US 3640446 A
The inner top closure flap of a rectangular carton is scored to permit easy opening, at least a portion of the inner flap remaining intact to constitute a lip beneath which a corresponding portion of the outer closure flap may be tucked to retain the flaps in reclosed position.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Umted States Patent 1151 3,640,446 Grieve 1' Feb. 8, 1972  CARTON WITH TUCK-IN CLOSURE 2,789,751 4/1957 Feldman ..229/5l TC FLAP 3,498,522 3/1970 Peet ...229/51 TC X 2,345,486 3/1944 beebov.. ..229/51 TC X  Inventor: Harold R. Grieve, Battle Creek, MlCh. 2 249 244 7/194 Guyer 229/51 TC  Assignee: General Foods Corporation, White Plains, ,007,520 7/1935 Daller..., ..229/51 TC FOREIGN PATENTS 0R APPLICATIONS [221 1969 1,086,467 10/1967 Great Britain ..229/51 TS [211 Appl. No.: 861,253
Primary ExaminerLeonard Summer Attorney-C. Garman Hubbard, Bruno P. Struzzi and Thomas  U.S.Cl ...229/17 R, 229/51 TC v Sullivan  Int. Cl ..B65d 5/54 158] FieldoiSearch ..229/l7R,7R,51TS,51TC,  ABSTRACT I, The inner top closure flap of a rectangular carton is scored to  References Cited permit easy opening, at least a portion of the inner flap remaining intact to constitute a lip beneath which a cor- UNITED STATES PATENTS responding portion of the outer closure flap may be tucked to retain the flaps in reclosed position. 2,002,364 5/1935 Daller ..229/l7 8 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures CARTON WITH TUCK-IN CLOSURE FLAP BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to cartons adapted for packaging of granular, powdery or other types offree-flowing products and has particular reference to such a carton having an easy-open closure which may be reclosed and retained in the reclosed position after the initial opening to thereby protect product remaining in the carton from possible contamination or spillage.
Cartons heretofore developed for similar purposes and having an easy opening and positive reclosing feature have generally required additional amounts of board and complex scoring patterns rendering the cartons relatively expensive to manufacture and therefore rather impractical. Furthermore, they also usually required application of glue in an irregular and precisely located pattern which presented registration problems during the erecting and closing operations on a filling line. Also, prior cartons developed for these purposes generally provided an open area or pouring orifice of dimensions substantially less than that of the entire closure flaps.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The carton according to the present invention does not require the use of additional board or other carton stock material and provides an easy-open and positive reclosable construction wherein the area of the opening or orifice may be substantially coextensive with the overall area of the top closure flaps. This is achieved by placing tearlines along the fold line joining the inner top closure flap with a face panel of the carton, said lines extending from a thumb punchout tab preferably at the center portion of said panel to a point near the side edges of said closure flap. From these points the tear lines run at an angle to said fold line and inwardly of said closure flap to the side edges, respectively of said closure flap so that when the carton is opened by tearing along said tear line, substantially the entire inner closure flap will be separated from said face panel leaving only small triangular corner sections of said inner closure flaps intact and still connected to said face panel. Upon reclosure, said comer sections which are in register with corresponding corner sections of the outer closure flap, which is adhered by any suitable means to the inner closure flap, serve as lips under which the corresponding corners of the outer flap may be tucked to retain the closure flaps in the reclosed position.
In applications where a full-size opening or orifice is not required or desired, tear lines may be placed across the widths of both the inner and outer closure flap so as to leave a substantial portion of the closure flaps intact when the carton is open. In this type of application, the weakened or tear line in the outer flap could be along a single straight line with the weakened or tear line across the inner flap being angled near the flaps hent edge to thereby provide a retaining lip for the corresponding corner of the outer closure flap. With the latter application of the invention, if desired the transverse weakened or tear lines across the respective inner and outer flaps could be located out of register with one another, with the line of the inner flap located to define a smaller opening than that defined by the tear line of the outer flap, whereby the area of the inner flap bordering the opening will be in register with a marginal. area of the removable portion of the outer flap so as to limit the movement of the closure flaps during reclosure to prevent them from being pushed into the interior of the carton.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING Reference may be had to the following specification for a more complete description of the invention, the features contributing thereto and the advantages accruing therefrom, when read in conjunction with the accompanying drawing wherein:
FIG. 1 is a fragmentary view in plan of an individual carton blank as cut and scored for erecting into a carton having an easy-open reclosable tuck-in closure flap in accordance with the invention;
FIG. 2 is a fragmentary view in perspective of the carton in closed condition prior to opening;
FIG. 3 is a fragmentary view in perspective of the carton blank of FIG. I in the process of being erected into the filled and closed carton of FIG. 2;
FIG. 4 is a fragmentary view in perspective of the carton of !FIG. 2 after being opened and with the closure flaps in the open position;
FIG. 5 is a fragmentary view in perspective of the carton of FIGS. 2 and 4 with the closure flaps reclosed and secured in the reclosed position.
