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Publication numberUS20060283194 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/157,221
Publication dateDec 21, 2006
Filing dateJun 20, 2005
Priority dateJun 20, 2005
Publication number11157221, 157221, US 2006/0283194 A1, US 2006/283194 A1, US 20060283194 A1, US 20060283194A1, US 2006283194 A1, US 2006283194A1, US-A1-20060283194, US-A1-2006283194, US2006/0283194A1, US2006/283194A1, US20060283194 A1, US20060283194A1, US2006283194 A1, US2006283194A1
InventorsHeather Flanagan
Original AssigneeFlanagan Heather L
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Absorbent container cover
US 20060283194 A1
Abstract
An absorbent container cover is described. The container cover may be a multilayer container cover. The container cover may include a body. The body may include an interior shell, an exterior shell, and a lining. The lining may include hydrophilic material. The container cover may absorb liquid from an exterior surface of a container and inhibit release of the liquid. The container cover may be sized and/or shaped to fit snugly around an exterior surface of a beverage container (e.g., a glass bottle, a plastic bottle, an aluminum can, a drink box, a cup). At least a portion of the container cover may be elastic. The container cover may be self-cooling. The container cover may be flattened into a substantially rectangular shape and/or folded for packaging or storage before use. The container cover may be disposable.
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Claims(29)
1. A container cover for covering at least a portion of a container, comprising:
a body comprising:
an interior shell, wherein at least a portion of the interior shell is elastic;
an exterior shell, wherein at least a portion of the exterior shell is elastic; and
an absorbent lining positioned between the interior shell and the exterior shell;
wherein the container cover is configured to absorb liquid from an exterior surface of the container and to inhibit release of the liquid from the container cover during use.
2. The container cover of claim 1, wherein the interior shell is nonwoven.
3. The container cover of claim 1, wherein the exterior shell is nonwoven.
4. The container cover of claim 1, wherein the container cover is configured to be flattened into a substantially rectangular shape before use.
5. The container cover of claim 1, further comprising a base connected to a bottom portion of the container cover.
6. (canceled)
7. (canceled)
8. The container cover of claim 1, wherein at least a portion of the container cover is substantially impermeable to water.
9. The container cover of claim 1, wherein the absorbent lining comprises hydrophilic material.
10. The container cover of claim 1, wherein the absorbent lining is configured to inhibit the release of liquid.
11. (canceled)
12. The container cover of claim 1, wherein at least the exterior shell comprises elastic, and wherein the elastic forms a pattern.
13. The container cover of claim 1, wherein a top portion of the body and a bottom portion of the body comprise a reinforced elastic portion.
14. (canceled)
15. A container cover for covering at least a portion of a container, comprising:
a body comprising an interior shell and an exterior shell, wherein at least a portion of the body is elastic; and
a lining positioned between the interior shell and the exterior shell, wherein the lining comprises chemical or particulate matter configured to cool a container positioned in the container cover during use.
16. The container cover of claim 15, wherein the lining further comprises two or more separate compartments.
17. The container cover of claim 15, wherein the lining further comprises two or more separate compartments, and wherein at least two of the separate compartments comprise chemicals that react endothermically when mixed.
18. The container cover of claim 15, wherein the lining further comprises two or more compartments, and wherein at least two of the compartments comprise chemicals that react endothermically when mixed, and wherein the lining further comprises a removably coupled feature that allows a user to mix the chemicals to initiate cooling as desired.
19. The container cover of claim 15, wherein the lining comprises two or more compartments, wherein at least one of the compartments comprises water, and wherein at least another one of the compartments comprises ammonium nitrate.
20-24. (canceled)
25. A system, comprising;
a container cover;
a beverage container positioned in the container cover;
wherein the container cover is fitted to at least a portion of the exterior surface of the beverage container; and
wherein the container cover is configured to absorb liquid from the exterior surface of the beverage container and to inhibit release of the liquid.
26-30. (canceled)
31. A method of making a container cover, comprising:
forming a multilayer material by sandwiching an absorbent lining between a first layer and a second layer;
forming a body from the multilayer material; and
flattening the body into a substantially rectangular shape.
32. The method of claim 31, further comprising sandwiching a self-cooling lining between the first layer and the second layer.
