Patents Assigned to Dart Container Corporation
  • Patent number: 10544001
    Abstract: An apparatus (un-interleaver) for unwinding a roll of material interleaved with another material, and for separating the materials, includes a first platform, a second platform, a tension-sensor, an edge-sensor, and a controller. The controller monitors signals generated by the tension sensor and the edge sensor, and in response to the signals: a) causes the speed at which the second platform rotates to change to maintain a predetermined tension in the second material as the second material travels from the first platform toward the second platform, and b) causes the second platform to move relative to the first platform to align the edge of the second material traveling toward the roll of second material with the edge of the second material in the roll.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 29, 2017
    Date of Patent: January 28, 2020
    Assignee: Dart Container Corporation
    Inventors: Krishna V. Nadella, Alan Emerson
  • Patent number: 10512345
    Abstract: A method of making a double-wall cup having an inner cup defining an inner wall and an outer wrapper defining an outer wall, the method comprising applying an adhesive on the inner wall, holding a portion of the wrapper, at a location between opposing ends of the wrapper, in contact with the adhesive while in spaced relationship with the inner wall to define a spaced condition, and wrapping the wrapper about the inner wall.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 16, 2017
    Date of Patent: December 24, 2019
    Assignee: Dart Container Corporation
    Inventors: Dean Garza, Rick Hills, Daniel Wendt
  • Patent number: 10479003
    Abstract: A method for saturating a thermoplastic polymer material includes continuously moving the polymer material through a pressurized pressure vessel. To do this, the method includes sealing the pressure vessel with a series of dynamic seals that allows the polymer material to continuously move through the pressure vessel while maintaining the pressure inside the pressure vessel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 26, 2016
    Date of Patent: November 19, 2019
    Assignee: Dart Container Corporation
    Inventor: Michael Waggoner
  • Patent number: 10391687
    Abstract: The present invention is directed to a deep draw microcellularly foamed polymeric container comprising a polymeric sidewall integrally connected to a polymeric base along a bottom edge. The polymeric sidewall and base are contiguous with each other and define a shape of an open top container. The polymeric sidewall and base have a contiguous inner microcellular foam structure (having average cell diameters ranging from about 5 to about 100 microns) surrounded by a smooth outer skin layer integrally connected therewith. The polymeric sidewall defines a container height and a top opening, wherein the top opening defines a top opening width, and wherein the polymeric base defines a container base width, and wherein the area defined by the top opening is greater than the area defined by the polymeric base, and wherein the ratio of the container height (h) to the top opening width (w) is greater than about 1:1 (h:w).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 21, 2017
    Date of Patent: August 27, 2019
    Assignee: Dart Container Corporation
    Inventor: Gregory L. Branch
  • Patent number: 10377517
    Abstract: An assembly system for wrapping an outer wrapper to an inner sleeve to form an outer wall of a double-wall container can include a moveable suction arm. The moveable suction arm can be configured to couple to a suction source and can have a portion defining a suction surface. A plurality of suction openings can be provided within the suction surface and fluidly coupled to the suction source. A sealing edge can circumscribe at least a portion of the suction surface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 30, 2018
    Date of Patent: August 13, 2019
    Assignee: Dart Container Corporation
    Inventors: Dean Aaron Garza, Richard Arnold Hills, Daniel George Wendt
  • Patent number: 10301446
    Abstract: A method for generating a microstructure that includes microcellular bubbles, in a material that includes molecules of a thermoplastic polymer, comprises: determining a size-index for the material that represents an average size of the thermoplastic polymer molecules included in the material, and in response to the determined size-index, setting a parameter of a process to generate a microstructure in the material that includes microcellular bubbles. The process to generate a microstructure in the material includes: 1) infusing into the material, during a first period, a gas that does not react with the material, 2) making the gas-infused material thermodynamically unstable.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 19, 2014
    Date of Patent: May 28, 2019
    Assignees: Dart Container Corporation, The University of Washington through its Center for Commercialization
    Inventors: Krishna V. Nadella, Vipin Kumar, Huimin Guo
  • Patent number: 10059037
    Abstract: A multi-layer sheet for forming an expanded foam container, the multi-layer sheet including a first layer of an expanded foam material including a first polyolefin-based material including at least one polypropylene-based polymer and a second layer of an unexpected material including a second polyolefin-based material including at least one polypropylene-based polymer that is co-extruded, extrusion coated, or laminated on a first side of the first layer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 22, 2015
    Date of Patent: August 28, 2018
    Assignee: Dart Container Corporation
    Inventors: Chengtao Li, Gary R. Wilkes, Wayne J. Myer, Peter Matysiak
  • Patent number: 10040264
    Abstract: A bottom heater for use in assembling a container bottom and a sleeve includes a body having a peripheral wall and a heated air passage terminating in an outlet in the peripheral wall. A shape of at least a portion of the peripheral wall defining the outlet is such that heated air exiting the outlet is fluidly attached to an adjacent portion of the peripheral wall after exit because of the Coanda effect.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 1, 2015
    Date of Patent: August 7, 2018
