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Publication numberUS3807622 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 30, 1974
Filing dateMay 22, 1972
Priority dateMay 22, 1972
Publication numberUS 3807622 A, US 3807622A, US-A-3807622, US3807622 A, US3807622A
InventorsBelcher S, Eschleman T
Original AssigneeOwens Illinois Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Separator package
US 3807622 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [191 Belcher et al.

[ 1 SEPARATOR PACKAGE [75] Inventors: Samuel L. Belcher, Maumee;

Thomas M. Eschleman, Jr., Columbus, both of Ohio [73] Assignee: Owens-Illinois, Inc., Toledo, Ohio [22] Filed: May 22, 1972 [21] Appl. No.: 255,807

[52] US. Cl. 229/14 C, 206/46 FR, 211/149, 220/31 S, 229/2.5 [51] Int. Cl B65d 5/50 [58] Field of Search 229/14 C, 2.5; 206/46 FR; 211/42, 178, 149; 312/258; 46/25, 26; 63/DIG. 3; 220/31 S, 62

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,759,600 9/1973 MacDonald 220/31 S 3,647,105 3/1972 Keeslar 229/2.5 2,863,595 12/1958 Emery 229/14 C X 2,941,708 6/1960 Crane et a1. 229/14 C X 3,047,137 7/1962 Kindseth 229/14 C X 3,391,824 7/1968 Wiseman 46/25 UX [11 3,807,622 Apr. 30, 1974 3,349,289 10/1967 Mueller 220/62 X 3,385,450 5/1968 Nadler et a1. 211/42 3,446,415 5/1969 Bromley 220/62 X OTHER PUBLICATIONS Gerber Toy Line Catalog, 3-10-66, pop-em Alphabet Blocks Item No. 835.

Primary Examiner-William 1. Price Assistant Examiner-Stephen Marcus Attorney, Agent, or FirmE. F. Dwyer; E. J. Holler [57] ABSTRACT A blank, formed in three panels, the panels having a plurality of supporting ribs integrally formed therein, some of the supporting ribs of the center panel thereof having grooved ends and some of the supporting ribs of the end panels having tongues on the edges adjacent the center panel, forming a three-sided separator package having supporting ribs for carrying and separating objects in spaced relationship; the blank can be formed, shipped flat, and easily assembled into a package.

1 Claim, 5 Drawing Figures PATENTEDAPR so 1914 SHEET 2 [IF 3 BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention A blank for transporting articles such as television face plates; the blank is made from a heat-deformable plastic sheet; supporting ribs are formed integrally from the plastic. The blank, when assembled, forms a threesided separator package for carrying objects in spaced relationship.

2. Description of the Prior Art Prior art separator packages are disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 2,176,284 and shows a flat blank with crenelated ribs. The blank is folded and positioned inside an outer container.

U.S. Pat. No. 2,431,535 discloses a folding box with slotted divider members. Applicants invention is a three-panel folding separator package formed from a one-piece, heat-deformable thermoplastic sheet material which can be shipped flat and quickly converted into a rigid, three-panel separator package, the panels locked to the center panel by a plurality of grooves and tongued ribs which interlock, holding the panels at approximately right angles.

The blank can be shipped in a flat condition, quickly assemled, and quickly disassembled, permitting reuse, which eliminates the debris of packaging material which is not reusable, such as that material disclosed in the prior art.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION This invention is a one-piece blank formed of a heatdeformable thermoplastic sheet material which, when cooled to a hardened state, is slightly flexible, having a plurality of article-holding, supporting ribs and reinforcing ribs formed integrally with the blank to form a rigid package when assembled. The blank can be shipped in a flat condition and easily assembled into a three-walled separating package. The supporting ribs of the center panel of the three-panel blank have a plurality of grooved ends, which interlock with tongues formed on the ends of the supporting ribs of end panels of the blank. Folding the blank at right angles to the center panel locks the tongues into the grooves. A plurality of stiffening ribs are formed into the center panels at about right angles to the supporting ribs and strengthen the flexible sheet; the interlocking tongues and grooves, in conjunction with the supporting and strengthening ribs, form a rigid, three-panel package, having a plurality of article-holding ribs. The package can be disassembled easily by snapping the end panels away from the center and flattening the blank and can be disassembled for recycling, eliminating the traditional paperboard package which is discarded after a single use. The utilization of a heat-deformable elastic material for the blank permits the grooves to expand momentarily to permit the tongue to slip into the groove, where such interlocking action would not be possible with a solid material, such as wood or metal. A plurality of blanks may be shipped in a flat condition, assembled and disassembled for re-shipment and ultimate reuse, eliminating discarded material and relieving the burden of solid waste disposal.


