WO2014190172A1 - Inflatable protective packaging with self-sealing fill channel - Google Patents

Inflatable protective packaging with self-sealing fill channel Download PDF

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Publication number
WO2014190172A1
WO2014190172A1 PCT/US2014/039178 US2014039178W WO2014190172A1 WO 2014190172 A1 WO2014190172 A1 WO 2014190172A1 US 2014039178 W US2014039178 W US 2014039178W WO 2014190172 A1 WO2014190172 A1 WO 2014190172A1
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WO
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Patent type
Prior art keywords
valve
plurality
layer
layers
inflatable
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/US2014/039178
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French (fr)
Inventor
Larry C. GESS
Original Assignee
Gess Larry C
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Publication date

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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
    • 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
    • B65D81/051Containers, 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 pillow-like elements filled with cushioning material, e.g. elastic foam, fabric
    • B65D81/052Containers, 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 pillow-like elements filled with cushioning material, e.g. elastic foam, fabric filled with fluid, e.g. inflatable elements
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y10TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC
    • Y10TTECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER US CLASSIFICATION
    • Y10T29/00Metal working
    • Y10T29/49Method of mechanical manufacture
    • Y10T29/49826Assembling or joining
    • Y10T29/49877Assembling or joining of flexible wall, expansible chamber devices [e.g., bellows]

Abstract

Inflatable packaging with self-sealing fill channels having a first boundary layer, a second boundary layer, a first valve layer and a second valve layer are disclosed. The first and second valve layers are attached together to form a valve strip that has a plurality of valves and a lengthwise air channel in fluid communication with an entrance of each of the plurality of valves. Outermost, lengthwise edges of the first and second boundary layers are attached to each other and the valve strip is positioned between the first and second boundary layers with at least a portion of the lengthwise air channel not covered by the first and second boundary layers. A plurality of cross seams are formed in the first and second boundary layers and the portion of the valve strip positioned therebetween to define a plurality of inflatable cavities such as dunnage cavities or bubble cells.

Description

INFLATABLE PROTECTIVE PACKAGING WITH SELF-SEALING FILL CHANNEL

RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No.

61/826,123, filed May 22, 2013, the entire contents of which are incorporated herein by reference.

TECHNICAL FIELD

[0002] The present invention relates generally to protective packaging and more specifically to inflatable protective packaging with self-sealing fill channels, which greatly reduce the complexity thereof.

BACKGROUND

[0003] It is well known in the art of inflatable protective packaging to fill thereof with air and then seal the protective packaging to retain the air therein. The inflatable protective packaging includes dunnage bags and bubble wrap. However, inflatable protective packaging is typically complicated or the machinery used to produce and fill the inflatable protective packaging with air is also complicated. Complicated inflatable protective packaging will require complicated machinery to fill thereof. A complicated inflation machine will not always produce a consistent product, due to the complexity of the machine and also variations in the sheet material used to produce the inflatable protective packaging.

[0004] Typically, a manufacturer of inflatable protective packaging provides a customer with an inflation machine at no cost and sells the inflatable protective packaging to the customer. Any problems with the inflation machine is the manufacturer's responsibility and expense. It is to the manufacturer's advantage to have the simplest and most inexpensive inflation machine to produce the inflatable protective packaging. Having inexpensive inflation machinery makes it possible to sell the inflatable protective packaging to smaller companies.

[0005] U.S. Patent Application No. 2011/0233101 to Baines discloses packaging materials and methods. U.S. Patent No. 8,272,510 to Frayne et al. discloses an inflatable structure for packaging and associated apparatus and method. U.S. Patent No. 8,360,641 to Kim discloses an air bag with continuous heat resistance material.

[0006] Accordingly, there is a clearly felt need in the art for inflatable protective packaging with self-sealing fill channels, which greatly reduce the complexity of the inflatable protective packaging.

SUMMARY

[0007] Inflatable protective packaging with self-sealing fill channels, which greatly reduce the complexity thereof, are disclosed. The inflatable protective packaging with self- sealing fill channels includes a first boundary layer, a second boundary layer, a first valve layer and a second valve layer. The first and second valve layers may be formed from a single piece of folded over material. A plurality of patches of high temperature resistance ink are printed on an inside surface of the first or second valve layer, if heat sealing is used to attached the first and second valve layers together. One edge of the first and second boundary layers are attached to each other with any suitable process. The first and second valve layers are attached to each other to form a plurality of valves and a lengthwise air channel. The first and second valve layers form a valve strip.

