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Publication numberUS3026078 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMar 20, 1962
Filing dateJun 5, 1958
Priority dateJun 5, 1958
Publication numberUS 3026078 A, US 3026078A, US-A-3026078, US3026078 A, US3026078A
InventorsSimkins Daniel
Original AssigneeContinental Can Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Collapsible and expendable pallet
US 3026078 A
Abstract  available in
Images(2)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

March 20, 1962 D. SlMKlNS 3,026,078

COLLAPSIBLE AND EXPENDABLE PALLET Filed June 5, 1958 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 INVENTOR DA lV/EL SIM/(INS Wad/Z, fai /22%; M

ATTORNEYS March 1962 D. SIMKINS 78 COLLAPSIBLE AND EXPENDABLE PALLET Filed June 5, 1958 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR DA NIEL S/M/r/ /vs ATTORNEY United States Patent 3,026,078 COLLAPSIBLE AND EXPENDABLE PALLET Daniel Simkins, Mount Vernon, Ohio, assignor to Continental Can Company, Inc., New York, N.Y., a corporation of New York Filed June 5, 1958, Ser. No. 740,073 25 Claims. (Cl. 248-120) This invention relates to portable platforms or pallets adapted for use in lift truck operations and the supporting of materials thereon.

Wooden or steel pallet structures are known but the use thereof results in very substantial freight cost due to their Weight and such pallets take up considerable space which is usually at a premium. If such pallets are to be used only once, they also represent a very substantial investment, and when they are to be reused they give rise to shipping and handling problems the cost of which must be absorbed by the shipper.

A rirnary object of this invention is to provide a portable pallet which is readily and economically manufactured, light in weight, readily stored for shipping, and which will be available for immediate use with a minimum of assembly.

A further object of this invention is to provide a pallet of the character stated which is constructed of materials which make it economically feasible to consider it expendable after being used, and in which all parts are of such character that the pallet is available for immediate use with a minimum of effort in assembly and skill, as well as being satisfactory and practical for the purpose intended.

Another object of the invention is to provide a pallet which includes a structure lending itself readily to storage and shipping and which includes collapsible support portions foldable into substantially parallel relation with the plane of a supporting deck member and unfoldable to a position for readily sustaining the load to be imposed thereon.

A further object of the invention is to provide a novel foldabie support member utilized as a part of or as an insert unit in expendable pallets, said support member including foldable portions and an expandable reinforcing portion cooperatively arranged whereby the support member may be folded with the reinforcing portion into a substantially flat shape for ready packing and storage, or unfolded into a rectangularly shaped member having desired support characteristics when placed in compression.

With the above and other objects in view that will hereinafter appear, the nature of the invention will be more clearly understood by reference to the following de tailed description, the appended claims and the several views illustrated in the accompanying drawings.

In the drawings:

FIGURE 1 is a perspective view illustrating a preferred embodiment of the collapsible and expendable pallet, the same being shown in its unfolded condition, ready for use;

FIGURE 2 is a section taken on line 2-2 of FIG URE 1, parts of the platform being broken away;

FIGURE 3 is an end view of the pallet of FIGURE 1, on a reduced scale, showing the cooperating parts in an intermediate stage of folding of the pallet for shipping or storage.

FIGURE 4 is a view similar to FIGURE 3 showing the parts when completely folded;

FIGURE 5 is an enlarged fragmentary perspective view of a portion of FIGURE 1 showing in detail the collapsible cellular reinforcing material of the support members of the pallet;

FIGURE 6 is a fragmentary perspective view of another embodiment of a collapsible and disposable pallet utilizing collapsible reinforcing inserts to cooperate with channels of the pallet;

FIGURE 7 is a perspective view of the collapsible reinforcing insert shown in the embodiment of FIGURE 6, and illustrating said insert in a partially folded condition; and

FIGURE 8 is a fragmentary end view on another scale of another embodiment of the pallet in which the pallet includes an attached collapsible support member similar to that of FIGURE 7.

