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Title:
CONFORMABLE CORRUGATED MAILER
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/210046
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A mailer (10) includes front (12) and rear (14) corrugated panels having interior and exterior surfaces and connected to one another along a fold line (16), wherein the interior surfaces of the front and rear panels have an area (52) of patterned creases formed therein to allow the corrugated panels to conform to an article placed into the mailer.

Inventors:
SIMPKINS, Kevin M. (2150 Highland Gate Drive, Cumming, Georgia, 30040, US)
MATSUBA, Yoko (602 6-23-21 Hirai Edogawaku, Tokyo, Tokyo, 105-0011, JP)
Application Number:
US2019/029090
Publication Date:
October 31, 2019
Filing Date:
April 25, 2019
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
WESTROCK SHARED SERVICES, LLC (1000 Abernathy Road NE, Atlanta, Georgia, 30328, US)
International Classes:
B65D27/00; B31B70/00; B65D27/16; B65D27/34
Foreign References:
DE8229927U11982-12-23
DE19908868A12000-09-14
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
COHEN, Neil G. et al. (WestRock Company, 501 South 5th StreetRichmond, Virginia, 23219-0501, US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
WHAT IS CLAIMED IS:

1. A mailer comprising:

front and rear panels having interior and exterior surfaces and connected to one another along a fold line, wherein the interior surfaces of the front and rear panels have an area of foldable creases formed therein to allow the front and rear panels to conform to an article placed into the mailer.

2. A mailer as recited in Claim 1, wherein the interior surfaces of the front and rear panels have a continuous area of patterned creases formed therein so as to permit the panels to conform to the article placed into the mailer.

3. A mailer as recited in Claim 1, wherein the interior surfaces of the front and rear panels are provided with a liner.

4. A mailer as recited in Claim 1, wherein the front and rear panels are formed from a corrugated material having elongated flutes extending perpendicular to the fold line.

5. A mailer as recited in Claim 4, wherein a closure flap is associated with an upper edge of the front panel.

6. A mailer as recited in Claim 5, wherein an interior surface of the closure flap contains an adhesive tape for sealing the mailer.

7. A mailer as recited in Claim 5, wherein a perforated zipper is formed between the upper edge of the front panel and the closure flap.

8. A mailer as recited in Claim 4, wherein side flaps are provided at opposite sides of the front panel, and a perforated fold line extends between each side flap and the front panel.

9. A mailer as recited in Claim 4, wherein side flaps are provided at opposite sides of the rear panel, and a perforated fold line extends between each side flap and the rear panel.

10. A mailer as recited in Claim 8, a perforated zipper is formed in the front panel adjacent to one of the side flaps.

11. A mailer as recited in Claim 9, a perforated zipper is formed in the rear panel adjacent to one of the side flaps.

12. A mailer as recited in Claim 8, wherein each side flap has glue provided on an interior surface thereof for forming the mailer.

13. A mailer as recited in Claim 9, wherein each side flap has glue provided on an interior surface thereof for forming the mailer.

14. A mailer as recited in Claim 1, wherein the front and rear panels are formed from a corrugated material having elongated flutes extending parallel to the fold line.

15. A mailer as recited in Claim 14, wherein a closure flap is associated with an upper edge of the front panel.

16. A mailer as recited in Claim 14, wherein an interior surface of the closure flap contains an adhesive tape for sealing the mailer.

17. A mailer as recited in Claim 14, wherein a perforated zipper is formed between the upper edge of the front panel and the closure flap.

18. A mailer as recited in Claim 14, wherein a bottom flap is provided at a lower edge of the rear panel, and a perforated fold line extends between the bottom flap and the rear panel.

19. A mailer as recited in Claim 18, wherein the bottom flap has glue provided on an interior surface thereof for forming the mailer.

20. A mailer as recited in Claim 19, wherein glue is provided on the interior surface of the rear panel adjacent each side edge thereof.

21. A mailer as recited in Claim 2, wherein the patterned creases in the interior surfaces of the front and rear panels form a triangular pattern.

22. A mailer as recited in Claim 2, wherein the patterned creases in the interior surfaces of the front and rear panels form a circular pattern.

23. A mailer as recited in Claim 2, wherein the patterned creases in the interior surfaces of the front and rear panels form an arcuate pattern.

24. A mailer as recited in Claim 1, wherein the foldable creases allow the front and rear panels to transform into a range of different shapes to accommodate the article placed into the mailer.

25. A mailer as recited in Claim 24, wherein the different shapes range from polygonal three dimensional shapes to a rectangular three dimensional shape.

