Login| Sign Up| Help| Contact|

Patent Searching and Data


Title:
DEMOUNTABLE SHIELD APPARATUS
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2017/124144
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The invention provides a demountable shield apparatus for operatively shielding a rear window of a tow vehicle comprising a frame sized, shaped and dimensioned for fitment over the tow vehicle rear window, a rigid foraminous screen affixed to the frame, the rigid foraminous screen including a plurality of apertures sized such that the screen does not hinder visibility, while still possessing sufficient resilience to prevent projectiles propelled with sufficient force to ordinarily shatter the vehicle rear window from shattering said vehicle window; and fastening elements configured to demountably fasten the frame to an outer surface of the vehicle.

Inventors:
HUNTER, Timothy-Jon (482 Coolibah Street, Tom Price, Western Australia 6751, 6751, AU)
Application Number:
AU2017/050034
Publication Date:
July 27, 2017
Filing Date:
January 18, 2017
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
SELTEN, Sheree (482 Coolibah Street, Tom Price, Western Australia 6751, 6751, AU)
International Classes:
B60J11/08; B60J1/20
Foreign References:
FR1216983A1960-04-29
US5954384A1999-09-21
US20090021051A12009-01-22
US7475928B12009-01-13
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
PATENTEUR PTY LTD (Amberley Business Centre, IBM Building Level 3,1060 Hay Stree, West Perth Western Australia 6005, 6005, AU)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1. A demountable shield apparatus for operatively shielding a rear window of a tow vehicle, the demountable shield apparatus comprising : a frame sized, shaped and dimensioned for fitment over the tow vehicle rear window;

a rigid foraminous screen affixed to the frame, the rigid foraminous screen including a plurality of apertures sized such that the screen does not hinder visibility, while still possessing sufficient resilience to withstand up to 5 impacts of 50 Joules each; and

fastening elements configured to demountably fasten the frame to an outer surface of the vehicle.

2. The shield apparatus of claim 1, wherein the foraminous screen possesses sufficient resilience to withstand up to 5 impacts of 100 Joules each.

3. The shield apparatus of claim 1 or claim 2, wherein the foraminous screen possesses sufficient resilience to withstand up to 5 impacts of 800 Joules each.

4. The shield apparatus of any one of claims 1 to 3, wherein the foraminous screen is a thin-section metalliferous mesh or screen.

5. The shield apparatus of claim 4, wherein foraminous screen has a nominal aperture size of between 0.5 mm2 and 10 mm2, preferably between 0.8 mm2 and 5 mm2, typically 1 mm2.

6. The shield apparatus of any one of claims 1 to 5, wherein the foraminous screen has an open, perforate, area of more than 30%, preferably more than 40%, preferably more than 50%, most preferably more than 60% .

7. The shield apparatus of any one of claims 1 to 6, wherein the foraminous screen mesh is selected to increase the drag co-efficient of the vehicle by less than a Cd of 5, preferably a Cd less than 3, when fitted to a vehicle,

8. The shield apparatus of any one of claims 1 to 7, wherein the shield apparatus is provided with fastening elements that allow the shield apparatus to be fastened directly to the vehicle window surround, rear door, or rear hatch of the vehicle.

9. The shield apparatus of claim 8, wherein the fastening elements are in the form of pressure fasteners or clamps that allow for releasable fastening of the shield apparatus to the bodywork of the vehicle, without compromising the integrity of the bodywork of the vehicle .

10. The shield apparatus of any one of claims 7, 8 or 9, wherein the shield apparatus is provided with fastening elements in the form of any one or more of hooks, U-bend clips, J-bend clips, S-bend clips, W-bend clips, or suction caps.

11. The shield apparatus of claim 10 wherein, when in the form of W-bend or S-bend clips, the clip includes a shield-clamping portion, which clamps the clip to the shield apparatus frame.

12. The shield apparatus of claim 11, wherein, when in the form of W-bend or S-bend clips, the clip includes a pressure clamp section for clamping the clip to the vehicle bodywork.

13. The shield apparatus of any one of claims 7 to 12, wherein the pressure clamp section includes at least one U-bend in which an adjustable fastener provides a pressure point opposed to the opposite side of the U-bend section in the fastener, thereby to clamp the clip, and hence the shield frame, to the bodywork of the vehicle .

