Title:
Dual density slide-on tray
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Disclosed is a dual density slide-on tray that includes a dual density elongate section. The dual density elongate section includes a thermoplastic base section that has an attachment side and a utility side. Also included in the dual density elongate section is a thermoplastic tray section that has a tray-section base. The thermoplastic tray section is attached at its tray-section base to the utility side of the thermoplastic base section. In this embodiment, the thermoplastic tray section is less dense or at least softer than the thermoplastic base section.



Inventors:
Hardt, John C. (Belton, TX, US)
Application Number:
11/708565
Publication Date:
08/21/2008
Filing Date:
02/21/2007
Assignee:
Mooreco, L.P. (Temple, TX, US)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
206/443
International Classes:
B65D85/20
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
FERNSTROM, KURT
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
NATH & ASSOCIATES, PLLC (Alexandria, VA, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A wall-board tray comprising: a dual density elongate section comprising a thermoplastic base section having an attachment side and a utility side, and a thermoplastic tray section having a tray-section base and attached at said tray-section base to said utility side of said thermoplastic base, wherein said thermoplastic tray section is less dense than said thermoplastic base section.

2. A co-extruded wall-board tray as recited in claim 1 further comprising an elongate anchor extending along said attachment side of said thermoplastic base section.

3. A co-extruded wall-board tray as recited in claim 2 further comprising at least one additional anchor extending along said attachment side of said thermoplastic base section.

4. A co-extruded wall-board tray as recited in claim 2 wherein said elongate anchor laterally extends from a first end of said dual density elongate section to an opposing second end of said dual density elongate section.

5. A co-extruded wall-board tray as recited in claim 4 wherein said elongate anchor extends intermittently from said first end of said dual density elongate section to said opposing second end of said dual density elongate section.

6. A co-extruded wall-board tray as recited in claim 5 further comprising at least one additional anchor extending intermittently from said attachment side of said thermoplastic base section.

7. A co-extruded wall-board tray as recited in claim 1 further comprising an elongate anchor receiving recess within said attachment side of said thermoplastic base section.

8. A co-extruded wall-board tray as recited in claim 7 wherein said elongate anchor receiving recess extends continuously from a first end of said dual density elongate section to an opposing second end of said dual density elongate section.

9. A co-extruded wall-board tray as recited in claim 8 further comprising at least one additional anchor receiving recess within said attachment side of said thermoplastic base section.

10. A co-extruded wall board tray as recited in claim 1 further comprising a seamless connection between said thermoplastic base section and said thermoplastic tray section.

11. A seamless co-extruded wall-board tray comprising: a dual density elongate section comprising a thermoplastic base section having an attachment side and a utility side, and a thermoplastic outer section surrounding at least two sides of said thermoplastic base section, wherein said thermoplastic outer section is less dense than said thermoplastic base section.

12. A seamless co-extruded wall-board tray as recited in claim 11 further comprising an elongate anchor extending along said attachment side of said thermoplastic base section.

13. A seamless co-extruded wall-board tray as recited in claim 12 further comprising at least one additional anchor extending along said attachment side of said thermoplastic base section.

14. A seamless co-extruded wall-board tray as recited in claim 12 wherein said elongate anchor laterally extends continuously from a first end of said dual density elongate section to an opposing second end of said dual density elongate section.

15. A seamless co-extruded wall-board tray as recited in claim 14 wherein said elongate anchor extends intermittently from said first end of said dual density elongate section to said opposing second end of said dual density elongate section.

16. A seamless co-extruded wall-board tray as recited in claim 15 further comprising at least one additional anchor extending intermittently from said attachment side of said thermoplastic base section.

17. A seamless co-extruded wall-board tray as recited in claim 111 further comprising an elongate anchor receiving recess within said attachment side of said thermoplastic base section.

18. A seamless co-extruded wall-board tray as recited in claim 17 wherein said elongate anchor receiving recess extends continuously from a first end of said dual density elongate section to an opposing second end of said dual density elongate section.

