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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/2013/040655
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
An apparatus, system and method of 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 comprises projections that extend from body to define a recess therebetween. 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 deformed surface portion of the post. At least one of the projections has an element incorporated therein. The element can move from an inactive position, in which the post part is able to be received in the recess, to an active position, in which the element is able to interact 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:
AU2012/001146
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
Domestic Patent References:
WO2005075764A12005-08-18
Foreign References:
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 that is 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 incorporated into at least one of the projections for movement from an inactive position, in which the post part is able to be received in the recess, to an active position in which the element is able to interact with the deformed surface portion of the post to attach the apparatus to the post.

2. Apparatus as claimed in claim 1, wherein the post is of a type that comprises an elongate flange, and wherein the deformed surface portion of the post is formed in a surface of the flange, whereby the recess between the projections is configured to receive the flange of the post therein.

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 projection in which the element is located is elongate, and wherein the element is located towards a distal end of the projection, and is configured to be displaced laterally towards the deformed surface portion of the post, when the post is located in the recess between the projections.

5. Apparatus as claimed in any one of the preceding claims, wherein the element comprises a plug whereby, when the plug is in the active position, an end of the plug is able to be located in the deformed surface portion of the post.

6. Apparatus as claimed in claim 5, wherein the deformed surface portion of the post is generally shaped to correspond to, and to receive therein, an end of the plug.

7. Apparatus as claimed in claim 6, wherein the end of the plug has a circular profile, and wherein the deformed surface portion of the post comprises a corresponding circular indentation into which the end of the plug is able to be displaced.

8. Apparatus as claimed in any one of the preceding claims, further comprising an extension that proj ects 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.

9. Apparatus as claimed in claim 8, wherein the transverse passage is configured to receive an elongate strand therein, with the body retaining the strand at a distal part of the post when the apparatus is attached to the post.

10. 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 to define a passage that extends laterally in between the upper and lower projections and to the body, whereby a transversely extending opening is defined through the apparatus, with the transverse opening facing in to the post when the apparatus is attached to the post.

11. Apparatus as claimed in claim 10, wherein the lateral passage is configured to receive an elongate strand therethrough to locate in the transverse opening, with the body retaining the strand at a distal part of the post when the apparatus is attached to the post.

12. Apparatus as claimed in claim 10 or 1 1, wherein one projection of each of the upper and lower projections comprises a respective element located therein, with each element being configured to move from the inactive position to the active position to interact with a corresponding deformed surface portion of the post, to attach the apparatus to the post.

13. Apparatus as claimed in claim 12, wherein the element of the upper projection is located on an opposite side to the element of the lower projection. 14. 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. 15. Apparatus as claimed in any one of the preceding claims, wherein the element is moved from the inactive to the active position manually or by a mechanical, hydraulic or pneumatic tool, and/or the apparatus is positioned adjacent to the deformed surface portion of the post, manually or by a mechanical, hydraulic or pneumatic tool. 16. Apparatus as claimed in any one of the preceding claims, wherein the apparatus is moulded from plastic such as by injection moulding; or is cast from a metal such as a cast alloy, metal alloy, aluminium, zinc, 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.

17. 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 16; and

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

18. A system as claimed in claim 17, that comprises a plurality of apparatus, and a plurality of corresponding deformed surface portions spaced out along the post.

19. A system as claimed in claim 17 or 18, wherein the surface portion of the post is deformed during its fabrication.

20. A system as claimed in claim 19, 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.

21. A system as claimed in claim 20, wherein in (i) the surface of the post is deformed in one or more final passes of the roll-forming procedure. 22. A system as claimed in any one of claims 17 to 21, wherein the post is of a type that comprises an elongate flange, and wherein the deformed surface portion of the post is formed in a surface of the flange.

23. A system as claimed in claim 22, wherein the elongate flange defines a stalk, stem or base web of the post.

24. A system as claimed in claim 22 or 23, 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.

25. A system as claimed in any one of claims 17 to 24, wherein the post is of steel, or a steel alloy, or is moulded or extruded from plastic.

