US 3918579 A
The invention refers to protective wrappers for solid articles. The wrappers are made of heat-sealable material tightly surrounding the article and each wrapper is provided with a pulling member joined to the wrapper at two attachment points spaced from each other. When a pulling force is applied in a direction away from the enclosed article, the pulling member is arranged to forcibly open the wrapper and expose a part of the enclosed article by bringing the attachment points closer together.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [191 Diamant 1 1 Nov. 11, 1975 1 PROTECTIVE WRAPPERS FOR SUBSTANTIALLY SOLID OBJECTS  Inventor: Marcus Diamant, 30245 Kungsgatan, Halmstad, Sweden  Filed: Mar. 30, 1973 21 Appl. No.: 346,580
 Foreign Application Priority Data Apr. 30, 1972 Sweden 004256/72  US. Cl. 206/306; 206/303; 206/484, 206/820; 229/69  Int. Cl. B651) 85/02; B65D 85/38  Field of Search 221/303, 307, 305, 308,
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,319,448 5/1943 Frostad 206/443 2,892,538 6/1959 Middleton, Jr. et a1. 206/366 3,006,165 10/1961 Mittelberger 206/498 3,007,571 11/1961 Marinaro 206/441 3,036,700 5/1962 Krug 206/469 3,075,639 l/1963 Lingley 206/469 3,308,940 3/1967 Morris, Jr. 206/498 3,366,226 1/1968 Baklon 206/306 3,456,784 7/1969 Sirago 206/461 3,472,368 10/1969 Hellstrom 206/469 3,608,566 9/1971 Storandt 206/484 3,819,033 6/1974 Hueben 150/52 R FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 1,013,665 12/1965 United Kingdom 661,820 1 1/1951 United Kingdom 387.271 2/1933 United Kingdom 206/440 1,079,345 8/1967 United Kingdom.... 206/306 1,083,351 6/1954 France 206/306 Primary E.\'uminerWilliam [1. Price Assistant E.\'aminerAllan N. Shoap 5 7 ABSTRACT The invention refers to protective wrappers for solid articles. The wrappers are made of heat-scalable material tightly surrounding the article and each wrapper is provided with a pulling member joined to the wrapper at two attachment points spaced from each other. When a pulling force is applied in a direction away from the enclosed article, the pulling member is arranged to forcibly open the wrapper and expose a part of the enclosed article by bringing the attachment points closer together.
9 Claims, 8 Drawing Figures Sheet 1 of2 U.S. Patent Nov. 11, 1975 US. Patent Nov. 11,1975 Sheet20f2 3,918,579
PROTECTIVE WRAPPERS FOR SUBSTANTIALLY SOLID OBJECTS The object of the invention is to provide awrapping which will protect the object inside during transport and storage, which will enhance the appearance of the wrapped product in the shop or the like, and which can be easily opened to give access to the wrapped product as well as constituting a form of original wrapping, i.e., giving the purchaser a definite indication that the wrapping has not been opened before.
The invention can be used with advantage for thermometers, particularly those intended for insertion into body cavities, and a further object of the invention is to provide a protective sleeve into which the thermometer can easily be inserted when the temperature is to be taken, and from which it can easily be withdrawn after the temperature has been taken. In the case of a clinical thermometer the sleeve must completely enclose the thermometer while the temperature is being taken.
Many protective sleeves of various shapes have been proposed for this purpose. However, most of these only partially fulfil the requirements listed above.
Existing protective sleeves may in principle be divided into two main groups: a first group which is intended to be turned inside out when removed from the thermometer after the temperature has been taken, and a second group where the sleeve is pulled from the thermometer after the temperature has been taken, in
There is also considerable risk of the thermometer being broken. Furthermore, there is increased friction between the thermometerand its protective sleeve in all cases when the sleeve is pulled off with the help of a separate outer casing. Attempts have also been made to facilitate removal of the sleeve by providing it with lubricant, but this also has disadvantages.
