Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.

Patents

  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS3802987 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 9, 1974
Filing dateMar 23, 1972
Priority dateMar 23, 1972
Publication numberUS 3802987 A, US 3802987A, US-A-3802987, US3802987 A, US3802987A
InventorsD Noll
Original AssigneeCorning Glass Works
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Method of joining
US 3802987 A
Abstract  available in
Images(1)
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [1 1 Noll Apr. 9, 1974 METHOD OF JOINING Prima Examiner--Alfred L. Leavitt t: DlA.NllC ,N.Y. W [75] Inven or a e o Ommg Assistant Examiner-CalebWeston [73] Assignee: Corning Glass Works, Corn ng, Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Clarence R. Patty, Jr.

22 Filed: Mar. 23, 1972 [57] ABSTRACT I A method of protectively joining a succession of elon- [21] Appl' 237405 gate articles of a, frangible or otherwise damageable material that includes positioning these articles in a [52] U.S. C1 156/296, 53/3, 156/244, non-abutting parallel relationship and applying at least l56/289, 156/290, 206/65 R, 206/65 A, One thin continuous coat of hot flexible plastic-type 214/ 10.5 R, 214/ 10.5 S material over the succession of articles in a direction [51] Int. Cl B32b 7/06 normal to their longitudinal axes; th this am r [58] Field of Search 156/289, 290, 291, 296, movably h g, p g, to he r i le to 156/305; 53/3; 206/65 R, 65 A; 2l4/l0.5 R, thereby protectively join the articles. Bond release 10,5 5; 220/97 C, 97 E; 229/25 agents may be utilized, and if the joined articles are l stacked in rows, the streams also serve as partitioning [56] R f e Cited means between adjacent rows. Modifications include UNITED STATES PATENTS the uses of substrate member and/or intermittent 3,342,659 9/1967 Baum et al 156/296 streams of plasnc'type mammal 3,263,830 8/1966 Anderson 214/105 R 10 Claims, 5 Drawing Figures METHOD OF JOINING BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention This invention relates to a method of joining a plurality of elongated articles. More specifically, it pertains to an economical and novel method for protectively joining a succession of elongate articles of a frangible or otherwise damageable material having straight longitudinal axes, and for the handling thereof as in storing or shipping.

2. Prior Art The patent art is replete with methods and apparatus for bundling and packaging cylindrical or tubular objects. Some of these patents, such as U.S. Pat. No. 2,662,649 to Gill et al., teach the method of producing a package wherein the various articles in the package are held in place vertically stacked, and preferably in staggered relation, by a substantially continuous binding element which is interwoven between the articles in such a manner as to lock the ends of the binding element in place as Well as to tie the articles together in a unitary structure. While this method successfully separates the various rows of articles it does however permit contact between adjacent articles within each row.

The method of bundling shown in U.S. Pat. No. 3,373,540 to Wisner, which is also assigned to the assignee of this invention, discloses a line of flexible material that is enlaced about each succeeding one of a succession of frangible articles in a manner so as to form a ladder-like structure enabling the enlaced articles to be sinuously or spirally wound to form a compact bundle thereof without the possibility of physical contact between the articles. While this method is quite useful it does not permit the ready removal therefrom of the articles on a unitary basis since there is no adherence of the articles to the line of flexible material.

Standard, well-known evacuated blood sampling tubes (such as illustrated in U.S. Pat. No. 2,460,641 to Kleiner) are generally packaged for. shipment and handling, to physicians and hospitals etc. in corrugated and chipboard cartons, with the tubes being located in stacked tube trays, such as, for example, those shown in U.S. Pat. Nos. 3,272,371 and Des. 205,735 to Weiner. These trays, which are generally made of a flexible plastic material, separate and partition the frangible tubes from each other to minimize or eliminate breakage during shipment and to permit ready dispensing at the point of use. While this packaging system with the tube trays performs satisfactorily, it is also subject to several shortcomings. Not only are the trays themselves relatively expensive, but they also require a considerable amount of space within the container, present a disposal problem, and do not give a ready visual indication of the number of tubes remaining in an opened container.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The instant invention reponds to each of the previously-described prior art shortcomings in a manner so as to completely eliminate any further concern regarding such problems.

