US 3791549 A
A plastic, stackable transportation crate for carrying plastic cups and containers. The crate has conical side walls and a base formed of intersecting strips. The intersections of the strips support the cups, and at least two of the strips are bent upwardly at an angle parallel to the side walls of the cups carried therein to provide lateral support. Alternate embodiments are considered.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 1191 Delbrouck et a1.
1451 Feb. 12, 1974 TRANSPORTATION CRATE FOR PLASTIC CUPS AND CONTAINERS  Inventors: Franz-Delbrouck,
' B ergisch-Gladba ch; Wilfried Nickel,
Menden, both of Germany I  Assignee: Freya Plastic & Franz Delbrousk, Bieberkamp, Germany 221 Filed: July 13,1971
211 Appl. No.: 163,539 I  Foreign Application Priority Data July 17, 1970 Germany 2035487  U.S. Cl. 220/21, 206/72, 220/97 R  Int. Cl B6511 1/24, B65d H38  Field of Search.. 220/21, 83, 66, 97 R; 217/26, 217/265; 206/72 [5 6] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,369,659 2/1968 Ettlinger 217/26 3,236,410 2/1966 Swartz 220/62 3,494,502 2 1970 Roush 2,965,226 12/1960 Ettlinger 206/72 FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 1,120,067 7/1968 Great Britain 220/21 Primary ExaminerGeorge E. Lowrance Attorney, Agent, or FirmA11ison C. Collard 57 ABSTRACT A plastic,'stackable transportation crate for carrying plastic cups and containers. The crate has conical side walls and a base formed of intersecting strips. The intersections of the strips support the cups, and at least two of the strips are bent upwardly at an angle parallel to the side walls of the cups carried therein to provide lateral support. Alternate embodiments are considered.
8 Claims, 10 Drawing Figures TRANSPORTATION CRATE FOR PLASTIC CUPS AND CONTAINERS The present invention relates. to transportation crates, and in particular, to stackable transportation crates for carrying disposable plastic cups and yogurt containers. I
Present packagings and transportation crates for yogurt containers must be constructed so that they can be loaded into incubators, where the yogurt, after the addition of certain bacteriological cultures, matures. Stackable cardboard boxes, formed from two or more blanks, have several disadvantages:
1. In a damp environment, the stability of the boxes is considerably reduced;
2. Ventilation of such a carton is achieved only by providing apertures in its base;
3. Folding of the blanks to form such cartons requires manual labor, and thus incurs additional cost; and
4. The empty cartons occupy considerable space and contribute to excess waste problems.
Plastic crates are stable when stacked and may be repeatedly used. Manufacturers requiring transportation crates for yogurt cups utilize a considerable number of these. However, since the cups have different shapes, and since the shapes are constantly being changed, such crates are relatively unprofitable despite their long life. Furthermore, there is no way to ventilate the crates since the base andside walls thereof are closed off.
Polystyrene foam pallets have projections and depressions formed therein into which the cups can be inserted. The pallets may be ventilated only from the side, since the pallets are constructed with closed-off surfaces to make them stable when stacked. However, the pallets must be used with an additional enclosing carton, which has an' adverse effect-on aeration and ventilation of the pallets.
Plastic transportation crates which nest in each other may be used as small washing baskets. Such containers usually have conical sides and a base formed of intersecting strips, and eventhough they are formed with an open baseand side walls, they are not suitable for holding yogurt cups,-since they have nothing to carry the individual cups.
Accordingly, the present invention provides a stackable plastic transportation crate having conical side' right angles at the cup support surfaces. Each support surface is provided with an aperture to provide adequate ventilation of the crate. The diagonally intersecting strips in the base are located near the cup support surfaces and are provided with a recess on the bottom surface thereof whose diameter is substantially the same as the upper diameter of a cup. The base is also provided with an additional outer frame to increase stability.
The upper edges .of the side walls may be provided with a substantially U-shaped rim which forms an outwardly depending flange. The flange portion has greater depth in the corners of the crate.
The transportation crate of the present invention requires a minimum amount of material for the manufacture thereof, since the side walls and base thereof are substantially open. Despite "such construction, the crate is stable. The crates are usually filled and then stacked one upon the other. The cups of each crate engage the recesses provided in the base of the crate immediately thereabove. The crates may also be stacked when they are empty to save transportation space.
