US 3295902 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Jan. 3, 1967 o. s. DOUTT 3,295,902
SHELVING Filed Feb. 17, 1964 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 I NVENTOR. 04/1/53? 5? 00017 K AZW ATTOE/VEYJ Jan. 3, 1967 o. s. DOUTT 3,295,902
SHELVING Filed Feb. 17, 1964 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 FIG. 3
INVENTOR. 04/1/54 5? 00077 United States Patent The invention described herein may be manufactured and usedby or for the Government of the United States of America for governmental purposes without the payment of any royalties thereon or therefor.
The present invention relates to storage bins and, more specifically, to a multiple-unit storage bin whose walls and shelves can be assembled without need for bolts, nuts, clips or other like accessory coupling members.
Among objects of importance of the present invention are:
To provide a multiple-unit storage bin whose walls and shelves can be quickly and easily assembled without resort to accessory coupling members such as bolts, nuts, clips, and the like.
To provide a storage bin conforming to the foregoing object and further particularly adapted for shipboard use in which the self-fastening means are secure against ship board vibration and other disturbing influences.
To provide a storage bin wherein means for accomplishing the interconnection of the various walls thereof and for accomplishing the attachment of the individual shelves to the respective bin walls can be die-formed into the individual metal walls and shelves which go into the bin assembly.
To provide a rugged cabinet wherein the individual walls and elements of a stowage bin can be assembled into operative position, or disassembled, solely with the use of very simple crimping tools.
To provide a type of cabinet construction wherein the individual elements are securely locked into fixed, operative weight-supporting position.
To provide a storage facility capable of rugged usage wherein individual components can be multiplied indefinitely to provide any desired capacity.
Other objects and many of the attendant advantages of this invention will be readily appreciated as the same become better understood by reference to the following detailed description when considered in conjunction with the accompanying drawing in which:
FIG. 1 is an exploded view showing components of the cabinet in perspective;
FIGS. 2, 3 and 4 are enlarged and exploded views of detail areas A, B and C, respectively, of FIG. 1;
FIG. 5 is a section along line VV of FIG. 1; and
FIG. 6 is a section along line VIVI of FIG. 1.
Looking now to the drawing, there is seen generally in FIG. 1 a multiple-unit storage bin 11 embodying the improved wall and shelf structure of the present invention. As seen therein, storage bin 11 comprises a pair of side-by-side vertically-extending storage units designated 12 and 13, respectively. Each of the storage units 12 and 13 is provided with a series of horizontally-disposed shelves 14 the upper one of which can be used as a top if so desired. The entire storage bin 11, including its shelves and walls, is formed of sheet metal. Although FIG. 1 shows only two storage units in the multiple-unit storage bin 11, the invention contemplates any given number according to desired capacity. Storage unit 12, less its shelves 14, comprises a back wall 16, a side wall 17 and another side wall 18 which it shares in common with stor- Patented Jan. 3, 1967 age unit 13. Storage unit 13 (less its shelves), comprises a back wall 19, common side wall 18 and another side wall which is not shown.
Looking now particularly to storage unit 12 as representative of any storage unit of the multiple-unit bin of the invention, the back wall 16 is provided at each of its lateral ends with a forwardly-extending end-plate 22 which is normal to the main portion of this back wall 16. For a given back wall, each oppositely-disposed end-plate thereof will be a mirror-image of the other end plate. Each of the end-plates 22 is provided (by die-forming) with a series of spaced selectively-formed areas 23. Each of these selectively-formed areas 23, as best seen, perhaps, in the enlarged showing of FIG. 2, comprises a tongue 24, of semicircular or half-moon shape, which lies substantially in the same plane as that part of end-plate 22, which lies intermediate the selectively-formed areas 23, and an offset portion 26, which is located outwardly (that is, more toward the front of the given storage unit) away from tongue 24 and which is inwardly olfset (toward the central portion of the given storage unit) from the plane of tongue 24. This offset portion 26 is cut to form a detent flange member 27 which (like tongue 24) has a semicircular or half-moon shape whose convexity is directed in the general direction of tongue 24. When the back wall of a storage unit is connected to its respective side walls, each of the end-plates 22 carried by back wall 16 is in abutting sidewise engagement with one of the side walls and each of the selectively-formed areas 23 of a given endplate 22 matedly registers with a selectively-formed portion of the adjacent side wall to interconnect the back wall end-plate and the adjacent side wall. As shown in FIG. 5, detent flange member 27 has one position (hereinafter referred to as its preparatory or initial position) before the back-wall end-plate 22 and the adjacent side wall are interconnected and another position (hereinafter referred to as its final position) after the said connection has been made. The final position is shown in full line with the preparatory position dotted. In its preparatory or initial position detent flange member 27 is offset inwardly (toward the central portion of the given storage unit) from the plane of offset portion 26.
