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Title:
A COLLAPSIBLE ANCHOR
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2001/088279
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The present invention relates generally to a collapsible anchor (10) comprising a body (12) to which four arms or blades (14A) to (14B) are pivotally mounted. The blades (14A) to (14B) can be pivoted about the body (12) between ground engaging and collapsed configurations. The anchor body (12) is connected to a conduit (32) through which a flow of pressurised fluid, most typically high pressure water, is provided for tunnelling of the anchor (10) in its collapsed configuration. The anchor (10) is then actuated into its ground engaging configuration wherein it is effectively embedded in the ground.

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Inventors:
Whitten, Royden (158 MANNS ROAD WEST GOSFORD, New South Wales 2250, AU)
Application Number:
PCT/AU2001/000555
Publication Date:
November 22, 2001
Filing Date:
May 15, 2001
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
Whitten, Royden (158 MANNS ROAD WEST GOSFORD, New South Wales 2250, AU)
International Classes:
B63B21/24; B63B21/36; E02D5/80; (IPC1-7): E02D5/30; B63B21/26; B63B21/44
Domestic Patent References:
WO1996004429A11996-02-15
Foreign References:
US4347802A1982-09-07
GB2340099A2000-02-16
GB2148968A1985-06-05
GB2115856A1983-09-14
US4593500A1986-06-10
Other References:
DATABASE WPI Derwent World Patents Index; Class Q42, AN 1981-B5784D/08, XP002905511
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Griffith, Hack (GPO Box 4164 Sydney, NSW 2001, AU)
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Claims:
CLAIMS:
1. A collapsible anchor comprising a body to which one or more arms are coupled for movement from a collapsed to a ground engaging configuration, the body being adapted for connection to a conduit whereby in operation a flow of pressurised fluid is provided to the conduit which thus progressively tunnels the anchor, with the arms in the collapsed configuration, into the ground and thereafter movement of the collapsible arms into the ground engaging configuration effectively embeds the anchor into the ground.
2. A collapsible anchor as defined in claim 1 wherein the conduit is an elongate pipe which at one end is detachably connected to the body of the anchor.
3. A collapsible anchor as defined in claim 1 or 2 also comprising ground tackle connected to the body.
4. A collapsible anchor as defined in any one of the preceding claims wherein said one or more arms are pivotally connected to the body of the anchor.
5. A collapsible anchor as defined in claim 4 wherein said one or more arms are each in the form of elongate blades being hingedly mounted to the body.
6. A method of locating a collapsible anchor underground, said method comprising the steps of: coupling a conduit to the anchor including one or more collapsible arms; providing a flow of pressurised fluid to the conduit whereby said fluid serves to progressively tunnel the anchor, with the arms in a collapsed configuration, into the ground; and terminating the flow of said fluid and moving the arms of the anchor into a ground engaging configuration effectively embedding the anchor into the ground.
7. A method of locating a collapsible anchor underground as defined in claim 6 also comprising the step of detaching the conduit from the anchor after tunnelling of the anchor.
8. A method of locating a collapsible anchor underground as defined in claim 6 or 7 wherein the step of moving the arms is effected by partly retracting the anchor from the ground via ground tackle connected thereto.
9. A collapsible anchor comprising a body to which one or more arms are coupled for movement from a collapsed to a ground engaging configuration, the anchor being adapted to operatively cooperate with a liner located in the ground, the liner including one or more openings in its peripheral wall each being arranged to be engaged by a respective of said one or more arms on movement from the collapsed to the ground engaging configurations.
10. A collapsible anchor as defined in claim 9 wherein the liner is a pipe shaped complementary to a hole in the ground in which it is located.
11. A collapsible anchor as defined in claim 9 or 10 wherein the liner occupies substantially the full depth of the hole.
12. A collapsible anchor as defined in any one of claims 9 to 11 wherein the body of the collapsible anchor is adapted to connect to a retraction member.
13. A collapsible anchor as defined in claim 12 wherein the retraction member is rigid and thus designed to assist in both location and retraction of the collapsible anchor.
14. A collapsible anchor as defined in any one of claims 9 to 13 wherein said one or more arms are pivotally connected to the body of the anchor.
