US 3730309 A
A suitcase essentially consisting of frames of extruded light metal and planar panels of rigid wood is assembled by edges of the panel members being adhesively fastened in elongated grooves of the frames, one side wall of each groove being provided with integral, longitudinal ribs. The ribs mechanically interlock with the adhesive layer and prevent the adhesive from being released from the frame under unfavorable conditions.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 1 91 Hamann et a1.
1451 May 151973 1541 SUITCASE  Inventors: Klaus l-lamann, 8191 Hohenrain; Jurgen l-lamann, 8033 Krailling, both of Germany  Assignee: Rox-Lederwarenfabriken KG, Munich, Germany  Filed: July 19, 1971  App1.N0.: 164,156
Hamann  Foreign Application Priority Data July 30, 1970 Germany ..G 70 28 787.5
 US. Cl ..l90/49, 190/54  Int. Cl ..A45c 13/04  Field of Search ..190/24, 28, 49, 50,
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,088,623 5/1963 Parker 190/28 X 2,604,961 7/1952 Koch 190/28 2,743,029 4/1956 Mautner... ....190/2s x 2,717,093 9/1955 Mautner 190/28 x FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 1,147,916 4/1969 Great Britain ..190/28 Primary Examiner-Donald F. Norton Attorney-Kelman and Berman  ABSTRACT A suitcase essentially consisting of frames of extruded light metal and planar panels of rigid wood is assembled by edges of the panel members being adhesively fastened in elongated grooves of the frames, one side wall of each groove being provided with integral, 10ngitudinal ribs. The ribs mechanically interlock with the adhesive layer and prevent the adhesive from being released from the frame under unfavorable conditions.
8 Claims, 2 Drawing Figures Pgtented May 1, 1973 2 Sheets-Sheet I (VENTURE K/M Ha mam BY ju'rqe H MUM MM 624%;
Patented May 1, 1973 2 Shea ts-Sheet 3 kQ/MAM M/ Harm f epv;
SUITCASE This invention relates to suitcases and like pieces of luggage, and particularly to improvements in a piece of luggage essentially consisting of grooved frames and panels whose edge portions are received in the grooves of the frames.
The known luggage of the afore-described type, as disclosed, for example, in German Utility Model 1,960,380, filed on Feb. 20, 1967, and the corresponding British Pat. No. 1,147,916, has been used successfully heretofore. The panels are adhesively secured in the grooves of the frames, and such difficulties as were encountered with such luggage are due to failure of the adhesive bond at the interface with the metallic frame surfaces. The normally employed rubber or polyvinyl alcohol latex adhesives form bonds of limited strength with the light metal. Thermoplastic adhesives also have been used, and have been found to soften sufficiently to flow from the grooves when the luggage is exposed to high temperatures. Epoxy-resin adhesives, while not subject to the shortcomings outlined above, are not conveniently used in this application.
The primary object of this invention is an improved bond between the adhesive layer and the metal of the frames which does not rely on adhesive material of any specific composition, but is effective regardless of the type of adhesive employed.
With this object and others in view, as will hereinafter become apparent, the invention, in its more specific aspects, resides in a piece of luggage which has a body portion,'a cover portion, and a sealing arrangement which releasably seals the cover portion to the body portion, and particularly seals the cover portion to one of the two frames of the body portion, hereinafter referred to as the body rim frame, the other frame being the bottom frame. The bottom panel has an edge portion received in a groove in the inner circumference of the bottom frame. The body rim frame is offset from the bottom frame transversely of the bottom panel, and both frames are formed with respective second grooves open toward each other, in which respective edge portions of a body side panel are received.
The cover portion includes a top frame and a top panel whose edge portion is received in a third groove which extends in the inner circumference of the top frame.
The first-mentioned groove and the second and third grooves respectively define first, second, and third planes. The first and third planes are parallel to each other and perpendicular to the second plane in the closed condition of the piece of luggage. Each of the grooves is bounded transversely of the associated plane by two opposite faces of the corresponding frame, and at least one of the two opposite faces is formed with respective pluralities of alternating projections and recesses.
When a layer of adhesive is interposed between the irregularly shaped face of the frame and the edge portion of a panel received in the groove, the adhesive is mechanically interlocked with the face and also prevented from flowing out of the groove when softened by heat, particularly when the projections are ribs parallel to the open side of the groove.
Other features and the attendant advantages of this invention will be appreciated more fully as the invention becomes better understood by reference to the following detailed description of preferred embodiments when considered in connection with the appended drawing in which:
FIG. 1 shows a suitcase of the invention in fragmentary elevational section; and
FIG. 2 shows a modification of the suitcase of FIG. 1 in a corresponding view.
Referring now to FIG. 1 in more detail, there is shown only as much of a suitcase as is needed for an understanding of the invention. The elements ommited include all hardware, such as hinges, latches, and locks, and the section illustrated is representative also of all other elevational sections of the piece of luggage shown in FIG. 1.
