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Filling and using reclosable bags

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Publication number
US20040008909A1
US20040008909A1 US10413506 US41350603A US2004008909A1 US 20040008909 A1 US20040008909 A1 US 20040008909A1 US 10413506 US10413506 US 10413506 US 41350603 A US41350603 A US 41350603A US 2004008909 A1 US2004008909 A1 US 2004008909A1
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Patent type
Prior art keywords
bag
closure
fig
side
strip
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
US10413506
Inventor
William Shepard
William Clune
George Provost
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Velcro Industries BV
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Velcro Industries BV
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    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65BMACHINES, APPARATUS OR DEVICES FOR, OR METHODS OF, PACKAGING ARTICLES OR MATERIALS; UNPACKING
    • B65B61/00Miscellaneous auxiliary devices operating on sheets, blanks, webs, binding material, containers, or packages, and not otherwise provided for
    • B65B61/18Miscellaneous auxiliary devices operating on sheets, blanks, webs, binding material, containers, or packages, and not otherwise provided for for making package-opening or unpacking elements
    • B65B61/188Miscellaneous auxiliary devices operating on sheets, blanks, webs, binding material, containers, or packages, and not otherwise provided for for making package-opening or unpacking elements by applying or incorporating profile-strips, e.g. for reclosable bags
    • 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
    • B65D33/00Details of, or accessories for, sacks or bags
    • B65D33/16End- or aperture-closing arrangements or devices
    • B65D33/24End- or aperture-closing arrangements or devices using self-locking integral or attached closure elements, e.g. flaps
    • 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
    • B65D2101/00Tamper-indicating means
    • B65D2101/0023Tearable 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
    • B65D2313/00Connecting or fastening means
    • B65D2313/02Connecting or fastening means of hook-and-loop type

Abstract

A reclosable bag is filled through an opening defined between a back side of a folded closure strip secured to an inner surface of the bag on one side of the bag opening, and an inner surface of the other side of the bag opening. The filled bag is sealed by joining the back side of the closure strip to the opposing bag wall at a point outboard of the closure strip and bag opening. The bag is later opened by breaking through a frangible section in a folded portion of the closure strip, between mating bands of hooks and loops. In some cases, an extension of one side of the bag forms a handle or a fitment; in particular, funnels can be formed from integral extensions of the closure strip, integral extensions of the bag-making material, or from a discrete preform which is joined to the bag construction.

