Title:
Shelf System Comprising a Support Element That is Infinitely Adjustable in a Wall Rail
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Disclosed is an infinitely adjustable shelf system comprising at least one vertically mounted wall rail that is embodied as a profiled part and is provided with at least one first vertical groove facing the wall and at least one second vertical groove facing away from the wall, as well as at least one support element which is adjustable within the wall rail, can be fastened to the wall rail in a selectable position, and is fitted with at least one lateral protrusion at the rear end facing the wall, said at least one protrusion extending forward, away from the wall. The forward end of the protrusion is non-positively retained between the first and the second vertical groove along with the rear end stressed in a horizontal position of the support element while allowing the support element to be moved freely inside the wall rail when the support element is in a raised position at the front.



Inventors:
Haarmann, Wolfram (Pfullingen, DE)
Application Number:
12/158043
Publication Date:
12/25/2008
Filing Date:
12/21/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47F5/08
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
BARNETT, DEVIN K
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Wolfram Haarmann (Ingolstadt, DE)
Claims:
1. shelf system comprising: at least one wall rail in the form of a profiled part which can be vertically mounted, with at least one wall-side first vertical groove and at least one second vertical groove facing away from the wall, and at least one support element which can be displaced in the wall rail and secured on the wall rail at a selectable position, which has at least one lateral projection on its rear end facing the wall extending forwards away from the wall, the front end of which is guided in a second vertical groove and the rear end of the support element is guided in the first vertical groove, such that the support element is non-positively retained under elastic tension between the first and second vertical groove when the support element is in a horizontal position, and enables the support element to be displaced freely in the wall rail when in a position pushed upwards at the front.

2. Shelf system as claimed in claim 1, in which the wall rail is a U-shaped profiled part with two upright first vertical grooves and two upright second vertical grooves.

3. Shelf system as claimed in claim 1, in which a distance a between the front end of the projection and rear end of the support element in the tension-free state is bigger than the internal distance b between the internal face of the first wall-side vertical groove and the second vertical groove facing away from the wall.

4. Shelf system as claimed in claim 3, in which the difference in distance a-b is between 0.1 mm and 0.5 mm.

5. Shelf system as claimed in claim 1, in which the tilting angle for releasing the vertical fixture of the support element in the wall rail is between 30 degrees and 45 degrees.

6. Shelf system as claimed in claim 1, in which the at least one lateral projection is disposed close to the top edge of the support element.

7. Shelf system as claimed in claim 6, in which the top rear corner of the support element is rounded.

8. Shelf system as claimed in claim 7, in which the top rear corner of the support element is arcuately shaped.

9. Shelf system as claimed in claim 1, in which the front end of the at least one lateral projection is rounded.

10. Shelf system as claimed in claim 9, in which the front end of the at least one lateral projection is of a semi-circular shape.

11. Shelf system as claimed in claim 1, in which the support element has a U-shaped cross-section with two lateral projections.

12. Shelf system as claimed in claim 1, in which the at least one lateral projection is formed by punching it out of the support element.

13. Shelf system as claimed in claim 1, in which the wall rail has markings at regular distances.

14. Shelf system as claimed in claim 1, in which the wall rail has at least one dismantling portion where the second vertical groove facing away from the wall is interrupted for threading in and/or removing the at least one support element.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The invention relates to shelf systems comprising shelf rails which can be fitted vertically on a wall and support elements or shelf supports which can be secured to these shelf rails in order to accommodate shelves.

RELATED PRIOR ART

Such known shelf systems are widely used and have proven themselves in private and commercial applications as a means of providing a large surface area for storing books, objects, files and similar. Since they can be extended upwards and to the side in any manner, such shelf systems offer a high degree of flexibility.

In order to secure the shelf supports, the wall rails usually have holes or cut-outs in which the shelf supports can be suspended. This configuration enables the shelf supports to be reliably secured to the wall rail, thereby enabling high loads to be supported, but their disadvantage is that the vertical positions of the shelf supports and hence the shelves themselves are limited to the positions of the fixing orifices.

There is therefore a need for a shelf system, whereby the shelf supports can be infinitely adjusted.

Patent specification AT 216176 discloses a shelf system comprising a U-shaped wall rail with lateral projections and a U-shaped shelf support, which is provided with shelf supports on its rear end facing the wall rail with lugs which locate in the uprights, and the side parts of the support are connected to one another in the vicinity of the rear end incorporating the lugs for pressing the lugs against the lateral projections of the wall rails by means of a screw with a right-handed and left-handed thread, and the lugs fixedly surround the lateral projections on three sides with their external face when in a position pressed apart from one another. The disadvantage of this design, however, is that a screw connection has to be released and tightened every time in order to release and secure the shelf support. Using a screw connection also makes manufacture of the shelf support complex and expensive, which is a considerable disadvantage, especially when producing articles on a mass scale.

Patent specification GB-A-1517532 discloses a shelf system comprising a wall rail in the form of a U-shaped section and a support element which can be adjusted and secured on the wall rail in a selectable position, which support element has outwardly extending projections formed on either side of its rear end, which are retained in vertical grooves provided in the wall rail by frictional force.