33-36. (canceled)
37. The method of claim 31, wherein at least a portion of the body is elastic.
38. The method of claim 31, further comprising connecting a base to the body.
39. (canceled)
40. (canceled)
Description
    BACKGROUND
  • [0001]
    1. Field of Invention
  • [0002]
    The present invention generally relates to an absorbent container cover. In some embodiments, the absorbent container cover is shaped and/or sized to cover at least a portion of a beverage container.
  • [0003]
    2. Description of Related Art
  • [0004]
    Bottle covers have been designed for a variety of purposes, including warming the contents of a bottle, cooling the contents of a bottle, allowing a bottle to be more easily grasped or carried, enhancing the appearance of a bottle, insulating a bottle, and absorbing moisture from a bottle. U.S. Patent Publication No. 20050040129 to Coffey and U.S. Pat. Nos. 6,719,138 to Austin et al.; 6,182,464 to Mamich; and 4,526,280 to Taylor, all of which are incorporated by reference herein, describe bottle covers suited for various purposes. Absorbent materials are described in U.S. Patent Publication Nos. 20050118383 to Cargill et al. and 20040253894 to Tell et al., both of which are incorporated by reference herein.
  • SUMMARY
  • [0005]
    A container cover for covering at least a portion of a container is described. The container cover may include a body. The body may include an interior shell and an exterior shell. At least a portion of the interior shell and/or a portion of the exterior shell may be elastic. A lining may be positioned between the interior shell and the exterior shell. The lining may be an absorbent lining. The container cover may absorb liquid from an exterior surface of a container positioned at least partially in the container cover during use. Release of the liquid from the container cover may be inhibited.
  • [0006]
    In some embodiments, the interior shell and/or the exterior shell are nonwoven. The interior shell and/or the exterior shell may include elastic. The elastic may form a pattern. In certain embodiments, a top portion of the body and a bottom portion of the body include reinforced elastic portions.
  • [0007]
    In some embodiments, a portion of the container cover is substantially impermeable to water. In certain embodiments, at least a portion of the lining is permeable or semi-permeable to water and/or water vapor. In some embodiments, the lining includes hydrophilic material (e.g., superabsorbent polymer). The lining may inhibit release of liquid from the container cover. In some embodiments, a body of a container cover may cool a container positioned in the container cover during use. In certain embodiments, the lining includes insulation.
  • [0008]
    In certain embodiments, the container cover may be flattened before use (e.g., into a substantially rectangular shape). The container cover may include a base. The base may be connected to a bottom portion of the body. In some embodiments, the base may be tucked inside the bottom portion of the body before use.
  • [0009]
    In some embodiments, a lining is sandwiched between the interior shell and the exterior shell. The lining may include chemical or particulate matter configured to cool a container positioned in the container cover during use. In certain embodiments, the lining includes two or more separate compartments. At least two of the separate compartments may include chemicals that react endothermically when mixed. In some embodiments, the lining includes a removably coupled feature that allows a user to mix the chemicals to initiate cooling as desired. In certain embodiments, at least one of the compartments includes water and at least another one of the compartments includes ammonium nitrate.
  • [0010]
    A system may include a container cover and a beverage container positioned in the container cover. The container cover may include a base. The container cover may be fitted to at least a portion of the exterior surface of the beverage container. In some embodiments, at least a portion of the container cover is elastic. In certain embodiments, the container cover is configured to cool the beverage container. The container cover may be disposable. The beverage container may be a plastic bottle, a drink box, a drink package, an aluminum can, or a glass bottle.
  • [0011]
    A method of making a container cover may include forming a multilayer material by sandwiching a lining between a first layer and a second layer. A body may be formed from the multilayer material. The body may be flattened into a substantially rectangular shape. In some embodiments, a self-cooling layer is sandwiched between the first layer and the second layer. In certain embodiments, suberabsorbent polymer is sandwiched between the first layer and the second layer. An impermeable layer may be sandwiched between the lining and the first layer or between the lining and the second layer. In some embodiments, at least a portion of the first layer, the second layer, and/or the body is elastic. Certain embodiments may include connecting a base to the body. The base may be tucked inside a bottom portion of the body before the container cover is flattened. Some embodiments may include perforating the body around a circumference of the body.
  • [0012]
    In further embodiments, features from specific embodiments may be combined with features from other embodiments. For example, features from one embodiment may be combined with features from any of the other embodiments. In further embodiments, additional features may be added to the specific embodiments described herein.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • [0013]
    Advantages of the present invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art with the benefit of the following detailed description and upon reference to the accompanying drawings in which:
  • [0014]
    FIG. 1 depicts an embodiment of a container cover on a container.
