US3536190A - Protective package and method of making same - Google Patents

Protective package and method of making same Download PDF

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Publication number
US3536190A
US3536190A US3536190DA US3536190A US 3536190 A US3536190 A US 3536190A US 3536190D A US3536190D A US 3536190DA US 3536190 A US3536190 A US 3536190A
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United States
Prior art keywords
container
article
beads
particles
package
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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.)
Expired - Lifetime
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Inventor
Stanley Hirsch
Jordan M Koster
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WILLCOX AND GIBBS Inc
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WILLCOX AND GIBBS Inc
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Priority to US75143168A priority Critical
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Publication of US3536190A publication Critical patent/US3536190A/en
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    • 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
    • B65D81/00Containers, packaging elements, or packages, for contents presenting particular transport or storage problems, or adapted to be used for non-packaging purposes after removal of contents
    • B65D81/02Containers, packaging elements, or packages, for contents presenting particular transport or storage problems, or adapted to be used for non-packaging purposes after removal of contents specially adapted to protect contents from mechanical damage
    • B65D81/05Containers, packaging elements, or packages, for contents presenting particular transport or storage problems, or adapted to be used for non-packaging purposes after removal of contents specially adapted to protect contents from mechanical damage maintaining contents at spaced relation from package walls, or from other contents
    • B65D81/09Containers, packaging elements, or packages, for contents presenting particular transport or storage problems, or adapted to be used for non-packaging purposes after removal of contents specially adapted to protect contents from mechanical damage maintaining contents at spaced relation from package walls, or from other contents using flowable discrete elements of shock-absorbing material, e.g. pellets or popcorn
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65BMACHINES, APPARATUS OR DEVICES FOR, OR METHODS OF, PACKAGING ARTICLES OR MATERIALS; UNPACKING
    • B65B55/00Preserving, protecting or purifying packages or package contents in association with packaging
    • B65B55/20Embedding contents in shock-absorbing media, e.g. plastic foam, granular material

Description

United States Patent 72] Inventors Stanley Hirsch 1 References Cited Roslyn, and UNITED STATES PATENTS 1 KOSMBWSWQNW York 2,895,603 7/1959 Freeman ..206/46(F.C.M.)UX pp 751,431 3,001,105 9/1961 Fox ..206/46(FRAGlLE) UX [22] FllCd Aug. 9, 1968 3,060,513 10/1962 Klink et al. ..206/46(F.C.M.)UX 1 Patented 27, 3,415,364 12/1968 Schneider ..206/46(F.C.M.)UX [73] Assignee Willcox & Gibbs, Inc. I

New York New York Primary ExammerW1ll1a1 n T. Dlxson, Jr. a corporation of New York Attorney-Johnson and Klme ABSTRACT: A cushioned package for articles and the method of making the same in which the article is placed in a container and the container filled to the desired level or PROTECTIVE PACKAGE AND METHOD OF amount with moistened expandable resin particles or beads, MAKING SAME the container is closed and the sides supported if necessary. It Claims 6 Drawing is then subjected to RF energy to heat the moisture around the [52] U.S. Cl 206/46, p r i l to cause said particles to be heated thereby and ex- 264/ pand to fill the container. The heat also causes surface fusion [51] Int. Cl Bd /30, between h partieles- Th produces a Stable, gh g B291 7/20 compact cushioning means for protecting the article and, if [50] Field of Search desired, the article can be provided with a protective wrap. A

206/46(F.C.M 46(FRAGILE); 220/9(F); 264/45. 5 l 53: 53/(lnquired) separator means can be provided to enable the article to be readily removed from the package and the cushioning means.

Ila

I JII Patented Oct. 27, 1970 I $53 ,190

Sheet 2 of3 INVENTOR5 PROTECTIVE PACKAGE AND METHOD OF MAKING SAME Heretofore, it has been the practice to pack articles in a carton or container by providing a quantity of protective excelsior surrounding the article. Other materials have been used for this purpose and include popcorn, shredded newspapers and the like materials, but all of these materials have had the disadvantage of shifting and settling so that some of the protection is lost and some of them present health and vermin problems. Also, it has been proposed to inject a foaming resin into the space around the article to produce a cushion for the package, but these materials have been difficult to use and do not readily provide for varying the control of the cushion.

While expandable resin beads are known, they have heretofore required the use of steam to expand and fuse the beads and this, of course, would be impractical in a container which is made of fibrous material such as paper or other materials which would be damaged by the steam or the means for supplying the steam. Also, many articles which might be positioned in the container could be damaged by the steam.

