US 3088619 A
Abstract available in
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
May 7, 1963 R. c. BOUCHER 3,088,619
PROTECTIVE CONTAINERS Filed Nov. 1, 1961 4 Sheets-Sheet 1 y 7, 1963 R. c. BOUCHER 3,088,619
PROTECTIVE CONTAINERS Filed NOV. 1, 1961 4 Sheets-Sheet 2 May 7, 1963 R. c. BOUCHER PROTECTIVE CONTAINERS 4 Sheets-Sheet 3 Filed Nov. 1, 1961 y 7, 1963 R. c. BOUCHER 3,088,619
PROTECTIVE CONTAINERS Filed Nov. 1, 1961 4 Sheets-Sheet 4 United States Patent Ofifice 3 ,088,619 Patented May 7, 1963 3,088,619 PROTECTIVE CONTAINERS Reginald Comyn Boucher, Milstead, near Sittingheurne, England, assignor to E. P. S. (Research & Development) Limited, Sittingbourne, England, a British company Filed Nov. 1, 1961, Ser. No. 149,382. 3 Claims. (Cl. 220-15) The present invention concerns protective containers.
Equipment and materials (hereinafter referred to as equipment) of a wide variety such as predominately metal equipment, e.g., aircraft components, engines, projectiles, machine tools, electrical or electronic apparatus, and sheet metal particularly transformer steel sheet, and other material such as chemicals and food prepacked or in bulk, and any other prepacked substances such as, for instance, coated art paper and plastic sheetings of many kinds, frequently have to be transported or stored (often for long periods) and are liable to corrosion or deteriora tion particularly in extreme climatic conditions.
It is therefore desirable that such equipment should be protected by a moisture and moisture-vapour proof container. It is an object of the invention to provide an improved container and more particularly to provide an improved container which is readily openable and can be moved from place to place without disturbing the equipment in the container.
According to one aspect of the present invention there is provided a container comprising: a rigid base on which equipment may be placed; a cover for the equipment and formed of a flexible material and comprising two or more parts movable relatively to one another to afford access to the container, at least one of the par-ts being joined to the rigid base; and male and female interlocking fastener strips disposed respectively along the meeting edges of the relatively movable parts whereby the container may be opened or closed. Preferably the container parts are completely separable. The rigid base may conveniently be carried by or form part of a pallet which can be lifted by a fork-lift truck.
The container part or parts may be joined to the rigid base in any convenient way. For instance, one container part may be trapped or sandwiched between a pair of rigid elements making up the base, the lower one of the elements having locating members for engagement with locating members on a pallet.
Alternatively, a container part may be carried directly by a pallet. The part carried by the pallet may in such a case merely consist of a small band hermetically sealed to the pallet and furnished with a fastener strip. When the part of the container which is carried by a pallet is adapted to extend some distance upwardly when in use, provision may be made in the pallet itself for housing and receiving such part when not in use. For example, the pallet may be provided with a perimetrical recess or groove into which the container part may be rolled or received and means such as spring clips, plastic fasteners or other suitable devices may be provided for retaining the collapsed part of the container in the said groove or recess.
The fastener strips may conveniently be those described in the co-pending patent application, Serial No. 1290 and these strips are preferably interlockable to open and close the container by sliders such as are described in the copending patent application 118,410.
In order that the invention may be more fully understood various embodiments of it as applied to containers adapted for engagement with pallets suitable for use in conjunction with fork-lift trucks will now be described by way of example and with reference to the accompanying drawings:
FIGURE 1 is an exploded perspective view of a container in accordance with one embodiment carried by a pallet;
FIGURE 2 is a fragmentary view partly in section showing one corner of the embodiment shown in FIG- URE 1;
FIGURE 3 is a perspective view of a length of a slide fastener assembly suitable for opening and closing the container shown in FIGURE '1;
FIGURE 4 is a cross sectional view of the slide fastener assembly shown in FIGURE 3 with the slider in a closing position on the fastener strips;
FIGURE 5 is an exploded perspective view of the slider shown in FIGURES 3 and 4;
FIGURES 6 and 7 are perspective views, exploded and normal, showing an alternative slider;
FIGURES 8 and 9 are cross sectional views of a slider fastener assembly comprising the fastener strips illustrated in FIGURES 3 and 4 and the alternative slider illustrated in FIGURES 6 and 7;
FIGURE 10 is a cross sectional view showing an alternative form of fastener strips suitable for opening and closing the container shown in FIGURES 1 and 2.
