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1. (WO2019030782) TRANSPORTABLE CONTAINER
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TRANSPORTABLE CONTAINER

The present invention relates to a transportable container.

As is known, in the varied category of commercially available transportable containers it is possible to include trunks, cases, suitcases, trolleys and the like, which differ in shape, dimensions, materials, functionalities as well as in intended use, type of products that can be transported and/or reference customers.

In some cases, the very type of products to be transported forces the adoption of specific materials and appropriate solutions and provisions, so that the containers designed to accommodate them can ensure optimum transport.

Among the products requiring great care certainly there are ammunitions, particularly for rifles and guns.

As is known, these ammunitions are constituted by cartridges which comprise a cylindrical case, which comprises the gunpowder, and, at an open end, the actual bullet, which typically is shaped like an ogive.

According to known manufacturing methods, these cartridges are carried in ammunition carrying containers constituted by rigid boxes shaped like a parallelepiped, made of a polymeric or in any case impact-resistant material.

In these boxes, each cartridge is inserted longitudinally in a respective complementarily shaped seat provided in the internal compartment. Thus the seat prevents any transverse movement of the cartridge.

Furthermore, by virtue of an appropriate sizing when the box is closed the lid moves proximate to the end of the cartridges that protrudes from the seats, preventing their outward sliding.

By virtue of this configuration, during transport each cartridge is accommodated stably in the respective seat.

Stable accommodation (with consequent impossibility of movement) and the adoption of strong materials evidently meet the requirement of

avoiding the danger of impacts or stresses on the cartridges, which might cause damage or, worse still, extremely dangerous explosions.

However, this constructive solution is not free from drawbacks.

To allow the lid to move proximate to the free end of the cartridges, when the box is closed, its sizing is studied as a function of the length of the specific cartridge to be transported. Therefore, the container turns out to be not versatile at all.

It is in fact impossible to use the same box for different cartridge lengths, since any variation would make the container inadequate.

With cartridges longer than the design cartridge, it would in fact not be possible to close the container. On the other hand, although two or three shorter cartridges might actually be inserted one over the other in the same seat, the resulting configuration would be absolutely to be avoided, since any pressure applied to the cartridge that protrudes upward from the respective seat might cause the triggering and explosion of the underlying one.

The lack of versatility is by now a highly unwelcome limitation, since the need to purchase and manage as many containers as there are different cartridge lengths to be handled inevitably entails a high cost, in addition to logistic difficulties which are not easy to solve. More simply, the need is felt to be able to use the same container for different munition dimensions or formats.

Finally, it should be noted that problems similar to the ones described above are observed also in containers designed for the transport of other types of objects having an axially symmetrical shape, which also require maximum care in transport, such as for example ampoules and test tubes containing medicinal substances or substances of another kind.

The aim of the present invention is to solve the problems described above, providing a transportable container for firearm cartridges, as well as for other objects having an axially symmetrical shape, which ensures

versatility in use.

Within this aim, an object of the invention is to provide a transportable container that ensures stable accommodation for different formats of firearm cartridges, as well as of other objects having an axially symmetrical shape.

Another object of the invention is to provide a transportable container that ensures high reliability in operation.

Another object of the invention is to propose a transportable container that adopts a technical and structural architecture that is alternative to those of containers of the known type.

Another object of the invention is to provide a transportable container that can be obtained easily starting from commonly commercially available elements and materials.

Another object of the invention is to provide a transportable container that has modest costs and is safe in application.

This aim and these and other objects which will become better apparent hereinafter are achieved by a container according to claim 1.

