US 3655500 A
A resilient cushioning dunnage product for use in packaging or packing comprising an elongated pad-like article formed of a generally loosely inwardly crumpled web of sheet-like material, such as paper sheet, with the lateral edges of the web having been rolled generally inwardly prior to the crumpling thereof, and then connected together along the generally central portion of the pad-like article lengthwise thereof.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Johnson [151 3,655,500 Apr.l1,l972
154] A RESILIENT CUSHIONING DUNNAGE PRODUCT FOR USE IN PACKAGING AND PACKING  Inventor: George R. Johnson, Chagrin Falls, Ohio  Assignee: The Arpax Company, Chagrin Falls, Ohio  Filed: Feb. 9, 1970  Appl. No.: 9,620
Related US. Application Data  Division of Ser. No. 703,588, Feb. 7, 1968, Pat. No.
 [1.8. CI ..l6l/104,93/1, 161/124, 161/128, 217/53, 229/14  Int. Cl ..B32b 3/04  Field ofSearch ..161/35,47, 50,104,124,128; 93/1 R, 1 WZ; 217/53; 229/14C  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,219,115 10/1940 Sackneretal. ..16l/104X 1,989,794 2/1935 Duvall ..l61/50 1,497,189 6/1924 Mitchell.... ..16l/104 X 2,834,703 5/1958 Atkinson... ..161/124 X 2,882,802 4/1959 Walker ..93/1 2,499,463 3/1950 Crary ..93/1 X Primary Examiner-Philip Dier Attorney-Baldwin, Egan, Walling and Fetzer [5 7] ABSTRACT A resilient cushioning dunnage product for use in packaging or packing comprising an elongated pad-like article formed of a generally loosely inwardly crumpled web of sheet-like material, such as paper sheet, with the lateral edges of the web having been rolled generally inwardly prior to the crumpling thereof, and then connected together along the generally central portion of the pad-like article lengthwise thereof.
7 Claims, 9 Drawing Figures PATENTEDAPR 1 1 m2 SHEET 1 [IF 4 PATENTEDAPR 11 1912 I 3,655,500
SHEET u 0F 4 E l g- 5 IN ENTOR.
WTTORNEYJ A RESILIENT CUSHIONING DUNNAGE PRODUCT FOR USE IN PACKAGING AND PACKING This is a divisional application of my co-pending U.S. patent application, Ser. No. 703,588, filed Feb. 7, 1968 by George R. Johnson and entitled MECHANISM AND METHOD FOR PRODUCING CUSHIONING DUNNAGE, now U.S. Pat. No. 3,509,798.
This invention relates in general to a novel cushioning dunnage product and more particularly to a dunnage product formed from sheet-like or web-like material, such as paper, into a resilient pad-like configuration for use in packing and cushioning articles or products in shipping containers and the like.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Various mechanisms and methods for producing lengths of packing material for use in packing fragile or breakable articles in enclosing containers are known in the art. One such mechanism is disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 2,882,802, issued Apr. 21, 1959 to Charles Robert Walker and entitled CRUMPLING DEVICE." However, the quality of dunnage produced on such prior art mechanisms oftentimes does not provide adequate cushioning capacity for the uses to which the dunnage is applied. Moreover, the mechanism and methods utilized to produce prior art dunnage products are either too complex for the quality of dunnage produced or they do not produce readily handled dunnage material having suitable resiliency. Accordingly, the general practice has been to crumple paper material manually, with the packers individually crumpling the material and placing it into containers as needed. The latter method is inefficient and time consuming. Various other types of dunnage materials such as, for instance, a plastic dunnage are known in the art, but these other types generally either require too much storage space or are too expensive for universal use. Applicants copending U.S. Patent application Ser. No. 640,l45 filed May 22, 1967, now U.S. Pat. 3,509,797 also discloses various types of cushioning dunnage.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention provides a novel dunnage product possessing considerable resiliency for providing good cushioning characteristics to the packing material, and is one with a relatively low density per unit volume. The dunnage product of the invention is relatively economical and is clean, and may be produced at the location of use from highly compact stock material, and is easily handled.
Accordingly, an object of the invention is to provide a novel dunnage product or packing material.
A further object of the invention is to provide a novel dunnage product which is of substantially pad-like configuration having a relatively low density per unit volume.
