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Número de publicaciónUS20100270259 A1
Tipo de publicaciónSolicitud
Número de solicitudUS 12/552,375
Fecha de publicación28 Oct 2010
Fecha de presentación2 Sep 2009
Fecha de prioridad23 Abr 2009
Número de publicación12552375, 552375, US 2010/0270259 A1, US 2010/270259 A1, US 20100270259 A1, US 20100270259A1, US 2010270259 A1, US 2010270259A1, US-A1-20100270259, US-A1-2010270259, US2010/0270259A1, US2010/270259A1, US20100270259 A1, US20100270259A1, US2010270259 A1, US2010270259A1
InventoresMatthew A. Russell, Raymond A. Pritchett, Jr.
Cesionario originalGraham Packaging Company, L.P.
Exportar citaBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
Enlaces externos: USPTO, Cesión de USPTO, Espacenet
Container With Rib Elements Patterned in a Brick Pattern
US 20100270259 A1
Resumen
A container for beverages has a plurality of side panels having rib elements. The container preferably has the rib elements arranged in a brick pattern. The container reduces the deformation of the side panels that occurs when gripped.
Imágenes(10)
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Reclamaciones(20)
1. A plastic container comprising:
a top portion;
a body comprising a plurality of side panels located below the top portion;
a base located below the body portion; and
wherein at least one of the plurality of side panels has a plurality of rib elements arranged in a brick pattern.
2. The plastic container of claim 1, wherein the rib elements extend further from the longitudinal axis of the container than the surface of the container.
3. The plastic container of claim 1, wherein the surface of the container extends further from the longitudinal axis of the container than the rib elements.
4. The plastic container of claim 1, wherein the plurality of rib elements are arranged in a plurality of rows.
5. The plastic container of claim 4, wherein at least one of the plurality of rows is continuous.
6. The plastic container of claim 1, wherein two of the plurality of rib elements have a joint element connecting the two of the plurality of rib elements.
7. The plastic container of claim 1, wherein each of the plurality of rib elements is discrete from each other of the plurality of rib elements.
8. The plastic container of claim 1, wherein a thickness of one of the plurality of side panels is between 0.01 and 0.02 inches, and further wherein when a force less than 1.65 lbf is applied to the at least one of the plurality of side panels then the surface is not displaced at least ¼ of an inch in the direction of the longitudinal axis of the container.
9. The plastic container of claim 1, wherein each of the plurality of side panels has a plurality of rib elements arranged in a brick pattern.
10. A plastic container comprising:
a top portion;
a body comprising a plurality of side panels located below the top portion;
a base located below the body portion; and
wherein a thickness of each of the plurality of side panels is between 0.01 and 0.02 inches, and further wherein when a force less than 1.65 lbf is applied to a center of the at least one of the plurality of side panels then the surface is not displaced at least ¼ of an inch in the direction of the longitudinal axis of the container.
11. The plastic container of claim 10, wherein each of the plurality of side panels further comprises rib elements which extend further from the longitudinal axis of the container than the surface of the container.
12. The plastic container of claim 10, wherein each of the plurality of side panels further comprises rib elements and further wherein the surface of the container extends further from the longitudinal axis of the container than the rib elements.
13. The plastic container of claim 10, wherein each of the plurality of side panels further comprises rib elements and further wherein the rib elements are arranged in a plurality of rows.
14. The plastic container of claim 13, wherein at least one of the plurality of rows is continuous.
15. The plastic container of claim 10, wherein each of the plurality of side panels further comprises a first rib element, a second rib element, and a joint element, wherein the joint element connects the first and second rib element.
16. The plastic container of claim 10, wherein each of the plurality of side panels comprises rib elements, wherein each of the rib elements is discrete from each other.
17. The plastic container of claim 10, wherein each of the plurality of side panels has a plurality of rib elements arranged in a brick pattern.
18. The plastic container of claim 10, wherein each of the plurality of side panels further comprises a first rib element, a second rib element and a third rib element, and further wherein a first end of the first rib element and a second end of the second rib element are located proximate to each other and a center portion of a side panel of the third rib element is located proximate to the first end of the first rib element and the second end of the second rib element.
19. A plastic container comprising;
a top portion;
a body comprising a plurality of side panels located below the top portion;
a base located below the body portion; and
wherein at least one of the plurality of side panels further comprises a first rib element, a second rib element and a third rib element, and further wherein a first end of the first rib element and a second end of the second rib element are located proximate to each other and a center portion of a side panel of the third rib element is located proximate to the first end of the first rib element and the second end of the second rib element.
20. The container of claim 19, wherein each of the plurality of side panels comprises rib elements.
Descripción

This application is a continuation in part of U.S. Design Pat. Application No. 29/335,849, filed Apr. 23, 2009, the contents of which are incorporated herein by reference.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention is related to the field of containers. In particular the present invention is related to containers that may have increased side panel strength.

