Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.

Patents

  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS3401814 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 17, 1968
Filing dateMar 7, 1967
Priority dateMar 7, 1967
Publication numberUS 3401814 A, US 3401814A, US-A-3401814, US3401814 A, US3401814A
InventorsMichael Lombardi, Patrick Chiswell Alfred
Original AssigneeCollapsible Container Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Collapsible shipping container
US 3401814 A
Images(7)
Previous page
Next page
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

P 1968 A. P. CHISWELL ETAL- COLLAPSIBLE SHIPPING CONTAINER 7 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed March 7. 1967 INVENTORS AL FRED PATRICK CHISWELL MICHAEL LOMBARDI A. P. CHISWELL ETAL 3,401,814

COLLAPSIBLE SHIPPING CONTAINER 1967 7 Sheets-Sheet 2 ATTORNEY.

Sept. 17, 1968 Filed March 7,

ALFRED PATRICK CHISWELL MICHAEL LOMBARDI '7 Sheets-Sheet 5 INVENTORS -mgw I ATTORNEY.

A. P. CHISWELL. ETAL.

COLLAPSIBLE SHIPPING CONTAINER 1/ FIG. 5.

Sept. 17, 1968 Filed March 7,

P 1968 A. P. CHISWELL ETAL 3,401,814

COLLAPSIBLE SHIPPING CONTAINER 7 Sheets-Sheet 4 Filed March 7, 1967 INVENTORS ALFRED PAT RICK CHISWELL MICHAEL LOMBARDI BY ATTORNEY.

sept- 1968 A. P. CHISWELL ETAL 3,401,814

COLLAPSIBLE SHIPPING CONTAINER '7 Sheets-Sheet 5 Filed March 7, 1967 In; m 9 OI ALFRED PATRICK CHISWELL Sept. 17, 1968 Filed March 7, 1967 A. P. CHISWELL. ETAL 3,401,814

COLLAPS IBLE SHIPPING CONTAINER 7 Sheets-Sheet '7 1 //fl ///"Y'/// I 4 7a.; p'gzL ....:::.::::ziummunm.

w 1 1' FIG. 17 I H 2 7Q 76 FIG. I8 g 77 7d l :1: 7L 1 :l 2 i l CL S "l: y)"

INVENTORS I ALFRED PATRICK CHISWELL "a": MICHAEL LOMBARDI United States Patent 3,401,814 COLLAPSIBLE SHHPING CONTAINER Alfred Patrick Chiswell, Brooklyn, N.Y., and Michael Lombardi, Jackson, N.J., assignors to Collapsible Container Corp., Newark, N.J., a corporation of New Jersey Filed Mar. 7, 1967, Ser. No. 621,261 15 Claims. (Cl. 220-4) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A collapsible shipping container having a base frame supporting a decking panel, which inturn releasably supports elongated corner posts positioned complementally to limited vertically extending peripheral corner walls of the base frame. The base frame includes channels for supporting side panels which abut flange members of the corner posts and which are detachably connected thereto, and which together support in complementary releasable engagement a roof frame having limited downwardly extending walls forming .a roof channel. A door panel completes the assembly and is locked from the outside. When collapsed, the base frame and the roof frame complementally engage, defining a reduced space therebetween, in which the corner posts and panels are disposed.

The present invention relates to shipping containers in general, and to collapsible shipping containers, in particular.

Collapsible shipping containers are known which have a predetermined volume capacity to receive products for shipment therein, and which are adapted to be dissambled and collapsed to a substantially reduced volume capacity for return shipment.

It is one object of the present invention to provide an improved collapsible shipping container which may be made of larger size and for carrying heavier loads, than heretofore, and providing an exceptionally high weight to volume strength ratio.

It is another object of the present invention to provide a collapsible shipping container which is preferably at least partly extrusion formed and uniquely adapted to provide exceptional advantages of durability, rapid assembly, and disassembly, interchangeable parts, lightweight, and heavy load capacity.

It is still another object of the present invention to provide a collapsible shipping container comprising a base frame and a roof frame having limited vertically extending peripheral walls, respectively, defining a vertical base channel and a vertical roof channel, respectively, for engaging therein the tops and bottoms of abutting panels and corner posts. Locking means are provided for engaging the corner posts to the base, the corner posts to the panels, and the corner posts to the roof frame, respectively. When the container is detached the peripheral walls of the base and roof frame, respectively, complementarily engage each other, defining a substantially reduced container cavity therebetween in which the panels and corner posts may be disposed for return shipment or storage. A decking panel of matrix construction may be advantageously secured to the base frame for supporting heavy loads, and the unit is adapted for aluminum extrusion manufacture and provides rigid construction and assembly and interchangeable parts.

