Title:
Ribbed sleeve providing insulation
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A sleeve and a container are provided that include projections made of a polymer that insulate a hand gripping a container containing a hot beverage. The sleeve can include the projections and it can be manufactured as an integrated part of the container or it can be manufactured separate therefrom.



Inventors:
Besser, John (Dallas, TX, US)
Rigby, Jay (Richardson, TX, US)
Application Number:
11/239517
Publication Date:
03/29/2007
Filing Date:
09/29/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65D25/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
CASTELLANO, STEPHEN J
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Patent Capital Group (Garland, TX, US)
Claims:
1. A sleeve adapted for use with a beverage container comprising: a surface including a plurality of projections arranged in at least one array, each projection from said at least one array extending through a plane substantially tangent to said surface, said sleeve defining a conic section, being made of a polymer and being capable of disposition around a beverage container.

2. A sleeve as recited in claim 1 wherein said sleeve is flexible and can be resiliently deformed by hand pressure so as to permit gripping of said beverage container disposed within the sleeve.

3. A sleeve as recited in claim 2 wherein said polymer is selected from the group consisting of polypropylene, polyethylene or polymethylpentene.

4. A sleeve as recited in claim 1 wherein each projection defines a rib and has a cross-section substantially in the shape of at least a portion of a conic section.

5. A sleeve as recited in claim 4 wherein said portion of a conic section is a semi circle.

6. A sleeve as recited in claim 4 wherein said conic section is selected from the group consisting of a circle, ellipse, hyperbola, and parabola.

7. A sleeve as recited in claim 4 wherein each said projection defining a rib extends coextensively with an axis thorough said conic section.

8. A sleeve as recited in claim 4 wherein each projection defining a rib is disposed on said sleeve coaxially with an axis through said conic section.

9. A sleeve as recited in claim 8 wherein said projections extend from said surface in a direction substantially toward said axis.

10. A sleeve as recited in claim 8 wherein said projections extend from said surface in a direction substantially away from said axis.

11. A sleeve as recited in claim 8 wherein said projections of one array extend from said surface in a direction substantially toward said axis and wherein said projections in another array extend from said surface in a direction away from said axis.

12. A sleeve as recited in claim 7 wherein said projections extend from said surface in a direction substantially toward said axis.

13. A sleeve as recited in claim 7 wherein said projections extend from said surface in a direction substantially away from said axis.

14. A sleeve as recited in claim 7 wherein said projections of one array extend from said surface in a direction substantially toward said axis and wherein said projections in another array extend from said sidewall in a direction away from said axis.

15. A sleeve as recited in claim 7 wherein said projections are spaced apart from one another by about 0.40 of an inch.

16. A sleeve as recited in claim 7 wherein said projections are spaced apart from one another by about 0.40 to about 0.60 of an inch.

17. A sleeve as recited in claim 7 wherein a length of each said projection is defined dimensionally along said axis and wherein said projections are spaced apart from one another from about 0.8 times to about 1.5 times the length.

18. A sleeve as recited in claim 7 wherein a length of each said projection is defined dimensionally along said axis and wherein said projections are of a uniform length.

19. A sleeve as recited in claim 7 wherein a length of each said projection is defined dimensionally along said axis and wherein said projections are of a non-uniform length.

20. A sleeve as recited in claim 4 wherein said cross-section is of a diameter ranging from about 0.20 of an inch to about 0.75 of an inch.

21. A sleeve as recited in claim 18 wherein said projections are spaced apart by about 0.20 of an inch to about 0.75 of an inch.

22. A container including an end and a sidewall terminating at said end, said sidewall including an outer surface and an inner surface, said inner surface defining an enclosure together with said end, said sidewall further including at least one array comprising a plurality of cantilevered projections away from said sidewall disposed around an axis of said enclosure on a section of said container.

23. A container as recited in claim 18 wherein said at least one array comprising a plurality of cantilevered projections is located on said outer surface.

24. A container as recited in claim 18 wherein said at least one array comprising a plurality of cantilevered projections is located on said inner surface.

