US 3302427 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Ffih 1967 A. M. STONER ETAL 3,3 02A2? BEVERAGE CAN COOLER Filed Dec. 28, 1964 4 Sheets-Sheet l Feb, 7, 1987 A. M. STONER ETAL. 302A? BEVERAGE CAN COOLER 4 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Dec. 28, 1964 //V I/E/V TONS ARTHUR M'- STU/V51? mom m2 0. saw/mom ATRIVEV Filed Dec. 28, 1964 A. M. STONER ETAL BEVERAGE CAN COOLER 4 Sheets-Sheet 5 llVl/E/V TOPS ARTHUR M. 570MB? RICH/4WD G. SCHNEIDER Ul/V Feb. 7, R967 A. M. STONER ETAL 3,
BEVERAGE CAN COOLER Filed Dec. 28, 1964 4 Sheets-Sheet 4;
m zza 2 6G 67E M Q. I I 60 I I //Vl/E/VTOR5 ARTHUR M, STU/V51? RICHARD G. SCHNEIDER f? L.
A 7" TOWIVE United States Patent 07 3,302,427 BEVERAGE CAN COOLER Arthur M. Stoner and Roger L. Paquin, Madison, Conn.,
and Richard C. Schneider, Pittsburgh, Pa., assignors to Aldco, Incorporated, Clinton, Conn., a corporation of Connecticut Filed Dec. 28, 1964, Ser. No. 421,501 Claims. (Cl. 62-457) This invention relates to a device for cooling or keeping cool a can of liquid.
Many beverages, including beer, soft drinks, and fruit juices, are not only sold in cans but are drunk directly from the can. From-the-can consumption saves washing glasses or using disposable cups, and many people prefer it. One cannot, however, cool such drinks by adding ice to them; so the cans are normally cooled by placing them in a refrigerator for several hours. For parties and on many other occasions, there may not be enough space to put all the cans needed into the refrigerator. Moreover, it is often desirable to be able to cool a roomtemperature can and drink its contents on short notice, without having to wait several hours for it to become cool enough for consumption.
Even when a can has been cooled in the refrigerator, it is desirable to provide some way of keeping the drink cool while it is being consumed, because cans warm up quickly through their conductive walls, drawing heat from the hand that holds them as Well as from the atmosphere, Moreover, a cool can just taken out of the refrigerator is too cool to be held comfortably, because of the rapid heat transfer provided by its metal walls.
The present invention solves these problems by providing a cooling device which is especially adapted for use with cans. It can be used to cool a room-temperature beverage to a good drinking temperature right in the can, or it can be used to keep cool a refrigerated can of beverage. Moreover, the device provides a handle that is warm and does not feel cold to the touch as does a cold can. Also, the device will cool or keep cool a drinking glass, and if desired, the liquid can be poured from the can or from a bottle into such a glass and the glass inserted in the device, and cooled or kept cool by it. The invention enables service to those people who do not like to drink directly from the can with the same equipment that is used by the people who prefer drinking from the can and with the same advantage of keeping the drink cool for a long time.
The cooling device includes a double-walled container of special structure; sealed between its walls is a liquid which, before use, is frozen in a suitable freezer. A handle attached to the double-walled container by a novel structure enables one to treat the device as a mug while also enabling one to hold the cold drink without getting ones hands cold.
For a cooling device of this type to work efficiently, a large cooling area should make snug contact with the can to be cooled, and this presented a problem because typical cans have chimes or seams on their ends which are larger in diameter than the rest of the can; a can cannot be inserted into a cylinder that will snugly engage its walls, because the chimes are too large for such insertion, and a cylinder large enough to accommodate the can chimes or seams will not make contact with more than a small area on one side of the main can wall. The present invention provides a cooling unit in which the chime of the can can be forced down into the unit and can be accommodated at its lower end, while spring means forces nearly the entire area of the side walls of the can into contact with a wall of the cooling device; in this Way, eflicient heat transfer is achieved.
Other objects and advantages of the invention will apethylene.
3,302,427 Patented Feb. 7, 1967 pear from the following description .of some preferred forms thereof.
