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Title:
HEIGHT ADJUSTABLE ACCESS GRATE AND SURROUND AND ITS METHOD OF USE
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/077349
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The present invention relates to an access grate and surround, comprising: a base which receives the access grate and a height adjustable rim around the access grate; and an adjustment portion extending between the base and the access grate, the adjustment portion being configured to adjust the height of the access grate within the base.

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Inventors:
BROOKSBANK, Andrew Charles (The Old Corn Mill, Llangernyw, Abergele LL22 8UB, LL22 8UB, GB)
Application Number:
GB2018/052993
Publication Date:
April 25, 2019
Filing Date:
October 17, 2018
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
DRAINAGE MANAGEMENT SERVICES LIMITED (Old Corn Mill, Llangernyw, Abergele LL22 8UB, LL22 8UB, GB)
International Classes:
E03F5/04; E03F5/06
Foreign References:
US6344137B12002-02-05
US4976568A1990-12-11
GB2270708A1994-03-23
US5044818A1991-09-03
US5702200A1997-12-30
US5944442A1999-08-31
Other References:
None
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
PRICHARD, Leslie Stephen (Culverstons, 20 Dawlish Road, Wirral Merseyside CH61 2XP, CH61 2XP, GB)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1. An access grate and surround, comprising:

a base which receives the access grate and a height adjustable rim around the access grate; and

an adjustment portion extending between the base and the access grate, the adjustment portion being configured to adjust the height of the access grate within the base.

2. The access grate and surround as claimed in claim 1, wherein the base defines an opening into which the access grate is retained by a close inference or transition fit.

3. The access grate and surround as claimed in claims 1 or 2, wherein situated towards the upper surface of the base is a peripheral shoulder which receives the height adjustable rim.

4. The access grate and surround as claimed in any of claims 1 to 3, wherein the base further comprises side walls extending between the shoulder and a bottom surface of the base, each of the side walls defining an outwardly projecting face being tapered outwards towards the bottom surface.

5. The access grate and surround as claimed in claim 4, wherein the outwardly projecting face includes a series of indentations which in use receive aggregate and/or other building materials backfilled and surrounding the side walls.

6. The access grate and surround as claimed in claim 4, wherein each of the side walls defines an inner face opposite to the outwardly projecting face, the inner face defining a stepped platform.

7. The access grate and surround as claimed in claim 6, wherein the stepped platform receives the adjustment portion being disposed at the bottom surface of the access grate.

8. The access grate and surround as claimed in claim 3, wherein the shoulder includes a series of slotted apertures which each meet with corresponding projections formed at the underside of the height adjustable rim. 9. The access grate and surround as claimed in claim 8, wherein the projections include a series of detents which meet with complementary resilient or snap fit projections disposed inside the slotted apertures of the height adjustable rim.

10. The access grate and surround as claimed in claim 9, wherein the height adjustable rim can be removed and replaced from the shoulder of the base by way of a snap fit.

11. The access grate and surround as claimed in claim 4, wherein the access grate being formed having a generally rectangular-shape in plan view and is received in a generally horizontal configuration in the base with the top surface thereof being uppermost.

12. The access grate and surround as claimed in claim 11, wherein a plurality of apertures extend between the top surface and the bottom surface of the access grate, and through which water can pass.

13. The access grate and surround as claimed in claims 11 or 12, wherein the plurality of apertures being formed as two aligned rows of elongate apertures. 14. The access grate and surround as claimed in claim 13, wherein the two aligned rows of elongate apertures form or define a central longitudinal rib.

15. The access grate and surround as claimed in any of claims 11 to 14, wherein the access grate further comprises side walls being inclined inwardly towards the bottom surface thereof, such that the access grate can be received and retained inside the base above a drain gully.

16. The access grate and surround as claimed in claim 1, wherein the adjustment portion comprises a pair of removable grate raisers being disposed at the bottom surface of the access grate. 17. The access grate and surround as claimed in claim 16, wherein the vertical load on the access grate being supported by the abutment of the grate raisers against the stepped platform in the inner face of the base.