26. A system as claimed in any one of claims 17 to 25, wherein the deformed surface portion of the post comprises as least one indentation in a flange of the post, or comprises at least one aperture through a flange of the post. 27. A method of attaching an apparatus to a post, the apparatus being as defined in any one of claims 1 to 16, 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 part;

(iii) displacing the element of the apparatus from its inactive position to its active position to interact with the deformed surface part and thereby attach the apparatus to the post.

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

29. A method as claimed in claim 27 or 28, wherein, prior to step (ii), the element is moved to its inactive position.

30. A post that is adapted for having the apparatus as defined in any one of claims 1 to 16 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.

31. A post as claimed in claim 30, wherein the deformed surface portion is configured to snugly receive therein the distal end of the element.

32. A post as claimed in claim 30 or 31, 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.

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. The apparatus, system and method can be employed in applications such as fencing, demarcation, signage, retention, barricades, etc. The post can be defonned 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 apparatus, system and method are to be broadly interpreted, in that the post can form a rail, a cross-member, a strut, a stay, a channel, etc in the system. 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.

It is known that such holes and passages in the stalk 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.

In addition, the existing systems for attaching wire to a fence post present 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.

WO 2005/075764 also discloses various embodiments of a post mounting system and device in which the device secures to the post immediately upon assuming its desired located therealong (see, for example, Figures 1 to 4, or Figures 24 to 27). WO 2005/075764 also discloses various alternative embodiments of a post mounting system and device utilising a bolt or pin to secure the device to the post (see, for example, Figures 5 to 14 and Figure 22). The use of such bolts, or pins, which extend through a hole in the clip, a hole in the post and through a hole in the clip on the other side of the post, before a nut or similar is used to secure the bolt or pin is therefore known.

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), grid or mesh of e.g. wire, signage, panels, placards, barriers, 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 incorporated into at least one of the projections, for movement from an inactive position, in which the post part is able to be received in the recess, to an active position, in which the element is able to interact with the deformed surface portion of the post to attach the apparatus to the post.

In contrast to WO 2011/020165, the apparatus of the first aspect may be considered as providing a two-step attachment sequence. In this regard, first the projections are located adjacent to the deformed surface portion of the post. Second, the element is displaced from its inactive position to its active position in which it interacts with the deformed surface portion of the post to thereby attach the apparatus to the post.

In contrast to WO 2005/075764, the apparatus of the first aspect may be considered as providing an element that is incorporated into at least one of the projections, as opposed to being a completely separate component that can be lost or that is required to be tethered to the apparatus to prevent loss. In further contrast to WO 2005/075764, the apparatus of the first aspect may also be considered as providing an element that interacts with the deformed surface portion of the post, as opposed to either the other side of the clip or a nut, 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 surface of the flange. The recess between the projections may then be configured to receive a flange of the post therein. In this regard, an apparatus may be considered to be attachable to one flange of the post. 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.

The elongate flange can, for example, define a stalk (or stem or base-web) of such a post. For example, the post may take the form of a Y-post or a T-post. However, it should be noted that the apparatus is not limited to being mounted to the stalk, and may for example, be mounted to other flanges of the post. In addition, the post is not limited to having a Y- or a T-shaped profile.

In one embodiment, the deformed surface portion of the post may comprise at least one indentation in the post surface. Alternatively, or additionally, the deformed surface portion of the post may comprise at least one hole through the post surface. For example, the deformed surface portion may include one, two or multiple indentations or holes, 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).

An 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 hole may be formed in any suitable shape, such as circular, a vertically or horizontally elongate slot, rectangular, obround, rounded rectangular, triangular, elliptical, a passage, etc.

In one embodiment, the projection in which the element is located may be elongate, for example, it may take the form of a finger-like projection. In this embodiment the element may be located towards a distal end of the projection. The element may be configured to be displaced laterally with respect to the projection and towards the deformed surface portion of the post when it is located in the recess.

In one embodiment, the element may take the form of a plug. When the plug is in the active position, an end of the plug may locate in the deformed surface portion of the post. In this embodiment the deformed surface portion may generally be shaped to correspond to, and receive therein, an end of the plug. For example, if the end of the plug is provided with a circular profile, the deformed surface portion may be provided with a corresponding circular recess into which the end of the plug is able to be displaced (and be e.g. snugly received therein). In another example, if the deformed surface portion is an obround aperture, the end of the plug may be provided with a corresponding obround profile, allowing the end of the plug to be snugly received therein.

