Title:
DIVIDER STRIP ASSEMBLY
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The present disclosure provides a packaging device having a packaging strip with an outer surface and an inner surface. A plurality of projections are formed on the packaging strip at spaced apart locations along the length of the packaging strip. The projections extend outwardly from the strip outer surface. A protective layer is disposed over the strip outer surface and the plurality of projections.



Inventors:
Atkins, Scott E. (Olympia, WA, US)
Grennan, Tim A. (Enumclaw, WA, US)
Kinney, Glen A. (Olympia, WA, US)
Application Number:
11/968462
Publication Date:
07/03/2008
Filing Date:
01/02/2008
Assignee:
HUNTER DISTRIBUTING DBA CORRPAC PACKAGING SUPPLY (Olympia, WA, US)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65D81/05; B65D5/50; B65D81/02
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
ACKUN, JACOB K
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
CHRISTENSEN O'CONNOR JOHNSON KINDNESS PLLC (1201 Third Avenue Suite 3600, Seattle, WA, 98101, US)
Claims:
1. A packaging device, comprising: (a) a packaging strip having an outer surface and an inner surface; (b) a plurality of projections formed on the packaging strip at spaced apart locations along the length of the packaging strip, the projections extending outwardly from the strip outer surface; (c) a protective layer disposed over the strip outer surface and the plurality of projections.

2. The packaging device of claim 1, wherein the projections are vacuum formed, hollow projections.

3. The packaging device of claim 2, wherein the projections are formed in a substantially parallel arrangement to each other and generally transversely relative to the length of the strip.

4. The packaging device of claim 1, wherein the protective layer consists of a foam layer.

5. The packaging device of claim 1, wherein the projections are adapted to separate a plurality of stone slabs.

6. A packaging assembly, comprising: (a) a container having at least first and second opposing interior sidewalls; (b) at least first and second packaging devices disposed within the container, the first packaging device positioned against the first interior sidewall, and the second packaging device positioned against the second interior sidewall, each packaging device comprising: (i) a packaging strip having a bearing surface; (ii) a plurality of projections formed on the packaging strip, the projections extending outwardly from the strip bearing surface; and (iii) a protective layer applied to the strip bearing surface and the plurality of projections.

7. The packaging assembly of claim 6, wherein the projections are vacuum formed, hollow projections.

8. The packaging assembly of claim 7, wherein the projections are formed transversely on the packaging strip and spaced in a substantially parallel arrangement relative to each other along the length of the packaging strip.

9. The packaging assembly of claim 6, wherein the protective layer consists of a foam layer.

10. The packaging assembly of claim 6, wherein the first and second packaging devices are adapted to receive a plurality of slabs of building material edgewise between the first and second packaging devices.

11. The packaging assembly of claim 10, wherein the first and second packaging devices are adapted to receive the plurality of slabs of building material such that the slabs are separated by the projections.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/883,130, filed Jan. 2, 2007, the disclosure of which is hereby expressly incorporated by reference.

BACKGROUND

Shipping containers often include interior structural components or dunnage to secure and protect the contained goods during shipment and/or storage. For instance, when shipping slabs of natural or artificial stone or other similar materials, dunnage is disposed between the stone slabs to separate the stone slabs and prevent the slabs from scratching each other. The dunnage normally includes a plurality of dividers or separators that position the slabs within the container and prevent the slabs from contacting each other during shipment. Currently available dunnage assemblies are made of a hard plastic material, which often scratch or otherwise damage the stone slabs. Foam pads may be positioned between the stone slabs; however, the foam pads are not capable of positioning the slabs within the container in a sufficiently secure manner for shipment.

Thus, it is desired to have a packaging device that securely separates stone slabs or other similar materials without scratching or damaging the slabs. The packaging device must be sufficiently sturdy and durable to withstand the weight of the materials disposed within the container. However, the packaging device must also be lightweight and easy to manufacture such that it does not significantly increase the cost of shipment.

SUMMARY

The present disclosure provides a packaging device having a packaging strip with an outer surface and an inner surface. A plurality of projections are formed on the packaging strip at spaced apart locations along the length of the packaging strip. The projections extend outwardly from the strip outer surface. A protective layer is disposed over the strip outer surface and the plurality of projections.

