US 3575299 A
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United States Patent 176,148;248/243,l61,220.5; 108/107,108,144; 5/296; 287/189.36, 54 (A) (C); 287/189.36 (A)  References Cited UNlTED STATES PATENTS 2,686,037 8/ 1954 Foote et al 292/ 1 62X 2,971,658 2/1961 211/176 3,240,352 3/1966 Baker 211/177 FOREIGN PATENTS 85,789 8/1965 France 211/176 809,244 2/ 1959 Great Britain 248/243 Primary ExaminerRamon S. Britts Attorney-Harness, Dickey & Pierce ABSTRACT: An adjustable beam storage rack having front and rear posts and beams with end connectors interfitting with spaced louvers on the posts. Each connector has a plurality of vertically spaced downwardly extending teeth and one of these teeth has an upwardly extending tab. When inserting the teeth in the louvers, this tab snaps into position under one of the louvers so as to prevent upward withdrawal of the teeth unless it is pried out of alignment with the louver wall by a PATEHTEH APRQO 19.
SHEET 1 BF 3 PATH-HEB APRZO m1 SHEET 2 OF 3 5 kPww n K a m a V/ r f PATENTEU APRZU 1971 3575,2599
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COhIhIECTOIIt ll Olllt BEAM STORAGE RACES This application is a continuation'in-part of my copending application, Ser. No. 820,853 filed May 1, 1969, now abandoned.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention This invention relates to industrial storage racks of the adjustable beam type, in which beams have end connectors which interfit with vertically spaced louvers on the posts. It is desired that the connectors be locked in position within the louvers to prevent accidental dislodgment. The invention is particularly concerned with connectors of the type shown in Kimpton US. Pat. No. 3,194,408 issued July 13, 1965 for Adjustable Storage Rack and Beam Construction therefor. It is desireable to have this type of connector usable with reversible louver storage rack posts of the type shown in Cassel Application Ser. No. 738,903 filed June 21, 1968 and entitled Reversible Storage Rack Construction, this application being assigned to the same assignee as the present application.
2. Description of the Prior Art A known safety lock for this type of rack is shown in Baker US. Pat. No. 3,240,352 issued Mar. 15, 1966 and entitled Safety Lock For Adjustable Storage Racks. However, this type of lock involves a separable piece which is inconvenient to use and is subject to loss. Other types of locking constructions are shovm in Barbaro Application Ser. No. 743,233 filed July 8, I968 for Safety Locking Construction for Adjustable Storage Racks, now Pat. No. 3,507,400 assigned to the assignee ofthis application, and the above-mentioned Cassel application. However, these types of locking constructions also have certain deficiencies. In the case of the construction shown in SE11. No. 743,233, the construction is not usable in a reverse direction, that is, locking will only take place when the connector teeth are inserted on one direction in the louvers. In the case of the construction shown in the Cassel application, it has been found that this construction is inconvenient for users since they must bend in one tab and bend out the other tab when they are reversing the direction of tooth insertion.
BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION According to the invention, the connector has a plurality of downwardly extending teeth, and is preferably made of a fine grain low alloy high yield steel which can be welded. One of the teeth has a tab extending in the opposite direction and this tab snaps into position under one of the louvers when the teeth are inserted in the louvers. The relative dimensions of the parts are such that one sidewall of the louver above this tab will be in obstructing relation with the tab, so that the teeth cannot be lifted from the louvers. In order to remove a connector from the post it is therefore necessary to pry the tab away from the post until it clears the louver sidewall. When so pried, the connector may be lifted out of engagement with the post.
In a modified form of the invention, the tab is twisted, thereby giving it extra spring and permitting additional clearance between the tab and post to simplify the removal.
B RlEF DESCRIFT ION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a front elevational view of an adjustable storage rack incorporating the locking construction of this invention;
FIG. 2 is a top plan view thereof;
FIG. 3 is an elevational view, with parts broken away; of one of the beams showing the end connectors;
FIG. A is an enlarged fragmentary elevational view of a portion of one of the posts with the connector mounted thereon;
FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view taken along the line 5-5 of 1 16. 1;
FIG. is a view similar to FIG. 41 showing a modified form of the invention, in which the tab is twisted;
FIG. 7 is a cross sectional view taken along the line 7-7 of FIG. e; and
FIG. a is a plan cross-sectional view taken along the line 8-8 of FIG. 7.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Referring first to the embodiments of FIGS. 1 through 5, the I storage rack is generally indicated at 11 and comprises a plurality of spaced pairs of front posts 12 and rear posts 13 connected by from and rear beams 141. Each pair of posts 12 and 13 is connected by cross braces 15, and each post is of rectangular cross-sectional shape and has a plurality of vertically spaced louvers 16. As seen in FIGS. 1 and 5, each louver 16 comprises an outwardly pressed portion of the post, the portions facing forwardly from posts 12 and rearwardly from posts 13. Each lover 16 has sidewalls 17 and 18, and these sidewalls are flared away from each other both upwardly and downwardly.
