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Número de publicaciónUS3842982 A
Tipo de publicaciónConcesión
Fecha de publicación22 Oct 1974
Fecha de presentación11 Ago 1972
Fecha de prioridad11 Ago 1972
Número de publicaciónUS 3842982 A, US 3842982A, US-A-3842982, US3842982 A, US3842982A
InventoresJoyce J
Cesionario originalJoyce J
Exportar citaBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
Enlaces externos: USPTO, Cesión de USPTO, Espacenet
Stackable storage bin with interlock
US 3842982 A
Resumen  disponible en
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United States Patent 1191 Joyce 1 Oct. 22, 1974 STACKABLE STORAGE BIN WITH HNTERLOCK [76] Inventor: James E. Joyce, 878 Darien Cir.,

Rochester, Mich. 48063 221 Filed: Aug.l1,1972 211 Appl. No; 279,916

[52} 10.5. C1 211/126, 206/509, 206/510 [51] lnt. C1...... A471 3/14, 865d 21/00, A47j 47/00 [58] Field of Searchm" 220/97 R, 97 B, 97 D, 23.6;

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,511,949 6/1950 Simon 312/111 X 2,660,271 11/1953 Hupp 287/103 A x 3,002,650 10/1961 Lovell 220/D1G. 15 3,018,918 1/1962 Tapper 220/41 3,169,813 2/1965 Cannon et a1. 1 211/126 3,581,906 6/1971 Joyce 220/97 R 3,606,94 9/1971 Joyce 220/97 FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 336,474 4/1959 Switzerland 2211/18 Primary Examiner-William 1. Price Assistant Examiner-Joseph Man- Fu Moy Attorney, Agent, or FirmThomas N. Young [57] ABSTRACT Storage bins or like articles, each having a storage compartment and an upstanding back member, are designed to be vertically stacked on top of one another with the upstanding back member of one bin extending into the transverse slot in. another bin. Interlocking means in the form of a lceyway and pin arrangement are provided to positively lock the stacked bins together so as to permit them to be carried as a unit.

9 Claims, 3 Drawing Figures I STACKABLE STORAGE BIN WITH INTERLOCK INTRODUCTION This invention relates to stackable storage bins and the like and more particularly to a means for positively interconnecting the bins in the stacked condition to permit two or more stacked bins to be carried as a unit.

US. Pat. No. 3,207,321 granted to James E. Joyce on Sept. 2l, 1965 discloses a storage bin which may be stacked with another similar storage bin to form a vertically stacked array which is self supporting and which provides convenient access to the contents of each bin in the stack. In general, each bin includes a bottom, front, and rear walls and sidewalls to form an open-top storage compartment. The bin is further provided with an upstanding back member which is essentially a vertical extension of the back of the bin. Finally, there is formed along the bottom rear of each bin a downwardly opening laterally-extending slot. This slot is adapted to receive the upstanding back member of another bin into a telescopic relation therewith to provide the self-supporting, vertically-stacked array.-

In accordance with the present invention, two or more such bins, when in the stacked condition, may be conveniently transported as a unit in such a way as to prevent disengagement of the bins should the uppermost bin be grasped for transportation purposes. In general, this is accomplished by providing locking means for positively interconnecting the bins whereby the stacked array may be transported as a unit simply by grasping the uppermost bin in the array. I

In the preferred embodiment of the invention, each bin is provided with one or more vertically spaced keyways and rearwardly extending pins, the keyways being adapted to receive in locking engagement therewith the pins on the back member of the next lower bin in a stacked array. The keyway is formed in such a way as to provide a vertical opening and a laterally-extending slide area so as to receive the pins when stacking the bins and to permit the interlock to be positively en gaged simply by sliding one bin laterally relative to the other. This interlocking means is readily engaged and disengaged and is easily formed as an integral part of the bin.

As described in more detail hereinafter, the bin of the present invention is preferably formed by injection molding a suitable polymeric material such as polystyrene and, for lightness of weight and rigidity, the rear wall of the bin is formed in a recessed and ribbed design wherein the keyways represent an extension of .a continuous peripheral rib and the rearwardly extending pins are integrally molded onto the upstanding back member in vertically spaced relation to the keyways. Moreover, the pins are formed with central and axial openings or holes therethrough so as to permit the bins to be easily suspended on common pegboard hooks or the like. Finally, each bin is preferably formed with an elongated opening in the upstanding back member and having a peripheral rib so as to permit the fingers of ones hand to be readily inserted through the elongated hole for grasping and-transporting the bin and/or the interlocked stack of bins permitted by the present invention.

