Title:
DRY JOINT COMPOUND IN A GRADUATED CONTAINER FOR ACCURATE WATER ADDITION
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A joint compound container including a base member having a sidewall and a bottom wall defining an interior space with an open top end where a surface of the sidewall includes an indicator. A cover is attached to the top end of the base member and a designated amount of base compound is stored in the interior space of the base member. In use, the cover is removed from the base member and water is added into the interior space of the base member until a level of the water reaches the indicator.



Inventors:
Hargrove, Pamela L. (Cary, IL, US)
Application Number:
15/237217
Publication Date:
04/06/2017
Filing Date:
08/15/2016
Assignee:
United States Gypsum Company (Chicago, IL, US)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65D25/56; B65D25/28; B65D43/02; B65D85/00
View Patent Images:
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Foreign References:
WO2009069162A12009-06-04
GB2464776A2010-05-05
Primary Examiner:
GEHMAN, BRYON P
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
GREER, BURNS & CRAIN, LTD. (CHICAGO, IL, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A joint compound container comprising: a base member having a sidewall and a bottom wall defining an interior space with an open top end, a surface of said sidewall including an indicator; a cover attached to said top end of said base member; and a designated amount of base compound in the interior space of said base member, wherein in use, said cover is removed from said base member and water is added into the interior space of said base member until a level of the water reaches said indicator.

2. The container of claim 1, wherein said indicator is a line that extends about an entire periphery of said inner surface of said base member.

3. The container of claim 2, wherein said line is formed by a marking material applied to said inner surface of said base member.

4. The container of claim 2, wherein said line is a groove formed in said inner surface of said base member.

5. The container of claim 1, wherein said cover is a resealable cover.

6. The container of claim 1, wherein said cover includes at least one breakable tab.

7. The container of claim 1, wherein said indicator is located at a designated distance above said base compound.

8. The container of claim 1, further comprising a message area on said surface of said base member.

9. The container of claim 1, wherein said base member is made of a semi-transparent material or a transparent material.

10. A joint compound container comprising: a base member having a sidewall and a bottom wall defining an interior space with an open top end, a surface of said sidewall including a plurality of indicators; a cover attached to said top end of said base member; and a designated amount of base compound in the interior space of said base member, wherein in use, said cover is removed from said base member and water is added into the interior space of said base member until a level of the water reaches one of said indicators based on a desired consistency of the joint compound.

11. The container of claim 10, wherein each of said indicators is a line that extends about an entire periphery of said inner surface of said base member.

12. The container of claim 11, wherein each said line is formed by a marking material applied to said inner surface of said base member.

13. The container of claim 11, wherein each said line is a groove formed in said inner surface of said base member.

14. The container of claim 10, wherein said cover includes at least one breakable tab.

15. The container of claim 10, wherein each of said indicators is located at a different designated distance above said base compound.

16. The container of claim 10, further comprising a message area on said surface of said base member.

17. The container of claim 10, wherein said base member is made of a semi-transparent material or a transparent material.

Description:

BACKGROUND

The present invention relates to a joint compound, and more specifically, to a dry base compound, i.e., powder, stored in a graduated container with at least one indicator mark for proper water addition that enables the base compound to be mixed in the original packaging with the correct water amount to form a joint compound suitable for various phases of drywall finishing while reducing shipping costs and significantly extending product shelf life prior to the addition of water to the base compound.

