|Publication number||US3830035 A|
|Publication date||Aug 20, 1974|
|Filing date||Apr 21, 1972|
|Priority date||Dec 29, 1969|
|Publication number||US 3830035 A, US 3830035A, US-A-3830035, US3830035 A, US3830035A|
|Original Assignee||Affiliated Hospital Prod|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (2), Referenced by (21), Classifications (13)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
nite States Patent 1 [111 3,830,035 Hoover 1451 Aug. 20, 1974 METHOD OF FORMINGASEALED 3,634,994 H1972 Dunne 53/31 CONTAINER ARRANGEMENT Inventor: Robert B. Hoover, Massilon, Ohio Assignee: Affiliated Hospital Products, Inc., St.
Filed: Apr. 21, 1972 Appl. No.1 246,486
Related US. Application Data Division of Ser. No. 888,265, Dec. 29, 1969, Pat. No. 3,680,772.
US. Cl. 53/31, 53/32 Int. Cl B65b 11/48 Field of Search 53/31, 32; 229/923, 92.5, 229/76, 80, 87 A, 79; 206/7 F, 63.2 R; 156/4415, 442.1
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 7/195! Allen 229/76 Primary Examiner-Travis S. McGehee Assistant E.raminerlohn Sipos Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Reginald F. Pippin, Jr.
 ABSTRACT Method of forming a sealed container having a shell or unsecured web or sheet fold portion of the seal.
6 Claims, 15 Drawing Figures PHENTEDmzo m4 3.830.035
SHEEI 2' OF 5 FIG.8
PATENTEIJmczo m4 3.830.035
SHEET '4- (IF 5 PATENTEBmszo Inn y 3. 830.035
sums or s METHOD OF FORMING A SEALED CONTAINER ARRANGEMENT This is a division of application Ser. No. 888,265 filed Dec. 29, 1969 now U.S. Pat. No. 3,680,772.
DISCLOSURE This invention relates to a method of forming a sealed container or package arrangement, and more particularly to a method of forming a sealed package arrangement which is particularly adapted for use in packaging sterile surgical articles such as gloves, catheters, etc.
In U.S. Pat. No. 3,107,786 there is disclosed a package for surgical gloves, which is advantageous in enabling the sterilization of the package and its contained articles (e.g., surgical gloves) and in enabling the opening of the package and removal of the sterile articles therefrom at the time of .use, particularly inasmuch as the outer wrapper of the package forms a sterile field for the inner wrapper and sterile articles contained therein. This patent also discloses the employment of a seal for such a package, as it is highly desirable that the package be and remain sealed until the time of the actual use, especially in order to insure the maximum degree of sterility possible. However, with the seal arrangement as disclosed in this patent, various problems have been encountered in actual usage, including the possibility of rupturing the outer wrapper and consequent rupture of the sterile field formed thereby on its inner surface, upon attempted tearing open of the seal which covers the tab end of the flap of such a package. In this respect, the seal in this prior patent is a simple pressure sensitive slip of tape which is applied over the outer end of the closure flap of the package, with a portion of the tape in contact with the adjoining outer surface of the package shell or main body portion. In addition, this seal arrangement is to some extent capable of being poorly sealed or becoming unsealed in its surface adhesion to the outersurfaee of the shell or envelope forming the package. Further, the seal isnot particularly esthetically pleasing to the eye in its open appearance.
It is accordingly anobject and feature of the present invention to provide a method of forming an improved sealed package or envelope arrangement which is particularly adapted to sterile article containment, and which minimizes the likelihood of tearing the outer shell or wrapper for an article contained therein, in the course of breaking the seal and opening the package or envelope.
It is a further feature to'provide a method of forming an improved sealed package, container, or envelope arrangement having a closure flap which is removably sealed to the main body portion of the package, container or envelope, and in which the seal is formed by a separate shear-rupturable or tearable folded membrane secured beneath the closure flap and toboth of the under surface of the closure flap and the outer surface of the main body portion of the package, container or envelope. 1
It is a further feature to provide a method of forming an improved sealed package the inherent construction of which enables the making of a package of esthetically pleasing appearance.
