CA2063201A1 - Reclosable food package - Google Patents

Reclosable food package

Info

Publication number
CA2063201A1
CA2063201A1 CA002063201A CA2063201A CA2063201A1 CA 2063201 A1 CA2063201 A1 CA 2063201A1 CA 002063201 A CA002063201 A CA 002063201A CA 2063201 A CA2063201 A CA 2063201A CA 2063201 A1 CA2063201 A1 CA 2063201A1
Authority
CA
Canada
Prior art keywords
portion
lug
cover
food
base
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Abandoned
Application number
CA002063201A
Other languages
French (fr)
Inventor
Drew H. Moore
Daniel A. Thiemann
Francis Regis Finn
Current Assignee (The listed assignees may be inaccurate. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the list.)
Kraft Foods Inc
Original Assignee
Drew H. Moore
Daniel A. Thiemann
Francis Regis Finn
Oscar Mayer Foods Corporation
Kraft Foods, Inc.
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Priority to US67539891A priority Critical
Priority to US675,398 priority
Application filed by Drew H. Moore, Daniel A. Thiemann, Francis Regis Finn, Oscar Mayer Foods Corporation, Kraft Foods, Inc. filed Critical Drew H. Moore
Publication of CA2063201A1 publication Critical patent/CA2063201A1/en
Application status is Abandoned legal-status Critical

