US 3303964 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
1967 J. M. LUKER I PLASTIC CONTAINER FOR CAKES AND THE LIKE 5 Sheets$heet 1 Filed March 19, 1964 INVENTOR FIG 2 JACKSON LUKER M MQ M ATTORNEYS Feb. 14, 1967 J. M. LUKER PLASTIC CONTAINER FOR CAKES AND THE LIKE 5 Sheets-Sheet 3 Filed March 19, 1964 .7 g INVENTOR JACKSON M. LUKE/P MVZMJM ATTORNEYS Feb. 14, 1967 J. M. LUKER PLASTIC CONTAINER FOR CAKES AND THE LIKE 5 Sheets-$heet (5 Filed March 19, 1964 'INVENTOR Fla yAc/(sdv M. LUKE}? WMMM ATTORNEYS J. M. LUKER PLASTIC CONTAINER FOR CAKES AND THE LIKE Feb. 14, 1967 5 Sheets-Sheet 4 Filed March 19, 1964 INVENTOR FIG. I2
JACKSON M LUKE/P ATTORNEYS Feb. 14, 1967 J. M. LUKER PLASTIC CONTAINER FOR CAKES AND THE LIKE 5 Sheets-Sheet 5 Filed March 19, 1964 JACKSON M. LUKER M M o M/ ATTORNEYS United States Patent Ofi ice 3,303,964 Patented Feb. 14, 1967 3,303,964 PLASTIC CONTAINER FOR CAKES AND THE LIKE Jackson M. Luker, 307 W. Oregon St., Urbana, Ill. 61801 Filed Mar. 19, 1964, Ser. No. 353,043 Claims. (Cl. 220-97) This invention relates tomolded plastic containers and particularly to such containers which are relatively fragile and are formed for damage free stacking.
-In its preferred embodiment the invention is concerned with very light-weight thin-walled transparent cake display containers that consist of individual top and bottom sections of special configurations enabling them to be stacked without damage.
It is therefore the major object of this invention to provide a novel light-weight thin-walled molded plastic container structure adapted for stacking without crushing the walls.
A further object of the invention is to provide a novel container assembly structure that enables the container members, such as the body and pan, to be nested and stacked with their formed relatively brittle and fragile thin-walled ends held spaced to prevent contact and crushmg.
Another object of the invention is to provide novel light-weight plastic container members wherein special ledge structure provides predetermined axial spacing when the members are nested.
Another object of the invention is to provide a novel molded light-weight thin-walled plastic container member construction having ledges at a predetermined level for axially engaging coacting rim, shoulder and like axial surfaces of a nested member for arresting relative movement and determining the final position of nested members so as to prevent crushing of the member walls during nesting.
Another object of the invention is to provide a novel molded light-weight thin-walled plastic container body or pan having a special fluted side wall construction for predetermined spacing coaction during nesting.
Further objects of the invention will appear as the description proceeds in connection with the appended claims and the annexed drawings wherein:
FIGURE 1 is a top plan view of the container body according to a preferred embodiment of the invention;
FIGURE 2 is a section on line 22 of FIGURE 1 showing details of configuration, particularly the ledge structure;
FIGURE 3 is a fragmentary view looking into the open end of the body of FIGURE 1;
FIGURE 4 is a fragmentary interior elevational view of the sidewall of the body of FIGURE 1;
FIGURE 5 is a top plan view of a pan adapted to fit with the container body of FIGURE 1;
FIGURE 6 is a section on line 6-6 of FIGURE 5;
FIGURE 7 is a fragmentary view looking into the open end of the pan of FIGURES 5 and 6;
FIGURE 8 is a fragmentary internal elevation showing the ledge structure in the pan;
FIGURE 9 is a fragmentary external side elevation of the body of FIGURES 1 and 2 substantially on line 9-9 of FIGURE, 2;
FIGURES 10 and 11 are sections respectively through lines 1010 and 1111 in FIGURE 9;
FIGURE 12 is an enlarged fragmentary side elevation of the pan of FIGURES 5 and 6 substantially on line 12 12 of FIGURE 5;
FIGURES 13 and 14 are sections on lines 1313 and 14-14 respectively of FIGURE 12;
FIGURE 15 is a fragmentary side elevation showing stacking of the assembled container body and pan members which enclose cakes or the like, and particularly the interfitting reversed end configurations of the body and P FIGURE 16 is a fragmentary side elevation illustrating the stacking of two pans;
FIGURE 17 is a section on line 17'17 of FIGURE 16 showing the action of the ledges in limiting axial movement of stacked container pans;
FIGURE 18 is a fragmentary elevation showing stacked body and pan members; and
FIGURE 19 is a section on line 1919 of FIGURE 18.