Referring now to FIGURE 1 of the drawing the pallet 1 illustrated therein comprises a rectangular base panel 2 formed of wood boards and having three soft wood cross battens 3. The pallet 1 is of generally conventional form but is modified in accordance with the invention by the provision of four recesses 4 one recess being positioned adjacent each of its corners. The recesses 4 serve to locate the base portion of the protective container as will subsequently be described.
A protective container 5 of generally rectangular boxshape is carried by the pallet 1. The container 5 comprises two separable parts formed of a flexible material, a base part 6 of rectangular tray shape and a top or cover part 7. The parts 6 and 7 can be de-tachably connected by means of a slide fastener assembly having interlocking fastener strips 8 and 9 carried respectively at the meeting peripheries of the separable parts 6 and 7 of the container The base part 6 is trapped by two rigid parts, an upper part 10 and a lower part 11, which are united in the manner shown in FIGURE 2. The parts 10 and 11 are of rectangular form and are dimensioned to fit the base part 6 of the container and the pallet 1 may be formed of any suitable material for example, plywood or aluminium or other metal. The rigid parts 10 and 11 have registering holes 12 and 13 adjacent their corners, and the base part 6 of the container also carries similarly positioned holes 14. The holes 12, 13 and 14 are so disposed that, when the rigid parts 10 and 11 and the base part 6 of the cover are placed on the pallet 1 in the manner illustrated the holes register so that fixing members can secure the base part 6 to the rigid parts '10 and 11 and locate the container in the holes 4 of the pallet. In the embodiment illustrated in FIGURE 2 a countersunk screw 15 and a round headed nut 16 fix the rigid parts 10 and 11 together and trap the base part 6 of the container. The downwardly projecting nut 16 serves as a pallet connection member which is vertically and slidably engageable with a pallet recess 4. Such a pallet connection member of the rigid based container can be located at each of its corners, corresponding recesses 4 being located on the pallet.
The separable parts 6 and 7 of the container 5 are preferably formed of a substantially moistureand moisture vapour-transmission resistant heat scalable material. The material may be a textile fabric formed from natural or man-made fibre, e.g., cotton or glass fibre reinforced by a thermoplastic synthetic resin, for example, a vinyl chloride polymer or copolymer resin (hereinafter re- "3,035,956, which described a material composed of lead 'foil sandwiched between layers of fabric impregnated with P.V.C. Alternatively the barrier layer may be a synthetic resin, fo r example, a vinylidene chloride polymer or copolymer resin (hereinafter referred to as P.V.D.C.). Thus the flexible material may comprise a fabric reinforced P.V.C. layer surfaced by one or more .films of P.V.D.C., the P.V.D.C. film or films preferably being surfaced by a further layer or film of unreinforced P.V.C. Alternatively the flexible material may include a fabric layer, preferably formed from a synthetic fibre,
.loaded with P.V.D.C. and surfaced with un-reinforced P.V.C. If the barrier layer consists of or comprises P.V.D.C. the resin will preferably be in the amorphous form and produced by the elimination of water from an aqueous dispersion of the resin.
The cover part 7 ofithe container may be constructed in accordance with the principles and using the methods described ,in the co-pending patent application No. 120,548.
The strips 8 and 9 may, for example, be those illustrated in FIGURES 2, 3 and 4. The inwardly facing surfaces of the strips 8 and 9 are respectively formed with a rib 17 of downwardly barbed or hook shape and a correspondingly shaped groove 18 to interlock with the barbed, rib 17, the lower parts of themeeting surfaces of the strips being downwardly and outwardly chamfered at 19 and 20 toprovide a longitudinal extending gap 20 (.see FIGURE 4) at the lower surface of the strips when these are interlocked together, this gap providing for an outward rolling of the upper parts of the strips about a longitudinal downwardly moving axis as compressive inwardly and downwardly directed pressure is exerted transversely of the interlocked strips near the bases thereof therebyv to disengage the strips from one another -Withfll1 outward and downward rolling action.
The strip 8 having the barbed rib 17 (hereinafter referred to as the male strip) is in the embodiment being described in FIGURE 3, formed With an auxiliary groove 21' above the rib 17 and in such a case the other strip 9 (hereinafter referredto as the female strip) is formed with an auxiliary rib 22 for interlocking engagement with the' auxiliary groove 21. The arrangement is such that as the strips are pressed together near their bases as described above, the auxiliary rib 22 is first withdrawn from the auxiliary groove 21 was to render the upper shoulder of the groove 18 more flexible and thus to facilitate the withdrawal of the hook shaped rib.
The male strip 8 has, in its outwardly directed surface positioned substantially centrally of its height, a slider guide constituted by a channel 23 while the female strip instance, by high frequency welding.
