Patent application title: UNDERCOUNTER SAFETY CABINET
Frank Backhaus (Herford, DE)
IPC8 Class: AA47B8100FI
Class name: Supports: cabinet structure laboratory, dental, barber or medical
Publication date: 2010-10-28
Patent application number: 20100270896
A safety cabinet has a rigid cabinet body having an open front, a door
carried on the body and fittable against the open front to close same,
and a box-shaped liner fitting inside the body and independent therefrom.
1. A safety cabinet comprising:a rigid cabinet body having an open front;a
door carried on the body and fittable against the open front to close
same; anda box-shaped liner fitting inside the body and independent
2. The safety cabinet defined in claim 1 wherein the liner is self-supporting.
3. The safety cabinet defined in claim 1 wherein the liner is resistant to acids and bases.
4. The safety cabinet defined in claim 1 wherein the body has an interior subdivided into two compartments, one of the compartments being for hazardous substances and the other of the compartments being for acids and bases.
5. The safety cabinet defined in claim 4 wherein only the acid/base compartment has the liner.
6. The safety cabinet defined in claim 1 wherein the liner is formed by side, floor, and roof panels.
7. The safety cabinet defined in claim 6 wherein the panels engage and fit with one another.
8. The safety cabinet defined in claim 6 wherein the panels form a self-supporting structure independent of the cabinet body.
9. The safety cabinet defined in claim 6 wherein the panels are made of plastic.
10. The safety cabinet defined in claim 9 wherein the plastic is polyethylene or polypropylene.
11. The safety cabinet defined in claim 6, further comprisingan acid/base resistant door panel fixed to the door and fitting with the panels of the liner.
12. The safety cabinet defined in claim 11 wherein the door panel is made of generally the same material as the side, floor, and wall panels.
13. The safety cabinet defined in claim 1 wherein the door is secured to the cabinet body by a hinge that is outside the liner.
14. The safety cabinet defined in claim 1 further comprisinga guide rail inside the liner formed of generally the same material as the liner.
15. The safety cabinet defined in claim 1 wherein the guide rail is made of a polyamide.
16. Use of a self-supporting liner composed of a plurality of plastic panels to cover internal surfaces of a cabinet body of a safety cabinet.
FIELD OF THE INVENTION
The present invention relates to a safety cabinet. More particularly this invention concerns an undercounter safety cabinet with a hinged door.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
A typical such safety cabinet as described in DE 93 17 218 is installed underneath a laboratory table or bench. Not only hazardous substances such as combustible fluids (for example alcohol), but also acids and bases are frequently used in laboratories and must be stored in such a cabinet.
Acids and bases must be segregated from other hazardous substances mentioned above, in particularly flammable ones. At the same time acidic or basic materials present their own problems. This is because acid vapors, for example, (or also basic vapors) attack almost all materials from which such safety cabinets are made, namely metal plates, hinges, handles, guide rails, etc. Since there is an increasing demand nowadays to store not only hazardous substances but also acids and bases close to their location of use, suitable provision has to be made. This is because many laboratories are increasingly reducing the amount of chemical supplies that were stored elsewhere previously, and storing them directly in the laboratory, in order to keep transport distances and possible down times as low as possible.
OBJECTS OF THE INVENTION
It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide an improved undercounter safety cabinet.
Another object is the provision of such an improved undercounter safety cabinet that overcomes the above-given disadvantages, in particular that provides problem-free storage of all materials required in the laboratory, particularly acids and bases.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
A safety cabinet has according to the invention a rigid cabinet body having an open front, a door carried on the body and fittable against the open front to close same, and a box-shaped liner fitting inside the body and independent therefrom.
In other words, a cabinet of the described type has a liner that is independent of the cabinet body and that covers the interior of the cabinet body in whole or in part. The liner according to the invention is therefore designed to be independent of the cabinet body. This means, within the scope of the invention, that the liner is made to be separate from the cabinet body and/or forms its own three-dimensional body separate from the cabinet body. In this way, an existing cabinet body can be equipped with the liner, the cabinet can be retrofitted with the liner, and the liner can be replaced. The connection of the liner with the cabinet body can be structured to be permanent or also releasable. Here, the invention proposes special attachment means that are usually structured to be resistant to acids, bases, etc., for example. So-called plastic nails, for example, have proven to be advantageous as attachment means. This is because on the one hand, the liner can be secured with regard to the cabinet body, using the plastic nails, and on the other hand, it can be fixed in place in its desired position relative to the cabinet body.
