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Publication numberUS3683823 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 15, 1972
Filing dateApr 1, 1971
Priority dateApr 1, 1971
Publication numberUS 3683823 A, US 3683823A, US-A-3683823, US3683823 A, US3683823A
InventorsDonald E Schmid
Original AssigneeDonald E Schmid
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Pallet
US 3683823 A
Abstract
A pallet which includes a top and a bottom pallet surface of corrugated paperboard or the like which are fastened to a number of blocks of a plastic material such as polystyrene by foldable interlocking elements. These interlocking elements are precut or otherwise formed in the pallet surfaces, and are lockingly affixed to the blocks by extending them into a void in the blocks. Upon being extended into the voids, the interlocking elements lockingly engage with offset shoulder means therein, to automatically lock the pallet surfaces to the blocks.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent Schmid [45.] Aug. 15, 1972 PALLET 3,012,747 12/1961 Greene ..108/56 72 Inventor: Donald E. Schmid, 4 7 Foley 3 ,3 80,403 I 4/ 1968, Sullivan 108 5 8 Kankakee, lll. 60901 [22] Filed: April 1, 1971 [21] Appl. No.: 130,165

Roshon 108/56 1 face of corrugated paperboard or the like which are fastened to a number of blocks of a plastic material such as polystyrene by foldable interlocking elements.

These interlocking elements are precut or otherwise formed in the pallet surfaces, and are lockingly affixed to the blocks by extending them into a void in the blocks. Upon beingextended into the voids, the interlocking elements lockingly engage with offset shoulder means therein, to automatically lock the pallet surfaces to the blocks.

6 Claim, 7 Drawing Figures minimums-ma 3.683.823 SHEET 1 UF 2 INVENTOR Donald E. Schmid max;

ATTYS.

PALLET This invention relates, generally, to improved pallets, and more particularly, to improved pallets which can be stored or shipped knocked down, and thereafter, easily and quickly assembled in situ.

The advantages of a pallet which can be stored and/or shipped knocked down is apparent. For example, pallets generally are several inches thick and, if pre-assembled, considerable space is required simply to store them until they are used. Shipping costs also are generally much higher for a fewer number of pallets can be shipped pre-assembled than can be shipped knocked down, and in shipping cartons taking advantage of bulk volume and weight rates. In addition, the basic cost of the pallets are substantially increased if they are pre-assembled, in view of the labor involved.

Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide improved pallets.

More particularly, it is an object to provide improved pallets which can be stored and/or shipped knocked down, and can be easily and quickly assembled for use.

Another object is to provide improved pallets of the above-described type which can be assembled without the need of additional tools or the like, or without the necessity of gluing or stapling them.

A still further object is to provide improved pallets of the above-described type which can be inexpensively fabricated.

Still another object is to provide improved pallets of the above-described type which are extremely flexible in the sense that they can be adapted to support objects of different weights merely by substituting therein blocks having a predetermined density and/or surface area.

Other objects of the invention will in part be obvious and will in part appear hereinafter.

The above objectives are accomplished with a pallet which includes a top and a bottom pallet surface of corrugated paperboard or the like which are fastened to a number of blocks of a plastic material such as polystyrene by foldable interlocking elements. These interlocking elements are precut or otherwise formed in the pallet surfaces, and are lockingly affixed to the blocks by extending them into a void in the blocks. Upon being extended into the voids, the interlocking elements lockingly engage with offset shoulder means therein, to automatically lock the pallet surfaces to the blocks.

The invention accordingly comprises an article of manufacture possessing the features, properties, and the relation of elements which will be exemplified in the article hereinafter described, and the scope of the invention will be indicated in the claims.

For a fuller understanding of the nature and objects of the invention, reference should be had to the following detailed description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an assembled pallet;

FIG. 2 is a top plan view of one of the pallet surfaces;

FIG. 3 is an exploded perspective view generally illustrating the manner in which one of the blocks is secured between the top and bottom pallet surfaces;

FIG. 4 is a top plan view of one of the blocks;

FIG. 5 is a sectional view taken along lines 5-5 of FIG. 4;

FIG. 6 is a view similar to FIG. 5, generally illustrating the manner in which the interlocking tabs of the pallet surfaces are lockingly engaged within the void in the blocks; and

FIG. 7 is a sectional view taken along lines 7-7 of FIG. 6.

Similar reference characters refer to similar parts throughout the several views of the drawings.

