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United States Patent Application 20170127861
Kind Code A1
TAMBLYN; Madison Dawn May 11, 2017

DISPOSABLE CUP HEAT SLEEVE

Abstract

A disposable cup heat sleeve, adapted to fit around a cup, includes: an outer sleeve having an inner surface that faces the cup when the heat sleeve is fit around the cup; and an inner pouch attached to the inner surface of the outer sleeve and being activatable to causes an exothermic chemical reaction involving a reactant stored in the inner pouch, to thereby cause the inner pouch to generate heat to maintain heat of contents of the cup when the heat sleeve is fitted around the cup.


Inventors: TAMBLYN; Madison Dawn; (Cary, NC)
Applicant:
Name City State Country Type

TAMBLYN; Madison Dawn

Cary

NC

US
Family ID: 1000002305979
Appl. No.: 15/349528
Filed: November 11, 2016


Related U.S. Patent Documents

Application NumberFiling DatePatent Number
62253864Nov 11, 2015

Current U.S. Class: 1/1
Current CPC Class: F24J 1/00 20130101; A47G 19/2288 20130101
International Class: A47G 19/22 20060101 A47G019/22; F24J 1/00 20060101 F24J001/00

Claims



1. A disposable cup heat sleeve adapted to fit around a disposable cup, the heat sleeve comprising: p an outer sleeve having an inner surface that faces the cup when the heat sleeve is fitted around the cup; an inner pouch attached to the inner surface of the outer sleeve and containing a reactant that, when exposed to ambient air, reacts with oxygen in the ambient air in an exothermic reaction that produces heat to maintain heat of contents of the cup when the heat sleeve is fitted around the cup; and a sealing enclosure sealing the reactant of the inner pouch from oxygen in the ambient air, the sealing enclosure comprising a sticker seal peelable to open the sealing enclosure to expose the reactant stored in the inner pouch to oxygen and thereby cause the exothermic reaction.

2. The heat sleeve according to claim 1, wherein the sticker seal is a thin plastic member.

3. The heat sleeve according to claim 1, wherein the sticker seal is located on an inward-facing side of the inner pouch that faces the cup when the heat sleeve is fitted around the cup.

4. The heat sleeve according to claim 3, wherein the sealing enclosure has a length, along a circumference of the cup when the heat sleeve is fitted around the cup, spanning a substantially entire inner circumference of the outer sleeve, and the sticker seal has a length spanning a substantially entire length of the sealing enclosure.

5. The heat sleeve according to claim 1, wherein the sealing enclosure is attached to the inner surface of the outer sleeve, the sealing enclosure encloses an entirety of the inner pouch, the sealing enclosure has an opening covered by the sticker seal, and the inner pouch is attached to the inner surface of the outer sleeve by being held inside the sealing enclosure.

6. The heat sleeve according to claim 1, wherein the sticker seal covers a portion of an inward-facing side of the inner pouch that faces the cup when the heat sleeve is fitted around the cup, a portion of an outward-facing side of the inner pouch opposite to the inward-facing side, and a bottom edge of the inner pouch, and the sticker seal, when fully peeled and detached, exposes the inward-facing side of the inner pouch, the outward-facing side of the inner pouch, and the bottom edge of the inner pouch to oxygen of the ambient air.

7. The heat sleeve according to claim 6, wherein the outer sleeve contains a plurality of air holes by which air flows into the outward-facing side of the inner pouch when the sticker seal is peeled.

8. The heat sleeve according to claim 1, wherein the reactant is iron powder.

9. The heat sleeve according to claim 1, wherein the inner pouch is a microporous sack configured to seal moisture inside the inner pouch while permitting permeation of oxygen into the microporous sack when exposed to the ambient air, and the inner pouch further contains water to serve as a medium in which the iron powder and oxygen react, salt to act as a catalyst of the exothermic reaction, and vermiculite.

10. The heat sleeve according to claim 9, wherein the inner pouch is a porous polypropylene sack.

11. The heat sleeve according to claim 1, wherein the heat sleeve is a folded article in which the outer sleeve is folded at two fold lines and the inner pouch is folded together with the outer sleeve.

12. The heat sleeve according to claim 11, wherein the two folding regions of the inner pouch are each void regions at which the inner pouch is free of stored contents.

13. The heat sleeve according to claim 11, wherein the outer sleeve has opposite ends attached to each other to form a closed loop, and the inner pouch is disposed inside the closed loop formed by the outer sleeve.

14. The heat sleeve according to claim 1, wherein the outer sleeve is made of paperboard.

15. The heat sleeve according to claim 1, wherein the outer sleeve has a height in a range of about 2 inches to about 3 inches.

16. The heat sleeve according to claim 15, wherein the sealing enclosure and the inner pouch each have a height less than the height of the outer sleeve.