  • [0015]
    FIG. 2 depicts an embodiment of a container cover on a container.
  • [0016]
    FIG. 3 depicts a perspective view of an embodiment of a bottom portion of a body positioned around an outer portion of a base of a container.
  • [0017]
    FIGS. 4A and 4B depict partial cross-sectional views of embodiments of a body of a container cover.
  • [0018]
    FIG. 5 depicts a perspective view of an embodiment of a container cover with perforated sections.
  • [0019]
    FIG. 6A depicts a perspective view of a portion of an embodiment of a base connected to a body of a container cover.
  • [0020]
    FIG. 6B depicts an embodiment of a container cover base that includes elastic.
  • [0021]
    FIG. 6C depicts an embodiment of a container cover base that substantially covers the base of a container.
  • [0022]
    FIG. 7 depicts a side view of a portion of an embodiment of a container cover with a base.
  • [0023]
    FIG. 8 depicts a side view of a portion of an embodiment of a container cover with a base folded inside a bottom portion of the body of the container cover.
  • [0024]
    FIG. 9 depicts a cross-sectional view of an embodiment of a container cover that includes compartments to separately contain chemicals that react endothermically when mixed.
  • [0025]
    FIG. 10 depicts a perspective view of an embodiment of a container cover with a tab coupled to a feature that allows chemicals in separate compartments of a lining of a body of a container cover to be mixed as desired by a user.
  • [0026]
    While the invention may be susceptible to various modifications and alternative forms, specific embodiments thereof are shown by way of example in the drawings and will herein be described in detail. The drawings may not be to scale. It should be understood, however, that the drawings and detailed description thereto are not intended to limit the invention to the particular form disclosed, but to the contrary, the intention is to cover all modifications, equivalents, and alternatives falling within the spirit and scope of the present invention as defined by the appended claims.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION
  • [0027]
    A container cover may be used to substantially surround and/or cover a portion of a container. As used herein, “container” generally refers to a receptacle for a substance (e.g., a solid, a fluid in a liquid state or a frozen state). The container may be a beverage container. In some embodiments, the container is a medicine bottle. A cross section perpendicular to a longitudinal axis of the container may have any general shape including, but not limited to, square, rectangular, oval, or round. The container may include a substantially cylindrical portion. The cylindrical portion may include contours to enhance an appearance or a property of the container. For example, the cylindrical portion may include contours to enhance gripping of the container. In some embodiments, the container is a water bottle (e.g., a reusable sports bottle, an unopened plastic bottle of bottled water, a plastic beverage bottle in which water has been frozen). The water bottle may hold any volume of water including, but not limited to, liter, liter, and 1 liter. In certain embodiments, the container is a can (e.g., a 12 ounce aluminum beverage can). A container may also include a drink box (e.g., ajuice box, a milk carton) or a flexible drink package of various volumes. In some embodiments, the container is a glass bottle that contains a beverage (e.g., an alcoholic beverage such as beer or wine). In certain embodiments, the container is a cup or glass.
  • [0028]
    A container cover may absorb condensate from an outer surface of a container (e.g., a cold beverage container) during use. The container cover may wick condensate away from the outer surface of the container. For example, a bottle of water may be removed from a cooler or a refrigerator and placed at least partially in the container cover. In some embodiments, a container may be placed in a container cover before the container is cooled (e.g., in a refrigerator, freezer, cooler, or ice chest). The container cover may absorb liquid on an exterior surface of the bottle and/or condensate that forms on the exterior surface of the bottle, thereby allowing a hand of a server or user to remain dry during use.
  • [0029]
    In certain embodiments, a container cover may be used to inhibit condensate from dripping from a cold beverage container during storage and/or transportation. For example, a cold beverage container may be placed in a container cover and then stored in a lunchbox, purse, gym bag, or carryon bag for later use. The container cover may absorb condensate from the exterior surface of the container, thereby inhibiting wetting of items proximate the cold beverage container and/or of a surface on which the cold beverage container is placed. In some embodiments, a container cover may be substantially waterproof, water repellent, and/or watertight. That is, with a container placed in a container cover, the container cover may inhibit absorption of liquid from outside of the container cover (e.g., from a cooler or ice chest).
