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Publication numberUS3628721 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 21, 1971
Filing dateDec 1, 1969
Priority dateDec 1, 1969
Publication numberUS 3628721 A, US 3628721A, US-A-3628721, US3628721 A, US3628721A
InventorsCharles E Palmer
Original AssigneeCharles E Palmer
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Recloseable package member
US 3628721 A
Images(1)
Previous page
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [72] inventor Charles E. Palmer Turnpike Road, Soners, Conn. 07! [2|] Appi. No. 881,088 [22] Filed Dec. 1, 1969 [45] Patented Dec. 21, 197i [541 IECLOSEABLE PACKAGE MEMBER l5 Chills, 6 Drawing Figa.

[52] US. 2291.! R, 206/65 R, 229/62, 229/65, 229/87 B [5 1] lat. l65d 65/10 [50] Field at Search 206/65 R;

229/62, 65, 87 R, 87 A, 87 B. 87 F, DIG. 4

[56] leierences Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,157,194 5/1939 Webber et al. 229/87 R 3,395,852 8/ i968 Koncak 229/87 I! Primary Esnminer Joseph R. Leclair Assistant Examiner-Steven E, Liprnan Attorney-Peter L. Costas AIS'I'IAC'I: A recloseable packaging member produced from a rectangular sheet of packaging material that has a strip of foil bonded adjacent one of its edges, and has two of the other edges bonded together to form a generally tubular configuration with the foil at one end. The foil and mociated portions of the sheet of packaging material are folded inwardly and bonded together in overlapping relationship to provide an end wall that extends generally perpendicularly to the sidewall of the package. Reclosure of the end wall, once it has been opened, can be effected by folding the strip upon itseifso as to interengage opposed portions of the package.

PATENTEU 11:21 am RECLOSEABLE PACKAGE MEMBER BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Many types of closures and/or design modifications have heretofore been provided to enable a bag, container or overwrap to be closed and opened, or to be reclosed after an original seal has been removed or broken. Such packages are particularly useful when only a portion of the contents thereof are normally removed, and especially when the contents are subject to deterioration or spoilage due to atmospheric conditions after the package has been opened, e.g., when the package contains baked goods such as bread, cookies, etc. or when it contains other foodstuffs such as candy and the like.

Among the various methods which have been used to provide recloseable packages is the provision of pressure-sensitive adhesives on one or more portions of the package designed to pennit repeated bonding and release. However, the use of adhesives in this manner has not been very successful for a number of reasons. As a fundamental matter, it is difficult to achieve a balance of properties in an adhesive whereby a desirable level of adhesion is coupled with relatively facile release characteristics for opening the package. In addition, there is a tendency for loss of tackiness to occur rapidly in such adhesives so that after relatively short periods of use they become relatively ineffectual due either to frequent opening and closing or to contamination of the adhesive with dirt particles and the like.

Other attempts to produce recloseable packages have relied upon metal clasps and closures for bags, envelopes, etc. made of a variety of materials including paper and plastics. Such a closure is normally made of a nonresiliently deformable metal so that it can be bent upon itself or about a portion of the package to maintain a closed condition when desired. However, so far as is known the prior art constructions of this type do not permit convenient and complete sealing of the package initially, ready opening thereof without undue damage thereto, and repeated opening and closing of the package with substantially no loss of effectiveness after extensive use.

In applicant's copending U.S. Application Ser. No. 830,720 filed June 5, 1969, now U.S. Pat. No. 3,554,436 there is disclosed a recloseable bag having a tubular body with a scalable inner surface having a peripheral strip of nonresiliently deformable material secured thereover. The strip is spaced downwardly from the upper end of the body to partially block the sealable material and to expose a peripheral band thereof above the strip at which sealing can be effected. The strip aids in limiting the closing seal to the exposed band, and maintains a fold when creased to provide a recloseable closure for the bag. Although significant advantages are afforded by the bag member of this copending application in many instances, it is not readily adapted to certain container designs, such as the conventional overwrap type of package.

Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide a novel packaging member which is of relatively simple construction, which may be conveniently and completely sealed initially, which may be readily opened without undue damage to the main portion thereof such as would render the package unsatisfactory for subsequent use, and which may thereafter be repeatedly closed and opened without loss of closing effectiveness.

It is also an object of the invention to provide such a packaging member which is initially heat sealable, i.e., sealed by the application of heat thereto, by relatively simple procedures and in a rapid and effective manner.

