US 3489314 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Jan. 13, 1970 J. SLAPNIK 3,489,314
FOAM PLASTIC SHIPPING CONTAINER Filed April 17, 1968 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 INVENTOR. JOSEPH $1. AFN/K BY J M ,zjmg
Jan. 13, 1970 J. SLAPNIK 3,489,314
FOAM PLASTIC SHIPPING CONTAINER Filed April 17, 1968 2 Sheets- Sheet 2 INVENTOR. JOSEPH SLAPN/K BY 71M. $12.,
United States Patent M 3,489,314 FOAM PLASTIC SHIPPING CONTAINER Joseph Slapnik, Arcadia, Calif.,, assignor to Sinclair- Koppers Company, a partnership of Delaware Continuation-impart of application Ser. No. 624,936, Mar. 21, 1967. This application Apr. 17, 1968, Ser. No. 722,062
Int. Cl. B65d N30 US. Cl. 220-97 3 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A unitary shipping box is molded from foam plastic material. The box is of such a configuration that one box can be stacked upon the other, with or without a lid in place, and a straddling container can hold rows of stacked containers together to prevent shifting of the containers and breakage of the contents. A means is provided on the conainer for locking the containers in end to end relationship or side to end relationship to prevent relative horizontal movement.
Reference to related application This application is a continuation-in-part of my copending application Ser. No. 624,936, filed Mar, 21, 1967, now issued as United States Patent 3,412,893.
Background of the invention The use of materials such as foam polystyrene in containers is well known for the shipment of perishable and fragile goods. The foam plastic material provides for its contents and excellent insulation against both mechanical shock and temperature variations. Especially is such insulation desirable in the shipment of fragile agricultural goods, such as grapes, peaches, tomatoes, etc. Unfortunately, containers that have been formed of rigid foam material tend to be relatively brittle. Consequently, any shifing of the containers during the shipment may cause the containers to collide and fracture. Therefore, the containers need to be held together in stacked relationship so that various stacks do not shift during the shipment. Usually, this holding is accomplished either by strapping the containers together or by some other external means.
Summary of the invention In accordance wih the present invention, a unitary box is molded from rigid foam plastic. The box has a base, a pair of substantially vertical side walls and a pair of vertical end walls which extend from the base and which are connected to the side walls. The end walls have on their exterior surface a plurality of vertically extending protrusions and a plurality of vertically extending channels, these being of such dimensions and being so positioned on the exterior surface that, when a pair of boxes are placed in end to end relationship, the protrusions will mate with the channels to prevent horizontal movement or slippage of the boxes. At the corners of the boxes are posts extending vertically from the top edge of the box. The box has appertures in the base conforming in dimension to the posts whereby one box can be stacked upon another with the posts of an adjacent box fitting in the appertures of the box immediately above and whereby one box can be straddled on a pair of said boxes when a pair of the boxes are in side to side relationship to lock the boxes together. The side walls also have vertically extending channels of such dimension and so positioned on the exterior surface that a pair of boxes may be also placed in side to end relationship with a protrusion of the end of one of the boxes mating with the channel in the side of the other box of the pair of boxes. The boxes are optionally provided with a lid adapted to close the top of the box, the lid having appertures therein adapted to receive the posts such that the posts extend above the lid when the lid is in place. The lid can have one or more extensions, which can be folded so as to be adjacent to the external surface of the end wall of the box, upon which can be printed or attached a label or other advertising device identifying the contents of the box and producer.
Brief description of the drawings FIGURE 1 is an expanded perspective view of a container constructed in accordance with the present invention.
FIGURE 2 is a top view of a plurality of containers showing the novel end to end and side to end locking means.
FIGURE 3 is a perspective view of several containers (with portions broken out) in stacked interlocking relationship some with and some without lids, illustrating how stacks of such containers can be locked together by a straddled box at the top of the stacks.