17. A disposable, single-use product comprising: a disposable cup heat sleeve adapted to fit around a disposable cup, the heat sleeve comprising: an outer sleeve having an inner surface that faces the cup when the heat sleeve is fitted around the cup; and an inner pouch attached to the inner surface of the outer sleeve and containing a reactant that, when exposed to ambient air, reacts with oxygen in the ambient air in an exothermic reaction that produces heat to maintain heat of a content of the cup when the heat sleeve is fitted around the cup; and a sealing enclosure sealing the outer sleeve, the inner pouch, and the reactant of the inner pouch from oxygen in the ambient air, the sealing enclosure being openable to expose the reactant stored in the inner pouch to oxygen and thereby cause the exothermic reaction.

18. The product according to claim 18, wherein the outer sleeve has opposite ends attached to each other to form a closed loop, the inner pouch is disposed inside the closed loop formed by the outer sleeve, and inside the sealing enclosure, the outer sleeve is folded at two fold lines and the inner pouch is folded together with the outer sleeve.

19. A disposable cup heat sleeve adapted to fit around a disposable cup, the heat sleeve comprising: an outer sleeve having an inner surface that faces the cup when the heat sleeve is fitted around the cup; and an inner pouch attached to the inner surface of the outer sleeve and being activatable to causes an exothermic chemical reaction involving a reactant stored in the inner pouch, to thereby cause the inner pouch to generate heat to maintain heat of contents of the cup when the heat sleeve is fitted around the cup.

20. The heat sleeve according to claim 19, wherein the exothermic chemical reaction is a reaction between the reactant stored in the inner pouch and another reactant, the another reactant being a second reactant stored in the inner pouch or oxygen in ambient air.
Description



CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] This application claims priority to U.S. Provisional Application 62/253,864 filed on Nov. 11, 2015, the content of which is incorporated herein by reference.

BACKGROUND

[0002] 1. Field

[0003] This disclosure generally relates to a disposable cup sleeve that is particularly a disposable cup heat sleeve.

[0004] 2. Related Art

[0005] A coffee cup sleeve is an example of a disposable cup sleeve. A coffee cup sleeve fits around a coffee cup and is typically used to insulate a consumer's hand from the heat of the coffee in the cup.

SUMMARY

[0006] A cup of coffee, for example, may become cold before a consumer is able to completely consume the coffee. The loss of temperature may cause the remainder of the coffee to become less desirable to the consumer. The present disclosure provides a disposable cup heat sleeve that addresses this problem.

[0007] In accordance with one aspect of the present disclosure, a disposable cup heat sleeve adapted to fit around a disposable cup, the heat sleeve includes: an outer sleeve having an inner surface that faces the cup when the heat sleeve is fitted around the cup; and an inner pouch attached to the inner surface of the outer sleeve and being activatable to causes an exothermic chemical reaction involving a reactant stored in the inner pouch, to thereby cause the inner pouch to generate heat to maintain heat of contents of the cup when the heat sleeve is fitted around the cup. The exothermic chemical reaction may be a reaction between the reactant stored in the inner pouch and another reactant that is a second reactant stored in the inner pouch or oxygen in ambient air.

[0008] In accordance with another aspect of the present disclosure, a disposable cup heat sleeve, which is adapted to fit around a cup, includes: an outer sleeve having an inner surface that faces the cup when the heat sleeve is fitted around the cup; an inner pouch attached to the inner surface of the outer sleeve and containing a reactant that, when exposed to ambient air, reacts with oxygen in the ambient air in an exothermic reaction that produces heat to maintain heat of contents of the cup when the heat sleeve is fitted around the cup; and a sealing enclosure sealing the reactant of the inner pouch from the oxygen in the ambient air, and configured such that opening the sealing enclosure exposes the reactant stored in the inner pouch to the oxygen and thereby causes the exothermic reaction.

[0009] The sealing enclosure may comprise a sticker seal peelable to open the sealing enclosure to expose the reactant stored in the inner pouch to the oxygen and thereby cause the exothermic reaction. The sealing enclosure may also be sealing each of the outer sleeve, the inner pouch, and the reactant of the inner pouch from the oxygen of the ambient air, and be openable to expose the reactant stored in the inner pouch to the oxygen and thereby cause the exothermic reaction.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0010] The above and/or other aspects will become apparent and more readily appreciated from the following description of the embodiments, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings of which:

[0011] FIG. 1 is a view of an outer sleeve of a disposable cup heat sleeve in accordance with embodiments of the present disclosure.

[0012] FIG. 2 is a view of an inner pouch of the heat sleeve.

[0013] FIG. 3 is a view of the inner pouch together with the outer sleeve and a sealing enclosure of the heat sleeve.

[0014] FIGS. 4A through 4C are cross sectional views of the inner pouch together with the sealing enclosure and the outer sleeve, according to three respective configurations of the heat sleeve.

