Title:
Jar container and method of making same
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An improved jar and method of making the same. The double walled jar comprises a single piece double walled container, bottom plug, and lid. The container comprises an inner wall structure with open top and a closed bottom. A shoulder portion extends from the outer surface of the inner structure. Sets of threads are located above the shoulder portion about the outer surface of the inner structure. An outer wall structure extends from the shoulder portion, forming a gap between the structures. The terminal end of the outer structure extends past the closed bottom and has a notched channel within the inner surface of the outer structure below the closed bottom. A bottom plug having a portion shaped for a snap fit into the notched channel is used to cover the bottom of the container. A lid is used to complete the container as a jar.



Inventors:
Brodner, Joseph M. (St. Charles, IL, US)
Brodner, John R. (Glen Ellyn, IL, US)
Joseph Jr., Brodner F. (Barrington, IL, US)
Application Number:
09/982201
Publication Date:
04/17/2003
Filing Date:
10/17/2001
Assignee:
Olcott Plastics (St. Charles, IL)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65D25/20; B65D81/38; (IPC1-7): B65D21/02
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
CASTELLANO, STEPHEN J
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
MERONI + MERONI (BARRINGTON, IL, US)
Claims:

I claim:



1. A double walled jar, the jar comprising: a single piece double walled container, the container comprising: an inner wall structure having an open top end and a closed bottom end; an outer wall structure having a proximal end and a terminal end encircling the inner wall structure forming a gap between the inner wall structure and the outer wall structure, the gap between the inner wall structure and the outer wall structure being greater near the terminal end of the outer wall structure than near the proximal end of the outer wall structure, the terminal end extending past the closed bottom of the inner wall structure and having a notched channel within the inner surface of the outer wall structure located below the closed bottom of the inner wall structure; a shoulder portion linking the inner wall structure with the outer wall structure extending continuously from and about the outer surface of the inner wall structure to the proximal end of the outer wall structure, the shoulder portion being the sole means of linking the inner wall structure and the outer wall structure; a set of threads located above the shoulder portion and about the outer surface of the inner wall structure; a bottom plug sized and shaped to fit within the area encircled by the outer wall structure having a portion sized and shaped for a snap fit into the notched channel within the inner surface of the outer wall structure; and a lid sized and shaped to cover the open top end of the inner wall structure, the lid having a set of threads formed to fit in mating relationship with the set of threads located about the outer surface of the inner wall structure.

2. The jar of claim 1 wherein the notched channel is located within the inner surface of the outer wall structure such that a face of the bottom plug comes into contact with the closed bottom end when the bottom plug is snapped into the notched channel, the closed bottom providing support to the bottom plug.

3. The jar of claim 2 wherein the thickness of the outer wall structure and the thickness of the bottom plug have a relationship such that the bottom plug deflects along the long axis of the bottom plug as the bottom plug is pushed into the area encircled by the outer wall structure and returns to is original shape when the bottom plug snaps into the notched channel.

4. The jar of claim 3 further comprising a label placed in the gap between the inner wall structure and outer wall structure, the label held in place by the inner wall structure, outer wall structure and bottom plug.

5. The jar of claim 4 wherein the shoulder portion is a fluid tight seat for the lid when the lid is secured to the container.

6. The jar of claim 5 wherein the bottom plug is symmetrical about the long axis of the bottom plug.

7. The jar of claim 6 wherein the thickness of the inner wall structure is from about 0.035 inches to about 0.047 inches and the thickness of the outer wall structure is less than the thickness of the inner wall structure.

8. The jar of claim 7 wherein the bottom plug has at least one indexing lug providing a common point of reference for performing manufacturing processes on the bottom plug.

9. A single piece double walled container in combination with a symmetrical bottom plug, the combination comprising: a single piece double walled container having an inner wall structure with an open top end and a closed bottom end; an outer wall structure having a proximal end and a terminal end encircling the inner wall structure forming a gap between the inner wall structure and the outer wall structure, the terminal end of the outer wall structure extending past the closed bottom of the inner wall structure and having a notched channel within the inner surface of the outer wall structure located below the closed bottom of the inner wall structure; a shoulder portion linking the inner wall structure with the outer wall structure extending continuously from and about the outer surface of the inner wall structure to the proximal end of the outer wall structure, the shoulder portion being the sole means of linking the inner wall structure and the outer wall structure; and a symmetrical bottom plug having a portion sized and shaped for insertion into the notched channel within the inner surface of the outer wall structure.

