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Title:
ARTICULATED ARM FOR OUTDOOR AWNINGS
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/115460
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
Articulated arm (10) for outdoor awnings, which comprises: - a first longitudinally extended element (11), to be connected with one of its ends to a supporting structure and provided with elastic tensioning means (13) which are accommodated at least partially inside it, - a second longitudinally extended element (12), to be connected rotatably on one side of the first longitudinally extended element (11), with the rotation fulcrum (30) in a region comprised between the two ends of the first element (11), - an elongated flexible element (14) adapted to connect the elastic tensioning means (13) to the second longitudinally extended element (12), surrounding at least partially the region in which the fulcrum (30) is located.

Inventors:
BARBIERI, Amorino (VIA DELLE MORENE, 2/14, JESOLO, 30016, IT)
Application Number:
EP2018/084190
Publication Date:
June 20, 2019
Filing Date:
December 10, 2018
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
BAT S.P.A. (VIA H. FORD 2, NOVENTA DI PIAVE, 30020, IT)
International Classes:
E04F10/06
Foreign References:
DE4225299A11994-02-03
ES2131448A11999-07-16
EP3073024A12016-09-28
IT201700143319A2017-12-13
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
MODIANO, Micaela et al. (MODIANO & PARTNERS, Via Meravigli 16, Milano, 20123, IT)
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Claims:
CLAIMS

1. An articulated arm for outdoor awnings, characterized in that it comprises:

- a first longitudinally extended element (11), to be connected with one of its ends to a supporting structure and provided with elastic tensioning means (13) which are accommodated at least partially inside it,

- a second longitudinally extended element (12), to be connected rotatably on one side of said first longitudinally extended element (11), with the rotation fulcrum (30) in a region comprised between the two ends of said first element (11),

- an elongated flexible element (14) adapted to connect said elastic tensioning means (13) to said second longitudinally extended element (12), surrounding at least partially the region in which said fulcrum (30) is located.

2. The articulated arm according to claim 1, characterized in that said first longitudinally extended element (11) comprises a first end portion (15) for connection to a supporting structure, a longitudinally extended profiled element (16) inside which said elastic tensioning means (13) are at least partially accommodated, and a second end portion (17), which is for connection to said second longitudinally extended element (12) and on which said fulcrum (30) is present.

3. The articulated arm according to one or more of the preceding claims, characterized in that said elastic tensioning means (13) comprise:

- a mechanical return device (18) to be connected at one end to said first end portion (15) and at the opposite end to traction means (19) in order to subject said mechanical return device (18) to traction,

- means for maintaining tension (20) during the assembly of said first longitudinally extended element (11) with said second longitudinally extended element (12).

4. The articulated arm according to one or more of the preceding claims, characterized in that said traction means (19) comprise:

- a plate-like element (21) to be connected to said mechanical return device (18) and provided with at least one first transverse hole (23) and at least one second transverse hole (24), which is designed to protrude from said profiled element (16) in said second end portion (17), the latter being laterally provided with a window (25) at said transverse holes (23, 24),

- a removable extension (26) of said plate-like element (21), adapted to protrude from said second end portion (17),

said means for maintaining tension (20) during assembly comprising an element (27) for locking the sliding of said plate-like element (21) within said profiled element (16), which is provided with at least one pin (28) with which it is adapted to be inserted into an adapted said at least one first transverse hole (23) of said plate-like element (21) and is adapted to abut against the end of said profiled element (16) by return of said plate-like element (21).

5. The articulated arm according to one or more of the preceding claims, characterized in that said second end portion (17) has said fulcrum (30) on the side opposite to the side joining to said locking element (27).

6. The articulated arm according to one or more of the preceding claims, characterized in that said flexible element (14) has, at one end, a cylinder (32) to be arranged and locked in an adapted receptacle provided in an end portion of said second longitudinally extended element (12), and, at the opposite end, means for coupling (33) to said plate-like element (21).

7. The articulated arm according to one or more of the preceding claims, characterized in that said coupling means (33) comprises a hook which is adapted to be locked in a said second transverse hole (24).

Description:
ARTICULATED ARM FOR OUTDOOR AWNINGS

The present invention relates to an articulated arm for outdoor awnings.

The use is widespread of outdoor awnings installed on the walls of buildings, some of which are provided with articulated extendable arms for deploying the awning.

