US 2984363 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
May 16, 1961 J. M. LANG EIAL ADJUSTABLE RACK 3 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed July 24, 1958 INVENTORS' JAMES M. LANG WI UL KLAMP A TORNEYS May 16, 1961 J. M. LANG EI'A].
ADJUSTABLE RACK 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed July 24, 1958 INVENTORS JAMES M. LANG fl/PAUL KLAMP TORNEYS May 16, 1961 J. M. LANG ETAL 2,984,363
ADJUSTABLE RACK Filed July 24, 1958 5 Sheets-Sheet 5 INVENTORS JAMES M.LANG PA' L KLAMP AT ORNEYS United States Patent F ADJUSTABLE RACK The present invention relates to improvements in an adjustable rack for the storage, in warehouses, factories and the like, of load supporting pallets, skids, barrels, drums and the like. By reason of these improvements the rack is easily and quickly assembled on location, involves no loose connecting or like parts likely to become lost, and in particular no such parts which are subject to load; his very strong and rugged to withstand rough usage, and has extreme rigidity when assembled, without requiring any cross bracing other than its load supporting beams; it is very compact so as to occupy a minimum productive factory space; and it affords a wide range of adjustability. in regard to the optional vertical positioning of its load supporting beam components.
It is an object of the invention to provide an improved pallet supporting or like rack structure having the foregoing valuable attributes, including upright columns or supporting members, preferably of a generally hollow, box-like cross section, with horizontal beams of similar cross section assembled and held to these columns solely (in the essential aspect of the invention) by means of fixed, hook-like locking lugs welded or otherwise fixedly secured to the ends .of the beams.
More specifically, it is an object to provide a rack structure of this sort in which the box section columns have exposed flat surfaces and side or lateral surfaces in 90 relation thereto at the opposite margins thereof, with a series of vertically spaced locking apertures formed at these margins and extending substantially into the face surface and the respective lateral surfaces. Further, in accordance with the invention, the locking lugs at the ends of the beams are shaped and positioned relative to a face surface of the latter to have camming or wedging engagement with the column when inserted in an aperture, the wedging action being two-directional in the horizontal sense. Thus, with the beam lugs properly engaged in the column locking apertures, the wedging action has the effects of drawing and snugging the beam endwise toward and against the lateral surface of the column, and also (due to the positioning of the lugs) of positioning the face surface of the beam in flush relation with that of the column. Furthermore, the effect of transversely wedged lugs at both ends of the beam is to sustain the latter against rotation about a longitudinal axis under the severe torque couple set up when the beam is heavily loaded along a side thereof.
There thus results a rack which, by reason of the bidirectional wedging and snugging action referred to, has great stability and strength since its parts are positively locked against one another, and is also free from projections apt to snag.
Another object of the invention is to provide a rack characterized by end and intermediate upright frame units each constituted by a pair of the columns described above, which columns are rigidly braced in front to rear spaced relation by a welded tie assembly and have load supporting beams locked thereto in the manner referred to. More p articularly, in a structure of this sort the wedge type locking lugs on the beams are positioned in reference to both the front and the rear beam components to bring their outer face surfaces in external flush relation with' adjacent outer face surfaces of the respective front and rear columns.
Thus, the invention enables the assembly of a composite rack structure, in which two completerack. assemblies as described are placed in rear to rear relation, and in which the flush arrangement of their respective rear columns and beams makes it possible to have the rack as-- semblies in direct rear to rear engagement with one another. The built-up dual rack thus occupies an absolute minimum of floor space; and free access to its load is had from the front areas of the respective component rack units.
Yet another object is to provide a rack structure including front and rear column and beam provisions as,
described, in which the arrangement of the corner marginal locking apertures of both front and rear columns is the same, i.e., along their forward vertical edges, thus enabling both beam and column assemblies to be made readily and quickly from the front of the structure.
Still another object is to provide a rack structure in which the columns locking apertures are proportioned as. to vertical depth to receive the beam locking lugs readily as they are moved horizontally into position, in assembling from the front in this manner; and in which optional spring-type restraining clips or like members may be applied to the column locking apertures in engagement above the lugs to prevent undesired upward movement thereof, as by upward rebound of the beam when a heavy object falls on it, or upon inadvertent lifting of the beam by a lift truck fork.
