Login| Sign Up| Help| Contact|

Patent Searching and Data


Title:
CLASP
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2004/099486
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The invention relates to a clasp for articles which are thin or made of a thin material. The clasp comprises a frame-like body (1), provided with end surfaces (8, 9) and lateral surfaces (10, 11) therebetween, said end surfaces (8, 9) being cut off. The cut-off surfaces are provided with holding means (5, 2) for allowing clamping of the cut-off surfaces relative to each other. One end surface (8) establishes a clamping element and the opposite other end surface (9) establishes a holding element for an article to be held. The body element is further provided with an elastic hinge portion (3) between and interconnecting the lateral surfaces.

Inventors:
Elo, Sakari (Hausjärventie 337, Turenki, FI-14200, FI)
Application Number:
PCT/FI2004/050035
Publication Date:
November 18, 2004
Filing Date:
April 07, 2004
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
HELP-TUOTE OY (Kylänraitti 2-4, Riihimäki, FI-11710, FI)
Elo, Sakari (Hausjärventie 337, Turenki, FI-14200, FI)
International Classes:
A47G25/48; D06F95/00; (IPC1-7): D06F55/02; D06F93/00; D06F95/00
Foreign References:
US3405429A1968-10-15
EP0641882A11995-03-08
US5179768A1993-01-19
GB2259108A1993-03-03
GB2366593A2002-03-13
FR1212165A1960-03-22
DE8716104U11988-02-18
DE4025815A11992-02-20
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
LEITZINGER OY (Tammasaarenkatu 1, Helsinki, FI-00180, FI)
Download PDF:
Claims:
Claims
1. A clasp for articles which are thin or made of a thin material, characterized in that the clasp comprises a framelike body (1), provided with end surfaces (8,9) and lateral surfaces (10, 11) therebetween, said end surfaces (8,9) being cut off, the cutoff surfaces being provided with holding means (5,2) in a manner that allows clamping of the cutoff surfaces relative to each other, whereby one end surface (8) establishes a clamping element and the opposite other end surface (9) establishes a holding element for an article to be held, and that the body element is further provided with an elastic hinge portion (3) between and interconnecting the lateral surfaces.
2. A clasp as set forth in claim 1, characterized in that the clamping element (8) is cut off in the proximity of one lateral surface (10), and that the clamping element has its longer half connected to the opposite lateral surface by way of a reduced thickness portion (12) in a manner that allows bending the clamping element's longer half relative to the lateral surface (11) for intermeshing or uncoupling the clamping element's holding means (5).
3. A clasp as set forth in claim 1 or 2, characterized in that, when the clamping element (8) is in an opened condition, with the cutoff surfaces apart from each other, the lateral surfaces (10, 11) are pivotable relative to each other by means of the hinge (3) for intermeshing or uncoupling the holding means (2), whereby the holding element's (9) holding means (2) are intermeshable by closing the clamping element (8).
4. A clasp as set forth in any of the preceding claims, characterized in that the body element (1) is further provided with a hanger means (4).
5. A clasp as set forth in any of the preceding claims, characterized in that it is integrated with one or more corresponding clasps in a permanent or dismountable manner.
6. A clasp as set forth in any of the preceding claims, characterized in that the clasp is formed from an injection moulded plastic material in a single piece.
Description:
Clasp A clasp solution of the invention is suitable for holding together either two or more relatively lightweight thin pieces of clothing or the like, as well as for marking a group of one or more similar articles by means of a color code indicated by the clasp's own color or by means of an identification-enabling code provided on the clasp by other means, e. g. by shaping.

Holding together is relevant when pieces are essentially related to each other and not allowed to be confused with other pieces. For example, a typical everyday occurrence concerns holding a pair of socks together during washing, drying, and storage.

Marking a piece is relevant in problematic logistic situations, for example when a single batch of articles to be handled includes pieces belonging to various owners or, say, pieces to be forwarded to different delivery points, which simply must be distinguished from each other.

In addition, the clasp solution is also suitable for all sorts of hanging articles of the above type, e. g. on a clothesline, a display rack, or the like.

It is an object of the invention to create a versatile and highly beneficial solution e. g. for the above-mentioned applications, which nevertheless only represent an exemplary portion of the inventive solution's range of application.

