US 3658238 A
A package is provided with a dispensing opening covered on the inside by a membrane heat sealed thereto. A cover strip overlies and is heat sealed to the exposed portion of the membrane in the opening, and flaps arranged generally parallel to the opening overlying each other as well as the cover strip, and act as a pouring channel when the cover strip is removed along with the membrane covering the dispensing opening.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Nedstedt [451 Apr. 25, 1972 [5 1 OPENING ARRANGEMENT WITH A 2,991,000 7/1961 Spees ..229/s1 AS COVER T I 2,998,911 9/1961 Hahn et al.... ..229/51 AS X 3,011,691 12/1961 McGlynn et al. ..229/51 AS X  Inventor: Gert J. V. Nedstedt, Malmo, Sweden 3,101,884 8/1963 Price ..229/51 D  Assignee: Tetra Pak International AB, Lund, FOREIGN PATENTS OR ppuc o s Sweden 641,584 6/1962 Italy ..229/51 AS  Filed: Oct. 20, 1970 21 A L N I 82 344 Primary Examiner-Davis T. Moorhead 1 Pp 0 AttorneyNorman C. Armitage and H. William Petry  Foreign Application Priority Data  ABSTRACT Nov. 14, 1969 Sweden ..l5630/69 A package is provided with a dispensing opening covered on the inside by a membrane heat sealed thereto. A cover strip  US. Cl. ..229/5l AS, 206/56 AA overlies and is heat sealed to the exposed portion of the mem-  Int. Cl ....B65d 5/70 brane in the opening, and flaps arranged generally parallel to  Field of Search ..229/51 TC, 51 D, 51 ST, 51 AS, the opening overlying each other as well as the cover strip, and 229/625; 220/29; 222/502, 528, 527; 206/56 AA act as a pouring channel when the cover strip is removed along with the membrane covering the dispensing opening. [56} References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 4 Claims, 3 Drawing Figures 2,546,052 3/1951 Wilkins ..222/528 OPENING ARRANGEMNET WITH A COVER STRIP This invention relates to an opening arrangement on packages of the kind that comprise a package wall provided with an opening, the said opening being covered on the inside of the package with a membrane capable of being heat sealed, e.g. a plastic membrane, in such a way as to form a liquid-tight seal.
A great number of throw-away packages for liquid and powdered contents have come on the market lately. Particularly in connection with packages which are to contain liquids, it has been found difficult to make an opening arrangement which can be torn open conveniently and easily and from which it is at the same time easy to pour out without the contents being spilled, and which at the same time satisfies the requirement that the opening arrangement prior to opening of the package must be liquid-tight, and is also capable of withstanding normal stresses during handling and transport without causing leakage.
Many of the opening arrangements which have been made and have been used are of the tear-strip type, i.e. an opening made in the package wall is covered with a tear strip which covers the opening in the package and which is sealed to the package wall around the opening. Sealing may naturally be accomplished by gluing, but since most modern packages are provided with a coating of plastic material capable of being heat sealed, e.g. polyethylene, the tear strip which in most cases also has a coating of plastic material capable of being heat sealed is usually affixed to the package wall by means of heat sealing. In cases where the package is intended for liquids, it is desired to avoid absorption of the liquid into the absorbent cut edge created when an opening is stamped out of fibrous material such as paper or cardboard. In order to prevent the said absorption into the. packaging material, the inside of the opening in packages to contain liquids is mostly covered with a wafer or membrane of plastic material which is sealed to the inside of the package wall around the opening. The said membrane is broken open as a result of the fact that the tear strip covering the opening on the outside of the package wall is heat sealed, in the region of the opening, to the membrane exposed in the opening, which is broken open when the tear strip is torn up in conjunction with the opening of the package.
The said known opening arrangements on packages however have the drawback that it is difficult to control the shape and direction of the jet of liquid when the package is being emptied. It has thus been found that fragments of the plastic membrane which have been left behind exert great influence on the direction of the jet and that a sudden alteration in the position of some part(s) of the said plastic fragments instantaneously changes the'direction of the jet of liquid, there being a great risk of spillage.
The above drawback is avoided by an opening arrangement in accordance with this invention, which opening arrangement is characterized by the fact that flaps affixed to the package wall and capable of being bent in relation to the package wall are arranged mainly parallel to one another onboth sides of the opening, and that a cover strip which is capable of being heat sealed and covers the opening is arranged between the said flaps and is heat sealed to the membrane exposed in the opening.
The invention is further characterized by the fact that the said flaps are arranged so as to be capable of being folded in towards one another over the cover strip and of being folded out in order to form a channel alongside the opening, and by the fact that the cover strip is capable of being torn off, whereby the opening is uncovered and the membrane is broken open and the flaps are also raised up so as to form the said channel.
The invention will be described below by reference to the attached diagrammatic drawings, in which FIG. I shows a package with an opening arrangement which has not been broken open,
FIG. 2 shows an opening arrangement which has been partially broken open and,
' FIG. 3 shows an opening arrangement which has been completely broken open.
