Title:
Paper Honeycomb and Tube Pallet
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
This invention relates to an improved pallet for material handling, shipping, packaging and the like. In particular this invention relates to a pallet that is lightweight, strong, recyclable, resistant to insect infestation, and preferably made of paper and glue.



Inventors:
Mccarthy, Shannon K. (Brownsville, TX, US)
Application Number:
10/907115
Publication Date:
09/21/2006
Filing Date:
03/21/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65D19/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
ING, MATTHEW W
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Shannon K. McCarthy (Brownsville, TX, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A pallet support runner made in the shape of a square or rectangle.

2. A pallet support runner made with numerous sheets of paper, or chipboard, or cardboard wrapped layer upon layer and individually glued together with polyvinyl acetate or similar glue or a moisture resistant glue.

3. A pallet support runner made with a wall thickness to create sufficient strength as to be completely self-supporting not requiring an additional reinforcement.

4. A pallet support runner, which has fork lift channels on each of its vertical sides, whereby lifting forks can penetrate through the channels to lift the pallet.

5. A pallet base having a bottom, a top, and a first pallet side opposite a second pallet side; a first pallet support secured to the bottom of the pallet base and a minimum of a second support opposing the first support.

6. A pallet support runner made with chemically treated paper to make it moisture proof.

7. A honeycomb deck made with chemically treated paper to make it moisture proof.

8. A pallet support runner covered with a moisture resistant layer such as polyethylene.

9. A honeycomb deck covered with a moisture resistant layer such as polyethylene.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Traditionally, pallets have been made of wood planks nailed together. In one common structure, a series of parallel wood planks are nailed to the top of three transversely extending, parallel, and equally spaced wood support planks. Similarly, a series of parallel lower wood planks are nailed to the bottom of the three support planks.

Forklift tines can slide under the upper planks in the two parallel channels formed by the three spaced support planks. The forklift can then raise its tines which lifts the pallet and anything mounted on it.

Wood pallets are expensive, because they eventually breakdown. When they do little of the wood is useable to make new pallets. To make new pallets, new wood is required which necessitates the cutting down of tress, which is both expensive, and of great environmental concern.

Wood pallets are very heavy which increases their cost both in storage and shipping.

Wood pallets are dangerous in that they often have splinters and protruding nails, which may cause injury to material handlers and damage to product.

Wood pallets have been shown to be a harbor for insects, fungus, mold and mildew. Because of their ability to attract undesirable elements restrictions have been placed on their use in 118 countries throughout the world.

One attempt at a solution to the problems with wood pallets is the paper pallet. The paper pallet can be made out of paper honeycomb and wound paper tubes. The cellular honeycomb core provides remarkable compression strength, is lightweight, and has significantly improved cushioning ability over the wood pallet. The wound paper tubes provide tremendous carrying strength and perform similar to the bottom supports of the wood pallet on conveyors and with automatic palletizing systems.

The paper pallet is 100% recyclable, and is made from renewable resources thus helping the environment.

The paper pallet weighs ⅕th of the weight of a wood pallet, which can represent savings in both storage and shipping costs.

Paper pallets have no splinters or protruding nails and are safer to use than wood pal lets.

Paper pallets do not harbor insects, fungus, mold or mildew and have no restrictions on their use worldwide.

Therefore there is a demand for a pallet, which is recyclable, lightweight, and safe and has no restrictions on its use anywhere in the world.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

One object of the present invention is to provide a pallet which can be fully assembled without any metal parts such as nails, screws, nuts or bolts which makes the invention less prone to causing injury to the user.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a pallet that can be shipped in an unassembled form to save transport costs.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a pallet which design allows for easy adaptability in size.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a pallet that is very lightweight, yet very strong.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a pallet that is recyclable, biodegradable, and non-toxic.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a pallet that will not be subject to restrictions on its use anywhere in the world.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a pallet whose components can be easily assembled without the use of any sophisticated tools.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a pallet that can be treated with moisture resistant chemicals or a moisture resistant layer such as polyethylene.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a support member, which will function similar in most respects to a wood pallet in movement of product via conveyors and automatic palletizing machinery.

