Login| Sign Up| Help| Contact|

Patent Searching and Data


Title:
A BUSHING USED FOR A NUT FASTENING CLAMP ASSEMBLY
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2018/237362
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The present application provides a bushing (600) that facilitates driving a nut clamp assembly (500). The bushing has a hollow cylindrical shape and has an outer wall and an inner wall; the inner wall comprises a plurality of inner ribs extending axially along the bushing, and the bushing is mounted in a receiving channel of the bolt of the nut clamp assembly, wherein the friction between the driving tool and the nut clamp assembly increases, thereby making it easier to install and use the nut clamp assembly.

Inventors:
LI, Zhilin (155 Harlem Ave.Glenview, IL, 60025, US)
Application Number:
US2018/039168
Publication Date:
December 27, 2018
Filing Date:
June 22, 2018
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
ILLINOIS TOOL WORKS INC. (155 Harlem Ave, Glenview, IL, 60025, US)
International Classes:
F16B5/02; F16B35/04; F16B37/04
Foreign References:
US20150377266A12015-12-31
US20020150444A12002-10-17
DE102008055526A12010-06-17
Other References:
None
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
GROSS, Jason, P. (The Small Patent Law Group LLC, 225 S. Meramec Suite 72, St. Louis MO, 63105, US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
WHAT IS CLAIMED IS:

1. A bushing wherein the bushing is hollow and cylindrical and comprises an outer wall and an inner wall; the inner wall comprises a plurality of inner ribs, said plurality of inner ribs extending along the bushing in an axial direction; wherein the bushing is configured to be inserted into a hollow bolt of a nut clamp assembly so as to drive the hollow bolt to rotate relative to the nut clamp of the nut clamp assembly.

2. The bushing of claim 1, wherein the outer wall comprises a plurality of outer ribs, said plurality of outer ribs extending along the bushing in an axial direction.

3. The bushing of claim 2, wherein the plurality of outer ribs 606 and the plurality of inner ribs are staggered in the circumferential direction of the bushing.

4. The bushing of claim 2, wherein each of the plurality of the plurality of outer ribs is arc-shaped along a cross-section.

5. The bushing of claim 1, wherein: each of the plurality of the plurality of inner ribs is arc-shaped along a cross-section; a projection is provided on a top of the arc-shaped inner ribs; and the projection extends axially along the bushing.

6. The bushing of claim 1, wherein: an engagement strip is provided on each of the plurality of inner ribs, and the engagement strip extends axially along the bushing; each of the plurality of the plurality of inner ribs is arc-shaped along a cross-section; the plurality of inner ribs have a gap between two adjacent inner ribs; and each of said engagement strips extends from the starting point of the arc of a corresponding inner rib to the starting point of the arc of an adjacent one of the inner ribs to form a deformation space between said engagement strip and the inner wall.

7. The bushing of claim 6, wherein the cross section of the engagement strip is arc-shaped so as to form the deformation space.

8. The bushing of claim 7, wherein the engagement strip has elasticity.

9. The bushing according to any one of claims 1-8, wherein the bushing may be integrally formed from an elastomeric material.

10. The bushing of claim 9, wherein the elastomeric material may be a rubber material or a plastic material having elasticity.

11. A nut clamp assembly comprising: a nut clamp, the nut clamp comprising a sleeve, an inner surface of the sleeve being provided with a thread; a hollow bolt, said hollow bolt capable of being screwed into or out of the sleeve; and the bushing according to any one of claims 1-10; wherein, the bushing is inserted into a hollow bolt so as to drive the hollow bolt to rotate relative to the nut clamp, thereby adjusting the length of the nut clamp assembly.

Description:
A BUSHING USED FOR A NUT FASTENING CLAMP ASSEMBLY

RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] The present application claims the benefit of and priority to China application

Nos. 201710487440.8 and 201720744084.9, each of which was filed on June 23, 2017 and each of which is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.

TECHNICAL FIELD

[0002] The present application relates to a bushing for a nut clamp assembly, and more particularly to a bushing for a nut clamp assembly secured in a panel hole.

BACKGROUND

[0003] In the automotive industry, it is often necessary to fix fittings in which the fixing points are separated from the mounting points by different separation distances, and the fixing operation will be performed without changing the above-described separation distance. For example, a device for fixing an accessory such as a vehicle roof rack to a ceiling of a vehicle requires a fixed distance between the floor of the roof of the vehicle and the panel to prevent the panel from being collapsed when the accessory is fixed.

[0004] To solve this problem, a solution has been proposed in the prior art that uses a nut assembly with a length adjustment system to prevent the panel from being deformed or collapsed when a special tightening torque is installed or applied. However, when a driving tool is used to install the nut assembly of a length adjustment system, the driving tool may not properly cooperate with the nut assembly, which makes the installation process of the nut assembly inconvenient.

SUMMARY OF EMBODIMENTS OF THE DISCLOSURE

[0005] In order to overcome the defects in the prior art, the present application provides a bushing which has a hollow cylindrical shape, an outer wall and an inner wall; the inner wall comprises a plurality of inner ribs extending in an axial direction of the bushing; wherein the bushing is inserted into a hollow bolt of a nut clamp assembly so as to drive the hollow bolt to rotate relative to the nut clamp of the nut clamp assembly.