  • [0030]
    In some embodiments, a container cover is a fitted container cover. As used herein, a “fitted” container cover generally refers to a container cover that is designed, shaped, and/or sized to conform to (e.g., snugly surround) at least a portion of a container. In some embodiments, a container cover is designed to fit a range of container shapes, sizes, and/or volumes. In certain embodiments, a container cover is designed to fit containers ranging from about 0.1-0.25 liters, about 0.25-0.5 liters, about 0.5-1.0 liters, or more. A container cover may be designed to fit a range of volumes and/or shapes of medicine bottles designed for contents including, but not limited to, capsules, liquids, and vaccines. A height of a container cover may be designed such that at least 50%, at least 75%, at least 90%, or more of the exterior surface or height of a container is covered by the container cover. A height of a container cover may be at least 4 centimeters, at least 8 centimeters, at least 12 centimeters, at least 16 centimeters, at least 20 centimeters, or more. A diameter of a container cover before use may range from about 5 centimeters or less to about 10 centimeters, about 15 centimeters, or more. A thickness of a container cover before use may range from about 0.05 centimeters to about 0.25 centimeters, from about 0.25 centimeters to about 0.50 centimeters, from about 0.50 centimeters to about 1.0 centimeters, or more.
  • [0031]
    A container cover may be designed to substantially cover a container from the base of the container (e.g., the bottom) to the opening (e.g., the top) of the container. In some embodiments, as depicted in FIG. 1, container cover 100 substantially covers the cylindrical portion of container 102. Container 102 may be an aluminum beverage can. In certain embodiments, as depicted in FIG. 2, container cover 100 covers from the base to just below the neck or to at least a portion of the neck of container 102. Container 102 may be a glass or plastic bottle. As depicted in FIGS. 1 and 2, body 104 of container cover 100 may be tubular. As used herein, “tubular” generally refers to a hollow, elongated shape. Body 104 may include top portion 106 and/or bottom portion 108.
  • [0032]
    In some embodiments, top portion 106 of body 104 may be positioned proximate a top of container 102 (e.g., proximate an opening of the container). For example, top portion 106 of body 104 may be positioned around a cylindrical portion near a top of an aluminum beverage can or proximate a neck portion of a glass or plastic bottle. For some container cover embodiments, top portion 106 and bottom portion 108 of body 104 may be substantially interchangeable. That is, top portion 106 may be placed proximate a base of container 102 and bottom portion 108 may be placed proximate a top of the container.
  • [0033]
    In some embodiments, as depicted in FIG. 1, bottom portion 108 of body 104 may be positioned around a portion (e.g., a cylindrical portion) of container 102 proximate base 110 of the container. In certain embodiments, as depicted in FIG. 3, bottom portion 108 of body 104 may be positioned around an outer portion of base 110 of container 102, so that the container rests on at least a portion of container cover 100 when the container is placed upright on a surface. With container 102 resting on at least a portion of container cover 100 when the container is placed upright, the container cover may inhibit direct contact of the container with a surface on which the container is placed, thereby acting as a coaster for the container and protecting the surface from moisture damage.
  • [0034]
    Body 104 may be formed of two or more layers. In some embodiments, body 104 includes an interior shell and an exterior shell. The interior shell and the exterior shell may each include an inner surface and an outer surface. The container cover may be designed to receive a container (e.g., to fit over at least a portion of the container or to cover at least a portion of the container) such that the outer surface of the interior shell contacts an outer surface of the container. The outer surface of the exterior shell may be designed to allow the container to be easily gripped during use.
  • [0035]
    FIG. 4A depicts a partial cross-sectional view of an embodiment of body 104 of container cover 100 with interior shell 112 and exterior shell 114. In some embodiments, interior shell 112 and/or exterior shell 114 may include one or more layers. At least a portion of interior shell 112 and/or exterior shell 114 of container cover 100 may be formed of fibrous material including, but not limited to, cellulose fibers or other natural or synthetic polymeric fibers. The material may be nonwoven. In some embodiments, at least one layer of container cover 100 is substantially impermeable to liquid. A layer that is substantially impermeable to liquid may include, but is not limited to, polyethylene film. For example, exterior shell 114 may be substantially impermeable to water, such that condensate from an exterior surface of container 102 is inhibited from reaching an outer surface of the exterior shell. Thus, an outer surface of the exterior shell may be substantially dry to the touch during use. In certain embodiments, exterior shell 114 may be vapor permeable but nonporous, allowing water vapor to transfer by diffusion through the exterior shell. In some embodiments, interior shell 112 is permeable to water. For example, interior shell 112 may include one or more various types of mesh. Materials used for the interior shell 112 and/or exterior shell 114 of container cover 100 are generally known in the manufacturing of hygiene products including, but not limited to, diapers and sanitary napkins.
