Title:
Liquid container
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A liquid container is capable of efficiently pouring out a liquid contained therein. The liquid container includes a pouch 4 having gussets 2 and opposite sidewalls 3, a spout body 5 having a mouth 6 and a joining part 8 fixed to an open end of the pouch 4, and a plug 7 provided with a longitudinal through hole of a special shape and fitted in the mouth 6 of the spout body 5. A recess 10 is formed in the inside surface of the mouth 6 (or the outside surface of the plug 7) and a protrusion 12 capable of engaging in the recess 10 is formed in the outside surface of the plug 7 (or the inside surface of the mouth 6.



Inventors:
Niwa, Susumu (Tokyo-To, JP)
Application Number:
11/439987
Publication Date:
11/30/2006
Filing Date:
05/25/2006
Assignee:
Kabushiki Kaisha Hosokawa Yoko
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
222/567
International Classes:
B65D35/38; B65D5/72
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20100025504Drum seed spreaderFebruary, 2010Pierce et al.
20080237272Dispensing Nozzle Comprising an Axially Attached Closure SleeveOctober, 2008Durant et al.
20100001020METHOD OF ATTACHING A SOFT PLASTIC BAG IN AN AEROSOL CAN, AND OTHER CANS SUCH AS FLAT TOP CANSJanuary, 2010Ashley
20100001024Foam- Forming Assembly, Squeeze Foamer And Dispensing DeviceJanuary, 2010van der Heijden
20090242564Closure having a drip minimizing lidOctober, 2009Danks et al.
20060071036Mechanical actuator arm for aerosol canApril, 2006Gervais
20090039111Foam PumpFebruary, 2009Tu
20040195263Portable beverage dispenser with electronic beverage characteristic display and methodOctober, 2004Lassota
20060043102Method and apparatus for applying solventMarch, 2006Keller et al.
20090014481Airtight sealing of nozzleJanuary, 2009Benetti
20060289567Wearable disinfecting gel dispenserDecember, 2006Shoham et al.



Primary Examiner:
WILLIAMS, STEPHANIE ELAINE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BIRCH, STEWART, KOLASCH & BIRCH, LLP (FALLS CHURCH, VA, US)
Claims:
1. A liquid container comprising: a pouch having an open end; a spout body having a mouth and a joining part fixed to the open end of the pouch; and a plug provided with a longitudinal through hole of a special shape and fitted in the mouth of the spout body with its outside surface in close contact with the inside surface of the mouth of the spout body.

2. The liquid container according to claim 1, wherein a recess is formed in the inside surface of the mouth (or the outside surface of the plug) and a protrusion capable of engaging in the recess is formed in the outside surface of the plug (or the inside surface of the mouth).

3. The liquid container according to claim 2, wherein the recess is formed in the inside surface of the mouth and the protrusion is formed on the outside surface of the plug.

4. The liquid container according to claim 2, wherein the recess and the protrusion are formed in annular shapes, respectively.

5. The liquid container according to claim 1, wherein the plug is made of a gas barrier synthetic resin.

6. The liquid container according to claim 1, wherein the plug is made of a synthetic resin containing an oxygen absorbent.

7. The liquid container according to claim 1, wherein the pouch has gussets and opposite sidewalls.

8. The liquid container according to claim 1, wherein the pouch has opposite sidewalls and a bottom wall.

9. The liquid container according to claim 1, wherein the plug is chosen from plugs respectively provided with longitudinal through holes of different special shapes.

10. The liquid container according to claim 9, wherein the plug is provided with a longitudinal through hole of a special shape suitable for pouring a liquid contained in the liquid container.

11. The liquid container according to claim 1, wherein the plug and the pouch are formed individually.

12. The liquid container according to claim 1, wherein the plug is fitted in the mouth of the spout body after filling up the pouch with a liquid.

13. The liquid container according to claim 1, wherein the longitudinal through hole of the plug has a cross-sectional shape resembling a circle, a cross, a star, a polygon or a plurality of separate circles.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to a liquid container from which a substance contained therein can be efficiently taken out regardless of the property of the substance.

