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Publication numberUS3527373 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 8, 1970
Filing dateNov 6, 1968
Priority dateNov 8, 1967
Also published asDE1807601A1
Publication numberUS 3527373 A, US 3527373A, US-A-3527373, US3527373 A, US3527373A
InventorsGiraudet Jean Eugene Raphael, Giraudet Pierre Jean Gabriel
Original AssigneeGiraudet Jean Eugene Raphael, Giraudet Pierre Jean Gabriel
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Moulded container having integral reinforcing
US 3527373 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)





7 /24:: J. 6-. 6 064d 95;- w 71. AQ-GVMIKDFT Avail 11.

p 1970 P. J. G. GIRAUDET ETAL 3,527,373

MOULDED CONTAINER HAVING INTEGRAL REINFORCING Filed Nov. 6. .1968 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Il/an raxl,

451W I'M Patented Sept. 8, 1970 Int. Cl. Biasd 43/12 US. Cl. 220-41 6 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE Moulded container having improved tearing and buckling strength properties, wherein reinforcements are provided on at least a portion of the inner surface of the container side walls, so as to construct strengthening beams adjacent the upper and lower edges of said side walls.

The present invention relates to moulded containers which can be stacked onto each other and may be used particularly for the shipping and stocking of perishable goods. The invention relates also to a process for improving the mechanical strength of such moulded containers.

Some containers have been known to be made by moulding foamed or expanded plastic material such as expanded polystyrene, having good isothermal properties, low weight, good tightness and good resistance to insect and parasite attack.

Known containers of this type have an open top face and can be optionally closed with a cover placed on the container body. Generally, the lower edges of these containers are perpendicular, whereas their internal surface has an arcuate profile over the entire bottom periphery to allow for easier stripping from the mould and easier cleaning of the container bottom. The remainder of the side Walls of such containers have a constant thickness up to the upper edge which is cut at right angles to provide a good support for another container directly stacked onto the first one.

Such a construction of the container walls has a disadvantage when the container is made of expanded polystyrene or the like. Thus it has been observed that when a rupture is initiated at the bottom end walls of the container, due for example to shock or impact, the rupture grows up very quickly over the entire height of the wall even if this wall is relatively thick, causing the container to splinter.

Further, when the container is submitted to high loads, for example in the stacking of a plurality of filled containers, a buckling or lateral distortion of the walls often occurs, resulting immediately in complete tear of one or several walls over their entire height. This buckling or lateral distortion and the resulting deterioration of containers and contents thereof occur quite often on boats because, due to rolling and pitching, the center of gravity of the stack or pile of containers moves towards the outside of the pile and side walls of the containers slant more or less with respect to vertical. It has been suggested to overcome partially this disadvantage by thickening the walls of the containers in order to increase stiffness, and buckling strength thereof. But this entails a considerable increase of the amount of the material needed for manufacturing the container, and of the unitary cost of the same.

According to the instant invention, there is provided a process allowing for a substantial increase of the buckling strength and the resistance to the splitting of the side walls of this type containers, while decreasing the amount of needed raw material. According to the invention, an inwardly projecting flange is provided on at least a portion of the upper periphery of the container, by means of a mould having conveniently constructed movable parts. Due to this arrangement, there is also provided a fillet or profiled reinforcement between the lower face of said flange and the internal face of the corresponding side wall of the container. Another symmetrical profiled reinforcement is provided on the internal face of the container along its lower periphery. Thus, at least some of the container side walls are formed, at their bottom and at their top, with L-shaped channels. Besides, because the internal angle of these L-shaped channels is provided with a reinforcement, the thickness of the corresponding walls is relatively larger along the upper and lower edges, thus constituting reinforcing beams.

Thus the wall together with the upper flange and the adjacent part of the bottom, forms a U-shaped profile which presents all the obvious advantages of such a profile as far as the buckling strength and tearing strength are concerned, as compared to the corresponding L-shaped parts of known containers. The reinforcing beams provided along the lower and upper edges of the wall enhance this desirable effect by firmly maintaining the sheet constituting the wall. When the wall is sufiiciently high, the overall thickness of the container walls can be substantially decreased according to the process of the invention, which constitutes a compensation for the supplementary raw material necessary for making the upper flanged and arched portions and yet allows for obtaining stronger walls having an improved buckling strength not only in a lateral direction with respect to the beams, that is to say horizontally but also in a vertical direction, which is normally the most important feature. The central portion of the walls constitutes a veil-like web fixed up between the upper and lower beams.

A flat cover can be provided to close the container of the invention. This cover is preferably sliding and provided on two of its opposite edges with projecting ribs capable of cooperating with complementary longitudinal grooves provided in the corresponding inwardly projecting upper flanges. Alternatively, there can be provided a raisable cover having flared edges supported on the flared upper flanges of the container, by a dovetailed stud fixing device.