15. A collapsible anchor as defined in claim 14 wherein said one or more arms are each in the form of elongate blades being hingedly mounted to the body.
16. A method of locating a collapsible anchor underground, said method comprising the steps of: locating a liner in the ground, the liner including one or more openings in its peripheral wall; locating the collapsible anchor within the liner, the collapsible anchor including one or more arms being movable from a collapsed to a ground engaging configuration; and partly retracting the anchor from the liner whereby each of the arms engages a respective of said one or more openings and on movement of said arms into the ground engaging configuration the anchor at least in part embeds into the ground.
17. A method of locating a collapsible anchor underground as defined in claim 16 also comprising the step of forming a hole in the ground in which the liner is located.
18. A method of locating a collapsible anchor underground as defined in claim 16 wherein the step of locating the liner in the ground effects formation of a hole in which the liner resides.
19. A method of locating a collapsible anchor underground as defined in any one of claims 16 to 18 also comprising the step of removing the anchor from the ground by forcing the anchor into the liner to effect at least partial collapse of the arms out of engagement with the respective openings and thereafter rotation of the anchor whereupon the arms are moved out of alignment with the respective openings to allow retraction of the anchor from the liner.
20. A method of locating a collapsible anchor underground as defined in claim 19 wherein said removal step involves connection of a retraction member to the anchor whereby the retraction member is actuated from above ground to force the anchor into the liner and thereafter to rotate and retract the anchor from the liner.
21. A method of locating a collapsible anchor underground as defined in claim 20 wherein the retraction member is rigid and is connected to the collapsible anchor prior to, and in order to assist in, location of the collapsible anchor within the pipe.
22. A method of locating a collapsible anchor underground as defined in claim 21 wherein the retraction member, whilst the anchor is embedded in the ground, remains attached to the anchor and is a constructional member.
23. A collapsible anchor comprising a body to which one or more arms are coupled for movement from a collapsed to a ground engaging configuration, the anchor in the collapsed configuration being adapted to locate underground and thereafter movement of the collapsible arms into the ground engaging configuration effectively embeds the anchor into the ground.
24. A collapsible anchor as defined in claim 23 also comprising a strut at one end connected to the body and at an opposite end designed to be driven so that the collapsible anchor is forced underground.
25. A collapsible anchor as defined in''claim 24 wherein the strut is an elongate structural member.
26. A method of locating a collapsible anchor underground, said method comprising the steps'of : locating the anchor including one or more collapsible arms underground in a collapsed configuration; and moving the arms into a ground engaging configuration and thus effectively embedding the anchor into the ground.
27. A method of locating a collapsible anchor underground as defined in claim 26 also comprising the step of forming a hole in the ground in which the anchor is located.
28. A method of locating a collapsible anchor underground as defined in claim 26 wherein the step of locating the anchor underground effects formation of a hole in which the anchor is at least partly embedded.
29. A method of locating a collapsible anchor underground as defined in any one of claims 26 to 28 wherein the step of moving the arms into the ground engaging configuration is effected by partial retraction of the anchor from the ground.
Description:
A COLLAPSIBLE ANCHOR FIELD OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates generally to a collapsible anchor and a method of locating a collapsible anchor underground. The invention relates particular, though not exclusively, to a collapsible anchor as a seabed mooring or alternatively a constructional anchor.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION According to one aspect of the present invention there is provided a collapsible anchor comprising a body to which one or more arms are coupled for movement from a collapsed to a ground engaging configuration, the body being adapted for connection to a conduit whereby in operation a flow of pressurised fluid is provided to the conduit which thus progressively tunnels the anchor, with the arms in the collapsed configuration, into the ground and thereafter movement of the collapsible arms into the ground engaging configuration effectively embeds the anchor into the ground.

