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Title:
COLLAPSIBLE ACCOMMODATION UNIT
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/155122
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The invention relates to a collapsible accommodation unit (1) for accommodating people and/or goods, comprising plurality of planar faces (F1-F6) delimiting an interior (I) of the accommodation unit (1), wherein each said face (F1-F6) is formed of one or more face panels (A-F), and wherein the face panels (A-F) are connected pivotally to each other with joint arrangements (2) such that the accommodation unit (1) is collapsible by folding face panels (A-F), each said joint arrangements (2) joining two of the face panels (A-F) pivotally to each other. At least one of said joint arrangements (2) joins two face panels (A, B; B, F; F, D; D, C or B) pivotally to each other, and comprises a first elongated profile member (3) forming a first elongated edge beam of one of the two face panels; and a second elongated profile member (4) forming a second elongated edge beam of another of the two face panels; and wherein the first elongated profile member (3) and the second elongated profile member (4) extend parallelly beside each other; and an elongated elastic connector (5) connecting the first elongated profile member (3) and the second elongated profile member (4) pivotally to each other, the elastic connector (5) having a first portion (5a) fixed to the first elongated profile member (3) and a second portion fixed (5b)to the second elongated profile member(4), and an elastically bendable intermediate portion (5c) between the first portion (5a) and the second portion (5b).

Inventors:
PIETILÄ, Jukka (Luvalahdentie 449, Säkylä, 27820, FI)
PEURA, Olli (Itäinen Rantakatu 72, Turku, 20810, FI)
RAUTE, Rami (Itäinen Rantakatu 72, Turku, 20810, FI)
Application Number:
FI2019/050089
Publication Date:
August 15, 2019
Filing Date:
February 06, 2019
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
INTLOG OY (Luvalahdentie 449, Säkylä, 27820, FI)
International Classes:
E04B1/344; B65D88/52; E04H1/12
Foreign References:
JPH06158724A1994-06-07
KR20140003906A2014-01-10
US20140047778A12014-02-20
SE524090C22004-06-22
US4828132A1989-05-09
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
KOLSTER OY AB (P.O.Box 204, Helsinki, Helsinki, 00181, FI)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLA1MS

1. A collapsible accommodation unit (1) for accommodating people and/or goods, comprising

plurality of planar faces (F1-F6) delimiting an interior (1) of the accommodation unit (1), wherein each said face (F1-F6) is formed of one or more face panels (A-F), and

wherein the face panels (A-F) are connected pivotally to each other with joint arrangements (2) such that the accommodation unit (1) is collapsible by folding the face panels (A-

F),

wherein at least one of said joint arrangements (2) joins two face panels (A, B; B, F; F, D; D, C or B) pivotally to each other, and comprises

a first elongated profile member (3) forming a first elongated edge beam of one of the two face panels; and

a second elongated profile member (4) forming a second elongated edge beam of another of the two face panels; and

wherein the first elongated profile member (3) and the second elongated profile member (4) extend parallelly beside each other; and

an elongated elastic connector (5) connecting the first elongated profile member (3) and the second elongated profile member (4) pivotally to each other, the elongated elastic connector (5) having a first portion (5a) fixed to the first elongated profile member (3) and a second portion (5b) fixed to the second elongated profile member (4), and an elastically bendable intermediate portion (5c) between the first portion (5a) and the second portion (5b);

wherein each said elongated profile member (3,4) comprises an elongated profile slit (7) leading in transverse direction of the elongated profile member (3, 4) into the elongated profile channel (6), and the elastic connector (5) extends into the elongated profile channel (6) through the elongated profile slit (7) in transverse direction of the elongated profile member (3, 4) in question,

characterized in that each said first and second portion (5a, 5b) comprises hook shaped edges (e) for facilitating firm shape locking of the first and second portion (5a, 5b) in the profile channel (6) of the profile member (3, 4), and each said elongated profile member (3, 4) comprises two profile grooves (6d) for receiving hook shaped edges (e) of the elastic connector (5) on the inner side of the channel (6), and the slit (7) extends between the profile grooves (6d).

2. A collapsible accommodation unit according to claim 1, wherein the elongated elastic connector (5), in particular the elastically bendable intermediate portion (5c) thereof, is arranged to elastically bend when the first elongated profile member (3) and the second elongated profile member (4) are pivoted relative to each other around a pivoting axis that extends parallel with the longitudinal direction of the parallelly extending profile members (3, 4).

3. A collapsible accommodation unit according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the first elongated profile member (3) and the second elongated profile member (4) extend parallelly beside each other, a gap (g) being formed between them, and the elastically bendable intermediate portion (5c) covers at least majority of the length of the gap (g) as measured in longitudinal direction of the elongated profile members (3,4).

4. A collapsible accommodation unit according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the elongated elastic connector (5) covers the aforementioned length of the gap (g) in a sealing manner.

5. A collapsible accommodation unit according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the elastically bendable intermediate portion (5c) of the elongated elastic connector (5) comprises rubber, preferably the elastic connector (5) is made of rubber or reinforced rubber.

