Title:
Pallet for Storing and Transporting Goods
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A pallet for storing and transporting goods by a load platform (2) supported by parallel supports (4), characterised in that:—the load platform (2) comprises a plurality of continuous parallel grooves (6),—the supports (4) are tubular and comprise parallel continuous grooves (16, 18) in their side walls (6) and base (14), in the upper edge of the side walls (16) they comprising recesses (20) complementary to the grooves (6) of the platform (2), the axis of said supports (4) being perpendicular to the grooves (6) of the load platform (2),—the supports (4) are provided with a plurality of internal baffles (26, 32),—cut-out holes (22) are provided in the side walls (12) of the tubular supports (4) for the passage of a fork of a lifting means, each cut-out hole being bounded lowerly and upperly by strips of the support side wall (12),—the lower surface of the platform (2) is provided with reinforcement elements positioned between said supports (4) and said platform (2) at said cut-out holes (22).



Inventors:
Pisano, Roberto (Montebelluna, IT)
Application Number:
11/792420
Publication Date:
08/28/2008
Filing Date:
12/06/2005
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
108/57.29, 108/57.3
International Classes:
B65D19/22; B65D19/00; B65D19/28; B65D19/32
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
CHEN, JOSE V
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Welsh Flaxman & Gitler LLC (McLean, VA, US)
Claims:
1. 1-40. (canceled)

41. A pallet for storing and transporting goods comprising a load platform supported by parallel supports, a plurality of continuous parallel grooves in the load platform, the supports are tubular with a base and side walls and having parallel continuous grooves in the base, the axis of said supports being perpendicular to the grooves of the load platform, a plurality of internal baffles in the supports, recesses complementary to the grooves of the platform in the upper edge of the side walls, cut-out holes in the side walls of the tubular supports for the passage of a fork of a lifting means, each cut-out hole being at least upperly bounded by strips of the support side wall, the lower surface of the platform is provided with reinforcement elements positioned between said supports and said platform at said cut-out holes.

42. A pallet as claimed in claim 41, wherein the supports also comprise parallel continuous grooves in said side walls.

43. A pallet as claimed in claim 41, wherein each cut-out hole is also lowerly bounded by strips of the support side wall.

44. A pallet as claimed in claim 41, wherein the pallet is formed of sheet metal.

45. A pallet as claimed in claim 41, wherein the pallet is formed of plastic material.

46. A pallet as claimed in claim 44, wherein the platform and the two outer supports are formed from a single sheet of bent sheet metal.

47. A pallet as claimed in claim 41, wherein the pallet is totally formed from a single sheet of bent sheet metal.

48. A pallet as claimed in claim 41, wherein anti-slip material is applied to the outer surface of the base of the supports.

49. A pallet as claimed in claim 41, wherein the outer surface of the base of the supports is rough.

50. A pallet as claimed in claim 41, wherein the upper surface of the platform is rough.

51. A pallet as claimed in claim 44, wherein edges of the platform parallel to the grooves provided therein are at least partially bent downwards.

52. A pallet as claimed in claim 44, wherein edges of the platform parallel to the grooves provided therein are at least partially bent upwards.

53. A pallet as claimed in claim 44, wherein said reinforcement elements are formed by bending inwards those sheet metal portions corresponding to the cut-out holes of each tubular support so that they adhere to the lower surface of the platform.

54. A pallet as claimed in claim 44, wherein said reinforcement elements comprise the edges of the cut-out holes, bent into the interior of the support.

55. A pallet as claimed in claim 43, wherein the crest of the ribs provided in the base of the supports lies at a level not less than that that of the lower edge of the cut-out holes.

56. A pallet as claimed in claim 54, wherein said reinforcement elements are formed from the edges of the cut-out holes, which are drawn, bent over and fixed to the lower surface of the platform.

57. A pallet as claimed in claim 41, wherein the platform is formed in several parts fixed to the tubular supports.

58. A pallet as claimed in claim 44, wherein the platform is formed in several parts seam-joined together.

59. A pallet as claimed in claim 57, wherein the constituent parts of the platform are riveted to the supports.

60. A pallet as claimed in claim 57, wherein the constituent parts of the platform are welded together and/or to the tubular supports.