The method of this invention protectively joins a succession of identical elongate articles, having straight longitudinal axes, of a frangible or otherwise damageable material that includes positioning each of the succession of articles in a non-abutting parallel relationship; and applying at least one thin continuous stream of hot flexible plastic-type material over each of the articles in a direction normal to their longitudinal axes, with said stream removably adhering, upon cooling, to the articles and making at least a partial annular contact and preferably at least surface contact with each of the articles to thereby protectively join the articles. The method may further include the use of bond release agents and rolling the joined articles upon themselves to form a convolute cylindrical structure, with the stream of plastic-type material serving as a partitioning means between the convolutions. In addition, the joined articles may be stacked in parallel rows, with at least one stream serving as a partitioning means between adjacent rows thereof.

Modification of the method of this invention also includes the use of a substrate member and the use of intermittent streams of plastic-type material.

. Other advantages and features of the instant invention will be understood from the following description in conjunction with the attached drawings.

BRIEF DRAWING DESCRIPTION FIG. 1 is a perspective view illustrating the method of this invention wherein a succession of identical elongate articles of frangible or otherwise damageable materials are being protectively joined by a continuous stream of flexible plastic-type material.

FIG. 2 is an end view of two successions of articles, protectively joined by the method of FIG. 1, stacked in parallel adjacent rows.

FIG. 3 is an end view of a modification of the method shown in FIG. 1 wherein said articles are placed on a substrate member.

FIG. 4 is an end view of a further modification of the method shown in FIG. 1 wherein an intermittent stream of flexible plastic-type material is utilized to protectively join said articles.

FIG. 5 is an end view of a modification of the method shown in FIG. 4 wherein said articles are placed on a substrate member.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Referring now to the drawings in detail, and particularly to FIG. 1, there is shown a plurality or succession of elongate articles 12 of a frangible or otherwise damageable material that are being protectively joined to each other by means of at least one thin continuous stream 14 of hot flexible plastic-type material.

It is believed expedient to note at this point in the description that the phrase elongate articles of a frangible or otherwise damageable material is intended to include articles such as tubes or tubing, cylinders, rods, bars, strips, flasks, beakers etc., of glass, plastic or other brittle materials, or articles subject to abrasion or which have coatings that are readily subject to being scratched. This may include, for example, small bottles, ampules, vials, glass piping and the like.

It should also be noted that the phrase flexible plastic-type material as employed herein is intended to mean materials such as polyamides, polyethylene, polyethylene-rubber combinations, thermoplastic urethane, polyester-type materials, ethylene-vinyl acetate and the like, i.e., materials that can be utilized in hotmelt systems.

As best seen in FIG. 1, a succession or row 18 of, for example, glass tubes 12 having straight longitudinal axes 16 are positioned in a non-abutting parallellongitudinal-axis relationship. Each tube 12 is in close proximity to the immediately preceding tube 12 in row 18, without skew and the resultant possibility of physical contact between tubes 12. Exiting from nozzle 20 of any melt source, such as a conventional hot-melt extruder (not shown), is a thin continuous stream 14 of hot flexible plastic-type material that is applied over tubes 12 in a direction normal to tube longitudinal axes l6. Stream 14, which is extruded in the hot state on, between, around and/or partially around the peripheral outer surface 22 of tubes 12 (as best seen in FIG. 2) makes at least a partial annular contact and preferably at least a 180 surface or arc contact with tubes 12. Thus, each tube 12 will be mechanically locked when stream 14 is allowed to droop below tube centerline 24. Stream 14 may be defined as being comprised of alternate, oppositely curved, arcuate tube contacting and tube connecting portions 26 and 28, respectively. Tubes 12 are preferably arranged on a jig or carriage (not shown) in order to obtain the required parallel non-abutting relationship, with at least one of the jig and extruder being movable relative to the other. The jig or carriage may be arcuate if desired so as to allow the tubes to be joined in a curved row. The nozzle configuration, extrusion rates, relative speed of movement, and type of plastic-type material being utilized are such that by proper selection the process is synchronized to provide the desired amount and shape of stream 14 that is applied over tubes 12. If more than one stream 14 of material is desired, then a second extruder could be utilized, orcyclic transfer and indexing of the one extruder and/or jig can be used. In addition, if a second extruder is utilized, then a differenttype of hot-melt and/or a different amount or shape of stream 14 can also be used, if desired. Furthermore, the hot melts may also be pigmented so as to permit identification by color. I I

After the application of stream 14 of hot flexible plastic-type material over tubes 12, cooling to a tackfree condition of stream 14 is achieved by radiation, conduction and convection. Depending on the material composition and the amount used, cooling time can range from a few seconds to a few minutes. Forced air can also be used to significantly speed up the cooling cycle.

