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Publication numberUS3853260 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 10, 1974
Filing dateOct 29, 1973
Priority dateOct 29, 1973
Publication numberUS 3853260 A, US 3853260A, US-A-3853260, US3853260 A, US3853260A
InventorsWood C
Original AssigneeWood C
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Bellows fold end closure
US 3853260 A
Abstract
An improved bellows fold end closure facilitates withdrawal of a tuck tab from a bellows fold without damage to any closure element and at the same time provides a closure element in itself providing a closure stiffening means for enhancing the security of the closure throughout repeated openings and closings.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent 1191 334,506 H1886 Betts 229/37R .nllllliiill Wood Dec. 10, 1974 541 BELLOWS FOLD END CLOSURE 1,147,652 7/1915 Scudder 229/31 R 2,4 1 49 R' l 229 39 R [76] Invenm" Charles 4976 shlrley 3 oilzii ill ez Digi nd 229l39 R Place, Cincinnati, Ohio 3,412,922 11/1968 Miller et al. 229/37 R [22] Filed: Oct. 29, 1973 Primary Examiner-S tanley N. Gilreath PP No.2 410,780 Attorney, Agent, or FirmWood, Herron 8L Evans 52 U.S. Cl. 229/37 R, 229/39, 229/44 R ABSTRACT [51] Int. Cl... B65d 5/02, B65d 5/10 An improved bellows fold end closure facilitates with- [58] Field of Search 229/37 R, 38, 39, 43, 44 R, drawal of a tuck tab from a bellows fold without dam- 229/51 R age to any closure element and at the same time prov vides a closure element in itself providing a closure [56] References Cited 9 stiffening means for enhancing the security of the clo- UNITED STATES PATENTS sure throughout repeated openings and closings. I 13 Claims, 5 Drawing Figures BELLOWS FOLD END CLOSURE This invention relates to folding boxes and blanks, and more particularly to an improved bellows fold end closure for folding boxes.

Folding boxes having bellows fold end closures are now well known. While adaptable to many uses, a typical use of a box having such a closure is for the mailing of personal bank checks in small quantities to bank customers.

The typical bellows fold end closure includes two opposing bellows panels and an end panel, connected together and scored so that when folded, they form pleats providing an open ended bellows fold. An opposing tuck tab having a free end is inserted into the bellows fold to form the closure. the free end of the tab extending toward the bottom of the bellows fold. These boxes are normally made from a relatively durable and stiff paperboard or the like and are suitable for the storage of check stubs or other items.

Known bellows foldclosures, however, present one serious difficulty. In order to provide a useful storage box, the endclosure must be reusable, i.e., it must be capable of repeated openings and closings without destroying the integrity of the closure. The current bellows fold end closures are not readily adaptable to this reuse due to several factors.

For one thing, thetuck tab extendsdeeply into the bellows fold and it cannot be readily withdrawn without bending, tearing, or otherwise deforming the tab or some element of the bellows fold. A related factor is the usual stiffness of the material from which the box I and closure is made. To open such a closure,.a finger is generally inserted into the bellows fold in an attempt to withdraw the tuck tab or the tab is grasped at its sides and worked out of the bellows fold. Not only does the stiffness of the parts hinder such removal of the tuck tab from the bellows fold during closure opening, but the working of the parts often causes arbitrary tears, folds or creases in the tuck tab or bellows fold elements. These tears. creases and the like are detrimenml to closure integrity in further attempted reuse since, at the very best, they reduce the stiffness of the closure elements. particularly the tuck tab, and render the elements relatively limber.

It has thus been one objective of the present invention to provide an improved bellows fold end closure which can be repeatedly opened and closed without disenabling damage to the closure.

A furtherobjective of the invention has been to provide an improved bellows fold end closure which main tains suitable closure integrity for a repeated number of closure openings and closings.

A further objective of the invention has been to provide a bellows fold end closure. of the type having a tuck tab, but whereby the tab can readily be withdrawn from the closure without undesirable deformation of the closure parts.