6. A collapsible accommodation unit according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the first elongated profile member (3) and/or the second elongated profile member (4) comprises an elongated profile channel (6) for accommodating said first portion (5a) and/or said second portion (5b), respectively, which elongated profile channel (6) is open towards the transverse direction of the elongated profile member (3, 4), and said first portion (5a) of the elongated elastic connector (5) extends inside the elongated profile channel (6) of the first elongated profile member (3) in a shape locked manner and/or said second portion (5b) of the elongated elastic connector (5) extends inside the elongated profile channel (6) of the second elongated profile member (4) in a shape locked manner.

7. A collapsible accommodation unit according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the cross-section of each said elongated profile member (3, 4) continues the same substantially the whole length of the elongated profile member (3, 4).

8. A collapsible accommodation unit according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the first elongated profile member (3) and/or said second elongated profile member (4) is an extruded metal piece, said metal preferably being aluminum or aluminum alloy.

9. A collapsible accommodation unit according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the cross-section of the elongated elastic connector (5) continues the same substantially the whole length of the elongated elastic connector (5).

10. A collapsible accommodation unit according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the elongated profile channel (6) and the elongated profile slit (7) are open in longitudinal direction of the elongated profile member (3, 4) for allowing inserting and/or removing of the first portion (5a) or said second portion (5b), respectively, of the elastic connector into/from the profile channel (6), as well as the intermediate portion (5c) into/from the elongated profile slit (7) through the end face of the elongated profile member (3, 4) in longitudinal direction of the elongated profile member (3, 4) in question.

11. A collapsible accommodation unit according to any of the preceding claims, wherein said first portion (5a) of the elongated elastic connector (5) is larger in cross-section than the slit (7) of the first elongated profile member (3), such that the first portion (5a) of the elongated elastic connector (5) is blocked by profile edges of the slit (7) of the first profile member (3) from being pulled out from the elongated profile channel (6) through the slit (7) in transverse direction of the first elongated profile member (3), and/or said second portion (5a) of the elastic connector (5) is larger in cross-section than the slit (7) of the second profile member (4), such that the second portion (5b) of the elastic connector(5) is blocked by profile edges of the slit (7) of the second elongated profile member (4) from being pulled out from the elongated profile channel (6) through the slit (7) in transverse direction of the second elongated profile member (4).

12. A collapsible accommodation unit according to any of the preceding claims, wherein said elastically bendable intermediate portion (5c) forms a continuous structure without holes between the first portion (5a) and the second portion (5b) throughout substantially the whole length of the elongated elastic connector

(5).

13. A collapsible accommodation unit according to any of the preceding claims, wherein said two face panels (A, B; B, F; F, D; D, C or B) are joined to each other without hinges.

14. A collapsible accommodation unit according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the collapsible accommodation unit (1) is shiftable between a use state and a collapsed transport state, in which use state the collapsible accommodation unit (1) forms a box structure.

15. A collapsible accommodation unit according to any of the preceding claims, wherein each said first and second portion (5a, 5b) comprises two profile grooves (5d) and the third portion (5c) protrudes from the first and second portion between the profile grooves (5d).

16. A collapsible accommodation unit according to any of the preceding claims, wherein each profile member (3, 4) comprises two profile protrusions (P2) on opposite sides of the slit (7), which profile protrusions (P2) protrude towards the center of the channel

(6) such that profile grooves (6d) of the elongated profile member (3, 4) are formed beside them, each profile protrusion (P2) delimiting on one side thereof the slit (7) and on the other side thereof one of the profile grooves (6d) of the elongated profile member (3, 4).

17. A collapsible accommodation unit according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the first elongated profile member (3) forming a first elongated edge beam of the first face panel; and the second elongated profile member (4) forming a second elongated edge beam of the second face panel have planar side faces, which are arranged to be parallel and face towards each other when the collapsible accommodation unit is in use state one of the side faces being provided with an opening (o) and the other with a protrusion (p), the (p) protrusion being arranged to extend into the opening (o) when the collapsible accommodation unit is in use state for delimiting relative movement between the profile members (3, 4) along each other, and to be movable away from the opening (o) when the collapsible accommodation unit is folded away from use state.

18. A collapsible accommodation unit (1) for accommodating people and/or goods, comprising

plurality of planar faces (F1-F6) delimiting an interior (1) of the accommodation unit (1), wherein each said face (F1-F6) is formed of one or more face panels (A-F), and

wherein the face panels (A-F) are connected pivotally to each other with joint arrangements (2) such that the accommodation unit (1) is collapsible by folding the face panels (A-

F), wherein at least one of said joint arrangements (2) joins two face panels (A, B; B, F; F, D; D, C or B) pivotally to each other, and comprises

a first elongated profile member (3) forming a first elongated edge beam of one of the two face panels; and

a second elongated profile member (4) forming a second elongated edge beam of another of the two face panels; and

wherein the first elongated profile member (3) and the second elongated profile member (4) extend parallelly beside each other; and

an elongated elastic connector (5) connecting the first elongated profile member (3) and the second elongated profile member (4) pivotally to each other, the elongated elastic connector (5) having a first portion (5a) fixed to the first elongated profile member (3) and a second portion (5b) fixed to the second elongated profile member (4), and an elastically bendable intermediate portion (5c) between the first portion (5a) and the second portion (5b);

characterized in that the first elongated profile member (3) forming a first elongated edge beam of the first face panel and the second elongated profile member (4) forming a second elongated edge beam of the second face panel have planar side faces, which are arranged to be parallel and face towards each other when the collapsible accommodation unit is in use state one of the side faces being provided with an opening (o) and the other with a protrusion (p), the (p) protrusion being arranged to extend into the opening (o) when the collapsible accommodation unit is in use state for delimiting relative movement between the profile members (3, 4) along each other, and to be movable away from the opening (o) when the collapsible accommodation unit is folded away from use state.

