US 3762626 A
A molded pulp corner protector adapted for insertion between shipping cartons and furniture comprises three triangular-shaped walls joined for defining a hollow article of pyramidal exterior form. The article walls are indented at regular intervals to provide a plurality of inwardly directed ribs which extend from the base edges of the article, substantially up to the slanting three corner edges of the pyramid. The inwardly directed ribs define a plurality of grooves including three inner corner grooves communicating at an inner apex, and side grooves which communicate with the corner grooves. The article is truncated at the lower corners such that the corner grooves also communicate with the exterior of the article.
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 11 1 Dorsey 1 Oct. 2, 1973 1 1 CORNER PROTECTOR William T. Dorsey, PO. Box 968, Corvallis, Oreg, 97330  Inventor:
3,511,464 5/1970 Doll 229/14 C Primary Examiner-Samuel B. Rothberg Assistant ExaminerStephen Marcus Att0rney--Stephen W. Blore et ali.
157 i ABSTRACT A molded pulp corner protector adapted for insertion between shipping cartons and furniture comprises three triangularshaped walls joined for defining a hollow article of pyramidal exterior form. The article walls are indented at regular intervals to provide a plurality of inwardly directed ribs which extend from the base edges of the article, substantially up to the slanting three corner edges of the pyramid. The inwardly directed ribs define a plurality of grooves including three inner corner grooves communicating at an inner'apex, and side grooves which communicate with the corner grooves, The article is truncated at the lower corners such that the corner grooves also communicate with the exterior of the article.
10 Claims, 7 Drawing Figures PAIENIEunm awn SHEET 2 BF 2 CORNER PROTECTOR BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Protecting means are frequently employed between shipping cartons and an object shipped therewithin, such protecting means in some cases being required by shipping regulations. For instance, molded paper pulp corner protectors have been employed heretofore for spacing an object such as a piece of furniture from the corners of the shipping carton. The corner protectors are designed to absorb shock while at the same time reasonably securely positioning the item of furniture or other object within the carton. Such corner protectors as heretofore employed have included concavely dished or centrally pinched side walls adapted for engaging the furniture corner within the triangular form of the corner protector. Other corner portectors have included side walls with plural indentations extending upwardly from the base of the protector for some short or intermediate distance. These devices in many instances have failed to provide adequate protection for the object being shipped because of a lack of firmness, heaviness, or resistance to crushing on the part of the protector, and also because the prior protectors have had insufficient general thickness to protect the object being shipped from sharp blows, shocks from falls, and the like. Of course, pulp corner protectors may be formed of relatively thick and solid material, but in such case the protectors lack the desired cushioning or resilience as well as the adaptability of conformity to the shipped object. Furthermore, merely forming a heavy or thick pulp article is wasteful of material and renders manufacture thereof more time consuming.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION According to the present invention, a unitary, molded corner protector comprises three triangularshaped walls joined along edges thereof and meeting at a common apex to provide a hollow article of pyramidal exterior form having a triangular base opening for receiving the corner of the object to be shipped. The walls are indented at intervals between their joined edges to provide a plurality of inwardly directed ribs extending upwardly from the base edges substantially up to the aforementioned joined edges. These ribs form a plurality of object-engaging pads, while leaving an outer wall face, between indentations, of truss-like configuration.
The inwardly directed ribs define therebetween a plurality of grooves on the interior of the article, ineluding three inner corner grooves communicating at an inner apex of the article, and side grooves communicating with the corner grooves. In a preferred embodiment, the lower outer corners of the article are truncatcd, providing communication of the inner corner grooves to the exterior of the article.
The construction according to the present invention provides advantageous engagement, cushioning, and protection of the object being shipped while at the same time maintaining article strength and resistance to crushing. The rib construction not only provides greater physical protection of the object being shipped, but also supplies greater mechanical strength as a consequence of a three-dimensional truss-like configuration.
It is accordingly an object of the present invention to provide an improved protector for use in shipping cartons and the like.
It is a further object of the present invention to provide an improved corner portcctor for use in shipping cartons and the like wherein such protector is characterized by enhanced protection and resilient cushioning of the object being shipped while at the same time preserving strength against crushing or inadequate support of the shipped article.
It is a further object of the present invention to provide an improved corner protector for use in shipping, affording improved overall corner covering and protection of the article being shipped while being economical in material, shipping space, and manufacturing space.
