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Patent Searching and Data


Title:
A CONNECTOR
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2018/071953
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A connector including: a hollow body having a first protrusion adjacent to a second protrusion; and a cover extending over at least a portion of the first protrusion, wherein a segment of the cover is restrained between the first protrusion and the second protrusion.

Inventors:
BINES, Glenn (29 Spray Street, Elmwood, Victoria 3184, 3184, AU)
AQUINO, Jayson (5 Viewline Way, Lyndhurst, Victoria 3975, 3975, AU)
Application Number:
AU2016/050974
Publication Date:
April 26, 2018
Filing Date:
October 17, 2016
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
RELIANCE WORLDWIDE CORPORATION (AUST.) PTY. LTD. (Level 54, Rialto Towers525 Collins Stree, Melbourne Victoria 3000, 3000, AU)
International Classes:
F16L19/00; F16L21/00; F16L33/22; F16L37/02
Foreign References:
JPH09100980A1997-04-15
CN201866446U2011-06-15
JP2006300148A2006-11-02
US5901987A1999-05-11
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
FISHER ADAMS KELLY CALLINANS (Level 6, 175 Eagle StreetBrisbane, Queensland 4000, 4000, AU)
Download PDF:
Claims:
The claims defininq the invention are as follows

1 . A connector including: a hollow body having a first protrusion adjacent to a second protrusion; and a cover extending over at least a portion of the first protrusion, wherein a segment of the cover is restrained between the first protrusion and the second protrusion.

2. The connector of claim 1 , wherein the hollow body includes one or more ridges.

3. The connector of claim 2, wherein the one or more ridges extend a shorter distance from the hollow body in comparison to the first protrusion and/or the second protrusion.

4. The connector of claims 1 or 2, wherein the one or more ridges are located closer to an end of the hollow body in comparison to the first protrusion.

5. The connector of any one of the preceding claims, wherein the first protrusion includes a retaining face that faces towards the second protrusion.

6. The connector of any one of the preceding claims, wherein the hollow body includes a fastening portion.

7. The connector of any one of the preceding claims, wherein the cover is substantially circular.

8. The connector of any one of the preceding claims, wherein the cover includes a first segment that extends transversely from a second segment.

9. The connector of claim 8, wherein the first segment is arcuate.

10. The connector of claims 8 or 9, wherein the first segment extends into a channel between the first protrusion and the second protrusion to restrain the cover therebetween.

1 1 . The connector of any one of the preceding claims, wherein at least part of the cover is outboard of the hollow body to provide a gap therebetween.

12. The connector of any one of the preceding claims, wherein the cover is configured to deform in a manner to retain a pipe between the cover and the hollow body.

13. The connector of any one of the preceding claims, wherein the cover is configured to rotate around the hollow body whilst being restrained between the first protrusion and the second protrusion.

14. The connector of any one of the preceding claims, wherein the hollow body includes a first aperture that is larger than a second aperture.

15. The connector of any one of the preceding claims, wherein the hollow body is substantially circular.

16. The connector of any one of the preceding claims, wherein the cover includes copper.

17. The connector of any one of the preceding claims, wherein the hollow body includes brass.

18. A method for making a connector, the method including the steps of:

locating a cover over one or more ridges along a hollow body; situating a first segment of the cover between a first protrusion and a second protrusion along the hollow body; and deforming the first segment in order to restrain the cover between the first protrusion and the second protrusion.

19. The method of claim 18, wherein the step of deforming the first segment, in order to restrain the cover between the first protrusion and the second protrusion, includes crimping the first segment.

20. The method of claim 1 8 or 19, wherein the step of deforming the first segment, in order to restrain the cover between the first protrusion and the second protrusion, includes deforming the first segment into a channel between the first protrusion and the second protrusion.

Description:
A CONNECTOR

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0001 ] The invention relates to a connector. In particular, the invention relates, but is not limited, to a connector for a pipe.

BACKGROUND TO THE INVENTION

[0002] Reference to background art herein is not to be construed as an admission that such art constitutes common general knowledge in Australia or elsewhere.