Another and more specific object is to provide a packaging member that is highly suitable as an overwrap package.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION It has now been found that the foregoing and related objects can be readily attained in a recloseable packaging member having a peripherally extending sidewall and an end wall extending generally perpendicularly to the sidewall. The packaging member comprises a sheet of packaging material of generally rectangular configuration and a relatively thin strip of nonresiliently deformable material bonded to the sheet adjacent one edge thereof. The sheet has portions adjacent each of the remaining two opposing edges bonded together to form a generally tubular configuration and to provide the sidewall. Portions of the sheet and deformable material adjacent the one edge thereof extend generally perpendicularly to the sidewall in overlapping relationship and are bonded together to provide the end wall. The deformable material is capable of maintaining a creased configuration so that, upon separation and unfolding of the inwardly folded edge portions to open the end wall, the packaging member can be folded and creased along the strip of defonnable material to interengage opposed portions and effect the reclosure of the package.

In a preferred embodiment of the invention at least one surface of the sheet of packaging material is heat sealable, which surface may be provided inherently by utilizing a sheet of packaging material comprised of a synthetic thennoplastic polymer. In some instances both surfaces of the packaging material advantageously have heat-sealing characteristics.

The strip of deformable material is desirably comprised of a wrought metal foil having at least one surface coated with a material that is bondable to the sheet of packaging material, and preferably the coating material on the foil is a heat-sealable synthetic thermoplastic polymer. Ideally, the strip is positioned on the inside of the packaging member, and it may terminate inwardly from the end of one of the bonded opposing edge portions of the sheet so that the edge portions thereof can be bonded along the entire length of the sheet. The opposite end of the strip most desirably extends beyond the other of the opposing edge portions so that the end portions of the strip lie in overlapping relationship when the edge portions of the sheet are so bonded. It is particularly preferred to employ a strip that is dimensioned and spaced upon the sheet to provide deformable material only on the end wall; ideally the corresponding inwardly folded portions of the sheet and of the deformable material are substantially coextensive, and the sheet and deformable material are bonded over substantially the entire area of contact therebetween.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIG. 1 of the drawing is a perspective view of a package of goods embodying the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a fragmentary perspective view of one end of the package of FIG. 1 to an enlarged scale, with the end wall partially formed and with a portion thereof broken away to show its construction and expose the goods therein;

FIG. 2A is a fragmentary view to a greatly enlarged scale of the lower section of the broken away portion of FIG. 2;

FIG. 3 is a fragmentary perspective view to a reduced scale of the packaging member formed about goods into a generally tubular configuration and prior to folding of the end portions, a portion having been broken away to expose the goods therewithin and the comers of the sheet peeled away slightly for clarity of illustration;

FIG. 4 is a fragmentary plan view to a reduced scale of the blank utilized to produce the package of FIG. 1; and

FIG. 5 is a fragmentary sectional view to a greatly enlarged scale illustrating the manner of reclosure of the package.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE ILLUSTRATED EMBODIMENT Turning now in detail to the appended drawing, there is illustrated a package embodying the present invention in sealed, partially sealed and reclosed conditions, as well as the component parts thereof at various stages of production. As is best seen in FIG. 4, the blank from which the package is constructed consists of a rectangular sheet of synthetic packaging material, generally designated by the numeral 10, and an elongated strip of metal foil, generally designated by the numeral 12, which is bonded along the upper edge 14 of the sheet 10. The strip 12 is dimensioned and positioned so that one end 16 thereof is spaced inwardly from the adjacent edge 18 of the sheet 10 and so that the opposite end 20 of the strip 12 extends beyond its associated edge 22; the projecting portion 20 extends slightly further than the distance between the edge 18 of the sheet 10 and the end 16 of the strip 12. In FIG. 3, the sheet 10 is formed about the goods 24 in a closely conforming relationship so that it is generally configured as a tubular member of rectangular cross section, and the sheet 10! is sealed in that form by a longitudinal seam 26 which extends along the overlapping edges 18, 22 thereof. It will now be appreciated that the positioning of the strip 12 in the manner described permits a seal to be formed between the overlapping layers of the sheet 10 along the entire length thereof and that the end 20 of the strip 12 extends behind the opposite end 16 to ensure that there is no space in which a tear in the material of the sheet 10 can proceed.

