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Publication numberUS3044656 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJul 17, 1962
Filing dateAug 24, 1959
Priority dateAug 24, 1959
Publication numberUS 3044656 A, US 3044656A, US-A-3044656, US3044656 A, US3044656A
InventorsTheodore C Combs, James M Dobbie
Original AssigneeZero Mfg Company
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Prefabricated shipping container
US 3044656 A
Abstract  available in
Images(1)
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

July 17, 1962 T, c, COMES A; 3,044,656

PREF'ABRICATED SHIPPING CONTAINER Filed Aug. 24, 1959 INVENTORS 771500025 6. CaMas,

JAMES M. Doss/s A rroeA/sr United States Patent This invention relates to a prefabricated shipping contalner and, more particularly, to a shipping container adapted to be constructed from a plurality of lengths of prefabricated material, usually extruded shapes, which constitute the frame members of the container and from sheet metal panels constituting the walls of the container and from prefabricated corner members which maintain said frame members and panels in fixed relationship with one another. I

The use of prefabricated, metallic shipping containers has become widespread with the advent of world Wide shipment of missile components, electronic equipment, delicate instrumentation and the like by the Armed Services and international business corporations. The function of such shipping containers is to isolate the articles disposed therein from the deleterious effects of air, dust, insect and moisture contamination. 'It is, therefore, imperative that the components constituting the shipping container be adapted to accurately interfit one within the other and be rigidly interconnected to provide a sturdy container which is capable of effectively excluding those elements which would harmfully affect an article shipped therein.

It is, therefore, an object of our invention to provide a shipping container characterized by the fact that it is constructed from prefabricated frame members and corner members co-operative with said frame members to maintain a plurality of Wall, bottom and top panels in fixed relationship with one another, the members and panels being fixed in sealing relationship with one another to prevent the infiltration of deleterious contaminants into the interior of a container constituted thereby.

Conventional containers of the general character of that under discussion here are usually fabricated by the use of fasteners, such as screws, rivets and the like, and the utilization of such fasteners materially increases the fabrication costs'in addition to creating sealing problems around the heads and shanks of the fasteners.

Another object of our invention is the provision of a shipping container of the aforementioned character whose component parts are adhesively secured to one another to eliminate the necessity for the use of screws or similar additional fasteners. Therefore, the expenditure of time and labor incident to the application of conventional fasteners in fabricating the shipping container of our invention is eliminated and the resulting structure is stronger and better sealed as compared with existing containers of older types.

As previously indicated, the achievement of an optimum seal between the component parts of the shipping container is essential and a necessary concomitant of such an optimum seal is the maintenance of an adequate cross section of adhesive between the component parts of the shipping container whereby adequate securement of said component parts can be achieved.

A further object of our invention is the provision, in a shipping container of the aforementioned character, of

frame members and corner members characterized by the fact that receptacle and spacer means are respectively provided thereupon to insure the maintenance between the mating surfaces of said frame members and corner members and panels supported thereby of an adequate space sufficient to receive a coating of adhesive of minimal thickness in order that an optimum bond may be achieved between said frame members, corner members and panels.

An additional object of our invention is the provision of a shipping container of the aforementioned character which is fabricated by the utilization of base and top corner members having horizontally oriented legs extending into corresponding frame members and having vertical legs co-operative with corner frame members of the shipping container to maintain all of said frame members in co-operative and fixed relationship with one another.

A further object of our invention is the provision on the legs of said corner members of spacer means adapted to maintain the inner surfaces of the frame members and the surfaces of said legs in spaced relationship in order that an adequately thick coat of adhesive may be main tained between said surfaces.

The frame members utilized in the shipping container of our invention incorporate integral jaws adapted to receive the contiguous edges of panels mounted therein and the jaws are provided with elongated receptacles for the reception and retention of adhesive, the receptacles serving to store and distribute an adequate film of the adhesive along the panel as it enters the corresponding interjaw space, the adhesive serving to seal the edges of the panels to the frame members and to mechanically secure them with respect thereto.

