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Title:
Transport container for sheets
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A transport container (3) for sheets that is intended for use as a transport container for sheets (1) in transporting the sheets (1) by ship, for instance. The transport container (3) for sheets comprises an upper structure (14) intended to be placed on top of the sheets (1). The transport container (3) comprises at least one movable support (15) that can be moved under the sheets (1), when the upper structure (14) is on top of the sheets (1), in suxh a manneer that the upper structure (14) and the movable support (15) at least partly surround the sheets (1), and the sheets (1) can be moved by moving the transport container (3) for sheets.


Inventors:
Langh, Hans (Piikkio, FI)
Application Number:
10/450505
Publication Date:
04/08/2004
Filing Date:
06/16/2003
Assignee:
LANGH HANS
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65D19/44; B65D61/00; B65D88/12; B65D90/14; B65D90/58; B66C1/28; B63B25/00; (IPC1-7): B65D19/44
View Patent Images:
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Attorney, Agent or Firm:
YOUNG & THOMPSON (745 SOUTH 23RD STREET 2ND FLOOR, ARLINGTON, VA, 22202)
Claims:
1. A transport container (3) for sheets that is intended for use as a transport container for sheets (1) in transporting the sheets (1) by ship, for instance, characterized in that the transport container (3) for sheets comprises an upper structure (14) intended to be placed on top of the sheets (1), and the transport container (3) comprises at least one movable support (15) that can be moved under the sheets (1), when the upper structure (14) is on top of the sheets (1), in such a manner that the upper structure (14) and the movable support (15) at least partly surround the sheets (1) and the sheets (1) can be moved by moving the transport container (3) for sheets.

2. A transport container for sheets as claimed in claim 1, characterized in that the transport container (3) for sheets comprises first fastening elements (5) for fastening the transport container (3) for sheets to second fastening elements (6) in the cargo space (4) of a ship or in some other transport means.

3. A transport container for sheets as claimed in claim 2, characterized in that the first fastening elements (5) are container shoes.

4. A transport container for sheets as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 3, characterized in that it comprises elements for placing a second transport container (3) for sheets on top of it.

5. A transport container for sheets as claimed in claims 2 and 4, characterized in that the elements for placing a second transport container (3) for sheets on top of it are arranged to operate together with the first fastening elements (5) of the transport container (3) for sheets being placed on top.

6. A transport container for sheets as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 5, characterized in that the movable support (15) is arranged to the upper structure (14) in such a manner that it can be pushed under the sheets (1) and correspondingly, pulled from under the sheets (1).

7. A transport container for sheets as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 6, characterized in that the transport container (3) for sheets comprises at least one side wall (25).

8. A transport container for sheets as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 7, characterized in that the transport container (3) for sheets comprises a roof (24) that is at least partly arranged to cover the sheets (1) placed in the transport container (3) for sheets.

9. A transport container for sheets as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 8, characterized in that it comprises clamping elements (12) for fastening the sheets (1) substantially stationary to the transport container (3) for sheets.

10. A transport container for sheets as claimed in claim 9, characterized in that it comprises at least one spring-loaded stop that is fastened to the bottom surface of the upper structure (14) and arranged to load, when the transport container (3) for sheets is lifted on top of the sheets (1), in such a manner that the spring-loaded stop moves upwards in relation to the transport container (3) for sheets, whereby the distance between the upper structure (14) and the spring-loaded stop becomes smaller, and the spring-loaded stop is arranged to press the sheets (1) downwards against the movable supports (15), while the movable supports (15) are under the sheets (1), in such a manner that the sheets (1) press together between the spring-loaded stop and the movable supports (15).

11. A transport container for sheets as claimed in claim 9 or 10, characterized in that it comprises at least one first lug (9) that is intended to be placed against a first edge of the sheets (1) or close to said first edge, it comprises at least one second lug (10) that is intended to be placed against a second, opposing edge of the sheets (1) or close to said second edge, and the first lug (9) and/or the second lug (10) can be moved in such a manner that the sheets (1) can be kept in place between the first lug (9) and the second lug (10).

12. A transport container for sheets as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 11, characterized in that the transport container (3) for sheets is equipped with lifting elements (16) that are arranged to operate together with the loading elements of a container hoist.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] The invention relates to a transport container for sheets intended for use as a transport container transporting sheets by ship, for example.

[0002] The invention relates especially to transporting large steel sheets. Steel sheets of this kind are used in the shipbuilding industry, for example. Such a steel sheet can be 2 to 3 m wide, approximately 12 m long and 5 to 15 mm thick, for instance.

