Title:
Apparatus for Producing Ice Vessel
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The invention is an apparatus for producing an ice vessel, in which the lumps of ice spread uniformly so that each portion of the vessel can be molded uniformly. The invention includes a main body (20), upper mold and lower mold (24 and 26) mounted to the main body (20) and having convex portion (22) and concave portion (23) of shape of the ice vessel respectively so as to mold the ice vessel (18) by coupling the upper mold (24) or the lower mold (26) and pressing lumps of ice (2) poured into the molds (22 and 24), pushers (32 and 34) liftably mounted to the convex portion (22) of the upper mold (24), and resilient members (36 and 38) mounted to press the pushers (32 and 34) downward, wherein when the upper and lower molds (24 and 26) are coupled with each other, the pushers (32 and 34) push the lumps of ice (2) laterally in the concave portion (23) of the lower mold (26) so that the lumps of ice (2) are uniformly dispersed.



Inventors:
Park, Chang Yong (Incheon, KR)
Application Number:
12/092194
Publication Date:
11/27/2008
Filing Date:
11/03/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
F25C1/10
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
TYLER, CHERYL JACKSON
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
LOCKE LORD LLP (BOSTON, MA, US)
Claims:
1. An apparatus for producing an ice vessel, which includes a main body 20, upper mold and lower mold 24 and 26 mounted to the main body 20 and having convex portion 22 and concave portion 23 of shape of the ice vessel respectively so as to mold the ice vessel 18 by coupling the upper mold 24 or the lower mold 26 and pressing lumps of ice 2 poured into the molds 22 and 24, pushers 32 and 34 liftably mounted to the convex portion 22 of the upper mold 24, and resilient members 36 and 38 mounted to press the pushers 32 and 34 downward, wherein when the upper and lower molds 24 and 26 are coupled with each other, the pushers 32 and 34 push the lumps of ice 2 laterally in the concave portion 23 of the lower mold 26 so that the lumps of ice 2 are uniformly dispersed.

2. An apparatus for producing an ice vessel of claim 1, wherein the bottom surfaces of the pushers 32 and 34 have convex middle portions projected downward, so that the bottom surfaces push the lumps of ice 2 laterally in the concave portion 23 of the lower mold 26 with ease.

3. An apparatus for producing an ice vessel of claim 1 or 2, wherein the pushers 32 and 34 are composed of a rod member 32 and one or more cavity members 34 into which the rod member 32 is inserted in a concentric way, the rod member 32 and the cavity member 34 being pushed downward by the resilient members 36 and 38 and being inclined downward toward the center so that, when the molds 24 and 26 are coupled, the rod member 32 and the cavity member 34 sequentially pressing the lumps of ice 2 to push the lumps of ice 2 laterally.

4. An apparatus for producing an ice vessel of claim 1 or 2, wherein the apparatus further include an ejector 40 mounted in the concave portion 23 of lower mold 26 and a resilient member 42 to push the ejector 40 upward, the concave portion 23 having a mounting portion 49 on which a vessel support 46 having a hole 48 formed in its middle portion is mounted so that when the lumps of ice 2 are poured on the vessel support 46 and the upper and lower molds 24 and 26 are coupled with each other, the ejector 40 is retracted into the lower mold 26 by pressure, and when the upper mold 24 rises, the ejector 40 is projected upward and pushes the molded ice vessel 18 upward thereby making the ice vessel 18 separated from the lower mold 26.

5. An apparatus for producing an ice vessel of claim 1 or 2, wherein a hole 50 is formed in the center of the concave portion 23 of the lower mold 26, and the lower mold 26 is divided into parts around the hole 50, so that the vessel support 54 having a leg member 52 could be mounted in the lower mold 26 with the leg member 52 inserted into the hole 50, and the ice vessel 18 is integrally molded on the vessel support 54.

Description:

TECHNICAL FIELD

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates generally to an apparatus for producing an ice vessel, and more particularly, to an apparatus for producing an ice vessel, wherein when molding the vessel using lumps or powders of ice, the lumps of ice spread uniformly so that each portion of the vessel can be molded uniformly.