An annular surface is provided near each cup support surface, part of which intersects the strips. An aperture is provided therein for permitting ventilation. An edge is provided on the bottom of the annular surface, and has an internal diameter which is slightly larger than the maximum extemal' diameter of the cups to be inserted in the crate.
The angle of inclination of the side walls with respect to the vertical is greater than the angle of inclination'of the cup holding strip members. This prevents deformation of the upper edges of the cups when the crates-are stacked, and accidental opening of the container cap during heat treatment in the incubator.
It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide a transportation crate for holding plastic containers or cups which may be manufactured by an injection moulding process.
It is another object of the present invention to provide a transportation crate which is stackable when filled or empty, and which will provide adequate ventilation of the cups and crate during use.
walls and a base formed of intersecting strips. The intersections of the strips in the base support the cups, and at least two strips which pass through each intersection, are bent upwardly at an angle parallel to the side walls of the cups to be carried therein to provide lateral support. I
the crates are stacked, the upper edges of cups in a lower crate are disposed in the recesses provided in the bottom surface of the upper crate. Lateral movement of the crates is thereby prevented. The crate has continuous interconnected pairs of strip members which extend substantially vertically in its side walls and continue diagonally in the base. Additional vertical, partially inwardly projecting strip members are also provided and form the side walls of the crate. The strips continue in the base bottom portion and intersect at It is also an object of the present invention to provide a transportation crate which is simple in design, easy to 1 I manufacture, and efficient and reliable in operation.
Other objects and'features of the present invention will become apparent from the following detailed description of the invention taken in connection with the accompanying drawings which disclose several embodiments of thefinvention. It is to be understood, however, that the drawings are designed for the purpose of illustration only, and not as a definition of the limits and scope of the invention.
In the drawings, wherein similar reference characters denote similar elements throughout the several views:
FIG. 1 is a top plan view of a transportation crate constructed in accordance with the present invention;
FIG. 2 is a partial, cross-sectional side view of the transportation crate taken along section A-A of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a partial, cross sectional view of the crate taken along section BB of FIG. 1;
FIG. 4is a fragmentarycross-sectional view of the crate taken along section C-C of FIG. 1; i
FIG. is a partial bottom plan view of the crate of FIG. 1, showing the support surface which receives the I cups to be transported;
FIG. 6 is a partial, cross-sectional side view of the crate of FIGS. 1-5;
FIG. 7 is a partial bottom plan view of the crate of FIG. 1, showing a corner region thereof;
FIG. 8 is a top plan view of a second embodiment of a transportation crate constructed in accordance with the present invention;
FIG. 9,is a partial, cross-sectional view of the crate taken along section A-A of FIG. 8; and
FIG. is a partial bottom plan view of the base of the crate as shown in FIG. 8.
Referring to the drawings, a transportation crate l which is made by an injection moulding process, is constructed of plastic, and includes side walls 3 and a base 6 formed by substantially vertical intersecting strip members. The upper edges of side walls 3 are provided with a surrounding rim 2. The rim is substantially U- shaped and has an outwardly depending flange whose width is greater in the corner region 2a.
Side walls 3 are disposed slightly inwardly towards the bottom of the crate and are formed by vertical pairs of strip members 4 which are interconnected at the bottom of the crate. Strips 4 continue along base-6 as diagonally intersecting strips 10 .and 12, whose intersections form support regions 8 for cups 17 to be carried therein. The position of a cup carried by the crate is indicated by the dotted lines shown in FIG. 1. In addition to strips 4, vertical strip members 5 are provided in the side walls 3. Strips 5 project partially inwardly and continue along the base as rectangul'arly intersecting strips 1 1 and 13. Strips 11 and 13 extend the area of intersection of strips 10 and 12, and thus increase the area of support surface 8 for the cups. Strips 11 and 13 are bent upwardly to form holding strips 18 for the cups. The angle of inclination of the holding strips conforms to the conicity of the cups. Horizontal connecting members 18a couple holding strips 18.
The height of crate l is preferably lower than the height of the cups. Near support surface 8, strips 10, 1 1, 12 and 13 are provided with a shoulder 15 and a recess 19. When the crates are stacked, the upper edge of the cups in a lower crate engage recess 19 of the upper crate. The crates are thus interlocked and cannot be laterally displaced.
