|Publication number||US3811747 A|
|Publication date||May 21, 1974|
|Filing date||Mar 10, 1972|
|Priority date||Mar 10, 1972|
|Publication number||US 3811747 A, US 3811747A, US-A-3811747, US3811747 A, US3811747A|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (8), Referenced by (29), Classifications (9), Legal Events (1)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
United States Patent 1191 Levin [451 May21, 1974 1 TRANSIT/COMBINATION CASE PROVIDING UNIQUE LATCH ACCESSIBILITY AND NOVEL STACKING AND LATCHING FEATURES  Inventor: Herbert L. Levin, Wyckoff, NJ.
 Assignee: International Telephone and I Telegraph Corporation, Nutley, N .J
221 Filed: Mar.10,1972
52 us. c1 312 30s,220/55 T,220/46 R, 220/1.5
51 Int. Cl ..B65d 21/00  Field of Search. 220/97 R, 97 C, 97 D, 23-83,
220/59, 60, 55,T, 55,.BD, 1.5, 46 R,
292/1310. 49,1310. 42, 256.69; 24/270, 68 T; zoo/190.37; 229/010. 1
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,438,480 4/1969 Chabrelot 220/97 R X 3,113,690 12/1963 Swenck 220/97 C X 3,482,895 12/1969 Becklin 220/97 R X 1,565,993 12/1925 Fitzpatrick... 220/97 R 1,544,753 7/1925 Higgins.... 190/37 X 1,681,150 8/1928 Vischer, .lr 292/2566) 2,732,238 1/1956 Dornberg 292/113 2,346,700
Primu'ry Examiner-William 1. Price Assistant Examiner-Steven M. Pollard Attorney, Agent, or Firm-John T. Ol-lalloran; Me-
notti J. Lombardi, Jr.; Richard A. Menelly Parsons et al. 220/55 T [5 7] ABSTRACT This disclosure describes improvements in transit/- .combination case design. The transit/combination case cover latches are mounted in angled recesses on each of the four sides of the case cover to permit easy removal thereof from the front when stacked with other cases. Novel arrangements of cover latching mechanisms which are multi-functional to provide a hinging capability are disclosed which are operable in the angled recesses of the cover. Multi-functional case body reinforcement and stacking facilities are included in the form of complementary elongated raised portions and depressions in the top and underside of the case body respectively, which serve the double utility on the inner surface of the case bottom of being slides, or of providing bases therefore, to facilitate easy removal of the case contents. Provision is also made for pivotable cover latch mechanisms which provide the additional function of intercase latching when in the stacked mode. In a preferred embodiment of latch mechanism having hinging capability and round-the-corner operation required from the mounting thereof in the angled recesses of the case cover, the latch hook is utilized as the tension member of the pivot arrangement, while the compression member of the'pivot arrangement forms an integral part of the latch itself.
16 C1aims,-22 Drawing Figures PATENTEUMAYZI 1974 Qfii J 4 I III PATENTEUMAYZI m4 3.811.747
sum 5 or 6 agni naa 62 63a a .66 2/ 63 v 60 PATENTEHMAYZI ism 3.811747 sum 5 ur 6 '1 TRANSIT/COMBINATION CASE PROVIDING BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This disclosure relates to transit/combination cases which are primarily used as shipping containers and which may become, at the operation site, an integral part of the equipment (e.g. radio) contained therein, and further relates to latch mechanisms for these cases which combine such properties of latching as hinging, going around a corner, separation and protection.
- Of major consideration in designing and constructing transit cases, combination cases, spare parts cases, etc. I f he m t r are he r q em and PLQQ K E contained in military"speificatin l T[ T 4734C. Most military combination cases are designed so that when the cases are stacked one atop the other the front transit cases are stacked on a pallet or in the field, and
the equipment (e.g. radio equipment) contained therein is coupled together by cabling and put into operation. Since the radio equipment is operated within the same casein which it is transported, the front covers must be opened to permit cable interconnection of thecases. On presently used military cases, this requires unstacking in order to gain access to the top and bottom latches and, if the stacks are close together, a separation or movement of the stacks to gain access to the left and right side latches.
It has been determined that military case mnaufacturers use basically only two approaches to permit removal of the front covers from a stack of cases. One approach uses a cover which fits into a recess formed by the thin front edge of the case. This design suffers from several serious disadvantages, examples of which are:
able presently from a single source only.
3. The amount'of finger space between the thin front lip and the front cover that is available for opening and closing the'latch is'too small for cold weather, gloved-hand operation. v 4. The covers are easily jammed and may be frozen 3. They are long-and thin and prone to damage from, for instance, normal tactical radio set-up and use.
The design of a novel transit/combination case (to be described hereinafter) to correct the drawbacks mentioned above, established the desireability for a new latch that would permit easy removal of front case covinto place by ice build-upsince'the icecannot be readily broken out of the cover recess.
The other approach involves a small light weight type case which uses Simmons hook-lock latches to close the top and bottom of the cover. Examples of the disadvantages of this design are: i
l. The latches'are springless and therefore violate the latch requirements. of the referenced military case specification. 1
2..Thereis no built-in-take-upfor tolerances or differential expansion due to temperaturechanges.
. ers from case bodies when the cases are stacked. In
some cases military requirements call for, in addition to the front covers being removable from the case, these covers to be hinged. The two perhaps most prominent latch arrangements providing this additional function, while being successful in many commercial applications, are not satisfactory for mostmilitary applications in view of the following: Commercial Type No. l (hinge-type latch) a. The clamping force is obtained by stressing a precurved leaf-type tension spring. This actionis undesirable for military cases because of spring breakage due to metal fatigue and embrittlement at low temperatures; b. The high side profile of the latch is wasteful of allotted case volume, c. The latch design does not lend itself to going around the corner; and d. The mating strike (onto which the hook spring is attached) has a high profile. Commercial Type No. 2 (compression spring latch) a. This arrangemnent can be used only for a straight line pull (i.e. it cannot go around a comer);
'b. It requires additional supporting means for the yoke if other than a straight line pull is desired.
0. It does not have any protective features to prevent sideswipe or drop test damage to the hook portion; and
d. It does not have separating or hinging features.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION It is, therefore, a principle object of this invention to provide a transit/combination case arrangement in which the'front cover/case body interface permits opening and/or removing the front covers while the cases are stacked, while eliminating the abovementioned drawbacks of the prior art, thus permitting a rapid changeover from a transit or storage mode to an operating mode.