19. A seamless co-extruded wall-board tray as recited in claim 18 further comprising at least one additional anchor receiving recess within said attachment side of said thermoplastic base section.

20. A co-extruded wall-board tray comprising: a dual density elongate section comprising a thermoplastic base section having an attachment side and an opposing utility side, an elongate clip having an arm, said elongate clip attached at said arm to said attachment side of said thermoplastic base section, and a thermoplastic utility section connected to said utility side of said thermoplastic base section, wherein said thermoplastic utility section is less dense than said thermoplastic base section.

21. A wall-board tray as recited in claim 20 wherein said elongate clip has a U-shaped cross-section and extends continuously from a first end of said dual density elongate section to an opposing second end of said dual density elongate section.

22. A wall-board tray as recited in claim 21 further comprising an elongate anchor receiving recess within said attachment side of said thermoplastic base section.

23. A wall-board tray as recited in claim 22 wherein said elongate anchor receiving recess extends continuously from a first end of said dual density elongate section to an opposing second end of said dual density elongate section.

24. A wall-board tray as recited in claim 20 further comprising an elongate anchor extending from said attachment side of said thermoplastic base section.

25. A wall-board tray as recited in claim 20 further comprising an anchor receiving recess within said attachment side of said thermoplastic base section.

26. A co-extruded wall-board tray comprising: a utility section; and an anchor section connected to said utility section, said anchor section comprising a generally planar first attachment plate connected to said utility section and having a second attachment plate connected to a wall-board at a connection between said anchor section and said utility section; wherein said utility section is comprised of a softer material relative to said anchor section.

27. A wall-board tray as recited in claim 26 wherein said second attachment plate comprises a clamp.

28. A wall-board tray as recited in claim 26 wherein said second attachment plate is planar and generally perpendicular to said first attachment plate.

29. A wall-board tray as recited in claim 28 wherein said second attachment plate further comprises a distal edge that is configured with said first attachment plate as a clamp.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

This invention is related to utensil tray for writing boards.

BACKGROUND

Typically, blackboards, chalkboards, and dry-erase boards include trays for storage of pencils, chalk or dry-erase pens. These trays are typically rather dense and hard. As a result the corners of these trays pose a safety hazard to children or others who are at a height where inadvertent contact with the trays could cause injury. For example, children whose heads or chests are at tray level may be stabbed or gouged by the exposed corners of the trays. Thus, a need exists for prevention of injuries due to such inadvertent contact.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTIVE ASPECTS

An embodiment of the dual density slide-on tray is a wall-board tray that includes a dual density elongate section. The dual density elongate section includes a thermoplastic base section that has an attachment side and a utility side. Also included in the dual density elongate section is a thermoplastic tray section that has a tray-section base. The thermoplastic tray section is attached at its tray-section base to the utility side of the thermoplastic base section. In this embodiment, the thermoplastic tray section is less dense or at least softer than the thermoplastic base section.

Other features of the co-extruded wall-board tray include an elongate anchor that extends along the attachment side of the thermoplastic base section. At least one additional anchor can extend along the attachment side of the thermoplastic base section. Or, the elongate anchor can extend laterally and intermittently, or continuously, from a first end of the dual density elongate section to an opposing second end of the dual density elongate section. An additional anchor extending intermittently or continuously from the attachment side of the thermoplastic base section can be added. Alternatively, the co-extruded wall-board tray can include an elongate anchor receiving recess within the attachment side of the thermoplastic base section to receive a protrusion extending from an object to which the wall board tray is to be attached. The elongate receiving recess can extend continuously or intermittently from a first end of the dual density elongate section to an opposing second end of the dual density elongate section. An additional anchor receiving recess can be added within the attachment side of the thermoplastic base section. Further, the connection between the thermoplastic base section and the thermoplastic tray section can be made seamless by heat or chemically treating the two sections.