Description

    CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
  • [0001]
    This application is a continuation of and claims priority, under 35 U.S.C. §120, to PCT/US01/31689, filed Oct. 11, 2001, which claims priority to U.S. application Ser. No. 60/240,288, filed on Oct. 13, 2000.
  • BACKGROUND
  • [0002]
    This invention relates generally to reclosable bags having hook-and-loop closures, and to methods of filling and using such bags.
  • [0003]
    Some useful bags have reclosable closures that can form an air-tight or tamper-evident store or shelf seal, and that, after original opening, form a pantry seal, permitting convenient, repeated opening and closing of the bag.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • [0004]
    The invention has a number of aspects that are illustrated in the following detailed description and are generally described in the claims.
  • [0005]
    According to one aspect of the invention, a reclosable bag has a folded closure strip disposed at a bag opening between opposing bag side walls and having parallel hook and loop bands extending from a surface thereof.
  • [0006]
    Preferably, the bands separated by a frangible region of the closure strip, such that the bag, after being opened by severing the frangible region, is adapted to be reclosed by folding the bag to place the hook and loop bands in releasable engagement.
  • [0007]
    In some preferred embodiments, one of the opposing bag side walls extends past the bag opening, beyond the other of the opposing bag side walls and the closure strip, to form a side wall extension.
  • [0008]
    In some cases, the side wall extension forms a funnel fitment.
  • [0009]
    The closure strip, for some applications, is joined to an inside surface of the other of the opposing bag walls, in two longitudinal, spaced apart joint regions.
  • [0010]
    In some embodiments, the closure strip is joined to an inside surface of said one of the opposing bag walls in a joint region disposed outboard of an outer edge of said other of the opposing bag walls. Preferably, the closure strip is joined to the inside surface of said one of the opposing bag walls only at its ends and in said joint region.
  • [0011]
    In some configurations, a first one of the loop band and the hook band is bordered on each side by a joint region joining the closure strip to a bag surface, and the second of said sections is bordered on only one of its sides, opposite the frangible section, by a joint region joining the closure strip to a bag surface, to define an antipeel feature.
  • [0012]
    In some instances, the loop band comprises a loop strip carried on the front face of a substrate of the closure strip and forming a discrete band of hook-engageable, extended loops along the length of the closure strip, the loop strip being at least partially encapsulated in resin of the substrate across its width. Sometimes, the loop strip has discrete regions which are more encapsulated by resin than other regions thereof.
  • [0013]
    Preferably, the hooks are integrally molded with resin of a common substrate of the closure strip.
  • [0014]
    The frangible section may comprise, for example, a region thinner than the general thickness of the closure strip, bordered on each side by formations which are thicker than the general thickness of the closure strip.
  • [0015]
    According to another aspect of the invention, a partially constructed bag is provided, suitable to be filled through an opening at its top. The bag has a closure strip disposed along its opening, the closure strip comprising a sheet-form substrate having a front face, a loop section carried on the front face of the substrate and comprising a discrete band of hook-engageable loops extending along the length of the closure strip, and a loop-engageable section of loop-engageable fastener elements extending longitudinally along the length of the closure strip and spaced apart from the section of loops. The substrate is folded in a frangible section between the loop section and the loop-engageable section, to engage the loops and fastener elements. The closure strip is permanently joined to an inside surface of one of two opposed side walls of the bag at the opening, in a joint region, leaving a fill path between the closure and the other of the opposed walls of the bag.
  • [0016]
    In some embodiments, the other of the two opposed side walls of the bag extends beyond the joint region and beyond the bag opening, forming a side wall extension on one side of the bag. The side wall extension may form a funnel fitment, or a handle, for example.
  • [0017]
    Preferably, the closure strip is joined to the inside surface in two longitudinal, spaced apart joint regions.
  • [0018]
    According to another aspect of the invention, a method of filling a bag includes providing a partially constructed bag as described above; holding the bag open to define a fill path extending past an obverse side of the closure, between the closure and the other of the opposed walls of the bag; and pouring contents into the open bag through the fill path.
  • [0019]
    In some cases, the method includes joining the obverse side of the closure to the other of the opposed walls of the bag after the bag is filled. For example, the obverse side of the closure may be joined to an extension of said other of the opposed walls of the bag by heat sealing.
  • [0020]
    In some embodiments, the other of the opposed walls of the bag extends beyond the bag opening, to form an extension. In some cases, the extension defines a handle, a support hole, or a region for mounting a header or a fitment.
  • [0021]
    In some embodiments, both walls of the bag extend beyond the closure, and an insulator is inserted between said extensions before joining said obverse side of the closure to said other of the opposed walls of the bag after the bag is filled.
  • [0022]
    The invention can enable bags, including pouches and other bag-like packaging, to be sealed adequately for storage or shipment and to have a handy touch seal closure to provide a touch seal for the bag during use of its contents. Certain preferred aspects of the invention enable filling from the top or bottom, provision for handles, headers and fitments, and inexpensive manufacture and shipment of filled bags and packaged products.
