Title:
Plastic bag with easy open and easy close profiles
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A recloseable plastic bag having mating reformed profiles which are easy to open and easy to close. The bag further includes a flap marked with a indicia to enable a user to readily see where the bag is to be grasped to open the bag. The double flap strengthens the mouth of the bag to permit repeated use, and also forms a pocket into which the user can insert her finger to open or separate the profiles or pull the bag off of a mounting stack.



Inventors:
Bruno, Edward C. (Aurora, CO, US)
Application Number:
09/746296
Publication Date:
06/27/2002
Filing Date:
12/26/2000
Assignee:
BRUNO EDWARD C.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65D33/00; B65D33/25; (IPC1-7): B65D33/16
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
GARBE, STEPHEN P
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Leo J. Aubel (Lincolnshire, IL, US)
Claims:
1. An openable and recloseable plastic bag formed of thin plastic sheet, said bag comprising a) film folded to form first and second panels and fused along the sides for forming a substantially rectangular bag; b) the open edges of the film forming the top of the bag; c) said first panel having a first mating interlocking profile joined thereto; d) said second panel having a second mating interlocking profile joined thereto; e) said profiles extending parallel to the bag mouth from side to side of said panels and said profiles being engageable to lock along a major portion of the profiles; f) at least one selected section of at least one of said profiles being reformed to inhibit locking of said profiles at the reformed section; and g) said first panel having a fold extending from side to side of said panel and defining a pocket between said first panel and said fold.

2. A bag as in claim 1 wherein said profiles are formed as strips of profiles which are initially engaged.

3. A bag as in claim 1 wherein said profiles are opened and a bag with an open mouth is fabricated

4. A bag as in claim 1 wherein said profiles comprise a male profile and a female profile, a guide formed alongside the male profile and straddling said male profile to guide said female profile to engage said male profile.

5. A bag as in claim 1 further including a stripe forming an indicia adjacent the lower edge of said panel to indicate to a user the edge of the pocket formed by said band.

6. An openable and recloseable plastic bag formed of thin plastic sheet, said bag comprising a) first and second panels forming the sides of the bag, with the panels being joined at the bottom and sides of the bag, and the panels being open at the top to form the mouth of the bag; b) engaging mating profiles formed on said panels parallel to the mouth of the bag to close and interlock said panels together; c) a pocket on one of said panels formed by folding said one of said panels outwardly of the bag and back onto the panel and fusing said fold at the side edges of said panel; and d) indicia adjacent the lower edge of said panel to indicate to a user the edge of the pocket formed by said band.

7. A bag as in claim 6 further including a) at least one selected section of at least one of said profiles being reformed to inhibit locking of said profiles at the reformed section;

8. A bag as in claim 6 further including profiles having guide flanges to provide an extended opening to receive and guide the profiles into alignment for ease of closing.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] The present invention relates to the type of plastic bag generally disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 4,846,586 also issued to Edward C. Bruno, the same inventor herein. Pat. No. 4,46,586 discloses the concept of making a bag with a folded portion adjacent to the mouth of the bag. The folded portion enables a user such as a packer on a product packing line to easily and conveniently pull a bag for use from a bag mounting stack by inserting her finger in the pocket formed between the folded portion. Further, the folded portion strengthens the bag opening or mouth to permit repeated use without tearing. The present invention is also related to U.S. Pat. No. 5,511,884 issued to Edward C. Bruno which discloses a plastic bag having mating profiles which are specifically made with a section of the profiles being re-formed to be in a non-engageable condition, and hence the profiles do not engage or lock in this reformed section. The non-engaging section enables the remaining major portions of the profiles to be more readily disengaged to open the mouth of the bag by initiating a separating action starting at the non-engaging section. Also, the non-engaging section permits any air in the bag to escape as the sides of the bag are pressed together to close.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0002] A recloseable plastic bag having a band along the mouth of the bag and profiles having a reformed section which makes the mating profiles easy to open and easy to close. The mating profiles are reformed at one section to inhibit the profiles to engage and close at that section to enable easy opening of the bag and also to enable any air in said bag to escape. A fold adjacent the mouth of the bag forms a double thickness flap marked with indicia to enable a user to readily see where the bag is to be grasped to open the bag. A stripe formed on the flap parallel to the mouth of the bag enable a user to conveniently and easily see the flap to open the mouth of the bag. The bag also includes profiles having guide arms to enable a user to conveniently and easily align the profiles with one another to permit convenient and easy closure of the profiles.

[0003] The foregoing features and advantages of the present invention will be apparent from the following more particular description of the invention. The accompanying drawings, listed herein below, are useful in explaining the invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

[0004] FIG. 1 is a front view of the inventive bag:

[0005] FIG. 2 is an isometric view showing a profile strip affixed to the interior of the folded film from which the bag is made;

[0006] FIG. 3 shows the separator or opening bar which is employed when bags with open profiles are provided to the user;

[0007] FIG. 4 shows a user inserting her finger into the pocket to grasp the flap to pull a bag off of a stack;

[0008] FIG. 5A shows a cross section of one type of engaged profiles, and FIG. 5B shows a cross section view of a reformed section of one of the profiles to indicate that the reformed section of the profiles cannot engage with each other;

[0009] FIG. 6 is an embodiment of the invention wherein the profiles include guiding arms to enable convenient alignment of the profiles to provide the easy closing feature.

DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0010] FIG. 1 shows the inventive recloseable bag 11 formed such of polyethylene film 15 comprising two side panels 12 and 14. The bag 11 is formed from a folded film 15, as depicted in FIG. 2, to provide the two panels 12 and 14 of the bag. The folded end of the film 15 forms the bottom 17 of the bag and the free edge of the film forms the mouth or bag opening 19. The side edges 16 and 18 of the bag 11 are formed by periodically fusing the film along vertical lines, as indicated in FIG. 3, and as is well known in the art. The mating profiles or ribs 20 and 21 which provide the opening and closing features of the bag, as are well known, are formed or fused to a flat surface of the strip or ribbon 22; the ribbon 22 is subsequently fused to the inner side of the folded film parallel to the open edge of the film to provide the recloseable feature of the bag 11. Note that the invention is applicable for use with other types of profiles such as the “spaghetti” or string profiles, and also with profiles which are made integrally with the film, i.e., extruded with the film.

[0011] It has been found that strips 22 of profiles 20 and 21 are conveniently available in rolls, and equipment for joining the strip 22 to the film is well known and commercially available. The profiles 20 and 21 are normally mated or closed when applied to the film, as is indicated in FIG. 2. Note that the strip 22 is affixed to the two panels concurrently so that the profiles are closed in exact alignment when applied to the film 19.

[0012] As depicted in FIG. 3, the film 15 is periodically fused along a line 24 extending normal to the longitudinal travel of the film (indicated by the arrow line) to form the edges of the panels 12 and 14, thus forming a series of individual bags 11. The bags 11 can be made with the mouth 15 of the bag open or closed in the bag making process. If bags with open mouths are desired, a separator bar 26, as indicated in FIG. 3 is provided to separate the profiles; if bags with closed mouths are desired the separator bar is omitted.

[0013] The top edge 31 of the film 15 is folded outwardly on itself, as depicted in FIGS. 2 and 3, to form a flap 31 at the top of panel 12 when the bag is made, see FIGS. 1 and 2. The folded top edge of panel 12 thus comprises a double thickness of film. The flap 31 is fused to panel 21 at line 24 when the edges of the bag 11 are fused as mentioned above. Flap 31 thus forms an open pocket 33 between the flap and the panel 12, see FIGS. 2, 3 and 4. The flap provides a reinforced mouth edge for enabling improved extended use without tearing. Further, the flap provides pocket 33 for enabling a user to insert her finger into the pocket to conveniently open the profiles. Also as depicted in FIG. 4, the pocket 33 permits a user to insert her finger in to the pocket to conveniently and quickly pull a bag 11 off of a stack 36 of bags mounted on a dispenser 38.

[0014] A colored stripe 34 applied to the edge of the flap 31 enables a user to see and note the flap to conveniently grasp the edge of the flap to pull the profiles apart, or to pull the bag 11 from stack 36, as described above. The stripe can also be a glued material or the like. It should be appreciated that other indicia such as perforations, or stamped marks, or oversized dots can be formed on the edge of the flap to indicate the edge of the fold. However, a colored stripe 34 has been found to be readily noticed, and is convenient to apply. A center arrow or other indicia 39 may be formed adjacent to and perpendicular to the colored stripe; and in the area of the reformed section 40 (to be esplained) to thereby indicate to the user to grasp the flap 19 at that point, to conveniently make use of the easy open feature.

[0015] Refer now to FIGS. 5A and 5B. FIG. 5A show a cross section of a normally engaged profile. To enable a user to easily open the bag 11 and to provide a means of conveniently withdrawing air from the bag, such as when storing foodstuff in a refrigerator, a section of the profiles is reformed. One, or both, of the profiles are reformed, as at section 40, by pressing the contour of the profile down and out to prevent engagement of the profiles at that section, as indicated in FIG. 5B. An advantage of such construction will now be explained. When using prior art bags and it is desired to place foodstuff in a bag for storing in a refrigerator the bag should be closed. In such instances, the sides panels of prior art bags have to be carefully pressed together as the zipper is being closed. Otherwise an unwanted an air pocket remains within the ballooned bag. In the present invention any unwanted air within the bag escapes through the reformed section 40 as the bag 11 is being closed, and even after the bag is closed.

[0016] Another feature of another embodiment of the invention will now be explained. It has been found that it is frustrating and inconvenient to close the profiles of prior art bags. As is known, most recloseable profiles for plastic bags in normal usage are quite small. When a user of prior art bags places product in a bag and then wants to close the profiles it is necessary to first align the profiles relative to one another before they can be properly pressed together to engage. Since the profiles are small it is quite frustrating to properly align the profiles. As depicted in FIG. 6, one embodiment of the inventive bag 11 includes readily aligned profiles. The profile strip 19A includes profiles 20A and 20B which include guide flanges or guide arms 42 and 44 that align and guide the mating profiles into proper relation to engage. As shown in FIG. 6, guide flanges 42 and 44 are formed parallel to the male engaging profile 12. Guide flanges 42 and 44 define a recess 46 with a relatively wide opening 48. The angled flanges 42 and 44 narrow inwardly toward the base of the profile 20. Thus the guide flanges 42 and 44 receive the female profile 21A at the relative wide opening 48 and guide the profile 21A into engagement with profile 20A. The embodiment of FIG. 7 provides at least twice the lead-in width or spacing at opening 48 to enable the user to initially align the profiles, and thereby conveniently facilitates engaging the profiles.

[0017] While the invention has been particularly shown and described with reference to preferred embodiments thereof, 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.