|Publication number||US3139213 A|
|Publication date||Jun 30, 1964|
|Filing date||Dec 13, 1962|
|Priority date||Nov 29, 1957|
|Also published as||DE1136599B, US3091360|
|Publication number||US 3139213 A, US 3139213A, US-A-3139213, US3139213 A, US3139213A|
|Original Assignee||Illinois Tool Works|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (3), Referenced by (86), Classifications (7)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
June 30, 1964 B. EDWARDS 3,139,213
NESTABLE CUP original Filed oci. 29, 195e J Ji United States Patent O 3,139,213 NESTABLE CUP Bryant Edwards, Clarendon Hills, Ill., assgnor to Illinois Tool Vor-irs, Inc., Chicago, lil., a corporation of Delaware Original application Oct. 29, 1958, Ser. No. 769,057, now Patent No. 3,091,360, dated May 28, 1963. Divided and this application Dec. 13, 1962, Ser. No. 244,320
11 Claims. (Cl. 220-97) This invention is concerned with the art of beverage containers, and most particularly with a cup of the expendable or throw-away variety.
The present application comprises a division of my copending application Serial No. 769,057, filed October 29, 1958, for Nestable Cup, now Patent No. 3,091,360, the latter being a continuation-in-part of my application Serial No. 699,678, filed November 29, 1957, and abandoned subsequent to the filing of application Serial No. 769,057.
As is well known, there are expendable cups made of impregnated paper, and even some of plastic. Such cups are used on picnics and the like, and are widely used in beverage vending machines, such as coffee machines and soft drink machines. As will be appreciated, economy of storage space dictates that a plurality of cups, in a vending machine, for example, must be stored in a tubular magazine With the cups telescoped within one another. When a beverage is to be dispensed, the bottom cup is dropped from the stack in the magazine into position to receive the beverage.
In the past, it has often been found that the bottom cup would not drop satisfactorily. It has been quite easy for the cups to become wedged together to the extent that the rather light weight of the bottom cup is insufficient to cause it to drop from the stack. Furthermore, the cups have necessarily hugged one another tightly, and the introduction of air between the bottom cup and the next adjacent cup has accordingly been slow, whereby air pressure tends to hold the bottom cup on the bottom of the stack. As a result, the bottom cup drops too slowly, or not at all.
Accordingly, it is an object of this invention to provide a cup, particularly a throw-away cup, which is so configured that a plurality of such cups can be stacked in telescopic relation without wedging together.
Furthermore, it is an object of this invention to provide a cup having a step or shelf intermediate its top and bottom edges whereby such steps or shelves support telescopically stacked cups to maintain the cups in stacked relation just short of maximum telescoping, whereby it is a simple matter to separate a cup from the telescoped stack.
More particularly, it is an object of this invention to provide a frusto-conical cup having a shelf or step intermediate its top and bottom margins, such shelf being cooperable with a complementary part of the similar cup to support the cups in nested relation short of total telescoping whereby individual cups are readily separatedv from the stack of nested cups. p
One serious problem still remains, that the cups may present a very rigid column. When such a column is dropped, as is quite likely in shipment or handling, the paper box or carton holding the column of cups is very likely to burst. Furthermore, the step by step dropping of the stack of cups in a vending machine is likely to cause damage to the mechanism of the Vending machine when the stack of cups is rigid.
It is therefore an object of this invention to provide a plastic cup which is configured to take advantage of the inherent resiliency of the plastic material for providing a resilient stack of cups.
Other and further objects and advantages of the present invention will be apparent from the following description when taken in connection with the accompanying drawings wherein:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a cup constructed in accordance with the principles of this invention;
FIG. 2 is a side View thereof;
FIG. 3 is a fragmentary longitudinal sectional View of a plurality of stacked or nested cups, substantially as taken along the line 3--3 in FIG. 2, showing the upper portions of the cups;
FIG. 4 is a view corresponding to FIG. 3, substantially as taken along the line 4-4 in FIG. 5, showing the bottom nested portions of a modification of the cup;
FIG. 5 is a side view of the modified cup of FIG. 4;
FIG. 6 is an enlarged detail axial sectional view of two modified cups stacked together;
FIG. 7 is a view similar to FIG. 6 of another modification; and
FIG. 8 is a View similar to FIG. 7 of a further modification.
