Login| Sign Up| Help| Contact|

Patent Searching and Data


Title:
MEASURING CONTAINER WITH HEAT DISSIPATING SECTION
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2016/140746
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A container includes a base and a side wall integrally formed with and extending upwardly from the base to define an interior volume for holding a substance. The side wall and the base are formed of a microwave-safe material. The side wall has an outer side wall surface facing toward ambient and an inner side wall surface facing toward the interior volume. The side wall has a first region in which a wall structure is located offsetting the outer side wall surface on the wall structure from a recessed outer surface, which is offset outwardly from the inner side wall surface and inwardly from the outer side wall surface on the wall structure. The side wall is configured to be gripped by a user's hand in the first region and the wall structure allows for air pockets to form between the user's hand and the recessed outer surface.

Inventors:
WITT LARRY (US)
TRAUB JOHN (US)
DOLPH MATTHEW (US)
MCNAMARA CONOR (US)
XYDIS CHRIS (US)
Application Number:
US2016/015515
Publication Date:
September 09, 2016
Filing Date:
January 29, 2016
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
HELEN OF TROY LTD (BB)
WITT LARRY (US)
International Classes:
G01F19/00
Foreign References:
US5415339A1995-05-16
US20130270279A12013-10-17
US6769302B12004-08-03
US20140332440A12014-11-13
US20080223861A12008-09-18
US20120037618A12012-02-16
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
WITHROW, Jonathan, A. (38210 Glenn Ave.Willoughby, OH, US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS:

1 . A container comprising:

a base; and

a side wall integrally formed with and extending upwardly from the base to define an interior volume for holding a substance,

the side wall and the base being formed from a microwave - safe material; the side wall having an outer side wall surface facing toward ambient and an inner side wall surface facing toward the interior volume,

the side wall having a first region in which a wall structure is located offsetting the outer side wall surface on the wall structure from a recessed outer surface, which is offset outwardly from the inner side wall surface and inwardly from the outer side wall surface on the wall structure,

wherein the side wall is configured to be gripped by a user's hand in the first region and the wall structure allows for air pockets to form between the user's hand and the recessed outer surface.

2. The container of claim 1 , wherein the side wall includes a second region devoid of the wall structure.

3. The container of claim 2, wherein the side wall is more opaque in at least a portion of the second region as compared to the recessed outer surface.

4. The container of claim 2, wherein the side wall is more opaque in at least a portion of the second region and along the wall structure as compared to the recessed outer surface.

5. The container of claim 2, wherein the side wall includes a third region also being devoid of the wall structure, wherein the side wall is more opaque in the second region and along the wall structure as compared to the third region.

6. The container of claim 5, wherein the third region is as translucent as the recessed outer surface.

7. The container of claim 6, wherein the side wall terminates at an upper rim having a depression for forming a pour spout, wherein at least a portion of the third region is circumferentially aligned with and disposed beneath the depression.

8. The container of claim 7, wherein the second region surrounds the third region.

9. The container of claim 5, wherein the second region surrounds the third region.

10. The container of claim 2, wherein a thickness of the side wall measured in the second region of the side wall is equal to a thickness of the side wall measured in the first region of the side wall through the wall structure.

1 1 . The container of claim 1 , wherein the outer side wall surface is circular in a cross section taken normal to a central vertical axis of the container.

12. The container of claim 1 , wherein the wall structure includes recess side surfaces extending outwardly from the recessed outer surface to the outer side wall surface.

13. The container of claim 12, wherein the recess side surfaces at least partially surround respective recesses.

14. The container of claim 13, wherein the outer side wall surface along the wall structure is textured to be more opaque than the recessed outer surface.

15. The container of claim 14, wherein the side wall includes a second region devoid of the plurality of recesses, wherein the outer side wall surface in the second region is also textured similarly to the recess side surfaces and the outer side wall surface along the wall structure.

16. The container of claim 15, wherein the side wall also includes a third region also being devoid of the plurality of recesses, wherein the third region is as translucent as the recessed outer surface.

17. The container of claim 16, further comprising graduation marks provided on the outer side wall surface within the third region.

18. The container of claim 1 , wherein the microwave - safe material from which the side wall and the base is made is sufficiently resilient in the side wall to deform the side wall when being squeezed by the user's hand and return to an undeformed shape when no longer being squeezed.

Description:
MEASURING CONTAINER WITH HEAT DISSIPATING SECTION

BACKGROUND

[0001] Measuring containers, such as measuring cups, are useful to measure the ingredients when following food and beverage recipes. Sometimes the ingredients need to be heated. While some measuring containers may be oven or microwave safe, oftentimes an oven mitt or similar heat insulating device is used to grip the measuring container since the exterior of the container can become very hot.

[0002] There are also measuring containers that do not have a handle. Some measuring containers that do not have handles are made from a flexible material so that the container can be squeezed to provide a more pronounced spout, which aids in pouring contents from the measuring container. These containers have a certain drawback in that they can require the use of oven mitts or the like to handle when these containers have been heated in a microwave oven. Measuring the proper volume of contents within the measuring container can also be difficult due to the types of materials used to make these measuring containers or the finishing of the surfaces of the measuring containers.