Still other objects, features and attendant advantages will become apparent to those skilled in the art from a reading of the following detailed description of several embodiments constructed according to the invention, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings wherein:
FIG. 1 is a schematic perspective view of a sealed package arrangement formed according to the invention.
FIG. 2 is a further schematic perspective view of the package of FIG. I, as viewed from the opposite face thereof.
. FIG. 3 is a further schematic perspective view of the embodiment of FIG. 1, and illustrating more clearly the seal arrangement thereof.
FIGS. 4 and 5 illustrate the rupturing of the seal arrangement and opening of the package of FIG. 1.
FIGS. 6 and 7 are schematic perspective illustrations of an exemplary inner folded article-containing wrapper, or inner article package, which may be housed within the shell or envelope of the package of FIG. 1.
FIGS. 8 and 9 illustrate the various steps in foldforming the package of FIG. 1, and FIG. 10 illustrates the final fold-forming operations and attachment of the seal to the package.
FIG. 11 is a schematic perspective view of the final package configuration similar to that of FIG. 1.
FIG. 12 illustrates a modified envelope construction which may be formed according to the presentinvention.
FIG. 13 illustrates the envelope of FIG. 12 in sealed relation, and incorporating a seal formed according to the present invention.
FIG. 14 is a further perspective view illustrating the final sealed and folded configuration of the envelope of FIGS. 12 and 13.
FIG. 15 illustrates a further modified embodiment formed according to the invention.
Referring now in detail to the figures of the drawing in the first and preferred mode of practice according to the invention, according to which a container is formed, which is particularly adapted to employment in the sterile containment of surgical articles, such as surgical gloves, catheters, etc., the resulting container takes the form of an article-containing shell, envelope or wrapper 11, which has a main body portion or shell 13, with a flexible closure flap 15. The flexible closure flap is sealed to the main body portion or shell 13 through the medium of a seal 17, which seal is sufficiently durable for the desired usage, yet readily rup turable without requiring rupture of either the closure flap 15 or main body shell 13.
This seal 17 preferably takes the form of a relatively easily torn or sheared membrane, and particularly preferrably a small piece of paper sheet material, or other suitable easily effectively torn, sheared or ruptured material which is capable of being folded or formed in the manner which will be next described in respect to the seal arrangement.
As will be seen particularly from FIGS. 1, 3 and 4, the tear seal 17 is secured beneath the flap l5, and is thereby normally hidden from view and enables the package to present a quite neat appearance in this respect. The seal 17 is not only disposed in this hidden relationship beneath the flap 15, but is also formed and secured in a highly advantageous manner such that the rupture or tearing thereof is accomplished along a tear zone which does not include either the flap 15 or the main body shell, thereby enabling the package to be opened with minimum likelihood of tearing into the inner sterile field which may be formed by the shell 13 in those instances where the package is employed in a sterile article-containing form.
To this end, the seal 17, which as noted above, may advantageously be and is preferrably formed of paper, is applied such that in the secured position the seal separately engages both the under surface of the flap l5 and the facing outer surface of the main body shell 13, with a connecting portion therebetween which is not itself adhered to either of the flap or the wall of the shell 13. In the illustrated embodiment, this seal 17 is formed by a relatively small paper strip which, in the normal fully folded and sealed position of the container, envelope or package 11, lies folded beneath the flap 15. In this folded relationship of the seal 17, the seal has a mid-section fold line 170 forming the juncture between the two surface-bonded end sections 17a and 17b. The end sections 170 and 17b of the seal 17 are suitably secured in flat interfacing relationship respectively with the under surface of the flap 15 and the outer surface of the adjacent outer panel section of the main body shell 13 of the container or package 11. Securing of the end sections 170 and 17b of the seal 17 to the flap 15 and outer surface of the shell 13 may be effected as desired, and is preferably effected through the employment of a surface bonding medium such as a suitable adhesive, mucilage or cement, it being particularly preferable that the bonding, tensile and shear strength of the bonded cement, adhesive or other bonding medium be greater than the tear strength of the material forming the adjacent outer wall of the main body shell 13 and the closure flap 15, thereby assuring that the seal may not be readily unnoticeably broken loose from the flap and/or the shell 13. It is thus preferable that the main body shell 13 and the flap 15 also be formed of an easily tearable or frangible material, such as paper or the like, although it will be apparent that various other materials may be employed as desired while retaining all or lesser than all of the features of the invention in its preferred form of practice.