In the drawings:
FIG. 1 is a view in perspective of a cooling device embodying the principles of the present invention, with a beverage can installed therein.
FIG. 2 is a top plan view of the device of FIG. 1.
FIG. 3 is a view in vertical section taken along the line 3-3 in FIG. 1.
FIG. 4 is a view of the capsule portion of the device, also taken along the line 3-3 in FIG. 2 but showing the capsule of the cooling device removed from the mug-like holder and before insertion of the can, in order to show the initial interior shape of the inner wall. The volume occupied by a can is indicated in phantom lines.
FIG. 5 is a top plan view of the empty capsule of FIG. 4.
FIG. 6 is a view in section taken. along the line 66 in FIG. 4.
FIG. 7 is a view like FIG. 6 showing the can in place. A portion has been broken off to conserve space.
FIG. 8 is a view in section takenalong the line 8-8 in FIG. 4.
FIG. 9 is a view in section taken along the line 9- 9 in FIG. 4.
FIG. 10 is a view in perspective of a modified form of the invention.
FIG. 11 is a view in side elevation and partly in section of the device of FIG. 10.
FIG. 12 is a view in section taken along the line 12-12 in FIG. 11.
FIG. 13 is a view in side elevation and partly in section of the handle and spring assembly of the device of FIG. 10.
FIG. 14 is a view in elevation of the spring of FIG. 13.
FIG. 15 is a view in section taken along the line 15-15 in FIG. 13.
FIG. 16 is a view in section taken along the line 16-16 in FIG. 13.
FIG. 17 is a view in section taken along the line 17-17 in FIG. 13.
The article of this invention includes a novel doublewalled cooling unit or capsule 10, preferably made from flexible plastic material, such as polypropylene or poly- For example, the wall thickness may be about 0.03 inch. The unit or capsule 10 may conveniently be made from two plastic moldings, namely, (1) an inner shell 11 and (2) an outer shell 12- with a base plate 13. The two shells 11 and 12 are hermetically sealed together with a coolant liquid 14 inside, filling about of the interim space. The refrigerating liquid or coolant 14 is chosen according to the characteristics desired for a particular application, depending on the quantity of the material intended to be cooled, that is, the can size, and depending upon how long the drink is to be kept cool; the amount and type of liquid 14 may also be influenced by whether the capsule 10 is to be the sole agency for cooling the can, whether it is to be merely used for keeping an already cold beverage cool while it is being drunk, or whether it is to be used for both purposes. A typical liquid 14 is a water solution of glycerin.
The inner shell 11 provides a generally cylindrical inner wall 15 that is made from thin and suitably flexible plastic, preferably about 0.03 inch in thickness. The bore 15 is preferably molded to the same diameter as the beverage cans 20, which may be steel or aluminum. The upper end of the bore 15 has a flared or frustoconical entry portion 16 and a generally horizontal lip 17. The conical lead-in portion 16 helps to guide a can into the bore 15 of the capsule 10. The inner shell 11 also provides a central seat 18 upon which the bottom wall 19 of the installed can 20 rests. The seat 18 is raised above the lower end of the wall 15, and its rim 21 is spaced radially inwardly from it, being joined to it by a web portion comprising a tapered wall 22 and an annular lower end 23, forming a well 24 around and below the seat 18. A relief or recess 25 is radially outset in the bore 15, and this very important structure enables the bore of the plastic capsule 10 to expand so that the chime or bottom bead 26 of the steel can can pass down into the well 24. In addition, this relief has the unusual effect of shaping the frozen refrigerant 14, so that when the refrigerant 14 expands as the result of freezing, the capsule 10 is forced slightly out of round. This expansion causes the diameter AA in FIG. 6 (the one bisecting the recess 25) to become greater, like the major axis of an ellipse, while causing the diameter B-B perpendicular to the diameter A-A to become less, like the minor axis of the ellipse. This change in shape serves to put the bore 15 firmly in contact with the outside walls 29 of the can 20. This contact is particularly important when the can 20 is first put into the capsule 10, for it is desirable to get the greatest possible heat transfer initially, so that if the capsule 10 is used for cooling beverages in a can 20 that is at room temperature when inserted, the time necessary for the cooling to take place is minimized. As the refrigerant 14 melts, it contracts and therefore the pressure resulting from the expansion of the refrigerant and the distortion from the round condition of the capsule 10 are both reduced.
