Title:
Laminated protective wrap
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A laminated protective wrap having a single-faced or double-faced hard outer layer and a shock absorbing inner layer adhered thereto, for protecting goods shipped on spools or coils. The absorbing inner layer may be rigidly adhered to or removably adhered to the hard outer layer. The laminated protective wrap can include transverse cuts through the hard outer layer to permit bending of the laminated protective wrap in order to facilitate wrapping large objects. The degree of shock absorption is easily adjusted by varying the thickness and/or material of the hard outer layer or the shock absorbing inner layer.



Inventors:
Matlack, Christopher (Lawrenceville, GA, US)
Finchum, Bonnie C. (Seireville, TN, US)
Application Number:
09/904145
Publication Date:
01/24/2002
Filing Date:
07/12/2001
Assignee:
MATLACK CHRISTOPHER
FINCHUM BONNIE C.
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
52/309.1, 52/309.8, 428/492
International Classes:
B29C53/06; B32B3/28; B32B7/02; B65D65/40; B65D81/03; B65D85/04; (IPC1-7): E04F15/22
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
GREEN, CHRISTY MARIE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
STEPTOE & JOHNSON PLLC (Clarksburg, WV, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. A laminated protective wrap, comprising: a hard outer layer having a top surface, a bottom surface, a length, and a width; a shock absorbing inner layer adhered to said bottom surface of said hard outer layer; and a means for adhering said shock absorbing inner layer to said hard outer layer.

2. The laminated protective wrap according to claim 1, wherein said hard outer layer is a corrugated sheet.

3. The laminated protective wrap according to claim 2, wherein said corrugated sheet is single-faced having a top surface and a bottom surface.

4. The laminated protective wrap according to claim 3, wherein said bottom surface of said hard outer layer comprises one or more elongated tubes adjacently joined and extending the width of said hard outer layer.

5. The laminated protective wrap according to claim 2, wherein said corrugated sheet is double-faced having a top surface, a middle surface, and a bottom surface.

6. The laminated protective wrap according to claim 5, wherein said top surface and said bottom surface of said hard outer layer are flat surfaces, and said middle surface comprises a plurality of elongated tubes adjacently joined and extending the width of said hard outer layer.

7. The laminated protective wrap according to claim 5, wherein said middle surface of said hard outer layer comprises one or more vertical ribs extending the width of said hard outer layer.

8. The laminated protective wrap according to claim 2, wherein said corrugated sheet is made of a material selected from the group consisting of plastic, wood, cardboard, and a composite material.

9. The laminated protective wrap according to claim 1, wherein said shock absorbing inner layer is selected from the group consisting of foam, polyethylene foam, natural rubber, synthetic rubber, cloth material, fibrous material, and any composite material that is capable of cushioning.

10. The laminated protective wrap according to claim 1, wherein said means for adhering is selected from the group consisting of an adhesive, velcro, snaps, clips, and fasteners.

11. The laminated protective wrap according to claim 10, wherein said means for adhering is an adhesive that is a hot melt rubber-based glue.

12. The laminated protective wrap according to claim 1, wherein said absorbing inner layer is removably detachable from said hard outer layer.

13. The laminated protective wrap according to claim 5, further comprising a means for bending said laminated protective wrap.

14. The laminated protective wrap according to claim 13, wherein said means for bending comprises one or more transverse cuts in said top surface of said double-faced corrugated sheet.

15. The laminated protective wrap according to claim 14, wherein said one or more transverse cuts extend through said middle layer of said double-faced corrugated sheet.

16. A method for packaging a curved surface having a perimeter, an outer surface, a first end, and a second end, comprising the steps of: a. wrapping a laminated protective wrap comprising a hard outer layer having a top surface and a bottom surface and a shock absorbing inner layer adhered to said bottom surface of said hard outer layer, around the perimeter of the outer surface of the curved surface such that said shock absorbing inner layer is in physical contact with the outer surface of the curved surface; and b. securing said laminated protective wrap around said curved surface.