  • [0023]
    Other features and advantages will be evident to those of ordinary skill, upon review of the following description and claims.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS
  • [0024]
    [0024]FIG. 1 is an edge cross-sectional view of a bottom filled bag showing a touch fastener with a burst-seal feature.
  • [0025]
    [0025]FIG. 2 is a similar view of a device forming the heat seals depicted in FIG. 1.
  • [0026]
    [0026]FIG. 3 is a perspective of a bag construction suitable for filling from the top.
  • [0027]
    [0027]FIG. 3A is an edge view illustrating the fill path for a bag using the closure of FIG. 4 prior to forming the final seal.
  • [0028]
    [0028]FIG. 3B shows an example of a technique for forming the final seal of the bag of FIG. 3.
  • [0029]
    [0029]FIG. 4 is an edge view of the closure shown in FIG. 3, while FIG. 4A is a magnified edge view of area 4A of FIG. 4.
  • [0030]
    [0030]FIGS. 4B and 4C are edge and plan views of the closure applied in its flat, extended state to flat film, while FIGS. 4D and 4E are similar views of the film showing the closure folded and mated.
  • [0031]
    [0031]FIGS. 5A through 5G illustrate a sequence of steps for filling the bag.
  • [0032]
    [0032]FIG. 6 is a perspective view of a conveyer and sealing system for applying a final weld to a burst closure on a filled bag.
  • [0033]
    [0033]FIG. 7 is a perspective view of a completed bag which has been filled and sealed, while FIG. 7A is a magnified side cross-sectional view of the closure portion of the bag of FIG. 7. FIG. 7B is a side cross-sectional view on reduced scale of the entire product.
  • [0034]
    [0034]FIG. 8 again is an edge view of the top of a sealed package, while FIG. 8A illustrates a user opening the package by breaking a burst-seal feature of the closure.
  • [0035]
    [0035]FIG. 9 is a perspective view of a bag having a fitment funnel attached to its top.
  • [0036]
    [0036]FIGS. 10 through 12 are alternative cross-sectional views, taken along line 10-10 of FIG. 9.
  • DESCRIPTION OF EMBODIMENTS
  • [0037]
    In important applications, an integral hook and loop bag closure unit formed on a plastic substrate is welded between front face and rear face of a bag, to close the bag at one end. FIG. 1 shows one such bag closure 462 welded to bag side sheets 464 a and 464 b, forming what we call an “inverted” closure. The side sheets of the bag extend upwardly beyond the closure strip and are themselves welded together to form the upper edge 466 of the bag. After the closure strip has been bonded to the bag sides, and the side edges of the bag sealed (not shown), the bag is filled from its other end, in the direction of arrow “J”, which end is then sealed to close the bag. The top of the bag in this embodiment can effectively have two shelf or tamper-evident seals, a seal formed at the upper edge 466 of the bag and a seal formed by the body of closure 462.
  • [0038]
    To initially open the bag, edge 466 is pulled, tearing the bag side sheets along perforations 468. Next, the closure strip is forced open and the closure strip web is pulled in two along a tear groove 470 at the closure strip fold. To reclose the bag, the loop and hook bands 104 and 106 of the closure strip are simply pressed together. One form of closure 462 has a tear feature shown in our earlier patent applications. A presently preferred form of closure is shown in FIG. 4, described below.
  • [0039]
    The welding pattern shown in FIG. 1 provides anti-peel advantages also discussed in our above-referenced patent applications, as the inner edge of the loop side of the closure strip remains unbonded to bag side sheet 464 b. One method of forming such a weld pattern is shown in FIG. 2, in which closure strip 462 is simultaneously welded to both bag side sheets 464 a and 464 b by heated jaws 472 and 474, respectively. Advantageously, loop material 104 is arranged on the folded closure strip to overlap both inner and outer closure strip weld zones, inhibiting any permanent welding together of the sides of the closure strip.
  • [0040]
    In some cases, a chilled jaw 476 is pressed against the loop side of the bag adjacent the inner weld zone to further prevent undesirable bonding of the inner edge of the loop side of the closure to bag side sheet 464 b.
  • [0041]
    Another embodiment, shown in FIG. 3, has only one store or shelf seal and has the important advantage for some applications of enabling filling of the bag from the top.
  • [0042]
    [0042]FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a general purpose bag. The bag is formed, in this particular example, by center-folded film having front and back walls 9, 10 folded about center-fold line 11, which extends along the bottom of the bag. The side walls are joined by closure 5 at the top of the bag. Extensions 9 a and 10 a of the front and back walls extend above closure 5 and have center cut-outs that form handles 4. Left and right side welds 1 run vertically from the handle end to the bottom of the bag. These side seals, together with the bottom fold, form the pocket of the bag.
  • [0043]
    In manufacture, the film from which the bag is made can be brought into the bag-forming station either folded or flat. For instance, center-folded film may be brought into, e.g., a horizontal bag-making machine, in which the center-folded film is oriented horizontally through the machine, and is indexed relative to weld equipment such that the side welds 1 are separated by a selected index distance. For the forming of a side weld 1, in the usual manner, a seal jaw comes down on regions 1, forming not only the seal but also typically a cut that separates the bag being formed from the next adjacent bag. Alternatively the cut can be made after the seal at another station, also in a usual manner.
  • [0044]
