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Title:
FOLDABLE PLASTIC COATHANGER
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2000/021421
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A foldable coat hanger for via the neck opening quickly hanging pieces of clothing delivered in batches. In order to avoid the clothing becoming caught and as a result damaged, the coat hanger has a hinge and a locking system whose surface is always smooth and closed. The hinge may be applied with all known coat hangers that may have either an I-profile or a U-profile.

Inventors:
De Groot, Jan Cornelis (Molenvlietlaan 52 BN Mijnsheerenland, NL-3271, NL)
Application Number:
PCT/NL1999/000486
Publication Date:
April 20, 2000
Filing Date:
July 29, 1999
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
De Groot, Jan Cornelis (Molenvlietlaan 52 BN Mijnsheerenland, NL-3271, NL)
International Classes:
A47G25/40; (IPC1-7): A47G25/40
Foreign References:
US2926823A
FR783806A
DE19708943A1
US2716513A
US2232771A
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Van Breda, Jacques (Octrooibureau Los en Stigter B.V. Weteringschans 96 XS Amsterdam, NL-1017, NL)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS
1. A foldable coat hanger which can assume at least an extended condition and a substantially folded condition, con sisting of an unmovable portion comprising a hook, a wing, a first hinge half and first locking means, and a movable part, comprising a wing, a second hinge half equipped to engage the first hinge half and second locking means, equipped to engage the first locking means for locking the coat hanger in its extended condition, characterized in that the coat hanger is made from plastic and that in use, the hinge formed by the engaging hinge halves will form at an upper side a substan tially closed surface when in the extended, when in the folded, and in any intermediate condition.
2. A foldable coat hanger according to claim 1, charac terized in that the first hinge half comprises two disclike plastics parts, between which the second hinge half embodied as one disclike plastic part, is rotatable about a point of rotation, or in that the second hinge half comprises two disclike plastic parts, between which the first hinge half embodied as one disclike plastic part is rotatable about the point of rotation.
3. A foldable coat hanger according to claim 2, charac terized in that the point of rotation is located offcentre in the disclike plastic parts.
4. A foldable coat hanger according to claim 3, charac terized in that the locking means are provided in the first and in the second hinge half substantially diagonally to the point of rotation.
5. A foldable coat hanger according to claim 2, charac terized in that in the extended condition, the centres of the disclike plastic parts substantially coincide at a point 13 cm from the centre of the coat hanger.
6. A foldable coat hanger according to claim 2, charac terized in that the first locking means are a depression in the unmovable portion and the second locking means are a pro jection on the movable portion, which projection in the ex tended condition falls into the depression, or that the first locking means are a depression in the movable portion and the second locking means are a projection on the unmovable por tion, which projection in the extended condition falls into the depression.
7. A foldable coat hanger according to claim 6, charac terized in that a locking or unlocking depends on an elastic ity of the plastic.
8. A foldable coat hanger according to claim 2, charac terized in that a locking or an unlocking depends on a trans lation of the movable portion in relation to the unmovable portion while bringing the coat hanger from the folded condi tion into the extended condition or from the extended condi tion into the folded condition.
9. A foldable coat hanger according to claim 6 or 8, characterized in that the unmovable portion and the movable portion are injectionmoulded pieces.
10. A method of hanging clothing provided with a neck opening, wherein a plastic coat hanger in a folded condition is inserted into the neck opening and is subsequently brought into an extended condition.
Description:
Foldable plastic coat hanger The invention relates to a foldable coat hanger which can assume at least an extended condition and a substantially folded condition, consisting of an unmovable portion compris- ing a hook, a wing, a first hinge half and first locking means, and a movable part, comprising a wing, a second hinge half equipped to engage the first hinge half and second lock- ing means, equipped to engage the first locking means for locking the coat hanger in its extended condition.

A coat hanger of this type is disclosed in US-A 2,232,771. The disadvantage of this known coat hanger is that there is a considerable possibility of damaging a piece of clothing because the clothes may become caught between the hinge halves.

The coat hanger according to the invention is specifi- cally designed for use in the clothing industry, where cloth- ing is often delivered in batches and subsequently has to be hung, i. e. hung on coat hangers, and reconditioned. When hanging, the coat hanger is passed upward through the piece of clothing, which is time consuming, or is inserted through the neck opening, which is difficult and may damage the clothing. The use of the conventional coat hanger is in this case unthinkable, because hanging is done very quickly and is bound to damage the clothing.

