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Publication numberUS3389665 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 25, 1968
Filing dateJul 6, 1966
Priority dateJul 6, 1966
Publication numberUS 3389665 A, US 3389665A, US-A-3389665, US3389665 A, US3389665A
InventorsRobert J Kauffman
Original AssigneeNarad Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Doorway void filler
US 3389665 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

June 25, 1968 R. J- KAUFF'MAN DOORWAY VOID FILLER Filed July 6, 1966 INVENTOR. 05527 .1 kaurFMA/v BY g H TTORNEYS United States Patent 3,389,665 DCQRWAY VOID FILLER Robert J. Kauffniau, Plymouth, Mich., assiguor to Narad, Ina, Wayne, Mich. Filed July 6, 1966, Ser. No. 563,131 9 Claims. (Cl. 105369) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE An expandable honeycomb structure formed of strips of corrugated paper board and positioned in a freight container doorway to fill the void between an outer door and articles of freight stacked in the container. Tab means on opposite sides of the honeycomb are fastened to the edges of the doorway and an upstanding support holds intermediate cells of the honeycomb against vertical sagging.

This invention relates to means for filling void spaces between articles packed in a mobile freight container and the door or other surface thereof to prevent shifting of the articles into that space.

By way of example, the description herein will refer to a railway freightcar as the mobile freight container although it is to be understood that the invention is applicable to other containers wherein similar problems exist.

When a railway freightcar is packed with items of freight, such as loose or palletized bagged items, cartons of products and/or drums thereof, the articles are normally packed as tightly as possible in the car, from side wall to side wall, and great care is exercised to tighten the load to prevent shifting of the containers. However, the walls of a freightcar are of substantial thickness, usually in the order of about five inches, and the conventional doors for the door openings slide along the outside of the car. Thus, when the freight items are packed in the car and even though they extend from side wall to side wall, they do not normally extend into the doorway opening, and when the car door is closed, a five inch space exists between those articles adjacent the doorway and the inner face of the car door. During transit the articles can thus shift into the void in the doorway and this loosens at least a part of the load and can cause damage to the articles of freight.

The present invention comprises a honeycomb structure adapted to be placed in and fill that void in the doorway, for example, after the articles of freight are loaded, so that when the freightcar door is closed, the articles cannot shift into the doorway opening. The device comprises a honeycomb structure formed of sheet material that can be normally stored or shipped in a collapsed condition and then expanded to whatever size is necessary to fill the doorway. The structure is arranged with the sheet material of the honeycomb cells extending in a direction from the inner face of the door to the articles of freight, in which position the device exhibits great strength and stability.

Throughout the description, reference to a honeycomb structure or a honeycomb slab will refer to the well-known arrangement wherein a plurality of sheets or strips of foldable material are assembled to form a stack with the adjacent sheets or strips secured to each other at spaced and staggered positions so that expansion of the stack will result in the formation of a multiplicity of open-ended cells defined by the sheet material and to cellular structures comprising normally straight strips of sheet material arranged edgewise in crossing relation to define rectangular cells, the strips being notched with their notches interengaging, in well known manner. Such honeycomb structures are well known in many arts and a further detailed description thereof is not deemed necessary. A preferred 3,389,665 Patented June 25, 1968 ice form of the present invention comprises such a honeycomb structure having suitable tabs secured to the edges thereof whereby the structure may be placed in a door opening and expanded to completely span the same whereupon the tabs may be secured to the walls adjacent the door opening to hold the device in position.

It is, therefore, a principal object of this invention to provide an inexpensive, easily installed and disposable doorway void filler achieving the objects suggested above.

Another object of the invention is to provide such a device having great flexibility as to size whereby it may be adapted to doorways of any width or height.

Still another object of the invention is to provide a device as set forth which is collapsible when not in use to occupy a minimum of space for storage or shipment.

Further objects and advantages will become apparent to those skilled in the art as the description proceeds with reference to the accompanying drawings wherein:

FIG. 1 is a schematic perspective view of a portion of a railway freightcar illustrating the manner of using the invention;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a filler device in collapsed form;

FIG. 3 is an enlarged fragmentary sectional view taken on the line 3-3 of FIG. 1; and

FIG. 4 is a plan view of a modified form of the invention.