Another object of our invention is the provision of corner members having mating jaws constituting extensions of the jaws on the associated frame members and adapted to receive contiguous portions of the panels associated therewith.

Another object of our invention is the provision of top and corner cover members which have corresponding sealing ribs and receptacles therein which constitute continuations of similar sealing protrusions and receptacles on the top and cover frame members.

Other objects and advantages of our invention will be apparent from the following Specification and the accompanying drawing, which is for the purpose of illustration only, and in which:

FIG. 1 is a view showing a container constructed in accordance with the teachings of our invention;

FIG. 2 is an enlarged, fragmentary, sectional view taken on the broken line 22 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a view showing a cover corner member in inverted position;

FIG. 4 is a view showing a top corner member;

'FIG. 5 is a view showing a base corner member;

, FIG. 6 is a transverse, sectional view of a typical, extruded cover frame member;

FIG. 7 is a cross-sectional view of a typical base and corner frame member; and

FIG. 8 is a sectional view of a top frame member.

Referring tothe drawing, and particularly to FIGS. 1-2 thereof, we show a shipping container 10 constructed in accordance with the teachings of our invention and constituted, generally, by a plurality of horizontally oriented base frame members 12, vertically oriented corner frame members 14 of the same cross section as the base frame members 12 and horizontally oriented top frame members 16 of hollow cross section.

The base frame members 12 and the lower extremities of the corner frame members 14 are maintained in operative relationship with each other by base corner members 20. The top frame members 16 and the upper extremities of the vertical corner frame members 14 are maintained in operative relationship by top corner members 22. 'lhe base frame members 12, the corner frame members 14 and the top frame members 16, in conjunction with the base corner members 20 and the top corner members 22,

serve to support sheet metal panels 24 in operative rela- 3 tionship with one another to define the bottom portion 26 f the shipping container 10.

The cover portion 30 of the shipping container is constituted by a plurality of elongated cover frame members 32 of hollow cross section, said frame members being connected to one another by cover corner members 34 which are located at the corners of the cover portion 39. The cover corner members 34 and the cover frame members 32 serve to hold and support a cover panel 36 with its edges in sealing relationship with said frame members, in a manner to be described in greater detail below.

The fabrication of the various components of the shipping container 10 may be accomplished by conventional processes. For instance, the elongated base frame members 12, top frame members 16 and cover frame members 32 can be fabricated from aluminum by the conventional aluminum extrusion process, while the base corner members 20, top corner members 22 and cover corner members 34 can be fabricated by die casting from conventional die casting metals such as zinc and the like. The panels 24 of the bottom portion 26 of the shipping container 10 and the cover panel 36 can be fabricated from aluminum or stainless steel sheet metal cut to shape by appropriate shearing means. It can be readily perceived at the outset that the fabrication of the shipping container 10 merely entails the cutting of the various frame members and panels to appropriate lengths and sizes in order to provide the necessary elements cooperative with the various corner members to obtain the shipping container 10 of desired dimensions.

The base frame members 12 are of the same crosssectional configuration as the corner frame members 14 and, as best shown in FIG. 7 of the drawings, include four external, linear side walls 38 arranged in a geometric pattern interrupted by an internal, r-ight-angularly formed side wall 40 integral with the walls 38 and having a crest within the cross-sectional geometric pattern of such walls 38. Elongated, integral jaws or jaw members 42 at opposite edges of the internal side wall 40 define panel receiving grooves 44 which extend the length of each frame member. At least one of the jaw members 42 is provided with a continuous, adhesive-receiving groove 46 on the internal surface thereof. When the base frame members 12 are located in the horizontal orientation shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 of the drawings, the jaw members 42 extend laterally and vertically and the lateral jaw members are adapted to receive the edges of the bottom panel 48 while the vertically oriented jaw members 42 are adapted to receive the lower edges of the side panels 50.

The disposition of such frame members in the vertical orientation at the corners of the shipping container 10 enables them to serve as corner frame members 14 and, when so disposed, the corner frame members 14 and the pairs of jaw members 42 are right-angularly oriented with respect to each other and the grooves 44 defined thereby are adapted to receive the edges of the side panels 50 at the opposite ends of the extremities thereof.