Joint compound is available in various forms, including a ready-mixed form that is pre-mixed and can be immediately applied to a surface, and in a powder form that must be mixed with water prior to application. Most joint compound that is commercially sold is in the ready-mixed form. Ready-mixed joint compound has a paste-like consistency that includes both mineral and organic components with 40% to 70% of the total compound being water. After being mixed in a factory, the ready-mixed joint compound is usually stored or packaged in various sized plastic containers and shipped to consumers. In use, the consistency of pre-mixed joint compound is typically adjusted on a job site by adding water to meet an applicator's preferences, and according to the particular finishing step required for a job, such as a tape coat, fill coat, or a finish coat. Although pre-mixed joint compound is convenient and immediately ready for use, there are drawbacks that limit its performance and use. For instance, since ready-mixed joint compound has a significant amount of water, problems occur during storage of the material in heat or freezing temperatures, which causes unintended viscosity changes, rapid breakdown of the biocide resulting in premature spoilage of the joint compound in the wet state, and phase separation or settling of the solids after freezing. Also, ready-mixed joint compound requires the addition of in-can preservatives or biocides as well as other chemical additives to eliminate the biological activity and growth present in wet joint compound. The addition of these chemicals helps improve the shelf life and working properties of the ready-mixed joint compound, but also releases harmful contaminants, such as volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and formaldehyde to the atmosphere. Other raw materials commonly present in ready-mixed joint compound include latex emulsions, which also contribute to the VOCs but are not present in a powdered joint compound.

Typically, powder joint compound compositions are of lower quality and cost than ready-mixed joint compounds, and are commonly sold in large bags such as twenty-five pound paper bags. To use the powder compositions, an end user must have an empty container, such as a five gallon bucket, transfer an amount of the powder composition to the container and then make incremental water and powder additions until a desired consistency of the joint compound is achieved. Mixing the powder composition with the correct amount of water is very important to getting the joint compound to a workable consistency for application to wallboard. In mixing the powder joint compounds, a user must rely on proper interpretation of mixing directions printed on the package. If the mixture includes too much water, the joint compound will be too thin for use and must either be discarded or re-tempered with an additional amount of the powder. If too little water is used, the joint compound will be too thick, and additional water must be added. The incremental addition of water and powder is time consuming and burdensome.

There are also drawbacks with the paper packaging used for powdered joint compound. For example, the packaging can be accidentally ripped, torn or damaged during shipping, transport and handling of the packaging, which results in costly spillage loss of the powdered joint compound. Furthermore, the packaging can fail due to exposure to rain or snow during storage and/or transport of the product to a job site resulting in further loss of the product. Some of the powdered joint compound can also be lost during transfer of the product from the packaging to an empty container for mixing thereby further adding to the loss of the product.

Accordingly, there is a need for a secure container that stores powdered joint compound while minimizing product loss and shipping and transportation costs, and that is easily mixed to a desired consistency for application at a job site.

SUMMARY

The present invention relates to a joint compound, and more specifically, to a dry joint compound, i.e., base compound, stored in a graduated container with one or more indicator marks for proper water addition that enables the base compound to be mixed in the original packaging with the correct amount of water to form a joint compound suitable for various phases of drywall finishing, while reducing shipping costs and significantly extending product shelf life prior to the water addition to the base compound.

In an embodiment, a joint compound container is provided and includes a base member having a sidewall and a bottom wall defining an interior space with an open top end where a surface of the sidewall includes an indicator. A cover is attached to the top end of the base member and a designated amount of base compound is stored in the interior space of the base member. In use, the cover is removed from the base member and water is added into the interior space of the base member until a level of the water reaches the indicator.

In another embodiment, a joint compound container is provided and includes a base member having a sidewall and a bottom wall defining an interior space with an open top end where a surface of the sidewall includes a plurality of indicators which reflect the necessary water addition to achieve the desired consistency for the intended finishing step such as taping, filling, or finishing the joints. A cover is attached to the top end of the base member and a designated amount of base compound is stored in the interior space of the base member. In use, the cover is removed from the base member and water is added into the interior space of the base member until a level of the water reaches one of the indicators based on a desired consistency of joint compound.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an embodiment of the present joint compound container;

FIG. 2A is a cross-section view of the joint compound container of FIG. 1 taken substantially along line 2A-2A in the direction generally indicated;

FIG. 2B is an enlarged partial cross-section view of connection between the cover and the base member of the joint compound container of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is an elevational view of another embodiment of the present joint compound container with the cover removed; and

FIG. 4 is an elevational view of a further embodiment of the present joint compound container where the container includes a plurality of indicators.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

The present joint compound container includes a designated amount of a powdered, base compound stored in a graduated container having at least one indicator mark for proper water addition to the base compound that enables a user to quickly and easily add a correct amount of water to the base compound in the container to form joint compound while reducing shipping costs and harmful contaminants, and significantly extending the shelf life of the product prior to the addition of water to the base compound.

