US 3446384 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
May 27, 1969 COLLAPSABLE CONTAINERS Filed Sept. 11, 1967 Sheet of 2 I n venlor oece Emma:
M) Mud fink D. G. BLACKMAN ET AL 3,446,384
May 27, 1969 D. s. BLACKMAN ETAL 3,446,384
COLLAPSABLE CONTAINERS Filed Sept. 11, 1967 Sheet 3 of 2 DEN/Yrs 660/965 BM #7 Jar/u ANL ak W Hafiz, 5094K 4 (Jan/ 5 11 United States Patent M U.S. Cl. 21714 7 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A collapsable container having fiat front rear and side panels pivotally connected together to permit collapse into a fiat form, top and bottom panels each pivotally connected to one of the front and rear panels and bendable flaps insertable into slots on the front or rear members when the panels are erected to cause the top and bottom flaps to be held resiliently in the closing position.
This invention relates to collapsable containers.
Known collapsable containers having four sides hinged together at their vertical edges and having bottom and top members each hinged to one of the four sides have their closed positions by conventional locking members such as hasps and hooks or else the top and bottom mem bers have been provided with deep flanges which embrace free edges of the side members when the container is closed. The use of ancillary locking members and the provision of flanges, unless the flanges are made with care to ensure that they fit closely over the side members, do not add strength and rigidity to the created container. Furthermore, the known containers required the use of specially arranged hinges having straps and hinge pins.
It is the object of the present invention to provide a collapsable container which can readily be made to have great strength and rigidity and low weight while using cheap and readily available materials.
It is a further object of the invention to provide a collapsable container of simple construction which can be made at relatively low cost.
According to the invention a collapsable container having front, rear and side panels each having each of its vertical edges connected to the adjacent vertical edges of the next adjacent panels, a bottom panel having one edge connected to the lower edge of either of the front or the rear panels and a top panel having one edge connected to the upper edge of either of the front or the rear panels, the connections being such that all the panels are adapted to be collapsed to bring the broad surfaces of the panels together, is characterised in that the bottom panel is arranged, when the panels are erected, to be held in its closed position by a resilient flap which is secured to one panel of a pair of panels comprising the bottom and a side panel and is bendable out of the plane of a broad surface of the said one panel to enable it to enter and be frictionally engaged in a slot provided by a member attached to the other of the pair of panels and by the said other panel, the top panel being likewise arranged to be held to a side panel by a like bendable flap.
According to a further feature of the invention, each edge of both the bottom and the top panels are held to an adjacent side panel by a bendable flap.
According to a still further feature of the invention, each flap which connects a side panel with a top or bottom panel is a metal strip having a longitudinal extending corrugation, the side of the strip on one side of the corrugation being secured to a panel and the corrugation being disposed so as to provide a rounded corner when the other side of the strip is inserted in a slot.
3,446,384 Patented May 27, 1969 The panels may each be made of a cheap, readily available material for example plywood or hardboard which forms self-supporting panels from their sheet. The strips may be made of any suitable material, for example tinplate, and may be attached to the panels by rivets or other conventional means.
The invention is illustrated by way of example in the accompanying drawings in which:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a partly erected open box,
FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a closed box,
FIG. 3 is a perspective view on an enlarged scale of a corner of a box,
FIG. 4 is a perspective view of a collapsed box.
Referring to the accompanying drawings, a collapsable container comprises a front panel 1, side panels 2 and 3 and a rear panel 4. The panels may be made of 3-ply plywood or hardboard which are stiff enough for the individual panels to be self-supporting. The vertical edges of each of each of the panels 1, 2, Sand 4 are pivotally connected to the vertical edges of the next adjacent panel by thin tinplate strips 7 which, as shown, are riveted by rivets 8 to the panels which they connect. This manner of connecting the panels 1, 2, 3 and 4 together permits the panels to be folded flat with broad surfaces of the panels brought together. Instead of riveting the strips 7 to the panels, they may be held to the panels by stitching in known manner. As shown, the strips 7 abut on the outer surfaces of the panels which they connect so that the adjacent vertical free edges of the panels are protected by the strips and the danger of the panels being accidentally engaged and pulled apart is consequently reduced. A bottom panel 5 is pivotally secured to the lower edge portion of the front panel 1 by a thin metal strip 9* which is, in the example shown in the drawings, riveted to the outer surfaces of the panel 1 by rivets 10 and to the outer surface of the adjacent edge portions of the panel 5. A top panel 6 is similarly connected to the rear panel 4 by a thin metal strip 11 which is shown in FIG. 4 in which the box is in its collapsed condition. Erection of the box is a simple and rapid operation. When the panels 1, 2, 3 and 4 have been brought to the positions in which they extend at right angles to each other, resilient metal flaps 12 are used to connect the bottom panel 5 to each of the panels 2, 3 and 4. This connection is effected with the use of flat rails 14 which are fixed to the lower edge portions of each of the panels 2, 3 and 4 by rivets 15 which fix the two ends of the rails and the upper longitudinal edge portion to the said three panels. The rails are preferably made of plywood. The ends of the rails are placed over the adjacent metal strip 7 and the rivets pass through both the rails, the strips and the panels to which the rails are fixed. The upper longitudinal edge portion of each rail abuts directly on the outer surface of the adjacent panel. The strips 7 act as spacers and in consequence of the manner of attaching a rail to a panel, the rail is placed in tension and slightly bowed to form a slot having a very narrow open mouth at the lower edge of each rail. The metal flaps 12 bear on the outer surfaces of the panels to which they are secured and project, in the collapsed condition of the box, from the panels in substantially the plane containing the surface to which they are attached. Each flap 12 is made, in the example now described, of tinplate which is bent over at the longitudinal edges and free corners of the flap. Each flap has a single corrugation 13 intermediate its longitudinal edges. The flap 12 on one side of the corrugation is riveted to the outer surface of the bottom panel 5. When the bottom panel is moved to the lower edges of the panels '2, 3 and 4, the flaps 12, having previously been bent, have their free edges inserted in the slots between the various rails 14 and the panels on which they are fixed. The operation of inserting the flaps 12 in the slots is very easily and quickly effected without the exercise of skill. When inserted, the flaps are frictionally engaged in the slots and hold the bottom panel 5 firmly in its closed position. The corrugation 13, when the flap is engaged in the slot between a rail and a panel, forms a rounded corner which makes it difficult for the flap to be withdrawn inadvertently from the slot. The top panel 6 is similarly held in its closed position by like resilient bendable flaps 12 which engage in like slots formed between fiat rails 14 disposed at the upper edge portions of the panels 1, 2 and 3, the open mouths of the slots in this case facing upwards. The flap 12 on the bottom panel 5 which engages in the slot formed between the lower edge portion of the rear panel 4 and the rail 14 mounted on this panel may be substantially longer than the flaps which engage slots at the lower edge portions of the panels 2 and 3. Similarly, the flap 12 on the top panel 6 which engages in the slot formed at the upper edge portion of the front panel 1 may be substantially longer than the flap 12 which engages in the slots at the upper edge portions of the panels 2 and 3.
