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Publication numberUS3506138 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 14, 1970
Filing dateApr 3, 1968
Priority dateApr 3, 1968
Publication numberUS 3506138 A, US 3506138A, US-A-3506138, US3506138 A, US3506138A
InventorsTravis Merton A
Original AssigneeEnergy Resources Corp, Ray Steel Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Storage rack system
US 3506138 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

April 14, 1970 M. A. TRAvls 3,506,138

STORAGE RACK SYSTEM Filed April 3, 1968 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Arran/fr 1NVENTOR 84145? 70A/ 7?/4 W5 Apri'l14, 1970 M. Amm/ls 3,506,138

STORAGE RACK SYSTEM Filed April 5. 1968 z shee'cs-SheelI 2 Q6/f Z' @n Z9 52 I1. 55 ze 55 will Z5 zo 5 INVENTOR United States Patent O 3,506,138 STORAGE RACK SYSTEM Merton A. Travis, Newport Beach, Calif., assignor to Ray Steel Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of Energy Resources Corporation, Fort Worth, Tex., a

corporation of Nevada Filed Apr. 3, 1968, Ser. No. 718,508 Int. Cl. A47f 5/10 U.S. Cl. 211-148 8 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE ferent levels thereof to provide accessibility to stored items.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION In large industrial plants in which a multiplicity of/ items are assembled and the speed and facility of assembly are in a large measure dependent on the flow of the different items to the points of assembly of, for instance, an automated assembly line, compact and easytoreach storage of such items promotes economy of handling. Also, the ability to economically increase storage space and rearrange the spaces of storage, as requirements demand, is an additional factor in the handling and transport of stored items. Accordingly it is an object of the present invention to provide a storage rack system of the. character referred to that provides for compact and easy-to-reach storage of items, to provide for economical rearrangement of the storage spaces, and, generally, to promote economy and flexibility of storing, reaching and moving items used in the construction of machines, vehicles and other nished products.

This invention also has for its objects to provide such means that are positive in operation, convenient in use, easily installed in a working position and easily disconnected therefrom, economical of manufacture, relatively simple, and of general superiority and serviceability.

The invention also comprises novel details of construction and novel combinations and arrangements of parts, which will more fully appear in the course of the following description, which is 'based on the accompanying drawings. However, said drawings merely show, and the following description merely describes, one embodiment of the present invention, which is given by way of illustration or example only.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The system according to the present invention comprises multiple-story configurations that erect multi-level stockrooms with ready access to each level and the storage areas within each level, without the necessity of any conventional structure framing. Various installations, either singlelevel or multi-level, may be rearranged to different physical dimensions and plan, including conversion from singleto multi-level or vice versa, by disconnecting and rearranging the components. The interior arrangement of shelves and attachments within each storage rack frame is immediately adjustable, rearrangeable and removable. The attachment of such shelves and attachments is accomplished by a unique arrangement of a pin and notch (as illustrated in applicants Patent No. 3,120,200,


dated Feb. 4, 1964), allowing disengagement of one side support of any rack frame without removal of the opposite side support thereof, allowing such shelf or attachment to be elevated or lowered into vertical notches alternately from side to side (walking) without removing the material stored on the shelf or attachment. The pin and notch arrangement also permits the adjustment of shelves and attachments by mechanical means (fork-lift truck)` by a simple upward and rearward movement for removal, and a simple forward and downward movement for replacement. Individual storage rack frames may be provided with means for movement by lift truck, overhead hoist and tow tractor-trailer, thereby converting the storage rack frame to a transportable material-delivery unit.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION 'OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is an exploded perspective view showing the components and supplemental elements of two storage rack frames in stacked or tiered relation, according to the present invention.

FIG. 2 is an enlarged, fragmentary and broken end view of the upper portion of two such rack frames and the manner of their connection to form a walkway therebetween.

FIG. 3 is a fragmentary anr broken plan view of the arrangement of FIG. 2 and also showing a walkway extending transversely from the walkway shown in FIG. 2.

FIG. 4 is a fragmentary end view of a closure for an aisle formed between aligned stacks or tiers of storage racks.

FIG. 5 is a similarly enlarged sectional detail view of an item-holding peg for shelf mounting.

FIG. 6 is an enlarged sectional detail view of an itemholding peg for vertical grid mounting.

FIG. 7 is a similarly enlarged sectional detail view of an item-holding drawer for shelf mounting.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT The present storage rack system comprises, generally, a plurality of similar` but not necessarily identical rack frame components 10I adapted to be arranged singly in both longitudinal and transverse spaced relation on the same level, as well as in similarly spaced stacks or tiers, means 11 to facilitate movement of said frame components -along a surface, whether in single or stacked relation, and a walkway 12 between and connecting the spaced frame components or stacks thereof, as the case may be.

