US 3323674 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
June 6, F NgST, JR
COLLAPSIBLE CONTAINER vFiled Aug. 9, 1965 INVENTOR Amal/ww@ a. /wr J?.
United States Patent 3,323,674 CLLAPSIBLE CGNTAHNER Ferdinand J. Nist, Jr., Seattle, Wash., assigner to Seattle BOX Company, Seattle, Wash. Filed Aug. 9, 1965, Ser. No. 478,366 1 Claim. (Cl. 217-42) This invention relates to a Collapsible Container and, more particularly, to a container assembled of a plurality of panels edge-secured together 'by removable clip fasteners.
This invention is particularly applicable to shipping and storage containers for liquid and pulp materials of high specific weight per unit. Atypical use is found in the transportation of fruit jui es, pulps, syrups and the like between Hawaii and the mainland of the USA. and as well during storage at either end of such a trip. Various types of storage and shipping containers have been considere-d for use in such shipments but if collapsible they appear not to be suitably strong for the purpose. Noncollapsi'ble containers appear to have been the prior solution to the problem. However, if they are to be returned and reused-*the shipper is subjected to charges for bulky non-useful containers.
This structure includes relatively thin panels of plywood which are edge joined by clip `fasteners engaged in appropriately located saw kerfs and without reliance on cleats or other panel reinforcing or ledge forming means.
An important object of this invention has been the provision of a collapsible container for heavy, dense shipments which is strong7 and rugged; which may be assembled and disassembled by relatively unskilled persons using the simplest of tools; which are capable of storing and transporting contents of a fluid or liquid nature exerting substantial expansive forces laterally as well as downward from within the container; which containers permit stacking during transportation as on a ship or overland as Well as during more qu' scent storing periods; which containers may be assembled by the use of spring-clip fasteners but without necessitating cleats on the panel edges; in which containers the plywood panels need no reinforcing beyond their inherent strength as customarily incorporated during lmanufacture in the plywood mill production; and which container is simple and easy to construct by the use of conventional woodworking techniques and equipment.
These and other objects of this invention will be understood during the course of the following description when read in connection with the accompanying drawings showing a preferred form of collapsible container.
In the drawings:
FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of a container according to this invention;
FIGURE 2 is a lperspective view ot a springy clip fastener employed in the assembly of the container;
FIGURE 3 is a fragmentary perspective view of a typical panel corner;
FIGURE 4 is a schematic View kering the Various container panels;
FIGURE 5 is a fragmentary perspective View taken as on line 5 5 of FIGURE l; and
FIGURE 6 isa fragmentary perspective view taken as on line 6-6 of FIGURE l.
It should be understood at the outset that no claim of novelty is being made as to the clip fastener of FIG- URE 2. So far as can be determined the clip of FIGURE 2 is that of the Highley US. Patent No. 3,082,897, as manufactured by or for Navan Products, Inc. a subsidiary of North American Aviation, Inc. It is commonly known on the market as a Klimp fastener. The clip l@ comprises spring wire in a continuous loop having, roughshowing means for ly, an L-shape. Legs l?. and 14 spaced parallel relation define the L-shape of the clip body. The outer ends of arms i6 and 18 are joined 'by a substantially right angular tab 22. The outer ends of legs l?. and 14 are joined by a second substantially right angular tab 20. Tabs Ztl and 22 are extended inwardly from their respective legs and arms. Thus ta'b 2t) is generally opposite to arms lo and iti and tab 22 is generally opposite to legs l2 and i4. However, the included angle A, between the respectively joined legs and arms 12, lo and 10i, .i8 are acute, preferably about 80. It will be understood that the clip fastener itl is fabricated from spring wire stock of considerable strength and springiness suitable tor rough treatment during container assembly and disassembly, and for repeated re-uses.
