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Patent Searching and Data


Title:
APPARATUS, METHOD AND SYSTEM FOR SECURING A STRAND TO A POST
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2013/040653
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
An apparatus, system and method for securing items to a post are disclosed. A portion of the post surface may be deformed to facilitate mounting of the apparatus thereto. The apparatus, when attached to the post, enables various items to be secured at the post such as strands (e.g. of fence wire), wire grid or mesh, signage, panels, etc. The apparatus comprises projections that extend from a body, to define a recess therebetween. The recess is configured to receive a post flange therein. At least one of the projections comprises an element that is configured to deflect, relative to the projection, during mounting of the apparatus to the flange to allow the flange to be received in the recess. Once the flange has been received in the recess, the element deflects back and interacts with the deformed surface portion of the post to attach the apparatus to the post.

Inventors:
TAYLOR BRAD (AU)
WHITE MARK (AU)
BAYLY MARK (AU)
Application Number:
AU2012/001144
Publication Date:
March 28, 2013
Filing Date:
September 21, 2012
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
ONESTEEL WIRE PTY LIMITED (Level 40, 259 George StreetSydney, New South Wales 2000, AU)
International Classes:
E04H17/10; A01K3/00; E01F9/669; E01F15/00; E04F11/18
Foreign References:
US4077611A1978-03-07
AU2006200793A12006-09-07
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
GRIFFITH HACK (Level 29, Northpoint100 Miller Stree, North Sydney New South Wales 2060, AU)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1. Apparatus for attachment to a post, with a portion of the post surface being deformed to facilitate mounting of the apparatus thereto, the apparatus comprising:

- a body;

- projections extending from the body that define a recess therebetween, the recess being configured to receive a part of the post therein whereby the projections can be located adjacent to the deformed surface portion of the post; and

- an element located or locatable in, or with respect to, at least one of the projections, the element being configured to enable the post part to be received in the recess by enabling deflection of the element, relative to the projection, during mounting of the apparatus to the post part whilst the post part moves into the recess whereby, once the post part has been received in the recess, the element deflects back and interacts with the deformed surface portion of the post to attach the apparatus to the post.

2. Apparatus as claimed in claim 1, wherein at least one of the projections is also configured to be deflected to enable the post part to be received in the recess during mounting of the apparatus to the post part.

3. Apparatus as claimed in claim 1 or 2 wherein the deformed surface portion of the post comprises at least one indentation in the post surface, or comprises at least one aperture through the surface.

4. Apparatus as claimed in any one of the preceding claims wherein the element comprises a part of the projection that is deformed out of a remainder of the projection, whereby, as the post part is moved into the recess, that part of the projection is able to move to, and be received in, the deformed surface portion of the post.

5. Apparatus as claimed in any one of the preceding claims wherein portions of the body and projections are cutaway to define a lateral passage that extends transversely into the projections, adjacent to where the projections extend from the body.

6. Apparatus as claimed in any one of the preceding claims further comprising an extension that projects from one or both of an in-use upper or lower portion of the body, the extension defining a transverse passage between it and the post when the apparatus is attached to the post.

7. Apparatus as claimed in claim 5 or 6 wherein each of the lateral and transverse passages is configured to receive an elongate strand therein, with the strand being retained at the post when the apparatus is attached thereto.

8. Apparatus as claimed in any one of the preceding claims that comprises in- use:

- upper projections that extend from the body and define a recess therebetween; and

- lower projections that also extend from the body and define a recess therebetween;

wherein the upper projections are spaced from the lower projections, and at least one of the projections comprises an element.

9. Apparatus as claimed in claim 8 wherein one projection of each of the upper and lower projections comprises an element.

10. Apparatus as claimed in claim 9 wherein the element of the upper projection is located on an opposite side of the recess to the element of the lower projection.

11. Apparatus as claimed in any one of the preceding claims wherein, when an element is located in a projection on each side of the recess, and when the apparatus is viewed in plan, the distal end of an element located in a projection on one side of the recess is offset from the distal end of an element located in a projection on the other side of the recess.

12. Apparatus as claimed in any one of the preceding claims wherein the body comprises two halves configured to be assembled to define the body, with each half incorporating one of the projections such that, when the halves are assembled, the projections define the recess therebetween.

13. Apparatus as claimed in any one of the preceding claims further comprising an intermediary device, the intermediary device comprising:

- an intermediary body;

- intermediary projections that extend from the intermediary body, to define therebetween a recess that can receive the post part therein and that can be located adjacent to the deformed surface portion of the post; and

- a deformed outer surface portion,

whereby the apparatus can be attached to the post by locating the intermediary device so as to receive the post part therein, and mounting the apparatus to the intermediary device to locate the element adjacent to the deformed outer surface portion of the intermediary device and to secure the apparatus to the post.

14. Apparatus as claimed in claim 13 wherein the intermediary body comprises two halves configured to be assembled to define the intermediary body, with each half having one of the intermediary projections such that, when assembled, the intermediary projections define the recess therebetween.

15. A post that is adapted for having the apparatus as defined in any one of the preceding claims attached thereto, the post comprising the deformed surface portion, the configuration of the deformed surface portion corresponding to a distal end of the element to be received therein.

16. A post as claimed in claim 15 wherein the deformed surface portion is configured to snugly receive therein the distal end of the element.

17. A post as claimed in claim 15 or claim 16 wherein the deformed surface portion comprises at least one indentation in a flange of the post, or comprises at least one hole through a flange of the post.

18. A post mounting system comprising:

- at least one apparatus for attachment to the post, the apparatus being as defined in any one of claims 1 to 14; and

- a post comprising a surface portion that is deformed to facilitate attachment of the apparatus thereto.

19. A system as claimed in claim 18 that comprises a plurality of apparatus, and a plurality of corresponding deformed surface portions spaced out along the post.

20. A system as claimed in claim 18 or claim 19 wherein the surface portion of the post is deformed during its fabrication.

21. A system as claimed in claim 20 wherein the post is roll-formed, whereby the deformation of the surface occurs:

(i) continuously during roll-forming of the post; or

(ii) as part of a cold-forming procedure subsequent to the roll-forming procedure.

22. A system as claimed in claim 21 wherein in (i) the surface of the post is deformed in one or more final passes of the roll-forming procedure.

23. A system as claimed in any one of claims 18 to 22 wherein the post is of the type that comprises an elongate flange, and wherein the deformed surface portion of the post is formed in a surface of the flange.

24. A system as claimed in claim 23 wherein the elongate flange defines a stalk, stem or base web of the post.

25. A system as claimed in claim 23 or 24 wherein a proximal edge of the elongate flange defines a longitudinal axis of the post, and wherein the post comprises two further elongate flanges that each project from and along the length of the flange proximal edge, so as to define a post with either a Y-shaped or T-shaped profile.

26. A system as claimed in any one of claims 18 to 25 wherein the post is of steel, or a steel alloy, or is moulded or extruded from plastic; and wherein the apparatus is moulded from plastic such as by injection moulding, is cast from a metal such as a cast alloy, metal alloy, aluminium, steel, a steel alloy, brass or other castable metal, or comprises pressed or stamped metal, or is machined from metal, or is a combination of these forming mechanisms.

27. A method of attaching an apparatus to a post, the apparatus being as defined in any one of claims 1 to 14, the method comprising:

(i) deforming part of a surface of a post;

(ii) locating the apparatus on the post in alignment with the deformed surface portion such that the element deflects during mounting to the post whilst the post part moves into the recess whereby, once the post part has been received in the recess, the element deflects back and the element interacts with the deformed surface portion of the post.

