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Publication numberUS3797671 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMar 19, 1974
Filing dateMay 12, 1972
Priority dateMay 12, 1971
Also published asDE2222747A1
Publication numberUS 3797671 A, US 3797671A, US-A-3797671, US3797671 A, US3797671A
InventorsEklund K, Sebilleau R
Original AssigneeEklund K, Sebilleau R
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Collapsible structure for a shelving arrangement
US 3797671 A
Abstract
The present invention concerns a dismountable or collapsible storage rack structure from which metallic shelves can be assembled and, more especially, to shelves for pallets. Said structure includes vertical posts connected in pairs by cross-bars to form rigid frames. Horizontal, load supporting beams are mounted in a manner adjustable to different heights between the posts of two adjacent parallel frames. Connecting means on the ends of said beams and on said posts provide for the rigid interlocking of the various components of the shelf structure.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent 1 Sebilleau et al.

[ 51 Mar. 19, 1974 i 1 COLLAPSIBLE STRUCTURE FOR A SHELVING ARRANGEMENT [76] Inventors: Roger V. Sebllleau, Kerheol",

Avessac; Kurt l. Eklund, 24, rue de la Guichardais, Redon, both of France {22] Filed: May 12, 1972 [21] Appl. No.: 252,661

{30} Foreign Application Priority Data 1 3.592.345 7/1971 Featherman w. 21 1/176 FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 533.722 12/1954 Belgium 211/148 873,519 7/1961 Great Britain r 1 1 .w 21 1/148 6.602379 4/1967 Netherlands 21 1/176 Primary Examiner-Ramon S. Britts Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Woodhams, Blanchard & Flynn [5 7 1 ABSTRACT The present invention concerns a dismountable or collapsible storage rack structure from which metallic shelves can be assembled and, more especially, to shelves for pallets. Said structure includes vertical posts connected in pairs by cross-bars to form rigid frames. Horizontal, load supporting beams are mounted in a manner adjustable to different heights between the posts of two adjacent parallel frames. Connecting means on the ends of said beams and on said posts provide for the rigid interlocking of the various components of the shelf structure.

11 Claims, 7 Drawing Figures COLLAPSIBLE STRUCTURE FOR A SHELVING ARRANGEMENT Existing metallic shelves are actually utilized in numerous applications and some are adapted for the storage of pelleted loads. Existing shelves are often made in sections, generally U-shaped or C-shaped, which are assembled in a rigid arrangement connected by means of various attachment devices such as bolts or the like. These sections, which include the vertical posts of the assembly, are more often provided as an integral structure and would thus be fabricated according to the demands of the usage, such as the desired height for the shelves, which poses a serious problem of transport, especially in the case of shelves of great height as with shelves for pallets. Furthermore, the fact that the vertical posts would be of an integral structure renders it very difficult, if not impossible, to effect modification of a given structure in order to adapt it to the needs of different usage.

it is appropriate, moreover, to note that the present vertical posts have a constant cross-sectional size throughout the vertical length thereof, which size must be calculated as a function of the maximum load to be supported by the structure while, in fact, this maximum load is exerted only on the lower ends of the posts, and consequently increases uselessly the cost of the shelves thusly fabricated.

The present invention has for its primary purpose the elimination of all these inconveniences and, in order to do this, it has for an object the provision of a collapsible storage rack structure of the type to be described hereinafter. The improved structure is characterized primarily in that each vertical post is comprised of a selected number of standard elements in the form of truncated cones which are assembled in a side-by-side manner and secured to each other by means of appropriate tightening collars, to provide finally a truncated post having a constantly decreasing cross section from the base to the top.

Thus, due to the truncated form of the vertical posts, it is easily seen that one can furnish a very important economy in the quantity of metal required, without diminishing at all the strength of the shelves. in effect, the load supported by the automatically narrowing posts is in proportion as the height is raised and, this being almost continuous, it will be sufficient that the lower portion of the post be capable of supporting the maximum load.

It will be noted, in other words, that the fabrication of the posts beginning with the standard elements, permits the assembly of posts of the desired height directly at the site of the erection of the shelves. This facility permits also a very easy reuse of the shelves for other purposes, if the need arises.