Description:
COLLAPSIBLE ACCOMMODATION UNIT

F1ELD OF THE INVENTION

[0001] The invention relates to a collapsible accommodation unit, which is suitable for accommodating people and/or goods.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] lt is previously known three-dimensional structures especially for temporary use, which three-dimensional structures are sized as a sea container or the like transport modules, and thus there exists plenty of transport equipment for them. These kind of three-dimensional structures are not provided for forming a transport structure for goods, but for providing a movable modular structure for use where this kind of three- dimensional structure is needed. As applied to a sea container these kind of three-dimensional structures have unnecessary robust especially for temporary use, and furthermore transporting and storing these conventional three-dimensional structures take a lot of capacity. There also exist solutions with a temporary three-dimensional structure which may be collapsed for transportation and assembled up at the site of use easily, quickly and without complicated equipment. Such a solution has been disclosed in document WO 2017103324 Al. Also document WO 9420699 Al shows a related solution. These known solutions have a box structure where there are face panels connected pivotally to each other with hinges such that the overall structure is collapsible by folding the plurality of face panels into a stacked configuration.

[0003] A drawback of the known solutions has been that the joint arrangements thereof are complicated and expensive to manufacture. The hinge structures as disclosed may also get broken or stuck such that the folding can no more be performed smoothly. A further drawback is that these solution do not provide a very tight joint between the face panels. BR1EF DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0004] The object of the invention is to introduce a collapsible accommodation unit for accommodating people and/or goods, which is improved in terms of how two of the face panels are joined pivotally to each other. An object is particularly to introduce a solution by which one or more of the above defined problems of prior art and/or problems discussed or implied elsewhere in the description can be solved. Embodiments are presented, inter alia, which are simple and cost effective to manufacture with small amount of components yet with good performance and reliability. Embodiments are presented, which provide a sealing effect and a pivotal connection with small amount of components. With the embodiments presented, it is possible to achieve a relatively care free and smoothly collapsing accommodation solution, where the pivoting function is relatively insensitive to failures, e.g. failures caused by dirt, jamming or corrosion. Embodiments are presented, which provide a firm locking between components of the joint arrangement. With the embodiments presented, it is possible to manufacture a collapsible accommodation unit with reduced number of conventional hinges. Embodiments are presented, which provide multiple of the aforementioned objects at the same time with the same structure.

[0005] lt is brought forward a new collapsible accommodation unit for accommodating people and/or goods, comprising plurality of planar faces delimiting an interior of the collapsible accommodation unit. Preferably, one of the faces forms a ceiling face of a box structure, and one of the faces forms a floor face of the box structure, and two or more faces form side faces of the of a box structure. Each said face is formed of one or more face panels, which face panels are preferably planar or at least substantially planar. The face panels, in particular the edge portions thereof, are connected pivotally to each other with joint arrangements such that the accommodation unit is collapsible by folding the face panels, preferably into a stacked configuration where they are parallel or at least substantially parallel with each other. Each said joint arrangement joins two of the face panels pivotally to each other. At least one of said joint arrangements joins two face panels, in particular from their edge portions, pivotally to each other, and comprises a first elongated profile member forming a first elongated edge beam of one of the two face panels; and a second elongated profile member forming a second elongated edge beam of another of the two face panels. The first elongated profile member and the second elongated profile member extend parallelly beside each other. Said at least one of said joint arrangements moreover comprises an elongated elastic connector (elongated in direction of the parallelly extending elongated profile members) connecting the first elongated profile member and the second elongated profile member pivotally to each other, the elastic connector having a first portion fixed to the first elongated profile member and a second portion fixed to the second elongated profile member, and an elastically bendable intermediate portion between the first portion and the second portion.

[0006] Each said elongated profile member comprises an elongated slit leading in transverse direction of the elongated profile member into the profile channel, and the elastic connector extends into the profile channel through the slit in transverse direction of the elongated profile member in question.

[0007] Each said first and second portion comprises hook shaped edges for facilitating firm shape locking of the first and second portion in the profile channel of the profile member.

[0008] Each said elongated profile member comprises two profile grooves on the inner side of the channel, and the slit extends between the profile grooves. Thus, each said elongated profile member has grooves for receiving hook shaped edges of the elastic connector. [0009] With this solution one or more of the above mentioned objects can be achieved. Preferable further details are introduced in the following, which further details can be combined with the collapsible accommodation unit individually or in any combination.

[0010] ln a preferred embodiment, each profile member comprises two profile protrusions on opposite sides of the slit, which profile protrusions protrude towards the center of the channel such that the profile grooves of the elongated profile member are formed beside them, each profile protrusion delimiting on one side the slit and on the other side one of the profile grooves of the elongated profile member.

