US20040007612A1 - Box hand hole reinforcement and method of use - Google Patents

Box hand hole reinforcement and method of use Download PDF

Info

Publication number
US20040007612A1
US20040007612A1 US10461115 US46111503A US2004007612A1 US 20040007612 A1 US20040007612 A1 US 20040007612A1 US 10461115 US10461115 US 10461115 US 46111503 A US46111503 A US 46111503A US 2004007612 A1 US2004007612 A1 US 2004007612A1
Authority
US
Grant status
Application
Patent type
Prior art keywords
flange
frame
reinforcement
portion
flexible
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
US10461115
Inventor
James Johanson
Keith Antal
Thomas Rigney
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.)
Sonoco Development Inc
Original Assignee
Sonoco Development 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

Links

Images

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
    • B65D5/00Rigid or semi-rigid containers of polygonal cross-section, e.g. boxes, cartons or trays, formed by folding or erecting one or more blanks made of paper
    • B65D5/42Details of containers or of foldable or erectable container blanks
    • B65D5/44Integral, inserted or attached portions forming internal or external fittings not used, see subgroups
    • B65D5/46Handles
    • B65D5/46008Handles formed separately from the container body
    • B65D5/46032Handles with anchoring elements, e.g. formed by folding a blank
    • B65D5/4604Handles with anchoring elements, e.g. formed by folding a blank not formed by folding a blank

Abstract

A reinforcing member made of unitary construction is described. The reinforcing member has an outer face connected to an inner face by a middle frame. The inner face includes a first flange extending in a first direction from a first portion of the frame and a resiliently flexible second flange extending in an opposite direction from a flexible second portion of the frame. In use, an installer flexes the second flange and second frame portion so that the inner face will pass through the hand hole. Flexation may involve movement of the first flange toward the second flange, rotation of the second flange away from the outer face, or a combination of both. Once flexed, the inner face is inserted through the hand hole and the second flange is allowed to resume its unflexed position.