In one particular embodiment of the invention, the elements of the truncated posts are comprised of hollow members having substantially triangular cross sections, which are obtained by folding metal sheets of which the two longitudinal edges are fitted one against the other in a manner to form a rigid external flange on which are mounted the horizontal, load supporting beams. These posts are disposed so that their flanges extend toward the interior of the frames, are coplanar and are perpendicular to a horizontal plane when the posts are upright.

Such cross sections are very easy to make by means of a shaping press and besides give to the mounted shelves a significant aesthetic appearance.

The horizontal, load supporting beams are provided with hollow cross sections of triangular profile, likewise obtained by folding sheets of metal, of which the two ends are flattened and cooperate with some useful perforations at regular intervals along the vertical flanges of the truncated posts.

Preferably, the beams are arranged in a manner so as to support the load on their planar faces.

In a primary embodiment, the flattened ends of the beams are comprised of at least two parallel, horizontal and spaced fingers which cooperate with some separate perforations on the posts, these perforations being sufficiently large to receive simultaneously the fingers of two adjacent beams arranged in lengthwise extension of each other.

Advantageously, the fingers of the beams are provided with downwardly opening grooves which cooperate with the means defining the lower edge of corresponding perforation of the post, in order to assure the correct positioning of the beams between the posts.

It will be noted that this arrangement also improves considerably the rigidity of the structure in the longitudinal plane.

ln an alternate embodiment, each beam has at least two parallel, horizontal and spaced fingers at one of its flattened ends, these fingers cooperating with some separate perforations in the post, while its other end has an inverted U-shaped section which is understood to receive its support on the fingers at the end of an adjacent beam extending through the perforations of the corresponding post.

Preferably, the beams which are arranged in lengthwise extension of each other are rigidly connected together by means of bolts or the like.

Several forms of carrying out the invention are described hereinafter, by way of example, with reference to the attached drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a front elevational View of a shelf structure for pallets and embodying the invention;

FIG. 2 is a side elevational view of this structure;

H6. 3 is a schematic sectional view taken along the line Ill-Ill of H6. 1-,

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of one end of a horizontal beam of the structure;

H6. 5 is a fragmentary, cross-sectional and enlarged view showing the connection between the horizontal beams and the vertical posts of the structure;

H0. 6 is a cross-sectional view taken along the line VIVI of FIG. 5', and

FIG. 7 is a cross-sectional view similar to that of FIG. 5, but disclosing an alternate embodiment of the invention.

The storage rack structure represented in the F168. 1 to 3, inclusive, is comprised essentially of some vertical posts 1, some cross-bars 2 and some horizontal beams 3 for the support of palletized loads. The vertical posts 1 are connected, two-by-two, by the crossbars 2 and they also form rigid frames. while the horizontal beams 3 are mounted in a manner adjustable to different heights between the posts of adjacent frames arranged in parallel, due to means which will be described in more detail hereinafter.

According to the invention, each vertical post 1 is comprised of a certain number of standard elements 4 of elongated truncated form having, for example, an unbroken length of two meters. These elements are not interlocked together but are simply assembled end-to end in a rigid and contiguous manner by means of gripping collars of appropriate form. The posts 1 thus constituted are thus likewise truncated and therefore, they have a continuously decreasing cross section from bottom to top. It will be noted, moreover, that each of the posts is supported on the floor by means of a base plate 6.

The assembly collars 5 are fastened tightly around the elements 4 by means of bolts and one can thus take advantage of this by placing the crossbars 2 on the same level as these collars, thereby permitting them to be secured by these same bolts. Needless to say, one should also provide crossbars at the upper and lower extremities of the posts 1. These crossbars are preferably flanged to increase their rigidity, and one could moreover provide cross braces for reinforcement between the successive crossbars.