28. A method as claimed in claim 27 wherein step (i) is effected during fabrication of the post.

Description:
APPARATUS, METHOD AND SYSTEM FOR SECURING A STRAND TO A

POST

TECHNICAL FIELD

An apparatus, system and method are disclosed for securing items to a post, for example, a strand, a grid or mesh, a panel, etc. The apparatus, system and method can be employed in applications such as fencing, demarcation, signage, retention, barricades, etc. The post can be deformed to enable attachment of the apparatus thereto, and the apparatus when attached to the post can enable various items to be secured at the post (e.g. such as fence wire, signage, panels, etc). The post can take the form of a picket (e.g. that comprises a "stalk" flange and one or more other elongate flanges projecting from the stalk). However, the disclosure is to be broadly interpreted, in that the post can form a rail, a cross-member, a strut, a stay, a channel, etc in use.

BACKGROUND ART

Posts used in applications such as fencing, demarcation, signage etc are usually formed from steel, though in some applications (e.g. electric fencing) it is known to mould such posts from a plastic material.

Steel fence posts have been known for many years that are roll-formed to have a Y-shaped or T-shaped profile (i.e. in end view). The post may take the form of a picket and in this case may be provided (e.g. cut) with a pointed end to facilitate post driving into the earth.

Such steel fence posts are usually provided with a series of spaced holes in a flange thereof (i.e. in the so-called "stalk", "stem" or "base web") to enable strands of fencing wire to be secured to the post, usually by tying each wire strand to the post with a separate short length of wire tie, or by employing a wire "clip". However, the wire can also be threaded directly through such holes. These holes are typically punched into an already roll-formed post in a separate step.

In addition (or as an alternative) to the series of holes, the posts can be provided with a series of spaced passages that are usually machined to project right into the stalk from a distal edge thereof. These passages enable a strand of fencing wire to be moved into and retained in the passage, thereby securing the wire directly to the post. Again, these passages are typically machined into an already roll-formed post in a separate step, adding additional manufacturing complexity and cost.

Additionally, a latch can be mounted to the post in the vicinity of the passage that allows the fencing wire strand to be moved therepast, and that retains the wire once located in the passage. Usually this latch is factory-fitted to the post in a separate stage.

It is known that holes or passages in the stalk and the attachment of latches can decrease the bend strength of a post, and can promote points/regions of post failure as well as points/regions for corrosion of fencing wire (e.g. when the wire is threaded through the holes or located in the passages). The holes and passages can also provide sharp catch points. Thus, the entire post can be compromised in use.

In addition, existing systems for attaching wire to a fence post can require a high degree of manual labour, and some of the ties employed also require the services of a skilled fencer.

WO 2011/020165, to the present applicant, discloses a post mounting system and device in which the device is designed to secure to the post immediately upon assuming its desired location therealong. The device attaches around an enlarged distal end of a flange of the post.

WO 2005/075764 discloses a clip for securing items to a post. The clip comprises two spaced parallel walls with a stud located on one of the walls. When the clip engages with a post flange, the stud and the opposite wall contact the flange, causing the walls to be displaced such that the post flange can be received in the recess between them. As the clip is urged further onto the flange, and as the stud moves into the hole in the flange, the walls snap back into their pre-displaced positions.

The above references to the background art do not constitute an admission that the art forms a part of the common general knowledge of a person of ordinary skill in the art. The above references are also not intended to limit the application of the apparatus, system and method disclosed herein.

SUMMARY OF THE DISCLOSURE

In a first aspect there is disclosed an apparatus for attachment to a post. A portion of the post surface may be deformed to facilitate mounting of the apparatus thereto. The apparatus, when attached to the post, can enable various items to be secured at the post such as strands (e.g. of fence wire), wire grid or mesh, signage, panels, etc.

The apparatus of the first aspect comprises a body. The apparatus of the first aspect further comprises projections that extend from the body to define a recess between the projections. The recess is configured to receive a part of the post therein. When attaching the apparatus to a post, the projections can be located adjacent to the deformed surface portion of the post.

The apparatus of the first aspect further comprises an element that is located or locatable in, or with respect to, at least one of the projections. The element is configured to enable the post part to be received in the recess by deflecting, relative to the projection, during mounting of the apparatus to the post part whilst the post part moves into the recess. Thus, once the post part has been received in the recess, the element is able to deflect back and interact with the deformed surface portion of the post to attach the apparatus to the post.

In contrast to both WO 2005/075764 and WO 2011/020165, the element of the first aspect may be considered as providing deflection of the element relative to (or independent of) the projection. In this regard, the stud of WO 2005/075764 is rigidly fixed to the projection and therefore does not deflect relative to the projection. Conversely, there is no provision of any such element in WO 2011/020165, let alone an element that deflects relative to the projection. The ability of the element to deflect can provide for a simple apparatus-to-post mounting procedure, and the resultant post- apparatus system can also be simpler, cost effective and expedient when compared to known systems. Further, the interaction between the element and the deformed surface portion of the pots can provide a secure attachment, with said interaction preventing accidental removal from the post.

The apparatus can provide for a positive interaction with the deformed surface of the post. In this regard, the interaction between the deformed post surface and the element can securely attach the apparatus to the post and can prevent inadvertent dislodgement of the apparatus. However, the element and/or projection can be configured such that the apparatus is able to detach from the post once a certain (e.g. extreme or threshold) weight or loading is reached. This can prevent post or fence line damage, etc. Whilst the apparatus can be adapted for use with a variety of posts, including poles, tubes, and posts with a range of different profiles, in one form the post may be of a type that comprises an elongate flange. In this case, the deformed surface portion of the post may be formed in a side surface of the flange. The recess between the projections of the apparatus may then be configured to receive the flange of the post therein, whereby the projections lie adjacent to opposing side surfaces of the flange.

The elongate flange can, for example, define a stalk of such a post. For example, the post may take the form of a Y-post or a T-post. In this regard, an apparatus may be considered to be attachable to one such flange. This is in contrast to some clip embodiments shown in WO 2005/075764 whereby the clip hooks around two of the flanges in a Y-post, whilst surrounding the third. However, it should be noted that the apparatus disclosed herein is not limited to being mounted to the stalk (i.e. it could be mounted to one of the wings). Further, the post is not limited to having a Y- or a T-shaped profile.

The element of the first aspect can therefore be considered to form an obstruction in the recess formed between the projections of the apparatus. Deflection of the element, with respect to the projections, allows the post part to be received in the recess. In one embodiment, at least one of the projections may, in addition to the element, be configured to be deflected to enable the post part to be received in the recess between the projections during mounting of the apparatus to the post part. In this regard, the or each projection may deflect as it is urged, pushed or pressed onto the post. As the element contacts the post, it may then deflect independently of the projection. As the apparatus is pushed onto the post, and once the element is positioned at the deformed surface portion of the post, the element deflects back to interact with the deformed surface portion.

Whilst the apparatus is generally described herein as having one of the projections that extends from the body having an element located or locatable therein, it should be appreciated that both projections may comprise an element located or locatable therein. Each element may be configured in a different manner, depending on the configuration of the deformed surface portion of the post (i.e. each element can be configured to facilitate interaction with the deformed surface portion on respective sides of the post flange, and the deformed surface portion on the respective sides may be different).

