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Publication numberUS2520892 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 29, 1950
Filing dateFeb 26, 1948
Priority dateFeb 26, 1948
Publication numberUS 2520892 A, US 2520892A, US-A-2520892, US2520892 A, US2520892A
InventorsRoethel John H
Original AssigneeRoethel Engineering Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Ice tray
US 2520892 A
Abstract  available in
Images(2)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Aug. 29, 1950 Filed Feb. 26, 1948 .1. H. ROETHEL 2,520,892

ICE TRAY 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 INVENTOR.

M Faeijel Aug. 29, 1950 J. H. ROETHEL ICE TRAY 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Feb. 26, 1948 [2& fjld INVENTOR. /7, Baez/ 262. BY

Patented Aug. 2 9 1956 UNITED STATES PATENT QFFJICE.

Roethel- En ineering Corporation,

Detroit,

Mich., a corporation of Michigan Application Febrnaryz26, 191s, Serial-No, 11;.063

IO'Cidims. mica-108.5)

This invention relates to liquid freezing trays and particularly, although not exclusively, to-i'ce trays of the generaltype havinga pan-like tray within which the ice cubes or blocks of. frozen substances are molded through the medium of a removable grid member receivable within the tray.

Ice trays of the foregoing type commonly used in refrigerators have been of three principal kinds, each utilizing an aluminum pan within which the grid or divider is mounted. ,Qne such kind involves the use of a rigidly connected metal grid or divider necessitating the use of warm water to loosen not only the divider with its ice cubes from the pan butcalso, the vcubes from the divider. A second kind involves the useof an integral rubber. grid or divider, trays of this kind also requiring water :to be run over the pan to loosen the grid and its .cnhes after which the cubes can be broken. loosev from the rubbergrid only with considerable trouble. The third kind of ice tray abovereferred to involves he use of an articulated metal :grid and a lever to break the grid loose from the pan, such tray p senting not only the disadvantage. of relatively high cost of manufacture but also. disadvan ages :due to frequent breaka e of the levers at their pivotal connections with the grids and, in addition, the freduent shattering of the ice cubes when loosened by operation of the levers.

An. -impor.t.ant object of the present invention is to provide an ice tray or the. like of the pan and grid type which overcomes th prin ip l disadvantages of trays of this general type now. or heretofore us d. specially rays of the three types above mentioned, and in pursuance .oi'such object to provide an ice tray of this type wherein both th p and the. separable grid or divider are both molded from plastic material, namely, polyethylene plastic or the eguivalent, and so constructed as to be self-sustaining While at the same timeenabling the grid and its cubes to ,be' easily loosenedfrom the panoand th cubes easily removed or freed individually or collectively from the grid or divider members.

A further object of the invention is to form the pan of polyethylene. or equivalent plastic materjial so that the side walls and bottom are relatively thin .in order to accelerate the freezing rate but are also so iormed as to make the pan self-sustaining when filled with water, the preferred construction being such as to utilize the maximum amount of space Within the pan for ice cubes while at the same time ensuring su'fllc'ient rigidity or strength in 'th'epan to prevent bending. or buckling thereof when lifted from one end after filling,

still, another object or the invention is to provide an ice tray o'f'the foregoing kind in which the grid may be: quickly loosened 'by torsionally twisting or bending d the pan, thereby enalaiing the grid with its cubes. to be removed and the requisite number of cubes detached therefrom without requiring anyappreciable effort, or e'- eessitating the use of. warm water or lever-s, to free the ice cubes: as heretofor or withoutany danger of the cubes popping out of the pan,

Another object of $1 8 invention is to providean ice tray or the like having its pan and {9-1- movable grid or divider molded with relatively thin walls 'from polyethylene plastic or the like, such material beingof such character as to in hibit any appreciable adhesion of the ice thereto and, nce, nabling easy releas o the ice cubes, the pan preferably being formed with longitudi nal and transverse stiffening; ribs disposed prefierabiy'for n a ement by the low r dges-of the divider members-and the latter preferably have is beaded upper cd ssoes to stiffen the same as well as to retain the tubes np aee for removal in a single direction.