An aperture 20 is provided in the center of support surface 8 to permit ventilation of the crate. Support surface 8 may also be reinforced by ribs 16. The crate may be reinforced by providing an outer frame 7 on the base 6. Stability of the crate is thereby increased.
In FIGS. 8-10, a plastic transportation crate 101, similar to the crate shown in FIGS. 1-7, is shown. Support surfaces 108 in base 106 are reinforced by annular surfaces 122, which intersect strips 110, 111, 112 and 113. Vertically disposed strips 118 are provided for carrying the cups. The annular surfaces l22 are provided with recesses 125, which engage the edges of the cups when the crates are stacked. The annular surfaces are provided with an edge 124, the inside diameter of which is larger than the maximum outer diameter of the cups to be carried to provide stability when the crates are stacked. The annular disposition of the side walls and the holding strips with respect to the vertical permit the crates to be stacked one inside the other when they are empty.
While only several embodiments of the present invention have been shown and described, it will be obvious to those persons skilled in the art that many changes and modifications may be made thereunto without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.
What is claimed is: v
1. In a stackable transportation crate for carrying plastic cups and containers, having side walls and a base formed from a plurality of diagonally intersecting strips, the intersections of said strips forming the supporting surfaces of the crate for the cups and containers carried therein, the improvement comprising:
a plurality of perpendicularly intersecting strips coupled to the side walls of the crate and disposed perpendicular thereto, said perpendicularly intersecting strips being positioned onsaid crate so that the intersecting points thereof pass through the points of intersection of said diagonally intersecting strips for strengthening the crate and providing additional supporting surfaces-for the cups and containers carried by the crate, said perpendicularly intersecting strips being bent upwardly adjacent said points of intersection thereof with said diagonally intersecting strips at an angle with respect to the base of the crate so as to form a U-shaped lateral support for the cups and containers disposed on said supporting surfaces, said perpendicularly intersecting strips being further bent upwardly at their ends at an angle with respect to the base of the crate so as to form the side walls thereof, the height of the portions of said perpendicularly intersecting strips bent upwardly to form said side walls being less than the height of the containers and cups carried in the crate, and
a plurality of annular strips affixed to said diagonally and said perpendicularly intersecting strips, said annular strips forming an annular support surface whose center is the point of intersection of said diagonally and said perpendicularly intersecting strips, and a plurality of apertures disposed between said annular strips and said perpendicularly and said diagonally intersecting strips for ventilating the crate.
2. The improvement as recited in claim 1, wherein said diagonally intersecting strips are bent upwardly at the intersection thereof around said support surfaces so as to form circular recesses in said diagonally intersecting strip members on the bottom surface of the crate for receiving the upper edges of cups and containers on which the crate is disposed,-said recesses and cups and containers interlocking the crates when they are stacked to prevent lateral movement thereof.
3. The improvement-as recited in claim 2, wherein the angle of inclination of said upwardly bent portions of said perpendicularly intersecting strips which form the side walls of the crate is greater, with respect to the vertical plane, than the angle of inclination of the upwardly bent portions of said perpendicularly intersecting strips which form said U-shaped lateral supports.
4. The improvement as recited in claim 2, further comprising a rim, affixed to the upper edges of said upwardly bent portions of said perpendicularly intersecting strips forming said side walls, having a substantially U-shaped cross-sectional shape and an outwardly, downwardly-depending flange, said flange having a greater vertical length at the corners of the crate than at the center portions of said flange therebetween.
5. The improvement as recited in claim 4, wherein said upwardly bent portions of said diagonally intersecting strips comprise in combination a circular supporting surface in the base of the crate for supporting cups and containers disposed therein.
6. The improvement as recited in claim 4, wherein said upwardly bent portions of said diagonally inter-' 7. The improvement as recited in claim 4, wherein the base of the crate includes a plurality of apertures, disposed at the points of intersection of said diagonally intersecting strips and'said perpendicularly intersecting strips, for ventilating the crate.
8. The improvement as recited in claim 1, wherein said annular strips further comprise a downwardlyextending, annular, perpendicular edge, said edge forming an annular cylinder on the outer edge of said annular strips in the base of the crate for receiving the upper edges of cups and containers therein, the diameter of said cylinder formed being slightly larger than the diameter of the upper edges of cups and containers disposed in the crate, for receiving said upper edges in the lower surface of the base thereof when the crates are stacked.