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Title:
VACUUM GENERATING APPARATUS FOR FOOD PRESERVATION CONTAINER
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2008/146963
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A vacuum generating apparatus for use in a food preservation container includes one pair of air discharge parts fixed on an upper face of a cover of a container in which food is filled, and spaced with a given distance from the upper face, the one pair of air discharge parts being for alternately discharging, outside, air of the container interior; a connecting part for connecting between air discharge parts of both sides from a partition plate with a constant diameter, through use of a guide rod through which air flows; and an operating part having an inner diameter to which an inner diameter face of an O-ring combined with an outer diameter of the partition plate is tightly coupled, the O-ring being sliding movable thereon, the operating part being adapted in a shape of closing an outer part of the guide rod and being for performing a pumping operation, sliding moved along the guide rod.

Inventors:
KWON, Man Hyun (3176-33, Myeongji-dongGangseo-gu, Busan 618-815, KR)
Application Number:
KR2007/002587
Publication Date:
December 04, 2008
Filing Date:
May 29, 2007
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
KWON, Man Hyun (3176-33, Myeongji-dongGangseo-gu, Busan 618-815, KR)
International Classes:
B65D47/32; B65D47/30; B65D49/02; B65D51/16
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
KIM, Nung Kyun (K.N.K. International Patent & Law Office, 8Fl. Gangnam Jeil Bldg., 822-4, Yoksam-dong, GangGangnam-gu, Seoul 135-080, KR)
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Claims:

WHAT IS CLAIMED IS:

1. A vacuum generating apparatus for use in a food preservation container, comprising: one pair of air discharge parts fixed on an upper face of a cover of a container in which food is filled, and spaced with a given distance from the upper face, the one pair of air discharge parts being for alternately discharging, outside, air of the container interior; a connecting part for connecting between air discharge parts of both sides from a partition plate with a constant diameter, through use of a guide rod through which air flows; and an operating part having an inner diameter to which an inner diameter face of an O-ring combined with an outer diameter of the partition plate is tightly coupled, the O-ring being sliding movable thereon, the operating part being adapted in a shape of closing an outer part of the guide rod and being for performing a pumping operation, sliding moved along the guide rod.

2. The apparatus of claim 1 , wherein the air discharge part is divided in a vertical direction into three spaces of the interior by using a partition wall, the three spaces being connected though an air hole formed in a center of the partition wall, and the air hole of the partition wall being intercepted by a self-weight of a ball that is provided in an upper face of the partition wall, and a bottom face of the air discharge part has a formation of exhaust hole connected through the container, and an upper face of the air discharge part has a formation of hole connected through the outside.

3. The apparatus of claim 1 or 2, wherein in the connecting part, an interior of the guide rod connecting between the air discharge parts of both sides from the partition wall has a formation of air flow path formed piercing in a length direction, and on an end part of the partition plate side of the air flow path, a through-hole is formed.

4. The apparatus of claim 3, wherein the guide rod of the connecting part is connected through a space formed in a middle height of the air discharge part.

5. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein in the operating part, end parts of both sides are covered by caps, and an inner circumference face of the cap is provided with an O-ring to keep a sealing state with an outer circumference face of the guide rod that passes through a center pierced portion of the cap.

6. The apparatus of claim 1 , wherein one side of the cover is provided with the vacuum pressure removal valve.

Description:

VACUUM GENERATING APPARATUS FOR FOOD PRESERVATION

CONTAINER

[Technical Field] The present invention relates to food preservation containers, and more particularly, to a vacuum generating apparatus for use in a food preservation container, adapted in a cover of a container to preserve food.

[BACKGROUND ART] In general, food such as various vegetables and fishes etc. has a problem of being easily oxidized going bad, being in contact with microorganisms or oxygen etc. and other harmful materials contained in the air.

In fermentation food, furthermore, a propagation of microorganisms may be more activated, accelerating fermentation and ripening speed of food too rapid, thus causing a sanitary problem in the preservation state of food.

Therefore, airtight containers or vacuum containers to solve such problem have been proposed variously, domestically and abroad, and in particular, the vacuum container having a new pumping structure has been proposed by this applicant. That is, the existing vacuum container has a simple airtight-type structure or has a characteristic of partially discharging air from the container interior to make it vacuum through one-touch method under an airtight state. In such existing vacuum containers, time of maintaining the airtight state is relatively short and it is difficult to prevent food from going bad only with the simple airtightness due to dissolved oxygen existing in the interior of container.

Thus, in the existing technique there is a problem lacking in practicality because an availability period for a food preservation using a vacuum container is too short.

