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Patent Searching and Data


Title:
DEVICE AND METHOD FOR CONNECTING PROFILES
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2004/029467
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The device for connecting profiles comprises a body (2) exhibiting first and second connecting means (11, 12, 14, 15) on each of its opposed walls adapted for respectively engaging on a first (3) and second (4) portion of each profile (5), the first and second portion being at different distances from the axis of said profile.

Inventors:
Branca, Alfonso (Via Duccio Boninsegna 15, Milano, I-20145, IT)
Application Number:
PCT/EP2003/006936
Publication Date:
April 08, 2004
Filing Date:
June 30, 2003
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
TOP GLASS S.P.A. (Via Bergamo 15, Pioltello, I-20096, IT)
Branca, Alfonso (Via Duccio Boninsegna 15, Milano, I-20145, IT)
International Classes:
F16B7/04; F16B11/00; F16B21/02; (IPC1-7): F16B7/04; F16B11/00; F16B21/02
Foreign References:
DE7119423U
FR2721074A1
US20010017019A1
US4981735A
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Rapisardi, Maria Cristina (Ufficio Brevetti Rapisardi S.r.l, Via Serbelloni, 12, IT)
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Claims:
CLAIMS
1. Device for connecting profiles, characterised in that it comprises a body exhibiting on each of its opposed walls first and second connecting means adapted for respectively engaging on a first and second portion of each of said profiles, said first and second portion being at different distances from the axis of said profile.
2. Device according to claim 1, characterised in that said first portion is at a smaller distance from said, axis that said second portion.
3. Device according to one or more of the previous claims, characterised in that said profiles exhibit a section shaped as a double upturned T, so as to exhibit a central member from the ends of which a first and a second face and opposed to one another and orthogonal to it extend, said first and second face exhibiting first and second folds at the ends.
4. Device according to one or more of the previous claims, characterised in that said first connecting means comprises a wing spaced from said body by a quantity substantially equivalent to the thickness of said first and second folds.
5. Device according to one or more of the previous claims, characterised in that said second connecting means comprises a seat substantially exhibiting a length equivalent to the thickness of said first and second folds.
6. Device according to one or more of the previous claims, characterised in that said first portion of said profile is realised by the slot defined between said first and second folds and said first face.
7. Device according to one or more of the previous claims, characterised in that said second portion of said profile is defined by the ends of said first and second folds of said second face.
8. Device according to one or more of the previous claims, characterised in that said wing exhibits a tapered shape.
9. Device according to one or more of the previous claims, characterised in that said seat exhibits å length substantially equivalent to the thickness'of said body and comprises a central rectilinear portion and the two end portions rounded.
10. Device according to one or more of the previous claims, characterised in that the walls of said wing and of said seat are slightly inclined for determining, during their connection with said slot and said end of said first and second folds of said second face, a recovery of any backslash and a friction during the fixing.
11. Device according to one or more of the previous claims, characterised in that said wing works into said stiff slot whereas said rectilinear portion and said rounded end portions elastically work on said first and second folds of said second face.
12. Device according to one or more of the previous . claims, characterised in that it is perfectly symmetrical.
13. Device according to one or more of the previous claims, characterised in that it can be associated to said profile by indifferently turning it in clockwise or counter clockwise direction.
14. Device according to one or more of the previous claims, characterised in that on said wing it comprises a lowered portion and a channel communicating with it and with an outside surface of said body for the passage of an adhesive.
15. Device according to one or more ; of the previous claims, characterised in that said lowered portion exhibits a substantially triangular shape.
16. Device according to one or more of the previous claims, characterised in that said second face forms an interspace with said wind adapted for housing said adhesive.
17. Device according to one or more of the previous claims, characterised in that each wing has its surface facing said central element equipped with at least one rib suitable for the recovery of possible clearances.
18. Device according to one or more of the previous claims, characterised in that said rib has a curvilinear and tapered shape.
19. Device according to one or more of the previous claims, characterised in that the base of said housing engages with said wings.
20. Device according to one or more of the previous claims, characterised in that said body exhibits an extension for the connection of accessories.
21. Device according to one or more of the previous claims, characterised in that it is realised in a single piece in a material resistant to high temperatures and/or to fire.
22. Method for connecting profiles, characterised in that it consists in arranging at least a first and a second doubleT profile sided to one another, realised according to claim 3, introducing a connection device realised according to one or more of the previous claims between said, first and second folds of said first and second profile, introducing said wings between said first and second face with longitudinal axis arranged along the development of said profile, and resting said wings onto the central member of said first and second profile, and in rotating said device in clockwise or counter clockwise direction by about 90 degrees for respectively engaging said wing in said first portion of said profile and said seat on said end of said first and second folds of said second faces of said first and second profile.
23. Method according to the previous claim, characterised by the introduction of an adhesive between said device and each of said first and second profile so as to connect said device to said profiles.
24. Device and method for connecting profiles, characterised in that said device and/or said profiles comprise plastic material.
25. Device and method for connecting profiles, the whole as substantially described, represented in the attached drawings and claimed.
Description:
DEVICE AND METHOD FOR CONNECTING PROFILES DESCRIPTION The present invention relates to a device and a method for connecting profiles.