It is another object of this invention to provide structural elements which are multi-functional to reduce weight and cost and to simplify operation.
It is a further principle object of this invention to provide a transit or combination case latch mechanism that facilitates easy front cover removal and which combines such properties of latching as going around the comer", hingin'gQseparation and protection.
According to. the broader aspects of the invention there is provided a transit/combinationcasearrangemerit in which the case cover is provided with at least one angled recess on each side thereof for mounting a cover latch mechanism therein in order to facilitate removal of the case cover when the case is" for example coupled to the latch body mounted on the case cover,
and at least one compression member extending from the case cover to engage the pivot in opposition to the tension member.
A major feature of the inventive latch arrangement is that the compression member is muIti-functional and may be made to form an integral part of the latch body itself.
Another feature of the inventive latch/case arrangement is that complete protection is provided for the entire latch mechanisms, including the latch hooks.
A further feature is that neither the compression member nor the strike extends beyond the outline of the case cover or case body when the cover is opened or removed, thus providing protection against damage due to sideswipe and protection to personnel from extended objects.
Yet another feature of the latch arrangement is that the shape of the compression member can accommodate a wide range of front cover radii.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS Theabove-mentioned and other features and objects of this invention will become more apparent by reference to the following description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 is a diagrammatic perspective illustration of a transit/combination case according to the invention, showing conventional cover latches mounted in angled recesses on the cover, and case body reinforcement, stacking, and latching facilities;
FIG. 2 is an enlarged fragmentary partial-sectional side illustration of the nesting relationship of two adjacent cases in a stack, showing the angled recess mounting of the cover latches and one arrangement of the case body stacking features illustrated generally in Flg. l;
FIG. 3A is an enlarged fragmentary partial-sectional side illustration of the nesting relationship of two adjacent cases in a stack, showing an alternate angled recessed cover latch arrangement and case body multifunctional stacking facility according to the invention;
FIG. 3B is a breakaway diagrammatical front illustration of the stacked cases in FIG. 3a with the covers removed, showing the multi-functional case body stacking and equipment slide arrangement;
FIG. 4 is a fragmentary diagrammatic side illustration of a stack of cases, showing a multi-functional latch arrangement for securing the cover and alternatively providing intercase latching;
FIG. 5 is an enlarged fragmentary perspective view of an alternate multi-functional case body reinforcement and stacking arrangement, wherein the illustrated complementary parts replace the case body top and bottom front comer bumpers of the transit/combination case shown in FIG. 1;
FIG. 6A is an enlarged fragmentary partial-sectional side illustration of the cover/case body interface, showing modifications of a conventional latch to permit a mounting thereof in the angled recesses of the cover according to the invention;
FIG. 6B is an enlarged fragmentary partial-sectional side illustration of the cover/case body interface, showing an alternate modification of a conventional latch for mounting in the angled recesses of the case cover according to the invention;
FIG. 7A is an enlarged fragmentary partial-sectional side illustration of the cover/case body interface, showing a unique latching and hinging arrangement according to the invention;
FIGS. 78 and 7C, are respectively fragmentary top and perspective views of the latch/hinge arrangement according to FIG. 7A;
FIG. 8A is an enlarged fragmentary partial-sectional side illustration of a modified hinge/latch arrangement of that shown in FIGS. 7A7C;
FIG. 8B is a top view of the modified hinge/latch arrangement of FIG. 8A;
FIG. 9A is an enlarged fragmentary partial-sectional side illustration of another modification of the latchlhinge arrangement shown in FIGS. 7A7C;
FIG. 9B is a top view of the modified latch/hinge arrangement of FIG. 9A;
FIG. 10A is an enlarged fragmentary partial-sectional side illustration of the cover/case body interface, showing another unique latch/hinge arrangement according to the invention, wherein both the tension and compression members comprising the hinging capability are parts of the latch mechanism itself;
FIG. 10B is a top view of the latch/hinge arrangement of FIG. 10A;
FIG. 10C is a cross-sectional view of the latch/hinge arrangement in FIG. 10B taken along the line XC;
FIGS. llA-llC are enlarged fragmentary partialsectional side illustrations of yet another cover latch arrangement according to the invention, shown respectively in the closed, partially disengaged and fully disengaged or extended positions; and
FIG. 12 is a schematic representation of a modification of the arrangement in FIGS. llA-l 1C, in which the latch hook is provided with only one pivotable extension.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Y The transit/combination case design according to the invention is represented generally in FIG. 1. The transit case is shown in perspectivewith the case cover 1 conventionally being designated the front of the case and sides 2a and 2b respectively the top and bottom sides. Many of the parts of the case illustrated in FIG. 1 are represented by conventional apparatus and which are modified or replaced by unique substitute latch arrangements according to the invention to be described hereinafter. Among those parts shown which are known to the art are the corner bumpers provided at each comer of the case body and cover, designated 3a and 3b respectively. For a better understanding of the comer bumpers illustrated in FIG. 1 the reader is referred to my copendin g U.S. appl ication Ser. No.
214,008, filed Dec. 30, 1971 (H.L.Levin-1 I). As represented in FIG 1, the corner bumpers 3a are provided with stacking features 4 and D-rings 5, the latter being provided so that the cases may be lashed together in a stacked mode. Other transit/combination case hardware shown conventionally in FIG. 1 includes intercase latches and strikes indicated at and 6b respectively.
As shown, the latch mechanism 60 is provided with the latch hook 7 folded back in the fully recessed position. Note, however, that latch hook 7 would be engageable with the strike 6b of the adjacent case above it in the stacked mode. Also, the side handle 8 is shown conventionally recessed, and the front cover 1 is provided with a pressure relief 'valve at 9.
The novel combination/transit case envisaged here is capable of housing electronic equipment and ancillary gear, and will preferably be rectangular and submersion proof, and of welded aluminum construction. It is to be understood,,however, that these features are not to represent limitations on the scope of the invention. The aluminum skin for instance is formed and welded to provide stiffness and structural strength without need for a separate transit and shock framework. As the transit cases are .stackable by means of the four mating female stacking dimples 4 on the top and four complementary male protrusions (not shown) on the bottom corners of each case, this feature together with the tiedown rings 5 and securing fasteners 6a and 6b' length andwidth to accept a heavily gloved hand for cold weather operation, and due to their location they also serve the dual function as secondary tie-down rings.