[0006] In the bushing as described above, the outer wall comprises a plurality of outer ribs, and the plurality of outer ribs extend in an axial direction of the bushing. [0007] In the bushing as described above, the plurality of outer ribs and the plurality of inner ribs are staggered in the circumferential direction of the bushing.

[0008] In the bushing as described above, each of the plurality of outer ribs is arc- shaped in cross-section.

[0009] In the bushing as described above, each of the plurality of inner ribs is arc- shaped in cross-section; projections are provided on the arc-shaped top of each of the plurality of inner ribs, the projections extending in the axial direction of the bushing.

[0010] In the bushing as described above, an engagement strip is provided on each of the plurality of inner ribs, the engagement strip extending in the axial direction of the bushing; each of the plurality of inner ribs is arc-shaped in cross section; there is a space between two adjacent inner ribs in the plurality of inner ribs; each of said engagement strips extends from the starting point of the arc of a respective inner rib to the starting point of the arc of an adjacent one of the inner ribs to create a deformation space between said engagement strip and the inner wall.

[0011] In the bushing as described above, the cross section of the engagement strip is arc-shaped so as to form the deformation space.

[0012] In the bushing as described above, the engagement strip has elasticity.

[0013] In the bushing as described above, the bushing may be integrally formed from an elastomeric material.

[0014] In the bushing as described above, the elastomeric material may be a rubber material or a plastic material having elasticity.

[0015] The present application further provides a nut clamp assembly, the nut clamp assembly comprising: a nut clamp, the nut clamp comprising a sleeve, the inner surface of the sleeve being provided with a thread; a hollow bolt, which can be screwed into or out of the sleeve; the sleeve as described above; the bushing is inserted into the hollow bolt so as to facilitate driving the hollow bolt to rotate relative to the nut clamp, thereby adjusting the length of the nut clamp assembly.

[0016] The bushing provided in the present application increases the friction between the driving tool and the nut clamp assembly, which facilitates the installation and use of the nut clamp. In addition, the bushing manufacturing process in this application is simple and easy to form. BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0017] These and other features and advantages of the present application can be better understood by reading the following detailed description with reference to the accompanying drawings. In the drawings, the same reference numerals refer to the same parts throughout, and in which:

[0018] Figure 1A is a three-dimensional structural schematic view of a nut clamp according to an embodiment of the present application;

[0019] Figure IB is a top view of the nut clamp shown in Figure 1 A;

[0020] Figure 1C is a side view of the nut clamp shown in Figure 1 A;

[0021] Figure ID is an enlarged view of part E in Figure 1C;

[0022] Figure 2 is a three-dimensional schematic structural diagram of another embodiment of a clamp nut of the present application;

[0023] Figure 3 is a partial schematic view of a panel used in conjunction with the nut clamp of the present application;

[0024] Figure 4A is a schematic view of the nut clamp of the present application in a pre-mounting position with respect to the panel shown in Figure 3;

[0025] Figure 4B is a schematic view of the nut clamp of the present application mounted relative to the panel shown in Figure 3;

[0026] Figure 4C is a schematic three-dimensional structure diagram of the nut clamp of the present application mounted on the panel shown in Figure 3;

[0027] Figure 5A is an exploded schematic view of a nut clamp assembly according to an embodiment of the present application;

[0028] Figure 5B is an exploded schematic view of a nut clamp assembly according to another embodiment of the present application;

[0029] Figure 5C is a perspective view of the nut clamp assembly of the present application assembled;

[0030] Figure 5D is a use state diagram of the nut clamp assembly of the present application; [0031] Figure 6A is a top view of a bushing of one embodiment of the present application;

[0032] Figure 6B is a perspective view of the bushing shown in Figure 6A;

[0033] Figure 6C is a top view of the bushing shown in Figure 6A when assembled in a bolt;

[0034] Figure 7A is a top view of a bushing of another embodiment of the present application;

[0035] Figure 7B is a perspective view of the bushing shown in Figure 7A;

[0036] Figure 8A is a top view of another embodiment of the bushing of the present application;

[0037] Figure 8B is a perspective view of the bushing shown in Figure 8A.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF EMBODIMENTS OF THE DISCLOSURE

[0038] Various embodiments of the present application will be described below with reference to the accompanying drawings, which form a part of this specification. It should be understood that although the terms indicating directions are used in the present application, directions such as "front", "back", "upper", "lower", "left", "right", etc. or azimuth are used in this application to describe various example structural components and elements, these terms are used herein for convenience of illustration only and are based on the exemplary orientation shown in the figures. Since the embodiments disclosed in the present application can be set in different directions, these terms indicating directions are merely illustrative and should not be construed as limiting. In the following drawings, the same reference numerals are used for the same components, and similar reference numerals are used for similar components to avoid redundant description.

[0039] Figure 1 A shows a perspective view of a nut clamp 100 of one embodiment of the present application. As shown in Figure 1 A, the nut clamp 100 has a base plate 102 and a sleeve 106, and the base plate 102 has an upper surface 103 and a lower surface 105. The sleeve 106 extends through base plate 102 and is generally hollow cylindrical. The inner surface of the sleeve 106 is provided with a thread (not shown in the drawings) for cooperation with the bolt 501 mentioned later (see Figures 5 A and 5B) . The sleeve 106 has an upper opening 110 and lower opening 1 12, the upper surface 110 of the base plate 102 on which opening is located below the lower surface 105 of the base plate 102 under the openings 112. The bolt 501 and a driving tool to be mentioned later may be screwed into or inserted into the sleeve 106 from the lower opening 112 and the upper opening 110, respectively. The sleeve 106 has a central axis A.