14. The shield apparatus of any one of claims 7 to 12, wherein one or more of the fastening elements are one of a pair of inter- engaging fastening bodies, of which one part of the fastening body is demountably attachable to the vehicle and the other is fastenable to the frame of the shield apparatus, thereby allowing the frame and foraminous screen of the shield apparatus to be rapidly fastened to the vehicle by inter-engaging, clipping, or clamping the fastening bodies to one another.

15. The shield apparatus of any one of claims 1 to 14, wherein the foraminous screen material comprises a resiliently stretchable or deformable material, or may be constructed so as to be resiliently stretchable or deformable, such that following the foraminous screen being impacted by a ballistic element, the screen returns substantially to its original, pre-impact state without allowing the ballistic element to pass through.

16. The shield apparatus of any one of claims 1 to 15, wherein the foraminous screen is coated or has included therein an anti- reflective or optical coating in the form of one or more transparent thin film structures.

17. The shield apparatus of claim 16, wherein the transparent film structures include alternating layers of contrasting refractive index .

18. The shield apparatus of claim 17, wherein the transparent thin film structures are perforated congruently or concentrically with the screen perforations or apertures.

19. The shield apparatus of any one of claims 1 to 18, wherein a rain gutter is provided on at least part of an operatively upper section of the shield apparatus to allow rainwater to drain away from the shield apparatus and/or vehicle window.

20. The shield apparatus of any one of claims 1 to 19, wherein the frame of the shield apparatus is curved so as to allow for unimpeded arcuate travel of a rear window wiper of the vehicle, should the rear window wiper be required to be used.

21. A vehicle to which a shield apparatus of any one of claims 1 to 20 is demountably mounted.

22. A method of preventing the shattering of a window of a vehicle by a projectile flung up by a towed trailer or caravan being towed by the vehicle, without significantly reducing the visibility through said window, the method comprising the step of demountably mounting a shield apparatus of any one of claims 1 to 21 to the vehicle such that the shield apparatus extends over at least a portion of said vehicle window.

Description:
DEMOUNTABLE SHIELD APPARATUS

TECHNICAL FIELD

[0001] This invention relates to a demountable shield apparatus, to a kit for a demountable shield apparatus, and to a vehicle having a demountable shield apparatus mounted thereto.

BACKGROUND ART

[0002] The following discussion of the background art is intended to facilitate an understanding of the present invention only. No acknowledgement or admission that any of the material referred to is, or was, part of the common general knowledge as at the priority date of the application is intended.

[0003] When towing a trailer or caravan behind a tow vehicle

(usually in the form of a utility vehicle or passenger vehicle having a rear window) on gravel roads, occasional rocks and road debris may be flung from the trailer or caravan wheels frontwardly towards the rear window of the tow vehicle. This can lead to the shattering or fracturing of the rear window of the vehicle, as the rocks or debris may be flung with sufficient force to impart a significant impact to the rear window of the vehicle.

[0004] It is an objective of the invention described herein to address aspects of this problem.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0005] According to one aspect of the invention there is provided a demountable shield apparatus for operatively shielding a rear window of a tow vehicle, the demountable shield apparatus comprising : a frame sized, shaped and dimensioned for fitment over the tow vehicle rear window;

a rigid foraminous screen affixed to the frame, the rigid foraminous screen including a plurality of apertures sized such that the screen does not hinder visibility, while still possessing sufficient resilience to prevent projectiles propelled with

sufficient force to ordinarily shatter the vehicle rear window from shattering said vehicle window; and

fastening elements configured to demountably fasten the frame to an outer surface of the vehicle.

[0006] While it is envisioned that the shield apparatus of the invention will primarily be used to shield a rear window of a passenger, light utility vehicle, or bulk passenger vehicle to deflect projectiles or ballistic elements travelling towards the window, thereby to prevent the window from shattering or sustaining damage when hit by a projectile or ballistic element, it may also be applied to other windows of the vehicle, when suitably dimensioned.

[0007] The foraminous screen may be a thin-section metalliferous mesh or screen, preferably a screen made of stainless steel or aluminium. While mention is made of a foraminous screen, it is implied that the screen may be a pressed, woven, or wire mesh. The foraminous screen may have a withe or wire thickness (i.e. imperforate sections) of between 0.5 and 3 mm., while having a nominal aperture size (i.e. perforate sections) of between 0.5 mm 2 and 10 mm 2 , preferably between 0.8 mm 2 and 5 mm 2 typically 1 mm 2 .