As one can more clearly see in FIGS. 3 or 6, the truncated elements 4 are comprised of hollow members with essentially triangular cross sections. These members are obtained in a very simple manner, by folding sheet metal in a folder press. The two lengthwise edges of the member are moreover arranged against each other in a manner to thus form a rigid, exterior flange 7, disposed perpendicularly with respect to one of the flat sides of the member. In this flange 7 are formed at regular intervals some rectangular perforations 8 permitting the mounting of horizontal beams 3, as it will be seen hereinafter. The perforations 8 are also suited to receive the bolts serving in the fastening of the collars 5 or the crossbars 2.

The flanges 7 of the members are intended to be located in the plane of the frames formed by the posts, namely, in the plane of the crossbars 2, thereby extending toward the interior of these frames. it is proper to note that these members are furnished in the manner that when the vertical post 1 is erected, its flange 7 would be strictly perpendicular to a horizontal plane, although the body of the post would be truncated, in order to facilitate the mounting of the beams and the crossbars of the structure. lt can also be advantageous to solder at points on the two edges of the member which form the flange 7, in order to increase the rigidity of the members and consequently that of each entire post.

The horizontal beams 3 which support the load are likewise made from hollow members with essentially triangular cross sections, obtained by folding sheet metal. As shown in the perspective view of FIG. 4, the lower portion of the beam is formed by the two lengthwise edges 9 of the member, edges which could be advantageously soldered at points while the upper portion of the beam is formed by a flat surface 10 designed to support the load. The two ends of the member are, moreover, flattened in a plane perpendicular to the flat surface 10 and they each have a central, rectangular cut out 11 forming on opposite sides thereof two parallel and spaced fingers 12 which are intended to cooperate with the perforations 8 in the vertical posts 1. Each of these fingers 12 has, furthermore, in its lower edge a notch 13 the purpose of which will become more apparent hereinafter.

The manner in which the horizontal beams are attached to the posts 1 is illustrated in the FIGS. 5 and 6. The spacing between the fingers 12 corresponds exactly to the spacing of the perforations 8, so that these fingers can be inserted simultaneously into two consecutive perforations of the post, at the desired location. The width of these perforations 8 is sufficient that they can receive simultaneously the fingers of two adjacent beams arranged in lengthwise extension of each other, which corresponds to the type of an installation most frequently demanded.

The fingers 12 are positioned in the perforations 8 in such a manner that the means defining the lower edges of these perforations are received into the notches 13 of the fingers, which assures the lengthwise positioning of the beam. This arrangement contributes moreover to assure the rigidity of the structure in the longitudinal plane. Furthermore, it will be noted that because of the notches, there remains in the upper part of the perforations 8, a free space which can advantageously be filled by means of a blocking pin.

It is proper furthermore to state that the fingers 12 of the beams are longer than necessary and that there remains thus, between the bottom of the cut out 11 and the sidewall of the perforated flange 7, a certain clearance. This is due to the fact that one ought to be able to disassemble and assemble the beams without having to move apart the vertical posts 1, in order to permit the user to modify easily the location of the beams according to the needs.

Finally, it is self-evident that the dimension of the beams is a function of the load that they will support and that they can thus in such event have more than two fingers l2, conveniently spaced, at each of their extremities.

In the alternate embodiment disclosed in FIG. 7, the two extremities of the horizontal beam 3 are different. One of these extremities is in the same form as the embodiment of FIG. 4, namely, it has two parallel and spaced fingers l2 intended to cooperate with the perforation 8 of the vertical posts 1. On the other hand, the opposite end of the beam is not equipped with a finger and has an enlargement 14 of inverted U-shaped cross section which is arranged to cover the ends of the fingers of the adjacent beam, as shown in FIG. 7.

It is apparent that in this variation, the perforations 8 do not need to be as wide as in the form of the preceding embodiment, since they receive only one finger at a time. It is no longer necessary to provide the positioning notches on these fingers. It will be noted in fact that the beam has no need for any extension and that it can consequently abut against the flanges 7 of the posts at each of its extremities, that which assures its longitudinal position. Thus, the cut out 11 of the beam will be less deep than in the form of the preceding embodiment, in such a manner that the inner end of this cut out can abut against the side of the corresponding flange 7.