In particular in the following description, reference shall be made to devices for connecting profiles made of a composite material with plastic material matrix, such as for example plastic reinforced by fibre glass.

The use of profiles made of composite material has widely spread and in some applications, it has replaced the use of profiles made of a metal material, thanks to the features of the material, which can be summarised in high resistance to fire and/or to high temperatures, together with good mechanical properties and lack of corrosion problems.

Of course, such profiles are used in combination with other profiles for realising variously complex structures that should be capable of performing their functions, such as off-shore applications and the realisation of grids.

However, the realisation of connections between the various profiles exhibits considerable disadvantages; in fact, it is very dangerous to realise nailed or bolted connections since very high internal tensions generate into the profile portions gripped between the bolts, which can cause the profile to break, with easily imaginable negative consequences, sometimes also due to the different thermal expansion levels of the components.

Moreover, metal or similar mechanical connections do not provide resistance to high temperatures and/or to fire, are very complex, require appropriate equipment, and are difficult to realise using automated systems.

The technical task of the present invention therefore is that of realising a device and a method for connecting profiles, which should allow eliminating the above technical disadvantages of the prior art.

Within this technical task, an object of the invention is that of realising a device and a method which should allow connecting to one another profiles made of a composite material, such as plastic reinforced by fibre glass, which should exhibit a high resistance to high temperatures and/or to fire without the risk of mechanical weakening portions of the profiles during connection and eliminating the risk of residue tensions of the profiles after the connection, as may be generated by the nails or bolts applied.

Another object of the invention is that of realising a device and a method which should be applicable in a flexible manner, adapting them to the specific construction circumstances and in an automated manner; for example, the device can be applied in two mutually opposed directions (that is, turned by 180°) and the connection procedure can provide for a clockwise or a counter clockwise rotation.

Last but not least, another object of the invention is that of realising a device and a method for connecting profiles which should be applicable using known tools, such as for example simple spanners,. so as to. facilitate the application work of the operators or of the automatic machine and which should exhibit an efficient and lasting connection over time.

The technical task, as well as these and other objects according to the present invention, are achieved by realising a device for connecting profiles, characterised in that it comprises a body exhibiting on each of its opposed walls first and second connecting means adapted for respectively engaging on a first and second portion'of each'of said profiles, said first and second portion being at different distances from the axis of said profile.

The present finding also relates to a method for connecting profiles, characterised in that it consists in arranging at least a first and a second double-T profiles realised according to claim 3 side by side, introducing a connecting device realised according to one or more of the previous claims between said first and second folds of said first and second profile, introducing said wings between said first and second face with longitudinal axis arranged along the development of said profile and resting said wings against the central member of said first and second profile, and in rotating said device in clockwise and counter clockwise direction by about 90 degrees for respectively engaging said wing into said first portion of said profile and said seat on said end of said first and second folds of said second faces of said first and second profile.

Further features and advantages of the invention will appear more clearly from the description of a preferred but not exclusive embodiment of the device and of the method for connecting profiles according to the finding, where the device is illustrated by way of a non-limiting example in the attached drawings. In such drawings: - Figure 1"shows a front elevation view of a device according to the present finding; - Figure 2 shows a side elevation view : of the device of figure 1; - Figure 3 shows a perspective view of the device of figure 1; - Figure 4 shows a cross section of a profile that can house the device according to the present finding; - Figure 5 shows a perspective view of the profile of figure 4; and - Figure 6 shows a section of a device according to the finding, connected to two profiles.

With reference to the above figures, there is shows a device for connecting profiles globally indicated with reference numeral 1.

The device for connecting profiles comprises a body 2 exhibiting, on each of its opposed walls, first and second connecting means adapted for respectively engaging on a first and second portion 3 and 4 of each of the profiles globally indicated with reference numeral 5.

Advantageously, as it will be better explained hereinafter, the first and the second portion 3 and 4 are at different distances from the axis of profile 5 and in particular, the first portion 3 is at a smaller distance from said axis than the second portion 4.

For more descriptive clarity, it is noted that profiles 5 exhibit a section shaped as a double upturned T, so as to exhibit a central member 6 from the ends of which a first and a second face 7 and 8 opposed to one another and orthogonal to it extend.

At their ends, the first and second face 7 and, 8 exhibit first and second folds 9 and 10.

In particular, the first connecting means comprises a wing 11 spaced from body 2 by a quantity forming a housing 14 substantially equivalent to the thickness of the first and second folds 9 and 10 and more precisely, such as to create a predetermined friction upon connection.

The second connecting means comprises a seat 12 substantially exhibiting a length equivalent to the thickness of said first and second folds 9 and 10 of the second face 8.

The first portion 3 of the profile is realised by the slot defined between the first and second folds 9 and 10 of the first face 7 whereas the second portion 4 of said profile is defined by the ends of the first and second folds 9 and 10 of the second face 8.

