US 20060060590 A1
A lid for a container is disclosed. The crown of the lid includes a peripherally extending skirt and an outwardly extending spout. The skirt is adapted to secure the crown to the container. The spout includes a single slit and is adapted to deform about the single slit with application of a pressure differential.
1. A lid for attaching to a container, the lid comprising:
a crown having a skirt and a spout, wherein the skirt extends peripherally from the crown and is adapted to secure the lid to the container, and the spout includes a single slit, and wherein the spout is adapted to resiliently deform about the single slit upon application of a pressure differential.
2. The lid of
3. The lid of
4. The lid of
5. A lid for attaching to a container, the lid comprising:
a crown having a skirt and a spout, wherein:
the skirt extends peripherally from the crown and is adapted to secure the lid to the container, and the spout includes a single slit at an end of the spout;
the spout is adapted to resiliently deform about the single slit upon application of a pressure differential; and
the single slit is formed by cutting the spout with a blade without removing material from the spout.
6. A lid for attaching to a container, the lid comprising:
a crown, formed by a thermoforming process, having a skirt and a spout, wherein:
the skirt extends peripherally from the crown and is adapted to secure the lid to the container, and the spout includes a single slit in an end of the spout;
the single slit is formed by cutting the spout with a blade without removing material from the spout; and
the spout is adapted to resiliently deform about the single slit upon application of a pressure differential.
7. A method of making a lid for a disposable container, the method comprising:
thermoforming the lid to include a crown, a skirt extending peripherally from the crown, and a spout extending outwardly from the crown; and
cutting a single slit in the spout without removing material from the spout.
8. The method of
placing a die adjacent to the lid on one side of the spout, the die including a receiving slot;
placing a blade on an opposite side of the spout from the die; and
cutting the single slit in the spout by passing the blade through the spout and into the receiving slot.
Priority is claimed as a continuation-in-part to U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/402,718, filed on Mar. 28, 2003, now U.S. Pat. No.______, the disclosure of which is incorporated herein by reference.
1. Field of the Invention
The field of the present invention is lids for containers, such as cups, bowls, plates, and the like, for serving and storing consumable goods.
Sippy cups, or drinking devices suitable for use by young children, exemplify some of the shortcomings that exist in the prior art relating to disposable containers. At present, a variety of non-disposable sippy cup designs are available, with many having the strength and durability that is desired by consumers, enhanced leak resistance through a sealable and removable lid, suitable insulation for hot beverages, and an exterior that is “soft” to the touch. The removable lid enables the consumer to repeatedly refill the cup with any desired beverage. When such cups are repeatedly refilled with liquids that have a high sugar content, such as juice or milk, and are often not refrigerated, the cup becomes an excellent environment for bacterial colonization and propagation. Children using such cups are therefore at greater risk of exposure to unhealthy and potentially deadly amounts of bacteria. Cups which do not enable this potentially harmful practice of repeatedly refilling cups and creating a bacterial breeding ground are therefore desirable.
One potential method of reducing or eliminating this practice is to make cups disposable. However, many consumers frequently reuse even “disposable” cups. Many such cups are manufactured by an injection molding process in order to acquire sufficient strength and durability. These cups often include relatively thick walls and are of a fairly heavy construction. As such, even though a cup is manufactured to be disposed of after a single use, a consumer may not view the cup as being disposable.
The present invention is directed toward a lid for a container. The crown of the lid includes a peripherally extending skirt and an outwardly extending spout. The skirt is adapted to secure the crown to the container. The spout includes a single slit and is adapted to deform about the single slit with application of a pressure differential. In this manner, liquid may be dispensed through the single slit when the lid is secured to the container.
Accordingly, the present invention provides an improved lid for a container. Other objects and advantages will appear hereinafter.
In the drawings, wherein like reference numerals refer to similar components:
Turning in detail to the drawings,
The lid 110 has a thickness, m, of approximately 10/1000 in., which advantageously allows the lid 110 to be relatively strong, durable, and truly disposable. Alternatively, the lid may have a thickness, m, of between 9/1000 in. to 25/1000 in. or greater. The lid 110 is preferably constructed using a thermoform process with a translucent plastic and/or composite material. However, the lid 110 may be constructed of any material and/or combination of materials suitable to the desired end purpose, such polyester (APET), polypropylene or polyethylene—alone or as a coating on a paperboard substrate, which might be much more suitable from a child safety standpoint.
Self healing slits are not present in injection molded lids because injection molded lids are thicker and less resilient than thermoformed lids. A self healing slit advantageously provides for greater leak resistance capability than is possible with injection molded lids that do not have insert molded or assembled elastomeric valves.
A disposable cup 128, which is constructed using a thermoform process, is shown in
The brim curl 138 of the disposable cup 128 may be placed in multiple configurations. For example,
When the lid 110 is removed from the cup 128, as shown in
Referring back to
A disposable drinking device 148 is shown in
The disposable drinking device 148 is shown in tilted fashion in
The lid 110 is novel and unique from existing lids in that 1) it is constructed using a thermoform process rather than via a mold injection process; 2) the interaction between the angular rim 124 and the brim lip 144 makes the lid 128 easy to compress onto the cup 128, but when lid is removed from the cup, the angular rim 124 pushes against the brim lip 144, forcing the brim curl 138 at least partially into the flare configuration 142, thus destroying the seal and the ability to be resealed; 3) it is formed from a clear material which allows visual identification of the type and level of liquid 150 disposed within the cup 128; 4) the spout opening 120 is sized and/or shaped to minimize liquid from leaking from the cup; and 5) the disposable nature of the lid 110 permits the disposable drinking device 42 to be wholly disposable.
The cup 128 is novel and unique from existing cups in that 1) the cup 128 includes a configurable cup brim 136 for a true single-use purpose; 2) the cup 128 may be constructed from a number of truly disposable materials, such as paper or a thermoform plastic; and 3) the cup 128 is stackable, making it easy to transport and/or package. The cup 128 is preferably a crush-resistant cup and includes a coating, such as a foam material, that provides tactile stimulation to a child using the cup 128.
In accordance with an exemplary embodiment, while a disposable drinking device 148 and a method 200 for implementing the same is described and discussed below it should be understood that the method and device of the invention may be applied to other product containers, such as storage bowls, serving bowls, plates and/or insulated cups.
While the invention has been described with reference to an exemplary embodiment, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that various changes may be made and equivalents may be substituted for elements thereof without departing from the scope of the invention. In addition, many modifications may be made to adapt a particular situation or material to the teachings of the invention without departing from the scope thereof. Therefore, it is intended that the invention not be limited to the particular embodiment disclosed as the best mode contemplated for carrying out this invention, but that the invention will include all embodiments falling within the scope of the appended claims. Moreover, unless specifically stated any use of the terms first, second, etc. do not denote any order or importance, but rather the terms first, second, etc. are used to distinguish one element from another.