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Publication numberUS3018862 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 30, 1962
Filing dateJun 2, 1959
Priority dateJun 2, 1959
Publication numberUS 3018862 A, US 3018862A, US-A-3018862, US3018862 A, US3018862A
InventorsSilas Litteral, Step Francis E
Original AssigneeStorage Products Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Structural element
US 3018862 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Jan. 30, 1962 s. LnTTERAL ETAL 3,018,862

STRUCTURAL'ELEMENT Filed June 2, 1959 3,018,862 STRUCTURAL ELEMENT Siias Litteral and Francis E. Step, Quincy, Ill., assignors to Storage Products Corporation, Skokie, lll., a corporation oi Illinois Filed `inne 2, 1959, Ser. No. 817,511 6 Claims. (Cl. 189-37) This invention relates generally to storage racks including members of the type generally known as channels. More specifically, it 1s directed to a particular type of a modified channel having at one or both end thereof a locking arrangement to make a unitary structure which may comprise a deck or may comprise a rack.

Storage racks are particularly adaptable in connection with the manufacture of temporary as well as permanent types of storage units used in warehouses and industry. While this application is particularly directed to easily erectable and disassemblable storage racks, it, nevertheless, can be utilized in various other arrangements, if desired.

In the manufacture 4of racks for Iuse in warehousing, various types of materials, different loads and variously shaped objects such as boxes, drums, bales, etc., must be accommodated by the storage racks. This entails not only considerations involving the vertical supports and their designs to obtain the maximum strength, but also the rigidity of the nal structure must be recognized and taken into account. To obtain and develop this rigidity, various types of horizontal and vertical supports as well as cross-bracings are used. This is particularly true in the construction and use of storage racks where not only flexibility but utility as well is a requirement.

Various types of storage racks are now commercially available. Generally, uprights or columns are employed with one or more types of cross-bracing to make an upright truss possessing the necessary load bearing characteristics. Suitable horizontal cross-members or beams are connected between the trusses at desired levels to form storage structures of the multi-level type. The upright trusses and beams `forming fthe structure are locked together by various means such as rivets, bolts, clips, etc. One of the better types of locking arrangements is described more fully in a co-pending patent application, Serial No. 591,759, now Patent No. 2,932,368, for a structural lock which is the invention of Mr. Burt E. Schell, Jr.

In order to facilitate the storage of the products within the erected structure, cross pieces may be used between the horizontal beams to support and to provide shelving or decking on which the stores are placed. Sheets such as plywood or gratings made of expanded metal may be used for shelving or decking. Obviously, when heavy loads are stored, additional reinforcing of the shelving is required.

The shelving or decking is often loosely supported on the beams so that it can drop from the beams and, con sequently, drop the stores. In use, objects frequently dumped or thrown violently on the shelving, heavy vibrations, and other factors present in the plants are sometimes the causes for disengagement from the beams with consequent damage to the stores and structure.

It, therefore, is an object of this invention to provide improved storage rack elements.

Another object of this invention is to provide improved shelving or decking for storage racks.

A further object of the invention is the provision of an improved storage rack.

A still further object of this invention is to provide elements capable of supporting loads and useable either as an upright or as a horizontal member in storage racks.

nited States Patent ice An additional object of the invention is an improved locking arrangement primarily adapted for coupling elements of a storage rack together.

These and other objects of the invention will become apparent by reference to the accompanying drawings and the following description.

In the drawings:

FIGURE l is a perspective view of a storage rack in which our improved structural element is used as a cross piece;

FIGURE 2 is a fragmentary perspective View of our structural element in an assembled condition;

FIGURE 3 is an enlarged view, in perspective, of one part of the structural element of the invention;

FIGURE 4 is a fragmentary perspective View of another part of the structural element of the invention, this part coacting with the part shown in FIGURE 3 when assembled therewith;

FIGURE 5 is a perspective, fragmentary View showing the structural element of the invention in use as decking on a beam of a storage rack;

FIGURE 6 is a section taken along line 6--6 of FIGURE 2;

FIGURE 7 is a section taken along lines 7--7 of FIG- URE 5; and

FIGURE 8 is a section taken along line 8 8 of FIG- URE. 7.