Referring now to FIGS. 1 and 2, the present joint compound container generally designated as 10, includes a base member 12 having a generally cylindrical sidewall 14 and a bottom wall 16. In the illustrated embodiment, the cylindrical sidewall 14 and the bottom wall 16 are integrally formed together and are each made of a durable plastic. It is contemplated that the base member 12 may have any suitable shape. For example, in another embodiment, the base member 12 includes four sidewalls that form a square or rectangular shape and a bottom wall attached to each of the sidewalls. As shown in FIG. 2A, the sidewall 14 has an inner surface 18, an outer surface 20 and a designated thickness “T”. It is contemplated that the sidewall 14 may have any suitable thickness that sufficiently maintains the integrity of the joint compound during storage. Additionally, the base member 12 has a designated height “H” where the height “H” and inner diameter of the base member are based on the amount of the powdered, base compound 22 stored in the base member. For example, the base member 12 typically has a volume of 3.5 to 4.5 gallons (13.25-17.03 L) for storing the mixed joint compound. It should be appreciated that the base member 12 may be any suitable size, shape and volume. In the illustrated embodiment, the base member 12 includes a top end 24 and a bottom end 26 where the bottom end is closed by the bottom wall 16 as shown in FIG. 2A. The top end 24 is open or has an opening 28 that enables a user to access the hollow interior of the base member 12 to add and mix water 21 with the base compound 22. After mixing, the resulting joint compound is applied to one or more wall surfaces.

The inner surface 18 of the base member 12 is generally smooth and includes at least one indicator, i.e., a water level indicator, in the form of a line 30 (FIG. 2A) that indicates the amount of water 21 to add to the amount of the base compound 22 in the base member to form a designated amount of joint compound. In the illustrated embodiment, the line 30 is a prominent marking on the inner surface 18 of the base member 12 formed with waterproof ink, paint or any other suitable marking material. The line 30 may extend about a portion of the inner surface 18 or the entire periphery of the inner surface 18 of the base member. In another embodiment, the line 30 is a groove formed in the inner surface 18. The groove may be any suitable depth as long as the groove is visible and does not negatively affect the structural integrity of the base member. As shown in FIG. 2A, the line 30 is placed at a designated distance above the powdered, base compound 22 where the distance is based on the amount of water 21 that must be added to the amount of the base compound 22 stored in the base member 12. As such, the location of the line 30 on the inner surface 18 of the base member 12 changes based on the amount of the base compound 22 stored in the base member.

Alternatively as shown in FIG. 3, in another embodiment, the water level indicator is a line 32 on the outer surface 20 of the base member 12. In this embodiment, the base member 12 is made with a semi-transparent or transparent material so that the level of the water 21 added to the base member 12 is visible relative to the water level indicator or line 32 from outside of the base member. Similar to the above embodiment, the line 32 may extend about a portion of the outer surface 20 as shown in FIG. 3, or about the entire outer periphery of the outer surface 20, where the line 32 marked on the outer surface is formed with a marking material, such as ink or paint, or a groove formed in the outer surface.

The base member 12 is sealed by a lid or cover 34 attached to the top end 24 of the base member. To preserve the base compound 22 during storage and shipping, the cover 34 forms a seal with the base member 12. In an embodiment, the cover 34 includes a groove 36 extending about the inner periphery of the cover that corresponds to a protruding lip 38 extending about the outer periphery of the base member 12. The cover 34 is attached to the base member 12 by engaging the lip 38 in the groove 36. In another embodiment, the top end 24 of the base member 12 includes threads that threadingly engage corresponding threads on an inner surface of the cover 34 to secure the cover to the base member 12. It should be appreciated that the cover 34 and the base member 12 may be attached to each other using any suitable attachment or connection method.