A further object of the invention is to provide a novel dunnage product of pad-like configuration comprised of at least one web of sheet-like material of predetermined width having the lateral edges of the web rolled generally inwardly into spiral-like configuration, and then crumpling the web with the rolled edges radially inwardly into said pad-like configuration, and with means connecting together the confronting rolled edge portions of the web.
A still further object of the invention is to provide a novel dunnage product formed of a plurality of webs of sheet-like material which are formed into an integral, resilient pad-like construction of dunnage.
A still further object of the invention is to provide a novel dunnage product which utilizes sheet-like stock material, such as paper, for fabricating the dunnage, with the sheet-like stock material being able to be stored in compact, dense condition, requiring relatively little cubic feet of storage, and which stock material is expanded many times over in the formation of the stock material into the dunnage product, and wherein the dunnage product can be formed at the point of packing operations for efficient transmittal of the formed dunnage product directly into containers being packed.
A still further object of the invention is to provide a novel cushioning dunnage product which is formed of paper sheet stock material which originally is in web-like form and wherein the lateral edges of the web are turned or rolled inwardly and then the web and its rolled lateral edges are radially crumpled to form the pad-like configuration of dunnage, and then are connected lengthwise generally centrally thereof to maintain the formed dunnage product.
Other objects and advantages of the invention will be apparent from the following description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings wherein:
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a generally diagrammatic top plan view of a mechanism capable of producing the product of the invention;
FIG. 2 is a side elevational view of the mechanism illustrated in FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a sectional view taken generally along the plane of the line 3-3 of FIG. 1 looking in the direction of the arrows;
FIG. 4 is a fragmentary view taken generally along the plane of 4-4 of FIG. 2 looking in the direction of the arrows, and illustrating the pusher means which aids in rolling the edges of the sheet-like stock materialv into spiral-like configuration prior to movement of the rolled-edged stock into the crumpling section of the mechanism;
FIG. 5 is a fragmentary generally diagrammatic top-plan view of the cushioning dunnage product produced by the mechanism;
FIG. 6 is a sectional view taken generally along the plane of line 66 of FIG. 5 looking in the direction of the arrows;
FIG. 7 is a fragmentary, perspective view illustrating the rolling of the edges of the sheet-like stock material above the pusher;
FIG. 8 is a diagrammatic end-elevational illustration of the generally spirally rolled sheet material just after it has passed the pusher means of FIG. 7;
FIG. 9 is a diagrammatic generally end elevational, fragmentary illustration of the superimposed webs of sheet-like material with their lateral edges .rolled into generally spiral form, converging into the crumpler section of the mechanism for producing the pad-like construction of dunnage product.
Referring new again to the drawings, there is illustrated a plurality of rolls 10 and 12 of sheet-like or web-like material, rotatably mounted on a support 14, for feeding of the sheetlike material lengthwise of the dunnage-producing machine. The sheet-like material may be of any suitable type, with paper, such as 30 pound Kraft paper, having been found to be satisfactory. However, it will be understood that other types of papers and other sheet-like materials may also be satisfactory, the Kraft paper having been found to provide a particularly expeditious type of cushioning dunnage product.
As can be seen, the inner roll 12 may be of a lesser width than the outer roll 10 and with the axis of the outer roll 10 being preferably disposed below the axis of the inner roll 12. The rolls 10 and 12 are preferably not freely rotatable on the support 14, but are preferably frictionally resisted in their rotation such as by means of a relatively close fitting condition between the rolls 10 and 12 and their respective spindles 15, to prevent over-running of the rolls during operation of the mechanism.
The dunnage-producing machine comprises a crumpler section 16 into which the superimposed webs 10a and 12a of sheet-like material are drawn, with such crumpler section comprising a funnel-like portion 17, a central reducing portion 17a, and a distal end compressing portion 17b, defining a continuous passageway 18 therethrough. Funnel-like portion 17 comprises a widened mouth 19 which slopes inwardly to a narrowed throat 20, so that the webs of sheet-like material are compressed radially inwardly, or crumpled inwardly into an irregular random-like pattern, resulting in a generally rectangular-shape pad-like configuration as they pass through portion 17 into the throat 20.
The lateral edges of the webs a and 12a are rolled inwardly as they commence to leave the respective roll of material, with such edges being rolled into superimposed spiral-like relationship, and with such spirally rolled edges being disposed in generally confronting, practically abutting condition as they move into the mouth 19 of funnel-like portion 17 of the crumpler section. In this connection there is provided a pusher mechanism 22 positioned upstream from mouth 19 of crumpler portion 17, for pushing downwardly on the webs of material and thus urging the lateral edges of the webs into rolled form as the webs are drawn into the crumpler section.
