Title:
Paperboard box
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A box made substantially of paperboard, the box having one or more support formations attached to an interior surface of the box and projecting into the interior of the box, wherein the one or more support formations act to (a) locate within the box an object having a shape or size different from that of the box, and (b) brace the box against damage when the object is located within the box by the support formations.



Inventors:
Baroudi, Bassim (Campbellfield, AU)
Application Number:
09/758543
Publication Date:
08/30/2001
Filing Date:
01/12/2001
Assignee:
BAROUDI BASSIM
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
206/565, 229/149, 229/191
International Classes:
B65D5/44; B65D5/50; B65D5/66; (IPC1-7): B65D43/14; B65D81/05
View Patent Images:
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20080197176FILE FOLDERAugust, 2008Decarlo et al.



Primary Examiner:
ELKINS, GARY E
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
STERNE, KESSLER, GOLDSTEIN & FOX P.L.L.C. (WASHINGTON, DC, US)
Claims:

The claims defining the invention are as follows:



1. A box made substantially of paperboard, the box having one or more support formations attached to an interior surface of the box and projecting into the interior of the box, wherein the one or more support formations act to (a) locate within the box an object having a shape or size different from that of the box, and (b) brace the box against damage when the object is located within the box by the support formations.

2. A box according to claim 1 wherein there are a plurality of said support formations spaced about said interior of the box and shaped and positioned to cooperate to locate and accommodate an object having a shape different from that of the box.

3. A box according to claim 1 or 2 wherein the or each said support formation is made substantially of paperboard and is integrally attached to the box.

4. A box according to claim 3 wherein the or each said support formation is a hingedly attached flap folded within itself to project into the interior of the box.

5. A box according to any one of claims 1 to 4 wherein said box is generally rectangular, and adapted to define a space for receiving and locating an object which is generally circular when viewed in plan in the box.

6. A box according to any one of claims 1 to 5 wherein the or each said support formation is generally V-shaped in profile and cooperates with an adjacent side panel to define a triangular-shaped sub-structure.

7. An object according to any preceding claim wherein there are four of said support formations at respective sides of the box and adjacent respective corners of the box.

8. A box according to claim 7, wherein said support formations are attached to the sides of the box along four upstanding corner edges.

9. A box according to any preceding claim, wherein the or each support formation has an edge that abuts a tab pushed out from a side panel of the box, whereby to define the location and form of the support formation.

10. A box according to claim 9 wherein there are at least two of said tabs in opposite side panels of the box, which tabs also act to provide handles in the respective side panels.

11. A box according to claim 9 wherein said tabs are dovetail-shaped so as to be wedged between respective edges defined in or on the support formations.

12. A box according to any preceding claim, including a top panel and guard flaps attached with the top panel, which guard flaps act to cover side panels when the box is closed, and thus act as reinforcement for the box.

13. A box according to any preceding claim, further including a latching arrangement to ensure that the box is securely closed, which latching arrangement has: (a) a latching tongue, attached to and extending from a front panel of the box, and a complementary latching recess or slot into which said tongue is insertable; and (b) side flaps, attached with the guard flaps, which can be inserted into respective complementary pockets, openings for which are formed at upstanding side edges of the front panel.

14. A box according to any preceding claim, formed from a unitary blank of paperboard.

15. A paperboard blank having appropriate cuts and fold lines for assembly into a box according to any one of claims 1 to 13.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0001] The invention relates to paperboard boxes, particularly those used for the storage and transport of goods. As employed herein, the term paperboard embraces fibreboard and like packaging materials.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] Paperboard boxes are widely used to store and transport various goods due to their low cost and disposability Paperboard boxes used in this context tend to be manufactured in certain standard shapes (for example, rectangular or round shapes) while the various goods to be transported are often shaped or sized differently. It is considered that this mismatch in size or shape results in a relatively higher incidence of damage due to the handling of such boxes during transport.

[0003] As an example, some boxes are likely to be dropped during stacking and unstacking of the boxes. As paperboard is susceptible to damage on impact, this can in turn lead to damage of the goods contained within the box. In particular, when existing boxes are dropped onto their edges, there is an increased risk of significant damage to the box as well as the contents of the box.

