Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.

Patents

  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS3594055 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJul 20, 1971
Filing dateJun 11, 1969
Priority dateJun 11, 1969
Publication numberUS 3594055 A, US 3594055A, US-A-3594055, US3594055 A, US3594055A
InventorsEichtner Herman, Hemmann Helmut, Lohr Alfred
Original AssigneeBurger Eisenwerke Ag
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Sheet metal airfreight container
US 3594055 A
Abstract  available in
Images(3)
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent Alfred Lohr Herborn;

l-lelmut Hemmann, Herborn; Herman Eichtner, Munich, all 01, Germany 832,089

June 11, 1969 July 20, 1971 Burger Eisenwerke Aktiengesellschaft Her-born Dillkreis, Germany Inventors Appl. No Filed Patented Assignee SHEET METAL AIRFREIGHT CONTAINER 10 Claims, 9 Drawing Figs.

U.S. Cl 312/215 Int. Cl E05b 00/00 Field ofSearch 312/215, 222; 49/ l 5 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,070,706 2/1937 Benson 312/215 X 2,486,536 11/1949 Olson 3,109,686 11/1963 Wattsetal Primary Examiner-Patrick D. Lawson Attorney-Karl F. Ross ABSTRACT: An airfreight container has a sheet metal polyhedral shell with a stiffening frame running around all its edges and one rectangular side completely open. A rectangular door fits the open side and has its own frame which is just received within the opening of that side while a hinge along the upper edge of the door and the open side allows the door to swing outwardly. Spaced around all of the edges of the door, except the hinged edge, are individually operable latches which are engageable with the receptacle frame to hold the door tightly in place. In addition the door can fold in the middle and is provided with latches at inner locations that are engageable with shelves in the shell.

PATENIEDJuL20l9n SHEET 2 0F 3 Alfred Lb'hr INVENRSZ Helmuf He mmann Hermann Fichfner Attorney PATENTEUJULPOIBII I 3.594055 sum 3 0F 3 INVENTORSZ Alfred L'o'hr Helmuf Hemmann Hermann Fichfner BY 6 5s 19- Attorney SHEET METAL AIRFREIGHT CONTAINER The present invention relates to a container adapted to be preloaded with goods to be shipped and capable of use in containerized transport and, more particularly, to an airfreight container made of sheet metal.

In present times freight is often packed in containers for shipment to minimize loading and unloading time at the vehicular vessel. With this method, large containers dimensioned specially for the particular vehicle intended to carry them are filled in warehouses, freight-forwarding yards, factories or the like and then loaded onto local vehicles for delivery to a transhipment terminal at which the containers are placed aboard-a bulk carrier or other aircraft, ship or vehicle. No

piecemeal handling of the freight is necessary.

Although such a method has proven extremely successful for sea, "rail, and truck transport, difficulty has developed in applying it to airfreight. This is due to the fact that weight is extremely critical in airplanes so that the heavy containers represent a cut in payload even though they do reduce loading and unloading time.

It is, therefore, the general object of the present invention to provide an improved container particularly adapted for the containerization of airfreight and for the containerized loading of luggage or the like upon aircraft.

Another object of the invention is to provide a very strong, light, inexpensive and simply manufactured container.

The above objects are attained, in accordance with the principal features of the present invention, with a container having a polyhedral shell, preferably in the general form of a rectangular prism, completely open at one side and having a shell frame of extruded profiled light metal (aluminum or an alloy thereof) extending around its edges. A polygonal door with a peripheral door frame, also of extruded light metal and webbed with light-metal sheets, fits the opening of the open side with the frame receivable within the shell to constitute a load-supporting wall while a hinge between the upper edge of the door and the corresponding edge of the side swingably mounts the door. The door and the opening accommodating same are preferably rectangular. A plurality of individually operable latches are spaced around all of the other edges of the door and are engageable with the shell frame to hold the door rigidly in place against the open side.

According to other features of the invention, the door swings upwardly and outwardly and can be folded in the middle about a horizontal axis and is provided around all its edges and at its fold line with resilient seals. The walls are made of sheet metal preferably in corrugated fonn.

