US 3750871 A
A shipping container in which a pair of rigid foam plastic panels are secured in opposite ends of a paperboard tube and have shallow recesses in their inner faces receiving and positioning spaced parts of contained articles.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
[ Aug. 7, 1973 United States Patent [191 Cook X U E 5 6 6 0 2 3,l l L223 ll/l963 3,241,66l 3/l966 Zamzow I 3,416,648 Levi............
Primary ExaminerDonald F. Norton Attorney-Eugene C. Knoblock  Filed: Feb. 14, 1972 App]. No.2 226,166
T C A R T S B A HI 5 R6 1 M8 ,6 CB m m l U SHt Um UN 55 A shipping container in which a pair of rigid foam plastic panels are secured in opposite ends of a paperboard tube and have shallow recesses in their inner faces re- R F5 6 AP C5 M m 6 0 2 h c r a e S f o M e i F U 5 ceiving and positioning spaced parts of contained articles.
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,216,339 10/1940 De Reamer....................... 206/65 E 9 Claims, 7 Drawing Figures SHIPPING CONTAINER This invention relates to improvements in shipping containers, and more particularly to shipping containers for fragile products or for products having surface finishes which are subject to damage if not protected.
Herctofore, it has been a common practice in shipping fragile materials, such as glassware or articles having sensitive and readily damaged surfaces, to package them for shipment in corrugated paperboard containers in which are enclosed not only the articles to be shipped but also protective pads, spacers and otherinserts designed and constructed to position the contents and to protect them against damage during shipment, handling and storage. The cost of such containers with article positioning and protecting means therein and of the assembly within a corrugated paperboard container of the spacers or positioning means and the articles being shippedis high,both from the standpoint of the cost of the packaging and positioning materials per se and the labor of assembling in the package the contained articles and the spacers or positioning members.
It is the primary object of this invention to provide a shipping container which is inexpensive and which is easily and quickly assembled and packed and in which the numberof constituentpartsis reduced to a minimum, without sacrifice of full and adequate positioning and shock absorbing characteristics.
A further object is to provide a shipping container of this character which can be constructed in any selected shape, such as cubical, cylindrical, triangular, hexagonal, and the like.
A further object is to provide a shipping container whose shipping weight when loaded is reduced compared to the weight of prior load protecting loaded packages without sacrifice of protection of the package contents.
A further object is to provide a shipping package which eliminates the need for internal package components separate from the package per se heretofore required to position and protect fragile contents, such as glassware and the surface finishes of other articles contained in the package.
A further object is to provide a shipping container of this character in which the need for strapping, taping, stapling or gluing during assembly of the box is eliminated, unless the user requires'or elects to use the same.
Other objects will be apparent from the following specification.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a container constituting one embodiment of the invention.
FIG. 2 is an exploded view of the container;
FIG. 3 is a vertical sectional view taken on line 3-3 of FIG. I.
FIG. 4 is a fragmentary vertical sectional view of a modified form of the invention. a
FIG. 5 is a perspective view of another embodiment of the invention.
FIG. 6 is a vertical sectional view taken on line 6-6 of FIG. 5.
FIG. 7 is a perspective view of another embodiment of the invention.
My new shipping container constitutes a pair of cellular or foam plastic panels, each having an interior configuration to position a part of an article or of each of several articles to be shipped therein, and a paperboard tube encircling marginal portions of both foam panels and anchored to said foam panels to complete said container.
Referring to the drawings which illustrate selected embodiments of the invention, and particularly to FlGS.I-3 which illustrate one embodiment of the invention, the numeral 10 designates the top of the container, the numeral 12 the bottom of the container, and the numeral 14 designates a side forming tube.
Each .of the top 10 and bottom 12 constitutes a panel formed of rigid cellular or foam plastic which may be of open cell or closed cell type, and which preferably is of closed cell type. Foam plastics particularly suitable for use in thisinvention include polystyrene,polyurethane, polyethylene, although any other foam-type plastic found suitable for a particular application may be utilized.
Each of the top 10 and bottom 12 is formed ofrequired configuration and size for the particular item or items to be packed in the container. This entails the formation of the bottom or inner portion of the top 10 with one or more cavities 16 of size, shape and location to receive therein the uppermost portion or portions of contained item or items 18, such asglass tumblers, as illustrated in FIG. 3. The cavities 16 are of shallow depth, preferably less than one-half the total thickness of the top 10. The cavities 16 may be of stepped form 26 of each is larger than the article, thereby reducing the mass or volume of the bottom without sacrifice of strength or thickness of the portion of the bottom upon which each article 18 bears. In the instance illustrated in FIG. 3 where frusto-conical glass tumblers 18 are illustrated, the arrangement is such that the cavities in both the top and bottom are similar. This is illustrative of only one condition, and is not intended to be limitmg.
