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Title:
BUCKLE-TYPE CLOSING DEVICE
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2018/229637
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A buckle-type closing device (30), placed between two parts to be connected to one another, comprises a first component (31) and a second component (32) that are associable with one another in a releasable manner in which said first component (31) of said closing device (30) comprises a chamber (33) in which a magnet (34) is housed and a support element (35), and in which said second component (32) comprises a ferromagnetic locking element (40) that is adapted to interact, in operation, with said magnet (34), said locking element (40) being movable between a first released position and a second locking position in which it (40) is attracted by said magnet (34) against said support element (35), said locking element (40) consisting of a lever that is rotatable with respect to a pin (43), said lever having a folded end (46) forming a coupling element associable with said support element (35), said second component (32) comprising a mechanical element adapted to act on said locking element (40) to overcome the force of magnetic attraction of the magnet (34) and return the locking element (40) to the released position of said first component (31) with respect to said second component ( 32 ) of said closing device(30). Said mechanical element comprises a pair of release components (42) that are elastically opposite one another specularly with respect to the longitudinal centreline of said closing device (30), each release component comprising a respective inclined plane (44) adapted to release said locking element (40) wedging itself between said rotatable lever and a fixed part, and removing said rotatable lever with respect to said magnet (34) and thus releasing said locking element (40) from said support element (35).

Inventors:
VACCARI, Nicola (Ferplast S.p.A, Via I° Maggio 5 - Z.I, Castelgomberto, 36070, IT)
Application Number:
IB2018/054221
Publication Date:
December 20, 2018
Filing Date:
June 12, 2018
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
FERPLAST S.P.A. (Via I° Maggio, 5 - Z.I, Castelgomberto, 36070, IT)
International Classes:
A44B11/26; A44B11/25
Domestic Patent References:
WO1995031120A11995-11-23
WO2014090926A12014-06-19
Foreign References:
US5323516A1994-06-28
EP0590207A11994-04-06
US2475226A1949-07-05
US6295702B12001-10-02
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
SANDRI, Sandro (Bugnion S.p.A, Via Pancaldo 68, Verona, 37138, IT)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

A buckle-type closing device (30) placed between two parts to be connected to one another, comprising a first component (31) and a second component (32) that can be associated with one another in a releasable way, wherein said first component (31) of said closing device (30) comprises a chamber (33) in which a magnet (34) is housed, and a support element

(35), and wherein said second component (32) comprises a ferromagnetic locking element (40) adapted to interact, in operation, with said magnet

(34), said locking element (40) being movable between a first released position and a second locked position wherein it (40) is attracted by said magnet (34) against said support element (35), said locking element (40) consisting of a lever that is rotatable with respect to a pin (43), said lever having a folded end (46) forming a coupling element associable to said support element (35), said second component comprising a mechanical element adapted to act on said locking element (40) to overcome the magnetic force of attraction of the magnet (34) and return the locking element (40) into the released position of said first component (31) with respect to said second component (32) of said closing device

(30), characterised in that said mechanical element adapted to act on said locking element (40) to overcome the magnetic force of attraction of the magnet (34) comprises a pair of release components

(42) which are elastically opposing one another in a specular way with respect to the longitudinal centreline of said closing device (30), each release component comprising a respective inclined surface (44) adapted to release the same locking element (40) wedging itself between said rotatable lever and a fixed part, and distancing said rotatable lever with respect to said magnet (34) and thus releasing said locking element (40) from said support element (35) .

2) The closing device (30) according to claim 1, characterised in that each release component (42) is equipped with a selector that is raised or lowered to bring the same locking element from a released position to a constrained position with respect to said first component (31) .

3) The closing device (30) according to claim 2, characterised in that said mechanical element comprises an unlocking element equipped with a cam profile which, by turning, acts on the same locking element, placing it in a distanced condition with respect to said magnet (34) and a released condition from said support element (35) .

4) The buckle-type closing device (30) according to any preceding claim, characterised in that said locking element (40) is equipped with an association means of the type with a hole intercepted by at least one respective projection of said support element (35) .

