United States Patent 3747777

Interconnected supports that include uprights defined by spaced structural channel members in back-to-back relation. Load supporting arms are coupled to the uprights.

Application Number:
Publication Date:
Filing Date:
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47B57/30; B65G1/04; (IPC1-7): A47F5/10; A47F7/00
Field of Search:
211/176,6R,49R,177,64,6SK 248
View Patent Images:
US Patent References:
3525442CANTILEVER RACKAugust 1970Navales
3371798Cantilever storage rackMarch 1968D'Altrui
3212648Cantilever rackOctober 1965Baker et al.
2788949Shelf constructionApril 1957Gurries
2710100Gun rack with sliding bar locking structureJune 1955Vermillion
2684224Shelving standard and bracketJuly 1954Waltz
1954935Display standApril 1934Karnes
1698974Bar rackJanuary 1929Vance

Primary Examiner:
Britts, Ramon S.
I claim

1. A storage rack comprising a pair of spaced supports and a brace member interconnecting said supports, each of said supports comprising a base, an upright coupled to each of said bases, each of said uprights comprising a pair of channel members, said channel members being generally U-shaped in cross section and comprising spaced parallel flange portions interconnected by a web portion, means on each of said bases for supporting said channels in spaced relation to each other with said web portions thereon in facing relation to each other, each of said facing web portions having horizontally aligned openings therein, at least one elongated generally horizontally extending, load-supporting arm, said arm comprising elongated spaced side walls and a load supporting surface, an ear coupled to each of said side walls, a portion of each of said ears extending below said side walls to define an abuttment surface, another portion of each of said ears extending above said load supporting surface, a horizontally aligned hole in each portion extending above said load supporting surface, the portion of said load supporting arm comprising said ears extending between said webs with said horizontally aligned holes in said ears thereon being in alignment with one of said sets of aligned openings in said facing web portions, a pin member, said pin member extending through said aligned holes and openings to support said load-supporting arm between said channels, an elongated constraining means, said constraining means extending through another set of said aligned openings, said second set of aligned openings being disposed below said openings through which said pin member extends, and said abuttment surfaces on each of said ears engages said elongated constraining means when said load-supporting arms are in a generally horizontal position.

2. A storage rack in accordance with claim 1 wherein said constraining means is a bolt member, a sleeve is disposed around said bolt member and extends between said web portions of said channel members, and said webs are held in spaced relation by said bolt member and said sleeve.

3. A storage rack in accordance with claim 2 including a second elongated horizontally extending, load-supporting arm supported sleeve said webs in spaced vertical relation to said one load supporting arm, and a load-retaining member coupled to and interconnecting the distal ends of said one and second load supporting arms.

4. A storage rack in accordance with claim 3 wherein each of said distal ends has an aperture formed therein, said load retaining member comprising an elongated bar, the ends of said bar being reduced so that they can be received in said apertures while the intermediate portion of said bar rests on the lower load supporting arm, and one of said reduced ends is shorter than the other so that the retaining member can be removed from said apertures in said distal end.

5. A storage rack in accordance with claim 1 wherein said horizontally aligned holes are disposed in vertical rows so that said load supporting arm can be coupled to said uprights at a plurality of selectable heights.

6. A storage rack in accordance with claim 2 wherein said pin member is disposed above and is spaced from said bolt member.

7. A storage rack in accordance with claim 6 wherein said load supporting arm has spaced ear portions thereon, said opening in said load supporting arm comprising aligned apertures in said ear portions for receiving said pin member, and said abutment surfaces are defined by the lower part of said ear portions.

This invention relates to adjustable storage racks, and more particularly, to adjustable storage racks suitable for supporting heavy elongated loads, such as pipe, structural steel and the like.

Storage racks superficially similar to structure incorporating the principles of the present invention have heretofore been proposed. For example, some of these racks are shown in U.S. Pat. Nos. 3,212,648; 3,371,798; 3,503,524; 3,512,654 and 3,550,785.