A further objective of the invention has been to provide a carton blank providing, upon erection, a folding box having an improved bellows fold end closure.

Apreferred embodiment of the invention includes means to facilitate withdrawal of'a tuck tab from a bellows fold without damage to any closure element and which at the same time comprises a closure element in itself providing a closure stiffening means for enhancing the security of the closure throughout repeated openings and closings. A tuck tab is provided with a reverse fold pull tab folded against the tuck tab and insertable directly into the bellows fold adjacent the tuck tab. In place, the reverse fold pull tab provides a stiffening element to the closure since it is not bent or otherwise worked during insertion as is the tuck tab. The tuck tab can then be readily and repeatedly withdrawn from the bellows fold, via the reverse fold pull tab, without any deformation or bending of the closure parts (excepting the tuck tab) and can be repeatedly reinserted into the bellows fold to provide, in conjunction with the relatively stiff reverse fold pull tab, a secure, reusable end closure. This embodiment results in only a slight bending of the tuck tab, along predetermined score lines during opening and closing, and other closure elements are unaffected, contrary to the opening difficulties encountered with prior bellows fold end closures. The pull tab remains relatively planar and stiff throughout, and thus enhances closure integrity throughout repeated openings and closings. A second pull tab is desirably attached to the end of the first pull tab and is either tucked into the bellows fold or is folded over the end of a panel forming the bellows fold and glued thereto. In either position, it presents a glossy side of the paperboard material outwardly from the closure and enhances the aesthetic effect of the closure. The second pull tab is shorter than the tuck tab and the first pull tab so that when tucked into the bellows fold, it can be easily withdrawn without damage.

'These and other objects and advantages will become more readily apparent from the following detailed'description of a preferred embodiment and drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the improved bellows fold end closure in a partially folded condition; 7

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the end closure of FIG. I in an advanced folded condition;

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the improved closure in closed condition, showing two alternate positions for the second pull tab;

FIG. 4 is a layout view of a box blank including panels providing an improved bellows fold end closure when assembled; and

- FIG. 5 is a perspective view of a partially folded bellows fold end closure typical of the prior art.

Referring now particularly to the drawings, FIG. 4 shows an intergral folding box blank 10, made from any 'suitable material. Paperboard is the preferred material and particularly paperboard made of bleached sulfate of approximately 0.016 inch thickness and having an appreciable stiffness. Such a material is generally suitable for folding boxes, within an approximate thickness range of about 0.010 inch to about 0.030 inch. Bleached sulfate normally has a dull or matte finish side and a glossy" side which is generally usedas the outside of the folding box due to its more aesthetic appearance and to the fact that it readily accepts printing. Of course, the invention could be utilized with materials such as cardboard, corrugated board and other materials as well.

The blank 10 is provided with elements which are folded and tucked, upon blank assembly, to provide a folding box 11 having an improved bellows fold end closure (FIGS. 1-3). Specifically, the blank 10 includes first, second, third and fourth side panels designated at 12-15 respectively. For convenience of description, and particularly with respect to an erected four sided folding box, the second and fourth side panels may also be referred to as a bottom and a top panel, respectively. This designation is not in any way meant to limit the scope of the invention.

As shown in FIG. 4, the panels 12-15 are serially connected to each other along score lines at the edges of each panel. A glue tab 16 is connected to an edge of the panel 15 along a score line and is adapted for connection and adhesion to the panel 12, upon erection of the folding box 11, to provide a four sided tube of generally rectangular shape.

The lower end of the blank is provided with closure means including fold tabs 20 and 21, cover panel 22 and tuck tab 23. The structure of these panels is not particularly pertinent to the present invention and, indeed, any form of panels on this end of the blank can be provided in order to provide a simple closure for this end of the box when the blank is erected.