2. Description of the Related Art

A liquid container for containing a beverage, such as a sports drink or orange juice, disclosed in, for example, Patent document 1 has a pouch made from a film, and a spout having a mouth and a joining part and fixed to an open end of the pouch.

Liquid containers of this kind are light as compared with cans and bottles and can be easily opened. Therefore, liquid containers of this kind are used also as containers for containing other substances including noodle soups, sources for grilled meat, mayonnaise and chocolate.

The liquid container is supposed to contain a beverage and the mouth of the spout is formed in a standard diameter suitable for pouring out a beverage. Therefore, in some cases, viscous contents, such as mayonnaise or chocolate, cannot be easily poured out. When the liquid container is supposed to contain chocolate or mayonnaise, the mouth needs to be formed in a diameter suitable for pouring out chocolate or mayonnaise.

Patent document 1: JP 62-134826 U

To use a liquid container provided with a spout having a mouth of a diameter suitable for pouring out the contents, various types of liquid containers provided with spouts having mouths of different diameters, respectively, need to be manufactured and stocked and liquid containers suitable for containing a desired substance need to be chosen from the stocked liquid containers. Manufacture and stock management of various liquid containers require considerable work.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention has been made taking such problems into consideration and it is therefore an object of the present invention to avoid manufacturing various types of liquid containers and to provide a liquid container capable of efficiently pouring out a liquid contained therein regardless of the property of the liquid.

The present invention provides a liquid container including a pouch having an open end, a spout body having a mouth and a joining part fixed to the open end of the pouch, and a plug provided with a longitudinal through hole of a special shape and fitted in the mouth of the spout body with its outside surface in close contact with the inside surface of the mouth of the spout body.

In the liquid container according to the present invention, a recess may be formed in the inside surface of the mouth (or the outside surface of the plug) and a protrusion capable of engaging in the recess may be formed in the outside surface of the plug (or the inside surface of the mouth.

In the liquid container according to the present invention, the recess may be formed in the inside surface of the mouth and the protrusion may be formed on the outside surface of the plug.

In the liquid container according to the present invention, the recess and the protrusion may be formed in annular shapes, respectively.

In the liquid container according to the present invention, the plug may be made of a gas barrier synthetic resin.

In the liquid container according to the present invention, the plug may be made of a synthetic resin containing an oxygen absorbent.

In the liquid container according to the present invention, the pouch may have gussets and opposite sidewalls.

In the liquid container according to the present invention, the pouch may have opposite sidewalls and a bottom wall.

In the liquid container according to the present invention, the plug may be chosen from plugs respectively provided with pouring openings of different special shapes. The chosen plug is provided with a longitudinal through hole of a special shape suitable for pouring a liquid contained in the liquid container.

In the liquid container according to the present invention, the plug and the pouch may be individually formed.

In the liquid container according to the present invention, the plug is fitted in the mouth of the spout body after filling up the pouch with a liquid.

In the liquid container according to the present invention, the longitudinal through hole of the plug may have a cross-sectional shape resembling a circle, a cross, a star, a polygon or a plurality of separate circles.

The liquid shall be filled into the liquid container through the pouring openings of the special shape formed in the plug if the plug is formed integrally with the spout body. Since some liquid cannot be filled into the liquid container through the pouring openings of the special shape, the pouring opening of the plug formed integrally with the spout body is formed in a simple circular shape. When the shape of the pouring opening is limited to a simple circle, both a thick liquid having a high viscosity, such as mayonnaise, and a thin liquid having a low viscosity, such as a fruit juice, are poured through pouring openings having a simple circular shape, which is uninteresting.

If the plug is formed integrally with the spout body, a liquid needs to be filled into and poured out through one and the same pouring openings of a fixed shape.

According to the present invention, the plug provided with a pouring opening of a special shape is fitted in the spout body of the liquid container. Therefore, it is unnecessary to manufacture liquid containers of various types respectively suitable for containing different liquids, and various liquids respectively contained in the liquid containers of different types can be efficiently poured out of the liquid containers.

The opening of the mouth of the spout body needs to be formed so that a liquid can be easily filled into the liquid container, and the pouring opening of the plug needs to be formed in a special shape suitable for pouring out the liquid contained in the liquid container.