[0003] An arrangement for transporting sheets by ship is known, in which the sheets are loaded directly into a cargo space of a ship by lifting them one by one or in batches into the cargo space and fastening them there. A problem with this arrangement is that when the sheets are lifted to the ship, they may bend, because there is no firm transport pallet underneath the sheets, in which the sheets can be lifted. Especially the edges of the sheets may be damaged, if the sheets are lifted on the edges.

[0004] One solution to this problem is described in US publication 5 809 906 disclosing a transport pallet for sheets, on which the sheets to be transported can be placed and on which the sheets can be lifted to the cargo space of a ship and transported by the ship.

[0005] A problem with this known solution is loading the sheets on to the transport pallet and unloading them from it.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0006] It is thus an object of the invention to develop a transport container for sheets that solves the above-mentioned problems.

[0007] The transport container of the invention is characterized in that the transport container comprises an upper structure intended to be placed on top of the sheets and that the transport container comprises at least one movable support that can be moved under the sheets, when the upper structure is on the sheets, in such a manner that the upper structure and the movable support at least partly surround the sheets and the sheets can be moved by moving the transport container.

[0008] Preferred embodiments, of the invention are disclosed in the dependent claims.

[0009] The transport container of the invention comprises an upper structure that is intended to be placed on top of the sheets and movable supports that can be moved under the sheets, when the upper structure is on the sheets, in such a manner that the upper structure and the movable support at least partly surround the sheets and the sheets can be moved by moving the transport container. A transport container for sheets having this type of an advantageous structure is, therefore, easy to load.

[0010] This also makes it possible for instance to lift the sheets in the transport container from the ship at the port of destination on to a railway carriage, for example, and to lift the transport container off from the sheets and to leave the sheets on the railway carriage. This provides the advantage that this way, the load narrows to such dimensions that the greatest width of the load is the same as the width of the sheets.

[0011] The transport container for sheets preferably comprises elements for fastening it in the cargo space of a ship or in any other transport means in such a manner that it cannot move during a sea voyage, for instance.

[0012] In a preferred embodiment, the transport container for sheets comprises a roof and walls. The transport container for sheets is preferably a container open at the bottom, i.e. a container without a bottom, and has movable supports that can be moved under the sheets when the open-bottomed container is on top of the sheets.

[0013] In a preferred embodiment, the transport container for sheets comprises spring-loaded stops that are fastened to the bottom surface of the upper structure. The spring-loaded stops are arranged to load when the transport container is lifted on top of the sheets, i.e. the spring-loaded stops move upwards in such a manner that the distance between the upper structure and the spring-loaded stops becomes smaller. This is due to the fact that the weight of the transport container makes the springs press at least partly together when the transport container leans against the sheets while supported by the spring-loaded stops. After this, the movable supports are pushed under the sheets. When the transport container containing the sheets is lifted upwards, the sheets descend to rest on the movable supports both due to their own weight and due to the fact that the spring-loaded stops press the sheets against the movable supports.

[0014] The solution of the invention makes it possible to use a light-structured transport container for sheets, because the transport container is fastened to the fastening elements in the ship and the strength of the sheets is utilized during lifting. Therefore, the ship itself helps support the sheets during transport and a heavy-duty transport container for sheets is thus not needed. Because the transport container for sheets can be made light, it is also easier to handle, for instance to lift to and from the cargo space of a ship. Because the transport container for sheets can be made simple in structure, it is also inexpensive to manufacture.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES

[0015] The invention will now be described in greater detail by means of preferred embodiments and with reference to the attached drawings, in which

[0016] FIG. 1 shows a ship containing the arrangement of the invention,

[0017] FIG. 2 is a side view of a transport container for sheets containing sheets,

[0018] FIG. 3 is an end view of a transport container for sheets containing sheets,

[0019] FIG. 4 is a top view of an empty transport container for sheets of FIG. 2,

[0020] FIG. 5 is a side view of a transport container for sheets that comprises side walls and a roof,

[0021] FIG. 6 shows the transport container for sheets of FIG. 5 in cross-section along the line A-A, and

[0022] FIG. 7 is a top view of the transport container for sheets shown in FIG. 5.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0023] The invention relates to a transport container 3 for sheets that is intended for use as a transport container 3 for sheets in transporting the sheets 1 by ship, for instance. The transport container 3 of the invention can also be used for transports by river barges, for instance.

[0024] FIG. 1 shows an arrangement for transporting sheets 1 on a ship 2. In the arrangement, the sheets 1 are in the transport container 3 for sheets and the transport container 3 for sheets is in the cargo space 4 of the ship.

[0025] The transport container 3 for sheets preferably, but not necessarily, comprises first fastening elements 5 for fastening the transport container 3 for sheets to second fastening elements 6 in the cargo space 4 of a ship, or in some other transport means, such as a motor vehicle (not shown in the figures). In the cargo space 4 of the ship, the transport container 3 for sheets is fastened by means of the first fastening elements 5 and the second fastening elements 6.