Referring to the drawings, FIGURES 1 and 2 show a preferredintegral container body 11 that is vacuum molded from a suitable plastic sheet material. Body 11 comprises an end wall 12, an annular side wall 13 and an annular fiat rim 14 surrounding an open end.
End wall 12 comprises an annular flat outer zone '15 coaxial with and lying substantially in a plane perpendicular to the axis of the body, and a central flat axially projecting button section 16 the base of which is surrounded by a narrow annular inner zone 17 lying substantially in the plane of zone 15. Between the outer and inner annular zones is an inclined annular generally conical section 18 having its apex on the body axis within the body and connected at its inner and outer edges to Zones 17 and 15 respectively by reversely curved rounded axially projecting ribs 19 and 21 of about the same size. Rib 19 is concave outwardly and rib 21 is concave inwardly with respect to the body. A plane containing button 16 is tangent to the rib 21 and perpendicular to the body axis.
Side wall 13 is essentially conical, diverging from the closed end 12. Formed in side wall 13 are a multiplicity of equally spaced outwardly convex inwardly concave rounded fluted sections 22 that, except for four to be later described, extend longitudinally from end wall 12 to rim 14 as shown best in FIGURE 11. Adjacent the closed end these fluted sections 22 have rounded outwardly convex lower ends 23 that merge smoothly into the outer zone 15 of end wall 12.
As shown best in FIGURE 3, the inwardly concave surfaces of fluted sections 22 merge into internal surfaces 24 that all lie in a circular envelope, and looking into the open end of the container body there appears to be a multiplicity of equally spaced internally projecting flutes 25 that extend longitudinally and are disposed circumferentially between the flutes 22.
In the preferred embodiment thirty six flutes 25 are formed and all are of equal length except four designated at 26 (FIGURE 3) which terminate the same distance short of the rim 14 to form a plurality of internal ledges 27 that are disposed at the same level axially facing the open end of the body.
As shown best in FIGURE 4, side wall 13 extends continuously between the bottoms of adjacent flutes 22 in the areas 28 between the ledges 27 and rim 14, so that effectively circumferentially wide pockets are provided at 28 for access to ledge 27 as will appear. These side wall areas 28 appear externally (FIGURE 9) to define external ledges 29 between the adjacent flutes 22 axially opposite ledges 27 and facing the closed end 15 of the body.
Rim 14 is formed with four enlarged outwardly projecting tabs 31, and as shown in FIGURE 1 these tabs are radially centered with ledges 29. All around the outer edge of rim 14 is a continuous shallow turned over head 32.
FIGURES 5 and 6 show a pan 33 for association with the container body of FIGURES 1 and 2 to complete an enclosed container assembly. Pan 33 comprises a closed end wall 34, a tapered annular side wall 35 and a flat annular rim 36.
End wall 34 comprises an outer annular flat zone 37 and an inner annular flat zone 38 lying substantially in the same plane and connected to an intermediate annular inclined zone 39 by reversely curved rounded annular ribs 41 and 42. Inner zone 38 surrounds the base of a flat button 43 which projects inwardly of the pan and lies in a plane displaced from zones 37 and 38.
Outwardly of zone 37 is formed an outwardly concave rounded annular recess 44 which merges smoothly into the side wall 35.