Preferably the conduit is an elongate pipe which at one end is detachably connected to the body of the anchor.

More preferably the collapsible anchor also comprises ground tackle connected to the body..

According to another aspect of the invention there is provided a method of locating a collapsible anchor underground, said method comprising the steps of: coupling a conduit to the anchor including one or more collapsible arms; providing a flow of pressurised fluid to the conduit whereby said fluid serves to progressively tunnel the anchor, with the arms in a collapsed configuration, into the ground; and terminating the flow of said fluid and moving the arms of the anchor into a. ground engaging configuration effectively embedding the anchor into the ground.

Preferably the method also comprises the step of detaching the conduit from the anchor after tunnelling of the anchor. More preferably the step of moving the arms is effected by partly retracting the anchor from the ground via ground tackle connected thereto.

According to a further aspect of the invention there is provided a collapsible anchor comprising a body to which one or more arms are coupled for movement from a collapsed to a ground engaging configuration, the anchor being adapted to operatively cooperate with a liner located in the ground, the liner including one or more openings in its peripheral wall each being arranged to be engaged by a respective of said one or more arms on movement from the collapsed to the ground engaging configurations.

Preferably the liner is a pipe shaped complementary to a hole in the ground in which it is located. More preferably the liner occupies substantially the full depth of the hole.

Preferably the body of the collapsible anchor is adapted to connect to a retraction member. More preferably the retraction member is rigid and thus designed to assist in both location and retraction of the collapsible anchor.

According to yet another aspect of the invention there is provided a method of locating a collapsible anchor underground, said method comprising the steps of: locating a liner in the ground, the liner including one or more openings in its peripheral wall ; locating the collapsible anchor within the liner, the collapsible anchor including one or more arms being movable from a collapsed to a ground engaging configuration; and partly retracting the anchor from the liner whereby each of the arms engages a respective of said one or more openings and on movement of said arms into the ground engaging configuration the anchor at least in part embeds

into the ground.

Preferably the method also comprises the step of forming a hole in the ground in which the liner is located. Alternatively the step of locating the liner in the ground effects formation of a hole in which the liner resides.

Preferably the method also comprises the step of removing the anchor from the ground by forcing the anchor into the liner to effect at least partial collapse of the arms out of engagement with the respective openings and thereafter rotation of the anchor whereupon the arms are moved out of alignment with the respective openings to allow retraction of the anchor from the liner. More preferably said removal step involves connection of a retraction member to the anchor whereby the retraction member is actuated from above ground to force the anchor into the liner and thereafter to rotate and retract the anchor from the liner.

Preferably the retraction member is rigid and is connected to the collapsible anchor prior to, and in order to assist in, location of the collapsible anchor within the liner. More preferably the retraction member, whilst the anchor is embedded in the ground, remains attached to the anchor and is a constructional member, such as a reinforcing bar.

According to yet a further aspect of the invention there is provided a collapsible anchor comprising a body to which one or more arms are coupled for movement from a collapsed to a ground engaging configuration, the anchor in the collapsed configuration being adapted to locate underground and thereafter movement of the collapsible arms into the ground engaging configuration effectively embeds the anchor into the ground.

Preferably the collapsible anchor also comprises a strut at one end connected to the body and at an opposite end designed to be driven so that the collapsible anchor is forced underground. More preferably the strut is an

elongate structural member.

According to still another aspect of the invention there is provided a method of locating a collapsible anchor underground, said method comprising the steps of: locating the anchor including one or more collapsible arms underground in a collapsed configuration; and moving the arms into a ground engaging configuration and thus effectively embedding the anchor into the ground.

Preferably the method also comprises the step of forming a hole in the ground in which the anchor is located. Alternatively the step of locating the anchor underground effects formation of a hole in which the anchor is at least partly embedded.