[0026] The first fastening elements 5 are preferably fastening elements that are used in containers (not shown in figures) for fastening them to ships 2, i.e. container shoes. Correspondingly, the second fastening elements 6 are preferably fastening elements that are used in cargo spaces 4 of ships for fastening containers, in other words, they are arranged to operate together with container shoes.

[0027] The second fastening elements 6 can be fastening elements that are intended not only for fastening transport containers 3 for sheets but also for fastening ordinary containers. If the sheets 1 transported on the ship 2, and thus also the transport containers 3 for the sheets, are wider than standard containers (width 2.4 m), the second fastening elements 6 in the cargo space 4 of the ship can be ones intended especially for the transport container 3 for sheets. It is also possible that the transport containers 3 for sheets are fastened in the cargo space 4 of the ship both with the second fastening elements 6 that are intended for fastening containers and with the second fastening elements 6 that are intended especially for fastening transport containers 3 for sheets.

[0028] The first fastening elements 5 and/or the second fastening elements 6 preferably comprise a twist-lock-type fastening element (not shown in the figures).

[0029] In FIG. 1, the second fastening elements 6 in the cargo space 4 of the ship are at the bottom 7 of the cargo space. It is also possible that the second fastening elements 6 are on a middle deck (not shown in the figures) above the bottom 7 of the cargo space.

[0030] FIG. 1 shows an arrangement, in which several transport containers 3 for sheets are placed on top of each other in the cargo space 4 of the ship. The transport container 3 for sheets preferably comprises elements for placing a second transport container 3 for sheets on top of a first one. These elements are preferably arranged to operate together with the first fastening elements 5 of the transport container 3 being placed on top. In the figures, said elements comprise studs 8 that are arranged to support the second transport container 3 for sheets that is placed on top of the first transport container 3. The tops (not marked with a reference numeral) of the studs 8 are arranged to operate together with the first fastening elements 5 of the transport container 3 being placed on top. This way, the transport containers 3 placed on top of each other can be fastened to each other in such a manner that all transport containers 3 fasten directly or indirectly to the second fastening elements 6 in the cargo space 4. The tops of the studs 8 can for instance have the same kinds of second fastening elements 6 as are located at the bottom 7 of the cargo space. Alternatively, the tops of the studs 8 can have fastening elements, such as container shoes, that are used for instance at the corresponding points of containers, i.e. top corners of the containers, for fastening a second container to the container below.

[0031] The transport container 3 for sheets comprises an upper structure 14 that is intended to be placed on top of the sheets 1. The upper structure 14 preferably comprises a lattice structure (no marked with a reference numeral) to stiffen the upper structure 14.

[0032] The transport container 3 for sheets also comprises movable supports 15 that can be moved under the sheets 1, when the upper structure 14 is on top of the sheets 1, in such a manner that the upper surface 14 and the movable support 15 at least partly surround the sheets 1 and the sheets 1 can be moved by moving the transport container 3 for sheets.

[0033] The movable support 15 is preferably, but not necessarily, arranged to the upper structure 14 in such a manner that it can be pushed under the sheets 1 and correspondingly pulled from under the sheets 1. Alternatively, the movable support 15 can be arranged to the upper structure 14 in such a manner that it can be turned under the sheets 1 and correspondingly, turned from under the sheets 1. In the figures, the movable supports 15 are arranged to the studs 8 fastened to the upper structure 14.

[0034] The movable support 15 is preferably equipped with a tilted surface 17 at the end that is pushed inwards. The tilted surface 17 guides the movable support 15 under the sheets 1.

[0035] The movable supports 15 are preferably coated with a wear-resistant coating (not shown in the figures) and/or the movable support 15 is itself made of a wear-resistant material.

[0036] The transport container 3 for sheets shown in the figures is loaded in such a manner, for instance, that the sheets 1 are first placed on the floor (not shown) on top of supports (not shown) or a loading table such that the sheets 1 are at a distance from the floor. The height of said supports should be greater or at least equal to the height of the movable supports 15 for the movable supports 15 to fit under the sheets. After this, the upper structure 14 is placed on top of the sheets 1 and the movable supports 15 arranged to the upper structure 14 are then pushed under the sheets 1.

[0037] The transport container 3 for sheets shown in FIGS. 5 to 7 differs from the transport container 3 for sheets shown in FIGS. 2 to 4 in that the transport container 3 for sheets shown in FIGS. 5 to 7 comprises a roof 24 and walls 25. The width and length of the transport container 3 for sheets shown in FIGS. 5 to 7 can for instance correspond to the width and length of a 20- or 40-foot container, but be lower than an ordinary 20- or 40-foot container; its height can for instance be less than half of the height of a normal container.

