|Publication number||US3785544 A|
|Publication date||Jan 15, 1974|
|Filing date||May 15, 1972|
|Priority date||May 15, 1972|
|Publication number||US 3785544 A, US 3785544A, US-A-3785544, US3785544 A, US3785544A|
|Original Assignee||Phillips Petroleum Co|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (10), Referenced by (47), Classifications (15)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
United States Patent [191 Smith ,Iian. 15, 19741 TRAY WITH STRENGTHENING MEMBER  Inventor: Ernest L. Smith, Kansas City, Mo.
 Assignee: Phillips Petroleum Company,
 Filed: May 15, 1972  App]. No.: 253,004
 US. Cl 229/14 BE, 40/312, 40/324,
206/DIG. 29, 229/2.5, 229/14 R, 229/40, 229/43  Int. Cl B65d 5/62  Field of Search 229/14 R, 14 B, 14 BE,
229/43, 2.5, 40; 206/46 F, DIG. 29, 65 C, 45.32, 45.34, 45.31, 78 B; 99/171 TC, 171 H; 40/307, 308, 312, 313, 324
 7 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,666,710 l/l954 Peters 229/14 BE 2,703,287 3/1955 Peters 229/14 BE 2,904,170 9/1959 Hennessey et a1. 229/40 3,126,660 3/1964 Meyers 40/312 3,154,215 10/1964 Le Vesconte 206/46 F 3,220,542 11/1965 Le Vesconte..... 206/45.3l 3,272,423 9/1966 Bjarno 229/14 B 3,281,051 10/1966 OBrien et a1. 206/46 F 3,339,724 9/1967 Hickin 206/45.34 3,495,758 2/1970 Wienelke, .lr. 206/DlG. 29
Primary ExaminerWilliam T. Dixson, Jr. Assistant Examiner-Stephen Marcus Attorney-Quigg & Oberlin [5 7] ABSTRACT An article of manufacture comprising in combination, a rectangularly shaped tray having sloping sidewalls terminating in a flanged rim, a film closure sealed to the top of the tray rim, and a U-shaped strengthening member having a first flange portion sealed to a lower rim surface on one side of the tray, extending downwardly across the bottom of the tray and upwardly to the lower surface of the rim on a second side of the tray wherein a second flange portion of the U-shaped sheet is sealed thereto.
5 Claims, 3 Drawing Figures PATENTEDJAH 1 512114 SHEET 2 BF 3 N mauswfx PAIENIEDJANISIBH sum 3 BF 3 F/GURE 3 TRAY WITH STRENGTHENING MEMBER This invention relates to an article of manufacture comprising, in combination, a tray and a strengthening member. In another aspect, this invention relates to a tray having a strengthening member along two sidewalls and the bottom thereof which can be decorated or labeled. In yet another aspect, this invention relates to a tray having a strengthening member wherein two sides and the top of the tray remain uncovered by the strengthening member, thus allowing content inspection. In still another aspect, this invention relates to a tray and a strengthening member which can be displayed on end or side.
In the container field there is an ever increasing use of containers which have a relatively rigid base made from an easily formable material such as plastic. Many of these containers have irregularly shaped sidewalls to provide ribs for strength or to provide a desired esthetic design for the tray. A cover is provided which is formed from a relatively rigid plastic material and interlocks with the top edge of the container base or a film of heat sealable material is sealed to the top edge of the container. Due to the techniques of modern sales engineering, it is often desired that these containers be highly illustrated. Also, there is a need for side labels on these containers so that the contents of the containers and/or brand indicia may be readily ascertained when the containers are placed in a vertical stack or placed on a high shelf. There has been a problem of printing on the sides of these containers having irregular side surfaces due to reinforcing ribs located in the sides of the container base. The irregular sides formed by these reinforcing ribs provide only a limited area on which side labels can be attached, therefore increasing the possibility that the side label may fall off of the container during handling.
