US 2832496 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Filed Spt. 17, 1953 4 Sheets-Sheet 1 JNVENTOR. vLUTHER C. W/LL/AMS April 29, 1958 c. WILLIAMS SHIPPING CONTAINER 4 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Sept. 17, 1953 O m w m L. C. WILLIAMS SHIPPING CONTAINER April 29,, 1958 Filed Sept. 17, 1953 4 Sheets-Sheet 3 TTO/PNE) April 29, 1953 L. C. WILLIAMS 2,832,496
SHIPPING CONTAINER Filed Sept. 17, 1953 4 Sheets-Sheet 4 JNVENTOR. LUTHER c. Wag/M445 BY ATTORNEY iUnited States Patent a SHIPPING CONTAINER Luther C. Williams, Denver, Colo. Application September 17, 1953, Serial No. 380,838
1 Claim. (Cl. 220-) Among the objects of the present invention is to provide a shipping container that may be disassembled when not in use and that is designed so that the separate component parts of the container may be nested one within the other.
Another object of this invention is to provide a shipping container made up of component units in which each of the units forming the main container portion are of identical design and configuration that may be joined together at their open ends to provide a closed bulk container.
A further object of the present invention is to provide a bulk container that may be easily loaded for intraplant movement or inter-plant shipment and which may be tightly sealed when loaded.
Another object of the present invention is to provide a bulk container adapted to facilitate movement of large volumes of bulk materials from a shipping point to a point of use, the said container being readily dismantled when empty to facilitate return shipment of the component parts of such shipping container in nested arrangement whereby the cost of return shipment is materially reduced.
A still further object of this invention is to provide novel cam type fastening means for readily securing and holding the component units of a bulk shipping container together, said fastening means being cooperatively arranged with respect to slot receptacles on said component units such that any two units may be joined together to form one container.
Further objects and advantages of the present invention will be apparent from the appended description and drawings, in which- Fig. 1 is a perspective view of an assembled shipping container,
Fig. 2 is a perspective View showing the disassembled component units of a shipping container made in accordance with this invention,
Fig. 3 is an elevation showing a cam lock fastener made in accordance with this invention in'unlocked position,
Fig. 4 is a second view of the cam lock fastener of Fig. 3 showing the said cam lock in closed or locking position,
Fig. 5 is a perspective view showing one mode of handling shipping containers made in accordance with this invention in which the component units of the shipping containers are shown in disassembled and nested arrangement for intra-plant movement or return shipment,
Fig. 6 is a side elevation in partial cross-section showing the center ring structure of component shipping units 2,832,496 Patented Apr. 29, 1958 together with a cam lock fastener in position to hold the center rings of component units in assembled and sealed relation,
Fig. 7 is an elevation in cross-section taken along line 7--7 of Fig. 8,
Fig. 8 is a top plan view of a closure member made in accordance with this invention,
Fig. is a partial elevation showing additional features of the closure member disclosed in Fig. 8, and
Fig. 10 is a bottom elevation showing the interior configuration of the closure member shown in Figs. 8 and Briefly stated, the present invention provides a shipping container in which the component units that are utilized to make up the carrier are of, identical design, size and configuration in order that the open ends of any two such component units may be joined together to provide a closed container. in addition to the assembled features of the present invention, the separate component units are further designed such that one unit may be nested within the other or such that a plurality of component units may be nested one within the other in order to efficiently use return shipment or storage facilities. In order to facilitate assembly and disassembly of the component units, cam fasteners are used cooperatively with openings in the center support rings to hold joined component units together. Further, a seal member or gasket is provided in each said center ring section to assure liquid and pressure tight seal when the cam fasteners are engaged. Closure members on the outwardly disposed ends of the joined composite units are provided to assure easy filling and emptying of the container. In order to facilitate shipment of such a large bulk container, the center support ring structure is of channel shape such that a fork lift or other lifting device may be engaged under the lower channel flange without injury or damage to the cam fasteners engaged to the other channel flange. For different types of handling a base support is provided for attachment to the bottom composite unit so that the container may be left standing as shown in Fig. 1. Further, the same lugs that are used to attach the base to the composite units may be utilized together with a sling arrangement in order to hoist or transport the shipping container along an overhead rail system.
