Title:
Non-skid pallet plastic surface component
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A pallet has a plastic pallet deck or other pallet plastic surface component including an anti-skid surface, which may be, for example, embossed, applied as a sheet during an extrusion process, applied by calendaring or applied with adhesive.



Inventors:
Moore Jr., Roy E. (Killingworth, CT, US)
Brochu, Ronald P. (Richmond, KY, US)
Application Number:
11/360554
Publication Date:
11/16/2006
Filing Date:
02/23/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65D19/38
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
CHEN, JOSE V
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
THE LAW OFFICES OF STEVEN MCHUGH, LLC (213 COURT STREET SUITE 102, MIDDLETOWN, CT, 06457, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A pallet, comprising: at least one plastic surface component, wherein said plastic surface component includes a non-skid surface at least partially provided thereon.

2. A pallet in accordance with claim 1, wherein said plastic surface component comprises a plastic deck.

3. A pallet in accordance with claim 2, wherein said non-skid surface comprises an embossed or calendared non-skid surface.

4. A pallet in accordance with claim 2, wherein said non-skid surface comprises a non-skid film or layer attached to the deck surface.

5. A pallet in accordance with claim 2, wherein said non-skid surface comprises spaced apart pieces of material having a higher coefficient of friction than the plastic.

6. A pallet in accordance with claim 2, wherein said non-skid surface is provided over 30 percent of the deck surface.

7. A pallet in accordance with claim 2, wherein said non-skid surface is provided above 85 percent of the deck surface.

8. A pallet in accordance with claim 2, wherein said non-skid surface comprises a layer of material extruded with said deck.

9. A pallet in accordance with claim 2, wherein said non-skid surface comprises an anti-skid material embedded in or provided in a recess of the deck surface.

10. A pallet in accordance with claim 1, wherein said surface component comprises a plastic frame.

11. A pallet in accordance with claim 10, wherein said non-skid surface comprises an embossed or calendared non-skid surface.

12. A pallet in accordance with claim 10, wherein said non-skid surface comprises a non-skid film or layer attached to the frame surface.

13. A pallet in accordance with claim 10, wherein said non-skid surface comprises spaced apart pieces of material having a higher coefficient of friction than the plastic.

14. A pallet in accordance with claim 10, wherein said non-skid surface is provided over 30 percent of the frame surface.

15. A pallet in accordance with claim 10, wherein said non-skid surface is provided above 85 percent of the frame surface.

16. A pallet in accordance with claim 10, wherein said non-skid surface comprises a layer of material extruded with said frame.

17. A pallet in accordance with claim 10, wherein said non-skid surface comprises an anti-skid material embedded in or provided in a recess of the frame surface.

18. A pallet in accordance with claim 1, wherein said surface component comprises a plastic leader board on a wooded pallet.

19. A pallet in accordance with claim 18, wherein said non-skid surface comprises an embossed or calendared non-skid surface.

20. A pallet in accordance with claim 18, wherein said non-skid surface comprises a non-skid film or layer attached to the leader board surface.

21. A pallet in accordance with claim 18, wherein said non-skid surface comprises spaced apart pieces of material having a higher coefficient of friction than the plastic.

22. A pallet in accordance with claim 18, wherein said non-skid surface is provided over 30 percent of the leader board surface.

23. A pallet in accordance with claim 18, wherein said non-skid surface is provided above 85 percent of the leader board surface.

24. A pallet in accordance with claim 18, wherein said non-skid surface comprises a layer of material extruded with said leader board.

25. A pallet in accordance with claim 18, wherein said non-skid surface comprises an anti-skid material embedded in or provided in a recess of the leader board surface.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

The present application claims priority to U.S. Provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/655,793, filed Feb. 23, 2005, and and is a continuation-in part of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/729,615, filed Dec. 5, 2003, which is a divisional of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/938,954, filed Aug. 24, 2001, which claimed priority to U.S. Provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/227,537, filed Aug. 24, 2000, the entire contents of each of which are specifically incorporated herein by reference.

TECHNICAL FIELD

The present disclosure relates to pallets including plastic surface components, particularly pallets used for transporting miscellaneous industrial and commercial goods by means of forklift devices and the like.

BACKGROUND

It is a problem that plastic pallets have plastic decks or other plastic surfaces that tend to have low friction coefficients and are slippery, as compared to decks of wood pallets, especially when the environment is cold. Thus, objects put on the deck will be more prone to slide off the deck during movement of the pallet.

It is also undesirable to have to secure the load to the pallet. Providing the deck surface with raised features such as projections, or otherwise texturing the deck, might be effective but they tend to wear and can make cleaning the deck difficult. There is room in the art for improvement with regard to decks and other plastic surface components that have low friction coefficients and are slippery.

SUMMARY

The above described and other problems in the art are overcome or alleviated by the present plastic pallet deck or other pallet plastic surface component having a non-skid surface. In one exemplary embodiment, a plastic pallet deck or other pallet plastic surface component includes a non-skid surface embossed or calendared directly thereon.

In another exemplary embodiment, a plastic pallet deck or other pallet plastic surface component includes a non-skid film or layer attached thereto.

In another exemplary embodiment, a plastic pallet deck or other pallet plastic surface component includes spaced apart pieces of material having a higher coefficient of friction than the plastic, such as Santoprene material. The frictional material may comprise strips or may be continuous across the surface.