61. A pallet as claimed in claim 41, wherein the constituent parts of the platform are adhesive-bonded together and/or to the tubular supports.

62. A pallet as claimed in claim 44, wherein the constituent parts of the platform are crimped together and/or to the tubular supports.

63. A pallet as claimed in claim 41, wherein the surface of the platform is provided with a plurality of projections for centering containers.

64. A pallet as claimed in claim 63, wherein said centering projections comprise ribs disposed in a circular pattern.

65. A pallet as claimed in claim 63, wherein said centering projections comprise ribs disposed to form squares.

66. A pallet as claimed in claim 44, wherein the terminal baffles of said tubular supports comprise portions of the constituent sheet metal of the platform and/or of the support bent towards the interior of the support.

67. A pallet as claimed in claim 41, wherein the base of the tubular supports is provided with reinforcement elements at said cut-out holes.

68. A pallet as claimed in claim 41, wherein the ends of the base of the supports are provided with a bevel.

69. A pallet as claimed in claim 41, further comprising a connection element between the lower edge of each cut-out hole and the facing rib provided in the base of the tubular support.

70. A pallet as claimed in claim 69, wherein the connection elements provided at each cut-out hole comprise portions of sheet metal corresponding to the cut-out holes, which are drawn and bent over against said base of said tubular supports.

71. A pallet as claimed in claim 44, wherein the internal baffles consist of sheet metal elements fixed to the inner walls of said tubular supports.

72. A pallet as claimed in claim 71, wherein at least a fraction of said internal baffles consist of sheet metal elements bent into several parts along vertical lines.

73. A pallet as claimed in claim 71, wherein the internal baffles of the supports are provided in their horizontal edges with recesses for passage of the grooves present in the platform and of the ribs present in the base of each support.

74. A pallet as claimed in claim 73, wherein the recesses provided in the lower horizontal edge of the internal baffles of the supports have greater dimensions than the corresponding ribs of the supports.

75. A pallet as claimed in claim 63, wherein said projections consist of deep-drawn parts of the platform.

76. A pallet as claimed in claim 63, wherein said projections are formed separately from the platform and are applied to it.

77. A pallet as claimed in claim 41, further comprising reinforcement ties connecting adjacent tubular supports together.

78. A pallet as claimed in claim 77, wherein said reinforcement ties are applied to the base of said tubular supports.

79. A pallet as claimed in claim 77, wherein said reinforcement ties are permanently applied to said tubular supports.

80. A pallet as claimed in claim 77, wherein said reinforcement ties are removably applied to said tubular supports.

Description:

The present invention relates to a pallet for storing and transporting goods.

Wooden pallets are known for storing and transporting goods. They present a series of drawbacks, and in particular:

  • they have a large weight (25-26 kg if the wood is dry), often comparable with the weight of the goods placed on them,
  • they require the use of costly equipment for their construction, resulting in an added cost to the transported product.

An object of the invention is to eliminate these drawbacks by providing a pallet for storing and transporting goods which is of simple and automated construction, using traditional methods and plants.

Another object of the invention is to provide a pallet which presents characteristics suitable for international transport and conforms to the FAO Standard, even without accompanying documentation.

Another object of the invention is to provide a pallet which can be formed in accordance with patterns corresponding to different requirements.

All these and further objects which will be apparent from the ensuing description are attained according to the invention by the pallet defined in claim 1.

The present invention is described in detail hereinafter with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a pallet according to the invention,

FIG. 2 is an enlarged partial perspective view thereof,

FIG. 3 is an enlarged detailed view of a support portion,

FIG. 4 shows a different enlarged detailed view of a support portion, and

FIG. 5 is a vertical section through a pallet of the invention taken through the cut-out holes provided in the supports.

As can be seen from the figures, the pallet of the invention comprises substantially a load platform 2 of sheet metal supported by three tubular supports 4 of U cross-section disposed parallel to each other along the longitudinal edges and along the centre line of the platform 2.

The platform 2 comprises a plurality of continuous parallel grooves 6 substantially of V cross-section with their axis perpendicular to the axis of the supports 4.