In one embodiment the deformed surface portion of the post may comprise at least one indentation in the post surface, or may comprise at least one aperture through the post surface. The indentation may be formed in the post such that part of the post material is removed, or such that the post material is displaced to form an indentation on one side of the flange, and a corresponding protrusion on the other side. The indentation or aperture may be formed in any suitable shape, such as circular, a vertically or horizontally elongate slot, rectangular, obround, rounded rectangular, triangular, ellipse, a passage, etc. The deformed surface portion may include one, two or multiple indentations or apertures, or a combination thereof. A post may be provided with a plurality of such deformed surface portions along one or more flanges thereof. The deformed surface portions may be equally spaced along the length of the post, or may be more closely spaced or more widely spaced at different sections along the length of the post (e.g. there may be more deformed surface portions at a lower region of the post, in use, to allow more strands, such as fencing wire, to be placed closer to the ground to prevent animals such as rabbits or foxes from passing therethrough).

In one embodiment the element may comprise a part of the projection that is deformed out of a remainder of the projection. Thus, as the post part is moved into the recess, that part of the projection (i.e. the element) is able to move to, and be received in, the deformed surface portion. The element deflects as it moves (e.g. as it is pressed or pushed) over the post and, once the element is positioned over the indentation or aperture, it deflects back to locate in the indentation or aperture. In this regard, the element may be inherently biased to return to its original position. The indentation or aperture interacts with the element to resist apparatus removal from the post. Further, the element may be shaped to have a profile that generally corresponds to the shape of the post deformed surface portion, to provide an interlocking arrangement.

In one embodiment portions of the body and projections, adjacent to where the projections extend from the body, may be cutaway to define a lateral passage that is transverse to the apparatus (i.e. perpendicular to the direction in which the projections extend). This lateral passage may, for example, receive a strand therein. In one embodiment an extension may project from one or both of an in-use upper or lower portion of the body. The (or each) extension may define a transverse passage between it and the post when the apparatus is attached to the post.

Each of the lateral and transverse passages may be configured to receive an elongate strand therein, such as fence wire, although it is not necessary for each such passage to receive an elongate strand at the same time. For example, only one such passage may receive an elongate strand therein, or two or more of the passages may receive an elongate strand therein dependent on the usage requirements. Such a strand may be retained at the post when the apparatus is attached to the post (e.g. at a distal edge of a post flange).

In one embodiment the apparatus may comprise in-use upper projections that extend from the body and define a recess therebetween. The apparatus may also comprise in-use lower projections that extend from the body and define a recess therebetween. The upper projections may be spaced from the lower projections. When this embodiment of the apparatus is attached to the post it can define a transverse passage that extends through a rear of the apparatus (i.e. the passage is formed between the distal edge of the post flange, and the upper and lower projections and the body of the apparatus). This transverse passage may be configured to receive an elongate strand therein (such as fence wire) and the strand may be retained at the post when the apparatus is attached thereto (i.e. at a distal edge of a post flange).

In this embodiment either, or both, of each of the upper and/or lower projections may comprise an element located therein. In one form, one projection of each of the upper and lower projections may comprise an element located therein. For example, the element of the upper projection may be located on an opposite side to the element of the lower projection (e.g. located on opposite sides of an elongate flange of a post, in use).

In one embodiment, when an element is located in a projection on each side of the recess, and when the apparatus is viewed in plan, the distal end of an element located in a projection on one side of the recess is offset from the distal end of an element located in a projection on the other side of the recess. For example, both projections may comprise an element or, when the apparatus has upper and lower projections, two or more of the upper and/or lower projections may comprise an element. In this regard, the distal ends of the elements, when viewed in plan, may be aligned, misaligned, or any combination thereof. For example, the elements in the upper and lower projections on one side of the apparatus may be aligned and the elements in the upper and lower projections on the other side of the apparatus may be aligned, but the elements of the two respective sides of the apparatus may be misaligned (or offset). Such a configuration may be useful when the apparatus is being attached to a post having an indentation in the flange. The elements of the upper and lower projections on the first side may be configured to interact with the indented portion, whilst the elements on the second side may be configured to interact with the protrusion on the other side of the flange. In one embodiment, the element may generally be shaped to correspond to the deformed surface portion of the post. This can allow a snug, interlocking fit of the element distal end into the deformed surface portion of the post. For example, a distal end of the element may be provided with a generally circular or semi-circular profile, and the deformed surface portion may be provided with a corresponding circular recess or aperture into which the element can locate once it has deflected back to its original position. In a further example, a distal end of the element may be provided with a generally rectangular profile, and the deformed surface portion may be provided with a corresponding generally rectangular recess or aperture into which the element can locate once it has deflected back to its original position.

In one embodiment the body may comprise two halves configured to be assembled to define the body. This can allow the body to be manufactured such as when it has a more complex construction. Each half may incorporate one of the projections such that, when the halves are assembled, the projections define the recess therebetween.

In one embodiment the apparatus may further comprise an intermediary device. The intermediary device may similarly comprise an intermediary body and intermediary projections that extend from the intermediary body to define therebetween a recess that can receive the post part therein. The intermediary projections can be located adjacent to the deformed surface portion of the post. The intermediary device may further comprise a deformed outer surface portion. In this embodiment, the apparatus can be attached to the post by locating the intermediary device so as to receive the post part therein. The apparatus can be mounted to the intermediary device to locate the element adjacent to the deformed outer surface portion of the intermediary device and to secure the apparatus to the post. The apparatus may thus act as a kind of "staple" to hold the intermediary device on the post.

In one embodiment the apparatus may be mounted to the intermediary device by being laterally pressed or pushed thereon. Thus, during such mounting, the element may be caused to be deflected as it engages with the intermediary device.

In one embodiment the deformed outer surface portion of the intermediary device may be arranged such that, once the apparatus has been sufficiently pressed or pushed onto the intermediary device, the element deflects back and interacts with the deformed surface portion of the intermediary device to secure the apparatus to the post.

In one embodiment the intermediary body may comprise two halves that are configured to be assembled to define the intermediary body. Each half may comprise one of the intermediary projections such that, when assembled, the intermediary projections define the recess therebetween.

In a second aspect, there is disclosed a post that is adapted for having the apparatus as defined in the first aspect attached thereto. The post may comprise a deformed surface portion having a configuration that corresponds to a distal end of the element to be received therein. In one embodiment, the deformed surface portion may be configured to snugly receive the distal end of the element therein. In one embodiment the deformed surface portion of the post may comprise at least one indentation in the post surface, or may comprise at least one aperture through the post surface. The indentation may be formed in the post such that part of the post material is removed, or such that the post material is displaced to form an indentation on one side of the flange, and a corresponding protrusion on the other side. The indentation or aperture may be formed in any suitable shape, such as circular, a vertically or horizontally elongate slot, rectangular, obround, rounded rectangular, triangular, ellipse, a passage, etc.

When the post is of a type that comprises an elongate flange, the deformed surface portion may be formed in a surface of the flange. The post may be provided with a plurality of such deformed surface portions along one or more flanges thereof. The deformed surface portions may be equally spaced along the length of the post, or may be more closely spaced or more widely spaced at different sections along the length of the post (e.g. there may be more deformed surface portions at a lower region of the post, in use, to allow more strands, such as fencing wire, to be placed closer to the ground to prevent animals such as rabbits or foxes from passing therethrough).

The post of the second aspect may be otherwise as disclosed in the first aspect.

In a third aspect there is disclosed a post mounting system. The system can comprise at least one (and typically multiple) apparatus as defined in the first aspect. The system can further comprise a post (and typically multiple posts) having a surface portion that is deformed to facilitate attachment of the apparatus thereto. The post may be as defined in the second aspect.

