US 3216564 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Nov. 9, 1965 H. o. WOLFE, JR, ETAL 3,216,564
SHIPPING CONTAINER Filed April 10, 1963 r M w wk z n m mfiw r V 5 A wa W5 1 0 4 WM #Jw w w United States Patent Office Patented Nov. 9, 1965 3,216,564 SHIPPING (IONTAINER Homer 0. Wolfe, In, Pittsburgh, and John L. Stewart,
Apollo, Pa, assignors to Pittsburgh Plate Glass Company, Pittsburgh, Pa, a corporation of Pennsylvania Filed Apr. 10, 1963, Ser. No. 272,083 17 Claims. (Cl. 206-62) This invention relates to a container for sheet material and more particularly to a shipping container for frangible sheet material such as curved automotive Windshields.
When a plurality of curved, frangible sheets, such as glass automotive Windshields, are packaged for shipment in a box-like container for shipment by rail, truck or other commercial carrier, the individual sheets must be separated from each other to prevent marring and breakage in transit. However, to merely separate adjacent Windshields by unanchored spacing elements allows each sheet to be subjected to the load applied by preceding or succeeding sheets of the stack from forces acting on the sheets. For example, momentum forces, such as might be experienced in the transportation of a windshield package, increase with the mass of each succeeding sheet that is free to exert a force upon an adjacent sheet. As a result, a stack of sheets disposed in an upright position, where each sheet is separated from the next only by an unanchored spacing element, exerts considerable force upon the endmost sheet or sheets of the stack when the entire stack is jarred or otherwise rapidly accelerated or decelerated during shipment. It is necessary, therefore, with this type of package to limit the number of Windshields that are packaged in any one box so that the momentum force of the stack will be insufficient to cause breakage of individual sheets.
On the other hand, the desirability of using such unanchored spacing elements between adjacent sheets is well recognized, inasmuch as these elements, being subjected only to a compressive force, may be relatively thin and yet provide adequate spacing between the sheets to prevent them from being marred or broken in transit. Hence, a greater number of Windshields can be packaged in a container of a given size.
The present invention utilizes the space saving advantages of the unanchored spacer elements while at the same time dividing the total load of Windshields into separate groups in a manner that isolates the momentum forces of each group from the others. By limiting the number of Windshields in each group, the forces developed are maintained suiliciently small to prevent breakage of Windshields. The total load of Windshields is divided into groups by engaging the upper edges of a plurality of Windshields, intermediate the ends of the stack of essentially vertically disposed Windshields, with spacing elements anchored to the surrounding container. Such an arrangement prevents the momentum force of the group of Windshields of the stack on one side of the anchored spacing elements from affecting the group of Windshields on the other side of the anchored spacing elements.
Advantageously, the anchored spacing elements engage only a very small number of sheets in the stack inasmuch as they require, in a manner similar to the conventional slotted log spacing elements, considerably more space between adjacent sheets. This is because a shearing force as well as a compressive force is applied to these spacing elements and hence greater structural strength, necessitating increased thickness of the spacing elements, is required.
The present invention, as will become more evident from the further description, provides a container in which any number of Windshields may be safely packaged in contrast to known packages using unanchored spacing elements. In addition, a substantially greater number of Windshields can be safely packaged in a container of a given size than can be packaged using conventional slotted log spacers by virtue of the thinner unanchored spacing members of each divided group of Windshields. As will be readily understood, such a space savings, both in transit and during storage, is economically important.
These and other features of the invention will be apparent to one skilled in the art from the description of a preferred embodiment of the container that follows when taken in conjunction with the drawings in which similar parts are designated by the same reference numerals and in which:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the shipping container with the top removed and two sides shown in phantom;
FIG. 2 is a side elevation, partly in section and with parts removed, taken along the line 22 of FIG. 3 showing details of the unanchored spacing elements between adjacent glass sheets and the load dividing anchored spacing elements;
FIG. 3 is a partial plan view of the package showing details of the anchored and unanchored spacing elements and taken with the top removed, and
FIG. 4 is a perspectivie view showing details of a spacing element adapted to be anchored to a shipping container.