26. A mailer as recited in Claim 1, wherein the front and rear panels are formed from paperboard material.

27. A blank for making a mailer constructed in accordance with Claim 1, wherein the front panel is coextensive with the rear panel.

28. A mailer comprising:

front and rear panels having interior and exterior surfaces and connected to one another along a fold line, the front and rear panels being formed from a corrugated material having elongated flutes extending perpendicular to the fold line, wherein the interior surfaces of the front and rear panels have a continuous area of patterned creases formed therein, which bridges the fold line, allowing the elongated flutes to conform to an article placed in the mailer.

29. A mailer as recited in Claim 28, wherein a closure flap is associated with an upper edge of the front panel and an interior surface of the closure flap contains an adhesive tape for sealing the mailer.

30. A mailer as recited in Claim 28, wherein a perforated zipper is formed between the upper edge of the front panel and the closure flap.

31. A mailer as recited in Claim 28, wherein side flaps are provided at opposite sides of the front panel, and a perforated fold line extends between each side flap and the front panel.

32. A mailer as recited in Claim 31, wherein each side flap has glue provided on an interior surface thereof for forming the mailer.

33. A mailer as recited in Claim 28, wherein the patterned creases in the interior surfaces of the front and rear panels form either one of a triangular pattern, a circular pattern, or an arcuate pattern.

34. A blank for making a mailer constructed in accordance with Claim 28, wherein the front panel is coextensive with the rear panel.

35. A mailer comprising:

front and rear panels having interior and exterior surfaces and connected to one another along a fold line, the front and rear panels being formed from a corrugated material having elongated flutes extending parallel to the fold line, wherein the interior surfaces of the front and rear panels each have an area of patterned creases formed therein, separated by the fold line, allowing the elongated flutes to conform to an article placed in the mailer.

36. A corrugated mailer as recited in Claim 35, wherein a closure flap is associated with an upper edge region of the front panel and an interior surface of the closure flap contains an adhesive tape for sealing the mailer.

37. A corrugated mailer as recited in Claim 36, wherein a perforated zipper is formed between the upper edge of the front panel and the closure flap.

38. A corrugated mailer as recited in Claim 35, wherein a bottom flap is provided at a lower edge region of the rear panel, and a perforated fold line extends between the bottom flap and the rear panel.

39. A corrugated mailer as recited in Claim 38, wherein the bottom flap has glue provided on an interior surface thereof for forming the mailer, and wherein glue is provided on the interior surface of the rear panel adjacent each side edge thereof.

40. A corrugated mailer as recited in Claim 35, wherein the patterned creases form either one of a triangular pattern, a circular pattern, or an arcuate pattern.

41. A blank for making a mailer constructed in accordance with Claim 35, wherein the front panel is coextensive with the rear panel.

Description:
CONFORMABLE CORRUGATED MATTER

RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] This application claims priority to U.S. Provisional Application No.

62/662,288, filed on April 25, 2018, and U.S. Provisional Application No. 62/669,089, filed May 9, 2018 the entire contents of which are incorporated by reference herein.

BACKGROUND

1. Field

[0002] The subject invention is directed to packaging, and more particularly, to a mailer constructed from corrugated fiberboard or paperboard that is adapted and configured to transform in shape so as to accommodate an article placed therein.

2. Description of Related Art

[0003] Various types of mailers have been used for mailing documents and things. In many instances, mailers have been constructed from corrugated fiberboard or paperboard, which exhibit good mechanical strength, durability and impact resistance. Corrugated fiberboard is a material consisting of a fluted corrugated sheet and one or two flat linerboards. Typically, the corrugated medium and linerboard board are both made of kraft container board, a paperboard material usually over 0.01 inches (0.25 mm) thick.

[0004] In general, a mailer constructed from corrugated fiberboard or paperboard will not readily conform to the shape of a three dimensional article placed therein, because the fluting that forms the corrugations are relatively rigid. Consequently, the seams and sealed edges of the mailer will become unduly stressed, and the structural integrity and security of the mailer could become compromised.

[0005] It would be beneficial therefore, to provide a mailer constructed from corrugated fiberboard or paperboard that is adapted and configured to more readily expand or otherwise conform to the shape of three dimensional articles that are placed therein. The subject disclosure provides such a solution wherein the mailer has front and rear panels that have an area defined by foldable creases which allow the panels to transform into a range of different shapes, to accommodate three dimensional articles that are placed therein.

