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Title:
HOSE CLAMP WITH ROLLER AND LOCKING TAB
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2013/169892
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A clamp comprises a clamping band having a first, central axis, and a tightening surface engaging a surface of the clamping band and rotating about a second, central axis, parallel to the first central axis. In this way, it is possible to engage the tightening surface with a wrenching tool, for example, from the same axis as the hose or tube being clamped, and from either side.

Inventors:
SCHOOLEY, Jack M. (2014 NE 155th Avenue, Vancouver, Washington, 98684, US)
Application Number:
US2013/040120
Publication Date:
November 14, 2013
Filing Date:
May 08, 2013
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
ZTORK PRODUCTS INC. (206 Veys Avenue, Kelso, Washington, 98626, US)
International Classes:
F16L33/025; F16B2/08
Domestic Patent References:
WO2012018782A2
WO1993025448A1
Foreign References:
JPH1089320A
US4546524A
US7055225B1
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
RUSSELL, John D. (Alleman Hall McCoy Russell & Tuttle LLP, 806 SW Broadway Suite 60, Portland Oregon, 97205, US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
Claims:

1. A clamp, comprising:

a clamping band having a first, central axis, and

a tightening surface engaging a surface of the clamping band and rotating about a second, central axis, parallel to the first central axis.

2. The clamp of claim 1 wherein the tightening surface is an external surface of a floating internal toothed wheel housed in a housing at least partially enclosing the surface of the clamping band.

3. The clamp of claim 2 wherein teeth of the floating internal toothed wheel engage indents evenly spaced along the clamping band.

4. The clamp of claim 3 wherein the indents include perforations through the clamping band, and wherein the floating internal toothed wheel includes an internal wrenching portion shaped to receive a wrenching tool, the internal wrenching portion having an axis of rotation parallel with the first central axis of the clamping band, the clamping band looped about the first central axis and tightenable to constrict itself into smaller circumferences about the first central axis.

5. The clamp of claim 2 wherein the clamping band comprises a continuous strip with a first end fixed relative to the housing, wrapping around the first central axis to form a clamping section, passing back into the housing via an opening, wrapping in a direction opposite with the clamping section to form a second loop at least 180 degrees about the floating internal toothed wheel, and then exiting the housing via the opening, with a second end of the continuous strip outside the housing.

6. The clamp of claim 5 wherein the housing further includes a latching clip resisting loosening of the clamp, at a location where multiple sections of the continuous strip are in face sharing contact at the opening.

7. The clamp of claim 5 wherein the continuous strip enters and exits the housing only through the opening, and with multiple sections of the continuous strip in face sharing contact with one another at the opening.

8. A clamp, comprising:

a continuous strip having indents, the continuous strip formed with a first loop with a first wrap direction about a first axis, and a second loop with a second, opposite wrap direction about a second axis parallel to the first axis, the second loop exterior to the first loop; and

a tightening tooth inside the second loop and rotatable about the second axis.

9. The clamp of claim 8, wherein

the continuous strip has two ends, a first end being interior to the first loop, and a second end being exterior to both the first loop and the second loop.

10. A hose clamp, comprising:

a clamping band, a first section of the clamping band forming a first loop about a first axis, a second section of the clamping band forming a second loop about a second axis parallel with the first axis, the second loop wrapping in an opposite direction from the first loop, the clamping band having a plurality of perforations distributed substantially throughout a length of the clamping band; a roller housing coupled to a first end of the first section of the clamping band external or outside to the first loop, the roller housing containing a portion of the second loop of the clamping band, a second section of the clamping band entering and exiting the roller housing at a roller housing gap and adjacent with face-sharing contact with a portion of the first loop; and

a floating roller, contained in the roller housing and around which the second loop is at least partially wrapped, the roller having a wrenching section, the roller rotatable about the second axis, the roller having a plurality of teeth spaced equivalently with the plurality of perforations in the second loop.