Referring now to the drawings, there is shown generally a box 12 constructed of suitable material, such as wood reinforced with a wire binding in a conventional manner. The box 12 includes a wooden base 14 and four upstanding wooden sides, two of which are shown in solid line and indicated by reference numerals 16 and 18 and two of which are shown in phantom lines and indicated by reference numerals 17 and 19. Side 16 is located at what will be called, for convenience, the front of the box. A top member (not shown) of similar construction to the base 14 is adapted to cover the box 12 after curved glass Windshields, indicated generally at 20 and shown in phantom in FIG. 1, have been placed within the box 12 and secured in a manner to be described. A base pad 22 of double-wall corrugated fibreboard covers the wooden base 14 to provide a cushion for the bottom edges of the glass Windshields. As is shown in FIG. 1, the side edges of the base pad 22 are folded over upon themselves to form a double thickness along each side of the box. Outwardly from the base pad and extending within the box 12 along the outermost edge of the base 14 along the sides of the box 12 are two base logs 24 and 26 constructed of a suitable packing material, such as corrugated fibreboard. These base logs restrain sidewise movement of the Windshields within box 12.
The curved glass Windshields are closely spaced and are oriented substantially vertically in the box 12. A general outline of a stack of curved glass sheets, indicated generally at 20, is shown in dotted lines in FIG. 1 of the drawing. The first, or endmost, sheet at the front of the box 12 is spaced from upstanding side member 16 by two tip cradles 28 and 30. Tip cradles 28 and 30 are suitably secured in place on a supporting wooden strut 32 spanning the distance across the front of box 12. Each ti-pcradle 28 and 30 is contoured in the manner shown in FIG. 1 to the approximate curvature of the concave sideof Windshields 20. In this manner, a substantial portion of the surface of the first windshield is supported against movement, and any force applied to this windshield, such as a momentum force occurring during transit, will be resisted over a large area of the windshield rather than by the extended windshield tips.
As shown more clearly in FIGS. 2 and 3, each curved windshield is separated along its bottom supported edge from the next adjacent windshield by a narrow spacing member 34 of a suitable material, such as a strip of corrugated fibreboard. The upper edges of some of the Windshields are separated by spacing members, such as U-shaped strips 36 of suitable material, such as corrugated fibreboard, placed in an inverted position over alternate Windshields and aligned in a row or rows. The U-shaped spacer members or hairpins 36 are of the same thickness as the spacer members 34 at the bottom of each windshield. The upper edges of other of the Windshields are separated by Webs 38 of blocks 40, as will be described in more detail below.
Two struts 42 and 44, shown most clearly in FIG. 1, span the width of box 12 between the front and back upstanding sides 16 and 17. The struts 42 and 44 are positioned above the glass Windshields 20 and are oriented generally transversely to the upper edges of Windshields 20. The struts 42 and 44 are secured against movement relative to the box 12 by front and back side members 16 and 17 to which each strut is suitably fastened, as with nails.
Three blocks or load separators 40a, 40b and 40c, each short with respect to the length of the strut 42, are supported by strut 42 and spaced from each other along the length of the strut. Similar blocks or load separators 40d, 40e and 40 are supported by, and spaced along, the strut 44 at distances from the front of box 12 corresponding to those of blocks 40a, b and along the strut 42 so as to engage a plurality of glass Windshields 20 at two spaced locations along the top edges. The blocks 40 include flaps 45 and 46, shown in FIG. 4, at each side that are folded about the supporting strut and fastened thereto against movement by fasteners such as staples 47.
Each block or load separator 40 is constructed with a plurality of alternate webs 38 and spaces 48 along the bottom surface for engagement with the top edges of a plurality of adjacent Windshields 20. All spaces 48 of blocks 40 are substantially equal in width and correspond generally to the thicknessof Windshields 20. The two endmost webs 38a and 38 of each block 40 are somewhat thicker than the intermediate webs 38b, 0, d and e and also thicker than the spacing elements 34 at the bottom of each windshield and the spacing elements 36 at the top edges of the Windshields. The intermediate Webs 38b, 0, d and e are substantially the same thickness as spacing elements 34 and 36.