10. The combination of claim 9 wherein the notched channel is located within the inner surface of the outer wall structure such that a face of the bottom plug comes into contact with the closed bottom end when the bottom plug is inserted into the notched channel, the closed bottom end providing support to the bottom plug.

11. The combination of claim 10 wherein the gap between the inner wall structure and the outer wall structure being greater near the terminal end of the outer wall structure than near the proximal end of the outer wall structure

12. The combination of claim 11 further comprising a label placed in the gap between the inner wall structure and outer wall structure, the label held in place by the inner wall structure, outer wall structure and bottom plug.

13. The combination of claim 12 further comprising a set of threads located above the shoulder portion and about the outer surface of the inner wall structure.

14. The combination of claim 13 further comprising a lid sized and shaped to cover the open top end of the inner wall structure, the lid having a set threads formed to fit in mating relationship with the set of threads located about the outer surface of the inner wall structure.

15. The combination of claim 14 wherein the shoulder portion is a fluid tight seat for the lid when the lid is secured to the container.

16. In a double walled injection molded plastic container having a gap between the inner wall and the outer wall, the improvement comprising: forming the inner wall and outer wall out of one continuous piece of injection molded plastic; extending the outer wall past the bottom of the container; forming a notched channel within the inner surface of the outer wall located below the bottom of the container; and inserting a bottom plug having a portion sized and shaped for a snap fit into the notched channel.

17. The improved container of claim 16 wherein the thickness of the inner wall is from about 0.035 inches to about 0.047 inches and the thickness of the outer wall is less than the thickness of the inner wall.

18. The improved container of claim 17 wherein the bottom plug is symmetrical about the long axis of the bottom plug.

19. The improved container of claim 18 further comprising at least one indexing lug providing a common point of reference for performing manufacturing process on the bottom plug.

20. A method of manufacturing a single piece double walled container, the method comprising: molding a single piece double walled container using a translucent synthetic plastic by forming a translucent inner wall structure with a closed bottom end and a translucent outer wall structure while forming the outer wall structure with a terminal end extending past the inner wall structure and a notched channel within the inner surface of the outer wall structure, the inner and outer translucent wall structure being left free of any interior obstructions there between enabling contents of the container to be clearly visible through the translucent inner and outer wall structures; molding a bottom plug and sizing and shaping the bottom plug to fit within the area enclosed by the outer wall structure and forming a portion that is sized and shaped for insertion into the notched channel; and inserting the bottom plug into the notched channel, the bottom plug deflecting along the long axis of the bottom plug as the bottom plug is pushed into the area encircled by the outer wall structure and returning to original shape upon seating into the notched channel.

21. The method of manufacturing of claim 20 wherein the molding of the bottom plug further comprises symmetrically forming the bottom plug about the long axis of the bottom plug.

22. A single piece double walled container of translucent plastic providing unobstructed view of the contents of the container, the container comprising: an inner wall structure having an open top end and a closed bottom end; an outer wall structure having a proximal end and a terminal end encircling the inner wall structure forming a gap between the inner wall structure and the outer wall structure; and a shoulder portion linking the inner wall structure with the outer wall structure extending continuously from and about the outer surface of the inner wall structure to the proximal end of the outer wall structure such that the viewing of the contents through the outer wall structure and the inner wall structure of the container is unobstructed.

23. The single piece double walled container of claim 22 wherein the shoulder portion is the sole means of linking the inner wall structure and the outer wall structure.

24. The single piece double walled container of claim 23 wherein the shoulder portion is a fluid tight seat for a lid when the lid is placed on the container.

25. The single piece double walled container of claim 24 wherein the outer wall structure extends past the closed bottom of the inner wall structure and further comprises a notched channel within the inner surface of the outer wall structure located below the closed bottom of the inner wall structure.

26. The single piece double walled container of claim 25 further comprising a bottom plug sized and shaped to fit within the area encircled by the outer wall structure having a portion sized and shaped for a snap fit into the notched channel within the inner surface of the outer wall structure.

27. The single piece double walled container of claim 26 further comprising a set of threads located above the shoulder portion and about the outer surface of the inner wall structure.

28. The single piece double walled container of claim 27 further comprising a label placed in the gap between the inner wall structure and outer wall structure, the label held in place by the inner wall structure, outer wall structure and bottom plug.