Patent specification GB-A-739425 discloses a shelf system comprising wall rails in the form of U-shaped sections and support elements which can be vertically displaced in them, which are retained by means of lateral support flanges due to the weight placed on the support element.

Patent specification U.S. Pat. No. 5,318,264 describes a shelf system comprising wall rails in the form of U-shaped sections and support elements which can be vertically displaced in them, which are retained in a horizontal position by the weight placed on them.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Accordingly, the objective of this invention is to propose a shelf system comprising the elements wall rails and shelf supports, which offers the possibility of infinitely adjusting the shelves whilst simultaneously supporting high loads. It must also be possible to secure the shelf supports rapidly and easily and release them again and, finally, it must also be possible to manufacture the wall rail and shelves as mass-produced articles.

This objective is achieved by a shelf system comprising at least one wall rail in the form of a profiled part which can be vertically mounted and has at least a wall-side first vertical groove and at least a second vertical groove facing away from the wall, and at least one support element which can be displaced in the wall rail and secured on the wall rail in a selectable position, which has at least one lateral projection extending forwards away from the wall on its rear end facing the wall, the front end of which is non-positively retained under elastic tension together with the rear end of the support element between a first and second vertical groove when the support element is in a horizontal position, and enables the support element to be freely displaced in the wall rail when the support element is in a position tilted upwards at the front. The support element can be released by tilting its front end facing away from the wall up away from the wall rail so that it can be displaced in the wall rail in the vertical direction. This ensures that the support element can be easily and reliably manipulated. In order to release it, the support element is simply tilted upwards by 30 or 45 degrees, for example, pushed to the desired height and then moved back into to the horizontal position in order to secure it.

Accordingly, the wall rail may be provided in the form of a U-shaped profiled part with two upright first vertical grooves and two upright second vertical grooves.

In order to obtain the elastic tensioning, a distance a between the front end of the projection and the rear end of the support element in the non-tensioned state is bigger than the internal distance b between the internal surface of the first wall-side vertical groove and the second vertical groove facing away from the wall. The difference in distance a-b may be between 0.1 mm and 0.5 mm.

The at least one projection is preferably disposed close to the top edge of the support element and the top rear corner of the support element is rounded, preferably arcuately shaped, and the front end of the lateral projections may likewise be rounded, preferably of a semi-circular shape. This arrangement makes it easier to release and secure the support element by a tilting movement relative to the wall rail. Disposing the at least one projection close to the top edge of the support element offers an easy way of providing support for the support element at each side against the base of the wall rail, thereby enabling high loads to be supported.

The support element preferably has a U-shaped cross-section open towards the top with two lateral projections.

To facilitate manufacture, the two lateral projections may be formed by punching them out of the support element.

In another embodiment of the invention, markings in the form of notches or similar for example may be provided at regular distances on the wall rail, serving as a vertical orientation for positioning the support element and hence shelves.

In order to “thread in” the support elements or shelf supports, the wall rail may have at least one dismantling portion at which the second vertical groove facing away from the wall is interrupted.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The invention will be explained below with reference to examples of specific embodiments illustrated in the appended drawings.

FIG. 1 is a schematic perspective diagram showing a first example of an embodiment of the shelf system proposed by the invention.

FIG. 2 is a front view showing a first example of an embodiment of the shelf system proposed by the invention.

FIG. 3 is a side view showing a first example of an embodiment of the support element proposed by the invention.

FIG. 4a) is a view in horizontal section showing a first example of an embodiment of the wall rail proposed by the invention.

FIG. 4b) is a plan view of the rear end of the support element illustrated in FIG. 3.

FIG. 4c) is a side view showing a detail of the first example of an embodiment of the shelf system proposed by the invention.

FIG. 5 is a view in horizontal section showing the support element illustrated in FIG. 4b), secured in a horizontal position to a wall rail of the type illustrated in FIG. 4a).

FIG. 6 is a view in horizontal section showing a second example of an embodiment of the support element proposed by the invention, secured in a horizontal position to a wall rail of the type illustrated in FIG. 4a).

FIG. 7 is a view in horizontal section showing a third example of an embodiment of the support element proposed by the invention secured in a horizontal position to a wall rail based on a second example of an embodiment of the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The invention will be explained in detail below with reference to examples of specific embodiments.

FIG. 1 is a schematic perspective view showing a first example of an embodiment of the shelf system proposed by the invention. It comprises two basic elements, the wall rails 30 and the support elements or shelf supports 20, on which shelf panels 40 can be placed. The wall rails 30 may be vertically mounted in any arrangement on a wall, partition wall or an appropriate support structure. The shelf supports 20, which taper towards the front (i.e. away from the wall) as illustrated in FIG. 3, can be suspended in the wall rails. Shelves 40 can then be placed on the top face 27 of the shelf supports 20.

