US 3770186 A
An improved collapsible shipping container of the type in which a plurality of side walls are detachably interconnected to a rigid base or pallet. Means is provided for rigidifying the side walls against vertical compressive forces accompanying normal stacking operations. Improved clip and cleat means for interconnecting the walls to the pallet permits more rapid assembly, with greater resistance to pilferage. An improved sealing means interconnects the lid of the container to the side walls thereof in a manner permitting the use of a conventional seal. An improved side door construction affords greater rigidity to the container, and more effectively resists inwardly directed forces against the outer surface of the door.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Eliteel fitates ate Kupersmrt 51 Nov. 6, 1973 l l COLLAPSHBLE SHHPPING CONTAHNER  lnventor: Julius B. Kupersmit, 145-80 228th Moorhead St., Springfield Gardens, Manhattan, Attorney-Charles Temko H313 57 ABSTRACT  Flled' 1972 An improved collapsible shipping container of the type ] Appl. No.: 269,847 in which a plurality of side walls are detachably interconnected to a rigid base or pallet. Means is provided 52 us. ca 229/23 R 24/73 108/56 for llgldlfylng the Side walls against vertical wmpres 287/20 3 sive forces accompanying normal stacking operations. 51 Int. (:1 865d 5/00 865d 5/36 assd 5/44 Improved Clea .means for mlemnnectmg  Field of Search 229/41 A 11 B 23 R walls Panel rapid assembly i 229/23 0 287/20 924 lO8/56 greater resistance to pilferage. An improved sealing means interconnects the lid of the container to the side  References Cited walls thereof in a manner permitting the use of a conventional seal. An improved side door construction af- UNITED STATES PATENTS fords greater rigidity to the container, and more effecfi p l 537 tively resists inwardly directed forces against the outer u ersmlt... 3,480,196 11/1969 De imas 229/23 R Surface of the door. 3,580,618 5/1971 Kupersmit 287/20.924 4 Claims, 7 Drawing Figures PATENTEBHBY 61973 3370.186
SHEET 10E 2 PATENIEDauv sums 3.770.186
sum 2 OF 2 COLLAPSIBLE SHIPPING CONTAINER This invention relates generally to the field of collapsible shipping containers of a type including a relatively rigid pallet conveniently handled by fork-lift trucks, and collapsible side walls which are foldably interconnected with each other, and hingedly interconnected along one edge of the pallet to be folded thereagainst when not in use. Devices of this type are normally provided with a detachable lid or cover, in which the other components are stored in folded condition when not in use. Devices of this general type are known in the art, and the invention lies in specific constructional details permitting more rapid set up and knock down techniques, increased resistance to crushing during stacking operations,- and the use of common lead-type seals which are acceptable to customs authorities throughout the world.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE PRIOR ART The prior art includes applicants prior US. Pat. No. 3,443,737, which discloses a collapsible-reusable bulk shipping container having a rigid pallet and foldable side walls interconnected thereto, as well as a detachable top which is secured by scalable means to the side walls. Applicants U.S. Pat. No. 3,580,618 discloses a cleat and clip means for selectively interconnecting the erected side walls to the pallet in a manner which permits ready disconnection when it is desired to collapse the container. Applicants U.S. Pat. No. 3,466,710 discloses a clip suitable for use in maintaining devices of this type in closed condition.
The principal disadvantages involved in the use of prior art structures lies in the inherent weakness of the interconnection between the collapsible side walls and the pallet, which permits rupture and/or pilferage. Because the collapsible side walls are formed of corrugated board, the degree of vertical compression which they can withstand has been limited, in turn limiting the degree of stackability of a plurality of containers. Further, applicants prior art constructions have required the use of a seal which has not been universally approved by government authorities.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE PRESENT INVENTION Briefly stated, the invention contemplates improvements in a prior art container construction of additional reinforcing means in the corners interconnecting the collapsible side walls to rigidify the same against compression involved in stacking operations. To permit folding of the side walls, the reinforcing structure is in the form of an elongated strip of corrugated board folded axially to form two portions, one of which is permanently glued or otherwise interconneced to an inner surface of one wall, and a second of which is provided with a pressure-sensitive protected adhesive layer, which may be selectively interconnected to an inner surface of an adjacent wall. Further reinforcement is afforded by the presence of a sliding door in one wall which is ofmulti-ply construction, the inner ply extending rearwardly of the innersurface of the wall forming the door opening. An improved clip and cleat construction is also provided, in which interconnection of the cleat to an associated side wall is accomplished by a threaded bolt engaging a resilient opening in the clip which engages the cleat, so that the same may be driven into position using a hammer, rather than a screwdriver. Once assembled within the structure, the exposed head of the bolt is smooth, and offers no means for engagement with a tool for unauthorized removal. Removal is accomplished by the engagement of a tool with the opposite end of the threaded shank, accessible only interiorly of the container. Improved lid locking means is provided, the same including members providing aligned openings through which the wire portion of a conventional lead seal may be inserted.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS In the drawings, to which reference will be made in the specification, similar reference characters have been employed to designate corresponding parts throughout the several views.