17. The method according to claim 16, wherein said means for securing of said step (b) is selected from the group consisting of tape, one or more straps, an adhesive, and fasteners.

18. The method according to claim 16, further comprising the steps of: c. placing a first cap constructed of said laminated protective wrap over the first end of the curved surface; d. securing said first cap in place; e. placing a second cap constructed of said laminated protective wrap over the second end of the curved surface; and f. securing said second cap in place.

19. The method according to claim 18, wherein said securing of said step (d) is selected from the group consisting of tape, one or more straps, an adhesive, and fasteners.

20. The method according to claim 18, wherein said securing of said step (f) is selected from the group consisting of tape, one or more straps, an adhesive, and fasteners.

21. The method according to claim 18, wherein said laminated protective wrap has a first end and a second end such that said first end and said second end are in close proximity to each other upon being wrapped around the curved surface.

22. The method according to claim 18, wherein said laminated protective wrap has a first end and a second end such that said first end overlaps said second end upon being wrapped around the curved surface.

23. A method for manufacturing a laminated protective wrap comprising a hard outer layer having a top surface and a bottom surface, and a shock absorbing inner layer, comprising the steps of: a. applying an adhesive to the bottom surface of the hard outer layer; and b. affixing the shock absorbing inner layer to the bottom surface of the hard outer layer.

Description:

Cross-Reference to Related Applications

[0001] This application claims priority from provisional application number 60/217,764 filed Jul. 12, 2000.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] 1. Field of Invention

[0003] This invention relates to a protective wrap packing material, and more particularly, to a laminated protective wrap having a hard outer layer with a shock absorbing inner layer adhered thereto.

[0004] 2. Related Art

[0005] Modern continuous manufacturing techniques often produce products that are sold in lengths of hundreds if not thousands of feet. These products are often coiled or spooled then shipped great distances and frequently are exported to customers overseas. Upon arrival, the end user will uncoil or unwind the product from the spoil and process it for their particular application. Two major types of products shipped in this manner are sheet metal coils and fiber optic communication cables.

[0006] In the sheet metal industry, metal coils are transported by truck, by rail, or even by ship and are often handled many times during their transport. During handling, the heavy coils are generally loaded and unloaded using a crane or fork-lift truck and frequently collide with or brush against other coils or other objects. As a result, many coils are often dented, damaging the outer layers of the coil. Before processing, customers are forced to remove the damaged portion of the coil and discard it as scrap.

[0007] In the telecommunications industry, fiber optic cable is spooled in continuous lengths thousands of feet in length for use in extensive networks that span great distances. These spools are of considerable weight and difficult to handle without colliding with other spools or other objects and damaging the cable. If damaged during shipment, that portion of the cable is removed by the customer and is generally unusable due to the costly expense of splicing fiber optic cable.

[0008] In the past, corrugated plastic sheets have been used to wrap both metal coils and fiber optic cable during shipments. Corrugated plastic sheets are durable, versatile and superior to traditional materials, such as cardboard, in many ways. However, corrugated plastic sheets have only hard surfaces, and therefore lack the necessary cushioning or energy absorbing ability required to adequately protect products during extended shipments. Typically, corrugated plastic sheets are supplemented by a foam or cloth liner to provide additional protection in traditional packaging systems. However, using multiple separate layers of material is difficult, costly, and time consuming. Therefore, what the art needs is a protective wrap that combines the hardness of corrugated plastic with the shock absorption of foam or cloth liners into a single sheet that can easily by adapted for use in wrapping around spoils.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0009] This invention solves the problems encountered with conventional wrapping methods by providing a laminated protective wrap that combines a hard outer layer and a shock absorbing inner layer into a single sheet.

[0010] An aspect of the invention is a laminated protective wrap, including a hard outer layer having a top surface, a bottom surface, a length, and a width; and a shock absorbing inner layer adhered to the bottom surface of the hard outer layer.