[0040] In the embodiment shown in Figure 1A, the base plate 120 is substantially square and comprises a first side 131, a second side 132, a third side 133, and a fourth side 134. The first side 131 and the second side 132 are oppositely disposed, the third side 133 and the fourth side 134 are oppositely disposed, and the first side 131, the third side 133, the second side 132, and the fourth side 134 are in turn connected. The first side 131 and the second side 132 are respectively provided with a first up-down direction holding claw 115.1 and a second up-down direction holding claw 115.2, and the third side 133 and the fourth side 134 are respectively provided with a first rotational direction holding claw 117.1 and a second rotational direction holding claw 117.2. After the nut clamp 100 is installed in the hole of the panel (such as the panel 301 shown in Figure 3), the first up-down direction holding claw 115.1 and the second up-down direction holding claw 115.2 restrict up-down movement of the nut clamp 100 perpendicular to the panel with respect to the panel, and the first rotational direction holding pawl 117. land the second rotational direction holding pawl 117.2 cooperate with the first up-down direction holding pawl 115.1 and the second up-down direction holding pawl 115.2, restricting the relative position of the nut clamp 100, and the panel 301 is rotated so that the nut clamp 100 is firmly mounted on the panel 301. Certainly, the base plate 120 may not be square but may have other regular or irregular shapes, which are all within the protection scope of the present application.

[0041] Figure IB is a top view of the nut clamp shown in Figure 1 A. As shown in the figure, the first side 131 and a connection midpoint of the second side 132 defines a line B, the line B passing through the central axis A of the sleeve 106. It should be noted that the midline B is only an auxiliary line introduced to facilitate description of this embodiment. When the base plate 120 has an irregular shape and does not facilitate defining the midpoints of the first side 131 and the second side 132, the midline B is a connection made to pass through the opposite middle portion of the first side 131 and the second side 132. The first up-down direction holding claw 115.1 and the second up- down direction holding claw 115.2 are provided on the first side 131 and the second side 132, respectively, and are symmetrically disposed with respect to the central axis A. The first up-down direction holding claw 115.1 and the second up-down direction holding claw 115.2 are obliquely arranged with respect to the midline B of the first side 131 and the second side 132, and the first up- down direction holding claw 151.1 and the second up-down direction holding claw 151.2 are located on the extension line C obliquely extending through the central axis a, the extension line C deflect obliquely relative to midline B, forming an acute angle a. For the convenience of description, the deflection direction of the oblique extension line C relative to the midline B to form the acute angle a is referred to as a first direction (i.e., a clockwise direction as indicated by an arrow Dl in the figure), and the deflection direction is reversed. The direction of the direction is called the second direction (counterclockwise as indicated by arrow D2 in the figure).

[0042] As also shown in Figure IB, the first rotational direction holding pawl 117.1 and the second rotational direction holding pawl 117.2 extend out from a third side 133 and a fourth side 134, respectively. Each of the first rotational direction holding pawl 117.1 and the second rotational direction holding pawl 117.2 has a proximal end and a distal end at a proximal opposite end, wherein the proximal end is elastically connected to the third side 133 and the fourth side 134 is a free end. The distal ends of the first rotational direction holding claw 117.1 and the second rotational direction holding claw 117.2 are located outside the edges of the third side 133 and the fourth side 134, respectively. As can be seen from the figure, the extending direction of the first rotational direction holding claw 117.1 and the second rotational direction holding claw 117.2 from the proximal end to the distal end is substantially the same as the deflection direction of the oblique extension line C. Thus, the proximal end of the first rotational direction holding pawl 117.1 is closer to the first up-down holding pawl 115.1 of the first side 131 of the base plate 120 than the distal end thereof, and the proximal end of the second rotational direction holding pawl 117.2 is farther than the distal end thereof. The end is closer to the second up-down direction holding claw 115.2 located on the second side 132 of the base plate 120.

[0043] The distal ends of the first and second rotational direction holding pawls 117.1 and 117.2 form the first and second working ends 170.1 and 170.2 of the first and second rotational direction holding pawls 117.1 and 117.2, respectively.. When an external force is applied to the first working end 170.1 and the second working end 170.2 in the direction toward the central axis A, respectively, the first rotational direction holding pawl 117.1 and the second rotational direction holding pawl 117.2 can be respectively deflected to the central axis A centering around their proximal ends. The first working end 170.1 and the second working end 170.2 have a non-working position and a working position, respectively.

[0044] Still referring to Figure IB, the third side 133 and the fourth side 134 are respectively provided with a first notch 180.1 and a second notch 180.2 at positions corresponding to the first working end 170.1 and the second working end 170.2, for, when the first working end 170.1 and the second working end 170.2 are deflected in the direction of the central axis A by the pressure, respectively accommodating the first working end 170.1 and the second working end 170.2.

