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United States Patent m
Wright et al.
[li] Patent Number: 4,901,870  Date of Patent: Feb. 20,1990
 SPACER FOR SUPPORT OF CYLINDRICAL ROLLS
 Inventors: Tim E. Wright; Catherine E. Helten, both of P.O. Box 1407, both of Pasco, Wash. 99301
 Appl. No.: 270,367
 Filed: Nov. 14, 1988
 Int. CL< A47F 7/00
 U.S. CI 211/59.4; 211/60.1;
 Field of Search 211/60.1, 70.4, 59.4,
211/74; 206/446, 386, 485, 3
 References Cited
U.S. PATENT DOCUMENTS
1,892,993 12/1932 Gray .
2,527,993 10/1950 Habler .
2,715,458 8/1955 Polglase .
2,718,303 9/1955 Polglase .
2,930,562 3/1960 King .
3,357,305 12/1967 Clute et al 206/3 X
3,501,018 3/1970 Solo 211/60.1
3,581,929 6/1971 Guenard et al 211/60.1 X
4,435,463 3/1984 Roellchen .
4,610,362 9/1986 Remp et al 211/60.1 X
Primary Examiner—Blair M. Johnson
Attorney, Agent, or Firm—Keith S. Bergman
A spacing and support module is disclosed for use in groups to support an array of spaced, axially parallel cylinders for transport and storage. The support module on one side defines plural indentations having thickened indented portions that deform during use to add strength in the indented areas. A species of the spacing module provides a sheet-like reinforcing element on the side not defining indentations or between two support elements having their non-indentation defining surfaces immediately adjacent both sides of the reinforcing element. The module is especially useful in supporting palletized arrays of rolls of web material or pipes of delicate nature.
8 Claims, 1 Drawing Sheet
SPACER FOR SUPPORT OF CYLINDRICAL
II. BACKGROUND OF INVENTION 5
IIA. Related Applications
There are no applications related hereto heretofore filed in this or any foreign country.
IIB. Field of Invention
Our invention relates generally to spacing and support modules for spacedly arrayed elongate cylindrical materials and more particularly to such modules that have thickened, deformable indented portions and reinforced surfaces.
IIC. Background and Description of Prior Art 15 Rolled web material, piping and similar cylindrical
objects must commonly be dealt with in the present day packaging arts especially for transportation and storage. Much of this material is of a relatively delicate and expensive nature and it may become substantially 20 worthless if it be physically damaged in even small portions of its total volume to exacerbate problems of supporting and protecting the material. Commonly, the material is handled in palletized arrays comprising a plurality of cylinders in spaced axially parallel align- 25 ment so arrayed as to form plural horizontal rows and vertical columns. Many and various spacers and supports for such arrays have heretofore become known. Our invention provides a new, novel and improved member of this class of supports. 30
Such supports as heretofore known have had various problems with their physical integrity. In general, such supports have taken a configuration of a cross element defining plural spaced saddle-like indentations to support usually the lower half of the, peripheries of a series 35 of spaced cylinders. Necessarily such configuration requires the support members to have a thinner portion at the point of cylinder support and because of this the support point has been the weakest portion of the supports. Commonly in arraying a plurality of cylinders in 40 a supported module, the cylinders are, for convenience or by custom, aligned with parallel axes and in planar columns and planar rows. This configurational array tends to further enhance the problem of support integrity, as commonly the weakest points of a plurality of 45 cross supports are aligned in vertical columns which tends to increase the potential of physical corruption of the support structures.
The problem is further increased by the nature of the materials from which such supports are formed. Com- 50 monly to be useful for their purpose, support elements must be formed of some relatively soft, resilient material so that they will not physically damage material that they are to support. One of the more common materials preferred in present day commerce for such purposes is 55 traditional unified foamed polystyrene pellet material. Any consolidated foamed polymeric material in general, and the styrene material in particular, tends to be compressed somewhat by the weight of cylinders of material that it supports and when this styrene material 60 is arrayed in vertical columns, the weight of supported material tends to be somewhat additive to further enhance the compression. As the support material compresses, it becomes thinner and generally decreases in strength to again increase the potentiality of physical 65 corruption of the support modules.
