Title:
Resealable closure mechanism
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A resealable closure mechanism includes a first closure including a plurality of profiles including two functional male closure profiles and a first plurality of non-functional male closure profiles, wherein at least one of the non-functional male closure profiles is disposed between the two functional male profiles. A second closure opposes the first closure and includes two female closure profiles configured to interlock with the functional male closure profiles. The non-functional male profiles are configured such that the female profiles cannot interlock therewith.



Inventors:
Dais, Brian C. (Saginaw, MI, US)
Application Number:
11/786931
Publication Date:
01/03/2008
Filing Date:
04/13/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65D33/16
View Patent Images:
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20060062493Structure of bag bodyMarch, 2006Chu
20090052810COMPARTMENTED RESEALABLE PLASTIC BAGFebruary, 2009Anda
20080205801Method of Producing a Gusseted Bag from a Plastic Film and Bag Thus ObtainedAugust, 2008Alaux
20060072856Side tear tabless T-shirt style bag packApril, 2006Su et al.
20030059132Double walled transport bag and method of manufactureMarch, 2003Vetter
20030152300PouchAugust, 2003Tu et al.



Primary Examiner:
HELVEY, PETER N.
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
S.C. JOHNSON & SON, INC. (RACINE, WI, US)
Claims:
We claim:

1. A resealable closure mechanism, comprising: a first closure including a plurality of profiles including two functional male closure profiles and a plurality of non-functional male closure profiles, wherein at least one non-functional male closure profiles is disposed between the two functional male profiles; and a second closure opposing the first closure and including two female closure profiles configured to interlock with the functional male closure profiles; wherein the non-functional male profiles are configured such that the female profiles cannot interlock therewith.

2. The resealable closure mechanism of claim 1, wherein the functional and non-functional male closure profiles of the first closure are interconnected by a web of material.

3. The resealable closure mechanism of claim 2, wherein the functional male profiles include two hooks portions forming arrow-shaped profiles.

4. The resealable closure mechanism of claim 3, wherein the female closure profiles are disposed on separate closure strips.

5. The resealable closure mechanism of claim 4, wherein the female closure profiles include first and second legs extending from a base portion, wherein the legs terminate in hooks that engage the hook portions of the respective functional male profiles.

6. The resealable closure mechanism of claim 1, wherein the first closure is disposed on a first wall of a bag and the second closure is disposed on a second wall of the bag.

7. The resealable closure mechanism of claim 6, wherein at least one non-functional male closure profile is disposed between an uppermost functional male closure profile and a top portion of the bag.

8. The resealable closure mechanism of claim 7, wherein at least one non-functional male closure profiles is disposed between a lowermost functional male closure profile and a bottom portion of the bag.

9. The resealable closure mechanism of claim 6, wherein each of the non-functional male profiles includes a stem and opposing hook portions extending outwardly from the stem.

10. The resealable closure mechanism of claim 9, wherein the hook portions of the non-functional male profiles extend from middle portions of the stems such that a distance between the hook portions and the bag wall is small enough to prevent hooks of the female closure profiles from engaging the hook portions.

11. A resealable closure mechanism, comprising: a first closure strip including a functional male closure profile and a plurality of non-functional male closure profiles, wherein a web of material interconnects the functional and non-functional closure profiles; and a second closure strip opposing the first closure strip and including a female closure profile extending therefrom and configured to interlock with the functional male closure profile; wherein the non-functional male profile is configured such that the female profile cannot interlock therewith.

12. The resealable closure mechanism of claim 11, wherein the first closure strip further includes an additional functional male closure profile.

13. The resealable closure mechanism of claim 12, further including a third closure strip opposing the first closure strip and having a second female closure profile extending therefrom and configured to interlock with the additional functional male closure profile.

14. The resealable closure mechanism of claim 13, wherein the functional male profiles include two hooks portions forming arrow-shaped profiles.

15. The resealable closure mechanism of claim 14, wherein the female closure profiles include first and second legs extending from a base portion, wherein the legs terminate in hooks that engage the hook portions of the respective functional male profiles.

16. The resealable closure mechanism of claim 15, wherein the first closure strip is attached to a first wall of a bag and the second and third closure strips are attached to a second wall of the bag.

17. The resealable closure mechanism of claim 11, wherein at least one non-functional male closure profiles is disposed between an uppermost functional male closure profile and a top portion of the bag.

18. The resealable closure mechanism of claim 17, wherein at least one non-functional male closure profiles is disposed between a lowermost functional male closure profile and a bottom portion of the bag.

19. The resealable closure mechanism of claim 18, wherein each of the non-functional male profiles includes a stem and opposing hook portions extending outwardly from the stem.