As a rule, the liner and its attachment means are made to be resistant to acids, bases, etc. In this connection, it has particularly proven itself if the liner is configured to be completely or partially self-supporting. This means that the liner makes do without any special support frame, and is in fact able to form a housing, in other words a closed three-dimensional body, essentially without the cabinet body. To state it differently, support functions of the liner are assumed by the liner itself. All the panels consequently serve essentially as shells, and absorb forces that are introduced, in their entirety.
In this connection, it has particularly proven itself if the liner is made from plastic, for example a thermoplastic synthetic resin. Examples of suitable plastics are polyethylene or also polypropylene. For example, it is known that acid-resistant containers and pipes as well as films can be produced from polyethylene (PE), for example. Polypropylene (PP) is also suitable for this, and is used for the production of battery cases, for example. In any event, such thermoplastic synthetic resins in general, and polyethylene, polypropylene, but also polyamide (PA) are specifically characterized by their special suitability for serving as the material for the liner of the cabinet body, which is used according to the invention and is preferably self-supporting.
In this connection, it has additionally proven to be particularly advantageous if the cabinet body is configured to be divided into at least two compartments. In this way, the invention takes into consideration the fact that hazardous substances and acids as well as bases, etc. are not allowed to be stored together, but only separately. Consequently, the cabinet body according to the invention advantageously has a hazardous substance compartment and an acid/base compartment. The hazardous substance compartment serves to keep on hand hazardous substances such as alcohol that are flammable, while the acid/base compartment accommodates acids, bases, or comparable fluids.
Within the scope of the invention, the design is such that only the acid/base compartment is equipped with the liner described. As a result, the cabinet can be produced in a particularly cost-advantageous manner. This is because the liner is only used in the region of the cabinet body that is exposed to acid vapors and basic vapors, and consequently to increased corrosive wear. In this connection, the invention takes the circumstance into account that such safety cabinets are generally configured as steel cabinets, or also as wooden cabinets with a plastic coating, for example. In any event, the plastic liner ensures that the acid/base compartment of the cabinet body, in particular, is protected, and this necessarily relates to acid/basic vapors that are formed.
In order to implement this in detail, it has proven itself if the liner is configured in multiple parts. In this connection, it is possible, for example, to work with a floor panel and a roof panel, as well as multiple side wall panels. Of course, individual ones of the aforementioned panels can also be combined. This can be done in such a manner that the floor panel and one or more wall panels, for example, are designed in one piece. Such embodiments are fundamentally known, and reference is made to DE 1 920 640 U1, as an example. However, this involves a plastic box for the interior construction of delivery trucks, which means that a completely different technology is being described.
In order to be able to produce the desired and preferably implemented self-supporting structure of the liner, it has proven itself if individual panels are fixed in place relative to one another, at least in part. Alternatively or in addition, the panels can also be placed inside the cabinet body in engagement with one another. In this connection, the cabinet body that encloses the liner additionally ensures that the liner is held. One way or the other, the individual panels advantageously form a self-supporting box, independent of the cabinet body, in other words a box that is open toward the door, which box forms a housing together with the door. The panels can consequently be retrofitted into an existing cabinet body, for example. Of course, it is easily possible to provide the liner for new equipment, and this is covered by the invention. In this connection, any gaps that remain between the individual panels are sealed (caulked), if necessary, after the liner has been affixed in the cabinet body.
Apart from the interior of the cabinet body or of the acid/base compartment, the door hinged on the cabinet body carries a panel that is fixed to the door. This door panel can be glued to the door, or can be connected with it adhesively in some other way, or connected in a different manner. This is fundamentally true also for the other panels of the liner, which can also be adhesively connected with the cabinet body. According to a particularly preferred embodiment, however, the individual panels are connected with the cabinet body using the special attachment means made of plastic, particularly by means of plastic nails that are releasable.
As a result, the design can be such, overall, that any door hinge or other functional elements is outside the box formed by the floor panel, the roof panel, the wall panels, and the door panel. This means that the housing for the acids, bases, etc., formed by the panels essentially forms an inner and almost completely sealed shell in the safety cabinet or in the acid/base compartment. The cabinet body and any functional elements of the cabinet body, such as hinges, locks, latches, etc., are situated outside this shell. As a result, these functional elements and the individual parts of the cabinet body are segregated from acid vapors or also basic vapors that necessarily occur. This is because according to the invention, the liner is provided at these locations.
Since the individual panels of the liner are connected with one another completely or almost completely without gaps, or any remaining gaps are sealed with a plastic that is also resistant to acids/bases, it is ensured that the acid vapors or also basic vapors that necessarily form in the interior cannot penetrate all the way to the cabinet body and/or its functional elements. This is because the safety cabinet according to the invention according to the invention generally has an exhaust opening and stands in connection with an exhaust unit that is present in the laboratory, in any event. This means that the vapors in question are constantly drawn off.
