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Número de publicaciónUS3347298 A
Tipo de publicaciónConcesión
Fecha de publicación17 Oct 1967
Fecha de presentación7 Oct 1965
Fecha de prioridad7 Oct 1965
Número de publicaciónUS 3347298 A, US 3347298A, US-A-3347298, US3347298 A, US3347298A
InventoresAusnit Steven, Karel J Staller
Cesionario originalMinigrip Inc
Exportar citaBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
Enlaces externos: USPTO, Cesión de USPTO, Espacenet
Flexible fastener with unidirectional opening
US 3347298 A
Resumen  disponible en
Imágenes(1)
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Reclamaciones  disponible en
Descripción  (El texto procesado por OCR puede contener errores)

O 17, 1957 s. AUSNIT ETAL 3,3 7,298

FLEXIBLE FASTENER WITH UNIDIRECTIONAL OPENING Filed m. 7, 1965 IN VENTORS $75149 405A?- K4254 J 5 44L5 BY M ATTORNEYS v I Y L United States Patent Office 3,347,293 Patented Oct. 17, 1967 3,347,298 FLEXIBLE FASTENER WITH UNIDIRECTIONAL OPENING Steven Ausnit, New York, N.Y., and Karel J.

Rutherford, N.J., assignors to Minigrip, burg, N.Y., a corporation of New York Filed Oct. 7, 1965, Ser. No. 493,779

r 9 Claims. (Cl. 150-3) Staller, Iuc., Orange- ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE This invention relates to a flexible container having interlocking rib and groove elements and in particular to a container having interlocking elements disposed for providing a unidirectional opening.

It has been found desirable to develop a flexible container having interlocking closure elements which open relatively easily from the outside. By reducing the force required to open the container, the strain on external flanges used to separate the closure elements is correspondingly reduced. This means that a thinner, less costly flexible material may be employed to develop the opening flanges, which, in turn, means that flexible closure containers may be made available for an increasing number of uses.

However, while ease of opening from the outside of a reclosable container is structurally desirable, ease of opening from the inside of the container defeats its utility. The contents of such containers tend to spread the internal flanges adjacent the closure elements providing, in effect, an internal opening force. It is apparent, therefore, that the need for ease of opening externally, conflicts with the need to resist opening internally, and that it would be desirable to provide a means for discriminating between external and internal forces.

. Means have been developed for discriminating between such forces and this invention concerns one such means. Accordingly, it is a principal object of this invention to develop a flexible container having interlocking rib and groove elements formed integrally at the inner surface of the container walls and which provide a different opening resistance for externally and internally applied opening forces.

It is also an object of this invention to provide a flexible reclosable container having interlocking rib and groove elements formed integrally with the container walls and having one of the elements misaligned relative to the other element for increasing the resistance to opening internally of the container and for correspondingly de- .tainer wherein the groove element is attached to the container wall at a point outwardly of the centerline defined by the rib element.

It is a further object of this invention to provide a flexible closure container having an arrowhead shaped rib element formed integrally at a container wall and a cooperable groove element formed at an opposing wall wherein the rib element is substantially symmetrical about a centerline extending therethrough and wherein the container opens relatively easily from the outside but resists opening from the inside thereof.

It is also an object of this invention to provide a flexible reclosable container having interlocking rib and groove elements wherein the groove element is provided with hook members for engaging the rib element and wherein added flexible material is formed between an external flange adjacent the groove element and one of the hook members engaging the external side of the rib element for allowing relatively easier opening of the container from the outside than from the inside.

It is an additional object of this invention to provide a flexible reclosable container having an arrowhead shaped rib element formed integrally at a first container wall and a cooperable groove element having hook members for engaging the rib element and which is formed at a second container wall and wherein the hook member disposed outwardly of the container is substantially rigidly secured to the container wall and wherein the hook member disposed inwardly of the container is substantially independently movable relative to the container wall.

