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Publication numberUS3894682 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJul 15, 1975
Filing dateOct 26, 1973
Priority dateJul 7, 1972
Publication numberUS 3894682 A, US 3894682A, US-A-3894682, US3894682 A, US3894682A
InventorsHarmsen Arnold C
Original AssigneeGilman Paper Company
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Container with filling opening and closure means therefor
US 3894682 A
Abstract
A container, such as a bag formed of paper or the like, is formed with an opening through which a tube or other type of filling member may be inserted for the purpose of conveying material into the container. The filling opening of the container is generally defined by opposing flexible panels which can be spread apart by the insertion of the filling or tube member. In one embodiment, a closure sleeve is disposed within the filling opening of the container and is secured to the opposing panels defining the filling opening. At its inner end, the sleeve is formed of flexible and resilient material which is so constructed as to curl up on itself in its normal state, thereby serving to close and seal the filling opening of the container. When it is desired to fill the container, the filling member is inserted into the filling opening and through the sleeve member so as to uncurl the inner end of the sleeve member for the purpose of opening it. In this manner, material may be introduced through the filling member or tube into the interior of the container. In a second embodiment, a single closure sheet rather than a sleeve is secured to one of the panels defining the filling opening, and the inner portion of the closure sheet is formed of flexible and resilient material that is normally curled upon itself as to engage the inner portion of the other panel defining the filling opening to thereby close the filling opening.
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United States Patent 1191 Harmsen I CONTAINER WITI-I FILLING OPENING AND CLOSURE MEANS THEREFOR Arnold C. Harmsen, Closter, Ni

[73] Assignee: Gilman Paper Company, New York,

22 Filed: Oct. 26, 1973 211 App]. No: 410,261

Related US. Application Data [63] Continuation-in-part of Ser. No. 269,783, July 7,

I972, abandoned.

[75] Inventor:

2,799,314 7/1957 Dreyer et a].

3.201 ,030 8/1965 Pollack 3,261,267 7/1966 Becker 3,441,199 4/1969 Brockmuller 150/9 Primary ExaminerWilliam l. Price Assisranr E.raminerStephen P. Garbe [57] ABSTRACT A container, such as a bag formed of paper or the like,

[ 1 July 15, 1975 is formed with an opening through which a tube or other type of filling member may be inserted for the purpose of conveying material into the container. The filling opening of the container is generally defined by opposing flexible panels which can be spread apart by the insertion of the filling or tube member. In one em bodiment, a closure sleeve is disposed within the filling opening of the container and is secured to the opposing panels defining the filling opening. At its inner end, the sleeve is formed of flexible and resilient material which is so constructed as to curl up on itself in its normal state, thereby serving to close and seal the filling opening of the container. When it is desired to fill the container, the filling member is inserted into the filling opening and through the sleeve member so as to uncurl the inner end of the sleeve member for the purpose of opening it. In this manner, material may be introduced through the filling member or tube into the interior of the container. In a second embodiment, a single closure sheet rather than a sleeve is secured to one of the panels defining the filling opening, and the inner portion of the closure sheet is formed of flexible and resilient material that is normally curled upon itself as to engage the inner portion of the other panel defining the filling opening to thereby close the filling opening 12 Claims, 14 Drawing Figures CONTAINER WITH FILLING OPENING AND CLOSURE MEANS THEREFOR CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION This application is a continuation-in-part of application Ser. No. 269,783, filed on July 7, 1972 now abandoned.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates generally to containers with filling openings and, more particularly, to such a container having closure means for normally closing the filling opening, the closure means being opened by the insertion of a filling member into the filling opening of the container.