In one embodiment, the apparatus may further comprise an extension that projects from one or both of an in-use upper or lower portion of the body. The extension may define a transverse passage between it and the post when the apparatus is attached to the post. The transverse passage can be configured to receive an elongate strand therein (e.g. a fence wire). The body can retain the strand at a distal part of the post when the apparatus is attached to the post.

In another embodiment, the apparatus may comprise in-use upper projections that define a recess therebetween and that extend from the body. The apparatus may further comprise in-use lower projections that define a recess therebetween and that also extend from the body. The upper projections may be spaced from the lower projections to define a passage that extends laterally in between the upper and lower projections and through to the body. Thus, a transversely extending opening may be defined through the apparatus. The transverse opening can face in to the post when the apparatus is attached to the post (i.e. an inside surface of the body that in part defines the transverse opening can face in to the post when the apparatus is attached to the post). In this embodiment the passage may be configured to receive an elongate strand therein, such as fence wire. When so positioned, the body can retain the strand at a distal part of the post (i.e. when the apparatus is attached to the post).

In this other embodiment one projection of each of the upper and lower projections may comprise an element located therein (i.e. a respective element for each of the upper and lower projections). Each element may be configured to move from the inactive position to the active position to interact with a corresponding deformed surface portion to attach the apparatus to the post. For example, the corresponding deformed surface portion and the element of the upper projection may be located on an opposite side to the corresponding deformed surface portion and the element of the lower projection (e.g. located on opposite sides of the elongate flange of the post).

In one embodiment, the body may comprise two halves configured to be assembled together to define the body. This can allow the body to have a more complex construction. Each half may incorporate one of the projections. Thus, when the halves are assembled, the projections can define the recess therebetween.

In one embodiment the element may be moved from the inactive to the active position manually or by a mechanical, hydraulic or pneumatic tool. In addition, the apparatus may be positioned adjacent to the deformed surface portion of the post, manually or by a mechanical, hydraulic or pneumatic tool.

In one embodiment the apparatus may be moulded from plastic such as by injection moulding. In another embodiment, it may be cast from a metal such as a cast alloy, metal alloy, aluminium, zinc, steel, a steel alloy, brass or other castable metal. In a further embodiment, it may be a pressed or stamped metal. In a further embodiment, the apparatus may be machined from metal. The apparatus may also be formed by a combination of these forming mechanisms. For example, the element may be formed from a plastic, while the body and projections may be formed from cast aluminium, or vice-versa. In another example, part or all of the apparatus may further comprise a coating, such as metal body coated with plastic, or galvanised. Flexibility in apparatus construction enables the apparatus to be utilised in a variety of scenarios.

In a second 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 apparatus and post may be supplied together (e.g. in kit form) as part of the system. In this regard, the system may be self-contained and may allow the attachment of a range of items to a post (e.g. strands such as fence wire, grid or mesh of e.g. wire, signage, panels, placards, barriers, etc). When the system comprises a plurality of apparatus, usually a plurality of corresponding deformed portions are formed to be spaced out along the post. 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 of the system the surface of the post may be deformed during its fabrication (e.g. during roll-forming). For example, when the post is e.g. hot roll-formed, the deformation of the surface may be formed as part of the hot roll- forming procedure (e.g. during one or more final passes of the procedure). Alternatively, the deformation of the surface may occur as part of a cold-forming procedure that occurs subsequent to the roll-forming procedure.

In one embodiment of the system the post may be of a type that comprises an elongate flange. The deformed surface portion of the post 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.

In a third aspect there is disclosed a method of attaching an apparatus to a post. The apparatus may be as defined in the first aspect. The method comprises:

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

(ii) locating the apparatus on the post in alignment with the deformed surface part; and (iii) displacing the element of the apparatus from its inactive position to its active position to interact with the deformed surface part and attach the apparatus to the post.

In the method of the third aspect, step (i) may be effected during fabrication of the post.

