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Patent Searching and Data


Title:
AUTOMATIC COUPLING DEVICE
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2016/180503
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The present coupling device comprises, arranged in two opposing walls of a box-like enclosure (A-B), two flexible tabs (10, 20) from which two raised portions which act against each other (11, 21) protrude inward, one of which (11) is adapted to engage a rigid laminar element (C) to be inserted between the two flexible tabs while the other (21), after the coupling, can be pushed manually in order to move the coupled raised portion (11) and release the rigid laminar element (C) to be removed.

Inventors:
BETTIO STEFANO (IT)
Application Number:
EP2015/069407
Publication Date:
November 17, 2016
Filing Date:
August 25, 2015
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
REXSITT ITALIA S R L (IT)
International Classes:
F16B12/26; A44B11/26; F16B12/38
Foreign References:
AT391408B1990-10-10
US6430846B12002-08-13
GB2263136A1993-07-14
Other References:
None
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
MODIANO, Micaela (Modiano & Partners, Via Meravigli 16, Milano, I-20123, IT)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1. An automatic coupling device, characterized in that arranged in two opposing walls of a box-like enclosure (A-B) are two flexible tabs (10, 20) from which two raised portions which act against each other (11 , 21) protrude inward, one of which (11) is adapted to engage a rigid laminar element (C) to be inserted between the two flexible tabs while the other (21), after the coupling, can be pushed manually in order to move the coupled raised portion (11) and release the rigid laminar element (C) to be removed.

2. The device according to claim 1, characterized in that in the rigid laminar element (C), at least one grapnel (30) protrudes from each one of the ends to be coupled, so that the folded end of such grapnel can be engaged by the raised portion (11).

3. The device according to claim 2, characterized in that the raised portion (11) has a wedge-like longitudinal profile in order to facilitate its engagement with the element (C) to be inserted up until the coupling of the at least one grapnel (30).

4. The device according to one or more of the preceding claims, characterized in that the insertion in the device of the element (C) is guided by the recessed seats (12 and 22) which are arranged in the components (A and B) at the end portions of a slit (18) for receiving and retaining the margins of the element (C) which in this manner is forced to advance by lifting the wedge-like raised portion (11) of the flexible tab (10) up to when, with the coupling complete, the tab elastically returns to its initial configuration and maintains the raised portion (11) so as to lock the folded end of the at least one grapnel (30).

5. The device according to one or more of the preceding claims, characterized in that the raised portion (21), having to act against the raised portion (11) in order to decouple and allow the extraction of the element (C), is dimensioned and positioned to protrude from the flexible tab (20) so as not to obstruct the passage of the at least one grapnel (30) of the element (C).

6. The device according to one or more of the preceding claims, characterized in that the edge of the box-like enclosure obtained by joining the components (A, B) is, except on the front, U-shaped thanks to the raised portions (15 and 25) which make it possible to slot it on the rigid part of a panel or of another structure to be equipped, where it is fixed with through screws for the seats (19) of the faceplate (17) which is provided with the slit (18) and rises from the component (A) in order to close the device at the front.

Description:
AUTOMATIC COUPLING DEVICE

The present invention relates to an automatic coupling device for elements, of furnishings and otherwise, to be connected and also separated, rapidly and without tools.

The aim of the invention is to limit the number of components of the present device to the minimum in order to limit its production costs and assembly times.

Within this aim, an object of the invention is to provide the device with the necessary strength while still limiting its bulk in order to not alter the design of the elements to which to apply it, and thus increase its possibilities for use.

Without ruling out other possibilities for use, one of the first intended uses for the present device is the modularity of furniture or of parts thereof and of panels for windbreaks and screens.

The characteristics of the invention are described below with the aid of the accompanying drawings, which include for the purposes of non- limiting example:

- Figure 1 is a perspective view of a coupling device and of the element to be inserted in it in order to couple it;

- Figures 2 and 3 are perspective views of the device opened, i.e. of the interior of two components;

- Figure 4 is a view of the inner side and Figure 5 is a longitudinal cross-sectional view taken along the central plane of a first component;

- Figure 6 is a view of the inner side and Figure 7 is a longitudinal cross-sectional view taken along the central plane of a second component;

- Figure 8 is a longitudinal cross-sectional view taken along the central plane and Figure 14 is a transverse cross-sectional view taken along the plane of the assembled device;