11. The hose clamp of claim 10, wherein the roller housing further comprises a locking tab, the locking tab cut into the roller housing and flexible and movable relative to the roller housing, the locking tab extendable across the roller housing gap into one of the plurality of perforations in the second section of the clamping band exiting the roller housing.

12. The hose clamp of claim 10, wherein the wrenching section is shaped to receive a wrenching tool.

13. The hose clamp of claim 12, wherein the wrenching section further comprises a hexagonal protrusion, the roller rotatable about the second axis using socket wrenches, open-ended wrenches, or box-ended wrenches via the hexagonal protrusion.

14. The hose clamp of claim 12, wherein the wrenching section further comprises an interior wrenching surface extending inward into the roller about the second axis and having a cross-section comprising one or more of square, hex, slot, cruciform, triple square, bowtie, butterfly, claw, double hex, pentalobe, polydrive, spanner, spline, triangle, or triangular slotted.

15. The hose clamp of claim 14, wherein the roller has an annular shape and wherein the interior wrenching surface extends completely through an axis of the roller.

16. The hose clamp of claim 10, wherein the teeth are shaped to protrude into the plurality of perforations in the second loop of the clamping band, extending at most flush with but not outside of the second loop.

17. The hose clamp of claim 10, wherein the second section is formed from a material flexible enough to wrap at least 180 degrees around the roller without crimping or cracking and having a tensile strength high enough to provide a strong clamping force without yielding or failing.

Description:
HOSE CLAMP WITH ROLLER AND LOCKING TAB

Background and Summary

Hose clamps are commonly used to connect and seal flexible hoses to other components in fluid conveying systems such as heating, ventilation and air- conditioning (HVAC) systems, automotive systems, hydraulic systems, pneumatic systems, and many others.

Conventional hose clamps comprise a steel clamping band with evenly-spaced transverse slots cut into the band along its length. The band is fixed at one end to a screw-housing and wraps around the hose to be clamped. The second end of the band overlaps the first end of the band, passing through the housing. Inside the housing, the parallel slots of the overlapping band engage the threads of a screw, wherein the screw is oriented transverse to the axes of the clamp and hose. Thus, when the screw is rotated in one direction, the overlapping end of the band is drawn into the housing by the rotating threads, constricting and tightening the clamp. Conversely, when the screw is rotated in the opposite direction, the overlapping end of the band is pushed out of the housing by the rotating threads, lengthening and loosening the clamp.

In such a design, the screw threads translate the screw's rotation into the clamping action of the band; the magnitude of the clamping action with each screw rotation depending on the pitch of the screw threads. Due to this construction, the clamping force can be limited by the shear strength of the screw threads. Also, due to the orientation of the screw relative to the band, the clamp can only be adjusted at the side where the screw head is located, and only from a direction that is transverse to the axes of the clamp and hose, which in practice can be an awkward angle to reach.

Another approach for hose clamp adjustments includes clamping bands incorporating a locking, ratcheting, or latching mechanism into the clamping band ends. Such approaches, however, may be limited in their versatility because they are not able to accommodate a broad range of hose diameters and generally have a lower maximum clamping force.

The inventor herein has recognized these issues and provides various approaches to at least partially address them. In one example, a clamp, comprises a clamping band having a first, central axis, and a tightening surface engaging a surface of the clamping band and rotating about a second, central axis, parallel to the first central axis. In this way, it is possible to engage the tightening surface with a wrenching tool, for example, from the same axis as the hose or tube being clamped, and from either side.

In another example, a clamp comprises a continuous strip having indents, the strip formed with a first loop with a first wrap direction about a first axis, and a second loop with a second, opposite wrap direction about a second axis parallel to the first axis, the second loop exterior to the first loop; and a tightening tooth inside the second loop and rotatable about the second axis. In this way, it is possible to engage the tightening surface with a wrenching tool, for example, from the same axis as the hose or tube being clamped (on either side), and also maintain a compact design for the clamp with high clamping forces.

