Title:
Airtight food container
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An airtight food container includes a main body and a top cover that correspond to each other in their form and dimensions and, therefore, may be produced by the same mold in an injection molding process. A flange portion is formed at the rim of the main body. One half part of the flange portion is provided with a protrusion while the other half part thereof is recessed. Furthermore, an ear portion having an enlarged surface is formed at the protrusion portion and the recessed portion. Accordingly, one of two completely identical main bodies (the top one) is turned upside down (at 180°) such that the opening is directed downward and a top cover is formed. Besides, the recessed portion and the protrusion portion of the flange portion of the top cover just correspond to the protrusion portion and the recessed portion, respectively, such that the top cover and the main body fit into each other to form an airtight container.



Inventors:
Chou, Shin-jai (Hsintien City, TW)
Application Number:
11/727570
Publication Date:
10/02/2008
Filing Date:
03/27/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65D6/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
EDWARDS, BRETT J
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
ROSENBERG, KLEIN & LEE (ELLICOTT CITY, MD, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. An airtight food container, comprising: a) a main body having an opening; and b) a top cover attached to the opening of the main body; wherein the main body and the top cover is made by the same mold in an injection-molding process, and the top cover and the main body completely corresponds to each other in their form and dimensions, and the main body includes: i) a bottom surface; ii) a side wall encircling the bottom surface; and iii) a flange portion formed at the opening rim of the side wall, one half part of the flange portion being provided with a protrusion, at least one ear portion having a greater area being outwardly extended from the protrusion portion, a first projection being formed on the horizontal surface of the ear portion and a second projection being formed on the vertical side thereof; and iv) a recessed portion disposed at one side of the flange portion opposing to the protrusion portion, the form and the structure of the recessed portion being symmetric to that of the protrusion portion in the opposite direction, thereby forming a grooved-and-tongued matching structure, whereby one of two completely identical main bodies is turned upside down (at 180°) such that the opening is directed downward and a top cover is formed, and the recessed portion and the protrusion portion of the flange portion of the top cover just correspond to the protrusion portion and the recessed portion, respectively, such that the top cover and the main body fit into each other to form an airtight container.

2. The airtight food container as recited in claim 1 wherein the external rim of the protrusion portion is tongued and grooved in a staggered manner like a toothed wheel while the internal rim of the recessed portion at the opposite side is, to the contrary, grooved and tongued in a staggered manner like a toothed wheel.

3. The airtight food container as recited in claim 1 wherein the ear portions are formed in a semicircular shape, and wherein the first projections at the horizontal side are also formed in a semicircular shape, and wherein the second projections at the vertical side are formed corresponding to the arched surface of the ear portions.

4. The airtight food container as recited in claim 1 wherein the main body and the top cover are made of transparent material in an injection molding process.

5. The airtight food container as recited in claim 1 wherein the top cover is made of transparent material in an injection molding process while the main body is made of nontransparent material in an injection molding process.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The invention relates to a food container, and more particularly to a structure having a main body and a top cover that are produced by the same mold in an injection molding process. Meanwhile, an airtight container is assembled by use of a corresponding grooved and tongued configuration and an engaging structure at the horizontal and the vertical side.

2. Description of the Related Art

There are various plastic containers formed in vacuum molding process. They features shape variations and little consumption of materials. For example, they are in shape of box, cup, bowl, and the like. Accordingly, they are especially suitable for the food preserving containers.

Foods have the wide variety of kinds. The fluid food such as fruit jelly, pudding, cheese, and the like are required to be transported from the manufacturing factories to the shops and carried from the shops to the consumers' houses. The food containers are needed to be sealed to prevent the food inside from leakage during the transport.

As shown in FIG. 1, a conventional food container according to US D468,202S filed by the applicant of the present invention includes a circular main body 40 and a circular cover 50. The circular cover 50 has a U-shaped groove 51 at the rim thereof with which the circular cover 50 is attached to the opening of the circular main body 40 for a sealing purpose. As shown in FIG. 2, a food container in accordance with US Des. 305,409 filed by the Packaging Corporation includes a substantially rectangular main body 60 and a rectangular cover 70. The cover 70 has a ∩-shaped portion 71 at the rim thereof with which the cover 70 is attached to the opening of the circular main body 40 for a sealing purpose.

