EP2634110B1 - Passive thermally regulated knockdown shipping container - Google Patents

Passive thermally regulated knockdown shipping container Download PDF

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Publication number
EP2634110B1
EP2634110B1 EP20130157344 EP13157344A EP2634110B1 EP 2634110 B1 EP2634110 B1 EP 2634110B1 EP 20130157344 EP20130157344 EP 20130157344 EP 13157344 A EP13157344 A EP 13157344A EP 2634110 B1 EP2634110 B1 EP 2634110B1
Authority
EP
European Patent Office
Prior art keywords
panels
structural
sidewall
panel
article
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Expired - Fee Related
Application number
EP20130157344
Other languages
German (de)
French (fr)
Other versions
EP2634110A3 (en
EP2634110A2 (en
Inventor
William T. Mayer
Current Assignee (The listed assignees may be inaccurate. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the list.)
Minnesota Thermal Science LLC
Original Assignee
Minnesota Thermal Science LLC
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Priority to US13/410,494 priority Critical patent/US20130228583A1/en
Application filed by Minnesota Thermal Science LLC filed Critical Minnesota Thermal Science LLC
Publication of EP2634110A2 publication Critical patent/EP2634110A2/en
Publication of EP2634110A3 publication Critical patent/EP2634110A3/en
Application granted granted Critical
Publication of EP2634110B1 publication Critical patent/EP2634110B1/en
Expired - Fee Related legal-status Critical Current
Anticipated expiration legal-status Critical

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Classifications

    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65DCONTAINERS FOR STORAGE OR TRANSPORT OF ARTICLES OR MATERIALS, e.g. BAGS, BARRELS, BOTTLES, BOXES, CANS, CARTONS, CRATES, DRUMS, JARS, TANKS, HOPPERS, FORWARDING CONTAINERS; ACCESSORIES, CLOSURES, OR FITTINGS THEREFOR; PACKAGING ELEMENTS; PACKAGES
    • B65D81/00Containers, packaging elements, or packages, for contents presenting particular transport or storage problems, or adapted to be used for non-packaging purposes after removal of contents
    • B65D81/38Containers, packaging elements, or packages, for contents presenting particular transport or storage problems, or adapted to be used for non-packaging purposes after removal of contents with thermal insulation
    • B65D81/3848Containers, packaging elements, or packages, for contents presenting particular transport or storage problems, or adapted to be used for non-packaging purposes after removal of contents with thermal insulation semi-rigid container folded up from one or more blanks
    • B65D81/3862Containers, packaging elements, or packages, for contents presenting particular transport or storage problems, or adapted to be used for non-packaging purposes after removal of contents with thermal insulation semi-rigid container folded up from one or more blanks with a foam formed container located inside a folded box
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65DCONTAINERS FOR STORAGE OR TRANSPORT OF ARTICLES OR MATERIALS, e.g. BAGS, BARRELS, BOTTLES, BOXES, CANS, CARTONS, CRATES, DRUMS, JARS, TANKS, HOPPERS, FORWARDING CONTAINERS; ACCESSORIES, CLOSURES, OR FITTINGS THEREFOR; PACKAGING ELEMENTS; PACKAGES
    • B65D11/00Containers having bodies formed by interconnecting or uniting two or more rigid, or substantially rigid, components made wholly or mainly of plastics material
    • B65D11/18Containers having bodies formed by interconnecting or uniting two or more rigid, or substantially rigid, components made wholly or mainly of plastics material collapsible, i.e. with walls hinged together or detachably connected
    • B65D11/1893Containers having bodies formed by interconnecting or uniting two or more rigid, or substantially rigid, components made wholly or mainly of plastics material collapsible, i.e. with walls hinged together or detachably connected with semidetachable components, i.e. with some side walls hinged to each other or to a base panel and the other side walls being detachable to allow collapsing of the container
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65DCONTAINERS FOR STORAGE OR TRANSPORT OF ARTICLES OR MATERIALS, e.g. BAGS, BARRELS, BOTTLES, BOXES, CANS, CARTONS, CRATES, DRUMS, JARS, TANKS, HOPPERS, FORWARDING CONTAINERS; ACCESSORIES, CLOSURES, OR FITTINGS THEREFOR; PACKAGING ELEMENTS; PACKAGES
    • B65D21/00Nestable, stackable or joinable containers; Containers of variable capacity
    • B65D21/02Containers specially shaped, or provided with fittings or attachments, to facilitate nesting, stacking, or joining together
    • B65D21/0209Containers specially shaped, or provided with fittings or attachments, to facilitate nesting, stacking, or joining together stackable or joined together one-upon-the-other in the upright or upside-down position
    • B65D21/0217Containers with a closure presenting stacking elements
    • B65D21/0223Containers with a closure presenting stacking elements the closure and the bottom presenting local co-operating elements, e.g. projections and recesses