In order to maintain a good contact for heat transfer purposes between the bore 15 of the capsule 10 and the diameter of the can 20 being held, spring means are employed to hold the can side walls 29 in contact with the bore 15. In the embodiment shown in FIGS. 16, plastic fins 27, 28 extend from the bore 15 and act as the spring means. When the can 20 is inserted, these fins 27, 28 are bent outwardly (compare FIGS. 6 and 7), and serve to apply inward pressure that keeps the can wall 29 in contact with the bore 15 of the capsule 10 at all times.
The seat 18 provides an area clear of the bead or chime 26 for heat transfer between the bottom 19 of the can 20 and the refrigerant 14. It also provides enough distance from the bead or chime 26 below it and around it to enable the inner shell 11 to flex to accommodate the bead or chime 26 and to accommodate the distortion of the container bore 15 without breaking the plastic. If the inner shell 11 were anchored directly to the base plate 13 or otherwise made without the well 24, the distance would not be enough to enable deflection without excessive stresses in the plastic. Furthermore, the seat 18 and well 24 configuration provides clearance for a ridge on the surface of one style of aluminum can, so that the flat surface at the bottom 19 of that can will still be in contact with the supporting cooling surface 18.
The can cooling unit 19 is particularly effective and appreciated with aluminum cans, since the thin wall of aluminum cans has a much greater rate of heat transfer than do steel cans and will cool faster; also, Without the device of this invention, aluminum cans tend to warm up faster.
The tapered wall 22 of the inner shell 11 encloses a space underneath the seat 18. When the unit 10 is warm and is turned mouth down, as it usually and preferably is when placed into a freezer, enough liquid 14 remains in the space 30 for a portion 31 to freeze there and remain next to the seat 18. The liquid 14 is thus distributed where it will be in the most effective position for cooling the can 20. As it thaws in use, it drips down, but there is much remaining cooling power even after the liquid 14 thaws, and this dripping fills the space 30 with the cold liquid 14.
Thus, summarizing about the inner shell 11, the bore 15 has the vertical recess 25 and the inwardly converging springy fins 27, 28 at each side of the recess 25 that flex when the can 20 is inserted and take the position shown in FIG. 7, holding approximately eight-five percent of the inner wall 15 in contact with the wall 29 of the can 20; at the same time, the can bottom 19 is in contact with the supporting seat 18. At these contact areas, the thin plastic is all that separates the can 20 from the refrigerated liquid 14 inside the unit 10, so that the cooling takes place through the walls 15 and 18 of the container 10 and the highly conductive metal walls 29 and 19 of the can.
The outer shell 12 has a generally cylindrical main side wall 33 with an upper flange 34 that is'used for assembly of the capsule 10. The outer shell 12 may be made with the flange 34 initially somewhat wider than shown in the drawing. It mates with the flange or lip 17 of the inner shell 11, and these flanges 17 and 34 are then preferably sealed to each other by being spun together, the spinning resulting in an extrusion of flash which is trimmed off to make a smooth edge.
The bottom plate portion 13 of the she-ll 12 is preferably recessed as at 35 and is provided with a central opening 36. From around the opening 36 a cylindrical projection or tubular support portion 37 extends upwardly and is provided with slots 38 that extend down from an upper edge 39. The inner shell 11 is preferably provided with an annular central groove 40 defined by a pair of depending annular projections 41, 42. After assembly together of the shells 11 and 12 by the spinning operation of the flanges 34 and 17, the capsule 10 is filled to the desired amount with the refrigerant liquid 14 through the hole 36 in the bottom plate 13. Then a plug 43 is inserted into the hole 36 and is spun-welded to the plate 13. The edge 39 of the projection 37 from the outer shell 12 lies within the groove 40 in the bottom of the inner shell 11, and during this second spin-weld ing operation, pressure is applied through the bottom 18 of the inner container 11 opposite the groove 40 to support the bottom 13 of the outer container 12. The sup port also helps the endurance of the completed capsule 10. The plug 43 preferably has a key 44 that is engaged by a driver extending from the spindle of the spin-welding machine. To assist in the filling, the three slots 38 provide passages through which the refrigerant fluid 14 flows into the double-walled container, and a weir like groove 45 enables the refrigerant fluid 14 to pass from the space 30 into the space between the walls 15 and 33 of the capsule 10.