[0011] ln a preferred embodiment, each said first and second portion comprises two profile grooves and the third portion protrudes from the first and second portion between the profile grooves.

[0012] ln a preferred embodiment, the two profile grooves of the first and second portion have a depth more than 2 mm, more preferably more than 5 mm in direction in which the third portion protrudes from the first and second portion between the profile grooves.

[0013] ln a preferred embodiment, the two profile grooves of the first and second portion have flanks which are at an acute angle relative to each other.

[0014] ln a preferred embodiment, the elastic connector, in particular the elastically bendable intermediate portion thereof, is arranged to elastically bend when the first elongated profile member and the second elongated profile member are pivoted relative to each other around a pivoting axis that extends parallel with the longitudinal direction of the parallelly extending profile members.

[0015] ln a preferred embodiment, the first elongated profile member and the second elongated profile member extend parallelly beside each other gap being formed between them, and the elastically bendable intermediate portion covers at least majority of the length of the gap as measured in longitudinal direction of the profile members.

[0016] ln a preferred embodiment, the elastic connector covers the aforementioned length of the gap in a sealing manner.

[0017] ln a preferred embodiment, the elastically bendable intermediate portion of the elastic connector comprises rubber, preferably the elastic connector is made of rubber or reinforced rubber.

[0018] ln a preferred embodiment, the first elongated profile member and/or the second elongated profile member comprises an elongated profile channel for accommodating said first portion and/or said second portion, respectively, which elongated profile channel is open towards the transverse direction of the elongated profile member, and said first portion of the elastic connector extends inside the elongated profile channel of the first elongated profile member in a shape locked manner and/or said second portion of the elastic connector extends inside the elongated profile channel of the second elongated profile member in a shape locked manner.

[0019] ln a preferred embodiment, the cross-section of each said profile member continues the same substantially the whole length of the profile member.

[0020] ln a preferred embodiment, the first elongated profile member and/or said second elongated profile member is made of metal. Said metal is preferably aluminum or aluminum alloy.

[0021] ln a preferred embodiment, the first elongated profile member and/or said second elongated profile member is an extruded metal piece, said metal preferably being aluminum or aluminum alloy. [0022] ln a preferred embodiment, the cross-section of the elastic connector continues the same substantially the whole length of the elastic connector.

[0023] ln a preferred embodiment, the elongated profile channel and the profile slit are open in longitudinal direction of the elongated profile member for allowing inserting and/or removing of the first portion or said second portion, respectively, of the elastic connector into/from the profile channel, as well as the intermediate portion into/from the profile slit through the end face of the elongated profile member in longitudinal direction of the elongated profile member in question.

[0024] ln a preferred embodiment, said first portion of the elastic connector is larger in cross-section than the slit of the first profile member, such that the first portion of the elastic connector is blocked by profile edges of the slit of the first profile member from being pulled out from the profile channel through the slit in transverse direction of the first profile member.

[0025] ln a preferred embodiment, said second portion of the elastic connector is larger in cross-section than the slit of the second profile member, such that the second portion of the elastic connector is blocked by profile edges of the slit of the second profile member from being pulled out from the profile channel through the slit in transverse direction of the second profile member.

[0026] ln a preferred embodiment, said slit is substantially narrower than the cross-section of the profile space of the profile member in question.

[0027] ln a preferred embodiment, said elastically bendable intermediate portion forms a continuous structure without holes between the first portion and the second portion throughout substantially the whole length of the elastic connector.

[0028] ln a preferred embodiment, the length of the gap is more than 2 meters, and said elastic connector covers at least majority (more than 50%) of the length of the gap, preferably in a sealed manner, the elastic connector is more than 1 meter long.

[0029] ln a preferred embodiment, said two face panels are joined to each other without hinges.

[0030] ln a preferred embodiment, the first elongated profile member forming a first elongated edge beam of the first face panel and the second elongated profile member forming a second elongated edge beam of the second face panel have planar side faces, which are arranged to be parallel and face towards each other when the collapsible accommodation unit is in use state one of the side faces being provided with an opening and the other with a protrusion, the protrusion being arranged to extend into the opening when the collapsible accommodation unit is in use state for delimiting relative movement between the profile members along each other, and to be movable away from the opening when the collapsible accommodation unit is folded away from use state. The structure provides high rigidity and/or interlocking of the profile members, which is particularly advantageous for functioning of the joint arrangement utilizing the aforementioned elastic connector. Particularly, in the use state high rigidity and/or interlocking of the profile members can be achieved despite use of an elastic component connecting the first elongated profile member and the second elongated profile member pivotally to each other.

[0031] ln a preferred embodiment, said plurality of faces delimiting an interior of the accommodation comprise a face forming a ceiling face of a box structure, and a face forming a floor face of a box structure, and two or more faces forming side faces of a box structure.

[0032] ln a preferred embodiment, said pivoting is around a pivoting axis extending in parallel direction with the longitudinal direction of the first elongated profile member and the second elongated profile member.

[0033] ln a preferred embodiment, the first elongated profile member forming a first elongated edge beam of the first face panel; and the second elongated profile member forming a second elongated edge beam of the second face panel have planar side faces, which are arranged to be parallel and face towards each other when the collapsible accommodation unit is in use state.