Container trays having strengthening members known to the art provide adequate decoration areas and strength for stacking and shipping, but leave little orno exposure of the tray for content inspection. Modern sales engineering requires a tray container having adequate strength while at the same time providing adequate display of, for example, ends, sides, or tops of the trays. Many packaged goods such as food products, and the like, are presently sold in containers which are heremetically sealed to provide optimum protection, thus the need for strengthening members. Furthermore, these food products require as much display area as possible, thus the need for a strengthened tray container having decoration surface as well as display surface.
I have found that these problems can be overcome by attaching decorative side labels to the strengthening member which covers two sides and the bottom of a tray container wherein said strengthening member surfaces are relatively smooth as compared to the irregular sidewalls of the tray. The strengthening member covering only two sides and the bottom of the tray allows for display of contained products through the top and two remaining sides. The addition of the strengthening member to the tray is achieved through the means of sealing flange portions of the U-shaped strengthening member to a flanged rim which terminates the sidewalls of the rectangular tray. The flanged rim further provides a sealing surface for a film closure across the top of the tray. This flanged rim of the tray permits sealing of both the U-shaped strengthening member and the film closure thereby providing the complete packaging unit which allows for decoration, content inspection, and a strengthened container for the purposes of handling and storage.
It is an object of this invention to provide an article of manufacture comprising, in combination, a tray and strengthening member which allows for decoration and content inspection. Another object of this invention is to provide a strengthened tray container which may be displayed on end or side. Yet another object of this invention is to provide a tray container which will allow two sides and the bottom to be decorated on smooth strengthening member surfaces while providing two sides and the top of the tray for possible content display. Other aspects, objects, and the several advantages of the invention will be apparent from a study of the disclosure, the drawings, and the appended claims.
The article of manufacture according to the invention comprises, in combination, a rectangular tray having a bottom wall with sloping sidewalls extending upwardly from the peripheral of the tray bottom wall terminated in a flat, flanged rim having upper and lower surfaces; a cover closure film sealed to the upper surface of the rim; and a U-shaped strengthening member formed of a sheet material having a first flange portion sealed to the lower surface of the rim on a first side of the tray and extended downwardly from said sealed first flange portion across the bottom wall and upwardly to the lower surface of the rim of a second side of the tray, said reinforcing member terminated in a second flanged portion sealed to the lower surface of the rim on the second side of the tray. Preferably the tray is a'thermoformed tray having a rectangular shape with ribbed, sloping sidewalls and a horizontal rim. The film closure is sealed to the top of the rim surface and the U-shaped strengthening member having hot melt adhesive coatings on the flanged portions is attached to the tray rim by heat sealing to the bottom surface of the rim on two sides of the tray. Preferably, the U-shaped strengthening member extends downwardly at right angles from the rim of the tray across the bottom and upwardly at right angles to the lower surface of the rim on the opposing rim of the tray. The preferred U-shaped strengthening member is constructed of a paperboard. The use of the hot melt coated flange portion of the board allows for the tray container to be filled and sealed with the film closure at a time prior to the incorporation and sealing of the U-shaped strengthening member. However, the board can be sealed to the tray member at the same time that the film closure is sealed to the tray.
In the accompanying drawings,
FIG. 1 is an end view of the film closure, rectangular tray having sloping walls and rim, and the U-shaped strengthening member having first and second flanged portions, all of which are in position pior to being sealed in their respective positions.
FIG. 2 is a side view of the sealed tray and strengthening member comprising the container of the invention.
FIG. 3 is a cross-section view along lines 33 of FIG. 2.