These and other objects, features and advantages of the present invention will be understood in greater detail from the following description and the accompanying drawings wherein reference numerals are utilized in designating a preferred embodiment and wherein:

FIGURE 1 is a sectional view showing a flexible reclosable container having flexible closure elements formed integrally therewith and mounted on the container walls according to the features of this invention;

FIGURE 2 is a partial view similar to that shown in FIGURE 1 illustrating an alternate embodiment of the features of this invention and in particular showing a different mounting of the interlockable rib and groove elements deployed thereon, and

FIGURE 3 is a sectional view similar to that shown in FIGURE 2 illustrating a further embodiment of the flexible closure elements of this invention.

This invention is concerned generally with the manner of mounting interlocking rib and groove elements on the flexible walls of a reclosable container for the purpose of discriminating between internally and externally applied opening forces. In particular, it has been found that the. point of attachment ofthe interlocking elements to the container walls aflects the force required to unlock the cooperably engaged surfaces. Change in the point of attachment of the groove element, for instance, changes the point of application of the opening force as applied through the interengageable surfaces. It is Well understood that the point of application of a force to an interlocking rib and groove element structure is critical in determining Whether the structure will be urged into a more firm engagement or will be properly stressed to produce disengagement. Interlocking rib and groove ele- 'ments can sustain relatively high forces without opening when those forces are applied to all but a relatively specific direction. Taking advantage of this fact, this invention has adjusted the point of application of forces originating at the inner and outer container walls to increase the resistance to opening, inwardly of the closure elements and to decrease the resistance to opening, outwardly of those elements.

In FIGURE 1 there is shown generally a flexible reclosable container 10 employing interlocking rib and groove elements according to the specifications of this invention. The container 10 has first and second wall portions 11 and 12 which extend between a closed end 13 and the flexible closure elements. The flexible closure elements as mounted at the walls 11 and 12 comprise generally a rib element 14 and a groove element 15. The rib element 14 consists of a base 16 attached to the wall portion 11 at a point 17. The base 16 becomes an elongated shaft 18 which in turn extends to an arrowhead shaped connector 19. The connector 19 has outermost engaging surfaces 20 and 21, and inwardly facing engaging surfaces 22 and 23. The surfaces 20through 23 are then cooperable with interengaging surfaces provided by the groove element 15.

The groove element 15 has a base 24 which is secured to the inner surface of the wall portion 12 as at the point 25. The base 25 is provided with outwardly curved arm portions 26 and 27 which extend from the wall portion 12 to the vicinity of the opposing wall portion 11. The arms 26 and 27 terminate in hook members 28 and 29 disposed intermediate the arrowhead shaped connector 19 and the wall portion 11.

The principal locking function of the elements shown in FIGURE 1 is accomplished between inwardly directed engaging surfaces 30 and 31 of the hook members 28 and 29 and the mating surfaces 22 and 23 of the arrowhead shaped connector 19. It may be noted that while the surfaces 20 and 21 of the arrowhead shaped connector 19 do not perform a locking function, they are utilized in conjunction with the inner surface 32 of the groove element 15 to provide a tight closure for the contents of the flexible container :10.

The flexible container 10 is provided with external flanges 33 and 34 formed outwardly of the rib and groove elements 14 and 15 respectively as extensions of the wall portions 11 and 12.