[0045] Figure 1C is a side view of the clamp nut shown in Figure 1 A, and Figure ID is an enlarged view of part E in Figure 1C. As shown in Figures IC and ID, the first up-down direction holding claw 115.1 and the second up-down direction holding claw 115.2 are located on the lower side of the lower surface 105 of the base plate 102. The first up-down direction holding claw 115.1 and the second up-down direction holding claw 115.2 have the same structure. In the following, the structure of the two up-down direction holding claws will be described by taking the second up-down direction holding clawl 15.2 shown in Figure ID as an example.

[0046] As shown in Figure ID, the second up-down direction holding claw 115.2 comprises a bent structure having a vertically extending portion 151.2 and a laterally extending portion 152.2. The vertically extending portion 151.2 has a proximal end 154.2 and a distal end 155.2, and a laterally extending portion 152.2 has a proximal end 156.2 and a distal end 157.2. The proximal end 154.2 of the vertically extending portion 151.2 is connected to the base plate 102 at the second side 132; however, the proximal end 154.2 of the vertically extending portion 151.2 is not directly connected to the outer edge of the second side 132, but is separated from the outer edge of the second side 132 by a certain distance, and near the upper opening 110 of the sleeve 106.

[0047] The vertically extending portion 151.2 extends downwardly from its proximal end 154.2 in the up-down direction, and its distal end 155.2 is connected with the proximal end 156.2 of the laterally extending portion 152.2. The laterally extending portion 152.2 extends from the proximal end 152.2 thereof in the horizontal direction away from the central axis A so that a gap 140.2 is formed between the laterally extending portion 152.2 and the lower surface 105 of the base plate. The thickness of the gap 140.2 is not smaller than the thickness of the panel 301 so that the panel 301 can be accommodated. The vertically extending portion 151.2 has a first side edge 191.2 and a second side edge 192.2 (see Figure IB). The first side edge 191.2 is closer to the midline B than the second side edge 192.2 and the first side edge 191.2 is closer to the respective side. The base plate 102 is provided with a notch (as shown in Figure 1A) at a position on the second side 132 corresponding to the second up-down direction holding claw 115.2. Therefore, although the second up-down direction holding claw 115.2 is located below the base plate 102, the second up-down direction holding claw 115.2 can still be seen through the notch from above the base plate 102. The structure of the first up-down direction holding claw 115.1 is the same as the structure of the above- described second up-down direction holding claw 115.2.

[0048] When the nut clamp 100 is mounted in place in the panel 301, the panel 301 is sandwiched between the laterally extending portions 152.1, 152.2 and the base plate 102 so that the base plate 102 is in common with the first up-down direction holding claw 115.1 and the second up- down direction holding claw 115.2. This restricts movement of the nut clamp 100 relative to the panel 301 in the up-down direction perpendicular to the panel.

[0049] As an example, as shown in Figures 1C and ID, the distal end 157.2 of the laterally extending portion 152.2 has a downwardly extending guide leg 160.2 for guiding the nut clamp when the nut clamp 100 is mounted to the panel 301 to lead the nut clamp 100 to reach a pre- mounting position (the pre-mounting position is shown in Figure 4A). The guide leg 160.2 extends in the direction of the central axis A, and the width of the guide leg 160.2 gradually narrows from top to bottom to better play a guiding role.

[0050] As another example, as shown in Figure 2, the laterally extending portions

152.1, 152.2 are no longer provided with guide legs. According to this example, the nut clamp 100 can also restrict vertical movement of the nut clamp 100 with respect to the panel 301 by the first up- down direction holding claw 115.1 and the second up-down direction holding claw 115.2.

[0051] Figure 3 is a partial schematic view of a panel 301 used in conjunction with the nut clamp 100 of the present application. As shown in Figure 3, the panel 301 has an opening 302 and the opening 302 is generally rectangular. The opening 302 has a first length side 311.1 and a second length side 311.2 and a first width side 312.1 and a second width 312.2, the distance dl between the first length side 311.1 and the second length side 311.2 is smaller than the width (or length) of a third side 133 and a fourth side 134 of the base plate 102 of the nut clamp 100. The distance d2 between the first width edge 312.1 and the second width edge 312.2 is substantially the same as the width (or length) of the first side 131 and the second side 132. The panel 301 is provided with a first notch 305.1 and a second notch 305.2 extending outwardly from the first width edge 312.1 and the second width edge 312.2, respectively. The first notch 305.1 and the second notch 305.2 respectively have a first blocking edge 307.1 and a second blocking edge 307.2. The first blocking edge 307.1 and the second blocking edge 307.2 are transverse to the first width edge 312.1 and the second width edge 312.2, respectively. Thus, the first blocking edge 307.1 and the second blocking edge 307.2 form a corner 317.1, 317.2 with the respective first width edge 312.1 and the second width 312.2, respectively. When the nut clamp 100 is mounted in place on the panel 301, the first notch

305.1 and the second notch 305.2 receive the first rotational direction holding pawl 117.1 and the second rotational direction holding pawl 117.2 of the nut clamp 100, respectively.