In the method of the third aspect, prior to step (ii), the element may first be moved to its inactive position. Part or all of the apparatus, as disclosed in any one of the first to third aspects, may be moulded from plastic such as by injection moulding, or may be cast from a metal such as a cast alloy, metal alloy, aluminium, zinc, steel, a steel alloy, brass or other castable metal. As a further alternative the apparatus may comprise pressed or stamped metal, or may be machined from metal, or may be formed as a combination of these procedures. Further, part or all of the apparatus may comprise a coating, such as a metal coated with plastic, or galvanised. The post, as disclosed in any one of the first to third aspects, may be formed of steel or a steel alloy (e.g. when it is hot roll-formed). Alternatively 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 galvanised.

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 to 1C show a perspective and respective side views of a first apparatus embodiment, in the form of a clip for securing a wire strand to a Y-post;

Figures ID and IE, respectively, show cross-sectional views, taken on lines A-A and B-B, of the projections and body of the clip shown in Figure IB;

Figure IF shows a top view of the clip shown in Figure IB;

Figure 2A shows a perspective view of a second apparatus embodiment in-use, in the form of a clip for securing a wire strand to a Y-post;

Figure 2B shows an exploded perspective view of the second clip shown in

Figure 2A;

Figures 2C and 2D show respective side views of the second clip shown in Figures 2 A and 2B;

Figures 2E and 2F show cross-sectional views, taken on lines A-A and B-B, of the projections and body, respectively, of the second clip, shown in Figure 2C;

Figure 2G shows a top view of the second clip; Figures 2H - 2K show a top, side, end and front section views of the second clip in-use;

Figures 3 A to 3 C show a perspective and respective side views of an alternative first apparatus embodiment in the form of a clip for securing a wire strand to a Y-post;

Figures 3D and 3E respectively show cross-sectional views, taken on lines A-A and B-B of the projections and body of the clip shown in Figure 3B;

Figure 3F shows a top view of the clip shown in Figure 3B; and

Figures 4A to 4C respectively show a top, front and side view of a post, in the form of a Y-post.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF SPECIFIC EMBODIMENTS

Referring firstly to Figures 1A to IF, 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 in the form of fingers 14A and 14B extending from the body 12 to define a recess 16 therebetween. The recess 16 is configured to receive, for example, part of the flange 102 of Y-post 100 therein. Clip 10 is also shown having an element 18 in the form of a plug incorporated into finger 14A.

In this embodiment, finger 14B has an aperture 20 therein, opposing the location of plug 18. The aperture 20 of clip 10 is aligned to receive therein a protrusion on a flange of the post. In this regard, a cut-away region 21 is provided at the inside distal end of the finger 14B to allow the clip to be laterally mounted onto a flange of the post at the location of the protrusion on the flange.

The plug 18 is able to move from an inactive position (as shown in Figures 1A and ID) to an active position (i.e. similar to that shown in Figure 2K), whereby the plug 18 projects into the recess 16 between the fingers 14. The plug 18 may be moved from the inactive to active position by applying pressure to the plug (e.g. manually or using a suitable tool such as multi-grips or pliers).

The plug 18 is sized to lock or frictionally engage with its respective finger so that, having been moved to extend into the recess 16, the plug retains that position. In this regard, an external perimeter of the plug may be shaped or tapered (see especially section A-A in Figure ID). The shaping may be such as to allow the plugs to snap-lock in the advanced position. Alternatively, the taper may be such that the frictional interaction between the plug and the finger increases as the plug is advanced to extend into the recess 16.

The shaping that enables the plug to snap-lock may be achieved by moulding the plug (e.g. when the plug is moulded from plastic, or is cast or moulded from a cast alloy or metal alloy). The taper configuration may be employed when the plug is formed from a metal (e.g. steel).

As seen in Figures 4A to 4C, Y-post 100 has a portion of flange 102 that is deformed to take the form of a detent 104. In the embodiment depicted, Y-post 100 comprises a series of adjacent detent pairs 104A and 104B. Each detent 104 is formed by an indention 106 into one side of the flange 102 and a corresponding protrusion 108 resulting on the other side (i.e. the material is displaced, rather than removed). Each detent 104 depicted in Figure 4 has a circular form and is rolled into the flange 102 during production of the post (e.g. during the final stage of a hot roll-forming procedure). Whilst each detent depicted in Figure 4 has a circular form, the detent may take other suitable shapes, such as an elongate obround, ellipses, rectangles, rounded rectangles, squares, triangles, etc (not shown).