Referring now to the drawings, in FIG. 1 there is illustrated a pallet 10 exemplary of the invention including a top pallet surface 11 and a bottom pallet surface 12 which are supported in spaced apart relationship by means of a number (nine in the illustrated embodiment) of blocks l4'disposed in predetermined, spaced positions between them. The blocks 14 are secured in position by means of interlocking tabs 15 which are precut or otherwise formed in the top and bottom pallet surfaces 11 and 12 and are foldable to lockingly engage with offset shoulder means in the blocks, all as more fully described below.

More specifically, the pallet 10 includes a top and a bottom pallet surface 11 and 12 which are identical in construction so that they are interchangeable. Accordingly, only one die cutting apparatus or the like is necessary to form them. The top andbottom pallet surfaces 11 and 12 can be of any heavy weight paperboard material, and even plastic sheet material or other similar types of material which is capable of providing support for an object or objects placed on the pallet 10. However, corrugated paperboard is a preferred material because of its weight and strength. I

A number of interlocking tabs 15 corresponding in number to the blocks 14 which are to be used are precut in the top and bottom pallet surfaces 11 and 12, in the position in which the blocks 14 are to be located. These interlocking tabs 15, as seen in FIGS. 2, 3 and 7, are generally T-shaped having a stem portion 16 which is scored at 17 to form a fold line. At the opposite end of the stem portion 16 are laterally extended locking tabs 18 and 1?.

The blocks 14 preferably are of polystyrene, how

ever, other types of plastics, rubber and even stacked pieces of corrugated paperboard or the like can be used to form the blocks. Polystyrene, however, is light in weight, can be provided in various: different densities to provide various different degrees of support, is easily formed by, for example, molding it, and is inexpensive. Polystyrene, therefore, is an ideal and preferred material for the blocks 14.

The blocks 14 can be of various different shapes, however a rectangular shape, as illustrated, is preferred. Each of the blocks 14 is formed with a void 20 (FIG. 5) centrally thereof for receiving therein the interlocking tabs 15 formed in the top and bottom pallet surfaces 11 and 12. These voids 20, as can be best seen in FIGS. 3-7, are generally in the form of two T- locking tabs 15 can lockingly engage. The bottom T- shaped cutout likewise provides two spaced apart portions 28 and 29 which form offset locking shoulders (only one of which, locking shoulder 30, can be seen in FIGS. Sand 6).

As indicated above, one of the advantages of the pallets 10 is that they can be packaged in a compact, knocked down, or dis-assembled configuration for storage and/or shipment, and thereafter assembled.

when needed. In this fashion, substantial savings are realized not only in terms of savings and storage space, but in terms of freight costs and assembly costs. The latter is a substantial factor for labor costs alone can increase the cost of the pallets by 10 to percent.

When it is desired to assemble the pallet 10, each of the individual blocks 14 is placed in position against one of the pallet surfaces 11 or 12, and the interlocking tabs 15 folded along the score lines 17 to extend into the voids in the blocks. When continually pressed into the void 20, the laterally extending locking tabs 18 and 19 thereon will snap-fit into position and lockingly engage beneath the offset locking shoulders, such as the locking shoulders 26 and 27, in the blocks. When all of the blocks have been affixed to one of the pallet surfaces, the other one of them is placed atop the blocks and theinterlocking tabs 15 therein folded to lockingly engage in the voids 20, in the abovedescribed manner.

From the above description, it can be seen that the pallets 10 can be easily and quickly assembled using just the hands and fingers to manipulate the interlocking tabs 15. No gluing or stapling is necessary but, of course, it could be used if desired.

If for some reason it is desired to again dis-assemble the pallets, the above-described procedure of assembly is simply reversed. In this case, it is necessary to extend a finger or other object into the void 20 to dis-engage the locking tabs 26 and 27 from beneath the offset locking shoulders in the block, to permit the interlocking tabs to be released.

While the pallet 10 has been described as comprising a top and a bottom pallet surface 11 and 12, pallets having only a top pallet surface can be constructed. The blocks 14 then would merely seat on a flat surface such as the floor, or the bottom of a shipping carton. Also, in affixing the blocks 14 to the pallet surface or surfaces, the blocks preferably are spaced such that the tines of a forklift truck can be disposed beneath the pallet 10. While these blocks 14 can assume various different shapes and can be of various different densities, the size and shape of these blocks, as well as the density of the polystyrene material should be correspondingly chosen to provide the necessary support for the object to be placed on the pallet. Knowing the weight of the object, these factors can be easily established.

It will thus be seen that the objects set forth above,

among those made apparent from the preceding description, are efficiently attained and certain changes may be made in the above article. Accordingly, it is intended that all matter contained in the above description or shown in the accompanying drawings shall be interpreted as illustrative and not in a limiting sense.

