Title:
Receptacle Device With Means For Connecting A Fixture, Particularly A Handle
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A receptacle device comprises a containment space at least partially defined by an inner surface of a containment wall made of glass or glass-ceramic material, and connecting means for connecting a handle to the containment wall. The connecting means comprise a connecting portion projecting from an outer surface of the containment wall opposite the inner surface, wherein the connecting portion is intended to be accommodated within a corresponding seat of the handle that can be mounted about the connecting portion and wherein the connecting portion has such a shape as to result non-extractable from the seat when mounted thereto.



Inventors:
Ranzoni, Francesco (Coccaglio, IT)
Application Number:
12/558798
Publication Date:
04/08/2010
Filing Date:
09/14/2009
Assignee:
BIALETTI INDUSTRIE S.P.A. (Coccaglio, IT)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
220/752
International Classes:
B65D23/10; B65D25/28
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
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20070289932Pill bottle with net containerDecember, 2007Kim
20070068892Grippable lidMarch, 2007Kaufman
20050011897Container cap holding mechanism, a container employing such mechanism, and a product employing such a containerJanuary, 2005Stuart
20040065636Container with recessed handleApril, 2004Thibodeau et al.
20080223818Spill-proof drinking straw and adapter assemblySeptember, 2008Shafik
20080039778Computer Controlled Bottle for Oral Feeding of a PatientFebruary, 2008Goldie et al.
20020130101Dual sealing closureSeptember, 2002Ekkert
20040211745Nipple insert for a feeding bottleOctober, 2004Murray
20070045216Plastic container finish with structural ribMarch, 2007Gami et al.



Primary Examiner:
WALKER, NED ANDREW
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
KILYK & BOWERSOX, P.L.L.C. (400 HOLIDAY COURT, SUITE 102, WARRENTON, VA, 20186, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A receptacle device comprising: a containment space at least partially defined by an inner surface of a containment wall made of glass or glass-ceramic material; connecting means for connecting a fixture, particularly a handle to the containment wall, wherein the connecting means comprise a connecting portion projecting from an outer surface of the containment wall opposite the inner surface, and wherein the connecting portion is intended to be accommodated within a corresponding seat (8, 12) of the fixture, particularly of the handle that can be mounted about the connecting portion, and wherein the connecting portion has such a shape as to be not-extractable from the seat (8, 12) mounted thereto.

2. The receptacle device according to claim 1, comprising: a containment space at least partially defined by an inner surface of a containment wall made of glass or glass-ceramic material; connecting means for connecting a fixture, particularly a handle to the containment wall, wherein the connecting means comprise a connecting portion projecting from an outer surface of the containment wall opposite the inner surface, wherein the connecting portion forms: a hook portion that can be inserted or positioned within a hooking seat of the accessory, particularly the handle in a hooking direction; a locking seat facing a direction substantially opposite the hooking direction and suitable to receive a locking portion of the fixture, particularly the handle to be capable of preventing the hook portion from moving out of the hooking seat.

3. The receptacle device according to claim 1, wherein the hook portion is tapered in the hooking direction.

4. The receptacle device according to claim 1, wherein the hook portion has a substantially trapezoid plate-like shape, wherein the small base of the trapezium forms a leading edge of the hook portion facing the hooking direction and the large base of the trapezium forms a trailing edge of the hook portion opposite the hooking direction.

5. The receptacle device according to claim 1, wherein the hook portion extends parallel to the containment wall in the area of the connecting portion.

6. The receptacle device according to claim 1, wherein the locking seat comprises a concavity formed on a rear side of the connecting portion opposite the hooking direction.

7. The receptacle device according to claim 1, wherein the locking seat extends parallel to the containment wall in the area of the connecting portion.

8. The receptacle device according to claim 1, wherein the locking seat is at least partially defined by a trailing edge of the hook portion opposite the hooking direction.

9. The receptacle device according to claim 1, wherein the connecting portion comprises a support portion connecting the hook portion with the containment wall, the support portion projects from the containment wall and connects to the hook portion in the vicinity of the trailing edge thereof opposite the hooking direction.

10. The receptacle device according to claim 1, wherein the connecting portion further comprises a reinforcement rib substantially extending in the hooking direction and connecting the hook portion with the containment wall along at least part of the length of the hook portion.

11. The receptacle device according to claim 1, wherein in the vicinity of the leading edge of the hook portion, the reinforcement rib has a concave throat facing the hooking direction.