A plurality of plugs respectively provided with pouring openings of different special shapes are selectively fitted in the mouth of the spout body of one and the same liquid container. The suitable plug can be selected taking into consideration of properties of a liquid to be filled into the liquid container. For example, the plugs respectively provided with pouring openings of different special shapes are selectively used for liquid containers respectively for containing liquids respectively having different properties including a thick liquid having a high viscosity and having significance in its shape after being poured out of the liquid container, such as mayonnaise, a thin liquid having a low viscosity, such as a fruit juice, and a liquid not having any significance in the shape thereof after being poured out of the liquid container, such as a source for grilled meat.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRASWINGS

FIG. 1 is a partly cutaway perspective view of a liquid container in a preferred embodiment according to the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a sectional view of a spout included in the liquid container of the present invention;

FIG. 3 is a sectional view of the spout included in the liquid container of the present invention, in which a plug is removed;

FIG. 4 is a view of plugs that can be incorporated into the liquid container of the present invention;

FIG. 5 is a cross sectional view of an open end of a pouch included in the liquid container of the present invention; and

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of a laminated film for forming the container body of the liquid container of the present invention.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

A liquid container in a preferred embodiment according to the present invention will be described with reference to the accompanying drawings.

Referring to FIG. 1, a liquid container 1 in a preferred embodiment according to the present invention has a container body 4 formed in the shape of a pouch and having gussets 2 that can be folded inward and opposite sidewalls 3, a spout body 5 attached to an open end of the container body 4, and a plug 7 fitted in the mouth 6 of the spout body 5 as shown in FIG. 2.

Referring to FIG. 3, the spout body 5 has a mouth 6, a joining part 8 and a conduit 9, which are formed integrally. The spout body 5 is made of a synthetic resin, such as a high-density polyethylene resin. An annular groove 10 is formed in the inside surface of a part of the mouth 6 of the spout body 5 near the open end of the mouth 6. The annular groove 10 is used for fixedly holding the plug 7 in the mouth 6. The conduit 9 of the spout body 5 is provided with an opening 11 through which a liquid flows into the spout body 5. The mouth 6 may be provided in its inside surface with recesses arranged at intervals on a circle of two recesses disposed diametrically opposite to each other instead of the annular groove 10 formed in the inside surface of the part of the mouth 6 near the open end of the mouth 6.

The plug 7 has an outside diameter corresponding to the inside diameter of the mouth 6 of the spout body 5. The plug 7 is provided with a longitudinal through hole of a shape suitable for passing the liquid contained in the liquid container 1. For example, the plug 7 is provided with a round longitudinal through hole 7a as shown in FIG. 4(a), a cross-shaped longitudinal through hole 7b as shown in FIG. 4(b) or two separate, round longitudinal through holes 7c as shown in FIG. 4(c). The plug 7 may be provided with a longitudinal through hole having a star-shaped or a polygonal cross section.

The plug 7 is provided on its outside surface with an annular protrusion 12. The annular protrusion 12 engages in the annular groove 10 of the spout body 5 when the plug 7 is fitted in the spout body 5. The plug 7 may be provided on its outside surface with protrusions arranged on a circle instead of the annular protrusion 12, provided that the intermittently arranged protrusions can securely holding the plug 7 in the spout body 5. When the mouth 6 of the spout body 5 is provided with two recesses formed diametrically opposite to each other in its inside surface, the plug 7 is provided with two protrusions formed diametrically opposite to each other on its outside surface.

The plug 7 may be made of a gas barrier resin, such as EVAL, namely, an ethylene-vinyl alcohol copolymer, a polyolefin resin, such as a polyethylene resin or a polypropylene resin, or a polyester resin. The resin forming the plug 7 may contain an oxygen absorbent to protect the liquid contained in the liquid container 1 fro gases or oxygen. A proper material for forming the plug 7 is selectively determined taking into consideration the properties of a liquid to be contained in the liquid container 1.

The plug 7 is a cylindrical member having an outside diameter corresponding to the inside diameter of the mouth 6 of the spout body 5 made of a gas barrier resin. The plug 7 fitted in the mouth 6 of the spout body 5 can provide the mouth 6 of the spout body 5 with a gas barrier property.

