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Publication numberUS3401863 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 17, 1968
Filing dateDec 12, 1966
Priority dateDec 12, 1966
Publication numberUS 3401863 A, US 3401863A, US-A-3401863, US3401863 A, US3401863A
InventorsWall Earl Lee
Original AssigneeAmerican Can Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Compartmented tray
US 3401863 A
Abstract  available in
Images(1)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Sept. 17, 1968 L. w. EARL COMPARTMENTED TRAY Filed Dec. 12 1966 INVEN TOR. 4 if WALL 4 RL X 3 United States Patent Office 3,401,863 Patented Sept. 17, 1968 3,401,863 COMPARTMENTED TRAY Lee Wall Earl, Easton, Pa., assignor to American Can Company, New York, N.Y., a corporation of New Jersey Filed Dec. 12, 1966, Ser. No. 600,940 6 Claims. (Cl. 229-2.5)

ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A fiberboard compartmented tray having a plurality of rib elements in the tray bottom dividing the tray into a plurality of compartments. The bottom of the tray and a peripheral ridge are of less thickness, having been compressed, than the rib elements, thus increasing the trays resistance to bending under load.

This invention relates to plates or trays and more particularly to a more rigidized compartmented tray for holding a quantity of different foods, each being separated from the other by ribs or barriers joined together and to surrounding side walls.

In institutional or mass feeding of large groups of people, it is often desirable to use disposable trays, dishes, and utensils in order to eliminate costly and time-consuming washing and storage problems. In the armed services, compartmented metal trays have been used for many years to handle complete meals while still separating the different types of food from each other. However, the reusable metal trays used in the services necessitated subsequent washing and storage.

There are a number of compartmented trays made of disposable material shown in the prior art, such as in US. Patents 2,738,915 and 3,067,922. These trays are used to hold several different foods such as meats, fish, vegetables, salad and the like, either hot or cold. Due to their relatively small size, complete meals could not be served in these trays. If a complete meal were served, a much larger tray would be needed. It is readily apparent that the larger the tray, the more difficulty is encountered in maintaining it in a rigid condition so it will not bend when filled. A major disadvantage of paper plates .and trays has been their low structural strength.

It is, therefore, an object of the present invention to provide a compartmented tray for holding a plurality of foods, each separated from the other, wherein said tray has increased bending resistance.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a disposable tray which is both inexpensive and resistant to deformation by relatively heavy loads, such as may be encountered when carrying a full meal therein from a serving area to an eating area.

A further object of the present invention is to provide a disposable serving tray of improved structural strength and rigidity.

Yet another object of the present invention is to provide a disposable fibre serving tray of improved'structural strength and rigidity with little or no change in the quantity of material used in its manufacture.

Numerous other objects and advantages of the invention will be apparent as it is better understood from the following description, which taken in connection with the accompanying drawings, discloses a preferred embodiment thereof.

Referring to the drawing:

FIGURE 1 is a fragmentary top plan view of .a blank prior to its formation into a compartmented tray;

FIGURE 2 is a top plan view of a compartmented tray embodying the present invention;

FIGURE 3 is a fragmentary sectional view taken along the line 33 in FIGURE 2; and

FIGURE 4 is a fragmentary sectional view taken along the line 4-4 in FIGURE 2.

As a preferred or exemplary embodiment of the instant invention, FIGURE 1 illustrates a tray blank 10 made of a compressible material such as fibre. Solid bleached paperboard having a weight of 84 pounds per thousand square feet has been found to be preferred in the manufacture of this article. As shown, the blank 10 is in the form of a rectangle and at each corner of the rectangle are formed a plurality of radial scores .12 having a substantially equal length. These scores function in a manner which will be explained more fully hereinafter. Small cutouts 14 are formed in the sides of the blank 10 in order to facilitate forming the tray 15 shown in FIGURE 2.

The rectangular plate or tray 15 has a bottom wall 16, side walls 17, 18, and end walls 19, 20. Forming the periphery of the tray 15 is a curved upper marginal ridge 2.1 which merges with and extends obliquely upwardly from the bottom wall 16. This ridge 21 terminates in an outwardly and downwardly sloping edge 22 (FIG- URE 3).

