Patent application title: CUSHION PANEL WITH DIFFERENT TRANSPARENCY AND BAG HAVING THE SAME
Jong Bum Kim (Yongin-Si, KR)
IPC8 Class: AB65D8102FI
Class name: Special receptacle or package shock protection type (e.g., free fall) inflated retainer
Publication date: 2011-03-17
Patent application number: 20110062045
Described herein are a cushion panel with different transparency which
exhibits high impact-absorbing capability and is superior in design, and
a bag having the cushion panel, the cushion panel including a transparent
outer film, a translucent inner film for creating a closed space together
with the outer film, and a plurality of cushion cells which are provided
by adhering the outer film to the inner film along lines, which become
transparent by thermal adhering between the outer film and the inner
1. A cushion panel with different transparency, comprising:a transparent
outer film having a thickness of about 0.3-0.8 mm;a translucent inner
film having a thickness of about 0.3-0.8 mm for creating a closed space,
together with the outer film, by thermally adhering edges of the inner
film to the outer film; anda plurality of cushion cells provided by
thermally adhering the outer film to the inner film along inner lines,
the cushion cells partitioning the closed space into several
spaces;wherein a passage is formed to allow neighboring cushion cells to
communicate with each other, andwherein a width of the inner adhering
lines is 3 mm-6 mm and the inner adhering lines become transparent a
sufficient amount to allow an item positioned inside the inner film to be
seen from outside the outer film, and transparency of the inner adhering
lines is higher than that of other parts of the cushion panel.
2. The cushion panel with different transparency as set forth in claim 1, wherein each of the cushion cells has a polygonal structure which has at a vertex thereof the passage.
3. The cushion panel with different transparency as set forth in claim 1, wherein the passage has a width of from 3 to 6 mm.
4. The cushion panel with different transparency as set forth in claim 1, wherein each of the cushion cells is filled with air, and the closed space is air-tightly sealed.
5. The cushion panel with different transparency as set forth in claim 1, wherein an outer adhering line is formed along edges of the outer and inner films and a corner of the outer adhering line is rounded.
6. The cushion panel with different transparency as set forth in claim 1, wherein the inner film has a lower friction coefficient than the outer film.
7. The cushion panel with different transparency as set forth in claim 6, wherein the inner film has on a surface thereof a pattern so that the inner film is less transparent than that of the outer film.
8. The cushion panel with different transparency as set forth in claim 1,wherein the transparent outer film and the translucent inner film are formed from thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) resin.
9. A bag with different transparency, comprising:upper and lower cushion panels, at least one of which is defined in claim 1;a holding space created by coupling edges of the upper and lower panels to each other;a mouth communicating with the holding space; anda fastener to close and open the mouth,wherein a color and/or shape of an item contained in the holding space can be more clearly identified from outside of the bag through the inner adhering lines formed in the cushion panel than through other parts of the cushion panel.
CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION
This application is a continuation-in-part application of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 12/498,790, entitled "Cushion Panel and Bag Having the Same", filed Jul. 7, 2009, which are incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
1. Field of the Invention
The present invention relates to a cushion panel for absorbing impact and having an improved exterior appearance and a bag having the cushion panel.
2. Description of Related Art
A product which is sensitive to impact, especially, a bag for carrying a notebook computer or multimedia device, must have an impact-absorbing capability which is better than that of general bags used for carrying papers and have an improved aesthetic exterior as much as possible. In order to increase the impact-absorbing capability, a foam pad may be provided in the bag and in order to improve exterior aesthetic sense a variety of design factors may be applied. However, the construction such as using a foam pad inside the bag undesirably not only increases the thickness of the bag but also deteriorates its appearance.
Meanwhile, a vinyl packing material on which a plurality of air caps filled with air is regularly arranged has been widely used for e.g. inflatable mailers or for inflatable cushions for shipping. However, the packing material in the form of a panel so as to be used for an aesthetic exterior surface of bags or the like has not yet been manufactured. Furthermore, when an individual air cap is subjected to an impact or load exceeding a predetermined limit, the air cap is apt to be burst due to its sheer thickness and hair-like welding line or welding point thereof, so that the packing material loses the impact-absorbing capability.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
Accordingly, the present invention has been made keeping in mind the above problems occurring in the prior art, and an object of the present invention is to provide a cushion panel which exhibits high impact-absorbing capability and has a superior design, and a bag having the cushion panel.