[0015] FIGS. 5-6 are views of a possible form of the outer sleeve.

[0016] FIG. 7 is a view of a possible form of the inner pouch.

[0017] FIG. 8 is a view of another possible form of the outer sleeve.

[0018] FIGS. 9-10 are perspective views of the heat sleeve.

[0019] FIG. 11 is a perspective view of the heat sleeve having been activated and applied to a disposable cup.

[0020] FIG. 12 is a view of the heat sleeve having another configuration of the sealing enclosure.

DESCRIPTION OF EMBODIMENTS

[0021] The following description describes and illustrates some embodiments of the present disclosure. The description and illustrations are illustrative in nature and are not intended to limit the scope of the claims or their equivalents. It should be understood that drawings may not be to scale, and that in certain instances, details have been omitted when not necessary for an understanding of the embodiments. In the drawings, like numerals represent like components.

[0022] A heat sleeve according to embodiments of this disclosure may be a disposable cup heat sleeve (a heat sleeve used for a disposable cup). The heat sleeve comprises an outer sleeve and an inner pouch attached to the outer sleeve. The heat sleeve can be activated by a consumer (e.g., a coffee drinker) in a manner that causes a heat-generating chemical reaction involving a reactant included in the inner pouch, to thereby cause the inner pouch to generate heat. When the heat sleeve is applied to a coffee cup, for example, the heat generated by the reaction keeps the coffee of the coffee cup warm and sustains (maintains) the heat of the coffee. Although coffee is mentioned as an example, the heat sleeve may also be used to sustain (maintain) the heat of various other products held in a disposable cup.

[0023] The outer sleeve is an outer member having an inner surface that faces the cup when the heat sleeve is fitted around the cup. FIG. 1 shows an example of an outer sleeve in accordance with the present disclosure when the outer sleeve is laid flat. The outer sleeve may be a generally elongated member having first and second end portions 101, 102 that have been attached to each other to form a closed loop (or, alternatively, that are adapted to attach to each other, when the sleeve is used, to form the closed loop). The outer sleeve may have an overall form substantially as shown in the figures, or any shape or form customarily used for disposable cup sleeves.

[0024] For example, the outer sleeve may have an arc shape in which one or both of the upper border (between points a1 and a2) and the lower border opposite to the upper border has an overall arc form, which may also be described as a curved form. The upper border and bottom border may substantially be simple arcs, but are not limited thereto. For example, the outer sleeve may have a divet 105 that disrupts an otherwise smooth contour of the upper border.

[0025] The end portions 101, 102 may be attached or be adapted to attach to each other such that, when applied to the cup, the overall shape of the outer sleeve when wrapped around a cup is a tapered shape in which the circumference of the upper rim of the outer sleeve is larger than the circumference of the lower rim of the outer sleeve. Such tapered shape, which can also be described as a conical frustum shape, permits the outer sleeve to be applied to a cup that is wider at the top than the bottom, such as cup 400 shown in FIG. 10. However, the overall shape of the outer sleeve may be of any shape that conforms or roughly conforms to the outer surface of a cup. For example, the overall shape may be a right-cylindrical (non-tapered) shape if the intended cup to which the heat sleeve is applied is also right-cylindrical in shape.

[0026] The first and second end portions 101, 102 may be of any shape that permits the desired form when attached to each other to form the closed loop. The first end portion 101 may have a substantially vertical edge 103a (ending at point b1) or a slanted edge 104b (ending at point c1), and the second end portion 102 may have a substantially vertical edge 104a (ending at point b2) or a slanted edge 104b (ending at point c2). The slanted edges may be slanted from the vertical at various angles.

[0027] The first and second end portions 101, 102 may be attached to each other by an adhesive agent (glue) adhering the two portions in an overlapped state, by tape, by a hook attachment, by a loop-and-button attachment, or by any other coupling mechanism that is suitable. If the end portions 101, 102 are not yet attached at the time of use, the end portions may have any of the above-listed attachment mechanisms in a form that a consumer can deploy to attach the end portions 101, 102 together.

[0028] The outer sleeve may be folded along fold lines (scorelines) 106 and 107, which define left, middle, and right sections of the outer sleeve. The middle portion may have a logo or design in the central region on the outer surface of the outer sleeve. In one configuration, the fold lines may be placed such that the length (the length being measured from left to right or vice versa) of the middle section is approximately the same as the total collective length of the left and right sections after attachment of the left and right sections to each other by attachment of the end portions 101, 102. This placement of the fold lines may be used when the first and second end portions 101, 102 are already attached to form a closed loop.

[0029] The outer sleeve may be made of paperboard (cardboard) or other paper-based materials. For example, the outer sleeve may be made of medium-weight liner board or light-weight cardboard.