It may be noted in FIGURE 1 that a centerline 35 is shown as extending from the wall portion 11 through the arrowhead shaped connector 19 to the wall portion 12. It may also be noted that the arrowhead shaped connector 19 is substantially symmetrical about the centerline 35 and that no variations have been developed in the connector 19 to produce the opening characteristics of this invention. However, while the arrowhead shaped connector 19 is formed similarly both inwardly and outwardly of the centerline 35, the groove element 15 is misaligned relative to that centerline. In particular, the base 24 of the groove element 15 is displaced outwardly of the centerline 35 so as to have a point 36 spaced substtntially further from the line 35 than an opposing point 3 Considering FIGURE 1 in greater detail, it can be seen that the displacement of the base 24 of the groove element :15 relative to'the centerline 35 directly affects the connection to the hook members 28 and 29 which provide the principal locking function for the flexible container 10. In particular, the displacement of the base 24 tends to elongate the outwardly curved arm 27 and to shorten the outwardly curved arm 26 of the groove element 15. This elongation tends to disassociate the action of the inner flange 12 relative to the hook member 29. Also, the force applied to the groove element by an outward flexing of the wall 12 is initiated at the point 37 which is a point outwardly of the engaging surfaces 23 and 31. Forces applied at this point tend to resist opening and urge the engagement surfaces into a firmer contact. In contrast, the outward flexing of the flange 34 applies a force to the groove element 15 at a point 36 which has been reorientated to a more outwardly position relative to the engaging surfaces 22 and 30. It is apparent, therefore, that a smaller force applied to the point 36 will produce disengagement of the hook member 28 than a force applied at the point 37 will produce disengagement of the hook member 29 as the force applied at the point 36 ends to peel the hook member 28 away from the rib member by exerting a pull from the side.

A further embodiment of this invention is shown in FIGURE 2 and involves similarly shaped rib and groove elements formed integrally with wall portions 11 and 12. It may be noted that reference numerals have been car- 4 ried from FIGURE 1 to FIGURE 2 and subsequent FIG- URE 3 to identify similar features and configurations.

The distinguishing feature present tin FIGURE 2 involves the mounting of the groove element 15 at the inner surface of the wall portion 12. In particular, the centerline 35 is shown, as in FIGURE 1, to pass from the wall portion 11 through the center of the arrowhead shaped connector 19 to the opposing wall portion 12. However, in FIGURE 2, the base 24 of the groove element 25 is displaced entirely outwardly of the centerline 35.

In FIGURE 2, therefore, it can be seen that the outwardly curved arm 27 has been further increased in length over that of the corresponding arm 26 as illustrated in FIGURE 1. Also, the point of attachment of the wall portion 12 to the outwardly curved arm 27 has been moved to a point outwardly of the centerline 35. When a flexing force is applied to the wall 12, as might be expected by pressure received from the contents of the flexible bag 10, that force is transmitted to the outwardly curved arm 27 through the point 38 which is orientated for causing the hook member 29 to further engage the inner surface 23 of the arrowhead shaped connector 19. This is due to the fact that the force in question no longer has a peeling action, since it is now directed in line with the center axis of the rib element, and therefore is causing the rib and groove elements to pull against each other thereby to lock with each other. Therefore, what may have been an opening force at the wall portion 12 has been transformed, via the new positioning of the base 24, into a locking force applied to the hook member 29.

In contrast, the external flange 34 is attached to the base 24 at a point 39 which is substantially removed outwardly of the centerline 35. It is apparent from FIGURE 2 that the force applied to the outwardly curved arm 26 via movement or flexing of the external flange 34 is transmitted to the hook member 28 in a direction for disengaging or peeling away that member from the inner surface 22 of the arrowhead shaped connector 19. The orientation shown in FIGURE 2 then provides a substantial differentiation between the effectiveness of a force applied inwardly at the wall portion 12 and a similar force applied outwardly at the external flange 34.