2. Description of the Related Technology

In the past, containers used for the storage of products, such as beverages, were made of glass. Glass was used due to its transparency, its ability to maintain its structure and the ease of affixing labels to it. However, glass is fragile and heavy. This results in lost profits due to broken containers during shipping and storage caused by the usage of glass and additional costs due to the transportation of heavier materials.

Plastic containers are used more frequently today due to their durability and lightweight nature. Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) is used to construct many of today's containers. PET containers are lightweight, inexpensive, recyclable and manufacturable in large quantities.

Many of the design aspects that go into the formation of containers are directed to the creation appealing aesthetic features. In some instances the preferred design for a container has features that pose issues with respect to the underlying utility of the container.

FIGS. 1 and 2, show a container 10 that has side panels 16 having flat planar surfaces. FIG. 1 is a front view of the container 10. The container 10 has a rectangle shape when viewed from the front and a square shape when view from the bottom up as shown in FIG. 2. The container 10 has a threaded neck 12 that is located and connected to a top portion 18. The top portion 18 has a top shelf portion 11 that slopes down towards a shoulder portion 13. A transition ledge 15 merges the shoulder portion 13 into the side panels 16, which form the body 17. The side panels 16 are perpendicular to the surface upon which the container 10 would rest. At the base of the side panels 16 is another transition ledge 15 which merges the side panels 16 to the base 14. FIG. 2 shows the square shaped bottom of the container 10, which has bottom ribs 19 located thereon.

While the container 10 is suitable for holding beverages, the side panels 16 have a limited amount of structural rigidity and strength. This can result in spillage from the top of the container 10 when the container 10 is grabbed too forcefully after being opened. This spillage is undesirable for a number of reasons including loss of product, undue mess, etc. Therefore, there is a need to make the side panels 16 structurally stable so as to prevent deformation of the side panels 16 during gripping of the container 10 in an opened state.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

An object of the present invention is a container that has side panels with reduced deformation when gripped.

Another object of the invention is a container having a plurality of rib elements arranged in a brick pattern.

An aspect of the present invention may be a plastic container comprising: a top portion; a body comprising a plurality of side panels located below the top portion; a base located below the body portion; and wherein at least one of the plurality of side panels has a plurality of rib elements arranged in a brick pattern.

Another aspect of the present invention may be a plastic container comprising a top portion; a body comprising a plurality of side panels located below the top portion; a base located below the body portion; and wherein a thickness of each of the plurality of side panels is between 0.01 to 0.02 inches, and further wherein when a force less than 1.65 lbf is applied to the at least one of the plurality of side panels then the surface is not displaced at least ¼ of an inch in the direction of the longitudinal axis of the container.

Still yet another aspect of the present invention may be a plastic container comprising; a top portion; a body comprising a plurality of side panels located below the top portion; a base located below the body portion; and wherein at least one of the plurality of side panels further comprises a first rib element, a second rib element and a third rib element, and further wherein a first end of the first rib element and a second end of the second rib element are located proximate to each other and a center portion of a side panel of the third rib element is located proximate to the first end of the first rib element and the second end of the second rib element.

These and various other advantages and features of novelty that characterize the invention are pointed out with particularity in the claims annexed hereto and forming a part hereof. However, for a better understanding of the invention, its advantages, and the objects obtained by its use, reference should be made to the drawings which form a further part hereof, and to the accompanying descriptive matter, in which there is illustrated and described a preferred embodiment of the invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a front view of a container that does not utilize ribs for the side panels

FIG. 2 is a bottom view of the container shown in FIG. 1

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a container having a rib pattern made in accordance with an embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 4 is a front view of the container shown in FIG. 3.

FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view of the container shown in FIG. 4, taken along line B-B.

FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional view of the container shown in FIG. 4, taken along line C-C.

FIG. 7 is a cross-sectional view of the container shown in FIG. 4, taken along line D-D.

FIG. 8 is a close up view of the pattern shown on the container in FIG. 4.