The clasp solutions competing with the invention are also simple, but not as attractive as the subsequently described inventive solution in terms of costs and usability.

Typical clasps include clothes pegs equipped with a metal spring, wherein the spring tensions at least two other members of the peg against each other and between which members is positioned an article to be suspended or held. Being a multi- component device, such a peg involves assembly work and especially the spring is a comparatively expensive component. In addition, the reliability of a multi-

component construction over a long term is poorer than that of the inventive solution.

Clasps are also prior known, in which the spring itself in a deflected condition constitutes a clasp. In this case as well, the construction is more expensive than that of the invention.

Fully plastic clasps are usually made of at least two elements in a snap fitting fashion and are often disposable.

In order to accomplish the aims of the invention, a clasp of the invention is characterized by what is set forth in the characterizing clause of claim 1. Further embodiments of the invention are disclosed in the dependent claims.

The invention will now be described in more detail with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which: Fig. 1 shows a clasp of the invention in an unstressed condition after an injection moulding process.

Fig. 2 shows a clasp of the invention in a clamped condition.

Fig. 3 shows a clasp of the invention in an opened condition for threading articles to be retained into or releasing the same from the clasp.

Fig. 4 shows a solution of the invention in one variation thereof.

One exemplary solution of the invention is shown in figs. 1-3. The exemplary construction has been made by injection moulding from a plastic material which is able to survive, without breaking, functionally sufficiently far-reaching bending actions within a required temperature range. The plastic material may have e. g. fibreglass mixed therewith for less creeping tendency and more strength.

The preferred construction embodiment visualized in the figures is also characterized by comprising but a single component, a body (1), thus eliminating a separate assembly process. The body can have its colour (7) varied by varying the colour of raw stock, no surface treatment being necessary.

The body (1) is frame-like in basic configuration, said frame being cut off at its respective top and bottom sides (8,9) and provided over its cut-off surfaces with formations (2,5), e. g. serrations or the like, providing a clamping or holding capability.

The serrated (2,5) sides of the frame are referred to as top (8) and bottom (9) surfaces, the sides disposed in a substantially vertical position in the figures being referred to as lateral surfaces (10, 11), respectively. At a distance or more or less equally spaced from the top and bottom surfaces (8,9) lies a hinge portion (3) disposed in a substantially transverse direction relative to the body's (1) lateral surfaces (10, 11), which retains integrity of the frame and allows for the halves of the body (1) separated by the serrations (2,5) an angular deviation (dA, the extent can be unequal regarding the body's top and bottom portion) relative to each other.

The angular deviation (dA) is most conveniently effected by squeezing the unit from the lateral surfaces (10,11) while the clamping serration (5) is unlocked (figs. 1 and 3). By virtue of the angular deviation (dA) the jaw serration (2) opens, whereby the articles to be held by the clasp can be inserted within or released from the serration (2). When the angular deviation (dA) is reset to zero (fig. 1) and the upper clamping serration (5) is snapped on (fig. 2), the lower jaw serration (2) pivots to a shut position and the articles to be retained will be reliably retained by the clasp.

Operation of the clamping serration (5) is essentially effected by deflecting the top surface (8) relative to other surfaces, and especially relative to the lateral surface (11). The bending or deflection is facilitated by an inner corner undercut (12).

A further feature, which enables using the clasp as a hanger, is provided by designing at least a given portion of the body (1) in such a way that the clasp can be suspended on a thin string, rod or the like. Figs. 1-3 show an example of including a hanger member (4) in the construction as an integral part thereof.

Fig. 1 shows a clasp of the invention in an unclamped condition after an injection moulding process. The clamping serration (5) is open.

Fig. 2 shows a clasp of the invention with the clamping serration (5) manually snapped to a clamped condition. The body's (1) frame-like structure is stiffened by the clamping.

Fig. 3 shows a clasp embodiment of the invention with the clamping serration (5) unlocked and the lateral surfaces (10, 11) being pressed in. Thus, the jaw serration (2) opens, which enables threading pieces to be held in or removing pieces from between the halves of the jaw serration (2).

Fig. 4 shows a solution of the invention in a variation, wherein two clasps of the invention have been integrated for a double holding capacity.

The foregoing example describes one preferred embodiment of the invention.

However, the example is by no means intended to limit the way of implementing the invention strictly to what has been described.