The cup as hereinafter described in detail is made of plastic, preferably of high impact polystyrene. Such cups have marked advantages over paper cups which have been impregnated or coated with wax. They present a better feel and taste to the lips, they do not become soggy in use, and they form a substantially perfect vapor barrier so that no moisture condenses on a cool table beneath a cup when the cup contains hot coffee or the like. Y
Referring now in greater particularity to the drawings, there will be seen a plastic molded or formed cup designated generally by the numeral 10. This cup, as shown in FIGS. 1-3, has a lower body portion 12 of frustoconical configuration. The sidewall of the lower body portion 12 forms an angle of approximately 5 with the vertical, tapering upwardly and outwardly. The lower body portion 12 is joined by an intermediate portion 14 of greater taper to an upper body portion 16 of substantially the same taper as the lower body portion. The upper body portion 16 is terminated by an outwardly and downwardly turned lip 18.
The cup 10 is provided with an integral bottom 20 comprising an annular ring 22 joined to the lower body portion 12 and forming an angle of substantially 45 with the horizontal. To the ring 22 is secured a cone section 24 having an apex 26 on the central axis of the cup. The relatively sharp angle formed by the junction of the ring 22 with the sidewall allows a person using the cup to rest one or two fingers along the bottom edge of the cup Without burning the fingers when hot coffee is contained in the cup, due to the inefficient heat transfer provided by the sharp edge at the junction betwen these parts. The question of heat transfer is set forth more fully in my Patent 2,905,350, issued on September 22, 1959. The conical configuration of the central portion of the bottom is of great importance, in that it prevents sagging of the bottom when the cup is filled with coffee or the like.
Attention now is directed to the mid-section or intermediate portion 14. This mid-section comprises a plurality of stepped cylindrical rings 2S. The particular configuration of these rings is set forth in greater detail in my aforesaid Patent 2,905,350. These rings serve several purposes. is on the nature of only about 0.01 inch in thickness. The rings serve as a convenient finger grip, both due to the stepped nature of the rings, and due to the increased taper of the including cone. Perhaps most important, the dimensions of the rings are so determined as to provide la very inefficient contact with` the users fingers insofar They rigidify the wall of the cup, whichV Y as heat transfer is concerned. Thus, the user may hold a cupful of hot coffee without burning his lingers.
At the top of the series of rings 28, there is provided a relatively high ring `30 of reverse taper. This provides a shelf 32 at the top of the ring. Accordingly, as may be seen in FIG. 3, the bottom of the back-tapered ring, as is indicated at 34, of any given cup rests on the shelf 32 at the top of the back-tapered ring of a cup nested therewith.
The support through the back-tapered ring 30 makes it unnecessary for the cups to wedge against one another to be supported in nested relation. In fact, as will be seen with reference to FIG. 3, there is a slight spacing between the sidewalls of adjacent cups. Accordingly, not only are the cups not wedged together, but there is space for air to enter so that the bottom cup readily can be dropped from i tion 836 serves as an accordion pleat. Accordingly, when one cup presses down against the shelf 832 at the top of the pleat of the subjacent' cup, the pleat Will contract or be compressed axially, thereby imparting a resilient characteristic to the stack of cups. As will be seen, there is also necessarily a certain amount of camming action, although the accordion action is more important.
In all of the embodiments of the invention heretofore shown and described, the outlines of the cup are genthe stack. Similarly, the top cup readily can be removed, f
if this is desired. A preferred'embodiment of the'cup is shown in FIGS. 4 and 5. The cup remains generally the same, and similar parts are identified by similar numerals. The difference resides in the placement of the back-tapered ring 36a. As readily will be seen, the backtapered ring is provided directly at the bottom of the cup, so that the supporting edge 34a is the lo-wermost corner of the cup. The supporting shelf 32a thus is positioned adjacent 'the bottom of the cup. As will be understood, there is then no back-tapered ring positioned adjacent the holding rings 28.