If the support elements are physically corrupted and do not maintain the array of a group of cylinders often
times even with strapping on a pallet, the arrayed cylinders will move sufficiently from their predetermined positions to cause damage to the supported material. If groups of such arrayed material are stacked vertically, the problem is enhanced as a lower portion of the material may move sufficiently to cause an upper portion to become positionally unstable and fall or break its strapping to further damage the amassed array. Our invention solves these problems by presenting a new and novel spacing support for such elongate cylindrical materials.
We provide an elongate rectilinear cross support defining one surface with plural cavities to contain somewhat less than half of the periphery of a plurality of spaced cylinders of material aligned with parallel axes in spaced planes perpendicular as heretofore done. In finer structure, however, our cross-supports differ from the prior art by providing a bridge of material extending into the cylinder cavities in their thinnest portions which support the weight of a cylinder. Preferably the size and thickness of this bridge material is determined functionally relative to the mass of the cylinders to be supported and the compressability of the materials involved so that the weight of the cylinders compress the material sufficiently so that the ultimate surface substantially conformally fits the surface of a cylinder to be supported. This bridge material may be variously configured to accomplish its purpose, but normally for cylindrical material it takes the shape of an upwardly rising arch of a cross-sectional shape of a circular sector.
Our bridge element tends to solve multiple problems existent in prior supports. Firstly, it allows use of softer, fairly compressible materials by making use of their compressive characteristics to enhance their function rather than to detract from it. The material in the bridge area is compressed so that the ultimate support configuration is maintained to support a cylinder conformally about part of its periphery. Secondarily, the compressed material in the support area provides enhanced resilience for nondamaging support, but at the same time, the material is not thinned as it was in the past, so that it has higher strength, both in shear or compression, to maintain its structural integrity.
In a specie of our invention, the flat surface of a support opposite that defining its indentations is provided with a sheet of reinforcing material that is thinner than the support, but of substantially greater strength. Such material commonly will take the form of a fiberboard material, such as the more durable cardboards or pressboards, a plastic, or some combinations of these materials, though it may also include wood. The reinforcing material preferably is adhered to the flat surface of the support to add its physical strength and rigidity to the compound support member so formed to further enhance potential durability and strength.
For medial support modules that are positioned between two vertically adjacent layers of cylindrical material, two support elements may be positioned on opposite sides of a reinforcing sheet to share that sheet in common. This configuration provides the same general benefits as provided by individual support with a backing element, but also has the added benefit of adding further structural integrity to an amassed array of supported cylinders of material, as this configuration tends to prevent adjacent supported layers of material from moving in a horizontal plane relative to each other, and
especially in a lateral fashion parallel to the axis of cross supports.
Our invention resides not in any one of these features per se, but rather in the synergistic combination of all of them to give rise to the structures of our invention and 5 the functions necessarily flowing therefrom as hereinafter more fully specified and claimed.
III. SUMMARY OF INVENTION
Our invention provides a support and spacing ele- 10 ment to positionally maintain and protect a plurality of cylinders of material in spaced array.
The support is an elongate element having one longer planar surface with the opposite surface configured to define plural spaced indentations to accept cylindrical 15 material. The lowermost portions of the indentations define bridging elements to add additional strength and upon deformation provide a conformal fit with the peripheral surface of a cylinder being supported. The support is formed of a relatively soft, semi-resiliently 20 deformable material, such as unitized foamed polystyrene particles.