Description

    CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION
  • The present application claims priority from U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/395,066, filed Jul. 11, 2002, which is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.[0001]
  • FIELD OF THE INVENTION
  • The invention relates to the reinforcement of hand holes in shipping and storage boxes, and particularly to a new reinforcing member of unitary construction. The invention further relates to a method of using the reinforcing member. [0002]
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • It is well known that cardboard boxes can be awkward to handle due to their size and shape. Therefore, it has become common to provide convenient hand holes in two opposing sides of a box. Although effective in combating the awkwardness, hand holes lead to other well known problems. When a user lifts the box, his or her fingers exert localized forces on portions of the upper edge of the hand hole. These localized forces can be uncomfortable, if not painful, for the user. In addition, localized forces subject the relatively weak cardboard web to undue stress. It is, therefore, not surprising that the cardboard often tears under the localized forces if the box is laden with heavy contents. Tearing of such a box exposes the user and others nearby to a risk of serious injury because sudden tearing could cause the user to drop the box or heavy contents to spill out. The potential for tearing and the associated risk of injury become even more prevalent when the walls of the box are thinned to reduce the weight of the box and to reduce packaging costs. [0003]
  • Thus, hand hole reinforcing units have been proposed. However, the known reinforcing units are expensive, injection molded units having a body, a cover, and several hinges and snapping features. A first problem with the known units is that the mold required to make them is itself very expensive because it must have many complicated shut-offs. In addition, a great deal of ongoing maintenance is required to keep the shut-offs working properly. However, drawbacks to the known units do not end here. [0004]
  • Given the cost of producing the known reinforcing units, one would expect them to be easily installed. However, the contrary is true. To install the unit, a user must identify the top of the unit by locating an up arrow. The user then inserts the body of the unit through the hand hole and swings the cover portion into a snapping engagement with the body. If not careful, an installer may be painfully pinched during the process. Further, the units are generally symmetrical top to bottom so it is possible to install it upside down in the hand hole. If so installed, the user may regretfully find his or her knuckles caught on a square inside edge of the unit, causing pain and delays in further installations. [0005]
  • Therefore, a need exists for a hand hole reinforcement that is inexpensively produced, fast and easy to install, and improves the safety of the package. [0006]
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • The invention solves this long felt need by providing a reinforcing member made of unitary construction. The reinforcing member has an outer face connected to an inner face by a middle frame. The inner face includes a first flange extending in a first direction from a first portion of the frame and a resiliently flexible second flange extending in an opposite direction from a resiliently flexible second portion of the frame. [0007]
  • In use, an installer flexes the second flange and second frame portion so that the inner face will pass through the hand hole. Flexation may involve movement of the first flange toward the second flange, rotation of the second flange away from the outer face, or a combination of both. Once flexed, the inner face is inserted through the hand hole and the second flange is allowed to resume its natural, unflexed position. [0008]
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a hand hole reinforcing member from the front and right of the outer face, according to a first embodiment of the present invention. [0009]
  • FIG. 2 is a view of the hand hole reinforcing member of FIG. 1 from the front and above the outer face. [0010]
  • FIG. 3 is a view of the hand hole reinforcing member of FIG. 1 from the front and left of the outer face. [0011]
  • FIG. 4 is a view of the hand hole reinforcing member of FIG. 1 showing the inner face. [0012]
  • FIG. 5 is a view of the hand hole reinforcing member of FIG. 1 showing the right side. [0013]
  • FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional view of the hand hole reinforcing member taken along line [0014] 6-6 of FIG. 1, in association with a hand hole of a box.
  • FIG. 7 is the cross-sectional view of FIG. 6 with the hand hole reinforcement in a flexed state. [0015]
  • FIG. 8 is a perspective view of the outer face of a second embodiment of a hand hole reinforcement according to the present invention. [0016]
  • FIG. 9 is a perspective view of the inner face of the hand hole reinforcement of FIG. 8.[0017]
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • For the purpose of illustrating the invention, there are shown in the Figures forms which are presently preferred; it being understood that this invention is not limited to the precise arrangements and instrumentalities shown. [0018]
  • FIG. 1 shows a first embodiment of a reinforcement for a box hand hole according to the present invention. The reinforcement is a reinforcing member [0019] 10 of unitary construction. As used herein, “unitary construction” means formed as a single part, not having distinct pieces that must be later assembled or otherwise connected together. The member 10 may be molded in a generally trapezoidal shape, shown from the front in FIG. 2, from a variety of flexible materials. Presently it is contemplated that the member 10 be formed from high density polyethylene or polypropylene. However, those skilled in the art will recognize that many other flexible plastics and other moldable materials can also be used.
  • The member [0020] 10 has an inner face 12 connected to an outer face 14 by a frame 16. These features are clearly shown in FIGS. 3, 4 and 5, which are views of the member 10 looking at the outer face 14, the inner face 12, and the right side (from the perspective of the outer face), respectively. The inner face 12 and outer face 14 are substantially disposed in parallel planes.
  • It is contemplated that the outer face [0021] 14 extends around the entire trapezoidal outer edge of the frame 16. Preferably, the corners of the outer face 14 are rounded, and the major sides are gently rounded to a widest point at the mid-section of each.
  • The inner face [0022] 12 includes a first flange 18 extending in a first direction from a first portion 20 of the frame 16. The first flange 18, first portion 20 of the frame 16 and outer face 14 together have a U shaped cross section, shown in FIG. 5. The first portion 20 is depicted in the drawings as the top of the frame, i.e. that portion which, in use, will engage the top edge of a hand hole in the side of a box and transmit upward force from a user's fingers to lift the box. Although it is preferred that the first portion 20 be the top of the frame 16, the invention can be carried out with the first portion 20 forming the bottom of the frame 16 as well.