Pusher mechanism 22 is preferably adjustably mounted on the machine so that it may be moved longitudinally of the crumpler section 16 for adjusting the position of the pusher with respect to the mouth 19. In this connection, mechanism 22 may comprise a generally horizontally projecting supporting rod 24 suitably threaded as at 24a, and mounting an elongated support plate 26 on rod 24, as by means of mounting section 26a and associated holding nuts 28. Support plate 26 may have a depending rod 30 supported therefrom, as by means of threaded end section 32 extending through a complementary opening 34 in the support plate 26. A series of the openings 34 may be provided for adjusting the upstream position of the pusher mechanism 22 with respect to the mouth 19 of the funnel portion 17. Rod 30 at its lower end may have a generally arcuate-shaped pusher member 36 (FIGS. 4 and 7) which is adapted to slidingly engage the top side of the inner web 12a and maintain it in engagement with the outer web 10a as the webs move relative to the pusher mechanism 22, and into the crumpler section 16. As best seen in FIGS. 2 and 7, pusher member 36 extends below the horizontal plane of the lower extremity of mouth 19 and below the rolled edge portions R of the sheet-like material. Threaded end portion 32 of rod 30 in conjunction with nuts 37 provide for vertical adjustment of pusher 36. As can be seen in FIG. 4, the mouth 19 of the funnel-like portion 17 of the crumpler is preferably provided with a curved guide member 40 defining at least the lower extremity of the path of movement of the superimposed webs of sheet-like material, for guiding the spirally rolled edge portions R of the sheet-like material as they pass into the mouth 19 and toward the throat 20. Guide 40 ensures that the edges will not inadvertently tear due to engagement with the lower corners of portion 17 of the crumpler and aids in rolling the edges of the webs of material into spiral form. As can be best seen from FIG. 7, the rolled edge portions R of the weblike stock material commence to crumple inwardly as at 41 as the flow of stock material passes the pusher mechanism 22. The crumpling occurs in a random pattern and continues as the stock material passes into funnel portion 17 and thence into reducing portion 17a of the crumpler. Such random deformation of the stock material produces considerable void areas in the formed pad, resulting in a low density pad. The length of pusher member 36 is preferably approximately equal to the internal width of throat 20.
Generally central portion 17a of crumpler section 16 is preferably of rectangular-like configuration, which causes compression of the webs of material into a pad-like configuration as they pass through the throat and into portion 17a. Portion 17a preferably has slots 44 (FIGS. 1 and 2) in the upper and lower walls thereof and into which extend stitcher means 45 for connecting the confronting abutting rolled-edge portions R of the sheet material, as the latter is drawn through the crumpler section. In the embodiment illustrated, stitcher or connecting means 45 comprises loosely meshed equal size spur gears 46, 48. Gears 46 and 48 are mounted upon a respective shaft 46a, 48a which in turn are rotatably mounted in bearing structure 50 secured as by means of bolts 52 to the frame 54, supporting the gearing. Lower shaft 48a may have a pulley 56 secured thereto, which in turn is operably coupled as by means of belt and pulley 58 to a geared speed-reduction unit 60, which in turn is driven by a preferably electric motor 62. It will be seen that, upon actuation of the motor 62, the
pulley 56 drives the shaft 48a, which in turn rotates the gear 48, thus rotating the meshed gear 46. Bearings 50 are preferably adjustably mounted as by means of elongated slots in the framework 54, for selectively varying the spacing between the pitch diameters of the meshed gears, thus providing for varying the degree of stitching provided by the stitching or connecting mechanism. As the crumpled web-like material passes into the stitching mechanism, the confronting sections of the rolled edges R thereof which have been compressed and urged together due to the funnel portion 17 and central reducing portion 170 of the crumpler section, are stitched together due to the coining action of the meshing gears, and generally centrally of the dunnage pad P, and as at 66 (FIG. 5) to securely hold the crumpled webs of sheet materials together into a unitary pad-like configuration having very good resiliency characteristics. After passing the stitching mechanism 45, the formed pad passes into distal end compressing portion 17b of the crumpler section prior to being emitted from the machine.
Compressing portion 17b has a downwardly sloping top wall 68 and inwardly sloping or converging sidewalls 70 which further compress the pad of dunnage material into a formed, resilient article.