On the contrary, the extremity of the enlargement 14 should be slightly rounded, in order that one can mount or dismount the beam by pivoting it in a vertical plane. From this fact, it will be equally advantageous to interconnect these beams to each other by means of a bolt such as that at 15, located on the level of the lower finger of the beam in order to prevent the accidental dislodging of a beam due to an ever possible forcing move by the lift truck during the handling of the palletized loads. Such bolts moreover can also be provided in the manner of the embodiment of FlG. 5 in order to strengthen further the rigidity of the structure involved.

it is proper moreover to state that the alternate embodiment shown in FIG. 7 is most especially designed with shelves in which the horizontal beams for supporting the load are all mounted in lengthwise extension of each other. It is nevertheless possible if the need arises, to mount the beams in an independent manner, by utilizing a special support affixed to the corresponding vertical post and having fingers adapted to be received into the enlargement 14 of the beam. Such supports will be moreover of such form as is required by at least the one extremity of the shelf.

Due to their vertical posts of truncated form, the shelves according to the invention require, for a given load, a smaller quantity of metal than existing shelves, while at the same time being as strong. They are thus less costly and of less weight. They provide furthermore a very great flexibility of utilization because they are entirely collapsible, in that it comprises the vertical posts which can thus be erected at the desired height directly at the place of construction of the shelves.

It will finally be noted that the shelves according to the invention are very pleasing in appearance when assembled, due to the particular form of the posts and of the beam.

Although a particular preferred embodiment of the invention has been disclosed in detail for illustrative purposes, it will be recognized that variations or modifications of the disclosed apparatus, including the rearrangement of parts, lie within the scope of the present invention.

The embodiments of the invention in which an exclusive property or privilege is claimed are defined as follows:

l. A collapsible storage rack structure having plural pairs of elongated vertical posts, plural cross-bars connected between the vertical posts of each pair to form a rigid rectangular frame, and a plurality of elongated horizontal beams extending between and connected to adjacent pairs of substantially parallel rectangular frames, said beams being connected to said posts so as to be adjustable to different heights, comprising the improvement wherein each post comprises a plurality of elongated post sections each of truncated form, said post sections being positioned in end-to-end relation ship so that said post is truncated and has a crosssection which continuously decreases from the lower end to the upper end thereof, and collar means coacting with adjacent post sections for fixedly connecting same together in said end-to-end relationship.

2. A structure according to claim I, wherein each post section comprises a hollow member of substantially triangular cross section and formed from sheetlike metal, the two lengthwise edges of each hollow member being placed against each other and forming a rigid platelilre external flange projecting outwardly from one side of the triangular cross-section, said horizontal beams extending between and being supported on the flanges of a pair of posts and the pair of posts in each frame being arranged so that the flanges extend inwardly toward each other and are substantially coplanar.

3. A structure according to claim 2, wherein said horizontal beam comprises a hollow member of triangular cross-section and formed from sheetlilre metal, the two ends of said beam being flattened and cooperating with perforations cut at regular intervals through the external flanges of the truncated posts.

4. A structure according to claim 3, wherein the beams are positioned so that flat surfaces thereof face upwardly to support a load.

5. A structure according to claim 3, wherein each flattened end of the beam has at least two horizontal, parallel and spaced fingers which project through different perforations in the post, said perforations being sufficiently wide to receive simultaneously in side-byside relationship the fingers of two adjacent beams which are positioned in lengthwise extension of each w other.

6. A structure according to claim 5, wherein the lower edges of said fingers have notches cooperating with the wall means defining the lower edge of the corresponding perforation of the post to assure correct positioning of the beams between the posts.

7. A structure according to claim 3, wherein each beam has at least two horizontal, parallel and spaced fingers at one of its ends, said fingers projecting through separate perforations in said post, the other end of said beam having an inverted U-shaped portion arranged for support on the fingers of an adjacent beam as they project through the perforations of the corresponding post.

8. A structure according to claim 7, wherein a pair of said beams are arranged in lengthwise extension and their adjacent ends are interconnected by bolt means extending through the U-shaped portion of one beam and one of the fingers of the other beam.