The coat hanger according to the invention does not exhibit this problem and is characterized in that the coat hanger is made from plastic and that in use, the hinge formed by the engaging hinge halves will form at an upper side a substantially closed surface when in the extended, when in the folded, and in any intermediate condition. In this way the likelihood of damage is in fact eliminated and, since the coat hanger can be inserted through the neck opening, it saves a considerable amount of time.

A favourable embodiment according to one aspect of the invention is characterized in that the first hinge half com- prises two disc-like plastics parts, between which the second hinge half embodied as one disc-like plastic part, is ro-

tatable about a point of rotation, or in that the second hinge half comprises two disc-like plastic parts, between which the first hinge half embodied as one disc-like plastic part is rotatable about the point of rotation. A hinge embod- ied in this manner always has a smooth, closed surface and can be very light-weight, while still retaining the stabil- ity.

A favourable embodiment according to a further aspect of the invention is characterized in that the point of rota- tion is located off-centre in the disc-like plastic parts and the locking means are provided in the first and in the second hinge half substantially diagonally to the point of rotation.

This has the advantage that when the coat hanger is loaded, the torque on the point of rotation and on the locking means will be as small as possible.

An essential aspect of the foldable coat hanger ac- cording to the invention is the asymmetric construction, so that the hinge is not located in the middle of the coat hanger. This makes it possible to save material, which is important because it is in fact a disposable product, but especially because it allows the original design of the coat hanger to be maintained. This is important, because the wholesalers in the fashion world have their own long- established designs and they are usually not waiting for something new. Therefore, according to the invention there is an inventive foldable replacement for each existing coat hanger, which practically does not interfere with the origi- nal design. A favourable embodiment according to this aspect of the invention, in which a favourable compromise is reached with respect to the amount of material, the strength and the visual aspect, is characterized in that in the extended posi- tion, the centres of the disc-like plastic parts substan- tially coincide at a point 1-3 cm from the centre of the coat hanger.

A particularly favourable embodiment of the coat hanger according to the invention is characterized in that the first locking means are a depression in the unmovable portion and the second locking means are a projection on the movable portion, which projection in the extended condition

falls into the depression, or that the first locking means are a depression in the movable portion and the second lock- ing means are a projection on the unmovable portion, which projection in the extended condition falls into the depres- sion, wherein projection and depression are preferably embod- ied such that unlocking is not possible without applying a special manoeuvre.

A further favourable embodiment according to an aspect of the invention is characterized in that a locking or un- locking depends on an elasticity of the plastic.

A further favourable embodiment according to an aspect of the invention is characterized in that a locking or an unlocking depends on a translation of the movable portion in relation to the unmovable portion while bringing the coat hanger from the folded condition into the extended condition or from the extended condition into the folded condition.

A further favourable embodiment of the coat hanger according to the invention is characterized in that the un- movable portion and the movable portion are injection-moulded pieces. This has the advantage that both injection-moulded pieces can be designed such that by one movement of the hand and without additional parts, they can be assembled into a coat hanger.

The invention also relates to a method of hanging clothes that have a neck opening, wherein a plastic coat hanger in a folded condition is inserted into the neck open- ing, after which it is extended and locked.

The invention will now be further elucidated with ref- erence to the following figures, wherein: Fig. 1 shows a schematic side view of a possible em- bodiment of a coat hanger according to the invention; Fig. 2A shows a more detailed schematic side view of a possible embodiment of a hinge; Fig. 2B shows a more detailed top view of the same hinge; Fig. 3A shows a schematic side view of an alternative embodiment of a hinge; Fig 3B shows a more detailed top view of the same hinge;

Fig. 4 shows a schematic side view of a possible em- bodiment of a coat hanger provided with spring means.

Fig. 1 shows a schematic side view of a possible em- bodiment of a coat hanger according to the invention, without specifying whether the coat hanger is I-shaped or U-shaped in cross section. The coat hanger consists of an unmovable por- tion 1, comprising a wing 2, a hook 3, a first hinge half 4 which is unmovably connected with the unmovable portion 1 and a second hinge half 5 unmovably connected with a movable por- tion 6. The first hinge half 4 comprises two plastic discs, between which a disc-like second hinge portion 5 can slide, or the second hinge half 5 comprises two plastic discs be- tween which the disc-like first hinge half 4 can slide. A point of rotation is provided off-centre at the underside of the hinge. The movable portion 6 is illustrated in two condi- tions, in a first, extended condition in which the coat hanger can carry a piece of clothing and in a second, folded condition in which the coat hanger can be inserted through a neck opening into a piece of clothing. Further, locking means 8 are indicated, which lock a coat hanger once it is in the extended condition. For the solidity of the coat hanger it is important that the locking means 8 are located closely to the top edge in order to be able to properly absorb the forces on the movable portion 6.

