Title:
Removable absorbent device for automovitve cupholders
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An absorbent disc designed to be releasably secured proximate the bottom portion of a conventional vehicle beverage holder. The disc further includes a body having a first and second layer. Intermediate the first and second layer is a third layer that is manufactured from absorbent materials. The disc further includes a tab integrally mounted to the circumferential edge that extends upward when the absorbent disc is engaged with the bottom portion of the vehicle cup holder to facilitate the easy removal of the absorbent disc from the beverage holder.



Inventors:
Williams, Donna K. (Makanda, IL, US)
Application Number:
11/492346
Publication Date:
01/31/2008
Filing Date:
07/25/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47B91/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
CRAIG, PAULA L
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Galasso & Associates, LP (Austin, TX, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A removable absorbent device for a vehicle beverage holder, comprising: a body configured in shape to mate with the vehicle beverage holder; and said body including an absorption layer operable to absorb liquid.

2. The removable absorbent device as recited in claim 1, and furthering including a removal device connected to said body, said removal device operable to facilitate the removal of the body from the vehicle beverage, said removal device includes a portion extending from said body.

3. The removable absorbent device as recited in claim 2, wherein said body includes a bottom layer positioned under said absorption layer, said bottom layer operable to inhibit propagation of liquid absorbed by said first layer onto the vehicle beverage holder.

4. The removable absorbent device as recited in claim 3, wherein said body includes a top permeable layer positioned on said absorption layer, said permeable layer operable to permit liquid to pass therethrough to said absorption layer.

5. The removable absorbent device as recited in claim 4, wherein said body is generally circular in shape.

6. The removable absorbent device as recited in claim 5, wherein said body is approximately two and one-half inches in diameter.

7. The removable absorbent device as recited in claim 6, wherein said body has a thickness between one-eighth inch and one-quarter inch, inclusive.

8. The removable absorbent device as recited in claims 7, and further including an aromatic substance.

9. The removable absorbent device as recited in claim 8, wherein said absorbent layer includes hydrophilic fibers.

10. An absorbent disc for placement in a conventional vehicle cup holder, comprising: a body, said body having an absorbent layer and a non-permeable layer with said absorbent layer positioned on said non-permeable layer, said body being generally annular in shape, said body further being configured in a planar manner; and a tab mounted to said body and extending in an upward direction, said tab for facilitating the removal of the body from the vehicle cup holder.

11. The absorbent disc as recited in claim 10, and further including a permeable layer positioned on said absorbent layer.

12. The absorbent disc as recited in claim 11, wherein said absorbent layer is manufactured from hydrophilic fibers.

13. The absorbent disc as recited in claim 12, wherein said body is approximately two and one-half inches in diameter.

14. The absorbent disc as recited in claim 13, and further including a fragrant compound integrated with said absorbent layer.

15. An absorbent disc designed to be placed proximate the bottom portion of a vehicle beverage holder comprising: a body, said body having a first and second layer, said body further including an intermediate layer between said first and second layer, said intermediate layer configured to substantially absorb liquids, said body being annular in shape, said body being of sufficient size to substantially cover the bottom portion of the vehicle beverage holder, said body being configured in a substantially planar manner; and a removal tab being integrally mounted to the circumferential edge of said body and extending away from said body.

16. The absorbent disc as recited in claim 15 wherein said intermediate layer is manufactured from hydrophilic fibers.

17. The absorbent disc as recited in claim 16, wherein said body is at least two and one-half inches in diameter.

18. The absorbent disc as recited in claim 17, wherein said body is has a thickness from one-eighth inch to one-quarter inch, inclusive.

19. The absorbent disc as recited in claim 18, wherein said intermediate layer further includes a fragrant volatile aromatic compound substantially disposed therein.

20. The absorbent disc as recited in claim 19, wherein said second layer configured to inhibit the propagation of liquid absorbed by said intermediate layer to said vehicle beverage holder.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to an absorbent disc, more specifically but not by way of limitation, a moisture absorbent device that is configured to mate with the bottom portion of a conventional vehicle cup holder having a tab to facilitate the easy removal therefrom, that could also include air freshener or deodorizer.