The base corner members (FIG. 5) are one piece and each includes right-angularly oriented, horizontal legs 54 and a vertically oriented leg 56 rising from the zone of intersection of the legs 54, the three legs 54 and 56 being mutually at right angles to each other. The extremities of the legs 54 are provided with continuous protruding ribs 58, as best shown in FIG. 5 of the drawing, which are adapted to engage upon the inner surfaces of the hollow, base frame members 12 to space said surfaces minutely from the outer surfaces 60 of the legs 54 to define a shallow pocket 62 for the reception of adhesive, in the manner shown in FIG. 2 of the drawing. Therefore, the ribs 58 on the extremities of the legs 54 serve as spacer means to maintain the spaced relationship between the adjacent surfaces of the base frame members 12 and the legs 54 to define the pockets 62 and also serve to retain a layer 64 of adhesive between said surfaces. There- 4 fore, the existence of a proper thickness of adhesive adequate to mechanically secure the base frame members 12 to the legs 54 of the base corner members 20 is assured.

The metal adhering adhesive utilized in fabricating the components of the shipping container 10 of our invention to one another may be found in the thermosetting plastics, the thermoplastics and the elastomers. Typical of thermosetting plastics utilized are the phenolic resins, epoxics, polyurethanes, furanes, polyesters and alkyds. Thermoplastic adhesives which may be utilized in appropriate applications are the polyvinyl resins and the acrylic resins. The elastomeric adhesive compounds may be drawn from the various natural and synthetic rubbers.

In any event, the appropriate adhesive, for instance, an epoxy, is applied upon the legs 54 of the corner member 20 and the legs 54 are then inserted in the hollow interiors of the adjacent extremities of the base frame members 12. Since the spacer ribs 58 adequately space the adjacent surfaces of the legs 54 and base frame members 12, the coating or layer 64 of adhesive is maintained in the space or pocket 62, as best shown in FIG. 2 of the drawing.

The base corner members 20 incorporate laterally oriented grooves 68 constituting extensions of the laterally oriented grooves 44 on the base frame members 12 and serving to receive the extreme corners of the bottom panel 48. Similarly the corner members 20 also incorporate vertically oriented grooves 70 and '72, respectively, constituting extensions of the vertically oriented grooves 44 on the base frame members 12 and the rightangularly oriented grooves 44 on the corner frame members 14, the grooves 70 and 72 ultimately receiving the extreme corners of the side panels 50.

In addition, the base corner members 20 include external pad portions 74 coplanar with and constituting extensions of the external surfaces of the base frame members 12 and the corner frame members 14, the portions 74 having stop shoulders abutting the ends of the frame members to fix the distance that the legs 54 can be inserted into the corresponding tubular frame members and thus accurately determine the dimensions of the container. Moreover, the corner members 20 are provided with internal wall portions or sections 76 which, as best shown in FIG. 5, lie within the confines of the panels and form the internal corners of the receptacle 10 at the junctures of the bottom panel 48 and the side panels 50 thereof. Each of the internal wall sections 70 forms the inner of two jaws aligned with the corresponding jaws 42 of the corresponding frame members. However the outer of such two jaws is shaped differently from the inner jaw to expose a corner of the latter to lateral movement of the panel corner, the exposed corner acting as a stop for the lateral movement of such panel and thus facilitating assembly of the structure.

The vertically oriented legs 56 of the corner posts 20 incorporate longitudinally extending ribs 80 on the outer surfaces thereof which are adapted to space the internal walls of the corner frame members 14 from the contiguous external surfaces of the legs 56 in order to define adhesive receiving spaces 82 which, as best shown in FIG. 2 of the drawings, are adapted to insure that a coating of adhesive of sufficient cross section will be disposed upon the legs 56 and maintained between the adjacent surfaces of the legs 56 and the corner frame members 14.