The forms of construction disclosed in the drawings are advantageous from numerous viewpoints and will be specifically described, but it is, of course, possible to make variations within the scope of the invention. Attention is first directed to FIGURES 1-5, in which a collapsible and expendable pallet is indicated generally at 1 including a deck member 2 having elongated, depending and spaced parallel support members 3, 4 and 5. In use the support members hold the platform spaced above a supporting surface as shown in FIGURES 1 and 2 and facilitate the entry of the forks of a lift truck therebetween in the well known manner. Although a two sided, or two entry pallet is illustrated, intermediate portions of the support members 3, 4 and 5 may be removed to provide a four sided, or four way pallet whereby a fork lift truck may approach the pallet from any one of its four sides. The pallet may be constructed from any suitable material, such as corrugated cardboard, fiber board, or the like.

The deck member 2 includes a plurality of parallel linear scored portions 6, 7 and 8 overlying the individual support members 3, 4 and 5 and effective to facilitate the folding of the pallet as shown in FIGURES 3 and 4. As seen in FIGURE 2, the support members 3, 4 and 5 have a rectangular cross section and the scored portions 6, 7 and 8 define one side (top) of the support member which includes adjacent panel sections 9 and 10. Secured to the deck member 2 is an underlying sheet member 11, intermediate portions 12 of which form the other three sides 13, 14- and 15 of the support members 3, 4 and 5. The side (bottom) 14 includes a medial linear scored portion 16 defining panels 17 and 18 therein, the scored portions 16 and 7 being aligned with and parallel to each other. The intersections of the sides 13, 14 and 15 of each support member are suitably scored as indicated at 19 and 2t and the lower sheet member 11 includes linear scored portions 21 and 2-2 underlying the scored portions 6 and 8 respectively.

Extending the full length of the support members 3, 4 and 5 are collapsible reinforcing portions 23, adhered or otherwise secured to the sides 13 and 15 of the support members but devoid of attachment to the overlying and underlying panels 910 and 17-13 respectively. The reinforcing portions 23 comprise a laterally collapsible honeycomb or similar cellular material in which the cells 24, when in load supporting position as shown in FIG- URES 1 and 2, are upright and parallel to the sides 13 and 15 of the support members. When the pallet is disposed in a position to be loaded as shown in FIGURE-S 1, 2 and 5, the cells 24 will be disposed uprightly or normal to the general plane of the deck member to provide sufficient strength in compression to support a load placed thereon. As before stated, the upper and lower ends 25 and 26 of the honeycomb reinforcing portions 23 are not secured to the adjacent portions of the deck member 2 and side or bottom 14, and said ends 2526 of the reinforcing portions will place and support the panels 9, 10 and 17, 18 of the deck member 2 and side 14, respective ly, in parallel relation when the pallet is unfolded to be loaded, as clearly illustrated in FIGURE 2.

The pallet when stored will be folded in half about the centrally located scored portion 7 of the deck member, see FIGURES -3 and 4. Initial folding of the deck member results in the adjacent panels 9, and 17, 18 being disposed in angular relation, and at the same time the sides 13 and 15 of the support members will move toward each other as the reinforcing portion 23 is being collapsed or flattened. The edge portions 27 and 28 of the deck member which are adjacent the support members 3 and 5, respectively, and the sides 13 and 15 of the support members will ultimately be positioned in parallel relation to undersurface portions of the folded deck member halves as seen in FIGURE 4. When the pallet is in the condition shown in FIGURE 4 it will occupy less than half the space it would in its unfolded condition, and when unfolded will automatically assume the proper load supporting position of use as shown in FIGURES 1 and 2. The direction arrows in FIGURE 3 indicate the manner in which the parts move relatively during folding, and the parts would move in an opposite direction when being unfolded.