However, both the circular and the rectangular airtight container have the top cover and the main body that are produced by different molds. Thus, the mold cost and the manufacturing and processing cost will be increased. Meanwhile, the top cover and the main body can't be directly stacked before use, thereby occupying much space. This requires further improvements.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

A primary object of the invention to eliminate the above-mentioned drawbacks and to provide an airtight food container having a main body and a top cover that are produced by the same mold in an injection molding process. Meanwhile, an airtight container is assembled by use of a corresponding grooved and tongued configuration and an engaging structure at the horizontal and the vertical side. In this way, the mold cost may be reduced and the manufacturing process can be simplified. Moreover, an easy storage without occupying much space is achieved.

In order to achieve the above-mentioned objects, an airtight food container includes a main body and a top cover that correspond to each other in their form and dimensions and, therefore, may be produced by the same mold in an injection molding process. A flange portion is formed at the rim of the main body. One half part of the flange portion is provided with a protrusion while the other part thereof is recessed. Furthermore, an ear portion having an enlarged surface is formed at the protrusion portion and the recessed portion. Accordingly, one of two completely identical main bodies (the top one) is turned upside down (at 180°) such that the opening is directed downward and a top cover is formed. Besides, the recessed portion and the protrusion portion of the flange portion of the top cover just correspond to the protrusion portion and the recessed portion, respectively, such that the top cover and the main body fit into each other to form an airtight container.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES

The accomplishment of this and other objects of the invention will become apparent from the following descriptions and its accompanying figures of which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a circular food container of the prior art;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a rectangular food container of the prior art;

FIG. 3 is a perspective exploded view of a first embodiment of the invention, showing that both the main body and the top cover are upwardly directed;

FIG. 4 is a perspective view showing the stacking state of the first embodiment of the invention wherein both the main body and the top cover are upwardly directed;

FIG. 5 is a cutaway view taken along the lines 5-5 of FIG. 4;

FIG. 6 is a perspective view showing the first embodiment of the invention wherein the main body and the top cover are opposed to each other;

FIG. 7 is a perspective view showing the attachment of the top cover to the main body in accordance with the first embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 8 is a perspective exploded view of a second embodiment of the invention, showing that the main body and the top cover are differently colored;

FIG. 9 is a perspective assembly view of the second embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 10 is a cutaway view of the invention;

FIG. 11 is an enlarged view of a portion marked with 11 in FIG. 10;

FIG. 12 is a perspective view of a third embodiment of the invention; and

FIG. 13 is a perspective view of a fourth embodiment of the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

First of all, referring to FIG. 3, an airtight food container in accordance with a first embodiment of the invention includes a main body 10A and a top cover 10B, both of which are made of transparent material. The main body 10A has an opening that is covered by the top cover 10B. As shown in FIG. 3, the opening of the top cover 10B is directed upward as well for showing that the top cover 10B completely corresponds to the main body 10A in their form and dimensions. Thus, they can be formed by the same mold in an injection-molding process, thereby ensuring a considerable reduction of the mold cost. The main body 10A includes:

a bottom surface 11a;

a side wall 12a encircling the bottom surface 11a; and

a flange portion 13a formed at the opening rim of the side wall 12a.

Since the top cover 10B completely corresponds to the main body 10A in their form and dimensions, the bottom surface, the side wall, and the flange portion of the top cover 10B are marked with 11b, 12b, and 13b, respectively, for a clear distinction from the main body 10A. In order to simplify the following description of the structure, the main body 10A and the top cover 10B are marked with the same reference signs.

Further referring to FIG. 3, one half part of the flange portion 13a, 13b of the main body 10A and the top cover 10B is provided with a protrusion portion 20a in the front area of the central line x-x in FIG. 3. At least one ear portion 30a having a greater area is outwardly extended from the protrusion portion 20a. A first projection 31a is formed on the horizontal surface of the ear portion 30a while a second projection 32a is formed on the vertical side thereof (see FIG. 11).

A recessed portion 20b opposing to the protrusion portion 20a is formed behind the central line x-x in FIG. 3. Meanwhile, the form and the structure of the recessed portion 20b are symmetric to that of the protrusion portion 20a in the opposite direction, thereby forming a grooved-and-tongued matching structure. The ear portion, the first projection, and second projection of the recessed portion 20b are marked with 30b, 31b, and 32b, respectively.