[0034] ln a preferred embodiment, when the collapsible accommodation unit is in use state, and the side faces of the profile members are parallel and face towards each other, the slits of the first and second elongated profile member open at an angle towards each other such that the elastically bendable intermediate portion has an L shape when viewed in longitudinal direction thereof.

[0035] ln a preferred embodiment, the first portion is fixed immovably to the first elongated profile member and the second portion is fixed immovably to the second elongated profile member.

[0036] ln a preferred embodiment, the collapsible accommodation unit is shiftable (back and forth] between a use state and collapsed transport state, in which use state the collapsible accommodation unit forms a box structure, with or without end faces.

[0037] ln a preferred embodiment, each said face is rectangular.

[0038] ln a preferred embodiment, the a collapsible accommodation unit is such that one of the faces forms a ceiling face of a box structure, and one of the faces forms a floor face of the box structure, and two faces form side faces of the box structure. These faces are preferably rectangular faces and connected from their edge portions together such that they surround the interior.

[0039] ln a preferred embodiment, said plurality of joint arrangements comprises a joint arrangement joining face panels of different faces pivotally to each other and/or a joint arrangement joining face panels of the same face pivotally to each other.

[0040] ln a preferred embodiment, each said face is planar.

[0041] ln a preferred embodiment, the box structure has exactly six faces.

[0042] ln a preferred embodiment, the elongated elastic connector is a solid one-piece structure.

[0043] ln a preferred embodiment, the elastically bendable intermediate portion connects the first portion to the second portion. The elastically bendable intermediate portion is preferably substantially narrower in cross section that the first and second portion.

[0044] lt is also brought forward a new collapsible accommodation unit for accommodating people and/or goods, comprising plurality of planar faces delimiting an interior of the accommodation unit, wherein each said face is formed of one or more face panels, and wherein the face panels are connected pivotally to each other with joint arrangements such that the accommodation unit is collapsible by folding the face panels, wherein at least one of said joint arrangements joins two face panels pivotally to each other, and comprises a first elongated profile member forming a first elongated edge beam of one of the two face panels; and a second elongated profile member forming a second elongated edge beam of another of the two face panels; and wherein the first elongated profile member and the second elongated profile member extend parallelly beside each other; and an elongated elastic connector connecting the first elongated profile member and the second elongated profile member pivotally to each other, the elongated elastic connector having a first portion fixed to the first elongated profile member and a second portion fixed to the second elongated profile member, and an elastically bendable intermediate portion between the first portion and the second portion, the first elongated profile member forming a first elongated edge beam of the first face panel and the second elongated profile member forming a second elongated edge beam of the second face panel have planar side faces, which are arranged to be parallel and face towards each other when the collapsible accommodation unit is in use state one of the side faces being provided with an opening and the other with a protrusion, the protrusion being arranged to extend into the opening when the collapsible accommodation unit is in use state for delimiting relative movement between the profile members along each other, and to be movable away from the opening when the collapsible accommodation unit is folded away from use state. With this solution one or more of the above mentioned objects can be achieved. Particularly, the structure provides high rigidity and/or interlocking of the profile members, which is particularly advantageous for functioning of the joint arrangement utilizing the aforementioned elastic connector. Particularly, in the use state high rigidity and/or interlocking of the profile members can be achieved despite use of an elastic component connecting the first elongated profile member and the second elongated profile member pivotally to each other. Preferable further details of this are introduced above and in the following, which further details can be combined with the collapsible accommodation unit individually or in any combination. BR1EF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAW1NGS

[0045] ln the following, the present invention will be described in more detail by way of example and with reference to the attached drawings, in which

Figure 1 illustrates an embodiment of a collapsible accommodation unit according to the invention.

Figure 2 illustrates cross sectional view A-A of Figure 1 when the collapsible accommodation unit is being made to collapse into a transport state.

Figure 3 illustrates cross sectional view A-A of Figure 1 when the collapsible accommodation unit has been made to collapse into a transport state.

Figure 4 illustrates an elongated elastic connector.

Figure 5 illustrates an elongated profile member.

Figures 6-8 illustrate a joint arrangement between face panels of Figure 1 with further details, as well as pivoting of the face panels.

Figure 9 illustrate a joint arrangement between face panels of Figure 1 with further details.

Figure 10 illustrate a joint arrangement between face panels of Figure 1 with further details.

The foregoing aspects, features and advantages of the invention will be apparent from the drawings and the detailed description related thereto.

DETA1LED DESCRIPTION

[0046] Figure 1 illustrates an embodiment of a collapsible accommodation unit 1 for accommodating people and/or goods in its use state ln its use state the collapsible accommodation unit forms a box structure. Figures 2 and 3 illustrate the accommodation unit at different stages when it is being made to collapse into a transport state. The accommodation unit 1 comprises plurality of planar faces F1-F4 delimiting an interior 1 of the accommodation unit 1. Each said face F1-F4 is formed of one or more face panels A-F. The face panels A-F are planar or at least substantially planar.

