Title:
Can bodies
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
New can bodies are provided that are stackable after manufacture, during shipment and before use. The new can bodies have slightly tapered sidewalls with small shoulders near open ends, which allow empty cans to stack together in a nested arrangement and to separate easily before filling. The stacking and nesting saves space during storage and transportation. The new structure of the can bodies incorporates small shoulders near the open ends of the can bodies to control depth of insertion of adjacent stacked can bodies and prevent the can bodies from sticking together when nested in a stack and when being separated prior to filling. Thus, cans are separated easily for further processing. The new, small shoulder structure permits a shallower and/or steeper sidewall, thereby maximizing the size of the bottom of the can body and the volume content of the can.



Inventors:
Ruby, Gary V. (Hampstead, MD, US)
Kellogg Jr., Lloyd M. (Parkville, MD, US)
Application Number:
11/402198
Publication Date:
10/19/2006
Filing Date:
04/11/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65D85/62
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
BRADEN, SHAWN M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
James C. Wray (Suite 300 1493 Chain Bridge Road, McLean, VA, 22101, US)
Claims:
1. A can body apparatus comprising: a base, one or more tapered side walls, an open upper end, a small shoulder near the open upper end, wherein the small shoulder further comprises an outward bend of the one or more side walls to a maximum dimension, an upward extension above the outward bend to an outward curve and an outward extending portion connected to the outward curve, and wherein the outward extending portion forms a seam with a cover for closing the can.

2. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein one or more can bodies stack in a nested arrangement for storage and transportation.

3. The apparatus of claim 2, wherein the stack of one or more can bodies resist sticking during separation.

4. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein can bottom size and can capacity are increased.

5. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein shapes are selected from the group consisting of circular, irregular, geometric, square, rectangular, and combinations thereof for a particular application.

6. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein size of the can body is determined by the particular application.

7. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein a score line on the cover is positioned toward a chuck line, thereby maintaining a shelf for the weight support of stacked upper filled cans outside of the score line.

Description:

This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/670,014, filed Apr. 11, 2005, which is hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Cans are widely used in packaging foods. Shallow and wide can bodies are used for packaging food and particularly meat and fish. More particularly, short and wide cans are used in the fish industry for packaging sardines, fish fillets and other seafood type products.

Can bodies have rectangular, oblong, circular, or irregular shapes, with square, oblong, circular, or generally rectangular bottoms. Upward extending side walls are integrally formed with the bottoms. Upper edges of the sidewalls curve outward to horizontal seaming flanges. After the cans are filled, outer seaming flanges of generally flat covers are laid on the can body seaming flanges. Seams are rolled between seaming flanges of the can bodies and ends. Straight walled can bodies are formed and stacked with paper or cardboard dividers separating the cans.

Shipping empty can bodies and supplying empty cans to filling machines wastes space if the cans are not properly nested. For that reason, tapered sidewalls are used to nest and stack cans.

Surface sizes are controlled so that unstacking, filling and seaming equipment may engage chuck walls and seaming flanges on the horizontal surfaces. Prevention of jamming during unstacking requires modifying the sidewalls, such as shrinking the can bottom size. Modification of the sidewalls reduces can capacity and creates other problems.

Needs exist for improved can bodies.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention provides new can bodies that are stackable after manufacture, during shipment and before use. The new can bodies have slightly tapered sidewalls with small shoulders near open ends, which allow empty cans to stack together in a nested arrangement and to separate easily before filling. The stacking and nesting saves space during storage and transportation. The new structure of the can bodies incorporates small shoulders near the open ends of the can bodies to control depth of insertion of adjacent stacked can bodies and prevent the can bodies from sticking together when nested in a stack and when being separated prior to filling. Thus, cans are separated easily for further processing. The new, small shoulder structure permits a shallower and/or steeper sidewall, thereby maximizing the size of the bottom of the can body and the volume content of the can.

The stacking of can bodies requires that some space be left between the can bodies. Straight tapered can bodies are difficult to separate before use. Generally, large shoulders at the open ends of the tapered can bodies provide separation of the can bodies, but also reduces the size of the can bottom.as well as the volume content of the can. Large shoulders and greater offset chuck walls require more peripheral area in can bodies and more material for construction.

The new, smaller shoulders near open ends and steeper walls of the can bodies of the present invention allow the can bodies to stack together in a nested manner while minimizing material. This allows the cans to be easily separated. The shallower tapers allow for maximizing the size of the bottoms of the can bodies.

The new invention provides a steeper angle on the sides of the stackable can bodies, reduces shoulders, moves sides outward, supports the weight of stacked upper filled cans outside of the score line on can ends, reduces side to side movement of upper filled cans on the adjacent can end shelves, and allows score line to be located more outwardly toward the chuck line while maintaining a shelf to support the weight of stacked upper filled cans outside of the score line.