In FIGURE 6, a fragmentary portion of a collapsible and expendable pallet is indicated generally at 29, the

same comprising a deck member 30 which includes spaced parallel linear scored portions 3132 and 33 forming adjacent panel portions 34 and 35. The panel portions form one side of spaced parallel hollow channels 36 which have a rectangular cross section for receiving therein conforming collapsible reinforcing members indicated generally at 37, one such member being shown in a partially collapsed state in FIGURE 7 and in a load supporting condition and partially inserted state in FIGURE 6. The channels are completed by a sheet member 38 secured to the underside of the deck member 30, said sheet member forming side portions 39 and 40 and a bottom side 41. Each side 41 includes a medial scored portion 42 parallel to and underlying the respective scored portion 32 of the deck member 30 and forming adjacent panels 43 and 44 underlying the respective top side panels 34 and 35.

The deck member 30 and channels 36 may be readily folded in the manner previously described for storage or shipment, and may be unfolded to receive the members 37 as shown in FIGURE 6. The reinforcing and load supporting members 37 each comprises an elongated body member including parallel sides 45 and 46 and transverse top and bottom sides 47 and 48. The, intersections of the sides 45-46 and the sides 47-48 may be suitably scored, and the sides 47 and 48 are medially scored as indicated at 49 and 59, respectively. Suitably secured to opposed inner surface portions of the sides 45 and 46 is a laterally collapsible reinforcing portion 51 of honeycomb or any other suitable cellular material which serves to support the panel portions of the top and bottom sides .47 and 48 in parallel relation as shown in FIGURE 6.

It'will be apparent by reference to FIGURE 7 that the individual units there illustrated can be flattened or collapsed by folding the panels of the top and bottom ides 4748 upwardly and downwardly respectively, while moving the sides 45-46 together in parallel relation and collapsing the honeycomb portion 51 between them. Also, the assembly of FIGURE 6 including the inserts shown in FIGURE 7, can be collapsed in the manner shown in FIGURES 3 and 4.

In FIGURE 8, a further embodiment of an expendable and collapsible pallet is indicated generally at 52. This pallet includes a deck member 53 having secured thereto a plurality of the reinforcing members 37 shown in detail in FIGURE 7. Each reinforcing member has the panel 54 in part defined by the medial scored line 49 secured to the undersurface of the deck member in any suitable manner, as by adhesion. The pallet, when in use, will have the support member 37 disposed in the condition shown to the left of FIGURE 8, and when the pallet is to be stored, the support member 37 will be folded about the attached panel 54 in the manner shown at the right hand portion of FIGURE 8. The direction arrows indicate the manner in which the parts move when the support members are folded or flattened.

While preferred structural forms have been disclosed herein, all illustrating the load supporting, and yet readily foldable or collapsible nature of the invention, it is to be understood that variations in the structure and arrang ment of parts shown may be made without departing from the scope of the invention as outlined in the appended claims.

I claim:

1. A pallet for use in lift truck operations and comprising a deck member, said deck member being formed of a plurality of elongated parallel sections hingedly connected together for rearward folding of said deck member on itself to a compact storage condition, and collapsible support means depending from said deck member at spaced intervals and being disposed generally parallel to said deck member sections for supporting the deck member in spaced relation above a support surface, said support means including foldable portions for permitting said support means to be disposed substantially between sections of said deck member when the pallet is folded for storage, said support means also including foldable reinforcing means attached to said foldable port-ions, and havin structure resisting compressive force of a load resting on said deck member when the pallet is in use, said foldable reinforcing means having free movement toward disposition within the confines of said deck member when the pallet is stored.

2. The structure of claim 1 in which said deck member is a continuous planar sheet member with said deck member sections being integral.

7 3. The structure of claim 1 in which certain of said deck member sections are foldable out of the normal plane of said deck member at the location of said support means for permitting the deck member to be folded upon itself with said support means.