Other objects and advantages of the present invention will be apparent to those skilled in the art when reading the specification and claims appended thereto.

In the drawings:

FIG. 1 shows a cross-sectional view of the conventional container;

FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view of a container according to the invention;

FIG. 3 shows a perspective view of an embodiment of the container of the invention having a sliding cover;

FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view of the container of FIG. 3, showing the upper flange and the reinforcements;

FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view of a wall of a container according to another embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional view showing the jointed portion of a mould closed on the internal face of the side wall of a container according to the invention;

FIG. 7 is a cross-sectional view showing the same parts as those of FIG. 6, the jointed portion of the mold being separated from the corresponding part of the container;

FIG. 8 is a perspective view of still another embodiment of a container according to the invention, having an upper flange on its four sides and closed by a cover;

FIG. 9 is a perspective view of a further embodiment of a container provided with the upper groove on both its longer sides, and dovetailed notches for receiving the cover;

FIG. 10 is a perspective view of the cover of the container shown on FIG. 9;

FIG. 11 is a perspective view of another embodiment of the container having said upper flange on three sides thereof and adapted to receive a sliding cover; and

FIG. 12 is a cross-sectional view of the beams formed at the converging angles of four containers of the invention, placed side by side and stacked by groups of two.

The container, preferably moulded of expanded polystyrene, has its outside shaped as a rectangular parallelepiped and comprises four side walls 1 and a bottom 2. The internal periphery of the bottom is rounded so as to form a reinforcement 5 between the bottom and the side walls. The top face of said container is provided with a removable cover 6.

According to an embodiment of the invention shown on FIGS. 2, 3 and 4, both the longer side walls are provided respectively, along their upper edge, with a flange 7 projecting toward the inside of the container. The lower part of said flange 7 is extended toward the internal face of the corresponding side wall by a reinforcement 8 symmetrical to the reinforcement 5 at the bottom of this side wall. The side walls 8 and 5 are archor ogive-shaped. After withdrawing from the mould, the expanded polystyrene object possesses a smooth surface crust having higher mechanical characteristics than those of the inside of the mass. This crust constitutes a reinforcing frame for the arch-shaped side wall 8 and prevents the flange 7 from collapsing or breaking after an impact of an abnormal downward pressure. Each flange 7 is formed on its edge with a longitudinal groove 9 extending over the whole length of the said flange. Cover 6 is provided on its side edges with a rib 10 having a profile complementary to the one of groove 9 which acts as a slide for the cover.

Such an assembly overcomes the disadvantages of the conventional containers of the considered type, such as the container shown in FIG. 1; these disadvantages comprise: relatively higher fragility of the side walls, loss of useful volume at the bottom of the flange of the cover particularly when such containers are arranged in rows, and relatively larger amounts of raw material used to make the cover.

The flanges 7 and the grooves 9 are made simultane ously with the remaining portions of the container, using of a mould having several jointed parts 11 and 12, according to a known technique (cf. FIGS. 6 and 7). The minimum free space between the jointed parts of the mould is determined by the width divided by the flange 7 (see FIG. 7). The thickness of the walls of the container at the level of the upper reinforcements 8 is preferably equal to their thickness at the level of the lower reinforcements 5 so as not to have an increased setting and cooling time prior to withdrawing from the mould. The covers, contrary to the known fitting covers used with known type containers, can be moulded in an upright position so as to obtain more covers during one moulding operation. Furthermore, because the cover is flat and has a smaller area than the upper face of the container, the amount of raw material saved with the instant cover is important.

Openings 13 for the venting of contents of the container, or for the draining of waste liquids (see FIGS. 6, 7 and 11) can be provided. In that case, conveniently arranged stubs 14 are mounted on the corresponding jointed parts 11 of the mould. The stripping of the mould from these openings 13 will be effected in the same way and preferably at the same time and by the same element as the stripping of flanges 7 and grooves 9.

According to another embodiment of this invention (shown on FIG. 11), the container has a flange 7 on three of its sides. The cover is introduced into grooves 9 from the side which has no flange, it slides in the groove of the two lateral flanges then contacts the opposite flange at the end of its travel.

