Packaged article including blocking and cushioning means

Abstract

The combination of a rectangular article and a container having top and side walls spaced from the article walls and means for blocking and cushioning the upper end of the article comprising pads positioned between the top side edges of the article and the corresponding edges of the container. Each pad is formed from a fiber sheet or paperboard tube cut and folded to form a semicylindrical portion for engaging the container top and side walls and quarter-cylindrical wings folded into engagement with the inner surface of the semi-cylindrical portion for engaging the side and top walls of the article adjacent the top side edge thereof. The pads extend the full dimension of the container, and cylindrical paperboard collars are secured to the pads for engaging the adjacent front and back surfaces of the article, these collars being pivotally fastened and spaced from the ends of the pads and wedged between the pad and container walls to provide limited cushioned horizontal movement of the article within the container.

Claims

1. An edge and corner blocking member for protectively packaging a top edge and adjacent corners of a rectangular article in spaced relationship to the adjacent inner surfaces of a rectangular container, said top edge and corners of the container being defined by intersecting walls and top of said rectangular article, comprising: an elongated pad having ends, an axis, a semi-cylindrical portion having first and second ends and extending along the axis for engaging adjoining side and top wall surfaces of the container in the installed position and a pair of integral wing cushioning portions for resiliently contacting and supporting intersecting side and top wall surfaces forming said edge of said rectangular article, each of said wing cushioning portions having a first edge hingedly connected to the first edge of the respective semi-cylindrical portion and a second edge positioned adjacent and directed toward the concave surface of said semi-cylindrical portion; a pair of cylindrical blocking collars each having inner and outer edges, an axis, and an opening extending axially therethrough, said pad extending through the collar openings with each collar being positioned adjacent and spaced from a respective pad end and with the inner edges of each collar substantially engaging an opposed wall of said article in the installed position; and fastening means for pivotally connecting each collar to the pad for pivotal movement of the collar relative to the axis of the pad. 2. A blocking member according to claim 1 in which said fastening means comprises mechanical fastening means penetrating said collar and said semi-cylindrical portion of said pad. 3. A blocking member according to claim 2 in which said fastening means consists of staples. 4. In combination with a generally rectangular article and its generally rectangular container having walls spaced from said article walls, protective blocking and cushioning members embracing the opposite top edges and the adjacent corners of said article, each of said members comprising: a pad of somewhat resilient sheet material including a semi-cylindrical portion and quarter-cylindrical wings integrally hinged along opposite longitudinal edges thereof with corresponding edges of said semi-cylindrical portion and having their free longitudinal edges engaging the concave surface of said semi-cylindrical portion; said pad being positioned between a top edge of said article and said container with the ends thereof substantially engaging opposite walls of said container and with the convex surfaces of said quarter-cylindrical wings engaging adjacent wall areas of said article and the semi-cylindrical portion engaging the adjacent wall areas of said container; cylindrical collars axially coincident with and encompassing opposite ends of said pad with the portions thereof between said pad and said container firmly engaged thereby; said collars being fastened to the semi-cylindrical portion of said pad so that the free inner edges thereof are respectively in substantial engagement with the walls of said article adjacent and perpendicular to said top edge; at least the free portions of said respective collars being of axial widths less tHan the distances between the respective walls of said article and container so that the outer edges thereof are spaced from the adjacent container walls; said collars being loosely fastened to said pad whereby movement of said article relative to said container in a direction parallel to the top edge thereof causes the cabinet engaging portion of said collar to pivot in the direction of the adjacent container wall about a point substantially adjacent the inner edge of said collar and midway between the points of contact of said collar with said container walls, such rotation being opposed by the pressures exerted on the portions of said collar overlying the semi-cylindrical pad portion by the walls of said container in contact therewith to thereby cushion and limit said movement. 5. A combination according to claim 4 in which said collars are composed of paperboard. 6. A combination according to claim 4 in which said collars have widths at least one-third their diameter. 7. A combination according to claim 4 in which said collars are stapled to the semi-cylindrical portion of said pad.