Yet even when such optional hold down means is employed it sustains no part of the rack load, and is of a character enabling it to be inserted in the column aperture and removed quickly and easily without resort to a special tool.
The foregoing as well as other objectswill become tandem rear-to-rear abutting relation, the view being horizontally sectioned through vertical columns of the racks;
Fig. 3 is a fragmentary perspective view in enlarged scale showing a subassembly of beam and column supporting and locking components according to the inven tion, being representative of an area of Fig. 1 such as is encircled in dot-dash line and designated A;
Fig. 4 is a fragmentary face elevational view of the subassembly of Fig. 3 as modified by the application of a spring restraining clip, being also partially broken 'away corresponding to line and in vertical section on a line of Fig. 2; i
Fig. 5 is an end elevational view of a welded tie-type of end or intermediate upright frame assemblyofthe rack; j
Fig. 6 is a fragmentary view in enlarged scale and in vertical section along line 66 of Fig. 2, further illus trating the tandem or compounded arrangement of two' racks per Fig. 2; and
Figs. 7 and 8 are, respectively, enlarged scale sectional views along lines 7--7 and 88 of Fig. 4. a r t The rack structure of the invention is illustrated gen-L- Patented May 16, 1961 The load is supported solely by the basic column, beam and beam locking lug provisions referred erally in Fig. 1 of the drawings, being generally designated by the reference numeral 10. It may be assembled in any desired size, lengthwise of its elongated horizontal cross beam components, by a proper selection of beam 1engths, and/orin the front-to-rear sense, depending upon dimension of its tie welded, upright columnar frame 1 9 1 J.
Such frame components or assemblies are designated 11, each being comprised of upright vertical columns 12, '13at the front andrear thereof (of the sort to be described) and bracing rods or bars 14 of channel or angle section welded to the columns 12, 13 to constitute the rigidly braced frame structure 11. I
, The reference numerals 15 generally designate load supporting cross beams locked to the columns 12, 13 in the manner contemplated by the invention to complete the rack; while the numeral 16 designates a pallet or like element supporting a conventionally illustrated load 17 on the cross beams 15 of the, rack.
Now considering Figs. 3, 4 and 7 in conjunction with Fig. 1, thecolumns 12 and 13 are of hollow rectangular, generally box-like horizontal cross section, although not necessarily continuous peripherally, as shown in Fig. 3, wherein a vertically extending opening 19 along the rear of the column appears. In any event, the column has a face web which presents a relatively flat front face 20 of substantial width, With lateral faces 21 integrally joining its opposite upright margins at 90. These lateral faces are of substantial front to rear width.
5 In accordance with the invention, a series of vertically spaced rectangular locking apertures 22 are formed along the front margins of the column, these apertures extending well inwardly toward one another on the face surface 20, as Well as into the opposed lateral surfaces 21. The apertures 22 are of substantial vertical depth, enabling ready application of the beams thereto by a horizontal motion from the front of the rack, in a manner to be described, and locking of the beams by lowering them.
The beams 15 are likewise preferably of rectangular box-like cross section, having face webs presenting fiat facesurfaces 24 and being of substantial front to rear width across their opposed horizontal top and bottom surfaces or flanges 25, 26. The beams 15 may be of closed, box-like cross section and are open at their ends, as' shown in Fig. 4.
In accordance with-the invention, each beam 15 has pairs of downwardly hooked locking elements or lugs welded or otherwise fixedly secured thereto to project from the opposite ends thereof, for locking engagement in an aperture 22 of the column 12 or of the column 13. There is a top lug 28 in the form of a short length of strap metal Welded to each end of the top surface of beam 15-, and a similar lug 29 similarly secured to the bottom of the bottom beam surface 26. These lugs parallel the length of the beam, and are located adjacent the forward face 24, although for a reason to be described their spacing in relation to this surface will vary slightly, in accordance with whether the beam 15 is to be applied to a front column 12 or to a rear column 13 of the rack 10. Lugs 28, 29 are transversely offset from the face surface of the beam 15 a distance corresponding to the thickness of its face web and that of the column 12 or 13.