In principle, this problem is solved according to the invention by providing at least one pulling member joined to the wrapper at two attachment points spaced which case some form of protection is required against becoming dirty when removing the sleeve.
Sleeves falling into the first category are described in Swedish Pat. Nos. 177,439 and No. 183,871, for example, and sleeves falling into the second category are described in Swedish Pat. No. 303,009, for example. Furthermore, Swedish Pat. No. 194,679 describes a protective sleeve combining these: two steps.
For sleeves intended to be turned inside out, i.e., sleeves falling into the first category above, the upper end of the thermometer must usually project from the open end of the sleeve. This means, however, that the top end of the thermometer can easily be split while the temperature is being taken.
For sleeves falling into the second category, i.e., sleeves intended to be pulled from the thermometer, a separate outer casing is used at present, into which the thermometer is inserted with its protective casing after the temperature has been taken. Apart from the fact that the use of these separate casings is complicated and makes the whole process more expensive, there is still a risk of the opening of the outer casing becoming contaminated by impurities being scraped off the outside of the protective sleeve when this is inserted in the outer casing. According to another known suggestion, the patient himself can make an outer casing from a flat sheet, for example, which is to be placed around the fouled thermometer sleeve and sealed, as instructed. However, when the patient wraps the fouled thermometer sleeve, there is obviously considerable risk of infection and furthermore the performance is complicated for patients lying in bed, especially elderly patients.
from each other, said pulling member arranged, when a pulling force is applied in a direction away from the wrapped object, to forcibly open the wrapper and expose a part of the wrapped object by bringing the attachment points closer together.
According to a preferred embodiment of the invention, the pulling member consists of a strip arranged on the outside of the wrapper and having two attachment points spaced from each other.
According to another embodiment of the invention the wrapper consists of foils joined together along a weld located at a distance from the extremities of the wrapper, the wrapper being provided with an incision on each side of and spaced from an upper sealing weld, said incisions being located between said weld and the outer edge of the wrapper and therefore forming two pulling members located one on each side of said end weld.
Concerning the use of the invention for clinical thermometers, the object of the invention is to provide an improved sleeve which is not intended to be turned inside out and which does not require an outer protective casing for removal from the thermometer. This is substantially achieved according to the invention by means of a pulling member joined to the sleeve at two attachment points spaced axially from each other and arranged, when a pulling forced is exerted in adirection away from the sleeve, to expose the top end of the thermometer by bringing the attachment points closer together, after which the thermometer can easily be withdrawn from the protective sleeve. The removal of the sleeve isalso facilitated since the friction between ther mometer and protective sleeve is reduced, or at least is not increased due to external pressure as is the case when a separate outer casing is used for the removal.
According to a preferred embodiment of the invention the sleeve consists of two foils, optionally of different colours, joined together along a weld located at a distance from the side edges of the sleeve, the sleeve being provided at the top with at least one incision arranged between said weld and one side edge of the foils, said incision extending substantially parallel to the side edge betweeen an upper attachment point constituting one limit of the pulling member and located in the vicinity of the open end of the sleeve, and a lower attachment point constituting the other limit of the pulling member and located at the side of the upper part of the space in the sleeve for the thermometer.
Such a pulling member may be constructed of at least one strip which is attached to the sleeve by means of at least two point welds spaced axially from each other.
Preferably the two foils are'displaced in relation to each other in longitudinal direction to provide an upper flap and a lower flap projecting from the ends of the thermometer. This enables the lower flap to be gripped with the help of a pair of tweezers or a piece of paper so that the protective sleeve can be removed fromthe thermometer if desired. The upper flap offers two advantages. When the bulb end of the clean thermometer is placed on the lower foil and the top flap is simultaneously gripped and lifted, the upper foil is separated from the lower foil and the thermometer can easily be inserted into the protective sleeve. The upper flap can also be used to remove the protective sleeve when the temperature has been taken, after the end of the thermometer has been exposed.