Each of the top panel 10 and bottom panel 12 may have marginal flanges projecting therefrom. Thus, in the form shownin FIGS. 1 to 3 the top panel 10 has a flange 28 extending substantially full length of each side thereof and projecting outwardly beyond the surface of the remainder of the panel side, and the bottom wall has a marginal flange 30 projecting from a portion of each side thereof. As illustrated, the top flanges 28 extend flush with the top surface of the top panel and the marginal flanges 30 of the bottom extend flush with the bottom surface of the bottom panel. Each of the In theembodiment illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2, each of the top panel and bottom panel has a recess formed at each corner thereof. The recesses 32 of the top panel extend from the top surface thereof to a point intermediate the thickness of the panel so as to provide an integral shoulder portion 34 at the lower part thereof. The flanges 28 preferably extend between the recesses 32. As illustrated in FIG. 2, the recesses are V-shaped so that the top plan view of each shoulder 34 is square. It will be understood that the shape of the recesses is optional and may be arcuate or of other configuration. The bottom panel 12 is provided with a plurality of recesses 36 of a shape substnatially complementary to the shape of recesses 32, the same being formed to extend upwardly from the bottom surface of the bottom panel and for only a portion of the thickness of the panel to provide a shoulder portion 38 at the upper portion thereof.
The side forming tube 14 is formed of paperboard, such as corrugated paperboard of suitable grade and specification according to the strength required. The tube is of an inner dimension such that the margins thereof fit snugly around the major portions of the depths or thicknesses of the top and bottom panels. Thus, the top margins of the walls of the tube 14 illustrated in FIGS. 1, 2 and 3, fit snugly around the portion of the top panel below the flanges 28, and the lower marginal portions of the walls of the tub fit snugly around the upper portion of the bottom panel above the bottom flanges 30 thereof. In instances in which the top flanges 28 are provided with grooves 29 and the bottom flanges 30 are provided with grooves 31, the parts are assembled as illustrated in FIG. 3 with the margins of the walls of the tube 14 seating in such grooves.
In constructions in which the top panels are provided with recesses 32 and the bottom panels are provided with recesses 36, the tube 14 may be slit at 40 at spaced parts thereof located adjacent said recesses 32 when the box parts are assembled, and may be slit at 42 adjacent the bottom margin thereof at points adjacent the bottom recesses 36. The spacing of the slits 40 and 42 from the respective top and bottom edges of the tube will correspond to the spacing between the flanges and the shoulder portions of the top and bottom panels. By this arrangement, when the parts are assembled as illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 3, the portions 41 above each slit 4 40 may be bent or displaced to seat in the adjacent recess 32, and the portions 43 below each of the slits 42 may be bent or displaced to seat in a recess 36, as illustrated in FIG. 1. Thus, the tube parts 41 and 43 provide means engaging the shoulder portions 34 and 38 of the top and bottom panels and holding the parts 10, 12 and 14 of the container in assembled or operative relation. This arrangement eliminates the need for the use of tapes, staples, glue or straps to hold a container closed in cases where such additional securing or closure means are not required.
It will be seen from the foregoing that the assembly and packing of the container of this construction is readily accomplished by a few simple manipulations.
For example, a preformed bottom 12 of required upper contour for the articles to be packed may first have tube 14 applied thereto. The articles 18 may be inserted in the recesses 24 of the bottom, and the top panel preformed to receive the same articles 18 is then applied over the top of the tube 14 to engage the top portions of the articles 18. Closure and sealing of the container can be accomplished by application of straps, tapes, staples, or adhesive, if such is required; or, in cases where a construction as illustrated in FIG. 1 is adequate, the assembler may simply bend or deform the tube portions 41 and 43 to position them within the top recesses 32 and the bottom recesses 36. The resulting package is characterized by the strength of the thick foam plastic top and bottom panels and of the side wall tube 14 which are designed for the intended load or content. The thickness of the top 10 and bottom 12 will be such that the portion of each positioned between the article engaging surface or shoulder of each recess and the outer surface thereof will be adequate to absorb shock in a manner to ensure against breakage, of fragile contents 18 upon rough handling. Where multiple articles 18 are packaged, the articles will be held spaced apart and in proper relation to each other and to the outer wall of tube 14 by the recesses in the top and bottom panels into which they fit so that fragile articles contained in the package will not engage each other or be subject to breakage incident to rough handling.