FIG. 1 is a view in perspective of an embodiment of the invention in fully assembled sealed condition.
FIG. 2 is a view in perspective of the embodiment in completely collapsed and stored condition.
FIG. 3 is an exploded view in perspective.
FIG. 4 is an enlarged fragmentary sectional view as seen from the plane 4-4 in FIG. 1.
FIG. 5 is a fragmentary view in perspective showing the interconnection of certain reinforcing structure upon assembly of the device.
FIG. 6 is a view in perspective showing the components of a clip element.
FIG. 7 is a view in perspective of a locking bar.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DISCLOSED EMBODIMENT In accordance with the invention, the device, generally indicated by reference character 10 comprises broadly: a pallet element 11, a foldably interconnected side wall assembly 12, a door element 13, a plurality of cleat-engaging clip elements 14, a lid or cover element 15, and sealing means 16.
The pallet element 11 is of generally conventional construction, including a main floor 19 bounded by an upper surface 20 and a peripheral edge 21. Cleat members 22, 23, 24 and 25 (FIG. 3) are spaced inwardly from the peripheral edge 21, and are of a cross sectional shape best seen in FIG. 4, including a recessed portion 26 for the engagement of elements 14. A doorengaging lip 27 extends outwardly from the cleat member 22, and provides a seal for the lower edge of the element 13. Supporting skids 28, 29 and 30 define elongated interstices 31 and 32for the entry of a fork of a lifting device (not shown), as is well known in the art.
The side wall assembly 12 is preferably formed of heavy weight multi-ply corrugated board, and includes a rear wall 35 which is hingedly interconnected to the pallet element 11, side walls 36 and 37, and forward walls 38 and 39 defining a rectangular opening 40 for the door element 1.3.
Reinforcing strips 42 provid a stiffening function at the fold line separating the rear wall 35 from the side walls 36 and 37, each strip including first and second portions 43 and 44 interconnected by a fold line 45. The first portion 43 is interconnected to the inner surface 46 of the side wall 36 by glue or staples. A protective strip 47 (FIG. 5) is removable from the outer surface of the second portion 44 to permit detachable pressure-sensitive adhesion to the surface 49 of the rear wall 35.
The door element 13 is of multi-lamina construction, including an outer lamina 50 and an inner lamina 51.
Extruded guides 52 of synthetic resinous material or aluminum interconnected the outer lamina 50 within the opening 40 as is known in the art. The outer lamina 50 is bounded by an upper edge 53, a lower edge 54 as well as side edges 55 and 56 which are disposed opposite the edges 57 and 58 of the opening 40. The inner lamina 51 is considerably larger, and is of an area equivalent to that of the forward walls 38 and 39 as well as the opening 40. It is bounded by an upper edge 60, a lower edge 61 and side edges 62 and 63 which abut the inner surfaces of the side walls 36 and 37, and provide a stiffening function as they abut the strips 64 and 65 analogous to that of the strips 42. The guides 52 resemble prior art construction, and include first and second grooves 67 and 68.
The cleat engaging elements 14 constitute an improvement over those disclosed in my above mentioned prior US. Pat. No. 3,580,618. While the earlier construction performed reasonably well under most circumstances, the actual engagement of the fibrous side walls therewith, in one embodiment resulted in retention as a result of resilient means. The more complicated embodiment required separate nut and bolt interconnection means which was time consuming, and which lended itself to pilferage because of the accessibility of the bolt head from the outside of the container.
In the present construction, the elements 14 each include an outer member 70, an inner member 71 and a bolt 72 passing therethrough. The outer member 70 may be formed as a simple stamping, and includes a main vertical wall 74 and a flange-like horizontal wall 75 interconnected therewith at a lower edge 76. A plurality of locking tines 77 extend inwardly from the horizontal wall 75 to engage the outer surface of the side wall assembly 12. A central opening 79 allows for passage of the bolt 72.
The inner member 71 includes an outer vertical wall 80, an interconnecting upper wall 81 and an inner vertical wall 82. The outer wall 80 includes outwardly extending tines 84, a bolt opening 85, and a lower edge 86 which abuts the horizontal wall 75. An upper edge 87 interconnects with the wall 81. The inner vertical wall 82 is bounded by an upper edge 89 and a lower edge 90. An offset portion 91 corresponds to the recessed portion 26 in a cleat member 22- 25, and a plurality of downwardly extending teeth 92 engage the upper surfaceof the pallet element 11 to anchor the inner wall with respect thereto. An opening 93 is formed by a pair of resilient tines 94 and 95, the ends of the tines being shaped to engage the threads of the bolt 72 in lieu of a conventional nut.