Referring particularly to FIGS. 1 and 2, in applying the method in a preferred mode, the closure flap 15 is formed to have a tab end 15a thereon which extends beyond the fold edge of the main body shell 13, and which may be reverse folded to generally lie against the bottom panel surface of the shell 13, as indicated in FIG. 2. This flap extension or lift tab 15a is advantageous in enabling a user to readily grasp the flap 15 for the purpose of breaking the seal 17 and opening the package or container 11. After grasping of the flap tab 1511 between the fingers, the user may then raise the flap 15, as indicated in FIGS. 3 and 4, and exert a pull, preferrably somewhat diagonally with respect to the container or package 11, as indicated by the arrow P in FIG. 4, to thereby effect a tearing of the seal 17 along the fold zone 170 which, as noted above, forms a connecting membrane between the flap l5 and shell 13, but which is itself not directly adhered to either the flap 15 or the shell 13. After tearing of the seal 17 in the manner as indicated in FIG. 4, the flap 15 is thereupon freed from its connection with the main body shell 13, leaving the two separated portions 170 and 17b of the seal 17 adhered respectively on flap 15 and main body shell 13. The user may thereupon proceed to open the package or container 11 and remove the contents.
In the preferred and illustrated mode of practice of the invention, as noted above, the contents of the resulting container or package 11 may suitably be a sterile surgical article, such as surgical gloves, catheter, or the like. Such an article is schematically illustrated in FIGS. 6 and 7, in which a pair of surgical gloves is indicated in invisible broken lines 29, contained in an article wrapper 21, which is shown in the semi-folded condition in FIG. 6 and the fully folded condition in FIG. 7. Such a folded article wrapper arrangement is disclosed in prior US. Pat. No. 3,l07,786, and it will be apparent that various other articles, with or without wrappers thereon, may be packaged in accordance with the invention, if so desired. In the particular form of folded article wrapper 21 and surgical article 29, the gloves 29 are disposed within compartments formed by cover panels 25 and base panel 23, with opening tabs or flaps 27 which enable the total article wrapper 21 to be unfolded after initial unfolding to the position of FIG. 6, without necessitating contact with the gloves 29 by the person unfolding the wrapper 21.
The folded article wrapper 21 and gloves 29 may be suitably disposed within the main body shell 13 of the package or container 11 of FIG. 1, as by the fold arrangement as indicated in FIG. 8, 9 and 10. This arrangement is particularly advantageous in the practice of the invention, in that it enables the provision of a sterile article-removal field formed by the interior of an outer sheet 14 which is folded as indicated in FIGS. 8, 9 and 10 to provide the total envelope or container 11 therefor. Thus, after tearing the seal 17 and opening the shell 13 formed by the sheet 14, it will be seen that the folded inner article wrapper 21 may then be suitably positioned on the central zone of the field formed by the sheet 14, and thereupon unfolded to enable the removal of the surgical gloves 29 or other desired articles contained therein.