[0008] As such, the foraminous screen may have an open, perforate, area of more than 30%, preferably more than 40%, preferably more than 50%, most preferably more than 60%. By "perforate area" is meant the percentage of the screen area which is occupied by apertures (i.e. perforations) relative to the imperforate screen material or wires. It may thus, in certain embodiments of the invention, be generally considered that the perforations, holes or openings are of about the same size as the imperforate areas therebetween, if not slightly larger.

[0009] The foraminous screen generally has a thickness of between 0.5 mm and 5 mm, preferably about 1 mm. When made of a wire weave, the wire may have a cross-sectional thickness of between 0.5 mm. and 5 mm, preferably about 0.8 mm. The wire may typically be wire made of marine grade steel.

[0010] The screen may be selected to be able to withstand up to

5 impacts of 50 Joules each, preferably up to 5 impacts of than 100 Joules each, preferably impact loads comprising 5 impacts of up to 800 Joules each.

[0011] As such, the invention further provides a demountable shield apparatus for operative!;/ shielding a rear window of a tow vehicle, the demountable shield apparatus comprising: a frame sized, shaped and dimensioned for fitment over the tow vehicle rear window;

a rigid foraminous screen affixed to the frame, the rigid foraminous screen including a plurality of apertures sized such that the screen does not hinder visibility, while still possessing sufficient resilience to withstand up to 5 impacts of 50 Joules each; and

fastening elements configured to demountably fasten the frame to an outer surface of the vehicle

[0012] As such, the foraminous screen may be selected to reach a minimum standard of impact resistance as required by the Australian Standard AS 5039-2008 and Methods of Testing AS 5041-2003, as well as Australian Standard AS1170.2 -2002 , Clause 5.3.2 - Cyclonic Missile Impacts and Australian Standard AS1170.2-1989 - Cyclonic Missile Impacts.

[0013] In other embodiments the foraminous screen may be made of a composite or high-density plastics material that has sufficient shielding properties to prevent a projectile from shattering a vehicle window, while not obstructing the view from the vehicle window to a significant degree.

[0014] The foraminous screen mesh may be selected so as to not significantly affect airflow over the vehicle when travelling at speed. As such, the foraminous screen mesh may be selected to increase the drag co~efricj--ent of the V6hic1Θ by less " cncin 3. Ccj of 5, preferably a Cd less than 3 when fitted to a vehicle. [0015] The shield apparatus may be provided with fastening elements that allow the shield apparatus to be fastened directly to the vehicle window surround, rear door, or rear hatch of the vehicle .

[0016] The fastening elements may be in the form of pressure fasteners or clamps that allow for releasable fastening of the shield apparatus to the bodywork of the vehicle, without compromising the integrity of the bodywork of the vehicle. In other words, the shield apparatus is provided with fastening elements that do not have to be screwed, riveted or nailed through the bodywork - i.e. no penetration of the bodywork of the vehicle is required by the fastener to enable secure fastening of the shield apparatus to the bodywork of the vehicle .

[0017] As such, the fastening elements may include any one or more hooks, U-bend clips, J-bend clips, S-bend clips, W-bend clips, or suction caps. In one embodiment, all the fasteners are W-bend clips peripherally surrounding the window of the vehicle.

[0018] When in the form of W-bend or S-bend clips, the clip may be provided with a shield-clamping portion, which clamps the clip to the shield apparatus frame, as well as a pressure clamp section for clamping the clip to the vehicle bodywork.

[0019] The pressure clamp section may include at least one U- bend in which an adjustable fastener, such as a screw, provides a pressure point opposed to the opposite side of the U-bend section in the fastener, thereby to clamp the clip (i.e. fastening element), and hence the shield frame, to the bodywork of the vehicle.

[0020] Alternatively, one or more of the fastening elements may be one of a pair of inter-engaging fastening bodies, of which one part of the fastening body is demountably attached to the vehicle and the other is fastened to the frame of the shield apparatus, thereby allowing the frame and foraminous screen of the shield apparatus to be rapidly fastened to the vehicle by inter-engaging, clipping, or clamping the fastening bodies to one another. [0021] In one embodiment, the fastening elements may be shaped and designed to allow for easy attachment at least partially circumferentially around a rear hatch, window, or door(s) of a vehicle, while in other embodiments the fastening elements may be shaped and dimensioned, like the screen and frame, to be attached to any door or window of a vehicle .

[0022] In one embodiment, the foraminous screen material may comprise a resiliently stretchable or deformable material or may be constructed so as to be resiliently stretchable or deformable, such that following it being impacted by a ballistic element it returns substantially to its original, pre-impact state without allowing the ballistic element to pass through.