FIG. 6 is a fragmentary view in perspective of a carton illustrating the invention in a slightly modified form.
DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Referring now to FIG. I, a carton embodying the present invention is formed from a carton blank cut from a web of cardboard, such as box board, paperboard or other semirigid packaging material. The blank illustrated in FIG. I is designed for erection into a rectangular carton and shows the surface of the blank which ultimately becomes the exterior surface of the resulting carton. The blank is divided by a pattern of scoring into a plurality of panels or walls and flaps which include a face panel 5 which may be considered the front wall of the resulting carton. In this instance the front face panel 5 is substantially coextensive in area with the rear face panel 6, both of which are broken away in FIG. 1, for space saving reasons, since the bottom portion of the carton may be of conventional construction, and its illustration is thought not to be necessary for a full disclosure of the invention.
A scored line 7 to facilitate folding extends along the juncture of the front face panel 5 with a side panel 8, and a scored line 11 extends along the juncture of the face panel 5 with the opposite side panel 12. The rear face panel 6 is similarly joined to side panels l4, 16 along scored lines 13, I5, respectively. Also joined to the rear face panel 6 along a horizontal scored line 17 is a closure flap 18 which serves as the outer top closure flap of the erected carton.
Also joined to the front face panel 5 along a scored line 21 extending across the entire edge of said panel is a flap 22 representing the inner top closure flap of the erected carton. Extending from each side of the flap 22 are short flaps 23, 24 which are appropriately shaped and slit so as to engage with a mating slit in the end panels 8, I2, respectively, and thereby serve as locking tabs for interlocking the top closure flap 22 with the side panels after the respective panels and flaps have been folded into the intended carton configuration. Although flaps 23, 24 are in the present instance designed to interlock with the side panels 8, 12, respectively, the interlocking feature should not be considered a necessary or essential aspect of the invention since the same inventive results would be achieved if the flaps 23, 24 were not of the interlocking type but were adhered to the side panels 8, 12, respectively, by a glue, adhesive or other equivalent means.
Easy-opening of the carton, once erected and closed, is achieved by providing a thumb punchout tab 25 in the top and, preferably, central area of face panel 5, which punchout tab is defined by an arcuate line of weakening 26 extending from and terminating at the aforementioned scored line 21. This line of weakening may comprise a series of spaced slits or perforations of any suitable type of sufficient depth and continuity to enable the tab 25 to be severed from panel 5 upon application of moderate pressure by the thumb of the user. Extending outwardly from each terminus of the weakened line 26 along the scored line 21 and partly superimposed thereon are continuations of the line of weakening 26 so as to constitute in effect a tear line for enabling substantially complete separation between the flap 22 and panel 5. The weakened or tear lines superimposed on the scored line 21 may be of any suitable type to achieve good separation, and in the present instance take the form of paired, spaced-apart slits 27 cut partially through the thickness of the carton stock material, one slit of each of the several pairs being in alignment with one another and in register with the scored line 21, the other slit of each pair being disposed at an inclined angular relation thereto. The tear lines comprised of the slits 27 tenninate at points short of the side edges of flap 22, whereupon each weakened tear line continues along a section 28 thereof, at an angle to the scored line 21 and inwardly of the flap 22, to a side edge of flap 22. Therefrom, each weakened line continues by a section 29 thereof coincident with and along a side edge of flap 22, which may if desired also be defined by a scored line, to terminate at the free edge of the flap. In the present instance, sections 28, 29 of the weakened tear lines are comprised of spaced slits cut at least partly through the thickness of the carton stock material. It will be noted that sections 28 of the weakened line define small triangular comer'sections 30 of the inner closure flap 22 in conjunction with the front and side edges of the flap.
FIG. 3 illustrates clearly the relationship between the respective face panels and closure flaps of the resulting carton. As the blank is being folded to bring the face panels 5, 6 into parallel opposed relationship, the inner top closure flap 22 is folded down along scored line 21 so as to lie beneath the outer top closure flap 18 when it is folded down along scored line I7. Tabs 23, 24 are folded down so as to lie inwardly of the side panels 8, 12, respectively, with which they interlock. Side panels I4, 16 are then folded to overlie the side panels 8, I2 to which they are secured preferably by glue or other suitable adhesive. FIG. 2 illustrates these parts of the carton when in their fully erected and closed condition.