29. A labeled double walled jar of translucent plastic, the jar comprising: an inner wall structure having an open top end and a closed bottom end; an outer wall structure having a proximal end and a terminal end encircling the inner wall structure forming a gap between the inner wall structure and the outer wall structure the terminal end extending past the closed bottom of the inner wall structure and having a notched channel within the inner surface of the outer wall structure located below the closed bottom of the inner wall structure; a shoulder portion linking the inner wall structure with the outer wall structure extending continuously from and about the outer surface of the inner wall structure to the proximal end of the outer wall structure; a bottom plug sized and shaped to fit within the area encircled by the outer wall structure having a portion sized and shaped for a snap fit into the notched channel within the inner surface of the outer wall structure; and a label placed in the gap between the inner wall structure and outer wall structure, the label held in place by the inner wall structure, outer wall structure and bottom plug.

30. The labeled double walled jar of claim 29 wherein the notched channel is located within the inner surface of the outer wall structure such that a face of the bottom plug comes into contact with the closed bottom end when the bottom plug is snapped into the notched channel, the closed bottom providing support to the bottom plug.

31. The labeled double walled jar of claim 30 wherein the thickness of the outer wall structure and the thickness of the bottom plug have a relationship such that the bottom plug deflects along the long axis of the bottom plug as the bottom plug is pushed into the area encircled by the outer wall structure and returns to is original shape when the bottom plug snaps into the notched channel.

32. The labeled double walled jar of claim 31 wherein the shoulder portion is a fluid tight seat for the lid when the lid is secured to the container.

33. The labeled double walled jar of claim 32 wherein the bottom plug is symmetrical about the long axis of the bottom plug.

34. The labeled double walled jar of claim 33 wherein the thickness of the inner wall structure is from about 0.035 inches to about 0.047 inches and the thickness of the outer wall structure is less than the thickness of the inner wall structure.

35. The labeled double walled jar of claim 34 wherein the bottom plug has at least one indexing lug providing a common point of reference for performing manufacturing processes on the bottom plug.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] 1. Field of the Invention

[0002] The claimed invention relates to an improved jar container and method for making an improved jar container, and in particular a single piece double walled container with bottom plug.

[0003] 2. Description of the Prior Art

[0004] Double walled containers have been in use for many years and are used for many different applications such as providing insulation for contents of the container, providing increased protection for the contents of the container, and providing a container that is aesthetically appealing. The common practice of making a double walled container is assembling two discrete piece by making an outer single wall structure designed to accept a single wall container, and a single wall container designed to nest into the outer wall structure. Since the double walled container is made of two discrete pieces, additional measures are typically incorporated into the two pieces so that they are joined as a single piece, including but not limited to elaborate means for preventing the rotation of one piece with respect to the other.

[0005] This type of double walled container is expensive to manufacture for several reasons. This method is labor intensive in that the single wall container has to be inserted into the outer single wall structure. In order to properly insert the single wall container into the outer single wall structure, the person or apparatus has to orient one with relationship to the other. This requires time that ultimately figures into the cost of producing such a double walled container. Further, the assembly of the single wall container into the outer single wall structure is a source of breakage of both pieces, increasing the per-piece manufacturing cost. A common solution to this breakage problem is increasing the thickness of both pieces to prevent breakage, further increasing the material costs involved in the product. This method is also costly in that valuable manufacturing machine time is taken up in producing each of these complicated pieces. Therefore, there is a need for a double walled container that is cheaper to fabricate and assemble.

[0006] Containers of this type do not make attractive see-through container. When containers of this type are made of translucent materials, the structures used to join the two discrete parts together are visible, obstructing the view of the contents of the container, presenting an unattractive appearance. Therefore, there is a need for a double walled see-through container that is aesthetically pleasing to the user of the container. Further, due to the fact that double walled container of this type are not made of translucent material, any labeling or markings of the container has to be done on the outside of the container that is susceptible to damage during handling of the container. Therefore, there is a further need for a double walled see-through container that allows the placement of a label or markings between the inner and outer wall of the container so that the label or markings may not be damaged during handling.

[0007] Various paper and plastic cup-type containers having double wall construction and base/bottom construction have been used in the past. For example, U.S. Pat. No. 2,266,828 (the '828 Patent) discloses a paper cup with dual walls and a disc-shaped bottom member with an integral upwardly extending circumferential flange which seats tightly against the surrounding wall of the body and is secured therein by an adhesive. U.S. Pat. No. 5,542,599 (the '599 Patent) discloses a beverage cup of biodegradable paper elements having an inner side wall, an outer side wall spaced exteriorly of the inner side wall, and a bottom closure adhesively secured to and forming a fluid tight closure with the bottom of the inner side wall and a rim defined by the upper margin of the inner side wall. The '828 Patent and the '599 Patent both require the production of two complex pieces that have to be assembled in a certain way, while having structure that is easily susceptible to breakage or deformation during assembly.