[0011] Another aspect of the invention is a method for packaging a coil having an outer surface, a first end, and a second end, including the steps of: (1) wrapping a laminated protective wrap comprising a hard outer layer having a top surface, a bottom surface, a length, and a width, and a shock absorbing inner layer adhered to the bottom surface of the hard outer layer, around the outer surface of the coil such that the shock absorbing inner layer is in physical contact with the outer surface of the coil, and (2) securing the first and second ends of the laminated protective wrap.

[0012] Another aspect of the invention is a method for manufacturing a laminated protective wrap comprising a hard outer layer having a top surface, a bottom surface, a length, and a width; and a shock absorbing inner layer adhered to the bottom surface of the hard outer layer, including the steps of: (1) applying an adhesive to the bottom surface of the hard outer layer, and (2) affixing the shock absorbing inner layer to the bottom surface of the impact resistant layer.

[0013] A feature of the invention is a laminated protective wrap produced in a single sheet that has the strength and durability of corrugated plastic combined with the shock absorption of foam.

[0014] Another feature of the invention is that both single-faced and double-faced corrugated sheets can be used thereby allowing for a wide variety of strength characteristics.

[0015] Another feature of the invention is that the degree of shock absorption can be easily adjusted by varying the thickness and/or material of the shock absorbing inner layer.

[0016] An advantage of the invention is that it provides a protective wrap with greater impact resistance and shock absorption thereby preventing damage to goods during extended shipments and rough handling resulting in less waste.

[0017] Another advantage of the invention is that it provides increased ultraviolet protection.

[0018] Another advantage of the invention is that it makes wrapping a large object, such as a metal coil, easier and less time consuming.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0019] The present invention is described with reference to the accompanying drawings. In the drawings, like reference numbers indicate identical or functionally similar elements. Additionally, the left-most digit(s) of a reference number identifies the drawing in which the reference number first appears.

[0020] FIG. 1A is a planar cross-sectional view of a single-faced laminated protective wrap.

[0021] FIG. 1B is a perspective view of the single-faced laminated protective wrap.

[0022] FIG. 2 is a planar cross-sectional view of a double-faced laminated protective wrap having a fluted middle surface.

[0023] FIG. 3 is a planar cross-sectional view of a double-faced laminated protective wrap having a middle surface with vertical ribs running the length of the hard outer layer.

[0024] FIG. 4 is a perspective view of a plurality of transverse cuts through a double-faced laminated protective wrap.

[0025] FIG. 5 is a planar top view of a plurality of transverse cuts through the hard outer layer of a double-faced laminated protective wrap.

[0026] FIG. 6 is a planar side view of a double-faced laminated protective wrap being wrapped around a product with a curved surface.

[0027] FIG. 7 is a planar side view of a metal coil packaged with laminated protective wrap.

[0028] FIG. 8 is a perspective view of a metal coil wrapped with laminated protective wrap.

[0029] FIG. 9 is a front view of a metal coil with caps made of laminated protective wrap over the ends of the metal coil.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0030] An embodiment of the laminated protective wrap 100 of the present invention is shown in FIGS. 1A and 1B. The laminated protective wrap 100 is a rectangular sheet having a length 110 and a width 108 and includes a hard outer layer 101 with a shock absorbing inner layer 102 adhered thereto. The laminated protective wrap 100 includes a means for adhering 103 the shock absorbing layer 102 to the hard outer layer 101.

[0031] The hard outer layer 101 has a top surface 104 and a bottom surface 105. The shock absorbing inner layer 102 is preferably adhered to the bottom surface 105 of the hard outer layer 101, such that upon wrapping an object with the laminated protective wrap 100, the shock absorbing inner layer 102 is in physical contact with the object and the top surface 104 of the hard outer layer 101 is exposed to the environment.

[0032] The hard outer layer 101 is preferably a corrugated sheet of plastic, but can alternatively be made of other materials such as metal, wood, cardboard, or a composite material. Non-limiting examples of plastic that can be used for the hard outer layer 101 include: polyethylene (high-density and low-density), polyvinyl chloride, polypropylene, polystyrene, polyethylene terephthalate, acrylonitrile butadiene styrene, polymethyl methacrylate, polyamide, polyurethane, phenolics, melamine-formaldehyde, urea-formaldehyde, unsaturated polyesters, epoxy, and reinforced plastics.