[0004] Accordingly, existing boxes are not considered entirely adequate for storage and transport of goods, due to the consequent loss which accompanies the relatively high incidence of damage. It is thus an object of the invention to provide a paperboard box which at least alleviates these and other problems associated with existing paperboard boxes.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0005] The invention provides a box made substantially of paperboard, the box having one or more support formations attached to an interior surface of the box and projecting into the interior of the box, wherein the one or more support formations act to (a) locate within the box an object having a shape or size different from that of the box, and (b) brace the box against damage when the object is located within the box by the support formations.

[0006] Preferably, there are plurality of support formations spaced about the interior of the box and shaped and positioned to cooperate to locate and accommodate an object having a shape different from that of the box and in addition, preferably to brace the box against damage from impact, such as when the box is dropped.

[0007] Preferably, the support formations locate the object within the box, and brace the box against damage by being firmly fitted between parts of the surface of the object and parts of the interior surface of the box which are most susceptible to damage, such as the edges of the box.

[0008] Preferably, the or each support formation is made substantially of paperboard and is integrally attached to the box. This attachment with the box assists in increasing the strength of the box against impact, such as when it is dropped.

[0009] Preferably, the box is generally rectangular, and adapted to define a space for receiving and locating an object which is generally circular when viewed in plan in the box. Preferably, the or each support formation is generally V-shaped in profile and cooperates with an adjacent side panel to define a generally triangular-shaped sub-structure. There are preferably four of the support formations attached at respective sides of the box and adjacent respective corners. In this way, the object can be located by the support formations through contact between the support formations and different parts of the generally circular surface of the object.

[0010] Preferably, the support formations snugly receive and position the object to assist in stably positioning and supporting the object so that it is less likely to be damaged during transport and when, for example, the box is dropped. corners.

[0011] Preferably, the distal edges of both of the support formations on the two rear upstanding comer edges rest against the rear panel, and the distal edges of both of the support formations on the two front upstanding corner edges rest against their respective side panels.

[0012] Preferably, the two rear support formations are located along the rear panel by locating tabs. A pair of locating tabs is provided by two respective cuts in the rear panel, and cooperating engaging tabs are provided by cuts made in the support formations, inwardly from the distal edges of the respective flaps. The facing surfaces of the corresponding tabs are positioned against each other so that the two locating tabs ensure that the rear support formations are appropriately located.

[0013] Preferably, the two front support formations are located along their respective side panels by pairs of tabs which also act to provide handles in the respective side panels. Two handle tabs are formed in the two side panels by cuts which each provide a hole and corresponding handle tab which in combination provide a convenient handle for lifting etc of the box. The handle tabs extend into the interior of the box, so that distal edges of the front support formations act against the closer of the upstanding side edges of the handle tabs. The support formations are thus located in position once the box is assembled.

[0014] Preferably, the box further includes guard flaps attached with the top panel. The guard flaps preferably act to cover the side panels when the box is closed, and thus act as reinforcement further minimising the possibility of damage to the contents of the box. The guard flaps preferably also have handle tabs aligned with corresponding handle tabs in the side panels.

[0015] Preferably, the box has a latching arrangement to ensure that the box is securely closed. This latching arrangement involves:

[0016] a) a latching tongue, attached to and extending from a front panel, which can be inserted into a complementary latching recess or slot; and

[0017] b) side flaps, attached with the guard flaps, which can be inserted into respective complementary pockets, openings for which are formed at upstanding side edges of the front panel.

[0018] This latching arrangement assists in securing the top panel as a closure to the box, thus avoiding items stored in the box from inadvertently falling out of the box, or the top from bursting open when, for example, the box is dropped. The likelihood of damage to the contents of the box is accordingly lessened.

[0019] Preferably, the bottom panel of the box is generally square in shape, and the support formations are arranged so that objects having a generally circular shape can be readily and stably positioned in the box.

[0020] Preferably, the box is fashioned from a unitary blank of paperboard.

[0021] The invention further includes a paperboard blank (that is, a sheet of paperboard with appropriately located cuts and folds) from which a box, as described above, can be provided by suitably folding and assembling the paperboard blank.