18. The access grate and surround as claimed in claim 16, wherein each of the grate raisers includes a series of projections formed at the upper surface thereof, the series of projections includes a series of detents which meet with complementary resilient or snap fit projections disposed inside corresponding slotted apertures located at the bottom surface of the access grate. 19. The access grate and surround as claimed in claim 18, wherein the grate raisers can be removed and replaced from the bottom surface of the access grate by way of a snap fit.

20. The access grate and surround as claimed in any of the preceding claims, wherein the access grate and/or the surround is formed using injection moulding tools and/or processes.

21. The access grate and surround as claimed in claim 20, wherein the access grate and/or the surround is formed from homo- or copolymer polypropylene, or polyamide.

22. The access grate and surround as claimed in claims 20 or 21, wherein the access grate and/or the surround is formed using glass-filled Nylon 6 or 6.6 having a filler content from around 15% by weight to around 50% by weight. 23. The access grate and surround as claimed in claim 20, wherein the access grate and/or the surround further comprises steel reinforcing strips or rods being overmoulded and/or encased therein.

24. The access grate and surround as claimed in claim 20, wherein the access grate and/or the surround is formed from a synthetic plastics material and/or a thermoplastic and/or thermoset material and/or from a blend of recycled polymers from both postindustrial and domestic waste streams.

25. The access grate and surround as claimed in claim 20, wherein the blend of recycled polymers is at least 50% by weight of the plastics material.

26. The access grate and surround as claimed in claim 20, wherein the access grate and/or the surround is formed via or blow moulding and/or vacuum forming and/or rotational moulding and/or compression moulding and/or rim moulding and/or powder impression moulding and/or any form of plastics manufacture.

27. The access grate and surround as claimed in claim 1, wherein the access grate and/or the surround is formed from cast iron.

28. The access grate and surround as claimed in any of claims 20 to 26, wherein the access grate and/or the surround is manufactured in accordance with European Standard EN 124: 1994.

29. The access grate and surround as claimed in any of the preceding claims, wherein the access grate and/or the surround is implemented in any number of circular and/or ellipsoid and/or rectangular and/or curved geometric shapes, including pentagonal, hexagonal, octagonal or any suitable polygonal shape in plan view.

30. A method of adjusting the height of an access grate received in a surround disposed in a surface above a drain gully, the method comprising the steps of:

securing a first adjustment portion between the surround and the access grate, and a first height adjustable rim surrounding the access grate; and

in the event of sinkage or settlement of the surface and/or drain gully, replacing the first height adjustable rim and the first adjustment portion with a second height adjustable rim and a second adjustment portion.

31. The method as claimed in claim 30, wherein the drain gully is a roadside surface water gully.

Description:
HEIGHT ADJUSTABLE ACCESS GRATE AND SURROUND

AND ITS METHOD OF USE TECHNICAL FIELD OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates to a height adjustable access grate and surround and its method of use. In particular, this invention relates to a height adjustable access grate and surround for use, particularly, but not exclusively, with roadside surface water drains and gullies. The present invention enabling the uppermost surface of the access grate and surround to be retrospectively extended or raised to the level of the surrounding road surface or pavement in the event of any sinkage or settlement of the drain gulley.

BACKGROUND

It is often a problem with roadside surface water drains, kerb drains and gullies that, over time, the ground works and foundations supporting the gully cup and the waste drain can settle or sink to such an extent that the uppermost surface of the gully surround and the access grate it supports sinks below the level of surrounding road surface or pavement, and this can present a significant hazard to vehicles and pedestrians. It is hereunto known to address this problem of settlement and sinkage by removing the grate surround, repairing the foundations underneath it and then reinstating the road surface surrounding it. This type of repair requires significant resources and capital expenditure at a time many local and regional councils and bodies who maintain the highways and footpaths are subject to increasingly tighter budgets.

A need therefore exists for an access grate and surround in which the uppermost surface of the gully surround and the access grate it supports can be raised to the level of the surrounding road surface or pavement without the need for significant ground works and reinstatement.

