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Patent Searching and Data


Title:
CONNECTING RING WITH AN AXIAL LIMITING FEATURE
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/117916
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A clamp system (10) is provided for providing secure attachment of at least two connecting members (12, 14), and includes a connecting ring (16) having a flange portion (38) extending in an axial direction relative to a longitudinal axis of the connecting ring (16). The flange portion (38) is configured to limit axial movement of the connecting ring (16). Also included in the clamp system (10) is a coupling clamp (18) configured to create a force for the clamp system (10) when the coupling clamp (18) is fastened with the connecting ring (16) such that the at least two connecting members (12, 14) are securely attached by the fastened coupling clamp (18).

Inventors:
MARTIN, John J. (2012 South Main Street, Vallonia, Indiana, 47281, US)
CHAUDHARI, Nilesh (800 East 3rd Street, Seymour, Indiana, 47274-3906, US)
Application Number:
US2017/066382
Publication Date:
June 20, 2019
Filing Date:
December 14, 2017
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
CUMMINS INC. (500 Jackson Street, Columbus, Indiana, 47201, US)
MARTIN, John J. (2012 South Main Street, Vallonia, Indiana, 47281, US)
CHAUDHARI, Nilesh (800 East 3rd Street, Seymour, Indiana, 47274-3906, US)
International Classes:
F16B2/08; F16L19/04; F16L21/08; F16L23/18
Foreign References:
US20030197380A12003-10-23
US4163571A1979-08-07
US8205916B22012-06-26
US3404905A1968-10-08
US20060090435A12006-05-04
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
LEE, Mark B. (Faegre Baker Daniels LLP, 300 North Meridian StreetSuite 270, Indianapolis Indiana, 46204, US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

What is claimed is:

1. A clamp system (10) for providing secure attachment of at least two connecting members (12, 14), the clamp system (10) comprising:

a connecting ring (16) having a flange portion (38) extending in an axial direction relative to a longitudinal axis of the connecting ring (16), the flange portion (38) configured to limit axial movement of the connecting ring (16); and

a coupling clamp (18) configured to create a force for the clamp system (10) when the coupling clamp (18) is fastened with the connecting ring (16) such that the at least two connecting members (12, 14) are securely attached by the fastened coupling clamp (18).

2. The clamp system (10) of claim 1, wherein the flange portion (38) of the connecting ring (16) is configured to bias against a protrusion (42) associated with one of the at least two connecting members (12, 14) to limit the axial movement of the connecting ring (16) when the connecting ring (16) is displaced.

3. The clamp system (10) of claim 2, wherein the connecting ring (16) has a ring portion (32) including an inclined wall (36) sloped at a predetermined angle relative to the longitudinal axis of the connecting ring (16).

4. The clamp system (10) of claim 3, wherein the flange portion (38) extends from an end of the inclined wall (36) sloping away from an opposite wall (34) of the ring portion (32).

5. The clamp system (10) of claim 4, wherein the opposite wall (34) is substantially transverse to the longitudinal axis of the connecting ring (16).

6. The clamp system (10) of claim 3, wherein the coupling clamp (18) has a segment (26) radially extending from an inner surface of the coupling clamp (18) for receiving the ring portion (32) of the connecting ring (16) and the at least two connecting members (12, 14).

7. The clamp system (10) of claim 6, wherein an axial length of the flange portion (38) of the connecting ring (16) is determined based on an axial width of the segment (26) of the coupling clamp (18) relative to the longitudinal axis of the connecting ring (16).

8. The clamp system (10) of claim 1, wherein the clamp system (10) transitions between a clamped position and an unclamped position.

9. The clamp system (10) of claim 8, wherein when the clamp system (10) is in the unclamped position, a first gap distance (Dl) between the connecting ring (16) and the coupling clamp (18) is greater than a second gap distance (D2) between the connecting ring (16) and a protrusion (42) associated with one (14) of the at least two connecting members (12, 14).

10. The clamp system (10) of claim 8, wherein when the clamp system (10) is in the clamped position, the at least two connecting members (12, 14) are clasped together by the connecting ring (16) and the coupling clamp (18) in a secured condition.

11. The clamp system (10) of claim 10, wherein when the clamp system (10) is in the unclamped position, the connecting ring (16) and the coupling clamp (18) are in a loose condition.