[0022] The inventive box described above is advantageously used in the storage and transport of objects, such as vehicle wheel rims, which have a cross-sectional profile which is generally circular. The support formations assist in positioning and snugly accommodating the rim or other rounded object within the box, as well as reinforcing the box against damage caused during handling of the box, and protecting the rim against damage which might otherwise be caused during handling

DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

[0023] FIG. 1 is a front perspective view of a paperboard according to an embodiment of the invention, in which the box is shown open;

[0024] FIG. 2 is a front perspective view of the box shown in FIG. 1, in a fully assembled or closed state;

[0025] FIG. 3 is a view similar to FIG. 2, but with the top panel positioned so that the box is partly opened;

[0026] FIG. 4 is a rear perspective view of the box as shown in FIG. 2;

[0027] FIG. 5 is a drawing of a unitary blank for the box; and

[0028] FIG. 6 shows the blank in the process of being folded and configured into the box shown in FIGS. 1 to 4.

DESCRIPTION OF EMBODIMENTS

[0029] FIGS. 1 to 4 show a box 10 according to one embodiment of the invention. The box 10 has a bottom panel 12, a top panel 22, a front panel 18, a rear panel 20 and side panels 14, 16.

[0030] The front panel 18, rear panel 20 and side panels 14, 16 are all upstanding from respective side edges of the bottom panel 12. The top panel 22 is attached to the rear panel 20. Sides of the top panel 22 carry, at respective fold lines 114, 116, guard flaps 24, 26 which, when the box is closed, are folded down to cover the side panels 14, 16. Side flaps 36, 38 are in turn attached by end fold lines 120 to the guard flaps 24, 26. Inside the box 10, there are located support formations 2, 4, 6, 8 which assist in preventing damage to objects placed inside the box 10, as later described,

[0031] The box 10 variously shown in FIGS. 1 to 4 is assembled from a unitary blank 200 shown in FIG. 5. The blank 200 is depicted in FIG. 8, partly assembled into the box 10. In FIG. 5, solid lines indicate an edge or line cut into the blank 200, and broken lines indicate a fold line which is used to assemble the blank 200 into the box 10.

[0032] The box 10 is assembled as now described, referring initially to FIGS. 5 and 6. The blank 200 is first folded along lines 102, 104, 106, 108 at the edges of the bottom panel 12. This enables the side panels 14, 16 to be folded into position, once the support flaps 32, 34 are folded along lines 110, and formation flaps 6, 8 are folded along lines 128. After this occurs, the side panels 16, 18, support flaps 32, 34 and formation flaps 6, 8 are all upstanding from the bottom panel 12.

[0033] Folds 122 and 124 are then made to define a ridged portion 60 of the blank 200 which joins the front panel 18 and support panel 30, Folding formation flaps 2, 4 along lines 126 allows the support panel 30 to be folded over the support flaps 32, 34. The ridged portion 60 accommodates the support flaps 32, 34, so that the ridged portion 60 spans the edge of support flaps 32, 34 which are positioned parallel with the front panel 18. The support panel 30 is then moved into position by swinging it over the support flaps 32, 34 and against the inwardly facing surfaces of the support flaps 32, 34 that face into the interior of the box 10. The formation flaps 2, 4 are at this stage resting against the side panels 14, 16.

[0034] There is a cut 130 made in front panel 18 and support panel 30 to form a latching tongue 50 which is positioned to engage a corresponding slot 51 cut along an edge 116 of the top panel 22 by cut 140, when the fully assembled box 10 is closed. The notches 35 at the free corners of the support flaps 32, 34 are made to accommodate the latching tongue 50 in slot 51. The closure of the box 10 is further described later.

[0035] The rear panel 20 is now swung into position against the outwardly facing surface of formation flaps 6, 8 by folding along line 106. The next step is to fold along lines 112, 114, 116, 118 at the edges of the top panel 22. Folding along line 112 pivots the top panel 22 with the rear panel 20. Folds along lines 114 and 116 establish guard flaps 24, 26, while folding along line 118 defines the closure flap 40.

[0036] At this point, folds are also made along lines 120 to define side flaps 36, 38 attached with respective guard flaps 24, 26. Closure flap 40 is folded at the front of the top panel 22, and a small cut 140 made along line 116 to define slot 51 as noted above.