Referring first to FIG. 1, numeral 2 represents a railway freightcar, commonly referred to as a boxcar having side walls 4 (only one of which is shown), a doorway 6 through at least one side wall and a slidable door 8 guided by tracks 10 for movement from the open position shown to a position overlying and closing the doorway 6. Numeral 12 indicates generally a group of freight articles packed in the interior of the car 2. Normally the articles are packed in the car as tightly as possible and are arranged to extend from side wall to side wall of the car. Those articles engaging the side walls themselves are held thereby against lateral shifting movement but those articles opposite the doorway 6 have no such support and often shift laterally into the void defined by the doorway 6. This void exists because the sidewalls 4 are of substantial thickness and the door 8 is outside the side walls. Thus, the articles 12 often shift into the void of the doorway, thus loosening the entire load and permitting the shifting articles to move laterally under the shocks of transportation, which often causes damage to the product.

As shown in example of FIG. 1, the invention comprises an expandable honeycomb slab structure 14 formed of a multiplicity of strips 16 of suitable sheet material secured together in an obvious and well known manner whereby the slab may be expanded laterally to fill the void of the doorway 6. The sheets or strips 16 are of such width as to completely fill the doorway void and so that the sheet material thereof extends from the articles 12 to the inner face of the door 8 when the latter is closed. The sheets or strips 16 may be of any suitable sheet material but are preferably of such inexpensive material as double-faced corrugated fiberboard or various combinations of linerboard of different weights, for example, 17# kraft and 26# corrugated medium, plastic, Wood kraft paper, thin metal, etc.

Tab structures comprising first tabs 18 are secured to the end strips of the honeycomb slab 14 and are provided with further tabs 20 foldably joined thereto which may be folded to overlie the face of the side wall 4 adjacent the door opening 6. The tabs 20 are secured to the side wall 4 by any suitable means such as tacks, staples, nails, pressure sensitive adhesives or the like. The tabs 20 are, of course sufficiently thin so as not to interfere with movement of the door 8 between its open and closed positions. The first tabs 18 may, if desired, be secured to a strip 16 at only one or two of the cells 19 to permit unrestricted expansion of the structure. An upstanding support member 22 is employed in the example shown, particularly where the doorway 6 is of a substantial width. The support member 22 comprises a sheet of stiff material, such as double-faced corrugated paperboard and is positioned to lie flat against the ends of the cells of the honeycomb structure. Tabs 24 (see FIG. 3) are struck inwardly from the sheet 22 and extend into cells of the honeycomb structure and those tabs are preferably adhesively secured to the strips 16 defining one side of the cell into which the tab extends. The tabs are struck from the sheet 22 and leave an opening 26 therein but are not severed from the sheet along the entire edge 28. Thus, the tabs are foldably joined to the support sheet 22. However, the upper and lower portions of the tabs are slit along the edge 28 down to fold lines 30 shown in FIG. 3 whereby the upper portions 34 of the tabs are foldable relative to the center portion along the fold lines 30. Thus, the tabs 24 may be adhesively secured throughout the entire area to a strip 16 when the latter is in flat condition and the tab will then fold to accommodate itself to the shape of the honeycomb cell when the structure is expanded. Preferably, the end tab structures 18 and 20 and the support structure 22 are initially secured to the honeycomb structure at the time of fabrication and the elements define a unitary device shown in collapsed form in FIG. 2. As is obvious, the collapsed package of FIG. 2 is of relatively small dimensions and is thus easily stored or shipped in a minimum of space. When a freightcar has been loaded, as illustrated, the device of FIG. 2 is merely positioned in the doorway and the tabs 20, shown folded against the sides of the stack, are swung or folded outwardly and moved apart to expand the honeycomb structure from the collapsed condition of FIG. 2, and until the tabs 18 are brought into engagement with the side of the door openings 6. Obviously, the dimensions of the door opening are not critical since the width thereof will merely determine the extent to which the honeycomb structure is expanded. After being thus expanded, the tabs 20 are secured to the side walls of the car and the prepositioned support structure 22 will automatically assume a position intermediate the sides of the doorway, as shown.

The support structure 22 may, if desired, be of a length to extend the full height of the honeycomb filler and the tabs 24 thereof extending into the cells support the midportion of the honeycomb structure against vertical collapse or sagging under the influence of gravity or other forces. In the event the honeycomb structure is used to fill the void of a narrow doorway, the support device 22 may be eliminated.