Blocks or load separators 40 engage the top edges of an odd number of Windshields, as shown in FIGS. 2 and 3, and are positioned between groups of Windshields in which the individual Windshields are separated at their upper edges only by unanchored spacer elements, such as hairpins 36. As shown in FIG. 3, auxiliary hairpin spacing elements 360 located beside load separator blocks 40 also are placed at the top edges of Windshields 20 that are engaged by webs 38. However, as will be explained, these spacer elements 360 perform no function as long as load separator blocks 40 are engaged with the upper edges of the glass Windshields because of the greater thickness of the outermost webs 38a and 38 Hairpins 360 are provided to maintain the Windshields engaged by blocks 40 during shipping, separated from each other when blocks 40 and struts 42 and 44 are removed after the box 12 has arrived at its destination.
Upper edge spacing elements or hairpins 36 are aligned with each other and with load separating blocks 40 from one end of the stack of Windshields 20 to the other. See FIG. 3. Restraining members 50, resting on the upper edges of glass Windshields 20 and having a central opening formed by spaced, longitudinally extending, side portions 52 and 53, maintain spacing elements 36 in prearranged alignment with blocks 40. Restraining members 50 are held in both longitudinal and lateral position by virtue of the notched shape of side portions 52 and 53. They are held in contact with the upper edges of glass Windshields 20 and hence in a position to restrain sidewise movement of hairpins 36 by folded portions 50a 4 and 50b (FIG. 1) that engage a block 40 and a strut, respectively, and provide a downward force to members 50.
The last five windshield members 20 nearest side 17 are maintained in position, and hence the entire stack firmly held against tip cradles 28 and 36, at the top: edges by the last blocks 40c and 40 and at the bottom edges by two gate blocks 54 and 56. Because blocks 40 are slideable on struts 42 and 44 until secured thereto by staples 47, it is not necessary that a particular number of Windshields be packaged to prevent movement, and it is not necessary that additional spacing members be positioned between the last windshield and the backside 17 of box 12.
Tip pads 57, shown in FIG. 3, are positioned over the tips of alternate Windshields to protect the side edges from damage.
By way of example, a preferred embodiment of the present invention is of a size suitable for packaging fiftysix curved Windshields. The first fifteen Windshields are placed adjacent the front side 16 or box 12 and spaced therefrom by tip cradles 28 and 30. The upper edges of these fifteen Windshields are separated from each other by hairpin-shaped spacing members 36 supported in two rows on the upper edges of alternate Windshields beginning with the second windshield in the manner previously disclosed. The upper edges of the next five Windshields are spaced by Webs 38a, 5, c, d, e and f of the first pair of load separator blocks 40a and 40d at locations spaced across the upper edges of the Windshields. Blocks 40 and hairpins 36 are in alignment.
Hairpin spacing members 360 are supported over the first, third and fifth Windshields of the five engaged by the load separator blocks 40 in a position adjacent to blocks 40a and 40d but out of alignment with hairpin spacing members 36. Because the first web 38a and the last web 38] of blocks 40 are thicker than the legs of spacing members 360, the hairpin spacing members 360 do not serve to space the first and fifth engaged windshields of those held by blocks 40 from the immediately preceding or succeeding Windshields adjacent webs 38a and 38 With the above arrangement, forces transmitted through hairpin separated groups 'of Windshields, such as the first fifteen Windshields just described or succeeding groups, cannot bypass anchored blocks 40 and transmit a force through hairpin separating members 360. As will be evident from FIG. 3, this arrangement also prevents the existence of a shearing force upon the windshield immediately preceding and succeeding each block 40 that would otherwise be caused by the offset position of hairpins 360. Instead, only compressive forces in alignment with blocks 40 are experienced by each windshield packaged in this manner.
Immediately following the first pair of load separating blocks 40a and 40d is a second group of Windshields separated at their upper edges by hairpin-shaped spacing members 36. In this example this second group consists of thirteen Windshields, the first windshield abutting the back surface of the first pair of load separator blocks 40a and 40d and the last windshield of the group abutting the first surface of a next pair of load separator blocks 40b and 40a. The thirteen Windshields of this group are separated from each other by two rows of hairpin-shaped spacing members 36 supported over the top edges of alternate Windshields in two spaced rows aligned with struts 42 and 44 and load separator blocks 40 in the same manner as explained in connection with the first group of fifteen Windshields. The next five Windshields are positioned Within spaces 48 between Webs 38 of the second pair of load separator blocks 40b and 40a in the same manner as previously explained in connection with blocks 40:: and 40d. Another group of thirteen Windshields separated by hairpin-shaped spacing members 36 follo s the second pair of blocks 4% and 40c, and the last five windshields of the package are engaged by a third pair of blocks 40c and 40 The Windshields engaged by the second and third pairs of blocks 40 also include offset hairpin separating members 350 in the manner previously explained with the first pair of load separating blocks.