The present invention overcomes these difficulties by providing a simplified package and method of producing the same whereby articles are adequately protected. The novel method is efficient, quickly and easily performed without damage to the container and/or the article and is effective to provide stable, lightweight, compact cushions for articles in a container, which cushions may have various densities as required.

Further, the present invention provides a package for an article, which package includes a cushion of fused expandable resin particles or beads which form a stable, lightweight, compact cushioning unit for protecting the article.

In carrying out the present invention, a container of any suitable material used for shipping cartons, preferably a fibrous material such as cardboard, paperboard, corrugated board or laminated sheet material, having an article therein, sometimes supported on a resilient base member, is filled to the desired amount, sometimes less than full, with particles or beads of expandable resins which have been wet with water and a wetting agent. The container is closed and located between suitable electrodes and subjected to RF energy which causes the water to heat quickly. This quickly heats the particles or beads and causes the expandable resin to expand and fill the container. When necessary, the sides of the container can be confined and supported against the expanding action of the particles while the RF energy is applied.

The heating of the resin by the hot water also causes the surface of the particles or beads to fuse together to produce in the package a stable, lightweight, compact cushioning means for the articles. As soonas the RF energy is turned off, the fused mass of particles cools quickly and a highly desired protective cushioned package is produced.

In accordance with the invention, the particles or beads of expandable resin are preferably partially expanded and the container partially filled to the required extent so that when the heating effect takes place, the space within the container will be filled and the desired density of the cushioning material can be obtained, thus permitting a wide variation in the nature of the cushioning as required by the article.

Another feature of the invention resides in the fact that the article, where necessary, can be provided with a protective wrap which will protect the article from damage by the RF energy. Also, it can be provided with a protective wrap to prevent the particles from interlocking with or adhering to the surface of the article, particularly where the article is one of irregular shape.

A further feature of the invention resides in the fact that separator means can be inserted into the container prior to the forming of the cushion so as to provide a means whereby the article can be readily removed from the container and the cushioning means when desired.

Other features and advantages of the invention will be apparent from the specification and claims when considered in connection with the accompanying drawings in which:

FIG. I is a longitudinal sectional view of one package of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a view similar to FIG. I before closing the container.

FIG. 3 is a view similar to FIG. 1 of another form of the invention. M

FIG. 4 is a transverse sectional view of a package showing another form of the invention.

FIG. 5 is a horizontal section of a machine for carrying out the invention.

FIG. 6 is a sectional view taken along line 6-6 of FIG. 5.

As shown in the drawings, an article 10, herein illustrated as a vase or the like, is disposed in a container 11. This container has sides 11a, bottom 11b and top 110 and maybe of any suitable package-forming material, preferably a fibrous material such as cardboard, paperboard, corrugated board or laminated sheet material. The outer case can also be a plastic such as polystyrene, polyethylene or the like. The vase is preferably positioned on a resilient block 12 located on the bottom 11b of the container. The vase is surrounded by a stable, lightweight, resilient protective cushioning means 13 made up of fused expandable resin particles or beads 14 which have the surfaces thereof fused together to form the cushioning means. While theparticles or beads may be polyethylene, ABS, polypropylene or the like resins, it is preferred to use expandable polystyrene beads because of the highly efficient cushioning and insulating properties of this material.

In producing the package, Applicants novel method comprises positioning the vase in the container and then inserting into the container around the article a plurality of particles or beads of expandable resin which have been mixed with water and a wetting agent so that the beads partially fill the container as shown in FIG. 4. The flaps 16 forming top He of the container are closed andthe container is then subjected to RF energy which penetrates the package and causes the water surrounding the beads throughout the package to heat very rapidly. The heat is transferred to the beads causing them to expand and fill up the container. At the same time the heat is sufficient to soften the surface of the beads to fuse them together into a stable, compact, lightweight cushioning means surrounding the article.

Under some circumstances, the container is substantially filled with beads and the heat quickly fuses the surface of the beads to form a stable cushioning means for the article.