20. The resealable closure mechanism of claim 19, wherein the hook portions of the non-functional male profiles extend from middle portions of the stems such that a distance between the hook portions and the bag wall is small enough to prevent hooks of the female closure profiles from engaging the hook portions.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/806,156, filed Jun. 29, 2006, and entitled “Resealable Closure Mechanism.”

REFERENCE REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT

Not applicable

SEQUENTIAL LISTING

Not applicable

BACKGROUND

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates generally to closure mechanisms, and more particularly to closure mechanisms having at least one functional male closure profile and at least one female closure profile.

2. Description of the Background of the Invention

A thermoplastic pouch in the form of a bag for the storage of items generally includes a closure mechanism, which has two separate closure strips attached to inner surfaces of opposing pouch walls. A first closure strip typically has one or more continuous closure elements or profiles of various cross-sectional shapes that interlock with one or more closure elements of a second opposing closure strip. These closure mechanisms are known in the art.

In some instances, closure mechanisms have a zipper strip that has a male profile and a female profile, wherein the male profile has a base and at least one male interlocking member extending from the base toward the female profile. The female profile has a base and at least one female interlocking member extending from the base toward the male profile. The male and female interlocking members are engageable with each other to join the male and female profiles together. One or both of the profiles is provided with at least one high compression member that allows the interlocked profiles to be sealed to thermoplastic film across the widths of respective bases thereof without the interlocking members being crushed or distorted.

Other closure devices have male and female fastening strips arranged to be interlocked over a predetermined length. The female fastening strip has a female closure element having parallel webs that have hook closure portions. The male fastening strip has a male closure element having parallel webs that also have hook closure portions. The hook portions of the male closure element have guide surfaces to guide the hook portions for occlusion with the female hook portions. The male fastening strip also has wings that are flexible and extend from the base of the fastening strip. The wings terminate in an end portion that projects outwardly from the wings.

Some fasteners have extruded reclosable plastic profile strips, wherein the profile strips have a plurality of interlocking ribs that have a generally arrow-head shaped cross-section or a fastener rib having a generally arrow-head shaped cross-section on one strip interlockably received in a fastener rib having a generally groove-shaped cross-section on the opposing strip.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

According to one aspect of the present invention, a resealable closure mechanism includes a first closure including a plurality of profiles including two functional male closure profiles and a first plurality of non-functional male closure profiles, wherein at least one of the non-functional male closure profiles is disposed between the two functional male profiles. A second closure opposes the first closure and includes two female closure profiles configured to interlock with the functional male closure profiles. The non-functional male profiles are configured such that the female profiles cannot interlock therewith.

According to another aspect of the present invention, a resealable closure mechanism includes a first closure strip including a functional male closure profile and a plurality of non-functional male closure profiles, wherein a web of material interconnects the functional and non-functional closure profiles. A second closure strip opposes the first closure strip and includes a female closure profile extending therefrom and configured to interlock with the functional male closure profile. The non-functional male profile is configured such that the female profile cannot interlock therewith.

Other aspects and advantages of the present application will become apparent upon consideration of the following detailed description. Like reference numerals in the drawings designate like structures in the various embodiments.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is an front elevational view of a reclosable pouch according to the present application; and

FIG. 2 is an enlarged, partial sectional view taken generally along the lines 2-2 of FIG. 1, omitting portions behind the plane of section for purposes of clarity.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Referring to FIG. 1, a resealable pouch in the form of a thermoplastic storage bag 10 comprises first and second bag walls 12, 14. The first and second bag walls 12, 14 are joined at first and second side portions 16, 18, respectively, and at a bottom portion 20. An opening 22 is formed at a top portion 24 of the bag 10. A first closure strip 26, extending from the first side portion 16 to the second side portion 18, is secured to an inside surface of the first bag wall 12. Second and third closure strips 28a, 28b extend from the first side portion 16 to the second side portion 18 and are secured to an inside surface of the second bag wall 14. The first, second, and third closure strips 26, 28a, 28b are disposed near the top portion 24 of the bag 10 and the first closure strip engages the second and third closure strips 28a, 28b to comprise a closure mechanism for the bag.

As best seen in FIG. 2, the second and third closure strips 28a, 28b include first and second spaced apart generally symmetric female closure profiles 30a, 30b, respectively. The female closure profile 30a includes first and second legs 32a, 32b extending therefrom with hooks 34a, 34b extending downwardly from the legs 32a, 32b toward the second closure strip 28a. Similarly, the female closure profile 30b includes first and second legs 36a, 36b extending therefrom with hooks 38a, 38b extending downwardly from the legs 36a, 36b toward the second closure strip 28b.