An additional embodiment of the co-extruded wall-board tray includes a dual density elongate section. The dual density elongate section includes a thermoplastic base section, which has an attachment side and a utility side, and a thermoplastic outer section that surrounds at least two sides of the thermoplastic base section. The thermoplastic outer section is less dense or at least softer than the thermoplastic base section. An elongate anchor can be added to the attachment side of the thermoplastic base section and can extend along the entire length thereof.

This embodiment of the co-extruded wall-board tray can include at least one additional anchor that extends along the attachment side of the thermoplastic base section. The elongate anchor laterally extends continuously, or intermittently, from a first end of the dual density elongate section to an opposing second end of the dual density elongate section. An additional anchor extending continuously or intermittently can be added to the attachment side of the thermoplastic base section. Alternatively, in lieu of the anchor, an elongate anchor receiving recess can extend continuously or intermittently along the attachment side of the thermoplastic base section. The anchor receiving recess would be attachable to a protrusion on a wall or wall-board. For increased stability, an additional anchor receiving recess can be placed within the attachment side of the thermoplastic base section.

A yet further embodiment of the co-extruded wall-board tray includes a dual density elongate section. The dual density elongate section includes a thermoplastic base section, which has an attachment side and an opposing utility side, an elongate clip having an arm, which is attached at its arm to the attachment side of the thermoplastic base section. The dual density elongate section further includes a thermoplastic utility section that is connected to the utility side of the thermoplastic base section. The thermoplastic utility section is less dense or at least softer than the thermoplastic base section.

Though not limited thereto, the elongate clip has a U-shaped cross-section. The elongate clip extends continuously from a first end of the dual density elongate section to an opposing second end of the dual density elongate section. Alternatively, the wall-board tray can include an elongate anchor receiving recess, which extends continuously from a first end of the dual density elongate section to an opposing second end of the dual density elongate section, within the attachment side of said thermoplastic base section. A further alternative in this embodiment is an elongate anchor that extends or projects from the attachment side of the thermoplastic base section. The antithesis to the elongate anchor is an anchor receiving recess within the attachment side of the thermoplastic base section.

A yet further embodiment of the co-extruded wall-board tray includes a utility section and an anchor section that is connected to the utility section. The anchor section includes a generally planar first attachment plate, which is connected to the utility section, and has a second attachment plate, which is connected to a wall-board at a connection between the anchor section and the utility section. The utility section is comprised of a softer or at least less dense material relative to the anchor section. The second attachment plate can be a clamp. The second attachment plate is planar and generally perpendicular to the first attachment plate. Further, the second attachment plate can include a distal edge that is configured with the first attachment plate as a clamp.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1a shows an embodiment of the co-extruded wall-board tray;

FIG. 1b shows a variation of the embodiment of the co-extruded wall-board tray shown in FIG. 1a;

FIG. 2 shows a further embodiment of the co-extruded wall-board tray;

FIG. 3a shows a yet further embodiment of the co-extruded wall-board tray;

FIG. 3b shows the embodiment of FIG. 3 attached to a board;

FIG. 4a shows an embodiment of the co-extruded wall-board tray engaging a board;

FIG. 4b shows an elongate clip combined with an elongate anchor receiving recess;

FIG. 5 shows a still further embodiment of the co-extruded wall-board tray;

FIG. 6 shows the co-extruded wall-board tray with a protective end cap;

FIG. 7a shows the co-extruded wall-board tray with a second type of protective end cap; and

FIG. 7b shows a closer view of the co-extruded wall-board tray of FIG. 8a.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

The word “exemplary” is used herein to mean “serving as an example, instance, or illustration.” Any embodiment described herein as “exemplary” is not necessarily to be construed as preferred or advantageous over other embodiments.

