Title:
Structure of an expandable and contractible container
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A container includes a closed end, several first ring-shaped parts, and several second-ring-shaped parts adjoining the first ring-shaped parts; each of the first ring-shaped parts has a vertical annular side while each of the second ring-shaped parts has a sloping annular side; when the container is stretched, the ring-shaped parts will be one on top of another to comprise a substantially cone-shaped vessel, which can be pressed into a flattened shape with smaller ones of the ring-shaped parts being relocated within adjacent larger ring-shaped parts; the second ring-shaped parts are formed in such a manner that an angle between each of the second ring-shaped parts and a horizontal line is 60 to 80 degrees; thus, the container is more similar to a cylinder to have a large volume; therefore, the container can be pressed to become flat so as to occupy less space, thus being easy to carry and transport.



Inventors:
Hsu, Chun-feng (Tainan City, TW)
Application Number:
11/979372
Publication Date:
05/07/2009
Filing Date:
11/02/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47G19/30
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
GROSSO, HARRY A
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
ROSENBERG, KLEIN & LEE (ELLICOTT CITY, MD, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. An expandable and contractible container structure, comprising a plurality of first ring-shaped parts each having a vertical annular side; and a plurality of second ring-shaped parts each having a sloping annular side; the first ring-shaped parts adjoining the second ring-shaped parts to comprise a substantially cone-shaped vessel; the second ring-shaped parts being formed in such a manner that an angle between each of the second ring-shaped parts and a horizontal line is no larger than 80 degrees and no smaller than 60 degrees.

2. The expandable and contractible container structure as claimed in claim 1 having a closed end, and an open end, which has a smaller diameter than the closed end in order for the container to serve as a water containing vessel.

3. The expandable and contractible container structure as claimed in claim 2 further comprising an ornamental cover to cover the open end thereof.

4. The expandable and contractible container structure as claimed in claim 1 having a closed end, and an open end, which has a larger diameter than the closed end in order for the container to be a substantially bowl-shaped vessel.

5. The expandable and contractible container structure as claimed in claim 4 further comprising an ornamental cover to cover the open end.

6. An expandable and contractible container structure, comprising a plurality of first ring-shaped parts each having a vertical annular side; and a plurality of second ring-shaped parts each having a sloping annular side; the first ring-shaped parts adjoining the second ring-shaped parts to comprise a substantially cone-shaped vessel; the second ring-shaped parts being formed in such a manner that an angle between each of the second ring-shaped parts and a horizontal line is no larger than 80 degrees and no smaller than 60 degrees; each of the second ring-shaped parts having a breach thereon.

7. The expandable and contractible container structure as claimed in claim 6, wherein the breaches are formed on outer sides of the second ring-shaped parts.

8. The expandable and contractible container structure as claimed in claim 6 having a closed end, and an open end, which has a smaller diameter than the closed end in order for the container to serve as a water containing vessel.

9. The expandable and contractible container structure as claimed in claim 8 further comprising an ornamental cover to cover the open end.

10. The expandable and contractible container structure as claimed in claim 6 having a closed end, and an open end, which has a larger diameter than the closed end in order for the container to be a substantially bowl-shaped vessel.

11. The expandable and contractible container structure as claimed in claim 10 further comprising an ornamental cover to cover the open end.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to an expandable and contractible container, more particularly one, which comprises several first ring-shaped parts with a vertical annular side, and several second ring-shaped parts with an annular side sloping in such a manner that an angle between the second ring-shaped parts and a horizontal line is 60 to 80 degrees.

2. Brief Description of the Prior Art

Common vessels such as bowls, cups, plates, and pitcher have a fixed shape, and therefore can't be contracted to be easy to carry and transport.

Referring to FIGS. 6 and 7, in order to provide more convenience for consumers, a manufacturer developed a kind of expandable and contractible container comprising several ring-shaped parts 3, which are grouped into first ring-shaped parts 31, and second ring-shaped parts 32 adjoining the first ring-shaped parts 31. Each of the first ring-shaped parts 31 has a vertical annular side while each of the second ring-shaped parts 32 has a sloping annular side. When the container is stretched, the ring-shaped parts 31 and 32 will be one on top of another to comprise a substantially cone-shaped vessel, which can be pressed into a flattened shape with smaller ones of the ring-shaped parts 31, 32 being relocated within adjacent larger ones of the ring-shaped parts 31, 32.

The second ring-shaped parts 32 are formed in such a manner that an angle between the second ring-shaped parts 32 and a horizontal line is 45 degrees. Therefore, the container will grow narrower towards one end relatively rapidly when it is in the stretched position; if the container is closed at a larger end thereof, and has a big height to have a larger volume, it will have a relatively small open end, and water can't be poured out the container rapidly; if the container has a small height to have a larger opening, it will have a relatively small volume; as a matter of fact, the container can't be adapted into a funnel by means of opening the closed end. Therefore, such containers aren't suitable for use as a foods/water holding vessel, e.g. a bowl or a cup.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is a main object of the present invention to provide an improvement on an expandable and contractible container, which has a larger volume while having the same base area and height as the prior art described in Background.