FIG. 2 illustrates the terminal stages of formation of the package in which the end thereof is sealed (although this figure might also be considered to illustrate the initial stages of opening of the package). To seal the end, opposing sides 28 are folded inwardly toward one another forming the flaps 30 in the wider edges; the flaps 30 are thereafter folded inwardly toward one another to produce a conventional double point fold and provide the sealed package depicted in FIG. 1. It will be apparent that that package has, as a result, a sidewall 32 extending about the periphery of the goods 24, and an end wall 34 which is perpendicular thereto. Specific reference to FIG. 2A will more clearly describe the construction of the end wall 34 and also show that the foil 12 is restricted thereto when the flaps 30 are folded to the position of FIG. 1.

FIG. illustrates the recloseable feature of the present package wherein opposite sides of the open end thereof are brought together into face-to-face contact and folded parallel to the edge 14 (along the length of the strip 12) and creased in that relationship. The nonresilient defonnability of the foil 12 results in secure interengagement of the opposite sides thus folded together, thereby maintaining the package in a closed condition. Thus, the novel packaging members disclosed herein may be conveniently and effectively sealed at the time of the initial packaging of the goods and, during use, may be opened initially and thereafter repeatedly closed and opened with facility and convenience while providing an effective and secure seal for the package.

The method of effecting the seals to form and close the package originally may vary widely and will depend primarily upon the characteristics of the sealable material involved. Although other techniques may be feasible, the most effective and convenient manner of producing the seals will usually be by use of an elevated temperature technique employing materials which are heat scalable, i.e., rendered adhesive or tacky by subjecting them to heat. Many different types of heat-sealing apparatus may be used, such as the conventional heated jaws or rollers, and the heat source may involve infrared, dielectric, ultrasonic, or impulse heating effects. The end portions of the packages will normally be closed by suitable folding equipment having integral or associated heating means, and the fold may be of the double point, progressive or any other conventional type.

As regards the manner of forming the seam to produce the generally tubular configuration of the sheet of packaging material, the opposing edges may either overlap or be bonded in abutting, face-to-face contact. This will depend largely upon the surface characteristics of the portions of the sheet to be formed. It should be understood that the phrase generally tubular configuration" as used herein encompasses members that are rectangular in cross section (such as results when the sheet is in the form of the rectangular prism illustrated) as well as those which may have a circular, square or any other cross section; the cross-sectional configuration of the tubular form will usually depend upon the goods that are packaged therein since the sheet is most effectively and conveniently formed thereabout.

Similarly, although the end wall is described as being generally perpendicular to the sidewall, this relationship will also usually depend upon the arrangement of goods in the package since the end wall may also be formed thereagainst. The scalable surface or material may be provided by the inherent thermoplastic nature of the packaging sheet material of which the entire body of the bag member is constructed, or a heat-activatable coating may be used on the inner surface, such as by laminating a film of grater heat-sealing characteristics to a film having less effective heat-sealing characteristics. More particularly, the packaging material may be sheet material of a synthetic thermoplastic polymeric resin having inherent sealing characteristic such as the olefin and vinyl homopolymers and copolymers, the vinyl chloride/vinylidene chloride copolymers, the ethylene/vinyl acetate copolymers, etc.; in many instances laminated combinations of, or with, such polymers are particularly preferred. Both (or all) components of such a laminate may have sealing characteristics, or one of the components may provide other properties which are desired, such as a nonsticking surface or advantageous gas and liquid permeation characteristics, certain of which may be obtainable with layers of paper, cellophane, polyesters, and the like. Providing both surfaces of the sheet with sealing properties is advantageous in some cases since the applications in which such sheets may be suitable are more varied, and the seals produced between opposed scalable surfaces are generally more secure. The packaging material may be a normally nonsealable material such as paper treated with a scalable composition, and such treatment may involve coating the paper with a heat-activatable adhesive or by dispersing a suitable polymer in the fiber slurry during its manufacture; the inner surface of a sheet material component may be entirely coated with the heat-sealable material or coated in only limited areas thereof.

The appropriate thickness of the packaging material will depend primarily upon the intended use of the packaging member and is readily determinable by those skilled in the art. Polymeric sheet material will normally range from about 0.5 to 5.0 mils, and will preferably be about 1.0 to 3.0 mils in thickness. In some instances the packaging material may be as much as 30 or more mils thick, but the design of an economically feasible process employing such heavy gauge materials will usually entail more complicated equipment and procedures, and the gauge of deformable material necessary to maintain such a package closed may be prohibitive.