Still other additional and alternative features are possible as described in the present application.

It will be understood that the summary above is provided to introduce in simplified form a selection of concepts that are further described in the detailed description. It is not meant to identify key or essential features of the claimed subject matter, the scope of which is defined uniquely by the claims that follow the detailed description. Furthermore, the claimed subject matter is not limited to implementations that solve any disadvantages noted above or in any part of this disclosure.

Brief Description of the Drawings

FIG. 1 is an example illustrating an end view of a hose clamp.

FIG. 2 is an example illustrating an exploded view of a roller housing of the hose clamp of FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is an example illustrating a perspective cross-sectional view of the roller housing of the hose clamp of FIG. 1. The Figures are drawn approximately to scale.

Detailed Description

The following description relates to several example embodiments of a hose clamp. An example embodiment of a hose clamp is illustrated in FIGS. 1-3. The hose clamp comprises a perforated clamping band coupled to a roller housing at one end, and a floating roller contained within the roller housing. FIG. 1 is an end view of the hose clamp. FIG. 2 is an exploded view of the hose clamp roller housing, showing the floating roller, the roller housing, and portions of the clamping band attached to and passing through the roller housing. FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view of the assembled roller housing and clamping band illustrating how the roller housing, floating roller and second loop of the clamping band are integrated in the hose clamp.

In an example embodiment, the hose clamp can comprise a clamping band having a first central axis and a tightening surface engaging a surface of the clamping band and rotating about a second central axis parallel to the first central axis. In a further example, the tightening surface may be an external surface of a floating toothed wheel housed in a housing at least partially enclosing the surface of the clamping band. Teeth of the floating toothed wheel can engage evenly-spaced indents along the clamping band. Alternately, the clamping band indents may comprise perforations through the band that are engaged by the teeth of the floating toothed wheel. The toothed wheel may further comprise an internal wrenching portion having an axis of rotation parallel with the central axis of the clamping band, the clamping band looped about the central axis and tightenable to constrict itself into smaller circumferences about the central axis.

In another example embodiment, the clamping band can comprise a continuous strip with a first end fixed to the housing and wrapped around the central axis to form a clamping section. The clamping band can further comprise passing back into the housing via an opening, wrapping in a direction opposite with the clamping section to form a second loop at least 180 degrees about the toothed wheel and then exiting the housing via the opening, with a second end of the continuous strip outside the housing. The hose clamp can further comprise a locking tab or a latching clip, resisting loosening of the clamp, at a location where multiple sections of the continuous strip are in face-sharing contact at the opening. In some example embodiments, the continuous strip enters and exits the housing only through the opening, and with multiple sections of the continuous strip in face-sharing contact with one another at the opening.

Referring now to FIG. 1, it illustrates an example of an end view of an example embodiment of a hose clamp 100. The hose clamp 100 comprises a perforated clamping band 106 coupled to a roller housing 120 at a first end 150 of a first section 110 of the clamping band. The first section 110 forms a first loop in a first direction Rl about a first axis 116, and a second section 112 of the clamping band contiguous with the first section forms a second loop in an opposite direction R2 from the first loop about a second axis 118 parallel to the first axis. The clamping band enters the roller housing 120 after the first loop of the first section, the second loop wrapping at least partially around a floating roller 130 inside the roller housing. A second end 160 of the second section exits the roller housing 120 after the second loop, overlapping with a portion of the first loop of the clamping band. In some embodiments, the second end 160 can overlap the portion of the first loop, making face-sharing contact.

