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Title:
Storage Rack Decking
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The decking comprises a first support rail and a second support rail parallel to each other. Each support rail has an upper rail surface and a plurality of female engagement sockets. The support rails support a plurality of deck members. Each deck member has an upper deck surface, a first male engagement end and a second male engagement end. Each male engagement end has a lower profile than the upper deck surface by at least the distance between the upper rail surface and the top of the female engagement sockets. The first male engagement end of each deck member is inserted into a female engagement socket of the first support rail. The second male engagement end of each deck member is inserted into a female engagement socket of the second support rail. The upper rail surface is about flush with the upper deck surface in the assembled decking.


Inventors:
Shetler, Jakie J. (Cochranton, PA, US)
Application Number:
11/623423
Publication Date:
07/17/2008
Filing Date:
01/16/2007
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
108/157.13
International Classes:
A47B96/02; A47F5/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
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20100059461CONTAINER RACK WITH LOCKING MEMBERMarch, 2010Landsberger et al.
20090057243Lumber storage and stacking protection deviceMarch, 2009Klauer
20060086677Ultimate CD hangerApril, 2006Aaron
20070251899Clothing and textile systemNovember, 2007Machala et al.
20020100738Telecommunications equipment rack having hemmed upright supports for improved structural stiffnessAugust, 2002Walter et al.
20080116157Intravenous pole power organizer (IVPPO)May, 2008Fulbrook et al.
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
EDWARD W. GOEBEL, JR.;MACDONALD, ILLIG, JONES & BRITTON LLP (100 STATE STREET, SUITE 700, ERIE, PA, 16507-1498, US)
Claims:
What is claimed:

1. Decking for a storage rack system, the storage rack system comprising a plurality of vertical columns and a plurality of horizontal step beams that define at least one storage bay, each step beam having a lip onto which the decking is mounted to form a storage shelf, the decking comprising: a first support rail and a second support rail parallel to each other, said first support rail and said second support rail each having an upper rail surface and a plurality of female engagement sockets; a plurality of deck members, each deck member having an upper deck surface, a first male engagement end and a second male engagement end, said first male engagement end and said second male engagement end having a lower profile than said upper deck surface by at least the distance between said upper rail surface and the top of said female engagement sockets; said first male engagement end of each deck member inserted into a female engagement socket of said first support rail; said second male engagement end of each deck member inserted into a female engagement socket of said second support rail; and said upper rail surface is about flush with said upper deck surface.

2. The decking of claim 1 wherein said plurality of deck members is secured to said first and second support rails.

3. The decking of claim 1 wherein said plurality of deck members is secured to said first and second support rails by at least one of rivets, spot welds, glue, screws, or nails.

4. The decking of claim 1 further comprising a cap mounted on top of the decking.

5. The decking of claim 1 further comprising a cap mounted on top of the decking, said cap comprises one of a perforated sheet, an expanded metal mesh, or an extruded wire mesh.

6. The decking of claim 1 in which said deck members are sized and spaced to create an at least 50% open area rack deck.

7. The decking of claim 1 in which said first and second support rails and said deck members are made of one of stainless steel, steel, aluminum, or plastic.

8. The decking of claim 1 wherein said deck members are solid beams.

9. The decking of claim 1 wherein said upper deck surface is perforated.

Description:

BACKGROUND

Storage rack systems typically comprise a series of vertical columns with braces installed across adjacent pairs of columns. Horizontal step beams link braced pairs of columns to form a storage framework. The horizontal step beams are spaced at vertical intervals to create multi-tiered storage bays. Various types of decking have been used to create storage shelves onto which product may be stored or displayed on storage bays.

