US 2747380 A
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y 1956 R. H. RIDNOUR ICE CUBE PACKAGE OR MOLD Original Filed Aug. 2, 1950 INVENTOR.
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qTTOR/VEY United States Patent ICE CUBE PACKAGE R MOLD Robert H. Ridnour, San Diego, Calif.
Original application August 2, 1950, Serial No. 177,299,
now Patent No. 2,645,092, dated July 14, 1953. Divided and this application July 13, 1953, Serial No. 367,608
3 Claims. (Cl. 62-1085) My invention pertains to an ice cube package or mold.
An object of my invention is to provide a suitable pack age or mold arrangement which can be conveniently filled with water from any desired source, so that when the mold is placed in a suitable refrigerating compartment, a series of ice cubes will be formed, the mold being originally in a compact or collapsed condition requiring a minimum of space for shipping or when used in a vending machine.
A further object of my invention is to provide a mold which can be formed with standard devices at a minimum cost, and which includes other advantages readily apparent.
With these and other objects in view, my invention consists in the construction, arrangement, and combination of the various parts of my device, whereby the objects contemplated are attained, as hereinafter more fully set forth, pointed out in my claims, and illustrated in the accompanying drawings, in which:
Figure 1 is an isometric view of an upper portion of the mold or package unit, partially extended,
Figure 2 is an isometric cut-away view of the lower part of the package unit,
Figure 3 is a detail of the corner fold of the package unit,
Figure 4 is a section through the package unit at the lines 4-4 of Figure 6,
Figure 5 is a fiat pattern view of a cube cell separator,
Figure 6 is a bottom view taken at the lines 6-6 of Figure 4, showingthe folding details of the package unit bottom,
Figure 7 is a side view of the package unit completely collapsed, and as viewed substantially along the lines 7-7 of Figure 6, and
Figure 8 is a modification.
The present application is a division of my co-pending application of an ice cube vending machine, Serial Number 177,299, filed August 2, 1950, now Patent No. 2,645,092, dated July 14, 1953. In the present application, I shall use identical characters to signify identical portions which were used in the aforesaid co-pending application, with further characters designating parts in tlie nodilied form.
The packages or molds contemplated for use, is a multicellular unit which is collapsible to require a minimum of space for storage, and which will expand to its maximum shape. These packages are to be made from suitable material capable of retaining water, such as wax impregnated paper, metal foil, foil backed by paper, plastic film, or any combination of materials suited to the purpose. The package comprises a top 66 which is of heavier gauge material than the sides, and which is rectangular in shape, and being wider than the main body of the package, thus forming over-hanging lips 69; multiple vertical cells 48 (see Figure 2) each having its own four side walls 71, 72, 73 and 74; bottom diaphragm 75, and containing suitable separators 76, and a bottom tie sheet 77. Rip strips 78 of a tough material may be im- "ice bedded into the lap joints 80 of the vertical cells 48 to facilitate the opening of the package in use, and may in fact carry the adhesive in the process of manufacture.
The top 66 includes water inlet openings 79 located over the center of each vertical cell 48 to allow the package to be filled when brought into position under water discharge tubes of any type desired. The vertical cell 48 which includes the aforesaid side walls 71, 72, 73 and 74 is formed by folding a fiat sheet of suitable material into an essentially tubular form and joining the edges in the ordinary lap joint 80. Said tubular structure is rendered collapsible and extensible along its lengthwise dimension by means of suitably spaced alternate inward folds 89 (see Figure 4) and outward folds 90. The spacing of said inward and outward folds is necessarily an exact frac-' tional part of the vertical length of the desired ice cube size. It will also be apparent that there may be any number of inward folds per cube. However, it will also be apparent that each fold adds thickness to the package when collapsed, and, therefore, it is desirable that a minimum number of folds be used. It is possible to make only one inward fold per cube, but in so doing, the materials of the sides 71, 72, 73 and 75 would meet in the center and tend to block the free flow of water from cell to cell. I have therefore used the preferred form of folding wherein there are two inward folds per cube.
Figure 3 illustrates a detail of the folding at the corners of the tube and is typical of all four corners. It will be seen that the folding of one side, as side 72, differs from the folding of its adjacent side, as 71, in that it is necessary to form additional small tri-angular surfaces as defined by the corners 81-82-84 and 81-82-83. For convenience in illustrating this structure We will hereafter call a fold as side 71 is folded in Figure 3 a fiat fold, and we will call a fold as side 72 is folded a broken fold.
, These corner folds will be more readily understood by the ing sides and broken folded on the alternate sides. However, it is intended that my invention shall not be restricted to such an arrangement but shall include any possible combinations and permutations of such flat folds and broken folds. The separators 76 divide the tube into individual cube cells. Separators 76 have a hole 91 preferably located at the center, which allows the downward passage of water when filling the package and which also allows the upward passage of air during filling and bubbles during freezing, as well as allowing the upward expansion of the unfrozen water core which is typical of the process of freezing water in an open-topped container wherein the freezing of ice progresses inwardly.
The separators 76 may also have multiple slits 92 proceeding outwardly for a limited distance from said hole 91, preferably toward the corners of the separator because when so located, they may be longer and still leave a more substantial portion of the diaphragm or separator uncut. The purpose of these slits is to assist in the easy flow of air or water between the individual cube cells, especially during the process of manufacture of the package 51 wherein at certain stages of fabrication on high speed machinery,
' it will be necessary to rapidly collapse the cells to folded position and a maximum area for the escape of trapped air will be necessary. The tabs comprised by slits 92 and the edge of hole 91 will spring partially open when under pressure of air or water fiow and close again when the pressure is relieved.