[0037] To form the basic structure of the box 10 it is desirable to ensure that the rear panel 20 is attached with the side panels 14, 16 along lines 128. As later described, this does not require the use of adhesive as the design of the box 10 ensures that all panels are appropriately located without the use of adhesive.

[0038] The support panel 30 is adequately secured in position so that the support flaps 32, 34 and hence the side panels 14, 16 do not move away from their respective positions. To this end, the support panel 30 has along its free edge two teeth 56 which extend beyond the profile of this free edge, as shown in FIG. 5. When the support panel 30 is moved into position facing the front panel 18, the teeth 56 on the support panel 30 engage cooperating slots 58 formed on the bottom panel 12 adjacent edge 102 of the bottom panel 12 where the bottom panel 12 meets the front panel 18.

[0039] With the structure of the box 10 now formed, the top panel 22 can be pivotally moved about the fold line 112 so the box 10 can be opened and closed as required.

[0040] To close the box 10, the top panel 22 is swung downwardly towards the front panel 18. The closure flap 40 is moved into the interior of the box 10 so that the outwardly facing surface of the flap 40 rests against the inwardly facing surface of the support panel 30. The next step is to ensure that the side flaps 36, 38 are moved into the clearance between the inwardly facing surface of the front panel 18, and the outwardly facing surfaces of the support flaps 32, 34.

[0041] When the side flaps 36, 38 are located in this way at the front of the box 10, the guard flaps 24, 26 move into position to rest against the side panels 14, 16. This provides a reinforcement to the side panels 14, 16

[0042] To complete closure of the box 10, the latching tongue 50 is placed in slot S1 to ensure that the top panel 22 is secured in its closed position.

[0043] Front formation flaps 2, 4 are attached with the support panel 30 along lines 126, and rear formation flaps 6, 8 are attached with edge of respective side panels 14, 16 along lines 128. The orientation of these support formations 2, 4, 6, 8 is now described. Each of the formation flaps 2, 4, 6, 8 is nearly square in shape when unfolded, and is attached with the support panel 30 (in the case of front support formations 2, 4) or with respective side panels 14, 16 (in the case of rear support formations 6, 8). Each of the support formations 2, 4, 6, 8 have two fold lines which divide each of the support formations into three distinct segments.

[0044] The front support formations 2, 4 are divided into two generally equally sized segments 62, 64 and 66, 68 by folds 142. For both of the front support formations 2, 4 there is a further smaller segment 72, 74 defined by fold lines 144 and located distal the support panel 30 along distal edges 145.

[0045] The front support formations 2, 4 are positioned at the front upstanding side edge corners of the box 10 as shown in FIG. 1. The front support formations are folded into position by folding along lines 142, 144. The segments are folded so that the first segments 62, 66 and second segments 64, 68 of the front support formations 2, 4 extend into the interior space of the box 10. The smaller, distal third segments 72, 74 are located to rest against side panels 14, 16. In this way, front support formations 2, 4 having a V-shaped profile, project into the interior of the box 10 and cooperate with the adjacent side panel to define a triangular shaped sub-structure.

[0046] The front support formations 2, 4 are located, and remain in position, with the assistance of side handle tabs 42, 44 (formed in side panels 14, 16 by cuts 132) and guard handle tabs 46, 48 (formed in guard flaps 24, 26 by cuts 134).

[0047] Cuts 132, 134 are in register and the two resulting pairs of aligned handle tabs 42, 46 and 44, 48 are pushed in through the side panels 14, 16 so that each pair protrudes into the interior of the box 10.

[0048] The pairs of inwardly protruding handle tabs 42, 46 and 44, 48, are positioned generally mid-way along the respective side panels 14, 16 and act to locate the front support formations 2, 4. The distal edges 145 of the support formations 2, 4 are positioned against the side of the handle tabs 42, 46 and 44, 48.

[0049] As with the front support formations 2, 4, rear support formations 6, 8 are divided into two generally equally sized segments 82, 84 and 86, 88 by folds 146. These first two segments 82, 84 and 86, 88 are located adjacent the respective side panels 14, 16. There are smaller segments 92, 94 defined by fold lines 148 and located distal the respective side panels 14, 16 along distal edges 147 of the rear support formations 6, 8.