  • The inner face [0023] 12 includes a resiliently flexible second flange 22 extending from a flexible second portion 24 of the frame 16. The flexible second flange 22 extends from the frame 16 in a direction opposite that of first flange 18. As shown in FIG. 4, flexible second flange 22 extends furthest from the frame at its mid-point, where maximum displacement occurs when the flange 22 is flexed. Preferably, the second portion 24 is the bottom of the frame 16, i.e. that which engages the bottom edge of a box hand hole when installed. There are a number of reasons why this arrangement is preferred. First, the member 10 of the first embodiment is preferably trapezoidal in shape, to be used with hand holes of a corresponding shape. Because the second flange 22 of the inner face and second portion 24 of the frame form the longer major side of the trapezoid, greater flexibility is inherent in these elements. (Material of constant rigidity has more flex if formed into a longer unit.) Second, when the flexible second flange 22 and flexible portion 24 are disposed at the bottom of the member 10, the top of the member 10, including first flange 18 and first portion 20 of the frame 16, can be made rigid. This is preferable because, in use, a rigid top portion will more evenly distribute the lifting force to the cardboard that forms the top edge of the hand hole of a box. Third, if desired, the first flange 18 and first portion 20 can be specially molded with comfortable gripping designs (not shown) without regard to flexibility. Fourth, the second flange 22 and second portion 24 may include functional guide and/or flex-enhancing elements that might be uncomfortable for a user to grasp while lifting the top portion of the member 10 to lift up the box. Thus, a rigid top portion of member 10 and flexible bottom portion, as shown in FIGS. 1-5 is preferred. However, it will become apparent that such an arrangement is not necessary to carry out the present invention in view of the second embodiment described below.
  • The second flange [0024] 22 of the inner face 12 preferably includes one or more guide elements which tend to urge the second flange in the direction of arrow A (FIG. 4) toward the first flange 18 when subjected to a force perpendicular to the plane of the second flange. The perpendicular force is provided by resistance of the cardboard box against the guide elements as explained below. Shown in FIGS. 4 and 5, the guide elements may be a series of ribs 26 extending perpendicular from the plane of the second flange 22. The guide elements are preferably designed to rotate the second flange 22 away from the outer face 14 when subjected to the force perpendicular to the plane of the second flange 18. The direction of rotation of the second flange 22 away from the outer face 14 is represented by arrow B in FIG. 5.
  • The flexible second flange [0025] 22 is also preferably provided with flex-enhancing elements perpendicular to the long axis of the second flange 22. The flex-enhancing elements are shown in FIG. 3 as a series of slits 28 disposed along the length of the flexible second flange 22. The slits 28 are disposed perpendicular to the long axis of the second flange 22 and may stretch most of the distance over which the flange 22 extends from second portion 24 of the frame 16. However, to eliminate sharp edges and enhance integrity of the second flange 22, it is preferred that the slits 28 do not extend the entire distance over which the flange 22 extends. It is also preferred that the slits 28 extend into the flexible second portion 24 of the frame 16 and partially into the outer face 14 as well.
  • FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional view of the reinforcing member [0026] 10 taken along line 66 of FIG. 1 through a rib 26, in association with the side of a box 30 having a hand hole 32. To install the member 10 into the hand hole 32, the first flange 18 is first inserted through the hole 32. The user pushes the outer face 14 in the direction of arrow C, causing ribs 26 to engage the box 30. Further pushing causes the ribs 26 to guide flexation of the second flange 22, rotating the second flange 22 away from the outer face 14 in the direction of arrow B and pushing the second flange 22 toward the first flange 18 in the direction of arrow A. Once flexed, adequate clearance is available for second flange 22 to move through the hole 32, as is shown in FIG. 7. Once through the hole 32, the second flange 22 resiliently flexes back to its natural shape, securely keeping the member 10 engaged with the hand hole 32.
  • In the embodiment of FIGS. [0027] 1-7, the first flange 18 and first portion 20 of the frame are substantially rigid. However, these elements may also be flexible, as is the case in a second embodiment of the reinforcing member 110, which is shown in FIGS. 8 and 9.
  • According to the second embodiment, the reinforcing member [0028] 110 includes an inner face 112 and an outer face 114. The inner and outer faces are disposed in substantially parallel planes and are connected to one another by a frame 116. The inner face includes first and second flanges, respectively labeled 118 and 122, connected to the frame 116 at opposite portions 120 and 124 thereof In the embodiment of FIGS. 7 and 8, the first and second flanges 118, 122 are very similar and both are flexible. The respective frame portions 120 and 124 are also similar and flexible. In addition, the general shape of the member 110 may be rectangular, rather than trapezoidal. Thus, the member 110 can be perfectly symmetrical about both major and minor axes. In this case, the member can be inserted into a rectangular hand hole of a box with either the first flange 118 or the second flange 122 oriented upwardly.
  • Because both the first and second flanges [0029] 118, 122 are flexible, they are shown with fewer guide and/or flex-enhancing elements than are shown in FIGS. 1-5. Specifically, each flange 118, 122 is shown with only three guide elements 126 and two flex-enhancing elements 128. Although fewer in number, the elements 126 and 128 function in substantially the same manner as the analogous elements 26 and 28. However, the differences between the second embodiment and that shown in FIGS. 1-5 allows for a slightly different method of insertion into a box hand hole. Rather than inserting the first flange 118 through the hand hole prior to flexation of the second flange 122, both flanges can be flexed and inserted through the hole simultaneously.
  • As noted above, a variety of modifications to the embodiments described will be apparent to those skilled in the art from the disclosure provided herein. Thus, the present invention may be embodied in other specific forms without departing from the spirit or essential attributes thereof and, accordingly, reference should be made to the appended claims, rather than to the foregoing specification, as indicating the scope of the invention. [0030]