    In the bag of FIG. 3, in the region B at side seal 1, a side extension of the film overhangs the seal 1 laterally, and a cut is made downstream to separate the bag. Alternatively, a conventional band seal may be formed, on which cut-off occurs at the time of sealing, so that there is no overhang. In another alternative, a conventional bead seal is formed (e.g., by a hot-wire or a hot knife), which simultaneously cuts and seals together the two faces of the bag, this latter technique being very quick, permitting rapid production of relatively inexpensive bags.
  • [0045]
    As previously explained, FIG. 3 shows a center-folded film. Alternatively, the bag may be formed of two separate sheets of film, in place of center-folded film, which are welded across the bottom in place of a center fold. A pleated or gusseted bottom may also be used in lieu of the center fold. These and other conventional bag constructions can be employed, with or without the handles 4 and with various other top, side and bottom constructions.
  • [0046]
    We refer now to FIGS. 4 and 4A, which show a composite membrane-touch closure that provides a re-close feature for the bag. It is preferably formed according to the techniques explained in our earlier patent applications, incorporated by reference below. Several features enable its attachment and allow the outer closure to hold back product that is loaded against the closure. Weld flange 44 of width W3 provides the region at which the final weld is formed after the bag has been filled. This is the only weld region on this side of the closure and provides an anti-peel action for the closure. As shown in FIG. 4, outer weld flange 44 is associated with a loop section 48 of the closure unit. Hook section 46, associated with the other side of the closure unit, is bordered by inner- and outer-weld regions 40 and 42. Between these closure sections is burst section 7. Whereas the base 150 of the closure generally has thickness t in the region of the weld flanges 40, 40′ and 44 and of the hook and loop sections 46 and 48, the thickness of the failure region of the burst section, t′, is substantially thinner than t. For example, t may be 0.005 inch (0.13 millimeter) and t′ 0.002 to 0.003 inch (0.05 or 0.08 millimeter). The hook and loop bands each have a width W1 of about 19 millimeters. One weld flange has a width W2 of about 9.5 millimeters, while the other has a width W3 of about 16 millimeters. The overall width W4 of the closure strip is about 7.8 centimeters.
  • [0047]
    Burst rails 50 and 50′, shown in detail in FIG. 4A, are reinforcement rails, thicker than t, which assure that the burst or desired rupture of the film, when it occurs, occurs at thickness t′, in a discrete direction, and does not propagate beyond into either the hook or loop regions. The frangible region between the rails has a width W5 of about 0.030 inch (0.75 millimeter), and rails 50 and 50′ extend above the substrate a height “h” of about 0.030 inch (0.75 millimeter).
  • [0048]
    The closure 5 typically is welded to bag film as shown in FIG. 3. The first seal areas 6 and 6′ are formed to the back wall 10 at opposite sides of the hook section, at weld flanges or regions 40 and 42 of FIG. 4. These welds may be applied while the film is flat, before center-folding. The welds 6 and 6′ can be made either one right after another, or, as with a conventional drag sealer on a horizontal bag maker, both the upper and lower seals 6 and 6′ may be formed at the same time. The seal jaws in FIG. 3B are custom-machined to have an undercut in the region of the hook section to protect the hooks, while portions of the weld shoe are in position for the upper weld 6 and the lower weld 6′. At the stage illustrated in FIGS. 4B and 4C, neither the closure unit nor the bag film have been folded.
  • [0049]
    The edge and plan views, FIGS. 4D and 4E, show the closure now folded, e.g., by a folding shoe, about the burst feature 7 of FIG. 4A, with hooks 46 engaged with the loops 48. The film is now center-folded, ready to be formed into the bag of FIG. 3; however, at the stage being described, final seal 8 has not been formed (it is formed after the bag is filled, as will later be described).
  • [0050]
    Referring further to FIG. 3, the assembly of the closure on the bag is shown with the burst feature 7 of the closure oriented toward the product side P of the bag. The cut-outs for forming the handle 4 typically are die-cut just prior to the time the left and right seals 1 are made. This is an optional feature. With the bag construction shown, the burst seal is configured to provide the shelf seal of the package, such that there is no need for an additional seal located above the closure 5. In other cases, the two hand sections can be tack-welded at spaced points, the welds rupturable by opening movements of the handles, or can be joined by pressure-sensitive adhesive or peelable cohesive seals, which also are separable by opening movement of the handles.
  • [0051]
    It is to be noted from FIG. 3 that the final seal 8 on the front wall of the bag is located above top seal 6 on the back wall. As will be later explained in more detail, this construction permits the bag to be filled (see FIG. 3A), after which an insulator can enter through the opening of the bag, as shown in FIG. 3B, to provide insulation behind the closure at the time of heat-forming seal 8, so that the entire bag need not be welded shut in this region. In other words, side 10 and side 9 are not sealed together when seal 8 is formed. FIG. 3B shows insulator bar 36 located behind the closure 5 so that, when heated seal jaw 38 is initiated to make the seal between the bag film 9 and the closure flange 44 of FIG. 4, bag wall 10 is not included in the seal.
  • [0052]
    In an alternative construction, an anti-thermal bonding coating or treatment is applied to one or both of the contacting surfaces to prevent unwanted thermal sealing of the contacting surfaces, and the insulator may be omitted.
  • [0053]
    In an alternate construction, the insulator is not employed, and a “sandwich” seal of layers 9, 44 and 10 is formed, and a tear region is provided in the upper extension at wall 9 between that and weld 6.
  • [0054]
    Other types of bag construction can of course be employed with the closure described.
  • [0055]
