US20120326004A1 - Ice tray for making ice cubes - Google Patents

Ice tray for making ice cubes Download PDF

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Publication number
US20120326004A1
US20120326004A1 US13/336,271 US201113336271A US2012326004A1 US 20120326004 A1 US20120326004 A1 US 20120326004A1 US 201113336271 A US201113336271 A US 201113336271A US 2012326004 A1 US2012326004 A1 US 2012326004A1
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United States
Prior art keywords
tray
lid
ice
number
converge
Prior art date
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Abandoned
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US13/336,271
Inventor
Xavier Costa
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Lekue SL
Original Assignee
Lekue SL
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Filing date
Publication date
Priority to ESU201000851 priority Critical
Priority to ES201000851 priority
Application filed by Lekue SL filed Critical Lekue SL
Assigned to LEKUE, S.L. reassignment LEKUE, S.L. ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: COSTA, XAVIER
Publication of US20120326004A1 publication Critical patent/US20120326004A1/en
Abandoned legal-status Critical Current

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    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F25REFRIGERATION OR COOLING; COMBINED HEATING AND REFRIGERATION SYSTEMS; HEAT PUMP SYSTEMS; MANUFACTURE OR STORAGE OF ICE; LIQUEFACTION SOLIDIFICATION OF GASES
    • F25CPRODUCING, WORKING OR HANDLING ICE
    • F25C1/00Producing ice
    • F25C1/22Construction of moulds; Filling devices for moulds
    • F25C1/24Construction of moulds; Filling devices for moulds for refrigerators, e.g. freezing trays
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F25REFRIGERATION OR COOLING; COMBINED HEATING AND REFRIGERATION SYSTEMS; HEAT PUMP SYSTEMS; MANUFACTURE OR STORAGE OF ICE; LIQUEFACTION SOLIDIFICATION OF GASES
    • F25CPRODUCING, WORKING OR HANDLING ICE
    • F25C2500/00Problems to be solved
    • F25C2500/06Spillage or flooding of water

Abstract

The ice-cube tray for making ice cubes that includes a tray (10) having side walls (11) and a bottom wall (12) with a plurality of compartments (31) capable of holding a liquid to be frozen, and a lid (20) sized to cover the tray (10). The bottom wall (12) of the tray (10) is shaped with a plurality of recessed and projecting surfaces (12 a) defining the compartments (31). The lid (20) has side walls (21) fitting in the side walls (11) of the tray (10) and a cover wall (22) shaped with a plurality of recessed and projecting surfaces (22 a) that cooperate with the recessed and projecting surfaces (12 a) of the bottom wall (11) of the tray (10) in a formation of a plurality of closed mould cavities (32) for formation of the ice cubes when the lid (20) is placed covering the tray (10).