Each latch of the present system has a latch dog lying in and rotatable in a plane about an axis perpendicular to the plane of the door. Each dog is engageable with the shell frame and can hook a pin or latch element mounted in the frame to hold the door very securely against the side. In general temt's, the latch has a cylinder or stub shaft rotatable about a respective horizontal axis when the door is closed and lies in a vertical plane in this position. A number of latches are provided along each edge of the door. The outer frame of the door opening has inwardly directed tongues behind which the dogs engage to draw the door frame tightly unto the receptacle frame. The dogs and/or the tongues cooperating therewith are'of ballshaped or generally spheroidal configuration at the regions of engagement, so that rotation of the dogs wedges the door lightly into place.

A container built according to the above-described features of sheet metal is extremely light. Since the door acts as a regular load-supporting wall when closed, it is also surprisingly strong. Furthermore, the relatively simple construction makes it inexpensive to manufacture.

The above and other objects, feature, and advantages will become more fully apparent from the following description, reference being made to the accompanying drawing, in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view partly broken away of a container according to the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a vertical section through a portion of the container and door shown in FIG. 1, in enlarged scale;

FIG. 3 is a section similar to FIG. 2 through another embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 4 is an elevational view of a latch for a container as shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 5 is a section taken along line V-V of FIG. 4;

FIG. 6 is an elevational view, partly in section, of a latch for a heavy-duty container as partly illustrated in FIG. 3;

FIG. 7 is a section taken along line VII-VII of FIG. 6;

FIG. 8 is a section taken along line VIII-VIII of FIG. 5; and

FIG. 9 is a section somewhat similar to that of FIG. 2 showing the door folded.

shape has a shell 1 formed by an edge frame 2 of aluminum profiles and a plurality of sheets 3 of corrugated aluminum sheet attached by welding to the frame 2.

A door 4 covers one entire rectangular open side of this shell 1 and consists of two corrugated aluminum sheets 11 and 12 and a peripheral frame 8 articulated at a hinge 10 as will be apparent hereinafter. A piano hinge 7 connects the upper, horizontaledge of the door 4 to the corresponding edge of the frame 2 externally of the container.

The door 4 is provided with a plurality of latches 5 spaced around its edges and engageable with the frame 2 and with other latches inwardly of the door periphery engageable with the edges of shelves 6 subdividing the interior of the shell. Walls 35 vertically subdivides the shell 1 into six compart ments. The lower edge 28 protrudes slightly in a sill so that containers stacked next to each other will only abut in this region. In addition, the container, which is generally a rectangular parallelepiped has a five-sided shape, with a bias-truncated comer 27 that allows it to fit best in an airplane.

FIG. 2 shows the door construction in greater detail. As shown, the hinge 7 has a pivot 7a which is offset at an angle of about 45 from the corner of the container so that the door 4 can lie flat on the top of the shell 1 as will be apparent from FIG. 9 in which the door is represented as approaching its next position.

A seal 9 is tightly received in a dovetail channel 9a extending around the entire periphery of the door so that the face-of the seal 9, which is of generally trapezoidal configuration, lies flatly against the frame 2 of the shell 1 when the door is closed and thus hermetically seals the interior of the container. While the system of the invention may make use of resiliently comp'ressible seals of any configuration, the preferred seals will have inwardly diverging flanks in a shank 109 tenninating in a head 109 wider than the mouth of the channel and formed on its sealing face 109" with continuous grooves, recesses or bulges defining a labyrinth.

In the middle of the door 4 is a horizontally extending piano hinge 10 whose pivot 10a is inwardly offset from the plane of the door 4 to allow the panel 12 to lie atop the panel 11 when the door 4 is opened up and folded back on the top of the container, somewhat as shown in FIG. 9. Another seal 17 is clamped between the sides of the hinge 10 and thereby makes this center seam or fold line in the door tight when the door 4 is closed. A plate 13 attached to the upper panel 11 opposite the upper wing of the hinge 10 serves to clamp this L-shaped seal 17 in place. This plate 13 abuts the end of the lower plate 12 and the top of another plate 44 when the door is closed so that the door 4 can act as a load-supporting wall.

To this end, the lower edge of the plate 13 is thicker than the upper edge, and a shallow channel 13a is formed in its middle to accept the seal 17.