Turning now to the structure of a side wall which is to be connected to the back wall just described, FIG. 3 includes an enlarged view of a portion of the side wall 18 which is to interconnect with back walls 16 and 19. As previously noted, each side wall is formed with a series of spaced selectively-formed portions each of which is adapted to matedly register with one of the spaced selectively-formed areas 23 of the end-plate 22 which is to lie along the side wall in question Whenthe given back and side walls are interconnected. Looking at side wall 18 (FIGS. 1 and 3), each spaced selecitvcly-formed portion thereof is a pocket-like depression hereinafter referred to as a pocket 29. Each of these pockets 29 is formed in the sheet metal side wall 18 by forcing the wall material inwardly to form a semicircularly-shaped bulge (or depression therein depending on which side of the wall is being viewed). The bulge constitutes the semicircularly shaped pocket 29 which is enterable from the bulge-side of the wall through its slit which obviously is provided in the wall. Each pocket 29 is similarly shaped and each is adapted to accommodate in a close fit one of the end plate tongues 24 which also are all similarly shaped.
When a side Wall such as wall 17 is interconnected to a back wall such as 16, each of the tongues 24 of back wall end-plate 22 is inserted into a complementarily-located side wall pocket 29 whose opening is orientated to receive and tightly hold the tongue 2 when the respective side and back wall are in proper interconnection position with respect to one another. FIGS. 2 and 5 illustrate this particular interconnection. After each of the tongues 24 of a back wall end-plate 22 is properly inserted into mating registry with its appropriate side wall pockets 29, each of the detent flange members 27 is pressed or crimped from its preparatory or initial position to its final position (FIG. 5). In this final position each detent flange member 27 comes into abutting, endwise engagement with the lower portion of the pocket 29 (as viewed from the slit end of the given pocket 29) into which the tongue 24, which shared the given selectivelyformed area 23 with detent flange member 27, has been inserted. With the various tongues 24 inserted into their complementarily-located pockets 29 and each of the detent-flange members 27 crimped into their final positions, the given side and back walls are properly interconnected and looked together, the various detent flange members acting in concert to achieve the stated locking action.
A common wall such as side wall 18, which is shared by a pair of storage units in the bin construction, will be provided with one vertically-extending series of spaced pockets 29 on one side thereof and another such verticallyextending series of spaced pockets 29 on the other side thereof. For example, on common sidewall 18, as viewed in FIG. 1, on the left-hand side thereof there will be one vertical series of pockets 29 which will accommodate tongues 24 of back wall 16 and on the right-hand side thereof there will be such a series of pockets 29 to accommodate tongues 24 of back wall 19. Since the pockets 29 in each instance are formed by cutting an appropriately-positioned slit in the given wall and then forcing the wall sheet metal material adjacent slit 31 to form a bulge which in conjunction with slit 31 forms the appropriate pocket 29, it is clear that opposing pockets on each side of side wall 18 cannot be located at exactly the same vertical location. For this reason the vertically-disposed spaced rows of pockets 29 on each side of the given common wall, such as wall 18, are slightly staggered from one another. For respective interconnection with a given common side wall, each of the back wills which shares the common wall accordingly will also have a somewhat differently disposed set of tongues 24 (and therefore selectively-formed areas 23) which are to mate with their associated pockets 29.
