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Publication numberUS2558984 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJul 3, 1951
Filing dateSep 23, 1948
Priority dateSep 23, 1948
Publication numberUS 2558984 A, US 2558984A, US-A-2558984, US2558984 A, US2558984A
InventorsRoethel John H
Original AssigneeRoethel Engineering Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Ice tray
US 2558984 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

J. H. ROETHEL July 3, 1951 ICE TRAY Filed Sept. 23, 1948 ffl d 2 ,ff/l M M/ lill i v M Patented Iuly 3, 1951 ICE TRAY y John H.. Roemer, Detroit. Mich., assignnr.- to

Roethel Engineering- C,ombra-tion,y Detrom.

Mich., a corporation of Michigan;`

Application-September 23, 1948; Serial-*Nm- 50,809'- Claims.v 1

This` invention relates to liquidfreezing;- devices., and: particularly; although not exclusively, to ice;- trays of-A thea lrindhavingaar plurality of;A independe-A entpor individually removable cup-like;4 molds` or: receptacles useful in refrigerators for making ice clubes orr other` frozenA substances;

An object of the inventionY is' to-.provi'de an icetra-y or other liquid. freezing device.A having an improved frame: or supporting structure for a plurality of individual. freezing receptacleswhich. is relatively lighteasy and economical to'. manufacture; and not, only constructedto. hold: the receptacles or cups inf proper positions. but also to enhance the rateof freezing of, liquidtherein..

A1 further object ofthe invention providean ice tray or,V thelikel comprising an improved. frame of. strong and;rugged,constructionadapted to .holda plurality of: cupsv orv receptacles; preferably formed of plasticgmaterial', suchaspolyethylene plastic, which cups; or receptacles possess relativelythin*` walls and` areA not only highly flexible-to facilitate quick release.` of the` ice cubes but are also strong-durable and-tsubstantially-unbreakable evenwhen subjected to hard usage.

Another object. of, the invention is. tof provide an improved; liquidi freezing; cup or receptacle, preferably of flexible thin-wallede plastic materiale which-A terminates around its upper edge, in. a continuous outwardly extending rim or flange: readily engageable byv the iingers when ejecting., the ice from the receptacle, the rim being. profvidedwith a notchor depressed portion, orA por.- tions eifectiveto level the liquid or. water inthe'- receptacle upon lling the same seas to ensure, ailiquidflevel-below the1normalheight of the rim.Y thereby facilitating; removal of, the icecube from' the receptacle.

Still anotherobject of the invention is tor-pro.- vide a sturdy one-piece tray. frame-for holding` a. number'of liquid freezing receptaclesythe bottom. of the frame being provided with, intersecting: ribs-to positionvthe receptacles and also having side drain groovesl for carrying off water, thev grooves being formedz byshallow4 longitudinal bottomy projecting ribs which facilitate removal of the frame from therefr-igerator:

@ther objects ofthisV inventionv will appearl in the following description and appended claims', reference being had to the accompanying drawings forminga part offthis, specibationwherein. like reference characters designate. correspond.- ing parts` in the several. views,

Fig. 1 isaplan view of atray frame adaptedto carrya number.. of individual liquid freezing: re.- ceptacles: ormolds constructedl in accordance,- withy one embodiment' of, the present. invention.

Eig. 2 is aV fragmentary side elevation, partly in section, taken substantially from lines. 2-2- of Fig.. 1l looking in the directionof-A thearrows;


Eig. 3i is a irontaend". elevation. ofi, thedevicei shown iii-Fig; l..

Eig.: lv is. an. enlarged; section talren.l sulost'anl.n tially throught lines IIe-1i of; Fig-hlookingrimthez directionv of: the-e arrows.Y

Before explaining: im detail the: present;` invern-f tion.v it is to be@ understooda that.. the. invention;V is.` not. limitedA in'. its application to'. theA details 0L: construction and arrangement. off parts: illusf-f tif-ated4 in the accompanying drawings,v since the; invention isl capable?. off other.v embodiments andA of-'loeingl practicedlor carried-'out in various-ways; Also:` it is` to.- beiv understood that thex phraseologyy or.- terminolog-y employed hereini is; for: the: purpose-ofi description. andnot of'- limitation:

In the drawingsthereg is illustrated; by.- way.. ofi example, an icel tray:v or the'- like constructed. ini accordance with one embodiment;` of thev inverntion and comprising: a framel structure.. adapted:y toreceive. av number of. freezing receptacles;` molds or cups. In the `presentinstance-thezframe. structure-is formed from-i a single sheetorl blank' of material, suchv asf-sheet: aluminum.. The-sheet;v is stampedl or draw-n bysuitable press operationsn tof-provide frame flllhavingagenerally flat bottom III- terminating: at:l opposite.-I side edges; inupright'1 longitudinali side walls. I:.'I.:.. The: upper edges .ofthese` sidewalls or. side. memebers are' turned: or rolled into: generally inverted. U'eshapeso-` as to-l impart strength. and. rigidity..I thereto, thesefrolledi or turned-- edges; being indifcated-at Iilfa; The bottom o theitrayx frame ter.- minates: in: av fromiupright endwall I 2 andeaarear upright endwall' I3`;4 these: end walls;- being in:-V tegral with the bottom I-U.. Thezrearendiwallf Iif3; terminates ati itszupper-edgefinza; rolled. or turned edge l3nt-.similar tothe rolled or-turnededges: Hury which mergewintegrally into. the,z rolled or turned-t edge I 3a; The: front* upright: wall- I2;- terminates, integrally in a handle- MiY It' willI be: noted'that: the handle. Mi comprisessid'el portions: Ulli` which'. merge integrallyY into. therolled edges IIag. and; the tur-ned'l edges'- of these sidef portions IfIacon.- verge'` into-.a central handle-portion4 which; is; errn-v recess for the reception. ofl`- the iingers whenJ grasping the trayto withdrawv it from the refrigeratorv freezing.,l compartment or evaporator...

The bottom If0 of* the'- trayf frameisf drawn;

50, centrally to provide` a.- longitudinally extendlngi verse alignment, preferably terminating short of the outer terminal edges of the tray bottom I" and, hence, short of the side walls I I. The ribsV It in the present embodiment have the same height as the longitudinal rib I5, and these ribs v are preferably of substantially lessheight than the height of the side and end walls II, I2 and I3. The front and rear ends of the rib I5 merge into the bottom Ill of the tray frame short of the end walls I2 and I3 so vas to provide spaces between the ends of the rib and these end walls affordingA communication from one side of the rib: to the other for the flow of water.

Thus, the ribs or grid members I5 and I6 not only serve to divide the tray frame into individual receptacle receiving spaces but also to strengthen and Areinforce the bottom of the frame against bending, buckling orv distortion in any direction. Itfwill be noted that a space is left between the outer end of each transverse rib I6 and the adjacent side wall II of the tray frame. Extending longitudinally through these spaces at each side of the tray frame intermediate the ends of the ribs I6 and the side walls II are two shallow drain ,grooves I1, By pressing these shallow grooves into the bottomv of the tray frame there are provided, Aas shown in Fig. 4, two shallow longitudinally extending ribs I8 which extend substantially the full length of the bottom of the tray adjacent the bases of the side walls II. These shallow ribs I8, which produce'the drain grooves I'I, facilitate release or loosening of the trayframe from the bottom of the refrigerator freezing. compartment. The bottom of the tray frame is piercedv to provide ,a number .of Ydrain holes I9. As illustrated, each drain groove I1 communicates at each end witha drain hole I9, there being preferably Ya suitable number-of additional drain holes I9 intermediate the ends of the drain grooves. The location and arrangement of the drain grooves I1 and drain holes I9 are such as to facilitate the drainage of water from -the bottom of the .tray frame during and after the receptacles have been filled.

From the foregoing it will be seen that the central grid or partition member I5 divides the interior of the tray into two longitudinal spaces for. the reception of two rows of Vindividually removable freezing receptacles and also divides the base into two longitudinally extending runners or bottom supporting members which support the freezing receptacles and provide heat exchange contact with the bottoms of the receptacles over substantially the entire areas thereof. In addition, the transverse ribs or grid members I6 divide each longitudinal space in a number, such as ten, of individual receptacle receiving spaces. Although ten such spaces are shown in the present embodiment it will be understood that a larger or less number may be provided.

The bottom of the tray frame is pressed or embossed to provide a number, such as 10, of upwardly extending curved projections located centrally in thereceptacle spaces formed by the rib or grid members I5 and I6. The metal surrounding each projection 20 is countersunk or depressed to provide circular countersunkv depressions 2I projecting slightly below the normal 4 plane of the bottom I0 of the tray frame. These circular countersunk portions 2|, as shown in Figs. 3 and 4,' preferably have a depth corresponding to the depth of the shallow longitudinal ribs I8, the purpose thereof as well as of the projections 20 being hereinafter described.

