US 20080078824 A1
A cup insulating system, comprising a layer of elastomer formed into a homogeneous seamless conical sleeve, the conical sleeve having an exterior surface, an interior surface an upper opening and a lower opening, wherein the upper opening is configured for receiving a beverage cup, and the inner surface of the conical sleeve is configured to contact an outer surface of the beverage cup.
1. A cup insulating system, comprising:
a layer of elastomer formed into a homogeneous seamless conical sleeve;
the conical sleeve having an exterior surface, an interior surface an upper opening and a lower opening;
wherein the upper opening is configured for receiving a beverage cup; and
the inner surface of the conical sleeve is configured to contact an outer surface of the beverage cup.
2. The cup insulating system of
3. The cup Insulating system of
4. The cup insulating system of
5. The cup insulating system of
6. The cup insulating system of
7. The cup Insulating system of
8. The cup insulating system of
9. The cup insulating system of
10. The cup insulating system of
11. The cup insulating sleeve of
12. The cup insulating sleeve of
13. The cup insulating system of
14. A thermal cup protector comprising;
an elastomeric and fabric composite sleeve;
an conical configuration and with opposed open top end and open bottom end:
an exterior surface and an interior surface;
the interior surface configured for receiving a beverage container with a frusta-conical shape.
15. The thermal cup protector of
16. The thermal cup protector of
17. The thermal cup protector of
18. An insulating ring for beverage containers, the insulating ring comprising;
an elastomeric ring;
an outer surface;
an inner surface configured to receive and secure a beverage cup.
19. The insulating ring of
20. The insulating ring of
This application claims priority to and the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application Ser. No. 60/839,259 which was filed Aug. 23, 2008, entitled BEVERAGE CUP SLEEVING SYSTEM AND METHOD, the entirety of which is hereby Incorporated by reference as if fully set forth herein.
The present invention relates generally to a conical sleeve to surround a cup containing a hot beverage, more particularly to systems and methods for an improved insulation sleeve having a configuration that facilitates easier handling of hot beverages.
Disposable hot beverage cups are customarily utilized in coffee houses, fast food restaurants, take-out restaurants, concession stands, and the like. These cups typically are manufactured in standard sizes, are conical in shape, have an open top lip adapted to receive various plastic lids, for example. These cups are often made of treated paper, paperboard, polystyrene, styrofoam, and the like. Polystyrene, for example is an excellent thermal insulator and yet it has several drawbacks, for example, it is not easily recycled nor is it biodegradable, it can effect the coffee taste and is not seen as trendy by consumers, to name a few. In contrast, paper and paperboard are easily recyclable and/or biodegradable hut are poor thermal insulators. Paper based coffee cups are often preferred by the public because they overcome the taste issues mentioned supra, they are trendy, they overcome recycling and biodegradable issues, but when filled with a hot liquid, soup, coffee, and tea they are difficult to handle. In addition they can be uncomfortable to handle when cold and become slippery due to condensation.
As a result of the handling issues, many sellers of such hot and cold beverages provide an additional paper sleeve or a second cup, for example to the buyer. A second cup, a sleeve,, and the like is environmentally unsound, adds additional cost to the product, results In more waste, etc. There are many versions of insulating sleeves available for consumers to be able to handle paper cups containing hot and cold beverages. These sleeves are commonly made from paperboard that is configured to loosely match the contours of the paper cup. These sleeves provide some protection to the user from high temperatures, however that protection is often inadequate If the sleeves get wet, if the beverage is extremely hot, if a cold beverage “sweats”, and the like. Fabric sleeves exist, however they require relatively long manufacturing times and the sewing of seams, for example.
It is therefore desirable to provide an insulating cup sleeve that is effective when wetted, effective against extremely high and low temperatures, is reusable and easily manufactured. Thus, there exists a need for an improved system and method for sleeving hot and cold beverages in a paper or thin walled plastic cup.
The following presents a simplified summary in order to provide a basic understanding of one or more aspects of the invention. This summary is not an extensive overview of the invention, and is neither intended to identify key or critical elements of the invention, nor to delineate the scope thereof. Rather, the primary purpose of the summary is to present some concepts of the invention in a simplified form as a prelude to the more detailed description that is presented later. The present Invention is directed to a system and method of sleeving a hot or cold beverage associated with a paper or thin wailed plastic cup.
In accordance with one embodiment of the invention, a cup insulating system, comprising a layer of elastomer formed into a homogeneous seamless conical sleeve, the conical sleeve having an exterior surface, an interior surface an upper opening and a lower opening, wherein the upper opening is configured for receiving a beverage cup, and the inner surface of the conical sleeve is configured to contact an outer surface of the beverage cup.
