US 20060131316 A1
A beverage container having a polystyrene foam cup body wrapped in a paper covering is disclosed. The paper-wrapped polystyrene foam beverage container may provide thermal insulation while simultaneously providing a means to display high quality printed matter to the user. A method of making the paper wrapped polystyrene foam cups includes providing a polystyrene foam cup body that has been allowed to shrink to its stable proportions and thereafter applying the paper wrap. A promotional item may be attached to the paper wrap.
1. A beverage container, comprising:
a polystyrene foam cup body having a bottom and a side wall extending from the bottom, the side wall forming an open end opposite the bottom; and
a paper wrap disposed circumferentially around an exterior of the cup body.
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20. A beverage container, comprising:
an expanded polystyrene cup body having a bottom, a straight side wall extending from the bottom, the side wall forming an open end, and a lip disposed on the open end; and
a paper wrap disposed around an exterior surface of the side wall, the paper wrap extending from an underside of the lip to the bottom of the cup body and having an external surface that is suitable for displaying printed material.
21. The beverage container of
22. The beverage container of
23. A method of manufacturing a beverage container, the method comprising:
providing a polystyrene foam cup body having a bottom and a side wall that extends from the bottom;
allowing the cup body to shrink to a substantially stable size; and
affixing a paper wrap around the cup body.
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The subject matter disclosed and claimed herein is related to the subject matter disclosed in U.S. patent application no. [attorney docket RHC-0009], filed Dec. 17, 2004, entitled “Paper-Wrapped Polymer Beverage Container.” The disclosure of the above-referenced U.S. patent application is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.
Generally, the invention relates to beverage containers. More particularly, the invention relates to paper-wrapped, expanded polystyrene beverage containers.
Disposable hot-beverage containers, such as coffee cups, for example, are typically made of paperboard or polystyrene foam. Paperboard cups may be desirable for a number of reasons. For example, a paperboard cup may provide a high-quality printable surface from the lip of the cup to its base. Also, paperboard cups tend to be suitable for the attachment of promotional items, such as detachable coupons, labels, stickers, or game pieces, for example, that vendors frequently use for marketing purposes.
Paperboard cups, however, tend to be poor insulators of heat. A paperboard cup containing a hot beverage, therefore, may be difficult to hold. To compensate for the lack of insulation provided by a single paperboard cup, a plurality of such cups may be nested together. A separate cardboard sleeve may be used to provide insulation, or the cup may include handles.
Polystyrene foam cups typically provide better thermal insulation than do paperboard cups. Accordingly, polystyrene foam cups tend to be more suitable than paperboard cups for containing hot beverages—at least in terms of thermal insulation. The exterior surface of a polystyrene foam cup, however, typically does not provide for high-quality printing. Also, polystyrene foam cups are typically not as suitable for the attachment of promotional items as are paperboard cups.
It would be advantageous, therefore, if there were available a disposable beverage container having thermal insulation properties such as provided by polystyrene foam as well as an exterior surface that is suitable for the attachment of promotional items and for high-quality printing from the lip of the cup to its base.
A beverage container according to the invention may include a polystyrene foam body covered with a paperboard wrapping. The polystyrene foam body may provide thermal insulation and may be useful in containing hot beverages in a manner comfortable to a user. The paperboard wrapping may provide for high quality printing on the entire exterior of the cup. Additionally, the paperboard wrapping may permit the use of attachments such as those a beverage vendor may use as promotional items. Examples of such promotional items include detachable coupons, tear-off labels or stickers, or playing pieces for a game.
A method for producing such a beverage container may include providing a polystyrene foam cup body that has been allowed to shrink to its substantially stable proportions. After polystyrene foam shrinkage has occurred, a paper wrap may be applied to the exterior of the cup body using an adhesive, for example. The paper wrap may be pre-printed, or printing may occur after the paper wrap is applied to the cup body. A promotional item may be affixed to the paper wrap either before or after application of the paper wrap to the cup body.
As shown in
An adhesive may be used to attach the paper wrap 120 to the exterior sidewall of the cup body 105. One or more beads of adhesive may be applied at the edges 112 and 114 of the paper wrap or across the inside surface of the paper wrap 120. As shown in
The exterior surface 105 a of the bottom wall of the cup body may be recessed a distance 260 to accommodate the protrusion of dimples resulting from manufacturing. The exterior of the bottom wall of the cup body may be covered, in part or entirely, with paper wrap. This may be accomplished via a folding and crimping of the paperboard covering the exterior of the bottom wall of the cup body. Alternately, a bottom paper cover may be realized using a separate disc of paperboard attached to the bottom of the cup.
As shown, the promotional item 450 may have a separable portion 457 which may be removed. The removal of the separable portion 457 may be accommodated by either a tab or a cut-out in allowing a user to pull on the separable item. Perforations 455 in the promotional item layer allow the separable portion to be easily removed. The separable item 457 may be a useful marketing item such as a coupon for merchandise or a game piece. Other methods of displaying and attaching a promotional item 450 to a paper wrap 420 may be accommodated such as are commonly used in making separable labels. Examples include promotional labels similar to those on medicine containers where a topmost layer can be removed to expose information printed on either the topmost layer or a second, non-separable, layer.
In an ambient environment, shrinkage will occur in roughly a week. However, as local ambient environments are subject to pressure, temperature, and humidity variations, the one week time period may have a tolerance of about two days. In a controlled environment, where temperature, pressure, and or humidity are regulated, the shrinkage time may be altered to shorten the average one week period for shrinkage. It has been discovered that, if the paperboard is applied before the cup is allowed to shrink to its stable proportions, the paperboard wrinkles as the polystyrene foam body shrinks. Allowing the cup body to shrink before application of the paperboard prevents wrinkling of the paperboard.
A paper wrap is preferably provided (step 508) before the assembly of the cup. The paper wrap may be made of clay-coated SBS paperboard, which provides for high-quality printing on the paper wrap. The paper wrap may be pre-printed, or printing may occur after the wrap is applied to the cup body.
The paper wrap may then be applied (step 510) to the polystyrene foam cup body. An adhesive may be placed on the paper wrap, the cup body, or both. The paper wrap may be attached to the cup body via a technique that includes overlapping the paper wrap ends, and then crimping or butt-joining the paper wrap ends.
After the paper wrap is affixed to the cup body, the cup assembly may be allowed to cure if an adhesive is used. A promotional item may be attached to the paper wrap (step 512). The promotional item may be affixed to the exterior of the paper wrap using any commonly known technique such as an adhesive or a crimp. The optional step of promotional item attachment may be skipped if no promotional item is desired or if the promotional item is pre-affixed to the paper wrap before the paper wrap is attached in step 510.
Though aspects of the present invention has been described in connection with the preferred embodiments of the various figures, it is to be understood that other similar embodiments may be used or modifications and additions may be made to the described embodiment for performing the same function of the present invention without deviating therefrom. Therefore, the claimed invention should not be limited to any single embodiment, but rather should be construed in breadth and scope in accordance with the appended claims.