In folding the sheet 14 to the final configuration of FIGS. 1 and 11, it will be readily ascertained from the respective FIGS. 810 that the wrapper 21 is first folded and inserted within the central zone of the field formed by the sheet 14, at an approximately 45 diagonal thereto, and thereupon the lower diagonal corner of the sheet 14 is folded up and onto the wrapper 21 as indicated at 13a, and the flap portion through 13a is reverse-folded back onto the panel portion 13a. Next, the side flaps 13b are folded inwardly onto one another and diagonal end tabs 13b are folded back onto the panels 13b, as more clearly seen in FIG. 9, to enable the user to more readily lift and open these side panels during the subsequent opening of the package 11. Thereupon, the upper panel section 13c is folded down upon the side panel flaps 1311, as indicated in FIGS. 9 and 10, and the closure fiap 15 is folded back as indicated at 15b, whereupon the seal 17 is adhered to the under surface of the flap l5 and the adjoining outer surface of the shell 13. In this manner, it will be readily appreciated that the seal 17 may be a simple membrane or slip of paper having an adhesive backing thereon, which may suitably be of a securely bonding pressure sensitive type, and which preferably has the characteristics as noted heretofor with respect thereto, or such seal 17 may be adhered by the separate application of an adhesive to the seal at the interfacing bonding surfaces between the seal 17 and the turned back flap 15 and the shell surface 13. It would not be desirable to form the adhesive on the under surface of the flap and/or the outer surface of the shell 13, as this might, and would probably, result in direct surface adhesion between the two interfacing surfaces of flap 15 and shell 13, which it is desired to avoid.
After application of seal 17 as indicated in FIG. 10, the flap 15 is folded down onto the interfacing panel surface of the main body shell 13, and the flap tab 15a is thereupon reverse-folded about the adjacent lower edge fold of the package or container 11, as indicated in FIGS. 10 and 11.
The opening of the package or container 11 is accomplished by the user grasping the flap tab 150 and raising the flap as discussed above in connection with FIGS. 4 and 5, after which the package shell 13 is unfolded in the reverse manner as that indicated in FIGS. 8-10, to thereby enable the unfolding of the article wrapper 21 and the removal of the surgical articles 29 for use in a surgical or other medical procedure as may be desired.
FIGS. 12-14 illustrate a modified form of practice of the method of the invention, which may be more suitably employed when it is not desirable or necessary to provide an enlarged sterile field sheet for use in the removal of the article or articles enclosed in the sealed container. In this resulting container, which superficially to a substantial extent resembles an ordinary envelope of the type employed in mailing letters, the container 111 has a main body shell 113 formed by overlapping panel sections 113a, 1131: and 113c, the side panel sections 113b being suitably secured, as by a permanent or semi-permanent adhesive, to the lower panel section 113a at the overlapping junction zones thereof. The shell 113 thereby forms a pocket into which an article may be placed, and this pocket may be suitably closed and sealed by the closure flap 115 which is formed integral with the main body shell 113.
The closure flap 115 in this mode of practice is formed with its tab end 115a having an extended length greater than theheighthof the panel 113e, whereby the lap itself in the normal folded position thereof, as through being applied at a 90 angle to the upper and lower parallel fold edges of the shell 113, or alternatively, the seal 117 may have other configurations than the rectangular form shown, such as circular, oval, square, etc., and may be positionally oriented as may be desired, within the practice of the invention.