In accordance with another embodiment of the present invention, is a thermal cup protector comprising an elastomeric and fabric composite sleeve, a conical configuration and with opposed open top end and open bottom end, an exterior surface and an interior surface, the interior surface configured for receiving a beverage container with a frusto-conical shape.
The following description and annexed drawings set forth in detail certain illustrative aspects and implementations of the invention. These are indicative of only a few of the various ways in which the principles of the invention may be employed.
FIG, 3 is an isometric view of an empty beverage or liquid cup insulating enclosure with a bottom according to yet another embodiment of this invention;
One or more implementations of the present invention will now he described with reference to the attached drawings, wherein like reference numerals are used to refer to like elements throughout. The invention relates to a beverage cup sleeving system and associated method wherein a reusable coffee cup sleeve can be fitted over hot or cold beverage cup.
Referring now to the figures,
The sleeve assembly 110, can be slid over the bottom portion 106 of the cup 102 and slid upwardly toward the top portion 104 of the cup 102 until the sleeve assembly 110 inner surface 114 fully or partially engages the cup 102 outer surface. The sleeve assembly 110 can be made of an elastomeric, for example silicone, rubber, Butyl, Ethylene-propylene (EPDM), perfluoropolyether (PFPE), thermoplastic polyurethanes, and the like. As shown in
With respect to the sleeve assembly 110, liquid crystal technology is well known by those individuals skilled in the art. As is commonly known, liquid crystal material formulations display a color change at temperatures above 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit, an average normal body temperature. Additionally, such a temperature level generally represents a lowest safe-zone reading in that it is equal to the normal body temperature reading. In liquid crystal technology, chloresteric liquid crystals can preferred over others since such chloresteric liquid crystals have been determined non-toxic and can readily pass through the body if accidentally ingested by a user. For example, a chloresteric liquid crystal exhibiting a color change display at 100 degree F. is a mixture of p-n-Pentylphenyl-p-methoxybenzoate and p-n-Pentylphenyl-p-n-pentylbenzoate. Other chloresteric liquid crystal materials exhibiting similar display temperatures are disclosed in a U.S. Pat. No. 4,296,831 to Fergason. The elastomeric sleeve assembly 110 can be manufactured with a chloresteric liquid crystal in the elastomer so that a user can determine the temperature range of the beverage by the color of the sleeve, for example.
Now referring to
The sleeve 402 can foe formed of a single elastomeric, for example, silicon, rubber, and the like, or multiple layers of elastomerics, and the like. Such material is microwaveable, dishwasher safe, stain resistant, reusable and environmentally friendly since it is generally reusable and the elastomeric sleeve eliminates the need for consumers to use an additional cup for a hot beverage, disposable paper insulative sleeves, and the like. Also by generally forming the device from such material, the device can also be easily manufactured in the forming process. Also, it is preferable that the sleeve can keep hot beverages hot and cold beverages cold for longer periods of time. Elastomerics also offer a non-slip surface with a pleasant tactile feel. The sleeve 402 being flexible is easily folded so that It can be easily be shipped, folded up into a persons pocket, and the like.
The ring 502 can be placed against the cup outer surface 120 by sliding the cup bottom surface 106 into the wide end 508 of the ring 502. The cup 102 can be slid further into the ring 502 until the ring elastomeric expands capturing the outside surface 120 of the cup 102 against the inner surface 114 of the ring 502.
Once the sleeve 110 (
Once the beverage cup is placed on the platform in step 830, the spreading mechanism at step 840 can be released so that the fingers and the sleeve 110 (
The inner surface of the sleeve assembly 802 can have vertical ribs 812 as illustrated that run from the top surface 814 of the sleeve assembly to the bottom surface 816 or any portion thereof, it should also be appreciated that the ribs can be horizontal, diagonal or any moldable pattern either on the internal surface 828 of the sleeve assembly 802 or the external surface 828 of the sleeve assembly 802.
Although the invention has been illustrated and described with respect to one or more implementations, alterations and/or modifications may be made to the Illustrated examples without departing from the spirit and scope of the appended claims. In particular regard to the various functions performed by the above described components or structures (assemblies, devices, circuits, systems, etc.), the terms (including a reference to a “means”) used to describe such components are intended to correspond, unless otherwise indicated, to any component or structure which performs the specified function of the described component (e.g., that is functionally equivalent), even though not structurally equivalent to the disclosed structure which performs the function in the herein illustrated exemplary implementations of the invention. In addition, while a particular feature of the invention may have been disclosed with respect to only one of several implementations, such feature may be combined with one or more other features of the other implementations as may be desired and advantageous for any given or particular application. Furthermore, to the extent that the terms “including”, “includes”, “having”, “has”, “with”, or variants thereof are used in either the detailed description and the claims, such terms are intended to be inclusive in a manner similar to the term “comprising”.