With these and other objects in view which will become apparent in the following detailed description, the present invention will be clearly understood in connection with the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIGURE 1 is an exploded perspective view of a collapsible shipping container, designed in accordance with 3,401,814 Patented Sept. 17, 1968 the present invention, with one side panel omitted for purposes of clarity;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the shipping container of FIG. 1 in complete assembled position for shipping products therein;

FIG. 3 is a section along the lines 3-3 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a section along the lines 44 of FIG. 3;

FIG. 5 is a top plan view of the base frame of the shipping container;

FIG. 6 is a top plan view of the roof frame of the shipping container of the present invention, with the covering sheet removed for better illustration;

FIG. 7 is a section of the assembled shipping container with the door panel, and roof frame removed for clarity of explanation, along the lines 4-4 of FIG. 2;

FIG. 8 is an enlarged fragmentary perspective view of the corner of the roof frame showing a lifting lug welded thereto;

FIG. 9 is a front elevation of a front member of the base frame of the shipping container;-

FIG. 10 is a section along the lines 10-10 of FIG. 9;

FIG. 11 is a side elevation of a side member of the base frame of the shipping container;

FIG. 12 is a section along the lines 12-12 of FIG. 11;

FIG. 13 is an elevation of a corner post illustrated horizontally;

FIG. 14 is a section along the lines 14-14 of FIG. 13;

FIG. 15 is a sectional view of the shipping container of FIG. 1 in collapsed position;

FIG. 16 is a front elevation of a plurality of shipping containers in collapsed and stacked position;

FIG. 17 is an enlarged fragmentary, sectional view of one-half of the shipping container in assembled position, taken along the lines 17-17 of FIG. 3;

FIG. 18 is a fragmentary section along the lines of FIG. 17;

FIG. 19 is .a fragmentary section along the lines 19-19 of FIG. 17, showing the upper locking assembly with root frame not in position; and

FIG. 20 is a fragmentary section 20-20 of FIG. 17.

Referring now to the drawings, and in particular to FIG. 1 through 14, the shipping container, designed in accordance with the present invention, comprises a base frame 1 supporting .a decking panel 2, preferably welded thereto, which in turn supports four corner posts 3, releasably connected to the decking panel 2. The base frame 1 is formed of side and rear members 1b (hereinafter both being referred to as side members since they are identical in construction except as to size) and which include horizontally extending vertical channels 4 for supporting therein side and rear panels 5 (hereinafter both being referred to as taken along the lines side panels since they are identical) which together with the corner posts 3 support thereon is releasable engagement a roof panel 6. A locking assembly 7 is provided for releasably locking the corner posts 3 to the decking panel 2; a locking assembly 8 is provided for connecting releasably the side panels 5 to the adjacent corner posts 3; and a locking assembly 9 is provided for connecting the roof panel 6 to the corner posts 3. A door panel 10 containing external locking assembly 11 completes the unit and releasably connects to adjoining corner posts 3. The locked and assembled shipping container is shown in FIG. 2. All lock assemblies, except for the door panel lock assembly 11, are provided inside the shipping container thereby minimizing exposure of locks.

The side panels 5 are received in the vertical channels 4 which may be integral with the side member 11), as shown in the drawings, or which may comprise pins or a wall disposed on the decking panel (not shown), or the like.

The base frame 1 is preferably formed of aluminum extrusions constituting three substantially identical members 1b, as shown in FIGS. 5, 11 and 12. Each member is extruded with a support ledge 1a which is cut at mitered or corner ends 1c and welded thereat together (FIG. 5 The side members lb are also extruded with vertical outer peripheral walls 4a terminating in terminal ends 13 at the corner ends 1c of the members 1b and thereat Welded to adjacent terminal ends 13. The side members 1b also include vertical inner peripheral walls 4b spaced from the outer peripheral walls 411, which walls 4b vertically terminate at an upper edge 23 which is lower than the upper edge 22 of the outer peripheral walls 4a. A horizontal floor 40 extends from the lower end of the inner peripheral wall 4b and connects to the outer peripheral wall 4a, therewith forming the channel 4, for supporting therein the side panels 5.

The support ledge 1a is extruded integral to and extends inwardly from the bottom of the outer peripheral wall 4a,

terminating somewhat further inward than the inner peripheral wall 4b of the vertical channel 4, and is spaced below the floor 4c of the vertical channel 4, forming therebetween chanel 12 about the inner periphery of the base frame 1.

As shown in FIGS. 3 and 4 the decking panel 2 is complementary to and disposed in the channel 12 on the support ledge 1a and snugly abuts the bottom of the floor 40. With this channel construction, maximum carrying capacity is achieved in cooperation with the decking panel 2 which is preferably formed of hollow fortifications constituting a matrix formation 2a which is welded to the outer edges of the support ledge 1a and the floor 40, respectively. The decking panel 2 may also advantageously be used in upside-down position (not shown) as the matrix is closely spaced and provides excellent support in both positions in the channel 12.

Legs 14 depend vertically downwardly from the lowermost end of the outer wall 4a and include horizontal leg portions 14a at the bottom. As shown in FIG. 11 the legs 14 have inclined edges 14b forming an angle of about 30 with the vertical, for strength, and are formed at each corner of the unit, and centrally intermediate the corners, to provide sufficient support for the unit.

Referring now again to the drawings, and more particularly to FIG. 5, the vertical channel 4, constituting the outer peripheral wall 4a, inner peripheral wall 4b and floor 4c therebetween, is open at the top and at lateral ends 4d thereof; and the inner peripheral wall 4b and the floor 4c terminate laterally thereat adjacent to but spaced from the corner ends 1c of the side members 1b of the base frame 1. In this manner a corner space is provided between adjacent lateral ends 4d of the channels 4 of the members 1b in which the corner posts 3 are abuttingly inserted as may be seen in FIG. 1 illustrating three corner posts 3, inserted between adjacent lateral ends 4:! of the channels 4 and one corner post 3 ready for insertion.

The corner posts 3 are formed with two vertically elongated walls 3a perpendicular to each other and complementary to the joined terminal ends 13, respectively, of the outer peripheral walls 4a of the members 1b at the corner ends of the members, in which corners they are disposed and supported on the decking panel 2. The outer edges of the walls 3a of the corner posts 3 are formed with perpendicular flange members 3b of a width substantially equal to the width of the vertical channel 4, and which abut complementarily the lateral ends 4d of the vertical channels 4, as shown in FIGS. 1, 3, 4, 6, 7 and 17.