Further characteristics and advantages of the invention will become better apparent from the description of a preferred but not exclusive embodiment of the transportable container according to the invention, illustrated by way of nonlimiting example in the accompanying drawings, wherein:

Figure 1 is a top view of the container according to the invention in the first configuration, with two trays arranged with the same orientation;

Figure 2 is a sectional view of Figure 1, taken along an oblique plane, which is perpendicular to the bottom surface, and showing the method of accommodation of the objects having an axially symmetrical shape;

Figure 3 is a top view of the container of Figure 1 in the first configuration, with the two trays arranged with a different orientation;

Figure 4 is a sectional view of Figure 3, taken along an oblique plane, which is perpendicular to the bottom surface, showing the method of accommodation of the objects having an axially symmetrical shape;

Figure 5 is a perspective view of one of the trays of Figure 1 ;

Figure 6 is a top view of the tray of Figure 5.

With particular reference to the figures, the reference numeral 1 generally designates a transportable container, for objects A having a substantially axially symmetrical shape such as firearm cartridges, ampoules, test tubes, and the like.

It is specified in this regard that the container 1 can be of any type, for example a suitcase, a trunk, a case, a trolley, or others.

It should also be specified that in the preferred (but not exclusive) application the objects A are indeed firearm cartridges (as also in the accompanying figures) or also ampoules or test tubes for medicines or other substances. More generically, the particularities of the invention, which will be described hereinafter, are enhanced when the container 1 is used to transport any object A requiring particular care during transport, since they ensure its complete immobilization and therefore stable and impact-free accommodation. Likewise, it should be noted nonetheless that the possibility to resort to the container 1 also for objects A of another type is not excluded, without thereby abandoning the protective scope claimed herein.

The container 1 comprises a pair of half-shells 2, which can move between a first configuration and at least one second configuration (the one in which the container 1 is shown in Figures 1 to 4).

In the first configuration, the half-shells 2 are arranged so as to close an internal compartment 3 substantially shaped like a parallelepiped, while in the second configuration the half-shells 2 allow free access to the compartment 3.

Typically (but not exclusively), the transition from the first configuration to the second configuration and vice versa is obtained by

rotation of one half-shell 2 (the upper one, which acts as a lid) with respect to the other one. Usually one of the half-shells 2 is in fact articulated to the other one by virtue of one or more hinges 4 which are mounted at the rear, on the opposite side with respect to a handle 5 and to locks 6.

The internal compartment 3 shaped substantially like a parallelepiped is therefore delimited in the first configuration by a bottom surface 7, an upper surface 8 and four side walls 9a, 9b, 9c, 9d, typically (but not exclusively) formed by the corresponding outer walls of the half-shells 2. In the preferred embodiment, and in the accompanying figures, the bottom surface 7 in fact coincides with the bottom of the first half-shell 2, the upper surface 8 coincides with the bottom of the second half-shell 2, while each side wall 9a, 9b, 9c, 9d is composed of the respective external side walls of the half-shells 2, which in the closed configuration are evidently coplanar and contiguous.

According to the invention, the container 1 comprises at least two trays 10 which can be accommodated detachably in the compartment 3 at a different distance from the bottom surface 7: the two (or more) trays 10 are therefore located at two different heights with respect to the direction that is perpendicular to the bottom surface 7.

Furthermore, at least one of the trays (and preferably all of them) can be accommodated detachably in the compartment 3 according to one of two possible orientations, in which one selectively of the mutually opposite faces 10a, 10b of the respective tray 10 faces in a parallel arrangement the bottom surface 7 (while the other one obviously faces the upper surface 8). In practice, therefore, the second orientation is obtained by overturning the tray 10 arranged in the first orientation and vice versa.

In the accompanying figures, while one of the two trays 10 (the lower one) always faces with the same face 10a the bottom surface 7 (is always arranged in the first orientation), the other tray 10 (the upper one) faces with a first face 10a the bottom surface 7 in Figures 1 and 2 (it is arranged in the first orientation), while it faces the bottom surface 7 with the other face 10b in Figures 3 and 4 (and is therefore arranged in the second orientation).

As will become evident hereinafter, the particularities of the invention are also achieved by ensuring the possibility of accommodation according to the two different orientations to a single tray 10, but for the sake for greater simplicity and practicality the two (or more) trays 10 are identical and each can be accommodated in the compartment 3 in both orientations.

