|Publication number||US3871699 A|
|Publication date||Mar 18, 1975|
|Filing date||Oct 2, 1972|
|Priority date||Apr 21, 1971|
|Publication number||US 3871699 A, US 3871699A, US-A-3871699, US3871699 A, US3871699A|
|Inventors||Hatfield John D|
|Original Assignee||Owens Illinois Inc|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (7), Referenced by (10), Classifications (6), Legal Events (1)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
United States Patent [1 1 Hatfield Mar. 18, 1975 Related U.S. Application Data  Continuation-impart of Ser. No, 135,925, April 2i,
 U.S. Cl 294/87.2, 206/145, 206/l50, 224/45 AB  Int. Cl 865d 71/00  Field of Search 294/87, 87.2; 206/65 C, 206/65 E, 145, 150; 220/102; 224/45 AA, 45 AB, 45 BA  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,302,783 2/l967 Lyon 206/65 C 3,350,l3l l0/l967 Tanzer.... .i 294/872 3,410,596 ll/l968 Slevin 294/872 1460363 8/[969 Schaich r r 294/872 1633.962 l/l972 Erickson r r r r 294/872 3,653,504 4/l972 Saumsiegle 294/872 X 3 7l3 532 l/l973 Tanzer 206/65 E Primary Examiner-Even C. Blunk Assistant Examiner-Johnny D. Cherry Attorney, Agent, or Firm-J. R. Nelson  ABSTRACT The invention disclosed relates to a plastic multipak carrier for containers comprising a one-piece thermoformed receptacle enclosing the upper end portion of the container in compartments and suspending the container in the carrier by a snap fit bead or projection means in the upper end of the compartment engaging an end portion of the container, such as at a neck bulge or the closure skirt The carrier when used with glass bottles provides a partial height peripheral skirt that protects the glass against abuse, and. if the carrier is formed of opaque material, partial light protection is provided the contents of the glass bottles by the carrier. The carrier in combination with composite containers in which the lower body portion or the body below the neck of the bottle is covered with a plastic covering or full label will furnish full light protection to the contents of the bottle, as well as cushioning against abuse. The closed top of the compartment also protects a ring pull closure from damage,
23 Claims, 7 Drawing Figures PATENTEDHAR I BIEFS SHEET 1 0F 5 FIG.
PFIEHTEBHARI 81975 SHEET 2 0F 5 FIG. 2
PATENTEDMAR 1 BISTS 3,871,699
saw u or 5 PATEN TED 1 8 5 FIG. 7
PLASTIC JACKET FOR CONTAINERS This application is a continuation-in-part of my earlier application, Ser. No. l35,925, tiled Apr. 2], l97l, now abandoned.
This invention relates to carriers in combination with containers forming a multipak of filled containers, such as glass bottles. The container package includes protection of the containers, closures thereon and protects the contents against damage from light or other radiation.
In the handling of containers in the present commercial marketplace, it is conventional to use carriers for packaging multiple bottles of product, such as beverage, beer, etc., as a sale unit; and more importantly, for transporting and delivery of the products to the customer. Some ofthe products, such as beer, require protection of the product from light radiation, and when product is packaged in glass bottles. the carrier utilized is often the full wrap, paper carrier. Many of the containers currently in use employ a top ring pull closure for convenience opening of the bottle. This type of closure is vulnerable to damage in handling.
It is an object of the present invention to provide a carrier and container package of one-piece construction composed of plastic material that is economical, practical to use and easy to manufacture and assemble onto a grouping of containers.
Another object of the invention is to combine the oneplece carrier of this invention with glass containers having the body portion of the container itself covered with a layer of material, such as plastic or paper labels, and the assembled combination provides protection to the glass and closure of the bottle from abuse, and protects the contents ofthe container from harmful radiation.
Still another object of the invention is the combination of a C-shaped snap-ring or bead in the container compartment of the carrier that is disposed to hold the container. yet permit easy removal of the container.