This summary is provided to introduce a selection of concepts in a simplified form that are further described below in the Detailed Description. This summary is not intended to identify key features of the claimed subject matter, nor is it intended to be used as an aid in determining the scope of the claimed subject matter.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The foregoing aspects and many of the attendant advantages of this disclosure will become better understood by reference to the following detailed description, when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, wherein:

FIG. 1 is an isomeric view of a plurality of packaging devices constructed in accordance with one embodiment of the present disclosure, wherein the packaging devices are received within a container;

FIG. 2 is an isometric view of a packaging device; and

FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view of the packaging device of FIG. 2, taken substantially across line 3-3.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

One suitable embodiment of a packaging device 10 will now be described with reference to the drawings where like numerals correspond to like elements. Referring to FIG. 1, the packaging device 10 is shown in use with a container C having stone slabs S disposed therewithin. The packaging device 10 is used to separate the stone slabs S within the container C such that adjacent stone slabs S do not substantially scratch or mar each other. Although the packaging device 10 is shown in use with stone slabs S and a container C, it should be appreciated that the packaging device 10 may be used to separate any suitable artificial or natural stone material or other natural or artificial building materials of a planar or slab composition during shipment and/or storage within a container or other shipping or storage unit. Accordingly, the following descriptions and illustrations herein should be considered illustrative in nature, and thus, not limiting the scope of the present disclosure.

Referring to FIGS. 2 and 3, the packaging device 10 will now be described in more detail. The packaging device 10 includes a thermoplastic strip 12 having an upper surface 18 and a lower surface 20. The strip 12 may consist of any suitable thermoplastic material, such as high impact polystyrene sheeting, high density polyethylene, acrylonitrile butadiene styrene, etc. The thermoplastic strip 12 is formed in any suitable shape; however, the strip 12 is preferably an elongated, rectangular strip of material that may be cut to any predetermined length to fit within a container C or other shipping or storage device. Moreover, multiple strips 12 may be joined together at their ends to form a packaging device 10 of a predetermined length. For instance, the strips 12 may be joined together with an adhesive, a snap-like feature, a tab, or other suitable fastening means.

A plurality of projections 14 are formed on the strip 12 and extend upwardly from the upper surface 18 of the strip 12. The projections 14 are thermoformed or vacuum formed on the strip 12 such that they have a hollow interior. As such, the packaging device 10 is lightweight and does not significantly add to the shipping weight of the container C, thereby minimizing additional shipping costs. The projections 14 are any suitable shape and size to sufficiently separate most stone slabs S when positioned against the packaging device 10 within the container C. For example, the projections 14 may be frusto or triangular-shaped. The projections 14 are positioned transversely on the strip 12 and spaced evenly in a substantially parallel arrangement along the length of the strip of thermoplastic material 12. The projections 14 are typically spaced about 2-3 inches apart depending on the thickness of the projection and the thickness of the slabs S to be separated.

The outer surface 18 of the strip 12, and therefore the outer surface of the projections 14, is covered with a protective foam plastic layer 16. Preferably, the strip 12 and projections 14 are covered with a cross linked polyethylene foam; however, other types of foam, such as polyurethane foam, polypropylene foam, etc., are also within the scope of the present disclosure. The protective foam plastic layer 16 may be applied to the strip 12 and the projections 14 in any manner well known in the art, such as by spraying, molding, etc. Preferably, the protective foam plastic layer 16 is thermal formed with projections and thereafter glued to the outer surface 18 of the strip 12. The foam protective layer 16 helps prevent the packaging device 10 from scratching, marring, or otherwise damaging the stone slabs S when the slabs S are received between the projections 14, especially during shipment.

Referring back to FIG. 1, multiple packaging devices 10 are mounted or placed within a suitable shipping container C so as to separate and protect the stone slabs S when received within the container C. The projections 14 serve as dividers for stone slabs S positioned edgewise between the projections 14 within the container C. The protective foam plastic layer 16 helps prevent the packaging device 10 from scratching or marring the stone slabs S during shipment or storage of the stone slabs S.

The packaging devices 10 are mounted or positioned on opposite sides of the container on the interior of the container C to provide balanced support and separation of the stone slabs S. The packaging devices 10 are mounted or received within the container C in any suitable manner, such as with adhesive, fasteners, etc. In one non-limiting example, at least one packaging device 10 is positioned against the top interior surface T of the container C, and at least one packaging device 10 is positioned against the bottom interior surface B of the container C. The top and bottom packaging devices 10 are oriented in the same direction to slidably receive the top and bottom edges of the stone slabs S. Multiple packaging devices 10 may be positioned against the top and bottom interior surfaces T and B of the container C to provide added support. Moreover, packaging devices 10 may be additionally positioned on the interior sidewall surfaces X (only one sidewall surface shown for clarity) of the container C to engage and separate the side portions of the stone slabs S.

While the preferred embodiment of the present disclosure has been illustrated and described, it will be appreciated that various changes can be made therein without departing from the spirit and scope of the present disclosure.