The apparatus and post may be supplied together as part of the system (e.g. in kit form). In this regard, the system may be self-contained for attaching a range of items to a post such as wire, grid or mesh, placards, signs, barriers, etc.

When the system comprises a plurality of apparatus, usually a plurality of corresponding deformed surface portions are spaced out along the post.

In one embodiment of the system, the surface of the post may be deformed during its fabrication. For example, when the post is roll-formed (e.g. hot roll-formed), the deformation of the surface may occur as part of the roll-forming procedure (e.g. during one or more final passes of the roll-forming procedure). Alternatively, the deformation of the surface may occur as part of a cold-forming procedure subsequent to the roll-forming procedure.

When the post is of a type that comprises an elongate flange, the deformed surface portion may be formed in a surface of the flange. Optionally, the flange may define a stalk, stem or base web of the post. For example, a proximal edge of the elongate flange may define a longitudinal axis of the post, and the post may comprise two further elongate flanges that each project from and along the length of the flange proximal edge. The post may accordingly be provided with a Y-shaped or T-shaped profile. Any one of the surfaces of those flanges may be deformed.

In a fourth aspect, a method of attaching an apparatus to a post is disclosed. The apparatus may be as defined in the first aspect. The method comprises (i) deforming part of a surface of a post and (ii) locating the apparatus on the post in alignment with the deformed surface portion such that the element deflects during mounting to the post whilst the post part moves into the recess.

Thus, once the post part has been received in the recess, the element deflects back and interacts with the deformed surface portion of the post. Step (i) may be effected during fabrication of the post.

Part or all of the apparatus as disclosed in any of the first to fourth aspects may be moulded from plastic such as by injection moulding. Part or all of the apparatus may be cast from a metal such as a cast alloy, metal alloy, aluminium, steel, a steel alloy, brass or other castable metal. Part or all of the apparatus may be pressed or stamped from metal, or may be machined from metal, or may be formed from a combination of these forming mechanisms. Further, part or all of the apparatus may comprise a coating, such as a metal coated with plastic or galvanized. The post as disclosed in any of the first to fourth aspects may be formed of steel or a steel alloy (e.g. when it is roll- formed). Alternatively the post, or part of the post, may be moulded or extruded from plastic (e.g. when used in electric fencing), or may be coated, such as with plastic or galvanized.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Notwithstanding any other forms which may fall within the scope of the apparatus, system and method as defined in the Summary, specific embodiments will now be described, by way of example only, with reference to the accompanying drawings in which:

Figures 1A and IB respectively show a front and rear perspective view of a first apparatus embodiment in the form of a clip for securing a wire strand to a Y-post;

Figures 1C and ID respectively show a side and cross-sectional view, taken on line A-A of Figure 1 C, of the first clip embodiment;

Figures IE to 1G respectively show a side, perspective and top view of the first clip embodiment attached to a Y-post;

Figures 2A and 2B show respective front-side perspective views of a second apparatus embodiment in the form of a clip for securing a wire strand to a Y-post; Figures 2C and 2D respectively show a side and cross-sectional view, taken on line A-A of Figure 2C, of the second clip embodiment;

Figure 3A shows a perspective view of a third apparatus embodiment in the form of a clip for securing a wire strand to a Y-post;

Figures 3B and 3C respectively show a side and cross-sectional view, taken on line A-A of Figure 3B, of the third clip embodiment;

Figures 3D to 3F respectively show rear and cross-sectional views, taken on line B-B and C-C of Figure 3D, of the clip shown in Figure 3A;

Figure 3G shows a plan view of material suitable for forming the clip shown in Figures 3A to 3F;

Figures 4A and 4B respectively show rear and front perspective views of a fourth apparatus embodiment in the form of a clip for securing to a Y-post;

Figures 4C and 4D respectively show a side and cross-sectional view, taken on line A-A of Figure 4C, of the clip shown in Figures 4A and 4B;

Figure 5A shows an exploded perspective view of a fifth apparatus embodiment in the form of a clip for securing a wire strand to a Y-post;

Figures 5B and 5C respectively show a side and cross-sectional view, taken on line A-A of Figure 5B, of the fifth clip embodiment;

Figures 5D to 5F respectively show a front, rear and top view of the fifth clip embodiment;

Figures 6A and 6B respectively show rear and front perspective views of a sixth apparatus embodiment in the form of a clip for securing to a Y-post;

Figure 6C shows a side view of the clip shown in Figures 6A and 6B;

Figures 7A and 7B respectively show rear and front perspective views of a seventh apparatus embodiment in the form of a clip for securing to a Y-post;

Figure 7C shows a side view of the clip shown in Figures 7A and 7B;

Figures 8A, 8B and 8C respectively show side, perspective and cross-sectional views, taken on line A-A of Figure 8A, of an eighth apparatus embodiment in the form of a clip attached to a Y-post; and

Figures 9A and 9B respectively show side and perspective views of a Y-post having multiple deformed surface portions therealong, with clips of the fourth, sixth, and variations of the first, second and third embodiments attached thereto. DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF SPECIFIC EMBODIMENTS

Referring firstly to Figures 1A to 1G, a first apparatus embodiment for attachment to a Y-post 100 is shown in the form of a first clip 10. The clip 10 has a body 12 and is shown having two projections 14 extending from the body 12 to define a recess 16 therebetween. The recess 16 is configured to receive, for example, part of a flange 102 of Y-post 100 therein. In the embodiment of Figures 1A to 1G both projections 14 have an element, in the form of a tab 18, located therein. The tabs 18 project rearwardly with respect to the direction which clip 10 will be attached to (e.g. pushed or pressed onto) Y-post 100. This ensures that as the clip 10 is being attached to Y-post 100, the tabs 18 will be deflected to allow flange 102 of the Y-post to be received in the recess 16 between the two projections 14. In this embodiment, the flange 102 of Y-post 100 is wider than the recess 16 formed between the two projections 14. As the projections 14 are pushed onto the flange 102, they deflect allowing the flange 102 to be received in the recess 16 therebetween. As the projections 14 are pushed or pressed onto the flange 102, and as the tabs 18 reach the flange 102, they also deflect, independently to the projections 14. As such, in this embodiment, both the projections 14 and the tabs 18 deflect independently of each other as they engage the post. It also enables the clip to resist removal (i.e. in reverse).

Clip 10 is also shown having two extensions in the form of arcuate fingers 20 that extend from upper and lower portions of the apparatus body 12. While clip 10 is shown having two such fingers 20, the clip 10 may alternatively have only an upper or lower finger 20. When the clip 10 is attached to the post 100 each finger 20 defines a passage 22 that extends transversely, facing in to the post 100. The passage 22 is configured to receive an elongate strand therein, such as fence wire. When the clip is attached to the post, the fmger(s) 20 are able to retain the strand(s) at a distal part of the post 100. For example, the free ends of curled fingers 20 may sit close to or contact a distal edge 103 of post flange 102, as shown in Figures IE and IF. This prevents the wire from being dislodged (e.g. accidentally or inadvertently) from passage 22.

In use, the fingers 20 are also configured to urge the clip 10 in towards the post 100, through rotation of the clip 10, when the strand or wire is tensioned. In this regard, the clip can pivot around the detent or hole in the post. This secures the strand to the post 100 until the force imparted on the clip 10 is sufficiently great to force it to dislodge from the post.

