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1. WO2006112904 - PANNEAU EN DEUX PARTIES (RIDELLE +PARTIE DE PLANCHER) POUR CAISSON DE VEHICULE

Note: Texte fondé sur des processus automatiques de reconnaissance optique de caractères. Seule la version PDF a une valeur juridique

[ EN ]

What is claimed is :

1. A vehicle box assembly having a large horizontal floor (211) , and right and left upright side panels (212) joined to and projecting upwardly adjacent opposite
lengthwise-extending side edges of the floor, characterized in that the floor (211) and the side panels (212) are, in their entirety, defined by two similar L-shaped panel members (212R, 215L) each being of a one-piece monolithic construction and defining a floor panel section (216) and a side panel section

(217) which extend in generally perpendicular relationship to one another, each of the L-shaped panel members (215R, 215L) being formed by deforming a single piece of thin metal sheet, and the floor panel sections (216) of the two L-shaped panel members (215R, 215L) having lengthwise extending free edge portions (224) which are directly joined together in the lengthwise extent of the floor.

2. A box assembly according to Claim 1, wherein each of the two L-shaped panel members (215R, 215L) is a one-piece roll-formed panel.

3. A box assembly according to Claim 1 or Claim 2, wherein the two L-shaped panel members (215R, 215L) are substantially identical roll-formed panels.

4. A box assembly according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the free edge portions define edge flanges (224) which overlap and are fixedly joined.

5. A box assembly according to Claim 4, wherein the edge flanges (224) extend substantially along the longitudinal centerline of the floor.

6. A box assembly according to Claim 4 or Claim 5, wherein the edge flanges (224) are down-turned and sidewardly abut .

7. A box assembly according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the two L-shaped panel members (215R, 215L) are roll-formed from thin metal sheet, and a wheel well opening (228) is formed through each L-shaped panel member intermediate the ends thereof, said wheel well opening (228) being spaced inwardly from lengthwise extending edges of the L-shaped panel member.

8. A box assembly according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein each L-shaped panel member (215R, 215L) has a roll-formed channel-shaped edge rail (231) extending
lengthwise along the other lengthwise-extending edge thereof, said edge rail (231) defining an upper extremity of the side panel (212) when the L-shaped panel members are assembled to define the vehicle box assembly.

9. A box assembly according to Claim 8, wherein the floor panel section (216) of each L-shaped panel member (215R, 215L) has a transversely protruding reinforcing rib (221) roll-formed therein and extending lengthwise thereof, and wherein the side panel section (217) of each L-shaped panel member has a generally horizontal shelf (234) roll-formed therein and extending lengthwise thereof, said shelf being disposed closely adjacent but positioned downwardly from said edge rail (231) .

10. A box assembly according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the two L-shaped panel members (215R, 215L) are substantially mirror images of one another.

11. A process for forming an upwardly-opening vehicle box assembly having a generally horizontal floor, and right and left inner side walls fixed to and projecting upwardly adjacent opposite side edges of said floor, characterized by: supplying a thin but wide and substantially continuous metal sheet (241) into and through a rolling mill to
progressively deform the flat sheet into a three-dimensional profile so that the substantially continuous deformed sheet exiting the rolling mill has first and second sheet portions (216, 217) disposed in adjacent side-by-side relationship with said first sheet portion (216) having a generally flat edge part (224) extending lengthwise along one edge of said sheet (241) and at least one transversely projecting reinforcing channel (226) extending lengthwise in inwardly spaced
relationship from said edge part (224) , said second sheet portion (217) extending lengthwise along the other edge of the sheet ;
transversely severing the deformed continuous sheet (241) after exiting the rolling mill to define a series of discrete but generally flat blanks (215) of determined length each having said first and second sheet portions (216, 217) extending lengthwise thereof in side-by-side relation;
forming a wheel-well opening (228) through said blank (215) with said opening extending sidewardly into both of said first and second sheet portions (216, 217) , but spaced inwardly from the lengthwise extending edges of the blank;
transversely bending said blank (215) about a lengthwise extending region defined between said first and second sheet portions (216, 217) so that said first and second sheet portions (216, 217) project in substantially perpendicular relationship to one another so as to define an integrated/ monolithic, one-piece side/floor panel member (215R, 215L) which is generally L-shaped in cross-section,- providing first and second said L-shaped side/floor panel members (215R, 215L) for respectively defining right and left sides of the box assembly;
positioning the first and second L-shaped side/floor panel members (215R, 215L) in closely adjacent side-by-side relationship wherein the first sheet portions (216) are generally coplanar and the edge parts (224) thereof overlap, and wherein the second sheet portions (217) are disposed outermost in opposed and generally facing relationship; and then
joining the first and second L-shaped side/floor panel members (215R, 215L) in fixed relationship to one another so that the first sheet portions (216) as positioned adjacent one another define the floor (211) and the second sheet portions (216) define the opposite side walls (212) of the box
assembly.

12. A process according to Claim 11, wherein the step of joining the first and second L-shaped side/floor panel members (215R, 215L) in fixed relationship to one another includes fixedly joining the overlapping edge parts (224) together.

13. A process according to Claim 12, including shaping the edge part (224) of each said panel member throughout the length thereof so as to form an edge flange (224) which protrudes transversely from the respective first sheet portion

(216) in an opposite direction from said side wall (212) .

14. A process according to Claim 13, wherein the first side portions (216) of the first and second L-shaped panel members (215R, 215L) are substantially identical and the edge flanges (224) abut and extend generally along the longitudinal centerline of the floor (211) .

15. A process according to any one of Claims 11-14, wherein the first and second L-shaped side/floor panel members

(215R, 215L) , prior to forming of the wheel well openings (228) therein, are substantially identical first and second said blanks (215) .

16. A process according to any one of Claims 11-15, including the step of forming the wheel well openings (228) in first and second said blanks (215) at locations which are offset relative to a transverse centerline of the respective blank to respectively define right and left side blanks.

17. A process according to any one of Claims 11-16, including providing first and second distinct wheel well housings (229) which are separate from the L-shaped panel members, positioning said first and second wheel well housings

(228) adjacent the wheel well openings (228) in the respective first and second L-shaped panel members (215R, 215L) , and then fixedly securing the respective wheel well housing (228) to the respective L-shaped panel member (215R, 215L) .

18. A process according to any one of Claims 11-17, wherein the blanks (215) exiting the rolling mill are
identical;
supplying first ones of said blanks (215) to a first forming press (251R) to define said wheel well opening (228) therein at a location which is displaced from the transverse centerline of the blank to define right-side blanks;
supplying other ones of the identical blanks (215) to a second forming press (251L) to define said wheel well openings (228) therein at a location which is displaced from the transverse centerline of the blank to define left-side blanks which, relative to the location of the wheel well openings, are substantially mirror images of the right-side blanks; and then longitudinally bending each of the first and second blanks along a longitudinally extending intermediate region thereof to respectively define right-side and left-side
L-shaped floor/side panel members (215R, 215L) .

19. A process according to any one of Claims 11-18, including forming a channel-shaped rail (231) along the other edge of said sheet (241) as it passes through the rolling mill, said channel-shaped rail extending along the free edge of the second sheet portion (216) so as to define an upper edge of said side wall (212) .

20. A process according to any one of Claims 11-19 including forming a transversely protruding shelf structure (233) in said second sheet portion (217) throughout the length thereof during passage of the sheet (241) through the rolling mill, said shelf structure (233) being disposed adjacent one side of said wheel well opening (228) when subsequently formed in the blank.