A plurality of rib elements 23, 24 divide the bottom wall .16 of the tray 15 into a plurality of compartments or separate sections 25, 27, 29. These rib elements 23, 24 preferably are in the form of an inverted V-shape section (FIGURE 4) which are embossed in the bottom wall and may, if desired, extend the full height of the tray, but for the purpose of this invention it is desired that they extend upwardly for a distance approximately halfway of the height of the surrounding side walls. The rib elements 23, 24 terminate at the ridge 21 where the cutouts 14 are formed in the blank 10.

To increase the stiffness of the tray 15, the bottom wall 16 and the side and end walls 17, 18, 19, .and 20, together with the ridge 21, are compressed to a thickness less than that of the rib elements 23, 24. For example, if the thickness of the original blank 10 is 0.024 inch, the thickness of the rib elements 23, 24 are substantially the same as the blank 10, whereas the thickness of the bottom wall 16, the side and end walls 17, 18, 19, 20, and the ridge 21 are compressed to a thickness of approximately 0.021 inch. This results in an increase in density of the fibreboard in the compressed sections and a reduction in thickness of approximately 12 percent. This configuration imparts a stiffening effect which increases the trays bending resistance and produces .a flat rigid tray which is adequate to hold a complete meal without buckling when a fully loaded tray is carried.

In order to prevent objectionable wrinkling in the corner areas of the tray 15 when it is formed from the blank 10, the scores 12 guide the formation of overlapping folds 31 so that some degree of uniformity and spacing of these folds 31 are obtained. These folds 31 are outside the concave surface area of the compartments 25, 27, 29. In addition, the folds 31 are pressed flat against the surface of the ridge 21 and edge 22. Not only do these fiattened folds 31 give a more pleasing appearance, but they also facilitate nesting of the trays in a minimum amount of space, thus reducing storage and shipping volume necessary for a given number of trays.

In order to maintain a service life of approximately one hour, which is necessary for proper utilization of the tray 15, a grease-resistant coating 33 must be placed on the concave surface area of the compartments 25, 27, 29. One such coating 33, which not only increases the resistance of the tray material to grease and liquid penetration, but also provides increased resistance to puncturing by regular table knives during normal use of the tray, is a lacquer coating such as nitrocellulose.

For this coating, a clay and polyvinyl acetate precoat having a weight of approximately one pound per thousand square feet is placed on the surface in order to increase the adhesiveness of a nitrocellulose coating to the fibreboard. Thereafter the surface area of the tray 15 is coated a nitrocellulose lacquer coating 33 having a weight of approximately 0.5 pound per thousand square feet. An alternate for the nitrocellulose coating is an olefin coating of approximately 2 pounds per thousand square feet of polypropelene. However, the costs of olefin coatings are much greated than that of nitrocellulose coatings and are thus probably not economically feasible.

It is thought that the invention and many of its attendant advantages will be understood from the foregoing description and it will be apparent that various changes can be made in the form, construction, and arrangement of the parts Without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention or sacrificing .all of its material advantages, the form hereinbefore described being merely a preferred embodiment thereof.

I claim:

1. A compartmented tray, comprising:

a substantially fiat bottom wall;

side and end Walls extending obiquely upwardly therefrom and merging into a curved upper marginal ridge peripherally surrounding said tray;

a plurality of rib elements in said bottom Wall extending upwardly therefrom and dividing said tray into .a plurality of compartments;

and said bottom Wall and said marginal ridge being compressed and having less thickness than said rib elements thereby imparting a stiffening effect which increases said trays bending resistance.

2. The tray of claim 1 wherein said tray is rectangular in shape.

3. The tray of claim 2 wherein there are flattened folds, positioned by scores formed in the corners of said upper marginal ridge, in the peripheral corner areas of said marginal ridge.