According to still another embodiment, shown on FIG. 5 and 8, the flange 7 extends over the whole upper periphery of the container. The edge 15 of said flange 7 is outwardly flared, the edges 16 of the four sides of the cover having a complementary flared profile. According to a further embodiment shown on FIGS. 9 and 10, the flared edge 15 of the flange comprises dovetailing notches 17. Dovetailed stubs 18, shaped complementarily to notches 17, are provided on the periphery of the cover wherefrom they project in the area corresponding to the flaring. Marginal recessed notches 19 and/or median recessed notches 20 are provided in the upper part of the cover to allow gripping thereof so as to separate it from the container. The cover is thus put in place and taken out vertically. When the cover is put in place and the dovetailed stubs of the cover are inserted in their recesses on the container, the stability of the container is still further increased and the buckling strength of the side walls is maximum The containers according to the invention can be stacked and stored side by side to form compact blocks in warehouses, store-rooms in ships, railway or road trucks. In this case, the buckling strength and tearing strength constitute an important economy factor, for it determines the limit, in terms of stacked containers or in terms of height of the stack, beyond which it is no longer possible to pile up containers without a risk of tearing or rupture. The stacking and placing side by side of identical containers according to the invention form at each of the points of juxtaposition of the container corners stack edges, composite beams 21 having large sections, said beams being constituted by the combination of the corners having reinforcements 5, of both up per containers 22, and of the corners having flanges 7 and reinforcements 8, of both lower containers 23 (see FIG. 12). The stability of each container of the block and the stiffness of the side walls thereof are substantially increased in comparison to conventional containers arranged in similar blocks, the adjacent walls 24 of both lower containers 23 being then comparable to median legs of two U-shaped back-to-back channels. These stability and stiffness are further increased when containers of the invention are fitted with their respective covers prior to stacking, since, then, the side walls of containers 23 which are opposed to walls 24 respectively, act as abutments.

Of course, the invention is not limited to the examples described and shown in the drawings and it can be modified in accordance with the shown embodiments Without leaving the scope of the invention. Particularly, reinforcements 5 and 8 can have a flat or semi-circular profile, or one or both reinforcements can be omitted without any loss of the advantages of the invention. The fixing means of the cover can also be modified according to the desired use of the container.

What is claimed is:

1. A stackable container made of a molded plastic material such as expanded polystyrene, comprising a bottom wall and four side walls extending upwardly from the peripheral edges of said bottom wall, the latter being provided with a bottom edge reinforcement extending along at least a portion of said peripheral edges of the bottom, and including thickened angle portions defined by concave inner surfaces, said thickened angle portions joining the inner faces of at least some of the side walls with the upper surface of said bottom wall, said side walls having a peripheral flange arranged at at least a portion of their upper edges and extending inwardly therefrom and having a concave configuration, a fillet-like flange reinforcement extending in the corner formed between each side wall and the corresponding portion .of said flange.

2. The container of claim 1, wherein said peripheral flange comprises two opposite flange portions extending respectively along the upper edges of two opposite side walls and having each an inwardly directed surface which is provided with a longitudinal flange groove, the two flange grooves being adapted to receive slideahly opposite longitudinal end portions of a cover for closing the top end of said container.

3. The container of claim 2, wherein said longitudinal cover end portions are constituted by ribs which are slideably engageable in said grooves.

4. The container of claim 1, wherein the inwardly directed surface of said flange is flared upwardly and outwardly, and wherein a cover having its peripheral edges complementarily flared downwardly and inwardly of the container is adapted to be removably fitted onto the top end of said container.

5. The container of claim 4, wherein the flared flange faces are provided with at least one detailed notch adapted to receive at least one complementarily shaped stud provided at the periphery of said cover, whereby the latter is locked in place for closing the container top end.

6. The container of claim 4, wherein said cover has its top face provided with recesses adapted to receive the fingers of the user for easy removal of said cover from said container.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,182,856 5/1965 Goltz 220-41 3,362,564 1/1968 Mueller 22041 3,403,714 10/1968 Hulm 150--5 GEORGE T. HALL, Primary Examiner US. Cl. X.R.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3182856 *Nov 20, 1962May 11, 1965George I BloomStacking box construction
US3362564 *Oct 16, 1964Jan 9, 1968Oscar G. MuellerSliding lid boxes
US3403714 *Feb 23, 1967Oct 1, 1968John M. HulmSafety receptacle
Referenced by
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US4589824 *Aug 7, 1979May 20, 1986United Technologies CorporationRotor blade having a tip cap end closure
US4653671 *May 9, 1985Mar 31, 1987Christene DuffyContainer
US4668484 *Feb 13, 1984May 26, 1987Elliott David JTransport containers for semiconductor wafers
US4832221 *Sep 25, 1987May 23, 1989Jacques ManemCap with a sliding-flap closure
US4967995 *Aug 9, 1989Nov 6, 1990John BurgessCombination cover and dispenser for an ice cube tray
US5058746 *Oct 4, 1989Oct 22, 1991Morgan Iv Robert LPallet container structure II
US5107990 *Mar 14, 1990Apr 28, 1992Devon Industries, Inc.Rigid closure lid to a disposable container for holding and disposing of used medical sharps and other medical-surgical materials
US5116758 *Dec 29, 1989May 26, 1992Kuldeep VermaFermentation vessel closure
US5168959 *Jan 8, 1992Dec 8, 1992Davis Norman EOil receiving container
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U.S. Classification220/345.1, 220/659
International ClassificationB65D43/12, B65D43/02
Cooperative ClassificationB65D43/12
European ClassificationB65D43/12