FIG. 9 is a front view of a container utilizing an alternative embodiment of the rib pattern in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 10 is close up view of the pattern shown on the container in FIG. 9.

FIG. 11 is a front view of a container utilizing an alternative embodiment of the rib pattern in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention

FIG. 12 is a cross-sectional view of the container shown in FIG. 11, taken along line E-E.

FIG. 13 is a cross-sectional view of the container shown in FIG. 11, taken along line F-F.

FIG. 14 is a close up view of the pattern shown on the container in FIG. 11.

FIG. 15 is a graph illustrating the panel displacement analysis used in the deforming the side panels of a container.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT(S)

In the present invention the constructed container may be a one-piece construction and may be prepared from a monolayer plastic material, such as a polyamide, for example, nylon; a polyolefin such as polyethylene, for example, low density polyethylene (LDPE), high density polyethylene (HDPE), polypropylene, a polyester, for example, polyethylene terephthalate (PET), polyethylene naphtalate (PEN), or others, which may also include additives to vary the physical or chemical properties of the material. For example, some plastic resins may be modified to improve the oxygen permeability. Alternatively, the container may be prepared from a multilayer plastic material. The layers may be any plastic material, including virgin, recycled and reground material. The layers may include plastics or other materials with additives to improve physical properties of the container. In addition to the above-mentioned materials, other materials often used in multilayer plastic containers include, for example, ethylvinyl alcohol (EVOH) and tie layers or binders to hold together materials that are subject to delamination when used in adjacent layers. A coating may be applied over the monolayer or multilayer material, for example to introduce oxygen barrier properties. In an exemplary embodiment, the present container is prepared from PET.

The container discussed herein may also be made by conventional blow molding processes including, for example, extrusion blow molding, stretch blow molding and injection blow molding. These molding processes are discussed briefly below.

With extrusion blow molding, a molten tube of thermoplastic material, or plastic parison, is extruded between a pair of open blow mold halves. The blow mold halves close about the parison and cooperate to provide a cavity into which the parison is blown to form the container. As so formed, the container may include extra material, or flash, at the region where the molds come together. A moil may be intentionally present above the container finish.

After the mold halves open, the container drops out and is then sent to a trimmer or cutter where any flash of moil attached to the container is removed. The finished container may have a visible ridge formed where the two mold halves used to form the container came together. This ridge is often referred to as the parting line.

With stretch blow molding a pre-formed parison, or pre-form, is prepared from a thermoplastic material, typically by an injection molding process. The pre-form typically includes an opened, threaded end, which becomes the threaded member of the container. The pre-form is positioned between two open blow mold halves. The blow mold halves close about the pre-form and cooperate to provide a cavity into which the pre-form is blown to form the container. After molding, the mold halves open to release the container. For wide mouth containers, the container may then be sent to a trimmer where the moil is removed.

With injection blow molding, a thermoplastic material may be extruded through a rod into an injection mold in order to form a parison. The parison is then positioned between two open blow mold halves. The blow mold halves close about the parison and cooperate to provide a cavity into which the parison may be blown to form the container. After molding, the mold halves open to release the container.

Referring now to the drawings, wherein like reference numerals designate corresponding structure throughout the views and turning now to FIGS. 3-8, wherein a container 20 constructed in accordance with the present invention is shown.

As shown in FIGS. 3 and 4, the container 20 has a threaded neck 12 that is connected to a top portion 18. The top portion 18 has a top shelf portion 11 that slopes from the threaded neck 12 down towards a shoulder portion 13. The surface of the shoulder portion 13 is parallel to the longitudinal axis A. The surface of the shoulder portion 13 preferably extends further from the longitudinal axis A than the surface of the side panels 26 and the rib elements 28, this is so that the shoulder portion 13 may function to prevent damage to a label that is placed on the body 27. A transition ledge 15 extends perpendicular to the bottom of the shoulder portion 13 and merges the shoulder portion 13 into the side panels 26 of the body 27. Another transition ledge 15 is located at the lower most portion of the body 27 and transitions the side panels 26 into the base 14

