US 3497127 A
Abstract available in
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Feb. 24, 1970 T. ox' 3,497,121
' COLLAPSIBPE PLASTIC CASE 3 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Jan. 30. 1968 mam. ear- ATTORNEY Feb. 24, 1970 T.'B'ox COLLAPSIBLE PLASTIC CASE 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR THEODOE 50x l-mzz. I247H Filed Jan. 30, 1968 ATTORNEY Feb. 24, 1970 T. BOX 3,497,127
COLLAPSIBLE PLASTIC CASE Filed Jan. 30, 1968 3 Shets-Sheet 5 INVENTOR. 77/627001? 30% ATTOPA H United States Patent 3,497,127 COLLAPSIBLE PLASTIC CASE Theodor Box, 57-02 251st St, Little Neck, N35. 11362 Filed Jan. 30, 1968, Ser. No. 701,764 Int. Cl. B6541 /36, 5/30 US. Cl. 22930 5 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A collapsible rectangular plastic case comprises a bottom wall and side walls hinged thereto for operation to a non-use position flat with said bottom wall. In use, adjoining pairs of side walls are connected with each other through bayonet-like interlocking arrangements consisting in the first wall of a pair to be connected being provided with an oblong aperture having an edge spaced from and forming a predetermined angle with the adjoining edge of said wall, and in the second wall of said pair being fitted with a flange extending at right angles from the edge thereof and adjoining the inner surface of said first wall, said flange having a linear projection extending into said aperture and said projection including an angle with the edge of said second wall equal to said predetermined angle and spaced from the edge of said second wall by a distance equal to the spacing distance of said edge of said aperture from the edge of said first wall. The locking arrangement furthermore comprises a fiat locking member overlying and extending from said projection, said member having a width in excess of the width of said projection, to form therewith and said flange a channelshaped recess adapted to firmly interlock with the edge of said aperture.
The present invention relates to plastic cases for the storage and shipment of articles, goods or products of various kinds, including food stuffs, fruits, vegetables, etc., more particularly, though not limitatively, to cases or containers of this type produced by molding in a single unitary operation from a suitable high impact plastic, such as polyethylene, polypropylene, polyvinyl chloride, or a like thermoplastic or thermosetting synthetic material.
Among the major objects of the invention is the provision of a storage case or container of this type which may be collapsed to a flat condition, to save storage and shipping space, and which may be instantly and expeditiously assembled into a sturdy case or container, without the requirement of any special tools or skills.
The invention, both as to the foregoing and ancillary objects, as well as novel aspects thereof, will be better understood from the following detailed description, taken in conjunction withthe accompanying drawings forming part of this specification and in which;
FIG. 1 is a perspective view showing a collapsible case according to the invention in an intermediate position between its collapsed and assembled conditions, the latter being indicated in dot-dash lines in the drawing;
FIG. 2 is a fragmentary elevational view, shown on an enlarged scale and partly in section, of a corner section of the case according to FIG. 1, embodying an interlocking arrangement connecting the adjoining side walls and constructed in accordance with the principles of the invention;
FIG. 3 is a partial sectional view of the interlocking device shown in FIG. 2;
FIG. 4 is a fragmentary perspective view of the interlocking arrangement according to the invention connecting the side walls of the case; and
FIGS. 5 and 6 are schematic views similar to FIG. 2 and illustrating a modification of the interlocking arrangement according to the invention.
Like reference numerals denote like parts in the different views of the drawings.
With the foregoing objects in view, the invention involves generally the provision of a rectangular collapsible case of the referred to type having a bottom wall and side walls hinged thereto for retraction to a non-use (storage and/or shipping) position flat with said bottom Wall. In the erected or use position of the case, adjoining side Walls are connected by bayonet-like interlocking arrangements including improved guide means according to the invention, to facilitate and expedite the locking and unlocking operations. This, in turn, allows of an instant and expeditious assembly into a sturdy and mechanically stable case and collapse to the non-use or storage position, respectively, in a manner as will become further apparent as the description proceeds in reference to the drawings.
Referring more particularly to FIG. 1, the collapsible rectangular case shown comprises a bottom wall 10, a pair of side walls 11 and a pair of end walls 12, both said side and end walls being jointed to said bottom wall by hinges 13, the latter advantageously being in the form of socalled live hinges or weakened sections, FIG. 2, of the unitary molded structure. These hinges may be produced by heating, indenting and subsequently annealing the adjoining wall portions, or by any other suitable method. Alternatively, separate hinges of metal or the like may be used rotatively connecting the walls 11 and 12 to the bottom wall 10, in a manner readily understood. The end walls 12 are shown provided with carrying holes 19 and stiffening ribs of the walls may be provided, to improve the mechanical rigidity of the case, in accordance with standard practice.