2. Description of the Related Art

Recently, as the food service industry becomes active, various kinds of foods are newly developed and accordingly, vessels having various types and materials are developed and used. Meanwhile, the same inventor has developed a ice vessel, and applied an apparatus for producing the vessel and the vessel itself (Korean Application No. 10-2005-0056479).

FIG. 1 shows an apparatus for producing an ice vessel, and the apparatus is comprised of a main body 4, a lower mold 6 being movably mounted to the main body 4, and an upper mold 8 mounted above the lower mold 6. Molding portions 10 are formed on facing surfaces of the upper mold 8 and the lower mold 6, respectively. So, an ice vessel is produced when lumps or powers (hereinafter lumps) of ice 2 are poured into the molding portion 10 of the lower mold 6 and the lower mold 6 rises to couple with and to press the upper mold 8.

However, since the ice vessel is produced by pressing the lumps of ice 2, when the lumps of ice are uniformly spread over the entire molding portions, a constant pressure can be entirely applied to the vessel so the ice vessel having uniform strength and touch can be produced. However, since the upper mold 8 having a large surface presses the lower mold 6 in its middle portion in the state that the lumps of ice 2 are filed up high in the lower mold 6, the lumps of ice 2 tends not to be spread laterally and the pressure is mainly applied downward. Accordingly, in the case of producing an ice vessel, especially, a vessel having a deep interior such as a cup, while ice in the lower part of the vessel is molded strongly, ice in the side part of the vessel becomes weak or lacks of ice so that the shape or the strength of ice vessel may not be perfect.

Further, the apparatus for producing the ice vessel needs an ejector to lift a completed ice vessel so as to bring it out of the lower mold 6. However, such an ejector needs a separate driving apparatus so that the ejector mechanism becomes complicated, costs high and has a low reliability of operation.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is, therefore, an objects of the present invention to provide an apparatus for producing an ice vessel wherein when molding the vessel using lumps of ice, the lumps of ice spread uniformly so that each portion of the vessel can be molded uniformly in shape and strength.

According to an aspect of the present invention, there is provided an apparatus for producing an ice vessel, which includes a main body 20, upper mold and lower mold 24 and 26 mounted to the main body 20 and having convex portion 22 and concave portion 23 of shape of the ice vessel respectively so as to mold the ice vessel 18 by coupling the upper mold 24 or the lower mold 26 and pressing lumps of ice 2 poured into the molds 22 and 24, pushers 32 and 34 liftably mounted to the convex portion 22 of the upper mold 24, and resilient members 36 and 38 mounted to press the pushers 32 and 34 downward, wherein when the upper and lower molds 24 and 26 are coupled with each other, the pushers 32 and 34 push the lumps of ice 2 laterally in the concave portion 23 of the lower mold 26 so that the lumps of ice 2 are uniformly dispersed.

According to the present invention, the bottom surfaces of the pushers 32 and 34 have convex middle portions projected downward, so that the bottom surfaces push the lumps of ice 2 laterally in the concave portion 23 of the lower mold 26 with ease.

According to the present invention, the pushers 32 and 34 are composed of a rod member 32 and one or more cavity members 34 into which the rod member 32 is inserted in a concentric way, the rod member 32 and the cavity member 34 being pushed downward by the resilient members 36 and 38 and being inclined downward toward the center so that, when the molds 24 and 26 are coupled, the rod member 32 and the cavity member 34 sequentially pressing the lumps of ice 2 to push the lumps of ice 2 laterally.

The present invention may further include an ejector 40 mounted in the concave portion 23 of lower mold 26 and a resilient member 42 to push the ejector 40 upward, the concave portion 23 having a mounting portion 49 on which a vessel support 46 having a hole 48 formed in its middle portion is mounted so that when the lumps of ice 2 are poured on the vessel support 46 and the upper and lower molds 24 and 26 are coupled with each other, the ejector 40 is retracted into the lower mold 26 by pressure, and when the upper mold 24 rises, the ejector 40 is projected upward and pushes the molded ice vessel 18 upward thereby making the ice vessel 18 separated from the lower mold 26.