Preferably the step of moving the arms into the ground engaging configuration is effected by partial retraction of the anchor from the ground.

Preferably said one or more arms are pivotally connected to the body of the anchor. More preferably said one or more arms are each in the form of elongate blades being hingedly mounted to the body. Alternatively said one or more arms are formed integral with the body and designed to be deformed outwardly of the body into the ground engaging configuration.

Generally the liner is a pipe.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS In order to achieve a better understanding of the nature of the present invention several preferred embodiments of a collapsible anchor together with a method of locating the collapsible anchor underground will now be described, by way of example only, with reference to the accompanying drawings in which: Figure 1 is an exploded view of part of a collapsible anchor; Figure 2 is a perspective view of the collapsible anchor in its ground engaging configuration ; Figure 3 is a perspective view of the collapsible

anchor of Figure 2 together with ground tackle; Figure 4 is a perspective view of the collapsible anchor in its collapsed configuration; Figure 5 is a lower perspective view shown in cut- away detail of part of the collapsible anchor together with a conduit; Figure 6 is a sectional view of part of the collapsible anchor in its collapsed and ground engaging configurations ; Figures 7 to 9 consecutively illustrate actuation of the collapsible anchor of the preceding figures; Figure 10 is a part sectional view'of another collapsible anchor in both its collapsed and ground engaging configurations together with a liner; Figure 11 is a plan view of the collapsible anchor of Figure 10 together with the liner; Figures 12 and 13 are further sectional and plan views of the collapsible anchor of Figures 10 and 11 in its collapsed configuration.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBOIDMENTS As shown in Figures 1 to 6 there is provided a collapsible anchor 10 comprising a body 12 to which in this example four arms or blades 14A to 14D are movably coupled.

In this embodiment the anchor body 12 is fabricated from square hollow section (SHS) steel coated or galvanised in a suitable corrosion resistant coating. The blades 14A to 14D are fabricated of an elongated channel section which at one end is pivotally coupled to the anchor body 12 and at an opposite end is tapered toward a point. The blades such as 14A of Figure 1 at said one end include a hook-shaped element 16 formed as a continuation of the web of the respective blade such as 14A. The hooked element 16 is configured to be inserted within and pivoted about a horizontally oriented slot 18 formed adjacent a lower end of the SHS anchor body 12. Each of

the perimeter walls of the anchor body 12 includes one of the horizontal slots such as 18 which is dedicated to and provides pivotal mounting for a respective blade such as 14A. Thus, as best shown in Figures 2 and 4 the blades 14A to 14D can be pivoted about the body 12 between ground engaging and collapsed configurations, respectively. The blades 14A to 14D are oriented so that the opposing flanges of the channel section of the respective blades such as 14A are directed downward.

Figure 3 illustrates ground tackle designated generally as 20 to be associated with the collapsible anchor 10. The ground tackle 20 includes a primary hoist chain 22 coupled midway between opposing ends of a bridle chain 24. The bridle chain 24 is at the opposing ends shackled or otherwise secured to an upper end of the anchor body 12. Otherwise, the collapsible anchor 10 also includes restraining chains such as 26 connected at their free ends to a respective one of the blades such as 14A and at an opposite end fixed to the upper end of the anchor body 12. In this example one of the links of the restraining chain such as 26 is inserted through a keyway such as 28 in the corresponding blade 14A and a link at the opposite end of the restraining chain 26 is keyed into an open ended and vertically oriented slot 30 formed in the upper end of the anchor body 12. The restraining chains such as 26 are of such a length that the corresponding blade such as 14A is restrained from pivoting beyond about 80 to 90° relative to the vertical axis of the anchor body 12.

As bestXshown in Figures 5 and 6 the collapsible anchor 10 is adapted to connect to a conduit in the form of an elongate pipe 32. The anchor 10 includes an internally threaded cup fitting 34 which is mounted by one or more fastenings internally of the lower end of the anchor body 12. The lower end of the pipe 32 includes a complementary shaped thread to that of the cup fitting 34 and thus is designed for screw threading attachment to the

collapsible anchor 10. The pipe 32 is designed to provide a flow of pressurised fluid, most typically high pressure water, to the collapsible anchor 10.