The side panels 5 have a transverse length equal to the length of the channels 4 and the flange members 3b abut the lateral side members 5c of the side panels 5 when the side panels are inserted into the vertical channels 4. The corner posts 3, supported on the decking panel 2, are secured thereto by a locking assembly mounted on the corner posts 3, as will hereinafter be described in further detail. Locking assembly 8, also mounted on the corner posts 3, secures the side panels 5 to the adjoining flange members 3b of the corner posts 3.

Referring now again to the drawings, and more particularly to FIGS. 5, 9 and 10, the base frame 1 also includes a front member 1d which is similar to side members 1b but does not include the vertical channels 4 of the side members 1b. Also, the outer peripheral wall 4a of the front member 1d is recessed centrally to form a horizontal edge 4a at a level corresponding to the top surface of the decking panel 2. The outer peripheral wall 4a of the front member 1d has terminal ends 13 of the same height as the terminal ends 13 of the adjoining side members 1b to which it is welded for abutting corner posts 3 therein. As shown in FIG. 1, the width of the outer peripheral wall 4a of the front member 1a, adjacent the terminal ends 13, is approximately equal to the width of the walls 3a of the adjoining corner posts 3 which are disposed in the corners between the front member 1a and the adjoining side members 1b of the base frame 1. The front member la! is also formed with the support ledge 1a, the same as that of the side members 112, and includes mitered or corner ends 1c welded to the adjoining mitered ends 10 of the side members 1b.

The side panels 5 are preferably formed with a filler structure 5a, or the like (FIG. 2), and are covered at the top and bottom with aluminum strips See, at the inner face with aluminum sheet 5b, and at the lateral sides thereof with L-shaped side members 56, which are welded to the filler structure 5a, respectively. When inserted into the vertical channels 4, the side panels 5 extend vertically and substantially beyond the top edge 22 of the outer peripheral walls 4a of the base frame 1 and the L- shaped members So at the lateral sides of the side panels 5 are contiguous to the flange members 3b of the adjacent corner posts 3 and extend vertically therealong, both the corner posts 3 and the side panels 5 terminating at the top at substantially the same height.

Referring now again to the drawings, and more particularly to FIGS. 3, 4 and 6, the roof frame 6 is formed with a downwardly facing vertical channel 16 complementary to and engaging the top portions of the side panels 5 and the corner posts 3. Between the channel 16 of the roof frame 6 and the vertical channel 4 of the base frame 1, substantial portions of the side panels 5 are exposed as shown in FIG. 2.

Referring new again to the drawings, and more particularly to FIG. 6, the .roof frame 6 is formed preferably by aluminum extrusion and includes four substantially identical roof members 17, each having a horizontal top wall 170 which is mitered at the ends thereof and welded together. Cross-members 18 are welded to opposite roof members 17 of the roof frame 6 to provide additional strength and support, and aluminum sheet 19 is provided to cover the roof panel (not shown in FIG. 6).

Reference now again to the drawings, and in particular to FIGS. 3, 4, 6 and 20, the channel 16 for the roof frame 6 extends to the mitered ends of the roof members '17 and comprises a vertical inner peripheral wall 16a and a vertical outer peripheral wall 16b between which at the upper ends thereof is connected the horizontal top wall 17a. The outer peripheral Wall 16b includes an upper portion 160 spaced from the inner wall 16a by the thickness of the side panels 5, as shown in FIG. 3, for complementally engaging therebetween the top portions of the corner posts 3 and the top portions of the side panels 5. The outer peripheral Wall 16b includes an outwardly oriented L-shaped flanged portion 16d having having a horizontal portion 16e and a vertical portion 16], the latter being spaced from the upper portion 160 by a distance approximately equal to the thickness of the outer peripheral wall 4a of the base frame 1. In this manner, as may readily be seen in FIG. 15, when the corner posts 3 and the side panels 5 are detached and removed for collapsing the container, the vertical portion 16 of the flanged portion 16d of the channel 16 of the roof frame 6, overlappingly engages the outer peripheral Wall 4a of the base frame 1, and the upper edge 22 of the outer peripheral wall 4a rests on the horizontal portion 16e of the flange portion 16d of the outer peripheral wall 16b of the roof frame 6. Lower edge 16g of the inner peripheral wall 16a of the channel 16 of the roof frame 6 is lower than the horizontal portion 16e of the outer peripheral wall 16b, and complementary to the upper edge 23 of the inner peripheral wall 4b of channel 4 of the base frame 1, which edge 23 extends below the upper edge 22 of the outer peripheral wall 4a of the base frame 1, to insure good complementary mating engagement of the corresponding inner and outer peripheral walls 4b and 16a, and 4a and 16b, respectively, of the base frame 1 and the roof frame 6 in the collapsed position.

The lengths of the inner and outer peripheral walls, respectively, of the roof frame 1 and the base frame 6 are selected to provide a predetermined volume capacity to permit the reception therein between the base frame 1 and the cooperating abutting roof frame 6, of the other structural members of the shipping container when not in use. This requires a certain ratio between the height of the side panels and the available horizontal space on the decking panel to permit the side and door panels to be contained in the collapsed container. As shown in FIG. 15, the three side panels 5 (including the rear panel which herein is somewhat smaller in size than that of the other side panels due to the rectangular configuration of the unit), and the door panel (which is equal in size to that of the rear panel) are horizontally inserted in compact arrangement into the predetermined space between the roof panel 6 and the base frame 1 along with the four corner posts 3.

