Title:
Dispensing cover with tear strip and living hinge
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A dispensing cover for use with a fiberboard drum having a rolled-in lip which defines a cover-receiving opening includes a main body having a first portion and a second portion which is pivotal with respect to the first portion and which is joined thereto using a living hinge. An inner and outer skirt extends about the periphery of the main body, which skirts are spaced apart from each other to define therebetween a cavity for receiving the rolled-in lip of the fiberboard drum. Molded into the outer skirt at the living hinge is a tear strip. Unless removed, the tear strip prevents the second portion from pivoting with respect to the first portion. Barbs formed on the inner or outer skirts and extending into the cavity defined between them engage the rolled-in lip of the fiberboard drum to secure the dispensing cover to the fiberboard drum at least over the non-pivoting first portion.



Inventors:
Markert, Brooks R. (Harwinton, CT, US)
Young, Christopher J. (Port Washington, NY, US)
Application Number:
11/012783
Publication Date:
06/15/2006
Filing Date:
12/15/2004
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
220/266, 220/380, 220/782, 220/787
International Classes:
B65D51/18; B65D39/00; B65D41/18; B65D41/32
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20070256589Container for oversized cargoNovember, 2007Bell
20020070220Package with tambour closureJune, 2002Kuehn et al.
20070008683Sealed tape storage apparatusJanuary, 2007Gavit et al.
20040238542Trash receptacle lid having a pumping apparatusDecember, 2004William Jr. et al.
20030168461Front-loading utility basket with an extendable handleSeptember, 2003Richardson
20090057318Food cooking, serving and storage deviceMarch, 2009Aseff
20060249475Jar cap with vacuum relief closureNovember, 2006Giles
20070210085Twist-Type Security SealSeptember, 2007Robinson
20080093367Side-Ported Filament Wound Pressure VesselsApril, 2008Gilbertson et al.
20030146228Sleeve for beverage containersAugust, 2003Davis et al.
20080093429Disposable Container of Liquid Food Products and a Cap of a Disposable Container of Liquid Food ProductsApril, 2008Hau



Primary Examiner:
HYLTON, ROBIN ANNETTE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Gerald T. Bodner (MELVILLE, NY, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A dispensing cover for use with a fiberboard drum, the fiberboard drum having a rolled-over lip, the rolled-over lip defining a perimeter of a cover-receiving opening, the dispensing cover comprising: a main body sized to fit over the perimeter of the cover-receiving opening, the main body having a first portion and a second portion co-planar with and pivotally joined to the first portion, the second portion pivoting with respect to the first portion along a pivot line which runs transversely across the main body; an inner skirt and an outer skirt, the inner skirt and the outer skirt extending substantially perpendicularly from the main body on the first portion and the second portion and being spaced apart and substantially parallel to each other to define therebetween a cavity for receiving the rolled-over lip of the fiberboard drum; and a tear strip, the tear strip being formed in the outer skirt and positioned in alignment with the pivot line, the tear strip preventing the second portion from pivoting with respect to the first portion, whereupon on removal of the tear strip, the second portion may pivot with respect to the first portion to at least partially uncover the cover-receiving opening of the fiberboard drum in order to dispense contents held by the fiberboard drum.

2. A dispensing cover as defined by claim 1, which further comprises: a living hinge, the living hinge pivotally joining the first portion to the second portion, the living hinge being disposed along the pivot line and being in alignment with the tear strip.

3. A dispensing cover as defined by claim 1, which further comprises: a plurality of barbs, the plurality of barbs being situated on at least one of the inner skirt and the outer skirt and projecting into the cavity defined between the inner skirt and the outer skirt, each barb of the plurality of barbs having an angled surface and a generally straight surface, the angled surface engaging the rolled-over lip of the fiberboard drum and riding up and over the rolled-over lip when the dispensing cover is inserted onto the fiberboard drum, the straight surface engaging an underside portion of the rolled-over lip to secure the dispensing cover to the fiberboard drum.