12. The receptacle device according to claim 10, wherein: in a sectional plane parallel to the containment wall in the area of the connecting portion, the reinforcement rib has a substantially trapezoid shape with the small base facing the hooking direction and in a sectional plane perpendicular to the containment wall in the area of the connecting portion, the reinforcement rib has substantially the shape of an interdigital membrane.

13. The receptacle device according to claim 10, wherein an outer portion of the reinforcement rib adjacent to the hook portion extends to the front end of the hook portion and ends flush with the front end such as to form a T-shaped end.

14. The receptacle device according to claim 1, wherein the connecting portion is substantially U-shaped having: a base forming the support portion; a first arm extending from the base in the hooking direction and forms a thickening of the containment wall in the area of the connecting portion; a second arm extending from the base in the hooking direction and that forms the hook portion.

15. The receptacle device according to claim 14, wherein the reinforcement rib and the first and second arms of the connecting portion define two counter-posed side seats suitable to accommodate two corresponding counter-posed side shoulders of the fixture, particularly of the handle.

16. The receptacle device according to claim 1, wherein the connecting portion is formed from glass or glass-ceramic material as one piece with the containment wall.

17. The receptacle device according to claim 1, wherein the receptacle device comprises a handle separately fabricated from the containment wall and subsequently connected thereto, the handle comprising: a base portion intended to be coupled to the connecting portion; a grip portion extending from the base portion, wherein the base portion defines the hooking seat suitable to house the hook portion and comprises the locking portion suitable to engage the locking seat.

18. The receptacle device according to claim 17, wherein the locking portion is formed in a locking cap connectable to the base portion of the handle in such a configuration as to engage the locking seat of the connecting portion when the hook portion is accommodated within the hooking seat.

19. The receptacle device according to claim 18, wherein the locking cap is removably connectable to the base portion of the handle.

20. The receptacle device according to claim 18, wherein the locking cap comprises an inserting portion that can be inserted within a corresponding cap seat of the base portion of the handle and a threaded or threadable hole and intended to accommodate a screw which locks the locking cap relative to the base portion of the handle.

21. The receptacle device according to claim 20, wherein the inserting portion and the cap seat have a polygonal complementary shape such as to prevent the locking cap from rotating.

22. The receptacle device according to claim 20, wherein the threaded or threadable hole is formed within the inserting portion of the locking cap and the base portion of the handle defines a through hole in a bottom wall of the cap seat to accommodate the screw.

23. The receptacle device according to claim 18, wherein the locking cap is substantially U- or L-shaped, having: a base forming a covering portion intended to cover the connecting portion and; a first arm extending from the base and forming the inserting portion, and a second arm extending from the base and forming the locking portion.

24. The receptacle device according to claim 18, wherein the base portion of the handle forms a substantially U-shaped edge which is intended to adhere to the containment wall about the connecting portion and suitable to cover the connecting portion on three sides thereof.

25. The receptacle device according to claim 24, wherein the locking cap is suitable to cover the connecting portion on a fourth side.

26. The receptacle device according to claim 18, wherein: the hooking seat has a substantially complementary shape to the shape of the hook portion; the side shoulders of the base portion of the handle have a substantially complementary shape to the shape of the side seats of the connecting portion.

27. The receptacle device according to claim 17, wherein the handle comprises two half-shells (35, 36) which can be assembled about the connecting portion by being moved towards each other, and wherein each of the half-shells defines at least a part of the hooking seat suitable to accommodate the hook portion.

28. The receptacle device according to claim 18, wherein the handle is made of plastics.

29. The receptacle device according to claim 1, wherein the containment wall and the connecting portion are made of borosilicate glass.

30. A device for preparing beverages or food, comprising a receptacle device according to claim 1.

31. The device for preparing beverages or food according to claim 30, selected from the group comprising: coffee-makers, barley coffee-makers, cappuccino-makers, pots, pans, cups, bowls.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The object of the present invention is a receptacle device with means for connecting a handle, and particularly a receptacle device made of glass or glass-ceramic material that can be connected to a handle made of a material other than the material of the receptacle.