Description

  • Thermally labile goods are frequently transported or shipped in passive thermally regulated shipping containers (i.e., a thermally insulated container containing a thermally conditioned phase change material such as ice). While generally effective for maintaining an object to be shipped at a nominally heated or cooled temperature, the storage and return transport of empty containers remains an ongoing issue.
  • Efforts to construct foldable or knockdown passive thermally regulated shipping containers in an effort to minimize the space occupied by empty containers have meet with limited success as such containers tend to provide limited thermal regulation, are labor intensive and/or require trained technicians to assemble and disassemble.
  • US 2011/0284556 A1 discloses an insulating shipping container including an outer container and pieces of laminated foam, which are cut or scored to create hingest hat permit the laminated foam pieces to be configured into an insulation enclosure. Alternatively, the laminated foam pieces may be formed without hinges and friction fit into the outer container.
  • Accordingly, a substantial need continues to exist for knockdown passive thermally regulated shipping container that provides superior thermal regulation and is quick and easy to assemble and disassemble without error.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • The invention is defined by the claims.
  • A first aspect of the invention is a sidewall component suitable for use in construction of a passive thermally regulated knockdown shipping container. The sidewall component includes at least two hingedly interconnected structural panels, each carrying a detachable panel of fragile thermal insulation.
  • A passive thermally regulated knockdown shipping container may include (i) a pair of separate and independent interchangeable end panels, each carrying a detachable panel of fragile thermal insulation, (ii) a plurality of separate and independent sidewall components in accordance with the first aspect of the invention, (iii) a plurality of primary connection mechanisms, each operable for affecting border to border interconnection of a pair of sidewall components pivoted into a use configuration to form an encircling sidewall assembly, and (iv) a plurality of secondary connection mechanisms, each operable for attaching one of the end panels to the sidewall assembly over an open end of the assembly to form an enclosure defining a thermally regulated payload retention chamber.
  • A stackable panel may be configured and arranged with (i) a set of projections extending longitudinally from a first major surface of the panel operable for stably supporting the panel on a planar surface, and (ii) a set of longitudinally inset depressions in the first major surface. The depressions are configured and arranged on the panel such that each projection on the panel, if inverted, would nest within a corresponding depression in the panel upon rotation of the inverted set of projections a defined angular distance about a longitudinal axis of the panel relative to the set of depressions.
  • A stackable container may have one or more sidewalls longitudinally separating identically configured and arranged top and bottom panels. The top and bottom panels are each configured and arranged with (i) an external set of projections operable for stably supporting the container on a planar surface, and (ii) an external set of depressions. The depressions are configured and arranged such that each projection on the panel, if inverted, would nest within a corresponding depression on the panel upon rotation of the inverted set of projections a defined angular distance about a longitudinal axis of the container relative to the set of depressions.
  • The invention relates to a sidewall component suitable for use in construction of a passive thermally regulated knockdown shipping container, comprising at least two hingedly interconnected structural panels each carrying a detachable panel of fragile thermal insulation. The panels of thermal insulation may be precisely aligned on the structural panels such that the panels of thermal insulation do not contact one another when the structural panels are disposed in a planar storage configuration, and abut one another along a length of a border area thereof when the structural panels are disposed in a three-dimensional use configuration by pivoting the structural panels about the interconnecting hinge until further pivotal movement is inhibited by the structure of the component.
  • The structural panels may be comprised of plastic material and are interconnected by a live hinge. The sidewall component may have two structural panels. The panels of fragile thermal insulation may be vacuum insulated panels. The panels of fragile thermal insulation may be attached to the structural panels with hook and loop tape, or may be adhesively attached to the structural panels.