For freezing purposes the tray fram-e of the present embodiment is designed to receive ten receptacles,cups or Vmolds 22 arranged in two rows of ve each at opposite sides of the grid or rib member I5. Preferably each mold or receptacle is formed into a generally rectangular shape and the receptacles may either be spaced as shown with rtheir longitudinal dimensions extending longitudinally of the trayframe or the latter may be formed somewhat Wider to permit the receptacles to be arranged with their longer dimensions extending transversely of the tray frame at opposite sides of the rib member I5. Each cup or receptacle 22 is preferably formed from plastic material.y Although various kinds of thermoplastic materials may be used I have found that polyethylene plastic possesses important advantages when used in the fabrication of the cups or receptacles. The individual receptacles are, therefore, preferably produced from polyethylene material and this is accomplishedY by the process of injection molding. These cups have marked advantages in respect to flexibility, toughness and strength within a wide range from low freezing temperatures tov temperatures approximating that of boiling water. The cups or receptacles formed from polyethylene plastic are not only highly flexible even at very low temperatures,

. permitting the quick release of ice cubes, but are characterized by surfaces of wax or parafn-like nature, which have little or no appreciable adherence toV theV ice cubes. The toughness and flexibility of these receptacles are such as to render them extremely durable and unbreakable, sothat the cups are long-lived even under conditions of hard usage.

Each cup or receptacle 22 is provided with upwardly flaring side walls 22a terminating in al continuous laterally extending rim flange 22h. In the present embodiment two opposed sides of the rim flange are formed during the injection molding operation with notches or depressed portions 23, the depth thereof being predetermined as desired in order to govern the level of liquid remaining in the receptacle after lling thereof. The remaining portions of the rim flange extending between the opposed notches 23 are preferably left at so as to extend in a common plane. With this construction it will be seen that the cup or receptacle 22 may be filled to over-flowing, yet the excess liquid will flow through the notched or depressed portion 23 bringing the final level of liquid to a height corresponding substantially to the height of the bottom of the notch or depressed portions. The expansion of the water when freezing willas a result prevent the ice from forming over the rim flange or above the level of the normal plane thereof.

The bottom of each cup or receptacle 22 is formed centrally thereof with an arcuate or curved recess 24 into which one of the projections 20 extends when the receptacle is placed within the tray frame upon the-bottom I0 thereof. The projections 2U thus key the receptacles within the tray frame and serve to restrain displacement-of the receptacles while also assisting in locating the receptacles when placed within the frame. Thus, the projections 20, which enter the recesses 24 in the bottoms of the receptacles, to-

gether with the ribs I5 and I6 Serve the purpose of maintaining the receptacles within the tray frame in proper relation one to another.

Previously in the use of ice freezing cups or molds of this general character where the upper marginal rim or flange of the receptacle is continuously fiat around the top of the receptacle, it frequently happens that the user fills the re.- ceptacles to the rims with water and then places the tray in the refrigerator with the cups substantially full to the brims thereof. Upon freezing the water, expansion in an upward direction occurs and the ice not only bulges upwardly above the level of the rim but also spreads laterally and overlies the rim fiange. IThis condition renders it diihcult to eject the ice cubes in the normal manner at the time the tray is removed from the refrigerator. The preferred method of quickly removing the cubes when thoroughly frozen and unmelted is as follows. The user places the tips of several fingers of both hands on the rim flanges at opposed sides and the thumbs upon the bottom of the cup. He then nverts the cup and by exerting moderate pressure with the thumbs against the cup bottom readily moves or forces the ice cube out of the cup into a glass or other receptacle. It will then be seen that if the ice forms solidly over the rim flange difficulty will be encountered in using the foregoing method to eject the ice cube from the cup since the fingers, instead of engaging over the rimange will engage over the edges of the ice cube and no amount of pressure of the thumbs upon the cup bottom will move the ice cube out of the cup since the cube will be held by the fingers. In other words, the ice cube in effect will be squeezed between the fingers and thumbs and will remain within the cup.

The foregoing difficulties are overcome by virtue of the present invention in which the rim ange is depressed or notched at one or more localities, such as indicated at 23. Where the cup is rectangular I prefer to depress the rim at two opposite sides, leaving the rim flat at the other two sides for engagement by the finger tips when ejecting the frozen contents. However, the depressions in the rim flanges of the cups may be located as desired so as to leave portions of the rim flange of the cup higher than other portions so that the ice will always form below these higher portions thereby ensuring portions of the rim fianges free of overlying ice for engagement by the finger tips. The notch portions 23 have the additional advantage of imparting increased flexibility to the rim, thereby rendering it easier to iiex the upper edge of the cup outwardly so as to render it easier to eject the ice cube from the cup.