5) The closing device (30) according to one of claims 1 to 3, characterised in that said locking element (40) is equipped with a projecting association means intercepted by at least one respective hole of said support element (35)

The closing device (30) according to any preceding claim, characterised in that said locking element is equipped with an anti-unlocking safety system according to which said pin (43) is inserted into a respective pair of holes (41) provided in the body of said rotatable lever with a clearance that prevents the opening of said rotatable lever in the event of acting on only one of the two release components (42), since the two components themselves are released from one another and allow the rotatable lever to be released from said support element (35) only through simultaneous action on both release components (42).

Description:
BUCKLE-TYPE CLOSING DEVICE

* * * * *

FIELD OF APPLICATION

The present invention relates to a closing device for belts, retaining bands or other similar fastening or connecting means.

In particular, the closing device according to the invention is represented by a buckle intended for use, even if not exclusively, in advantageous combination with leads or collars or other harnesses for pets, typically represented by dogs.

With respect to known solutions, the closing device according to the invention offers simpler and more rapid and at the same time safer possibilities of use, i.e., in general, improved coupling and uncoupling methods.

The present invention is advantageously applied in the sector of accessories for pets and in particular, in the case of retaining means for dogs or other similar pets, but can also be used in other sectors such as for example the sporting sector, ' the sailing sector or in the mountaineering sector or also in the packaging sector or in clothing or accessories or in all those applications that involve. the use of bands or tie rods or other items.

PRIOR ART

It is known that belts, straps, bands, ropes, strings or cables or other similar retaining means are commonly used on numerous leather goods, footwear, clothing and other accessories in general like bags, briefcases, suitcases, rucksacks or harnesses and leads for pets. Generally, the essential components that make up a belt or a lead consist of a band of the rope type but more preferably of the web type, at least one of which ends comprises a buckle that in the case of a belt is intended to couple with the opposite end, whereas in the case of a lead it enables a collar or other harnessing elements of the animal to be coupled.

Typically, one buckle consists of a frame that can have different shapes, such as circular or rectangular or mixed shapes and comprises a buckle tongue that constitutes the locking element of the opposite end of the appropriately bored belt, whereas more recently plastic buckles with snap closing or rapid coupling have become popular that generally consist of two elements, a male element and a female element, that snap-close reciprocally, where the male element is fixed to the end of a first elongated element and the female element is fixed to the end of a second elongated element.

Generally, the male element of this buckle comprises a pair of elastic tongues, each of which is provided with a tooth placed at the end, in which each of the teeth is arranged opposite the other. In order to connect the two ends to be joined, the elastic tongues of the male part of the buckle penetrate suitable seats in the female part, causing locking thereof in the form of elastic fitting. To open the buckle, the elastic tongues are pressed against one another so as to unlock the mechanism to enable the two parts to be detached.

These are amongst the most widely used solutions but, in use, problems of impracticality of use and possible breakage of the continuously stressed elastic parts and difficulties of reciprocal joining have been encountered . Further closing devices known in the prior art, made to overcome the problems of snap buckles, are for example indicated in EP2833754, in which it is disclosed that for the detachable connection of two parts a fitting locking element is used that is made of two parts, each of which is fixed to each end of the elements to be connected, said two parts comprising coupling protrusions made in such a manner that the first coupling projection can be taken to couple with the second coupling projection in the coupling direction, so that in the normal position the positive coupling of the first coupling projection with the second coupling projection is locked against the coupling direction.

In this case, between the first closing part and the second closing part a magnetic mechanism .acts that is formed to support the coupling of the first closing part with the second closing part by providing a magnetic attraction force that avoids the detachment of the joined parts .

This solution provides for two magnets, i.e. one installed on the male part and the other on the female part of the buckle, but maintaining the closure between the two elements of the buckle is purely mechanical due to the contrast between the first and the second projection, whereas the magnets enable the two elements to be attracted.

In other words the magnets do not perform a resistance function, but only an attracting function to invite the two parts that have to join one another, so it is true that without the magnets the system would function in the same manner whereas the core of this solution relates to the coupling between two projections that remain locked along the opening axis. In this case, the buckle is constructionally complex and does not offer sufficient characteristics of resistance to mechanical stress and simplicity of use.

Similarly, also the solution proposed in EP3039983 provides a closing device between two parts to be connected, comprising a first closing component with a first stiff closing projection and a second closing component that is attachable to the first closing component and in a closed position is held on the first closing component.

In this case, the second closing component comprises a second stiff closing projection in which the second closing projection can be engaged to the first closing projection in an engagement direction and in the closed position engages the first closing projection in a positive closing manner.