Means for providing an improved bellows fold end closure on the erected box is provided at the upper end of the blank 10. A bellows fold end panel 30 is connected to first side panel 12 along score line S-l, a hinged end panel 31 is connected to second side panel or bottom panel 13 along a score line 8-2 and a second bellows fold end panel 32 is connected to the third side panel 14 along the score line S-3. End panel 31 has an unattached edge 35 including a cutout C to facilitate opening as will be-described. Edge 35 is relieved as shown in the drawings, the cutout C being located centrally in the relieved'area. Each of the bellows fold end panels 30 and 32 are connected along respective score lines 84 and 8-5 to the hinged end panel 31 and each of the bellows fold end panels 30 and 32 is provided with a diagonal line of perforations P which divides each bellows fold end panel into respective upper'and lower panel sections 33 and 34. A tuck tab 40 is connected to the fourth side panel or top panel along a score line S-6 and a reverse fold pull tab 41 is connected along a score line S-7 to the tuck tab 40. A second pull tab 42 is connected along score line S8 to the reverse fold pull tab 41.

As shown in FIG. 4, thetuck tab 40 and the reverse fold pull tab 41 each have a maximum predetermined width which tapers to a narrower width at the score line S-7. In addition, the tuck tab 40 is provided with additional parallel score lines S-9 and 5-10 as will be further discussed.

Perhaps the features of the improved end closure can be best appreciated via a partial description of a prior art bellows fold end closure. Such a prior art closure (shown in partially folded form at FIG. 5) includes a tuck tab inserted between elements comprising a bellows fold to form a closure. In order to provide adequate closure integrity, the tuck tab is of such length as to extend deeply into the bellows fold and thereby restrict undesired opening of the closure.

While the closure provided thereby is a relatively secure one, it is not an efficiently reusable closure due to the fact that it is very difficult to open without some permanent deformation of the closure parts. Specifically, to open the closure, it is generally necessary for a person to extend a finger or some object between an outer surface of the tuck tab and the end of the bellows fold and attempt to thereby withdraw the tuck tab. This is difficult to do and generally results in the tearing, folding, stretching, creasing or other deformation of the elements of the bellows fold closure, or of the box on which the closure is provided. This deformation is, of course, likely to result due to the relative stiffness of v the material from which the closure and the box is made. Once the elements of the closure or the box have been torn, folded, creased or otherwise deformed, the stiffness of the various parts is somewhat reduced and the continued integrity of the closure is greatly reduced. This renders the box relatively useless as a secure reusable storage box.

In contrast to these disadvantages, the blank described in FIG. 4 provides an improved bellows fold end closure which can be easily opened and closed repeatedly without undesirable deformation of the closure parts or of the box with which the closure is utilized. The pull tabs greatly facilitate removal of the tuck tab from the bellows fold and, in addition, remain relatively straight, or planar, and stiff so that they provide a stiffness to the closure when reclosed.

FIG. 1 shows a preferred embodiment of the invention providing an improved bellows fold end closure in a partially folded condition. In FIG. 1, hinged end panel 31 and the respective upper and lower panels 33 and 34 of the bellows fold end panels 30 and 32 have been folded inwardly toward the box to form a bellows fold. The bellows fold end panels 30 and 32 are respectively hinged about the score lines S-l, S4, and 83, 5-5 during this inward movement and the diagonal lines of perforations P facilitate inward bending of the respective upper and lower panels 33 and 34.

A more advanced step in the closing procedure is shown in FIG. 2 wherein the reverse fold pull tab 41 has been folded, about score line 8-7 in the direction shown by the arrow A (FIG. 1 back upon the tuck tab 40. Thus, the end of the composite formed by the tabs 40 and 41 is inserted into the bellows fold between the hinged end panel 31 and the upper panels 33 of the respective bellows fold end panels 30 and 32. During this insertion process, as viewed in FIG. 2, it can be appreciated that the hinged end panel 31 remains in a relatively planar and stiff condition while the tuck tab 40 is only slightly bent along the score lines S-9 and S-IO to facilitate insertion into the bellows fold.