[0008] The lengthwise air channel is formed adjacent the one edge of the valve strip. The lengthwise air channel communicates with the plurality of valves.

[0009] The valve strip is placed between the first and second boundary layers. Opposing lengthwise edges of the first and second boundary layers are attached to the valve strip. The high temperature ink prevents the valves from being sealed, when the opposing lengthwise edges of the first and second boundary layers are attached to the valve strip with heat sealing. A plurality of cross seams are formed in the first and second boundary layers and the first and second valve layers to create a plurality of dunnage cavities. A perforated line is formed in a middle of each cross seam to allow the plurality of dunnage bags to be separated. A plurality of first bubble cell patterns and a plurality of second bubble cell patterns are formed in the first and second boundary layers. The plurality of first and second bubble cell patterns form a plurality of rows of bubble cells. Attachment of the first and second boundary layers and the first and second valve layers may be implemented with heat sealing, adhesive, ultraviolet adhesive, ultraviolet glue or any other suitable method. The dunnage cavities or bubble cells are inflated by flowing air through the lengthwise air channel. The air from the lengthwise air channel flows through each valve and into the row of bubble cells or the dunnage cavity. Inflation of the row of bubble cells or the dunnage cavity crimps the first and second valve layers, such that air cannot escape back into the lengthwise air channel.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0010] FIG. 1 is an exploded view of a valve strip for an inflatable self-sealing protective dunnage packaging formed from a first valve layer and a second valve layer in accordance with a first embodiment.

[0011] FIG. 2 is a top plan view of the valve strip formed in accordance with FIG. 1.

[0012] FIG. 3 is an exploded view of an inflatable self-sealing protective dunnage packaging formed from a first boundary layer, the valve strip of FIG. 2, and a second boundary layer in accordance with a first embodiment.

[0013] FIG. 4 is a top plan view of the inflatable self-sealing protective dunnage packaging formed in accordance with FIG. 3.

[0014] FIG. 5 is an end view of the inflatable self-sealing protective dunnage packaging of FIG. 7 taken along line 8-8.

[0015] FIG. 6 is an end view taken along line 8-8 after the dunnage cavity of the inflatable self-sealing protective dunnage packaging was inflated.

[0016] FIG. 7 is a cross-sectional view cut across a width, transverse to line 8-8 in FIG. 4, of the inflatable self-sealing protective dunnage packaging after the dunnage cavity was inflated.

[0017] FIG. 8 is an exploded view of a valve strip for an inflatable self-sealing protective dunnage packaging formed from a first valve layer and a second valve layer in accordance with a second embodiment.

[0018] FIG. 9 is a top plan view of the valve strip formed in accordance with FIG. 8.

[0019] FIG. 10 is an exploded view of an inflatable self-sealing protective dunnage packaging formed from a first boundary layer, the valve strip of FIG. 9, and a second boundary layer in accordance with a second embodiment. [0020] FIG. 11 is a top plan view of the inflatable self-sealing protective dunnage packaging formed in accordance with FIG. 10.

[0021] FIG. 12 is an end view of the inflatable self-sealing protective dunnage packaging of FIG. 7 taken along line 8-8.

[0022] FIG. 13 is an end view taken along line 12-12 after the dunnage cavity of the inflatable self-sealing protective dunnage packaging was inflated.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0023] With reference now to the drawings, and particularly to FIG. 7, there is shown inflatable self-sealing protective dunnage packaging 100. With reference to FIGS. 1-3, the inflatable self-sealing protective dunnage packaging 100 preferably includes a first boundary layer 10, a second boundary layer 12, and a valve strip 24 as shown in FIG. 3, and the valve strip 24 includes a first valve layer 14 and a second valve layer 16 as shown in FIG. 1. The first and second boundary layers 10, 12 and first and second valve layers 14, 16 are preferably fabricated from any suitable plastic sheet material.

[0024] Referring now to FIGS. 1 and 2, the first and second valve layers 14, 16 may be formed from a single piece of folded over material or two discrete sheets of material as shown in FIG. 1. If the first and second valve layers 14, 16 are formed of the single folded piece, the fold defines an outermost, lengthwise edge of each of the first and second valve layers 14, 16 and the outermost, lengthwise edge of a lengthwise air channel 25. If the first and second valve layers 14, 16 are formed of two discrete sheets, then the outermost, lengthwise edge 27a, 27b of each are attached together to form an outermost channel seal 29. "Outermost" and "innermost" as used herein to describe opposing lengthwise edges of a layer is relative to the position of such edges in the assembled inflatable self-sealing dunnage packaging as seen in FIG. 4 for the first embodiment and as seen in FIG. 11 for the second embodiment.