These and other advantages, as well as the invention itself, will become apparent in the details of construction and operation as more fully described and claimed below.

BRIEF DESCRIPTIONS OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a pictorial view of my preferred pallet.

FIG. 2 is an exploded view of a support runner for the preferred pallet where two-way entry is desired.

FIG. 3 is an exploded view of a support runner for the preferred pallet where four-way entry is desired.

FIG. 4 is an exploded pictorial view showing the mounting of a support runner offering four-way entry to a paper honeycomb deck in the preferred pallet with an exploded view of the honeycomb construction of the deck.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF A PRESENTLY PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

In the description that follows, like elements are marked throughout the specification and drawings with the same reference character, respectively. The drawing figures are not necessarily to scale. Further, description of the assembly and various elements, components or portions of the assembly are provided according to their orientation as depicted in the drawings and are not meant to be limiting in any way.

With reference to FIG. 1, the preferred embodiment, generally 10, has a rectangular pallet base 12 mounted on three support runners or beams 14, 16, 18. The thickness of the base 12 varies depending on the load to be carried by the pallet 10. The support runners, e.g., 18, are each made with numerous sheets of paper, or chipboard, or corrugated wrapped layer upon layer and individually glued together with polyvinyl acetate or similar glue or a moisture resistant glue. The paper, or chipboard, or cardboard may be treated with moisture resistant chemicals or a moisture resistant layer such as polyethylene. The support runner 18 may be wound in either the shape of a rectangle or a square. The wall thickness 19 of the support runner 18 will vary depending upon the weight of the load to be carried by the pallet. The wall thickness 19 of the support runner 18 has great compression and bending strength allowing it to support the pallet and its contents without the need for any additional support such as blocks of honeycomb or corrugated or paper tubes or cores.

With reference to FIG. 2, the support runner 18 has a planar top surface 28 and a planar bottom surface 30 interconnected by a transverse central planar beam section 32. Support runner as described is typically used when a pallet requires entry from two directions.

With reference to FIG. 3, two fork channels 34, 36 are cut in the beam section 32. This arrangement yields (1) central rectangular beam section 38 between the two channels 34, 36 and (2) a left rectangular section 40 and right rectangular beam section 42 at opposing ends of support beam 18. Support runner as described is typically used when a pallet requires entry from four directions.

With reference to FIG. 4, each support runner, e.g., 18 is glued to the bottom face 52 of the pallet base 12. Again polyvinyl acetate or similar glue, or moisture resistant glue is applied to the planar top surface 28 along its entire length, and the top surface 28 is then brought in contact with the desired portion of the bottom face 52 of the base 12.

With reference to FIG. 5, each support block

In this regard, as shown in FIG. 1, the right support runner 18 is mounted on the bottom face 52 adjacent one outer edge or side 54 of the base 12. The left support runner 14 is mounted adjacent the opposite edge 56 of the base 12. Finally, the center support runner 16 is mounted equally spaced from and between the outer support runners 14, 18. In this manner, the equally spaced runners 14, 16, 18 are mounted in parallel to provide a second set of parallel fork channels 58, 60 on the bottom side 52 of the base 12. The first fork channel 58 is bounded by the left runner 14, central runner 16, and bottom side 52; and the second fork channel 60 is bounded by the right runner 18, central runner 16, and bottom side 52 extending between the right and central runners 18, 16.

Structure of the honeycomb core 64 is made by joining together individual strips of paper, or chipboard, or cardboard into hexagonal shaped cells. The cells may be of any size from fractions of an inch to several inches. The cells are held together by polyvinyl acetate or similar glue or a moisture resistant glue. The honeycomb core 64 is joined to the bottom face 52 of the base 12 and the top face 66 of the base 12 by polyvinyl acetate or similar glue or a moisture resistant glue.