In accordance with the invention the transit/combination case in FIG. 1 is provided with angled recesses 10 in the front cover for mounting the latches therein so that the cover latches may be easily opened fron the front of the case when the cases are stacked. Thus the cases which are stacked on a pallet, for example, do not have to be unloaded to remove the covers or to leave same partially latched during transport in order to eliminate the otherwise necessary and tedious set-up process which would involve unloading, opening the latches, removing the covers and reloading of the cases into the stacks or pallet. The angled recesses in the front cover serve additionally as gussets to stiffen the relatively deep, thinwalled cover. Since the latches are mounted to the front covers in the inventive arrangement, the stack, with the covers removed from the cases, is .free from protruding latches which could catch an operators clothing. In addition to providing structural support for thefront coverby way of the angled recessed surfaces for mounting the latches, the walls on each side thereof create a recess for protection of the latches during, for example, drop tests and transport.
It is to be noted in FIG. lthat conventional latches are mounted in the recesses 10 of the front cover. Associated with the latch hook 12 of .each conventional latch 11 mounted on the cover, is a corresponding strike 13 shown mounted on the body 2 of the case. It
' is to be understood, however, that the preferred arrangement as to the relationship between strike and latch hook is to provide the strike as an integral part of the case body itself, such as is more particularly illustrated in FIG. 2. I
' The transit/combination case shown in FIG. 1 is provided with elongated raised portions 14a in the top side or-surface 2a thereof. Together with indented or re cessed'portions 14a and 14b of this case body stacking and interlocking feature serve to stiffen and reinforce the side walls of the case for added protection.
Referring to FIG. 2, there is illustrated an enlargement in cross-section of the cover/case body interface of FIG. 1, showing an angled recess in the cover for mounting the latch and one embodiment of the case body stacking and reinforcement feature according to the invention. In actuality, FIG. 2 shows the case design on a 1:1 scale as to the preferred dimensions of the interface between case cover 1 and case body 2. A resilient (e.g. rubber) submersion proof seal 15, located on the periphery of cover 1, is retained in the grooved portion of a female extrusion 16 (e.g. aluminum) running along the entire edge of the cover and which in turn is bonded, welded or otherwise fixedly attached to the cover walls at la. The case body 2- contains the male portion 17 of the mating aluminum extrusions l6 and 17. It may, therefore, be seen that the rubber gasket 15 is in a protected posture when the front cover 1 is removed and'stored. This rubber seal 15 creates a barrier aginst water or moisutre, sand, dustand other foreign particles when compressed by the tongue 17a of the male extrusion 17. A secondary purpose of the tongue and groove design is to prevent radial movement between the cover 1 and case body 2 so as to maintain the box structure and prevent degradation of the rubber gasket. Also, since the rubber gasket 15 is of the compression type, it will cause the front cover to spring open, and therefore make an incompletely closed condition easily discernable. Note additionally that male, extrusion 17 has integrally fonned therein a slanted recess 17b which serves as the strike for the latch hook 21. As is the case with female extrusion 16, male extrusion 17 runs along the entire length of the front edge of the case body 2 as a single piece, and it is bonded, welded or otherwise fixedly attached to the case body at 2c. The strike 17b for the latch hook 21, therefore, forms an integral part of the case body 2, with strike recess 17b continuously'running around the entire case. Male extrusion 17 is also provided with an extension 17d perpendicular to the case walls'which runs along the entire inner side surface of the case. Extension 17d serves as ameans for demountably retaining the case contents (e.g. radio gear) BY FOR EXAMPLE SCREWS ENGAGING EXTENSION 17d by way of threaded holes 17d positioned at spaced intervals along the case mouth.
FIG. 2 shows a full scale latch configuation which is workable around a corner as required by the slanted or angled recesses 10 which house the latches on the cover 1. Since a conventional latch, indicated generally at 20, is depicted in FIG. 2, it is necesary to position this latch sufflciently close to the side of the cover 1 to enable the latch hook 21 thereof to adequately and securely engage the strike 17b in a substantially flat and unprotruding manner along the side. of the case. However, in this position the nose 20a of the latch protrudes beyond the normal outer dimension 16 of the side of the cover. Thus fixed or demountable comer members 19, such as the corner bumpers disclosed in the referenced co-pending application, are here included which serve to protectively recess the latches 20 on the cover 1 and to reinforce the corners of the cover as added protection. Alternatively, elements l9 may be protective hollow metallic corner pieces which particularly recess the hinge area 200 of the latch 20. One advan tage of this arrangement is that if the hollow corner members 19 become punctured, no leakage may occur to the inside of the cover. As shown in dashed lines at 21', the latch hook 21 may be folded completely back, when disengaged, to a protective storageposition which is maintained by the friction fit of extension 21a with a recess (not shown) in the latch 20 of complementary design.
Included in FIG. 2 is one embodiment of the case body male/female stacking and reinforcing feature generally described with reference to FIG. 1. In FIG. 2, the bottom or under side 2b of the cases in this instance are provided with male protrusions 22, and the top side 20 provided with female stacking/reinforcing means 23. While the novel case body stacking arrangement consisting of elements 14a and 14b in FIG. 1 was shown and described as extending from front-to-rear on the case and the elements shaped to be substantially rectangular, it is well within the scope of the invention to provide maleand female elements thereof (22, 23) as extending parallel to the case front on the top and bottom surfaces (2a, 2b) of the case body 2, as shown in cross-section in FIG. 2. Also while the elements 14a, 14b were described with reference to FIG. 1 as being integral parts of the case sides, the arrangement in FIG.