The latch 5 shown in FIG. 2 consists of a dog 18 formed with a notch 29. This dog 18 is rotatable through around 90 in a socket 30 firmly attached to a lower edge of the door frame 8. A cylindrical body 19 extending through this edge portion 8a has on its outwardly facing end a square depression adapted to receive a key and on its inwardly facing end has a smaller cylindrical extension 22 which is firmly received in a corresponding bore in the dog 18 and spread to make the two effectively integral. As annular frustoconical collar-type seal As shown in FIG. 1, an airfreight container of prismatic 21 is clamped against the door by a flange 26 and is-held against and hugs the cylinder 19 by the force of a spring ring 23 to provide a tight seal about the cylinder 19.

FIG. 2 also shows how a sill or foot 28a is formed on the lower edge portion 8a of the frame 8 and a corresponding flange 28b is formed on the shell 1. These together form the sill 28.

The foot 28 extends further outwardly from the container than another part of the side of the door 4, even the hinge 7, and that the lower portion 28b even extends slightly further than the portion 28a of the door 4. Here again, the seal 9 tightly abuts a rim 31 of the frame 2. The door 4 may have upper and lower section 4b and 4c provided with respective foldable handles 50, 51 and belt or slake-receiving brackets 52 to accommodate members for holding the container in place.

The base of thecontainer is formed by a panel 25 of known construction consisting of two sheets of aluminum with a honeycomb, usually of cardboard, between them. This is very light and extremely rigid. Its edge portion is provided with a frame carrying slotted blocks 24 in which pins 20 are received to be engageable in the notch 29 of the dog 18, the dog 18 clamping an inwardly directed portion of the container frame against the door frame.

FIG. 4 shows how one of the locks 5 appears from the outside, presenting no bothersome projection on which something could catch. To operate it, a simple key having a square end can be used to turn it the 90 necessary to engage the frame 2 and disengage it. For security reasons at least one cylinder 19 on each door can be replaced by a key-operated conventional tumbler-type lock cylinder.

In FIG. 5 there is shown a horizontal section through a vertical edge of a door 4 and the associated location on the frame 2 of the shell 1. Here the frame 8 has the same cross section as seen in the upper portion of FIG. 2 as does the frame 2. Since there is no great need of a pin 20 here, the end of the dog 18 merely engages behind the frame 8 on a spherically rounded tongue plate 33 with its rounded face 18a as shown in FIG. 8. This insures a tight fit and some compression of the seal 9. The end 18b of the dog 18 is also spherically rounded, as shown in FIG. 4. The seal 21 and the attachment of the dog 18 otherwise are the same in FIG. 5 as in FIG. 2.

Thus, to load the container in FIG. 1, the door 4 is merely opened up, folded in the middle, and laid back on the top of the shell 1 as substantially shown in FIG. 9. Then the shelves 6 can be fully loaded, preferably to tightly fill the entire empty space. Then the door 4 is lowered and all the latches 5 actuated to hold the door 4 tightly against the side of the shell 1. Once this is done, the door 4 takes on the function of a loadsupporting wall so that the container remains very strong. Should a force be exerted from the top, the hinge 7as best shown in FIG. 2-will bear on the top of the frame 8 and, should this bend, the frame 2 will bear directly on rim 8a of the frame 8. The hinge 10, due to the plates 13 and 14, will support a great weight, and the foot portion 280 will come securely to rest on the protrusion 28):. At the same time the latches will prevent the door 4 from pulling away from the shell I and will hold the seal 9 tightly against the frame 2 to keep the container hermetically sealed, seals 21 and 17 also functioning as described above.

FIGS. 3, 6, and 7 show an alternative, heavy-duty embodiment using completely corrugated aluminum sheet material 3' instead of the pressed sheets of FIGS. 1, 2, 4, 5, 8 and 9. The sheets 3 on the shell and sheets 11 and 12' on a door 4 ofi'er extreme strength and rigidity, at a slight increase in space, cost, and weight. Thin flat sheets 3a, Ila and 12a must .be laid over the sheets 3', 11', and 12, respectively, to ensure a hermetic seal between them and their respective frames 2 and 8 The frame 2 is of identical cross section all around the door 4, except at the bottom where it is formed with a foot 28b as in FIG. 2. This frame 2' receives the frame 8' exactly, with one comer of the frame 8 received in a right-angle portion 2a and with an angled portion and its gasket 9 received snugly against its angled face 2b. Thus, forces pushing against the frame 8' are easily absorbed by flat abutment between the side of the frame 8' against the frame 2', as are downward forces acting on the frame 2'. Once again, the seal 9' is dovetailed into the frame 8' to conform very tightly to the flank 2b of the frame 2. A hinge 7' need only have its pivot 7a slightly beyond the planes of the door and of the container top to allow the door 4 to be laid back on the top.

