US 3770185 A
A unitary folded beverage container having a peak or gable top and a tear strip to provide a strawhole. The tear strip is formed by spaced apart score lines on an outer side of a top gable forming wall and the strawhole is formed by a closed score line formed on an inner side of the same wall, at a position beneath and between the outer spaced apart score lines. The score lines are cut to a substantial overlapping depth (viz., 40 to 75 percent of the wall thickness) from opposite sides of the gable forming wall. Upon pulling the tear strip, a layer of material between the spaced apart score lines separates from the gable wall together with the entire thickness of the wall contained within the inner closed score line. With regard to manufacture, the means to form the strawhole is easily incorporated into the container blank without necessitating any change in the overall manufacturing process.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
waited States Patent Reeves Nov. 6, 1973 BEVERAGE CONTAINER WITH STRAW Primary ExaminerSamuel B. Rothberg HOLE Assistant Examiner-Stephen P. Garbe Inventor: Allan C. Reeves Lafayette, Calif. Att0meyFlehr, Hohbach, Test, Albritton & Herbert  Assignee: Foremost-McKesson, lnc., San
Francisco, Calif.  ABSTRACT A unitary folded beverage container having a peak or  Filed 1971 gable top and a tear stri to rovide a strawhole. The
P P [21 Appl. N0.: 119,111 tear strip is formed by spaced apart score lines on an outer side ofa top gable formin wall and the strawhole f d b l d l' f d 'd 18 orme yac ose score me orme on an 1nners1 e 229/17 229/7 of the same wall, at a position beneath and between the n outer Spaced apart Score mm The score lines are cut  Field of Search 229/17 G, 7 S, 51 D, b I I d h 40 7 229/7 R 17 R 51 TS to a su stantia over appmg ept (viz., to 5 percent of the wall thickness) from opposite sides of the gable forming wall. Upon pulling the tear strip, a layer  References Clted of material between the spaced apart score lines sepa- UNITED STATES PATENTS rates from the gable wall together with the entire thick- 2,324,807 7/1943 Wentz 229/17 G ness of the wall contained within the inner closed score J 5/1949 Vivian 229/17 G line. With regard to manufacture, the means to form 3 2 351 7 3 the strawhole is easily incorporated into the container onroe blank without necessitating any change in the overall t, t manufacturing process.
Claims, 10 Drawing Figures PATENTEURUY s 1925 SHEET 10F 3 Fig.2
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Allan C. Reeves 27/141, W,%/ i attorneys PAIENIEDauv 6W3 3770.185
sum ESP 3 INVENTOR- Allan C. Reeves PATENTEDuuv BIEHS 3770.185
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\ Allan C. Reeves L ELZPA W Attorneys BEVERAGE CONTAINER WITH STRAW HOLE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION AND OBJECTS This invention relates generally to beverage cartons or containers, and more particularly to such devices in the form of foldable blanks or finished containers provided with means to readily form a strawhole therein.
It is a general object to the invention therefore to improve upon devices of such character, particular with respect to means providing a readily available strawhole in a beverage container.
It is another object to the invention to provide means to form a strawhole in a unitary folded beverage container whereby the basic structure and procedure for manufacturing the beverage container remain unchange.
It is another object to the invention to provide a foldable beverage container of such character which can be readily fabricated and assembled on existing equipment and machinery for such purpose.
Additional objects and advantages of the invention will appear from the detailed description thereof and from the drawing.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION Broadly stated, the presented invention is directed to the concept of a strawhole formed by a closed score line on the inside of the carton, beneath and within the confines of a larger tear strip formed by a spaced apart score lines on the outside of the carton. The separate score lines on the inside and outside of the carton extend a substantial distance into the material of the carton wall so as to provide a zone of overlap within the area of the strawhole. Consequently upon pulling or removing the tear strip to pull away a portion of the carton wall, the material or plug" within the inner score line is removed to thereby expose a strawhole. The described structure thus not only provides a readily available strawhole beneath an easily accessible tear strip, but also makes possible a number of advantages in the manufacture and use of the device:
l. The score lines for the tear strip can be run on existing blank converting equipment or machinery, in a single pass, at normal or conventional rates of operating the machinery.
2. The reverse scoring to outline the strawhole can likewise be accomplished with existing equipment, for example by adding a strawhole punch to existing blank converting equipment, such as the knock-out wheel for scrap removal.
3. The scribing of score lines to an overlapping depth from opposite sides of the blank is easily accomplished without prohibitively critical machine tolerances.