Referring now to FIG. 1, there is shown a relatively rigid tray 1, a U-shaped strengthening member 4 and a cover closure film 6 all in position prior to forming the container of the invention. Tray 1 has a bottom wall 10, and sidewalls 12 having reinforcing ribs 8 therein. The
tray sidewalls l2 terminate in a flanged tray rim 14. The flanged tray rim 14 has an upper surface 16 and lower surface 18. Te U-shaped strengthening member has a first flanged portion 20 and a second flanged portion 22. The tray 1 is preferably a thermoformed tray and can be made of any suitable material known in the art, for example, polyethylene, polypropylene, or other suitable thermoplastic and/or thermosetting resins. The tray 1 is provided with a peripheral rim l4 projecting outwardly from the sidewalls 12 which slope upwardly from the tray bottom wall 10. Preferably, the tray rim 14 is in a horizontal plane as are the first and second flanged portions 20 and 22 of the U-shaped strengthening member 4. The cover closure film 6 can be formed of any suitable material known in the art, for example, a film of polyethylene, polypropylene, or similar material, or a laminate of a thermoplastic film and a sheet of paper and/or metal foil. The cover closure film 6 is attached to the upper surface of the tray rim 16 through suitable means such as heat sealing or adhesive applications. The seal form need not be liquid tight for the packaging of dry products, but a liquid tight seal is preferred to prevent loss of the contents or contamination thereof, especially in food packaging. The U- shaped strengthening member 4 preferably has a hot melt adhesive coating on the first and second flanged portions 20 and 22 for purposes of heat sealing to the lower surface of the tray rim 18.
Referring now to FIG. 2, there is illustrated a side view of the sealed container according to the invention. FIG. 3 is a view in cross-section along lines 3-3 of FIG. 2 which illustrates the sealed in place cover closure film 6, tray rim l4, and U-shaped strengthening member 4 and corresponding first and second flanged portions 20 and 22. Preferably, according to the invention, tray 1 is a thermoformed tray with a flat bottom wall having sidewalls 12 which are reinforced with ribs 8 and terminate in a horizontal tray rim 14. Preferably, the U-shaped strengthening member has perpendicular walls to the first and second flanged portions thereof which are sealably affixed to the horizontal tray As will be evident to those skilled in the art, many variations and modifications of this invention can be practiced in view of the foregoing disclosure. Such variations and modifications are clearly believed to come within the sphere and scope of the invention.
What I claim is:
1. An article of manufacture comprising in combination, a tray having a bottom wall with sloping sidewalls extending upwardly from the peripheral of the tray bottom wall terminated in a flat, flanged rim having upper and lower surfaces; a cover closure film sealed to the upper surface of the rim; and a U-shaped strengthening member of sheet material having a first flanged portion sealed to the lower surface of the rim on a first side of the tray and extended downwardly from said sealed first flanged portion across the bottom wall and upwardly to the lower surface of the rim on a second side of the tray, said strengthening member terminating in a second flanged portion sealed to the lower surface of the rim on the second side of the tray.
2. An article of manufacture according to claim 1 wherein the tray is thermoformed having irregularly shaped sidewalls which slope outwardly from the bottom wall peripheral to the flanged rim.
3. An article of manufacture according to claim 1 wherein the U-shaped strengthening member is comprised of paperboard which is extended downwardly at right angles from the first and second flanged portions.
4. An article of manufacture according to claim 1 wherein the U-shaped paperboard flange portions are heat melt adhesive coated.
5. An article of manufacture according to claim 1 wherein the tray is a thermoformed tray having irregularly shaped sidewalls with strengthening members therein, the U-shaped strengthening member is comprised of paperboard which is extended downwardly at right angles from the first and second flange portions, said flange portions having a coating of hot melt adhesive thereon, and the U-shaped strengthening member completely covers two sides and the bottom wall of the tray.
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|U.S. Classification||206/446, 40/324, 229/406, 40/312, 229/125.35|
|International Classification||B65D6/14, B65D77/04, B65D25/34, B65D77/20|
|Cooperative Classification||B65D25/34, B65D77/046, B65D77/2024|
|European Classification||B65D77/20E, B65D25/34, B65D77/04D1A|