The subject matter which I regard as my invention is particularly pointed out and distinctly claimed in the concluding portion of this specification. The invention, however, both as to organization and method of operation, together with further advantages and objects thereof, may best be understood. by refernece to the following description taken in connection with the ac companying drawings wherein like reference characters refer to like elements.
DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a side view of a corner protector according to the present invention;
FIG. 2 is a bottom view of the tor;
FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional, flat view of an inside wall of the corner protector according to the present invention, said wall being perpendicular to the viewing direction;
FIG. 4 is a partial cross section of a corner protector according to the present invention taken at 44 in FIG. 3;
FIG. 5 is a broken away perspective view, partially in phantom, illustrating use of a corner protector according to the present invention between a packing carton and an article being shipped;
FIG. 6 is a broken away side view, partially in phantom, illustrating utilization of the corner protector according to the present invention between a packing carton and an object being shipped; and
FIG. 7 is a side view of a pair of dies adapted for forming the corner protector according to the present invention.
FIG. 1 corner protec- DETAILED DESCRIPTION Referring to the drawings and particularly to FIGS. 1 through 6, a corner protector according to the present invention is formed from molded pulp in one piece and includes three mutually perpendicular sides 10, 12 and 14. Each side is substantially triangular in configuration, i.e., each side comprises a relatively thin wall (e.g., approximatley one-fourth inch in thickness) having the shape of an isosceles triangle including first and second sides or edges, 16 and 18,. of equal length, and a third base side or edge 20 of greater length. The first and second triangular edges, 16 and 18, are joined to corresponding edges of the remaining two sides or walls of the corner protector, that is, edge 16 of wall 14 in FIG. 1 is joined to side 18 of wall 12, while edge 18 of wall 14 is joined to edge 16 of wall 10. Furthermore, the walls meet at a common apex 22 at the juncture of the first and second edges of each of the triangular walls for completing a hollow article of pyramidal exterior form. The three base edges provide a triangular base for the pyramidal article but no base wall is present but rather a triangular opening 23 is presented at the bottom of the article as viewed in FIG. 2.
FIG. 1 depicts the article according to the present invention from the side, as if it were supported upon a horizontal surface, and it can be seen the article is symmetrical with respect to a vertical centerline passing through apex 22. As will be realized, however, the article is not normally disposed upon such horizontal surface in its intended use. In FIG. 3, the inside of of wall It) is depicted in a flat view or plan cross-sectional view, i.e., with the wall disposed at right angles to the viewing direction.
The walls of the article are indented at regular intervals between the edges of the walls, i.e., wall R4 is indented at plural locations indicated at 24 in FIG. 1 extending from edge 20 substantially up to edges 16 and 18. These exterior indentations provide a plurality of separate inwardly directed ribs 26 and 28 on the inte' rior of the article as seen most clearly in FIGS. 2 and 3, said ribs extending upwardly or away from the lower or base edge 20, in each case in a direction substantially normal to base edge 20, and extending nearly up to edges 16 and 18, i.e., substantially up to inner corner grooves 32. The ribs are enlarged slightly to provide flat inner pads or faces which are in a plane parallel to the triangular wall in each case. The aforementioned indentations leave first, second and third edges, 16, 18 and 20, at a first or exterior level, joined vertically by means of nonindented face portions or ridges 30 situated between the indentations as illustrated in FIG. 1. The nonindented ridges, together with the wall edges form a nonindented truss-like structure displaying appreciable strength of form, wherein the interridge indentations add to this strength by inhibiting movement of the individual ridges 30 as well as the edges 16, I8 and 20. Furthermore, the indented structure provides considerable strength against crushing and the like in the direction perpendicular to the wall because of the repetitive truss-like configuration of the indentations themselves in such perpendicular direction.
Turning to the interior of the article, the inwardly directed ribs, comprising triangular corner ribs 28, and central ribs 26, define therebetween a plurality of grooves on the interior of the article. Three corner grooves 32 extend from inner apex 36 along the interiorjunction of the wall edges to the exterior lower corners of the article, and define the outer edges H6 and 18 in surrounding relation thereto. Between the inwardly directed ribs on each wall there are defined a plurality ofside grooves 34 extending substantially nor mally to wall edges 2th in juxtaposition with the aforementioned face ridges 36 and communicating with the corner grooves 32 in each case. The central groove 34 on the interior of each wall is substantially aligned with the corner groove located between the remaining two walls as can be seen most clearly in FIG. 2.