  • The passive thermally regulated knockdown shipping container may comprise:
  1. (a) a pair of separate and independent interchangeable end panels, each carrying a detachable panel of fragile thermal insulation,
  2. (b) a plurality of separate and independent sidewall components,
  3. (c) a plurality of primary connection mechanisms, each operable for affecting border to border interconnection of a pair of sidewall components pivoted into the use configuration to form an encircling sidewall assembly, and
  4. (d) a plurality of secondary connection mechanisms, each operable for attaching one of the end panels to the sidewall assembly over an open end of the assembly to form an enclosure defining a thermally regulated payload retention chamber.
  • The thermally regulated shipping container may further include panels of phase change material lining the payload retention chamber. The structural panels may be comprised of a plastic material and may be interconnected by a live hinge. Each sidewall component may have two structural panels. The panels of fragile thermal insulation may be vacuum insulated panels. The panels of fragile thermal insulation may be attached to the structural panels with hook and loop tape, and may be adhesively attached to the structural panels.
  • An article of commerce, may comprise a stackable panel having longitudinally spaced first and second major surfaces, the panel configured and arranged with a set of projections extending longitudinally from the first major surface of the panel operable for stably supporting the panel on a planar surface and a set of longitudinally inset depressions in the first major surface configured and arranged such that each projection on the panel would nest within a corresponding depression in the panel upon rotation of an inverted set of projections a defined angular distance about a longitudinal axis of the panel relative to the set of depressions.
  • A stackable container may define a longitudinal axis and a payload retention chamber, and comprise one or more sidewalls longitudinally separating identically configured and arranged top and bottom panels, each panel configured and arranged with an external set of projections operable for stably supporting the container on a planar surface and an external set of depressions configured and arranged such that each projection on the panel would nest within a corresponding depression on the panel upon rotation of an inverted set of projections a defined angular distance about the longitudinal axis of the container relative to the set of depressions.
    • Figure 1 is an exploded isometric view of one embodiment of the invention.
    • Figure 2 is an isometric view of the container depicted in FIG. 1 fully assembled.
    • Figure 2A is a top view of the assembled container depicted in FIG. 1.
    • Figure 2B is a side view of the assembled container depicted in FIG. 2A.
    • Figure 3 is an isometric view of one of the sidewall components depicted in FIG. 1 disposed in a planar storage position.
    • Figure 4 is a cross-sectional side view of the sidewall component depicted in FIG. 3 taken along line 4-4.
    • Figure 4A1 is a grossly enlarged portion of the cross-sectional side view of the sidewall component depicted in FIG. 4 for purposes of allowing depiction of one means for detachably attaching the thermal insulation panel to the structural sidewall panel.
    • Figure 4A2 is a grossly enlarged portion of the cross-sectional side view of the sidewall component depicted in FIG. 4 for purposes of allowing depiction of another means for detachably attaching the thermal insulation panel to the structural sidewall panel.
    • Figures 5A-D depict various arrangements of variously shaped projections and depressions on structural end panels of various cross-sectional shapes that permit stable nestable stacking of containers employing identical structural end panels as both the top and bottom of the containers.
    Definitions
  • As utilized herein, including the claims, the term "detachable" means capable of being detached without application of violent force and without damage to or destruction of either the item being detached or the substrate from which the item is being detached.
  • Nomenclature
  • 10
    Passive Thermally Regulated Shipping Container
    19
    Payload Retention Chamber
    20
    Outer Structural Shell
    21
    Structural End Panel
    211
    Upper Structural End Panel
    212
    Lower Structural End Panel
    21i
    Interior Major Surface of Structural End Panel
    21j
    Exterior Major Surface of Structural End Panel
    21p