The container body 4 is formed from a laminated film 13 as shown in FIG. 6. The laminated film 13 is formed by laminating a 12 μm thick polyester film 14, a 9 μm thick aluminum foil 15, a 15 μm thick polyamide film 16 and a polyethylene film 17 of a thickness in the range of 40 to 120 μm.

When a filling device, not shown, fills a liquid into the liquid container 1 through the spout body 5, the plug 7 is removed and the liquid is filled through the spout body 5 into the liquid container 1. Then, the plug 7 provided with a longitudinal through hole of a shape meeting the properties of the liquid is fitted in the mouth 6 of the spout body 5 so deep as to engage the annular protrusion 12 of the plug 7 in the annular groove 10 formed in the mouth 6 of the spout body 5. Consequently, plug 7 is securely held in the mouth 6 of the spout body 5. The liquid contained in the liquid container 1 can be efficiently poured out through the through hole of the special shape formed in the plug 7.

When a filling device, not shown, fills the liquid into the liquid container 1 through the open lower end of the pouch 4, the plug 7 provided with a longitudinal through hole of a shape meeting the properties of the liquid is fitted in the mouth 6 of the spout body 5 so deep as to engage the annular protrusion 12 of the plug 7 in the annular groove 10 formed in the mouth 6 of the spout body 5 to hold the plug 7 securely in the mouth 6 of the spout body 5. Subsequently, the filling device fills the liquid through the open lower end of the pouch 4, and then the open lower end of the pouch is heat-sealed to close the pouch 4. The liquid contained in the liquid container 1 can be efficiently poured out through the longitudinal through hole of the special shape.

The respective sectional areas of the round longitudinal through hole 7a, the cross-shaped longitudinal through hole 7b and the separate, round longitudinal through holes 7c are smaller than that of the mouth 6 of the spout body 5.

The liquid filled into the pouch 4 through the mouth 6 of the spout body 5 before the plug 7 is securely fitted in the mouth 6 of the spout body 5. The plug 7 is securely fitted in the mouth 6 of the spout body 5 after the pouch 4 has been filled up with the liquid. The plug 7 provided with the longitudinal through hole of a shape meeting the properties of a liquid to be contained in the liquid container 1. For example, the plug 7 provided with the cross-shaped longitudinal through hole 7b shown in FIG. 4(b) is used when mayonnaise having significance in its shape after being poured out is to be contained in the liquid container 1 and the plug 7 provided with the simple round, longitudinal through hole 7a shown in FIG. 4(a) is used when a source for grilled means not having any significance in the shape thereof after being poured out is to be contained in the liquid container 1.

In the liquid container 1 in this embodiment, the annular recess 10 is formed in the inside surface of the mouth 6 of the spout body 5 and the annular protrusion 12 that engages in the annular groove 10 is formed on the outside surface of the plug 7 to hold the plug 7 in the mouth 6 of the spout body 5 with the outside surface of the plug 7 in close contact with the inside surface of the mouth 6 of the spout body 5. The mouth 6 of the spout body 5 may be provided with an annular protrusion on the inside surface thereof and the plug 7 may be provided with an annular groove in the outside surface thereof.

According to the present invention, means other than the annular groove and the annular protrusion may be used for securely holding the plug 7 in the mouth 6 of the spout body 5 with the outside surface of the plug 7 in close contact with the inside surface of the mouth 6. For example, the mouth 6 and the plug may be provided with neither the annular recess nor the annular protrusion, and the outside surface of the plug 7 may be closely bonded to the inside surface of the mouth 6 with an adhesive. Generally, a screw thread with which a cap engages is formed on the outside surface of the mouth 6. Therefore, it is undesirable to put on the plug 7 on the mouth 6 with the inside surface of the plug in close contact with the outside surface of the mouth 6.

The pouch 4 of the liquid container 1 in this embodiment is a gusseted pouch having the gussets 2 and the opposite sidewalls 3. The pouch 4 may be a self-supporting pouch having opposite sidewalls and a bottom wall.

Function and effect of a liquid container including a self-supporting pouch havi9ng opposite sidewalls and a bottom wall are the same as those of the foregoing liquid container including the gusseted pouch and hence the description thereof will be omitted.