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Publication numberUS3597937 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 10, 1971
Filing dateJun 6, 1969
Priority dateJun 6, 1969
Publication numberUS 3597937 A, US 3597937A, US-A-3597937, US3597937 A, US3597937A
InventorsEugene H Parks
Original AssigneeEugene H Parks
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Self-cooling device for beverage container
US 3597937 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent 50] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2/1949 Paloitly [72! [mentor Eugene H. Parks 68 Almaden Road. San Jose, falil. 95120 2.460.765 A 3,309,890 3/[967 Barnett......................... $326,013 6/1967 Jacobsm. 3,494.l42 2/1970 Beck Primary Examiner-William .l. Wye

(21] Appl No 831,156 [22] Filed June 6, 1969 [45] Patented Aug. 10, 1971 (54) SELF'COOLING DEVICE FOR BEVERAGE CONTAINER 10 Claims, 12 Drawing Figs.

ABSTRACT: A device for cooling the contents of a container comprising a compressed gas chamber and a heat exchanger in heat-conducting relationship with the contents whereby in permitting the gas to expand into the heat exchanger. heat is absorbed for cooling the contents.

m h u c u M m a s m U [F l. l] 2 o 5 55 l. [l

Patented Aug. 10, 1971 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 [N VEN T 01? SELF-COOLING DEVICE FOR BEVERAGE CONTAINER BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention This invention relates to a self-contained cooling device of the type which can be enclosed in a standard container and actuated at any desired time for cooling the contents of the container.

2. Prior Art Because of the necessity or custom of using many materials such as liquid beverages usually dispensed in containers, only when clod, great care is taken to maintain the containers cooled. When the convenience of modern refrigerators is left behind, the task of cooling beverages is made much more difficult. In the past, various attempts have been made to provide self-cooling containers. Generally such containers have utilized either a chemical reaction or an expanding gas to provide the cooling effect. However, to the present time, none of the prior devices has met with commercial success.

Over the years many attempts have been made to solve the problem of providing a device for incorporation into a standard beverage can a device that when actuated would automatically cool the beverage contained in the can. Prior devices to date have not permitted the devices to be successfully introduced commercially into the canning industries. An analysis of previously used cooling devices has shown that most are based upon the manufacture of a special can incor porated as an integral part thereof, a self-cooling device which, when activated, would cool the contents of the can. The devices require that the manufacturer of the can design and build special can-manufacturing machinery and equipment to produce the special can required. In addition, these .prior devices require that the canner design and manufacture special can-filling machinery and equipment and special can closure machinery. Additionally, in order to meet Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) regulations for the shipping of pressurized containers, it would be necessary to have the gauge of the metal used in the manufacture of the can itself of such excessive thickness to meet the ICC regulations that the manufacturing costs for the can and the device itself would prohibit its adoption and use by the canning industries in order to successfully introduce a self-cooling beverage can in the consumer market at aprice which would be acceptable to the consumer.

i The primary object of the self-cooling device set forth herein is that the use of the device will not require any changes whatsoever by the can manufacturer in his can-manufacturing machinery and equipment or manufacturing techniques customarily used at the present time on the manufacture of cans for the beverage industry. And, in addition, it will not require any changes by the beverage canner in the filling of the beverage cans at high-production rates usually accomplished, or in the can-closing machinery and equipment by the canner for closing the cans.

Another object ofthis invention is to provide a self-cooled element which can be manufactured completely independent of the manufacture of the can itself and is capable of insertion into the can by automated machinery and equipment at the point of can manufacture or alternately, at the point prior to filling of the can and require no changes whatsoever in the canners filling machinery or equipment or in his can closure machinery'and equipment.

It is afurther purpose of this invention to provide an effi= cient and inexpensive self-cooling device for cooling materials in containers.

Still a further object of this invention is to provide LI device for cooling the contents of containers, which device can be stored for IIII indefinite time, is economical to make and can he energized at any time to provide the cooling effect.