2 illustrates the ease with which extra transit case pieces 22, 23 may be demountably or fixedly mounted to provide the male/female stacking and reinforcement facility, while keeping within the scope of the invention. From the arrangement of elements 22, 23 it is seen that both the male (22) and female (23) elements provide raised portions which serve to protectively recess the case hardware and outer walls. The elements may be closely complementary in design to reduce to a minimum the possibility of one case shifting with respect to another in the stacked mode-Preferably, the raised portions of elements 23 extend outward farther than the protective comer members 19 so as to provide the cover with additional protection for example from flat side drop tests and general rough handling. Moreover, the male elements 22 are intended to serve a dual purpose in protruding downward from the'bottom sides of the cases. On the one hand they serve to elevate the cover 1 for free access to the latches on the under side of the cover when the case is placed on the ground or is the bottom case in a stack. On the other hand elements 22 serve to provide vertical clearance, i.e. a gap, illustrated in FIG. 2 at 24, which facilitates removal of the covers from stacked cases by providing additional room in which to swing the latch 20 up in order to permit a disengagement of the latch hook 21 from the strike 17b. Also, the angled recesses in the cover for mounting the latches may be positioned opposite one another, from case to case, in uniform arrangement. Thus, with the cases in a stack, the
recesses from the latches on the cover of one of the middle cases, for instance, directly align with the latches and recesses of the adjacent upper and lower case covers, and therefore provide even grater available space in which to swing up the latch handles on either case to disengage the respective latch hooks. This added space will further facilitate cover removal where it is necessary for example to wear heavy gloves.
Referring to FIG. 3A, there is shown, in a view similar to FIG. 2, an alternate latch arrangement for mounting in the angled recesses 10 of the cover 1 and a multifunctional case body stacking and reinforcing facility according to the invention. The actual interface between cover and case body here differs from that shown in FIG. 2 only in the mounting of the female aluminum extrusion 16 to the edge of the cover 1. In this embodiment, a conventional latch mechanism 20 is arranged in its associated angled recessl0 with the nose portion 20a oriented to follow generally the outer surface of the cover so as to enable the latch hook to achieve proper engagement. In this regard the arrangement of the female extrusion 16, as well as the outer surface of male extrusion l7 serve as a cooperating flat, protective and supporting surface to this latch hook.
As is the case in FIG. 2, the latches 20 are mounted in recesses 10 which are positioned such that the recesses of adjacent cases in a stack provide greater clearance for the latch to be swung open, as indicated in the dashed portion 20'. The normal outer edge dimension of the cover 1 is not shown in FIG. 3 for purposes of clarity.
- The arrangement according to FIG. 3A illustrates the adaptation of a compression spring latch to the case arrangement. Latch 20 is provided with a spring mechanism, shown here by way of example as a bent metallic piece 26 positioned under the latch hook 21 and which is in contact with the latter when the hook is in engagement with the strike 17b. Spring 26, in the example embodiment, may be fixedly mounted to the cover at 26a and bent so as to have its other end 26b freely moveable along the outer surface of the cover 1 against the bias inherent in the bend under the influence of the engaging latch hook 21. When each of the cover latches 20 is swung open to position 20, spring 26 is designed to urge the latch hook 21 away from the strike 17b with a predetermined amount of separation, in order to facilitate disengagement of the cover 1 held by latches on all four sides. By virtue of the spring 26 it is impossible for the latch hook 21 to fall back and re-engage the strike 17b. Moreover, use of spring-loaded cover latches such as the one illustrated in FIG. 3A serve as indicators when they do not engage their strike. Thus a cover is flagged when it is improperly secured. Other related spring-loaded latch arrangements for achieving the predetermined minimum separation will become apparent without departing from the scope of this disclosure.
It is intended with the latch arrangement of FIG. 3A that the latch hook 21 may be folded back completely to lie flat on the latch body to be secured in this position by for example friction fit means (not shown) such as that described with reference to the latch hook in FIG. 2. If the latches in FIG. 3A were to be positioned on the cover 1 so as to reduce or substantially eliminate the protrusion of their respective noses 20a beyond the case cover outer dimensions, the latch yoke would require raised support between itself and the cover at 25, in order to obtain proper latching action around the corner. Protrusion of the latch noses 20a, however, requires protection by way of corner bumpers (not shown) or other means which would serve to protectively recess the latches.
Such a provision is automatically achieved as one of several functions of the illustrated (FIG. 3A) alternative embodiment of multifunctional male/female ribs 270 and 27b forming, as integral parts of the top and bottom case side surfaces 2a, 2b respectively, the novel case body stacking and interlocking feature generally described with reference to elements 14a and 14b in FIG. I. In addition to being sloped to facilitate sliding and inherently strengthening the case surfaces of which they form an integral-part, it may be seen in FIG. 3A that the male elements 27a extend beyond the normal. case body outer surface 27a sufficiently to recess entirely the latch mechanisms mounted on the topside cover surface. As is more clearly indicated with reference to FIGS. 3A and 3B together, at least two sets of male/female ribs 27a, 27b are preferably (although the invention is not to be thusly limited) running from front to back, with male ribs 27a arranged on the top side surface 2a,of each case to closely engage the female ribs 27b arranged on the bottom side surface 2b of the adjacent case. While the normal bottom side outer surface 27b is extended somewhat normally to aid in recessing the bottom side cover latches and to raise the case slightly off the ground for reasons given hereinbefore as to a case on the bottom of a stack, the female ribs 27b constitute elongated indentations or recesses in the case body underside which recess substantially more than is required for inter-locking with the male ribs 27a, as may be seen in FIG. 3B by the gap 28 formed therebetween. This is exaggerated for clarity by also reducing the size of ribs 27a in FIG. 3B with respect thereto. This additional recessing of the female ribs 27b enables the inner surfaces 27bthereof to be raised up sufficiently from the case bottom to provide slides, to facilitate the removal of the case contents past extension 17d, which, as partially shown in FIG. 3B, extends around the entire inner surface of the case body for mounting theretothe front cover of the case contents.
Alternatively, the'gap 28 may be lessened somewhat by modifying or reducing the recess provided in female ribs 27b, in order to mount on thecorresponding flat inner'surfaces 27b". equipment slides 29, which are well known in the art. Although the arrangement in FIG. 3A shows the slide upper surface 29a to extend for purposes of clarity beyond mount 17d, it is to be understood that the cooperative arrangement between equipment slide 29 and the female rib 27b associated therewith may be such as to have the upper surface 29a level with the lip of extension 17d providing easy removal of the case contents and thus preserving a greater inner case volume.
Referring now to FIG. 4, a side view-of a stack of cases is illustrated in which conventional latches have been modified to be pivotable intoa second position'to provide an intercase latching feature. As shown, the latches in this arrangement are mounted to the case body with the strikes being integral with the cover, and
pallet, it is well within the scope of this invention to provide for both the outermost top side latches to have the same pivotability, with the top surface 2a of the cases being correspondingly provided with mating strikes for the latch books of adjacent cases. Although the strikes 31 are shown in FIG. 4 as being apertures in the upper edge member 32 of the illustrated cases, it is intended that any suitable strike facilityintegral with the case body or otherwise would suffice.
