US 3557719 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Thaddeus A. Gielas 4709 70th St., Kenosha, Wis. 53140  Appl. No. 752,019
 Filed Aug. 12, 1968  Patented Jan. 26, 1971  Inventor  PAPERBOARD PALLET ASSEMBLY 8 Claims, 5 Drawing Figs.
 US. Cl 108/56, 108/51  Int.Cl B65d 19/12  Field of Search 108/51-  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,006,590 10/1961 Hoag 108/56 3,012,747 12/1961 108/56 3,013,922 12/1961 264/45 3,124,627 3/1964 264/45. 3,152,199 10/1964 264/45 3,177,271 4/1965 Slayman 264/45 3,407,758 10/1968 Simkings 108/51 3,453,973 7/1969 Vose, et al. 108/51 FOREIGN PATENTS 601,456 7/1960 Canada 108/58 697,232 9/1953 Great Britain 108/56 988,428 4/1965 Great Britain 108/51 Primary Examiner-Bobby R. Gay
Assistant ExaminerGlenn O. Finch Attorney-Dennis B. Haase ABSTRACT: The present invention relates to an improved pallet comprising an assemblage of paperboard elements which are preformed and cut to define blanks which may be stored and shipped in essentially flat condition, and assembled when and where needed, for use into a pallet having a loadbearing deck supported by a plurality of feet which are suitably spaced to pennit the tines of a forklift truck to engage the underside of the deck for maneuvering the load-bearing pallet under use conditions.
ill/Ill PAPERBOARD PALLET ASSEMBLY DETAILED SPECIFICATION The palletizing of parts and raw materials become an important part of many efficient warehousing systems. The use of pallets permits maneuvering, shipping and storage of material with a minimum amount of handling of individual parts and smaller packages, all of which have a common destination. While the use of pallets has wrought considerable improvements in the handling of material, many of the pallets currently in use, usually of bulky rigid construction, take up warehouse space which could otherwise be put to profitable use. Moreover, in the shipping of material, the pallet upon which the goods have been placed constitutes dead weight, which, in the case of the rigid construction, increases the cost of moving material substantially.
It is, therefore, an objective of the present invention to provide a pallet assembly which is capable of being stored in a relatively flat condition, taking up a minimum of floor space for such purposes, and which may be readily assembled into a pallet having a load-bearing capability which makes it competitive in use with rigid wooden and metal structures.
It is another object of the present invention to provide a paperboard pallet assembly which is lightweight, and sufficiently inexpensive to render the pallet itself expendable when no longer in use, thus eliminating the need for shipping the empty pallet back to its owner after use.
Still another object of the invention is to provide an improved paperboard pallet assembly comprising a group of readily manufactured elements capable of being formed into a strong pallet structure in accordance with the method of the invention.
These, and other objects and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following detailed disclosure, taken in conjunction with the drawings, wherein;
FIG. 1 is a top plan view, illustrating an embodiment of an assembled paper paperboard pallet constructed in accordance with the present invention;
FIG. 2 is an elevation of an overlay portion comprising one of the elements of the novel pallet assembly of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a section taken along lines 3-3 of FIG. 1, illustrating the construction and interrelation of a load supporting foot member to the assembly as a whole;
FIG. 4 is a perspective illustrating, in a partially exploded view, the method of assembly which comprises the ernbodiment of the pallet assembly of FIG. I; and
FIG. 5 is a perspective, viewed from beneath the pallet illustrating the relationship of the load-bearing feet.
While the invention is susceptible of various modifications and alternative constructions, a particular illustrative embodiment is set out in the drawings and will be described in detail hereinafter. It will be understood that the invention is not intended to be limited to the particular disclosed form, but rather to cover all modifications, alternative constructions, and equivalents.
With reference now to the drawings, a paperboard pallet assembly, indicated generally at 10, and constructed in accordance with the present invention, comprises a main deck member 12 having holes 14 therein (see particularly FIG. 4), and having overlay portions, indicated generally at 16, adopted to be interfitted with the main deck member 12. Each overlay comprises a group of load-receiving sections such as exemplary sections 18, 20, 22 and 24 illustrated in detail in FIG. 2. The load-receiving sections 18 through 24 are joined by straps 26, 28 and 30 to form a chain which defines the form of the blank comprising each overlay. The straps as will appear in FIG. 3 and FIG. 4 are dimensioned to be extensible through the holes 14 defined in the main deck member 12. In keeping with this feature of the invention, channels 32 are formed between the straps and underside of the deck for the securing of load-bearing foot members 34 beneath the deck to support the same at a predetermined height above floor level.
As may be seen in FIGS. 4 and 5, the main deck member is formed of a flat sheet of paperboard material, and may assume any appropriate configuration, although for purposes of exemplifying the invention, a rectangular member is shown. In a like manner the weight of the stock to be used will, to a substantial extent, involve an evaluation of the intended use, balancing the same against such factors as expense, availability and structural need.
The overlay 16 is constructed, in accordance with the present invention, to lie flush against the upper surface of the main deck member when the pallet is assembled, covering a portion thereof. It is not necessary, as may be seen in FIG. 1, that the overlay completely cover the deck member in order to function in the intended manner; nor is it required to be of the same weight of paperboard stock as the deck, although convenience and efiiciency may dictate that it be the same.