The structure disclosed in the foregoing patents includes spaced vertically extending columns or uprights that are tied together in a vertical plane by a brace panel, diagonal tie rods, or horizontally extending braces. Load supporting arms are coupled to the uprights using various techniques.

In the prior art racks, the uprights and the structure interconnecting the uprights define a rigid self-supporting structural system. The load supporting arms are merely affixed to the system without contributing significantly to its overall strength.

In the present rack system, the uprights comprise generally U-shaped channel members which are coupled to a base in spaced back-to-back relation unconnected at their upper ends. Certain of the structural elements used to couple the support arm to the uprights serve also to structurally interconnect the channels defining the uprights. The result is a simple low-cost system, requiring a minimum of materials and in-plant fabrication. Moreover, because of the unique manner in which the present load supporting arms are coupled to the uprights, the uprights are unobstructed by gussets, connecting plates and the like. Accordingly, the entire length of each upright is useable. Additionally, the arms themselves can be of simple design.

In another of its aspects, the present apparatus is characterized by a simple and effective retaining means interconnecting distal ends of adjacent load supporting arms that serves to retain stored materials in association with the arms.

In view of the foregoing, it is an object of this invention to provide a simple, effective and relatively inexpensive storage rack, using a minimum of materials.

It is another object of this invention to provide a storage rack whose manufacture requires a minimum of in-plant fabrication.

It is still another object of this invention to provide a storage rack wherein the entire material storage area is free and unencumbered.

It is yet another object of this invention to provide a storage rack with means in association with the support arms for positively retaining stored materials.

Other objects will appear hereinafter.

In one presently preferred form of the invention, the rack comprises a pair of spaced supports, a brace member interconnecting the supports, and load supporting arms associated with the supports. The supports comprise a base and an upright extending from the base. The upright comprises a pair of channel members spaced from each other in back-to-back relation.

For the purpose of illustrating the invention, there is shown in the drawings a form which is presently preferred; it being understood, however, that this invention is not limited to the precise arrangements and instrumentalities shown.

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an adjustable storage rack in accordance with the invention.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a load supporting arm useable in the present adjustable storage rack.

FIG. 3 is a partial side elevation view, partly broken away, showing the association of respective load supporting arms and an upright forming a part of the present storage rack.

FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view, taken along the line 4--4 in FIG. 3.

FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view, taken along the line 5--5 in FIG. 3.

Referring now to the drawings in detail, wherein like numerals indicate like elements, there is seen in FIG. 1 an adjustable storage rack designated generally by the reference numeral 10. The storage rack 10 includes a pair of similarly constructed supports, designated generally by the reference numerals 12 and 14, rigidly interconnected in a vertical plane by a web assembly 16.

Support 12 which is identical to support 14 will be described in detail, it being understood that similarly disposed elements on support 14 function in the same manner and have the same configuration as the corresponding elements on support 12.

Hence, support 12 is comprised of a base 20 which is defined by two outwardly facing channels 22 and 24 which are held apart by angles 28 and 30. Preferably, the angles are welded to the webs of channels 22 and 24. A member 32 which may be a downwardly facing channel or a box girder is supported by angles 28 and 30 so that spaces are formed on either side thereof between channels 22 and 24.

The upright 36 is defined by two cantilevered, elongated outwardly facing channels 38 and 40. The channels are in back-to-back relation and their flanges 41 being generally parallel to each other. Each of the channels is carried in one of the aforementioned spaces. Thus, channel 38 may be welded between channel 22 and member 32, while channel 40 may be welded between channel 24 and member 32. Each of the channels includes mutually facing webs 42 and 44 which are separated by a distance equal to the width of member 32.

Significantly, there is no interrconnection between the channels 38 or 40 along their entire length other than member 32. Their sole support is the cantilever connection at the base 20. Thus, the supporting arms 33 which will be described in detail below may be conveniently mounted anywhere along those channels.

As best seen in FIG. 3, each of the webs 42 and 44 is provided with two vertically disposed rows of apertures 48. The apertures in corresponding rows on each of the webs are in horizontal alignment with each other.