To facilitate insertion of the tabs 40 and 41 into the bellows fold, each tab tapers toward an insertion end, formed by the score line S-7, when the tabs 40 and 41 are folded together. This provides a tapered composite for insertion into the bellows foldand thus insertion is facilitated. Additionally, and as shown in the figures, the tab 42 is also tapered about its forward edges to facilitate its insertion into the bellows fold as will be described.

The improved end closure may be completed in two different ways. In a preferred mode, the second pull tab 42 is not folded about the score line 8-8 until the insertion of tabs 40 and 41 into the bellows fold is completed. At this time, the tab 42 is folded over the edge 35 of the hinged end panel 31 and may be releasably glued thereto. When it is desired to first open the closure, the tab 42 is lifted from the panel 31 and is thereafter pulled to withdraw the reverse fold pull tab 41 and consequently the tuck tab 40 from the bellows fold. Of course, the bellows fold elements move slightly outwardly to accommodate withdrawal of the tuck tab 40.

In an alternate panel closure step (dotted lines in FIG. 3), the second pull tab 42a is folded against the reverse fold pull tab 41 about the score line 8-8 prior to the time in which the tuck tab 40 and the tab 41 are completely inserted into the bellows fold. Thus, the tab 42a is inserted into the bellows fold between the reverse fold pull tab 41 and the end panel 31. Its forward free end is only slightly beneath the edge 35 of the hinged end panel 31, however, and may be quite easily grasped together with the tab 41 and pulled from the bellows fold thereby pulling the tuck tab 40 from the bellows fold. The cutout C and relieved portion of edge 35 facilitate this removal of the pull tab 42 from the bellows fold.

It should be appreciated that for either final position of the tab 42, the tab provides an outwardly glossy side for printing, appearance sake and the like. If this final tab were not provided, the dull side of tab 41 would be exposed.

Regardless of how the final closure of the improved bellows fold closure is made, it can be appreciated that the tabs 41 and 42 provide a novel and highly efficient means for withdrawing the tuck tab 40 from the bellows fold without undesired deformation of the various elements of the improved bellows fold end closure or of the box with which the end closure is associated.

When the tabs 41and 42 are pulled to remove the tuck tab 40 from the bellows fold end closure, it is evident that the tuck tab will be. worked" and bent slightly about the score lines S-9 and 5-10 to facilitate this removal. It should be appreciated, however, that the pull tab 41 remains in a relatively planar and stiff condition as it is inserted or withdrawn, with the tuck tab, into or from the bellows fold. This stiffness of the tab 41 renders the closure secure, even after continued reuse. by providing a stiff, non-deformed panel maintaining the bellows fold in position.

Thus. the invention provides an improved bellows fold end closure capable of repeated openings and closings without reduction in the integrity or security of the closure and the box with which the end closure is utilized. The folding box is thereby. well adapted for the storage of items wherein the closure is repeatedly ma-- nipulated. Not only has there been provided merely a means for facilitating the withdrawal of the tuck tab from a bellows fold but the improved closure includes an additional stiffeningmeansfor enhancing the security of the end closure throughout repeated openings and closings.

While a preferred embodiment of the invention has been described in detail, other modifications will become readily apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art without departing from the scope of the invention and applicant intends to be bound only by the appended claims.

I claim:

I. An improved bellows fold end closure for a folding box having two opposite side panels, a top panel and an opposite bottom panel, the improved closure comprismg:

a bellows fold end panel hinged to ends of each side panel,

a hinged end panel hinged to said bottom panel along one edge thereof and to respective bellows fold end panels on other opposite edges thereof, said hinged end panel being folded inwardly toward said bellows fold end panels to form a bellows fold in conjunction therewith,

a tuck tab hinged to said top panel along one edge thereof,

a first pull tab hingedly connected to an opposite edge of said tuck tab,

said tuck tab being insertable into said bellows fold between said hinged end panel and said bellows fold end panels to form said closure,

said first pull tab also being insertable into said bellows fold adjacent said tuck tab, and

said first pull tab having an end, opposite its connection with said tuck tab, extending outwardly from said bellows fold and providing means for pulling said tuck tab out of said bellows fold when said closure is to be opened.