This construction has several advantages. It minimizes the size of the chamber between'cups which must be vented to allow the bottom cup to drop free of theV stack. It allows the holding rings to be designed for optimum results without the necessity of compromising with the backtapered ring. Furthermore, the placement of the stacking or back-tapered ring at the bottom of the cup strengthens the bottom of the cup, and provides a sharper corner at 34a, which inhibits heat transfer to the lingers of a cup holder who likes to place one or two lingers beneath the bottom edge of the cup.
In referring to FIG. 6 wherein similar numerals are used to identify like parts, the numerals being in this instance in the 300 series, it will -be seen that the cups 310 are substantially identical to those heretofore shown and described, except that the stacking rings 330 may be continuous, rather than in the yform of nibs. The resilient feature in'this form of the invention is in the shelf 332 which is frusto-conical, rather than planar. Thus, when the rest or step 334 of one cup is pressed against the shelf 332 of the subjacent cup, that shelf 332 is deflected in the manner of a conical washer, thereby imparting a spring action and rendering this stack of cups resilient.
In the embodiment of FIG. 7,k wherein similar parts are identified by like numerals in the 500 series, the stacking ring 530 has a section n the form of a reverse letter s being sinuous, and having an upper outwardly concave configuration 546, and a lower inwardly concave configuration 548. However, the upper portion does provide a sort of shelf 532, and a lower portion similarly provides a step or rest 534. Obviously, the lower portions 548 are concave outwardly, presenting tapered surfaces which cam against the complementary upper sections 546, thereby imparting a camming action resiliently supporting `adjacent cups. The tendency is for portions of the outside cup to expand with the inside cup portions to contract, generally in the manner heretofore described. Furthermore, there is a certain amount of torsion force. The result is that the stack again is resilient.
The form of the invention shown in FIG. 8 relies mostly on the resiliency of the plastic, but also to some extent on camming action. In particular, the cups are generally sirnilar to those heretofore shown and described, the stacking ring in this instance comprising a step or rest 834 immediately adjacent the bottom of the cup, and the upper surface 832 of a semicircular crimp or indentation 850 extending annularly about the cup. The indentaerally the same. In each instance, sections are provided for ,utilizing the inherent resiliency of the plastic, either directly, or by a wedging action or by both, whereby tol impart a resilient characteristic to a stack of such cups telescoped together.
It is to be understood that the specific example of the invention herein shown and described is for illustrative purposes only. Various changes in structure will no doubt occur to those skilled in the art, and will be understood as forming a part of this invention insofar as they fall within the spirit and scope of the appended claims.
` The invention is claimed as follows:
l. A one-piece nestable seamless container of thinwall plastic material of substantially uniform thickness, comprising a bottom and a side-wall of predetermined thickness integral therewith, the configuration of said bottom in central axial Vcross-section being such as to enhance its resistance to deformation, said sidewall being joined to said bottom at a circumferential bottom margin and tapering generally upwardly and outwardly therefrom in diverging relation to an upper margin deliningan open upper end, said sidewall being of substantial height to permit gripping thereof by a user, said upper margin having a rim of predetermined axial extent which is of Vsuicient increased'lateral width relative to the thickness of the thin plastic sidewalls to lend required lateral strength at said open upper end, said sidewalls having circumferential stacking ring means formed therein, positioned below and spaced axially from said upper rim and having an axial extent greater than the axial extent of the rim portion and substantially less than the height of said sidewall, said stacking ring means including a circumferentially disposed intermediate support section having at its lower extremity circumferentially disposed externally projecting shoulder means and having at its upper extremity circumferentially disposed internal shoulder means projecting inwardly from the container sidewall and of smaller minimum diameter than the maximum diameter of said external shoulder means and spaced upwardly from said bottom, said smaller diameter being less than said greater diameter by more than twice said sidewall thickness, said internal shoulder means adapted to form a shelf to coact `with the complementary external shoulder means of a like container to positively limit the extent of telescopic association of said containers and the maximum diameter of the container in the vicinity of said external shoulder means being sufficiently less than the diameter of the internal container wall surface adjacent and above said'internal shoulder means to counteract jamming of like containers when stacked, both said internal shoulder means and said external shoulder means being substantially circumferentially continuous, said intermediate section `of the stacking means inclined inwardly and upwardly toward the cup axis to present the aforesaid inner shoulder means and to provide a thin-wall, resilient support therefore when axial pressure is applied therev against by the external shoulder means of alike, telescopically associated container.
f 2. A container as set forth in claim 1 wherein said stacking ring means is disposed immediately adjacent the bottom of the container.