[0047] ln the presented case, one of the faces, namely face FI in the

Figures, forms a ceiling face of a box structure, and one of the faces, namely face F2, forms a floor face of the box structure, and two faces, namely faces F3 and F4, form side faces of the box structure.

[0048] The aforementioned face panels A-F, in particular the edge portions thereof, are connected pivotally to each other with joint arrangements 2 such that the accommodation unit 1 is collapsible by folding face panels A-F into a stacked configuration which is illustrated in Figure 3. ln the stacked configuration the face panels A-F are parallel or at least substantially parallel with each other. When the face panels A-F are in said stacked configuration the accommodation unit 1 is in its collapsed transport state. Figure 3 also illustrates where face panels of the end faces F5 and F6 of the box structure can be placed in the collapsed transport state. This space is illustrated with broken line since the end faces F5 and F6 are optional features.

[0049] Each said joint arrangements 2 joins two of the face panels

A-F, in particular their edge portions, pivotally to each other ln the preferred embodiment, the joint arrangement 2 comprises a first elongated profile member 3 forming a first elongated edge beam of one of the two face panels; and a second elongated profile member 4 forming a second elongated edge beam of another of the two face panels.

[0050] The first elongated profile member 3 and the second elongated profile member 4 extend parallelly beside each other; and the joint arrangement 2 comprises an elongated elastic connector 5 (elongated in longitudinal direction of the parallelly extending elongated profile members 3, 4) connecting the first elongated profile member 3 and the second elongated profile member 4 pivotally to each other. The first elongated profile member 3 and the second elongated profile member 4 are in particular pivotal relative to each other around a pivoting axis that extends parallel with the longitudinal direction of the parallelly extending elongated profile members 3, 4. The elastic connector 5 comprises a first portion 5a fixed to the first elongated profile member 3 and a second portion fixed 5b to the second elongated profile member 4, and an elastically bendable intermediate portion 5c between the first portion 5a and the second portion 5b. The elastically bendable intermediate portion 5c of the elastic connector 5 preferably comprises rubber. Most preferably, the elongated elastic connector 5 is made of rubber or reinforced rubber. The elongated elastic connector 5 is preferably a solid one-piece structure.

[0051] Figure 4 illustrates preferable details of the elastic connector 5, and Figure 5 illustrates preferable details of the first elongated profile member 3 and/or the second elongated profile member

4.

[0052] Figures 6-8 illustrate preferable details and operation of the joint arrangement 2 joining face panels A and B of Figures 1-3. The arrows illustrate how the parts pass in pivoting. The joint arrangement 2 joining face panels C and D of Figures 1-3 is similar in structure and operation as the joint arrangement 2 joining face panels A and B, but mirror-like.

[0053] Figure 9 illustrates preferable details and operation of the joint arrangement 2 joining face panels A and E of Figures 1-3. The arrow illustrates how the parts pass in pivoting. The joint arrangement 2 joining face panels C and E of Figures 1-3 is similar in structure and operation as the joint arrangement 2 joining face panels A and E, but mirror-like.

[0054] Figure 10 illustrates preferable details and operation of the joint arrangement 2 joining face panels B and F of Figures 1-3. The arrow illustrates how the parts pass in pivoting. The joint arrangement 2 joining face panels D and F of Figures 1-3 is similar in structure and operation as the joint arrangement 2 joining face panels A and E, but mirror-like.

[0055] Hereinafter, preferred further details of the accommodation unit 1 and the joint arrangements 2 thereof are described.

[0056] The elastic connector 5, in particular the elastically bendable intermediate portion 5c thereof, is arranged to elastically bend when the first elongated profile member 3 and the second elongated profile member 4 are pivoted relative to each other around a pivoting axis that extends parallel with the longitudinal direction of the parallelly extending profile members 3, 4.

[0057] The first elongated profile member 3 and the second elongated profile member 4 extend parallelly beside each other gap g being formed between them, and the elastically bendable intermediate portion covers at least majority of the length of the gap g as measured in longitudinal direction of the profile members 3,4. The elastic connector 5 preferably forms a seal between the profile members 3,4. The elastic connector 5 then preferably covers the aforementioned length of the gap g in a sealing manner. For enabling sealing, the elastic connector 5 preferably does not contain any through holes allowing passage of substance through the elastic connector 5. Thus, it can block passage water, dust, sand or snow or other substance from between the profile members 3,4.

[0058] A gap, were it measurable in millimeters or fractions of millimeters, is normally formed between two discrete components. Therefore here a gap g is deemed to exist between the profile members 3,4 also if it is very thin, such as if the solution is designed such that the profile members 3,4 can lean against each other in the use state of the accommodation unit 1. The gap g can thus be very narrow, even very close to zero, when the accommodation unit is in the use state. The gap can also be enlarged in the pivoting. Due to a gap, even though very thin, dust, water, snow or other substance might be able to pass between the profile members 3,4 if not covered in a sealing manner.

[0059] As presented in Figure 4, the cross-section of the elongated elastic connector 5 preferably continues the same substantially the whole length of the elongated elastic connector 5. Thus, it can be simply arranged to cover a majority of the length of the gap g. Moreover, this facilitates shaping it to fit together with the profile channels 6 of the profile members lt can also easily be manufactured simply as a bar that can be cut to a desired length. The elongated elastic connector 5 is relatively long, such as more than 1 meter long. The ratio length/width of the elongated elastic connector 5 is preferably more than 10, wherein the width is the maximal dimension in transverse direction of the elongated elastic connector 5.