Each beam 14 has a pair of end connectors 19 and 21 at its opposite ends, as seen in FIG. 3. The members are of generally L-shaped cross section and are welded to the beam ends. One leg of each connector is adapted to engage the side of the post facing the beam. The other leg has three vertically spaced downwardly extending teeth, 22, 23 and 24. The lower ends of the teeth are bent inwardly as shown in FIG. 5 so that the teeth may enter any three adjacent louvers 16. When so received, the teeth will draw the first leg of the connector against the post with a wedging action as seen in FIG. 4-. The teeth may be inserted in the louvers in either direction and still achieve the wedging action. In this manner the post may be reversed, as described more particularly in the aforesaid copending Cassel application.
A tooth 23 on each connector 19 and 21 has an upwardly extending tab 25 in the same plane as the main portions of the teeth. The length and width of this tab is such that after the teeth have been inserted in the louvers the upper edge 26 of tab 25 will be obstructed by sidewall 15 of a louver 16 as seen in FIGS. 41 and 5. Although a space exists between upper edge 26 of tab 25 and lower edge 27 of louver sidewall 18, this space is substantially less than the lengths of teeth 22, 23 and 24 which are received by louvers 16.
In operation, teeth 22, 23 and 24 of the connector will be inserted in the normal manner in any group of three adjacent louvers. During this inserting movement, tab 26 will be temporarily sprung away from post 12 or 13 by interference with the adjacent louver 16. For this reason, it is desirable that end connectors 19 and 21 be manufactured of a high yield steel which permits it to be welded to beam 14. One of a number of suitable steels for this purpose is known as MLX 50 produced by McLouth Steel Company, Detroit, Michigan, which is a fine grain low alloy high yield steel.
Although the relative dimensions of the parts are preferably such that the above described obstructing relation exists between sidewall 15 of louver 16 and tab 25, the locking instruction will also function satisfactorily if it should occur that tab 25 temporarily enters the louver 16 above it. In such case momentary withdrawal of teeth 22, 23 and 241 from the louvers will not have an adverse effect since the end connector will be retained and guided by tab 25 within louver 16, and subsequent downward movement of the end connector will result in the teeth being again received by the louvers.
It is preferable that tab 25 be on the central of the three teeth shown since it thus provides a balanced locking effect. It is also possible, however, that the tab be placed on the lowermost tooth, that is, tooth 24 Placing it on the uppermost tooth 22 would be unsatisfactory because the tab could not then function as a locking device when the uppermost set of three louvers 16 on any post is being used.
In order to remove an end connector 19 or 21 from the post, it is necessary to insert the end of a screwdriver between tab at and the adjacent portion of post 12 or 13. The tab may then be pried outwardly until it clears the louver above it and end connector 19 or 21 pushed upwardly until the tab overlaps louver 16. At that point the screwdriver may be withdrawn and the end connector pushed upwardly the rest of the way.
FIGS. 6 through. 8 show a modified form of the invention which is similar to the previous embodiment, but in which tabs 101 on end connectors 102 are twisted out of the plane of teeth [03, 104 and 105. The twist is such that a portion of upper edge 106 of tab 101 will be obstructed by sidewall 18 of a louver 16. However, a space l07 (H6. 8) will be created between the other end of upper edge 106 and post 12.
It has been found that the aforesaid twisting of tab 101 imparts added springiness to the tab. End connector 102 can be assembled to post 12 by several mallet blows. The clearance space 107 between tab 101 and the post simplifies beam removal, in that it allows easy entry of a screwdriver.
1. In a locking construction for a storage rack of the type having pairs of front and rear posts with vertically spaced outwardly pressed louvers having sidewalls, and beams with end connectors each of which has a plurality of vertically spaced downwardly extending teeth receivable by said louvers, an upwardly extending tab on one of the teeth in the same plane as the main portions of the teeth, the entire connector including the tab being a single piece of uniform thickness, the relative dimensions of the parts being such that the upper edge of said tab will snap into position beneath one of the louvers when the teeth are inserted in a group of adjacent louvers and one sidewall of said one louver will be in obstructing relation with the upper edge of said tab, the space between said one sidewall and said upper tab edge being less than the length of teeth insertion, so that the teeth cannot be withdrawn unless the tab is pried out of position, and the end connector will be retained and guided by said tab should the tab temporarily enter the louver above it when said teeth are momentarily withdrawn, the sidewalls of said louvers flaring in opposite directions, whereby said teeth may be inserted in either direction in said louvers with the louvers wedging said end connector against said posts and said tab snapping into position as aforesaid.
2. The combination according to claim 1, said end connectors comprising angular members welded to said beams, the end connectors being constructed of a fine grain low alloy high yield steel.
3. The combination according to claim 1, said upwardly extending tab being in the same plane as the main portions of said teeth.
4. The combination according to claim 1, said upwardly extending tab being twisted out of the plane of themain portions of said teeth, thereby creating a space between said tab and post to facilitate insertion of a tool for prying the tab out of position.