|Title of Invention
"A RECLOSABLE BAG"
|A reelosable bag (22) has a top seal (26) and reelosable Apper (14). A lear string (16) pusses throtgh the top seal (26) and has a free end which can be grasped to open the top seal. The bag is made using cross-web technlogy with the fear strings (16) being attached to the lengths of Apper and the free ends of the strings being concertinaed in the top seal zone
|This invention relates generally to reclosable bags and
like containers, and is particularly concerned with reclosable
bags which incorporate a zipper i.e. male and female profiled
element which are engageable and separable in order to close
and open the bag.
The invention is particularly applicable to reclosable Dags which have the zipper applied using cross-web technology.
The invention is also concernea with methods of manufacturing reclosable bags and like containers which incorporate cross-web zippers.
In the manufacture of reclosable bags which incorporate both a zipper and a top seal, the consumer may find it difficult to open the top seal to gain access to the reclosable zipper. It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide a reclosable bag or like container in which the opening of the top seal by the consumer is facilitated.
Broadly in accordance with the present invention this is achieved by providing the reclosable bag with an elongate tear element, preferably a strip, tape or string which protrudes from the finished bag and which can be grasped and pulled by the consumer to open the top seal and enable access to be gained to the reclosable zipper.
In a preferred embodiment of the invention the tear element, is attached to the zipper, for example by a peel seal material, and extends through the completed top seal to protrude from the top of -he bag.
The bag can be manufactured by attaching to each zipper which is applied to the film a length of elongate tear element, preferably a strip, tape or srring to one of the profile members cf the zipper, and attaching a tail of strip, tape or string to the film material in an orientation which will cause it to lie within the intended top seal area. Then, when the top edge of the completed bag is severed to separate
It from the adjacent bag, a short length of tear element will be left protruding.
Preferably, when tne tear element is attached to the film it is concertinaed, so that when tne completed bag is detached this will ensure that a length cf the tear element is made availble to be grasped.
In order that the invention may be more fully understood, one presently preferred embodiment in accordance with the invention will now be described by way of example and with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:
Fig. 1 is a schematic illustration of the application of zipper strips and tear strings to a film;
Fig. 2 is a schematic illustration of a completed bag prior to its severance from the adjacent bag;
Fig. 3 is a schematic illustration of the severed bag with the protruding tear string; and
Fig. 4 is a schematic illustration of the bag after the tear string has been pulled to open the top seal.
Referring first to Fig. 1, there is shown a film or web 10 of plastics material which travels in the direction indicated by arrow 12. Zippers 14 are applied to the film at regularly spaced intervals, for example using appropriate cross-web techniques. Each zipper 14 comprises male and female profile elements which are interengageable one with the other. Either before the zipper is applied to the film, or at the same time as the zipper is applied to the film, a length of tear string 16 is attached to the zipper. The tear string 16 is attached to the zipper along the full length of the zipper, and at one end has a tail 18 extending beyond the end of the zipper. This tail is of string 16 is attached directly tc the film 10 so as to lie generally in the direction of movement of the film. and extending towards the area of the film at which the top seal of the bag will be made. The tail 18 of string 16 is concertinaed over a part of Its length as indicated at 20, at the approximate position
where the completed bag will be severed from the adjacent bag.
The tear string 16 can consist for example of a strong plastics material, such at nylon or ?ET, preferably coated with a peel seal material for reasons which will become apparent hereinafter.
Fig. 2 shows a completed bag 22 having a bottom seal 24, a top seal 26 and a back seal 28. As can be seen from Fig. 2, the tear string 16 is positioned to lie on the side of the zipper 14 which feces towards the top seal 26. The concertinaed portion 20 of the tear string is trapped within tne top seal zone. In the manufacturing process, the completed bag 22 is severed from the adjacent bag by a cutting knife (not shown) . The position of the knife cut is indicated by arrow 28.
Fig. 3 shows the completed bag after operation of the cutting knife. Here, the tear string 16 still has a portion which is trapped within the top seal 26. However, the concertinaed portion 20 of the string, when released by the cutting operation, is free to protrude from the top of the sealed bag, to enable it to be grasped.
If the protruding portion of the tear string 16 is grasped and pulled, then the top seal will be opened by the movement of the string and the length of string which lies alongside the zipper 14 will be peeled from the zipper, as illustrated in Fig. 4. The mouth of the bag 22 will then be open and the zipper 14 will be accessible.
The manufacture of bags described above may be carried out as part of tne operating process of a form fill-seal machine employing cross-web technology. In such a case, the bags will be filled during the manufacturing process. A typical form-fill-seal machine is shown in EF-A-0951989, the centents of which are incorporated herein by reference.
It will be appreciated that it is essential to the ivention that there should be a portion of the tear strip, tape or string which projects from the top end of the
completed bag, in order to provide something for the consumer to grasp and pull. However, the use of a concertinaed section, although a convenient way to achieve this, is not to be regarded as restricting the way in which this could be achieved.
1. A reclosable bag (22) having a reclosable zipper (14) and a top seal
(14) which is openable to gain access to the zipper, the bag having an
elongate tear element (16) which extends through the top seal to protrude
from the top of the bag and which can be grasped and pulled to open the
top seal and enable access to be gained to the reclosable zipper.
2. A bag as claimed in claim 1, wherein the tear element is attached to the
3. A bag as claimed in claim 2, wherein the tear element is attached to the
zipper by a peel seal material.
4. A bag as claimed in any preceding claim, wherein the tear element is coated with a peel seal material.
5. A bag as claimed in any preceding claim, wherein the tear element comprises a strip, tape or string.
6. A method of manufacturing a bag (22) as claimed in claim 1,
comprising the steps of applying zippers (14) transversely at spaced intervals to a web of film material, attaching length of elongate tear element (16) to the said zippers, positioning tail portions (18) of the lengths of elongate element are positioned to lie within the area where the top seal (26) are intended to be formed, the bags, including the top seals, being formed from the web and severed to form individual bags in which an end portion of the elongate element protrudes through the top seal.
7. A method as claimed in claim 6, wherein the tail portions (18) are concertinaed (20) to lie within the top seal areas of the bags.
8. A method as claimed in claim 6 or 7, wherein the lengths of elongate element (16) are attached to the lengths of zipper (14) at the same time as the lengths of zipper are applied to the web.
9. A method as claimed in claim 6 or 7, wherein the tail portions (20) are concertinaed to lie within the top seal (26) areas of the bags attached to the lengths of zipper (14) at the same time as the lengths of zipper are applied to the web.
10. A method as claimed in any of claims 6 to 9, wherein the lengths of elongate element (16) are positioned to lie to the sides of the respective zipper strips (14) that are adjacent the respective top seals (26).
11. A method as claimed in any of claims 6 to 10, comprising coating the elongate elements (16) with a peel seal material.
12. A reclosable bag substantially as hereinbefore described with reference to the drawings.
13. A method of manufacturing a reclosable bag, the method being substantially as hereinbefore described with reference to the drawings.
|Indian Patent Application Number
|PG Journal Number
|Date of Filing
|Name of Patentee
|Illinois Tool Works Inc.
|99 GRESHAM STREET LONDON EC2V7NG, UK
|PCT International Classification Number
|PCT International Application Number
|PCT International Filing date