As has been mentioned, the material most appropriate for use as the deformable material is foil of a relatively ductile metal such as aluminum. It may be possible to substitute other nonresiliently deformable structures such as can be produced with a wire framework or skeleton (which may or may not be attached to or imbedded within a matrix such as paper), but from the standpoint of economics and convenience of manufacture the metal foils will generally be preferable. Virtually any configuration may be employed for the deformable element which will provide a substantially continuous strip or loop within the article when it is formed to provide the generally tubular body. Accordingly, the length of the material should be at least equal to the peripheral dimension of the tubular body; preferably it will be somewhat longer to provide a bridge and thereby avoid a gap in the overlapping area along which tearing could result.

As regards the transverse or width dimension of the strip, it need only be wide enough to allow facile folding longitudinally thereof to provide adequate interengagement, and the same criterion is applicable to determine an appropriate thickness for the strip or deformable element. Another factor influencing the thickness, however, is the thickness and resiliency of the sheet of packaging material because the gauge of the strip must be heavy enough to resist opening when it is in the creased condition. If desired, the strip may extend over the edges of the end wall onto the sidewall portion of the package, but unless the strip extends a considerable distance along the sidewall difficult mechanical problems occur during folding to RECLOSEABLE PACKAGE MEMBER BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Many types of closures and/or design modifications have heretofore been provided to enable a bag, container or overwrap to be closed and opened, or to be reclosed after an original seal has been removed or broken. Such packages are particularly useful when only a portion of the contents thereof are normally removed, and especially when the contents are subject to deterioration or spoilage due to atmospheric conditions after the package has been opened, e.g., when the package contains baked goods such as bread, cookies, etc. or when it contains other foodstuffs such as candy and the like.

Among the various methods which have been used to provide recloseable packages is the provision of pressure-sensitive adhesives on one or more portions of the package designed to permit repeated bonding and release. However, the use of adhesives in this manner has not been very successful for a number of reasons. As a fundamental matter, it is difficult to achieve a balance of properties in an adhesive whereby a desirable level of adhesion is coupled with relatively facile release characteristics for opening the package. In addition, there is a tendency for loss of tackiness to occur rapidly in such adhesives so that after relatively short periods of use they become relatively ineffectual due either to frequent opening and closing or to contamination of the adhesive with dirt particles and the like.

Other attempts to produce recloseable packages have relied upon metal clasps and closures for bags, envelopes, etc. made of a variety of materials including paper and plastics. Such a closure is normally made of a nonresiliently deformable metal so that it can be bent upon itself or about a portion of the package to maintain a closed condition when desired. However, so far as is known the prior art constructions of this type do not permit convenient and complete sealing of the package initially, ready opening thereof without undue damage thereto, and repeated opening and closing of the package with substantially no loss of effectiveness after extensive use.

In applicant's copending U.S. Application Ser. No. 830,720 filed June 5, 1969, now U.S. Pat. No. 3,554,436 there is disclosed a recloseable bag having a tubular body with a sealable inner surface having a peripheral strip of nonresiliently deformable material secured thereover. The strip is spaced downwardly from the upper end of the body to partially block the sealable material and to expose a peripheral band thereof above the strip at which sealing can be efiected. The strip aids in limiting the closing seal to the exposed band, and maintains a fold when creased to provide a recloseable closure for the bag. Although significant advantages are afforded by the bag member of this copending application in many instances, it is not readily adapted to certain container designs, such as the conventional overwrap type of package.

Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide a novel packaging member which is of relatively simple construction, which may be conveniently and completely sealed initially, which may be readily opened without undue damage to the main portion thereof such as would render the package unsatisfactory for subsequent use, and which may thereafter be repeatedly closed and opened without loss of closing effectiveness.

It is also an object of the invention to provide such a packaging member which is initially heat sealable, i.e., sealed by the application of heat thereto, by relatively simple procedures and in a rapid and effective manner.

