US 3878795 A
A collapsible, reusable pallet container body having four side sections formed by face material and cleats secured together by encircling loops of binding wire to form a foldable rectangular tube, with the edges of the face material being set back from the ends of the cleats at at least two opposed corners of said tube for such distance, and with the abutting ends of the cleats being so shaped and arranged that the length of the path of the binding wire across said corners is the same in both the collapsed and expanded positions of the tube, whereby the tube can be collapsed and expanded without longitudinal movement of the binding wires, and so that the corners are held snugly together by said loops in both positions.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
J q time states atent 1 1 1 1 9 95 .Ilanda Apr. 22, 1975 i 1 COLLAPSHBILIE PALLET CONTAHNER  Inventor: Edward IE. .llanda, Hackettstown, Primary ExammerDOna1d Grim Ni Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Curtis, Morris & Safford  Assignee: Eojclraway Corporation, Rockaway,  ABSTRACT i i A collapsible, reusable pallet container body having  Flledi 1973 four side sections formed by face material and cleats 1 App] 523 secured together by encircling loops of binding wire to form a foldable rectangular tube, with the edges of the face material being set back from the ends of the  US. Cl 108/55; 217/43 A Cleats at at least two opposed Corners f said tube f  lint. Cl 865d 9/16; 865d 19/44 Such dismnce, and with the abutting ends f the cheats Flew 0f seal'dh l08/55- 56; 52/753 758 Hi being so shaped and arranged that the length of the 217/43, 43 A, 45 ath of the binding wire across said corners is the same in both the collapsed and expanded positions of References Cited the tube, whereby the tube can be collapsed and ex- UNITED STATES PATENTS panded without longitudinal movement of the binding 628,304 7/1899 Donnclly 217 43 Wires and 50 that the comers are held snugly together 734,493 7/1903 Hornaday 217/43 y Said loops in both p t nsl.696,693 l2/l928 Roscnbergcr. 217/43 8 u 7 D 2.901.141 8/!954 Dcmomon 217 43 A mm,
22 a 1 )6 i '34 (i 20 X 7 l [8 s i 4 4 I 1 11 20 l H CUILLAFSIBLIE PALLET CONTAINER This invention relates to collapsible, reusable pallet containers and particularly to bodies for such containers having four side sections foldably attached by encircling loops, and which may by repeatedly collapsed into flat form and expanded into rectangular form merely by folding or straightening the corners.
The construction of the container body is such that it can be formed of either a single four-section wirebound blank, or two identical two-section wirebound blanks. In either case, the blanks may be economically produced in a single pass through a wirebound blank stapling machine in which properly assembled face material and slats are conveyed continuously past a single bank of stapling units which drive staples astride two or more longitudinally extending binding wires through the face material, where present, and into the cleats to form an endless chain of side sections flexibly secured together by the binding wires. This chain of side sections may then be conducted into a loop fastener machine which severs the binding wires in selected intervals between adjacent side sections to form either twosection or four-section blanks and bends the resulting cut wire ends to form loop fasteners on each of the binding wires at both ends of each blank, bends each wire end to form a downwardly projecting prong, drives this prong through the face material and clinches it over against the undersurface thereof to secure the loop fasteners.
If such loop fasteners are provided, they are interengaged at the closing corner of the body (or at two opposed closing corners where two two'section blanks are used) to form a rectangular tubular body encircled by continuous loops of binding wire. Alternatively, the overlapping ends of the binding wires may be secured by twisting them together.
The construction of the corners is such that the length of the path of the binding wires is the same in both the collapsed and expanded positions of the tubular body so that the binding wires will hold the corners snugly together in both the collapsed and expanded positions of the tube and so that the tube can be quickly an easily collapsed into flat form or expanded into rectangular form merely by bending or straightening the corners, without longitudinal movement of the binding wires and without disconnecting the binding wires or taking any special precautions respecting their position relative to the ends of the cleats or the position of the ends of the abutting cleats at each corner.
The rectangular body may be secured on the upper surface of a pallet base which laterally interengages the lower edge portion of the body, to provide a very strong yet lightweight and inexpensive container. The container body may be quickly and easily disassembled from the base and collapsed for storage or shipment, and thereafter reassembled and reused repeatedly.
In the drawings:
FIG. I is a perspective view of an illustrative container body incorporating features of the present invention, the body being shown collapsed into flat form.
FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the body of FIG. 1 shown expanded to rectangular form and positioned above an illustrative type of pallet base.
FIG. 3 is an enlarged, fragmentary horizontal sectional view through a folded corner of the collapsed container body, as taken generally on the line 3-3 of FIG. ll.
FIG. 4 is an enlarged, fragmentary horizontal sectional view through a corner of the expanded container body, as taken generally on the line 4-4 of FIG. 2.
FIG. 5 is an enlarged, fragmentary side elevational view of a portion of a chain of container blank side sections as they move through a wirebound stapling machine, showing the relation of the opposed ends of two adjacent cleats to a push fin on one of the conveyor bands of the machine.