SUMMARY

Decking is provided for storage rack systems. Suitable storage rack systems comprise a plurality of vertical columns and a plurality of horizontal step beams that define at least one storage bay. Each step beam has a lip onto which the decking is mounted to form a storage shelf. The decking comprises a first support rail and a second support rail parallel to each other. Each support rail has an upper rail surface and a plurality of female engagement sockets. The support rails support a plurality of deck members. Each deck member has an upper deck surface, a first male engagement end and a second male engagement end. Each male engagement end has a lower profile than the upper deck surface by at least the distance between the upper rail surface and the top of the female engagement sockets. The first male engagement end of each deck member is inserted into a female engagement socket of the first support rail. The second male engagement end of each deck member is inserted into a female engagement socket of the second support rail. The upper rail surface is about flush with the upper deck surface in the assembled decking.

The deck members may be secured to the support rails at the engagement locations if required. The size and spacing of the deck members may be varied as required by the particular application.

Those skilled in the art will realize that this invention is capable of embodiments that are different from those shown and that details of the structure of the decking can be changed in various manners without departing from the scope of this invention. Accordingly, the drawings and descriptions are to be regarded as including such equivalent embodiments as do not depart from the spirit and scope of this invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

For a more complete understanding and appreciation of this invention, and its many advantages, reference will be made to the following detailed description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a storage rack system with two storage bays with two embodiments of the decking installed;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of an embodiment of the decking;

FIG. 3A is a perspective view of a support rail;

FIG. 3B is a different perspective view of the support rail shown in FIG. 3A;

FIG. 3C is a cross-sectional view of the support rail shown in FIG. 3A;

FIG. 4A is a perspective view of a deck member;

FIG. 4B is a cross-sectional view of the deck member shown in FIG. 4A;

FIG. 4C is a perspective view of an embodiment of a deck member having rolled edges;

FIG. 4D is a cross-sectional view of the deck member shown in FIG. 4C;

FIG. 4E is a perspective view of an embodiment of a deck member in which the walls of the deck member are formed at an angle greater than 90° from the upper deck surface;

FIG. 4F is a cross-sectional view of the deck member shown in FIG. 4E;

FIG. 4G is a perspective view of an embodiment of a deck member that is formed from a solid beam;

FIG. 4H is a cross-sectional view of the deck member shown in FIG. 4G;

FIG. 4I is a perspective view of an embodiment of a deck member having a perforated upper deck surface;

FIG. 4J is a cross-sectional view of the deck member shown in FIG. 4I;

FIG. 5A is a perspective view showing the insertion of deck members into the first support rail;

FIG. 5B is a perspective view showing the insertion of deck members into the second support rail; and

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of an embodiment of the decking having a capped upper deck surface.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Referring to the drawings, some of the reference numerals are used to designate the same or corresponding parts through several of the embodiments and figures shown and described. Corresponding parts are denoted in specific embodiments with the addition of lowercase letters. Variations of corresponding parts in form or function that are depicted in the figures are described. It will be understood that generally variations in the embodiments can be interchanged without deviating from the invention.

FIG. 1 shows two embodiments of the decking 10 and 10a installed on a storage rack system 12. Storage racks typically comprise a plurality of vertical columns 14 with pairs of adjacent columns connected by braces 16. Pairs of adjacent vertical columns 14 are connected by horizontal step beams 18 to define storage bays. The step beams 18 typically have a lip 20 onto which shelving or decking units may be mounted to create storage shelves. Storage rack systems 12 are often not supplied with shelves or decking, leaving the style of shelf or decking as a customization choice for end users. The dimensions of the columns 14, braces 16, and step beams 18 vary by manufacturer and application.

FIG. 1 shows the decking 10 mounted on the storage rack system 12 by simply placing decking 10 of appropriate dimensions onto the lip 20 of the higher pair of step beams 18. The decking 10 may be fastened to the storage rack system (not shown) if required in any appropriate fashion, for example, with spot welds, glue, screws, bolts, clamps, etc. FIG. 1 also shows decking 10a having a different length installed on the lower pair of step beams 18 on the same storage rack system 12 to illustrate that the decking 10 can be made to any dimension required for the particular configuration of storage rack system 12. The assembled decking 10, when properly installed on a storage rack system 12, creates a storage shelf that is free of protuberances that may snag product during loading and unloading and has few sharp edges that may damage product or harm users.