When the decking panel 2, corner posts 3, side panels 5 and roof frame 1 are in assembled position and locked together, as hereinafter described in further detail, the door panel 10 (preferably structurally similar to the side panels 5, including filler 10a and L-shaped lateral side members 100) is inserted into the front of the shipping container for completing the assembled unit. The top portion of the door panel 10 is slided above the recess 4a of the outer peripheral wall 4a of the front member 1d into the channel 16 of the roof -6. The door panel 10 has a forward lip extension 1011' which overlappingly engages the recessed edge 4a of the outer peripheral wall 4a of the front member 1d of the base frame 1, for locating the door panel 10 in position. The sides 5c of the door panel 10 abut the adjoining flange members 3b of the forwardmost and adjoining corner posts 3 and are locked thereto as will be described.

Referring now again to the drawings, and more particularly to FIGS. 1, 13, 17 and 18, the locking assembly 7 for locking the corner posts 3 to the decking panel 2 is disclosed. A base plate is welded to the lower end of the corner posts 3 and has an opening 3d therein. A bolt 7a, joined to the decking panel 2 at the corners thereof, extends upwardly from the bottom of the decking panel 2 through a nut 7b and washer 7c combination, which is welded together and to the bottom of the decking panel 2, and extends through the decking panel 2, being welded thereto, and projects upwardly therefrom, terminating through an upper washer 7d and nuts 7e welded to the washer 7d, the latter washer and nuts being spaced from the top surface of the decking panel 2. The opening 3d is sufficiently large to permit the base plate 3c of the corner post 3 to fit over the washer 7d and nuts 7e when the corner posts 3 are positioned in the corner ends of the base frame 1 for resting on the decking panel 2, as indicated in FIG. 18.

Mounted on the upper face of the base plate 30 of the corner post 3 is a lever arm 7 f pivotally mounted at one end to the base place 30 by pivot pin 7g. The other end of the lever arm 7f has mounted thereon a spring biased pick-up handle 7h with snap-in pin 7i extending through the bottom of the lever arm 7 f. The lever arm 7 f is adapted to be pivoted into locking position into the path of the opening 3d, in the base plate 30, and the bolt 7a, extending therethrough, above the base plate 30 from the decking panel 2. The lever arm 7 has a complementary recess 7 which engages the bolt 7a in the locking position (as shown in FIG. 18; and the front locking assembly 7 of FIG. 17, the rear locking assembly of FIG. 17 being shown in the unlatched position). As indicated in FIG. 18 the bottom of the washer 7d is spaced from the upper face of the base plate 3c by a distance equal to the width of the lever arm 7], so that in the locked position the lever arm 71 snugly abuts both the bottom of the washer 7d and the upper face of the base plate 30 to secure the corner posts 3 to the decking panel 2 in rigid locking position. A pin opening 8k is provided in the base plate 3c of the corner post 3 for receiving therein the snap-in pin 7i of the handle 7h of the lever arm 7 when the lever arm 7 is in locking position engaging the bolt 7a with the recess 7 thereby securing the locking assembly 7 tightly in position. One locking assembly 7 is provided for each corner post 3 on the base plate 3c thereof for locking the respective corner posts 3 to the corners of the decking frame 2. Secure engagement is achieved with relatively simple means because of the cooperative engagement of the complementary side walls 3a and the flange members 3b of the corner posts 3 against the terminal ends 13 of the outer peripheral walls 4a and the lateral ends 4d of the channel 4 of the base frame 1, respectively.

Referring now again to the drawings, and in particular to FIGS. 1, 17, and 19, the locking assembly 8 for locking the corner post 3 to the side panels 5 is disclosed. The locking assembly 8 comprises a lever arm 8a pivotally mounted intermediate the ends by a fixed pivot pin 8b to the side walls 3a of the corner posts 3 adjacent the flange member 3b. One end of the lever arm 8a contains a handle for moving the lever arm 8a and includes spring-biased snap-in pin 8d extending through the lever arm 8a. The other end of the lever arm 8a contains a movable pivot pin 8e to which is pivotally mounted a second lever arm 8f, the fixed pivot pin 8b being adjacent the movable pivot pin 82. The free end 8g of the lever arm 8f includes an L-shaped engaging surface 8h; a bolt 8i extends therethro-ugh to the engaging surface 8h. As indicated in FIGS. 17 and 19, illustrating the locking assembly 8 in locked position, the engaging surface 8b of the lever arm 8 engages the L-shaped side member 5c of the side panel 5 from the interior thereof. For this purpose, aligned windows or cut-out portions 5d and 3d, respectively, are formed in the L-shaped member 5c of the side panel 5, and in the flange member 3b of the corner post 3, respectively, to permit the lever arm 8 to pass therethrough. In the locked position the engaging surface 8h also abuts the lower edge of the aligned cut-out portions 5d and 3d defining a complementary L-shaped engagement of the side panel 5 by the engaging surface 8h. The lever arm 8a is formed with a convex cam portion 8 which engages the opposite side of the flange member 3b of the corner post 3, directly opposite the engaging surface 8h of the lever arm 8f, thereby jointly engaging the side panel 5 and the corner post 3 between the cam portion 8 and the engaging surface 8h in sandwich abutment. In this locked position the snap-in pin 8d of the handle 8c is received into a pin hole 8k for locking the locking assembly 8 in position. As shown in FIG. 19 there are two locking assemblies 8 for each side of each side panel 5 and each half of each corner post 3. The bolt Si is provided to insure good engagement surface contact and two locking nuts 81 are provided for adjusting the surface engagement to account for tolerance differences between the parts, to relieve pressure on the pivot pin 8d and to adjust for wear on the bearing. With this construction the lever arm 8 is urged securely and in excellent clamping position against the L-shaped side member c of the side panel 5 by rotation of the movable pivot pin 82 'tensionally away from the side panel 5 and simultaneous rotation of the cam portion 8 against the flange member 3b of the corner post 3.