[0008] Similar containers have also been designed out of plastic. U.S. Pat. No. 4,040,537 discloses a plastic cup of the thin wall variety having inner and outer spaced walls with an insulating air space therebetween. The inner and outer walls of each cup are spaced apart in a stacking and sealing ring area to allow pivotal movement of an inner cup wall with regard to its corresponding outer cup wall, whereby a telescoped stack of nested cups can flex. U.S. Pat. No. 4,280,640 discloses an integral double-wall container, made of a synthetic plastic, for handling bulk materials. The '640 Patent also discloses a method of making the container by rotational molding thus avoiding welding and its attendant difficulties. The container is integral and is one-piece and is made of a synthetic plastic, preferably polyethylene. The method of making the container by rotational molding comprises placing the outer mold into position, placing the inner mold into position within the outer mold, inserting a powder of synthetic plastic into the space between the molds, heating the powder, rotating the mold to gravity spread the melted powder, and cooling the plastic before removing the molds. The disposable insulated container of U.S. Pat. No. 5,775,577 comprises an inner container structure and an outer insulating wrap that comprises a microflute laminated structure. The microflute laminated structure has a first corrugated laminate of microflute corrugations which extend substantially circumferentially around the side wall of the inner container and a second, outer sheet laminate of the thin flexible paper which presents a substantially smooth outer surface for the user's hand. These containers suffer many of the disadvantages that were previously mentioned.

[0009] Other references include the display-type container of U.S. Pat. No. 5,791,506 that includes a panel member that is preferably transparent, to permit viewing of the jar contents, and a screw cap that is preferably opaque, to largely conceal its own thread, and that of a flat jar. The dual wall container of U.S. Pat. No. 5,950,917 is formed of a laminated blank wrapped about the longitudinal axis of the container to define an inner sidewall and an outer sidewall. Scores are provided within the inner sheet for forming annular air pockets between the two sidewalls.

[0010] Other containers have used plug type bottoms to complete the containers. U.S. Pat. No. 6,173,858 discloses two-piece cups formed from a thermoformable plastics material, including a bottom wall disc which is bonded to an inwardly turned annular bottom flange of the side wall by an upwardly and inwardly sloped transition wall. The bottom wall disc may be in the form of multiple concentrically disposed, annular bottom wall segments which are connected to one another by respective ones of a plurality of transition walls. U.S. Pat. No. 4,613,063 discloses a three piece safety dispensing package for granular or pellet material. Introducing a snap-in plug bottom into the open container bottom seals the package.

[0011] Several different methods of manufacturing double walled containers have been used in the past, such as vacuum molding. U.S. Pat. No. 4,192,701 discloses a double wall plastic article and a method and apparatus for forming a double wall article with a pair of deformable thermoplastic sheets wherein the sheets are mounted, in face to face contiguous relation, on a single pair of laterally spaced longitudinally extending rails. The rail supported, contiguously disposed sheets are heated to forming temperature and are then subjected to differential forming pressures via a pair of opposed molds which seal to the sheets to fuze perimetrically extending, opposed portions of the sheets and form the border of the article being formed. Differential pressure is then applied to a central portion of at least one of the sheets within the formed border to withdraw the central portion and form the article.

[0012] The container of U.S. Pat. No. 5,169,024 is a high pressure container made by rotationally molding a first wall of plastic material closed at the bottom and open at the top, and a second wall of plastic material also closed at the bottom and open at the top that encloses and is bonded to the first wall. The first wall is formed by a one-shot rotationally moulding process whereafter the second wall is rotationally moulded around the inner wall.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0013] A principal object of the claimed invention is to provide a less costly double walled container that can be mass produced on a high quantity production basis with new features and advantages not found in conventional double walled containers in the market place prior to our invention.

[0014] Accordingly, it is an object of the claimed invention to avert the problems of the prior art. More particularly, it is an object of the invention to provide a double walled container having a simplified overall design. The claimed invention provides a single piece double walled container where the inner wall and the outer wall is made of one continuous piece, thus obviating the need for joining structures and structures that prevent the rotation of one discrete part in relation to another.