As can be best understood by comparing FIGS. 2 through 4B and 5A and 5B, the decking 10 comprises a first support rail 22 and a second support rail 24 parallel to each other. The first support rail 22 and the second support rail 24 are formed to have upper rail surfaces 23 and 25, respectively, and a plurality of female engagement sockets 28 and 29, respectively. The first support rail 22 and a second support rail 24 are connected to each other by a plurality of deck members 26. Each deck member 26 has an upper deck surface 27, a first male engagement end 30 and a second male engagement end 32. The first male engagement end 30 and the second male engagement end 32 have a lower profile than the upper deck surface 27 by at least the distance between the upper rail surface 23 and 25 and the top of the female engagement sockets 28 and 29. The first male engagement end 30 of each deck member 26 is inserted into a female engagement socket 28 of the first support rail 22. The second male engagement end 32 of each deck member 26 is inserted into a female engagement socket 29 of the second support rail 24.

The deck members 26 may be secured (not shown) to the first support rail 22 or the second support rail 24 by spot welds, glue, rivets, screws, nails, or any other appropriate method. In the assembled decking the upper rail surface 23 is about flush with the upper deck surface 27.

The size and spacing of the deck members 26, their male engagement ends 30 and 32, and the corresponding female engagement sockets 28 and 29 are determined by the requirements of the particular application. Fire safety codes in many jurisdictions require that at least 50% of the surface of storage rack shelves or decking must be open space in industrial and commercial settings to allow for the passage of fire suppressants to lower level storage areas in multi-tiered storage bays. The components of the decking 10, including the first and second support rails 22 and 24 and the deck members 26 can be made out of any appropriate material such as stainless steel, steel, aluminum, or plastic.

As can be best understood by comparing FIGS. 3A through 3C and FIGS. 5A and 5B, the first support rail 22 and the second support rail 24 are formed to create a channel that accepts the first male engagement end 30 and the second male engagement end 32, respectively, of each deck member inserted into a female engagement socket 28. The portion of the first support rail 22 and the second support rail 24 opposite the female engagement slots 28 and 29, respectively, serve to halt the insertion of the deck members 26 and limits user access to the potentially sharp edges of each engagement end 30 and 32.

FIGS. 4A and 4B show the preferred embodiment of the deck member 26, but variations are possible. For example in FIGS. 4C and 4D, the edges 34b of the deck member 26b may be rolled over to further reduce sharp edges that a user may contact. To increase the weight bearing capacity the deck members 26c, the walls of each deck member could be formed at an angle of slightly greater than 90°, or ideally around 92.5° from the upper deck surface 27c as shown in FIGS. 4E and 4F. FIGS. 4G and 4H show that the deck members 26d could be solid beams formed from a solid block of material. To achieve the 50% open space fire code requirement, the upper deck surface 26e can be perforated with holes 36e as shown in FIGS. 4I and 4J. While the holes 36e shown in FIG. 4I are circular in shape, the exact size, shape, number, and location of each hole 36e can be varied as demanded by the particular application. For example, the holes 36e could be oval, square, rectangular, or a combination of different shapes. It will be understood that the examples of embodiments of deck members 26 shown are for illustrative purposes only and that other deck member configurations are possible.

FIG. 6 shows how the decking 10f could be further modified to include a cap 38f mounted on top of the decking 10f. The cap 38f can be a perforated sheet, an expanded metal mesh, an extruded wire mesh, or any other cap required by the particular application. These caps are useful in applications where the product to be stored on the decking 10f is smaller than spacing between the deck members 26f.

This invention has been described with reference to several preferred embodiments. Many modifications and alterations will occur to others upon reading and understanding the preceding specification. It is intended that the invention be construed as including all such alterations and modifications in so far as they come within the scope of the appended claims or the equivalents of these claims.