A species of our invention provides a rigid sheet of reinforcing material on the flat elongate surface oppo- 2J site the surface defining indentations to provide additional strength and rigidity. Two similar supports, to be used in the medial portion of a stacked array of cylinders of material, may share such a reinforcing sheet by being attached to opposite sides thereof. 30
In providing such a device, it is:
A principal object of our invention to create an elongate cross-support and spacing element for cylindrical material to spacedly maintain a plurality of such materials in an array having horizontal layers and vertical 35 columns for transport or storage, such as on a pallet.
A further object of our invention to provide such a support that defines plural spaced indentations to conformably fit about somewhat less than half of the periphery of a cylinder to be supported with bridge ele- 40 ments in the indentations to aid in providing conformal support of cylinders upon weight deformation of the bridges to add strength in the thinnest parts of the support.
A still further object of our invention to provide such 45 a support that may have a sheet-like reinforcing element adhered to the surface opposite the surface defining indentations to provide additional strength, rigidity and durability.
A still further object of our invention to provide two 50 such support structures that share a common reinforcing element for use in a medial portion of a stacked array of cylinders to aid in maintaining conformational integrity of the array, especially from laterally horizontal displacement. 55
A still further object of our invention to provide such a support that is of new and novel design, of rugged and durable nature, of simple and economical manufacture and is otherwise well suited to the uses and purposes for which it is intended. 60
Other and further objects of our invention will appear from the following specification and accompanying drawings which form a part hereof. In carrying out the objects of our invention, however, it is to be understood that its features are susceptible of change in de- 65 sign and structural arrangement with only one preferred and practical embodiment being illustrated in the accompanying drawings as is required.
IV. BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS
In the accompanying drawings which form a part hereof and wherein like numbers of reference refer to similar parts throughout:
FIG. 1 is an isometric view of a stacked array of cylinders of rolled web material supported by the supports of our invention upon a strapped pallet.
FIG. 2 is an orthographic side view of two supports adhered to opposite sides of a common, more rigid reinforcing element.
FIG. 3 is a partial orthographic side view of the same type of support structure as shown in FIG. 2, except the indentations have arched reinforcing bridges.
FIG. 4 is an orthographic end view of a medial support element of FIG. 5 showing the bridges of that support member deformed as would occur upon placement of cylindrical material thereon.
FIG. 5 is a somewhat enlarged partial vertical crosssectional view through a portion of the stacked array of rolled web material of FIG. 1, taken on the line 5—5 in the direction indicated by the arrows thereon.
V. DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED
My invention provides a plurality of supports 10, which may have rigid reinforcing members 11, to support a spaced array of cylinders of material 14 on pallet 12 as aided by strapping 13.
Support 10 is an elongate rectilinear element formed with similar opposed ends 15 and sides 16, indentation defining surface 17, and opposite planar back surface 18. The length of the support parallel to side 16 defines the lateral dimension of a stacked array of cylinders commonly for use with ordinary sized pallets will be substantially 48 inches. The width of the support, that is the perpendicular dimension between sides 16, is not critical nor is the thickness, but both necessarily must be defined in functional relationship to the nature of the materials from which a support is formed and of the nature of cylinders that are to be supported to allow proper functioning as hereinafter described. Obviously, the vertical dimension between surfaces 17 and 18 must be somewhat greater than half of the diameter of cylinders to be supported in order to allow definition of indentations and yet maintain the structural integrity of the support.
Surface 17 of each support defines indentation 19, generally of the same size and configuration as the peripheral surface of a cylinder of material to be supported. The size may be slightly smaller or larger then that material to adjust the exact nature and conformity of fit between the two elements and in certain specialized cases, the configuration of indentation may be somewhat different than that of a supported cylinder to provide a particular type of support at particular positions on the two associated elements. In general, however, the most efficient support is provided by a conformal fit between a support and a cylinder being supported over as large an area of the adjacent surfaces as possible.
The exact positioning of indentations 19 in a support is not particularly critical, but should in general be such as to provide some horizontal space between cylinders to be supported and should leave a sufficient web of material beneath a supported cylinder to provide necessary strength rigidity for the support element itself. Normally, the definition of indentations will be symmet