Projections 14 also have outwardly flared distal ends 24. The flared distal ends 24 facilitate location of the clip 10 onto post 100 (such as by pushing or pressing). The flared ends 24 allow flange 102 to be readily inserted between the projections, thus biasing the projections apart to allow location of the clip 10 on the flange 102 and its location in between.

Figures IE to 1G show clip 10 in use. Clip 10 is attached to flange 102 in the following manner: clip 10 is located in alignment with the deformed surface portion, shown in this embodiment in the form of a circular hole 104 on the flange 102 of Y- post 100. The clip 10 is pushed or pressed onto the flange 102 and the projections 14 are then biased apart (i.e. they are deflected from their original position). Due to the inherent bias and reactive bias induced in tabs 18, they also deflect as they come into contact with the flange 102. Tabs 18 deflect independently of the projections 14 and, in some embodiments, may be the sole source of deflection and securement to the post. It should also be noted that tabs 18 are not required to induce deflection of the projections, as is disclosed in WO 2005/075764. Once the tabs 18 are located over hole 104 they return (e.g. snap) to their original inwardly biased position. When deflected back the tabs 18 are snugly received into the hole 104 of Y-post 100. If a wire strand is to be attached to the post, the strand is usually pre-loaded into passage 22 prior to the clip 10 being attached to Y-post 100 (although it may be threaded therethrough subsequent to its attachment to the post). This completes the secure attachment of clip 10 to Y-post 100.

The direction of engagement of the tabs 18 with the hole 104 acts as a barrier to the removal of the clip 10 from the post 100. A special tool (not shown) may be required to prise projections 14 and tabs 18 sufficiently apart so they are clear of hole 104, so that the clip 10 can then be removed from the post 100.

Figures 2A to 2D show a second embodiment of a clip 50. Clip 50 also has a body 12 and two projections 14 extending therefrom and defining a recess 16 therebetween. In this embodiment, only one projection 14A is shown having an element, in the form of a tab 18, defined therein. Projection 14B is shown having an aperture 52 therethrough, at a location corresponding to the tab 18. This aperture can receive a protrusion 110 on the flange 102 of Y-post 100 (as described hereafter).

Tab 18 again projects rearwardly with respect to the direction that clip 50 will be attached to Y-post 100 to facilitate deflection of tab 18 Out of the way' when clip 50 is pushed or pressed onto post 100. Tab 18, in this embodiment, is shown extending from a hinging portion 54 and having a distal end with a generally circular profile. The profile of the tab distal end generally corresponds to the shape or geometry of the deformed surface portion of the post (i.e. the hole or detent on the post). The hinging is such as to allow the tab 18 to return to its original position and attach clip 50 to post 100. While this clip embodiment may be utilised with a Y-post 100 comprising holes 104, typically it is used with a post of the type shown in Figure 9, that has a series of detents 106 formed therealong.

When the detents 106 are formed, typically an indentation 108 occurs on one side of the flange and a corresponding protrusion 1 10 occurs on the other. For ease of representation, both the indentation 108 and protrusion of detent 106 are shown in Figure 9B. However, it should be understood that such formation may occur without a corresponding protrusion being produced, and that an indentation alone can be sufficient to attach clip 50 to post 100. Use of the protrusion 110 to additionally secure the clip 50 can be made by providing aperture 52 in projection 14B, which locates around and secures to protrusion 110. Alternatively, projection 14B may be provided with an indentation on its inner surface, that is shaped to generally correspond to the shape of the protrusion 110 (i.e. projection 14B may be provided with a detent that corresponds to the detent 106 on the post).

In any case, the detent shown in Figure 9 takes the form of a circular boss rolled into the flange 102 during production, however the detent may take other suitable shapes, for example a detent in the shape of the elongate aperture 202 shown in Figure 8B. The detent may also take other suitable shapes such as ellipses, rectangles, rounded rectangles, obrounds, triangles, etc (not shown).

In a similar manner to the clip 10 of Figure 1, clip 50 also has extensions in the form of upper and lower arcuate fingers 20 that extend from upper and lower portions of the clip body 12. When clip 50 is attached to a post, the ends of fingers 20 sit closely to or contact the distal end of post flange 102 to resist removal of the wire strand. Again, while clip 50 is shown having a finger extending from both the upper and lower portions of body 12, the clip may alternatively be provided with only one finger extending from an upper or lower body portion.

Again, the distal ends 24 of the projections 14 of clip 50 are also shown being flared, to assist with the pushing or pressing and attachment of clip 50 to post 100 by biasing and prising the projections 14 apart. Clip 50 is shown attached to a Y-post 100 in Figure 9. Whilst the projections in this embodiment are also shown having a recess 16 therebetween narrower than the width of flange 102, the projections may extend from the body 12 such that the width of recess 16 corresponds to the width of flange 102. In such a configuration, the projections would not deflect when being attached to the flange, except when moving past protrusion 110. The tab 18, however, would deflect to allow the flange 102 to be received in the recess 16 and then deflect back once it was positioned over the indentation 108.

A variation of the clip second embodiment is shown in Figure 9, in the form of clip 50A. Clip 50A is similar to clip 50 except that the distal ends of projections 14 are rounded. The distal ends of the projections are also, like clip 50, outwardly flared. Further, clip 50A is shown having upper and lower angled fingers that are substantially straight and extend at an angle from the body 12, as opposed to the arcuate fingers 20 of clip 50.

Figures 3 A to 3 G show a third embodiment of a clip 70. Clip 70 also has a body 12 and two projections 14 extending from the body. The projections 14 of clip 70 differ to those of clip 10 or 50 in that the ends 72 of the projections 14 are folded inwardly. The recess 16, in which the post part is received, is located between the inwardly folded ends 72. When the clip 70 is formed from, for example, a sheet material, the inwardly folded ends 72 are bent before bending the projections 14 around body 12. The folded ends 72 provide additional rigidity to the clip. Clip 70 is configured to be implemented in arrangements where less stress will be placed thereon than, for example, clip 10. The inwardly folded ends 72 of the projections 14 of clip 70 create a weaker bias than, for example, the arrangement of clip 10. This results in clip 70 being able to withstand lower forces than clip 10 before clip 70 will be pulled off the post. One of the inwardly folded ends 72A comprises a tab 18, similar to those shown in Figures 1 and 2. The other inwardly folded end 72B has an aperture 74 therethrough, similar to aperture 52 in Figure 2.

The clip 70 is typically used with a post of the type having an indentation 108 or detent 106, rather than a hole 104, in the flange 102. The indentation 108 or detent 106 may take any suitable shape or configuration, so long as the tab 18 from the clip 70 can engage therewith. Detent 106 is formed by an indentation 108 on one side of the flange 102 and a corresponding protrusion 110 on the other. It should be noted that there need not be a corresponding protrusion, and that an in-use indentation 108 is sufficient for the clip 70 to attach to the post. Referring to Figure 3C, it can be seen that when a post 100, of the type described above, is positioned in the recess 16 of clip 70, the post protrusion 110 extends into aperture 74 and tab 18 locates in the indentation 108 of detent 106. This dual locking feature results in clip 70 being firmly attached and secured to the post.

Clip 70, like clip 10, also has extensions in the form of two fingers 21 that define a passage used to locate an elongate strand, such as fencing wire, at a distal edge of the flange. Unlike the arcuate fingers 20, shown in the previous embodiments, fingers 21 are substantially straight and extend at an angle from the body 12.