In containers, such as flexible bags or the like, normally used for the packaging and shipping of granular materials, or the like, there is normally provided a filling opening for the purpose of enabling the container to be filled by inserting a filling spout or tube into the filling opening. In many cases, such containers are not provided with means for closing the filling opening after the container has been filled, and the pressure of the contents of the container against the portions of the container defining the filling opening must be relied on for the purpose of at least partially closing the filling opening. In such containers, therefore, the contents are subject to contamination, and spillage. When these filled containers are moved or handled, the contents tend to shift, thereby resulting in partial spillage or leakage of the contents through the partially opened filling opening. While the amount of such spillage or leakage may be small for each container, the total amount of such spillage or leakage may be quite sub stantial for a large number of containers, and this spillage or leakage of the contents may cause outside contamination in the areas these containers may be stored.

Certain types of containers, such as flexible bags or the like, have been provided with means for sealing or closing the filling openings after the containers have been filled with the contents thereof. In some cases, however, an additional manual or machine operation has been required to effect closing of the filling openings of the containers after they have been filled, thereby resulting in additional expense and increased handling time. In other cases, the closure means for the filling openings have added to the complexity of the containers and thus have made them more difficult and expensive to manufacture.

Accordingly, a need has arisen for a simple and inexpensive closure means for the filling openings of containers, such as bags or the like, which will serve to close the filling openings automatically after the con tainers have been filled. This need has not been met by the containers with filling openings that have been utilized in the past and at present.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention is directed to a simple and inexpensive closure means for the filling openings of containers such as flexible bags or the like. In one embodiment. a sleeve having a flexible and resilient inner portion is secured to the opposing portions of the con tainer defining the filling opening thereof. The inner portion of the sleeve is formed so as to be normally curled up on itself in such a manner as to normally close the filling opening of the container. When it is desired to fill the container, a filling spout or tube is inserted between the opposing portions of the container defining the filling opening and into the sleeve mounted within the filling opening, thereby expanding the sleeve and spreading the opposing portions of the container apart. The insertion of the filling tube into the sleeve serves to uncurl its inner end, thereby opening the filling opening and enabling the container to be filled. Thereafter, as the filling tube is withdrawn from the filling opening of the container, the flexible and resilient inner portion of the sleeve again curls up on itself to close the filling opening automatically. In this manner, contamination and spillage of the contents of the container are effectively prevented, and exterior contamination is also prevented to improve the environmental condition in the areas where the containers are filled, used or stored.

In a second embodiment, a sheet rather than a sleeve is disposed within the filling opening and secured to one of the opposing portions of the container defining the filling opening. The sleeve is provided with a flexible and resilient inner portion which is so constructed as to normally be curled up on itself and in engagement with the other opposed portion of the container defining the filling opening, thereby closing the filling opening. In this case, when a filling tube is inserted between the opposed portions of the container defining the filling opening to spread them apart, the filling tube also serves to uncurl the inner portion of the sheet disposed between the opposed portions of the container to separate the curled portion from the other opposed portion of the container and to thereby open the filling opening and enable the container to be filled through the filling tube. Thereafter, as the filling tube is removed from the filling opening, the inner portion of the sheet again curls up upon itself and engages the other opposed portion of the container to again close the filling opening automatically.

In a third embodiment, one side of the end of the inner portion of the sleeve is adhesively or otherwise secured to the adjacent portion of the container so as to maintain the normally curled inner sleeve portion in a substantially flat, uncurled condition. By maintaining the inner sleeve portion in this flat uncurled condition, the bag-forming and handling operations are facilitated since there is no curled portion on the sleeve which might interfere with or complicate the forming or handling operations. The securement of the sleeve portion to the adjacent container portion is sufficiently weak as to be broken when a filling spout or tube is inserted within the sleeve. After the insertion and removal of the filling spout. therefore, the flexible and resilient inner sleeve portion curls up on itself to close the filling opening in the container.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a container constructed in accordance with the principles of the present invention, showing a filling tube introduced into the filling opening thereof;

FIG. 2 is an enlarged cross sectional view taken substantially along lines 22 of FIG. 1, showing the filling spout in a partially inserted position;

FIG. 3 is a view similar to FIG. 2, showing the filling spout in a fully inserted position within the filling opening of the container;