Links

Classifications

    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65DCONTAINERS FOR STORAGE OR TRANSPORT OF ARTICLES OR MATERIALS, e.g. BAGS, BARRELS, BOTTLES, BOXES, CANS, CARTONS, CRATES, DRUMS, JARS, TANKS, HOPPERS, FORWARDING CONTAINERS; ACCESSORIES, CLOSURES, OR FITTINGS THEREFOR; PACKAGING ELEMENTS; PACKAGES
    • B65D43/00Lids or covers for rigid or semi-rigid containers
    • B65D43/02Removable lids or covers
    • B65D43/0202Removable lids or covers without integral tamper element
    • B65D43/0204Removable lids or covers without integral tamper element secured by snapping over beads or projections
    • B65D43/0212Removable lids or covers without integral tamper element secured by snapping over beads or projections only on the outside, or a part turned to the outside, of the mouth
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65DCONTAINERS FOR STORAGE OR TRANSPORT OF ARTICLES OR MATERIALS, e.g. BAGS, BARRELS, BOTTLES, BOXES, CANS, CARTONS, CRATES, DRUMS, JARS, TANKS, HOPPERS, FORWARDING CONTAINERS; ACCESSORIES, CLOSURES, OR FITTINGS THEREFOR; PACKAGING ELEMENTS; PACKAGES
    • B65D75/00Packages comprising articles or materials partially or wholly enclosed in strips, sheets, blanks, tubes, or webs of flexible sheet material, e.g. in folded wrappers
    • B65D75/28Articles or materials wholly enclosed in composite wrappers, i.e. wrappers formed by associating or interconnecting two or more sheets or blanks
    • B65D75/30Articles or materials enclosed between two opposed sheets or blanks having their margins united, e.g. by pressure-sensitive adhesive, crimping, heat-sealing, or welding
    • B65D75/32Articles or materials enclosed between two opposed sheets or blanks having their margins united, e.g. by pressure-sensitive adhesive, crimping, heat-sealing, or welding one or both sheets or blanks being recessed to accommodate contents
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65DCONTAINERS FOR STORAGE OR TRANSPORT OF ARTICLES OR MATERIALS, e.g. BAGS, BARRELS, BOTTLES, BOXES, CANS, CARTONS, CRATES, DRUMS, JARS, TANKS, HOPPERS, FORWARDING CONTAINERS; ACCESSORIES, CLOSURES, OR FITTINGS THEREFOR; PACKAGING ELEMENTS; PACKAGES
    • B65D75/00Packages comprising articles or materials partially or wholly enclosed in strips, sheets, blanks, tubes, or webs of flexible sheet material, e.g. in folded wrappers
    • B65D75/28Articles or materials wholly enclosed in composite wrappers, i.e. wrappers formed by associating or interconnecting two or more sheets or blanks
    • B65D75/30Articles or materials enclosed between two opposed sheets or blanks having their margins united, e.g. by pressure-sensitive adhesive, crimping, heat-sealing, or welding
    • B65D75/32Articles or materials enclosed between two opposed sheets or blanks having their margins united, e.g. by pressure-sensitive adhesive, crimping, heat-sealing, or welding one or both sheets or blanks being recessed to accommodate contents
    • B65D75/321Both sheets being recessed
    • B65D75/322Both sheets being recessed and forming one compartment
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65DCONTAINERS FOR STORAGE OR TRANSPORT OF ARTICLES OR MATERIALS, e.g. BAGS, BARRELS, BOTTLES, BOXES, CANS, CARTONS, CRATES, DRUMS, JARS, TANKS, HOPPERS, FORWARDING CONTAINERS; ACCESSORIES, CLOSURES, OR FITTINGS THEREFOR; PACKAGING ELEMENTS; PACKAGES
    • B65D2543/00Lids or covers essentially for box-like containers
    • B65D2543/00009Details of lids or covers for rigid or semi-rigid containers
    • B65D2543/00018Overall construction of the lid
    • B65D2543/00064Shape of the outer periphery
    • B65D2543/00074Shape of the outer periphery curved
    • B65D2543/00092Shape of the outer periphery curved circular
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65DCONTAINERS FOR STORAGE OR TRANSPORT OF ARTICLES OR MATERIALS, e.g. BAGS, BARRELS, BOTTLES, BOXES, CANS, CARTONS, CRATES, DRUMS, JARS, TANKS, HOPPERS, FORWARDING CONTAINERS; ACCESSORIES, CLOSURES, OR FITTINGS THEREFOR; PACKAGING ELEMENTS; PACKAGES
    • B65D2543/00Lids or covers essentially for box-like containers
    • B65D2543/00009Details of lids or covers for rigid or semi-rigid containers
    • B65D2543/00342Central part of the lid
    • B65D2543/00351Dome-like
    • B65D2543/00361Dome-like placed on a tray like container
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65DCONTAINERS FOR STORAGE OR TRANSPORT OF ARTICLES OR MATERIALS, e.g. BAGS, BARRELS, BOTTLES, BOXES, CANS, CARTONS, CRATES, DRUMS, JARS, TANKS, HOPPERS, FORWARDING CONTAINERS; ACCESSORIES, CLOSURES, OR FITTINGS THEREFOR; PACKAGING ELEMENTS; PACKAGES
    • B65D2543/00Lids or covers essentially for box-like containers
    • B65D2543/00009Details of lids or covers for rigid or semi-rigid containers
    • B65D2543/00342Central part of the lid
    • B65D2543/00398Reinforcing ribs in the central part of the closure
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65DCONTAINERS FOR STORAGE OR TRANSPORT OF ARTICLES OR MATERIALS, e.g. BAGS, BARRELS, BOTTLES, BOXES, CANS, CARTONS, CRATES, DRUMS, JARS, TANKS, HOPPERS, FORWARDING CONTAINERS; ACCESSORIES, CLOSURES, OR FITTINGS THEREFOR; PACKAGING ELEMENTS; PACKAGES
    • B65D2543/00Lids or covers essentially for box-like containers
    • B65D2543/00009Details of lids or covers for rigid or semi-rigid containers
    • B65D2543/00444Contact between the container and the lid
    • B65D2543/00481Contact between the container and the lid on the inside or the outside of the container
    • B65D2543/0049Contact between the container and the lid on the inside or the outside of the container on the inside, or a part turned to the inside of the mouth of the container
    • B65D2543/00527NO contact
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65DCONTAINERS FOR STORAGE OR TRANSPORT OF ARTICLES OR MATERIALS, e.g. BAGS, BARRELS, BOTTLES, BOXES, CANS, CARTONS, CRATES, DRUMS, JARS, TANKS, HOPPERS, FORWARDING CONTAINERS; ACCESSORIES, CLOSURES, OR FITTINGS THEREFOR; PACKAGING ELEMENTS; PACKAGES
    • B65D2543/00Lids or covers essentially for box-like containers
    • B65D2543/00009Details of lids or covers for rigid or semi-rigid containers
    • B65D2543/00444Contact between the container and the lid
    • B65D2543/00481Contact between the container and the lid on the inside or the outside of the container
    • B65D2543/00537Contact between the container and the lid on the inside or the outside of the container on the outside, or a part turned to the outside of the mouth of the container
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65DCONTAINERS FOR STORAGE OR TRANSPORT OF ARTICLES OR MATERIALS, e.g. BAGS, BARRELS, BOTTLES, BOXES, CANS, CARTONS, CRATES, DRUMS, JARS, TANKS, HOPPERS, FORWARDING CONTAINERS; ACCESSORIES, CLOSURES, OR FITTINGS THEREFOR; PACKAGING ELEMENTS; PACKAGES
    • B65D2543/00Lids or covers essentially for box-like containers
    • B65D2543/00009Details of lids or covers for rigid or semi-rigid containers
    • B65D2543/00444Contact between the container and the lid
    • B65D2543/00592Snapping means
    • B65D2543/00601Snapping means on the container
    • B65D2543/00611Profiles
    • B65D2543/0062Groove or hollow bead
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65DCONTAINERS FOR STORAGE OR TRANSPORT OF ARTICLES OR MATERIALS, e.g. BAGS, BARRELS, BOTTLES, BOXES, CANS, CARTONS, CRATES, DRUMS, JARS, TANKS, HOPPERS, FORWARDING CONTAINERS; ACCESSORIES, CLOSURES, OR FITTINGS THEREFOR; PACKAGING ELEMENTS; PACKAGES
    • B65D2543/00Lids or covers essentially for box-like containers
    • B65D2543/00009Details of lids or covers for rigid or semi-rigid containers
    • B65D2543/00444Contact between the container and the lid
    • B65D2543/00592Snapping means
    • B65D2543/00601Snapping means on the container
    • B65D2543/00675Periphery concerned
    • B65D2543/00694Segments
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65DCONTAINERS FOR STORAGE OR TRANSPORT OF ARTICLES OR MATERIALS, e.g. BAGS, BARRELS, BOTTLES, BOXES, CANS, CARTONS, CRATES, DRUMS, JARS, TANKS, HOPPERS, FORWARDING CONTAINERS; ACCESSORIES, CLOSURES, OR FITTINGS THEREFOR; PACKAGING ELEMENTS; PACKAGES
    • B65D2543/00Lids or covers essentially for box-like containers
    • B65D2543/00009Details of lids or covers for rigid or semi-rigid containers
    • B65D2543/00444Contact between the container and the lid
    • B65D2543/00592Snapping means
    • B65D2543/00712Snapping means on the lid
    • B65D2543/00722Profiles
    • B65D2543/00731Groove or hollow bead
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65DCONTAINERS FOR STORAGE OR TRANSPORT OF ARTICLES OR MATERIALS, e.g. BAGS, BARRELS, BOTTLES, BOXES, CANS, CARTONS, CRATES, DRUMS, JARS, TANKS, HOPPERS, FORWARDING CONTAINERS; ACCESSORIES, CLOSURES, OR FITTINGS THEREFOR; PACKAGING ELEMENTS; PACKAGES
    • B65D2543/00Lids or covers essentially for box-like containers
    • B65D2543/00009Details of lids or covers for rigid or semi-rigid containers
    • B65D2543/00444Contact between the container and the lid
    • B65D2543/00592Snapping means
    • B65D2543/00712Snapping means on the lid
    • B65D2543/00787Periphery concerned
    • B65D2543/00805Segments