4. A dispensing cover as defined by claim 3, which further comprises: a projection extending outwardly from the outer skirt on a side of the dispensing cover, the projection being graspable by a user to disengage at least one selected barb of the plurality of barbs from the rolled-over lip of the fiberboard drum, the projection being situated on the second portion of the main body and in proximity to the at least one selected barb of the plurality of barbs.

5. A dispensing cover as defined by claim 1, which further comprises: a plurality of alignment projections, the alignment projections extending upwardly from a surface of the main body and being receivable within a recess defined on the bottom of a fiberboard drum when the fiberboard drum is resting on the dispensing cover.

6. A dispensing cover for use with a fiberboard drum, the fiberboard drum having a rolled-over lip, the rolled-over lip defining a perimeter of a cover-receiving opening, the dispensing cover comprising: a main body sized to fit over the perimeter of the cover-receiving opening, the main body having a first portion and a second portion co-planar with and pivotally joined to the first portion, the second portion pivoting with respect to the first portion along a pivot line which runs transversely across the main body; an inner skirt and an outer skirt, the inner skirt and the outer skirt extending substantially perpendicularly from the main body on the first portion and the second portion and being spaced apart and substantially parallel to each other to define therebetween a cavity for receiving the rolled-over lip of the fiberboard drum; a tear strip, the tear strip being formed in the outer skirt and positioned in alignment with the pivot line, the tear strip preventing the second portion from pivoting with respect to the first portion, whereupon on removal of the tear strip, the second portion may pivot with respect to the first portion to at least partially uncover the cover-receiving opening of the fiberboard drum in order to dispense contents held by the fiberboard drum; a hinge, the hinge pivotally joining the first portion to the second portion, the hinge being disposed along the pivot line and being in alignment with the tear strip; a plurality of barbs, the plurality of barbs being situated on at least one of the inner skirt and the outer skirt and projecting into the cavity defined between the inner skirt and the outer skirt, each barb of the plurality of barbs having an angled surface and a generally straight surface, the angled surface engaging the rolled-over lip of the fiberboard drum and riding up and over the rolled-over lip when the dispensing cover is inserted onto the fiberboard drum, the straight surface engaging an underside portion of the rolled-over lip to secure the dispensing cover to the fiberboard drum; and a projection extending outwardly from the outer skirt on a side of the dispensing cover, the projection being graspable by a user to disengage at least one selected barb of the plurality of barbs from the rolled-over lip of the fiberboard drum, the projection being situated on the second portion of the main body and in proximity to the at least one selected barb of the plurality of barbs.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to lids and covers for containers, and more particularly relates to a dispensing cover for a fiberboard drum.

2. Description of the Prior Art

Current packaging applications frequently require containers for granular products which may be dispensed from the containers. One current type of package includes a rectangular fiberboard drum which has a top sealed off with an injection molded cover. The cover is attached to the drum with tape.

In order to dispense product from the container, the consumer removes the tape to detach the cover. Frequently, this results in the tape peeling off part of the label of the container. This is both aesthetically undesirable, and results in the removal of some of the lettering or other information on the box. Further, once the tape has been removed, there is no way to securely reseal the container other than re-taping it. The current type of cover design is friction fit to the outside of the container, and while it provides adequate protection from the elements, it will come off when the box is knocked over (unless it is re-taped), thus resulting in spillage of the contents.

Furthermore, the taping operation employed with current technology is very labor intensive. Also, during shipment, the fiberboard drums are stacked on a skid. A corrugated sheet must be placed between the layers of stacked fiberboard drums. Elimination of the sheets would result in a cost savings.

Containers currently sold are formed as a fiberboard drum having a rolled-in lip, which adds strength to the container. A cover which has barbs that engage the rolled-in lip of the fiberboard drum is disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 6,068,153. The barbs keep the cover securely attached to the fiberboard drum which prevents the container contents from spilling out if the container is inadvertently knocked over.