12. A connecting ring (16) used in a clamp system (10), the connecting ring (16) comprising:

a ring portion (32) having a planar wall (34) substantially transverse to a longitudinal axis of the connecting ring (16), and an opposite inclined wall (36) sloped at a predetermined angle relative to the longitudinal axis; and

a flange portion (38) extending in an axial direction relative to the longitudinal axis of the connecting ring (16), and configured to limit axial movement of the connecting ring (16).

13. The connecting ring (16) of claim 12, wherein the flange portion (38) extends from an end of the inclined wall (36) sloping away from the planar wall (34).

14. The connecting ring (16) of claim 12, wherein a distal end (40) of the flange portion (38) is configured to bias against a protrusion (42) associated with a connecting member (14) used in the clamp system (10) to limit the axial movement of the connecting ring (16) when the connecting ring (16) is displaced.

15. The connecting ring (16) of claim 14, wherein the connecting ring (16) has a predetermined clearance (D2) between the connecting ring (16) and the protrusion (42) associated with the connecting member directly facing the connecting ring (16) when assembled.

16. The connecting ring (16) of claim 15, wherein the clearance (D2) is shorter than a gap distance (Dl) between the connecting ring (16) and a segment (26) radially extending from an inner surface of the coupling clamp (18) when the clamp system (10) is in a loose condition.

17. The connecting ring (16) of claim 16, wherein the distance (Dl) between the connecting ring (16) and the segment (26) of the coupling clamp (18) when the clamp system (10) is in the loose condition is determined based on an axial distance of inner edges of the segment (26) and a total width associated with the connecting ring (16) and at least two connecting members (12, 14) used in the clamp system (10).

18. The connecting ring (16) of claim 17, wherein the total width includes a first width associated with a first connecting member (12) of the at least two connecting members (12, 14), a second width associated with a second connecting member (14) of the at least two connecting members (12, 14), and a third width associated with the connecting ring (16).

19. The connecting ring (16) of claim 18, wherein the first width includes a width of a first flange (28) of the first connecting member (12), the second width includes a width of a second flange (30) of the second connecting member (14), and the third width includes a width of the ring portion (32) of the connecting ring (16).

20. The connecting ring (16) of claim 16, wherein an axial length of the connecting ring (16) is determined based on the clearance (D2) between the connecting ring (16) and the protrusion (42) associated with the connecting member, and the gap distance (Dl) between the connecting ring (16) and the segment (26) of the coupling clamp (18).

AMENDED CLAIMS

received by the International Bureau on 30 May 2018 (30.05.18)

What is claimed is:

1. (Currently Amended) A clamp system (10) for providing secure attachment of at least two connecting members (12, 14), the clamp system (10) comprising:

a connecting ring (16) having a flange portion (38) extending in an axial direction relative to a longitudinal axis of the connecting ring (16), the flange portion (38) configured to limit axial movement of the connecting ring (16); and

a coupling clamp (18) configured to create a force for the clamp system (10) when the coupling clamp (18) is fastened with the connecting ring (16) such that the at least two connecting members (12, 14) are securely attached by the fastened coupling clamp (18), wherein the flange portion (38) of the connecting ring (16) extends toward a protrusion (42) extending from an outer surface of one of the at least two connecting members (12, 14) to limit the axial movement of the connecting ring (16).

2. (Canceled)

3. (Currently Amended) The clamp system (10) of claim 1, wherein the connecting ring (16) has a ring portion (32) including an inclined wall (36) sloped at a predetermined angle relative to the longitudinal axis of the connecting ring (16).

4. (Original) The clamp system (10) of claim 3, wherein the flange portion (38) extends from an end of the inclined wall (36) sloping away from an opposite wall (34) of the ring portion (32).

5. (Original) The clamp system (10) of claim 4, wherein the opposite wall (34) is substantially transverse to the longitudinal axis of the connecting ring (16).

6. (Original) The clamp system (10) of claim 3, wherein the coupling clamp (18) has a segment (26) radially extending from an inner surface of the coupling clamp (18) for receiving the ring portion (32) of the connecting ring (16) and the at least two connecting members (12, 14).

7. (Original) The clamp system (10) of claim 6, wherein an axial length of the flange portion (38) of the connecting ring (16) is determined based on an axial width of the segment (26) of the coupling clamp (18) relative to the longitudinal axis of the connecting ring (16).

8. (Original) The clamp system (10) of claim 1, wherein the clamp system (10) transitions between a clamped position and an unclamped position.