SUMMARY OF THU DISCLOSURE

[0006] A mailer includes front and rear panels having interior and exterior surfaces and connected to one another along a fold line, wherein the interior surfaces of the front and rear panels have an area of foldable creases formed therein to allow the front and rear panels to conform to an article placed into the mailer.

[0007] The interior surfaces of the front and rear panels can have a continuous area of patterned creases formed therein so as to permit the panels to conform to the article placed into the mailer. The foldable creases can allow the front and rear panels to transform into a range of different shapes to accommodate the article placed into the mailer. The different shapes can range from polygonal three dimensional shapes to a rectangular three dimensional shape.

[0008] The patterned creases in the interior surfaces of the front and rear panels form can form either one of a triangular pattern, a circular pattern, or an arcuate pattern. In embodiments of the invention, the interior surfaces of the front and rear panels of the mailer can be provided with a liner to reduce friction between an article being placed into the mailer and the interior surfaces of the mailer. In such a case, the patterned creases can also be formed in the liner.

[0009] In one embodiment of the invention, the front and rear panels can be connected to one another along a fold line that extends in a direction running perpendicular to the corrugations or flutes that form the corrugated panels. A closure flap can be associated with an upper edge of the front panel, an interior surface of which contains an adhesive tape for sealing the mailer, and a perforated zipper can be formed between the upper edge of the front panel and the closure flap for opening the mailer after it has been sealed.

[00010] Side flaps can be provided at opposite sides of the front panel, a perforated fold line extends between each side flap and the rear panel, and each side flap can have glue provided on an interior surface thereof for forming the mailer. It is envisioned that side flaps can be associated with the rear panel rather than the front panel. In some instances, a perforated zipper can be formed in the rear panel adjacent to one of the side flaps, instead of being, e.g., near the upper edge of the mailer. The subject disclosure is also directed to a blank for making a mailer as described herein, wherein the front panel is coextensive with the rear panel.

[00011] The front and rear panels can be connected to one another along a fold line that extends in a direction running parallel to the corrugations or flutes that form the corrugated panels. A closure flap can be associated with an upper edge of the front panel, an interior surface of which contains an adhesive tape for sealing the mailer, and a perforated zipper can be formed between the upper edge of the front panel and the closure flap for opening the mailer after it has been sealed. A bottom flap can be provided at a lower edge of the rear panel, a perforated fold line can extend between the bottom flap and the rear panel, and the bottom flap can have glue provided on an interior surface thereof for forming the mailer. Glue can also provided on the interior surface of the rear panel adjacent each side edge thereof. The subject disclosure is also directed to a blank for making a mailer as described herein, wherein the front panel is coextensive with the rear panel.

[00012] These and other features of the subject invention will become more readily apparent to those having ordinary skill in the art to which the subject invention appertains from the detailed description of the preferred embodiments taken in conjunction with the following brief description of the drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[00013] So that those skilled in the art will readily understand how to make and use the conformable corrugated mailer of subject invention without undue experimentation, preferred embodiments thereof will be described in detail herein below with reference to the figures wherein:

[00014] Fig. 1 is a plan view of a blank for making a transformable paperboard mailer in accordance with an embodiment of the subject disclosure, wherein the front and rear panels of the mailer are connected by a primary fold line and have an area defined by foldable creases that allow the front and rear panels to transform into a range of different shapes to accommodate an article placed into the mailer;

[00015] Fig. 2 is a plan view of a blank for making a transformable paperboard mailer in accordance with another embodiment, wherein the front and rear panels of the mailer are connected by a primary fold line and have an area defined by foldable creases that allow the front and rear panels to transform into a range of different shapes to accommodate an article placed into the mailer and a triangular pattern of creases are formed in the interior surfaces of the front and rear panels so as to permit the panels to conform to the article placed into the mailer;

[00016] Fig. 3 is a top perspective view of a mailer constructed from the blank shown in Fig. 2;

[00017] Fig. 4 includes three views illustrating the transformation of the mailer of Fig. 3 into two different shapes, ranging from polygonal to rectangular; [00018] Fig. 5 is a side elevation view of the fully expanded bottom portion of the rectangular shaped mailer shown in Fig 4;

[00019] Fig. 6 is a plan view of a blank for making a corrugated mailer in accordance with an embodiment, wherein the front and rear panels of the mailer are connected by a fold line that extends perpendicular to the corrugations forming the panels and a triangular pattern of creases is formed in the interior surfaces of the front and rear panels;