Description

    FIELD OF THE ART
  • The present invention relates to an ice-cube tray for making ice cubes that allows to easily demould the ice cubes and which in an embodiment allows the creation of polyhedral-shaped ice cubes with six faces, including perfectly cubic ice cubes.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • Ice-cube trays are known in the art for the creation of ice cubes that comprise a tray endowed with side walls and a bottom wall that form a plurality of compartments capable of containing a liquid to be frozen, and a lid sized to cover the tray. The tray, with the compartments filled with the liquid to be frozen and the lid placed on top, is placed inside the freezer until the liquid has become frozen, forming an ice cube in each compartment. While the ice-cube tray remains in the freezer, the lid keeps the liquid or the ice cubes from absorbing odours from the freezer. When one wishes to use the ice cubes, the ice-cube tray is taken out of the freezer, the lid is removed and the tray is turned upside down to demould the ice cubes.
  • In order to ease demoulding, the walls of each compartment are usually inclined in diverging directions from the bottom to the inlet, and this makes it impossible to obtain perfectly cubic ice cubes, that is, having parallel opposite sides. The more approximately parallel the side surfaces of the compartment, the harder the demoulding of the ice cubes will be.
  • An ice-cube tray is known through document ES-A-1051387 comprising a tray provided with a number of wells making up concave compartments and a lid provided with convex surfaces that are inserted in the concave compartments when the lid is engaged to the tray, so that hollow ice cubes are obtained in the shape of a glass that make it possible to hold and cool a drink without the need of using a conventional glass. This ice-cube tray, however, does not address or solve the problem of the difficulty of the demoulding of the ice cubes.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • The present invention contributes to mitigating the above and other shortcomings providing an ice-cube tray for the preparation of ice cubes that comprises a tray and a lid made of a rigid or semi-rigid plastic material, such as, for instance, polypropylene. The tray has side walls and a bottom wall forming a plurality of compartments capable of containing a liquid to be frozen, and the lid is sized to cover said tray.
  • The said bottom wall of the tray is shaped with a plurality of recessed and projecting surfaces defining said compartments, and said lid comprises side wall engaging said side walls of the tray and a cover wall shaped with a plurality of recessed and projecting surfaces that cooperate with said recessed and projecting surfaces of the bottom wall of the tray in the formation of a plurality of closed mould cavities for the formation of said ice cubes when the lid is placed covering the tray.
  • Preferably, a portion of said recessed and projecting surfaces of the cover wall of the lid enters the tray compartments displacing part of the said liquid contained therein, thereby rising the liquid level in said mould cavities. Since the liquid to be frozen, especially if it is water or an aqueous liquid, experiences an increase in volume when it goes from the liquid state to the frozen, solid state, the mould cavities are deliberately sized so as to be substantially filled entirely with the liquid initially contained in the compartments, which is firstly partially displaced by the lid and then increases its volume in the freezing process. This way, the ice-cube tray of the present invention allows the obtainment of ice cubes with the entire shape of the mould cavities.
  • The maximum level reached by each ice cube in its corresponding mould cavity is significantly higher than the initial level of the liquid in the tray. Therefore, the tray preferably includes a level mark indicating the optimum level of liquid in the tray to obtain a substantially complete filling of the mould cavities. This optimum level is also a maximum level, since, if the optimum level is exceeded, the volume of the ice cubes would exceed the volume of the mould cavities as a result of the increase in volume of the liquid experienced in the process of freezing.
  • In an embodiment, the said recessed and projecting surfaces of the bottom wall of the tray comprise a plurality of adjacent trihedral angles, each of said trihedral angles being formed by three flat quadrangular surfaces, and said recessed and projecting surfaces of the cover wall of the lid comprise another plurality of adjacent trihedral angles, each of said trihedral angles being formed by three flat quadrangular surfaces. This way, the trihedral angles of the tray cooperate with the trihedral angles of the lid in the formation of mould six-faced polyhedral cavities that allow for the obtainment of ice cubes with corresponding six-faced polyhedral forms, some of which, for instance non-rectangular six-faced polyhedral shapes, are impossible to obtain by means of conventional ice-cube trays.