In the following the invention will be further described with reference to a number of embodiments shown in the accompanying drawings, in which FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a protective wrapper in accordance with the invention, applied about an object and FIG. 2 shows the protective wrapper illustrated in FIG. 1, when opened.
FIG. 3 shows a perspective view of a protective wrapper intended for circular objects.
FIG. 4 shows the protective wrapper illustrated in FIG. 3, after opening.
FIG. 5 is a view of a protective sleeve constructed in accordance with the invention in position,
FIG. 6 shows the device illustrated in FIG. 5 during the initial stage of removal,
FIG. 7 shows another embodiment of the sleeve proposed according to the invention, and
FIG. 8 shows a view of a multiple pack of sleeves according to the invention.
The protective wrapper 1 shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 is in the shape of a sleeve and consists suitably of two transparent, thin plastic foils 2, 3 which are welded together by longitudinal welding seams 4, 5, a bottom weld 6 and a top weld 7. Below and parallel to said top weld 7 is a perforation 17. In each longitudinal weld 4, 5 there is a longitudinal incision or slot 8, 9, respectively. These incisions or slots 8, 9 extend in the longitudinal direction of the sleeve in the embodiment of the invention shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, i.e., they are substantially parallel to the side edges and located substantially opposite each other at a distance from the upper end weld 7 of the sleeve and extend from a point 10 close to the upper end weld 7 to a poing 11 towards the centre of the sleeve. A pen enclosed in the wrapper l is designated 12.
The incisions8, 9, which may initially consist of perforations arranged between the points 10 and 11, provide pulling members 16 and the function of these is clear from FIG. 2. When these members 16 are pulled in a direction away from the side edges of the wrapper l, the point 10 is drawn towards the point 11, resulting in the wrapper l becoming folded together in the region between the points 10 and 11 and thus forcibly causing the perforation 17 to be penetrated by the upper, pointed section l3 of the pen 12 so that the end section 13 of the pen protrudes from the wrapper as is clear from FIG. 2. The pen 12 can then easily be withdrawn from the wrapper 1.
In the embodiments shown in FIGS. 3 and 4 the wrapper 1 has in principle the same construction, but is designed to fit a circular object 14. The two foils 2, 3 have in this case been welded together along a peripheral seam l5 and the incisions 8, 9 are similarly arranged opposite each other. FIG. 4 shows how this wrapper is opened. If hygroscopic sealing is necessary, the perforation 17 below the weld 7 can be covered with a tape of material which can easily be torn off. The
pulling members. 16 may also consist of loose strips arranged outside the wrapper and attached to the wrapper at two attachment points spaced from each other. The wrapper can be fitted to whatever shape the object to be wrapped has.
FIGS. 5 8 show the invention in use in the form of a protective sleeve for clinical thermometers. The protective sleeve 18 shown in FIGS. 5 8 suitably consists of two transparent, thin, plastic foils 19, 20 welded together along a welding edge 21. This weld 21 is preferably arranged at a distance from the extremities of the foils 19, 20 so that there is no sharp edge along the sides of the foils and the outer edges of the sleeve are soft and do not irritate the patient when the thermometer is inserted into the intended body cavity. The two foils 19, 20 are suitably somewhat longitudinally displaced in relation to each other, thus forming an upper sleeve flap 22 and a lower sleeve flap 23. The flap 22 thus consists of the upper end of the foil 19 while the the flap 23 consists of the lower end of the foil 20. The upper end of the foil 20 may preferably finish in an extension 24. Between the weld 21 and the side limits of the foils l9 and 20, respectively, there is an incision 25 on each side of the sleeve. Said incisions 25 extend in the longitudinal direction of the sleeve, i.e., they are substantially parallel to the side edges and located in the upper part of the sleeve, suitably starting from a point 26 close to the open end of the sleeve, to a point 27 at the side of the upper portion of the thermometer space. By means of the slotlike incisions 25 pulling members 28 are formed consisting of those parts of the sleeve which are located between the incisions 25 and the side edges. A thermometer inserted in the sleeve is designated 29.