FIG. 4 is a sectional view taken substantially along lines 44 of FIG. 3;

FIG. 5 is a view corresponding to FIG. 2, showing the filling spout removed from the filling opening of the container;

FIG. 6 is a view similar to FIG. 3, showing an alternate embodiment of the container of the present invention, with the filling spout in a fully inserted position within the filling opening of the container;

FIG. 7 is a view similar to FIG. 5, showing the alter nate embodiment of FIG. 6 with the filling spout removed from the filling opening of the container;

FIG. 8 is a perspective view of a portion of one embodiment of a sleeve or sheet for closing the filling opening of the container of the present invention;

FIG. 9 is a partial side elevational view in section showing another embodiment of the container of the present invention before the filling spout is inserted therein;

FIG. 10 is a perspective view of the upper portion of a container, with parts broken away, showing the end of the inner sleeve portion before the filling spout is inserted therein;

FIG. 11 is a view corresponding to FIG. 9, showing the filling spout in a fully inserted position within the sleeve and filling opening of the container;

FIG. 12 is a sectional view taken substantially along line 12-12 in FIG. II;

FIG. 13 is a perspective view of a container. showing a further embodiment of the present invention; and

FIG. 14 is an enlarged partial sectional view taken substantially along line I4l4 in FIG. 13.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS As an exemplary embodiment of the present inven tion, the container may be in the form of a bag 10 formed of any suitable material such as single or multiply paper or the like. The bag 10 may be of any suitable or desired general construction. As shown in FIG. 1, the bag 10 may comprise front and back panels 12, side panels 14, top panels 16 and bottom panels (not shown).

The top and bottom portions of the bag 10 are of generally flat construction, and the side panels 14 are pro vided with fold lines 18 for the purpose of facilitating the flattening of the bag when it is empty so as to occupy a minimum of space during shipping and storage. The top panels 16 are overlapped and secured together in any suitable manner to close the upper end of the bag 10. Each of the side panels 14 is provided with a flap 20 that extends inwardly under the overlapped top panels. At one side, the side panel flap 20 is secured to the overlapped top panels 16 so as to close and seal that portion of the container. On the other side, the side panel flap 20 is not secured to the overlapped top panels, thereby defining a filling opening 22 therewith. For the purpose of securing the side panel 14 to the top panels 16 adjacent to the filling opening 22, the side panel flap 20 is provided with extensions 24 that are overlapped and secured to the underside of the overlapped top panels 16.

The side panel flap 20 adjacent the filling opening 22 is so constructed as to be normally in a position closely adjacent to the overlapped top panels, thereby serving to close or substantially close the filling opening of the container. The fold line IS in the side panel 14 extends into the flap 20 for the purpose of facilitating deformation or folding of the flap 20 to enable a filling member,

such as a tube or spout 26 to be inserted into the interior of the bag 10 through the filling opening 22 be 5 tween the overlapped top panels 16 and the side panel flap 20.

In the embodiment of the present invention shown in FIGS. 2 through 5, a closure sleeve 30 is mounted within the filling opening 22 and is secured in any suitable manner to the overlapped portions of the flap extensions 24, secured to the top panel 16, and to the adjacent portion of the side panel flap 20. The closure sleeve 30 is formed of any suitable material, such as paper or plastic, and is provided with a flexible and resilient inner portion 32 which is so constructed as to normally curl up on itself to close the filling opening 22 in the manner specifically shown in FIG. 5. The curling tendency of the inner portion 32 of the closure sleeve 30 can be accomplished in any suitable manner, such as by forming the sleeve 30 of plastic material and winding the inner portion 32 of the sleeve around a mandrel while heating it to give it a thermal set. Alternatively, the sleeve may be formed of other types of flexible materials, such as paper, and provided with a wire 34 secured to the inner portion 32 thereof for the purpose of normally curling up the inner portion as shown in broken lines in FIG. 8.