Each tray 10 is provided with a plurality of insertion seats 1 1 for respective objects A having a substantially axially symmetrical shape.

The seats 1 1 are arranged substantially identically in the trays 10 (i.e., the trays 10 substantially have the same distribution of seats 1 1) according to a plurality of equidistant rows and columns which are equidistant respectively according to a first constant spacing B and a second constant spacing C.

The spacings B, C are indicated for the sake of simplicity in reference only at some rows and columns, only in Figure 6, with respect to which it has been decided arbitrarily to consider the rows formed by seats 1 1 aligned horizontally and the columns formed by seats 1 1 aligned vertically: obviously, the opposite choice (vertical rows and horizontal columns) is to be understood as being within the protective scope claimed herein, being fully equivalent to the one described and illustrated herein to the person skilled in the art.

It should also be noted that by observing the same row or the same column the seats 1 1 are distributed uniformly but optionally some areas (chosen appropriately) are left without seats 1 1. In the example of the accompanying figures, the central region lacks seats 1 1 , and some seats 1 1 are "missing", with respect to an ideal regular distribution, proximate to the corners of the tray 10 and to its sides.

This can meet different requirements. For example, the central region can correspond to the injection point, if the tray 10 is obtained by molding, whereas proximate to the corners or sides of the tray 10 some seats 1 1 may be omitted because in such positions any accommodated objects A would interfere with elements that protrude from the surfaces 7, 8, arranged for various reasons along the half-shells 2.

The distance between the first row and the facing and proximate side wall 9a (the one closest to the first row) and/or the distance between the first column and the facing and proximate side wall 9d (the one closest to the first column) is different if measured in the first orientation or in the second orientation. These distances are instead identical if they are measured on different trays 10 arranged with the same orientation.

It is specified that the expressions "first row" and "first column" reference, in a fully intuitive manner, the first row from the top and the first column from the left, when viewing the container 1 from above (as in Figures 1 and 3). Obviously, the seats 11 which in each tray 10 belong to the first row or to the first column, in one of the two orientations defined earlier, become the seats 1 1 of the last row or of the last column when the tray 10 is overturned and arranged in the other orientation.

By virtue of this particular and innovative constructive choice, when both trays 10 are accommodated in the compartment 3 in the same orientation (as in Figures 1 and 2) it is possible to obtain the alignment between corresponding seats 1 1 of the various trays 10 (as can be seen in particular from Figure 1). In this manner, objects A of considerable length, for example close to the entire depth of the compartment 3, can be inserted in the aligned seats 1 1 of the various trays 10, being stably accommodated therein.

Vice versa, when the trays 10 are arranged with a different orientation in the compartment 3 it is possible to obtain an offset of the corresponding seats 1 1, which are no longer aligned.

This ensures the possibility to accommodate on multiple superimposed layers (one for each tray 10) shorter objects A, each of which is thus inserted only in one respective seat 1 1.

Moreover, and as can be clearly deduced from Figure 4, by virtue of the offset the cartridges (or other object A) accommodated in the seats 1 1 of the upper tray 10 rest on peripheral flaps of multiple underlying objects A, which offer stable support but without obtaining the dangerous condition of alignment among superimposed objects A, which might trigger an explosion in case of axial stress (when of course the objects A are cartridges or the like).

The intended aim is therefore achieved right now, since simply by overturning one of the trays 10 to move it from the first orientation to the second orientation or vice versa one obtains a different distribution of the seats 11, which are aligned or offset with respect to a direction that is perpendicular to the trays 10. This allows the accommodation of a smaller or larger number of objects A of different length, ensuring high versatility and practicality of use to the container 1 according to the invention.

It should be noted that by adopting appropriate solutions, and by choosing appropriate methods for coupling to the half-shells 2, it is possible to obtain the desired variation of the distance with respect to the side walls 9a, 9d (for the first row or the first column) in various manners, which are in any case within the protective scope claimed herein.