    Referring now to FIG. 3A, in a preferred use of the closure of FIG. 4, at the time of filling the bag, the hook and loop sections 46, 48 are mated or engaged, so that prior to final weld 8, the loop section 48 of the closure is held next to the back wall 10 of the bag, spaced from the front wall 9, to provide for fill path 14 past the obverse or back side of the center-folded closure. Thus, product can be introduced into the bag (see also FIG. 3B) after which weld-flange region 44 of the closure is welded to the mating portion 9 a of the front wall. This final weld may be applied automatically, as shown, or by hand using an impulse sealer.
  • [0056]
    [0056]FIGS. 5A through 5G illustrate an automatic method to open and fill a bag such as produced according to FIG. 3. These are sectional views as in FIG. 3E.
  • [0057]
    In FIG. 5A, suction cups 20 and 21 are engaged with the upper area of the film walls 9 and 10 at the front and back sides of the bag. FIG. 5B shows the suction cups to have opened in the direction of arrow 23. In other words, the suction cups have now moved away from each other to a fixed dimension, opening the top of the bag. In the configuration of FIG. 5B, because the final seal 8 has not been made at the obverse side 8′ of the closure strip, essentially no force is required for opening the bag beyond the flexing resistance of the bag film, making the bag or pouch easy and very reliable to open.
  • [0058]
    [0058]FIG. 5C shows suction cups 20 and 21 remaining fully extended, and a filling tunnel 24 is shown entering the open bag in the direction of arrow 25. In this illustration, the filling funnel has at its lower end a pair of so-called “duck bill” funnel elements 24 a, 24 b. While such a duckbill device is one of the more popular ways to fill bags and pouches, the invention is of course not limited to that technique. Even a simple funnel can be employed. In FIG. 5D, the duckbill funnel has entered to its full insertion depth past the opening of the bag, and the duckbill elements are shown extended apart at a position lower than the suction cups and upper portions of the open bag. The center-folded closure presents its back to the product filling the bag. Thus, as previously noted, the closure is protected from contamination that might interfere with its eventual function or appearance. In FIG. 5D, product is shown starting to fill the bag. The spread-open left and right duckbill elements 24 a, 24 b hold the bag open and define the flow path for the product.
  • [0059]
    [0059]FIG. 5E shows the duckbill-filling funnel retracting along path 28 from the filled bag or pouch. The suction cups still engage the bag sides 9 and 10 holding them apart. Filling is complete.
  • [0060]
    [0060]FIG. 5F shows the suction cups closing along path 23′ to close the top of the bag. FIG. 5G shows the bag closed. This corresponds to the condition shown in FIG. 3A and 3B, the product 15 having entered the bag past the closure. The open end of the bag is now closed and ready for the seal to be formed at the top of the bag (see FIGS. 3B and 6).
  • [0061]
    [0061]FIG. 6 illustrates a downstream process, following the sequence described above. FIG. 6 shows the bag on a traveling conveyer 34, which brings the top of the filled bag between typically a pair of vertically oriented conveyer belts 33. Such belts are known as weld-compression belts. They grip and close the two halves of the top of the bag, compressing them uniformly together. At station 32, heat-seal jaws act against the captured film to effect the final thermal seal 8. Various welding arrangements can be employed. Weld jaws 32 can easily be drag-seal jaws or intermittent-motion jaws. The conveyer 34 may run continuously to effect drag-sealing through the station 32, or the conveyer 34 can stop at appropriate times to allow reciprocating heat-seal jaws 32 to come in, dwell to form the heat seal, and retract, following which, after further pausing for cooling and solidification of the heat-seal weld, conveyer 34 starts again to carry the sealed bag away and introduce another one.
  • [0062]
    The seal area 9 a for this final seal 8 is as shown in FIG. 3A. The bag featured in FIG. 3A is without a handle. The final weld area 44 of the closure extends above the initial weld 6, providing ample clearance to effect weld 8 without the use of an insulating bar shown in FIG. 3B.
  • [0063]
    Referring again to FIG. 3B, this cross-sectional view shows the insulator bar 36 extending down into the filled bag to insulate the bag film 10 against being welded to the back side of flange 44 as the final weld for the burst seal. For FIG. 3B, weld bar 38 can come in and effect the final weld 8 of the package, either intermittently or by use of a drag seal. If intermittent, the bag stops, a weld bar 38 comes in, presses against the insulator bar 36 and seals or fuses the weld flange 44 of the closure to the weld area 9 a of the bag. If a drag seal is employed, the conveyer supporting the bag does not stop, and the seal bar acts with constant pressure against seal area 8 and effectively seals by pressure and movement.
  • [0064]
    [0064]FIGS. 7, 7A and 7B show a filled sealed bag with the final seal 8 having been completed. FIG. 7 does not show the optional handle, a construction which can readily be made without the insulator bar 36. In FIG. 7B, a sectional view of a filled bag with product 15, handle 4 is shown in dashed lines above seal 8. In this case the insulator bar is positioned between the upper extensions 9 a and 10 a, on the back side of seal 8, as the seal is formed.
  • [0065]
    In certain preferred embodiments, the side seals 1 extend to the full top of the bag to ensure the sides of the package are sealed airtight. In this case, intermittent motions are employed to introduce the insulator between the side seals to form the final weld 8. In another case, e.g., where airtight sealing is not required, by accurately controlling the extent of the side welds 1 to stop, e.g., at the top edge of the hook and loop closure sections, a drag-sealing arrangement may be employed, in which the insulator slides between the sides of the handles, in the region of the final-weld flange.
  • [0066]