The junctures of the wall edges do not extend completely to the base plane of the article, but rather the article is truncated at the extreme lower corners 48 to provide such corners with a vertical edge substantially parallel to the article's centerline of FIG. I and perpendicular to the base plane of the article as well as perpendicular to a line between such exterior lower corner and the aforementioned centerline. Thus, the third or base edges are separated from one another, and an opening is formed in each case providing communication from a corner groove 32 to the exterior of the article.
The utilization of the article according to the present invention is illustrated in FIGS. 5 and 6 wherein an object to be shipped, 38, is disposed inside a shipping container 42. In a particular instance, such object might comprise a piece of furniture. The article according to the present invention protects the furniture or other object while holding the same reasonably securely within the packing container. The indentations 24 provide the ribs 26 and 28 at a plane whereby the intersection of such plane with the corresponding planes for the other two walls will intersect short of the corner groove depth. In other words, the corner grooves are deep enough so that a piece of furniture with straight walls would not reach the bottom of the groove. Typically, the indentations are such as to establish a inch clearance between the object being shipped and the inner walls of the shipping container. The article wall thickness itself is less and is nearly It is seen the ribs 26 and 28 are separated where they form the edge of corner grooves 32, i.e., grooves '34 communicate with grooves 32. Thus, a plurality of substantially full height pads are formed which are adapted to engage the side of the piece or furniture of other object being shipped. There is likely to be more bearing surface with the aforementioned ribs or better conformation to the article being shipped than would be the case with a single indented surface. Also, more portection against blows, sharp instruments and the like, and better cushioning is afforded than in the case of partial ribs. This full-rib construction is found to provide the advantageous engagement, resilient cushioning, and protection of the object being shipped, while at the same time maintaining ample strength of the molded pulp article and resistance to crushing by virtue of strength in the shape of the ribbed construction.
The pulp article is better able to conform to the furniture or other object and to absorb shocks, both as a result of the separate ribs or the communication of side grooves with corner grooves, and because of the truncated corners at 48 which may produce a hinging effect. The truncated corners also have the advantage of providing the additional protection of a deeper corner or greater wall height without extending the lower wall edges of the article in an ungainly manner. This results in an economy of material and smaller overall dimensions, with a reduction of manufacturing and shipping space.
The substantially uniform thickness of the present article afforded by the ribbed construction not only represents a saving in material, but also assists in the initial forming of the article. If a corner protector article were to have a substantially varying thickness, of appreciable portions with a thicker web than other portions, the period of time for the article to dry during the manufacture thereof might become excessive. The article according to the present invention attains appreciable strength while still utilizing a practical or competitive manufacturing process.
Referring now to the method of manufacturing the article according to the present invention, the material employed therefor is suitably repulped cellulose material derived from any waste paper having fairly long fibers such as corrugated boxes, bags, egg cartons, or the like, or a mixture of fibrous material, for insuring resilient, strong construction. The raw material is digested in a pulper or beater which separates the fibers in water, while paper-making chamicals such as alum and rosin may be added for subsequently adhering the fibers together. Water is added to bring the mixture to about 98 percent water and 2 percent fibers.
The repulped cellulose material is vacum formed on a perforated metal male forming die, illustrated at 52 in FIG. 7, surrounded by a metal retainer edge 54. The forming die 52 has an outer shape matching the inside of the article to be formed, while the retainer edge 54 has a vertical planar edge immediately surrounding the same and having a height considerably less than that of the die. The retainer edge is perpendicular to the radius of the die at the corners for producing the truncated exterior lower corners of the finished article. A metal female die 56 has an inner shape matching the exterior ofthc article and is employed for compressing the pulp material toward the male die. The dies are spaced and elements thereof positioned so that an article of nearly constant thickness results. After forming, the article is deposited upon a moving belt which carries the article through a drying tunnel (now shown).
A plurality of articles may be formed at the same time utilizing a plurality of male dies and a plurality of female dies. As a consequence of the truncating of the article corners, as hereinbefore described, as much as a 40 percent greater output can be produced because of the closer spacing of dies made possible by the small article. In addition, the nearly uniform thickness of the article permits oven drying of the same within approximately 30 to 35 minutes.
