel outwardly of said sleeve.

2. A paperboard blank for a substantially open-ended sleeve, comprising:

a plurality of hingedly connected sleeve-forming panels, including a first panel and an adjacent second panel hingedly connected thereto;

a restraining panel hingedly connected to said first panel and a locking panel hingedly connected to said second panel and located substantially adjacent to said restraining panel;

said restraining panel being provided with a pair of spaced fingers attached at the lateral ends thereof and extending longitudinally from the edge of said restraining panel remote from said hinge connection to said first panel;

the free edge of said locking panel adjacent to said restraining panel forming an acute angle with the hinged edge between said locking panel and said second panel, said free edge being provided with a die cut locking notch;

the free edge of said restraining panel adjacent to said locking panel having a locking notch formed therein;

said locking notches on said locking panel and said restraining panel being adapted to come into interlocking relationship when said blank is formed into a substantially open-ended sleeve and said restraining and locking panels are infolded into cooperating relationship within said sleeve.

3. A paperboard blank for a substantially open-ended sleeve, comprising:

a plurality of hingedly connected panels, including a first panel and an adjacent second panel hingedly connected thereto;

a restraining panel hingedly connected to said first panel and a locking panel hingedly connected to said second panel and located substantially adjacent to said restraining panel;

said restraining panel having an elliptical cutout about the center thereof and having a transverse line of weakness through the center thereof;

the lateral edge of said locking panel adjacent to said restraining panel forming an acute angle with respect to the hinged edge between said second panel and said locking panel;

said restraining panel being further provided with a longitudinally extending tab on the free edge thereof remote from the hinge connection between the restraining panel and said first panel; and a transverse slit between said restraining panel and said first panel.

4. A blank as recited in claim 3, wherein the lateral edge of said restraining panel adjacent to said locking panel is provided with a locking notch, and the lateral edge of said locking panel adjacent to said restraining panel is provided with a die cut, said notch and said die cut being adapted to come into interlocking engagement when said blank is formed into a substantially open-ended sleeve and said restraining and locking panels are infolded into cooperating relationship within said sleeve.

5. A blank as recited in claim 4 wherein said restraining panel is provided with a plurality of notches.

Referenced by
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Classifications
U.S. Classification206/784, 229/925, 206/527, 229/122, 206/485.1, 206/557, 206/589, 206/525, 229/237, 229/243
International ClassificationB65D5/50, B65D77/04
Cooperative ClassificationY10S229/925, B65D5/5011, B65D77/0433
European ClassificationB65D5/50A3, B65D77/04C3
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Sep 11, 1984ASAssignment
Owner name: JAMES RIVER-NORWALK, INC., RIVERPARK, P.O. BOX 600
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:JAMES RIVER-DIXIE/NORTHERN, INC.;REEL/FRAME:004332/0546
Effective date: 19840905
Sep 28, 1982ASAssignment
Owner name: JAMES RIVER-DIXIE/NORTHERN, INC., A CORP. OF VA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:AMERICAN CAN COMPANY, A CORP. OF NJ;REEL/FRAME:004097/0720
Effective date: 19820924