FIGS. 6 and 7 are enlarged, fragmentary perspective views of the corners of two alternative types of container bodies incorporating features of the invention.
The illustrative container body shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 includes four side sections 10, l2, l4 and 16 each composed of face material such as slats 18 with three sets of reinforcing cleats 20 secured to the inner face thereof. There are always at least two sets of such cleats, one near the upper edge and one near the lower edge of the body, with or without one or more intermediate sets.
The four side sections are foldably secured in horizontally aligned, edge-to-edge relation by three encircling loops, in this case formed of binding wires 22, which overlie the cleats 20 and which are secured to each of the sections by staples 24 driven astride the binding wires, through the slats I8, where present, and into the cleats 20.
As previously mentioned, the body may be formed from a single wirebound blank having four side sections or from two identical blanks having two side sections each. In either case, the end portions of each of the binding wires at each end of the blank may be formed into interengageable loop fasteners 26 or 28, which are secured together to close the tubular body by inserting the narrower loop 26 through the wider loop 28 and bending it back against the outer surface of the body as shown. However, as mentioned above, the ends of the binding wires on adjacent sections may be secured together by twisting.
As explained more fully hereinafter, the construction of the corners is such that the body may be collapsed into flat form, as shown in FIG. l, or expanded into rectangular form, as shown in FIG. 2, merely by folding or straightening the corners of the body, without disengaging the loop fasteners 26 and 28. When in rectangular form the body is adapted to rest on a pallet base 30 with the lower edges of the side sections interengaging the base to align the body transversely on the base and prevent racking or collapsing of the body.
The illustrative base 30 shown in the drawings has a raised central platform 32, the edges of which engage the inner faces of the bottom set of cleats 20 on the body. Any of a number of alternative types of transverse engagement can be substituted satisfactorily. As one example, some or all of the slats 18 at the lower end of the body can project a short distance below the lower faces of the cleats 20 and engage the sides of the base 30 without extending over the openings 30a which are provided in the sides of the base for receiving the tines of a fork lift truck.
As best shown in FIGS. 3 and 4, in the preferred embodiment of the invention, the ends of the cleats 20 are scotch mitered that is, they are provided with mitered surfaces 20a which abut the corresponding surfaces on the opposed ends of the cleats on the adjacent side section when the tubular body is expanded to rectangular form, as shown in FIG. 4, but they differ from full mitered cleats in that the mitered surfaces a do not intersect the outer faces 20b of the cleats at a sharp angle, but the ends of the cleats are cut off perpendicularly to the outer faces 20b to leave a scotch miter 20c.
The ends of the cleat 20 are also provided with vertically centered horizontal notches 20d which extend longitudinally of the cleats from their outer ends 200 back to a point approximately coincident with the outer edges 18a of the outermost slats 18 on the side sections. These notches receive the binding wire 22 when the adjacent side sections are at right angles to one another, as shown in FIG. 4, or flat against one another, as shown in FIG. 3, and permit unimpeded relative movement of the side sections between these two positions as well as between either of these two positions and a third position at which the side sections are aligned edge-to-edge as shown in FIG. 5. Where very wide cleats are used, it may be preferable to locate the notches off-center of the outer cleats, nearer their outer edges.
As may be seen in FIG. 3, when the two side sections are folded flat against one another, the minimum length, L of the path of the binding wire between the two edges 18a about which it is bent is equal to the sum of two times the depth, D, of the cleats 20, plus two times the thickness, T, of the slats l8. Expressed as a mathematical formula:
As may be seen in FIG. 4, when the tube is in rectangular position, with two side sections perpendicular to one another, the minimum length, L of the path of the binding wire between the two edges 18a corresponds with the hypotenuse of an isosceles triangle in which each side is the sum of the setback, S, of the outer edge 18a of the slat 18 from the end of the cleat 20, plus the depth of the scotch miter, M, plus the thickness, T, of the slat 18. Thus,
L2: s M+ T)Sin 45 L -1.4 S+M+ T) In order that the binding wire 22 hold the body snugly together in both its collapsed and expanded positions, L must equal L Thus:
When this relationship between the setback, S, and the dimensions of the cleats and slats is maintained, the container body can be collapsed or expanded without longutidinal movement of the binding wire 22. Thus the staples 24 can be driven to clamp the binding wire 22 tightly against the sides of the body.
As will be appreciated, the total S M represents the distance which the slat is set back from the line of intersection of the outer faces of the cleats, and is independent of the depth, M, of the scotch miter that is, the larger M is, the smaller S is, and vice versa.
As shown in FIG. 5, the depth of the scotch miter, M, is determined, among other things, by the thickness, F, of the push fins 34 which project from the conveyor bands (not shown) of the wirebound stapling machine to move the cleats 20 through the machine in properly spaced relation to the slats 18. As may be seen, the maximum thickness, F, of the push fins 34 is equal to the length, L, minus two times the setback, S. stated another way, 25 F must not exceed L. Thus, the greater the thickness F of the push fins, the more the setback S must be reduced by increasing the depth M of the scotch miter.