[0003] In any number of situations, there is a need where conduits have to be interconnected in a substantially leak-proof manner. By way of example, equipment operated by pneumatic or hydraulic fluid, gas and hot water systems for domestic and/or commercial purposes, and the like, all employ conduit that require leak-proof connections for the purposes of transporting that fluid or gas.

[0004] In the past, a number of products and methods have been employed in an attempt to achieve a satisfactory joint or coupling between lengths of piping, tubing and/or ducting of this general nature. Almost invariably, however, such products and methods have suffered in terms of their ease of installation and/or removal as and when required, sometimes necessitating the employment of additional tooling to achieve the relevant joint or coupling. In some ways even more importantly however, problems have been found to exist in parts separating and/or becoming lost during installation. OBJECT OF THE INVENTION

[0005] It is an aim of this invention to provide a connector which overcomes or ameliorates one or more of the disadvantages or problems described above, or which at least provides a useful alternative.

[0006] Other preferred objects of the present invention will become apparent from the following description.

SUMMARY OF INVENTION

[0007] In one form, although not necessarily the only or broadest form, the invention resides in a connector including: a hollow body having a first protrusion adjacent to a second protrusion; and a cover extending over at least a portion of the first protrusion, wherein a segment of the cover is restrained between the first protrusion and the second protrusion.

[0008] Preferably, the hollow body is substantially circular.

[0009] Preferably, the hollow body includes a metal and/or a plastic.

Preferably, the hollow body includes brass.

[0010] Preferably, the hollow body is substantially straight. In a further form, preferably the hollow body includes an elbow portion.

[001 1 ] Preferably, the hollow body includes an end having a tapered portion. Preferably, the hollow body includes two ends and both ends have a tapered portion.

[0012] Preferably, the hollow body includes a first portion. Preferably, the first portion includes the first protrusion. [0013] Preferably, the hollow body includes one or more ridges.

Preferably, the first portion includes one or more ridges. Preferably, the one or more ridges are configured to engage with a pipe.

[0014] Preferably, the one or more ridges extend a shorter distance from the hollow body in comparison to the first protrusion and/or the second protrusion.

[0015] Preferably, the one or more ridges are located closer to an end of the hollow body in comparison to the first protrusion and/or the second protrusion.

[0016] Preferably, the first protrusion and/or second protrusion are located inboard along the hollow body from the one or more ridges.

[0017] Preferably, the first protrusion includes a retaining face. Preferably, the retaining face faces towards the second protrusion.

[0018] Preferably, the retaining face extends transversely to a first axis extending through the hollow body. Preferably, the retaining face extends substantially perpendicular to the first axis extending through the hollow body.

Preferably, the first axis is substantially parallel with a centre line extending through a middle portion of the hollow body.

[0019] Preferably, the first protrusion includes an upper face having a tapered portion. Preferably, the tapered portion faces away from the second protrusion.

[0020] Preferably, the hollow body includes a second portion. Preferably, the second portion includes the second protrusion. Preferably, a channel is defined between the first protrusion and the second protrusion. Preferably, the channel is U-shaped.

[0021 ] Preferably, the second portion includes a fastening portion. Preferably, the fastening portion includes a threaded portion. [0022] In a further form, the second portion includes the elbow portion. Preferably, the elbow portion is connected to a further first protrusion and a further second protrusion that restrain a further cover therebetween.

[0023] Preferably, the hollow body includes a first aperture that is larger than a second aperture. Preferably, the first aperture includes a tapered portion towards the second aperture. Preferably, at least the first aperture and second aperture define a passage through the hollow body.

[0024] Preferably, the cover is substantially circular. Preferably, the cover includes an aperture therethrough. Preferably, the aperture that extends through the cover is larger in size compared to the one or more ridges.

[0025] Preferably, the cover includes a first segment and a second segment. Preferably, the first segment extends transversely from the second segment.

[0026] Preferably, the first segment is arcuate.

[0027] Preferably, at least part of the first segment is located between the first protrusion and the second protrusion in order to restrain the cover therebetween.

[0028] Preferably, the first segment extends into the channel between the first protrusion and the second protrusion.

[0029] Preferably, the cover includes a metal and/or a plastic. Preferably, the cover includes copper.

[0030] Preferably, the cover sits above the one or more ridges to provide a gap therebetween.