These fastener strips are described in more detail and claimed in the co-pending patent application No. 1,290. Referring now to FIGURES 3, 4 and of the drawings a slide fastener slider 25 for laterally urging the previously described fastener strips into interlocked or closed relationship comprises a saddle-shaped body 26 which is longitudinally divided into two similar F-shaped) halves 27 and 28 and the dependent arms of which (see FIGURES 3 and 4) are dimensioned to straddle fastener strips 8 and 9 when these are juxtaposed, either locally interlocked or preparatory to being interlocked.
The two halves 27 and 28 of the body, which may conveniently be formed, for example, of a corrosion resistant alloy, e.g., nickel-plated brass, or alternatively as a moulding of a thermosetting or thermoplastic synthetic resin, are secured together so as to be adjustable to and from one another transversely of their lengths, and one half of the slider carries a pair of pins '29 and 30 (see FIGURE 5) projecting from its inner vertical surfaceintothe other half of the slider in order to form guides permitting the two slider parts to movetowards and away from one another along a definite and predetermined path.
Stop means are preferably provided to prevent thetwo par-ts of the slider separating too far beyond a predetercountersunk bores 33 and 34-so that, when the slider halves 27 and 28 are fully separated the heads 31 and 32 engage the bases of bores 33 and 34.
Adjustment of the two slider halves relatively to one another between a closure and a release value of the fastener strips is effected by a central transverse screw 35 rotatably mounted in one of the slider parts 28 and screwing into the other part 27, said screw 35 being restrained against axial movement in the part of the slider in which'it is rotatably mounted. In the embodiment illustrated, the screw 35 may be located in a transverse bore 36 in the part 28 and have at one end a large knurled head 37 housed in a recess'38 in the part 28 with a part of such head projecting above the top of theslider part so that the head and screw are easily operatable by digital action, the other end of the screw engaging in a correspondingly screw-threaded bore 39 in the other slider part.
The countersunk bores 33and 34 are located in a recess 40 in the side of the sliderbody and a cover plate 41 is secured to-this recess by screws 42 and 43. A similar cover plate 44 is secured by screws 45 and 46 to a similar recess 47 on the other side of the slider body. The plate 44 serves to restrain the head 37 of the screw 35 against axial movement out of its recess 38.
Each end of the slider is furnished'with a closure member mounting part 48 and 49, such parts being centrally vertically divided into two halves each of'which is carried by the corresponding half of the slider.
The said parts 48-and 49 at the opposite ends of the slide fastener slider 25 are of identical form and'are preferably formed of a relatively friction free or self-lubricating material suchas a molybdenum disulphide impregnated polyamide resin. They are preferably formedas injection mouldings but they may be extruded as rods subsequently transversely divided or otherwise suitably made.
The parts 48 and 49 may be regarded as vanes which are-screwed by four screws 50 to the opposite ends of the body parts of the slider and each of which is adapted to straddle the juxtaposed or locally interlocked fastener strips 8 and 9, the parts 48 and 49 being recessed to receive the strips and the recesses being shaped so as to conform with the external cross sectional shape of the fastener strips 8 and 9 and to provide inwardly directed closure members 51, 52, 53 and 54 for engagement in the previously described longitudinal slider guide channels'23 and 24.
Each of the recesses 55 and 56defined by the two halves of each closure member is substantially inverted U-shaped, one substantially vertical inner edge of the recess being provided, at a position substantially half-way down the depth thereof, with an inwardly and slightly upwardly directed closure member 51, 53 respectively, while the other inner vertical edge of each said recess is formed at its base with an inwardly directed closure member 52, 54 respectively, and a notch 57 is provided in the edge of the closure member immediately above the member 52, 54 to receive the part of the strip 9 which overhangs the channel 24 with which the closure member engages.
The internal configurations of the recesses 55 and 56 correspond (see FIGURE 4) when the slider is adjusted to closure value of the separation of the closure members 51 and 52 and 53 and 54 with the external configuration of the interlocked fastener strips 8 and 9 so that the vanes 48 and 49 closely embrace the fastener strips 8 and 9 and the closure members are urged into the channels 23 and 24 when the slider is closed.
The closing of the interlocking strips may be effected by bringing a localised portion thereof into interlocking engagement as shown in FIGURE 3 or into juxtaposed side-by-side positions, adjusting the slider 25 to a release value of the closure members (see FIGURE 3 again), placing the slider over the locally interlocked or juxtaposed strip portions, operating the adjusting screw 35 so as to adjust the slider closure members to a closure value as shown in FIGURE 4 and thereafter traversing the slider along the strips to interlock them together.
