US 3342370 A
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p 19, 1967 R. E JOHNSON NESTABLE CUP CONSTRUCTION Filed April 8, l966 INVENTOR. ROLAND E. JOHNSON 8 N. N RR O A M. W w Y H AB M United States Patent 3,342,370 NESTABLE CUP CONSTRUCTION Roland E. Johnson, Cincinnati, Ohio, assignor to The Borden Chemical Company, New York, N.Y., a corporation of New Jersey Filed Apr. 8, 1966, Ser. No. 541,354 4 Claims. (Cl. 220-97) This invention relates to a nestable cup. It relates, more particularly, to a nes'table cup of the expendable or throwaway type commonly used as a beverage receptacle and container and which is molded or formed of relatively inexpensive material, preferably plastic.
Nestable cups of this general type are usually made of inverted frusto-conical form with a wider open mouth and a closed bottom. They are usually nested into a vertical stack or tubular column for packaging and for insertion into the magazine of a dispensing machine. From the magazine, the cups are dispensed successively oneby-one, usually by operating suitable mechanism to permit the bottom cup to drop by gravity from the stack. As is is well known in the art, considerable difficulty has been encountered in preventing the tapered cups in the stack from wedging to such an extent as to interfere with the dropping of the lowermost cup of the stack when released by the dispenser. Furthermore, it is also recognized in the art that the space between the bottom portions of the lowermost cup and the one next above, must be vented to permit the lowermost cup to drop readily.
In the art, many different arrangements have been suggested to prevent the complete telescopic wedging of the tapered or frusto-conical bodies of the nested cups. These arrangements usually provide a supporting interior shoulder or shoulders on the lower cup which is adapted to be engaged by a cooperating exterior stop shoulder or shoulders on the upper cup. Also, these cooperating shoulders are usually so formed as to provide vents between adjacent cups. Some of these stop arrangements are diflicult to form and require expensive forming dies. Sometimes they are unsightly. Also, quite often these prior art arrangements decrease the crushing strength of the cups both in an axial and radial direction which is not only undesirable in use of the cups but is particularly troublesome in packaging high stacks of the cups in boxes and supporting them in magazines of dispensing machines as well as in handling the cups by the dispensing mechanism of such machines.
The present invention provides a stop formation at the bottom portions of inverted frusto-conical cups which is esthetically good, which can be produced by simple forming dies, which Will prevent complete telescopic wedging of a plurality of the nested cups, which will provide a venting arrangement between adjacent cups, and which will not tend to decrease the strength of each cup but, in fact, will increase its strength against crushing as a result of radial or transverse forces as well as axial or vertical forces.
In the accompanying drawing, there is illustrated a preferred form of cup embodying the principles of this invention and in this drawing:
FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of the cup.
FIGURE 2 is a side elevational view of the cup.
FIGURE 3 is a bottom view of the cup.
FIGURE 4 is a fragmentary axial or vertical sectional view showing the nested bottom portions of two of the cups.
FIGURE 5 is an enlarged radial or horizontal sectional view taken substantially along line 55 of FIGURE 4.
With reference to the drawing, we have illustrated a cup which is mainly of inverted fiusto-conical form having an upper open wide mouth 11, a closed bottom 12,
3,342,370 Patented Sept. 19, 1967 and a tapering side wall 13 which is of annular outline in cross section. The wall 13 tapers radially inwardly toward the axis of the cup as it extends toward the bottom 12. The bottom 12 is preferably concaved axially inwardly or upwardly as indicated. Adjacent the bottom 12 is a peripheral angular stop formation 15 which is provided in accordance with this invention to prevent wedging of a plurality of the tapered cups 10 telescoped and nested together, as indicated in FIGURE 4, as well as to provide for venting of air from between the lower portions of the nested cups. The upper end of each cup may be formed in any suitable manner and may be designed to receive a siutable lid or cap, if desired. The cup is preferably formed or molded from a palstic such as high-impact polystyrene.