Other objects of thi i v ntion will a pear in the following descr pt n a d amend d cla reference being had to the accompanying draws v ings forming a of this specification wherein like r en e haracters desi nate corresponding parts in the severalwiews.

Fig-.- 1 is a plan'view of an ice tray embodying; the present inver-itioi- Fi 2 s a s ctio al view taken substantia ly through lines 2-4 of Fig. 1 looking the direct tion of the arrows,

Fig. 3 isa scctiontaltsn substantiallv'thr neh lines 3-3 of Fig. 1 looking. in the direc on oithe arrows. v

Fig. 4 is a perspective view-of the-grid orrdividhig member.

Fi 5 is an endvi w roithe eridor d ridr ng. member.

Before explainingrin detail the present inventtion itis to be understood that the invention is not limited in its application :to the details of construction and arrangement of parts illustrated in the accompanying -.drawizigs, since the invention is capable of other embodiments and of being practiced or carried outin various ways. Also it is to be understood that the phraseolog yi or terminology employed herein is tor the-2pm pose of description and not of limitation In the drawings there is illustrated, by way example, an ice tray comprising a panelists receptacle adapted to contain water and constructed to receive a removable grid dividing member by means of which a number of ice cubes or' blocks may be produced within the receptacle in the ice freezingcornpartment of a refrigerator. The pan-like receptacle i0 is generally rectangular in shape and is molded in one piece from polyethylene or equivalent plastic material to provide a generally flat bottom 11 terminating,

3 in parallel side walls I2 and rear and front walls I3 and I4 which areintegral with the bottom and extend continuously around the four sides of the tray. The bottom of the receptacle is relatively thin and after merging into the side and end walls the latter preferably increased in thickness in the direction of the upper edges thereof.

The side walls I2 and rear end wall It terminate at their upper edges in an outwardly directed relatively heavy bead I5 which extends continuously around three sides of the tray. The front end wall I4 merges into a handlellfi, which may be grasped to remove the tray from the refrigerator compartment, and the front ends of the accuses 4 other at the locality of intersection of the divider strips, and since they are substantially thicker than the Wall portions of the divider strips therebelow they form restricted top openings of less areas than the areas of the openings between the "divider strips at the lower edges thereof, and s i a consequence provide means for retaining the tion Ilb which continues into the rear end Wall I 3 and progressively diminishes in depth so as to disappear at the upper beaded edge of this wall. The pan-shaped receptacle Iii is also molded to provide a series of parallel transverse ribs I8 in the bottom thereof which correspond in height to the rib I? and, in like manner, are generally V-shaped in cross-sectionlf Each transverse rib I8 intersects the longitudinal rib I! and extends the full width of the bottoml'- At each end thereof each of the transverse ribs I8 has a portion I 8a continuing into the side wall I2. Thus, as shown in Fig. 3, each upwardly extending portion we of each transverse rib progressively diminishes in depth and disappears at the locality of the head 15. From the foregoing it will be seen that the marginal bead I5 and handle it extending around the upper edge of the tray receptacle together with the longitudinal and transverse ribs provide a stiffening means for the tray receptacle enabling it to retain its shape, or

i substantially so, when filled with water so as not to buckle upon lifting the tray with its contents from one end while the tray is being carried to or utilize an injection molding process for producing the grid or divider member l9, and as illustrated particularly in Fig. 4 this. member comprises a central longitudinally extending divider strip 29 integrally joined to and intersected by transverse right-angularly extending divider strips 2i. Each of the divider strips 2!) and El preferably diminishes in thickness toward the lower edge thereof so as to have tapering side walls, and in accordance with the preferred embodiment of the invention the longitudinal divider strip 28 terminates at its upper edge in a rounded bead 28a and each of the transverse divider strips 2| terminates at its upper edge inasimilar rounded bead 2Ia. These beads all mer'geinto one anice cubes within the spaces between the divider strips against removal through these restricted openings.