  • In another preferred embodiment, the trihedral angles of the tray are orthogonal trihedral angles formed by three flat substantially quadrangular surfaces, and the trihedral angles of the tray are likewise orthogonal trihedral angles formed by three flat substantially square surfaces. These orthogonal trihedra are arranged so that said polyhedral mould cavities formed by the cooperation of the orthogonal trihedral angles of the tray with the orthogonal trihedral angles of the lid are cubic mould cavities, each of said cubic mould cavities having one diagonal arranged in the vertical position. This allows the obtainment of perfectly cubic ice cubes. These ice cubes with a perfectly cubic shape are demoulded with extreme ease when the lid is removed and the tray is turned upside down, since they only come into contact with the three divergent surfaces of the tray orthogonal trihedra.
  • Optionally, the flat surfaces forming the trihedral angles of the tray converge in a number of upper ridges, along which several canals are formed, and the flat surfaces forming the trihedral angles of the lid converge in a number of lower ridges that fit in said canals when the lid and the tray are engaged in an operative position. Preferably, the tray comprises a number of retention tabs that engage the side walls of the lid so as to keep the lid coupled to the tray in the operative position.
  • The flat surfaces forming the trihedral angles of the tray converge in lower ridges that, in turn, converge in lower apices externally presenting truncated support surfaces acting as legs on which the ice-cube tray leans on a supporting surface.
  • The flat surfaces forming the trihedral angles of the lid converge in a number of upper ridges that, in turn, converge in an upper apex in which a discharge opening is formed that helps the air displaced by the rise of the level of liquid inside the mould cavities and the increase in volume of the liquid caused by freezing to escape. In those embodiments in which the recessed and projecting surfaces of the cover wall of the lid do not form trihedral angles, the discharge openings will preferably be located in the areas of the cover wall situated at a higher level.
  • In a preferred embodiment in which the recessed and projecting surfaces of the bottom wall of the tray and of the cover wall of the lid form trihedral angles, the tray comprises six of said side walls arranged in the shape of a regular hexagon and inclined in diverging directions from the bottom to the top, and, likewise, the lid comprises six of said side walls arranged in the shape of a regular hexagon and inclined in diverging directions from the top to the bottom, so that, when the lid is coupled to the tray in the operative position, the side walls of the lid become attached inside the side walls of the tray.
  • In addition, in the operative position, some upper edges of the side walls of the lid are approximately flush with some upper edges of the side walls of the tray, and the said retention tabs extend inwards from the upper edges of some of the side walls of the tray above the upper edges of the corresponding side walls of the lid. Preferably, the tray comprises a number of gripping elements extending outwards from the upper edges of some of its side walls and which are coplanar with the retention tabs.
  • The lid also comprises a number of gripping elements extending outwards from the upper edges of some of its side walls. Preferably, said gripping elements of the tray are adjacent to said gripping elements of the lid and they are coplanar therewith when the lid is coupled to the tray in the operative position, so that the gripping elements of the tray and the lid can be jointly gripped to handle the ice-cube tray when the lid and the tray are coupled in the operative position.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • The above and other characteristics and advantages will be more fully understood from the following detailed description of an embodiment with the reference to the attached drawings, wherein:
  • FIG. 1 is a top perspective, exploded view of a tray and a lid forming an ice-cube tray for making ice cubes according to an embodiment of the present invention;
  • FIG. 2 is a bottom perspective, exploded view of a tray and a lid forming the ice-cube tray of FIG. 1;
  • FIG. 3 is a top, plan view of the tray of the ice-cube tray;
  • FIG. 4 is a top, plan view of the lid coupled to the tray in an operative position;
  • FIG. 5 is an enlarged cross-sectional view taken along the plane V-V of FIG. 4; and
  • FIG. 6 is an enlarged cross-sectional view taken along the plane VI-VI of FIG. 4.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF AN EXEMPLARY EMBODIMENT
  • With reference to FIGS. 1 and 2, reference numeral 30 designates in general an ice-cube tray for making ice cubes according to an embodiment of the present invention. The said ice-cube tray 30 comprises a tray 10 having side walls 11 and a bottom wall 12 forming a plurality of compartments 31 capable of containing a liquid to be frozen, and a lid 20 sized to cover said tray 10. Preferably, the tray 10 and the lid 20 are made of a rigid or semirigid plastic material, such as polypropylene.
  • The bottom wall 12 of the tray 10 is shaped with a plurality of recessed and projecting surfaces 12 a defining said compartments 31. The lid 20 comprises side walls 21 that fit in the side walls 11 of the tray and a cover wall 22 shaped with a plurality of recessed and projecting surfaces 22 a that cooperate with the said recessed and projecting surfaces 12 a of the bottom wall of the tray 10 in the formation of a plurality of closed mould cavities 32 (FIGS. 5 and 6) for the formation of said ice cubes when the lid 20 is coupled to the tray 10 in an operative position, as shown in FIGS. 4, 5 and 6.