Continuing with FIG. 1, the floating roller 130, and the second loop may be aligned around the second axis 118 that is parallel to the first axis 116 of the first loop. The first loop has a diameter dl . The roller housing 120 is attached to the first end 150 of the clamping band. The roller housing can be hollow, containing the floating roller and the second loop aligned about the second axis 118. In one example, the roller housing may have an approximately annular shape, including a first opening 122 for receiving a wrenching tool. The first opening may be coaxial with the floating roller 130 and the second loop of the clamping band. The roller housing can include a second opening, a roller housing gap 124, on a side of the roller housing where the clamping band enters the roller housing after the first loop and exits the roller housing after the second loop. The roller housing may taper in size on the side where the roller housing gap is located. The taper in the roller housing can help to maintain the wrapping of the second loop of the clamping band around the floating roller. The roller housing can further comprise a locking tab 140 located adjacent or at the roller housing gap. In this way, the roller housing's internal wall can be shaped to guide and retain an internal floating toothed wheel that engages the band. Further, the shape of the roller housing's internal wall can help maintain the band wrapping around the internal floating toothed wheel, by guiding and retaining the band in engagement with the toothed wheel, while also routing the band into and out of the housing.

To install the hose clamp, the first loop of the clamping band may be wrapped around a hose, tubing or piping, or other article to be clamped. The second end 160 of the clamping band can subsequently be threaded into the roller housing, a portion of the clamping band at the end of the first loop entering the roller housing gap 124, wrapping around the floating roller and exiting the roller housing gap, the second end overlapping the clamping band at the portion where it entered the roller housing gap. A wrenching tool may be applied to rotate the floating roller to assist threading the second loop of the clamping band through the roller housing, the teeth of the floating roller engaging the perforations of the clamping band. The clamping band can have sufficient flexibility to be able to at least partially wrap around the floating roller, wrapping at least 180 degrees inside the roller housing. In another embodiment an axial face of the roller housing may be detachable to facilitate insertion of the clamping band into the roller housing. The detachable axial face of the roller housing may also facilitate servicing the floating roller, roller housing, or clamping band. Once the clamping band has been threaded through the roller housing, the clamping band can be tightened. In some example embodiments, a wrenching tool may be used to rotate the roller to shorten the first loop and lengthen the second section, thereby tightening the clamp. Once the clamp has been tightened, the locking tab 140 can be engaged, preventing further rotation of the floating roller, and thereby locking the size of the hose clamp. In a further example embodiment, the locking tab can be a ratcheting locking tab, capable of automatically locking the hose clamp as it is tightened with the wrenching tool. The ratcheting locking tab may also be used to make very fine adjustments to the hose clamp, tightening and/or loosening the clamping band in smaller discrete increments with each ratcheting motion as compared to when a wrenching tool is used to rotate the floating roller. In some cases, the first and second loops of the clamping band may already be installed in the hose clamp. To install the hose clamp, the first loop can be loosened, either by using the wrenching tool to engage the floating roller, or by using the ratcheting locking tab, or by manually pulling the first loop out of the roller housing and/or pushing the second end into the roller housing. Once the first loop is large enough, the hose, tubing or piping, or other article to be clamped can be inserted into the first loop. Clamping can subsequently be carried out as described above, using the wrenching tool and in some instances, the ratcheting locking tab to tighten the clamp.

