Title:
Packing box equipped with airbag for shock-absorbing and manufacturing method thereof
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Disclosed are a packing box equipped with an airbag for shock-absorbing and a manufacturing method thereof, in which the airbag consisting of a plurality of air cells is integrally formed with an inner surf ace of the packing box by means of heat and pressure, instead of installing a separate shock-absorbing member in the packing box, and then air is injected into the airbag, wherein the air cells of the airbag have their own one-way valves, respectively, so the shock-absorbing function of the airbag is continuously maintained even if some air cells are broken, and additionally support square bars are integrally formed with a lower surface of the packing box, thereby further absorbing impact applied to the packing box.



Inventors:
Lee, Jihee (Fullerton, CA)
Application Number:
11/384372
Publication Date:
09/27/2007
Filing Date:
03/21/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65D81/02
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
GRANO, ERNESTO ARTURIO
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BACON & THOMAS, PLLC (625 SLATERS LANE FOURTH FLOOR, ALEXANDRIA, VA, 22314-1176, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A shock-absorbing packing box comprising: a packing box member; an airbag bonded to an inner surface of the packing box member by means of hot-pressure; and support square bars integrally formed with a lower surface of the packing box member, wherein the airbag includes air cells provided with one-way valves, respectively, for controlling input and output of air, and an air injection port is formed at one side of the airbag.

2. The shock-absorbing packing box as claimed in claim 1, wherein the one-way valve provides an air-feeding route and is made from polyethylene, and the one-way valve is accommodated in the airbag.

3. The shock-absorbing packing box as claimed in claim 1, wherein the support square bars include a first support square bar, which is obtained by folding a first damper three times along folding lines and inserting protrusions of the first damper into slots of the first damper, a second support square bar, which is obtained by folding a second damper three times along folding lines and inserting protrusions of the second damper into slots of the second damper, a third support square bar, which is obtained by folding a third damper three times along folding lines and inserting protrusions of the third damper into slots of the third damper, and a fourth support square bar, which is obtained by folding a fourth damper three times along folding lines and inserting protrusions of the fourth damper into slots of the fourth damper, in which the first and second support square bars serve as an auxiliary lower plate of the shock-absorbing packing box, third and fourth support square bars serve as a lower plate of the shock-absorbing packing box, and the lower plate of the shock-absorbing packing box is inserted into a recess formed at a center portion of the auxiliary lower plate of the shock-absorbing packing box perpendicularly to the auxiliary lower plate of the shock-absorbing packing box, thereby forming a cross-shaped damping unit at a lower surface of the shock-absorbing packing box.

4. The shock-absorbing packing box as claimed in claim 1, wherein the air injection port is fixedly formed at an outer portion of the shock-absorbing packing box so as to facilitate air injection into the air cells in an automation process.

5. A method for manufacturing a shock-absorbing packing box equipped with an airbag, the method comprising the steps of: placing the airbag onto an upper surface of a developed packing box member; and bonding the airbag to the upper surface of the packing box member by applying heat of 180 to 250° C. and pressure of 4-6 kgf/cm2 to an upper surface of the airbag by using a heating seal bar, without employing adhesives or other bonding agent.

6. The shock-absorbing packing box as claimed in claim 5, wherein a sealant layer made from a mixture including at least one or two selected from the group consisting of polyethylene (PE), ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) and polypropylene (PP) forms an outer surface of the airbag, and a core layer of the airbag is made by at least one or two selected from the group consisting of nylon, polyvinylidene chloride (PVDC), and ethylene vinyl alcohol (EVOH) copolymer, which have an oxygen barrier property.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to a packing box equipped with an airbag for shock-absorbing and a manufacturing method thereof. More particularly, the present invention relates to a packing box equipped with an airbag for shock-absorbing and a manufacturing method thereof, in which the airbag consisting of a plurality of air cells is integrally formed with an inner surface of the packing box by means of heat and pressure, instead of installing a separate shock-absorbing member in the packing box, and then air is injected into the airbag, wherein the air cells of the airbag have their own one-way valves, respectively, so the shock-absorbing function of the airbag can be continuously maintained even if some air cells are broken, and additionally support square bars are integrally formed with a lower surface of the packing box, thereby further absorbing impact applied to the packing box.