In order to accomplish the above object, the present invention provides a cushion panel, including an outer film having a predetermined thickness, an inner film having a predetermined thickness which creates a closed space together with the outer film, and a plurality of cushioning and aesthetically pleasing cells which are provided by adhering the outer film to the inner film along a line and partition the closed space into several spaces. A passage is formed to allow neighboring cushion cells to communicate with each other.
Each of the cushion cells may have a polygonal structure which has the passage at a vertex thereof.
According to a feature of the invention, the thickness of the outer and the inner film is preferably from 0.3 mm to 0.8 mm.
According to another feature of the invention, the width of inner adhering line which is formed by adhering the outer film to the inner film by thermal welding is preferably from 3 mm to 6 mm.
The passage may have the width of from 3 to 6 mm.
Further, each of the cushion cells may be filled with fluid, and the closed space may be air-tightly sealed.
Further, an outer adhering line may be formed along edges of the outer and inner films, and a corner of the outer adhering line may be rounded.
The outer and inner films may be made of a thermoplastic resin material such that they are thermally adhered to each other, and the inner film may have a lower friction coefficient than the outer film.
Each of the outer and inner films may be made of a transparent resin material.
Further, the inner film is preferably as translucent so as to have a ground-glass appearance but becomes transparent by adhering to the outer film through a pressed thermal welding, so that an item positioned inside the inner film can be visually observed from outside through the adhering lines which form a polygonal shape.
Each of the outer and inner films may be made of a thermoplastic polyurethane resin material.
Further, a bag according to the present invention includes upper and lower panels, a holding space created by coupling edges of the upper and lower panels to each other, and a mouth communicating with the holding space. At least one of the upper and lower panels comprises the above-mentioned cushion panel.
As described above, according to the present invention, even if a large impact acts on a cushion panel, not only because the thickness of the inner and outer film is much thicker than that of a conventional inflatable mailer or cushioning packer and thus enhances the capability to bear or resist a heavy load applied thereon but also because fluid which fills up cushion cells moves to adjacent cushion cells to absorb the impact, so that the impact absorbing capability of the cushion panel and a bag having the cushion panel is high, and the loss of the impact-absorbing capability is prevented due to the bursting of the cushion cells.
Further, according to the present invention, outer surface or exterior of a cushion panel is generally translucent but partially transparent along thermal welding lines which form various polygonal shapes of cushion cells, and thus provides a bag with superior appearance.
According to the present invention, the shape or color of items held in a bag can be distinctly seen from the outside of the bag particularly through the thermal welding lines, thus allowing a variety of impressions to be expressed. That is, the color and/or shape of items positioned in a bag looks somewhat hazy and indistinct as a whole due to translucency of the inner film of the cushion panel but looks vivid and clear due to transparency of the welding lines which form various shapes such as polygon, and thus this differential or partial transparency of the cushion panel according to invention can serve to characteristically improve aesthetic appearance of bag.
According to the present invention, since the interior of a bag is partially visible from outside but enough to identify what the bag contains inside thereof, the bag is friendly to customs inspection at the airport. For example, when the bag is used for carrying a notebook computer, a user may pass through customs at the airport without the necessity of opening the bag.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
The above and other objects, features and advantages of the present invention will be more clearly understood from the following detailed description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 is a plan view illustrating a cushion panel according to an embodiment of the present invention;
FIG. 2 is a sectional view illustrating one side of the cushion panel of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a view illustrating the state in which any one of the cushion cells of the cushion panel shown in FIG. 1 is pressed by external force;
FIG. 4 is a view illustrating the process of manufacturing the cushion panel shown in FIG. 1;
FIG. 5 is a plan view illustrating a bag according to an embodiment of the present invention;
FIG. 6 is a view illustrating the state in which the mouth of the bag shown in FIG. 5 is open;
FIG. 7 is a plan view illustrating a bag according to another embodiment of the present invention;
FIG. 8 is a view illustrating the state in which the mouth of the bag shown in FIG. 7 is open;
FIG. 9 is a perspective view illustrating a bag according to a further embodiment of the present invention; and
FIG. 10 is a perspective view illustrating a bag according to another embodiment of the present invention.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
Hereinafter, cushion panels and bags having such cushion panels according to the preferred embodiments of the present invention will be described with reference to the accompanying drawings.