For a balanced intercase latching action, each case may be provided with an extra pivotable latch 33, the normal or unlatched position 33' of which is shown in dotted lines with the latch hook securely stored flat against the latch body in a manner described hereinbefore. In its operative position, latch 33 may be pivoted (by way of conventional pivot means) to the position shown, in which it, like latch in position 30', may engage a second strike provided in the edge member 32 of the case below. In this manner a case may be secured, upon removal of its cover, with as many as four side latches to the adjacent case below it. It is well within the scope of this invention for the upper side cover latch 34 tobe pivotable instead of latch 30, and for the corresponding strikes to be provided inthe bottom edge members, and for latch 33 to be positioned level with and to the right of latch 34. In this way, one case would be instead secured to the adjacent case above it, by way of as many as four side latches. In either orientation, it is to be noted also that the strikes on the cover 1 while shown to be integrally provided in the cover as apertures, may take any suitable form for the purposes here intended.
FIG. 5 illustrates a supplementary or alternate solution to the case body stacking and interlocking feature represented in FIG. 1 by way of elongated male and female ribs 14a and 14b. As shown in FIG. 5, the complementary parts, labeled U and V, may be considered as replacing respectively the top and bottom front corner bumpers labeled X and Y of either or both sides of the case in FIG. 1.. Complementary parts U and V are shown as being demountable by way of screws 36, or other suitable means for demountable coupling, and screw apertures 36a; fixed mounting .by way of rivets etc. is, however, not to be excluded. The lower appearing part V is bent so as to fit flush with the top and side surfaces 2a and 2d respectively. The arrangement of piece V is in the form of a single piece of metal shaped so as to provide: flat outer edges 38, by which the piece V is to be mounted to the case 2; stiff raised portions 39 adjacent to the flat outer edges 38; and an inner flat the lower right (and left) side-latch 30 of the top case (each case in actuality) is arranged to be pivotable by conventional means on the case body to a downward 90 position 30', in which-the latch book may engage a strike3l integrally provided on the upper edgeof the adjacent case side. In this manner such a latch, rather than merely having its latch hook swung back in the secured storage position (not shown here) upon removal of the; cover 1, may instead be pivoted to the 90 position 30' to engage the lower case. As a similar latch arrangement may be provided on both vertical sides of a case in the stack, a far more stable stack of cases is achieved then would normally be the case. Whereit is contemplatedthat severalstacks of cases are to be ad jacently arrangedina stacked row for instance, or in a area 40 between the two raised portions 39. The inner flat area 40, although being flush with the case surfaces 2a and 2d, is in effect recessed by the raised portions 39 to either side. The raised portions 39 are open at either end and thus form bent channels or tunnels with the case surfaces 20 and 2d. The inventive arrangement provides here a continuous bent rectangular loop 41 to be fitted within the channels formed by portions 39, such that a stop 41a is formed thereby between the portions 39 on the horizontal case surface 20, while a form of tie-down ring 41b is formed thereby between the other ends of portions 39 on the vertical case surface 2d. A conventional latch mechanism is mounted to the vertical portion of the inner flat area 40 of metallic piece V. In the position shown, the latch hook 42a is intended to be engageable with the strike 44a of com- 'with a single raised section 44 which spans the entire separation between flat outer edges 43. When in the stacked mode, the outer surface of the horizontal portion of raised section 44, which is flush with the bottom surface 2b of its associated case, would closely nest with the horizontal recessed area 40b of member V.
As was the case with reference to FIG. 4, the latch 42- in FIG. may be pivotably mounted on member V so as to provide the function of cover latching as well as intercase latching. In this regard the raised portion 39 nearest the front of the case is provided with an indented portion 390 within which the latch hook 42a may rest in the cover latch mode. The indented portion 39a in this mode would serve as a protective support for the latch hook as well as permitting the hook to be recessed below the outer dimensions of the member V. Here again, the latch mechanism 42 is conventional and may have provision for a disengaged latch hook to be swung completely back to be stored securely and protectively against the latch body, and without protruding beyond the dimensions of the raised portions 39 of member V.
In a preferred arrangement it is also desirable to replace the top and bottom rear bumpers W and Z on both sides of the transit/combination case illustrated in FIG. 1 with the members U and V respectively. I-Iowever, in this arrangement, there would be no need for the latch 42 to be pivotable. Thus intercase latching is once again provided between adjacent stacked cases by as many as four latches. Also case reinforcement and stacking features are provided at each ofthe comers of the case body 2 in the arrangement according to FIG. 5. Moreover, it is within the scope of this inventive arrangeinent for the functions or roles of members U and V to be reversed, with minor modification, i.e. the female members V could be mounted instead on the bottom corners of the case body while the male members U could be mounted to the top comers.
From the above, it is apparent that the arrangement according to FIG. 5 is indeed multifunctional, inasmuch as there is provided thereby:
l. a cover latching facility, whereby at least one cover latch on each vertical side of the case is provided;
2. an intercase latching feature, whereby one or two latches are provided on each vertical side of a case to latch with the-case above it (or below it as the case may be) in the stacked mode;
I 3. reinforcement of the case structure at the comers where it is most vulnerable, particularly at the front comers (nearest the cover);
4. recessing of the case hardware (all the case hardware with the raised portions being sufficiently high), particularly the multifunctional latches mounted on the V members;
5. a male/female stacking feature whereby the stops 41a are included together with the multifunctional raiwed portions 39 on the V members to prevent lateral and front-to-back shifting between adjacent cases in a stack by permitting the multifunctional raised portion of the U members to securely nest therein; and
6. tie-down rings for lashing the cases together in the stacked mode, and for tying the stack of cases to for example ground stakes with guy wires.