[0030] The outer sleeve 100 may have any dimensions suitable for placement of the heat sleeve on a cup. For example, the upper border from point a1 and a2 and along the line 109 may have an overall length of in a range of about 9.5 inches to about 11 inches, such as about 10.25 inches. When the end portions 101, 102 are attached to each other, the upper rim circumference of the sleeve may be lower than the length of the upper border, depending on any overlap of the end portions 101, 102 in attachment to each other. The overlap on the upper border may be in a range of about 0.25 inches to about 0.75 inches, such as about 0.5 inches. The upper rim circumference of the outer sleeve in closed-loop form may be in a range of about 9.25 in to about 10.25 in. For example, a length of 10.25 inches and an overlap of 0.5 inches result in the upper rim circumference of the outer sleeve being about 9.75 inches in closed-loop form. The height of the outer sleeve, measured as the length of lines 106 and 107, may be in a range of about 2 inches to about 3 inches or about 2.25 to about 2.75 inches, such as about 2.5 inches. The heat sleeve of the present disclosure, when applied to a cup, may preferably span a height that is less than the total height of the cup.

[0031] The outer sleeve 100 may be a coffee cup sleeve and thus may have the form and construct of a coffee cup sleeve. Although example forms and dimensions have been given, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that actual dimensions of the heat sleeve would depend on the dimensions of the disposable cup to which the heat sleeve is to be applied.

[0032] The inner pouch is a member attached to the inner surface of the outer sleeve and containing a reactant that, when exposed to ambient air (air outside of the inner pouch), reacts with oxygen contained in the ambient air in an exothermic reaction that provides heat to the cup when the heat sleeve is fitted around the cup. Exposure of the reactant to ambient air occurs when the sealing enclosure that seals the reactant is opened (i.e., the seal implemented by the sealing enclosure is broken). FIG. 2 shows an example of inner pouch 200 in accordance with the present disclosure when the inner pouch is laid flat. FIG. 3 shows a possible configuration of the example inner pouch 200 together with a sealing enclosure 300 and the outer sleeve 100.

[0033] The inner pouch 200 may have a shape that is similar to that of the outer sleeve, provided that the inner pouch is able to be enclosed by the outer sleeve when the inner pouch is interposed between the outer sleeve and the cup. For this reason, and also because the end portions of the outer sleeve may need to overlap to form a closed loop, the inner pouch may have a laid-flat length that is less than that of the outer sleeve. The inner pouch may also be shorter in height than the outer sleeve. For example, the upper border of the inner pouch may be about 0.5 inch less than the circumference of the upper rim of the closed-loop-form outer sleeve, and may be about 0.5 inch shorter in height, measured as the length of lines 206 and 207, as compared to the height of the outer sleeve.

[0034] The end portions 201, 202 of the inner pouch may have shapes and sizes similar to those of the outer sleeve, and may have a straight outer edge 203a, 204a, or a slanted edge 203b, 204b for either one or both of the outer edges of the end portions. FIG. 2 shows first lines 206 and second lines 207 respectively defining regions 208 and 209 in between the lines. The inner pouch, when the heat sleeve is in a folded form, may be folded along the lines 206, 207, or along the regions 208 and 209. The inner pouch may be thinner at regions 208, 209 than at other regions, such that the inner pouch can be folded. The regions 208, 209 may be void regions in which the pouch is not enclosing reaction materials or other content, or is enclosing a substantially reduced amount of materials, such that the thickness of the inner pouch at regions 208, 209 is reduced as compared to the thickness of the inner pouch elsewhere for easy folding.

[0035] The heat sleeve, as a whole, may be a folded article in which the outer sleeve 100 is folded at two fold lines 106, 107 and the attached inner pouch 200 is folded at the regions 208, 209 corresponding to the two fold lines. The sealing enclosure 300 may be folded together with the inner pouch 200.

[0036] The inner pouch 200 stores a reactant that react with air in an exothermic reaction, when the reactant is exposed to air. Prior to use, the reactant is sealed from ambient air by a sealing enclosure 300 enclosing the inner pouch 200 containing the reactant. Since the sealing enclosure 300 covers around the inner pouch, the overall shape of the sealing enclosure may be similar to that of the inner pouch 200. The end portion 305 of the sealing enclosure at either end may have a shape and size similar to those of the end portions 201, 202 of inner pouch 200, and may either a slanted 305a end or a vertical 305b end.

[0037] At the time of use, a consumer breaks the sealing enclosure 300 to thereby expose the reactant to air, in turn causing the exothermic reaction. In one possible configuration, the sealing enclosure 300 has an opening 302 covered and sealed by sticker seal 301 that constitutes part of the sealing enclosure 300. The consumer may break the sealing enclosure 300 by peeling the sticker seal 301 along direction P. When the sticker seal 301 is peeled (detached), the inner pouch is exposed through opening 302 of the sealing enclosure 300. The sticker seal 301 can also be referred to as a peelable portion of the sealing enclosure 300. The sticker seal 301 may be located at the inward-facing side of the inner pouch, as shown, which is the side that is facing toward the cup when the heat sleeve is applied. When the heat sleeve is applied to a cup, the heat generated by the exothermic reaction keeps the coffee or other product held in the cup warm.