    [0066]FIG. 8 again shows a cross-section of the top edge of the bag and closure assembly showing the final weld 8. The burst feature 7 is shown unbroken. In FIG. 8A, the end user is shown breaking this burst membrane feature 7. Fingers 53, 54 of the right and left hands of the user are shown. The user grasps the region of the final seal 8 and the top seal 6. The user pulls these portions apart, thereby applying tensile force on thin section t′ of the burst feature 7 of the closure (see also FIG. 4A). As shown in FIG. 8A, the tension ruptures the closure at 7′, and entry is gained to the bag. Reclosing the bag or pouch is a simple matter of pressing the hook section 41 against the loop section 48. The antipeel flap, as mentioned in the disclosures of the below-referenced patent applications, is provided to provide a hinge flap on the side of the loop section 48. Product can then flow behind the loop section. The product force is thus applied to the weld 8 and the mated hook and loop closure is subjected substantially only to sheer forces (to which the closure is particularly resistant).
  • [0067]
    In an alternative to FIGS. 8 and 8A, in which the bag is provided with a pair of handles 4 in upper extensions of front and back walls 9, 10, fingers of the user's right and left hands are inserted in the handles, and the handles are pulled oppositely to effect the same rupture 7′.
  • [0068]
    In FIG. 9a funnel fitment 80 is shown on a bag. It may be formed in a number of advantageous ways. For example, in FIG. 10 an integral extension 80 a of the resin base of the closure unit provides additional material from which funnel 80 is formed after formation of weld 8, by rolling the sides of the extension 80 a together and forming a weld or adhesive joint 82 between them. In FIG. 11, on the other hand, the bag material is selected to be suitable for forming a funnel 80 b, and an appropriately cut extension of the bag material itself constitutes a preform from which the funnel is formed. As shown in FIG. 12, in another embodiment funnel 80 b is formed of a discrete preform sheet and bonded directly to the weld flange 44.
  • [0069]
    Thus, there has been described a closure that is suitable to be applied to a preformed pouch or preformed bag, which holds itself away from a fill path, keeping itself clean, and presenting an extended flange, which provides an effective target area for forming a final seal after the package has been filled. The bag, when opened, retains a self-seal feature. The closure requires no tools or special features to allow the end user to break open the bag while providing a secure shelf seal during shipment and store presentation. Applications to bags of dry granular product, upwards of 20-30-lb. (9 to 13.5 kilogram) bags, would be appropriate for this closure, as an example.
  • [0070]
    Either one or both walls of the bag may be extended upwardly to form either a handle on one face of the package or two handles as shown, one on each face of the package. Likewise, top extensions of one or both walls of the bag may define hanger holes for pegboard display of the product or fitment-landing regions for application of filler necks or tubes. The extended portions may also be the landing regions for header cards such as a chipboard to be stapled or affixed to the region. None of these interfere with the burst membrane of the closure.
  • [0071]
    The filling and sealing techniques that have been described may be useful for other types of closure besides hook and loop closures.
  • [0072]
    As one example, an antipeel closure may be provided with the heat seals 6, 6′ and 8 as described, that do not include a burst membrane, e.g., the two closure sections may be separate but mated. In this case, one can still have the benefit of a fill path presented effectively, because the hook and loop sections engage to hold the closure away from the fill path. The seal 8 can still be effected by the extended flange 44, accomplished in the same manner as previously described. Only slightly different tooling would be required to form welds 6 and 6′ and then to mate the other closure section to it. In such a case, where the burst-seal feature 7 is omitted, the shelf seal can be, for instance, either a peel seal located below the hook and loop closure or a thermal seal above the hook and loop closure, that is cut or torn off to open the bag. A peel seal is typically a thermal seal which employs the same pulling motion as the burst seal to peel it apart. It fails, for instance, based on the limited cohesiveness of additives of the wall portion that allow separation. It typically is not tacky after opening. The user peels through it, hence the name “peel seal,” an action which exposes the hook and loop closure, which would then be opened to gain access to the bag.
  • [0073]
    The thermal seal mentioned would be a permanent seal, which would be cut or torn off of the bag and therefore would only be placed on the bags above the hook and loop closure.
  • [0074]
    It will be understood that the regions devoted respectively to the hook and loop sections, in the embodiments shown, can be reversed, and various types of specific closure materials and fastener elements can be employed to produce hook and loop engagement.
  • [0075]
    As evident from the embodiments described above, the closure strip is useful in many packaging applications, for providing a readily-engaged releasable closure that does not require perfect alignment during closing. The closure is useful for packaged food items, such as grains, meals, animal food, dog food, litter, sugar, flour, cookies, candy bars, and even produce, and may be located at one sealed end or along a longitudinal seam of the package. By “bag”, we mean to include all packages with flexible sides, including but not limited to standable pouches and flexible cartons.
  • [0076]
    The contents of the following applications are all incorporated herein by reference as if fully set forth: U.S. patent applications Ser. Nos. 09/187,389, filed Nov. 06, 1998, 09/293,257 filed Apr. 16, 1999, 60/240,288 filed Oct. 13, 2000, PCT/US01/31689, filed Oct. 11, 2001 and WO US99/26261 filed Nov. 5, 1997, designating the United States among others.
  • [0077]
    Other embodiments will be understood to fall within the scope of the following claims.

