US 20050205651 A1
A thermal insulating device, particularly suitable for maintaining the chilled state of a wine bottle, comprises an outer paperboard tube, an inner paperboard tube and a base. The base is supported on an inwardly rolled bead formed on the outer paperboard tube and the inner paperboard tube is formed with an appropriate profile to space it from the outer paperboard tube to define a cavity therebetween. The device may be provided with a lid. The invention provides a low cost insulating device which may be used for the retail sale of pre-chilled wines or other beverages.
1. A thermal insulating device comprising an outer paperboard tube, an inner paperboard tube located within the outer paperboard tube, separating means defining a substantially uniform air-gap between the inner and outer paperboard tubes, and means for supporting an item to be insulated within the inner paperboard tube so that the item may be lifted by manually grasping and lifting the outer paperboard tube.
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This invention relates to a thermal insulating device, and in the preferred embodiment provides a thermal insulating device suitable for thermally insulating a package of a beverage so as to slow the change in temperature of the beverage which occurs when the package of beverage is moved from one temperature environment to another. The invention is particularly useful for delaying the rise in temperature of a bottle of beverage, for example a bottle of wine, which occurs when the beverage is moved from a chilled environment, for example a refrigerator, to a warmer environment, for example a dining room.
So called “wine coolers” are commonly used to slow the warming up of a bottle of wine which will naturally occur when the wine is moved from a refrigerator into a dining room or restaurant. Such “wine coolers” do not have any active cooling effect, but act as insulators to slow the rise in temperature of the wine. Devices commonly available are formed from clear plastics material and commonly include spaced apart inner and outer layers to define therebetween a closed air space which acts as an effective thermal insulator.
Whilst the known devices described above are effective they are costly and form part of the permanent equipment of a dining room or restaurant.
We have now found that a highly effective thermal insulating device, capable of performing the functions of the wine cooler described above, can be formed relatively inexpensively using primarily paperboard tube, for example spiral wound paperboard tube. Such a device can be produced at low cost and accordingly can be utilised as a disposable item. This fact vastly increases the range of possible applications for the new device, as compared with the conventional re-usable devices described above.
According to a first aspect of the present invention there is provided a thermal insulating device comprising an outer paperboard tube, an inner paperboard tube located within the outer paperboard tube, separating means defining a substantially uniform air-gap between the inner and outer paperboard tubes, and means for supporting an item to be insulated within the inner paperboard tube so that the item may be lifted by manually grasping and lifting the outer paperboard tube.
In general, the means for supporting will comprise a base secured to the inner and/or outer paperboard tube. However, it may be possible in some applications to provide a suitable connection, for example a friction connection or a bond connection, between the inner surface of the inner paperboard tube and the surface of the item so as to prevent relative movement between the item and the paperboard tubes.
In a particularly preferred embodiment of the invention one or both of the paperboard tubes are spiral wound paperboard tubes. Preferably, one of the paperboard tubes is formed with a bead or curl which engages the other paperboard tube to form the separating means. For example, the inner paperboard tube may be formed with an outwardly rolled bead at one or at both ends thereof which engages the inner surface of the outer paperboard tube and forms the separating means. Means may be provided for securing the paperboard tubes together. In the case when the separating means is formed by one or two beads, the means for securing the tubes together may be an adhesive bond between one or both beads and the other paperboard tube or may be a weld effected by using poly-coated surfaces on the tubes.
In one particularly preferred embodiment of the invention the supporting means is a disc of material which is supported on an inwardly rolled bead of the outer paperboard tube. The disc of material may be a disc of any suitable material, for example board or of plastics material. In a particularly preferred embodiment of the invention the outer paperboard tube is formed with an inwardly rolled bead to support the base whilst the inner paperboard tube is formed with an outwardly rolled bead to form part of the separating means. The inner paperboard tube is located within the outer point paperboard tube such that the disc is trapped between the bead of the outer paperboard tube and the lower bead of the inner paperboard tube. With such an arrangement the outer paperboard tube can, if desired, be formed with an inwardly rolled bead at the opposite end of the base so as to retain the inner paperboard tube in position. Alternatively, the end of the paperboard tube remote from the disc may be formed plain.
If desired, a removable cap may be provided at the end of the device remote from the disc so as to close the otherwise open mouth of the device. The provision of a cap will additionally improve the thermal insulating characteristics of the device.
The above and further features and advantages of the invention will become clear from the following description of preferred embodiments thereof, given by way of example only, reference being had to the accompanying drawings wherein:
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The inner and outer tubes of all of the above described embodiments are formed primarily of paperboard. The paperboard may, for example, be formed into a spiral wound tube and may be poly-coated. Additionally or alternatively the tubes may have one or more foil layers which will improve the thermal efficiency and/or appearance of the device.
It is envisaged that the embodiments of the invention will be manufactured such that the height of the device corresponds substantially to the major body portion of a wine bottle. It is to be understood, however, that devices in accordance with the invention may be manufactured so that the product to be insulated is wholly contained within the device. Under these circumstances a top end cap may be provided to close the upper end of the device. Such an end cap will enhance the thermal efficiency of the device.
It is envisaged that embodiments of the present invention will be capable of manufacture at relatively low cost and can accordingly be used as a disposable item. This in turn means that devices in accordance with the present invention may be used as a package in which a product, for example, a bottle of wine, is sold. It is envisaged, for example, that a wine merchant may maintain a stock of white wine packaged within devices in accordance with the present invention within a refrigerator, and will sell the product complete with the packaging. This will enable the wine to be maintained at a sub-ambient temperature for a significant length of time after the wine has been removed from the refrigerator. Alternatively, a retailer may keep a supply of embodiments of the invention at a check-out location and offer these for sale to customers purchasing pre-chilled bottle of wine from a refrigerated display.
In cases where the wine and thermal insulating device are together placed in a refrigerator it is desirable that information is provided on the outer surface of the thermal insulating device as to the product contained within. For example, a conventional wine bottle label may be applied to the outer surface of the outer paperboard tube 2 and/or other information may be provided on the outer surface of the outer paperboard tube. The outer surface of the paperboard tube also provides space for advertising material, for example the trade mark of a wine retailer. In the case that a wine product and a thermal insulating device in accordance with the present invention are pre-assembled and kept in a refrigerator from which customers select a product, it is desirable that a cap is provided for the product and that a tamper evident seal is provided between the cap and the outer paperboard tube.