[0031 ] Preferably, the cover is configured to deform in a manner to retain a pipe between the cover and the one or more ridges.

[0032] Preferably, the cover is configured to rotate around the hollow body whilst being restrained between the first protrusion and the second protrusion.

[0033] Preferably, the cover includes one or more holes through a sidewall thereof. [0034] In another form the invention resides in a method for making a connector, the method including the steps of:

locating a cover over one or more ridges along a hollow body; situating a first segment of the cover between a first protrusion and a second protrusion along the hollow body; and deforming the first segment in order to restrain the cover between the first protrusion and the second protrusion.

[0035] Preferably, the step of deforming the first segment, in order to restrain the cover between the first protrusion and the second protrusion, includes crimping the first segment.

[0036] Preferably, the step of deforming the first segment, in order to restrain the cover between the first protrusion and the second protrusion, includes deforming the first segment into a channel between the first protrusion and the second protrusion.

[0037] Preferably, the method further includes inserting a temporary cover between the cover and the one or more ridges.

[0038] Preferably, the hollow body and/or the cover are herein as described.

[0039] Further features and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following detailed description.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0040] By way of example only, preferred embodiments of the invention will be described more fully hereinafter with reference to the accompanying figures, wherein:

Figure 1 illustrates a cross-sectional view of a connector, according to an embodiment of the invention; Figure 2 illustrates a cross-sectional view of a connector, connected to a pipe, according to a further embodiment of the invention; and

Figure 3 illustrates a cross-sectional view of a connector, according to another embodiment of the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0041 ] Figure 1 illustrates a cross-sectional view of a connector 10a, according to an embodiment of the invention. The connector 10a includes a hollow body 100a and a cover 200a. A first axis 12a extends along the middle of the hollow body 100a. That is, the first axis 12a centrally extends from a first open end of the hollow body 100a to another open end of the hollow body 100a.

[0042] In this embodiment, the hollow body 100a is made from brass but, it will be appreciated that in further embodiments, the hollow body 100a may be made of alternative materials. The hollow body 100a includes a first portion 1 10a and a second portion 120a. The first portion 1 10a in this embodiment is substantially circular and includes a first protrusion 1 1 1 a. The first protrusion 1 1 1 a extends transversely away from the first axis 12a. That is, the first protrusion 1 1 1 a extends in a direction towards the cover 200a. In this regard, the first protrusion 1 1 1 a substantially forms a ring around the hollow body 100a. The first protrusion 1 1 1 a includes a retaining face 1 12a. The retaining face 1 12a faces towards the second portion 120a. The first protrusion 1 1 1 a also includes an upper face having a tapered portion towards the outboard area thereof.

[0043] The first portion 1 10a also includes a plurality of ridges 1 14a. The ridges 1 14a are located outboard of the first protrusion 1 1 1 a along the hollow body 100a. In this regard, the ridges 1 14a are located closer to the first open end of the hollow body 100a. The ridges 1 14a form a plurality of channels therebetween that assist in retaining a pipe. The ridges 1 14a in this embodiment form rings around the hollow body 100a. Adjacent the ridges 1 14a, the hollow body 100a includes a tapered portion 1 15a. The tapered portion 1 15a extends transversely to the first axis 12a at the end of the hollow body 100a.

[0044] The second portion 120a includes the second protrusion 121 a in this embodiment. The second protrusion 121 a is located adjacent the first protrusion 1 1 1 a. A U-shaped channel 1 13a is formed between the first protrusion 1 1 1 a and the second protrusion 121 a. In this embodiment, the second protrusion 121 a also assists in forming a tightening portion 121 a that is in the form of a hex nut. The second portion 120a also includes a fastening portion 122a in the form of a tapered thread. The fastening portion 122a is configured to be connected to other connectors and/or pipes. Adjacent the fastening portion 122a is a tapered end 123a.

[0045] The hollow body 100a includes a passage therethrough that is defined by apertures 130a, 134a. It would be appreciated that apertures 130a, 134a may be considered as one aperture but, for ease of reference, apertures 130a, 134a are recited. Aperture 130a has a larger diameter compared to aperture 134a. In this regard, aperture 130a is wider than aperture 134a. A tapered portion 132a extends from aperture 130a to aperture 134a.