SUMMARY OF THE lNVENTlON The invention consists of a thermoformed, one-piece plastic jacket-type carrier for containers, such as glass bottles. The carrier is formed to provide individual cavities or compartments into which the upper ends (necks) of the containers are telescopically inserted and grasped by a snapring or annular engaging means. The containers are suspended by their closure ends in the compartment for transport or handling. The grouping of plural containers in the package are held together in wall to wall contact by a lower peripheral skirt integral with the compartments and a top reinforcing wall connects all the compartments to strengthen the carrier and provide a wall member of the jacket for carrying the package. The one form of carrying the package is by finger holes in the top wall of the carrier.
One important feature of the invention is the use of the jacket-type carrier and composite containers in which a glass bottle has a body and base covering of a less frangible material, such as a plastic base cup or a shrink plastic sleeve. The container is closed by a convenience opening, ring pull type closure. In this form the compartments of the carrier cover the upper glass neck area of the container and the closure. protecting the glass surface and closure from abuse or damage. The skirt of the jacket carrier extends downwardly enough to at least meet the upper edge of the covering or base of the composite container. Thus, the carrier and composite containers cover the glass surfaces, and if the bottle covering material and carrier are opaque, the resulting container package protects the product against light transmission.
Other significant features, objects and advantages of the invention will occur to persons skilled in the art from the description appearing hereinafter and the related drawings.
DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. I is a three-quarter front perspective view of the container package of the invention;
H0. 2 is a top plan view of the carrier.
FIG. 3 is a transverse sectional elevational view taken along line 33 on FIG. 2;
FIG. 4 is a fragmentary perspective view, in part broken away, of a second form of container and closure adapted to use with the carrier of this invention;
FIG. 5 is a sectional elevational view taken along line 5-5 of FIG. 4'.
FIG. 6 is a bottom plan view ofa third form of the invention in which the snap-rings in the compartments are C-shaped; and
FIG. 7 is an end sectional elevational view of the carrier taken along line 7-7 of FIG. 6.
DESCRIPTION Referring to FIG. I, the package 10 embodying the invention comprises a carrier 11 and a plurality of composite containers 12. The container 12 has a bottom end wall upon which it is resting in upright position. Contiguous with the bottom wall is a glass body wall which tapers upwardly into the wall ofthe neck portion 13 (see FIG. 3). At the upper end of neck 13 is the annular rim of the glass bottle defining the upper end opening that is enclosed by the closure 14. Closure 14 extends over the rim or bead of the bottle and is crimped or contracted therebelow along the side wall of neck 13. The closure illustrated is a convenience opening metal ring pull closure such as described in detail in US. Pat. No. 3,561.63l. As seen on FIG. 3, the closure 14 includes a top ring pull device [40 for opening removal of the closure. The closure 14 and neck 13 provide an undercut or reverse taper region [5 that provides an annular ring-like surface to support the container in the carrier in a manner to be presently described.
The containers 12 include a body covering 16 which may take the form ofa layer or sleeve of shrunken thermoplastic material extending from a region in the neck l3 along and covering the body wall of the container and to or into the bottom wall. Another form of composite container is shown and described in US. Pat. No. 3,482,724. This container includes a glass bulbular lower portion and a generally concavely curved upper portion that tapers to a neck rim at the end opening. A closure, similar to closure 14 with a peripheral skirt and lower rolled edge thereon is provided and is crimped over the end rim of the container. The lower bulhular end of the glass body is secured to a cup-like base that holds the glass body in an upright position when placed on a horizontal surface. The base is similar otherwise to the body covering 16 in that it extends axially along the glass body wall a substantial amount and is made of a less frangible material, such as polyethylene or the like.