In storage bin 11 the various shelves 14 thereof are interconnected to their associated bin walls by basically the same type of coupling structure that has just been defined for interconnecting the various walls of the storage bin. To accommodate each individual shelf each of the three walls (i.e. back wall and both side walls) is formed with a horizontally-disposed series of pockets 29, all of these pockets 29' being disposed at the same vertical height or in a horizontal line. These pockets 29' bulge inwardly from the main wall structure and are formed exactly as were pockets 29 described above. In fact, except for the pocket orientation and location, each pocket 29' is a twin of pocket 29. Each shelf 14 consists of a fiat central portion 21 which is to be horizontaly disposed to support items thereon when in operative position in its storage unit and three depending end-portions 32 each of which extends downwardly from the central portion 21 and is substantially normal thereto. VJhen the shelf 14 is operatively positioned within its storage unit each of the end-portions 32 will be in abutting contact with one of the three walls of the storage unit. Each of the shelf depending end-portions 32 is formed (FIG. 4) with a series of selectively-formed areas 23 which are formed exactly as are the selectively-formed areas 23 of back Wall end-plate 22, each selectively-formed area having a like tongue 24 and a like detent flange member 27, as shown in the drawing.
When the shelves 14 are connected to their associated walls (FIG. 6), each tongue 24 thereof is inserted down into an appropriately located pocket 29' located in the adjacent bin wall. After the mating of the various tongues 24' and their associated pockets 29, the detent flange members 27 are crirnped from their preparatory or initial positions to their final positions as seen in solid lines in FIG. 6. This crimping produces a secure interlock capable of resisting shipboard vibrations and the like. As also indicated in FIG. 6, where a common side wall is in use between a pair of storage units, the pockets 29' on opposite sides of the given common wall will be somewhat staggered from one another in their horizontal position Where it is desired that adjacent storage units have their shelves at the same height levels. This is for the same reason advanced above for the staggering of oppositely disposed pockets 29 formed in the common side Wall.
The foregoing description has been with reference to the particular structure illustrated. It, nevertheless will be appreciated that the use of the basic tongue and detent interconnection permits a variety of modifications. For example, special tops or bottoms can be provided if so desired. Also, the shelves can be provided with pockets on their flat portions 21 to accommodate vertical shelf partitions. Other cabinet units can be added to either side wall or the back wall. It only is necessary to determine what individual units are desired and then the same fabrication machining can be employed to form all units. When assembled, the positive interlocking action of the crimped flanges provides a tight structure that is adequately secure to safely accept heavy vibrations. Also, the interlock is equally effective both in vertical and horizontal positions.
Obviously many modifications and variations of the present invention are possible in the light of the above teachings. It is therefore to be understood that within the scope of the appended claim the invention may be practiced otherwise than as specifically described.
What is claimed is:
A coupling construction for securing together sheet metal panels for forming a multi-unit cabinet structure, comprising;
a row of spaced pockets formed on one of said panels,
end flanges formed on opposite edge portions of another panel, said flanges extending in the same direction and substantially at right angles to the plane of said other panel,
a plurality of spaced selectively-formed areas formed on both of said end flanges,
said row of pockets including pairs of adjacently-spaced pockets, one of each pair being indented in' one direction relative to the plane of the panel and the other being indented in the oposite direction whereby both sides of said pocketed panel can be secured to other panels,
said selectively-formed areas on both said end flanges being substantially equidistantly-spaced and the disposition of the areas on one of the flanges being staggered relative to the disposition of the areas on the flange of the adjacent panel for permitting each of said spaced staggered areas on either adjacent flange to be brought into coupling alignment with one or the other row of pockets of a complementary pair of oppositely-indented pockets,
said pocket disposition and spacing being arranged to accommodate said coupling alignment,
each of said selectively-formed areas having;
a tongue member insertably receivable in one of said pockets. and
a detent flange member disposed in an intial position facilitating said insertable reception and being manually shiftable from said initial position to a final position, in said final position, said detent flange member being so disposed as to be in abutting end- 5 6 Wise engagement with the exterior surface of the 2,242,263 5/ 1941 Regenhardt 18936 pocket into which its adjacent tongue member has 2,332,299 10/ 1943 Cohn 220--4 been inserted, whereby said tongue member is me- 2,828,046 3/1958 Weinman 19836 X Chamcaly locked 111 Sand pocket 3,100,460 8/1963 McElroy 108--109 5 References Cited by the Examiner I N ATENTS UNITED STATES PATENTS 18,698 3/1912 Great Britain.
1,302,882 5/1919 Terrell 108--1O9 2 1 7 775 2/1939 Miner LE ROY, Pllmm'y Examine,"
2,242,238 5/1941 Detrick 189-36 A. FRANKEL, Assistant Examiner.