US 2720998 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Oct. 18, 1955 c. s. POTTER 2,720,998
COLLAPSIBLE CONTAINER Filed Dec. 6, 1951 2 Sheets-Sheet l 5 4 28 as as so 42 37 @J 29 I S 2a 5a i t it: 11 it?" "-7 h 20 ATTORNEY Oct. 18, 1955 c 5, POTTER 2,720,998
COLLAPSIBLE CONTAINER Filed Dec. 6, 195] 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR C/ifjordjfiofler ATTORNEY United States Patent 2,720,298 COLLAPSIBLE CONTAINER Clifford S. Potter, Ogden, Utah Application December 6, 1951, Serial No. 260,293 4 Claims. (Cl. 220-6) (Granted under Title 35, S Code (1952), see. 266) The invention described herein, if patented, may be manufactured and used by or for the Government for governmental purposes, without the payment to me of any royalty thereon.
My invention relates to collapsible containers.
A primary object of the invention is to provide a collapsible container for a wide variety of materials, both liquid and solid, which container will save much space when shipped or. stored empty in the collapsed condition.
A further object of the invention is to provide a collapsible container which is lightweight, sturdy and durable so that it will stand repeated usage, and relatively inexpensive to manufacture.
A further object is to provide in a collapsible container, a built-in pallet to facilitate handling the container with a fork-lift truck, or the like.
A still further object of the invention is to provide a collapsible container which embodies an inner flexible bag or liner and outer substantially rigid casing to protect the inner liner.
Other objects and advantages of the invention will be apparent during the course of the following description.
In the accompanying drawings, forming a part of this application, and in which like numerals are employed to designate like parts throughout the same,
Figure l is a perspective view of a collapsible container embodying my invention.
Figure 2 is a side elevation of the container in a partly collapsed or folded condition, part omitted.
Figure 3 is a perspective view of the container when the same is fully collapsed for storage or shipment empty.
Figure 4 is a central vertical section on an enlarged scale taken on line 44 of Figure 1, part broken away.
Figure 5 is an enlarged central vertical section taken on line 5-5 of Figure 4.
Figure 6 is an enlarged fragmentary side elevation of a side panel fastener shown in Figure 1.
Figure 7 is a vertical section taken on line 77 of Figure 6.
Figure 8 is an enlarged fragmentary perspective view of one corner of the top panel of the container and showing a lifting element formed thereon.
In the drawings, where for the purpose of illustration is shown a preferred embodiment of my invention, the numeral 15 designates a low rigid aluminum pallet base for the container including upper and lower spaced superposed rectangular plates 16 and 17. The plates 16 and 17 are rigidly connected by four corner legs 18. Wide openings 18 between the corner legs 18 may receive the lifting arms of a fork-lift truck, or the like, and these lifting arms may enter any one of the four side openings 18 and extend entirely across the pallet base. An intermediate flat aluminum plate 19 is spot welded or otherwise rigidly mounted upon the plate 16, and provided With a low upstanding marginal flange 29 extending continuously about all four sides of the same.
2,720,998 Patented Oct. 18, 1955 A rectangular collapsible bag or inner liner 21 formed of rubber, rubberized fabric, or a suitable plastic material includes upper and lower fiat rectangular ends 22 and 23 and side walls 24, which are accordion pleated so that the bag may be readily extended and collapsed. The bag 21 is preferably liquid-tight, and the material of the bag somewhat flexible although tough, so that the bag cannot be readily punctured. The accordion plcated side walls 24 have their pleats arranged so that the corresponding apexes 25 and 26 at all four sides of the rectangular bag are at the same elevation. With this pleating arrangement, the bag 21 can be reinforced if desired at each outer apex 26 with a continuous band or loop of wirefnot shown, extending entirely about the four sides of the bag and preferably moulded within the material of the bag.