As proposed by the invention, the support elements or shelf supports 20 can be infinitely adjusted in the wall rail 30 and can be secured in any vertical position. Markings such as notches 39, for example, may be provided in the wall rails at regular distances to assist with setting the height position of the support elements and hence the shelf, as illustrated in FIG. 4c).

The embodiment illustrated as an example in FIGS. 1 and 2 has two wall rails 30 with a total of four support elements 20 and a shelf panel. Naturally, the invention is not limited to a specific number of wall rails or support elements and may be used in any configuration.

The mechanism for securing and releasing the shelf supports in the wall rail will be explained in more detail below with reference to FIGS. 3-7.

As illustrated in the view in horizontal section shown in FIG. 4a), the wall rail 30 has a generally U-shaped cross-section with a base surface 30a adjoined by legs 30b on each side. First wall-side vertical grooves 35 are formed in the region of the base surface 30a and second vertical grooves 32 are formed in the front end region facing away from the wall.

As illustrated in FIG. 3 and FIG. 4b), a shelf support 20 proposed by the invention has forwardly pointing lateral projections 22, which, when the shelf support 20 is disposed in the wall rail in its horizontal position as illustrated in FIG. 5, locate by means of their front end 23 in the second vertical grooves 32, whereas the rear ends 29 are retained in the first vertical grooves 35. The support element 20 is therefore retained by elastic tensioning, because a distance a (FIG. 4b) from a rear end 29 of the shelf support to the front end 23 of the projections 22 is slightly bigger than a distance b (see FIG. 4a) from the base surface 30a of the first vertical groove 35 to the front internal surface 33 of the second vertical groove 32. The difference in distance a-b is preferably between 0.1 mm and 0.5 mm depending on the thickness and elasticity of the material selected for the wall rail and shelf support. The rear ends 29 of the two side walls 26a, 26b of the preferably U-shaped shelf support 20 are supported on the vertical grooves 35 towards the inside, thereby laterally strengthening the support element.

A major advantage of the retaining system proposed by the invention is the fact that the projections 22 are secured in the second vertical groove 32, thereby preventing any deformation or “shifting” of the projections 22 inwards or outwards as well.

As illustrated in FIG. 3, the lateral projections 22 are disposed on a top rear region close to the top edge 27 and rear top corner 28 of the support element 20. The support element 20 retained by its “clamped-in” projections 22 is therefore supported against the base surface 30a of the U-shaped wall rail 30 when placed under load by a (loaded shelf board) lying on the top edge 27 by its middle and bottom part of the rear face facing the wall. As a result, the shelf system proposed by the invention is capable of withstanding high loads.

A support element 20 secured on the wall rail in a horizontal position may be released from its anchoring by tilting up the front end 21 facing away from the wall, as schematically indicated by an arrow in FIG. 4c) and pushed up and down in the rail 30 in any position. In this respect, the angle needed to release the support element 20 may be between 30 and 45 degrees, for example.

In order to ensure that the shelf support can be easily released and secured, it is rounded at its top rear corner 28 (FIG. 3), preferably arcuately shaped. The front end portions 23 of the projections 22 locating in the second vertical groove 32 are likewise rounded, for example of a semi-circular design.

FIG. 6 is a view in horizontal section showing a second example of an embodiment of the support element proposed by the invention, which is secured in a horizontal position on a wall rail of the type illustrated in FIG. 4a), and FIG. 7 illustrates a third example of an embodiment of the support element proposed by the invention, which is secured on a wall rail based on a second example of an embodiment of the invention.

The second example of an embodiment of the support element 20 proposed by the invention illustrated in FIG. 6 differs from the first example of an embodiment illustrated in FIGS. 1 to 5 due to the fact that the support element is not a U-shaped profiled part but is of a flat design. The clamping mechanism by which the front end 23 of the lateral projection 22 together with the rear end 29 of the support element 20 is retained under elastic tension between the front and rear vertical groove is identical to that of the first example of an embodiment. In the case of the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 6, two support elements 20 are retained adjacent to one another in the U-shaped wall rail 30.

In the embodiment illustrated as an example in FIG. 7, a flat support element 20 formed from a sheet steel material is retained in a wall rail 30 attached to the wall 10, which is only suitable for accommodating a flat support element. The retaining mechanism of the support element in the wall rail again corresponds to that of the examples of embodiments described above.

To enable the shelf support to be manufactured inexpensively, the projections 22 may be formed by punching and deforming the support element 20.

In another example of an embodiment, although this is not illustrated, the wall rail 30 has a dismantling portion where there are no terminal portions 32. This enables the shelf base supports 20 to be “threaded into” or removed from the dismantling portion.

The invention therefore offers a shelf system comprising the basic elements of wall rail and support element, which enables the support elements to be infinitely positioned whilst simultaneously affording a high load-bearing capacity. The fact that the projections 22 of the shelf support 20 are retained between the front and rear vertical grooves of the wall rail 30 makes it easy to release and secure the shelf support by tilting it up in an inclined position or tilting it down into a horizontal position. Since no moving parts are needed for the infinite fixing system proposed by the invention, manufacturing costs can be kept low.