As a further embodiment, the closure sleeve 30 may be formed of a combination of a flexible and resilient material, such as a suitable plastic, and paper or another lightweight material. For example, the upper portion of the sleeve 30 could be formed of the flexible and resilient material and the lower portion could be formed of paper or another lightweight material which is in overlapping relation with the upper sleeve portion. In this manner, the curling of the upper portion, owing to its resiliency, causes the lower portion to curl up with the upper portion to close the filling opening 22. Alternatively, the lower portion could be formed of a flexible and resilient material and the upper portion could be formed of paper or another lightweight mate rial.

When it is desired to fill the bag or container 10, the filling tube or spout 26 is inserted into the filling opening 22 and the closure sleeve 30 to separate the side panel flap 20 from the top panels 16, in the manner shown in FIG. 2. As the filling tube 26 is further inserted into the bag 10, it causes the inner portion 32 of the closure sleeve 30 to uncurl so that the filling tube 26 can be inserted completely through the closure sleeve 30 and into the interior of the container 10, in the manner shown in FIG. 3. Thereafter, the bag or container 10 can be filled with the material to be packaged by feeding the material through the filling tube 26.

After the bag 10 has been filled with the material being fed through the filling tube 26, the filling tube is withdrawn from the closure sleeve 30 and the filling opening 22. As the filling tube 26 is withdrawn from the inner portion 32 of the closure sleeve 30, the inner portion 32 automatically curls up in the manner shown in FIG. 5 to again close the filling opening 22. When the filling tube 26 has been completely withdrawn from the sleeve 30 and filling opening 22, the side panel flap 20 moves upwardly towards the top panel 16 and the inner portion 32 of the closure sleeve 30 curls up against and under the side panel flap 20 to maintain it in a closed position and to positively close the filling opening.

It will be readily seen, therefore, that the closure sleeve 30 and side panel flap 20 normally serve to close the filling opening 22 of the bag or container 10. When it is desired to fill the bag 10, the filling opening 22 is readily opened by merely inserting the filling member 26 into the filling opening 22 and through the tube 30. After the container has been filled, and the filling tube 26 has been withdrawn from the filling opening 22, the sleeve 30 and side panel flap 20 move to the closed position to automatically close the filling opening 22.

A modified embodiment of the present invention is shown in FIGS. 6 and 7. In this modified embodiment, a closure sheet 300, rather than the closure sleeve 30, is utilized as the closure for the filling opening 22. The closure sheet 300 is secured in any suitable manner to the overlapped flap extensions 24 adjacent the top panel 16, and is provided with a flexible and resilient inner portion 302 that is so constructed as to normally curl up upon itself in the manner shown in FIG. 7. The closure sheet 300 may be formed of the same materials and in the same manner as the closure sleeve 30 shown in FIGS. 2 through 5 and 8.

In operation, the closure sheet 300 functions in substantially the same manner as the closure sheet 30. When the filling tube 26 is not inserted into the filling opening 22 of the container, the inner portion 302 of the closure sheet 300 curls up against the side panel flap 20 to positively close the filling opening, as shown in FIG. 7. When the filling tube 26 is inserted into the filling opening 22, it serves to uncurl the inner portion of the closure sheet 300 to open the filling opening 22 and to enable the bag to be filled with material through the filling tube. Thereafter, when the container is filled and the filling tube 26 is removed from the filling opening, the inner portion 302 of the closure sheet 300 again curls up against the side panel flap 20 to automatically close the filling opening.

An additional modified embodiment of the present invention is shown in FIGS. 9-12. In this embodiment, the container or bag 110 and the closure sleeve 130 are substantially identical in construction to the bag 10 and closure sleeve 30 shown in FIGS. 2-5. Accordingly, the bag 110 comprises top panels 116 and side panels 114 having a flap 120 extending inwardly under the top panels. For the purpose of securing the side panel 14 to the top panels, the side panel flap 120 is provided with extensions 124 that are overlapped and secured to the underside of the top panels. On one side, the side panel flap 120 is not secured to the top panels to define a filling opening 122 therewith.