In erecting or assembling the case, after the walls 11 and 12 have been rotated, in the direction indicated by the arrows a, from their fiat or collapsed position 11', 12 to their use position 11", 12" normal to the bottom Wall 10, the adjoining corners of the side and end walls are connected by bayonet-like interlocking arrangements according to the invention constructed and described in greater detail in the following.
In the following description, only a single locking arrangement, joining a pair of side walls 11 and 12, will be referred to, it being understood that the arrangements for the joining of the remaining walls are identical, as shown in FIG. 1.
More particularly, interlocking arrangement for the joining of a pair of side and end walls is comprised of the first wall of a pair to be joined (wall 11 according to FIG. 2) being provided with an oblong aperture 14- and of the second wall of said pair (wall 12 according to FIG. 2) being fitted with a flange 15 extending at right angle from the edge thereof and adjoining the inner surface of the wall 11 in the erected or use position of the walls, as more clearly shown in FIG. 3. Flange 15 carries the interlocking device proper 16, FIG. 1, for cooperation with the aperture 14, in the manner described in detail hereinafter.
In the embodiment of the invention according to FIGS. 2-4, the oblong substantially trapezoidal-shaped aperture 14 has a first longitudinal linear edge 17 facing the vertical edge of the wall 11 and including therewith a predetermined acute angle a, an opposite longitudinal edge 18 and lower and upper short edges 20 and 21, respectively. The upper edge 21 of the aperture comprises a first straight section 22 adjoining the longitudinal edge 18 and followed by an inwardly slanting intermediate section 23, forming a triangular projection or guide, and a final section or depression 24 forming part of a snap lock arrangement described in greater detail hereinafter.
The locking device proper associated with the wall 12 and shown by FIGS. 2-4 comprises a linear strip-like projection 25 extending from and preferably coinciding with the edge of flange 15, said projection also forming an angle or equal to said predetermined angle with the edge of the wall 12. Overlying and extending from the projection 25 is a strip-like locking member 26 having a width in excess of the width of said projection, whereby to extend laterally thereof and to provide a bayonet-like catch or longitudinal recess adapted to firmly interlock with the edge 17 of the aperture 14 in the locked position of the walls, as shown in FIG. 3 and indicated by dotdash line position 15" of the flange 15 in FIG. 2.
In the effort to ensure a safe and expeditious interlock between the walls, the triangular projection 21 of the aperture 14 cooperates with a parallel guide formed by the upper free part of the locking member 26 and the adjoining wall of the flange 15 by the length of said member exceeding the length of the linear projection 25 having an upper curved edge 27 adapted to cooperate with the depression 24, to form a snap-lock, in the manner further described in the following.
In use, wall 12 with its flange 15 is first rotated, from its non-use or collapsed position, in the direction of the arrow a, FIGS. 2 and 3 to a position of said flange as indicated by dot-dash lines at 15' in FIG. 2, that is, with the flange adjoining the inside surface of the wall 11 and with the locking member 25, 26 projecting into the aperture 14 adjoining the edge 18. The wall 12 is then rotated in the opposite direction, as indicated by the arrow b, whereby to cause the member 25, 26 to engage or interlock with the opposite edge 17 of the aperture 14, as indicated by the dot-dash line position 15" of the flange 15 in the drawing. As will be understood, the thickness of the projection 25 should correspond to the thickness of wall 11, to ensure a safe and firm connection or interlock of the parts.
During the movement of the locking member 25, 26 from its position, corresponding to the position of flange 15 as shown at 15', to the final or locking position, corresponding to the position of flange 15 as shown in 15", the triangular projection 23 acts as a parallel guide for said member in cooperation with the upper free portion of its part 26, with the guiding surface or area increasing progressively from a minimum to a maximum, in a manner as to ensure a safe initiation of the return movement of said member to the locking position and secure and reliable locking of the parts in cooperation with the snap locking action by the edge 27 of the projection 21 engaging the depression 24 in the final position 15" of the flange 15, as shown in dot-dashed lines in the drawing. In the same manner, the parts may be disengaged by operation in the reverse direction of the wall 11, to return the same to its collapsed or none-use position.