2. Description of the Prior Art

A carton box has a light weight and is adapted for packaging and delivering articles. Typically, the carton box is used for packaging and delivering various articles, such as furniture, products, electronic appliances, foodstuffs, etc.

However, in spite of superior utilities of the carton box, the carton box is very weak against external impact applied thereto. Thus, if the carton box is dropped to the ground or strong external impact is applied to the carton box, external impact is directly transferred to articles contained in the carton box, so that the articles will be broken or damaged. In this case, the value of the articles may be degraded.

For this reason, a shock-absorbing member capable of absorbing impact applied to the carton box is necessary in order to prevent the articles contained in the carton box from being broken or damaged. Styrofoam is extensively used as the shock-absorbing member. However, such Styrofoam used as the shock-absorbing member has a large volume, so it is inconvenient to produce and deliver the shock-absorbing member made of Styrofoam and it is cumbersome to retrieve the shock-absorbing member made of Styrofoam. Furthermore, since the pecuniary profit is not expected, persons discard Styrofoam without reusing it, thereby causing environmental pollution.

In addition to Styrofoam, a vinyl tube or an air pocket can be installed in the packing box. However, in this case, if the expiration date of the article contained in the packing box has lapsed, air contained in the vinyl tube or the air pocket may be gradually discharged to the exterior due to the weight of the article and oxygen permeable characteristic of a film, so that pressure of the vinyl tube or the air pocket may be lowered to a level corresponding to atmospheric pressure. In this case, the shock-absorbing function of the vinyl tube or the air pocket may be significantly lowered when the packing box is dropped to the ground or external impact is applied to the packing box.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Accordingly, the present invention has been made to solve the above-mentioned problems occurring in the prior art, and an object of the present invention is to provide a packing box equipped with an airbag for shock-absorbing and a manufacturing method thereof, in which the airbag consisting of a plurality of air cells is integrally formed with an inner surface of the packing box by means of heat and pressure, instead of installing a separate shock-absorbing member in the packing box, and then air is injected into the airbag, wherein the air cells of the airbag have their own one-way valves, respectively, so the shock-absorbing function of the airbag can be continuously maintained even if some air cells are broken, and additionally support square bars are integrally formed with a lower surface of the packing box, thereby further absorbing impact applied to the packing box.

In order to accomplish the above object, according to one aspect of the present invention, there is provided a shock-absorbing packing box comprising: a packing box member; an airbag bonded to an inner surface of the packing box member my means of heat and pressure; and support square bars integrally formed with a lower surface of the packing box member, wherein the airbag includes air cells provided with one-way valves, respectively, for controlling input and output of air, and an air injection port is formed at one side of the airbag.

The airbag is bonded to the upper surface of the packing box member by applying heat of 180 to 250° C. and pressure of 4-6 kgf/cm2 to an upper surface of the airbag by using a heating seal bar, without employing adhesives or other bonding agent.

A sealant layer made from a mixture including at least one or two selected from the group consisting of polyethylene (PE), ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) and polypropylene (PP) forms an outer surface of the airbag, and a core layer of the airbag is made by at least one or two selected from the group consisting of nylon, polyvinylidene chloride (PVDC), and ethylene vinyl alcohol (EVOH) copolymer, which have an oxygen barrier property.

The one-way valve provides an air-feeding route and has a two-layer structure made from polyethylene, which is accommodated in the airbag having a two-layer structure.

The support square bars include a first support square bar, which is obtained by folding a first damper three times along folding lines and inserting protrusions of the first damper into slots of the first damper, a second support square bar, which is obtained by folding a second damper three times along folding lines and inserting protrusions of the second damper into slots of the second damper, a third support square bar, which is obtained by folding a third damper three times along folding lines and inserting protrusions of the third damper into slots of the third damper, and a fourth support square bar, which is obtained by folding a fourth damper three times along folding lines and inserting protrusions of the fourth damper into slots of the fourth damper, in which the first and second support square bars serve as an auxiliary lower plate of the shock-absorbing packing box, third and fourth support square bars serve as a lower plate of the shock-absorbing packing box, and the lower plate of the shock-absorbing packing box is inserted into a recess formed at a center portion of the auxiliary lower plate of the shock-absorbing packing box perpendicularly to the auxiliary lower plate of the shock-absorbing packing box, thereby forming a cross-shaped damping unit at a lower surface of the shock-absorbing packing box.

