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Publication numberUS3910414 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 7, 1975
Filing dateOct 29, 1973
Priority dateOct 29, 1973
Publication numberUS 3910414 A, US 3910414A, US-A-3910414, US3910414 A, US3910414A
InventorsMccay Bruce E
Original AssigneeMccay Bruce E
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Container structure
US 3910414 A
Abstract
Containers for food, beverages, and the like are fabricated with downwardly converging side walls so that after being emptied, a plurality of such containers can be nestibly stacked for convenient and economical storage and shipping to recycling locations. The side walls may be of various configurations to identify the different materials of the containers for facilitating sorting thereof.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

[ Oct. 7, 1975 United States Patent [1 1 McCay M MW WD M mm W1 06 46 99 WM 23 08 4 20 2 DD P E Q R m w m C M m E m B m A m T t N m 0 V C m 4 H 5 7 Lake Havasu City, Ariz. 86403 Oct. 29, 1973 Primary Examiner-William 1. Price [22] Filed:

Assistant Examiner-Steven M. Pollard Appl No: 410,913 Attorney, Agent, or FirmHerbert E. Haynes, Jr.

T C A R T S B A l. 7 5 80 m 01 m2 2D i 5 1 B 5. m U Sn Um ll 21 55 ll Containers for food, beverages, and the like are fabricated with downwardly converging side walls so that after being emptied, a plurality of such containers can l k l References Cited be nestiby stac ed for convenient and economica UNITED STATES PATENTS storage and shipping to recycling locations. The side walls may be of various configurations to identify the g n .U a .H w f m f a r m c C .l .m F a g m n .l 0 w c a r m D t 6 ,m m B m l m. c 6 l aw mr e tm n e n .1 t m d8 2 4 ml /C 38 m 2 0 .H2" "02 2 .n m m t u n c e mm bcm .lgk em Sfflp ae RCPL 7927 6673 9999 1111 ///l 3 95 7729 0607 9024 0290 333D ill lll lll US. Pawn Oct. 7,1975 3,910,414

1 CONTAINERSTRUCTURE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention This invention relates to containers and more particularly to containers which have 'a particular configura-j tion for nestible stacking thereof.

2. Description of the Prior Art As evidenced by such things as anti-litter laws, clean- I up campaigns, energyconservation, and the like, protection and upgrading of our environment is of ever growing concern. As a byproduct of this concern the heretofore little used terms .such as ecology, biodegradable, recycling, etc. are becoming household sumerable products. The voluminous quantity of art re- I lating to can designs is an indication of the search for new and improved designs which offer labor saving and economic advantges to the packer, retailer, and consumer. However, little or no effort has been expended to design a product of this nature which will reduce the impact it has on our environment. Cans in general have been manufactured from tinplate and aluminum with a cylindrical wall into which the tops and bottoms are separately affixed. Such a method results in a circular rim, termed a chine, around the top and bottom of the can, both of which have a greater outside diameter than the cylindrical wall itself. More recently there has been developed a method for manufacturing cans, particularly aluminum cans, whereby it is necessary that only one end of the can be chined.

The expenditure of vital resources in addition to the raw materials used in the fabrication of, cans is well known, large quantities of coke are used to smelt the steel employed in the tinplate method of manufacture, and large amounts of electricity are needed in the processing of new aluminum. It is also well known that far less energy is consumed in the recycling of these materials than is used in the processing of new materials. Thus,in the interest of conserving both raw materials and energy, recycling of cans would be a large step in the right direction, but the very nature of cans makes collection, storage, sorting, and shipping thereof to the recycling plants impractical and a very costly operation.

These problems can be easily seen when it is considered that an empty can takes up as much room as a full one, thus, collection, storage and shipping are a problem. Also, many consumers cant tell the difference between a can of tinplate manufacture and one of aluminum or else they wont take the time to sort them, thus, sorting on the consumer level or any other level, is impractical or at best, costly and time consuming.

Due to the above described problems,cans not only consume large quantities of raw materials and energy, they also contribute heavily to the litter problem.

In view of the foregoing, the need exists for a new and useful stackable container structure which eliminates some of the problems of the prior art.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION In accordance with the invention, new and useful stackable can structures are disclosed as having downwardly converging side walls which makes nestible stacking of the empty cans possible to ease the collection, storage, and shipping problems thereof for recycling purposes. The converging side walls may be formed in various configurations so that the cans of one material cannot be nestibly stacked with cans of another material, thus eliminating or at least, reducing the sorting problems.

Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide a new and useful stackable can structure of the type employed for containment of food stuffs, beverages and the like.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a new and useful stackable can structure of the above described character in which the cans are nestibly stackable for collecting, storing and shipping purposes.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a new and useful stackable can structure having downwardly converging side walls so that aplurality of such cans when emptied, can be nestibly stacked.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a new and useful can structure having downwardly con verging side wallswhich may be formed in various configurations so that cans of particular materials are easily identifiable and cans of various materials cannot be mixed in a single stack. v

The foregoing, and other objects of the present invention, as well as the invention itself, may be more easily understood from the following description when read in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS I FIG. 1 is an isometricview of one species of the stackable can structures of the present invention, illustrating the various features thereof.