To unlock the locking assembly 8, for removing and disassembling, the shipping container, the handle 80 is pulled, thereby lifting the snap-in pin 8d out of the hole 8k, and the lever arm 8a is pivoted (to the left as shown in FIG. 19 in dashed lines), thereby causing the lever arm 8a to pivot about the fixed pivot pin 8!) and causing the movable pivot pin 82 to rotate toward the side panel 5 thereby relieving the clamping pressure against the engaging surface 8/1 of the lever arm 8 and removing the cam portion 8j away from the clamping position against the flange member 3b of the corner post 3. In this position the lever arm 8f may be easily lifted and rotated counter-clockwise, out of the cut-out portions 5d and 3d, thereby detaching the side panel 5 from the corner post 3.

An upper and lower locking assembly 8, as just described, are provided on each flange member 3b which abuts the side panels 5 (the upper assembly 8 being illustrated in FIG. 19).

The door locking assemblies 11 are identical to the side panel locking assemblies 8 with the exception that the door locking assemblies 11 are pivotally mounted to the door panel 10 instead of to the flange members 3b of the corner posts 3 so as to be accessible from the outside. Like parts of the door locking assembly 11 shown in FIG. 17 are designated by the same alphabetic subscripts as the corresponding parts of the side panel locking assemblies 8 but are preceded by the numeral 11. The handle 11c, lever arm 11a and lever arm 11 of the door locking assembly 11 are disposed in a front recess 11' (FIGS. 1 and 2) in the outside of the door panel 10. The engaging surface 1111 of lever arm 11], in the locking position passes through the L-shaped side member 100 through window 10a therein and through flange member 3b via cut-out portion 3d therein and presses against the inside of the flange member 3b. The cam portion 11j of lever arm 11a oppositely presses against the L-shaped side member 100 of the door panel 10.

Referring now to the drawings, and in particular to FIGS. 1, 6, 19 and 20, the roof locking assembly 9 is shown, comprising a contoured lever arm 9a pivotally connected at one end by pivot pin 9b to the inner side of the inner peripheral wall 16a of the roof frame 6. Locking pins 9c are welded to the upper part of the flanged members 3b of the corner posts 3 and extend horizontally therefrom through a vertical contoured slot 9d formed in the inner peripheral wall 16a of the roof frame 6 and which slot 9d fits upon the locking pins 90, when the roof frame 6 is positioned on the tops of the side panels 5 and the corner posts 3. The slot 9d is of such a length that the locking pin 90 abuts the upper end of the slot 9d when the horizontal wall 170 of the roof frame 6 is contiguous to the top of the side panels 5. The lever arm 9a is adapted to be pivoted about pivot pin 9b toward the locking pin 90, by a handle 9e at the remote end of the lever arm 9a for moving the lever arm 9a into locking position against the pin 90. The lever arm 9a is formed with a contoured recess 9 complementary to the locking pin 90 for this purpose for engaging the pin 9c. A spring, snap lock 9g is provided adjacent the recess 91 and which resiliently passes over the pin 90 during locking and snaps over the pin 9c as shown in dashed lines (FIG. 20) for securing the lever arm 9a in the locked position, as illustrated by the righthand locking assembly 9 of FIG. 20. One looking assembly 9 is provided for each flange member 3b of the corner posts 3 as indicated in FIGS. 19 and 20.

Referring now again to the drawings, and more particularly to FIG. 8, lifting lugs 20 comprising an angle member with holes 21 therein, are welded to the corners of the roof frame 6 along the horizontal portion 16e for lifting the assembled and locked unit if necessary, such as for example into the hold of a ship.

In the assembled condition, the shipping container has a predetermined volume capacity to receive products to be shipped. With the present invention the strength is very high relative the volume so that extremely heavy loads and large volume capacity can be utilized. The unit may be constructed large enough for a person to go within the unit when the front door is removed and the roof frame is positioned, to lock the roof frame to the corner posts. The other locking assemblies may be readily secured prior positioning of the roof frame if desired. Loading is readily accomplished before or after positioning of the roof frame, depending on the requirements of the loading.

As an example of a particular useful design in accordance with the present invention, although not limited thereto, the container completely of aluminum construction measures 6 feet 10 inches high by about 6 feet 8 inches wide, and 8 feet long, and holds approximately 330 cubic feet of cargo, and with the particular decking panel structure can hold approximately 6 thousand pounds of uniform load. When the container is collapsed, it will be preferably 1 foot two inches high, 6 feet 8 inches wide, and 8 feet long, and when interlocked and stacked, for example, as in FIG. 16, comprising four stacked collapsed containers, four containers will have a total height of 4 feet 6 inches, the locking lugs 20 adapted for complementary engagement about the corner legs 14 of the next upper stacked container. The weight of the empty shipping container is approximately 600 pounds.