United States Patent 1191 Scharre 5] Dec. 17, 1974 [75] Inventor: Edward W. Scharre, Louisville, Ky. [73] Assignee: General Electric Company, Louisville, Ky. [22] Filed: Jan. 29, 1973 [21] Appl. No.: 327,789 Related U.S. Application Data [63] Continuation-impart of Ser. No. 186,923, Oct. 6, Primary Examiner-William T. Dixson, Jr. Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Francis H. Boos 571 ABSTRACT The combination of a rectangular article and a container having top and side walls spaced from the article walls and means for blocking and cushioning the upper end of the article comprising pads positioned between the top side edges of the article and the corresponding edges of the container. Each pad is formed from a fiber sheet or paperboard tube cut and folded to form a semi-cylindrical portion for engaging the container top and side walls and quarter-cylindrical wings folded into engagement with the inner surface of the semi-cylindrical portion for engaging the side and top walls of the article adjacent the top side edge thereof. The pads extend the full dimension of the container, and cylindrical paperboard collars are secured to the pads for engaging the adjacent front and back surfaces of the article, these collars being pivotally fastened and spaced from the ends of the pads and wedged between the pad and container walls to provide limited cushioned horizontal movement of the article within the container. 7 Claims, 3 Drawing Figures PACKAGED ARTICLE INCLUDING BLOCKING AND CUSHIONING MEANS CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS The present application is a continuation-in-part of application Ser. No. 186,923, filed Oct. 6, 1971. BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Because of their strength, resiliency, ready availability and low cost, paperboard tubes have been widely used as blanks in the formation of a wide variety of packing members. U.S. Pat. No. 3,129,868-Jenk and US. Pat. No. 3,244,347-Jenk are primarily concerned with the members formed from paperboard tubes for resistance to compression as applied normal to the axis of curvature of a restrained curvilinear surface section. In making these corner posts, a tube is cut to the desired length, scored along diametrically opposite parallel lines and then slit its full length between the score lines to form a pair of quarter-cylindrical sections joined at the score lines to a semi-cylindrical section. The quarter-cylindrical sections are then folded inwardly until their convex surfaces engage each other adjacent the inner concave surface of the semicylindrical section. Four of such corner posts vertically positioned at the corners of a generally rectangular containerand in snug engagement with the correspond ing vertical corner wall surfaces of a generally rectangular article within the container have been used not only to restrain relative movement in the two horizontal dimensions between the article and container but, also, to increase the overall resistance of the container to compression as may be desired in the case of stacked containers. Additionally, the compressive strength and resiliency of the various curvilinear surface sections normal to their axes of curvature act to absorb or cushion laterally applied shock forces. However, these corner post structures do not cushion or restrain relative vertical movement of the articles and container. The vertical corner post tubular packing members illustrated in-U.S. Pat. Nos. 2,019,778 and 3,221,872 are slit and folded only intermediate the upper and lower ends thereof leaving integral cylindrical upper and lower end portions for vertically supporting the article in spaced relation to the top and bottom walls of the container. However, the relatively uncompressible cylindrical end sections do not provide significant cushioning of the article. It is the object of the invention to provide blocking and cushioning members which, when used as a pair along opposite top edges of a rectangular article, will provide three-dimensional restraint of relative movement and shock transmission between the rectangular article and its rectangular enclosing container and will particularly cushion abnormal relative movement of the article and container in a horizontal direction parallel to the top edges. SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The invention, insofar as the specific construction of the blocking and cushioning means per se is concerned, constitutes an improvement over the specific corner post constructions previously described and illustrated in aforementioned U.S. patents in that it provides substantial resilient cushioning of the article in both vertical and horizontal planes. The novel blocking member of this invention is more particularly used in a different manner than the prior art vertical corner post constructions, viz., to embrace two of the upper horizontal edges and two opposing vertical surfaces of the packaged article rather than the vertical edges and opposing horizontal edges thereof. More specifically, in the combination of a generally rectangular article having top and vertical side walls and its generally rectangular container having top and vertical side walls spaced from the article walls, the illustrated protective blocking and