Side wall 35 is formed with a multiplicity of longitudinally extending outwardly convex inwardly concave rounded fluted sections 45 that are equally spaced circumferentially and are formed with rounded outwardly convex lower ends 46 where they merge into the end wall 34. The inwardly concave surfaces of fluted sections 45 merge into internal surfaces 47 that (FIGURES 6 and 7) all lie in a circular envelope, and looking into the open end of the pan there appears to be a multiplicity of equally spaced internally projecting flutes 48 that extend longitudinally and are circumferentially disposed between flutes 45.
In the preferred embodiment thirty six flutes 48 are formed and all are of equal length except four designated at 49 which terminate the same distance short of the rim and thereby form a plurality of internal ledges 51 at the same level that face axially the open end of the pan.
As shown in FIGURE 8 the side wall 34 extends between the bottoms of adjacent flutes 45 in the areas 52 beyond the ledges 51 so that effectively circumferentially wide pockets are formed at 52 for access to ledges 51.
These side wall areas 52 appear externally (FIGURE 12) to define external ledges 53 that axially face the closed end of the pan.
Whereas in the container body 11 the flutes 22 extend all of the way to the rim 14 to open at the rim as shown in FIGURE 3, the flutes 45 of the container pan all terminate short of the rim (FIGURES 8, l2 and 14) and merge into a continuous non-fluted annular side wall section 54 that is disposed radially outwardly of the flutes and is continuous with external area 52. Looking into the open end of the pan, this structure provides a continuous axially facing internal shoulder surface 55 that is periodically wider across the ends of interior flutes 48. In some embodiments the surface 55 may not extend across the concave flute surfaces and may only comprise the ends of flutes 48, but it is effectively continuous in that respect.
Rim 36 is formed with four outwardly enlarged tabs 56 that are radially aligned with the ledges 51. Beyond rim 36 the cover is sequentially formed with an axially and inwardly extending annular section 57 and an axially and outwardly extending annular section 58 that terminates in a continuous annular axially projecting end bead 59. The inward inclination of the wall at 57 merges to straight wall sections within the tab regions as indicated at 61 in FIGURE 13.
It may sometimes be desired to stack filled container assemblies, and this arrangement is shown in FIGURE 15 wherein the end walls of the container body and pan are externally of reverse configuration to snugly interfit and thereby prevent lateral relative displacement. It will be noted that the projecting rounded ends of the flutes of the respective pan and body members are radially displaced in this arrangement, with the flute ends 23 of the body projecting into the annular pan recess 44. This protects the fragile structure while at the same time interlocking the adjacent assemblies to prevent tipping or lateral displacement. The button sections 16 and 43 provide a good telescopic interlock which insures semirigid centered stacking of several container assemblies.
Where the container body and pan are assembled to enclose a cake or the like, as shown in FIGURE 15, the rim bead 32 interlocks into the corner 60 defined by wall section 57 and rim 36 with a snap fit as shown in FIGURE 14. This holds the pan and body together in assembly.
FIGURES 16 and 17 show stacking of two pan members 33 in nested relation. These are shown with the internal, external ledges 51, 53 of the upper pan displaced circumferentially the distance of one flute from the corresponding ledges of the ,lower pan. Itwill be seen that the external edge denoted 53a of the lower pan abuts flatly on surface 55 at the end of an internal flute 48, and this is the situation at all four ledges 53 of the lower pan. This provides a nesting arrangement whereby the fluted side walls interfit snugly and the delicately rounded ends of the flutes are maintained in axially spaced protected relation as illustrated in FIGURES l6 and 17.
Any number of pan elements can be so stacked, it being preferred to displace each added pan circumferentially one flute in the assembly.
FIGURES 18 and 19 illustrate nested stacking of two container body members and one pan member to pre- Vent damage. The container body members 11 in any number may be nested one within the other as shown, and relative axial movement between each element is arrested when (FIGURE 14) the flat rim 14 of the upper member 11 abuts the external ledges 29 of the lower member 11. In order to prevent aligning the ledges 29 in adjacent members it is only necessary to be sure that the tabs 31 of the respective members are angularly displaced at random. Similarly a pan 33 may be nested into the open end of the lower container body member 11 until external ledges 53 of the pan engage the flat rim 14 of the container member 11. Successive pans 33 may now be nested into the pan 33 of FIGURES 18 and 19 in the same manner as shown in FIGURES 16 and 17.