A variation of the third clip embodiment is shown, in the form of clip 710, in Figure 9. In this variation, only one projection 14 has an end 72 that is folded inwardly and has an aperture therein (for receiving the protrusion of a detent on the post surface). The other projection has an element, in the form of a tab 18, located therein, similar to the tab 18 disclosed in the first clip embodiment (clip 10). The tab 18 projects rearwardly with respect to the direction which clip 710 will be attached to (e.g. pushed or pressed onto) Y-post 100. This ensures that as the clip 710 is being attached to Y- post 100, the tab 18 will be deflected to allow flange 102 of the Y-post to be received in the recess formed between the inwardly folded end 72 of one projection, and the other projection.

Referring now to Figures 4A to 4D, a fourth embodiment of a clip 80 is shown. Clip 80 has a body 12 with projections 14A, 14B extending therefrom to define a recess 16 therebetween. However, clip 80 is bifurcated whereby each projection 14A, 14B comprises spaced upper and lower portions 14' and 14", respectively. In addition to the recess 16 for receiving the flange 102 of post 100, a lateral passage 22 is now defined, extending between the upper and lower portions 14', 14". This passage may also receive an elongate strand (e.g. fence wire) therein. The passage 22 extends through to the body 12 of clip 80. Clip 80 is also shown in Figure 12 attached to a Y-post 100.

Two additional, laterally extending, passages 22 are also formed by the two fingers 21 that extend from body portion 12. When clip 80 is attached to the post 100, this provides up to three passages 22 in which elongate strands can be received and secured.

In addition, each of the upper and lower portions 14', 14" in each projection 14A, B may be provided with an element in the form of a tab 18A or 18B. Whilst this embodiment shows all projections (14Α', 14A", 14B' and 14B") having tabs 18, other combinations of tabs 18 may be present. For example, only the upper projections (14A' and 14B') may have tabs 18 A, B or alternatively, only one upper projection 14 A' and one lower projection 14B" may incorporate tabs 18A, B. The projections 14A, B and tabs 18A, B (independently of the projections) deflect as clip 80 is pressed or pushed onto the flange 102 of Y-post 100, until the tabs coincide with a detent 106 or hole 104. The tabs 18A, B then deflect (snap) back.

In clip 80 each adjacent upper and lower portion 14A', 14A" and 14B', 14B" forms a side of the clip. The tabs 18A, 18B in each of these sides is, however, configured differently from the other. In this regard, the tabs 18A are shown in a larger recessed portion 82A than the recess 82B in which tabs 18B are located. Thus, clip 80 is more suited to use with a Y-post 100 comprising detents 106, rather than holes 104. In this regard, tabs 18A are shorter and are designed to move past a protrusion 1 10 on one side of flange 102, so that the protrusion 110 extends into the recess 82 and tabs 18A then abut against the protrusion, helping to maintain clip 80 in place on the post. Tabs 18B are somewhat longer, and are designed to extend into the indentation 108 formed by detent 106.

Referring now to Figures 5A to 5F, a fifth embodiment of a clip 90 is shown. Clip 90 comprises two parts, an intermediary device in the form of intermediary clip 92 and an outer clip 93. The intermediary clip 92 may be formed from two halves, 92A and 92B (Figure 5B). Intermediary clip 92 has a body 94 from which two projections 96 extend (i.e. each half 92 A and 92B defines part of the body 94 and also defines a respective projection 96 extending from the body). The two projections 96 define a recess 98 that allows a flange of a post 100 to be received therebetween.

In the embodiment of Figure 5, the inner surfaces of projection 96A (i.e. the part of the projection that comes into contact with a post when the post is located therebetween) has a projection in the form of a boss 120 and the inner surface of projection 96B has an indentation 122. Boss 120 and indentation 122 correspond to a post 100 of the type comprising an indentation 108 on one side of the flange 102 and a corresponding protrusion 110 on the other side of the flange 102 (i.e. a detent 106). This configuration allows the intermediary clip 92 to be simply located at the post (i.e. without being pressed or pushed thereon). Then, in order to secure the intermediary clip 92 to the post, the outer clip 93 is attached to the intermediary clip 92.

Outer clip 93 has a body 12 and two projections 14 extending from the body, with the two projections forming recess 16 in which the intermediary clip 92 is received. The outer clip still secures to the the flange 102 but via the intermediary clip 92. One of the projections 14 has an element in the form of tab 18, similar to those shown in Figures 1 to 4, although both projections 14 may have a tab 18 therein. However, in this case, rather than interacting with a side of flange 102, the tab 18 interacts with a deformed outer surface of the intermediary clip 92. This deformed outer surface takes the form of a cutaway portion 124 of projection 96, with two cutaway portions 124A and 124B being shown in Figure 5A. Tab 18 is deflected outwardly as outer clip 93 is pressed or pushed onto intermediary clip 92. Tab 18 then deflects (snaps) back when it is positioned over cutaway portion 124A to lock outer clip 93 onto intermediary clip 92.

Figures 5B and 5C show the tab 18 of outer clip 93 being positioned over cutaway portion 124A. In this location, strands (e.g. fence wire) may be located in each of the openings 97A and 97B. Once located, the outer clip 93 is further pressed or pushed to advance it further onto intermediary clip 92. In this regard, tab 18 can be positioned over cutaway portion 124B to again lock outer clip 93 onto intermediary clip 92, but in a different locking position. In this "inboard" position of outer clip 93, the strands move into openings 99 A and 99B of the intermediary clip 92 and are held captive by outer clip 93 (i.e. by the body 12 thereof). This "inboard" position may also enhance the degree of locking of the clip 90 onto post 100. A sixth embodiment of a clip 140 is shown in Figures 6A to 6C. Clip 140 also has a body 12, with projections 14A, 14B extending therefrom to define a recess 16 therebetween. The recess 16 is configured to receive, for example, part of a flange 102 of Y-post 100 therein. Projection 14A has an element in the form of a tab 18, similar to those shown in Figures 1 and 2.

Projection 14B has an aperture 52 therethrough, at a location corresponding to the tab 18. While the clip 140 may be utilised with a Y-post 100 having a deformed surface portion in the form of a hole 104, typically it is used with a post of the type shown in Figure 9, having a detent 106 therein. In this regard, when clip 140 is attached to the Y-post 100, the projections, having outwardly flared distal ends 24, and tab 18 are deflected past the post as the clip 140 is pushed or pressed thereon. Once the clip is sufficiently advanced, tab 18 aligns with indentation 108 and deflects (snaps) back to its original position. Projection 14B deflects (snaps) back to its original position whereby aperture 52 receives therein the rear protrusion 1 10.

Clip 140 also has two cutaway portions 148 extending into the body 12 and projections 14 to form a passage 22 therein. Passage 22 extends transversely across a rear of the clip 140 that faces in to the post 100 when the clip 140 is attached to the post 100. Passage 22 is configured to receive an elongate strand therein, such as fence wire. Whilst two cutaway portions 148 are shown in Figure 6, clip 140 may incorporate any number of cutaway portions 148. For example a single cutaway portionl48 may be incorporated into clip 140 or three or more cutaway portions 148 may be incorporated in clip 140. Each cutaway portion 148 has opposing fingers 150 extending from adjacent upper and lower portions of the body 12 and into the cutaway portion 148. Two cutaway portions 148 and two fingers 150 in each cutaway portion are shown, whereby four different strand positions along Y-post 100 are provided for each clip 140. One or more of these positions may be used.