While I have shown and described a preferred embodiment of my invention, it will be apparent to those skilled in the art that many changes and modifications may be made without departing from my invention in its broader aspects. 1 therefore intend the appended claims to cover all such changes and modifications as fall within the true spirit and scope of my invention.
ll. A unitary corner protector adapted for interposition between the corner of a shipping container and an object being shipped, comprising:
three triangular-shaped, molded pulp walls, each of which is joined along first and second edges to matching edges of two remaining walls disposed at right angles to the first and to each other, wherein said walls meet at a common apex at the juncture of first and second edges of each said wall for defining a hollow article of pyramidal exterior form having a triangular base opening between third edges of said walls,
said walls being indented, at intervals, from the third wall edges substantially up to the first and second wall edges forming a plurality of inwardly directed ribs extending substantially upwardly from the re spective third edges of said walls, leaving nonindented first and second wall edges joined to third wall edges by nonindented face ridges located between said ribs for completing an outer truss-like face for each said wall,
said inwardly'directed ribs defining therebetween a plurality of grooves on the interior of said article including three inner corner grooves communicating at the inner apex of the article, and side grooves, in juxtaposition with said face ridges. communicating with the said corner grooves, said ribs extending substantially up to said corner grooves.
2. The corner protector according to claim 1 wherein the outer corners of said protector, at the joinder of the first and second triangular edges of said walls, are truncated, separating the third edges from one another and providing communication of said inner corner grooves to the exterior of said protector.
3. The corner protector according to claim 1 wherein said protector is of substantially uniform thickness throughout.
4. The corner protector according to claim 1 wherein a wall is indented at regular intervals to provide two side ribs of triangular shape and two central ribs, the latter defining a side groove therebetween aligned with the corner groove between the remaining walls.
5. The corner portector according to claim 1 wherein said inwardly directed ribs have inner faces in the form of pads for engaging an object being shipped, said inner faces for ribs of a particular wall being in a plane, the corner groove depth being beyond the intersection of the planes of inner faces of said inwardly directed ribs.
6. The corner protector according to claim 1 wherein said side grooves extend substantially from the lower wall edges to the corner grooves and separate an inner wall surface into individual separated ribs.
7. The corner protector according to claim 1 wherein each said triangular wall has substantially the outline of an isosceles triangle.
8. The corner protector according to claim 1 wherein said ribs are substantially normal to said third edges.
9. A unitary corner protector adapted for interposition between the corner of a shipping container and an object being shipped, comprising:
three triangularshaped, molded pulp walls, each of which is joined along first and second edges to matching edges of two remaining walls disposed at right angles to the first and to each other, wherein said walls meet at a common apex at the juncture of said first and second edges of eachwall for defining a hollow article of pyramidal exterior form having a triangular base opening between third edges of said walls,
said walls being indented forming a plurality of inwardly directed ribs extending substantially upwardly relative to the respective third edges of said walls,
the corner protector being inwardly formed to provide inner corner grooves located in juxtaposition with edge junctions of said triangular-shaped walls,
the outer corners of said protector at the edge junctions of said walls being truncated, separating the third edges from one another and providing communication of said inner corner grooves to the exterior of said protector.
10. The protector according to claim 9 wherein said outer corners of said protector are truncated substantially along planes perpendicular to radii of said protector located in a plane including said third edges.
UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION Patent No. 3,762,626 Dated October 2, 1973 Inventor(s) William '1. Dorsey It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:
Column 2, line 59, "approximateley" should be --approximately--.
Column 3, line 13, delete "of" (second occurrence).
Column 4, line 24, after "nearly" insert --uniform, e.g., typically aboutl/ l inch as previously noted.--.
Column 4, line 28, "or" should ----of----'; and-"of" (second occurrence) should be --or--.
Column 4, line 57, "of" should be -or-- Column 5, line 5, "chamicals" should be --chemicals-.
Column 5, line 9, "vacum" should be .--vacuum--.
Column 5, line 25, f'now" should be --not--.
Column 5, line 3 1, "small" should be --smaller-- Signed and sealed this 7th day of May 1971;.
snwARn 1m ETC. v c. MARSHALL- v Atte sting Officer Commissioner of Patents FQRM PC4050 (169) uscoMM-Dc 60376-F'69 U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE Ii! 0-406-384