cushioning means of the present invention embrace opposed horizontal top edges and adjacent corners of the article. Each of the members comprise a pad of somewhat resilient paperboardsheet material including a semi-cylindrical portion and quarter-cylindrical wings integrally hinged along opposite longitudinal edges thereof with corresponding edges of the semi-cylindrical portion and having their free longitudinal edges engaging the inner or concave surface of the semi-cylindrical portion. A pad is positioned between each of the opposed top edges of the article and the container and with the opposite ends engaging the front and back walls of the container and the convex surfaces of the quarter-cylindrical wings engaging the adjacent side and top wall areas of the article. The pad thus cushions vertical and lateral or sideto-side movement of the article. For front-to-back blocking and cushioning, there are provided cylindrical paperboard collars axially coincident with and encompassing opposite ends of the pad, these collars being secured to the semi-cylindrical portion of each of the pads with the free inner edges thereof respectively and substantially engaging the front and back walls of the article adjacent a top side edge. At least the free portions of said respective collars, i.e., the portions not overlapping the semi-cylindrical pad surface, are of axial lengths less than the distances between the respective front and back walls of the article and container, and the collars are wedged between the pads and the adjacent container walls so that movement of the article in a direction parallel to the top edge thereof will cause the collars to pivot about the fastening points, this movement of the collars and the article being resisted and cushioned by the compressive forces of the container on the areas of the collars contacted thereby. DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING With reference to the accompanying drawing: FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a shipping pack or packaged article embodying the features of the present invention, some of the parts being broken away to show details of construction; FIG. 2 is an elevational view, partly in section, of one corner of the packaged article construction illustrating the cushioning action of the blocking means of the present invention; and FIG. 3 is a sectional view taken along line 3-3 of FIG. 2. DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT With reference to FIG. 1 of the accompanying drawing, the numeral 1 designates a large household appliance (shown in broken lines) which in the present embodiment of the invention is, by way of illustration, a household refrigerator. It will be understood, however, that the invention may be utilized in the packaging of various articles of generally rectangular configuration. The container 2, composed of corrugated fiberboard, comprises a sleeve member 3 of generally rectangular crosssectional configuration forming the vertical container walls and upper and lower end caps 4 and 5 arranged in locking engagement with the upper and lower ends of the sleeve 3 and forming the top and bottom container walls. Preferably, an interlocking flap arrangement of well known design, such as that shown in the drawing, is utilized in securing the end caps to the sleeve and conventional steel straps 7 are employed to maintain the flaps in interlocking arrangement. Also, in accordance with the usual practice, the walls of the container 2 are spaced from the walls of the packaged article 1 so that the surface finish of the article 1 will not be marred or scratched by rubbing movement with the inner surface of the container. It will be understood, of course, that the lower end of the refrigerator l is, in accordance with the usual practices, provided with supporting skids, or the like, temporarily fastened to the bottom of-the refrigerator for maintaining the spaced relationship between the container and article side walls. Suitable skids are disclosed, for example, in U.'S. Pat. No. 2,960,217-Nason. The present invention is directed specifically to improved blocking and cushioning means for protecting the upper surface portions of the refrigerator. These blocking members, generally indicated by the numeral 10, are adapted to be positioned on opposite top edges of the article to restrain relative movement and the transmission of shock forces in three dimensions. The blocking members may generally be fabricated from any desired sheet material tubing providing the requisite compression and shock resistant characteristics but are preferably formed of heavy spirally-wound paperboard tubing of the type employed in making the corner post constructions of the aforementioned Jenk patents. Each of the blocking members 10 comprise a pad 11 and separately formed end collars 14 and 15. The pads 11, of the same general shape and construction as the corner posts of the Jenk patents, are formed form a spirally-wound paper tube blank scored along diametrically opposed, longitudinally extending lines, longitudinally slit along a line midway between the longitudinal lines and the resultant wings tucked or folded inwardly along the score lines until their free edges are in immediate juxtaposition to the inner