The air injection port is fixedly formed at an outer portion of the shock-absorbing packing box so as to facilitate air injection into the air cells in an automation process.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The above and other objects, features and advantages of the present invention will be more apparent from the following detailed description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a schematic perspective view illustrating a conventional packing box;

FIG. 2 is a schematic perspective view illustrating a packing box equipped with an airbag according to one embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 3 is a development view of a packing box equipped with an airbag according to one embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 4 is a development view of a one-way valve of an airbag according to one embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 5 is a sectional view illustrating support square bars provided at a lower surface of a packing box equipped with an airbag according to one embodiment of the present invention; and

FIG. 6 is a flowchart illustrating the procedure for manufacturing a packing box equipped with an airbag according to one embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Hereinafter, the present invention will be described in detail with reference to accompanying drawings.

A packing box according to the present invention is equipped with an airbag including a plurality of air cells into which air is injected. The airbag is bonded to an inner surface of the packing box by means of heat and pressure, so that the airbag is integrally formed with the packing box.

An air injection port is formed at one side of the airbag so as to allow air to be injected into the airbag. In addition, the air cells of the airbag have their own one-way valves, respectively, so as to control input and output of air.

A problem may occur when bonding the airbag to the packing box because the material of the airbag is different from the material of the packing box. However, since the outer surface of the airbag is made from polymer, the outer surface of the airbag may serve as an adhesive. Accordingly, if a worker bonds the airbag to the packing box by applying predetermined heat and pressure to the airbag using a seal bar, the airbag can be easily bonded to eight-planes of the packing box. In addition, since the bonding force between the airbag and the packing box is not too strong, if the worker injects air into the airbag after articles have been accommodated in the packing box, the airbag is inflated in the packing box by a predetermined volume, thereby perfectly protecting the articles contained in the packing box.

The packing box having the above structure does not require a separate shock-absorbing member to be installed in the packing box, thereby improving convenience of use for the packing box. In addition, since the airbag is detachably attached to the packing box, the user can discard the airbag separately from the packing box, so the packing box of the present invention is useful in view of the current policy “separate waste collection”.

In addition, since the airbag is made from polymer, it is possible to provide an air injection port of the airbag at an outer surface of the packing box by forming holes in the outer surface of the packing box. In this case, air can be easily injected into the airbag from the outside of the packing box through the automation process. Furthermore, even if air-pressure of the airbag is lowered to a level corresponding to atmospheric pressure due to the leakage of the airbag, since support square bars are integrally formed with the lower surface of the packing box in a cross pattern, the impact may not be directly transferred to the articles contained in the packing box when the packing box is dropped to the ground.

Hereinafter, the present invention will be described in detail with reference to accompanying drawings.

FIG. 1 is a schematic perspective view illustrating a conventional packing box, FIG. 2 is a schematic perspective view illustrating the packing box equipped with the airbag according to one embodiment of the present invention, FIG. 3 is a development view of the packing box equipped with the airbag according to one embodiment of the present invention, FIG. 4 is a development view of a one-way valve of the airbag according to one embodiment of the present invention, FIG. 5 is a sectional view illustrating support square bars provided at a lower surface of a packing box equipped with an airbag according to one embodiment of the present invention, and FIG. 6 is a flowchart illustrating the procedure for manufacturing the packing box equipped with the airbag according to one embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 1 shows a conventional packing box. The conventional packing box has no structure for absorbing impact when external impact is applied to the packing box or the packing box is dropped to the ground due to carelessness of consumers or workers. Thus, articles contained in the conventional packing box may be easily damaged or broken.

In order to solve the above problem, as shown in FIGS. 2 and 3, the present invention provides a shock-absorbing packing box equipped with an airbag 12 integrally formed with an inner surface of the shock-absorbing packing box 1.

The airbag 12 mainly absorbs impact applied to the shock-absorbing packing box 1. The airbag 12 has a substantially planar structure, so that the airbag 12 is closely attached to the inner surface of the shock-absorbing packing box 1 if air is not injected into air cells of the airbag 12. However, as air is being injected into the air cells of the airbag 12, the airbag 12 is gradually inflated, so the planar structure of the airbag 12 is changed to the cylindrical structure.