3. A container as set forth in claim 1/ wherein the external shoulder means comprises the bottom margin of the container.
4. A container as set forth in claim 1 wherein the container sidewall has a finger gripping ring section comprising a series of steps of progressively greater diameter, and wherein the stacking ring means is immediately adjacent said linger gripping ring section, the axial extent of said stacking means being greater than the axial extent of any of said linger gripping steps.
5. A container as set forth in claim 1 wherein at least one of said shoulder means has a surface associated therewith that is oblique rel-ative to the container axis, the other shoulder means of an adjacent container being engageable therewith.
6. A one-piece nestable seamless container of thin wall plastic material of substantially uniform thickness, comprising a bottom and a sidewall of predetermined thickness integral therewith, the configuration of said bottom in central axial cross-section being such as to enhance its resistance to deformation, said sidewall being joined to said bottom at a circumferential bottom margin Iand tapering generally upwardly and outwardly therefrom in diverging relation to an upper margin defining an open upper end, said sidewall being of substantial height to permit gripping thereof by a user, said upper margin having a rim of predetermined axial extent which is of sucient increased lateral width relative to the thickness of the thin plastic sidewalls to lend required lateral strength at said open upper end, said sidewalls having circumferential stacking ring means formed therein, positioned below and spaced axially from said upper rim and having an axial extent greater than the axial extent of the rim portion and substantially less than the height of said sidewall, said stacking ring means including a circumferentially disposed intermediate support section having -at its lower extremity circumferentially disposed externally projecting shoulder means and having at its upper extremity circumferentially disposed internal shoulder means projecting inwardly from the container sidewall and of smaller minimum diameter than the maximum diameter of said external shoulder means and spaced upwardly from said bottom, said smaller diameter being less than said greater diameter by more than twice said sidewall thickness, said internal shoulder means adapted to form a shelf to coact with the complementary external shoulder means of a like container to positively limit the extent of telescopic association of said containers and the maximum diameter of the container in the vicinity of said external shoulder means being sufficiently less than the diameter of the internal container Wall surface adjacent and above said internal shoulder means to counteract jamming of like containers when stacked, and at least one of said shoulder means including a circumferential surface oblique to the container axis, adapted for camming engagement with the other shoulder means of a like container telescopically associated therewith to enhance axial resiliency to a stack of containers in telescoped relation in response to axial pressures normally experienced by a stack of such containers.
7. A container as set forth in claim 6 wherein said stacking ring means is disposed in the vicinity of the bottom margin of the container.
8. A container as set forth in claim 6 wherein the stacking ring means in axial section is sinuous in shape.
9. A container as set forth in claim 6 wherein the oblique surface in axial section presents a substantially straight line.
10. A container as set forth in claim 6, wherein the bottom portion of the container includes a peripheral wall section of limited axial extent projecting axially beyond said external shoulder means and being substantially circular in transverse cross-section, said peripheral wall section having a diameter portion which is less than the minimum diameter of said internal shoulder means.
11. A container as set forth in claim 7, wherein the bottom portion of the container includes a peripheral wall section of limited axial extent projecting axially beyond said external shoulder means and being substantially circular in transverse cross-section, said peripheral wall section having a diameter portion which is less than the minimum diameter of said internal shoulder means.
References Cited in the le of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,816,697 Amberg Dec. 17, 1957 2,879,917 Flack Mar. 3, 1959 2,985,354 Aldington May 23, 1961
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|U.S. Classification||206/519, 229/400, D07/532|
|International Classification||B65D1/22, B65D1/26|