It should be noted that each detent 104 can be formed in the flange 102 such that a corresponding protrusion 108 does not result. In this regard, the indentation 106 can provide sufficient deformation to enable the clip to be attached and secured to the post. However, the clip can be configured to make use of the corresponding protrusion 108 (see e.g. Figure 2K) to thereby enhance its degree of securement to the post.

Clip 10 is attached to flange 102 in the following manner: clip 10, with plug 18 in the inactive (withdrawn from recess 16) position, is located in alignment with a suitably configured detent 104 (i.e. a suitably indented indentation 106) on the flange 102 of Y-post 100.

The clip 10 is mounted to the flange by being pushed or pressed in laterally such that the protrusion 108 moves through the cut-away region 21 until it is located in aperture 20, thus enabling a first means of attachment to the Y-post 100. Plug 18 is then displaced from the inactive to active position. The plug 18 is pressed so that it is snugly received into the indentation 106 of Y-post 100. This completes the secure attachment of clip 10 to Y-post 100.

The clip 10 further shows extensions in the form of in-use upper and lower hooked portions 22, 24. The hooked portions extend forward from the body 12 in a similar manner to fingers 14, and are bifurcated to define a continuation of the recess 16 therebetween. The upper and lower hooked portions 22, 24 are respectively spaced from the fingers 14A, B to define upper and lower transverse passages 26 that face in to a distal edge of the flange 102 of Y-post 100 (i.e. when the clip 10 is attached thereto).

The clip 10 may comprise just one of the upper or lower hooked portions, and may also be modified differently. For example, it can be provided with hooks, eyelets, clamps, crimps, etc in place of the hooked portions 22, 24. These can be used to secure various items to the post, such as strands (e.g. of fence wire), grid or mesh of e.g. wire, signage, panels, placards, barriers, etc. The upper and lower hooked portions 22, 24 can also be used to secure two different strand types to the post (e.g. straight wire and barbed wire).

As best seen in Figures IE and IF, the clip 10 may comprise and be formed from two halves 10A, 10B which are assembled to define the clip 10 and body 12. The halves 10A, 10B may each be moulded or cast. Each half incorporates a corresponding finger 14A and 14B such that, when the halves are assembled, the recess 16 is defined therebetween.

When the clip 10 is attached to Y-post 100, the distal ends 28 of the upper and lower hooked portions 22, 24 are located to receive therebetween a distal part 110 of the flange 102. The upper and/or lower passage 26 is able to receive and retain therein an elongate strand in the form of a fence wire S between the body 12 of the clip and the distal edge of the flange. This arrangement makes it simple and expedient to secure fencing wire to a Y-post without the need to thread the wire through holes in the post. Also, the post does not require wire-receiving passages to be cut or machined to extend into the flange 102 from a distal edge thereof, which passages otherwise decrease the bend strength of the post.

Referring now to Figures 2A to 2J, a second apparatus embodiment for attachment to a Y-post 100 is shown in the form of a second clip 200. The clip 200 has a body 12 and generally comprises projections in the form of upper opposing fingers 14A and lower opposing fingers 14B extending therefrom to define a recess 16 therebetween. The recess 16 is configured to receive, for example, part of the flange 102 of the Y-post 100 therein.

The upper and lower fingers 14A and 14B also define a lateral passage 26 that extends in to the body and defines at its end a transverse passage 27 through the clip 200 (i.e. which passage sits adjacent to where the clip 200 faces in to the Y-post 100 when attached thereto - see Figure 21). An elongate strand S, such as fencing wire, may be passed via lateral passage 26 to locate in transverse passage 27 prior to the clip 200 being attached to Y-post 100.

As best shown in Figure 2B, the clip 200 may comprise and be formed from two halves: clip half 200A and clip half 200B. Again, the halves may each be moulded or cast, or have a coating thereon and, when assembled, the halves define the recess 16 therebetween.