[0052] Figure 4A is a schematic view of the nut clamp 100 of the present application in a pre-mounting position with respect to the panel. As shown in Figure 4A, when the nut clamp 100 is mounted on the panel 301, it is first necessary to place the nut clamp 100 in the pre-mounting position. In the pre-mounting position, the sleeve 106 of the nut-clamp 100 is inserted into the opening 302 of the panel 301, and the first up-down holding claw 115.1 and the second up-down holding claw 115.2 are approximately aligned with the diagonal line of the panel opening 302, and located below the panel opening 302, the first working end 170.1 of the first rotational direction holding pawl 117.1 and the second working end 170.2 of the second rotational direction holding pawl

117.2 are located in the panel opening 302 and are respectively located at the first place of the panel opening 302, near the notch 305.1 and the second notch 305.2. The first working end 170.1 of the first rotational direction holding pawl 117.1 and the second working end 170.2 of the second rotational direction holding pawl 117.2 are still in the non-working position.

[0053] Figure 4B is a schematic view of the nut clamp 100 of the present application installed in the panel 301 shown in Figure 3. From the pre-mounted position shown in Figure 4A to the mounted position shown in Figure 4B, it is necessary to rotate the nut clamp 100 in the second direction D2 until the first working end 170.1 of the first rotational direction holding pawl 117.1 and the second working end 170.2 of the second rotational direction holding pawl 117.2 are accommodated in the first notch 305.1 and the second notch 305.2 of the panel opening 302, and the first working end 170.1 and the second working end 170.2 abut against the first blocking edge 307.1 of the first notch 305.1 and the second blocking edge 307.2 of the second notch 305.2, respectively.

[0054] At this time, the first working end 170.1 and the second working end 170.2 of the first rotational direction holding pawl 117.1 and the second rotational direction holding pawl 117.2 reach the working position. During rotation from the pre-mounting position shown in Figure 4A to the mounting position shown in Figure 4B, the first working end 170.1 and the second working end 170.2 are first brought into contact with the corresponding corners 317.1, 317.2 on the panel opening 302, respectively, with the nut being tightened. The nut clamp 100 continues to rotate in the second direction, and the corners 317.1, 317.2 apply pressure to the first working end 170.1 and the second working end 170.2 respectively, so that the first working end 170.1 and the second working end 170.2 are deflected toward the central axis A so that the first rotational direction holding claw 117.1 and the second rotational direction holding claw 117.2 are elastically deformed. When the rotation of the nut clamp 100 in the second direction causes the first working end 170.1 and the second working end 170.2 to pass over the corresponding corners 317.1, 317.2, the first working end 170.1 and the second working end 170.2 will no longer be pressurized. The original shape is restored and accommodated by the first notch 305.1 and the second notch 305.2, respectively. The first working end 170.1 and the second working end 170.2 in their working position are blocked by the first blocking edge 307.1 and the second blocking edge 307.2, so that the rotation of the nut clamp 100 in the first direction Dl can be restricted. In addition, as described above, the panel 301 is sandwiched in the gaps 140.1, 140.2 formed between the first up-down direction holding claw 115.1 and the second up-down holding claw 115.2 and the lower surface 105 of the base plate 102, thereby restricting the nut clamp 100 moves up-down. At the same time, the rotation of the nut clamp 100 in the second direction D2 is limited by the vertically extending portions 151.1, 151.2 of the first up- down holding claws 115.1 and the second up-down holding claws 115.2, since the two holding claws 115.1 in the up-down direction, the first side edges 191.1, 191.2 of the vertically extending portions 151.1, 151.2 of 115.2 abut on the length sides 311.1 and 311.2 of the panel 301, respectively. In addition, the first up-down direction holding pawl 115.1 and the second up-down direction holding pawl 115.2, and the first rotational direction holding pawl 117.1 and the second rotational direction holding pawl 117.2 can also restrict the front-back, left-right, and right-movement of the nut clamp 100 with respect to the panel 301. As a result, the nut clamp 100 cannot be moved in the up-down, front, rear, left, and right directions with respect to the panel 301, nor can it move in the rotational direction, and is firmly fixed to the panel 301. During rotation of the nut clamp 100 from the pre- mounting position of Figure 4A to the mounting position of Figure 4B, the nut clamp 100 is rotated by about 20° to 30°.

[0055] Figure 4C is a schematic perspective view of the nut clamp 100 installed on the panel shown in Figure 3. As shown in Figure 4C, the first working end 170.1 and the second working end 170.2 of the first rotational direction holding paw 117.1 and the second rotational direction holding pawl 117.2 have the upper ends thereof higher than the upper surface of the panel

301, and thus the nut clamp 100. after being mounted on the panel 301, by inwardly pressing the first working end and a second working end 170.1 170.2, 170.1 allows the first working end and a second working end 170.2 305.1 from the first notch and the second notch 305.2 Disengaged, it is possible to rotate the nut clamp 100 in the first direction Dl to the pre-mounting position. Afterwards, the nut clamp 100 in the pre-mounting position may be removed from above the panel 301.

[0056] Figure 5A is an exploded view of a nut clamp assembly according to an embodiment of the present application. As shown in Figure 5A, the nut clamp assembly 500 comprises a nut clamp 100 and a bolt 501. The bolt 501 has a substantially cylindrical body 520 and a base 523, and the lower end of the body 520 is connected to the base 523. The outer diameter of the base 523 is greater than the outer diameter of the body 520, facilitating greater contact area with the panel (e.g., the panel 311 shown in Figure 5D). It should be noted that the base 523 may not be provided, and the lower end of the main body 520 may be in direct contact with the panel. The outer surface of the main body 520 is provided with an external thread 522. The external thread 522 cooperates with the thread (not shown in the figure) on the inner surface of the sleeve 106 of the nut clamp 100, so that the bolt 501 can be opened from the lower opening 112 of the sleeve 106. The sleeve 106 is screwed or unscrewed to adjust the height (or length) of the entire nut clamp assembly 500.