It is at present preferred to partially preexpand the beads or particles before they are inserted into the container and by controlling the amount of preexpansion and the amount of beads put into the container prior to the heating operation, the density of the cushion can be readily controlled to accommodate the needs of the articles to be packaged. With this method, because the beads are partially expanded, they need only be heated for a short period of time to complete the expansion so as to fill the container. As soon as the RF energy is removed, the cushioning material quickly cools and solidifies into a highly efiicient cushioning means which is stable and does not shift, is lightweight, vermin-proof and safe as far as health is concerned. For example, expandable polystyrene beads having a density of 38 pounds/cu. ft. were preexpanded to 97 percent of their expansion and the container was filled to percent of capacity. The partially filled container was subjected to RF energy for a period of between 3 to 60 seconds. This was sufficient to expand the beads to fill the container and also fuse the surfaces together. The resultant cushioning means had a density of about 1.0 pound/cu. ft. By controlling the preexpansion of the beads and by the partial filling of the container, cushioning means having different densities as required can be readily produced.

While the material of the containers may be sufficiently selfsustaining to withstand any pressure which may be applied thereto in the course of the expansion of the beads, it is presently preferred to confine and support the exterior of the container during this operation. One means of doing this is shown in FIGS. 5 and 6 wherein it will be noted that a machine having a frame 18 is provided with a containerreceiving without others.

a chamber 19 composed. of opposite side plates 20, 21, rear side i plate 22 and front side plate 23, top plate 24 and bottom plate 25. Plates 20, 23 and 24 are fixed to the frame against inward movement; howeverplate 23 is laterally movable on tracks 26,

carried in the frame 18 and servesas a door for the chamber. "desired, a :roller conveyor 18a carried by frame is disposed adjacent the door toMpermit the container'to be moved to and from the chamber 19. a V

Plates 21, 22 and 2 are connected to the frame by 'mounting posts 27 whichare slidablein the frame 18 and normally urged to a retracted position by springs 28. These plates are moved into engagement with the sides of the container by meansof inflatable bags 29 when theyare inflated by suitable means (not shown) after the container'isiplaced inthe chamber. This action will cause the plates to closely confine and :to support all of the sides during the cushion-forming and subjecting the closed container to RF energyto dielectrically heat the moisture around the particles and provide heat throughout the package, to expand said particles and to also cause the contacting surfaces of said particles to fuse into a V lightweight, compact, cushioning means.

,2. The method of packaging and protecting acticles in fibrous containers comprising the steps ofsupporting an article in a container, wetting and inserting partially expanded polystyrene beads into the container to surround the article and fill the container to the'desired amount, closing the container, confining all sides thereof-against outward movement, subjecting the confinedcontziinerto RF energy to dielectri- I cally heat the moisture surroundingthe-wet beads and quickly operation. The opposedside plates 20, 21 which carry the/RF electrodes provide the RF energy for heating the moisture surrounding the beads, which energy is supplied from a suitable RF generator (notshown). a a v lt,is at present preferred to provide the articles being packaged in the container with a protective wrap 30, shown in FIG. 1, to enclose the same. This wrap can be a, plastic bag or a strip wrapped around the. article, said material being, for example, polyethylene,polyvinylchloride or the like material which will prevent'adhesion of the expandable beads thereto.

wrappedwith a metaLfoil-or similar material which will shield the article against the RF. energy.

If the article, is irregular in shape, the wrap will also prevent the beads from entering the irregularities in the articleso as to become interlocked therewith. In some instances, the article or a part thereof might be of a materialwhich would be. damaged .by RF'energy' and in these .cases the article is To facilitate the removal of the article from the cushioning means, va'riousmeans may be employed. ln the form of the invention shown inFlG. 2, a tearstring 31 or suitable filament is positioned around the article with its ends'extending to the top where they can be engaged by the hand or suitable gripping means. Upon moving the endsof the strings laterally, the

cushioning means will be severed or otherwise separated to thus free the article to be readily removed therefrom. Another means for this purpose'is shown in FIG. 3 whereina separator. means is provided in the container. lnthis form of the invenheat the beads throughout thecontainer to further expand said beads and fill the container and to cause the contacting surfaces of the beads to, fuse together -to=.form a stable, lightweight, compact protective cushioning means surrounding the article.

3. The invention as defincd in claim 1 including the step' of confiningthe sides of the container to prevent deformation thereof during the subsequent expansion of the particles during the heating thereof.

4. The-invention as defined in claim 1 including the step of placing a preformed cushioning element into the container to receive andsupport the-article therein prior to the insertion of the particles to surround said article.

5. The invention as defined in claim 1 including the step of providing the article with a protective wrap which will not adhere to said resin particles.

56. The invention as defined in claim including the step of enclosing said article of irregularyshape within a protective wrapwhich preve'ntssaid particlesof the cushioning mass from interlocking therewith. i

7. The invention as defined in claim 1 including the step of enclosing said article in ashielding wrap to protect said article against damage by the RF energy.