Detailed description The above and other objects and novel features of the invention will appear more fully from the following detailed description when the same is read in connection with the accompanying drawings. It is to be expressly understood, however, that the drawings are not intended as a definition of the invention, but are for the purpose of illustration only.
Referring to FIGURE 1, a container is designated generally at 51. As illustrated herein, the box 1 comprises a generally rectangular base 3, two substantially vertical end walls 7 and 7a, and two substantially vertical side walls 5 and 5a. The side and end walls are connected at the corners 9. The end walls have on the exterior surface a plurality of vertically extending protrusions 11 and a plurality of vertically extending channels 13. The side walls 5 and 5a of the container also have vertically extending channels.
Referring to FIGURE 2, the vertically extending channels 13 and protrusions 11 are positioned on the exterior surface of the end walls 7 and 7a so that when a pair of the boxes are placed in end to end relationship, the protrusions 11 of one of the pair of boxes will mate with the channels 13 of the end walls of the other pair of boxes to prevent relative horizontal movement of the boxes when in end relationship. In addition, the protrusions 11 of one end of a box will mate with the channels 21 of a side of a second box to prevent relative horizontal movement when boxes are placed in side to end relationship.
Extending from the top surface 41 of the corners 9 of box 1 (FIG. 1) are posts 15, these posts have a vertical dimension (projects above the surface 17) approximately equal to the thickness of the base 3 of the box 1 and horizontal dimensions (herein the radius) slightly smaller than the dimensions i.e., the radius, of apertures 19 and 19a in the base 3. This configuration enables one box to be stacked upon another as shown in FIGURE 3, with the posts 15 snugly secured in apertures 19 in the corners of box 3.
To close the box 1, to protect the box 1 and the contents against possible damage during shipment and handling, a lid 31 is provided. Lid 31 is substantially co-. extensive with the top outside edge 41 of the box 1 and has apertures 33 adapted to receive posts 15. The apertures 33, are slightly smaller than posts 15, whereby when superimposed upon the box, the lid will be frictionally secured in place. Lid 3-1 has a fiap 35 extending beyond one edge 43 of lid 31 which is foldable along line 45 so that the flap 35 is adjacent to the outside recessed surface 29 of side 7. The flap is adapted to receive a label )1 other advertising device. The lid also has ventilating flaps 37 and 37a which may be in the same plane as the remainder of the lid 31 or may be folded downwardly along line 44 to provide better ventilation and adequate air. flo'v'v through the container when containers are stacked one upon another during shipment. The ventilating flaps 37 and 37a when the lid 31 is superimposed on box 1, will divert air through cutout portions 47 of the top edge of the side walls 5 and 5a of box :1 to furnish adequate air flow.
Lid 31 protects the contents of the box when another Jox is not stacked on box 1. Optionally, lid 31 can be .lSSd between boxes when boxes are stacked as is further llustrated in FIGURE 3. The lid is conveniently made at corrugated paper, but any other suitable material such is a plastic material can be used.
To provide additional ventilation to protect perishable goods, ventilating channels 25 are provided on the in- ;erior surface of side walls 5 and 5a, these channels 25 extend from the top of the wall to the apertures 27 in :he bottom portion of the side walls and permitting better air flow of air from the exterior of the box when the box s in closed relationship.
The box is also provided with a cutout portion 23, to aermit ready lifting of the containers, by provided hand 1olds, when containers are horizontally resting upon the ground or stacked one upon another. Also provided on :nd walls 7 and 7a and side walls 5 and 5a are recesses 29 which, when containers are placed side by side or end end relationship, forms tunnels to allow adequate air )assage and ventilation.
Turning to FIGURE 2, there are containers 61a, 61b, 51c, and 61d illustrating the novel mating relationship of :he box in end to end or in side to end relationship. As thown in FIGURE 2, when boxes 61a and 6112- are placed with end 7 of box 61a against another box 61b with end 7a, the protrusions 11 of box 6111 align with channels 13 )f box 61a to provide a securing of the containers in end 0 end relationship and prevent horizontal movement of he containers in end to end relationship and prevent rorizontal movement of the containers which could 'esult in breakage or damage of the contents. In addition, he boxes may be placed in side to end relationship as 1hOWI1 where end 7 of box 610 mates with side of box 51a with the protrusions 11 fittng into channels 21 to tlso enable reduction in the shifting of the containers luring transit.