Such a volume and load capacity provides a very high weight to volume strength, permitting such a container structure to be built in larger sizes and for use with heavier loads than heretofore achieved. The unit is readily manufactured by a complete extrusion process for the base frame and the roof frame.

All parts are replaceable and interchangeable and repair work is kept to a minimum.

The shipping container maybe readily adapted for use as a refrigerator container by providing the necessary seals and using a refrigerator decking.

The unique construction and secure locking means provides a new and improved concept in collapsible shipping containers. Rapid assembly and easy movement are achieved and the unit is sturdy in the locked condition and can tolerate variable conditions of shipping, and other advantages.

While we have disclosed one embodiment of the present invention, it is to be understood that this embodiment is given by example only and not in a limiting sense, the scope of the present invention being determined by the objects and the claims.

We claim:

1. A collapsible shipping container comprising a base frame including vertical wall means,

a roof frame including vertical wall means,

a plurality of panels having a height substantially larger than the combined vertical heights of said base wall means and said roof wall means, and said panels being vertically positioned with their top portion and their bottom portions against said roof wall means and said base wall means, respectively,

a plurality of vertical elongated corner posts releasably secured to and detachably abutting the vertical end faces of said panels,

means for detachably locking said corner posts to said abutting panels,

said corner posts detachably positioned adjacent their ends against said base wall means and said roof wall means, respectively,

means for detachably locking said corner posts operatively to said base wall means and said roof wall means, respectively,

said base wall means supporting said roof wall means in collapsed position when said panels and said corner posts are detached therefrom, and

said combined vertical heights of said base wall means and said roof wall means defining an interior space between said base frame and said roof frame sufficient for receiving said detached panels and corner posts therein.

2. A collapsible shipping container comprising a base frame including vertical inner and outer peripheral wall means defining a base channel, therebetween,

a roof frame including vertically extending inner and outer peripheral wall means defining a roof channel, therebetween,

a plurality of panels having a height substantially larger than the combined vertical heights of said base and roof channels, and being vertically positioned complementary with their top portions and their bottom portions in said roof channel and said base channel, respectively,

a plurality of vertical elongated corner posts detachably abutting the vertical end faces of said panels,

means for detachably locking said corner posts to said abutting panels,

said corner posts detachably positioned adjacent their ends against said outer peripheral wall means of said base frame and said roof frame, respectively,

means for detachably locking said corner posts operatively to said base frame and said roof frame, respectively,

at least one of said inner and outer peripheral wall means of said base frame supporting said roof frame in collapsed position when said panels and said corner posts are detached therefrom, and

said combined vertical heights of said base and roof channels in said collapsed position are sufficient to define an interior space between said base frame and said roof frame sufficient to receive said detached panels and said corner posts therein.

3. The collapsible shipping container, as set forth in claim 2, further comprising,

a door panel adapted to be positioned in said roof channel and abutting therein two adjacent corner posts, means for connecting releasably said door panel to said two adjacent corner posts,

said connecting means are located on said door panel and accessible from the outside of said container when said door panel is in operative position, and

said combined vertical heights of said base and roof channels are sufficient to receive said door panel in its inoperative position within said interior space, when said container is in collapsed position.

4. The collapsible shipping container, as set forth in claim 2, further comprising a decking panel horizontally secured to said base frame,

said corner posts are supported on said decking panel,

and

said means for detachably locking said corner posts to said base frame to lock said corner posts directly to said decking panel.

5. The collapsible shipping container, as set forth in claim 4, wherein said means for releasably locking said corner posts to said decking panel comprises,

a base plate secured to said corner posts and having an opening therein,

a bolt assembly including a bolt secured to said decking panel and projecting thereabove,

said bolt assembly is adapted for insertion into said opening of said base plate, and said base plate being supported by said decking panel,

a lever arm pivotally mounted to said base plate and including a recess for engaging said bolt when said lever arm is pivoted, and

said bolt assembly including an abutment member spaced above said decking panel and said base plate and contiguous to said lever arm when said lever arm engages said bolt. 6. The collapsible shipping container, as set forth in claim 4, wherein said decking panel comprises a vertically spaced matrix formation. 7. The collapsible shipping container, as set forth in claim 4, wherein said base channel is open at lateral ends thereof, said corner posts including flange members abutting said lateral ends of said base channel, said end faces of said panels abutting therebetween said flange members, and means for releasably connecting together said flange members and said end faces of said panels. 8. The collapsible shipping container, as set forth in claim 7, wherein said corner posts and said panels constitute abutting members, said means for releasably connecting together said flange members and said end faces of said panels comprises, a first lever arm pivotally connected to one of said abutting members, said flange members and said end faces of said panels constituting contiguous members, a second lever arm pivotally connected to One end of said first lever arm, said second lever arm having an engaging surface, said contiguous members defining aligned cut-out portions, said second lever arm adapted for pivotally passing through said cut-out portions and laterally abutting one of said contiguous members with said engaging surface, said first lever arm adapted to be pivoted for tensionally urging said engaging surface of said second lever arm tightly against said one of said contiguous members, and said first lever arm including a convex cam surface laterally oppositely abutting compressively the other of said contiguous members when said first lever arm is pivoted to tensionally urge said engaging surface against said one of said contiguous members. 9. The collapsible shipping container, as set forth in claim 2, wherein said vertically extending outer peripheral wall means of said roof frame is outwardly flanged relative to said vertical outer peripheral wall means of said base frame for overlapping engagement therewith in the collapsed position thereof. 10. The collapsible shipping container, as set forth in claim 2, wherein said connecting means, respectively, each comprising a plurality of locking assemblies. 11. The collapsible shipping container, as set forth in claim 10, wherein said plurality of locking assemblies are disposed, re-

spectively, within said shipping container. 12. The collapsible shipping container, as set forth in claim 2, wherein said base frame includes elongated members comprising side members and a front member, said elongated members including a horizontal extrusion support ledge having mitered corner ends and joined together at said corner ends defining a center opening, said support ledge extending inwardly around said 'base frame and facing said center opening, and a decking panel complementary to and secured upon said support ledge and covering said center opening. 13. The collapsible shipping container, as set forth in claim 12, wherein said elongated members each include a vertical outer peripheral wall extending laterally from one of said corner ends to the other of said corner ends,