[0025] Still referring to FIGS. 1 and 2, a plurality of patches of resistance ink 20 are printed on an inside surface of the first or second valve layers 14, 16. The resistance ink 20 in one embodiment is a high temperature resistance ink and is used if the first and second valve layers 14, 16 are to be attached to one another by heat sealing. Another suitable process for attaching the layers together include using an adhesive such as an ultraviolet adhesive, but is not limited thereto. The resistance ink 20 for an adhesive process is one that prevents the adhesive from binding the first and second valve layers 14, 16 together.

[0026] Using one of the processes described above, the first and second valve layers 14, 16 are further attached together to form a plurality of valves 22, which together with the fold or the outermost channel seal 29 form a lengthwise air channel 25. The plurality of valves 22 are defined by a plurality of valve seals 31. Each valve seal 31 is generally U- shaped or generally V-shaped and has an open end 34 thereof facing an innermost, lengthwise edge 33a, 33b of each of the first and second valve layers 14, 16 and a closed end 35 facing, but spaced a distance apart from, the outermost channel seal 29 (or fold). The plurality of valves 22 may be defined by all generally U-shaped seals, all generally V- shaped seals, or a combination thereof. The closed ends 35 of the valves seals 31 collectively and the outermost channel seal 29 (or a fold) form the lengthwise air channel 25, which is adjacent the outermost channel seal 29 (or a fold) of the first and second valve layers 14, 16. The lengthwise air channel 25 is in fluid communication with the entrance 36 of each of the plurality of valves 22. It is preferable for each valve 22 to have a tapered shape with a wide entrance 36 and a narrow exit 37, but other shapes may also be used. As seen in FIG. 2, the taper shape is defined by two smooth continuous angled seals defining opposed walls of the valve. The valve seals 31 are positioned to locate the entrance 36 of each valve at a patch of resistance ink 20, which in fact defines the opening in fluid communication with the lengthwise air channel 25. Each patch of resistance ink 20 may be shaped and/or sized to extend across the entire entrance 36, substantially across the entrance 36, or across at least about half of the entrance 36. "Substantially across" as used herein means more than 51% and more preferably more than 65-75%.

[0027] With reference to FIG. 3, the valve strip 24 is placed between the first and second boundary layers 10, 12 with an outer portion O left uncovered or exposed.

Innermost, lengthwise edges 38a, 38b of the first and second boundary layers 10, 12 are attached to the valve strip 24, with any of the suitable processes described above. As seen in FIGS. 3 and 4, the lengthwise channel seal 29 (or a fold) of the valve strip 24 is not flush with the innermost, lengthwise edges 38a, 38b of the first and second boundary layers 10, 12, as such the lengthwise air channel 25 is formed by only the two plys of material provided by the first and second valve layers 14, 16. This provides the advantage of reducing the material cost of the first and second boundary layers 10, 12 (i.e., less material is needed for these two layers) and facilitates insertion of an inflation pin into the lengthwise air channel 25 by providing a more flexible air channel (more layers or plys renders the air channel 25 less flexible).

[0028] Still referring to FIGS. 3 and 4, the first and second boundary layers 10, 12 are positioned over an inner portion I of the valve strip 24 and are sealed thereto by a first lengthwise cavity seal 39a positioned to transect the patches of resistance ink 20, which prevent the lengthwise cavity seal 39a from sealing the valves 22 closed. The lengthwise cavity seal 39a may be at or proximate, and attach, the innermost lengthwise edges 38a, 38b of the first and second boundary layers 10, 12 to the valve strip 24 and may be aligned with or parallel and proximate the portion of the valve seals 31 that define the closed ends 35 thereof. A plurality of cross seams 26 are formed in the first and second boundary layers 10, 12 and the first and second valve layers 14, 16 to create a plurality of dunnage cavities 28. An individual cross seam 21 includes two spaced apart seams extending generally perpendicular to the lengthwise direction of the inflated self-sealing dunnage packaging and define a middle 26 therebetween. A perforated line 30 may be formed in the middle 26 of each cross seam 21 to allow the plurality of dunnage bags to be separated. The perforated line 30 may be present in the middle 26 of every cross seam 21, in every other cross seam, or in a selected number of cross seams, which may have a periodic occurrence or may be machine tailored to produce strips of inflated self-sealing dunnage packaging of varying overall length. Additionally, either a fold (not shown) defining or a second lengthwise cavity seal 39b at or proximate the outermost lengthwise edges 23 a, 23b of the first and second boundary layers 10, 12 finalizes the formation of the dunnage cavities 28.