In the preferred embodiment of the invention, the structural element of the invention provides decking or shelving in a storage rack 18. The storage rack, as shown, comprises trusses 20 which are interconnected by horizontal beams 22. The trusses 20 are built-up from cross members 2li, diagonal members 25 and upright members 26. The structural element 30 of the invention is carried on the horizontal beams 22 and form shelving or decking for stores on the racks. The beams 22, as shown in FIG- URE 5, may be provided with a rail 28 for carrying the structural element 30.

The structural element 30, las shown in the drawings, comprises two parts, a channel member 32 and an associated spacing plate 34.

The channel member 32 is generally U-shaped in crosssection and extends for the desired length and, though preferably having an open rectangular or square crosssection, it may have another shape provided it performs the function of supporting the load. The channel member 32 comprises a web 36 having depending therefrom side walls or flanges 38. The longitudinal edges 40 of the side walls 38 are rolled to form a bead 42 which is longitudinally co-extensive with the channel 32. The rail or bead 42 is preferably formed by outwardly turning a part of the marginal portion 40 of the said anges 38 into a tubular section 46. The edges 44 of the beadf'iZ almost contact the walls 38. This shaping of the channel member 32 provides substantial load carrying properties to the channel member.

Though the beads 42 are shown in the preferred ern bodiment as being-circular or substantially circular in cross-section, nevertheless, they can be of another crosssection, as desired, to obtain the necess-ary strength. The channel member 32 is made of such material that the side walls 3S can spring apart and can be compressed for assembly and disassembly purposes. The walls 3S are restrained from movement by the spacing plate 34 as will be described in further detail below. In order to obtain additional reinforcing ofthe channel member 32, a solid rod shown in phantom at 52 can be inserted within the tubular section 46 to increase the load bearing properties of the channel 32.

One or more walls 38, and, if desired, the web 316, are provided with an aperture 54 at each of the ends of the 3 channel 32. These apertures 54 are adapted to receive projecting lugs or detents 56 on the spacing plate 34. In the illustrated embodiment, apertures 54 are slots which receive the detent or lug 56; nevertheless, other means can be used to accomplish the same results and lock the spacing plate 34 with the channel 32.

The spacing plate 34 comprises a face plate 5S and a base plate 60. Though the face plate 58 is adapted to receive Iany horizontal force at the end of the channel 32, yet the channel 32 can be used as a beam and then the face plate 58 can act as a load bearing support. The base 60 of the spacing plate 34 is adapted to support the tubular sections 46 of the channel 32. The face plate 58, as shown in the drawings, is of such height as to match the height of the channel 32 while its width is substantially greater than the overall width including the tubular sections 46 of the channel 32. The width of the base plate 60 is suiciently large to support and seat properly on the rail 2S of the beam 22.

The spacing plate 34 further includes vertically extending sections 62, 64 and 66 which are connected to the base plate 60 and which extend parallel to the face plate 58. These sections 62, 64 and 66 are spaced apart laterally and are proportioned to accommodate and lock with each end of the channel 32. The section 64 is located intermediate the sections 62 and 66 and extends vertically, it being of such height and width that it will contact and support the inner surfaces of the web 36 and of the walls 38 within the channel 32. Thus, this section 64 is adapted for insertion and retention within the interior of the channel 32.

Disposed along the vertical edges of the section 64 and adapted for engageable relationship within the apertures or slots 54 on the ends of the channel 32 are the detents or lugs 56. When the section 64 is in alignment with these slots or apertures 54, the detents 56 are received therein, the section 64 is encompassed by the walls 38 and web 36 of the channel 32, and the channel 32 snaps into locking relationship. The lugs or detents 56 are formed to fit the apertures 54 in order to lock therein. Though the preferred modification shows the slots only in the side walls 38 of the channel 32, a similar locking arrangement can be employed in the web section 36.

Flanking the section 64 which is encompassed by the channel 32 are the side sections 62 and 66. These sections are in substantially co-planar relationship with the section 64, but are laterally spaced apart therefrom. The sections 62 and 66 restrain the spreading of the side Walls 38 of the channel 32, the edges of the sections 62 and 66 being so disposed as to engage the tubular sections 46 of the channel 32 upon any substantial spreading of the side Walls 38.