    Assignee: Dart Container Corporation
    Inventor: Randy John Lamie
  • Patent number: 10029401
    Abstract: The invention disclosed herein relates to relates to foamed thermoplastic material objects and articles of manufacture having an internal layered cellular structure, as well as to methods of making the same. In one embodiment, the invention is directed to a multi-layer foamed polymeric article of manufacture, comprising: a non-laminated multi-layer thermoplastic material sheet, wherein the multi-layer thermoplastic material sheet has first and second discrete outer layers sandwiching a plurality of discrete inner foamed layers, and wherein the two outer layers and plurality discrete inner foamed layers are integral with one another. The thermoplastic material may be a semi-crystalline polymer such as, for example, PET (polyethylene terephthalate), PEEK (polyetheretherketone), PEN (polyethylene naphthalate), PBT (polybutylene terephthalate), PMMA (polymethyl methacrylate), PLA (polylactide), polyhydroxy acid (PHA), thermoplastic urethane (TPU), or blends thereof.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 14, 2012
    Date of Patent: July 24, 2018
    Assignees: Dart Container Corporation, The University of Washington
    Inventors: Krishna Nadella, Gregory Branch, Vipin Kumar, Michael Waggoner
  • Patent number: 9994369
    Abstract: A container having tamper evident and resistant features comprises a tray having a bottom wall and a peripheral side wall extending upwardly from the bottom wall, which collectively define a compartment, and terminating in a tray rib to at least partially define an open top providing access to the compartment. The container further comprises a cover comprising a top wall that terminates in a cover rib having a peripheral cover lip, an interference element extending from the container, at least one tab provided in the container and associated with the interference element, and at least one line of weakness coupling the tab to the container. The tab is moveable between a first position where the line of weakness is not severed and a second position where the line of weakness is severed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 2, 2016
    Date of Patent: June 12, 2018
    Assignee: Dart Container Corporation
    Inventor: Wayne J. Myer
  • Patent number: 9914247
    Abstract: A method for infusing gas into a thermoplastic material includes positioning a sheet of a thermoplastic material into a vertical or substantially vertical position; positioning a sheet of a gas-permeable material into a vertical or substantially vertical position; and winding together the positioned sheet of thermoplastic material sheet and the positioned sheet of gas-permeable material to form a roll of the thermoplastic material interleaved with the gas-permeable material, the interleaved roll having a longitudinal axis oriented in a vertical or substantially vertical position. The method also includes exposing the interleaved roll to an atmosphere of a gas pressurized to infuse the thermoplastic material with the gas, while the longitudinal axis of the interleaved roll is oriented in a vertical or substantially vertical position; and then unwinding the gas-infused interleaved roll, while the longitudinal axis of the interleaved roll remains in a vertical or substantially vertical position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 28, 2013
    Date of Patent: March 13, 2018
    Assignee: Dart Container Corporation
    Inventor: Krishna Nadella
  • Patent number: 9884440
    Abstract: Disclosed herein are roll fed air heated flotation ovens and related thermoforming systems, assemblies, and machines that enable the corrugation-free expansion of a gas impregnated thermoplastic web passing through an oven chamber (without use of a pin-chain assembly), as well as to related methods. In an embodiment, a gas impregnated thermoplastic web is conveyed and expanded through an elongated air heated oven chamber, wherein the elongated oven chamber includes a plurality of downwardly directed heated air nozzles positioned at regular intervals along and within the upper portion of the oven chamber, and a plurality of upwardly directed heated air nozzles positioned at regular intervals along and within the lower portion of the oven chamber, but staggered apart from the downwardly directed heated air nozzles such that the gas impregnated thermoplastic material web undulates in an up and down wavelike fashion, thereby minimizing sagging, bagging, puckering, and/or buckling of the web.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 22, 2016
    Date of Patent: February 6, 2018
    Assignee: Dart Container Corporation
    Inventors: Gregory Branch, Krishna Nadella
  • Patent number: 9834340
    Abstract: A container having tamper evident and resistant features includes a tray, a cover, and a blocking wall that prevents direct access to a peripheral cover lip of the cover when the cover is in a closed position on the tray. The container includes at least one tab that prevents direct access to the peripheral cover lip and which is at least partially separable from the container along at least one line of weakness to provide access to the peripheral cover lip for removing the cover from the tray. The tab further includes an interference element that inhibits replacement of the tab into its original position with respect to the container after the at least one line of weakness have been severed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 2, 2015
    Date of Patent: December 5, 2017
    Assignee: Dart Container Corporation
    Inventor: Wayne J. Myer
  • Patent number: 9809404
    Abstract: An apparatus (un-interleaver) for unwinding a roll of material interleaved with another material, and for separating the materials, includes a first platform, a second platform, a tension-sensor, an edge-sensor, and a controller. The controller monitors signals generated by the tension-sensor and the edge-sensor, and in response to the signals: a) causes the speed at which the second platform rotates to change to maintain a predetermined tension in the second material as the second material travels from the first platform toward the second platform, and b) causes the second platform to move relative to the first platform to align the edge of the second material traveling toward the roll of second material with the edge of the second material in the roll.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 14, 2014
