US 3695453 A
A foamed plastic tray provided with pockets separated at their tops by reinforcing ridges. The tray is provided with a large, upwardly projecting circumferential rim, of a substantially rectangular shape, which is externally flat so as to provide on its sides a flat rim for holding the tray in an upright position.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
1 1 Oct. 3, 1972 United States Patent Martelli  FOAMED PLASTIC POCKET TRAY 1,990,145 2/1935 FOR FRUITS OR LIKE ARTICLES 2,351,051 6/1944 Kenigson..............,
3,311,225 3/1967 .21l/l4X  Inventor: Nerlo Martelll, 6, via Cavaiom,
Bologna, Italy Primary Examiner-Nile C. Byers, Jr. AttorneyEdwin E. Greigg  Filed: Sept. 14, 1970  Appl. No.: 71,921
ABSTRACT  Foreign Application Priority Data Sept. 30, 1969 ltaly.......................7344 A/69 of a substantially rectangular shape, which is exter' nally flat so as to provide on its sides a flat rim for holding the tray in an upright position;
 US.  Int. 7/00 22; 206/72  Field of Search 8 Claims, 5 Drawing Figures  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2/1885 Chaumont...............
FOAMED PLASTIC POCKET TRAY FOR FRUITS OR LIKE ARTICLES BACKGROUND AND SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION Modern sale methods of fruit, for example those used in supermarkets, or self-service shops, necessitate the use of already-parcelled small packages which contain a limited number of middle-sized fruits (such as apples or oranges, grape fruits) or like articles having an approximately constant weight corresponding to the quantity or unit of weight which is most usually purchased by the average consumer.
To this end, it is known to use pocket trays made of thin plastic sheets or of foamed plastic material. For transportation to the place of destination of the trays containing the fruits, the trays has to be introduced into outer rigid boxes in order to guarantee the fruit protection.
Since it is impossible to stack the trays one on another, without damaging the fruits, it is necessary to pack in each box a single layer of trays, which renders the packing quite expensive and adds very much to the transportation expenses.
The same problem arises whenever the trays have to be disposed, for instance, in the supermarket display cases.
The object of the invention is to provide a pocket tray for fruits or like articles, of the kind described, provided with a broad rim, of a substantially rectangular shape, which is externally flat so as to provide a supporting plane permitting of holding the trays in an upright position.
In this manner, it is possible to pack in each box a greater number of trays than by the conventional horizontal arrangement.
Advantageously, the said trays are made of foamed plastic affording a great lateral stability.
These and other features of the invention, along with further objects and advantages thereof, will become more fully apparent from the following detailed description of some preferred embodiments of the invention, reference being made to the accompanying drawings.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a pocket tray according to the invention.
FIG. 2 is a plan top view of the tray shown in FIG. 1.
FIG. 3 is a cross section through the vertical plane on line IIIIII of FIG. 2, showing also the position of a fruit in one pocket.
FIG. 4 is a view like to FIG. 3, of a second embodiment of a tray according to the invention, and
FIG. 5 is a side view showing the position of two adjoining trays according to the invention having their pockets filled with fruits and packed in an outer rigid box.
DESCRIPTION OF A PREFERRED EXAMPLE OF THE INVENTION The tray 1 is preferably formed from a foamed plastic sheet having a thickness of from 1 to 5 mm. The said tray is provided with a number of pockets 2, into which the fruits 3 are disposed.
In the embodiment as shown, the tray 1 is rectangular with rounded corners and is provided with six pockets 2, disposed on two parallel rows A and B, each of three pockets 2.
Each pocket 2 is provided with a side wall section 102 and a bottom section 202. An annular reinforcing ridge 5 is provided between bottom section 202 and wall section 102. The side wall portions of the pockets 2 are provided with ribs 4. v
The tray 1 is further provided according to the invention, with a flat rim 6, substantially extending vertically beyond the top of the pockets 2. As shown in FIG. 3, the top edge 106 of said rim may extend substantially flush with the projecting top portion of the fruits 3 contained in the tray, or it may extend substantially below the fruit top portion, as shown in the embodiment of FIG. 4.
The said rim 6 is preferably of a greater thickness than the remaining parts of the tray, and it is externally flat, so as to provide a side supporting plane 7 extending all around the tray and permitting of holding the trays in an upright position.
The height of this flat rim 7 is usually about one-third to two-thirds of the overall tray height.
In order to provide for a lateral stability to the tray 1, also in an upright position, same is suitably reinforced by providing at the pocket tops reinforcing ridges 8 and 9, disposed at right angles, extending from one side to another of the tray. At the points where four pockets meet, the ridges assume the form of pyramids 12.
The ridges 9 disposed transversally with respect to the rows A, B of pockets presents at their ends a substantially V-shaped bifurcation ll, merging into the lateral wall 6 of the tray 1.
In FIG. 5 it is shown how the trays 1 may be stacked in sidewise adjoining rows in an outer box 13. It will be appreciated that, although the trays are shown disposed so as to bear on the longer side of the tray rim, the trays could be also fitted in the box so as to bear on the shorter side rim, in which case the fruits in the box 13 would form three superposed layers.
Of course, the invention may undergo numerous changes particularly as regards the shape of the trays of the pockets and the method of reinforcing same.
What I claim is: j
1. A light, substantially rigid, integral tray capable of storing and transporting a plurality of articles comprising, a plurality of rows of upwardly directed pockets, a single longitudinally extending reinforcing ridge provided between a pair of longitudinal rows of said pockets and plural transversal reinforcing ridges arranged between transverse rows of said pockets, said ridges extending from side to side of said tray, said tray further including a vertically extending continuous circumferential rim, rectangular in plan view, surrounding said pockets, said rim providing a flat surface serving to support said tray in vertically arranged relation with the articles disposed therein, said tray being devoid of an outwardly projecting flange.
2. A tray according to claim 1, in which the thickness of said circumferential rim is greater than the thickness of the remaining parts of the tray.
3. A tray as claimed in claim 1, wherein terminal portions of the ridges include bifurcated portions which merges into the circumferential rim.
of the remaining parts of the tray and which increases progressively from the inner to the outer end of said rim, the height of said rim being about one-third to twothirds of the overall height of said tray.
7. A tray as claimed in claim 6, wherein terminal portions of the ridges include bifurcated portions which merge into the circumferential rim.
8. A tray as claimed in claim 6 made of foamed plastic.