US 3620439 A
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United States Patent 172] Inventors Hugh B. Morse San Jose; Thomas W. Foster, Palo Alto, both of Calif.  Appl. No. 833,008  Filed June 13, 1969  Patented Nov. 16, 1971  Assignee Flbreboard Corporation San Francisco, Calif.
 SEVERABLE CARTON WITH STERILE EDGE 6 Claims, 14 Drawing Figs.
 [1.5. CI 229/51 AS, 206/56 AA, 206/632 R, 229/14 B, 229/51 DB  Int. Cl A. 865d 5/54  Field oi Search 206/175. 46 SG, 46 ST, 63.2 R, 63.3-63.5. 56 AA, 65 T; 229/7 R, 148,51 R, 51 8?,51 DB.51 AS,51 TC  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,990,948 7/1961 Zackheim 206/632 X Primary Examiner.loseph R. Leclair Ass/slant ExaminerSteven E. Lipman Attorney-Fryer, Tjensvold, Feix, Phillips & Lempio ABSTRACT: A carton comprises separable sections connected together at a continuous out line, covered by a removable tape. Means formed on the canon adjacent to the cut line provide a sterile edge around the carton upon removal of the tape and separation of the carton's sections.
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sum 2 or 4 INVENTORS HUGH B. MORSE THOMAS W. FOSTER PATENTEUNUV 16 Ian SHEET 3 BF 4 FIG l0 INVENTORS HUGH B. MORSE THOMAS w. FOSTER ATTORNEYS PATENTEURUV 1 6 19H sum u 0r 4 FIG. l2
/L/JT/ INVENTORS HUGH B. MORSE THOMAS W. FOSTER ATTORNEYS SEVERABLE CARTON WITI-I STERILE EDGE Hospitals and the like require the packaging of pharmaceutical and medical items in sterilized containers prior to their use. Such containers have generally comprised sealed plastic bags. subjected to a gas sterilization process. When such a bag is opened the torn edges thereof tend to contaminate the removed items to thus render it nonsterile.
An object of this invention is to overcome the above briefly described problem by providing a severable carton adapted to provide a sterile edge at least substantially therearound to prevent an item from becoming contaminated upon its removal from the severed carton. The canon essentially comprises a plurality of side panels connected together to form a closed tube and a continuous out line formed in the panels to divide the canon into separable sections. A removable tear tape is adhesively secured over the cut line and cooperates with means disposed thereunder to provide sterile edge portions completely around the carton upon removal of the tape. Therefore. upon canon separation contamination of the packaged item is prevented since it can only contact such sterile edge portions upon removal thereof.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. I is an isometric view of an erected first canon embodiment of this invention;
FIG. 2 is a top plan view ofa blank utilized to form the FIG. I canon;
FIG. 3 is an enlarged. plan view taken at the intersection of two overlapped and sealed panels of the FIG. I canon;
FIGS. 4-6 are panial. enlarged isometric views illustrating three progressive opening stages of the FIG. I carton;
FIGS. 7 and 8 are partial. isometric views of a second carton embodiment;
FIG. 9 is a partial. isometric view illustrating a modified end closure which may be employed with the aforementioned cartons;
FIG. 10 is a partial, top plan view of a blank utilized to form the FIG. 9 end closure;
FIG. 11 is a partial. isometric view illustrating an erected third carton embodiment;
FIG. 12 is a partial. top plan view of a blank utilized to form the FIG. ll carton; and
FIGS. 13 and 14 are partial, isometric views illustrating two progressive opening stages of the FIG. I I canon.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION FIG. 1 illustrates a first carton embodiment formed out of the cut and scored blank illustrated in FIG. 2. The blank comprises a plurality of consecutive side panels II]. II. I2 and a fourth panel comprising overlapping panel portions l3 and 14. Parallel scorelines l5 and 16 cooperate with transverse scorelines 17-20 to define the side panels and also identical end closures at opposite ends of the carton.
The right end closure. for example. comprises a scoreline 21 disposed parallel to scoreline l6 to define gusset fold panels 22 and 23. Such panels are hingedly attached to side panels I0 and 12. respectively. The scorelines further define an end panel 24 hingedly connected to side panel I1 and a second end panel comprising overlapped panel portions 25 and 26 connected to side panel portions 13 and 14, respectively.
Referring to the erected carton of FIG. I. side panel portions I3 and 14 are secured together in overlapped relationship to form a closed tube having a rectangular cross section. The attached gusset folds 22 and 23 are formed in a conventional manner. A scoreline 27 (FIG. 2) defines a closure flap 28 which is adhesively secured to overlapping flap portions 29 and 30. The fully sealed and erected FIG. 1 carton would normally be subjected to a conventional gas sterilization process.
This invention is essentially drawn to the hereinafter described means for providing sterile edge portions completely around the canon upon opening thereof. The carton is divided into separable sections by a substantially continuous through cut line 31 having a plastic tape 32 adhesively secured thereover. The tape is preferably bounded by parallel. limited depth cuts 31' to facilitate clean and expeditious tape removal. US. application. Ser. No. 717,8 l0. assigned to the assignee of this application and filed on Apr. l 1963 by Ernest C. Pellaton for "Apparatus and Method for Forming Taped Articles." discloses an apparatus and method for applying the plastic tape to the blank.
In particular. a paperboard blank may be fully coated on each side with a barrier or heat scalable adhesive coating e.g. polyethylene) adapted to firmly secure the tape thereto when heated. The tape is preferably laminated to comprise a thin inner layer of polyethylene or other suitable adhesive and a thin outer layer. such as a polyester based composition or Mylar. exhibiting a substantially higher tensile strength than the inner layer. The tape-to-carton or polyethylene-topolyethylene seal and the exceptionally high tensile strength of the tapes outer layer facilitate expeditious removal of the tape.