The closure sleeve 130 is mounted within the filling opening 122 and is secured in any suitable manner to the overlapped portions of the flap extensions 124, secured to the top panel 116, and to the adjacent portion of the side panel flap 120. Like the closure sleeve 30, the sleeve 130 is provided with a flexible and resilient inner portion 132 which is so constructed as to normally curl up on itself to close the filling opening 122 in the manner shown in FIG. 5.

As shown in FIGS. 9 and 10, when the bag 110 is formed and before a filling spout is inserted therein, the end of the inner sleeve portion 132 is adhesively or otherwise secured at its upper surface to the adjacent portion of the top panel 116 to prevent it from assuming its normally curled up position. As an illustrative example, the end of the inner sleeve portion 132 may be secured to the adjacent top panel 116 by any suitable adhesive applied in any suitable pattern such as the pair of spots 133 shown in FIGS. 9 and 10. By maintaining the inner sleeve portion 132 in a flat, uncurled condition before filling of the bag 110, the bag forming and handling operations are facilitated.

When a filling spout or tube 126 is inserted within the sleeve 130 to fill the bag 110, the adhesive bond or other securement between the inner sleeve portion 132 and the adjacent top panel is broken, as shown in FIGS. 11 and 12, owing to the deformation or expansion of the sleeve by the filling spout. After the filling operation and removal of the filling spout 126 from the sleeve 130, therefore, the flexible and resilient inner sleeve portion 132 is free to assume its normal curledup position to close the filling opening 122 in the bag 110, in the manner shown in FIG. 5.

A further modified embodiment of the present inven tion is shown in FIGS. 13 and 14. In this embodiment, the closure sleeve 230 is disposed within the upper portion of the longitudinal seal 209 of a bag such as a gusset-type bag 210 having folded-over end seams 211. The closure sleeve 230 is substantially identical in construction to the sleeve 30 shown in FIGS. 2-5. The bag 210, for example, comprises a multi-ply sidewall formed into front and rear panels 213 and side gusset panels 215. The front or rear panel 213 is overlapped to form the longitudinal lap seam 209.

The closure sleeve 230 is secured in any suitable manner to the adjacent overlapped portions of the panel 213 in the seam 209. Preferably, the longitudinal seam 209 is located near one side of the bag 210 so that the outer end of the sleeve 230 can be located closely adjacent the side of the bag with only a small portion of the sleeve extending outwardly of the seam 209. In this manner, a filling spout or tube may be conveniently inserted within the sleeve 230 and the possibility of damaging the outer portion of the sleeve owing to handling of the bag is minimized.

Similarly to the closure sleeve 30, the sleeve 230 is provided with a flexible and resilient inner portion 232 which is so constructed as to normally curl up on itself to close the filling opening in the longitudinal seam 209, as shown in FIG. 14.

When a filling spout or tube (not shown) is inserted within the sleeve 230 to fill the bag 210, the inner sleeve portion 232 is uncurled to allow the inner end of the filling spout to enter the interior of the bag. After the filling operation and removal of the filling spout from the sleeve 230, the inner sleeve portion 232 will again assume its normal curled-up position shown in FIG. 14 to close the filling opening in the seam 209.

Within the scope of the present invention, the sleeve 230 could be replaced by a closure sheet such as the sheet 300 shown in FIGS. 6 and 7 and hereinbefore described.

While the container of the present invention has been shown and described herein as a flexible bag, it is noted that, within the scope of the present invention, the container may be formed of any suitable shape or material, and may be of any suitable construction. In other words, the present invention is applicable to various types of containers having a filling opening of the general type described herein.