An expandable and contractible container according to an embodiment of the present invention includes a closed end, several first ring-shaped parts, and several second-ring-shaped parts adjoining the first ring-shaped parts. Each of the first ring-shaped parts has a vertical annular side while each of the second ring-shaped parts has a sloping annular side. When the container is stretched, the ring-shaped parts will be one on top of another to comprise a substantially cone-shaped vessel, which can be pressed into a flattened shape with smaller ones of the ring-shaped parts being relocated within adjacent larger ones of the ring-shaped parts. The second ring-shaped parts are formed such that an angle between each of the second ring-shaped parts and a horizontal line is 60 to 80 degrees; thus, the present container has a larger volume than the prior art while having the same base area and height as the prior art. The manufacturers are allowed to transport more such containers by means of a vehicle, and consequently the transportation cost of such containers will reduce to a large extent.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The present invention will be better understood by referring to the accompanying drawings, wherein:

FIG. 1 is a sectional view of the present invention in the expanded position,

FIG. 2 is a sectional view of the present invention in the contracted position,

FIG. 3 is a sectional view of another embodiment of the present invention in the expanded position

FIG. 4 is a partial sectional view of said another embodiment,

FIG. 5 is a sectional view of said another embodiment in the contracted position,

FIG. 6 is a sectional view of the prior art in the expanded position, and

FIG. 7 is a sectional view of the prior art in the contracted position.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Referring to FIG. 1, a preferred embodiment of an expandable and contractible container of the present invention includes several first ring-shaped parts 1 having a vertical annular side, and several second ring-shaped parts 2, which have a sloping annular side. The first ring-shaped parts 1 adjoin the second ring-shaped parts 2, and the second ring-shaped parts 2 adjoin the first ring-shaped parts 1.

The ring-shaped parts 2 are formed in such a manner that an angle between each of the ring-shaped parts 2 and a horizontal line is no larger than 80 degrees, and no smaller than 60 degrees. The joints between each of the first ring-shaped parts 1 and adjoining ring-shaped parts 2 will be folded when the container is contracted to have a smaller height, as shown in FIG. 2.

Furthermore, referring to FIGS. 3 and 4, each of the ring-shaped parts 2 have a breach 21 on an outer side thereof, and the ring-shaped parts 2 will fold along the breaches 21 when the container is contracted. Therefore, referring to FIG. 5, when the container is contracted with the ring-shaped parts 2 being surrounded by the ring-shaped parts 1, the ring-shaped parts 2 will further fold along the breaches 21 thereof.

Referring to FIG. 5 again, when a person depress the ring-shaped parts 1 and 2, the container will be folded along the joints between each of the first ring-shaped parts 1 and adjoining ring-shaped parts 2 to have a flattened shape; thus, each of the ring-shaped parts 1 surrounds an adjacent smaller one of the ring-shaped parts 1, and is surrounded by an adjacent larger one of the ring-shaped parts 1 while each of the ring-shaped parts 2 folds along the breach 21 thereof so as to be easily passed into the adjacent larger ring-shaped part 1.

Therefore, the container can be pressed to become flat so as to occupy less space, thus being easy to carry. And, the manufacturers are allowed to transport more such containers by means of a vehicle. Consequently, the transportation cost of such containers will reduce to a large extent.

The expandable and contractible container of the present invention can have a large closed end, and a small open end, which has a smaller diameter than the closed end, so as to serve as a liquid containing vessel such as a cup and a pitcher. Furthermore, the container includes an ornamental cover to cover the open end, which ornamental cover can be in the shape of a doll. Because the present expandable and contractible container grows narrower towards the open end more slowly than the prior art, liquid contents of the present container will flow more smoothly when they are poured out of the container through the open end; the angle between the second ring-shaped parts 2 of the present container and horizontal lines is 60 to 80 degrees while the angle between the second ring-shaped parts of the prior art described in Background and horizontal lines is 45 degrees. For the above reason, if the container of the present invention and the prior container have the same base area and height, the former will have a larger volume than the latter; in other words, the present invention is more similar to a cylinder than the prior art. Therefore, the present container can contain more water for use.

Referring to FIG. 1, the expandable and contractible container of the present invention can have a small closed end, and a large open end, which has a larger diameter than the closed end, so as to be substantially bowl-shaped/plate-shaped; when the present container is expanded, it will have a relatively large opening and volume to be convenient to use.

In addition, the present expandable and contractible container can be stretched and shortened (flattened), and in turn it is adjustable in height, and fun to use.

From the above description, it can be seen that the present invention has the following advantages:

1. Because the angle between the second ring-shaped parts with sloping sides and horizontal lines is 60 to 80 degrees, the expandable and contractible container of the present invention grows narrower towards the open end relatively slowly, liquid contents of the present container will flow out relatively smoothly when they are poured out of the container through the open end.

2. Because the angle between the second ring-shaped parts and horizontal lines is 60 to 80 degrees, the expandable and contractible container of the present invention is more similar to a cylinder than the prior art. Therefore, the present container can contain more water for use.

3. The expandable and contractible container of the present invention can be easily contracted to a flat shape to be easy to carry.

4. The expandable and contractible container of the present invention can be stretched and flattened, and in turn it is fun to use.

5. The expandable and contractible container of the present invention can be flattened to occupy less space, and the manufacturers are allowed to transport more such containers by means of a vehicle. Consequently, the transportation cost of such containers will reduce to a large extent.

6. Because the angle between the second ring-shaped parts of the present container and horizontal lines is 60 to 80 degrees, and the angle between the second ring-shaped parts of the prior and horizontal lines is 45 degrees, the present container grows narrower towards the open end more slowly than the prior art, providing that the present container and the prior art have the same base area, and the same height, the former will be more similar to a cylinder than the prior art, and have a larger volume, and therefore can contain more water.