The peripheral angular stop portion 15 is formed as a reversely tapered connecting peripheral flange portion which serves to join the bottom 12 to the annular tapered side wall 13. The angular flange is of regular polygonal outline in transverse cross section to provide a plurality of connected plane sides 16 which extend chordally relative to the adjacent annular tapered side wall 13 and are tilted relative thereto. In the example shown, these plane sides 16 provide inner and outer flat facets of rectangular form. Any desired number of sides 16 may be provided but in the example given there are twelve. With this arrangement there is provided a multi-angular stop shoulder 17 at the bottom extremity of the cup and on the exterior thereof where the stop flange portion 15 joins the bottom 12 and the inwardly concaving of the bottom 12 makes this multi-angular stop shoulder more pronounced. The reversely tapered multi-angular flange 15 also provides a multi-angular supporting stop shoulder or ledge 18 at the junction of the annular wall 13 and the flange 15 on the interior of the cup. This ledge 18 is located radially inwardly of the adjacent inner surface of the tapered side wall 13 where it joins the flange 15. Thus, the flange 15 is formed of connected sides of a regular polygon, where the sides are tilted relative to the tapered side wall of the cup. The result is a lower multi-angular stop shoulder on the exterior of the cup and a similar multi-angular support ledge on the interior of the cup and spaced axially inwardly or upwardly from the exterior stop shoulder. The multi-angular portions of the ledge 18 are located closer to the axis of the cup than the corresponding multi-angular portions of the shoulder 17. Consequently, when a plurality of the cups are nested, the exterior multi-angular stop shoulder 17 of the upper cup will rest on the interior multi-angular support ledge 18 of the lower cup.
With this arrangement, the stop structure will function as indicated in FIGURES 4 and 5 to prevent wedging of adjacent nested cups. The exterior multi-angular stop shoulder 17 on the upper cup will rest on the interior multi-angular su pporting ledge 18 on the lower cup whether or not the multi-angular portions of the shoulder and ledge are in angular alignment. The points 20 at the lower ends of the vertically extending joints between the angular sides 16 of the flange 15 are the outermost points on the flange and are located along the shoulder 17. As indicated in FIGURE 5, when the stop shoulder 17 of the upper cup rests on the support ledge 18 of the lower cup, the points 20 thereof will not contact with the adjacent curved inner surface of the side wall 13 of the lower cup. Consequently, the tapering walls of the adjacent cups will not tightly wedge and, in fact, there may be a space therebetween. In addition, as indicated by the broken lines in FIGURE 5, there will be vents provided for the space between the bottoms 12 of adjacent cups. These vents will be provided as long as the plane sides 16 of adjacent cups do not align angularly exactly with each other which is mathematically unlikely. The multi-angular flange 15 can be readily formed, is of such a nature that it increases the crushing strength of the cup both in a radial and an axial direction, and is of pleasing appearance.
Many advantages of this invention have been discussed and others will be apparent.
Having thus described this invention, what is claimed 1. A one-piece, nestable, plastic receptacle comprising a body having a longitudinally tapering side wall portion, a transverse bottom wall, and a reversely tapered, multiangular stop portion disposed between and connecting said bottom wall with said side wall portion, said stop portion defining a multi-angular, interior ledge projecting inwardly of said body portion above said bottom wall and an exterior, multi-angular shoulder disposed below said ledge, said interior ledge being arranged to engage the exterior shoulder of a like receptacle upon telescopic engagement of two of such receptacles to thereby prevent frictional wedging of one receptacle within the other.
2. A receptacle according to claim 1 in which said body portion is of annular cross sectional configuration and said interior ledge is defined by a circular outer edge and a multi-angular inner edge.
3. A receptacle according to claim 1 in which said stop portion is definedby a multiplicity of planar surfaces disposed in regular polygonal configuration.
4. A receptacle according to claim 1, wherein said stop portion has a twelve-sided cross sectional configuration.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS THERON E. CONDON, Primary Examiner. G. E. LOWRANCE, Assistant Examiner.