  • [0036]
    A multilayer container cover may include a lining positioned (e.g., sandwiched) between the inner surface of interior shell 112 and the inner surface of exterior shell 114. As used herein, a “multilayer” container cover includes three or more layers. FIG. 4A depicts lining 116 positioned between the inner surface of interior shell 112 and the inner surface of exterior shell 114. As used herein, a lining positioned “between” two layers is in an interval that separates the two layers, without necessarily contacting either one of the layers (e.g., the lining may contact other intervening layers). Lining 116 may be an absorbent lining. In some embodiments, lining 116 includes one or more layers and/or one or more materials. In certain embodiments, lining 116 includes fibrous and/or crystalline material embedded in or dispersed in one or more layers. For example, lining 116 may include, but is not limited to including, superabsorbent polymer crystals, hydrogels, cellulose fibers, fluff pulp, and combinations thereof, all of which are generally known in the art of hygiene products manufacturing. Absorbent crystalline material, fibers, and/or particulate matter may be enclosed in lining 116 between interior shell 112 and exterior shell 114 with methods including, but not limited to, quilting, heat sealing, adhering, stamping, and combinations thereof.
  • [0037]
    In some embodiments, a lining of a multilayer container cover may include two or more layers. Properties of the layers (e.g., construction, content, thickness) may be similar or different. FIG. 4B depicts lining 116 with layers 116′, 116″, 116′″. Layers 116′, 116″, 116′″ may include, but are not limited to, any combination of hydrophilic material, insulation, self-cooling material, impermeable material, nonwoven materials, cellulose fibers, and polymeric material. As used herein, “self-cooling” material includes, but is not limited to, chemicals that react endothermically and substances that promote evaporative cooling.
  • [0038]
    At least a portion of a body of a container cover (e.g., all or a part of the interior shell, the exterior shell, and/or the lining) may have elastic properties. That is, after being stretched or expanded to fit over a container, a body of a container cover may contract to substantially conform to a shape of the container. For example, a body of a container cover may be elasticized or made from elastic material such that the container cover is fitted (e.g., substantially conformed to the exterior contours of a container), thus inhibiting movement (e.g., translation and/or rotation) of the container cover relative to the container. A container cover with an elastic body may have a pleated, smocked, or quilted appearance.
  • [0039]
    In some embodiments, as depicted in FIGS. 1 and 2, elastic portions of body 104 include elastic 118. “Elastic” is used herein to denote any means of providing elasticity known in the art including, but not limited to, elastic threading. Elastic 118 may form a pattern in body 104 of container cover 100. For example, elastic 118 may form a diamond pattern or a rectangular (e.g., square) grid. In some embodiments, elastic 118 may be in a substantially nonintersecting pattern (e.g., lines, scallops, waves, zigzags) around a circumference of body 104. In certain embodiments, elastic 118 may be in a substantially nonintersecting pattern (e.g., lines, scallops, waves, zigzags) along a height of body 104 or at an angle (e.g., diagonally) to an axis of the body.
  • [0040]
    In some embodiments, top portion 106 and/or bottom portion 108 of body 104 may include reinforced portions. The reinforced portions may include one or more additional layers of material. The reinforced portions may include elastic 118. The reinforced portions may inhibit shifting of container cover 100 relative to container 102 during use. In certain embodiments, elastic 118 in a reinforced portion may be different (e.g., stronger, more dense, oriented differently) than elastic in another portion of container cover 100. For example, elastic 118 in top portion 106 and/or bottom portion 108 of body 104 may be oriented around a circumference of container cover 100 (e.g., in lines, scallops, waves, zigzags), and elastic in one or more other portions of the container cover may be in a grid pattern. In some embodiments, elastic in top portion 106 or bottom portion 108 of body 104 of container cover 100 may be in a grid pattern (e.g., diamond, rectangular). In certain embodiments, top portion 106 and/or bottom portion 108 of body 104 include elastic, while one or more other portions of the body do not.