After sufficient cooling to permit handling, rows 18 may be stacked either horizontally (FIG. 2) or vertically to form adjacent parallel rows, with the tube contacting portions '26 of at least one stream 14 serving as a partitioning means between adjacent rows. If desired,

a row 18 may also be rolled upon itself to form a convolute cylindrical body structure (not shown) with tube contacting portions 26 again serving as a partitioning means between the convolutionsof this body structure. Furthermore, tubes 12, whether in flat rows, arcuate rows, or rolled-upomthemselves cylinders, may be used in dispensing mechanisms (not shown) wherein the tubes may be individually dispensed from the joined row.

The composition of the flexible plastic type material is either selected so as to permit ready physical removal, i.e., peeling, of stream 14 from tubes 12, or tubes 12 are sprayed, prior to the application of stream 14, with a bond release agent such as known silicone lubricants (not shown). In addition, such a release agent could also be readily incorporated into the plastic-type material in order to reduce or eliminate the degree of tack relative to the tube surface.

FIG. 3 shows an end view of a modification of the method shown in FIG. 1 wherein tubes 12, prior to being positioned in a non-abutting parallellongitudinaI-axis relationship, are placed on a substrate member 30 of an expendable material such as corrugated board. Stream 14a, which is identical to stream 14 in composition and method of application, removably adheres not only around an arc portion of tube peripheral surface 22 but is also allowed to adhere to substrate member 30 between adjacent ones of tubes 12 thus essentially tacking" tubes 12 to member 30 at points 32. In addition, the surface contact between tubes 12 and stream 14a need not be in excess of 180 since the use of substrate member 30 eliminates the necessity of having to mechanically lock tubes 12 to stream 14a. Stream 14a may be defined as being comprised of alternate, oppositely curved, arcuate tube contacting and substrate contacting portions 34 and 36, respectively. The resulting rows 180, similar to rows 18, may also be stacked, either horizontally or vertically, with at least one substrate member 30 serving as a partitioning means between adjacent rows. Substrate members 30 may either be flat or arcuate and can extend for the entire axial length of the articles to be joined or may be in strip form parallel to stream 14a. FIG. 4 shows an end view of a further modification of the method of FIG. 1, wherein an intermittent stream 14b of flexible plastic-like material is utilized to protectively join a plurality of tubes 12 into row 18b. Intermittent stream 14b is comprised of aligned segments 38 that make contact between each of tubes 12 and. upon cooling join adjacent ones of tubes 12.

FIG. 5 shows an end view of a modification of the method shown in FIG. 4 wherein tubes 12, prior to being positioned in a non-abutting parallellongitudinal-axis relationship, are placed on a substrate member 30. Intermittent stream is comprised of aligned segments 38a, with segments 38a, in addition to joining adjacent ones of tubes 12 also being allowed to adhere to substrate member 30. Thus tubes 12 are in effect tacked to substrate member 30 at points 42. The Fanning rows 18E, may sna u; mes in a manner similar to that described with reference to FIG. 3.

The protective joining methods of this invention (es-.

pecially the method described with reference to FIGS. 1 and 2), are readily used for joining tubular articles such as blood collection tubes. After initially positioning the tubes, the stream of hot plastic-type material is extruded on, between and/or around the tubes. The plastic-type material, upon cooling, removably adheres to the tubes and at the same time separates the adjacent tubes from one another. The joined succession of tubes may then be handled as units and stacked in cartons etc., if desired, with the streams of material between abutting rows acting as partitioning means therebetween. The end user may readily mechanically separate or peel" the individual tubes from the joined row. As previously noted, the degree of separation force required can be controlled by means of plastic material composition control and/or the use of release agents sprayed on the tubes.

In comparison with presently used packaging or protective joining systems, the method of this invention includes, among others, the following advantages:

A. Reduced overall package size;

B. Visible evidence of number of remaining articles 5 (even when strip substrates are used); C. Positive Protection from article-to-article contact;

D. Selection of removal, i.e., either easy or difficult;

E. Allow flexibility of product shape; F. Low cost and high-speed processing; and G. The plastic-type materials are readily disposable.

While this invention has been described in connection with possible forms or embodiments thereof, it is to be understood that changes or modifications may be resorted to without departing from the spirit of the invention or scope of the claims which follow.