As may be seen in FIGS. l, 4 and S, the holes 14 are not in parallel alignment. There is, as may be seen in the FIG. I embodiment, a central row of longitudinally extending coaxial holes, each of which is flanked on either side by a hole having a longitudinal axis disposed at an angle with respect to the longitudinal axis of the deck member. Thus a plurality of series of adjacent nonparallel holes extend transverse to the longitudinal axis of the deck, each of which series is adopted to be covered by an overlay. By providing the angular displacement as indicated, the load-bearing feet provide a broader base (as indicated by the dimension AB as compared to CD), on which the load may be supported. Moreover, the broadened base of the cumulative load-bearing feet permit the pallet structures to be more readily stacked, one upon the other, with little regard for the specific configuration of the top of the supporting load disposed on the pallet beneath. In other words, a sufficient number of the load-bearing feet will make at least some contact with the top of the load on the pallet beneath to support the pallet adequately and with sufficient stability to permit multiple pallet stacks.
The overlay, as seen in FIG. 2, is conveniently formed from a sheet of paperboard material, and in accordance with the embodiment of the invention, here illustrated, the load-receiving sections 18, 20, 22 and 24 are trapeaoidally shaped so that, upon assembly with the main deck member 12, the loadreceiving sections will be brought together to form a substantially contiguous load-receiving surface as seen in FIGS. 1 and The straps 26, 28 and 30, which interconnect the loadreceiving sections, are dimensioned to permit them to pass the through the holes 14 as seen in FIG. 3. In order to permit proper channel formation at the assembly point, the straps are precreased along transverse fold lines such as lines 36, 38, 40 and 42, thus properly dimensioning the strap sections in order that they may be readily folded to form the channel for receipt of the load-bearing foot 34. To this end, the fold lines 38 and 40 define a central segment 44 which is substantially the same length as the width of the hole 14. This section will be the actual load-supporting portion of the pallet, and is thus dimensional to provide a maximum area for the foot 34 consistent with the ability to assemble the pallet by manually forcing the strap through a hole in the deck. In the this manner, optimum load distribution is accomplished over the number of feet provided for each pallet assembly.
The same operation which punches out the overlays also provides counter cuts 46 and 48 which achieves an extension of the parallel longitudinal edges of the straps and permits, upon folding along the lines 36 and 42 respectively, the edges 50 and 52 of the members I8 and 20 respectively, which are preformed to be parallel, to come together. In accomplishing this, the depth of. the cuts 46 and 48 respectively are preferably one-half the length of the section 44. Thus, as seen in FIG. 4, when the straps are folded, in accordance with the invention, a substantially continuous overlay surface is provided. In a like manner, the parallel surfaces 54 and 56 of the sections 20 and 22 are brought together, and the parallel surface edges 56 and 58 of the sections 22 and 24 are also brought together.
The load-bearing feet E i-each comprise a series of sheets of suitable weight paperboard material, preferably corrugated, which are either glued or somehow attached together to form a block of a size sufficient to be pressed into the channel defined by the straps. The blocks are so aligned that the sheets extend vertically between the deck and the floor. The longitudinal dimension of the blocks, which define the feet, as may be seen in FIG. 1, is greater than the actual length of the aper ture, thereby providing segments 60 at opposite termini of the blocks which engage the underside of the main deck portion to thereby provide additional supporting area against which the load on the pallet may be distributed.
As will be evident from the arrangement disclosed, the tines of the forklift truck may be inserted beneath the pallet from practically any angle without material interference from the feet. Moreover, a substantial load distribution area is provided by accumulative area of the feet against which the load bears, and against which the feet react in engaging the supporting floor surface or load on a stacking pallet.
It will be appreciated also that the specific arrangement of the feet will determine the configuration of the overlay, and that variations from the specific embodiment shown are contemplated by the invention.
1. A paperboard pallet assembly comprising, in combination, a main deck member, a plurality of holes defined in said deck member, an overlay comprising a group of load-receiving sections, said sections being (interfitted) disposed in faceto-face relation with a surface of said deck member in assembly, and adjacent ones of said sections being joined by straps, said straps being fold(ed )able to extend through said holes to thereby define spaced channels beneath said deck, a load-bearing foot member disposed in tight fitting relation in each said channel and secured beneath and to said deck member by said strap to support said deck above floor level,
said feet when positionedin'said channels serve to hold said load-receiving section in position against said deck.
2. The assembly as set forth in claim 1 wherein said overlay is formed of a single paperboard blank, said blank being cut to define a chain of load-receiving sections joined by integrally formed straps, said straps being precreased so that to permit folding thereof.
3. The assembly as set forth in claim 1 wherein the sides of adjacent load-receiving sections joined by a strap are parallel, and said sections are constructed to define a contiguous loadbearing surface when said straps are extended through said holes.
4. The assembly as set forth in claim 1 wherein a plurality of overlays are provided for assembly with said deck, said overlays being disposed in space relation as assembled.
5. The assembly as set forth in claim 2 wherein counter cuts are provided in each of said load-receiving sections, said cuts being disposed adjacent longitudinal sides of said straps,.and adapted to increase the length thereof so as to bring said sections into contiguous relationship upon extension of said straps through said holes.
6. The assembly as set forth in claim 1 wherein said holes are rectangular shaped, and certain of said holes in a series beingdisposecl on a longitudinal axis which forms an acute angle with the longitudinal dimension of said deck.
7. The assembly as set forth in claim 6 wherein said loadreceiving sections are trapezoidal in shape so as to provide a substantially rectangular overlay when said straps are extended through adjacent nonparallel holes in said deck member.
8. The assembly as set forth in claim 1 wherein said feet comprise a series of corrugated paperboard sheets, said sheets being disposed in said channel with said sheets extending vertically between said deck member and the floor.