  • [0041]
    In some embodiments, as depicted in FIG. 5, body 104 of container cover 100 has perforations 120. Perforations 120 may allow separation of sections of container cover 100 as desired to adjust (e.g., reduce) a height of the container cover. For example, a container cover designed to fit a liter bottle may be perforated around a circumference of the container cover such that one of the sections fits a liter bottle. In some embodiments, container cover 100 may be perforated such that separating the container cover at perforations 120 results in two or more container covers of reduced height. In certain embodiments, perforations 120 may be formed in reinforced portions (e.g., similar to top portion 106 and/or bottom portion 108 of body 104) such that each of the reduced height container covers includes a reinforced top portion and a reinforced bottom portion.
  • [0042]
    As depicted in FIG. 6A, container cover 100 may include base 122 connected to body 104. As used herein, “connected” portions are joined or linked together. Portions that are described as “connected” may be a single piece (e.g., molded or formed as a single piece). In some embodiments, base 122 may be formed as a portion of exterior shell 114 and connected to another portion of the exterior shell. In certain embodiments, base 122 may be formed as a portion of interior shell 112 and connected to another portion of the interior shell. In certain embodiments, base 122 may be formed separately and connected to bottom portion 108 of body 104. For example, base 122 may be at least partially sandwiched in lining 116 between interior shell 112 and exterior shell 114 near bottom portion 108 of body 104.
  • [0043]
    In some embodiments, base 122 of container cover 100 may include a single layer of material. In certain embodiments, base 122 may be made from the same material as interior shell 112 or exterior shell 114 (e.g., the base may be a nonwoven layer). Base 122 may be thin enough to allow container 102 to be stably positioned on a surface (e.g., a table). In some embodiments, base 122 has one or more openings 124. Openings 124 may allow base 122 of container cover 100 to lie flat during use. In certain embodiments, base 122 of container cover 100 may be a strip of various shapes, sizes, and/or curvatures configured to be positioned proximate (e.g., beneath), to contact, or to conform to base 110 of container 102 during use. Base 122 may inhibit container cover 100 from riding up a side of container 102 during use. Base 122 may also advantageously wick moisture (e.g., condensate) from base 110 of container 102 to an absorbent (e.g., hydrophilic) component of container cover 100.
  • [0044]
    In some embodiments, at least a portion of base 122 may be elastic, allowing the base to fit snugly against (e.g., conform to) the base of a container positioned in container cover 100. For example, base 122 may include elastic in one or more patterns, spacings, orientations, or combinations thereof. FIG. 6B depicts an embodiment of base 122 with elastic 118. In some embodiments, base 122 of container cover 100 may substantially cover base 110 of container 102 during use. For example, body 104 of container cover 100 may be a tube (e.g., an elasticized tube) substantially closed at one end, such that base 110 of container 102 is substantially covered during use. Base 122 of container cover 100 may be of any size and/or shape (e.g., square, rectangular, circular) chosen to fit base 110 of container 102.
  • [0045]
    FIG. 6C depicts an embodiment of base 122 that substantially covers a base of container 102. Container 102 may be a drink box or milk carton. At least a portion of base 122 that may be elastic. In some embodiments, as shown in FIG. 6C, top portion 106 and/or bottom portion 108 may be substantially the same as other portions of body 104 of container cover 100. For example, top portion 106 and/or bottom portion 108 may be of the same construction (e.g., same material and thickness) and include the same elastic pattern. That is, top portion 106 and/or bottom portion 108 of body 104 may not be reinforced.
  • [0046]
    In some embodiments, a container cover (e.g., with or without a base) may be flattened for storage and/or packaging before use. A flattened container cover may have a substantially rectangular shape. A base of a container cover may be positioned (e.g., pushed, folded, inserted, tucked) into the container cover through the opening at the bottom portion of the body of the container cover. In some embodiments, a base that has been positioned inside the body is not visible outside the body. A body with a base positioned inside may be flattened for storage or packaging into a substantially rectangular shape before use.
  • [0047]
    FIG. 7 depicts a side view of a portion of an embodiment of container cover 100 with base 122. Container cover 100 includes elastic 118 in bottom portion 108. At least a portion of body 104 does not include elastic. As shown in FIG. 7, container cover 100 may be stored flat before use. For example, after manufacturing, container cover 100 may be flattened (e.g., into a substantially rectangular shape) and packaged in quantities of up to 10, up to 25, up to 50, up to 100, or more. In certain embodiments, container cover 100 may be folded (e.g., with a single fold, a bi-fold, or a tri-fold) before packaging. As shown in FIG. 8, base 122 of container cover 100 may be folded (e.g., tucked) inside bottom portion 108 of body 104 for packaging and/or storage before use. Folding base 122 inside bottom portion 108 of body 104 allows for more compact storage and/or packaging of container cover 100 before use. As depicted in FIG. 8, bottom portion 108. of body 104 may be unreinforced.