Such articulated arms are made up externally of four main components: a shoulder for connection to a supporting structure, a first profiled element connected to the shoulder, a joint, a second profiled element articulated to the first element by way of the joint, and a tip element for connecting to the end profile of the awning. In the sector, such profiled elements are often called the arm and the forearm, respectively.

Other components belong to the articulated arms and their function is to connect the above mentioned elements and to maintain the tensioning of the arm during use of the awning. For this reason, the use is widespread of a pretensioning device, which usually consists of a gas-filled piston or a helical spring. These, typically, pass lengthwise through the first profiled element of the articulated arm.

Assembly of such conventional articulated arms occurs in the following manner: at least one helical spring (or the piston) is coupled with one end to the shoulder and with the other end to a strap (or a chain or a cable). The spring and the strap pass lengthwise through the first profiled element and the strap protrudes from the latter, and is designed to be pulled in order to pretension the spring. Then the joint and the second profiled element are mounted and, at the same time, the strap, passing through these as well, is pulled in order to tension the spring and, finally, is coupled to the second profiled element.

Such conventional articulated arms reveal a complexity, and therefore a cost, both in terms of components and in terms of assembly, which can significantly influence the overall cost of the product. The complexity of assembly leads producers to provide the articulated arm already fitted, tensioned and painted.

Furthermore, such arms also show room for improvement in their operation. The pretensioning device, for example the spring, must be brought to tension with a force such as to keep the fabric of the awning taut. The greater the force, the more the arm tends to deform by bending. Furthermore, in this system, the spring is placed under further tension by folding the arm when closing the awning.

The aim of the present invention is to provide an articulated arm for outdoor awnings which is capable of improving the known art in one or more of the above mentioned aspects.

Within this aim, an object of the invention is to provide an articulated arm that is structurally simpler than conventional arms, in order to facilitate its assembly and keep down production costs.

Another object of the invention is to facilitate the tensioning operations and to improve the operation of the arm during its use.

Another object of the invention is to be able to supply the articulated arm not completely mounted.

Another object of the invention is to provide an articulated arm that is highly reliable, easy to implement and at low cost.

This aim and these and other objects which will become better apparent hereinafter are achieved by an articulated arm according to claim 1 , optionally provided with one or more of the characteristics of the dependent claims.

Further characteristics and advantages of the invention will become better apparent from the detailed description that follows of a preferred, but not exclusive, embodiment of the articulated arm according to the invention, which is illustrated by way of non-limiting example in the accompanying drawings wherein:

- Figure 1 is a perspective view of the articulated arm according to the invention in an extended configuration, applied to an awning;

- Figure 2 is a perspective view of the articulated arm according to the invention, in an inactive configuration;

- Figures 3 to 8 show steps of assembly and tensioning of the articulated arm according to the invention;

- Figure 9 is a partially exploded perspective view of the articulated arm according to the invention;

- Figure 10 is a perspective view similar to Figure 9 showing a step of assembly of the articulated arm according to the invention;

- Figures 11 to 14 are perspective views similar to Figure 9 showing other steps of assembly of the articulated arm according to the invention;

- Figure 15 is a perspective view similar to Figure 9 of the articulated arm according to the invention.

With reference to the figures, the articulated arm according to the invention, generally designated by the reference numeral 10, comprises:

- a first longitudinally extended element 11 , to be connected with one of its ends to a supporting structure and provided with elastic tensioning means 13 which are accommodated at least partially inside it,

- a second longitudinally extended element 12, to be connected rotatably on one side of the first longitudinally extended element 11 , with the rotation fulcrum 30 in a region comprised between the two ends of the first element 11 ,

- an elongated flexible element 14 for maintaining tension and adapted to connect the elastic tensioning means 13 to the second longitudinally extended element 12, surrounding at least partially the region in which the fulcrum 30 is located.

In particular, the flexible element 14 preferably consists, as illustrated, of a strap.

Figures 1 and 2 show the articulated arm 10 respectively in the active configuration of maximum extension and in the inactive configuration with the arm folded. In particular, Figure 1 shows the arm applied to an awning and connected to the supporting structure.