[0057] As shown in Figure 5 A, the bolt 501 has a receiving channel 521 as one example. When it is necessary to adjust the height of the nut clamp assembly 500, the driving tool can extend into the bolt receiving openings 110 in channel 521 of the bolt 501 from the sleeve 106, rotation of the bolt driving tool 501 can adjust the height (or length) of the nut clamp assembly 500. In fact, the bolt 501 can also be solid, with a cross, a flat-head, or any other groove that facilitates the use of a tool to be screwed on its upper end, and the bolt 501 can also be turned using a corresponding screwdriver.

[0058] Figure 5B is an exploded view of a nut clamp assembly according to another embodiment of the present application. The nut clamp assembly 500 shown in Figure 5B is similar to the nut clamp assembly shown in Figure 5A except that the nut clamp assembly shown in Figure 5B further comprises a bushing 600. The bushing 600 is installed in the receiving passage 521 of the bolt 501 for increasing the torque of the driving tool inserted into the receiving passage 521. The specific structure of the bushing 600 will be described in detail below with reference to Figures 6A to 8B.

[0059] Figure 5C is a perspective view of the nut clamp assembly of the present application assembled, and Figure 5D is a drawing of the use state of the nut clamp assembly of the present application. As shown in Figure 5D, one application of the length-adjustable nut clamp assembly 500 is where there is a need to maintain a spacing between the two mounting plates 301 and 311. By adjusting the depth to which the bolt 501 is screwed in the sleeve 106 of the nut clamp 100, the length of the entire nut clamp assembly 500 as shown in Figure 5C can be adjusted to accommodate different mounting plate spacings. For example, a vehicle roof has two panels, a lower bearing plate and an upper decorative panel, with a certain spacing between the two panels. When installing the luggage rack or other heavy objects on the roof of the vehicle, it is necessary to install the luggage rack or other heavy objects on the two panels at the same time to ensure the structural strength of the installation. When using the nut clamp assembly 500 of the present application to mount the roof rack to the ceiling of the vehicle, first, the nut clamp assembly 500 is fixed to the upper panel 301 through the nut clamp 100, and then the adjustment bolt 501 is passed through. The depth of screwing in the sleeve 106 of the nut clamp 100 allows the base 523 of the bolt 501 to abut against the lower bearing plate 311. As described above, after the nut clamp 100 is installed in the opening 302 of the panel 301, it cannot move relative to the panel 301 upwards, downwards, backwards or forth, leftwards and rightwards, nor can it rotate relative to the panel 301. Therefore, after the nut clamp assembly 500 is fastened to the panel 301 by the nut clamp 100, inserting the driving tool from the upper opening 110 of the sleeve 106 can rotate the bolt 501 relative to the nut clamp 100 so that the base 523 of the bolt 501 just touches the bearing plate 311 in the lower part, allowing the length of the nut clamp assembly 500 to be adapted to the spacing between the two panels. After adjustment of the length of the nut clamp assembly 500, the mounting hole in the luggage rack is aligned with the receiving channel 521 of the bolt 501, and then one end of the fixing screw (not shown) is inserted into the mounting hole on the luggage rack and in the bolt 501. The tight fitting of the luggage rack can then be achieved by the engagement of the insertion end of the screw with a tightening nut (not shown). A plurality of nut clamp assemblies 500 can be used to maintain the spacing between the two panels 301 and 311. The upper trim panel will not collapse when the luggage rack is secured to the vehicle roof with a screw.

[0060] The nut clamp assembly in the present application is made by a stamping process, has a simple process and a low manufacturing cost, and can meet use requirements.

[0061] Figure 6A shows a top view of a bushing 600 of one embodiment of the present application, and Figure 6B is a perspective view of the bushing shown in Figure 6A. As described above, the bushing 600 is used to increase the frictional force between the driving tool (not shown) and the inner surface of the bolt 501, thereby increasing the driving torque of the driving tool. As shown in Figures 6A and 6B, the bushing 600 is provided in a hollow cylindrical shape having an outer wall 602 and an inner wall 604. The outer wall 602 comprises a plurality of outer ribs 606, and the inner wall 604 comprises a plurality of inner ribs 608. The outer ribs 606 and the inner ribs 608 extend in the axial direction of the bushing 600. The outer ribs 606 and the inner ribs 608 are staggered in the circumferential direction of the bushing 600. In one embodiment of the present application, both the outer rib 606 and the inner rib 608 are arc-shaped in cross-section. Certainly, the cross- section of the outer rib 606 and the inner rib 608 may also be of any other shape.

[0062] Figure 6C is a top view of the bushing shown in Figure 6A when assembled in a bolt. As shown in Figure 6A, apexes that are arc-shaped or in any other shape of the cross-sections of a plurality of outer ribs 606 together form a circle 610. As shown in Figure 6C, the diameter of the circle 610 matches the inner diameter of the receiving channel 521 of the bolt 501 in the nut clamp assembly 500 so that the bushing 600 can be installed in the receiving channel 521 of the bolt 501 and frictionally engaged in the receiving channel 521. The frictional force between the outer rib 606 and the inner wall of the receiving channel 521 of the bolt 501 causes the bushing 600 not to rotate relative to the bolt 501 when the length of the nut clamp assembly is adjusted by using the driving tool to rotate the bolt 501.