  • [0048]
    In some embodiments, a container cover may provide insulation to a cold beverage container. For example, a container cover may limit an amount of heat from a user's hand or from the environment (e.g., sun, wind) that is transferred to a cold beverage container. In certain embodiments, a container cover includes insulation between the exterior shell and the interior shell. Lining 116, depicted in FIGS. 4A and 4B, may include one or more insulating layers. An insulating layer may include, for example, cellulose fibers and/or synthetic polymeric material.
  • [0049]
    A container cover may be used to cool a container and the contents of the container. For example, a container cover that includes superabsorbent polymers (e.g., superabsorbent polymer crystals such as sodium polyacrylate) may have a semi-permeable exterior shell. Evaporation of condensate from lining 116 through a semi-permeable exterior shell may allow for evaporative cooling of container 102 and contents of the container. Evaporative cooling through an exterior shell of a container cover may not result in an amount of moisture noticeable to the touch during use.
  • [0050]
    In some embodiments, a container cover includes self-cooling substances. In certain embodiments, self-cooling substances include chemicals that react endothermically to cool a container and the contents of the container. As depicted in the cross-sectional view of a portion of an embodiment of container cover 100 shown in FIG. 9, the container cover may include lining 116 with layers 116′, 116″, 116′″. A layer of lining 116 (e.g., layer 116″) may include two or more compartments 124 to separately contain chemicals 126′, 126′. Compartments 124 may be coupled. Chemicals 126′, 126″ may react endothermically when mixed to cool container 102 in container cover 100. In some embodiments, lining 116 between interior shell 112 and exterior shell 114 includes first compartment 124′and second compartment 124″. In certain embodiments, first compartment 124′includes water and second compartment 124″ includes ammonium nitrate.
  • [0051]
    Container cover 100 may be designed such that the cooling reaction is initiated by the user as desired. In some embodiments, lining 116 includes feature 128 (e.g., a strip) removably coupled to compartments 124′, 124″. As used herein, “coupled” generally refers to pieces that may be used operatively with each other, or pieces that are joined or linked together, with or without one or more intervening members. Pieces that are “removably coupled” may be uncoupled to alter a relationship between the coupled pieces. For example, a user may pull a tab or a string coupled to feature 128 to create an opening between first compartment 124′ and second compartment 124″, allowing chemicals 126′, 126″ to mix and to react endothermically to cool container 102 and the contents of the container as desired.
  • [0052]
    FIG. 10 depicts a side view of an embodiment of container cover 100 with tab 130 coupled to feature 128 (depicted in FIG. 9) inside container cover 100. Container 102 may be a medicine bottle. Pulling tab 130 may remove feature 128 from between compartments 124′, 124″, allowing chemicals 126′, 126″ to mix. In some embodiments, chemicals 126′, 126″ are mixed by methods including, but not limited to, bending, twisting, and folding container cover 100 to rupture at least one of compartments 124′, 124″. In certain embodiments, first compartment 124″ is positioned at least partially inside second compartment 124″, such that rupturing of the first compartment inside the second compartment allows chemicals 126′, 126″ to mix.
  • [0053]
    In some embodiments, a body of a container cover is made from a multilayer material. The multilayer material may be formed by sandwiching a lining (e.g., an absorbent lining) between a first layer and a second layer. The first layer and/or the second layer may be nonwoven. At least a portion of the first layer, the second layer, or the lining may be elastic. The multilayer material may include other layers. In certain embodiments, a self-cooling lining (e.g., a lining including chemicals that react endothermically when mixed) may be sandwiched between the first layer and the second layer. Superabsorbent polymer may be sandwiched between the first layer and the second layer. In some embodiments, insulation (e.g., a layer of insulating material) may be sandwiched between the first layer and the second layer. In certain embodiments, an impermeable layer may be sandwiched between the lining and the first layer or between the lining and the second layer.