. 8. The invention as defined in claim 2 including-the step of enclosing the article ina wrap of polyethylene film which is tion, the separator comprises a sheet 32 of: material to which 1,

the beads will not adhere. It can be a sheet of polyethylene, polyvinylchloride, corrugated board, cardboard or similar materials and extends across the container and engages the are beads or particles in each of the units may contact one another ticle to divide the cushioningmeans into readily separable units. It is presently preferred to provide a limited numberof.

-.small apertures 32a in the separator sheet through which the and be adhered=together so as to tie the two units'together and a form a stable cushioning means in the container. If desired,

the bag or wrap 30*for the article can be made integral with the separator 32 as shown in FIG. 3.

variations andmodifications may be made within the scope of the claims and portions of. the improvements maybe used We claim:

l. The method of packaging articles comprising the steps of placing an article in a container, inserting moist expandable,

resin particles intothe container to surround the article and fill the container to the desired amount, closing the container,

non-adherent to the polystyrene beads.

9. Theinvention as defined in claim 2 including the step of providing within the containera separator resistant to adhesion by said beads to divide the expanded polystyrene cushioning means formed in the-container intoa plurality ,of sections to facilitate removal of the article; v

10. The invention as defined'in claim 9 including the step of inserting said article into a bag forming part of said separator.

11. The invention as defined in claim 9 including the step of providing spacedapertures in the separatorto permit limited fusing of the plurality of sections together, to form a stable package. 7 v

12."A package comprising a container having an article therein and a protective cushioning means surrounding said article, said cushioning means comprising'a plurality ,of expandable resin particles, said particles beingexpanded to fill the container and .having their surfaces fused together.

g 13. The invention as defined in claim, 12 wherein the particles are polystyrene beads.

US3536190D 1968-08-09 1968-08-09 Protective package and method of making same Expired - Lifetime US3536190A (en)

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Cited By (7)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3870741A (en) * 1970-04-20 1975-03-11 Goodyear Tire & Rubber Method of making a foam package
US4002289A (en) * 1974-05-28 1977-01-11 Moore Thomas B Static-type mixer and receptacle
US4267927A (en) * 1979-10-22 1981-05-19 English Jr Edgar Article of manufacture comprising protective packaging for packageable objects of a fragile or perishable nature
US4492663A (en) * 1982-01-11 1985-01-08 Reinfeld Nyles V Method and adjustable length mold for manufacturing a foamed packaging assembly
US5699645A (en) * 1996-11-13 1997-12-23 Norel Molded biodegradable packaging
US20080289302A1 (en) * 2007-05-22 2008-11-27 Brian Vulpitta Packaging compression wrap
US20100126119A1 (en) * 2008-11-25 2010-05-27 Dave Ours Heat activated support system

Families Citing this family (3)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US4053691A (en) * 1976-10-01 1977-10-11 P. R. Mallory & Co., Inc. Porous light weight battery filler
DE3444264C2 (en) * 1984-12-05 1988-12-15 Helmut 4600 Dortmund De Koepchen
DE4020356C2 (en) * 1990-06-27 1992-06-11 Fleisch- Und Viehgrosshandel Hans-Werner Und Bernd Meixner Gmbh, 6301 Wettenberg, De

Cited By (8)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3870741A (en) * 1970-04-20 1975-03-11 Goodyear Tire & Rubber Method of making a foam package
US4002289A (en) * 1974-05-28 1977-01-11 Moore Thomas B Static-type mixer and receptacle
US4267927A (en) * 1979-10-22 1981-05-19 English Jr Edgar Article of manufacture comprising protective packaging for packageable objects of a fragile or perishable nature
US4492663A (en) * 1982-01-11 1985-01-08 Reinfeld Nyles V Method and adjustable length mold for manufacturing a foamed packaging assembly
US5699645A (en) * 1996-11-13 1997-12-23 Norel Molded biodegradable packaging
US20080289302A1 (en) * 2007-05-22 2008-11-27 Brian Vulpitta Packaging compression wrap
US8146748B2 (en) 2008-05-19 2012-04-03 Shurtech Brands, Llc Packaging compression wrap
US20100126119A1 (en) * 2008-11-25 2010-05-27 Dave Ours Heat activated support system

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DE1940600A1 (en) 1970-02-19
JPS4812278B1 (en) 1973-04-19
GB1226073A (en) 1971-03-24

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