Still another object of this invention is to provide a pres-- surized device for cooling the contents of containers which is safe to use.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION A cooling device for cooling the contents of containers comprising a reservoir for compressed liquified gas in fluid flow relationship with one end of an expansion chamber through a flow-restricting orifice. The cooling device is configured to tit into a standard container with the opposite end of the expansion chamber than that to which the reservoir is attached being accessible when the container is opened in the normal manner, which end when punctured will permit the escape of gas from the reservoir, through the orifice and expansion chamber and out the puncture, with the gas expansion within the chamber providing a cooling effect to the contents of the container. A cap structure for closing the accessible end of the expansion chamber serves as a safety seal which will fail if the pressure or temperature within the device rises above a safe limit.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. I is a top view ofa typical container in which the cooling device can be used.

FIG. 2 is a side elevationcross-sectional view taken along the line 22 of FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a side elevation cross-sectional view taken along the line 3-3 of FIG. 1.

FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view taken along the line 4-4 of FIG. 2.

FIG. 5 is an enlarged partial view ofa means for holding the cooling device of FIG. 1 in the container.

FIG. 6 is an enlarged cross-sectional view of the safety seal shown in FIG. 1.

FIG. 7 is a bottom view ofa second embodiment ofthe cooling device.

FIG. 8 is a side elevation cross-sectional view of the third embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 9 is a cross-sectional view taken along the line 9-9 of FIG. 8.

FIG. 10 is a side elevation cross-sectional view taken along the line 10-10 of FIG. 8.

FIG. 11 is a top view of the can showing the third embodiment of the invention in dotted outline; and

FIG. 12 shows an enlarged drawing ofa second embodiment of the orifice-forming member inserted in the cooling device.

DESCRIPTION OF A PREFERRED EMBODIMENT In FIGS. 1 through 4 of the drawings is shown one representative type of standard container in which the invention can be used. The invention is applicable to many container types but will be described for use with the container I0 ofthe standard beverage type in common usage. The container, usually though not necessarily metallic, is comprised of a cylindrical sidewall 11, a bottom wall 12 and a tip lid 14 forming an internal cavity 13. Such a container usually is delivered to a place to be filled with a liquid beverage with the sidewall 11 and lid 14 assembled together by crimping an edge IS on the lid over the top edge Ila of the sidewall to form a standard double lock seam. After filling the container and while holding it in the inverted position the bottom 12 is attached to the edge 1 lb of the sidewall by crimping the extending edge 12a thereover to form a standard double lock seam. Thus, the container is sealed and now ready for delivery to the consumer. While such containers 10 can be opened in many ways, the container shown is opened by pulling a tab 16 in a direction away from the lid I4. The tab is attached to the lid 14 and encircling the point of attachment in a desired configuration is a groove 21 (FIG. 1) which, when the tab is pulled, will permit the lid to tear for forming a top opening 14a through which the beverage can be poured.

The present invention is shown embodied in a cooling device 22 which can be inserted into a standard container l0, either at the time of manufacture of the can or at the time of filling and easily activated later when the container is opened for cooling the beverage, without changing the configuration of the container, The cooling device comprises a reservoir 24 for holding a supply of a compressed liquified gas 24a, an orifice member 25 forming an orifice 25a connecting the reservoir to one end of an elongated and coiled expansion chamber 26 having the other end closed by a sealing cap structure 27. By permitting compressed liquified gas 24a from the reservoir 24 to expand in the expansion chamber 26 at the desired time, heat will be absorbed through the expansion chamber walls 30 and 31 to cool the beverage in the container.

The cooling device can be one of many configurations so long as it fits easily into the container of the beverage to be cooled. The embodiment shown in the FIGS. 1-4 is one preferred for its simplicity in fabrication. it comprises a pair of flat plates 30 and 31 (FIGS. 3 and 4) having a rectangular form so as to fit into the container as shown to form an envelope and support for the cooling device. The plates 30 and 31 preferably are metallic so as to be heat conductive and may be held together by a pair of substantially parallel surpentine resistance welds 32 and 33 forming the outline of the reservoir 24, the orifice member 25, the elongated expansion chamber 26, and the expansion chamber opening 35. By such commonly used processes as forming these welds and then forcing fluid under pressure between the welds, the plates can be bowed apart to form the walls of the fluid passages therebetween. It may also be desirable to form the orifice member 25 separately and clamp it in the proper position between the plates 30 and 31 in the cavity formed for orifice member 25 (FIG. 12) to maintain close control over the size of the orifice 25a as hereinafter described. Alternately the plates 30 and 31 may be formed by forming the reservoir 24, the orifice 250, the elongated expansion chamber 26 and the expansion chamber opening 35 in the plates 30 and 31 separately and joining them together by well-known resistance welding process to form the cooling device 22,