Finally, it has proven itself if any installed elements inside the acid/base compartment or on the inside of the liner are also made of a resistant material. These installed elements can be, without restriction, a guide rail for a drawer. This guide rail, like the panels, is advantageously made from polypropylene or polyethylene or a comparable thermoplastic synthetic resin. As a result, the desired resistance to acids/bases is achieved. Attachment parts made of polyamide, for example, can be used to attach the guide rail. Usually, the rollers required for drawers are also produced from this material.
This drawer will advantageously be made of a thermoplastic synthetic resin that is resistant to acids/bases or the like. This means that all installed parts or also movable parts inside the shell formed by the liner are advantageously also produced from a resistant material, for example a thermoplastic synthetic resin. In this connection, the self-supporting shell formed from the individual panels, in combination with the door panel, forms an almost completely sealed space, i.e. the housing, which only has a (small) gap between the door panel and the remainder of the shell. In this connection, the housing is formed by the floor panel, the roof panel, as well as the wall panels, in combination with the door panel.
The end result is a cabinet that is particularly suitable as an undercounter safety cabinet. In fact, this undercounter safety cabinet can easily be placed underneath a laboratory table, and serves to accommodate practically all hazardous substances that are needed in a laboratory, as well as acids/bases. For this purpose, the cabinet according to the invention is divided into at least two compartments, namely into the hazardous substance compartment and the acid/base compartment.
Within the scope of the invention, only the acid/base compartment has a liner. This liner forms an almost sealed shell (housing) for the acids/bases kept on hand in its interior. Any functional elements of the cabinet body, as well as the cabinet body as such, are situated outside of this shell, in other words cannot (any longer) be attacked by vapors that occur in the interior. Completely aside from this, of course, such vapors are continuously removed from the interior by means of an exhaust system.
In the end result, the period of usefulness and the lifetime of the cabinet configured according to the invention are clearly increased as compared with previous embodiments. This can essentially be attributed to the fact that vapors that are formed in the interior impact practically exclusively on the liner made of the plastic material that is resistant to them. Furthermore, any additional installed parts or additional elements are also produced from resistant materials or equipped with a covering made of such a resistant material. As a result, a long period of usefulness and a long lifetime of a cabinet modified in this manner are achieved, together with a simple and cost-advantageous structure. This can be seen as being the essential advantage.
The use of a liner composed of multiple plastic panels and that is at least partially self-supporting, is also an object of the invention. This liner is used to completely or partially cover the interior of a cabinet body. The cabinet body itself is an integral part of the cabinet in question, particularly the safety cabinet. For this purpose, the cabinet body is equipped with at least one door hinged on the cabinet body. Furthermore, the cabinet, particularly the safety cabinet, has at least one such cabinet body. It is particularly advantageous if the safety cabinet is an undercounter safety cabinet.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING
The above and other objects, features, and advantages will become more readily apparent from the following description, reference being made to the accompanying drawing whose sole FIGURE is a partly exploded perspective view of the cabinet according to the invention.
As seen in the drawing, an exhaust hood 1 is provided above a laboratory table 2. An undercounter cabinet 3 configured as an undercounter safety cabinet 3 is provided underneath the table 2. The undercounter safety cabinet 3 is composed, in its fundamental structure, of a cabinet body 4 as well as two doors 5 secured by vertical-axis hinges 12 onto the cabinet body 4. The doors 5 here are pivotal and each have a handle 11. The body 4 is rigid and basically parallepipedal with planar and rectangular side walls, a planar back wall extending vertically between rear edges of the vertical side walls, and planar top and bottom walls extending horizontally between upper and lower edges of the side walls. The walls together form a forwardly open box that is internally divided by a vertical partition to form two forwardly open compartments 4a and 4b each having a respective one of the doors 5. Here the compartment 4a is reserved for miscellaneous hazard substances and the compartment 4b for acids and bases.
The cabinet body 4 is equipped with a liner 6 that covers the interior of the cabinet body 4 completely or partially, and is designed independent of the cabinet body 4. Thus according to the invention the liner 6 forms a three-dimensional structure that is independent of the cabinet body 4, which structure is self-supporting and usable whether inside the body 4 or not. Here only the acid/base compartment 4b is equipped with the liner 6.
The liner 6 is comprised of several parts, namely a planar bottom panel 6a, a planar roof panel 6b, as well as three planar wall panels 6c. The individual panels 6a, 6b, 6c can be partially fixed in place on one another, and, taken together, form a self-supporting shell 6a, 6b, 6c, in other words a box that is open toward the door 5. Here the individual panels 6a, 6b, 6c engage one another. Any gaps that remain between them are sealed. A port 15 in the back panel 6c aligns with an unillustrated exhaust-fan vent of the cabinet.