According to the present invention, a hole 50 is formed in the center of the concave portion 23 of the lower mold 26, and the lower mold 26 is divided into parts around the hole 50, so that the vessel support 54 having a leg member 52 could be mounted in the lower mold 26 with the leg member 52 inserted into the hole 50, and the ice vessel 18 is integrally molded on the vessel support 54.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The above and other objects, features and advantages of the present invention will be more clearly understood from the following detailed description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a view illustrating a conventional apparatus for producing an ice vessel;

FIG. 2 is a view illustrating an apparatus for producing an ice vessel in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 3 is a perspective view illustrating an apparatus for producing an ice vessel in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 4 is a view illustrating operation states of an apparatus for producing an ice vessel in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 5 is a view illustrating a second embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 6 is a plan view illustrating an lower mold in accordance with a second embodiment of the present invention; and

FIG. 7 is a plane view illustrating an ice vessel produced in accordance with a second embodiment of the present invention.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

The following detailed description of the invention refers to the accompanying drawings. The same reference numbers in different drawings identify the same or similar elements. Also, the following detailed description does not limit the invention. Instead, the scope of the invention is defined by the appended claims and equivalents.

FIG. 2 is a view illustrating an apparatus for producing an ice vessel in accordance with the present invention, which is the same as the conventional apparatus for producing the ice vessel in that it is comprised of a main body 20, and upper and lower molds 24 and 26 liftably mounted to the main body 20 and whose neighboring surfaces have a convex portion 22 and a concave portion 23 respectively. On the upper portion of the upper body 20, there are provided a support frame 28 and an actuator 30 vertically mounted on the support frame 28 and connected to the upper mold 24 so as to elevate the upper mold 24, thereby molding the ice vessel 18 by descending the upper mold 24 and then pressing the lumps of ice 2.

In the convex portion 22 of the upper mold 24, there are provided pushers 32 and 24 and elastic members 36 and 38 to press the pushers 32 and 34 downward, The pushers 32 and 34 push laterally the lumps of ice 2 poured into the concave portion 23 of the lower mold 26 when the upper and lower molds 24 and 26 are coupled with each other, so that the lumps of ice 2 are uniformly spread. The bottom surface of the pushes 32 and 34 has a diameter little smaller than that of the ice vessel 18. Further, the pushers 32 and 34 are composed of 2 stages, that is, a rod member 32 and a cavity member 34 into which the rod member 32 is inserted, both members being overlapped in concentric way. The rod member 32 is inserted into the inner space of the cavity member 34 so as to be projected below the cavity member 34. The ends of the rod member 32 and the cavity member 34 have convex surfaces projected downward respectively, so that they can push the lumps of ice 2 laterally with ease. Two resilient members 36 and 38 are connected to the rod member 32 and the cavity member 34 respectively, so as to press them downward separately.

The concave portion 23 of the lower mold 26 has an ejector 40 and a resilient member 42 to press the ejector 40 upward. The ejector 40 is inserted into the insertion hole 44 formed in the concave portion 23 of the lower mold 26, which pushes a completed ice vessel 18 upward so that the ice vessel 18 can be brought out of the molds 24 and 26 with ease. Further, the concave portion 23 of the lower mold 26 includes a mounting portion 49, in which a vessel support 46 with a hole 48 in the center is mounted. So, when the vessel support 46 is mounted on the mounting portion 49, the ejector 40 is projected into the concave portion 23 through the hole 48. The vessel support 46 of plastics covers low and outer portion of the ice vessel so as to prevent the ice vessel 18 from being meld quickly when it is contacted with a table or the like, enables users to catch the cold and slippery ice vessel 18 with ease, and has a fine appearance.