In order to facilitate a further understanding of the invention its operation will now be broadly outlined. The collapsible anchor 10 of the aforementioned embodiment is located underground in the following steps: I. the ground tackle 20 is shackled or otherwise connected to the collapsible anchor 10; II. the arms of blades such as 14A to 14D of the collapsible anchor 10 are pivoted or otherwise moved into the collapsed configuration and temporarily held in this configuration via a ring tie or the like; III. the conduit or pipe 32 is fixed to the cup 34 of the anchor 10; IV. a flow of pressurised fluid, generally high pressure water is directed down the pipe 32 whereupon it exists the lower end of the pipe 32 and"blasts"or otherwise disturbs the ground to effect progressive tunnelling in advance of the anchor 10; V. the pipe 32 together with the collapsed anchor 10 are urged downward as the flow of pressurised fluid continues until the anchor 10 is tunnelled to the required underground depth; VI. the flow of pressurised fluid to the pipe 32 is terminated and the pipe 32 is preferably unscrewed and retracted from the collapsed anchor 10; VII. the blades 14A to 14D of the anchor 10 are moved by pulling the ground tackle 20 upward whereupon the ring tie is released from the blades 14A to 14D which are pivoted outward towards the ground engaging configuration; and VIII. the ground tackle such as 20 is drawn further upward until the blades 14A to 14D have sufficiently embedded themselves in the ground.

Figures 7 to 9 illustrate the progressive movement, and in this example unfolding, of the blades 14A to 14D of

the anchor 10 until in their ground engaging position they embed in the ground. The ground tackle 20 may then be connected to a mounting or load point located above ground. For example, in a preferred application the ground tackle 20 functions as a swing mooring for a boat.

In this instance the ground tackle is connected to a underwater float which is designed to float at a level approximating mean low water. The float is in turn connected to a mooring line which is at least of a length equal to the maximum rise and fall of tide and is connected to a surface float. Thus, the ground tackle such as 20 does not drag across the seabed and cause damage to seagrass and the like.

The anchor may be located underground by means other than the described"blasting"of the ground via the conduit or pipe. For example, the hole may be formed by a hole borer such as that used in farming and agriculture.

Alternatively the anchor itself may be configured, for example the body may be cone or spear shaped at its lower end, to form a hole as it is driven into the ground.

Figures 10 to 13 depict an alternative embodiment of a collapsible anchor 100 of the invention. In order to avoid repetition and for ease of reference, those components of this alternative embodiment which generally correspond to the components of the preceding embodiment will be designated with an additional"0". For example, the anchor body of this alternative embodiment has been designated as 120.

The collapsible anchor 100 includes four blades 140A to 140D of a similar form to the preceding embodiment but in this example are pivotally connected to the base of the body 120 via a hinged coupling such as 101. The anchor body 120 is tubular and internally threaded at its upper end. The internal threading is in this particular example shaped complementary to and thus designed for threaded connection to a constructional member in the form of a reinforcing bar 103.

The specific construction of either this or the previous embodiment of the collapsible anchor 10 or 100 may vary. For example, the anchor may be moulded or otherwise formed in a plastics material with integral arms which can be deformed outwardly of the body into the ground engaging configuration. In this embodiment the collapsible anchor (not shown) is relatively small and can be manually driven into the ground whereupon on partial retraction its arms move at least toward the ground engaging configuration. This movement is effected by loading the anchor with a tension member such as a rigging stay of a tent or post. In yet another embodiment the collapsible anchor may be formed integral with a strut, such as a steel picket traditionally used in fencing. The strut includes one or more arms pivotally connected to or adjacent its lower end which function as described for the aforementioned embodiments. The collapsible anchor is located in the ground by hammering or otherwise driving an upper end of the strut.