The top frame members 16 are, as best shown in FIGS. 2 and 8 of the drawings, of hollow cross section and of substantially rectangular configuration and incorporate jaws or jaw members 86 which define downwardly oriented grooves 88 adapted to receive the upper edges of the side panels 50. One of the jaw members 86 incorporates a continuous recess 90 for the reception of adhesive to establish both a mechanical bond and an adequate seal between the upper edge of the respective side panel 50 and the jaw member 86.

The top frame members 16 are maintained in operative relationship with each other by the top corner members 22 (FIG. 4), said top corner members incorporating right-angularly oriented, horizontal legs 94 insertable in the hollow interiors of the top frame members 16 and vertically oriented, depending legs 96 engageable in the upper extremities of the corner frame members 14.

The horizontally oriented legs 94 incorporate continuous spacer ribs 98 for the same purpose as the spacer ribs 58 on the horizontally oriented legs 54 of the base corner members 20. In other words, the spacer ribs 98 define adhesive receiving spaces 102, as best shown in FIG. 2 of the drawing, for the reception of a layer of adhesive of the proper thickness.

The depending legs 96 of the top corner members 22 have longitudinally oriented spacer ribs 104 which define adhesive receiving spaces between the adjacent surfaces of the vertical legs and the corner frame members 14. Formed integrally upon the upper wall of each of the top frame members 16 is a continuous alignment rib 108 which has a sealing rib 110 juxtaposed thereto.

The upper wall of each of the top corner members 22 is provided with an arcuate alignment rib 112 and sealing rib 114, said ribs constituting extensions of the alignment and sealing ribs 108 and 110, respectively, on the top frame members 16. The top corner members include downwardly oriented grooves 118 which constitute extensions of the grooves 88 in the top frame members 16 and also incorporate right-angularly spaced internal corner wall portions or sections 120 which constitute both abutments for and continuations of the juxtaposed extremities of the top frame members 16. External wall surfaces 122 are provided on the top corner members 22 and constitute continuations of the external surfaces of the top frame members 16.

The cover portion 30 of the shipping container is defined by four cover frame members 32 (FIGS. 2 and 6) which are of hollow cross section and which include laterally extending jaw members 126 defining laterally oriented grooves 128 for the reception of the contiguous edges of the cover panel '36. The cover frame members incorporate parallel alignment grooves 136 and sealreceiving grooves 138 which, as best shown in FIG. 2 of the drawings, are respectively adapted to receive the alignment ribs 108 on the top frame members 16 and a continuous sealing gasket 140 engagea-ble by the associ' ated sealing rib 110. The groove 136 has a recess 142 in a wall thereof to prevent capillary action from inducing flow of moisture inwardly along said wall. The cover frame members 32 also include continuous externally accessible recesses 144 for the reception of fasteners, not shown, adapted to maintain the cover portion 30 in operative engagement with the bottom portion 26 of the supply container 10.

The cover frame members 32 and the cover panel 36 are maintained in fixed relationship with each other'by means of cover corner members 34, one of which is shown in inverted position in FIG. 3 of the drawing. The cover corner members 34 each include right-angularly oriented legs 148 having spacer ribs 150 provided upon the outer extremities thereof and adapted to define adhesive receiving spaces 152 between adjacentsurfaces of the cover frame members 32 and the legs 148. The cover corner posts also include right-angular, internal, wall portions or sections 154 and external corner walls 156.

Laterally extending grooves 158 provided in the cover corner members 34 constitute continuations of the grooves 128 in the cover frame members 32 and receive the adjacent edges of the cover panel 36. Arcuately shaped alignment and seal receiving grooves 162 and 164, respectively, are provided on the cover corner members 34 and constitute continuations of the alignment grooves 136 and 138 on the cover frame members 32 which are maintained in fixed relationship with each other by the cover corner members 34.

As previously indicated, all of the various corner members have coatings of adhesive applied to the respective the respective components to each other in a temporary fashion and the various components can be adjusted to locate them in the optimum positions. After such'ad justment, the entire shipping container 10 is placed in an oven where the adhesive is cured to permanently secure the comopnents of'the shipping container 10 in fixed engagement with one another.