concave surface of the remaining body portion. Thus, the resultant pad structure comprises a semi-cylindrical portion 16 and quarter-cylindrical wing portions 17 and 18 hinged along opposite longitudinal edges to the corresponding edges of the semi-cylindrical portion and having their edges opposite the hinged edges juxtaposed adjacent the concave inner surface 19 of the semi-cylindrical portion 16. The cylindrical blocking collars preferably have an inner diameter substantially equal to the outer diameter of the pads 11 and are preferably formed of the same heavy paperboard material as the pads. These blocking collars are respectively positioned on the pad adjacent opposite ends thereof and spaced from the ends thereof, as illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2 of the drawing, so that their inner edges 20 will substantially engage the adjacent wall areas of the article when the blocking members are positioned on the top edges of the article as illustrated in FIG. 1. The collars l4 and 15 are mechanically secured to the semi-cylindrical portions of the pad as by means of staples 21 which fasten the collars to the pads securely enough to permit handling of the blocking member during packaging of the article but permit limited pivotal movement between the collar and pad components to provide an article cushioning action as will be described hereinafter. More specifically, in packaging an article such as the refrigerator 1, the blocking members 10 are positioned horizontally on opposed top side edges 23 of the refrigerator with one wing 17 engaging a side wall 24 of the refrigerator, the other wing 18 engaging the top wall 25 of the refrigerator and the ends of the pad engaging container walls. In this horizontal position, much of the semi-cylindrical surface 19 of the pad, and particularly areas of the overlying portions 26 of the collars, are in firm engagement with the top wall 27 and the adjacent side wall 28 of the container, and the free portions 30 of the collars generally overlie respectively adjacent perpendicular sides, i.e., the front side 30 and the back or rear side 32 of the refrigerator. Thus, in the aspackaged state, the collars 14 and 15 are axially coincident with the padaxis and in planes perpendicular to that axis and the inner or article facing edges 20 are in substantial engagement with the adjacent front and back sides of the refrigerator. The advantages of the loose connection provided by the staples 20 between the collars and the pads will become more apparent from consideration of the action of these collars during movement of the article relative to the container, as shown in FIGS. 2 and 3 of the drawing. In FIG. 2 of the drawing, the collar 14 is shown in its as-assembled or normal position, that is, in a plane perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of the pad 11. it will be noted that the outer edges 34 of the collars 14 and 15, and particularly the free edges thereof, are spaced inwardly from the ends of the pad so that they are also in spaced relationship with the adjacent side walls of the container 2. Assuming that the refrigerator is subjected to a lateral shock which tends to cause a movement of the refrigerator 1 relative to the container 2 in a direction parallel to the axis of the pad 11, that is, in a front-toback direction with reference to the illustrated combination, the refrigerator 1 will move rearwardly and in a direction away from the collar 14 with the entire force of the shock applied to the edge 20 of the free portion of collar 15. Since the collar 15 is relatively heavy or semi-rigid, it then tends to pivot in the direction of the container wall about a point P substantially adjacent the inner edge of the collar and midway between the points A of contact of the free portions 30 of the collar with the refrigerator. This tilting or pivoting movement is illustrated in FIG. 2 of the drawing and it will be noted that the actual contact points A between the wall 32 of the refrigerator and the surface 20 of the collar are at the top and side edges of the wall 32 as shown in FIG. 3. This pivoting of the collar 15 tends to lift the outer edge of the collar from the pad and is opposed by the clamping pressures exerted on the portions ofthe collar overlying the semi-cylindrical pad portion, specifically by the pressures of the top wall of the carton, that is the lid 4, and the side wall 28 of the carton on the collar areas B and C which are being moved away from the pad by the pivoting action. Thus, limited movement of the refrigerator cabinet 1 within the container 2 is permitted under such abnormal horizontal force conditions, the force being cushioned and the movement snubbed and limited by the pressures exerted on the portions B and C of the collar by the adjacent container wall areas. After the shock forces have been removed, the container pressures on the sleeve at points B and C normally tend to return the collar 15 to its original position in a plane perpendicular to the axis of the pad 11. From a consideration of FIG. 2 of the drawing, it will be seen that for collars of the same diameter, the effective container forces resisting pivotal movement of the collars will depend on the leverage provided by the distance from point