Thus any number of body and pan members may be stacked in nested relation, and their relatively delicate closed end wall formations are held axially spaced in the stacking. The bodies and pans may be separately stacked, or they may be placed on the same stack in the order shown in FIGURES 18 and 19. In the members the body rim surface 14 and the shoulder surface 55 provide abutments for engaging ledges on the associated nested members.
The members 11 and 33 are each integrally molded from transparent sheets of low density polystyrene about 0.015 inch in thickness. Suitably shaped drawing dies (not shown) vacuum form the members in a single operation. The formed members are therefore clear plastic articles whose walls, while stiff and possessed of an inherent flexibility when subjected to tension, are relatively fragile and subject to crushing especially in the fluted end regions when stacked in nested relation. This crushing is prevented in the invention.
As pointed out the cover and the body have the same configuration in reverse. This adds strength to the members and permits stacking in series, giving more rigidity to the stack. When sold to the customer the pan in which the cake is baked or to be baked is placed in the larger member 11 and is covered with the smaller member 33. After the cake is baked the two members are reversed. The smaller member becomes a serving tray and the larger the cover for the cake. When used by the housewife as a cover the center knob on the bottom of the larger member permits the larger member to be lifted. The depressed button in the center of the smaller member also fiits into and rests on the central heat tube of the aluminum foil cooking pan and this makes for a more rigid container in shipment. The heat tube 63 of FIG- URE 15 which is a part of the aluminum pan is used in the baking of sponge type cakes.
The invention may be embodied in other specific forms without departing from the spirit or essential characteristics thereof. The present embodiments are therefore to be considered in all respects as illustrative and not restrictive, the scope of the invention being indicated by the appended claims rather than by the foregoing de- SC P O and all changes which come within the meaning and range of equivalency of the claims are therefore intended to be embraced therein.
What is claimed and desired to be secured by Letters Patent is:
1. An integral thin walled lightweight container member made of relatively fragile crushable material having an end wall and an annular side wall extending outwardly to an open end, said side wall being formed with a plurality of longitudinal internal flutes extending from said end wall toward said open end, the outer ends of most of said flutes terminating in a plane substantially adjacent said open end, and with remaining few flutes being shorter and disposed in selected circumferentially spaced relation and terminating in axially facing external ledges each located circumferentially between two adjacent longer flutes and disposed substantially in a plane that is closer to said end Wall than the plane containing the outer ends of the longer of said flutes.
2. The container member defined in claim 1 wherein a flat rim is formed around said open end and said longer of the flutes terminate at said rim.
3. The container member defined in claim 1 wherein a flat rim is formed around said open end and said side wall is formed with a circumferentially continuous section lying longitudinally between the outer ends of said longer flutes and the rim.
4. The container member defined in claim 1 wherein a flat rim is formed around said open end and outwardly projecting tabs are formed on the rim in substantially radial alignment with said ledges.
5. In the container defined in claim 1, said side wall extending directly between the bottoms of said two adjacent longer flutes to provide open pockets above each of said short flutes.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,626,930 5/1927 Grogg 22097 2,880,859 4/ 1959 Tupper 220 X 2,889,072 6/ 1959 Lapham 22097 3,001,665 9/1961 Tomarin 22097 X 3,066,824 12/1962 Bostrom 22060 3,104,044 9/1963 Reifers 22097 X 3,140,807 7/1964 Bostrom 229-2.5-280 3,147,879 9/1964 Scholtz 22097 X 3,151,799 10/1964 Engles 2292.5287 3,154,215 10/ 1964 Vesconte 22997 3,193,174 7/1965 Glasband 22097 X THERON E. CONDON, Primary Examiner.
GEORGE E. LOWRANCE, LOUIS G. MANCENE,