If such end to side locking is not desired, the boxes in tide to side relationship 61a and 61d may be conventiontlly stored, but will still provide end to end locking and :xcellent ventilation between side to side positioned conamer.
This prevention of shifting of the load during shipment s an important aspect in providing economical and comnercially acceptable foam plastic containers. During shiftng, conventional containers are often fractured and the :ontents of the container spoiled. The present invention vroves means for preventing such shifting without the lse of external strapping and the like. To this end, aperures 19a are provided in the base 3 of the box. These tpertures 19a permit, as shown in FIGURE 3, the stradlling of a box 1 upon two rows of stacked boxes, to )revent the shifting of the rows during transit. As better thOWIl in FIGURE 3, the posts at the corners 9, of a pair of boxes, in side to side relationship conform to the dimension of apertures 19a in the base 3, whereby one container 71a can straddle a pair of said containers 71b and 710 and lock the boxes 71b and 71c in side to side relationship to secure the stacks.
The box 1, containing protrusions 11 and channels 13 is also readily adapted to fast handling and save labor costs. Because of the positioning of these novel channels 13 and protrusions 11, two boxes will mate any time they are placed end to end and be locked in place. Thus, the containers can be speedily and safely transferred and loaded on a shipping vehicle.
The unitary box 1 can be formed from any suitable rigid foam plastic material. Preferably, the container is molded from expandable polystyrene such as, for example, that sold under the trademark Dylite. The molding of expandable polystyrene into foam structures is well known and is described, for example, in the article, Expandable Polystyrene by Edwin A. Edberg in Modern Plastics, Encyclopedia Issue, September-1957, pp. 347350.
There has been described a novel container, a box of rigid foam plastic material optionally provided with a lid. The box is of such configuration that boxes can be held together in end to end relationship, without concern over which end of a pair of boxes are mated, and the boxes can be held together in side to end relationship. These features prevent horizontal movement of contiguous containers. In addition, the containers can be stacked with or without a lid and the stacks of containers can be secured together by means of a straddling box so as to prevent shifting and fracturing of the containers in shipment. The container is also provided with means for adequate ventilation and air passage through the filled containers when used for perishables.
What is claimed is:
1. A shipping container comprising a rigid foam plastic box and a self-locking detachable lid said bo-x having a generally rectangular base, a pair of substantially vertical side walls extending from said base, a pair of substantially vertical end walls extending from said base, said end walls being connected to said side walls;
said end walls having on the exterior surface thereof a plurality of vertical extending protrusions and a plurality of vertically extending channels; said protrusions andsaid channels being so dimensioned and so positioned that when a pair of said boxes are placed in end to end relationship, said protrusions of one of said boxes will mate with the said channels of the other of said pair of boxes to prevent relative horizontal movement of said boxes;
posts extending vertically from the corners of the top edge of said box;
said lid having apertures therein adapted to receive said posts, the relative vertical dimensions of said lid and said post being such that said posts extend above said lid when said lid is in place on said box; and apertures in said base conforming in dimension to said posts whereby one box will stack on another box with the posts of a lower box fitting in the apertures of the box immediately above and whereby one box can straddle a pair of said boxes that have been placed in side by side mating relationship to lock said pair of boxes in said relationship, with the posts of said pair of said boxes fitting in the apertures of said straddling box immediately above. 2. The container of claim 1 wherein said lid is of corv rugated paper.
(References on following page) References Cited FOREIGN PATENTS UNITED STATES PATENTS 278,888 11/1965 Australia.
3/1967 Schwartz 220-23.4 X 9/1967 Keene 220-23.4x 5 220-236 9/1967 Ricci 22( 97 12/1967 Miles 22o 97