Importantly, the collapsible anchor 100 is designed to operatively cooperate with a liner 105 located in a hole in the ground. The liner 105 is in this example a plastic or steel pipe and includes four openings 107A to 107D formed in its peripheral wall. The wall openings 107A to 107D are equally spaced angularly about the liner pipe 105 at the same height from its lower end. The wall openings 107A to 107D are configured so that they are capable of aligning with and permitting the passage of the blades 140A to 140D when actuated in a manner similar to that described for the preceding embodiment. However, in this alternative embodiment actuation of the blades 140A to 140D is effected by retraction of the constructional member 103.

The collapsible anchor 100 together with the liner pipe 105 of this aspect of the invention are specifically designed to permit retraction of the anchor from the ground. The general steps involved in retraction of this

collapsible anchor 100 are as follows: I. the reinforcing bar or elongate constructional member 103 is forced downward into the pipe liner 105; II. the blades 107A to 107D are progressively forced via their engagement with the pipe liner 105 at the respective liner opening 107A to 107D to collapse; III. the retraction or constructional member 103 continues to be forced downward into the liner pipe 105 until the blades 107A to 107D disengage from the liner wall openings 107A to 107D ; IV. the anchor 100 now in its collapsed configuration is rotated via the constructional member 103 about 45° and thus out of axial alignment with the wall openings 107A to 107D; and V. the retraction or constructional member 103 together with the collapsed anchor 100 are fully retracted from the liner pipe 105 and the hole.

Figures 10 and 11 illustrate the anchor 100 together with the blades 140A to 140D in alignment with the corresponding wall openings 107A to 107D either in anticipation of their disengagement from the openings 107A to 107D or their actuation through the openings 107A to 107D and into the ground engaging configuration. Figures 12 and 13 illustrate the anchor 100 in its collapsed configuration together with the blades 140A to 140D having been rotated out of axial alignment with the wall openings 107A to 107D in preparation for retraction of the retraction member 103 together with the collapsed anchor 100.

The liner 105 is preferably located in a hole prepared in the ground using conventional techniques.

Alternatively the liner 105 may be configured at its lower end to penetrate the ground and thus progressively form a hole as it is driven into the ground. In this alternative example the liner 105 may include a cone or other spear- shaped configuration which allows the liner to be driven into the ground.

The alternative collapsible anchor 100 together with the liner are intended for constructional applications.

For example, the collapsible anchor 100 may provide anchoring for a retaining wall or the like. The alternative collapsible anchor 100 in its application as a swing mooring may rely upon a chain or the like for securement whist a rigid retraction member such as the conduit pipe of the previous embodiment serves as the retraction member instead of the reinforcing bar 103. The retraction pipe 103'can then be either detachably or permanently connected to the collapsible anchor 100.

Now that several preferred embodiments of the present invention have been described in some detail it will be apparent to the those skilled in the art that the collapsible and the method of locating the collapsible anchor have at least the following advantages: I. the collapsible anchor is relatively effective in firmly embedding underground for the provision of a secure anchoring point; II. the collapsible anchor can according to the alternative aspect be retrieved from the underground hole in which it is embedded; III. the collapsible anchor is relatively quick to locate underground whilst providing effective securement.

Those skilled in the art will appreciate that the invention described herein is susceptible to variations and modifications other than those specifically described.

For example, the methods described may include back filling of part or all of the hole in which the anchor is located and embedded. The hole may be back filled by concrete or gravel if additional anchoring strength is required. The collapsible anchor may vary in its construction provided effective actuation from the collapsed and the ground engaging configurations can be driven from above ground, for example via the ground tackle or the constructional reinforcing bar. The collapsible anchor may include a single arm only and need

not to be restricted to the four armed configurations of the described embodiments.

All such variations and modifications are to be considered within scope of the present invention the nature of which is to be determined from the foregoing description.