9. (Currently Amended) The clamp system (10) of claim 8, wherein when the clamp system (10) is in the unclamped position, a first gap distance (Dl) between the connecting ring (16) and the coupling clamp (18) is greater than a second gap distance (D2) between the connecting ring (16) and the protrusion (42) associated with one (14) of the at least two connecting members (12, 14).

10. (Original) The clamp system (10) of claim 8, wherein when the clamp system (10) is in the clamped position, the at least two connecting members (12, 14) are clasped together by the connecting ring (16) and the coupling clamp (18) in a secured condition.

11. (Original) The clamp system (10) of claim 10, wherein when the clamp system (10) is in the unclamped position, the connecting ring (16) and the coupling clamp (18) are in a loose condition.

12. (Original) A connecting ring (16) used in a clamp system (10), the connecting ring (16) comprising:

a ring portion (32) having a planar wall (34) substantially transverse to a longitudinal axis of the connecting ring (16), and an opposite inclined wall (36) sloped at a predetermined angle relative to the longitudinal axis; and

a flange portion (38) extending in an axial direction relative to the longitudinal axis of the connecting ring (16), and configured to limit axial movement of the connecting ring (16).

13. (Original) The connecting ring (16) of claim 12, wherein the flange portion (38) extends from an end of the inclined wall (36) sloping away from the planar wall (34).

14. (Original) The connecting ring (16) of claim 12, wherein a distal end (40) of the flange portion (38) is configured to bias against a protrusion (42) associated with a connecting member (14) used in the clamp system (10) to limit the axial movement of the connecting ring (16) when the connecting ring (16) is displaced.

15. (Original) The connecting ring (16) of claim 14, wherein the connecting ring (16) has a predetermined clearance (D2) between the connecting ring (16) and the protrusion (42) associated with the connecting member directly facing the connecting ring (16) when assembled.

16. (Original) The connecting ring (16) of claim 15, wherein the clearance (D2) is shorter than a gap distance (Dl) between the connecting ring (16) and a segment (26) radially extending from an inner surface of the coupling clamp (18) when the clamp system (10) is in a loose condition.

17. (Original) The connecting ring (16) of claim 16, wherein the distance (Dl) between the connecting ring (16) and the segment (26) of the coupling clamp (18) when the clamp system (10) is in the loose condition is determined based on an axial distance of inner edges of the segment (26) and a total width associated with the connecting ring (16) and at least two connecting members (12, 14) used in the clamp system (10).

18. (Original) The connecting ring (16) of claim 17, wherein the total width includes a first width associated with a first connecting member (12) of the at least two connecting members (12, 14), a second width associated with a second connecting member (14) of the at least two connecting members (12, 14), and a third width associated with the connecting ring

(16).

19. (Original) The connecting ring (16) of claim 18, wherein the first width includes a width of a first flange (28) of the first connecting member (12), the second width includes a width of a second flange (30) of the second connecting member (14), and the third width includes a width of the ring portion (32) of the connecting ring (16).

20. (Original) The connecting ring (16) of claim 16, wherein an axial length of the connecting ring (16) is determined based on the clearance (D2) between the connecting ring (16) and the protrusion (42) associated with the connecting member, and the gap distance (D l) between the connecting ring (16) and the segment (26) of the coupling clamp (18).

Description:
CONNECTING RING WITH AN AXIAL LIMITING FEATURE

FIELD OF THE DISCLOSURE

[0001] The present disclosure relates generally to connection systems, and more particularly, to a clamp system having a connecting ring used in connection with a coupling clamp for facilitating secure attachment of at least two connecting members.

BACKGROUND

[0002] Conventional connection systems, such as clamp systems, are commonly used to provide secure attachment of at least two connecting members, such as pipes and tubes. For example, the clamp systems are used for providing a mechanical load-transfer and an adequate sealing between the connecting members. Typically, the clamp systems include a connecting ring and a coupling clamp to securely hold respective flange portions of the connect members during use. However, during installation or use of the clamp systems, the connecting ring often becomes displaced or separated from the coupling clamp, resulting in clamp system failures. Such clamp system failures can cause subsequent failures of other adjacent components or systems. For example, the failures include a non-release, a partial separation resulting in an unstable payload, a premature or late release, or a leakage of associated systems. Accordingly, there are opportunities to improve a clamp system so that it provides consistent and reliable attachment of connected members during use or installation.