    Date of Patent: November 7, 2017
    Assignee: Dart Container Corporation
    Inventors: Krishna V. Nadella, Alan Emerson
  • Patent number: 9770854
    Abstract: The present invention is directed to a deep draw microcellularly foamed polymeric container comprising a polymeric sidewall integrally connected to a polymeric base along a bottom edge. The polymeric sidewall and base are contiguous with each other and define a shape of an open top container. The polymeric sidewall and base have a contiguous inner microcellular foam structure (having average cell diameters ranging from about 5 to about 100 microns) surrounded by a smooth outer skin layer integrally connected therewith. The polymeric sidewall defines a container height and a top opening, wherein the top opening defines a top opening width, and wherein the polymeric base defines a container base width, and wherein the area defined by the top opening is greater than the area defined by the polymeric base, and wherein the ratio of the container height (h) to the top opening width (w) is greater than about 1:1 (h:w).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 26, 2013
    Date of Patent: September 26, 2017
    Assignee: Dart Container Corporation
    Inventor: Gregory L. Branch
  • Patent number: 9624009
    Abstract: A tamper evident and resistant container includes a tray, a cover and a hinge extending from the cover and tray defining a hinge axis about which the tray and cover relatively rotate between a closed position and an opened position. The container further includes a first tab provided on one of the cover or the tray and at least partially defined by a line of weakness. When the cover is in the closed position, a user may pull the first tab to tear the hinge to separate the cover from the tray, wherein the line of weakness at least partially defining the first tab is configured to tear when the first tab is pulled to tear the hinge to separate the cover from the tray.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 27, 2015
    Date of Patent: April 18, 2017
    Assignee: Dart Container Corporation
    Inventors: Ryan P. Gingras, Dean Garza, Todd M. Monroe, Craig M. Monahan
  • Patent number: 9527620
    Abstract: A commercially viable paper wrapped foam cup comprising a taper portion that prevents the shrinkage-induced curling from interfering with the un-nesting of nested paper wrapped foam cups. The paper wrapped cup further comprises a fillet for strengthening the cup foot to retard shrinkage-induced curling of the foot. The paper wrapper has abutting to overlapping opposing ends to completely hide the foam cup to enhance the visual appearance of the cup. The overlapping portions of the paper wrapper are not bonded to each other to prevent wrinkling of the paper wrapper as the cup shrinks. A machine and corresponding method provide for automatically supplying foam cups and paper wrappers, wrapping the paper wrapped cup, and stacking the wrapped cups.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 7, 2005
    Date of Patent: December 27, 2016
    Assignee: Dart Container Corporation
    Inventors: Robert C. Dart, Roger E. Payne, Steven C. Hills, Steven K. Makela, Brent M. Smith
  • Patent number: 9427903
    Abstract: Disclosed herein are roll fed air heated flotation ovens and related thermoforming systems, assemblies, and machines that enable the corrugation-free expansion of a gas impregnated thermoplastic web passing through an oven chamber (without use of a pin-chain assembly), as well as to related methods. In an embodiment, a gas impregnated thermoplastic web is conveyed and expanded through an elongated air heated oven chamber, wherein the elongated oven chamber includes a plurality of downwardly directed heated air nozzles positioned at regular intervals along and within the upper portion of the oven chamber, and a plurality of upwardly directed heated air nozzles positioned at regular intervals along and within the lower portion of the oven chamber, but staggered apart from the downwardly directed heated air nozzles such that the gas impregnated thermoplastic material web undulates in an up and down wavelike fashion, thereby minimizing sagging, bagging, puckering, and/or buckling of the web.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 9, 2012
    Date of Patent: August 30, 2016
    Assignee: Dart Container Corporation
    Inventors: Gregory Branch, Krishna Nadella
  • Patent number: 9409683
    Abstract: A container includes a tray having an outwardly extending tray flange and a rib projecting upwardly from at least a portion of the tray flange to at least partially define an open top and a cover terminating in an outwardly extending cover flange with a skirt projecting upwardly from the cover flange. When the cover is mounted to the tray to close an open top of the tray, a portion of the skirt lies on top of the rib, and an amount of the skirt that is pinchable is insufficient to apply the force required to overcome a peripheral seal between the cover and the tray to separate the cover from the tray.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 12, 2014
    Date of Patent: August 9, 2016
    Assignee: Dart Container Corporation
    Inventors: Ryan P. Gingras, Dean Garza
  • Patent number: 9365331
    Abstract: A tamper evident and resistant container includes a tray, a cover and a hinge extending from the cover and tray defining a hinge axis about which the tray and cover relatively rotate between a closed position and an opened position. The container further includes a first tab provided on one of the cover or the tray and a second tab provided on the other of the cover or the tray. When the cover is in the closed position, the first and second tabs are spaced relative to each other such that a user may grasp the first tab with one hand and the second tab with another hand and relatively pull the first tab and the second tab away from each other to tear the hinge and separate the cover from the tray.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 12, 2014
    Date of Patent: June 14, 2016
    Assignee: Dart Container Corporation
    Inventors: Ryan P. Gingras, Dean Garza