The lower end 23 of the bag is inside of the marginal flange 2i} and secured to the plate 19 in any preferred manner as by cementing, or the like. In some casesit may be desirable to detachably connect the end 23 of the bag to the plate 19 with conventional snap fasteners or the like, not shown. In such case, the female elements of the snap fasteners may be permanently built into the bag bottom 23, and the male elements or studs secured to the plate 19. In any event, the bag 21 is removable from the plate 19 so that it may be replaced when it becomes worn or damaged. It should be understood that the bag 21 may be formed of any suitably flexible tough material and pleated or folded in any desired manner which enables the bag to be extended as in Figure 4 and collapsed as indicated in Figure 3, when the container is empty.
A substantially rigid flat rectangular top plate 28 of aluminum or the like is spaced above the bag top 22 in superposed relation and has a short depending marginal flange 29 extending continuously about its four sides, as shown. The top plate 28 is provided with a central depressed portion 30 having a central screw-threaded opening 31, receiving therein a bushing or sleeve 32 which is externally and internally screw threaded, Figure 5. The bushing 32 carries a lock nut 33,, bearing against the under side of the depressed portion 30.
The bag top 22 has a central opening 34 in alignment with the sleeve 32 and receiving the lower end of the sleeve. A retaining nut 35 on the lower end of the sleeve 32, below the bag top 22 forces the bag top upwardly against a flat rigid washer 36, engaging a shoulder 37 formed upon the sleeve 32, Figure 5. With this ar rangement, the top plate 28 is connected with the bag top 22, so that when the top plate is elevated the collapsible bag 21 will be extended. The top plate 28 is provided adjacent to its corners with recesses 38, spanned by small ribs or lifting elements 39, beneath which hooks of a lifting sling, not shown, engage when the top plate 28 and bag 21 are being elevated to their positions shown in Fig ure 4. The recesses 38 and ribs 39 may be omitted, if desired.
The internal screw-threaded bore 40 of the bushing 32 extends entirely through the bushing and receives a screwthreaded cap or plug 41 having an annular flange 42 for engagement against the depressed portion 30, Figure 5; A suitable compressible gasket 43 is disposed between the flange 42 and depressed portion 30 to seal the cap 41 against leakage when the bag 21 contains liquid. The bag top 22 is tightly compressed between the nut 35 and washer 36, and therefore no leakage can occur through the opening 34. A
I provide rectangular flat rigid sides or panels 44, 45, 46 and 47 for connection with the top plates 28 when the bag 21 and top plate are in the elevated position. These sides have their lower ends hinged at 48, 49, 50 and 5 1 to narrow upstanding rigid straps 52, welded or other wise rigidly secured to the upstanding marginal flange 20 positions of Figure 3.
I V 3 of theplate 19. The hinges 48 to 51 are all spacedabove the plate 19 a distance suficient to permit the top plate 28 to pass below the hinges when the empty bag 21 is fully collapsed onto the plate 19. When the bag 21. is thus collapsed, the sides 44 to 47 are folded downwardly onto the top plate 28 in superposed relation, and the container assumes the low compact condition shown in Figure 3. In order that the several sides 44 to 47 may lie perfectly flat upon each other as shown in Figure 3, the hinges 48, 49, 50 and 51 are successively spaced a slightly greater distance above the pallet base 15, Figures 1 and 3. This vertical spacing of the four hinges is sufiicient to accommodate the thicknesses of the sides 44 to 47 when they are successively folded downwardly upon each other, Figure 3. Y r
Thedepending marginal flange 29 of the top plate 28 is provided with corner pairs of standard quick action fasteners 53, mounted upon the inner surfaces of the flange 29, Figure 7. These fasteners 53 have elongated heads 54. arranged exteriorly of the flange 29, and engageable through elongated openings 55 in the sides 44 to 47 near the top corners of the same. The heads 54 are rotatable and after passing through the openings 55, are positioned at'right angles to the openings,'and releasably secure the sides 44 to 47 in their upstanding positions, with their tops contacting the depending flange 29, Figures 4 and 7. When it is desired to collapse the container, it is merely necessary to turn the elongated heads 54 ninety degrees sothat they may pass through the elongated openings 55.
"I'he'bag 21 with the top plate 28 may then be lowered and the rigid sides 44 to 47 folded downwardly to their The completely collapsed container is flat and extremely low and compact, and a large number of the empty containers can be shipped or stored in a relatively small space.