Referring now to FIG. 2, it illustrates an example of an exploded view of the floating roller 130, the second section 112 of the clamping band, and the roller housing 120. An example embodiment of the floating roller 130 comprises a gear wheel, having a plurality of teeth 134. The teeth 134 can be spaced evenly about an exterior surface of the gear wheel, and can have an equivalent spacing with the perforations 114 in the clamping band. Furthermore, the teeth 134 can be shaped to extend or protrude into the perforations 114 of the clamping band when the second section 112 of the clamping band is partially wrapped around the gear wheel. Further still, the teeth 134 can be shaped so as to extend to be at most flush with but not outside the second loop of the clamping band in order to avoid impinging on the roller housing. Further still, the teeth 134 can be shaped so as to have blunt or rounded ends so that any contact with the interior walls of the roller housing resulting from protrusion of the teeth beyond the clamping band will not generate significant friction to substantially hinder rotation of the floating roller or translation of the clamping band through the roller housing. Subsequently, when the roller is rotated in a first direction Rl, the teeth engage the clamping band 106 and translate the clamping band through the roller housing, lengthening the first section 110 (thereby lengthening the first loop and increasing diameter dl), and drawing the second section 112 of the clamping band into the roller housing (thereby shortening the second end 160). Thus rotating the roller in the direction Rl loosens the hose clamp. Conversely, when the roller is rotated in a second direction R2 opposite to the first direction, the teeth engage the clamping band 106 and translate the clamping band through the roller housing, shortening the first section 110 (thereby shortening the first loop and decreasing diameter dl), and lengthening the second section 112 (thereby lengthening the second end). Thus rotating the roller in the direction R2 tightens the hose clamp. The diameter dl of the first loop of the clamping band can be controlled by rotating the floating roller 130, and may correspond closely with the diameter of the article (e.g. a hose) to be clamped when the hose clamp is tightened. The gear wheel is one example embodiment of the floating roller 130. Other types of floating rollers or floating roller shapes and geometries can also be used.

In the present hose clamp design, the floating roller and the second loop are coaxial, and an angular rotation of the floating roller is converted equivalently to a distance the clamping band is translated through the housing. Rotation of the roller for constricting or lengthening the clamp is thereby concise and efficient as compared to manipulation of a threaded screw in conventional hose clamp designs, wherein the magnitude of the clamping action is dependent on the pitch of the screw threads. Moreover, the design of the current hose clamp is able to achieve a stronger clamping force as compared with prior conventional hose clamps where the clamping force is limited by the shear strength of the screw threads.

Continuing with FIG. 2, roller housing 120 may also include a locking tab 140 that can extend, upon manual activation, across the face of the roller housing gap 124 and impinge on to the surface of the second end of the clamping band, thereby preventing further translation of the clamping band through the housing, further rotation of the floating roller 130, and thereby locking a hose clamp size, given by the first loop diameter dl . In the example embodiment shown in FIG. 2, the locking tab is attached to the top surface of the roller housing and can extend downward across the roller housing gap into the perforations 114 of the second end 160 of the clamping band adjacent to the roller housing gap 124. As previously described, the locking tab can also comprise a ratcheting locking tab, whereby the locking tab, when extended, presses continuously against second end of the clamping band. As the clamp is tightened, the locking tab engages the perforations, and prevents the hose clamp from loosening, but allowing the hose clamp to be tightened further. In another example, the ratcheting locking tab can be used to make small adjustments to the hose clamp, tightening and/or loosening the clamping band in small increments as compared to when the clamp is adjusted by using a wrenching tool to rotate the floating roller.

As shown in FIG. 2, the floating roller 130 can further comprise a wrenching section 180 shaped to receive a wrenching tool. An example of a wrenching section is an interior wrenching surface that extends inward into the floating roller 130 about the second axis 118, such as a hexalobular Torx® socket illustrated in FIG. 2. Other examples of cross-sectional geometries of interior wrenching surfaces can include one or more of square, hex, slot, cruciform, triple, square, bowtie, butterfly, claw, double hex, pentalobe, polydrive, spanner, spline, triangle, or triangular slotted. Furthermore, the interior wrenching surface can extend inward from both axial sides of the floating roller, or completely through the second axis 118 of the roller, forming an interior wrenching surface configured to receive a wrenching tool from multiple sides of the clamp, thus allowing the roller to be rotated from multiple sides (e.g., either axial side) of the hose clamp. Further still, the wrenching section 180 can comprise an exterior wrenching surface, such as a hexagonal protrusion, allowing the floating roller to be rotated using socket wrenches, open ended wrenches, or box-ended wrenches. Other exterior wrenching surfaces or combinations thereof known to one of ordinary skill in the art can be used. Further, the exterior wrenching surface can extend outward from both axial sides of the floating roller 130, allowing the roller to be rotated from either axial side of the hose clamp.

