The present invention relates to a plastic pallet.
Plastic pallets have long been manufactured and used instead
of wooden pallets, by being more practical and reusable.
Currently used plastic pallets are produced using a conventional
injection molding process, and, when finished, have solid sections, and twelve joints
in the injected plastic material which invariably result in break points and weakening
of the pallet.
Given the above characteristics, known pallets have the
drawbacks of being heavy, and of having weak points corresponding to said break
It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide
a plastic pallet designed to solve the problems of the known art in a straightforward,
According to the present invention, there is provided an
injection-molded plastic pallet, characterized by comprising hollow sections and
at most four joints in the injected plastic material.
According to the present invention, there is also provided
an injection molding method for producing plastic pallets, characterized by comprising
a step of injecting plastic material through a single injection inlet located in
the centre of a mold of the pallet; and a subsequent step of injecting gas through
two injection inlets located close to and on opposite sides of said injection inlet
of the plastic material.
A number of non-limiting embodiments of the invention will
be described by way of example with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:
- Figure 1 shows a top view in perspective of a first embodiment of the pallet
according to the present invention;
- Figure 2 shows a top view in perspective of a second embodiment of the pallet
according to the present invention.
Number 1 in Figure 1 indicates as a whole a pallet in accordance
with the present invention.
Pallet 1 comprises a rectangular lattice top surface 2,
in turn comprising an inner portion 3 with larger openings, and a peripheral portion
4 with smaller openings and surrounding inner portion 3.
Pallet 1 comprises nine parallelepiped-shaped spacer members
5 formed in one piece with surface 2 and located respectively at the corners 2a
and centre 2b of surface 2, and at the mid-point 2c of each of the four sides 6
of peripheral portion 4.
Pallet 1 comprises three supporting surfaces 7, only one
of which is shown in Figure 1, and each of which extends from the respective bottom
ends of three spacer members 5, with which it is formed in one piece. More specifically,
supporting surfaces 7 comprise two outer supporting surfaces extending along the
two long sides 6, and one inner supporting surface extending parallel to the other
two and through centre 2b.
Substantially rectangular lateral openings 8 are thus formed,
each of which is defined laterally by two adjacent spacer members 5, is defined
at the top by a portion of a respective long side 6, and is defined at the bottom
by a portion of a respective supporting surface 7.
Number 9 in Figure 2 indicates as a whole a further pallet
in accordance with the present invention.
Any identical parts of pallets 9 and 1 are indicated using
the same reference numbers with no further description.
Pallet 9 comprises six arc-shaped members 10 formed in
one piece with the rest of pallet 9, and each extending between a portion of a respective
long side 6 and two adjacent spacer members 5. Substantially segmental lateral openings
11 are thus formed, each defined by a respective arc-shaped member 10 and by a portion
of a respective supporting surface 7.
Pallets 1 and 9 described above are produced by an injection
molding method comprising a first injection step, in which the plastic material
is injected by an injector 12 through a single injection inlet A formed at the centre
of spacer member 5 located at centre 2b of top surface 2; and a second injection
step, in which gas is injected by two injectors 13 through two respective inlets
B formed on opposite sides of inlet A and at the same spacer member 5.
A plastic pallet is thus formed comprising hollow sections
and with only four joints in the material, thus making the pallet lighter and stronger
than those of the known art.
Additional strength is also provided by arc-shaped members
10 of pallet 9.