[0038] Because the activation of the inner pouch 200 is performed by exposing the reactant to air, any material or compound that exothermically reacts with a compound contained in air may be used as the reactant. Particularly, any material or compound that undergoes an exothermic oxidation reaction may be used as the reactant. One such material is iron powder, which reacts with oxygen contained in air to form an oxide of the iron. The oxidation reaction between iron and oxygen also produces heat, along with the oxide of the iron. The powder form of iron is suitable because of its high surface-area-to-volume ratio. The reaction between iron powder and oxygen may reach a temperature in a range of 120-150.degree. F. or 130-140.degree. F., such as a temperature of about 135.degree. F.

[0039] Although an iron oxidation reaction has been given as one possible reaction to implement the activated heating of the heat sleeve, one skilled in the art would recognize that other reactions using other materials are possible. That is, the iron discussed above may be replaced by another material or compound that reacts with oxygen in an oxidation reaction that generates heat.

[0040] The inner pouch 200 may also store one or more or all of the following additional ingredients: water, which may serves as a medium in which reactants (such as the iron powder and oxygen) react; a catalyst such as salt, which speeds up the reaction when dissolved in the water; vermiculite, which may insulate the reaction by diffusing the reactant (such as the iron powder) to contain part of the heat; and cellulose or saw dust, which may be used as a filler to add volume to the inner pouch 200.

[0041] The inner pouch may be a microporous sack having pores that permit oxygen to permeate into the sack when the sealing enclosure 300 is opened, while retaining moisture (water) within the sack from. For example, the inner pouch may be a porous polypropylene sack having the aforementioned characteristics.

[0042] An exothermic oxidation reaction, as discussed above, is only one possible type of reaction that can be used to generate heat to sustain heat of the contents of the disposable cup. Other exothermic reactions are also possible, including those that do not involve oxygen as a reactant. For example, it is also possible to store two reactants inside the inner pouch that react with each other exothermically. The two reactants may be initially separated from each other by being stored in different respective compartments inside in the inner pouch. A partition (or partitions) may define and separate the compartment(s) of one of the reactants from neighboring compartment(s) of another of the reactants separated. The partition(s) may be ruptured by the consumer's hand pressure to activate the inner pouch. Rupturing the partition(s) would cause the reactants to mix and exothermically react with one another to generate heat. The partition(s) may run inside the inner pouch horizontally (i.e., circumferentially, when the heat sleeve is in loop form) to define upper and lower compartments, vertically to define different compartments along the length of the inner pouch, and/or in other forms. Alternatively, a first of the two reactants may be stored in the general interior space of the inner pouch, while a second of the two reactants may be stored in a plurality of small compartments dispersed in the first of the two reactants. The plurality of small compartments may have a frangible sealing enclosure that can be ruptured by hand pressure to activate the inner pouch. Rupturing the small compartments would cause the reactants to be mixed and react with each other. One possible set of reactants is water and calcium chloride, but one skilled in the art would understand that other suitable reactants or sets of reactants, including substitutes of calcium chloride that can exothermically react with water, would be possible. The reactants may be mixed with one or more of the additional ingredients mentioned above, including catalyst compounds, vermiculite, cellulose, and/or saw dust. If the exothermic reaction is one that does not involve oxidation by oxygen of the ambient air, it would not be necessary to use a sticker seal 301 or any sealing enclosure 300 and it would not be necessary for the inner pouch 200 to be oxygen-permeable; the inner pouch may instead be any member capable of holding the ingredients.

[0043] FIGS. 4A through 4C show possible configurations of the sealing enclosure 300 in a cross-sectional view along the line A-A' in FIG. 3 of the together with the outer sleeve 100. FIG. 4A show the particular configuration of the sealing enclosure 300 shown in FIG. 3. FIGS. 4B-4C show the same general cross section of FIG. 3A with respect to the inner pouch and the outer sleeve, but with the sealing enclosure 300 in additional possible configurations. In each of FIGS. 4A through 4C, the upward direction corresponds to the radially inward direction facing toward cup, labeled in the figures as the "inward direction", while the downward direction corresponds to the radially outward direction facing away from the cup, labeled in the figures as the "outward direction."