As shown in FIG. 1, an embodiment of the dual density slide-on tray is a wall-board tray 2 that includes a dual density elongate section 4. In this particular embodiment, the wall-board tray 2 and the dual density elongate section 4 are one and the same. The dual density elongate section 4 includes a thermoplastic base section 6 that has an attachment side 8 and a utility side 10. Also included in the dual density elongate section 4 is a thermoplastic tray section 12 that has a tray-section base 14. The thermoplastic tray section 12 is attached at its tray-section base 14 to the utility side 10 of the thermoplastic base section 6. In this embodiment, the thermoplastic tray section 12 is less dense or at least softer than the thermoplastic base section 6. In this embodiment, Polyvinylchloride (PVC) is used as the thermoplastic in both the tray section 12 and the base section 6. The shore hardness of the polyvinyl chloride of the base section 6 is higher than the shore hardness of the PVC of the tray section 12.

An elongate anchor 16 extends along the attachment side 8 of the thermoplastic base section 6. At least one additional anchor 26, shown in FIG. 1b, extends along the attachment side 8 of the thermoplastic base section 6. The elongate anchor 16 extends laterally, either intermittently or continuously, from a first end 18 of the dual density elongate section 4 to an opposing second end 20 of the dual density elongate section 4. Either alternatively or in conjunction therewith, at least one elongate anchor receiving recess 22 is within the attachment side 8 of the thermoplastic base section 6. The elongate anchor receiving recess 22 receives an anchor-like protrusion (shown in FIG. 3b) extending from an object 24 to which the wall board tray 2 is to be attached. The elongate anchor receiving recess 22 extends either continuously or intermittently from the first end 18 of the dual density elongate section to the opposing second end 20 of the dual density elongate section 6. If extending intermittently, the anchor receiving recess does not have to be elongate; rather, it can be circular, rectangular, triangular, or any other shape that is capable of attaching to an anchoring mechanism.

Although not limited thereto, the connection between the thermoplastic base section 6 and the thermoplastic tray section 12 is seamless. To manufacture the dual-density slide on tray, two thermoplastics are co-extruded together to form an elongate object with a dual material. These materials are joined together either adhesively or mechanically; however, a visible seam between the two materials will remain. The visibility of the seam as well as the seam itself can be eliminated, to form a seamless elongate section, by applying heat to the seam to melt the thermoplastics together. Alternatively, the thermoplastics can be chemically treated to join the two sections in a way similar to heat treating.

FIG. 2 shows a further embodiment of the co-extruded wall-board tray 102 that includes a dual density elongate section 104. In this particular embodiment, the wall-board tray 102 and the dual density elongate section 104 are one and the same. The dual density elongate section 104 includes a thermoplastic base section 106, which has an attachment side 108 and a utility surface 110, and a thermoplastic outer section 112 that surrounds at least two sides of the thermoplastic base section 106. The thermoplastic outer section 112 is less dense or at least softer than the thermoplastic base section 106. An elongate anchor 114 projects from the attachment side 108 of the thermoplastic base section 106 and extends continuously along the entire length thereof. Alternatively, the elongate anchor 114 is broken up into segments 114a and 114b and extends intermittently along the entire length thereof. The alternating segments 114a and 114b can have the same cross-section or they can have different cross-sections to provide varying gripping forces along the length of the anchor 114.

This embodiment of the co-extruded wall-board tray includes at least one additional anchor, like that shown in FIG. 1b, that extends along the attachment side of the thermoplastic base section 106. Alternatively, in lieu of the anchor, an elongate anchor receiving recess 116 extends continuously through the thermoplastic base section 106. The elongate anchor receiving recess 116 is attachable to a protrusion on a wall or wall-board. For increased stability, an additional anchor receiving recess can be placed within the attachment side of the thermoplastic base section 106.

FIG. 3a shows a yet further embodiment of the co-extruded wall-board tray 202, which includes a dual density elongate section 204. The dual density elongate section 204 includes a thermoplastic base section 206, which has an attachment side 208 and an opposing utility side 210. An elongate clip 212 is attached to the attachment side 208 of the thermoplastic base section 206. The elongate clip 212 has an arm 214, which is attached at one end to the attachment side 208 of the thermoplastic base section 206. The dual density elongate section 204 further includes a thermoplastic utility section 216 that is connected to the utility side 210 of the thermoplastic base section 206. The thermoplastic utility section 216 is less dense or at least softer than the thermoplastic base section 206.