As best shown in Figs. 4 and 7, each of the locking lugs 28 has a downturned outer hook element 31, which element is downwardly and outwardly inclined from the beam end. Accordingly, and when the beam has its lock lug 28 engaged in a column locking aperture 22, the inclination of the hook 31 causes it to cam or wedge beam 15. toward the column 12 or 13, drawing the beam end snugly against the adjacent lateral surface 21 of the column.
Similarly, as best shown in Fig. 7, each of the lug'lock- 4 n; J" ming surface which, as the lug 28 or 29 drops downwardly within the column, rides the forward leverage of are column aperture 22 and draws the beam 15 to the rear, until its forward face 24 arrives substantially flush with the front face 20 of the column, as shown in Figs. 3, 7 and 8. The beam is, of course, drawn forwardly as thus applied to a rear column 13. a a I This completes a bi-directional wedge-locked interengagement of column and beam which. is very strong and stable, without resort to loose locking means The flush wedged relation of column and beam surfaces insures stable, full area abutting engagement of the beam end with the lateral column surface 21 and prevents undesired and dangerous snagging. It is made possible by the proper locating ofthe lugs 28, 29 in relation to the forward face 24 of the cross beam, which, as indicated above, may vary slightly in accordance with whether the beam 15 is tobe appliedbetwe'en front columns 12 or rear columns 13.
For reasons to appear, it is desirable to bring the rear surface 35 of rear cross beams flush with the corresponding rear zone or surface 34 of the rear columns'13, as illustrated in Fig. 6. This is accomplished by'spacing the lock lugs 28, 29 of these beams slightly more to the rear of their respective forward faces 24, than in the f case of the lugs 28, 29 of the beams applied to front columns 12.
As a result, it is possible to make the;close aiid compact arrangement of two of the racks 10 m direct rearto rear engagement with one another, as shown in'Figs. 2 and 6 of the drawings. Moreover, each rack is assembled in its entirety from its front-by slipping the beam lugs 28, 29 horizontally'in'to the forward-disposed corner apertures 22 of the respective front and rear columns 12, 13, then dropping .the beams to enable the lugs to cam them horizontally, endwise and laterally. No floor space is wasted, no snagging projections are present, and the compounded rack structure is accessible for the placement of load supporting palletsl16,.skids, barrels, drums, etc.; from either opposite. side thereof.
As indicated in Figs. 1, 2 and 6, the load supporting cross beams 15 may optionally be equipped with elon-' gated supports for a deck or floor (shown in Figs. l and 6 and designated 36), such supports being in the form of angle or channel iron elements 37 welded. along the respective faces 24 of the rear beam and 35 'of'the front' However, with a pair of vertically spaced lugs at each of the beam ends wedged into the opening 22, the
tendency to rotate is effectively counteracted. Thus, dual wedging in the transverse sense, coupled with dual wedging at both beam ends in the direction of beam length,
results in a very stable construction sustaining the load on the deck, which is often very great.
It is also seen by reference to Fig. 6 'that the deck supporting angles (or, in the alternative, equivalent channel-shaped members) themselves add materially to the strength of the beam 15. Being welded to the beam, the angles 37 in effect form an integral-part of the beam reducing downward deflection under load as applied. They may be applied to the beam to, project below the bottom thereof, thus in effect increasing the height .of the cross section and strengthening its resistance to downward deflection under load, as well asservingthe function of forming a deck supporting shelf. 5
As another optional feature, the rack 10 may be supplied with a quantity of spring retaining clips 38 of the sort illustrated in Figs. 4 and 8 of the drawings, for use '5 15, when struck from above by a heavy object, might rebound upwardly and disengage its locking lugs 28, 29 from the column apertures 22, or, in the alternative, if the beam might inadvertently be lifted from beneath by a truck fork.
In order to prevent this, the spring clip 38 may be inserted in an aperture 22 for the front of the column, overlying a locking lug 28 and preventing upward displacement of the beam by engaging the top of the aperture 22. As shown in Figs. 4 and 8, the clip 38 is characterized by an integral, convergent sided nose portion 39 extending inwardly from retaining shoulders 40, which lie inwardly of opposed outer, outwardly curved terminal portions 41. The portions 41 are engageable by a tool such as a pair of pliers to compress the clip 38 and enable its ready removal from the rack when it is desired to disassemble the latter, or to change the vertical spacing of one or more of its lead beams 15.