[0023] Importantly, the foraminous screen apertures and materials may be selected such that dust retention on the foraminous screen is very low, so that the foraminous screen allows dust to easily pass through and not further reduce visibility.

[0024] The foraminous screen material may also be selected so that it generates a slight electrical charge due to static electricity which is created when airflow passes through the screen, thereby to limit dust build-up on the screen.

[0025] The fastening elements may be selected such that they do not pass the charge on to the vehicle body from the screen or frame of the apparatus.

[0026] Advantageously, the screen may also be coated in a dust- repel lant coating. The coating may possess a slight charge to reduce dust build-up.

[0027] The foraminous screen further may include a low-stick or non-stick coating, such as a ceramic, siliceous, vitreous, fluorocarbon solid, or enameled coating. The low-stick or non-stick coating may be a polytetrafluoroethylene (TEFLON®) coating. In another embodiment, the foraminous screen itself may be made from a low-stick or non-stick material such as anodized aluminium. [0028] The foraminous screen apertures and materials may be selected such that glare, reflection or refraction from headlights of vehicles following behind a vehicle to which the shield apparatus is fitted, is reduced. The shield apparatus may also serve to lower reflective light penetration into the vehicle in harsh light conditions in the daytime. The shield apparatus further may serve to ameliorate the effects of ultraviolet irradiation on the interior of the vehicle to which the shield apparatus is attached.

[0029] As such, the foraminous screen may be coated or have included therein an anti-reflective or optical coating. This may be achieved by coating the foraminous screen or parts thereof with one or more transparent thin film structures. These may include alternating layers of contrasting refractive index. The transparent thin film structures may be perforated congruently or concentrically with the screen perforations or apertures, or may be in the form of a continuous sheeting which covers all or part of the foraminous screen without significantly affecting vision through the screen.

[0030] A rain gutter may be provided on at least part of an operatively upper section of the shield apparatus to allow rainwater to drain away from the shield apparatus and/or vehicle window, when in operation in rainy conditions.

[0031] The frame of the shield apparatus may be substantially planar or, in a preferred embodiment, may be curved so as to allow for unimpeded arcuate travel of a rear window wiper of the vehicle, should the rear window wiper be activated.

[0032] The invention extends, in accordance with another aspect thereof, to a vehicle to which a shield apparatus of the invention is demountably mounted.

[0033] The invention extends, in accordance with yet another aspect thereof, to a method of preventing the shattering of a window of a vehicle by a projectile flung up by a towed trailer or caravan being towed by the vehicle, without significantly reducing the visibility through said window, the method comprising the step of demountably mounting a shield apparatus of the invention to the vehicle such that the shield apparatus extends over at least a portion of said vehicle window.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0034] Further features of the present invention are more fully described in the following description of several non-limiting embodiments included solely for the purposes of exemplifying the present invention. The following description is not a restriction on the broad summary, disclosure or description of the invention as set out above and is made with reference to the accompanying drawings in which:

Figure 1 is a diagrammatic representation of a front view of one example of a vehicle window protector in accordance with an aspect of the invention;

Figure 2 is a side view of an example of a vehicle window protector in accordance with one aspect of the invention, when attached to a vehicle;

Figure 3 is a cross-sectional view of a clamp forming part of the shield apparatus of the invention; and

Figure 4 is a bottom plan view of a vehicle hatch/door to which a shield apparatus in accordance with one aspect of the invention has been attached, showing the curvature of the shield apparatus of the invention.

[0035] In the figures, incorporated to illustrate features of an example embodiment, like reference numerals are used to identify like parts throughout.

DESCRIPTION OF EMBODIMENTS

[0036] Throughout this specification, unless the context requires otherwise, the word "comprise" or variations such as "comprises" or "comprising", or "include" or variations such as "includes" or "including" will be understood to imply the inclusion of a stated integer or group of integers but not the exclusion of any other integer or group of integers. [0037] The following modes, given by way of example only, are described in order to provide a more precise understanding of the subject matter of a preferred embodiment or embodiments.

[0038] Referring now to Figure 1, there is shown a diagrammatic representation of a vehicle window shield apparatus in accordance with one aspect of the invention, generally indicated by reference numeral 10. The shield apparatus 10 comprises a generally quadrilateral frame, in particular a trapezoidal frame 12 comprising two vertically spaced crossbars 12.1, 12.2, substantially parallel to one another, interspaced by two semi-inclined uprights 12.3, 12.4, which lean slightly inwardly toward one another. The shape and ratio of upright 12.3, 12.4 length to cross bar 12.1, 12.2 length is variable to suit various the size and dimension of vehicle 14 to which the shield apparatus 10 is to be fitted. The frame 12 is dimensioned to not significantly impede windflow over the window and the frame elements 12.1, 12.2, 12.3, 12.4 may be slightly curved to ensure a snug fit behind the vehicle hatch 14.1 and to follow the contours of the vehicle 14 bodywork.