From the foregoing it will be noted that the strips or members 28 and 2H forming the divider or grid I9 taper somewhat in the direction of the lower edges thereof, and in addition the side and end walls of the pan or receptacle is also are tapered or inclined, this constructionfacilitating first the removal of the grid with its contained ice blocks from the pan in one direction and sec-' ond theremovalof the ice blocks from the *grid in the opposite direction. The ends of the divider strips and ii are tapered so as to conform to the inclination of the side and end walls so as to cause the grid to fit rather snugly within the pan or receptacle Iii." In accordance with the preferred embodiment the grid strips 2% and AI,

are arranged so as to extend'in vertical align mentwith the ribs I1 and I8, so that when the grid is inserted within the pan the lower edge of the grid strip 26 will rest upon the upperedge of the rib I! and the grid strips 2! will rest upon the upper edges oi'the transverseribs it. By virtue of this construction the height of the grid may be shortened and the ice forming spaces will be formed between the sides of the grid strips, the ribs ll and I8, and the bottom ii of the receptacle.

In preferred practice the pan shaped receptacle ill and the grid I9 are each formed in a single injection molding operation from polyethylene plastic or equivalent material. Polyethylene is particularly adapted for use in the fabrication of the present ice tray for the reason that this material hasa wax-like surface which is non-wet table by water and, hence, inhibits the adherence of ice thereto. Polyethylene-is not only tough, flexible and substantially unbreakable, even under conditions of hard usage, but will'also yield under tension in order to compensate for the expansion of ice upon freezing. After the formation of ice cubes in the tray the frozen contents together with the grid member may be readily loosened from the bottom andside walls of the pan or receptacle IEI upon grasping the ends of the pan and torsionally twisting'orfiexing the same. This action will loosen the grid and its contained ice cubes as a unit permitting the removal thereof from the pan. One simple method of removing the grid and ice cubes as a unit from the pan consists in inverting. and placing the pan upon a table top and then either twisting or flexing somewhat the ends of the pan or pressing upon the bottom' thereof so as to separate the pan from the grid and its ice cubes. .Whether the grid and its cubes are' loosened from the pan when inverted in this manner or while the pan is right-side up, none of the cups will fly or pop out of the .pan upon twisting the latter due to the retaining beads 29a and. 2Ia which look the cubes within the grid against removal except through the bottom or side openings therein. Thus, after removal of the grid from the pan the ice cubes may be easily forcediout of the grid spaces in'accordance .withthe number desired. Theconstruction'of the present ice vtray not only permits its 'fabricatio'r).' from flexible "or yieldable polyethylene material but also enables the bottom of the pan to be made relatively thin so as to accelerate freezing of the water. I prefer to form the bottom I I of the pan or receptacle I with wall thicknesses ranging from approximately .030 to .040 of an inch with the wall thickness of the upright sides and ends of the pan increasing progressively so as to merge into the relatively heavy stiffening beads I and handle I6. This construction together with the ribs I1 and I8, which continue into the side and end walls, afiords sufficient rigidity to the tray, irrespective of the thin bottom thereof, so as 'to render it substantially form-sustaining even when filled with water. Although the thickness of the bottom I i of the tray receptacle preferably falls within approximately the foregoing range, it will be understood that a wall thickness from approximately .020 to .065 of an inch will give good results. In the fabrication of relatively large trays the thickness of the bottom H may range from approximately .040 to .065 of an inch whereas in smaller size trays the bottom may be molded to a thickness of approximately .020 of an inch. The divider strips 20 and 2| may taper down to the thickness of the bottom I I although I prefer to make them somewhat heavier so as to ensure that they will retain their shape after extended usage.

I claim:

1. In a liquid freezing tray, a pan-shaped member having a bottom and surrounding up wardly and outwardly inclined side walls diminishing in thickness toward said bottom, the latter being formed with longitudinal and transverse intersecting ribs projecting upwardly at their ends into the side walls.

2. In a liquid freezing tray, a pan-shaped member having a bottom and surrounding upwardly and outwardly inclined side walls diminishing in thickness toward the bottom, the latter being formed with longitudinal and transverse intersecting ribs projecting upwardly at their ends into the side walls, and a grid member removably disposed within said pan-shaped member and comprising intersecting longitudinal and transverse strips engaging said ribs.

3. In a liquid freezing tray, a pan-shaped member having a bottom and surrounding upwardly and outwardly inclined side walls diminishing in thickness toward the bottom, the latter being formed with longitudinal and transverse intersecting ribs projecting upwardly at their ends into the side walls, and a grid member comprising intersecting longitudinal and transverse divider strips engaging said ribs within said panshaped member.