Referring now to FIG. 6A a sectional side view of the cover/case body interface is given showing a modified conventional latch mechanism mounted in its angled cover recess according to the invention. This arrangement particularly seeks to ewliinate the projection of the latch noses 20a from protruding beyond the normal outer dimensions of the cover 1. Two adjustments have been made in doing so. First the latch hook is bent at 2112 to aid in proper seating as to strike 17b while remaining flush with the relatively flat surface of the covet/case body interface, and to improve the latch s ability to go around the comer. To further this latter endeavor, the second adjustment is made, in the form of a curve provided in the base of the angled recess 10 at 50. In this manner the base, and therefore the entire body, of latch 20 is further inclinded toward the strike 17b, while clearance is maintained between the latch nose 20a and the cover 1. Therefore, the arrangement succeeds in protectively hiding the entire latch while permitting secure around-the-corner latching without a protruding latch hook in the engaged position. However, as shown by the dashed line position 21' in FIG. 6A, the latch hook is incapable of achieving the normal stored position mentioned and demonstrated hereinbefore secure to the top of the latch body, and as a result protrudes beyond the normal cover outer dimensions, and would therefore be readily subject to damage'and catching on things. Thus in this'embodiment, cover corner bumpers or hollow metallic comer pieces are required to give the protection necessary in the unlatched mode. Alternatively the normal outer dimensions of the cover 1 could be shaped in between the angled recesses 10 and at the corners as shown by 10 in FIG. 6A. In this way protection is guaranteed all along the edges of the cover and not just at the corners. It is to be noted, however, that the bent portion 21b of the latch hook 21 serves as its own built-in spring to insure a clearance of the hook from strike 17b in the disengaged position. Moreover, it serves to limit the closing forces and reduces resistance to shocks.
In FIG. 6B another modified conventional latch is shown which provides around-the-corner latching while remaining substantially hidden or protected from rough handling. In this arrangement the pivot connection of the latch hook 21 with the latch nose 20a is re placed with a knuckle 51 pivotably coupled to both the latch hook 21 and the nose 20a. In this manner the problem of a protruding latch hook in the fully disengaged position is avoided, in that the knuckle 51 insures the achievement of the fully open storage position 21 of the latch hook 21 by itself assuming the dashed position 51'. In order to provide firm support for the latch book 21 in the engaged position, and to recess, in effect, the knuckle 51, the female extrusion 16 mounted to the cover 1 at la has been modified to that shown in FIG. 6B. In this manner the latch hook/- knuckle combination presents a supported and substantially flat orientation at the side of the case. While FIG. 68 illustrates extended protective outer dimensions to the cover edges and comers by way of rounded extension 1d, it is to be noted from FIG. 68 that the top of the latch hook in position 21 would not be protruding beyond the normal cover outer dimensions with or without protective outer edges 1d. This protective edge provision 1d has been included in FIG. 6B primarily to show that raised edges and corners can bemolded to have continuously curving outer surfaces which are stronger and less susceptible to denting etc.
Inasmuch as the above-described alterations serve to illustrate that modified conventional latches tend to provide additional problems to be overcome, and serve to demonstrate their overall inability to provide acceptable operation in arrangement with the inventive case design, invention is required in order to provide around-the-corner latching from an angled recess, while remaining at the sametime fully protected and recessed, and particularly so whenadding the further consideration of separable hinging capability. Such a novel arrangement is shown in FIGS.-7A.7C which respectively illustrate sectional side, top and perspective views of a regular latch included in a unique latching/hinging facility. In FIGS. 7A-7C latch 20 has once again been mounted in an angled recess 10. However/the normal strike of previous embodiments has been replaced by a hinging arrangement which comprises hinge pin bracket or holder 52, hinge pin 53 and means 54 for fixedly securing or mounting hinge pin holder 52 to the male extrusion 17. Any suitable means such as screws or rivets will suffice for means 54. The holder 52 is positioned in a recess in extrusion 17 which is located substantially in the same place as the normal strike. It is within the scope of this invention to provide holder 52 as an integral part of male extrusion 17, thus requiring no securing means 54. In this arrangement, the latch hook engages hinge pin 53 as as looped link, and will be described hereinafter as the tension member of the hinging facility. A pair of brackets 55 are provided on either side of the latch hook 21 which serve as the compression members in the latch/hinge arrangement. Brackets 55 are fixedly mounted at one end to the cover 1 at 56 by any suitable means. The other end of each is provided with a concave inverted portion 55a which serves to seat around the hinge pin 53 and push thereon in opposition to the pull from the latch hook/looped link 21. The hinge pin 53 in turn is secured or retained in place by holder 52 by way of cylindrical raised extensions or retainers 52a. The hinge pin 53 may be widened at its ends to prevent it from slipping out of retainers 52a.
The separable hinge joint provided in FIGS. 7A-7C is shown entirely recessed for protection and to reduce the case outer dimensions. This is made possible particularly by theshape of the free end 55a of the brackets 55. These compression members 55 are required to remove the force on and binding the gasket as the male and female extrusions (17 and 16 respectively) engage, and place this force instead onto the hinge pin and along the cover structure. If only the tension member, i.e. looped Iink2l, were employed, without compression members 55, most of the force in the hinging mode would be applied to the gasket areas, causing same to bind, instead of being transmitted along the compression member 55 on the outside of the cover and away from the gasket 15.
In one preferred hinge/latch arrangement according to the construction employed in FIGS. 7A-7C (and latched in the other three sides and swung open, with the later possibility of the two left side latches being opened to permit complete removal of the cover 1. When the left side latch handles are closed, the hook/- tension member 21 and the compression members or brackets encompass the hinge pin 53. When the latches on the other three sides are opened, the cover will hinge on the left side. Subsequently when the left side latches are opened the cover 1 is disengageable from the hinge pins 53 and is easily separated from the case body 2.
Alternatively, all latches on the cover coule be provided with the separable hinge facility, thereby providing for the cover to be hingable on any desired side ratherthan merely the left side. It is to be noted in FIGS. 7A-7C that if the nose 20a of the latch 20 were facing or turned downward as for example the latch in FIG. 3A, the latch could be easily positioned to be fully protected within its. angled recess 10, while yet permitting round-the-corner latching/hinging with tension member/latch hook 21 remaining firmly secured and flat on the case surface.