Other forms of support means may be employed in place of member 22. For example, the upper cars 21 of the honeycomb structure may be perforated to accom modate a horizontal rod which in turn may be supported by the sides of the doorway or by being suspended from the top of the doorway. Also, the honeycomb structure can be supported by cords or the like engaging in the openings in ears 21 and secured to the top or sides of the doorway.

While the example illustrated shows the honeycomb structure as being expanded from side to side, obviously it could be first secured to or suspended from the top of the doorway or at a transverse beam in the doorway and then expanded downwardly to the car floor.

As a further obvious alternative, the honeycomb structure could be of such size that it reaches only about halfway across the doorway and two such structures used. They would meet at the center of the doorway and suitable tab means at their meeting edges would serve not only to secure the two structures together but would also serve as a vertical support. One advantage of such an arrangement would be that the devices could be mounted at the sides of the doorway, in collapsed condi- 4 tion, before loading the car even with its mounting tabs against the inner face of the car side wall.

Clearly, the structure described will be effective to prevent lateral shifting of the articles 12 during transit. Furthermore, when the car reaches its destination and the door 8 is opened, the structure serves to retain loose articles 12 in the car and to prevent damage thereto from external sources.

FIG. 4 illustrates a further embodiment wherein a honeycomb cell structure '36 may be identical to any of those already described. The end tabs 16, 20 of FIG. 1, however, are replaced by facing sheets. A facing sheet 38 has tabs 40 folded from one edge thereof against the sides of the honeycomb structure and secured thereto to function in the same manner as the tabs 18 of FIG. 1. Intermediate the tabs 40 further tabs 42 are formed and adapted to be folded to extend in the direction shown in FIG. 4. The facing sheet 38 is provided with parallel score or fold lines 44 whereby it may be folded upon itself to occupy relatively small space. The facing sheets 44 and the tabs 42 may be folded to lie flat against a face of the collapsed honeycomb structure 36, when the latter is collapsed, and thus the entire package occupies a relatively small space. When expanded to fill a doorway, the support sheets 44 are unfolded and arranged to lie against the ends of the cells to distribute pressure throughout the honey-comb structure and assist in preventing collapse of the latter. The tabs 42 are unfolded to lie against the fa e of the car side wall and can be secured thereto to function in the manner already described in connection with tabs 20 of FIG. 1. The sheets 44 may also be provided with precut tabs 46 adapted to be folded inwardly when the structure is expanded to project into a cell of the honeycomb structure and function as a support in the manner of the support '22 previously described.

The facing sheets 38 may be of standard width, the total width thereof being approximately equal to the width of the narrowest doorway normally encountered. For doors of greater width, a further cover sheet 48 is used and which may be cut to the desired width at the time of installation. It is merely placed against the face of the honeycomb structure between the sheets 68 and one or more tabs 50, similar to tabs 46, are pushed inwardly into the cells of the honeycomb structure. Thus, the entire honeycomb slab is faced with continuous sheet material offering further support, distributing pressure over a great number of cells, and securely supporting the entire structure against sag.

The cover sheets described with reference to FIG. 4 may be used on either or both sides of the honeycomb structure.

It will be obvious that a single cover sheet may be used and secured to the expanded honeycomb structure before being positioned in the doorway. In this way the cover sheet may be placed on the inside of the filler and serve to retain grain or other granular material in the car. In such case a cover sheet may be secured to both aces of the honeycomb structure, if desired. Also, the inner cover sheet may have a bot-tom flange lying on the floor of the car so that the weight of grain or the like thereon will hold the structure against bulging outwardly.

The foregoing disclosures describe devices achieving the objectives of the invention and provide an inexpensive filler, capable of being shipped to the point of use in collapsed condition and disposable by burning or the like, after use.

While a limited number of embodiments of the invention are shown and described herein, it is to be understood that other embodiments are contemplated within the scope of the appended claims.

I claim:

'1. The combination comprising: a freight container having side walls of appreciable thickness; a plurality of discrete articles of freight in said container and arranged therein to extend substantially from side wall to side wall therein; a door opening through at least one of said side walls; a movable door closing said opening and having its inner face spaced from said articles; an expandable honeycomb structure of sheet material in the space between said articles and said door, the sheet material of said honeycomb structure extending substantially from said door to said articles to prevent movement of said articles into said space, said honeycomb structure extending across said doorway from one margin thereof to the opposite margin, and holding means secured to at least one edge of said honeycomb structure and releasably secured to said side wall adjacent said door opening to hold said structure in place in said opening.