BACKGROUND

Millions of individuals travel in their vehicles on a daily basis. Whether it is commuting to work or traveling on a family trip, people on average spend approximately nine hours a week in their vehicle. Many individuals will bring different types of beverages and beverage containers in their vehicle. The types vary from a cup or glass containing a beverage, canned drinks, bottles of drinks, and disposable beverage containers such as those obtained from fast food restaurants.

The drink containers are routinely placed in vehicle cup holders that are located in a plurality of locations throughout the vehicle. Typically these cup holders are annular in shape and are of sufficient depth to releasably secure the drink container while the vehicle is in motion. Many of the vehicle cup holders are deep to offer more support and stability for the drink container.

One issue with the current design of conventional vehicle cup holders is that they retain any moisture whether it is from condensation from the container or actual spilt beverage in the bottom portion of the cup holder. As conventional vehicle cup holders are sometimes deep and relatively narrow, these areas can be quite difficult to clean thus resulting in the inability to remove the liquid. The liquid retained in the bottom of the cup holder collects dust and dirt and then eventually evaporates often leaving behind a residue and the collected dirt. This can be very difficult to clean or remove.

Accordingly, there is a need for an insertable device that can be place intermediate the drink container and the bottom portion of the vehicle cup holder that will capture and retain liquid and have the ability to be easily removed.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is the object of the present invention to provide an absorbent disc that is configured to mate with a vehicle cup holder that can be placed proximate the bottom portion of the cup holder in order to capture any liquids that enter the adjacent area.

It is a further object of the present invention to provide an absorbent disc that is approximately the diameter of a conventional vehicle cup holder that includes a vertical tab that extends towards the opening of the cup holder in order to facilitate easy removal of the absorbent disc.

It is another object of the present invention to provide an absorbent disc that approximately the diameter of a conventional vehicle cup holder that is relatively inexpensive and disposable.

To the accomplishment of the above and related objects the present invention may be embodied in the form illustrated in the accompanying drawings. Attention is called to the fact that the drawings are illustrative only. Variations are contemplated as being a part of the present invention, limited only by the scope of the claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

A more complete understanding of the present invention may be had by reference to the following Detailed Description and appended claims when taken in conjunction with the accompanying Drawing wherein:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an embodiment of the present invention; and

FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view of an embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Referring now to the drawings submitted herewith wherein the various elements depicted therein are not necessarily drawn to scale, and wherein like reference numerals are used to identify like elements throughout the figures and in particular to FIGS. 1 and 2, there is illustrated a preferred embodiment of a absorbent disc 100.

The absorbent disc 100 comprises a body 10 that is configured in a substantially planar manner and is generally annular in shape. The body 10 is manufactured to be of sufficient size to be compatible with the diameter of a conventional vehicle cup holder. While no specific size is required, good results have been achieved with a body 10 that is approximately two and one-half inches in diameter. Those skilled in the art should recognize that the body 10 could be manufactured in a plurality of different shapes and sizes as required to mate with the bottom portion of a vehicle cup holder.

Substantially covering the body 10 is a first layer 15. The first layer 15 is manufactured from suitable durable materials such as but not limited to plastic or cloth. The first layer 15 is permeable so as to allow any liquids coming in contact with the first layer to pass through to subsequent layers 40 of the absorbent disc 100.

Adjacent to the first layer 15 is a second or intermediate layer 20. The intermediate layer 20 is secured to the first layer 15 by conventional mechanical or chemical methods. The intermediate layer 15 is manufactured from conventional absorbent material that functions to absorb and substantially retain any liquids that propagate through the first layer 15. As is known in the art, many different types of materials are suitable to manufacture an effective intermediate layer 20. More specifically but not by way of limitation, the intermediate layer 20, may be composed of selected hydrophilic fibers and high-absorbency particles.