In use, the collapsible container may hold liquids or finely divided solid material which is introduced and dis pensed through the bore 40, after the screw-threaded cap 41 is removed. When the container is to be filled it is first elevated and secured in its position shown in Figure 1.
After the contents of the container have been exhausted it is collapsed, as shown in Figure 3, for return shipment, or the like.
I also contemplate providing the bag top 22 and top plate 28 with much larger openings and'closure caps than those shown in the drawings, so that large objects maybe introduced into the collapsible container.
In place of the quick action fasteners 53 shown in the drawings, any other preferred type of fastener may be used, if desired.
It is to be understood that the form of the invention herewith shown and described is to be taken as an illustrative example of the same, and that various changes in the shape, size, and arrangement of parts may be resorted to, without departing from the spirit of the invention or thescope of the subjoined claims.
1. A collapsible container comprising a relatively low base, an extensible bag secured to the base and collapsible to lie upon the base when the bag is empty, the end of the bag remote from the base having an opening, a plate arranged outwardly of the last-named end of the bag and connected therewith and having an opening communicating with the opening of the bag, side panels hingedly connected with the base and swingable when the bag is extended to positions wherein their free ends are near the top plate, and releasable means connecting the side panels and top plate to hold the bag extended from the base.
z 2. A collapsible container comprising a pallet base, a
pleated bag secured to the pallet base and extensible therefrom, a plate arranged adjacent to the end of the bag remote from the pallet base, tubular fitting means connecting said plate and the adjacent end of the bag and forming a discharge passage for the contents of the bag, sides having corresponding ends hinged to the pallet base and swingable to positions adjacent to the sides of the bag for forming with the pallet base and plate a relatively rigid external casing for the bag, and fastener means releasably locking the sides to the plate, the bag being collapsibleonto the base with the plate when the bag is empty, the side panels being foldable onto the plate.
3. A collapsible container comprising a low rectangular base having a horizontal passage to receive a lifting implement, relatively narrow upstanding strips secured to the sides of the base and projecting above the base for a relatively short distance only to form a substantially continuous marginal upstanding flange, substantially rigid rectangular side panels having their lower ends hingedly secured to said narrow strips and provided 'near their upper corners with openings, a foldable tubular body portion arranged above the base and having its lower end secured to the base inwardly of said narrow strips, a'substantially rigid top panel secured to the upper end' of the foldable body portion and shiftable with the body portion toward and from the base, said top panel having opening means leading into the interior of the foldable body portion, and fastener elements carried by the top panel and engageable with the openings near the upper corners of the side panels when the side panels are elevated for releasably securing the side panels to the top panel and forming a substantially rigid exterior housing for the foldable body portion.
4. A collapsible container comprising a relatively low rectangular base, rectangular side panels hingedly connected with the base and swingable above the base and provided near their upper corners with elongated openings, a flexible pleated body portion arranged above the base and having one end secured to the base and being extensible from the base and collapsible onto the same, the other end of the pleated body portion having a generally central opening, a substantially rigid rectangular top plate arranged above said other end of the pleated body portion and having a generally central opening for substantial registration with the opening of said other end of the body portion, means engaging said openings and connecting said other end of the body portion and top plate and forming a passage leading into the interior of the pleated body portion, the substantially rigid top plate being provided with a depending marginal flange, and quick release fasteners permanently secured to the inner sides of the depending marginal flange and having rotat: able elongated heads projecting beyond the outer sides of the marginal flange for engagement with the elongated openings near the corners of the side panels when the side panels are elevated.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 78,307 McCleish May 26, 1868 357,657 Dodman Feb. 15, 1887 1,125,100 Hoover Ian. 19, 1915 1,550,499 Buck Aug. 18, 1925 1,658,387 Meyercord Feb. 7, 1928 2,299,175 Procissi et al Oct. 20, 1942 2,326,263 Steiner Aug. 10, 1943 2,432,025 Lorenz Dec. 2, 1947 2,505,348 Cunningham Apr. 25, 1950 2,559,930 Bolton et al July 10, 1951 2,564,940 Weber Aug. 21, 1951 FOREIGN PATENTS 16388 Great Britain Nov. 3, 1900 535,683 Great Britain Apr. 17; 1941