Abstract

IMPROVED RECLOSABLE FOOD PACKAGE
ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE
An improved reclosable food package characterized by good reclosure performance and improved moldability is provided in a package including a receptacle cover member, a base member, an optional hermetic seal between the cover and the base and hemi-elliptical interlocking engagement features with a chamfered portion.

Description

~ ?~

~N I~PROV~D RECLO~ABL~ FOOD PACRA~B
BAC~GRO~ND OF T~J ~NV~NTIO~
The present invention relatss to a food package having a base member, a cover member, a peelable seal for hermetically sealing the base to the co~er and releasable locking means formed in the base an~ cover for reclosing the package after it has been opened. More particularly, it relates to a new and improved Eeclosable package having inter-engaging locking lugs with an improved-depth and configuration to provide better reclosure performance a~ter opening.
Many food packages are described in the patent literature. For example, in U.S. Pat. No. 3,498,018, a food package is described wherein the food is sealed inside the package having a body and a top member. The food is placed in one part of the packag~ and a cover is placed thereon under vacuum and with mechanical pressure, thereby forming the ~ood to the package/ and the base and cover are hermetically sealed. These types of packages and methods Eor for~ing them ar~ further described in U.S.
Pat Nos. 4,411,122; 4,577,757 and 4,688,365. Attempts to improve thesQ pat~nts are further described in U.S. Pat.
Nos. 4,498,588 and 4,498,589. Various improvements are described, for instance in U.S. Pat. No. 4,498,589, wherein ridge~ 34 and grooves 36, shown in Fig. 3 are described in an attempt to provide an interlocking engagement. The ridges and grooves mentioned in this patent are not described as having any particular configuration and appear to be formed in a double action or side action mold. Other means of incorporating snap actions into packages are described in U.S. Pat. Nos.

3 .~3 3,672,536 and 3,734,276. It is submitt~ that these two patents, howaver, do not describe packages wherein the packaged foods are formed to the package with vacuum and mechanical pressure.
More recently, in U.S. 4,944,134 and 4,945,710, still other reclosable packages provided with snap-action locking features are described. Each o~ these patents disclose a secondary operation in the form of a post-thermoforming crimping operation, to impart complementary snap locking features in the base and cover members.
In accordance with these prior art reclosable food packages, the packaged product is o~fer~d for sale in an evacuated or gas ~lushed, adhe~ively bo~ded or heat bonded, hermetically sealed conditio~. To open the package, a consumer qrips a corner or flange on th~ base member in one hand and a flange on the cover member in the other hand and pulls them outwardly and apart to dislodge the base mPmber from the cover member. The base portion includes a raised pedestal portion which is telescopically received in the food receiving recess or compartment of the cover member. The raised pedestal portio~ of the base include~ a raised food-contact sur~ac0, a spaced planar peripheral flange extending generally parallel to the ~ood contact ~urface, and a vertical sidewall surface extending betwee~ and int2rconnecting the base flange to th~ ~ood contact surface. The matable cover member includes a food raceiving compart~ent which may be a central cylindrical or rectangular rece s defined by an endwall and an upstanding sidewall. A planar peripheral flange portion extends outwardly from the end o~ the cover sidewall, thereby circumscribing a generally eireular or rectangular opening or entranc2 aperture to the cup shaped food-receiving compartment.

In accordance with these conventional packages, re~losable feature~ in the form ~f cooperating concave and convex lugs, usually having semi-circular configuration, are provided along the vertical sidewall portion of the base member and along a lower margin portion of the upstanding cover side wall adjacent the cover flange. The package i~ closed by urging the base pedestal portion through the compartment opening so th~t it is telescopically received in the food-receiving cavity. The lug formations provided in the sidewall portions of the base and cover are inter-engaged in the ~elescoping clo~ure and the cover ~lange is dispo5ed in overlying registration with ra~pec~ to the base f~ange. A seal is defined between th~ base and cover flange portions adjacent the food-receiving compartment area.
In these prior art packages, a problem may be encountered wh~n th~ pack~ges are first opened and the hermetir seal i~ first broken. Generally, the ~orces required to separate cover and ba~e me~ber are great enough so ~hat dis~ortion of the base member may occur.
As a result, the ~l~nge portions and sidewall portion on the base may be de~or~ed to such an extent that the base no longer seat~ properly into the cover member and the reclosable lug f~atures do not effectively cooperate to satisfactorily reclose the package after opening.
Propos~d 301ution~ to overcome the de~ormation problem have included: molding the base members out of thicker section materials and increasing the depth of the lugs formed in the ~id~wall portions to improve inter-engage~ent. Increasing the thickness of the basa materialto improve its stiffness and dimensional stability during openiny disadvantageously increases the cost of the overall package, which is undesirable.