Referring to FIG. 4, which is a perspective view of the top cover 10B placed within the main body 10A, and FIG. 5, which is a cutaway view thereof, the top cover 10B and the main body 10A completely corresponds to each other in their form and dimensions. Therefore, a problem-free stacking of the top cover 10B and the main body 10A without occupying additional space is achieved. As shown in FIG. 5, the protrusion portion 20a and the ear portion 30a thereof are illustrated at the left side of the drawing while the recessed portion 20b and the ear portion 30b thereof are shown at the right side of FIG. 5.

Referring to FIG. 6, the top cover 10B is removed from the main body 10A and turned upside down (at 180°) such that the opening is directed downward. Meanwhile, the recessed portion 20b previously behind the central line x-x is moved to the place above the protrusion portion 20a of the main body 10A. As depicted above, the top cover 10B and the main body 10A completely corresponds to each other in their form and dimensions and are placed in the opposite direction. Therefore, the recessed portion 20b and the protrusion portion 20a the flange portion 13b of the top cover 10B correspond to the protrusion portion 20a and the recessed portion 20b, respectively. As shown in FIG. 7, the top cover 10B and the main body 10A can fit into each other to form an airtight container 10.

FIGS. 8 and 9 show a second embodiment of the invention that is substantially identical to the first embodiment. However, the difference lies in that the main body 10C is made of nontransparent material in the injection molding process. Meanwhile, only the top cover 10B of the assembled airtight container 10 is transparent.

FIG. 10 is the cutaway view of the above-mentioned embodiment wherein the top cover 10B is positioned on the top of the main body 10A. FIG. 11 is an enlarged view of the part marked with 11 in FIG. 10. As shown in FIG. 11, the ear portion 30a of the protrusion portion 20a and the ear portion 30b of the recessed portion 20b fit into each other. In order to establish an airtight attachment of the top cover 10B to the main body 10A, the horizontal side of the ear portion 30a, 30b includes a first projection 31a, 31b, and the vertical side thereof a second projection 32a, 32b such that a double attachment in the horizontal and the vertical direction is created in combining the two ear portions 30a, 30b to each other. In this way, the tightness can be enhanced. According to this embodiment, the two ear portions 30a, 30b are formed in a semicircular shape. Besides, the first projections 31a, 31b at the horizontal side are also formed in a semicircular shape. In addition, the second projections 32a, 32b at the vertical side are formed corresponding to the arched surface of the ear portions 30a, 30b.

Referring back to FIG. 6, the external rim of the protrusion portion 20a of the main body 10A is so corrugated that notched portions 21a and protruded portions 22a are formed in a staggered manner like a toothed wheel. The internal rim of the recessed portion 20b at the opposite side includes protruded portions 22b and notched portions 21b in a staggered and corresponding manner like a toothed wheel. When the top cover 10B corresponding to the main body 10A in structure is turned upside down at 180°, the above-mentioned protruded portions 22b and notched portions 21a are changed to be the notched portions 21a and the protruded portions 22a corresponding to the main body 10A. In this way, the first projection 31a, 31b at the horizontal side of the ear portion 30a, 30b and the second projection 32a, 32b at the vertical side of thereof fit into each other when the top cover 10B is attached to the main body 10A. Moreover, a more airtight attachment of the top cover 10B to the main body 10A is ensured by use of the flange portions 13a, 13b that are grooved and tongued in a staggered manner.

FIG. 12 shows a third embodiment of the invention that is substantially identical to the first embodiment. However, the difference lies in that the main body 10D and the top cover 10E are formed in a rectangular shape. The other parts like the protrusion portion 20a and the recessed portion 20b remain unchanged. In accordance with a fourth embodiment in FIG. 13, the main body 10F is made of nontransparent material in the injection molding process. The other parts correspond to that of the third embodiment.

Based on the above-mentioned configuration, the airtight food container in accordance with the invention includes a main body structure that fulfills the function of the top cover, thereby simplifying the manufacturing process and lowering the production cost.

Many changes and modifications in the above-described embodiment of the invention can, of course, be carried out without departing from the scope thereof. Accordingly, to promote the progress in science and the useful arts, the invention is disclosed and is intended to be limited only by the scope of the appended claims.