US 3266635 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
KMOCQNNELL ccwrrrzozJ :ma Fon.1 xFFsENT Tmcmmss MATERIAL oF UPRIGHTS mea sept. '9. 1954 w, Hi.,
United States Patent() Y 3,266,635 CONTROL RIB FOR DIFFERENT THICKNESS MATERIAL F UPRIGHTS Kennedy McConnell, Riverdale, Ill., assigner to Interlake Steel Corporation, a corporation of New York Filed Sept. 9, 1964, Ser. No. 395,209 V Claims. (Cl. 211-148) Pallet rack structures, as conventionally provided, are made up from upright components that come in a range of wall thickness sizes depending on required strength and from beam components that come in a. variety of 4wal-l thickness sizes and cross sectional contours depending again on required strength and on the needs of a particular installation. A supporting connection between a corresponding beam and upright is effected by providing vertical end plates in fixed position upon the beam to ma-ke Contact with the upright along two different planes. Each end plate yusually has a pair of fixedly mounted flanged lug-s or attachment posts projecting from a common face thereof for concurrent reception and confinement in a corresponding pair of mounting openings provided in the upright.
An important feature in a pallet rack structure is free interchangeability of the various upright and beam components. This must be achieved without sacrificing ease and lspeed of assembly and ydisassembly and without sacrificing rigidity of the completed assembly and stability of the completed assembly against accidential disassembly.
Accordingly, the principal object of the invention is the provision of a tight releaseable joint connection arrangement between any selected beam and upright components.
Another object of the invent-ion is the provision of an upright construction applicable to a series of uprights of various wall thickness sizes wherein the attachment wall lof the upright is provided with an outwardly offset portion at a region adjacent its mounting openings to achieve a resultant overall maximum wall thickness contour that conforms to a pre-established uniform distance irrespective of dilierences in original wall thickness.
A further object ofthe invention is the provision of such an outwardly offset portion in the attachment wall of the upright by forming a groove in the rear of the attachment wall to a width several times greater than its depth and with the depth being inversely related to the original wall thickness.
Still another object of the invention is the provision of a manufacturing method for insuring tight connection between interchangeable component pallet rack components where such components are selected from a range of wall thickness sizes.
Other objects and advantages of the invention should be apparent upon reference to the accompanying drawings in which:
FIG. l shows a perspective View of a partially out away pallet rack structure embodying the features of this invention;
FIG. 2 is a vertical sectional view through an upright and illustrates a connection joint of a beam end plate that is supportedly mounted to the upright; and
FIG. 3 shows a face view of a portion of the front wall of an upright constructed in accordance with this invention.
As viewed in FIG. l, a typical support structure o1' pallet rack 1 consists of a pair of ladder-shaped upright frames 2 and 3 spaced apart from each other and joined together by means of horizontal beams 4, 5, 6, and 7. These beams are joined at their ends to the upright frames 2 and 3 in a manner hereinafter described. The upright frame 2 is also joined to the ends of other horizontal beams 8, 9, 10, and y1t1 which, although not shown, extend to an additional spaced upright frame similar to frames 3,266,635 Patented August 16, 1966 2 and 3. In this manner the entire pallet rack 1 can be made any length required. Just as the beams 8, 9, 10 and 11 extend from the frame 2, other beams can extend in the opposite direction from the frame 3 so that the pallet rack can be extended in length in either direction.
Each of the upright frames 2 and 3 consist of a front upright 12 and a rear upright 13 joined together by horizontal front to back members 14 and 15 and diagonal braces 16 and 17. Naturally the lengths of the members 14, 115, 11,6 and 17 can be appropriately cut to space the uprights 12 and 13 as far apart as necessary to. provide the proper span bet-Ween the front beams 4 and S and the rear beams 6 and 7. Also, the uprights 12 and 13 can be made as tall as necessary in order to accommodate the required vertical spacing of the horizontal beams, as well as to permit positioning of as many vertically spaced beams as desired. Also, additional members similar to 14, 15, 16 and 17 can be added to provide sufiicient rigidity and strength.
With the structure as shown in FIG. l, the beams 5 and 6 provide a span across which pallets or other articles can span so that the bea-ms act as their support at an upper level. Similarly, the beams 4 and 7 provide a spanned support for pallets or other objects a-t a lower level. A pallet 18 is shown supported by the beams 4 and 7 and also a board 19. If continuous shelving is required so that objects will not fall through the spanned opening between the beams, a plurality of boards 19 can be positioned side by side along the beams to provide a continuous uninterrupted support for various shapes and sizes of objects.
The front to back members 14 and 15 and diagonal braces 16 and 17 are preferably welded at their ends to the uprights 12 and 13 in order to provide the completed ladder-shaped upright frames 2 and 3. This enables the frames 2 and 3 to be shipped as integral units, thus saving erection time and also insuring a rigid structure which might not be obtained if nuts andbolts or other fastening means are used to secure these members together.