[0060] The elastically bendable intermediate portion 5c connects the first portion 5a to the second portion 5b. As to the shape of the elongated elastic connector 5, the elastically bendable intermediate portion 5c thereof is preferably substantially narrower in cross section than the first and second portion 5a, 5b, as disclosed in Figures. Each said first and second portion comprises preferably two profile grooves 5d and the third portion 5c protrudes from the first and second portion between the profile grooves 5d. The profile grooves 5d provide that each said first and second portion comprises hook shaped edges e that facilitate firm shape locking of the first and second portion in the profile channel of the profile member 3,4. This kind of shapes efficiently lock the first and second portion 5a, 5b into their position in the channel 6. Particularly, the first portion 5a and the second portion 5a, 5b of the elastic connector 5 are efficiently blocked from being pulled out from the profile channel 6 through the slit in transverse direction of the first profile member 3. [0061] Each profile member 3, 4 comprises two profile protrusions

P2 on opposite sides of the slit 7, which profile protrusions P2 protrude towards the center of the channel 6 such that profile grooves 6d of the elongated profile member 3, 4 are formed beside them, each profile protrusion P2 delimiting on one side thereof the slit 7 and on the other side thereof one of the profile grooves 6d of the elongated profile member 3, 4. The profile protrusions P2 of the profile members 3,4 form the profile edges of the slit 7. The profile protrusions P2 of the profile members 3,4 extend into the profile grooves 5d of the first and second portion.

[0062] As illustrated in Figures 3-10, each said first and second portion 5a, 5b preferably comprises a convex arc-shaped profile. Correspondingly, the profile channel 6 of each profile member 3,4 preferably comprises an arc-shaped concave profile forming a counterpart for the arc-shaped profile of the first and second portion 5a, 5b. The arc- shape preferably has a constant diameter forming a section of a circle.

[0063] As presented in Figure 5, the cross-section of the elongated profile member 3, 4 continues the same substantially the whole length of the profile member 3, 4. Each said elongated profile member 3,4 is preferably made of metal. Each said elongated profile member 3,4 is preferably an extruded metal piece, said metal preferably being aluminum or aluminum alloy.

[0064] The elongated profile member 3,4 comprises an elongated profile channel 6 for accommodating said first portion 5a and/or said second portion 5b, respectively, which elongated profile channel 6 is open towards the transverse direction of the elongated profile member 3, 4.

[0065] The elongated profile member 3,4 comprises an elongated slit 7 leading in transverse direction of the elongated profile member 3, 4 into the profile channel 6. [0066] The slit 7 is substantially narrower than the cross-section of the profile space 6 of the profile member 3, 4.

[0067] Each said elongated profile member 3, 4 comprises preferably two profile grooves 6d on the inner side of the channel 6, and the slit 7 extends between the profile grooves 6d. Thus, each said elongated profile member 3, 4 has grooves 6d for receiving hook shaped edges of the elastic connector 5.

[0068] The elongated profile channel 6 and the profile slit 7 are open in longitudinal direction of the elongated profile member 3, 4 for allowing inserting and/or removing of the first portion 5a or said second portion 5b, respectively, of the elastic connector into/from the profile channel 6, as well as the intermediate portion 5c into/from the profile slit 7 through the end face of the elongated profile member 3, 4 in longitudinal direction of the elongated profile member 3, 4 in question.

[0069] ln the joint arrangement 2 as illustrated in Figures 6-10, said first portion 5a of the elastic connector extends inside the elongated profile channel 6 of the first elongated profile member 3 in a shape locked manner and said second portion 5b of the elastic connector 5 extends inside the elongated profile channel 6 of the second elongated profile member 4 in a shape locked manner. The elastic connector 5 extends into the profile channel 6 through the slit 7 in transverse direction of the elongated profile member 3, 4 in question.

[0070] Said first portion 5a of the elastic connector 5 is larger in cross-section than the slit of the first profile member 3, such that the first portion 5a of the elastic connector 5 is blocked by profile edges of the slit 7 of the first profile member from being pulled out from the profile channel 6 through the slit in transverse direction of the first profile member 3. Correspondingly, said second portion 5b of the elastic connector 5 is larger in cross-section than the slit of the second profile member 4, such that the second portion 5b of the elastic connector 5 is blocked by profile edges of the slit 7 of the second profile member from being pulled out from the profile channel 6 through the slit 7 in transverse direction of the second profile member 4.

[0071] For facilitating the sealing function of the elastic connector

5, it is preferable that said elastically bendable intermediate portion 5b forms a continuous structure without holes between the first portion 5a and the second portion 5b throughout substantially the whole length of the elastic connector 5.

[0072] As to the size of the parts of the collapsible accommodation, it is preferably sized such that the length of the gap g is more than 2 meters. Said elastic connector 5 then preferably covers at least majority i.e. more than 50% of the length of the gap g, preferably in a sealed manner. Most preferably, said elastic connector 5 covers at least majority 90% of the length of the gap g, preferably in a sealed manner.