The fingers 1 0 are angled in towards the flange 102 in use such that, when an elongate strand is placed in the passage and behind each finger, the fingers 150 assist with retaining the elongate strand at the flange distal edge 103. In this regard, once the clip is mounted to the post, each finger can sit close to or abut the flange distal edge. In order for the fingers 150 to abut the flange distal edge, it may be necessary to rotate the clip 140 about the detent 106 (i.e. push an upper or lower portion of the body 12 of clip 140 towards the post flange distal end, once connected thereto, thus rotating the clip and fingers about detent 106). While the strand may be placed into passage 22 before or after clip 140 has been attached to the post 100, an easier mode of attachment involves positioning the strand(s) in the passage 22 after the clip 140 is fully attached to the post. Once the strand(s) are in place, the clip 140 can be rotated so that the finger 150 that retains the strand in the passage 22 abuts the flange distal edge.

Referring now to Figures 7A to 7C, a seventh embodiment of a clip 170 is shown. Clip 170 has a curved tubular body 12 with two projections 14A and 14B extending therefrom, the two projections 14A, 14B defining a recess 16 therebetween. Recess 16 is configured to receive, for example, part of a flange 102 of Y-post 100 therein.

Projection 14A comprises an element in the form of a tab 18, similar to those shown in Figures 1 and 2. The tab 18protrudes into recess 16and is configured to locate in a hole 104 or indentation 108 of a Y-post. Projection 14B comprises a detent 142 that is configured to receive the protrusion 1 10 of a post detent 106. Whilst the clip 170 is primarily configured to be utilised with a Y-post 100 having a series of detents 106, it may also be used with a post having a series of holes 104.

Tubular body 12 also extends beyond (i.e. above and below) the projections 14, to define upper and lower heads 172. Cutaway portions 174 are provided in each of the heads 172 to define transverse passages 22 at a rear of the clip 170 that faces in to the post when it is attached to the post 100. Each passage 22 can receive an elongate strand (e.g. fence wire) therein. When the clip 170 is attached to the post 100, heads 172 abut or closely face the distal edge of flange 102 to retain each strand in passage 22.

Again, when attaching clip 170 to post 100, strand(s) are pre-loaded into passage 22 and the flared distal ends 24 are pushed past flange 102 of a Y-post 100 biasing the projections out and deflecting the tab 18 until it aligns with indentation 108. Similarly, detent 142 aligns with protrusion 110.

An eighth embodiment of an apparatus in the form of a clip 190 is shown in Figures 8A to 8C, attached to a Y-post 200. Clip 190 is similar to the first clip embodiment 10 in that clip 190 also has a body 12 with two projections 14 extending therefrom and defining a recess therebetween. In this embodiment, both projections 14 have an element in the form of a tab 192, located therein. Tabs 192 are shown extending rearwardly, with respect to the direction in which the clip 190 is attached to the post 200, from a remainder of the projection 14. The tabs 192 are shown each having a distal end with a generally elongate profile. The profile of the tab distal end generally corresponds to the shape or geometry of the deformed surface portion, in the form of elongate aperture 202, on post 200.

Unlike other clip embodiments, the distal ends 24 of projections 14 are outwardly flared such that they are substantially perpendicular to the remainder of the projections 14, forming flanges 194. In addition to allowing a post flange 204 to be readily inserted between the projections 14, by assisting with biasing the projections apart whilst the clip 192 is being located at the post flange 204, the clip flanges 194 can also be used to remove the clip 190 from the post flange 204. To facilitate this, an aperture 196 is provided in each of the clip flanges 194. A suitable tool, such as modified needle-nosed pliers, can be inserted into the flange apertures 196 and used to prise the projections 14 apart. Once the tabs 192 are clear of the post aperture 202, the clip 190 can be removed from the post. Whilst the clip 190 is shown having an aperture 196 in each clip flange 194, only one such flange may have an aperture therein, or neither flange may have an aperture therein. Further, the distal ends 24 of clip 190 may instead be like the distal ends of earlier clip embodiments, and thus no such flange may be formed.

Clip 190 is similar to the first clip embodiment in that clip 190 also has extension in the form of upper and lower arcuate fingers 20 that extend from upper and lower portions of the clip body 12. When clip 190 is attached to a post 200, the ends of fingers 20 sit closely to, or contact, the distal end 206 of post flange 204 to resist removal of a wire strand (that attaches to the post via the transversely extending passage 22 formed by the finger 20). Again, while clip 190 is shown having a finger 20 extending from both the upper and lower portions of body 12, the clip may alternatively be provided with only one finger extending from an upper or lower body portion. Whilst the fingers 20 are shown as being arcuate in this embodiment, either or both may alternatively be similar to the fingers 21 shown in the third clip embodiment (i.e. substantially straight, extending at an angle from the body 12 to form a passage 22). Clip 190 may alternatively be bifurcated, such as clip 80, or may have projection ends that are folded inwardly, such as clip 70 or 710, or may have one or more cutaway portions extending into the body, such as clip 140.

Examples

Non-limiting Examples of a method and system employing the clips of Figures 1 to 9 will now be described to illustrate how the clips may be applied to, for example, a post with a Y-shaped profile.

It should, however, be appreciated that the clips can be modified to have projecting arms spaced to locate onto posts in the form of poles, rails, cross-members, struts, stays, channels, etc.

Example 1

A Y-post 100 for use in agricultural fencing was selected together with a first clip 10. In this application, a four stranded wire fence was required, so four clips per post were employed.

Each post was suitably spaced and was driven ("sunk") into place in the earth with a fence post driver. Each elongate flange 102 was arranged such that a suitable "facing" of the resultant wires was achieved. The respective locations for each of the wire strands above the ground were noted (e.g. marked) with reference to the holes 104 along the flange 102.

The four clips 10, each loaded with a strand of wire in at least one of the passages 22, were now positioned at these respective locations, adjacent to the holes 104, and clipped (i.e. by press or push fitting) onto the post. As the clip 10 was pushed onto the post, projections 14 and tabs 18 were deflected, to allow the clip 10 to be clipped onto the post. It was observed that the tabs 18 deflected independently of the projections 14. When the tabs 18 were positioned over the holes 104, they deflected back to their original positions, thereby attaching the clip 10 to the Y-post 100. This otherwise completed this part of the fencing operation.

Example 2

A Y-post 100 for use in agricultural fencing was selected together with a second clip 50. In this application, a four stranded wire fence was required, so four clips per post were employed. Each post was suitably spaced, sunk and then marked as per Example 1. The four clips 50, each loaded with a strand of wire in passage 22, were then positioned at the respective marked locations, adjacent to the detents 106, and clipped (i.e. by push fitting) onto the post. As the clip 50 was pushed onto the post, projections 14 and tab 18 were deflected, to allow the clip 50 to be clipped onto the post. When tab 18 was positioned over the indentation 108 of post detent 106, and aperture 52 was positioned over the protrusion 110 of post detent 106, the projections 14 deflected back towards their original positions, thereby attaching the clip 50 to the Y-post 100. In this regard, tab 18 was now located in indentation 108 and protrusion 110 was located in aperture 52. This otherwise completed this part of the fencing operation.

Example 3

A Y-post 100 for use as part of a sign was selected together with a third clip 70. In this application, two posts and two clips per post were employed, with one such clip securing an upper side portion of the sign, and the other such clip securing a lower side portion, for each post. Three clips per post and three or more posts could be used for larger signs.

