|1.||A stack of trays which can be superimposed, spaced apart and held by an arch acting as a handle which is inserted into suitable slots formed in the trays and is blocked at the bottom of the lowest tray so that the tray can be handled in a comfortable manner and used immediately on the table.|
|2.||The stack of trays according to claim 1, characterized in that the trays have slots formed on one diagonal of the tray at two opposite corners for the insertion of the support arch acting as a handle.|
|3.||The stack of trays according to the preceding claims, characterized in that the trays have little notches along the diagonal intersecting that provided with slots for receiving any residue.|
|4.||The stack of trays according to the preceding claims, characterized in that the arch is provided with holes at its ends for receiving retainers able to prevent the trays from belong unwillingly taken off when lifting and handling them.|
|5.||The stack of trays according to the preceding claims, characterized in that the trays have spacers located on their lower surfaces and having a circular shape which follows the shape of the bottom.|
|6.||The stack of trays according to the preceding claims, characterized in that the trays have radial indentations located on their upper surface outside the circular edge of the recessed bottom and capable of abutting against the spacers of claim 5 when the trays are piled up so as to guarantee the correct, uniform leakage of any vapours from hot foods contained between the trays.|
|7.||The stack of trays according to the preceding claims, characterized in that the retainers at the ends of the tray support arch can take two positions in order to allow the trays to be removed or prevent them from being taken off, respectively.|
|8.||The stack of trays according to the preceding claims, characterized in that the trays can have holes in place of the notches for fitting one or more stacked glasses and a little bottle.|
|9.||The stack of trays according to the preceding claims, characterized in that a support base can be placed on a tray so as to act as bottom support for the bottle.|
|10.||The stack of trays according to the preceding claims, characterized in that there is provided a suitable cover which is shaped so as to allow a glass and a bottle to be placed into their relative housings.|
Further embodiments (made of papier-mâché) are usually employed for handling foods (especially "pizza") directly from the production site, however with the following problems regarding - superimposition and transport of the containers; - organoleptic qualities of the product contained therein.
The present industrial invention aims at providing a stack of trays which can be superimposed so as to be easily blocked together. They have such a shape as to be immediately used, i.e. brought directly to the table, as well as to be easily handled in the stacked condition by means of suitable supports whose upper portion is handle-shaped.
The present invention will be more readily apparent from the following description of an exemplificative, not limiting embodiment shown in the accompanying drawings.
Table I of VI shows a bottom view of the tray in Fig.
1, a top view of the same in Fig. 2, and the tray support and lifting handle in Fig. 3.
Table II of VI shows a section of the tray in Fig. 4, a section of a stack of trays in Fig. 5, the retainer blocking the pile of trays in Fig. 6, and a side view of a stack of trays with the support acting as a handle in Fig. 7.
Table III of VI shows an axonometric view of several stacked trays in Fig. 8.
Table IV of VI and table V of VI show several alternative embodiments of trays with different shapes in Fig. 9 and Figs. 10, 11 and 12, respectively.
Table VI of VI shows a closure cap for the stack of trays in Figs. 13 and 14.
With reference to the figures, trays 1 have a square shape with nipped corners. They have shaped notches 2 acting as little containers at two opposite corners and square slots 3 for the insertion of posts 4 at the other two opposite corners.
The upper surface of the tray is formed by a circular recessed portion 6 whose upper edge is provided with radially spaced apart indentations 7.
The lower surface has relieves 8 located along the periphery of the circular bottom of the tray and formed of circular strips, while stiffening ribs 9 are provided perpendicular to slots 3.
Handle 5 is formed of a U-shaped section with parallel sides with a suitable length the ends of which have a hole 10 able to receive retainer 11 provided with blocking tab 12.
It is self-evident that a plurality of trays like that described above and illustrated in the drawings can be piled up on one another conveniently spaced apart by spacers 8 which abut indentations 7, thus avoiding both the contact with the content of the underlying tray and the rotation of the stacked trays.
The latter horizontal "anchorage" contributes to guarantee the correct, uniform leakage of any vapours of hot foods contained between the superimposed trays.
Once all of the trays are stacked, they are blocked by inserting arch 5 into aligned slots 3, by applying retainers 11 and then by rotating respective tabs 12 to the closure positions.
Thus, a pile of trays is obtained so that it can be used for handling foods ready for being eaten. Trays can be laid directly on table.
The pile of trays can be formed both of trays of the disposable type and trays which can be used again. It also has the advantage of being able to be formed of a
small or great number of trays without any modification of the carrying structure but just by adjusting the length of the handle.
The handle can be applied to several stacks of trays of the same type. The easiness of the stacking and retaining system allows the handle to be applied both to trays of aesthetically valuable shape and trays of the disposable type.
The accompanying drawings show by way of example a tray having the presently most suitable shape; however, the same inventive concept can be applied to other possible configurations achieving the same advantages. One such embodiment is shown in Tables IV of VI and V of VI in which the trays are provided with holes in place of shaped notches 2 that can be used for placing one or more piled up glasses 13 or a little bottle 14 adding in this case a base support 15 which can be placed into a hole so as to act as support bottom for the bottle.
A suitable cover 16 can be provided on the upper surface of the stack of trays, as shown in Table VI, the shape of which allows the stack of trays to be covered so as to leave free spaces for placing bottles and glasses.
A further embodiment relates to the way of spacing the trays so as to provide different solutions capable of ensuring both the shutting off and the leakage of vapours, if necessary, in place of alternate relieves and indentations.
The handle retaining system can be varied provided that it performs the same function.
Finally, the proposed solution can be modified in its shape and construction without departing from the scope of the invention which is defined by the following claims.