In the embodiment shown it is of no real importance whether the coat hangers are U-shaped or I-shaped in cross section. At the hinge, the cross section has to be brought back to the form described above. In the case of the U-shaped coat hange this means that practically nothing needs to be done with the hinge half having two discs, while for the other hinge half the two sides of the U-profile at the hinge half enclosing the single disc, have to taper toward each other and have in fact to form one whole, or at least have to be practically adjacent thereto. This is easily realised when injection moulding is used. In the case of the coat hanger having an I-shaped cross section, this means that practically nothing needs to be done with the hinge half having the sin- gle disc while for the other hinge half the plate-shaped por- tion of the I-profile at the place of the double disc has to

taper away from each other in order to finally form two plate-like portions. This, too, is easily realised when in- jection-moulding is applied.

Fig. 2A shows more detailed a schematic side view of a possible embodiment of a hinge in which the locking and the unlocking depends on the elasticity of the plastic from which the hinge is made. The first hinge half 4, here embodied as single disc, is provided at the point of rotation with two notches 7, one at each side of the disc, and the locking means with two bevelled notches 8, also one at each side of the disc. The second hinge half 5, which is in this case em- bodied as a double disc, is provided at the point of rotation with two openings 7a and at the place of the locking means with two openings 8a. It is immediately obvious that when the notches fall into the openings, the coat hanger is locked in the extended position. If only the notches 7 are positioned in the openings 7a, then the coat hanger can be folded up.

When assembling the coat hanger, the notches 7 are put into the openings 7a by slightly bending the double disc open and then sliding the single disc between the double disc until the notches 7 fall into the openings 7a.

Fig. 2B shows a more detailed schematic top view of the same hinge, with the first hinge half 4, second hinge half 5 tapering 9 out from the plate-like portion 10 of the I-profile. Further, the notches 7 can be seen which, together with the openings 7a form the point of rotation, and the bev- elled notches 8 which together with the openings 8a form the locking means. In this embodiment the notches 8 are bevelled in one direction, to allow a transition from a folded condi- tion into an extended condition to proceed smoothly, due to the fact that the double disc is bent open gradually by the bevel of the notches 11. It goes without saying that the po- sition of the notches and openings may be interchanged with- out altering the priciple of the workings.

Fig. 3A shows a more detailed schematic side view of an alternative embodiment of the hinge, in which a locking or an unlocking depends on a translation of the movable portion in relation to the unmovable portion during the movement from the folded to the extended position or from the extended po-

sition to the folded position of the coat hanger. The first hinge half 4, being embodied here as a single disc, is at the point of rotation provided with two notches 11, one at each side of the disc, and at the place of the locking means with a recess 13. At the second hinge half 5, which in this case is embodied as a double disc, each disc is at the point of rotation provided with an L-shaped opening 12, and at the locking means with a bar 14, connecting the insides of the double disc.

When only the notches 11 are in the L-shaped opening 12, then the coat hanger can assume the folded condition. When the coat hanger is moved from the folded condition to the extended condition, rod 14 will move along the outside of the first hinge half 4 with the notches 11 being in the bottom of the long legs of the L-shaped openings 12. When the rod 14 falls into recess 13, the notches 11 translate upward and then into the short legs of the L-shaped open- ings 12 thereby locking the coat hanger. When assembling the coat hanger, the notches 11 are again placed into the L-shaped openings 12 by slightly bending the double disc open and then sliding the single disc between until the notches 11 fall into the L-shaped openings 12.

Fig. 3B shows a more detailed schematic top view of the same hinge, comprising the first hinge half 4, second hinge half 5, which again tapers from out from the plate- like portion 10 of the I-profile. Also visible are the notches 11, which together with the L-shaped opening 12 forms the point of rotation 7 and the rod 14, which to- gether with the recess 13 forms the locking means 8. It goes without saying that notches 11, L-shaped openings 12, recess 13 and rod 14 can be arranged in other combina- tions. For example, the positions of recess 13 and rod 14 may be interchanged with L-shaped openings 12 then having to be positioned in mirror image in order to effectuate locking.

Fig. 4 shows a schematic side view of a possible em- bodiment of a coat hanger according to the invention, in which spring means 15 are provided, which in this case are embodied as an elastic band fitted into two grooves 16,17.

On the one hand the spring means 15 keep the coat hanger in the folded condition, but on the other hand they assist in bringing the coat hanger into the extended position, thereby saving time.




 
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