Each rack frame component 10 is shown as comprising a rectangular frame 15, one at each end, a base shelf 16 connecting the lower portions of the frames 15, and a top shelf 17 connecting the upper portions of a single component 10 as well as the upper portion of an upper component of a stack of components.

Each frame 15 is shown as comprising two vertical hollow posts 20 that, at their lower ends are connected by a crosspiece 21 to which the ends of the base shelf 16 are secured, as by bolts, and at their upper ends are connected by a crosspiece 22 to which the ends of the top shelf 17 (if one is used) are similarly secured.

Said posts, wherever the same may be required, are provided with bayonet slots 23, as best shown in FIG. 4, according to the teachings of the mentioned Patent No. 3,120,200, for separable connection by headed studs 24. The crosspieces 21 and 22 may be provided with prepared bolt holes 25 for connection of hereinafter-described panels, grids and the like. The posts 20 may also be provided with bolt holes 26 for similar reasons. As best shown at the upper left of FIG. 2, the upper end of each post 20 is provided with a male member 27 and the lower end with a female member or socket 28, thereby enabling two aligned posts 20 of two frames 15 to be non-displaceably connected merely by seating the socket 28 onto the member 27. Said posts are provided, as shown, with outwardly directed stirrups 29.

As shown in the upper portion of FIG. 1, the end frames 15, between the erosspieces 21 and 22, may be provided with vertical central posts or colnmns 30.

It will be understood that the slots 23 may be provided in such manner that either side of a component is the front thereof, or such slots 23 may be placed so either side may be the front. This manner of slot location is carried out also when the post 3G is used, thereby dividing the component 10 so that half-depth shelves and attachments may be mounted from either side of the component, thereby providing a double-sided assembly.

The base shelf 16 is shown as a flat-decked assembly7 comprising a plate 31 with under-side reinforcing members 32 and provided with integral enclosures 33 for lifttrnck forks and corner gusset assemblies 34 which attach to end frame posts 20 by means of bolts inserted in the gusset assembiies.

The top shelf 17 is shown as a dat-decked assembly with under-side reinforcing and corner gusset assemblies which attach to end frame posts 20', as for the base shelf.

The connections between the posts 20 and the shelves 16 and 17 have not been detailed since the same may be accomplished in many different and non-patentable ways.

The above-described frame components 10, as can be seen, comprise basic storage modular rack components that are capable of being moved, unitarily, by fork-lift trucks. As in FIG. l, means 11, shown as attachments to the lower portions of both end frames 15, may be provided for traction so thel same may be moved over a surface from place -to place. Said means 11 is shown as a tow bar 35 mounted on wheels 36 and adapted to be bolted to the lower ends of the posts 26 to be made part of the frame at each end of the component 10. A bracket 37 on the bar 35 may be pulled by any suitable truck or power vehicle.

The assembly of end frames 15 with a top and bottom shelf makes up the basic storage module rack. Such units can be moved individually by fork-lift truck or on wheels, if being used as material-transport units. The basic storage module rack is the starter unit 1t.' if being used as a storage unit. A single unit 10 is placed in position and successive top and bottom shelves and end frames are added to form a longitudinal row. When a second basic starter unit is tiered atop the first by means of the elements 27 and 28, it becomes the first unit of the second level, with successive top and bottom shelves and end frames being added as before, each end frame tiering atop the one below, forming a second-level longitudinal row. In this manner, storerooms may be erected with several longitudinal rows, one or more levels high, interconnected with walkways 12. The assembled basic unit is a unique rigid structural frame having the required compressive and lateral strength to support units tiered above along with side-mounted walkways, catwalks and stairs. This rigid frame does not depend upon the interior shelves or attachments between the top and bottom shelves to contribute structural stability, as is the case with commercial racks and shelving presently available, nor is supplemental structural framing required for multi-level instailations. The interior of each unit, between the top and bottom shelves, is open for the mounting of a multiplicity of adjustable shelves and attachments for storing material in a protective and segregated manner.

It will be clear that each component 10 comprises a storage rack of parallelepipedon form in that the same has parallel top and bottom, parallel front and rear, and paraiiel ends.

Each of the frame components 10 may be provided 4 with a variety of supplemental or auxiliary elements, some alike and some different, but each of the purpose of housing and/or dening storage space for various items, as hereinbefore explained.