First, a cushion panel 1 will be described with reference to FIGS. 1 to 3.
As shown in FIG. 1, the cushion panel 1 forms a closed space which is air-tightly sealed by an outer adhering line 2 formed along the edge of the cushion panel 1.
According to the present invention, when two sheets of cushion panel are overlapped to be stitched and/or hemmed along the edges thereof to form a bag, the width W3 of the outer adhering line 2 should be wide enough to be served as a hemming or stitching region preferably along with a reinforcing fabric and/or a zipper, preferably being 8 mm-10 mm. If the width W3 of the outer adhering line 2 is less than 8 mm, it is inconvenient to use a sewing machine to stitch the edge thereof and if the width W3 of the outer adhering line 2 is greater than 10 mm, it is too wide to deteriorate harmonic proportion of the bag particularly in a sense of aesthetic design.
The closed space is partitioned into several cushion cells 4 by inner adhering lines 3. The corners of the cushion panel 1, that is, the corners 6 of the outer adhering line 2 are rounded so as to prevent the cushion panel 1 from being easily damaged and to be suitable for sewing, otherwise it is apt to be vulnerable during manufacturing and/or using thereof. From this sense, each corner preferably has the radius value of about 3 mm.
Each cushion cell 4 is filled with fluid, preferably, air. At least one passage 5 is formed to allow neighboring cushion cells 4 to communicate with each other. Each cushion cell 4 may have a variety of shapes including a circular shape. Preferably, each cushion cell 4 has a polygonal shape such that three to four cushion cells 4 contact each other at the vertices. The passage 5 is a discontinuous portion in the inner adhering line 3. Preferably, the passage 5 is provided around each vertex of the cushion cell 4, and has the width W2 of from 3 to 6 mm in the case where the cushion panel 1 is applied to a bag for carrying a notebook computer.
Meanwhile, the discontinuous ends 7 of the inner adhering lines 3, between which the passage 5 is provided, are not angular and have, for example, a circular shape. If the end of a high-frequency sealing mold corresponding to each end 7 is sharply angled, films 1a and 1b may be torn during an adhesion process. Thus, in order to prevent the problem, the end of an associated mold needs to be machined smoothly to have a gentle angle.
Since the inner adhering lines 3 according to invention act not only as partition lines which make the space inside the cushion panel into many cushion cells 4 but also as windows to make an item held in the bag be clearly observed from outside the bag, the width W1 of the inner adhering lines 3 should be determined in consideration of these two needs. That is, the width W1 of the inner adhering lines 3 needs to be wide enough to play a role of window but should not be too wide to sacrifice the area of cushion cells. Of course, the basic function of the adhering lines 3 and how to firmly bond the films with each other should be also considered. From these senses, the width W1 of the inner adhering lines 3 is preferably 3 mm-6 mm. If the width W1 of the inner adhering lines 3 is less than 3 mm, not only the bonding force to make the outer film and the inner film being welded is weakened, but also the function as a window to show up outside what the bag holds is deteriorated. Further, if the width W1 is greater than 6 mm, it makes the cushioning area diminished and thus sacrifices cushioning capability thereof.
Referring to FIGS. 1, 2 and 3, all of the cushion cells 4 communicate with each other through passages 5. As shown in FIG. 3, if any one of the cushion cells 4 is pressed, the fluid in the cushion cell 4 flows through the passages 5 into neighboring cushion cells 4. Due to a bottleneck in the passage 5 provided around each vertex, the fluid flows into the neighboring cushion cells 4 in a slightly slow manner. The slightly slow movement of the fluid resists or absorbs external impact, in addition to preventing the cushion cell 4 which is being pressed from bursting as a result of internal pressure.
The process of manufacturing the cushion panel 1 will be described in brief with reference to FIG. 4 as well as the above-mentioned drawings.
The cushion panel 1 is manufactured by overlapping two Thermoplastic Polyurethane (TPU) resin films each having the thickness of about 0.3 mm-0.8 mm, namely, the outer film 1a and the inner film 1b, and sealing the films using high frequency thermal welding. Both the outer and inner films 1a and 1b may be transparent, but the outer film 1a is preferably transparent and the inner film 1b is preferably translucent like that of a ground-glass appearance. Further, particularly, the inner film 1b preferably has a low friction coefficient such that it does not adhere to the surface of a product kept inside the bag, such as a notebook computer. To this end, very fine embossing as shown in ground-glass appearance are formed on the surface of the inner film 1b. The degree of translucency of the inner film 1b can be adjusted according to the density of the fine embossing.