2. An end closure as in claim 1 further including a second pull tab hingedly connected along one edge to said end of said first pull tab opposite the connection of said first pull tab with said tuck tab.

3. An end closure as in claim 2 wherein said first pull tab has a length approximately equal to that of said tuck tab.

4. An end closure as in claim 3 wherein said second pull tab is shorter in length than said first pull tab.

5. An end closure as in claim 4 wherein said second pull tab is inserted into said bellows fold.

6. An end closure as in claim 4 wherein said second pull tab is folded over an end of said hinged end panel.

7. An end closure as in claim 1 wherein said tuck tab is scored parallel to its said one edge to facilitate its bending and insertion into said bellows fold.

8. An end closure as in claim 2 wherein said tuck tab and said first pull tab have portions of approximately the same widths and wherein each of said tuck tab and said first pull tab tapers on both sides to a narrower width toward the connection between the two.

9. An end closure as in claim 1 wherein said pull tab remains relatively straight, planar and stiff, with respect to said tuck tab, during tuck tab insertion and withdrawal into and from said bellows fold.

10. A carton blank for providing a folding box having an improved bellows fold end closure, said blank comprising:

four side panels serially connected to each other along panel sides at respective score lines and a glue tab connected to one side panel at one side of the blank for connection to a side panel at an opposite side of the blank when the box is formed, first and third side panels forming opposite sides and second and fourth panels forming other opposite sides when said box is formed,

a bellows fold end panel connected at respective score lines to each of said first and third side panels at ends thereof,

an end panel connected at one edge along a score line to an end of said second panel, said end panel also being connected at opposite edges to said bellows fold end panels along respective score lines,

a tuck tabconnected at one edge to an end of said fourth panel along a score line, and

a first pull tab connected at one edge to an opposite edge of said tuck tab along a score line.

11. A carton blank as in claim 10 further including a second pull tab connected to said first pull tab along a score line at an edge of said first pull tab opposite to the connection of said first pull tab to said tuck tab.

12. A carton blank as in claim 10 wherein said tuck tab is scored at an area spaced from and parallel to its one edge.

13. A carton blank as in claim 10 wherein said tuck ward a narrower width at said score line along said optab and said first pull tab have portions of predeterposite edge of said tuck tab and along said one edge of mined widths, and wherein said tuck tab and said first said pull tab. pull tab each taper respectively from said widths to-

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
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US1147652 *May 23, 1913Jul 20, 1915Scudder Haas Mfg CoReceptacle.
US2492712 *Jul 3, 1946Dec 27, 1949Gardner Board & Carton CoTubular carton with strong end closures
US3016181 *Feb 8, 1961Jan 9, 1962Container CorpTuck top carton with lock
US3412922 *Sep 6, 1966Nov 26, 1968Ex Cell O CorpPaperboard container closure
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4136816 *Jan 3, 1978Jan 30, 1979Container Corporation Of AmericaSelf locking container
US4511080 *Oct 17, 1983Apr 16, 1985Packaging Corporation Of AmericaInterlocking end closure flaps on collapsible eight-sided receptacle
US4898273 *Jan 21, 1986Feb 6, 1990Renaco AsPacking for transport of products giving off moisture
US4940279 *Mar 16, 1989Jul 10, 1990Fruehauf CorporationCargo vehicle wall construction
US4989780 *Nov 14, 1985Feb 5, 1991Owens-Illinois Plastic Products Inc.Blank for sealed carton with integral reclosable pour-out spout
US6182889 *Jul 21, 1999Feb 6, 2001Kraft Jacobs Suchard R&D, Inc.Package with peak closure
US7597239 *Dec 28, 2006Oct 6, 2009Dee Paper Company, Inc.Gable top paper box with locking closure
Classifications
U.S. Classification229/139, 229/135
International ClassificationB65D5/02
Cooperative ClassificationB65D5/0263
European ClassificationB65D5/02G