    Projections Extending from the Exterior Major Surface of Structural End Panel
    21d
    Depressions in the Exterior Major Surface of Structural End Panel
    22
    Structural Sidewall Component
    22i
    Interior Major Surface of Structural Sidewall Component
    22j
    Exterior Major Surface of Structural Sidewall Component
    23
    Sidewall Panel on Structural Sidewall Component
    23i
    Interior Major Surface of Structural Sidewall Panel
    24
    Live Hinge Interconnecting First and Second Structural Sidewall Panels on Structural Sidewall Component
    30
    Thermal Insulation Panel
    30b
    Border Area of Thermal Insulation Panel
    40
    Phase Change Material Panels (PCM Panel)
    50
    Means for Detachably Attaching Thermal Insulation Panel to a Structural Panel
    501
    Hook and Loop Tape
    502
    Pressure Sensitive Adhesive
    60
    Connection Mechanism for Attaching Structural Sidewall Components
    70
    Connection Mechanism for Attaching Structural End Panel to Erected Structural Sidewall Assembly
    x10
    Longitudinal Axis of Shipping Container
    x21
    Longitudinal Axis of Structural End Panel
  • Referring generally to FIG. 1, the present invention is directed to various components of a modular kit operable for assembly into a passive thermally regulated stackable shipping container 10, and a shipping container 10 assembled therefrom.
  • When assembled, the shipping container 10 includes an outer structural shell 20, a layer of thermal insulation 30, and optionally a layer of phase change material (not shown) retained within PCM panels 40, defining a passive thermally regulated payload retention chamber 19.
  • The outer structural shell 20 may be solid or hollow and may be made from any material possessing sufficient structural integrity, including specifically but not exclusively, cellulosic materials such as paperboard and cardboard, engineered wood products such as laminated and unlaminated fiberboard and plywood, wood, plastics such as polyethylene, polypropylene, polyethylene terephthalate, nylon polycarbonates and phenolic resins, wood-plastic composites, metals such as aluminum, copper, brass and steel, glass, ceramics, combinations thereof, and the like.
  • The outer structural shell 20 is divided into separate and independent structural end panels 21 and at least one structural sidewall component 22. These units are capable of being repeatedly attached to and detached from one another.
  • Assembly of a shipping container 10 requires two structural end panels 21 - one to cover the top 21 1 and another to cover the bottom 21 2. The top 21 1 and bottom 21 2 structural end panels are preferably interchangeable with one another so that only a single style end panel 21 need be manufactured and stocked. Use of interchangeable top 21 1 and bottom 21 2 structural end panels also simplifies assembly of the shipping container 10 as there is no need to obtain and identify separate top 21 1 and bottom 21 2 structural end panels. A technician assembling a shipping container 10 need only obtain two structural end panels 21.
  • The exterior major surface 21j of the structural end panels 21 may be contoured with a set of rotationally spaced longitudinal projections 21p and rotationally displaced "matching" set of longitudinal depressions 21d whereby (i) the projections 21p terminate along a single horizontal plane such that the structural end panel 21 can rest stably upon the projections 21p when placed upon a flat horizontal surface, and (ii) the projections 21p on both structural end panels 21, disposed with their exterior major surfaces 21j facing one another, will nest within corresponding depressions 21d on the other facing structural end panel 21 when one of the facing panels 21 is rotated a defined angular distance about the longitudinal axis x21 of the panel 21. This permits interchangeable top 21 1 and bottom 21 2 structural end panels to be used in assembling a shipping container 10 while still allowing such assembled shipping containers 10 to be stably and nestably stacked upon one another by simply rotating an overlying shipping container 10 a defined angular distance about the longitudinal axis x10 of the shipping container 10 relative to the immediately underlying shipping container 10.
  • Exemplary operable arrangements of variously shaped projections 21p and depressions 21d on structural end panels 21 having various cross-sectional shapes are depicted in FIGs 5A-D , wherein depressions 21d are shaded and projections 21p are unshaded. Each is described in further detail in TABLE ONE. TABLE ONE FIG # PROJECTIONS SHAPE OF PANEL NECESSARY ANGULAR ROTATION TO ACHIEVE NESTING # CROSS-SECTIONAL SHAPE 5A 4 Square Rectangle 180° 5B 4 Triangle Square 90° 5C 3 Circle Square 180° 5D 3 Hexagon Hexagon 60°