i r j ~ ~

Prior efforts to increase the depth of the inter-engaging sami-circular lug formations lead to problems with molding the parts. More particularly, the parts with deeper lugs sither could not be released from a conventional mold, i.e., become stuck, or the parts were deformed or distorted in the unmolding process so that their sealing and reclosing ~eatures did not work appropriately. To achieve increased lug depth with the prior art lug con~igurations, molding in more complex molds, sucn as side action molds, is generally required which would also undesirably increase the costs of providing ~ satisfactorily reclosable package.
To overcome the disadvantages of the prior art food packages, it is an object of the present invention to provide a ~ood package that is easily opened which, after opening, recloses in a positive manner providing a sensible indication to the consumer that the package has been ~ully reclosed and which generally will not become opened or separated unintentionally in use.
8~ARY 0~ T~B INV~NT~ON
In accordance with these and other objects, the present invention provides a new and improved reclosable food package compri~ing a pedestal base member. The basP
member has a planar peripheral flange portion and a central ~ood-contact plat~orm. The food-contacting platform i8 characterized by a raised major surface extending generally parallel to the peripheral flange portion in spaced relation therewith. A vertical sidewall portion extends between and interconnects the ~ood-contacting platform and the peripheral flange portion.
The new and improved reclosable package of theinvention also includes a receptacle cover member provided with a generally planar peripheral flange portion. The -5- ~"~
cover m~mbex also includes a body portion defining a food-receiving cavity. A margin portion of the cover body adjacent its respective flange portion is configured to closely telescopically receiv2 the raised platform and vertical sidewall portions of the base member when the base is urged into the cover until th2 flange portion of the cover is di~posed in registering face to face contact with the ~lange por~ion on the base member.
In accordance with this invention, the new and improved reclosable package is provided with releasable interlocking engagement means for retaining the cover member and the base member to~ether in a~ a~sembled, food storage condition. The releasable interlocking means include at least one lug projection exte~ding outwardly from the vertical sidewall portion of the base member intermediate the height thereof. Each of the lug projections has a ~enerally hemi-elliptical cross sectional configuration including an upper radiussed portion, an intermediate flat portion, a lower radiussed portlon and a cham~er portion. The cha~fer portion extend~ between th~ second radius portion and a lower end of said vertical ~idewall adjacent the peripheral flange of the base. The inter~ocking engagement means Eurther include~ at l~t one complementary lug-receiving recess defined in th~ margin portion of the cover member. Each of th~ lug-receiving recesses has a corresponding hemi-elliptical cro~ sectional configuration and is dimensioned to substantially completely, telescopically receive a lug projection extending from the base. The special configuration of the cooperating locking features of the new and improved food package provide an effectively reclosable package after opening which also simultaneously permits the packages to be ~ormed in -6 ~ 3"~
vacuum thermoforming molding operations.
BR:1~3F DE!:~3CRIPTIQN OF T}i~l!l DRA~
Fig. 1 is a perspective view of t~e new and i~proved reclosable food package of th~ pr~sent invention;
Fig. 2 is an elevated cross sectional view, p~rtially cut away to show the improved releasable interlocking engagement features o~ the packag~ o~ thi~ inventio~ shown in an assembled or closed food storaqe condition; and Fig. 3 is an elevated fra~entary cro~s sectional view showing an alternate embodimen~ of the new and improved releasable interlocking engagement features in an alternate food package in accordance with this invention.

~ v ~

DBT~ILED DB~CRIPTION OF T~ PRBF~ D E~BO~I~ENT
Referring now to Figs. l 2, a new and improved reclosable food storage package or container lQ is shown.
Package 10 i3 0~ a well known type for storing sliced luncheon meats and cheeses for exampla in a vacuumized, hermetically sealed package. Often referred to as a "pedestal package" or a "bubble package", package 10 includes a pedestal base m~mber 12 and a receptacle cover member 14.
The pedestal base member 12 includes a planar peripheral flange portion 16 having a generally rectangular peripheral con~iguration. A generally centralized, cylindrica} food-contacting platform 18 defined by a major surfac~ 20 extends in a raised position, spaced fro~ flange portion 16 but extending generally parallel to flangQ 16. A vertical sidewall portion 22 extends between major surface 20 and flange portion 16. Vertical ~idewall 22 is connected at its lower end 24 to flange portion 16 by a corner 26. As shown in Fig. 2, ths angle betw~an lower end 24 of sidewall 22 and ~lange 16 is pr~erably slightly greater than 90 degre~s. Th~ vertical sidewall 22 i5 connected at its oppo~ed upper end to m~jor surface 20 by an upper corner 28. A gradually sloping central reces~ or depression 30 ~y be defined in the surface 20 of food-contacting platform 18 as shown, to facilitate vacuumizing the package and to collect product moisture. Accordingly, the upper corner 28 preferably includQ~ an angle slightly le~s than 90 degrees as shown.
The receptacle cover member 1~ also includes a planar peripheral flange portion 32 having a generally rectangular peripheral configuration. A body portion 34 extends upwardly from one side of the flange portion 32 to ~,p ~ ~t ~