The suitcase has three rectangular frames 1, 2, 3 of extruded aluminum. The bottom frame 1 has the crosssectional shape of two letters J integrally connected at right angles to each other so that two longitudinal grooves 11, 12 in the frame 1 are open in two directions offset from each other. The groove 11 extends in the inner circumference of the frame 1 and defines the bottom plane of the suitcase in the illustrated position of the same.
The side walls 18, 19 of the grooves 11, 12 located on the inside of the suitcase have longitudinal faces 13, 15 which bound the grooves jointly with corresponding, opposite faces of the outer side walls. The side walls 18, 19 project beyond the open sides of the respective grooves 11, 12 and the associated opposite side walls, and the inner faces 13, 15 in the grooves 1 1, 12 are corrugated, the corrugations or ribs 14 being elongated longitudinally of the walls 18, 19 and at right angles to the plane of FIG. 1. The opposite outer faces of each groove are free from corrugations.
The reduced edge portion of a rigid, wooden bottom panel 16 of the suitcase body is received in the groove 11 with as little clearance as is practical, and the narrow gaps between the bottom panel and the walls of the groove 11 are filled with a layer of adhesive, not explicitly shown in the drawing for the sake of clarity. The adhesive also fills the recesses which alternate with the ribs 14. Rivets 100, of which only one is seen in FIG. 1, pass through the side wall 18 and the bottom panel 16 for further securing the latter to the bottom frame 1.
The illustrated part of the suitcase body further includes an upright wooden side panel 17 whose lower edge is adhesively fastened in the groove 12 in the same manner as described with reference to the groove 11. The top edge of the side panel 17. is received in a groove 21 of the body rim frame 2, the grooves 13 and 21 being open toward each other and jointly defining the lateral plane of the suitcase body in which the side panel 17 is located.
The frame 2 is approximately U-shaped in cross section, and the vertical walls of the groove 21 defined by the legs of the U-shape are of equal width. The surface 23 of the inner wall carries ribs 14. A heavy sealing rib 24 projects upward from the bight portion of the U- shape and terminates in a flat horizontal sealing face 25. Adhesive, not explicitly shown, fastens the frame 2 to the side panel 17. j
The cover portion of the suitcase includes a top frame 3 having a horizontally open groove 31 in its inner circumference. The wooden top panel 32 of the cover portion is partly received in the groove 31 and adhesively fastened to the frame 3, as described with reference to the bottom panel 16 and the bottom frame 1. The frame 3, as far as described so far, is .I-shaped in cross section, the longer leg 38 of the J-shape providing the inner wall 33 of the groove 31 and being provided with longitudinal ribs 14 for better anchorage of an adhesive film, not itself explicitly shown.
The hollow side panel of the suitcase cover is an integral part of the frame 3 and depends from the bight portion of the .I-shape. The outer and inner aluminum layers 34, 35 of the side wall are connected by spaced transverse stiffening members 36, 37, and the latter, jointly with the free edge portions of the layers 34, 35, bounds a downwardly open groove 38 in which a cylinvdrical sealing string 50 of resilient material, such as rubber, is retained by ribs 39 projecting into the groove 38 from the aluminum layers 34, 35. The aforedescribed sealing rib 24 is so dimensioned that it can enter the groove 38 in the illustrated closed position of the suitcase for sealing engagement between the face 25 and the rubber string 50.
All wooden panels 16, 17, and 32 are provided with protective and decorative outer skins 70 of adhesively fastened, softer polyvinyl chloride composition, and all exposed aluminum surfaces of the frames 1, 2, 3 are provided with coarse corrugations or ribs 60 elongated parallel to the bottom and top panels 16, 32, except for planar outer surface portions 134, 135 on the aluminum layer 34 which are dimensioned for receiving identifying labels and bounded by the corrugations or ribs 60 which protect the labels. The ribs 60 contribute to the stiffness of the frames, have a decorative effect of their own, and reduce the detrimental effect of scratches in the relatively soft aluminum surfaces on the appearance of the suitcase. Such scratches cannot be avoided entirely by the artificial oxide layer with which all exposed aluminum surfaces are provided by anodizing in a conventional manner prior to assembly with other elements of the suitcase.
The suitcase partly shown in FIG. 2 differs from that described above with reference to FIG. 1 by the construction of its cover portion which is assembled from a top frame 3' surrounding the top wall 32, a cover rim frame 4, and a cover side panel 48.
The tope frame 3 has the double J-section described with reference to the bottom frame 1 in FIG. 1, and the horizontally open groove 31 in the frame 3 receives an edge portion of the top panel 32, a non-illustrated layer of adhesive being interposed between the top wall 32 and the faces of the frame 3 in the groove 31, including a ribbed surface 33 of the inner groove wall 38.