  • Assembly of a shipping container 10 also requires at least three structural sidewall panels 23.
  • Structural sidewall panels 23 are grouped together on structural sidewall components 22, with the structural sidewall panels 23 on each structural sidewall component 22 interconnected by a hinge 24, such as a live hinge.
  • The structural sidewall components 22 can be constructed with any number of hingedly interconnected structural sidewall panels 23 on each structural sidewall component 22. However, as the number of panels 23 on each component 22 increases, so too does the difficulty and complexity of storing and handling the structural sidewall component 22. A nonexhaustive listing of various geometric and configurational options for the structural sidewall components 22 and shipping containers 10 constructed therefrom is provided below in table TWO. TABLE TWO SIDEWALL COMPONENT SHIPPING CONTAINER # of Panels on Each # of Sidewall Components Cross-Sectional Shape 2 2 Square 2 3 Hexagon 2 4 Octagon 2 5 Decagon 3 1 Triangle 3 2 Hexagon 3 3 Nonagon 4 1 Square 4 2 Octagon 5 1 Pentagon 5 2 Decagon
  • When the shipping container 10 is constructed from two or more structural sidewall components 22 the structural sidewall components 22, as with the end panels 21, are preferably interchangeable with one another so that only a single style structural sidewall component 22 need be manufactured and stocked.
  • The structural sidewall panels 23 on each structural sidewall component 22 are configured and arranged such that the structural sidewall panels 23 can be pivoted relative to one another as between a planar storage configuration in which the structural sidewall panels 23 do not contact one another, and a three-dimensional use configuration in which the and structural sidewall panels 23 abut one another along a length of a border area thereof.
  • A panel of thermal insulation 30 is detachably attached to the interior major surface 21i of each structural end panel 21 and the interior major surface 23i of each structural sidewall panel 23 on each structural sidewall component 22. The panels of thermal insulation 30 may be constructed of any material having good thermal insulating qualities, (i.e., having a high thermal resistance "R"), such as Styrofoam, vacuum insulated panels, or the like.
  • The panels of thermal insulation 30 are aligned on the structural sidewall panels 23 so that the panels of thermal insulation 30 do not contact one another when the structural sidewall panels 23 are disposed in the planar storage configuration, but abut one another along a length of a border area 30b thereof when the structural sidewall panels 23 are disposed in the three-dimensional use configuration.
  • In a similar fashion, the panels of thermal insulation 30 are aligned on the structural end panels 21 so that the panels of thermal insulation 30 on the end panels 21 abut the panels of thermal insulation 30 attached to the structural sidewall panels 23 along a length of a border area thereof when the structural end panel 21 is attached to the assembled structural sidewall panels 23.
  • Preferred materials for use as the thermal insulating panels 30 tend to be fragile and/or frangible (e.g., panels of Styrofoam or vacuum insulated panels). This results in all too frequent damaging of the thermal insulating panels 30 and resultant loss of insulating value. In order to facilitate replacement of damaged and/or failing thermal insulating panels 30 without requiring replacement of an entire structural end panel 21 or structural sidewall panel 23, the thermal insulating panels 30 are detachably attached to the structural end panels 21 and structural sidewall panels 23.
  • A wide variety of options are available for detachably attaching the thermal insulating panels 30 to the interior major surface 21i of each structural end panel 21 and the interior major surface 23i of each structural sidewall panel 23. A preferred option is hook and loop tape 50 1 such as shown in FIG. 4A1 . Another preferred option is double-sided pressure sensitive adhesive tape 50 2 such as shown in FIG. 4A2 . Yet another preferred attachment means is a layer of pressure sensitive adhesive coated directly upon the structural end panel 21, structural sidewall panel 23, and/or thermal insulating panel 30. Mechanical fasteners may also be used, such as elastic straps, reversible snap fit, reversible press-fit, etc. However, such mechanical fasteners should generally be avoided as they tend to prevent direct contact between the thermal insulating panels 30 when the container 10 is fully assembled, leaving a gap in the layer of thermal insulation through which significant heat loss can occur.
  • Referring to FIG 1, the payload retention chamber 19 can be lined with panels of phase change material (PCM panels) 40. The PCM panels 40 can be filled with any suitable phase change material, such as water or various hydrocarbons.