define a generally cylindrical food receiving cavity or package interior enclosure 36. A plurali~y of horizontally extending mini-ribs 38 and vertically extending ribs 40 are defined in body portion 34 to improve vacuumization and package appearance.
The body portion 34 includes an endwall 42 capable of being molded to include various indicia to indicate the product source and an upstanding sidewall 44 extending between flange portion 32 and endwall 42. Cover sidewall 44 includes a lower margin portion 46 adjacent flange portion 32 which is adapted to closely, telescopically receive the raised food-contacting platform 18 and vertical sidewall portion 22 of ~he base member 12.
Endwall 42 has a yenerally circular configuration having a diameter~ a, which is sli~htly less t~an the diameter, b, defined at the entrancP opening 48 (Fig. 2) to the food-receiving cavity 36 at the point where margin portion 46 inters cts flange 32.
Accordingly, although upstanding sidewall 44 of ~0 the cover 14 has a steppsd configuration, as shown in the preferred embodiment in Fig. 2, sidewall 44 generally extends between end~all 42 and flange portion 32 at a slightly an~led orientation so that tha angle of sidewall 44 to flanye 32 is slightly greater than 90 deyrees~ As a result, the body portion 34 of the cover 14 and the raised food r~CQiVing platform 18 of the base.member 12 are each provided with a slight or gradual frusto-conical tapering from the flange portion toward the endwall.
In accordance with the present invention, improved reclosure performance after opening and improved moldability are provided in package 10 by an improved releasable interlocking engagement means, generally referred to by reference numeral 50, and including at least one lug projection 52 extending outwardly from ~ase sidewall portion 22 at a point intermediate the height thereof and a complemanta~y lug-receiYing recess S4 defined in the margin portion 46 of coYer member 14.
More particularly and re~erring to Fig. ~, each lug projection 52 is specially molded to haYe a generally hemi-elliptical cross sectional config~ration, as shown in section at the left hand portion of Fig. 2. The longitudinal axis of the hemi-elliptical rross sectional lo configuration extends parallel to the height dim~nsion of base sidewall portion 22, as indicat~d by dimension c.
Lug projection 52 includes a first upper radius6ed portion 56 disposed at the upper ~nd of lug projection 52 adjacent the ~ajor surface 20. A lower, second radiu~se~ portion 58 is spaced ~rom the first radiussad portion 56 and extends ad~acent the corner 26 in overlying relation to ~lange portion 16. An intermediste ~lat portion 60 extends between and interconnects the upper and lower radiussed p~rtions 56 and 58, respectively. A chamfer portion 62 extends between and interconnects low2r radiussed portion 58 and lower end 24 of sid~wall 22.
Although the chamfer angle, g, of chamf~r portion 62 may be varied between about 20 to 80 degrees a preferred angle g is betwean about 30 to 60 degrees. An especially pre~erred chamf~r angl~ g is 30 degrees.
Th~ lug-receiving recesses 54 are provided with a complementary hemi-elliptical cross sectional con~iguration also including an upper radiussed portion 66, a lower radiussed portion 68 and a flat intermediate portion 70. Flat intermediate portion 70 has a length, e, which is sli~htly longer than the corresponding length, d, of flat interme~iate portion 60 on lug projoction 52. The lower end of lug receiving recess 54 also includes an aligned cooperating ~hamfer portion 72.
In use, the flange portions 16 and 32 are positioned in registering confronting relation to each other. In this position, the raised food contactin~ platform 18 is disposed in the opening 48 to the food-receiving cavity.
Thereafter, upon further ur~ing of the base 12 and the cover 14 together, the lower end portion of the margin 46 moves over the upper radiussed portion 56 of the projecting lug 52 tQ slide along flat intermediate surface 60 until it clears second radiussed portion 58.
Thereupon, the end portion is free to resile inwardly so that the chamfer 72 is in abuttingly aligned relation with chamfer portion 62. The cover m mber 14 can only be dislodged fro~ its engaged, closed or assembled condition on the base 12 by supplying a separation/withdrawal forc2 sufficient tQ cause the marqin portion 46 of the cover to move away from sidewall 22 by a displacement sufficient to override the profile of the lug member 52. The magnitude of standoff or depth dimension, f, of lug 52 is important in providing improved reclosure performance properties after opening.
In accordance with this aspect of the invention, it has b~en discovered that after the adhesively sealed package~ o~ ~hi~ iAvention are peeled open and after some of tha ~liced food product is removed, the base portion may be pre~sed back into a closed position in the cover in a manner proYiding an audible, and/or tactile pop or snap lock indication of effective reclosure. Thereafter, when the package~ of this invention are gripped by the body portiun and inverted, the base does not become dislodged from the cover even after shaking the package so that the food contents act as a hammer against the base platform in an effort to dislodge the base from the cover. When the invert and shake test is performed on prior art semi-circular lug packages~ the base members were relatively easily dislodged and separate~ fro~ their covers as compared with the improved package~ of this invention.
In accordance with this invention, the lug 52 and the lug-receiving recess 54 are each provided with a hemi-elliptical cross sectional config~rati'~n hav~ing an -increased depth dimension, f, which provides better cooperative reclosure engagement of the base and cover members without increasing the cross sectional thickness of the base sheet. The chamfered undercut portions 62 and 72 permit the parts to be vacuum form molded without the need for a complex ~old (such as a side action mold) to provide satisfactory mold release characteristics for the product packaging. In addition to not deforming on ralease from the molds, the lug configuration also appears to reduce or eliminate distortion or deformation of the parts sn original opening by the consumer to break the hermetic seal. The chamfer portions 62 and 72 permit conventional molds with stripper plate technology to be employed without the need to resort to complicated, maintenance intensive and expensive complex molds, or to labor intensive secondary post-forming operations or to thicker part section~ as has been proposed in the prior art.
In accordance with an advantage provided by this invention, th~ package parts may be made by conventional molding techniques, such as those described in U.S. Pat.
Nos. 3,498,018; 4,411,122; 4,577,757; and 4,688,369, incorporated herein by referenca. These patents describe a method of forming a vacuumized, hermetically sealed package, such a~ package 10 shown in th~ figures.
Generally, a predetermined quantity of a product which is --12 ~
deformable is arranged in the bubble cover body cavity 36 in an upright mass on an inner surface of endwall 42. The base peripheral flange 16 is hermetically sealed to the corresponding peripheral flange 32 o~ cover member 14.