Unlike the container 10 described in FIGS. 1 and 2 above, the container 20 has side panels 26 that have a plurality of rib elements 28 arranged in a brick pattern on the surface 22 of the side panel 26. The term “brick pattern” may mean having at least two rib elements of approximately equal length and width, wherein two ends of the rib elements are proximate to each other and a center portion of a third rib element is positioned proximate to the location where the two ends of the rib elements are closest. As shown in FIGS. 3 and 4, the rib elements 28 form horizontal rows along the surface 22 of the side panels 26. The rib elements 28 are shown as being substantially rectangular in shape, however it should be understood that in other embodiments the rib elements may be of other geometric shapes and patterns so long as a brick pattern is formed by the placement of the rib elements. The rib elements 28 are shown as connected to each other via a joint element 23. The joint elements 23 are integrally connected to the rib elements 28. It should be understood and is shown elsewhere that in some embodiments of the container there is no joint element 23. The joint elements 23 provides additional structure and support between the rib elements 28 and further assists in preventing deformation of the side panels 26 when gripped.

The rib elements 28 provide increased strength to the side panels 26 of the container 20 and decrease deformation of the side panels 26 that occurs from the gripping of the container 20. The rib elements 28 also facilitate the placement of a label on the container 20. The size, shape and spacing of the rib elements 28 results in side panels 26 that are between 25%-30% stiffer than the side panels 16 shown in FIG. 1.

FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view of the container 20 shown in FIG. 4, taken along line B-B. The cross-sectional view is approximately square shaped and has a thickness T. The thickness T of the side panel 26 may be between 0.010 inches and 0.050 inches, and preferably is between the ranges of 0.015 inches and 0.030 inches. In the embodiment shown in FIG. 5, the average wall thickness for a PET bottle will be 0.016 inches and for a HDPE bottle it will be 0.028 inches.

FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional view of the container 20 shown in FIG. 4, taken along line C-C. In FIG. 6 it can be seen how the rib elements 28 extend further from the longitudinal axis A of the container 20 than the surface 22 of the side panel 26. FIG. 7 is a cross-sectional view of the container 20 shown in FIG. 4 taken along line D-D. FIG. 7 is vertical cross-sectional view and further illustrates how the rib elements 28 extend further from the longitudinal axis A of container 20 than the surface 22 of the side panel 26.

FIG. 8 is a close up view of the rib pattern shown on the container in FIG. 4 and is an example of the brick pattern. The end of the rib element 83 is located adjacent and proximate to an end of the rib element 84. In the pattern shown in FIG. 8 a joint element 23 connects rib element 83 and rib element 84. The length L1 of the rib element 83 is equal to the length L2 of the rib element 83. In the embodiment shown in FIG. 8, for example, the lengths of L1 and L2 may be 0.375 inches. The width W1 of the rib element 83 is equal to the width W2 of the rib element 84. In the embodiment shown in FIG. 8, for example, the lengths of W1 and W2 may be 0.735 inches. The center of the rib element 85 is located above the position where the end of the rib element 83 is located adjacent and proximate to the end of the rib element 84.

Now turning to FIGS. 9 and 10, wherein an alternative embodiment of a container 30 is shown. The container 30 has a body 37 that has side panels 36 having rib elements 38 and a surface 32. The rib elements 38 form a brick pattern similar to that which is shown in FIG. 8 above, however there is no joint element between the respective rib elements 38 and each of the rib elements 38 are discrete from each other. As with the container 20 discussed above, the rib elements 38 extend further from the longitudinal axis A of the container 30 than the surface 32 of the side panel 36. The rib elements 38 are formed into horizontal rows. The rib elements 38 provide increased strength to the side panels 36 of the container 30 and decrease deformation of the side panels 36 that occurs from the gripping of the container 30.

Now referring to FIGS. 11-14, wherein an alternative embodiment of a container 40 is shown. FIG. 11 is a front view of the container 40 utilizing an alternative embodiment of the rib pattern in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention. The container 40 has a body 47 that has side panels 46 wherein the rib elements 48 are recessed from the surface 42 and are arranged in a brick pattern. Between the rib elements 48 and connecting the rib elements 48 are joint elements 43. The rib elements 48 are rectangular in shape.

FIG. 12 is a cross-sectional view of the container 40 shown in FIG. 11, taken along line E-E. In the horizontal cross-section, the rib elements 48 do not extend as far from the longitudinal axis A of the container 40 as the surface 42 of the side panel 46. The rib elements 48 are formed into horizontal rows. The rib elements 48 provide increased strength to the side panels 46 of the container 40 and decrease deformation of the side panels 46 that occurs from the gripping of the container 40. FIG. 13 is a cross-sectional view of the container 40 shown in FIG. 11, taken along line F-F. As shown in FIG. 13, the vertical cross-section additionally shows that rib elements 48 do not extend as far from the longitudinal axis of the container 40 as the surface 42.