OBJECTS AND SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is an object of the present invention to provide a dispensing cover for a fiberboard drum which can be securely attached to the fiberboard drum yet can be readily opened by means of a tear strip.

It is a further object of the present invention to provide a dispensing cover for a fiberboard drum which can be securely attached to the fiberboard drum without a separate taping operation.

It is yet another object of the present invention to provide a dispensing cover for a fiberboard drum which allows the fiberboard drum with the cover attached to be stacked on top of another fiberboard drum and cover without use of a corrugated sheet.

It is still a further object of the present invention to provide a dispensing cover for a fiberboard drum which can be opened to dispense product and then resealably closed.

The present invention is directed to a dispensing cover for use with a fiberboard drum. The fiberboard drum has a continuous upstanding drum wall with a wall edge formed as a rolled-in lip, the rolled-in lip defining the perimeter of a cover-receiving opening. The dispensing cover includes a main body sized to fit the perimeter of the cover-receiving opening. The main body is formed of at least two co-planar sections that are joined together with preferably a living hinge. More specifically, the cover main body includes a first portion and a second portion which is pivotally joined to the first portion. Each of the two body portions includes an inner skirt and an outer skirt. The inner and outer skirts are co-parallel, and extend perpendicularly outwardly from the underside of the first and second body portions. The skirts define with their respective body portion a cavity for receiving therein the rolled-in lip of the fiberboard drum.

As mentioned previously, preferably a living hinge pivotally joins together the first and second portions of the main body of the cover. The inner skirt is separable or cut at the living hinge so as not to impede the second portion from pivoting at the hinge with respect to the first portion.

The outer skirt may include a tear strip which overlaps the juncture between the first and second body portions at the hinge, on just one lateral side of the cover, or both lateral sides. The tear strip is preferably molded into the outer skirt, and may include a handle portion that may be grasped by a user to remove the molded-in tear strip from the outer skirt. This will allow the second portion of the main body to pivot at the hinge with respect to the first portion in order to uncover a portion of the container opening so that the contents of the container may be dispensed. The first portion of the cover main body remains secured to the rolled-in lip of the fiberboard drum.

The dispensing cover may also include barbs which are situated on the inner or outer skirt and which extend outwardly therefrom into the cavity for receiving the rolled-in lip. Each barb has an angled surface which rides up and over the rolled-in lip of the fiberboard drum when the dispensing cover is first attached to the fiberboard drum. Each barb has a generally straight surface which traps the rolled-in lip of the first fiberboard drum in the cavity between the skirts when the dispensing cover is fully inserted onto the fiberboard drum.

The outer skirt of the dispensing cover situated on the pivotal second portion may further include an exposed projection or handle disposed in proximity to one or more barbs, with the projection extending outwardly from the outer skirt so as to be graspable by a user. By pulling the projection or handle outwardly away from the barbs, the user can detach the second portion of the cover main body from the rolled-in lip of the fiberboard drum to allow the second portion to pivot and partially uncover the container opening.

These and other objects, features and advantages of the present invention will be apparent from the following detailed description of illustrative embodiments thereof, which is to be read in connection with the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a top perspective view of a dispensing cover formed in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a bottom perspective view of a dispensing cover formed in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 3A is a top plan view of a dispensing cover formed in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 3B is a bottom plan view of a dispensing cover formed in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 4A is an elevational view of a first side of a dispensing cover formed in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 4B is an elevational view of a second side of a dispensing cover formed in accordance with the present invention and which is disposed opposite to the first side shown in FIG. 4A.

FIG. 5A is an elevational view of a third side of a dispensing cover formed in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 5B is an elevational view of fourth side of a dispensing cover formed in accordance with the present invention and which is disposed opposite to the third side shown in FIG. 5A.

FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional view taken along line 6-6 of FIG. 5B of a dispensing cover formed in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 7 is a cross-sectional view taken along line 7-7 of FIG. 4A of a dispensing cover formed in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 8A is an elevational view of the first side of a dispensing cover formed in accordance with the present invention and shown in FIG. 4A, and further showing the dispensing cover in a partially open position.

