US 3868052 A
A sheet material dispensing container encloses a moisture saturated supply such as a roll of successive sheets of predetermined size connected by transverse perforation or score lines, the leading sheet being withdrawn from the supply through a normally open aperture having free projections at one or more side edges to engage the perforation or score lines and insure separation of each leading sheet during withdrawal.
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United States Patent [191 Rockefeller [451 Feb. 25, 1975 1 1 MOIST TISSUE DISPENSING  Inventor: Winston G. Rockefeller, c/o
Colgate-Palmolive Company, 300 Park Ave., Woodcliffe Lake, NJ. 10022  Filed: Feb. 26, 1973 211 App]. No.1 336,057
 U.S. Cl. 225/106  Int. Cl B26f 3/02  Field of Search 118/35, 43;
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,004,614 6/1935 Meagher .f. 206/635 2,317,102 4/1943 McKaig, Jr. 206/635 2,440,974 5/1948 Resch 21/76 2,633,984 4/1953 .lurzyniec.... 221/62 X 2,806,591 9/1957 Appleton 206/580 X 2,840,266 6/1958 Nelson 221/48 2,840,267 6/1958 2,927,714 3/1960 Primary Examiner-Morris Kaplan Attorney, Agent, or FirmStrauch, Nolan, Neale, Nies & Keerz  ABSTRACT A sheet material dispensing container encloses a moisture'saturated supply such as a roll of successive sheets of predetermined size connected by transverse perforation or score lines, the leading sheet being withdrawn from the supply through a normally open aperture having free projections at one or more side edges to engage the perforation or score lines and insure separation of each leading sheet during withdrawal.
2 Claims, 20 Drawing Figures PATEN TED FEBZ 5 as??? SHEET 1 OF 2 1 l FIG. 3A
MOIST TISSUE DISPENSING This invention relates to the dispensing of successive premoistened sheets of absorbent fibrous material such as paper tissue one at a time from a supply such as a roll, or a folded assembly, so packaged in a container as to prevent evaporation of the moisture agent during shelf life and prior to being sold to a consumer and to limit evaporation as much as reasonably possible during use by the consumer.
PRIOR ART AND THE INVENTION There is currently available on the market a moist towelette dispenser wherein premoistened towelettes comprising successive sheet sections of a continuous web wound in a roll stored in a container are extracted from the center of the roll and passed through a normally closed tight slit arrangement in the container wall. Perforated transverse lines separate the successive sheets. The leading sheet is drawn through the slit and a snap action is required to separate the leading sheet along its transverse perforations from the remainderof the web within the container and this must take place in such time as to locate the adjacent end of the next successive sheet at least partly projecting through the slit to be available for manual removal.
The successive dispensing of sheets from an interleaved supply of premoistened tissues has also been proposed as in Bilezerian Pat. No. 3,325,003 where the supply of moisture impregnated sheets is wrapped in a moisture proof envelope that is opened by the ultimate consumer. It has also been proposed to package absorbent yarn in a ball housed with impregnating liquid in a container as disclosed in Frey, Pat. No. 1,552,133. The successive dispensing of premoistened paper sheets from a roll or folded supply is disclosed in Cordis Pat. No. 3,310,353. The successive dispensing of dry sheets separated by transverse perforations along a web roll is disclosed in Ritchie Pat. No. 2,864,495 and Vensel 3,150,808, and the successive dispensing of dry interfolded sheets is disclosed for example in Nelson Pat. No. 3,700,138.