A further embodiment of this invention is shown in FIGURE 3 and, as in the case of FIGURE 2, constitutes similarly orientated and shaped rib and groove elements formed integrally with the walls 11 and 12 of the flexible container 10. In FIGURE 3, the mounting of the base 24 of the groove element 15 at the inner surface of the wall 12 is substantially symmetrical relative to the centerline 35. Therefore, the novel features of this structure do not affect the force applied to the wall 12. However, the relative effectivness of a force applied to the external flange 34 as compared to the external flange 12 is altered via the addition of a wedge 40 of flexible material applied between the inner surface of the external flange 34 and the lower surface 41 of the outwardly extending arm 26. The wedge 40 may be formed integrally with the groove element 15 and the external flange 34 and provides a direct connection from that flange to the upper portions of the outwardly extending arm 26, namely to the hook member 28. It is apparent, therefore, that a force applied to the flange 34 will be correctly orientated for disengaging or peeling the hook member 28 relative to the inner surface 22 of the arrowhead shaped connector 19. In this way, the force for opening the rib and groove elements due to a spreading of the flanges 33 and 34 is comparatively reduced relative to the force for opening due to a similar spreading of the inner walls 11 and 12.

It will be apparent that various modifications and combinations may be suggested by the embodiments disclosed herein but I desire to claim all such modifications as properly come within the scope of our invention.

We claim as our invention:

1. A reclosable flexible container comprising:

' a plastic film bag having first and second opposing wall portions,

interlocking rib and groove elements formed integrally at the inner surface of said bag about the opening thereof,

said bag having external flanges extending outwardly of said elements which may be gripped and drawn apart to separate said elements,

said bag being reclosable by pressing said elements together,

a rib element formed at said first wall portion and a groove element formed at said second wall portion,

a first of said elements defining a cross-sectional centerline extending therethrough from said first wall portion to said second wall portion,

a second of said elements interlockable with said first element and attached to said second wall portion at a base, said base having a point of attachment to said second wall which is inwardly of the outermost point of engagement between said rib elements and having a center displaced outwardly of said centerline of said first element whereby said bag opens relatively easily from the outside and resists opening from the inside.

2. A reclosable flexible container comprising:

a plastic film bag having interlocking rib and groove elements formed integrally at the opening thereof,

' saidbag being opened by drawing said elements apart and being closed by pressing said elements together,

a groove element formed at one wall of said bag and a cooperable rib element formed at an opposing wall thereof,

said groove element having a misaligned attachment to said integral bag relative to said cooperable rib element, said misaligned attachment being such that the innermost point of attachment is disposed inwardly of the outermost point of engagement between said rib elements,

whereby said bag opens relatively easily from the outside and resists opening from the inside.

3. A reclosable flexible'container comprising:

a plastic film bag having interlocking rib and groove elements formed integrally at the opening thereof,

said hag being opened by drawing said elements apart and being closed by pressing said elements together,

a groove element formed at one wall of said bag and a cooperable rib element formed at an opposing wall thereof,

said groove element having a base attached to said integral ba-g completely outwardly of the centerline of said cooperable rib element, the innermost point of attachment of said base being disposed inwardly of the outermost point of engagement between said rib elements,

whereby said bag opens more easily from the outside than from the inside thereof.

4. A reclosable flexible container comprising:

a bag body, having plastic film walls and integral interlocking rib and groove elements formed at the inner surface of said walls,

said bag having external flanges extending outwardly of said elements which may be gripped and drawn apart to separate said elements,

said bag being reclosable by pressing said elements together,

said rib element being arrowhead shaped and having locking surfaces facing the outside of said s,

said groove element having hook members engaging said locking surfaces and closing said bag thereby,

said groove element attached to said bag outwardly of the corresponding attachment of said rib ele- 6, ment, and the innermost point of attachment of said groove element to said bag being disposed inwardly of the outermost point of engagement between said rib elements.

5. A reclosable flexible container comprising:

a bag body having plastic film walls and integral interlocking rib and groove elements formed at the inner surface of said walls,

said bag having external flanges extending outwardly of said elements which may be gripped and drawn apart to separate said elements,

said bag being reclosable by pressing said elements together,

said rib element being arrowhead shaped and having locking surfaces facing the outside of said said rib element having a cross section thereof defining a centerline extending therethrough from one wall to an opposing wall of said bag,

said groove element having hook members engaging said locking surfaces and closing said bag thereby,

said groove element formed at a wall opposite said rib element and having a base thereof attached to said bag entirely outwardly of said centerline.