In the above-described manner, the present hose clamp design allows access to the floating roller 130 with a wrenching tool from one or both axial sides of the clamp, which can facilitate easier installation and adjustment of the clamp in confined spaces as compared with conventional prior hose clamp designs. Furthermore, the floating roller 130 and roller housing 120 can be compact in size relative to the overall clamp dimensions, and conventional hose clamp designs. Further still, the present hose clamp design is versatile, being able to accommodate a wide range of hose dimensions by simply adjusting the length of the first loop of the clamping band, as compared to prior hose clamp designs.

Continuing with FIG. 2, the wrenching section can comprise an annular gear wheel with an interior wrenching surface geometry corresponding to dimensions of a wrenching tool that can matingly engage with the interior wrenching surface and rotate the floating roller. In certain example embodiments, the cross-sectional geometry of the wrenching section may be comprise an interior wrenching surface that is grooved (e.g. Torx ® spline), ungrooved (e.g. hex, triangle), radially symmetrical (e.g. star, cross), or not radially symmetrical (e.g. spanner), or other geometries known to one ordinarily skilled in the art. The exterior surface of the gear wheel comprises alternating teeth and grooves that form a grooved exterior surface. In the example embodiment of a floating gear wheel shown in FIG. 2, the interior wrenching surface of the gear wheel is also grooved and shaped to accommodate a Torx® Spline wrenching tool.

As shown in FIG. 2, the teeth 134 may have an angular spacing d3 about the circumference of the floating roller 130. As previously described, the angular spacing d3 can be equivalent to a linear spacing d7 of the perforations 114 of the clamping band. In this manner, the teeth can align with and protrude into the clamping band perforations when the second section 112 of the clamping band is at least partially wrapped around the floating roller inside the roller housing 120. Furthermore, the teeth can be formed to have a cross-sectional shape in a radial direction so as to be able to protrude at least partially into the perforations 114 of the clamping ban when the second section 112 of the clamping band is at least partially wrapped around the floating roller inside the roller housing 120. In one example embodiment, the cross- section of the teeth taper as the teeth extend outwards in the radial direction so that when they protrude into the clamping band perforations they can matingly engage, in a substantially snug manner, with the perforations of the clamping band.

Continuing with FIG. 2, the second section 112 of the clamping band forming the second loop wraps at least 180 degrees in the direction R2 around the floating roller 130 inside the roller housing 120. The second section of the clamping band has a sufficient flexibility so as to avoid crimping or bending or cracking while forming the second loop inside the roller housing. In a preferred embodiment, the diameter of the first loop dl is much larger than the diameter of the roller housing and the second loop. Thus the second section of the clamping band may have a higher flexibility as compared to clamping bands used in conventional hose clamps, yet may have a tensile strength and yield strength high enough to prevent failure and yielding of the clamping band when subject to tensile stress during application of the clamping force. The tensile stress beyond which the clamping band yields or fails and the flexibility of the clamping band can also be influenced by a thickness d5 of the clamping band, the width of the clamping band in the axial direction, the size and the linear spacing d7 of the perforations 114, and the material used to form the clamping band. For example a ratio of the width of the clamping band to the thickness of the clamping band may vary depending on the size of the unit. Examples of materials for forming the hose clamp include steel, stainless steel, brass, bronze, plastic or aluminum, or combinations thereof; alternative materials can also be used. In one example embodiment, the hose clamp can be fabricated entirely using stainless steel for all parts. In another embodiment, lighter duty hose clamps can be fabricated from a suitable plastic or polymer.