2 FIG. 2 shows the blank in a partially assembled position;

FIG. 3 shows the blank assembled as a package;

FIG. 4 is an enlarged sectional view taken along line 44 of FIG. 2;

FIG. 5 is an end view of a supporting rib showing a tongue in partial section.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS The invention is a separator package made from a one-piece blank which is scored to form at least three separate panels, designated as center and first and second end panels; each end panel flexibly connected along an edge to the center panel. The blank is cut from a heat-deformable, somewhat flexible plastic material, and formed in one piece.' The blank is rigid when assembled, capable of supporting articles of substantial weight, such as television face plates. The unique blank provides a separator package for storing, transporting and handling glass television face plates which are subject to damage, providing a blank which can be shipped in a flat form, and a plurality of blanks nested to con serve space, yet can be assembled easily into a package. First and second end panels are folded toward the center panel, a locking device comprises a tongue which projects from the end of a supporting rib, and a groove in a corresponding center panel rib locks the end panels at about a perpendicular angle to the center panel.

FIG. 1 shows a blank 10 having a center panel 11, a first end panel 12, and a second end panel 13. The first end panel 12 is .foldably connected along an edge to an edge of the center panel along fold line 14. Second end panel 13 is connected to another edge of the center panel 11 alongfold line 15.

Center panel 1 1 has a plurality of supporting ribs 16, having grooves 17 formed near the ends thereof. Other support ribs 18, not having grooves, are placed between ribs 16. A plurality of stiffening ribs 19 are formed in the center panel, perpendicular to the supporting ribs 16 and 18. A typical supporting rib .16 is a hollow member having five surfaces supporting surface 20, a stiffening surface 21, which is perpendicular to the supporting surface, and a bottom surface 22, perpendicular to the stiffening surface; and sloping end surfaces 23, enclosing the hollow member. Sloping end surface 23 has a groove 17, having projecting sidewalls 25, forming a constricted portion 32. End panels 12 and 13 have a plurality of end panel supporting ribs 26, which are spaced opposite the center panel supporting ribs 16.

A supporting rib has a tongue 28 projecting from the sloping end surface of the rib, adjacent its fold line with the center panel.

FIG. 1 is an end view of the blank showing second end panel 13 in an assembled; position, locked to the center panel 11. v

FIG. 3 is a view of the blank in-fully assembled position with end panels locked into position.

FIG. 4 is an enlarged view of a groove 17 and tongue 28 showing the engagement between a tongue of the supporting rib of the center panel and a groove of the end panel supporting rib when the end panels are perpendicular to the center panel, in the assembled position, as shown in FIG. 3.

Stiffening ribs 19 are formed into the blank at about a perpendicular angle to the base of the supporting ribs.

stiffening ribs 33 are formed along an edge of each end panel 12 and 13.

end panel material towards its outer edge the rib being greater in width at its integral jointure with the end panel than at its outer edge. The supporting ribs surface 20 are contoured .to complement the shape of a television face plate. Face plates are supported at their perimeters and are not in contact with the neighboring face plate, eliminating abrasion in the optical area of the center portions of the face plate.

FIG. 4 is an enlarged view of a tongue and groove taken along line 4-4 'Of FIG. 3. Groove 17 is formed as an. elongated, hollow depression having projections 25 at the edges thereof and a restricted throat portion 32, which is slightly smaller in size than the restricted portion 30 of a tongue 28. Tongue 28 has a bulbous tip 29 which is complementary in shape to groove 17. The flexible nature of the sheet material permits the constricted portion of the groove to open, sufficient to permit the entry of the bulbous tip 29 of the tongue. Constriction 32 of the groove engages a narrow portion of the tongue below its bulbous tip 29, locking the end panel in an approximately perpendicular position with the center panel. In some embodiments, alternate supporting ribsof the end panels are supplied with tongues. It is not necessary that each supporting rib engage a corresponding slot of the center panel supporting rib. However, if additional strength is required, each rib of the end panels can be constructed with a tongue to engage a corresponding groove of the center panel.