It is to be emphasized that the clips 38 are optional and, if used, do not serve as load supporting members, which is the function of lugs 28, 29 alone.
It is seen, by again referring to Fig. 1, that the relatively close spacing of the locking apertures 22 permits a Widely varying range of adjustment of the several load supporting beams 15 in the vertical sense. The rack is rigidly braced by the bi-directional wedging engagement of its load supporting lock lugs 28, 29, which snugs the beam end against the column face 21 and draws the beam face 24 flush with the corresponding face 20 of the column. This in turn prevents snag and permits the very compact combining of racks in the fashion shown in Fig. 2.
Special tools are not required for assembly or dismantling; and the rack structure has no loose load sustaining pieces. The fact that the beams are assembled to the columns, both front and rear, from the front of the latter makes for increased speed and ease of assembly, particularly when two rack structures are compounded as illustrated and described.
What we claim as our invention is:
1. A rack structure comprising a vertical supporting member having a face web presenting a vertical, substantially flat exposed face surface and a further web providing a vertical lateral surface joining said face surface substantially at a right angle, said member having a series of locking apertures spaced vertically therealong at the junction of said surfaces and extending substantially into said lateral surface, and a cross beam supported by said member at said lateral surface, said cross beam having a vertical face web presenting a vertical, horizontally extending face surface and being provided with at least one fixed locking lug projecting from an end thereof and having a downturned terminal portion in hooked engagement in one of said apertures, which terminal portion is positioned on said beam in a transverse spacing from said face surface of the latter equal to the thickness of said respective face webs of the supporting member and beam, thus to bring said supporting member and beam face surfaces substantially flush with one another when so engaged, said terminal portion being downwardly inclined at an acute angle to the vertical sufficient to take wedging engagement with said further web of said supporting member, and having an edge surface inclined transversely away from said face surfaces of said supporting member and beam to take wedging engagement with said face web of said supporting member.
2. A rack structure comprising a vertical supporting member of generally hollow cross section having a face web presenting a vertical, substantially flat exposed face surface and further webs providing vertical lateral surfaces joining opposite upright margins of said face surface, substantially at a right angle, said member having a series of locking apertures spaced vertically along each of said margins and extending substantially into said face surface of said respective lateral surfaces, and across beam supported by said member at each of said lateral surfaces, said cross beams having a vertical face web presenting a vertical, horizontally extending face surface and being provided with fixed locking lugs projecting from an end thereof in vertically spaced relation to one another and each having a downturned terminal portion in hooked engagement in one of said apertures, which terminal portion is positioned on said beam in a transverse spacing from said face surface of the latter equal to the thickness of said respective face Webs of the supporting member and beam, thus to bring said supporting member and beam face surfaces substantially flush with one another when so engaged, said terminal portion being downwardly inclined at an acute angle to the vertical sufficient to take wedging engagement with one of said further webs of said supporting member, and having an edge surface inclined transversely away from said face sufaces of said supporting member and beam to take wedging engagement with said face web of said supporting member.
3. A rack structure in accordance with claim 1 which further comprises a restraining element inserted and releasably held in the supporting member aperture above said lug, said restraining element not carrying any sub stantial part of a load imposed on the beam and acting to prevent undesired disengagement of the latter by upward unhooking of said lug from said member.
4. A rack structure in accordance with claim 2, which further comprises a restraining element inserted and releasably held in the supporting member aperture above said lug, said restraining element not carrying any substantial part of a load imposed on the beam and acting to prevent undesired disengagement of the latter by up ward unhooking of said lug from said member.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,366,743 OConnor Jan. 25, 1921 1,473,817 Gorsline Nov. 13, 1923 1,554,011 Lehman Sept. 15, 1925 2,008,087 Stromberg July 16, 1935 2,765,087 Weinbaum Oct. 2, 1956 2,815,130 Franks Dec. 3, 1957 2,833,421 Skubic May 6, 1958