FIG. 2 is an isometricview of another embodiment of the stackable can structure of the present invention.

FIG. 3 is an isometric view of still another embodiment of the stackable can structure of the present invention.

FIG. 4 is an isometric view of yet another embodi? ment of the stackable can structure of the present invention.

FIG. 5 is a plan view of the lid structure suitable for use with thecan structure of the present invention.

FIG. 6 is a sectional view of a plurality of the stackable cans of the present invention shown in a stacked array.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Referring more particularly to the drawings, FIG. 1 illustrates a stackable can structure of the present invention, indicated generally by the reference numeral 10. The can 10 is seen to include an elongated thin wall body 12 having an outwardly projecting annular chine 14 at its upper end by which a disc shaped openable end closure 16 or lid is sealingly positioned within the open upper end-of the body. The body 16 terminates at its lower end with an integrally formed circular bottom 18.

It should be understood that any of the well known commonly used openable lid configurations, such as; the button top (not shown) or the conventional lid which requires the use of a can opener (not shown) may be used with the stackable can structures of the present invention, and the structural details of the openable lid 16 having the well known pull tab 20 was chosen for illustrative purposes only. Also, a can fabricated by the technique which produces a lower end chine (not shown) can be manufactured in accordance with the teachings of the present invention.

The body 12 is an endless surface which downwardly inwardly tapers or converges from the circular chine 14 to the circular bottom 18 with the bottom 18 being relatively smaller than the chin 14. Thus, the can structure can be seen to be an inverted truncated cone, or of frusto conical construction.

A second species of the can structure of the present invention is illustrated in FIG/2, and is indicated generally by the reference numeral 22. In this species, the end closure 24 is of square configuration, but equally as well could be formed in any geometric shape such as triangular,quadrilateral or any of the various polygons. The chine 26, body 28, and bottom 30 all match the particular geometric configuration of the lid 24, which in the embodiment illustrated is square. The body 28 has four sides 32 (two shown) which converge downwardly and terminate at the integrally formed bottom which is relatively smaller than the lid 24. Thus, this species can be broadly defined as an inverted truncated multi-sided pyramid, and more specifically, the geometric configuration shown in FIG. 2 can be described as an inverted truncated pyramid having four sides.

Another species of the can structure of the present invention is shown in FIG. 3 and is indicated generally by the reference numeral 34. In this embodiment, the lid 36, chine 38, and the bottom 40 are all circular and the body 42 converges downwardly and terminates at the integrally formed bottom 40 which is relatively smaller than the lid 36. The body 42 is fluted, that is, it is formed with a plurality of vertically disposed flutes or convolutions 44. The flutes 44 may be varied in size from one can structure to another to prevent stacking cans of dissimilar materials in the same stack as will hereinafter be described in detail.

It may be seen that in the hereinbefore described can structures 10, 22, and 34, the respective lids and bottoms of each can structure were of the same geometric configuration with the difference therebetween being limited to the relative sizes. In other words, the lid 16 and bottom 18 of the can structure 22 are both square, and the lid 36 and bottom 40 of the can structure 34 are both circular.

The embodiment shown in FIG. 4 illustrates a can structure, indicated generally by the reference numeral 46, in which the lid 48 and the bottom 50 are of different configurations. The lid 48 and the chine 52 are circular and the body 54 converges downwardly and terminates in the integrally formed bottom 50 which is of square geometric configuration.

The body 54 serves as a transition piece which, as is well known in the sheet metal art, is a piece that connects openings, or surfaces, of different sizes and/or shapes. The body 54 is formed in accordance with well known techniques to have four (two shown) triangular surfaces 56 and four (three shown) conical surfaces 58 thus providing the properly shaped surfaces necessary to make the transition between the circular lid 48 and the square bottom 50.

FIGS. 5 and 6 illustrate a lid 60 suitable for use with the stackable can structures of the present invention. The lid 60 in addition to being formed with the usual pull tab 20 is provided with a plurality of radially extending fracturable lines 62 which may be formed such as by scoring or by other methods well known in the art, The fracturable lines 62 are formed in the lid 60 so that the individual segments 64 between the lines 62 may be pushed inwardly upon rupturing of the lid. As seen in FIG. 6, the segments 64 are pushed into contiguous engagement with the inner surface of the can 10 so that stacking can be accomplished. It should be noted that the conventional opening devices such as the pull tab 20, button top (not shown) and the like could just as easily be formed in the bottom 18 (not shown) so as not to interfer with the fracturable lines It should be apparent that the above described fracturable lines 62 formed in the lid 60 is but one manner in which the lid can be disposed of for stacking purposes. An example of other methods of disposing of the lid would be complete removal, such as by the well known annular strip which is removed by a key or the like, or employing a can opener so that the lidis completely separated from the chine or at all but one small location so that the lid can be bent upwardly out of the opening of the can.