[Disclosure of the Invention]

To provide a solution to such problem, this applicant has ever proposed 'Vacuum Container to Preserve Food' with USP No. 6,994,227 issued for the patent on February 07, 2006 by this applicant.

In the patent-issued invention of this applicant it was proposed the interior of container could be formed as a powerful vacuum state by forcedly pumping air of container through a pumping unit provided with a cover of a container.

However, in the patent-issued invention of this applicant there is a problem a manipulation of piston to discharge air from the inside of the container is difficult.

With such manipulation difficulty, there furthermore is an inconvenience for users to have to manipulate operation of a piston several times to get a vacuum pressure formation of the container.

Accordingly, some embodiments of the invention provide a vacuum generating apparatus for use in a food preservation container, which is easy to manipulate a piston for a vacuum generation. The vacuum formation can be obtained rapidly, thereby providing users with convenience and more sanitary food preservation.

According to some embodiments of the invention, a vacuum generating apparatus for use in a food preservation container comprises one pair of air discharge parts fixed on an upper face of a cover of a container in which food is filled, and spaced with a given distance from the upper face, the one pair of air

discharge parts being for alternately discharging, outside, air of the container interior; a connecting part for connecting between air discharge parts of both sides from a partition plate with a constant diameter, through use of a guide rod through which air flows; and an operating part having an inner diameter to which an inner diameter face of an O-ring combined with an outer diameter of the partition plate is tightly coupled, the O-ring being sliding movable thereon, the operating part being adapted in a shape of closing an outer part of the guide rod and being for performing a pumping operation, sliding moved along the guide rod.

[BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS]

The present invention will become more fully understood from the detailed description given hereinbelow and the accompanying drawings which are given by way of illustration only, and thus are not limitative of the present invention, and wherein: FIG. 1 is a perspective view illustrating a combination configuration according to an embodiment of the invention;

FIGS. 2 and 3 are cross-sectional views illustrating a combination structure of air discharge part according to an embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 4 is an enlarged view of main components showing an operating structure of ball in an air discharge part according to an embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 5 is an enlarged view of main components showing a combination between a guide rod and an air discharge part in a connecting part according to another embodiment of the invention; FIG. 6 is an enlarged sectional view of operating part according to an

embodiment of the invention; and

FIGS. 7 and 8 illustrate an operating structure according to an embodiment of the invention.

[Best Mode for Carrying Out the Invention]

Embodiments of the present invention now will be described more fully hereinafter with reference to the accompanied drawings in which embodiments of the invention are shown. This invention may, however, be embodied in many different forms and should not be construed as limited to the embodiments set forth herein. Rather these embodiments are provided so that this disclosure will be thorough and complete, and will fully convey the scope of the invention to those skilled in the art.

Unless otherwise defined, all terms (including technical and scientific terms) used herein have the same meaning as commonly understood by one of ordinary skill in the art to which this invention belongs. It will be further understood that terms used herein should be interpreted as having a meaning that is consistent with their meaning in the context of this specification and the relevant art and will not be interpreted in an idealized or overly formal sense unless expressly so defined herein. Exemplary embodiments of the present invention are more fully described below with reference to the accompanied drawings. This invention may, however, be embodied in many different forms and should not be construed as being limited to the exemplary embodiments set forth herein; rather, these exemplary embodiments are provided so that this disclosure is thorough and complete, and conveys the concept of the invention to those skilled in the art. FIG. 1 is a perspective view illustrating a combination configuration

according to an embodiment of the invention.

Referring to FIG. 1 , a vacuum generating apparatus according to an embodiment of the invention comprises a container.

In particular, according to an embodiment of the invention, a container to preserve food is provided with a cover as a necessarily required element, in which food can be put in or taken out by using the cover. An important characteristic of the invention may be to provide a configuration of container, including a cover, since the inventive apparatus is provided with the cover 10 of the container.

A vacuum generating apparatus according to an embodiment is configured to have an air discharge part 20, a connecting part 30 and an operating part 40.

The air discharge part 20 is configured to suck air from the container by force and discharge the air outside.

The air discharge part 20 is combined with the cover 10, spacing with a given distance from an upper face of the cover 10. FIGS. 2 and 3 are cross-sectional views illustrating a combination structure of air discharge part according to an embodiment of the invention. The air discharge part 20 may be combined with the cover 10 of the container in a forcedly inserted type or through a bolt fastening.

For the combination structure of the forcedly inserted type, an inserted-type protrusion 20a is formed being protruded downward from a bottom face of the air discharge part 20. For the combination structure through a bolt fastening, the combination is got by a vertical screw fastening of from a bottom part of the cover

10 to a bottom face of the air discharge part 20.