  • The lid 20 is configured so that a portion of said recessed and projecting surfaces 22 a of the cover wall 22 enters the compartments 31 of the tray 10 displacing part of the liquid contained therein, thereby rising the level of liquid inside said mould cavities 32. Indeed, the mould cavities 32 are sized so that they are substantially filled entirely with the liquid initially contained in the compartments 31 and partially displaced by the lid 20 and by an increase in volume experienced by the liquid, which is typically water or an aqueous liquid, in the freezing process. The tray 10 includes in its side walls a level mark 16 indicating the optimum level of liquid for a substantially complete filling of the mould cavities 32.
  • In the illustrated embodiment, the said recessed and projecting surfaces 12 a of the bottom wall 12 of the tray 10 comprise a plurality of adjacent trihedral angles, each of which is formed by three flag quadrangular surfaces. Likewise, the said recessed and projecting surfaces 22 a of the cover wall 22 of the lid 20 comprise another plurality of adjacent trihedral angles, each of which is formed by three flag quadrangular surfaces. The trihedral angles of the tray 10 and the trihedral angles of the lid 20 cooperate with one another in the formation of a plurality six-faced polyhedral mould cavities 32 or, in other words, in the shape of a hexahedron.
  • More specifically, in the illustrated embodiment the trihedral angles of the tray are orthogonal trihedral angles formed by three substantially square flat surfaces and the trihedral angles of the lid are likewise orthogonal trihedral angles formed by three substantially square flat surfaces. This way, the polyhedral mould cavities 32 formed by the cooperation of said orthogonal trihedral angles of the tray 10 with said orthogonal trihedral angles of the lid 20 are cubic mould cavities 32, that is, in the shape of a regular hexahedron. In addition, each of said cubic mould cavities 32 has one diagonal arranged in the vertical position. The ice cubes obtained from these cubic mould cavities 32 are perfect cubes or regular hexahedra.
  • The flat surfaces forming the trihedral angles of the tray 10 converge in a number of upper ridges, along which several canals 15 are formed (FIG. 1), and the flat surfaces forming the trihedral angles of the lid 20 converge in a number of lower ridges 25 (FIG. 2) that fit in said canals 15 when the lid 20 is arranged covering the tray 10 in the operative position (FIG. 5). In addition, the flat surfaces forming the trihedral angles of the tray 10 converge in a number of lower ridges that, in turn, converge in lower apices externally presenting truncated support surfaces 17 (FIGS. 2, 5 and 6), and the flat surfaces forming the trihedral angles of the lid 20 converge in a number of upper ridges that, in turn, converge in upper apices in which discharge openings 24 are formed (FIGS. 1, 5 and 6).
  • Since the arrangement of the trihedral angles has a hexagonal structure, the tray 10 comprises six of the said side walls 11 arranged in the shape of a regular hexagon and inclined in diverging directions from the bottom to the top. Similarly, the lid 20 comprises six of the said side walls 21 arranged in the shape of a regular hexagon and inclined in diverging directions from the top to the bottom. This way, the side walls 21 of the lid 20 become attached inside the side walls 11 of the tray 10 when the lid 20 is coupled to the tray 10 in the operative position (FIGS. 4, 5 and 6). Preferably, in this position the side walls 21 of the lid do not substantially protrude from the side walls 11 of the tray 10.
  • In addition, the tray 10 comprises a number of retention tabs 14 extending inwards of the tray 10 from the upper edges of some of its side walls 12 (FIGS. 1 and 3). These retaining tabs 14 are arranged above the upper edges of the corresponding side walls 21 of the lid 20 when the lid 20 is coupled to the tray 10 in the operative position (FIG. 4). This way, the retention tabs 14 engage the side walls 22 of the lid 20 and keep the lid 20 coupled to the tray 10 in the operative position. The relatively large areas of the side walls 11, 21 of the tray 10 and the lid 20 mutual contact ensure enough watertightness to hold the liquid in the mould cavities 31 before freezing.
  • In order to ease handling, the tray 10 comprises a number of gripping elements 13 extending outwards from the upper edges of three of its alternating side walls 11, and the lid 20 comprises a number of gripping elements 23 extending outwards from the upper edges of three of its corresponding side walls 21, so that the said gripping elements 13 of the tray 10 are adjacent to said gripping elements 23 of the lid 20 and coplanar therewith when the lid 20 is coupled to the tray 10 in the operative position. In the illustrated embodiment, the retention tabs 14 are formed together with the gripping elements 13 of the tray 10 and are coplanar therewith.
  • From the shown and described embodiment, modifications and variations will occur to a person skilled in the art without departing from the scope of the present invention as defined in the enclosed claims.