The function of these pulling members 28 is clear from FIG. 6. When the pulling members 28 are pulled from the side edges of the sleevel8, point 26 is drawn towards point 27, which results in the sleeve creasing in the region between the points 26 and 27. The open end of the sleeve 18 is thus pulled down towards the bulb of the thermometer, so that the upper end 30 of the thermometer 29 is exposed, i.e., projects from the sleeve. The thermometer can then easily be withdrawn from the sleeve.
, In the embodiment of the invention shown in FIG. 7, the pulling member 28 consists of a strip 31 of suitable material extending along and outside the sleeve, this strip being joined by a number of attachment points 32 to the outside of the sleeve. In fact one such pulling member 28 is sufficient, but several pulling members should preferably be arranged, preferably diametrically opposite each other.
The narrowing extension 24 may of course be omitted, but it facilitates opening of the sleeve when the thermometer is to be inserted as described above, particularly if different colours are used for the two foils of the sleeve. The flap 23 protruding from the lower end of the sleeve may also be used when the sleeve is finally drawn off the thermometer. Of course, this flap is then dirty but it can be gripped with the help of a pair of tweezers, a piece of paper or the like.
FIG. 8 shows a number of sleeves manufactured in accordance with the invention arranged side by side. The sleeves are suitably held together by a number of weld points 33 spaced from each other between the abutting edges of adjacent sleeves. This keeps the sleeves in a horizontal position, which is an advantage when the thermometers are to be inserted in the sleeves.
The invention is not limited to the embodiments shown in the drawings but can be varied in many ways within the scope of the following claims. For instance, the pulling members 28 might be made considerably wider, i.e., in the form of side fins projecting from the side edges of the sleeve. Instead of point welds 33 between abutting side edges of adjacent sleeves, tear-off attachment points can of course be provided. These might consist of narrow connections left at a few points along the side edges of the sleeve during the cutting operation. Perforations may also be used. In a similar way a number of protective wrappers or sleeves may be arranged in their longitudinal directions after each other to form a continuous web which may be stored in a reel form. Furthermore, the incision producing the pulling member may also extend along the entire length of the sleeve, the attachment points of the pulling member being at the upper and lower ends of the sleeve. This gives a relatively long space between the attachment points and correspondingly greater creasing of the sleeve.
What I claim is:
1. A protective package for an elongated rod-like article such as a clinical thermometer comprising a sleeve formed of thin soft flexible transparent material substantially conforming and enclosing said article, a pull member for opening said sleeve and exposing said article, said pull member being fixedly joined at two axially spaced attachment points along one side of said sleeve and being adapted to be pulled between said attachment points from said sleeve in a direction away from said enclosed article, said attachment points remaining fixed to said sleeve and being drawn axially toward each other simultaneously contracting the sleeve and cause said article to break through saidsleeve at one end thereof.
2. The protective package according to claim 1 wherein said sleeve is open at said one end.
3. The protective package according to claim 1 wherein said sleeve is provided with perforation means adjacent said one end to permit said article to break through.
4. The package according to claim 1 wherein said sleeve is formed of two sheets of heat sealable material, said sheets being sealed about their peripheral edges to form the enclosing sleeve and wherein said pull member is formed integrally with said wrapper by an incision through said sheets between at least one side edge and its adjacent seal.
5. The package according to claim 4 wherein said incision is formed closer to one end of said sleeve than the other.
6. The package according to claim 4 wherein said pull member comprises a strip sealed at its end to the exterior of said sleeve.
7. The package according to claim 4 wherein said sheets of heat scalable material are offset axially with respect to each other to form an upper and lower flap for said sleeve.
8. The package according to claim 1 wherein said pull member extends outwardly from the side edges of said sleeve.
9. An assembly of packages each being formed according to claim 1 wherein the pull member of one package is attached to an adjacent package and is adapted to be pulled on separation of said one package from said adjacent package.