Title:
Container with repositionable slip-sheet to cover outlet
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A bulk bag comprises a container and a cover sheet at least partially attached to the lower surface. The cover provides a slip sheet for the container. In a preferred form, the container has an outlet in the lower surface thereof in normal use. The slip sheet is positioned so that it can optionally cover or at least substantially uncover the outlet.



Inventors:
Burkhardt, Henri Jacques (Auckland, NZ)
Application Number:
10/187777
Publication Date:
11/07/2002
Filing Date:
07/01/2002
Assignee:
BURKHARDT HENRI JACQUES
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
383/41, 383/906, 383/24
International Classes:
B65D88/00; B65D88/16; B65D88/22; B65D88/58; B65D90/12; B65D90/16; (IPC1-7): B65D33/14; B65D33/16
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
HYLTON, ROBIN ANNETTE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
SALIWANCHIK, LLOYD & EISENSCHENK (GAINESVILLE, FL, US)
Claims:

I claim:



1. A container for directly receiving, without an inner liner, a material to be contained; wherein said container comprises an upper surface, at least one side surface, and a lower surface, wherein said lower surface comprises an outlet through which said material may directly exit said container and a cover that is permanently affixed externally to at least part of at least one edge between a side surface and the lower surface, wherein due to the weight of said cover, said cover hangs in an open position t when said container is lifted and retains a closed position when the container is not lifted; wherein said cover, when in said open position, exposes said outlet and when in said closed position, said cover closes said outlet; and wherein said cover covers at least substantially all of said lower surface.

2. The container, according to claim 1, wherein said container has a substantially square or rectangular lower surface.

3. The container, according to claim 2, wherein said cover extends outwardly beyond at least one edge between a side surface and said lower surface.

4. The container, according to claim 1, wherein said outlet is positioned substantially centrally in said lower surface.

5. The container, according to claim 2, wherein said cover is permanently affixed along one edge between a side surface and said lower surface of said container.

6. The container according to claim 1, wherein said cover is permanently affixed to part of at least two edges formed between a side surface and said lower surface.

7. The container, according to claim 1, wherein said cover is a slip sheet.

8. A method for transporting and/or storing a material, wherein said method comprises placing a material in a container which does not have an inner liner; and wherein said container comprises an upper surface, at least one side surface, and a lower surface, wherein said lower surface comprises an outlet through which said material may directly exit said container and a cover that is permanently affixed externally to at least part of at least one edge between a side surface and the lower surface, wherein due to the weight of said cover, said cover hangs in an open position t when said container is lifted and retains a closed position when the container is not lifted; wherein said cover, when in said open position, exposes said outlet and when in said closed position, said cover closes said outlet; and wherein said cover covers at least substantially all of said lower surface.

9. The method, according to claim 8, wherein said container has a substantially square or rectangular lower surface.

10. The method, according to claim 9, wherein said cover extends outwardly beyond at least one edge between a side surface and said lower surface.

11. The method, according to claim 8, wherein said outlet is positioned substantially centrally in said lower surface.

12. The method, wherein said cover is permanently affixed along one edge between a side surface and said lower surface.

13. The method, according to claim 8, wherein said cover is permanently affixed to part of at least two edges formed between a side surface and said lower surface.

14. The method, according to claim 8, wherein said cover is a slip sheet.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO A RELATED APPLICATION

[0001] This application is a continuation of co-pending application U.S. Ser. No. 09/798,193, filed Mar. 2, 2001; which is a continuation of U.S. Ser. No. 09/273,015, filed Mar. 19, 1999, which is hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0002] This invention relates to a bulk bag, that is to say a bag which is of substantial dimension and is designed to hold, for example, 500-1000 kg of granular or powder material. Such bulk bags are often manufactured of woven polypropylene material but could be formed of other materials.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0003] Traditional bulk bags which have not been designed for pushing and pulling can only be transported by hanging them from hook straps located at the top of the bag.

[0004] Bulk bags of the type referred to above have the disadvantage that, in particular, the lower surface may be damaged during transportation of the bag, particularly if the bag is pulled or pushed over a surface. Even minor obstructions such as small stones or the like can cause damage such as cuts to the surface of the bag, thereby allowing some or all of the contents to escape prior to the desired discharge time.

[0005] Transportation of the bags may also be difficult, requiring either pushing or pulling the bag along a surface in many cases or, alternatively, placing the bag on an alternative support such as a pallet.

OBJECT OF THE INVENTION

[0006] It is an object of the present invention to provide a bulk bag which will obviate or minimize the foregoing disadvantages in a simple yet effective manner or which will at least provide the public with a useful choice.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0007] Accordingly, the invention consists of a bulk bag comprising a container and a cover sheet at least partially attached to the lower surface, the cover providing a slip sheet for the container.

[0008] Preferably, the container has an outlet in the lower surface thereof in normal use, the slip cover being positioned so that it can optionally cover or at least substantially uncover the outlet.