[0073] The elongated elastic connector 5 facilitates that the joint arrangement 2 can join panel faces pivotally to each other without hinges. This makes the collapsible accommodation unit 1 simple in structure and cheap to manufacture. Yet the joint arrangement 2 disclosed relatively durable and reliably maintains the face panels smoothly foldable. Thus, it is preferable that in the accommodation unit 1 said two face panels (A, B; B, F; F, D; D, C or B) are joined to each other without hinges, wherein a hinge is a device comprising two parts fitted together and arranged to pivot relative to each other by sliding along each other.

[0074] The first elongated profile member 3 and the second elongated profile member 4 preferably have each one or more planar side faces. Preferably at least the side faces of the profile members 3,4 intended to face towards each other in the use state are planar, which provides that they face each other with a vast opposing areas. This facilitates that the first elongated profile member 3 and the second elongated profile member 4 can effectively rest on each other if needed. The structure is preferable more precisely such that the first elongated profile member 3 and the second elongated profile member 4 preferably have planar side faces, which are arranged to be parallel and face towards each other when the collapsible accommodation unit 1 is in use state.

[0075] Figures 6-8 illustrate details and operation of further preferred, although not necessary, features that can increase rigidity and/or interlocking of the profile members 3,4. One of the planar side faces, which are arranged to be parallel and face towards each other in said use state, is provided with an opening o and the other with a protrusion p, the protrusion being arranged to extend into the opening o when the collapsible accommodation unit 1 is in use state for delimiting relative movement between the profile members along each other, and to be movable away from the opening o when the when the collapsible accommodation unit 1 is folded away from the use state.

[0076] Referring to Figures 6-10, the joint arrangement is moreover preferably such that when the collapsible accommodation unit 1 is in use state, as illustrated in Figures 6, 9 and 10 for instance, and the side faces of the profile members 3,4 are parallel and face towards each other, the slits 7 of the first and second elongated profile member 3,4 open at an angle towards each other such that the elastically bendable intermediate portion 5c has an L shape when viewed in longitudinal direction thereof. This shape facilitates sealing abilities of the elongated elastic connector 5. When the collapsible accommodation unit 1 is in collapsed transport state, as illustrated in Figure 8 for instance, and the side faces of the profile members 3,4 have been pivoted to not face towards each other, the elastically bendable intermediate portion 5c has a straight shape when viewed in longitudinal direction thereof, which is the case of Figure 10, or a mirror-like L shape compared to the shape when in use state, which is the case of Figure 8. ln these two cases, the angle of pivoting in shifting between the use state and collapsed transport state is 180 degrees and 90 degrees, respectively.

[0077] As illustrated in Figure 1 for instance, the accommodation unit can be such that said plurality of joint arrangements comprises a joint arrangement 2 joining face panels of different faces pivotally to each other (see also Figures 9 and 10) and/or a joint arrangement joining face panels of the same face pivotally to each other (see also Figure 6).

[0078] As mentioned, the collapsible accommodation unit is shiftable (back and forth) between a use state and collapsed transport state, in which use state the collapsible accommodation unit forms a box structure, with or without end faces. Each said face is preferably rectangular.

[0079] As mentioned, the a collapsible accommodation unit 1 is preferably such that one of the faces, namely face FI in the Figures, forms a ceiling face of a box structure, and one of the faces, namely face F2, forms a floor face of the box structure, and two faces, namely faces F3 and F4, form side faces of the box structure. These faces are preferably rectangular faces and they are connected from their edge portions together such that they surround the interior 1. Of course, the shape of the accommodation unit 1 could be different from what is disclosed in context of the preferred embodiments.

[0080] The collapsible accommodation unit can comprise one or two vertical face panels each forming an end face of the box structure. They can be connected pivotally to the floor face or ceiling face with a joint arrangement as defined, but this is not necessary. The end faces can be used for bearing function, i.e. to form a bearing structure between the floor face and ceiling face in the use state and/or locking function, i.e. to lock the floor face and ceiling face in the use state from moving towards each other. [0081] lt is preferable that several, or even all the joint arrangements of the accommodation unit 1 are as described here. However, it is not necessary since some of the joint arrangements could be designed to have a different structure, such as a conventional structure.

[0082] The collapsible accommodation unit 1 is preferably a transportable unit. Particularly, it is transportable to a desired location in collapsed transport state for being shifted into use state. Moreover, it is shiftable, after serving in said desired location in use state, into collapsed state and transportable to a second desired location in collapsed transport state for being shifted into use state in said second desired location.

[0083] As mentioned, the collapsible accommodation unit 1 is suitable for accommodating people and/or goods in its use state. The accommodation unit 1 then preferably in its use state forms a dwelling, an office space or a storage.

[0084] lt is to be understood that the above description and the accompanying Figures are only intended to teach the best way known to the inventors to make and use the invention lt will be apparent to a person skilled in the art that the inventive concept can be implemented in various ways. The above-described embodiments of the invention may thus be modified or varied, without departing from the invention, as appreciated by those skilled in the art in light of the above teachings lt is therefore to be understood that the invention and its embodiments are not limited to the examples described above but may vary within the scope of the claims.