Detailed features of a shipping container embodying the principles of this invention are more clearly shown in the attached drawings in which Fig. 1 represents an assembled shipping container. In this figure the separate component units 21 and 22 which together make up the shipping container 2t? are shown in assembled relation and mounted in upright position on a stand or base 23. The detailed structure of each of the component units 21 or 22 is shown in Figs. 1 and 2 to include two sections of truncated conical shape. The first or main body section 24 is preferably a near cylindrical structure formed of stainless steel, aluminum or other material having requisite structural and chemical properties. Actually 'the structure must be of truncated conical shape in which the sides taper inwardly from the cylinder about seven degrees in order to assure nesting of one surface within the other when in the disassembled shipping position. As shown, the larger or open end of the main body section 24 is welded or otherwise joined to a center ring support 26 which is of substantially open channel cross-section. The channel shape is utilized, since the separate flanges of the channel will provide first a flat circular surface or sealing flange 27 which may be abutted against mating sealing flange 27 of similar composite units 21 or 22 and a separate support flange 28 that is utilized for engagement with various types of carrying mechanisms in order to prevent damage to the sealing flange 27 and fasteners. The other end of the main body section 24 is joined as by a seam weld 29 to the open base edge 31 of closure section 32 which is likewise of truncated conical shape. Preferably this closure section 32 has side walls disposed at a much smaller angle with respect to the base plane of the cone, since the main purpose of such closure section is to provide an end wall forthe main body section 24 while preventing the formation of any flat surfaces within the container which would tend to hold back piles of bulk materials when the container is being emptied. Accordingly, the angle as sumed by the side walls 33 of the closure section 32 should be approximately equal to the angle of repose for the type of materials that are to be handled by the shipping container.
In order to faciliate loading and unloading of the shipping container when in its assembled relation, various types of doors, valves or gate mechanisms may be attached to the closure section 32. In the present embodiment 2. door 34 is secured by means of a hinge 36 to a door support member 37 that is itself welded to the closure section 32. As shown in Figs. 7 through 10, the door 34 is provided with a groove 38 cut in its interior face adapted to receive a gasekt 39. It is intended that this gasket 39 will be compressed against the door support 37 when the door 34 is closed and when the lock mechanism 41 is engaged. This lock mechanism 41 entails the use of a stud 42 which projects upwardly through a notch 43 cut in the door 34. The locking lever 46 which is held in adjusted position by lock nut 44 may be rotated in position as shown in Fig. 8 to pass through the notch 43. From this disengaged position the locking lever 46 may be rotated clockwise When the door 34 is closed until the undersurface 47 of the lever 46 comes into contact with a cam ramp 48 thereby applying a downward pressure against the ramp 48 and door 34 to compress and seal the gasket 39 disposed in groove 38 against the door support 37. Reverse operation of the locking mechanism will of course release the door, so that the materials may be dumped out the bottom of the assembled container. 4
It is recognized that for some materials it will be desirable to provide more accurate or even metering discharge of liquid materials enclosed in the shipping container. For this reason a boss 51 is positioned centrally of the door 34 to provide an outlet opening 52 that may be threaded as at 53 to receive a dairy type valve or other valve member not shown in order to gauge release of the materials contained.
As shown in Figs. 1 and 2, a base member 23 is provided when it is desired to stand the shipping containers on end. This base 23 is made up of an exterior truncated comically-shaped wall 52 having an open end or base edge 53 for engagement with the supporting floor surface. Where desirable this base edge 53 may be provided with a rolled or other type of wear ring for increased durability and stability. The outer conical wall 52 is joined to an interior support conical member 54 which is of shape substantially corresponding to the shape of the closure section 32. Spaced openings 56 are provided in the surface 54 for engagement with lugs 57 which are welded or otherwise secured to the closure section 32.
In the embodiment shown the lugs 57 are of substantially channel cross-section such that a passage is provided between the lug 57 and the surface 32. With this arrangement the base 23 may be connected to the lower composite unit 22 by inserting the lug through the opening 58 and rotating the base 23 until the lip 59 is engaged under the lug 57. When in this position the lug can only be removed by reverse rotation. As shown in Fig. 1, the lugs 57 which are used to secure the base 23 may also be used when it is desired to hoist the container through use of a hoisting sling 61 or the like. Where this is desirable the hoisting sling 61 is provided with 4 book members 62 which may be engaged with the lug 57.
In order to realize the full benefit of shipping containers made in accordance with this invention, it has been found desirable to provide a fastener mechanism for holding the separate component units 21 and 22 together that may be quickly engaged or disengaged when assemblying or disassemblying the container. One type of fastener that has been found to be particularly suited to this purpose is shown in Figs. 1, 3, 4 and 6. will be noted in these figures, a cam type fastener is provided which tends to draw the two sealing flanges 27 of the center ring 26 together as the mating cam surfaces are turned with respect to each other. The
* detailed features of these cam fasteners are shown in Figs. 3, 4 and 6, where the numeral 61 indicates the shank of a stud type component 62 of the fastener assembly 63. As shown, one end of the stud 62 is pro vided with threads 65, while the other end has a crosspiece 64 integrally formed with the stud 62 to make an assembled T. It should be noted that the cross-piece 64 is itself of elongated shape having a width substantially equal to the diameter of the shank 61 and a length approximately equal to twice the diameter. The purpose of this shape will be understood from reference to Figs. 1 and 6, where it will be noted that the seal flanges 27 of center rings 26 are provided with longitudinal and cross slots 66 and 67 respectively, which are as shown, elongated along the curvature of and cross the seal flanges 27. With this structure the cross-head 64 of the stud 62 may be inserted through the longitudinal slots 66 and then rotated degrees to a transverse position such that the cross-arm 64 comes into contact with the inter face 68 of the seal flange 27. When it is desirable to remove the fastener assembly 63 in order to separate the separate halves 21 and 22, the cross-piece 64 may be again rotated 90 degrees, so that it will pass through the longitudinal slots 66.