Such removal will effect a tearing or stripping off of contacted surface portions of the paperboard to leave roughened and sterile edge portions 33 (FIG. 4). It should be noted in FIGS. 3, 4 and 6 that offset or staggered through cut 31 is preferably interrupted at one end by a short limited depth cut 34. A tap 35 is defined on panel portion 13 by an offset portion of cut line 3] and extends at least in part past an overlying or superimposed portion of panel portion 14 in a direction transverse to the cut line. The tab joins and cooperates with surface portions 33 to provide means forming sterile edge portions completely around the canon. A second end of through cut 3! is preferably interrupted by a second. short limited depth cut 36 similar to cut 34.
Thus. upon removal of tape 32 and separation of the carton s sections, a sterilized pharmaceutical or medical package 37 may be removed from the canon (FIG. 6) without contaminating same. Such package may comprise a plastic tray having medical instruments disposed therein and a suitable gauze or towel wrapped therearound. A nonadhesive means at area 38 may be fonned on the canon to prevent an end of the tape from adhering thereto to expedite tape removal. In addition, breakable joining webs 39 may be formed in spaced relationship along continuous cut line M to cooperate with limited depth cuts 34 and 36 to insure against premature separation of the canon s two sections.
FIGS. 7 and 8 illustrate a second canon embodiment essentially differing from the first described embodiment in the type of means employed for forming sterile edge portions completely around the carton. In particular. upon removal of a tape 32a and separation of the cartons sections. a thin sheet or semirigid liner 40 is exposed which provides sterile edge ponions completely around the carton. The liner may comprise a thin sheet of polyethylene-coated paper. for example. adhesively secured interiorly of the cartons side panels to normally extend across cut line 31a. It should be understood that other types of opening means could be utilized in lieu of the cut Illa-tape 32a arrangement. e.g., a single or multiple limited depth cut line defining a tear strip directly on the side panels.
It should be noted that numerals identical to those appearing in FIGS. l-6 depict similar structures. with the numerals appearing in FIGS. 7 and 8 being accompanied by a subscript 0. Similar structures illustrated in the FIG. 9 and FIGS. ll l4 embodiments are numbered in a like manner. with the common numerals appearing therein being accompanied by a subscript It and c. respectively.
FIG. 9 illustrates a third canon embodiment essentially differing from the FIGS. l-6 embodiment in the type of end closure employed thereon. The end closure is formed out of the blank. partially illustrated in FIG. l0. comprising side panels 10b. 11b and l2b and I3b-I4b corresponding to like side panels illustrated in FIG. I. Gusset folds 22b and 23b are suitably arranged to cooperate with flap 24b and flap portions 25b and 26b to form the integrated end closure. Flap 28b is secured over the overlapped flap portions after flap portions 29b and 30b have been folded outwardly thereunder.
The FIGS. 11-14 embodiment is similar to the aforedescribed FIGS. 1-6 embodiment, but essentially differs therefrom in the arrangement of the tear strip and underlying opening structures. In particular, the carton is divided into seperable sections by a substantially continuous through-cut line 31c having a plastic tape 32: adhesively secured thereover. This tape is preferably bounded by parallel, limited cuts 3lc to facilitate tape removal. A through-cut 34, preferably interrupted by small and spaced joining webs, defines a tab 35c on a panel 140 extending past an underlying cutout 36c formed on a panel 130.
when it is desired to open the carton, progressively illustrated in its various stages in FIGS. 11-14, tab 36 is grasped manually and the tape is torn from the carton. Such removal will effect a tearing or stripping off of the contacted surface portions of the paperboard to leave roughened and sterile edge portions 33c which insure against contamination of the removed contents. The underside (not shown) of tab 35c preferably has a nonadhesive means formed thereon to prevent it from adhering to the underlying surface portions of tape 32: to further facilitate expeditious tape removal.
What is claimed is:
l. A sterilized paperboard carton for use in hospitals and the like comprising a plurality of rectangular side panels connected together to form a tube having a substantially constant cross section throughout the length thereof, one of said panels comprising overlapping panel portions, an end closure attached to said panels to close and seal each end of said carton, a continuous cut line formed in said side panels to divide said carton into separable sections, a removable tape adhesively secured over said cut line and to underlying surface portions of said paperboard carton, and means on said carton. including a fiber tearing bond formed between said tape and said underlying surface portions of said panels and a tab formed on one of said panel portions joining said panel surface portions by an offset portion of said continuous cut line and extending at least in part past a superimposed portion of said other panel portion in a direction transverse to said continuous cut line, positioned adjacent to said cut line and beneath said tape for forming sterile edge portions compietely around said carton on at least one of said sections upon removal of said tape for preventing the contamination of a sterilized item when it is removed from said carton upon separation thereof.
2. The invention of claim 1 further comprising breakable webs disposed in space relationship along said cut line and extending thereacross under said tape to join said sections together with said tape.
3. The invention of claim 1 further comprising means formed on surface portions of one of said side panels underlying an end portion of said tape to prevent said end portion from adhering thereto.
4. The invention of claim 1 wherein outer surface portions of said panels and underlying inner surface portions of said tape are coated with a heat sealable adhesive.
5. The invention of claim 4 wherein said heat scalable adhesive comprises polyethylene.
6. The invention of claim 4 wherein said tape comprises a layer of plastic material exhibiting a substantially higher tensile strength than the coating of said heat sealable adhesive.
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