US 3703816 A
An outer container to maintain a liquid disposed in an inner container in a highly chilled condition for a prolonged period comprising a pair of cup-like shell combinations, each including an outer shell lined with styrafoam and an inner cup-like shell suspended from the rim of the outer shell to be inserted within the thus-lined outer shell, but spaced from lined walls. Such spacing is filled with semi-solid plastic jell, such as "blue ice". Each inner cup-like shell is mounted on the rim of its outer shell by an integral outwardly flaired annular portion, the edge of which interlocks with the rim area of the outer shell, thereby containing the plastic jell. The two shell combinations are then brought together with their respective cavities disposed in registry and means are provided to interlock the rims of the shell combinations. Such means may involve some type of mating threading on the two rims, the use of an interlocking adapter, or the use of an intermediate sleeve-like member having a similar wall structure to that of the two shell combinations with appropriate end means to be secured to and in registry with the rim of each shell combination. By use of the latter, the overall axial dimension of the container may be increased to accommodate larger sized liquid or filled inner containers, or otherwise to provide a larger capacity.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Weathers 1 Nov. 28, 1972  THERMO COLD-PAK CONTAINER Robert E. Weathers, 11933 South Larrylyn Drive, Whittier, Calif. 90604 22 Filed: 0a. 15, 1971 211 Appl. No.: 189,497
Primary ExaminerWillia.m J. Wye Attorney-Smyth, Roson & Pavitt ABSTRACT An outer container to maintain a liquid disposed in an inner container in a highly chilled condition for a prolonged period comprising a pair of cup-like shell combinations, each including an outer shell lined with styrafoam and an inner cup-like shell suspended from the rim of the outer shell to be inserted within the thus-lined outer shell, but spaced from lined walls. Such spacing is filled with semi-solid plastic jell, such as blue ice. Each inner cup-like shell is mounted on the rim of its outer shell by an integral outwardly flaired annular portion, the edge of which interlocks with the rim area of the outer shell, thereby containing the plastic jell. The two shell combinations are then brought together with their respective cavities disposed in registry and means are provided to interlock the rims of the shell combinations. Such means may involve some type of mating threading on the two rims, the use of an interlocking adapter, or the use of an intermediate sleeve-like member having a similar wall structure to that of the two shell combinations with appropriate end means to be secured to and in registry with the rim of each shell combination. By use of the latter, the overall axial dimension of the container may be increased to accommodate larger sized liquid or filled inner containers, or otherwise to provide a larger capacity.
3 Claim, 6 Drawing Figures THERMO COLD-PAK CONTAINER BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention This invention relates to double-walled containers in general, and specifically to a double-walled container which is filled with a plastic jell for the purpose of holding the contents of the container at a low temperature for a prolonged period.
2. Description of the'Prior Art Double-walled containers have been in use for a number of decades. Initially such containers were of the vacuum type which'became known as thermos bottles. However, by 1930 a US. Pat. No. 1,771,186 issued to H. Mock which disclosed an open top doublewalled container which was mostly filled with water to be frozen. Into this container some type of food could be disposed and kept cold until some period after the ice between the walls had melted.
In the years since 1930, other inventors have patented liquid filled double-walled containers in various configurations (e.g. US. Pat. Nos. 2,039,736, 3,034,305, 3,161,031, 3,205,678, 3,236,206, 3,302,427, Re. 26,724) and have disclosed the use of various types of liquid refrigerating solutions or solutions capable of being frozen for refrigerating purposes. In some of these patents the inventors contemplated placing the liquid directly in contact with the inner wall of the container. In others, it was contemplated that a can or other container filled with liquid could be placed in the double-walled container to chill it before opening it for consumption.
However, in none of these prior patents does it appear that anyone has sought to provide a double-walled container having a refrigerating liquid within the walls and which container is closed both top and bottom with double-walls similarly filled with a suitable refrigerant. A principal problem with prior art double-walled containers filled with a refrigerant liquid is the necessity of effectively sealing the liquid in the double-walled defined space to insure against leakage. This sealing requirement not only complicates the method by which such containers are fabricated, but renders the containers vulnerable to rough handling whereby the seal may be fractured so that leakage will ensue.
It also appears from the prior art patents thatno one has heretofore devised a suitable modular type of unit for so completely encapsulating either a liquid or a can or other container of liquid.