Preferably, the cover member is made of a semi-rigid, pre-formed thermoplastic material. A glue pattern of adhesives is applied around the periphery of the package to form an hermetic peel seal~ The peel seal, usually a circular ba~d of ~rom about 1/8 of an i~c~ to about 1/4-of an inch in width is applied or formed by any means known to those skilled in the art.
To fill the package, the cover member 14 ls placed in an inverted position and a su~icient quan~ity of product is placed in the food-receiving cavity 36 to substantially fill the cover member when the package is completed. The base 12 is positioned at the opening 48 of the body cavity 36 so that the raised product panel 18 is positioned to be telescopically received in the mar~in portion 46 o~ the cover member 14. The flange portions 16 and 32 margins of the base 12 and cover 14 are disposed in registratlon with each other. Mechanical pressure is applied to push the raised food receiving panel 18 into the cavity 36 and against the product placed therein. In a fully assembled and locked po~ition, the base member 12 forces the product into close contact with the interior surfaces of the cover and ba~e member~ to tightly pack the product within the interior cavity 36 and to substantially completely fill the space available be~ween the package and the product while vacuu~izing the assembly and adhe~ively sealing the package 10 in a hermetic manner .
The cover and base members 14 and 12, respectively, may each be made of the same or different resilient, semi-rigid thermoplastic ~ood packaging material. Illustrative thermoplastics include polyolefins, polyesters, polycarbonates, polyamides, cellulose esters and blends and copolymers of any of the foregoing thermoplastic polymers. For example, polyolefins such as polyethylene, polypropylene, polystyrene, polyvinyl chloride, polyacrylic andlor acrylonitrile resins and copolymers, ethylene vinyl acetate, alloyi and blend~ or mixtures thereof may be used. Polyesters such as polyalkylene terephthalates, such as polyethylene terephthalate (PET) or polyacrylate esters may be employed. As polyamides, nylons or polymers or copolymers containing nylon type monomers, may be suggested. Cellulos~ acetate materials might also be used. Laminates of these materials may also be employed. Preferred thermoplastics for use herein include polyvinyl chloride, polyethylene terephthalate, SARAN~X~-containing laminates and BAREX~-type modified polyacrylonitrile materials.
The adhesives for use in making the optional hermetic seal may be any of those known to those skilled in ~his art to be useful for this purpose. Illustrative adhesives may include peelable adhesives based on polyvinyl chloride, vinyl acetate, ethylene vinyl acetate, partially hydrolized vinyl chlorida-vinyl acetates, styrene-butadiene resins and mixtuxes of any of the foregoing in printablQ formulations including suitable organic solvents, waxas, hydrocaxbons, rosins and tackifiers.
These adhesive~ are well known to those skilled in this art and are co~mercially available from H.B. Fuller and Findley Corporation, to name but a few.
As has been mentioned above, the new and improved releasable interlocking engagement lugs and lug-receiving recesses are each specifically designed to include a chamfered section to provide better reclosure performance --14 ~ r~
and molding advantages in the parts enabling them to be mass produced in modern multi-cavity molds.
In accordance with this aspect of the invention, the depth, i.e., dimension f, of these lugs has been maximized ~ut the sharpness of the undercut chamfer 62 on the lugs 52 has been mad~ gradual so that the thermoformed parts may be easily ejected from a ther~oforming mold using stripper plate technology well known to those skilled in this art. Sharply formed lugs with a definitivs undercut cannot be released from a multiple part mold without making a split mold. Otherwise the~e sharply formed lugs must be imparted in a secondary operation. A split mold becomes impractically complicate~ and expensive for multiple units. Similarly, th~ material costs rise unacceptably as more space is provided ~or release mechanisms between multiple packages.
The new and improved lugs 52 and corresponding lug-receiving recesses 54 may vary in number from 1 to 24 or more and they may ba intermittent or a continuous bead.
Referring now to Fig. 3, an alternate embodiment of the new and improved food package of th~ present invention, generally referred to by reference numeral 100, is shown. In this alternate package 100, the releasable interlocking enga~ement means has been modified from the embodi~ent shown in Figs. 1-2 so that instead of providing an outwardly pro~cting lug on the base, such as lugs 52, an inwardly dir~cted recess 102 is provided; and instead of providing a recess, such as recesses 54, on the cover margin portion 46, an inwardly directed projecting lug 104 is provided. Moreover, although the same hemi-elliptical interlocking con~igurations are used for the lug and recess portions of the interlocking engagement members 102 and 104, the hemi-elliptical elemants are inverted so -15~ ! 4 that, instead of having the chamfered portions 62 and 72 disposed adjacent peripheral flanges 16 and 32, chamfer portions 62a and 72a are disposed opposite the peripheral flanges 16 and 32 a~jacent the food contacting surface 20 of the raised platform 18. The beneficial advantages including improved reclosure performance after opening, improved lug and receptacle depth and mald release properties, are also provided by the modified releasable interlocking engagement structures shown in alternate food package 100.
~A~PL~ 3 In the following ~xample~, seven ~amples of packages molded in accordance with this invention and having the lug configuration shown in Fig-~. 1 an~ 2 were provided in 8 oz., 12 oz. and ~6 02. product package size~, and tested. Adhesively sealed and unglued package samples were tested on Xnstron Corporation materials testing equipment to determine opening tensile forces required to peel open the glued or unglued packages. In accordanc2 with th~se tests, a corner oP the cover flange portion was secured in a jaw fixture o~ the machine. An opposing corner portion of the base flange was secured in the other jaw fixture. The machine was permitted to move the jaws apart and th~ maxi~u~ load required to open the packages was recorded.
Some oP the samples were also tested for compressive reclo~ur~ force~ required to effect interlocking engageme~t of the lug formations on the cover margin and base portion. In these tests the cover endwall was placed on a fixed platen. The base member was lightly placed against the opening of the cover member. A movable platen having a diameter approximately the same as the pedestal was placed against the underside of raised food contacting surface of the base. The machine was activat~d to urge the base into the cover member to a ~ully seated depth and the maximum load to reclose the packag~ ~as recorded.
The samples tested and the results obtained are set forth in TAB~ 1, as follows:
TABL~ 1: OP~NIN~ PORC~ AND R~C~03~B FORCB FOR
G~D AND ~N~BD PAC~A~28 Packag~ size 8 oz. 12 oz. 16 oz.
PROPERTIES
opening t~nsile strength~ 1.094 +.131.417 ~0.21 1.094 +.13 unglued in lbs.
Opening tensile ~trength, 2.085 +0~28 2.615 ~0.1~ 2.517 +0.19 glued in lbs.
Reclosure Compressive 31.09 +7.5630.37 i5.08 46.01 +10.88 strength, unglued in lbs.

