US 3868799 A
A burial vault is of the type with a generally rectangular base panel upon which a cover is mounted to define a cavity. Distributed around the skirt periphery of the cover is one part of a latching mechanism to couple the cover to the base panel; similarly distributed around the perimeter of the base panel is the other part of the latching mechanism. Extending continuously between the cover skirt and the base panel perimeter is a seal that prohibits the passage of gases and liquids into the cavity while permitting the egress of gases and liquids from that cavity.
Beschreibung (OCR-Text kann Fehler enthalten)
Mar. 4, 1975 United States Patent [191 Hayward 3,208,188 9/1965 Fulton et a1. 3,253,312 5/1966 Klosner.............. 3,669,144 6/1972 Palmai e Auk mm no 6 mH .U H r mm Primary Examiner- Attorney,
 Filed: Apr. 18, 1974 Appl. No.: 461,911
 ABSTRACT A burial vault is of the type with a generally rectangular base panel upon which a cover is mounted to define a cavity. Distributed around the skirt periphery of the cover'is one part of a latching mechanism to couple the cover to the base panel; similarly distributed around the perimeter of the base panel is the other part of the latching mechanism. Extending continuously between the cover skirt and the base panel perimeter is a seal that prohibits the passage of gases and liquids into the cavity while permitting the egress of gases and liquids from that cavity.
6 Claims, 11 Drawing Figures 13%1 35 35 H2 2 51 5 Z h i 2 3ml 1 E22 n 7. 5 S u u s m m ll 0 T 3 u N m m 12 u U E n u N u n u 5 mA W M u .H h. H WW C mm m N w S u u e nr ell H Pa m .2 e m vu m m; rT r uo n .8 SBWDGJ m MD m mmy E93349 u 0 255 1.99999 NHHHHH U L0 29 4 WM E 1 776 2 U F 27579 D wJAA 1] 13550 2 l8 6 a 768 5 55 5 90.43018 [Ill 7-7- PATENIEDHAR 4197s sum 2 are) pad BURIAL VAULT The present invention relates to burial vaults. More particularly, it pertains to burial vaults of a selflocking type which may be fabricated in two pieces from lightweight inexpensive material.
For manyyears, it has been customary to place coffins within burial vaults. In some cases, this has been required by cemetary regulations. The construction of such vaults has included the use of a variety of materials, including heavy wood, concrete, steel and, more recently, synthetics such as fibreglass or plastic. At least usually, vaults of this nature have been comparatively expensive.
In an attempt to reduce costs and/or weight, it has been previously suggested to form the vaults of a onepiece cover which mates with a base panel to form the overall vault. As with some of the heavier constructions in the earlier years, one ever-present aim seems to have been the inclusion of a provision for tightly sealing the cover to the base panel so as to prohibit the ingress of fluid such as ground water. At the same time, however, such arrangements prohibit the venting from the vault of decomposition gases. At least in some cases, this may lead to rupture of the vault structure or at least the seal, obviating the principal purpose for which the vault is utilized in the first place.
It is a general object of the present invention to provide a new and improved burial vault which overcomes difficulties or undue expense encountered with burial vaults such as those discussed above.
It is a specific object of the present invention to provide a burial vault which permits the egress of gases and liquids from within the vault cavity while precluding the ingress of any external gases and liquids.
Another object of the present invention is to provide a new and improved burial vault which is comparatively inexpensive and yet which is light-weight, durable and otherwise satisfactory for all normal requirements.
A burial vault constructed in accordance with the present invention has a generally rectangular base panel upon which is mounted a cover composed of a top panel from which resiliently flexible integral walls depend downwardly to define a peripheral skirt engageable with the perimeter of the base panel. Distributed around the periphery of the skirt are means to define one part of a latching mechanism that couples the cover to the base panel. Similarly distributed around the perimeter of the base panel are means which define the other part of the latching mechanism. Extending continuously between the skirt and the perimeter of the base panel are sealing means to define a seal prohibitive of the passage of gases and liquids into the cavity defined by the cover and the base panel together while permitting the egress of gases and liquids from the cavity. Other features permit locking engagement of the cover to the base panel, cam action to facilitate mounting of the cover upon the base panel, re-enforcing arrangements that permit nested stacking of a plurality of the covers and an inexpensive arrangement for permitting the marking of the vault with a symbol as desired.