To protect against tampering during storage or shipping of the joint compound, an edge 40 of the cover 34 includes at least one breakable tab 42 in which the cover cannot be removed from the base member 12 until the tab 42 is broken. As shown in FIG. 1, the tab 42 is formed by cutting an opening 44 in the cover 34 during the manufacturing process. The opening 44 enables a user to insert a tool (not shown), such as a screwdriver, behind the tab 42 and then move the tool, and thereby the tab 42 outwardly away from the base member 12 until an end 46 of the tab 42 breaks or is severed from the edge 40 of the cover 34. Breaking the tab 42 enables the edge 40 of the cover 34 to be flexed or moved outwardly from the base member 12 to release the groove 36 on the inner surface of the cover 34 from the lip 38 on the base member 12 thereby enabling the cover 34 to be removed from the base member 12. It should be appreciated that the cover 34 may include one tab 42 as described above or a plurality of the tabs 42.

In the illustrated embodiment, the container 10 includes a handle 48 having opposing ends 50, where the ends 50 are each pivotably connected to opposing sides 52 of the base member 12 by inserting the ends 50 in corresponding openings 54 in the base member 12. In the illustrated embodiment, the handle 48 includes a single, curved wire 56 having a plastic grip 58 for comfortably grabbing the handle and transporting the container 10. It should be appreciated that the handle 48 may be any suitable size and shape and may be made out of other suitable materials, including but not limited to, plastic. In another embodiment, the container 10 does not include a handle and is transported by grasping the base member 12.

In an embodiment, the base member 12 includes a message area 60 that includes a message such as “Fill Water to this Line” or a similar message to instruct a user that the line 30 is the water level fill line or water level indicator. It should be appreciated that the message area 60 may include any suitable message and/or characters, such as an arrow, to describe the purpose of the line 30 and/or instruct the user.

The joint compound stored in the container 10 is in a powder form, commonly referred to as the base compound 22. The powder or base compound 22 typically includes a filler, such as calcium carbonate, a binder, a thickener, and a non-leveling agent as understood by those well skilled in the art. A lightweight filler may be optionally included in the base compound 22 to adjust the density of the composition.

Fillers for use in the base compound 22 may be any of the calcium carbonate or calcium sulfate dihydrate fillers, including but not limited to calcium carbonate, common to preparation of typical joint compounds and known to those skilled in the art. Examples of fillers used in the base compound 22, include but are not limited to, dolomitic limestone such as Dolocron® 4512 manufactured by Specialty Minerals Inc. in New York, N.Y.; cellulose ethers such as Bermocoll® CCA 098 manufactured by Akzo Nobel Chemicals AG, Switzerland; cellulose ethers such as Tylose® MOT 60,000 manufactured by SE Tylose GmbH & Co.KG; mica such as P-80-F Mica manufactured by United States Gypsum Company; and talc such as TC-100 Talc manufactured by Imerys Talc in Paris, France. It should be appreciated that any suitable filler or combination of fillers may be used in the base compound 22. Typically, fillers ground to a median particle size between 5 and 40 microns are used where usage levels are commonly between 50% to 95% by weight of the total composition ingredients not including the water added, although examples of filler-free compounds do exist.

The binder is preferably a latex emulsion binder, which is an important ingredient well known to those skilled in the joint compound art. An example of such a binder is tufCor® 1214 manufactured by Celanese Corporation in Irving, Tex. Any of the conventional latex binders may be used, with polyvinyl acetate and ethylene vinyl acetate emulsions being preferred. If present, the latex binder ranges from about 0.5% to about 10% by weight of the composition prior to adding water, with some embodiments using 1% to about 8% (by weight on a dried component basis). The use of spray-dried binders is contemplated with usages ranging from 0.1% to 1.5% (by weight on a dried component basis).