Another and more specific object is to provide a packaging member that is highly suitable as an overwrap package.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION It has now been found that the foregoing and related objects can be readily attained in a recloseable packaging member having a peripherally extending sidewall and an end wall extending generally perpendicularly to the sidewall. The packaging member comprises a sheet of packaging material of generally rectangular configuration and a relatively thin strip of nonresiliently deformable material bonded to the sheet adjacent one edge thereof. The sheet has portions adjacent each of the remaining two opposing edges bonded together to form a generally tubular configuration and to provide the sidewall. Portions of the sheet and deformable material adjacent the one edge thereof extend generally perpendicularly to the sidewall in overlapping relationship and are bonded together to provide the end wall. The deformable material is capable of maintaining a creased configuration so that, upon separation and unfolding of the inwardly folded edge portions to open the end wall, the packaging member can be folded and creased along the strip of deformable material to interengage opposed portions and effect the reclosure of the package.

In a preferred embodiment of the invention at least one surface of the sheet of packaging material is heat sealable, which surface may be provided inherently by utilizing a sheet of packaging material comprised of a synthetic thermoplastic polymer. In some instances both surfaces of the packaging material advantageously have heat-sealing characteristics.

The strip of defonnable material is desirably comprised of a wrought metal foil having at least one surface coated with a material that is bondable to the sheet of packaging material, and preferably the coating material on the foil is a heat-sealable synthetic thennoplastic polymer. Ideally, the strip is positioned on the inside of the packaging member, and it may terminate inwardly from the end of one of the bonded opposing edge portions of the sheet so that the edge portions thereof can be bonded along the entire length of the sheet. The opposite end of the strip most desirably extends beyond the other of the opposing edge portions so that the end portions of the strip lie in overlapping relationship when the edge portions of the sheet are so bonded. It is particularly preferred to employ a strip that is dimensioned and spaced upon the sheet to provide deformable material only on the end wall; ideally the corresponding inwardly folded portions of the sheet and of the deformable material are substantially coextensive, and the sheet and deformable material are bonded over substantially the entire area of contact therebetween.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIG. 1 of the drawing is a perspective view of a package of goods embodying the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a fragmentary perspective view of one end of the package of FIG. 1 to an enlarged scale, with the end wall partially fonned and with a portion thereof broken away to show its construction and expose the goods therein;

FIG. 2A is a fragmentary view to a greatly enlarged scale of the lower section of the broken away portion of FIG. 2;

FIG. 3 is a fragmentary perspective view to a reduced scale of the packaging member formed about goods into a generally tubular configuration and prior to folding of the end portions, a portion having been broken away to expose the goods therewithin and the comers of the sheet peeled away slightly for clarity of illustration;

FIG. 4 is a fragmentary plan view to a reduced scale of the blank utilized to produce the package of FIG. I; and

FIG. 5 is a fragmentary sectional view to a greatly enlarged scale illustrating the manner of reclosure of the package.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE ILLUSTRATED EMBODIMENT Turning now in detail to the appended drawing, there is illustrated a package embodying the present invention in sealed, partially sealed and reclosed conditions, as well as the component parts thereof at various stages of production. As is best seen in FIG. 4, the blank from which the package is constructed consists of a rectangular sheet of synthetic packaging material, generally designated by the numeral 10, and an elongated strip of metal foil, generally designated by the numeral 12, which is bonded along the upper edge 14 of the sheet 10. The strip 12 is dimensioned and positioned so that one end 16 thereof is spaced inwardly from the adjacent edge lid! of the sheet 10 and so that the opposite end as of the strip l2 extends beyond its associated edge 22; the projecting portion 2d extends slightly further than the distance between the edge l8 of the sheet ill and the end id of the strip H2. in FIG. 3, the sheet 10 is formed about the goods 24 in a closely conforming relationship so that it is generally configured as a tubular member of rectangular cross section, and the sheet ill is sealed in that form by a longitudinal seam 26 which extends along the overlapping edges 18, 22 thereof. It will now be appreciated that the positioning of the strip B2 in the manner described permits a seal to be formed between the overlapping layers of the sheet l along the entire length thereof and that the end 20 of the strip l2 extends behind the opposite end 16 to ensure that there is no space in which a tear in the material of the sheet can proceed.

FIG. 2 illustrates the terminal stages of formation of the package in which the end thereof is sealed (although this figure might also be considered to illustrate the initial stages of opening of the package). To seal the end, opposing sides 28 are folded inwardly toward one another forming the flaps 30 in the wider edges; the flaps 30 are thereafter folded inwardly toward one another to produce a conventional double point fold and provide the sealed package depicted in FIG. 1. It will be apparent that that package has, as a result, a sidewall 32 extending about the periphery of the goods 24, and an end wall 34 which is perpendicular thereto. Specific reference to H6. 2A will more clearly describe the construction of the end wall 34 and also show that the foil 12 is restricted thereto when the flaps 30 are folded to the position of FIG. 1.