[0063] Still as shown in Figure 6A, the apexes that are arc-shaped or in any other shape of the cross-sections of the plurality of inner ribs 608 collectively form a circle 612. The diameter of the circle 612 matches the outer diameter of the driving tool so that the driving tool can extend into the bushing 600 and can be engaged with the bushing 600 by friction. When the driving tool is extended into the bushing 600 in rotation of the bolt 501, the bolt 501, the bushing 600 and the driving tool are bonded to each other by friction, and no relative rotation can be performed. Therefore, the driving tool is rotated so that the nut clamp 100 and the bolt 501 generate relative rotation.

[0064] As one example, the bushing 600 is made of an elastomeric material. The properties of the elastomeric material allow the bushing 600 to have a certain degree of adjustability, whereby the outer diameter of the driving tool is not necessarily the same as the diameter of the circle 612, but may be slightly larger than the diameter of the circle 612. The diameter of the circle 610 may also be slightly larger than the inner diameter of the receiving channel 521 of the bolt 501. The elastomeric material of the inner rib 608 allows the inner rib 608 to be elastically deformed to accommodate the adjustment tool and utilize elastic deformation to cause the bushing 600 to compress slightly when inserted into the bolt 501 for greater friction. The bushing 600 may be integrally formed from an elastomeric material. The elastomeric material may be a rubber material or a plastic material having elasticity.

[0065] As an example, the cross-sections of the outer ribs 606 and the inner ribs 608 can also be of any other shape, such as square or semi-circular. As a further example, the outer ribs 606 and the inner ribs 608 may be discontinuous protrusions disposed along the axial or circumferential direction of the bushing 600, such as a dot, a plurality of strips, or any other shape.

[0066] As shown in Figure 6B, one or both ends of the outer rib 606 have a bevel 614 inclined outwardly from the bushing body to facilitate insertion of the bushing 600 into the receiving channel 521 of the bolt. Similarly, as another example, one or both ends of the inner rib 608 have a bevel (not shown) inclined outwardly from the inside to facilitate guiding the driving tool into the interior of the bushing 600.

[0067] Figure 7A is a top view of a bushing of another embodiment of the present application, and Figure 7B is a perspective view of the bushing shown in Figure 7A. The embodiment shown in Figures 7A and 7B is similar to the embodiment shown in Figures 6A and 6B, except that the embodiment shown in Figures 7A and 7B has raised ribs on the inner rib 708.

[0068] As shown in Figures 7A and 7B, the bushing 700 comprises a plurality of inner ribs 708 and a plurality of outer ribs 706, the inner ribs 708 and the outer ribs 706 being interleaved. The inner ribs 708 and the outer ribs 706 extend in the axial direction of the bushing 700. A projection 705 is provided on the arc-shaped top of the inner rib 708. According to one example, a projection 705 is provided on the arc-shaped top of each inner rib 708 of the bushing 700. The projection 705 extends axially along the bushing 700.

[0069] Still as shown in Figure 7A, in the cross-section of the bushing 700, the apexes of the projection 705 of the respective inner ribs 708 collectively form a circle 712. The diameter of the circle 712 is matched with the outer diameter of the driving tool so that the driving tool can be inserted into the bushing 700 and can be engaged with the bushing 700 by friction. When the driving tool is inserted into the bushing 700 to rotate the bolt 501, the bolt 501, the bushing 700, and the driving tool are coupled to each other due to the frictional force and cannot rotate relative to each other. Therefore, the nut clamp 100 and the bolt 501 can be made to generate relative rotation by rotating the driving tool. It is worth noting that in the embodiment shown in Figures 6A and 6B, the driving tool directly engages the apex of the inner rib 608 so that the diameter of the circle 612 formed by the apexes of the respective inner rib 608 matches the outer diameter of the driving tool. However, in the embodiment shown in Figures 7 A and 7B, the driving tool directly engages the apex of the projection 705 on the inner rib 708. Therefore, the diameter of the circle 712 formed together by the apex of each projection 705 is required to match the outer diameter of the driving tool.

[0070] Like the bushing 600, the bushing 700 may also be made of an elastomeric material. The bushing 700 may be integrally formed of an elastomeric material, which may be a rubber material or a plastic material having elasticity.

[0071] Figure 8A is a top view of a bushing of a further embodiment of the present application, and Figure 8B is a perspective view of the bushing shown in Figure 8A. The embodiment shown in Figures 8A and 8B is similar to the embodiment shown in Figures 6A and 6B, except that the embodiment shown in Figures 8A and 8B comprises an additional engagement strip to the inner wall of the bushing body.