Claims (14)

    What is claimed is:
  1. 1. A box hole reinforcement comprising:
    a reinforcing member of unitary construction having an outer face connected to an inner face by a middle frame, the inner face having a first flange extending in a first direction from a first portion of the frame and a resiliently flexible second flange extending in an opposite direction from a flexible second portion of the frame.
  2. 2. The reinforcement of claim 1 wherein the flexible second flange comprises one or more guide elements tending to urge the second flange toward the first flange when subjected to a force perpendicular to a plane of the second flange.
  3. 3. The reinforcement of claim 2 wherein the guide elements comprise ribs extending perpendicular from the plane of the second flange.
  4. 4. The reinforcement of claim 1 wherein the flexible second flange comprises one or more guide elements tending to rotate the second flange away from the outer face when subjected to a force perpendicular to a plane of the second flange.
  5. 5. The reinforcement of claim 4 wherein the guide elements comprise angled ribs extending perpendicular from the plane of the second flange.
  6. 6. The reinforcement of claim 1 wherein the flexible second flange comprises slits perpendicular to a long axis of the flange.
  7. 7. The reinforcement of claim 6 wherein the slits extend into the flexible second portion of the frame.
  8. 8. The reinforcement of claim 1 wherein the reinforcing member is substantially trapezoidal.
  9. 9. The reinforcement of claim 1 wherein the first flange and first portion of the frame are substantially rigid.
  10. 10. The reinforcement of claim 9 wherein the first flange, first portion of the frame and outer face together have a U shaped cross section.
  11. 11. A method of reinforcing a hand hole comprising:
    providing a reinforcing member of unitary construction having an outer face connected to an inner face by a middle frame, the inner face having a first flange extending in a first direction from a first portion of the frame and a flexible second flange extending in an opposite direction from a flexible second portion of the frame;
    flexing the second flange toward the first flange;
    inserting the inner face through the hand hole; and
    allowing the second flange to rotate back toward the outer face.
  12. 12. The method of claim 11 where the flexing step comprises the step of engaging guide member on the second flange with an edge of a wall that defines the hand hole.
  13. 13. The method of claim 11 wherein the flexing step comprises the step of rotating the second flange away from the outer face.
  14. 14. The method of claim 11 further comprising the step of inserting the first flange through the hole prior to the flexing step.
US10461115 2002-07-11 2003-06-13 Box hand hole reinforcement and method of use Abandoned US20040007612A1 (en)

Priority Applications (2)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US39506602 true 2002-07-11 2002-07-11
US10461115 US20040007612A1 (en) 2002-07-11 2003-06-13 Box hand hole reinforcement and method of use

Applications Claiming Priority (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US10461115 US20040007612A1 (en) 2002-07-11 2003-06-13 Box hand hole reinforcement and method of use

Publications (1)

Publication Number Publication Date
US20040007612A1 true true US20040007612A1 (en) 2004-01-15

Family

ID=30118464

Family Applications (1)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
US10461115 Abandoned US20040007612A1 (en) 2002-07-11 2003-06-13 Box hand hole reinforcement and method of use

Country Status (1)

Country Link
US (1) US20040007612A1 (en)

Cited By (6)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20060264385A1 (en) * 2002-09-26 2006-11-23 Deping Wang Bifunctional heterocyclic compounds and methods of making and using same
FR2905245A1 (en) * 2006-09-05 2008-03-07 Grumbe Grupo Manipulador De Bo Packaging device e.g. bag, prehension device for transporting packaging device, has handle with shoulder positioned at interior of opening, where shoulder has opening permitting passage of prehension unit for allowing transport of surface
US20120223129A1 (en) * 2011-03-01 2012-09-06 Oppenheimer Leonard Box Partition Set
US20140283733A1 (en) * 2011-10-11 2014-09-25 Geoffrey Russell Archer Stackable And Hand Transportable Traffic Management Device
WO2014118621A3 (en) * 2013-02-04 2014-11-13 Lincoln Global, Inc. Strap guide insert, strap protector and container
US20170001753A1 (en) * 2015-07-02 2017-01-05 Pro-Pak Industries, Inc. Handled Packaging System

Citations (10)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US2454029A (en) * 1945-07-21 1948-11-16 Baltimore Paper Box Co Carton
US3841674A (en) * 1973-05-23 1974-10-15 Southco Slam-latch
US3932010A (en) * 1975-01-23 1976-01-13 All-Steel, Inc. Flush pull arrangement for office furniture
US4359183A (en) * 1979-12-29 1982-11-16 Sony Corporation Carton handle
US4524902A (en) * 1982-08-23 1985-06-25 F. F. Seeley Nominees Pty. Ltd. Carton handle
US5037027A (en) * 1990-12-18 1991-08-06 Bradford Company Tote box construction
US5295632A (en) * 1992-12-18 1994-03-22 Bradford Company Tote box with self locking top rail
US5462221A (en) * 1995-01-04 1995-10-31 Bradford Company Tote box handle
US5522539A (en) * 1994-12-16 1996-06-04 Bradford Company Tote box with block insert locking capability
US6619540B1 (en) * 2002-04-22 2003-09-16 Bradford Company Snap lock tote box handle and tote box construction