The base plate 60 of the spacing plate 34 together with the sections 62, 64 and 66, hereinabove described, when locked to the channel 32, locks the channel 32 in spaced position and prevents its twisting about its longitudinal axis. The base plate 60 rests upon the rail 28, while the end of the channel 32 abuts against the inside of the face plate 58 which in turn will be in abutting relationship with the vertical wall of the beam 22. A similarly constructed horizontal beam 22 is provided in the back section of the storage rack at the same level to receive a spacing plate 34 locked on the other end of the channel 32 It will be understood that the channels 32 are placed in side-by-side relation to provide the necessary decking and support.

Since, in the illustrated embodiment, the upper surface of the channel 32 ts flush With the top surface of the beam 22, containers and objects can be placed into or removed from storage without any diiculty or damage to the goods.

Though the structural element 30 of the invention is described hereinabove as being used for decking, it can be used as an element of a storage rack with the spacing plate providing a vertical support and the channels 32 providing horizontal support for loads. ln such arrangement, the structural elements will be held in parallel spaced relation by suitable cross pieces like the pieces shown at 24 and 25 of Fl'GURE l of the drawings.

While one embodiment of the invention has been shown and described in detail, it will be understood that this is only for the purpose of illustration and is not to be construed as a limitation on the scope of the invention as defined in the appended claims.

We claim:

l. A structural element comprising, in combination, a longitudinal load supporting U-shaped channel with a pair of depending flanges, each flange having a tubular edge diverging outwardly and adapted to reinforce said U-shaped channel, a spacing plate which engages said channel, the ends of the said tubular flanges overlying a portion of the said spacing plate, the said spacing plate comprising an L-shaped member, the longer leg of said L-shaped member adapted to receive in an abutting relationship the end of said channel, the base of said spacing plate adapted to support the edges adjacent the ends of the said flanges of the U-shaped channel, an intermediate section and side sections extending from the base of the said spacing plate in a parallel relationship to said longer leg, the said intermediate section extending within the said U-shaped channel, a means on said intermediate section for engaging said channel, and a means on said side sections adjacent the edges of said flanges, and which are positioned to engage the edges of said anges, whereby the said channel and said spacing plate are retained in a locked relationship.

2. A structural element comprising, in combination, a U-shaped channel having a web and a pair of depending flanges, the longitudinal marginal portion of each of the said flanges diverging outwardly in a substantially tubular cross-section to form tubular edges, a reinforcing rod within each of said tubular edges substantially co-exten sive therewith, a spacing plate which engages said channels, the end of the said rod reinforced tubular edges overlying a portion of said spacing plate, the said spacing plate comprising an L-shaped member, the longer leg of said L-shaped member adapted to receive in an abutting relationship the end of said channel, the base of said spacmg plate adapted to support the edges adjacent the ends of the said flanges of the U-shaped channel, an intermediate section and side sections extending from base of the said spacing plate in a parallel relationship to said longer leg, the said intermediate section extending Within the said U-shaped channel, a means on said intermediate section for engaging said channel, and a means on the edges of said side sections of the spacing plate adjacent the edges of said flanges and which are positioned to engage the edges of said anges adapted to retain said outwardly diverging longitudinal reinforced tubular edges of the flanges of the said U-shaped channel in a locked position.

3. A structural element comprising, in combination, a U-shaped channel, a spacing plate which engages said channel, said plate comprising a substantially L-shaped plate having an arm and a base, the inner surface of the said arm adapted to receive in an end abutting relationship the end of the said U-shaped channel, the base of the said L-shaped plate adapted to support the edge adjacent the end of the said U-shaped channel, a vertical upright extending from edge of the said base in substantial parallel relationship with the said arm and adapted for insertion transversely within the said U-shaped channel and a pair of spaced apart locking means flanking said insertable vertical upright adapted to receive within the said spaces the edges adjacent the end of the said U- shaped channel member, whereby the said longitudinal load supporting U-shaped channel and the said spacing plate are locked together to provide a unitary structure.