SUMMARY

[0003] A first aspect of the present disclosure provides a clamp system for providing secure attachment of at least two connecting members. The clamp system includes a connecting ring having a flange portion extending in an axial direction relative to a longitudinal axis of the connecting ring. The flange portion is configured to limit axial movement of the connecting ring. Also included in the clamp system is a coupling clamp configured to create a force for the clamp system when the coupling clamp is fastened with the connecting ring such that the at least two connecting members are securely attached by the fastened coupling clamp.

[0004] In embodiments, the flange portion of the connecting ring is configured to bias against a protrusion associated with one of the at least two connecting members to limit the axial movement of the connecting ring when the connecting ring is displaced. The connecting ring has a ring portion including an inclined wall sloped at a predetermined angle relative to the longitudinal axis of the connecting ring. The flange portion extends from an end of the inclined wall sloping away from an opposite wall of the ring portion. The opposite wall is substantially transverse to the longitudinal axis of the connecting ring. The coupling clamp has a segment radially extending from an inner surface of the coupling clamp for receiving the ring portion of the connecting ring and the at least two connecting members.

[0005] In embodiments, an axial length of the flange portion of the connecting ring is determined based on an axial width of the segment of the coupling clamp relative to the longitudinal axis of the connecting ring.

[0006] In embodiments, the clamp system transitions between a clamped position and an unclamped position. When the clamp system is in the unclamped position, a first gap distance between the connecting ring and the coupling clamp is greater than a second gap distance between the connecting ring and a protrusion associated with one of the at least two connecting members. When the clamp system is in the clamped position, the at least two connecting members are clasped together by the connecting ring and the coupling clamp in a secured condition. When the clamp system is in the unclamped position, the connecting ring and the coupling clamp are in a loose condition. [0007] A second aspect of the present disclosure provides a connecting ring used in a clamp system. The connecting ring includes a ring portion having a planar wall substantially transverse to a longitudinal axis of the connecting ring, and an opposite inclined wall sloped at a predetermined angle relative to the longitudinal axis. Also included in the connecting ring is a flange portion extending in an axial direction relative to the longitudinal axis of the connecting ring, and configured to limit axial movement of the connecting ring.

[0008] In embodiments, the flange portion extends from an end of the inclined wall sloping away from the planar wall. A distal end of the flange portion is configured to bias against a protrusion associated with a connecting member used in the clamp system to limit the axial movement of the connecting ring when the connecting ring is displaced. The connecting ring has a predetermined clearance between the connecting ring and the protrusion associated with the connecting member directly facing the connecting ring when assembled. The clearance is shorter than a gap distance between the connecting ring and a segment radially extending from an inner surface of the coupling clamp when the clamp system is in a loose condition. The distance between the connecting ring and the segment of the coupling clamp when the clamp system is in the loose condition is determined based on an axial distance of inner edges of the segment and a total width associated with the connecting ring and at least two connecting members used in the clamp system. The total width includes a first width associated with a first connecting member of the at least two connecting members, a second width associated with a second connecting member of the at least two connecting members, and a third width associated with the connecting ring. The first width includes a width of a first flange of the first connecting member, the second width includes a width of a second flange of the second connecting member, and the third width includes a width of the ring portion of the connecting ring. [0009] In embodiments, an axial length of the connecting ring is determined based on the clearance between the connecting ring and the protrusion associated with the connecting member, and the gap distance between the connecting ring and the segment of the coupling clamp.

[0010] While multiple embodiments are disclosed, still other embodiments of the present disclosure will become apparent to those skilled in the art from the following detailed description, which shows and describes illustrative embodiments of the present disclosure. Accordingly, the drawings and detailed description are to be regarded as illustrative in nature and not restrictive.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0011] The embodiments will be more readily understood in view of the following description when accompanied by the below figures and wherein like reference numerals represent like elements, wherein:

[0012] FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a clamp system having a connecting ring and a coupling clamp in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure;

[0013] FIG. 2 is a vertical cross-sectional view of the clamp system of FIG. 1 taken along the line A-A in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure;

[0014] FIG. 3 is an enlarged schematic, cross-sectional view of a portion B of the clamp system of FIG. 2 in a clamped position in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure;

[0015] FIG. 4 is an enlarged schematic, cross-sectional view of the portion B of the clamp system of FIG. 2 in an unclamped position in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure; [0016] FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the clamp system of FIG. 1 used in connection with a connecting member having a circumferential protrusion in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure;

[0017] FIG. 6 is a perspective view of the clamp system of FIG. 1 used in connection with a connecting member having one or more protuberances in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure;

[0018] FIG. 7 is a vertical cross-sectional view of the clamp system of FIG. 6 taken along the line B-B in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure; and

[0019] FIG. 8 is an enlarged schematic, cross-sectional view of a portion D of the clamp system of FIG. 7 in a clamped position in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure.