By adjusting the amount of refrigerant fluid 14 in the double-walled container 10, the pressure applied between the bore 15 of the capsule 10 and the can 20 being held can be varied. In other words, if the double-walled space is filled, say full, the amount of distortion from the round condition along the diameters AA and BtB and the pressure resulting from the expansion due to the freezing of the refrigerant 14 beyond this point will cause the bore 15 of the capsule 10 to distort and buckle in wardly so that the can 20 cannot be inserted, and the use of less than an ideal amount of refrigerant 14 will reduce the pressure between the bore 15 of the capsule 10 and the diameter of the can 20 being held, so that the heat transfer is not as fast as that under optimum conditions. Also, the refrigerant fluid formula can be adjusted so as to make the frozen refrigerant solution softer, more snow-like, thus permitting easier insertion of the can.
In a preferred form of the invention, shown in FIGS. 13, the refrigerant capsule 10 is slipped into an outer container 50 which is a molded plastic cup or mug 51 with a handle 52. The mug 51 provides dead air space insulation around the capsule 10 and makes it convenient to use. The outer container 50 has a circular mouth or lip 53 that is sized to the flange 34 as it is after the spinwelding of the inner shell 11 to the outer shell 12. The dead air space 54 includes a small clearance 55 between the annular bottom portion 56 of the plate 13 and the bottom portion 57 of the outer container 50, so that when the beverage can 20 is pressed into the bore of the inner shell 11, only slight distortion of the capsule 10 and of the outer container 50 occurs before the thrust load is divided between the flange 34 and the bottom 57 of the outer container 50.
An alternate construction is shown in FIGS. 10-17. This incorporates a plastic spring 60 to which is secured a handle 61. This spring 60 is generally of the leaf type and is inserted in the groove 25 so that it bears between the capsule 10 and the side wall 29 of the beverage can being held, and it not only has suflicient strength to serve to hold the can 20 in contact with the bore 15 of the capsule 10 during the melting and consequent shrinkage of the refrigerant, but also provides sulficient friction so that the handle 61 is held in place. When this arrangement is used, the outer container 50 is eliminated, and the capsule 10 can be used in connection with a coaster to collect melted frost or with a cloth sock-like insulating means similar to that now on the market for insulating high-ball glasses and the like. When the plastic spring 60 and handle 61 are used, the fins 27, 28 may also be eliminated from the capsule 10, although the spring-handle combination will work equally well when these fins are in place.
The spring 60 may have rounded side edges 62, 63 and be slightly arched to a center rib 64, and there may also be a bowing out of the rib 64 from top and bottom toward the center at a portion 65, where it first makes contact with the can walls 29. At the upper end of the spring 50 may be a horizontal extension 66 providing a socket 67, and the handle 61 may have a portion 68 that fits into the socket 67, or the handle-spring combination may be one integral piece.
The device 10 can, of course, be washed very readily even if the beverage is poured into it and it is used for drinking, and there is no need to get inside, i.e., in between the inner and outer shells, nor are there any places for food particles or drink particles to catch and render cleaning difficult.
To those skilled in the art to which this invention relates, many changes in construction and widely differing embodiments and applications of the invention will suggest themselves without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. The disclosures and the description herein are purely illustrative and are not intended to be in any sense limiting.
1. A cooling device for use with cylindrical cans of beverage, including in combination:
a double walled container having an inner wall, an
outer wall, and a bottom plate,
said inner wall being generally cylindrical and having integrally connected therewith a longitudinally extending and radial-1y outset recess and said wall being of flexible plastic and having a can-supporting seat at its lower end,
a refrigerant liquid in the space defined by said walls,
plate, and seat, and
spring means in and extending along the recess for forcing the cylindrical Wall of a can into contact with said inner wall.