[0046] The cover 200a is substantially circular in this embodiment. The cover 200a is made from copper. The cover 200a includes a first segment 210a and a second segment 220a. The first segment 210a extends transversely away from the second segment 220a. That is, the second segment 220a extends substantially parallel to the first axis 12a whilst the first segment 210a is angled to the first axis 1 2a. [0047] The first segment 21 Oa extends, in an angled direction, from one side of the first protrusion 1 1 1 a to another side of the first protrusion 1 1 1 a. In this regard, at least part of the first segment 21 Oa is located below an upper edge of the first protrusion 1 1 1 a and adjacent to the second protrusion 121 a. This restrains the first segment 210a between at least one face of the first protrusion 1 1 1 a (i.e. the retaining face 1 12a) and the second protrusion 121 a. In other words, movement of the cover is restrained between the first protrusion 1 1 1 a and the second protrusion 121 a by being configured to engage therewith. With this in mind, the cover 200a is also configured to rotate or spin about the hollow body 100a whilst it is retained between the first protrusion 1 1 1 a and the second protrusion 121 a. The second segment 220a extends to be substantially flush with the end of the hollow body 100a.

[0048] The cover 200a is located outboard of the hollow body 100a to create a gap therebetween. In other words, a space is created between the cover 200a and the ridges 1 14a to allow a pipe to be inserted therein. The cover 200a is configured to be deformed to retain the pipe therein. Typically, the cover 200a is deformed with a crimping tool.

[0049] Figure 2 illustrates a cross-sectional view of a connector 10b, connected to a pipe 20b, according to a further embodiment of the invention. The connector 10b is similar to the connector 10a and, therefore, like numbering has been used. In this regard, it is also noted that the use of a reference numeral followed by a lower case letter typically indicates alternative embodiments of a general element identified by the reference numeral in this specification. Thus for example connector 10a is similar to but not identical to connector 10b. Further, references to an element identified only by the numeral refer to all embodiments of that element. Thus for example a reference to connector 10 is intended to include both the connector 10a and the connector 10b. [0050] Like the connector 10a, the connector 10b includes a hollow body 100b and a cover 200b. The hollow body 1 00b includes a first portion 1 10b and a second portion 120b. The first portion 1 10b includes a first protrusion 1 1 1 b. The first protrusion 1 1 1 b extends transversely away from a first axis 12b extending centrally along the connector. That is, the first protrusion 1 1 1 b extends in a perpendicular direction away from the first axis 12b. The first protrusion 1 1 1 b includes a retaining face 1 12b. The retaining face 1 12b faces towards the second protrusion 121 b. The first protrusion 1 1 1 b also includes an upper face having a tapered portion that sits next to the pipe 20b. The first protrusion 1 1 1 b also acts as a stop for the pipe 20b.

[0051 ] The first portion 1 10b also includes a plurality of ridges 1 14b. The ridges 1 14b are located between an end of the hollow body 100b and the first protrusion 1 1 1 a. The ridges 1 14b form a plurality of channels therebetween that assist in retaining the pipe 20b within the connector 10b. The ridges 1 14b in this embodiment form rings around the hollow body 100b. Adjacent the ridges 1 14b, the hollow body 100b includes a tapered portion 1 15b that assists in moving the pipe 20b thereon.

[0052] The second portion 120b includes the second protrusion 121 b in this embodiment. The second protrusion 121 b is located adjacent the first protrusion 1 1 1 b. The second protrusion 121 b sits above the other components of the hollow body 100b and forms a U-shaped channel 1 13a with the first protrusion 1 1 1 a. An aperture 130b extends through the first portion 1 10b and the second portion 120b to form a passage through the hollow body 100b. The aperture 130b includes a thread to connect to a further pipe and/or fitting.