One of each of the upper and lower finger pairs 14A and 14B of clip 200 has a respective plug 18 located therein. In the embodiment depicted, the upper projection 14A of clip half 200A and the lower projection 14B of clip half 200B each comprise a respective plug 18. However, the plugs 18 of the upper and lower projections 14A and 14B may alternatively be located in the same clip half (i.e. 200A or 200B). Alternatively, only one of the upper or lower projections 14A or 14B may comprise a plug 18.

While clip 200 is ideal for use with the Y-post 100 having two adjacent detents 104, as shown in Figure 4, the clip 200 may also be used with a Y-post having one, or multiple detents. Where the post has only one detent, the plug 18 of either of the upper or lower finger pairs 14A and 14B may be inserted into the indentation 106 of detent 104. Where the post has multiple detents, for example three detents, the upper and lower finger pairs 14A and 14B, along with plugs 18, can be positioned adjacent to the detents which locate the wire fence strand at a suitable height. For a Y-post having adjacent detents that are indented in the same flange surface, the clip can be modified to have plugs in the same clip half. The clip 200 also comprises a cut-away region 202 at the inside surface of the finger that opposes the plug 18 containing finger. Specifically, upper finger 14A in clip half 200B and lower finger 14B in clip half 200A each comprise a cut-away region 202, each to allow a respective protrusion 108 to pass therein when the clip 200 is slide- mounted onto flange 102. It should be noted that apertures, such as those shown in clip 10, can be located at the end of each of cut-away region 202 and into which the respective protrusion 108 is received.

When the clip 200 is attached to Y-post 100, a wire strand S is first moved into passage 26 towards the transverse page 27. The plugs 18 are moved to the inactive position, and the clip 200 is located in alignment with detents 104 on the flange 102 of Y-post 100. In this regard, the cut-away regions 202 are aligned with the protrusions 108 on the flange 102 and the clip is then pressed or pushed onto the flange. Once the plugs 18 are aligned with a respective indentation 106 the plugs then displaced from the inactive position to active position by pressing (i.e. manually or with a tool) the plugs so that the distal ends thereof are received (e.g. snugly) in the indentations 106. This is illustrated schematically in Figure 2K, which shows a completed secure attachment of clip 200 to Y-post 100.

Figures 3 A to 3F show a clip 300 that is similar to the clip 10 described with reference to Figures 1A to IF, however, has been modified to allow both the clip and plug to be moulded from e.g. plastic. In Figure 3 like reference numerals to Figure 1 have been used to denote similar or like parts.

Many of the differences between the clip 300 shown in Figure 3 and the clip 10 shown in Figure 1 are aesthetic. The clip 10 of Figure 1 may be cast from a metal such as aluminium, and so may have a more slender profile and configuration. However, the clip 300 shown in Figure 3 has an increased stiffness due to the increase in thickness of the body 12, fingers 14, and hooking portions 24, 26 to accommodate for the use of plastic. In addition, instead of plugs 18 employing a taper to "lock" into the active position, the plugs 18 can be modified to employ a snap-lock to thereby lock into the active position.

Figures 4A to 4C show various views of a Y-post 100 suitable for use with the clips 10, 200 and 300 shown and described in Figures 1 to 3. The adjacent detents 104 can be used by a single-plug clip with e.g. a single finger pairing or a double-plug clip which has upper and lower fmger pairs. For a clip with a single finger pairing, a user may selectively employ the upper or lower detent of a pair, depending on where the strand is to be located.

The flange 102 depicted in Figure 4, for each detent pair, shows the upper detent

104A extending into one side of the flange and the lower detent 104B extending into the other side of the flange. To suit this arrangement, the upper plug associated with the upper fmger pair is located in that finger that sits adjacent to the upper indentation 106 of the pair, and the lower plug associated with the lower finger pair is located in the opposite fmger that sits adjacent to the lower indentation 106 of the pair.

Naturally, the detents 104 may extend into the same side of the flange, with the corresponding plugs of the clip then being located on the same side of the upper and lower finger pairs.

Each detent pair may be replaced by a single detent. The density of spacing of detents along the post may be increased or decreased as desired.