Each of the uprights 12 and 13 are provided with two 'rows of first mounting openings 20 extending along the entire length of the front walls 21 of the uprights. The openings 20 are equally spaced from each other by a fixed increment. Each of the uprirghts 12 and 1'3 may also be provided with a row of equally spaced openings 22 along opposite side walls 23 and 24 of t-he uprights though these openings 2-2 are not utilized in the invention as disclosed herein. These side walls 23 and 24 are positioned parallel to each other and are connected therebetween by the front wall 2|1 which forms the upright into a channel shape. The side walls 23 and 24 are provided with flanges 25 and 26 which extend toward each other in a plane parallel to the front wall 21 of the upright. The flanges 25 and 26, the side walls 23 and 2'4 and t-he front wal-l 21 together provide a flanged channel-shaped upright with four rounded corners 27, 28, 29 and 30 which impart column strength and rigidity to the uprights.
Even though different number designations have been given to the horizontal lbeams, they are all identical in structure and can -be used interchangeably as front or back beams by merely rot-ating them end to end in a horizontal plane.
Each beam m-ay comprise a tube 31 (FIG. 2) welded at each of its ends to one wall 34 of a corresponding L-s-haped end plate 35. The other wa'll 36 of the end plate 35 is provided with two inwardly extending att-achment lugs 37 for concurrent reception and confinement in a pair of the mount-ing openings 20. Each lug 37 has a shank 37S and an enlarged head 37H.
In order to assemble a horizontal beam to an upright 12 or 13, the beam is oriented horizont-ally and each of its L-'shaped end plates 35 is brought to bear against ice the front wall 211 and a side wall 23 or 24 of the upright. In order to do this, the lugs 37 on the end plate 35 are aligned to pass through the mounting openings 2i) in the upright. These openings are preferably generally keyhole shaped, having an enlarged circular upper release region 20A intersecting a narrow elongated lower retainer region 20B which preferably is slightly canted toward the center of the upright. Having two rows of these holes 20, the efect is that these elongated retainer regions 20B are canted or sloped toward each other. Also, a hole 20 in one row is positioned immediately opposite a hole 20 in the adjacent row. Since there is equal spacing vbetween a-ll of the mounting openings 2i), each is positioned with another immediately adjacent to it late-rally.
The enlarged circular release region 20A is of a diameter larger than the dia-meter of the circular head 37H of the lug 37 so that the lug 37 can freely fit through it. The shank 37S of the lug is slightly smaller than the width of the elongated retainer region 20B so that the lug can be dropped down into the retainer region 20B after its head has been passed through the circular release region 20A. Because of the particular dimensions of the end plate 65 and the position of the lugs 37 carried thereon, as the lugs of the end plate slide down the incl-ine of the elongated release regions 20B of the mounting openings 20, the wall 34 of the end plate is vbrought tobear tightly against a side lWall of the upright. These lugs 37 therefore provide bearing support for the horizontal beam along the plane of the front wall 211 of the up-rig-ht 13. By drawing the wall 34 of the end plate 35 snugly against the side wall 23, this provides a fairly rigid connection between the horizontal ybeam 6 and the upright beam 13.
There remains however the possi-bility of a loose tit as between the end plate wall 36, the attachment wall Z1 of the upright and the lugs 37 which are rigidly carried on the w-all 36 to engage behind the attachment wall 2'1 and establish a supporting connection of the beam of the upright. A loose fit of this supporting connection would allow objectionable side sway of the horizontal beam. In the pallet rack art, the uprights come in a variety of rwall thicknesses and are to -be useable interchangeably with various beam components, thus aggravating the problem of eliminating loose fits at this supporting connection.
This invention contemplates.standardizing certain relationships to eliminate any varian-ts in the supporting connection. Accordingly, each -beam terminates in an end plate 35 having its vertical mounting plate wall 36 standardized in thickness and equipped with attachment lugs 37 that have an exposed shank portion of standardized length dimension as indicated at D in FIG. 2. This standardization results in uniformity of end plates and posts but it can achieve a tight fit only with uprights having an attachment wall of thickness D.
An important feature of this invention is the provision of a spacing control rib in the f-orm of an offset portion 21'P extending vertically at the mid-'width region of the attachment wall 2-1. This offset portion 21'P is provided at a loca-tion which is normally to be contacte-d by the end plate wall 36. Sin-ce the upright must be capable of receiving beams at each side wall, in which case end plate walls 36 would be located to overlie both sets of vertically spaced mounting openings, a single centrally llocated control rib ot appreciable width can effectively engage .both sets of end plate walls for regulating the space `between the end plates and the wall2i1.
To provide the cont-rol riib, a groove G that is several times wider than deep is formed in the rear face of the wall 21. This is a convenient metal forming operation and it adds to the column strength of the upright. The depth ofthe groove is selected to provide a maximum overall thickness conto-ur for the wall 21 that is substantially equal to the dimension D. This maximum overall thickness contour is determined as the distance from the plane of the front face of the offset lrib portion 21P to the plane of the rear tace of the main portion of the wall 21.
It should be noted that the dimension D for the exposed shank must be selected to correspond to the wall thickness of the largest size upright to be used in an interchangeable component construction. Uprights of less wall thickness are then provided with grooves to a depth that is inversely related to the original wall thickness in a proportion to achieve a maximum overall thickness contour that is identical for uprights of all sizes of wal-l thickness.