[0044] As shown in FIGS. 3 and 4A, the sealing enclosure 300 may include the sticker seal 301 that is peelable and a packaging portion 304 that remains after the sticker seal 301 has been peeled. When the sealing enclosure 300 has both a sticker seal 301 and a packaging portion 304, the sealing enclosure may be a bag or packaging that obstructs passage of oxygen to contents stored inside. The sticker seal 301 is adhered to the packaging portion 304 at attachment region 401. As shown in FIGS. 3 and 4A, the sealing enclosure may be enveloping the entire inner pouch 200, such that the packaging portion 304 is present not only on the inward-facing side of the inner pouch 200, but also present between the inner pouch 200 and the outer sleeve 100 and around the upper, bottom, and end edges of the inner pouch.

[0045] The inner pouch 200 can be fitted within the sealing enclosure 300 such that the sealing enclosure 300 is capable of maintaining the inner pouch 200 therein without the need of adhesive or attachment between the inner pouch and the inner surface of the sealing enclosure. For the inner pouch to be more easily maintained inside the sealing enclosure when the sticker seal has been peeled, the opening 302 may have a width or height that is smaller than the width or height of inner pouch. Accordingly, by having the sealing enclosure 300 be attached to the outer sleeve 100, the inner pouch may be (indirectly) attached to the outer sleeve 100 by being held the sealing enclosure 300. However, the packaging portion 304 may nonetheless be fully or partially adhered or attached to the inner pouch.

[0046] In the configuration shown in FIGS. 3 and 4A, the sticker seal 301 is detachably attached (generally, detachably adhered) to the packaging portion 304 at the attachment region 401 of the packaging portion 304 around the opening 302 prior to activating the exothermic reaction. When a consumer has peeled the sticker seal 301 away from the rest of the sealing enclosure 300, the sealing enclosure is opened, thereby causing the underlying inner pouch 200 and its contents 210 therein (i.e., the aforementioned reactant and any of additional ingredients, collectively depicted in the figures as contents 210) to be exposed to the air through opening 302.

[0047] The sticker seal 301 may have any shape or form, so long as the detachment of the sticker seal 301 sufficiently exposes the inner pouch 200 to air. The sticker seal 301 may be a thin plastic member or a plastic film that functions as an oxygen seal. The sticker seal 301 may be detachably adhered to attachment region 401 of the packaging portion 304 around the opening 302 by an adhesive provided either on the surface portion of sticker seal 301 facing region 401, or on the region 401 (or on both). In the configuration shown in FIGS. 3 and 4 and the variant configurations discussed above, sticker seal 301 may run the entire or substantially entire length of the sealing enclosure 300 and the inner pouch 200, such that the sticker seal 301 runs the entire or substantially entire inner circumference of the sealing enclosure as shown in FIG. 9. The sticker seal 301 may have a peeling edge at or close to one of the end edges 203a, 203b. The sticker seal 301 may have multiple peeling edges. The sticker seal 301 may have a "peel" label to inform the consumer of the operation of the sticker seal 301.

[0048] FIG. 4B shows another possible configuration for the sealing enclosure. In FIG. 4B, the sticker seal 301 is attached to the outer sleeve 100 at regions of the inner surface of the outer sleeve 100 around the inner pouch 200, and is peeled from the outer sleeve 100. In this configuration, the outer sleeve 100 and/or various surfaces of the inner pouch 200 may be made of a material that provide the sealing function to seal the contents 210 of the inner pouch from oxygen. The sticker seal 301 is adhered to the outer sleeve 100 at attachment locations 401a.

[0049] FIG. 4C shows another possible confirmation for the sealing enclosure. In FIG. 4C, the sticker seal 301 extends around the bottom border of inner pouch. Therefore, when the sticker seal 301 is peeled, both the front surface of the inner pouch 200 as well as the outer surface of the inner pouch 200 (the latter of which faces the outer sleeve 100) become exposed. The sticker seal 301 may be peeled (detached) by peeling the portion on the inward-facing side of the inner pouch and then pulling downward in the direction D. In order for the outer surface of the inner pouch 200 to receive oxygen from the ambient air, the outer sleeve 100 has a plurality of air holes 402, which are through holes by which oxygen from the ambient air may flow into the inner pouch 200. The air holes may be provided at any locations that permit airflow to the inner pouch 200. For example, the air holes 402 may be provided at locations circumferentially around the inner pouch 200 when the outer sleeve 100 is in a closed loop form. For example, the air holes 402 may be provided only at a top region TR and a bottom region BR of the outer sleeve 100 while being omitted at the middle region in between. In order for sticker seal 301 to be easily peeled, the inner pouch 200 should have enough flexibility to be pivotable about a boundary 403 between the outer sleeve 100 and the sealing enclosure 300 at which the sealing enclosure 300 may be attached to the outer sleeve 100.