Now that the invention has been described, what is claimed as new and desired to be secured by Letters Patent is:

1. A pallet which can be stored and/or shipped knocked down and easily and quickly assembled for use without the need of any tools comprising, at least a top pallet surface and a plurality of blocks affixed to said top pallet surface to support the latter and in predetermined spaced positions, said top pallet surface having interlocking tabs at least corresponding in number to the blocks affixed thereto pre-formed therein, each of said blocks having a void therein for receiving said interlocking tabs, said interlocking tabs being foldable into said voids by means of a finger operation, said interlocking tabs and said voids being correspondingly formed such that said interlocking tabs releasably lock within said voids beneath shoulders formed therein to affix said blocks to said top pallet surface.

2. The pallet of claim 1, wherein said interlocking tabs pre-formed in said top and bottom pallet surfaces each is generally T-shaped having a stem portion which is hingedly affixed at one end to said pallet surface and has laterally extending locking tabs at the other end thereof, each of said blocks having a void centrally formed therein in a fashion such as to form two pairs of offset shoulders beneath which said laterally extending lock tabs on said interlocking means lockingly engage when said interlocking means are folded into said voids to lockingly engage said bloeksto said top and bottom pallet surfaces, respectively.

3. The pallet of claim 2, wherein said top and bottom pallet surfaces are of corrugated paperboard.

4. The pallet of claim 2, wherein said blocks are of polystyrene.

5. The pallet of claim 2, wherein said top and bottom pallet surfaces are of corrugated paperboard and said blocks are of polystyrene.

6. The pallet of claim 1, further including a bottom pallet surface having interlocking tabs at least corresponding in number to the blocks affixed to said top pallet surface preformed therein, said interlocking tabs in said bottom pallet surface being foldable into said voids in said blocks by means of a finger operation, said interlocking tabs in said bottom pallet surface and said voids also being correspondingly formed such that said interlocking tabs releasably lock with said voids beneath shoulders formed therein to affix said bottom pallet surfaces to said blocks.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2692747 *May 23, 1952Oct 26, 1954Gaylord Container CorpLoading platform and support therefor
US2888221 *Jan 7, 1957May 26, 1959Robert E ConnellyPallets
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4228744 *May 24, 1979Oct 21, 1980Champion International CorporationPallet formed from two spaced, interlocking sheets of corrugated paperboard and rigid sleeves
US4395808 *Jul 22, 1981Aug 2, 1983Signode CorporationSpacer unit
US4875419 *Sep 19, 1988Oct 24, 1989Catherine HeltonCollapsible paperboard pallet
US5197396 *Aug 5, 1991Mar 30, 1993Penda CorporationDouble deck plastic pallet
US5319941 *Sep 22, 1992Jun 14, 1994Trans-Pak, Inc.System and method for storing perishable products in a refrigerated cargo bay
US5351629 *Mar 16, 1993Oct 4, 1994Teienda CorporationDouble deck plastic pallet
US5413052 *Mar 29, 1993May 9, 1995Trienda CorporationPlastic pallet with two decks
US5528995 *Apr 1, 1994Jun 25, 1996Lim; Chow P.Pallet
US5662048 *Mar 8, 1993Sep 2, 1997Kralj; Nicholas L.Integrated reusable pallet having data collection devices and method for using shipping conveyances
US5971592 *Sep 27, 1996Oct 26, 1999Kralj; Nicholas L.Integrated reusable pallet having data collection devices and method for using shipping conveyances
US6705237Aug 24, 2001Mar 16, 2004Infiltrator Systems, Inc.Plastic pallet design
US6935249Dec 8, 2003Aug 30, 2005Infiltrator Systems, Inc.Pallet substructure
US6955129Dec 5, 2003Oct 18, 2005The Engineered Pallot Company, LlcPlastic pallet design
US7308857Mar 9, 2005Dec 18, 2007The Engineered Pallet Company, LlcPallet substructure and pallet design
DE4031088A1 *Oct 2, 1990Apr 9, 1992Egon StarowojtowTransparent carrier such as pallet - is made from recycled paper with binding material
WO1997018133A1 *Nov 12, 1996May 22, 1997E C O Di Polacco GiorgioPalletizable container
Classifications
U.S. Classification108/156, 108/56.1
International ClassificationB65D19/00
Cooperative ClassificationB65D19/0012, B65D2519/00019, B65D2519/00278, B65D2519/00373, B65D2519/00034, B65D2519/00567, B65D2519/00104, B65D2519/00288, B65D2519/00054, B65D2519/00318, B65D2519/00557, B65D2519/00343, B65D2519/00069
European ClassificationB65D19/00C1B2A