2. Description of the Related Art

Due to their resistance to high temperatures and aggressive substances, to the scratch resistance, and the aesthetic characteristics thereof, glass and glass-ceramic materials are particularly interesting for providing components for devices used for the domestic, but also industrial and commercial preparation of food and beverages, particularly for receptacles or reservoirs of coffee-makers, barley coffee-makers, as well as pans and pots, and cups, bowls, etc., which can be used, for example, either on a hotplate, in traditional or microwave ovens.

Due to the shape and size thereof and the high temperature to which they can be subjected upon use, these devices for preparing food and beverages cannot be directly gripped by the user. A suitable handle, grip or knob made of heat-insulating material, such as plastic or wood, is thus required to be connected to the glass or glass-ceramic portion.

Due to the different characteristics of the glass material of the receptacle and plastic material, for example, of the handle, a connection therebetween is still a problem, as both mechanical resistance requirements and hygienic and aesthetic requirements must be taken into account.

For example, a plastic handle is known to be connected to a glass receptacle by means of a metal band being arranged all around the receptacle. This solution requires that the shape of the receptacle is continuously convex in the band area. Furthermore, the length of the band, and thus the amount of material not only depends on the forces to be transmitted between the handle and receptacle, but also on the circumference of the receptacle.

Finally, the recesses formed along the edges of the metal band are prompts for the build-up of dirt and are difficult to clean.

A second known solution provides through holes being formed in the receptacle glass wall, and the glass wall is sandwiched between a root portion of the handle arranged on the outer side of the wall and a counter-plate arranged on the inner side of the wall, in which the handle root and the counter-plate are connected to each other by means of screws or rivets extending through the through holes of the glass wall.

This known solution allows freely selecting the shape of the receptacle in the areas far from the connecting point, and accordingly is more appealing from an aesthetic point of view. From the point of view of the mechanical resistance, it should be noted that the provision of holes in a continuous glass wall causes tensile loads which can give rise to the onset of cracks with the consequent risk of easy breakage of the whole receptacle.

Furthermore, both the holes and the counter-plate, or any screw or rivet heads arranged on the inner surface of the glass wall make the receptacle difficult to clean and are a prompt for the build-up of dirt.

A third known solution provides gluing the handle to the outer surface of the glass receptacle. This solution is satisfactory from the aesthetical and hygienic point of view, in that it provides a local connection between the handle and the glass receptacle and does not interfere with the inner surface of the receptacle.

However, the glues suitable for bonding glass and plastic to each other comprise noxious solvents which require a safe environment upon assembly, and provide an irreversible connection, such that in case of malpositioning the handle during the gluing step or in case the handle is broken, it is not possible to subsequently correct the position of the handle or replace the latter.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The object of the present invention is thus to provide a receptacle device made of glass or glass-ceramic material with means for connecting a handle having such characteristics as to overcome at least some of the drawbacks cited with relation to the prior art.

The receptacle device of the invention comprises:

    • a containment space at least partially defined by an inner surface of a containment wall made of glass or glass-ceramic material;
    • connecting means for connecting a fixture, particularly a handle to the containment wall,

Wherein the connecting means comprise a connecting portion projecting from an outer surface of the containment wall opposite the inner surface,

and wherein the connecting portion is intended to be accommodated within a corresponding seat (8, 12) of the fixture, particularly of the handle that can be mounted about the connecting portion,
and wherein the connecting portion has such a shape as to be not-extractable from the seat (8, 12) mounted thereto.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective exploded view of receptacle device for a cappuccino-maker according to an embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 2 is a sectional view of the connecting area between a containment wall and a handle of the receptacle device in FIG. 1 in an assembled configuration.

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the receptacle device in FIG. 1 in the assembled configuration.

FIG. 4 is a side view of a connecting portion projecting from the receptacle device according to an embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 5 is a front view of the connecting portion in FIG. 4.

FIG. 6 is a top view of the connecting portion in FIG. 4.

FIG. 7 is a bottom view of the connecting portion in FIG. 4.

FIG. 8 is a sectional view of a handle of the receptacle device according to an embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 9 illustrates a cappuccino-maker with a receptacle made of glass material according to an embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 10 illustrates a pan with a receptacle made of glass material according to an embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 11 illustrates a vase with a receptacle made of glass material and support feet according to an embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 12 is a partial top view of a receptacle with a handle according to a further embodiment.