. 11 said outer peripheral walls having adjacent terminal ends at said corner ends, said side members including horizontally extending vertical channels having a horizontal floor extending in- Wardly from said outer peripheral wall above and contiguous to said decking panel and an inner peripheral wall extending vertically upwards from said floor, and said inner and outer peripheral walls being spaced and said vertical channels of each of said side members together consistituting said vertical inner and outer peripheral wall means and said base channel of said base frame, respectively. 14. The collapsible shipping container, as set forth in claim 12, wherein said vertical channel is open at the upper end thereof adjacent the top of said inner and outer peripheral walls thereof, said horizontal floor and said inner peripheral wall extend along said side members and terminate in spaced relationship from said corner ends of said side members defining open lateral ends of said vertical channels,. said vertically elongated corner posts having two elongated walls forming angle members complementary to said adjacent terminal ends, respectively, at said corner ends of said members, means for operatively releasably securing said corner posts to said decking panel, said corner posts including flanged members extending vertically along said elongated walls and complementary to and abutting said open lateral ends of said vertical channels, said panels being slidable into said vertical channels and extending upwardly substantially to the top of said corner posts, and said vertical end faces of said panels complementally abutting said flange members of said corner posts, means for operatively releasably securing said panels to said adjoining flanged members of said corner posts,

means for releasably operatively securing said roof frame to said corner posts and said panels,

a door panel having a top complementary to said roof channel, and a bottom resting on said decking panel above said front member, and abutting therebetween flange members of two adjacent corner posts,

means for releasably securing said door panel to said abutting flange members of said two adjacent corner posts, and

said combined vertical heights of said base and roof channels are sufiicient to receive said door panel Within said interior space when said container is collapsed.

15. The collapsible shipping container, as set forth in claim 14, wherein said vertical outer peripheral wall of said front member of said base frame has an uppermost recess at the same height as that of the upper surface of said decking panel, and

said bottom of said door panel includes a ferwardly and downwardly extending lip means overlappingly engaging said uppermost recess thereby operatively positioning said door panel.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,932,773 10/1933 Eschenback 220-4 2,650,737 9/1953 Geyer 2204 2,801,761 8/1957 Pigatti 220-97 XR 2,918,190 12/1959 Martin 220-4 2,919,826 1/1960 Richter 220 4 XR 2,960,249 11/1960 Walsh 2204 XR 3,208,619 9/1965 Kridle et al 220-4 3,266,656 8/1966 Kridle- 2204 FOREIGN PATENTS 81,036 6/ 1951 Czechoslovakia.

757,924 9/1956 Great Britain.