The present invention represents an improvement over the state of the art represented by the foregoing in that it provides for more positive and reliable and substantially automatic separation of each sheet being withdrawn from a premoistened supply in a container, and this advantage is obtained by special configuration of a normally open aperture in the container through which the leading sheet of the supply is withdrawn. More specifically this advantage is obtained by providing an aperture in the container wall wherein one or more of the side edges is formed with a free projection or projections extending into the opening of the aperture to engage transverse perforations or scores for impeding free passage of sheets being drawn from the supply within the container whereby each leading sheet may be reliably pulled free of the supply during a normal steady pull on the web.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS FIG. I is a top plan view of a composite package according to a preferred embodiment of the invention with the closure cap removed to show the sheet withdrawal apertures;
FIG. 2 is a section illustrating material supply and withdrawal arrangements;
FIG. 3 is a generally perspective view showing a sheet of fibrous material being withdrawn from the container;
FIG. 3A is an enlarged fragmentary section showing passage of the leading sheet through the wall aperture;
FIGS. 4 and 5 show two different transversely perforated material webs;
FIGS. 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, l1 and 12 are plan views illustrating different aperture configurations;
FIG. 13 is a plan view showing use of a detachable strip to cover the container aperture;
FIG. 14 is a top plan view of a further embodiment wherein the leading end of the absorbent sheet web is fixed to the removable cover;
FIG. 15 is a section substantially on line l5-l5 in FIG. 14;
FIG. 16 is a fragmentary section showing another mode of providing a top closure;
FIG. 17 illustrates a further embodiment wherein the leading sheet is taken from the outer periphery of the supply roll and pulled through an aperture in the side wall of the container;
FIG. 18 is an illustrative section substantially on line l8--l8 in FIG. 17; and
FIG. 19 is an enlarged fragmentary section showing structure at the removable closure region.
PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS The package of the invention as it will be described in preferred embodiments comprises essentially a container having a detachable or otherwise openable wall formed with a special aperture which at least until the first use of the package by a consumer is sealed gas tight, and a supply of absorbent paper or like tissue in rolled or folded form capable of being withdrawn one sheet at a time through the aperture.
As shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, in practice the container may be an integral liquid tight synthetic plastic jar or box 11 having an open top over which extends a cover 12 that may also be of synthetic plastic adapted to fit the upper end of the container with a friction tight sealing fit as by the depending rim 13 telescoping over the upper edge of the container. When in place cover 12 is the upper end wall of the container. If desired a screw thread or bayonet type connection may be employed between the rim l3 and the container wall to prevent accidental removal.
As shown in FIG. 2 the cover 12 may be formed with an integral central shallow upstanding hollow boss 14 closed at its bottom by end wall section 15 at the center of the cover except for an aperture 16. Aperture 16 may advantageously be formed by punching out a section of the material at wall 15. A removable cap 20 is fitted fluid tight over the outer open end of boss 14 as shown in FIG. 2.
FIG. 2 shows the absorbent material in tubular roll form at 17, with the leading sheet 18 of the inner periphery pulled out ready to extend through aperture 16, and FIG. 3 illustrates the leading sheet being manually withdrawn through the aperture. The consumer purchases the package in the form shown in FIG. 2. When use of a sheet is desired he removes cover 12, threads the leading end of the first sheet 18 through the aperture 16 and then replaces cover 12. The condition shown in FIG. 3 now exists, and the entire supply may be removed through aperture 16. As shown in FIG. 4 the roll is composed of a continuous web 19 having transverse weakened regions in the form of perforation rows 21 at intervals spaced to define a series of successive sheets 18.
FIGS. 1 and 4-12 illustrate different aperture configurations any of which may be used in the invention. In FIG. 1 the aperture 16 is elongated with oppositely disposed saw tooth edges providing relatively sharp stiff free projections 22 at opposite sides of the aperture opening. The projections 22 are free in that they do not engage other edges of the open aperture. In operation, as the leading sheet 18 is withdrawn through the aperture by a steady pull on the part of the consumer, one or more projections 22 will catch onto perforations 21, thereby tending to resist the pulling force exerted by the consumer. The leading sheet will therefore tear off at the weakened region provided by the perforations. In practice, see FIG. 3A, the leading sheet will preferably be pulled through at an angle in relatively laterally bunched condition since it uncoils from the center of the cylindrical roll and length of the aperture 16 is only a fraction of the width of sheet 18, and thus the transverse parting line shown at 23 in FIG. 3A will be at an angle to the wall so that after the leading sheet severs a portion of the next succeeding sheet 18 will project rhrough the aperture to be gripped by the consumers fingers when he desires to use another sheet. The same effect may be pronounced by extending the perforations at 45 or some suitable angle to the length of the web as shown at 26 in FIG. 5.