25. A container as recited in claim 18 wherein an array comprising a plurality of cantilevered projections is located on said outer surface and an array comprising a plurality of cantilevered projections is located on said inner surface.

26. A container as recited in claim 18 wherein said at least one array is made of a polymer.

27. A container as recited in claim 22 wherein said polymer is polypropylene.

28. A container as recited in claim 18 which further includes a liner consisting of paper or plastic film which lines at least a section of said enclosure.

Description:

BACKGROUND

Hot beverages dispensed in containers, particularly in commercial establishments have presented problems including legal liability issues in the past due to customer scalding and burning caused by the temperature of the beverage served. A need exists for a low cost sleeve or container to hold beverages containing liquids at extreme temperatures likely to cause hand discomfort.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 illustrates a partial cross-sectional view of one embodiment of a sleeve, with an array of outward projections from an axis, around a beverage container.

FIG. 2 illustrates a partial cross-sectional view of one embodiment of a sleeve, with an array of inward projections toward an axis, around a beverage container.

FIG. 3 illustrates a partial cross-sectional view of an embodiment of a sleeve with ribs of in an array that project away from an axis and with ribs in another array that project toward the axis.

FIG. 4 illustrates a perspective view of another embodiment of a sleeve 2 with an array of outward projections from an axis and an array of inward projections toward the axis.

FIG. 5 illustrates a side view of a portion of an array of ribs disposed laterally around the axis of a container.

FIG. 6 illustrates a perspective view of an embodiment with spiked projections.

Reference numerals have been carried forward.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

A beverage container sleeve and beverage container for holding beverages that may be hot are described herein.

FIG. 1 illustrates a partial cross-sectional view of one embodiment of sleeve 2 around beverage container 4. Ribs 6 in array 8 line a portion of the circumference 10. Ribs 6 on surface 10 are projections away from (shown as lining the circumference of container 4) axis 12 of container 4. Container 4 in FIG. 1 and the figures referenced herein throughout can be, for instance, representative of a cup. However, it is contemplated that container 4 have various cylindrical or other geometric shapes such as that produced by quadrilaterals.

FIG. 2 illustrates a partial cross-sectional view of another embodiment of sleeve 2 wherein ribs 6 from array 8 are projections toward axis 12.

FIG. 3 illustrates a partial cross-sectional view of another embodiment of sleeve 2 wherein ribs 6 of array 8 project away from axis 12 and wherein ribs 6 project toward axis 12 as shown.

FIG. 4 illustrates a perspective view of sleeve 2 having array 8 with ribs 6 that are projections away from axis 12 and a portion of array 8 with ribs 6 that are projections toward axis 12 of container 4. As shown, ribs 6 can outline a portion of a conic section, e.g. semicircle, etc. Although, the arrays 8 can appear back to back on opposite sides of sleeve 2, they can also be spaced apart from one another to offer a slimmer profile. It should be noted that although ribs 6 are represented in FIGS. 1, 2, and 3 as running longitudinally in a direction substantially parallel with axis 12, it is also contemplated that ribs 6 can run laterally in arrays 8 around portions of container 4 as shown in FIG. 5 which illustrates a side view of a portion of array 8 around container 4.

The foregoing described embodiments in FIGS. 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 all benefit from the reduction of surface area over which a hand gripping the container through sleeve 2 must encounter as compared with a container not having the benefit of the sleeve. Sleeve 2 is preferably deformable by hand pressure thereby becoming readily adapted to allow the securing of a container within a hand. The surface area over which a hand must grip a hot container is reduced through the interposition of ribs 6 between a hand (not shown) and a hot container surface 10. Sleeve 2 can therefore insulate fingers from heat generated by a hot beverage held within container 4. Array 8 is contemplated as being located in more than one position on sleeve 2 to facilitate container handling. Further, ribs 6 are formed from a polymer. Densities of the polymer used to form ribs 6 are preferably below 1. For instance, polypropylene has a density of 0.91 and polyethylene has a density of 0.94. Polymers with densities below 1 are typically less expensive than polymers having densities greater than 1. Consequently, lower cost polymers are better suited for producing a disposable item such as sleeve 2 which is well suited for use in a commercial setting. Polymethylpentene is also a suitable rib material. By contrast, polystyrene has a density of 1.07 and its density has an attendant higher cost. A polymer offers better resiliency as compared with paper. Therefore, sleeve 2 made of polymer can better retain its shape over paper to enable it to carry out its intended purpose of gripping a container.