FIG. 13 is a partial side view of the receptacle in FIG. 12.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DETAILED EMBODIMENTS

With reference to the figures, a receptacle device is generally designated with numeral 1. This receptacle device 1 is, for example, the receptacle for accumulating a hot beverage in a device for preparing beverages (see FIG. 1) or a pot or pan (not illustrated in the figures). The receptacle device 1 comprises a containment space 2 that is at least partially defined by a inner surface 3 of a containment wall 4 made of glass or glass-ceramic material. Preferably, the containment wall 4 is made of borosilicate glass, which has a high resistance to high temperatures and thermal shocks.

In order to be capable of connecting this material, which is resistant but hardly mouldable and fragile, to a handle 5, a connecting portion 6 is provided which is formed as one piece with the containment wall 4. The connecting portion 6 protrudes from an outer surface 7 of the containment wall 4 opposite the inner surface 3 and forms a hook portion 8 intended to be either inserted or positioned into a corresponding hooking seat 9 of the handle 5 in a hooking direction designated by the arrow 10. The connecting portion 6 further forms a locking seat 11 facing a substantially opposite direction to the hooking direction and configured to receive a corresponding locking portion 12 of the handle 5 to prevent the hook portion 8 from moving out of the hooking seat 9.

In accordance with an embodiment, the hook portion 8 is tapered in the hooking direction and preferably has a substantially trapezoid plate-like shape, wherein the small base of the trapezium forms a leading edge 13 of the hook portion 8 facing the hooking direction 10 and the large base of the trapezium forms a trailing edge 14 of the hook portion 8 opposite the hooking direction 10.

In order to provide a coupling between the containment wall and the handle 5, which is suitable to transmit both shear stresses and moments without generating excessive tensions in the glass connecting portion, the latter is advantageously configured such that the hooking portion 8 extends at least approximatively parallel to the containment wall 4 (or in the tangential direction to the containment wall 4) in the area of the connecting portion 6. Such orientation of the hook portion 8 further entails the possibility of carrying out the insertion of the latter within the hooking seat in a direction substantially parallel to the containment wall 4.

According to an embodiment, the locking seat 11 comprises a concavity formed on the rear side of the connecting portion 8 opposite the hooking direction 10.

Preferably, the locking seat 11 forms a groove or cavity extending approximatively parallel to the containment wall 4 in the area of the connecting portion 6.

In accordance with an embodiment, the locking seat 11 is at least partially defined by an edge of the hook portion 8, preferably by the trailing edge 14 thereof.

The hook portion 8 is connected to the containment wall 4 by means of a support portion 15 projecting from the containment wall 4 and connecting to the hook portion 8 proximate to the trailing edge 14 thereof.

Advantageously, in the normal use configuration of a coffee-maker or pan provided with the receptacle device 1, the support portion 15 is formed in an upper area of the connecting portion 6 and the hook portion 8 extends downwards from the support portion 15, such as to “hook” the weight of the receptacle to the handle.

According to an embodiment, the connecting portion 6 further comprises a reinforcement rib 16 substantially extending in the hooking direction 10 and connects the hook portion 8 with the containment wall 4 along at least a part of the length of the hook portion 8. In order to minimize the onset of tensile loads in the connecting portion 6, the reinforcement rib 16 has, in the vicinity of the front side 13 of the hook portion 8, a bevelled concave throat 17 facing the hooking direction 10.

According to an embodiment, in a sectional plane parallel to the containment wall 4 (or the tangential direction to the containment wall 4) in the area of the connecting portion 6, the reinforcement rib 16 has a substantially trapezoid shaped with the small base facing the hooking direction 10, and in a sectional plane perpendicular to the containment wall 4 in the area of the connecting portion 6, this reinforcement rib 16 has a substantially “interdigital membrane” shape.

In order to maximize the abutment and friction surface between the connecting portion 6 and handle 5, an outer portion 18 of the reinforcement rib 16 adjacent the hook portion 8 extends to the front end 19 of the hook portion 8 and ends flush with the front end such as to form a T-shaped end.

In accordance with a preferred embodiment, the connecting portion 6 has a substantially U-shaped portion with a base that forms the support portion 15, a first arm extending from the base in the hooking direction 10 and forms a thickening 20 of the containment wall 4 in the area of the connecting portion 6, as well as a second arm extending from the base in the hooking direction and forms the hook portion 8.

According to this embodiment, the reinforcement rib 16 and the first and second arms of the connecting portion 6 define two counter-posed and arc-shaped side seats 21, which are suitable to accommodate and abut against two corresponding counter-posed and arc-shaped side shoulders 22 formed in the handle 5.