A can body has moderately sloping sidewalls with round bottom edges and a recessed base. At the tops of the moderately sloping sidewalls, the outward stepped shoulders lead to chuck walls that curve outwardly to the seam walls.

A can end has a central surface area that is depressed or ribbed for strength. A score line is inset from a short chuck wall, leaving a shelf between the chuck wall and the score line. An opening tab is self-riveted to the central surface of the can end so that the piercing tip of the opening tab overlies the score line. A seam extension extends outward from the chuck wall of the end.

The can bodies are stacked after forming. The moderately sloping sidewalls and the short shoulders allow separating of the can bodies before filling. The short shoulders permit full filling of the cans. Outward positioning of the sidewalls allows shorter sidewalls for the same can volume.

The moderate slope of the can body sidewalls ensures that the round bottom edges uniformly rest on the shelf between the chuck wall and the score lines so that weight of the above stacked full cans is borne by the shelf and not the score line or the central surface inside the score line. That promotes full can integrity.

The small outward shoulder allows the forming of the sloping sidewalls to attain the previously pointed out benefits of promoting full can integrity by holding the rounded bottom edges outside of the score line and away from the opener tab. The small outward shoulder and the moderate slope of the side wall also allow the score line to be located outwardly toward the chuck line to allow easier removal of intact contents of the can once the tab has been lifted and the central panel removed.

Some cans have removable covers sealed to the can end shelves by mutual bonding where the edges of the covers overly the shelves. The covers and the bonding make the new product more important assuring that the rounded bottom edges rest on the can end shoulders.

The short shoulders and moderately sloping sidewalls also provide for less metal to be used in making can bodies and can ends. The can body shoulders, chuck walls, and seaming flanges are formed in metal that is drawn from smaller radii. Since the reduction of metal is in the outside perimeter, the reduction in area of metal used is related to the square of the difference in reduced radii.

Better, easily stackable, less costly and high integrity cans are created by the present invention.

These and further and other objects and features of the invention are apparent in the disclosure, which includes the above and ongoing written specification, with the claims and the drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a cross sectional detail view of sides of stacked can bodies with large shoulders, extended chuck walls and seaming flanges and larger tapers.

FIG. 2 is a cross sectional detail of sides of stacked can bodies showing cans with the new, small shoulders near the upper ends of steeper side walls according to the present invention.

FIG. 3 is a side cross section view of stacked can body with large shoulders near upper ends of the can body and with a can end placed on the seam flange ready for seam rolling placed atop a second can end.

FIG. 4 is a side cross section view of stacked can body with small shoulders near upper ends of the can body and with a can end placed on the seam flange ready for seam rolling placed atop a second can end.

FIG. 5 is a side cross section view of stacked can body with large shoulders near upper ends of the can body and with a can end placed on the seam flange ready for seam rolling placed atop a second can end. The can ends have pull tabs joined to the central panels.

FIG. 6 is a side cross section view of stacked can body with small shoulders near upper ends of the can body and with a can end placed on the seam flange ready for seam rolling placed atop a second can end. The can ends have pull tabs joined to the central panel.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

The present invention provides new can bodies that are stackable after manufacture, during shipment and before use. The new can bodies have slightly tapered sidewalls with small shoulders near open ends, which allow empty cans to stack together in a nested arrangement and to separate easily before filling. The stacking and nesting saves space during storage and transportation. The new structure of the can bodies incorporates small shoulders near the open ends of the can bodies to control depth of insertion of adjacent stacked can bodies and prevent the can bodies from sticking together when nested in a stack and when being separated prior to filling. Thus, cans are separated easily for further processing. The new, small shoulder structure permits a shallower and/or steeper sidewall, thereby maximizing the size of the bottom of the can body and the volume content of the can.

The stacking of can bodies requires that some space be left between the can bodies. Straight tapered can bodies are difficult to separate before use. Generally, large shoulders at the open ends of the can bodies provide separation of the can bodies, but require smaller lower ends. Large shoulders and greater offset chuck walls require more peripheral area in can bodies and more material for construction.

FIG. 1 is a cross sectional detail view of sides of stacked can bodies, shown generally by the numeral 11, with large shoulders 13, extended chuck walls 15 and seaming flanges 17 and larger tapers 19. The extended chuck walls 15 lead to a curve 29 that leads to the seaming flanges 17. When shoulders 13 near open ends 21 of can bodies 11 are too large, as shown in FIG. 1, tapered walls 23 must be moved inward, resulting in smaller can bottoms and a smaller can capacity. This results because can filling, closing and seaming machinery is oriented and sized according to the chuck walls 15 of the open ends 21.

As shown in FIG. 1, an inner can 25 and an outer can 27 in a stack must move can side walls 23 inward. This results in smaller bases of the can bodies 11. The overall size of the upper end of the can bodies 11 remains constant. The vertical spacing between the chuck walls 15 remains constant. This is necessary so that the same forming equipment may grip the outward extending portions and roll the seams over the can ends.