Claims (22)

1. An ice-cube tray for making ice cubes, comprising a tray (10) having side walls (11) and a bottom wall (12) with a plurality of compartments (31) capable of holding a liquid to be frozen, and a lid (20) sized to cover said tray (10), wherein said bottom wall (12) of the tray (10) is shaped with a plurality of recessed and projecting surfaces (12 a) defining said compartments (31), and said lid (20) comprises side walls (21) fitting in said side walls (11) of the tray (10) and a cover wall (22) shaped with a plurality of recessed and projecting surfaces (22 a) that cooperate with said recessed and projecting surfaces (12 a) of the bottom wall (11) of the tray (10) in a formation of a plurality of closed mould cavities (32) for formation of said ice cubes when the lid (20) is placed covering the tray (10).
2. The ice-cube tray according to claim 1, wherein a portion of said recessed and projecting surfaces (22 a) of the cover wall (22) of the lid (20) enters the compartments (31) of the tray (10) displacing part of said liquid contained therebetween, thereby rising the level of the liquid inside said mould cavities (32).
3. The ice-cube tray according to claim 2, wherein the mould cavities (32) are sized so as to be substantially filled entirely with the liquid initially contained in the compartments (31) partially displaced by the lid (20) and by an increase in volume experienced by the liquid in the freezing process.
4. The ice-cube tray according to claim 2, wherein the tray (10) includes a level mark (16) indicating the optimum level of liquid for a substantially complete filling of the mould cavities (32).
5. The ice-cube tray according to claim 1, wherein said recessed and projecting surfaces (12 a) of the bottom wall (12) of the tray (10) comprise a plurality of adjacent trihedral angles, each of said trihedral angles being formed by three flat quadrangular surfaces, and said recessed and projecting surfaces (22 a) of the cover wall (22) of the lid (20) comprise another plurality of adjacent trihedral angles, each of said trihedral angles being formed by three flat quadrangular surfaces, wherein the trihedral angles of the tray (10) cooperate with the trihedral angles of the lid (20) in the formation of mould six-faced polyhedral cavities.
6. The ice-cube tray according to claim 5 wherein the trihedral angles of the tray are orthogonal trihedral angles formed by three flat substantially square surfaces, and the trihedral angles of the lid are likewise orthogonal trihedral angles formed by three flat substantially square surfaces, wherein said polyhedral mould cavities (32) formed by the cooperation of said the orthogonal trihedral angles of the tray (10) with said orthogonal trihedral angles of the lid (20) are cubic mould cavities (32).
7. The ice-cube tray according to claim 6 wherein each of said mould cavities (32) has one diagonal arranged in the vertical position.
8. The ice-cube tray according to claim 5, wherein said flat surfaces of the trihedral angles of the tray (10) converge in a number of upper ridges, along which several canals (15) are formed, and said flat surfaces of the trihedral angles of the lid (20) converge in a number of lower ridges that fit in said canals (15).
9. The ice-cube tray according to claim 6, wherein said flat surfaces of the trihedral angles of the tray (10) converge in a number of upper ridges, along which several canals (15) are formed, and said flat surfaces of the trihedral angles of the lid (20) converge in a number of lower ridges that fit in said canals (15).
10. The ice-cube tray according to claim 7, wherein said flat surfaces of the trihedral angles of the tray (10) converge in a number of upper ridges, along which several canals (15) are formed, and said flat surfaces of the trihedral angles of the lid (20) converge in a number of lower ridges that fit in said canals (15).
11. The ice-cube tray according to claim 5, wherein said flat surfaces of the trihedral angles of the tray (10) converge in a number of lower ridges that, in turn, converge in lower apices wherein a number of truncated support surfaces (17) are formed.
12. The ice-cube tray according to claim 6, wherein said flat surfaces of the trihedral angles of the tray (10) converge in a number of lower ridges that, in turn, converge in lower apices wherein a number of truncated support surfaces (17) are formed.
13. The ice-cube tray according to claim 7, wherein said flat surfaces of the trihedral angles of the tray (10) converge in a number of lower ridges that, in turn, converge in lower apices wherein a number of truncated support surfaces (17) are formed.
14. The ice-cube tray according to claim 5, wherein said flat surfaces of the trihedral angles of the lid (20) converge in a number of upper ridges that, in turn, converge in upper apices wherein a number of discharge openings (24) are formed.
15. The ice-cube tray according to claim 6, wherein said flat surfaces of the trihedral angles of the lid (20) converge in a number of upper ridges that, in turn, converge in upper apices wherein a number of discharge openings (24) are formed.
16. The ice-cube tray according to claim 7, wherein said flat surfaces of the trihedral angles of the lid (20) converge in a number of upper ridges that, in turn, converge in upper apices wherein a number of discharge openings (24) are formed.
17. The ice-cube tray according to claim 7, wherein the tray (10) comprises six of said side walls (11) arranged in the shape of a regular hexagon and inclined in diverging directions from the bottom to the top, and the lid (20) comprises six of said side walls (21) arranged in the shape of a regular hexagon and inclined in diverging directions from the top to the bottom, so that the side walls (21) of the lid (20) become attached inside the side walls (11) of the tray (10) when the lid (20) is coupled to the tray (10) in an operative position.
18. The ice-cube tray according to claim 1, wherein the tray (10) comprises a number of retention tabs (14) that engage the side walls (22) of the lid (20) so as to keep the lid (20) coupled to the tray (10) in an operative position.
19. The ice-cube tray according to claim 12, wherein the tray (10) comprises a number of gripping elements (13) extending outwards from the side walls (11) thereof, and the lid (20) comprises a number of gripping elements (23) extending outwards from the side walls (21) thereof.
20. The ice-cube tray according to claim 13, wherein said gripping elements (13) of the tray (10) are adjacent to said gripping elements (23) of the lid (20) when the lid (20) is coupled to the tray (10) in said operative position.
21. The ice-cube tray according to claim 1, wherein the tray (10) and the lid (20) are made of a rigid or semirigid plastic material.
22. The ice-cube tray according to claim 1, wherein the tray (10) and the lid (20) are made of polypropylene.
US13/336,271 2010-12-23 2011-12-23 Ice tray for making ice cubes Abandoned US20120326004A1 (en)