4. A structural element comprising, in combination, a

U-shaped channel in which the wall portions adjacent the end thereof have at least one aperture therein adapted to receive a snap-in detent, a spacer plate which engages said channel, said plate comprising a substantially L- shaped plate having an arm and a base, the inner surface of the said arm adapted to receive in an end abutting relationship the end of the said U-shaped channel, the base of the said L-shaped plate adapted to support the edge portions adjacent said end of the U-shaped channel, a vertical upright extending from edge of the said base in substantial parallel relationship with the said arm and adapted for insertion Within the said U-shaped channel, one or more projecting detents on the edges of said vertical upright in alignment with the said aperture and adapted to snap in Within said aperture to lock the said U- shaped channel and said spacer plate as a unitary structure and a means adjacent the Walls of said U-shaped channel adapted to prevent their divergence.

5. A structural element comprising, in combination, a U-shaped channel in which the Wall portions adjacent the end thereof have at least one aperture therein to receive a snap-in detent, a spacer plate which engages said channel, said plate comprising a substantially L-shaped plate having an arm and a base, the inner face of said arm adapted to receive in an end abutting relationship the end of said U-shaped channel, the base of the said L-shaped plate adapted to support the edge portions adjacent the end of said U-shaped channel, a vertical upright extending from the edge of said base in substantial parallel relationship Within said arm and adapted for insertion within the said U-shaped channel, one or more projecting detents on the edges of said vertical upright in alignment with the said aperture and adapted to snap into said aperture to lock together the said U-shaped channel and said spacer plate, a pair of side sections spaced apart and flanking said vertical upright on said base adapted to receive within the said spaces the flanges of said U-shaped channel, and detents on the edges of said side sections in contacting relationship With said flanges adapted to retain within said spaces and restrain the divergence of said flanges whereby a unitary locked end structural element is provided.

6. A structural element comprising, in combination, a longitudinal load supporting U-shaped channel with a pair of depending llanges, each flange having a tubular edge adapted to reinforce said U-shaped channel, a spacing plate which engages said channel, the ends of the said tubular flanges overlying a portion of said spacing plate, said spacing plate comprising an L-shaped member, the longer leg of said L.shaped member adapted to receive in an abutting relationship the end of said channel, the base of said spacing plate adapted to support the edges adjacent the ends of the said flanges of the U-shaped channel, an intermediate section and side sections extending from the base of said spacing plate in a generally spaced apart relationship to said longer leg, the said intermediate section extending Within the said U-shaped channel, means on said intermediate section for engaging said channel, and means on said side sections adjacent the edges of said flanges, and which are positioned to engage the edges of said flanges, whereby said channel and said spacing plate are retained in a locked relationship.

References Cited in the le of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 9,842 Montgomery July 12, 1853 1,050,066 Lund Ian. 7, 1913 1,237,544 Norton Aug. 21, 1917 FOREIGN PATENTS 172,121 Austria Aug. 11, 1952

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US9842 *Jul 12, 1853Elisabeth Montgomerymontgomery
US1050066 *Feb 16, 1911Jan 7, 1913Ebbert J LundSheet-metal bedstead.
US1237544 *Apr 10, 1916Aug 21, 1917Albert C NortonFlume.
AT172121B * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3194407 *Dec 10, 1963Jul 13, 1965D Altrui Thomas NConvertible storage rack
US3255722 *Sep 12, 1963Jun 14, 1966Hirsh Mfg Co SaSteel shelving
US3814034 *Oct 27, 1972Jun 4, 1974Seiz ELoad supports for storage structures
US3989399 *Oct 4, 1974Nov 2, 1976Slowbe Joseph AStructural joint assembly
US4078664 *Mar 25, 1977Mar 14, 1978Interlake, Inc.Cross bar
US5417028 *Dec 10, 1992May 23, 1995Uniframes Holdings Pty. Ltd.Roof truss and beam therefor
US5771653 *Oct 11, 1996Jun 30, 1998Unimast IncorporatedChord for use as the upper and lower chords of a roof truss
US7891507Dec 20, 2007Feb 22, 2011Jakie ShetlerStorage rack decking derived from a single sheet of sheet metal
WO2007137617A1 *Nov 7, 2006Dec 6, 2007Richter System Gmbh & Co KgSheet metal section for dry construction
WO2007137618A1 *Nov 7, 2006Dec 6, 2007Richter System Gmbh & Co KgSheet metal section for dry construction
Classifications
U.S. Classification52/690, 211/186
International ClassificationA47B47/02, A47B96/02, A47B47/00
Cooperative ClassificationA47B96/021, A47B47/021
European ClassificationA47B96/02A, A47B47/02R