P to the plane of points B and C or, in other words, to the width of the collar at point P. The wider this section of the collar the greater the leverage. Accordingly, it is usually desirable that this width be at least about one-third the collar diameter. While the free collar portion may be wide enough to actually engage the adjacent container wall areas under extreme shock conditions, the distance between this portion of the collar and the container should be sufficient to permit substantial cushioning pivotal movement of the collar prior to such engagement. While there has been shown and described a specific embodiment, it will be understood that the invention is not limited thereto and the accompanying claims are intended to cover all such modifications of the invention as fall within the true spirit and scope thereof. 1 claim: 1. An edge and corner blocking member for protectively packaging a top edge and adjacent corners of a rectangular article in spaced relationship to the adjacent inner surfaces of a rectangular container, said top edge and corners of the container being defined by intersecting walls and top of said rectangular article, comprising: an elongated pad having ends, an axis, a semicylindrical portion having first and second ends and extending along the axis for engaging adjoining side and top wall surfaces of the container in the installed position and a pair of integral wing cushioning portions for resiliently contacting and supporting intersecting side and top wall surfaces forming said edge of said rectangular article, each of said wing cushioning portions having a first edge hingedly connected to the first edge of the respective semi-cylindrical portion and a second edge positioned adjacent and directed toward the concave surface of said semi-cylindrical portion; a pair of cylindrical blocking collars each having inner and outer edges, an axis, and an opening extending axially therethrough, said pad extending through the collar openings with each collar being positioned adjacent and spaced from a respective pad end and with the inner edges of each collar substantially engaging an opposed wall of said article in the installed position; and fastening means for pivotally connecting each collar to the pad for pivotal movement of the collar relative to the axis of the pad. 2. A blocking member according to claim 1 in which said fastening means comprises mechanical fastening means penetrating said collar and said semi-cylindrical portion of said pad. 3. A blocking member according to claim 2 in which said fastening means consists of staples. 4. In combination with a generally rectangular article and its generally rectangular container having walls spaced from said article walls, protective blocking and cushioning members embracing the opposite top edges and the adjacent corners of said article, each of said members comprising: a pad of somewhat resilient sheet material including a semi-cylindrical portion and quarter-cylindrical wings integrally hinged along opposite longitudinal edges thereof with corresponding edges of said semi-cylindrical portion and having their free longitudinal edges engaging the concave surface of said semi-cylindrical portion; said pad being positioned between a top edge of said article and said container with the ends thereof substantially engaging opposite walls of said container and with the convex surfaces of said quartercylindrical wings engaging adjacent wall areas of said article and the semi-cylindrical portion engaging the adjacent wall areas of said container; cylindrical collars axially coincident with and encompassing opposite ends of said pad with the portions thereof between said pad and said container firmly engaged thereby; said collars being fastened to the semi-cylindrical portion of said pad so that the free inner edges thereof are respectively in substantial engagement with the walls of said article adjacent and perpendicular to said top edge; at least the free portions of said respective collars being of axial widths less than the distances between the respective walls of said article and container so that the outer edges thereof are spaced from the adjacent container walls; said collars being loosely fastened to said pad whereby movement of said article relative to said container in a direction parallel to the top edge thereof causes the cabinet engaging portion of said collar to pivot in the direction of the adjacent container wall about a point substantially adjacent the inner edge of said collar and midway between the points of contact of said collar with said container walls, such rotation being opposed by the pressures exerted on the portions of said collar overlying the semi-cylindrical pad portion by the walls of said container in contact therewith to thereby cushion and limit said movement. 5. A combination according to claim 4 in which said collars are composed of paperboard. 6. A combination according to claim 4 in which said collars have widths at least one-third their diameter. 7. A combination according to claim 4 in which said collars are stapled to the semi-cylindrical portion of said pad.

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    WO-03042064-A1May 22, 2003Sonoco Development, Inc.Variable profile corner post