[0039] The frame 12 is typically made of thin section stainless steel or aluminium tubing of sufficient diameter and thickness to serve as base for mounting to the rear hatch or window of the vehicle 14, while also serving as the frame to which a thin-section

(typically 1 mm to 3 mm thick) stainless steel or aluminium foraminous screen or screen 16 is mounted.

[0040] The foraminous screen 16 can be a pressed, perforated screen or mesh, but can also be a woven screen, or a wire mesh. The screen 16 material is chosen to have a thin section wire diameter yet a small foraminous screen aperture size, typically between 2 mm and 10 mm in cross-section.

[0041] In one embodiment, the aperture size comprises a nominal aperture size (i.e. perforate sections) of 1 mm . In this way, most projectiles (not shown) which are large enough to shatter the rear window 18 of a tow vehicle 20 (i.e. being able to withstand an impact of 100 joules, or even up to 800 joules) can be deflected (i.e. not pass through), while the rear view, particularly the rear view as seen through the internal rear-view mirror of the tow vehicle 20, is not significantly impeded. As such, the foraminous screen has an open area of more 50%, i.e. the ratio of holes /perforations to solid screen material is greater than 50%.

[0042] The foraminous screen is grade 304 or 316 stainless steel in this embodiment, while it may also be made of aluminium, particularly anodized aluminium, in other embodiments. In this embodiment, the foraminous screen is a security grade material manufactured under the trade name "Amplimesh®" in Australia. In this embodiment, airflow inhibition through the screen is less than 41%.

[0043] In yet further embodiments the foraminous screen is made of a composite or high-density plastics material such as high- density polyethylene or high-density polyvinyl chloride that has sufficient shielding properties to prevent a projectile from shattering a vehicle window, while having a mesh size selected so as to, similarly, not obstruct the view from the vehicle window to a significant degree.

[0044] The shield apparatus 10 is demountably mountable to the bodywork of the tow vehicle 20 using a plurality of circumferentially-spaced fastening elements 22. The fastening elements 22 in this embodiment are -shaped clips 22 that allow for releasable fastening of the shield apparatus 10 to the bodywork of the vehicle 14, without compromising the integrity of the bodywork of the vehicle. In other words, the shield apparatus 10 is provided with fastening elements 22 that do not have to be screwed, riveted or nailed through the bodywork - i.e. no penetration of the bodywork of the vehicle 14 is required by the clips22 to enable secure fastening of the shield apparatus 12 to the bodywork of the vehicle 14.

[0045] As such, the fastening elements, while shown as W-bend clips in this embodiment, can be any one or more hooks, U-bend clips, J-bend clips, S-bend clips, or suction caps. When in the form of W-bend clips, as shown in Figure 3, each clip 22 has a shield- clamping portion 22.1, which clamps the clip 22 to the shield 12, as well as a pressure clamp section 22.2 for clamping the clip 22 to the vehicle 14 bodywork. The pressure clamp section 22.2 includes at least one U-bend in which an adjustable fastener, such as a screw 22.3, provides a pressure point opposed to the opposite side of the U-bend section in the clip 22, thereby to clamp the clip 22, and hence the shield apparatus 10 via the frame 12, to the bodywork of the vehicle 14.

[0046] Alternatively, in certain embodiments (not shown) the fastening elements 22 are split into a pair of inter-engaging fastening bodies, of which one part of the fastening body is demountably attached to the vehicle 14 and the other is fastened to the frame 12 of the shield apparatus 10, thereby allowing the frame 12 and foraminous screen 16 of the shield apparatus to be rapidly fastened to the vehicle 14 by inter-engaging, clipping, or clamping the fastening bodies 22 to one another.

[0047] In one embodiment, the fastening elements may be designed to allow for easy attachment circumferentially around a rear hatch or door of a vehicle.

[0048] Importantly, the foraminous screen aperture size (i.e. open area) and materials are selected such that dust retention is very low, so that the foraminous screen allows dust to easily pass through and not further reduce visibility. Advantageously, the apertures of the screen 16 and materials used in this embodiment also reduce glare, reflection or refraction from headlights of vehicles behind the vehicle 14 to which the shield apparatus 10 is fitted. In addition, the shield apparatus 10 also serves to lower reflective light and UV light in harsh light conditions in the daytime .