Referring to FiGURE l, wherein is shown a typical right rectangular container according to this invention, it will 'be seen that a bottom panel Z4 rests on the upper surfaces of edge joists 25 and intermediate joists 28. Panel 24 is desirable secured -by fasteners and/or glue to the several joists. The length of the joists accords with one lateral dimension of the container. Skid or slat members 3d are equal in length to the other lateral dimension of the container. In effect the slats 3l), the joists 26 and 28, and the bottom panel Zal comprise a structure similar to a pallet, but with one difference. Bottom panel 24 is of a single piece of plywood cut to a size that is less than that dictated by joists 26, 28 and slats 3d by two thicknesses of a similar plywood panel. Thus it will be seen that the edges of bottom 2d are inset from the sides and ends of joists 26, 28 equally about one panel thickness. The effect is a rabbettcd edge around panel 24 as may be seen in FIGURE 6.
The container includes side walls 32,
and arms 16 and ld, all in 3d and end walls 38 and cover or top panel di?. Desirably sides 32 and 3d are of the saine horizontal dimension as mating edges tot the bottom panel 24. The end walls 36 and 38 are of the dimension of the other edges of bottom 24 plus the thicknesses of the two side panels. Both the bottom edges of vthe side and end vpanels rest in the rab'betted groove surrounding the bottom panel and rise vertically therefrom. The edge portions of end panels 36, 38 overlap and cover the ends of side panels 32, 34 as shown. The dimensions of the top panel are such that it extends from faceto-face ot both the side panels and the end panels.
Preferably all panels are of plywood or the equivalent bonded by waterproof adhesive material and manufactured of top quality laminae. Maximum resistance to the choice of the panel materials.
All panels have kerfs Sil provided near their edges in suitable numbers dictated by the size of the container. For illustrative purposes all edges here shown are joined by three clip fasteners llt'. Thus each edge 0f a panel will have three kerfs.
Kerfs Sil are formed by a rotary tooth blade 52 introduced into a panel face, preferably from below as shown in FIGURE 4. The cutter 52 may be a rotary saw blade or dado critter on a shaft 54 suitably driven by power means not shown.
The kerts in the several panels are so located and arranged that they pair with similar kerfs of butting panels. Keri Se in panel 36 (see FIGURE 6) and kerf Sil in bottom panel 24- cornprise such a pair. The tabs 20 and 22 of `clip l@ are engaged in such kerf pair.
Ordinarily one tab 22 is inserted in a kerf, say kerf 58, due to acuteness of the clip angle the other tab 20 rides on the panel edgeward of the kerf 56. By means of a hammer the corner of the clip body, as formed by legs and arms joining, is struck causing the unseated tab 20 to slide across the panel and be seated in the kerf 55. The clip so seated is under tension and draws the two aaneen 3 abutting panels tightly together to securely hold them despite rugged handling, the containing of specifically heavy materials, and repeated uses.
In FIGURES 1 and 6 the joists 26 are shown as having notches 27 on the upper edges. These notches permit the engagement of the clips into kerfs Stl on the underside of bottom nanel 24.
An important advantage accrues in the instant container by the use of rigid, strong, and durable but uncleated panels in combination with the numerous clip fasteners. The panels mutually brace and reinforce each other, they have no tendency to rock or shift out of alignment, Bulging and bowing of the panels does not appear to be a problem even though the container may be filled with heavy syrupy liquids, or fluids, or pulps ol great weight. To contain such materials the interior of a nonlidded, partially assembled container is lined by a large envelope or bag of moisture impervious material. Such a bag may be formed of heavy weight polyethylene sheet material.
The bag is placed in the container before filling. Fluid goods to be contained are introduced and due to their nature they expand and fill the entire interior of the container causing the bag which usually is oversize to conform to the containers shapes. ln other words, the fluid contents assume a right rectangular conformation in which the weight is not only transmitted downward but outward in all directions. 1t can be seen that this force is transmitted against the sides and ends as well as wedgelike into the corners. The structure of the panels, the manner in which the panels are assembled, and the use of the spring clip fasteners resist the forces thus applied. The side and end panels, it will be seen, are under tension between their edges. The tabs on the clips seated in the edge kerfs securely grip the panels at the corners whereby they mutually support each other. lt has been found unnecessary to provide battens inside the container to keep panels from being pushed inward.