6. A reclosable flexible container comprising:

a bag body having plastic film Walls and integral interlocking rib and groove elements formed at the inner surface of said walls,

said bag having external flanges extending outwardly of said elements which may be gripped and drawn apart to separate said elements, said bag being reclosable by pressing said elements together, said rib element being arrowhead shaped and having locking surfaces facing the outside of said said groove element having hook members engaging said locking surfaces and closing said bag thereby, said groove element attached to said bag oppositely of said rib element,

a wedge of flexible material formed integrally at a wall of said bag adjacent the attachment of said grooved element and outwardly of said rib element,

said wedge extending to the outer of said hook members,

whereby a given force applied to said external flanges exerts a greater resulting force on the outer of said hook members than a similar force applied at the internal walls of said bag exerts on the inner of said hook members.

7. A reclosable flexible container comprising:

a plastic film bag having interlocking rib and groove elements formed integrally at the opening thereof,

said bag being opened by drawing said elements apart and being closed by pressing said elements together,

a groove element formed at one wall of said bag and a cooperable rib element formed at an opposing wall thereof,

said groove element having a misaligned attachment to said integral bag relative to said c0- operable rib element,

said groove element having hook arms for engaging said cooperable rib element,

a wedge of flexible material formed integrally at a wall of said bag adjacent the attachment of said grooved element and outwardly of said rib element,

said wedge extending to the outer of said hook members,

whereby a given force applied to said external flanges exerts a greater resulting force on the outer of said hook members than a similar force applied at the in- 7 ternal walls of said bag exerts'on the inner of said hook members.

8. A reclosable flexible container comprising:

a plastic film bag having interlocking rib and groove elements formed integrally at the opening thereof,

said bag being opened by drawing said elements apart and being closed by pressing said elements together,

a groove element formed at one wall of said bag and a cooperable rib element formed at an opposing wall thereof,

said groove element having a base attached to said integral bag completely outwardly of the centerline of said cooperable ribelement,

said groove element having hook arms for engaging said cooperable rib element,

a wedge of flexible material formed integrally at a wall of said bag adjacent the attachment of said grooved element and outwardly of said rib element,

said wedge extending to the outer of said hook members,

whereby a given force applied to said external flanges exerts a greater resulting force on the outer of said hook members than a similar force applied at the internal walls of said bag exerts on the inner of said hook members.

9. A reclosable flexible container comprising:

a bag body having plastic film walls and integral interlocking rib and groove elements formed at the inner surface of said walls,

said bag having external flanges extending outwardly of said elements which may be gripped and drawn apart to separate said elements,

said bag being reclosable by pressing said elements together,

said rib element being arrowheadshaped and having locking surfaces facing the outside of said said arrowhead shaped rib element being substantially symmetrical about a centerline extending therethrough from one wall of said plastic film bag to an opposing Wall thereof,

said groove element having hook members engaging said locking surfaces and closing said bag thereby, 7

said groove element attached to said bag oppositely of said rib element,

a wedge of flexible material formed integrally at a wall of said bag adjacent the attachment of said grooved element and outwardly of said rib element,

said wedge extending. to the outer of said hook members,

whereby a given force applied to said external flanges exerts a greater resulting force on the outer of said hook members than a similar force applied at the internal walls of said bag exerts on the inner of said hook members.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,978,769 4/1961 Harrah 150-3 FOREIGN PATENTS 376,525 5/ 1964 Switzerland.

JOSEPH R. LECLAIR, Primary Examiner.

FRANKLIN T, GARRETT, Examiner.

Citas de patentes
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Clasificaciones
Clasificación de EE.UU.383/65, 24/DIG.500
Clasificación internacionalA44B19/16, B65D33/25
Clasificación cooperativaB65D33/2541, A44B19/16, Y10S24/50
Clasificación europeaB65D33/25A3