4. The removal of the material within the strawhole at the precise moment of pulling the tear strip provides an uncontaminated hole for insertion of the straw.
The foregoing as well as other advantages of the invention will appear from the following description and from the drawing.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIG. 1 is view in plan of a foldable blank useful in forming an improved beverage container in accordance with the invention.
FIG. 2 is a like view showing the reverse side of the blank of FIG. 1.
FIG. 3 is an enlarged detail view in section, along the line 3-3 of FIG. 1.
FIGS. 4, 5 and 6 are views in perspective showing, in sequence, the folding and sealing of the blank of FIG. 1 to form a completed beverage container.
FIG. 7 is a like view, illustrating the pulling of the tear strip to expose the strawhole.
FIG. 8 is a fragmentary view in elevation of an upper or gable portion of the beverage container of FIG. 6.
FIG. 9 is a greatly enlarged detail view along the line 99 of FIG. 8. 7
FIG. 10 is a like view illustrating the removal of the tear strip to expose the strawhole.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT The improved beverage container of the present invention can be fabricated from a single unitary foldable member such as the blank 10 illustrated in FIG. 1. This blank is preferably of rectangular configuration, and is provided with a plurality of longitudinal lines of weakness or fold lines 12 which permit the blank to be folded into a four sided container of generally rectangular cross section. The blank can also be provided with a longitudinal strip 14 which may be coated with adhesive, heat sealing or other means to facilitate assembly of the blank into the rectangular configuration. Thus, as may be seen by reference to FIGS. 1 and 4, the longitudinal fold lines 12 divide the folded blank into a plurality of the panels 16 which form the vertically extending side walls of the completed container or carton -10.
As further illustrated in FIGS. 4 through 6, the panels 16 are subdivided by transverse fold lines 18 which cooperate with inclined fold lines 20 to provide inwardly foldable end portions or flaps 22 which may be folded and sealed to form a substantially planar end closure or bottom for the container (not shown). Outer portions of the panel 16 are likewise provided with the transverse fold lines 24 and inclined folds lines 26 which permit such outer portions to function as gable forming portions which may be folded into a conventional peak or gable closure. Thus, as particularly shown in FIG. 5,
'the blank may be manipulated about the fold lines 24,
26 to form infolded side flaps 28 and upwardly converging top flaps or walls conveniently designated as front wall 30 and rear wall 34. I
It is the feature of the invention that the blank 10 is formed as a single unitary foldable member from a single ply of fibre board material, such as conventional bleached sulfite board or like material. Such material is easily scored and also provides the advantage of being easily separated along a tear strip into two separate layers or plies, as hereinafter more 'fully explained. The material of the blank is further rendered waterproof by the usual coating of paraffine, polyethylene or like waterproof coating, in a conventional coating operation. As will be understood by workers in this art, the carton folding and sealing operations are also facilitated by the coating which, because of its thermoplastic characteristic, will heat-soften during the folding and sealing operation and thereafter, upon cooling, will solidify in the desired carton configuration, for example as in FIG. 6.
As-best illustrated in FIG. 4 to 6, a folded position of the panels 16 provides upwardly extending portions which cooperate in forming the peak 35 of the upstanding or gable portion of the container 10. Thus, the side panels are provided with upstanding portions 36 suitably provided with intermediate fold lines 38 which cooperate in the folding operation. The panel portion which folds to form the rear top wall 34 is similarly provided with an upstanding portion 40 which preferably has a portion of the upper edge cut away, as at 42, to provide a thumb notch for the tear strip. In like fashion, the panel which is foldable to form the front top wall 30 has an upstanding portion 44 which cooperates with the rear panel portion 40 to form the described gable extension or peak 35 at the top of the carton (see FIG. 6). As further illustrated in FIG. 1, each of the side panel extensions 36 is foldable about a segmented fold line 45, which facilitates the infolding of the side panels, whereas the front and rear panel extensions are foldable about the transverse fold lines 46, such fold lines generally cooperating in the forming and sealing of the peak or gable portion of the carton.