Continuing with the example embodiments shown in FIG. 2, the roller housing 120 can be hollow, containing the floating roller 130 and the second loop of the clamping band aligned about the second axis 118. The first opening 122 of the roller housing is aligned about the second axis 118 and configured for receiving a wrenching tool for rotating the floating roller. The first opening 122 is slightly smaller than the outer dimension of roller housing 120, and slightly smaller than the dimension of the floating roller, thereby forming a lip 126 in the roller housing. The lip contains the floating roller inside the roller housing and also helps to maintain the alignment of the floating roller about the second axis. The roller housing may taper in size on a side of the roller housing where the roller housing gap 124 is located. The taper in the roller housing can help to maintain the partial wrapping of the second loop of the clamping band around the floating roller. The clamping band may enter and exit the roller housing through the roller housing gap, the second end 160 of the clamping band overlapping and making face-sharing contact with a part of the first loop adjacent to the roller housing gap as the second end exits the roller housing. As such, a roller housing gap height d9 is at least, and preferably greater than, twice the thickness of the clamping band. Similarly, the roller housing is sized in other dimensions to suitably contain the floating roller and the second loop of the clamping band. The tapered shape of the roller housing can also encourage mating and engagement of the teeth of the floating roller with the perforations of the second loop as the second loop wraps around the floating roller, thereby preventing the second loop from slipping or sliding across the teeth as the floating roller is rotated, and thereby allowing a consistent clamping force to be achieved.

Referring now to FIG. 3, it illustrates a cross-sectional view of the roller housing 120. One example embodiment comprises the locking tab 140, wherein the locking tab can be cut into the roller housing, and flexible and movable relative to the roller housing. As such, the locking tab can be manually swiveled or bent to extend across the roller housing gap into one of the perforations 114 in the second section 112 of the clamping band exiting and adjacent to the roller housing. In this manner, the locking tab can prevent further rotation of the floating roller and further translation of the clamping band through the roller housing, thereby locking the hose clamp. In some embodiments the tip of the locking tab can be notched or grooved such that when the locking tab extends into one of the perforations in the second section of the clamping band, the notched or grooved tip catches an edge of the clamping band perforation, and it does not readily slide out, thereby ensuring a secure lock. In some cases the locking tab can also comprise a ratcheting locking tab, whereby the locking tab, when extended, presses continuously against second end of the clamping band. As the clamp is tightened, the locking tab engages the perforations, and prevents the hose clamp from loosening, but allows the hose clamp to be tightened further, slidably engaging the clamping band as it is tightened. In another example, the ratcheting locking tab can be used to make small adjustments to the hose clamp, tightening and/or loosening the clamping band in small increments as compared to when the clamp is adjusted by using a wrenching tool to rotate the floating roller. In a further embodiment, when the hose clamp is locked by the locking tab, there is some play in the hose clamp, such that the floating roller can still be rotated by a small amount and the clamping band can still be translated by a small amount less than the spacing d7 of the perforations. As such, when the hose clamp is locked, for example via a locking tab with a notched or grooved tip, the hose clamp can be unlocked by rotating the floating roller within the small amount to release the edge of the clamping band perforation from the notched or grooved tip in the locking tab. In another example embodiment, the clamping band 106 can be formed from an elastic material such that when the roller is rotated, changing the diameter of the first loop from an original diameter, the clamping band has a tendency, due to an elasticity of the clamping band material, to return to its original diameter. Therefore, when the hose clamp is clamped, whereby the first loop is constricted and the locking tab 140 is locked, the elasticity of the clamping band exerts a force against the locked locking tab via the edge of the clamping band perforation against the locking tab. This force exerted by the clamping band can help to maintain engagement of the locking tab.

Continuing with FIG. 3, an outer dimension of the floating roller can be preferably slightly greater than the diameter first opening of the roller housing. As such, the floating roller can be securely contained within the housing as it is rotated, by a lip 126 of the first roller housing. The wrenching section can be an annular interior wrenching surface as shown in FIG. 3. The annular wrenching surface can be designed so that a thickness in the radial direction of the floating roller is thick enough so that the floating roller is strong enough not to fail under the forces exerted on the floating roller by the wrenching tool and the engaged clamping band as the floating roller is rotated.