The carrier 11 is made of plastic and is most conveniently thermoformed from a sheet or web ofa thermoplastic material. Carrier 11 is preferably constructed of a thermoplastic that will produce a semi-rigid member. Examples of suitable thermoplastic compositions are polyvinyl chloride. polyethylene of the high or medium density types or compositions, and polypropylene. An economical yet practical construction of carrier 11 is a 25 mil thickness high density polyethylene sheet that is thermally molded in a mold for the structure 11 hereinafter described.
The carrier shown on FIGS. I-3 includes the several upright annular walls 17 which define individual container compartments 18. The compartments correspond substantially with the configuration of the neck portion 13 of the containers and their upper end clo sure 14. Near the top of compartments I8 are provided for each an annularly disposed. radially inwardly projecting yieldable means 19. This may be provided as an annular bead or lugs which will yield slightly and allow a snap-on fit over the closure end 14 of the containers. Once the containers are snapped in the carrier by axial telescopic relative movement of the carrier 11 and containers 12. the bead 19 engages under the end enlargement of the container, such as just at the underside of closure 14. The containers are now engaged in the cavities I8 of carrier 11 and may be lifted or carried therewith.
Over each of the cavities or compartments 18 is a top wall 20 enclosing the compartment top end and pro tecting the closure 14 and its ring pull device 14a from abuse. This cover wall 20 also keeps the containers of the package clean.
Near the upper end of each of the cavities 18 and integrally attached to their wall 17 is a first horizontal wall 21. The wall 2] joins the compartment walls 17 just below the snap bead l9 and provides rigidity to the top portion of carrier ll. Also. a means for grasping and carrying the carrier and containers is provided at horizontally spaced finger holes 22, 23. The finger holes may be partially cut circles and fingers inserted at use will fold the cut portion 24 vertically inwardly providing a larger cushioned edge as a bearing support for the fingers in carrying the package l1, l2.
Extending downwardly from and integrally with compartment vertical walls 17 is a perimeter vertical skirt wall 25. The perimeter of skirt wall 25 will relatively tightly fit the outer surfaces of the body walls of containers l2 and encompass the grouping of containers 12 to the extent the lower margin 26 of the skirt 25 will at least meet or overlap with the composite container coverings 16.
The top of skirt wall 25 blends with a second horizontal wall 27 disposed below the level of the first wall 21. The second wall 27 is integrally connected with the first wall 21 by the vertical wall portions 28 which blend with the vertical compartment walls 17. The lower wall 27 lends structural support between the lower reaches of compartments [8 and the curved vertical walls 28 interconnect the lower and upper wall structures to lend rigidity to the carrier II. By locating the vertical centers of compartments l8. containers I2 are substantially in wall to wall abutting contact. Perimeter or skirt wall 25 comfines the grouping and prevents sidewise movement of the containers individually within the carrier.
The container package 10 may be provided with decoration and art work in various manners. The carrier may be decorated by blanket offset printing. Also. the containers may be individually decorated. such as illustrated by the area 30 (FIG. I) to provide a pleasing package. The significant feature on FIG. I is in the characteristic of providing full light protection to the containers product. The carrier 11 and container cot erings 16 may be made to a degree of opaque quality by selection of coloring or thickness of the plastic materials employed in the package.
The FIGS. 4 and 5 illustrate a versatility to the container package. In the form there illustrated. glass containers 31 have a tapering neck portion and near the top end of the container is the screw-on closure 32 held by suitable threads 33 on the end region of the neck. At the lower region of threads 33 is an annular radial bead 34 which comprises a part of the tamper proof character of this known closure type. The carrier ll compartment 18 may be provided with a helical form (not shown) of annular radially inwardly projecting means for engaging and retaining the closure end of the container 31 in the carrier compartment.
The snap-ring bead 35 is shown on FIGS. 4 and 5. and this form of retaining means. similar in structure to 19 on FIGS. 1-3, engages under the bead 34 engaging the lower closure skirt portion over the head of the glass neck. The remainder ofthe structure of carrier It is as described above.