While the units of the prior patents may maintain their contents refrigerated for one or two, or even several hours, this is not a sufficient period of time where one may not desire to consume the contained liquid until lunchtime or even later, when his unit may be packed early in the morning before leaving for work or on some type of long trip. Nor is such a' period of cooling maintenance sufficient for using the container for certain types of medical purposes.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention contemplates the use of modular container units including a pair of end-cups, each of which is formed of an outer shell lined with styrafoam and an inner shell inserted within the outer shell and suspended from the rim of the outer shell so that the walls of the inner and outer shells are spaced from each other. Such spacing is filled with a plastic jell such as blue ice of type disclosed in US. Pat. Nos. 2,800,454, 2,800,455 and 2,803,115. This plastic jell is essentially a semi-solid which does not tend to pass through small cracks or between abutting surfaces which are not sealed. The inner shell is mounted on the rim of its outer shell by an integral outwardly flaired annular portion, the edge of which may be simply snapped into the rim area of the outer shell. This mounting occurs after sufiicient plastic jell has first been placed in the styrafoam-lined outer shell as to just fill the space between the inner and outer shell walls after the inner shell is mounted on the rim area of the outer shell.
The rims of the thus-assembled end-cups may be provided with some type of means, such as threading or other twisting type interlock, whereby these end-cups may be either directly joined to each other, or indirectly joined through some intermediate type of modular unit. The latter may preferably also be of the double-walled plastic jell type. Thereby the item to be refrigerated may be completely encapsulated by the modular unit container.
Where the intermediate unit is employed, this may include some provision, such as a strap, for carrying the container. Also, the intermediate units may be decoratively designed to indicate the nature of the encapsulated contents.
It will be found that by such complete encapsulation and the use of the plastic jell, after the entire unit with its container of liquid has been left in a refrigerator overnight, the liquid will remain in a chilled condition for as long as eight to ten hours. This is to be compared with the two or three hours attained by most prior art devices. Nor will there result any leakage of the plastic jell from the double-walled defined spaces, and since no sealing is required the unit may be handled without the care required to protect prior art units against cracking of their seals and leakage of their refrigerant solutions.
While the invention may have readily recognizable use in keeping cold such liquids as soft drinks and milk, it will be appreciated that it may also have important uses in the medical field in keeping refrigerated for necessary long periods various solutions and medicines which deteriorate rapidly at higher temperatures. Among situations where such refrigeration may be required would be medical activities under field conditions.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a side elevation partly in section of a container unit.
FIG. 2 is a plan view of the unit.
FIG. 3 is an exploded view of the unit as shown in FIG. 1.
FIG. 4 is a side elevation partly in section of an alternative assembly.
FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the adapter shown in FIG. 4.
FIG. 6 is a partial sectional view of a still further alternative embodiment of the invention.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring to FIGS. 1, 2 and 3, an encapsulating container may be constructed in accordance with the present invention by providing a pair of cup-like outer shells and 12, each of which may be similarly employed to fabricate a refrigerating end portion of the assembly shown in FIG. 1. Since both upper 14 and lower 16 refrigerating end portions of the assembly are identically constructed, it will only be necessary to describe the lower assembly 16 in detail to provide a full understanding of the construction of the upper portion 14 as well. The shell 12 is first lined with styrafoam 18 to within approximately one-fourth inch of the shell rim 16a to present an inner wall surface 32. Just inside and below the shell rim is provided an annular groove 20. An inner cup-like shell 22 is provided with an annularly widened rim area 24, a part of which rim area is annularly extended at 26 and peripherally circumscribed by an annular bead 28. The bead 28 is adapted to be snapped into the groove 20. However, before the inner shell 22 is inserted into the shell 16, a further liner of plastic jell 30, the composition of which is fully described in US. Pat. Nos. 2,800,454, 2,803,115 and 2,800,455 is applied to the inner styrafoam lined wall 32 in a sufficient amount to fill substantially the spacing between the wall 32 and the outer wall 22a of the inner shell 22. The plastic jell 30 in the preferred form is similar in physical properties to a thick grease or butter and may be applied either by some type of spatula or deposited on the bottom portion 32a of the styrafoam wall 32 and gradually forced up the spacing between the inner styrafoam wall 32 and the outer shell wall 22a by gently forcing the inner shell 22 into the cavity formed by the lined outer shell 16.,This gentle forcing continues until the annularly extended area 26 of the widened rim area 24 of the shell 22 abuts the rim 16a of the shell 16, whereupon further downward pressure will result in the annular bead 28 snapping into the annular groove 20.