FIG. 5 illustrates the recloseable feature of the present package wherein opposite sides of the open end thereof are brought together into face-to-face contact and folded parallel to the edge 14 (along the length of the strip 12) and creased in that relationship. The nonresilient deformability of the foil 12 results in secure interengagement of the opposite sides thus folded together, thereby maintaining the package in a closed condition. Thus, the novel packaging members disclosed herein may be conveniently and effectively sealed at the time of the initial packaging of the goods and, during use, may be opened initially and thereafter repeatedly closed and opened with facility and convenience while providing an effective and secure seal for the package.

The method of effecting the seals to form and close the package originally may vary widely and will depend primarily upon the characteristics of the scalable material involved. Although other techniques may be feasible, the most effective and convenient manner of producing the seals will usually be by use of an elevated temperature technique employing materials which are heat scalable, i.e., rendered adhesive or tacky by subjecting them to heat. Many different types of heat-sealing apparatus may be used, such as the conventional heated jaws or rollers, and the heat source may involve infrared, dielectric, ultrasonic, or impulse heating effects. The end portions of the packages will normally be closed by suitable folding equipment having integral or associated heating means, and the fold may be of the double point, progressive or any other conventional type.

As regards the manner of forming the seam to produce the generally tubular configuration of the sheet of packaging material, the opposing edges may either overlap or be bonded in abutting, face-to-face contact. This will depend largely upon the surface characteristics of the portions of the sheet to be formed. It should be understood that the phrase generally tubular configuration as used herein encompasses members that are rectangular in cross section (such as results when the sheet is in the form of the rectangular prism illustrated) as well as those which may have a circular, square or any other cross section; the cross'sectional configuration of the tubular form will usually depend upon the goods that are packaged therein since the sheet is most effectively and conveniently formed thereabout.

Similarly, although the end wall is described as being generally perpendicular to the sidewall, this relationship will also usually depend upon the arrangement of goods in the package since the end wall may also be formed thereagainst. The scalable surface or material may be provided by the inherent thermoplastic nature of the packaging sheet material of which the entire body of the bag member is constructed, or a heat-activatable coating may be used on the inner surface, such as by laminating a film of grater heat-sealing characteristics to a film having less effective heat-sealing characteristics. More particularly, the packaging material may be sheet material of a synthetic thermoplastic polymeric resin having inherent sealing characteristic such as the olefin and vinyl homopolymcrs and copolymers, the vinyl chloride/vinylidene chloride copolymers, the ethylene/vinyl acetate copolymers, etc.; in many instances laminated combinations of, or with, such polymers are particularly preferred. Both (or all) components of such a laminate may have sealing characteristics, or one of the components may provide other properties which are desired, such as a nonsticking surface or advantageous gas and liquid permeation characteristics, certain of which may be obtainable with layers of paper, cellophane, polyesters, and the like. Providing both surfaces of the sheet with sealing properties is advantageous in some cases since the applications in which such sheets may be suitable are more varied, and the seals produced between opposed scalable surfaces are generally more secure. The packaging material may be a normally nonsealable material such as paper treated with a scalable composition, and such treatment may involve coating the paper with a heat-activatable adhesive or by dispersing a suitable polymer in the fiber slurry during its manufacture; the inner surface of a sheet material component may be entirely coated with the heat-scalable material or coated in only limited areas thereof.

The appropriate thickness of the packaging material will depend primarily upon the intended use of the packaging member and is readily determinable by those skilled in the art. Polymeric sheet material will normally range from about 0.5 to 5.0 mils, and will preferably be about 1.0 to 3.0 mils in thickness. In some instances the packaging material may be as much as 30 or more mils thick, but the design of an economically feasible process employing such heavy gauge materials will usually entail more complicated equipment and procedures, and the gauge of deformable material necessary to maintain such a package closed may be prohibitive.