Opening of the carton is accomplished by exerting pressure on the thumb punchout tab 25 which will readily separate along the perforated line 26 to enable grasping the top closure flaps 18, 22 and pulling them upwardly along the free edge of the outer flap 18 to cause the inner flap 22 to tear away from face panel 5 along the scored fold line 21 weakened by the perforations or slits 27 as aforesaid. As the closure flaps are pulled away, they swing about the scored fold line 17 whereat the outer flap 18 is joined to the face panel 6, and the tearing continues progressively along sections 28 and then sections 29 of the weakened line until the carton is fully open, as illustrated in FIG. 4. In this position full access may be had to the carton contents, or the carton may be tipped for pouring out of the contents or a portion thereof, depending upon the nature of the product.
Upon reclosure, the flaps 18, 22, which it is understood are adhered together by glue or the like applied to bond the areas exclusive of comer sections 30 in the course of the closing operation, are folded down into their original closed position whereat the free comer sections 31 of the outer flap 18 are brought into overlying registration with the corresponding corner sections 30, formerly part of the inner flap 22, but which were separated from the inner flap and remained intact with the carton during the easy-open operation by reason of the angled section 28 of the easy-open tear line. It will be noted that said corner sections 30 are attached along one side to face panel 5 and along an adjacent side to the locking tabs 23, 24, respectively. To complete the reclosure, the flaps 18, 22 are pushed with sufficient force to yieldably bend the comer sections 31 to an extent at which they will clear the edge of the comer sections 30 and snap beneath said comer sections 30 which thereupon become retainer or locking lips for retaining the closure flaps in the reclosed position. The reopening of a carton may be readily accomplished merely by again grasping the thumb punchout tab 25 and pulling up wardly on the closure flaps with sufficient force to yieldably bend the comer sections 31 to a degree whereat they will clear the edge of the retainer lips 30, thereby enabling the flaps to be swung upwardly to the fully opened position illustrated in FIG. 4.
FIG. 6 illustrates a slightly modified embodiment of the invention adaptable for applications wherein more restricted access to the product is preferred or desired. According to this embodiment, the top closure flaps are constructed and operate similarly to those of the previously described embodiment except that each is provided with a tear line running transversely of the flap so that only portions 18a 22a at one end of the closure flaps are torn away from the carton upon opening, with the remaining portions 18b, 22b remaining intact. The weakened tear line of the inner flap runs along a line having an angled section 32 which during the tearing open of closure portions 22a, 18a causes severance from what would otherwise be an angular comer section 33 of the removable portion 22a of the inner closure flap. This comer section 33 serves the same function with respect to the corner 31a formed in the removable portion of the outer closure flap as do the comer sections 30, 31 previously described.
The weakened tear line in the outer flap of the FIG. 6 embodiment may extend across the flap so as to provide in addition to the angular corner 31: a marginal portion 34 which is devoid of glue or adhesive and in the closed position lies in register with and overlying a strip of inner flap portion 22b bordering the opening or orifice of the carton. In this manner the inward movement of the removable flaps is restricted and limited to thereby prevent inadvertent pushing of the closure flaps completely through the orifice and into the interior of the carton, the retaining lips 33, 30, however, serving at the same time to retain the flaps upon reclosure in the fully closed position.
It will of course be apparent that should a restricted or partial orifice be desired at other than one side of the top closure flaps, the offset transverse tear line feature of the latter embodiment could readily be duplicated so as to define therebetween a reclosable flap at any desired location in the top of the carton. In such a construction, inward movement of the flaps would be limited along both sides thereof.
1. In a carton for a free-flowing product formed of semirigid packaging material and having a generally tubular configuration of rectangular cross section, which carton includes a pair of opposed face panels of substantially the same dimensions;
a. an inner closure flap joined along a first fold line to one of said face panels and of a shape and size substantially coextensive with the cross sectional area of said carton so as to substantially enclose one end of said carton, said flap being joined along a second fold line at one side thereof to a folded flap overlying and attached to a sidewall panel of said carton;
. an outer closure flap joined along a third fold line to the other one of said face panels and of substantially the same dimensions as said inner closure flap, said outer flap being adhered to said inner flap and having at least a side end portion thereof openable about said second fold line and formed with a free comer section; and
c. a weakened line along which at least a portion of said inner flap underlying the openable portion of said outer flap is severable from said carton to open same, said weakened line extending partly along said first fold line and continuing obliquely across said inner flap to said second fold line to define in conjunction with said first and second fold lines an interior triangular corner section in register with said free comer section of the openable portion of said outer closure flap, said weakened line continuing along said second fold line to the free edge of said inner closure flap, said interior corner section remaining joined to said one face panel and said folded flap when said inner flap portion is severed from said carton and disposed to engage said free comer section when tucked there-beneath during carton reclosure to retain the openable portion of said outer closure flap in the reclosed position.