According to this solution, the first closing component comprises a first magnetic component and the second closing component comprises a second magnetic component, where the first magnetic component and the second magnetic component are constituted to attract one another magnetically when the second closure member adheres to the first closure member to close the closure device .

Also in this case, the magnets do not perform a holding function, but only an attracting function to lead the two parts that have to join one another, so it is true that without the magnets the system would function in the same manner whereas the core of this solution relates to the coupling between the components that remain locked along the opening axis.

Lastly, according to US20150337879 a closing device comprises a first closing part and a second closing part that can be joined to one another, in this case being completely mechanical means, i.e. means that is not associated with mechanical means as the closing means is of the elastic type that is slidable along the engagement direction .

Document US 5323516 discloses a closing device according to the preamble of claim 1.

DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The present invention proposes providing a buckle- type closing device for belts, retaining bands or other similar buckling or connecting means provided with a coupling between two projections kept in place owing to the presence of a magnetic element that is the element that is able to maintain the two parts in a closed position, thus creating a condition that is able to eliminate or at least reduce the drawbacks highlighted above .

The invention proposes in particular providing a closing device that is easy to make and effective to use in all situations in which a coupling has to be made between two ends to be joined, for example between components of a lead or other applications also in other sectors like for example sport or leisure, in the sailing sector or in the mountaineering sector or also in the sector of packaging or also clothing or accessories.

This is obtained through a buckle-type closing device, whose characteristics are described in the main claim.

The dependent claims of the present solution delineate advantageous embodiments of the invention.

The main advantages of this solution relate to the fact that the buckle-type closing device consists of two parts that co-penetrate and are retained in the closing step by a lever component that is retained in the closed position by a magnet with respect to which the lever component can be released to move to the open position.

A further advantage offered by the closing device according to the invention is due to the fact that the closing and retaining means of the two mutually coupling parts ensure optimum resistance to even sudden tension, and are simple to use because they are snap-fitting and self-centring in the closing steps and are as rapid and simple to release during the opening steps.

ILLUSTRATION OF THE DRAWINGS

Further characteristics and advantages of the invention will become apparent from reading the following description of an embodiment of the invention provided by way of non-limiting example with the aid of the figures illustrated in the appended tables of drawings, in which: figures 1 to 6 show schematic views taken from different angles showing the buckle-type closing device according to the invention in joined mode; figure 7 illustrates a schematic view highlighting the buckle-type closing device according to the invention in an exploded view;

figures 8 to 10 show schematic views of the buckle- type closing device according to the invention, arranged in coupled mode and in section according to lines D-D and E-E of figure 9;

figures 11 to 13 show schematic views of the buckle- type closing device according to the invention, arranged during the uncoupling step and in section according to lines C-C and D-D of figure 12; figures 14 to 17 illustrate schematic views of the buckle-type closing device according to the invention, arranged during the completely uncoupled step, partially transparent and in section according to lines B-D of figure 16;

figures 18 to 20 are detailed schematic views and in a section that is taken along the longitudinal centreline of a buckle according to the invention respectively in a closed position, in an uncoupling and completely uncoupled step;

figure 21 shows a detailed section view of the buckle .

DESCRIPTION OF AN EMBODIMENT OF THE INVENTION

With reference to the attached figures, and initially in particular to figure 7, number 30 generally indicates a buckle-type closing device according to the invention, that consists of a first component 31 associable with the first of the two ends of a strap to be joined and of a second component 32 that is associable with the second of the two ends of the strap or of another strap.

In the case of a collar or a harness for dogs, which represents the typical use of the invention without thereby excluding other possible uses thereof, the first component 31 is fixed to an end of the clamp of a collar, whereas the second component 32 is fixed to the other end, so that by joining the two ends of the collar and winding it around the neck of the pet, coupling occurs rapidly and securely.

According to the invention, inside the first component 31 of the buckle 30 a chamber 33 is obtained (figure 20) in which a magnet 34 is housed. According to the embodiment shown in figures 18 to 20 it is pointed out that the chamber 33 has an opening facing the end of the second component 32 of the buckle, which is engaged on the first component 31 in the closing steps .

Further, the first component 30 comprises a support element of the projecting support 35 that forms a corner 36 that constitutes the element on which the locking device will engage, as will be seen below.