As has been mentioned, the material most appropriate for use as the deformable material is foil of a relatively ductile metal such as aluminum. it may be possible to substitute other nonresiliently deformable structures such as can be produced with a wire framework or skeleton (which may or may not be attached to or imbedded within a matrix such as paper), but from the standpoint of economics and convenience of manufacture the metal foils will generally be preferable. Virtually any configuration may be employed for the deformable element which will provide a substantially continuous strip or loop within the article when it is formed to provide the generally tubular body. Accordingly, the length of the material should be at least equal to the peripheral dimension of the tubular body; preferably it will be somewhat longer to provide a bridge and thereby avoid a gap in the overlapping area along which tearing could result.

As regards the transverse or width dimension of the strip, it need only be wide enough to allow facile folding longitudinally thereof to provide adequate interengagement, and the same criterion is applicable to determine an appropriate thickness for the strip or deformable element. Another factor influencing the thickness, however, is the thickness and resiliency of the sheet of packaging material because the gauge of the strip must be heavy enough to resist opening when it is in the creased condition. lf desired, the strip may extend over the edges of the end wall onto the sidewall portion of the package, but unless the strip extends a considerable distance along the sidewall difficult mechanical problems occur during folding to produce the endwall. Since the additional amount of material necessary to cause the strip to extend onto the sidewall also adds to the total cost of the package, it will be apparent that in the preferred packages the foil is confined to the end wall or some portion thereof. Although it is possible to position the strip at a location spaced parallel to but away from the edge adjacent to which it extends, it is more desirable that the edges of the strip and of the sheet be flush since reclosure is thereby facilitated. More particularly, by so constructing the blank, a smaller volume of goods need be removed from the package before sufficient area of foil is available for convenient folding for reclosure. Ideally, the corresponding inwardly folded portions of the sheet and of the strip of deformable material are coextensive, with the deformable material covering the entire end of the package as in the illustrated embodiment, since this affords maximum mechanical protection at the end of the package and provides the most advantageous arrangement for ready reclosure.

The manner in which the deformable elements are secured to the packaging material may vary considerably and will depend largely upon the specific materials involved; advantageously, the sealable surface itself furnishes the necessary bonding characteristics. For most satisfactory results with foil strips, it is usually necessary to pretreat the foil by coating it to render it more readily or more strongly adherent, and the coating composition will depend upon the particular sealable surface that is involved. For example, aluminum foil coated with a polyolefin composition readily adheres to a polyethylene sheet under heat-sealing conditions. Due to the desirability of treating the deformable elements for better bonding, it will normally be most advantageous to position the strip on the inside surface of the sheet. This avoids the necessity of coating both sides of the strip, and therefore saves considerable expense and avoids undue production complexity. Positioning on the inside also results in packages that are more secure because the element is protected against inadvertent removal or delamination and it is thereby covered to prevent interference with, or damage to, adjacent packages.

Thus, it can be seen that the present invention provides a novel packaging member which is of relatively simple construction and which may be conveniently and completely sealed initially. The packaging member may be readily opened without undue damage to the body thereof so that it remains satisfactory for subsequent use, and it may thereafter be repeatedly closed and opened without loss of closing effectiveness. The invention also provides a packaging member, which specifically may be of the overwrap type, and which is initially heat sealable, i.e., sealed by the application of heat thereto, by relatively simple means and may be filled and closed with conventional packaging apparatus.

Having thus described the invention, I claim:

1. A recloseable packaging member having a peripherally extending sidewall and an end wall extending generally perpendicularly to said sidewall, said packaging member comprising a sheet of packaging material of generally rectangular configuration and a thin strip of nonresiliently deformable material extending along a major portion of one edge of said sheet and bonded thereto, said sheet having portions adjacent each of the remaining two opposing edges bonded together to form a generally tubular configuration and to provide said sidewall, inwardly folded, coincident of said sheet and deformable material adjacent said one edge compositely forming each of a plurality of flaps extending generally perpendicularly to said sidewall in overlapping relationship, said overlapping flaps being bonded together to provide said end wall, said deformable material being capable of maintaining a creased configuration so that, upon separation and unfolding of said flaps to open said end wall, said packaging member can be folded and creased along said strip to interengage opposed portions and effect the reclosing thereof.

2. The packaging member of claim I wherein at least one surface of said sheet of packaging material is heat sealable.

3. The packaging member of claim 2 wherein both surfaces of said sheet of packaging material are heat sealable.

4. The packaging member of claim 2 wherein said sheet of packaging material is comprised of a synthetic thermoplastic polymer providing said heat-sealable surface thereon.