[0020] While the present disclosure is amenable to various modifications and alternative forms, specific embodiments have been shown by way of example in the drawings and are described in detail below. The intention, however, is not to limit the present disclosure to the particular embodiments described. On the contrary, the present disclosure is intended to cover all modifications, equivalents, and alternatives falling within the scope of the present disclosure as defined by the appended claims.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF EMBODIMENTS

[0021] In the following detailed description, reference is made to the accompanying drawings which form a part hereof, and in which is shown by way of illustration specific embodiments in which the present disclosure is practiced. These embodiments are described in sufficient detail to enable those skilled in the art to practice the present disclosure, and it is to be understood that other embodiments can be utilized and that structural changes can be made without departing from the scope of the present disclosure. Therefore, the following detailed description is not to be taken in a limiting sense, and the scope of the present disclosure is defined by the appended claims and their equivalents.

[0022] Referring to FIGS. 1 and 2, a clamp system, generally designated 10, configured to provide secure attachment of at least two connecting members 12, 14 is shown. For example, connecting members 12, 14 can include an exhaust pipe, a coolant tube, a bellow connector, or any suitable connecting conduits known in the art. In one embodiment, clamp system 10 includes a connecting ring 16 and a coupling clamp 18 for providing the secure attachment of a first connecting member 12 and a second connecting member 14. In this example, second connecting member 14 is a bellow connector. Attachment of connecting members 12, 14 using connecting ring 16 is achieved by fastening opposite ends 20, 22 of coupling clamp 18 with a fastener 24. Other fastening methods, e.g., using nut and bolt combinations, are also contemplated to suit the application.

[0023] FIG. 2 shows a vertical cross-sectional view of clamp system 10 of FIG. 1. In this illustrated embodiment, coupling clamp 18 has a segment 26 being“V”-shaped in cross-section and radially extending from an inner surface of coupling clamp 18. Although“V”-shaped segment 26 is shown for illustration purposes, other suitable types of segment, such as“U”- shaped or“C”-shaped bands, are also contemplated to suit different applications. When coupling clamp 18 is fastened, “V”-shaped segment 26 creates an inward radial force toward a longitudinal axis X of connecting ring 16 such that a first flange 28 of first connecting member 12, a second flange 30 of second connecting member 14, and connecting ring 16 are wedged together inside“V”-shaped segment 26 in an axial direction. As such, the axial force of clamp system 10 provides the tight seal and connection between connecting members 12 and 14. However, during use or installation, connecting ring 16 often becomes loosened in or separated from“V”-shaped segment 26 causing clamp system failures discussed above.

[0024] Referring now to FIGS. 3 and 4, a specific configuration of connecting ring 16 prevents or at least mitigates such clamp system failures. Specifically, connecting ring 16 has a radial ring portion 32 including a planar wall 34 substantially transverse to the longitudinal axis X of connecting ring 16 and an opposite inclined wall 36 sloped at a predetermined angle a relative to the longitudinal axis X. Further, connecting ring 16 has a flange portion 38 extending in an axial direction relative to the longitudinal axis X from an end of inclined wall 36 sloping away from planar wall 34. It is advantageous that flange portion 38 provides an axial limiting feature for movement of connecting ring 16 during use or installation.

[0025] In this illustrated embodiment, a distal end 40 of flange portion 38 is configured to bias against a protrusion 42 associated with second connecting member 14 to limit axial movement of connecting ring 16 when connecting ring 16 is displaced during use or installation. For example, when connecting ring 16 is moved or displaced by external forces during use or installation, distal end 40 of flange portion 38 can be axially shifted toward protrusion 42. Then, protrusion 42 stops further axial movement of connecting ring 16 by biasing against distal end 40 of flange portion 38 to prevent an unwanted release of connecting ring 16 from coupling clamp 18. In one embodiment, protrusion 42 can be a convolution disposed on an outer surface of the bellow connector, but any suitable protruding portions of second connecting member 14 are contemplated to suit different applications.