FIG. 15 illustrates a further modified mode of practice according to the invention, in which an envelope 211 is formed similarly to that of FIGS. 12-14, with a main body shell 213 and closure flap 215, and in which the closure flap is sealed to the main body shell 213 through the medium of a tear seal 217 similar to the tear seal 17 and 117 of the embodiments of FIGS. 1-11 and 12-14. In the illustration, the flap 215 is shown with its tab end folded back in order to illustrate the presence of the seal, the final and normal folded configuration of the envelope 211 being that where the closure flap 215 is fully folded down with its tab end in the position as shown in phantom lines in this view. This embodiment differs from that of FIGS. 12-14 in that the tab end of the flap 215 does not extend down around the adjacent lower fold edge of the main body shell 213, being thereby somewhat less easily grasped by the user for the purpose of raising the flap 215 to tear the seal 217 for the purpose of opening the envelope 211. However, this mode of practice does offer some somewhat compensating advantages in that the tab end of the flap 215 will accordingly tend to lie more flat against the adjacent interfacing surface of the main body shell 213 than will be the case with the reversefold loose tab end 15a and 115a of the embodiments of FIGS. 1-11 and 12-14. It will be apparent that, if similar placement of the lift tab end of the flap 15 in the embodiment of FIGS. 1-11 is desired, this may be accomplished by moving the position of the inner wrapper package 21 upwardly from its illustrated partially off-center position in the field formed by sheet 14, to
tab 115a may be folded-beneath the opposite fold edge of the shell 113 as indicated in FIGS. 13 and14, and
similarly to the tab fold 15a in the embodiment of FIGS. l-ll, thereby enabling ease of user pick-up and grasping of the tab end of the flap 115. After folding of the closure flap 115 down upon the adjoining outer surfaces of the side and bottom panel sections 1131), 113a, the flap 115 is bent up and back upon itself in the manner as indicated at 151) in FIG. 10, and a frangible seal 117 is secured to the up-facing under surface of the flap 115 and the adjoining up-facing outer surface of the shell 113, the particular portion of which is formed by the lower up-folded panel section 113a in this embodiment. Thereupon, the flap 115 is folded down upon the interfacing outer surface of the shell 113, and the protruding lift tab 115a is folded under and generally against the opposite panel outer face of the shell 113. The final sealed package arrangement is indicated at 111 in FIG. 14, the seal being indicated in broken lines at 117. In this respect, it will readily be appreciated that the seal 117 is shown in the somewhat canted form in this and the prior described embodiment of FIGS. 1-1 1 for purposes of ease of illustration and also to indicate the possibility and likelihood that the seal will be applied in this manner, although it will readily be appreciated that the seal may be applied so as to directly overthereby form a flap 15 of shorter effective length and thus eliminate the reverse fold formation of the lift tab end 15a. Alternatively by shifting the position of inner wrapper package 21 further downward off center in the field of sheet 15 as a prelude to folding of sheet 14, the
reverse fold tab end 15a may be increased in length, and if desired the seal 17, or an additional dual safety seal 17 may be employed beneath this lift tab end 15a of the closure flap 15.
While the invention has been described with respect to several modes of practice of the invention, it will be apparent that various additional modifications and improvements may be made without departing from the scope and spirit of the invention. Accordingly, the invention is not to be limited by the particular illustrative embodiments, but only by the scope of the appended claims.
That which is claimed is:
1. The method of forming a sealed container, com- I prising,
forming a main enveloping body portion and a closure flap connected through a fold to the main body portion,
securing a medially rupturable seal to and between the inner face of said closure flap and the interfacing outer surface of said main body portion, by applying said seal to said flap and the outer surface of said main body portion while an end portion of said flap is bent backwardly toward said fold and along a bend zone spaced from said fold to form a flap fold-back section, the connecting bend for which is spaced from said fold, and then bending said end of said flap over said seal.
2. The method according to claim 1, including, applying said seal to each of said flap inner face and said main body portion outer surface, while leaving a short unsecured tear zone therebetween.
3. The method according to claim 2, said seal being formed by a strip of frangible material having a foldable medial zone with securable opposition end zones on either side thereof,
said securing being effected by securing of the opposaid interfacing outer surface of said main body portion.
5. The method of forming a sealed container, comprising,
forming a main enveloping body portion and a closure flap connected through a fold to the main body portion,
securing a medially rupturable seal to and between the inner face of said closure flap and the interfacing outer surface of said main body portion, by securing said seal adjacent the resulting foldback intersection of said flap and said main body portion while an end portion of said flap is bent backwardly to form a fold-back, and then bending said end of said flap over said seal.
6. The method according to claim 5, said securing of said seal being effected by applying said seal in a flat extended condition to said closure flap and said interfacing outer surface of said main body portion.
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|U.S. Classification||53/460, 53/461|
|International Classification||B65D27/12, B65D27/30, A61M25/00, A61B19/00, A61B19/04|
|Cooperative Classification||A61M25/002, B65D27/30, A61B19/045|
|European Classification||A61M25/00P, B65D27/30, A61B19/04P|