FIGS. and 6 schematically show a modification of the locking arrangement described in the foregoing. According to this embodiment, the locking member 32, forming the bayonet-like recess with the linear projection 31 upon the flange 15, in a manner similar as described hereinbefore, has a rectangular-triangular shape with the hypothenuse 33 of the triangle facing the edge of the wall 12 and with the member 32 substantially occupying, in the intermediate position of the flange 15, the aperture 30, FIG. 5, in the wall 11, the latter corresponding to the aperture 14 of FIGS. 1-4.
In use, upon insertion of the member 31, 32 in the aperture 30, after rotation of the wall 12 in one (inward) direction as shown in FIG. 5, locking with the wall 11 is effected by rotation of wall 12 in the opposite (outward) direction, as shown by FIG. 6 representing the locking position of the parts. Again, the member 32 serves as a triangular guide with the guiding surface or area gradually increasing from Zero to a maximum, thus ensuring a secure and expeditious locking of the walls without the requirement of any special implements or skills. Projection 34 on the lower edge of the aperture 30 serves to provide a snap-lock engagement of the parts in cooperation with the lower edge of the linear projection 31, in a manner similar as described in reference to FIG. 2.
In the foregoing the invention has been described in reference to a specific exemplary device or embodiment. It will be evident, however, that variations and modifications, as well as the substitution of equivalent parts for those shown herein for illustration, may be made without departing from the broader scope and spirit of the invention. The specification and drawings are accordingly to be regarded in an illustrative rather than in a restrictive sense.
1..In a collapsible case having a rectangular bottom wall, side walls hinged to said bottom wall, to allow of operation thereof between a non-use position fiat with said bottom wall and a use position normal to said bottom wall, means to releasably connect the pairs of adjoining side walls of said case in the use position comprising in combination:
(1) an oblong flange extending at right angle from the edge of the first of a pair of walls to be connected and arranged to have its outside surface adjoining the inside surface of the second wall of said pair in the use position of the walls,
(2) a linear strip-like projection having a thickness equal to the thickness of said second wall and extending from the outside surface of said flange, said projection being spaced by a predetermined distance from and including a predetermined acute angle with the adjoining edge of said first wall to be connected to said second wall,
(3) an oblong locking member overlying and projecting laterally from said projection, to form therewith a channel-like recess,
(4) said second wall being provided with an oblong aperture having a linear edge spaced by said predetermined distance from and including an angle equal to said predetermined angle with the edge of said second wall to be connected to said first wall,
(5) whereby to allow said recess to interlock with the edge of said aperture in the locked position of said walls,
(6) said aperture having a width to allow insertion therein of said flange in the initial position of said first wall prior to its operation to said locked position, and
(7) triangular guide means for said locking member providing a guiding surface therefor increasing progressively from a minimum to a maximum during operation from said initial to said locked position.
2. A collapsible case as claimed in claim 1, said guide means consisting of at least one edge of said member projecting beyond the adjacent edge of said projection, to provide a parallel guide in conjunction with the adjoining wall of said flange, and a triangular projection from the adjoining short edge of said aperture adapted to engage said guide.
3. A collapsible case as claimed in claim 2 including a depression in the edge of said aperture following said triangular projection, to provide a snap lock in cooperation with the edge of said linear projection in the locked position of said member.
4. A collapsible case as claimed in claim 1, said guide means consisting of said member having a substantially rectangular-triangular shape substantially fitting said aperture with the hypothenuse of the triangle facing the edge of said second side wall.
5. A collapsible case as claimed in claim 1, said case being constituted by an integrally molded unit comprising said bottom and side walls with intervening hinges 5 6 formed by weakened sections of the material along the 3,145,904 3/1964 Bromley 220-76 XR adjoining edges of said walls. 3,246,828 4/ 1966 Branscum et a1. 229-30 3,330,437 7/1967 Bellamy 220-6 XR References Cited 3,360,180 12/1967 Venturi 229-30 UNITED STATES PATENTS 5 DAVIS T. MOORHEAD, Primary Examiner 1,349,799 8/1920 Albrecht 220-7 1,809,523 6/1931 McLean 220-7 XR US. Cl. X.R. 2,530,849 11/1950 Wyatt et a]. 220-76 XR 220-6; 29-41 2,729,386 1/1956 Haddad.