FIGS. 8A and 8B illustrate a modification of the latch/hinge arrangement of FIGS. 7A-7C providing a more compact construction. A single compression member 56 is provided and arranged to engage hinge pin 58 via its curved end 56a. Member 56 is positioned under tension member/hook latch 21 and extends back under the latch body 20 in the angled recess 10. In this arrangement the base of latch 20 and the extended end of compression member 56 are firmly mounted to each other and to the cover 1 in the recess 10. By having only a single compression member 56 mounted under the tension member 21, the longitudinal dimension of hinge pin 58 and hinge pin holder 57 is greatly lessened, thus providing curved retainers 57a close together in a generally stronger arrangement. The compression member 56 and tension member'2l encompass or engagehinge pin 58 as before and thus effect a separable hinge joint. The arrangement of holder 57 differs somewhat from that in FIGS. 7A-7C. Here holder 57 is mounted by rivets or other suitable means to the outside of extrusion 17 and flush therewith, with the retainers 57a curving downward into a recessed area of extrusion 17 rather than curving upward out of the recess as in FIGS. 7A-7C. This orientation serves to provide a flatter. case outer dimension.
FIGS. 9A and 9B show a modification of the arrangement of FIGS. 8A and 8B, in which a double pivot is provided to swing the cover farther out of the way when extracting the case contents, while yet remaining hinged on the one side. The compression member 63, by way of curved end 63a, and the tension member 21 engage or encompass hinge pin 62 as described above. Again the arrangement of hinge pin holder 61 is slightly different. Here there is no recess in male extrusion 17 and holder 61 is mounted flush on the outside surface of extrusion 17 by way of rivets 61 or other suitable means. The hinge pin retainers 61a are therefore curved outward from the case. In this embodiment, the compression member 63 is not directly mounted to the cover 1. Instead it is pivotably mounted by way of a curved retainer 63b and a hinge pin or pivot 66 to a FIGS. 8-10 as well), at least the two latches on the left side of the front cover incorporate the separable or removable hinge feature so that the cover may be unhinge bracket 65 by way of the latters curved hinge pin retainers 65a. Bracket65 in turn is fixedly mounted along with latch body 20 to the cover 1 in the angled recess 10. When the arrangement according to FIGS.
9A and 9B is intended to perform a hinging operation while the cover is unlatched on the other three sides and swung open, a point is reached in the abovedescribed arrangements where the cover cannot be suwng open any wider. It may be that this wide open position is not sufficient to swing the cover 1 sufficiently far enough to provide easy removal or loading of the case contents, which are in most instances quite heavy. The arrangement in FIGS. 9A and 98 according to the invention solves this problem by the secondary hinging facility above-described. This arrangement permits the cover 1 to be swung farther out of the way to one side by allowing same to pivot relative to the compression member 63 and the case 2 about hinge pin 66. By this secondary hinge joint, the outside surface of female extrusion 16 physically separates from the under surface of the comparison member 63; all the while the primary hinge joint remains intact. This additional manuvering advantage is perhaps best seen in instances where stacks of cases are placed side by side with only a limited space between the stacks. Note also in the arrangement of FIGS. 9A and 98 that the end 63a of the compression member 63 is curved upward, in this instance, to match the position of the hinge pin 62, while still providing the required force directed in opposition to the tension member 21.
Referring to FIGS. IDA-10C, a preferred arrangement of a separable latch/hinge having further novel advances in the art is illustrated, wherein FIG. 10C is a cross-sectional view of FIG. 10B taken along the line XC. In this arrangement the compression member 67 as in the arrangement of FIGS. 9A and 9B, is made multifunctional, only here the compression member is additionally an economical one-piece stamping forming an integral part of the latch mechanism 20. In fact, the comression member 67 may be considered as an extrusion of the front portion 67c of the latch body 20 as shown particularly in FIGS. 10A and 108. The curved free end 67a of compression member 67 is arranged to provide a very reliable U-shaped engagement with hinge pin 62. The arrangement of holder 61 and hinge pin 62 is not unlike that of FIGS. 9A and 9B.
The separable latching/hinging arrangement of FIGS. lA-l0C does not require a mounting of the compression member to the cover 1. Here instead, only the latch 20 is mounted to the cover 1 in its angled recess 10. Compression member 67 has a U-shaped crosssection (FIG. C) throughout which permits it to protectively enclose or house the nose a of the latch as well as the latch hook/tension member 21. This construction is also stronger and stiffer than a flat member. Member 67 is angled somewhat by way of bump 67b provided near the middle portion of its longitudinal dimension (FIG. 10A). This bump 67b prevents a bending of the latch hook 21 by permitting proper tension on the hook in the latched mode, while at the same time supporting the latch yoke for proper latching around the comer. This bend or bump 67ib is molded or stamped automatically in the formation of this extension 670 to the front portion of the latch 20, thus eliminating the need for a support piece on the outer surface of the cover in the vicinity of point 68 in the angled recess, which would be required to raise the front of the latch mechanism to get proper leverage and tension to latch around the comer. The compression member 67 operates on the hinge pin 62 in much the same way as the previously described embodiments, with the difference that the free end 67a is forked, having two blunt tines on both vertical edges of the U-shaped member to securely rest the hinge pin therebetween. Member 67 is constructed to lie flat on the case cover outer surface for additional support and protection in the latched/hinged mode. It may be noted in FIG. 10A that compression member 67 completely recesses tension member 21 from possible damage. It is to be noted also that although the orientation of member 67 is shown to have its base portion under the latch hook 21 and its sides vertically rising therefrom. it is well within the scope of this invention to arrange member 67 such that its horizontal base portion is above the latch nose 20a and the hook 21, thus protectively covering same, with the vertical sides of the member 67 extending downward to complete the shelter around the entire front portion of the latch mechanism. Neither the compression member 67 nor the strike, i.e. the holder 61, 61a and hinge pin 62, extend beyond the outline of the case cover or case body respectively when the cover is opened or removed, thus providing protection against damage due to side swipes and protection to personnel from extended objects. It may be further noted that the disclosed shape of the compression member 67 can accommodate a wide range of front cover radii.
FIGS. 11A-11C illustrate respectively in closed, partially open and open orientations a novel, extendable linked, hinged, compression-spring latch mechanism according to the invention. There is provided, in place of the conventional latch hook a modified latch hook 69 accompanied by an elongated loop 70 with a pivot pin 71 captivated thereby. To the loop/pivot pin 70, 71 arrangement is coupled one (72) of two extension elements 72, 73 which in turn are pivotably coupled together at 74. Element 73 is coupled at its other end by way of a pivot 75 fixedly mounted in male extrusion 17 by way of a block 76 which also provides the strike 76a for the latch hook 69.