5. The packaging member of claim 1 wherein said bonded opposing edge portions provide an axial searn extending along said sidewall.

6. The packaging member of claim 1 wherein said strip is comprised of a wrought metal foil, and wherein at least one surface of said foil is coated with a material that is bondable to said sheet of packaging material.

7. The packaging member of claim 6 wherein said strip is on the inside surface of said member.

8. The packaging member of claim 6 wherein said coating material is a synthetic thermoplastic polymer that is heat sealable with said packaging material.

9. The packaging member of claim 1 wherein said strip extends along said one edge and terminates inwardly form one of said bonded opposing edge portions, said strip providing a substantially continuous band on said sheet in said generally tubular configuration thereof, and said opposing edge portions being bonded along the entire length of said sheet.

10 The packaging member of claim 1 having good contained therein, and wherein opposed portions adjacent the edge of said sheet opposite to said one edge are bonded together to provide a completely sealed package of goods.

11. A recloseable packaging member having a peripherally extending sidewall and an end wall extending generally perpendicularly to said sidewall, said packaging member comprising a sheet of packaging material of generally rectangular configuration, and a relatively thin strip of a wrought metal foil coated on at least one surface with a material that is bondable to said sheet of packaging material, said strip being bonded to said sheet adjacent one edge thereof on the inside surface of said packaging member, said sheet having portions adjacent each of the remaining two opposing edges bonded together to form a generally tubular configuration and to provide said sidewall, cooperating portions of said sheet and foil adjacent said one edge providing a plurality of flaps extending generally perpendicularly to said sidewall in overlapping relationship, said overlapping flaps being bonded together to provide said end wall, said foil being capable of maintaining a creased configuration to that, upon separation and unfolding of said flaps to open said end wall, said packaging member can be folded and creased along said strip to interengage opposed portions and effect the reclosing thereof.

12. A recloseable packaging member having a peripherally extending sidewall and an end wall extending generally perpendicularly to said sidewall, said packaging member comprising a sheet of packaging material of generally rectangular configuration and a relatively thin strip of nonresiliently deformable material extending along one edge of said sheet and bonded thereto, said sheet having portions adjacent each of the remaining two opposing edges bonded together along the entire length of said sheet to form a generally tubular configuration and to provide said sidewall, said strip terminating inwardly from one of said bonded opposing edge portions and providing a substantially continuous band on said sheet in said generally tubular configuration thereof, cooperating portions of said sheet and deformable material adjacent said one edge providing a plurality of flaps extending generally perpendicularly to said sidewall in overlapping relationship, said overlapping flaps being bonded together to provide said end wall, said deformable material being capable of maintaining a creased configuration so that, upon separation and unfolding of said flaps to open said end wall, said packaging member can be folded and creased along said strip to interengage opposed portions and effect the reclosing thereof.

13. The packaging member of claim 12 wherein said strip extends beyond the other of said bonded opposing edge portions so that the end portions of said strip lie in overlapping relationship.

14. The packaging member of claim 12 wherein said strip is dimensioned and spaced upon said sheet to provide said deformable material only on said end wall.

Patent Citations
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US2157194 *Apr 13, 1935May 9, 1939Standard Brands IncPackaging
US2853225 *Aug 22, 1956Sep 23, 1958Cellu Kote IncCollapsible container
US3249286 *Sep 28, 1964May 3, 1966Monsanto CoReinforced plastic bag
US3353662 *Apr 15, 1964Nov 21, 1967Colgate Palmolive CoPlastic bags with metal foil laminated lips
US3395852 *Sep 5, 1967Aug 6, 1968Donald S. KoncakClosure means for wrapped packages
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US5007229 *Jun 20, 1989Apr 16, 1991Highland Supply CorporationMethod of wrapping utilizing a self adhering wrapping material
US5044300 *Apr 18, 1990Sep 3, 1991Herd Douglas MBarrier wrapper
US5199242 *Mar 29, 1991Apr 6, 1993Highland Supply CorporationMethod for wrapping flower pots using a self adhering wrapping material
Classifications
U.S. Classification229/87.9, 383/905, 229/87.1
International ClassificationB65D75/58, B65D75/12
Cooperative ClassificationB65D2575/586, Y10S383/905, B65D75/58, B65D75/12
European ClassificationB65D75/58