What is claimed is:

l. A method of protectively joining a succession of elongate frangible articles having straight longitudinal axes comprising:

a. positioning each of said succession of elongate frangible articles in a spaced-apart parallel relationship along their longitudinal axes and in close proximity to an immediately adjacent article of such succession, and without skew or physical contact between such articles; and

b. extruding at least one thin, continuous stream of hot flexible plastic-type material over said elongate articles and applying such stream to the article in a direction normal to their longitudinal axes, with said at least one stream removably adhering, upon cooling, to said elongate articles and making only a partial annular surface contact with each of said articles, thereby protectively joining said articles.

2. The method of claim 1 further including rolling said joined articles upon themselves to form a convolute cylindrical body structure, with said stream of flexible plastic-type material forming as a partitioning means between the convolutions of said body structure.

3. The method of claim 1 further including applying a bond releaseagent to said articles prior to applying said flexible plastic-type material in order to permit ready removal of said plastic-type material when desired.

4. The method of claim 1 including the step of forming alternate arcuate article-contacting and articleconnecting segments while applying said continuous stream of flexible plastic-type material to said succession of articles with said arcuate article-contacting segments providing only a partial annular surface contact of at least 180 with each of said articles.

5. The method of claim 1 including the steps of individually forming at least two successions of said joined articles, and then stacking said individually formed successions of joined articles to form adjacent parallel rows, with said at least one stream of flexible plastictype material removably adhering to an individually formed succession of said joined articles serving as a partition means between said stack of successions.

6. The method of protectively joining a succession of elongate articles of a frangible or otherwise damageable material and having straight longitudinal axes, such method comprising:

a. positioning each of said succession of elongate articles in a non-abutting parallel-longitudinal-axes relationship, with and in close proximity to the immediately preceding article of such succession, without skew and the resultant possibility of physical contact between said articles;

b. applying at least one thin, continuous, stream of hot flexible plastic-type material over said elongate articles in a direction normal to their longitudinal axes, with said at least one stream removably adhering, upon cooling, to said elongate articles and making at least a partial annular surface contact with each of said articles, thereby protectively joining said articles; and

- c. placing said articles on a substrate member prior to positioning said articles in a non-abutting parallel-longitudinal-axis relationship, with said stream of flexible materialalso making contact with and removably adhering to said substrate member between adjacent ones of said articles.

7. The method of claim 6 further including stacking at least two successions of said joined articles to form adjacent parallel rows, with the substrate member of at least one of said rows serving as a partitioning means therebetween.

8. The method of protectively joining a plurality of elongate articles of a frangible or otherwise damageable material and having straight longitudinal axes, such method comprising:

a. juxtapositioning a plurality of elongate articles in a row in non-abutting relationship with longitudinal axes thereof being substantially parallel; and

b. applying at least one thin intermittent stream of hot flexible plastic-type material over said elongate articles in a direction normal to their longitudinal axes, with said intermittent stream comprising aligned segments making contact between adjacent ones of said elongate articles, with said segments, upon cooling, removably joining said articles.

9. The method of claim 8 further including placing said articles on a substrate member prior to positioning said articles in a non-abutting parallel-longitudinal-axis relationship, with said aligned segments, in addition to joining adjacent ones of said articles, also adhering to said substrate member.