  • Either of the structural end panels 21 on the shipping container 10 can be selectively removable from the sidewall assembly for allowing insertion and removal of goods from the payload retention chamber 19. PCM panels 40 deployed within the payload retention chamber 19 may similarly be removed for thermal conditioning.
  • A primary connection mechanism 60 releasably attaches structural sidewall components 22 to one another. A secondary connection mechanism 70 releasably attaches structural end panels 21 to the longitudinal ends of a fully assembled sidewall assembly. Both the primary 60 and secondary 70 connection mechanisms can be selected from the wide variety of known mechanical type fasteners capable of repetitive attachment and detachment of components. A nonexhaustive list of such fasteners includes bolts, buckles, catches, clamps, clasps, hasps, latches, hook and loop tape, and the like.
  • Assembly and Use
  • For simplification purposes only, assembly, use and disassembly of a shipping container 10 in accordance with this invention shall be based upon the shipping container 10 depicted in FIGs 1, 2, 2A and 2B.
  • The shipping container 10 depicted in FIGs 1, 2, 2A and 2B can be rapidly assembled by (i) obtaining a pair of structural end panels 21 and a pair of structural sidewall components 22, (ii) placing one of the structural end panels 21 onto a planar horizontal surface (not shown) with the interior major surface 21i of the selected end panel 21 facing upward to establish a bottom structural end panel 21 2, (iii) placing both structural sidewall components 22 - pivoted into the three-dimensional use position - into orthogonal fitted engagement with the periphery of the interior major surface 21i of the bottom structural end panel 21 2 and into orthogonal fitted engagement with one another to define a payload retention chamber 19, (iv) securing the structural sidewall components 22 together with the primary connection mechanisms 60 to form an encircling structural sidewall assembly, (v) securing the structural sidewall assembly to the bottom structural end panel 21 2 with the lower sets of secondary connection mechanisms 70, (vi) placing the other structural end panel 21 over the open longitudinal end of the structural sidewall assembly in orthogonal fitted engagement with the structural sidewall components 22 to establish a top structural end panel 21 1, and (vii) securing the top structural end panel 21 1 to the structural sidewall assembly with the upper sets of secondary connection mechanisms 70.
  • Loading thermally labile goods (not shown) into an assembled shipping container 10 for transport includes the steps of: (a) detaching the top structural end panel 21 1 from the structural sidewall assembly by disengaging the upper sets of secondary connection mechanisms 70, (b) removing the detached top structural end panel 21 1 from the structural sidewall assembly for providing access to the payload retention chamber 19, (c) optionally lining the payload retention chamber 19 with thermally conditioned PCM panels 40, (d) placing the payload of thermally labile goods (not shown) into the lined or unlined payload retention chamber 19, (e) optionally covering the open top of the loaded payload retention chamber 19 with a thermally conditioned PCM panel 40, (f) placing the top structural end panel 21 1 back over the open longitudinal end of the structural sidewall assembly, and (g) securing the top structural end panel 21 1 to the structural sidewall assembly with the upper sets of secondary connection mechanisms 70.
  • Unloading thermally labile goods (not shown) from a shipping container 10 includes the steps of: (A) detaching the top structural end panel 21 1 from the structural sidewall assembly by disengaging the upper sets of secondary connection mechanisms 70, (B) removing the detached top structural end panel 21 1 from the structural sidewall assembly, (C) removing any underlying PCM panel 40 for providing access to the payload retention chamber 19, and (D) removing the payload of thermally labile goods (not shown) from the payload retention chamber 19.
  • Knocking down an unloaded shipping container 10 for return transport includes the steps of (1) removing any PCM panels 40 still in the payload retention chamber 19, (2) detaching the structural sidewall components 22 from one another by disengaging the primary connection mechanisms 60, (3) detaching the structural sidewall components 22 from the bottom structural end panel 21 2 by disengaging the lower sets of secondary connection mechanisms 70, and (4) removing the structural sidewall components 22 from the bottom structural end panel 21 2.
  • Claims (10)