. Referring specifically to FIGS. 1 and S, the front wall 30 and its extension 44 are provided with spaced apart score lines 50 which extend a substantial distance downward from the upper edge of the front panel, represented at 52. As illustrated, the score lines 50 are generally parallel but diverge adjacent the edge to provide a tab portion 54. In accordance with the invention, the score lines 50 are cut to a substantial depth within the material of the panel 50, ranging generally from about 40 percent to about 75 percent the thickness of the front wall30. This feature of the invention is particularly illustrated in the enlarged view of FIG. 3, where the score lines 50 are shown as severing the outer waterproof coating 56 and penetrating to a substantial depth within the material of the wall 30. The depth of the score lines 50 is. further shown in the enlarged cross sectional view of FIG. 9, which additionally shows that the score lines run continuously at such depth from the top edge 52 to a position substantially downward therefrom along the upwardly converging surface of the front panel 30.
It is an additional feature of the present invention that a single, closed score line 60 is formed on the reverse side of the panel 30, between the parallel score lines 50 (see FIG. 2). As best illustrated in FIG. 3, the score line 60 likewise severs the inner waterproof coating 62 and penetrates to a substantial depth within the material of the top wall 30. By similarly cutting the score line 6!) to a depth of the order of 40 to 75 percent the thickness of the wall 30, a zone of overlap is created with respect to the score lines 50 and 60, as shown in FIG. 3. This zone of overlap is further illustrated in the enlarged views of FIGS. 8 and 9 which show that the score line 60 is cut to a depth sufficient to overlap or penetrate the depth of the score lines 50 on either side thereof. As hereinafter explained, this feature of the invention insures that the plug of material within the closed score line 60 will be withdrawn with the tear strip to form the strawhole.
As best illustrated in FIGS. 6 through 10, the spaced apart score lines 50 form a tear strip therebetween which is adapted to be pulled outwardly by the tab portion 54 such operation being facilitated by providing a thumb notch, as at 66. The tab 54 can be readily grasped and pulled away from the carton to separate the fibres of the upper carton wall within the tear strip defined by the score lines 50. This operation is illustrated in enlarged detail in FIG. 10, and also in FIG. 7. However as particularly illustrated in FIG. 10, the juxtaposition of the score line 60 within the confines of the tear strip prevents separation of the fibres within a plug of material 68 encompassed by the score line 60. As a result, the plug 68 remains intact and moves outwardly with the tear strip, as generally represented by the arrow 70. The net effect is to leave a strawhole or opening 72 which, being freshly exposed, is free from external contamination. The resulting strawhole is moreover ideally positioned for the insertion of the straw, due to its central location in the top of the beverage container.
In commercial practice, means to cut or impress the score lines 50 in the upper surface in the carton blank 10 are easily incorporated into existing machinery for converting the blank. Thus means for impressing or cutting the score lines 50 can be incorporated into the die for forming the fold lines, so that the upper surface of the blank can be cut and scored in a single pass through the machinery without any necessity of reducing the speed of operation. The cutting of the closed score line 60 in the bottom surface of the carton blank can likewise be accomplished in conjunction with existing equipment. For example, a strawhole punch can be incorporated in the knock-out wheel, as normally employed to remove the scrap between the outer edges of individual blanks in sheet of the carton blanks. Such modification could be easily made in the knock-out plate conventionally employed to remove the scrap in the blank converting equipment.
In general, it has been found that the described container construction, employing fibre board or other conventional sized and calendered paper (suitably coated with a water resistant coating), will provide just the right characteristics for utilization of the tear strip to expose the strawhole. The configuration of the tear strip and plug 68 also facilitate return of the tear strip and plug to seal the strawhole, in the event that the contents of the container are not completely consumed. From a clearly practical point of view, the described construction provides the further advantage that it does not interfere with procedures to open the carton and reveal a pouring spout, as conventionally employed with gable top cartons. The concept of the invention can thus be incorporated into existing carton structures with a minimum of effort and expense, and without interfering in any way with the conventional manufacturing procedures employed in fabricating the container, or in its use.
Those skilled in the art to which the present invention relates will appreciate that many variations in the specific construction and applications of the invention will suggest themselves without parting from the scope thereof. For example, the closed score line 60 employed to form the strawhole is illustrated as circular in configuration. It will be understood, however, that oval, rectangular or various other configurations of such score line can be employed with equal success. Also, while a particular gable type container construction has been illustrated, it will be appreciated that the concept of the present invention could be employed with various other appreciable change in the invention. The disclosures herein are therefore intended to be purely illustrative and not in any sense limiting.