In the injection molding process the plastic material is injected into the mold in heated condition. After the material has set the mold members are separated and the cups ejected therefrom. In some instances the ejection of the cups occurs before sufficient setting has taken place, resulting in bulging the cup slightly at the locality of the recess 24. Due to the countersunk depressions 2l any such bulged cups will lie substantially flat on the bottom of the tray frame since the centrally bulged portions will extend into the depressions 2|.

I claim:

1. A liquid freezing device including a panshaped frame having a bottom, grid means formed in the said bottom to provide recesses to receive a plurality .of individual receptacles, longitudinal downwardly extending shallow ribs formed in said bottom adjacent opposite side walls thereof forming shallow grooves in the upper face of said bottom.

2. A liquid freezing device including a panshaped frame having a bottom and upstanding side walls extending upwardly from the bottom continuously around the four sides of the frame, grid means formed in the said frame to provide spaces to receive a plurality of individual receptacles, longitudinal downwardly extending shallow ribs formed in said bottom adjacent opposite side walls thereof, said ribs forming shallow drain grooves in the upper face of said bottom, said bottom having drain holes communicating with said grooves.

3. A liquid freezing device including a panshaped frame having a bottom and upstanding side walls extending upwardly from the bottom continuously around the four sides of the frame, grid means formed in the said bottom to provide recesses to receive a plurality of individual receptacles, longitudinal downwardly extending shallow ribs formed in said bottom adjacent opposite side walls thereof, said ribs being spaced inwardly from the juncture of the bottom and the said opposite side walls and forming shallow drain grooves in the upper face of said bottom, the latter having drain holes communicating with said grooves.

4. A liquid freezing device including a panshaped frame having a bottom and upstanding side walls extending upwardly from the bottom continuously around the four sides of the frame, longitudinal and transverse intersecting upwardly projecting ribs formed in said bottom to provide spaces to receive a plurality of individual receptacles, and drain grooves formed in said bottom between the ends of the transverse ribs and the adjacent side walls.

5. A liquid freezing device including a panshaped frame having a bottom and upstanding side walls extending upwardly from the bottom continuously around the four sides of the frame, grid means formed in the said frame to provide spaces to receive a plurality of individual receptacles, a plurality of receptacles disposed in said spaces, longitudinal downwardly extending shallow ribs formed in said bottom adjacent opposite side walls thereof, said ribs forming shallow drain grooves in the upper face of said bottom, said bottom having drain holes communicating with said grooves.


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

UNITED STATES PATENTS Number Name Date D. 103,916 Scurlock Mar. 30, 1937 D. 106,419l Barber Oct. 12, 1937 2,212,764 York Aug. 27, 1940 2,218,724 Rudd Oct. 22, 1940 2,367,098 Cole Jan. 9, 1945 2,452,846 Flynn Nov. 2, 1948 2,459,168 Jocelyn Jan. 18, 1949 2,494,043 Jocelyn Jan. 10, 1950 2,497,743 Roethel Feb. 14, 1950 2,498,964 Roethel Feb. 28, 1950

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2212764 *Jan 22, 1940Aug 27, 1940York Bertrand LMold
US2218724 *Aug 31, 1937Oct 22, 1940Rudd Harry BReceptacle for refrigerator use
US2367098 *Oct 23, 1941Jan 9, 1945Cole Arthur EIce tray
US2452846 *Oct 12, 1945Nov 2, 1948Charles A FlynnIce cube tray
US2459168 *Oct 25, 1945Jan 18, 1949Jocelyn Douglas LIce tray
US2494043 *Sep 17, 1945Jan 10, 1950Jocelyn Douglas LIce tray
US2497743 *May 22, 1948Feb 14, 1950Roethel Engineering CorpIce tray
US2498964 *Apr 23, 1945Feb 28, 1950Roethel Engineering CorpIce tray
USD103916 *Oct 1, 1936Mar 30, 1937 Design fob a multiple compartment
USD106419 *Jan 25, 1937Oct 12, 1937 Design for a refrigerator tray
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2704928 *Mar 14, 1952Mar 29, 1955Stanley Curry RobertDevices for use in the production of ice in refrigerators
US5250315 *Aug 21, 1992Oct 5, 1993Design Display Group Inc.Method for cooling a beverage
US7905466 *Jun 19, 2008Mar 15, 2011Lg Electronics Inc.Ice tray
US20090020681 *Jun 19, 2008Jan 22, 2009Lg Electronics Inc.Ice tray
U.S. Classification249/120
International ClassificationF25C1/22, F25C1/24
Cooperative ClassificationF25C1/24
European ClassificationF25C1/24