[0050] In the configuration of FIG. 4C, the sealing enclosure 300 may be principally attached to the outer sleeve at boundary 403 such that an upper portion of the sealing enclosure 300 is fixed to the outer sleeve, while the lower portion of the sealing enclosure remains free without direct attachment to the outer sleeve. To maintain attachment of the inner pouch 200 to the outer sleeve 100, the inner pouch 200 may be adhered or otherwise attached to the upper portion of the sealing enclosure 300. For example, the upper end 220 of the inner pouch 200 may be attached to any portion of the packaging portion 304 proximate to the upper end 220. Alternatively, the sealing enclosure may have a mesh or grille, located under the sticker seal 301 and connected to the packaging portion 304, that wraps around the lower edge of the inner pouch to hold the inner pouch 200 in place while permitting exposure of the inner pouch 200 to oxygen in the ambient air. The sealing enclosure 300 may be enveloping the entire inner pouch 200; thus, the sticker seal 301 and the region 401 of the packaging portion shown in the figure may wrap around the end edges of inner pouch 200.

[0051] In configurations of the outer sleeve 100 without air holes 402, the outer sleeve may be made be a solid, non-perforated piece of paperboard (cardboard) or other paper-based materials.

[0052] It is noted that FIGS. 4A through 4C are diagrammatic representations not intended to show exact form or scale. Although a space is shown around inner pouch 200 for purposes of diagrammatic illustration, the sealing enclosure 300 may be vacuum-sealed around inner pouch 200 without space inbetween.

[0053] In any of the configurations discussed above, the sealing enclosure 300 (including the sticker seal 301 and packaging portion 304), and any other member that functions as an oxygen seal, may include or be formed of any material recognized as an oxygen barrier or as having low oxygen permeability. Various polymer packaging materials can provide such a function. The packaging portion 304 and the sticker seal 301 of the sealing enclosure 300 may each be a thin plastic packaging member or a plastic film with the above mentioned barrier characteristics.

[0054] In any of the configurations discussed above, the inner pouch 200 is directly or indirectly attached to the outer sleeve 100. In the configurations shown in FIGS. 4A and 4C, such attachment may be in the form of attachment through the sealing enclosure 300 by the inner pouch 200 being fitted or freely held inside the sealing enclosure 300 (even without adhesion of the inner pouch 200 to the sealing enclosure 300) in conjunction with the sealing enclosure 300 being attached to the outer sleeve 100. On the other hand, the configuration shown in FIG. 4B, for example, may use direct attachment between the inner pouch 200 and the outer sleeve.

[0055] Although FIGS. 3 and 4A through 4C show various example configurations of the sealing enclosure 300, the sealing enclosure can be of any form or configuration so long as it is possible for the consumer to open the sealing enclosure 300 to the effect of exposing the inner pouch 200 (and hence, the contents 301) to air. The inner pouch 200 and the packaging portion 304 discussed above may be separate members, but may also be integrally formed with each other. In configurations such as that of FIG. 4A, it is also possible for the contents 310 to be directly stored in the sealing enclosure 300 without a porous pouch; in this case, the opening 302 may be sealed by a porous layer (of the same or similar material forming the inner pouch 200) to hold the contents 310 therein, and the sticker seal 301 would cover over the porous layer and expose the porous layer when peeled.

[0056] Attachment between the outer sleeve 100 and the sealing enclosure 300 (or between the outer sleeve 100 inner pouch 200) may be implemented by an adhesive, threads, tape, or other attachment mechanism. The attachment between the outer sleeve 100 and the inner pouch 200 and/or sealing enclosure 300 may be at specific locations such as at the ends of the inner pouch, or at multiple points along the surface of the inner pouch facing the outer sleeve. The inner pouch may be attached to the outer sleeve in a manner such that the two are easily detachable from one another for separate disposal.

[0057] FIG. 5 shows one possible form of the outer sleeve illustrated in FIG. 1. The numbers shown in FIG. 5 indicate distance in inches. As shown in FIG. 5, the middle section may have an upper and lower border length of 4 inches, while each of the left and right sections may have an overall upper and lower border length of 3.125 inches. Each of the left and right sections may have a 0.5 inch long end portion that overlaps with and attaches to the end portion of the other when the sleeve is formed into a loop. The upper border has a divet 105 reaching a depth of 0.25 inch from the upper border. The distance between the upper and lower borders of the inner pouch is 2.5 inches. FIG. 6 shows the outer sleeve of FIG. 5 in a folded form.

[0058] FIG. 7 shows one possible form of the inner pouch illustrated in FIG. 2. The numbers in FIG. 7 indicate distance in inches. As shown, the middle section between regions 208 and 209 may have an upper and lower border length of 3.75 inches. The sections to the left of region 208 and to the right of region 209 may each have an upper and lower border length of 2.5 inches. Regions 208 and 209 may each have an upper and lower border length of 0.25 inch. The distance between the upper and lower borders of the inner pouch is 2 inches.