The control rib 2J1P acts to provide tightness, as described, by its thickness alone lling the space dimensioned D, but it also increases the tightness of an end wall 34 against either side wall 2,3 or 24 of the upright 12. This occurs lbecause the control r-ib 21P urges the end plates 35 in a rotational manner to increase the pressure of the walls 34 against the side Wal-ls 23 and 24 of the upright 12. Where a beam 31 is connected in cantilever at one end only, this action i-s especially benecial.
It is important to provide an additional locking arrangement to prevent disassembly of the beam 6 from the upright. Accidental disassembly of a beam from an upright can occur when a Worker is manipulating a fork lift truck for arranging pallet loads on the pallet rack structure. It is conceivable that the forks of the lift truck might accidentally be positioned beneath one of the beams whereupon sudden operation of the forks of the truck in an upward direction could disasssemble a beam if it were retained only by the action of the lugs 37.
A spring clip lock element as shown at 41 in FIG, 1 serves to prevent accidental disassembly. The lock element is disclosed and claimed in another application entitled Pallet Rack, Serial No. 395,135, tiled September 9, 1964, the disclosure of which is specically incorporated herein by reference. The tightness of t achieved by the control rib 21P of this present disclosure also complements the action of the lock element 41. Moreover, this sidewise variation in the position of the end plate wall 34, as results due to the various groove depths herein contemplated, is completely compatible with the action of the lock element which mounts on the end plate wall 36 and includes a lock stud (not shown) that projects into one of the mounting openings 20 to limit vertical movement of the end plate with respect to the beam. The relationship of the lock stud to the mounting opening 20 also becomes uniform because of lthe standardized relationships that are provided by the controlled spacing given to the control rib 2013.
Thus, While preferred constructional features of the invention are embodied in the structure illustrated herein, it is to be understood that changes and variations may be made by those skilled in the art without departing from the spirit and sc-ope of the appended claims.
What is claimed is:
1. A substantially tight releasable joint between a generally planar upright wall and a vertical L-shaped mounting plate supported from said upright and comprising a keyhole-shaped mounting opening in one portion of said upright wall, an attachment lug rigid with and projecting from said mounting plate and having an exposed shank of a prescribed standardized length and an enlarged head enterable through said opening to engage lbehind said upright wall, and an outwardly olfset rib provided along said upright wall at a location removed from said keyhole-shaped mounting opening to engage snug against said mounting plate and space said one portion of said upright wall containing the keyholeshaped mounting opening a distance from the mounting plate sullicient to maintain said head snugly confined behind and against said upright wall.
2. In combination an upright and a mounting plate equipped with an attachment post having an exposed aser-5,635
shank terminating in an enlarged head, said upright comprising a vertical attachment wall provided with a plurality of vertically spaced keyhole-shaped mounting openings, each receiving and confining said head, said wall being generally planar and having a vertically elongated portion offset outwardly a prescribed distance related to the actual wall thickness to establish a total overall thickness of said wall plus the offset substantially equal to the length of the exposed shank.
3. In combination an upright and a mounting plate equipped with an attachment post having an exposed shank terminating in an enlarged head, said upright comprising a vertical attachment wall provided with a plurality of vertically spaced keyhole-shaped mounting openings, each receiving and confining said head, said wall being generally planar and having a vertically elongated portion offset outwardly a prescribed distance that is inversely related to the actual wall thickness to establish a total overall thickness of said wall plus the prescribed distance substantially equal to the length of the exposed shank.
4. In a combination of an upright having a vertical attachment wall provided with a keyhole-shaped wall opening, a horizontal beam having a fixed vertical mounting plate facing a portion of said attachment wall and provided with an attachment lug comprising an exposed shank portion and an enlarged head portion for reception and conned engagement against a rear face portion of said Vertical wall bordering said wall opening, and locking means for limiting vertical movement of said beam relative to said upright, the improvement wherein said attachment lug has an exposed shank of standardized predetermined length and said attachment wall has a ribbed cross sectional contour at a location along said first-named portion and presenting an outwardly offset front face region spaced in plane to plane relation from said rear face portion a distance substantially corresponding to said predetermined length to enable tight engagement between said post, said upright and said beam.
5. In a combination of an upright having a vertical attachment wall provided with a keyhole-shaped wall opening, a horizontal beam having a fixed vertical mounting plate facing a portion of said attachment wall and provided with an attachment lug compirsing an exposed shank portion and an enlarged head portion for reception and confined engagement against a rear face portion of said vertical wall bordering said wall opening, and locking means for limiting vertical movement of said beam relative to said upright, the improvement wherein said attachment lug has an exposed shank of standardized vpredetermined length and said attachment wall has a vertically elongated por-tion at a location within said firstnamed portion and offset outwardly a prescribed distance that is inversely related to the actual wall thickness of said attachment wall to establish a maximum overall thickness c-ontour for said attachment wall substantially corresponding to said predetermined length to enable tight engagement between said upright and said beam.
References Cited by the Examiner CLAUDE A. LE ROY, Primary Examiner.
W. D. LOULAN, Assistant Examiner.