[0026] In embodiments, clamp system 10 is configured to transition between a clamped position (FIG. 3) and an unclamped position (FIG. 4). The unclamped position refers to a position of clamp system 10 where connecting ring 16 and coupling clamp 18 are in a loose condition, and the clamped position refers to a position of clamp system 10 where first and second connecting members 12 and 14 are clasped together by connecting ring 16 and coupling clamp 18 in a secured condition.

[0027] As shown in FIG. 4, when clamp system 10 is in the undamped position, a first gap distance Dl between ring portion 32 of connecting ring 16 and“V”-shaped segment 26 of coupling clamp 18 is greater than a second gap distance D2 between distal end 40 of flange portion 38 of connecting ring 16 and protrusion 42 of second connecting member 14. The second gap distance D2 represents a predetermined clearance between connecting ring 16 and a first protrusion 42 of second connecting member 14 directly facing connecting ring 16 when assembled. In the illustrated embodiment, the clearance represented by the second gap distance D2 is shorter than the first gap distance Dl. An exemplary relationship between the first gap distance Dl and the second gap distance D2 can be defined by expression (1):

D2 < Dl (1).

[0028] As such, an axial length of flange portion 38 of connecting ring 16 is determined based on an axial width of “V”-shaped segment 26 of coupling clamp 18 and the clearance between connecting ring 16 and first protrusion 42 of second connecting member 14. For example, the axial length of flange portion 38 is determined based on the first gap distance Dl and the second gap distance D2. Consequently, the flange portion 38 has the axial length that satisfies the relationship where the first gap distance Dl is greater than the second gap distance D2, as shown in expression (1).

[0029] As another example, the first gap distance Dl can also be determined based on an axial distance D3 of inner edges of“V”-shaped segment 26 and a total width D4 defined by a first width Wl of first flange 28 of first connecting member 12, a second width W2 of second flange 30 of second connecting member 14, and a third width W3 of ring portion 32 of connecting ring 16. In this illustrated embodiment, the total width D4 is a sum value of the first, second, and third widths when clamp system 10 is in the clamped position. An exemplary first gap distance Dl can be defined by expressions (2) and (3):

D1 = D3— D4 (2)

D4 = (W1 + W2 + W3) (3).

[0030] In some embodiments, a gasket can be optionally disposed between first connecting member 12 and a second connecting member 14. In such embodiments, the first width W 1 includes a thickness of gasket in addition to first flange 28 of first connecting member 12. Any number of gaskets is contemplated to suit different applications.

[0031] Referring now to FIG. 5, a different type of protrusion 42 of second connecting member 14 is shown. In this embodiment, clamp system 10 is used in connection with a different type of second connecting member 14A having a circumferential protrusion 42 A. Like elements shown in FIGS. 1-4 are designated with identical reference numerals. As shown in FIG. 5, protrusion 42A can be any suitable protrusion as long as it is designed to limit axial movement of flange portion 38 of connecting ring 16 during use or installation. Exemplary protrusions include beads, spherical domes, ridges, lumps, bumps, knobs, or the like. In another embodiment, protrusions can be integral with second connecting member 14, but independent, separate protrusions are also contemplated to suit different applications.

[0032] Referring now to FIGS. 6-8, clamp system 10 is used in connection with another type of second connecting member 14B having one or more protuberances 42B. Like elements shown in FIGS. 1-4 are designated with identical reference numerals. In this illustrated embodiment, distal end 40 of flange portion 38 is configured to bias against one or more protuberances 42B associated with second connecting member 14 to limit axial movement of connecting ring 16 when connecting ring 16 is displaced during use or installation. Principles described above in relation to clamp system 10 are also applied in this illustrated embodiment.

[0033] Embodiments of the present disclosure are described above by way of example only, with reference to the accompanying drawings. Further, the previous description is merely exemplary in nature and is in no way intended to limit the disclosure, its application, or uses. Thus, while this disclosure includes particular examples and arrangements of the units, the scope of the present system should not be so limited since other modifications will become apparent to the skilled practitioner.

[0034] The above detailed description and the examples described therein have been presented for the purposes of illustration and description only and not for limitation. For example, the operations described can be done in any suitable manner. The methods can be performed in any suitable order while still providing the described operation and results. It is therefore contemplated that the present embodiments cover any and all modifications, variations, or equivalents that fall within the scope of the basic underlying principles disclosed above and claimed herein.