SUMMARY

[0003] An example of a container that may overcome at least one of the aforementioned shortcomings includes a base and a side wall integrally formed with and extending upwardly from the base to define an interior volume for holding a substance. The side wall and the base are formed of a microwave-safe material. The side wall has an outer side wall surface facing toward ambient and an inner side wall surface facing toward the interior volume. The side wall has a first region in which a wall structure is located offsetting the outer side wall surface on the wall structure from a recessed outer surface, which is offset outwardly from the inner side wall surface and inwardly from the outer side wall surface on the wall structure. The side wall is configured to be gripped by a user's hand in the first region and the wall structure allows for air pockets to form between the user's hand and the recessed outer surface.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0004] FIG. 1 is a front upper perspective view of a container.

[0005] FIG. 2 is a rear elevation view of the container depicted in FIG. 1 .

[0006] FIG. 3 is a side elevation view (showing an opposite side as that shown in FIG. 1 ) of the container shown in FIG. 1 .

[0007] FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view taken along line 4-4 in FIG. 3.

[0008] FIG. 5 is a front elevation view of the container depicted in FIG. 1.

[0009] FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional view taken along line 6-6 in FIG. 5.

[0010] FIG. 7 is a cross-sectional view taken along line 7-7 in FIG. 5.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0011] A container 10 that can be useful for measuring contents when following a recipe, as well as for other uses, includes a base 12 and a side wall 14 integrally formed with and extending upwardly from the base to define an interior volume 16 for holding a substance. The container 10, which is made up of the side wall 14 and the base 12, is formed from a microwave-safe material, such as a silicone material capable of being heated to 450 degrees F (232 degrees C) without impacting a performance of the material. The microwave-safe material from which the container 10 is made is sufficiently resilient so that the side wall 14 deforms when being squeezed by a user's hand and returns to its original, also referred to as undeformed, shape when no longer being squeezed. The resiliency of the side wall 14 and that it can deform facilitates pouring contents from the container 10.

[0012] With reference to FIG. 4, the side wall 14 has an outer side wall surface 20 that faces toward ambient and an inner side wall surface 22 facing toward the interior volume 16. With reference back to FIG. 1 , the side wall 14 also includes a first region 24 in which a plurality of recesses 26 are formed. With reference back to FIG. 4, each recess 26 extends from the outer side wall surface 20 toward the inner side wall surface 22 to a recessed outer surface 28. The recessed outer surface 28 faces ambient similar to the outer side wall surface 20. The recessed outer surface 28 is offset outwardly from the inner side wall surface 22 and inwardly from the outer side wall surface 20. The side wall 14 is configured to be gripped by a user's hand in the first region 24, which contains the plurality of recesses 26. The plurality of recesses 26 allow for air pockets to form between the user's hand and the recessed outer surface 28. Since the container 10 could be made from a silicone microwave- safe material, when the container 10 is used to heat fatty substances, such as butter, the container 10, and especially the side wall 14, can get hot. The plurality of recesses 26 can allow the container 10 to be handled more quickly out of the microwave oven because of the formation of the air pockets between the user's hand and the recessed outer surface 28.

[0013] In the illustrated embodiment, each recess 26 is partially surrounded by a wall structure 32. In the illustrated embodiment, the plurality of recesses 26 and the wall structure 32 are provided in a honeycomb pattern. As illustrated, each recess 26 is six-sided; however, the recesses could take other configurations, such as circular, triangular, rectangular or other polygonal shapes. Also, the wall structure 32 could be provided in different patterns so long as the wall structure 32 offsets the outer side wall surface 20 from the recessed outer surface 28 so as to form an air pocket between the user's hand and the recessed outer surface 28 when the user grips the side wall 14 in the region containing the wall structure. As more clearly seen in FIG. 4, the wall structure 32 includes recess side surfaces 34 extending outwardly from the recessed outer surface 28 to the outer side wall surface 20. In the illustrated embodiment, six recess side surfaces 34 surround each recess 26, but fewer or greater number of recess side surfaces 34 can be provided where the shape of the recess 26 takes another configuration.

[0014] The first region 24 circumferentially surrounds a majority of the side wall 14. In the illustrated embodiment, the side wall 14 does not circumferentially surround the entire side wall. Rather, the side wall 14 includes a second region 40 that is devoid of the wall structure 32 and the plurality of recesses 26. With reference to FIG. 6, the side wall 14 is centered with respect to a vertical central axis 42. The perimeter of the side wall 14 is dimensioned to be comfortably gripped by an adult woman's hand, thus obviating the need for a handle. As most clearly seen in FIG. 6, the first region 24 of the side wall 14 surrounds about 270 degrees of the side wall 14 to provide a large gripping region for the container 10. The first region 24 has a height H1 , which is parallel with the vertical central axis 42, that is nearly as great as, e.g., at least 90 percent of, the maximum height H2 of the side wall 14, which is the distance between a lower surface 44 of the base 12 and an uppermost location on an upper rim 46 of the side wall 14. The large surface area of the first region 24 not only facilitates heat dissipation, but also provides a large viewing window based on differences in opacity between the surfaces of the container 10, which will be described in more detail below.