[0029] With reference to FIGS. 5-7, the dunnage cavities 28 are inflated by flowing air through the lengthwise air channel 25. The air from the lengthwise air channel 25 flows through each valve 22 and into the plurality of dunnage cavities 28. Inflation of each dunnage cavity 28 has the result of forming a kink 32 in the first and second valve layers 14, 16, which prevents air from escaping back into the lengthwise air channel 25.

[0030] With reference now to the FIGS. 8-13, and particularly to FIG. 11, there is shown an inflatable self-sealing bubble packaging 200. With reference to FIGS. 8-10, the inflatable self-sealing bubble packaging 200 preferably includes a first boundary layer 40, a second boundary layer 42, and a valve strip 24 as shown in FIG. 10, and the valve strip 54 includes a first valve layer 44 and a second valve layer 46 as shown in FIG. 8. The first and second boundary layers 40, 42 and first and second valve layers 44, 46 are preferably fabricated from any suitable plastic sheet material using any of the processes discussed above.

[0031] The valve strip 54 of FIG. 9 is formed similarly as described above with respect to FIGS. 1 and 2 and may include a lengthwise channel seal 49 defining (or a fold defining) or proximate the outermost, lengthwise edges of the first and second valve layers 44, 46. Here, a plurality of patches of resistance ink 50 are printed closer together than in the first embodiment 100. The patches of resistance ink 50 are located on an inside surface of the first or second valve layer 44, 46 with an arrangement suitable for making bubble packaging, which tend to have narrower dunnage cavities, referred to herein as a plurality of rows of bubble cells 60. As shown in FIG. 8 the arrangement of the patches of resistance ink 50 includes leaving a bigger space between adjacent patches at a location selected for formation of a cross seal 71 that defines a middle 72 for placement of a perforated line 64 as shown in FIG. 11. The perforated line 64 allows the user to select a desired length of the bubble packaging 200.

[0032] Similarly to the explanation provided above for the first embodiment, the valve strip 54 is formed by attaching the first and second valve layers 44, 46 together to form a plurality of valves 52 and a lengthwise valve channel 55. The plurality of valves 52 are formed by a plurality of valve seals 51 that are generally U-shaped, generally V-shaped, or a combination thereof. As seen in FIG. 9, the difference in the valve seals 51 for forming bubble packaging 200 is the closeness of the valve seals, thereby resulting in a majority of the plurality of the valve seals 51 being more generally V-shaped. The valve seals 51 include a minority of generally U-shaped valve seals positioned at locations selected for forming cross seals 71, i.e., being wider valve seals to provide enough space between the two valves that it partially defines for the formation of the perforated line 64. The lengthwise air channel 55 is in fluid communication with the entrance 56 of each of the plurality of valves 52. In one embodiment, each valve 52 has a tapered shape with a wide entrance 56 and a narrow exit 57, but other shapes may also be used. As seen in FIG. 9, the taper shape is defined by two smooth continuous angled seals defining opposed walls of the valve. The valve seals 51 are positioned to locate the entrance 36 of each valve at a patch of resistance ink 50, which in fact defines the opening in fluid communication with the lengthwise air channel 55. Each patch of resistance ink 50 may be shaped and/or sized to extend across the entire entrance 56, substantially across the entrance 56, or across at least about half of the entrance 56.

[0033] With reference to FIG. 10, the valve strip 54 is placed between the first and second boundary layers 40, 42 with an outer portion O left uncovered or exposed.

Innermost, lengthwise edges 68a, 68b of the first and second boundary layers 40, 42 are attached to the valve strip 54, with any of the suitable processes described above. As seen in FIGS. 10 and 11, the lengthwise channel seal 49 (or a fold) of the valve strip 54 is not flush with the innermost, lengthwise edges 68a, 68b of the first and second boundary layers 40, 42, as such the lengthwise air channel 55 is formed by only the two plys of material provided by the first and second valve layers 44, 46. This provides the advantage of reducing the material cost of the first and second boundary layers 40, 42 (i.e., less material is needed for these two layers) and facilitates insertion of an inflation pin into the lengthwise air channel 55 by providing a more flexible air channel (more layers or plys renders the air channel 55 less flexible).