In the subsequent Figures 3 to 5, note that the first longitudinally extended element 11 comprises a first end portion 15 for connection to a supporting structure, a longitudinally extended profiled element 16, which is internally hollow and inside which the above mentioned elastic tensioning means 13 are at least partially accommodated, and a second end portion 17, which is for connection to the second longitudinally extended element 12, as can be clearly seen from Figures 10 to 14. The fulcrum 30 is present on the second end portion 17. In particular, on one side of the second portion 17 there is a pivoting portion with the fulcrum 30.

The two end portions 15 and 17 conveniently have parts for coupling to the profiled element 16 which are at least partially complementarily shaped to it and which have a smaller cross-section in order to be inserted with interference into its cavity, as can be seen in Figures 3 and 4. Those figures show the first longitudinally extended element during its assembly and during some steps of the pretensioning.

With reference to Figures 3 to 8, the elastic tensioning means 13 comprise:

- a mechanical return device 18 to be connected at one end to the first end portion 15 and at the opposite end to traction means 19 in order to subject the mechanical return device 18 to traction,

- means for maintaining tension 20 during the assembly of the first longitudinally extended element 11 with the second longitudinally extended element 12.

In particular, as can be seen from Figure 3, the mechanical return device 18 consists, in the example shown, of a helical spring, but it can alternatively be constituted, for example, by a gas-filled piston.

With regard to the traction means 19, these comprise a rigid plate-like element 21 to be connected to the mechanical return device 18, with the interposition of an extension 22 of the spring in the case shown, and which has at least one first transverse hole 23 and at least one second transverse hole 24, contoured, one of each in the case shown, and transverse with respect to the longitudinal direction of extension of the profiled element 16. The plate-like element 21 is designed to protrude from the profiled element 16, as shown in Figure 4, into the second end portion 17. The latter is provided laterally with a window 25, at the transverse holes 23 and 24.

The traction means 19 also comprise a removable extension 26 of the plate-like element 21, which is adapted to protrude from the second end portion 17, in the manner shown in Figure 5.

The plate-like element 21 has a barbed hook 21a at the end, in order to facilitate the disengagement of the removable extension 26. Conveniently, the removable extension 26, at the end for coupling with the plate-like element 21, has a fork 26a with a transverse link, onto which the element 21 hooks with the hook 21a, as shown in Figure 4.

The tensioning means 20 during assembly comprise an element 27 for locking the sliding of the plate-like element 21 within the profiled element 16, and which is provided with at least one pin 28 with which it is adapted to be inserted into an adapted first transverse hole 23 of the plate-like element 21 and is adapted to abut against the end of the profiled element 16 by return of the plate-like element 21, as a result of the return device 18.

Figures 6 to 8 show what has just been described and, in particular, Figure 8 shows the moment when the locking element 27 abuts against the profiled element 16.

Figure 9 separately shows the first longitudinally extended element 11, the second longitudinally extended element 12, and the flexible element 14.

The end of the first longitudinally extended element 11 , at the second end portion 17, is open, as can be seen in Figures 4 to 8, for the outward passage of the removable extension 26 during the step of tensioning, and can be closed, as illustrated in the subsequent figures, by way of a special cylinder 29 with an axial hole for the passage of a pin or the like which locks its positioning.

The second end portion 17 has the fulcrum 30 on the side opposite to the side joining to the locking element 27. The fulcrum 30 is in a pivoting portion that consists of a portion protruding from the second end portion 17 and adapted to be inserted into a forked seat on the end of the second longitudinally extended element 12, and to be locked to it by way of a pin 31 inserted in the direction perpendicular to the direction of extension of the two elements. Figure 10 shows the joining of the two with the insertion of the pin 31.

Figures 11 to 14 show other steps of assembly of the two longitudinal elements, with connection by way of the flexible element 14.

The flexible element 14 has, at one end, a cylinder 32 to be arranged and locked in an adapted receptacle provided in an end portion of the second longitudinally extended element 12, and, at the opposite end, means for coupling 33 to the plate-like element 21.

The cylinder 32 can be substituted by any other alternative means for joining the flexible element 14 to the second longitudinally extended element 12.

The means for coupling 33 comprise a fastener, substantially mushroom-shaped, which is adapted to be locked in the second transverse hole 24. The latter is conveniently 8-shaped, with a wider part for inserting the fastener and a narrower part in which the fastener is secured.