[0053] Like the cover 200a, the cover 200b is substantially circular in this embodiment. The cover 200b is made from copper and includes a first segment 21 Ob and a second segment 220b. The first segment 21 Ob extends at a non-parallel angle away from the second segment 220a. That is, first segment 21 Ob tapers away from the second segment 220b. The first segment 210b extends from one side of the first protrusion 1 1 1 b to below another side of the first protrusion 1 1 1 b. This retains the first segment 210b between the first protrusion 1 1 1 b and the second protrusion 121 b. The cover 200b is configured to rotate or spin about the hollow body 100b whilst it is retained between the first protrusion 1 1 1 b and the second protrusion 121 b. The second segment 220a extends to be substantially flush with the end of the hollow body 100a.

[0054] The location of the cover 200b over the hollow body 100a forms a gap therebetween. This gap is created between the cover 200a and the ridges 1 14a to allow the pipe 20b to be inserted therein. The cover 200b is configured to be deformed to retain the pipe 20b therein. Typically, the cover 200b is deformed with a crimping tool.

[0055] Figure 3 illustrates a cross-sectional view of a connector 10c, according to another embodiment of the present invention. The connector 10b includes a hollow body 100c, a cover 200c and a further cover 200d. A first axis 12c and a second axis 14c extend along the middle of the hollow body 100c. That is, the first axis 12c and the second axis 14c respectively extend along the hollow body 100c from open ends thereof. The first axis 12c and the second axis 14c are perpendicular to each other.

[0056] The hollow body 100c includes a first portion 1 10c and a second portion 120c. In this embodiment, the first portion 1 10c is substantially circular and includes a first protrusion 1 1 1 c. The first protrusion 1 1 1 c extends transversely away from the first axis 12c. That is, the first protrusion 1 1 1 c extends in a direction towards the cover 200c that is substantially parallel with the second axis 14c. The first protrusion 1 1 1 c includes a retaining face 1 12c. The retaining face 1 12c faces towards the second portion 120c. The first protrusion 1 1 1 c also includes an upper face with a flat portion and a tapered portion. [0057] Like the connectors 10a, 10b, the first portion 1 10c of the connector 10c also includes a plurality of ridges 1 14c. The ridges 1 14c are located outboard of the first protrusion 1 1 1 c along the hollow body 100c. In this regard, the ridges 1 14c are located closer to the first open end of the hollow body 100c. The ridges 1 14c form a plurality of channels therebetween that assist in retaining a pipe. Adjacent the ridges 1 14c, the hollow body 100c includes a tapered portion 1 15c. The tapered portion 1 15c extends transversely to the first axis 12c at the end of the hollow body 100c.

[0058] The second portion 120c includes the second protrusion 121 c in this embodiment. The second protrusion 121 c is located adjacent the first protrusion 1 1 1 c. A U-shaped channel 1 13c is formed between the first protrusion 1 1 1 c and the second protrusion 121 c. The second portion 121 c includes an elbow that is connected to a further first protrusion 1 1 1 d and a further second protrusion 1 21 d. A further U-shaped channel 1 13d is formed between the further first protrusion 1 1 1 d and the further second protrusion 121 d. The further first protrusion 1 1 1 d also includes a retaining face 1 12d facing towards the further second protrusion 121 d.

[0059] A plurality of ridges 1 14d are also located next to the further first protrusion 1 1 1 d. In this regard, the ridges 1 14d are located closer to the other open end of the hollow body 100c in comparison to the further first protrusions 1 1 1 d. The ridges 1 14d form a plurality of channels therebetween that assist in retaining a further pipe. The ridges 1 14d in this embodiment form rings around the hollow body 100c. Adjacent the ridges 1 14d, the hollow body 100c includes a tapered portion 1 1 5d. The tapered portion 1 15d extends transversely to the second axis 14c.

[0060] The hollow body 100c includes a passage therethrough that is defined by apertures 130c, 134c, 136c. It would be appreciated that apertures 130c, 134c, 136c may be considered as one aperture but, for ease of reference, apertures 130c, 134c, 136c are recited. Aperture 130c has a larger diameter compared to apertures 134c, 136c. In this regard, aperture 130c is wider than apertures 134c, 136c. Aperture 130c also includes an elbow shaped portion. Tapered portions 132c respectively extend from aperture 130c to apertures 134c, 136c.