FIG. 14 is a close up view of the arrangement of the rib elements 48 shown on the container 40 in FIG. 11. The recessed rib elements 48 form a brick pattern and reinforce the structural integrity of the side panels 46.

FIG. 15 is a graph illustrating the panel displacement analysis of a container. The containers used in the analysis were blow molded. A ¼ inch of travel distance per side panel was applied in steps for non-linear analysis. The displacement force was measured and recorded during non-linear analysis. The average wall thickness was approximately 0.016 inches. The material properties were determined at ambient temperature. The graph illustrates the results of the test performed on containers 10, 20 and 30. With respect to the container 10, the thickness of the side panel 16 was approximately, 0.0160 inches and may be between 0.01 and 0.2 inches. With a force of 1.244 lbf applied to the center of the side panel 16 that side panel was pushed ¼ inch. With respect to the container 40, the thickness of the side panel 46 was approximately 0.0157 inches. The side panel 46 took a force of 1.676 lbf to push the side panel 46 ¼ inch. With respect to the container 30, the thickness of the side panel 36 was approximately 0.0157 inches. The side panel 36 took a force of 1.750 lbf to push the side panel 36 ¼ inch. Preferably, the side panels of the present invention require a minimum force of 1.5 lbf to push side panel ¼ inch, more preferably the side panels of the present invention require a minimum force of 1.65 lbf to push side panel ¼ inch. The graph illustrates how the side panels 36 and 46 yield very similar panel stiffness results, and both yield a 25-30% increase in rigidity and strength in view of the side panel 16 of container 10.

It is to be understood, however, that even though numerous characteristics and advantages of the present invention have been set forth in the foregoing description, together with details of the structure and function of the invention, the disclosure is illustrative only, and changes may be made in detail, especially in matters of shape, size and arrangement of parts within the principles of the invention to the full extent indicated by the broad general meaning of the terms in which the appended claims are expressed.

Citas de patentes
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Citada por
Patente citante Fecha de presentación Fecha de publicación Solicitante Título
US8556098 *4 Dic 201215 Oct 2013Niagara Bottling, LlcPlastic container having sidewall ribs with varying depth
US20110049085 *17 May 20103 Mar 2011Tropicana Products, Inc.Bottle
US20130043209 *15 Ago 201121 Feb 2013Graham Packaging Company, L.P.Plastic Containers Having Base Configurations with Particular Up-Stand Geometries, and Systems, Methods, and Base Molds Thereof
US20130140264 *4 Dic 20126 Jun 2013Niagara Bottling, LlcPlastic container having sidewall ribs with varying depth
Clasificaciones
Clasificación de EE.UU.215/382
Clasificación internacionalB65D90/02
Clasificación cooperativaB65D2501/0045, B65D23/102, B65D1/0246, B65D2501/0036
Clasificación europeaB65D23/10B, B65D1/02D1B
Eventos legales
FechaCódigoEventoDescripción
22 Mar 2012ASAssignment
Owner name: THE BANK OF NEW YORK MELLON, NEW YORK
Free format text: PATENT SECURITY AGREEMENT;ASSIGNOR:GRAHAM PACKAGING COMPANY, L.P.;REEL/FRAME:027910/0609
Effective date: 20120320
20 Mar 2012ASAssignment
Free format text: TERMINATION AND RELEASE OF SECURITY INTEREST IN PATENTS;ASSIGNOR:REYNOLDS GROUP HOLDINGS INC.;REEL/FRAME:027895/0738
Owner name: GRAHAM PACKAGING COMPANY, L.P., PENNSYLVANIA
Effective date: 20120320
26 Sep 2011ASAssignment
Free format text: SECURITY AGREEMENT;ASSIGNOR:GRAHAM PACKAGING COMPANY, L.P.;REEL/FRAME:026970/0699
Owner name: REYNOLDS GROUP HOLDINGS INC., NEW ZEALAND
Effective date: 20110908
2 Sep 2009ASAssignment
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:RUSSELL, MATTHEW A.;PRITCHETT, RAYMOND A., JR.;SIGNING DATES FROM 20090831 TO 20090901;REEL/FRAME:023184/0069
Owner name: GRAHAM PACKAGING COMPANY, L.P., PENNSYLVANIA