4. The structure of claim 3 in which said support means comprises rectangular cross-sectional channels formed by the foldable portions thereof, and wherein said foldable reinforcing means comprises a laterally expandable material secured to the opposed inner surfaces of two sides of the rectangular channels and disposable normal to the plane of said deck member when the pallet is in load supporting position. i

5. The structure of claim 4 in which said deck member sections are defined by parallel scored linear portions extending transversely from opposite side edges of said deck member, the side of each of said channels opposing said deck member including a pair of foldable panels movable toward and away from ends of said foldable reinforcing portions, and disposed in coplanar relation parallel to said deck member when the pallet is in load supporting position.

6. The structure of claim 5 in which said expandable material is of a cellular construction in which the cells thereof extend parallel to the opposed inner surfaces of the two sides of said channels and normal to the plane of said deck member when the pallet is in load supporting position.

7. The structure of claim 5 in which one of the sides of each of said channels includes two of said certain deck member sections.

8. The structure of claim 5 including a sheet member juxtaposed beneath said deck member, one of the sides of each of said channels including two of said certain deck member sections, the other three sides of each of said channels comprising portions integral with and extending out of the plane of said sheet member at the linear scored portions of said deck member.

9. A load supporting pallet including a deck member, a foldable support member depending from said deck member and having a rectangular cross section when unfolded, said support member including two opposed sides movable in parallel relation toward and away from each other, a second pair of opposed sides extending transversely between opposed side edges of said two opposed sides, linear scored portions at the intersections of said first and second pairs of sides, a medial linear scored portion on each side of the second pair of opposed sides defining adjacent parallel panels, said panels being foldable toward juxtaposed relation along said medial linear scored portions upon movement of said first two sides toward each other, and a foldable reinforcing element secured to the opposed inner surfaces of said first two sides and movable therewith, opposite ends of said reinforcing element being free of and limiting movement of said second pair of opposed sides in movement toward each other to position the same in parallel relation normal to said first two sides when the support member is used as a load supporting means.

10. The structure of claim 9 in which said foldable reinforcing member comprises a cellular material, the cells of which are disposed parallel to the first mentioned two sides of said support member.

11. The structure of claim 9 in which one of said second pair of opposed sides is attached to the deck member.

12. The structure of claim 9 in which one of said second pair of sides is secured in juxtaposed relation beneath said deck member, said deck member including scored portions overlying said scored portions of the one of said second pair of sides.

13. The structure of claim 9 in which one only of said panels is secured to the deck member.

14. In a portable materials handling pallet, a foldable supporting portion having a rectangular cross section when unfolded, said supporting portion including two opposed sides movable in parallel relation toward and away from each other, a second pair of opposed top and bottom sides each extending transversely between opposed side edges of said first mentioned two opposed sides, linear scored portions at the intersections of said first mentioned sides with said top and bottom sides, aligned medial scored portions on the second pair of opposed top and bottom sides parallel to said first mentioned linear scored portions, said medial scored portions defining adjacent overlying panels on each of said second pair of top and bottom sides foldable toward juxtaposed relation upon movement of said first mentioned two sides toward each other, and a flatwise collapsible cellular element secured to the opposed inner surfaces of the first mentioned two sides, extending the width thereof and collapsible when said sides are moved toward each other, opposite ends of said cellular element limiting movement of said second pair of opposed top and bottom sides to position the same in parallel relation normal to said first mentioned two sides when the supporting portion is unfolded for use as a load supporting means.

15. A collapsible pallet comprising an upper deck member, a sheet member underlying said deck member and having spaced channel shaped depending portions, said sheet member being rigidly secured to the underside of said deck member, and said deck member and said channel shaped depending portions combining to define open spaces beneath said deck member, each of said open spaces having a rectangular cross section defined by two parallel sides, a top and a bottom, each said top and bottom being composed of two half panels hinge connected together along a medial line and also each hinge connected to one of the sides whereby each said panel pair can be folded together along the respective medial hinge connection to bring the sides toward each other in parallel relation, and a load supporting insert in each open space and holding the same in its intended rectangular cross section.