  • [0054]
    Multilayer material may be formed into a desired shape and/or size of a container cover or formed as a larger piece and then resized (e.g., cut, pressed) into a desired shape and/or size. The multilayer material of the desired shape may be formed into a body. For example, ends of a rectangular piece of multilayer material may be connected to form a tubular body. In some embodiments, a seamless (e.g., continuous) body may be formed separately with a lining sandwiched between a first layer and a second layer. At least a portion of a body may be elastic. In some embodiments, a base may be connected to the body of a container cover.
  • [0055]
    In some embodiments, a container cover may be formed around an exterior surface of a container (e.g., a beverage container). For example, a container cover including an interior shell, and exterior shell, and a lining may be formed around the exterior surface of a water bottle. In certain embodiments, a multilayer container cover may be heat-shrunk or molded around the exterior surface of a container. A multilayer container cover may be stretched and/or glued around the exterior surface of a beverage container. In some embodiments, a beverage container may be covered with a multilayer container cover before the beverage container is filled. In certain embodiments, a beverage container may be covered with a multilayer container cover after the beverage container is filled.
  • [0056]
    An outer surface of an exterior shell of a container cover may include printing, texturing, embossing, quilting, or other decorative and/or functional features to enhance an appearance and/or allow identification of a container cover. An outer surface of an exterior shell may be of any desired color and/or design. For example, an outer surface of an exterior shell may be a solid color or print including, but not limited to, tie-dye, animal print, geometric designs, and/or combinations thereof. In some embodiments, an outer surface of the exterior shell may be used to display advertising, personalization, or identification. In certain embodiments, an outer surface of the exterior shell may include a brand name, a company logo, a team logo, an icon, a photographic image, a resort name, the name of a user, a cartoon character, a popular figure, a slogan, a quotation, a date, or an occasion. For example, an outer surface of an exterior shell may be embellished with one or more designs, one or more names, and/or one or more dates to commemorate events such as weddings, anniversaries, birthdays, graduations, reunions, showers, sporting events, etc. In certain embodiments, all or a portion of an outer surface of the exterior shell may accept ink from a pen or marker (e.g., permanent marker) to allow a user or other person to decorate and/or identify the container cover.
  • [0057]
    In some embodiments, a container cover is positioned over a container by placing a base of the container inside a top portion of the body of the container cover and pulling the container cover around the container until a bottom portion of the body or a base of the container cover is positioned as desired relative to the base of the container. For example, the container cover may be pulled up such that the bottom portion of the body or the base of the container cover securely fits around or proximate a portion of the base of the container. In certain embodiments, a container cover may be positioned over a container by placing a top of the container inside a bottom portion of the body of the container cover and pulling the container cover down around the container until a bottom portion of the body container cover is positioned as desired relative to the base of the container. In some embodiments, a top portion and a bottom portion of a body of a container cover may be substantially the same (e.g., interchangeable).
  • [0058]
    A container cover may be left on or removed from a container after use. In some embodiments, a container cover may be removed from a beverage container when the beverage container is empty. A container cover may be removed by substantially reversing the procedure described above to position the container in the container cover. That is, the container cover may be pulled off the container from the bottom of the container or from the top of the container. In some embodiments, a container cover is disposable. In certain embodiments, a container cover is reusable, recyclable, and/or biodegradable.
  • [0059]
    In this patent, certain U.S. patents, U.S. patent applications, and other materials (e.g., articles) have been incorporated by reference. The text of such U.S. patents, U.S. patent applications, and other materials is, however, only incorporated by reference to the extent that no conflict exists between such text and the other statements and drawings set forth herein. In the event of such conflict, then any such conflicting text in such incorporated by reference U.S. patents, U.S. patent applications, and other materials is specifically not incorporated by reference in this patent.
  • [0060]
    Further modifications and alternative embodiments of various aspects of the invention will be apparent to those skilled in the art in view of this description. Accordingly, this description is to be construed as illustrative only and is for the purpose of teaching those skilled in the art the general manner of carrying out the invention. It is to be understood that the forms of the invention shown and described herein are to be taken as examples of embodiments. Elements and materials may be substituted for those illustrated and described herein, parts and processes may be reversed, and certain features of the invention may be utilized independently, all as would be apparent to one skilled in the art after having the benefit of this description of the invention. Changes may be made in the elements described herein without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as described in the following claims.
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Classifications
U.S. Classification62/4, 62/60
International ClassificationF25D5/00, B65B63/08
Cooperative ClassificationF25D2331/805, B65D23/08, F25D2331/803, F25D5/02, B65D25/34
European ClassificationF25D5/02, B65D25/34, B65D23/08