[0059] FIG. 8 shows another possible form of the outer sleeve 100 illustrated in FIG. 2. In FIG. 8, the outer sleeve 8 is in folded, closed-loop form and has an overall tapered (frusto-conical) shape. For simplicity, the inner pouch 200 and the sealing enclosure 300 have been omitted in this figure; these elements would be enclosed, in folded form, within the outer sleeve 100.

[0060] FIG. 9 is a perspective view of the heat sleeve. As shown, the outer sleeve 100 is in the form of a closed loop. The sealing enclosure 300, which contains inner pouch 200 therein, spans substantially the entire inner circumference of the outer sleeve 100, and the sticker 301 spans substantially the entire length of the sealing enclosure 300. The sealing enclosure 300 particularly shown in this figure is the configuration shown in FIGS. 3 and 4A, but the sealing enclosure 300 may be of other configurations discussed in this disclosure. FIG. 10 shows the sleeve of FIG. 9 with the sticker seal 301 partially peeled to activate the sleeve. As shown, the peeling of sticker seal 301 reveals inner pouch 200 through opening 302. The visible portion of inner pouch 200 is shaded.

[0061] FIG. 11 is the heat sleeve of FIG. 9 applied to a cup 400. The sticker seal 301 has now been removed (fully detached), such that the inner pouch 200 has been exposed to ambient air. The visible portion of inner pouch 200 is shaded. The heat sleeve can be fit snuggly around the cup 400 in a manner such that frictional between the heat sleeve and the cup 400 is sufficient to maintain the heat sleeve in place.

[0062] FIG. 12 shows the heat sleeve with yet another possible configuration for the sealing enclosure. In FIG. 12, the sealing enclosure 300 encloses around and seals both the inner pouch 200 and the outer sleeve 100. That is, both the inner pouch 200 and the outer sleeve 100 are contained within the sealing enclosure 300. In this configuration, the inner pouch 200 may be attached to the outer sleeve 100 without the sealing enclosure 300 intervening in between. Because both the inner pouch 200 and the outer sleeve 100 are contained within the sealing enclosure 300, the sealing enclosure 300 does not need a sticker seal 301, and only requires the packaging portion 304. The sealing enclosure 300 may instead be open by tearing the sealing enclosure.

[0063] The outer sleeve 100 of the heat sleeve shown in FIG. 12 is the form of a folded, closed-loop. The sheet sleeve shown in FIG. 12 may be applied to a cup in the manner shown in FIG. 11, but without the sealing enclosure 300 shown in FIG. 11.

[0064] The heat sleeve as discussed above provides a portable, disposable, one-time-use heating agent for coffee or other hot products. When used with a cup of coffee, for example, the heat sleeve sustains the heat of the coffee to thereby keep the coffee at drinking temperature for up to three hours. The heat sleeve as discussed above may be a coffee cup sleeve capable of sustaining the heat of a cup of coffee by having the inner pouch as discussed above.

[0065] While one aspect of the present disclosure is a heat sleeve as may be embodied in accordance with the above description, another aspect of the present disclosure is a method of using the heat sleeve to supply heat to a cup. The method includes opening the sealing enclosure (for example, peeling the sticker seal 301) to activate the exothermic reaction, and applying the heat sleeve onto the cup. The cup may be one that already contains coffee or a hot beverage. The heat sleeve may be placed on any suitable section of the cup along the height of the cup, including the middle section, the upper-middle section, the top-third section, or the bottom-third section. If, at the time of use, the heat sleeve is in a form in which the end portions 101, 102 of the outer sleeve are not already attached, the method may include attaching the end portions of the outer sleeve to form a closed loop, prior to the opening the sealing enclosure.

[0066] Yet another aspect of this disclosure is a cup having the aforementioned heat sleeve attached thereto, such that the heat sleeve is on any suitable section of the cup along the height of the cup (including the middle section, the upper-middle section, the top-third section, or the bottom-third section of the cup), and spans a height that is less than the total height of the cup, as shown in FIG. 11.

[0067] Although the heat sleeve has been discussed in certain instances as being suitable for use with a disposable cup containing coffee, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that the heat sleeve can also be used for cups (whether considered disposable or not) that contain any type of hot beverage, cups and cup-like containers (whether considered disposable or not) that contain other hot products such as soup, and other objects to which the heat sleeve may be applied in a manner similar to the manner of applying the heat sleeve to a cup. Therefore, the heat sleeve discussed above may have various applications not limited to those specifically mentioned in this application and not limited to a disposable cup.

[0068] In instances in the above description of embodiments where numerical values have been given for certain physical dimensions, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that the actual implementations of the physical dimensions may be in approximation of the respectively given numerical values.

[0069] While the present invention has been particularly shown and described with reference to the embodiments thereof, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that the foregoing and other changes in form and details can be made therein without departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention.

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