To charge the device 22, a vacuum is pulled on the reservoir 24, the elongated expansion chamber 26, and the expansion chamber opening 35 to evacuate all air and moisture. While maintaining a vacuum, a specific quantity of suitable liquified gas under pressure, preferably carbon dioxide in liquid form, is inserted through the end opening 35 into the expansion chamber 26, through the orifice 25a and into the reservoir 24. Thereafter the opening 35 is sealed by the sealing cap 27 to maintain the high-pressure environment within the fluid passages in the cooling device. The device 22 then is placed in the container 10 and the container 10 filled with beverage, and the lid 14 installed. With the sealing cap 27 positioned in line with the top opening 14a the cooling device 22 can be activated at any time it is desired to cool and use the container contents after the container is opened. Charging of the device may also be done directly into the reservoir 24 for better disposition of the liquified gas therein as will be described later.

For activating the device, it is necessary to permit expansion of the gas and thereby cause the gas to absorb heat within the expansion chamber. As a result heat will be absorbed from the beverage through the expansion chamber walls. When the top opening 14a is formed in the lid 14, the expansion chamber end opposite the reservoir is opened to atmosphere, as by puncturing, to lower immediately the pressure therein, creating a precooling effect. Gas will begin flowing from the reservoir 24 at a flow rate controlled by the orifice 25a. This gas will expand within the chamber as it flows therethrough creating a cooling effect and to subsequently escape to the atmosphere through the puncture. The puncture in the chamber wall can be formed by a suitable means such as the point ofa sharp object provided for that purpose. By controlling the flow of gas from the reservoir through the proper sizing of the orifice 25a, the gas is permitted to almost reach atmospheric pressure before being expelled from the expansion chamber thereby taking full advantage of the heat-absorbing properties of the gas and making the device efficient and economical to operate.

In accordance with another feature of the invention, the cooling device 22 is interlocked with the container 10 so as to be held tightly in place during the periods of before and after filling the container with beverage. For this purpose, located at selected points on the outer edges of the cooling device 22, are projections or tabs 34 (FlGS. 2 and 5) which preferably contact the container sides 11, and 34a which contacts the container bottom 12, when the device is inserted in the void 13. After insertion, the container sides 11 can be crirnped slightly 11c (FIGS. 2 and 5) to lock the device 22 in place. Thus shipping of the device is simplified as well as holding of the device in position so it can be reached for activation when the top is opened in the manner previously discussed.

In accordance with another feature of the invention, the closure cap 27 serving to seal the expansion chamber 26 and opening 35 serves also as a safety seal which will rupture if the pressure or temperature within the device rises above an unsafe limit. The seal is shown in enlarged detail in FIG. 6 and is made of a fusible material or otherwise fixed in the chamber so it will fail when the gas pressure or temperature within the expansion chamber exceeds a predetermined value. The seal preferably is located so it can be reached through the lid opening 14a. One embodiment of the cap comprises a one-piece fusible metallic construction (FIG. 6) having a cupped center portion 36a, a bent side member 36 folded to form the outer side member 37 and finally flanged at 38, which are assembled into a weldable metallic ring 40. The side members are configured to fit within the end 35a of the expansion chamber 26 with a plurality of ridges 39 contacting the insides of the chamber inner walls 35a. The cap fits within the open end of the chamber 35 until ridges 40a contact the uppermost ends of the chamber sidewalls 35a. Preferably these ends are beveled as shown. The cupped center portion 36a preferably melts at a temperature below that which would heat the coolant sufficiently to rupture the cooling device walls, thus the cap serves as a safety seal for the cooling device.

For filling the cooling device, the cap is inserted into the position just described as shown in FIG. 6, a vacuum pressure is drawn in the expansion chamber 26, through orifice 25a and reservoir 24, and liquified carbon dioxide or other coolant is permitted to flow between the cap and chamber walls through the passages formed by the ridges 39 and 40a as shown by the arrow 41. Thereafter a conductor 42a from a power supply 42 is connected to the cap as shown in FIG. 6 to effect a current flow through the cap 27 to the cooling device 22. Because of the limited contact between the cap and device, a high temperature buildup is caused to melt the ridges and weld the cap and chamber walls together thereby sealing the expansion chamber and holding pressure level of the coolant above at mospheric. It is important that the filling step is accomplished soon after filling the device with the coolant so the coolant can serve to maintain the main body flange 38 of the cap structure 27 below the melting temperature thereof.