What is claimed is:

1. Closure means for a container having a filling opening, said closure means comprising:

a first portion disposed within said filling opening and secured to the portion of the container defining said filling opening, and

a second flexible and resilient portion disposed within said container that is so constructed as to normally curl upon itself and engage said container portion to close said filling opening, said second portion being temporarily secured to an adjacent portion of said container so as to be maintained in a flat, uncurled condition before a filling member is inserted in said filling opening.

2. The closure means of claim 1 wherein said second portion is adhesively secured to the adjacent container portion.

3. A container having a filling opening defined by opposed portions thereof, and closure means for said filling opening, said closure means comprising:

a first portion disposed within said filling opening and secured to one of said container portions, and

a second flexible and resilient portion disposed within said container and being so constructed as to normally curl upon itself and engage the other of said container portions to close said filling opening, said second portion being temporarily secured to an adjacent portion of said container so as to be maintained in a flat, uncurled condition before a filling member is inserted in said filling opening.

4. The container of claim 3 wherein said closure means is a flexible sleeve and said first portion thereof is secured to both of said opposed container portions.

5. The container of claim 4 wherein said sleeve surrounds said filling opening and is adapted to receive therethrough a container filling member to uncurl said second portion thereof and open said filling opening.

6. The container of claim 3 wherein said closure means is a flexible sheet.

7. The container of claim 6 wherein said sheet surrounds a portion of said filling opening and is adapted to be uncurled by the insertion of a container filling member into said filling opening, thereby opening said filling opening.

8. The container of claim 3 wherein the other of said container portions is a movable flap that is separable from said one container portion to enable a container filling member to be inserted into the container through said filling opening.

9. The container of claim 3 wherein said second closure means portion is formed of flexible material and a flexible and resilient wire member is secured thereto to cause it to curl upon itself.

10. The container of claim 3 wherein said second portion is adhesively secured to the adjacent container portion.

11. The container of claim 3 wherein said container has a sidewall with a longitudinal lap seam, and said filling opening is located in the portion of said seam near the upper end of said container.

12. The container of claim 11 wherein the end of said first portion of said closure means is disposed outwardly of said seam and adjacent the side of said container.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4049191 *Feb 2, 1976Sep 20, 1977Great Plains Bag CorporationBlock bottom valve bag
US4069964 *Feb 25, 1977Jan 24, 1978Westvaco CorporationGusseted pinch bottom valved bags
US4095736 *Oct 22, 1976Jun 20, 1978International Paper CompanyBag closure having valve sleeve
US4111354 *Nov 17, 1976Sep 5, 1978Anker-Schiffarts-Gesellschaft Mbh & Co. KgValve bag
US4316574 *Apr 4, 1980Feb 23, 1982Champion International CorporationSleeve valve for flexible bags
US4361268 *Mar 19, 1981Nov 30, 1982International Paper CompanySleeve construction for a bag having a filling opening
US4401140 *Oct 26, 1981Aug 30, 1983Degussa AktiengesellschaftFiller valve for valve bag
US4412645 *Oct 29, 1981Nov 1, 1983Champion International CorporationSelf-sealing bag sleeve
US5193710 *Sep 12, 1991Mar 16, 1993Podd Sr Victor TFloating hanging liner support
US6164823 *Dec 7, 1998Dec 26, 2000Southern Bag Corporation, Ltd.Valve bag and method for making a valve bag
US6783345 *May 20, 2002Aug 31, 2004W.R. Grace & Co.-ConnIn situ molded thermal barriers
US8142077Apr 15, 2009Mar 27, 2012Graphic Packaging International, Inc.Bag structures and methods of assembling the same
US20110019941 *Jul 27, 2009Jan 27, 2011Ashraf GhazaliRoller Action Wrapping Strip Bag
EP0193477A1 *Feb 12, 1986Sep 3, 1986LEMBACEL Société AnonymePaper bag with a bottom provided with a filling valve
Classifications
U.S. Classification383/50, 383/54, 383/57, 383/47
International ClassificationB65D30/24
Cooperative ClassificationB65D31/147, B65D31/145
European ClassificationB65D31/14B, B65D31/14C