The features of the present invention which are believed to be novel are set forth with particularity in the appended claims. The organization and manner of operation of the invention, together with further objects and advantages thereof, may best be understood by reference to the following description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings, in the several figures of which like reference numerals identify like elements, and in which:
FIG. 1 is an exploded perspective view of a burial vault; I
FIG. 2 is a side-elevational view of the assembled burial vault as shown in FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is an end-elevational view of the same burial vault;
FIG. 4 is a bottom view of the same burial vault;
FIG. 5 is a fragmentary cross-sectional view taken along the line 5-5 in FIG. 2;
FIG. 6 is a fragmentary cross-sectional view taken along the line 6-6 in FIG. 2;
FIG. 7 is a cross-sectional view taken along the line 7-7 in FIG. 2',
FIG. 8 is a perspective view of the underside of the base panel shown in FIG. 4;
FIG. 9 is a perspective view, partially broken away, of the cover shown in several of the earlier figures but, in this case, inverted;
FIG. 10 is a fragmentary cross-sectional view of a portion of the cover; and
FIG. 11 is a fragmentary cross-sectional view of one portion on the base panel.
As shown in FIG. 1, the basic burial vault assembly includes a generally rectangular lbase panel 20 upon which is mounted a cover 22. Cover 22 is composed of a top panel 24 from which depend a plurality of resiliently flexible integral side walls 26 and end walls 28 that define a peripheral skirt, as at '30, which is engageable with the perimeter 32 of base panel 20. Preferably, base panel 20 and cover 22 are cast of a thermoplastic structural foam, typified for its high strength while yet having light weight and being finished with a comparatively tough skin.
Depressed into the surface of top panel 24 is an external recess 32 which extends only partially through the thickness of the top panel. As shown in FIG. 9, the recess may be buttressed, during molding, by the formation of an additional amount of material below the bottom of top panel 24. In any event, recess 32 is for the purpose of accepting a similarly-shaped indiciabearing insert 33. Thus, for each given usage of one of covers 22, a particular insert 33 may be selected which carries a molded indicia or insignia, as desired, to indicate such things as fraternal, religious or other affiliation.
Cover 22 is formed to define a succession of spaced, inwardly-displaced wall sections 34 that alternate with outer sections 35. The successive spacings and lateral dimensions of wall sections 34 and 35 are uniform so as to permit nested stacking of a plurality of covers 22 in storage.
Base panel 20 includes a plurality of raised reenforcing ribs 36 successively spaced to extend transversely across the upper surface 38 of the base panel. The outer ends 40 of ribs 36 are tapered so as to cam the peripheral portion of skirt 3 0 into what will be shown to be a latching position on the base panel.
Preferably, each of the outer, or externally protruding, wall sections 35 are of upwardly-narrowing fluted configurations. This affords additional strength and assists in obtaining stability of a stacked plurality of covers 22.
Lending further rigidity to base panel 20 are projecting ribs 44 which extend transversely near opposite ends thereof and centrally disposed longitudinallyextending ribs 46 spaced apart centrally on the underside of the base panel. Support ribs 44 serve as feet for the vault assembly and also as guides to retain the straps usually employed for lowering the vault beneath the ground surface. Also for re-enforcing purposes, a series of transverse. and longitudinal re-enforcing ribs 50 are formed on the underside of top panel 24 which forms a part of cover 22. Ribs 50 are molded so as to extend integrally into the associated portions of sidewalls 26. I
Referring in particular to FIGS. 5 and 6, skirt 30 terminates at its downward periphery into inwardly projecting lugs 52 that form a part of a latching mechanism which also includes mating notches 54 formed in a downwardly-depending protuberance 56 on base panel 20. Lugs 52 are distributed around the periphery of skirt 30 so as to be locked within notches 54; that is, the lugs mate with the notches so as to achieve latching engagement. It will be noted that leg 56 depends downwardly from the perimeter of base panel and is notched as at 54 to cooperatively receive lug 52 and thereby complete the formation of a latching mechamsm.
