US 9,809,385 B1
Modular chute system
John Peter Van Bogaert, Tucson, AZ (US)
Filed by John Peter Van Bogaert, Tucson, AZ (US)
Filed on Nov. 30, 2016, as Appl. No. 15/364,894.
Application 15/364,894 is a continuation in part of application No. 15/083,052, filed on Mar. 28, 2016, abandoned.
Application 15/083,052 is a continuation in part of application No. 14/487,683, filed on Sep. 16, 2014, granted, now 9,296,562, issued on Mar. 29, 2016.
Application 14/487,683 is a continuation in part of application No. 14/272,338, filed on May 7, 2014, abandoned.
Claims priority of provisional application 61/820,212, filed on May 7, 2013.
This patent is subject to a terminal disclaimer.
Int. Cl. B65G 11/02 (2006.01); B65G 11/18 (2006.01); B65G 11/08 (2006.01); B65G 11/16 (2006.01)
CPC B65G 11/083 (2013.01) [B65G 11/02 (2013.01); B65G 11/166 (2013.01); B65G 11/186 (2013.01); B65G 2207/48 (2013.01)] 20 Claims
OG exemplary drawing
 
1. A modular chute system (100) for providing convenient access to a chute inside cavity (114) of a chute channel (110) in the system (100) from a variety of locations to enhance serviceability, wherein the system (100) comprises the chute channel (110) formed from a plurality of hollow chute sections (115), wherein the chute channel (110) comprises:
a. an open chute top (111);
b. an open chute bottom (112);
c. the chute inside cavity (114) disposed between and fluidly joining the chute top (111) and the chute bottom (112); and
d. the plurality of hollow chute sections (115), each hollow chute section (115) formed from a plurality of rigid structural panels (120), each structural panel (120) comprising:
i. a panel interior surface (130);
ii. a panel exterior surface (131);
iii. a panel first edge (121);
iv. a panel second edge (122) opposite of the panel first edge (121);
v. a panel third edge (123) connecting the panel first edge (121) to the panel second edge (122), wherein the panel third edge (123) is disposed at an angle θ1 relative to the panel first edge (121); and
vi. a panel fourth edge (124) opposite of the panel third edge (123) and connecting the panel first edge (121) to the panel second edge (122), wherein the panel fourth edge (124) is disposed at an angle θ2 relative to the panel first edge (121);
wherein the panel first edge (121), the panel second edge (122), the panel third edge (123), and the panel fourth edge (124) are hereinafter collectively referred to as panel edges (125), wherein the panel edges (125) combine to form a panel outer periphery (126),
wherein an edge flange (140) is disposed on each panel edge (125) encompassing the entire panel outer periphery (126), wherein the edge flange (140) projects out and away from the panel exterior surface (131) at an angle θ3,
wherein the plurality of rigid structural panels (120) are connected by consecutively adjoining the edge flange (140) disposed on the panel fourth edge (124) of each structural panel (120) to the edge flange (140) disposed on the panel third edge (123) of another structural panel (120) at a flush butt joint connection (118), and adjoining the edge flange (140) disposed on the panel fourth edge (124) of a final structural panel (120) to the edge flange (140) disposed on the panel third edge (123) of an initial structural panel (120) at a flush butt joint connection (118), thereby forming each hollow chute section (115),
wherein the edge flange (140) disposed on the panel first edge (121) of each structural panel (120) and proximal to the chute top (111) collectively forms a chute top flange (116) of each hollow chute section (115), wherein the edge flange (140) disposed on the panel second edge (122) of each structural panel (120) and proximal to the chute bottom (112) collectively forms a chute bottom flange (117) of each hollow chute section (115),
wherein the plurality of hollow chute sections (115) are connected by consecutively adjoining the chute bottom flange (117) of each hollow chute section (115) to the chute top flange (116) of another hollow chute section (115) at a flush butt joint connection (118), thereby forming the chute channel (110), wherein every structural panel edge flange (140) that joins another structural panel edge flange (140) is a flush butt joint connection (118),
wherein such an arrangement of the chute channel (110) results in a plurality of flush butt joint connections, comprising both vertical flush butt joint connections and horizontal flush butt joint connections, disposed throughout the chute channel (110) at each structural panel edge flange (140) meeting with another structural panel edge flange (140),
whereupon removal of any single structural panel (120) from any hollow chute section (115) provides convenient access to the chute inside cavity (114), wherein the chute channel (110) is self-supporting and non-collapsing upon removal of any single structural panel (120).