Wing 11 exhibits a tapered shape with rounded end, so as to allow its rotation without interference during the connection of the device with the profiles.

Seat 12 exhibits a length substantially equal to the length to the thickness of body 2 (but of course it can be of the desired length according to the requirements) and comprises a central rectilinear portion 15 and the two end rounded portions 16, so as to allow the rotation of body 2 during its connection to the profile without any interference.

Advantageously, the walls of both wing 11 and of seat 12 are slightly inclined for determining, during their connection with said slot 3 of the first face 7 and said end 4 of the first and second folds 9 and 10 of the second face 8 both a recovery of any backslash and a predetermined friction during the fixing to the profile.

In this way, the wing advantageously engages with slot 3, which is stiff, whereas the rectilinear portion 15 and the rounded end portions 16 elastically work on the first and second folds 9 and 10 of the second face 8, which is therefore subject-during the connection-to a limited bending moment, allowing at the same time the connection and the hold by an elastic return on portion 4 which, as seen, exhibits a high connection width.

As seen, the device is perfectly symmetrical and realised in a single piece and in a material that can stand both high temperatures and fire, also allowing the association to the profile or profiles in any position by a clockwise and counter clockwise rotation and by 180 degrees as well.

The device further comprises, on each wing 11, a lowered portion 20 and a channel 21 communicating with it and with an outside surface 22 of the body for the passage of an adhesive.

In particular, as shown in fig. 6, since the device is symmetrical the two channels 21 will both converge into the same adhesive inlet 24.

The raised portion 20 exhibits a substantially triangular shape so as to facilitate the adhesive flow inside an interspace 25 formed with wing 11 and the second face 8 and adapted for collecting the adhesive in such way as to ensure a further considerable holding force between the devices and the profiles after their mutual connection.

Of course, besides being quadrangular to be easily rotated by any wrench of tool, body 2 can exhibit an extension, not shown, for attaching other optional accessories.

Another object of the present patent is a method for connecting profiles, which consists in arranging at least a first and a second double-T profile sided to one another, realised according to the above description, and in introducing the device described above between the first and second folds 9 and 10 for example of a first and second profile.

Wings 11 are introduced into the first and second profile (the example of course also applies to a plurality of profiles to be connected) between the first and second faces 7 and 8 with longitudinal axis arranged along the development of the profile itself.

Then, said wings are rested onto, the central element 6 of the first and second profile and body 2 is turned in clockwise or counter clockwise direction by about 90 degrees for respectively engaging both wings 11 into the first portion 3 of both profiles and seat 12 with end 4 of the first and second folds 9 and 10 of the second faces 8 of both the first and second profile as shown in fig. 6.

Once more devices have been connected profiles according to the requirements (they can be connected or disconnected several times), it is possible to introduce an adhesive into an inlet 24 so as permanently connect said device to said device.

Advantageously, moreover, on the surface facing towards the central element of each wing 11 there is at least one rib (not represented in the drawings) suitable for recovering possible clearances between the two surfaces during the coupling of the connection device with the profiles.

The rib can have rectilinear extension or, in a preferred solution, curvilinear extension so as not to block the rotation of the connection device during its application but, on the contrary, to guide it during such an operation.

Móreover, whether the rib be rectilinear or curvilinear it has a tapered shape, i. e. higher in the central part and lower in the two opposite end parts with respect to the central part.

In this way a progressive engagement of the rib with the central element 6 is obtained during the rotation operation.

In a variant embodiment, moreover, the housing 14 can have a depth equal to the length of the wings 9 and 10 so that said wings engage with the base of the housing 14.

The operation of the device for connecting profiles according to the invention is evident from what described and illustrated and in particular, it substantially is as follows.

When the device is applied, the mechanical hold action ensured by wings 11 into slots 3 and by ends 4 of folds 9 and 10 of the second face 8 into seats 12 and of the, adhesive inserted into the lowered portions 20 ensures the connection of each profile to the device and therefore ensures the mutual connection between profiles 5 in an equally spaced manner.

The devices can be applied along the profiles in any position also adapted for allowing shortening predetermined profiles in case of need.

Advantageously, seats 12 are provided with a wide rectilinear surface for resting against the profiles so as to distribute the strains and prevent concentrated stresses that could be very harmful and exhibit low resistance to stresses.

Advantageously, the rotation can be either clockwise or counter clockwise and thanks to the symmetry of the profiles, the device can be applied in one and in the opposed direction on the profiles; this allows obtaining a great flexibility in the assembly, also automated, of the profiles.

In the practice it has been noted that the device and the method for connecting profiles according to the invention are especially advantageous since they allow realising structures made of a composite material, such as plastic reinforced by fibre glass with matrix made of plastic material, very strong and resistant with a high resistance to corrosion and to fire and in an automated manner.

Several changes and variants can be made to the device and the method for connecting profiles thus conceived, all falling within the scope of the inventive concept ; moreover, all details can be replaced by technically equivalent elements.

In the practice the materials used as well as the sizes, can be of any type according to the requirements in to the prior art.