Therefore, the shipping container of our invention is connected by the provision of a few interchangeable components which can be provided in any desired size and number to construct a shipping container of the requisite capacity. The adhesive securement of the various components to one another results in the achievement of both an excellent mechanical bond between the components and an effective, air-tight seal. The provision of spacer means on the legs of the various corner posts in-. sures the maintenance of an adequate thickness of adhesive at the critical junctures of said legs with the various frame members of the shipping container.

We claim:

1. A container corner construction for a rectilinear parallelepiped high-strength container providing minimtun internal projections at such corner comprising: a corner member having three right-angularly related legs extending therefrom, each leg providing a right-angular longitudinal groove facing interiorly of the container; right-angularly related elongated tubular frame members having peripherally-continuous tubular ends respectively telescopically receiving said legs therein, each of said frame members having a longitudinally-extending notch therein extending to the end of the tubular member and fitting into the groove of the corresponding leg, said notches facing and defining the corners of the interior space of said container, there being a shallow adhesive space between the exterior walls of each leg and the interior Walls of the corresponding tubular end, a portion of such adhesive space being between the groove walls and the notch Walls; three right-angularly related structural panels; securing means integral with 'said frame members having panel grooves extending along the edges of said notches receiving the edge portions of said rightangularly related panels, said grooves being slightly wider than the thickness of said panels edge portions to provide a shallow adhesive space between the walls of the panel grooves and the panel surfaces; and a structural adhesive in all of said adhesive spaces holding said corner member, said frame members and said panels together.

2. A container corner as defined in claim 1 in which the notch of each tubular frame member is formed by two notch-forming walls at right angles to each other joined integrally at an edge inside the tubular frame member and parallel to the longitudinal axis thereof, said securing means including protruding pairs of inner and outer jaws spaced to form said groove therebetween, each inner jaw being substantially in alignment with the corresponding notch-forming wall.

3. A container corner as defined in claim 2 in which said inner jaw protrudes from the tubular frame member a distance beyond the corresponding outer jaw.

4. A container corner as defined in claim 2 including three corner-securing means on said corner member receiving the adjoining corners of said three panels, each corner-securing means including inner and outer jaws protruding from such corner member respectively coplanar with the inner and outer jaws of the adjoining tubular members and spaced from each other to define comer-receiving spaces with a corner adhesive space between such jaws of said corner member and the corner panel surfaces, the three inner jaws of said corner member being integral along adjoining edges to form the corner of the interior space of the container, and an adhesive in said corner adhesive space adhering and sealing the panel corners to said corner member.

5. A container corner as defined in claim 1 in which each of said first named shallow adhesive spaces between each leg and the end of its tubular frame member is bounded outwardly by a plurality of right-angularly related exterior walls comprising an outer wall means and inwardly by a plurality of interior walls parallel thereto comprising an inner wall means, and including narrow spacer strips protruding from one of said wall means into engagement with corresponding opposed walls of the other wall means holding the facing walls of such adhesivespace-bounding walls spaced to define an adhesive pocket filled with adhesive.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 936,451 Havenhill Oct. 12, 1,454,958 Davies May 15, 1,574,314 Stone Feb. 23, 1,607,711 Walker Nov. 23, 1,669,625 Oppenheim May 15, 2,279,991 Hotchkiss Apr. 14, 2,764,314 Mautner Sept. 25, 2,823,821 Frater et a1. Feb. 18, 2,951,613 Hardigg Sept. 6, 2,956,705 Clingman Oct. 18,

FOREIGN PATENTS 103,117 Switzerland Jan. 16,

691,915 Great Britain May 27, 1,173,744 France Oct. 27,

D14898XII/81C Germany Aug. 9,

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Classifications
U.S. Classification220/4.28, 217/69, 220/683, 312/265.1, 220/1.5, 220/4.33
International ClassificationB65D88/12
Cooperative ClassificationA47B2230/01, B65D88/12
European ClassificationB65D88/12