[0015] Another object of the invention is to provide a double walled container that requires less assembly time. The claimed invention provides a single piece double walled container and a bottom plug that covers the bottom of the container. The double walled container does not require assembly in that it is molded out of a single piece. The bottom plug is of a simple, symmetrical design so that during the assembly of the bottom plug into the bottom of the container, the step of orienting the bottom plug in relation to the container is drastically reduced. The assembly of the bottom plug into the bottom of the container is a simple snap-in process, eliminating the need for more complicated turn-to-lock assembly methods.

[0016] A further object of the invention is to provide a double walled container that is less susceptible to breakage during assembly of the container. The claimed invention provides a single piece double walled container with a design that does not require interlocking structures that may break during assembly. The bottom plug is also designed to be less susceptible to breakage during assembly into the bottom of the container.

[0017] Still a further object of the invention is to provide a double walled container having reduced material costs and reduced overall weight. The claimed invention provides a single piece double walled container with less duplication of structure and eliminates the need for interlocking structures. The reduction and elimination of material necessary to fabricate the container results in a container that requires less material to make the same size container using the prior art designs. This reduction in material makes the cost of material to make the container correspondingly less and also reduces shipping charges that may be incurred in shipping such containers.

[0018] Yet a further object of the invention is to provide an attractive transparent double walled container. The claimed invention provides a double walled container that when made out of a translucent material, the contents of the container can be view unobstructed. This is accomplished by making the double walled container out of a single piece, thus eliminating the need for retaining structures that may be aesthetically unattractive.

[0019] An even further object of the invention is to provide a double walled container that can be manufactured using simplified molds. The prior art required the construction of two complicated mold designs that were expensive to build and maintain. The claimed invention provides a single piece double walled container of simplified design as previously described. This simplification in design also allows the simplification of the mold that is used to fabricate the double walled container. Simplified mold design is important in that it reduces the overall cost of constructing the mold and reduces the costs associated with mold maintenance. This also translates into reduced piece part cost, allowing embodiments of the claimed invention to be manufactured with reduced capital equipment costs. Similarly, the mold design of the bottom plug is greatly simplified. The prior art required a second correspondingly complicated piece to nest into the outer wall structure. In the claimed invention, the second piece necessary to complete the container is reduced to a simplified disc type design. The cost of constructing the mold for this design is much less than before, and also provides a mold that is easier and less costly to maintain.

[0020] To achieve the foregoing and other objects of the claimed invention, an improved jar container and method of making the same are provided. The jar comprises a single piece double walled container, a bottom plug, and a lid.

[0021] The single piece double walled container comprises an inner wall structure having an open top end and a closed bottom end. An outer wall structure having a proximal end and a terminal end encircles the inner wall structure forming a gap between the inner wall structure and the outer wall structure. The terminal end of the outer wall structure extends past the closed bottom of the inner wall structure and has a notched channel within the inner surface of the outer wall structure located below the closed bottom of the inner wall structure. A shoulder portion linking the inner wall structure with the outer wall structure extends continuously from and about the outer surface of the inner wall structure to the proximal end of the outer wall structure. The shoulder portion is the sole means of linking the inner wall structure and the outer wall structure. A set of threads located above the shoulder portion and about the outer surface of the inner wall structure.

[0022] The bottom plug is sized and shaped to fit within the area encircled by the outer wall structure and is symmetrical about its long axis. The bottom plug has a portion sized and shaped for a snap fit into the notched channel within the inner surface of the outer wall structure.

[0023] The notched channel is located within the inner surface of the outer wall structure such that a face of the bottom plug comes into contact with the closed bottom end when the bottom plug is snapped into the notched channel, the closed bottom providing support to the bottom plug.

[0024] The thickness of the outer wall structure and the thickness of the bottom plug have a relationship such that the bottom plug deflects along the long axis of the bottom plug as the bottom plug is pushed into the area encircled by the outer wall structure and returns to is original shape when the bottom plug snaps into the notched channel.

[0025] The lid is sized and shaped to cover the open top end of the inner wall structure. The lid has a set of threads formed to fit in mating relationship with the set of threads located about the outer surface of the inner wall structure. The shoulder portion acts as a fluid tight seat for the lid when the lid is secured to the container.

[0026] To further achieve the foregoing and other objects of the claimed invention, a method of making the jar container is provided. The method comprises molding a single piece double walled container having an inner wall structure with a closed bottom end and an outer wall structure, the outer wall structure having a terminal end extending past the inner wall structure and a notched channel within the inner surface of the outer wall structure. Then a bottom plug, sized and shaped to fit within the area enclosed by the outer wall structure having a portion sized and shaped for snapping into the notched channel, is molded. Finally, the bottom plug is snapped into the notched channel of the double walled container.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0027] FIG. 1 is a cross sectional view of the improved jar container.