1. In a unitary folded beverage container formed of a single ply of fibrous carton forming material and having a gable top formed by upwardly converging front and rear top walls, means forming a straw opening therein, said means comprising spaced apart score lines formed in said single ply material in an outer surface of said front top wall and extending a substantial distance downward from an upper edge thereof, said score lines being cutthrough the single ply material of said front wall to a depth of the order of 40 to 75 percent the thickness of said single ply, and a closed score line formed on an inner surface of said front wall at a position beneath and between said spaced apart score lines, said closed score line likewise being cut through said single ply material to a depth of the order of 40 to 75 percent the thickness of said single ply, the combined depth of said closed and spaced apart score lines being greater than the thickness of said single ply and sufficient to provide a zone of overlap in said single ply material, said spaced apart score lines forming a tear strip therebetween which upon being pulled downwardly from said upper edge of the carton causes all of the single ply material within said closed score line to be pulled outwardly therewith to provide a strawhole.
2. A beverage container as in claim 1 wherein the walls thereof, including said upwardly converging front and rear top walls, are formed of a fibrous material coated with a water resistant coating.
3. A beverage container as in claim 2 wherein said score lines penetrate said water resistant coating.
4. A beverage container as in claim 1 wherein an upper portion of said converging rear top wall has been removed at a position between said spaced apart score lines in the front top wall, to thereby provide ready access to said tear strip.
5. A beverage container as in claim 1 wherein said spaced apart score lines, at a position above said closed score line, are substantially parallel and extend in a generally vertical direction.
6. A beverage container as in claim 1 wherein said closed score line is generally circular in configuration.
7. A unitary folded beverage container formed of a single ply of carton forming material comprising a rectangular body portion having four side walls, a substantially planar folded and sealed bottom and a folded and sealed peak top formed by upwardly converging front and rear top walls, upper portions of said front and rear top walls being secured to one another in generally vertical relationship with a portion of the rear top wall being removed to provide an exposed tab portion of said front top wall, score lines formed in an outer surface of said front top wall and extending from spaced apart positions on either side of said tab portion a substantial distance downward from an upper edge thereof, said downwardly extending spaced apart score lines being cut through the single ply material of said front wall to a depth of the order of 40 to 75 percent of the thickness of said single ply material, and a closed score line formed on an inner surface of said front top wall at a position beneath and between said spaced apart score line, said closed score line likewise being cut through said single ply material to a depth of the order of 40 to 75 percent of the thickness of said single ply material, the combined depth of said spaced apart and closed score lines being greater than the thickness of said single ply material and sufficient to provide a zone of overlap within the material of said front top wall, said spaced apart score lines forming a tear strip which upon being pulled down and outward from the top of the container causes 40 to percent of the single ply material with said closed score line to be removed to provide a strawhole.
8. In a unitary foldable blank for a beverage container formed of a single ply of fibrous carton-forming material, said blank being provided with the following:
l a plurality of longitudinal substantially parallel fold lines which divide the blank into four longitudinally extending wall panels.
2. a plurality of transverse substantially parallel fold lines which are substantially perpendicular to said longitudinal fold lines and which divide each of said wall panels into four smaller panels, said smaller panels including in sequence from one edge of the blank a bottom panel, a side panel, a top panel, and a closure panel, each of two nonadjacent ones of said top panels being provided with a pair of fold lines which extend from the adjacent side panel and intersect at the edges of the adjacent closure panel, each of two non-adjacent ones of said bottom panels being provided with a pair of fold lines which extend from the adjacent side panel and intersect at an edge of the blank, the improvement comprising score lines in said single ply of material forming a pull tab with a straw opening therein, said score lines including spaced apart score lines formed in one of the two remaining non-adjacent top panels and its adjacent closure panel and on the same side of the blank as said fold lines, said score lines being cut through the single ply material of said blank to a depth of the order of 40 to 75 percent of said single ply material and extending a substantial distance inward from an outer edge thereof, and a closed score line formedon the reverse side of the single ply material of said blank containing said spaced apart score lines, said closed score line being positioned on said reverse side between said spaced apart score lines, said closed score line likewise being cut to a depth of the order of 40 to 75 percent the thickness of the single ply material of said blank, said closed and spaced apart score lines being cut to a combined depth exceeding the thickness of said single ply material so as to be sufficient to provide a zone of overlap in said single ply material, said spaced apart score lines defining a tear strip adapted to remove 40 to 75 percent of the wall thickness of the panel therebetween together with the entire thickness of the wall panel enclosed within said closed score line.
9. A foldable blank for a beverage container as in claim 8 formed of a single sheet of fiber board material coated on either side with a water resistant coating.
10. A foldable blank for a beverage container as in claim 9 wherein said water resistant coating is a relatively thin film of polyethylene, said film being penetrated at least in part said score lines.