2. The invention according to claim 1 wherein;
a. the opposite side of said inner closure flap is joined along a fourth fold line to a folded flap attached to the opposite sidewall panel of said carton; and
b. said weakened line extends obliquely from said first fold line across said inner flap to said fourth fold line to define an interior corner section at the opposite side of said inner closure flap in register with a free comer section of 5. The invention according to claim 4 wherein:
a. said weakened line along which the severable portion of said inner flap separates therefrom to open said carton includes an arcuate section in said one face panel and definsaid outer closure flap. 5 ing with the fold line along which said inner fiap is joined 3. The invention according to claim 1 wherein; to said one face panel a removable tab to facilitate graspa. the openable portion of said outer closure flap is defined ing i l r flaps.
by a weakened line running transversely from the free h a canon blank fomled with semh'igld P g g d h f to id hi d f ld li i an area i di material adapted to be erected into a carton of general tubular the Side edges of Said top closure fl the weakened line 10 configuration rectangular in cross section and including a pair i Said top closure fl including a fi t portion Starting at of rectangular face panels of substantially the same area said first edge and perpendicular thereto to define joined f g fold lines to a fiq Panel; therewith a free corner section, a second portion extendf a -f pfl hg i along 3 E fg l to s in e endicularl from said third fold line and offset e 36 0 one 0 ace pane c Osure 39 as"? s zfid first po l tion, said first and second portions being fj gl at one tbhlereof lg g fl 2? 2 being connected by an obliquely extending portion; and to 3 f0 a e flap 3 e to ewa Pane t e b. the severable portion of said inner closure flap is defined canon erected from biank;
in part by a weakened line extending perpendicularly b. an outer closure flap oined along a third fold l ne to one from the free edge thereof and in line with the first porenme edge of the other face panel mner and tion of said outer flap weakened line, said perpendicular 3:5;ggzzfi gfi zzgiggn and hav'ng substanweakened u Flosure bemg connected c. a weakened line along which a removable portion of said to the weakened line extending along said first fold line by inner closure flap may be Separated from Said blank, Said an ,obhquely 'f g deffmng one edge of weakened line extending along said first fold line and intfmor comer Seem)" "eglster the f comer eluding a section extending obliquely from said first fold defined y the weakened hhe of Sald outer closure line across said inner flap to said second fold line and thence along said second fold line to the free edge of said carton f 3 free-fihwmg p formed of Semmgld inner closure flap, said weakened line defining with un- Ffackagmg and havlhg a h hy tubuiar f weakened portions of said first and second fold lines an of rectangular sechoh which lhchfdes a P of P- interior comer section of said inner closure flap remain- P fa'cfi P of Substantially the Same ing joined with said one face panel and said foldable flap rectangular Closure p attached alQhg fold after separation from said inner closure flap of said line at one edge thereof to one of said face panels and of a removable portion, said interior comer section being shape and size substantially coextensive with the CI' disposed for registration with a free corner section of said sectional area of said carton so as to substantially enclose outer closure flap in the carton erected from said blank. when folded one end of said carton, said inner flap being 7. The invention according to claim 15 wherein: joined along fold lines of opposed side edges thereof to a. said inner closure fla is aimed along afourth fold line to fl hd 'd f'd fldblfl l fbl th 'd all I aps attac e to respective si es 0 sm carton; a o a 6 ap attac a e to e opposite s1 ew pane b. an outer rectangular closure flap attached along another of the carton erected from said blank; and
fold line to the other one of said face panels and disposed 40 b. said weakened line extends from said first fold line to overlie said inner closure flap, said outer flap being obliquely across said inner flap to said fourth fold line and coextensive with and adhered in folded condition to said therealong to the free edge of said inner closure flap, i inner flap and having at least a portion thereof extending we kened line defining with tlnweakened portions of said along id other f ld li bl d formed i h first and fourth fold lines an interior comer section at the posed f e comer ti d opposite side of the inner closure flap disposed for regisa weakened line along which at least a portion of said regi n wi h 13 free tfrlorner setftl at the ppg f side inner flap is severable from said carton to open same, said 531 6 h" P m t 6 Canon erect: mm
weakened line extending along said first mentioned fold fline and continuing inwardly across said inner flap to the h q g to 61mm 7 wheremi side edges thereof to define in conjunction with said one 0 Pg weagened lmeldevlates from t c l fl "1:3 edge and said side edges opposed interior corner sections one ace P Over an arcua Pa 0 e me thereof in register with and beneath which the opposed f first fold lme a manually femovable attached to free comer sections of the openable portion of said outer closure flap aong first fold closure flap may be tucked upon reclosure of the carton. 5