_______________________________________.____ All values are the average and standard derivation for seven sp~cimens tested.
~PI.~ ~
A number o~ 16 oz. food packages in accordance with this invention a shown in Figs. 1-2 and similar to those employed in Exa~ple 3 were filled with 16 oz. of luncheon meat and sealed in accordance with standard commercial procedures. Samples o~ prior art packages having rounded semi-circular reclosable lug configuration~, such as shown in U.S. 3,498,018, were tested for reclosure performance after opening. The commercially sealed packages were opened by hand by gripping opposing corners of the flanges on the base and cover portions until the base was ~ r!

complately peeled off of the cover. A coupl~ of slices of the pre-sliced luncheon meat product were removed from each of the packages. The inverted ~overs containing the remaining product portion were placed on a Slat table top and the base members were aligned and p~ee~ed into closed position. The packages wer~ turned over so that they each rested on their base portions. The cover portions of each package were grippsd by the fingers, car~ b~ing taken not to deform the sid~all of the cover m~mb~rs. The gripped packages were lifted and vertically ~haken lightly so that the remaining package content~ acted as a hammer and fell against the base of the package. In accordance with this test method the sample packages in accordance with thi~
invention did not re-open or separate during the "invert and shake test". In the commercially available prior art packages havins semi-circular lug formations, the bases all separated from the covers and the product fell out of the cover recess areas. From this test it was concluded that pac~ages incorporating the new and improved chamfered hemi-elliptical lug configuration in accordance with this invention exhibited improved reclosure performance after opening than the semi-circular lug packages of the prior art.
Although thQ pres~nt invenkion has been described with r~ference to certain preferred embodiments, modification~ or changes may be made therein by those skilled in this art. The benefits of the new and improved reclosable food package in accordance with this invention may be provided in a package made in generally any overall shape or configuration. For example, the shape of the food-receiving compartment or bubble portion may be substantially any desired shape and it may be the same or different from the peripheral shape of the outer flange portions. Instead o~ a cylind~ical food pac~age adapted to receive circular slicod foods,- a rectang~ar, oval or teardrop shaped food pac~age may also be prepared in accordance with this inv ntion. All such obvious modifications may b~ made her~in without depar~ing from the scope and spirit of the present invention as defined in the appended claims.