An alternative embodiment for the intermediate layer 20 could also utilize a conventional airformed core. An airformed core generally consist of natural pulp fibers and super-absorbent particles deposited by a process whereby absorbent materials are blown onto a forming drum or wire to form individual batts of unbonded absorbent material suitable for placement in single or multiple layers. Further, the intermediate layer may be composed of a matrix of hydrophilic fibers such as a web of cellulosic fluff that is mixed with particles of high-absorbency materials. As is known in the art, super-absorbent hydro-gelforming particles can be used as these particles possess excellent absorption and retention characteristics.

It is further contemplated within the scope of the present invention that the intermediate layer 20 could also have disposed therein conventional volatile aromatic chemical compounds that are used as air fresheners. The intermediate layer 20 could have a plurality of conventional scents in order to provide aromatic refreshment to the interior of the vehicle.

Adjacent to the intermediate layer 20 and opposite the first layer 15 is a third layer 25. The third layer 25 is secured to the intermediate layer 20 by conventional mechanical or chemicals methods. The third layer 25 is manufactured from any suitable non-permeable materials such as but not limited to plastic. The third layer 25 functions to prevent propagation of any liquids retained in the absorbent disc 100 onto an adjacent vehicle cup holder.

Integrally mounted to the circumferential edge 35 of the body 10 is a tab 30. The tab 30 is extends upward from the body 10 and functions to assist a user in removing the absorbent disc 100 from a conventional vehicle cup holder. The tab 30 must be of sufficient length so that it is easily grasped by a user when the user desires to remove the absorbent disc 100 from a conventional vehicle cup holder. While no specific length is required, good results have been achieved with a tab 30 that is at least one-third of an inch in length. Furthermore, it is contemplated within the scope of the present invention that the tab 30 be relatively thin so as to prevent interference with the ability to secure a drink container into a conventional vehicle cup holder. Although, the tab 30 is illustrated in the drawings submitted herewith with a rounded end 32, those skilled in the art will recognize the tab 30 could be numerous different shapes and achieve the desired functionality as described herein.

Although the absorbent disc 100 is shown in the drawings submitted herewith as being generally annular in shape, it is contemplated within the scope of the present invention that the absorbent disc 100 could be manufactured in a plurality of shapes in order to be compatible with the shapes of conventional vehicle cup holders. Furthermore, it is contemplated within the scope of the present invention that the absorbent disc 100 could be manufactured in a plurality of colors in order to coordinate with the interior of a vehicle. Additionally, it contemplated that first layer 15 could be decorated with advertising or various logos.

It is contemplated that absorbent disc 100 could be manufactured to be numerous different thicknesses and achieve the desire functionality. Although no specific thickness is required, good results have been achieved with an absorbent disc 100 that is manufactured in the range of one-eighth to one-quarter inches in thickness.

Additionally, it is contemplated to be within the scope of the invention that absorbent disc 100 could be manufactured as a single layer of material or combination of material and still perform the functionality as suggested herein.

The description of the operation of the absorbent disc 100 is as follows. In use, a user will place the absorbent disc 100 proximate the bottom portion of a conventional vehicle cup holder. The user then places a drink container containing a beverage on top of the absorbent disc 100. The absorbent disc 100 subsequently absorbs and substantially retains any liquid from condensation or spillage from the drink container. The user will engage in periodic replacement of the absorbent disc 100 as necessary utilizing the tab 30 to facilitate easy removal of the absorbent disc 100 from a conventional vehicle cup holder. Absorbent disc 100 can be configured such that upon removal it can be washed, dried and reused, or it can be configured to be disposable after a single or limited number of uses.

In the preceding detailed description, reference has been made to the accompanying drawings that form a part hereof, and in which are shown by way of illustration specific embodiments in which the invention may be practiced. These embodiments, and certain variants thereof, have been described in sufficient detail to enable those skilled in the art to practice the invention. It is to be understood that other suitable embodiments may be utilized and that logical changes may be made without departing from the spirit or scope of the invention. The description may omit certain information known to those skilled in the art. The preceding detailed description is, therefore, not intended to be limited to the specific forms set forth herein, but on the contrary, it is intended to cover such alternatives, modifications, and equivalents, as can be reasonably included within the spirit and scope of the appended claims.





 
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