On FIGS. 6 and 7 a third form of carrier 11' and package is shown. The carrier illustrated includes eight compartments 18' for containers 12 that are each formed by upright annular walls 17' and a top wall 20'. In each compartment I8 near its top wall 20' is the yieldable inwardly projecting means for snapping the closure of the container into holding position. In this embodiment, this yieldable means takes the form ofC- shaped bead or snap-ring 19a. As seen on FIG. 6, the inner wall periphery of the compartment I8 at the snap-ring 19a is comprised of two diameters. The first is the smaller diameter of the bore of C-shaped ring 1% and this enlarges or opens up into the slot-like area at the larger diameter of the wall portion 19b in the top of the compartment 18'. The larger diameter portions 1% of the compartment top structure are each disposed along the interior side of carrier 11'; that is. to the side away from the outer wall 25' of the skirt. When a container 12 is to be removed from the carrier. it is pivoted or swung outwardly at its bottom end so that the bead or flange along the neck moves outwardly through the opening of the C-shaped head and to the slot-like area. Downward pull or twist of the container then frees it from the compartment and the carrier.
The structure just described provides a secure carrier mounting for the containers 12, yet provides an easier and more convenient structure for removal of a se lected container from the carrier without disturbing other containers in the carrier.
The remainder ofthe carrier 11' is constructed similarly to the carrier 11, previously described.
In the horizontal top wall 2l' of this form of carrier II is another form of hand grip. Substantially centrally of the top wall 21' are formed a pair of elongated. curved apertures 36. The apertures 36 are in combination somewhat 0 or oval shaped. The two apertures 36 are separated by an elongated web or strap 37 that is an integral part of top wall 21'. A portion of the plastic at 38 adjacent the edges of the apertures 36 is turned under or is bendable inwardly to allow ease of finger grip on the carrier for hand carrying.
The removal of containers from the package is accomplished by cocking or twisting the container in the carrier. The flexible nature of the retaining means, such as the snap bead formed herein described, will release and the bottle is removed by withdrawing from the lower end of the carrier.
Another form of removal is by twisting, as in the case of the threaded closures, resulting in an unscrewing action for downward removal of the bottle from the compartment in the carrier.
Having shown and described several forms of the invention, other forms and variations should occur to those persons skilled in the art. It is the purpose of this disclosure to limit the scope of coverage of the inven' tion only by the appended claims.
1. An integral one piece molded carrier adapted for engaging and embracing a substantial portion of each of a plurality of containers arranged upright in a substantially side wall abutting relationship comprising an elastomeric material of flat stock thermoformed and having vertically disposed walls defining cell-like compartments whose vertical axes correspond with the axes of said arrangement of plural containers, a horizontal wall integral with all of the vertical walls of said compartments and connected near the upper end of said compartments, means on said horizontal wall adapted for lifting and supporting the carrier, annularly disposed, radially inwardly projecting yieldable means along the interior surface of said vertical wall of each compartment, the interior diameter across said compartment of said yieldable means being slightly less than the outer diameter of a portion of the container adjacent its upper end to be received in said compartment to engage and support said container therein, a vertical skirt wall adapted to embrace the outer extending side wall portion of said plurality of containers and retain them in a cluster, the skirt wall being integral with said vertical walls ofthe compartments, and a second horizontal wall below said first mentioned horizontal wall and integral with said vertical skirt wall.
2. The carrier defined by claim 1, including a top wall on each of said compartments and integrally connected to said vertical wall thereof, said annularly disposed yieldable means of each compartment being spaced vertically below said top wall thereof.
3. The carrier defined by claim 1, wherein said annularly disposed, radially inwardly projecting, yieldable means comprises a continuous, endless, annular beadlike projection adapted for engagement with said container to support the latter in said carrier.
4. The carrier defined by claim 1, wherein said vertical skirt wall provides an interference, tight fit with said plural containers, adapted to hold said containers in side wall contact, one to the other, preventing any substantial sidewise relative movement ofthe containers in the carrier.