FIG. 2 is a cross sectional detail of sides of stacked can bodies, generally indicated by the numeral 31, showing can bodies 31 with the new, small shoulders 33 near the upper ends 41 of steeper side walls 43 according to the present invention. A small shoulder 33 is provided near the open upper end 41 of the can body 31. The small shoulder 33 includes an outward bend 39 to a chuck wall 35 to an outward curve 49 and then to a seaming flange 37. The seaming flange 37 is used in closing the can and forming a seam with a cover. As shown in FIG. 2, an inner can 45 and an outer can 47 results in larger bases of the can bodies 31.

The new, smaller shoulders 33 near open ends 41 and steeper walls 43 of the can bodies 31 of the present invention allow the can bodies 31 to stack together in a nested manner while minimizing material. This allows the cans to be easily separated. The shallower tapers 43 allow for maximizing the size of the bottoms of the can bodies 31.

The invention provides a steeper angle on the sides of stackable can bodies, reduces shoulders, moves sides outward, provides clearance and supports the weight of stacked upper filled cans outside of the score line on can ends, and allows the score line to be located more outwardly toward the chuck line.

FIG. 3 is a side cross section view of stacked can body 11 with large shoulders 13 near upper ends 21 of the can body 11 and with a can end 51 placed on the seam flange 17 ready for seam rolling placed atop a second can end 53.

The can body 11 has moderately sloping sidewalls 23 with round bottom edges 55 and a recessed base 56. At the tops of the moderately sloping sidewalls 23, the outward stepped large shoulder 13 lead to chuck walls 15 that curve outwardly to the seam walls 17.

Can ends 51, 53 have a central surface area 57 that is depressed or ribbed 59 for strength. A score line 61 is inset from a short chuck wall 15, leaving a shelf 63 between the chuck wall 15 and the score line 61. An opening tab 65, shown in FIG. 5, is self-riveted 67 to the central surface 57 of the can end 51 so that the piercing tip 69 of the opening tab 65 overlies the score line 61. A seam extension 17 extends outward from the chuck wall 15 of the open end 21.

FIG. 4 is a side cross section view of stacked can body 41 with small shoulders 43 near upper ends 41 of the can body 41. and with a can end 71 placed on the seam flange 37 ready for seam rolling placed atop a second can end 73.

The can body 31 has moderately sloping sidewalls 43 with round bottom edges 75 and a recessed base 76. At the tops of the moderately sloping sidewalls 43, the outward stepped small shoulder 33 lead to chuck walls 35 that curve outwardly to the seam walls 37.

Can ends 71, 73 have a central surface area 77 that is depressed or ribbed 79 for strength. A score line 81 is inset from a short chuck wall 35, leaving a shelf 83 between the chuck wall 35 and the score line 81. An opening tab 85, shown in FIG. 6, is self-riveted 87 to the central surface 77 of the can end 71 so that the piercing tip 89 of the opening tab 85 overlies the score line 81. A seam extension 37 extends outward from the chuck wall 35 of the open end 41.

The can bodies 31 are stacked after forming. The moderately sloping sidewalls 43 and the short shoulders 33 allow separating of the can bodies 31 before filling. The short shoulders 33 permits full filling of the cans. Outward positioning of the sidewalls allows shorter sidewalls 33 for the same can volume.

The moderate slope of the can body sidewalls 33 ensures that the round bottom edges 75 uniformly rest on the shelf 83 between the chuck wall 35 and the score lines 81 so that weight of the above stacked full cans is borne by the shelf 83 and not the score line 81 or the central surface 77 inside the score line 81. That promotes full can integrity.

The small outward shoulder 33 allows the forming of the sloping sidewalls to attain the previously pointed out benefits of promoting full can integrity by holding the rounded bottom edges 55 outside of the score line 81 and away from the opener tab 85. The small outward shoulder 33 and the moderate slope of the side wall 43 also allow the score line 81 to be located outwardly toward the chuck line to allow easier removal of intact contents of the can once the tab 85 has been lifted and the central panel 71 removed.

Some cans have removable covers sealed to the can end shelves by mutual bonding where the edges of the covers overly the shelves. The covers and the bonding make the new product more important assuring that the rounded bottom edges rest on the can end shoulders.

The present invention provides enlarged can bottoms and enlarged can capacity, while retaining the identical outer dimensions by providing small shoulders on the tapered walls of the can bodies.

The cans of the present invention may be created in any number of shapes and sizes. Shapes may include circular, irregular shaped, square, generally rectangular bottom, or any other shape depending on the application. Sizes are determined by the particular application.

Better, easily stackable, less costly and high integrity cans are created by the present invention.

While the invention has been described with reference to specific embodiments, modifications and variations of the invention may be constructed without departing from the scope of the invention, which is defined in the following claims.