Each post was suitably spaced, sunk and then marked as per Example 1. Holes (e.g. an eyelet) at the respective corners of the sign were aligned with the protrusion 110 of detent 106 of Y-post 100. The clips 70 were then positioned at the respective marked locations, adjacent to the detents 106, and clipped (i.e. by push fitting) onto the post. As the clip 70 was pushed onto the post, projections 14 and tab 18 were deflected, to allow the clip 70 to be clipped onto the post. When tab 18 was positioned over the indentation 108 of post detent 106, and aperture 52 was positioned over the protrusion 1 10 of post detent 106, the projections 14 deflected back towards their original positions, thereby attaching the clip 70 to the Y-post 100. In this regard, tab 18 was now located in indentation 108 and protrusion 110 was located in aperture 52, thereby attaching the clip 70, and sign, to the Y-post 100.

Example 4

A Y-post 100 for use in agricultural fencing was selected together with a fourth clip 80. In this application, a four stranded wire fence was required, so four clips per post were employed.

Each post was suitably spaced, sunk and then marked as per Example 1. The two clips 80 were loaded with a strand of fence wire in passage 22 and were positioned at the respective locations, adjacent to the detents 106, and clipped (i.e. by push fitting or placing thereat) onto the post. As the clip 80 was pushed onto the post, projections 14 and tabs 18 were deflected, to allow the clip 80 to be clipped onto the post and, when the tabs 18 were positioned over or pushed past detents 106, they deflected back to their original positions, thereby attaching clip 80 to the Y-post 100. Because tabs 18A were formed in a recess 82 and, once the projections were pushed onto the Y-post, the recess encircled protrusion 110 and tabs 18A abutted thereagainst. Because tabs 18B were longer they were configured to be received in the indentation 108 of post detent 106, to resist clip 80 removal.

Example 5

A Y-post 100 for use in an electric fence was selected together with a clip 90, having an inner clip 92 and an outer clip 93, both formed from an insulating plastic. In this application, a two stranded electric wire fence was required, so two clips per post were employed.

Each post was suitably spaced, sunk and then marked as per Example 1. The first inner clip 92 was positioned at a first respective location, adjacent to a detent 106, and clipped by pressing the halves 92A and B about the post. The boss 120 of projection 96A located in an indentation 108 on one surface of the flange 102 and the indentation 122 of projection 96B received the protrusion 110 of the flange 102, to attach the intermediary clip 92 thereto. It should be noted that openings 99A and 99B of intermediary clip 92 were positioned such that part of the insulating intermediary clip 92 extended beyond the post flange (i.e. so that when the electric wire is positioned in openings 99A and/or 99B, the wire is distanced and insulated from the post).

Outer clip 93 was then clipped onto intermediary clip 92 (i.e. by press or push fitting) as far as cutaway portion 124A, such that the tab 18 deflected into cutaway portion 124A. The electric wire was then located in passages 97A, B, and outer clip 93 was pushed further onto intermediary clip 92, as far as cutaway portion 124B, such that tab 18 deflected into cutaway portion 124B. The electric wire moved into securement in passages 99A, B, whilst being insulated from the post. This otherwise completed this part of the fencing operation. Example 6

A Y-post 100 for use in agricultural fencing was selected together with a sixth clip 140. In this application, a four stranded wire fence was required, so four clips per post were employed.

Each post was suitably spaced, sunk and then marked as per Example 1. The four clips 140, were then positioned at the respective marked locations, adjacent to the detents 106, and clipped (i.e. by push fitting) onto the post. As the clip 140 was pushed onto the post, the projections 14 and tab 18 deflected, to allow the clip 140 to be clipped onto the post. Prior to the clip 140 being securely attached to the post (i.e. as the projections 14 and tab 18 were still being deflected), the wire was loaded into one (or both) of the passages 22. The clip 140 was then pushed fully onto the post so that it was positioned at the detent 106 of the Y-post 100, projection 14B deflected back to its original position to allow the aperture 52 to receive the protrusion 1 10 of post detent 106. Projection 14B and tab 18 also deflected back to their original positions, so that the tab 18 was positioned in the indentation 108 of post detent 106. This otherwise completed this part of the fencing operation.

Example 7

A Y-post 100 for use in agricultural fencing was selected together with a seventh clip 170. In this application, a four stranded wire fence was required, so four clips per post were employed.

Each post was suitably spaced, sunk and then marked as per Example 1. The four clips 170 were each pre-loaded with a wire in one of the passages 22, then positioned at the respective marked locations, adjacent to the detents 106, and clipped (i.e. by push fitting) onto the post. As the clip 170 was pushed onto the post, the tab 18deflected, to allow the clip 170 to be clipped onto the post. The clip 170 was pushed fully onto the post so that it was positioned at the detent 106 of the Y-post 100. Tab 18 deflected back to its original to be received in the indentation 1 10 of post detent 106, and projection 14B deflected back to its original position to receive the protrusion 110 of post detent 106 in its indentation 144. Fingers 172 held the wire in place against the distal end of flange 102. This otherwise completed this part of the fencing operation. Example 8

A Y-post 200 for use in agricultural fencing was selected together with an eighth clip 190. In this application, a six stranded wire fence was required, so three clips per post were employed, with each clip securing two wire strands.

Each post was suitably spaced, sunk and then marked as per Example 1. The three clips 190 were each pre-loaded with a wire in each of the passages 22, then positioned at the respective marked locations, adjacent to the elongate apertures 202, and clipped (i.e. by push fitting) onto the post. As the clip 190 was pushed onto the post, the projections 14 and tabs 192 deflected, to allow the clip 190 to be clipped onto the post 200. The clip 190 was pushed fully onto the post so that it was positioned at the elongate aperture 202 of the Y-post 200. When the tabs 192 were positioned over the elongate apertures 202, they deflected back to their original positions, thereby attaching the clip 190 to the Y-post 200. This otherwise completed this part of the fencing operation.

The clips were designed to release from the post at a given level of weight or loading. In this regard, the material for and the extent or degree of nesting of the tabs in the post flange was carefully designed and selected to release from the post at the given level of loading.

When, for example, such a system was employed in a fence line, and a part of the fence line was subjected to a relatively higher load (such as during a flood, or during dismantling of a section of a fence, or during accidental impact such as by agricultural machinery or a herd of animals, etc) then the clips were able to detach from the post to allow for release of fencing wires, etc. In such case, a remainder of the fence line was not damaged, or the extent of damage was minimised. Whilst a number of specific apparatus, system and method embodiments have been described, it should be appreciated that the device and system may be embodied in other forms.

For example, the clip may alternatively be used to attach signage, panels, etc to a post. Alternatively, the post may be a picket, rail, cross-member, strut, stay, or channel, etc. Further, whilst each clip embodiment is described as having various features, other clip embodiments are envisioned having a combination of such features. For example, clip 170 may be bifurcated similar to clip 80, and/or it may have only one of the upper and lower heads 172, or it may have an arcuate finger 20 or a straight finger 21 instead of one or both of the upper and lower heads 172, or the detent 142 may be in the form of an aperture, or it may be provided with one or more cutaway portions as shown in clip 140, or the ends of the projections may fold inwardly similar to clips 70 and 710, etc. Further, the shape of such detents, apertures and tabs are not restricted to those shown, and may also include triangular, oval, elliptical, ring, square, rectangular, rounded rectangular, obround, star, etc.

In the claims which follow, and in the preceding description, except where the context requires otherwise due to express language or necessary implication, the word "comprise" and variations such as "comprises" or "comprising" are used in an inclusive sense, i.e. to specify the presence of the stated features but not to preclude the presence or addition of further features in various embodiments of the apparatus, system and method as disclosed herein.