In another exemplary embodiment, where the plastic pallet deck or other pallet plastic surface component is extruded as a sheet and attached to a base, the antifriction material is applied as a sheet at the exit of the plastic extruder. In another exemplary embodiment, the antifriction sheet is applied during a calendaring process.

In another exemplary embodiment, the pallet plastic surface component is a plastic leader board of a slatted wood pallet, which plastic leader board includes a non-skid surface.

The foregoing and other objects, features and advantages of the present pallet will become more apparent from the following description of exemplary embodiments and accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Referring now to the accompanying FIGURES, which are meant to be exemplary and not limiting:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an exemplary deck including an non-skid surface;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of an exemplary deck including strips of non-skid surface material;

FIG. 3 is a side elevation view of an exemplary deck, mounted on a base and including an embedded non-skid surface;

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of an exemplary pallet including a frame surface portion with a non-skid surface; and

FIG. 5 is a top elevation view of a wooden pallet with non-skid plastic leader boards.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Referring now to FIG. 1, an exemplary embodiment of a plastic upper deck is shown generally at 112. Upper deck 112 includes a skeletal sub-structure defined by ribs 113 and cross beams 115 arranged and supported by each other, as is shown. Ribs 113 are spaced parallel to each other and are traversed by cross beams 115 in a grid pattern arrangement. An integument 117 comprising a thin, puncture resistant film is disposed over at least one surface of the skeletal sub-structure of upper deck 112 and is fused to ribs 113 and cross beams 115 to provide a surface upon which objects can be loaded. Integument 117 is configured and dimensioned to prevent or at least minimize the probability of penetration of the surfaces of upper deck 112 by sharp objects. Integument 117 may include a non-skid surface 17 embossed or calendared directly thereon, or it may include a non-skid film or layer attached thereto. The total non-skid surface coverage of upper deck 112 can be up to and in excess of about 30% of strategically located non-skid material. In another exemplary embodiment, non-skid coverage is between about 85% and 100%. In another exemplary embodiment, non-skid coverage is about 100%.

Referring now to FIG. 2, an exemplary pallet 20 includes a molded thermoplastic base 24, comprising vertical columns 30 connected by rails 28. The base may be one piece or an assembly. Deck 26, which in one exemplary embodiment is thermoplastic, such as HDPE or PP, is attached to the top of the columns 30. The illustrated deck has an essentially planar top surface with a multiplicity of spaced apart strips 22 of anti-skid material, such as the product Santoprene (Product No. 20164, General Purpose Elastomer Systems, Akron, Ohio). In an alternate exemplary embodiment, the whole deck top may be surfaced with Santoprene material or the like. In an exemplary embodiment, anti-skid material is a sheet, which may may be applied in various ways, including by adhesives.

In another exemplary embodiment, the deck 26 is extruded as a thick sheet and the anti-skid material, e.g., Santoprene, is adhered to the sheet so that it is integral. In one mode, the deck is fitted with the anti-skid material at the extruder die exit. Anti-skid material in pellet or semi-molten form is fed into a particularly constructed die, so that it is integrally molded into and formed with the thermoplastic deck sheet during the extrusion process.

Alternately, the thermoplastic is extruded as a sheet from the extruder in conventional manner, and runs to a calendaring machine. Anti-skid material may be provided as a previously formed strip, on a multiplicity of rolls, according to how many strips the maker desires to have on the deck surface. The anti-skid strip is drawn from the roll is laid onto the just-formed and still-hot thermoplastic sheet. Then, the two run together through the rolls of a calendaring machine. The anti-skid strip is pressed into the sheet, to become integral with it.

Referring now to FIG. 3, an exemplary embodiment illustrates anti-skid material that is embedded in the deck 26. In such embodiments, without limitation, anti-skid material may be deposited, adhered, molded, etc. in depressions in the deck (or indeed, in any surface component of the pallet). Also, in such embodiment, applied strips of anti-skid material 22 are less prone to coming loose during use. Without being limiting, an exemplary deck 26 installed on a pallet has a thickness t1 of about 70 mils and the anti-skid layer thickness t2 is about 10 mils. Without being limited, other materials may be used as anti-skid materials, for instance rubbery elastomers and other known materials which will adhere to plastics such as polyethylene, polypropylene, etc., with or without the use of adhesive layers.

Referring now to FIG. 4, an exemplary pallet 20 includes a deck 26 secured to an upper frame portion 32. The exemplary upper frame portion 32 is connected to rails 28 by columns 30. The deck 26 may be metal, plastic or any other material, and may be recessed within, bolted onto, overmolded within, etc., the upper frame portion 32. The plastic frame is illustrated as including a non-skid surface 17, which may be in any form described above, including strip or film material 22.

Referring now to FIG. 5, an exemplary pallet 40 includes wooden stringers 42 and slats 44, as well as plastic leader boards 46. Slats 44 and leader boards 46 are illustrated as bolted to stringers 42 with fasteners 48. The plastic leader boards 46 is illustrated as including a non-skid surface 17, which may be in any form described above, including strip or film material 22.

Although this invention has been shown and described with respect to a exemplary embodiments, it will be understood by those skilled in this art that various changes in form and detail thereof may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the claimed invention.