[00020] Fig. 7 is a plan view of a blank for making a corrugated mailer in accordance with another embodiment, wherein the front and rear panels of the mailer are connected by a fold line that extends perpendicular to the corrugations forming the panels and a circular pattern of creases are formed in the interior surfaces of the front and rear panels;

[00021] Fig. 8 is a plan view of a blank for making a corrugated mailer in accordance with yet another embodiment, wherein the front and rear panels of the mailer are connected by a fold line that extends perpendicular to the corrugations forming the panels and an arcuate pattern of creases are formed in the interior surfaces of the front and rear panels; and

[00022] Fig. 9 is a plan view of a blank for making a corrugated mailer in accordance with another an embodiment, wherein the front and rear panels of the mailer are connected by a fold line that extends parallel to the corrugations forming the panels and a triangular pattern of creases are formed in the interior surfaces of the front and rear panels. DESCRIPTION OF THF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[00023] Referring now to the drawings, wherein like reference numerals identify similar structural elements and features of the subject invention, there is illustrated in Fig. 1 a mailer blank 10 that includes front and rear panels 12 and 14 having interior and exterior surfaces and connected to one another along a primary fold line 16. The front and rear panels 12 and 14 each have a respective transformable area 18 and 20 defined or otherwise bounded by foldable creases that allow the front and rear panels 12 and 14 to transform into a range of different shapes to accommodate an article placed into the mailer 10.

[00024] More particularly, the front panel 12 of mailer 10 has horizontal foldable creases 22 and 24, vertical creases 26 and 28, and four 45 degree annular creases 30a- 30d, which define the transformable area 18 of the front panel 12. Similarly, the rear panel 14 of mailer 10 has horizontal foldable creases 32 and 34, vertical creases 36 and 38, and four 45 degree angular creases 40a-40d, which define the transformable area 20 of the rear panel 14.

[00025] A closure flap 42 is associated with an upper edge of the front panel 12, and side flaps are 44 and 46 are provided at opposite sides of the front panel 12. It is envisioned that an interior surface of the closure flap 42 would contain an adhesive tape for sealing the mailer 10, and a perforated zipper (not shown, but see e.g., zipper 150 in Fig. 6) would be formed between the upper edge of the front panel 12 and the closure flap 42 for opening the mailer 10 after it has been sealed.

[00026] Referring to Fig. 2, there is illustrated another embodiment of the transformable mailer of the subject invention, which is designated generally by reference numeral 50. The mailer blank 50 is substantially identical to mailer blank 10 described above, except that the interior surfaces of the front and rear panels of the mailer blank 50 have a continuous area 52 of patterned creases formed therein. These creases permit the panels of the mailer 50 to conform to an article placed into the mailer. The area of patterned creases preferably forms a triangular pattern. However, these creases can form other patterns such as, for example, a circular pattern or an arcuate pattern.

[00027] Fig. 3 is a top view of the mailer blank 50 constructed into a mailer.

Furthermore, Fig. 4 includes three views illustrating the transformation of the mailer 50 of Fig. 3 into two different shapes, including a three-dimensional polygonal shape 50a and a three dimensional rectangular shape 50b. Fig. 5 is a side-view of the fully expanded bottom portion of the rectangular shaped mailer 50b shown in Fig 4.

[00028] Referring now to Fig. 6 there is illustrated a conformable corrugated mailer constructed in accordance with an embodiment of the subject invention and designated generally by reference numeral 100. Preferably, the mailer 100 and each of the other mailers disclosed herein are die cut into finished blanks from corrugated fiberboard material, which exhibits good mechanical strength and impact resistance, making it well suited for packaging articles.

[00029] With continuing reference to Fig. 6, the mailer 100 includes front and rear corrugated panels 110 and 120 that are connected to one another along a fold line 130. The direction of the corrugations or the flutes that form the front and rear panels 110 and 120 of mailer 100 extend in a direction that runs perpendicular to the fold line 130, as indicated by reference arrow 135.

[00030] A top closure flap 140 is associated with an upper edge crease 112 of the front panel 110. The interior surface of the closure flap 140 contains an adhesive tape 142 for sealing the mailer 100 once an article has been placed therein. A perforated zipper 150 is formed between the upper edge 112 of the front panel 110 and the closure flap 140 for opening the mailer 100 after it has been sealed to remove the article contained therein. [00031] Side flaps 160 and 170 are provided at opposite sides of the front panel 110. Perforated fold lines 162 and 172 extend between the side flap 160 and 170 and the rear panel 120. The side flaps 160 and 170 have glue 164, 174 provided on the interior surfaces thereof for forming the mailer 100. It is envisioned and well within the scope of the disclosure that the side flaps 160 and 170 could be provided on opposite side of the rear panel 120 rather than the front panel 110. It is further envisioned that the perforated zipper 150 may be formed in the rear panel 120 adjacent to one of the side flaps 160, 170, instead of being located near the upper edge 112 of the front panel 110.