The second component 32, associable with the second of the two ends of the second component 32 of the same or of another strap, has a joining front thereof that is shaped in a manner that is complementary to the first component 31, so as to be able to associate perfectly in a fitting manner therewith.

In particular, as shown in figure 20, the second component 32 comprises a hollow zone 37 delimited by a lower delimiting element 38 and by an upper wall 39.

In the embodiment shown in figures 7 and 21, in said hollow zone a locking element 40 is housed, comprising a lever made of ferromagnetic material, provided with drilled projections 41 and is movable in a direction that is rotational with respect to a pin 43, and a pair of thrust components 42 that are reciprocally opposite in a specular manner with respect to the longitudinal centreline of the buckle and are positioned on the same pin 43 on which the lever 40 is rotatably fixed.

The release components 42 are movable elastically towards or away from one another to move from a far position to a near position with respect to the centreline and with respect to the lever 40 that they intercept .

According to the embodiment illustrated in figure 7 the pair of release components 42 has inclined planes 44 that are arranged specularly to one another, i.e. converging towards the centre, forming an obtuse angle, and are placed in contrast by a spring 4 that maintains the planes 44 spaced reciprocally apart with respect to the longitudinal centreline of the buckle.

Said locking lever 40 that is movable in a rotatable direction with respect to said pin 43, has an arched conformation and ends with a folded end 46 that forms a coupling element adapted to be associated with the corner 36 of the .projecting support 35 which it grips, being attracted, in the closed position of the buckle, by the magnet 34.

According to this embodiment, the approach of the. thrust components 42 causes lifting of the lever 40 because the inclined surfaces 44 of the release components 42 intercept the lever in the step in which the inclined surfaces 44 approach, pushing to make the lever rise, with consequent disengagement from the corner 36 and the consequent opening of the buckle, overcoming the attraction of the magnet 34.

It should be noted that in order to ensure the opening of the buckle, the two thrust components 42 both have to be pressed simultaneously. In fact, a minimum clearance between the pin 43 and the holes 41 of the lever 40 is provided, so that, if just one of the two elements 42 is pressed, there is no complete rotation of the lever 40, which on the other hand tilts to one side, thus remaining constrained to the corner 36 and preventing the detachment between the two half parts 31 and 32 of the buckle.

In other words, said rotatable lever 40 is equipped with an anti-unlocking safety system according to which said pin 43 is inserted into said holes 41 of the lever 40 with a clearance that prevents the opening of the lever in the event of acting on only one of the two release components 42, since the two components themselves are released from one another, allowing the opening of the lever only through simultaneous action on both.

This characteristic represents a further safety element because it prevents unwanted opening of the buckle if just one of the two buttons is pressed.

According to a further embodiment, said locking element 40, comprising a lever made of ferromagnetic material, is equipped with an association means of the type with a hole intercepted by at least one respective projection of said support 35.

According to further embodiments, said locking element 40 comprising a lever made of ferromagnetic material is equipped with suitable association means associating with said support 35 of the projection type intercepted by at least one respective hole of said support 35.

According to further embodiments, technical solutions are also provided that replace the thrust components 42 and which are adapted to overcome the force of attraction between lever 40 and magnet 34.

In this case for example, a selector is used that is raised or lowered, or a lever is used that is provided with a cam profile that by rotating acts on the lever, to raise the lever or also something else.

The steps of uncoupling and coupling the buckle according to the invention will now be disclosed from the operational point of view.

Starting from the closed position illustrated in figures 18 and 21, in order to open the buckle, it is thus necessary to act with two fingers on the two release components 42 to move the two release components 42 towards one another. The two specularly inclined sectors 44 of the thrust components 42 tend in this manner to approach one another and be arranged below the lever 40 with which they interfere, and they impress a rotation on the lever that enables it to be lifted upwards, being released from the corner 36 whilst the attraction of the magnet 34 is overcome.

In this manner, the two components of the buckle can be released to move to the position shown in figure 20.

On the other hand, in order to close the buckle, it is sufficient to bring the two components 31 and 32 towards one another that co-penetrate in a fitting manner until the folded end 46 of the lever 40 of the second component 32 covers the corner 36 of the support 35 that is part of the first component of the buckle, because attracted by the magnet 34. Ί

The invention has been described above with reference to a preferred embodiment thereof. However it is clear that the invention is susceptible to numerous variants which fall within the scope thereof, and which are technically equivalent.