[0050] The rear support formations 6, 8 are positioned at the rear upstanding side edge corners of the box 10 as shown in FIG. 1. The rear support formations 6, 8 are folded into position by folding along lines 146 and 148. The segments are folded so that the first two segments 82, 84 and 86, 88 of each of the rear support formations 6, 8 extend into the interior space of the box 10. The smaller, distal third segments 92, 94 are located to rest against rear panel 20. In this way, rear support formations 6, 8 having a V-shaped profile, are formed in the interior of the box 10 and cooperate with the adjacent side panel to define a triangular shaped sub-structure.

[0051] The rear support formations 6, 8 are located, and remain in position, with the assistance of dovetail-shaped locating tabs 52, 54 (formed in rear panel 20 by cuts 138). The locating tabs 52, 54 engage with corresponding dovetail tabs 76, 78 cut in the rear support formations 6, 8 by cuts 136. The facing surfaces of the locating tabs 52, 54 and the formation tabs 76, 78 are folded into contact so that the locating tabs 52, 54 and formation tabs 76, 78 extend into the interior of the box 10. The cooperative engagement of the respective tabs and their dovetail shape discourage the rear support formations 6, 8 from moving out of the position determined by this locating arrangement, which is variously shown in FIGS. 1 and 4: it will be seen that the dovetail of outer tabs 52, 54 is wedged inwardly of the opening defined by the inner ends of divergent cuts 136.

[0052] Also, the engagement of the locating tabs 52, 54 and the formation tabs 76, 78 appropriately locates the rear panel 20 relative to the side panels 14, 16. This aspect of the design, as mentioned earlier, allows the use of adhesive to be avoided. Of course, adhesive can be used if desired, for example, to more definitively ensure that the form of the box 10 is maintained during use.

[0053] The latching tongue 50 and corresponding slot 51, together with the side flaps 32, 34 ensure that the box does not inadvertently burst open during regular handling or when, for example, the box 10 is dropped.

[0054] The support formations 2, 4, 6, 8 allow a wheel rim (not shown in the drawings) to be located in the interior of the box 10 for storage or transport. The size, position and orientation of the support formations 2, 4, 6, 8 centrally locate the wheel rim within the box 10 to discourage the rim from moving about in the box 10 during handling. As a result, the wheel is less likely to be damaged during handling of the box 10, as there is less chance of a damaging impact with any side of the box 10.

[0055] Also, the support formations 2, 4, 6, 8 effectively reinforce the corners of the box 10 at the upstanding side edge corners of the box 10. This reduces the likelihood of the damage occurring to the wheel rim, as less damage to the corners of the box 10 ultimately results in less damage to the wheel rim contained within.

[0056] The support formations 2, 4, 6, 8 are all attached with a side panel of the box 10 and accordingly, the side panels of the box are less likely to be damaged as a result of this attachment. Also, when a rim is placed in the box, the peripheral edge of the rim acts against the support formations 2, 4, 6, 8, which in turn act against the respective upstanding side edges of the box 10. This improves the rigidity of the box 10 and further protects against potential damage. As a consequence, the box 10 is less likely to be damaged than it the formation flaps 2, 4, 6, 8 were not folded into place as support formations.

[0057] As the support formations 2, 4, 6, 8 extend all the way from the top panel 22 to the bottom panel 12, the structural rigidity of the box 10 is thereby increased. In particular, this assists in stable stacking of a number of such boxes 10, especially when goods such as wheel rims, which do not entirely fill the box 10, are contained therein.

[0058] The box 10 has a significant amount of reinforcement on all its side panels (that is, other than the top and bottom panels 22, 12). At the front, there are essentially three layers of paperboard, in the front panel 18, support flaps 32, 34 and support panel 30. At the sides the guard flaps 24, 26 provide an extra layer of paperboard. The front support formations 2, 4 also extend partly along the side panels 14, 16, At the rear, the rear support formations 6, 8 cover about half of the rear panel 20. All this additional paperboard flaps, panels and formations reinforce the box 10 against damage to the goods inside.

[0059] It will be understood that the invention disclosed and defined in this specification extends to all alternative combinations of two or more of the individual features mentioned or evident from the text or drawings. All of these different combinations constitute various alternative aspects of the invention.