The projections 22 have random engagement with the perforations 21 and usually the entry of any projection into a perforation will start the tearing action. Also in practice it has been found that the momentum of pulling out the leading sheet 18 insures that by the time complete severance is obtained the next successive sheet end has a sufficient portion passed through the aperture to provide a gripping area.
In practice the fibrous material of web 19 may be paper capable of quick absorption of a liquid from a reservoir body 24 such as may be provided by filling the bottom of the container to a suitable level as shown in FIG. 2, and having sufficient wet strength to withstand random tearing clue to normal pulling forces and to resist tearing or disintegration while being used to wipe the hands or any other surface. The reservoir body 24 supplies liquid to maintain the roll saturated even with some evaporation at the aperture 16. For example, the paper may be of the quality used for the flexible sheet disclosed in Williams Pat. No. 3,057,467.
Also in practice the sheets 18 between the perforations may be about fiveby eight inches which is about the size of the unfolded sheets of the Williams patent. The length of each aperture 16 is preferably about onefourth the width of web 19, but much larger sizes are of course possible.
The liquid in reservoir 24 may be any suitable liquid capable of being absorbed with a wicking action into the paper roll, and for example may be the liquid containing cleansing and treating agents disclosed in said Williams patent.
It has been found desirable that the opposite edges of the aperture 16 should not engage each other materially or otherwise exert a squeezing effort on the wet sheet material passing therethrough. Actually it is advantageous that the aperture may always be slightly open along the major part with its opposite edges relatively stiff, although the thin plastic wall 15 provides some flexibility. The open aperture 16 reduces resistance to withdrawal of the sheet and does not squeeze moisture out of it. By replacing the cap 20 after each use the leading sheet edge is confined within boss 14 and sufficient sealing is provided that little or no moisture is lost by evaporation, and normally such loss is automatically at least partly replaced by the wicking action from liquid body 24.
In FIG. 6 the opposite edges of aperture 16 are formed as staggered saw teeth providing a series of projections 22 on opposite sides. In FIG. 7 one saw toothed edge provides projections 22 opposite a continuous side. In FIG. 8 the projections 22 on opposite sides are formed by arcuate cuts, in FIG. 9 these arcuate cuts are staggered, and in FIG. 10 the arcuate cuts are all on one side. In FIG. 11 the aperture 16' is relatively star shaped with radial projections 22 extending toward an open center. In the form shown in FIG. 12 laterally aligned free triangular projections 22" on opposite sides of the aperture extend toward each other into substantial point to point apex association at their inner ends. As shown the projections 22" are logger and thus more flexible at the middle part of the aperture than at the ends. In this embodiment, while the projections 22" extend substantially freely into the aperture the close proximity of their apices within the aperture tends to increase their efficiency in engaging the web perforations. Since these apices engage the web in only minimal areas there is little or no squeezing of the moist web passing therebetween.
FIG. 13 illustrates another embodiment wherein the top wall of the container is flat and, instead of boss 14 and a cap 20, the aperture 16 in the container top wall is sealed closed up to the point of consumer use by a strip 25 of pressure sensitive adhesive that is removed and discarded by the consumer. In practice in the form of FIG. 2 a pressure sensitive strip of this type initially may cover the aperture 16 below the cap 20, for added sealing, and the strip discarded when removed the first time.
Instead of a roll of paper, the supply may be a flat pack folded and rolled similarly for example to the above-identified Nelson patent, or it may be a flat pack of sheets interconnected by weakened transverse regions in a flat container. Also the absorbent material may be other than paper, and for example may be a suitable textile.
In all of the foregoing embodiments at-least a portion of the container wall around the aperture should be removable or at least openable to permit the consumer to extract the leading sheet 18 and thread it through the aperture 16 and then replace the wall portion to the FIG. 2 position for example. Also if desired a seal sheet 28 may initially cover the open end of container 11 for removal by the consumer when the package is opened for use.
Referring now to FIGS. 14 and 15, the top wall 12" of the container, instead of being a removable cover, may be an integral extension of a side wall. The aperture 16' may be of the form of FIG. 11 having free projections 22' extending therewithin. The leading edge 18' of the first sheet of the absorbent web extends through the aperture and is secured as by a water resistant adhesive to the lower surface of cap 20. Thus when cap 20 is removed it pulls out a sufficient length of the leading sheet to provide for gripping, and the operation is as in the other embodiments.
