US 3858526 A
A unitized palletized assembly is disclosed which comprises:
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 1191 Lombard et a1.
1 1 Jan. 7, 1975 PALLETIZATION OF NONRIGID ELEMENTARY LOADS  Inventors: Paul Lombard,
Saint-Germain-en-laye; Andre Mousset, Sainte-Genevieve-des-bois, both of France  Assignee: Produits Chimiques Ugine Kuhlmann, Paris, France  Filed: Aug. 11, 1972  Appl. No.: 279,862
 Foreign Application Priority Data Aug, 19, 1971 France ..7l.30l78 Mar. 14, 1972 France ..72 .08789  US. Cl. 108/51, 206/655  Int. Cl. B65d  Field of Search 108/51-58; 206/65 S, 45.33; 229/DIG. 12
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,590,549 7/1971 Zelnick 206/65 S 3,626,654 12/1971 Hoffler et a1. 206/65 5 3,746,160 7/1973 Thompson 206/65 S Primary ExaminerPaul R. Gilliam Assistant ExaminerCarl F. Pietruszka Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Pennie & Edmonds  ABSTRACT A unitized palletized assembly is disclosed which comprises:
a. a plurality of spaced, rigid parallelepipedonal elements;
b. a thin plate or platform parallelepipedonal elements;
resting upon the c. one or more nonrigid elementary loads to be palletized resting upon the thin plate or platform; and
d. a shrunken film completely surrounding the non-rigid elementary loads and parallelepipedonal elements leaving one or more spaces between the parallelepipedonal elements and providing a unitized assembly.
In addition, a above-palletized comprises:
a. disposing a plurality of rigid parallelepipedonal elements upon a first shrinkable film, the film rising between the parallelpipedonal elements so as to define parallel tunnels between the parallelepipedonal elements;
b. disposing a thin plate or platform upon the parallelepipedonal elements;
0. placing the nonrigid elementary loads to be palletized upon the thin plate or platform;
d. disposing a second shrinkable film upon the non-rigid elementary loads to join the first shrinkable film and form a single shrinkable film completely surrounding the non-rigid elementary loads and parallelepipedonal elements; and
e. shrinking the film completely surrounding the non-rigid elementary loads and parallelepipedonal elements to provide a unitized assembly.
constructing the disclosed which method for assembly is 3 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures PALLETIZATION OF NONRIGID ELEMENTARY LOADS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention This invention relates to the field of pallet assemblies and more particularly to pallet assemblies completely surrounded with a shrunken film.
2. Description of the Prior Art It is known to stack elementary rigid loads by themselves in such a manner as to provide anassembly having grooves in their lower parts for the passage of the forks of a forklift truck. A thermoshrinkable film completely surrounds these assemblies and is make to shrink. Upon shrinking, the assemblies assume a good adhesion which pennits their removal by means of a forklift truck without the need for stowing the loads upon pallets.
The use of shrinkable film dispenses with the cost of a pallet, its transportation and the space required to store the same.
However, shrinkable films have only been used up to now for elementary rigid loads such as bottles, cardboard boxes and bricks capable of forming by juxtaposition, supporting base members. This would not be possible with nonrigid elementary loads such as sacks filled with powdered or granular material.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to the palletization of non-rigid elementary loads and more particularly, to unitized assemblies comprising such loads and capable of being handled in the same manner as conventional pallet assemblies.
The unitized palletized assembly according to this invention comprises a plurality of spaced, rigid parallelepipedonal elements, a thin plate or platform resting upon the parallelepipedonal elements, one or more nonrigid elementary loads to be palletized resting upon the thin plate or platform, and a shrunken film completely surrounding the nonrigid elementary loads and parallelepipedonal elements leaving one or more spaces between the parallelepipedonal elements and providing a unitized assembly.
The unitized palletized assemblies comprising nonrigid elementary loads of this invention are constructed by disposing a plurality of rigid parallelepipedonal elements upon a first shrinkable film, the film rising between the parallelepipedonal elements so as to define parallel tunnels between the parallelepipedonal elements, disposing a thin plate or platform upon the parallelepipedonal elements, placing the nonrigid elementary loads to be palletized upon the thin plate or platform, disposing a second shrinkable film upon the nonrigid elementary loads to join the first shrinkable film and form a single shrinkable film completely surrounding the nonrigid elementary loads and parallelepipedonal elements, and shrinking the film completely surrounding the nonrigid elementary loads and parallelepipedonal elements to provide a unitized assembly.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 represents a cross-sectional view of an early stage of constructing a unitized palletized assembly according to this invention employing a removable ig or form.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS In one embodiment of this invention the parallelepipedonal elements, up to nine in number, possess in a plane parallel to their supporting surface a squared section, the arrangement or array thus comprising in two perpendicular directions two free spaces permitting the engagement of the carrying elements of the handling apparatus.
