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Publication numberUS3194407 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJul 13, 1965
Filing dateDec 10, 1963
Priority dateDec 10, 1963
Publication numberUS 3194407 A, US 3194407A, US-A-3194407, US3194407 A, US3194407A
InventorsD Altrui Thomas N
Original AssigneeD Altrui Thomas N
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Convertible storage rack
US 3194407 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

y 3, 1965 T. N. DALTRUI 3,194,407

CONVERTIBLE STORAGE RACK Filed Dec. 10, 1965 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 J INVENTOR. Zaiyds MpAZtI'l/Z:

United States Patent 3,194,497 CONVERTIBLE STQRAGE RACK Thomas N. DAltrui, 685 US. Highway 1, Elizabeth, NJ.

Filed Dec. 10, 1963, Ser. No. 329,551 4 Claims. (Cl. 211-148) The invention relates in general to storage racks such as are used in warehouses, chain store stockrooms, and industrial plants to support vertical tiers of pallets, shelving, and the like, and has particular reference to storage racks of knock-down construction comprising plural sideby-side pairs of front and rear vertical posts, plural pairs of horizontal shelf beams to interconnect the respective front and rear posts at different levels, and brace members connecting the front and rear posts of each pair.

Prior to my present invention, the shelf beams of storage racks have, in most instances, been channel irons of I-shaped, L-shaped or U-shaped cross-section and therefore not suitable for the secure support of plank decking. In view of this deficiency of the prior art shelf beams, it is my primary object to devise a shelf beam of such cross-sectional configuration that plank decking of different thicknesses will be securely supported by the front and rear beams of a cooperative pair and at the same time retained against any fore-and-aft or sideways displacement.

To be more explicit, my improved shelf beam is substantially T-shaped in cross-section and comprises a lon gitudinal body portion, forming the cross-arms of the T, and a side rib portion, forming the stern of the T. This novel shelf beam is intended to be mounted fixedly upon the appropriate posts of a storage rack in a recumbent operative position, i.e. lying on one side, with the upwardly presented horizontal face of the body portion adapted to support a load, such as a pallet, and with the upwardly presented face of the rib portion adapted to support one or more decking planks. The beam may be reversed at will be inversion so as to bring the opposite faces of its body portion and rib portion into upwardly presented supporting positions. By deforming the T-shaped cross-section of thebeam in such a manner that the rib portion is closer to one load-supporting face of the body portion than the other, it becomes possible, by selective inversion of the beam, to support either a relatively thick or thin decking plank on the rib portion in flush relation to the upwardly presented load-supporting face of the body portion. In either position, the supported decking will be in edgeways abutment against the adjacent vertical limiting face of the body portion in order to restrain the said decking against horizontal fore-and-aft slipping. When the decking is composed of several side-by-side planks, the rib portions of the shelf beams may be perforated at longitudinally spaced intervals to permit insertion of vertical divider rods to divide the beam into separate decking sub-sections and to restrain the decking against sideways slipping.

Another important object of the invention is to provide a multi-purpose structural member of the T-shaped crosssectional form just described which lends itself admirably to use either as a shelf beam or as a vertical beam-supporting post, whereby front-to-rear brace members may be provided with terminal slots to embrace inwardly 0pposed rib portions of the mated front and rear posts of a pair of posts. Bolts, or equivalent fastening means, may pierce holes in the post rib portions and the end portions of the brace members to secure said posts and brace members together. In this manner, a completely demountable rack is provided.

Still further objects, advantages and features of the invention will become apparent as the following specific "ice description is read in connection with the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a front elevational view, partly broken away, of a storage rack unit composed of a cooperative set of vertical posts and supported shelf beams constructed and erected in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a vertical section taken on line 2-2 in FIG. 1, showing the selected posture of each upper shelf beam for accommodation of thin decking planks and of each lower shelf beam for thick decking planks;

FIG. 3 is a horizontal section taken on line 3-3 in FIG. 1;

FIG. 4- is a fragmentary exploded front elevational view of a post and shelf beam having modified invertible connector means;

FIG. 5 is a fragmentary longitudinal sectional view of a modified form of shelf beam composed of telescopic adjustable sections; and

FIG. 6 is a transverse section on line 66 in FIG. 5.