This arrangement may be physically realized in two different ways. The more preferred arrangement provides for elongated loop 70 to be integrally a part of the latch hook 69 Center pivotable extension 72 in turn has the hinge pin 71 fixedly mounted to the one end thereof, which hinge pin 71 is captivated by the loop 70. Alternatively, hinge pin 71 could be fixedly mounted to the latch hook 69, with the center pivotable element 72 having the elongated loop 70 as the end portion thereof and loosely captivating the pin 71. The loop 70 is elongated, in distinction from a regular pivot, to absorb compression due to the latch tension in the engaged position shown in FIG. 11A. In this way the possibility of elements 72 and 73 causing latch hook 69 to buckle or bow outward due to a lack of facility for absorbing the compression is eliminted.
FIG. 11C in particular clearly shows the three-piece extension arrangement which permits pulling the front cover 1 away from the case 2 and to swing open, without interferring with the adjacent case or with the case contents as they are withdrawn from the case, while re maining all the while in hinged connection at 75. Although the arrangement shown is of the type having a permanently mounted hinge at 75, it is to be understood that well known methods may be here employed to provide this hinge mounting 75 with a separable capability, thus permitting the cover 1 to be removed altogether if desired.
The arrangement in FIGS. llA-l 1C could be modified to a two-piece extension arrangement by simply eliminating element 73 and fixedly mounting pivot 74 to the case body 2 an appropriate distance in front of the strike 76a. This embodiment would then operate substantially as shown schematically in FIG. 12, wherein former element 72 is in effect the latch hook, and former element 69 is now the extension piece pivotably mounted to the nose of the latch at one end and to the hinge pin 71, which is mounted on the new latch hook, by way of the elongated loop 71 at the other end thereof.
In the above there has been described various improvements to transit/combination case construction and associated hardware wherein the removal and attachment of the front cover with only front access when the cases are stacked is made possible by the unique angled recess/latch configuration. The various novel latch arrangements disclosed satisfy the need for a military-acceptable transit/combination case latch that will go around a corner to permit opening of front covers'of cases which are stacked in close proximity to each other by making the latch handle accessible from the unobstructed case fronts. Several of these arrangements also permit hinging of the door from any side on which the latches remain unopened together with the capability of complete removal of the cover. Moreover,
extensive consideration has been given to making as many parts and aspects associated with a case multifunctional for economical fabrication as well as maximum utility and space.
While the principles of this invention have been described above in connection with specific apparatus, it is to be understood that this description is made only by way of exampleand not as a limitation on the scope of the invention as set forth in the objects and features thereof and in the accompanying claims.
What is claimed is:
l. A transit/combination case-comprising:
a. a case body;
b. a front cover removably attached to said body;
c. at least one angled recess at a predetermined position on said front cover such thatthe recess on each cover in a stack of similar cases will align to provide a combined recess area; and
d. latching means mounted within said recess for attaching said cover to said body whereby access to said latching means is provided by the combined recess area allowing for removal of said front cover from said body without removing the case from the stack.
2. A transit/combination case according to claim 1 wherein the front cover further comprises:
a. a face portion;
b. a pair of opposing top and bottom portions; and
c. a pair of opposing side portions.
3. A transit/combination case according to claim 2 wherein the top and bottom portions each contain a pair of angled recesses therein.
4. A transit/combination case according to claim 3 wherein each pair of said top and bottom portion angled recesses contain a latch mechanism.
5. A transit/combination case according to claim 2 wherein the said side portions each contain a pair of angled recesses.
6. A transit/combination case. according to claim 5 wherein each pair of side portion angled recesses contain a latch mechanism.
7. The transit/combination case of claim 6 wherein the height of said male members is predetermined with respect to the depth of said female members to result in a predetermined gap between two abutting cases in a stack to allow for ease in case removal from the stack.
8. A transit/combination case according to claim 1 wherein said latching means comprises:
a. a latch fixedly attached to said case cover, with one end hingedly attached to said body; and b. a latch strike fixedly attached to said case body for receiving said latch hook to secure said front cover to said case body. 9. The transit/combination case of claim 1 further comrising a plurality of male protruding members on the top surface of said case body, and a plurality of female recesses on the bottom surface of said case body in a one-to-one correspondence so that the female members of a top case will intermate with the corresponding male members of a bottom case in a stack thereby providing intercase support.
10. The transit/combination case according to claim 1 further comprising:
a. at least one first L-shaped intercase latching member containing an aperture on a raised section thereof fixedly attached to a predetermined position at the bottom of said case body; and
b. at least one second L-shaped' intercase latching member containing a pair of raised sections thereon, with a latching member intermediate said raised sections fixedly attached to the top of said case body in a predetermined position so that the first L-shaped member of one case will align and intermate with the second L-shaped member of an abutting case in a stack allowing said latching means to contact the aperture of said first member.
11. The transit/combination case according to claim 10 wherein said first member is a metallic piece having a broad L-shaped raised portion with an aperture in one leg thereof serving as a latching strike and wherein the second member is a metallic piece having a pair of L-shaped parallel raised portions, recessing a latch mechanism mounted therebetween on one leg and providing a stacking recess therebetween on the other leg of said L-shaped second member, the latter being of complementary design with and serving as a receptacle for said stacking portion of said first member arranged on the adjacent case in a stack, and said latch mechanism of said second member being arranged to engage with said strike of said first member provided on the adjacent case in the stack.
12. The transit/combination case according to claim 11 wherein the recessed latch mechanism from said second member is multi-functional and arranged to be pivotable to a secondary position forengaging and securing the case cover. Y
13. The transit/combination case according to claim 12 wherein the multi-functional latch mechanism is provided with means for storing the latch hook in a non-protruding storage position.
14. The transit/combination case according to claim 11 whereinsaid intercase stacking and latching arrange- I ment further includes a bent rectangular metallic loop mode and for tying down the stack.
16. The transit/combination case according to claim 15 wherein said parallel raised portions of said second member are arranged to cooperate with said raised portions of said second member of the adjacent case in a stack to prevent a front-to-back shifting between the respective cases.
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|Apr 22, 1985||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: ITT CORPORATION
Free format text: CHANGE OF NAME;ASSIGNOR:INTERNATIONAL TELEPHONE AND TELEGRAPH CORPORATION;REEL/FRAME:004389/0606
Effective date: 19831122