The airbag 12 having the planar structure is integrally formed with the inner surface of the shock-absorbing packing box 1 when the shock-absorbing packing box 1 is fabricated through the automation process. After packaging the shock-absorbing packing box with articles, if the worker injects air into the airbag 12 through an air injection port 121 formed at one side of the airbag 12, the airbag 12 is gradually inflated in the form of a cylinder, thereby protecting the articles contained in the shock-absorbing packing box from external impact.

In addition, the air cells of the airbag 12 have their own one-way valves 13 for allowing air to be injected into the air cells and preventing air injected into the airbag 12 from being discharged to the exterior. Thus, the air cells may individually receive air through the one-way valve 13. Accordingly, even if some air cells are broken, the remaining air cells may absorb impact applied to the packing box, so the shock-absorbing function of the airbag 12 may not be suddenly lowered.

In addition, the airbag 12 is made from polymer including at least one or two selected from the group consisting of polyethylene, nylon, polyvinylidene chloride (PVDC), and ethylene vinyl alcohol (EVOH) copolymer.

The one-way valve 13 is provided in each air cell. Air introduced through the air injection port 121 is injected into each air cell through the one-way valve 13 positioned at an inlet section of each air cell. Thus, the air cell is inflated due to air injected into the air cell. As the air cell is inflated, the one-way valve 13 having the flat structure is strongly pressed by the inflated air cell, so that air injected into the air cell cannot be discharged to the exterior.

FIG. 3 is a development view of a shock-absorbing packing box 1 equipped with the airbag shown in FIG. 2. Hereinafter, the present invention will be described in detail with reference to FIG. 3.

As shown in FIG. 3, a cross-shaped damping unit is provided at a lower surface of the shock-absorbing packing box 1 so as to absorb impact applied to the shock-absorbing packing box together with the airbag 12. The damping unit includes a first damper 14a, a second damper 14b, a third damper 14c and a fourth damper 14d. The first and second dampers 14a and 14b, which may serve as an auxiliary lower plate of the shock-absorbing packing box 1, are coupled with the third damper 14c and the fourth damper 14d, respectively, thereby forming the cross-shaped damping unit.

The third damper 14c is folded three times along folding lines and protrusions 141c formed in the third damper 14c are inserted into slots 142c, thereby forming a third support square bar.

In the same manner, protrusions 141d of the fourth damper 14c are inserted into slots 142d, thereby forming a fourth support square bar. The third and fourth dampers 14c and 14d may serve as a lower plate of the shock-absorbing packing box. When the shock-absorbing packing box has been fabricated, the third and fourth dampers 14c and 14d, which serve as the lower plate of the shock-absorbing packing box 1, are adjacent to each other as shown in FIG. 5.

The first damper 14a is folded three times along folding lines and protrusions 141a of the first damper 14a are inserted into slots 142a, thereby forming a first support square bar.

In the same manner, protrusions 141b of the second damper 14b are inserted into slots 142b, thereby forming a second support square bar. The first and second dampers 14a and 14b may serve as an auxiliary lower plate of the shock-absorbing packing box 1.

The first and second dampers 14a and 14b (auxiliary lower plate of the shock-absorbing packing box) are formed at center portions thereof with recesses, and the third and fourth dampers 14c and 14d (lower plate of the shock-absorbing packing box) are inserted into the recesses of the first and second dampers 14a and 14b in perpendicular to the first and second dampers 14a and 14b as shown in FIG. 5, so that the cross-shaped damping unit is formed at the lower surface of the packing box. When articles are accommodated in the shock-absorbing packing box 1, the articles are primarily loaded on the cross-shaped damping unit and the cross-shaped damping unit may distribute the load primarily applied thereto. Thus, when air-pressure of the airbag is lowered to a level corresponding to atmospheric pressure due to the leakage of the airbag 12 integrally formed with the shock-absorbing packing box 1, the cross-shaped damping unit attenuate the impact applied to the packing box, thereby protecting the articles contained in the shock-absorbing packing box.