One such element is shown as a peg base shelf 38 which replaces the base shelf 16 and is structurally similar to the latter. Said shelf 38 has a top plate 31 that, in this case, has a multiplicity of holes 39 to receive verticai pegs 40 to provide segregated storage for thin items.

Another such element is shown as a peg shelf 41 with similar holes 39', but mounted on the posts 20 of the end frames 15 to be vertically adjustable according to which slots 23 of said posts are engaged by the studs 24 provided on the ends of said shelf.

Other adjustable flat-decked shelves 42, 42a and 43, with integral under-side reinforcing and a single mounting pin 24 at each corner to engage the bayonet slots 23 in the end frame posts 20, in the same manner as described in the mentioned patent, may be provided. These pins are ot^ a dimension to permit endwise movement play in the slot when mounted, thereby allowing one end of the shelf to be disengaged and moved upward or downward and re-engaged into the next slot above or below without disengaging the other end of the shelf. By such alternating disengagement and re-engagement, a shelf, loaded or empty, can be adjusted to a different level with a minimum of effort. A shelf can also be disengaged entirely by lifting at the central portion and moving it outward then upward or downward to another level, and re-engaged by an inward and downward movement This adjustability provides for continual and flexible use of the available space for storage.

If desired, one side of each rack frame 10 may be enclosed by a cover 46. @ne or both ends of each frame may be enclosed by either a cover 47 for the half-width frame, or a cover 48 for a full-width frame. Such covers, without invention, may be replaced by large-mesh grids, depending on whether ventilated or tightly closed conditions are desired. The mentioned holes 25 may be used for bolts to mount such covers.

Also, a sliding shelf 44, similar to shelf 43 but without the corner mounting pins 24, may be slidingly mounted into guides 45 on either side in a manner similar to a drawer in supporting slide-guides. The guides are channel-shaped and may contain anti-friction rollers and closetting mounting pins which engage the end frame post slots to mount the guides horizontally between the front and rear end frame posts. Such guides may be mounted in pairs to support the sliding shelf 44, allowing it to be moved outward and inward for placing or removing material.

A center grid 49, comprising a coarse Wire mesh enclosed in a frame, having single mounting pins 24 on the corners similar to the adjustable shelf 43, may be mounted in the same way as the adjustable shelf 43, but is vertically rather than horizontally disposed, as shown. The mounted grid provides a vertical mesh surface which, as shown in FIG. 6, will support hangers 50 from which pegs 51 extend horizontally and from which items having holes or contours can be stored in a hanging position. The grid peg 51 is a steel rod assembled to the flat hanger bracket 50, made to engage and hang from a horizontai grid wire of the center grid while being restricted from sidewise movement by the vertical wires, thereby providing a rigid support for items stored by hanging as described above.

The walkway 12 is shown as comprising rectangular mezzanine gratings 52, 53 and 54. These mezzanine grating components are framed walkway grating units designed to attach to rack end frames 15 to provide longitudinal and transverse walkways or aisles between racks or rows of racks in multi-level installations, as the floors of a multi-story building. Grating 52 provides a longitudinal walkway between racks 10 and has four downwardly directed corner mounting lugs 55 which engage the lifting stirrup 29 at the top of the end frame posts 20 leveling with the elevation of the top shelf of the rack unit. Grating S3 mounts between rack units 10 in the end frame depth direction, bolting to the threaded holes 25 in the top of the end frame posts 20, providing transverse walkways or aisles transverse to the aisles formed by the grating 52. Grating 54 is a filler section attaching to grating 52 where transverse and longitudinal walkways or aisles intersect. Any of the gratings 52, 53 or 54 may also be mounted externally of the stacks of units, with supporting posts, to provide an external catwalk at the end perimeters of a multi-level installation.

The walkway grids Imay be placed at any desired level, but preferably at levels corresponding to the levels of jointure at which two stacked frame components are located. Thus, the walkways serve as floors from which easy access to the storage areas of the components 10 may be had.

Stairway or ladder access to the walkways or catwalks may be provided, without invention, by securing the upper ends of such access means to the outer edges of either grating 52, 53, or both. The end of any aisle may be closed off for safety purposes. To this end, a closure grid 56, shown in FIG. 4, may by means of lugs 57 thereon be bolted to the upper and lower ends of adjacent posts 20.

Another item-supporting and -storing element may take the form of an adjustable grid shelf 58, the wire ymesh 59 providing means adapted for engagement by hooks to which members to be stored are hung. The shelf 58 may be mounted in a rack frame component 10` in any of the manners described for mounting the shelves 42, 42a, 41, 43 or 44.