For ease of assembly, each windshield of the stack of fifty-six Windshields is individually placed on edge within box 12 with hairpin spacing members 36 and 360 in proper position separating the adjacent Windshields. For ease in packaging, the Windshields are tilted slightly toward the front side 16 of box 12. Load Separator blocks 40 are then placed in proper position on the upper edges of the appropriate Windshields. Restraining members 50 are then placed over, i.e., around, blocks 40 and hairpins 36 as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2. One member 50 is associated with blocks 40a, 1) and c, and another member is associated with blocks 40d, e and Struts 42 and 44 are placed upon blocks 46 between flaps 45 and 46. Flaps 45 and 46 are folded over the associated strut and stapled in position. The ends of the struts 42 and 44 are then nailed to front and back sidewalls of the box 12. A top or cover (not shown) is fastened to box 12 prior to shipment.
It will be understood that with this construction, forces exerted by one group of hairpin separated Windshields are interrupted by the load separator blocks 40 and transmitted along the struts 42 and 44 to the front or back sidewalls of box 12 rather than to the other Windshields in the box.
By way of illustration, it is possible to package fiftysix Windshields in the manner above described in the same span (approximately fifty-three inches) in which only forty-six of the same Windshields can be packaged utilizing the conventional slotted log separators where each sheet is engaged in slots and separated from the next sheet by webs of fixed supporting logs or elongated blocks as shown, e.g., in US. Patent No. 2,919,022.
Other embodiments and variations of the present invention will be readily apparent to those skilled in the art. For example, depending upon the number of windshields to be packaged, the number of load separating blocks may be varied. It is, of course, possible to use more than two rows of separator blocks and spacing members, and, alternatively, by making the blocks and separatirn members somewhat wider, a single centrally placed arrangement of spacing elements and load separator blocks may be utilized.
The load separator blocks 48 need not engage five Windshields, but an odd number of Windshields engaged facilitates the offset spacing members 360 for use when the load separating blocks are removed. At the same time the transmission of a force through such offset spacing elements is prevented. It will be realized that if the load separator blocks 49 become too small (i.e., engage too few Windshields), strength will be sacrificed, and if they become too large the space savings occasioned by having the majority of the Windshields spaced by narrow, unanchored spacing elements, such as hairpins 36, will be sacrificed.
The use of load separator blocks has also been found useful when smaller quantities of Windshields are packaged, and particularly where a quantity of Windshields is packaged that does not fill the container. For example, where twenty Windshields are to be packaged in a box which is sufficiently large to hold a larger number, for example thirty Windshields, the first fifteen Windshields spaced from a front wall by tip cradles may be spaced from each other by hairpin separators. The last five Windshields of the stack may then be engaged by a pair of load separator blocks supported by a pair of struts in the same manner previously described. With this arrangement the load separator blocks may be adjusted along the struts to engage the last five sheets of the stack so as to firmly hold the entire stack against the front to include a plurality of sheets laminated together.
sidewall. This provides flexibility that permits the packaging of a stack of Windshields of substantially any number without necessitating the fabrication of special spacing members to fill the voids in a box originally fabricated to contain a larger number of Windshields.
Of course, the load separator blocks engaging the endmost Windshields of a package need not engage an odd number of Windshields because every space between each web of the last pair of blocks 40 need not be filled. Therefore it is always possible to utilize an odd number of Windshields between blocks 40 to provide a proper relationship between hairpins 36 and 360 and webs 38a and 38 As used herein, windshield includes tempered sheets as well as laminated sheets, and the term sheet is intended Obviously the container of this invention could be used for sheets other than curved Windshields. Thus, the invention is not limited by the description of the preferred embodiment but only by the claims that follow.