[0038] The transport container 3 for sheets preferably comprises tightening elements 12 for tightening the sheets substantially stationary to the transport container 3 for sheets. The transport container 3 shown in FIG. 3 comprises an arm 18 that at one end is pivoted to an upper structure 14 and the other, opposing end of the arm 18 can be moved downwards by means of a screw mechanism 19 in such a manner that the sheets 1 located between the movable supports 15 and the upper structure 14 are pressed together between the movable supports 15 and the arm 18 in the transport container 3.

[0039] Alternatively, the transport container 3 for sheets can comprise such tightening means 12 for tightening the sheets 1 substantially stationary to the transport container 3 that have at mechanism (not shown in the figures) for altering the distance between the movable supports 15 and the upper structure 14 in such a manner that the sheets 1 between the movable supports 15 and the upper structure 14 are pressed together between the movable supports 15 and the upper structure 14 in the transport container 3.

[0040] The transport container 3 for sheets shown in FIG. 6 comprises spring-loaded stops (not marked with a reference numeral) that are fastened to the bottom surface (not marked with a reference numeral) of the upper structure 14. There may for instance be four of these spring-loaded stops fastened at regular intervals to the bottom surface of the upper structure 14. The spring-loaded stop can comprise a bar 20, for instance, that is fastened by coil springs 21 to the bottom surface of the upper structure 14. The spring-loaded stop is arranged to load, when the transport container 3 for sheets is lifted on top of the sheets 1. In the embodiment of FIG. 6, the spring-loaded stop moves upwards in such a manner that the distance between the upper structure 14 and the spring-loaded stop becomes smaller. This is due to the fact that the weight of the transport container 3 makes the coil springs 21 press at least partly together when the transport container 3 leans against the sheets 1 while supported by the spring-loaded stops. After this, the movable supports 15 can be pushed under the sheets 1. When the transport container 3 containing the sheets 1 is then lifted upwards, the sheets 1 descend to rest on the movable supports 15 both due to their own weight and due to the fact that the spring-loaded stops press the sheets 1 downwards against the movable supports 15. This arrangement makes it possible to transport sheets 1 having different widths on the transport container 3 at the same time in such a manner that on the top of the sheet stack (or in the actual sheet stack), there are narrower sheets, as shown in FIG. 6. These narrower sheets 1 on the top of the sheet stack remain in place by means of the friction between the sheets 1 or the sheet 1 and the bar 20 or the friction between the sheets 1.

[0041] The transport container 3 for sheets shown in FIG. 6 also comprises first lugs 9 and second lugs 10. Each first lug 9 and second lug 10 preferably comprises a screw mechanism 22, by means of which each first lug 9 and each second lug 10 can independently be moved against the sheets 1 and away from the sheets 1. This way, the sheets 1 can be pressed in place between the first lugs 9 and the second lugs 10. Four such first lugs 9 and second lugs 10 could for instance be arranged at regular intervals. It is also possible that either at least one of the first lugs 9 or at least one of the second lugs 10 is fixedly installed to the transport container 3 for sheets.

[0042] The transport container 3 for sheets shown in FIG. 2 also comprises a third lug 11, against which one end (not marked with a reference numeral) of the sheets 1 is arranged to settle. The transport container 3 for sheets shown in FIG. 2 further comprises a fourth lug 13, against which the other, opposing end (not marked with a reference numeral) of the sheets 1 is arranged to settle. The third lug and/or the fourth lug are preferably movable in such a manner that the sheets 1 can be pressed between the third lug 11 and the fourth lug 13. The end of the transport container 3 for sheets can naturally comprise more than one such third 11 and/or fourth 13 lug.

[0043] The transport container 3 for sheets can preferably be lifted and moved by a forklift truck, straddle carrier and hoist, such as a container hoist. The transport container 3 for sheets shown in FIG. 5 has lifting pockets 26 for a forklift truck.

[0044] The transport container 3 for sheets shown in the figures is equipped with lifting elements 16 that are arranged to operate together with the loading element (not shown) of the container hoist.

[0045] The transport container 3 for sheets preferably, but not necessarily, comprises lifting slots for instance for lifting the transport container 3 away from the sheets 1 by means of a magnetic clamping device intended for lifting sheets 1. The lifting slots are preferably equipped with a sheet-shaped part 23 to provide a large clamping surface between the magnetic clamping device and the transport container 3 for sheets.

[0046] The transport container 3 for sheets preferably also comprises lifting slots (not shown in the figures) on its side, from which an empty transport container 3 or a transport container 3 loaded with sheets 1 can be lifted by means of a straddle carrier.

[0047] It is obvious to a person skilled in the art that while the technology advances, the basic idea of the invention can be implemented in many different ways. The invention and its embodiments are thus not restricted to the examples described above, but can vary within the scope of the claims.





 
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