It is an object of the present invention to provide a height adjustable access grate and surround and its method of use which overcomes or reduces the drawbacks associated with known products of this type. It is an object of the present invention to provide a grate surround that is positioned over a drain gully and which receives an access cover or grate. Use of the present invention enables the uppermost surface of the gully surround and the access grate to be extended or raised to the level of the surrounding road surface or pavement in the event of any sinkage or settlement of the drain gulley. The present invention enabling remedial repairs or rework to be effected without any ground works and whilst minimising disruption to the drain gully and/or the waste drain and/or the road surface or footpath, and therefore enabling such remedial works to be completed in a timely manner and at a much lower cost. It is further object of the present invention to provide a height adjustable access grate and surround which is an injection moulded product and which therefore reduces the weight for transportation and installation, and which leads to a further reduction of installation and repair costs.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is described herein and in the claims. According to the present invention there is provided an access grate and surround, comprising:

a base which receives the access grate and a height adjustable rim around the access grate; and

an adjustment portion extending between the base and the access grate, the adjustment portion being configured to adjust the height of the access grate within the base.

An advantage of the present invention is that the height adjustable rim and adjustment portion can be quickly removed and replaced with others having different thicknesses such that uppermost surfaces of the access grate and surround can be extended or raised to the level of the surrounding road surface.

Preferably, the base defines an opening into which the access grate is retained by a close inference or transition fit.

Further preferably, wherein situated towards the upper surface of the base is a peripheral shoulder which receives the height adjustable rim. In use, the base may further comprise side walls extending between the shoulder and a bottom surface of the base, each of the side walls defining an outwardly projecting face being tapered outwards towards the bottom surface. Preferably, the outwardly projecting face includes a series of indentations which in use receive aggregate and/or other building materials backfilled and surrounding the side walls.

Further preferably, each of the side walls defines an inner face opposite to the outwardly projecting face, the inner face defining a stepped platform.

In use, the stepped platform may receive the adjustment portion being disposed at the bottom surface of the access grate. Preferably, the shoulder includes a series of slotted apertures which each meet with corresponding projections formed at the underside of the height adjustable rim.

Further preferably, the projections include a series of detents which meet with complementary resilient or snap fit projections disposed inside the slotted apertures of the height adjustable rim.

In use, the height adjustable rim can be removed and replaced from the shoulder of the base by way of a snap fit. Preferably, the access grate being formed having a generally rectangular-shape in plan view and is received in a generally horizontal configuration in the base with the top surface thereof being uppermost.

Further preferably, a plurality of apertures extend between the top surface and the bottom surface of the access grate, and through which water can pass.

In use, the plurality of apertures may be formed as two aligned rows of elongate apertures. Preferably, the two aligned rows of elongate apertures form or define a central longitudinal rib.

Further preferably, the access grate further comprises side walls being inclined inwardly towards the bottom surface thereof, such that the access grate can be received and retained inside the base above a drain gully.

In use, the adjustment portion comprises a pair of removable grate raisers being disposed at the bottom surface of the access grate.

Preferably, the vertical load on the access grate being supported by the abutment of the grate raisers against the stepped platform in the inner face of the base.

Further preferably, each of the grate raisers includes a series of projections formed at the upper surface thereof, the series of projections includes a series of detents which meet with complementary resilient or snap fit projections disposed inside corresponding slotted apertures located at the bottom surface of the access grate.

In use, the grate raisers may be removed and replaced from the bottom surface of the access grate by way of a snap fit.

Preferably, the access grate and/or the surround is formed using injection moulding tools and/or processes. Further preferably, the access grate and/or the surround is formed from homo- or copolymer polypropylene, or polyamide.

In use, the access grate and/or the surround may be formed using glass-filled Nylon 6 or 6.6 having a filler content from around 15% by weight to around 50% by weight.

Preferably, the access grate and/or the surround further comprises steel reinforcing strips or rods being overmoulded and/or encased therein. Further preferably, the access grate and/or the surround is formed from a synthetic plastics material and/or a thermoplastic and/or thermoset material and/or from a blend of recycled polymers from both postindustrial and domestic waste streams. In use, the blend of recycled polymers may be at least 50% by weight of the plastics material.