The various features and advantages of the present invention will become more apparent upon reading the following specification which-describes a preferred embodiment in detail and which is to be taken with the accompanying drawings of which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a storage bin embodying all of the features and advantages of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a side view with parts in cross section of a pair of stacked bins, each similar to the bin of FIG. I; and,

FIG. 3 is a partial rear view of the stacked bins of FIG. 2.

Describing the specific embodiment in detail with reference with FIG. 1, a storage bin 10 of injection molded polystyrene is shown to comprise a generally box-like bin or storage portion including a floor 12, a front wall 14, sidewalls l6, and a rear wall 18. The storage portion may be internally subdivided as desired by separate or integral web-like dividers 20. Storage bin 10 further comprises an upstanding back member 22 of ribbed design .for carrying out the objectives of the present invention relating to the stacking of bins, the interlocking of stacked bins, the manual grasping of bins, and the hanging support of bins by means of pegboard hooks and the like.

Describing the back member 22 in greater detail, it can be seen in FIG. 1 that four vertically-extending and laterally-spaced strengthening ribs 24, 26, 28, and 30 are integrally securred along their lengths to the rear wall 18 of the storage bin 10. In addition, the strengthening ribs 24, 26, 28, and 30 are integrally secured at their opposite ends to a continuous peripheral rib 32 which extends completely around the outside edge of the back member 22 and which along the lower length thereof defines substantially L-shaped keyways 34 and 36. The rear wall 18 has formed therein a laterallyextending and rearwardly projecting step 38 which defines on the interior thereof a laterally-extending slot 40 of approximately 1 inch in vertical height and threeeights of an inch in depth. Slot 40 is, thus, defined by the lowermost extension 42 of the rear wall 18 and the rearwardly stepped portion 38 of the back wall 18 as shown in FIG. 1. Slot 40 is open at the laterallyopposite ends and extends fully across the width of the bin 10.

Rear wall 18 of the bin 10 is also rearwardly stepped along the upper edge of the back member 22 to define a first shallow step 44 and a second and uppermost step 46 of greater vertical dimension. Step 44 defines a narrow, laterally-extending slot 48 to receive a lid (not shown) and step 46 operates to thin out the depth of the back member 22 along the upper end thereof. The depth of the back member 22 over the extent of the step 46 is just under three-eighths of an inch whereby the upper portion of the back member 22 readily but snugly fits into the slot 40 of another similar bin for stacking purposes.

Between strengthening ribs 24 and 26 and integral withthe step 46 is a rearwardly extending cylindrical pin 50 having a key-shaped central opening 52 extending fully therethrough from front to back. Pin 50 is vertically aligned with the lefthandmost portion of the keyway 34 and is of a diameter which is slightly less than the diameter of the rounded lefthand portion of keyway 34 as seen in FIG. 1. In a similar fashion, a cylindrical pin 54 is disposed on step 46 between strengthening ribs 28 and 30 and is vertically aligned with the lefthandmost portion of keyway 36. Pin 54 is also provided with a key-shaped, axially opening or hole 56.

Looking now to FIGS. 2 and 3, it can be seen that the function of the keyways 34 and 36 and the pins 50 and 54 is to provide a positive interlock between a pair of identical bins l and To accomplish the interlocked stacking relationship, the bin 10 is placed on top of the bin 10 with the back member 22 extending telescopically up into the slot 40 of bin 10' and with the rearwardly projecting pins 50 and 54 aligned with the opening of the vertically aligned keyways. The back member 22 is pushed into the slot 40 until the pins are fully into the keyways whereupon bin 10 is caused to slide transversely of bin 10 to move the pins 50 and 54 into the lefthandmost or inner portions of the keyways 34 and 36, respectively, as seen in F IG. 1. The fact that the bins are laterally offset until the pins are locked in helps prevent accidental separation of stacked bins by clearly indicating to the observer the locked and unlocked conditions. As best shown in FIGS. 1 and 3, the peripheral rib 32, as it forms the keyway 34, has a small locking nib 35 molded thereon to effectively lock the pin of the next lower bin in place. Similarly, a nib 37 is formed just inside keyway 36 to lock the pin of the next lower bin in place in the keyway. FIG. 3 shows the upper bin 10' with the nib 37' in operative engagement with the pin 54 of the bin 10. Clearly, three or more bins may be stacked on top of one another and interlocked in the fashion shown.