FIG. 8B is an elevational view of the second side of a dispensing cover formed in accordance with the present invention and shown in FIG. 4B, and further showing the dispensing cover in a partially open position.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Referring initially to FIGS. 1-7 of the drawings, a dispensing cover formed in accordance with the present invention is shown in its closed position, and is designated generally as 2. The cover is preferably injection molded using preferably thermoplastic resin, such as polypropylene. Cover 2 is intended for use with a fiberboard drum 4 or other type of container. The fiberboard drum 4 has a continuous upstanding drum wall 12 and a top wall edge which is formed as a rolled-in lip 14. The wall edge defines the perimeter of a cover-receiving opening 15. The cover 2 is comprised of a main body 6 which is formed preferably of at least two main body portions, i.e., a first portion 8 and a second portion 10 which is co-planar with and pivotal with respect to the first portion 8.

As shown particularly in FIGS. 1 and 2, a living hinge 16 extending transversely across the main body 6 pivotally joins the at least two co-planar body portions 8, 10, although is envisioned to be within the scope of the present invention to form the first and second portions 8, 10 as separate parts that are pivotally joined together. Spaced apart outer and inner skirts 18, 20 extend co-parallelly from the underside of the main body 6 on both the first portion 8 and the second portion 10, as shown in FIG. 3B. Between them the skirts 18, 20 define with the main body 6 a cavity 22 for receiving the rolled-in lip 14 of the fiberboard drum 4. As will be explained in greater detail, the inner skirt 20 is cut to form a gap 24 which is disposed in alignment with the living hinge 16 on each opposite lateral side 26, 28 of the cover 2. The outer skirt 18 also may be cut or perforated, or may include a thin, tearable flashing at joint 30 (FIG. 4B) which is also disposed in alignment with the living hinge 16 on one lateral side 28 of the cover, and has a molded-in tear strip 32 (FIG. 4A) disposed in alignment with the living hinge 16 on the opposite lateral side 26 of the cover. Alternatively, the outer skirt 18 may include two molded-in tear strips, one on each opposite lateral side 26, 28 of the cover 2 and disposed in alignment with and bridging the living hinge 16. The tear strip 32 preferably includes a handle portion, such as a finger hole 34, for grasping by a user so that the tear strip 32 may be easily removed.

As shown in FIG. 4B, and as mentioned previously, preferably on one of the lateral sides 26, 28 of the cover 2 is a thin flashing joint 30 which joins two adjacent sections of the outer skirt 18 together at the living hinge 16. As will be explained in greater detail, the joint 30 rips when the dispensing cover 2 is first opened. Those skilled in the art recognize that a second tear strip, like tear strip 32, may be formed on the opposite side 28 of the dispensing cover 2 shown in FIG. 4A in place of joint 30. Furthermore, those skilled in the art recognize that joint 30 is optional and that a gap, such as gap 24, illustrated in FIG. 4C, could be formed in the outer skirt 18 in alignment with the living hinge 16.

The outer skirt 18 may further include a projection or handle 36 which projects outwardly therefrom on a third side 38 of the cover 2 where the pivotal second body portion 10 resides, as shown in FIG. 5A. This projection or handle 36 has preferably the lettering “LIFT HERE” molded in or printed on an exposed surface thereof which is viewable as an aid to the user.

A plurality of barbs 40 are formed in either the inner skirt 20 or the outer skirt 18 and extend therefrom into the cavity 22 defined between the skirts. More specifically, a plurality of the barbs 40 are situated between the skirts 18, 20 on the first portion 8 of the main body, which first portion 8 remains secured to the rolled-in lip 14 of the fiberboard drum 4. Fewer barbs 40 are used on the second portion 10 of the main body 6, and those barbs 40 are situated between the skirts 18, 20 on the third side 38 of the cover and in proximity to the projection or handle 36. By a user grasping the projection or handle 36 and pulling outwardly and upwardly thereon, the barbs 40 of the second portion 10 will disengage from the rolled-in lip 14 of the fiberboard drum 4 so that the second portion 10 may be pivoted with respect to the first portion 8, uncovering partially the opening 15 of the fiberboard drum in order to dispense the contents held therein.