Preferably, the access grate and/or the surround is formed via or blow moulding and/or vacuum forming and/or rotational moulding and/or compression moulding and/or rim moulding and/or powder impression moulding and/or any form of plastics manufacture.

Further preferably, the access grate and/or the surround is formed from cast iron.

In use, the access grate and/or the surround may be manufactured in accordance with European Standard EN 124: 1994.

Preferably, the access grate and/or the surround is implemented in any number of circular and/or ellipsoid and/or rectangular and/or curved geometric shapes, including pentagonal, hexagonal, octagonal or any suitable polygonal shape in plan view.

Also according to the present invention there is provided a method of adjusting the height of an access grate received in a surround disposed in a surface above a drain gully, the method comprising the steps of:

securing a first adjustment portion between the surround and the access grate, and a first height adjustable rim surrounding the access grate; and

in the event of sinkage or settlement of the surface and/or drain gully, replacing the first height adjustable rim and the first adjustment portion with a second height adjustable rim and a second adjustment portion. Preferably, the drain gully is a roadside surface water gully.

It is believed that height adjustable access grate and surround and its method of use in accordance with the present invention at least addresses the problems outlined above. It will be obvious to those skilled in the art that variations of the present invention are possible and it is intended that the present invention may be used other than as specifically described herein.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRA WINGS

The present invention will now be described by way of example only, and with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:

Figure 1 is an exploded perspective view from the side and above of a grate surround which is capable of receiving an access grate in accordance with the present invention;

Figures 2a and 2b show side perspective views from below and above, respectively, of the height adjustable access grate and surround of Figure 1 when in use;

Figure 3 illustrates a perspective view from the side and above of further detail of a grate raiser which is connectable at the underside of the access grate;

Figure 4 is a perspective view from the side and below of a height adjustable rim for the grate surround having the same height as the grate raiser shown in Figure 3; and

Figure 5 shows a perspective view from the side and below of a height adjustable rim for the grate surround having a height approximately double that shown in Figure 4.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

The present invention has adopted the approach of utilising a grate surround that is positioned over a drain gully and which receives an access cover or grate. Advantageously, use of the present invention enables the uppermost surface of the gully surround and the access grate to be extended or raised to the level of the surrounding road surface or pavement in the event of any sinkage or settlement of the drain gulley. Further advantageously, the present invention enabling remedial repairs or rework to be effected without any ground works and whilst minimising disruption to the drain gully and/or the waste drain and/or the road surface or footpath, and therefore enabling such remedial works to be completed in a timely manner and at a much lower cost. Further advantageously, the present invention provides a height adjustable access grate and surround which is an injection moulded product and which therefore reduces the weight for transportation and installation, and which leads to a further reduction of installation and repair costs. Referring now to the drawings, an height adjustable access grate and surround 10 for roadside surface water drains and gullies according to the present invention is shown in Figures 1 and 2. The access grate and surround 10 comprises a base surround 12 defining an opening 14 into which an access cover or grate 16 can be retained by a close inference fit. Towards the upper surface of the base surround 12 is a peripheral shoulder 18 which receives and supports a removable height adjustable rim 20.

The present invention also makes use of removable grate raisers 22, which are positioned the underside of the access cover 16. In use, the access cover 16 is received through opening 14 of the base surround 12. The access cover 16 is retained by a close inference fit inside the opening 14 and the vertical load on the access cover 16 is supported by the abutment of the grate raisers 22 at the underside 44 thereof against a platform or ledge 24 that runs around an inner face 34 of the base surround 12. Figure 1 shows an exploded view of height adjustable access grate and surround 10, and Figure 2 illustrates the assembled height adjustable access grate and surround 10 when in use.