As shown in FIG. 3 at A, the roller teeth can protrude slightly beyond the clamping band, due to the shape of the teeth. As described above, the teeth can be shaped so as to have blunt or rounded ends so that any contact with the interior walls of the roller housing resulting from protrusion of the teeth beyond the clamping band will not generate significant friction and thereby seriously hinder rotation of the floating roller or translation of the clamping band through the roller housing.

As shown in FIG. 3 at B, the width of the roller in the axial direction may be less than the width of the clamping band and less than the width of the roller housing. In this case, an alignment of the floating roller is maintained by the engagement of the teeth of the floating roller with the perforations in the clamping band. In another example embodiment, the floating roller can have a width equivalent to the width of the clamping band, and slightly less than the width of the roller housing, such that the roller housing lip can also maintain the alignment of the floating roller.

As shown in FIG. 3 at C, the roller housing gap height d9 is large enough so that the second end of the clamping band can overlap and make face-sharing contact with a part of the first loop adjacent to the sections of the clamping band as it exits the roller housing. In an example embodiment, the roller housing gap height d9 can be slightly larger than twice the thickness of the clamping band, thereby preventing the clamping band from twisting or becoming misaligned, but allowing for unhindered translation of the clamping band through the roller housing as the floating roller is rotated. Similarly, the roller housing width can be slightly larger than the clamping band width, thereby preventing the clamping band from twisting or becoming misaligned, but allowing unhindered translation of the clamping band through the roller housing as the floating roller is rotated. Further, for the example embodiment where the roller housing gap height is slightly larger than twice the thickness of the clamping band, the locking tab 140 may not be bulky in size or length to extend into the perforations of the clamping band adjacent to the roller housing gap.

In a further example embodiment, the clamping band can be indented instead of perforated, the floating roller teeth engaging the indentations in the second loop as the floating roller is rotated, thereby adjusting the clamp. In a further still example embodiment the hose clamp can comprise a tightening surface (e.g. a tacky high friction rubber surface, Velcro®, etc.) whereby the clamping band engages the tightening surface as the floating roller is rotated, thereby adjusting the clamp.

Note that the example embodiments described above can be used for hose clamps used in various configurations, and may be used in one or more of any number of strategies for clamping hoses or other articles. As such, various embodiments illustrated may be combined in the sequence illustrated, in alternate sequences, or in some cases omitted. Likewise, the sequence or combination of the embodiments is not necessarily called for to achieve the features and advantages of the example embodiments described herein, but is provided for ease of illustration and description. One or more of the illustrated embodiments may also be repeatedly combined depending on the particular strategy being used.

It will be appreciated that the configurations disclosed herein are exemplary in nature, and that these specific embodiments are not to be considered in a limiting sense, because numerous variations are possible. For example, the above embodiments can be applied to hose clamps with a wrenching section having a cross- sectional geometry comprising one or more of include one or more of square, hex, slot, cruciform, triple, square, bowtie, butterfly, claw, double hex, pentalobe, polydrive, spanner, spline, triangle, triangular slotted, or other geometries. The subject matter of the present disclosure includes all novel and non-obvious combinations and subcombinations of the various configurations, and other features, functions, and/or properties disclosed herein.

The following claims particularly point out certain combinations and subcombinations regarded as novel and non-obvious. These claims may refer to "an" element or "a first" element or the equivalent thereof. Such claims are to be understood to include incorporation of one or more such elements, neither requiring nor excluding two or more such elements. Other combinations and subcombinations of the disclosed features, functions, elements, and/or properties may be claimed through amendment of the present claims or through presentation of new claims in this or a related application. Such claims, whether broader, narrower, equal, or different in scope to the original claims, palso are regarded as included within the subject matter of the present disclosure.