The elements used to tighten the fastener mechanism include a knurled lock nut 69 having a thread opening therethrough (not shown) which is adapted for engagement with the thread 65 of the stud 62. In addition, mating cam pieces, designated as cam follower 70 and cam 71 are utilized. As shown, the cam piece 71 is of F irregular shape having a flat bottom 72 adapted for engagement with the inter face 68 of seal flanges 27, a substantially cylindrical exterior face 73 and an irregular mating face made up of corresponding cam surfaces 74, each of which extends through an arc of substantially degrees. Said cam faces 74 being joined by a vertical face 76. Cam piece 71 further has a centrally disposed opening through which stud 62 may be passed. In addition, lugs 77 are formed on the bottom face 72 and adapted for engagement in the cross slots 67 of seal flanges 27. These lugs 77, it will be observed, are intended to prevent rotation of the cam piece 71 when the cam fastener is being engaged.
Cam follower 70, which is provided for mating engagement with cam piece 71, is likewise provided with cam faces 79 of design corresponding to the shape of the cam faces 74. With this arrangement slight rotation of the actuator handle 81 will cause considerable relative movement between cam piece 71 and cam follower 7%. When assembled substantially as shown in Fig. 6, and when the nut 69 is properly adjusted on the thread 65, rotation of handle 81 will cause the mating seal flanges 27 to be drawn together to compress the seals a2 disposed in grooves 83 cut in the mating faces 85 of the seal flanges 27.
When the container is to be disassembled, reverse ro tation of the actuator handle 81 will release the pressure against the inter faces 68 thereby breaking the bond between seals 82 and further releasing the stud 62 for rotation. When this is done, cross-pieces 64 may be rotated to a position where they will pass through the essence longitudinal slots 66 thereby permitting the component units 21 and 22 to be separated for cleaning, or for storage or return shipment in nested arrangement.
It should be noted that elongated slots 66 and crossslots 67 are spaced alternately along the seal flange 27. Accordingly, when the container is disassembled, an equal number of the cam fasteners 63 will remain in the cross slots 67 of each of the component units 21 or 22. Further, since the number and spacing of the fasteners 63 carried by one unit 21 or 22 corresponds to the number and spacing of elongated slots 66 in any other unit 21 or 22, any two units may be readily joined together to provide a shipping container.
The primary advantages of this invention are derived from ready assembly or disassembly, made possible by the novel fasteners, and further from the fact that the composite units may be nested when not assembled. When nested, the units may be stacked vertically, as shown in Fig. 5, or horizontally along a supporting floor. Where materials are shipped by rail or truck it has been found that as many as eight complete containers may be nested and shipped in the same space that would be occupied by one assembled full container. This represents a considerable saving on return shipment costs. Likewise, storage costs or overhead may be substantially reduced where containers of this type are used.
While one embodiment of the invention has been shown and described, it will be apparent that the present invention is adaptable to various modifications and changes. All such modifications and changes as come within the scope of the hereunto appended claim are deemed to be a part of this invention.
What is claimed is:
A shipping container comprising a pair of component sections, each section including a main body portion of substantially frusto-conical shape, said main body portion having its major transverse section disposed toward one open end, an end structure joined to the opposite end of said main body portion and providing an opening through which materials may be introduced and discharged, a closure member hingedly joined to said end structure for selectively closing off said opening, a flange member circumferentially joined to said main body portion and extending outwardly therefrom providing a plane surface disposed substantially in the plane of said open end, said pair being joinable in open end to open end relation with the plane surface of one of said pair in mating contact with the plane surface of the other of said pair to form a closed shipping container, each of said flange members having a predetermined number of slots formed in and arranged in a predetermined equally spaced relation about said flange member, said slots being of two types, a first type extended transversely of said flange member and a second type extended longitudinally of said flange member, with said slots being alternately arranged so that each one of said first type has a pair of said second type arranged adjacent and on opposite sides thereof, said sections in assembled container forming condition having the centers of the first type of slots in one section in alignment with the centers of the second type of slots in the other section, a number of fasteners corresponding to said predetermined number of slots and each including first and second parts adapted to be received on opposite sides of said flanges on connection of said sections, with one of said parts having means thereon adapted to extend across a slot of one of said types in one position and being adapted to move through said slot in another position, whereby when said sections are disconnected by moving said fastener parts through said one type of slots, equal numbers of said fasteners are retained on each of said pair of sections, and with said sections being of a shape providing for shipment in a nested arrangement when empty.
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