It will be apparent that when cubes of ice are frozen in such a package, there will be a bond of ice between adjacent cubes. This bond being small in area and centrally located, will, by the principles of mechanics, be easily broken by bending of the package, and even more easily by twisting than if said bonds were located outwardly from the center.
Referring to Figure 5, the separators 76 have tabs 94 on three sides, which are shown flat, but in use are bent up along bend lines 93. Referring to Figure 4, it will be seen that separators are located at the point of an outward fold of the sides 71, 72, 73 and 74, and are secured by cementing tabs 94 to side walls 72, 73 and 74, there being no tab provided on the side 71, which is the side carrying the splice and which being last closed in the process of manufacture, prevents access to readily accomplish a bond at this point.
While not illustrated, it is within the scope of my invention to include any other combinations of holes and/ or slits in said diaphragms 76 which might be used to accomplish the aforementioned purposes.
The vertical cells 48 further include a bottom diaphragm 75 which is preferably of heavier material than that used for the sides, and is a simple square in shape.
The vertical cells 48 still further comprise a portion of sides 71, 72, 73 and 74 which extends downwardly beyond the last accordion-like fold in said sides, at which last fold the bottom diaphragm is inserted, and said extended portions are folded over in the usual manner used by store clerks in wrapping a prismatic package. This is illustrated in Figure 6. These folded portions are bonded to said diaphragm 75 by adhesive, wax, or other bonding agents as the case may be, with particular care to assure a complete sealing against leakage.
The vertical cells 48 still further comprise extensions of sides 71, 72, 73 and 74 upwardly beyond the last accordion-like fold, which extensions form tabs 95 (see Figure 1). These tabs 95 are wrapped upward onto the top 66 and cemented or otherwise bonded to said top. Those tabs which do not fall adjacent to an outside edge of top 66 may be simply eliminated sincethere is no particular need for a water-tight construction at this point because the packages should not be filled completely to overflow with water.
The bottom tie sheet 77 is a channel-like piece which has as its principal function the tying together of the bottoms of the several cells. Said bottom tie may be securely bonded as extra protection against leakage. Its upstanding flange portions could be extended up the entire side of the package for the purpose of carrying an advertising message, in which case it would follow the folds of the sides and thus form a double wall on two sides of the package unit.
Having thus described one embodiment of the package unit, it should be understood that the broad conception of my invention is not restricted to the specific construction shown, other forms having occurred to me as they will to others skilled in the art.
As an illustration of a further modification which might be possible, Figure 8 illustrates the same. In this modification, the side walls 71, 72, 73 and 74 are used in an approximately similar manner as above described, however, the walls 71 and 73 include the intermediate folds 96, and joining the walls 72 and 74 are the inwardly positioned flaps 97. In manufacture, the upper section, which can be indicated by the character 98, is pressed down against the lower section 99, and with the surfaces at 96 and 97 being adhesively bonded so that when the package is opened again, the adhesion will cause the folds 96, etc.
arrangement of the parts of my invention without departing from the real spirit and purpose of my invention, and it is my intention to cover by my claims any modified forms of structure or use of mechanical equivalents which may be reasonably included within their scope.
I claim as my invention:
1. A unit for forming ice cubes comprising a foldable and collapsible container normally in compressed position, said container expanding to a substantially maximum volume upon admission of water therein to thereby provide an ice cube package when the said water is frozen, said unit including a plurality of partitioned portions therein whereby a plurality of ice cubes will be formed therein, openings communicating to said unit and through said partitions for admission of said water therein, said container including tear-strips along the outer surfaces thereof whereby the ice cubes thus formed can be removed.
2. A unit for forming ice cubes comprising a foldable and collapsible container normally in compressed position, said container expanding to a substantially maximum volume upon admission of water therein to thereby provide an ice cube package when the said water is frozen, said unit including a plurality of partitioned portions therein whereby a plurality of ice cubes will be formed therein, openings communicating to said unit and through said partitions for admission of said water therein, said container including tear-strips along the outer surfaces thereof whereby the ice cubes thus formed can be removed, said container further including a channel-shaped base sheet for engaging the lower portions thereof.
3. A unit for forming ice cubes comprising a foldable and collapsible container normally in compressed position, said container expanding to a substantially maximum volume upon admission of water therein to thereby provide an ice cube package when the said water is frozen, said container including cell portions to thereby provide a plurality of ice cubes, said cell portions including upper portions and lower portions, a foldable portion between said portions, flaps extending adjacently to said foldable portions, said foldable portions and said flaps being adhesively bonded upon downward pressure during manufacture to provide openings to said cell portions.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS Re. 20,920 Nadelson Nov. 15, 1938 393,899 Haines Dec. 4, 1888 1,231,569 Coshland July 3, 1917 1,894,897 Tinkham Jan. 17, 1933 1,923,522 Whitehouse Aug. 22, 1933 1,971,664 Smith Aug. 28, 1934 1,980,571 Brach Nov. 13, 1934 2,155,636 Bensel Apr. 25, 1939 2,214,525 Murgiundo Sept. 10, 1940 2,296,327 Barish Sept. 22, 1942 FOREIGN PATENTS 436,391 Italy Feb. 26, 1941