It is also generally preferred that the base compound 22 include one or more thickeners. Conventional cellulosic thickeners, e.g. ethylhydroxy ethylcellulose, hydroxypropyl methylcellulose, methylhydroxypropyl cellulose, hydroxyethyl cellulose, methylhydroxyethyl cellulose and mixtures thereof, may be used in the base compound 22. Preferably, the base compound 22 is made with a hydrous magnesium aluminum silicate thickener such as Min-u-gel FG manufactured by Active Minerals International, LLC in Hunt Valley, Md. The total amount of cellulosic thickener ranges from about 0.1% to about 3%, preferably 0.3 to 1% by weight of the total composition ingredients not including the water added. It is contemplated that other thickeners will be used instead of or in addition to the cellulosic thickener.

By including only the dry, powdered base compound 22 in the container 10, the problems associated with pre-mixed type joint compound (which includes water), are overcome. For example, the base compound 22 does not include preservatives and bactericides that are needed with pre-mixed type joint compound to prolong the shelf life of the joint compound and to inhibit mold and other contaminants from forming in the joint compound during storage. Also, the absence of water helps to prevent the base compound 22 from freezing during storage and shipping in cold environmental conditions, where freezing can occur with pre-mixed type joint compound. Since freezing can degrade the composition of the pre-mixed joint compound and possibly expand and crack the joint compound container, the present container 10 also overcomes these issues. Furthermore, removing the preservatives and bactericides, which are needed in pre-mixed type joint compound, eliminates volatile organic compounds and other harmful vapors from accumulating and being emitted from the joint compound during storage and use. The present base compound 22 is also lighter in weight than pre-mixed type joint compound due to the absence of water. Reducing the weight of the base compound 22, and more specifically, the container 10, reduces the weight of the container being shipped thereby reducing the shipping costs of when shipping one or more of the containers.

In use, a user breaks one or more of the tabs 42 on the cover 34 of the container 10 and removes the cover 34 from the base member 12. Water 21 is then added into the base compound 22 in the base member 12 until the water level reaches the line 30 on the inner surface 18 (or the line 32 on the outer surface 20) of the base member. The user then mixes the water 21 and the base compound 22 together using a joint compound applicator tool, such as a mud knife, a joint compound mixing tool, such as a drill-type mixing tool with a mixer attachment, or other suitable mixing implement. After the joint compound is mixed, the user applies the joint compound to one or more surfaces. Any unused joint compound can be stored in the container 10 by re-attaching and re-sealing the cover 34 on the base member 12.

Referring to FIG. 4, another embodiment of the present joint compound container is illustrated where the container 62 includes a base member 64 having a sidewall 66 and a bottom wall 68 defining an interior space with an open top end 70. A surface (the inner surface 72 or the outer surface 74) of the sidewall 66 includes a plurality of indicators, such as lines 76a, 76b and 76c marked on the surface. Also, a resealable cover 78 is attached to the top end 70 of the base member 64. In use, a designated amount of base compound 80 is stored in the interior space of the base member 64, where, the cover 78 is removed from the base member 64 and water 82 is added into the interior space of the base member 64 until a level of the water 82 reaches one of the lines 76a, 76b and 76c based on a desired consistency of joint compound. As such, each of the indicators, i.e., lines 76a, 76b and 76c, are at different distances above the base compound 80 and associated with different consistencies of the joint compound based on a desired finish on a surface. It should be appreciated that the indicators or lines 76a, 76b and 76c may all be the same length or different lengths and one or more of the lines may extend about a portion or an entire periphery of the surface of the base member 64.

While particular embodiments of the present joint compound container have been shown and described, it will be appreciated by those skilled in the art that changes and modifications may be made thereto without departing from the invention in its broader aspects and as set forth in the following claims.