4. In a liquid freezing tray, a pan-shaped member having a bottom and surrounding upwardly and outwardly inclined side walls diminishing in thickness toward the bottom, the latter being formed with longitudinal and transverse intersecting ribs projecting upwardly at their ends into the side walls, and a grid member comprising intersecting longitudinal and transverse divider strips engaging said ribs within said panshaped member, the walls of said strips diminishing in thickness toward their lower edges.

5. In a liquid freezing tray, a pan-shaped member formed of polyethylene plastic having a bottom and surrounding upwardly and out- 6 wardly inclined side walls diminishing in thickness toward the bottom, the latter being formed with longitudinal and transverse intersecting ribs projecting upwardly at their ends into the side walls, said bottom having a thickness ranging from approximately .020 to .065 of an inch.

6. In a liquid freezing tray, 2. pan-shaped member having a bottom and surrounding upwardly and outwardly inclined side walls diminishing in thickness toward the bottom, the latter being formed with longitudinal and transverse intersecting generally V-shaped ribs extending upwardly from said bottom.

' '7. In a liquid freezing tray, a pan-shaped member having a bottom and surrounding upwardly and outwardly inclined side walls diminishing in thickness toward the bottom, the latter being formed with longitudinal and transverse intersecting generally V-shaped ribs extending upwardly from said bottom, said member being formed of polyethylene plastic and said bottom being thinner than the upper edges of the side walls.

8. In a liquid freezing tray, a pan-shaped member having a bottom and surrounding upwardly and outwardly inclined side walls diminishing in thickness toward the bottom, the latter being formed with longitudinal and transverse intersecting generally V-shaped ribs extending upwardly from said bottom, said member being formed of polyethylene plastic and said bottom being thinner than the upper edges of the side walls and having a thickness ranging from approximately .020 to .065 of an inch.

9. In a liquid freezing tray, a pan-shaped member having a bottom and surrounding upwardly and outwardly inclined side walls diminishing in thickness toward the bottom, the latter being formed with longitudinal and transverse intersecting generally V-shaped ribs extending upwardly from said bottom, said bottom being thinner than the upper edges of the side walls, and a grid within said member and comprising longitudinal and transverse vertical divider members diminishing in thickness toward certain edges thereof.

10. In a liquid freezing tray, a pan-shaped member having a bottom and surrounding upwardly and outwardly inclined side walls diminishing in thickness toward the bottom, the latter being formed with longitudinal and transverse intersecting generally V-shaped ribs extending upwardly from said bottom, said bottom being thinner than the upper edges of the side walls, and a grid within said member and comprising longitudinal and transverse vertical divider members diminishing in thickness toward certain edges thereof and engaging said ribs.

JOHN H. ROETI-IEL.

REFERENCES CITED The following references are of record in the file of this patent:

UNITED STATES PATENTS Number Name Date 2,011,289 Klyce Aug. 13, 1935 2,023,923 I-Iarbordt Dec. 10, 1935 2,433,211 Gits Dec. 23, 1947

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2011289 *Sep 28, 1931Aug 13, 1935Klyce Jr William HIce cube tray
US2023923 *Aug 26, 1933Dec 10, 1935Harbordt Carl GFreezing tray
US2433211 *Sep 5, 1947Dec 23, 1947Jules P GitsIce cube tray
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2726517 *Apr 6, 1953Dec 13, 1955Pruett William AIce container and cracker
US2942435 *Feb 20, 1956Jun 28, 1960Westinghouse Electric CorpIce maker
US3480251 *Mar 6, 1967Nov 25, 1969Gen Motors CorpTray and grid with grooves
US6634513 *Dec 23, 1998Oct 21, 2003Design Ideas, Ltd.Stacking candle holder modules
USD742943 *Sep 29, 2014Nov 10, 2015Jeremy Travis ParkerIce cube tray design
Classifications
U.S. Classification249/128, 249/117, D15/90, 249/134
International ClassificationF25C1/22, F25C1/24
Cooperative ClassificationF25C1/243
European ClassificationF25C1/24B