[0033] The hard outer layer 101 depicted in FIGS. 1A and 1B is single-faced, meaning that it has a flat top surface 104 and a fluted bottom surface 105. The fluted bottom surface 105 includes one or more elongated tubes 106 adjacently joined and extending the width 108 of the hard outer layer 101.

[0034] Attached to the bottom surface 105 of the hard outer layer 101, is the shock absorbing inner layer 102. The shock absorbing inner layer 102 is the innermost layer of the laminated protective wrap 100. The shock absorbing inner layer 102 acts as a cushion between the object to be protected and the hard outer layer 101. The shock absorbing layer 100 is preferably made of a commercially available polyethylene foam, but can alternatively be made of other cushioning substances or material such as, but not limited to: natural rubber, synthetic rubber, various cloth or fibrous materials, or any composite material that is capable of cushioning.

[0035] The laminated protective wrap 100 includes a means for adhering 103 the shock absorbing inner layer 102 to the hard outer layer 101. In the preferred embodiment, the preferred means for adhering 103 is an adhesive, specifically a hot melt rubber based glue commercially available from National Starch & Chemicals, Adhesive number 34-2899. Alternatively, the shock absorbing inner layer 102 can be detachably affixed to the hard outer layer 101, for example by velcro, snaps, clips, or other mechanical fasteners, such that different shock absorbing inner layers 102 can be combined with various hard outer layers 101 depending on the desired qualities of the protective wrap needed. For example, if the laminated protective wrap 100 had to withstand great stresses, a thick hard outer layer 101 may be combined with a thick shock absorbing inner layer 102. It would be readily apparent to one of ordinary skill in the relevant art to use velcro, snaps, clips, or other mechanical fasteners to removably attach the shock absorbing inner layer 102 to the hard outer layer 101.

[0036] FIG. 2 shows an alternative embodiment of a laminated protective wrap 200 in which the hard outer layer 201 is double-faced, meaning that it has a flat top surface 202, a flat bottom surface 204, and a fluted middle surface 203. The fluted middle surface 203 includes one or more elongated tubes 206 adjacently joined and extending the width 108 of the hard outer layer 201.

[0037] FIG. 3 shows another alternative embodiment of a laminated protective wrap 300 comprising a double-faced hard outer layer 301 having a flat top surface 302, a flat bottom surface 304, and a middle surface 303 having a plurality of I-beams or vertical ribs 306 running the width 108 of the hard outer layer 301. The angle, position and spacing of the vertical ribs 306 are shown in a uniform vertical arrangement for convenience purpose only. It would be readily apparent to one of ordinary skill in the relevant art to use a hard outer layer 101 having vertical ribs 306 in a different arrangement employing a variety of angles, positions, and spaces between two adjacent vertical ribs.

[0038] In general, double-faced laminated protective wraps 200, 300 are stronger and more rigid than single-faced laminated protective wraps 100. Therefore, it is often desirable to include a means for bending in a double-faced laminated protective wrap 200, 300 to facilitate wrapping large objects. A single-faced hard outer layer 102 does not require an additional means for bending because of the inherent bending qualities in such a hard outer layer 102, that does not have a middle surface 203 or a flat bottom surface 204, when the bending radius is curved toward the bottom surface 105.

[0039] An embodiment of the means for bending is depicted in FIGS. 4 and 5 in relation to laminated protective wrap 300. The preferred means for bending is one or more transverse cuts 401 in the top surface 302 of the hard outer layer 301 extending along the width 402 of the laminated protective wrap 300, such that the transverse cuts 401 are perpendicular to the vertical ribs 306. The transverse cuts 401 are made using a conventional darting process known to one of ordinary skill in the art. Preferably, the transverse cuts 401 are uniformly spaced along the width 402 of the laminated protective wrap 300 and are about 4 inches apart. The transverse cuts 401 extend the entire length 404 of the laminated protective wrap 300. Alternatively, one or more transverse cuts 401 can be positioned at various distances or spaces along the width 402 as long as the desired effect of facilitating the bending of the laminated protective wrap 300 is retained.