Referring now in detail to the drawings, wherein like reference characters designate corresponding parts in the several views, a typical knock-down storage rack unit having a minimum number of structural elements is shown. Obviously, any selected number of units may be combined in various arrangements to enlarge the rack laterally, in depth, and in height.

Each rack unit comprises a pair of side-by-side upright frames 1il-Itl and plural dernountable horizontally extending elongated shelf beams 11 interconnecting, and supported by, said frames. As indicated in FIGS. 2 and 3 each frame it is constituted by a vertical front post 12 and a mated rear post 13 connected to said front post by at least two elongated front-to-rear brace members 14-, one above the other. The shelf beams 11 are identical in construction but adapted to be employed in mated pairs with one interconnecting the front posts 12 and the other one located at the same level to interconnect the corresponding rear posts 13 of the pair of frames 1llltl of a single rack unit.

For reasons which will become more readily understandable afterward, the specific construction of shelf beams 11 Will be described before discussing the connector means engaging the opposite ends of the said beams with the supporting posts.

Each shelf beam 11 preferably is in the form of a horizontally elongated hollow shell or tube having impervious lateral walls of uniform thickness and being substantially T-shaped in cross-section. The said beam comprises a body portion 15 of rectangular cross-section, which corresponds to the cross-arms of the letter T, and a longitudinal side rib portion 16 (also rectangular in cross-section) projecting laterally from said body portion to form the stem of the T.

In fixed operative position on the supporting posts, each shelf beam 131 is arranged in recumbent position, i.e. lying on one side with the stem of the T in a horizontal plane. (See FIG. 2.) Each front shelf beam 11 will be mounted on the side-by-side front posts 12 with its rib portion 16 facing to the rear in directly opposed relation to the forwardly facing rib portion 16 of the rear shelf beam 11 that is arranged at the same height as said front beam. Due to this arrangement, the upwardly presented faces 17 of the respective ribs 16 of front shelf beam 11 and rear shelf beam 11 serve as decking-supporting faces. Similarly, the presently downwardly presented faces 17 may be used as decking-supporting faces by inverting the shelf beam.

It will be observed that the T-shape of each shelf beam is somewhat distorted. Instead of being centrally located on the side of the body portion 15 of the beam, the rib 16 is spaced at a greater distance from one of the parallel horizontal faces l818 of body portion 15 than the other. This is done.

faces 18-13 may be, termed load-supporting faces. be

cause they customarily will serve as supports for large from the comparatively light decking planks 19,;

t loads, such as loaded pallets, orfthelike, as distinguished Above and below riblportion is of each-shelf beam,

the adjacent vertical face of body portionlS serves as a limitingrface 2G for abutment by the contiguousedge of decking plank 19. In this Way, fore-andaaft displace displacement of thedeckingplanks ll9, or to divide the 1 decking at any level into side-by-side sections "for any reason, the rib portions 16 of the shelf beams may have v longitudinally spaced vertical holes 21 drilled through 1 them for insertion of verticaldivider rods 22 between any 7 selected adjacent decking, sections. Stop flanges 22a may be provided onrods 22 .to rest upon rib portion; 15." I The presently preferred means to support the respective front and'rear; shelf beams 11 'on the'mated front and rearsposts l2 and 13 of the, side-by-side frames ill-iii of-eachirack unit is disclosed in United States Patent No. 2,895,619; which issued on 'July 21', 1959,- to Donald Frazier and isnow owned'by my company. As pracfront and side Walls of the post. Each rear. post 13 is are located atthe same leveland open through boththe also provided with entrance slots 24 of similar form and thereof. In the present instance, however, the. cross:

For cooperation with the: entrance slots 24 of posts 12 i and'l3,:each end of each shelf beam 11, which correspacing which. open through the rear and" side Walls sponds to the stringer of the Frazier patent, has a flat connector plate 25 Welded thereto in such a manner that its outer; vertical edge is flush with the corresponding end i face of said beam. Each-connector plate vis vertically j wide enough to span at least'two vertically adjacent entrance slots 24-24- of either post 12 or 13.- A pairof I vertically co-planar flat tongues 26-26 are formed oneach connector plate '25 to project longitudinally outward 1 fromthe corresponding end of shelfbeam 11.3 The'vertical spacing ofrthe two tongues 26-26 of each connector plate 25 is equal to the spacing of adjacent postentrance;

slots 24-24 so that the said tongues are adapted to register with, and enter, said slots in the act of rack assembly. Engagement of the tongues 26-26 with a selected pair of entrance slots 24-24 may be accomplished by movement of a shelf beam lL'while held horizontalzat the desired 7 level, either. from front to rear or endways. Each tongue v 25' is provided with a vertical anchor slot 27 in its lower edge to embrace the lower edgeof the side Wall of. theengaged. entrance slot 24 when connector 'platef2 5is lowered for that purpose.

Referring nowinparticular to FIG. 2, it should bet.

understood readily that the; cooperative top' shelf beams 11-11 may be inverted to lower rib portionsM-lfi for the deep-seated accommodation of thick decking planks as shown being. performed: by the .bottomshelf beams 11-11, either by rotating said top beams or by turning themend-for-end about'a horizontal fore-and-aft axis. However, when any such inversion has taken place, the

' anchor slots 27 of tongues 26ewill have become-upwardly.

' presented and thereforecannot embrace the lower edges of ."mountable new storage Another way to solvethe problemii T-shaped cross-sectional structurein the: interestof; con

vertibility; Consequently, continuous T-section-structura members may 'be produced; by gextrusion" processes :and i then chopped into different lengths suitableforuseaslz eithershelf beams or posts Moreover, atlsorne {stage in jff H the manufacture of these stock structural'members, itomay be practical to drill,'pun ch, or; otherwise provide the. rib Q portions leer said niembers'with thethrougnholes '21 previously "mentioned for use in "shelf fbeams'll Lforf in stallati'oniof the proposed divider rodss2 21,-,or for-alternate tive use in posts 12" 01113 to facilitate 'attachmentlof the oppositeends of front-to-rearbrace members, 14. thereto; .By arranging theseiholes 21 at: carefully calculated inter. r vals, they may;conveniently serve both of:the suggested; purposes, and ,a1soat least one more purpose which w'illI bedescribed presently} f 1 with the rib portions 1 6 ithereof facing inwardly {toward each other. The brace-membersldftoibe used-rcpro vided .with' term'inal .slots to straddle the opposedfrib pot-'1 tions 16-16 'of=the respective mated frontand rearpostsf 12 and 13 A convenient, means for; providing the slot at each {end off'bracc .menibe'r ll is a; clevis;,3 0, which is bolted to said brace member. and to thefrib portioncof one of the posts through utilization of; a selected hole 21.

V Since, for the most effective? front+to-rear bracing of r L posts 12 and 13', it may be-desirablefto have one or;more' brace members 14 extend horizontallyand. others arranged diagonally, theitelescopicarrangementofi-respectiverelw TY V tively' slidable} outerandtinher sections, 29a and-29b may C V be employed'to permitadjustments in eifectivelengthof each bracemember ld as a wholeg To locktheisections 29a and29b iinadjusted positions, 'a boltfil carriedjbyj i outer section 2% may be engaged with one" offa seriesof uniformlyi longitudinally spaced holes in, inner section 2%. Y FIGS. 5 and 6 disclose a modified IT-section structural member intended primarily ;for use as aishelf iheam, but which is equally fsuited totpost'construction; Inzthis'instance, shelf beam 11" isdivided'le ngthwise into res'pec 1 V tive outer and innerteles'copicsectionsfllzziand'11b; To