THERON E. CQNDON, Primary Examiner. GEORGE E. LQWRANCE, Assistant Examiner.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1932773 *Oct 17, 1931Oct 31, 1933Eschenbach Gustavus WMultiform knockdown box
US2650737 *Dec 29, 1949Sep 1, 1953American Car & Foundry CoKnockdown shipping container
US2801761 *May 28, 1953Aug 6, 1957Antonio PigattiKnockdown container
US2918190 *Jul 13, 1954Dec 22, 1959Wheeling Steel CorpPallet and shipping container
US2919826 *Sep 22, 1954Jan 5, 1960Kaiser Aluminium Chem CorpContainer
US2960249 *May 31, 1956Nov 15, 1960Walsh Robert LContainer framework
US3208619 *Jun 18, 1962Sep 28, 1965Grimes Lahon HDemountable sheet metal shipping containers
US3266656 *Jan 2, 1964Aug 16, 1966Kridle Charles EDemountable shipping case
CS81036A * Title not available
GB757924A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3530982 *Jul 1, 1968Sep 29, 1970Bigelow F E JunAssembly of collapsed buildings for shipping
US3828964 *Apr 20, 1972Aug 13, 1974Bonnot PPolyvalent pliable container
US3834575 *May 10, 1973Sep 10, 1974Pullman IncContainer front end construction
US3952909 *Feb 27, 1974Apr 27, 1976Ulrich Heinrich ProdelBottle case of plastic
US4050604 *Jul 22, 1974Sep 27, 1977Flanders Robert DDisassembleable, reusable container
US4171059 *Jul 5, 1978Oct 16, 1979Continental Gummi-Werke AktiengesellschaftStackable loading platform
US4174045 *Nov 29, 1977Nov 13, 1979Continental Gummi Werke AgLoading platform
US4244471 *Apr 9, 1979Jan 13, 1981Whirlpool CorporationPackaging system
US4366905 *Mar 23, 1981Jan 4, 1983Syn-Trac Systems Inc.Plastic material handling rack
US4454946 *Sep 21, 1981Jun 19, 1984Toppan Containers Co., Ltd.Collapsible partitioned corrugated cardboard container
US4506798 *Jul 9, 1982Mar 26, 1985Scc Six-In-One Containers Co., S.A.Container
US4576300 *Jul 3, 1984Mar 18, 1986Allegheny Ludlum Steel CorporationReusable shipping container
US4625880 *Jul 3, 1985Dec 2, 1986Premier Containers LtdContainers
US4738371 *Nov 4, 1986Apr 19, 1988Wakeman John APallet wrap
US5111950 *Sep 11, 1990May 12, 1992Kurt WylenzekShipping container
US5236099 *Aug 19, 1992Aug 17, 1993Fties Youssef APlastic knockdown bin-pallet for loading, transporting and storing fruits, vegetables, fish or other foods
US5259523 *Sep 15, 1992Nov 9, 1993Scherb David AModular art work carrier
US5261550 *Jul 31, 1991Nov 16, 1993Karpisek Ladislav StephanContainers of the collapsible type
US5279438 *Jun 1, 1993Jan 18, 1994Franco CesanoPlastics box with corner uprights
US5558242 *Nov 29, 1995Sep 24, 1996Kuan; HungStructure of outer case
US5678715 *Mar 7, 1995Oct 21, 1997Stoughton Composites, Inc.Composite stacking frame assembly for shipping container
US5862931 *Apr 29, 1997Jan 26, 1999Cox; Charles F.Collapsible shipping container
US5996803 *Dec 17, 1998Dec 7, 1999Thompson; PatrickInfant products organizer
US6142329 *Jan 31, 2000Nov 7, 2000Dolav Dvir Lahav Plastic ProductsKnock-down bin
US6170686 *Mar 24, 2000Jan 9, 2001Sagarte, S. A.Demountable wire mesh container for bottles
US6216899 *Dec 22, 1998Apr 17, 2001Edda Dorothy Bragazza VicariDismountable container
US6237794Mar 10, 2000May 29, 2001Stoughton Trailers, Inc.Stacking post top casting
US6446824Feb 12, 1998Sep 10, 2002Klm Royal Dutch AirlinesLoading unit for air freight
US6761277Mar 4, 2002Jul 13, 2004Dolav Dvir Lahav Plastics ProductsSquare knock-down bin
US6783005Dec 28, 2000Aug 31, 2004Unilever Home & Personal Care Usa, Division Of Conopco, Inc.Liner
US7108141 *Oct 5, 2001Sep 19, 2006Ani Gonzalez-RiveraFragile article transportation, display and storage system
US7258231 *May 17, 2002Aug 21, 2007United States Of America As Represented By The Secretary Of The Air ForceIncreasing cargo loading of vehicles
US7311220 *Jan 2, 2003Dec 25, 2007Schoeller Wavin Systems Services GmbhCollapsible container comprising a container base and four collapsible lateral walls
US7491024Mar 20, 2006Feb 17, 2009The United States Of America As Represented By The Secretary Of The NavyInterlocking pallets, and shipping and storage systems employing the same
US7607542 *Oct 17, 2008Oct 27, 2009Chuan Pao HsiehContainer assembly of pallet structure
US7726496 *Mar 20, 2006Jun 1, 2010The United States Of America As Represented By The Secretary Of The NavyShipping and storage system
US7739965Mar 20, 2006Jun 22, 2010The United States Of America As Represented By The Secretary Of The NavyAutomatically interlocking pallets, and shipping and storage systems employing the same
US7757876May 2, 2006Jul 20, 2010Material Improvements, LPCollapsible cheese container
US7784631 *Aug 8, 2002Aug 31, 2010Rees Operations Pty LtdPanel/gate interconnection means for a collapsible materials handling container
US7854340 *Mar 19, 2007Dec 21, 2010Greatbatch Medical S.A.Stackable storage containers with connecting latches
US7918515 *Oct 6, 2008Apr 5, 2011Chi Yu Steel Co., Ltd.Modular shelving system
US8016145 *Dec 12, 2006Sep 13, 2011Plastic Systems, Inc.Collapsible bulk container
US8074820 *Aug 15, 2008Dec 13, 2011Terry ChuWall panel affixing arrangement for portable work and storage container
US8083448Sep 30, 2008Dec 27, 2011The United States Of America As Represented By The Secretary Of The NavyInterlocking pallets, and shipping and storage systems employing the same
US8733570Dec 6, 2010May 27, 2014Greatbatch Ltd.Stackable storage containers with connecting latches
US20130340857 *Jun 20, 2012Dec 26, 2013Aegis Flow Technologies, L.L.C.Protection Device for a Valve Positioner
DE4330627A1 *Sep 9, 1993Oct 27, 1994Michael ChristophVerpackungsbehälter
DE20111497U1 *Jul 11, 2001Nov 21, 2002Leichtmetallbau Schletter GmbhTransportkiste, insbesondere im wesentlichen aus Holz, sowie Bauteilesatz zur Errichtung einer Transportkiste
EP1182149A2 *Mar 13, 2001Feb 27, 2002Moidecar, S.L.Dismountable modular container
EP2463207A1 *Dec 8, 2011Jun 13, 2012Ds Smith DucaplastPallet with hinged corner posts
WO1998035890A1 *Feb 12, 1998Aug 20, 1998Klm Royal Dutch AirlinesLoading unit for air freight
Classifications
U.S. Classification220/4.33, 220/1.5
International ClassificationB65D88/00, B65D88/52, B65D6/16, B65D6/24
Cooperative ClassificationB65D88/528
European ClassificationB65D88/52C1