[0049] In certain embodiments, a rain gutter is provided on an operatively upper section of the frame 12 to allow rainwater to drain away from the shield apparatus 12 and/or vehicle 14 window, when in operation in the rain.

[0050] As best shown in Figure 4, the frame of the shield apparatus is curved so as to allow for unimpeded arcuate travel of a rear window wiper 14.2 of the vehicle 14, should the rear window wiper 14.2 be activated.

[0051] Optional embodiments of the present invention may also be said to broadly consist in the parts, elements and features referred to or indicated herein, individually or collectively, in any or all combinations of two or more of the parts, elements or features, and wherein specific integers are mentioned herein which have known equivalents in the art to which the invention relates, such known equivalents are deemed to be incorporated herein as if individually set forth.

[0052] It is to be appreciated that reference to "one example" or "an example" of the invention is not made in an exclusive sense. Accordingly, one example may exemplify certain aspects of the invention, whilst other aspects are exemplified in a different example. These examples are intended to assist the skilled person in performing the invention and are not intended to limit the overall scope of the invention in any way unless the context clearly indicates otherwise.

[0053] It is to be understood that the terminology employed above is for the purpose of description and should not be regarded as limiting. The described embodiment is intended to be illustrative of the invention, without limiting the scope thereof. The invention is capable of being practised with various modifications and additions as will readily occur to those skilled in the art.

[0054] Various substantially and specifically practical and useful exemplary embodiments of the claimed subject matter are described herein, textually and/or graphically, including the best mode, if any, known to the inventors for carrying out the claimed subject matter. Variations (e.g. modifications and/or enhancements) of one or more embodiments described herein might become apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art upon reading this application.

[0055] The inventor (s) expects skilled artisans to employ such variations as appropriate, and the inventor (s) intends for the claimed subject matter to be practiced other than as specifically described herein. Accordingly, as permitted by law, the claimed subject matter includes and covers all equivalents of the claimed subject matter and all improvements to the claimed subject matter. Moreover, every combination of the above described elements, activities, and all possible variations thereof are encompassed by the claimed subject matter unless otherwise clearly indicated herein, clearly and specifically disclaimed, or otherwise clearly contradicted by context.

[0056] The use of any and all examples, or exemplary language

(e.g., "such as") provided herein, is intended merely to better illuminate one or more embodiments and does not pose a limitation on the scope of any claimed subject matter unless otherwise stated. No language in the specification should be construed as indicating any non-claimed subject matter as essential to the practice of the claimed subject matter.

[0057] The use of words that indicate orientation or direction of travel is not to be considered limiting. Thus, words such as "front", "back", "rear", "side", "up", down", "upper", "lower", "top", "bottom", "forwards", "backwards", "towards", "distal", "proximal", "in", "out" and synonyms, antonyms and derivatives thereof have been selected for convenience only, unless the context indicates otherwise. The inventor (s) envisage that various exemplary embodiments of the claimed subject matter can be supplied in any particular orientation and the claimed subject matter is intended to include such orientations .

[0058] The use of the terms "a", "an", "said", "the", and/or similar referents in the context of describing various embodiments (especially in the context of the claimed subject matter) are to be construed to cover both the singular and the plural, unless otherwise indicated herein or clearly contradicted by context. The terms "comprising," "having," "including," and "containing" are to be construed as open-ended terms (i.e., meaning "including, but not limited to,") unless otherwise noted. Moreover, when any number or range is described herein, unless clearly stated otherwise, that number or range is approximate. Recitation of ranges of values herein are merely intended to serve as a shorthand method of referring individually to each separate value falling within the range, unless otherwise indicated herein, and each separate value and each separate sub-range defined by such separate values is incorporated into the specification as if it were individually recited herein. For example, if a range of 1 to 10 is described, that range includes all values there between, such as for example, 1.1, 2.5, 3.335, 5, 6.179, 8.9999, etc., and includes all sub-ranges there between, such as for example, 1 to 3.65, 2.8 to 8.14, 1.93 to 9, etc.

[0059] Accordingly, every portion (e.g., title, field, background, summary, description, abstract, drawing figure, etc.) of this application, other than the claims themselves, is to be regarded as illustrative in nature, and not as restrictive; and the scope of subject matter protected by any patent that issues based on this application is defined only by the claims of that patent.