Two members 15 and 16 of exactly thesame cross section as the rest of the frame 8 are fitted on the facing edges of the panels 11' and 12', respectively, with another seal 17 dovetailed into the lower member 16. The dovetail of the upper member 15 is filled by a metal strip 34. A hinge l0 couples the two members 15 and I6 somewhat as in FIG. 2, except that here the pivot axis need not be so far offset from the plane of the inside of the door 4'. As shown in FIG. 3, the members 15 stands securely on the member 16 when the door is closed, to make the load-supporting wall of the door 4.

A latch 5 substantially identical to that of FIG. 2 serves to secure the door 4' against the base of the container. Here, cylinder 19 is longer than than in FIG. 2, and socket 30 is welded directly to the panel 12' with no spacing; these are the only significant differences. In most other details, the construction of the heavy-duty container shown in FIGS. 3, 6, and 7 is identical to that of the other figures.

It should be noted, however, that for extra strength, as shown in FIG. 7, pins 20' are used even on the side of the door 4'. Each of these pins 20 is mounted in an extrusion 2c of a U cross section attached between the flanks of the frame 2'.

We claim:

1. A container comprising:

a polyhedral shell open over substantially all of one side and provided with a shell frame extending around'the opening of said side;

an upright polygonal door geometrically similar to said opening and having a peripheral door frame receivable within said shell frame to constitute a load-supporting wall;

hinge means between an uppermost horizontal edge of said door and the corresponding edge of said side for swingably mounting said door;

a plurality of individually operable latches on said door frame spaced apart along all of the other edges of said door and engageable with said shell frame at corresponding spaced locations therealong to rigidly hold said door in said side; and second hinge means extending horizontally adjacent the center of said door and permitting folding ofsajd door.

2. The container defined in claim 1, further comprising seal means extending around said opening and lying between said door and said shell.

3. The container defined in claim 2, wherein said seal means is mounted in said door frame and engageable with said shell frame. v

4. The container defined in claim 1, further comprising seal means coextensive with said second hinge means for sealing said door at said second hinge means in the closed position of said door.

5. The container defined in claim 1, wherein each of said latches comprises a dog locking engageable with said shell frame and means for operating said dog externally from said container.

6. A container comprising:

a polyhedral shell open over substantially all of one side and provided with a shell frame extending around the opening of said side;

a polygonal door geometrically similar to said opening and having a peripheral door frame receivable within said shell frame to constitute a load-supporting wall;

hinge means between one edge of said door and the corresponding edge of said side for swingably mounting said door;

a plurality of individually operable latches on said door frame spaced apart along all of the other edges of said door and engageable with said shell frame at corresponding spaced locations therealong to rigidly hold said door in said side, each of said latches comprising a dog locking engageable with said shell frame and means for operating said dog externally from said container, said means for operating said dog comprising] a key-actuatable cylinder rotatably mounted in said door frame and having one end attached to said dog and another end extending outwardly through said door.

7. The container defined in claim 6 wherein said door is upright and said hinge means extends along an uppermost horizontal edge of said door.

8. A container comprising:

a polyhedral shell open over substantially all of one side and provided with a shell frame extending around the opening of said side;

a polygonal door geometrically similar to said opening and having a peripheral door frame receivable within said shell frame to constitute a load-supporting wall;

hinge means between one edge of said door and the corresponding edge of said side for swingably mounting said door; and plurality of individually operable latches on said door frame spaced apart along all of the other edges of said door and engageable with said shell frame at corresponding spaced locations therealong to rigidly hold said door in said side, each of said latches comprising a dog locking engageable with said shell frame and means for operating said dog externally from said container, said dog being formed with a notch, said shell frame being provided with a locking element engageable in said notch.