2. The combination defined in claim 1 wherein said holding means comprises first tabs of sheet material secured to the edges of said structure and second tabs of said material foldably joined to said first tabs, said second tabs overlying a face of said side wall adjacent said opening and being removably secured thereto.

3. The combination defined in claim 1 including upstanding support means between the side edges of said door opening, said support means engaging and supporting said honeycomb structure against vertical sagging in a region between said side edges.

4. The combination defined in claim wherein said support means comprises a length of stiff sheet material lying against a face of said honeycomb structure and having tabs extending laterally from a face thereof and engaging within cells of said honeycomb structure.

5. The combination defined in claim 3 wherein said support means comprises a sheet of stiff material overlying a face of said structure and having one side edge secured to a side edge of said structure, said sheet having upstanding parallel fold lines; said sheet having tabs extending past said structure and overlying a face of said side Wall adjacent said opening and being removably secured thereto.

6. An expandable honeycomb structure comprising: a stack of strips of sheet material, the strips of said stack being secured to adjacent strips at spaced and staggered positions whereby said stack may be expanded to define a honeycomb slab; a first tab of relatively stiff sheet material secured to the outer face of each outer strip of said stack; a second tab of said relatively stiff sheet material foldable joined to an edge of said first tab and folded to lie fiat against said stack but being foldable to extend outwardly therefrom.

7. An expandable honeycomb structure 'as defined in claim 6 wherein said tabs comp-rise elongate-d strips extending substantially the full length of said stack.

6. An expandable honeycomb structure as defined in claim 6 wherein said second tab comprises a sheet of said relatively stiff material extending substantially the length of said stack and being folded upon itself along fold lines extending lengthwise of said stack; and a further tab foldably joined to said second tab and folded to lie adjacent said first tab but being foldable outwardly from said stack.

9. An expandable honeycomb structure as defined in claim 6 including a support member of relatively stiff sheet material overlying the edges of strips of said stack and having at least one tab extending laterally therefrom and between adjacent strips of said stack.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 405,025 6/ 1889 Fuller 439 1,423,303 7/1922 Brooks 105439 2,823,745 2/1958 Hill. 2,871,936 2/1959 Ott et al. 2,932,262 4/1960 Keating et al.

2,990,923 7/1961 Macias-Sarria 89 X 3,296,059 1/1967 Schwindt 52-615 X FOREIGN PATENTS 625,036 6/1949 Great Britain.

DRAYTON E. HOFFMAN, Primary Examiner.

Patent Citations
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US1423303 *Dec 3, 1921Jul 18, 1922 A cokporation
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3593671 *Oct 21, 1969Jul 20, 1971Narad IncReinforced load spacer
US3618535 *Jul 26, 1968Nov 9, 1971Narad IncSuspended load spacer
US4073452 *Jul 30, 1976Feb 14, 1978Messerschmitt-Bolkow-Blohm Gesellschaft Mit Beschrankter HaftungApparatus for delaying the pressure drop in pressurized cabins or the like especially in an emergency
US4247237 *Jun 5, 1979Jan 27, 1981Down River International, Inc.Free standing honeycomb load spacer
US4247583 *Oct 30, 1978Jan 27, 1981Roy Paul DInsulating structure with polygonal cells
US4686893 *Jun 23, 1986Aug 18, 1987Jinkins Danny RCover assembly for an air moving device
US4865889 *May 10, 1988Sep 12, 1989Down River International Inc.Void filler and method for manufacture
US5062751 *Mar 13, 1991Nov 5, 1991Shippers Paper Products CompanyEconomy void filler
U.S. Classification410/154, 160/370.1, 52/782.11, 428/116
International ClassificationB61D45/00, B65D90/00
Cooperative ClassificationB65D90/0053, B61D45/008
European ClassificationB65D90/00E4, B61D45/00F
Legal Events
May 17, 1982ASAssignment
Free format text: CHANGE OF NAME;ASSIGNOR:NARAD INC.,;REEL/FRAME:003993/0033
Effective date: 19800730