Title:
Beverage Cooling Device
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A device for cooling beverages comprises a body and a clip connected to the body via an articulated arm. In use, the clip is engaged with the rim of a drinking vessel such that the arm extends into the drinking vessel and holds the body near the bottom of the vessel. The body contains a material which absorbs heat and thereby cools the beverage. The arm and clip help to keep the body immersed and prevent it from floating.



Inventors:
Spratley, David Derek Grant (Surrey, GB)
Application Number:
11/996119
Publication Date:
08/21/2008
Filing Date:
07/20/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
F25D3/08
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
TEITELBAUM, DAVID J
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
GORDON & JACOBSON, P.C. (STAMFORD, CT, US)
Claims:
1. A device for cooling beverages, the device comprising a body portion arranged for immersion in the beverage and a clip portion for engaging a wall of the vessel in which the beverage is provided, the body portion being insoluble in said beverage, wherein vessel-engaging portion is connected to the body portion by an elongate flexible elongate arm which is adjustable to selectively position said body portion within the vessel.

2. A device as claimed in claim 1, in which the body portion comprises a liquid or gel contained within a sealed housing, the liquid or gel being arranged to absorb heat from the beverage, so as to provide a cooling effect.

3. A device as claimed in claim 2, in which the sealed housing comprises a closure, which can be opened to allow an ice cube to be inserted into a compartment provided inside the housing.

4. A device as claimed in claim 2, in which the liquid or gel is permanently sealed inside the housing, the user having to freeze the device prior to use.

5. A device as claimed in claim 4, in which the sealed housing contains water.

6. A device as claimed in claim 4, in which the sealed housing contains a material which turns from its solid to liquid phase at a temperature below the freezing temperature of water.

7. A device as claimed in claim 6, in which the material comprises ethylene or propylene glycol.

8. A device as claimed in claim 4, in which the sealed housing contains materials which are arranged to endothermically react and absorb heat.

9. A device as claimed in claim 8, in which the materials comprise water and ammonium chloride.

10. (canceled)

11. (canceled)

12. A device as claimed in claim 1, in which said clip portion comprises arms, which are arranged to engage the vessel at respective circumferentially spaced apart positions.

13. (canceled)

Description:

The present invention relates to a device for cooling beverages contained within a drinking vessel.

It is well known to cool beverages by adding one or more ice cubes to the beverage. However, a disadvantage of this arrangement is that the water from which the ice is made can contain micro-organisms, which can be harmful if ingested with the beverage as the ice melts.

Another disadvantage of ice cubes is that, as the ice melts, the water dilutes the beverage and detracts from its overall strength and taste.

U.S. Pat. No. 4,325,230 attempts to overcome the above-mentioned problems by providing a device comprising a sealable cubic housing, into which an ice cube can be placed. In use, one or more of such devices can be frozen and then added to drinks. The ice is contained inside the housing and thus does not contaminate or dilute the beverage as it melts. Following use, the device can be washed and reused. In an alternative embodiment, the body of water is permanently sealed inside the housing and the device itself is frozen prior to use.

A disadvantage of ice and the above-mentioned device is that they are relatively easy to swallow, particularly as they float on the surface of the beverage.

I have now devised a device for cooling beverages, which alleviates the above-mentioned problems.

In accordance with this invention, there is provided a device for cooling beverages, the device comprising a body portion arranged for immersion in the beverage and a portion for engaging a wall of the vessel in which the beverage is provided, the body portion being insoluble in said beverage.

In use, the body portion cools the beverage yet does not dilute the beverage because it is insoluble. The vessel-engaging portion securely fastens the device in-situ on the vessel and thus the risk of accidentally swallowing the device is avoided.

Preferably the body portion comprises a liquid or gel contained within a sealed housing, the liquid or gel being arranged to absorb heat from the beverage, so as to provide a cooling effect.

In one embodiment, the housing may comprise a closure, which can be opened to allow an ice cube to be inserted into a compartment provided inside the housing.

In a preferred embodiment, the liquid or gel is permanently sealed inside the housing, the user having to freeze the device prior to use.

The housing may contain water, although it preferably contains a material, such as ethylene or propylene glycol, which turns from its solid to liquid phase at a temperature below the freezing temperature of water: the latent heat absorbed by such materials as they change from their solid to liquid phases acts to disproportionately call the beverage.

In an alternative embodiment, the container may comprise materials, such as water and ammonium chloride, which are arranged to endothermically react and absorb heat. Such devices may be single use or it may be possible to reverse the endothermic reaction, so that they can be used again.

Another disadvantage of using ice cubes or the above-mentioned devices of U.S. Pat. No. 4,325,230 is that they float on the surface of the beverage and thus their whole surface area is not in contact with the beverage, with the result that the cooling effect is not maximised.

In order to overcome this problem, the vessel-engaging portion is preferably connected to the body portion by an elongate arm, so that the body portion of the device can be positioned adjacent bottom of the drinking vessel.

Preferably the arm is flexible, thereby allowing the body portion to be positioned at almost any selected position within the vessel.

Preferably said vessel-engaging portion is arranged for fastening to the wall of the vessel.

Preferably the vessel-engaging portion comprises a clip, which is arranged to fasten to the rim of the vessel.

Preferably said vessel-engaging portion comprises means, which are arranged to engage the vessel at respective circumferentially spaced apart positions: this helps to prevent lateral movement of the arm and maintains the position of the body portion within the vessel.

An embodiment of this invention will now be described by way of an example only and with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a plan view of a beverage cooling device in accordance with this invention;

FIG. 2 is a front view of the beverage cooling device of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a side view of the beverage cooling device of FIG. 1; and

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the beverage cooling device of FIG. 1, when fitted to a drinking vessel.

Referring to FIGS. 1 to 3 of the drawings, there is shown a beverage cooling device comprising a body portion 10 having a spherical housing of plastics material, which is filled with a mixture of water and propylene glycol, being a material which freezes at a temperature below that of water. The housing could be of any other shape and could be filled with water or any other suitable material.

An articulated arm 11 extends from the body portion 10 and comprises a plurality of rigid sections 12, which are connected end-to-end by flexible joint portions 13. The outermost section of the arm 11 is folded back on itself to define a C-shaped clip 14 for engaging the rim of a drinking vessel.

The outer arm of the C-shaped clip 14 is connected to the central portion of an elongate bracing device 15, which extends generally perpendicular to the arms of the C-shaped clip 14. The opposite ends of the bracing portion 15 are connected to the central portion thereof by respective flexible joints 16.

Referring to FIG. 4 of the drawings, in use the device is taken from a freezer and clipped onto the rim of a drinking vessel, such that the arm 11 extends into the drinking vessel to hold the body portion 10 near the bottom of the vessel. The opposite ends of the bracing portion 15 extend in opposite circumferential directions against the outside surface of the drinking vessel to prevent lateral movement of the arm 11. Teeth or elastomeric gripping members 17 are preferably provided on the opposed faces of the arms of the C-shaped clip 14, in order to securely grip the rim of the drinking vessel.

The frozen material inside the housing of the body portion 10 absorbs heat from the beverage contained in the drinking vessel, so as to cool the beverage. If desired, a plurality of devices may be attached to the vessel.

A device in accordance with this invention is simple and inexpensive in construction, yet provides a safe and reliable way of chilling beverages.





 
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