It will be appreciated that, in the construction shown, the relatively sharp free edges of the various panels are located within an envelope which contains the rounded bent edges presented by the strips 7 and the flap 12' so that objects which would tend to engage the panel edges and pull the panels apart are less liable to encounter the panel edges.
The loaded and closed container may readily be bound by known wire-tying or strip banding machines.
Where riveting is referred to in the foregoing description, this may be substituted by wire stitching. The straps 7 may be made of bendable material other than tinplate.
Containers embodying the invention may be made in a very wide range of sizes while using cheap, strong and readily available materials.
1. -A collapsable container having four side panels, and top and bottom panels, each panel being formed of rigid non-bendable material, and each of said four side panels being connected at its vertical edges to the adjacent vertical edges of the adjacent side panels, by means of bendable strips secured to the said vertical panel edges, whereby said four side panels can be callopsed to lie flat on one another, and in which said top and bottom panels are each connected to one of said side panels by bendable strips secured to the adjacent edges thereof, and each of said top and bottom panels are further provided with bendable fiaps projecting from at least two edges thereof, and normally lying in the plane of said panel but bendable out of said plane, and at least two of said side panels are provided each with a rail secured thereto adjacent the upper edge of said side panel but spaced therefrom to define a narrow width slot parallel with the plane of said side panel and having an opening at its upper end, and adapted to receive and frictionally grip one of said bent-over flaps on said top panel, and at least two of said side panels are provided each with a rail secured thereto adjacent the lower edge of said side panel but spaced therefrom to define a narrow width slot parallel with the plane of said side panel and having an opening at its lower end, and adapted to receive and frictionally grip one of said bent-over flaps on said bottom panel.
2. A collapsable container as claimed in claim 1 wherein each free edge of both the bottom and top panels \re held to an adjacent side panel by a bendable flap.
3. A collapsable container as claimed in claim 1 where- 4, in each resilient bendable flap is a metal strip having a longitudinally extending corrugation, the side of the strip on one side of the corrugation being secured to a panel and the corrugation being disposed so as to provide a rounded corner where the other side of the strip is inserted in a slot.
4. A collapsable container as claimed in claim -1 wherein each member which cooperates with a panel to define a slot is a stiff rail which has one edge which forms one side of the mouth of the slot and which is secured to the panel along all its edges except that edge which defines the said mouth.
5. A collapsable container as claimed in claim 1 wherein each member which cooperates with an panel to define a slot is a stiff rail having end and two longitudinal edges of which one longitudinal edge forms one side of the mouth of the slot, and is secured to the panel along the oppositely disposed longitudinal edge and along its end edges, the said end edges being each spaced from the said panel by a member which connects a vertical edge of the panel to the vertical edge of an adjacent panel whereby the rail is placed in tension.
6. A collapsable container as claimed in claim 1 in which said bendable strips are connected to the outer surfaces of the side panels at the vertical edges thereof to interconnect the said panels, and said bendable metal flaps are also connected to the outer surfaces of the top and bottom panels.
7. A collapsable container having flat front, rear and end panels, of rigid self-supporting material, each having vertical edges connected to the adjacent vertical edges of next adjacent panels by bendable strips fixed to the outer surfaces of the panels, a bottom panel having one edge portion connected to the lower edge portion of one of said front and rear panels by a bendable strip fixed to the outer surface of the bottom panel, a top panel having one edge portion connected to the upper edge portion of one of said front and rear panels by a bendable strip fixed to the outer surface of the top panel, resilient bendable flaps connected to the outer surface of at least one free-edge portion of said bottom panel, resilient bendable flaps each fixed to the outer surface of at least one freeedge portion of the top panel, and rails each having end and two longitudinal edges which are fixed at the end edges and one longitudinal edge to the outer surfaces of one of the front, rear and end panels to define a slot, having its mouth at the other longitudinal edge of said rail, for the reception of one of said bendable flaps on the top and bottom panels, the said end edges of said rails being each spaced from the outer surface of the respective panel by one of said bendable strips connecting adjacent vertical edges of said panels.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,449,055 2/1923 Averill. 3,063,616 11/1962 Pilette.
FOREIGN PATENTS 844,723 8/ 1960 Great Britain.
RAPHAEL H. SCHWARTZ, Primary Examiner.
US. Cl. X.R.