[0034] Still referring to FIGS. 10 and 11, the first and second boundary layers 40, 42 are positioned over an inner portion I of the valve strip 54 and are sealed thereto by a first lengthwise cavity seal 79a positioned to transect the patches of resistance ink 50, which prevent the lengthwise cavity seal 79a from sealing the valves 52 closed. The lengthwise cavity seal 79a may be at or proximate, and attach, the innermost lengthwise edges 68a, 68b of the first and second boundary layers 40, 42 to the valve strip 54 and may be aligned with or parallel and proximate the portion of the valve seals 51 that define the closed ends 55 thereof. A plurality of cross seams 71 and a plurality of first bubble cell pattern cross seams 56 and second bubble cell pattern cross seams 58 and either a fold (not shown) defining or a second lengthwise cavity seal 79b at or proximate the outermost lengthwise edges 73a, 73b of the first and second boundary layers 40, 42 finalizes the formation of the plurality of rows of bubble cells 60. Each row of bubble cells include a plurality of bubble cells 62. The bubble cells 62 defined between the first and second bubble cell pattern cross seams 56, 58 are generally hexagonally-shaped in FIG. 11, but other shapes may be used. As seen in FIG. 11, the first bubble cell pattern cross seam 56 and the second bubble cell pattern cross seam 58 may be mirror images of one another and the rows of bubble cells 60 are formed by an alternating array of first and second bubble cell pattern cross seams 56, 58. This configuration places individual bubble cells 62 in adjacent rows at staggered, offset positions along the length of the rows.

[0035] An individual cross seam 71 includes two spaced apart seams extending generally perpendicular to the lengthwise direction of the inflated self-sealing bubble packaging 200 and define a middle 72 therebetween. A perforated line 64 may be formed in the middle 72 of each cross seam 71 to allow the bubble packaging to be separated in to selected lengths. The perforated line 64 may be present in the middle 72 of every cross seam 71, in every other cross seam, or in a selected number of cross seams, which may have a periodic occurrence or may be machine tailored to produce strips of inflated self- sealing bubble packaging of varying overall length.

[0036] With reference to FIG. 13, the plurality of bubble cells 62 are inflated by flowing air through the lengthwise air channel 55. The air from the lengthwise air channel 55 flows through each valve 52 and into the row of bubble cells 60. Inflation of each row of bubble cells 60 has the result of forming a kink 66 in the first and second valve layers 44, 46, which prevents air from escaping back into the lengthwise air channel 55.

[0037] During assembly of the valve strips 24, 54 the patches of resistance ink 20, 50 are applied to one of the valve layers and thereafter the valve layers are attached to one another. The outermost channel seams 29, 49 may be formed before the valve seals 31, 51 are formed or may be formed simultaneously. In any embodiment having a fold rather than an outermost channel seam, the fold is formed after the patches of resistance ink are applied but before the valve seals 31, 51 are formed. Once the valve strip 24, 54 is formed, it is inserted between the first and second boundary layers 10, 12 or 40, 42 as described above. If the first and second boundary layers have a fold rather than the second lengthwise cavity seal 39b or 79b, the fold may be formed before or after the insertion of the valve strip therebetween, but before is likely to be more easily manufacturable in a continuous process.

[0038] After the valve strip is inserted in the desired position between the first and second boundary layers, the cross seams 21 or the cross seams 71 and first and second bubble pattern cross seams 56, 58 and the first lengthwise cavity seal 39a, 79a and the second lengthwise cavity seal 39b, 79b, if present, are formed simultaneously, preferably in a continuous manufacturing process. In another embodiment, these seals may be formed sequentially in any order. [0039] While particular embodiments of the invention have been shown and described, it will be obvious to those skilled in the art that changes and modifications may be made without departing from the invention in its broader aspects, and therefore, the aim in the appended claims is to cover all such changes and modifications as fall within the true spirit and scope of the invention.