In a first practical embodiment of this particular functionality, which in any case does not limit the application of the invention, in each orientation each tray 10 rests at least with its edges 10c, lOe parallel to the rows against the respective side walls 9a, 9c of the compartment 3. Furthermore, the distance between the first row and the corresponding adjacent edge 10c, lOe is different with respect to the distance between the last row and the corresponding adjacent edge 10c, lOe.

In practice, therefore, if one observes that the tray 10 is almost completely crossed by seats 1 1, the specification illustrated above entails that the "upper margin" and the "lower margin" (without seats 1 1) have a different width (measured in a vertical direction).

It should also be noted that, due to the definitions provided above, the first and last row of each tray 10 are inverted by overturning the latter, but in any case the specification introduced above is valid.

More particularly, the distance between the first row and the corresponding adjacent edge 10c, lOe is different with respect to the distance between the last row and the corresponding adjacent edge 10c, lOe by a fraction of the first spacing B.

In a second practical embodiment of this particular functionality (which does not exhaust the possible manners which are in any case within the protective scope claimed herein), in each orientation each tray 10 is rested at least with its edges lOd, lOf parallel to the columns against the respective side walls 9b, 9d of the compartment 3. Furthermore, the distance between the first column and the corresponding adjacent edge lOd, lOf is different with respect to the distance between the last column and the corresponding adjacent edge lOd, lOf.

In a manner similar to what has been observed for the first embodiment, in this case the specification described above entails that the "right margin" and the "left margin" (without seats 1 1) have a different width (measured in a horizontal direction).

Once again, it should also be noted that due to the definitions provided above, the first and last column of each tray 10 are inverted by overturning the latter, but the specification introduced above is in any case valid.

More particularly, the distance between the first column and the corresponding adjacent edge lOd, lOf is different with respect to the distance between the last column and the corresponding adjacent edge lOd, 1 Of for a fraction of the second spacing C.

Indeed by virtue of this constructive choice, since the trays 10 rest on edges 10c, lOd, lOe, lOf which are mutually opposite, when the trays 10 are mounted with a different orientation the first rows and/or columns of each one of them are differently spaced from the respective adjacent edge 10c, lOd, 10e, lOf, achieving the desired offset for all the seats 11.

It is also useful to point out again that the protective scope claimed herein includes the possibility that the different distances relate both to the rows and to the columns, in a combination of the two specifications introduced above, which relate only to the rows or only to the columns. Likewise, the different distance between the first/last rows/columns and the respective edges lOd, 10c, lOd, lOe, lOf may in any case be any as a function of the specific requirements and of the different configurations that one wishes to obtain with the offset between the seats 1 1 of adjacent trays 10.

In one embodiment of considerable practical interest, the mentioned fractions of the first spacing B and/or of the second spacing C are chosen equal to 1/2 or 1/3.

It should be noted in this regard that by setting the distance between the first row or the first column and the corresponding adjacent edge 10c, lOd, lOe, lOf greater or smaller than the distance between the last column and the corresponding edge 10c, lOd, lOe, lOf by half of the first spacing B or of the second spacing C, when two trays 10 are accommodated with a different orientation the center of each seat 1 1 of the upper tray 10 exactly surmounts the central point of the segment that joins the centers of two seats 1 1 of the underlying tray 10, as in Figures 3 and 4. This condition turns out to be of particular interest, since by mounting the cartridges (the objects A) with the ogive downward, said ogive lays only with respective peripheral flaps on the underlying cartridges, while the center of the ogive is suspended in a void. This allows to minimize (or exclude) the risk of explosion.

In one embodiment of considerable practical interest, mentioned by way of nonlimiting illustration of the application of the invention, each seat 1 1 comprises an axially symmetrical through hole 12 provided in the respective tray 10.