After closing the fastener strips 8 and 9 in this way, the slider 25 may then be adjusted by rotation of the screw 35 to a release value of its closure members and the slider completely removed from the fastener strips and used, for example, for operating other fasteners, or placed in store. Alternatively, the slider may be left in its closed position on the interlocked strips.
To disengage the interlocking male and female fastener strips 8 and 9 from one another to open the container, digital pressure is applied to the strips in opposite inward directions near the bases thereof where they are joined to the container which they are adapted to close, this inward pressure having the effect of causing the two strips to roll about a rolling longitudinally disposed fulcrum in order first to disconnect the auxiliary interlocking rib 22 from its auxiliary groove 21 to relieve the groove 18 which receives the barbed rib 17 of restraining pressure at its upper shoulder and so to facilitate the continued rolling of the strips about the said fulcrum to disengage the barbed rib 17 from its co-operating groove 18. When the strips have been separated at one point the remaining parts thereof may readily be pulled apart by hand.
Referring now to FIGURES 6 to 9 of the drawings an alternative slider 58 comprises a body 59 in the shape of a saddle, the arms 60 and 61 of which are adapted to straddle the strips 8 and 9 when these are juxtaposed. The body is preferably formed as an injection moulding from a polyamide resin or a like synthetic material. The body has a central transverse aperture 62 into which depends a saddle-shaped part 63 carrying the closure members.
The saddle-shaped part 63 is carried in a rigid pushpull member 64 consisting of two substantially inverted U-shaped parallel plates 65 and 66 integral with and depending at right angles from the long edges of an elongated strip 67 forming a hand grip for the push-pull member. This strip 67 is of such a length as to project on either side of the body 59 and has inclined knurled lower edges 68 at its projecting parts. The dependent legs of the U-shaped plates 65 and 66 are interconnected at their lower parts by rollers 69 and 70.
The push-pull member 64 embraces the saddle-shaped member 63 which is constituted by a vane of resiliently flexible self-lubricating material such as a molybdenum disulphide-impregnated polyamide resin, which vane carries the inwardly-directed closure members 71 and 72 which are adapted to engage with the slider guide channels 23 and .24 of the fastener strips 8 and 9. The shape and configuration of the recess 73 of the vane 63 and the disposition of the closure members 71 and 72 are identical to those of vanes 48 and 49 previously described with reference to FIGURE 5.
The vane 63 is of substantially inverted U-shape and is secured to the body 59 at the former top centre by a pin 74 (see FIGURE 6) passing through a hole 75 in the upper central part of the vane. The pin 74 is secured to the under surface of the sliders body 59 under the aperture 62 by a pair of plates 76 and 77 secured by screws 73 and 79. The pin 74' and plates 76 and 77 are located in shaped recesses 8t) and 81 in the underside of the slider body (see FIGURE 6). The vane at either side of the pin 74 is provided with vertical slits 82 and 83 to enhance its flexibility. The vane 63 is formed at its upper part with outwardly directed shoulders 84 and 85 and the dependent legs of the vane are formed at their lower parts with outwardly directed feet 86 and 87. Referring now to FIGURES 8 and 9 of the drawings it will be seen that when the push-pull member 64 is pulled outwardly from the slider body the rollers 69 and 70 engage the shoulders 84 and 85 and distort the closure member vane 63 so that the closure members 71 and 72 are flexed from out of the slider guide channels 23 and 24 of the strips 8 and 9. Pushing the member 63 back in the direction of the slider body, on the other hand, will allow the flexibility of the vane 63 to return the closure members 71 and 72 into their channels while pressure of the rollers 69 and 70 on the feet 87 and 86 will urge the said members into the channels and hence urge the strips 8 and 9 into interlocking engagement. Preferably the flexible closure member or vane 63 will be in stable equilibrium in the position illustrated in FIGURE 8 and this equilibrium will not be disturbed till the rollers 69 and 7t) engage the feet 87' and 86.
The closing operation of the slider comprises locally interlocking the strips 8 and 9, adjusting the slider to a release value of the closure members as shown in FIG- URE 8, positioning the slider on the locally interlocked strips, adjusting the slider to a closure value of the closure members as shown in FIGURE 9 and then traversing the slider along the strips. The slider can then be disengaged and removed.
The slide fastener sliders described above are described in more detail and claimed in the co-pending patent application 118,410.