The base surround 12 is formed having a generally rectangular shape in plan view and having the peripheral shoulder 18 and an opposite, underside surface 26. The skilled person will appreciate that the base surround 12 protects the area around the drain gully cup and supports the access cover 16. When installed, the underside surface 26 of the base surround 12 sits on the foundations of the gully cup (not shown). Extended between the shoulder 18 and underside surface 26 of the base surround 12 are side walls 28. The outwardly projecting face 30 of the side walls 28 are tapered outwards towards the underside surface 26 to provide stability. The outwardly projecting face 30 includes a series of indentations 32 which are used during installation to provide grip against the aggregate or other building materials backfilled and surrounding the side walls 28. Opposite to the outwardly projecting face 30 of the side wall 28 is an inner face 34, in which the stepped platform 24 is disposed. It is upon this stepped platform 24, that the grate raisers 22 at the underside 44 of the removable access cover 16 are supported. The shoulder 18 of the base surround 12 includes a series of slotted apertures 36 which each meet with corresponding projections 38 formed at the underside of the removable height adjustable rim 20, as perhaps best shown in Figures 4 and 5. The projections 38 at the underside of the removable height adjustable rim 20 also include a series of detents 40 which meet with complementary resilient or snap fit projections (not shown for reasons of clarity) disposed inside the slotted apertures 36. The skilled person will appreciate that height adjustable rim 20 can therefore be removed and replaced from the shoulder 18 of the base surround 12 by way of a snap fit by urging the projections 38 of the rim 20 into the apertures 36 disposed in the shoulder 18 without the use of any tools. The height adjustable rim 20 can therefore be attached to the base surround 12 quickly and easily.

As shown in Figures 1 and 2, the removable access cover or grate 16 is formed having a generally rectangular shape in plan view with a top surface 42 and an opposite underside surface 44. Extending between the top 42 and bottom 44 surfaces are side walls 46.

Figures 1 and 2 show that running through from the top surface 42 to the bottom surface 44 of the access cover 16 are two aligned rows of elongate apertures 48. The position of the rows of apertures 48 form a central longitudinal rib 50 a series of transverse ribs 52. It through the apertures 48 that surface water at the top surface 42 of the access cover 16 can pass into a drain gully cup (not shown) and into the sewer water system.

A textured anti-slip pattern (not shown) can be formed on the top surface 42 of the access cover 16. The skilled person will appreciate that the walls 46 are inclined inwardly towards the underside 44 of the access cover 16, as best shown in Figure 1 such that they can be received and retained with a close fit inside the base surround 12.

Each of the elongate grate raisers 22 includes a series of projections 54 formed at the upper surface thereof, as perhaps best shown in Figures 1 and 3. The series of projections 54 also include a series of detents 56 which meet with complementary resilient or snap fit projections disposed inside corresponding slotted apertures (not shown for reasons of clarity) positioned at the underside 44 of the access cover 16. The skilled person will appreciate that grate raisers 22 can therefore be removed and replaced from the underside 44 of the access cover 16 by way of a snap fit by urging the projections 54 of the raiser 22 into the apertures disposed in the access cover 16 without the use of any tools. The elongate grate raisers 22 can therefore be attached to the access cover 16 quickly and easily. In a preferred embodiment, the material forming the height adjustable access grate and surround 10 is injection-moulded using a glass fibre-filled polyamide. In particular, access grate and surround 10 is injection-moulded using glass-filled Nylon 6 or 6.6. The percentage of the filler content can vary from 15% to 50% by weight. To ensure the necessary load bearing and mechanical strength defined by various British and European Standards, including European Standard EN 124: 1994, steel reinforcing strips or rods (not shown) are overmoulded and encased therein.

The skilled person will appreciate that the adjustable access grate and surround 10 can be formed from any number of synthetic plastics material, such as a thermoplastic or thermoset material, or any other suitable first or second generation plastics material. The above list is in no way intended to be limiting and exhaustive.

The skilled person will appreciate that different variations or densities of materials could also be provided. Manufacturing the adjustable access grate and surround 10 using injection moulding will allow for a generally low product weight which provides a good structural rigidity and durability. The adjustable access grate and surround 10 can be supplied in a number of different colours.

The adjustable access grate and surround 10 can be further manufactured using other techniques such as blow moulding, vacuum forming, rotational moulding, compression moulding, rim moulding, powder impression moulding or any other form of plastics manufacture. The adjustable access grate and surround 10 can be manufactured from a blend of recycled polymers from both post-industrial and domestic waste teams. In a preferred embodiment, the cover 10 can be manufacture having up to 50% by weight recycled polymer relative to the total polymer content. The amount of recycled polymer can be as high as 75% by weight relative to the total polymer content, or even 100% by weight recycled polymer relative to the total polymer content. Alternatively, the adjustable access grate and surround 10 can be formed from a cast iron material.