- Figures 9, 10 and 11 are longitudinal cross-sectional views taken along the central plane of the device during insertion and coupling of an element;

- Figures 12 and 13 are longitudinal cross- sectional views taken along the central plane of the device during the manual operation to release and extract the element shown in Figures 10 and 11 ;

- Figure 15 is a transverse cross- sectional view of the device;

- Figure 16 is a further transverse cross-sectional view of the device;

- Figure 17 is a further transverse cross-sectional view of the device;

- Figure 18 is a further transverse cross-sectional view of the device;

- Figure 19 is a longitudinal cross-sectional view of two screen panels which are fitted out and joined according to the invention;

- Figures 20 and 21 are, respectively, transverse cross-sectional views of the device.

From the accompanying drawings it can be seen that the present device is a form of box-like enclosure defined by the union of the components A and B alone, which are already adapted externally for fixing in place and internally for coupling automatically, and also releasing, a rigid element C which is previously coupled or to be coupled to another, similar device, or which protrudes from any fixed or mobile structure.

While the rigid element C is obtained preferably from a laser-cut metal plate, the components A and B are made by way of injection molding from polypropylene or another material adapted to make it possible for the tab arranged in the central region of both components to bend elastically under the action of external forces in order to then resume the initial configuration upon the cessation of such forces.

In fact, operation of the present invention is based generally on the fact that two raised portions protrude from the inner face of the above mentioned flexible tabs and act against each other, one of such raised portions being designed to automatically engage the element C while the other, if pushed manually, must act against the first one until the element C is uncoupled. Therefore in the element C, a pair of grapnels 30 protrude from each one of the ends to be coupled so that the end portions of such grapnels, folded and mutually opposite, can remain coupled, as in Figures 11 and 16, against the raised portion 11 of the tab 10 while the gap 31 existing between the end portions of the grapnels 30 prevents them from interfering with the raised portion 21 of the tab 20 during the removal of the released element C.

From the drawings which show the components A and B both before and after their coupling, it can be seen that their joining, which is obtained by inserting the raised portions 24 in the seats 14 and the screws in the seats 16 and 26, produces the perfect approach of the portion 13 to the portion 23 and the closing of the device whose edge, except on the front, is U-shaped thanks to the raised portions 15 and 25 which make it possible to slot it on the rigid part of a panel or of another structure to be equipped, where it is fixed with through screws for the seats 19 of the faceplate 17 rising from the component A in order to close the device at the front.

Also in the faceplate 17 is the access slit 18 for the element C whose insertion into the device is guided by the recessed seats 12 and 22 arranged in the components A and B for receiving and retaining the margins of the element C which in this manner is forced to advance by lifting, as in Figures 10 and 15, the wedge-like raised portion 11 of the flexible tab 10 up to when, with the coupling complete, the tab elastically returns to its initial configuration and maintains the raised portion 11 so as to lock the folded ends of the grapnels 30.

In the component B, at the flexible tab 10 of the component A, there is a similar flexible tab 20 from which protrudes the raised portion 21 which, since it has to be pushed manually against the raised portion 11 in order to make it possible to release and extract the element C as in Figures 12 and 17, has a smaller bulk in terms of width than the gap 31 between the folded portions of the grapnels 30 in order to not obstruct the exit passage thereof. Observing the cross-sectional views of the two screen panels in Figures 19, 20 and 21 , which are shown by way of example in that they are equipped and joined to each other according to the invention, it can be seen that in such panels the box-like enclosure of the coupling device, which is defined by the components A and B, is fixed to the rigid polyurethane structure 40 and, with this, it is covered by a layer of soft polyurethane 41 and by a covering 42 of fabric or other material that can follow the movement of the flexible tabs 10 and 20.

It is obvious that even though the example shown and described relates to the joining of two co-planar panels, the possibility is not ruled out that, in the same way, angled joins of any type can be obtained simply by arranging elements C folded in the angle to be formed with the joined panels. Furthermore the possibility is not ruled out that there can also be coupling elements to be stably fixed to a structure, fixed or mobile, from which the single end for coupling protrudes, as well as elements with more than two ends for coupling, or T-shaped or even cross-shaped elements.

Finally, without prejudice to the general characteristics illustrated and described, the scope of protection of the present invention also includes those possible embodiments which, although not shown or described, are in any case referable to one or more of the characteristics described and claimed herein.

The disclosures in Italian Utility Model Application No. RA2015U000011 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.