FIGS. 6 and 7 show two alternative forms of corner construction which may be incorporated in a container body according to my invention. In the construction of FIG. 6, the ends of the cleats 20 are rabbeted in complementary fashion to interfit in a horizontal shiplap joint. The binding wire 22 is deflected upwardly or downwardly to lie against the upper or lower faces of the cleats, but still extends in a straight diagonal line from the outer edges 18a of the outermost slats 18 on the adjacent side sections.
As will be appreciated, the two side sections may be folded flat against each other, in the manner illustrated in FIG. 3, without significantly pulling the binding wire, since the binding wire passes closely adjacent the intersection 20d of the inner faces 20e of the cleats 20, which acts as the fulcrum for the pivotal movement of the side sections during such folding. While the binding wire is pulled to a slight extent as the two side sections are straightened into alignment with one another, in the manner illustrated in FIG. 5 (since, as may be seen in FIG. 6, the path of the binding wire lies inside the point 20f which acts as a fulcrum during such pivotal movement), the necessary additional length of binding wire is made available by straightening of the binding wire 22 into alignment with the centerline of the cleats 20'.
The outer end 20g of each cleat 20 is shown as cut off slightly so that it does not extend all of the way to the outer face of the adjoining cleat 20', to allow for the thickness, F, of the push fins 34, as previously discussed and as illustrated in FIG. 5.
In the container body of FIG. 5, the ends of the cleats 20 are rabbeted in complementary fashion to interfit in a vertical shiplap joint. The corner shown is one which is closed by interengaged loop fasteners 26 and 28 each formed by bending the end portion of the binding wire 22 back on itself and securing the wire end by forming it into a prong 36 on the wire end, driving it through the slat l8 and clinching it back down against the inner face of the slat. As previously described, the narrower loop fastener 26 is inserted through the wider loop fastener 28 and bent back against the outer face of the side section. The wider loop fastener 28 extends diagonally across the corner in a straight line between the outer edges 18a of the slats, with the two legs of the loop 28 straddling the ends of the cleats.
While it is somewhat preferable that all four corners of the tubular body be capable of being either folded flat or straightened into alignment, so that no attention need be paid as to which corners are folded flat and which are straightened when the body is collapsed, this is by no means necessary. It is sufficient that two opposed corners are capable of being folded flat and that the other two opposed corners are capable of being straightened. In this latter construction, the face material need not be set back from the ends of the cleats at the two corners which are to be straightened.
It will thus be understood that the aforementioned advantages of the invention can be achieved in a wide variety of constructions, in addition to the specific illustrative examples shown, without departing from the basic principles of the invention.
l. A collapsible pallet container comprising four side sections, each composed of face material with at least two sets of reinforcing cleats secured to the inner face thereof and extending across said side sections, binding straps foldably securing said side sections together in the form of a collapsible rectangular container, said straps encircling said container and overlying said cleats; and means for securing said straps to said container side sections; said straps each having a pair of free ends operatively interconnected to each other to form a closed loop which does not slide in the longitudinal section of the strap during the collapse or expansion of the container, said securing means tightly securing the straps to the outer surface of the face material of each of said side sections to prevent longitudinal movement of the closed loops, the ends of the cleats on each side section abutting the ends of the cleats on the adjacent side sections when said container is expanded to rectangular form, said ends of said cleats being preformed and shaped with interengaging complementary surfaces, the edges of the face material about which said loops are bent across said corners being set back from the intersection of the planes of the outer faces of the cleats at at least two opposed corners of said tube a distance approximately equal to the sum of 1.4 times the depth of said cleats plus 0.43 times the thickness of said face material, said closed loops extending across said corners in a substantially straight line between said edges in both the collapsed and expanded positions of said container, whereby the length of the path of the closed loops across the corners is the same in both the collapsed and expanded positions of the container so that said container can be collapsed into flattened form or expanded into rectangular form without longitudinal movement of said loops.
2. A container body as described in claim 1 wherein said loops are formed of binding wire.
3. A container body as described in claim 2 wherein said loops are secured to said. side sections by staples driven astride said loops, through said face material where present and into said cleats.
4. A container body as described in claim 3 wherein said staples clamp said loops tightly against the outer surface of said side sections to prevent longitudinal movement of said loops.
5. A container body as described in claim 3 wherein each of said loops is closed by at least one pair of interengaged loop fasteners which straddle the exposed corners of the cleats at a corner of said tube.
6. A container body as described in claim 5 which is formed by two identical wirebound blanks each having loop fasteners formed at each end of each of the bind ing wires thereon, with said loop fasteners interengaged with the loop fasteners on the adjacent side section at two opposed corners of said tube.
7. A container body as described in claim 1 wherein the ends of said cleats at said opposed corners are recessed to receive said loops to permit said loops to extend in a substantially straight line as described.
8. A container body as described in claim 7 wherein the recess consists of a slot which extends longitudinally of the cleat from its end at least to a point substantially coincident with the edge of said face material about which said loops are bent across said corners.