The detents shown in Figure 4 can instead comprise single holes or hole pairs and into which the plug(s) 18 can extend. The holes can also be preconfigured to the distal end of each plug (e.g. holes that are larger or smaller, or differently located or shaped, to known holes in fence posts can be formed through the flange).

Examples

Non-limiting Examples of a method and system employing the clips of Figures 1 to 3 will now be described to illustrate how the clips may be applied to, for example, a post with a Y-shaped profile such as that shown in Figure 4.

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. Further, the clips and posts can be modified to have different shaped plugs and deformed surface portions, respectively.

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 detents 104 along the flange 102.

The four clips 10, each loaded with a strand of wire in at least one of the passages 26, were now positioned at these respective locations, adjacent to the detents 104, and clipped (i.e. by push fitting) onto the post. The plug 18 was then moved from its inactive position to its active position (i.e. by pressing/pushing the plug towards the post), whereby the plug 18 moved into indentation 106, thereby attaching the clip 10 to the Y-post 100. This generally completed this part of the fencing operation.

In a variation, at least some of the clips 10 had a second strand of barbed wire loaded into the vacant one of the passages 26 to then also be secured onto the post. Example 2

A Y-post 100 for use in agricultural fencing was selected together with a second clip 200. In this application, a three stranded wire fence was required, so three clips per post were employed.

Each post was suitably spaced, sunk and then marked as per Example 1. The three clips 200, each loaded with a strand of wire in passage 26, were then positioned at the respective marked locations, adjacent to the detents 104, and clipped (i.e. by push fitting) onto the post. The plug 18 of the upper finger pair 14A was then moved from an inactive position to an active position by pressing/pushing the plug towards the post, whereby the plug 18 moved into indentation 106. The plug 18 in lower finger pair 14B was subsequently moved from an inactive to an active position, whereby the plug moved into indentation 106. The dual plug clip was observed to firmly secure the clip 10 to the Y-post 100.

It was noted that the order of moving upper plug 18 and lower plug 18 was not critical (i.e. both could be moved simultaneously or sequentially). This otherwise completed this part of the fencing operation. Example 3

A Y-post 100 for use in an agricultural fence was selected together with clip 300 formed from an insulating plastic. 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 300 were loaded with a strand of fence wire and were positioned at the respective locations, adjacent to the detents 104, and clipped (i.e. by push fitting or placing thereat) onto the post. The plug 18 was then moved from an inactive position to an active position by a mechanical hand tool, whereby the plug 18 moved into indentation 106, thereby attaching the clip 300 to the Y-post 100.

Example 4

A Y-post 100 for use as part of a sign was selected together with a clip 10, comprising two separate parts 10A and 10B. 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. Three clips per post and three or more posts were observed to 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 108 of detent 104. Clip part 10B was aligned with the protrusion 108 so that when clip part 10B was adjacent the Y-post 100, aperture 20 was placed over the protrusion 108. Clip part 10A was then reattached to clip part 10B (i.e. by an interference or press-fit), and thus clip 10 was located at Y-post 100.

Plug 18 was then moved from an inactive position to an active position by a pneumatic hand tool, whereby the plug 18 moved into indentation 106, thereby attaching the clip 10 to the Y-post 100.

Example 5

A Y-post 100 for use in agricultural fencing was selected together with a clip. 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 were positioned at these respective locations, adjacent to the detents 104, and clipped (i.e. by push fitting) onto the post. The plug 18 was then moved from an inactive position to an active position (i.e. by pressing/pushing the plug towards the post), whereby the plug 18 moved into indentation 106, thereby attaching the clip to the Y-post 100.

However, in this example, the upper and/or lower projections 24, 22 projected such that a small gap remained between the distal end 110 of Y-post 100 and the projections 22, 24. This allowed the wire strand to be urged into passages 26 after the clip had been attached to the Y-post 100 (i.e. there was no need for pre-loading of the wire).

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 clips may be used as is or modified to attach barbed or braided wire, wire mesh or grid, signage, panels, placards, etc to a post. Alternatively, the post may be a picket, rail, cross-member, strut, stay, or channel, etc. Further, the shape of detents, apertures and plugs are not restricted to those shown, and may also include triangular, oval, elliptical, ring, square, rectangular, rounded rectangular, obround, star, etc shapes.

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.




 
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