FIG. 4 is a view illustrating operation states of an apparatus for producing an ice vessel described above. When a vessel support 46 is inserted into the mounting portion 49 of the lower mold 26 and lumps of ice 2 are poured into the upper portion of the vessel support 46 as shown in FIG. 4(a), a rod member 32 and a cavity member 34 of the pushers 32 and 34 penetrates into the middle portion of the lumps of ice 2 sequentially and laterally push the lumps of ice 2 as shown in FIG. 4(b). Further, when the upper mold 24 is further descended and then coupled with the lower mold 26 completely, the lumps of ice 2 are entirely pressed and molded as shown in FIG. 4(c). At this time, the pushers 32 and 34 and the ejector 40 are pressed so that they are completely inserted between the upper mold 24 and the lower mold 26. Further, when the upper mold 24 is raised, the ejector 40 raises the completed ice vessel 18 while it is raised, so that an operator can bring it out as shown in FIG. 4(d).

Since the apparatus for producing the ice vessel constructed as described above presses the lumps of ice 2 while pushing them laterally using the pushers 32 and 34, the lumps of ice 2 are uniformly spread in the molds 24 and 26 so that each portion of the ice vessel 18 has uniform strength and shape. Further, the pushers 32 and 34 are not only composed of multiple stages but also formed of curvatures whose bottom surfaces are projected downward so that the lumps of ice 2 are laterally pushed with ease.

There is mounted a vessel support 46 having a hole 48 formed in its center on the mounting portion 49 of the lower mold 24, so that the ejector 40 can be projected into the concave portion 23 of the lower mold 24 through the hole 48. So, the completed ice vessel 18 can be automatically lifted using a simple device. Especially, since the ejector 40 is always pressed upward by the resilient member 42, automatically inserted into the lower mold 26 when molding the ice vessel 18, and automatically raise the ice vessel 18 when the upper mold 24 is raised, its construction is very simple and its operational reliability is very high.

FIGS. 5 to 7 show another embodiment in accordance with the present invention, where a hole 50 is formed in the center of the concave portion 23 of the lower mold 26 and the lower mold 26 is divided into left and right parts Accordingly, in the case that the ice vessel 18 and the vessel support 46 having a leg member 52 are molded in a body as shown in FIG. 7, the leg member 52 is inserted into the hole 50 by widening the lower mold 26 as shown in FIG. 6(b), the lower mold 26 is assembled as shown in FIG. 6(a), the ice vessel 18 is molded together with the vessel support 46 in a body, and then the ice vessel 18 can be brought out by widening the lower mold 26. At this time, it is possible to mold various patterns on the surface of the completed ice vessel 18 by embossing or carving various patterns on the surface of the completed ice vessel 18.

A reference numeral of 56 which is not described is an actuator to widen or couple the lower mold 26, which can be operated using a hydraulic cylinder, a pneumatic cylinder, or the others.

The above embodiment has a merit in that it can produce an ice vessel 18 having various types of the vessel support 46 whose type is not easy to insert and install in the lower mold 26 of the first embodiment of the present invention. Further, in the case of molding patterns on the surface of the ice vessel 18 by embossing or carving various patterns on the lower mold 26, the patterns on the ice vessel 18 may be broken by the embossed or carved patterns on the lower mold 26 when the ice vessel 18 is brought out of the lower mold 26. However, in the case of the present embodiment, since the lower mold 26 is divided into the left and right parts, the ice vessel 18 can be brought out of the lower mold 26 without damaging the patterns on the ice vessel 18. Further, when using such an apparatus for producing the ice vessel, it is possible to produce various ice vessels having embossed carvings in the shape of animals, birds, flower and the like thereon.

EFFECT OF THE INVENTION

As such, according to the present invention, it is possible to obtain a new type of apparatus for producing the ice vessel, including the pushers 32 and 34 mounted on the upper mold 24 which is pressed using the resilient members 36 and 38, so that when producing the ice vessel 18 by pulling the upper mold 24 down, the pushers 32 and 34 laterally push the lumps of ice 2 to be spread uniformly, thereby molding every portion of the ice vessel uniformly.

Although the preferred embodiments of the present invention have been disclosed for illustrative purposes, those skilled in the art will appreciate that various modifications, additions and substitutions are possible, without departing from the scope and spirit of the invention as disclosed in the accompanying claims.