An appreciation of the size of a suitable container in accordance wit-h this invention will be obtained by a recitation of panel dimensions of a typical container. Bottom panel 24 was 38 X 44" X l" thick. Side panels 32 and 34 were 46" x 48 x 1 thick. The top panel 4t) was 40 X 48 X l thick. All panels were of high quality exterior grade sound plywood. The kerfs 50 were provided at locations inward of the panel edges .2S/s and were 3/s wide and approximately 11/2" long. Their depth was slightly less than the thickness of the panel. The joists 26 were 31/2 x 3-1/2" X 46" and joists 2S were 11/2 X 3`1/2 X 46". They were fabricated of a good structural grade of lumber. The slats or skids were GA X 51/2 X 40 of a type commonly used in pallets. The clip fasteners had arms 16 and 1S about 2%" long and legs 12 and .14` were approximately 3A longer to accommodate the added thickness of a panel edge traversed.
Containers such as have been described above were loaded with bulk fruit in syrup to the weight of about 3620 lbs. gross and 3405 libs. net weight and then closed by a top panel. The contents were subjected to freezing temperatures without appreciable bulging and without failure of the corner joints. They were transported overland and oversea from Hawaii to California without any loss ofthe contents or material damage to the containers, When emptied, the containers Were collapsed by disassembly and were found to be fully reusable. For return shipment the walls and top of a container are strapped to the base panel and then returned for reuse in a collapsed and compact bundle. The clip fasteners, easily removed by a wedge-action tool are likewise reusable.
It will be apparent to those skilled in the art that changes and alterations may readily be made to adapt this invention to varied uses. For example the dimensions stated may be changed to provide containers of a different module. l'leavier and thinner panel members may be adopted to accommodate different type contents. All such .iodications as fall within the spirit and scope of the invention as claimed below, giving due regard to the appropriate application of the doctrine of equivalents, is intended to be protected by patent.
A collapsible shipping and storage container comprising:
a rectangular pallet-base structure having on its upper surface a bottom container panel all the edges of which are uniformly spaced inwardly from the periphery of sa-id pallet base, said pallet base structure including edge joists on opposite side edges, said joists having notches on their upper surfaces extending beneath said bottom container panel;
a pair of like rectangular side panels standing vertically upward from said pallet base, each continguously juxtaposed at a side edge of said bottom panel, said side panels being of a length equal to the side edge of said bottom panel;
a pair of like rectangular end panels standing vertically upward from said base, each contiguously juxtaposed at an edge of said bottom panel, said end panels being of a length equal to the length of said bottom panel plus the thickness of said side panels and overlapping the same;
a top panel overlying and covering the space enclosed by said side and end panels and fully overlapping the upper edges thereof;
all said panels having uniformly spaced inwardly of all edges a plurality of elongated kerfs, each kerf eX- tending parallel to the adjacent panel edge and having a depth less than a thickness of such panel, said kerfs of each panel being arranged to pair with like kerfs of contiguous panels; and
an L-shaped clip fastener having an end tab on each leg thereof, each said tab being of less depth than the kerf depth and being disposed in a kerf and securing said panels into assembled relation, the notches of said joists register-ing with the paired kerfs of the bottom and end panels and accommodating one leg of each of the clip fasteners joining said panels; and each said side panel being secured to the contiguous edge of said bottom panel.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,010,394 8/1935 Herman 217-69 3,079,025 2/1963 Herman 2117-123 3,082,897 3/1963 Highley 217-6-9 3,217,918 11/1965 Phillips 217-69 FOREIGN PATENTS 327,953 3/1958 Switzerland.
THERON E. CONDON, Primary Examiner. RAPHAEL H. SCHWARTZ, Examiner,