5. The carrier defined by claim 4, wherein said compartment vertical walls and said vertical skirt wall together are greater than one half the height of the containers that are to be received and supported in the carnet.
6. The carrier defined by claim I, including a second vertical wall connected integrally between said first and second horizontal walls, said second vertical wall being disposed horizontally inwardly from the perimeter defining vertical skirt wall of said carrier and joined with said first horizontal wall to provide support for the carrier.
7. In combination, a grouping of plural containers in upright position and in close wall to wall engagement. each of the containers including a bottom wall, body wall and an annular upper end portion, and a one-piece carrier for said grouping of containers, said carrier being integrally formed of a thermoplastic and including plural upright annular walls defining individual upright cavities for receiving the upper end of said containers, annularly arranged, yieldable projection means extending radially inwardly of each of said cavities near the top end thereof, said means engaging said annular upper end portion of each container for supporting each container in its respective cavity, a vertical skirt wall in surrounding engagement with the body walls of the grouping of containers restraining the containers against substantial lateral movement in the cavities and with respect to each other, and first and second horizontal wall means respectively connecting (1) each or said upright annular walls adjacent said projection means thereof and (2) said annular walls above said vertical skirt wall for structurally interconnecting said cavities and reinforcing said carrier.
8. The combination defined in claim 7, wherein said containers comprise glass bottles which have at their upper ends a neck portion and top mouth opening, the mouth opening having a closure member secured thereover and engaging the neck portion to close the bottle mouth, the said yieldable projection means on the wall of each of said cavities engaging an annular portion of the closure providing suspending support for the bottle in said cavity of the carrier.
9. The combination defined in claim 8, wherein the bottle body wall has an annular surface covering extending from adjacent the bottom wall axially over a major extent of the body of the bottle, the vertical skirt wall extending down along the body of the bottles to at least join the annular surface covering on the bottle bodies, the combination of the carrier and said annular covering on the bottles providing a protective layer for the glass bottles from their bottom end to the closu red end.
10. The combination defined in claim 9, wherein the annular covering on the bottles comprises a layer of thermoplastic.
11. The combination defined in claim 10, wherein said layer of thermoplastic is opaque, thereby providing light shielding protection to contents of the bottles in the carrier.
12. The combination defined in claim 7, including means on said horizontal wall means for lifting and carrying said carrier.
13. The combination defined in claim 7, wherein the 0ne-piece carrier includes a further vertical wall means integrally connected with the second horizontal wall meand and the first-mentioned horizontal wall.
14. The combination defined in claim 7, wherein said one-piece thermoplastic carrier is comprised of a thermoplastic selected from the group consisting of poly ethylene, polystyrene and polyvinyl chloride. the oncpiece carrier having the characteristic of being at least a semi-rigid member.
15. A one-piece receptacle for retaining an array of containers comprised of at least a pair of adjacently positioned containers having a circumferential enlargement portion near one end thereof and arranged in upright side-by-side relationship, said receptacle comprising an integral cover element having an endless upright perimeter wall adapted to extend around the array of containers for covering at least a portion of their axial length, individual cell-like compartments defined by an annular wall extending above said upright perimeter wall and each said compartment adapted to nest over the top of a container of said array, said compartments being integrally joined with said upright perimeter wall by a first horizontal wall means, bead-like means annularly disposed and projecting inwardly on the interior of said compartment wall adjacent the top of each said compartment, a second horizontal wall integrally connected with the compartment walls adjacent the top thereof. said bead-like means defining a minimum diameter across said compartment that is less than the exterior diameter of said enlargement portion of the container to be received in said compartment and engageable with its said enlargement portion at said one end to support the container in said compartment, and means on said cover element for hand grasping and car rying the one piece receptacle and contents supported in the compartments thereof.
l6. The one-piece receptacle of claim 15, wherein said integral cover element is thermoformed from a thermoplastic material.
l7. The one-piece receptacle of claim 16, wherein said thermoplastic comprises polyethylene.
l8. The one-piece receptacle of claim 17, wherein said polyethylene is selected from medium and high density compositions thereof.