Thus the seal 36a normally is punctured to activate the cooling device in the manner previously described. However, if the container 10 becomes heated, or other unexpected conditions occur to result in a pressure rise within the fluid passages of the cooling device, it is desirable for the gas to be permitted to expand into the voids of the container 10 to relieve the pressure within the cooling device. If the cap portions 36, 36a, 37, 38 are made of a fusible material, preferably a metal, the cap will rupture or melt sufficiently to permit the gas to escape into the container. The escaping gas, even though it is momentarily at a higher pressure, is contained to expand into the container cavity 13 thereby to lower the pressure thereof by the increase in the volume of the container not filled with beverage. Eventually the container itself may rupture but the main force of the expanding gas will have been safely expended. By locating the seal adjacent the positioning of the top opening 14a, the seal 36a being weakest portion of the fluid passage wall can be easily punctured to activate the cooling device. Thus, the talk of activating the cooling device is made easier by use of the fusible safety seal and the cupshaped portion 36a assists centering the puncturing means.

A second embodiment of the device is shown in FIG. 7. Herein the cooling device 45 is fit into a standard container and includes leg portions 46a, 46b and 46c formed of abutting metallic plates 47, 48 and 49. These plates are each bent at approximately 120 and fit together as shown to extend lengthwise within the container opening. After being fit together, seam welds are formed as described before between the abutting plates to form serpentine expansion chambers 50 each extending from a central reservoir 51 formed between the plates to join at the open end 52. Within this open end is fitting a sealing cap 54, as described before, after the device is filled in the manner explained previously. This embodiment of the invention is held tightly by contact between the can and the three extending leg portions in the manner described for tab34(FIG.5). I

Still another embodiment of the invention is shown in FIGS. 8 through 11 wherein charging of the device is effected through an opening other than that closed by the sealing cap. Herein the device 56 is fitted within a standard container 10 and comprises two metallic plates 57 and 58 seam welded at area 59 and 60 to form a reservoir 61, an orifice 62, an elongated expansion chamber 64 having an open end 64a. As in previous embodiments, a safety cap 65 is fitted within the chamber end for sealing.

According to the primary feature of this embodiment of the invention, a passage 66 is formed between the plates and ex tending from the reservoir 61 to the outside. Thus for charging the cooling device, the safety cap is sealed in the opening 640 and a vacuum is drawn within the reservoir and expansion chamber. Thereafter, coolant is inserted through the passage 66 and a blockage 67 therein formed, as by spot welding, to seal the device. Thus the sealant is deposited substantially totally within the reservoir. Activation of the device is effected by puncturing the safety cap 65.

In accordance with another feature of the invention, as hereinbefore described, the orifice connecting the reservoir and expansion chamber can be formed separately from the fabrication of the cooling device and clamped in place between the plates 30 and 31 forming the cooling device walls. Accordingly, as shown in FIG. 12, an orifice member is formed leaving a generally cylindrical configuration with the orifice 25a extending therethrough. As the plates and 31 heretofore described forming the cooling device walls are welded together, the orifice member 25 is clamped between the plates 30 and 31 and held in position. Thus the orifice 25a is formed having a precise predetermined size.

While a particular embodiment of the invention has been illustrated and described, it will be obvious to those skilled in the art that various changes may be made without departing from the invention and it is intendedto cover in the appended claims all such changes and modifications that come within the true spirit and scope of the invention.

What I claim as new and desire to be secured by Letters Patent of the United States is:

1. A cooling device for cooling the contents in the internal cavity of a container comprising:

a. A reservoir for holding a supply of gas under pressure;

b. A closed expansion chamber having an internal passage through which said gas can flow;

c. An orifice member forming a flow-restricting orifice joining said reservoir and chamber, to form a continuous gas fluid passage;

d. Said reservoir, chamber and orifice member being formed of adjacent plates fixed together in an envelope forming the walls thereof and being sized to fit within the cavity with a portion of said device extending adjacent the top of the container whereby by puncturing, said device is activated by the forming of an opening joining the fluid passage and atmosphere to allow the gas to flow from the reservoir by passage through the orifice at a controlled rate, expand in said chamber and escape through the puncture to atmosphere for absorbing heat through the envelope walls to cool the container contents. 2. A cooling device as defined in claim 1 wherein said fluid passage wall includes an opening in combination with a safety cap constructed to close said opening and fail when the pressure or temperature within the fluid passage exceeds a predetermined limit to permit expansion of the gas into the container cavity.