A cutter mechanism 76 of any suitable type may be provided at the exit end of compressing portion 17b, for selectively cutting the produced run of dunnage pad into desired lengths. In operation, the motor 62, which operates the stitcher 45 which in turn moves the stock material through the machine, would be preferably provided with a conventional foot switch (not shown) wherein an operator could selectively control the emission of the length of pad-like dunnage from the mechanism and, by means of cutter mechanism 76, could selectively cut the formed dunnage pad to the desired lengths wanted, and could then shut down the machine until further cushioning dunnage was needed.
As can be seen in FIGS. 5 and 6, the lateral rolled portions of the dunnage product P are of generally oval, pillow-like configuration, having considerable resiliency due to the superimposed rolling of the lateral edges of the webs of stock material and random crumpling of such rolled edge portions, while the central section, which is stitched as at 66, is compressed together into a fastened or held configuration, which holds the dunnage product in pad-like form, while providing excellent resiliency in the product. A 12-inch wide dunnage pad has been produced from a total paper width of inches made up of one 60-inch wide roll (e.g., roll 10) and one 40- inch wide roll (e.g., 12) of 30 lb. Kraft paper. A piece of the dunnage pad approximately 9 A feet long weighs about 1 pound and provides about 1 cubic foot of cushioning dunnage, with the latter thus having a density of about 1 pound per cubic foot. Other widths of pads can, of course, be produced by varying the size of the crumpler section. Varying the stock material width and/or the weight and type of paper will, of course, vary the density of the finalized pad. While the feed of stock material and orientation of the mechanism has been illustrated in the drawings as being generally horizontal, it will be understood that it could be arranged for generally vertical feeding and orientation.
From the foregoing discussion and accompanying drawings, it will be seen that the invention provides a novel cushioning dunnage product which may be readily formed from sheet-like material, into an elongated, pad-like configuration of dunnage product, and wherein the product comprises inward rolling into spiral-like form the lateral edges of the web of stock material, and with the rolled edge portions oriented into confronting relationship and crumpled down into the pad-like configuration, which is then connected together generally centrally thereof in the lengthwise direction, resulting in maintaining the formed configuration of the product. The dunnage product has good resiliency and is clean to handle, and may be formed from relatively low cost sheet-like material, such as ordinary Kraft paper, which may be stored in compact, rolled form prior to its formation into suitable dunnage, and which r A a may be fed directly from a dunnage producing mechanism into containers at the location of use.
The terms and expressions which have been used are used as terms of description and not of limitation, and there is no intention in the use of such terms and expressions of excluding any equivalents of any of the features shown or described or portions thereof, and it is recognized that various modifications are possible within the scope of the invention claimed.
What is claimed is:
1. In a cushioning dunnage product for use in packing comprising, an elongated relatively lightweight low density padlike article formed of a web of sheet-like paper material with the lateral edges of the web having been generally loosely rolled inwardly into generally spiral-like orientation and forming radially crumpled pillow-like portions defining the lateral extremities of said article, and means connecting the rolled confronting edges of the pillow-like portions together along the generally central portion of the pad-like article lengthwise thereof, the last mentioned means comprising lengthwise spaced interengaged coined portions of said paper material, said laterally arranged pillow-like portions of said article each being of a greater thickness than said central connected portion.
2. A dunnage product in accordance with claim 1 having a density of approximately 1 pound per cubic foot.
3. A dunnage product in accordance with claim 1 wherein said central connected portion is materially compressed extending lengthwise of said pad-like article, each of said coined portions extending transverse of said article, said lateral pillow-like portions being relatively loosely crumpled and possessing considerable void areas therein resulting in greater compressibility and resiliency as compared to said central portion.
4. A dunnage product in accordance with claim 1 wherein the width of said article is materially greater than the thickness thereof at said pillow-like portions.
5. A dunnage product in accordance with claim 1 wherein said article is formed of Kraft paper.
6. A dunnage product in accordance with claim 1 wherein said article is comprised of a plurality of webs of paper material disposed in superimposed relation with respect to one another and with the corresponding edges of said plurality of webs being disposed in interleaved, radially crumpled spiral form, providing said pillow-like portions.
7. A dunnage product in accordance with claim 1 wherein said article comprises an inner web and an outer web of paper, with said inner web being of a lesser width than said outer web, and being generally centrally located with respect to the lateral edges of said outer web, and with the rolled edges of said webs disposed in interleaved, radially crumpled spiral-like form, and defining said pillow-like portions.