FIGURE 10 of the drawings shows an alternative cross section of fastener strips 8 and 9. The male strip 9 again includes at its inwardly directed surface a rib 88 of downwardly barbed or hook shape while the female strip 8 has a correspondingly shaped groove 89. The upper surface of the rib 88 has a projecting rib 90 which embeds in the wall of groove 89 in the interlocked position of the strips. Again the strips are so formed that, in their interlocked position, there is a longitudinally extending gap at their underside so that inward compressive pres sure at the bases of the interlocked strips causes them to open with a rolling action about a downwardly moving longitudinal fulcrum. The strips illustrated in FIGURE 10 are, therefore, very similar to those illustrated in FIGURE 4, only the auxiliary rib 21 and groove 22 are dispensed with. The strips of FIGURE 10' are very useful when extruded from a polyethylene, polypropylene or similar resin. As such resins are of a more resilient nature than P.V.C. no slider is required to close the strips when formed from these resins. When these latter fastener strips are employed the container itself is cou veniently made from plain polyethylene sheet.
It will be seen that in the embodiment shown in FIG- URE 10 the material which makes up the container parts 6 and 7 are laid alongside the attachment flanges and 96 of the container and heat sealed thereto, e.g., by high frequency welding.
Both types of fastener strips hereinbefore described and illustrated have the advantage that they combine resistance to transverse pulling and the transmission of moisture and moisture vapour n the one hand, with ease of opening and closing on the other. The strips can be separated .at any point for any length in contrast to known fastener. strips having the necessary resistance to transverse pulling as such strips have in past necessitated a complex opening slider permanently associated with the strips and capable only of opening in one direction so that the strips could not be locally opened.
The containers of the present invention may be provided with further access openings which are preferably closable by slidefasteners of the type hereinbefore described or of the type referred to in the patent applica tion 1,290. The container may be further secured to the pallet by cleats serving as anchorages for cords or ropes embracing the container or by nets. The upper part of the container may be stifiened by a rigid frame.
It will be appreciated that equipment stored in a container on a pallet as described above is enclosed and protected from deterioration by the atmosphere or corrosion and yet can be picked up by a fork-lift truck and transported from one place to another readily as and when required, access to the contents of the container on the pallet being readily afforded by operation of the .slide fastener.
1. A container comprising a flat rigid base comprising a. pair of substantially coextensive rigid elements, a cover of flexible and moisture resistant material, said cover comprisinga base part and an upper part, said base part being sandwiched between and extending across the entire area of said rigid elements and projecting peripherally of the same to provide an exposed open edge of said base part, said base part and said rigid elements being attached together, and said upper part having an open edge corresponding to that of said base part, and a continuously extending fastener strip attached in moisture resistant attachment along each of said open edges of the cover, each of said fastener strips being of flexible material and having longitudinally extending male and female elements adapted for moisture resistant interlocking engagement connection with said male and female elements of the other of said strips, said fastener strips being further adapted for rolling action with respect to each other for manual engagement and disengagement thereof, whereby said upper part is manually and completely separable from the base part of said cover.
2. A palletized container comprising a fork-lift type pallet, and a container removably connected to said pallet, said container comprising a flat rigid base including a pair of substantially coextensive rigid elements, a
cover of flexible and .moisture resistant material, said cover comprising .a base part and an upper part, said base part being sandwiched between and extending across the entirearea of said rigidelements and projecting peripherally ofthe same to provide anexposed open edge of saidbase part,'said base part andsaid rigid elements being attached together, and said upper part having anopen edge corresponding to'that of said base part, and a continuously extending fastener stripattached in moisture resistant attachment along each of said open edges of the cover, each of said fastener strips being of flexible material and having longitudinally extending male and female elements adapted for moisture resistant interlocking engagement connection with said male and female elements of the other of said strips, said fastener strips being further adapted forlongitndinal rolling action with respect to each other for manual engagement and disengagement thereof, whereby said'upper part is manually .of flexible and moisture resistant material, said cover comprising a base part and an upper part, said base part being sandwiched between :and extending across the entire area of saidrigid elements'and projecting peripherally of thesame to provide an exposed open edge of said base part, said base part and said rigid elements being attached together, and said upper part having an open edge corresponding to that of said base part, and a continuously extending fastener strip, attached in moisture resistant attachment along each oft said open edges of the cover, each of said fastener strips being of flexible material and adapted for moisture resistant interlocking engagement connection with the other of said strips, whereby said upper part iscompletely separable from the base part of said cover.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,436,369 Allen 'Feb. 24, 1948 2,556,418 Del Mar June 12, 1951 2,804,903 Davies Sept. 3, 1957 2,838,085 Beeler June 10, 1958 2,997,765 Marhoff-Moghadam Aug. 29, 1961