As shown in FIG. l, a transverse shelf divider 60 may be provided on any of the above-mentioned shelves so items of different sizes and/or characteristics ymay be stored on spaces of a shelf divided by such a divider. While but one divider is shown as mounted on shelf 42a, two or more may be provided and mounted on slides 61 so the storage spaces may be adjusted for size.

Any of the above shelves, as shown in FIGS. l and 7, may be provided with a longitudinally arranged drawer stop 62 to limit the retracted position of an item-storing drawer 63 slidingly supported on such a shelf. FIG. 7 shows such a `drawer partly pulled open. A stop lug 64 on the -drawer may engage a front lip on a shelf thereabove to limit drawer projection.

While the foregoing has illustrated and described what is now contemplated to be the best mode of carrying out the invention, the construction is, of course, subject to modification without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. Therefore, it is not desired to restrict the invention to the particular form of construction illustrated and described, but to cover all modifications that may fall within the scope of the appended claims.

Having thus described the invention, what is claimed and desired to be secured by lI /etters Patent is:

1. A storage rack frame component comprising:

(a) two rectangular and Vertical end lframes, each comprising a pair of side posts, and post-connecting transverse crosspieces located, respectively, at the fupper and lower ends of said posts,

(b) a base shelf extending between and connecting the lower portions of said end frames, the lowermost surface of said shelf being spaced above the lower ends of said side posts,

(c) a top shelf extending between and connecting the upper portions of said end frames, the top surface of said top shelf being substantially level with the upper ends of the side posts,

(d) an upwardly directed tapered extension fxedly secured to the upper end of each post, and

(e) a socket in the lower end of each post,

(f) the extensions being adapted to be fitted into the sockets of a similar frame component in registered disposition thereabove, and

(g) the sockets being adapted to receive the projections of a similar frame component in registered disposition therebelow.

2. A storage fra-me component according to claim 1, provided with item-Storing shelves between the base and top shelf and means to separably connect the ends of said storing shelves to the end frames.

3. A storage frame component according to claim 2 in which each end frame is provided with a wheel-provided tow member at the lower end thereof, said member comprising a tow bar longitudinally coextensive With the width of each said end frame and aixed thereto, and support wheels for said bar,

4. A storage frame component according to claim 2 in which separable cover members are provided for at least one side of the frame component to enclose said side.

5. A storage rack system comprising:

(a) a plurality of rack frame components, each Of parallelepipedon form,

(b) a plurality of item-storing elements mounted within the interior space formed by the six sides of each said component,

(c) means provided at the four upper and the four lower corners of each said component adapted for separable stacked connection between two components disposed, one upon the other in vertical register with each other,

(d) a walkway between spaced stacks of components and connected thereto to provide supports for persons to give access to the items stored in the comlponents,

(e) each walkway comprising horizontally disposed members to support persons moving between the rack frame components, and

(f) means to connect said members along at least one edge thereof to an adjacent side of a rack frame component.

6. A storage system according to claim S in which the stacks of rack frame components are arranged in plural rows of stacks with the stacks of the several rows in transverse alignment, the walkways comprising grids arranged to form continuous aisles between the several stacks of rack frame components.

7. A storage system according to claim 6 in which the end of at least one aisle is provided with a closure grid.

8. A storage rack system according to claim 5 in which:

(a) the edges of the grids that engage the sides of the rack frame components are provided with downwardly directed mounting lugs, and

(b) said sides of the rack frame components are stirrups into which said lugs are tted to thereby support the grids.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 869,491 10/ 1907 Hurteau 10S-107 2,226,763 12/1940 Geib 211-148 X 2,604,213 7/1952 Bales 211-134 X 2,654,487 10/1953 Degener 211-148 2,828,826 4/1958 Riemenschneider 211-134 X 2,897,013 7/1959 Delp 211-148 X 3,007,708 9/1961 Ochs 2ll-148 X 3,323,655' 6/1967 Foran 211--134 3,338,423 8/1967 Wellman 211-148 X NILE C. BYERS, JR., Primary Examiner U.S. Cl. XR. 108-5 6

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U.S. Classification108/91, 108/53.5, 108/190, 108/56.1, 108/189
International ClassificationA47B55/00, A47F5/10, A47B47/00, A47B87/02, A47B55/02, A47B47/03, A47B87/00
Cooperative ClassificationA47B55/02, A47B47/03, A47F5/10, A47B87/0215
European ClassificationA47B47/03, A47B87/02B1, A47B55/02, A47F5/10
Legal Events
Jul 13, 1981AS02Assignment of assignor's interest
Effective date: 19770415
Jul 13, 1981ASAssignment
Effective date: 19770415