9. A container comprising:

a polyhedral shell open over substantially all of one side and provided with a shell frame extending around the opening of said side;

a polygonal door geometrically similar to said opening and having a peripheral door frame receivable within said shell frame to constitute a load-supporting wall;

, hinge means between one edge of said door and the corresponding edge of said side for swingably mounting said door; and

a plurality of individually operable latches on said door frame spaced apart along all of the other edges of said door and engageable with said shell frame at corresponding spaced locations therealong to rigidly hold said door in said side, each of said latches comprising a dog locking engageable with said shell frame and means for operating said dog externally from said container, said dog being rounded and being cammingly engageable with said shell frame.

10. A container comprising:

a polyhedral shell open over substantially all of one side and provided with a shell frame extending around the opening of said side;

a polygonal door geometrically similar to said opening and having a peripheral door frame receivable within said shell frame to constitute a load-supporting wall;

hinge means between one edge of said door and the corresponding edge of said side for swingably mounting said door; and plurality of individually operable latches on said door frame spaced apart along all of the other edges of said door and engageable with said shell frame at corresponding spaced locations therealong to rigidly hold said door in said side, said shell being of the configuration of a rectangular prism and said opening is rectangular and extends oversubstantially all of one vertical wall of said shell; said door being rectangular and is composed of ver tically ofi'set rectangular portions articulated together and filling said opening in a closed position of said door;

said hinge means being disposed between an upper edge of the uppermost of said rectangular portions and an upper edge of the shell frame defining said opening; a plurality of said latches being provided between each edge of said door and the respective edge of said shell frame except for the upper edges of said door and shell frame; said shell being provided in its interior with at least one horizontally extending shelf running substantially to said opening and said door is formed inwardly of its periphery with at least one additional latch releasably engaging said shelf; said shell and said door being formed along the respective bottom edges with outwardly extending sills projecting beyond the walls of the container; said frames being composed of light-metal profiled extrusions and said door and the walls of said shell are formed of generally corrugated sheet metal affixed to said frames; said latches each including a respective cylindrical shaft journaled in the door frame and having an exposed outer end provided with a key-engaging formation, a radially extending dog carried by said shaft and spaced inwardly from said door frame to receive a portion of the shell frame between said dog and the door frame in a closed position of said door, and means on said shell frame engageable by said dog, said exposed outer end of each shaft lying flush with an outer surface of said door surrounding same; and at least one of said frames being provided with a dovetail section channel open in the direction of the other frame and receiving a resiliently compressible sealing strip having a dovetail shank fitted in said channel and a head overhanging same and bearing upon said other frame in said closed position of said door to seal said opening.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2070706 *Jun 1, 1936Feb 16, 1937Chicago Electric Mfg CoDuplex electric waffle iron
US2486536 *Dec 22, 1945Nov 1, 1949Nathalyn Olson ArvillaRadio receiver unit mounted in a suitcase
US3109686 *Jun 29, 1962Nov 5, 1963Carson Gordon AFiling cabinet drawer latch selector
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US5809714 *Jun 7, 1995Sep 22, 1998Herman MillerCabinet structure
US6253898 *Dec 21, 1998Jul 3, 2001O'brien Daniel F.Equipment loading plank
US6550879Nov 19, 1993Apr 22, 2003Herman Milles, Inc.Cabinet structure
US6969130 *May 12, 2003Nov 29, 2005Bellsouth Intellectual Property CorporationEnclosure for electronic devices
US8328035 *Jul 23, 2008Dec 11, 2012SbsBaggage container
US20040227437 *May 12, 2003Nov 18, 2004Newton Kenneth W.Enclosure for electronic devices
US20100187064 *Jul 23, 2008Jul 29, 2010Safir AndreBaggage container
US20150152622 *Feb 10, 2015Jun 4, 2015Amos KleinGabion
WO1997038909A2 *Apr 14, 1997Oct 23, 1997Fahrzeugwerk Lübtheen GmbhContainer door
WO1997038909A3 *Apr 14, 1997Dec 11, 1997Fahrzeugwerk Luebtheen GmbhContainer door
WO2005028154A1 *Sep 23, 2004Mar 31, 2005Dale BothamPre-stressed open (curtain-) side container
Classifications
U.S. Classification312/215
International ClassificationB65D90/00, B65D88/00, B65D88/14
Cooperative ClassificationB65D88/14, B65D90/008
European ClassificationB65D88/14, B65D90/00F