Though not limited thereto, the elongate clip 212 has a U-shaped cross-section. The elongate clip 212 extends continuously or intermittently from a first end 218 of the dual density elongate section 204 to an opposing second end (not shown) of the dual density elongate section 204. An elongate clip gripper arm 220 extends from the arm 214 and is opposite the attachment side 208 of the thermoplastic base section 206. A lip 222 is positioned at a distal end of the elongate clip gripper arm 220. The lip 222 is intended to provide greater gripping ability for the elongate clip 212.

FIG. 4a shows an example of the clip 212 attached to a board 224 such as a blackboard, a whiteboard or a dry-erase board. The board slides into the interior of the clip 212 between the thermoplastic base section attachment side 208 and the elongate clip gripper arm 220. The lip 222 is in contact with the board 224 and provides stability to the connection between the board 224 and the clip 212. The elongate clip arm 214 supports the board 224.

A combination of the elongate clip, which is discussed above, with a wall or protrusion anchor can be seen in FIG. 4b as a clip-anchor 224, which is attached to a board 226. The advantage to the clip-anchor 224 is the presence of the “break-away” capability of a clip portion 228. A dual-density tray having an anchor receiving recess has a stronger connection to the anchor than the clip 228; therefore, the dual-density tray will break away from the board 226 rather than cause injury to a person if it is inadvertently bumped. Further, the clip-anchor 224 allows different attachments to be placed thereon in lieu of a dual density-tray. The clip has anchors 24b and 24c that allow for the attachment of different trays and other objects thereto.

As shown in FIG. 5, a still further embodiment of the co-extruded wall-board tray 302 includes a utility section 304 and an anchor section 306 that is connected to the utility section 304. The anchor section 306 includes a generally planar first attachment plate 308, which is connected to the utility section 304, and has a second attachment plate 310, which is connectable to a wall-board (not shown), at a connection between the anchor section 306 and the utility section 304. The utility section 304 is comprised of a softer or at least less dense material relative to the anchor section 306. The second attachment plate 310 acts as one half of a clamp. The second attachment plate 310 is planar and generally perpendicular to the first attachment plate 308. Further, the second attachment plate 310 includes a distal edge 312 that is configured with the first attachment plate 308 as a clamp. The area between the distal edge 312 and the first attachment plate 308 clamps onto a protrusion or a lip extending from an edge of a board (not shown). One of the advantages to a clamp configuration is if a person inadvertently bumps into the co-extruded wall-board tray 302, the wall-board tray will break away from the board to which it is attached before it causes injury to the person.

FIGS. 6, 7a and 7b shown dual-density slide-on trays attached to a board with the anchors to which they are attached covered by a protective cap. In FIG. 6, the slide on tray 402 is attached to board 404. Cap 406 is placed over anchors (as shown in FIG. 3b). Optionally, the cap 406 includes a locking mechanism 408. The locking mechanism 408 is engageable with the anchors to help the clip 406 stay in place.

FIG. 7a shows a wallboard 502 with a dual-density tray 504 attached thereto. FIG. 7b shows a close-up of the wallboard 502 with a protective corner 506 and protective edge 508. Protective corner 506 and protective edge 508 are fashioned to be aesthetically pleasing to a person viewing the wallboard 502. The protective corner 506 and the protective edge 508 are configured to either snap or slide onto an edge of the underlying wallboard 502. A more permanent attachment can be made by using an adhesive.

The previous description of the disclosed embodiments is provided to enable any person skilled in the art to make or use the present invention. Various modifications to these embodiments will be readily apparent to those skilled in the art, and the generic principles defined herein may be applied to other embodiments without departing from the spirit or scope of the invention. For example, one or more elements can be rearranged and/or combined, or additional elements may be added. Thus, the present invention is not intended to be limited to the embodiments shown herein but is to be accorded the widest scope consistent with the principles and novel features disclosed herein.