In a specific embodiment of the invention, the para]- lelepipedonal elements comprise rigid spaced bars upon which is disposed a thin plate or platform supporting the loads to be palletized. In this case, the carrying elements of the handling apparatus, for example, the forks of a forklift truck, must be engaged between the bars in a direction parallel to their length.
To construct these assemblies, numerous rigid materials can be employed. It is not necessary that these materials possess significant mechanical strength since upon storage they derive support from the entirety of their surface and when they are transported, they do not support the weight of the assembly which is carried upon the forks by the elementary charges themselves.
It is, however, advantageous to employ light materials, for example, natural or synthetic cellular materials, including elements of tubular cross-section and members which are inflated or filled with light materials. Such cellular materials include the rigid foams derived from polyurethanes, polyethers, polyethylene, expanded polystyrene, cork, rubber and light agglomorates.
The thin plate or platform need not demonstrate significant mechanical strength, for example, it can be of corrogated or noncorrogated cardboard or heavy paper, cloth, plywood or agglomorate. It can also be a synthetic sheet. It is advantageous that the thin plate or platform cover the entire surface which is occupied by the loads to be palletized.
The method of constructing the unitized palletized assemblies of this invention comprises disposing the light rigid elements in parallel and spaced relationship upon the first shrinkable film with the film extended beyond the rigid elements on all sides. A thin plate or platform is then placed upon the rigid elements and the nonrigid loads are stacked upon this plate or platform. A second shrinkable film is placed on the nonrigid loads in such a manner as to completely join the first shrinkable film forming a single enveloping structure. The films are then shrunk in any of the known and conventional ways to provide the desired unitized palletized assembly which can be handled with a transporter or palletizer, the forks of which engage the tunnels between the rigid elements.
The only necessary conditions for the parallelpipedonal elements or rigid members are that they be of sufficient length and that they be separated from each I other for a width which is sufficient to provide engagement of the forks of the handling apparatus.
The rigid members can advantageously be blocks of expanded polystyrene, up to nine in number, having a surface area of about 400 cm and a thickness of about 12.5 cm. and the thin plate or platform can be of cardboard of mm. thickness.
It has been found advantageous to employ a removable supporting jig or form having spacing means upon which is disposed the first shrinkable film and between which are disposed the parallelpipedonal elements or rigid elements in such a way that they will define tunnels of suitable width.
FIGS. 1 to 3 illustrate the steps of constructing a unitized palletized assembly with sacks of sodium sulfate wherein rigid elements are employed. A removable jig or form is used which comprises a base plate 1 and four parallel boards 2 to 5 of 1 meter length and cms. height disposed upon the base plate in such a way as to define between boards 3 and 4, a central space of about cms. and on each side of boards 2 and 3 and 4 and 5, a space of about 30 cms. A shrinkable polyethylene film 6 is then disposed upon this jig or form.
Three blocks of rigid expanded polystyrene 7 to 9 are placed upon the polyethylene film at the external side of boards 2 and 5 and in between boards 3 and 4 and a thin plate or platform 10 of corrogated cardboard of 5 mms. thickness is then placed on the blocks. Four layers of five paper sacks 11, each sack measuring 60x40 cms. and containing 50 kgms. of sodium sulfate are stacked in staggered fashion upon the platform. A shrinkable polyethylene film l2 completely covers the exterior surface of the sacks and joins the base film. The jig or form is removed and the assembly is placed in an oven to shrink the film. Upon removal from the oven, a load comprising a unitized palletized assembly formed from the contraction and the joining of polyethylene films 6 and 12 is transported by the forks of a forklift truck engaged within the tunnels formed by the spaces between rigid members 7 and 8 and 8 and 9.
The entire assembly thus obtained is sufficiently rigid to be capable of being handled in the same way as a conventional pallet. Moreover, the assembly is completely air tight.
1. A unitized palletized assembly comprising:
a. means including a plurality of rigid blocks, said blocks providing support for a load on a surface and arranged in spaced relation in an array to provide at least one elongated tunnel therebetween;
b. a thin plate supported by and removable from the array of elements;
c. a load including at least one elementary load member to be palletized carried by said plate; and
d. a flexible film completely surrounding each of said load, thin plate and array of blocks and shrunken into place with said film substantially conforming to the surface of said thin plate and array of blocks outlining each said tunnel to provide a unitized assembly.
2. A unitized palletized assembly according to claim 1 wherein said array of blocks provides in mutually perpendicular directions two tunnels in which the carrying elements of handling apparatus may be engaged.
3. A unitized palletized assembly according to claim 1 wherein the blocks of said array are formed of cellular material.