2. The device of claim 1 wherein said seat is spaced inwardly from said inner wall and connected thereto by an annular web lying below said seat.
3. The device of claim 1 wherein said spring means comprises a pair of vertical fins, one on each side of overlying said recess extending generally radially inwardly and flexing outwardly toward said recess upon insertion of a can.
4. The device of claim 1 wherein said spring means comprises a separate plastic spring member disposed in said recess and flexed upon insertion of a can.
5. The device of claim 4 wherein said spring member is provided with a socket extending horizontally over the top of the device and wherein a handle member is inserted in said socket.
6. A cooling device for use with cylindrical cans of beverage, including in combination:
a cup-like inner shellhaving a vertical generally cylindrical inner wall of flexible plastic having integrally connected therewith a radially outwardly extending recess extending for substantially the full height of said inner wall,
a cup-like outer shell having an outer wall joined at its upper end to said inner wall and having a bottom plate,
said inner shell having a can-supporting seat of less diameter than said inner wall spaced above said bottom plate and inwardly from said inner wall and joined thereto below said seat, and
a refrigerant liquid in the space defined by said walls,
plate, and seat, and
spring means associated with said recess and having a portion extending radially inwardly of said inner wall for forcing an inserted can into contact with said inner wall.
7. The device of claim 6 wherein said bottom plate has a central opening around which a cylindrical portion projects upwardly into contact with said seat, said cylindrical portion being provided with passage means for flow of liquid therethrough, and a closure cap closing said opening and sealed to said plate, said seat being provided with a pair of concentric depending annular beads defining an annular groove between them for sealing said cylindrical portion.
8. A cooling device for use with cylindrical cans of beverage, including in combination:
an inner wall of flexible plastic having a vertical cylindrical bore with an upper outwardly flared portion and a vertical radially outset recess having a pair of spring fins integral therewith at the place where the recess meets the rest of the bore.
a generally cylindrical outer wall joined at the top to said upper portion of said inner wall at a lip,
a bottom plate closing the lower end of said outer wall,
a can-supporting seat above said bottom plate spaced inwardly from said inner wall and joined thereto by a web portion lying below said seat and above said plate, thereby providing a well around said seat,
a refrigerant liquid in the space enclosed by said walls,
plate, and seat, and
a mug-like outer container having a cup portion with an upper edge engaging said lip and otherwise spaced from said outer wall to support it and provide a dead air space around it and having a handle.
9. A cooling device for use with cylindrical cans of beverage, including in combination:
an inner wall of flexible plastic material having a vertical, generally cylindrical bore having a vertical radially outset recessed portion, and having an upper portion smoothly flared outwardly and upwardly,
a generally cylindrical outer Wall of the same flexible plastic material spaced radially away from and joined at the top to said upper portion of said inner wall by a lip,
a bottom plate of flexible plastic material closing the bottom of said outer wall,
a can-supporting seat integral with said inner wall portion and spaced inwardly therefrom and above said plate,
a web below said seat joining said seat to said cylindrical bore portion and providing an annular well around and below said seat,
said walls, plate, and seat defining a space that is hermetically sealed,
a refrigerant liquid in said space,
a spring of the leaf type in said recess for urging a can into snug contact with said bore and having an extension at its upper end extending above said lip and radially beyond said outer shell and handle means secured to said extension.
10. A cooling device for use with cylindrical vessels,
including in combination:
a double walled container having sealed-together inner and outer cups enclosing a space between them,
said inner cup having an inner wall with a generally cylindrical bore which is provided with a radially outset recess for its full height, said cup being of flexibleplastic and having a can-supporting seat,
a refrigerant liquid in the space between said cups, and
spring means at said recess for forcing the cylindrical wall of a said vessel into contact with said bore, said with edges engaging ends of said recess and an inwardly bowed web flexed upon insertion of a can and having a radially outward portion extending horizontally over the top of the double walled container and a generally vertical handle member depending from said radially outward portion for holding the device.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,771,186 7/1930 Mock 62--457 2,039,736 5/1936 Munters et al 62457 3,205,678 9/1965 Stoner 62457 spring means comprising a separate plastic member 15 LLOYD L KING, Primary Examiner-