Those edges 8 of the platform 2 parallel to the grooves 6 are bent downwards to facilitate the operations involved in loading the pallet and to create a bevel with an anti-cutting function; alternatively, those edges 8 of the platform 2 parallel to the grooves 6 can be bent upwards to perform a containing function.

The upper surface of the platform is made rough or provided with a plurality of centering ribs or projections 10 disposed in a circular or square pattern. They can be obtained by drawing the sheet metal forming the platform or be formed separately and applied thereto.

The platform is formed from a single piece of sheet metal, but could also be formed in several parts joined together by seam-joining, welding, adhesive-bonding or crimping.

The side walls 12 of each support 4 comprise continuous parallel grooves 16 performing a stiffening function. A similar stiffening function is performed by ribs 18 provided on the base 14 of the support, the lower surface of which is covered with anti-slip material or is made rough.

The upper edge of the side walls 12 of each support 4 comprises V-shaped recesses 20, complementary to the grooves 6 of the platform 2, both ends of the base 14 of each support comprising a bevel 15.

The side walls 12 of the tubular supports 4 comprise cut-out holes 22 for engagement by the prongs of a lifting fork. The cut-out holes 22 generally have a height less than the height of the side wall 12 of the support 4, i.e. each cut-out hole 22 is bounded lowerly and upperly by a strip of the side wall 12 of the support. In addition, in order to facilitate fork insertion, the lower edge 24 of each cut-out hole lies at a level slightly lower than the crest of the ribs 18 provided on the base 14 of each support 4. Again to facilitate fork insertion, the lower edge of each cut-out hole and the crest of those ribs closest to it are connected together by an inclined surface 23 preferably obtained by bending a strip of the sheet metal portion corresponding to the cut-out hole.

As generally each cut-out hole 22 is preferably obtained by cutting the sheet metal forming the side wall of the support 4, the cut sheet metal portion, instead of being completely removed, is preferably bent upwards through 90° and fixed to the lower surface of the platform 2, to form a reinforcement element for the platform at its most highly stressed parts.

Further reinforcement elements comprise profiled plates 26 inserted into the tubular supports 4 at those portions not comprising the cut-out holes. These reinforcement elements are fixed to the side walls 12 and to the base 14 of the respective supports 4, and to the platform 2.

These reinforcements are made of sheet metal bent several times in order to involve a certain length of the support and are provided in both horizontal edges with recesses 28 and 30 complementary to the grooves 6 of the platform and to the ribs 18 of the base 14 of the respective support 4. The recesses 30 preferably have larger dimensions than the corresponding ribs 18 to allow passage of liquids accidentally spilled and/or used to wash the pallet.

Further reinforcement elements comprise terminal plugs 32 applied to the ends of each support and preferably consisting of portions of the sheet metal of the platform and/or support bent towards the interior of the support.

To further stiffen the structure of the pallet of the invention, adjacent supports 4 can also be connected together at floor level by ties 34 permanently or removably applied between the facing side walls 12 of adjacent supports 4.

To construct the pallet of the invention, the platform 2 ands the supports 4 can be formed separately of sheet metal then, after inserting and fixing the reinforcement elements 26, 32 into the supports 4, be joined together by seam-joining, welding, riveting, clinching, adhesive-bonding, etc.

The platform itself can be made in one piece or be formed by joining several parts together by seam-joining or riveting or welding or crimping.

The pallet can also be obtained by bending and profiling a sheet metal web to form the platform and the three supports, or to form the platform and the outer supports, between which the inner support can then be fixed to the platform.

From the aforegoing it is apparent that the pallet of the invention presents numerous advantages, namely:

  • it is of lower weight (less than 9 kg) for equal performance (static capacity and dynamic capacity),
  • it can be easily produced by known machines and techniques (drawing presses, bending machines, profiling machines),
  • it has the same dimensions as wooden pallets and can hence be used for the same purposes,
  • it can also be used as a removable floor to be maintained on a previously erected frame,
  • it can be engaged and lifted as required, by forks inserted below the platform both parallel and perpendicular to the axis of the supports.
  • finally, instead of being constructed of sheet metal, the pallet can be constructed entirely of plastic material.