increase ordecrease the width of a storagerack-unitgithe efiect-ive 'length of each lshelfibeam' 1-1! tfniay be adjusted ;and locked byga bolt 32-whichiis engaged with'selected j V registering holes-21 in the rib-portions of both sections- 11a and-i111), respectively. Thisg'actijon.represeiits;;the

third use of-th'e rib portion perforations." V The versatility of 'mylconvertible'and c iriplity-deapparent. V

, :While the inventionhas'been illustrated and describedn I with respect to a-few particular 'ernbodirnents rthereofgit 'i w, provideall f shelf beanis'l with the universal-typelof anchoring means shown in FIG. 4. In this-modification, each-shelf beam I '1 ll has disk-like heads 28-28,.formed,,onthe tongues 261-26 of tits. connector vplate 251;which:tongue :are 1 i a positioned, as in theFr aizier rnodel, in sil itablyispaced relation forre gistrationwithan 'adjacentfpair of entrance"; slots 24-24: ofa post 12tor 13, Due-jto this structure, the lower'edgesj'of theengaged-entrance"slots24-24 will V be embraced in anchoring-fashion between thpheadsfld- .7 28 ot tongues iZ W-ZiJ' andthe .adjacentgend'faceof connector plate 25" regardlessjof the posturewofshelf: beam]: 7 .11, i.e. Whetheras shown-inFlQI-A or inverted. I, p T As shown in FIGSQZ and 3; l have made-both theshelf beam 11 and the supp'o'rting posts l2}'andfl3fidentical in g ashqudino e e r y and modifications of the embodiments shown which do not constitute departures from the spirit of the invention and scope of the appended claims.

I claim:

1. In a warehouse storage rack the combination of:

a vertical post;

an invertible horizontal shelf beam having a crosssect-ional shape when in fixed load-supporting posit-ion substantially resembling the letter T in recumbent posture lying on one side and comprising an elongated body portion of rectangular cross-section forming the cross-arms of the T and having a pair of flat faces lying in parallel horizontal planes and adapted to be inverted selectively into upwardly presented load-supporting positions;

a longitudinal rib portion projecting at right-angles to one side of said body portion in vertically spaced relation to said load-supporting faces of the latter to form the stem of the T in a manner to provide a pair of flat faces lying in horizontal planes and adapted to be upwardly presented selectively with corresponding load-supporting faces of the upper body portion to constitute decking-supporting faces with vertical co-planar limiting faces of the body portion above and below said decking-supporting faces for edge-wise abutment by the decking;

and means provided on said port and shelf beam to support one end of the latter or the former in a selected fixed operative position;

the rib port-ion of the shelf beam being unequally spaced from the respective load-supporting faces of the body portion thereof in such a manner that decking of different thicknesses may be selectively supported by said rib portion flush with the corresponding upwardly presented load-supporting face of said body portion.

2. Apparatus for constructing a warehouse storage rack comprising:

a plurality of vertical posts;

a plurality of horizontal shelf beams;

the posts and shelf beams each being formed by first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth elongated walls;

the first and second walls lying in a common plane;

the third wall lying in a plane that is parallel with the first and second walls;

the fourth and fifth walls lying in parallel planes that are perpendicular to the first, second and third walls and forming therewith an elongated body having a substantially rectangular cross section;

the sixth and seventh walls extending perpendicularly from the first and second walls in a direction away from the third wall;

the eighth wall interconnecting the sixth and seventh walls to form therewith a rib which extends from the rectangular body formed by the other walls;

the ends of the horizontal shelf beams being adapted to be demountably connected to the vertical posts to selectively upwardly present either the sixth or seventh walls of the shelf beam rib;

the first and second Walls of the posts and shelf beams being of unequal Width whereby oppositely disposed shelf beams may selectively support therebetween decking of a thickness equal to the widths of either the first or second walls such that the decking is flush with either the upwardly presented fourth or fifth walls of the shelf beam-s;

a plurality of apertures extending through the ribs of the vertical posts;

a plurality of braces each having clevises on the ends thereof;

each clcvis being adapted to be bolted to the rib of a vertical post by a bolt extending through a rib aperture and a clevis.