The inserted-type protrusion 20a and the bolt 20b may be most beneficial to have a vertically center piercing type.

The air discharge part 20 is divided in a vertical direction into three spaces 21 , 22 and 23 of the interior as shown in the drawing, and the respective spaces 21 , 22 and 23 are distinguished from one another by a partition wall 24.

In the partition wall 24, an air hole 25 got by vertically piercing through a center of plate face is formed, and the respective spaces 21 , 22 and 23 are connected through the air hole 25 through which air flows. An upper face of each partition wall 24 having the formation of air hole 25 is provided with a ball 26 for controlling a movement of air through the air hole 25. The ball 26 blocks the air hole 25 by its self-weight. In the air discharge part 20, an exhaust hole 27 is formed in a bottom face thereof, piercing downward through, equally to the air hole 25 formed in the partition wall 24, and in an upper face of the air discharge part 20, a hole 28 is formed so that the top side space 21 is connected outside.

On the other hand, in the air discharge part 20, a height of the respective spaces 21 , 22 and 23 is formed smaller than a diameter of the ball 26 as shown in

FIG. 4. And, in a portion of the partition wall 24 having the formation of air hole 25, in which the ball 26 is mounted; a plate face of the partition wall 24 is recessed downward so that the ball 26 is safely mounted thereon, serving as a guide.

The connecting part 30 is provided with a partition plate 31 formed with a given diameter, and a guide rod 32 of a pipe shape adapted in both sides of the partition plate 31.

One end of the guide rod 32 is coupled to the partition plate 31 and another end thereof is coupled to the air discharge part 20 that is adapted each in both sides from the partition plate 31. The guide rod 32 is formed with the interior being pierced in a length

direction, thus forming an air flow path 34 in the interior of the guide rod 32. The air flow path 34 is connected through a through hole 33 formed on an outer circumference face of the guide rod 32 of a partition plate(31) side end part. The guide rod 32 connected to the air discharge part 20 is connected through a space 21 that is formed in a middle height part of the air discharge part 20.

Thought the guide rod 32 may be combined with the air discharge part 20 like in FIGS. 2 and 3, they may be combined with each other through a screw fastening by using a screw 35 having a through hole 35a formed in a center portion of the screw as shown in FIG. 5. An outer circumference face of the partition plate 31 for simultaneously fixing both guide rods 32 is combined with an O-ring 36.

FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional view illustrating a configuration of operating part according to an embodiment of the invention.

The operating part 40 is an actual pumping operating unit, closing a portion of both connecting parts 30 of the partition plate 31 , including the partition plate 31 , from an outer side, and both end parts of the operating part 40 are tightly coupled to an outer circumference face of the connecting part 30.

In other words, an inner face of the operating part 40 is tightly coupled to the

O-ring 36 adapted on an outer circumference face of the partition plate 31, the O- ring 36 being sliding movable thereon, and both side end parts of the operating part

40 is tightly coupled to, sliding-movable along an outer circumference face of the connecting part 30, so as to be sliding movable by both directions.

In particular, both end parts of the operating part 40 are covered by caps, thereby making a space between the partition plate 31 and the both caps 41 perfectly airtight.

The cap 41 covering the both sides of the operating part 40 is provided with an O-ring 42 so as to maintain the airtightness with the connecting part 30 having a centrally piercing shape.

A middle portion of an outer circumference face of the operating part 40 is protruded outward, thus forming a manipulation handle 43 monolithically.

Non-described reference number 50 is a vacuum pressure removal valve.

The vacuum pressure removal valve 50 is adapted on one side of the cover

10, and the inside and outside of container are connected through each other by a manual manipulation of the vacuum pressure removal valve 50, and then air is sucked into the interior of the container that was under the vacuum pressure state, thus removing a vacuum pressure.

In a state that the container is filled with vacuum pressure and the cover 10 is pressurized and strongly fixed to the main body, the vacuum pressure removal valve 50 is used when trying to open the cover 10 in order to take food content out of the container.

Operation of generating vacuum pressure is described in detail as follows, according to an embodiment of the invention.

A vacuum generating apparatus according to an embodiment of the invention is strongly combined with the cover 10 of the container, and the apparatus itself simultaneously performs a function of cover handle.

When the container is appropriately filled with food etc., the cover 10 monolithically combined with the vacuum generating apparatus of the invention is put on an upper end part of the container, cutting off the interior of the container from the outside. After stably mounting the cover 10 on the upper part of the container, in the

vacuum generating apparatus the operating part 40 goes and returns along the guide rod 30.