[0061 ] The covers 200c, 200d are substantially circular in this embodiment. The covers 200c, 200d are made from copper. The covers 200c, 200d respectively include a first segment 210c, 21 Od and a second segment 220c, 220d. The first segments 210c, 21 Od respectively extend transversely away from the second segments 220c, 220d. That is, the second segments 220c, 220d respectively extend substantially parallel to the first axis 12c and the second axis 14c, whilst the first segments 210c, 21 Od are respectively angled to the first axis 12c and the second axis 14c.

[0062] The first segments 21 Oc, 21 Od respectively extend, in a transverse direction to the first axis 12 and the second axis 14c, from one side of the protrusions 1 1 1 c, 1 1 1 d to another side of the protrusions 1 1 1 c, 1 1 1 d. In this regard, at least part of the first segments 210c, 21 Od are respectively located below an upper edge of the protrusions 1 1 1 c, 1 1 1 d. This respectively restrains the first segments 21 Oc, 21 Od between the protrusion 1 1 1 c, 1 1 1 d and the protrusion 121 c, 121 d. The covers 200c, 200d are respectively configured to rotate or spin at least a full rotation around the hollow body 100c whilst they are retained between thereon. The second segments 220c, 220d respectively extend to be substantially flush with the ends of the hollow body 100c.

[0063] The covers 200c, 200d are respectively located on the hollow body 100c to create a gap therebetween. In particular, a gap is respectively created between the covers 200c, 200d and the ridges 1 14c, 1 14d to allow a pipe to be inserted therein. The covers 200c, 200d are configured to be deformed to retain the pipes therein. Typically, the covers 200c, 200d are deformed with a crimping tool. [0064] To form the connectors 10, it will be appreciated that the covers 200 are first moved over the ridges 1 14. Following this, the first segments 210, being initially straight, are situated between the first protrusion 1 1 1 and the second protrusion 121 . The first segments 210 are then deformed in a manner to respectively locate the first segments 210 below an upper edge of the first protrusions 1 1 1 . Typically, the first segments are deformed by crimping them into position with an automatic crimping tool. This restrains the covers 200 between the first protrusions 1 1 1 and the second protrusions 121 .

[0065] Once the connectors 10 are formed, installation of the connectors 10 is further evident from figure 2. In particular, a conduit (i.e. a pipe/hose etc.) is inserted through a gap between the cover 200 and the ridges 1 14. When the pipe/hose abuts the first protrusion 1 1 1 , the second segment 220 of the covers 200 is then deformed (e.g. crimped) to assist in retaining the pipe/hose on the connectors 10. The connection between the connectors 10 and the pipe/hose is also fluidly sealed in this arrangement. The connectors 10 may then be connected to a further pipe/hose.

[0066] The connectors 10 provide a connection to conduits in a substantially leak-proof manner. Installing the connectors 10 requires minimum tooling and installation time. Furthermore, by retaining the covers 200 between the protrusions 1 1 1 , 121 , components of the connectors 10 do not typically get lost during use and installation of the connectors 10. This increases productivity. The connectors 10 are also available in a variety of configurations to provide suitable connections for a particular application.

[0067] In this specification, adjectives such as first and second, left and right, top and bottom, and the like may be used solely to distinguish one element or action from another element or action without necessarily requiring or implying any actual such relationship or order. Where the context permits, reference to an integer or a component or step (or the like) is not to be interpreted as being limited to only one of that integer, component, or step, but rather could be one or more of that integer, component, or step etc.

[0068] The above description of various embodiments of the present invention is provided for purposes of description to one of ordinary skill in the related art. It is not intended to be exhaustive or to limit the invention to a single disclosed embodiment. As mentioned above, numerous alternatives and variations to the present invention will be apparent to those skilled in the art of the above teaching. Accordingly, while some alternative embodiments have been discussed specifically, other embodiments will be apparent or relatively easily developed by those of ordinary skill in the art. The invention is intended to embrace all alternatives, modifications, and variations of the present invention that have been discussed herein, and other embodiments that fall within the spirit and scope of the above described invention.

[0069] In this specification, the terms 'comprises', 'comprising', 'includes', 'including', or similar terms are intended to mean a non-exclusive inclusion, such that a method, system or apparatus that comprises a list of elements does not include those elements solely, but may well include other elements not listed.