Claims (19)

What is claimed is:
1. A reclosable bag comprising:
a folded closure strip disposed at a bag opening between opposing bag side walls and having parallel hook and loop bands extending from a surface thereof, the bands separated by a frangible region of the closure strip, such that the bag, after being opened by severing the frangible region, is adapted to be reclosed by placing the hook and loop bands in releasable engagement,
wherein one of the opposing bag side walls extends past the bag opening, beyond the other of the opposing bag side walls and an opposite side of the closure strip, to form a side wall extension,
wherein the closure strip is joined to an inside surface of said one of the opposing bag walls in a joint region disposed outboard of an outer edge of said other of the opposing bag walls.
2. The reclosable bag of claim 1, in which the side wall extension forms a funnel fitment.
3. The reclosable bag of claim 1, in which the closure strip is joined to an inside surface of said other of the opposing bag walls, in two longitudinal, spaced apart joint regions.
4. The reclosable bag of claim 1, in which the closure strip is joined to the inside surface of said one of the opposing bag walls only at its ends and in said joint region.
5. The reclosable bag of claim 1, in which a first one of the loop band and the hook band is bordered on each side by a joint region joining the closure strip to a bag surface, and the second of said bands is bordered on only one of its sides, opposite the frangible region, by a joint region joining the closure strip to a bag surface.
6. The reclosable bag of claim 1, in which the loop band comprises a loop strip carried on the front face of a substrate of the closure strip and forming a discrete band of hook-engageable, extended loops along the length of the closure strip, the loop strip being at least partially encapsulated in resin of the substrate across its width.
7. The reclosable bag of claim 6, in which the loop strip has discrete regions which are more encapsulated by resin than other regions thereof.
8. The reclosable bag of claim 6, in which the hooks are integrally molded with resin of a common substrate of the closure strip.
9. The reclosable bag of claim 1, in which the frangible region comprises a region thinner than the general thickness of the closure strip, bordered on each side by formations which are thicker than the general thickness of the closure strip.
10. A partially constructed bag suitable to be filled through an opening at its top, the bag having a closure strip disposed along its opening, the closure strip comprising a sheet-form substrate having a front face; a loop section carried on the front face of the substrate and comprising a discrete band of hook-engageable loops extending along the length of the closure strip; a loop-engageable section of loop-engageable fastener elements extending longitudinally along the length of the closure strip and spaced apart from loop section; the substrate being folded in a frangible region between the loop section and the loop-engageable section, to engage the loops and fastener elements;
the closure strip being permanently joined to an inside surface of one of two opposed side walls of the bag at the opening, in a joint region, leaving a fill path between the closure strip and the other of the opposed walls of the bag.
11. The partially constructed bag of claim 10, in which the other of the two opposed side walls of the bag extends beyond the joint region and beyond the bag opening, forming a side wall extension on one side of the bag.
12. The partially constructed bag of claim 11, in which the side wall extension forms a funnel fitment.
13. The partially constructed bag of claim 10, in which the closure strip is joined to the inside surface in two longitudinal, spaced apart joint regions.
14. A method of filling a bag, the method comprising
providing a partially constructed bag constructed according to claim 10;
holding the bag open to define a fill path extending past an obverse side of the closure strip, between the closure strip and the other of the opposed walls of the bag; and
pouring contents into the open bag through the fill path.
15. The method of claim 14, further comprising joining said obverse side of the closure strip to said other of the opposed walls of the bag after the bag is filled.
16. The method of claim 15, in which the obverse side of the closure strip is joined to an extension of said other of the opposed walls of the bag by heat sealing.
17. The method of claim 15, in which both walls of the bag extend beyond the closure strip, and an insulator is inserted between said extensions before joining said obverse side of the closure strip to said other of the opposed walls of the bag after the bag is filled.
18. The method of claim 10, in which said other of the opposed walls of the bag extends beyond the bag opening to form an extension.
19. The method of claim 1, in which the extension defines a handle, a support hole, or a region for mounting a header or a fitment.
US10413506 2000-10-13 2003-04-14 Filling and using reclosable bags Abandoned US20040008909A1 (en)