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Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
ESU201000851 2010-12-23
ES201000851 2010-12-23

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* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
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US1020004A (en) * 1911-03-07 1912-03-12 Louis N Wishman Bread-pan.
US1215797A (en) * 1916-05-15 1917-02-13 Frank Gutteridge Multiple mold for tile-making machines.
US1407682A (en) * 1921-04-28 1922-02-21 Arnold L Schavoir Combination mold
US1801160A (en) * 1930-05-24 1931-04-14 Ingoglia Eugene Bread mold
US2083081A (en) * 1935-10-24 1937-06-08 Harry H Moll Freezing mold
US2585049A (en) * 1949-05-19 1952-02-12 Canal Nat Bank Pulp molding die
US3143866A (en) * 1961-06-12 1964-08-11 Whirlpool Co Ice cube mold
US3385205A (en) * 1965-10-21 1968-05-28 Chester V. Mccloud Half-bun baking pan
US3431601A (en) * 1966-12-05 1969-03-11 Willis L Lipscomb Modular die
US3684235A (en) * 1970-01-12 1972-08-15 Melvin E Schupbach Ice molding apparatus
US3815851A (en) * 1971-08-13 1974-06-11 R Girard Mold for casting test samples
US4382768A (en) * 1978-12-01 1983-05-10 Igor Lifshitz Apparatus for making dough envelopes containing filling
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Effective date: 20111227

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