3. A cooling device as defined in claim 2 wherein said cap is accessible at the top of the container for puncturing to activate the device.

4. A cooling device as defined in claim I wherein said onvelope is interlocked with the container after being placed in the cavity for holding the device rigidly within the cavity.

5. A cooling device as defined in claim 1 wherein said envelope is formed by adjacent plates fixed together along seams forming the outline of said fluid passage and forced apart between the seams to form the reservoir, orifice and expansion chamber.

6. A cooling device as defined in claim 5 wherein said orifice member is formed separately and clamped in place between said plates.

7. A cooling device as defined in claim 5 wherein said seams are formed by resistance welding said plates together.

8. A cooling device as defined in claim 2 wherein said cap is made of a fusible material which will melt at a predetermined temperature to permit escape of gas from the expansion chamber.

9. A cooling device as defined in claim 2 wherein said cap when inserted within the opening provides passages for charging the cooling device with the coolant before being fixedto said passage wall for closing the opening.

10. A cooling device as defined in claim 9 wherein said safety cap is fixed to said passage wall by a resistance welding process.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2460765 *Oct 29, 1945Feb 1, 1949Herbert E PalaithRefrigerating means for containers
US3309890 *Mar 15, 1965Mar 21, 1967Barnett Eugene RRefrigerated disposable container
US3326013 *Jan 3, 1966Jun 20, 1967David M JacobsRefrigerant-containing food or beverage container
US3494142 *Apr 23, 1968Feb 10, 1970Wray Jr John RobertEnd closure and coolant insert for self-cooling container
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3759060 *Jun 28, 1972Sep 18, 1973Browning Parker ADisposable refrigerated container that can be refilled, reused or recycled
US3803867 *Aug 31, 1972Apr 16, 1974S WillisThermodynamic beverage cooling unit
US3987643 *Jan 22, 1975Oct 26, 1976Willis Samuel CThermodynamic beverage cooling unit
US4628703 *Jul 29, 1985Dec 16, 1986Ho KimSelf operative cooling mechanism of can
US4688395 *Jul 1, 1986Aug 25, 1987Superior Marketing Research Corp.Self-contained cooling device for food containers
US4784678 *Apr 6, 1987Nov 15, 1988The Coca-Cola CompanySelf-cooling container
US4802343 *Jul 1, 1987Feb 7, 1989The Coca-Cola CompanySelf-cooling container
US5201183 *Apr 29, 1992Apr 13, 1993Ramos John FCooling device for beverage cans
US5447039 *Mar 29, 1994Sep 5, 1995Allison; Robert S.Beverage can cooling system
US6619068 *Feb 27, 2002Sep 16, 2003Icetec, Inc.Self-cooling beverage container
US9039924Dec 2, 2011May 26, 2015Frosty Cold, LlcCooling agent for cold packs and food and beverage containers
EP0853219A2 *Nov 14, 1997Jul 15, 1998The BOC Group plcFluid chilling apparatus
EP1278996A1 *Apr 23, 2001Jan 29, 2003Jung Min LeeSelf-cooling liquid container
WO1994005958A1 *Sep 3, 1993Mar 17, 1994Glenio BonderCooling container
WO1996031743A1 *Apr 4, 1996Oct 10, 1996Glenio BonderCooling container, particularly for a beverage
WO2001010729A1 *Aug 3, 2000Feb 15, 2001Nini PolicappelliMulti-cell container
WO2002088609A1 *May 2, 2002Nov 7, 2002Thermal Product Developments, IncPressure responsive valve
WO2008037967A2 *Sep 24, 2007Apr 3, 2008Stewart John ThewlisA device for cooling
WO2008037967A3 *Sep 24, 2007May 15, 2008Stewart John ThewlisA device for cooling
U.S. Classification62/294, 62/371, 62/51.1
International ClassificationF25D3/10
Cooperative ClassificationF25D2331/805, F25D3/107
European ClassificationF25D3/10C