10. The method of claim 9 further including stacking at least two rows of said joined articles to form adjacent parallel rows, with the substrate member of at least one of said rows serving as a partitioning means therebetween.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4172441 *Sep 26, 1977Oct 30, 1979Sunburst Solar EnergySolar heat collector panel and method of forming same
US4203273 *Mar 17, 1978May 20, 1980The Babcock & Wilcox CompanyTubing with formed ends for heat exchangers
US4346006 *Mar 24, 1980Aug 24, 1982Baxter Travenol Laboratories, Inc.For dialysis of blood
US4389267 *May 24, 1982Jun 21, 1983Branson Ultrasonics CorporationMethod of fabricating a flexible cover by ultrasonic vibrations
US4735312 *Aug 18, 1987Apr 5, 1988American Safety Razor CompanyRazor packaging
US4785935 *Feb 2, 1988Nov 22, 1988American Safety Razor CompanyRazor packaging
US4802941 *Apr 6, 1987Feb 7, 1989Max KoschorrekMethod of making webs, mats and the like of reed-like plastic straws for thatched roof
US4962857 *Dec 6, 1989Oct 16, 1990Adams John QSwarm lure package
US5188693 *Jul 5, 1991Feb 23, 1993Aishin Kakou K.K.Process for applying polyvinyl chloride sealing material having low thixotropic index
US5331038 *Sep 28, 1992Jul 19, 1994Shell Oil CompanyHydrogenated vinylaromatic-conjugated diene triblock polymer
US5466322 *Sep 1, 1994Nov 14, 1995Baxter International Inc.Method for making an elongated plastic member assembly
US5507388 *Oct 4, 1994Apr 16, 1996Johnson & Johnson Clinical Diagnostics, Inc.Cartridge-free stacks of slide elements
US5743396 *Apr 24, 1995Apr 28, 1998Bridon PlcRope stowage device and method
US5840151 *Nov 13, 1996Nov 24, 1998Baxter International Inc.Apparatus and dies for forming peelable tube assemblies
US6394268Sep 29, 2000May 28, 2002Illinois Tool Works Inc.Nail-type fastener collation strip with fastener guide rings, and combination thereof
US6595360 *Mar 21, 2001Jul 22, 2003Kotec's Co., Ltd.Fastening element
US6813868Aug 10, 2001Nov 9, 2004Baxa CorporationMethod, system, and apparatus for handling, labeling, filling and capping syringes
US6889740 *Nov 5, 2002May 10, 2005Minnesota Medical Development, Inc.Machine for forming tubular containers
US6915619Dec 3, 2003Jul 12, 2005Baxa CorporationMethod for handling syringe bodies
US6957522Dec 3, 2003Oct 25, 2005Baxa CorporationMethod and system for labeling syringe bodies
US6976349Jul 30, 2003Dec 20, 2005Baxa CorporationMethod for filling and capping syringes
US7021462Jun 6, 2003Apr 4, 2006Powers Fasteners, Inc.Fastener carrier assembly and method of use
US7207152Feb 24, 2006Apr 24, 2007Baxa CorporationMethod for handling, labeling and filling syringes
US7234597Jul 3, 2003Jun 26, 2007Clean Cut Technologies, LlcApparatus and method for packaging elongate surgical devices
US7392638Feb 28, 2006Jul 1, 2008Baxa CorporationMethod, system, and apparatus for handling, labeling, filling, and capping syringes with improved cap
US7469518Jun 29, 2006Dec 30, 2008Baxa CorporationMethod for handling and labeling syringes
US7478513Jun 29, 2006Jan 20, 2009Baxa CorporationMethod for handling and labeling syringes
US7549270 *Jul 6, 2006Jun 23, 2009Clean Cut Technologies, LlcMethod for packaging elongated surgical device
US7631475May 14, 2008Dec 15, 2009Baxa CorporationMethod for filling and capping syringes
US7845888 *Apr 11, 2006Dec 7, 2010Illinois Tool Works Inc.Scalloped tape collating strip for nails
USRE30373 *Dec 1, 1978Aug 19, 1980Seattle Box CompanyShipping bundle for numerous pipe lengths
DE4225876A1 *Aug 5, 1992Feb 10, 1994Schott Rohrglas GmbhPacking system for elongated objects such as glass tubes - has strip supply feeding wrapping material to packing mouth which opens and closes to hold elongated object being wrapped.
DE4225876C2 *Aug 5, 1992Oct 11, 2001Schott Rohrglas GmbhPackaufnahme und Verfahren sowie Vorrichtung zur Herstellung mindestens einer Packaufnahme für stabförmige Gegenstände
EP1754918A2 *Jul 28, 2006Feb 21, 2007Dana CorporationTether attachment to plastic coated metal tubing
EP2327444A1 *Nov 24, 2010Jun 1, 2011Benlan Inc.Package for elongate medical devices
WO1981002705A1 *Jan 26, 1981Oct 1, 1981Baxter Travenol LabForming diffusion membrane units with joined capillary membrane tubes
WO1994017983A1 *Feb 4, 1994Aug 18, 1994Baxter IntElongate plastic member assembly and method and apparatus for making the same
Classifications
U.S. Classification156/296, 156/244.22, 206/443, 156/290, 206/503, 206/390, 53/397, 156/289, 206/508, 206/460, 53/427, 206/521, 53/444, 206/528, 206/345, 53/591, 206/820, 156/244.11
International ClassificationB29C65/02, B29C65/42
Cooperative ClassificationY10S206/82, B29L2031/602, B29C66/5227, B29C65/028, B29C65/42, B29L2031/601, B29C66/50
European ClassificationB29C66/5227, B29C65/42, B29C65/02T10, B29C66/50
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Apr 18, 1983ASAssignment
Owner name: SHERWOOD MEDICAL COMPANY
Free format text: MERGER;ASSIGNOR:SHERWOOD MEDICAL INDUSTRIES INC. (INTO);REEL/FRAME:004123/0634
Effective date: 19820412