It may be appreciated that the receptacle device 1 can be arranged and provided without the handle, such as to allow the user or an operator charged of the final assembly for example of a coffee-maker machine or pot or pan, to provide the receptacle device with the most suitable handle, as desired.

Alternatively or after the final assembly, the receptacle device is supplied to dealers or final users including the handle 5 previously assembled thereto.

According to an aspect of the invention, this handle 1 is fabricated separately from the containment wall 4 and subsequently connected thereto and comprises a base portion 23 intended to be coupled to the connecting portion 6 and a grip portion 24 extending from the base portion 23 and which is shaped such as to be easily gripped by the user and meeting the aesthetic requirements demanded by the devices for preparing food and beverages in which the receptacle is incorporated.

The base portion 23 defines the hooking seat 9 suitable to house the hook portion 8 and comprises the locking portion 12 suitable to engage the locking seat 11.

According to an embodiment, the locking portion 12 is formed in a locking cap 25, which is removable connectable to the handle in such a configuration as to engage the locking seat 11 of the connecting portion 6 when the hook portion 8 is accommodated within the hooking seat 9.

In accordance with an embodiment, the locking cap 25 comprises an inserting portion 26 that can be inserted within a corresponding cap seat 27 of the base portion 23 of the handle 5 and a threaded or threadable hole 28 and intended to accommodate a screw 29 which locks the locking cap 25 relative to the base portion 23 of the handle.

Advantageously, the inserting portion 26 and the cap seat 27 have a complementary polygonal shape such as to prevent a rotation of the locking cap 25 relative to the handle. The threaded or threadable hole 28 is preferably formed in the inserting portion 26 and a bottom wall 31 of the cap seat 27 defines a through hole 30 for housing the screw 29. According to an advantageous embodiment, the locking cap 25 is substantially U- or L-shaped, with a base forming a covering portion 32 intended to cover the connecting portion 6, and a first arm extending from the base and forming the inserting portion 26, as well as a second arm (preferably shorter than the first arm) extending from the base in the same direction as the first arm and forms the locking portion 12.

Besides the various seats intended for connection to the containment wall, the base portion 23 of the handle forms a substantially U-shaped edge 33 that is intended to be adhered to the containment wall about the connecting portion 6 and suitable to cover this connecting portion on three sides thereof, whereas the locking cap 25 is suitable to cover the connecting portion 6 on a fourth side, preferably on the rear side 14, i.e. on the upper side when the receptacle is in its normal use position.

In order to obtain a substantially clearance-free connection, the hooking seat 9 is advantageously provided to have a substantially complementary shape to the shape of the hook portion 8, and the side shoulders 22 of the base portion of the handle have a substantially complementary shape to the shape of the side seats 21 of the connecting portion.

The handle and the locking cap are preferably moulded from plastics.

FIGS. 12 and 13 illustrate an alternative embodiment which provides an accessory or a fixture, particularly a handle 34 comprising two half-shells 35, 36 that can be assembled about the connecting portion 6 by being moved towards each other in a transversal direction to the hooking direction 10 and connected by connecting means, such as a screw 37.

In this case, each of the half-shells 35, 36 defines at least a part of the hooking seat 9.

As stated above in the introductory part, the receptacle device is preferably implemented in a device for preparing beverages or food in general, and particularly in a coffee-maker, barley-coffee maker, cappuccino-maker, pan or pot.

Further advantageous applications relate to cups and bowls that can be used, for example, in microwave ovens, but also other receptacles made of glass material, such as vases provided with fixtures, such as socles or feet, which require a high resistance when they are connected between the glass material wall and the fixture.

The receptacle device 1 according to the invention allows connecting the containment wall made of glass or glass-ceramic, particularly of borosilicate glass, with a handle made of a different material, such as plastic. This connection does not interfere with the inner surface of the containment wall, requires a small space and has a high mechanical resistance. This allows freely defining the shape of the glass receptacle and of the handle, easy cleaning of the receptacle and a reliable connection between the receptacle and handle, such as to fully meet the regulations concerning grip members (for example, EN13248 for coffee-makers). Furthermore, the removable connection of the locking cap to the base portion of the handle allows the handle to be easily replaced without requiring to interfere on the glass or glass-ceramic material of the receptacle containment wall.