The panels 6a, 6b, 6c are releasably connected with the cabinet body 4. To this end each panel 6a, 6b, or 6c can be adhesively secured to the cabinet body 4. In general, however, one will use attachment means or fasteners made of plastic in order to hold the individual panels 6a, 6b, 6c in a desired position relative to the cabinet body 4. These attachment means made of plastic are, without restriction, plastic nails such as partially shown at 13 that are provided with a head and a resilient transversely compressible split shaft. Using this resilient shaft, the plastic nail or stud can be releasably anchored in a bore in the cabinet body 4 and consequently ensures fixation of the individual panels 6a, 6b, 6c relative to the cabinet body 4, which fixation is both releasable and precise in terms of position. This type of fastening is not compulsory.
In any event, the individual panels 6a, 6b, 6c form a self-supporting shell or box designed to be independent of the cabinet body 4. The individual panels 6a, 6b, 6c are made of plastic, particularly of a thermoplastic synthetic resin such as polyethylene or polypropylene.
The liner 6 also includes a door panel 6d that is fixed to the door 5 on its inside. All the panels 6a, 6b, 6c, 6d together form a practically sealed space, the resultant closed housing accommodates supplies of acids and/or bases in its interior. In this connection, the individual panels 6a, 6b, 6c, 6d fit together without any gaps. If any gaps do remain, they are also sealed with plastic.
The individual panels 6a, 6b, 6c, 6d form the liner 6 that is almost completely sealed, and merely has a slight gap at the edge of the door panel 6d. A lock for the pivotal door 5, the handle 11 for the door 5, the hinges 12 for the door 5, etc., are outside this liner 6. In this manner, these functional elements are not attacked by any acid/basic vapors that have formed inside the liner 6 formed by the panels 6a, 6b, 6c, 6d. As a result, the cabinet shown has a long service life and excellent functionality, while still being manufactured at low cost.
Any further inner parts inside the liner 6 are also of a thermoplastic material that is relatively unaffected by acids and bases, in the present case once again plastic. These elements can include one or more guide rails 7 and 7' that are made of polyethylene or polypropylene. A drawer 14 made of a thermoplastic synthetic resin can be guided along the guide rails 7, 7'. Screws whose heads are covered with plastic caps also made of a thermoplastic synthetic resin, in order not to offer any attack surface to the acid vapors, can serve to secure the guide rails 7, 7' to the cabinet body 2. Each rail 7, 7' is made of two parts, namely a roller rail 7 and a slide rail 7'. Rollers that are not shown are guided on the roller rail 7, to guide the drawer 14. The rail 7' provides for positioning of the drawer 14.
The individual panels 6a, 6b, 6c, 6d can be connected with the cabinet body 4 or the door 5 as a whole or only in part. This is because slots 8 are formed or provided that guide and accommodate the other panels 6a, 6b, 6c, 6d. In the example shown, the side panels 6c form the slots 8 in combination with the cabinet body 4, which serve, in the present case, to hold the roof panel 6b and the floor panel 6a, slidingly accommodating is outer edges thereof.
In the illustrated embodiment, the individual panels 6a, 6b, 6c engage one another inside the cabinet body 4. The door panel 6d, in contrast, is connected with the door 5 and, by its nature, cannot permanently engage the other liner panels 6a, 6b, 6c in the manner described. The side wall panels 6c are provided with folded-out edge tabs 9 at the opening of the cabinet body 4 that is closed by the door 5. Lateral projections 10 on the floor panel 6a and on the roof panel 6b fit with these folded edge tabs 9 of the two lateral wall panels 6c.
In the installed state, the folded edge tabs 9 of the two lateral wall panels 6c essentially serve as stops for the floor panel 6a and the roof panel 6b. This is because if the lateral wall panels 6c and the back wall panel 6c have previously been installed, the two panels 6a, 6b can only be introduced into the cabinet body 4 until their lateral projections 10 lie against the folded edge tabs 9. In this manner, both the floor panel 6a and the ceiling panel 6b project outward beyond the front edge of the side panels 6c formed by the folded edge tabs 9. This projection is defined by the width of the lateral projections 10 in the insertion direction, and ensures that both the floor panel 6a and the ceiling panel 6b extend below and above the door panel 6d when the door 5 is closed.
Patent applications by Frank Backhaus, Herford DE
Patent applications in class LABORATORY, DENTAL, BARBER OR MEDICAL
Patent applications in all subclasses LABORATORY, DENTAL, BARBER OR MEDICAL