It should be clear that while two rows of apertures are shown on each web, it should be understood that the sole purpose of having two rows of apertures is so that support arms can be mounted to either side of the uprights. However, in a construction where support arms are to be mounted on only one side of the uprights, then webs having only one row of apertures would be suitable.

Additionally, while circular apertures are shown, it is clear that apertures of any convenient configuration could be utilized. However, circular apertures are particularly advantageous since they conveniently cooperate with fastening members utilized in the device and also, are simple to manufacture in that they can be formed by a punching process.

The load supporting arm 33 is best seen in FIG. 2. There, it is comprised of a generally C-shaped section having a load bearing surface 50, two generally triangularly shaped side walls 52 and 54 and a bottom wall 56. The bottom wall may define an elongated slot 58.

Two ears 62 and 64 are secured to the side walls 52 and 54 at one end of the support arm. Each of the ears comprises an elongated generally rectangular member extending past the load bearing surface 50 and below bottom wall 56. The portion of each ear extending above the load bearing surface defines two horizontally aligned holes 66 and 68. The portion of each ear extending below the bottom wall 56 define abutment surfaces 72.

As generally seen in FIG. 1, a plurality of support arms 33 may be supported in regularly spaced relation along the uprights 36. The support arms are carried in aforementioned openings 49 as will be explained in detail below.

As best seen in FIGS. 3, 4 and 5, ears 62 and 64 are offset with respect to the load bearing surface 50 so that a recess 74 is formed between the abutment surface 72 and the bottom wall 56 on the support arm.

The support arms 48 are disposed between webs 42 and 44 at any desired position since there are no obstructions therebetween. They are held against movement by an elongated pin 76 which is slidably received through two of the horizontally aligned openings 49 in the webs 42 and 44 and holes 66 and 68.

The support arm 33 is constrained against being swung downwardly around pin 76 by an elongated threaded fastener such as a bolt 78 which supports an elongated cylindrical sleeve 80. As best seen in FIG. 5, the sleeve is sufficiently long so that it spans between webs 42 and 44. Thus, when nut 82 is tightened over bolt 78, the sleeve firmly locks the two webs 42 and 44 into a fixed spacial relationship with each other. Thus, the bolt and sleeve become an important structural element in the uprights 36 to the extent that they unite the two channels 22 and 24 into a rigid member.

It should be noted, however, that the support arm 48 is free to pivot about pin 76. Thus, it is normally disposed in the position illustrated in FIG. 3 where it is substantially horizontally disposed. However, its upper surface 50 is tilted slightly outwardly and upward. It is constrained in this position by virtue of the fact that the cylindrical sleeve 80 is received in the recess 74 defined by abutment surfaces 72 and the bottom wall 56 of the support arm.

As is apparent, a plurality of arms 33 may be arranged on either side of the uprights and in spaced vertical relation therealong. Because the load bearing surfaces on the support arm slope slightly upwardly and outwardly, round stock such as bars, tubes and the like can be conveniently carried thereon without fear of their falling off the edge. This is because they will tend to roll down the sloped surface toward the upright.

Additionally, because the support arms are only pinned to the uprights at one point, they are free to pivot upwardly between the webs on channels 38 and 40 so that large amounts of stock can be stored thereon.

A retaining pin 88 is provided for interconnecting adjacent support arms 33 such as illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 3. The retaining pins may be bars that have reduced end portions so that they can be received in one of the openings 90 which are formed in the distal end of each of the support arms 33 while their intermediate portions 89 are supported on the lower most supporting arm 33. One of the ends of pin 88 is substantially shorter than the other so that the pin can be removed from the position illustrated in FIG. 3 by merely lifting it and withdrawing the bottom portion from the lower most supporting arm 33.

While the invention has been described with reference to one embodiment thereof it is apparent that many other forms and embodiments will be obvious to those skilled in the art in view of the foregoing description. Thus the scope of the invention should not be limited by the foregoing description but rather only by the scope of the claims appended hereto.