[0028] FIG. 2 is a cross sectional view of the bottom plug.

[0029] FIG. 3 is a plan view of the bottom plug.

[0030] FIG. 4 is a cross sectional view of the container and the bottom plug.

[0031] FIG. 5 is an enlarged view of the V shaped channel.

[0032] FIG. 6 is a cross sectional view illustrating the deflection of the bottom plug.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

[0033] FIG. 1 illustrates a round, double walled jar 10. The jar 10 comprises a single piece double walled container 100, a symmetrical bottom plug 200 that is sized and shaped to fit into the bottom of the container 100, and a lid 300 that is sized and shaped to fit over the open end of the container 100. It is contemplated that different sizes and shapes of jar 10 will be made following the teachings of this detailed description.

[0034] The double walled jar 10 as shown in FIG. 1 was designed to provide a double walled container 100 having an overall simplified design. The container 100 is of a single piece design, eliminating the need for elaborate joining structures to join the inner wall 105 to the outer wall 120. Further, the jar 10 is designed to reduce the assembly time necessary to provide a double walled jar. The symmetrical design of the bottom plug 200 reduces the complexity and time involved in assembling the bottom plug 200 into the bottom of the container 100 as shown in FIGS. 2 and 6.

[0035] These simplifications in piece part designs correspondingly simplify the mold design needed to produce the container 100 and the bottom plug 200. The simplification of these mold designs reduces the initial cost of constructing the molds and also reduces maintenance costs associated with maintaining the integrity of the molds. The design of the container 100 presents fewer injection mold details that are susceptible to erosion due to the abrasive nature of the material being injected into the mold during the fabrication of the container 100.

[0036] FIG. 1, and 4-6 show the single piece double walled container 100 comprises an inner wall structure 105, a shoulder portion 110, a set of threads 115 located above the shoulder portion 110, an outer wall structure 120 extending continuously from the shoulder portion 110 forming a gap 145 between the inner wall structure 105 and the outer wall structure 120, and a V shaped channel 125 within the inner surface of the outer wall structure 120. See FIG. 5 for an enlarged view of the V shaped channel 125. The container 100 is preferably made of a polypropylene or a polystyrene material.

[0037] The inner wall structure 105 as shown in FIG. 1, 4 and 6 illustrate a circularly configured inner wall structure 105. The inner wall structure 105 has an open top end 130 and a closed bottom end 135. The relationship between the inner walls 140 is variable depending upon the intended use of the container 100. The inner walls 140 of the inner wall structure 105 are angled so that the distance between the inner walls 140 near the bottom is reduced, making the opening at the open top end 130 greater in area than the closed bottom end 135. The closed bottom end 135 meets the inner walls 140 in a varying relationship, depending upon the intended use of the container 100. The inner walls tapers into the closed bottom end 135. The thicknesses of the inner walls 140 vary within a range depending upon the manufacturing processing parameters and the type of material used. The targeted range is from about 0.035 inches to about 0.047 inches.

[0038] A shoulder portion 110 is molded into the outer surface of the inner wall structure 105 as shown in FIG. 1. The placement of the shoulder portion 110 about the outer surface may vary depending upon the intended use of the container 100. FIG. 1 shows that in this embodiment of the invention the shoulder portion 110 is located approximately ⅓ of the way down the inner wall structure 105, leaving space for threads 115 to be placed above the shoulder portion 110. The distance that the shoulder portion 110 extends is variable depending upon the size and intended use of the container 100. In this embodiment of the invention, the shoulder portion 110 extends substantially perpendicular from the surface of inner wall structure 105 to create a gap 145 between the inner wall structure 105 and the outer wall structure 120 of about 0.2 inches. When the lid 300 is screwed onto the male threads 115, the shoulder portion acts as a fluid tight seat to prevent fluids from escaping from the container.

[0039] FIG. 1 shows in the preferred embodiment of the invention, a set of male threads 115 are molded into the outer surface of the inner wall structure 105 above the shoulder portion 110, protruding from the surface of the inner wall structure 105. In other embodiments of the invention, female threads are molded into the outer surface of the inner wall structure 105 above the shoulder portion 110, recessed from the surface of the inner wall structure 110. In yet other embodiments of the invention, no threads are used in the container 100.