[00032] In accordance with the subject invention, the interior surfaces of the front and rear panels 110 and 120 of mailer 100 have a continuous area 180 of patterned creases formed therein. These creases are designed to allow the corrugated panels 110 and 120 to conform to an article placed into the mailer 100. More particularly, the continuous area 180 has triangular creases 190 formed therein, which allow the vertically extending flutes that form the corrugations of panels 110 and 120 to flex and bend, allowing the mailer to more readily conform to an article placed therein. Consequently, the seams of the mailer 100 that are formed when the side flaps 160 and 170 are glued in place will not become unduly stressed, and the structural integrity and security of the mailer 100 will be maintained.

[00033] With continuing reference to Fig. 6, the area of patterned creases 190 bridges or otherwise crosses over the horizontal fold line 130 that connects the front and rear corrugated panels 110 and 120 to one another, and that area is bounded on its sides by lateral crush regions that are without patterned creases. It is envisioned that the interior surfaces of the front and rear panels 110 and 120 of the mailer 100 could be provided with a liner to reduce friction between an article being placed into the mailer 100 and the interior surfaces of the mailer 100. In such a case, the patterned creases can also be formed in the liner. [00034] Referring to Fig. 7, there is illustrated another corrugated mailer which is designated generally by reference numeral 200, and which is substantially similar to the mailer 100, except that mailer 200 has a circular pattern of creases 250 formed in the interior surfaces of the front and rear panels 210 and 220 thereof. Similarly, Fig. 8 illustrates another corrugated mailer which is designated generally by reference numeral 300 and which has an arcuate pattern of creases 350 that are formed in the interior surfaces of the front and rear panels 310 and 320 thereof. In both mailers 200 and 300, the patterned creases are designed to allow the corrugated panels of the mailer to conform to an article placed therein.

[00035] Referring now to Fig. 9, there is illustrated yet another corrugated mailer which is designated generally by reference numeral 400. Mailer 400 differs from each of the previously described embodiments, in that the front and rear panels 410 and 420 of mailer 400 are connected by a vertical fold line 430 and the corrugations or flutes that form the panels also extend in the same direction (running parallel) as the fold line 430, as designated by reference arrow 435.

[00036] In this embodiment, a top closure flap 440 is associated with an upper region of the front panel 410, and an interior surface of the flap 440 contains an adhesive tape 442 for sealing the mailer 440. A perforated zipper 450 is formed between the upper edge 412 of the front panel 410 and the closure flap 440 for opening the mailer 400 after it has been sealed. A bottom flap 460 is provided at a lower edge region of the rear panel 420, and a perforated fold line extends 462 extends between the bottom flap 460 and the rear panel 420. The bottom flap 460 has glue provided on an interior surface thereof for forming the mailer 400. Glue is also provided on the interior surface of the rear panel 420 adjacent each side edge thereof.

[00037] With continuing reference to Fig. 9, the interior surfaces of the front and rear panels 410 and 420 of mailer 400 each have an area 480 and 482 of patterned creases formed therein. These separate areas of creases are designed to allow the corrugated panels 410 and 420 to conform to an article placed into the mailer 400. More particularly, both areas 480 and 482 have triangular crease patterns 490 and 492 formed therein, which allow the vertically extending flutes that form the corrugations of panels 410 and 420 to flex and bend, allowing the mailer to more readily conform to an article placed therein. Consequently, the seams of the mailer 400 that are formed when the bottom flap 460 is glued in place will not become unduly stressed, and the structural integrity and security of the mailer 400 will be maintained.

[00038] It is envisioned that in one or more of the embodiments disclosed herein, the interior surfaces of the front and rear panels of the mailer will be provided with a liner to reduce friction between an article being placed into the mailer and the interior surfaces of the mailer. In such a case, the patterned creases can also be formed in the liner. The liner is not shown as a separate item in the drawings because those skilled in the art would recognize that it looks basically the same as the underlying blank.

[00039] While the subject disclosure have been shown and described with reference to preferred embodiments, those skilled in the art will readily appreciate that changes and/or modifications may be made thereto without departing from the scope of the subject disclosure.