FIG. is an end view of an end panel supporting rib'. Supporting ribs l6 are integrally formed from sheet material during blank formation. Tongue 28 has constricted portion 30 beneath and bulbous tip 29. The bulbous portion is elongated and rounded slightly to permit its entry into the groove of a supporting rib. FIG. 5 shows the tapered contour of a supporting rib 16, which is broader at its base than at its outer peripheral edge, with a ledge portion 31 to insure that a packaged article does not slide from the supporting rib during transport, and also conserves sheet material by reducing the width of the supporting rib.

FIG. 4 shows how the bulbous tip 29 of the tongue separates the constricted portion 32 of the groove and slides into an interlocking arrangement, the constricted portion of the groove engaging beneath the bulbous portion of the tongue, serving to lock the parts together.

Blank is folded along the foldlines 14 and 15, inwardly, so that the tongue meets a groove on a corresponding supporting rib and engages the grooves of the end panels in an assembled position, as shown in FIG. 3. The end panel supporting ribs and the center panel supporting ribs form a three-sided shelf or support for an article such as a television face plate. The supporting ribs are contoured to complement the surface contour of the periphery of the television face plate. However, the ribs may have other contours to conform to.

the configuration of other articles. Television face plates are supported about their peripheral edge area,

protecting the center optically critical portion of the face plate from damage due to contact with another plate during shipment. To disassemble, the locking tongues and grooves are disengaged and the package is flattened out to assume the blank shape shown in FIG. 1. A plurality of packages can be stacked in a nested arrangement, and a metal strap encircles the bundle of packages and permits easy re-use of the package. The assembly and disassembly thereof takes but a moment and can be performed manually without the use of tools or any special devices. The number of face plates stored in one package is determined principally by the weight and the size of the package.

The one-piece, blank construction provides a flexible material for forming the supporting ribs, and is flexible enough to provide the necessary mobility for the locking arrangement; yet, when assembled into a threepiece package, the integral stiffening ribs on the center panel and end panel stiffening ribs 33 provide a package having a maximum strength. The end panels stiffening rib' is a chamber-shaped member, which is formed along the unattached end and is integral with the base of the supporting rib. This arrangement of stiffening rib and supporting rib, in an integral relationship, prevents the end panels from bending under the weight of the television face plate.

The plastic material provides sufficient rigidity for strength and isflexible for folding along the fold lines, and the grooves for receiving the tongue are somewhat elastic, permitting the bulbous portion of the tongue to enter the groove. The elastic nature of the material permits the constrictive throat of the groove to engage the tongue about the base of the bulbous tip.

The blank ofthis invention provides a package which is flexible, easily-shipped in a nested arrangement, and is easily assembled for use and for recycling for future use. The invention is ablank, with a plurality, of reinforcing ribs and supporting ribs intersecting at right angles, all of which are hot-formed in a continuous operation from a one-piece, heat-deformable sheet material providing a convenient package.

We claim: 1. A blank for a separator package, comprising, a. a flexible deformable sheet scored .to provide a center panel; 1 b. a first end panel flexibly connected along an edge of the center panel; 0. a second end panel flexibly connected along an edge thereof to a second edge of said center panel;

d. a plurality of supporting ribs, said ribs being integrally formed in said center panel, each rib being a hollow member comprising an upper supporting surface, a stiffening surface and a bottom surface connected to form a hollow three-sided supporting rib;

e. some of the supporting ribs of the center panel having a groove in the end thereof;

f. said groove having side walls forming a constricted area, said walls being expandable;

g. said end panels having a plurality of supporting ribs formed integrally in each of said panels, some of said supporting ribs having a projection. ending in a bulbous tip;

h. said center panel ribs and said end panel ribs being aligned so that the projection of a side panel rib is engageable to the groove of a center panel rib, said projection engaging said side walls of said groove and thereby holding the bulbous tip of said projection within the constricted area of said groove, to

form a three panel blank.

* i i i

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U.S. Classification206/421, 229/406, 206/418, 206/454, 211/149, 206/589, 206/587
International ClassificationB65D81/133, B65D6/00, B65D81/05
Cooperative ClassificationB65D81/133
European ClassificationB65D81/133
Legal Events
Jul 14, 1987ASAssignment
Effective date: 19870323