[0040] An outer wall structure 120 is molded continuously from the shoulder portion 110, extending roughly parallel with the inner walls 140 of the inner wall structure 105, creating the second wall of the double walled container 100 as shown in FIG. 1 and 4-6. The thickness of the outer wall structure 120 in the preferred embodiment is less than the thickness of the inner wall structure 105. See the enlarged view of FIG. 5. FIG. 1, 4, and 6 show that in the embodiment illustrated, the outer wall structure 120 is also configured in a circular configuration. However, it is contemplated that the configuration of the outer wall structure 120 may vary from the configuration of the inner wall structure 105. The terminal end 150 of the outer wall structure 120 extends past the closed bottom end 135 of the inner wall structure 105 and has a V shaped channel 125 within the inner surface of the outer wall structure 120 located below the closed bottom end 135 of the inner wall structure 105. See FIG. 5.

[0041] The container 100 is designed to reduce the overall cost of material to make the jar 10, and to reduce the overall weight of the jar 10. Requiring less material to make a container of the same size manufactured using prior art designs reduces the cost of material to make the container 100. This is accomplished by reducing the amount of duplication of structure as well as eliminating the need for elaborate structure to join the inner wall 105 to the outer wall 120. The outer wall 120 is contiguous to the inner wall 105 by way of the shoulder portion 110 only. See FIG. 1. This allows the jar 10 to be sold at a lower price due to the decreased material cost associated with making the container 100.

[0042] The use of a single piece double walled container 100 allows the container 100 to be fabricated out of translucent plastic so that the contents of the container 100 can be seen from the outside of the container 100 through the outer wall 120 and the inner wall 105 unobstructed. FIG. 1 illustrates that there is no structure obstructing the view of the contents of the container through the outer wall 120 and the inner wall 105. This aspect of the claimed invention is an important difference from the prior art that was previously discussed. The prior art double wall containers typically use two discrete containers in nested relationship. Manufactures of this type employ various types of structures to fasten the inner container to the outer container. If this type of container were fabricated out of a translucent material, the structures used to fasten the inner container to the outer container would obstruct the viewing of the contents of the container. With this in mind, the claimed invention makes it possible to produce a translucent double walled container that is more aesthetically appealing to the viewer of the container.

[0043] Due the problems of the prior art previously mentioned, the marking or labeling of the container 100 was typically accomplished by printing markings directly on the outer face of the outer wall 120 of the container 100 or adhering labels to the outer face of the outer wall 120 of the container 100. This method of marking or labeling prior art containers was expensive due to the cost of printing directly onto a curved surface, or using adhesive backed labels. As a further drawback, both of these methods require the alignment of the markings or label with the container 100 so that the marking or label is correctly oriented with the container 100.

[0044] With these further problems of the prior art in mind, a further feature of molding the container 100 out of a translucent material is the placement of a label or labels 155 between the inner wall 105 and the outer wall 120, decreasing the cost in placing markings on the container. See FIG. 1. The reduction in cost is accomplished due to several reasons. First, the cost of material to make a usable label 155 for the container 100 is reduced. The prior art containers required labels to be adhered to the outer face of the outer wall 120. A portion of the cost to produce the adhesive backed labels is due to the cost of placing the adhesive onto the back of the label. With the claimed invention, adhesive backed labels are not needed. The claimed invention allows the use of plain-backed labels because the labels are held in place between the inner wall 105 and the outer wall 120. The cost of plain-backed labels is lower due to the elimination of the adhesive of the back of the label, correspondingly contributing to lowering the cost of providing the container 100.

[0045] A second reason the cost in marking or labeling the container 100 is reduced is the elimination of time and scrap associated with the placement of the markings or label on the container 100. The prior art practice of marking and labeling required the orientation of the marking or labeling with the container so as to provide a pleasing appearance to a person viewing the container. This requires processes for aligning the marking or label with container. These processes produce cosmetically unusable containers when these processes do not work correctly effectively increasing the per container cost. In contrast, marking of the container 100 does not require such orientation processes. The alignment of the label 155 with the container 100 is accomplished by the edges 160, 165 of the label 155. When the label 155 is placed between the inner wall 105 and the outer wall 120 in the gap 145, the edge 160 or 165 is seated against the shoulder 110. When the label 155 seats against the shoulder 110, the label 155 is effectively aligned with the inner wall 105 and outer wall 120 by the profile of the edge 160 or 165. With the use of a standard rectangular label 155 as shown in FIG. 1, the label 155 is properly aligned.

[0046] An additional advantage to the labeling of the container 100 in this manner is allowing users of the container to view the labels 155 while the outer wall 120 protects the label 155 from being damaged during use or handling as shown in FIG. 1. Therefore, the claimed invention is capable of providing a labeled double walled container wherein the markings are not susceptible to being damaged.