Priority Applications (3)

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US24028800 true 2000-10-13 2000-10-13
PCT/US2001/031689 WO2002030772B1 (en) 2000-10-13 2001-10-11 Filling and using reclosable bags
US10413506 US20040008909A1 (en) 2000-10-13 2003-04-14 Filling and using reclosable bags

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US11180497 US7308783B2 (en) 2000-10-13 2005-07-12 Filling and using reclosable bags
US11927261 US7424796B2 (en) 2000-10-13 2007-10-29 Filling and using reclosable bags

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US11927261 Active US7424796B2 (en) 2000-10-13 2007-10-29 Filling and using reclosable bags

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US20050117819A1 (en) * 2003-12-02 2005-06-02 Kingsford Howard A. Packaging closures
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US9365326B2 (en) 2008-12-17 2016-06-14 S2F Flexico Resealable packaging bag and closing assembly for same
US8900109B2 (en) 2009-12-14 2014-12-02 Kv-Lock Llc Plastic bag, a novel intermediate product, methods for making the bag and intermediate product, and improved pouch machine
US9156224B2 (en) 2009-12-14 2015-10-13 Kv-Lock Llc Plastic bag, methods for making bags and improved pouch machine
US20120067374A1 (en) * 2010-09-21 2012-03-22 Avery Dennison Corporation Vacuum Storage Bag Having Assorted Monitoring Means
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US8893457B2 (en) * 2011-02-16 2014-11-25 Cryovac, Inc. Easy open and reclosable package with die-cut web and discrete tape anchored to second side panel
US20160128381A1 (en) * 2013-06-17 2016-05-12 Sluis Cigar Machinery B.V. Self-standing tobacco pouch

Also Published As

Publication number Publication date Type
DE60109800T2 (en) 2006-01-19 grant
EP1326783A1 (en) 2003-07-16 application
WO2002030772B1 (en) 2002-07-11 application
WO2002030772A1 (en) 2002-04-18 application
US20080041022A1 (en) 2008-02-21 application
US7424796B2 (en) 2008-09-16 grant
EP1326783B1 (en) 2005-03-30 grant
US20060162289A1 (en) 2006-07-27 application
DE60109800D1 (en) 2005-05-04 grant
ES2236316T3 (en) 2005-07-16 grant
CA2425664A1 (en) 2002-04-18 application
CN1478037A (en) 2004-02-25 application
JP2004515420A (en) 2004-05-27 application
US7308783B2 (en) 2007-12-18 grant

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