Both air discharge parts 20 are each strongly combined with the covers 10, and the guide rod 30 connects between the air discharge parts 20 of both sides. The operating part 40 moves in the left and right from the partition plate 31 formed in a center portion of the guide rod 30.

FIGS. 7 and 8 are cross-sectional views providing a vacuum generating operation according to an embodiment of the invention.

When pushing the operating part 40 toward the left as shown in FIG. 7, the left side from the partition plate 31 becomes wide and the right side becomes relatively small, in an interior volume of the operating part 40.

At this time, a suction pressure is generated by the interior volume increasing operation during the movement of the operating part 40 to the left side, and the suction pressure is passed through the through-hole 33 and the air flow path 34, and reaches at the center space 21 of the air discharge part 20 that is adapted in the left side of the operating part 40.

Air of the container interior is sucked through the lower space 22 by the suction pressure transferred to the center space 21 of the air discharge part 20.

That is, the suction pressure reacting to the center space 21 makes the ball 26 installed inside the lower space 22 lifted up, and thus air of the container interior is sucked through the exhaust hole 27 that is formed vertically piercing through a bottom face of the air discharge part 20 so as to be connected through the container, thereby filling the left side internal space of the operating part 40 with air.

At this time, in the upper space 23 of the air discharge part 20, a tightly coupled force of the ball 26 to the partition wall 24 becomes stronger by the suction

pressure reacting to the center space 21 , including by the self-weight, thereby making the air hole 25 closed more securely.

Meanwhile, in the right side of the operating part 40 that becomes small as compared with the left side thereof, air that was already filled in the right, is passed through the through-hole 33 of the guide rod 30 and the air flow path 34, and is discharged to the center space 21 of the air discharge part 20.

Air induced from the operating part 40 to the center space 21 of the air discharge part 20 is supplied to the lower and upper spaces 22 and 23. At this time, the ball 26 closes up the exhaust hole 27 more strongly by an air discharge pressure reacting to the lower space 22, and the ball 26 adapted in the space 23 is lifted up by air discharge pressure reacting to the upper space 23, accordingly air of the operating part 40 can be smoothly discharged through the air hole 25 of the upper partition wall 24 and the hole 28 formed in an upper face of the air discharge part 20. When the operating part 40 is moved to the left side, air of the container interior is sucked through the air discharge part 20 adapted in the left side of the operating part 40, thus making the volume of the left-side interior space of the operating part 40 large, and air is discharged outside, from the right-side space of the operating part 40, through the air discharge part 20 adapted in the right side of the operating part 40.

To the contrary, when the operating part 40 moves to the right side, air of the container interior is sucked through the air discharge part 20 adapted in the right side of the operating part 40, and air discharged from the left-side space of the operating part 40 is discharged outside through the air discharge part 20 adapted in the left side.

As described above, according to an embodiment of the invention, whenever the operating part 40 is moved, air of the container interior is sucked through the air discharge part 20 located in the movement direction, and air already sucked is discharged through the air discharge part 20 located in a contrary direction thereto. Air of the container is rapidly discharged by performing a reciprocation of the operating part 40 to the left and right sides, thereby producing vacuum pressure.

The vacuum generating apparatus according to an embodiment of the invention sucks air of the container interior whenever the operating part 40 is moved. Accordingly, unlike the patent-issued invention of this applicant in which air is discharged only when pressing a piston and it should be waited until the piston returns, according to an embodiment of the invention a loss of time can be substantially reduced.

The number of components for a vacuum generation can be substantially reduced and so more beneficial fabricating is valid. The vacuum generating apparatus according to some embodiments of the invention can lessen time and labor to generate vacuum, thereby providing a relatively easier manipulation.

As described above, according to some embodiments of the invention, the interior of container in which content such as food etc. is filled, can become a vacuum state very rapidly through a simple manipulation that the operating part 40 undergoes a sliding reciprocation movement along the guide rod 30 to the left and right sides. That is, there is an advantage of simple manipulation.

Furthermore, the number of components is reduced substantially, providing a relatively low manufacturing cost and easy maintenance. It will be apparent to those skilled in the art that modifications and variations

can be made in the present invention without deviating from the spirit or scope of the invention. Thus, it is intended that the present invention cover any such modifications and variations of this invention provided they come within the scope of the appended claims and their equivalents. Accordingly, these and other changes and modifications are seen to be within the true spirit and scope of the invention as defined by the appended claims.

In the drawings and specification, there have been disclosed typical embodiments of the invention and, although specific terms are employed, they are used in a generic and descriptive sense only and not for purposes of limitation, the scope of the invention being set forth in the following claims.