US 3549018 A
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United States Patent Inventor James D. Wilson Long Beach, Calif. Appl. No. 774,318 Filed 1 Nov. 8, 1968 Patented Dec. 22, 1970 Assignee Banner Metals, lnc.
Compton, Calif. a corporation of Ohio PLASTIC TRAY 4 Claims, 3 Drawing Figs.
0-8. 211/126, 220/97 Int. Cl A47f 3/14, 865d 21/02 FieldofSearch 211/126, 128, 133; 312/308; 108/91; 220/97, 97A-E; 215/10; 34/238; 248/174; 229/25 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,052,475 8/1936 Jones et al. 220/97X 12/1965 Richter 21l/l53X 3,233,8 l 2 2/1966 Kennedy 220/97CX Primary ExaminerRamon S. Britts AttorneyJessup & Beecher ABSTRACT: A plastic tray is provided for use, for example, in the bakery industry for carrying bread and other bakery products in racks mounted on trucks, or in rack-type delivery carts, or the like; and which trays may be conveniently nested when empty so as to be transported in a tiered condition on a dolly, or the like. The plastic tray of the invention is constructed in a manner such that it does not tend to sag, and its sides do not tend to spread when other trays are nested on top of it. The tray includes a bottom member having sidewalls extending upwardly therefrom and terminating in a convexly arcuate bead through its periphery. The bottom member defines a concave shoulder directly under the sidewalls for receiving the bead of a lower like tray.
1 PLASTIC TRAY BACKGROLIND OF THE INVENTION Bakery products for many years have been transported from the bakery to the retail outlets on trays. These trays are either inserted as shelves in racks in the transporting trucks, to be removed at the individual retail stores; or they are mounted on movable racks or delivery carts, whichmay be wheeled into and out of the transporting trucks with their stacks of loaded trays, and which may be wheeled directly onto the floor of the retail store. When the trays are empty, they are usually loaded on top of one another in a nested condition onto a dolly for return to the bakery. It is desirable for the trays to nest firmly into one another without jamming when so loaded on the dolly, so as to provide a stable tier, and to avoid damage to the trays.
In the past, it has been the usual practice to construct trays of the type discussed above out of metal wires. Such prior art trays, for example, are formed with a metal frame, and with a wire rod bottom attached to the frame. Attempts have been made in the past to construct such trays of plastic. However, problems have arisen because of the resilient and fragile nature of the usual plastic construction. The present invention, however, provides a plastic tray which is advantageous compared with the prior art metal wire trays from a cost and weight standpoint; and yet which is rugged and capable of withstanding the usual rough usage to which such trays are normally subjected.
The improved tray of the present invention is also constructed to permit it to be nested into other like trays, or to be compatible with other types of trays, without any tendency for the walls thereof to spread outwardly by the weight of the trays supported thereby. As pointed out above, such outward spreading of the walls tends to cause jamming of the trays and instability in the tier of nested trays, as well as the likelihood of damage to the individual trays.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a tray constructed in accordance with the concepts of the invention, the view taken from the top of the tray;
FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view of the tray of FIG. 1 taken along the line 2-2 of FIG. 1, and also showing other like trays nested on top of the tray of FIG. 1; and
FIG. 3 is a fragmentary section showing another type of strengthening rib which may be used in the construction of the tray of the invention.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION The tray illustrated in the drawing is designated generally as 10. The tray may be formed of any appropriate plastic material, as is commonly used in the construction of plastic receptacles. As illustrated, the tray has an apertured bottom 12, the bottom 12 having a plurality of integral'transverse strengthening ribs 14 formed on its lower surface. The strengthening ribs 14 have a rodlike shape in the embodiment of FIGS. 1 and 2.
The tray shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 includes a side 16 which is integral with the bottom 12, and which extends around the periphery of the tray. As best shown in FIG. 2, for example,
the upper edge of the side 16 has an arcuate bead formed in it. This head is designated as 18, and it extends a round the rim of the tray to define an open top for the tray.
The bottom 12, as shown in FIG. 2, defines a periphery shoulder around the tray directly under the peripheral side 16. This peripheral shoulder has an upper surface 20 which has an arcuate configuration, and which receives, for example, the peripheral head 18 of a like lower tray. The shoulder also has an inclined inner surface 22 which facilitates the nesting of the tray down into a like lower tray.
When the trays of the invention are nested into a tier, such as shown in FIG. 2, it will be appreciated that the upper peripheral edge of a lower tray, supports the corresponding upper tray, and in so doing tends to hold the side 16 in an upright condition due to the configuration of the peripheral shoulder, as described above. This overcomes any tendency for the peripheral side of the upper tray to spread outwardly under the weight of its load of trays. The tray of the invention is also compatible with other trays of the same size, since the upper rims of such other trays may equally be received by the arcuate surface 20 of the peripheral shoulder about its bottom.
The strengthening ribs 14, which are rodlike in FIGS. 1 and 2, may have an inverted U-shaped configuration, such as shown-by the designation 14a in FIG. 3, or they may have any other suitable and appropriate shape.
The tray of the invention is rugged and sturdy in its construction, and it is susceptible to all normal rough usage.
Moreover, the tray may be nested into a tier of similar or dissimilar trays, and, in each instance, the upper edge of the peripheral side of each lower tray tends to hold the side of its upper tray in an upright condition, so that side spreading is obviated.
1. A plastic tray for carrying bakery products, and the like, which comprises a bottom member and a peripheral side formed integral with said bottom member and extending upwardly from the plane thereof, said peripheral side having a convexly arcuate bead extending around its upper edge and defining a rim for the tray extending entirely around an open top, said bottom defining a peripheral shoulder directly under said peripheral side and having an-arcuate top surface being concave in the direction of said arcuate-bead for receiving the head around the upper edge of alower'like tray, so that the head of the lower tray forms a support for the upper tray directly under the side of the upper tray throughout the entire periphery thereof, thereby tending to hold the side of the upper tray in an upright condition and prevent the side of the upper tray from spreading outwardly under the weight of a load of like trays thereon, and said peripheral shoulder having an inwardly inclined inner face contiguous with the concavely arcuate top surface thereof for guiding the tray into nesting relationship with the open top of the lower tray.
2. The plastic tray defined in claim 1 in which said bottom includes strengthening ribs integral therewith and formed on the underside thereof.
3. The plastic tray defined in claim 2 in which said ribs have a rod-like shape.
4. The plastic tray defined in claim 2 in which said ribs have an inverted U-shape.