Figure 3 shows that the grate raiser 22 which is connectable to the underside 44 of the access cover 16 has a height between the mating surfaces thereof denoted by height Ά' . It is by removing and replacing the grate raisers 22 with another having a different thickness that enables the height of the uppermost surface 42 of the access cover 16 to be varied. In addition, Figures 4 and 5 show how the height adjustable rim 20 of the present invention can be provided having different heights, denoted as heights 'B' and 'C, respectively, in Figures 4 and 5, and which are removably connectable to the shoulder 18 of the base surround 12 to extend or raise the height of the uppermost surface of the base surround 12 to the level of the access cover 16.

Referring now to Figures 1 to 5, the actual use of the height adjustable access grate and surround 10 of the present invention will now be described. The skilled person will appreciate that the access grate and surround 10 of the present invention can be a completely new installation or, in use, it can be used to replace an existing cast iron surface water grate and surround. In this latter case, the existing cast iron grate and surround is firstly removed and replaced instead by the present invention.

For both replacement and new installations, the height or thickness of the grid raiser 22, as denoted by dimension 'A' in Figure 3, is selected to be a first standardised height, for example, 20mm and the pair of 20mm thick grid raisers 22 are connected along the edges at the underside 44 of the removable access cover 16. The adjustable rim 20 is selected to have the same standardised height, and, in this embodiment, a 20mm height adjustable rim 20 is connected to the shoulder 18 of the base surround 12. This adjustable rim 20 having a height denoted by dimension 'B' in Figure 4.

Should, in the future, there be any sinkage or settlement of the drain gulley resulting in the access grate and surround 10 being at a lower height than the surrounding road surface, a simple and expeditious repair can be effected, as described below. Firstly, the area near the access grate and surround 10 is chipped away using a special tool to loosen the base surround 12 from the tarmac. The grate cover 16 is removed, along with the standard 20mm thick adjustable rim 20. A replacement appropriate height (30mm, 40mm, 50mm, etc.) of adjustable rim 20 is then clipped in place on the shoulder 18 to reach the level of the road surface. The road surface can then be reinstated around the base surround 12, which brings the uppermost surface of the adjustable rim 20 to the current road surface level. The grate cover 16 is then adjusted with the appropriately sized raiser 22, and the grate cover 16 then placed back in the base surround 12. The remedial works can be completed in around one hour.

Therefore, the access grate and surround 10 according to the present invention enables a much quicker and easier repair to be effected without any need to remove, excavate or damage the road surface and/or the base surround 12 and/or the access grate 16.

Various additions and alternations may be made to the present invention. For example, although particular embodiments refer to implementing the present invention with roadside surface water drains and gullies, this is in no way intended to be limiting as, in use, the present invention can be implemented with any number of drainage and sewer water systems.

The invention is not intended to be limited to the details of the embodiments described herein, which are described by way of example only. It will be understood that features described in relation to any particular embodiment can be featured in combination with other embodiments.

It is contemplated by the inventor that various substitutions, alterations, and modifications may be made to the invention without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as defined by the claims. Examples of these include the following:

The size and shape of access grate and surround 10 can be formed from numerous designs. Instead of a generally rectangular shape in plan view, the access grate and surround 10 can be implemented in any number of circular and/or ellipsoid and/or rectangular and/or curved geometric shapes, including pentagonal, hexagonal, octagonal or any suitable polygonal shape in plan view. The above list is in no way intended to be limiting and exhaustive.

The adjustable rim 20 and grate raisers 22 are supplied in a range of height sizes. The choice of adjustment would be dependent on the size required to bring the uppermost surface of the access grate and surround 10 to the level of the surrounding road surface. The access grate and surround 10 of the present invention is supplied with one 20mm adjustable rim 20 and two 20mm grate raisers 22 as standard. The skilled person will understand that many other sizes are possible, and the above is in no way intended to be limiting and exhaustive.




 
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