As shown in FIG. 2, the pins 50 and 54 are of greater dimension along the depth of the bin 10, from front to back, than the back member 22, such that the pins project rearwardly beyond the edge of the peripheral rib 32 and into the keyways of the bins with which they are interlocked. In addition, it will be noted that strengthening ribs 24 and 30 are provided with rearwardly extending tabs 58 and 60 of equal dimensional depths to that of the pins 50 and 54. Accordingly, the rear of the bin 10 may be placed flush against a vertical surface, the pins 50 and 54 and the tabs 58 and 60 making contact with the surface when so placed.

Finally, the bin 10 is provided between the strengthening ribs 26 and 28 and along the step 46 with an elongated closed rib 62 which is secured to the ribs 26 and 28 and to the step 46 to permit the fingers of one s hand to be slipped through the opening provided thereby for the purpose of grasping the bin for transportation thereof.

It will be appreciated that the construction of the bin 10 as shown hererin provides the features of stackability whereby the bins 10 may be placed on top of one another in stacked relationship while still affording access to the contents thereof because of the vertical spacing which is evident in FIG. 2. In addition, the pins and keyways which have been described above provide positive interlocks which permit the bins to be carried together as a unit when in the stacked relationship. This interlocked condition is readily and easily afforded by means of a simple insertion of the pins 50 and 54 into the keyways 36 and 34, respectively, and a lateral sliding motion of the bins. In addition, the design of the bin 10, described above, provides for the hanging of the bin 10 or a combination of stacked and interlocked bins by means of the holes 52 and 56 in the pins 50 and 54, respectively, such holes being designed to readily accommodate pegboard hooks, nails, etc. Finally, the design of the back member 22 is such as to provide lightweight and reduced material requirements'along with high rigidity, structural strength, and long life.

It will be understood that the invention has been described with reference to a specific embodiment and that various additions and modification thereto may be made.

The embodiments of the invention in which an exclusive property or privilege is claimed are defined as follows:

1. A storage bin or like article comprising the integral combination of a bin portion having a bottom, a rear wall, and a back member extending vertically above and defining a vertical continuation of said back wall, a vertical slot extending laterally across the bin to accommodate the upper portion of the back member of a similar bin whereby two or more bins may be disposed in a vertically-stacked array with the back member of a lower bin extending upwardly into the vertical slot of the next upper bin, and means for positively interconnecting the bins for permitting said stacked array to be carried as a-unit, said means for positively interconnecting the bin including a projecting member on the upper portion of the back member of each bin and receiving means adjacent the slot of each bin, said projecting member and said receiving means being cooperable only when the back member of one bin projects into the vertical slot of another bin to lock the bins together upon a predetermined degree of relative lateral displacement therebetween.

2. The article defined in claim 1 wherein said means for positively interconnecting the bins comprises a pair of rearwardly-extending cylindrical pins on said back member adjacent the upper edge thereof and a pair of L-shaped keyways formed in said back member rearwardly of said slot and being substantially vertically aligned with said pins and of such dimension as to accommodate the pins of a next lower bin into a positively locked association therewith.

3. An article as defined in claim 2 wherein said back member comprises a continuous peripheral rib extending completely around the periphery of said back member and defining said keyways, and a plurality of vertically-extending strengthening ribs disposed between and integral with said peripheral rib and said back wall of said bin portion.

4. An article as defined in claim 3 including an elongated opening disposed in said back member adjacent the upper edge thereof and between a pair of strengthening ribs to permit the bin to be manually grasped and carried.

5. An article as defined in claim 3 wherein said pins include an axial hole extending therethrough to permit said bin to be suspended from a hook or the like.

6. An article as defined in claim 4 wherein said back member comprises a rearward step between said back wall and said peripheral rib to define said verticallyextending slot.

7. An article as defined in claim 1 wherein the entire article is formed of injected molded polystyrene.

8. An article as defined in claim 2 including in each of said keyways a locking nib to provide interference to the removal of the pin of one bin from fully within the keyway of another bin.

9. An article as defined in claim 2 wherein the vertical alignment of the pins and keyways is such that stacked bins are vertically aligned only when locked together by way of the pins of one bin and the keyways of another.

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Clasificaciones
Clasificación de EE.UU.211/126.5, 206/509, 206/510, 211/88.1
Clasificación internacionalA47B87/00, A47B87/02
Clasificación cooperativaA47B87/02, A47B87/0269
Clasificación europeaA47B87/02, A47B87/02B6A