FIG. 1 shows the upper part of a parallelepiped throw-away package for liquid goods, which has a package wall 1 consisting of at least one layer of paper or cardboard and an un broken inside layer of plastic, e.g. polyethylene. The outside of the package wall can also with advantage be covered with a layer of plastic.
FIG. 2 shows how the package is provided with an opening 4 which penetrates at least partially through the package wall 1, the opening in this case having an oblong shape. In order to prevent absorption of the liquid into the cut edge of the paper material around the opening 4, a strip of plastic has been placed in the example shown below the opening 4 and sealed to that part of the packaging material which in the completed package is to form the inside of the package.
Making of the opening 4 and repair of the opening with the said strip of plastic are carried out in conjunction with the manufacture of the strip of packaging material prior to the production of the package, whereby the said strip of plastic will form in the completed package a plastic membrane situated inside the opening 4.
It will be seen from FIGS. 1, 2 and 3 how a U-shaped part of metal foil, e.g. aluminum foil, which part is with advantage coated with plastic on at least one side, is placed around the opening 4 and along narrow edge zones 5 along the insides of the U-shaped legs is sealed to the package wall 1 on both sides of the opening. The central portion 7 which connects the legs of the U-shaped part is furthermore affixed to the package wall 1, and the pouring edge 8 of the said portion 7 projects somewhat beyond the edge 9 of the package in order to form in this way a well-defined pouring edge. Affixing of the said U- shaped part is considerably facilitated if the metal foil, on the side turned towards the package wall, is provided with a coating of thermoplastic, e.g. polyethylene, and since the said U- shaped part can be made comparatively thin in relation to the packaging material, it is possible to affix the said part along zones 5 and 7 around the opening 4 already onto a strip of packaging material which is then formed in an automatic conversion machine first into a tube and then into a parallelepiped package;
The tear strip 2 can furthermore be placed over the opening 4 already on the strip of packaging material and sealed to the plastic membrane exposed in the opening 4, which membrane is affixed to the opposite side of the packaging material. After the tear strip 2 has been placed over, and affixed to, the opening 4, the free portions 3 of the U-shaped part are folded in over the tear strip 2 in the way shown in FIG. 1.
In the course of forming the package, the opening is located in the desired place, i.e. in the case described here at the top of the package, with the pouring edge 8 located somewhat in front of the edge 9 of the package.
When the package in accordance with FIG. 1 is to be opened, the flap of the cover strip 2 which projects beyond the folded-in portions 3 is gripped with thumb and finger, after which the cover strip 2 is drawn upwards and backwards in the way shown in FIG. 2. Owing to the fact that the film of plastic affixed beneath the opening 4 is sealed to the underside of the tear strip 2, the film of plastic 6 covering the opening 4, when the tear strip 2 is torn off, will be torn up and will be removed together with the cover strip 2, in which way the opening 4 is uncovered.
In the way shown in FIG. 2, the folded-over portions 3 of the U-shaped metal-foil part will be raised up when the tear strip 2 is torn open. When the tear strip 2 has been completely removed, which is shown in FIG. 3, the edge portions 3 are fully raised up and form a channel. The package can now be emptied by being inclined towards the horizontal plane, whereby the contents run out through the opening 4, are guided by the channel formed and finally pour over the pouring edge 8 a well-controlled jet.
, The opening can be closed in a dustproof manner by folding in over the opening 4 the flaps 3 forming the channel, which can be raised up again when more of the contents are to be poured out.
The opening arrangement described above has been found to work very satisfactorily and also has the advantage that the pouring surface over which the contents run before leaving the package are protected from contact and contamination during storage and transport.
The opening arrangement can naturally be used on packages other than that shown here, and it is for instance very easy to use the opening arrangement on packages which are made from a blank stamped out in advance instead of from a strip of packaging material.
1. Opening arrangement on a package of the kind having a package wall provided with an opening, said opening being covered on the interior of the package with a plastic membrane capable of being heat sealed, in a manner to form a liquid-tight seal, a part of the membrane being exposed in said opening, said opening arrangement comprising flaps affixed to the package wall and capable of being bent in relation to the package wall, said flaps being arranged generally parallel to one another on opposite sides of the opening, and a cover strip, capable of being heat sealed, that covers the opening, said cover strip being arranged between said flaps and heat sealed to the portion of the membrane exposed in said openmg.
2. Opening arrangement according to claim 1, wherein said flaps are so arranged as to be capable of being folded in toward one another covering the cover strip and of being folded out to form a pouring channel alongside the opening.
3. Opening arrangement according to claim 1, wherein the cover strip is capable of being torn off whereby to uncover the opening and to break open the exposed membrane and simultaneously to raise the flaps so as to form a pouring channel.
4. Opening arrangement according to claim 2, wherein the covering strip extends for some distance past said opening, and at least part of said cover strip is not affixed to the package wall at one end, the non-affixed part of said cover strip acting as a draw flap for tearing off said cover strip.