3. The apparatus of claim 2 wherein:

the ribs of both the shelf beams and the vertical posts have a plurality of apertures therethrough;

and means comprising a plurality of dividing rods adapted to be inserted into the shelf beam rib apertures for abutting against the decking that extends between oppositely disposed shelf beams to limit extraneous movement thereof.

4. The apparatus of claim 3 wherein:

the cross-sectional dimensions of the vertical posts and the shelf beams are substantially identical;

and further comprising additional sections of the same cross-sectional shape as the vertical posts and shelf beams, but having outside dimensions that are substantially equal to the inside dimensions of the vertical posts and shelf beams, whereby the additional sections may telescope into the shelf beams or vertical posts to extend the eifective length thereof and may be maintained at any of a plurality of locations by a bolt extending through a rib aperture of the additional section which registers with a rib aperture of the vertical post or shelf beam.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,200,303 10/16 Bowers 248-244 1,554,011 9/25 Lehman 108-107 2,895,619 7/59 Frazier 211-176 2,909,400 10/59 Johnston 248-172 2,918,176 12/59 Bell et al. 211-176 3,018,862 1/ 62 Litteral et a1. 189-37 3,052,008 9/ 62 Bowden et al 25-131.5

FOREIGN PATENTS 166,059 10/ 54 Australia.

CLAUDE A. LE ROY, Primary Examiner. FRANK L. ABBOTT, Examiner.

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3300170 *Apr 26, 1965Jan 24, 1967Charles RaffaShelf construction with adjustable bracket
US3318462 *May 24, 1965May 9, 1967Andrew SpieglKnockdown modular rack
US3475044 *Jan 16, 1968Oct 28, 1969Speedrack IncColumn structure
US3485381 *Feb 28, 1968Dec 23, 1969Streater Ind IncDisplay rack
US3523613 *Jan 16, 1968Aug 11, 1970Speedrack IncStorage rack
US3534517 *Jun 3, 1968Oct 20, 1970Hoover Ball & Bearing CoStructural support arrangement and method of assembling
US4142638 *May 31, 1977Mar 6, 1979Husky Storage Systems, Inc.Prefabricated storage shelves
US4372224 *Feb 7, 1980Feb 8, 1983Gary J. KnostmanKnockdown furniture construction
US4643319 *Dec 10, 1984Feb 17, 1987Rittal-Werk Rudolf Loh Gmbh & Co. KgFramework for a switchboard cabinet
US6739463May 24, 2002May 25, 2004L&P Property Management CompanyModular rack conversion apparatus and method
US6978906Apr 14, 2004Dec 27, 2005L&P Property Management CompanyModular rack conversion apparatus and method
US7641063Dec 5, 2005Jan 5, 2010L&P Property Management CompanyModular rack conversion apparatus and method
US8172098 *May 6, 2009May 8, 2012Rapid Rack Industries, Inc.Modular rack assembly
US20110278251 *May 14, 2010Nov 17, 2011Smith Scott CApparatus for a Pallet Rack
EP2208673A1 *Jan 12, 2010Jul 21, 2010SSB Strapping Systeme Bayreuth GmbHMachine housing and strapping machine with same
U.S. Classification211/191, 248/243, 108/106
International ClassificationA47B47/00, A47B47/03, A47B45/00
Cooperative ClassificationA47B45/00, A47B47/03
European ClassificationA47B47/03, A47B45/00