[0015] The second region 40, which is devoid of the plurality of recesses 26, surrounds the first region 24 and can be located above an upper boundary 50 (only shown as a dashed line in FIG. 3) and beneath a lower boundary 52 (only shown as a dashed line in FIG. 3) of the first region 24. The second region 40 can also be located in between a first axial (vertical) boundary 54 and a second axial (vertical) boundary 56 (only shown as a dashed lines in FIGS. 3 and 5) of the first region 24.

[0016] The outer side wall surface 20 of the side wall 14 in the second region 40 is coextensive with the outer side wall surface 20 of the side wall 14 within the first region 24, which results in a material savings. As can be seen in FIG. 6, the outer side wall surface 20 is circular in a cross section taken normal to the vertical central axis 42. A thickness 60 of the side wall 14 measured in the second region 40 of the side wall is equal to a thickness 62 of the side wall 14 measured in the first region 24 of the side wall through the wall structure 32. In contrast, a thickness 64 measured in the first region 24 of the side wall 14 between the recessed outer surface 28 and the inner side wall surface 22 is less than the thickness 60 of the side wall 14 in the second region 40 or the thickness 62 of the side wall 14 in the first region 24 through the wall structure 32. The honeycomb pattern of the wall structure 32 in the first region 24 can provide sufficient rigidity to maintain the desired shape of the side wall 14.

[0017] The side wall 14 can also include a third region 70 which can also be devoid of the wall structure 32 and the plurality of recesses 26. The side wall 14 terminates at the upper rim 46 having a depression 72 for forming a pour spout, and at least a portion of the third region 70 is circumferentially aligned with and disposed beneath the depression 72. Graduation marks 74 can be provided on the outer side wall surface 20 within the third region 70. The height H3 (measured in the axial direction) of the third region 70 can be as great as or greater than the height H1 of the first region 24.

[0018] As mentioned above, the material from which the container 10 is made is sufficiently resilient in the side wall 14 to allow the the side wall 14 to deform when being squeezed by the user's hand and to return to an undeformed shape when no longer being squeezed. With respect to FIG. 7, a channel 80, which can be in the form of an elongate depression formed in the side wall 14, aligns with the depression 72 formed at the upper rim 46. The depression 72 and the channel 80 are circumferentially equidistantly spaced between the first axial (vertical) boundary 54 and the second axial (vertical) boundary 56 of the first region 24. As such, when a user grips the first region 24 so that the user's thumb is near the first axial boundary 54 and fingertips are near the second axial boundary 56, or vice versa, and squeezes the side wall 14, the side wall 14 is encouraged to bend in a manner to provide a more pronounced spout at the depression 72 and the channel 80. This action facilitates pouring liquid from the container 10.

[0019] While the side wall 14 is configured to be resilient and flexed, the base 12 is not as resilient as the side wall. With reference to FIG. 7, a thickness 82 of the base 12 is greater than thicknesses 60, 62 and 64 (see FIG. 6) in the side wall 14. As such, the base 12 tends not to flex under normal operating conditions of a user gripping the first region 24 forming the pour spout with the depression 72 and the channel 80.

[0020] The side wall 14 is more opaque in at least a portion of the second region 40 as compared to the recessed outer surface 28, which is provided in each recess 26. The side wall 14 in the recessed outer surface 28 can be substantially clear or transparent so that the contents of the container 10 are viewable through the recesses 26. Since the second region is so large, the clear recessed outer surfaces 28 provide an overall large viewing window. In a second region 40, however, the side wall 14 is more opaque than the recessed outer surface 28. The side wall 14 is more opaque also along the outer side wall surface 20 of the wall structure 32 as compared to the recessed outer surface 28. The outer side wall surface 20 along the wall structure 32 in the first region 24 and the outer side wall surface 20 in the second region 40 can have the same opacity. The recess side surfaces 34 can also have the same opacity as the outer side wall surface 20 along the wall structure 32 and the outer side wall surface 20 in the second region 40. This can be accomplished by a texturing (shown as the stippled regions in FIG. 1 only) that can be provided on the outer side wall surface 20 within the second region 40 as well as within the first region 24, but only along the outer side wall surface of the wall structure 32 and the recess side surfaces 34, i.e., the recessed outer surface 28 would not include this texture. This texturing can also facilitate gripping of the container, especially when the container is used with slippery materials. The third region 70 can have the same opacity as the recessed outer surface 28. As mentioned above, the third region 70 includes graduation marks 74 provided on the outer side wall surface 20. The third region 70 can be translucent or clear to facilitate viewing the contents within the container and comparing the contents to the graduation marks provided on the third region.

[0021] A container that can be useful in measuring contents has been described above with particularity. Only one size container is shown, however the container can take many different volumes. Furthermore, other modifications and alterations may occur to those upon reading and understanding the preceding detailed description. The invention, however, is not limited to only the embodiments described above. Instead, the invention is broadly defined by the appended claims and the equivalents thereof.