More particularly, the hole 12 has a cylindrical or conical shape, chosen as a function of the type and shape of the axially symmetrical objects A to be accommodated in the compartment 3.

If for example the objects A are cartridges, the hole 12 has a cylindrical or conical shape that his chosen so as to correspond to the shape of the case of said cartridge, so as to be able to accommodate it and retain it effectively, preventing lateral movements thereof.

As can be deduced also from the figures, preferably almost all of the tray 10 is crossed by seats 1 1, so as to be able to increase as much as possible the capacity of the container 1 (the number of cartridges or other objects A that can be accommodated simultaneously).

In order to ensure the necessary strength and toughness, avoiding the danger of breakages or bendings, even in the case of a large number of seats 1 1, each tray 10 has an increased thickness around the seats 1 1 (and with respect to the external margins) for structural stiffening, as can be deduced also from Figures 2 and 4.

In order to obtain the same result, in addition or as an alternative to the increase in thickness, the possibility is also provided that each seat 1 1 comprises an axially symmetrical sleeve, which extends at right angles from at least one of the two faces 10a, 10b around each hole 12, indeed to structurally stiffen the respective tray 10.

In this solution, like each hole 12 each sleeve also has a cylindrical or conical shape, which is chosen as a function of the type and shape of the axially symmetrical objects A to be accommodated in the compartment 3.

Conveniently, each tray 10 comprises feet 13 (which are visible in Figure 5) for resting on the bottom surface 7 and/or on the underlying tray 10.

Usefully, each tray 10 also comprises, on the opposite side with

respect to the feet 13, guiding and resting posts 14 for facilitated accommodation in the compartment 3.

The posts 14, like the feet 13, also extend at right angles to the faces 10a, 1 Ob of the respective tray 10 and, like the latter ensure stable resting for the bottom surface 7 or the underlying tray 10, the former keep the adjacent trays 10 appropriately spaced, constituting in turn first of all a useful support and also performing a spacing function.

Even more particularly, at least some feet 13 are crossed longitudinally by a channel for the insertion of respective posts 14, which in this manner perform a further useful guiding function during the insertion of the corresponding tray 10 in the compartment 3.

In any case, the feet 13 and the posts 14 ensure compliance with the mutual distances between the trays 10 (and between the trays 10 and the surfaces 7, 8), although the use of shoulders or other solutions is not excluded in order to keep each tray 10 at the desired height.

The use of the transportable container according to the invention is described hereinafter in relation to the use of just two trays 10, while subsequently mention is made of the possibilities that can be obtained with a larger number of trays 10, which in any case can be deduced trivially, for a person skilled in the art, from the case of just two trays 10.

In the first closed configuration, the half-shells 2 delimit a compartment 3 (shaped like a parallelepiped) that is delimited by the surfaces 7, 8 and by the side walls 9a, 9b, 9c, 9d. The compartment 3 is further divided (into three compartments) by the two trays 10, which are extended parallel to the surfaces 7, 8 (preferably but not exclusively) for the entire transverse extension of the compartment 3.

Each tray 10 (or at least one) can be introduced and accommodated detachably in the compartment 3 according to one selectively of the two described orientations, in which one selectively of its two mutually opposite faces 10a, 10b faces in a parallel arrangement the bottom surface 7 (and the

other one faces the upper surface 8).

The feet 13 and/or the posts 14 ensure stable resting of the respective tray 10 on the bottom surface 7 and/or the underlying tray 10, further ensuring the keeping of the same mutual distances, regardless of the chosen orientation and of the order in which the trays 10 are introduced in the compartment 3.

If the two trays 10 are introduced with the same orientation, the seats 1 1 are aligned along the direction that is perpendicular to the bottom surface 7 and therefore it is possible to introduce the objects A along this direction, substantially along a significant portion of the depth of the compartment 3 and in any case affecting two or more adjacent seats 11.