The barbs 40 have also an angled surface 42 which rides up and over the rolled-in lip 14 of the fiberboard drum when the dispensing cover 2 is first attached to the fiberboard drum 4. The barbs have a generally straight surface 44 extending horizontally outwardly from the skirt 18, 20 to meet the angled surface 42, which traps the rolled-in lip 14 of the fiberboard drum 4 within the cavity 22 formed by the outer and inner skirts 18, 20 and the main body 6 of the cover 2 when the dispensing cover is fully inserted on the fiberboard drum 4. The generally straight surfaces 44 and the underside portion of the rolled-in lip 14 interact to permanently attach the dispensing cover 2 to the fiberboard drum 4, except where the projection or handle 36 is disposed. It should be noted that, preferably, no barbs 40 are situated on the opposite lateral sides 26, 28 of the pivotal second portion 10 in order to allow the second portion 10 to lift free of the fiberboard drum 4 to partially uncover the opening 15.

As shown in FIG. 3B, a plurality of knee braces 46 extending from the inner surface of the inner skirt 20 to the underside of the first and second portions 8, 10 are provided to strengthen the cover 2 and to prevent deflection of the inner skirt 20.

FIGS. 8A and 8B illustrate the dispensing cover 2 in a partially open position. Upon removing the tear strip 32 from the outer skirt 18 and pulling on the projection or handle 36 outwardly and then upwardly, a user may now open the cover, as the second portion 10 is free to pivot at the living hinge 16 with respect to the first portion 8 which remains secured to the fiberboard drum 4. The thin flashing 30 on the opposite lateral side 28 from where the tear strip 32 is located will rip under slight force, allowing the second portion 10 to pivot upwardly away from the rolled-in lip 14, and partially uncovering the opening 15 formed in the fiberboard drum 4. By the user pulling the projection or handle 36 outwardly and upwardly away from the wall 12 of the fiberboard drum 4, the barbs 40 on the second portion 10 of the main cover 6 situated in proximity to the projection or handle 36 will disengage from the rolled-in lip 14, freeing the second portion 10 to pivot away from the fiberboard drum opening 15. The contents of the fiberboard drum 4 may now be dispensed through the partially uncovered opening 15.

The dispensing cover 2 may further include stack alignment projections 48 which preferably extend upwardly from the top surface of the main body 6 near the four corners of the dispensing cover 2. The stack alignment projections 48 allow several containers to be stacked one on top of the other. The bottom of the fiberboard drum 4 also has a recessed rolled-in edge (not shown) about the periphery thereof, and the stack alignment projections 48 are positioned to extend upwardly and to be received inwardly of the rolled-in bottom edge of another fiberboard drum stacked thereon at the inner corners of the rolled-in bottom edge.

As a result, the dispensing cover 2 of the present invention provides, with the fiberboard drum 4, a container which can be stacked one on top of the other without use of a corrugated sheet between the stacked containers. The dispensing cover 2 remains affixed to the fiberboard drum 4 until it is ready to be opened. The pivotal second portion 10 of the main body 6 of the cover 2 cannot pivot until the tear strip 32 is removed.

It should be understood that the dispensing cover is useable with many different types of containers, including those with a rolled-in lip or a rolled-out lip (generally referred to as a rolled-over lip), as the barbs of the dispensing cover will engage both types of lips to secure the cover to the container.

Although illustrative embodiments of the present invention have been described herein with reference to the accompanying drawings, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited to those precise embodiments, and that various other changes and modifications may be effected therein by one skilled in the art without departing from the scope or spirit of the invention.