It should be noted, in the invention, even though the inner film 1b is translucent due to its embossing pattern like ground-glass appearance, when the inner film 1b is adhered to the outer film 1a by a pressed thermal welding to make inner adhering lines 3, the lines 3 become transparent and accordingly, the inner adhering lines 3 can play the role of a window to make an item held in the bag be clearly observed from outside the bag therethrough.
The thickness 0.3 mm-0.8 mm of the outer film 1a and the inner film 1b, being comparatively much thicker than that of conventional inflatable ones which are frequently used in making inflatable mailer and/or inflatable cushion for shipping, should be also noted as another aspect of the invention. The thickness 0.3 mm-0.8 mm of the outer film 1a and the inner film 1b is required first so as not to make the cushion panel burst under a predetermined load applied thereon, second, to endure or prevent thermal deformation such as a perforation, discoloring to yellow or brown, or a severe shrinkage to be scorched due to a high heat under pressure during manufacturing thereof. Further, the requirement of thickness 0.3 mm-0.8 mm of the films 1a and 1b also relates to the performance of the inner adhering lines 3 as a window mentioned above without causing said deformation or other physical weakness. From experiment, beyond the range of 0.3 mm-0.8 mm of thickness, it reveals that the enjoyable window cannot be obtained.
Air is filled in the cushion cells 4, by sealing the outer and inner films 1a and 1b to each other through high frequency thermal sealing in such a way that an injection hole of 3 to 5 mm is formed at a predetermined position on the outer adhering line 2 to communicate with the cushion cell 4, injecting high pressure air from an air compressor through the injection hole, and thereafter performing high frequency sealing again for the injection hole. The cushion cells 4 may be filled with liquid. However, it is difficult to fully fill liquid into all of the cushion cells 4. Thus, air is the most preferable material to be used to fill the cushion cells 4.
Meanwhile, a logo may be printed, through silk screen printing, on the inner surface of the outer film 1a which faces the inner film 1b. If the logo is imprinted on the outer surface of the outer film 1a, the logo may be removed due to friction.
Bags 30, 40 and 50 each having the cushion panel 1 will be described with reference to FIGS. 5 to 9.
As shown in FIGS. 5 and 6, the bag 30 according to an embodiment may be a pouch-type bag. The bag 30 is constructed to receive a product through a mouth 32 into a holding space 31 which is created by sewing the edges of upper and lower panels 10 and 20. The cushion panel 1 may be used as the upper panel 10, while a fabric or foam sheet may be used as the lower panel 20. The sewn line of the upper panel 10 is formed along the outer adhering line 2. Meanwhile, the surface of the product received in the holding space 31 of the bag 30 contacts the inner film 1b which has an embossing pattern to reduce a friction coefficient thereof.
As shown in FIGS. 7 and 8, a bag 40 according to another embodiment has on its mouth a slide fastener 42. The bag 40 includes upper and lower panels 10 and 20 and a subsidiary panel 21 which couples the upper and lower panels 10 and 20 to each other, thus creating a holding space 41 along with the upper and lower panels 10 and 20.
As shown in FIG. 9, a bag 50 according to a further embodiment has the shape of a rectangular box such that upper and lower panels 10 and 20 are supported by a side panel 51. A slide fastener 52 is provided on a predetermined portion of the side panel 51.
Meanwhile, as shown in FIG. 10, a bag according to another embodiment is constructed so that a cushion panel occupies the largest portion of a surface of the bag. Since the interior of the bag is visible from outside, the bag is friendlier to customs inspection at the airport.
Although the preferred embodiments of the present invention have been disclosed for illustrative purposes, those skilled in the art will appreciate that various modifications, additions and substitutions are possible, without departing from the scope and spirit of the invention as disclosed in the accompanying claims.
As described above, a cushion panel according to the present invention has superior impact-absorbing capability and a good appearance, and a bag having the cushion panel is useful for safely carrying a product which is sensitive to impact, for example, a notebook computer or a multimedia device.
Patent applications in class Inflated retainer
Patent applications in all subclasses Inflated retainer