[0040] The use of transverse cuts 401 is for convenience purpose only. It would be readily apparent to one of ordinary skill in the relevant art to employ a different means for bending in a double-faced laminated protective wrap 300. For example, alternative means for bending include, but are not limited to, each traverse cut 401 may be a single cut through the hard outer layer 301 or may comprise a plurality of cuts along the same line through the hard outer layer 301, or each traverse cut 401 may extend through the hard outer layer 301 or may be a crease in the hard outer layer 301 such that each transverse cut 401 only extends through the flat top surface 302 or the flat top surface 302 and middle surface 303 of the hard outer layer 301.

[0041] FIGS. 6-8 show the laminated protective wrap 300 in use. The use of the present invention is described in terms of laminated protective wrap 300 for convenience purpose only. The disclosure is equally applicable to the alternative embodiments of the present invention. FIG. 6 shows an embodiment of the laminated protective wrap 300 wrapped around a curved surface 601, such as a large coil or spool. The laminated protective wrap 300 is wrapped around the curved surface 601 such that the vertical ribs 306 are aligned with the perimeter, and circumference, of the curved surface 601, resulting in the transverse cuts 401 being perpendicular to the perimeter of the curved surface 601 to facilitate the bending of the laminated protective wrap 300. The laminated protective wrap 300 bends at the transverse cuts 401 when wrapped around the perimeter of the curved surface 601, thereby creating a plurality of flat surfaces 602 that approximate the curved surface 601 and allowing the shock absorbing inner layer 102 of the laminated protective wrap 300 to be in nearly continuous contact with the curved surface 601.

[0042] FIG. 7 shows a metal coil 701 packaged with a laminated protective wrap 300. The metal coil 701 is packaged by wrapping the laminated protective wrap 300 around the outer surface of the coil 701 such that the shock absorbing inner layer 102 is in contact with the metal coil 701 and the hard outer layer 301 is exposed to the environment. The laminated protective wrap 300 also has a first end 406 and a second end 408 such that when the laminated protected wrap 300 is wrapped around the outer surface of the coil 701, the first end 406 and the second end 408 are in close proximity to each other. In one embodiment, the first end 406 and the second end 408 are in contact with each other without overlapping, whereas in an alternative embodiment, the first end 406 and the second end 408 overlap to provide additional protection to the coil 701. The first end 406 and the second end 408 of the laminated protective wrap 300 are then secured using adhesive tape or other means known to one of ordinary skill in the relevant art, e.g., one or more straps, clips, or other mechanical fasteners.

[0043] FIG. 8 shows a laminated protective wrap 300 that has been secured after wrapping a metal coil 701. The first end 406 and second end 408 of the laminated protective wrap 300 are secured in place with adhesive tape 808 or other means known to one of ordinary skill in the relevant art. The packaging is then completed by binding the laminated protective wrap 300 in place with one or more strapping bands 802, 804 that run around the ends of the metal coil 701. The use of adhesive tape 808 and strapping bands 802, 804 is well known in the relevant arts.

[0044] FIG. 9 shows a metal coil 701 wrapped with a laminated protective wrap 300, wherein the ends of the coil 701 are covered with caps 808, 810 also made of laminated protective wrap 300. The caps 902, 904 are held in place by one or more strapping bands 802, 804.

CONCLUSION

[0045] While various embodiments of the present invention have been described above, it should be understood that they have been presented by the way of example only, and not limitation. It will be understood by those skilled in the art that various changes in form and details may be made therein without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as defined. Thus, the breadth and scope of the present invention should not be limited by any of the above-described exemplary embodiments, but should be defined in accordance with the following claims and their equivalents.





 
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