Claims

What is claimed is:
1. An inflatable dunnage packaging with self-sealing fill channels, comprising: a first boundary layer having an innermost edge and an opposing outermost edge; a second boundary layer having an innermost edge and an opposing outermost edge, wherein the outermost edge of the second boundary layer is attached to the outermost edge of the first boundary layer; a first valve layer; and a second valve layer attached to the first valve layer to form a valve strip, the valve strip comprising: a plurality of valves; and a lengthwise air channel in fluid communication with an entrance of each of the plurality of valves; wherein the valve strip is positioned between the first and second boundary layers with at least a portion of the lengthwise air channel not covered by the first and second boundary layers; wherein a plurality of cross seams formed in the first and second boundary layers and the portion of the valve strip positioned between the first and second boundary layers define a plurality of inflatable cavities.
2. The inflatable dunnage packaging of claim 1, further comprising a plurality of patches of resistance ink on an inside surface of the first valve layer or the second valve layer positioned to define an entrance to each of the plurality of valves.
3. The inflatable dunnage packaging of claim 2, further comprising a first lengthwise cavity seal in the first and second boundary layers and the portion of the valve strip positioned between the first and second boundary layers which is positioned to transect the patches of resistance ink.
4. The inflatable dunnage packaging of claim 3, wherein the resistance ink is a high temperature resistance ink and the first lengthwise cavity seal is a heat seal.
5. The inflatable dunnage packaging of claim 2, wherein at least one of the plurality of valves has a tapered shape from the entrance to the exit.
6. The inflatable dunnage packaging of claim 1, wherein the first and second valve layers are formed from a single piece of material folded into two layers.
7. The inflatable dunnage packaging of claim 1, wherein the first and second boundary layers are formed from a single piece of material fold into two layers.
8. An inflatable bubble packaging with self-sealing fill channels, comprising: a first boundary layer having an innermost edge and an opposing outermost edge; a second boundary layer having an innermost edge and an opposing outermost edge, wherein the outermost edge of the second boundary layer is attached to the outermost edge of the first boundary layer; a first valve layer; and a second valve layer attached to the first valve layer to form a valve strip, the valve strip comprising: a plurality of valves; and a lengthwise air channel in fluid communication with an entrance of each of the plurality of valves; wherein the valve strip is positioned between the first and second boundary layers with at least a portion of the lengthwise air channel not covered by the first and second boundary layers; wherein a plurality of cross seams formed in the first and second boundary layers and the portion of the valve strip positioned between the first and second boundary layers define a plurality of inflatable bubble cells in at least the first and second boundary layers.
9. The inflatable bubble packaging of claim 8, further comprising a plurality of patches of resistance ink on an inside surface of the first valve layer or the second valve layer positioned to define an entrance to each of the plurality of valves.
10. The inflatable bubble packaging of claim 9, further comprising a first lengthwise cavity seal in the first and second boundary layers and the portion of the valve strip positioned between the first and second boundary layers which is positioned to transect the patches of resistance ink.
11. The inflatable bubble packaging of claim 10, wherein the resistance ink is a high temperature resistance ink and the first lengthwise cavity seal is a heat seal.
12. The inflatable bubble packaging of claim 9, wherein at least one of the plurality of valves has a tapered shape from the entrance to the exit.
13. The inflatable bubble packaging of claim 8, wherein the first and second valve layers are formed from a single piece of material folded into two layers.
14. The inflatable bubble packaging of claim 8, wherein the first and second boundary layers are formed from a single piece of material folded into two layers.
15. The inflatable bubble packaging of claim 8, wherein at least one of the plurality of bubble cells has a generally hexagonal shape.
16. A method for assembling an inflatable protective packaging, the method comprising: providing a valve strip having a plurality of valves and having a lengthwise air channel in fluid communication with an entrance of each of the plurality of valves; positioning a portion of the valve strip between a first boundary layer and a second boundary layer with at least a portion of the lengthwise air channel not covered by the first and second boundary layers attaching the first and second boundary layers and the valve strip together with a first lengthwise cavity seal that transects the plurality of valves in the valve strip and at least a portion of a plurality of cross seams; wherein the plurality of cross seams also attach a portion of the first and second boundary layers to one another and define a plurality of inflatable cavities.
17. The method of claim 16, further comprising forming the valve strip by: applying a plurality of patches of resistance ink to an inside surface of at least one of the first valve layer or the second valve layer; and attaching the first valve layer to the second valve layer with a plurality of valve seals wherein adjacent valve seals define one of the plurality of valves.
18. The method of claim 16, further comprising providing the first and second boundary layers as separate sheets of material; and attaching the first and second boundary layers together with a second lengthwise cavity seal proximate an outermost, lengthwise edge of each of the first and second boundary layers.
19. The method of claim 16, further comprising providing the first and second boundary layers as a single piece of material and folding the single piece of material to define an outermost, lengthwise edge of the inflatable protective packaging.
20. The method of claim 16, wherein the inflatable cavities are dunnage cavities or bubble cells.
PCT/US2014/039178 2013-05-22 2014-05-22 Inflatable protective packaging with self-sealing fill channel WO2014190172A1 (en)

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