[0047] A symmetrical bottom plug 200 is shown in FIG. 2 and FIG. 3 that is sized and shaped to fit within the area enclosed by the outer wall structure 120. In the illustrated embodiment, the bottom plug 200 is disc shaped so that it fits within the round configuration of the outer wall structure 120. FIG. 2 shows the bottom plug 200 is designed in a symmetrical manner so that it does not require orientation before being inserted into the bottom of the container 100, reducing the amount of assembly time that is required to provide a double walled container 100 with a flat bottom surface. The bottom plug 200 has a central lip portion 205 around the side of the bottom plug 200 that snaps into the V shaped channel 125 within the inner surface of the outer wall structure 120 when the bottom plug 200 is inserted into the bottom of the container 100. The bottom plug 200 also has a pair of indexing lugs 210, one on each face of the bottom plug 200, for providing a common point of reference during printing or other manufacturing operations that may be performed upon the bottom plug 200.

[0048] The central lip portion 205 design provides a snap-in piece that is less susceptible to breakage during assembly of the bottom plug 200 into the bottom of the container 100. The reduced breakage translates into less scrap being made during the assembly process, lowering the cost of the overall jar 10.

[0049] The design of the bottom plug 200 facilitates the construction of a simplified injection mold as previously mentioned. The bottom plug 200 design does not rely on intricate features to function properly. Therefore, the injection mold design is less expensive to initially construct, and is less expensive to maintain due to reduced susceptibility to injection mold wear.

[0050] FIG. 1 shows a lid 300 sized and shaped to cover the open top end 130 of the inner wall structure 105 can be used to provide a closed jar 10. The lid 300 may have threads 305 that are designed to fit in mating relationship with the set of threads 115 located about the outer surface of the inner wall structure 105, or in other embodiments, the lid 300 may be configured to fit tightly over the open top end 130 of the inner wall structure 105. The threads 115 and 305 work together with the shoulder portion 110 to provide a fluid tight closure for the jar 10.

[0051] To further achieve the foregoing and other objects of the claimed invention, a method of making the jar 10 container 100 is also provided. The method comprises molding a single piece double walled container 100 using a synthetic plastic by forming an inner wall structure 105 with a closed bottom end 135 and an outer wall structure 120 while forming the outer wall structure 120 with a terminal end 150 extending past the inner wall structure 105. A V shaped channel 125 is also formed within the inner surface of the outer wall structure 120. The inner wall 105 and outer wall 120 is left free of any interior obstructions there between enabling contents of the container to be clearly visible through the inner wall 105 and outer wall 120 structures when the method is used with a translucent plastic material. The bottom plug 200 is then molded. The method step comprises molding a bottom plug 200 and sizing and shaping the bottom plug 200 to fit within the area enclosed by the outer wall structure 120 and forming a central lip portion 205 that is sized and shaped for insertion into the V shaped channel 125. Next, the bottom plug 200 is snapped into the V shaped channel 125. The method step comprises inserting the bottom plug 200 into the V shaped channel 125. The bottom plug 200 deflects along the long axis of the bottom plug 200 as the bottom plug 200 is pushed into the area encircled by the outer wall structure 125 and returns to original shape upon snapping into the V shaped channel 125.

[0052] In manufacturing a double walled container 100 using this method, many of the problems previously pointed out in the prior art are avoid. The single piece double walled container 100 eliminates the breakage that was associated with the assembly of two discrete wall structures. The use of a symmetrical bottom plug 200 as shown in FIG. 2 to close off the bottom of the container 100 reduces the assembly time that is required to supply a finished double walled container 100. In the claimed method, the assembly step of orientating the bottom plug 200 with respect to the container 100 is greatly reduced or eliminated due to the symmetrical nature of the bottom plug 200. Since the bottom plug 200 is symmetrical, the bottom plug 200 can not be snapped into the bottom of the container 100 in an incorrect orientation. This method of manufacture is also advantageous in that the overall cycle time it takes to mold the container 100 and the bottom plug 200 is less than that of the prior art using two discrete containers used in nested relationship. A further advantage of this method is the reduced tooling cost in making a mold to produce the bottom plug 200.

[0053] The invention described above is the preferred embodiment of the present invention. It is not intended that the novel device be limited thereby. The preferred embodiment may be susceptible to modifications and variations that are within the scope and fair meaning of the accompanying claims and drawings.





 
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