1. A composite package including, in combination, a box having a bottom and four upstanding sides; a plurality of curved sheets of frangible material Within said box, each supported .on a lower edge so as to be disposed in a generally upstanding position and each sheet positioned in proximity to the next; spacing members adjacent the bottom of said box and between adjacent sheets to separate the lower edge of each sheet from the next adjacent sheet; means for separating the upper edges of the sheets, said means including a strut located above the sheets and extending between two opposite walls of said box transversely to the upper edges of the sheets, sheet engaging webs supported by said strut and engaging less than all of the plurality of curved sheets to position and separate the upper edges of some of said sheets, said sheet engaging webs being formed in a block secured to said strut with said block extending a distance along the strut substantially less than the length of the strut, and spacing members adjacent the upper edges of the remainder of said sheets not engaged by said webs to separate the upper edges of the remainder of said plurality of sheets and located in general alignment transversely of the upper edges of the sheets with said sheet engaging webs.
2. The package of claim 1 including a pulrality of said blocks on said strut and spaced from each other along the strut.
3. The package of claim 1 including a plurality of struts and associated sheet-engaging webs spaced from each other across the box in a direction along the length of the upper edges of the sheets.
4. The package of claim 3 wherein each strut includes a plurality of blocks attached thereto in which are formed the sheet-engaging webs and wherein the blocks attached to each strut are spaced from each other along each strut.
5. The package of claim 4 wherein there are two rows of spacing members adjacent the upper edges of said sheets and each of said two rows includes, in general alignment transversely of the upper edges of the sheets, sheet-engaging webs and unanchored sheet-spacing members.
6. The package of claim 5 wherein the unanchored, sheet-spacing members are inverted U-shaped strips supported by upper edges of alternate sheets.
7. The package of claim 6 including means to maintain alignment of the U-shaped strips.
8. The package of claim 1 wherein said spacing members located adjacent the upper edges of the remainder of said sheets are unanchored to the box.
9. The package of claim 8 including means to maintain alignment of the said unanchored spacing members located adjacent the upper edges of the remainder of said sheets.
10. The package of claim 1 wherein the spacing members adjacent the upper edges of the remainder of said plurality of sheets are inverted U-shaped strips, each resting on an upper edge of a glass sheet.
11. The package of claim 10 further including unanchored spacing members between the sheets engaged by said webs and located out of general alignment transversely of the upper edges of the sheets with said webs.
12. The package of claim 1 wherein the sheet-engaging webs supported by said strut and engaging less than all of the plurality of curved sheets engages an odd number of sheets.
13. The package of claim 12 wherein said odd number of sheets is at least five.
14. A package of frangible sheet material comprising a box structure formed of a base member and upstanding side members around the periphery of the base member, a plurality of adjacent frangible sheets within said box, at least one elongated strut that is substantially narrower than said base member and having two ends, said strut spanning the box structure from one upstanding side member to another and spaced above the base member, a block substantially shorter than said strut and secured thereto along its length and intermediate the ends of said strut, and alternate grooves and webs in said block in facing relation to said base member, less than all of said sheets having edge portions lying in separated and positioned relationship in said grooves, and at least one of said sheets lying between an end of said block and other separating means in said box.
15. A package of frangible sheet material including a rectangular box having a bottom and four upstanding sides, and a plurality of sheets within said box; the improvement which comprises a member extending across the box substantially parallel to and above the bottom thereof and located between two opposite sides of the box and secured against movement relative to said opposite sides, sheet engaging means on said member extending a distance less than the distance between said opposite sides of the box and separating and securely positioning less than all of the plurality of sheets within said box, and at least one of the remaining said sheets held between said sheet engaging means and other separating means in said box.
16. The package of claim 15 wherein the sheet engaging means includes spaced web portions extending be tween and engaging adjacent said sheets.
17. The package of claim 16 wherein the member extending across the box is located further above the bottom of the box than the web portions of the sheet engaging means on said member.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 271,827 2/83 Flynn 206-62.3 2,143,638 l/39 Weidman 206-62 2,919,022 12/59 Li-dgard 20662 2,968,395 1/61 Giebel 20662 THERON E. CONDON, Primary Examiner.