16. A collapsible pallet comprising an upper deck member, a sheet member underlying said deck member and having spaced channel shaped depending portions, said sheet member being rigidly secured to the underside of said deck member, and said deck member and said channel shaped depending portions combining to define open spaces beneath said deck member, each of said open spaces having a rectangular cross section defined by two parallel sides, a top and a bottom, each said top and bottom being composed of two half panels hinge connected together along a medial line and also each hinge connected to one of the sides whereby each said panel pair can be folded together along the respective medial hinge connection to bring the sides toward each other in parallel relation, and a laterally collapsible cellular load supporting means in each open space free of the panels at top and bottom and secured at its sides to the respective sides whereby each support and its cellular load supporting means can be collapsed fiatwise.

17. A pallet structure as defined in claim l6 wherein the deck member is foldable upon itself along at least one of the medial line hinge connections.

18. A pallet structure as defined in claim 16 wherein the tops comprise parts of the deck member and said deck member is foldable upon itself along the medial line hinge connection of each top panel pair.

19. A pallet for use in lift truck operations and comprising a deck member, said deck member being formed of a plurality of elongated parallel sections hingedly connected together for rearward folding of said deck member on itself to a compact storage condition, and collapsible support means depending from said deck member at spaced intervals and being disposed generally parallel to said deck member sections for supporting the deck member in spaced relation above a support surface, said support means including foldable portions for facilitating the collapsing of said support means to positions closely adjacent the plane of said deck member when the pallet is folded for storage, said support means also including foldable reinforcing means attached to said foldable portions, and having structure resisting compressive force of a load resting on said deck member when the pallet is in use, said foldable reinforcing means having free movement towards the plane of said deck member when the pallet is stored.

20. A pallet structure as defined in claim 15 wherein the tops comprise parts of the deck member and said deck member is foldable upon itself along the medial line hinge connection of each top panel pair.

21. A load supporting pallet comprising an upper deck member, a sheet member underlying said deck member and having spaced channel shaped depending portions, said sheet member being rigidly secured to the underside of said deck member, and said deck member and said channel shaped depending portions combining to define rectangular cross-sectional open spaces beneath said deck member, each of said open spaces being defined by two sides, a top and a bottom, said top and said bottom each being formed of two panels hingedly connected along a fold line disposed along a vertical center of the respective open space and said sides being swingable relative to said top and bottom about fold lines disposed parallel to the axis of the respective open space, whereby said sides may move towards each other through the upward movement of said top panels and the downward movement of said bottom panels, and foldable reinforcing means disposed within each open space, said foldable reinforcing means being rigid in a direction normal to the plane of said deck member and being readily foldable in a direction extending between said sides whereby said supports may be folded with said foldable reinforcing means in place therein.

22. The pallet of claim 21 wherein each top is formed by a portion of said deck member.

23. The pallet of claim 21 wherein each top is formed by a portion of said deck member, and said reinforcing means are secured to said sides.

24. The pallet of claim 21 wherein each top is formed by a portion of said deck member, and said reinforcing 7 means including a sleeve snugly received in a respective one of said open spaces.

25. The pallet of claim 21 wherein each top is formed by a portion of said deck member, and said top panels are hinged at their edges to adjacent portions of said deck member whereby intermediate portions of said deck member may be swung into spaced parallel relation with the portions of said supports and said foldable reinforcing means disposed therebetween.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS

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Classifications
U.S. Classification108/51.3
International ClassificationB65D19/00
Cooperative ClassificationB65D19/0016, B65D2519/00562, B65D2519/00358, B65D2519/00273, B65D2519/00432, B65D2519/00333, B65D2519/00019, B65D2519/00442, B65D2519/0087, B65D2519/00288, B65D2519/00323, B65D2519/00054, B65D2519/00557
European ClassificationB65D19/00C1B2C1