    1. An article of commerce, comprising a sidewall component (22) suitable for use in construction of a passive thermally regulated knockdown shipping container (10), the component comprising at least two hingedly interconnected structural panels (21, 23), characterized in that each panel carries a detachable panel (30) of fragile thermal insulation.
    2. The article of claim 1 wherein the panels (30) of thermal insulation are precisely aligned on the structural panels (21, 23) such that the panels of thermal insulation do not contact one another when the structural panels are disposed in a planar storage configuration, and abut one another along a length of a border area thereof when the structural panels are disposed in a three-dimensional use configuration by pivoting the structural panels about the interconnecting hinge (24) until further pivotal movement is inhibited by the structure of the component.
    3. The article component of claim 1 wherein the component has two structural panels.
    4. An article of commerce, comprising a passive thermally regulated knockdown shipping container, the container comprising at least:
      (a) a pair of separate and independent interchangeable end panels (21), each carrying a detachable panel of fragile thermal insulation (30),
      (b) a plurality of separate and independent sidewall (22) components in accordance with claim 2,
      (c) a plurality of primary connection mechanisms (60), each operable for affecting border to border interconnection of a pair of sidewall components (22) pivoted into the use configuration to form an encircling sidewall assembly, and
      (d) a plurality of secondary connection mechanisms (70), each operable for attaching one of the end panels (21) to the sidewall assembly over an open end of the assembly to form an enclosure defining a thermally regulated payload retention chamber.
    5. The article of claim 4 further including panels (40) of phase change material lining the payload retention chamber.
    6. The article of claim 1 or 4 wherein the structural panels (21, 23) are comprised of a plastic material and are interconnected by a live hinge (24).
    7. The article of claim 4 wherein each sidewall component (22) has two structural panels (21,23).
    8. The article of claim 1 or 4 wherein the panels (30) of fragile thermal insulation are vacuum insulated panels.
    9. The article of claim 1 or 4 wherein the panels (30) of fragile thermal insulation are attached to the structural panels (21, 23) with hook and loop tape (50).
    10. The article of claim 1 or 4 wherein the panels (30) of fragile thermal insulation are adhesively attached to the structural panels (21, 23).
    EP20130157344 2012-03-02 2013-03-01 Passive thermally regulated knockdown shipping container Expired - Fee Related EP2634110B1 (en)

    Priority Applications (1)

    Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
    US13/410,494 US20130228583A1 (en) 2012-03-02 2012-03-02 Passive thermally regulated knockdown shipping container

    Publications (3)

    Publication Number Publication Date
    EP2634110A2 EP2634110A2 (en) 2013-09-04
    EP2634110A3 EP2634110A3 (en) 2014-01-08
    EP2634110B1 true EP2634110B1 (en) 2015-04-29

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    US (1) US20130228583A1 (en)
    EP (1) EP2634110B1 (en)
    CA (1) CA2807794C (en)

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    Also Published As

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    EP2634110A3 (en) 2014-01-08
    US20130228583A1 (en) 2013-09-05
    CA2807794A1 (en) 2013-09-02
    CA2807794C (en) 2016-04-12
    EP2634110A2 (en) 2013-09-04

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