An inwardly-opening continuous recess 60 is formed in the peripheral skirt of cover 22. Projecting outwardly from the perimeter 32 of base panel 20 is a flexible continuous flap 62. Flap 62 is chosen to have a length such that its free end is pressed only against the vertical side wall of recess 60 when cover 22 is latched onto base panel 20. In this manner, flap 62 forms a piston-type seal with the wall of recess 60 so as to preclude positively the ingress of water or other fluids into the cavity defined by cover 22 and base panel 20 while at the same time somewhat freely permitting the escape or egress of decomposition gases and liquids from within the cavity to the external surroundings.
At each lower corner 66 of displaced portions 34 is a notch that is tapered to mate with rib outer ends 40. That mating arrangement not only enables cover 22 to mate securely with base panel 20 but also serves to lock cover 22 securely with respect to possible lateral or end-wise movement of its downwardly-depending walls.
It will thus be seen that flap 62 functions like a cup washer as found in a piston pump so as to bypass gases and liquids in one direction, out of the resultant cavity, but to seal against any fluids in the opposite direction. A positive-lock latching mechanism results from the engagement of lugs 52 in notches 54. It is to be noted that the free end of flap 62 does not bottom out in recess 60; instead, it is free to flex in response either to internal or external pressures. Cam surface 40 on the end of each base rib 36 matches with the mating notches or displaced wall sections formed in cover 22. Between each of ribs 36, the bottom inside edges of the recessed cover sections rest on the corresponding portion of the base panel 20 so as to support cover 22 and also establish proper separation for lockinglugs 52. Once the overall vault has been assembled, it cannot be opened without damage.
While a particular embodiment of the invention has been shown and described, it will be obvious to those skilled in the art that changes and modifications may be made without departing from the invention in its broader aspects, and, therefore, the aim in the appended claims is to cover all such changes and modifications as fall within the true spirit and scope of the invention.
1. in a burial vault having a generally rectangular base panel upon which is mounted a cover composed of a top panel from which resiliently flexible integral walls depend downwardly to define a peripheral skirt engageable with the perimeter of said base panel, the improvement comprising:
means distributed around the periphery of said skirt to define one part of a latching mechanism coupling said cover to said base panel;
means distributed around said perimeter to define the other part of said latching mechanism;
and sealing means extending continuously between said skirt and said perimeter to define a seal protective of the passage of fluids into the cavity defined by said cover and base panel together while permitting the egress of gases and liquids from said cavity, said sealing means including an inwardly opening continuous recess formed in the peripheral portion of said skirt and a flexible continuous flap projecting integrally outwardly from said perimeter a distance such that its free end is pressed only against the side wall of said recess in the latched position of said cover on said base panel.
2. A burial vault as defined in claim 1 in which said latching mechanism further includes inwardly projecting lugs distributed around the inner periphery of said skirt and lockingly engageable with mating notches formed in said periphery.
3. A burial vault as defined in claim 1 in which a successively-spaced plurality of raised re-enforcing ribs extend transversely across the upper surface of said base panel, the outer ends of said ribs being tapered to cam the peripheral portion of said skirt into latching position on said base panel.
4. A burial vault as defined in claim 3 in which said walls are formed to define a succession of spaced inwardly-displaced wall sections, lower corners of said sections being notched and tapered to mate with said rib outer ends upon engagement of said cover with said base panel.
5. A burial vault as defined in claim 1 in which said walls are formed to define a succession of spaced inwardly-displaced wall sections, the successive spacings and lateral dimensions of said sections being uniform to permit nested stacking of a plurality of said covers.
6. A burial vault as defined in claim 1 in which said top panel includes an external recess of predetermined shape and extending but partially into said top panel, and which further includes an indicia-bearing segment of said predetermined shape.