9. A structure according to claim 1, wherein each post section comprises a hollow tubular member formed from. sheetlike material, the two lengthwise edges of said hollow member being placed against each other and forming a rigid platelike external flange projecting outwardly from said hollow member, said platelike flange extending longitudinally throughout the complete length of said hollow member, the individual platelilte flanges of the individual post sections being aligned with one another when said post sections are assembled in end-to-end relationship, the external flange of each hollow member having a plurality of perforations extending transversely therethrough with said plurality of perforations being spaced from one another and disposed within a row extending in the longitudinal direction of said hollow member, and the pair of posts in each frame being arranged so that the flanges extend inwardly toward one another and are substantially coplanar; and

said horizontal beams extending between and being supported on the flanges of a pair of posts, each said horizontal beam being flattened and cooperating with the perforations formed in the external flanges of said posts, at least one of the flattened ends of said beam being comprised of at least two substantially parallel and horizontally elongated fingers projecting outwardly from the end of said beam substantially in the longitudinal direction thereof, said two fingers being vertically spaced one above the other so as to project through two difi'erent perforations formed in said external flange, said fingers projecting through and beyond the other side of said flange for a substantial distance.

10. A structure according to claim 9, wherein the other end of said beam is provided with a pair of hori- 11. A structure according to claim 9, wherein each said beam comprises a hollow tubular member formed from sheetlike material, said hollow member having at least one flat surface positioned so as to face upwardly, and the opposite ends of said hollow member being flattened and disposed for cooperation with the perforations formed in said vertical flanges for securing said horizontal beams to said posts.

m It a 1 s

Patent Citations
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US955734 *Sep 7, 1909Apr 19, 1910Joseph WolkerstorferDisplay-rack.
US1266749 *Oct 29, 1917May 21, 1918James A AbbottArtificial tree.
US2914190 *Nov 15, 1956Nov 24, 1959Schenley Ind IncShelving for bottles and other goods
US3278043 *Feb 16, 1965Oct 11, 1966Palmer Shile CoStorage rack
US3592345 *Apr 4, 1969Jul 13, 1971Bernard Franklin Co IncErectible metal shelving
BE533722A * Title not available
GB873519A * Title not available
NL6602379A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4039132 *Jan 5, 1976Aug 2, 1977Fournier Peter RPlant support structure
US4552270 *Mar 1, 1984Nov 12, 1985Lentz Scott BStorage system for athletic equipment or the like
US5368174 *Jul 21, 1993Nov 29, 1994Unr Industries, Inc.Storage rack beam having surface enabling indicia at high or low elevation to be easily read
US5386917 *Apr 6, 1994Feb 7, 1995Unr Industries, Inc.Storage rack system with fire extinguishing device
US5492231 *Nov 18, 1994Feb 20, 1996Unarco Material Handling, Inc.Storage rack having support seam with outer, generally arcuate, indicia-receiving surface
US5526945 *Nov 18, 1994Jun 18, 1996Unarco Material Handling, Inc.Storage rack having support beam with channel profile and inclinded surface
US5655675 *Jan 25, 1996Aug 12, 1997Unarco Material Handling, Inc.Storage rack system with fire extinguishing device
US5749482 *Sep 23, 1996May 12, 1998Unarco Material Handling, Inc.Storage rack beam having surface enabling indicia at low elevation to be easily read
US20060049726 *Sep 6, 2005Mar 9, 2006Sanyo Electric Co., Ltd.Showcase
CN100502733CJun 21, 2005Jun 24, 2009三洋电机株式会社Showcase
EP1632150A2 *Sep 7, 2005Mar 8, 2006Sanyo Electric Co., Ltd.Showcase
EP2537627A1 *Sep 8, 2011Dec 26, 2012Dirk BrackelmannMethod and agent for repairing metal shelves
WO1983000853A1 *Sep 9, 1982Mar 17, 1983Electrolux Const AbDevice for a storage rack
Classifications
U.S. Classification211/191, 374/45, 211/187, 211/188
International ClassificationA47B57/40, A47B96/14, A47B57/00, A47B96/00
Cooperative ClassificationA47B57/40, A47B96/14
European ClassificationA47B57/40, A47B96/14