Patent Citations (11)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US2454029A (en) * 1945-07-21 1948-11-16 Baltimore Paper Box Co Carton
US3841674A (en) * 1973-05-23 1974-10-15 Southco Slam-latch
US3932010A (en) * 1975-01-23 1976-01-13 All-Steel, Inc. Flush pull arrangement for office furniture
US4359183A (en) * 1979-12-29 1982-11-16 Sony Corporation Carton handle
US4524902A (en) * 1982-08-23 1985-06-25 F. F. Seeley Nominees Pty. Ltd. Carton handle
US5037027A (en) * 1990-12-18 1991-08-06 Bradford Company Tote box construction
US5295632A (en) * 1992-12-18 1994-03-22 Bradford Company Tote box with self locking top rail
US5295632B1 (en) * 1992-12-18 1998-04-21 Bradford Co Tote box with self locking top rail
US5522539A (en) * 1994-12-16 1996-06-04 Bradford Company Tote box with block insert locking capability
US5462221A (en) * 1995-01-04 1995-10-31 Bradford Company Tote box handle
US6619540B1 (en) * 2002-04-22 2003-09-16 Bradford Company Snap lock tote box handle and tote box construction

Cited By (8)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20060264385A1 (en) * 2002-09-26 2006-11-23 Deping Wang Bifunctional heterocyclic compounds and methods of making and using same
FR2905245A1 (en) * 2006-09-05 2008-03-07 Grumbe Grupo Manipulador De Bo Packaging device e.g. bag, prehension device for transporting packaging device, has handle with shoulder positioned at interior of opening, where shoulder has opening permitting passage of prehension unit for allowing transport of surface
US20120223129A1 (en) * 2011-03-01 2012-09-06 Oppenheimer Leonard Box Partition Set
US8720770B2 (en) * 2011-03-01 2014-05-13 The Golden Box, Inc. Box partition set
US20140283733A1 (en) * 2011-10-11 2014-09-25 Geoffrey Russell Archer Stackable And Hand Transportable Traffic Management Device
US9265307B2 (en) 2012-02-13 2016-02-23 Lincoln Global, Inc. Strap guide insert
WO2014118621A3 (en) * 2013-02-04 2014-11-13 Lincoln Global, Inc. Strap guide insert, strap protector and container
US20170001753A1 (en) * 2015-07-02 2017-01-05 Pro-Pak Industries, Inc. Handled Packaging System

Similar Documents

Publication Publication Date Title
US3443681A (en) Wraparound packaging sleeve
US4739883A (en) Reclosable display package
US4332322A (en) Folder to hold coil of plastic tubing with clamp and fittings
US5613619A (en) Foldback cup lid having comfortable drinking characteristics
US3751852A (en) Plastic planter flat
US5435456A (en) Plastic snap hinge closure
US5704471A (en) Packet for wet tissue
US5653345A (en) Fruit box
US5515993A (en) Hinged semi-rigid container having wall stiffening means
US5772031A (en) Package for an elongated medical product
US5549243A (en) Blank for easily opened box and the box formed from such blank
US4850528A (en) Self-locking container closure
US4520976A (en) Cable bushing
US6611996B2 (en) Slider for reclosable fastener
US5163558A (en) Package having sanitary products therein
US4071064A (en) Packing container or receptacle
US5060814A (en) Molded plastic container for packaging multiple product samples
US5695088A (en) Apparatus for securing a bag in a container
US4902060A (en) Detachable bag-carrying handgrip device
US20010017315A1 (en) Paperboard box
US6189779B1 (en) Latching mechanism
US4792085A (en) Buckle-proof clamshell container
US8042690B2 (en) Wiper blade package
US4403712A (en) Snap hinge of plastic material
US6883678B2 (en) Food container sealing structure

Legal Events

Date Code Title Description
AS Assignment

Owner name: SONOCO DEVELOPMENT, INC., SOUTH CAROLINA

Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:JOHANSON, JAMES E.;ANTAL, SR., KEITH E.;RIGNEY, THOMAS J.;REEL/FRAME:014187/0670

Effective date: 20030612