Hereinafter, the procedure for manufacturing the shock-absorbing packing box 1 will be described. As shown in FIG. 6, after developing a packing box member 11, the airbag 12 is placed on an upper surface of the packing box member 11 (which may become the inner surface of the shock-absorbing packing box 1). In this state, heat (180 to 250° C.) and pressure (4-6 kgf/cm2) are applied to an upper surface of the airbag 12 by using a heating seal bar, thereby bonding the airbag 12 to the upper surface of the packing box member 11. That is, the airbag 12 is bonded to the shock-absorbing box by applying heat and pressure to the airbag 12 without using adhesives or other bonding mediums.

Hereinafter, the manufacturing process for the shock-absorbing packing box will be described in detail with reference to embodiments of the present invention.

Embodiment 1

In order to obtain a damping member 15 by bonding the airbag 12 to the outer surface of the packing box member 11, the airbag 12 is placed on the upper surface of the packing box member 11 and heat (about 180° C.) and pressure (about 4 kgf/cm2) are applied to the upper surface of the airbag 12 by using a heating seal bar, thereby bonding the airbag 12 to the upper surface of the packing box member 11. Then, the packing box member 11 integrally formed with the airbag 12 is assembled in the form of a box, thereby obtaining the shock-absorbing packing box 1 as shown in FIG. 2.

Embodiment 2

The manufacturing procedure of Embodiment 2 is identical to that of Embodiment 1, except that heat (about 200° C.) and pressure (about 5 kgf/cm2) are applied to the upper surface of the airbag 12 by using a heating seal bar.

Embodiment 3

The manufacturing procedure of Embodiment 3 is identical to that of Embodiment 1, except that heat (about 250° C.) and pressure (about 6 kgf/cm2) are applied to the upper surface of the airbag 12 by using a heating seal bar.

Since the outer surface of the airbag 12 is made of a film including polyethylene and nylon, the film may serve as an adhesive so that the airbag 12 can be easily bonded to the outer surface of the packing box member 11 when heat and pressure are applied to the airbag 12. That is, the damping member 15 can be obtained by bonding the airbag 12 to the packing box member 11 using the heating seal bar, so that the shock-absorbing packing box 1 equipped with the airbag 12 having the rectangular structure can be obtained through the automation process.

The air cells of the airbag 12 are provided at upper center portions thereof with one-way valves, which allow air to be injected into the air cells and prevent air injected into the air cells from being discharged to the exterior. The one-way valve has a structure made from polyethylene. One layer of the one-way valve must not be bonded to the packing box member 11 in order to provide an air-feeding route, so ink is printed onto the one-way valve so as to allow the worker to recognize the one layer during the manufacturing process. An inner portion of the one-way valve is coupled to an inner portion of a structure film, which is the main material for the airbag.

The one-way valves are sealed off from each other and printed with ink in such a manner that the worker can recognize the one-way valves during the manufacturing process. As air is being injected into the air cell through the one-way valve, the air cell is gradually inflated so that a gap formed in the one-way valve is closed, thereby preventing air injected into the air cell from being discharged to the exterior.

That is, air cells have their own one-way valves, so that the shock-absorbing function of the airbag may not be significantly degraded even if some air cells are broken, because the remaining air cells may absorb impact applied to the packing box.

In addition, the user receiving the packing box can discard the airbag separately from the packing box after safely taking articles out of the packing box, so the packing box of the present invention is useful in view of the current policy “separate waste collection”.

As described above, the shock-absorbing packing box according to the present invention can improve the shock-absorbing function without installing a separate shock-absorbing member, such as Styrofoam, in the packing box by integrally forming a plurality of air cells with the packing box member, thereby allowing the user to conveniently keep or deliver the articles accommodated in the shock-absorbing packing box. In addition, since the air cells are constructed separately from each other, the shock-absorbing function of the airbag may not be significantly degraded even if some air cells are broken, because the remaining air cells may absorb impact applied to the shock-absorbing packing box. Furthermore, since the airbag is detachably coupled to the shock-absorbing packing box, the user can economically reuse the airbag by detaching the airbag from the shock-absorbing packing box. In addition, the shock-absorbing packing box of the present invention does not use Styrofoam, so shock-absorbing packing box of the present invention does not produce a negative effect upon the environment.

Although a preferred embodiment of the present invention has been described for illustrative purposes, those skilled in the art will appreciate that various modifications, additions and substitutions are possible, without departing from the scope and spirit of the invention as disclosed in the accompanying claims.