Experiments were conducted to measure the temperature properties associated with a paper cup using the foregoing described sleeve 2 in the various embodiments described above in FIGS. 1 through 5. With reference to these figures, a temperature probe was placed on one or more ribs 6 in an array 8 on sleeve 2. Sleeve 2 was placed around a paper cup which served as container 4. A temperature probe was also placed on the beverage surrounding outer surface 10 of the cup outside of the surface area spanned by sleeve 2. Hot water measured at a temperature of 187° F. was poured into the cup and the temperature measured by the probes was taken 1 minute, 3 minutes, 5 minutes and 10 minutes thereafter. The results of the experiments are illustrated in the table below. “Out facing ribs” refers to ribs 6 which project away from the axis through the cylinder formed by beverage holding portion of the cup in the manner shown in FIG. 1. “In facing ribs refers to ribs 6 that project toward this same axis in the manner shown in FIG. 2. “In out ribs” refers to the combination of “out facing ribs” from one array and “in facing ribs” from another array as shown in FIG. 3.

Time afterOut
FillingCup Temp.Facing RibsIn Facing RibsIn Out Ribs
1 min.146° F.122°120° 95°
3 min.145° F.121°123° 99°
5 min.140° F.122°120°102°
10 min. 135° F.120°120°100°

The above results indicate the “in out” facing ribs as shown in FIG. 3 offer the most heat insulation as given by the lower temperature. It should be noted that these results reflect an embodiment with arrays 8 are disposed back to back on opposite sides of sleeve 2 thereby allowing approximately twice the spacing of a hand gripping sleeve 2 from container 4 as compared with embodiment shown in FIGS. 1 and 2.

Experiments were also conducted concerning rib cross-section diameters and rib spacing. The optimum rib spacing was determined for both ribs projecting out from axis 12 (noted as “Outside”) and for ribs projecting in from axis 12 (noted as “Inside”). Rib diameters tested are listed under “diameter range” and rib spacings tested are listed under “spacing range.”

Optimum Rib DiameterDiameter RangeSpacing Range
Outside0.040 inch0.030-0.0600.030-0.060
inchinch
Inside0.030 inch0.020-0.0600.020-0.060
inchinch

The experiments referenced herein are intended to offer examples for the purpose of further illustrating the advantages of the embodiments but are in no way to be taken as limiting.

FIG. 6 illustrates a perspective view of another embodiment which takes into account the experiments above. Spikes 7 are a variation of ribs 6 and they are disposed on surface 10 of sleeve 2 around axis 12 of container 4. Each spike 7 is a projection away from axis 12. Spikes 7 are preferably made of a deformable material such as the polymer materials noted above to facilitate handling in connection with gripping container 4 disposed within sleeve 2. Spikes 7 insulate the hand from the heat generated by a hot beverage held within a container. Additionally heat transfer from the beverage to the spike is dissipated by convection in connection with air circulation around spikes 7.

The above embodiments have been described in connection with a sleeve 2 which is separated an apart from container 4. However, the embodiments shown can also represent a container with a sleeve integrated within container 4 to form a single unit. Sleeve 2 which in any case, can be made, for instance, according to well known injection molding or thermoforming techniques, can be formed along with container 4 as a single piece or it can be adhered to container 4 with an adhesive.

Although the invention herein has been described with reference to particular embodiments, it is to be understood that these embodiments are merely illustrative of the principles and applications of the present invention. For instance, the insulative properties of the ribs and spikes disclosed herein can be used to insulate a hand against cold temperatures as a result of the cup holding cold beverages. Additionally, intersecting projections defining a lattice structure are also contemplated. It is therefore to be understood that numerous modifications may be made to the illustrative embodiments and that other arrangements may be devised without departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention as defined by the appended claims.