FIG. 4 illustrates a modified construction wherein each of the top and bottom panels, such as top panel 10' illustrated, is of uniform dimension throughout its thickness, and the tube 14 forming the side walls of the container extends for full height or substantially full height of the completed container. By this arrangement, the use of the flanges 28 and 30 of the FIG. 1 embodiment is eliminated. The proper positioning of the parts making up the container is controlled or maintained by securing means, such as staples 44 driven through marginal portions of the tube 14' and anchored in the outermost portion of the foam plastic panel, such as top panel 10' shown. Straps, tapes or adhesive or glue may be substituted for the staples in such modified constructions if desired.
FIG. 5 illustrates a construction of a cylindrical shipping container. In this embodiment, each of the top and bottom foam plastic panels has a plurality of spaced recesses 46 formed therein at spaced points and extending for a portion of the thickness of the foam plastic panel whereby each terminates in a shoulder 48, here shown as arcuate in shape. The tube forming the side wall is slit adjacent each recess 46 and a portion 50 of the tube forming member is bent or deformed inwardly to seat in the recess 46 and bear against the adjacent shoulder 48. In this instance, the tubular part 52 extends substantially full height of the container with its top and bottom edges substantially flush with the outermost surfaces of the top and bottom panels of foam plastic. A container as illustrated in FIG. 5 is particularly suitable for packing and receiving articles such as fragile glass or ceramic bowls 54 which are positioned in the container by snug seating in shallow inverted recess 56 in the bottom surface of the top foam plastic panel and recess 58 in the top surface of the bottom panel.
FIG. 7 illustrates a container of hexagonal configuration in which the tube 60 extends full height of the container with its edges flush with the outermost surfaces of the top and bottom foam plastic panels. The top and bottom panels are provided with spaced recesses into which anchor portions 62 of the tube may be bent or deformed to bear upon shoulders 64 defined by the recesses. This construction also illustrates the use of staples 66 to secure the margins of the tube 60 to the foam plastic top and bottom panels.
It will be understood that the constructions herein described and illustrated are illustrative only of the invention and that other constructions embodying the invention are contemplated.
What i claim is:
l. A shipping container comprising a top panel formed of a rigid foam plastic, a bottom panel formed of a rigid foam plastic, a paperboard tube snugly encir cling at its upper portion at least a portion of said top panel and snugly encircling at its lower portion at least a portion of said bottom panel, the bottom surface of said top panel having a shallow recess therein and the top surface of said bottom panel having a shallow recess therein, said shallow recesses cooperating to receive and position the upper and lower portions of an article within said container, means for connecting to said top panel the upper encircling portion of said tube and means for connecting to said bottom panel the lower encircling portion of said tube.
2. A shipping container as defined in claim 1, wherein each of said top and bottom panels projects beyond the encircling portion of said tube and includes a flange projecting laterally therefrom and engageable by a portion of an edge of said tube.
3. A shipping container as defined in claim 2, wherein each lateral flange has a groove receiving a portion of said tube.
4. A shipping container as defined in claim 1, wherein each of said top and bottom panels is formed of closed cell foam plastic, and said panels are of complementary outer configuration.
5. A shipping container as defined in claim 1, wherein said tube is formed of corrugated paperboard and is of uniform dimension throughout its length.
6. A shipping container as defined in claim 1, wherein the peripheral portion of each of said top and bottom panels has a plurality of spaced recesses each extending from the outer face thereof and terminating spaced from the inner face thereof to define a shoulder at each recess, said tube having slits each adjacent a recess and each outlining a portion of said tube bent to seat in the adjacent recess with its innermost edge confronting the shoulder adjacent said recess.
7. A shipping container as defined in claim I, wherein a plurality of recesses are formed in the marginal portion of at least one of said foam plastic panels and terminate spaced from the inner face of the panel to define a shoulder adjacent each recess, and a portion of said tube seats in each recess and overlies the shoulder adjacent each recess.
8. A shipping container as defined in claim 1, wherein each article receiving recess has an articlecontaining surface spaced from the outermost adjacent surface of a foam plastic panel at least one-half the thickness of said panel.
9. A shipping container as defined in claim 1, wherein said tube encircles a portion of each foam plastic panel of a width exceeding one-half the thickness of the foam plastic panel.