The cover rim frame 4 is approximately H-shaped in cross section so as to define an upwardly open groove 41 and a downwardly open groove 46 separated by a heavy web 45. Edge portions of the cover side panel 48 are received in the groove 41 and the downwardly open groove of the top frame 3, and secured in the grooves by adhesive, not illustrated, the bond between the adhesive and the metal being enhanced by ribs 14 on the face 42 extending in the lateral plane of the cover defined by the opposite grooves. The upright walls 43 and 44 of the cover rim frame 4 are of equal vertical width and elongated at right angles to the plane of FIG. 2.
The groove 46 bounded by the web 45 and the depending portions of the walls 43, 44 receives therein a sealing string 50 in the manner described with reference to FIG. 1 for cooperation with the sealing rib on the body rim frame 2, the string 50 being secured by projecting ribs 39 on the walls 43, 44 of adequate hight to prevent escape of the string in the relaxed condition of the latter while permitting insertion of the resiliently deformed string.
It will be understood that the suitcase partly illustrated in FIG. 2 is identical with that described with reference to FIG. 1 as far as not explicitly shown or described otherwise, and a description of the common features will not be required for an understanding of the modified suitcase.
It should be understood, of course, that the foregoing disclosure relates only to preferred embodiments of the invention, and that it is intended to cover all changes and modifications in the examples of the invention herein chosen for the purpose of the disclosure which do not constitute departures from the spirit and scope of the appended claims.
What is claimed is:
1. A piece of luggage comprising, in combination:
A. a body portion including a. a bottom frame formed with a first groove in the inner circumference thereof;
b. a bottom panel member having an edge portion received in said first groove;
c. a body rim frame offset from said bottom frame transversely of said bottom panel member,
1. said frames being formed with respective second grooves open toward each other;
d. a body side panel member having two edge portions, said edge portions being received in said second grooves respectively;
' B. a cover portion including a. a top frame formed with a third groove in the inner circumference thereof;
b. a top panel member having an edge portion received in said third groove; and
C. sealing means for releasably sealing said cover portion to said rim frame;
a. said first, second, and third grooves respectively defining first, second, and third planes,
b. each groove being bounded transversely of the associated plane by two opposite faces of the corresponding frame,
c. one of said faces being formed with respective pluralities of alternating projections and recesses,
d. one of said panel members consisting of sub stantially rigid material carrying an outer skin of a material softer than said rigid material and directed toward the other one of said faces in the grooves receiving said one panel member,
e. said other face being free of alternating projections and recesses; and
f. a layer of adhesive interposed between said one face and the edge portion received in said groove and securing said edge portion to said one face.
2. A piece as set forth in claim 1, wherein each of said frames has an outer face and a plurality of ribs on said outer face, the ribs on one of said frames bounding a planar outer face portion of said one frame member.
3. A piece as set forth in claim 1, wherein said top frame includes a wall member extending in said second plane away from said third plane and toward said body rim frame, said wall member being formed with a fourth groove open toward said body rim frame, said wall member having outer and inner elongated face portions bounding therebetween a cavity in said wall member, one of two transverse stiffening members separating said fourth groove from said cavity, and the other stiffening member dividing said cavity into two portions respectively adjacent said fourth groove and remote from said fourth groove, said stiffening members connecting said face portions to each other.
4. A piece as set forth in claim 3, said face portions abuttingly engaging respective edge portions of said body rim frame in the closed condition of said piece, said sealing means including asealing rib projecting from said body rim frame between said edge portions into said fourth groove, and a sealing member of resilient material received in said fourth groove in abutting engagement with said sealing rib.
5. A piece as set forth in claim 4, said sealing member having a cylindrically arcuate face directed toward said sealing rib, and the latter has a flat sealing face directed toward said sealing member.
6. A piece as set forth in claim 1, wherein said sealing means include wall means secured to said top frame and defining an elongated fourth groove open toward said body rim frame, said wall means having two 0pposite elongated faces bounding the open side of said fourth groove therebetween, an elongated, resilient sealing member received in said fourth groove, and a rib projecting into said fourth groove between said open side and said sealing member from each face bounding said open side, said ribs being dimensioned to retain said sealing member in said fourth groove.
7. A piece as set forth in claim 6, wherein said wall means constitute a cover rim frame of substantially H- shaped cross section, said cover rim frame and said top frame being formed with respective fifth grooves open toward each other, said piece further comprising a cover side panel, respective edge portions of said cover side panel being received in said fifth grooves, said fifth grooves being each bounded by two opposite faces of the corresponding frames, one of the faces bounding said fifth groove being formed with alternating projections and recesses.
8. A piece as set forth in claim 6, wherein said body rim frame includes a sealing rib directed toward said fourth groove and dimensioned for being received in said fourth groove, said sealing rib having a planar sealing face engaging said sealing member when said sealing rib is received in said fourth groove.