4. The tray of claim 1 wherein said material is made of low density fibreboard.

5. The tray of claim 4 wherein said bottom wall and marginal ridge are compressed approximately 12% in thickness.

6. The tray of claim 4 wherein at least the concave surface area of said compartments is coated with a nitrocellulose lacquer in order to increase the resistance of the tray material from grease and liquid penetration.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,748,865 2/1930 Chaplin 2292.5 3,033,434 5/1962 Carson 229-2.5 3,067,922 12/1962 Hill 229-25 3,113,710 12/1963 Meagher 2292.5 3,137,436 6/1964 Moors et a1 229-31 DAVIS T. MOORHEAD, Primary Examiner.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1748865 *Mar 31, 1928Feb 25, 1930Fidelity Trust CompanyMolded-pulp article
US3033434 *Mar 27, 1961May 8, 1962Peerless Machine & Tool Co IncPressed article with smooth take-up curved zones
US3067922 *Aug 12, 1960Dec 11, 1962American Can CoService plate or tray
US3113710 *Dec 20, 1961Dec 10, 1963American Can CoDisposable serving tray
US3137436 *Oct 11, 1960Jun 16, 1964Int Paper CoPaperboard overlap carton
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3792809 *Oct 29, 1971Feb 19, 1974D SchneiderDisposable tray
US3866817 *Dec 10, 1973Feb 18, 1975Mobil Oil CorpPlastic packaging tray, particularly for bananas
US3967747 *Jun 9, 1975Jul 6, 1976Crown Zellerbach CorporationBottle support tray of moistureproof material for a bottle case
US4373928 *Feb 13, 1981Feb 15, 1983Sonoco Products CompanyMethod of making composite container with compressed body wall
US4374568 *Oct 29, 1981Feb 22, 1983Sonoco Products CompanyComposite container with compressed body wall portion
US4533065 *Oct 2, 1981Aug 6, 1985Societe Parisienne D'impression Et De CartonnageContainer having one piece peripheral rim, at least two cardboard parts and a synthetic material layer
US4606496 *Sep 20, 1985Aug 19, 1986James River Corporation Of VirginiaRigid paperboard container
US4982872 *Dec 15, 1988Jan 8, 1991Avery Donald JFilm-encapsulated-structure container for food, beverages and other consumable products and method for making of same
US5088640 *Sep 6, 1991Feb 18, 1992James River Corporation Of VirginiaRigid four radii rim paper plate
US5230939 *Sep 4, 1990Jul 27, 1993James River Corporation Of VirginiaForming of pressed trays
US5236119 *Nov 5, 1992Aug 17, 1993Chu Ming HsiangPaper plate
US5326020 *Aug 31, 1993Jul 5, 1994James River Corporation Of AmericaRigid paperboard container
US5375701 *Oct 19, 1992Dec 27, 1994Oscar Mayer Foods CorporationFood package having a compartmentalized rigid base tray
US5657873 *Dec 23, 1994Aug 19, 1997Kraft Foods, Inc.Food package having a compartmentalized rigid base tray
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US5919501 *Oct 10, 1997Jul 6, 1999Thorn Apple Valley, Inc.Compartmentalized food package
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US6245388Jun 30, 1999Jun 12, 2001The Chinet Company TechnologyWave coating of articles
US6349847Oct 6, 2000Feb 26, 2002Pactiv CorporationVented container with handles and embossment
US7013618Sep 19, 2002Mar 21, 2006Pactiv CorporationCompartment plates having themes and method for manufacturing and packaging the same
US7104030Sep 19, 2002Sep 12, 2006Pactiv CorporationCompartment plates having themes and method for manufacturing and packaging the same
US7172072Sep 19, 2002Feb 6, 2007Pactiv CorporationCompartment plates having themes and method for manufacturing and packaging the same
US7484344Aug 2, 2006Feb 3, 2009Pactiv CorporationCompartment plates having themes and method for manufacturing and packaging the same
US7506489Jun 18, 2007Mar 24, 2009Pactiv CorporationCompartment plates having themes and method for manufacturing and packaging the same
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US8353403Feb 8, 2012Jan 15, 2013Raynor Eileen MCup retaining apparatus and methods
US8414464Sep 16, 2010Apr 9, 2013Dixie Consumer Products LlcApparatus for making paperboard pressware with controlled blank feed
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Classifications
U.S. Classification229/406, 220/645, 229/5.83
International ClassificationB65D1/34, B65D1/36
Cooperative ClassificationB65D1/36
European ClassificationB65D1/36
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Sep 11, 1984ASAssignment
Owner name: JAMES RIVER-NORWALK, INC., RIVERPARK, P.O. BOX 600
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:JAMES RIVER-DIXIE/NORTHERN, INC.;REEL/FRAME:004332/0546
Effective date: 19840905
Sep 28, 1982ASAssignment
Owner name: JAMES RIVER-DIXIE/NORTHERN, INC., A CORP. OF VA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:AMERICAN CAN COMPANY, A CORP. OF NJ;REEL/FRAME:004097/0720
Effective date: 19820924