As can be seen in Figure 13 and in Figure 14, there is also an additional cylinder 34 to be inserted through the window 25 in order to keep a part of the flexible element 14 inside the second end portion 17, which is locked in its seat by way of a pin 35 or a screw or the like which passes transversely through the longitudinal element 11 and axially through the cylinder. The flexible element 14, in being fastened to the plate- like element 21, is indirectly fastened to the elastic tensioning means 13 and encircles the end of the first element 11 in order to be fastened laterally to the second element 12, proximate to the fulcrum 30.

As shown in Figure 15, there are also covers 36 and 37 for closing the window 25 and openings for the insertion of pins and cylinders.

Use of the articulated arm, according to the invention, is as follows in its assembly.

The mechanical return device 18, i.e. the spring in the example, is connected, as shown in Figure 3, with one end to the first end portion 15 and with the other end to the plate-like element 21, with the interposition between the two of an extension 22, which is conveniently rigid.

The profiled element 16 is fitted over these, and the plate-like element protrudes partially from such profiled element, as shown in Figure 4.

The removable extension 26 is associated with the free end of the plate-like element 21, in order to facilitate holding, and the second end portion 17 is fitted over these and will be coupled with the profiled element 16, from which the extension 26 protrudes.

The extension 26 is pulled outward by the operator, as shown in Figure 5, thus placing the device 18 in traction and therefore creating a pretensioning.

While manually maintaining such pretensioning, the locking element 27 is inserted through the window 25, as in Figures 6 and 7 in succession. On releasing the hold, the plate-like element 21 tends to return, pulled by the return device 18, toward its initial position until the locking element 27 abuts against the end of the profiled element 16, as shown in Figure 8.

The removable extension 26 is removed and the end of the first longitudinally extended element 11 , from which it protruded, is closed by the cylinder 29.

The first longitudinally extended element 11 is pivoted to the second longitudinally extended element 12, as shown in Figure 10, at the fulcrum 30.

The two elements are connected by way of the flexible element 14: the cylinder 32 is inserted into and locked in the receptacle at the end portion of the second longitudinally extended element 12 and at the other end the fastener is locked in the second transverse hole 24. During this operation the second longitudinally extended element 12 is kept in a position with respect to the first 11 such as to define an angle greater than 90° between the two.

The cylinder 34 is positioned and locked through the window 25, as shown in Figure 13, so as to restrain the element 14. The second element 12 is closed toward the first 11 so as to define an angle smaller than 90° and, while maintaining this position, the locking element 27 is removed, as shown in Figure 14. The partial closure serves to increase tension, thus causing the sliding of the plate-like element toward the second end and therefore causing the removal of the locking element 27, which otherwise would impede the extension of the arm.

It should be noted that the pretensioning is carried out substantially only on the first longitudinally extended element 11 : the spring is placed under traction and the tension is maintained within the element 11 without involving the second element 12 until to moment the two are assembled together.

The articulated arm 10 according to the invention, in addition to evidently being simpler and quicker to tension, with respect to conventional arms, advantageously makes it possible to postpone the assembly of the two longitudinal elements. In fact, these must not be joined simultaneously with the pretensioning.

Furthermore, the connection of the two elements, first and second, is objectively simple even for an operator lacking any training whatsoever.

It should also be noted that the fulcrum 30 is not arranged at the end of the first longitudinally extended element 11 , but rather laterally, along the second end portion. This advantageously makes it possible to increase the pulling leverage and therefore to develop the same tensioning force with less preloading of the return device with respect to what is needed in conventional arms and, as a consequence, reducing the risk of bending during its use.

The leverage is ample when the arm is extended and is reduced during closure, thus transmitting little of the tension to the fabric, which for this reason is preserved.

In practice it has been found that the invention fully achieves the intended aim and objects by providing an articulated arm that is structurally simpler than conventional arms, facilitating its assembly and the pretensioning operations, and furthermore it is less subject to deformations during use.

The invention, thus conceived, is susceptible of numerous modifications and variations, all of which are within the scope of the appended claims. Moreover, all the details may be substituted by other, technically equivalent elements.

In practice the materials employed, provided they are compatible with the specific use, and the contingent dimensions and shapes, may be any according to requirements and to the state of the art.

The disclosures in Italian Patent Application No. 102017000143319 from which this application claims priority are incorporated herein by reference.

Where technical features mentioned in any claim are followed by reference signs, those reference signs have been included for the sole purpose of increasing the intelligibility of the claims and accordingly, such reference signs do not have any limiting effect on the interpretation of each element identified by way of example by such reference signs.