19. The one-piece receptacle of claim 15, wherein said cover element includes a top closure wall on each of the compartments, said top wall thereof being con' nected with the first horizontal wall means and the compartment defining wall such that each compartment is closed at its top end and open at its lower end for receiving therein said containers in their upright position.
20. The receptacle of claim 15, wherein said beadlike means comprises a discontinuous snap bead in the wall of each compartment, said bead defining a C- shaped ring, providing the minimum internal diameter of the compartment, the open end of the discontinuous C-shaped bead defining a slot-like area of a larger internal diameter of the compartment.
2]. The receptacle of claim 20, wherein said C- shaped ring in the wall of each compartment is located therein such that the open end of the discontinuous head is facing inwardly of the upright perimeter wall of the receptacle and said slot-like area is disposed in each compartment substantially opposite said upright perimeter wall.
22. A combination comprising a grouping of a plurality of containers, each in upright position, having a base, body portion, upwardly tapered neck portion, an annular rim portion on the neck portion defining an upper end opening for the container, and a closure applied over the upper end opening and said rim portion, and a carrier for said containers in suspended relation, said carrier including plural annular, upwardly tapered wall individually extending adjacent the necks of said containers, first horizontal wall means integral with each of said annular walls and overlying the necks of the containers, an inwardly facing, bead-like means on each of the tapered walls, said means having an inwardly facing circumference slightly less than the external circumference of said closure circumference on the container, said bead-like means being disposed under the rim of the container, a peripheral skirt wall integral with each of said tapered walls and extending peripherally around said grouping of containers. said skirt wall extending downwardly along at least an axial portion,of the body of the containers, second horizontal wall means integral with said tapered walls and spaced from said first horizontal wall means, and means on said second horizontal wall means for hand carrying the carrier and containers, the containers being in suspended relation from the bead-like means of the respective tapered walls and the grouping of containers being engaged by said peripheral skirt wall preventing lateral displacement of the containers within the carrier.
23. A combination comprising a grouping of a plurality of containers, each in upright position, having a base, body portion, and an annular rim portion at the upper end of the container, and a carrier for said con tainers in suspended relation, said carrier including plural annular, upstanding walls individually extending ad jacent the upper end of said containers, an inwardly facing, bead-like means on each of the annular upstanding walls, said means comprising a discontinuous C-shaped ring in each of the annular walls and having a minimum internal diameter on each said annular wall less than the external diameter of said upper end of the container, said bead-like means being disposed under the rim of the container, a peripheral skirt wall integral with each of said upstanding walls and extending peripherally around said grouping of containers, said skirt wall extending downwardly along at least an axial portion of the body of the containers, a horizontal wall means of said carrier integral with said upstanding walls, and means on said horizontal wall means for hand carrying the carrier and containers, the containers being in suspended relation from the C-shaped rings on the respective upstanding annular walls and the grouping of containers being engaged by said periph eral skirt wall preventing lateral displacement of the containers within the carrier.
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|U.S. Classification||294/87.2, 206/150, 206/145|
|Jul 14, 1987||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: OWENS-ILLINOIS GLASS CONTAINER INC., ONE SEAGATE,
Free format text: ASSIGNS AS OF APRIL 15, 1987 THE ENTIRE INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:OWENS-ILLINOIS, INC.;REEL/FRAME:004869/0922
Effective date: 19870323
Owner name: OWENS-ILLINOIS GLASS CONTAINER INC.,OHIO
Free format text: ASSIGNS AS OF APRIL 15, 1987 THE ENTIRE INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:OWENS-ILLINOIS, INC.;REEL/FRAME:4869/922