In FIG. 16 there is no boss 14 or removable cap 20. The aperture 16' which may be of the same form as in FIG. 14 is closed up until the time of first use by the customer by a removable wall section 24 outlined to the irregular shape of the aperture edges by a continuous score line. A lifter tab 25 is attached to the top of section 24. Preferably a thin gas impermeable but easily torn disc 26 of sheet material is secured over the underside of wall 12 at the aperture for initial sealing. The leading edge 18 of the web is secured to the underside of wall section 24.
-In this embodiment when the contents of the container are to be used, the tab 25 is pulled upon to sever the edges of wall section 24 at the score lines and removal of the wall sections opens the aperture and at the same time pulls out a length of leading sheet 18 for gripping. This embodiment is more useful where the liquid impregnating the web is not particularly volatile. The initial seal of the aperture protects against loss of liquid during storage and shipping, but during the use life evaporation may be immaterial.
In FIGS. 17-19 is illustrated an embodiment wherein the web 19 is unrolled from the outer periphery, rather than from the inner periphery as disclosed for the other embodiments, and the web is extracted through an aperture 27 in the side wall of the container 28. Here the aperture is relatively narrow and shown as extending the width of the sheet, and it has free perforation catching projections 29 extending into the interior of the aperture. The aperture 27 is normally closed by removable wall section 31 outlined by score lines and attached at one end to a lift tab 32, so that when tab 32 is pulled out the wall section 31 is removed. The leading edge 18' of the leading sheet 18 is fixed to the inner side of wall section 31, so that removal of the wall section pulls out the sheet. Preferably an initial seal is applied over the score lines in the form of a coating 32 that may be brushed or sprayed onto the outer side of the container wall.
In the embodiment of FIG. 17 the aperture for withdrawal of the absorbent medium, instead of being the elongated type shown in FIG. 17, may be of the type of FIGS. 1-13 wherein it is of appreciably smaller lateral dimension than the width of a sheet 18, and a removable and replaceable seal cap like that at may be provided.
In all of the apertures according to the invention one or more sides of an open aperture are formed with relatively stiff integral projections for coaction with the perforations of the web.
The invention may be embodied in other specific forms without departing from the spirit or essential characteristics thereof. The present embodiments are therefore to be considered in all respects as illustrative and not restrictive, the scope of the invention being indicated by the appended claims rather than by the foregoing description, and all changes which come within the meaning and range of equivalency of the claims are therefore intended to be embraced therein.
What is claimed and desired to be secured by Letters Patent is:
1. A sheet material dispensing package comprising a container enclosing a supply of premoistened liquid absorbent fibrous or equivalent flexible material such as paper in the form of successive sheets of predetermined size separated by weakened regions such as transverse perforations or scores, characterized by a wall of said container having during dispensing sa relatively narrow normally open aperture through which the leading sheet of said supply extends to be manually grapsed for full withdrawal by a consumer, the length of said aperture being materially less than a sheet of said material and the opposite edges of said aperture being spaced apart a distance materially greater than the thickness of said material at least over their major coextensive lengths, and said side edges being formed with laterally aligned relatively stiff sharp edged free projections ex tending into the aperture and terminating short of pressure engagement with each other but being adapted to operatively engage a weakened region of said supply with a tear force producing coaction during withdrawal of the leading sheet whereby separation of each leading sheet may be positive and reliable.
2. A sheet material dispensing package comprising a container enclosing a supply of premoistened liquid absorbent fibrous or equivalent material such as paper in the form of successive sheets of predetermined size separated by weakened regions such as transverse perforations or scores, a wall of said container having during dispensing an aperture through which the leading sheet of said supply extends to be manually grasped for full withdrawal by a consumer, said aperture having opposite side edges spaced out of pressure contact with each other, and means providing a plurality of free tear starting projections along each side edge of said aperture projecting in the plane of said wall internally of the aperture sufficiently to operatively engage a weakened region of said supply during withdrawal of the leading sheet whereby separation of each leading sheet is positive and reliable said projections being laterally aligned at opposite sides of said aperture to extend into close substantially point to point association at their inner ends within the aperture.
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