The intermediate cylindrical portion 34 of the assembly shown in FIGS. 1 and 3 comprises an outer cylindrical shell 36 which is partially lined with a cylindrical styrafoam liner 38 and is annularly grooved inside its upper and lower rims 39, 41 at 40 and 42 respectively. The intermediate portion is completed by applying jell 30a to the inner wall 38a of the styrafoam liner 38, following which an inner cylinder shell 44, having an expanded cylindrical base section 46 of an outside diameter approximating the inside diameter of the shell 36 is then slipped axially into the lined and coated shell 36 to where an annular bead 48 circumscribing the base section 46 snaps into the annular groove 42. The base portion 46 is counterbored at 50 and may be internally threaded at 52 to receive threading 54 on the outside of the widened rim area 24 of the inner shell 22 of the end portion 16. The outside of the shell 44 may be annularly grooved at 56 just below its upper rim 58. The intermediate unit is then completed by snapping in an annular closure member 60 which is provided with an external annular bead 62 and an inwardly extending annular rim area 64. The bead 62 may be snapped into the groove 40 inside the rim 39 of the shell 36 and the extension 64 snaps into the groove 56 extending around the outside of the shell 44 just below the rim 58. The annular member 60 may be internally threaded at 66 to receive threading 68 on the internal shell of the upper end portion 14.
For convenience in handling the assembled unit the shell 36 may be molded with some type of extension 70, which is orificed at 72 to receive a rope or strap 74.
In the embodiment shown in FIG. 4, the overall axial length of the encapsulating unit may be shortened by providing a simple cylindrical adapter 76 which may not be lined and provided with plastic jell in the manner of the intermediate portion 34. As shown in FIG. 4, the adapter 76 is simply molded with upper and lower threading 78 and 80 to receive the threadings 68 and 54 of the upper and lower end portions 14 and 16 respectively.
A still further alternative adaptation of the present invention is shown in FIG. 6. In this embodiment, the
rim 82 of the inner shell 22' comprising part of the lower shell portion 16' may be so configured as to threadingly mate withthe rim portion 84 of the upper shell portion 14.
The unit in whatever configuration it may be constructed, will readily receive a sealed can or bottle and after the unit has been placed in a refrigerator for a long enough period of time to freeze the Plastic Jell to the desired temperature, will maintain whatever container is placed inside the cavity 86 at a low temperature for a prolonged period of time. While the unit is readily adapted to receive a soft drink can or some similar commercially packaged product, it will be appreciated that any type of inner container could be inserted into the cavity 86.
Alternatively, an article could be directly disposed within the cavity 86 without being placed in an inner container.
l. A container to maintain in a highly chilled condition and for a prolonged period of time, an article or fluid placed in the container, said container comprismg:
A. A pair of cup-like shell combinations, each said combination including: i. an outer cup-shaped shell of a predetermined configuration, said outer shell being lined with styrafoam over which is coated a plastic jell such as blue ice;
. an inner cup-like shell of a similar configuration but having an outer dimension sufficiently less than the inner dimension of the styrafoam lined outer shell to provide spacing between the styrafoam and the inner shell when the inner shell is coaxially disposed within the outer shell;
iii. said inner shell and said outer shell being provided with means to interlock the rim area of the inner shell inside the rim area of the outer shell, thereby to suspend the remainder of the inner shell coaxially within and spaced from the styrafoam lined outer shell; and
B. Means to releasably engage the upper and lower cup-like shell combinations.
2. The container as described in claim 1, wherein the means to releasably engage the upper and lower cuplike shell combinations comprises a cylindrical segment similarly lined with styrafoam, coated with plastic jell,
and having an inside diameter coinciding with the inner diameter of the upper and lower shell portions, and rims adapted to releasably engage the rims of the upper and lower shell portions.
3. The container as described in claim 2, wherein the 5 cylindrical shell is provided with means extending from the outer wall thereof to constitute a handle whereby the container may be carried.