In view of the various can configurations hereinbefore described it may now be seen that cans formed of different materials may be formed with different configurations so that stacking of the cans will automatically segregate the cans for shipment to the proper recycling locations.

The stackable can structures of this invention can be made of any readily formable material of construction such as aluminum, copper, magnesium, steel, etc., and additionally plastic materials such as nylon, polyolefilms, polystyrenes, etc. and various combinations thereof. Aluminum is the preferred material of construction since it can be conveniently and economincally formed into the desired can configurations.

A convenient method of forming aluminum into the desired can configuration is by impact extrusion followed by finishing operations. lmpact extrusion is a well known metal forming method and basically comprises exerting extreme pressure on a slug of aluminum' causing the metal to flow within the cup shaped cavity formed by a male and female die. The resulting aluminum cup, shaped article is then subjected to the finishing operations of doming, ironing, flaring, and trimming whereby the aluminum cup is smoothed, elongated and formed into the final desired can shape. The can may then be filled in conventional filling machines. The final can configuration is then achieved by affixing a chined lid by conventional methods.

While the principles of the invention have now been i made clear in an illustrated embodiment, there will be immediately obvious to those skilled in the art, many modifications of structure, arrangements, proportions, the elements, materials, and components used in the practice of the invention, and otherwise, which are particularly adapted for specific environments and opera tion requirements without departing from those principles. The appended claims are therefore intended to extending fracturable lines formed in said lid so cover and embrace any such modifications within the that a downwardly directed force will rupture said limits only of the true spirit and scope of the invention. lid into a plurality of segments;

What I claim is: c. said body converging downwardly from said open- I. A stackable can structure comprising: 5 able lid; and a. an elongated body of endless thin wall construcd. a bottom on said body which is relatively smaller tion; than said openable lid. b. an openable lid comprising a plurality of radially

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3309007 *Oct 4, 1965Mar 14, 1967 Waste receptacle
US3420367 *May 25, 1967Jan 7, 1969Du PontMultiple container package
US3692202 *Jan 15, 1971Sep 19, 1972Thomas J ParlagrecoBeer can stein with attached handle
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4049122 *Oct 21, 1974Sep 20, 1977Maxwell Earl GNestable non-corrosive container for pressurized beverages and processes for manufacture and handling thereof
US4909393 *Nov 14, 1988Mar 20, 1990Berwick Container Corp.Container reconfiguring system
US5040682 *Mar 19, 1990Aug 20, 1991Berwick Container Corp.Container reconfiguring system
US5160031 *Aug 16, 1991Nov 3, 1992Berwick Manufacturing Inc.Nestable container and method of making
US5279442 *Dec 18, 1991Jan 18, 1994Ball CorporationDrawn and ironed container and apparatus and method for forming same
US7182242 *Dec 23, 2003Feb 27, 2007Dopaco, Inc.Food container for use with a beverage receptacle
US8701914 *Feb 15, 2013Apr 22, 2014Ronald Mark BuckTwo-part recyclable cup
US8939312Jun 24, 2014Jan 27, 2015Top-That! LlcContainer lid system with a lid portion and food container portion
US9038845May 2, 2014May 26, 2015Top-That! LlcContainer lid with one or more cavities
US9078535May 9, 2014Jul 14, 2015Top-That! LlcContainer lid with a food compartment and a sip-hole
US20050133580 *Dec 23, 2003Jun 23, 2005Dopaco IncorporatedFood container for use with a beverage receptacle
US20070289892 *Jun 19, 2006Dec 20, 2007Dan HogertyNested container
US20130059166 *Aug 30, 2012Mar 7, 2013Aisin Aw Co., Ltd.Cup-shaped member including inner peripheral corrugated portion and manufacturing method and manufacturing apparatus for the same
WO2001053160A2 *Jan 17, 2001Jul 26, 2001Hüppi-Invest AgCup, method for providing a cup, method for stretching a cup into a can and facilities
WO2001053160A3 *Jan 17, 2001Mar 14, 2002Werner BoltshauserCup, method for providing a cup, method for stretching a cup into a can and facilities
WO2006110818A2 *Apr 11, 2006Oct 19, 2006M.S. Willett, Inc.Can bodies
WO2006110818A3 *Apr 11, 2006Nov 8, 2007Lloyd M Kellogg JrCan bodies
Classifications
U.S. Classification206/515, 220/268
International ClassificationB65D21/02
Cooperative ClassificationB65D21/0233, B65D17/165
European ClassificationB65D17/16B2, B65D21/02F