The closure strip 26 includes a web of material 37 interconnecting a plurality of male closure profiles 40a-40j. The male profiles 40a, 40b, 40d-40g, 40i, and 40j are non-functional male closure profiles in that they are not adapted to engage other closure profiles and the male profiles 40c and 40h are functional male closure profiles in that they are adapted to engage other closure profiles. The non-functional male profiles 40a, 40b are disposed between the top portion 24 of the bag 10 and the functional male profile 40c, the non-functional male profiles 40d-40g are disposed between the functional male profiles 40c and 40h, and the non-functional male profiles 40i and 40j are disposed between the functional male profile 40h and bottom portion 20 of the bag 10.

In one embodiment, the functional male closure profiles 44c, 44h have the same general cross-sectional shape. For example, each of the functional male closure profiles 40c, 40h includes a stem 42c, 42h with two opposing hook portions 44c, 44h, respectively, that form a generally arrow-shaped cross-section. The hook portions 44c, 44h extend downwardly from top portions 45c, 45h of the stems 42c, 42h toward the first closure strip 26, wherein the functional male profiles 40c, 40h are aligned with the female profiles 30a, 30b, respectively. The hook portions 44c of the functional male closure profile 40c engage the hooks 38a of the female closure profile 30a and the hook portions 44h of the functional male closure profile 40h engage the hooks 38b of the female closure profile 30b to form a closure mechanism to seal the bag 10.

The non-functional male profiles 40a, 40b, 40d-40g, 40i, and 40j include stems 50a, 50b, 50d-50g, 50i, and 50j each having two opposing hook portions 52a, 52b, 52d-52g, 52i, and 52j, respectively. The hook portions 52a, 52b, 52d-52g, 52i, and 52j extend downwardly from middle portions 54a, 54b, 54d-54g, 54i, and 54j of the stems 50a, 50b, 50d-50g, 50i, and 50j toward the first closure strip 26. The hook portions 52a, 52b, 52d-52g, 52i, and 52j are disposed a distance from the bag wall 12 small enough to prevent the hooks 38a, 38b of the female closure profiles 30a, 30b from engaging the hook portions 52a, 52b, 52d-52g, 52i, and 52j of the non-functional male closure profiles 40a, 40b, 40d-40g, 40i, and 40j.

Illustratively if, as a user is closing the closure strips 26, 28a, 28b, pressure is exerted on one or both of the female closure profiles 30a, 30b toward one of the non-functional male closure profiles 40a, 40b, 40d-40g, 40i, and 40j, the female closure profile 30a, 30b will slide up the respective stem 50a, 50b, 50d-50g, 50i, and 50j of the non-functional male closure profile 40a, 40b, 40d-40g, 40i, and 40j, but will not engage the hook portions 52a, 52b, 52d-52g, 52i, and 52j thereof. Instead, the female closure profile 30a 30b will pop off the respective non-functional male closure profile 40a, 40b, 40d-40g, 40i, and 40j and realign with other male closure profiles 40a-40j until the female closure profile 30a, 30b engages a functional male closure profile 40c, 40h.

Although the embodiment of FIG. 2 depicts a first closure strip 26 with ten male closure profiles 40a-40j, any number and/or shape of male closure profiles may be used as long as a plurality non-functional male closure profiles surround one or more functional male closure profiles. Further, any number of female closure profiles may be utilized as long as a number of functional male closure profiles are present and aligned for engagement with the female closure profiles to provide a closure mechanism for the bag 10.

In one embodiment, the first closure strip 26 is extruded onto the first bag wall 12 using a die plate shaped to form the male closure profiles 40a-40j and the web of material 37 connecting the male closure profiles 40a-40j. Each of the female closure profiles 30a, 30b may be extruded separately onto the second bag wall 14 such that there is no separate material other than the bag wall 14 connecting the female closure profiles 30a, 30b.

INDUSTRIAL APPLICABILITY

The embodiments of the thermoplastic storage bag as described herein advantageously provide a consumer with a bag having a closure mechanism, wherein the closure mechanism comprises at least one functional male closure profile, a plurality of non-functional male closure profiles, and at least one female closure profile. The functional male closure profile and the female closure profile provide a resealable closure for the bag. The non-functional male closure profiles may provide a stabilizer and a guide for a user's fingers. The non-functional male closure profiles further may aide in aligning the functional male closure profile with the female closure profile.

Numerous modifications will be apparent to those skilled in the art in view of the foregoing description. Accordingly, this description is to be construed as illustrative only and is presented for the purpose of enabling those skilled in the art to make and use the embodiments of the application and to teach the best mode of carrying out same. The exclusive rights to all modifications, which come within the scope of the appended claims, are reserved.