[0009] Preferably, the container has a substantially square or rectangular lower surface, and the cover covers substantially the whole of the lower surface.

[0010] Preferably, the cover extends outwardly beyond at least one edge of the lower surface.

[0011] Preferably, the outlet is positioned substantially centrally in the lower surface.

[0012] Preferably, the cover is engaged with the container at least along one edge of the container.

[0013] Preferably, the cover is engaged along part of the edges of the container meeting the edge set forth in the preceding paragraph hereof.

[0014] To those skilled in the art to which the invention relates, many changes in construction and widely differing embodiments and applications of the invention will suggest themselves without departing from the scope of the invention as defined in the appended claims. The disclosures and the description herein are purely illustrative and are not intended to be in any sense limiting.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0015] One preferred form of the invention will now be described with reference to the accompanying drawings in which:

[0016] FIG. 1 is a diagrammatic representation of a bulk bag according to a preferred form of the invention.

[0017] FIG. 2 is a diagrammatic perspective representation of the bag of FIG. 1 whilst being discharged.

DETAILED DISCLOSURE OF THE INVENTION

[0018] Referring to the invention shown in FIG. 1, a bulk bag 1 is provided which is preferably square or rectangular at the lower surface 2 thereof. The bag itself may be a substantially rectangular or cube-like structure. The invention is not limited to these shapes but it is expected that they will be the most common shapes.

[0019] At the upper surface 3 may be provided an inlet 4 to the bag and also means by which the bag may be lifted, such as suspension loops 5 positioned, for example, at each corner of the upper surface 3.

[0020] In a preferred form of the invention, the lower surface 2 of the bag has an outlet 15, and the outlet may be surrounded by a chute 6 through which granular or powder material 7 inserted into the bag may be discharged at a desired time. Other bags may be provided without the outlet and chute.

[0021] To allow discharge the bag, where an outlet 15 and chute 6 are provided, the bag may be, for example, suspended on a suitable support 8 passing through the loops 5 otherwise as desired.

[0022] The lower surface 2 is provided with a cover 10. The cover 10 covers substantially the whole of the lower surface 2 when abutted thereagainst but with an extension 11 extending outwardly on at least one side of the bag, for example, outwardly beyond side surface 12. The cover 10 is in the nature of a slip sheet as slip sheets are usually square or rectangular plastic sheets having a thickness in the rage of 0.5-6.0 mm depending on the use to which the slip sheet is to be put.

[0023] The slip sheet when positioned as shown in FIG. 1, i.e., abutting the lower surface 2, enables the bag to be transported and shipped in the manner known for slip sheets.

[0024] However, the slip sheet 10 of the invention is attached to the lower surface 2 at least along edge 13, preferably being the edge between the side surface 12 of the bag and the lower surface 2. Such engagement may be, for example, by heat bonding, gluing, or sewing or otherwise as desired.

[0025] The slip sheet may also be connected along side edges 14, i.e., the two edges meeting the edge 13 of the bag. As can be seen in FIG. 2, such connection does not extend the whole way along the edge 14 but only for a selected distance which will allow the cover 10 to hang loose when the bag is lifted so that the outlet 15 is unobstructed, and material can be discharged through the outlet and chute 7.

[0026] Where no outlet is provided, the cover 10 can be connected to the bag 1 in the same fashion, or can be connected about the whole periphery of the cover 10, or substantial parts of its area if desired.

[0027] Following are examples which illustrate procedures for practicing the invention. These examples should not be construed as limiting. All percentages are by weight and all solvent mixture proportions are by volume unless otherwise noted.

EXAMPLE 1

[0028] Initially, the bag or container 1 is sitting above the slip sheet 10 although connected thereto. Material to fill the bag is inserted therein, for example, through the aperture 4 in the upper surface 3.

[0029] The bulk bag 1 may then be transported or stored in the manner of bulk bags utilizing the advantages of the slip sheet, and, for example, the extension 11 allows the slip sheet to be pulled onto adapted fork-lift trucks or pulled into other places as desired.

[0030] When it is desired to empty the bag, and the bag 1 has an outlet, the bag is lifted, for example by being suspended by the loops 5, and the weight of the cover 10 will cause the cover to fold away from the outlet and the chute 6. The material 7 contained within the bulk bag will then be discharged as required. The empty bag can then be dropped back onto the slip sheet 10 and reused as desired.

[0031] Where no such outlet is provided, the bag can be opened in any fashion, such as through the opening at the top, or by cutting the bag or otherwise as desired.

[0032] Thus it can be seen that, at least in the preferred form of the invention, a bulk bag is provided which has the advantage that accidental damage during storage or transit is obviated or minimized. The bag also has the advantage that it can be utilized without having to place the bag structure itself onto a separate carrying means.

[0033] It should be understood that the examples and embodiments described herein are for illustrative purposes only and that various modifications or changes in light thereof will be suggested to persons skilled in the art and are to be included within the spirit and purview of this application and the scope of the appended claims.