Claims (11)

1. A reclosable food package comprising:
a pedestal base member including a generally planar peripheral flange portion, a generally central food contacting platform defined by a raised major surface extending generally parallel to said peripheral flange portion in spaced relation therewith and a vertical sidewall portion extending between and interconnecting said food-contacting platform and said peripheral flange portion;
a receptacle cover member including a generally planar peripheral flange portion and a body portion defining a food receiving cavity, a margin portion of said cover body adjacent said peripheral flange portion being configured to closely telescopically receive the raised platform and sidewall portion of the base member when the flange portion of the cover is disposed in registering face to face contact with the flange portion of the base;
and releasable interlocking engagement means for retaining the cover member and base member together in an assembled condition including at least one lug projection extending outwardly from said vertical sidewall portion of the base member intermediate the height thereof, each said lug projection having a generally hemi-elliptical cross sectional configuration including a first upper radiussed portion disposed adjacent and spaced from said raised major surface, an intermediate flat portion, a second lower radiussed portion and a chamfer portion extending between the second radiussed portion and a lower end of said vertical sidewall adjacent said first peripheral flange, said interlocking engagement means further including at least one complimentary lug-receiving recess defined in said margin portion of said cover member, each said lug-receiving recess having a corresponding hemi-elliptical cross-sectional configuration and being configured to be substantially completely telescopically receive a said lug projection.
2. A food package as defined in Claim 1, wherein the bass and cover are preformed, independently molded members.
3. A food package as defined in Claim 1, wherein the base and cover are resilient semi-rigid thermoplastic molded members.
4. A food package as defined in Claim 1, wherein the food-contacting platform and body portion each have a generally circular peripheral configuration.
5. A food package as defined in Claim 1, wherein the food-contacting platform and body portion each have a generally rectangular peripheral configuration.
6. A food package as defined in Claim 1 further including adhesive means disposed on said base peripheral flange and said cover peripheral flange portion for bonding and hermetically sealing the base and cover together.
7. A food package as defined in Claim 6, wherein said adhesive means is disposed immediately adjacent said vertical sidewall portion of the base.
8. A food package as defined in Claim 1, which after opening may be reclosed, inverted and vertically shaken without causing disengagement of the interlocking engagement means.
9. A reclosable food package comprising:
a pedestal base member including a generally planar peripheral flange portion, a generally central food contacting platform defined by a raised major surface extending generally parallel to said peripheral flange portion in spaced relation therewith and a vertical sidewall portion extending between and interconnecting said food-contacting platform and said peripheral flange portion;
a receptacle cover member including a generally planar peripheral flange portion and a body portion defining a mood receiving cavity, a margin portion of said cover body adjacent said peripheral flange portion being configured to closely telescopically receive the raised platform and sidewall portion of the base member when the flange portion of the cover is disposed in face to face contact with the flange portion of the base; and releasable interlocking engagement means for retaining the cover member and base member together in an assembled condition including at least one lug-receiving recess extending inwardly from said vertical sidewall portion of the base member intermediate the height thereof, each said lug receiving recess having a generally hemi-elliptical cross-sectional configuration including a first lower radiussed portion disposed adjacent and spaced from said peripheral flange portion, an intermediate flat portion, a second upper radiussed portion and a chamfer portion extending between the second radiussed portion and an upper end of said vertical sidewall adjacent said raised major surface, said interlocking engagement means further including at least one complimentary lug projection defined in said margin portion of said cover member, each said lug projection having a corresponding hemi-elliptical cross-sectional configuration and being configured to be substantially completely telescopically received in a said lug-receiving recess.
10. A method for making a food package comprising separately molding a base member having the lug projection and a cover member having the lug-receiving recess as defined in Claim 1.
11. A method for making a food package comprising separately molding a base member having the lug-receiving recess and a cover member having the lug projection as defined in Claim 9.
CA002063201A 1991-03-26 1992-03-17 Reclosable food package Abandoned CA2063201A1 (en)

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US5795604A (en) * 1994-03-31 1998-08-18 Kraft Foods, Inc. Rigid reclosable bacon package
GB9516562D0 (en) * 1995-08-12 1995-10-11 Penlea Plastics Ltd Sealed pack
DE19859042A1 (en) * 1998-12-21 2000-06-29 Convenience Food Sys Bv Resealable plastic packaging with at least one nub
DE19859043A1 (en) * 1998-12-21 2000-06-29 Convenience Food Sys Bv Resealable plastic packaging with a Velcro closure
DE10120366A1 (en) 2001-04-25 2002-10-31 Convenience Food Sys Wallau Plastic containers having at least one sealed nub
US7172779B2 (en) 2002-09-27 2007-02-06 Kraft Foods Holdings, Inc. Container for sliced and fluffed food products
US7810302B2 (en) 2005-10-25 2010-10-12 Kraft Foods Global Brands Llc Method of forming reclose mechanism in a reclosable package
US20090090643A1 (en) * 2007-10-05 2009-04-09 Trisa Holding Ag Blister package for display of a toothbrush
US8911807B2 (en) 2009-11-06 2014-12-16 Kraft Foods Group Brands Llc Container for sliced and fluffed food products

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US3315872A (en) * 1964-11-02 1967-04-25 Dow Chemical Co Hermetically sealed plastic containers
CH421805A (en) * 1965-03-25 1966-09-30 Formvac Vormals Hydro Chemie A Plastic box with snap-on lid
US3388827A (en) * 1967-03-30 1968-06-18 Pantasote Company Of New York Sealed reclosable food package
WO1984003079A1 (en) * 1983-02-14 1984-08-16 Mayer Oskar Foods Food package and method
US4944134A (en) * 1989-02-02 1990-07-31 Oscar Mayer Foods Corporation Method of forming a reclosable package

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JPH0585542A (en) 1993-04-06
CN1065251A (en) 1992-10-14
KR920017921A (en) 1992-10-21
HK3997A (en) 1997-01-17
TW212781B (en) 1993-09-11
EP0506295A1 (en) 1992-09-30
MY129930A (en) 2007-05-31
EP0506295B1 (en) 1995-05-17
ES2072705T3 (en) 1995-07-16

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