The bolt 72 includes a flat head 97 resembling the head of a carriage bolt, so as to afford no tool-engaging surface. A threaded shank 98 terminates in a free end 99 having a screwdriver slot 100 therein.
Assembly or erection of the device will be understood from a consideration of FIG. 4, wherein after the side wall assembly 12 has been unfolded from the condition shown in FIG. 2 to the condition shown in FIG. 3, the elements 14 are assembled such that the bolt 72 is driven by a hammer through a bore 102 in the cleat to engage the resilient opening formed by the tines 94-95. When the device is collapsed, the screwdriver slot 100 is accessible from the inside of the empty container to authorized personnel. Externally, a closed device cannot be disassembled by unscrewing the bolt 72,
since there is no means for obtaining purchase thereupn.
The lid element 15 is of conventional construction, including an upper wall 105, peripheral side walls 106 and peripheral end walls 107. The end walls 107 are provided with rectangular slots 108 which engage lid retaining members 109 when the device is closed.
The lid retaining members 109 each include an inner wall 110, and an outer wall 111 forming a loop portion 112. Through openings 113 penetrate the upper and lower portions of the loop portion 112, and align with corresponding openings in an elongated locking bar 1 14, the length of which exceeds that of the rectangular slots 108. Thus, when the lid is in closed position, and the locking bar 114 inserted as seen in FIG. 1, a conventional lead seal 116 may be employed, the wires of the same being threaded through the aligned openings to prevent unauthorized removal.
I wish it to be understood that I do not consider the invention limited to the precise details of structure shown and set forth in this specification, for obvious modifications will occur to those skilled in the art to which the invention pertains.
1. In a collapsible shipping container of a type including a rigid base, a flexible side wall assembly including a plurality of foldably associated side walls, one of which is hingedly connected to said base, the improvement comprising: means for rigidifying the side wall assembly against vertical compression encountered during the stacking of a plurality of said containers, said means including an elongated strip of material having an axially oriented fold line defining first and second planar members on either side thereof, said strip being positioned in an area of hinged interconnection between adjacent side walls with said axially aligned fold overlying a fold line of said side Wall assembly; means permanently interconnecting one of said planar members to an inner surface of a side wall, and pressuresensitive adhesive means selectively adhering the other of said planar members to the inner surface of an adjacent foldably interconnected wall of said side wall assembly.
2. In a collapsible shipping container of a type including a rigid base and a foldable side wall assembly hingedly connected to said base along at least one wall of said side wall assembly, said side wall assembly defining in erected condition a rectangular door opening in one wall thereof partially bounded by vertical edges, and a door element arranged for sliding movement withinsaid opening, the improvement comprising: said door element including first and second laminae, said first lamina corresponding in size to the size of said opening,'a pair of guides interconnecting said first lamina and said vertical edges for sliding movement of said first lamina within said opening, said second lamina being of overall configuration corresponding to the total area of said wall including said opening, and interconnected in parallel relation to said first lamina for movement therewith, said second lamina thereby overlying inner surfaces of said last mentioned wall.
3. In a collapsible shipping container ofa type including a rigid base and a flexible side wall assembly hingedly interconnected to said base along one side wall thereof and selectively interconnectable to said base along the remaining side walls thereof, improved means for maintaining such selected interconnection comprising: a cleat secured to an upper surface of said base, a clip element including an outer clip member having a plurality of inwardly facing tines penetrating an outer surface of a wall of said side wall assembly, said outer clip member defining a bolt-penetrating opening; an inner clip member having a first side wall defining a corresponding bolt-penetratng opening, an inner wall defining a resilient opening and a wall interconnecting said inner and outer walls, said inner wall having downwardly facingteeth thereon engageable with an upper surface of said rigid base and an offset portion adapted to engage a recess in said cleat; and a bolt having a head free of tool-engaging surfaces, and a threaded shank having tool-engaging means on an inner end thereof.
4; In a shipping container of a type including a plurality of side walls and a cover engageable upon the upper edges of said side walls, lid retaining means fixed to at least one of said side walls and having a looped portion penetrating an opening in a peripheral side wall of said cover, improved sealing means comprising: said looped portion including a pair of aligned orifices, an elongated bar insertable into said looped portion, said bar having a length greater than the efective length of said opening, said bar having a through bore alignable with said pair of aligned bores, thereby the wire portion of a conventional lead seal may be inserted therethrough.