It should be noted that preferably the upper surface 8 does not touch (in the closed configuration) the objects A, in order to avoid transmitting to them stresses in case of any bending or impacts, but sizing appropriately the half-shells 2 it is possible to make the upper surface 8 remains adequately close to the end of the objects A, so as to prevent their outward sliding. In any case, keeping the upper surface 8 in substantial contact with the objects A (in the closed configuration) is not excluded: in this case it is in fact possible to avoid the danger of the transmission of stresses by providing the upper surface 8 with an internal lining layer made of a material that has impact absorbing properties. On the opposite side, the objects A rest on the bottom surface 7 or are kept hanging from the trays 10. The seats 1 1 hinder any transverse movement and therefore the objects A are stably accommodated in the compartment 3.

By virtue of the particular geometric distribution of the seats 1 1 provided along each tray 10, by inserting the upper tray 10 with an orientation that is the opposite of the one of the underlying tray 10, the seats 1 1 are offset. In this manner it is possible to accommodate a larger number of objects A which are however shorter.

As already noted, all the seats 1 1 of the lower tray 10 in fact

accommodate a first group of objects A (equal in number to all of the objects A accommodated in the preceding case) which rest on the bottom surface 7 or are kept hanging, while all the seats 1 1 of the overlying tray 10 accommodate a corresponding number of objects A which rest on the former (without providing the dangerous alignment between objects A, as noted).

Again, obviously, the seats 11 hinder lateral movements, while the upper surface 8 and the overlying objects A prevent outward sliding.

To summarize, with the two trays 10 in the same orientation it is possible to accommodate a number n of cartridges or other objects A of length 1, while with the two trays 10 in a different orientation it is possible to accommodate a number nx2 (approximately) of cartridges or other objects A of length 1/2 (approximately).

With a larger number of trays 10, by choosing adequately the spacings B, C and the offset (by sizing appropriately the distance of the first/last rows/columns from the edges lOx, lOd, lOe, lOf) it is possible to further increase the number of objects A that can be accommodated, with offset trays 10, with respect to the condition of identical orientation (and alignment). Besides, when the trays 10 are three or more in the same container 1, it is possible to provide further interesting configurations, obtaining for example the possibility to accommodate simultaneously two or more different formats of cartridges or other objects A. This is in fact possible by accommodating two trays 10 in the same orientation (for "long" objects A) and a third tray 10 with a different orientation above or below the first two (for "short" objects A).

The possible combinations are in any case obviously infinite and can be adopted easily by the person skilled in the art without any inventive effort as a function of the specific requirements and are therefore in any case within the protective scope claimed herein.

It has thus been shown that the invention achieves the intended aim and objects, since by virtue of the adoption of two or more trays 10 which can be accommodated with a different orientation in the compartment 3 and with the particular distribution of seats 11 described extensively in the preceding pages, a transportable container 1 is obtained which is highly versatile and allows to accommodate firearm cartridges, as well as other objects A having an axially symmetrical shape, in different formats.

The invention thus conceived is susceptible of numerous modifications and variations, all of which are within the scope of the appended claims; all the details may further be replaced with other technically equivalent elements.

For example, the container 1 can be provided with gaskets or other sealing systems in order to prevent dust, water and other contaminants from penetrating the compartment and damaging the transported cartridges or other objects A.

In the exemplary embodiments shown, individual characteristics, given in relation to specific examples, may actually be replaced with other different characteristics that exist in other exemplary embodiments.

In practice, the materials used, as well as the dimensions, may be any according to the requirements and the state of the art. Preferably, in any case, the container 1 and the two half-shells 2 in particular are made of a high-strength polymeric material (or material of another kind), in order to ensure high toughness and adequate capacity to withstand stresses and impacts.

Where technical features mentioned in any claim are followed by reference signs, those reference signs have been included for the sole purpose of increasing the intelligibility of the claims and accordingly such reference signs do not have any limiting effect on the interpretation of each element identified by way of example by such reference signs.