[0072] As shown in Figures 8 A and 8B, the bushing 800 comprises a plurality of inner ribs 808 and a plurality of outer ribs 806. The inner ribs 808 and the outer ribs 806 are staggered with a spacing 850 between two adjacent inner ribs 808. The inner ribs 808 and the outer ribs 806 extend in the axial direction of the bushing 800. The inner rib 808 has an arc shape in cross section. Each of the inner ribs 808 is provided with an engagement strip 830. The cross-section of the engagement strip 830 is also arc-shaped, and the engagement strip 830 also extends in the axial direction of the bushing 800. Each of the engagement strips 830 extends from an arc start point 822 of an inner rib 808 to an arc start point 822 of an adjacent one of the inner ribs 808. Due to the spacing 850 between two adjacent internal ribs 808, the engagement strip 830 will span the arc starting point 822 from one internal rib 808 to the arc starting point 822 of an adjacent one of the internal ribs 808. An arc end point 824 of an inner rib 808 and an adjacent gap 850 form a deformation space 820 between the engagement strip 830 and the inner wall 804 of the bushing 800. In addition, as can be seen from Figure 8 A, the deformation space 820 formed by the engagement strip 830 of each inner rib 808 has a smaller portion near the position of the inner rib 808 and a larger portion near the adjacent spacing 850.

[0073] Still as shown in Figure 8A, in the cross section of the bushing 800, the arc- shaped apexes of the respective engagement strips 830 collectively form a circle 812. The diameter of the circle 812 matches the outer diameter of the driving tool so that the driving tool can extend into the bushing 800 and can be engaged with the bushing 800 by friction. When the driving tool is extended into the bushing 800 in rotation of the bolt 501, the bolt 501, the bushing 800 and the driving tool are bonded to each other by friction, and no relative rotation can be performed. Therefore, the driving tool is rotated so that the nut clamp 100 and the bolt 501 generate relative rotation. It is worth noting that in the embodiment shown in Figures 6A and 6B, the driving tool directly engages the apex of the inner rib 608 so that the diameter of the circle 612 formed by the apexes of the respective inner rib 608 matches the outer diameter of the driving tool. However, in the embodiment shown in Figures 8A and 8B, the driving tool directly engages the apex of the engagement strip 830 on the inner rib 808, thus requiring the diameter of the circle 812 formed together by the apex of each engagement strip 830 to match the outer diameter of the driving tool.

[0074] As one example, the bushing 800 is made of an elastomeric material. In this case, the engagement strip 830 can be pressed toward the deformation space 820. Therefore, if the diameter of the circle 812 formed by the arc-shaped apexes of the respective engagement strips 830 is smaller than the outer diameter of the driving tool, when the driving tool is inserted into the bushing 800, the driving tool can force the engagement strip 830 to be deformed and move toward the deformation space 820, thereby increasing the friction between the driving tool and the bushing 800. In addition, in use, if the rotational direction of the driving tool is matched with the structural arrangement of the engagement strips 830, the bushing 800 can be better utilized to increase the torque at which the driving tool rotates the bolt 501.

[0075] Specifically, as shown in Figure 8A, each inner rib 808 extends from its arc start point 822 in a clockwise direction to its arc end point 824 as viewed from the top of the bushing 800. However, if viewed from the bottom of the bushing 800, each inner rib 808 extends from its arc start point 822 in a counterclockwise direction to its arc end point 824. As described above, when the bushing 800 is used, the bushing 800 is installed in the bolt 501, and the driving tool extends into the bushing 800. Since the outer wall of the bushing 800 is frictionally engaged in the bolt 501 and the driving tool is frictionally engaged in the inner wall of the bushing 800, the bolt 501 can be rotated by rotating or turning the driving tool. For the bushing embodiment with engagement strip 830 shown in Figure 8A, the direction of rotation of the driving tool may be selected to be the same as the direction in which the inner rib 808 extends from its arc start point 822 to its arc end point 824 to better utilize the bushing 800 to increase the torque at which the driving tool rotates the bolt 501. More specifically, if the bushing 800 is installed in the bolt 501, the inner rib 808 of the bushing 800 extends from its arc starting point 822 to its arc ending point 824 as viewed from the top of the bolt 501 as shown in Figure 8 A in a clockwise direction, then after the bolt 501 from the driving tool is inserted into the top of the bolt 501, the driving tool is rotated clockwise to better utilize the bushing 800 to increase the torque at which the driving tool rotates the bolt 501. This is because when the driving tool rotates, it first deforms the engagement strip 830 at a relatively small portion of the deformation space 820. Since the engagement strip 830 is close to the inner rib 808 in this position, the deformation enables the engagement strip 830 to come into contact with the inner rib 808. In this way, the rotational force exerted by the driving tool can be transmitted to the inner rib 808 and thus to the next adjacent outer rib 806 in the direction of rotation. As a result, the rotational force exerted by the driving tool enables the friction between the outer rib 806 and the bolt 501 to increase. In addition, causing the deformation of the engagement strip 830 at a relatively small portion of the deformation space 820 can also increase the frictional force between the engagement strip 830 and the driving tool by the reaction force of the inner ribs 808 received when the engagement strip 830 comes into contact with the inner ribs 808. The friction between the outer rib 806 and the bolt 501, and the increase in the friction between the engagement strip 830 and the driving tool are both advantageous to increase the torque at which the driving tool rotates the bolt 501, thereby enabling the operator to rotate the bolt 501 more effortlessly to adjust the length of the nut clamp assembly.

[0076] The bushing manufacturing process in this application is simple and easy to form.

[0077] Although only some features of the present application have been illustrated and described herein, many modifications and changes can be performed by those of ordinary skill in the art. It is, therefore, to be understood that the appended claims are intended to cover all such modifications and changes as falling within the true spirit of the present application.